I ordered a Surly Cross Check frame on ebay that I wanted to build up as a commuter and light touring bike.
However, when I started, I realized, that the rear triangle is bent inwards. This most likely happened during shipping (FedEx ground) when something heavy was put on top of the box and the rear triangle was pushed together.
Unfortunately there was no spacer between the rear dropouts to prevent this from happening.
Normally, the Cross Check should have a 132 mm rear spacing. Now the spacing is 90 mm.
Can this frame be saved?
The ebay seller is asking if I can’t just bend it back since it’s a steel frame.
But I am afraid that it will either brake in the process or even if it doesn’t, become unsafe to ride. If it was just 1 cm, I wouldn’t hesitate to bend it back, but the rear dropouts are now 4 cm closer together than they should be.
I also think that it will be difficult/impossible to achieve a proper allignment of the rear dropouts if I bend it back.
I don’t shop on ebay much. My sons usually do the purchasing on ebay in our family and for me. So I’m not very knowledgeable, but isn’t there a return period for any purchase on ebay? Are you within that period? If so, send it back to the seller and let him deal with it. If you try to bend it back and things go wrong, I’m sure you would be liable.
It sounds like the seller didn’t package it right and is being totally ridiculous by suggesting you ‘bend it back’ into place. I wouldn’t try to bend it back yourself. I don’t use ebay so I don’t know how they handle returns/complaints, but I would try to get a refund or replacement frame from the seller. If they don’t cooperate report them. There’s absolutely no reason a bike should be damaged in shipping unless something truly catastrophic happens. If they didn’t package it right, the damage is totally their fault- simply bending it back probably won’t cut it.
I’d contact the manufacturer and ask if the frame is compromised. It might not be safe to try to fix. They might also be able to help you with a repair/replacement. If you don’t get anywhere with the seller or the manufacturer, you could try taking it to a machine shop that specializes in metal fabrication. I’m thinking if it’s steel it’ll be more malleable and maybe easier to fix. Not sure what the right answer is but these are just my suggestions. Good Luck!