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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On a couple of other threads people have posted about Sugar 29 frames cracking on the top tube near the shock mount. This is an issue that we are aware of.

For all 2006 Sugar 29 frames the situation is resolved. We added a series of double pass welds to the frame. These welds have a larger contact area between the juncture where tubes and/or frame components meet. The effect is a reduction in the amount of point loading that the tubes undergo. We feel that this change in how the frames are welded will result in much better long term performance of these frames.

We took this chance to also add zip tie cable guides under the top tube, forward of the shock mount. This should help clean up cable routing on these frames.

There is not a recall on existing frames. We will of course honor our limited lifetime warranty for the original owner of any Sugar 29 frame that experiences this problem.

I'm in Europe this week but will try to follow this post and answer any questions that come up.

Pictures show the new mainframe with revised welds and cable guides.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Thanks FisherGuy!

Hey, first I gotta say thanks for taking the time not only to lurk here, but to post this helpful information here. I think it's awesome that guys like you, Jason from Salsa, The "Intense guy", and others are willing to stick your neck out here in this pool of piranhas. ;) We don't always play nice, but I for one, think highly of you guys for doing this.

I want to let you know that there is also some grumblings that the Sugar 292 and 293 bikes are supposedly going to be unavailable until a redesign for '07. Yeah, I know it's crazy, but I've heard this. I'm sure it's not true, and have said so, but you may want to address that one here and kill it.

Thanks again for all you do!
 

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nice

As one of the owners of a cracked Sugar frame- thanks, and thanks. The turnaround on the replacement frame was mercifully short, and I the changes look great as well. Hopefully I won't need another replacement, but I feel better knowing the issues are not being ignored going forward. kudos to GF
 

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Just go ride!
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Replacement with '06 frame?

Awesome! So when I bring mine into the LBS to be replaced under warranty, will I get one of the '06 frames with the beefed up welds?
 

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rider
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Very nice improvements with the better welding and cable guides.

How about considering another needed improvement in the chassis of the Sugar 29er's?

The right chainstay to dropout junction area of the dropout forging on these bikes has failed with some regularity that suggests an improvement in the design in this area would greatly decrease the failure rate.
As a manufacturing engineer, it surprises me that your design of the pocket in the right side dropout forging, into which the derailleur hanger insets, leaves only a 4mm thick Al alloy section to connect the dropout area of the dropout forging to the forward section of the dropout forging which connects to the chainstay. The forward edge of this pocket is where my swingarm assembly broke and I am aware of several other swingarms that have broken in the exact same manner. I’m sure that an examination of your warranty records would show this is a common failure area as this is an obvious stress riser. This failure pattern can be predicted to continue unless your firm takes steps to improve the structural soundness of the above mentioned problem area.

The left side dropout to chainstay connection (of the left dropout forging) section is 8.7mm thick in the same corresponding area, directly in front of the rear axle. I'll bet that you almost never have a non-crash related failure of the left side dropout to chainstay junction.

Because of my initial enthusiasm for these bikes, I was directly involved in four of my friends buying Sugar 29ers. Because of the above mentioned problem area I am regretting having done so. I am doing the right thing and informing them of this issue. Ryan, would you please take this up with Gary and get this problem area dealt with so my friends and I can get back to enjoying riding these great performing bikes without having a failure issue on the back of our minds?

There have been several discussions, on this board, of having a fabricator build up a rear swingarm assembly for the Sugar 29er to get around the problems associated with the swingarm assemblies failing. It would be really sad if we were forced to go this route.

29erchico
 

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29erchico said:
Now for the heavy part: Do you know the difference between actual and punitive damages as awarded in personal injury lawsuits? I do. Actual damages are to allow a litigant to recover only the damages resultant to the case at hand. Punitive damages can be 10-20 times (or more) than actual damages. These are intended to punish the responsible party for failure to correct a situation in which they had advance knowledge of a hazard existing. It is the difference between simple negligence ,being unaware of the risk, and gross negligence, being aware of the risk and choosing not to act to safeguard the public.
29erchico
Yes, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant. But it is not necessary for the defendant to have been aware of the condition prior to the injury for a jury to award punitive damages. Although a jury might increase the punitive damage award if it believed so. A jury could easily hold a defendant liable constructively: finding that the defendant should have known of the condition. In any case, this is in the area of product liability. It is not normal to discuss things in terms of "negligence" here. While you could say that something was designed "negligently," such language is a bit odd since things are "designed." It is easier to say that they were designed "improperly" or that the product was "defective." This brings about a strict liability claim and the knowledge of the defect on the part of the manufacturer is irrelevant to the prima facie case for procuct liability. It becomes more an argument about what was wrong with the design. However, I would think that notice of problems with the product would be quite relevant in deciding on punitive damages once the jury has decided in favor of the plaintiff.
 

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Squalor
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Quasi said:
Yes, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant. But it is not necessary for the defendant to have been aware of the condition prior to the injury for a jury to award punitive damages. Although a jury might increase the punitive damage award if it believed so. A jury could easily hold a defendant liable constructively: finding that the defendant should have known of the condition. In any case, this is in the area of product liability. It is not normal to discuss things in terms of "negligence" here. While you could say that something was designed "negligently," such language is a bit odd since things are "designed." It is easier to say that they were designed "improperly" or that the product was "defective." This brings about a strict liability claim and the knowledge of the defect on the part of the manufacturer is irrelevant to the prima facie case for procuct liability. It becomes more an argument about what was wrong with the design. However, I would think that notice of problems with the product would be quite relevant in deciding on punitive damages once the jury has decided in favor of the plaintiff.
That is what I learned in my three years!

