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  1. #1
    Mootsie
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    Intense warranty service on a 2 month old frame and poor service. Is this reasonable?

    I wanted to get opinions and also let you know to be wary if you are considering an Intense carbon frame not to expect much from them via customer service or on the warranty front. I'm my experience over the past month, they are only willing to do the very minimum to make things work, not make them right.

    I bought a new Carbine 275 in May in my local shop and built it up with a high end mix. Im a fairly light and short rider at 150lbs and 5'4. Recently on a ride at Whiting Ranch flying down a short rocky section, my FD started rubbing badly. In a few seconds, my right crank arm had fallen off. Made it back to the car by bolting it on and riding right side only for 10 miles. Took it to my LBS and they were shocked as were a number of riders on the trail that saw what happened. They replaced the crank arm, lined up the FD and said I was good to go.

    Next day, I am riding with 2 buddies, one of which is a mechanic and works for a major OC based MTB component MFG. Rolling down Rock It at Aliso and in the large baby head section, both arms fly off with pedals still attached to me. Im flying with no platform and unable to plant my feet to to my new attachments. I end up thankfully slowing down and crashing into a bush.

    Thinking my cranks were damaged, went back to my LBS. They removed the cranks and found two small voids on the inner carbon of the frame in the BB are. You could actually put your finger in them. Took 2 weeks and a lot of back and forth with Intense because they apparently did not want to cover it. Finally, They said they would send a new frame as "consumer good will", thereby not admitting any defaults to their frame.

    When it arrived, it was not the frame, not the shock, not the pivot bolts or bearing, just the bare front triangle....OK, no worries, at least they sent something. As I arrive at the shop to pick up the rebuilt frame, I notice the front and rear are two completely different reds. not even close. The LBS contacts Intense and they said that they cant even guarantee front and rear match on new frames. This is a 2014 front with a 2013 rear. Incredibly irritating. I know most would be happy that the MFG fixed their issue...I am, however, I didn't spend this amount of $'s to ride a bike that looks like a mismatch because of MFG error. I keep asking myself, would they put their riders on this, would they sell this to a customer, would they ride this? Strongly doubt it and if they would its no wonder they are having so many challenges back in the US market with so many MFGs that understand the benefits of customer service.

    Sorry to rant but I have had it. Terrible customer service has led me to post this as well as sell the frame (obviously crazy cheap) because it doesn't match. Any opinions on options other than those I am currently exploring would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'd love to know how small voids in the BB area is going to make your crank arms "fly off". Tightening your crank arm puts a preload on your BB cups. Even if the press fit on your BB cups are loose, your crank arm should hold it if tightened properly.

  3. #3
    Mootsie
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    These weren't tiny little cracks, probably should have described them better. They were 2- 10-20mm long holes but about 5-15mm wide right next to each other. A void in carbon causes flex...especially in one with a lot of torque. After they explained it to me, it makes as much sense as possible as the torque on the cranks and BB caused flex in the press-fit, which allowed the crank arms to work themselves off. I retightened the arms twice myself just short of stripping out the bolts and they still came loose. I definitely appreciate the help trying to figure the problem, but I am beyond that as Intense admitted to it by sending a front triangle replacement. I was looking for anything that may have worked in the past with customers to change a manufacturers mind on a mistake, namely Intense as I've heard numerous horror stories about them which are confirmed with the few times i've contacted them, zero replies or results. I would like my front t match my rear as the issue was a defect on this particular frame. Long shot with these guys I see, but thought I'd try with the Intense crowd, hoping someone had seen this or had luck in talking to the right nice guy at the factory as that is what it seems to take with these guys. Thanks!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Well, I don't have any experience with carbon bike frame, only an aerospace apps. Hopeful it's fixed....that sucks about the color match or lack of, I'd be pissed also. A friend of mine's Santa Cruz Bronson (carbon model) has a paint defect, not noticeable until he showed me. Well....Santa Cruz is sending him a complete new frame.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Do you have any pictures?
    What type of crank and BB?

  6. #6
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    I'd like to see pictures too. You could consider the 2 different shades of red as a one of a kind custom set up.

    Seriously though, there are lots of bikes with non-matching front/swingarms. But considering this is basically a new bike, you should have what you want.

    Maybe you could offer to return the whole frame, or whole bike, in exchange for a new one, since you have had this trouble.

    I don't know if the voids caused the crank to fall off, but they are a structural defect anyway.

  7. #7
    Mootsie
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    Intense warranty service on a 2 month old frame and poor service. Is this reasonable?-image.jpgThanks guys. Good points Steve. On vacation but when I return, plan on trying direct to see if perhaps there was a breakdown or misunderstanding with my shop and the company. I'm attaching a pic and will post one more. In person, it's really noticeable, though yeah, I can ride it. Wish they woulda just sent black carbon for that custom look though . I think the mechanic took pics of the voids to send in. I was so upset I didn't even think about it. I'll try to get them. Can I live with it, yes, should I have to, I just don't think so...but we shall see right?

