I need your help ABG won't fix my Merlin Cielo
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  1. #1
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    I need your help ABG won't fix my Merlin Cielo

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new to your forum but I need you help, please.

    I am, or was, the proud owner of a Merlin Cielo.



    It's my second Merlin Cielo as the first one fell apart after 6 weeks when the bonding failed.

    What you cannot see from the first picture is this.



    It happened a few weeks ago while I was cycling home after a 30mile ride. At first I thought it was a spoke going in my new Tune rear wheel but, as you can see, it's much much worse.

    ABG have closed down in the UK so it took me sometime to make contact with them but eventually the frame was sent back for repair.

    In the past few days I have been informed that the will not repair my Merlin Cielo under warranty as they consider the bike was in an impact.
    To prove this they have sent me several photographs and I'll post the main two here:





    It transpires the rear hanger is bent out of alignment and, even worse, the left hand side was about to snap off too!

    My Merlin Cielo has lived a very comfortable life, it resides in a heated and carpetted room, it rarely goes out in the rain and certainly has never been in a crash.

    I have asked ABG to provide me with scientific evidence for their theory but, as yet, I have not had a response.

    However, they are refusing to repair my Merlin Cielo under warranty.

    What can I do?

    Please help.

    Pete

  2. #2
    DrD
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    How much are they saying the repair would cost? It looks like it would be a reasonably straighforward job. If they absolutely refuse to repair it under warranty, maybe you can get them to go 50:50 on the repair or something like that?

  3. #3
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    They are not saying how much, they are offering to sell me a new frame.

    The point is though my Merlin Cielo has not been in a crash and it should be fixed under warranty.

  4. #4
    DrD
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    Well that sucks... it's a beautiful frame... Have you tried calling them (with email it's all to easy for them to just say no) - I guess the 800 number doesn't work overseas, but maybe they have a regular number?

  5. #5
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    I haven't tried telephoning but I think I will.

    I think my next step will be to email the CEO and anyone else I can find in management as the warranty people obviously think I am a liar and that I'm trying to con therm


  6. #6
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    Yeah, that sucks. Beautiful bike.
    Here's a contact that might be able to help you out and get it resolved.
    He responded quickly to an issue I had... Good Luck!

    Chris Brown
    Litespeed, Quintana Roo & Merlin
    Account Manager
    Phone: 800-229-0198 ext. 250
    [email protected]

  7. #7
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    Funny that an "impact" wouldn't break the thin carbon stays or the .8 mm walled chain stays. Instead, it breaks at one of the thicker welds. With good welds that should be one of the toughest parts, but two broken welds suggests the welds themselves are the problem.

    I believe a metalurgist could examine the weld chemically to tell whether suffered from oxygen embrittlement or not.


    What's the picture with the ruler supposed to show?

    If you don't get satisfaction, post your situation on every forum you can find. They are calling their customer a liar - not cool.

  8. #8
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    The picture with the ruler shows the rear hanger is bent out by a fraction of an inch.

    The warranty department are using this as evidence to prove my Merlin Cielo was in an impact which resulted in both dropouts snapping off and the hanger being bent.

    I have asked why none of the rest of the bike was damaged in such an impact and, coming to that, how come I'm still alive?


  9. #9
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    thank you, I'm hoping to get an extensive email list but I dare say I'll get blocked.


    Quote Originally Posted by redmasi
    Yeah, that sucks. Beautiful bike.
    Here's a contact that might be able to help you out and get it resolved.
    He responded quickly to an issue I had... Good Luck!

    Chris Brown
    Litespeed, Quintana Roo & Merlin
    Account Manager
    Phone: 800-229-0198 ext. 250
    [email protected]

  10. #10
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    You don't tell whether a hanger is bent by using a ruler. You use a hanger alignment tool. Likely the same tool that Merlin used to align the hanger in the first place. Hanger gets welded into the frame, then bent into alignment with a measurement tool. So to say they won't warranty your frame due to a hanger that they bent into shape is stoopid. And how would you bend a hanger away from center anyway? In a crash it would bend in.

  11. #11
    I love to climb!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbmet
    In a crash it would bend in.
    Exactly what I was thinking. The picture with the hanger shows it only ever-so-slightly bent out. I've straightened many, many hangers that were worse bent than that from crashes that did not injure the bike at all. That hanger looks so lightly out of true that it would probably not even matter! The rear derailleur would probably shift just fine.

    I would contact the dealer and let them handle the warranty claim; they may have better luck with getting a warranty than going direct yourself.

  12. #12
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    It really doesn't surprise me that they wouldn't warranty it or offer to repair it and I'm going to leave it at that.

    However, I would look around the UK for a frame builder who can repair it and wash my wash my hands of them.

  13. #13
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    I've never bent it. My merlin was pampered.

    I gave up falling off, it hurts.

