The Pinkbike Podcast: What Should Bike Warranties Look Like?

Apr 13, 2023
by Brian Park  
photo
Art by Taj Mihelich


Does a generous warranty just drive the cost of your bike up? What does "limited lifetime" actually mean? Levy's back at curling camp so Henry and I discuss some of the factors behind the warranties that different brands provide.

Let us know in the comments—what kind of GOOD warranty experiences have you had? What kind of BAD ones? Do the words on the warranty card affect your purchase decisions?



Have you needed to warranty a bike FRAME in the past 5 years?


Does manufacturer's warranty play into your purchase decisions?




Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, Megaphone, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.


Author Info:
brianpark avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2010
214 articles

124 Comments
  • 74 0
 The one owner bit is irritating. Should be by amount of time IMO
  • 50 0
 Agreed. I'd like to see more brands do warranty by product rather than by owner.
  • 3 6
 This. Outside of that though, not sure why anybody even looks to see if there is a warranty. 99% of people don't use them. And a good bit of people are buying used bikes nowadays anyways, where the warranties don't even apply...
  • 6 3
 As a consumer I like this idea. But the reality is that the warranty is a manufacturer cost item that is factored into the retail shop price.
  • 1 0
 Is there any industry other than automotive that regularly honors warranties to second owners? I can think of a few brands that do it, but they're generally an exception.
  • 3 0
 @toast2266: the only one I know of is various construction trades. For example I had to put a whole new roof on my house, it was very clear that the warranty extend to the life of the roof, not just me. I know people compare bikes to the auto industry, but I'm not sure if that's a fair comparison either. Auto makers are selling a product with a 20+ year life expectancy, where the life of a bike is maybe 5 years of "normal" use.

Warranties aside though, the price of bikes these days make it almost worth while getting a fab shop set up that produces swing arms for popular models. If like the auto industry I could find new parts for a 30 year old bike people might find more value in used bikes.
  • 32 0
 @dpars63: I would really like to see the thinking around the "lifetime of a bike" to grow to 10 years at least. Not just for warranty, but for support, product compatibility, etc. as well. It's a $6500 children's toy for grown ups, it should at least give its owner(s) a decade.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: That would be a good start. It would make the $10K plus cost of a S-Works a little more compelling if I knew I could buy a seat stay 10 years from now. Regardless of why, warranty aside. A lot of people upgrade before 10 years, but some don't. It would also drive a healthier used market. A lot less risk of buying a used bike only to throw it away 2 months later because of a cracked stay.
  • 1 0
 @dpars63: wouldn’t be too long until 3D scanning and printing could do this? Maybe Brian has a comment re: how feasible that is.
  • 4 0
 @husstler: Ill let Brian speak to the feasibility of 3D printing bike parts. I know the aerospace industry has done a lot with additive metal printing, to the point where engine parts have been made that way.

Personally I was thinking more mass production. If lets say Specialized licensed the use of the die sets for the last gen stumpy alloy then a contract manufacture could do a run of rear triangle parts. If you look at reliability expectations it is always a bathtub curve over time, so being in partnership with the OEM a person or company could enter the market as the curve starts to go up on the right side of the graph, which should be after the warranty is up. That way there is no real competition and the bike manufacture doesn't have to manage the excess SKUs for years to come. It would be a win/win.

I still think @brianpark is right, the companies should think about the life of the bike being 10 years +, but this would be a good middle ground. They don't have to invest anything (they would actually get paid) and could see if there really is a market for maintaining bikes past the typical 5 years and 1 owner model. I know this originally was talking about warranties, but if I drive my Subaru off a cliff they wont warranty that... but they will sell me all the OEM replacement parts. Ideally a bike company someday does the same. If not, I'm happy to partner with one of the big ones to contract that out Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: 10 year lifecycles may fly now that bike geo has settled into a good place and the frames can last that long (because frame designers are beefing up frames to meet lifetime warranties).

It wasnt too far into the past where geo sucked and you almost had to buy a new bike every couple years to get a better riding bike. Also they broke a lot more back then.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Very much agree with this statement. 8-10 year life span on bikes would benefit in so many ways as mentioned.
  • 1 0
 @rupintart: would have liked the option "warranty plays a part in decision new vs used". Pretty much know what frame I want but if new price is close enough to used price the warranty is the tiebreaker.
  • 2 0
 Back in the day I had a used SC Bullit frame that cracked. Bike shop sent a photo of it to SC, and they looked at it and determined that it shouldn't have cracked there. Sent me a new rear triangle and had it working within a week. Don't know if they would do that now.
  • 1 0
 Amen
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Why? Loyalty should amount to something. If you feel strongly to keep a bike for the life of it there should be something special to consider if the company is worth its integrity.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: agreed. With geometry evolution plateauing, are bikes are still relevant many more years down the road as well. We need some support to be able to maintain them for at least a decade, especially when factoring in the initial costs of these bikes now. My 10 year old XC bike makes a great gravel bike and is in pretty good shape, it sure would be nice to keep it serviceable well into the future as I would be able to with a vintage road bike. It doesn’t matter if it’s recyclable if it’s still useable.

