Deal alert: ridley helium force or noah force $1900

Campybob, I had a Ridley Scandium bike that developed a crack at the top of the head tube after only 8,000 miles, I took the bike to the shop from where I got it and later a marketing rep for Ridley came out to inspect the bike, which then he had to send it back to the company to get checked. The company's first reply was that I had crashed the bike, problem was that the bike had all the original components and wheels on it and there wasn't any damage whatsoever to any other part of the bike for which my LBS argued this point. Ridley then came back later and denied the claim again stating that closer examination the crack was due to fatigue and thus no warranty coverage. This whole process took about 8 months, of course I have other bikes so that issue wasn't important, but the claim being denied due to fatigue after just a year and half and only 8,000 documented miles was insane, even the LBS thought so, but getting a lawyer and paying more for the legal fees then the frame was worth would have been a lost cause. So the frame got taken to the recycle yard and I sold some of the components.

Point is I'm not too thrilled with Ridley as a company as you should be able to tell, thus with that experience I'm not going to recommend a Ridley to anyone. Of course my situation may be unique and unusual but nevertheless the situation occurred and if another unique and unusual situation occurred to someone here after buying the Ridley you showed then I would have felt bad for not bringing up the possibility of a major problem no matter how remote that problem might be.
Was the Ridley bike still under warranty when you filed your claim? That would **** me off if it was under warranty and denied. No reason to ******** a customer. Your experience is valid and there's no reason it shouldn't be made public if it was a screw job on a valid warranty claim.

Scandium is alloyed with aluminum to minimize the heat-affected zone at the welds. Where did your Ridley crack? At a weld?

This is one of the reasons I like the large internet re-sellers. They have always done me right. From Nashbar replacing that cracked Colnago Master to Competitive Cyclist giving me a new Wilier Izoard XP to replace the cracked one. **** happens. It's how it's handled after the fact that makes all the difference.

The Ridley Noah and Ridley Helium both have good online reviews. SRAM Force is decent stuff. The price is right. IMO anything in the $2K price arena is a throwaway race beater to me. That's why I jumped on that Ribble. Cheap. It has a 6-year frame/fork warranty. If it goes 'snap crackle pop' and they honor the bike they slapped their name on..great. If they don't, I'm out not a whole lot.
Yeah the bike was still under a 5 year warranty if I remember correctly for material and workmanship. The crack started at the top front of the head tube where there was no welding, which went unnoticed until the crack got long enough to protrude past the headset. The bike was assembled at Ridley and not by me or the LBS, all the LBS had to do was put on the usual seat, pedals, twist the bars or insert the bars (not sure which in this case), etc that happens with any bike shipped in a box.

That's the only bike that I've ever owned that had a frame issue, not only a frame issue but with so few miles on it. But some aspects I'm glad it broke because it rode like a tank, but I don't like being taken advantage like that either. The LBS had their hands tied, they couldn't get me a free or exchange for a different frame without money coming from Ridley to make that offer which they never got. That situation led to the LBS cancelling their contract to sell Ridley bikes! Even with that threat given to Ridley as a last attempt to make something happen Ridley didn't blink.
Probably a defect in the aluminum tubing. Absolutely bizarre that Ridley would not comp you a new frame. ****** off customers lead to bad advertising for years.

The crack could have occurred in any manufacturer's frame, in any material. They handled it poorly.
Probably a defect in the aluminum tubing. Absolutely bizarre that Ridley would not comp you a new frame. ****** off customers lead to bad advertising for years.

The crack could have occurred in any manufacturer's frame, in any material. They handled it poorly.

Where I use to live in Calif the dealer sold me on the toughness of SC, which sounded good, and looked good on everything I had read about it, but the alloy was a bit new yet, turned out later, after my crack warranty was closed, that SC suffered from brittleness, which surprises me there are a few companies that still offer it I think...anyway's last time I checked which admittedly has been at least a couple of years ago.

I'm sure it was a defect, someone told me years later that it was possible that the fork/headset may have been improperly torqued, but still that was done by the manufacture since it came in the box with that whole thing set up so they would have been responsible on that end anyways, the dealer never mentioned the fork possibility but did say they check all torque values on everything before they release the bike before I bought it, regardless that subject never came up during the attempted warranty claim.

At the time I bought the bike I was still riding mountains hard and wanted a rocket bike that was stiff, it was that, but it was too stiff, like I said earlier it rode like a tank, so it was one of those bitter sweet moments junking that frame, but yes indeed, Ridley handled it very poorly and should have offered me a replacement frame.

