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James Adams
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After one week on my new Orbea Alma M50 carbon hardtail, I noticed a ding/crack in the middle of one of the upper chain stays. I never took a hard crash but I did fall over a couple of times on it so it's almost certainly from that. As such it's not a manufacturing defect per se, although I'd say it's pretty shoddy construction if it can't take a normal fall/knock that didn't hurt me a bit.

I assume the best I can hope for from Orbea is a crash replacement discount, but if these frames are so flimsy/fragile then I don't want another one -- certainly not enough to pay more than $100 for a new frame and I expect that it'll be much more than that even with a crash replacement discount.

I've had it looked at by several shop mechanics, all of whom agreed that it's serious and probably the frame has been significantly compromised. The Orbea dealer I took it to is submitting a claim for a new frame but they told me it's probably not likely since in the end it's my fault for letting a rock touch it ungently.

What should/can I do? I assume it's a hard knock (literally) that I need to grin and bear, and just move on after learning the hard (expensive) way not to mess with Orbea carbon. Or is there any remedy? What's it likely to cost me to have the ding/crack repaired? How/where would I go about that?

Thanks in advance for your comments/suggestions.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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1,778 Posts
If I were in your situation I would have followed the warranty instructions, as you have. I then would have waited until Orbea contacted your bike shop/Orbea dealership with a response.

Then, if I was not happy with the bike shop's response, I would request to speak to Orbea directly. After discussing the issue between the only two parties that are involved, (Orbea and I), and if I felt I was not being treated fairly*, then I may consider going public, inquiring if others had any warranty issues and how they were handled.

*Fairly must not be confused with not getting what you believe is owed to you.

I hope this matter gets resolved soon so you quickly get back on the trails.
 

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James Adams
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You make good points, @Boulder Pilot, and maybe my post here was premature. I have no reason to assume that Orbea won't do the right thing, but my question was more to the point of "what is the right thing", i.e. what should I *reasonably* expect?
 

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Registered
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17,520 Posts
Yeah don't think the worst, you never know. And don't assume that if they don't replace it that they're not doing the right thing, we don't know the exact circumstances. If you hit anything just right (wrong) damage can potentially be done that's beyond the manufactures control.

Worst case scenario you could probably get it fixed for a reasonable price, as mentioned carbon is very repairable.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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1,778 Posts
They're going to take care of you. Don't worry about it. These things happen.
The only part of your opinion which is fact is "These things happen". I'll add "quite frequently with Orbea carbon frames."

I know two people that have had to deal with Orbea on cracked carbon frames, and combined with a quick internet search, better advice for the OP is to make sure you have all your documentation in order, have filed your warranty card with Orbea within the deadline, and not to say another thing on line, in print, via sky writing airplane or smoke signals, etc., about this specific situation.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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39,186 Posts
There are some threads on carbon repair in this forum, a crack in the middle of a chainstay/member is about the best you can have, easy straightforward repair. Not hard to do at home, the biggest issue is using a mask and gloves while working with the carbon.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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6,178 Posts
The only part of your opinion which is fact is "These things happen". I'll add "quite frequently with Orbea carbon frames."

I know two people that have had to deal with Orbea on cracked carbon frames, and combined with a quick internet search, better advice for the OP is to make sure you have all your documentation in order, have filed your warranty card with Orbea within the deadline, and not to say another thing on line, in print, via sky writing airplane or smoke signals, etc., about this specific situation.
100% agreed with this approach. With any brand. Online comments can be death in these situations, regardless of what is said in the posts. While some may moan and groan about my next suggestion, I would very quickly ask an admin to please delete this thread ASAP.
 

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Registered
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2,172 Posts
The only part of your opinion which is fact is "These things happen". I'll add "quite frequently with Orbea carbon frames."

I know two people that have had to deal with Orbea on cracked carbon frames, and combined with a quick internet search, better advice for the OP is to make sure you have all your documentation in order, have filed your warranty card with Orbea within the deadline, and not to say another thing on line, in print, via sky writing airplane or smoke signals, etc., about this specific situation.
WOW, that's a telling comment....
 

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CEO Product Failure
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2,131 Posts
My wife has an Orbea; pretty sure its an Alma. It was their top of the line XC HT back in 2004 when we got it.