    I've just emailed Hi Tech Bikes to see if they can help.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by infopete
    I've never bent it. My merlin was pampered.

    I gave up falling off, it hurts.

    I've just emailed Hi Tech Bikes to see if they can help.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that it looked like you crashed. Actually, the opposite. I meant that if you had crashed, it would have bent in, and it's not in, therefore does not look like a crash. And the bend outward is so slight that you may have originally received the bike that way.

  15. #15
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    that's actually a very common area for a frame to fail after 10K miles or more because it's a high stress point. My steel frame boke there but not at the weld, the actual drop-out cracked. the fact that this frame broke at the weld in such a short time period really points to a bad weld. The fact that both sides failed really re-enforces that too. The weld doesn't actually look bad from the standpoint of how mcuh heat was used so i'm guessing bad filler rod or some other contamination? The misalignment proves absolutely nothing because after the break the frame would stress relieve itself, inherent to any welding and post welding "alignment" process.

    On a side note, that drop-out/chain-stay attachment design is rather flawed but that's just my opinion. It's a little dejavu-ish for me because I just had a disagreement with another poster about that in another thread few weeks back, my comment
    Neither of those look very good, the steat stay joint looked like it's washed out and chain-stay joint is pieced together from 3 pieces creating a stress riser. In order to leave the end of the tube round you would really need to use hooded drop-outs or form the end of the tube down gradually to a taper so the transition from tube to drop out is not so severe. Just my humble opinion
    his response

    You should let the guys from Merlin that invented this method 20 years ago know about your opinions. I'll be sure to post when my Extralight fails from the "stress risers".
    Hooded dropouts are a labor saving device - they aren't 'better', just easier to weld. That's what they say at the UCI frame building school, anyway
    "Pee-wee Herman loved his bicycle more than life itself"

  16. #16
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    It's ok, I've just replied in the other thread on this point too. I have no idea why it's bent especially as it's bent outwards. It is very weird especially as it would take some bending.

  17. #17
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    All my other bikes have done much more mileage than the Merlin. My old Vitus 979 lasted 18 years and my second-hand Raleigh 753 10 years, it's appalling the Merlin failed so quickly.

    But not as bad as the service fro the American Bike Group.

    Quote Originally Posted by draganM
    that's actually a very common area for a frame to fail after 10K miles or more because it's a high stress point. My steel frame boke there but not at the weld, the actual drop-out cracked. the fact that this frame broke at the weld in such a short time period really points to a bad weld. The fact that both sides failed really re-enforces that too. The weld doesn't actually look bad from the standpoint of how mcuh heat was used so i'm guessing bad filler rod or some other contamination? The misalignment proves absolutely nothing because after the break the frame would stress relieve itself, inherent to any welding and post welding "alignment" process.

    On a side note, that drop-out/chain-stay attachment design is rather flawed but that's just my opinion. It's a little dejavu-ish for me because I just had a disagreement with another poster about that in another thread few weeks back, my comment

    his response

  18. #18
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    That weld failed due to hydrogen embrittlement. Let Merlin know that you can send the fracture surface out for SEM analysis, and if it shows the presence of hydrides on the fracture surface, that you expect them to pick up the bill for the SEM time and for a brand new frame. The other welds on that frame are suspect also. Tell them that your metallurgist recommends that they should listen to this advice.

    SteveM.

  19. #19
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    That weld failed due to hydrogen embrittlement. Let Merlin know that you can send the fracture surface out for SEM analysis, and if it shows the presence of hydrides on the fracture surface, that you expect them to pick up the bill for the SEM time and for a brand new frame. The other welds on that frame are suspect also. Tell them that your metallurgist recommends that they should listen to this advice.

    SteveM.

  20. #20
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    Tell them that he's so confident about the hydrogen embrittlement, that he posted it twice.

  21. #21
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    Hi Jetmugg,

    American Bike Group/Merlin warranty are not keen to give me the time of day at the moment and I don't think they will send the frame for analysis; their minds are closed.

  22. #22
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    This is an obvious weld failure due to a manufacturing defect. For a company like ABG to deny a claim without any kind of written report is laughable.

    I work in manufacturing (stuff a lot less pricey than a Merlin bicycle frame). We also make a lot more products than ABG ever dreamed of. Every returned product is inspected by a process control engineer and a written report is submitted to the customer, regardless of whether the claim is justified or not.

    Poor customer service and technical ineptitude/ refusal to properly take responsibility for manufacturing defects will cost this company in the long and short run. Keep this topic active, and keep the pressure on for a fair resolution.

    Ask for a written report, and spread the word.

    SteveM.

    All claims

  23. #23
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    I've sent the CEO an email so I'm waiting for a reply.

    If that doesn't work I'll telephone.

    If that doesn't work, back to the drawing board.

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