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  1. #1
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    Consumer Direct Bike Sales - Warranty?

    What does everyone think about this? More and more major manufacturers, like YT, Intense, Turner, Guerrilla Gravity, and others. Traditionally, these were just Taiwan-catalog bikes of dubious quality and engineering, but now more and more bigger manufacturers are getting on board.

    But what do you do when you have something fail, like brakes, a dropper post, race face next crankset, etc. and there is a warranty issue? These companies are saying that they "only warranty the frame" and many of the component manufacturers refuse to work with the customer directly, so you end up essentially with no warranty on parts. Seems like there's a big gap here in the consumer-direct model and it's not addressed by the industry. In Europe, there are laws that require the manufacturer (of the bike) to support it, but I'm not sure such a thing exists in the US.

    I've only ever bought frames, but it seems like that is becoming more and more rare as well, as more manufacturers are forcing you to buy build kits now and going consumer-direct, you have little to no recourse when there's a true warranty issue. Seems pretty crappy if you ask me. You don't send your brake calipers to Brembo or go to Autozone if something breaks on your car, you go back to the dealer. And bike shops have no requirement to warranty your stuff, if you have a shop, if they carry/service that part/brand, etc. Seems like the end consumer is left out in the cold here, at least in the US.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Interesting points, but there may not be a single approach or answer. Link below to Shimano warranty and they tie to bike mfg. or retailer or to Shimano as last option.


    https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/infor.../warranty.html

    I also buy components from companies who sell direct and warranty direct

    So it probably just depends on who you choose, or agreements between component companies and bike companies.

    The fewer frame only options I just speculate is being driven by consolidation in the components side. The bundled suspension and component groups may now have a bit more sway, and allowing frame only allows the customer to bypass the shittier components that are offered and can be avoided by customer going frame only. For customer who loves brakes or drive train that they currently have it makes the bundled "upgrade" a more "viable" option.

    Just wait until Specialized or Trek buy SRAM or Fox (or other way around). Your choices w



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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What does everyone think about this? More and more major manufacturers, like YT, Intense, Turner, Guerrilla Gravity, and others. Traditionally, these were just Taiwan-catalog bikes of dubious quality and engineering, but now more and more bigger manufacturers are getting on board.

    But what do you do when you have something fail, like brakes, a dropper post, race face next crankset, etc. and there is a warranty issue? These companies are saying that they "only warranty the frame" and many of the component manufacturers refuse to work with the customer directly, so you end up essentially with no warranty on parts. Seems like there's a big gap here in the consumer-direct model and it's not addressed by the industry. In Europe, there are laws that require the manufacturer (of the bike) to support it, but I'm not sure such a thing exists in the US.

    I've only ever bought frames, but it seems like that is becoming more and more rare as well, as more manufacturers are forcing you to buy build kits now and going consumer-direct, you have little to no recourse when there's a true warranty issue. Seems pretty crappy if you ask me. You don't send your brake calipers to Brembo or go to Autozone if something breaks on your car, you go back to the dealer. And bike shops have no requirement to warranty your stuff, if you have a shop, if they carry/service that part/brand, etc. Seems like the end consumer is left out in the cold here, at least in the US.
    Two things you seem to be completely unaware of. The first is that it is an industry standard practice to deal with component manufacturers for warranty, a LBS typically deals with the headache. Lack of dealer support is part of the reduction in price from direct so in this case you get what you pay for. Second, Intense USA does not force the consumer to deal with component manufacturers directly. I suggest you take some time to actually do some research and break the unfortunate habit you have of attempting to skew reality to match your flawed preconceived notions.

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  4. #4
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    I bought a used GG frame, so I technically don't have a warranty, but based on conversations with GG, they will work with me if there's a problem. Probably means crash replacement discount at best. They've been really easy to talk to and have answered my questions quite satisfactorily. But I bought a frame only and am building the bike up, so I don't expect to go to the frame mfr for component issues.

    The various components are going to be sourced a variety of ways.

    So far, I bought the MRP Ribbon fork direct from MRP. They were also easy to work with and were quick with answering any questions I had. Plus they have a solid presence here on mtbr helping people, so I have no fears that any potential warranty issues won't be dealt with.

    I bought a Cane Creek headset from JensonUSA. I know CC will deal with customers directly. Their factory and support people are also very close to me.

    Other parts I'll order direct from the manufacturer, or from mail order houses. Some parts I'll wind up ordering (or purchasing floor stock) from one or more shops nearby.

    For most of the parts, warranty concerns will be fairly minor for me. Having a relationship with one or more shops is important, though, so they'll be willing to go to bat for me in a warranty question that they may not HAVE to, when there's a particular mfr who's difficult to deal with.

    I will say this - if a bike manufacturer doesn't offer a frame-only option, it's going to move them down the list for me. There aren't many complete builds out there where there's not a number of parts that I simply don't like/want. I'd have to REALLY want that particular frame, and be willing to swap those parts that I don't like, in order to buy a complete bike at this point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Two things you seem to be completely unaware of. The first is that it is an industry standard practice to deal with component manufacturers for warranty, a LBS typically deals with the headache. Lack of dealer support is part of the reduction in price from direct so in this case you get what you pay for. Second, Intense USA does not force the consumer to deal with component manufacturers directly. I suggest you take some time to actually do some research and break the unfortunate habit you have of attempting to skew reality to match your flawed preconceived notions.

