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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    A welders perspective and thoughts on a frame's warranty work, questions to ask.

    Good evening ladies and gents, I have not posted on here in over 8 years.

    "Bless it be the bike gods and in all who share the speed that we crave"

    So I have worked Nuclear(reactor), Pipe line, Fabrication, process tubing and with all the knowledge over the past 10 years I have started to delve into metal fatigue.
    Yes I am a victim of metal fatigue from where life slows down to a frame by frame notion as you see the top head tube of your Downhill bike leaving its job... Having left you to get a nice close up of the ground and mouth full of dirt as you speed down the hill.

    I am probably not the only one here who have experienced this as I do not wish this ill fate on any fellow brother who shares the same love of the sport as I do. So brings me to the question regarding these Frame Manufacturing warranty and ethics. I am going to speculate on some companies ill advisement in saving costs vs total replacement at the cost of the riders safety. So lets say Jimmy buys a brand new (example)Foes Hydro frame with complete build from a authorized dealer taking any incorrect consumer installation out of the picture, I.E. forks, shocks ect....

    Jimmy races competitively in the DH circuit and suffers a shock mount weld fault within his first year companies usually claim it under "Wear and Tear". Jimmy gets hurt and sucks it up like a good butter cup trooper that he is. So he jumps through all the hoops that is required by him from the Frame MFG's warranty policy. They get the frame and start to do their work and I mean work as in Repair/Replacement vs costs savings. It is usually cheaper to replace a faulty weld rather than total replacement but keep in mind that the majority or these large bike brand names will almost never claim warranty under "workmanship from faulty welds" as this would speculate that they have some QA(quality assurance) issue and bad welds. Heavens lord they put bad welds on other frames (usually happens).

    So they decide the fix the frame rather than do a total replacement because it would save them money. They fix the weld, heat treat the frame ect whole nine yards.. They usually know before hand that because the bike has been ridden and raced that weld fatigue is already present on the frame and cross their Fingure's hoping that Jimmy other welds don't crack or break again. Company says "Good saved some money" "NEXT". Lets say 6 months down the road the head tube rips off and the rider suffers injury that could have been easily avoided if the Warranty had done a total replacement rather than botch a job to save money at the expense of the riders safety and medical bills. I don't think these Bike warranty places are as sophisticated to what standards that I have seen in nuclear. Hell I don't even think if they die penetrate other welds once a frame comes in after a broken weld. Simply just fix the weld and give a quick eye on the other welds then moving on to the next frame.

    I would like people to ask these questions to these big brand name warranty department to get some form of affirmation that if they have any procedures to follow on weld faults. I know a lot of companies will always have the riders safety in mind but hey look at GM and their ignition switch (LAUGH!). Sad part is ladies and gents this is how the business world works. These bike companies are here to make money not to hand out candy on every scratch on a frame. Typically they treat every case the same because of the shear number of back log that they have.

    Would be great if I could get some input on other people's work on warranty experiences from the major manufacturing companies. Riders, warranty employee's ect... would be great to know how the handle these things and avoid PR issue's in the MTB community.

    Best regards fellow riders, that's some food for thought

  2. #2
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Warrantied frames are not repaired, they are replaced. Sometimes just the offending triangle is replaced.

    "Workmanship from faulty welds" is sometimes what the verdict is, although the end user is told 'yep, they're replacing it.'

    I started a thread fairly recently about breaking frames. For your amusement-link.

    Poor jimmy. :-(
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  3. #3
    Glad to Be Alive
    Reputation: SHIVER ME TIMBERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    sounds like foes screwed you.....usually replacement triangles
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  4. #4
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Not convinced that repairing a used frame is cheaper than just replacing it. Shipping, labor involved in the re-welding and heat-treating... Plus the knowledge about metal fatigue - I'd say that a company would rather have piece of mind, and avoid a possible lawsuit down the road.

    I believe that replacement (or the now popular "crash replacement" where you buy the new frame at a reduced rate) is standard operating procedure now...

    Cool BandolArrow

    Jerry Hazard website

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    its not like a foes to snap or crack now is it ha ha ha ( joke)

    i guess it depends on the company,,, i had a probem with a miss welded suspension link/pivot on a frame i bought back in 2011, only had the frame 5 days when we discoverd the fault, i had ridden it in whistler bikepark for the 5 days, and for the record i will state there was no failiure just strange creaking noises that we couldnt get rid of.
    anyways after discovering the fault the frame was sent back to manufacturer, and the miss weld was diagnosed and put down to production assembly fault, so i was offerd a replacement frame, but declined the offer as i wasnt happy, as it was a used frame from their demo fleet,
    at the time the manufacturer was going through a bad patch with their frame builder, and thanks to the builder turning out substandard work they had to scrap 9 months worth of frame production, and go to taiwan to find a new builder, this set them back over 9 months, and being a small company almost put them out of buisness,
    luckily they rode the strom and survived and are doing really well now.

    at the time i had my problem the owner of the company contacted me and explained all the problems and promised me he would do everything he could to sort me out once he was back up on his feet again, and although it took them 2 years true to his word he hooked me up big time with a fantastic deal last year, with not just one bike but 3 bikes. so you see not all companies are bad, i was more than happy with the overall outcome.
    who was this comapany,,, if you havnt guessed it yet. it was knolly bikes, they truely are a fantastic company to deal with, noel and kevin certainly do know how to look after their customers.

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