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  1. #1
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    litespeed warranty/repair

    well i recently decided to turn a 93 obed into a single speed. i started by removing the old stickers and tuning of the luster of the frame a bit. then i noticed a crack at the head tube/down tube weld. what now. i have contacted litespeed just now. we'll see what they have to say.
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  2. #2
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    well, litespeed is telling me that my frame a 1994 as it turns out.........is not under warranty. what part of life time warranty does it fall under then? well apparently only frames built from 96 onward were given the lifetime warranty. funny thats not what i remember when i baught it. i still know the guy who sold me the frame, i spoke to him today, and he said that it was advertised back then with a lifetime warranty. so wait and see what develops i guess.

  3. #3
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    Litespeed was bought by ABG in the late 90's. I have a 96 Merlin where I am original owner. Merlin is also owned by ABG. I was reading their new policy towards warranty not too long ago and my bike is probably no longer covered because I don't have the original receipt...maybe I do, but I'd have to dig deep since it is the 2nd warranty frame from my original 1990 frame and do not remember receiving any new proof-of-purchase/warranty documentation for the 1996 frame. BTW, the second frame was a 1993.
    Back in the era of the true Merlins, all it took was a phone call, I sent the frame in for evaluation. they'd even pick of the UPS shipping charges. Less than a week later I had my new frame(s).
    Gila Proven

  4. #4
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    i am the original owner of this frame as well. i meant the sales manager of the shop where i bought it when i said "the guy who sold me the frame". the likely hood of me finding the original paperwork is slim to none. i was 15 when i bought this frame. saved all my pennies for some time to buy it. im trying to get ahold of one of the lynskey's now. http://lynskeyperformance.com/ they are the ones who built it/ owned litespeed at the time. maybe they can shed some light.

  5. #5
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    I wish you luck with Litespeed (version ABG). If you can talk to Lynskey maybe you can get an upgrade! (we can hope) or maybe he can lay out some repair options.

    I worked two jobs to get my Merlin in 1990. When my original 1990 Merlin cracked at the BB shell, I sent it back and they did a "bottom-bracket-ectomy" There first attempt at that type of repair. They machined out the small diameter (pressed bearing) BB and welded in a new threaded type. So repair is possible. If Lynskey can't help you, maybe contact Gene Spicer. You might also try Bilenky Cycle Works.
    Gila Proven

  6. #6
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    As an original owner, my '98 Obed was warrantied twice for two breakages. The second being the same as yours, a crack at the weld between the head and downtube. The first, involving a broken chainstay, occured after 11 months of riding and the second, like your break, happened 2 years into ownership. They fixed the frame both times and refinished the frame and didn't require any receipt from me, just a call from the LBS. That was in 1999 and 2000, and good service I must say.

    Sorry to hear about a frame you've had breaking after so many years of ownership. My Litespeed is something I've always valued.
    Remember, you are unique, just like everyone else.

  7. #7
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    just thinking out loud

    so litespeed told my lbs that it would cost me between 470.00 and 540.00 dollars to fix my frame, depending on if they replace just the down tube or the down tube and the head tube. i dont know much about business , but msrp for a new obed is about 2200 bucks. so lets say wholesale is 1100 dollars. if litespeed makes 40% profit on their bikes, that means it cost them roughly 660 dollars to build a frame. does that mean that they want me to pay 82% of what it cost them to build a new frame? this doesent include shipping, which i have to pay for. this is just guess work. am i on track here? if anyone knows business feel free to chime in here. like i said, just thinking out loud.

  8. #8
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    ABG sucks. They've ruined their rep over the last few years, not only through sub-par, overpriced, overblown products, but their service and warranty. That repair looks like it's 50% of buying a NEW frame from such companies as Van Nicolas:

    http://www.vannicholas.com

  9. #9
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    I agree, the price seems a bit steep to me, nevertheless, if it's a frame that you value and continue to use, and if the repair is quality work, then it might be justifyable. It's still 1/4 cost of a new frame, and I'd find it hard to dish out $2k for a new Ti frame when you already have one that could be fixed. After the warranty work on my Obed, it saw 6 to 7 years of 5 day per week of riding with perfect reliability.

