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Dealer ordered wrong sized frame

Old 01-11-19, 09:19 AM
  #1  
Dave Horne
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Dealer ordered wrong sized frame

I just typed a very long message here only to have it disappear after I had to go back and log in. Lesson learned ... CTRL + C.

OK, I'm in the middle of an issue with my local bike shop. I've bought bikes from them for over 15 years. My wife and I probably have bought (and traded in ) seven bikes or so.

My issue now? I ordered a Van Nicholas (VN) Deveron (titanium, disc brakes, Pinion 18 speed), €7000+. I traded in my previous Van Nicholas Amazon (titanium, Rohloff), €4400.

At the Van Nicholas website (and I'll post a link at the end of this message, click on Continue), when you customize your order, the first decision is the frame size, everything else comes second. Neither the two guys who helped me nor I clicked on the advice from VN regarding the frame size. (This added, the forum would not allow me to post a link, you'll have to Google this for yourself.)

I'm 5'9" \ 176 cm with an inseam of 31.5" \ 81 cm. The VN Deveron comes in three sizes, 47 cm, 52 cm, and 57 cm. The advice from VN is this, if your inseam is 65 - 89 cm, choose the 47 cm frame; 90 - 99 cm, choose the 52 cm frame; 99 and greater, choose the 57 cm frame.

I can see where this all went wrong because in a 'normal geometry' bike, my frame size would be from 53 to 57 cm or so. If I knew nothing about the frame size advice, I'd probably choose the 52.

So now I've been biking for the past few months on the 52 cm frame and with an inseam of 81 cm, I'm nowhere near the starting point of 90 cm for the 52 cm frame.

The store kept telling me, don't worry everything will be fine. They removed the three spacers for the steering post, replaced the fixed steering bracket (?) with one that is adjustable, and just a few days ago replaced the handlebar with one more curved towards me. I have the saddle moved as far forward as I'm comfortable with, but I still feel discomfort in my shoulders and upper arms. I should add that the top tube on my traded-in VN Amazon 54 cm frame, is 2 cm shorter than the top tube of the VN Deveron 52 cm frame.

I'm willing to try this for a week to see if I can acclimate to this, but if I had to bet, it doesn't look good.

When I last spoke with the dealer, I made the offer of, if this last change doesn't work out, I'd return the bike for him to place it on his floor to sell while I wait for the correct frame size. There's around a three month delivery wait for this model and that's three months for him to have this bike on his floor instead of with me. The dealer didn't seem to like that offer at all and at this point, I really don't know how this will turn out.

I've offered several times that if this costs them money, I'm willing to chip in on the costs as I just want to be happy, the money is secondary. Each time I suggested this they refused my offer saying it wouldn't get to that. Even if they offered me €500 back to keep this bike, I'm not happy with its size, it's not the money.

I'm pretty much now resigned that this 52 cm frame is in fact too big for me ... and I don't want an even more curved handlebar to 'solve' this issue. I should add that at 68 years old I prefer to bike more upright.

Just about everyone here in Holland has a legal advice subscription attached to their home owner's insurance and I've thought of going that route, but if I do, that's the end of my relationship with my dealer.

I don't feel good about how this will turn out though perhaps there won't be any problems when I return next week to talk with the owner.

Has anyone else been though this ... and how was it resolved?

Thanks, Dave Horne - The Netherlands

Last edited by Dave Horne; 01-11-19 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 01-11-19, 09:45 AM
  #2  
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TBH, it sounds to me like you should have done your homework on the differences in geometry. It even further sounds like you got a bike you don't like even though by the recommends it "should" fit you. In lieu of putting it up for sale and returning to a geometry you are comfortable with, I might suggest you keep working with them to find a fit that works for you.
Ultimately you could try to "lay blame" on whomever selected the size, as I am unclear who made that selection. You say you didn't, you say they didn't, so how did this frame size magically appear?
I would think that going to a size that much smaller, in the lower selection, would create fit issues of it's own.

Call it a bad choice, or work with it. I don't personally see that its the dealers fault with the information you have given here. I may be missing or misreading something.
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Old 01-11-19, 09:51 AM
  #3  
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So you special ordered the wrong frame size? Why would it be the responsibility of the shop to buy back your now used bike and sell it? Just sell the current bike on your own and order a new frame in the correct size. Or tear down your current frame and build up the new frame with the same components then sell the frame that is too large.

