The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

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The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby avroncotton » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:30 pm

So about two and a half years ago I bought my first modern road bike: A Cannondale Synapse (Alloy). I was very happy with it and spent many kms of riding it. Then last May the frame failed around the rear dropout and it was returned to LBS for a warranty claim. After a couple of weeks I was told that they did not have that frame in stock and were going to upgrade me to a High Mod Carbon frame the very same one that Liquigas use in the spring classics. I was over the moon and to celebrate I upgraded the groupo to Ultegra. Six months, one Ironman70.3 and 3500kms later, I notice a crack in the rear seatstay. :cry: The crack is about half way down the tube and is about half the circumference of the tube. So it goes back to LBS who kindly take some pics and start the warranty claim. Four weeks later after numerous calls to Cannondale I was told that the warranty has been rejected because the crack was not in a place where a manufacturing fault would happen. :evil: So now where do I go.

LBS suggests having the frame looked at by an independent carbon expert and going through consumer affairs, however that would cost me a few hundred dollars that I haven't got. I have found a place that would do a repair for about $100, but I am big guy (95kg) and I do put a lot of power through the frame and I wonder about the repair and would it fail again.

I'm in a bit of a quandary and I have a great looking bike that can't be ridden.

Has anybody had and experience with carbon repairs?

Tony
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by BNA » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:02 pm

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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Jesmol » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:02 pm

Get the office of consumer affairs involved. Thats crap.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:25 pm

Try contacting Cannondale US first, Aus distributer seems to make a habit this. Post up some pics here too.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby avroncotton » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:51 pm

I will post some pics tomorrow when it's light. The Australian Cannondale man forwarded the matter TO the US and it was them who made the decision.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Shpox » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:10 pm

Make sure you also post this to their social networking. It's there for a reason.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:11 pm

Hmmm... thats no good. Mid seat stay cracks are always a tough one on warranties no matter who you are dealing with.
Keep hassling.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Nobody » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:25 pm

Not closely related, but gives some history.
viewtopic.php?f=57&t=58044
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby trailgumby » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:30 pm

Your experience is probably the main reason I am unlikely to buy a fifth Cannondale.

"Fatigue cracks" ... pfft!
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:50 pm

On a steel or aluminium frame I understand that it can be argued that if there is a fracture mid tube and no at an end or weld that it is a tube problem and beyond their manufacturing. Oh yes, and we are understanding that there is no external damage or unconvention force applied - so normal riding and conditions.

On a carbon fibre bike hower the entire frame is part of the manufacturing process - both the joints and straight sections. Current Carbon Fibre bikes don't often use a tube to tube style construction rather have sections that are bonded.

So what could have happened, acknowleging that I am not familiar with the production of the Cannodale Synapse Carbon Hi-Mod:
- imperfection in the carbon weave (unlikely but not impossible)
- layup imperfection (trapped air)
- Internal imperfection during curing

Lets say Cannondale purchases the seat stays as carbon tubes (even if not completely round and with the bend) from a supplier. They may be saying with their response that they are taking over reponsibility for bonded areas and not the raw tubing. The thing is, considering that this is a stress fracture and there was no external impact - it could very well be a fault that falls under their responsibility as a type of defect though because it is an uncommon place for a fracture it becomes word against word as it is very hard to prove.

Realistically I would not expect that if they have made a decision that they would change their mind though you could politely enquire as to where manufacturing faults can happen and what it was not a manufacturing fault (i.e. is it technically out of their jurisdiction if they get tubes delivered). That said, I would expect a clear response however- but it would be extremely useful for customers to essentially know what is and isn't covered.

WIth a Carbon Fibre repair you could have a stronger bike - but it depends how they do it as an experienced mechanic may even consider not unbalancing the bike in terms of flex - eg if it was a very bulky and super stiff repair, the bike would then be extremely stiff on one side and have the regular flex on the other which may affect the handling characteristics as the seat and chain stays do see movement.

Depending on the skill including how the mechanic decides to repair, if it is a cosmetic surface repair and the actual fracture is still there - sure it could happen again, so chat with the mechanic and get your-self peace of mind, not ruling out having to save up a few more dollars to go somewhere where you are confident they will do it properly.

Before starting though, just get the bike thoroughly checked out to ensure there is no other damage.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby avroncotton » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:54 pm

Hopefully these are the pics:

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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:24 pm

Even if they didn't lay up the tubing in house and bought it in from outside, they can't reasonably use that as an excuse to avoid warranty obligations. They chose the spec for the tubing, and the manufacturer, and it's up to them to ensure it meets requirements before it gets to you as part of *their* product offering.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:27 pm

Photo 2. Near the the right hand base of the A in SAVE. It looks a little like the matting has been deflected inward a little as though from an impact with a stone.

A stone chip perhaps? Can you tell us more about that?
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby avroncotton » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:40 pm

I have no memory of a stone hitting the frame. Basically, apart from sprinting, and throwing the bike around on climb, I have treated it with great care. I am still flabbergasted that a lifetime warranty is worthless in this case. All they have offered me is 20% off a new frame! I have listened to all advice (thanks everybody), and I am deciding what to do next. I Have been told locally that if I had the repair done by layering the carbon over it, that it wont be a pretty job but it will be much stronger that before. Also, having the repair will probably void the warranty (not that it's worth much anyway).
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Nobody » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:10 pm

People of your weight and power that regularly crack frames buy cheap alloy frames to do most of their riding on. They view the frames as cheap and disposable, which is probably what all frames that crack regularly are worth in real terms IMO.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:04 pm

trailgumby wrote:Your experience is probably the main reason I am unlikely to buy a fifth Cannondale.

