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  1. #1
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    Falling quality control for bike products?

    I recently purchased a bike, and lots of bike parts and it seems like in the past 2 years, a much higher percent of the bike parts and bikes I ordered are either outright defective or just sloppy. Are there declining standards by bike manufacturers or am I just unlucky? Examples (there are more, just a few)
    1. Race face crankset on new bike cross threaded
    2. Same crankset is way over tightened (took over 100 ft lbs of torque to break it free)
    3. Bike comes missing a water bottle bolt (I know itís minor and I just threw one on, but still, either none or two)
    4. Kore handlebar has graphics printed off center in middle
    5. Schwalbe tire was obviously folded in mold and is unrideable (wonít hold air and has a hop when ridden)
    6. Second schwalbe tire has defect in sidewall resulting in slight bulge
    7. Pro components dropper post comes with no instructions either online or in box.
    8. Jagwire housing arrived with mangled cut that caught cables and stripped them.
    9. 3 Duro tubes leaked at different spots (valve, seam, pinhole in obvious manufacturing defect) when new.

    It seems like in the past (like more than 5 years ago) parts just worked and I rarely had so many parts that suffered from poor quality control. So far, except for pro components and race face (process is ongoing since part came on new bike and warranty issues take time) either the seller or the manufacturer stood behind every product and replaced or refunded my money.

  2. #2
    Sneaker man
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    Dunno, I've bought more parts in the last 5 years than ever before in the last 25, and so far zero issues.



    -- but also you name the cranks that were cross threaded and too tight, but not the bike brand, it was the bike manufacturer who messed up the cranks, not race face, they didn't install themselves incorrectly...so name them up...
    All the gear and no idea.

  3. #3
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    I do my best to avoid anything made in China, and also support companies with a track record of positive customer service.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  4. #4
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    Cranks were on a Santa Cruz, waiting on warranty.

  5. #5
    Sneaker man
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    I just think the gods of failure have singled you out as their pet project "we will screw all his parts and see how crazy he goes"...
    All the gear and no idea.

  6. #6
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    Itís working. Every time order a part I imagine what will be wrong with it when I get it this time.

  7. #7
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    Bought a new road bike earlier this year. I planned on putting a new crank in it that I already had which required changing out the bottom bracket. The original BB was so damn tight I can't believe the carbon frame didn't split. It was supposed to be tightened only until an o-ring touched the frame.

    My fairly new Fox DPX2 is on it's was for warranty service with air in the damping chamber.

  8. #8
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3 View Post
    I recently purchased a bike, and lots of bike parts and it seems like in the past 2 years, a much higher percent of the bike parts and bikes I ordered are either outright defective or just sloppy. Are there declining standards by bike manufacturers or am I just unlucky? Examples (there are more, just a few)
    1. Race face crankset on new bike cross threaded
    2. Same crankset is way over tightened (took over 100 ft lbs of torque to break it free)
    3. Bike comes missing a water bottle bolt (I know itís minor and I just threw one on, but still, either none or two)
    Sounds like quality control for the bike company/assembler. Cross threading happens when you try to put the wrong side on. Interesting aside, a long long time ago I did this with a reamer and was still able to thread the BB in (backwards) and with some loctite it held fine for years. Luckily I cracked that frame (unrelated) so it was kind of "redeemed" with the warranty. But anyway, that's definitely quality control with the bike company and it sounds pretty poor. What brand and model is it?
    4. Kore handlebar has graphics printed off center in middle
    I don't think most people care about this.
    5. Schwalbe tire was obviously folded in mold and is unrideable (wonít hold air and has a hop when ridden)
    6. Second schwalbe tire has defect in sidewall resulting in slight bulge
    Although they make some decent tires for XC racing, I find them to be pretty poor tires generally. I'll use them for XC racing, but other than that I stay away. There are plenty of reports of varying QC with schwalbe and similar stories. I've had a few issues on other schwalbe tires with them so I can definitely relate. I rate them slightly above Kenda, but not in the same realm as Maxxis and others.
    7. Pro components dropper post comes with no instructions either online or in box.
    This is as a complete bike? That's definitely poor, but I've never heard of this dropper either and the more obscure the part, the less I expect.
    8. Jagwire housing arrived with mangled cut that caught cables and stripped them.
    I use jagwire stuff off and on and have never seen anything like that.
    9. 3 Duro tubes leaked at different spots (valve, seam, pinhole in obvious manufacturing defect) when new.
    Tubes do have batches with defects. I usually just buy tubes at walmart or something when I need them, same quality as what you get in a bike shop in my experience. No need to overthink it.