Either way- it doesnt seem like the shop's responsibility to take back your incorrectly sized bike. You said that money isnt important- just buy a correct bike and sell what you have.

I have no idea what a home owner's legal advice subscription is, but I would agree that taking legal action against the business would be a nuclear option.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:09 AM
  #4  
Dave Horne
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To be clear, the store, two employees helped me with the order. They did not click on the advice given by Van Nicholas in this instance. (I also didn't click on the frame size advice.)

TBH, it sounds to me like you should have done your homework on the differences in geometry. It even further sounds like you got a bike you don't like even though by the recommends it "should" fit you. In lieu of putting it up for sale and returning to a geometry you are comfortable with, I might suggest you keep working with them to find a fit that works for you.

Reread what I initially wrote. The bike manufacturer's advice is 47 cm frame for an inseam of 65 to 89 cm; 52 cm frame for an inseam of 90 to 99 cm inseam; and a 57 cm frame for an inseam of 100 cm and greater.

My inseam is 81 cm. I'm nowhere near the cutoff point. Yes, I should have done my homework, but in my defense, I'm not in the business of selling or advising bikes. I defer to those with more expertise.

So you special ordered the wrong frame size? Why would it be the responsibility of the shop to buy back your now used bike and sell it? Just sell the current bike on your own and order a new frame in the correct size. Or tear down your current frame and build up the new frame with the same components then sell the frame that is too large.

Either way- it doesnt seem like the shop's responsibility to take back your incorrectly sized bike. You said that money isnt important- just buy a correct bike and sell what you have.


From my point of view, they didn't check the advice from Van Nicholas. I was measured in the store but they didn't plug that information into the site from Van Nicholas.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:11 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
You say you didn't, you say they didn't, so how did this frame size magically appear?
Actually, he wrote that neither he nor the two guys who helped him clicked on the web site link that would have given advice as to frame size, but your question is the same one I have: Who ultimately chose the frame size?
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Old 01-11-19, 10:13 AM
  #6  
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Put the saddle back, not forward.
52 sounds too small to me.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:17 AM
  #7  
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Who ultimately chose the frame size?

The guys who helped me in the store chose the frame size. If you look at the Van Nicholas site, when you order a customized bike, the first step in the process is choosing the frame size. They chose the frame size and we together picked out the rest. If you look at the site this will become more clear.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:21 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Put the saddle back, not forward.
52 sounds too small to me.
I want a shorter reach, not a longer reach. As I wrote, I prefer a more upright position.

52 sounds too small? If I straddle the top tube on the 52 cm frame, there is no space, I'm just on top of the top tube.

As I wrote, in a 'regular' bike, my frame size would be 53 to 57 cm or so. My wife's bike is 51 cm and I could adjust that to my liking. I've owned a 59 cm bike, which while being on the large size for me, could still be adjusted to my liking.

Last edited by Dave Horne; 01-11-19 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:27 AM
  #9  
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Bike fit geometry is stack and reach - you cannot rely solely on the top tube length
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Old 01-11-19, 10:32 AM
  #10  
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I wrote earlier that the top tube (effective) length on my trade-in, a 54 cm Amazon, was 2 cm shorter than the 52 cm frame of the Deveron. I just now looked at the site.

The top tube of my older 54 cm frame (VN Amazon) was 6 cm shorter than the 52 cm frame of my new bike (VN Deveron).

Last edited by Dave Horne; 01-11-19 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:32 AM
  #11  
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To be completely fair to the OP, this is right from the site:

Originally Posted by https://my.vannicholas.com/configurator
ADVICE WITH YOUR FRAME SIZE
Need help determining the correct frame size? Get advice from Van Nicholas. To determine the final frame size we recommend you to get in touch with a Van Nicholas retailer.
Emphasis mine. When I punch in my size into the configurator, I come up with 47cm, which is a bike that I would never consider to be my size when buying a road bike. It appears they may use a MTB sizing system, which would understandably toss folks off, which the dealer (IMO) should have been fully aware of and able to advise on.

