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My experience with Jamis

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,764
0
Vestal, NY
As some of you know, I haven't had the best of luck with my 05 Jamis Quest. It's a great bike, I've just had some hardware issues that have left me stranded on the side of the road more than once. Here's my experience wiht Jamis:

First, my problem (in case you've missed my previous threads about it):
I've had my 05 Quest since the end of May. From day 1 I have had issues with the rear wheel pulling out of the dropouts under heavy torque loads. Each time it happens, the rear triangle gets tweaked just a bit, the tire flats, and the chain stays get scratched up from the skewer and/or cassette. I've had it happen 4 times in about 100 miles. I'm 5-8, 180lbs.

I e-mailed Jamis about the problem:
I've got an 05 Quest with just over 100 miles on it. I've had repeated problems with the rear wheel pulling out of the dropouts when climbing out of the saddle. Every time it happens I end up with a flat and the chain stays get chewed up, especially on the drive side by the cassette. I've tried a few things at the suggestion of my local bike shop with no success. There seems to be a problem with the interface between the hub/dropout/quick release skewer.

My local bike shop has suggested that I buy new skewers for the bike - they recommended Hope or Salsa. I don't feel that I should have to buy new parts to make the bike function properly. It's not like this is a Wal-Mart bike or something. There are safety issues that come into play as well when something like this happens in traffic.

What do I need to do to get this bike warantied out? At this point, I'd be hard pressed to ride a bike with the Velomax wheels again, especially with Velomax skewers. I'd be more than happy to discuss a cash replacement or a new frame and/or wheelset if that is the direction you'd like to go. I might even be willing to upgrade to the Comet or Eclipse frame if I can work out the money part of it. I just want to be able to focus on my riding, not on mechanical issues.

The Quest feels like a good bike, but it's just not reliable or safe enough for me to ride with any regularity.

I look forward to hearing from you.


their response

Hi Jackson,

I am sorry the hear about your problem. We have not had problems so far with our 05 Quest. The Velomax Vista is a great wheel set which uses a open cam-type skewer. This type of skewer is a simple and efficient design used by many manufacturers. I have been using a set of Velomax wheels with the same skewer for several years now with no problem.

Certain types of dropout might require a larger force on the cam of the skewer to get a sufficient locking strength. Riders with a more abrupt pedaling style need to have their skewers on tighter than other riders.

I can ship your shop a pair of closed cam Shimano XT skewers. These will provide a much better clamping force. Please let me know the dealer name so I can ship the parts out. The shop will have to trim the rear skewer because it has mountain bike spacing.

The Quest is a great bike that has been selling out year after year. It has received several awards including a bike of the year award from Bicycling. I am sure that with the Shimano skewers you will be able to enjoy your great bike.

Best Regards



my response to them

Thank you for the quick response.

My concern is two fold. First, I want a bike I can count on to finish a ride. Second, the bike is still basically brand new (only about 100 miles on it), yet the chain stays are all beat up from wheel pulling loose and the cassette dragging across the paint. I know it's only the finish, but it is basically a new bike, and I spent a good deal of money on it. If it were my mountain bike, I wouldn't care as much because the paint takes a beating on every ride. That's not the case with my road bike - it should look good for quite a long time as there is significantly less wear and tear on the paint. Unfortunately that's not the case here, and it's because of a component problem.

I'll take the skewers if you're sure that will fix the problem, but I'm still left with a basically new bike that looks 3 years old. I guess I'm just a little frustrated and disappointed that my baby is all beat up due to a part problem. It would be one thing if it were my fault, but...

Thanks again for the response. It's not what I was hoping for, but I guess I'm out of options.

Sincerely,
Jackson Taylor




Their response to me:
Hi Jackson,

I understand your concerns and disappointment with the scratches on your chain stay. I have tested a 05 Nova with the same dropouts this morning on my morning ride, it was setup with Velomax wheels and XT skewers. I had no problems with any wheel shift. I am 175lbs, 6 foot, strong legs. Can I guarantee that your wheel will never pull out again? Unfortunately I can't.

I have Radium Blue touch-up paint that can fix some of the scars on your bike.

When I started the whole thing, I went into it with the opinion that new skewers were the absolute least they could do, but that a replacement frame would be my preference. Considering their reuptation for customer service, I didn't think it was out of the question.

