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  1. #1
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    Thule bicycle case failure

    Please contact me if your bicycle was injured while using a Thule bicycle carrying case (the kind you use to transport your bike on a plane). The first time I used the case the bike showed up with a cracked frame when it arrived. Instead of standing behind their product, Thule has tried to blame everyone but themselves.

    Though they have no evidence whatsoever, they blamed the bicycle manufacturer (Wilier) for manufacturing a bicycle with a cracked frame, they blamed the airline (though there was no evidence of harm during transport), they blamed me for packing it incorrectly (even though I have witnesses who saw me follow the packing instructions step by step), they even blamed the bike shop who inspected the frame and told me that the frame was cracked. They refuse to acknowledge the simple truth that the bike case did not protect my bike from harm during normal transport.

    I think this is pretty reprehensible conduct on their part. Given the nature of their groundless claims, I suspect that I am not the only one who has been treated this poorly by Thule. Thule tells me that they have never before had a single claim for damage like this.

    Please let me know if you have had a similar damage while using a Thule bicycle transport case.

    Thanks,

    Mike M

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeljmeagher
    Please contact me if your bicycle was injured while . . . .
    Mike M
    Are you an attorney? Are you working for an attorney? Is this a solicitation for a class-action?

  3. #3
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Interesting, a member (And lawyer) whose first post and only post in three years is one of solicitation. You must be amazingly clairvoyant.

    You seem to have jumped to the quick conclusion that Thule is guilty and are now looking to back into some evidence. Good luck with that.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  4. #4
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeljmeagher
    Though they have no evidence whatsoever, they blamed the bicycle manufacturer (Wilier) for manufacturing a bicycle with a cracked frame, they blamed the airline (though there was no evidence of harm during transport), they blamed me for packing it incorrectly (even though I have witnesses who saw me follow the packing instructions step by step), they even blamed the bike shop who inspected the frame and told me that the frame was cracked. They refuse to acknowledge the simple truth that the bike case did not protect my bike from harm during normal transport.
    Presumably the bike was damaged in the case, during transport? How can you say that it wasn't the airline? Or are you saying that you loaded the bike into the case, took it straight out, and it was cracked?

    You've never bothered to post on bikeforums before, and you have created an account purely to drum up sentiment against a manufacturer. Surely you realise that your motives are automatically suspect?

  5. #5
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    So let me play the lawyer that I am and ask you to answer two interrogatories.

    1. Was there any damage to the case and if so where and how much?
    2. What type of frame and where was it cracked.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  6. #6
    Senior Member sogood's Avatar
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    Didn't even know Thule has bike boxes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Well, I have one and I really don't like it very much. First time I used it the rear der bent (but that may have been my fault). Amazingly the fasteners used to hold the Thule advertising on the case are long and very sharp and rip the foam padding. You can't cut them off becuase the advertising is also part of the strapping system. I got mine with not only air travel in mind but also on top of the car travel. My recommendation, do not try to use it on top of a car. The design makes it impassible to waterproof without using a cover over the entire case. Addtionally, if you have a quiet car, when you put that thing on the roof, it will be quiet no more. Last, because it has NO aerodynamic design features, you can count on it trashing your gas mileage. Well, at least my frame did not crack!!

  8. #8
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    I happen to be an attorney but I am not interested in a class action case. I just want to find out whether Thule is telling me the truth about no one filing a case previously. I also want to warn people so that what happened to me doesn't happen to them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Magic. How else can a frame crack with no damage to the carry case?

  10. #10
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    My Speculation:

    A properly built bike frame should be able to take a TREMENDOUS amount of abuse before cracking. Far more than even the baggage handlers could dish out. (Was your frame made out of granola bars? or PVC pipe?)

    The Thule case may be crap (I don't have one), but unless your plastic case was physically squashed or dropped from a great height, I find it hard to believe that either the airline or Thule is to blame. In this case, it would have cracked prior to you packing it.

    If it did crack while en route, given the volume of the foam in the case, it would have to have been significantly deformed in some way to crack a bike frame. OR, the case would have had to be dropped from a great height. You should see damage if it was dropped with such force.

    If there is no apparent damage to the case, maybe the case was "squashed", bending the plastic inward and cracking your frame. Try standing on your case. Even jumping up and down on it. Does the case deform enough to have physically bent (and cracked) your frame? [EDIT: Well, does it? I'm doubtful.]

    In either case, it would be the gross negligence of the airline baggage people OR the frame must have been cracked before you packed it.



    Last edited by TrackSmart; 12-10-06 at 12:00 AM.

  11. #11
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    The Thule case is awesome--its the same construction (if not better) than any other plastic hardshell travel case I have ever used. It does not protect from poor packing, however. You alway support the dropouts with a thick cardboard tube inserted in the rear triangle and in between the front fork blades in place of the wheels (I use junk hubs). Then everything in the case should be tied, strapped and secured in such a way NOTHING moves. Rear derailleurs are always removed since they act like a lever on the rear dropout when pressure is applied. Theres a few more ins and outs, but in the past 5 years I have probably packaged 50 bikes including my own in cardboard boxes, crates, and plastic travel cases (incl. Thule, which is what I use for my own bikes). Not even ONE has arrived damaged.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    So let me play the lawyer that I am and ask you to answer two interrogatories.

    1. Was there any damage to the case and if so where and how much?
    2. What type of frame and where was it cracked.
    i want to know the answers. cripes, a hardshell case offers more protection than the cardboard boxes that all manufacturers ship their bikes in and in the last year, i've seen one bike that was damaged in shipping from the manufacturer. and i've seen several others that were packed so poorly that they should've been destroyed, but miraculously were totally fine. my guess is, the crack was there before you packed it and you just never noticed it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    i want to know the answers. cripes, a hardshell case offers more protection than the cardboard boxes that all manufacturers ship their bikes in and in the last year, i've seen one bike that was damaged in shipping from the manufacturer. and i've seen several others that were packed so poorly that they should've been destroyed, but miraculously were totally fine. my guess is, the crack was there before you packed it and you just never noticed it.
    I'd like to know the answers, too. Mr Meagher?

