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Old 09-28-12, 02:17 PM   #1
Michbex
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Velovie Rear Derailleur Hanger breaks after 300 miles

I bought my Velovie Vitesse 300R less than 6 month ago and only took it out on nice days for less than 300miles. A few weeks ago I was slowly pedaling on a flat, when suddenly the rear derailleur hanger broke.

The derailleur ended up in my rear wheel, bending a spoke and breaking off a piece of the frame. (See pictures)

It was immediately clear to me that this must have been a manufacturing and/or material issue, as it was a basically brand new bike. However, after contacting customer service, this was their response (after more than 2 weeks):

'After reviewing this issue and talking with the factory we find that this is not a warranty issue, as this was not caused by a defect in materials but rather a maintenance issue.'

I have asked multiple bike mechanics / dealers, and everyone told me that this is not a maintenance issue at all.

Customer service at velovie is absoltuely not responsive. I really should have stuck with a name brand....
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Old 09-28-12, 02:53 PM   #2
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What part of the frame broke? Having a hard time seeing it in the picture.

If it didn't total the frame or derailleur it's a pretty simple repair. It sucks they won't help you but derailleur hangers are usually $25 tops. Who built the bike or where did you get it from?

Edit: Did it actually break part of the dropout under the hanger? Again hard to tell, but that might be a bigger problem.
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Old 09-28-12, 02:57 PM   #3
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Hopefully the wheel didn't get screwed up. Will they at least tell you where to get a derailleur hanger? Just be glad it's replaceable.
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Old 09-28-12, 03:08 PM   #4
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Your bike appears to have a breakaway gear hanger. These are designed to break in the event the RD jams into the wheel. They do this acting sort of as fuses to protect the frame, and other components. Like fuses, they're designed for replacement when they break.Also, like fuses< they sometimes break prematurely without an apparent cause, and this could be what happened.

OTOH - it's also possible that the hanger did exactly what it was supposed to do, if the RD was misadjusted. I've seen these break if, for example, the B screw was misadjusted, and the upper pulley touched the cassette through the chain, or if a stiff link jammed in the idler cage, or any number of things that can cause an RD to jam. In this case the breakaway feature possibly saved you from a much more expensive repair.

In your shoes, I'd press the maker hard for at least a free replacement hanger, then let a decent bike shop install it, address other issues, and check the rest of the bike over for proper assembly and adjustment.
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Old 09-28-12, 03:48 PM   #5
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Old 09-28-12, 04:26 PM   #6
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Old 09-28-12, 08:13 PM   #7
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Derailleur hangers break all the time, but very very very seldom do they break for no reason. Every broken hanger I have seen could be traced back to some event - rough entry into a car trunk, installation of a new derailleur, a crash, vandalism... these events are so common, and often suprising in how minor they are and still caused (or led to) failure, that very few people working for any bike company will accept the OPs explanation that no external force was put onto the derailleur.
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Old 09-29-12, 02:20 AM   #8
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Thanks for your answers.

Derailleur hangers can break, but they shouldn't on a roadbike, especially with no apparent reason. I have never had a collision, never transported the bike in a car or anything and always kept it in my apartment. After my reply, they wouldn't even send me a free derailleur hanger.

The bike was actually assembled directly by Velovie... and yes, the wheel is messed up as well.

Should I have the 2 bent spokes replaced? Or is it cheaper to get a new wheel?

If you look at the picture, a piece of the frame right behind the hanger broke of. I agree its minor and it won't total the frame, but I expect more customer service for a $2500 bike.
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Old 09-29-12, 02:24 AM   #9
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Looks like your derailleur is sitting in the lowest gear despite you pedalling along a flat. This is a common problem with MTBs and kids bikes, which tend to get knocked over and have the hangers bent inboard. If the hanger is bent, and you shift to the lowest gear on the cassette, the derailleur cage may get caught in the spokes, which will usually cause a hanger to break or bend further. This is exactly what it's meant to do. The Low adjuster screw on a derailleur only helps if the hanger is not already bent.

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Old 09-29-12, 11:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tomacropod View Post
Looks like your derailleur is sitting in the lowest gear despite you pedalling along a flat. .... The Low adjuster screw on a derailleur only helps if the hanger is not already bent.l
It's usually very difficult to reconstruct the sequence of events when a hanger breaks. Did it break because the RD caught the spokes and got pulled back? or did the RD only go into the spokes after the hanger broke? Sometimes you do have clues if for example you know what gear the bike was in, or if the RD is undamaged, you can sometimes compare adjustments after it's remounted. Also since the hangers are ductile, you can sometimes draw inferences from the direction of tear. Another clue might be discoloration at the break which might indicate an earlier crack which happened long before ultimate failure.

However, in many cases there simply isn't enough information to form an informed opinion about the cause. We know all the suspectsm], but lack evidence to make a case against any of them. That seems to be the case here, and IMO, 3 people have to share blame on this fairly NEW bike; The maker, the mechanic, and the owner/rider. If the bike were sold unassembled the maker might be off the hook since an adjustment error is more likely than some defect in the material of the hanger, but since the bike was sold, as assembled and adjusted, I think the maker owes the OP much more than their disclaimer. It might not be total N/C replacement, but they do owe him an accommodation at the very least.
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