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    Part of having a structure of retail dealer networks in any industry is to deal with customer service and warranty issues. Just like taking on the “retail function” for the sale, the buy direct can still provide the warranty function on either bike or components, it’s up to them and their suppliers to work it out.

    Just my preferences, but currently I’d rather deal with an internet seller like CC, Jenson or Amazon. I can get a better price on the bike or other product and their return/warranty service is usually solid. Amazon return/warranty has been outstanding when I have had to use it.

    Not directed at your post, just pointing out that there still frame only options out there but number sure seems like it is getting smaller. My last new bike for me was a Knolly, frame only through an internet seller. Just by choosing a Knolly I am more into quality than lowest price, and I’ll probably stick with the omni-channel brands versus the lowest price buy-direct seller, at least for near future.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I bought a used GG frame, so I technically don't have a warranty, but based on conversations with GG, they will work with me if there's a problem. Probably means crash replacement discount at best. They've been really easy to talk to and have answered my questions quite satisfactorily. But I bought a frame only and am building the bike up, so I don't expect to go to the frame mfr for component issues.

    The various components are going to be sourced a variety of ways.

    So far, I bought the MRP Ribbon fork direct from MRP. They were also easy to work with and were quick with answering any questions I had. Plus they have a solid presence here on mtbr helping people, so I have no fears that any potential warranty issues won't be dealt with.

    I bought a Cane Creek headset from JensonUSA. I know CC will deal with customers directly. Their factory and support people are also very close to me.

    Other parts I'll order direct from the manufacturer, or from mail order houses. Some parts I'll wind up ordering (or purchasing floor stock) from one or more shops nearby.

    For most of the parts, warranty concerns will be fairly minor for me. Having a relationship with one or more shops is important, though, so they'll be willing to go to bat for me in a warranty question that they may not HAVE to, when there's a particular mfr who's difficult to deal with.

    I will say this - if a bike manufacturer doesn't offer a frame-only option, it's going to move them down the list for me. There aren't many complete builds out there where there's not a number of parts that I simply don't like/want. I'd have to REALLY want that particular frame, and be willing to swap those parts that I don't like, in order to buy a complete bike at this point.
    I'm speaking about the parts that would come on your direct-sale bike in my original post, not stuff you buy aftermarket.

    I feel the same about frame-only options. Then I know I have recourse with who I buy aftermarket components from, like Jenson, CRC, etc.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Two things you seem to be completely unaware of. The first is that it is an industry standard practice to deal with component manufacturers for warranty, a LBS typically deals with the headache. Lack of dealer support is part of the reduction in price from direct so in this case you get what you pay for. Second, Intense USA does not force the consumer to deal with component manufacturers directly. I suggest you take some time to actually do some research and break the unfortunate habit you have of attempting to skew reality to match your flawed preconceived notions.

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    Please explain how Intense does not force consumers to deal directly with the component manufacturers, when shops won't warranty something for you that you didn't buy there (or you don't even have a shop).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Please explain how Intense does not force consumers to deal directly with the component manufacturers, when shops won't warranty something for you that you didn't buy there (or you don't even have a shop).
    https://intensecycles.com/pages/riderdirectdealerform

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    Like cj said, either you pay for LBS service (and access to certain brands) or you don't (with mail order).

    Personally, I wouldn't mail order a whole bike. And if a manufacturer doesn't offer a frame only, I'll move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    Like cj said, either you pay for LBS service (and access to certain brands) or you don't (with mail order).

    Personally, I wouldn't mail order a whole bike. And if a manufacturer doesn't offer a frame only, I'll move on.
    Exactly! The problem I run into at times is a complete is so close in cost to a frame only that it makes more sense to buy the complete even if frame is an option.

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  11. #11
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    My brother just went through this with his Motobecane.
    SRAM guide brakes locking up. He called SRAM, and they said it is a known issue, and they are under warranty. However, they will only work through a shop.

    So, he called the local shops, and they would not work with any warranty. (They didn't get paid anything, so it kind of makes sense.)

    However, in my work field of HVAC, one of my supply houses state that "there is a $75 charge to process any warranty of equipment not purchased here".

    I wonder why bike shops couldn't do the same.
    Charge a $50 warranty fee on all warranty work for bikes or components purchased through any mail order. It would have to be though main order, as let's assume I bought a bike from a dealer here in PA, but I move to Arizona. The shop/manufacturer cannot expect me to get warranty work through the shop I bought it at! You buy a vehicle from a Ford dealer, ANY Ford dealer is required to honor that warranty. If you bought a bike or parts from a shop (and it's registered as purchased from a shop) then you're ok. If you bought it online, a shop can charge a small fee to process warranty.
    Sounds fair to me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    My brother just went through this with his Motobecane.
    SRAM guide brakes locking up. He called SRAM, and they said it is a known issue, and they are under warranty. However, they will only work through a shop.

