Crack in Giant Defy 2 seat tube

by DaveG   July 20, 2014  

Bit of a worry, cleaning the bike today after a ride and I notice a crack in the seat tube. It's a Giant defy composite 2 and the crack is just where the seat tube narrows, so it looks like the bottom of the seat post may be the culprit. I'm going to visit the LBS where I bought it but I'm not massive, 65kg, but I do ride it to work over some rough roads, is this likely to have caused this? Riding over rough roads and the impact of these?

25 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

No that definately should not happen, was the post inserted to the correct length i.e. not over the minimum mark?

posted by bechdan [28 posts]
20th July 2014 - 19:25

1 Like

All I can see is the 200 down to 150 marks on the front of the seat post.

posted by DaveG [31 posts]
20th July 2014 - 19:44

2 Likes

You are probably not at fault for the failure, and in any case it does not matter. Just take the bike in, tell them nothing specific about how or where you ride, and expect to have it taken care of. You don't need to provide any information. If you don't get the answer you hoped for, ask to have the bike inspected by the factory rep, and ask when that will be done. Be prepared to leave the bike for that.

posted by Derny [64 posts]
21st July 2014 - 1:38

1 Like

Derny wrote:
You are probably not at fault for the failure, and in any case it does not matter. Just take the bike in, tell them nothing specific about how or where you ride, and expect to have it taken care of. You don't need to provide any information. If you don't get the answer you hoped for, ask to have the bike inspected by the factory rep, and ask when that will be done. Be prepared to leave the bike for that.

That all is only true under warranty, if you're out the warranty period at best you might get offered a new frame under a crash replacement policy.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [506 posts]
21st July 2014 - 7:24

1 Like

Warranty should be good. 4 months old. 2400 miles. I'll be annoyed if it's not!

posted by DaveG [31 posts]
21st July 2014 - 8:31

2 Likes

DaveG wrote:
Warranty should be good. 4 months old. 2400 miles. I'll be annoyed if it's not!

In that case go for it!
I cracked my Bianchi last summer, 3 years old (5 year frame warranty), emailed the shop I had it from a few pictures, they contacted Bianchi, who replaced the frame no questions. Be prepared for a wait though, this took about 4 weeks from finding the crack to getting a new one.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [506 posts]
21st July 2014 - 8:34

2 Likes

Giant have a lifetime/ first owner road frame warranty on carbon anyway.

Hope it's sorted quick for you.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [682 posts]
21st July 2014 - 17:12

4 Likes

From my experience Giant are great with warranty replacement.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [354 posts]
22nd July 2014 - 9:18

1 Like

Having been tipped off by a mate who runs a bike shop my fears are materialising. Giant are on to/aware of this, their stance is that this happens when the seat post slips so the fault is either no carbon grease or incorrectly tightened bolts and so not covered by warranty. Had a phone call from the LBS basically stating that so we need a face to face discussion about options. They're being as good as they can, they always use grease but the bolts weren't at the required n/M and they always use a torque wrench to manufacturers specificied torque. But they're loose now. I don't fiddle with things (honest!). Not really looking forward to the next stage... Sad

posted by DaveG [31 posts]
22nd July 2014 - 11:22

1 Like

Don't stand for it if the shop torqued it last.

The fact it's not torqued now is not an indication that it wasn't tight enough previously

At 4 months that's not good enough from the shop, unless they know something we don't.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [682 posts]
22nd July 2014 - 17:21

1 Like

They know Giant won't replace the frame under warranty! Crying

posted by DaveG [31 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 8:22

1 Like

Firstly, from now on forget about any phone calls or face to face talks with the lbs and make sure you use email or registered post. Keep copies of everything you send and everything you receive from them.
If you haven'y already taken photos of the damage do so.
Don't try to answer any questions about how the fault may have happened or whether bolts were torqued correctly or not. It's not up to you to prove anything.

Contact the lbs stating when you bought the bike and that it has developed a fault. For a product to fail in this manner indicates that it's not fit for purpose, Inform them that your contract is with them and as such you will be seeking a full refund for the faulty frame. If you're likely to incur any expenses as a result of not being able to use the bike, then also inform them that if your issue escalates to court proceedings you will claim for damages at that point. Give them a time limit for the matter to be resolved. You do have to give them a certain amount of time to offer you any alternatives (I think it's 2 or 3 weeks but I'm not entirely sure).

It's likely that you may have to repeat yourself a few times but just use the same text and don't get drawn in to anything.

All the best..

posted by realdeal [21 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 10:36

2 Likes

Were you supplied with a torque wrench & grease with the bike?

Hope it works out ok. Keep us updated as to how you get on.

posted by BikeBud [116 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 11:06

2 Likes

Flying Scot wrote:
Don't stand for it if the shop torqued it last.

