First of all I'd just like to say thank you to the entire community here on BF. The wealth of information related to cycling here never ceases to amaze me. Also realize that I am a complete noob at this and only recently started cycling when I bought this bike.
That being said, I need some advice on how to handle something related to a bike i bought in september (that's still under warranty) and the LBS I bought it from. The bike I bought is a 2011 Trek 7.1 fx. Specs can be found http://www.bikes.org.uk/trek-71-fx-2011-hybrid-bike/. I am 6' tall and a heavyweight at 280ish. I ride this bike on my daily work commute (averaging about 4-5 times a week). The commute is 8 miles round trip 80% MUP/20% road. I don't bunnyhop curbs, or take this bike off a road AT ALL.
Here's a little timeline of repair events that have occured with this bike since September:
week 1 - 2 broken spokes on rear wheel, replaced for free.
week 2 - 1 spoke broken on rear wheel, replaced wheel for free
week 4 - left pedal feels "mushy". Crank is loose and i bring the bike in because i don't have the tools to tighten the crank. I leave the bike and when i come back my crankset has been replaced, as well as the crank arms. I am told it was faulty.
week 2 - I butt plant in the middle of an intersection on ice. I buy and install studded tires myself. This has no relevance, just thought I would include it.
week 1 - pedal feels mushy again. Still don't have the right tools so i bring the bike in. I'm told at this point it's not a warranty issue and to really stop the problem I'll probably need to upgrade my crankset to an octalink or similar quality. Basically I am told that we need to consider component upgrades because the bike in its current form is not handling the abuse i'm putting on it. For now, i am charged 17 dollars for a new left crank and told come in and get the crankset upgrade (at my cost) when I am ready. I am also instructed that I will need to keep a closer eye on the left crank to ensure it stays tightened. Fair enough, I learned more about bike maintenance. I should have been doing this anyway.
week 2: - 2 spokes very loose on the rear wheel. I just discovered this this morning and haven't taken the bike in. I'm assuming that this is now my problem and not a warranty issue since that's what happened with the last component replacement issue. I understand that spokes lose tension and need to be maintained, but this soon?
Part of me thinks the LBS needs to continue to replace these components for me, but the other side sees that maybe i'm a bit too heavy for this entry-level bike. That part of me also thinks they should have had the sales knowledge to realize this and keep me from buying the bike in the first place.
What say you all about this? How should I feel? Is this a reasonable amount of problems for this timespan? I honestly feel as though I now have a money-pit bike that will continue to have component failure until i can get all around better components, which will most certainly eventually double the cost of the bike. Should I buy a different bike? Go to a different LBS? Am I being treated fairly? What is the meaning of the universe?
Thanks so much for reading this and for your input/opinions.
Called the bike shop asking about my loose spokes and they said that maybe we need to consider a "beefier" wheel because the one that's on there is not holding up to my type of riding. The reason was that they said that Trek will just continue to send the same component over and over until my warranty is up. The LBS did say they would give me a "frequent buyer" discount though.
I also wanted to add that I typically ride to work with a change of clothes and lunch, add in lights/rack/milk crate and the grand total of weight is probably VERY close to 300 pounds, especially considering the extra pressure when I hit a bump. Still not real sure if this is fair. Talking to the Trek representative may change things...
A final update...I'm most definitely in better shape now than when i started riding, although I don't believe i've lost any weight. I ride faster and maybe harder now than I did when I first got the bike. All things are starting to point to me being too heavy for this bike in my opinion.