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Advice Needed: Down Tube Dent - Dangerous to Ride?

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Advice Needed: Down Tube Dent - Dangerous to Ride?

Old 04-09-07, 02:44 PM
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Hardheadmandca
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Advice Needed: Down Tube Dent - Dangerous to Ride?

I recently had a car door opened in front of me while riding. The bike escaped with moderate damage, the most concerning to me is a dent about the size of a quarter and about a 1/4" deep, about half way down the Down Tube.

Is this a dangerous dent?

The bike is a 2000, or so, Specialized Sirrus Road Bike that is ChroMoly (sp?).

I don't want it collapsing on me, I am a Clydesdale, as I received a seriously broken finger in the accident.

Thanks for the advice.

Brian
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Old 04-09-07, 02:49 PM
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Sounds pretty sketchy... if its enough to cause you concern I wouldn't ride it.
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Old 04-09-07, 03:10 PM
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Why not either post a picture or have your local LBS look at it.
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Old 04-09-07, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
Why not either post a picture or have your local LBS look at it.
+1. It's a possible concern, but the more info we have (or an LBS mechanic who can actually examine it directly), the better we can estimate how much of a risk it really is.

My guess is that since the bike is steel, you can just keep an eye on the area, since cracks normally will propagate gradually, and you can just watch to see if cracks ever develop. Have an LBS check the frame alignment, too - it's possible that this was thrown off in the crash.
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Old 04-09-07, 05:17 PM
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For what it is worth, I had the bike checked out at my LBS. Wheels were trued and minor adjustments made, but they were somewhat uncomfortable with the dent. They felt it was located in the least stressful place of the tube, but that if I hit a bump hard/wrong, it could collapse. They felt I could keep riding it with that assumption of the risk.

I will be dealing with the insurance company that represents the person who opened the door on me.

If the bike is unsafe to ride, I want to make sure they replace it adequately. I don't know what "potentially unsafe to ride" gets me in regard to leverage.

I'll try to take and post a pic tonight.
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Old 04-09-07, 06:17 PM
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If the persons' INS CO. gives you any grief, just ask them to sign a form that the'll be responsible for any future damage/injuries, IF they expect you to keep the same frame.

Since you were injured, they shoud be kissing butt BIG TIME!
IF they try to play games, "pain & suffering" can get mighty expensive for them.
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Old 04-09-07, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
If the persons' INS CO. gives you any grief, just ask them to sign a form that the'll be responsible for any future damage/injuries, IF they expect you to keep the same frame.

Since you were injured, they shoud be kissing butt BIG TIME!
IF they try to play games, "pain & suffering" can get mighty expensive for them.
Well-put.
While I have qualms about using insurance companies for whatever you can get (b/c it makes the system more costly for all involved, in the long run) this sounds like a legitimate case, given that the guys at the shop weren't very comfortable with the tube.
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Old 04-09-07, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca
For what it is worth, I had the bike checked out at my LBS. Wheels were trued and minor adjustments made, but they were somewhat uncomfortable with the dent. They felt it was located in the least stressful place of the tube, but that if I hit a bump hard/wrong, it could collapse. They felt I could keep riding it with that assumption of the risk.

I will be dealing with the insurance company that represents the person who opened the door on me.

If the bike is unsafe to ride, I want to make sure they replace it adequately. I don't know what "potentially unsafe to ride" gets me in regard to leverage.

I'll try to take and post a pic tonight.
Replace it. Go to LBS and ask them to write an estimate for replacing it, and to confirm that the frame is unsafe to ride. When I was hit by a car the frame looked "ok", but there was enough force to bent the crank, destroy my front wheel and fork. I wrote the whole bike off. Better safe then sorry. Remember once the payment for damages is made you can't go back and ask for more.
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Old 04-09-07, 09:53 PM
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Thank you all for your advice, I truly appreciate it.

Here are pics of the dent.





IMG]https://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/hardheadmanca/P9140128.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 04-10-07, 02:15 AM
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The person who opened the door is at fault. I would get them to replace the frame. In general steel is the only safe material that can be ridden with dings in the frame. Looks like the paint is cracked but I would have the LBS check it out for you. I am riding a Cyclocross bike that I repaired my self by cold setting the fork. I am living with a very slight buckle in the TT and DT. Steel is the best material if you are a clyde. I weigh 230 lbs.
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Old 04-10-07, 05:24 AM
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After looking at the pictures, you're probably okay - I wouldn't expect it to buckle on you all of a sudden. But there is that chance. And the frame probably isn't worth what it would cost to have a framebuilder do a little reinforcing work on it (if that's possible here, and I'm not sure that it is).