    This year I had another warranty dealing with different manufacturer, it was the third break in a frame that was only two years old. The company offered me the longer-travel frame at a "warranty replacement price". It sounded appealing at first, but then I realized the price they offered me was likely near the frame's wholesale price; this didn't sit well with me. I felt my mishap with the broken frame was used as an opportunity for them to make a direct sale to me without the retailer, and I figured they would still be making a profit. There was no purchase in the end.
    Remember, you are unique, just like everyone else.

  10. #10
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    i'm waiting until monday to call lynskey for there take on the situation. on a more positive note. here are a few photo's of a frigid alaskan day, riding the bike across portage lake to the portage glacier
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  11. #11
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    Wow, beautiful landscape!!! What temps do you ride in?
    Remember, you are unique, just like everyone else.

  12. #12
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    if i recall, this particular day was about 0 with some wind. i dont usually ride in those temps. this was just an opportunity to ride the lake with no snow. we hadnt had a lot of snow, and then we had some strong wind events that blew it all away. 15-20 is pretty comfortable in the winter. check out the alaska forum if you like. there a people way more serious about it than i. including a whole slew of fat tire snow bikers pretty cool stuff

  13. #13
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    don't turn right, there's a huge crack in da ice!!!
    Are you riding studded tires or are you going commando? I love ice riding commando style, really sharpens your sense of balance on the bike!

    -S

  14. #14
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    Their customer service was pretty sad on my girlfriends road bike. The frame is an XS and the seattube bottle boss is too high to hold a bottle without hitting the toptube. They told us the frame was designed to use a 12oz bottle. Who the heck uses a 12oz water bottle? Anyway, they refused to add a usefull bottle boss. They eventually decided they found a flaw in the paint and we sent it off to be repainted. We're currently in week 6 of our 4-5 week wait. I really wanted a Ti 29er and my favorite dealer is a Litespeed dealer but it looks like I'll be getting a Lynskey and buying all my parts from my dealer.
    i ride bikes

  15. #15
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    I have a 2001 Litespeed Toccoa. I had a similar experience with their warranty department. The crappy aluminum cups pressed into the frame to meake it the right size ovalized due to riding a rigid fork. I sent the frame in expecting to need new aluminum cups in the frame. They pulled the same BS. They told me I had to pay $400 for an entirely new headtube to be welded on. I told them to suck an egg and that their "lifetime warranty" was crap.

    I ran a gold Chris King headset, and a Surly 1x1 fork. I rode nothing but XC on the bike and it took me about 6 months of ownership to cause the ovalization. I bought the frame new in 2007. It sat at a shop from '01 til then when it finally got marked down to a steal of a price. Oh well now I know better.

    Luckily I was able to take mine and install an Acros AH-07 headset which has about 30-35mm long Al skirts which run full length vs. their aluminum inserts. So now the frame is strictly used for fixie townie usage as well as gravel and light singletrack usage. All with 700x42c tires and a carbon cross fork. It rides better this way then with 26" wheels. I have beat the crap out of it for about the past year and a half like this with the new headset with zero problems.

    In short (or long) ABG sucks.

  16. #16
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    Actually 400-500 sounds pretty reasonable for the fix especially if they can update the head tube to 1 1/8" (hard to tell if it's 1 or 1 1/8" from the pic). They might also be refinishing the frame and adding fresh decals. If that's the case well worth the money IMO.

  17. #17
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    the head tube is 1 1/8. im not giving litespeed any more of my business. the guy in the warranty dep. (no names), although i feel like publicly flaming him. was preaching to me, how he was working to get me the absolute lowest price on a replacement frame. well i have a decent relationship with my lbs. turns out he was telling them that they could tack 20% on to the sale of the replacement frame. the owner of the shop told me this, but said he wouldn't feel right about doing it, if i decided to take litespeed's offer. if i had the money, i would pay full price for a lynskey before i would buy a replacement frame from litespeed. here's another instance of a similar cracked frame. during my research i found several references like this. http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrikmoltke/3182084948/

