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  1. #1
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    Thinking of buying a Bikes Direct bike? Follow my warranty adventure first.

    This is not A BD bash thread, nor is it a BD pro thread. Well...not yet...

    I am an avid mountain biker. I'm no pro but I used to race in my teens and have been riding since 1989. I have gone through a lot of bikes, some good, some bad. I by no means know everything, but I consider myself fairly knowledgeable.

    This thread will chronicle my adventures in getting my Windsor Cliff 29er Comp frame warrantied. I will relay information as it happens.

    Two years ago I bought this bike from Bikes Direct. It has seen a fair amount of miles (maybe 2000). Probably 90% of those are trail miles. Never raced. The stem, handlebars, tires, and drivetrain have been upgraded. Otherwise the bike is stock. The bike resides in the mountains of Colorado. Rocky singletrack is the terrain of choice.

    On Sunday, 6/26/2011, I heard a loud "ping" while descending back to the trail head after a 15 mile ride. Thinking it was just a spoke breaking or maybe a rock coming up from my tire, I didn't worry too much and decided to wipe down the bike and inspect the next morning.

    On monday morning I cleaned the bike really well and couldn't find any amiss. So I loaded it on the car so I could meet some friends for a nice morning ride. That's where I noticed a nice shiny crack about 4cm long on the top, right seat post/rear triangle weld on the seat post side. Its a hairline crack that was hard to notice unless the light hit it right. Taking pictures of it proves difficult due to the shine of the frame finish and the small size of the
    crack.

    This first blurry picture shows the crack well because it picks up the shine the crack gives off to show exactly where it is.

    This second picture is a little better focus and if you look closely you can see it along the base of the weld.

    So I emailed Windsor, per the instructions on both the Windsor and Bikes direct website about this issue. I have not heard anything at all from Windsor. It seems to me that they would at least inquire as to what exactly the damage is.

    Any bets on how long this takes to get resolved?

    I hope Windsor/Bikes direct steps up and takes care of this. I have referred many people to them and have generally been a huge fan of this bike.

    I will email BD directly if Windsor continues to be silent at the end of the week.

    I will update this thread as more information become available. I have already stripped the frame and built up another. I have a very short riding season here and don't want to lose any days dues to a cracked frame.

    Hopefully this thread will help to let people know how good/bad a buying experience BD/Windsor is after the sale compared with a LBS. We all know how polarizing this issue is on this site.

  2. #2
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    BTW. I fully expect mike from bikesdirect.com to jump into this discussion. But I don't want that to be what gets this fixed. I am following the correct procedure as outlined on their sites and expect it all to be handled that way.

  3. #3
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    If you really want to give them a chance to fix it without this thread affecting it, then you would take notes along the way and post the outcome once it's settled.

    I've had 2 small warranty deals on a GT Avalanche I bought from BD for our daughter, both were taken care of with new parts sent out in just a day or two.
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  4. #4
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    You have 2000 miles on this bike. I don't think this is a manufacture defect that is a warranty issue. Generally manufacture defects are early hour failures. For instance if the frame cracked on your first time out. Your time might be better served sourcing a new frame from Ebay. You will have to send your entire bike back to them at your cost for shipping. I have seen windsor frames on ebay for a $100 bucks. Below is the warranty. Good luck.

    http://www.windsorbicycles.com/warranty.htm

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adim_X View Post
    You have 2000 miles on this bike. I don't think this is a manufacture defect that is a warranty issue. Generally manufacture defects are early hour failures. For instance if the frame cracked on your first time out. Your time might be better served sourcing a new frame from Ebay. You will have to send your entire bike back to them at your cost for shipping. I have seen windsor frames on ebay for a $100 bucks. Below is the warranty. Good luck.

    http://www.windsorbicycles.com/warranty.htm

    Thanks for the link, but alas I have it already.

    The warranty states, "Windsor America warrantees free of defects all components on each new cycle for a period of 5 years from date of purchase. In addition, the frame and fork on each new cycle is warrantied free of manufacturing defects for life."

