Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been following the work of a reputable custom builder on this forum for awhile now. Saw a listed as new frame from them pop up on Ebay a few weeks back from the builder and put in a pretty low ball bid. I won the frame. It showed up today and there are some issues. 1st, it is not "new", I can clearly see marks and signs of having a BB, headset and seat collar installed. 2nd, the rear spacing is not quite 130. I tried the frame with 2 of my wheels and both times had to spread the dropouts a bit to get the wheel in. Once in it seems to sit centered and all seems to function as it should. I should also mention the frame is a material that should not be cold set (aluminum).

How disappointed would you be in my shoes?

What course of action would you take?

I am pretty torn, even though I spent my hard earned money, I saved a pretty nice chunk on what I would have spent on the frame new, built specifically for me.

Do I just suck it up and say I pretty much got what I paid for, or should I start discussing other options with the builder?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,372 Posts
Talk with the builder about his thoughts WRT spreading this frame. If the proposed frame is built to your measurements, that is hard to beat with a generic geometry unless these fit you fine. See first what he says about the rear dropouts. The $$ saved can get some pretty nice components hung on it if it is a thumb-up. .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
I wonder if it was on ebay because the person the frame was built for sent it back because of the rear spacing. I would tell the seller you are not satisfied.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,429 Posts
I don't know how the seller described the frame in the auction, but I think it's fair for a frame to be considered "new" if it was built up, maybe test ridden, then disassembled for sale. The marks you describe are what's left over from disassembly. Had you described the frame as having scratches in other locations, such as chain slap, cable rub, etc., I might think differently.

Also, you have to remember, the price was likely a bargain compared to a new frame, and your new purchase was likely ridden no more than a local shop's floor demo bike. There's a trade off here, and you have to give a little, no?

I can't answer as to the rear end spread, other than to say some aluminum frames have to be heat treated after construction, and I don't know if that causes some alignment errors. I'd talk to a Cannondale dealer to see if that's common with their CAAD frames, or ask the builder if that's the issue. It may be a consequence of living with aluminum frames, and if the spreading required is minimal, I wouldn't worry about it.

P.S. I know you're trying to keep the builder's name private (and of course, we're all curious!) but if your new frame is a Rock Lobster, don't hesitate to call Paul Sadoff. I took ownership of a new steel Rock Lobster this year and he was the most pleasant person to deal with. I had some issues with the paint and he didn't hesitate to fix them. Be polite and he'll take care of you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all. Yes, obviously I got a bargain on this frame and otherwise it should fit my needs. I did reach out to the builder with my concerns, but being a holiday weekend am not expecting a response before next week. I posted here for some opinions and advice, since I am torn, in the meantime. I guess I was expecting more, even for the money, but I guess in alot of ways you get what you pay for. I appreciate the input. I'll wait to hear from the builder to see if there is a resolution or what his thoughts are on the biggest problem I see, the rear spacing. The rest is pretty minor stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So the seller/builder responded. He affirmed that the frame was built for display purposes only. So, paint chips etc. were from the build and disassembly process. He stands by the bike never being ridden.

Around the rear spacing, he said as long as it is close (which it is within a few mm), having a rear wheel in there will help "set" the spacing and do no harm to the frame. He also said that this is partly the nature of the rear dropouts he uses, which are pretty thick and bulky. Unless someone wants to step up on the forum and tell me different, I am going to take him on his word and expertise, as he is a well respected builder.

Based on the response, the frame is a keeper, again, especially for the price I paid.

Mods - if we could give it a few days for folks to response, and assuming no one has any serious input, we can delete/lock this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,372 Posts
Good deal then. :)

Keep the thread open...we'd like to see what your final build is and the initial concerns you had on this frame will be good background.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess we can do that. It is going to be awhile before I build it (money and time to dedicate to build are tight) but I'd be happy to resurrect the thread when that does happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,429 Posts
As per my post above, I'd be curious what Cannondale holds their frame spacing spec to? why not go to a Cannondale dealer (or Specialized or Trek) and ask to measure a few aluminum frames? Buy the shop a pizza and you should be golden.

Back to Paul Sadoff and Rock Lobster: On his web site he mentions he holds his frame tolerances to 0.020" (0.5mm), which is A LOT tighter than you're seeing with whatever frame you have. Either he knows something about building aluminum frames that your framebuilder doesn't, or the way his ad copy is written, Paul may mean only his steel frames meet that spec, because as far as I know, cold setting an aluminum frame is a no-no.

You might want to post your aluminum frame alignment question on the appropriate forum at velocipede.com, where many framebuilders hang out. They could alleviate your concerns or tell you the builder is less than "X".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the ideas and input. At this point it is what it is. The builder has said his peace and I got a great deal on the frame. I have a wheel in it right now just hanging up to test the "settle in" proposal. The frame likely won't be built up for awhile, so I may not have any clear answers on the proposed spacing remedy for awhile, but again, for what I paid, I think I'm at least partly getting what I paid for. Hopefully it will settle and I'll be pleasantly surprised.
 

·
Windrider (Stubborn)
Joined
·
22,021 Posts
If I paid full price for that frame, I'd be livid

getting it as a bargain........you have to make your own call.

How does the bike track? I'd worry about alignment on a bike with improperly set chainstays.

YMMV

Len

Edit to add....what would bother me about this is the atteention to detail....a custom builder that can't get the rear spacing correct likely has other frame alignment problems.......That's part of the art after all. I'd get the frame to an alignment table and make sure there wasn't something else wrong with it.

Len
 

·
your text here
Joined
·
13,192 Posts
i have an AL cross bike that accepts both 130 and 135 spacing. i have a 135 hub back there now. it is tight, but it works. if you really had to spread the frame to get the wheel in, i would be a bit nervous.

and, like len said, i would be worried other alignments are off on this bike. and you wont know until you build it and ride. that is the unfortunate problem. by teh time you get it built, it might be too late to get a refund.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agreed. I am ticked. And I am worried about alignment and such. I'd say the rear was 2-3mm off when it arrived. I guess similar to a 132.5 rear for accommodating both 130 and 135 hubs, except short for a 130. A 130 hub goes in there, but not without a bit manual adjustment to the rear drops.

From what I gather the frame was built up for display and then sold off as a spare/extra. Maybe I'll try to at least get it partially built so I can test out the alignment, etc. before too much time passes by.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top