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  #1  
Old 03-27-2008, 03:36 PM
L Elliott L Elliott is offline
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Default Concerns about Serotta Nove

I crashed last September on Cycle Oregon just out of Oakridge. "Rookie mistake" on a steep downhill - given the choice, I decided to take the ditch rather than go down on the chip seal. Transitioned more or less smoothly into the ditch and all was well until I stuck a log hidden in the grass. Upon recovery from the spill I found my beloved Serotta Nove in TWO (2) pieces. The carbon top tube had come unglued from the titanium head tube and the down tube had BROKEN in half!

To my astonishment both the dealer, Bike Gallery, and Serotta refused to acknowledge that the frame was flawed. The response to my inquiry about frame failure (complete with a full explanation of the crash together with pictures that clearly show the separation of the carbon top tube from the titanium head tube) was that the bike had been damaged by riding off-road and, therefore, the warranty was voided. (Ben how could you be so cold? I became interested in your bikes when you came along on Cycle Oregon a few years back.) Repairs (?) were offered at a mere $1,300. I declined as my wallet was empty and I had no wish to get back on a flawed bike, "repaired" or not.

Other than to lament the empty wallet, I gave the loss no further thought as I began the task of earning enough $ to purchase a Moots (check it out on-line or at Cyclepath on MLK, if you haven't looked at them) until I learned yesterday that another rider had had an identical result recently with the Serrota Nove in a spill on Germantown Road. I have not seen the bike nor have I spoken with the rider whose Nove also separated and broke but the information came from a reliable source.

Though I am deeply disappointed in the Bike Gallery and Serotta and will not do business with either again, I have no other axe to grind. But, if the information regarding a second Nove frame failure is true - and I believe it is - then I feel that a warning should go out.

Frame failure of this type is life threatening - if you have a Serrota Nove or other glued carbon/ti bike, please have it checked or consider changing bikes.
________
vapor genie vaporizer

Last edited by L Elliott; 01-24-2011 at 07:48 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2008, 04:13 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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I disagree.

You broke the bike in a crash. As I read it, the other failure was also caused by a crash. Its the crashing that is life threatening, not the bike that fails after the rider has fallen off. Nothing written suggests that a frame failure caused the wreck itself, especially in your case when you admit it was a "rookie mistake."
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:47 PM
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nuovorecord nuovorecord is offline
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This is why I wouldn't own a carbon fiber bike if you paid me to. They fail spectacularly, without warning, and under circumstances that steel frames shrug off. The weight savings just aren't worth it, to me.

I'm sorry your bike is toast, but I don't think you have much recourse here. It doesn't sound like the frame was flawed beyond the inherent flaws all carbon fiber frames have. My suggestion is to replace it with a high quality, hand built steel frame.
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:36 AM
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Haven_kd7yct Haven_kd7yct is offline
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Hmmm.... I'm going to have to agree with the other posters, above.

Your frame did not fall apart while you were riding it. It broke when you crashed it. I would expect a lot of bikes of varying materials to also have damage or be broken if crashed like that.

Now, if your frame breaking caused your crash, I could see how you would have cause for indignation.

Did the second incident happen due to a frame failure?

Without that info, there really isn't much of a discussion to be had.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:08 AM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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A crash would definitely seem to invalidate your claim of unreasonable frame failure. I've never owned a carbon frame bike, though I've studied them a little. It's still very much an evolving technology. The research and development teams may have been working to solve at least part of the problem you experienced, which is the tubes separating from the lugs. There are one piece frames now that don't even have lugs that could separate. So, for $4000 or so, maybe less, you could try one of them.

Steel is the sure thing. Aluminum's not bad either. Use the busted carbon frame to make a nice wall sculpture and a reminder that the latest thing isn't always the best.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2008, 11:09 AM
Porter Porter is offline
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Default I saw the bike

L. Elliot,

I was at Cyclepath the other day and I saw your bike. I have to disagree with the other posters. Your bike failed due to the design. Yes, you crashed, but your bike delaminated from the lugs. I also expressed disbelieve that neither BG or Serotta would even discuss a crash replacement policy. Live and Learn I guess.

PS Your new Moots is sweet.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:13 AM
Cruizer Cruizer is offline
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Default Steel frames don't always shrug

Years ago I went off a country road at high speed, ejected from my bike and did a complete summersault through the air, landing in a ditch on my hands and knees with only a quarter-sized scrape on a knee.

The handlebars on my beautiful steel frame Univega were bent 90 degrees, which made the remainder of the ride interesting, to say the least. It wasn't until several months later that a buckling showed up on the frame. The owner of the LBS told me that the frame had been compromised and that they could no longer legally work on my bike, as they would be responsible for sending me out the door on an unsafe bike. It broke my heart to give up that bike for parts, but no way was I riding an unsafe frame.

Anyway, my point is that even a steel frame can fly through the air and come down just right/wrong to destroy the frame, although the actual damage may not be visible for a while. And in my case the frame wasn't faulty until I damaged it by going off the road in a moment's lack of attention -- I looked up at the vintage biplane flying overhead when I was at the abrupt edge of six inches of fresh pavement.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:47 AM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Hey, maybe Ralph Nader has some thoughts on all of this?
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2008, 12:03 PM
Val Val is offline
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Elliot: I understand your dissappointment, but the fact is that no bike frame is warranteed to survive a crash, and this includes freeride and BMX vert jumping bikes. Enough force applied to any frame will cause it to fail, and bike crashes can apply tremendous amounts of force in unexpected and unpredictable ways. In the case of the two crashes mentioned here, the circumstances caused frame failures that show the weak point of this frame design, but that does not mean that the design is faulty or unsafe. It simply means that this is the first point on the frame to fail in a catastrophic situation. Any frame has such a point, and crashing is usually the fastest way to find it. Some manufacturers do offer various sorts of crash replacement programs, but they are in no way obligated to do so. It is nice, and very generous of them, but it is above and beyond any reasonable warranty, and would still cost you something; possibly more than the repair offered. What happened to your frame is a shame, but most of us, if we ride long enough, have a similar story. I'm glad that you are unhurt and able to move on to another bike.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:25 PM
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nuovorecord nuovorecord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruizer View Post
Anyway, my point is that even a steel frame can fly through the air and come down just right/wrong to destroy the frame, although the actual damage may not be visible for a while.
Yes, you are correct that steel frames are certainly NOT indestructible. I managed to ruin one myself in a crash a few years back, so I can attest to this.

I was merely pointing out that they're more likely to survive a crash than carbon would. Plus, you can often repair steel frames, whereas carbon goes to the dumpster.
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