  14. #14
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    I agree with TrackSmarts assesment. Unless the case was absolutely crushed, there is no way your bike would have sustained damage from the case or the airline's bagage handling.

    BTW, does the bike have a very light, thin wall aluminum frame? If so, these have a reputation for failing by cracking as they are made for extreme lightness rather than durability. If the bike is still under warranty I expect you might have a better claim against Wilier or their importer than against Thule.

  15. #15
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrackSmart
    If there is no apparent damage to the case, maybe the case was "squashed", bending the plastic inward and cracking your frame. Try standing on your case. Even jumping up and down on it. Does the case deform enough to have physically bent (and cracked) your frame? [EDIT: Well, does it? I'm doubtful.
    Great going, now he's gonna sue you for damage to his new bike and the case.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  16. #16
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    Well, I have one and I really don't like it very much. First time I used it the rear der bent (but that may have been my fault). Amazingly the fasteners used to hold the Thule advertising on the case are long and very sharp and rip the foam padding. You can't cut them off becuase the advertising is also part of the strapping system. I got mine with not only air travel in mind but also on top of the car travel. My recommendation, do not try to use it on top of a car. The design makes it impassible to waterproof without using a cover over the entire case. Addtionally, if you have a quiet car, when you put that thing on the roof, it will be quiet no more. Last, because it has NO aerodynamic design features, you can count on it trashing your gas mileage. Well, at least my frame did not crack!!
    <edited by lowcel, take it easy on the rude comments>

    It's not supposed to be waterproof. It's not supposed to be in used in manner that would force water into the case...like driving down the highway at 70...
    It's not supposed to be aero or quiet! It's not designed to go on the roof! That's why Thule makes roof racks.

    I've transported my $5500 Ridley in a Thule case and it emeged perfectly. I watched it get thrown by the ground guys at the airport and it sat it driving rain on the tarmac for 40 minutes. Guess what? Dry and no damage. Probably because it was packed correctly...or the fact the Thule HC is pretty bombproof.

    I suspect damage occurs through negligence and/or operator error. If you don't know how to pack a bike, let the shop do it. At least then, you have one person to point the finger at.

    To the OP...go away. You obviously have a hard on for Thule. They are a big company that makes good products. I'm pretty sure they have better lawyers than you.
    Last edited by LowCel; 12-10-06 at 09:09 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damocles1
    <snip by lowcel>

    It's not supposed to be waterproof. It's not supposed to be in used in manner that would force water into the case...like driving down the highway at 70...
    It's not supposed to be aero or quiet! It's not designed to go on the roof! That's why Thule makes roof racks.
    FWIW it says right on their website that it doubles as a roof top carrier. They even sell their own kit for attaching it to their own roof rails. More over they sell the "foam gasket" kit for roof top mounting and waterproofing and they even show detailed illustrations for how to mount it on the roof. So I guess that I'm dumb only in so far as I took Thule at thier word. Finally, Ive been around this forum for long time and this is the first time that someone has insulted me. I've also been riding and transporting top end bicycles for nearly 30 years. So if you can't get your facts straight and can't at least be polite, I'd suggest you go somwhere else or keep those kind of comments to yourself.
    Last edited by LowCel; 12-10-06 at 09:10 AM.

  18. #18
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Michael - Any chance of posting pictures of the cracked frame and the case? In my opinion there would have to be some serious damage to the case in order for the frame to get cracked. I could possibly see a frame getting dented but cracked just amazes me. I've never heard of such a thing but I guess anything is possible.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    Finally, Ive been around this forum for long time and this is the first time that someone has insulted me.
    Wow! How'd you manage that?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Merlin has obviously avoided A&S, P&R, and SS/Fixie for starters.

  21. #21
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    FWIW it says right on their website that it doubles as a roof top carrier. They even sell their own kit for attaching it to their own roof rails. More over they sell the "foam gasket" kit for roof top mounting and waterproofing and they even show detailed illustrations for how to mount it on the roof. So I guess that I'm dumb only in so far as I took Thule at thier word. Finally, Ive been around this forum for long time and this is the first time that someone has insulted me. I've also been riding and transporting top end bicycles for nearly 30 years. So if you can't get your facts straight and can't at least be polite, I'd suggest you go somwhere else or keep those kind of comments to yourself.



    Get some Kleenex. Just because something can be retrofitted and used in a particular manner doesn't mean that it should be.
    I can put a shock on my Ridley, but should I?

    Did you buy the waterproofing kit or do you assume that it should be watertight? Did you attach the carrier to the roof in the manner prescribed by Thule? Did you have a Thule certified installer do the work or inspect it?

  22. #22
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    I agree with rocky mountian as I had a similar problem. When my Thule case was mounted to the roof It blocked the view out of the sunroof. I found this to be very annoying and an obvious design flaw.
    I do all my own work = I have very low standards

  23. #23
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheTrenches
    I agree with rocky mountian as I had a similar problem. When my Thule case was mounted to the roof It blocked the view out of the sunroof. I found this to be very annoying and an obvious design flaw.
    So let me get this straight...

    It's a design flaw because you put a big box on your roof and it blocked the sunroof? Please, oh please, tell me you are being a smart arse...

  24. #24
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Someone has forgotten their [sarcasm] tags.

  25. #25
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by That Forum Guy
    Someone has forgotten their [sarcasm] tags.
    Thule forgot to ship them
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

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