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  1. #1
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    Paint bubbling on my Helius

    I asked Falco about this a couple of weeks back, but haven't heard from him yet (figure he might be on holiday), so I thought I'd ask what you guys think about this.

    The clearcoat of my frame is bubbling and coming off under the opening of my front derailleur clamp (Shitmano XTR). The clamp bolt wasn't torqued down overly tight, but not overly loose either, I'd say it was just right.

    It's quite a big bubble, and I don't want this to spread even more than it already has. Has anyone perhaps got any experience with something like this and maybe some tips on how to prevent this bubble becoming bigger? Ducktape it down tight? Many thanks!
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  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
    Reputation: crisillo's Avatar
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    bummer on that (hopefully it doesn't get worst)....maybe you should call Nicolai if you want a faster response (late July-August is holiday month around here...so it is likely that you are right and Falco is on holidays)

  3. #3
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    Maybe your email got somehow lost on its way to Falco or at Falco's , my questions normally get answered within 48hrs max, normally within 24hrs.

    But i guess right now is the busiest time of year for Nicolai (and Universal Transmission), with preparing for the EUROBIKE tradeshow in September, getting the 2009 catalogue done and organizing a "testival" this weekend (which i wanted to go to, but i parked my car yesterday evening accidentally in a no-parking-zone and it got towed and i won't get it back before Monday ).
    Last edited by Testmaen; 08-16-2008 at 10:18 AM.

  4. #4
    wyrd bi ful rd
    Reputation: chinaman's Avatar
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    ouch! ... i am sure Nicolai will get that sorted for you, at most you might not have your bike for awhile whilst they sort it out, dont worry too much about it ...

  5. #5
    steep fast and loose :)
    Reputation: The_Lecht_Rocks's Avatar
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    so glad i've gone for Anodized

  6. #6
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    Reputation: Boozzz's Avatar
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    Just sent another mail to Falco, hopefully I'll get a response soon. If in the meantime anyone's got a useful tip to prevent this spreading (other than leaving the derailleur off and not using the bike), please do let me know.

    The_Lecht_Rocks, yes, thanks for reminding me. Too bad you can only choose from funeral black and diarrhoea brown .

  7. #7
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    Apparently my email got filtered out by Nicolai's spam filter. Eventually got through to them via Mike from Nicolai UK.

    According to Nicolai it's "mech damage" and won't fall under warranty. Thank you Nicolai. First time I've seen a front mech do something like this on one of my frames. So whatever. Good way to piss me off. I hope I won't break anything on my frame; it'll probably be deemed "rider damage".

    If the bubble spreads I'll strip all the paint and keep it raw. Quite disappointed here.

  8. #8
    wyrd bi ful rd
    Reputation: chinaman's Avatar
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    i am disappointed that nicolai will not warranty that ... if you use a mech and the paint comes off ... you would expect that ... but with bubbling like that it is like as though the frame has not been prep properly and the paint has not adhered to the frame ...

    funeral black was what i ordered ... sorry boozzz no punt intended ...

    can you not get them to strip the paint off and anodized the frame or just leave it raw?

  9. #9
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    Looks like a frame-prep or paint-prep issue- the paint has not adhered properly to the basecoat or metal and become a loose layer, which separated under pressure from the mech clamp. They don't use wet paint, do they?

  10. #10
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    Wow,wtf???

    Quote Originally Posted by Boozzz
    Apparently my email got filtered out by Nicolai's spam filter. Eventually got through to them via Mike from Nicolai UK.

    According to Nicolai it's "mech damage" and won't fall under warranty. Thank you Nicolai. First time I've seen a front mech do something like this on one of my frames. So whatever. Good way to piss me off. I hope I won't break anything on my frame; it'll probably be deemed "rider damage".

    If the bubble spreads I'll strip all the paint and keep it raw. Quite disappointed here.
    Dude I'm soooo sorry to hear that..That's such a sweet color too,I almost went with that on a 08 FR that never got ordered.(No way was I waiting another 9 weeks for a bike).BTW I paid $400 for that Sky Camo paint job on my Helius CC..If that had happen to me I'd be flying to Germany and not for strudle.. Well the good news is Boozzz It really doesn't matter what color that bike is cause at the end of the day you are still riding most likely the sickest Freeride bike on this planet.. .CF..

  11. #11
    'All over it!'
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    My god boozzz, keep us up to date with developments..... I can't believe that is not a warranty. So have you finally decided to keep it raw?

  12. #12
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    Just got an email from Dave Turner with some good advice. I probably need to take all the paint off, as water will most likely get between the paint layer and metal, pitting the frame (aka ruining it). Now that's proper customer service, for a bike that isn't even one of his.

    If I indeed take all the paint off, I'll keep it raw (at least saves a bit of weight, about the only positive thing that can be said).

