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Warranties

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by toodles, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. toodles

    toodles Turbo Monkey

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    Probably open a can of worms here, but would be interested to hear other's opinions on warranties. I've been a bit hung up on this for awhile and not sure if I'm just being pedantic. Are long warranty periods a selling point for other buyers? Like a decisive factor between two otherwise similar bikes or components? Components are less of an issue - given their relative lifespans and replacement cost (except forks, dropper posts and high-end wheelsets).

    Currently there a few manufacturers (Santa Cruz, Giant, Trek, Whyte) offering lifetime warranties on frames (some even include bearings which I would consider a consumable!). Pivot have just announced 10 year warranty periods on their frames which is a surprise. Generally smaller manufacturers can't afford to have the crazy long warranty periods that the big guys can get away with.

    I've had to warranty a few frames over the years though, and the thought of dropping a few thousand bucks on a new bike makes me nervous about the shorter warranty periods.
     

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  2. maxyedor

    maxyedor <b>TOOL PRO</b>

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    It's so hit and miss if the frame manufacturer can even honor the warranty after a couple of years anyway, I no longer care. Intense has treated me well when my upper link exploded, 2nd owner, 2 year old frame, free parts. Most other frames I've warrantied, company says they're out of chain stays and offers you a discount on a new frame, Mountain Cycle is the only company that ever stood behind a lifetime warranty on an old ass frame, they gave the owner a new San Andres, which sounds awful, but it's better than a 12 year old cracked San Andres, I guess, maybe.
     
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  3. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Normally it would be important to me, but in this industry, by the time my frame breaks, the company would only have a new frame to give me with 32 new standards and none of my parts would fit.
     
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  4. Westy

    Westy the teste

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  5. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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  6. troy

    troy Monkey

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    You do realize that the warranty usually covers only manufacturing or component material defects? It is more likely that the frame will fail due to fatigue or some damage during the warranty period (rock strike, resin degradation etc.), which are not covered, so it doesn't really matter if it is 2, 5 or 10 years as a delaminated composite or faulty weld would show up much much quicker than that.
     
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  7. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    Fucking lizards.
     
  8. johnbryanpeters

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    Don't pay it much attention.
     
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  9. Udi

    Udi RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”

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    That has little to do whether it's honored or not - in the real world no one cares about these technicalities.

    In my experience the coverage period is important, because if you are outside that period you can't even fight for a warranty case without relying on sympathy (so brands that only offer a 2 year frame warranty suck by default in my book).

    But on top of that, the retailer/distributor are important too, and this varies from country to country. Where I live, Giant and Specialized offer the best realistic lifetime warranties because they have big retailers who won't think twice about processing your claim - to them it's not worth ruining their reputation. Their warranty claim count will be small compared to their sales count, so it's not a problem.

    Smaller brands tend to have smaller distributors (at least here) who are in my experience more likely to penny-pinch + deny warranty claims to keep their rep happy or to save themselves money/time. Sometimes buying small brands direct-from-mfg helps alleviate this problem.
     
  10. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    Warranty is one of the things that keeps me on specialized. They treated me right when I broke my demo, probably for the reasons Udi stated, and I can't afford a random new frame. I ride less hard these days, but carbon is such a shit show that I'll probably still stick with a huge company.
     
  11. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    QFT. :D
     
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  12. Metamorphic

    Metamorphic Monkey

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    Way more important than length of coverage period is how the company treats it's customers and what "level" of frame you are on.

    Banshee hooked me up with a new frame in two weeks with $0 out of pocket when I broke a frame at 1yr 11mo. Fantastic.

    Also take into account I am a fan of relatively cheap alloy frames. Even if I was out of coverage with Banshee and it broke, it's a $1500 frame. You guys on $3500 S-works or Yeti bikes need to account for things a bit differently....

    Anything over 3yrs is probably a joke due to standards, etc. Again, except with a company like Banshee who still sells bikes with non boost (or boost...options!) and threaded BBs.