    And since when did 2000 miles become too many or longer than a lifetime? Bikes are made to be ridden, if 2000 miles is more than a frame should be ridden, then the bike is a piece of disposable junk. In my opinion a broken weld is a manufacturer defect. It doesn't have to happen in one day, one week, or one month. It isn't in a place where a crash would effect it, nor is it from abuse. It is from riding.

    But if you want your lifetime frame warranty to cover your very first ride, I have a bridge I can sell you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperJETT View Post
    If you really want to give them a chance to fix it without this thread affecting it, then you would take notes along the way and post the outcome once it's settled.

    I've had 2 small warranty deals on a GT Avalanche I bought from BD for our daughter, both were taken care of with new parts sent out in just a day or two.
    I understand this point as well, I debated waiting. But in the end I decided to make this an open process. This isn't a scientific experiment and I am not a scientist. I just want to let people know how the customer service is, good or bad.

    I am glad the warranty worked for you, I gives me some hope.

  7. #7
    West Chester, PA
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    I can't see any reason that they wouldn't send you a replacement frame. Its not like these frames cost them a ton of money. The crack looks like a typical weld failure from normal fatigue. A happy customer is more valuable.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    I can't see any reason that they wouldn't send you a replacement frame. Its not like these frames cost them a ton of money. The crack looks like a typical weld failure from normal fatigue. A happy customer is more valuable.
    I agree. My buddy just picked up the Phantom DS, and I like it. There is a good chance I'll pick one of those up sometime soon, or something similar. Maybe a trek fuel? Happy customers buy more bikes, especially bike whores like me.

  9. #9
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    You did not hear back from "Windsor" because they are not a real bike company. All the bikes on BD are owned by BD. BD buys the names of older, famous bike companies that went under, and then uses those names to rebrand catalog frames mostly built by Kinesis. There is no Windsor bike headquarters with employess waiting to take your e-mails and calls. My point is that it is best to just go straight to BD, since they are the only real company involved.

    As far as the damage, whenever you see a crack at a weld, it usually does indicate a manufactuers defect. The weld point should be stronger than other areas, unless the weld was performed poorly or the tubing is too thin for the force it receives. What it looks like from the pics is that the weld is actually separating from the seat tube, not that the seat tube is cracked. But again its hard to say from the pics. But I would guess its a bad weld. And for those that say "it has nice looking welds", you can't judge the strength of a weld by its appearance.
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  10. #10
    newfydog
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    A weld which breaks under normal use is a defective weld. This bike has seen normal use.

    I'll bet they replace it.

    I sent them a photo, then upon approval, the broken frame and they returned a new frame. I prefer to do my own wrenching and they were cool with that.

    The guy who took care of my issue was Cliff, at bd4servicecenter@aol​.com. Good guy.

  11. #11
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    Update: gotta keep this short, I'm on my iPhone. I received an email from Windsor and the apologized for the delay. They explained the warranty procedure and offered a no fault replacement for less than the shipping would cost to send my bike back in to them and them get the new one shipped back. Over all I'm happy right now and appreciate their offer. I emailed back that I would let them know what I want to do when I get back in town.

  12. #12
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    Yay Happy time!
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  13. #13
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    nice!!!

  14. #14
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    For those who gave the OP $hit for making this process open for all of us to read, I say stuff it. I am now considering a second ride from BD. I have only been willing to consider their options because of posts just like this one!

  15. #15
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    I have dealt with BD service many times. It is always exemplary! You will have a hard time finding anyone who has anything bad to say about their service after the sale.

  16. #16
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    Thinking about ordering a fat tire bike from them. Just a little nervous.

  17. #17
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    I have had a couple of Motos, the first one (700HT) developed a cracked frame and was warranteed, no problem. Second one (Fantom Ti) has had no problems. I would definitely buy again, nothing but good to say about Moto and BD.
    Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
    -- Robert Heinlein --

  18. #18
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    My free hub started grinding after only around 100 miles on a XTR Fantom DS FS. I emailed bikes direct, and few back and forth questions answered, they determined the same thing as me that the free hub had went bad. A few days later I had a new free hub sitting at my door. It was pretty darn good service if you ask me.
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