Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On Tuesday I was involved in an accident a mile away from my house...I was traveling on a downhill grade (about 2-3%) with a tail wind of about 15-20mph. As I came to the bottom of the decline and went through the intersection the road begins to make the same grade as an incline, there was a vehicle several hundred feet in front of me making a right hand turn so I slowed down slightly. I then came out of the saddle to gain back my lost speed when all of a sudden I heard a pop/crack as if the chain fell off, my foot and pedal then went all the way towards the ground causing me to jerk the handle bars; the rest is a painful story (lots of road rash, a pulled glut and a lot of sore bones). As for the bike the only real damage was to the right shifter, handlebar tape was torn off the right side, some scratches to the right handlebar and my Garmin 705 came un-mounted and was ran over by a car (Garmin will replace for $100(crash policy)). I was transported to the ER because I couldn't pick myself up (I thought I'd broken my hip). Long story short...after getting released I quickly looked over my bike and didn't think things were that bad until I noticed a crack around the bottom bracket area (basically were the carbon is connected to the metal spindle). I took it to my LBS were the bike was purchased (2010 SuperSix, less than 2 months old). The guys there think that it is cracked and it could have been the cause of the accident. They took some pictures and emailed them to their Rep., haven't heard back yet.

What are your Guy's thoughts??? Is this a liability issue, a warranty issue or what…

I hope the attachment is posted.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14,776 Posts
Your frame failed. It's sure as hell a warranty issue. Most warranties try to disclaim liabilitry for consequential damages (like your injuries), but it might be worth making some noise to the manufacturer anyway. They certainly owe you a new bike at the least.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
No attachments

Most likely the BB area of the frame was cracked before. I would bet the
frame is covered under warranty and maybe the entire bike. In the mean time I would press the LBS to push for a replacement and not use the components. The wheels etc may have also been beaten up.
Glad your "okay=alive". There is no moral to this story except to do a visual inspection of your frame and wheels twice a month if you use it alot.

Was there any creaking from the BB or slop in your crank/pedaling before this, maybe even poor shifting?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,358 Posts
I'd want an independent (and qualified) engineer to inspect the frame. It shouldn't be too difficult to determine which "event" caused the failure - the pedaling or the crash. What do your pedals look like? If they're relatively unscathed, it'll be more difficult to claim the crash caused the frame to fail.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,555 Posts
OldZaskar said:
I'd want an independent (and qualified) engineer to inspect the frame. It shouldn't be too difficult to determine which "event" caused the failure - the pedaling or the crash.
Agree completely. If you want to pursue this, it's crucial to have someone establish the most plausible sequence of events. Right now, I'm having a difficult time imagining how a bottom bracket shell cracking could be the cause of a crash, but I suppose it's possible.
 

· Banned forever.....or not
Joined
·
24,573 Posts
I'm not sure how a crack in the bottom bracket would cause a crash, unless the cups tore out of the carbon shell. A "normal" crack would cause loud clicking, and maybe a little spindle wobbling. It's possible that the small wobbling caused the chain to drop off the crank, and that's what caused the crash.
 

· n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,627 Posts
MR_GRUMPY said:
I'm not sure how a crack in the bottom bracket would cause a crash, unless the cups tore out of the carbon shell. A "normal" crack would cause loud clicking, and maybe a little spindle wobbling. It's possible that the small wobbling caused the chain to drop off the crank, and that's what caused the crash.
I would say the bottom bracket cracking is a very likely cause. This could easily cause the chain to come off and all the other mayhem to ensue.
 

· n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,627 Posts
OldZaskar said:
I'd want an independent (and qualified) engineer to inspect the frame. It shouldn't be too difficult to determine which "event" caused the failure - the pedaling or the crash. What do your pedals look like? If they're relatively unscathed, it'll be more difficult to claim the crash caused the frame to fail.
So, where do you find an "independent (and qualified) engineer"? It would have to be someone with first hand knowledge of bicycle frames. Most of these guys are working for a bike company and wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole. Perhaps an independent frame builder. I'd start out by relying on my LBS to go to bat for me.
 

· Just Plain Bitter
Joined
·
8,622 Posts
Glad you were not more seriously injured and here to tell us about this. It has been my experience that Cannondale is great with warranty replacement. I have seen them replace stuff that other companies may have given the person a run around for. This seems pretty clear that the frame failed at the BB. I don't see any issue unless you weigh in at 400lbs and were out of the saddle mashing the cranks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Let the LBS worry about this first

Before you spend your time with Engineers etc let the LBS resolve the issue. Trust me the manufacturer wants to see the frame to see why it happened and perhaps there is a quality issue in the batch.
You can always get a lawyer if that's your style.
For anything like this gets LOTS of pictures, keep receipts, hospital bills, and the like and don't discuss too much about what you may have or not done to the bike etc.