    TL;dr. Warranty period probably not as important as you think.
     
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  13. jackalope

    jackalope Mental acuity - 1%

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    I tend to liken it to car manufacturer warranties. Honda and Toyota generally don't offer crazy long warranties, namely because their shit is made right from the get go. Yes, I'm sure there's examples of Toyotas having some wonky power window issue that exceeds the warranty limit and people bitch about it, but lets just say it ain't no Chrysler POS with a transmission falling out or a Subaru with a leaky head gasket. Point being, there's a reason why Kia offers a 100,000,000 mile warranty - because its a POS and they'd rather fight you on (inevitable) warranty issues than make a straight up decent car that you hardly have to touch for 10 years other than basic maintenance.

    I've had the whole gamut in terms of different bikes and warranties, and for me, I'd rather have a bike that is basically Trump-red button proof and a short warranty than have to deal with a frame that fails frequently with a long warranty window.
     
    #13 -   Aug 11, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  14. Electric_City

    Electric_City Monkey

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    Read the fine print for sure. Trek will only offer a "lifetime warranty" on certain frames, but not all. Last I was familiar with was 1 year on a DH frame, 1 on the slash and 5 on dual suspension frames.
     
  15. Da Peach

    Da Peach Outwitted by a rodent

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    Total crapshoot.

    If you get the right guy on the right day with the right attitude and tone, I'm sure it will work out to your satisfaction. If not, yer fuxxored.
     
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  16. Wuffles

    Wuffles Chimp

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    As much as I like Santa Cruz's warranty for the bearing replacement... it's not an important thing for me.

    My frames have all been totaled by obvious crash damage, because I am a shitty rider. No warranty around covers crash damage, so a brand's crash replacement policy is a lot more important to me.
     
  17. iRider

    iRider Turbo Monkey

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    I agree. Crash replacement is more important than warranty, but also the fact that a company has stock of parts for older models (5 years +). Like said before by others, it won't help me if they throw a new frame on you for free if none of your parts fit it anymore.
    Raleigh have treated me well with warranty and Intense with crash replacement. I know, Intense has a bad rep, but for me they always went out of their way to get me the crash replacement parts. In contrast to common believe on the Monkey I never had a warranty issue with them. Guess I am just not riding hard enough. :disgust:
     
  18. toodles

    toodles Turbo Monkey

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    Obviously crash damage and abuse aren't warranty claims. It's more when frame dies from fatigue in 30 months. Stuff should last longer than that - especially when you're paying half the price of a small car for a bicycle or frame.
     
  19. troy

    troy Monkey

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    You gave Yourself an answer. Like it was already said, more important thing is how the company handles the warranties and if it offers some crash replacement program. Here in Poland for example it is almost impossible to get your frame warrantied if it is a giant, trek or other bigger company. ALmost everything is user fault and noone gives a shit about your warranty.

    I can't count how many times I've seen broken Summum linkages (the same spot every f* time) and users had to pay some insane amount of money for the new ones. Or alu and carbon Trek Sessions with cracked swingarms or lower shock mounts where distributor states that it was somehow your fault (wtf) and rejects the warranty claims. So... get the one which You do know they will take care of You when something will go wrong.
     
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  20. Electric_City

    Electric_City Monkey

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    Or alu and carbon Trek Sessions with cracked swingarms or lower shock mounts where distributor states that it was somehow your fault (wtf) and rejects the warranty claims. So... get the one which You do know they will take care of You when something will go wrong.[/QUOTE]

    Other the front triangle. My buddy paid an ungodly amount for a front triangle where the fork hits. Bumpers and all, Trek claimed it was rider error that caused the cracks. This happened on 2 frames! The replacement was $1200.
     
    #20 -   Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  21. Mr Lahey

    Mr Lahey Monkey

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    As a business owner I am a firm believer of standing behind the product that you sell.

    I've never understood the copout where warranty only applies to the original purchaser. If a product has been resold and exhibits a manufacturing defect it should be covered. Just as it is in the automotive and other high dollar markets.
     
