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  1. #1
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    Repair Question

    So on Dec 27, 2015 I purchased a Trek Farley 5 (fatbike) from my local LBS - a place where I have likely spent about $8,000 or more on various bikes over the past few years. In the time that I have had the bike (~20 days) I have not ridden more than 150 kms.

    On Sunday i am out for a ride and a link on the chanin breaks, it si cold outside and I give up on fixing the chain and call teh wife to pick me up.

    On Tuesday I take the bike to my LBS fully expecting the repair to be covered under warranty - my LBS tells me that I need to pay for the chain because it is a wear and tear item, but the labour to install it is free.

    So I paid for the chain, and rec'd a 10% discount and left, but since then I have become more annoyed by the situation.

    I understand the wear and tear thinking, but given the short amount of time I have owned the bike, am I out of line expecting the whole reapir to be no cost?

    Also given the amount i have spent at the LBS, should I be epxecting a larger discount than 10%?

    I also called Trek and the customer service rep said I should call KMC - which I thought was sort of poor of Trek as they are washing thier hands of thsi becasue they did not make the chain.

  2. #2
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    Depending on the management of the LBS, they could have done it for free since the chain is not that expensive which would have been good customer services and as far as wear and tear, 150 KMS is not much, tend to wonder if the chain was improperly installed during the setup. From past experience Trek has never been that great for customer service, they tend to forget you once they sold the bike.

  3. #3
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    My LBS bends over backwards helping me,,even kicked down a couple of small parts for free

    Not sure what your warranty was but seems it should be longer than 20days,,if it was out of warranty/no warranty then the 10% and the free install is very well within reason IMHO

    Trek it seems would be a little more interested in an $1800, 20 day old, bike but then again they don't know what you did or the LBS did to possibly cause the Damage or failure

    wear and tear items usually aren't covered under warranties anyways so i wouldn't be to bent about it myself,,,BUT all that said, I do understand where your coming from,,seems time to find a new LBS with a little better customer appreciation if you ask me

  4. #4
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    I'm sort of on the fence on this one. On the one hand, the bike shop has no real control over a defect that might or could occur with a chain on a new bike. That being said, I see the shop as giving "free labor"+10% off could be reasonable. At the same time, I can see you point of being a "loyal" customer and a new bike just purchased from there. Most bike shops have a "free" tune up where they'll make adjustments and check out in a month or so after purchase.

    So therefore, I can kind of see your point. The person that took your service job, was he the manager/owner? If not, did this person check with the manager/owner?

    My feeling is if you still have an issue with this, go and talk to the manager. Maybe you can work out a future deal with him like parts and service for another year or two at reduced rate? Then it becomes a win win for you and him. Guaranteed service and purchases at his shop and you get a discount.

  5. #5
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    Well the free labor is a cop out, because it takes 1 minute to put a chain on. I would be annoyed if I were you. On the other hand, the LBS has no idea that you know how to shift correctly and that wasnt the reason for the chain breaking (ive had a similar situation and this was how they explained it to me).

    It really boils down to the individual LBS and how they choose to operate their business. Some genuinely care and bend over backwards, the rest are just trying to make a buck and it doesnt get much more personal than that.

  6. #6
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    Why did the chain break? Shifting under load or actual chain plate failure?

  7. #7
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    A discount plus free installation sounds fair.

    Just what do you expect when it comes to a warranty?

  8. #8
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    Talk to the manager and explain your disappointment. Honestly, I'd expect the LBS to fix the chain with EZ links and not replace it.

    Don't know the situation surrounding the repair, but if you didn't mention you just bought the bike 20 days ago and the situation around the chain breaking, I would expect you to pay for a chain. However, knowing you recently bought it, I'd repair it for free, sell it at cost or work with KMC for warranty. I busted a 10-speed chain link on a bike my second time out. Didn't like it, but I fixed it and went on my way. Hundred of trail miles and not a single problem from that link. Didn't have EZ links with me so I don't even know which one it was.
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  9. #9
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    Wear item requires normal wear to be visible and the cause of the failure. A manufacturing defect is no different then with any other part. Trek should instruct the dealer to replace the faulty part. No chain manufactured is meant to last only this long. An EZ link is a good repair. The one problem is abuse. Given your level of experience I think the dealer could rule that out.

  10. #10
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    I think it sucks.

    Warranty be damn, it should have been "good willed". You're a repeat customer for god sake. It's not like you tore off a derailleur or something. It's only a chain.