The big problem here is that over the years I've ran into a lot of people in real life and on forums like this one where frame manufactures try their best to back out of a claim, they'll either blame it on fatigue as Ridley did or improper servicing of the bike and will blame the dealer, or try to make it look like an accident occurred as they tried with me but failed. A lot of high end Italian manufactures are notorious for backing out of their warranties, I've known several Colnagos that broke and the consumers got nowhere with them, among other brands.

I don't take have a whole lot of faith in these bicycle warranties, it's lot like trying to get a bed mattress or a carpet warrantied...impossible. I have a bike I bought new in 1984, now of course it has over 160k miles on it but what if I had only rode the bike for 500 miles and stored it all these years then decide today take it for a ride and a braze fails and the frame breaks at the lug, how would Trek handle their lifetime warranty? That frame is a 660 which was their second from the top of line, just below the 760, I doubt they would repair it, probably say it was fatigue, but even if they do decide to warranty it how would they handle that? give me some cheap **** aluminum frame as replacement? I seriously doubt they would give me their second from the top of the line frame even though technically that is what I should get because that's what I bought. So I'm sure they would find someway of offering me a $100 wholesale made in China cheapest crappiest frame they could find with a Trek logo on it and think I would be smiling about it! I think if a manufacture is on the hook for paying for the cost to replace a frame they will do their darnedest to make sure they loose the least amount of money as possible at the expense of the consumer.
A high end frame costs the modern bike 'brand' around $250. Purchased individually and without the 'brand' decal on it it will cost you about the same money to maybe $500.

For the...let's call it 5 bones for the replacement frame and labor to swap your parts over...I can't see any manufacturer risking the bad rep. And yet you had it happen to you.

My local TREK dealer has a pile of cut up frames that TREK stood behind. Maybe I got lucky on the Colnago and Wilier replacements, but I doubt my story is the exception.

Back in the day a friend had a Motobecane sever the downtube on a ride. It had a million miles on it, was only a $200 bike and they gave him a new, complete model up the line as a replacement.

To get back to the above Ridleys from Competitive Cyclist...would I buy one? Yes. The price is darn good. Competitive Cyclist took good care of me when the Wilier I bought from them cracked. Lastly, I view anything in this price range as a throw away racing bike. I'm not a fan of SRAM, but a Helium/Force would probably be a good choice for the amateur Cat. racer.
While I haven't heard of any issues with the big brand bikes sold in America in regards to warranty issues, like Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale (who I knew a guy that broke 2 Cannondales and he got a new frame each time without cost to him, this was back before Cannondale sold out, not sure how they are since then, but it still makes me wonder how they would handle a lifetime frame warranty on a frame made of material they longer make and haven't made for years. It seems to be the more boutique brands that have issues with warranties, and especially those out of Italy.

The worst problem with warranties is when a dealer screws up something and a major issue develops out of that, the dealer doesn't want to be on the hook at all and will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying for a frame replacement for example.

By the way, there is a lot of bad rap on the internet about Colnago, see:

It seems most of the bad rap is about their CF bikes, I didn't see one on the steel, not sure about their AL jobs. Of course there aren't a slew of complaints, but how many are out there that just never get on the internet would be the question.

I use to lust for the 80's era Colnagos with the fluted tubing and the wild paint jobs with chrome fork and stays...damn they were beautiful, I think those were the best looking bikes I've ever seen by anyone, but they were way out of my price range, not to mention I needed a racing bike not a piece of art! LOL!! I would have been afraid to crash that one big time!
I use to lust for the 80's era Colnagos with the fluted tubing and the wild paint jobs with chrome fork and stays...damn they were beautiful, I think those were the best looking bikes I've ever seen by anyone, but they were way out of my price range, not to mention I needed a racing bike not a piece of art! LOL!! I would have been afraid to crash that one big time!

I have one. A Colnago Profile in Sarroni red It's kind of a burgandy metalflake/metallic with a ton of chrome and pantograph work. Cloverleaf downtube and double-indented top tube. Check out the pics I posted earlier. It's in there.

The Master I cracked was also Sarroni red, but lacked the metallic treatment and the 400 coats of hand-rubbed clear coat the Profile has. LOL!

Colnago put out some **** in the '70's when high sales volume forced them to outsource some of their builds. And frankly, like most early Italian manufacturers, the paints jobs were nothing to write home about until they got smart enough to realize people paid a lot more for a good looking bike than one with a spray bomb job.
You lucky dog, that bike has been a lust of mine for years. Can't have everything in life! LOL! The ones I liked were ones that had the old style, and my favorite style, quill stem instead of what I think are ugly the new threadless design system, the quill stem just made the bike, well all bikes in those days not just the Colnago, more graceful looking, not so industrial looking like the look today.