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  22. EVIL JN

    EVIL JN Monkey

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    For me its a two par question, what is the warranty period and do they have a good rep for actually honoring it. Who cares what it says in the print if they say no its on you to take them to court, which wont happen so I rather research their rep before I buy. Some just send you a new replacement even if its out of its stated period.


    I guess for larger brands this has more so to do with local dealer that you go through.


    If I am going to buy something from a crap company its going to be really cheap
     
  23. Carraig042

    Carraig042 me 1st

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    I pay a bit of attention to warranties. Devinci Has taken care of my friend, and more recently me. After owning my carbon Troy fro about 2.5 - 3 years, I managed to crack the main triangle around the chain stay pivot. They (with the support of my local Devinci dealer) took care of me quickly and sent a new triangle free of charge with their lifetime warranty on all frames. This is helping in my consideration of the new Spartan.

    -Brett
     
    #23 -   Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  24. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    I find that most of the time, bikes don't fail from gross overload, this is where the metal is pulled apart or crumples, forming tension and compression signatures that point to the obvious overload (huge jump/huck, bad crash, etc.) Usually, it's either a flaw or overload on a small scale, often below the designed load/cycles, such as a shock mount that ovalizes, chainstay that cracks over time, etc. Some of these are really insidious as the affected part/area is such a small part of the frame, yet the entire thing is junk at that point. This is where you find a difference between manufacturers and support IMO. It's not the obvious large-scale flaws, it's the finer details IME. The companies that put no kind of protection on the chainstay or downtube, and expect those to hold up. What, are you retarded? Not that they have to supply the protector, but they better specify what to use and it better be available, otherwise, yeah, they should supply it. The pathetic tire clearance on a buddies V1 429, which jams rocks from the tires in there, the clearance between the links on many DW designs, while there are ways to protect this, the companies simply fail to address it, and yes, rocks to get thrown in there from the tire. Supposedly pivot is "close to" coming up with a solution for this. It affects more than just Pivot obviously, Turner, etc. I haven't heard of anyone being denied a warranty for this issue yet, but it's the little details like this that if the company doesn't stand behind the bikes, it'll be a quick "screw you" as I move on to the next company, as it's not rider abuse, it's simple a crappy design. It's the little things like this and how the company stands behind their products. Sometimes with the bigger manufacturers, they put out stuff that seems intended to last about a season, they figure you'll get tired warrantying it or in a year when parts standards change you'll have to change anyway. I've had some good success warrantying some Specialized stuff, but the reason for the warranty was the design sucked balls, the hack-job cable loops and slowly-self-destructing designs were blame, which edges closer to the Crank Brother's Syndrome, where what you put out is absolute crap, yet you have "great customer service!".

    It's a balance between a good product and a company that will stand behind them. This eclipses "warranty" with a few companies, as they usually want you to be happy riding their bikes and they will admit fault when the fault lies with them. I find there are a few small companies that do this well, more than a few that create an air of "exclusivity", but tend to not have the small-scale details as sorted out and then when there's a problem, they revert to the above description, where they are hesitant to replace the frame, possibly because they can't afford to or didn't design that into their production run, it seems like these companies look for every little excuse to deny the warranty. Excuses such as "well, we no longer produce that frame, so now it doesn't apply", or "we are out of that and won't get another run for 6 months" or being spring-loaded to blame the user when the design is what caused it.

    The longevity of a frame and how the company will stand behind it is something I consider. I feel that the big companies are more into making "disposable" bikes that will self-destruct in a few seasons. When you go to replace the bearings, it becomes painfully obvious that the bearings weren't meant to be replaced, the entire bike was intended to work as a unit for a little while, but then it develops play, etc. It's the total package, the bike, the company, how they stand behind it, etc. This means a lot more to me than 1° slacker or .25" different chainstay length.
     
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  25. canadmos

    canadmos Mater Slayer

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    I've only had to deal with big warranty items twice, but with the same brand (Banshee).