The fact it's not torqued now is not an indication that it wasn't tight enough previously

At 4 months that's not good enough from the shop, unless they know something we don't.

Its the end users responsibility to ensure everything is correctly torqued throughout the lifespan of the bike (I'm pretty sure all bike/component instruction sheets come with that disclaimer as well) among other things.

Would you pursue a warranty claim in a bolt worked loose after 6 months and a component fell off and broke? You'd not stand much chance of getting anything out of it, this is no different.

realdeal wrote:
Contact the lbs stating when you bought the bike and that it has developed a fault. For a product to fail in this manner indicates that it's not fit for purpose, Inform them that your contract is with them and as such you will be seeking a full refund for the faulty frame. If you're likely to incur any expenses as a result of not being able to use the bike, then also inform them that if your issue escalates to court proceedings you will claim for damages at that point. Give them a time limit for the matter to be resolved. You do have to give them a certain amount of time to offer you any alternatives (I think it's 2 or 3 weeks but I'm not entirely sure).

Thats not true though, it is fit for purpose, but if the bolt worked loose (likley over rough roads...) and that damaged it then it's still fit for purpose, and the end user hasn't followed the manufacturers instructions.

Would you pursue a warranty claim against a puncture on an inner tube? After never checking tyre pressures and them dropping too low and causing a pinch?
This potentenially is the same thing (though the tube example is a little too simplistic)

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [506 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 11:58

1 Like

Sorry but it's what glynr36 said. ^^

It left the shop in good condition - did you take it back for it's free first service? After that, it's your responsibility to ensure that the bike is in good working order. Bolts working loose, cables stretching, spokes twanging a bit, tyres getting cut - they're all common on new bikes which is why shops offer a free first service. If you failed to take it back for that, it might go against any "warranty" claim too.

Ask the shop nicely - they may be willing to do some sort of deal as a goodwill gesture. Going in there screaming about your "rights" and quoting sale of goods act will result in them telling you to sod off.

posted by crazy-legs [568 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 12:05

2 Likes

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/backoffice/_upload_uk/GIANT_OWNERS_MANUAL...

Page 3 - Before every ride do the mechanical safety check mentions torque settings
Page 36/37 - Torque settings

Page 44 -Not following owners manual.

That'll be the get outs they'll be using.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [506 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 12:07

0 Likes

It may well be the users responsibility to maintain the product but that takes nothing away from the legal aspect.

If the product develops a fault in this manner it's the retailers responsibility to prove that negligence by the owner has caused the fault. Supplying a torque wrench at the point of sale or a loose bolt at the point of inspection does not prove this.

The op simply has to reject the product and demand a refund.

posted by realdeal [21 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 12:42

1 Like

The manual is a load of nonsense though really isn't it? They say that you have to use a 'correctly calibrated torque wrench' - but the word 'correctly' is so vague that it is meaningless. Traceable to national standards, UKAS accredited lab, in accordance with ISO 17025? Etc, etc.

It's just an excuse to allow wriggle room so they can blame you for their frame breaking.

I am not a barrack room lawyer, but i understand the law is that a product has to be fit for purpose. I would suggest that a frame that fails when a fastener becomes loose (which they appear to accept can happen, given that they are suggesting you check the torque before every ride) might not meet that criteria.

The fastener can only loosen while you ride it, so even if you HAD tightened it every ride then there would have been a period during which the fastner was below spec.

I also struggle to understand why a slightly loose seat clamp would result in the seat tube cracking. If the post was VERY loose then the saddle would drop down, so presumably the post was held in position. What difference does it make if a close tolerance sleeve (the seat tube) is tightened at one end to slightly less than the specified value? If anything, most manufacturers tell you to use as little torque as possible to prevent post slippage. the main risk is crushing the seat tube with excessive torque.

TBH they appear to be taking the piss. It's not as if it would be a cheap frame, and I would have thought there are sky high margins on producing flavour-of-the-month carbon fibre frames, so it wouldn't kill them to be more reasonable.

posted by Chris James [215 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 12:52

1 Like

Incidentally, you say the crack is where the seatpost narrows. Why not mark your post and take it out and see if the bottom of the post is anywhere near the narrowing section of the frame tube?

The narrowing section on the tube will almost certainly also involve a change in wall thickness so it is at least (more) likely this that has caused the crack, rather than mechanical damage due to impact from the bottom of the seat post. If the latter you would expect to be able to see the damage from the inside of the frame anyway.

Basically Giant need to look at your frame properly and not guess what the cause might be.

posted by Chris James [215 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 13:04

1 Like

DaveG, I've messaged you separately with more details as I had the exact same issue with a Giant frame.

I got the same response from the online retailer I bought it from, and from Giant. The crack is caused by the seatpost not being tightened sufficiently. They stopped honouring the warranty on it due to seeing so many instances.