    It seems like in the past (like more than 5 years ago) parts just worked and I rarely had so many parts that suffered from poor quality control. So far, except for pro components and race face (process is ongoing since part came on new bike and warranty issues take time) either the seller or the manufacturer stood behind every product and replaced or refunded my money.
    I don't agree, IME, cassettes last far longer now on 1x systems, derailleurs last way longer being tucked out of the way and much stiffer, brakes and BBs are "meh", they don't seem to be any better these days than 10+ years ago as far as failures and longevity, but most FS bike pivot systems continue to get better and in general I don't see a big difference in components. It does take some education to know what is out there and what could be problematic, but there is some nice stuff out there too. My bikeyoke seatposts are pretty amazing, having lasted longer than any other I've ever ran. Dropper posts are about where the front-fork industry was 10 or more years ago, the first few attempts were functional, at least for a while, but would self destruct in a season, that component still has kinks being worked out IMO, but again, I don't see any hard and fast rule that more recent stuff is any worse. Looking back there were plenty of problematic parts throughout the years.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
    Sneaker man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post

    This is as a complete bike? That's definitely poor, but I've never heard of this dropper either and the more obscure the part, the less I expect.
    It's Shimano's dropper post.
    All the gear and no idea.

  10. #10
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    The graphics on the bar were annoying because I generally use them to center the bar, had to resort to a ruler (poor me)

    I think missing from my rant is the conclusion that bikes are way better than they were even 10 years ago, let alone 20. Chains rarely break, like you said cassettes last longer, lock-on grips are great, saddles no longer feel like hatchets, tires are lighter and stronger, and brakes are out of this world when compared to cantiís. I just feel cursed lately.

  11. #11
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    The Shimano manual online is for the fixed seat post. Itís all pretty straightforward, but still, some torque specs or instructions on how to best shorten the cable would be nice. I have seen the video for the 170mm dropper, the 120mm version has different lever and cable. Also, no directions on how to use the dropper if you donít have any ispec ii Shimano brakes installed, but I figured it out.

  12. #12
    Magically Delicious
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    I do my best to avoid anything made in China, and also support companies with a track record of positive customer service.
    I'm just curious of who you feel meets these standards?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  13. #13
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3 View Post
    The Shimano manual online is for the fixed seat post. Itís all pretty straightforward, but still, some torque specs or instructions on how to best shorten the cable would be nice. I have seen the video for the 170mm dropper, the 120mm version has different lever and cable. Also, no directions on how to use the dropper if you donít have any ispec ii Shimano brakes installed, but I figured it out.
    Yep, less stuff is coming with manuals these days, as it's easier to get it online.

    But still, that's an obscure post, not many people are using it, doesn't come on many bikes. Shimano's support seems iffy and that seems to match how few of these are actually out there in action. I don't ever meet anyone on a ride with one.

    Hopefully Shimano did their homework and it's reliable over the long haul. Dropper posts seem to have exploded with a lot of companies offering "me too!" dropper posts that are dubious quality and engineering.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    I had a defective rockshok reverb 1st generation. I had to upgrade to 2nd generation which rockshok fixes the issue

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  15. #15
    One ring to mash them all
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    I just think the gods of failure have singled you out as their pet project "we will screw all his parts and see how crazy he goes"...
    It looks like a lab practical exam specimen for bike mechanic's school, that escaped from the lab.
    ITMFA

  16. #16
    since 4/10/2009
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    I wanna know how you know how much torque it took to remove the crank, since you're not supposed to loosen fasteners with a torque wrench.

    Also, manuals available here:
    https://www.pro-bikegear.com/global/...O_SP_KORYAKASP

    Cross threading is not acceptable. Are you talking pedal threads, or the crank fixing bolt? If pedal threads, that's 100% on the shop that assembled the bike.

    graphics get printed a little bit "off" on stuff all the time. Sometimes it's caught, sometimes not. Markings on a handlebar should be assumed that they're NOT centered. Some will be close enough, whereas others won't be. If you expect them all to be 100% on target, then you should also expect to pay significantly more for the product.

    I also don't like Schwalbe tires. I've seen too many people have problems with them.

    Mangled cable ends are something that the person doing assembly should catch. Are you talking about packaged housing that you bought aftermarket? Or was this housing that was installed on the bike? If it was installed on the bike from the factory, then the person who did the pre-assembly was lazy. MAYBE something like that would be caught by the shop doing the final build, but maybe not, depending on how much resistance the buggered housing end was adding to shifting. However, knowing that Santa Cruz bikes come pretty much 100% disassembled (though cable lengths might be pre-cut), I'd be prone to put this one on the shop, too. Little details like noting the cut housing ends and touching them up when necessary is part of the build process. I know that it's something I took care of when assembling bikes at a shop. A bench grinder makes quick work of finishing out housing ends.

    Leaky tubes are always a risk. The cheaper they are, it seems the more frequently it happens. But none are totally immune. Again when working in a shop (and changing a million flats), I had to toss more than a few tubes that came straight out of the box leaky.

    My experience has honestly been quite the opposite. For me, recently purchased bikes and parts (as compared to 10 and 20yrs ago) have been MUCH better quality, with lower rates of poor QC type problems. And once installed, durability has been great.

