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Mechanic Malpractice

Old 11-13-16, 05:52 PM
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stewood
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Mechanic Malpractice

Hey guys, I recently bought a Cannondale Synapse 5 carbon single speed (Wheels MFG eccentric BB) second hand. I took it into my very reputable LBS to have wheels trued and BB bearings replaced (BB30 has press-fit). I returned to the bike shop a day later and they said the BB sheath was crumpled under excessive clamping pressure because "It is evident that this bike was never designed to handle the torque load that the eccentric bottom bracket fasteners required". That seems reasonable, now my pristine carbon frame is totaled (sheath is epoxied to frame), but OK, that's what happens when you don't follow manufacturer guidelines. Going on with my life I registered the bike a few days late with local PD and instead of flipping the bike over to check the serial number, I remembered I took a picture of the BB where the tag is a few days after purchasing the bike and 3 days previous to bringing the bike in for repair. Here's the before and after.
BEFORE
IMG_20161029_102206 (2).jpg
AFTER
download_20161110_105702.jpg
It doesnt look bad here, but the sheath is completely crumpled.
So here's the kicker. I let the mechanic know of my concerns and he said "the BB manufacturer recommended 14-16nm of torque for the two fixing bolts. I thought that the torque seemed high, and that he ran a torque closer to 12nm" Sounds good except that the manufactured DOES NOT recommend 14-16, but instead 8-10! The crumpled zone is directly in line with the over-torqued bolts!

tl;dr I am fairly certain the mechanic totaled my bike and I am not sure how to proceed. Please help!
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Old 11-13-16, 05:57 PM
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First 0wner messed it up...
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Old 11-13-16, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
First 0wner messed it up...
That's exactly what I thought, but how do you reconcile the first picture in light of that?

Last edited by stewood; 11-13-16 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 11-13-16, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by stewood View Post
tl;dr I am fairly certain the mechanic totaled my bike and I am not sure how to proceed. Please help!
Talk to the owner of the bike shop. Your best bet is to talk with the owner, and see if you can come to a satisfactory arrangement (discounted new frame and they swap parts?). Show them your pictures, explain your side. Be friendly and cordial, give them an opportunity to resolve things. I think it's unlikely they'll offer a brand new frame for nothing, so set your expectations accordingly.

If the bike shop doesn't cooperate, your only alternative would be small claims court. Even with small claims court I would not expect to get more than the depreciated value of your frame, so realistically you're looking at a settlement worth a few hundred dollars (going by ebay used non-Hi-Mod frame prices). Going this route is likely going to be a lot of hassle for very little gain, just some food for thought when the bike shop proposes a solution.
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Old 11-13-16, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Talk to the owner of the bike shop. Your best bet is to talk with the owner, and see if you can come to a satisfactory arrangement (discounted new frame and they swap parts?). Show them your pictures, explain your side. Be friendly and cordial, give them an opportunity to resolve things. I think it's unlikely they'll offer a brand new frame for nothing, so set your expectations accordingly.

If the bike shop doesn't cooperate, your only alternative would be small claims court. Even with small claims court I would not expect to get more than the depreciated value of your frame, so realistically you're looking at a settlement worth a few hundred dollars (going by ebay used non-Hi-Mod frame prices). Going this route is likely going to be a lot of hassle for very little gain, just some food for thought when the bike shop proposes a solution.
^^^^^ That's what I've been doing so far, but it's becoming pretty difficult (imagine someone just totaled your *brand new* carbon frame). I'd like to stay away from court and I think the bike shop, because of its status will most likely be willing to work with me to uphold their reputation, but is that really best-case-scenario? Ending up with a more-than-likely worse frame than I started with because they made a mistake? That doesn't seem quite right
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Old 11-13-16, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by stewood View Post
^^^^^ That's what I've been doing so far, but it's becoming pretty difficult (imagine someone just totaled your *brand new* carbon frame). I'd like to stay away from court and I think the bike shop, because of its status will most likely be willing to work with me to uphold their reputation, but is that really best-case-scenario? Ending up with a more-than-likely worse frame than I started with because they made a mistake? That doesn't seem quite right
You will have to focus on what you want, not what you don't want. BTW, having it never to have happened is not an available remedy.
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Old 11-13-16, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by stewood View Post
That's exactly what I though, but how do you reconcile the first picture in light of that?
If we were on a jury.

