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  1. #1
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    Cannondale Warranty: What Constitutes a Replacement?

    So I was always curious about this.

    Warranties are generally worded in a way thats pretty broad. I mean, what company wants to have a warranty that can cover almost anything right?

    So the cannondale lifetime warranty for the frame is intriguing. On the other hand, it doesn't really cover wear and tear.

    Exactly what does the lifetime warranty cover then? I always thought wear and tear went hand in hand with a crack in the frame. The harder you right, the more susceptible it is to developing a weakness somewhere and eventually cracking.

    I am trying to understand clearly on what types of damages and methods they were obtained would Cdale replace/warranty the frame.

    Side Question:
    If that terrible day ever occurs, can I take my bike to my favorite LBS or does it have to be a authorized Cdale dealer? (My LBS doesn't sell Cannondale).

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    Quote Originally Posted by noobyondaroad View Post
    So I was always curious about this.

    Warranties are generally worded in a way thats pretty broad. I mean, what company wants to have a warranty that can cover almost anything right?

    So the cannondale lifetime warranty for the frame is intriguing. On the other hand, it doesn't really cover wear and tear.

    Exactly what does the lifetime warranty cover then? I always thought wear and tear went hand in hand with a crack in the frame. The harder you right, the more susceptible it is to developing a weakness somewhere and eventually cracking.

    I am trying to understand clearly on what types of damages and methods they were obtained would Cdale replace/warranty the frame.

    Side Question:
    If that terrible day ever occurs, can I take my bike to my favorite LBS or does it have to be a authorized Cdale dealer? (My LBS doesn't sell Cannondale).
    You have to work through an authorized Cannondale dealer for the warranty but it doesn't have to be the dealer that sold the bike. You have to be the original owner and have the documentation to prove it.. The warranty is pretty clearly written out on their website. Basically I think if the frame snaps in half and it's not the result of a crash they would replace it. They also have a crash replacement where they will give you a discount toward a new frame if it's destroyed in a crash. You don't have to be original owner to take advantage of that but they wouldn't tell me exactly how much of a discount you get so I'm guessing not much
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    They also have a crash replacement where they will give you a discount toward a new frame if it's destroyed in a crash. You don't have to be original owner to take advantage of that but they wouldn't tell me exactly how much of a discount you get so I'm guessing not much
    Just wanted to point out that you DO have to be the original owner to take advantage of the crash replacement program:

    Cannondale Crash Replacement Program ? Cannondale Bicycles Customer Support

    In order to qualify for Crash Replacement, the customer must:

    • Be the original owner of the bike
    • Include the original proof of purchase
    • Have the frame evaluated by their local Cannondale retailer
    Unless your dealer told you otherwise?

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    Thanks for the reply guys.

    How does a frame crack out of no where if not from a crash? Or from riding it hard (again, wear and tear).

    I don't know, maybe I just can't wrap my head around the idea of, you're riding your bike and suddenly your frame cracks. Hard to grasp that picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noobyondaroad View Post

    So the cannondale lifetime warranty for the frame is intriguing. On the other hand, it doesn't really cover wear and tear.

    Exactly what does the lifetime warranty cover then? I always thought wear and tear went hand in hand with a crack in the frame. The harder you right, the more susceptible it is to developing a weakness somewhere and eventually cracking.
    Policies

    It's the traditional boilerplate limited warranty terms.

    - You must be the original owner
    - You must be able to provide proof that you purchased it brand new
    - Any authorized Cannondale shop can do the warranty claim
    - The bike must be purchased, assembled, from an authorized Cannondale retailer to qualify for the limited warranty

    While the warranty doesn't specifically call out what is (and isn't covered) it's uses the right language:

    "This limited warranty is void if the bicycle is subjected to abuse, neglect, improper repair, improper maintenance, alteration, modification, an accident or other abnormal, excessive, or improper use."

    "Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle."

    Many manufacturers will use the terminology 'workmanship' but Cannondale does not appear to use that here. Basically, they'll cover the frame if it fails because they didn't build it right or the materials they used failed when the bike was being operated under normal use.

    The issue is in the details. Most limited warranties are intentionally vague when so many variables exist, it gives manufacturers a lot of latitude that may or may not go in the favor of the customer.

    You laugh but Trek actually has a pretty sweet extended warranty program (Trek Care Plus). It's not free or included in the sale of the bike but it's the only program that I'm aware of which covers pretty much everything on the bike (no questions asked) minus rubber/consumables.

    I don't know of any (bike) limited warranty that covers wear & tear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noobyondaroad View Post
    Thanks for the reply guys.

    How does a frame crack out of no where if not from a crash? Or from riding it hard (again, wear and tear).