    So, he called the local shops, and they would not work with any warranty. (They didn't get paid anything, so it kind of makes sense.)

    However, in my work field of HVAC, one of my supply houses state that "there is a $75 charge to process any warranty of equipment not purchased here".

    I wonder why bike shops couldn't do the same.
    Charge a $50 warranty fee on all warranty work for bikes or components purchased through any mail order. It would have to be though main order, as let's assume I bought a bike from a dealer here in PA, but I move to Arizona. The shop/manufacturer cannot expect me to get warranty work through the shop I bought it at! You buy a vehicle from a Ford dealer, ANY Ford dealer is required to honor that warranty. If you bought a bike or parts from a shop (and it's registered as purchased from a shop) then you're ok. If you bought it online, a shop can charge a small fee to process warranty.
    Sounds fair to me.
    There are a couple of shops near me that will do that. Some will even waive it if it wasn't a hassle, they look at it as a way to gain a customer. The ones that will not almost look at refusing to help as some form of punitive action for you daring to buy a bike elsewhere. Those are the ones who are struggling.

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    I would be upset if a dealer for a component didn’t handle a warranty for the component because that is a main reason to be the dealer/distributor. That is 100% on SRAM—they either make the dealer provide the service or they should deal directly with the customer.

    It’s no different than if I bought a bike at LBS in San Diego 1 year ago and now moved to D.C. and need the brakes warrantied. They can’t make me go back to San Diego shop for the warranty. if they did I’d not buy anything SRAM related in the future for sure—complete BS.

    I had a friend who went through this recently with SRAM guide brakes issue. First LBS he took it to was either incompetent or didn’t want to honor their SRAM dealer responsibility, so he went to another shop and they did it no problem, no hassle, no charge—like they should. I predict the 2nd shop will be in business longer than the first shop, all else equal.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    My brother just went through this with his Motobecane.
    SRAM guide brakes locking up. He called SRAM, and they said it is a known issue, and they are under warranty. However, they will only work through a shop.

    So, he called the local shops, and they would not work with any warranty. (They didn't get paid anything, so it kind of makes sense.)

    However, in my work field of HVAC, one of my supply houses state that "there is a $75 charge to process any warranty of equipment not purchased here".

    I wonder why bike shops couldn't do the same.
    Charge a $50 warranty fee on all warranty work for bikes or components purchased through any mail order. It would have to be though main order, as let's assume I bought a bike from a dealer here in PA, but I move to Arizona. The shop/manufacturer cannot expect me to get warranty work through the shop I bought it at! You buy a vehicle from a Ford dealer, ANY Ford dealer is required to honor that warranty. If you bought a bike or parts from a shop (and it's registered as purchased from a shop) then you're ok. If you bought it online, a shop can charge a small fee to process warranty.
    Sounds fair to me.
    A policy like this would make sense. If your bike has a shop's sticker on it (any shop's sticker on it) then they'll process a warranty claim on the bike assuming the brand is one they deal with, or one they can deal with.

    It gets iffy on how to apply it when it's a more complicated situation.

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    I broke a RF next crank on my Otso. Otso sent me a new crank before I even mailed the broken one to them. Super easy to deal with.

    Broke a Sram cassette on a Turner, went to a sram dealer, he sent it in. no problem.

    All my bikes are either consumer direct or ordered online.

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    Or SRAM could pay the shop for the warranty work at a higher rate, so the shop is indifferent.

    If the company is going to be deadbeat cheap on warranty work so the shop is not being compensated for their labor, then it seems like a SRAM problem that SRAM should fix.




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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Or SRAM could pay the shop for the warranty work at a higher rate, so the shop is indifferent.

    If the company is going to be deadbeat cheap on warranty work so the shop is not being compensated for their labor, then it seems like a SRAM problem that SRAM should fix.




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    To my knowledge no manufacturer in the industry pays for warranty work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    I broke a RF next crank on my Otso. Otso sent me a new crank before I even mailed the broken one to them. Super easy to deal with.

    Broke a Sram cassette on a Turner, went to a sram dealer, he sent it in. no problem.

    All my bikes are either consumer direct or ordered online.
    That's more or less been mine and everyone I know experience with warranties. I'm for sure not questioning people get the run around, though why the discrepancies is the question?

    I build all my bikes frame up except my last build which was literally cheaper to buy a complete and sell off most of the components vs a...gasp $4200 frame. I think developing a rapour with some brick & motor store somewhere in some capacity is in everyone's self interest.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What does everyone think about this? More and more major manufacturers, like YT, Intense, Turner, Guerrilla Gravity, and others. Traditionally, these were just Taiwan-catalog bikes of dubious quality and engineering, but now more and more bigger manufacturers are getting on board.

    But what do you do when you have something fail, like brakes, a dropper post, race face next crankset, etc. and there is a warranty issue? These companies are saying that they "only warranty the frame" and many of the component manufacturers refuse to work with the customer directly, so you end up essentially with no warranty on parts. Seems like there's a big gap here in the consumer-direct model and it's not addressed by the industry. In Europe, there are laws that require the manufacturer (of the bike) to support it, but I'm not sure such a thing exists in the US.