That all said, I presume there was a purchase order you agreed to. Once again (and once again, all of this is IMO) the bike is yours. IF the dealer is willing to help you out with a fair value trade in on a smaller frame bike, or maybe offered free labor to transfer parts over to a smaller frame you purchased, or perhaps sell the bike for you fee free on consignment, that is about all I could expect out of them. If this were a common, off the shelf bike they regularly stock my answer would be different, but the reality is you are dealing with a high priced special order that may take them a while and a substantial discount to move.

I don't know how the legal system works in the NL, but in the US you'd pay enough and eat up enough time in court that even for such a bike, it wouldn't be worth it to me. Unfortunately, this is a live and learn situation (again, IMO).

Sexy looking bike though
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Old 01-11-19, 10:54 AM
  #12  
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[Dealer] Call them on the Telephone yet? Its in Heerenveen. The Netherlands With Koga..

https://www.vannicholas.com/service/contact

As I understand the brand is importing the frames, so Box it up , send it back ,the better fitting size is in the warehouse to replace it..






...

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Old 01-11-19, 11:42 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne View Post
Reread what I initially wrote. The bike manufacturer's advice is 47 cm frame for an inseam of 65 to 89 cm; 52 cm frame for an inseam of 90 to 99 cm inseam; and a 57 cm frame for an inseam of 100 cm and greater.
wow... a 57cm size for all those folks with 39"+ inseams. Can't be much of a market for this size.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:14 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne View Post
I just typed a very long message here only to have it disappear after I had to go back and log in. Lesson learned ... CTRL + C.

I'm 5'9" \ 176 cm with an inseam of 31.5" \ 81 cm. The VN Deveron comes in three sizes, 47 cm, 52 cm, and 57 cm. The advice from VN is this, if your inseam is 65 - 89 cm, choose the 47 cm frame; 90 - 99 cm, choose the 52 cm frame; 99 and greater, choose the 57 cm frame.

I can see where this all went wrong because in a 'normal geometry' bike, my frame size would be from 53 to 57 cm or so. If I knew nothing about the frame size advice, I'd probably choose the 52.
I tried to figure out what you're referring to as the "advice" on the VN site. The size calculator for the Deveron yielded the below results.. Are you oversimplifying the VN "advice" to just inseam? The website's calculator yields a 52cm bike ok with even the 80cm inseam plugged in.

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Old 01-11-19, 12:31 PM
  #15  
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I think this is the bike. ACTUAL PHOTOS OF @Dave Horne's bike would be nice.

https://www.vannicholas.com/touring-bikes/deveron



It appears as if the frame is designed for flat (MTB/Hybrid) bars, meaning it is a long frame, and sized more like a MTB than a road bike.

The market for their 57 cm frame must be very narrow.

The difference in length between the 47 and 52 is only 2cm. I'm surprised you can't compensate with a shorter stem and swept back bars.

You should have adequate stand-over (and once up on the seat and pedals, stand-over doesn't make a big difference).

I agree, while the shop should be familiar with manufacturer recommendations, you had the old bike to measure, and were with them looking at specs.

You might have been able to reject the bike when it came into the shop. But, now you've had the bike for "a few months"... so it is a used bike, and falls back on the shop policy. REI, here in the USA has a 1 year satisfaction guarantee, but not all shops do that.

Because of the geared bottom bracket, stripping the frame for parts is probably not a good idea, unless there are a few parts you would wish to downgrade (front dynamo, racks, etc).

Don't be overly concerned about aesthetics. Make the bike work for you. If it doesn't, then buy the right one.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:47 PM
  #16  
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I get some real cognitive dissonance from some members of this site. The constant braying is that we must support our LBS or we will be left without local experts to shield us from the ravages of our own limited understanding. But every time the LBS fails to deliver on its implied commercial value, the immediate response is that it is your own fault for being ignorant, not the fault of those who were selling you faulty expertise.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:54 PM
  #17  
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I believe the fault lies with the retailer. Unless you insisted on the incorrect frame size, it is their responsibility to represent the brand accurately and fit you correctly. Literally, who completed the paperwork (or online form) to order the frame? I'm assuming it was an employee of the shop and not yourself. However, having said all of that, you did accept the frame and ride the bike. Your acceptance, no matter how coercive, may seal your fate depending on the laws in your country/locale. It sounds like they may still be willing to help, although it's unclear what that really means. Swapping parts and adjusting the bike to the extreme is no way to get a great fit. I suggest you take the bike back immediately and stick to the demand for the correctly sized frame. You know what you need. They now know what you need and are aware of the error. Time to fix it correctly. (IMHO)


-Kedosto

Edited to add: That's one sweet bike. A 57cm would fit perfectly underneath me (according to VN).

