Are all bikes as unreliable as the German direct sales brands?

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Are all bikes as unreliable as the German direct sales brands?
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Posted: Aug 4, 2020 at 2:16 Quote
In the last 6 years I have had 3 different bikes from YT and Canyon. In that space of time I have had constant issues. My YT Wicked could not keep a chain on it no matter what i tried and this was a very common issue for owners. It also developed play around the swingarm which was not bearing related. It had problems with the e thirteen crankset which came with it. After I sold the bike I bought a Capra 2015, and after a very short period of time it also developed play in frame around the swingarm which was not solved by bearing replacement. I sent the bike back and they ended up giving me a new frame so obviously another manufacturing issue. I then suffered a frame failure after about 18 months. They claimed it was caused by an impact which is possible but i dont remember anything that stood out by then it was out of warranty so I couldnt do anything more and just accepted a frame through the crash replacement program. Again, I also had problems with the e-Thirteen components including freehub failure.

I then moved on the Canyon and bought a Spectral. Within 3 months the chainstay developed a crack. This was a widespread issue and they issued a recall to customers. I sent it back and they assured me it was a problem with the welding process and would not reoccur. 6 months later i had a repeat of the exact same issue. I sent it back and they upgraded me to a CFR frame which has the carbon rear end. Surely this was the end of my issues? Nope, after a year of riding the CFR frame about once a week all of the bearings in the chainstay started coming loose. Its like the frame was expanding. The bike now has massive amounts of play in the rear end. Its going back for a 3rd time in 18 months this week.

My question is, am i just very unlucky or are all brands as bad as this? Its a lot of money to spend on equipment that is not fit for purpose. I know lots of people hack bikes, cars, machinery but I genuinely understand the concept of mechanical sympathy so I know its not caused by things I am doing. Its extremely frustrating and i am now looking to buy a new bike but i dont want to buy something that will have the same issues again. Any brands out there which are renowned for reliability?

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 at 2:55 Quote
It is well known a lot of brands are - to all intents and purposes - design houses where manufacturing is subcontracted to factories far away. Properly engineered bikes, with proper engineering tolerances are few and far between, mainly due to the fact the bike designer's QA is removed from the manufacturing process. Good design/engineering should have a feedback loop from the manufacturing stage, sadly, this loop is missing from many brands.

I would try to buy from brands that have total ownership over their manufacturing and QA processes, and with good reputation with regards to their engineering. The greatest example I can think of is Giant.

This may come at a substantial cost increase, but you get what you pay for I guess. Best of luck!

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 at 3:18 Quote
I had a YT Jeffsy AL (2018MY) and the frame quility was quite low.
A rear hub spacing was around 152-153 mm instead of 148, but YT said it's ok up to 10mm tolerance.
Headset seats treatment is just a joke...
Pivots were developing creaking every 2-4 weeks of riding but cleaning and regreasing helped them to stay silent for another 2-4 weeks.

Overall, it was working and I had a lot of fun on that bike.

Now I have an aluminium Santa Cruz Nomad and its build quility is much higher )
But the frame alone costs like the whole Jeffsy.

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 at 4:45 Quote
I fear it is a result of the desire to drive the price down. Otherwise I might as well go to my LBS where I can get more help and support for technical issues and warranty help.

I have a YT Jeffsy AL (Gen 1, 2017MY) and it is on it's third front triangle. Had two frames crack where the shock mount is welded to the top side of the downtube. Exact same crack in the exact same spot. In addition, working on press fit bottom brackets and replacing frame bearings is awful. This, I've assumed, is due to poor manufacturing tolerances of the Jeffsy along with pressing in bearings without any grease or anti seize to prevent the aluminum frame and steel bearing race from bonding.

Next bike will probably be a Commencal if I can find someone with an XL to test ride. Obviously the price point is worth it to me despite the known issues...

