Bontrager Select Wheel Problems and poor service from Trek



jcjordan

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Apr 5, 2004
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Here is a copy of the email I just sent to Trek in regards to a warranty claim on my wheels.
"I would like to express my disappointment with a warranty claim I have in relation to the wheels on my Trek 1500 (2005).

I have just had the rims replace due to them coming cracking and coming apart in a major way. The fact that you replaced the rims quickly and without fuss doe go in your favour but the fact that I have had to pay $110 to have the wheels rebuilt and a additional $44 in new spokes due to being stressed by the damaged rims has left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I have been told by the Rideshop here in Canberra that had I been able to take the bike back to the shop I purchased it from (I recently moved to the ACT from SA so sending the wheels back to Bernie Jones was not a option) they probably would have not charged me for labour.

The fact that you expect the user or the shop to pay for items as part of a warranty repair is unbelievable; especially when you consider that the wheels are only 8 months old.

Could you please explain why this is the case?"

Since this happened I have had quite a few people tell me to ditch the wheels and replace them as the problem will only occur again.

Anyone else out there have any problems with these wheels or with Trek warranty?
 
B

Bleve

Guest
jcjordan wrote:
> Here is a copy of the email I just sent to Trek in regards to a warranty
> claim on my wheels.
> "I would like to express my disappointment with a warranty claim I have
> in relation to the wheels on my Trek 1500 (2005).
>
> I have just had the rims replace due to them coming cracking and coming
> apart in a major way. The fact that you replaced the rims quickly and
> without fuss doe go in your favour but the fact that I have had to pay
> $110 to have the wheels rebuilt and a additional $44 in new spokes due
> to being stressed by the damaged rims has left a very bad taste in my
> mouth.
>
> I have been told by the Rideshop here in Canberra that had I been able
> to take the bike back to the shop I purchased it from (I recently moved
> to the ACT from SA so sending the wheels back to Bernie Jones was not a
> option) they probably would have not charged me for labour.
>
> The fact that you expect the user or the shop to pay for items as part
> of a warranty repair is unbelievable; especially when you consider that
> the wheels are only 8 months old.
>
> Could you please explain why this is the case?"
>
> Since this happened I have had quite a few people tell me to ditch the
> wheels and replace them as the problem will only occur again.
>
> Anyone else out there have any problems with these wheels or with Trek
> warranty?


I've not seen a Bonty "Select" wheel come back to the shop I do a bit
of work for - but we don't sell a lot of them. We've done Trek
warranty work though - had to replace a faulty frame (to be fair, it
was 12 years old and the BB thread housing had seperated from the
frame, a known problem on early OCLVs). Trek replaced the frame, but
we did the changeover of the other bits and didn't do it for free. I
wouldn't really expect Trek to pay for that time though. The punter
effectively got a new Madone 5.2 frame for the cost of a changeover of
running gear. Quite a nice upgrade ... not a bad deal, I reckon.

In some ways the selling bike shop has to accept some of the risk with
a warranty claim, I think that's not entirely unreasonable - and if you
take the bike back to a different retailer then it's only fair that
they charge for their time. They didn't make anything on the sale.
Maybe a fairer solution would be for Trek to replace the whole wheel,
saving the LBS the time having to rebuild wheels (which is time
consuming). I suspect if it was our LBS that we'd fix it for free if
we'd sold it as part of good service to our customers. We've done this
with other bikes that have bounced back on warranty. Even if Trek
replaced the whole wheel the LBS still has to spend time chasing up the
claim for you, and as it's not the shop that you bought the bike from
it seems only fair that they charge for some of that time.

The question is, who pays?! There's the question of just how did the
wheels end up broken too - wheels cop a lot of abuse - what made them
fail? Overtightening? Design fault? Bashing into a kerb? :) 8 months
is a meaningless figure anyway, how much have you used them in that 8
months? 5,000km? 20,000km? Crashed them at all? Not an easy
question, alas.

Hope you sort it out.
 

jcjordan

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Apr 5, 2004
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Bleve said:
In some ways the selling bike shop has to accept some of the risk with
a warranty claim, I think that's not entirely unreasonable - and if you
take the bike back to a different retailer then it's only fair that
they charge for their time. They didn't make anything on the sale.

I dont see why, they are not responsible for a faulty product; at least not in this case.

Bleve said:
Maybe a fairer solution would be for Trek to replace the whole wheel,
saving the LBS the time having to rebuild wheels (which is time
consuming). I suspect if it was our LBS that we'd fix it for free if
we'd sold it as part of good service to our customers. We've done this
with other bikes that have bounced back on warranty. Even if Trek
replaced the whole wheel the LBS still has to spend time chasing up the
claim for you, and as it's not the shop that you bought the bike from
it seems only fair that they charge for some of that time.

