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Is this fork warranteeable?(17 posts)

Is this fork warranteeable?Sprint-Nick
Sep 14, 2003 4:23 PM
I have a Cannondale that developed a bad banging noise... it turned out to be this hairline crack on a joint of the steerer tube. Its hard to see in the picture but its on the dotted line and is visible if you look at it and you can feel it when you run your nail across it. The bike has been crashed onces from sliding out of a corner in a crit but the noise began 6 months after and the location seems off especially with no impact.

Thanks for the advice. And please keep the responses serious... no ebay flames.

re: Is this fork warranteeable?LC
Sep 14, 2003 4:31 PM
Don't tell them you race and then they might take care of you.
re: Is this fork warranteeable?russw19
Sep 14, 2003 5:10 PM
Nick, I would say yes based on what I see. It's what I don't see that could change my mind. Is there any noticable damage to the rest of the fork? Is there any damage to be seen from the previous crash? If no, then take it to a Cannondale Dealer and let them send it back. Just be prepared to wait a while for a new fork.

I would suggest you buy a new fork in the meantime and ride it until you get the other one... then just sell the new one when you get it. It takes care of a few things... it allows you to keep on riding in the meantime, and you still have a fork if Cannondale denies your claim. Maybe you can just pick up a cheap steel or aluminium fork from ebay to use for the time being. Otherwise your option is to wait out the warranty claim. Sometimes you will get a new fork in a week, sometimes a month or more... a lot depends on the shop that sends it back, so buy them some beer to expidite the process.

Already went through the local repSprint-Nick
Sep 14, 2003 5:24 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Russ.

I've tried to go through a couple reps. While I was away I tried to pursue the Cannondale rep in Australia but no go on the international warranty so I ended up buying a new fork.

Then once I got home I went through the local rep. First time he said he wanted to see the rest of the bike. Second time he saw the complete bike and there was "evidence" of crashing so he said no. Now I'm trying to figure out what my other options are.

Do you think going straight to the top would work or is there no way to get around the local rep?

Thanks again,
Already went through the local reprussw19
Sep 14, 2003 5:49 PM
Doubt it... but you can send an email to customer service at Cannondale and see if they let you send it in. They are going to tell you to take it to the local dealer and have them send it in. If you try to work around that they will contact the dealer and ask them if they have seen it yet. The only other thing I can think of for you to try it to find out who your shop's outside rep is and see if the shop will tell you the next time he/she will be in. Then you can show the fork to them and let them make the call.

If worst comes to worst you can always find a decent used fork on ebay for around $100.

Good luck,
Can we talk a little bit about ethics?Kerry Irons
Sep 14, 2003 5:37 PM
So you crashed the bike and your (aluminum?) steerer tube is now cracked. 6 months later, yes, but how to you reach the conclusion that the crash had nothing to do with the crack? Look deep into your heart and ask if you are really justified in seeking a free fork for a bike that has been crashed. Is this driven by a sense of fairness, or are you just trying to save money at someone else's expense?
So if you crash on a road bike you void the warrenty?TNRyder
Sep 14, 2003 6:54 PM
Seriously, help me out here. Coming from the MTB side of things and crashing is just part of the game. "If your not crashing your not going fast enough."

How big of a crash does it have to be to void the warrenty? Are we talking Beloki on stage 9 or Armstrong on stage 15? I mean seriously, I have been known to 'crash' just overcooking a corner.
Warranties are voided in many industries...Atombomber
Sep 14, 2003 7:46 PM
when the product is used for competition. Each company sets its own rules, so what it will do is unknown. There might be a full warranty, a crash replacement cost (which is quite common), or nothing. Warranties cover manufacturing defects, not crashes, abuse or unintended usage. Would you expect a car manufacturer to replace your car if you drove it into a wall?
You need to go back and read the warranty...russw19
Sep 14, 2003 9:17 PM
It ONLY covers manufacture defects. Not crash protection, not paint fading in the sun, not your top tube denting because your bars hit it in a crash, not your rear derailleur hanger getting bent because you didn't have your derailleur adjusted correctly, none of that.

Some manufacturers are better about covering the small stuff than others, but nobody can cover your bike surviving a crash. Your bike was designed to be riden, not crashed. If you hit a curb and bend you fork back, or break your frame by jumping over a car... they aren't going to claim responsibility, nor should they.

Unfortunately for bikes, there is no 5 mile per hour bumper standard. If you crash, you are responsible for the damage. Why should the manufacturer be held responsible if you or I overcook a corner? Would you expect Look to warranty your pedals because you scratched them in the same corner? Then why should you expect a frame manufacturer to cover a bent frame or broken fork in the same crash?

