Bicycle Mechanics - Should I Demand a New Bike? Bent Frame
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08-29-11, 02:14 PM
Ok So I bought a new Norco Single Speed Bike for about 400 bucks. After a couple days of riding the free wheel broke while accelerating fairly hard and they replaced it with a Shimano one that made the ratio higher so it would be harder to pedal. Then a couple days later I was peddling very hard and the chain came off while accelerating. After that I could not get the wheel back into the right position for proper tension and as it turns out the Drop out is bent and the frame seems kind of bent. I took it back to them and they used two bars and a hammer to put it back into place. Should I demand a new bike, it is only 3 weeks old, and this seems like a cover up to the issue. Could the frame bend from justing peddling to hard? I will admit I am uneasy on really "giving her" on the bike as I am fairly strong and it feels kind of uneasy as if the crank arm is gonna snap off, although this is a new bike made of steel and I only weigh 160 pounds. thanks!
08-29-11, 02:34 PM
Unless the frame is really cheap, I doubt you can bend it by riding it.
A proper LBS would have probably used the warranty on it unless again, it was a really cheap bike.
Since the LBS did there 'own fix', it might have voided the warranty but I would definitely get a new frame instead of a 'fixer' at this point.
08-29-11, 05:22 PM
I assume the chain was spilled when the rear wheel slipped in the dropouts and that is what bent the dropout too. That says to me the wheel wasn't bolted in tight enough to begin with so, whoever put the wheel in place last is responsible for the damage.
08-29-11, 06:18 PM
I concur with HillRider's assessment. Chain slip and damaged ratchets on single-speed freewheels are largely due to sudden slippage of the rear axle under tension. And that's because the axle nuts haven't been properly tightened. The telltale sign of slippage on a new frame is the 1/2 to 1cm track where the paint is scraped on the right track drop-out. And with most riders, tightening the axle nuts is all one needs. Even big and heavy guys with powerful gams probably, at worst, would need some higher quality, serrated inner lock nut and outer axle nut faces to bite into the drop-out. And only in the absolute worst cases (e.g. Dutch Jr. World Sprint Champion who weighed 105 kgs with thighs we called "Thor's hammers") would you install just a single chain tug (aka chain tension adjuster) on the right dropout (but if you're going to put on a chain tug - get a quality one for $10 or so, or a "Keirin" certified chain-tug (like the MKS line of chaintugs).
08-29-11, 07:37 PM
You should be given a new frame. If the LBS wont contact the manufacturer do it your self. Their primitive pete bending of the frame is inexcuseable.
08-29-11, 09:08 PM
It doesn't appear to me Norco has a steel SS at $400.....
What exactly are you riding?
08-29-11, 10:59 PM
hey thanks for the response you guys are awesome. ok so yeah after 3 days I think of riding, the default freewheel broke which I find interesting. I would pedal but nothing would happen. There was like large thud when it happened. It was replaced by a Shimano one with a higher ratio.
When the chain came off the second time, this is while the tension was still fine after I got my new freewheel, I was accelerating with full force and also a large thud and almost crashed! I took it to a local place and they also noticed my the bolts connected to the bearings I think on the inner side of the wheel were loose to and said that shouldn't be. that is when I noticed the frame was bent and could not get the wheel in right position, which meant loose tension and lots of chain derailments.
So I go to the place where I bought it. At first he couldn't get the tire off and had to use a hammer and all his weight., the guy at bike store when i took it in used two skinny large medal bars that fit in the drop outs with a larger thicker part at the end. He then took a large hammer and was pulling on them with all his weight. I also heard him mumble my breaks were out of line.
There is quite a bit of damage on the inside of the dropout as well. a 1 or 2 mm indent of a 1cm or two is there along with a ton of wear around the bolt.
here is my bike as well. thx
..I go to the place where I bought it. At first he couldn't get the tire off
.. .. use a hammer and all his weight..
The number of times whe one can legitimately reach for a hammer while doing bike repair is very, very limited. and removing a rear wheel certainly shouldn't be one of them.
...used two skinny large medal bars that fit in the drop outs with a larger thicker part at the end. He then took a large hammer and was pulling on them with all his weight.
Can't really picture either the tools or what he was trying to achieve.
. I also heard him mumble my breaks were out of line.
If your wheel had shifted, they should be. Not that they're in any way related to what happened.
..here is my bike as well. thx
That's an aluminum frame, the 6061 alloy designation tells it. No wonder your dropouts got mashed.
Straightening aluminum is a debated subject. Don't think anyone can tell you exactly how bad it is, but I wouldn't accept it as a fix for a bike still under warranty.
08-30-11, 03:24 AM
Take it back & get another one. Nothing good will come out of this. Either that or pay a little more & upgrade to a difference.
08-30-11, 10:17 AM
The link to Norco says that it's an aluminium frame with steel fork. Anything that bends the dropouts of the frame means that it bent the aluminium and that they bent it back. Aluminium used in bike frames gets ONE bend to the customer. The bending it back is the SECOND bend and that often spells trouble.