I hope you did not think I was blaming the guys in the rideshop, they have been nothing but the greatest help in relation to this. Heck they were even grumbling that they thought Trek would just send complete wheels

Bleve said:
The question is, who pays?! There's the question of just how did the
wheels end up broken too - wheels cop a lot of abuse - what made them
fail? Overtightening? Design fault? Bashing into a kerb? :) 8 months
is a meaningless figure anyway, how much have you used them in that 8
months? 5,000km? 20,000km? Crashed them at all? Not an easy
question, alas.

I agree wheels do cop some heavy use, but in this case never crashed, cleaned regularly and I dont consider 200-300km a week heavy use.

Still we will see what happens, the important part is that I have them back and I can ride again. the missus reckons this week has been hell and is glad to have a non grumpy husband, even if i do leave my gear all over the lounge :D
 
B

Bleve

Guest
jcjordan wrote:
> Bleve Wrote:
> >
> > In some ways the selling bike shop has to accept some of the risk with
> > a warranty claim, I think that's not entirely unreasonable - and if
> > you
> > take the bike back to a different retailer then it's only fair that
> > they charge for their time. They didn't make anything on the sale.

>
> I dont see why, they are not responsible for a faulty product; at least
> not in this case.


To a certain extent I agree, but the retailer is part of the chain,
they have to accept some of the financial risk. It may be reasonably
low risk - eg if a part breaks they may only need to spend a bit of
time contacting the wholesaler/distributor, but it's still a risk. The
retailer also has to accept that they "push" (for lack of a better
term) a product, and if it has problems they are partially responsible
- they did recommend it. If they'd said to you "these wheels are junk,
buy something else", then the case is different, but I doubt they did
that!

I'm not saying Bonty select wheels are junk (I don't know enough about
them to have an opinion). But, when a shop sells something they have
to accept some responsibility for the suitability of what they're
selling (or you'd just buy off ebay, right?!). You pay a premium at an
LBS because you value advice and service. As such, if that advice is
poor, then the LBS should take some responsibility for it.

> > Maybe a fairer solution would be for Trek to replace the whole wheel,
> > saving the LBS the time having to rebuild wheels (which is time
> > consuming). I suspect if it was our LBS that we'd fix it for free if
> > we'd sold it as part of good service to our customers. We've done
> > this
> > with other bikes that have bounced back on warranty. Even if Trek
> > replaced the whole wheel the LBS still has to spend time chasing up
> > the
> > claim for you, and as it's not the shop that you bought the bike from
> > it seems only fair that they charge for some of that time.
> >

>
> I hope you did not think I was blaming the guys in the rideshop, they
> have been nothing but the greatest help in relation to this. Heck they
> were even grumbling that they thought Trek would just send complete
> wheels


No, and I apologise if it seemed that way.

> > The question is, who pays?! There's the question of just how did the
> > wheels end up broken too - wheels cop a lot of abuse - what made them
> > fail? Overtightening? Design fault? Bashing into a kerb? :) 8 months
> > is a meaningless figure anyway, how much have you used them in that 8
> > months? 5,000km? 20,000km? Crashed them at all? Not an easy
> > question, alas.
> >

>
> I agree wheels do cop some heavy use, but in this case never crashed,
> cleaned regularly and I dont consider 200-300km a week heavy use.


I wouldn't consider that hard use either, but now we know it! Prior to
now, only you knew it :)

A lot can go wrong with wheels - they can have manufacturing defects,
they can be under-engineered (hello, shimano, this means your R540&
R550 wheels ...), they can be over or under or unevenly tightened, and
they can be bashed into things! In this case, you suggest that the
rims have split - this would imply either a manufacturing defect or
underengineering (quite possible) or overtightening of the spokes, or a
bash. Without actually seeing the rims it's difficult to say what
caused the problem. even with seeing them, it may be difficult to
determine what caused the problem. As such, the Trek distributor may
be doing you a favour (may .. not is definatly!) by replacing the rims
without question, as it *may* (I'm stressing the word for a reason!)
not be a fault with the manufacture of the wheels. Then again, maybe
the wheels you got were faulty? They are pretty cheap wheels - Trek
cut a few corners to get the 1500 as cheap as it is. At least they
didn't skimp on the frame! The low-end Trek roadbikes have very good
frames.

> Still we will see what happens, the important part is that I have them
> back and I can ride again. the missus reckons this week has been hell
> and is glad to have a non grumpy husband, even if i do leave my gear
> all over the lounge :D


heh!
 
R

Rayc

Guest
I think that there are actually very few 'stock' parts that are going
to go the distance. The majority of stock/factory/OEM wheels are
machine made and require some additional tensioning before prolonger
use.

In the beginner/enthusiast range, the hidden parts are as cheap as
poss. Many BB's esp in mtb's are just junk.

