Mountain Biking - Question about quality control
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07-06-06, 12:10 PM
My bike just came in yesterday from the manufacturer. I'll withold the manufacturer's name, but it's a major brand and their highest-end steel frame. The retail price is nearly $2,000. It was purchased as an employee purchase bike. (I teach kayak classes part time for an outdoor shop that sells bikes) The head mechanic just e-mailed me saying that the frame needs to be warrantied and that the new frame will be here in about a week. He didn't specify the problem, but you'd think they'd catch these kinds of things at the factory. So, my question to you bike mechanics is how often are brand new bikes sent to shops with defects that render them unridable?
I've been looking forward to getting out riding again since I had my ride stolen this Spring. Looks like another week or so. Just hope everything else is ok with the bike.
I got a new cannondale f2000 (top of the line ht at the time) frameset on warranty upgrade back in '98. When I brought it home, the rear der. cable stop braze-on had a crack in the weld. It was something that occured before painting because it had paint in the crack. I took it back and waited a week for yet another frame to come, which I still have today.
07-06-06, 06:08 PM
atleast they caught it at all. tells me theyre looking out for you. its probably nothing big. my friends p2 got recalled cuz the dropouts were off by like 4 mm or something. just a little thing they felt they needed to fix.
07-06-06, 07:02 PM
Yeah, I'm probably just being too critical. Just itching for the new ride. According to the head mechanic, the seat tube/top tube weld looked like it was overheated and warped the seat tube. He tried to hone it out a bit, but couldn't even get an aluminum seat post down it. He didn't dare try to shove my carbon post down it. On the plus side, he said it looked "sexy". Can't say I've ever said that about a bike, but it should be nice when done.
07-07-06, 06:40 AM
I used to work as a quality control inspector in the meat packing industry and it's a tricky business. Although we tried to catch everything (our job was to catch it before the USDA inspectors did), it's an unrealistic expectation for 100% inspection in a high volume manufacturing setup. Even the USDA inspectors there did random and hourly inspections (as opposed to 100%). I imagine it's the same in a high volume bicycle manufacturing setup. There are probably hourly inspections (or another time interval) on selected frames. There's probably a tolerance for different types of errors (i.e. one tooth chip in a 30 lb sample of head meat allowed for every 2 half hourly inspections in meat packing), and when any one of the tolerances is exceeded, everything since the prior inspection will be taken off the shipping dock and reworked/tossed out. Given that, some errors will get out, but not many.
07-07-06, 06:54 AM
(i.e. one tooth chip in a 30 lb sample of head meat allowed for every 2 half hourly inspections in meat packing)
A freind of a friend worked in a relish plant and found a dead skunk in the pickle vat one day. His supervisor told him to leave it, the slicer would take care of it. Don't know if thats true or not, but its one more reason not to eat relish.
07-07-06, 10:43 AM
Pizza Hut and Taco Bell kept the head room in business! I kid you not.
07-07-06, 11:01 AM
Some defects arn't visible.
07-07-06, 11:17 AM
Some defects arn't visible.
True. I figured they would have caught this one, though. Here's the e-mail from the mechanic:
"It appears that the burn through on the weld that joins
the top tube with the seat tube got too hot and warped the
seat tube. Although burn through is normal and the
reaming process should smooth the inner surface of the
tube, this looks like a faulty weld. I tried to take some
material out with a honer (a toned down version of a
reamer), but to no avail. I think the weld got so hot
that it tweaked the trueness of the seat tube. I couldn't
get an aluminum seatpost to slide into the
frame...nonetheless your nice carbon post that comes with
the bike!!! It was definitely a mistake from the factory.
On a good note the bike looks pretty sexy and should ride
like a dream!"
Maybe they don't attempt to insert a seat post to check trueness of the seat tube. I'll just have to be patient for another week.
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