Additionally, I will throw my support that a bike needs a transferable warranty. I would argue that not having a transferable lowers resale prices (outside of Covid times) and has kept many from selling their used bikes for the newer shiny model.
  • 1 0
 Ideally it should be on the bike over the purchaser but it’s all very different in every claim on warranty.

What we seem to forget is that the products we purchase, have a lifespan that can’t be compared to any motor vehicle or building etc.
The stresses and strains that go through any bicycle component or frame is huge compared to a vehicle for instance. Just think what the equivalent stresses of terrain you’d put through your 4x4, van or car to match the strains and stresses you out your bike through?!……. A simple park run would likely be the equivalent of driving your motor down Mt Everest!

Personally, I’ve only really suffered one major warranty claim. It was the dreaded XO carbon cranks on a Specialized Demo back in 2015. Two pairs of cranks in 24hrs in Malaga Spain (whilst on a riding holiday at the end of a season).

What I did do that clearly helps was NOT POSTING A SARCY COMMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA! That only drives a steel wall up against you and the company involved.
I contacted Specialized Uk initially as the bike was a complete build when purchased.
They couldn’t replace anything but did give me a direct email to Sram Europe to email. They did give a call ahead of this which I found out about afterwards which they didn’t need to do.

The PoC at Sram couldn’t have been anymore helpful and genuinely concerned for my well-being after reading about the two sets of cranks failing on me.
Long story short, I gained a full bike replacement due to cosmetic damage caused to the frame by the cranks and subsequent crashes in the Spanish mountains.

Remember folks: even if you are fully in the right and justified to be annoyed about a product failing on you- manners and curtesy will always support your complaint. ALWAYS be thankful and appreciate any interaction you get from a company and more importantly, never post about something until you’ve fully explored all avenues of the warranty.
  • 38 1
 After spending the last decade in the warranty departments of a few brands I can tell you there is no 1 right answer. Either in the warranty duration, or warranty expectation. Every warranty claim is different due to differences in multiple conditions. I have always tried to make the consumer, and/or shop happy, and attempt to keep the stoke high. But there's always going to be someone that's going to be unhappy, or unreasonable no matter what option is given (been cussed at more times than I can count for not having the exact color match).

Yes you can yell, and swear, and call me the worst person in the world for an hour straight, but it's not going to sway my decision given the evidence at hand. Tell me a decent story, and be honest, and more than likely I'll be in favor of your claim. And yes we all check instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and once upon a time vine you chuckleheads. You want a better chance at a full replacement warranty, post after the warranty is fulfilled and not before. A garage hit is never a warranty, and never say "I was just riding along."

In my mind 5 years is within reason, after which crash replacement is the next step, and at 10 years plus maybe a discount on a new bike given new standards. This lifetime sh!t has got to go. Just saying my peace from experience.
-Happy Shredding

#jraisjustastateofmind
  • 6 0
 I totally agree with you @beerandspokes crash replacement after 5 is totally acceptable.

Having been on the receiving end of the abuse you can get when things get denied and the tall stories. I used to check the forums and FB pages when I got a rather interesting claim and as you say, you would be surprised what people do and then tell you happened.
JRA was always fun as was the "I'm an engineer" line.
  • 3 0
 Very similar situation to you. In terms of frame breakages, most are very typical and follow a pattern, so you know when something is from a crash or impact.

"lifetime" is a bit ridiculous, but some parts only having 1 or 2 years is also not enough either. You just try do your best but there is always some chode who thinks they know better
  • 8 0
 @wonkle: The I'm an engineer quote...What type of engineer?...civil...click.
  • 2 0
 @Stuartkbmx: I agree with you wholeheartedly. Except SX. That crap is just shameful. Shimano Cues all the way.
  • 4 0
 Former mechanic here: I've been yelled at several times for delivering warranty rejections to customers, so I can imagine what you had do deal with. It was especially awful when I agreed with the customer but I couldn't exactly say, "I know, it's bullshit, these things have been cracking left and right!"

Personally, I think warranties need to be better defined for both customers and shop employees. I know the legal stuff needs to be presented to protect the bike companies, but I'd like to see these legal definitions expanded upon, especially the ASTM ratings. I'm not sure I agree with that system, but I wish the industry made a better effort to educate customers about what it means and how it applies to the warranty of the bike.
  • 2 6
flag calarco68 (Apr 13, 2023 at 20:57) (Below Threshold)
 I like hearing your side. but crash replacement from Santa Cruz is BS. My son cases a jump and cracks the BB on his 2020 frame. I feel it should be warranty. Our crash replacement discount cost 2000 for a new 2021 frame. not sure Ill be a loyal customer in the future with SC
  • 2 0
 I've got a 2018 Canyon Spectral that cracked at the chainstay weld recently. I hadn't heard much good about Canyon's warranty in the past so was resigned to having to buy a new frame, It had been ridden pretty hard for four years so I wasn't too upset. I sent it off anyway not expecting much, but the warranty process was frankly outstanding. Quick decision, good communication, and no quibbling. They agreed to replace the entire frame (I'd have been happy with just the chainstay but there wasn't one that matched the colour at the time). Definately increased my odds of buying from them again (if only their new bikes didn't all come with ****ing headset cable routing).