It looks like you're running RSX parts. If you just need to replace the frame, you could replace it with a Surly - I'd guess hard to find welded-steel Specialized frame by itself. (but maybe the Surly Pacer - their road bike - isn't the best bet, b/c you'd need threadless headset and stem, and long-reach brakes)
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Old 04-10-07, 09:33 AM
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Thank you all. I expect I'll be talking to their State Farm Rep later today. I'm going to have a different LBS look at it today as well.
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Old 04-10-07, 12:21 PM
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If I was to get them to replace the bike, what would be a logical choice and pricepoint based on where this bike stood in the food chain when purchased new in 2000 or 2001? Any ideas?

I'm 6', 260, and in training to do a Century June 3rd.
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Old 04-10-07, 01:14 PM
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"....I'm going to have a different LBS look at it today as well."

Excellent idea! If you have a 3rd.....
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Old 04-10-07, 02:31 PM
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I'd ride it as is, but from an insurance standpoint, the frame is damaged so the bike is totaled. As others have said, get the LBS to estimate it and put on the estimate "Will not repair-totalled" or something to that effect (which is what he told you). No LBS will say that frame is ridable because of the potential liability.

Now, get an estimate of what the bike was worth before the crash (not cost to replace, but what the bike was worth on the market as used bike). Used bike value is not rocket surgery, its an "opinion", so get opinions that are high because the ins co will use all their resources to find a value that is low.

Agree on a price with the ins co and then tell them you want to keep the bike. If they want to deduct the salvage value of the bike, again, salvage value is negotiable. Start at $25.

So now you have your bike, which if it were me, I would just keep riding, and you also have a check.
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Old 04-10-07, 02:44 PM
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I'd say you shouldn't have to ride on a frame that isn't sound. After that, the only question is whether you're into them for a frame or a bike. If I were the adjuster I might say that your drivetrain is fine and you only need a new frame, so you might have to fight that out. Either way, when you get a check it will go a long way toward getting you a nice new bike.
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Old 04-10-07, 02:52 PM
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Downtubes are normally under tension, not compression. You should be okay unless you run into something.
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Old 04-10-07, 03:10 PM
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The second LBS has said the damage can not be fixed, and that they are not steel experts so they cannot asses accurately the chance of failure.
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Old 04-10-07, 03:53 PM
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Make them pay to replace it. Even if it is safe to ride, you'll have a really hard time selling it later. A dent like that makes the frame close to worthless. If they opt to pay for a new bike vs a new frame, tell them you want it to hang on your wall and pay them the salvage price. Then you can do whatever you want with the frame and parts.
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Old 04-10-07, 10:47 PM
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The problem is coming up with an accurate price and getting enough to replace it without too much out of pocket extras.
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Old 04-11-07, 01:31 PM
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Do you have a specialized dealer than can order a replacement frame of equal value to what you currently have? If so get a qoute for that from a dealer for a frame Replacement plus installation costs.

I would be tring to get it replaced or a check for a new bike. You had a safe bike before the accident. Now no one can say for sure its safe. Your a big dude you need a solid ride and piece of mind that you can ride without getting hurt from a bike failure.

Also one thing to note if an insurance company tells you its worth x amount. If you dont want to take that amount tell them ok find me one in as good a shape as what I had for that money and replace it or a newer one that is as good as mine. Don't settle till you are happy and in as good a shape as you were prior to this accident.

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Old 04-11-07, 01:42 PM
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The insurance company should pay for suitable replacement frame or bike, not just for "what the frame was worth." Because what it's worth to you is the ability to ride it, and it ain't your fault that you can't ride it. So you need replacement of a similar-quality bike that you can ride.
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Old 04-11-07, 02:09 PM
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"The second LBS has said the damage can not be fixed, and that they are not steel experts so they cannot asses accurately the chance of failure."
That's basically saying that they can't confirm that it's safe!

"Even if it is safe to ride, you'll have a really hard time selling it later. A dent like that makes the frame close to worthless."
EXCELLENT point!
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Old 04-11-07, 03:43 PM
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As long as the components are ok have them replace the frame/fork and swap everything over. LBS can order the frame easily, but I wouldn't ride it as is. The ins. rep could use that as leverage. Make sure you get enough for a suitable replacement and rebuild. My ex-gf got 'doored' and the ins. co paid for everything re her broken fingers and bike replacement.
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Old 04-11-07, 07:34 PM
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This is sort of a "me too" post. I agree with the majority that the person who caused the harm should be responsible for restoring your bike to the original condition by providing a new, undented frame.

That said, you should see the dents in the old Peugoet I'm currently training with. I ride it on bad roads 30-50 miles a day and I'm 225 pounds. I think there's a dent on every tube on the major triangle worse than yours. It's a 531 double-butted Super Competition. That wouldn't break, would it? :-)

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