Moreover, the USSC has hinted that a punitive damages award of more than 9 times a compensatory damages award could have constitutional problems in a product liability cause of action (State Mutual Insurance v. Campbell). Thus a punitive damages award of "10-20 times" of a compensatory award would likely be reduced either by a trial judge upon proper motion (if state procedure so allows) or reduced on appeal.

But what the heck do I know, I do not officially get my ticket punched until after the bar in Feb. (hopefully)!

LP
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Reply

I'm not positive of the exact first build date on the '06 292/293. But I think it is within the next month. We have already been supplying revised frames for warranty.

We will warranty cracked Sugar 29 mains for the original owner. Not all frames fail, so not all existing frames are warrantied. I recommend that you inspect yours whenever you regularly maintain your bike. There have been no catastrophic failures so ride with confidence.

I checked with our warranty department and we have not had a significant number of reported failures on Sugar 29 or 26 swingarm at the driveside dropout as was described in an earlier post. I would recommend that you keep riding your bikes with confidence.

As far as the legal discussion goes, I don't know what to say. I'm sure that if our company lawyer read this post he would tell me that I am not allowed to participate on MTBR anymore. In general this board has been very positive, so I feel I can join in. The 29er board is unique, and is the only one I post on. If it takes a turn to negative, them I will have to stay away.
 

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FisherGuy said:
As far as the legal discussion goes, I don't know what to say. I'm sure that if our company lawyer read this post he would tell me that I am not allowed to participate on MTBR anymore. In general this board has been very positive, so I feel I can join in. The 29er board is unique, and is the only one I post on. If it takes a turn to negative, them I will have to stay away.
I agree, this isn't the place to discuss legal warranty claims, some frames "fail" , most do not. If you don't like the frame, get the warranty replacement and sell it an find something that fits your style of riding.
I hope Fisher guy stays here, he's our link to the rumor mill... My complaint is the Fisher website. There needs to be more info like the "Desciples of Dirt" section of the Trek website.
 

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isolated incident

I've been posting/lurking here pretty much everyday since this board first started, and this is the only drop out failure I have heard of on a 292/293. And all Trek, Fisher, Klein, and some LeMonds use this exact same design. It's basically like saying that every model of all of the Trek brands have a faulty drop out design. I am sure if this was an issue, it would be addressed. But it seems this is an isolated incident.

and to bring up legal issues on this is hogwash. If the drop out fails in this manner, the chances of getting hurt are slim to none.
 

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Squalor
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FisherGuy said:
As far as the legal discussion goes, I don't know what to say. I'm sure that if our company lawyer read this post he would tell me that I am not allowed to participate on MTBR anymore. In general this board has been very positive, so I feel I can join in. The 29er board is unique, and is the only one I post on. If it takes a turn to negative, them I will have to stay away.
Just to be clear - I for one was not implying that Fisher is or should be liable for anything at this point, or even the foreseeable future re: the frame design. Sure we can all come up with hypotheticals where any manufacturer could be liable for their product, but I have not seen anything to support such a claim against Fisher (just from these boards and my time on a 293). I just wanted to clear up what had been previously posted re: damages.

I hope that was not taken negatively . I'm pumped about the changes to the 29x and the new Fisher stuff in general.

LP
 

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FisherGuy said:
I checked with our warranty department and we have not had a significant number of reported failures on Sugar 29 or 26 swingarm at the driveside dropout as was described in an earlier post. I would recommend that you keep riding your bikes with confidence.

........ If it takes a turn to negative, them I will have to stay away.
OK, so the offending post has been edited; no legal action is being threatened...

FisherGuy, you state that there have not been a "significant" number of reported failures. But there HAVE been reported failures at this point, no?

FYI, I own two GF 29ers, a hardtail and a 293. Knowing about a possible problem area allows everyone to keep an eye on it.

Sharing info and ideas is what makes these forums worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you...

I'm sure that I misunderstood the post also. But I feel better that you understand my concerns.

When I posed the question about the dropouts to the tech dept they replied, "No, never heard of it." I decided to be safe with my answer assuming that there may have been failures. This same basic dropout design has been used by Fisher and Trek for years. I am confident in the design.

Thanks everyone.
 

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FisherGuy said:
I'm sure that I misunderstood the post also. But I feel better that you understand my concerns.

When I posed the question about the dropouts to the tech dept they replied, "No, never heard of it." I decided to be safe with my answer assuming that there may have been failures. This same basic dropout design has been used by Fisher and Trek for years. I am confident in the design.

Thanks everyone.
I didn't mean to turn this into a legal discussion, just wanted to clarify a legal statement. If you have to consult your company's legal counsel, emphasize that you are not making any promises here, that you are keeping you finger on the pulse of MTBers here, and that you may be able to alert counsel to possible product problems and avoid future lawsuits by participating in this forum.

I have never had any problems with my 293 dropouts, while I have had the TT cracks which may be solved with the above indicated welding and I am in line for a replacement frame. I ride a large frame and suspect this is more of a problem with the larger models.
 

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I would have to agreee here. Parts break, wheels get tacoed- its par for the course. So far as I've seen, unless you are being very careless and continue to ride on a obviously damaged frame, you shouldn't see a catastrophic failure (I've broken a couple frames of different types- in both cases it just meant that the party was over, time to go home). If they meet their warrantee obligations, then the manufacturer is the one who will be losing money by not fixing the root cause. If you want to call in Erin Brockovich, fine, but the last thing anyone here wants is for bike makers to get so skittish about class action suits that we all end up with 50lb "nuclear grade" bikes out of fear that someone, somewhere is going to kill himself jumping a 10 foot drop on a XC bike (hence the ridiculous warning labels and reflectors on every bike out there). Just my opinion....
 
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