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Little tabs on carbon fork(19 posts)

Little tabs on carbon forkmavic1010
Jul 26, 2001 3:44 PM
Has anyone filed down those little tabs (my buddies calls them lawyer tabs) located on the fork dropouts? Truly annoying...picked up a new frame and since my other bikes didn't have them, I wanted to just file them down to make taking the front wheel off easier...any ideas or easy ways to do this would be appreciated.
Can you say: "warranty voided?"look271
Jul 26, 2001 3:57 PM
Don't do it. If, God forbid, your fork would ever fail and you've filed those babies off, you're s.o.l. Live with the aggrevation.
Can you say: "BS"?Kerry Irons
Jul 26, 2001 5:10 PM
Lots of people cut those nasty things off, and unless the fork failure is somehow at the dropout (unusual, if not unheard of) there is no reasonable justification for a warranty problem. I've never heard of a voided fork warranty based on filing a little aluminum tab off the drop out. Do you have anything beyond "shop talk" to justify your strange claim?
Can you say: "BS"?Spiderman
Jul 26, 2001 5:27 PM
well kerry, i dont know for sure, but usually, altering a piece of equipment will void the warranty. so you can't fiddle around with a piece, break it, and return it to the manufacturer.
Can you say: "BS"?DrD
Jul 26, 2001 6:27 PM
It's hard to say who's right here - I tend to agree with the idea that any modification is going to void the warranty in the eyes of the manufacturer - however, take a look at Kestrel's policy:

KESTREL warrants that your Kestrel product (frame, fork, handlebar) will be free from defects in materials or workmanship during the time the original consumer purchaser owns the product, and will be free from cosmetic defects for a period of one (1) year from date of consumer's purchase. This warranty does not apply to damage from accident, misuse, normal wear, alteration, improper assembly, improper maintenance or abuse.

Strictly interpreted, alteration only voids the warranty if the failure is caused by the alteration. That being said, it's not the end user who has to be convinced that something should be covered by a warranty - it's the manufacturer who has to be convinced - and I think you would be looking at a hard sell if you modified the fork...
right - no voidingDog
Jul 27, 2001 6:41 AM
A warranty is voided only if the modification affects or causes the failure. Heck, look what you do to the other end of the fork right out of the box - whack it off with a hacksaw.

I always file them off. They make quick releases ineffective.

Have you ever heard of a front wheel falling off because the skewer came loose? It must have happened once, there was a suit, and then all the makers got scared and added the tabs.

I have, in fact, filed them off and then had a fork warrantied. My first Bianchi EV2 fork broke at the top of the head tube. They warrantied it despite the filing. How could they possibly argue the filing had anything to do with the carbon failure?

Incidentally, my Colnago fork came with no lawyer tabs. Lots of guts, that Ernesto.

It's happened,TJeanloz
Jul 27, 2001 7:44 AM
We had a Profile fork break at the dropout (not near where it was filed- more like the dropout came unbonded from the carbon), but Profile did reject the warranty claim on the basis that the product had been altered, so it can happen.
I'd contest itDog
Jul 27, 2001 7:58 AM
They're wrong. I'd press it.

I'd contest itlook271
Jul 27, 2001 8:53 AM
So now you have to pay a lawyer mega bucks (no offense)to replace a $200 fork? Not worth it. I'll keep my tabs on and twist the quick release a few times and not worry about my warranty being voided, thank you very much.
Talked to both Profile and Rock Shox repspeloton
Jul 27, 2001 7:10 PM
over the years, and both told me that they would not honor a warranty on a fork that has it's tabs filed off. Both reps told me that they have stated that they won't warranty a fork that has been altered in any way. Filing the tabs off is an alteration.

