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Author Topic: Out of action for a while  (Read 3861 times)

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Offline cryptiq

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Out of action for a while
« on: January 16, 2008, 12:07:31 PM »
Well as luck would have it, I managed to bend and slightly crease my seat tube.  My bike is an 06 Cannondale Rush.  I have a feeling it happened while riding Bridges at Alafia.  There's a downhill followed by a steep uphill at the beginning of this trail that always throws me into my seat.  I took it into the bike store where I purchased it and they're inspecting it.  Really a bummer for me because I was well into a dedicated ride regiment where I was riding every week. 

I've been trying to lose weight for my personal health and because I have a wedding come up. Sounds like if all goes well and they warranty my frame I'll be out of riding for 2-3 weeks...wedding is in March so this is upsetting - all things considered I consider myself fortunate if this is all I have to complain about.  I'll probably try to take up running again...not as fun but I gotta shed some more pounds.

Anyway, was just curious what kind of experience other people have had with frame warranty issues...mainly w/ Cannondale but I'm curious to know how other companies back up their product.  I was always a little leery about the way some of the warranties are written.  It's like they market a bike by showing someone catching some big air, and then in the warranty they'll say that while the bike is designed for those activities, riding that way can void the warranty.  Maybe I'm wrong, I haven't really studied the verbiage but that's the feeling I got at first glance.

In any case, I hope to have an update on my situation tonight.  I honestly don't abuse my bike, I don't go over any sweet jumps or down any big drop offs.  That being said, I'm still uneasy about the whole process, I see disclaimers about metal fatigue and yada yada.  Makes me wonder how a company can warranty a frame for the lifetime of the owner...can't think of many failures that could be considered anything other than metal fatigue.  Time will tell, I have so much more I want to say but I don't want this post so long that it discourages people from reading that I need input from.  Thanks guys!
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Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2008, 12:29:40 PM »
I've only warranteed one frame, honestly shouldn't have been warranteed, but c-dale took care of it anyway. I don't think you'll have a problem. Were you running the seatpost too far out or something?
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scooter

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2008, 02:27:51 PM »
In speaking with the Braun's who own a collection of C-dales, they have nothing but glowing remarks about warranty issues and customer service thru them so I think you can rest easy :)

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2008, 03:20:23 PM »
The big manufacturers typically have very good warranty work.  It also helps if your local shop is on good terms with the local Cannondale rep.
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Offline Ken

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2008, 03:32:39 PM »
I've never warrantied a frame, with all my Mtb's being Specialized, but know several that have including one Swamper. The results are the same, they replaced it in fairly quick time.
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Offline cryptiq

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2008, 04:02:53 PM »
I've only warranteed one frame, honestly shouldn't have been warranteed, but c-dale took care of it anyway. I don't think you'll have a problem. Were you running the seatpost too far out or something?

Seatpost was inserted within proper specs (wasn't past the minimum insertion line anyway).  But the seat post was considerably bent.  I'm not an advanced rider or anything so I wasn't beating on the bike.  When I go thru that one section of Bridges, the g-forces threw me back down onto my seat and I must have come down on the very back of the seat which caused enough leverage that I guess the seat tube had to compress.  The welds appeared to hold but there was a slight crease in the tube and a slight arc.  On top of that I put a considerable bend into the seat post.  I think that has the service dept perplexed...they're thinking it was a considerable amount of force to bend the seat post like it was.  Well, it was a considerable amount of force, it was my 220lbs + whatever the g-factor was when I hit the uphill section.  I'll have an update this evening...hopefully.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2008, 07:19:31 PM »
What seatpost were you using? I'm curious here, I ride a Rush as well, and I'm 225+ gear. I custom built my bike to handle my size though, run a Thomson seatpost that I left long, custom wheels with King hubs, ect.
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Offline Ken

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2008, 08:17:15 PM »
You can't beat Thompsons for reliability.
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Offline cryptiq

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2008, 11:22:02 PM »
What seatpost were you using? I'm curious here, I ride a Rush as well, and I'm 225+ gear. I custom built my bike to handle my size though, run a Thomson seatpost that I left long, custom wheels with King hubs, ect.

