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So what, exactly, does the warranty cover?

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So what, exactly, does the warranty cover?

Old 12-07-21, 04:18 AM
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jgwilliams
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So what, exactly, does the warranty cover?

Last Christmas I bought a pair of Fulcrum Racing 6 wheels. Not top of the range, but I've been very happy with them so far.

Just recently I've been hearing odd noises - initially I thought they were coming from the BB but it turned out to be a huge amount of excess play in the freehub. So, I put in a warranty claim to the CRC. Their response was that spokes, nipples, bearings and freehubs were serviceable/maintainable parts and normally had a limited warranty. Well, when you look at a wheel that really doesn't leave a whole lot. I can't imagine a rim failing other than in an accident, which would also not be covered. The only part left would be the hub body.

As it happens, CRC kindly provided a new freehub for me anyway, which would have been my preferred outcome. But I wondered what other's reactions would have been. I would have thought that bearings, at least, should be covered.
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Old 12-07-21, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
...CRC kindly provided a new freehub for me anyway, which would have been my preferred outcome. But I wondered what other's reactions would have been. I would have thought that bearings, at least, should be covered.
It's nice of them to provide an entire freehub, but don't count on it a second time. Bearings are serviceable, and I'm pretty sure are not covered by a warranty anywhere. They need to be periodically checked, and serviced if they show signs of wear or maladjustment. Especially if you ride in dirty environments (e.g., lots of rain and/or mud).
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Old 12-07-21, 04:51 AM
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I find that surprising. I obviously have ridden in wet conditions - this is England, after all - but not a lot. But a freehub bearing should surely be designed to keep water out for a reasonable period of time, especially given where it is located. More than 4,000 miles, which is what we're talking about here.

Anyway, I will now have a spare freehub, so if the new one shows signs of going the same way I will rebuild the old one with some upgraded bearings. Unlike my last wheels (Vision Team 35) the freehub replacement on the Fulcrums really couldn't be much simpler.
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Old 12-07-21, 06:40 AM
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I'm in the process now of having my rear wheel warrantied. OEM wheel that came on new bike with WTB rim that started showing cracks around spoke holes. I've owned the bike for a year and a half when I noticed the problem. WTB lists a two year warranty on their site, and so I took it to the LBS I bought it from.

I don't know exactly how the warranty system worked (if it was through Cannondale or WTB) but there's a new WTB rim on the way and I'm paying nothing to have the wheel built back up.
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Old 12-07-21, 08:41 AM
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Learn the definition and legal terms in the words in the warranty and you'll know what it covers... if you read it.
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Old 12-07-21, 09:05 AM
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A warranty covers the greater of (as little as a lawyer thinks he can make the language cover) or (as much as a customer service rep is willing to have it cover).

I can imagine a lawyer arguing normal wear and tear to keep the company's costs down. You ride in the rain? That's extreme service, it'll wear out faster! Their description of "industrial service bearing" sounds to me like they're designed for covered machinery (indoor or at least covered, like an HVAC bearing). Having seen the wheel, is there a weather seal or at least a dust cover? Can the bearings be adjusted, or is this a cartridge bearing?
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Old 12-07-21, 09:21 AM
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The usual phrase in warranties is "defect of materials and/or workmanship". So any issues that come from exposure or wear are not covered. Poorly engineered parts can be a gray area. The company can say the product worked well on delivery and only because of how it was used did the problem come about. They could also say that a loose or wobbly freehub body does not create a safety problem of prevent the wheel from working. And if I have read post #3 the OP is still riding that "defective" wheel

Warranties are far more about liability limitations and public relations then how stuff really works. Andy
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Old 12-07-21, 09:38 AM
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Catastrophic failure in the 1st 14 days. Maybe. After that, whatever the bike shop feels like on that day.
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Old 12-07-21, 09:55 AM
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Any part that is generally considered easily replaceable or a 'wear item' - tires, tubes, bearings, brake pads, spokes... is usually not covered by warranty unless it is a very early or unusual failure. A bearing wearing out after a year of use is unlikely to be covered, but a bearing that breaks in half after two weeks of riding probably will be. As OP found, companies will often give you the benefit of the doubt, especially for smaller or lower cost parts.
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Old 12-07-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
Catastrophic failure in the 1st 14 days. Maybe. After that, whatever the bike shop feels like on that day.
A colleague in a bike shop used to joke about the 'Five and Five' warranty - Full warranty applies for five seconds or five feet out the door
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Old 12-07-21, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
Last Christmas I bought a pair of Fulcrum Racing 6 wheels. Not top of the range, but I've been very happy with them so far.

