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Any experience with Litespeed defects/warranty claims?(18 posts)

Any experience with Litespeed defects/warranty claims?Donger
Dec 2, 2002 11:38 AM
The rear triangle of my 4 month old Merckx Majestic ti(built by Litespeed) is out of alignment, resulting in the rear wheel (properly dished) skewing a few mm to the left. The shop where I bought the bike confirmed this w/ the dropout tool. (Why they didn't check this before building up the bike is another issue.) The shop will contact the distributor and "do what they can". Reputable mechanic at another LBS told me about some of the questionable craftsmanship and warranty claim runarounds from Litespeed. I'd appreciate hearing about your positive or negative experiences. Thx.
Has nothing to do with Litespeed,TJeanloz
Dec 2, 2002 11:44 AM
Warrantying a Merckx has nothing to do with Litespeed. It will have to go through Gita (Merckx' distributor), who will take care of the claim.

In my years of working with Litespeed, I occasionally saw 'questionable craftsmanship', but never had a problem with warranty claims. On more than one occasion they sent a frame overnight to replace one that didn't meet our standards, so that we could have it built for the customer on time.

But as I said, your claim has nothing to do with Litespeed, and everything to do with Merckx.
Has nothing to do with Litespeed,Donger
Dec 2, 2002 11:49 AM
Thanks for your reply. I didn't mention that the shop where I bot the bike said it would go back to Litespeed via Gita.
I doubt it will go back to Litespeed,TJeanloz
Dec 2, 2002 11:56 AM
You don't say how far off it was, but rear triangles can be relatively far out of alignment and still be "in spec". As far as the frame going back to Litespeed, it's not likely, unless Gita wants to have it repaired instead of replaced.

That's the thing with OEM manufacturing - Gita supplied the warranty, Litespeed didn't. Once Gita has accepted the frame as within spec, they can't really send it back for a new one. Personally, I would be very surprised if Gita warranties your frame; it probably is within their specs, even if you don't like their specs.
I doubt it will go back to Litespeed,Donger
Dec 2, 2002 12:23 PM
Yes, I heard about the "within specs" perspective. I would say the dropout tool was off by about 1-2mm and, from behind, the wheel alignment relative to the seat tube is pretty obvious to the naked eye. What a pisser to spend $4K and have this. Guess I'll just have to wait and ride my mtb for the time being. Thanks again.
get your money's worthtrekkie1
Dec 2, 2002 1:08 PM
If they refuse to warranty it, let them know that it may be cheaper to honor the warranty rather than risk the negative publicity of you getting on every bike forum on the internet and publicizing their refusal to warranty and their lax "specs." You could cost them far more than the cost of one bike frame, couldn't you?

To be fair, note for them that if they honor the warranty, you will do the opposite -- sing praises for their excellent customer service equally as vociferously.
Doubtful effectivenessFez
Dec 2, 2002 1:25 PM
Disgruntled customers who do this on the anonymous internet are a dime a dozen. I doubt this method is effective in changing anyone's purchase decisions.

Additionally, bike companies are not frightened by customers who threaten this in an attempt in getting what they want. If you are a customer in a bind, stick to the merits of your case and be reasonable. You'd be surprised at how a company will go above and beyond the minimum in rectifying the problem.
This is ridiculous,TJeanloz
Dec 2, 2002 1:26 PM
The rear triangle is out by less than 2mm and you think it should be a Federal case? Please. I bet 90% of bicycles in the world have rear triangles that are further out of alignment. A lot of people wonder what the difference is between a $1300 frame and a $3000 frame- note the Sachs discussion below- the difference is in how perfect specs are. 1-2mm is not "lax" in terms of spec. It's perfectly reasonable, and nobody should make a big deal about it.

