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  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Specialized poor paint quality

    A year and a half ago I got myself a red S-Works HT 2006 frame - great frame, but never seen such a poor paint job quality. The paint chipped of already by looking at it : at the disc brake tabs, headset, rear wheel.

    I just got myself a new red S- Works Epic 2007, seems the actual paint jobs are even worse. Did my first ride last Sunday, at the rear triangle paint chips already appear, at the disc brake tabs the paint let go. While removing the rear wheel very carefully, both on the in- and outside huge chunks of paint got off - that big it can't even be covered by the quick release This is unacceptable for a frame of this price range, isn't it?

    The paint let go off the frame including the white primary paint layer. Makes me wonder if they degrease the frames before painting.

    My first Epic, the 2004 pro and later my S-Works 2005 had bomb proof paint jobs. Seems like it got bad as off the 2006 models.

  2. #2
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    Try the touch-up paint

    It works really well to cover and make it look nice agine.

    However i'm with you. The paint or the process should be better. I have an 07 S-Works Epic and I see the same problem.

    Come on big S, make sure your preping your jobs properly before paint!

  3. #3
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    I agree to a certain extent that Specialized's recent paintjobs are far from being robust and prone to scratching easily. I know because I have an 07 Stumpy Comp - after the first ride, the bike looked like it had been through a whole years riding.

    But frankly, I don't give a sh1t.

    When I ride, I abuse the bike as it was originally designed to be, not to be hung up, stroked or presented in showroom condition, right?

  4. #4
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    I agree at bike has to be used, that's what it's designed for. If you pay 2800 euro for an S-Works Epic frame (which is $3,744) you don't want it to look like a whole year of riding after just one ride.
    Specialized is a high- end factory manufacturing high- end products - they owe the customer a decent, first class paint job

  5. #5
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    Just picked up my new Sx Trail frameset from my LBS two days ago. Awesome frame, built it up and it rocks. BUT on the seat tube collar the paint on the backside is completely gone. And that was even before I tightened the seat collar for the first time. The white and the blue paint chipped of, now thereīs only raw aluminium under the collar.

    I wonder why they donīt do the anodizing any longer on the Enduros and SX frames. Looked awesome and was really durable?

    Greetings Znarf

  6. #6
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    I have expressed my dissatisfaction through the FAQ of the Specialized website.
    I know other people are experiencing the same, just check out this picture of a friend of mine :

    View the whole album here.




    As many are experiencing the same issue, time to let your voice be heard and send Specialized a signal (it is my favorite brand though )

  7. #7
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    I've been very lucky with my 05 Stumpy Expert frame. I LOVE the red anodized look of the paint on that bike. It's a timeless paint scheme, and the frame looks just as good today as it did two years ago. Though I do not have many chips, there still are tiny nicks from riding that I'd like to touch up with the same color paint. Well...too bad Specialized stop making paint for frames after 2004. And none of those reds match mine...

    I thought of finding a matching nail polish, but it's still disappointing that Specialized won't release current model touch-up paints. Come on now!
    If the rig made the rider, I'd be pro...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbiker731
    too bad Specialized stop making paint for frames after 2004
    Sure they do, I've got myself a 2005 S-works red touch up paint

  9. #9
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    Why don't they list anything past 2004 on their site then?
    If the rig made the rider, I'd be pro...

  10. #10
    just ride
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    I was actually hoping for the opposite...... I just got an ano orange stumpy..... Anodizing is very durable. It came with these ugly black swoosh graphics that seem to be screen-printed on...... i cant get them off for the life of me.
    Steel is Real: www.advocatecycles.com
    Tires for real rides: www.terrenetires.com

  11. #11
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    Paint coating

    Does anyone know-

    is there way way or product that can be used to coat the bike just after purchasing it; I guess it would be like applying clear coat?

  12. #12
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    Its all about the weight. Paint adds at least a pound to the bike.
    Riding and loving it

  13. #13
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    Actually, try a 1/4 pound.

    Just be happy you guys aren't on an Iron Horse, their paint is horrible. And if you're so worried about a few chips that you're dissatisfied with your frame get an anodized bike. Or take up golf.