    I've only ever bought frames, but it seems like that is becoming more and more rare as well, as more manufacturers are forcing you to buy build kits now and going consumer-direct, you have little to no recourse when there's a true warranty issue. Seems pretty crappy if you ask me. You don't send your brake calipers to Brembo or go to Autozone if something breaks on your car, you go back to the dealer. And bike shops have no requirement to warranty your stuff, if you have a shop, if they carry/service that part/brand, etc. Seems like the end consumer is left out in the cold here, at least in the US.
    No one is “left out in the cold”; if there is an issue with your brakes, for example, you go to a bike shop and they get paid to deal with the warranty issue. The faulty parts are supplied by the company, and the LBS gets paid for their labor. It’s been this way ever since I worked in a shop in the early 90’s...what’s the problem???

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    To my knowledge no manufacturer in the industry pays for warranty work.

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    Then as a shop, you either treat it as a cost you absorb, charge the customer, or don’t provide the labor regardless of whether they bought the bike from your shop.

    It sounds like there is little incentive then to be an “authorized dealer” for a component because its unlikely you are selling product in any volume v. The internet retailers. So if you aren’t selling product, and you don’t get compensated for warranty labor, what’s the point?


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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Then as a shop, you either treat it as a cost you absorb, charge the customer, or don’t provide the labor regardless of whether they bought the bike from your shop.

    It sounds like there is little incentive then to be an “authorized dealer” for a component because its unlikely you are selling product in any volume v. The internet retailers. So if you aren’t selling product, and you don’t get compensated for warranty labor, what’s the point?


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    AFAIK, few component mfrs do the "authorized dealer" thing anymore, and the ones that do tend to be small companies that sell high end stuff. I've worked in shops on and off since 05, and in that time, I've not once heard of a mfr paying the shop for labor on dealing with warranty claims as a matter of course. Some shops where I worked just ate those costs. Others charged customers for labor associated with warranty claims. Not the boxing up of the parts, but the removal or installation of the warranty parts from the bike itself.

    A bunch of component mfrs set up accounts directly with shops who are interested, but IME, that question typically has more to do with profit margins than anything. Sure, shops can probably get the product through QBP or J&B or whatever, but the distributor's price is higher than it is buying straight through the manufacturer's b2b system. Sometimes markedly so. Shops are only inclined to go through that process if they order enough product from that manufacturer, as there's extra bookkeeping work involved with maintaining another vendor account. Depends on how that vendor handles that process, though. Some make it easy to order a single item here and there. For others, it's only worthwhile if you order/sell a certain amount of stuff. IIRC, Garmin is one where if a shop buys it through QBP for resale, they don't make much money if any at all, unless they sell the item immediately, so it makes more sense to get an account with Garmin to get the lower pricing.

    If you're a shop, you pretty much have to maintain accounts with SRAM and Shimano or you'll have a tough time getting by. Certain things Shimano doesn't sell to QBP anymore. SRAM is similar.

    If a shop is getting a ton of warranty claims from a particular company, they can sometimes get concessions from that company if they raise a stink with their rep. I've never seen or heard of it being any sort of payment for warranty work, though. Usually, it's some handout for "free product" that the shop can do whatever they want with. Most I have experience with recently wind up selling the free product to offset the cost of dealing with warranty claims. But they still charge labor for removal/install of the part for each individual warranty claim. I remember a number of years ago, the shop where I was working was dealing with a huge recall on old Zipp wheels (SRAM). I don't remember what the shop got as a concession, but I know the owner raised hell with SRAM about it because for a few weeks, we had STACKS of wheel boxes by the back door waiting for the UPS guy, and it took a fair bit of time to box them all up, call SRAM for RMA#'s on them all, get the labels printed out, etc. And that wasn't even a case where we as the shop had to do any work on the bike itself. We just had customers bring the wheels in for us to process/send to SRAM.

    It's fortunate that we did respectable business in aftermarket wheels and had saved a bunch of wheel boxes to use for this. We had to process them on a rotating basis so we could keep reusing the boxes.
    Last edited by Harold; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:57 AM.

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    Yeah, I didn't keep the books, but I worked in a shop too and I never heard of component manufacturers reimbursing shops for labor. Auto dealers work like that, but never heard of bike shops working like that.
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    Harold, thanks for that very informative post. If that is the typical arrangement then it sounds like most shops are just too small to have any pull with larger component mfgs. To get compensation, which sucks for them. Charging a customer then sounds reasonable.




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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    SRAM guide brakes locking up. He called SRAM, and they said it is a known issue, and they are under warranty. However, they will only work through a shop.

    So, he called the local shops, and they would not work with any warranty. (They didn't get paid anything, so it kind of makes sense.)

    However, in my work field of HVAC, one of my supply houses state that "there is a $75 charge to process any warranty of equipment not purchased here".