I can't say that I agree, filing tabs off isn't something that will affect the integrity of the fork in any way. It is an alteration though, so I think it might be hard to argue. I would leave tabs there if you are worried about the warranty. Personally, if a road fork of mine failed and I needed it warrantied I can't say that I would feel comfortable depending on that fork in the future and might be moving on to a new brand. FWIW
damned laywersnm
Jul 27, 2001 7:52 AM
I tend to agree with you.Jim Burton
Jul 26, 2001 8:50 PM
After all, after repeated wheel removal those things file themselves down. Seems like you would just speed up the wear. On my mountain bike, I tend to think those things actually serve a purpose since the front wheel is off the ground quite a bit more than on road. Maybe in that case they are just a little bit of added insurance. But on a road bike? I think they are just what you said..."lawyer tabs".
Lawyer LipsJohnnyA
Jul 27, 2001 6:27 AM
I was spunky enough to buy a used fork, so I may as well file off the lips too - either way I have no warranty.

Maruy, has the Calfee arrived yet?
Coming soon....MrCelloBoy
Jul 27, 2001 7:40 AM
Final sanding right now...Then to Joe's painting for the DuPont ChromaLusion!
Expecting 2 wks. in the LBS getting built, THEN!!!
I lucked out...MrCelloBoy
Jul 26, 2001 9:29 PM
The Ti dropouts on the Calfee tandem don't have them!
re: Little tabs on carbon forkMoe
Jul 27, 2001 5:14 AM
Good-gosh man, is it really that much extra effort for you to risk wasting a warranty? So it takes an extra 10 turns of the skewer to open - it's good for your wrists and forearms. If you're really that bent on saving time/effort then get a skewer that opens extra wide, they are available.
Jul 27, 2001 7:39 AM
If you are concerned with voiding your warantee, wait a couple months, if the fork is going to fail, chances are it will do it when relatively new. I used a dremel with a sanding cylinder, took all of two minutes to do it carefully. Went back over it with a fine sanding disc to smooth it out, looks like a factory finish.
I went on a tour with a buddy who didn't remove his "lawyer tabs" (another bike forum calls them "lawyer lips"), and it was a minor pain when time came to load up the van. My wheel was on/off in 2 seconds, his was probably only 30 sec, but seemed like an eternity.
Knock 'em Off!grzy mnky
Jul 27, 2001 8:52 AM
And don't ever look back. I understand the technical warranty issues, but ultimately it's a non-issue. You'll be just fine. I always knock them off of my bikes (had 20+ years on forks w/out them), but stop short of knocking them off friend's bikes. Guess I worry a tad about the liability - I hand them the file and show them how to do it and explain the pros and cons. MTB forks ususally require a Dremel type of tool since there is more "wrap" on the dropout. Just be disciplined enough to always put your front wheel on correctly tightened - never leave it thinking you'll get it before you ride. I always orient the skewer handle a certain way so that I know if anyone has messed with it. Giving a hand check isn't a bad habit either. Plus i normally raise the bike a few inches of the ground and "bounce" it to see if anything is loose and rattling.

Ultimately it's a highly personal choice and you should take full responsibility for your actions. I have known people who've had the front wheel come off - can you say "street pizza?"
Warranty, schmorantyMGS
Jul 27, 2001 3:28 PM
I agree with Doug and others. It is a fact of law that defacing or altering an item must somehow be the cause of the failure to void the warranty.

Companies may deny warranty coverage simply because it is easier to say "no," and later, when challenged, admit the error. It costs them nothing to initially deny a covered problem.

Consider your Ksyrium wheels. Everyone I know removes the pie dish cassette protector, yet if the hub fails, Mavic will cover the claim.

It behoves you to consider the common sense of the law. In a court of law, the standard of product liability is often what would a common person interpret as the intent of the law.

If the lips on the fork are to prevent disengagement of the quick release, than any injury resulting from premature release of a wheel, after removal of the tabs, would not be covered.

However, fork failure at any other spot would be covered.

If you are very concerned about voiding bike warranties, never remover reflectors, cassette protectors, the pedals with reflecting lights, and the warning labels on the bike itself.

There certainly is no standard. The use of the tabs is not required by law, as Colnago Star forks do not have the tabs. It is merely a product liability issue for specific concerns.