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  1. #1
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    Trek Red Shield, Yes or No?

    Next week I will be picking up my first bike after a 17 year hiatus from riding, a 2013 Trek Cobia.

    I'm wondering if I should get the Red Shield Plan for it. I know that it will cover broken, defective, normal wear and tear on parts after the 1yr warranty runs out. Does anyone know if it covers shock rebuilds on the RockShox Recons?

    Anyone buy it?

  2. #2
    Diggity Dog
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    Do you normally buy service contracts on your cars and appliances?

  3. #3
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    How much does it cost? How much do you think that you are going to ride? Does it cover tires ,pads,cables, and the chain? Those are the most likely things to wear out.What would it cost to replace some of those?

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    It runs $199 and covers 5 years after the original warranty expires, and it's transferable if you sell the bike.

    What does the Trek® Red Shield Plan Cover?
    The Plan applies to Covered Products which are rendered inoperable due to defects in materials or
    workmanship or mechanical breakdowns experienced as a result of normal wear and tear. Specifically,
    with respect to bicycles and wheels, the following parts and components are covered:
    • WHEEL (SPOKES, RIMS, HUBS, QUICK RELEASE)
    • FORK (WHEN NOT COVERED BY THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY)
    • CRANK ASSEMBLY (PEDALS, CRANK ARMS, CHAIN WHEELS, BOTTOM BRACKET)
    • BRAKES (LEVERS, CABLES AND CALIPER COMPONENTS EXCEPT PADS)
    • DRIVE TRAIN (DERAILLEURS (FRONT AND REAR), CHAIN, SHIFTERS AND CABLES)
    • SUSPENSION (COMPONENTS, FRONT AND REAR)
    • SADDLE, SEAT POST, HANDLEBARS, STEMS, HEADSET, FREEWHEEL/CASSETTE
    It does not cover tires, tubes, brake pads, grips, or upgraded parts (unless they were upgraded at the time of purchase).

    Also does not cover abuse, neglect, etc....

  5. #5
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    Trek has officially become a mass market manufacturer of Product , it has ceased being a bicycle company. Do some research on extended warranties, every consumer group will tell you it's simply a money grab. People that actually buy in to that bull **** generally don't use the Product enough to need the extended warranty. Electronics companies have been shovelling this **** for years, same with automoble companies, they even have a name for it. When they do their extra coverage pitch it's referred to as 'having the customer 'in the box'. I feel sorry for the poor bastard in the bike shop that has to try and sell this crap.

    Hey Trek, eff you and shame on you. You suck!

  6. #6
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    I have filed dozens of red shield claims for customers and i think it is worth it if you use it. It kicks in after you have had the bike for 365 days, and will fully cover the cost of replacing the chain, cassette, chainrings (or the crankset if that's cheaper), derailleur cables, bottom bracket, headset, derailleur pulleys, any broken spokes, etc. add up the cost of parts and labor to replace your drivetrain once and the Red Shield has probaly paid for itself. After that, it's just free bike parts.

    If you don't use it, you are just giving money away to an insurance company of sorts. If you use it, you will save yourself hundreds of dollars and probably cost them money. So far as I can tell, the Red Shield claims are handled directly by a third party, not Trek.

  7. #7
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    They make it look like it covers a lot.Wheels last a long time if they are taken care of . I've broken spokes ,couple of bucks and I'm rolling. Rims again, I've worn them out and bent them ,most were over 5 years old.Never had a problem with a quick release. Forks need seviceing and new seals ,is that covered? I've worn out chain rings ,chains and cassettes .In five years that might be 3 chains ,one cassette and one or two rings. Cables and housing maybe twice a year ,do them yourself about 30$.Never had a issue with a seat post ,have worn out seats, the one on my road bike is over ten years old with over 10000 miles on it ,its looking a little worn. I've replaced cheep headsets ,I also have a King that has been though 3 bikes and is at least 15 years old. If you do most of your own maintenace save your money.