I agree with OP, every warranty is different and looking at anecdotal comments offers no accurate guide as to which brands are generous and which aren't. I expect others have had much less favourable outcomes from Canyon (in their opinion).
  • 6 0
 Also the lack of most people's ability to negotiate boggles the mind. I can't understand how people think that shouting and swearing at someone you want something from is an effective way to get it. See: tailgaters, no I won't drive faster if you drive like a c**t I'll slow down to piss you off some more.
  • 1 0
 I’ve warrantied several frames and several other components over the years and have never been denied a claim. Almost every warranty I’ve submitted has been 100% above board, with the exception of one crankset, but it was the second failure in three years of the same part so I felt at least a little justified (the warranty duration had passed, but a little number fudging fixed that). The only time I had to really argue for the warranty was a frame that failed almost immediately, and they pushed back some since I had warrantied a frame less than a month before, imagine their shock when about a month later my road frame also failed and they had to supply me with three frames in less than 90 days, two MTB and one road.
  • 1 0
 Right there with you.. I've spent time in the warranty department.. Usually a frame can tell you a lot on how and why it failed.. I had no problems putting through legit claims, but I also had no problem letting the customer talk himself into a hole.. But, yes if you were straight up with me, you usually got a little bit of sympathy..
  • 2 0
 @calarco68: all due respect, casing a jump isn't a defect on the part of Santa Cruz..
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: I hear that. I had one lad telling me he was riding to the trails and his headtube snapped. Turns out he was riding with my mate and 50/50d a large double. Kinda figured as much already but a confirmation seals it.

If he was honest to start I would have understood,. I still sent it off for an official verdict which was denied.
  • 1 0
 @wonkle: careful....I have personally witnessed a JRA failure: complete loss of the head tube on the road up Fromme. Obviously the damage had been done previous but to see the rider JRA and then the front of the bike just fall away.....this was pre iPhone of course.....
  • 1 0
 @wonkle: on an alloy frame, I would definitely look closely before passing judgment.. I've seen headtube separation where there was zero penitration of the weld on the headtube.. In that case, that would be a workmanship defect.
  • 18 0
 You guys were way too soft on “Lifetime of the product” warranties.

There’s a word for a “Lifetime” warranty that only lasts 5 or 7 years: a lie.

There’s nothing wrong with limiting a bike’s warranty to 5 or whatever years, but don’t bullshit your consumers by calling that a lifetime.
  • 5 0
 In retrospect I agree, we should have been more clear that weasel words are utter bullshit.

That said, the point I was trying (and maybe failing) to make is that there's enough wiggle room in all brands' warranty language that execution is going to be more important than what's written on the page.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: This is what is missing in the poll. I care about whether or not brands are generous in their warranty policy. Not whether they spec 5 or 7 or 'lifetime' years.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: My understanding of 'lifetime warranty', as explained to me when I worked handling warranty claims for an outdoor retail chain, is this: It is not a fixed nr of years, but it makes a difference how used the product is. Like, a completely scuffed bike that has clearly been used a lot would maybe not get warrantied while a similar failure on an older, but rarely used bike would.
  • 3 0
 We had a Trek 520 come into our shop with a frame failure. Guy bought the bike new in 1987, it was 2019 and he had the original receipt. Trek gave him an entire new bike.
  • 14 1
 Crash replacements should also be offered to second hand owners (outside of second owner warranty)...um, Specialized...

Cracked a chainstay, had no receipt, told them I was second owner and wanting to just purchase the part and was told "can't help you without a receipt." Luckily found a new one for sale elsewhere for seemingly crash replacement cost, but if I'm offering them money and still rejected.. c'mon.
  • 3 3
 Most of the time Asian manufactures will ONLY make full frames, not a stock of say a chainstay or certain part. To accompolish this, a brand would have to make XYZ% more frames to acoomodate extended /second hand warranties on top of original owners. More $$ from them and/or extended 'transferable' warranties would most likely drive pricess up even higher
  • 3 2
 @bman33: bro, turn spell check back on!
  • 3 1
 @bman33: This is actually not true. Rear ends are made at a different time in the process than the front ends. Adding 30 more rear triangles to an order is not a big deal. That doesn't mean the brands do it.

The manufacturer charges per piece.
  • 2 0
 @eluder: I warrantied a near brand new bike due to a rattle in a chainstay. I think it was just something left behind during the carbon layup. I expected to get a replacement stay...but I got a complete bike.
  • 1 0
 @eluder: It acuatlly is true for most volume manufacturing. Don't think so? Go price out OEM frame manufactuing form an Asian maker and see what you get. Yes, they are made in different molds...for Full Suspenion bikes. You want '30 extra rear ends', you either get a 'no', a much higher price per unit, or a min of an much larger number that is needed.
  • 4 0
 @bman33: I'm not trying to be a dick here, but this was my job. From actual experience purchasing frames from Taiwan, I'm telling you that you are wrong. If I wanted 100 Small, 200 Medium, 200 Large, 100 XL completes, and 20 extra rear triangles, that is what I would get. They would just make 620 rear triangles at once.

