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  1. #1
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    Bike arrived broken, no support

    Well after buying many bikes from LBSs, i decided to take the bikesdirect plunge.

    I recently ordered the $1099 Fantom X9 29'er hardtail. I knew from research going in that i would likely want a new stem and handlebars based on reviews. I also realized that fit was a gamble and it was on me to dial things in.

    The bike arrived and i built it up. Indeed, the stem and handlebars were pretty pathetic. A gigantic mass of metal for a stem with itty bitty and narrow 25.4mm handlebars. But that's fine, had new parts already in the budget.

    Everything else looked good. Fork (Reba), wheels, components were all proper and installed and adjusted pretty well out of the box.

    Then i realized that the rear brake (Elixir 3) lever was flapping around and the rear brakes were clamped tight. After some time i realized that the linkage between the lever and the master cylinder was broken. There is a metal threaded barrel that holds the pivot and it was broken in half.

    So I emailed bikesdirect saying what i found. I hadn't even finished assembling the bike, not to mention ride it. They said that they could not provide a replacement and that i had to go through SRAM warranty support. SRAM requires you to go through a LBS for inspection on the part and to initiate the warranty process.

    Well, frankly, in Cambridge, MA, the bike shops are so high and mighty that they'd throw my chinese-made, LBS-bypassing bike out the window before working on it. That may be an exaggeration, but in the least, they would charge me an hourly rate for the inspection which is fair.

    So i buy a bike that arrived with a broken part and now i have to pay $60 just to begin the warranty process? Not worth it for a crappy Elixir 3 brake.

    So i ended up buying a new Deore rear brake set for $70 and five days shipping time.

    So here's my point. When buying a BD bike, not only do you need to budget for cockpit fitment parts, you also need to be willing to gamble that all the parts function out of the box because if they don't, you're on your own.

    Is it worth it? Probably. The bike is still a steal at what they charge for it and i'm sure it'll serve its purpose. Just don't expect a single thing above and beyond like you would almost any other retailer. I'm luke warm on the transaction and would probably pony up for an Airborne or a closeout at the LBS were i to do it again with the current budget.

  2. #2
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    Kinda shocked to hear this. I've got some BD bikes and have had good customer service, but my parts were pretty stock (rotors, damaged fork) or just had questions for them. Took a couple days for response, but they would respond in time.

    If you took pictures, I'd try to see if BD will either refund some money or pay for the LBS "inspection". A threat to return it seems to work well. It obviously wasn't right from the start.

    As for the cheap bars/stem, I've got them on one of my bikes, and they are actually pretty strong. They are pretty damn heavy though. A second bike (gravity 29.2) came with the larger stem/handlebar, and I bought a replacement set for it already. The stock handle bar's large diameter section didn't taper down till it was out at the grips. I like a little extra room between shifters and grips, and I couldn't move the shifters in at all. Plus, they were quite a bit heavier than the replacements.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyMan View Post
    Well after buying many bikes from LBSs, i decided to take the bikesdirect plunge.

    I recently ordered the $1099 Fantom X9 29'er hardtail. I knew from research going in that i would likely want a new stem and handlebars based on reviews. I also realized that fit was a gamble and it was on me to dial things in.

    The bike arrived and i built it up. Indeed, the stem and handlebars were pretty pathetic. A gigantic mass of metal for a stem with itty bitty and narrow 25.4mm handlebars. But that's fine, had new parts already in the budget.

    Everything else looked good. Fork (Reba), wheels, components were all proper and installed and adjusted pretty well out of the box.

    Then i realized that the rear brake (Elixir 3) lever was flapping around and the rear brakes were clamped tight. After some time i realized that the linkage between the lever and the master cylinder was broken. There is a metal threaded barrel that holds the pivot and it was broken in half.

    So I emailed bikesdirect saying what i found. I hadn't even finished assembling the bike, not to mention ride it. They said that they could not provide a replacement and that i had to go through SRAM warranty support. SRAM requires you to go through a LBS for inspection on the part and to initiate the warranty process.

    Well, frankly, in Cambridge, MA, the bike shops are so high and mighty that they'd throw my chinese-made, LBS-bypassing bike out the window before working on it. That may be an exaggeration, but in the least, they would charge me an hourly rate for the inspection which is fair.

    So i buy a bike that arrived with a broken part and now i have to pay $60 just to begin the warranty process? Not worth it for a crappy Elixir 3 brake.

    So i ended up buying a new Deore rear brake set for $70 and five days shipping time.

    So here's my point. When buying a BD bike, not only do you need to budget for cockpit fitment parts, you also need to be willing to gamble that all the parts function out of the box because if they don't, you're on your own.

    Is it worth it? Probably. The bike is still a steal at what they charge for it and i'm sure it'll serve its purpose. Just don't expect a single thing above and beyond like you would almost any other retailer. I'm luke warm on the transaction and would probably pony up for an Airborne or a closeout at the LBS were i to do it again with the current budget.
    This is exactly why your credit card company is your best friend. Call them and contest the bill on the basis that the bike was defective and the company you bought it through did not address the issues. They will send you an affidavit to sign indicating that you received the parts broken and the damage was not a function of your misassembly, etc. They will work to refund the price of the broken parts. The use of most credit cards also doubles your original warrantee in most cases. The details of that feature should be in your contract.

  4. #4
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    Some time back I ordered a CX bike from them. The bike arrived in good shape and the shipping box showed no damage. However, the front wheel was bent. I sent BD an email, and they instructed me to take the wheel to a local bike shop for inspection. Performance bike did the inspection and they couldn't true the wheel. So, l sent BD another email along with a copy of my recipe w/ a couple of photos of the wheel.

    Next day, I received a reply stating that a new wheel was on it's way, along with a tracking number. Not being a brick in mortar type of business I can understand why I was instructed to go through a small processes before all was said in done.

    In the end, my experience leads me to feel they have excellent customer service and because they did such a good job. I'm sharing my personal experience by posting in this thread.
    Where there is a hill, there's a way!

  5. #5
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    I have the same bike and had problems with one of the Elixir 3s out of the box. After some back and forth with the guys at BD they sent me another one and that one was not right either. Got frustrated and bought a Shimano SLX from the LBS instead. The other Elixir 3 works just fine. Enjoy the bike!

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