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Buying used Carbon frames...any added risk?(11 posts)

Buying used Carbon frames...any added risk?mlbd
Jul 11, 2002 3:08 AM
Trek OCLV is going for some pretty good prices over on Ebay. I understand the usual risk you take of buying on Ebay, but have had good luck so far. I'm concerned that there might be added risk in buying a carbon frame or bike because i've heard it is more difficult to detect cracks in carbon than it is in, say, aluminum. Is there any truth to this? Is it more risky to buy a used carbon bike/frame sight unseen than it is to buy used aluminum?

Let me count the ways...filtersweep
Jul 11, 2002 4:30 AM
... good luck with warrantee service. I doubt Trek will honor it to the non-original owner.

I've seen some of those deals, and they are tempting. I would be concerned about some of the bikes that have blemishes or "raised" decals, etc... how did they get that way? I'd expect most owners should be able to ride thousands of miles without scratching up their top tubes, etc... (I know I baby my bike). How do these low mileage bikes get so banged up?? One bike has a seat that is completely ripped up after "2000 miles" ?. I'd have taken it OFF for the pic.

I personally like the OCLV Trek frame, but HATE their paint schemes... and it seems all the frames they ever have on ebay are garishly postal.
Filtersweep....and also concering buying used carbon framesCARBON110
Jul 11, 2002 5:26 AM
Filter I tink its fair to say that the bike industry is just getting into the advent of spicing up its color campaign. Needless to say the industry itself has been struggling ever since the start and color/look is a good way to sell a bike. Trek I think does a fair job on offering always more than one color on any model. You can also send your bike back to Trek and have them repaint it any color they offer in the catalogue.
As far as buying used carbonbikes. Well unless the seller is a liar and depicts the bike new and unmolested when in fact its been crashed and broken before then there is no problem. I have owned 7 OCLV frames and hey always get scratched. I ride the hell out of my bikes but I am not careless with them. Stones from other riders wheels, stones from crs going by, putting your bike on top of your car or in the back of a truck, soem jackass knocking it over on accident, stuff happens. Now something totally obvious like ripped seats on a road bike is unusal unless its very old and someone wore out the material. Mtn bikes are supposedto have scratches. Theres no need to worry about breaking an OCLV frame and not having it replaced by Trek UNLESS the sticker on the bottom bracket has been removed. Trek is very good about taking care of its customers. I should know...its getting a sellar from ebay or RBR that is telling the truth is what you need to find and there seems to be a good number of them out there. I have bought 3 of my 7 OCLV bikes from ebay and RBR and the rest frm my bike shop. Never had any problems with the condition of the bike. Good LUCK
Trek will really warranty a USED frame??mlbd
Jul 11, 2002 6:25 AM
Trek will warranty a used OCLV frame? Is this common among manufacturers? Thanks.
Warrantee only good for original owner, but...biknben
Jul 11, 2002 6:48 AM
Most, if not all, warrantees state that it is good only for the original owner.

That doesn't mean you're completed SOL if buying used. I've replaced two used frames under warrantee. I have a good relationship with my LBS so they didn't care. The manufacturer never aked for any more than the serial number.

The relationship with the LBS is key. If you're a regular customer, they shouldn't give you a hard time.
How to approach LBSmlbd
Jul 11, 2002 6:59 AM
I have a pretty good relationship with my Trek LBS...I'm definitely a regular and have numerous big ticket items there. Is it okay to ask them before hand about a warranty for a used bike that i don't plan to buy at their shop? or should i just hope they'll be good about it if i end up needing the warranty?
They'll say no...TJeanloz
Jul 11, 2002 7:32 AM
They have to. Otherwise, it is an admission that they are going to commit fraud. They way you have to do it is bring the bike to them when it needs to be warrantied, and follow a don't ask, don't tell policy regarding where you bought it.
Got it...thanks (nm)mlbd
Jul 11, 2002 7:36 AM
How to approach LBS?-With Beer (nm)Dream plus
Jul 11, 2002 7:38 AM
Jul 11, 2002 12:05 PM
I think part of the issue with Trek is that they are so damn popular (and available- AND "affordable") that there are those guys who decided five minutes ago after watching a TDF highlight on ESPN that they were going to start road biking and a year later their wives tell them to sell that thing sitting in their basement/garage/where ever.

I personally don't trust that they have all been lovingly cared for like I might some other brands of rarer relatively "high-end" rides. Some of the ad copy on ebay reads like it was written by someone who knows NOTHING of bikes. Conversely, they are available for much better prices than other bikes.

I do need to ask: Why SEVEN OCLV bikes?
re: Buying used Carbon frames...any added risk?grzy
Jul 11, 2002 12:48 PM
You're a whole lot better off buying a used OCLV than a used alu. frame. First, the OCLV is a pretty robust frame - I had a nasty wreck on mine sent it back to Trek conviced it was toasted, but they said it was fine and I went back to riding it. The frame will last a long time and take a fair amount of abuse. If it reallyhas been damaged you're going to find out pretty quickly. Aluminum is designed to fail. It will fatigue it's just a matter of time. Question is how much time is left? Aluminum frames are cheap and disposable. Trek warranties their frame for life (original owner), but they wouldn't do it if they didn't think they had a durable product. if you actually get a bad one you can probably work out some kind of a replacement deal if you're cleaver. Get the original owne r to handle the warranty for you as a condition of the sale. They'll say yes, b/c they've got very little to lose, it's unlikley that it will happen, and it may get you to buy it. You shouldn't be paying too much for the frame anyway so how much risk is really involved?