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  1. #1
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    Thinking of building up a Titus? Think again.

    I don't want this to seem like a rant, but I just had a very poor customer service experience with Titus and would like to warn others about it before anyone else gets burned.

    In late March I had picked up a 2009 Titus Racer X off of Jenson USA to replace an older Jamis that had gotten jacked from my car late last fall. I actually chose the Titus over several other similar frames because I used to live in AZ and several of my friends rode Titus bikes and raved about the ride feel and customer service. One of my friends had a story he liked to tell about breaking a dropout while riding near Phoenix and going to the shop in Tempe, where they fixed him up on the spot and got him back on the trail the next day. Sounds awesome, right?

    When looking for the bike, I surfed over to the Titus/On One site and saw that there were some concerns about warranty, but it seemed like any bike bought after 1/1/2011 was covered by the same plan, it just was bikes bought before that were in limbo. So I purchased my bike 3/14/2011, and spent about 3 more weeks getting all of the parts together and building it up.

    I managed to get it out for 4 sweet trail rides, and then last weekend, my wife and I are going out for a ride on a local jogging trail and as I ride over a sidewalk curb a seatstay completely snaps in half and the other crumples @ the rocker pin (Mine has the hollow carbon "LightRail"). WTF, right? So I walk it back home, and Monday I call the customer service line and see what they can do for me. I figure it has to be a manufacturing defect, I've never seen a bike break in this location, and certainly not after rolling a 4 inch sidewalk curb.

    At this point I've only owned the bike for 2 months and 2 days. Talk to Ben @ Titus, he says "No prob, send me some pics and your order info via email, box up the stay and we'll get you fixed up." I get home from work, snap some shots, yank it off and send off an email. On my way to the UPS store I get a message on my phone that actually they won't be fixing me up, but of course, I can buy one for 200 bucks. Or I can see what Jenson can do for me. Since the bike was sold (to Jenson) before On One bought the company, I'm essentially up **** creek and paddleless. I chatted with Jenson and they think they can help me out, so I sent the stay to them instead, but who knows?

    TLDR version:

    I would be wary of grabbing a Titus for a while at least. Let the dust settle. Even though Jenson is on the TitusTi site as an authorized online retailer, they are not honoring warranties on bikes sold from them if Jenson purchased the frame before 1/1/2011. Since there is no way of knowing this info beforehand, you are most likely going to get an "as is" bike. Even 2011 bikes from a LBS might have been purchased from Titus before On One snagged them and you may be left holding the bag and crossing your fingers that your LBS can help you out.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backcountry Medic
    I chatted with Jenson and they think they can help me out, so I sent the stay to them instead, but who knows?
    Just to clarify, you are getting covered, right? I hope you get your bike back up and running soon and get back on the trails.

    Don't give up on Titus just yet, man. I think the new owners have good plans in store and generally do want to keep this great brand alive and with a good reputation as well.

  3. #3
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    I hope so. Jenson said I would be covered under their warranty, but it'll probably take a lot longer. I'm supposed to be doing a race in July, but I'm not even sure I'll be riding by June. The new owners might have good plans for the company, but in my view they just changed 180 degrees from "Fellow riders who will go the extra mile to help owners get out and rip it up ASAP" to "Weasels".

    When I read something like this

    Warranty length is still in effect from the date of original purchase.

    Titus branded products sold by authorized Titus / On-One resellers (Jenson as per the site) carry a 2 year warranty for the original owner.

    For the period of up to one year from the date of original consumer purchase, Titus / On-One will repair or replace, at its option, any frame suspension pivot or pivot bushing which is determined to be defective in materials and/or workmanship.
    Bolding mine

    And then they pull this,
    Even though Titus Bikes is now a new company and not legally obligated to honor any warranties,
    I feel a little justified in my frustration. Sure, Jenson is pulling for me and will hopefully get me going in no time. But this is not what I would called exemplary, or even minimally acceptable customer service. If I had known this was going to be the case, I probably would have snagged something else. Just a warning to others like me that would rather not be on the hook for everything that might go wrong with a bike.

    There are still several 2010 Titus frames on Jenson, and I just wanted to warn anyone else that loves the idea of building up a dream bike to think twice about snagging those. You will be going off the reservation...

  4. #4
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    ......................