    First time around was for the dreaded bushing play on the Spitfire v1 frame. Mine had some play, but wasn't completely fubar like some others. They upgraded me to a V2 frame for free, I just had to buy the shock ($300ish - whatever I sold the old shock on pinkbike for).

    Recently I found cracks in that V2 frame. It is now out of warranty and they'll only offer crash replacement. The funny thing is, is that the crash replacement cost is almost $500usd more than what I originally paid. They will also only ship it from the USA, so I have to pay shipping AND they won't sell the replacement without a shock.

    Needless to say I'm looking elsewhere for a new frame.

    When I had a Transition, while I didn't have any issues, they were always helpful with questions and concerns. I had one of their cheap wheel sets and the rear rim was separating at the seam. They said if it got worse they'd replace it.

    Warranty coverage and reputation will definitely play a part in what I purchase next. I usually have my frames for an extended period, so it's important.
     
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  26. mykel

    mykel Monkey

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    Only one warranty issue.

    I cracked my first Knolly Delirium-T frame.
    I was in a situation where an out of town friend and I were to go on a riding trip a week out from the break.
    Called Noel, and they found a frame, shipped it across the country right away with no LBS involvement.
    I received it, swapped hardware, boxed up the old frame and sent it back.
    Was up and ready to ride with one day to spare.
    No credit card or any other guarantee on my end that I wouldn't stiff them.
    Now this was when they were alot smaller ( 2 frames), so probably would not happen that way again, but that gesture went a long way gaining my respect.
     
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  27. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Only warrantee issue I had was with a cracked Turner frame. Despite being a few months out of warrantee they replaced the front triangle for free. Part showed up the next day.
     
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  28. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    I've had a few with different companies, some attributed to crack-pipe designs, like my foes that used a super long 5" bolt through the shock and scissor link. No amount of correct-spring weight or damping would keep the bolt from bending, it was simply a piss-poor design. So did they supply me with lifetime bolts? Hell no. So I've had some other issues like that. What has kept me with Turner is that they generally stand behind their stuff. Had a 6pack that I cracked due to running too-long of a seatpost because in-between sizes I downsized, was running an outrageous amount of overlap, so insertion wasn't the issue, the issue was I had simply made a giant lever and no frame would stand up to that in the long run. Not exactly a warranty issue, but Dave sent out a new front triangle and rockers, I had to pay at OEM cost for a new shock, which was cheap and I switched it out after I got my Avalanche rebuilt, but I feel they really stood behind it. Had a little issue with some headset creaking recently and there's a fix with a slightly bigger FSA bearing, again no questions and no charge, standing behind it. Generally well-designed, but they seem to stand behind them when issues do come up. I went to Turner in the first place because the "turner copy" Azonic Saber was such a piece of shit. The 6pack really was everything that I thought it would be in that respect.

    Right now there's a guy on the Pivot board that had this issue:
    So they gave him 15% off a new 429 Trail ENTIRE BIKE as the "warranty".

    That ain't no warranty, that's BS. They are probably even still pulling a profit on the 429 Trail. Pivot recently announced that they are going to a 10 year warranty on new carbon frames.

    Here's something I said back in that thread:

     
    #28 -   Aug 13, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  29. toodles

    toodles Turbo Monkey

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    Its funny Turner gets mentioned so often. I had an old square tube DHR that got a couple of cracks in one of the gusset welds. When I enquired with Turner if it would cause an issue, they said nope but we're sending you a new front triangle anyway. 5 days later - new frame (in Australia no less). I'd happily buy any of their new bikes again.

    Years ago when I cracked an old Mongoose, it took 3 months for the dealer to even admit it was a problem! Up until then they maintained that the crack wasn't going to spread and that the creaking noise was coming from something else.
     
  30. Sandwich

    Sandwich just shake your rump
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    Most important is reputation and companies that stand behind their product. If you have an issue, will they help? Will they answer the phone and tell you what you need to know? If you're the second owner, will they continue to help at all?

