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  1. #1
    Junior Member Cheeyeese's Avatar
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    Bent Fork End on a brand new fork from BikesDirect

    So I just ordered a Mercier Kilo TT off of BikesDirect.com and my front wheel won't fit into the fork at all because the wheel's axle won't fit into one of the fork ends. I'm not exactly sure how forks are made but the fork end looks almost a little "smooshed" together as if it was extremely hot at some point and the soft metal was pinched together a little bit.

    Anyway they're closed atm so I can't call them about a refund. If worst comes to worst and they don't exchange the fork or whatever, is there anything I can do to remedy this?

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    They're pretty good about transit damage or stuff like this. They'll probably offer you a refund, or exchange. But they often offer a cash concession if you'll keep it, saving them the expense of shipping it back and forth.

    In the event that they do offer cash, you might want to arm yourself with the knowledge of how serious it is, and what fixing it would cost. If there's a local co-op around, drop in and let someone appraise the damage and estimate the cost of a fix (if possible). That way you'll be better informed if they offer cash or switch.
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  3. #3
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I have a feeling they'll ship you out another fork if you snap a pic of your borked one. Then you can make yard art out of it, or use it as a tuning fork for your bass.

    As for remedies, maybe just some file work could allow an axle to drop in there.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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    "as if it was extremely hot at some point and the soft metal was pinched together a little bit."

    There is NO way that the bike got hot enough to soften the steel; the plastic and rubber parts would have melted and burned long before. That bike was dropped and probably pretty hard, either on the fork during factory handling or while in the box. I would suggest that you very carefully inspect it for other damage which might have occurred before you accept any kind of settlement from the company. One, or better two, evaluation reports and repair estimates would be good ammunition for negotiation with BD.

    I wouldn't suggest that you re-bend or file the dropouts; at least until after you have contacted BD and exhausted your alternatives with them. I would only be satisfied with a replacement fork as a minimum from them.

  5. #5
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    This
    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    That bike was dropped and probably pretty hard, either on the fork during factory handling or while in the box. I would suggest that you very carefully inspect it for other damage which might have occurred before you accept any kind of settlement from the company.
    And this
    I wouldn't suggest that you re-bend or file the dropouts; at least until after you have contacted BD and exhausted your alternatives with them. I would only be satisfied with a replacement fork as a minimum from them.

  6. #6
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    No pics yet? Guess I shoulda specified that you need to post pics to BF as well as to BD.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Too lazy to snap a pic? OK, so let's all just wildly guess around: from the title, you seem to have ordered a fork with a fork. That is a very peculiar bike part, and possibly could be part of the issue.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Cheeyeese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
    Too lazy to snap a pic? OK, so let's all just wildly guess around: from the title, you seem to have ordered a fork with a fork. That is a very peculiar bike part, and possibly could be part of the issue.
    I'm a little new to this!


    IMG_0415.jpgIMG_0416.jpgIMG_0418.jpg

  9. #9
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    Tip was bent in during transit. This is easily fixable with some gentle prying, it's done all the time, including on brand new bikes by shops before you see them. But there may be other issues. BD will replace or offer cash if you keep it. If you're unsure pass on the cash in case there's something you don't see.

    As I said earlier, a visit to a dealer or bike co-op will give you the info to know if any cash offer is worth taking.
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    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Delmarva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheeyeese View Post
    So I just ordered a Mercier Kilo TT off of BikesDirect.com and my front wheel won't fit into the fork at all because the wheel's axle won't fit into one of the fork ends. I'm not exactly sure how forks are made but the fork end looks almost a little "smooshed" together as if it was extremely hot at some point and the soft metal was pinched together a little bit.

    Anyway they're closed atm so I can't call them about a refund. If worst comes to worst and they don't exchange the fork or whatever, is there anything I can do to remedy this?
    Why don't you hold off trying to solve the problem until you determine what the problem is. Talk to the seller first before figuring out how to handle the least likely worst possible outcome. And this is an excellent place to insert a small plug for the LBS who would have rectified the problem before you had a chance to worry about it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I know waiting sucks when you have this new bike waiting for you to ride it, but don't do anything until they open again on Monday.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  12. #12
    Junior Member Cheeyeese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Tip was bent in during transit. This is easily fixable with some gentle prying, it's done all the time, including on brand new bikes by shops before you see them. But there may be other issues. BD will replace or offer cash if you keep it. If you're unsure pass on the cash in case there's something you don't see.