  13. #13
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    Reputation: 5c0tty's Avatar
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    Mmm Boozzz this is not good news to be reading. I have been looking at mine and no signs of any paint lifting where my XTR Front mech is fitted.
    Good luck with getting it sorted out.
    Last edited by 5c0tty; 09-25-2008 at 12:51 AM.
    Nicolai Bikes in the South of England head to..
    http://www.head-for-the-hills.co.uk

  14. #14
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    Reputation: Boozzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5c0tty
    Mmm Boozzz this is not good news to be reading. I have been looking at mine and no signs of any point lifting where my XTR Front mech is fitted.
    Good luck with getting it sorted out.
    Yeah, sucks. I think that, as Flyer pointed out, it's something to do with the frame-prep before powder coating. Maybe a spot they didn't clean or something, or who knows perhaps the entire frame. I really am quite astonished they're doing it away with as 'mech damage' (that's what Karl said, according to Mike from Nicolai UK). I think proper paint won't bubble, even if you torque the clamp down like a mofo, which I hadn't anyway.

    Btw, I also emailed Falco, got through their 'spam filter' this time, but the only thing he said was that because I had contacted Nicolai UK, they (Nicolai UK) would take care of it, and that basically it was none of his business.

  15. #15
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    Dave is the man- that is good advice. The bubbled paint will tend to pull away at the adhered layer too and as moisture gets in there, you will be shocked at how much paint will peel away.

    No offence to Niclai owners but this is an example of shoddy customer service from the company.

    Here is what I would do- short of stripping the full frame:

    Peel away the paint that is bubbling
    Scrape off the edges as well- as much as you can
    Then sand the heck out of that area- first with a medium grit and then with a fine grit sandpaper
    Clean really well, let dry for a day and then prime it with a high quality auto metal primer
    Then put a thin coat of matching paint, let dry for a day, fine sand that, and then put another thin coat.

    When I was very young, I used to have a metal cabinet painting business...also wet-painted motorcycle parts (gas tanks, side panels, etc. and one car. I am bringing my amateurish experience here. Before you all make fun of me, let me tell you that no car or cabinet I painted ever bubbled though they probably never looked as nice as a Nicolai-painted frame.

  16. #16
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    hi boozzz,
    i think you should post your problem in the german ibc forum. im sure you will get an answer. there are some people who are in close contact with nicolai. i just saw you posted your bike there some time ago. im close to buy a helius st and i want it to be powdercoated. nicolai is known for their overall quality and customer service. but that they dont warranty your frame makes me think again. good luck.

  17. #17
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    hey boozzz keep pushing nicolai uk and point out the fact that a mech will not cause such a damage like paint bubbling ... more like scarring ...

    tell them the fact that you have let some frame painters had a look at the damage and it is definitely the frame not being prep properly ...

  18. #18
    'All over it!'
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    I agree with Chinaman on this one, I also think you should take this further, get some evidence and present it too them. These bikes are not cheap, customer service and warranty should reflect that.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the support guys. I've just fired off another email to Nicolai UK. I'll keep you posted on what happens next.

  20. #20
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    Well the guys at Nicolai UK are quite prompt with their replies, so you should get a reply today...fingers crossed

  21. #21
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    News from Nicolai. Apparently they're offering to respray the front triangle for free if I ship it to them at my cost. They also said they already told me that, while in fact they hadn't. They did offer to respray it for a 'nice price' before. Not exactly the same in my book.

    I think it's ridiculous I have to push that hard to get anything from them. Not really sure I want to have anything to do with them again. Very disappointed, considering the amount of money I paid. Next time I pay that much money for a bike, it won't be a Nicolai.

  22. #22
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    Yea I have to agree... the extra cash you splash on a Nic would make you think that they would look after you with things such as this, that are so clearly not wear and tear.

    Especially as Nic make such a big deal about their paint jobs... it is one of their USP's

  23. #23
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    Well get it done and it probably is, in part at least, due to the posts here. Agree that it is dissapointing. There is practically zero doubt that this is a paint-prep issue but the most important thing is that your frame will be repainted at not much cost to you.

    Them enjoy that bike twice as much as you do now and don't let the negative part of the experience linger. It isn't the bike's fault, after all...poor lil guy.

  24. #24
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    Well although dissapointing, at least you have a positive outcome. However, when you pay this much money for a bike, you would expect the manufacturers to bend over backwards. Not wishing to add fuel to the fire, but when I discovered a little manufacturing fault in the paintwork on my Yeti 575, the frame was replaced.....no questions asked.
    Well boozzz, at least you have a result, get it sprayed and enjoy the puppy..

  25. #25
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    I don't know how much it will cost to ship it back from your location, but you might be better served sending it off to Spectrum Powdercoating, who can do some really insane PC combos that look like airbrushing, for example.

    Check their bike gallery:

    http://www.spectrumpowderworks.com/s...&onEnterFrame=[type+Function]&fadeIn=false

    FWIW, this is stuff I used to hear about Nic back in the day, but I thought that was long in their past. I could see them wiggling out of their responsibility on this to some extent, but come on, the PC should not stretch and pull off that easily. We all have PC bikes from Yeti to Turner that haven't done this. I'd have taken a razor and cut the area in a ring around the tube to end the peeling area.

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