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Old 05-13-08, 09:17 AM   #1
Jerseysbest
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How long to wait for BIKESDIRECT warrenty?

The front hub on my Windsor Tourist recently locked up after 7 months of commuting (better now than in the middle of PA). Is the wheel set really that crappy? I've never had this happen to me before, especially on a bike with less than 1000 miles on it.

Where do I go from here? I emailed the 'manufacturer' regarding the warranty but haven't received a response. Should I just invest in better wheel set?
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Old 05-13-08, 09:33 AM   #2
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The front hub on my Windsor Tourist recently locked up after 7 months of commuting (better now than in the middle of PA). Is the wheel set really that crappy? I've never had this happen to me before, especially on a bike with less than 1000 miles on it.

Where do I go from here? I emailed the 'manufacturer' regarding the warranty but haven't received a response. Should I just invest in better wheel set?
We rode three of them 4244 miles across the US carrying full camping gear and substantial miles around home, so no that isn't typical of the bike. What specifically is wrong with the hub? I have never dealt with Bikes Direct on a warranty issue so I can't say what to expect on that.
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Old 05-13-08, 09:35 AM   #3
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I'd keep on them for a warranty replacement and possibly see if you can pay a bit to get it upgraded to a nice wheel.
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Old 05-13-08, 09:46 AM   #4
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I don't know, but since this is a board, I'll add my .02 cents worth.

Well warrantees are only as good as how someone will honour them. First question is does the warrantee apply to your situation? Do they explicitly state that wheels are covered? (by the way, is it the hub, or has the axle broken? Reason I ask is because an axle might be a relatively quick repair) I'm not saying this is the case, but usually they only cover against a manufacturer's defect and if you, say, dropped the bike fully submerged into a puddle of grimy mud for an hour, I can see them balking and saying it wasn't a manufacturer's defect. However, from what you posted, it would seem that 7 months of use, even assuming a 1000 miles a month is not good enough, certainly from my perspective. Assuming your bike wasn't abused, let's hope BikesDirect will step up to the plate here -but the question would be how long will this take?

If you are willing to wait and possibly be aggravated by sending annoying emails asking when it will be resolved -or just do not have enough money to replace the hub or buy a new wheel, I'd say keep waiting, emailing, writing, calling and see this thing through to a conclusion. However, if you need your bike, really like riding, and can afford it, just go out and buy a new wheel or hub and have it laced it up -in the meantime you can always follow up with BikesDirect for a resolution. You might also have to ask yourself if the time you might need to put in to obtain a resolution is worth it as well -and who knows, maybe BikeDirect get back to you within 24 hours anyway. If you don't like your wheelset this of course could be the prime time to buy a new wheelset (especially as a wheelset usually isn't that much more than a single wheel.)

I'm sure somebody will post that had you bought from an LBS you wouldn't have this issue of replacement, but then again, I think BikesDirect offers alot for the money, and even with a new wheel I'd be guessing you'll still be ahead in the money game. Anyway good luck with whatever you do!
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Old 05-13-08, 09:54 AM   #5
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Since it appears that the BD touring bike is a rebadged Fuji touring bike, chances are it's the same wheels as well. I don't know who does the QC on them - could be Fuji, could be BD. In either event, you most likely got one bad part, so a warranty repair should be sufficient.

Unfortunately, spotty warranty service is a commonly discussed problem with BD. I believe the owner of BD is a member of the forums, so if the typical routes don't work, you could either PM him or start a thread in the Road Cycling forum.
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Old 05-13-08, 10:34 AM   #6
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where do you go from here?

Direct to your Local Bike Shop to see if they can repack your wheel or sell you a new one. Why, honestly, do you expect your wheel to be warrantied for 'locking up?' Was the bike assembled by a qualified bike mechanic where there readjusted the factory set on the cones? Have you ridden in any grimy conditions?

What hub is it? probably low quality, but even the crappiest, 20 dollar, bolt on front wheel will give a rider years of use if properly adjusted and regularily maintained.

