I picked up one of these in June 09 (17.5") and didn't really use it as much as I'd hoped (about 5 miles of road use before packing it away). Was moving house and noticed the frame has split lengthwise along the chainstay. Trek won't honor replacement as they claim it must have been caused by ice expanding inside (despite no obvious way to get water in and the fact it spent most of it's life in my apartment bar the first couple of summer months on my patio).
Anyway, given that situation I'm now trying to figure out what my options are and wanted some experienced advice. I think it comes down to:
1. Get frame repaired - it's quite a big split but I don't intend on doing anything too rough with the bike. Worried about how solid a aluminum repair would be given this is a big split and not a small crack.
2. Replace frame with a non-Trek frame - my preferred choice given the components are like new and good quality. Also minimizes waste and I quite like the idea of learning a rebuild (last time was in the 80's with a BMX...) Need some advice as to the difficulty and which frames would fit.
3. Replace frame with same - would likely be easier than option 2 although you can't appear to buy these lower-end Trek frames individually and I'm not keen giving Trek more money as this bike has so far cost be about $100 a mile.