There are minimums that you must reach and you only get so much production time (during Covid) But its no big deal for them to lay up some extras as long as that mold is in use. If I called up and said make me 15 rear triangles they would say no unless they made a mistake on something.
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: Yeah, they would have had to cover the cost of swapping stuff over. It was probably easier to just send a bike or they had already gone through their extra chainstays if they even ordered them. When a bike is pretty much new different things happen in the warranty department than when its 4 years old.
  • 1 0
 @eluder: They had that bike on clearance, which is why I bought it to begin with. I assumed they just wanted to clear out inventory. You won't be surprised to know that the following model year the bike was an all new design.
  • 11 0
 I just cracked a chainstay on my new carbon frame on it's third ride. Manufacturer won't honor the lifetime warranty because it happened while jumping. It's a 150f/130r trail bike so I guess I'm the a*shole for assuming it can handle getting a little air. The shop confirmed that a lot of the larger mfg'ers are trending similar. Funny enough all the promo videos for these bikes show quite a lot of tires leaving the ground. Weird
  • 2 0
 May I know what brand of frame was it?
  • 2 1
 yup, Kona screwed me over a weird failure on a 1.5 year old frame. Offered a replacement triangle at retail. Thanks Kent Outdoors!
  • 6 0
 @lightone: Specialized. It's a stumpjumper
  • 4 0
 thats weak, how could they know? Do they have a video of your jump? ridiculous, I would complain on the forums.
  • 2 0
 @MN-mtb1977: That's odd. I ran into a guy a while back who warrantied a ~10 year old Stumpy, and they gave him a new frame. Though with the change in standards he couldn't real swap parts. I had a rattle develop in my chainstay within months after purchase, they sent me a complete new bike.
  • 3 0
 @JSTootell: glad you had a good experience. I think my mistake was being honest and stating it cracked on landing a jump. It wasn't a case or anything and it wasn't a huge feature (blue trail). It don't think you should have to lie like we're not all trying to jump on our mtb's
  • 1 0
 @MN-mtb1977: Jumping should not warranty a mountain bike.
  • 3 0
 @JSTootell: Update: Specialized is now replacing my frame free of charge. I found a new crack in the headtube on the upper crown race. Before the chainstay snapped the headset was very creaky which I didn't get a chance to investigate until last weekend when I found the cause. I'm hoping I just got a lemon and the new frame is more durable.
  • 2 0
 @MN-mtb1977: Good to hear...mostly.

My GF just bought one last week. She doesn't send it hard enough for me to worry about frame damage, but still annoying to deal with. My E29 has suffered a TON of abuse, but it is an older generation.
  • 7 0
 Two shout outs:

Salsa: bought an El Mariach lightly used on eBay. Five years later, l cracked the dropouts, outside the normal warranty period, and having bought it used as the second owner. They gave me the crash replacement option to replace the bike with any of their other models. Thanks Evan!

Onyx: After four years on a set of hubs, I sheared the rear axle while bikepacking. I put it down to a loose cassette and rode the last ~50 miles with the bad axle before discovering it while troubleshooting at home. Onyx upgraded the hub to their new bearing/axle standard, shipped it back to me quickly, and wouldn't accept payment. Thanks Daniel!

Both were quick and easy to work with, and in my opinion, were incredibly generous and understanding. The Cutthroat is now rolling with Onyx hubs.
  • 12 2
 I will pay in weight penalty for things that won't break if I have the option.
  • 3 0
 That lack of frame protection on some bikes is concerning. If a rock rolls into my frame, a possibility during any trail ride, it better hold up. If it doesn't, you better warranty your product for defective frame protection.
  • 3 0
 One more reason why steel is real.
  • 7 0
 Warranties are a pretty important factor in my purchasing decision. I'm a heavier rider who rides pretty aggressively and I break a lot of things. 5 rear triangles on my older Trek Remedy, and another 4 rear triangles on my latest Trek Slash. Have also had drivetrains, suspension, and wheelsets warrantied over the years. Recently got a new Santa Cruz Megatower and the lifetime warranty was a significant factor for me.
I also don't understand why bike warranties aren't more like car warranties where they follow the product rather than the owner. Who owns the product should have no impact on the quality of the product and therefore the support for the product. It just feels like a cop-out by the manufacturer. Do you stand by your product or not?
  • 5 0
 I live in a country with fairly strong consumer protection laws and I expect everything I buy to be backed by a guarantee that it is fit for purpose and will last a reasonable amount of time. This "reasonable" statement, crucially, can protect you even if the manufacturer's stated warranty period has ended. I haven't investigated how the bike industry's habit of offering warranties only to the first owner butts up against the Australian Consumer Law, but I would hope it doesn't fly when actually tested.

Providing a warranty is a cost of doing business and should already be priced in, and strong consumer law ensures that the market is a level playing field. If a company still can't offer a warranty without pricing itself out of the market, it won't last long in that market.
  • 2 1
 The US actually has a surprising amount of consumer protection laws as well. Implied warranties here essentially mean the thing being sold has to be able to do what it’s marketed to do. If any company offers a written warranty they are not allowed to disclaim implied warranties. So if someone were to break their bike riding it off jumps and the company told them the warranty is void because of that yet they market the thing going off jumps then they aren’t abiding by that law. Additionally pretty much all bike industry warranties here are considered limited warranties. There’s another federal requirement that warranties be titled as “full” or “limited”. None of them title their warranty as such. Santa Cruz’s “legendary warranty” as their website puts it is a limited warranty and marketing it as legendary is pretty misleading if you ask me.
  • 4 0
 The company representatives handling the warranty process will often determine user experience. As do customers, but consumer protection laws in my country are apprently just 'guidelines' to some people.

