Dented My New Cannondale Frame Already!!!



meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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I was working on my bike in the garage the other night, just doing routine maintenance. I finished-up and took the bike off the stand and leaned it up against the workbench. My two dogs were outside the back door of the garage whining to come in (you can probably already see where I'm going with this) so I let them in. Anyway, I turned around to do something and I hear a "crash". Titan, my 120 pound Olde English Bulldogge, had tipped my CAAD 5 C'dale over and the top tube struck a 4" x 4" wood post. I ran over to take a look and sure enough the top tube was scratched-up and there was a small dent where it hit the post. DAMMIT! I could've killed my dog! It's a brand new frame.

I used some of this "G27" (or something like that) scratch remover that my wife had purchased to remove scratches from her car (maybe you've seen the infomercial? :eek: ) and amazingly, it took the scratches right out! So that was pretty cool. But I have a small dent in my top tube. I'm thinking that it's just aesthetic but I wanted to see what you guys thought.

The dent is maybe 1/2"-3/4" long and about 1/4" wide (the top tube hit the corner of a wood post if you can picture it) and about 1/4" deep. It's located on the right side of the top tube about midway between the head tube and seat tube. Will it have any structural impact on the thin-walled aluminum frame? Do you think there's anything to worry about aside from aesthetics?

I was beside myself and my wife just doesn't get it. She was like; "it's just a little dent, so what?" So I guess half the reason I'm posting is because I know you guys will understand my anguish! :D
 

Weisse Luft

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May 28, 2004
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It will probably be fine but have the C'Dale rep look it over. Then try the dry ice dent removal method. Get dry ice. Leave the bike outside in warm weather. Apply dry ice to the dent, holding a small chunk in thick terry towel and slowly rubbing the dent with the dry ice until it matches the shape of the dent. The dent might fully pop out but at the minimum, you should be able to remove over half the depth.

Do not touch dry ice with bare skin. Do this outside in warm weather. Warm frames respond best but nothing over 150F.
 

awiner

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Sep 14, 2004
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Best bet is to have a Cannondale authorized dealer look at it. Dents in the thin wall can compromise the frame rigidity.
 

meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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Weisse Luft said:
It will probably be fine but have the C'Dale rep look it over. Then try the dry ice dent removal method. Get dry ice. Leave the bike outside in warm weather. Apply dry ice to the dent, holding a small chunk in thick terry towel and slowly rubbing the dent with the dry ice until it matches the shape of the dent. The dent might fully pop out but at the minimum, you should be able to remove over half the depth.

Do not touch dry ice with bare skin. Do this outside in warm weather. Warm frames respond best but nothing over 150F.

Thanks for the sugestions. I'll definitely have a C'Dale rep look at it.

I've never heard of removing a dent with dry ice. Interseting... Where does a person get dry ice? Can the dry ice damage the paint? Sounds like it might be worth a try.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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meehs said:
Thanks for the sugestions. I'll definitely have a C'Dale rep look at it.

I've never heard of removing a dent with dry ice. Interseting... Where does a person get dry ice? Can the dry ice damage the paint? Sounds like it might be worth a try.
If it's not sharply creased,I wouldn't worry about it.Just don't cover it up and keep an eye on it. Worst thing that can happen is it could start to crack. It won't fail without notice.
 

Weisse Luft

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Try ice cream street vendors, ice cream wholesalers, larger grocery stores and costume shops, especially considering its the haunting season ;)

It does not damage the paint unless the impact has done some damage. I did it to my C'dale with an identical dent although I cannot blame the dog. My own carelessness. Rubbing compound removed the scuff, actually paint from the OTHER object (door jamb).

Bring a picnic cooler for the purchase and keep the vents on your car open, windows down. Do not stop for any length of time with the cooler in the car. Store it in a non-inhabited place, like tool shed. CO2 sinks in air.

If you feel unsure, try a search for "paintless dent removal". They might be willing to do a bicycle but I have not tried.

It works well on C'Dales due to the aluminum, the large tubes and thin walls.
 

DiabloScott

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May 15, 2003
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I can totally relate, although I avoided catastrophe myself.

I had taken my bike off the hooks and was removing some abandoned 2-inch electrical conduit from overhead in my garage. The stuff was heavier than I thought and suddenly a long section came slamming down from the rafters and hitting the concrete floor *INCHES* from my new Klein frame. It would have been sliced in half. I changed my pants and had a good laugh.
 

Cruzzer08

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Jul 19, 2004
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Dude I dont have any advice but if I dented my cadd 7 I would have to take a week off work
 

trekie

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Aug 18, 2004
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Meehs,

I don't know how long this post has been up... I was just searching the archives and came across it. I'm curious if you tried the dry ice trick? And if you did, did it work? How about the Cannondale reps, were they any help? Just curious
 

rek

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Aug 31, 2002
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lol, it must be some kind of a rite of passage for every Cannondale owner to do this. I did exactly the same thing (bike slipped and the top tube hit a ledge), at exactly the same place (middle of the top tube), about a month after I bought my road bike, also a CAAD 5.