  5. #5
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    If I remember correctly, when the defect was discovered in the rear stays dealers were offered new stays to replace their current inventory with. Jenson declined to do so. That might be why Titus is being hesitant and wants Jenson to take care of it. Call and make a big stink and show them this thread, squeaky wheel gets the oil. I mine, christ its not like they are replacing a whole frame under warranty!

  6. #6
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    I don't know the whole history of this specific problem, but the implication was definitely "You bought a frame made before we [On-One] purchased Titus. Therefore any warranty issues are null and void, best luck with Jenson." Maybe Jenson has a shelf full of stays and they'll just toss one right back to me. But my feeling is that if someone were to snag a 2010 El Guapo of Jenson right now and have the headtube snap off on their first ride, they would get a similar response to what I got.

    Dropping almost 2k on a new bike build to have a failure 5 rides in and then be told I'll have to pony an extra 10% of the cost to make it work again isn't a good way of keeping or building rep, in fact it's just the opposite.

    If you spent 30k on a new Chrysler and 5 miles down the road the front right wheel falls off, most people aren't going to want to hear "Actually the car was made before Fiat bought the company, so the warranty you thought you were getting doesn't exist- but we'd be happy to replace the axle for 3k." Sure you might be forced to bite the bullet, but I bet you won't be buying a new Chrysler anytime soon.

  7. #7
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    i bought a jenson racer x last winter (around time of acquisition by on-one). it's been great so far, but this news is disappointing and scary. i'm actually more concerned about the fact that the stays _broke_. what the hell is that?

    i've done porc rim and sov loop on it, it came through it well. so far.

  8. #8
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    Bummer about the situation. But, I was just wondering if Jenson made any disclosures regarding the lack of a manufacturer's warranty? Or, that you'll only be covered by Jenson and not by the manufacturer? Hope someone will be able to get you going soon.

  9. #9
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    I'm not intending to indict Titus as a whole, as the bike rode like a dream the 4 times I was able to get it out. Just their poor management strategy of handling warranty. I think they should have said "Have a bike that says 'Titus' on the side? We're dedicated to standing behind our product, changes at the top be damned, and we'll honor warranties as we would want them to be honored to us." That's a confident statement and that earns loyal customers.

    Instead they went legal weasel and decided previous customers were too much of liability, and maybe they could just be pushed off with a coupon- the price they gave me was 30% off "retail".

    Jenson seems to have sold off the last of the '09 Racers, so I can't verify for sure what they had claimed, but they advertise they will cover same as manufacturer's warranty or better. Unless it was some really tiny print somewhere I would have noticed if it was being sold sans warranty, I studied it up and down for about 2 weeks before I dropped the dough. I'm in school and only working part time, so there were a lot of extra shifts pulled over the winter to scrape together the dough for a new bike. That's partly why 200 bucks for a new stay really sticks in my craw. There was definitely nothing in my order or any of the paperwork that came in the box with the frame that implied no warranty from Titus itself. In fact there was a blue half sheet booklet (from Titus circa 2009) that had info on how to obtain fixes under warranty and terms, etc.

    I can't say anything bad about Jenson, they seem to have every indication of fixing me up and they didn't say there would be any problems when I contacted them. The stay got delivered to them today, so I hopefully will have something by next week. I'll just have to sit in the back yard with a tear in my eye and beer in my hand, it's 72 degrees, perfectly sunny and awesome riding weather. I've been waiting all winter in Portland for days like today and I've got a unicycle in my garage.

    I went ahead and threw some of the pics up as well. Hopefully if you've put the bike through paces like Porcupine Rim without any trouble, you probably won't have any problems Chasseur. Mine was shot in less than 100 miles.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thinking of building up a Titus?  Think again.-img_3892-1024x768-.jpg  

    Thinking of building up a Titus?  Think again.-img_3894-1024x768-.jpg  

    Thinking of building up a Titus?  Think again.-img_3895-768x1024-.jpg  

    Thinking of building up a Titus?  Think again.-img_3901-1024x768-.jpg  


  10. #10
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    Sucks big time. Curious, what shock you have? did it bottom out?

  11. #11
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    Fox Float RP 23. It was adjusted properly for me at about 110 PSI IIRC. My wife and I dialed in the sag one night. It hadn't bottomed out on any of my real rides thus far, and I'm sure it didn't when the stay actually broke. No kidding, I was riding off a sidewalk curb. 4-6 inches max. Embarrassing to snap your custom full travel bike after your wife took the same curb on a stock 2003 Hardrock right before you.