  14. #14
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    Good point... I forgot vital words: up to 1 pound

    Crap, I found a really good deal on a Iron Horse on craigslist that allows me to sell my Enduro but still make a profit
    Riding and loving it

  15. #15
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    Would the paint on a 07 SJ Pro Carbon be just as bad? Would the paint on the Pro M5 frame be better?

  16. #16
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    their anondizing sucks too...

    my 06 Stumpy FSR has chips everywhere, dropouts, headset cups, etc. Great bike, crappy finish.

  17. #17
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    My 07 Stumpy Elite doesn't have a nick anywhere so far, it's a dark blue almost annodized-like matte paint-job with the same swoopy graphics as chequamagon's rig.

  18. #18
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    Mine seems to develope new chips everyday, even the days I don't ride. I don't mind chips from riding, but man I can almost just stare at my bike and watch the paint coming off. Hard to match the mango orange also.

  19. #19
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    Its paint-eating bacteria O_o

    That's really weird, my 03 Enduro has scratches only from the world and the rocks that accompany it, nothing more.
    Riding and loving it

  20. #20
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    Why is this topic important?

    First of all, there is a difference between "scratches" and "chips" coming off the bike. A scratch here and there- all is forgiven. Chips suggest chunks of paint and finish coming off the frame.

    Not to get too picky here, but there is a certain psychological effect of having the finish slowly but surely being removed from the bike, especially if these are 2007 models- no matter what the earthly origin.

    This is important also for resale value. Plus rust may set into the body of the frame down the line.

    Am I just being paranoid here?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_bike
    Why is this topic important?

    First of all, there is a difference between "scratches" and "chips" coming off the bike. A scratch here and there- all is forgiven. Chips suggest chunks of paint and finish coming off the frame.

    Not to get too picky here, but there is a certain psychological effect of having the finish slowly but surely being removed from the bike, especially if these are 2007 models- no matter what the earthly origin.

    This is important also for resale value. Plus rust may set into the body of the frame down the line.

    Am I just being paranoid here?
    I agree 100%. If it was just scratches from riding I wouldn't be concerned in the slightest. My bike started this before it was ever even ridden though. Of course if Specialized offered the touch up paint color I needed it would also help. I discovered two new chips today and tried mixing up some matching touch up paint to no avail. And of course now I've got the whole headset issue to worry about as well. Geez.

  22. #22
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    my 06 SJ FSR chips easily too...i dunno why. i just throw some clear coat where the chip is and forget about it
    Salsa Dos Niner SS

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_bike

    Am I just being paranoid here?
    Yes, especially because aluminum doesn't rust.

    I hear you, I don't like a cracked-out looking frame w/ 0 resale but a few chips here and there? Come on.

  24. #24
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    Looking at post #6, can't hardly be called scratches or chips. This is really the paint falling off the frame. Issues like this is what it's about - imagine this was your brand new car? Don't think anybody would accept this.

    I sent Specialized a complaint through their FAQ. All I got back was a short note telling me to get in touch with my local importer

  25. #25
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    For such a well known brand their paint jobs could be better. I have a rockhopper pro and besides thin paint (easily scratches), by the headtube and the crank area, the paint wasn't thoroughly applied. Ah well....

  26. #26
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    Makes me wish I had bought one back when my brother did in 2000. The quality difference between his American made Specialized and my Tawaineeze one is astounding. His is superior in every way. I wonder if Specialized realizes this could hurt sales. My brother is holding on to his even though he'd like a newer one because he is simply put off by the quality difference and would rather just keep upgrading his. This whole head tube/headset issue is bound to scare off even more people.

  27. #27
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    Yeah whatever buddy. The ride quality of the newer bikes is so much better it's crazy.

    The only Spec. I've ever broken was an 01 FSR Elite, handmade in the USA. Every single on of my Tiawanese bikes has been great.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ojai Bicyclist
    Yeah whatever buddy. The ride quality of the newer bikes is so much better it's crazy.
    As far as the actual ride quality between his and mine I can't really tell a difference. He's upgraded most of his components to where they match mine and his M2 frame dimensions are fine. The paint, welding and frame detail is much better on his though.