Warranties are typically against 'defects in manufacture' and riding an improperly adjusted wheel or getting it manked up in winter riding is NOT a defect in manufacture.

my 2 cents
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Old 05-13-08, 10:52 AM   #7
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What hub is it? probably low quality, but even the crappiest, 20 dollar, bolt on front wheel will give a rider years of use if properly adjusted and regularily maintained.
The fact that the OP did not say specifically what was wrong makes it sound like he doesn't know. That leads me to guess that he probably didn't have a dealer prep it or he would be back asking them what was wrong.

Assuming that is correct it seems likely that he should have, because he probably doesn't have the skills to prep and maintain it himself. I only say that because if he did he would have been able to tell us what was wrong. There are a very limited number of things that can go wrong that will cause a hub to "lock up" and all of them should be very obvious upon disassembly.

One other possibility comes to mind and that is that he knows what is wrong and isn't telling the whole story for some other reason.

Hopefully he will post back with some more details.
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Old 05-13-08, 11:35 AM   #8
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failure to check low-end factory wheels for proper hub adjustment and lubrication, then riding them for a thousand miles in a winter, could be contributing factors to the OP's dilemma.

Hard to tell without further information.
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Old 05-13-08, 11:50 AM   #9
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The fact that the OP did not say specifically what was wrong makes it sound like he doesn't know. That leads me to guess that he probably didn't have a dealer prep it or he would be back asking them what was wrong.

Assuming that is correct it seems likely that he should have, because he probably doesn't have the skills to prep and maintain it himself. I only say that because if he did he would have been able to tell us what was wrong. There are a very limited number of things that can go wrong that will cause a hub to "lock up" and all of them should be very obvious upon disassembly.

One other possibility comes to mind and that is that he knows what is wrong and isn't telling the whole story for some other reason.

Hopefully he will post back with some more details.
Thanks for all the responses.

The hub 'locked up', I mean it stopped spinning freely. It spins, but not without force. This happened about a week ago, when I made a short trip to the drug store. Halfway there, I felt like I was all of sudden dragging something. I have been away from home since then, and haven't had a chance to inspect the wheel. And I won't be home again till this weekend.

I have been riding and working on bikes my entire life. I've repacked, replaced, adjusted, BB's, wheel bearings, replaced axles, etc etc and have ridden thousands and thousands of miles on those repairs commuting, mountain biking, short touring, and lots of other biking in all kinds of conditions, but have never had this happen. I'm not an expert but I know how to build and maintain a bike. Sorry for not making my mechanical prowess apparent in the opening post.

The bike does see rain, but no more than any of my other bikes, and this bike doesn't see nearly the same abuse.

By posting, I was just trying to gauge people's experience with this bike and the warranty. But I promise, as soon as I get home and have time, I'll have this hub disassembled for everyone.

Thanks for the last two posters for coming across as complete dicks, I think there's a LBS thats hiring, you'd fit right in.
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Old 05-13-08, 12:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for the last two posters for coming across as complete dicks, I think there's a LBS thats hiring, you'd fit right in.
You are welcome.

You emailed the manufacturer about the warranty without even looking at what was wrong. Then you posted on a public forum about it, still without checking to see what is wrong. Do you think that either of those actions are appropriate?

It would seem like checking what was wrong would be the first step.
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Old 05-13-08, 12:23 PM   #11
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1. Email.
2. Phone call.
3. First class letter requesting warranty and demonstrating that warranty applies and is in place.
4. Registered letter
5. Letter from your attorney
6. File suit in accord with whatever agreement you have with supplier
7. Get default judgment
8. Sell default judgment for X cents on the dollar

That seems the typical pattern that works. I've never gotten past 6 - things generally get resolved by then.
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Old 05-13-08, 12:57 PM   #12
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You are welcome.

You emailed the manufacturer about the warranty without even looking at what was wrong. Then you posted on a public forum about it, still without checking to see what is wrong. Do you think that either of those actions are appropriate?

