[EDIT: I see some people could misread my first sentance - I should have said "I have" instead of "I've got" to be more clear, I am the original owner of this bike]
I've got a 1983 Trek 400 with a bend in the frame where the downtube meets the head tube. This happened when I lifted the front wheel slightly off the ground to avoid a pothole and when it came down the wheel bent badly. The wheel bending was surprising, a little upsetting of course, but it was much more disturbing and shocking to see the frame bent.
That was in Massachusettes, where they have mountains. As an aside, the top speed I'd reached coming down was 55 Mph. I was going much slower when the pothole incident happened.
I'm now in Ohio and a Trek store recently opened. I stopped some weeks back out of curriosity. I mentioned the bent frame and a worker said I should have it looked at maybe it'd be covered under warranty.
I'll have to call Trek on Monday because today, after having had my bike for more than two weeks the shop called and said they denied my warranty claiming that the bend was caused by collision or such - I don't remember exactly because I was too upset to think clearly.
I was upset for a couple reasons I guess, I couldn't imagine they'd take more than two weeks then tell me they'd do NOTHING. I'd been preparing myself mentally for the disapointment that they'd only replace the frame and I'd have to buy new wheels (and a bunch of other new parts) because the shop told me they sometimes replace the whole bike, sometimes just the frame - they just didn't know what they'd do.
The other reason I'm upset is that the frame honestly did bend the way I said and essentially they're accusing me of lying, they didn't even have the decency to call and speak to me about it directly, they just told the shop.
I hadn't actually thought of the lifetime warranty until the shop suggested it, I'd even forgotten that my frame had the lifetime warranty. I'd just been riding the bike and hoping it would last.
I knew I was being honest and the guy at the shop had said it's probably not safe to just keep riding the bike with the bent frame - once a they mentioned that Trek might just replace the whole bike, then, they kept it for weeks I'd been getting my hopes up, rather excited about finally having a new Trek after 28 years.
I'd even had my father dig up my old original owner's manual and receipt and dropped it off at the store even though they'd not asked for it.
My father's also has the same bike as mine, his is also bent in a similar manner, although the reason for the bend is entirely different. His was mounted on a car roof rack and he ran into an awning. He's also fairly honest and won't try to get it repaired under warranty, he also just rides his as is hoping it won't fail.
I would have gone on doing the same had the shop not suggested seeing about the warranty. Now, I'm upset and I'm not sure what I'l do*. I've never sued anyone before but this business of them falsely claiming the damage is due to collision has got me worked up. I guess I assumed they'd probably think that anyway because it does seem so odd the way my frame bent, but, as usually happens in my naiviety I wrongly believe that people will believe me because I'm telling the truth.
I'll see what they say when I call on Monday.
EDIT: I added Pictures on page 2...
*I was upset because it seemed Trek was calling me a liar.