Just my 2 cents on what you should expect from a bike company.

Sep 15, 2003 11:20 AM
for most things. "Warranties" are regarding quality and workmanship of the original product, not a guaranteed-freebie for operator-induced damage.

Some companies give you a "discount" on a replacement (helmet manufacturers are a good example) but generally this is a financial risk borne by the rider.
tell them the truth and let them (mfg) decide nmDougSloan
Sep 14, 2003 7:08 PM
What about the ethics of a company hiding behind the crash excusSprint-Nick
Sep 14, 2003 8:03 PM
Your implying my ethics may be bad. But lets take the ethics of a company hiding behind the fact a bike has been crashed to justify not replacing a fork. Is that right?

The whole meta-ethical idea is for a company to stand behind their product. Now take the view from a normative ethic perspective when applying the meta-ethic; the company should stand behind their product especially when in doubt over the actual cause. Is it an aluminum steerer tube? Absolutely. But when you look at how much force sliding out of a corner puts on the back half of steerer tube where it is cracked you have a huge question mark. A question mark the Cannondale rep is hiding behind.

To make it worse why does Cannondale have a lifetime warranty on their frames but not their forks?

Ok, now hold on there Nick...russw19
Sep 14, 2003 9:36 PM
First, there is no such meta-ethic of standing behind a product that was not defective. That's what the warranty covers. Like I said in my first reply, based soley on what I saw in the picture, I would have warrantied your fork, but it was what I didn't see that made me wonder. When you crashed, you may (and may not have...) put too much stress on the steerer as you were going down. If both fork blades were being pushed down as you slid into the corner, the stress would be on the outside of the steerer tube just above the crown. It is 100% entirely possible that your crash put either a hairline crack or a stress riser in your steerer tube and simply the stress of riding it for the next 6 months made the crack grow to where it was finally noticeable. Be thankful it didn't fail while you were riding it. Keep in mind I am not argueing that you shouldn't be entitled to a warranty replacement of your fork, but if you are denied, you can't really hide behind a so called meta-ethical ideal as the reason why you feel screwed. If you crashed the bike, you may very well have broken your fork in the crash. If they don't cover it, suck it up and buy a new one. But if they do cover it, be thankful. They are only required to uphold the warranty if the steerer tube failed due to how it was made.

As for you last statement about the lifetime warranty on Cannondale frames and not forks.... that's simple... Cannondale doesn't make most of the forks on their roadbikes. Yours was most likely made by Kestrel. And again, they are only warrantying the fork against a defect.

If your fork gets replaced, cool, but if not, be thankful that it wasn't worse and you didn't destroy your whole bike... carbon forks are cheap these days, but frames are not.

Good luck,
Thanks RussSprint-Nick
Sep 15, 2003 3:44 AM
I had to buy a new fork while I was gone. Your right that at the end of the day I'm lucky the fork didn't fail. But of course my issue behind everything is that due to the partial failure Cannondale could hide behind the idea the bike was crashed. It was almost as if the Cannondale rep wanted to see my bike after he saw the fork alone so he could find an excuse not to warrantee it.

Which leads me to another question... lots of people crash their bikes so why then hasn't Cannondale seen a similar stress fracture before?

Either way I might try going up the ladder but I'm not in a good position. The fork has been replaced... thankfully it didn't shear in the 5000+ km I rode since it began thunking due to the crack.

If you break a C-dale frame in a crash, they don't...MShaw
Sep 15, 2003 8:33 AM
...warranty that either. Warranties are for manufacturer's defects, NOT crashes.

Crash and you're on your own...

This is why I demanded a replacement frame, etc.,....Gregory Taylor
Sep 15, 2003 6:02 AM
This is why I demanded a replacement frameset, etc., when I was by a car a while back. Visually, the frame looked like it had survived, but I also knew that if I had issues down the line I would be totally screwed on a warranty claim, even on a "lifetime" warranty. I had no problem explaining this to the insurance company of the kid that hit me -- the frame might look fine, but the warranty was effectively voided as a result of the accident. The builder also stated that damage from a sizable impact like getting hit by a car might not be visually obvious and could manifest itself later.

As for the Cannondale reps -- I can understand their reaction. They don't know you from Adam, and they probably hear similar stories all of the time. Some folks are honest, some aren't. An easy, bright-line test for them is crash damage = no warranty claim.
why don't you ebay it? nmrufus
Sep 15, 2003 7:09 AM