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Fairly certain LBS damaged my frame, am I crazy?

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Fairly certain LBS damaged my frame, am I crazy?

Old 09-20-20, 07:26 PM
  #1  
sheddle
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Fairly certain LBS damaged my frame, am I crazy?

Bought an old Raleigh Friday (531 full butted) , took it to the shop Saturday for 27 clinchers and had them grease the seatpost while I was there to prevent it from ever getting seized. When I got the bike back, I noticed this.

​​​​​​

These crimps are both symmetrical, with a ridge running in the middle of two identical dents. I believe they're almost certainly caused by a repair stand clamping the butted seat tube too hard. I don't own a repair stand in my apartment and did nothing with the bike that would have involved any kind of force, other than a shakedown ride of a mile or so. The only work I did was move the seat down about a centimeter.

The shop is adamant that the frame was already damaged when the bike was brought in. I had photographic proof that the bike was not damaged as late as last night, but they told me that the bike could have been damaged between Friday night and Saturday morning (it was leaning against a wall in my living room).

Is there anything I can do here? And am I jumping to conclusions about this being the most likely cause of the crimping marks? I don't have like, a video of them actually putting the bike in the stand by the seat tube, so it's not like I can take this to court or anything, but would asking for a refund of labor costs and possibly some of the cost of frame repair be reasonable?

I'm mainly confused because this is a shop with a sterling reputation in Seattle, deals with used bikes a lot, and would usually know better than to clamp a butted steel frame by the seat tube.

Last edited by sheddle; 09-20-20 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:35 PM
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I don't quite understand the purpose of bringing it to a shop. They have little interest in the long-term health of your bike. They will never treat the details as well as you.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:37 PM
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That sucks!

Im not sure how a repair stand clamp could do that damage. It looks very strange to have two rather smooth dents in different parts of the tube and at different angles.

Good luck getting it sorted!
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Old 09-20-20, 07:37 PM
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I needed 27 clinchers and was hoping for a used frame pump, and didn't want to wait to have them mail ordered. I like the shop so I decided to pay for installation (and the seatpost grease) while I looked around at their used parts.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
That sucks!

Im not sure how a repair stand clamp could do that damage. It looks very strange to have two rather smooth dents in different parts of the tube and at different angles.

Good luck getting it sorted!
It's four dents in total. Those are two separate crimp marks, there's symmetrical dents on the opposite side of the frame.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:43 PM
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How did you transport the bike to the shop? Did you speak with the owner on the phone, or an employee? Next step may be to take the frame back to the shop and respectfully ask to speak to the owner and look at the workstands to see if the clamps they use match the indentations on the frame.

It is strange that the frame could be dented so badly without damaging the paint. There is some extremely remote possibility that a vacuum seal was somehow created inside the seat tube, and a pressure or temperature differential caused the tube to collapse... I can't think of anything else that could have caused this.

The dents may be able to be rolled out or pressed out with frame blocks. This would damage the paint. In Seattle I think Aaron Goss (Aaron's Bikes/Rat Rod Bikes) could do this or point you in the right direction.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:47 PM
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I rode the bike to the shop, about half a mile downhill. I don't want to rule out that it could possibly have been damaged by that rude but I've never had that happen before, especially in a low stress area like the middle of the seat tube.

I asked in another thread and they believed the denting without paint damage was because it was clamped by something soft or padded: ie a repair stand.
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Old 09-20-20, 07:48 PM
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The crimps do look about the size of the Efficient Velo Tools "right arm repair clamp", which is something I'd expect a better shop in the Northwest to have, and can very easily be tightened too hard.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:01 PM
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Oof! Bring it back a and line it up with their stand clamp...
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Old 09-20-20, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by eeuuugh View Post
How did you transport the bike to the shop? Did you speak with the owner on the phone, or an employee? Next step may be to take the frame back to the shop and respectfully ask to speak to the owner and look at the workstands to see if the clamps they use match the indentations on the frame.
n.
I spoke with both the owner and one of the mechanics who worked on it (more than one mech touched the bike which I think makes a mistake more likely). Owner deferred to the mechanics, which was fair, and the mechanics were adament that the damage was existent when they received the bike.

Once again this is a shop with a very good reputation and that I generally trust- which makes me think that they're not lying- but they might be simply wrong. I've made enough mistakes with repairs in my life to know that sometimes your memory is outright faulty, and that the part you swear on the Bible you left on the counter is in fact inexplicably on the windowsill by the bathroom.

I was going to take the bike to the Rodriguez shop, since they also offer frame repair, and hopefully get a quote.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
I spoke with both the owner and one of the mechanics who worked on it (more than one mech touched the bike which I think makes a mistake more likely). Owner deferred to the mechanics, which was fair, and the mechanics were adament that the damage was existent when they received the bike..
That dent is sooo obvious, whoever checked it in would have noticed it and said something to you on the spot. If that person didn't, the mechanic would have noticed instantly and called you immediately.


..............