    As I said earlier, a visit to a dealer or bike co-op will give you the info to know if any cash offer is worth taking.
    Here we go this is what I got from BD - "What I normally do to fix a bent dropout is take a wrench, or any tool that can fit in the dropout, and use the leverage to open the dropout enough to allow the axle to fit. This is a very easy repair to do. If you feel comfortable making this adjustment I will gladly credit $25 back to the card used to purchase the bike."

    I'm def going to take it to a bike shop and have them check the bike out before I settle. What do you guys think about the settlement assuming the only thing wrong with the bike is the fork?

  13. #13
    Senior Member clarkbre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheeyeese View Post
    What do you guys think about the settlement assuming the only thing wrong with the bike is the fork?
    Take the money, buy a case of beer, and be thankful that you still got a a bike...(and now a case of beer)...for less than what you'd pay at your LBS.

    No offense, but did you honestly think that a bike ordered online was going to come to your door perfect? Part of the cost of a new bike bought at a LBS is the initial build/setup of that bike. They take the bike out of the box and make sure everything is dialed in prior to the consumer riding off into the sunset. BD eliminates the middle-man, passes the savings onto the buyer...the only catch is the buyer has to assemble and set up the bike himself. A little tweaking here and there should almost be expected.
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  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Was the fork spacer block in the fork when you took it out of the carton?.
    check the whole fork for alignment and symmetry
    with a wheel you know is right.

    going to the LBS and having them check it is a good idea , give them that $25
    for their time and overhead.

  15. #15
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheeyeese View Post
    I'm a little new to this!


    IMG_0415.jpgIMG_0416.jpgIMG_0418.jpg
    As other(s) have said, that's far less serious than initially lead to believe. I wouldn't hesitate to straighten out/open up that dropout.

  16. #16
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I like to bend those back by finding just the right socket, maybe a 9mm or so , put it on a nut driver, slide the socket over the bottom tang of the dropout (make sure you have a socket that's snug on there) and bend back into shape.

    Use the socket to open up the dropout, if the face of the dropout isn't nice and square, use a crescent to bend into shape on that axis.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  17. #17
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    OP:

    You have something more serious to worry about. Those spokes on the hubs are very very basic entry level stainless steel spokes from Hsing Ta. They're HTI's. By very very basic I mean, something you'd normally find on el-cheapo toss-away steel wheels. I can also tell from the second photo that they have 7.0mm elbows which pretty much confirms these are their bottom line spoke. The non-flush heads and toward-rim elbow lean are dead give aways.

    Those spokes will break - however - there are a few things you can do to help push off the breakage - perhaps a year out - perhaps as much as three years out.

    Pay an LBS to spend about 20 minutes per wheel to do the following:

    1. Stress relieve the wheels.
    2. Bring the tension up.
    3. True and Dish
    4. And all the while and at the end - stress relieve again - hard squeezes of parallel spokes for two complete rotations on the wheel each time.
    5. Adjust the hubs.

    This will turn your "unfinished machine built wheels" into "halfway decent wheels".

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Tip was bent in during transit. This is easily fixable with some gentle prying, it's done all the time, including on brand new bikes by shops before you see them. But there may be other issues. BD will replace or offer cash if you keep it. If you're unsure pass on the cash in case there's something you don't see.

    As I said earlier, a visit to a dealer or bike co-op will give you the info to know if any cash offer is worth taking.
    +this

    And I like to use a steel square-taper crank arm to slip over the end for prying.
    Lots of magna/next stripped crank arms in the scrap metal... its always the non-drive one that was never tightened, wierd...

  19. #19
    Junior Member Cheeyeese's Avatar
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    So I fixed the dropout and I was all like "holy tits my first bike repair!" and I feel damn good. I have another noob question though. I just scratched up like an inch of my seat post jamming it into the seat tube on my frame (yikes). I unscrewed the clamp around the seat tube though I'm not that much of a noob.

    I'm going to buy some grease tomorrow and try with that, was I supposed to do that in the first place or should it fit without the grease? I'm measuring the inside as 26.7/8 and the tube says 26.8 on it but my measuring tool is wack. Isn't that a little too close?
    Last edited by Cheeyeese; 09-15-12 at 09:50 PM.

  20. #20
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    It should fit without grease however a seatpost should have some grease on it to prevent it from getting corroded and possibly stuck. The front axle nuts shouls have had a bit of grease too, well and when you had the back wheel off to adjust the bearings you should have greased those nuts too.