    I wonder why bike shops couldn't do the same.
    Charge a $50 warranty fee on all warranty work for bikes or components purchased through any mail order.
    It would have to be though main order, as let's assume I bought a bike from a dealer here in PA, but I move to Arizona. The shop/manufacturer cannot expect me to get warranty work through the shop I bought it at! You buy a vehicle from a Ford dealer, ANY Ford dealer is required to honor that warranty. If you bought a bike or parts from a shop (and it's registered as purchased from a shop) then you're ok. If you bought it online, a shop can charge a small fee to process warranty.
    Sounds fair to me.
    You have a more reasonable mentality than most. I agree, but most people would not happily pay a $50 "warranty processing" fee for a $30 part, not to mention labor charges too. If it were a bigger warranty claim like a broken frame the $50 fee seems like a drop in the bucket, quite reasonable. There's also Shipping charges both ways.

    Also lots of broken parts need to be inspected by the manufacturer to determine if an issue is a "warranty." Would you pay $50, plus shipping, only to find out your parts aren't covered and your SOL, then leave the shop with a smile and return next time? (Oh BTW you had to completely disassemble your bike to send in the rear triangle and you have nothing to ride for 2 weeks. Just an example)

    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    I would be upset if a dealer for a component didn’t handle a warranty for the component because that is a main reason to be the dealer/distributor. That is 100% on SRAM—they either make the dealer provide the service or they should deal directly with the customer.
    Could you write Sram a letter and have this corrected?

    I had a friend who went through this recently with SRAM guide brakes issue. First LBS he took it to was either incompetent or didn’t want to honor their SRAM dealer responsibility, so he went to another shop and they did it no problem, no hassle, no charge—like they should. I predict the 2nd shop will be in business longer than the first shop, all else equal.
    I'm not sure if it's incompetence, laziness, or what. Any shop can call Sram directly, get a human on the phone, tell them the issue, and get replacement parts sent out free of charge (for known issues.) Sram sends a few extra parts (chains, cassettes) as compensation for labor. It's minimal but it's something, realistically doesn't probably cover the shops time.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Or SRAM could pay the shop for the warranty work at a higher rate, so the shop is indifferent.

    If the company is going to be deadbeat cheap on warranty work so the shop is not being compensated for their labor, then it seems like a SRAM problem that SRAM should fix.
    Again, how do you go about getting this changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Then as a shop, you either treat it as a cost you absorb, charge the customer, or don’t provide the labor regardless of whether they bought the bike from your shop.

    It sounds like there is little incentive then to be an “authorized dealer” for a component because its unlikely you are selling product in any volume v. The internet retailers. So if you aren’t selling product, and you don’t get compensated for warranty labor, what’s the point?
    You're all over the map dude. It's the bike shops fault, it's Srams fault, the bike shop should build this into their model, etc.

    No bike shop can predict how many people will buy parts online that will have warranty issues, then go to said bike shop and attempt a warranty claim. It's a prickly subject at best and charging a warranty claim fee almost never goes over well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    AFAIK, few component mfrs do the "authorized dealer" thing anymore, and the ones that do tend to be small companies that sell high end stuff. I've worked in shops on and off since 05, and in that time, I've not once heard of a mfr paying the shop for labor on dealing with warranty claims as a matter of course. Some shops where I worked just ate those costs. Others charged customers for labor associated with warranty claims. Not the boxing up of the parts, but the removal or installation of the warranty parts from the bike itself.
    As you noted, sending parts as compensation for labor is a form of payment. Never cash though.

    In my experience the labor for swapping parts often falls on the consumer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    To my knowledge no manufacturer in the industry pays for warranty work.
    IME, if the shop makes a fuss, the manufacturer will often send product for the shop to sell to make up for the trouble. My shops have gotten a lot of free SRAM chains that way when dealing with Avid hydros. They even sent us a box of XO brakes- so once because so many customers were dealing with crappy Elixirs.

    Trek dealers are reimbursed for parts and labor through the Red Shield program. I processed a ton of those and it was a good deal for the customer and for the shop. I don't know if any other manufacturer does a similar program.

    In general, other industries have figured out warranty, so the bicycle industry has no excuses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    IME, if the shop makes a fuss, the manufacturer will often send product for the shop to sell to make up for the trouble. My shops have gotten a lot of free SRAM chains that way when dealing with Avid hydros. They even sent us a box of XO brakes- so once because so many customers were dealing with crappy Elixirs.
    Which is nice but depending on the shop it can take quite a bit of time, if ever, to recoup the time lost by selling that product.

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    ^yes, that still sucks. My point is that some manufacturers make an effort, albeit a lame one. WTB has hooked up my shop with tires and saddles to make up for defective products as well.

    The XO brakes in question were to replace faulty Elixir brakes. Instead of bleeding Elixir 7s over and over again, we just upgraded them at SRAM's expense and our labor. The labor of replacing the brakes was a drag, but less so than bleeding the same brakes every week.

    The next year, we just didn't stock any bikes that came with SRAM brakes.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    My brother just went through this with his Motobecane.
    SRAM guide brakes locking up. He called SRAM, and they said it is a known issue, and they are under warranty. However, they will only work through a shop.

    So, he called the local shops, and they would not work with any warranty. (They didn't get paid anything, so it kind of makes sense.)