I've broken six carbon frames, and have always contacted distributers and factories directly with photos and details. In my experience, bike shops rarely improve this process.

Best warranty experience was with Hong Fu in China. I cracked the seat collar of a $500 carbon frame during installation. I sent pics of the damage (and the tools I had used) direct to the company, and they sent a replacement frame at no cost. It since has been going strong for 10 years under my hefty ass. They email me from time to time asking how my experience has been with their product. Excellent!

Bianchi - four broken frames, and on three of those occassions the bike shop stole the frame hardware then sold it back to me.
Giant - bb shell delaminated from frame, but the shop deleted my digital receipt of original purchase after seven years (interestingly, so did my bank, but anyways...)
Cannondale - cracked dropout, shop said "they all do that" and walked off. Engineering shop re-welded it for me.
Fulcrum/Campagnolo: Rear wheel had a vibration issue. Factory warranty refunded my money, but through the shop account, so they decided to keep my cash and give me store credit on things I did not want nor need.

I have two Canyons in my garage, now... Smile
  • 3 0
 You have impressively terrible luck with bikes and bike shops!
  • 3 0
 Also, the crash replacement is too ambiguous. My family of 4 has broken five frames in the past four years. Only one was a full replacement. The others were crash replacements ranging from a 75% discount to a 5% discount. The irony is that the 5% discount was the most recent, and the full bike was on sale for 25% at the time, frustrating.
  • 1 0
 That's painful.

I would absolutely love brands to provide more details about crash replacements, or "out-of-warranty breakage discounts" such as:

* What's the % Discount from MSRP?
* What happens if/when that model is no longer available?

I suppose there's always a chance that someone would just take a hammer to their frame and abuse it, but I agree with the hosts that true warranty abuse is likely pretty rare.
  • 5 0
 One sad thing about warranties is living in a country with poor consumer laws, brands will outright ignore you and there's nothing you can do about it
  • 3 0
 Was shocked (but not really) to hear Brian and Henry bash on the Devinici chainsaw looks...instantly thought it looked baller on seeing it. Was shocked (really) to see there's not an XL model and I spilled my baby formula. 5K for the DH version ain't to bad either.
  • 2 1
 We are fashion victims for sure. Honestly I'd buy it, and it doesn't look terrible, but there has to be a better way to do that seattube... www.pinkbike.com/photo/24554955
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I (chain) saw that but didn't flinch...I guess I"ve always liked that look. Whats the prob w/ it (honest question).
  • 2 2
 Right? The transition spire certainly isn't a good looking bike, but...
  • 3 0
 Some of this is a bit weird. Transition are brilliant because they warranty all the frames that pretty much everyone above seems to break ? Wouldn't it be better if they didn't break at all ?
I'm kinda shocked by how many have cracked, snapped and broken frames... The only time i have was back in the late 2000s when every Commencal on the planet snapped.

I guess the best warranty is the one no-one has mentioned, because the frames never break Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Trek has been good to me with warranty.

Bought a new Fuel EX in November 2019.

Cracked in 2021, free replacement frame.

Cracked that one in 2022, so they send me the new one again (gen 6 this time).

Also during that time I broke a rear hub that came on that bike. Which the shop warrantied without me even asking. I had just mentioned wanting to buy a new hub and some spokes.
  • 2 0
 Industry Nine just did me a solid on a Hydra hub that decided to die an undignified death. They earned a customer for life with that.

That is the thing every manufacture needs to know: warranties are less about assurances and more a chance to take what could be a negative and turn it into a positive. If a manufacture is going to deny a warranty based some sub-paragraph or some nebulous determination, what they are really saying is that you, the customer who spends money on their goods, isn't worth their effort.
  • 2 0
 How do you know the Guarantee Fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy, but we're not buying it. Next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser and your daughter's knocked up, I've seen it a hundred times.
  • 2 0
 I am still a little chuffed that when my knock block didn't protect my frame from my fork on my Trek they refused to cover the warranty and compared the knock block to a derailleur hanger that only somewhat protects the frame (That metaphor I very much object to.) After that I switched frames to a Transition because they have been great about warranty for four+ of my friends. I have been very happy so far. Luckily I haven't needed the warranty but it is a piece of mind every time I see a friend with an issue get helped quickly.
  • 1 0
    
  • 2 0
 @brianpark Brian and Henry this was a timely discussion but there are a few element ps that you could perhaps touch on in a bit more detail. This might because I am living in a smaller European country but there are two major issues concerning warranty here that are also interrelated. The first is company structure, often companies say they have a global warranty. However this is often untrue, and if you take it to a shop where you didn’t buy it they will charge you for any labor they spend processing it. The shops say this is because they get compensated so little by companies. As a customer it feels shitty both having to go to a shop that won’t be happy about you being there, and also paying for the privilege to do so. This gets even more complicated when you have to go through dealers, wholesale ps and other middlemen.