How could you prove that YOU did not Do the damage then take the photo?
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Old 11-13-16, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
You will have to focus on what you want, not what you don't want. BTW, having it never to have happened is not an available remedy.
You mean decide on a frame they carry within a reasonable price range that I want as a replacement before "negotiation"?
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Old 11-13-16, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
If we were on a jury.

How could you prove that YOU did not Do the damage then take the photo?
I took the photo in the shop with a mechanic watching me. I told him "I am taking a picture of this", and I know who the mechanic is.
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Old 11-13-16, 08:45 PM
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Question- Is the BB eccentric what was crushed? Or the bonded in shell part? If the damaged part was the eccentric insert/sleeve then perhaps it is replaceable? Just coming from tandem world where the eccentric is a separate and replaceable item, (and not some sensitive super thin wall part that can be so easily damaged by who ever.) Andy
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Old 11-13-16, 09:07 PM
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My advice is to call Cannondale directly and see if it can be fixed, then decide what the next move should be.
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Old 11-13-16, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by stewood View Post
^^^^^ That's what I've been doing so far, but it's becoming pretty difficult (imagine someone just totaled your *brand new* carbon frame).
The catch here is that it's not a brand new frame, it's a used frame and you're the second owner. If you were the original owner then warranty might be a reasonable option.

I have no idea what the shop will offer, my only advice would be to keep an open mind. If you go in with reasonable expectations there's a good chance the shop may surprise you and exceed them.
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Old 11-14-16, 07:08 AM
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I think it's clear, from the photos and from the mechanic admitting to using a too high torque setting, that the mechanic damaged your bike. Achieving satisfaction is another question. Perhaps a new frame they carry at their cost and free swap over of parts, maybe even "lifetime" free labor for service. I expect they will want to make it right but will be reluctant to part with actual cash.
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Old 11-14-16, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Question- Is the BB eccentric what was crushed? Or the bonded in shell part? If the damaged part was the eccentric insert/sleeve then perhaps it is replaceable? Just coming from tandem world where the eccentric is a separate and replaceable item, (and not some sensitive super thin wall part that can be so easily damaged by who ever.) Andy
The bonded shell, the BB is fine. I would have no problem replacing that if that were the problem.
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Old 11-14-16, 07:12 AM
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If this shop has a social media page, online review page, you might consider taking the discussion there. I certainly wouldn't use it as first line if communication is still open.

Those before and after pics seem fairly obvious to me. It isn't your fault the shop personnel didn't know the appropriate torque to use.
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Old 11-14-16, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I think it's clear, from the photos and from the mechanic admitting to using a too high torque setting, that the mechanic damaged your bike. Achieving satisfaction is another question. Perhaps a new frame they carry at their cost and free swap over of parts, maybe even "lifetime" free labor for service. I expect they will want to make it right but will be reluctant to part with actual cash.
I know this might derail the thread, but what do you think would act as a good replacement for a my synapse?
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Old 11-14-16, 07:22 AM
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They aren't going to give you a new "free" frame of your choice, so you need to start with the brands they carry, find out what they can get them for, then choose among your options. Don't ignore a nice new aluminum frame if that is a choice.
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Old 11-14-16, 07:44 AM
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Why not contact some CF repair shops for estimates and approach the shop with the option of paying for a repair? Possibly it can be repaired as good as new.
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Old 11-14-16, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Talk to the owner of the bike shop. Your best bet is to talk with the owner, and see if you can come to a satisfactory arrangement (discounted new frame and they swap parts?). Show them your pictures, explain your side. Be friendly and cordial, give them an opportunity to resolve things. I think it's unlikely they'll offer a brand new frame for nothing, so set your expectations accordingly.

If the bike shop doesn't cooperate, your only alternative would be small claims court. Even with small claims court I would not expect to get more than the depreciated value of your frame, so realistically you're looking at a settlement worth a few hundred dollars (going by ebay used non-Hi-Mod frame prices). Going this route is likely going to be a lot of hassle for very little gain, just some food for thought when the bike shop proposes a solution.
Originally Posted by stewood View Post
^^^^^ That's what I've been doing so far, but it's becoming pretty difficult (imagine someone just totaled your *brand new* carbon frame). I'd like to stay away from court and I think the bike shop, because of its status will most likely be willing to work with me to uphold their reputation, but is that really best-case-scenario? Ending up with a more-than-likely worse frame than I started with because they made a mistake? That doesn't seem quite right
What do you mean by "it's becoming pretty difficult"? I mean, what have they said to you that is making it difficult, or what reason do you have for thinking it is, or is going to be "difficult".

