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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ti-tillIdie's Avatar
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    Bike shop dented my frame while working on the bike, what do I do to make it right?

    I dropped off my Santana sovereign at a local bike shop here in Gainesville to have the shifting looked at and to have some new cranks installed. They chased the shifting problem around for a few weeks (weeks…) and finally replace the derailer, derailer hanger and replaced the chains at my request. Long story short, they called me last Friday that the bike is ready and I picked it up that night.

    I haven’t taken the bike out of the suv yet from Friday (was visiting my fiancé in Miami for the weekend) and driving down the road this morning I see the bike in the rear view mirror and I see all this distortion in the top tube reflection. Its no longer round but has been squared off by the bike shops bike holder. I assume they held the bike off the ground while fixing the shifting and were really putting a lot of torque on the thing. Now my beautiful bike frame has a square section right behind my seat tube.

    My question to you is what do I do now? Am I justified in being very upset? I take care of my things and would never have grabbed a bike in that place while working on it..... I feel like its common knowledge to leave the front wheel of a tandem on the ground and have the back wheel off the ground by clamping the seat tube.... am I wrong?

  2. #2
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    When I worked in a shop (back in pre-historic times), the rule was to never clamp onto a frame tube, always clamp onto the seatpost. If you didn't have enough seatpost exposed, then you marked the seat height with a piece of tape and extended the seatpost until you had enough. Sometimes if the customer's seatpost was too short, we ended up swapping in a cheap seatpost we had lying around the shop, just to hold the bike while on the stand. The manager said seatposts are cheaper than frames, or even than having the frame painted if we goofed up the paint.

    I'm sure lots of folks will have different opinions on this, but just my $.02, I think they owe you a frame.
    Last edited by WheelsNT; 09-17-12 at 12:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-tillIdie View Post
    ...and to have some new cranks installed.
    And, if you have to put more than a moderate amount of force on it, like for a really stuck BB cup, get the bike on the ground, on it's wheels, where it's designed to take the pressure. Is this pleasant for the mechanic? No, it's annoying because you're on your knees next to the bike. Did I "cheat" and lever up on a bike while it was in the stand? Sometimes... but if I had messed up the bike doing that, it would definitely have been my fault because I knew better.

  4. #4
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    Oh man sorry to hear that.
    Just curious - is your frame aluminum?
    I just purchased a steel Sovereign from the original owner, who took very good care of it, and I believe I saw the bike clamped to one of the frame tubes (seat tube I believe) in his workshop.

    I am purchasing a repair stand and am wondering where best to clamp this beautiful steel frame.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    They owe you a Santana frame repair/repaint or a new frame.
    Rick T
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  6. #6
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambetter View Post
    Oh man sorry to hear that.
    Just curious - is your frame aluminum?
    I just purchased a steel Sovereign from the original owner, who took very good care of it, and I believe I saw the bike clamped to one of the frame tubes (seat tube I believe) in his workshop.

    I am purchasing a repair stand and am wondering where best to clamp this beautiful steel frame.
    +1 on Seat post only.

  7. #7
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    My LBS always clamps on the seat post as far as I know.

    Sounds like a frame repair is in order but I don't think that these are the guys that you want to have do it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    +1 on Seat post only.
    My LBS has several seat posts of all sizes next to their repair stand. They mark the captain's seat post, remove, replace with one of their dummy posts and wrench away. At home using my light weight Park stand I clamp in the stokers Al Thudbuster post and leave the front wheel on the ground. Never found a need to fully suspend the bike, but if I wrenched for a living I would want the bike at chest level - the LBS' stands are very, very heavy duty.
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  9. #9
    certified vegetarian veggie's Avatar
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    You should definitely confront the shop about this. Unfortunately they might not give you money, but store credit. This recently happened to a friends Klein and the shop only gave him store credit.

