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Thread: My Sycip Odyssy

  1. #1
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    My Sycip Odyssy

    I bought a custom Sycip Unleaded in 02.
    I'll start off by saying that Jeremy Sycip put together the
    sweetest handling frame for me that I've ever ridden.
    It's stable on the down hills, and nimble in the technical stuff.
    How is that possible?
    Anyway, last year, in the middle of the 24 Hours of Allamuchy race, I noticed
    that my water bottle was loose. So I pulled the bottle out and the whole cage
    came out with it. WTF??
    The cage bolt inserts rusted completely out of the frame. Actually, it looked
    like the frame itself rusted allowing the bolts to drop out.
    So, I sent it back to Sycip, they stripped the frame, welded in a new down tube, and brazed in heavier duty bolt braze ons.
    Cool, but I still had to pay for the paint job which ticked me off.
    Fast forward to around May of this year and I notice a little rust right where the disk brake plate is welded onto the seat stay. I figure there was a scratch or something there so I covered it with clear nail polish.
    Well, the rust continued to grow so I sent it back to Sycip again.
    I talked to Jay yesterday and he said that both he and Jeremy looked at it and they think the seat stay is cracked?? How do you even crack the seat stay? If braking forces are strong enough to crack a seat stay, well, that's just not acceptable.
    They'll get to strip the frame on Mon so I should have a better idea what the problem is then. I'm definitely not paying for another paint job and I don't think I should have to pay for welding a new seat stay on either.
    What do you all think of this situation.
    I absolutely love that frame, but it's longevity leaves something to be desired.
    Lenny

  2. #2
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    Well, it's lasted 4 years. I don't know what sycip's warranty is, but most companies cover you for 2 years, so that isn't bad. To me, it's not their fault that your having rust problems. Steel rusts. That's one of the reasons why I got a custom Dean Colonel in '02, because Ti requires so little maintenance. It still looks brand new whenever I wipe it down with Pledge. I think you got a pretty good deal on the downtube replacement, if all you had to pay for was the paintjob.

    What kind of brakes are you running, disc or V? And if it's disc, is the problem down near the caliper?

  3. #3
    ahb
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    you're looking at it in entirely the wrong light, man! you've got a great excuse for a fresh color scheme.

    realistically, how the bike has been cared for makes a lot of difference as to whether it rusts or not. you live in an area where the riding is fairly wet, much wetter than northern ca for large parts of the year. how good are you about getting your bike completely dry after wet rides? how often does it get washed? have you been putting frame saver inside once or twice a year? you may need to do it that often if things are wet enough.

    it's up to the builder to make sure that the frame leaves the factory relatively rust-proofed, but that rust-proofing can't be expected to last more than four years without any maintenance.

    also, covering rust with nail polish doesn't do anything to stop it spreading. the rust has to be removed entirely and the bare metal protected from further exposure to water and oxygen.

    I think you're being unduly harsh on the builders for something that's not their fault at all. bikes get used, rust is a reality on steel bikes, and if you aren't vigilant about keeping it away, it will eventually eat your bike. that's why people spring for ti.

  4. #4
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    When you get a steel frame you should always spray a waxy rust prevetitive in the frame. Frames do actually fill up with water pretty easily so you need to also drain in on a regular basis. Usually that means just simply remobing the BB and letting it dry out overnight.

    Disc brakes put an amazing amount of load into the seatstay which it's not designed to take. Does your frame have a crossmember between the seat and chainstays? We put those in all our frames now as not only does it stiffent the braking up, but it also helps share the load between both stays.

    Hey, Just had a thought. Why not ask the Sycip guys if they'll do you a frame for cost that remedies all the problems you've encountered? It's no skin of their nose and it will also keep you a happy chappy.

    Worth a try I reckon.
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

  5. #5
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    I've got a 12 year Bontrager that only has a little surface rust where it got cable rub.
    That thing has been absolutely abused, ridden hard and put away wet, literally.
    The 2 rust problems on the Sycip are totally atypical for how and where a steel frame rusts.
    The water bottle braze ons rusted between the frame and the actual braze ons. This indicates to me that there was insufficient powdercoat applied to that area or insufficient weld penetration that allowed the braze ons to flex thus cracking the powder coat letting rust occur.
    The crack at the disk brake braze on I have no explanation for.
    Either the weld broke away from the frame slightly allowing the powdercoat to crack allowing rust to form, or the seat stay itself started to crack. This is not a highly stressed area unless the seat stays were under spec'd w/respect to diameter.
    Jeremy told me that he may weld in a brake brace between the seat and chain stay on the brake side to strengthen it up.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally ranking on the Sycip Brothers.
    They've treated me fairly and I still think the bike handles by thought alone.
    I'm just a little miffed at the longevity of their end product.
    In both cases, the brothers have told me that they've never seen rust in those areas.
    All my mountain bikes throughout the years have been steel hardtails.
    I've treated them all the same.
    This is the first frame that I ever had rust problems with.
    I guess with the good, ya gotta take a little bad.
    In the end, I'm gonna save my $ for a Ti hardtail.
    Always had my eye on the Moots Rigor Mootis.
    Any of you Ti hard tail guys want to give me other suggestions?
    I'll keep you filled in as the story progresses.
    BTW, Thylacine, neither of these rust cases was due to rusting from the inside out.
    The Sycip Bros do treat their frames with rust preventative inside the frames.
    Plus, my Bontrager has never had rust preventative in the frame.
    Finally, I'm gonna have them replace both dropouts because they've been abused, specially the B Tension screw on the drive side.
    This is totally my fault and I'll pay for it.
    Lenny