I don't have a problem with their decision... the problem I have is the apparent atitude of the guy I was dealing with. I thought it sounded like he was imply it was my fault I was having problem and that since he has run the same skewer, there couldn't possibly be any problems with it. I also thought it was odd that he was running a velomax wheelset... seems like most reps run pretty high end stuff because of their connections, so I would have thought he'd be on Mavics or similar high end wheels, but that's kind of beside the point.

Anyways... after the final e-mail, they were very fast in shipping out a set of Ultegra skewers and a fingernail polish-syle bottle of touch-up paint. So now that everything is said and done, have they done enough to piss me off to the point where I'll never buy a Jamis again? No, not really... but I also have no real loyalty to them... certainly not like I do Yeti (I've had excellent luck with them).
 
J

JRB

Guest
I wouldn't sweat it. Seems like it's the shop you should be pissed at. I can kind of understand why they wouldn't just send a new frame, but if the shop had spoken up, they would be more likely. That said, many of our dealers use a big fudge factor, and it makes manufacturers leary. Sorry for the way it went down.
 

Pau11y

Turbo Monkey
Velomax makes everything from your $200.00 set of wheels to your $1K+ set. I run a set of Circuits, around $450.00 and don't have an opinion either way except they do roll and roll, much better than my DA hub'd Open Pros (3x, DB, alloy nips) w/ same rubber and PSI. Easton has bought Velomax out and mine has been basically converted to an Easton billboard (tall profile rims w/ "Easton" all over it). The levers on my Circuits seem to function very similar to the Salsas except w/ shorter arms than the Salsas. The DA QR has a closure problem w/ my Breezer dropouts where as the Salsas has much better clearance, as does the Velomax levers. Closure force seems pretty high, and I set mine at about the same on ever bike: thread the nut end till the lever start to engage at the point parallel to the rest of the skewer. The only lever that can't use this setup is my Mavic which seem to generate a LOT of closure force, even if I only thread to the point of 45 degrees to close before engagement on the lever.
 

timmca

Chimp
Apr 2, 2007
1
0
Hi Jacksonpt:

I am wondering what happened and whether swirching to a closed cam QR solved the problem on your Quest. I am looking at terrific deal on a 2005 Quest, but it has the horizontal dropouts.

Advice appreciated!

Tim
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
I don't have a problem with their decision... the problem I have is the apparent atitude of the guy I was dealing with. I thought it sounded like he was imply it was my fault I was having problem and that since he has run the same skewer, there couldn't possibly be any problems with it. I also thought it was odd that he was running a velomax wheelset... seems like most reps run pretty high end stuff because of their connections, so I would have thought he'd be on Mavics or similar high end wheels, but that's kind of beside the point.

Anyways... after the final e-mail, they were very fast in shipping out a set of Ultegra skewers and a fingernail polish-syle bottle of touch-up paint. So now that everything is said and done, have they done enough to piss me off to the point where I'll never buy a Jamis again? No, not really... but I also have no real loyalty to them... certainly not like I do Yeti (I've had excellent luck with them).
I believe Jamis handled this one correctly.

Jamis is a large bike company who builds their entire line in Taiwan. They are not a small custom shop, nor do they claim to be. Specifically, their warranty department is designed not to help the single customer, but to handle the claims made against a large bike manufacturer, from a recall to your specific case.

From my perspective as someone who has worked in the industry since the 80's, the words quick-release causes anguish, particularily combined with either lawsuit or warranty.

Mentioning all of that, thru email, there is no way a warranty rep can see your bike and confirm whether it was your fault or a defect in the frame or the QR, unless you happened to live in Northvale, NJ. Unless there were multiple incidents which would spark a recall, he would have to imply it was not Jamis's fault.

On that note, there might be a problem with the Velomax skewer which the Jamis rep might be very familiar with already. However, Jamis would do everything to drop this on Velomax's lap, which I can tell you is very disorganized right now.

But I have not heard of a particular frame or dropout type which would not hold a rear wheel correctly. You might have your shop check the dropout alignment using the tools which check fork dropout alignment. However if the dropouts are already damaged, you won't get a warranty at this point.

The reality with bike companies is that a major manufacturer with hundreds of employees and thousands of bikes is not going to give you the service that a boutique brand should supply. We had a Seven customer who noticed a slight wobble at high speeds. The shop owner checked the fork alignment and the dropouts were off by less than a mm. We expect Seven to exchange the fork without question. BTW, this bike cost about $8000 and the fork $600.