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Bike Shop Scratched Frame: Advice?

Old 11-11-17, 08:53 PM
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Dreww10
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Bike Shop Scratched Frame: Advice?

Took my bike to a local shop (that will go unnamed) today to have the steerer tube cut, and in the process the mechanic slipped and hit the top tube with the sharp end of the saw blade, putting three gouges in the clearcoat that, while not horrific, are certainly unmistakable, and in the most visible possible spot on a bike frame. The fact that the tube was cut while still in the frame seemed lazy/neglectful to me, personally, but because these were two highly regarded mechanics tending to it, I trusted their judgement.

They offered to have local auto body repair facilities take a look at it, but in my experience, a frame can't be spot-healed without looking obvious and worse than it did to begin with....even by an experienced carbon frame repairer, much less an auto body man.

So my question is, what kind of recourse would be considered acceptable in this case? This is a 3-year old, mid-high-end frame with a lot of miles on it, and it has a few minor scratches already (albeit under the chainstays, out of view), so asking for a whole frame or anything is a little too far, in my opinion, but at the same time, I don't feel that saying "stuff happens" and moving on addresses their fault, either.

Last edited by Dreww10; 11-11-17 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 11-11-17, 09:01 PM
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"If you want me back as a customer, what are you (owner or shop manager) willing to do for me.....???"
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Old 11-11-17, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
"If you want me back as a customer, what are you (owner or shop manager) willing to do for me.....???"
I do 99% of my maintenance myself and don't frequent this shop, so keeping my business isn't really a bargaining chip.
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Old 11-11-17, 09:56 PM
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Or just go ride your bike...These guys make $12/hr, the shop owner is lucky to clear $75K and you expect them to be just like your BMW/Lexus dealer....
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Old 11-11-17, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Or just go ride your bike...These guys make $12/hr, the shop owner is lucky to clear $75K and you expect them to be just like your BMW/Lexus dealer....
What they get paid doesn't justify sloppy workmanship to someone's expensive property. And if it were something replaceable (handlebar, a stem, a seatpost) it'd be one thing, but a frame is a different story.
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Old 11-11-17, 10:20 PM
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You don’t sound like have any confidence in auto body work or a frame shop! If they can fix crashes and cracked frames so you can’t tell, tell me why they can’t take care of a scratch? Can you post a couple pix?

Last edited by Bmach; 11-11-17 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 11-11-17, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
Consult with the frame manufacturer for their recommended method of repair. Get a legitimate estimate for the repair. Give the estimate to the shop and let them know that you expect to compensated or the matter will end up in court.
Win-win. Bike shop is out an expensive repair or far more expensive lawsuit and the OP no longer has this local bike shop as a place where he is welcome (though he does now have properly repaired cosmetics).

Or the lose-lose approach. Realize this was truly an unfortunate accident, shrug it off, suffer the humiliating scratch, stay on as a customer while keeping quiet about this. Odds are very good the shop will appreciate the OP coming back and may well go above and beyond in the future. Years from now, perhaps the OP and shop owner will be sitting down over beers and joking about "the scratch".

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Old 11-11-17, 10:27 PM
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I would negotiate a huge discount on a new bike and either buy one or save it for when something you can't be without is released.......
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Old 11-11-17, 10:32 PM
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Cutting the fork on the frame.....good for bearings
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Old 11-11-17, 10:35 PM
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"Ain't nobody got time for this." You only live once. Why spend it wrapped around the axle over a scratch in your clear coat?
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Old 11-11-17, 10:44 PM
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If it's only cosmetic damage, you're not going to get much through a lawsuit, especially on a 3 year old bike.

Think about what would make you happy, add a bit for bargaining wiggle room, throw them a number and negotiate something both can live with.

BTW - while it's not binding unless stated on the receipt, the normal guideline cap for damages of this general type in business to business is double the price paid for the job. So consider the job is free, plus the cost of the job paid to you for the damage.
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Old 11-11-17, 11:15 PM
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It's a scratch. Bikes that get ridden get scratched, bathed in mud and gravel dust and whatever else a good hard ride throws at them. Live with it, because this falls almost completely in the "it just doesn't ****in' matter" file. It's an honest mistake.
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Old 11-11-17, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
If it's only cosmetic damage, you're not going to get much through a lawsuit, especially on a 3 year old bike.

Think about what would make you happy, add a bit for bargaining wiggle room, throw them a number and negotiate something both can live with.

BTW - while it's not binding unless stated on the receipt, the normal guideline cap for damages of this general type in business to business is double the price paid for the job. So consider the job is free, plus the cost of the job paid to you for the damage.
I never suggested nor would consider legal action, unless something was damaged to the point of being rendered unusable and they refused to handle it. In this case, I'm simply curious what is an acceptable request given the scenario. In addition to the damage to the bike, I have at minimum 4 hours total driving time to/from the shop and am without a bike to ride right in the midst of a 5-day-a-week training regimen. So it isn't just the scratches here.
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Old 11-11-17, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
I never suggested nor would consider legal action, unless something was damaged to the point of being rendered unusable and they refused to handle it. In this case, I'm simply curious what is an acceptable request given the scenario. In addition to the damage to the bike, I have at minimum 4 hours total driving time to/from the shop and am without a bike to ride right in the midst of a 5-day-a-week training regimen. So it isn't just the scratches here.
My reference to legal action wasn't directed at you as much as put out there to balance the Greek Chorus telling you to go there or use that as a threat.