  6. #6
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    Well, I just got a call from Jay Sycip.
    My frame is done and ready to ship.
    He said that there was a tiny crack in the seatstay
    right at the brake boss weld. It allowed the powdercoat to crack
    thus allowing rust to form.
    So, he replaced the seatstay, welded a brace between the seat and chain stays,
    and powdercoated the frame for free.
    Since I opted to have the dropouts replaced, he charged me like $120.
    All in all, I'm very happy the way they treated the problem.
    When I asked him why he thought it cracked, he wasn't absolutely sure.
    I've put a few dents in both stays on that side, and, that combined with the braking forces
    might be the cause he said.
    So, I can't wait to get it back in time for prime east coast fall riding.
    Lenny

  7. #7
    ahb
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    man, i hope you write them a big thank-you note. you got hooked up. they ate a pile of money to keep you a happy customer......

  8. #8
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    Yeah, no kidding.
    Maybe I'll send them a nice Christmas gift.
    Anybody got any suggestions?
    Lenny

  9. #9
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    I just emailed this to Jay and Jeremy:

    Jay and Jeremy,
    Just got off the phone with Jay who told me that my frame is ready to ship.
    You guys went way above and beyond on this repair.
    I gotta think most other builders would charge a customer to repair a cracked seat stay then re-powdercoat it after 4 years of riding.
    By repairing my frame for free, you guys have shown a great deal of integrity.
    I definitely won't hesitate to recommend you to my friends, or order another of your frames
    in the future after my daughters graduate college : )
    I still think this frame is the sweetest riding thing I've ever thrown a leg over.
    Thanks again gentlemen!

  10. #10

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    great news.... everyone loves a happy ending.

    currnent owners will be pleased to hear that Sycip stand behind their product & prosepctive buyers will realise that they are investing in a co. with a cool attitude....

  11. #11
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    Got the Sycip back the other day and built it up.
    Man, Jeremy put a monster tube in as the brace between the seat and chain stays at the disk brake tab
    I'll take a pic tomorrow after it's inaugural ride.
    And their powdercoats are awesome.
    Beautiful even coverage with the nicest metalflake; not too little, not too much.
    Just beautiful.
    I'm one happy camper.
    Again, the Sycip boys are top shelf.
    Lenny

  12. #12
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    Pix as promised.
    Lenny




  13. #13
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    Boy awesome frame and awesome service. Might I suggest you start saving some coin for a Sycip Ti special. Then you'd never have to worry about rust. Makes me wonder sometimes about the "new" steels. Maybe a little to thin and higher hardness leads to the shearing compared to steel frames of yesteryear. Anyways good on you and Sycip on how this was handled!!!!

  14. #14
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    I think you providing their follow through

    is the first step. That was great, including your thank you letter text.

    Maybe take a deep breath next time and give the Sycips a chance to come through for you, before you vent.

    I'm glad everything worked out, enjoy your Sycip.

    Roger (Multiple Sycip frame owner)

  15. #15

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    Great story -- glad to hear it was resolved. Props to Sycips!

  16. #16
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    Were glad to hear your happy....

  17. #17
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    i got almost the same issue as lenny but this time round is that my seatube got rusted until theres a hole, details are sketchy cos i did not manage to call sycip cos i am like different timezone. mine is a '04 sycip DD

    but i got the bike back + new painjob, silver headbadge and new rear mounting the bill is staggering $530 and 8 mths of wait, but than i love the bike too much not to abandon it.

    i hope it will not be a bi-yearly replacing tube thingy. but right now the bike is so awesome ;p
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
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    Hello,
    If you ride in rainy condition a lot and do hose / wash your bike down on a regular basis, you may want to consider sraying frame saver inside the tubes on a yearly basis.

    This may help avoid rusting issues in the future...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtkkz
    Hello,
    If you ride in rainy condition a lot and do hose / wash your bike down on a regular basis, you may want to consider sraying frame saver inside the tubes on a yearly basis.

    This may help avoid rusting issues in the future...
    thanks yeah the weather yer is tropical and humid, gonna do a yearly frame saver here. and yearly strip and rebuild for this baby,

  20. #20
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    Glad that your problem was resolved by Jay and Jeremy too.
    Great bunch of guys.
    BTW, your bike looks awesome in pink.
    Lenny

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny
    Glad that your problem was resolved by Jay and Jeremy too.
    Great bunch of guys.
    BTW, your bike looks awesome in pink.
    Lenny
    it was a long wait but its worth it, bike likes like a dream, yeah pink kinda weird but its so rare of a color pink, got poser value ;p

    lol

    lordie

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