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  1. #1
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    Frame problem! What to do?

    We have a Santana Sovereign (aluminum frame) that is 2 years old. It is our pride and joy so we only ride it on special occasions (tandem rallies, club rides and our long Sat. ride). It only gets ridden once and sometimes twice a week. I baby it and try to keep it clean and in top condition.

    When we purchased the bike there was a small (about the size of a dime) imperfection in the paint on the underside of the frame by one of the pump brackets. At first we didn't think anything of it. When we rode the bike we didn't even know it was there. However, during the course of the past two years it has grown and today I took a close look at it. I scratched at it with my fingernail and some of the paint flaked off and under it was this white powdery substance. Living in Florida we recognized it as oxidizing aluminum. It's like a cancer. If something isn't done it will continuie to ruin the paint on our bike. I've included a couple of pictures of the situation so you get a better idea of what's going on.

    Any suggestions as to what we should do? Is there any use in contacting Santana about the situation? Any ideas on refinishing that part of the frame? Whatever ideas you have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transam
    Is there any use in contacting Santana about the situation?
    Absolutely, even if you aren't the original owner....

    From their website:

    The best way to contact Santana is to call us at (800) 334-6136 or (909) 596-7570, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time. We love talking to cyclists, and have found that a phone call is usually the fastest way for you to get the right answer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    Thanks Mark! I appreciate the quick response.
    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    Finally! After 3 months of waiting we have our Sovereign back home. We can't wait to take it for a ride!

    As you can see from the pictures posted above we had a serious problem with the paint on the bike. We contacted Santana and they told us they'd have to take a look at the frame before making any decisions about refinishing. Steve at Santana said it would probably be covered by warranty. The word "probably" didn't give us a whole lot of confidence, but we decided to ship it off anyway and see what happens.

    Because of being shorthanded with help and the busy holiday season it took Santana 2 months to give a decision on refinishing the frame. I think there was some procrastination going on also, but we finally got the word they would cover the cost of refinishing. Not only that, but they'd upgrade to Dupont Imron to make sure the corosion doesn't happen again. And we could pick a new color if we wanted. We decided to change from the original Blue Prism color to Candy Red. What you see in the picture is the end result. The paint job is beautiful! It was worth the wait.

    Kudos to Santana for taking care of their customers. If there are any Santana owners out there having problems with their bikes don't hesitate to contact their customer support people. They are great to work with.

    Gary & Carol
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    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by transam
    We decided to change from the original Blue Prism color to Candy Red. What you see in the picture is the end result. The paint job is beautiful! It was worth the wait.
    So you bought into this quote?

    Quote Originally Posted by DBC Steve
    A quick scan of tandems we are aware of reveals that red bikes are fastest -- despite the brand. Sadly, we do not have a red bike.
    .....
    Personally I think it's great that we have such a fine choice. Just wish red bikes weren't so fast.
    , j/k

    I am glad you have your ride back.

  6. #6
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    Doesn't hurt to at least think we're going fast.

    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman
    So you bought into this quote?



    , j/k

    I am glad you have your ride back.
    EVERYONE knows that yellow bikes are the fastest! And you get an extra 4mph if there's some sort of stripe-work on the frame!

  8. #8
    Cyclist- Bike 'n a half
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    Glad to see they took good care of you.

    You were smart to have it looked at before it got too bad.

    I live in Florida also, work in the boating industry and fished offshore before getting hooked (pun un-ashamedly intended) on cycling.

    No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there is always the occasion when corrosion is able to sneak its way into your protective barrier.

    Oxidation in a small area, for a short period of time is nothing to be afraid of. It can be fixed and the integrity of the material will not be compromised by any measurable amount. Left untreated though, more severe pitting and eventual failure can become almost certain.

    With regard to the color thing, it's my understanding that bikes with a metallic gold to light blue fade are generally a very fast bike to have, but no matter what color the bike and how hard you train, there is always some other bike, of some indeterminate color, that is still just a little bit faster.

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