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  1. #1
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    Holes in my "new" recumbent. Aaaaargh!

    So... I sold my 1991 Linear a couple weeks ago (too slow) and replaced it with a Burley Django. A bike that has seen some use, but is in generally good shape. It could use a new seat, but it's functional. $540.00

    And he had a couple RoadRunner/Thrush muffler type stickers on it and so I peeled them off when I got home... And what did I find underneath one of the stickers, but about 7 little holes drilled in the aluminum! Looks (from the rub marks in the paint) like there was something mounted on that spot -- maybe some bags or some such. Though the holes don't seem to be in any consistent pattern. I'm attaching a fuzzy picture. The location is on the top of the boom, just a few inches out from steering post.

    I'm trying to figure out if I should worry about it. I mean, obviously I'm not happy about it and he clearly was being deceiving, but I just need to know what you think about the stress on the boom. Some of the holes look like they've been there for awhile. Do you think the bike is compromised? I could put my own sticker over it and forget about it if you metalurgical (sp?) experts out their think it's nothing to worry about.

    If you say, "She's lost!" I'll call him back and ask for a refund (I actually think he might be agreeable). If it's not going to fall off, I'll probably just bite my tongue and live with it (unless one of you wants to call him for me and insist that he come down another $100.00!)

    burley holes.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pockets's Avatar
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    She's lost, I think there are some serious stress factors I would worry about
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  3. #3
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I would demand a refund. The seller deliberately hid the frame damage.

  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I strongly doubt this will compromise your frame, however it was very deceitful and was quite deserving of being disclosed.

    The amount of material removed from the frame is very slight. Most frames are over designed. However it is theoretically possible for them to create a weak point from which a crack could start. Especially if you are near the weight capacity of the frame.

    I would expect to get a substantial discount given this damage.
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  5. #5
    Randomhead
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    that's got to be the most bone-headed thing to do to a bike I have seen. I refuse to ride a bike I have any doubt about, and that is doubt-inducing

  6. #6
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    Ehhh, why do people do things like this? I wouldn't ride a bike like that so I would demand a refund.
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  7. #7
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    I would say that if this is on a lateral surface the structural integrity is not compromised....On the other hand if that's on top or bottom of the tube I wouldn't ever ride it.
    Problem is though that knowing those holes are there will never give you peace. Get your money back from that thief.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Now that really sucks. I would try to get my money back!!!

  9. #9
    Junior Member BlueSeas's Avatar
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    I would hesitate to call the seller a Thief, unless they are the original owner. And even then in my experience many owners don't know the first thing about the mechanics of their bikes. This could certainly be a case where the prior owner had a bike shop or friend put something on and the PO never gave it a 2nd thought until he removed it and just innocently covered the holes and forgot about them.

    As for a refund. Well was the price "to good to be true"? If so I don't think there is much room to negotiate after the fact. If the price was Fair or Premium then yeah I would ask for a discount or refund. And as always caveat emptor.
    Good Luck

  10. #10
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Disclaimer/background: I'm an aircraft stress engineer. These are the kinds of calculations I do for a living.

    The problem with these kinds of open holes is that they act as stress concentrations. In a single open hole, the stress around the hole is 3 times the nominal stress in the surrounding material. When you get several open holes in close proximity (less than 3 diameter spacing), the effects get worse.

    Will this be a problem? Maybe. I don't know what kind of loads and stresses that part of a bike sees (is it the rear swingarm section?), and I don't know what factors of safety are there (how 'overdesigned' it may be). The other problem with open, untreated holes like that is that they are a good place for corrosion to start.

    I would recommend getting your money back, mostly as a matter of principle, because the seller clearly tried to hide this. If you think you just got too good of a deal, you should, at the very least, clean the holes with a dremmel, and give them some paint to reduce/prevent the corrosion. I would highly recommend plugging them, prefererably with interference fit fasteners like a rivet (which most people won't have access to, unfortunately).

    On an aircraft, that would be an automatic remove and replace, but we generally have low margins of safety to work with.

    Cheers.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Structurally, that's in a high-stress area. The top of the boom is under tension when pedaling, as the boom deflects downward. That said, the vertical structure of the tube is what keeps it from deflecting down, and the Burley frame, as noted on BROL, is pretty heavy-duty. I suspect it will eventually fail by cracking between the holes, most likely between two that are running across the tube. That will ultimately result in the boom breaking off at the crack. I'd still try for a refund; but if you can't get your money back, then the brazing/welding solution will probably work to prevent future failures.

  12. #12
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    An accurate structural assessment cannot be determined without a great deal more information than provided. So without the numbers, it's purely a guess. After looking at a Django, it appears your holes are in front of the headtube - correct?

    http://www.recumbum.com/img/GettingFat_1.jpg

    Me?... I'd take it back and request a refund - even if it's not a structural/safety issue, the resale value has been significantly reduced. Just be sure you take several decent pictures prior to returning it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    then the brazing/welding solution will probably work to prevent future failures.
    I believe this is an aluminum frame - weldable, yes, but the cost of the required post heat treatment, then a respray after you burn-off the paint, would likely exceed the value of a pristine Django. If forced to "live with it", i'd wrap the damaged area with fiberglass or CF and epoxy.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa View Post
    I believe this is an aluminum frame - weldable, yes, but the cost of the required post heat treatment, then a respray after you burn-off the paint, would likely exceed the value of a pristine Django. If forced to "live with it", i'd wrap the damaged area with fiberglass or CF and epoxy.
    The Django is steel, so that's not an issue.

  15. #15
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    The Django is steel, so that's not an issue.
    Ok, I stand corrected. Thanks BP
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