A major problem in the bike industry (and others, I presume), is that people tend to spend as much as they can afford on a bike, and since they spent so much, they feel that it has to be 'perfect'. I've seen people buy a $200 bike and want it to be perfect- but perfection costs more than most people are willing to pay.
Not making a federal case...Donger
Dec 2, 2002 1:44 PM
but not having worked in the bike industry, I posted the question to get a better perspective from those who may be more familiar. I also posted after the owner of a rbr partner store measured the dropout and offered to contact the distributor.
Not making a federal case...gtx
Dec 2, 2002 7:20 PM
those Park dropout alignment tools aren't really accurate within 1mm, and 1-2mm isn't a big deal, but if the rear is out of alignment (and visable with a properly dished wheel) it's out of alignment. Having a good shop--especially a dealer or the one you bought the bike at--on your side makes all the difference in the world. Good luck!
Hey TJeanloz12x23
Dec 2, 2002 2:50 PM
What would you consider to be legitimately out of spec? Reason I ask is I had this problem with a new frame a couple of month's ago. Looking from the rear toward the seattube, the tire was almost "flush" with the left edge of the seattube. It didn't affect shifting, but it sure looked bad.
Out of curiosity...Donger
Dec 2, 2002 2:55 PM
Who was the framemaker and did you do anything about it?
Out of curiosity...12x23
Dec 2, 2002 3:53 PM
Yep, I got a replacement and built it up. The earlier frame was off under the brake bridge. The new one is off less, but the wheel offset behind the seattube is so obvious my riding buds picked right up on it. (I didn't notice if there was a misalignment with the seattube with the first frame because I never built it after discovering the brake bridge so far off).

I intend to take number 2 back again to see what the shop/manufacturer say. I feel obligated to talk with the shop and manufacturer first to see if my 2nd frame is within spec (I don't think it is), as admittedly I tend to "pick birdseed out of pigsheet" sometimes. :-D
It depends on the bike...TJeanloz
Dec 2, 2002 3:30 PM
As I alluded to, what passes for spec depends on the quality of the bike. On a run-of-the-mill production bike, like a Bianchi Eros or Veloce, or a Trek 2200, or Specialized Allez, I'd think that 5-7mm would be about as far out as was in the realm of acceptability. On a high-end stock bike- say a Specialized E-5, Trek OCLV, I'd expect something like 3-4mm as a worst possible scenario. On a bike typically sold as a frameset, like the aforementioned Merckx, 2-3mm is the edge of acceptability. On the highest end bikes from the top manufacturers ($2500+ framesets), 2mm would be really stretching my patience, 1mm would be acceptable. The truely anal, boutique builders, who stake their reputations on perfection should be, well, perfect. All the time.
It depends on the bike...12x23
Dec 2, 2002 4:05 PM
Well, in this case it is a high end complete bike something north of $5000 msrp. And, it is bugging the crap out of me looking at it as it is quite a bit more than 1mm (very rough estimate 4-5mm) ... enough that it is obvious when standing and looking from the rear. I'm glad to hear someone agree with me before I approach the shop/manufacturer again. My past experience with both has been excellent and I really hate to take this frame back.
OK, any experience w/ GITA warranty claims?? (nm)Donger
Dec 2, 2002 12:48 PM
Similar symptom - different causedeHonc
Dec 2, 2002 8:32 PM
Just for information - I had noticed my back wheel also was scewed to the LHS (non drive side) by a few mm - noticable when looking down at the chain stays behind the bottom bracket area. If I undid the QR scewers and realigned the wheel - it was OK until I rode the bike - then back to LHS bias. Took the bike back to where I bought it - turned out that the Bontrager scewers were to blame - soft alloy didn't hold the wheel in place. The scewer was taken out and a steel one used and now the wheel stays put. Trek are still working out a fix for me.
this should be the shops issue...jaybird
Dec 3, 2002 6:26 AM
The shop should be taking the lead on this since they didn't check it in the first place. Also, because the frame was out of alignment doesn't indicate shoddy craftsmanship. Have you ever seen what UPS and trucking companies do to boxes? Lastly, if it is only 2-5mm off, you (the shop) should be able to realign it with a little effort. It is titanium afterall and not glass...

good luck.