  8. #8
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    i think 200 dollars is about equivalent to 2 changes of cassette + chain (both round 40 bucks + labor), depending what level of components you are getting. Might be worth it :/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pizon View Post
    i think 200 dollars is about equivalent to 2 changes of cassette + chain (both round 40 bucks + labor), depending what level of components you are getting. Might be worth it :/
    Yep. But, no question the replacement plan components won't be XT or that equivalent, which is what you could cover 2 changes of cassette and chain for about $200. Btw, OP, going to an XT cassette is an easy and comparatively inexpensive way to lose .4 lbs from the weight of your bike.

    I bought a Cobia for my sons to share. It's a nice bike and seems to be holding up fine. I didn't buy the plan because I never buy those plans. As rangeriderdave detailed, there really isn't much that you can expect to recoup from that investment. Besides, chances are pretty good that you'd rather spend your money on upgraded components anyway; XT cassette, for example.

    Also, you'll have to see how you feel about some of the stock components, but I got rid of the pedals immediately, and soon thereafter got some riser handlebars, a new saddle, and a new front tire. The tires suck, but I'll let them wear the sucky tires down on the rear. I put a 2.3 Purgatory on the front for much better handling. The only other thing I think it needs now is a bash guard instead of the big chain ring.

    From what I could tell the Cobia was the best priced entry level mountain bike that came with an air fork and a decent set of hydraulic brakes, so congratulations on your purchase. I'd spend the money in some of the places I mentioned above instead of the service plan. ymmv

  10. #10
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    Is the cost of the plan based on the purchase price of the bike? The Cobia is a 1240.00 bike retail so they are charging a little over 15%, which I think is to much. So if you bought a $6,000.00 bike would it still be $200 or 750.00?

  11. #11
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    I never buy a service plan. I vote would for not to buy this plan.

  12. #12
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    I would get way more than $200 worth of drivetrain stuff out of them in 5 years. At least two chains per year, CRs and Cassettes at least every two years. I already have the $200 back so the rest would be gravy. I think it depends on the number of miles ridden and the conditions. Around here the decomposed granite eats drivetrain stuff so it would pay for me to do it.

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    Extended protection plans like that are usually a money grab as said above. I would think it better to save the money and change components as they wear yourself.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick2cents View Post
    Extended protection plans like that are usually a money grab as said above. I would think it better to save the money and change components as they wear yourself.
    it's not an extended warranty, at least not like other extended warranties on toast ovens and tv sets. it replaces individual parts on your bike as you wear them out. if you plan to ride your bike enough to wear out a chain every 6-9 months, it will probably save you a ton of money in the long run. if you don't ride more than once a week, you probably will not benefit from it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    it's not an extended warranty, at least not like other extended warranties on toast ovens and tv sets. it replaces individual parts on your bike as you wear them out. if you plan to ride your bike enough to wear out a chain every 6-9 months, it will probably save you a ton of money in the long run. if you don't ride more than once a week, you probably will not benefit from it.
    ^^ This. Figure out the cost of wear and tear items, typical replacement mileage, and how many miles you ride annually. For me, brake pads last 3+ years. Chain and cassette probably a little more. I ride maybe 1,200 miles a year on the mountain bike and maybe 2x that on the road bike right now.

    Looking at this thread, the warranty doesn't include tune ups and overhaul. So a fork teardown/tune up -- in the absence of an observable problem -- would not be covered. I've also never had a manufacturer's defect outside the first year. When I did, the manufacturer accused me of having crashed the bike (I didn't). My LBS went to bat for me.

    So... for me, I would probably save $50 - $150 at the cost of a $200 warranty. If you're riding closer to 3,600 or 4,800 miles per year, it might be worth it. Tick up to 10,000+ miles per year, then it would definitely be worth it, if they really are covering wear and tear items.

