To complement my road
bikes with narrow tyres
, I purchased a Cannondale Slate
bike to use on local unpaved gravel roads. I had to travel some
4000 Km to Melbourne to purchase the bike as there is no
Cannondale dealer in Darwin and the Australian distributor
dis-allows retailers to sell bikes across state borders. An
entirely unreasonable restriction in my opinion.
I use this mostly on pavement with some hard-pack gravel roads
and no really rough off-road riding at all. It is great to
extend my rides into areas with unpaved roads.
But after about 9 months there were some strange intermittent
noises from the frame. These typically occurred only every 30 Km
or so and never occurred when on my workstand. I was unable to
locate the cause as the sounds did not correlate with pedaling
intensity or if I was seated or standing or with road surface
type, they were completely random.
Because there is no Cannondale agent in Darwin I could not get
any help to identify or repair the problem, which gradually
became more frequent and concerning. Some months later, after
being away on a bicycle tour
my REACH bike, I searched for the problem more
thoroughly. It did not sound like a wheel issue as it was
so irregular, but eventually I removed the wheel and the
cassette and discovered the problem. It was a failed rear wheel
The race holding the balls within the bearing had broken and
occasionally it would snag and make a strange twang noise, then
remain silent for many Km. before happening again. It was very
difficult to identify the source of this noise and took me a few
months to identify the cause.
Although the fault first occurred within the 12 months warranty
period after purchase, I did not locate the problem for several
months and it was now just beyond 12 months from my purchase. In
the absence of a Cannondale service facility in Darwin I
repaired the faulty bearing myself and asked Cannondale to
provide a replacement bearing under warranty, as bearings should
not fail so soon. I had ridden only about 11,000 Km since
However Cannondale refused to provide a warranty replacement
bearing and chose to be pedantic about the more than 12 months
since purchase until the fault was identified, even though the
failure occurred long before that.
It is disappointing that Cannondale refuse to warranty such an
obvious mechanical failure which was not due to normal wear or
abuse. This is unlike my previous experience with Cannondale,
who have now changed their attitude for the worse.
It surely is time to reconsider this previously respectable
company and its now degraded engineering design capability and
Back to the bicycle index page