If the cone locknuts that sit on the axle inside the frame dropouts were loose as you report then the factory did not do a good job of assembly in the first place. In this case I don't blame the shop because the bikes come with the rear wheel already assembled in the frame.
So first off confirm that the bike's frame is aluminium or steel. If it's aluminium then they need to man up and do a warranty exchange on it. No crowbar and hammer re-bending allowed.
And obviously despite being 160 lbs you've got some pretty serious leg power going. Find the gear ratio you like then get yourself a good quality freewheel with that size gear on it. Some of the premium BMX stuff is made very strong. Same with the chain. Don't cheap out, get a good brand of chain. And try to apply the power more with a smooth buildup of pressure. Don't jump on the pedals. Especially don't be coasting in freewheel mode then suddenly jam the pedals for power. Find the engagement point then apply full pressure.
the guy at bike store when i took it in used two skinny large medal bars that fit in the drop outs with a larger thicker part at the end.
Does this (http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/dropout-alignment-ffg-2) look like what they were doing?
08-30-11, 10:59 AM
yes that is exactly that they used. I just got off the phone with them and they said its not worth it, and accused me of torqueing to hard and said I should have bought a better bike. I have a 14 teeth gear on the back by the way. I do have the option of sending it to Norco but they said it might get rejected.
Still I think I might try, as I wouldn't mind getting a new frame and putting a better freewheel on? would that solve my problems?
There is no limit to the amount of force with which you are allowed to push on the pedals.
08-30-11, 11:20 AM
^ so what are you saying? if I got a better hub and freewheel would this problem be avoided? or is my frame already shot and will bend again no matter the components
I suspect the hub and freewheel problem is separate from the frame problem. A damaged or malfunctioning freewheel will not cause a frame to bend. A frame can be bent by a wheel not properly tightened into the dropouts, though, becsause if the wheel is allowed to slip the axle will be on an angle and the dropouts will have to bend to stay paralell with the nuts. Without seeing the bike as it was after the first incident I cannot say for certain what happened or how to avoid it in the future.
08-30-11, 02:44 PM
It does seem pretty safe to say that the current frame, being aluminum, could not be safely bent back into shape, and so the current frame is shot.
...they ..accused me of torqueing to hard and said I should have bought a better bike.
If by torqueing they refer to pedalling, they're wrong.
I'm with DCBO, unless there are very special circumstances involved, a product should indeed hold up for its intended use.
You, being a reasonably sized adult, on a reasonably prized bike, shouldn't be able to trash it by JRA (Just Riding Along).
Now, if you were an NFL linebacker, or a competition grade track & field athlete, they might have a point. Of if they were talking about one of those department store bikes sometimes handed out as freebies if you buy a washer/drier set or something.
If by torqueing they refer to the rear wheel being bolted on, then they might have a point too. But given by your story, this happened before you'd put a wrench to the bike - so the responsibility is with the seller.
Still, overtorqueing the axle nuts may mash up the lips of the dropout, but can't really account for the dropout to become misaligned.
... I do have the option of sending it to Norco but they said it might get rejected.
If you do, I'd be wary of what kind of message would go with the bike. It seems like the shop is trying to dodge their responsibility, and I wouldn't trust them to deliver your side of the story.
What it looks like is:
- the freewheel broke. It happens. Maybe you are stronger than average, maybe you got a bad unit. Maybe you stomped on the pedals before the pawls had engaged properly. If I was a shop, I'd replace the first one no questions asked. Which they did, all good.
-Then there's the "real" issue, with the derailing and dropout mauling. You say "the bolts connected to the bearings I think on the inner side of the wheel were loose". This can cause all kinds of havoc. But unless you've worked on them, it's the manufacturer's/shop's responsibility to hand over a working assembly to the customer.
- Or maybe the shop got it wrong when reinstalling the wheel, which eventually led to the chain coming off.
... I wouldn't mind getting a new frame...
Getting a new frame would obviously sort out your damaged dropout.
... I wouldn't mind.... putting a better freewheel on? would that solve my problems? .
Well, we don't really know if there is a persistent problem, as such. The original freewheel failure may have been a fluke. At your weight, and no secret athletic career, you shouldn't be breaking freewheels. But better is always nice, even if you don't notice it.
... or is my frame already shot and will bend again no matter the components .
As already posted - re-bending aluminium is generally frowned upon, but no one can say exactly how bad it is. For an issue where it sounds like you're not responsible, I wouldn't settle for riding on damaged goods.
08-31-11, 09:00 AM
Just an idea but you might want to consider using the spell check ;
(ABCwith green check mark) and re-reading your posts befolre (perfect example)putting before them up. Saves some confusion and I know i'm amazed / horrified at what some of my posts look like, esp. if i'm fired up or in a hurry.
Good Luck !
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