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Hi everyone - first time post so please be gentle. I wanted to know whether anyone has experience with cracked carbon frames and the time taken to get a response from the manufacturer on warranty?  It is a two year old bike that has been treated very well, essentially it is cracked on the seat tube and I have never seen a bike experience a crack in this location but wondered if anyone else has? See photo links below. 

In terms of submitting a warranty claim, I have taken it to a local bike shop who have submitted a warranty claim on my behalf which happened about a month ago, I've been following up with them weekly and they've told me that it is a waiting game and there is no known timeframe for the manufacturer to get back to me even with a response. Given it has now been exactly one month since the claim has been submitted, I decided to contact the manufacturer directly and all they indicated was they need time to understand the situation - a month to understand the photos that were supplied seems like its stretching the friendship? They have not asked for additional photos or further information, or even to ship them frame to them - just silence. 

Now to put this in context, I am a big fan of the brand of my bike and the bike itself, however not receiving any feedback at all for a month is making me question my allegiance to the brand. Is this normal as it has never happened to me in the past? 

 

https://photos.smugmug.com/Sharing/Sharing/n-HTFq5T/i-58nfjQQ/0/b997860e...
https://photos.smugmug.com/Sharing/Sharing/n-HTFq5T/i-QZWSx6s/0/dbe548a6...
https://photos.smugmug.com/Sharing/Sharing/n-HTFq5T/i-Tkx9SWc/0/b48ddc94...

 

 

21 comments

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iandusud [67 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

That is very frustrating. You might try contacting someone higher up in the company concerned as they are more likely to be concerned about any bad publicity this could bring as well as any good publicity a positive response could engender. 

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Artem [33 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Looks like the reason is a too short seatpost you used. It’s a very common mistake.

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alansmurphy [1824 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Really?

 

Wouldn't that mean most riders with a lot of seatpost showing would be risking the same?

 

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kil0ran [917 posts] 4 months ago
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alansmurphy wrote:

Really?

 

Wouldn't that mean most riders with a lot of seatpost showing would be risking the same?

 

They've all got minimum insertion markings, and if you need to run a lot of post there's always the option to run a 450mm post

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alansmurphy [1824 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

The photos look like there was at least 3" in the hole (steady)...

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Drinfinity [85 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

My first mountain bike (GT Tequestra) had a similar , but bigger, crack in the same place, caused from the bottom of the seat post trying to escape through the seat tube. That was helped by a crash though. 

I had a reinforcing sleeve welded on, and I kept riding for years more. 

Anyway, the point I was making is it looks like the bottom of the seat post, and I think a warranty claim would be bounced on that basis. 

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madcarew [742 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

Under the consumer rights act, the manufacturer is not your problem, whoever you bought the bike off bears the responsibility (as it is them  you had the contract with). 

Other poster's opinion that the seat post length appears to be an issue looks correct to me. It appears that the bottom of the seat post has coincided with the connection in the frame with the seat stays. There's a number of reasons this might be an issue, but the important point here is that if you were sold the bike as a unit and advised by the shop it was the right size for you, a lay person can not be expected to know that the seat post was sitting at the wrong place for that frame if it was the right height for the person.  Seat posts have a minimum insertion mark, but carbon frames also have a minimum insertion depth as well (normally contained in the paper work with the new bike). This may be a manufacturing issue with the bike, or not. The acid test is:

Was it:

  • suitable for purpose,
  • as described (in advertising or claims by the seller)
  • free from defects
  • and last for a reasonable time (which is nothing to do with the warranty period).

Speak to the retailer you bought the bike off, mention the consumer rights act, and see if you can come to an arrangement about a replacement frame. Ideally, under the law, this should be at no cost to you, but all negotiations require both parties to be reasonable, so you might need to be prepared to bear a portion of cost going toward getting a new frame, but realistically the retailer should stand all costs of moving old componints etc to the new frame.

Alternatively you could find a good carbon frame builder / repairer as this looks to me to be a very repairable problem. Cosmetically it won't be perfect, but it looks repairable. I had a seat stay broken right through on my cannondale evo. I had it repaired. It's not visible, but you can feel the difference in tube diameter if you run your hand over it. The frame builder (who builds frames for olympic teams) was happy to guarantee the frame against failure at the point of his repair. Contrary to common opinion, carbon fibre is very repairable in many instances.