I was using the stock Kalloy post...and I'd recommend keeping yours if you have it, I'll explain why down below.  Mine has nearly the curvature of a banana now  ;D 

So here's my update, I called back to the service dept and now I'm speaking to a 2nd tech...before I could really explain how the story of how my seat tube was bent I was cut off "...I have to say, this looks suspicious...normally when we see this it's because people have a roof rack and drive into the garage with the bike still up there..."  OK so my blood is now boiling, I can see their angle now and I don't even own a roof rack.  I guess I have to explain a little more of the story.  After bending my seat post I ordered a replacement...Race Face Evolve XC.  When the new post arrived I took my seat off to put it on the new post.  When installing the new post that's when I came across the ripple/crease/curve in my seat tube.  So I called up the service dept and they said I needed to bring it in. 

So I ended up bringing the bike with the bent seat post, no saddle, into the service dept, this was on Tuesday.  The tech advised me they needed the saddle as well to diagnose the issue...fair enough.  I told them I had the saddle at home and would bring it in the next day (Wednesday...today).  I guess this raised suspicion, especially if they were thinking from the get go the damage was caused from negligence or abuse.  They probably thought I left the saddle at home because there was evidence of a significant crash.

Anyway, I guess that's why the tech was "suspicious" today.  I was pretty offended at first because that's not good customer service in my mind...so yeah, you guys probably know what LBS I was at by now....anyway, I've worked retail before, I know there's a lot of dishonest people out there so I sucked it up and tried to see things from their point of view.  Fortunately I had just purchased a helmet cam and I was filming when the incident happened...I mentioned to this to the tech and it didn't seem to matter.  He took the stance "it's up to the c'dale rep, it's just paper work for us..."...(it impacts c'dales pocketbooks not ours) ...OK, so why the "this looks suspicious remark"?   I dunno, maybe he was just preparing me for the worst case scenario.  I convinced myself it's no big deal and tried to remain indifferent, my claim hasn't been denied yet so no point in getting frustrated.  Oh yeah...he also said that the saddle I gave him wasn't the stock saddle...well the stock saddle felt like sitting on a rock so yeah I replaced it with something that had some cush.  But I'm sure this only added to his suspicions, he's probably still thinking the stock seat shows evidence of a garage impact.  So slowfatguy, this brings me to the point about keeping your stock seat post.  I have no doubt in my mind that if this all happened with an aftermarket seat post they would have said that the failure and bending of the aftermarket seat post caused enough leverage to damage the seat tube.  Now, most likely the Thomson seat tube you have is significantly stronger...in that case I'm sure the angle would have been "well you see, the frame bent because your aftermarket seat post didn't have enough give/flex and therefore the frame failed.....by design the seat post would have failed because it's weaker and cheaper to replace than a frame....yada yada, your seat post wasn't designed for this bike".  I'm almost certain I would have been given some heartache about it.  So save yourself the headache and keep your stock components....not on your bike, but in an easily accessible place.  Now that I have purchased an after market seat post I guess I need to get some kind of waiver from them saying it's OK to use...kinda silly, why do the bike stores sell all those nifty high-end upgrades if you can't use them without voiding your warranty...oh I know the answer...so you can put a $150 seat post on your $99 huffy....riiiiiiight  ::)

A little later the tech called me back and said he needs the c'dale rep to physically come and inspect the bike and it might not happen until next week....but he did say that he went ahead and ordered a frame for me.  I was happy to hear about that and it changed my whole perspective on the situation.

Now that I've had time to reflect on everything, if push comes to shove I'm sure an engineer would be able to determine the ripple and bend in the seat tube was caused from a vertical force as opposed to a lateral force (implying roof rack+mounted bike vs. garage).  The thing is, if I had driven my bike into the top of my garage, the ripple would have been on the forward facing side of the seat tube, my ripple/crease is on the rear...furthermore, the crease in the seat tube was down lower than the point were the seat post stopped in the seat tube.  And there's not really any way to fake that, because now that I have a banana shaped seat post, you can't physically shove it into the seat tube far enough down to where the ripple is....hopefully this will resolve any doubts they have.  So I'm not gonna sweat it...yet.
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scooter

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2008, 05:50:47 AM »
I don't think you have anything to worry about :) It just sounds like customer relations at your LBS leaves a little something to be desired.

