Does the name Novatec give you nightmares, too?

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Does the name Novatec give you nightmares, too?
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Posted: Jan 25, 2018 at 18:23 Quote
The short and sweet version: A little more than two months ago, my five months old rear-wheel got blown into pieces at the hub. After taking it apart with my mechanic buddy, we took it into the shop where he works and went through Novatec's RMA process to retrieve some new hub bearings under warranty. At this point, life was good. Novatec got back to us with a "3-5" business day ETA for the parts to arrive at the shop. Stellar. Two weeks into the process, still no parts. My mechanic buddy and I began making phone calls and trying to send emails. Complete silence on the comms. Not once did we hear back from Novatec; even through a second RMA request I filled out via their website. Fast forward four weeks, I make a post on my local PNW bicycle classifieds facebook page looking for a temporary hub while we wait for parts from Novatec. This kind stranger reaches out with a personal contact over at Novatec who would surely help me out. An email is sent, and I received a response almost immediately from one Jake S. at Novatec stating that he would "promptly make the situation right by sending bearings". We go over my RMA request, I am told the parts will be shipped immediately. Two weeks go by, which brings us to this afternoon, and I fire off a follow-up email to this mysterious "Jake S." at Novatec and basically tell him never-mind, I ordered a new hub and Novatec's customer service abilities are shit. Now he emails me back saying they don't have the part, he was in Asia, and snagged a couple bearings from the "factory" to send to me and a couple other customers waiting on RMA stuff (it's safe to assume the line of customers waiting on broken warranty gear is probably pretty long). I was surprised when he asked me if I still wanted them.

Just wanted to share this altercation with other people and see if there's any support groups for disgruntled Novatec customers. Bottom line: I know Novatec has a massive manufacturing monopoly on bicycle hubs; I will do my best to ensure no one I love ever owns anything they have ever touched.

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 at 4:38 Quote
Novatec was shit back when I started cycling ~25yrs ago, glad to see nothing has changed. IMO Shimano makes the best bang for buck hubs. Sucks you experienced it first hand, if you still get those bearings I'll take em off your hands! I have a Novatec POS rear hub that can't stay together longer than a few weeks...

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 at 5:35 Quote
I wonder sometimes how some companies stay in business. I've only built a couple of wheels w/ Novatecs and never owned them myself, but pretty much every time I've heard the name "Novatec" it's been followed by a sad story. Even the guy I built the Novatec wheels for didn't like the hubs and had me build 'em up just because he had them already.

How do you survive in business when most people seem to hate your product? Do they just give those hubs to anyone who'll take 'em?

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 at 11:36 Quote
RunsWithScissors wrote:
I wonder sometimes how some companies stay in business. I've only built a couple of wheels w/ Novatecs and never owned them myself, but pretty much every time I've heard the name "Novatec" it's been followed by a sad story. Even the guy I built the Novatec wheels for didn't like the hubs and had me build 'em up just because he had them already.

How do you survive in business when most people seem to hate your product? Do they just give those hubs to anyone who'll take 'em?

Pretty much - I'm pretty sure they make hubs for all the Walmart bikes too. Or is that Joytech? Or are they both the same? Someone has to make them right? Haha

I had a set of the "fancy" Novatec hubs from the Diablo 275 wheels, bearings blew after a season, didn't bother re-newing them but gave it to a friend for free-99 and let him deal with it. I just decided to stick with hubs where I can easily get parts (DT Swiss, i9's), but the rims were OK.

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 at 14:20 Quote
m1dg3t wrote:
if you still get those bearings I'll take em off your hands! I have a Novatec POS rear hub that can't stay together longer than a few weeks...

I actually told "Jake S." I was no longer interested in receiving anything from Novatec or Bike Fetish. Personally, I doubt he actually had any bearings in hand to give anyway after the fiasco that was dealing with all this. I thanked him for adding a fourth layer of failure to Novatec, and put it out of my mind. That said, I am pleasantly surprised to see others have similar experience with this company chain. Their products are garbage and so is their customer support. Bummed out it came to all this, but I ended up with DTSWISS 350s for a steal.

I guess my major gripe isn't how my individual situation went, it's that this is how they treat (probably) most people who have warranty claims of various sorts. I mean, if you aren't going to honor your own product warranties....what's the point? Basically, Novatec appears to be the Walmart of bicycle hub manufacturers. How they are able to maintain that business model in such an expensive/competitive industry is beyond me. I guess it's on us for not demanding better products/service....