There was a couple of paint schemes I liked, I remember this one: but I thought I recalled the one I saw having chromed fork crowns with a clover leaf cutout that then was painted? you would know more about whether or not that bike ever came like that, I couldn't find one on the internet. And then another one I saw in the same store 7 to 10 years later, around the mid 90's, that I really like the looks of was mostly yellow with the wild paint but had an all chrome straight fork with the clover leaf cutout painted inside, but I can't find that one either tonight. Anyways all of those bikes no matter the year were fantastic looking; and imagine, a real artist that did the fancy paint work too!

Well with all the bikes you've broke Campy Bob, please don't break that one!!
My fork is fully chromed. The Cloverleaf cutouts are back filled with black paint. I used the profile in a few road races and retired it with a few hundred, couple thousand miles on it. It's mint.

Stays are 3/4 chromed.

Mine has the full round seat tube. Later models used partially indented seat tubes.

The Bottechia has more detailing and better paint work. I raced the nutz off that one. To this day I still laugh at guys that say Delta brakes don't work well.
It's been awhile since I've seen those bikes but I do recall the fluted seat tube ones too. I think for me it was combination of wild paint schemes they offered, combined with the uniqueness of the fluted tubing, and then chrome stuff thrown in to make it sparkle.

Dario Pegoretti bikes have always been artsy too.

Both Colnago and Pegoretti seem to have gotten away from some of that fancy painting they use to do.

The problem was that I've heard over the years from owners is that the Italians used poor quality paint and didn't hold up as long as Japanese, American, and England made bikes. What's your thought on that?
1970's Italian paint was pretty sketchy. It ran the gamut from really good to just plain junk work. The Brits could be just as bad and the French were probably the worst overall quality finish and detail workers.

Jap quality was better as a rule. American paintwork was probably the best in the 1980's and 1990's. Some Italian production was sent here in primer and decals and paintwork done here.

By the 2000's everyone realized the sizzle sold the steak and quality universally improved.

I can tell you this much, the Chinese do it as well as anyone today. Period. The sanding, paint, decals and clearcoat on the carbon frames I've owned and checked out are top shelf.

For custom stuff, we are probably still more creative and willing to go for buyer requests....but, at a stiff price increase. TREK Project One, Spesh...all of them offer paint that custom builders would be proud to be able to sell. Got money, call TREK and do some CG graphics. They'll be happy to go nuts for you.
On the subject of stuff made in China, their record is still spotty when it comes to reliability and quality control, and depending on how well western companies oversee the entire operation depends on good the final product is, the less intervention we have the less quality control there is. I saw a you tube video of a guy cutting several CF frames lenght wise but I couldn't find it today, but it showed Specialized have the best quality control, followed by Trek, then the bad ones started to pop up, and they were Pinarella and Bianchi, those last two had parts of the bladder for the mode left inside, peeling CF sheets due to failure to glue properly, etc. It you remember your steel days the lower and even medium quality steel frames sometimes had metal shavings inside, poorly brazed tubing leaving gaps, chunks of over abundance of braze material, large gaps between lugs and tubes, etc.

So this stuff is nothing new, but when a person buys something made in China and it lasts a few months past the warranty period it gets very frustrating. In addition to that I don't like the direction that China is taking their military, it's going to make this world a lot less stable than it already is if you can imagine that!

I understand this is my own personal garbage, but even setting politics aside you can't deny poor quality coming out of a lot of factories over there. With bike's, as I'm sure they can do with other stuff, sloppy workmanship can be hidden inside where people won't see the problems. There have been incidences of Chinese poisoning people and dogs in America, see:

But having said all of that it's impossible to buy everything you need not to be made in China, and some of it is indeed decent quality, and I'll buy a product made in China if it's significantly cheaper and I don't need a high costing product. It's weird I know, I try to do a balancing act with it all, if I find something made in some other country other than China for not a terrible amount more then I'll buy it.

Their quality control is so bad, even bad with their own brand names, like their cars, they can't be imported here because year after year they fail our federal safety standards. Granted someday they'll past the safety standards, but like the Korean car companies it took many years to get their quality control up, and like Korea it will take China many years to get their cars quality control up and all along Americans are buying them because they're cheap but at the cost of very high recalls and a lot of reliability issues.