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Bikes were damaged, need repair, would like opinions

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Bikes were damaged, need repair, would like opinions

Old 05-22-14, 06:35 AM
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secrettrek3
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Bikes were damaged, need repair, would like opinions

Hello! I haven't been on here in a while. I'm also not sure if I'm posting in the right place (maybe I should open one topic in road bikes and one in mountain bikes).

I have a Trek 1.1 road bike and an older Trek 820 series mountain bike. Both were damaged as part of a car collision (nobody was riding the bikes at the time). I took the bikes to a local bike shop where I had originally bought them to get an estimate on the cost of repair vs. the cost of new.

The road bike may have a crack in its front fork (aluminum). The front wheel is completely bent out of shape and the rear wheel needs to be made true. The front brake calipers are all bent up. They suggest getting a new fork to be safe, and a new wheel, and estimate the total repair cost including labor to be around $300.

The mountain bike has bent handlebars, damaged front fork (that had shock absorbers), and a front wheel that may not be fixable. The front and rear brake calipers are bent and seized up. The mountain bike parts are cheaper but adding in the handlebars gets it to be about the same price.

A new Trek mountain bike of the same series is actually about the same price....


So here are some of my questions, for your guys' opinions.

Would it be better to scrap the mountain bike and get a replacement? The steel frame and the derailleur and rear wheel are supposedly good, although I don't know where or how I'd sell the parts..

Is the repair on the road bike DIY-able? I looked into the fork replacement and it sounds like you need some special tool to pull the race of a bearing out and attach it to a new fork. Apart from that, brake calipers don't seem that bad. I would still need help in truing the rear wheel and would probably still ask the bike shop to do that no matter what, but otherwise maybe I save and only buy the parts through them?

Any other ideas, or suggestions? I'd really like to get out and ride, so obviously I want to take care of this as quickly as possible, but I also don't want my bikes to be a hazard to ride and would rather do things right than rushed.
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Old 05-22-14, 06:40 AM
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Does your bike shop do repairs?
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Old 05-22-14, 06:43 AM
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Yes. If I went that route, they would get the parts and do the labor. They fix bikes and have a shop attached right onto their store. From what I hear, they're pretty good at it.
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Old 05-22-14, 07:34 AM
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Post some photos of the damage.
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Old 05-22-14, 08:00 AM
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Some pictures from the incident... the quickest and easiest I have access to at the moment, anyway. A driver actually drove their car into my (closed) garage.

Here's the road bike, which got shoved underneath my car...


View of damage to the bike.



Here's the mountain bike. It actually got punched through a wall.



To be honest, I didn't think the mountain bike looked that bad other than the calipers being bent up. In this photo I don't see anything up with the handlebars, other than that they don't line up with the wheel.

On the road bike, they showed me what they thought was a crack, it was very thin, hairline really. They said they thought it was but couldn't confirm at all.
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Old 05-22-14, 09:13 AM
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I would go for new on both, they have been hit by a car, would the drivers insurance company accept liability if there is hidden damage and you were to have a failure later? Medical cost aren't cheap.
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Old 05-22-14, 09:46 AM
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How old is your 1.1? If it's within a year, it should be fixed for free, and if you got TrekCare on it, it can be repaired 3 years later.

Granted the warranty excludes car-bike interactions, but most bike shop guys will overlook that,
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Old 05-22-14, 09:51 AM
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My vote is for replacement, not repair. You are lucky as this is one case where there is no question about liability. I would never repair any aluminum frame or aluminum fork that has suffered significant damage or been in a serious crash. Aluminum fails catastrophically (i.e., usually completely and with no warning). I have seen an aluminum frame bike break in half dumping the rider on the ground with two halves of the bike underneath him.

The insurance company is probably going to try to low-ball you on replacements. The amount of damage is severe. You might not be able to detect that the frames are bent until after you fix them and begin to ride again. Explain to the insurance company that there may be undisclosed frame damage that could cause you serious injury if you repair rather than replace.