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Old 09-20-20, 08:17 PM
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Incidentally, this is safe to ride for now right? Seat tube damage away from the stay cluster and BB is a low stress area, though I'm somewhat concerned about creasing (it's still round, but a bit narrow)
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Old 09-20-20, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by eeuuugh View Post
The crimps do look about the size of the Efficient Velo Tools "right arm repair clamp", which is something I'd expect a better shop in the Northwest to have, and can very easily be tightened too hard.
This ^^^. Did you look at the equipment they use to hold work there? Looks like poorly-adjusted repair stand clamp damage to me -- something pinching, not metal, and yet with leverage. I think that if you are sure this damage did not exist the night before, you can see anything in the shop that looks like it might have caused this, and threaten to get a lawyer, you'll probably get somewhere. Whoever did that just ruined a vintage seat tube, in a hurry. And that's what probably caused it: being in a hurry rather than taking appropriate care. It will be quite expensive to fix and repaint.

You could also have someone expert dust the bike for fingerprints. That might tell you something about who is personally responsible.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
It's four dents in total. Those are two separate crimp marks, there's symmetrical dents on the opposite side of the frame.
That is from a clamp for sure. If you don't own a bike stand, then it was the bike shop.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by eeuuugh View Post
The crimps do look about the size of the Efficient Velo Tools "right arm repair clamp", which is something I'd expect a better shop in the Northwest to have, and can very easily be tightened too hard.
I'm not familiar with that repair stand, but I can't imagine how hard I would have to crank on my park tools repair stand to put dents like that in a seat tube.

This is rather puzzling, a repair stand does seem like the culprit, but someone would have to doing it really, really wrong to produce dents like this it seems.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:44 PM
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What I was going to do was go to the Rodriguez shop (really well regarded frame builders who also do steel frame repair) and get a) a quote for repairs, and b) hopefully an opinion that this was almost certainly due to a repair stand.

I figure that if I have a) a time stamped photograph showing no frame damage the night before, b) a statement from the seller that the damage didn't exist at the time of sale and I somehow missed it (already confirmed this) , and c) a statement from a frame builder that this was almost certainly a repair stand, then I can probably have enough leverage to hopefully get the repair costs covered.

Suing them isn't an option, I'm a poor bastard who spends all his money on old bikes.

Last edited by sheddle; 09-20-20 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:45 PM
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If you've got pictures from the night before that show it whole and undented then you need to make them deal with this. There's not much, practically nothing, that will make a tube dent like that especially just falling over. But I've seen clamp damage like that and if you've got a pic showing its undamaged you need to show them the pic and ask for it to be fixed.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
I'm not familiar with that repair stand, but I can't imagine how hard I would have to crank on my park tools repair stand to put dents like that in a seat tube.

This is rather puzzling, a repair stand does seem like the culprit, but someone would have to doing it really, really wrong to produce dents like this it seems.
Anybody who would clamp a vintage bike by the seat tube wouldn't have the intelligence to clamp it correctly.

I wonder if the clamp was setup for a seatpost and the doofus didn't adjust it for the frame
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Old 09-20-20, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
I'm not familiar with that repair stand, but I can't imagine how hard I would have to crank on my park tools repair stand to put dents like that in a seat tube.

This is rather puzzling, a repair stand does seem like the culprit, but someone would have to doing it really, really wrong to produce dents like this it seems.
Whats especially confusing is that this is a shop which specializes in used bikes. I'd expect them to know better than to clamp a butted steel tube in a stand.


The one thing I wonder is if the seatpost being removed may have made it more likely to bend the tube.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
What I was going to do was go to the Rodriguez shop (really well regarded frame builders who also do steel frame repair) and get a) a quote for repairs, and b) hopefully an opinion that this was almost certainly due to a repair stand.

I figure that if I have a) a time stamped photograph showing no frame damage the night before, b) a statement from the seller that the damage didn't exist at the time of sale and I somehow missed it (already confirmed this) , and c) a statement from a frame builder that this was almost certainly a repair stand, then I can probably have enough leverage to hopefully get the repair costs covered.
Sounds like you're on the right track. Please let us know how it goes, I'm interested to find out.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Anybody who would clamp a vintage bike by the seat tube wouldn't have the intelligence to clamp it correctly.
I clamp my vintage bikes by the seat tube and they are all totally fine. Symmetrical force applied on all sides of a steel tube has to be absolutely massive to cause any sort of permanent deformation.

Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
I wonder if the clamp was setup for a seatpost and the doofus didn't adjust it for the frame
The repair stand has to be adjusted for pretty much every bike that gets placed in it as there are so many different diameters of seat tubes and seat posts, some seat posts are larger diameter than some seat tubes and so on...
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Old 09-20-20, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
I figure that if I have a) a time stamped photograph showing no frame damage the night before...
This is pretty much proof they did the damage, how they did the damage doesn't really matter at this point, although I am interested in how they mangled a steel frame like that.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Oof! Bring it back a and line it up with their stand clamp...
This is what I would do and they should be happy to oblige to prove they didn't do it.
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Old 09-20-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
This is pretty much proof they did the damage, how they did the damage doesn't really matter at this point, although I am interested in how they mangled a steel frame like that.
I already showed them the photograph, they told me the damage probably occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning then.

I'd like to say I fought them on this point but I'm not really a combative person, I was practically in tears because I loved the frame so much.
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Old 09-20-20, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
I already showed them the photograph, they told me the damage probably occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning then.
:-(

Damn, sorry to hear that.
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