Author Topic: holes in thorn tandem's tube  (Read 5388 times)

guerillaboy

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holes in thorn tandem's tube
« on: June 24, 2013, 11:11:23 PM »
I recently replaced my Thorn adventure's chain and sprockets (captain to stoker) and while upside down noticed two 'rust' bubbles. When I looked closer the main (and biggest) tube had a water bubble in it. My tandem has always been kept indoors and never outside. I 'popped' the one bubble thinking I would rub down and spray, but on closer inspection it looked liked there was a small hole that had been filled (with filler) and another deep rust spot next to it.   :'(

I can only think that there is some sort of manufacturing flaw in a tube that size as I cannot account for it any other way.

To say I am astonished that a 531 tube this size is holed is an understatement. I have a 30 year old Harry Quinn in 531st that has some surface rust and is a bit grotty, but looks in great nick compared to my (approx) seven year old tandem.

Where do I go from here?
 
 

Danneaux

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 12:31:43 AM »
Hi G'boy, and a belated welcome to the Forum. I'm sorry to hear of the circumstances for your latest post and hope things will turn out well.

You have several options available to you.

Assuming you are the original owner and purchased the bike new and complete from Thorn, I would contact them straight away to see if this is a problem covered under warranty. I have found them to be extremely responsive once they are made aware of a problem, and they are fair in their evaluations. I would suggest a phone call, followed by an email with photos, as it always helps to evaluate a problem if you can see it.

I would contact Thorn first in any case and then proceed from there depending on what they tell you.

If the bike has been purchased secondhand or as just a frameset, then you have other options including repair or tube replacement. It kind of depends on whether the rust started from the outside-in or the inside-out and how much other damage there is to the interior.

I am a hobbyist framebuilder who has successfully patched holes in others' rusted-out frames by either replacing that tube or brazing on a patch. If the tube is otherwise sound and the hole is small, then even a brazed-in threaded collar (think: bottle boss) or washer can do the job and allow for subsequent drainage. You'd be surprised at how little the paint can be damaged by the repair; it is usually very localized

The problem is, once water gets inside the frame and has caused damage to this degree, the interior tends to be in overall bad shape. When the tinworms really get a foothold, it can be difficult to arrest the damage or it may be too late. Depending on the location, then looking inside would help greatly. I'm hoping it is near the bottom bracket so you can easily peer inside.

G'Boy, could you attach some photos for us to see? I'm not sure where the holes are located, but if they are on the chainstay, perhaps an errant bit of chainsuck could have damaged the surface enough to start rust? Even so, a chainstay replacement isn't a huge thing for a framebuilder to do, and the chances for repair are still good.

So, yes, contact Thorn for advice first off and then please let us know how things go.  I am so sorry you've got this problem to deal with, and I can only imagine your horror on finding it.

Best,

Dan.

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 08:11:40 PM »
Hi Dan.
Thanks for your reply.

I am the original owner and it was a complete bike from thorn - the only things added are racks by tubus front and rear and an arai hub brake with a suntour power shifter I have modified to fit on to the a-headstem.

The hole is in what some people call the boom tube - the big butted tube that runs parallel with the top tube.

I still have the order and bill of sale somewhere in my less than perfect filing system. Some say it is an exercise in random floor storage, but they will never understand the finely tuned systems involved.

The bike has been around southern Ireland and to the Alps twice as well as local trips so has done a few miles, but does look almost immaculate (except for the holes). I will dig out the camera and charge the battery and post a pic. It will be waaaaay out of warranty by now as they didn't have huge warranties then.

 
 

Danneaux

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 09:14:43 PM »
Quote
It will be waaaaay out of warranty by now as they didn't have huge warranties then.
<nods> Yes, I understand, one has to go with the warranty in effect at time of purchase. It will be a help in any case to prove original ownership, I'd think.

Corrosion damage is always an iffy sort of thing 'cos it is so slow and insidious and difficult to establish a primary cause.

Your filing system and bicycle's condition mirror my own, and I can only imagine how heartsick you must feel. Still, I think you're wise to contact Thorn first as they can best advise going forward. Even if it is something not covered by warranty, seeing the photos will help them best suggest a next course of action.

If this were to happen on a tandem, I think your rust problem is in the "best" location to effect a repair with minimal difficulty. Replacing keel/boom tubes isn't terribly difficult, and it is no great trick to cut out the old and braze or TiG weld a replacement. So long as the tubes are intact and still attached, frame alignment shouldn't even be an issue as it would be if the tube parted. I'm thinking you might get a very good paint match as well because the tube is isolated between the bottom brackets and is low down on the bike and therefore less noticeable than if it were, say, a top tube. Don't forget...Kevin Sayles, Thorn's former in-house builder, is now back at Woodrup Cycles and they can do repairs to an extremely high standard. You would need to get a quote before going ahead, if it comes to that. A link is here: http://www.woodrupcycles.com/workshop_services Really, it is a fairly quick job any builder could do, so there might even be possibilities for repair closer to home for you.

Your memories with the bike are wonderful and it must look outstanding. Photos of it would always be welcome in the Forum gallery, where tandems tend to be underrepresented.

Very best of luck to you going forward. Please keep us in the loop as things develop.

Dan.

sg37409

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 12:13:45 AM »
Get on to Thorn. I thought they've had a lifetime warranty on most of their bikes and tandems frames for sometime.  The poor paintwork and preparation (addressed to a large degree more recently) has been debated numerous times, and though this maybe a consequence, its the first time I've heard of a hole ! One hole with filler is not a great advert for quality.

Their customer service is excellent. I'd expect thorn to be very sympathetic even if this isnt covered by a lifetime warranty.