There are scads of Trek 820 mtbs showing up on CL for under $200 (try Ad Hunt'r - Search ALL of Craigslist? and more! and enter Trek 820 mountain bike). I doubt the insurance company will make you "whole" on that one. If you look at the Trek 1.1 they show up mostly in the $400 to $600 range for a used bike so I wouldn't let the insurance company low-ball you below $600 since this is the least you are probably going to find one to replace it. It seems to be a pretty popular bike as most of the ads that come up on adhuntr don't stay active more than a week or two.
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Old 05-22-14, 10:04 AM
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If insurance is involved, I wouldn't make your decision based on what you could do with the old frame, because if the insurance pays for a replacement, the old bike is basically theirs. They may let you keep it since it isn't worth their time, but technically they will have bought it from you for fair market value (which would be the cost of a used bike unless it is nearly new).

But, if you are keeping insurance companies out of the equation, continue on.

For any bike part (like your fork), if it looks like it might be cracked, assume that it is, and replace it.

The shop would probably transfer the race to a new fork at a reasonable rate if you want to save money on replacing the fork. Without looking the bike up. if it is a threadless headset, you should probably get them to install the star nut as well. But honestly, replacing a fork is easy and quick enough that the labor cost for replacing the fork might be just a little more than doing the race and star nut.
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Old 05-22-14, 10:24 AM
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What he said above. Other than that call Judge Judy.
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Old 05-22-14, 11:17 AM
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I'd try to get a new road bike from the insurance company. However, I'd still complain about my "irreplaceable vintage" mtb, too! I'd try to get them to replace both. At least I'd ask, anyhow...


Meanwhile, there's no question, I'd contact the closest bicycle co-op, and immediately discuss with their experts, the rebuild of the mtb. The frame is steel. That's a good thing! Now is the time to order a new fork after your discussion and proceed relentlessly!

I fear that the old road bike is trash at this point. That's too bad...
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Old 05-22-14, 11:56 AM
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Find a bike shop that you are friendly with and have them write a liberal estimate of the replacement cost of each bike on their letterhead and submit that as an insurance claim.
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Old 05-23-14, 10:01 AM
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My opinion wont fix your bike , you have to act on it yourself. agreed: Go to a Bike Shop.

Its a 1.1 is not like you are replacing a Madone ..

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Old 05-24-14, 06:18 AM
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New bikes!
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Old 05-24-14, 01:27 PM
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Thanks for your input, everyone. The insurance policy I have set up (kind of makes me feel like I should change it) depreciates my non-motor-vehicle assets over time. So while I claimed new bikes, I didn't receive enough funding for new.

There are legal issues with the driver's insurance (whom I would say should cover everything) that are taking time, so for the moment, I have no help from them.

In the meantime, as many of you said, I'm following the Bike shop's recommendation. They inspected the frames of both bicycles and didn't find other damage (they actually remarked on how scratch-less my 1.1 is... maybe I should be proud of taking care of it).
Anyway, they recommended only replacing damaged parts on the road bike, which is what we are going to do.
They suggested I could replace damaged parts on the mountain bike, but the parts are almost the cost of a new bike... so for the moment, I'm going to hold off. I may repair it, I may replace it, maybe I'll find a used one. Not sure.


So, my 1.1 road bike should be good to go in about a week! I'm excited to get out on the roads again.

Thanks again for the help!

Last edited by secrettrek3; 05-24-14 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Typos.
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Old 05-24-14, 09:40 PM
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Instead of using your homeowner's insurance, take the driver to small claims court and ask the judge to "make you whole" on the value of the bikes. You would need an estimate of replacement value from a local bike shop. Then you put the burden of collecting from the insurance on the person who crashed into your house not you. It is pretty simple. You don't need a lawyer and in many states lawyers are not allowed to appear in small claims court. Your losses are certain to be less than the maximum allowed in any state. The cost of filing is very low and is eventually paid by the person you sue.
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