    However, in my work field of HVAC, one of my supply houses state that "there is a $75 charge to process any warranty of equipment not purchased here".

    I wonder why bike shops couldn't do the same.
    Charge a $50 warranty fee on all warranty work for bikes or components purchased through any mail order. It would have to be though main order, as let's assume I bought a bike from a dealer here in PA, but I move to Arizona. The shop/manufacturer cannot expect me to get warranty work through the shop I bought it at! You buy a vehicle from a Ford dealer, ANY Ford dealer is required to honor that warranty. If you bought a bike or parts from a shop (and it's registered as purchased from a shop) then you're ok. If you bought it online, a shop can charge a small fee to process warranty.
    Sounds fair to me.
    I had this exact situation. To be fair, I ride with the owner occasionally. One of our friends had the same issue on their trip to Sedona, so he actually didn't know about it until I told him. He was dubious, but I asked him to try.

    He called me pretty quick and as he'd have a new set for me, and said I just had to pay the install price.

    Also, he got our friend's warrantied as they were sitting in the back!

    So it was a pretty easy warranty and they made $50-$60 bucks. I've also made a point to go back for a few things here and there because he helped me out.

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    Something I learned a long time ago (not just for bikes). Beware...warranties are often not what they appear. For every story that someone has about a successful warranty replacement there are dozens others where the consumer didn't get what they thought they should.

    The last bike I bought from a dealer (2001) had a 'lifetime' frame warranty until I showed up with a broken frame 3 years later...then I was told the warranty expired because the company (GT) had been bought out by someone else and the warranty rules changed...WTF? The dealer had also changed owners and they did NOTHING to help me out. Some dealers are better than others but I have the tools and ability to fix about anything and the internet provides me access to reduced prices on parts that get shipped to my door by a brown truck.

    My last few bikes have been on-line deals and I assemble/maintain myself. It's working fine for me. So much better to be in control of the situation vs dealing with incompetence, markups on parts and labor, etc. If a component catastrophically fails I would contact the component manufacturer and see what happens. If it's not covered, so what...I'm way ahead at this point. I use this approach for every vehicle I own...cars, motorcycles, bikes, etc.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    https://intensecycles.com/pages/riderdirectdealerform

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    Like cj said, either you pay for LBS service (and access to certain brands) or you don't (with mail order).
    Right, but according to the link above, the price is the same whether you go direct or have a LBS intervene.

    I think the issue is, going direct Intense is basically telling you that after you spend your money with them, if you have a component issue...they will not help you out, find someone else. At this point though....Intense is the dealer and should bear some responsibility to the customer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Right, but according to the link above, the price is the same whether you go direct or have a LBS intervene.

    I think the issue is, going direct Intense is basically telling you that after you spend your money with them, if you have a component issue...they will not help you out, find someone else. At this point though....Intense is the dealer and should bear some responsibility to the customer.
    That's not how it works for Intense USA. If you read the link the dealer has a service contract for every bike sold in their territory, whether they sold it or not. Part of their arrangement is to handle situations like you described.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intense;
    Dealers in the network receive service contracts in their given territories* for every bike purchased at IntenseCycles.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Intense;
    Dealers will continue to service their loyal customer base, and continue to grow it with the help of IntenseCycles.com on-line purchases. Intense directs online customers to the bike-shops in the network, to help service and set-up their bikes if they need help, free of charge.
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    A problem I've encountered is wanting a bike that only a LBS can get, but the LBS doesn't have the size or type I want. So it's almost like mail ordering through a LBS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    A problem I've encountered is wanting a bike that only a LBS can get, but the LBS doesn't have the size or type I want. So it's almost like mail ordering through a LBS.
    How is that a problem?
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    How is that a problem?
    Because ideally you want to test-ride the bike extensively on varied terrain over several days, to get a real feel for the bike and see if there are any quirks. Unless you can test ride the exact size with at the least the same suspension components, it becomes more of a fantasy than reality. And the chances of a shop having that exact model, size and spec in stock are usually pretty slim for the majority of customers. I know it takes me a good week to usually dial in suspension, fine tune pressures, damping settings, etc., but when you can't even get the same bike/spec/suspension, test-riding is damn near useless. So yeah, it ends up being "mail order" from the shop, hoping it's going to work out.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    A problem I've encountered is wanting a bike that only a LBS can get, but the LBS doesn't have the size or type I want. So it's almost like mail ordering through a LBS.
    Another reason I don't bother with shops...I'm 6'4" and there's never any XL or XXL bikes kicking around any shop (typically NONE).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Because ideally you want to test-ride the bike extensively on varied terrain over several days, to get a real feel for the bike and see if there are any quirks. Unless you can test ride the exact size with at the least the same suspension components, it becomes more of a fantasy than reality. And the chances of a shop having that exact model, size and spec in stock are usually pretty slim for the majority of customers. I know it takes me a good week to usually dial in suspension, fine tune pressures, damping settings, etc., but when you can't even get the same bike/spec/suspension, test-riding is damn near useless. So yeah, it ends up being "mail order" from the shop, hoping it's going to work out.
    You're talking about a demo bike, that's not what he was talking about. He was just saying the bike shop didn't have the exact color/build spec he wanted as though that was the biggest problem. (which has nothing to do with a warranty, which is what this thread is supposed to be about.)