  8. #8
    Mootsie
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    Intense warranty service on a 2 month old frame and poor service. Is this reasonable?-image.jpgOne more...

  9. #9
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    Again I will say that since it is a new purchase and you were sold a defective product, they should fix it the way you want.

    But........

    I am a bit of a handy man so I have lots of my own handywork around my house. Paint, wood stain, drywall, plumbing etc. Pretty much everything I do I try to make perfect, but there is usually some little thing that comes out a tiny bit off, and it drives me crazy at first. Then I forget about it.

    My point is that sometimes we become hypersensitive to really little things. Maybe it's more noticeable in person, but I think your bike looks cool.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruinbiker View Post
    Finally, They said they would send a new frame as "consumer good will", thereby not admitting any defaults to their frame.

    Terrible customer service has led me to post this as well as sell the frame (obviously crazy cheap) because it doesn't match. Any opinions on options other than those I am currently exploring would be appreciated. Thanks!
    I guess that was a bad choice on the part of Intense - clearly their decision did not build any consumer good will at all.

    I'm in the camp that is wondering just how the hell your frame could have been causing your cranks to fall off.

  11. #11
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    I'm in the camp that is wondering just how the hell your frame could have been causing your cranks to fall off.


    I have to agree with this one. I dont see how a void in the BB shell would make the cranks fall off. I would imagine that the BB bearing cups might have some play but I dont see how the cranks could come off. Id love to see the pics that you said the bike shop took. I also have a Carbine 275 and would like to check if I have a issue in the same area.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Ridnw/bear;10621890]I'm in the camp that is wondering just how the hell your frame could have been causing your cranks to fall off.


    Yeah, me too....

  13. #13
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    Can you fill me on how the frame got the void again? Was it from Intense like that, or after your cranks fell out twice?

  14. #14
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    I recently had a rear triangle replaced under warranty. I was quite happy about it, the bike was less than a year old and there was a small fault. I don't think I should have been sent a whole new frame, shock and hardware. That would be retarded and totally unnecessary considering nothing was wrong with any of that. Did the rear look newer than the front? yes, if you looked closely. I did consider not riding it as the small colour difference may cause an imbalance in handling due to the different type and quantity of light photons being reflected rather than absorbed by the paint. I was worried this might cause the rear triangle to be slower than the front and eventually it would break apart due to physical stress....

    I chose to suck to it up however and not whine about it because my bike was fixed for no cost in a short amount of time and I could go ride it. Warranty did what it should have done and Intense handled it very well.

    After a few rides, some UV and mud its all good.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by christhebrit View Post
    I recently had a rear triangle replaced under warranty. I was quite happy about it, the bike was less than a year old and there was a small fault. I don't think I should have been sent a whole new frame, shock and hardware. That would be retarded and totally unnecessary considering nothing was wrong with any of that. Did the rear look newer than the front? yes, if you looked closely. I did consider not riding it as the small colour difference may cause an imbalance in handling due to the different type and quantity of light photons being reflected rather than absorbed by the paint. I was worried this might cause the rear triangle to be slower than the front and eventually it would break apart due to physical stress....

    I chose to suck to it up however and not whine about it because my bike was fixed for no cost in a short amount of time and I could go ride it. Warranty did what it should have done and Intense handled it very well.

    After a few rides, some UV and mud its all good.
    And they probably still would have replaced it even if you had forgot to tighten the two 5mm bolt on your Shimano cranks. Just sayin.....

  16. #16
    Mootsie
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    Yeah, well Chris.... appreciate the sarcasm. When i spend over $8k on something, I expect it to work and look like an $8k bike, not after years of use and abuse, but after 2 months use with an issue that was obviously not my fault. Not sure if this is a hard concept to grasp or if the Kool Aid is just too tasty for ya, but next time you get into a car accident, when the body shop makes your car two tones of the same color, let me know how you're just sucking it up and how (sarcasm intended) the car handles the same... so its all good. Of course, you have insurance on that so Im sure being the guy who apparently doesn't care about aesthetics, you're going to eye that as a big win!

  17. #17
    Mootsie
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    I did not check the inside BB when the frame came in as the shop built it up for me, but the voids were hard to miss so I assume that they were covered with epoxy, and with crank torque, just separated and opened up after a couple months. Its a best guess talking with my industry amigos and two shops now. It DID occur however, and the front triangle WAS warranted as defective 2014...rear is 2013. I did feel the inside of the warrantied front triangle and there was a small raised section. The shop said it is probably extra epoxy that was not sanded flat and I'm sure it probably is, but sheesh, seems odd. I cannot say for sure that that is what caused them to fall off, twice, but it rides well at this point after a few weeks. I know after the first time, the shop felt the cranks may have just been loose and tightened them back on with more torque than I'd applied, stripping one of the bolts out.