Anyway, it has a 3-4mm knick/hole in the down tube. Been there for a decade+. When we reported it to Orbea they offered a crash replacement and advised they were confident even with the blemish the frame was fine. Suffice to say, the frame's held up wonderfully-we did not have the frame replaced.

On the flipside, winter of 2017 my wife's (2017) TallboyCC was damaged by a projectile while in transport from the trail. The projectile was either a rock or bullet. Regardless, the hole was in the top tube, large enough to put your finger through, and the top tube would flex when you sat on the bike. SantaCruz covered us with their crash replacement.

That's been my experience with carbon frames; they can break.
 

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Registered
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784 Posts
My wife has an Orbea; pretty sure its an Alma. It was their top of the line XC HT back in 2004 when we got it.

Anyway, it has a 3-4mm knick/hole in the down tube. Been there for a decade+. When we reported it to Orbea they offered a crash replacement and advised they were confident even with the blemish the frame was fine. Suffice to say, the frame's held up wonderfully-we did not have the frame replaced.

On the flipside, winter of 2017 my wife's (2017) TallboyCC was damaged by a projectile while in transport from the trail. The projectile was either a rock or bullet. Regardless, the hole was in the top tube, large enough to put your finger through, and the top tube would flex when you sat on the bike. SantaCruz covered us with their crash replacement.

That's been my experience with carbon frames; they can break.
I feel like there is a bit of a bias to believing that carbon frames are fragile. Here one bike got a nick and worked fine for a decade plus. The other was potentially shot by a bullet (!?). Conclusion: Carbon frames break.
 

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Registered
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2,177 Posts
I feel like there is a bit of a bias to believing that carbon frames are fragile.
Yeah. The reason I'm on a carbon frame now is because my aluminum Pivot broke. They offered me a crash replacement (bike was out of warranty) and all their new bikes are carbon.

That was the second aluminum bike I've broken.

ALL frames can break.
 

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CEO Product Failure
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2,131 Posts
I feel like there is a bit of a bias to believing that carbon frames are fragile. Here one bike got a nick and worked fine for a decade plus. The other was potentially shot by a bullet (!?). Conclusion: Carbon frames break.
You read too much into my post. The Orbea has been raced for over a decade and is as good as it was the day we go it--and remains un-repaired/replaced.

My wife's Tallboy was a fluke. SC really took care of us. So much in fact, that I've ordered a Tallboy 4 for myself. In fact, the durabilty of (SantaCruz) carbon fiber and their warranty are the top reasons why I selected a TallboyCC frame

My post was directed to the OP on the subject of replacement/warranty experiences with carbon fiber frames.

Not to get too far off topic, but for those not convinced of carbon fiber's viability, check this out:

 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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45,073 Posts
My wife has an Orbea; pretty sure its an Alma. It was their top of the line XC HT back in 2004 when we got it.

Anyway, it has a 3-4mm knick/hole in the down tube. Been there for a decade+. When we reported it to Orbea they offered a crash replacement and advised they were confident even with the blemish the frame was fine. Suffice to say, the frame's held up wonderfully-we did not have the frame replaced.

On the flipside, winter of 2017 my wife's (2017) TallboyCC was damaged by a projectile while in transport from the trail. The projectile was either a rock or bullet. Regardless, the hole was in the top tube, large enough to put your finger through, and the top tube would flex when you sat on the bike. SantaCruz covered us with their crash replacement.

That's been many people's experience with carbon as well as aluminum, frames; they can fail.
Fixed that for you.
 

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CEO Product Failure
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2,131 Posts
Fixed that for you.
Dude..that is also OFF TOPIC.

So to set the record straight, aluminum frames also fail. My list of failed aluminum frames is:
- 5 GT LTS
- 3 GT iDrives
- 7 Ellsworth Jokers
- 10+ Ventana frames (since 2003).

Due to my riding weight, mileage, riding style, amount of power, my current aluminum frame fails about every 18mos. Ventana has been a GOD SEND to work with. Despite the numbers posted above, I am EXTREMELY pleased with my VENTANA.

Geezz...lets start talking about the frequency fail rate of bamboo bikes next...thought you were a moderator DJ?
 
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