Friday, November 29, 2013

The Waterford seems to be broken :-(


This is to report damage to the road bicycle that traveled with me as a checked bag on booking V7CDQH.

The nature of the damage is, the steel frame has been bent inward at the right rear dropout/derailleur hanger. The main symptom is the rear wheel can only be installed or removed from the frame with great difficulty. For example, 3 pairs of hands and one large screwdriver were needed to remove the wheel to pack the bicycle for the return trip from Australia. 

Another symptom is, the rear derailleur is oriented abnormally relative to the rear wheel, causing the derailleur arm to brush spokes in the lowest gear. There is a ticking sound and additional friction in this gear.

A visual inspection in good light on a bicycle stand reveals a crack in the steel frame of the bicycle. An image is attached for reference. This type of damage does not result from normal riding or wear and tear. Nor is it the result of normal baggage handling. In many flights with a bicycle I have seen no major issues such as this.

Unfortunately it is a requirement to be able to easily install and remove the rear wheel. A puncture, for example, requires removing the rear wheel by the side of a road. Travel also requires assembly/disassembly by one person with a normal level of effort.

As a next step I am shipping the bicycle frame to its manufacturer, Waterford Precision Cycles USA. I'll accept their diagnosis and follow their recommendations for fixing the issue. If a structural remedy is called for the cost must be borne by Air New Zealand as a consequence of mishandling this baggage. Any documentation needed to process the damage claim will be provided.

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