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 at 16:21 Quote
RunsWithScissors wrote:
I wonder sometimes how some companies stay in business. I've only built a couple of wheels w/ Novatecs and never owned them myself, but pretty much every time I've heard the name "Novatec" it's been followed by a sad story. Even the guy I built the Novatec wheels for didn't like the hubs and had me build 'em up just because he had them already.

How do you survive in business when most people seem to hate your product? Do they just give those hubs to anyone who'll take 'em?

They are spec'd on a lot of bike manufactures bikes, mine included. I'll be trashing my novatec hubs, as soon as I can afford to have some new wheels made up. Evil Really Mad

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 at 12:45 Quote
I'm always fascinated when I read this because up until last year when I happened into a pair of DT Swiss 240s hubs, I used nothing but Shimano and Novatec (or rebranded Novatec) and never had a significant issue of any kind. The only time I ever had to use their customer service was when they shipped me a D881sb with an XD driver instead of the Shimano driver I ordered. I contacted them on Saturday afternoon, and had a replacement on monday around 1pm. From China. It's almost scary how fast they responded.

You've all used alot more Novatec hubs than you realize. They do make worthless hubs, but they also make great hubs. The 770 and 880 series are rebranded by a host of big reputable brands for OEM and aftermarket sales. Many of the "good" hubs i've seen people post up about buying to replace "crap" Novatecs are also Novatec hubs. I get a chuckle out of those stories.

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 at 8:14 Quote
How does one fine out what bike brands do Novatec produce hubs for I wonder.

Out of interest mainly!
From slimey sloppy muddy UK

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 at 8:43 Quote
titaniumtit wrote:
How does one fine out what bike brands do Novatec produce hubs for I wonder.

Out of interest mainly!
From slimey sloppy muddy UK

Send them to me and i'll be able to tell you!

Transition Revolution hubs are Novatec D770 series. Spank Spike are D880's. Superstar hubs are all rebranded Novatecs. Nukeproof and Octane one also. Basically, there's Chris King, DT swiss, Industry Nine, Hope, Onyx, Hadley, and probably two or three other brands that i'm forgetting that actually produce their own hubs. Anything outside of that is a Novatec, Bitex, or Shimano.

The Novatecs you can get on ebay for $80 a set, those are shit. No question. But the D770 and D880 series are excellent hubs and well priced. The newer D540 series is awesome too...especially if you are an "engagement nerd" and like over-engineered freehubs. The D542 has 108-point engagement and five bearings - one is actually "cantilevered" over the freehub. This is a great heavy enduro/downhill hub actually. It's not cheap though.

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 at 8:46 Quote
I just wondered if my Ibis hubs are Novatecs just out of interest not cause I've found them shite or anything...

Just trying to take an uneducated guess see.

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 at 12:54 Quote
titaniumtit wrote:
I just wondered if my Ibis hubs are Novatecs just out of interest not cause I've found them shite or anything...

Just trying to take an uneducated guess see.

Doesn't look like it. I am not very familiar with Ibis hubs so I did an image search and based on the ones I found, they don't appear to use Novatec hubs. The ones I found look like Bitex, but then i'm no Bitex expert either.

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 at 3:17 Quote
Ahhhh coolio ! Cheers for looking.
I like that the ibis hubs are quiet unlike my ss hope lol

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 at 13:08 Quote
TheRaven wrote:
titaniumtit wrote:
How does one fine out what bike brands do Novatec produce hubs for I wonder.

Out of interest mainly!
From slimey sloppy muddy UK

Send them to me and i'll be able to tell you!

Transition Revolution hubs are Novatec D770 series. Spank Spike are D880's. Superstar hubs are all rebranded Novatecs. Nukeproof and Octane one also. Basically, there's Chris King, DT swiss, Industry Nine, Hope, Onyx, Hadley, and probably two or three other brands that i'm forgetting that actually produce their own hubs. Anything outside of that is a Novatec, Bitex, or Shimano.

The Novatecs you can get on ebay for $80 a set, those are shit. No question. But the D770 and D880 series are excellent hubs and well priced. The newer D540 series is awesome too...especially if you are an "engagement nerd" and like over-engineered freehubs. The D542 has 108-point engagement and five bearings - one is actually "cantilevered" over the freehub. This is a great heavy enduro/downhill hub actually. It's not cheap though.

Just checked my Novatec hubs, I have the D 882's, so I guess I'm safe..? Big Grin

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