But as I stated earlier, the LBS should be working this out with the bike company to protect themselves and keep you happy.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,128 Posts
This is the main problem with carbon. Once the frame is built & cured there are many variables that may affect the durability of that frame. During any of the processes in the factory, was the frame ever dropped or mishandled? What about during shipment?

The other problem with carbon frames & in this case a 2 month old frame is that a bicycle is only as good the person that built it up. Was it mishandled by your lbs? Was something improperly clamped or torqued that could have caused the frame to crack at that area? Questions that are only answerable by a mechanical engineer.
 

· n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,627 Posts
gamara said:
This is the main problem with carbon. Once the frame is built & cured there are many variables that may affect the durability of that frame. During any of the processes in the factory, was the frame ever dropped or mishandled? What about during shipment?

The other problem with carbon frames & in this case a 2 month old frame is that a bicycle is only as good the person that built it up. Was it mishandled by your lbs? Was something improperly clamped or torqued that could have caused the frame to crack at that area? Questions that are only answerable by a mechanical engineer.
I believe the OP bought a complete bike. Most of the assembly (including the BB) is done by the manufacturer. It would be easy to tell if the BB broke first or was damaged during the fall. Damage during the fall could only be caused by hitting something (like the pavement) and it would leave a mark. Not to say that the BB couldn't have broken first and also been scraped by the fall but it would be fairly easy to tell if that was the case. Even if it was mishandled by the LBS it would still be under warranty. Yes, it's possible that an accident could have happened before the OP bought the bike but that's not the OP's fault and should be under warranty. Only an engineer with bicycle frame experience AND accident reconstruction experience would be helpful. Where you gonna find someone like this? Even if you can, how affordable will they be? This type of person is used in big trials where millions of dollars are at stake. What's at stake here? A few thousand at best, even including injuries. Let the LBS handle it first. If the OP doesn't get satisfaction then maybe contact an attorney. An engineer isn't going to help him.
 

· n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,627 Posts
That looks like a manufacturers defect. No obvious damage caused by the fall. No scrapes or indications the BB was hit, causing the cracking. Does it go all the way around? Any scrapes on the crank arms?
 

· Just Plain Bitter
Joined
·
8,622 Posts
That is definitely an interesting crack. I don't know if that is serious enough to cause enough flex to drop the chain without seeing it under load. I think this is best left to the LBS and Cannondale.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mel Erickson said:
That looks like a manufacturers defect. No obvious damage caused by the fall. No scrapes or indications the BB was hit, causing the cracking. Does it go all the way around? Any scrapes on the crank arms?
No damage at all except to the handlebars and right shifter, no it as far as you can see on the yellow...can't tell if it in the black area or not. My question is : Was it enough to tweak the crank enough to drop the chain.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,128 Posts
Mel Erickson said:
I believe the OP bought a complete bike. Most of the assembly (including the BB) is done by the manufacturer. It would be easy to tell if the BB broke first or was damaged during the fall. Damage during the fall could only be caused by hitting something (like the pavement) and it would leave a mark. Not to say that the BB couldn't have broken first and also been scraped by the fall but it would be fairly easy to tell if that was the case. Even if it was mishandled by the LBS it would still be under warranty. Yes, it's possible that an accident could have happened before the OP bought the bike but that's not the OP's fault and should be under warranty. Only an engineer with bicycle frame experience AND accident reconstruction experience would be helpful. Where you gonna find someone like this? Even if you can, how affordable will they be? This type of person is used in big trials where millions of dollars are at stake. What's at stake here? A few thousand at best, even including injuries. Let the LBS handle it first. If the OP doesn't get satisfaction then maybe contact an attorney. An engineer isn't going to help him.
Yes I read the OP. I'm simply stating that many defects may occur during the manufacturing process. Once a frame is built & fully cured, it is ready to be painted. A frame could be dropped & although it might look fine, an employee might simply put it back up for painting & no one will be the wiser. That would still be a warranty issue because any resultant crack that would occur from UNDER the paint is usually a dead giveaway of a manufacturing defect.

I don't know why some people take such a hard line with their replies. I didn't mean to imply that the OP should go to a mechanical engineer first. I always believe first & foremost that any problems that any individual has with any product is to take it back to where they originally purchased it from. Cannondale has their own mechanical engineers that can ascertain the type of damage & if it is a warranty issue or not.

I work for a fortune 500 company that is a global leader in heavy equipment. We do tests on all our product lines. Products are randomly stress tested till failure & then analyzed for weakness in manufacturing, design or materials. Mechanical engineers all of them, I can assure you.

Looking at the attached pic, its hard to say if it could have caused the chain to drop or not. What cannondale is going to look at is the bb area & your drivetrain. They're going to look for signs if there was any major impact to your crank from a crash that might have put enough force on the bb area to cause it to crack like that such as a side impact. If there are no signs that is the case, then they'll probably conclude that it is a warranty issue & will hopefully send you a full replacement. They'll probably want to cut the frame apart once they get it back to see what is going on underneath.

Glad to hear your ok. Its a bummer though & I hope things work out for you.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top