    I don't know, maybe I just can't wrap my head around the idea of, you're riding your bike and suddenly your frame cracks. Hard to grasp that picture.
    From a defect which is what the warranty is for. And they expect you'll never use it. That's how warranties work, it is mainly to protect the company against a lawsuit not to protect the consumer. 99% of the issues most people have will not be covered
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebby10 View Post
    Just wanted to point out that you DO have to be the original owner to take advantage of the crash replacement program:

    Cannondale Crash Replacement Program ? Cannondale Bicycles Customer Support



    Unless your dealer told you otherwise?
    I contacted cannondale about the policy as I'm the second owner of my frame. They said I was eligible for crash replacement but not warranty. I'll be sure to save the email they sent me with that in writing in case it ever comes up
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

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    Quote Originally Posted by softreset View Post
    Policies

    It's the traditional boilerplate limited warranty terms.

    - You must be the original owner
    - You must be able to provide proof that you purchased it brand new
    - Any authorized Cannondale shop can do the warranty claim
    - The bike must be purchased, assembled, from an authorized Cannondale retailer to qualify for the limited warranty

    While the warranty doesn't specifically call out what is (and isn't covered) it's uses the right language:

    "This limited warranty is void if the bicycle is subjected to abuse, neglect, improper repair, improper maintenance, alteration, modification, an accident or other abnormal, excessive, or improper use."

    "Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle."

    Many manufacturers will use the terminology 'workmanship' but Cannondale does not appear to use that here. Basically, they'll cover the frame if it fails because they didn't build it right or the materials they used failed when the bike was being operated under normal use.

    The issue is in the details. Most limited warranties are intentionally vague when so many variables exist, it gives manufacturers a lot of latitude that may or may not go in the favor of the customer.

    You laugh but Trek actually has a pretty sweet extended warranty program (Trek Care Plus). It's not free or included in the sale of the bike but it's the only program that I'm aware of which covers pretty much everything on the bike (no questions asked) minus rubber/consumables.

    I don't know of any (bike) limited warranty that covers wear & tear.
    Very indepth. Thanks! you too RMS13.

    I've been just dabbling into insurance in my free time, so the ins and outs of this is pretty interesting to me.

    In situations where a fork may come loose or a chain pops up which results in you losing control and crashing and damaging the frame. Would Cannondale realize the fork was the cause of the accident and warranty the frame or would they look at the overall picture and say an accident caused the crash and we don't warranty accidents.

    "Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle."

    I guess the "fatigue" portion of the writing is most concerning (or the biggest exclusion) and gets me pretty confused. I just can't imagine what kind of frame damage could occur without fatigue tbh. If your frame cracks 3 years down the line, cant you technically chalk it up to fatigue? It just seems like the warranty only covers those once in the blue moon, rare occurrences, like when you looked at your frame and it spontaneously cracked in ten different places WHILE showing 0 signs of crash damage haha
    Last edited by noobyondaroad; 06-30-14 at 09:35 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    I contacted cannondale about the policy as I'm the second owner of my frame. They said I was eligible for crash replacement but not warranty. I'll be sure to save the email they sent me with that in writing in case it ever comes up
    Interesting.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member shoemakerpom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by softreset View Post
    Policies

    It's the traditional boilerplate limited warranty terms.

    - You must be the original owner
    - You must be able to provide proof that you purchased it brand new
    - Any authorized Cannondale shop can do the warranty claim
    - The bike must be purchased, assembled, from an authorized Cannondale retailer to qualify for the limited warranty

    While the warranty doesn't specifically call out what is (and isn't covered) it's uses the right language:

    "This limited warranty is void if the bicycle is subjected to abuse, neglect, improper repair, improper maintenance, alteration, modification, an accident or other abnormal, excessive, or improper use."

    "Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle."

    Many manufacturers will use the terminology 'workmanship' but Cannondale does not appear to use that here. Basically, they'll cover the frame if it fails because they didn't build it right or the materials they used failed when the bike was being operated under normal use.

    The issue is in the details. Most limited warranties are intentionally vague when so many variables exist, it gives manufacturers a lot of latitude that may or may not go in the favor of the customer.

    You laugh but Trek actually has a pretty sweet extended warranty program (Trek Care Plus). It's not free or included in the sale of the bike but it's the only program that I'm aware of which covers pretty much everything on the bike (no questions asked) minus rubber/consumables.

