Yan makes okay bikes, but doesn't stand behind them any more than he has to
The frame cracked on my 6 year old lightly ridden, well maintained, Downtube 9. There was no accident, no neglect on my part. Since I got the bike, Yan has even modified the design using fatter tubing and reinforcing the area where my frame broke. Clearly Yan knew this was a weak point, otherwise, why beef it up and add weight to the frame. Yan said he would sell me a half frame... then said he didn't have any as he had given them all away to cut back on storage. I was a professional bike mechanic all through high school and college and have owned dozens and dozens of bikes. Never had a frame just spontaneously fail before... not even cheap dept. store type bikes (I've had a few as guest bikes or to modify, etc).
I asked Yan for a $100. credit towards a new bike... he said he would not give me anything. And that was the end of my relationship with Downtube. In addition to my bike, I purchased one for my wife, her sister, got my brother to buy one, and talked Downtube up to interested people every time I went riding. Other friends I know who also have Downtubes were turned off by the response I got from Yan and may not buy from him again.
When you don't stand behind your product, you lose loyal patrons. I gave Yan so much free publicity, and he just threw that away. I have been holding out on buying a new folder, but am leaning towards HASA... they give a lifetime warranty on their frames.
Hope things worked out okay for you.
Disappointed with Downtube
Appreciate your perspective, Pinigis, but I disagree. I may be a "newbie" to this forum, but I have a lifetime of experience with bicycles. The bike in question was lightly ridden. I didn't even burn through a single pair of Hookworms on this bike... maybe 4000 miles.
As a mechanic and part time manager, I dealt directly with lots of distributors and manufacturers, and this is exactly what a manufacturer's defect is... a failure that results during ordinary, intended usage. Clearly accidents, abuse or extreme wear would not be covered. True, my experience was back in the 70s and 80s, and perhaps manufacturers were more generous or ethical then. Although I recently helped someone with a wheel issue on a bike that was 7 years old... and the manufacturer offered to replace the wheels. Now that was what I call customer service.
My Gary Fisher Supercaliber is around 20 years old, aluminum, trail and street ridden and no frame issues. Frames do not spontaneously break under casual, normal riding unless there was a material or design defect. So I suspect HASA would honor their warranty. For the record, almost every warranty states that it warrants against manufacturers defects. No one covers you for a crash, even in the first week of use. The presumption is that unless there is evidence of accident or abuse, failure is a result of manufacturer's defect.
As regards my Downtube. The multiple changes Yan made in his frames... particularly at the location where mine failed, indicates he was experiencing failures or anticipated them. Why increase tubing diameter, and add angle supports, if there is not a design issue. Failures, excessive stress or flexing which will lead to failure. Adding weight where it is not needed would be poor design. It is my opinion that some small makers (and perhaps large ones too) design their frames by trial and error, and some of those errors hit the showroom floor. I attended the annual cycling show in Anaheim a couple of times in the early 90s, and the variety of frame designs, especially for suspension, was insane. Most of those designs were scrapped before they reached full production. As a small maker Yan may not have the luxury of thoroughly testing all his designs... but he ought to stand behind them, imho.
I don't understand you either
Cost over $300. and came with a full warranty, but WOW... are you really saying that Downtube riders should be appreciative if they get 2000 miles out of your bikes? A bicycle that breaks after a few thousand miles of around town riding is hardly something for the maker to be proud of. Or that if someone bought their Downtube from your EBAY store, they should expect a lesser product? That's more of a knock on Downtube's bikes than anything I have said.
Originally Posted by downtube