ISIS BB's are notorious for failing and the manuafacteurs of these
parts are jumping ship to another design, BUT still making the
unreliable ISIS BB's. WTF! Six weeks to three months for a TI Axled BB
and then they charge like wounded bulls to replace the bearings? Only
shimano seem to have the Splined axel down pat, in fact some mechanics
I know are prefering the old square taper system to any of the newer
bb/crank interfaces.

Wheels.... well an entire kettle of fish on its own....
the facts are, I believe, the more you ride the bike - the quicker you
can expect to fix or replace something. Whether you have dinted or worn
out a rim, its just a factor of how long it takes. A fact accelerated
by a factor of how much you use your bike.
Fancy wheels or prebuilt wheel sets are best left for competition where
risks are acceptable, If you want a lighter set of wheels to train on
then you accpet the risk that something will break or wear out faster.
Thems the breaks!

105 wheels are a trickle down of Durace technology, but again a risk
involved in using them. Lower spoke counts require higher spoke tension
to keep straight, stonger/heavier rims the sustain the lower spoke
count. If your are going to commute or train on these rims, you can
expect that the greater loads these wheels have to endure are going to
take their toll on the wheels. A cut down version of a racing wheel is
just not going to last.

If you want a set of wheels that can last thru several seasons and put
up with commuting, then choose 36h eyeletted rims and good qualtiy
hubs. Bear in mind that riding throught potholes and such can damage
any wheel setup.

Personally, weighing over a hundred, and commuting with panniers, I
would choose at least 105 hubs, DT spokes, brass nipples and choose a
rim like MAVIC CXP-33 or OPEN PRO. Not the cheapest - but very durable.
Heck I've even riden off road on what I would class as steep, but
smooth downhill tracks. ( 30c cyclocross tyres)
 

jcjordan

New Member
Apr 5, 2004
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Well not even two months on the replacement wheels are starting to bend. Even gave Trek Australia a call and they said they would call back, which they did not do. Spoke to Simon at the Rideshop in Canberra, $600 and i can get a set of DT Swiss R1.1 rims, 26 spoke, ultegra hubs; they will be alot stronger and 100g lighter. Mate i ride with has a set and they are fantastic.
 
B

Bleve

Guest
jcjordan wrote:
> Well not even two months on the replacement wheels are starting to bend.
> Even gave Trek Australia a call and they said they would call back,
> which they did not do. Spoke to Simon at the Rideshop in Canberra,
> $600 and i can get a set of DT Swiss R1.1 rims, 26 spoke, ultegra hubs;
> they will be alot stronger and 100g lighter. Mate i ride with has a set
> and they are fantastic.


Interesting that the selects are bending. What do you weigh? What sort
of riding are you doing? Potholes? Kerbs? Velodromes?

Bonty selects are the bottom end bonty wheels, they'll be heavy,
but I wouldn't have thought they'd be fragile.

And even more interesting that you can get 26 spoke R1.1s :) They
must be *very* special!
 

jcjordan

New Member
Apr 5, 2004
504
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51
Bleve said:
jcjordan wrote:
> Well not even two months on the replacement wheels are starting to bend.
> Even gave Trek Australia a call and they said they would call back,
> which they did not do. Spoke to Simon at the Rideshop in Canberra,
> $600 and i can get a set of DT Swiss R1.1 rims, 26 spoke, ultegra hubs;
> they will be alot stronger and 100g lighter. Mate i ride with has a set
> and they are fantastic.


Interesting that the selects are bending. What do you weigh? What sort
of riding are you doing? Potholes? Kerbs? Velodromes?

Bonty selects are the bottom end bonty wheels, they'll be heavy,
but I wouldn't have thought they'd be fragile.

And even more interesting that you can get 26 spoke R1.1s :) They
must be *very* special!

I weight about 95kg and doing alot of commuting style riding, so some of the roads are a bit rough but i have managed to avoid all the potholes or major thumps on the wheels.

26 may be the wrong number, memory can be a bit fickle some times. I do know from the wheel builder that they will be lighter then the selects, but alot stronger, and a lot more spokes.
 
B

Bleve

Guest
jcjordan wrote:

> I weight about 95kg and doing alot of commuting style riding, so some
> of the roads are a bit rough but i have managed to avoid all the
> potholes or major thumps on the wheels.


Interesting. The LBS I work at sells a few Treks and I've not heard of
any wheels going out quicky. Will see what I can find out about
them....

> 26 may be the wrong number, memory can be a bit fickle some times. I
> do know from the wheel builder that they will be lighter then the
> selects, but alot stronger, and a lot more spokes.


Conventional wheel spoke counts are almost always divisable by 4.You'd
be looking at a 28 spoke wheel. Can I suggest, for a 95kg lad, a 32 or
36 spoke wheel? It'll be a bit stronger and more reliable as a
commuter. Save the 28 spoke jobs for race day or a day in the hills.

I have a RR1.1 rim on a Hugi hub (28 spoke radial) front wheel on my
wet weather bike and it's been pretty bombproof, and I'm about your
weight, give or take 5kg