  18. #18
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    maybe i'll cut off the front triangle and make the rear triangle into a stool.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak greeff
    the head tube is 1 1/8. im not giving litespeed any more of my business. the guy in the warranty dep. (no names), although i feel like publicly flaming him. was preaching to me, how he was working to get me the absolute lowest price on a replacement frame. well i have a decent relationship with my lbs. turns out he was telling them that they could tack 20% on to the sale of the replacement frame. the owner of the shop told me this, but said he wouldn't feel right about doing it, if i decided to take litespeed's offer. if i had the money, i would pay full price for a lynskey before i would buy a replacement frame from litespeed. here's another instance of a similar cracked frame. during my research i found several references like this. http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrikmoltke/3182084948/
    Wait - there is a update of above owner Henri Moltke on FLICKR:

    Update: Litespeed decided to offer me a heavily discounted 2009 frame in return for cutting this up to make sure noone gets hurt. This is a nice gesture, and proof that you can apparently rely on their customer service.

  20. #20
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    Before you declare a success, wait until they deliver the frame.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they asked you to remove the posts here as well.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak greeff
    the head tube is 1 1/8. im not giving litespeed any more of my business. the guy in the warranty dep. (no names), although i feel like publicly flaming him. was preaching to me, how he was working to get me the absolute lowest price on a replacement frame. well i have a decent relationship with my lbs. turns out he was telling them that they could tack 20% on to the sale of the replacement frame. the owner of the shop told me this, but said he wouldn't feel right about doing it, if i decided to take litespeed's offer. if i had the money, i would pay full price for a lynskey before i would buy a replacement frame from litespeed. here's another instance of a similar cracked frame. during my research i found several references like this. http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrikmoltke/3182084948/
    Wow...sounds kinda shadey. I'm currently considering their Niota Ti as one of my options for a new FS frame. I know you rarely hear about the "good" CS outcomes but this honestly makes me think a bit more about it.

  22. #22
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    ABG has had long-standing warranty issues that seem to be "inconsistent", as best, with some horror shows revolving around their experiment with Al under theirs and other names, that went horribly wrong due to lack of oversight and cost cutting. Throughout their history, even before MTBR got big, we've heard of the poorly aligned frames, failures, repair costs under warranty, slag and splatter, etc.

    I too have heard similar from an ABG dealer about how the bike shop gets liberty to charge a profit.

  23. #23
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    Just to update on our Litespeed situation. After about 8 weeks of waiting we finally got the frame back. The frame looks nice and freshly painted. Too bad we had to use an Elite strap on cage mount to hold the cage in place. It looks bad but what can we do at this point? The bike is built and ready to ride but we may just strip it back down and eBay it, hoping to break even (we got a killer deal on it). If that works out we'll probably just go with a Trek.

    Anyone interested in a XS Litespeed Sienna?
    i ride bikes

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak greeff
    the head tube is 1 1/8. im not giving litespeed any more of my business. the guy in the warranty dep. (no names), although i feel like publicly flaming him. was preaching to me, how he was working to get me the absolute lowest price on a replacement frame. well i have a decent relationship with my lbs. turns out he was telling them that they could tack 20% on to the sale of the replacement frame. the owner of the shop told me this, but said he wouldn't feel right about doing it, if i decided to take litespeed's offer. if i had the money, i would pay full price for a lynskey before i would buy a replacement frame from litespeed. here's another instance of a similar cracked frame. during my research i found several references like this. http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrikmoltke/3182084948/
    I agree with your logic.

    Ultimately any warranty is not a guarantee of perfection, but a sales tool. Obviously you want a solid product before you promise a lifetime warranty, but stuff breaks.

    American Bicycle Group I suppose does not legally have to warranty pre '96 Litespeed frames, but this is a hit on their customer service, a big one.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly_hank
    Just to update on our Litespeed situation. After about 8 weeks of waiting we finally got the frame back. The frame looks nice and freshly painted. Too bad we had to use an Elite strap on cage mount to hold the cage in place. It looks bad but what can we do at this point? The bike is built and ready to ride but we may just strip it back down and eBay it, hoping to break even (we got a killer deal on it). If that works out we'll probably just go with a Trek.

    Anyone interested in a XS Litespeed Sienna?
    I am curious to know if a WB mount would have interfered with front derailleur placement?

    The only solution here is a braze-on, which ti frames never have.

  26. #26
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    I'm now into Week 11 of waiting for my 1 year old frame to be repaired - a crack in one of the tubes by a weld.