It would seem like checking what was wrong would be the first step.
Well, I took into consideration BIKESDIRECT reputation with dealing with warranty claims. That reputation on BF is lackluster, at best. Search BF.

Then I figure, I won't even have time to touch the bike for another week, the sooner I get things ironed out, the better. Maybe, if the wheels aren't worth investing in, I'll get a set of new hubs. The wheels, along with the BB, the headset, the cassette, and a few other small items on most of these bikes are of questionable quality, and anyone who owns a BD bike knows this. Just search BF, I know MIKE and the shills do.

So I have a problem, with a wheel, thats of known questionable quality, and I'm under a bit of a time constraint.

I email about the warranty, and don't receive anything back, as expected. Even if I did get a response, I would have then made sure to inspect the wheel further, so I don't waste both our time and money shipping the wheel back and waiting for another one.

But, since I've never encountered a wheel doing this, it didn't seem unreasonable to think that a BIKESDIRECT hub would be such a piece of off-brand chinese garbage that doesn't last even a fraction of the time other cheap hubs I've owned lasted. Maybe, I thought, I'll buy a new set of good quality wheels in the mean time, while I try to make a claim on the warranty and keep them as spares.

yadda yadda yadda...

I come to BF.net and ask the advice of the knowledgeable people here: forget about these wheels and buy a new set or try to make good on the warranty?

Sorry to offend dear (paid?) shill.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:11 PM   #13
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did you adjust and grease the hubs when you took it out of the box? And any servicing thru the winter, any adjustments or repacks? any adjustment to the cones after the initial settling in period?
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Old 05-13-08, 01:12 PM   #14
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I would do both. Pursue warranty and get better wheels.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:14 PM   #15
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Well, I took into consideration BIKESDIRECT reputation with dealing with warranty claims. That reputation on BF is lackluster, at best. Search BF.

Then I figure, I won't even have time to touch the bike for another week, the sooner I get things ironed out, the better. Maybe, if the wheels aren't worth investing in, I'll get a set of new hubs. The wheels, along with the BB, the headset, the cassette, and a few other small items on most of these bikes are of questionable quality, and anyone who owns a BD bike knows this. Just search BF, I know MIKE and the shills do.

So I have a problem, with a wheel, thats of known questionable quality, and I'm under a bit of a time constraint.

I email about the warranty, and don't receive anything back, as expected. Even if I did get a response, I would have then made sure to inspect the wheel further, so I don't waste both our time and money shipping the wheel back and waiting for another one.

But, since I've never encountered a wheel doing this, it didn't seem unreasonable to think that a BIKESDIRECT hub would be such a piece of off-brand chinese garbage that doesn't last even a fraction of the time other cheap hubs I've owned lasted. Maybe, I thought, I'll buy a new set of good quality wheels in the mean time, while I try to make a claim on the warranty and keep them as spares.

yadda yadda yadda...

I come to BF.net and ask the advice of the knowledgeable people here: forget about these wheels and buy a new set or try to make good on the warranty?

Sorry to offend dear (paid?) shill.
I have heard of one instance of a prematurely failed BB on a Windsor Tourist, but have not heard of any such failures for the hubs. The hubs look to be identical to the ones on the Fuji Touring and I have heard of no problems there either. Please do let us know what the problem is.

The level of venom you are spouting seems a bit much, especially since you haven't even determined the nature of the problem yet.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:22 PM   #16
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Even if this were a bike from a shop, I'm not sure you could make a case for it being a warranty issue. Seven months of riding is a lot and stuff wears out. I've put this down as normal wear and tear. Quite likely the cones are pitted and need replacement. Replace the bearings while you are at it. It's a simple enough repair and probably not worth the hassle of returning the wheel in the first place. It may even be something as simple as the cone tightening because it wasn't locked against the outer nut properly.

Spend $10 to fix it or spend $200 in time effort and loss of bike while you get it warrantied...your choice.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:59 PM   #17
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I have heard of one instance of a prematurely failed BB on a Windsor Tourist, but have not heard of any such failures for the hubs. The hubs look to be identical to the ones on the Fuji Touring and I have heard of no problems there either. Please do let us know what the problem is.

