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Dear road.cc community,

I recently ordered a Surly Cross Check frame on ebay that I wanted to build up as a commuter and light touring bike.
However, when I started, I realized, that the rear triangle is bent inwards. This most likely happened during shipping (FedEx ground) when something heavy was put on top of the box and the rear triangle was pushed together.
Unfortunately there was no spacer between the rear dropouts to prevent this from happening.
Normally, the Cross Check should have a 132 mm rear spacing. Now the spacing is 90 mm (see picture).

Can this frame be saved?
The ebay seller is asking if I can't just bend it back since it's a steel frame.
But I am afraid that it will either brake in the process or even if it doesn't, become unsafe to ride. If it was just 1 cm, I wouldn't hesitate to bend it back, but the rear dropouts are now 4 cm closer together than they should be.
I also think that it will be difficult/impossible to achieve a proper allignment of the rear dropouts if I bend it back.

Thank you for your help!

20 comments

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Mr Pennington [18 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Sorry to hear about your frame damage, but without photos we can't see nor tell the extent of damage you have. This is what I would do if I was in your shoes: take photos of the rear triangle  - top, bottom, left and right sides. Send to Surly and custom frame builders for a repair estimate.

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touring_bmore [5 posts] 1 month ago
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@Mr Pennington: Thank you for the advice. Here is one picture to show the damage:

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touring_bmore [5 posts] 1 month ago
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Here is another picture. Is there a way to upload more than one picture per post?

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touring_bmore [5 posts] 1 month ago
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And one more.

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touring_bmore [5 posts] 1 month ago
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Last one.

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Mungecrundle [971 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Not an expert on frame fixing, but that kink in the chainstay is not going to pop out if you simply bend the triangle back. Even if that frame can be economically repaired, I'd personally be asking the seller for a refund and let them sort it out.

There are lots of caveats but generally Ebay terms and position on refunds are far more generous to buyers than sellers, and although not the sellers fault (no damage seen in the auction photos presumably) it is up to them to argue over any compensation from their shippers (assuming they arranged shipping).

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StraelGuy [1434 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Sadly, I agree with Mungecrundle. Even if you pull the dropout back into position, you're never going to get that pinching in the tube out. I'd press for a refund if I were you.

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hawkinspeter [1967 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Definitely go for a complete refund.

The seller should have arranged safe delivery and hopefully insurance (if not, then it's their loss), so there's no incentive on you taking the risk to repair the frame and possibly discover issues long after the refund period is over.

Also, that's a dramatic amount of bending - I'd guess that the frame would need more than just bending back to shape.

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zero_trooper [238 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

It may be saveable, but I suspect not economically. This really is the vendors issue and not yours.

I was in a similar position a few years ago. Got a good deal on Ebay for something I really wanted, it just didn't work properly. The vendor disputed the issue, but Ebay sorted the refund for me. There'll be other, better Surly frames that come up.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2006 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

That frame is f'cked, ensure the sender pays for return, do NOT be out of pocket, it is their responsibility to organise return and is your right in law.

it's then his problem to deal with the courier.

If he gets shirty about having to pay for return simply contact ebay as they know it's the sellers responsibility for return.

GL

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matthewn5 [1201 posts] 1 month ago
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Take it up with Ebay as a 'not as described', upload pictures, they'll sort it. Don't do anything to it yourself.

I bought a carbon frame that was shipped without spacers, and of course, the chain stay was cracked. Ebay asked me to send it back tracked and as soon as it was recorded as 'delivered' they gave me a full refund.

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Canyon48 [984 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Don't touch it.

If you start messing around with it, eBay may not side with you.

It was broken in transit, the seller has to refund you and pay for the return postage.

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touring_bmore [5 posts] 1 month ago
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Thank you so much for all the helpful comments and advice. I really appreciate it .

I agree with all of you that said it's most likely broken beyond repair. I'm not going to do anything with the frame myself and have contacted the seller about a refund. The ebay policy regarding this seems to be pretty straight forward. I also contacted Surly in the hope they might offer a discounted frame replacement similar to a crash-replacement. But of course they don't have to since this is clearly not a manufacturing mistake.

Thank you again, I will keep you updated how this will play out.

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Fish_n_Chips [558 posts] 1 month ago
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That’s why the seller uses delivery companies with insurance!

 

Stop wasting time!

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Mr Pennington [18 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Ouch! Not worth repairing. Follow what others have said about eBay return, eBay should generate a prepaid shipping label (seller pays for return). However, this applies only to listings that state money back. If the listing has 'no returns' eBay claims must get invloved to settle the dispute.

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cyclisto [392 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Ouch! Who thought sending a frame without spacers? It is a pity that a nice a frame was ruined like that even if you get a refund.

In any case, should you return it, put a tiny mark somewhere beforehand, just in case they bend it back and ship it to you again.

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hawkinspeter [1967 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

With EBay, it'll be the seller's responsibility to pay for return postage for an item not as described (i.e. bent frame). Usually the seller can send a pre-paid postage label direct from EBay (this is a cheap and easy option for both buyer and seller), but otherwise, the buyer can send the item back and then get a refund for the postage from the seller. If the seller doesn't want to go down the pre-paid label option, then threaten to use a more expensive service to send it back and point out the EBay policy:

https://www.ebay.com/help/buying/returns-refunds/returns-missing-items-r...

Quote:

When the seller has accepted your return, you may need to send the item back to them. Who pays the shipping costs depends on why you're returning it. If the item was damaged or faulty, they're responsible for the return shipping costs – if you changed your mind, who covers the cost will depend on the seller's return policy.

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madcarew [741 posts] 1 month ago
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Your question is "Can it be saved ? ". I think the answer probably is yes. The frame should bend back in to place relatively easily, especially with the assistance of a competent bike shop. It won't be as good as new, and the dropouts will line up as near as dammit. It doesn't look like an expensive frame, so as a knockabout bike I think it would be fine. Question is do you want to go to the hassle? 

That said, the person sending it should have wrapped it effectively, and protected the drop outs, so it really is their problem.... hopefully.

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Canyon48 [984 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Mr Pennington wrote:

Ouch! Not worth repairing. Follow what others have said about eBay return, eBay should generate a prepaid shipping label (seller pays for return). However, this applies only to listings that state money back. If the listing has 'no returns' eBay claims must get invloved to settle the dispute.

"No returns" only applies to goods that are as described and working. I.e. the buyer can't change their mind after purchase and return a product that is fine.

If it's damaged in transit or not as described then the buyer will get a full refund and the seller will have to pay to have the item returned.

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VeloUSA [256 posts] 1 month ago
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From eBay - "If the item you received doesn't match the description in the original listing, or if it arrived faulty or damaged, you're covered under the eBay Money Back Guarantee. You can return it even if the seller's returns policy says they don't accept returns."