    I was originally told it would be a few weeks, after 8 weeks I was told it would be another 4. I'm still waiting for confirmation that it will actually be done by week 12.

    Never again.

  27. #27
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    I have just recieved a Warranty part for my merlin works 4.0,

    BUT

    The Warranty replacement WAS ALREADY CRACKED when i recieved it.

    It was a set of rear stays, and they sent me ex demo ones. I paid $100 to have them send me scrap metal. They have Just responded to my email, refusing to send out any others, or even refund my payment for the freight. Just wiping their hands of it.

    WTF
    Defcon Cycles - Brisbane Australia

  28. #28
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    That's astounding.

    I would make a complaint to the BBB, or local consumer group.

    Got pics?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    That's astounding.

    I would make a complaint to the BBB, or local consumer group.

    Got pics?
    One issue is that im in Australia, and they dont have an Aussie Distributor. Also being in Aus, not sure who to report it to, but im calling my Credit Card company to get them to try to get the funds back.

    Oh yeah, i have pics, lots of pics. Ill get em up in due time. I have 3 stays here all cracked in same spot, (ive been made to purchase them all, No more thats for sure), Front end with Dent in it from being supplied with incorrect length stroke shock, or frame mis-alignment. They have flat out refused to help in any way what so ever.
    Defcon Cycles - Brisbane Australia

  30. #30
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    You have a blog too. Post up your pics here, and there, and make an article out of it. Blackout your personal info from the invoices and post them up.

  31. #31
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    Hmm sounds bad. 3 cracked stays in a row/dented front triangle? Makes me wonder about the shipping vs. the company per say. How were they shipped/boxes abused/insured? I can't imagine any company being incompetent enough to send out 3 cracked stays in a row. Litespeed used to have a top notch fellow in marketing/CS, Herbert was his name. He posted in most all the big cycling forums helping folks out, he eventually left the company to start his own and IMO Litespeed has been suffering since. I recently purchased one (Niota Ti) based on how well it rode and the fact that they are trying to get back to their roots. That said they really need to have someone take over the job Herbert did to help with reputation/CS issues.
    Last edited by Ramjm_2000; 07-31-2009 at 02:35 PM.

  32. #32
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    Using new user name now here.

    Anyway

    Two cracked under my usage, and the third was shipped to me as an ex demo one, for warranty, but it was already cracked, they didnt even check it.

    BTW Herbert doesnt work there anymore and hasnt for some time. I used to work for the Aussie distributor and have met herbert back in 05 at interbike. He wasnt there too long after that.

    Oh, and on the Ti Niota, check the Upper Shock links, where its welded to the TT, i had two of them fail as well, small cracks punching a hole in the TT. We also had two Sewanees come back with the same thing.

    See Pics of Merlin Rear end







    ABG have refused any further service and also refused to refund me any thing for the shipping me damaged goods.

    Spose thats what happens when the company is owned by an investment Equity group, BOTTOM LINE is the ONLY thing that matters when reporting to them as investors.

  33. #33
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    Yup he left 2-3 years ago to start Guerilla Marketing. My point was they have lost a step since his departure. Sorry to hear about those issues, I'll keep an eye on that upper shock mount.

  34. #34
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    I wish someone would buy Litespeed and have the same passion for CS like Dave Turner
    I have had the same type of warran OH f$@k it, it's not even worth talking about. Bottom line is Litespeed CS is the worst in the business.

    I have been a devoted Litespeed consumer. I am moving on to Lynskey Moots or Seven when ever I drop my next dime on titanium.

    Litespeed had it by the balls, go figure.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak greeff
    so litespeed told my lbs that it would cost me between 470.00 and 540.00 dollars to fix my frame, depending on if they replace just the down tube or the down tube and the head tube. i dont know much about business , but msrp for a new obed is about 2200 bucks. so lets say wholesale is 1100 dollars. if litespeed makes 40% profit on their bikes, that means it cost them roughly 660 dollars to build a frame. does that mean that they want me to pay 82% of what it cost them to build a new frame? this doesent include shipping, which i have to pay for. this is just guess work. am i on track here? if anyone knows business feel free to chime in here. like i said, just thinking out loud.


    I worked for a Litespeed dealer back in 1993 and dealer cost for a Obed or Catalyst (road frame) was $680. They are screwing you.

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