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  1. #1
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    Pugsley: post-crash decisions to make!

    Coming off a local former-RR right of way trail last weekend, I was hit by a car. No real damage to me, (if the MIPS helmet folks need a spokesperson, I'd do it for free...) but the Pugs, after analysis by LBS, has damaged rear triangle, alignment out, no visible bends. Not ridable.

    Fat bikes like the Pugs have bottom brackets that are too wide to have the frame fit on any frame table that I know of.

    The problem is this: the Pugs has asymmetrical aspects to the frame. Having a frame repair shop bend the rear triangle back into alignment might not be so simple.

    Everything else on the bike is good to go: wheels/tires, gearing, fork, brakes, seat/tube, bars, etc. But Surly has changed the geometry of the Pugsley frame so that the wheels could not be moved over to a new frame, which starts to add up, money-wise.

    So, would you try to have the frame straightened anyhow? Some $$ involved in removing all the bike's components, shipping, remounting everything. Or would you throw in the towel and find another bike?

    I got this bike used (it's a 2011), and a new Pugs or Wednesday or the like is close to $1500 by the time you get done - ouch! What would you do?

  2. #2
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    Really everything would work except your rear wheel , so the price of a frame and wheel would not be that bad.

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  3. #3
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    But the price of that compared to all new stuff, I would either keep the pug for parts or part it out to recoup your price of the new bike.

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  4. #4
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    Surly website says they have adapters to fit 135 rear wheel to the new wider frame.
    Latitude 61

  5. #5
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    You might try calling places that specialize in straightening motorcycle frames. They might have a table and some fixtures that could be used to hold and align the frame. It's a long shot, but might be worth a couple calls.

    You can find a used Pugs for 1/2, or less, of what a new one is.

  6. #6
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    Find a good used Pugs frame and swap everything over.

  7. #7
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    If you got hit, shouldn't the person that hit you be paying for damages to you and the bike with insurance?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Rides Bikes View Post
    If you got hit, shouldn't the person that hit you be paying for damages to you and the bike with insurance?
    Agreed. Unless you were at fault, your LBS should just provided a totalled invoice for the cost of replacing your Pugsley with a comparable new bike.

  9. #9
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    I didn't see the guy coming. I am routinely extremely careful when on the road. I am uncertain as to whether anyone could ever determine who was at fault, FWIW.

    My helmet smashed the driver's windshield with a big round bash. I don't want to get into a "he said she said" thing, as I am not really much injured and my helmet is completely intact as well. I guess I am glad to be alive and well at this point, more than anything else.

    I could buy a new Pugs frame and move everything except the wheels over, but am just waiting for all of my "research" to play out first.

  10. #10
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    That's one idea. There have been some ridiculously good deals on eBay lately - a shop in Brooklyn sold a pretty much unused Pugs frame/fork + 2 new rims for less than $200! It was purple, but...

  11. #11
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    How bout keep the wheels on, put it in its side on wood blocks (the convex side down) and gently put weight on it to bend it back. It doesnít have to come out perfect to be rideable.

  12. #12
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    Any competent framebuilder can straighten it out for you. Fatbikes can be put on alignment tables (though you don't even need one, really) just like anything else.

    How did the shop determine that there was an alignment problem? Most frames have detectable (sometimes with the naked eye) alignment discrepancies when they're brand new. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them, though, as perfect alignment isn't even vaguely necessary for a frame to ride straight/well.

    -Walt

  13. #13
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    Thanks for your input. It was a moderate speed crash, maybe the car was decelerating to about 30 mph when it hit me. The bike was (I guess...) hit on the left side lower, but there is no impact mark at all - nor is there on me. I the car hit at 90 degrees, and maybe pushed the bike forward and it flew into the air (as did I...) and landed hard. The rear wheel is about 1/2 inch visibly too close to the chain side chainstay, for starters. The LBS I go to is pretty good, and suggested maybe someone with the equipment and knowledge/skill could repair it.

    I'm going to retrieve the bike tomorrow and take it to the only shop that even has a frame table at all, see what their tech says. I really enjoy this bike, but I don't want to throw good money after bad. I'll try to post a couple of pics here as well. If there's a local framebuilder, I haven't been able to find him/her. Years ago, through my business, I knew of a couple of custom frame fabricators, but they've since moved on.

    I really appreciate your comments, as frame geometry is not something I know much about. Any insight I can gather will help me get back on the road sooner!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbsuburb2017 View Post
    That's one idea. There have been some ridiculously good deals on eBay lately - a shop in Brooklyn sold a pretty much unused Pugs frame/fork + 2 new rims for less than $200! It was purple, but...
    Hey! Iíve got one of those. Itís not just purple, itís sparkly purple, pal, and itís freakin awesome!

  15. #15
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    Are you sure the shop knows the Pug has an offset rear triangle?

    The beauty of the Pug is that it is steel, so it can be straightened.

    The way a job like that was done in the distant past (before alignment tables etc) was to stick the frame in a big vice clamping on the ends of the BB shell and heaving away to bend it back in small increments. Best to screw in some old BB ends to protect the shell though.

    So long as none of the stays have got a kink in them, it should work.

    I'm about to do exactly that on a 1935 BSA sports frame I have been given because it is "unrepairable".