    Demo bikes in the exact size and build kit you want are extremely unlikely to happen for most people. Few shops have them, and most bike manufacturers have but one or two demo vans that cover the entire country.

    Even if a bike shop stocks the bike your interested in your not going to get to "test ride" it for a few days and then return it if you don't like it?! I'm not sure what you're on about?

    Besides, being able to test ride a bike in a parking lot is still better than ordering blindly from an online brand. Being able to see a bike in person, get your hands on it, and sitting on it is way more valuable to me. Even if it's not your size, your making an informed decision when you "order" your bike from a shop. I have no problem with that and see it as a big advantage.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Because ideally you want to test-ride the bike extensively on varied terrain over several days, to get a real feel for the bike and see if there are any quirks. Unless you can test ride the exact size with at the least the same suspension components, it becomes more of a fantasy than reality. And the chances of a shop having that exact model, size and spec in stock are usually pretty slim for the majority of customers. I know it takes me a good week to usually dial in suspension, fine tune pressures, damping settings, etc., but when you can't even get the same bike/spec/suspension, test-riding is damn near useless. So yeah, it ends up being "mail order" from the shop, hoping it's going to work out.
    I’ve never come across a bike shop that lets you take a bike out for a real ride. Some shops have a demo fleet...usually not every size, and lower end. If you want to get a real ride in, you need to go to the “factory”/ headquarters...some companies have a traveling fleet of bikes, roaming the country???

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    Really? Almost every shop around here (CO front range) has an extensive demo fleet. You pay to demo and usually all demo fees get applied toward the purchase of your bike should you choose to buy.

    My local LBS charged a $20 “warranty processing” fee for parts I had warrantied that I bought online. Totally fair in my opinion.
    Last edited by jasonp22; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:04 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    You're talking about a demo bike, that's not what he was talking about. He was just saying the bike shop didn't have the exact color/build spec he wanted as though that was the biggest problem. (which has nothing to do with a warranty, which is what this thread is supposed to be about.)

    Demo bikes in the exact size and build kit you want are extremely unlikely to happen for most people. Few shops have them, and most bike manufacturers have but one or two demo vans that cover the entire country.

    Even if a bike shop stocks the bike your interested in your not going to get to "test ride" it for a few days and then return it if you don't like it?! I'm not sure what you're on about?

    Besides, being able to test ride a bike in a parking lot is still better than ordering blindly from an online brand. Being able to see a bike in person, get your hands on it, and sitting on it is way more valuable to me. Even if it's not your size, your making an informed decision when you "order" your bike from a shop. I have no problem with that and see it as a big advantage.
    I didn't mean to suggest an extensive demo. My issue is that if I'm paying-up for LBS bikes, I want to at least test ride one to see how it rides and fits before I commit. Moreover, my post said nothing about color preferences.

    I'm not here to bash LBSs, just to emphasize some delimmas I've encountered. Yes, I somewhat know what I want, but this industry is ever changing. And if the LBS says it can order it for me, the general rule (at least where I currently live) is that I'm on the hook for the bike. The bike shop would probably let me off the hook, but it would be awkward.

    Hence, I've mail ordered through a bike shop.

  41. #41
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    What a manufacturer should do, is require the consumer to send the parts to the manufacturer, if they are unable to use a dealer (either due to dealer refusal, or inability to deliver to a dealer)
    The company recieves the parts, verifies it is indeed a warranty part, and they send a replacement.

    Component manufacturers should always work with the end consumer in this age of global parts ordering.

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    I wouldn't be too concerned about warranty. If your bike has major brand components they typically last and any failure is due to crashing and not covered. A bicycle is a simple and mature product compared to other products.

    The parts that fail typically are considered wear items at the time they fail. Rear hubs, droppers, suspension etc.

    My fatbike is from Bikesdirect and was about $1K cheaper than comparable LBS bike. First, LBS brands are not really great at warranty either. Second, for the $1K I saved I can replace many parts and upgrade at that time.

    If possible avoid manufacturers that don't allow direct warranty.
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  43. #43
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    Use Shimano not SRAM and almost all warranty issues are resolved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    Use Shimano not SRAM and almost all warranty issues are resolved.
    Let me tell you about shimano brakes...wandering bite point, seals give out after a couple seasons, (within XTR warranty period), pistons weep fluid when sitting for any significant time, etc...IME, brakes from both companies are one of the #1 warranty issues. Race Face Next cranks. Hubs, yes, shimano hub mechanisms, I spit a shimano cassette a few years ago, it was about a year old, but that's about all the old style last for me, still I probably could have pushed the warranty. The failure was unlike anything I've seen and shouldn't have happened.