    The one time I have bought a mfr's warranty is on my wife's 2011 car. Electronics are among the least reliable systems in a modern automobile, and her car has a lot of them. Changing any one of the three computer screens in her car would cover the cost of the warranty.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    Looking at this thread, the warranty doesn't include tune ups and overhaul. So a fork teardown/tune up -- in the absence of an observable problem -- would not be covered.
    brake pads are not covered at all.

    but labor associated with replacing cables, spokes, chains, cassettes, bearings, etc is covered. if you bought a bike from a decent shop, they should help you out with tune-ups. at my shop, basic tune-up/adjustments are always free for the life of the bike for the original purchaser for life.

    I think the average "avid" rider will blow through a chain and cassette at about once a year. definitely true if you are a bigger rider, like 200 pounds +. it seems like the bearings in press-fit BB's don't last nearly as long as older systems. if you race or take regular day trips to remote locations for epic rides, the bike shop is going to stay very busy replacing parts at no cost to you.

    I honestly don't know what to say about suspension parts. rear shock bushings and stuff would be easy, but getting them to replace a "neglected" fork would be harder. o-rings and wiper seals are explicitly NOT covered. basically, you're probably on your own with wear items on suspension INTERNALS, but if the fork bends or somehow blows up after the manufacturer's warranty is up, you should be covered for a new one. don't take my word for that, I don't make those decisions, but that is the impression I get from working with them for a while.

    as for the quality level of parts that go back on your bike, the shop should pick out the appropriate equivalent part. if you had an XT RD, they would put another XT on there. if you had Deore cranks, don't expect a new XTR set on your bike.

  17. #17
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    dont do it!Trust me on this one

  18. #18
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    If you plan on riding on a regular basis (for me 4-5 days a week and 5k-7k miles a year) it would save you money. Below is a list of what I go through in 5 years:
    10 chains
    5 cassettes
    5-10 sets of tires
    5-7 sets of shifter cables
    1-2 rear der
    5-10 spokes.

    On the cobia if you replaced with OE parts, it would cost you roughly:
    10 chains x$30=300
    5 cassettes x$65=325
    10 tiresx$40=400
    5 shift cable sets x$30=$150
    1 rear der x$55=$55
    5 spokes=$10
    total=$1240.00

    If you ride a lot and do indeed need to replace these parts, as long as you take advantage of the program, it would pay for itself. Most folks don't replace half what I mentioned, but it still would be worth it. If it covers labor as well, it's a no brainer!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahneyjd View Post
    If you plan on riding on a regular basis (for me 4-5 days a week and 5k-7k miles a year) it would save you money. Below is a list of what I go through in 5 years:
    10 chains
    5 cassettes
    5-10 sets of tires
    5-7 sets of shifter cables
    1-2 rear der
    5-10 spokes.

    On the cobia if you replaced with OE parts, it would cost you roughly:
    10 chains x$30=300
    5 cassettes x$65=325
    10 tiresx$40=400
    5 shift cable sets x$30=$150
    1 rear der x$55=$55
    5 spokes=$10
    total=$1240.00

    If you ride a lot and do indeed need to replace these parts, as long as you take advantage of the program, it would pay for itself. Most folks don't replace half what I mentioned, but it still would be worth it. If it covers labor as well, it's a no brainer!
    I should clarify. $1240 would be the total cost after 5 years for parts only.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahneyjd View Post
    On the cobia if you replaced with OE parts, it would cost you roughly:
    10 chains x$30=300
    5 cassettes x$65=325
    10 tiresx$40=400
    5 shift cable sets x$30=$150
    1 rear der x$55=$55
    5 spokes=$10
    total=$1240.00
    good estimate, but you left out two things:

    subtract $400 from that because RS does not cover tires.

    add the cost of labor to all those things. how much does your average bike shop charge to replace each of those parts?

  21. #21
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    Trek Red Shield, Yes or No?

