Author Topic: Frame Warranty  (Read 1951 times)

Frame Warranty
« on: July 14, 2016, 09:54:58 pm »
Has anyone had any experience of warrantying a bike frame?

My bike is aluminium, about three years' old, made by a well known American brand

The rivets which hold the bottle cages in place have worn away and the bottle cage now rattles in the frame.

The company promises a lifetime warranty but say that this damage is my fault and will not replace it.

I disagree and wondered if anyone had experience of similar and were they able to resolve it with the retailer and whether anyone had experience of bringing a small claim?

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 10:04:46 pm »
No idea - but your issue is normally with the company that sold it to you. I would doubt that a LBS would offer a lifetime guarantee on a frame.

I'm wondering why you would want to keep an aluminium frame for a lifetime.
Whaddawewant? Gratification! Whendowewannit? Not just yet...

Tim Hall

  • Bright are the stars that shine Dark is the sky
Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 10:06:46 pm »
The Boy's Trek something or other developed a crack in the weld for the BB shell. It was four or five years old at the time.  I got in touch with the shop where I bought it, only to be told they were no longer Trek dealers.  They had a word with a shop 3 miles away who were and asked if they would handle it.

I took it in, they agreed it was cracked and I got a new frame after a few days.   They did a bit of haggling with Trek and got new forks & headset thrown in. I did the strip down and rebuild myself.

So not really the same fault, but a good response from Trek and the LBS. I had the original receipt, which helped things along.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 12:08:11 am »
Storm in a bidon IMHO. The bottle cage mounts are M5 'rivnuts', a very common type of surface fastener.

Two possible ways to rectify the problem, either use a rivnut setting tool to reset the inserts in the frame or, if that isn't feasible, file the tops off, push them inside the frame and replace them.

Rivnuts are around £2 for 5 and the tool can be had for around 12 quid. I have both the tool and inserts and if you're anywhere near Nth Manchester can do the job easily.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 09:42:28 am »
Have the rivets worn away or is it just a case of the rivnuts coming loose?  I had this problem once and a quick trip to the LBS and he re-set the offending rivnut with the magic tool and all has been fine since.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2016, 10:07:00 am »
Rivnuts are around £2 for 5 and the tool can be had for around 12 quid. I have both the tool and inserts and if you're anywhere near Nth Manchester can do the job easily.

That's good to know since the rivnuts are loose on the Trek, and have been for about 20k miles. I stopped the rattle using a couple of tap washers.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 10:27:59 am »
The rivnuts have become loose and ovalised their position in the frame and are, I have been told, not replaceable.

I did not notice as I put it down to the bottle cage itself rattling rather than the nuts or bolts.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2016, 12:02:15 pm »
Rivnuts are (nearly) always replaceable. The rivnut material is quite soft with a thinner wall section than a bike tube so shouldn't have ovalised the hole enough that they don't have something left to bite into. They don't need a perfectly round hole to get purchase on the material. And anyway how do they know that without removing them and seeing the damage to the hole?

I'm guessing unnamed American bike builder can't be bothered to honour their warranty. As stated elsewhere it's an easy job.

Either write to them and state they are talking nonsense and you insist they sort it out before going to small claims court (you don't actually have to do this but a threat might be enough) or if you don't want to get into a fight with them get Torslanda or another nearby friendly LBS to sort it for you.

Rivnut tools are a handy thing to keep in the toolbox for all sorts of reasons.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2016, 03:06:19 pm »
Thanks for all this advice.

They have (sort of offered) a replacement frame at a reduced cost, although this is not definite as
yet.  Is this a reasonable solution,  or should I proceed to get a free replacement.

They claim that the bike is still safe to ride, although I think without a down tube bottle cage, it is
not much use.  Two bike shops have told me that the ruvnuts or whatever are not repairable..

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2016, 03:31:42 pm »
Where do you live?
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2016, 03:36:55 pm »
The professional gobshite from John's cycles disagrees with them. And is prepared to prove it.

If it were my bike, I'd probably fix it with some shim off a beer can and some epoxy. But I'm a tight git.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2016, 03:43:04 pm »
Many bike shops IMO are becoming more like car dealerships every day. A parts replacement service. 'Worn Cassette, £15* to fit plus the cost of the new one, oh and you'll need a new chain to go with it..........'

If it isn't a standard part and doesn't have a fixed price for labour against it then they will decide it's something that can't be done because that's easier and it's less of a risk if the job takes one hour rather than the 20 minutes they thought it might take.

A mechanic (such as the one you will find at Johns Cycles), not a parts replacer can actually fix most things.

*Price made up, I've never actually paid for a bike to be repaired or serviced.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2016, 04:14:36 pm »


If it were my bike, I'd probably fix it with some shim off a beer can and some epoxy.

Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance.

