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Wait for warranty replacement or get something different

Old 10-21-20, 12:52 PM
  #1  
chrisenter
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Wait for warranty replacement or get something different

A few months ago, my Orbea Avant H30 frame broke near the rear dropout. That bike was a warranty replacement for an Orbea Avant H17, which also had a frame crack near the rear dropout. Obviously, haven't had great luck with the Avant frames.


Orbea has offered a 2021 Avant H30-D at a $500 discount -- but my LBS (who is facilitating the warranty) says it won't be available until maybe March. I'm debating whether to wait until then or cut my Orbea losses and try something different.


My other bike is a Surly Straggler. I bought it when the Avant H30 broke, as I wanted something that would better hold up to my 30 mile RT Seattle commute. The Straggler has been a good bike, especially on rainy days. But it's obviously a lot bulkier than the Avant. I couldn't put fenders on the Avant, so I rode it only on dry days and on my 60-80 mile weekend rides. It was always nice to have a lighter, sportier alternative to the Straggler.


Since I've had good luck with Surly, I've been looking at the Midnight Special. I thought maybe if I put a carbon fork on it and some 700c wheels, it could perhaps offer a sportier feel than my Straggler but still with the solid steel frame. But I see so many threads comparing the Midnight Special to the Straggler than I wonder if they're so similar that I'm better off just waiting for the Avant (or going in a different direction) than considering the Midnight Special.


So those are the thoughts echoing in my mind over the past few weeks. Any input would be much appreciated!
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Old 10-21-20, 04:39 PM
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Maelochs
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If it were me, I would tell Orbea to give me cash and keep their frames. One defective frame? Happens. One after another? Either a whole batch of however many got through QC or you, the owner, are doing something wrong. I can't think of anything you could do to crack a frame near a dropout (unless you did it deliberately) so I would assume Orbea has a batch of bad frames. And no, I would not want another one. That frame could snap while I am riding in traffic, pitching me into the path of passing cars.

I understand having a solid commuter and a sportier fun bike. I don't understand staying with Surly---they build great bikes for what they are, as far as I can tell from internet comments and the one or two owners I have actually met---but they don't really make light, sporty bikes.

There are numerous bike manufacturers. All make equivalent bikes at certain price points. Find a bike at the price point you want, tell Orbea you ant to cash settlement (if possible) and maybe threaten them with publicity: "Orbea's Deadly Avant Frames Exposed!!!!"

Then go buy a similar bike from a different manufacturer.
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Old 10-21-20, 04:59 PM
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I guess the notion to stay with Surly is just that I've felt really good about how the steel frame holds up. Whereas I had the two Orbea frames that broke....and a Giant TCR with a cracked head tube prior to the Orbea issues. The steel frame seems impermeable by comparison. I wish I could find something I'm doing to cause the frame problems with aluminum and composite, but I'm strictly a road rider who's fairly trim (170-180lb) -- so it seems like it's the frame(s) and not me.

Also, there's just so little inventory at LBS that buying from another manufacturer would be a sight unseen, online endeavor (assuming I could find something online...which obviously is tough right now). But I think your sentiment to go away from Orbea is probably right. I might just need to be patient, ride the Straggler for now, and wait until the industry gets back to a semblance of normal so I can test ride other manufacturer's bikes before purchasing.
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Old 10-21-20, 07:39 PM
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If you have broken three frames, then perhaps you should go with a steel frame - that'll be tough to break. Even if it weighs a bit more, you can keep riding.

In the Surly family (same distributor - QBP), but a bit sportier, is the All City Zig Zag. Comes in two build levels, steel frame and cf fork, nice bike. The frames probably come out of the same factory in Taiwan that made your Surly frame. This will be different enough from your Straggler to give you a nice change of pace on longer rides, and - if something happens to the Straggler - it could be pressed into service as a commuter.
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Old 10-22-20, 06:25 AM
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If you are breaking frames you are doing something wrong.

I don't care if it is aluminum, steel, or CF---bike frames shouldn't break unless you crash, and crash hard. The idea that CF or Al is weak .... is weak.

Yes, steel frames are durable .... but my 1983 Cannondale is still as strong as it was the day it left the factory, and my CF bikes are surviving quite nicely ... and the CF forks on other bikes are also holding up well despite the years.

Most people on this site have similar stories---whatever the frame material, their bikes hold up for many tens of thousands of miles and decades of use.

Nothing wrong with a good steel frame. Most steel frames are heavier for a given strength, but that really only matters to people who are so fast they get their bikes free from sponsors, anyway. My personal issue with lightweight steel is that to build it strong, light, and supple, takes a lot of skill, which equals a lot of money. Slightly heavier but still very nice steel frames are out there .... if that is what you seek.

it could be that you have just had bad luck ... or it could be that you bought two defective Orbea frames, and the Giant cracked due to other issues---maybe a misadjusted headset coupled with a front-end collision? Maybe the headset was tightened too tight? Maybe whoever installed the crown race wasn't careful and hammered the frame onto the for? Some other sort of crash? Sure, CF can break more easily than steel if you hit it right .... but it is still an incredible tough material.

Anyway .... buy whatever makes you happy. But if you want a sports car to go with your minivan, a light frame and light wheels are the two key ingredients.
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Old 10-22-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisenter View Post
A few months ago, my Orbea Avant H30 frame broke near the rear dropout. That bike was a warranty replacement for an Orbea Avant H17, which also had a frame crack near the rear dropout. Obviously, haven't had great luck with the Avant frames.

Orbea has offered a 2021 Avant H30-D at a $500 discount -- but my LBS (who is facilitating the warranty) says it won't be available until maybe March. I'm debating whether to wait until then or cut my Orbea losses and try something different.

My other bike is a Surly Straggler. I bought it when the Avant H30 broke, as I wanted something that would better hold up to my 30 mile RT Seattle commute. The Straggler has been a good bike, especially on rainy days. But it's obviously a lot bulkier than the Avant. I couldn't put fenders on the Avant, so I rode it only on dry days and on my 60-80 mile weekend rides. It was always nice to have a lighter, sportier alternative to the Straggler.

Since I've had good luck with Surly, I've been looking at the Midnight Special. I thought maybe if I put a carbon fork on it and some 700c wheels, it could perhaps offer a sportier feel than my Straggler but still with the solid steel frame. But I see so many threads comparing the Midnight Special to the Straggler than I wonder if they're so similar that I'm better off just waiting for the Avant (or going in a different direction) than considering the Midnight Special.

So those are the thoughts echoing in my mind over the past few weeks. Any input would be much appreciated!
Geez! How many watts you pushing?

I'd get another bike if you really want one ASAP. Changing from time to time is a good thing.
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Old 10-22-20, 07:40 PM
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I really appreciate all the input. You've each given me some good things to think about.
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