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
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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