  12. #12
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    I understand your frustration but it is cool that you are being covered. Is Jenson paying for the stays or do they have a deal with Titus?

  13. #13
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    thanks for the comments bm. i understand my bike to be a 2009 according to all indications, but i now realize that mine are not light rail stays. instead, they are the "lugged" carbon stays. the spec listed in the titus 09 catalog i have matches my bike, i can't explain the disparity with yours.

    anyway, i really like the way the bike rides. i have been quite heartened by all of the things i have read on this board regarding the company's plans, and by loyalty expressed by most of the posters around here.

    good luck with the warranty issue, i hope that you are riding soon. as it has been raining (and even snowing) nonstop here, mine is idle as well.

  14. #14
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    Some points

    Firstly, you have a 2009 Titus X, not Racer X.

    Secondly, you didn't buy a $3000 bike from Titus, rather a deeply discounted frame only from Jenson. You could have bought the same frame on closeout direct from Titus/On-One for $1000.

    Third, as a Titus dealer, Jenson should uphold the basic warranty. I put the totally redesigned seatstays on all my FTM and X frames before selling them. And I keep a few on hand for emergencies and quick fix.

    Fourth, since the warranty is just one year on the carbon rear triangles, it would behoove you to have spare parts.

    Titus may not have any rear triangles 3 or 4 years from now. I love my ti Rockstar and purchased an extra seatstay. If I ever sell this bike, this will make it worth more than the $200 I paid for it.
    You saved enough money on the original purchase to cover a backup part.
    This lack of spare suspension parts is the same for many full suspension frames from other companies.
    I have seen people stuck with a variety of front triangles and no replacement rear ends from Trek, Giant, etc.

    Fifth, try to work with Ben@Titus and Jenson. I have found Ben to be very customer oriented over the years during his long stay in Tempe, and now Oregon..
    The new company is under financial constraints as well as supplier issues due to the prior history of the company.
    Also, Titus has been held hostage by their Taiwan suppliers of carbon seatstays. The suppliers wanted them to repay any money owed by the previous management before releasing the seatstays. This has been worked out in recent months.
    It would be financially impossible for Titus to provide new rear triangles for every two year old closeout frame that Jenson sold.
    (Jenson should probably disclose how they are handling warranty claims on such frames.)

    Issuing a warning on MTBR may not be the very best way to get your problem solved with those who can help you. But will get you lots of comments and views from others.

    Lastly, how many Titus owners would be willing to purchase an extended warranty on their frame to cover these kind of problems? I have suggested this to the new UK management.
    I paid $125 to an aftermarket warranty company just for my $400 Iphone. Got me a new one last week!
    Last edited by Bikerbob.com; 05-20-2011 at 05:31 AM.

  15. #15
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    Sorry, but your major points are fairly meaningless.

    #2-I don't see anywhere that how much I paid plays any role in coverage. Can you point that out on the website for me? Just like I admitted earlier, I'm a working student who would rather build up a bike myself rather than dropping twice the cash for something from an assembly line. Lots of bikers do the same. Still, 800 dollars for 4 rides doesn't seem quite reasonable.

    #4- The whole point is that any bike made and sold (to a distributor) before 1/1/11 has no warranty. At all. From Titus. Not exactly what they say in their warranty info.

    As for the option to purchase an extended warranty? It seems to nickle and dime a little, but I would probably go for something like that, knowing that for 2 years I won't be stuck fixing everything ala carte. But that's not an option I was given or can find anywhere, so what's the point?

    I don't buy the "financial impossibility" of fixing manufacturing defects. Yeah, it sucks that when you buy a new company you inherit all of the potential problems they might have developed beforehand. But they still want riders to be out there promoting Titus bikes, merely by having other riders see what they are on. They should have just bought the assets and changed the name if they want pre 2011 customers to not have a place to lodge complaints. Instead they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. See my Chrysler/Fiat example from before. They're trying to bank on the name and rep that Titus have here in the states, without having to support the riders who are actually out there doing the advertising. I'm sure the majority of Titus bikes you would see on trails right now would not be covered by any warranty.

    I'm not looking for recompense from Titus here. Lots of people on this page are building up Titus bikes, and I just wanted to give a fair warning, based on my experience, that they warranty info you find on TitusTi.com isn't complete and might leave you in a bind. It's not an opinion or personal feeling, just an accurate report of the facts. If Titus didn't want people to hear something like this, there was an easy solution. Instead of an ounce of prevention, they are risking a pound of cure.
    Last edited by Backcountry Medic; 05-20-2011 at 07:20 AM.