    Did you deal with the manager/owner? If not I would, or at least discuss it with them.

    Vote with your wallet, and shoes.
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  11. #11
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    I could see it either way, but if you can afford to drop $8K on bikes a chain isn't going to break you. I'm guessing if you keep going back, you have a decent relationship with the folks there. Not sure I'd toss that aside for the cost of a chain.

  12. #12
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    I can't see the chain being covered in general. But if you really have a relationship with the LBS, i think they were had replaced the chain, no cost.

  13. #13
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    They should have replaced it at no cost.
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  14. #14
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    If I was the mechanic, I would have patched your chain with a quick-link and sent you on your way for nothing, unless your chain was somehow damaged. If your chain was un-useable, I would have charged you and given you a class on shifting.

    Do they even really know you there? Sometimes money spent doesn't get you the time of day. Asking questions and chatting them up will more likely get you noticed.

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  15. #15
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    Things cost money people, and every chain I have ever damaged has been my fault. Hooking you up with a quick link would have been nice if you just bent one link. However, if you really mangled your chain then it needed to be replaced. Some free labor would be nice but I wouldn't expect a free chain. No one is getting rich running a bike shop stop expecting things for free.
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  16. #16
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    I would think it's strange that they replaced the chain. But then again you could have really damaged it without being able to see it I can't speak to it. I would think a quick link would be fine and $5 our free.

    But the issue is not with you and your bike but with people that are shady A holes. I've seen guys come in wanting a very very specific tire. Buy it and leave. Come back 20 minutes later and say they shredded the tire and bring in the same model and same size tire. But the tire they brought in is obviously old as f*ck.

    People do some dumb stuff and that's why as soon as you leave the shop it's your.

    Or my personal favorite. Bring a bike in for a tune and then take the bike and lay it in the back of the truck on it's rear derailleur and strap it down. Then wonder why it shifts like ass.

    I would chat with the owner and approach it expecting nothing and you might be pleasantly surprised when he says my bad we should have fixed it for free.

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  17. #17
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    I don't know... Unless there was some obvious abuse, I think they could have put a quick link on it for free... The bike isn't even a month old.
    I bet anything the shop I buy from probably would have just given me a chain.
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  18. #18
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    A chain is a tough one. Something COULD have caused it to break.

    SHOULD they have just fixed it for nothing, no. COULD they have? Sure. I would have, but that's me.

    How much did the chain cost you?



    It's just really tough, because there are so many factors that would and could cause a chain to snap. Defect, foreign object, very poor shifting, such and so forth. It would likely be impossible for anyone to say for sure if it was truly a defect.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    ...I also called Trek and the customer service rep said I should call KMC - which I thought was sort of poor of Trek as they are washing thier hands of thsi becasue they did not make the chain.
    "Limited warranty
    Many of the items that are sold on trekbikes.com come with a manufacturer's warranty. For warranty questions on items not manufactured by Trek, Bontrager, or Garmin, contact the manufacturer directly."

    The Trek warranty clearly states it's not their problem so this comes down to how much good will your lbs wants to build and your perception of their effort.

    To those saying the shop should have installed a quick link (and that is what I would have done for myself)....I bet we would be reading a thread about "my lbs installed a second quick link...are they trying to get off cheap?".

  20. #20
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    My LBS is great; however, in this situation I'd probably expect to pay for the chain. The free labor is nice.

    I'd say run with what they did.
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  21. #21
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    seems that the opions on this topic fall into a couple fo camps.

    given that i am a bigger guy, and that i have likely ridden somewhere around 20,000 k in my life time, and this is the first chain i ever had that broke - i'd like to thinki know how to shift properly - but maybe i don't.

    the chain appeared to break because one of the "heads" in the pins sheared off, at the time i had trouble fixing it as it was -15c out and it was getting a little dark. i beleive the wrench at the LBS said the chain already had a quick link in it - but perhaps i mis understood him.

    My expectation was that the shop would provide me with a new chain and then would presumably get re-imbursed however they usually do for stuff like this. As an aside, the deal i wantd to strike was that I would buy and XT chain and just pay the difference between that and the KMC chain.

    to me it seemd like a reasonable compromise as it gave me a chance to make an upgrade at a reduced cost and the LBS got more of my money - on the day in question i was also contemplating buying a pair of winter cycling pants; however, they did not have my size in stock (i subsequently purchased the pants online)

    I tend to go in teh LBS and do my business and leave, I don't hang around to chat. I am likely there at least once a month as sometimes i will go just to look around - so while some of the staff may not know my name, they likely know my face.