Last edited by Kedosto; 01-11-19 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:56 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I tried to figure out what you're referring to as the "advice" on the VN site. The size calculator for the Deveron yielded the below results.. Are you oversimplifying the VN "advice" to just inseam? The website's calculator yields a 52cm bike ok with even the 80cm inseam plugged in.

Sy, I'm not permitted to post links either here or in a private message.

If you go to the specific page for customizing the Van Nicholas \ Tour \ Deveron (disc) and scroll down and click on the downward arrow, you'll arrive at a link to Customize there. Start creating your own design and you'll be prompted with first choosing the frame size. In that box there will be frame size advice.

Since I'm allowed to upload pdf files, I took a screen shot showing the frame size advice for someone who has an 89 cm inseam; I have an 81 cm inseam.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
frame_size.pdf (543.5 KB, 15 views)
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Old 01-11-19, 01:12 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
I get some real cognitive dissonance from some members of this site. The constant braying is that we must support our LBS or we will be left without local experts to shield us from the ravages of our own limited understanding. But every time the LBS fails to deliver on its implied commercial value, the immediate response is that it is your own fault for being ignorant, not the fault of those who were selling you faulty expertise.
I'm with this dude ^^^^. What exactly does one need from a local bike shop if it isn't proper direction?

I'd contact the builder and let them know you aren't happy and would like a smaller frame. See if they will accept the larger frame and a little cash for the smaller one. Barring that, buy the smaller frame, swap the components and sell the larger one. I'm nearly your age; if something doesn't suit me I change it or get something else, even at my own expense, life is too short.

That said, I would have put a tape measure on that frame the day it came in. If it was wrong, it would have never left the shop with me.

Last edited by nomadmax; 01-11-19 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 01-11-19, 01:19 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne View Post
Sy, I'm not permitted to post links either here or in a private message.

If you go to the specific page for customizing the Van Nicholas \ Tour \ Deveron (disc) and scroll down and click on the downward arrow, you'll arrive at a link to Customize there. Start creating your own design and you'll be prompted with first choosing the frame size. In that box there will be frame size advice.

Since I'm allowed to upload pdf files, I took a screen shot showing the frame size advice for someone who has an 89 cm inseam; I have an 81 cm inseam.
I see what you're saying now.. there is a huge discrepancy between that configurator and what you get if you input values in the calculator available if you click the frame sizing button on this page found right underneath the geometry. I'd suggest a direct query to VN to highlight the discrepancy and get their take on this.
https://www.vannicholas.com/touring-...deveron-(disc)
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Old 01-11-19, 01:32 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne View Post
Either way- it doesnt seem like the shop's responsibility to take back your incorrectly sized bike. You said that money isnt important- just buy a correct bike and sell what you have.

From my point of view, they didn't check the advice from Van Nicholas. I was measured in the store but they didn't plug that information into the site from Van Nicholas.
If they measured you and then told you they will do all the ordering, then yes its on them to order the correct size frame(which based on only the height range, they didnt order the correct size).

I just wouldnt play such a hands off role when purchasing an expensive frame build. I would already know my frame size and have an idea of the sizes of all the components too(stem length and angle, crankset length, bar width, etc).

If you wanted a small and they ordered a medium, then yes its on them to correct the error. By how I read your first post though, it isnt that straight forward.
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Old 01-11-19, 02:07 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I see what you're saying now.. there is a huge discrepancy between that configurator and what you get if you input values in the calculator available if you click the frame sizing button on this page found right underneath the geometry. I'd suggest a direct query to VN to highlight the discrepancy and get their take on this.
https://www.vannicholas.com/touring-...deveron-(disc)
Ahhh, it took a while, but I've found the two pages.