    My point is that issues and defects will happen. I can think of a bunch more shimano ones over the years, but that's not the point. The point is stuff happens, stuff outside of the rider's control where they weren't abusing it, but using it within the design parameters. My SRAM carbon cranks that broke last summer when I hit a root at high speed, THAT wasn't a warranty or flaw, that was me beating on them for around 5 years including lots of DH and enduro races and impacts, unlike both of the RF Next cranksets I had where the pedal insert became unbonded within a year. Again, stuff happens.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Let me tell you about shimano brakes...wandering bite point, seals give out after a couple seasons, (within XTR warranty period), pistons weep fluid when sitting for any significant time, etc...IME, brakes from both companies are one of the #1 warranty issues. Race Face Next cranks. Hubs, yes, shimano hub mechanisms, I spit a shimano cassette a few years ago, it was about a year old, but that's about all the old style last for me, still I probably could have pushed the warranty. The failure was unlike anything I've seen and shouldn't have happened.

    My point is that issues and defects will happen. I can think of a bunch more shimano ones over the years, but that's not the point. The point is stuff happens, stuff outside of the rider's control where they weren't abusing it, but using it within the design parameters. My SRAM carbon cranks that broke last summer when I hit a root at high speed, THAT wasn't a warranty or flaw, that was me beating on them for around 5 years including lots of DH and enduro races and impacts, unlike both of the RF Next cranksets I had where the pedal insert became unbonded within a year. Again, stuff happens.
    Guess you missed the point, don't need a LBS for Shimano warranty.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    You have a more reasonable mentality than most. I agree, but most people would not happily pay a $50 "warranty processing" fee for a $30 part, not to mention labor charges too. If it were a bigger warranty claim like a broken frame the $50 fee seems like a drop in the bucket, quite reasonable. There's also Shipping charges both ways.

    Also lots of broken parts need to be inspected by the manufacturer to determine if an issue is a "warranty." Would you pay $50, plus shipping, only to find out your parts aren't covered and your SOL, then leave the shop with a smile and return next time? (Oh BTW you had to completely disassemble your bike to send in the rear triangle and you have nothing to ride for 2 weeks. Just an example)



    Could you write Sram a letter and have this corrected?



    I'm not sure if it's incompetence, laziness, or what. Any shop can call Sram directly, get a human on the phone, tell them the issue, and get replacement parts sent out free of charge (for known issues.) Sram sends a few extra parts (chains, cassettes) as compensation for labor. It's minimal but it's something, realistically doesn't probably cover the shops time.



    Again, how do you go about getting this changed?



    You're all over the map dude. It's the bike shops fault, it's Srams fault, the bike shop should build this into their model, etc.

    No bike shop can predict how many people will buy parts online that will have warranty issues, then go to said bike shop and attempt a warranty claim. It's a prickly subject at best and charging a warranty claim fee almost never goes over well.



    As you noted, sending parts as compensation for labor is a form of payment. Never cash though.

    In my experience the labor for swapping parts often falls on the consumer.
    Of course I am "all over the place" but read the Shimano warranty documents, it's all over the place. See bike mfg. See retailer, if all else fails contact Shimano.

    I know how I'd prefer it to be done but reading posts from knowledgeable MTBR members like Harold and others who have worked in shops and have completely opposite experience, tells me it's a hodge-podge with multiple approaches.

    The more interesting problem in the OP, at least to me, is fewer frame only options. You are right, at end if day for a single component I can contact SRAM it others or bitch on MTVR to get their attention. No frame only is a real higher cost and limiting factor for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    I didn't mean to suggest an extensive demo. My issue is that if I'm paying-up for LBS bikes,
    Why is it considered "paying-up"? That's the price of the bike, set by the manufacturer. If you can't afford the bike you want, look at a less expensive bike or keep saving. I don't understand this mentality.

    A few years ago there were no online or direct to consumer sales. Did you still consider it "paying-up" when going to a bike shop for a bike was the only option? People make it sound like it's some kind of conspiracy.

    I want to at least test ride one to see how it rides and fits before I commit.
    Then you'll need to find a demo somewhere. You can't order a bike for a test ride. Do online brands allow you to order a bike, build it yourself, test ride it, then send it back for a full refund if you don't like it?
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Why is it considered "paying-up"? That's the price of the bike, set by the manufacturer. If you can't afford the bike you want, look at a less expensive bike or keep saving. I don't understand this mentality.

    A few years ago there were no online or direct to consumer sales. Did you still consider it "paying-up" when going to a bike shop for a bike was the only option? People make it sound like it's some kind of conspiracy.



    Then you'll need to find a demo somewhere. You can't order a bike for a test ride. Do online brands allow you to order a bike, build it yourself, test ride it, then send it back for a full refund if you don't like it?
    Point 3, absolutely YES, 30 days money back if you do not like the bike. Buy everything online now and just got a bike from the UK for about 70% less then a LBS bike. In fact it rides better then of the big brands I have owned. Quite the wake up moment since I was a wrench for 25 years.

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    Ok, fair enough, but is that the norm or is there one company offering that?

    To me it doesn't sound like it's meant to be used as a demo program. They're trying to assure customer satisfaction and if for some reason there is a problem with the bike they will accept a return.

    It's not like they are saying they will ship you 3 different bikes to try and then you can decide if you want to keep one. That's what demo's are for.
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