This leads to the second issue, which is time. often goods will be replaced under warranty but it will take months for the process to conclude. Generally I end up having an extra bike to avoid missing summer due to some warranty issue - my average would be 3 months and multiple hours following up to get something resolved. Some of the customer direct brands have a good policy of sending you to a local bike shop and saying they will pay the cost
  • 1 0
 That's a great point. Companies often try to look bigger than they are, but get exposed when customers need service.
  • 2 0
 The last frame I didn't break and need to use warranty was my 2007 Devinci Wilson.

Every single bike since then has broken and need one or more replacements: 2009 Wilson X 1, 2013 Wilson x 2, 2018 Trek Session x 4, 2022 Commencal Supreme x 2

Of those 9 warranties, Commencal is the only one to try and f*ck me over.
  • 2 0
 One very important thing about warranties is how the brand deal with it in term of time. I heard so many stories here in France where people have to waits several months to get the bike back for warranties just because the parts or the frame was not available at the French distributor. This is not acceptable, a warranty claim must be dealt quickly.
Some brand are good in term of delay (I cracked a Demo 8 frame back in the days and I had a new frame in less than 10 days) and some sucks.
  • 1 0
 somewhat related, i've had excellent warranty service for a Kuat rack I purchased over a decade ago. when the arms became loose with the rack in the upright position, they immediately sent me new hardware for free to tighten the arms. when the rack started having difficulty remaining in the horizontal position after close to 10 years they sent me an entire new lower half with no questions asked. i know 1up is the cool kids brand these days and Kuat gets heat as the dentist brand but they stood by their product and its withstood close to 12 years without major issues (with their excellent service). I'd buy another one in the future if I needed one but this one's going to keep going indefinitely.
  • 1 0
 Just to add another good experience for the record- I recently had an issue with my Norco Optic from 2020 (eyelet holding the rear shock) and they sent a complete new frame. The whole process took less than 2 weeks, and I didn't even have to put up a fight. I would definitely buy another Norco after that positive experience.
  • 1 0
 Have been very fortunate with warranty across a few brands, Airborne, Intense and Pivot. With Intense, I was second owner, they warrantied an aluminum frame (ended up welding a gusset and repairing the frame) but issues still persisted so they sold me a carbon frameset at their cost ($500.) Pivot I broke the same frame 4 times, same spot every time, 3 times caught hairline cracks and warrantied via photo, one time was a total failure and a long sad walk to my car.
  • 1 0
 Does manufacturer's warranty play into your purchase decisions? No because often I am looking at the aspects of the bikes design, geometry, suspension, etc. and will pick a bike based on how I think it will fit with my riding style rather than a warranty.
  • 1 0
 Just a heads up SingletracksWorld (UK mag, not the US Singletracks via J-Barber) pod just did a warranties cast a couple months back as well - both of these together are good listening.

Somehow in 33 yrs I've not cracked a single frame in spite of riding hard & fast, and harder / faster / scarier now than I ever did in younger years...I should get a warranty on what is sure to be my broken body soon b/c that's bound to happen. Bike frames seem to be taking all the shit I can give...its the components that get nuked pretty fast though.
  • 1 0
 I've bought three mountain bike frames in the past 13 years. All were alloy. Two of these have been replaced under warranty. Both experiences were very positive. Fuji sent me a new frame even though I was located in a different continent than when I bought the bike, in a country without any representative for the brand. Radon sent me a whole new frame for a crack in the seatstay where they could have just sent a replacement seatstay. I recommend anyone who keeps their bikes for longer than a season or two to look seriously into warranty terms and how well they are respected in practice
  • 1 0
 Companies I've had great warranty experiences with:
DTSwiss- I broke two of the 370 hubs (the one with pawls) and they no questions asked sent me a new wheel within the week.

Norco- broke my Optic's chainstay, they no longer had that color in stock, they sent me a brand new frame.

Canyon- broke my chainstay twice, first time replacement was sent immediately with no issue. Second time took awhile (out of stock in pandemic) but they sent me a whole new frame when it came back in stock