The discrepancy is that on the "Spec" page, links to frame sizes take one to a general Drop Bar Road Bike sizing page.

On the configurator page, it takes one to a model specific (MTB/Hybrid) sizing page.

If the OP clicked on neither link, then perhaps that is a fault of the OP.

However, one could argue that it is a fault of Van Nicholas, in both a lack of training their resellers, and linking to the road bike sizing page for a MTB/Hybrid/Flat Bar Touring bike.

It definitely could use a web page update for the links/configuration.

Since you have found a fault in the web page related to your purchase, and aren't getting any satisfaction from the LBS, I'd try contacting Van Nicholas directly.

https://www.vannicholas.com/service/contact

Many companies like to have satisfied customers. And, it is quite possible you could jump the queue, and get your bike straightened out quicker, especially since it should be able to be done with a simple frame swap (keep wheels & etc).
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Old 01-11-19, 02:32 PM
  #23  
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Can't please everyone, however their website sizing software sucks to use. I can see how a mistake can be made. Deal with the dealer and get a different frame size. If they have a decent relationship with the vendor, there will be something they can do.
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Old 01-11-19, 04:10 PM
  #24  
Juan Foote
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne View Post
To be clear, the store, two employees helped me with the order. They did not click on the advice given by Van Nicholas in this instance. (I also didn't click on the frame size advice.)

TBH, it sounds to me like you should have done your homework on the differences in geometry. It even further sounds like you got a bike you don't like even though by the recommends it "should" fit you. In lieu of putting it up for sale and returning to a geometry you are comfortable with, I might suggest you keep working with them to find a fit that works for you.

Reread what I initially wrote. The bike manufacturer's advice is 47 cm frame for an inseam of 65 to 89 cm; 52 cm frame for an inseam of 90 to 99 cm inseam; and a 57 cm frame for an inseam of 100 cm and greater.

My inseam is 81 cm. I'm nowhere near the cutoff point. Yes, I should have done my homework, but in my defense, I'm not in the business of selling or advising bikes. I defer to those with more expertise.

So you special ordered the wrong frame size? Why would it be the responsibility of the shop to buy back your now used bike and sell it? Just sell the current bike on your own and order a new frame in the correct size. Or tear down your current frame and build up the new frame with the same components then sell the frame that is too large.

Either way- it doesnt seem like the shop's responsibility to take back your incorrectly sized bike. You said that money isnt important- just buy a correct bike and sell what you have.


From my point of view, they didn't check the advice from Van Nicholas. I was measured in the store but they didn't plug that information into the site from Van Nicholas.
Mmm, yes, I see with your further comments clarity in aspects of what I wasn't sure about. I still stand behind aspects of what I said in that ultimately you might have looked around that fit calculator a bit more before laying out 7 grand. Just the same, I can also see your point (now) about the complicity that your dealer has in mistakenly HELPING YOU select the wrong size bike. Being a dealer it really should be at least a part of their job to be double checking behind you and themselves in the sure knowledge of product they SHOULD have.
I am not sure what could be done that some others here haven't already suggested. I personally like the idea that you contact the maker of the frame and see what could be done through them as far as "here is what happened, what can we do?" type explanation. I think perhaps a more focused discussion with the shop itself might help.
You mention yourself that money isn't the object so much as being happy with the fit. I don't know what the demand is for this type of bike as a frameset, but perhaps chalk it up to the mistake it was, sell it for what you can salvage out of it, and perhaps ask the dealer to eat some of their own 'profit' on a reorder, or even ask nicely of the manufacturer to sell one to you direct only for this one out of place occasion?

Best of luck to you.
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Old 01-11-19, 05:28 PM
  #25  
exmechanic89
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
I believe the fault lies with the retailer. Unless you insisted on the incorrect frame size, it is their responsibility to represent the brand accurately and fit you correctly.
I agree. It sounds like the retailer in this situation doesn't understand that particular product that they sell very well. And I agree with the OP in that he was going by their guidance, one of the things he's paying for what I'm guessing isn't an inexpensive bike. In a perfect world the OP would have refused the bike when the shop received it and he discovered it was too big, but that ship has sailed. An unfortunate situation, but I think ultimately the shop should rise to the occasion and make things right.
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