Offline Ken

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2008, 07:21:20 AM »
Being from Clearwater, just wondering what bike shop it was. I have to go to Chainwheel Drive today and will mention the problem to them and see what they have to say. Like I said before  i've never warrantied a frame, but many other parts, some high end and never had that problem. But, I've been dealing with Chainwheel for over ten years.
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Offline cryptiq

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2008, 09:24:49 AM »
To be fair, I'm going to leave names out of this until there's some kind of resolution.  I don't want to jump the gun and smear anyone...and then have to come back and remove my foot from my mouth  ;D  They still have time to make everything right.  So far I feel somewhat neutral...we were off to a bad start, but they earned some brownie points by ordering the frame, I imagine that will save me a little time in the long run and get me back on my bike sooner.   I'm not thrilled that the local C-dale rep might not make it out to the store until next week.  I don't expect to be waited on hand and foot, but it would be nice to know you get a little something extra in the service area when you jump from a dept store bike to something that costs enough to make your wife say "how much did you spend???"

Anyway, I don't think anyone has gone the extra mile yet, so I'm remaining neutral...will provide more updates as they happen.

For the record, if someone wanted to go the extra mile in the name of customer service, here are some things I would like to see.

- A loaner/rental bike...even if I had to pay a deposit or something, it would be nice to have something so I can keep riding.  Yeah, I realize I'm probably asking a lot, it's wishful thinking, but I figured I'd throw it out there.

- Consultation on the replacement frame.  I don't know all the circumstances, but I would think maybe c-dale would give some flexibility here if I wanted to upgrade to a newer frame, or even different frame.  Something along the lines of "we will replace your frame with the exact same model for no charge, or you have the choice to pay the difference for an upgraded frame, at a reduced price of course."  I think that's reasonable, I've been inconvenienced by a frame failure, and while I know I'm not guaranteed anything other than a replacement or repaired frame, it would just be nice to see that someone cares about their customers.  I mean you can easily make the argument that the frame failed because the bike was being used outside of it's intended design functionality...maybe I'm too heavy for this particular bike and need something more beefy...maybe they could ask what kinds of trails are you riding and recommend something that might be more appropriate.

OK, with that said, these aren't things I'm expecting, and I wouldn't think negatively about anyone that didn't do these things...I'm just saying it would be very nice to see.

Thanks everyone for their feedback.
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Offline Ken

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2008, 10:50:31 AM »
That's cool, I understand, I was just curious. In fairness to the rep., they do cover alot of territory. It wouldn't hurt to get a call from him though and let you know a little something.
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Offline Gregg

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2008, 12:33:25 PM »
I am sure that Cannondale will do the "right thing". They have earned a good reputaion in the industry, I would be shocked if they did not replace your frame.

I do believe that the bike shop that you purchased your bike from should be working as your advocate, not trying to catch you in something dishonest.

I often say that the advantage to purchasing bikes, and components locally, instead of online is that you have someone to handle warranty issues. That assurance of service is the only reason that you could justify paying more.

Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Out of action for a while
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2008, 12:44:14 PM »
couple of things.

First off, C-dale will let you upgrade to different frame if you want, so long as you pay the difference. But you would have to pick a frame that will work with the Rush swingarm. I know this because the frame I warrantied was a 1FG and they let me get a new Caffeine frame.

Second off, I firmly believe you get what you pay for, and that includes customer service. IMO it is well worth paying a bit more or driving a little further to a good business. You also need to develope a good relationship with your LBS. I do almost all my own work on my stuff, but when I first got the bike I could take it in a get something done on the spot, even drug some of my buddies bikes up there and gotten the same treatment even though my buddies haven't ever been there. If the place you are going won't do that, find a place that will and give them your business!

My LBS would have probably let you ride one of their demo bikes for the weekend if they were available.

They can't deny the claim no matter what seatpost is in it, unless the seatpost is too short. You have to admit it would look pretty suspicious to bring the bike up there with a crinkled seat tube and no post or seat on the bike. They get those JRA stories all the time.

Lastly, I have no intention of changing my post. I was simply asking so I know what not to buy! I like to know what people use and like, as well as what they break/hate. Might save me a dollar in the future. ;)
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