The level of venom you are spouting seems a bit much, especially since you haven't even determined the nature of the problem yet.
Way to antagonize. Sounds familiar.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:02 PM   #18
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I'm the guy who had the BB fail prematurely on a Windsor Tourist. I didn't even bother contacting bikesdirect about it, since a new BB was $29.99 (slightly overpriced at my LBS) and I didn't think it was worth it for the hassle. The BB failed after 600 km of fair weather riding, but it appears I may have just been unlucky with that part. Others have had things last much longer.

The front and rear derailleurs, crankset, and brifters are all name brand (Shimano and Truvativ) on the Windsor Tourist. Everything else is no-name Taiwanese or Chinese OEM suppliers. The hubs are Joytech brand I believe. The bottom bracket and headset are Chin Haur brand. Stock pedals are Wellgo brand. Stem and handlebars are made by Zoom I believe.

I guess I agree with what cyccommute said, you may just be on your own here as it could be considered normal wear and tear, or bikesdirect could say you didn't have a professional adjust it, it was improperly maintained, etc. I wouldn't hold my breath for bikesdirect to send you out a new wheel or hub.

I think you make a trade for cost vs. customer service when buying from bikesdirect. From what I have heard from others, they don't respond to e-mails with problems too often, and they do not give you a telephone number for contact. Pretty much you are own your own from day one.

If you really want to pursue it, search for bikesdirect.com on the bbb.org web site. You will probably find an address and telephone number there. The last time I checked, they had a poor rating at the Better Business Bureau due to not responding to customer complaints.

I currently have a little over 500 miles on my Windsor Tourist and have commuted on it for only about 6 or 7 weeks. Other than the BB failure, I have been happy with my purchase, but reading about your experience makes me think I should be setting aside the gas money I'm saving for a new set of wheels.

Last edited by m_yates; 05-13-08 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:41 PM   #19
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Even if this were a bike from a shop, I'm not sure you could make a case for it being a warranty issue. Seven months of riding is a lot and stuff wears out. I've put this down as normal wear and tear. Quite likely the cones are pitted and need replacement. Replace the bearings while you are at it. It's a simple enough repair and probably not worth the hassle of returning the wheel in the first place. It may even be something as simple as the cone tightening because it wasn't locked against the outer nut properly.

Spend $10 to fix it or spend $200 in time effort and loss of bike while you get it warrantied...your choice.
True. Thanks for the advice, I'll probably do this for now and look into a getting some nice wheels built up for when I do some longer distance touring. I adjusted the hubs when I got the bike and was on the verge of overhauling them before I do anymore short touring rides around the NE. The front wheel actually wasn't used as much as the rear; a while ago I tore a hole in the side of the tire on the way home from work but needed to get to the store later that night so I threw on a wheel with a tire on it already, and ended leaving it on most of the winter.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:44 PM   #20
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I'm the guy who had the BB fail prematurely on a Windsor Tourist. I didn't even bother contacting bikesdirect about it, since a new BB was $29.99 (slightly overpriced at my LBS) and I didn't think it was worth it for the hassle. The BB failed after 600 km of fair weather riding, but it appears I may have just been unlucky with that part. Others have had things last much longer.

The front and rear derailleurs, crankset, and brifters are all name brand (Shimano and Truvativ) on the Windsor Tourist. Everything else is no-name Taiwanese or Chinese OEM suppliers. The hubs are Joytech brand I believe. The bottom bracket and headset are Chin Haur brand. Stock pedals are Wellgo brand. Stem and handlebars are made by Zoom I believe.

I guess I agree with what cyccommute said, you may just be on your own here as it could be considered normal wear and tear, or bikesdirect could say you didn't have a professional adjust it, it was improperly maintained, etc. I wouldn't hold my breath for bikesdirect to send you out a new wheel or hub.

I think you make a trade for cost vs. customer service when buying from bikesdirect. From what I have heard from others, they don't respond to e-mails with problems too often, and they do not give you a telephone number for contact. Pretty much you are own your own from day one.