SRSLY Bro? Never though I'd see the day... :(

Methinks it's time to go over me roadie with a very critical eye, just in case...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby danny the boy » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:37 pm

May just be a reflection or something but photo 2 looks a bit scuffed up under the SAVE letters and there is a red mark there.....
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Tim » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:05 pm

G'day Tony. Sorry to hear about your broken bike. In my opinion the offer of a 20% discount on a new frame is not good enough.
I also had similar problems with a Hi-Mod Synapse frame. Contact consumer Affairs and then contact

Terry Freshwater
Manager
Technical Support and Service
Cycling Sports Group Australia
Unit8 31-41 Bridge Rd.,
Stanmore NSW 2048
Australia
T: +61 2 85954444 F: + 61 2 85954499
E:[email protected]

In all likelihood Consumer Affairs will advise you to initiate a Vic. Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) compaint . It only costs $38.00. No fancy lawyers and no further costs. I achieved a favourable outcome without having to actually initiate the legal action, the threat was enough.

Like Trailgumby, and the LBS both your and my bike came from, I wont ever buy another Cannondale product.
Last edited by Tim on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:11 pm

danny the boy wrote:May just be a reflection or something but photo 2 looks a bit scuffed up under the SAVE letters and there is a red mark there.....


Yeah maybe it is just the photo.. but it does look like an impact to me as well. Certinly looks scuffed up in the photo and the red mark?.
Hard to tell from the photo though.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Howzat » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:57 pm

That "SAVE" part is supposed to be Cannondale's extra-flexy shock absorbing technology/gimmick. As the thinnest, most flexible part of the frame, it's not unreasonable to think that it's also the weakest. Which would mean the frame has cracked right in the middle of part designed to be the weakest. I'd venture there could be a good case to be made for a warranty replacement.

Gravel stone hits happen from time to time in normal use - you'd expect a paint chip perhaps, but not a frame crack from that kind of thing.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Tim » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:10 pm

My second bit of advice. Give up on the carbon garbage and buy a 15kg steel touring bike. Its much more fun and won't break (I hope). :D :D :D
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Red Rider » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:28 pm

It's an unusual place for an impact to cause a crack, it's on the inside facing the wheel, a difficult place to generate a large amount of force. The curve of the tube shows it's a part that is designed to flex, and the crack is where you would expect it to flex the most.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:31 pm

I agree that it is a funny place for an impact... personally I think the 2nd photo looks dodgy but like I say it could just be the photo.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:46 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Your experience is probably the main reason I am unlikely to buy a fifth Cannondale.

SRSLY Bro? Never though I'd see the day... :(

Methinks it's time to go over me roadie with a very critical eye, just in case...


Yeah, besides the owners on here I've had two mates with frame failures, one of them with multiple failures. One with a Rize 140 got treated as you'd expect but it took much too long, and a lot of effort to get the right colour. They wanted to give him a red-highlighted frame when the rest of his running gear that came with the bike was anodised green. He managed to organise somehow with someone in the US distribuiton network to get the right frame colour and size shipped out of a shop across to Cannondale Oz. How bizarre that *he* had to get involved to make this happen. :x

With the other mate, it was even more of a saga.

On a bike that he bought from a Cannondale Oz employee as an unbuilt frame + fork, they refused to honour warranty as it was "technically secondhand". Not real happy, he bought the discounted replacement. On that replacement frame, they sold him an inappropriate seatpost with no minimum insertion markings, and no surprise it cracked too, on the top tube just in front of the seatpost. They wouldn't honour that as it wasn't "manufacturing defect". So he got that frame repaired.

A third one failed, again no warranty. As part of the deal, Cannondale Oz wanted the broken frame back that was the subject of the claim, AND at the death demanded the one he paid for himself to get repaired and was now built up into a real nice race bike, in exchange for one new discounted Jekyll frame. He'd have had to take all the gear off it and be left with a while lot of lightweight kit not a fit for the Jekyll he'd then have to flog off at a loss. That was a bridge too far. He told them to stick their Jekyll where the sun don't shine.

All his cracked frames were 26er Scalpels. In carbon.

The funny thing was, they'd built up a really nice Jekyll with lots of custom spec stuff on it they had to order in from other suppliers outside their channel at undiscounted trade. Dunno what they're gonna do with that now :lol:
Last edited by trailgumby on Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:04 pm

avroncotton wrote:I have no memory of a stone hitting the frame. Basically, apart from sprinting, and throwing the bike around on climb, I have treated it with great care. I am still flabbergasted that a lifetime warranty is worthless in this case. All they have offered me is 20% off a new frame! I have listened to all advice (thanks everybody), and I am deciding what to do next.

Um, sorry if I wasn't clear, I appreciate you don't remember it happening, but you didn't actually give me the data I was after. :) Is it deflected inwards?

avroncotton wrote:I Have been told locally that if I had the repair done by layering the carbon over it, that it wont be a pretty job but it will be much stronger that before. Also, having the repair will probably void the warranty (not that it's worth much anyway).

Luescher is very capable. Besides the disappearance of the SAVE decal, an untrained eye won't be able to spot the difference. I had to look really hard to see it on my mate's bike, and he was pointing to it.
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Re: The ups and downs of a Cannondale owner!

Postby Marty Moose » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:07 am

I know a few people who have broken carbon cannondales. The result has always been no wrty, I guess legal action or the threat of it is what is needed. I will never buy one due to the issues they have had very poor form


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