    I would invest that $200 in a quality starter set of bike tools, they will last well beyond the life of the warranty and save down time while your bike is at the shop. Most of the stuff that warranty covers are things that will come in small doses so you probably won't be looking at real expensive fixes for repairs or maintenance at any one given time.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    good estimate, but you left out two things:

    subtract $400 from that because RS does not cover tires.

    add the cost of labor to all those things. how much does your average bike shop charge to replace each of those parts?
    Right, tires are not covered, so $840ish. Labor at my shop is as follows:

    install chain $10 ea.
    install cassette $10 ea.
    install shift cables $20 set.
    install rear der $24 ea.
    replace spoke/true wheel $20 per wheel

    The plan does cover labor. So in my mind if you do not do your own work and don't mind up to a week of down time (in busy months) it is a very good deal.

  23. #23
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    So my experience with Red Shield has been a mixed bag... When it first kicked in, about a year ago, I had ridden the crap out of my '10 fuel ex8. The shop I purchased the bike and plan from replaced the entire drivetrain (including cables), fork and shock seals, and a couple other little bits at no cost to me. Then about six months go by and I bring the bike back in for some issues and they give me the run around saying that forks and shock aren't covered, or that I don't need a chain yet or that my bb is fine it just needs to be cleaned. I've got the original receipt in which is shows RS paying for all the parts including the fork and shock stuff. I have the original contract as well that shows those things being covered, and yet it seems now they're acting like a typical insurance company that doesn't want to pay up. If I buy a warranty that covers something and it's not working properly you need to fix it or replace it. That's the deal we (the insurance company and I) made. I just brought the bike in again and will be pushing them to replace at the least the chain and shock (which no longer holds air) I'll post again when I find out how it all goes.

    Thanks for the rant space. Good luck to the rest of you.

  24. #24
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    I'd have to agree on buying tools and working on it yourself. Also on most things you will find ordering parts over the internet is cheaper than buying them at your LBS. I just bought a new trek and I thought about this, I can do all the work myself, also my LBS is a dealer but not a Red Shield participant. I could still buy the plan but for Red Shield coverage i would have to take the bike 50 miles to another shop. My LBS offers full lifetime tune ups for as long as you own the bike. See if yours does as well.
    1993 Trek Multitrack 700
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  25. #25
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    As has been mentioned, service plans are a huge profit center for retailers. Generally, most consumer goods for which they are offered are fairly reliable and inexpensive. I was offered a service plan on a $99 microwave. How often have you had a microwave fail? We had one in our old house that was from the late eighties and still going strong.

    They really push extended service plans as the modus operandi of retailers seems to be to up-sell everything at the point of sale.

    $200 for a five-year service contract on a $1200 bike? If Trek wasn't making money at it they wouldn't offer it so the majority of people (probably the large majority of people) who buy it see no benefit. Bike components do fail, of course, but Trek is counting on you 1) Not really riding the bike that much 2) Having the bike hanging forgotten in your garage after you lose interest, or 3) the bike ending up as fifty-dollar garage-sale fodder.

    They are playing on your fears, largely unjustified, that bikes are, like cars, horrifically expensive to maintain and repair. Mine are but only because I like to upgrade to nicer components like a $900 Hammerschmidt for my Enduro.

    If you read the fine print, can keep track of the thing, really plan to own the bike and ride it regularly for five years, then if it does cover regular wear and tear you might break even but I doubt it. The parts they cover (with the exception of chains) will probably outlast your interest in the bike and the big wear items like tires are not even covered.

    Save your money. Ride the bike. Don't worry about breaking it. If your really like riding you'll have upgraded your whole bike long before five years.

    Let me go out on a limb here and say that serious mountain-bikers don't really worry about wearing out their bikes and looks with satisfaction at worn-out tires, brake pads, and chains as evidence that they are doing something right. I've said it before and, with the usual caveat that I understand some people are poor, the purpose of mountain biking is not to push the absolute cheapest piece-of-crap bike you can find down the trail. It's permissible to spend a little money now and then, even frivolously (for surely I did not really need the Hammerschmidt).
    Last edited by Ailuropoda; 03-26-2013 at 03:30 PM.

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