  29. #29
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    The technical advances in the past few years that have been used on MTBs are crazy. I mean 5" travel Stumpjumpers that weigh less than the old ones, 6" sub-30# Enduros, etc. For recreational riding, maybe the old ones are fine, but the newer bikes are so much better at a higher level.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ojai Bicyclist
    The technical advances in the past few years that have been used on MTBs are crazy. I mean 5" travel Stumpjumpers that weigh less than the old ones, 6" sub-30# Enduros, etc. For recreational riding, maybe the old ones are fine, but the newer bikes are so much better at a higher level.
    Well maybe I should've stated that both of us ride hardtails and that neither of us ever plan on going FS. So the advances in rear shocks and travel are kind of a moot point with our bikes. Besides can't those also be upgraded to a higher travel if so desired? Like I said it really doesn't matter though as we are both hardtail kind of guys. I'm not going to disagree that bikes have gotten more advanced over the years though. Sadly though as bikes have gotten more advanced some brands have let their quality slip. Heck when I bought my first mountain bike back in 98, a Schwinn Mesa GSX, it was considered a nicer bike. Now Schwinn has been relugated to a Wal-Mart brand. When I was a kid Mongoose was the king of BMX, now they are also a Wal-Mart brand. Who'd of thunk it back then. I'm just really hoping that Specialized doesn't take this road as well.

  31. #31
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    Touché. I was thinking fullys, the older Spec. fullys were pretty bad as far as quality/layout IMO. Their older hardtails were definately awesome, though.

    The Mongoose/Schwinn analogy is a bit off, the name was bought by Pacific and now they're nothing but a badge (well, Mongoose still puts out some original stuff that's high level).

  32. #32
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    I agree the paint on the new Specialized bikes sucks! If someone thinks its okay to spend $800, $1000, $2000, or $3000+ for a bike and have poor paint quality they don't know the value of money. Would someone buy a benz that has great features with a great ride but a horrible finish, I doubt it. Specialized has a hold on the mountain bike market and if they are trying to squeeze out some extra money by cutting costs in the fit 'n' finish department, they will suffer in the end. If the paint on my 07' model turns out as bad as everyone claims I will probably jump ship. I wonder what specialized thinks about this problem. Too bad they couldn't make a recall on some bikes to help their customers who are having problems.

  33. #33
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    is the warranty still voided if one gets so sick and tired of a having an ugly, scratched up frame with a cheap paintjob that the owner decides to have it repainted? The reason I ask is at one time I know that Specialized would void the whole warranty if the frame was repainted. However, it is my understanding that the circumstances may have changed on that. Can anyone confirm or deny this information?

  34. #34
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    My 07 Sx Trail frame looks like it has been ridden for a whole year. But I have like 3 shorter rides on it. I donīt care as long as it works without any problems. BUT the paint literally falls of in some points. You can actually see a little gap between the paint and the frame. Like there was grease or some other stuff on the frame, the paint doesnīt really stick to the frame.

    If it was only an optical problem (I paid 2200$ for my frame), Iīd be quiter.
    But over here in winter, when thereīs snow everywhere there is also salt everywhere. Add raw aluminium and salt and water and you wonīt be happy for long. No rust, but frames donīt like salt (at least when thereīs no protective paint layer).

    Also, in case my frame cracks or breaks in the future, a frame which looks like someone treated it with sandpaper, will it get the same "warranty" treatment like a proper looking, nice one?

    Is there an email address where I can write to Specialized directly?
    Greetings Znarf

  35. #35
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    Znarf, don't take offense but I don't understand how you can pay $2200 for a frame and have it look a year old after 3 rides but be okay with it as long as it functions/works well? Where is the logic in that? To me when someone pays that much for a bike they are paying for exceptional quality and great performance! If people contiue to have this attitude then bike companies have no reason at all to have a nice finish on a bike. Also, how can a customer complain if they have begun to except the practice of subpar paint jobs???

    stylie, I don't know anything about Specialized's policy on your question. I would think if they void the warranty on a repainted bike they should definetly take a bike in on a warranty claim if the bike has the original paint. To me that means they are saying repainting a bike affects the quality because "their" paint in someway upholds/keeps the quality of their bikes at a high level. I mean if they seriously think you shouldn't repaint a bike when their paint jobs lack quality they are showing complete arrogance. They should definetly work with the customer and make things right on these issues.