IMO fair compensation is the job is free + they owe you something like beer and pizza to help it go down. That would be the cap, but depending on how bad the scratches are fair would be something between a verbal apology and that.

FWIW - I don't see any problem with cutting a fork while in the bike. But good practice is to saw from the frame out (back to front), so if the saw slips it slips out into space above the front wheel.
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Old 11-11-17, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
You don’t sound like have any confidence in auto body work or a frame shop! If they can fix crashes and cracked frames so you can’t tell, tell me why they can’t take care of a scratch? Can you post a couple pix?
I trust an auto body man with my car. I trust a carbon bicycle repair facility with my bike, and they've indicated to me previously either you re-clear the whole frame or you live with scratches....spot repairing trades one blemish for a larger one. But that's neither here nor there.
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Old 11-12-17, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Or just go ride your bike...These guys make $12/hr, the shop owner is lucky to clear $75K and you expect them to be just like your BMW/Lexus dealer....
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Win-win. Bike shop is out an expensive repair or far more expensive lawsuit and the OP no longer has this local bike shop as a place where he is welcome (though he does now have properly repaired cosmetics).

Or the lose-lose approach. Realize this was truly an unfortunate accident, shrug it off, suffer the humiliating scratch, stay on as a customer while keeping quiet about this. Odds are very good the shop will appreciate the OP coming back and may well go above and beyond in the future. Years from now, perhaps the OP and shop owner will be sitting down over beers and joking about "the scratch".

Ben
You guys are right, my reference to court was a bit extreme if indeed this is just a couple of scratches. I would, however, remain adamant that the shop should be responsible to pay for the repair if it's necessary.

How could any paid bike mechanic could be so careless? I work at a bike shop so I totally understand how difficult this situation can be. I would expect that the customer would be upset and demand satisfaction. As painful as it may be to cough up the cash for repairs, we would not hold it against the customer at all.

The shop should apologize and take care of the problem without harboring bad feelings, it's their fault after all.
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Old 11-12-17, 02:48 AM
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Let them do the repair seeing they've offered.
If it still bugs you (probably won't), put a 'Skin grows back' sticker over it (makes a great talking point, guess how I know).
Go ride your bike.

I understand you're upset and understand why, I'm rather precious about my bikes too. However, the frame's still good and any bike that gets ridden develops a patina with time.
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Old 11-12-17, 05:54 AM
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Clear coat is not bad to repair at all. The nice part about (and once reason it is used) is that repairs are easily made & hardly noticeable at all. A body man would do well with it. fill (if needed) wet sand, reclear, wet sand & polish.
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Old 11-12-17, 06:39 AM
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3 yr old bike with scratches gets a new clear coat scratch, and poster offers no photo of bike or new 'damage' and rejects all opinions =
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Old 11-12-17, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
Consult with the frame manufacturer for their recommended method of repair. Get a legitimate estimate for the repair. Give the estimate to the shop and let them know that you expect to compensated or the matter will end up in court.
Really?
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Old 11-12-17, 07:44 AM
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I have no idea about the correct procedure in cutting a steerer tube but I would have thought it would go in a vise along with a precision guide in order to direct the blade at the correct angle.

About getting reimbursement... I have no opinion.
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Old 11-12-17, 07:54 AM
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This thread sounds very familiar.
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Old 11-12-17, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Really?
I already recanted my statement...did you actually read the thread?

So sorry to upset you or jar your sensibility.

I may have overreacted but when a guy takes to the internet to complain about damage like this I leap to the conclusion that he's not concerned about a couple superficial scratches. I imagined the gouges he described as perhaps causing some question about the frame's integrity. If a carbon frame needs to be repaired or replaced due to negligence then that easily could go into small claims territory.

Is that your contribution to the thread?
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Old 11-12-17, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
What they get paid doesn't justify sloppy workmanship to someone's expensive property. And if it were something replaceable (handlebar, a stem, a seatpost) it'd be one thing, but a frame is a different story.
Suck it up, Buttercup. Bike is fine, you would have scratched it at some point, your LBS took care of that first scratch for you. Or go for the pound of flesh on a profession in it's last days, it's your karma....

Here's my story:
Bought a Soma Fog Cutter, the disc brake bracket was mis-aligned. Had to tear the build down, send it back to Soma to look at it. They agreed, sent me a new frame. Two weeks later I get the frame, the BB threads are full of paint. I take it to the LBS to chase the threads, they put a nice scratch in the top tube right by the head tube. Never received any email/thanks from Soma, I found out the replacement was coming when I received a tracking number.

BFD, the bike is fine. I rode it over 2500 miles since May. Never said a word to the LBS owner, still go there when I need something.
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Old 11-12-17, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
Y...How could any paid bike mechanic could be so careless?....
Sheesh, have you seen the job market lately? With unemployment at 2% WTF does an LBS find quality mechanics when all they can afford is $11/hr? I worked as an LBS mechanic for a few months last year, it was an eye-opener. You got what you paid for.

Is this really a three year old bike?....
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