JensonUSA- I stripped a 1.5mm hex bolt on a new Giant contact dropper and told them that it was my fault, they still sent me a replacement
  • 1 0
 Trek seems to get a lot of heat on the forums, but I broke a frame during peak covid. From drop off to pick-up was like 9 days on a frame warranty Bought a 2nd hand Canyon road bike and had some issues with the integrated handlebar. Took a few emails but they still extended their crash replacement to me, and their warranty is explicitly original owner.
  • 1 0
 I got some Blackspire 420 pedals back in 2016 off CRC. After a couple years the bearings were pretty blown, I gave them a call last summer, they told me to send the pedals and pay for shipping, they provided free bearings, pressed them, and sent me back my pedals good as new. Called a number, got a person, no messing around, no asking for a receipt, just gave me a RMA number and told me to send them out. Was riding them a few days later.
  • 1 0
 Manufacture warranty doesn’t mean zip here in Australia. We have the ACCC that stands for - Australian Competition Consumer Commission - So if a product fails for example a $6000 bike frame you’re covered by consumer laws ( it’s called fit for purpose ) regardless of said bike manufacturer warranty conditions. Evil bikes Australian web site pretty much states the above if you have issues with one of their frames. So do you research and don’t be bullshitted by some bike company representative. For example rumour has it that Giant makes 10% more frames in each model purely for warranty claims.
  • 1 0
 I think they generalise the direct brands far too much here. Bird in the UK have had the best customer service of any brand/industry I've ever dealt with. I think of the brand care about it and value it then they'll invest in CS rather than flashy adverts featuring celebrities.
  • 1 0
 Great to hear. I think we just hear the squeaky wheels more than the success stories.
  • 1 0
 I had both good and bad warranty experience.
The best I had was with small companies and their expensive product. also a bad one. but the question if i would pay more for good warranty is not good. expensive stuff with bad warranty need to be more expensive. no thanks. would i pay more if stuff is more reliable, but if something fails the warranty covers it. yes, thats what i do.
i paid 2000€ for wheels, they broke after one year of intended use and the warranty was not granted. i would definetly not pay more so the warranty would be granted. expensive high performance parts shouldnt break with intended use.
  • 1 0
 One company that deserves a mention is Syntace. I ride their MX wheels since 2018 but because I didn't like how the cassette sprockets would eat into the aluminum splines I once replaced the freehub body by the one with the steel-armored (yet fewer) splines. Last year, I sheared off part of this freehub body when JRA. Because I stand up most of the time when riding, I often ride in a relatively heavy gear but with a low cadence so this may have subjected the body to a relatively high torque. I mailed them, explained what happened and asked for advice which replacement body I should buy, which one was stronger. They didn't even respond, they just sent me a replacement body straight away (which was the regular one with full splines). I think they just pulled my address from an earlier order, they didn't even bother to make trouble. I was willing to pay for the part I broke but apparently they didn't think it was necessary.
  • 1 0
 theres so much interesting little factors that come into play and thats why i believe this is a great poll right now.
from mentions like improving the used market by providing hardware for older frames and making bikes last a little longer, making used bikes safer. that also might lead to an opportunity for recycling all the damaged materials from factories and stuff like that. theres all the concerns and hidden details regarding "limited lifetime" and all that.

my question is: are brands willing to make whats "right" or "best for the customer" if they had to spend more money, have more work and slightly increase the risk of less profit to do so?

when specialized made the enduro EVO model, it lasted in production line for around 4 years but had warranties allowing for 5 and 3 years for rocker arm and rear triangle. they discontinued it in 2016 so in 2017,18,19 there was lots of people around the world that didnt had replacements parts available for these bikes and still specialized didn't think that giving them a new frame was a fair option, unfortunately. as a previous 2015 enduro evo owner, that was the worst warranty experience that people could possibly have.

my best warranty experience so far was trek. i ride mostly two bikes right now and thats why they're both from trek.

a lot of healthy improvements can be made here. perhaps we should try getting brands just a little closer to their customers in some ways?
  • 1 0
 I haven't had negative warranty experiences. I prefer not to need them.

Positive experiences:
-Specialized sent me a new bike after my new bike developed a rattle in a chainstay. Seemed odd to get a whole bike.
-Jamis sent me a new chainstay after I cracked one at the weld. Seemed like they had a lot of failures that year that the corrected the next year. Though, it didn't match (black vs brushed aluminum).
-Ohlins gave me a new fork when the suspension shop found unusual wear. I never noticed a problem.
-Garmin seemed to struggle to get the battery door on their Vector pedals right. Every time I sent them an email about mine acting up, they sent me a new part.
  • 2 1
 My one and only bike warranty experience: cracked a 4.5 month old Meta AM 29er frame, sent Commencal a photo, brought my bike down to the distribution center in Squam, and they had a new frame built up with all my current parts in 6 days. 11/10 customer service and the reason I will buy a Commencal again.
  • 1 0
 I have had to warranty 3 frames.... ive gotten both crash replacements and full warranties. I have never been denied a warranty. the crash was for a frame issue, the other 2 for paint issues. paint shouldnt chip and flake off a brand new bike
  • 1 0
 Maybe I have been lucky (or just too slow), but after having owned a ton of mountain bikes, I have never had a frame go south. I have however, warrantied a ton of shocks, brakes, dropper posts, and forks. I was surprised that that was never mentioned during the podcast. While a frame warranty length/transferability doesn't bother much at all, a longer warranty on suspension components, brakes, droppers etc would be great.
  • 1 0
 Lifetime warranties.....just ask Ellsworth (or Tony Ellsworth for that matter) the thoughts on this after the release of the Joker explicitly for freeride use only to have most of them break at the swingarm....up, I was there to see the effect. Wonder what it cost in the end.