  16. #16
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    some more points

    Seems like you edited yoor original post, so it's hard to quote. I recall the implication that you bought a $3000 bike. Maybe it is. The frame was $800, though.

    At any rate, this new old stock two year old Titus X was unloaded to Jenson and sold at closeout prices. One should be wary of warranty on such a frame whether purchased on ebay, Chainlove, Backcountry, or even Jenson.

    I repeat, manufacturers don't always have spare parts for older frames. Luckily Titus does have some.
    And due diligence would have told you about the Light Rail issue. You chose to buy from Jenson rather than a new 2010 X from On-One in order to save $200, I believe. And probably one with upgraded seatstays.

    I think you need to hammer this out with the seller who didn't offer any disclaimers.

    As for extended warranty, I think this would be an ideal solution for riders and new company. Most of our Titus bikes are out of warranty, at least on the rear triangle (one year), so an option to protect our purchase would be a good one. It would also increase the resale value if it were transferable (wishful thinking).

    Titus has always been, and continues to be fair with me and my customers. They have to draw the line somewhere.
    But being rewarded for a rant is another thing, even though it is common practice on these forums.

    Feel free to criticize my comments (and lose a helpful resource).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backcountry Medic
    Sorry, but your major points are fairly meaningless.

    #2-I don't see anywhere that how much I paid plays any role in coverage. Can you point that out on the website for me? Just like I admitted earlier, I'm a working student who would rather build up a bike myself rather than dropping twice the cash for something from an assembly line. Lots of bikers do the same. Still, 800 dollars for 4 rides doesn't seem quite reasonable.

    #4- The whole point is that any bike made and sold (to a distributor) before 1/1/11 has no warranty. At all. From Titus. Not exactly what they say in their warranty info.

    As for the option to purchase an extended warranty? It seems to nickle and dime a little, but I would probably go for something like that, knowing that for 2 years I won't be stuck fixing everything ala carte. But that's not an option I was given or can find anywhere, so what's the point?

    I don't buy the "financial impossibility" of fixing manufacturing defects. Yeah, it sucks that when you buy a new company you inherit all of the potential problems they might have developed beforehand. But they still want riders to be out there promoting Titus bikes, merely by having other riders see what they are on. They should have just bought the assets and changed the name if they want pre 2011 customers to not have a place to lodge complaints. Instead they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. See my Chrysler/Fiat example from before. They're trying to bank on the name and rep that Titus have here in the states, without having to support the riders who are actually out there doing the advertising. I'm sure the majority of Titus bikes you would see on trails right now would not be covered by any warranty.

    I'm not looking for recompense from Titus here. Lots of people on this page are building up Titus bikes, and I just wanted to give a fair warning, based on my experience, that they warranty info you find on TitusTi.com isn't complete and might leave you in a bind. It's not an opinion or personal feeling, just an accurate report of the facts. If Titus didn't want people to hear something like this, there was an easy solution. Instead of an ounce of prevention, they are risking a pound of cure.
    But just to be clear, you are getting the stays for free from Jenson right?

  18. #18
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    Sorry, the edit was just for a spelling typo.

    I believe that I am get the new stays (no charge). This all just happened last week, but Jenson said they would replace them and they just received them yesterday. I fully expect to get a replacement back.

    And Bikerbob, I understand what you are saying, but Titus is the one trying to save $200, not me. I bought my bike at a fair price, as of yesterday Jenson USA was still listed as an authorized online retailer at titusti.com. You can read the relevant parts of the warranty statement in post #3. But in reality the warranty is actually this

    Benjamin Webster to me

    show details May 17 (2 days ago)

    Ben,

    I was unaware that when we talked that you had purchased the frame from Jenson USA.

    With this being the case the best I can offer you is to sell the seat stay to you for 199. Here is the warranty statement put out by On One after the purchase. http://titusti.com/2010/support/warrantyinfo.php

    Even though you purchased the bike after the acquisition, the bike was sold by Titus to Jenson before. Unfortunately the full warranty only applies to frames that were sold directly from On One.

    You can see what Jenson can offer you in terms of support. I can sell you a 2010 version of the lightrail seat stay for 199.

