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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up an 08 trek 4500 about a week ago, had messed around here in the neighborhood for < 2 hours total, and finally made it out to head out for its first trail ride yesterday. About 2 miles from the end of a 12 mile trail, my left foot all of a sudden feels like its on ice, look down, crank arm falls off. Head about 15-20 yards back, and find the bolt that *should* have been holding it on.

Now, I realize after the first good ride I should be checking through everything and making sure all is well and tight, but should I really have had to check stuff like this right after picking the bike up?

Basically, wondering what I should expect when I walk into the LBS tomorrow am(closed today, happy 4th :D )?
 

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Did a screw break or fall off or did it just break off? If they screw fell out then I think that they would just fix it but if the crank arm just broke off then I don't know if they could do anything about that.
 

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if it was the first ride .. i would just take it in, and tell them that it fell off while you were on your ride ... and ask them to make sure that everything else is tightened properly ...

most all bikes (or ALL actually) that are new ... require stuff to be torqued down again after a little time is spent on it ... some shops seem to check the stuff before it leaves out the door ... but more often then not ... they don't bother ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The screw fell out(first maybe 6 threads are stripped almost bare)

Edit: Forgot to mention. I guess from the few pedals I managed to get through after the screw fell out(was going at a good pace already) the inside part of the crank arm got a little pushed out/warped.
 

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Then the LBS....

needs to replace it period, no argument, no ifs ands or buts about it. I work at a shop, a Trek dealer as a matter of fact. EVERY bike that leaves our shop has been checked 3 TIMES!!! First by the builder, second by a second mechanic before it's put on the floor or in backstock, and third before it leaves the shop. EACH double check includes checking the security of the fasteners, and your experience is exactly why we do it. There is abo****ely NO reason that the crank arm fixing bolt should have come loose and fallen out in that short of a period of time other than it was never checked! Not if it was properly secured in the first place. There have been "problem childeren" in the past, but nothing that would come loose and fall out in one or two rides. Square taper cranks should be checked no less than once a month for torque, and it is usually the left crank arm that will be found to be loosest during these checks. But there is no reason, unless the crank was defective from the beginning, that the bolt should have fallen out like that.

You may have to wait a bit as the 4500 uses a Shimano crank and bb, both will need to be replaced along with the bolt due to the damage that occured to the crank arm taper, and the likely damage to the bb spindle as well, that and if the threads are stripped on the bolt, the spindle threads are likely damaged as well. The reason for the wait may well be Shimano. Trek does not warrant parts from other manufacturers. If it were a Bontrager crank then it would be on Trek. Unfortunately Shimano can be a bit slow. But I would say it is the LBS's problem, not Shimano's or Trek's, and they should make it right imediately.

Keep in mind that this is just my opinion. But working in a shop and knowing what can happen if someone assembling a bike out of the box has their head up their fourth point of contact, it gets me a bit riled when I hear about something like this.

Anyway, don't be a dick about it. But don't let them run over you with this either. The LBS has an obligation to make sure that any bike they sell is in top condition when it leaves the shop. 2 hours around the neighborhood and then 12 miles on dirt shouldn't have been enough to loosen that crank up to the point of falling off. So unless you were doing something stupid like 4 foot drops to flat, or running the 4500 at a jump park, some body owes you a crank and bottom bracket!

Good Dirt
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Squash. Thats what I was hoping to hear. I don't mind waiting a little while as long as I don't end up out of pocket anything else. I'll cross my fingers while I walk into the shop in the AM.
 

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mutedsound said:
Thanks Squash. Thats what I was hoping to hear. I don't mind waiting a little while as long as I don't end up out of pocket anything else. I'll cross my fingers while I walk into the shop in the AM.
Wait?? If indeed they did install that they should be hooking you back up pronto so you can get back to riding even if it requires pulling the identical part or parts off of a floor model...I know my shop would. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Stopped by the LBS on my way to work. Replacing under warranty. Can't order the parts till monday so itll be late in the week before I'm on the trails again. Stinks cause I was off sunday-monday, so my week is shot. Glad to get a positive answer from them, atleast.

