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is Trek at fault for this?!? (long)(4 posts)

is Trek at fault for this?!? (long)mlbd
Oct 12, 2001 11:51 AM
this is about my MTB, but this is the only discussion board i like.

anyway, i bought a pair of bontrager race modified wheels for my MTB last spring (trek owns bontrager). they usually go about $500-$600, but i got them for $400 because they were taken off a new bike before it was sold (so they were still new and covered by trek's warranty). in july the rear hub broke. i took it apart myself and found that the insides of the free hub were shot. so i went to my LBS (the same shop where i bought these wheels, where i had recently bought my first road bike and where i go for all my service) and asked them to order a new free hub. the first one they got was the wrong one. then, the trek representative was in town and he didn't know which one to order. (this is one of bontrager's sealed bearing designs which i guess confuses even them). i think they went through about 3 or 4 free hubs before they got the right one. so, about 1.5 months later, i got my wheel back. i threw it on the bike and found that the original problem was not solved so evidently more than the free hub was originally broken. i brought it back and showed them that the wheel was loose and shaking laterally. something else inside the hub was broken. the shop sent the entire wheel back to trek and it came back fixed yesterday. i tested it out in the parking lot before i went home and found that the chain was rubbing against the frame when in the smallest cog. went back in and the boys determined that either the axle was not centered properly or they put a different, shorter axle on the wheel. TREK PUT THE THING TOGETHER WRONG!!!

the LBS has been pretty cool and i haven't given them a hard time about it (until today) and that's probably partly why this has taken so long. now the owner says he may be able to convince Trek to give me a whole new wheel so that i can finally ride again. unfortunately, they don't make red wheels anymore so i'd have one old, red wheel and one new, black wheel. that would look like sh*t and i don't want it (even on my MTB).

i'm thinking about calling Trek (which is the company i bought all of my 3 bikes from) and telling them that i don't want to wait anymore while they fiddle around with my wheel (it's now been almost 2.5 months). i want a new PAIR of wheels (unless they can find a red rear wheel to replace my old one). Is that too much to ask?

please help. i have no idea what type of service to expect as this is the first time i've had a problem like this.

thanks.
re: is Trek at fault for this?!? (long)DINOSAUR
Oct 12, 2001 12:34 PM
In a nut shell, no. It's unfortunate that they don't make red wheels anymore as that would solve your problem. Asking for two new wheels is asking too much. Perhaps they could supply you with a loaner wheel and make right on the hub they have been having trouble repairing? The problem lies with Bontrager, not Trek. Have you considered contacting Keith Bontrager personally and tactfully addressing your problem? http://www.bontrager.com/keith/
I sent an email to the Klein website a couple of months ago and received a reply back from Gary Klein himself.
It sounds like Trek is back in the same fix they had when they equipped their bikes with Rolf wheels.
I hope your problem is resolved.
Dino
Yes, that's too much to askMel Erickson
Oct 12, 2001 12:40 PM
Part of your problem seems to lie in the way you went about diagonsing the problem. Would have been better to take the entire wheel to the LBS, they should have caught the second problem and been able to take care of it all at once. The main problem is with Trek and the lack of communication. Did the LBS have your wheel in hand when trying to get the correct freehub? If not they should have asked you to bring it in so they could determine what was wrong. Trek should be able to get it right the first time. You can certainly ask for, and expect to receive, a correctly repaired/replaced freehub with the emphasis on freehub. You don't have to accept a new wheel, you can demand your's gets repaired. However, if you opt for a new wheel, to expect Trek to give you two is unreasonable. I know it may be cheaper for Trek to give you a new wheel but that's their problem, not your's. If you want red they owe you a fixed wheel, not a replacement of the wrong color, but only one fixed wheel. It would be smart, and nice of them to throw in something extra, a pump?, gloves?, something to make up for their crappy work and your lost time and you should ask them to compensate you for your lost time. But, Two new wheels?
A bit much,TJeanloz
Oct 12, 2001 1:11 PM
I understand your plight, but reality is not likely to side with you and here's why: "I took it apart myself". Warranty null and void. If the consumer tinkers with anything, a warranty claim is entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer. Trek has every right to say that a contributing factor was the fact that a non-Trek authorized service person (you) worked on the wheel.

However, they're almost never that strict. If you became a real pain in the butt, they might become that strict, but usually they make a good faith effort.

But the warranty also authorizes Trek, at their discretion, to repair OR replace the wheel with the current model. It isn't your choice, it's theirs. We all wish that we could dictate warranty policies, and we all know how they 'ought' to function, but there is a legal reality.

And one more thing, 2.5 months is NOTHING for a warranty claim. If Trek averaged a 3 month turnaround, they'd probably be the fastest in the industry. Try getting something from Mavic or Spinergy if you want an exercise in frustration.