    Shop service has been a mixed bag for me. I've certainly encountered plenty of skilled mechs that I'd trust with my bike, but I've also encountered lazy ones. Especially when it comes to little details. That seems to be somewhat associated with the atmosphere that the shop management promotes. When management promotes professionalism among the employees, there tends to be better attention-to-detail on the little things.

  17. #17
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    Dont buy a bike made on a Friday or a Monday with parts made on a Saturday evening?
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  18. #18
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    Schwalbe does a good job of marketing themselves as a premium tire, but good god they are not even close. Their 'performance' stuff has zero zilch durability and their 'durable' stuff performs poorly.

    I have had a few issues with new Shimano stuff, but just send it in and get new. Since their price to performance is second to none, I am still a fan.

  19. #19
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    The crossed threads were actually on the cinch lockring to the crankarm (single chainring). Since the chainring and crank are both same manufacturer, not sure if it is installed at bike company, bike shop, or from factory.

    The overtightened bolt was attaching crankarm to other crank arm via axle (used to be to bottom bracket, but that's changed)

    This is not my first bad experience with Schwalbe tires (or my second, or my third) and I think I may be done with them moving forward.

    The housing end was on a housing purchased separately from bike in individual package, I kept running cable through it and it kept fraying. I finally took off the end cap and saw the problem. It was damaged from manufacturer, I just cut off the last inch, opened up the hole with old spoke, reinstalled end cap and it worked (and continues) perfectly. Just thought it would have left the factory in better condition.

  20. #20
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3 View Post
    The crossed threads were actually on the cinch lockring to the crankarm (single chainring). Since the chainring and crank are both same manufacturer, not sure if it is installed at bike company, bike shop, or from factory.
    yeah, legit issue. I'm also not sure at which point the chainring would be installed onto the crank.

    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3 View Post
    The overtightened bolt was attaching crankarm to other crank arm via axle (used to be to bottom bracket, but that's changed)
    Again, I question how you know it was tightened to 100ft lbs? You're not supposed to use a torque wrench to remove anything. Further, the torque spec on that part (I run Turbine CINCH cranks) is 50Nm, which absolutely is tight AF on a part that rotates on you. It's hard to get off. I gotta pull out a long breaker bar for that job, and it's still a pain keeping the crank from rotating.

    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3 View Post
    The housing end was on a housing purchased separately from bike in individual package, I kept running cable through it and it kept fraying. I finally took off the end cap and saw the problem. It was damaged from manufacturer, I just cut off the last inch, opened up the hole with old spoke, reinstalled end cap and it worked (and continues) perfectly. Just thought it would have left the factory in better condition.
    Why were you running cable through housing without checking it and cleaning up the ends first? First thing you do after measuring and cutting fresh housing for your bike. Before you install the ferrules. ALL THE TIME. This isn't a manufacturing problem...this is an oversight on your part.

  21. #21
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    I used my beam torque wrench just to see how tight it was. I have a proper break bar and used it. (I put a length of pvc over crank arm to increase leverage to keep crank from turning). But you are correct, I have no idea how tight it was, just way tighter than expected.

    I cut and cleaned up one end and (as you pointed out) wrongly assumed the end that came with the ferrule attached was properly cut. Both ends of the housing had a fertile attached, obviously you are meant to remove them to resize, I was lazy. I usually just used my bulk roll of Shimano housing from many moons ago, but ran out. I ran the same cable through twice, first time it got caught I thought it was just a faulty cable. I wound it back up, snipped off the end and ran it again, same problem. Removed ferrule and saw faulty cut.

  22. #22
    No known cure
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I'm just curious of who you feel meets these standards?
    I buy made in the US frames and ride/drink beer with the builders. I've used Magura products exclusively for over 25 years. Chris King, Thomson, WTB saddles and tires. Mavic rims. Marzocchi was good to me also. Shimano.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  23. #23
    cmg
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    These days l believe product testing is done by the customer, produce it, ship it, when it breaks, replace it, lm sure its cheaper this way
    always mad and usually drunk......

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    I buy made in the US frames and ride/drink beer with the builders. I've used Magura products exclusively for over 25 years. Chris King, Thomson, WTB saddles and tires. Mavic rims. Marzocchi was good to me also. Shimano.
    Add Devinci (Canada), Hope (England) and Hadley (USA) to that list. I'm with you. Ttyl, Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    Add Devinci (Canada), Hope (England) and Hadley (USA) to that list. I'm with you. Ttyl, Fahn

    I've always liked Devinci but never owned one. I've had six Rocky Mountains without issue. My daily rider has a wheelset with Hope hubs that are ten years old this year.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    yeah


    Again, I question how you know it was tightened to 100ft lbs? You're not supposed to use a torque wrench to remove anything. Further, the torque spec on that part (I run Turbine CINCH cranks) is 50Nm, which absolutely is tight AF on a part that rotates on you. It's hard to get off. I gotta pull out a long breaker bar for that job, and it's still a pain keeping the crank from rotating.


    I have a 1/2" drive that breaks both ways for which 100ft lbs isn't close to its upper limit. I'd feel pretty confident and safe using it in this situation.

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