Also, nobody totaled your brand new frame. They might have totaled your nice used frame, but it's nowhere near the value of a brand new frame. So quit thinking of it in those terms. Think of what it would really take to make you whole - another comparable used frame and /or what you actually paid for the used frame in terms of cash... or something similar in terms of a different frame and/or getting you back on the road with the parts you salvage from the broken frame.

Do you have ANY reason to think they aren't being, or won't be reasonable? Please tell us why.

This hypothesizing is really pointless, and it just sounds (to me, I could be wrong) that you are just getting all worked up before you really have reason to be. Just get on with talking to them and figuring it out. Quit increasing your anxiety until you have to. Press them in terms of getting it resolved asap because you need the bike, expect them to make you happy in the end, but don't be unrealistic, i.e. it is not a brand new frame, and it really won't take much for the shop to make you whole (see above recommendations by others)

Last edited by Camilo; 11-14-16 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 11-14-16, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
What do you mean by "it's becoming pretty difficult"? I mean, what have they said to you that is making it difficult, or what reason do you have for thinking it is, or is going to be "difficult".

Also, nobody totaled your brand new frame. They might have totaled your nice used frame, but it's nowhere near the value of a brand new frame. So quit thinking of it in those terms. Think of what it would really take to make you whole - another comparable used frame and /or what you actually paid for the used frame in terms of cash... or something similar in terms of a different frame and/or getting you back on the road with the parts you salvage from the broken frame.

Do you have ANY reason to think they aren't being, or won't be reasonable? Please tell us why.

This hypothesizing is really pointless, and it just sounds (to me, I could be wrong) that you are just getting all worked up before you really have reason to be. Just get on with talking to them and figuring it out. Quit increasing your anxiety until you have to. Press them in terms of getting it resolved asap because you need the bike, expect them to make you happy in the end, but don't be unrealistic, i.e. it is not a brand new frame, and it really won't take much for the shop to make you whole (see above recommendations by others)
I agree with this - and the other posters - talk to the shop. More than likely they will try to resolve this problem, but no way to know until you talk to them.
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Old 11-14-16, 05:49 PM
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In USA? , Go to Court (Small claims has a value loss limit, Varying by state) it's what is done Here.
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Old 11-14-16, 11:52 PM
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Some very strange answers here.

The LBS damaged his frame. It doesnt matter if its new or old, its damaged by their negligence. OP has the pics to prove before and after. They need to repair or replace it. If the replacement isnt the same one, it must be acceptable to the OP. If that doesnt work legal action is available. Same rules apply. OP has to prove the value of the repair or replacement. LBS will either say it wasnt their fault of prove a lower settlement is fair.

Talk to a lawyer and do your homework before court, IF it has to go that far. If the LBS isnt working with you let them know you will be seeking legal action. Sometimes even a bluff can get you the right outcome.

-SP
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Old 11-15-16, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by speedy25 View Post
Some very strange answers here.-SP
True. I don't think O/P said what year, what he paid or thinks the frame is worth. Here is what may be a similar frame (and fork) at Pro's Closet with a BIN of $500
If this is a +/- $500 frame, that's a long way from "call the lawyer" territory.
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Old 11-15-16, 09:21 AM
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In Small Claims Court, you are DIY on the Filing the Suit and presenting your Case before the Judge..
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Old 11-15-16, 09:31 AM
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I'm not familiar with C'dale eccentric BB's but it appears that the Wheels MFG unit is not an OEM part. All the Cannondale ecentrics I've seen use a different clamping method. That shell as produced most likely won't withstand the clamping force required to keep the Wheels eccentric tight.


So, was this a single speed conversion? If so equipped, where's the original eccentric? The insert/cable quide is missing, though I doubt this would have added the necessary support.


I'd start with the original owner to get the story. You may have no recourse if not using original parts.
Yeah maybe the mechanic should have caught it, but maybe they aren't C'Dale dealers and just not familiar with the do's and don'ts.


It sucks but you may be on your own.
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