My view was that a product which could fail so catastrophically, due to a user configurable setting not being *exact*, was not fit for purpose. I did use a torque wrench and carbon grease to fit the seat post and agree that the wording of the disclaimers in the manual is vague enough to argue with.

I pursued it, at some length, and with recourse to the Sale of Goods Act, I eventually got a refund from the retailer. It wasn't easy though.

Stick with it.

posted by shannigan [4 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 13:04

1 Like

This is an amazing demonstration of bull shit!

So essentially, what we are talking about here is Giant making a product unfit for purpose, and once being made aware of it, taking no further action than finding a loop-hole within their warranty documentation to dodge replacing a dodgy frame.

Am I seeing this the wrong way?

I absolutely understand the need to follow manufacturers guides for assembly, and have no arguments, but honestly, for a frames integrity to be dependent on the owner checking torque settings every ride is absolutely ridiculous and not fit for purpose.

Surely it is also negligence on both the manufacturer and shop owner to not highlight this requirement within the warranty if it was knowingly so essential.

It is not enough that checking bolt tensions are included somewhere in the manual, it should be highly prominent in the paperwork and in my opinion specifically mentioning the seatbolt to adequately cover what Giant ar eputting forward as an excuse.

As mentioned above, it won't stand up in court, keep pushing. Personally this sounds like one for social media as well.

I read a fair amount of cycling press, I have not been made aware of this issue previously. If I haven't, than I imagine very few others have either. Shame on Giant.

My parting shot; how many of us can sit here now and genuinely say they check the torque settings of their bicycles bolts every ride? I'd genuinely like to know... if its not nearly all of us, than for a frame to require such attention is the exception and not the norm.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [354 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 13:50

1 Like

Perhaps the original poster might want to give them a nudge via social media (https://twitter.com/GiantUK) perhaps ask them to read this thread and offer an explanation.

I know Trek UK's representative comes on here and answers questions quite regularly, I think Bianchi's rep may have done in the past. It would be interesting to get their view.

This isn't my issue though, so I'll leave it to Dave G to decide if he wants to make that call.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 14:22

1 Like

glynr36 wrote:
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/backoffice/_upload_uk/GIANT_OWNERS_MANUAL_2013.pdf

Page 3 - Before every ride do the mechanical safety check mentions torque settings
Page 36/37 - Torque settings

Page 44 -Not following owners manual.

That'll be the get outs they'll be using.

Where does it say to run a torque wrench over every fastener before every ride?

Nowhere I can see, sure, make sure nothing is loose every ride, but unless Giant want to say check specific fastening torque monthly, weekly or whatever, I would concur with the guys that it isn't an excuse.

Though I could, as a manufacturer, take the stance that the seat-post has never been checked, fell into to narrow tube taper, cracked the tube and the owner presented it back with the seat at the original height claiming innocence.....

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [682 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 17:00

1 Like

Thanks for all the advice, I don't really want to get all heavy with the LBS, it's not them that designed the frame, it's Giant. I've used the shop for ages and they are good. Dilemmas. Maybe getting to Giant via FB and Twitter is a starting point.

posted by DaveG [31 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 20:53

1 Like

Flying Scot wrote:
Where does it say to run a torque wrench over every fastener before every ride?

Nowhere I can see, sure, make sure nothing is loose every ride, but unless Giant want to say check specific fastening torque monthly, weekly or whatever, I would concur with the guys that it isn't an excuse.

Though I could, as a manufacturer, take the stance that the seat-post has never been checked, fell into to narrow tube taper, cracked the tube and the owner presented it back with the seat at the original height claiming innocence.....

Page 26 (I Missed it in my earlier post)

Quote:

A. Service Intervals
...
2. Before every ride: Mechanical Safety Check (Section 1.C)
...

Which is

Quote:

C. Mechanical Safety Check
Routinely check the condition of your bicycle before every ride.
Nuts, bolts screws & other fasteners: Because manufacturers use a wide variety of fastener sizes and shapes made in a variety of materials, often differing by model and component, the correct tightening force or
torque cannot be generalized. To make sure that the many fasteners on your bicycle are correctly tightened, refer to the torque specifications in the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the component in question.
Correctly tightening a fastener requires a calibrated torque wrench. A professional bicycle mechanic with a torque wrench should torque the fasteners on your bicycle. If you choose to work on your own bicycle, you must
use a torque wrench and the correct tightening torque specifications from the bicycle or component
manufacturer or from your dealer [/b]. If you need to make an adjustment at home or in the field, we urge you to
exercise care, and to have the fasteners you worked on checked by your dealer as soon as possible.

Which then leads to Appendix D, the Fastener Torque specs.
As giant are the manufacturer in this case.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [506 posts]
24th July 2014 - 7:05

1 Like