    I am going to call and ask to speak with the manager - to me they could now show they value me as a customer by giving me a $20 or $30 gift certificate. i'll be dissapointed if they do nothing.

    to me a chan should not fail within 20 days/125 kms and i truly was jsut riding along on a paved/snow covered public pathway and i was just about to start a bit of an uphill grunt. it is not like i have had this bike out doing big drops and stuff.

  22. #22
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    Maybe it's just me, but as a customer, I don't expect the bike shop to replace a chain as a warranty item for free. Do I know exactly what caused it to break? No. Do I know that something I did while riding didn't cause this? No. Sometimes, $hit just happens. It's just a chain. Pay to replace it and move along. For that matter, I keep spare chains (and spare quick links). I carry a couple quick links while I'm out riding, and I have the spare chains at home. So I probably wouldn't even go to the shop after an incident like this.

    No, a chain shouldn't fail in that short amount of time. But it's not easy to look at a chain and diagnose how it broke in most cases. ANYTHING could have happened to it after the bike left the shop. A shop employee is going to be hard pressed to be able to tell the difference between a defect and a bad shift in a lot of cases.

    As a shop employee, I find this akin to people who have flat tire problems and expect me to give them free tubes and free tires. Occasionally, I do find an obvious defect and take care of the customer. But the vast majority of the time, they're asking for a warranty when they clearly ran over crap in the road (which is still stuck in the tire). It doesn't matter if I installed a new tire and tube YESTERDAY if you ran over a pile of broken glass TODAY.

  23. #23
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    If I were the shop, I probably would've eaten the $0.82 and 47 seconds it would've taken to install a free quick link. Of course, as a rider, I also would've done the same thing myself and completely forgotten about it by now. Seems like a lot of angst over a something that costs a handful of pennies and could be fixed in far less time that it took to make a post about.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    If I were the shop, I probably would've eaten the $0.82 and 47 seconds it would've taken to install a free quick link. Of course, as a rider, I also would've done the same thing myself and completely forgotten about it by now. Seems like a lot of angst over a something that costs a handful of pennies and could be fixed in far less time that it took to make a post about.
    This pretty much sums up my thoughts, as well...
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    If I were the shop, I probably would've eaten the $0.82 and 47 seconds it would've taken to install a free quick link. Of course, as a rider, I also would've done the same thing myself and completely forgotten about it by now. Seems like a lot of angst over a something that costs a handful of pennies and could be fixed in far less time that it took to make a post about.
    My thoughts exactly.

    It's also good to have the skill to do repairs yourself.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    If I were the shop, I probably would've eaten the $0.82 and 47 seconds it would've taken to install a free quick link. Of course, as a rider, I also would've done the same thing myself and completely forgotten about it by now. Seems like a lot of angst over a something that costs a handful of pennies and could be fixed in far less time that it took to make a post about.
    You are wrong! The OP is clearly very PASSIONATE about this so it is definitely a PASSION forum-worthy post!

  27. #27
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    That passion should be re-directed into learning to do basic trail-side repairs, I'd say.


    It literally takes no more than 3-4 minutes to drive a pin out and pop a quick link on, and that's moving at a leisurely pace and accounting for finding a comfy spot to work, locating the tools and link amongst all the other junk in the pack, and even splitting a beer with your riding buddy while you're stopped. Unless OP was riding in his own yard, I'm thinking it had to take a helluva lot longer for the rescue minivan to show up. Then hours trying to get a warranty on a low dollar wear part...I dunno, I just don't get it.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    That passion should be re-directed into learning to do basic trail-side repairs, I'd say.


    It literally takes no more than 3-4 minutes to drive a pin out and pop a quick link on, and that's moving at a leisurely pace and accounting for finding a comfy spot to work, locating the tools and link amongst all the other junk in the pack, and even splitting a beer with your riding buddy while you're stopped. Unless OP was riding in his own yard, I'm thinking it had to take a helluva lot longer for the rescue minivan to show up. Then hours trying to get a warranty on a low dollar wear part...I dunno, I just don't get it.
    It was a winter snow ride, freezing cold. Have you ever tried to use a chainbreaker with gloves on? that shiz hard to do.
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  29. #29
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    Of course I have. Sometimes the gloves need to come off.
    If you're gonna ride in less-than-perfect conditions, you need to be up for handling that sort of thing. Or limit your rides to places that are accessible by car I guess. Which seems to defeat the whole purpose of riding a mountain bike.

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