If a company is going to offer it I would pay for it but there had better be no BS if it is needed; moreover, I would expect if it is offered the bike had better be able to take a LOT of punishment before it whimpers. I remember Marin Bikes (in the 90's) saw 80% of its warranty claims come from the Cove Bike Shop alone......lesson being: you had better engineer your bike before offering something that can come back to haunt you. If it can fail, it will.
  • 1 0
 Honestly, anything less than a lifetime warranty by the standards of Santa Cruz is not acceptable for me these days. Bikes have become so expensive that an extensive warranty against all manufacturing defects for the entire lifetime of the product is the least we can expect for our money. It's only fair after all that the manufacturers should give us some confidence and peace of mind in return for large amounts of our hard-earned cash.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark @mikelevy @mikekazimer @henryquinney

Its April 20, Thursday - the day PB usually releases the PB podcast and the cliche day everyone says things about. Where's our PB pod yo's? Also, if Levy can do 2 pods on F1 (zzzzzzzzz) then surely a cast on curling (zzzzzzz, but whatever is an option). Also where's the cast on Wayne? PB pod OCD'ers have been asking for this for years.

What do we want??? PINKBIKE PODCAST !!!

When do we want it??? NOW !!!

Signed, OG OCD PB Podcast Fanclub Chair Wannabe
"Here we are now, entertain us..."
  • 1 0
 OneUp support has been absolutely stellar! Those guys go above and beyond to help. Even going so far as offering me a replacement part for my dropper post despite it being outside of warranty period. This will definitely influence my purchasing in the future. Big kudos to you guys at @oneupcomponents
  • 3 0
 One reason I've liked Transition bikes is their warranty has seemed pretty generous.
  • 4 0
 Transition hooked me up as a 2nd owner when they probably didn't have too...I'm a fan for life and will continue to support them. Trek denied my warranty when they should have backed up their product IMO...I'm honest when something happens and understand manufactures can give replacements all the time. Trek will never see another $$ from me.
  • 3 0
 I agree, I know plenty of people who've had good luck with Transition. I ride Santa Cruz bikes. People can talk all the $h!t they want about them but at least they honor their warranties and in a lot of non warranty instances still turn what could be a negative brand experience into something positive. Win Win.
  • 3 0
 @sofakingwetarded: Ive honestly never heard someone complain about a Santa Cruz warranty experience and people love to complain on the internet.
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: The one complaint one of my friends has made is he is tired of using it. He seems to crack a Chameleon frame every year. They keep sending him new bikes, which of course is good, but he just wished they would stop breaking.
  • 1 1
 For mountainbikes you get to choose somewhere in the spectrum of cheap, strong and light. I usually aim for strong, cheap comes second and light comes last. I'm not racing. When I saw the Athertons bunnyhop their DH bikes onto their pickup-truck in the Earthed video, I knew it is all about strength and technique. But breaking your stuff sucks.

My commuter bike is from a brand that was founded by people who worked at another major brand and they were unhappy about the quality. And I have to admit, the quality of my bike is really good. Better than I've seen from the competitors. I went with their so called "Hufterproof" spec. I invested extra to make sure it is up to heavy and frequent use. One day I was stomping against a 6Bft headwind over a rough road bringing my daughter to school. I suddenly heard a loud bang and the headangle felt extra slack. We made it to school but the downtube was cracked. As I think I did all I could to make sure I got the strongest bike for my purposes, I asked for my frame (less than three years old) to be replaced and that's what they did. So the brand did indeed fulfill their warranties which is all good though the ladies who run the bikeshop did tell me they're being paid very little for swapping all the parts over.

For mountainbike stuff though, I don't bother with the warranty. Nothing is sold as "hufterproof" these days. Just make sure you buy stuff that can be repaired.
  • 1 0
 I am full rock crusher and have done my fare share of breaking just about anything on a bike. Hayes has taken care of me for every time their Reynolds wheels have failed. Lifetime warranty has been good there. Thanks guys
  • 1 0
 Reynolds by far has the best warranty in the game. Its simple and fast so long as you don't change the wheel from default. (Wheel is a solid build to begin with so really no need.)
  • 2 0
 There is also a limited amount of time to sign up for the warranty after purchase
  • 3 1
 Not true. Companies have to honor warranties whether you registered your product or not as long as you can show proof of purchase, which is where most consumers struggle.
  • 1 0
 @sofakingwetarded: read the specialized warranty, you have 2 months to register for your lifetime frame warranty
  • 4 2
 Whatever you do, you don't want your warranty to look like Commencal's!!
  • 1 0
 Why's that? My mate just had his frame replaced free of charge after cracking the downtube. It was 2nd hand. Zero issue.
  • 4 0
 Looks like you have rear triangle for sell. You mentioned that " I recieved it brand new under warranty from commencal in July 2022"
What was wrong with the warranty process?
  • 2 0
 @lightone:

It didn't go so well for me on round 2 when the July 2022 replacement broke again 4 months later...
  • 3 0
 @Dartmoor365:

Refer to epic long post near top of this page for full story.
www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=164081&pagenum=31#commentid7172980

TLDR: Commencal is unable to support products by they sell for a reasonable timeframe and then flail through the warranty process in an incredibly stingy way. I've warrantied a lot of bike frames over the years, and this is was hands down the worst b experience I've had. They are inconsiderate nickel & dimers.
  • 1 0
 Warranty should follow the bike/parts and not the owner
  • 1 0
 pod cast is rad. link is broken?







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