    Hopefully you can get this all taken care of, hopefully you can get a repair or money out of them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ti-tillIdie's Avatar
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    I went to the bike shop and talked it out this evening (I was a pleasant as I could possibly be) and had given Santana a call before I went (who were very helpful) and the resolution is that the bike shop will be working with Santana to replace the top tube. In the future, before I drop my bike off at a shop I haven't used before, I might place some masking tape with a "don't clamp here" note on it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-tillIdie View Post
    I went to the bike shop and talked it out this evening (I was a pleasant as I could possibly be) and had given Santana a call before I went (who were very helpful) and the resolution is that the bike shop will be working with Santana to replace the top tube. In the future, before I drop my bike off at a shop I haven't used before, I might place some masking tape with a "don't clamp here" note on it.
    Given the circumstances that's a very good outcome. You obviously handled this well and the bike shop seems to be owned by a stand up individual. Hopefully, you won't be out your tandem ride for too long.
    Rick T
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-tillIdie View Post
    I went to the bike shop and talked it out this evening (I was a pleasant as I could possibly be) and had given Santana a call before I went (who were very helpful) and the resolution is that the bike shop will be working with Santana to replace the top tube. In the future, before I drop my bike off at a shop I haven't used before, I might place some masking tape with a "don't clamp here" note on it.
    PM me if you would. I'd like to know the shop name as I have found a squared off seat tube - and the bike has only been to a shop in Gainesville. Minor in this case, but they need to know if it is a problem with a mechanic or one of their stands so they can rectify it in the future. They were a great shop otherwise and they'd appreciate knowing this if it is a pattern.
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  13. #13
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Another reason to do your own wrenching.
    Nigel

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  14. #14
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    +1. On the rare occasions I've had bike shops do work, they have consistently taken the opportunity to screw something up. It's not that I do everything perfectly, but when it goes wrong I generally see it immediately and put it right. In the long run it's better to spend on tools rather than labour.

  15. #15
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    I'm still confused - is it possible to square off a steel tube w/ repair stand?
    Or is this only a problem with aluminum?

  16. #16
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    Terrible news, glad to hear the shop is making it right.

    I admit, I still clamp steel frames by the tubes (top or seat tubes), but carbon and aluminum frames on the seat posts. Never damaged a steel frame yet with a work stand (in over 40 years of doing my own wrenching on bicycles). I assume this must have been an aluminum Sovereign? I would imagine in a shop the mandate for seat post clamping only is because the vast majority of new bikes are carbon or aluminum.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ti-tillIdie's Avatar
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    The bike is aluminum. It would be tough to say if the same thing could happen to a steel bike but based on where they clamped it on the frame I feel many materials would have had some damage as well. It is just to easy to put too much torq on the frame when it's held where they clamped it. Even a few pounds of force when it's acting on 4 feet of bike as a fulcrum can turn in to some high forces when it's focused all in to one tiny area.

  18. #18
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    Back in the early nineties, I purchased a Serotta Colorado II Columbus steel frame. The shop owner told me to get rid of the Thule upright car carrier that clamps to the downtube. He said that the middle section of the tubes, where there was no butting was expremely thin and would easily crush. I've always kept this in mind when using a workstand. I think that this is even more of a hazzard with carbon, because it can suffer internal damage that one would never see. Aluminum is bad, in this regard, because fatigue sets in when it is bent...it does not have the same resiliancy as steel.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Newbie/inexperienced tandem mechanic . . .
    Good you called 'tana and hope shop has framebuilding experience!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Ti-tillIdie's Avatar
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    Oh, by "working with Santana" I meant they will be shipping it there and Santana will be fixing it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Great . . . 'tana will fix it and shop will pay.
    Is that mechanic still working there or looking for another jpb?

  22. #22
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Another example of many I have heard about & seen, that is why I do my own wrenching & building of my Tandems my self. I never let any shop touch my Co-Motion or any of my bikes because of stuff like this..

    Glad Santana can fix it & the shop will pay for it, but it's still a pain to deal with.

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  23. #23
    enthusiast JamieElenbaas's Avatar
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    I am amazed that in this day and age any shop would clamp any bike by the top tube - let alone a tandem!

    Even in my home shop, I have a stand that allows me to lock the forks (or dropouts) onto the stand and strap the boob tube (or bottom bracket on a single) to the stand. No muss, no fuss, and you cannot break anything.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Team Fab's Avatar
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    My LBS only hangs the bikes it works on from the ceiling. A strap under the seat and a strap under the stem. No Clamp damage. And the hanging height is adjustable. I have worked on many of my bikes in the shop and it works quite well. I have a work stand a home to compare this system to and actually prefer it.

  25. #25
    Señor Member 4Rings6Stars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Fab View Post
    My LBS only hangs the bikes it works on from the ceiling. A strap under the seat and a strap under the stem. No Clamp damage. And the hanging height is adjustable. I have worked on many of my bikes in the shop and it works quite well. I have a work stand a home to compare this system to and actually prefer it.
    No leverage though and it moves around too much for my liking. I prefer a traditional stand, just don't be an idiot and clamp the frame tubes!
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