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 at 6:41 Quote
After more than 10 years riding Nicolai frames I took the plunge in 2018 and bought a much cheaper frame from Bird and I have to say I am now a proper fanboi of the brand. Their bikes are highly configurable, frame geometry is up to date without being too extreme, they are fun to ride, reliable, fairly inexpensive, and don't include any unnecessary design touches. I also like the fact that Bird listens to their customers and will implement changes if necessary (such as the revised linkage on the AM9 which is now standard), and a shorter travel 29er, which were all rolled out fairly quickly. It's no surprise that a few people I ride with are also on Birds now, and a local bike shop who stocks the brand can't seem to assemble them quickly enough for his customers.

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 at 16:46 Quote
I have a direct-buy bike from Andorra (Commencal,) and have had very few issues with it. Just wearing some components out over the nearly three years I've owned it. Very happy.

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 at 15:08 Quote
Falcon991 wrote:
I have a direct-buy bike from Andorra (Commencal,) and have had very few issues with it. Just wearing some components out over the nearly three years I've owned it. Very happy.

I had a Commencal before and it was extremely flexy at the rear and it liked to blow rear axles.

I have narrowed my search down to a Whyte G-170C RS 29er V2 or a Specialized Enduro Comp. I love the design of the Specialized and the SWAT system but you don't get a lot of Spec for the money. That said they seem to be manufactured to a very high standard and have good customer support available here. That said the bike will still have to be sent off for inspection if anything goes wrong so it's not like it's instant service.

Whyte are a bit unknown to me aside from friends who were happy with them. They have no dealers in this country so I will be dependent on the dealer in Scotland where I will be getting the bike sent from. They offer a lifetime bearing warranty which is an indicator that they are willing to offer after sales service.

Both bikes are supposedly outstanding in terms of performance. The Whyte would be a much higher spec for about €900 less than the Enduro. Any opinions?

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 at 15:30 Quote
I’m not sure if there’s a brand out there that’s more reliable than nicolai

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 at 16:59 Quote
I have a whyte G-160 works and a whyte 905. I’ve had both from new without a single issue. 16 and 17 models respectively. I’d happily get a G-170 if I was replacing the 160. My son rides a whyte 203, again no issues whatsoever. Currently looking for a 170 or good condition 160 for my wife. I’d comfortably recommend a whyte. P

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 at 2:23 Quote
I had an entry level Whyte 605 hardtail a few years ago. Sold it on to a friend and besides the usual wear and tear items being replaced it is still going strong nearly 4 years on.

The only weak point I encountered was the cheap hubs of which the rear didn't last long, same as most entry level bikes.

Not a worry as the higher spec models use different and better versions. Also the lifetime bearing warranty was of no use to me because this doesn't include labour costs, only the price of the bearings so was cheaper and easier to replace myself rather than take it to the shop where I bought it and pay them to do it.

Whyte seem to have a good reputation here in the U.K. and will say it's worthwhile considering one.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 at 3:22 Quote
onlyDH wrote:
I’m not sure if there’s a brand out there that’s more reliable than nicolai

santa cruz is quite good also

FL
Posted: Aug 6, 2020 at 5:15 Quote
I'm just loving my Cotic being honest- the quality just shines through and the ride is really compliant - the rocket max may be up your street

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 at 5:43 Quote
sewer-rat wrote:
I'm just loving my Cotic being honest- the quality just shines through and the ride is really compliant - the rocket max may be up your street

Would love a Cotic. Also some of their full-sus frames are made by Five Land Bikes in the UK, so the QA should be solid. One day I will own one Big Grin

FL
Posted: Aug 6, 2020 at 7:01 Quote
iainmac-1 wrote:
sewer-rat wrote:
I'm just loving my Cotic being honest- the quality just shines through and the ride is really compliant - the rocket max may be up your street

Would love a Cotic. Also some of their full-sus frames are made by Five Land Bikes in the UK, so the QA should be solid. One day I will own one Big Grin

Yeah the RocketMax and Rockets are the Flaremax is still Taiwan but the build quality is beautiful, really impressed with my one although it can be a bit draggy on the climbs

Pics by Dorset s gun barracks during WW2

Posted: Aug 8, 2020 at 5:32 Quote
Sounds like you are a super aggressive rider who puts insane forces through your rear end.. or you are just unlucky.

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