The thing is that if it's in the middle of the top tube, it's not really a very stressed area and will most likely stay just fine. I've put 10000+km on my frame since the dent without any worries. Yeah, if you look closely you see the dint and it kinda sucks, but the bike was made to ride, not to be oogled at. You can't see it when it's travelling at 40+ kph :cool:

Personally I wouldn't bother trying to bend the tube back into shape.. remember "aluminium only bends once" and bending it further will only make it even weaker.
 

meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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Weisse Luft said:
Try ice cream street vendors, ice cream wholesalers, larger grocery stores and costume shops, especially considering its the haunting season ;)

It does not damage the paint unless the impact has done some damage. I did it to my C'dale with an identical dent although I cannot blame the dog. My own carelessness. Rubbing compound removed the scuff, actually paint from the OTHER object (door jamb).

Bring a picnic cooler for the purchase and keep the vents on your car open, windows down. Do not stop for any length of time with the cooler in the car. Store it in a non-inhabited place, like tool shed. CO2 sinks in air.

If you feel unsure, try a search for "paintless dent removal". They might be willing to do a bicycle but I have not tried.

It works well on C'Dales due to the aluminum, the large tubes and thin walls.

Weisse Luft: Did you use the dry ice technique on your Cannondale then? If so, was it successful? My wife is a chemist and it turns out she can bring me some dry ice from work if I'd like her to.

There's really no sharp crease or anything like that so I may just leave it alone as boudreaux and rek suggeted. I'll get over it as long as my frame doesn't start to crack or something. I was just having (albeit irrational) visions of my top tube folding on me when I hit a nasty bump on a fast descent. LOL!

I appreciate everyone's responses and sympathy! :D
 

meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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trekie said:
Meehs,

I don't know how long this post has been up... I was just searching the archives and came across it. I'm curious if you tried the dry ice trick? And if you did, did it work? How about the Cannondale reps, were they any help? Just curious

I just posted this yesterday so I haven't attempted the dry ice thing yet. Nor have I had the chance to show it to a C'dale rep. I'll post again to let everyone know what happens in either case.
 

Weisse Luft

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May 28, 2004
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meehs said:
Weisse Luft: Did you use the dry ice technique on your Cannondale then? If so, was it successful? My wife is a chemist and it turns out she can bring me some dry ice from work if I'd like her to.

There's really no sharp crease or anything like that so I may just leave it alone as boudreaux and rek suggeted. I'll get over it as long as my frame doesn't start to crack or something. I was just having (albeit irrational) visions of my top tube folding on me when I hit a nasty bump on a fast descent. LOL!

I appreciate everyone's responses and sympathy! :D

Yes, dry ice was used on my Cannondale. It didn't completely remove the dent but it removed over 1/2 the "depth". I will have to wait for a nice hot summer day to do the rest as a warmer frame is more successful.
 

capwater

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Sep 15, 2003
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Can someone explain the premise behind using dry ice? It sounds like a neat idea, just curious as to the chemical/bio mechanical aspect of how it works.

Thanks.
 

Scotty_Dog

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Jul 30, 2004
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capwater said:
Can someone explain the premise behind using dry ice? It sounds like a neat idea, just curious as to the chemical/bio mechanical aspect of how it works.
I've never tried this technique, but it does make some sense. Here's my take:
We all know that heat causes metal to expand, so I assume that cold would cause metal to shrink. A dent is simply an inward expansion of the metal and maybe the cold from the dry ice would cause the dent to shrink back closer to normal shape.

Anyone in the know please feel free to correct me..........:D
 

Peter Verdesi

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Aug 26, 2004
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Scotty_Dog said:
I've never tried this technique, but it does make some sense. Here's my take:
We all know that heat causes metal to expand, so I assume that cold would cause metal to shrink. A dent is simply an inward expansion of the metal and maybe the cold from the dry ice would cause the dent to shrink back closer to normal shape.

Anyone in the know please feel free to correct me..........:D
I was just checking out this post and was curious about the "dry ice method"(I've got a multisport 4000 with a small dent in the top tube). I was wondering if it would be better to heat the area with a hair dryer before putting the dry ice on the dent?
 

oldhousedr

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Aug 5, 2004
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No advice here, just sympathy from a fellow C-dale rider. Good luck with the dent removal.
 

dhk

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Sep 1, 2003
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Scotty_Dog said:
I've never tried this technique, but it does make some sense. Here's my take:
We all know that heat causes metal to expand, so I assume that cold would cause metal to shrink. A dent is simply an inward expansion of the metal and maybe the cold from the dry ice would cause the dent to shrink back closer to normal shape.

Anyone in the know please feel free to correct me..........:D

Sounds right to me. But, like rek said, applying thermal stress to the location already stressed seems like a great way to further weaken the metal right at the boundary, and make it more likely to crack.

If it were my bike, I'd leave it alone and just keep an eye on it to make sure it isn't cracking in the future. Really doubt it will be anything more than a cosmetic problem.