    I don't do my own drivetrain/brake work because I just don't have time and prefer the work be done by a mechanic. I DO however know how to tighten crank bolts and did in this case, as i'd said. If that was all it took to keep them on, I wouldn't be here. Then, all those who seem so offended that I raised a question about expectations with warranty service and customer satisfaction on a defect that caused repeated failures and frustration could go on happy 'til it happens to them. I had simply asked for helpful advice and was trying to make those aware of a potential problem to be attuned to. They have asked me to bring the frame in which I intend on doing. Will post on the final word. Simple as that, no agenda, no Intense hating here, just frustration, and wonder as to why so many snarky, I'm more cool and hard core than you posters on MTBR immediately attack a rider with a legitimate issue and questions? Just a general comment BTW, nothing meant towards your question. Thanks!

  18. #18
    Mootsie
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    I will give them the benefit of the doubt, you're probably right. I am currently dealing directly with Intense as I decided to eliminate a possible variable within the confusion, the shop. The MFG is local and a phone call has connected me with someone who can at least give me options, if there are any.

  19. #19
    Mootsie
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    Good job! Closing out....Intense comes through as hoped!

    So, to close out, I wanted to thank those of you who offered helpful replies and questions. Hopefully this kind of weird, apparently one-off (so far) issue does not occur to any of you who care about your ride more than the fact that the pivots work, hah.

    I did visit Intense in Temecula, CA today, met up with Sam who was EXTREMELY helpful and courteous. We matched a new triangle against the old and the color difference was in my opinion, HUGE. Sam reserved opinion saying he just wanted to make sure that I was happy, especially with the high end build. Thought that was very cool and that maybe should have been my first move rather than involving the shop try to coordinate and explain the issues as a third party.

    I did re-explain the situation to him and another helpful guy working there and they said though my issue makes sense, it is the first they have seen of it, so I should be completely good with the new frame. Even with their demo fleet of bikes that get beat to hell, they have not seen that defect. I'm sure they will look at the returned frame and make any adjustments as needed or simply chalk it up to a single defective triangle.

    Either way, they DID come through in spades and warranted my frame entirely, expressing understanding that buyer confidence in the reliability of a high end purchase like an MTB is paramount. Sam threw in a shirt and some stickers, adjusted my shock to the ideal sag, and I was on my way. The experience has really changed my perception of the company for the better. Though it taken a ton of time and effort, I can say that I really appreciate the willingness to do what it takes to make me feel good about my purchase and the support it comes with....Should this Carbine frame make it with no issues, I will definitely be a repeat customer. Thank you Sam and Intense!

  20. #20
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    Cool. I guess that's an advantage working with a USA based small company, and it is always better to deal with people face to face than over the phone or through a middle man. You are fortunate that you were able to visit them personally, which would not be an option for a lot of people.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruinbiker View Post
    So, to close out, I wanted to thank those of you who offered helpful replies and questions. Hopefully this kind of weird, apparently one-off (so far) issue does not occur to any of you who care about your ride more than the fact that the pivots work, hah.

    I did visit Intense in Temecula, CA today, met up with Sam who was EXTREMELY helpful and courteous. We matched a new triangle against the old and the color difference was in my opinion, HUGE. Sam reserved opinion saying he just wanted to make sure that I was happy, especially with the high end build. Thought that was very cool and that maybe should have been my first move rather than involving the shop try to coordinate and explain the issues as a third party.

    I did re-explain the situation to him and another helpful guy working there and they said though my issue makes sense, it is the first they have seen of it, so I should be completely good with the new frame. Even with their demo fleet of bikes that get beat to hell, they have not seen that defect. I'm sure they will look at the returned frame and make any adjustments as needed or simply chalk it up to a single defective triangle.

    Either way, they DID come through in spades and warranted my frame entirely, expressing understanding that buyer confidence in the reliability of a high end purchase like an MTB is paramount. Sam threw in a shirt and some stickers, adjusted my shock to the ideal sag, and I was on my way. The experience has really changed my perception of the company for the better. Though it taken a ton of time and effort, I can say that I really appreciate the willingness to do what it takes to make me feel good about my purchase and the support it comes with....Should this Carbine frame make it with no issues, I will definitely be a repeat customer. Thank you Sam and Intense!

    Well I'm glad they finally came through for you. But you had to go to Temecula to get it done. I used to live pretty close to that factory but I now live in Colorado. So if I buy a new Intense just like yours which I have been considering and I have an issue will I have to make a trip to southern California to get the issue resolved. Not good customer service, which sucks because I love the product they put out.
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  22. #22
    Mootsie
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    I'm not going to fall on the sword for them now that they came through, but I will say, I would feel confident buying from them again for the fact that they assured me this is a "first" that they have seen, as well as the fact that I think if they can put a face or voice to the customer it definitely helps. Posting a JRA problem is met with doubt from everyone, as you can see from posters on here, apparently including them at least at first. A past warranty issue with the big S that was unbelievably well handled had my expectations maybe a little high. Definitely think the product here is great so hope things improve with Cust Svc. Will have to see in future posts from others.

    If anything else happens, I'll post it but I can at least say, a good contact would be Sam and I would say to be comfortable asking him questions or approaching him with any warranty issues. I would definitely be involved with the company as well as your shop. I was kinda hands off at first, but once that changed and I got involved, so did the results.

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