Quote
In a key scene, a friend's handle bars are slipping and the author offers to shim them tight with a sliver of old beer can. The friend is appalled; he's driving an expensive motorcycle, and the author is proposing to "fix" it with a piece of discarded trash. The key lesson of the scene is not to get hung up on the labels attached to things, but to look beyond to see the underlying forms and functions. His friend saw a piece of trash, but the discarded beer can was actually a sheet of thin aluminum, oxidized to resist further corrosion, of exactly the right thickness, and soft enough to be cut to the right shape with a pocket knife. It was the perfect solution, once you could see the thing for what it was, not merely as what it was called.

http://jamesmaxey.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/zen-and-art-of-motorcycle-maintenance.html

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2016, 07:03:13 pm »
Where do you live?

I live in north London.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2016, 07:46:07 pm »
Thanks for all this advice.

They have (sort of offered) a replacement frame at a reduced cost, although this is not definite as
yet.  Is this a reasonable solution,  or should I proceed to get a free replacement.

They claim that the bike is still safe to ride, although I think without a down tube bottle cage, it is
not much use.  Two bike shops have told me that the ruvnuts or whatever are not repairable..

Rivnut failure certainly shouldn't make the bike unsafe to ride, and band-on bottle cage mounts are readily available, both in metal and in plastic.

I'm a bit surprised the rivnuts are not repairable, but accepting that, I reckon offering a reduced price frame is reasonably fair. Obviously it's pretty poor that the mounts have failed after three years or so, but I doubt any court (which is your alternative path) would view a free replacement as proportionate, so you'd be relying on either the dealer or manufacturer thinking there was a PR or customer relations value in giving you one.

'Course, you could always get on Twitter and whinge publicly to the company's chief exec ...The implied threat of going to a wider audience sometimes bears fruit ...

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2016, 10:53:58 pm »
Worth noting that 'Limited Lifetime Warranty' means just that and it is the manufacturer's decision to replace, repair or negotiate as they see fit.

Like as not they are completely unaware of your situation as a result of one of their dealerships making an arbitrary decision based on ignorance, stupidity and *Nothing Else*. It fucks me off no end that arsewipes who don't know one end of bike from the other and have zero practical knowledge can (and do) run bicycle shops when they're not capable of running a bath. Find someone who knows and tell me I'm wrong.

I am no engineer but I do know a thing or two about automotive and aeronautical/aerospace engineering. One of the plus points of rivnuts is that they CAN be replaced. I'd venture to suggest that without this feature any riveted construction, all-metal aeroplane would be scrap as soon as the interior fittings required upgrading or replacement. Can you imagine having to scrap a Spitfire because the pilot's seat started to creak? Fucking ridiculous, frankly.

Your LBS don't know shit from shinola and with what they're trying to shovel at you they should be in the organic fertilizer trade, not bikes. I'll stand by what I said upthread. I've repaired rivnuts, I've replaced them. If you can be arsed you could even get the scrap ones out of the frame next time you take the bottom bracket out but a good dose of Waxoyl or similar into the frame before fitting the new inserts will ensure they don't rattle.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2016, 08:54:33 am »
Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

You don't live near enough for me to offer to do it for you unfortunately unless you ever visit Suffolk?

Of course it doesn't have to be a bike shop. Nip round to your local back street garage and ask if they have a rivnut gun. Certainly much cheaper and greener than buying a new frame to waste the old one over a couple of cheap fixings.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2016, 09:18:32 am »
Thanks for all your advice.  I'll try a couple more places and see if they can fix it.  Certainly a cheaper
Option than buying a new frame.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2016, 12:16:51 pm »


If it were my bike, I'd probably fix it with some shim off a beer can and some epoxy.

Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance.

Quote
In a key scene, a friend's handle bars are slipping and the author offers to shim them tight with a sliver of old beer can. The friend is appalled; he's driving an expensive motorcycle, and the author is proposing to "fix" it with a piece of discarded trash. The key lesson of the scene is not to get hung up on the labels attached to things, but to look beyond to see the underlying forms and functions. His friend saw a piece of trash, but the discarded beer can was actually a sheet of thin aluminum, oxidized to resist further corrosion, of exactly the right thickness, and soft enough to be cut to the right shape with a pocket knife. It was the perfect solution, once you could see the thing for what it was, not merely as what it was called.

http://jamesmaxey.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/zen-and-art-of-motorcycle-maintenance.html
A BMW IIRC
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2016, 12:28:00 pm »
Your LBS don't know shit from shinola
Phrase filed in memory for future use.  ;D
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Re: Frame Warranty
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2016, 10:26:41 pm »
Problem now solved. 

Thanks for your advice.

Took bike to SBC Cycles in Cropley Street, London, N1, who were able to remove and
replace rivnuts!  Cheaper and simpler than new frame!