 

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madcarew [742 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Alternatively, it just occurred to me on looking at the photos again,  this could be clamp damage from being in a bike stand if someone was silly enough to clamp it on the seat post.....

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buttensa [5 posts] 4 months ago
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Thanks for all the feedback guys, very informative views (especially yours macarew) which is why I posted in this forum. In terms of the minimum insertion mark, the seat post is definitely no where near the minimum so I dont think it is that unless I got the wrong seat post for the bike! I did buy the bike brand new from a retailer and so its definitely not been in a crash, but it has done around 11000km's. The bike has never been clamped on the seat tube, well not by me anyway - not sure what happened in the shop but they are the manufacturers number 1 retailer in Australia so I doubt they would have done anything so silly.  I will see how I go with the retailer and continue to wait it out. Personally, I will be pretty upset if they do not replace the frame as I am the first one to admit fault if it were something I did and cop it on the chin. I originally bought the bike because of the good reviews and quality aspects of the frame and I thought that it would last me a while. My last carbon frame lasted me 7 years and I sold it on to someone who commented that it looked like it just came out of the showroom. 

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Drinfinity [85 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

So where does the seat post end relative to the crack? If it’s way below, then that rules it out. If it’s right by the crack, that raises the suspicion of it being short. 

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buttensa [5 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Drinfinity wrote:

So where does the seat post end relative to the crack? If it’s way below, then that rules it out. If it’s right by the crack, that raises the suspicion of it being short. 

 

Based on my initial assessment a month ago, the seat post finishes about where the crack is so my view is that the crack has eventuated from forward and back movement from the seat post but I guess the question is that it would surely take a lot more force than just riding to crack a seat tube even though its not huge, wouldn't it?  The only other possible explanation is that it could be a fault within the frame?  The seat post that I have is the original that came with the bike itself so its not as if its an after market addition to the bike itself nor has it been damaged in any way. 

I will measure the seat post tonight and give you a view on how much seat tube is in the post itself. 

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buttensa [5 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Hi Guys - here is a picture of the seat post. As previously mentioned there is plenty of seat post in the tube and it’s no where near the min insertion. It seems that there is a cantilever action that’s forcing pressure on the seat tube itself. 

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madcarew [742 posts] 4 months ago
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It is just possible that the seat post (as supplied) is the wrong diameter. I know that has happened before, they go up in .2mm increments, and that will certainly lead to the issue you're seeing. It should be a pretty firm fit in the frame. Either way, still not your problem, get the retailer involved...

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buttensa [5 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Good news - I've just managed to get in touch with the Australian distributor who has said a warranty frame has been approved by the manaufacturer so I'm very pleased.  1  The manufacturer approved the day after the warranty submission, the distributor here has obviously dropped the ball. Thanks for all your advice guys - got there in the end. 

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BehindTheBikesheds [2015 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

result, will it only have the remaining warranty period of the original frame or reset?

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Butty [268 posts] 4 months ago
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Will the new frame get an extended warranty?

The crack seems to be located at a potential stress point where the rear stays meet the seat tube.

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iandusud [67 posts] 4 months ago
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Glad you got a good result. TBH I'd be very suprised at any reputable brand not replacing the frame as the cost to them is minimal particularly when compared to the cost of good or bad publicity. When you think how much advertising costs the cost of doing the right thing as in this case is peanuts.

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madcarew [742 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Good result  1

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Canyon48 [987 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
buttensa wrote:

Good news - I've just managed to get in touch with the Australian distributor who has said a warranty frame has been approved by the manaufacturer so I'm very pleased.  1  The manufacturer approved the day after the warranty submission, the distributor here has obviously dropped the ball. Thanks for all your advice guys - got there in the end. 

That is good news  1

It's always a shame when manufacturers try and fight their corner for the sake of a frame!

 

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buttensa [5 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

result, will it only have the remaining warranty period of the original frame or reset?

BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

result, will it only have the remaining warranty period of the original frame or reset?

 

Thats a really good question,  I will certainly ask but I think that I read in the warranty details that warranty only applies to the original bike. The distributor has been really good after they realised they dropped the ball, I think that the manufacturer gave them a bit of a hurry up. Need to drop it at the retailer, who will cut the BB out of the bike as proof before they ship the new frame. Can wait to get the new bike! I have to say that the manufacturer has been awesome through this process.....

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froze [65 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Typically when you get a warranty replacement item the warranty is NOT reset.