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Twice in the last six months I have destroyed the read triangle on a 2006 Orbea Opal at the point where the rear derailleur bolts into the frame. On both occasions, during slow (less than 15 mph) riding on flat ground while the chain was not under any stress, my Ultegra rear derailleur became caught in the rear wheel. The result was that the rear derailleur completed a 180 degree revolution, pulling and breaking off a piece of the carbon fiber at the point where the derailleur attaches into the frame.

I am approximately 6'2" and weigh 165 pounds, so I am well within the rider limits for the 57 inch frame.

The first time, Orbea told me that I must have done something to cause the problem and that they would not provide with a free replacement frame. Rather, they gave me a "new" 2006 frame from their warehouse that had minor cosmetic defects for $700 (I was only able to get this price after talking to the senior person in their US offices. The original quote that I got from their warranty department was $1100). On this latest iteration (which happened last night just moments after finishing a group ride where the final sprint got to over 30 mph), Orbea is only offering to replace my rear derailleur in spite of the fact that there is clearly visible damage to the frame.

I have serious issues with Orbea's warranty. It seems as if they offer an unconditional warranty, unless they decide not to honor it. In both cases, the damage was not the result of a crash or other unforeseen incident which would preclude replacement of the bike under the terms of Orbea's warranty. Indeed, as my LBS tried to explain to Orbea during the first incident, the frame was pristine except for the damage to the rear triangle. According to Orbea, their frames have not shown a pattern of breaking at the rear triangle. As a result, there cannot be any manufacturing defect which would permit replacement of the bike under their warranty. If there were such a manufacturing defect, there would be a pattern of problems with the rear triangle/derailleur. Nevermind that this doesn't account for individual problems with manufacture or shipping. In my view, failing to honor the warranty for this reason make their unconditional warranty worth less than the paper it is printed upon.

I will post pictures as soon as they are emailed to my by my LBS. Until then, any thoughts on whether this is a frame problem, or a problem with the way my LBS is building up the bikes, something to do with the derailleur, or something entirely different altogether?
 

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naranjito
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I think orbea's warranty (and most if not all others) only covers manufacture defects, not bad setup on the part of a shop or owner. The only reason a rear mech will get caught in the rear wheel and wrap itself around the cassette, ripping off the hanger, is if something is badly adjusted - either the mech itself (usually the limit screws), or the chain (a sticky link or badly joined chain). I've never heard of a mech hanger just breaking or bending on it's own. I would think it's virtually impossible. It's not a moving or load bearing part, so would need an outside force to bend or break it. Just because the same thing has happened twice doesn't mean it's a problem with the orbea frame (although it could be), but more than likely the same mistake has been made during assembly or maintenance of the bike.
 

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foz said:
Just because the same thing has happened twice doesn't mean it's a problem with the orbea frame (although it could be), but more than likely the same mistake has been made during assembly or maintenance of the bike.
Agree with this, and just phrasing it differently: same thing happening twice to the same rider with a bike assembled by the same LBS strongly supports Orbea's point of view.
 

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I agree with Foz , you have a mechanical issue related to chain, derailleur or maybe wheel dish. Had this happen to me with a different set-up Wilier/ Campy. It occurred when I did a front shift and the rear derailleur wasn’t able to take up the chain slack fast enough. If yours happened not while shifting I would suspect a chain issue. Prolink chain lube works well.
 

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My guess;

Your freehub could be locking up so that when you stopped pedaling the freehub didn't release (stop turning) and basically became a fixed gear. Since your feet had stopped turning but the chain keeps moving it pulled the derailleur up and into the seat stay.

Hard to picture I know but harder to write. I had pretty much the same thing happen on a mountain bike I hadn't ridden for a few months (thankfully without the frame destroying consequences).

Complete guess but are you are running a Mavic rear hub?
 
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