    Those are the questions I ask. Stuff breaks. Either you pay big money for a company with a strong reputation, or you cheap out and be prepared for the worst. I've never relied on warranties much because I simply don't believe that anybody will ever help when I need it. I'm politely surprised when I get good customer service.
     
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  31. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    I'm not sure how it works in the bike world but I remember seeing some study longer warranty doesn't increase costs by much. If a bike fails due to stuff that fall under warranty it will fail under 2-3 years unless it's ridden super light. If it fails because you ride to to the ground, case something etc then it doesn't fall under warranty and it doesn't increase costs by much.

    For me it's a smart selling tactic rather than a real benefit in the most case.


    I also agree with Sandwich - good support is more important than a number of years on the warranty. I swear by POC products because they treated me well, the only reason I didn't buy a new FF helmet from them is because I had a deal on a new 100% but I still run protection from them because they treated me well after I destroyed their top model FF just 8 days after buying it (It was a super nasty crash so any helmet would get destroyed and the helmet worked so well I only notice it was damaged 2 weeks later but surgery drugs make you less perceptive)
     
    #31 -   Aug 14, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  32. Sandwich

    Sandwich just shake your rump
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    regarding support...there's other things that are similarly important. I think Kali products are complete garbage- attempted bro-brah lowest common denominator zero QC chinese garbage, but the local shop stocks them and when I broke a knee pad, they replaced them NQA with a new pair. So I'll keep riding in the stuff I don't love because the place I love carries them and supports them.
     
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  33. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    I hate companies that throw out of spec, QA-failing parts into the market as a response to warranty or crash replacement requests, that then get passed on to unsuspecting buyers. Eff you, Ibis.
     
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  34. Electric_City

    Electric_City Monkey

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    A "lifetime warranty" is relative to the lifetime of the product. Not your lifetime. That said, a rep from one of the "big 3" stated 7 years was it. Another rep from 1 of the other 2 said something similar.
     
  35. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    I think it also helps if they shop you purchase from has a good relationship with the manufacturer. Shop owner I used to deal with was super tight with the Trek and Pivot reps. He marketed the shit out of those bikes and sold a ton. When they started breaking on people he always got them replaced ASAP. Of course that never stopped him from pushing people towards bikes that were about as reliable as a hand grenade with the pin replaced with a toothpick.
     
  36. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    when i worked as a mechanic (around 2005), we had a guy come in with a cracked chainstay on a 15 year old specialized hardtail. he was original owner, proof of purchase, everything. brand new frame, no questions. although it was a big odd to see a brand new frame built up with 15 year old parts. but that was back in a time when 15 new standards weren't introduced every model year, so all the old parts transferred right over.
     
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  37. EVIL JN

    EVIL JN Monkey

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    A follow up question what part/s do you consider and not consider warranty aspects on? For me beyond frame and fork I dont care to much as those are pretty cheap to replace.
     
  38. Electric_City

    Electric_City Monkey

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    I think back then they would do it. But today? I don't see it happening. Like you said, parts compatability. Imagine getting a replaced Hardtail from 2006. 29'er, tapered steerer, Boost 148, brake tabs... I think this is why they're cutting it back to 7 years.

    One of my buddy's is on the "trek lifetime program". His 2002 Klein Adept broke in 2008. He got a Fuel EX replaced for free. That one then broke just above the seat tube gusset in '10 and again, a brand new frame. Why? The next one, the chainstay broke in its usual spot. New frame! Why? Their models started using the ABP, his 2 year old frame wasn't compatable and Trek didn't have anymore stays I guess.

    He's on his 4-5th one. He's 220 and stays planted, no air really. I went through 4 chainstays and a front triangle myself.

    I can see Trek and others cutting back on this to save money... Unfortunately, not to make a better product.

    That said, it was never an issue in the past, but last year they told me and a different buddy (also on his third Remedy and second slash) that we needed to provide an original proof of purchase. Yeah, we all have those from 10-15 years ago.

    Fwiw, I agree with you. But things change. This is one.
     
  39. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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  40. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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