    I don't know of any (bike) limited warranty that covers wear & tear.
    Interesting that you brought this up. My coworker is a huge trek fan has the credit card and three or more trek bikes. When he bought a new carbon Madone two years ago I remember he came in one day 4 days after he had it and the bottom tube broke clear from the headtube. He was puzzled how this could happen and said he called the shop. They told him a frame replacement was in order and they would swap the components which is standard fair according to most policys. He wasn't happy with that knowing that they would have to swap over the BB and the headset which already come in place on bikes they get in. He had to argue his case of having a new bike completely since it was under 30 days and he had only done one 20 mile ride. For being such a loyal customer he was completely caught off guard by the treatment but is still a trek consumer to this day....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    From a defect which is what the warranty is for. And they expect you'll never use it. That's how warranties work, it is mainly to protect the company against a lawsuit not to protect the consumer. 99% of the issues most people have will not be covered
    Hard to extrapolate from one data point, but I had a small hairline crack form on my Synapse and despite being unable to say whether it was just in the paint or more serious they replaced the frame. Seems they were willing to assume the worse and felt it better to replace it than face a liability lawsuit if it did in fact fail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
    Hard to extrapolate from one data point, but I had a small hairline crack form on my Synapse and despite being unable to say whether it was just in the paint or more serious they replaced the frame. Seems they were willing to assume the worse and felt it better to replace it than face a liability lawsuit if it did in fact fail.
    Ouchhh. How did your frame crack? Impact from a speed bump? Also how good was CAAD on the turn around time. I see that Cdale would sometimes take months, which is pretty tough on a one bike owner.

  13. #13
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noobyondaroad View Post
    So I was always curious about this.

    Warranties are generally worded in a way thats pretty broad. I mean, what company wants to have a warranty that can cover almost anything right?

    So the cannondale lifetime warranty for the frame is intriguing. On the other hand, it doesn't really cover wear and tear.

    Exactly what does the lifetime warranty cover then? I always thought wear and tear went hand in hand with a crack in the frame. The harder you right, the more susceptible it is to developing a weakness somewhere and eventually cracking.

    I am trying to understand clearly on what types of damages and methods they were obtained would Cdale replace/warranty the frame.

    Side Question:
    If that terrible day ever occurs, can I take my bike to my favorite LBS or does it have to be a authorized Cdale dealer? (My LBS doesn't sell Cannondale).
    Manufacturer's defects.


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  14. #14
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    I contacted cannondale about the policy as I'm the second owner of my frame. They said I was eligible for crash replacement but not warranty. I'll be sure to save the email they sent me with that in writing in case it ever comes up
    Warranty only applies to the original owner.

    There are about 10,000 threads on this subject.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by softreset View Post
    Policies

    It's the traditional boilerplate limited warranty terms.

    - You must be the original owner
    - You must be able to provide proof that you purchased it brand new
    - Any authorized Cannondale shop can do the warranty claim
    - The bike must be purchased, assembled, from an authorized Cannondale retailer to qualify for the limited warranty

    While the warranty doesn't specifically call out what is (and isn't covered) it's uses the right language:

    "This limited warranty is void if the bicycle is subjected to abuse, neglect, improper repair, improper maintenance, alteration, modification, an accident or other abnormal, excessive, or improper use."

    "Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle."

    Many manufacturers will use the terminology 'workmanship' but Cannondale does not appear to use that here. Basically, they'll cover the frame if it fails because they didn't build it right or the materials they used failed when the bike was being operated under normal use.

    The issue is in the details. Most limited warranties are intentionally vague when so many variables exist, it gives manufacturers a lot of latitude that may or may not go in the favor of the customer.

    You laugh but Trek actually has a pretty sweet extended warranty program (Trek Care Plus). It's not free or included in the sale of the bike but it's the only program that I'm aware of which covers pretty much everything on the bike (no questions asked) minus rubber/consumables.

    I don't know of any (bike) limited warranty that covers wear & tear.
    Exactly correct.

    This prevents the, "I was just riding along and...." claims.

    Add...the frame attempting to be warrantied will typically be physically inspected by a company rep before any final decision is made. So don't think you are strolling into the shop at 10 and will be riding at 3.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noobyondaroad View Post
    Thanks for the reply guys.

    How does a frame crack out of no where if not from a crash? Or from riding it hard (again, wear and tear).

    I don't know, maybe I just can't wrap my head around the idea of, you're riding your bike and suddenly your frame cracks. Hard to grasp that picture.
    Sorry. Sometimes that exact thing occurs. But not very often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    Warranty only applies to the original owner.