(i dont actually know what warranty mine have)
best of luck
-steve

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2013, 08:55:44 PM »
Photo
 

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2013, 08:57:37 PM »
Photo
 

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2013, 08:59:19 PM »
Photo
 

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2013, 09:07:59 PM »
Tandem in Ireland a few years back
 

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 04:29:47 PM »
Hello Stewart

I've never seen anything quite like that, it appears to be corrosion from untreated stonechips and as such not a "lifetime" warranty issue (I can't find your original transaction to see if you bought it from us new anyway).
In all probability, if the corrosion is checked now with something like currust (remove ANY loose paint to expose the full extent of it) fill the holes and repaint, the tube will not fracture. (I have NEVER seen a tandem base tube crack on ANY brand of tandem in my 25 years in the trade)
If however you wanted to replace the tube completely we could organise this for you, I'd not have a firm price till I saw the frame but my feeling would be 350.00 to include a full respray if you presented us with just the F+F or a subsidised 500.00 to include strip and rebuild with new cables, any other parts extra.
Currently, I've lost my voice so if you want to continue this conversation please email me! (sorry, normally I'd prefer to chat).

Regards

ROBIN THORN
St John St Cycles
91-93 St John Street
Bridgwater, Somerset
TA6 5HX
Tel: 01278-441522   (Int ++44-1278-441522)
Fax: 01278 431107  (Int ++44-1278-431107)

mailto:robin@sjscycles.com

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-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Whittle [mailto:dave@sjscycles.com]
Sent: 15 July 2013 08:27
To: 'Robin Thorn'
Subject: FW: Photos



Regards

Dave Whittle
Workshop Supervisor
Thorn Cycles Ltd
91-93 St John Street
Bridgwater
Somerset
TA6 5HX
Tel: 01278-441542   (Int ++44-1278-441542)
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The information contained in this message may be confidential and is intended for the addressee only.  Any unauthorised use, dissemination of the information, or copying of this message is prohibited.  If you are not the addressee, please notify the sender immediately by return email and delete this message.

The views expressed in this email are not that of the organisation unless specified within the message.

Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be free of any virus, or other defect which might affect any computer or system into which they are received and opened, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they are virus free and no responsibility is accepted by St John St Cycles for any loss or damage from receipt or use thereof.


-----Original Message-----
From: Stuart Bennett [mailto:twatboyslim@googlemail.com]
Sent: 14 July 2013 21:16
To: sales@thorncycles.co.uk
Subject: Photos

 

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2013, 04:37:49 PM »
All I can say is rubbish, Robin. Stone chips do not contain filler and you don't get stone chips just in front of the stoker's bottom bracket and nowhere else. The paint isn't brilliant and currust  I have already brought, but with about three or four points of quite nasty rot I don't trust it on a three week tour. Whilst he has seen no total failures there can always be a first. As previously stated it is kept in a garage (dry) and fairly constant heat. It's never seen salt as I have a few bikes and we both have winter bikes
 

sg37409

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 09:42:45 PM »
Disappointing.

I've experienced how bad thorn frame prep's can be in the past, though as I said I think they're a lot better now.  This looks like a very bad, but not atypical example.  Of course, it is possible that the prev. owner did this, but far more likely is that this was done at time of manufacture. I'd have liked to hear thorn stepping up to the plate in spite of the lack of proof of this, but seems they're not too willing. Maybe this a reasonable approach, and RT's offer is very fair for a 2nd owner.   I just find it disappointing that they dont stand 110% behind their frame warranties.   

Its worth speaking to RT / Thorn in my experience.

guerillaboy

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 11:24:53 PM »
Sg. I am the original owner and am dissapointed by the response. I will put all emails on here, but am sitting back to see if they ' step up' as you say. I have sent robin thorn my original bill of sale and am in discussion with him. I want to be fair and give thorn every chance to rectify before I put in this and other forums. Will post the outcome on here. At the moment he is arguing the toss. Got to send more photo's.
 

jags

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 11:59:44 PM »
looks like a genuine case to me,        if the frame is guaranteed liketime to original owner then i reckon it should be replaced or at least fixed free of charge .

ah i don't think you'll will have to many problems getting thorn to sort it out there pretty good at that.
have faith ;)

Robin Thorn

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Re: holes in thorn tandem's tube
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 10:27:53 AM »
Good morning Stewart (cc rest of the world)
Just to remind you I'm still waiting on some better photos from you, if you'd prefer to simply make an appointment to bring the frame down for me to inspect to save some time, feel free to phone me on:
01278441522 or 07768057585 this will I'm afraid need to be a weekday as we don't open @ the weekends.
These frames were made for us in the UK (nb this bike is 10 years old) so we can't actually know what went on in it's manufacturing process. Our "lifetime" warranty is something we offer over and above any statutory rights and it's not something we wriggle out of (I've heard of other companies that cite Chris Juden's statement that the expected life of a bike is ten years so their "lifetime" warranty is only for ten years!) but I do need to decide that there is a fair claim, ten years is a long time, anything could have happened to the bike in that time, had you been able to send me quality photos of the problem showing the filler (if that's what it was) we wouldn't need to be doing our dirty washing here in the high street! (I do realise however that you did not know when you first spotted that there was a problem that is was anything like so severe).
Please reply to my email, feel free to post it on the forum also but generally I'm not looking on the forum on a regular basis so I might miss any coms for me only posted.

Regards

ROBIN THORN
St John St Cycles
91-93 St John Street
Bridgwater, Somerset
TA6 5HX
Tel: 01278-441522   (Int ++44-1278-441522)
Fax: 01278 431107  (Int ++44-1278-431107)

mailto:robin@sjscycles.com