He mentioned it being horrible luck cause hes never seen one strip like that under any amount of torque, and right after I left, I stopped to pump some gas...and the starter went out on my jeep so I had to catch a ride back home to get my other truck. Talk about bad luck. lol.
 

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good to hear your lbs is taking care of this even though you will have some down time. the crank arms are fixed to the bike at the manufacturer and while the shop should have checked them, some do go overlooked. by the sounds of it, during assembly at the plant, they might have stripped that bolt.

being a trek, you might want to look into the extended warranty they offer. It covers wear and tear items except grips and brake pads. It is/was $100 or so when I bought mine for the trek 6000. could be well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Might look into it. Plan on replacing this bike next season TBH, so I'm not sure if the $100 is worthwhile for the 2nd half of summer, but after this ordeal ehhh who knows. I'm definately not dissapointed in my service at my LBS thusfar though. knowing my luck, it wuold have poured rain on sunday/monday if I had my bike anyway lol.
 

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my raleigh when i got it ... ended up having a loose crank arm .. and loose bb. that was after the shop had 'checked everything over' ...

found those items after taking it to another place for a second opinion on bike fit and what else could be done to it....
 

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mutedsound said:
Stopped by the LBS on my way to work. Replacing under warranty. Can't order the parts till monday so itll be late in the week before I'm on the trails again. Stinks cause I was off sunday-monday, so my week is shot. Glad to get a positive answer from them, atleast.

He mentioned it being horrible luck cause hes never seen one strip like that under any amount of torque, and right after I left, I stopped to pump some gas...and the starter went out on my jeep so I had to catch a ride back home to get my other truck. Talk about bad luck. lol.
It may not be the LBS fault. A tech may assemble, torque and adjust everything perfect but manufacturer defects do happen.

I bought a bike a couple years ago, assembled it and torqued everything perfectly. After the third ride the non drive crank arm fell off. I called the crank manufacturer, they said it was a defect and the cranks were replaced under warranty.

Don't jump at the LBS, manufacturers screw up to.
 

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bike shops... you never know what you're going to get. i bought a new bike a couple of months ago and they were telling me that i could bring it back in for a tune up after 30 days (i'm proficient with bikes and knew i wouldn't need it anyway). so i'm going over everything on the bike and EVERYTHING needed to be adjusted and/or tightened. the rear derailleur wouldn't shift to the last gear, the breaks weren't adjusted properly, the rotors needed to be tightened, the list goes on.

on the other hand, there is a local bike store (doesn't carry the brand i wanted) that is awesome! i know one of the guys there and he's a lifer with bikes. he's been working on them forever and knows what he's doing. the other shop i went to was a younger kid that just didn't seem like he really gave two shits.

so the moral of my story? check your bikes no matter what. think about it, you could have been seriously hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well...all worked out well. I called last friday to let them know that I needed my bike by sunday for a ride coming up. they still hadnt received the crank arm in, so they grabbed another and tossed it on. just called me back today to let me know the part had arrived and to bring the bike by to finish up.
 

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A friend recently purchased a bike from a LBS. On the first ride he was complaining that the brakes felt "squishy." We stopped and I took a look at it. The brake cables weren't tightened enough and they were slipping when he pulled on the brakes...not good. Also the brake pads weren't aligned right and were pushing into the tires...again...not good.

After that ride he took it back to the LBS and had them go through the bike again...he then brought it over to me and I went through it just to make sure it was totally safe. Ended up having to fix some problems with the rear derailer and shifters...there were still problems with the brakes.

Moral of the story is that some LBSs do a good job and others don't. Check things over yourself as in the end it's your life. It all just depends on who's holding the wrench...and what kind of day they're having.

Jared
 

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Glad your LBS is getting you sorted.

Personally I dont trust LBS as sometimes they have great mechanics, but others it is some kids summer job that is just figuring out to spin a wrench. There really does not appear to be any sort of standard.

Get yourself a torque wrench, find out what things are supposed to be tightened to, and eliminate the LBS. Peace of mind is priceless.
 

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I'm with 006-007 on this one. Go through your manual, download stuff you don't have and get to know your bike. It will serve you well since you'll know your bike better than anyone else.
 
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