    There are about 10,000 threads on this subject.
    Here is the email I got from Cannondale:

    Ryan,
    Thank you for reaching out to us regarding your Caad9.
    Unfortunately, you are correct, without being the original owner the warranty would not be extended to you.
    You could take the bike to your local dealer for further evaluation. In the picture it is hard to tell if the crack is paint deep or if it actually goes through to the aluminum.
    If the crack is in fact fatal for your bike, we do offer a frame exchange. This means that if you exchange your bike for a new Cannondale frame or complete bike, you will receive a discount on the new purchase.
    This trade in must be done at your local Cannondale dealer.
    Thank you,
    Matt
    CSG Customer Service
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  18. #18
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    Here is the email I got from Cannondale:

    Ryan,
    Thank you for reaching out to us regarding your Caad9.
    Unfortunately, you are correct, without being the original owner the warranty would not be extended to you.
    You could take the bike to your local dealer for further evaluation. In the picture it is hard to tell if the crack is paint deep or if it actually goes through to the aluminum.
    If the crack is in fact fatal for your bike, we do offer a frame exchange. This means that if you exchange your bike for a new Cannondale frame or complete bike, you will receive a discount on the new purchase.
    This trade in must be done at your local Cannondale dealer.
    Thank you,
    Matt
    CSG Customer Service
    Frame exchange can also be used if you had say a CAAD9 and wanted a Super Six Evo. It has nothing to do with warranty. If I have a perfectly good frame but want something newer, that program is available to any Cannondale owner.

    A warranty would typically exchange a damaged frame from manufacturer's defects with a new frame at no cost to you. So there is a difference. But it is better than having to buy a new frame, retail.

    Thanks for pointing that out because, selling Cannondales, most people do not know this program exists.
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  19. #19
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    I think the warranties are intentionally VERY vague so they can make it mean what they want it to mean. I've noticed Cannondale and others going on and on about fatigue, etc, which pretty much gives them an out for anything that happens.

    I gather from my bike shop, though, that a lot of it depends on the bike shop going to bat for you.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  20. #20
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I think the warranties are intentionally VERY vague so they can make it mean what they want it to mean. I've noticed Cannondale and others going on and on about fatigue, etc, which pretty much gives them an out for anything that happens.

    I gather from my bike shop, though, that a lot of it depends on the bike shop going to bat for you.
    People LOVE to buy the stuff they see on TV. The frame that their favorite rider uses. Spend thousands. But it's "pro".

    Pro does not equate to "lasts forever". Pro gear, like frames, are uber light and stiff, but do not have a shelf life as long a some lesser priced but "heavier" models.

    So I will tell you what I tell all the "wannabees' who think they need a bike like this...IT's like putting a racing engine in your family car. IT's fun and fast and sounds cool. But be prepared for all the rebuilds because it uses light parts that do not last a real long time.

    Pros replace stuff at the drop of a hat. What some folks do is try to use warranty as a replacement for something "pro".

    The better and lighter it is, the faster it wears out. Pro stuff fatigues faster, like a racing engine.

    The medium priced stuff, we rarely see warranty issues. And frankly, people who own the top stuff usually own other bikes to ride. It's not their only bike.

    I'll say it again...high performance products will wear out faster. Pros don't care. Wear and tear is normal to a pro. Replace it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    Frame exchange can also be used if you had say a CAAD9 and wanted a Super Six Evo. It has nothing to do with warranty. If I have a perfectly good frame but want something newer, that program is available to any Cannondale owner.

    A warranty would typically exchange a damaged frame from manufacturer's defects with a new frame at no cost to you. So there is a difference. But it is better than having to buy a new frame, retail.

    Thanks for pointing that out because, selling Cannondales, most people do not know this program exists.
    Out of curiosity, do you know how much the discount is?
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  22. #22
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    Out of curiosity, do you know how much the discount is?
    I don't amazingly enough. The shop has a price book, we just look at the prices. I don't know that I ever calculated discounts, and my guess is they vary by the frame.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    Frame exchange can also be used if you had say a CAAD9 and wanted a Super Six Evo. It has nothing to do with warranty. If I have a perfectly good frame but want something newer, that program is available to any Cannondale owner.

    A warranty would typically exchange a damaged frame from manufacturer's defects with a new frame at no cost to you. So there is a difference. But it is better than having to buy a new frame, retail.

    Thanks for pointing that out because, selling Cannondales, most people do not know this program exists.
    So it is a trade in program, not a crash replacement discount? Kind of interesting, I would assume you get more $$$ selling on Craigslist if there is nothing wrong on the bike, but good to know it exists.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
    Out of curiosity, do you know how much the discount is?
    Having been through a crash replacement (not Cdale) and having talked to others who have done the same, most are in the realm of 10-15% off of MSRP. Not the deep discount so many seem to imagine.

    I had a Cdale owner earlier this year try to convince me that his lifetime warranty meant he was pretty much set with free frames for life. I just let him live his dream...
    Last edited by Clipped_in; 06-30-14 at 01:40 PM.
    ...Just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL4, 1989 Centurion Ironman Master Dave Scott
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
    Having been through a crash replacement (not Cdale) and having talked to others who have done the same, most are in the realm of 10-15% off of MSRP. Not the deep discount so many seem to imagine.
    I'm realistic so 10-20% is what I figured. Enough that it looks like they are giving you something but little enough that you can probably find a better deal if you search
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

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