If you really want to pursue it, search for bikesdirect.com on the bbb.org web site. You will probably find an address and telephone number there. The last time I checked, they had a poor rating at the Better Business Bureau due to not responding to customer complaints.

I currently have a little over 500 miles on my Windsor Tourist and have commuted on it for only about 6 or 7 weeks. Other than the BB failure, I have been happy with my purchase, but reading about your experience makes me think I should be setting aside the gas money I'm saving for a new set of wheels.
I probably won't pursue it. I really don't buy stuff because of a particular product's warranty unless I know they really do back the product (like snap on or craftsmen tools).
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Old 05-13-08, 03:30 PM   #21
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Joytech hubs do fail. I have had a grand total of two replaced by my LBS when they failed in the first few weeks of riding. Both happened to be on Giant mtb's that were near the bottom of the model line up. Both were front hubs. If I was in your situation I would just get a new wheel and get on with it. Warranties are written to protect the manufacturer NOT the consumer.

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Old 05-14-08, 05:44 AM   #22
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There's nothing wrong with this approach -just keep in mind the time spent and the payment made to a lawyer may well cost more than just going out and buying a replacement wheel and hub in the first place!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
1. Email.
2. Phone call.
3. First class letter requesting warranty and demonstrating that warranty applies and is in place.
4. Registered letter
5. Letter from your attorney
6. File suit in accord with whatever agreement you have with supplier
7. Get default judgment
8. Sell default judgment for X cents on the dollar

That seems the typical pattern that works. I've never gotten past 6 - things generally get resolved by then.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:00 AM   #23
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Just my opinion, but having been on these forums quite a time (many years, my name is not my original) I find staephj to be pretty upfront. That doesn't meant to say I agree with everything he/she posts (I think that must surely apply to 100% of us anyway!), but I do think staephj has some integrity there -I don't think she/he's a shill by any means. He is, however, a happy customer and is happy to pass on his thoughts about his bike and his BikesDirect experience. I think before you mention someone might be a shill, checkout their posts first -if it is inferred you are a shill, I can understand someone getting a little testy.

Back to your question and assuming you just want to ride and have the funds:

1. disassemble the hub. If it looks ok, clean, lube, repack, try again. If you think you need new bearings or an axle, buy some and install.
2. if not, go out and buy a hub, assuming you can lace it up yourself and can use the original spokes (assuming here the cost of hub and spokes is so close to a built up wheel, then you might as well buy the new wheel)
3. if you can't build a hub, price up the difference between buying a built up wheel with hub versus getting an LBS to do a build with your original rim (assuming you think the original rim is something worth keeping and the new wheel rim is decent).
4. if in 3. you decide to buy a new built up wheel, look at the costs involved in just getting a complete wheelset, particularly if you don't care for the original rims and hubs.
5. if you wish, pursue a warrantee claim with BikesDirect. Be prepared to spend time and possibly money to resolve the issue -as previously noted -your choice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseysbest View Post
I come to BF.net and ask the advice of the knowledgeable people here: forget about these wheels and buy a new set or try to make good on the warranty?

Sorry to offend dear (paid?) shill.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:59 AM   #24
bwgride
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Originally Posted by Nigeyy View Post
2. if not, go out and buy a hub, assuming you can lace it up yourself and can use the original spokes (assuming here the cost of hub and spokes is so close to a built up wheel, then you might as well buy the new wheel)
Just one note here; for this to work properly, the new and old hub must have similar flange diameter and offset from center for both left and right flanges. If this is not the case, the spokes may be too short or long to work properly with the new hub (although differences of a 1 (or 2) mm in spoke length may not be important). See spoke length calculators listed on Sheldon's site for more measurement specifics:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
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Old 05-14-08, 06:53 PM   #25
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Sealed Cartridge Bearings

I beleve these hubs are sealed cartridge bearings.

1) Investigate further. (What part actually failed ?)
2) Take pictures
3) Post to Bicycle Mechanics.
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