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Bianchi EV2 - warranty issue? long...(5 posts)

Bianchi EV2 - warranty issue? long...PMC
Jan 10, 2003 10:45 AM
I bought a new 2001 Bianchi EV2 from a shop in CA (over the phone and had it shipped) this last fall. The price was right and I didn't think I could go wrong. My plan was to strip the Record kit, replace it with an Ultegra kit and then ride it in some local races next season. I rode it three or four times just to get the feel of it before putting it away for the winter.

Fast forward two months later - During the process of tearing it down, I notice that the seat tube was crimped by the front derailleur band. It's not horrible but the frame is definitely damaged.

I called the shop where I bought it and sent some digital photos that clearly show the damage. They sent everything on to Bianchi. Part of the response by Bianchi was:

* Bianchi's stance at this time is a crack of this sort is warrantied if it is noticed when the bike comes out of the box it was shipped to the dealer in, not if noticed two months after being sold.
* Bianchi is willing to consider warranty possibilities but hesitate to arbitrarily warranty.

I understand that Bianchi cannot just go around giving out free replacement frames when joe anybody claims the frame was damaged prior to purchase. What they are offering without inspecting my EV2 is an XL Boron for 500 and my damaged frame which I'm not real thrilled about.

My guess is that I'm screwed but my questions are:
1 - Has anyone here had to deal with a Bianchi warranty claim and how were they to deal with?
2 - Has anyone ever had this issue with either a Bianchi or another frame?
3 - Is the offer, made by Bianchi, just a starting point or a final offer? Would they possibly make a better offer after inspecting the frame? (my guess after the response I received is no)
4 - Is the frame completely trashed with minor seat tube crimping? Both halves of the band left an approximately 1mm deep impression in the seat tube where the ends come together and are bolted on. The other side of the seat tube appears to be fine.

If they will not replace it without cost to me, I'll most likely pick up a Cannondale frame from GVH and scrap the EV2 if it turns out to be unusable.

Thanks for any and all responses I get.
Pete
Is it a warranty issue?TJeanloz
Jan 10, 2003 11:43 AM
My guess is also that you're screwed, and their position is correct. Here's why:

The crimped tube, if caused by the people installing the Record derailluer, is a manufacturers defect. It should also be detected almost immediately by the dealer who is unpacking the bike. If the bike is owned for a significant period of time, it is likely that the crimp was not caused by the factory wrench, but by a LBS or bike owner. This also is not damage caused by normal wear and tear- it is, in fact, improper installation, boardering on abuse. It is very unlikely that they would grant a warranty without seeing the frame first, but they are generally quite generous about warrantying bikes - so you might send it in and see what they say. I've found that sometimes they'll send a new frame just because it's easier than re-packing the old one and sending it back. I'd say that it is likely they would change their offer after seeing the frame.

On the topic of safety, if the 'crimp' has not actually broken through (i.e. there isn't a hole or crack in the frame), riding it shouldn't be much of a problem- there isn't a whole lot of stress put on a seattube.
my experienceDougSloan
Jan 10, 2003 11:53 AM
The steer tube in my first EV2 broke after about 9 months. Bianchi warranteed and I got a new one in one day. No issue at all.

That EV2, a 2000, also has a very slight dent in the seat tube from the derailleur clamp. I figure it's really thin tubing there, and no harm done. I built up the frame (actually about 10 times with different components), so I can't blame anyone but myself. I don't worry about it, though.

I think a dent is no problem, unless it turns into a crack.

Doug
Thanks for both repliesPMC
Jan 10, 2003 12:52 PM
After reading both replies, I called Bianchi USA and talked with a service rep. He confirmed that no warranty claim could be made. He also confirmed that if the seat tube is not cracked, it's safe to ride just as you both had stated.

Thanks again
EV2 crimpingELAY
Mar 8, 2003 5:13 AM
There is a local team that rides the EV2 and two of them experience crimps on the seat tube by the front derailleur. Should this be considered a defect? This does not seem to be a problem with other aluminum frames from other manufacturers.