    Best regards,
    Again, bolding mine. That fact isn't mentioned anywhere on their website. Before I bought the bike I looked over their page and got all the info as described [in post #3]. The fact that the info isn't really correct as presented, but rather a glossing over of what they really intend on covering, is what really pisses me off and what I think other people deserve to know.

    This bike didn't come from Ebay, or fall off the back of a truck somewhere. It seems like you run a LBS- if you had a customer come in to pick up a last year sale 2010 Titus (Brand new, never ridden) would you be advertising that it only comes with whatever warranty your shop provides, and nothing at all from Titus/On-One?

  19. #19
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    I would agree that they could be clearer on the warranty. They do say that they want to be fair to all Titus owners in whatever way they can.

    But many people feel that Jenson's involvement was part of the downfall of Titus in Tempe. At least from a dealer point of view.
    At the ridiculously low prices they were selling them for, it should have been clear that the manufacturer's warranty might not apply.

    You are looking at it from your self interest, as is Titus. The new owners were not involved in the dumping of frames by Jenson. They just ended up buying a company that started a downward spiral by such practices.

    Sorry for the critique, Jenson. A few of us old time Titus dealers were burnt by the decision to hand all the old frames to you. Hard to compete with those prices. Personal service can only go so far against a $800 new Titus frame.

    While big blowouts bring lots of otherwise unlikely buyers to these bikes, I am concerned that Titus/On-One might be continuing the decay of the brand by selling their aluminum and carbon frames so cheap. Tiime will tell.
    Last edited by Bikerbob.com; 05-20-2011 at 08:35 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backcountry Medic
    Embarrassing to snap your custom full travel bike after your wife took the same curb on a stock 2003 Hardrock right before you.
    No kidding, must have been a crazy sound. So what was your build, least you should be able to show it off

  21. #21
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    While I would say there was lots of confusion regarding Titus' lasts days, it does appear that Jenson - and Titus - is taking care of you and that is great.


    As for Titus prices being low, I think that is the future of the brand. Unless they come up with something new, the HL design is going to be relegated, as it is in Europe, to the lower end of the market. A great way to make a cheap and cheerful bike.

    Of course you have Nicolai as well, making a high end HL bike but people who buy that bike are buying it more for the experience than the suspension. Unless Titus goes back to that (a custom shop) I see the new titus being a very different animal.

  22. #22
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    So you bought a new Titus with a very well documented problem from a discount online retailer for 30% of retail. This after the company closed it's doors and was bought out by another company. Replacement parts were absolutely up in the air, they could have never made another part for a pre-On-One Titus. Even ones with well documented problems.

    Even then Jenson said they'd take care of you.

    You're still *****ing. To hardcore Titus fans no less.


    See the problems yet?



    P.S. It's you.

  23. #23
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    This should work. I've got to head to the old Jay Oh Bee, but I'll be back later tonight. I'll be sure to update as Jenson hopefully gets me up and running again.

  24. #24
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    I'm pretty sure after they're done selling off all the old stock cheaply they're going to go back to building $2300 frames again.

    On-One makes some great (although cheaper) bikes. I doubt they want to compete with their own brands.

    HL is far from dead.

  25. #25
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    Meh, I figured the haters would crawl out from under their rocks eventually.

    Again, Titus bikes ride like a charm, I wasn't ripping on the product, just the (new) management. I get it- **** happens, you get a bad bunch of stays, some part doesn't meet your specs, etc. But if your intent is to benefit from name recognition that a company built partly by going the extra mile for customers (which influenced my choice) and your choice is to act the opposite way, you should plan on getting called out for it. Tough ****, they made that bed, they should sleep in it. If old Titus customers are just a liability, they should removed the decals on every Titus they are selling now are change the company's name to On-One Oregon or something.

    They saw an opportunity to save a hundred bucks today and they did, but I guess they don't care about leaving a bad taste in my mouth- after all, I'm just one customer who bought an older frame at a discount, why should they bother to help me? I guess to some companies a few bucks now and some poor PR is preferable to the chance to win a longtime supporter and some good karma (and likely future purchases).

    I'm sure there are some fanboys whose blind loyalty won't allow them to see a shitty deal when one is laid out in front of them. That's fine, this wasn't for you. For anybody else (home builders, people on the fence, people in my position), just look at the Titus website, read the "warranty" they promise on there then look at the email a few posts ago. If you don't buy directly off the website, you really have no idea when your LBS or other "authorized retailer" bought your bike, and apparantly Titus has no moral qualms hanging you out to dry.

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