open topic, for anything cycling related.
I took the plunge and bought a new Giant Defy Advanced 2 on Saturday from an authorised dealer. While adjusting the seat to a lower position I noticed a crack in the lower back part of the frame (not seat post). Bike had not been riden more than a couple of hundred metres down the road.
Took it back to the dealer today and the store owner is claiming that the frame can crack if the nuts are not properly tightened, or if the seat is pushed down too far without the bottom of the post being sawn off, and if this is the case it is not covered by warranty. I have read the warranty and there is nothing in the manual about potentially cracking the frame from adjusting the seat! The only mention is that it can affect your safety.
I am obviously very dissapointed with this, the sales guy made no mention of this, who in their right mind would buy a bike if the sales person made note of how the frame could crack with a seat adjustment.
I would appreciate any help as to where you think i stand,
When you say that the crack is at the lower part, this means below the seat stays I assume. On the details, you noticed the crack while adjusting the seat height - so this means you had ridden the bike, as it was sold to you and it had not been adjusted. In this case it would not be your negligence as the retailer then would have been responsible if it wasn't tight or for not having cut the seat tube, had this been required.
I could speculate and try find reasons or arguments in your favour though it would be a guessing game. It seems like a very unlikely failure and I would be asking for Giant Australia to be involved particularly if you feel that you have not accidently or through negligence caused this.
Don't let them push you around, as a consumer you have rights and it's best you know them. Call them, speak to a different person and allow a second chance, it's unlikely that this could be caused by adjusting seat height and if caused during a ride more likely a manufacturing issue.
Check out more information here and don't be afraid to stand your ground, especially that soon after purchase.
If all else fails, you can raise a complaint to the ACCC if you feel you have a valid claim and they will investigate. This takes time so be patient; their decision will be fair, so it's not a guaranteed result in your favour.
This post is in no way any form of legal advice and I am not qualified to offer such. I work for a large company and have learned quite a bit about consumer rights, but am human and therefore fallible.
Last edited by Bob_TAS on Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Not properly tightened has been an ongoing issue for carbon bikes. The obligatory use of a torque wrench is required. Also using a carbon assembly paste is usually a good idea.
Haven't heard about having to saw the bottom of the seatpost off, but it made sense once I saw the seat tube.
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It all comes down to,
1) The exact location of "lower back part of the frame".
2) Temporal sequence of the event.
3) How did you adjust the saddle height?
Given it's a CF bike frame and over-tightening of the seat post is a known method of damaging the frame/seatpost, you better be sure that you have not done that. Typically one needs a torque wrench to properly execute this action. Without which it is very easy to over-tighten and induce damage.
Exactly the same thing happened on the exact same bike to my cousin a few months back. His dad / my uncle lowered the seat and slid it down to adjust the seat. As the post touched the wheel cutout it split the frame along the cutout just in front of the rear wheel. His frame size is a medium. same length seat post comes with all frame sizes apparently.
Good news was the frame was replaced under warranty. He paid the dealer $$$ to swap all the gear over so was down $150ish. Its up to your LBS to approach the rep. If all else fails take the advice above. That part of the frame is paper thin and not under much stress but a crack will keep on cracking. Not a user friendly design for the inexperienced. My avanti quantum frame actually expands there rather than narrowing.
Sigh ... any bike will fail if its not looked after properly.
So did you ride the bike after you adjusted the seat post? Or did you get the bike, ride it, and while adjusting seat post noticed the damage but you did not ride it after you adjusted? And they didn't fit you up for the bike in the shop when you bought it?
If you adjusted it and then rode it and broke it, then really its your fault. I have the same bike, and I'm fairly sure I saw a warning in the instructions about not letting the seat post get driven down into the wheel cutout. If the seat post bolts aren't tight enough, having the weight of a rider driving the seat post down into the cutout would break any frame. Having said that, it would be sensible if giant cut the seat post so that couldn't happen ... but then you might not be able to raise the seat post high enough for some riders depending on frame size (possibly).
The manual has detailed information on the requirement to use a torque wrench, including the recommended and max torque values for various bolts. If you didn't read that it is your fault, sorry. Unless you are experienced (and some would say even if you are) there is no way you should be playing with bolts on a carbon frame without a torque wrench.
Seatpost is user adjustable, therefore it should be designed to offer the full range of its adjustment without damaging the frame. The dealer and giant don't have a leg to stand on on this, they are clearly selling a frame with a significant design defect. If that was a car, it would be -recalled- for that. If the seatpost needs a torque wrench to adjust, then it should come with the bike. Note that the warranty law does not care that things are made from carbon fibre and the warranty law does not care that TT bikes have the wheel tucked in.
so again I state - bike of the year? I think not.
While I do agree in that it is a design "issue", there are lots of user adjustable parts on a bike that can be adjusted until they break. I can overtighten bolts (wreck frame), mal-adjust bearings (wreck wheels, BB's, headsets), loosen up my QR levers (wreck everything), adjust my derailleur so it drops the chain into the spokes or the frame (wreck wheels/derailleur/frame) etc etc.
Um so how many CF bikes come with a torque wrench included, do you think? I'm pretty sure you will find that warranty law does not require something to be covered by warranty if it is damaged by negligence (design issues aside). Here's a design flaw with my car - I can put the wrong type of fuel in it because the wrong type of fuel hose fits into the filler. Will my car warranty cover that? I don't think so.
The car analogy I'd use would be the driver moving a seat back until it split the car in half. It is in my opinion, as ridiculous a scenario as that.
Was the bike damaged before you rode it? I don't assume that it was not, though proving it would be a problem. You seem to suggest that the bike was fine when you got it.
Was the seat post tight when you took it from the shop? If it was not, did they tell you it was not, or did they tell you that it needed to be adjusted and tightened? If the seat post was loose but they did not mention it then it is probably their issue. You should be able to expect that, absent instruction to the contrary, the bike is fit to ride when you take it away. GO back and assert your rights under the ACL.
Did you observe the crack as you were adjusting the bike, or had you ridden the bike after having adjusted it and then noticed the crack when adjusting it again? If the former, it may already have been broken in which case it is the bike shop's problem. If the latter, you probably broke it.
Were you supplied with a manual along with the bike? If no manual and you were not told how to make adjustments then it's probably the shop's problem.
When adjusting the seat, did you follow the instructions written in the manual? If you did, likely no problem. Take the bike back and demand your rights. If you did not, you will have a more difficult argument.
Did the manual make any specific note about the length of the seat post? If it did not, your argument may be easier. It is perhaps unreasonable to expect a person who is not a bike mechanic to work out the impact of stressing frame components, e.g. by moving components to their apparent limits.
Did the person selling you the bike draw your attention to any such note, or did they otherwise warn you about seat post length? If they did not, you may still have a case. There is some authority to say that significant terms should be drawn to the attention of a consumer (see rules around 'small print'). Not a surefire winner, but may be a factor if other things are in your favour.
Is the seat post marked in any way to show you how far in or out it should be moved? This also may be a factor, depending on what it says in the manual.
Bottom line as to your rights? It depends on the precise circumstances, but in your position I'd start with the questions above and work from there. And read the Australian Consumer Law, or at least the summary on the ACL web site. Remember that it is the shop, not the manufacturer, that you have a contract with. The shop cannot hide behind manufacturer's warranty terms if they have sold you something that is not of acceptable quality and fit for its intended purpose.
I sense a hint of jealousy that your choice didn't get picked. Btw, WHO REALLY CARES if it's the bike of the year or not. Get what you want that suits you and your budget. Why does it matter if it's won an award? Does it make you more superior to others?
I'm just stirring the pot as my mate InTheWoods has one
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