    I'm not an expert like Walt, and you should take his advice before mine, but I used to work in a bike shop when I was a kid 60 years ago. I helped build/repair frames - mainly working the bellows.
    There was an impressively medieval selection of torture equipment bolted to the walls of the workshop to clamp the resulting frames so that they could be straightened or aligned. (Virtually none came off the brazing hearth perfect).

    One proviso, modern steel may not be as forgiving of this as the old stuff, but still worth a try. At worst, you have nothing to lose.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by velobike View Post
    are you sure the shop knows the pug has an offset rear triangle?

    this!!!

  17. #17
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    Thanks. I dunno at this point. The LBS I patronize is a Surly dealer, but they don't have any kind of frame straightening experience. I have found one local shop that at least has a tech with a frame table, so I'm going to haul the bike over there today for an opinion. I did find what appears to be an excellent frame shop online, who clearly understands the Pugs' offset architecture, so I might just strip the frame and send it off to him. And there are no visible kinks or bends anywhere that I can see.
    Last edited by urbsuburb2017; 09-06-2018 at 07:20 AM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
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    Hey, no offense intended - just not my color. But I guess it's diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks! I'm partial to my current Snowblind frame, but also like the grays, khaki and black ones.

  19. #19
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    Unless you are absolutely married to the Pugsley (which isn't a bad thing at all) it might be a good opportunity to upgrade to a newer geo frame. As much as I love my Pug I have to admit that the Wednesday is so much more fun to ride especially on faster trails. Just something to think about.

    Also, unless you know somebody local that is actually good at straightening your frame then it might not be a good idea to go that route. Your frame absolutely can be fixed but the big question is can you find anybody that can do it right?

  20. #20
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    buy a used frame, or just pick up a new bike.

  21. #21
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    End of the story: through a sort of amazing chain of events, I was able to buy a brand-new-in-the-box 2013 Pugs frame from a member here, had it shipped to a LBS who's also here - The Mendon Cyclesmith - and had the components moved over to the new frame. So, now I'm rocking a new 2013 black Pugs frame with the (old) white offset fork. Looks pretty nice, and didn't cost me and arm and a leg, either. The old frame will go to a local frame builder for a try at straightening it. If it works (and doesn't crack), I think I'll have the old frame custom powdercoated in some interesting custom color and eventually build up another bike...

  22. #22
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    Great news. Important safety tip, don't request any Bontrager parts be put on it during the rebuild.

  23. #23
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    You must post photos!

  24. #24
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    Heaven forbid!

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Great news. Important safety tip, don't request any Bontrager parts be put on it during the rebuild.
    I'll say: Not with my bike you don't!

    All the LBS did was to move over everything. I needed a new front derailleur to accomodate the slightly different location of the braze-ons on the new frame. But since the new frame came with the proper adapter to mount this, it was no big deal. So, BB7 brakes intact (impact had blasted off the little adjustment wheel, which was replaced), as were seat post/seat, handlebars/shifters/brake controls, etc. The bike rides exactly as before, but after 4 weeks off the road, sit bones require some "reacquaintance" with the Brooks B17 saddle...

  25. #25
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    Reading on here about somebody asking "are you sure the shop knows the pug has an offset rear triangle?" reminds me of a time a few short years ago, my bestest bud in the whole world had his Surly frame painted, I believe it was a Moonlander, almost sure of it, well the painter dropped it, or something, we never quite figured out what he did but the bottom line is he damaged it, then he was a total dumbass and didn't realize he was trying to straighten a frame that was supposed to be offset. It was a freaking disaster. Gawd I had forgotten all about that until I opened this thread up!!!!

  26. #26
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    Also, the advantage of riding a carbon frame is when you get hit by a car at a high rate of speed, what happens to the frame removes any decision making on your end as to what to do about it in terms of wrestling with the idea of "Is it bent, should I fix it"?? Don't ask me how I know.

  27. #27
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    Funny, that was one of my first concerns. When the frame guy looked at the bike, he specifically mentioned that the Pugs had an offset rear triangle. Just for fun, he stood over the bike and with his hands, was able to bend the rear triangle back about halfway! His attitude was to just get a new frame and deal with the damaged one later. Personally, given the point of impact was apparently on the rear disc brake adjustment wheel, I'm amazed that the rear wheel only required adjustment to a few spokes to be restored into the wheel being true. But those double-walled Large Marge wheels are pretty beefy, I guess.

  28. #28
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    If the frame could be bent halfway back by hand I don't think I'd trust it.
    Latitude 61

  29. #29
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    Interesting. Why?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbsuburb2017 View Post
    ..Not ridable...
    can i ask how you got home after?


  31. #31
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    Sure! I wasn't badly injured. A neighbor who heard the crash offered to give me and the bike a ride home (about 15 miles), which I accepted. The state police were a bit baffled when they asked me where my car was - and I sort of shrugged and said, "In my driveway, at home." I guess they figured a ride of more than 15 miles on a bicycle was kind of "unusual." I had actually travelled about 23 miles at that point, and was heading to the next part of my "loop," maybe 38 miles total. No big deal, even though I am far from being a young guy...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbsuburb2017 View Post
    Interesting. Why?
    Because it just seems like it shouldn't be that easy to bend.
    Latitude 61

  33. #33
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    Photo upload not working for me

    Can't seem to add a photo, by either usual means.

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