    Most bikeshops have a flex hone and or a reamer that if the seatpost does not slide in easily you can clean up the insides of the seattube. Look for little burrs and be sure the top of the tube is not deformed from the UPS guy tossing it over your fence.


    My bike from bikes direct went togather easy as baking Pillsbury biscuits.
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    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheeyeese View Post
    I just scratched up like an inch of my seat post jamming it into the seat tube on my frame (yikes).

    .
    Stick your finger into the seat tube, and feel around for burrs on the inside of the slot, and along the top rim. These burrs are the most common cause of scratches, and grease won't help. If you find any burrs or rough spots, use a rat-tail or triangular file to clean them up, before you sratch the post worse yet.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    OP:

    You have something more serious to worry about. Those spokes on the hubs are very very basic entry level stainless steel spokes from Hsing Ta. They're HTI's. By very very basic I mean, something you'd normally find on el-cheapo toss-away steel wheels. I can also tell from the second photo that they have 7.0mm elbows which pretty much confirms these are their bottom line spoke. The non-flush heads and toward-rim elbow lean are dead give aways.

    Those spokes will break - however - there are a few things you can do to help push off the breakage - perhaps a year out - perhaps as much as three years out.

    Pay an LBS to spend about 20 minutes per wheel to do the following:

    1. Stress relieve the wheels.
    2. Bring the tension up.
    3. True and Dish
    4. And all the while and at the end - stress relieve again - hard squeezes of parallel spokes for two complete rotations on the wheel each time.
    5. Adjust the hubs.

    This will turn your "unfinished machine built wheels" into "halfway decent wheels".

    =8-)
    And also cost you $50-$75. LBS time isnt cheap. Here's what you do. If your satisfied the damage is limited to the bent fork-end, you get up early tomorrow and go and ride you new bike. Enjoy it and dont over evaluate things. Its a bike, and 90% of them finish up at the back of the garage just waiting for the next yard sale.

    Go ride yours and enjoy whats left of the summer

  23. #23
    Junior Member Cheeyeese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    And also cost you $50-$75. LBS time isnt cheap. Here's what you do. If your satisfied the damage is limited to the bent fork-end, you get up early tomorrow and go and ride you new bike. Enjoy it and dont over evaluate things. Its a bike, and 90% of them finish up at the back of the garage just waiting for the next yard sale.

    Go ride yours and enjoy whats left of the summer
    You're right.

  24. #24
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    Yep the dropout got crumped just a bit. Could have happened anywhere along the line. Examine the box closely to see if it was also damaged in the right area. If not showing on the box, then it wasn't shipping damage. Pass all the info back to BD and let them decide how to proceed. It is their call. Most likely they will want to just send your an exchange replacement bike as I don't think they stock any parts....they are primarily a direct importer of whole/complete bikes. I have bought several from them and have been pleased with the product and tickled at the price!!

  25. #25
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    And also cost you $50-$75. LBS time isnt cheap. Here's what you do. If your satisfied the damage is limited to the bent fork-end, you get up early tomorrow and go and ride you new bike. Enjoy it and dont over evaluate things. Its a bike, and 90% of them finish up at the back of the garage just waiting for the next yard sale.

    Go ride yours and enjoy whats left of the summer
    1st broken spoke - 1.00 for spoke and at least 16.00 labor.

    17.00

    2nd broken spoke - 1.00 for spoke and at least 16.00 labor.

    17.00

    3rd broken spoke - 1.00 for spoke and at least 16.00 labor.

    17.00

    4th broken spoke, LBS says, "Not worth the rebuild - new wheel is 60.00 + tax..."

    65.00


    Total = 17.00 + 17.00 + 17.00 + 65.00 = 116.00


    ...or as I've already stated, the OP can pay 16.00-20.00 per wheel right now and get the machine built wheels off to a halfway decent start to begin with for daily use.

    Sure fingers would still be crossed because of the 7.0mm elbows and super cheap spokes - the goal is to try to give the wheels a chance to last beyond a year - perhaps go as long as 3 years before continuous sequential failures of some kind occur - typically it'll be spokes.


    But then again, the OP might waste a wheel in an accident - they happen.

    It's the OP's call either way...


    =8-)
    Last edited by mrrabbit; 09-19-12 at 07:57 PM.
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

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