  36. #36
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    Just got back from a 92 km ride in my local area. Mainly farm roards, nothing exceptional or particual rocky. Fourth ride on my Epic S-Works 2007 carbon ...

    A rock swooped away underneath my front wheel onto my shin and bounced off to my frame. When I pulled over, my friends couldnīt believe it.Can this be concidered normal? I wonder what impact this has on the carbon.



    Another chip of paint gone on the seat tube :



    Stone chips at the aluminum rear triangle



    I didnīt take any pictures of the paint where it literally fell of when opening the quick release, as I donīt want to open the QR unnessesary.

    My previous bikes have been in Switzerland for the Cristalp marathon, where it is real rocky - they still looked great after a year, a lot better than this one. One of my friends who was with me today has trek Fuel carbon for three years new which already looks better than mine, which has only four rides

  37. #37
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    I still can't believe anyone will pay $2200 for a Specialized frame. I don't mind the frames, but come on, no wonder these bike companies are moving production to subcontracted builders overseas. The can build them there for a huge discount, then pass them off to the customer that is willing to pay the price of a custom frame. Cutting corners doesn't only end with overseas production. Then the customers complain like they expected more. It's endless.

  38. #38
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    $2200 for an Epic S-Works would be a great deal, we payed 2800 euro which is $3805 ...

  39. #39
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    Thanks for your reply,
    no offense taken. I have already sent an email to Specialized Europe this morning.
    Regarding custom frames and frame prizes:
    I live in Germany, prizes for mountain bikes and parts are MUCH higher compared to the US. Santa cruz and Intense frames are almost 200% of the US prizes. A NOMAD would have cost me 3200$ frame only with a DHX Air shock.

    And the Specialized Sx Trail is REALLY nice, quite unique geometry and it comes with a Thomson Elite seatpost. Also it has a lifetime warranty and my LBS is a good specialized dealer, therefore I get good support and Specialized is known to be fair about warranty claims, at least over here in Germany.
    The support for imported custom frames, such as Santa Cruz or Intense is almost non existent over here. I had a SC Heckler before the SX Trail (the Heckler is still going strong, but will be up for sale soon, was too small for my size, I grew a couple of inches over the last 3years) and getting even correct springs for the (back then exotic 2.25 stroke shock) was hard. I had to order them in the US, because the SC distributor didnīt carry them.


    Ok, I could have gone Nicolai, but their frames are even more expensive and I wasnīt as impressed as I demoed one.

    Also, it took me about 4month to pick the SX Trail frame, I read, surfed, demoed, discussed and drooled about any possible frame in this category which is available through any distributor/self import/custom builder etc.

    I worked really hard beside my studies at the university and really EARNED the money for this frame, I am NOT a blind sheep customer who buys what the media dictates.
    The frame is what I wanted/want, it is what I could afford and what I am stoked about at the moment (besides the paint issue, my 2003 Heckler had a shitty painjob too, it is "custom" or at least "boutique").

    I agree that there are big a**hole companies, I donīt think the problem is that big in the bike business. There are other markets where monopolism is a bigger problem. Food, cars, software, work. Pretty much every market I can think of, except the biking industry.

    I hope they will take care of the problem, otherwise I wonīt be too upset, because over here in Europe you are less than a freckle on societyīs ass for most overseas company anyway . Or at least the distributors let you feel that way.

    Greetings
    Znarf

  40. #40
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    Let us know the S-response

    Znarf-

    will be interested in knowing what the response from Specialized is (if any).

    Maybe their using W*lmart-brand paint this year?

    Am shocked by the size of the hole in the photo.

    Sean

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