Just recently I've been hearing odd noises - initially I thought they were coming from the BB but it turned out to be a huge amount of excess play in the freehub. So, I put in a warranty claim to the CRC. Their response was that spokes, nipples, bearings and freehubs were serviceable/maintainable parts and normally had a limited warranty. Well, when you look at a wheel that really doesn't leave a whole lot. I can't imagine a rim failing other than in an accident, which would also not be covered. The only part left would be the hub body.

As it happens, CRC kindly provided a new freehub for me anyway, which would have been my preferred outcome. But I wondered what other's reactions would have been. I would have thought that bearings, at least, should be covered.
That starts out as a small amount of play in the free hub which you should have noticed. Nice of them to replace the free hub.
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Old 12-07-21, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
That starts out as a small amount of play in the free hub which you should have noticed. Nice of them to replace the free hub.
You may be right except that I wouldn't have known what was a normal amount of play. Having received the new free hub I now know that zero play is normal, of course, but with my collection of ancient machinery I didn't really have anything else to compare it to.
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Old 12-07-21, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
And if I have read post #3 the OP is still riding that "defective" wheel
No, once I saw what the problem was I stopped riding it. I'm very glad I was able to get a replacement part in just a couple of days.
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Old 12-07-21, 11:36 AM
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Sounds like warranties provide a sort of peace of mind, unless you actually need to use it.
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Old 12-07-21, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
No, once I saw what the problem was I stopped riding it. I'm very glad I was able to get a replacement part in just a couple of days.

Sorry to miss understand your post. Andy
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Old 12-07-21, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
I find that surprising. I obviously have ridden in wet conditions - this is England, after all - but not a lot. But a freehub bearing should surely be designed to keep water out for a reasonable period of time, especially given where it is located. More than 4,000 miles, which is what we're talking about here.
4000 miles can be a lot or a little...I'd suspect in England (with weather similar to mine here in Belgium), that's a lot. I replace a few wheel bearing each year (fortunately they're cartridge types and they're easy to [press out and back in).
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Old 12-08-21, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
4000 miles can be a lot or a little...I'd suspect in England (with weather similar to mine here in Belgium), that's a lot. I replace a few wheel bearing each year (fortunately they're cartridge types and they're easy to [press out and back in).
It's never been an issue for me before. I had to have a Mavic free hub serviced because it had developed the dreaded squeal. I'd probably still be riding that wheel now if someone hadn't rear-ended me. My Campag Chorus hubs have done thousands of miles with no issues at all. I was planning to replace the free hub on my Vision Team 35 wheels, which came with my bike, but when I took the axle out it came apart in my hands. The axle on those is screwed together in the middle and the thread had stripped - it was only being held together by the QR scewer. The cost for the replacement parts made it not worth fixing. That wheel had done a much higher mileage, however, and was well out of warranty. Even on that, although the free hub bearings were very noisy there was no significant play.
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Old 12-08-21, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Sounds like warranties provide a sort of peace of mind, unless you actually need to use it.
Anyone who has worked in a bike store for any length of time can tell you that legitimate warranty claims are highly likely to be honored. It's in the interest of both the bike manufacturer and the local shop to do so, after all. Note that the OP got the replacement part for free, which is how it's supposed to work.
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Old 12-08-21, 09:27 AM
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I always shake my head at the statements like "I have 40K miles on my XYZ and have never had to service it". As though they are proud of not taking better care of their XYZ. I think of other areas of maintenance and whether they also don't, say, brush their teeth Andy
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