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Trek Verve 3, numerous component downgrades/substitutions

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Trek Verve 3, numerous component downgrades/substitutions

Old 06-27-22, 10:26 AM
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Flipper_
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Trek Verve 3, numerous component downgrades/substitutions

Stopped at a local Trek store to check out a Verve 3 disc- their best selling bike according to the sales guy. Most of the Verve 3's in stock had some level of component substitution, the store itself is very well stocked, probably had 3 in my large size but only one on the floor.

I knew that component substitutions can be a thing these days and wasn't too concerned when I saw the Kenda brand tires of the appropriate size instead of the Bontrager H5 hard case ultimates. I was a little alarmed when, instead of the Shimano MT200 brakes, I noticed a no-name brand attached. The wheels were also not the Bontrager Tubeless ready, but instead were another Bontrager component. The Trek Boulevard seat and grips had also been substituted with unbranded products.

So we're looking at five substituted components:
Brakes, Wheels, Tires, Seat, Grips

Two of these are what I would consider serious mechanical/quality downgrades, particularly no-name brakes instead of Shimano Hydraulics but the wheelset is definitely cheaper/lower-spec


The test ride was illuminating. Even when grabbing two fairly aggressive fists full of brakes, it would slowly coast down from about 10 mph in maybe 15 feet, eerily reminiscent of a kids bicycle with failed/failing coaster brakes. The rim brakes on my wife's 2014 crossroads (a 430 dollar bike at the time) are probably 3 or 4 times as strong.

I'm of the mind that it would be better for Trek to not ship this bike with those components if full price is expected. Brake performance may be an installation/adjustment issue also but I can't imagine even basic Shimano Hydraulics to be anywhere near that weak.

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Old 06-27-22, 01:25 PM
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How convenient it was that Trek's "best selling" bike just happened to be the model he had in stock! As to components, it doesn't surprise me that there were substitutions, though no name brakes that didn't work well would stop me in my tracks (unintended pun). My bikes are older models but in great shape and do what I need, so not in the market. Am aware the small print says specs subject to change, but how much difference can there be before it's not even the "same" bike?! Glad I'm not shopping right now.
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Old 06-27-22, 09:16 PM
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Those brakes sound awful. Maybe because they were new and not properly bedded in?

The hydraulic Shimano's on my Trek FX Sport 4 can easily fully lock both wheels from 15 mph and put me into a skid, even at my weight (250 lbs). Happens once or twice a week when I panic stop to avoid a rabbit on the MUP I ride.

Mark
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Old 06-28-22, 07:27 AM
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I gotta say..your text reads a lot like that coming from a Specialized dealer.
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Old 06-28-22, 07:35 AM
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Were the no-name brakes also hydraulic? Low-grade Shimano hydraulics are very strong. I have several sets on several bikes and they rival the best rim brakes for sheer stopping power, and should be able to slide the rear tire in a skid. I don't think I've ever found that much power with cable operated disc brakes, but proper bedding is important for all disc brakes, cable or hydraulic. It's possible the pads and rotors were "green" and hadn't been bedded. And, yes, it does make a real difference!
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Old 06-28-22, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
I gotta say..your text reads a lot like that coming from a Specialized dealer.
Nope. I think a proper specced Verve 3 should be the bike to beat. I still own an older Specialized Crossroads- plus a Fuel EX8 which I couldn’t love more and which has literal brick-wall stopping performance from it’s SRAM G2-R discs. What’s your take on 5 component subs at full MSRP?

Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
As to components, it doesn't surprise me that there were substitutions, though no name brakes that didn't work well would stop me in my tracks (unintended pun). ….. how much difference can there be before it's not even the "same" bike?! Glad I'm not shopping right now.
yep, asking the same question! I shortened up the test ride, told the dude and left. He was able to push turn the front wheel while grabbing the brakes standing, agreed it wasn’t right.

Originally Posted by msalvetti View Post
Those brakes sound awful. Maybe because they were new and not properly bedded in?

The hydraulic Shimano's on my Trek FX Sport 4 can easily fully lock both wheels from 15 mph and put me into a skid, even at my weight (250 lbs). Happens once or twice a week when I panic stop to avoid a rabbit on the MUP I ride.

Mark
I could see that but I’ve owned 2 bikes with discs (admittedly both Hydraulic) and neither of them started out remotely this weak. Kind of also looking at the FX Sport 4 but I like upright, even added 50mm riser bars to my Trek Fuel EX8. The Green FX Sport 4 actually has nearly matching paint to the Fuel EX!

Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Were the no-name brakes also hydraulic? Low-grade Shimano hydraulics are very strong. I have several sets on several bikes and they rival the best rim brakes for sheer stopping power, and should be able to slide the rear tire in a skid. I don't think I've ever found that much power with cable operated disc brakes, but proper bedding is important for all disc brakes, cable or hydraulic. It's possible the pads and rotors were "green" and hadn't been bedded. And, yes, it does make a real difference!
They were labeled “power” so I’m not sure if they were Hydraulic or Mechanical but their performance was so bad I’m pretty sure that they either flat sucked or were improperly installed.
I

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Old 06-29-22, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Flipper_ View Post
They were labeled ďpowerĒ so Iím not sure if they were Hydraulic or Mechanical but their performance was so bad Iím pretty sure that they either flat sucked or were improperly installed.
They may resemble these and are probably knock-offs of the Shimano brakes. They're almost certainly not fitted with genuine Shimano pads, but with one of the many off-brands available on the internet. In other words, I think the pads sucked and were not bedded to the rotors. The rotors were likely not genuine Shimano rotors, either. I personally own genuine Shimano, genuine Tektro, and knock-off rotors, and the genuine stuff is demonstrably better. It all adds up to braking performance that won't be on par with what you'd get from the real thing.
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Old 06-29-22, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Flipper_ View Post
Nope. I think a proper specced Verve 3 should be the bike to beat. I still own an older Specialized Crossroads- plus a Fuel EX8 which I couldnít love more and which has literal brick-wall stopping performance from itís SRAM G2-R discs. Whatís your take on 5 component subs at full MSRP?
Unfortunate, but, given the bike/component supply chain over the last two years, not at all surprising. Most/all the major bike manufacturers have a disclaimer on their webpages and/or brochures that state they reserve the right to substitute parts that may vary from the published spec. Thinking that they'd withhold the bike(model) from the market due to not having the exact published spec components available(while they publish that they reserve the right to substitute parts) isn't going to happen...why would they..that's the purpose of the disclaimer. Thinking that they'd substitute parts and lower the price, that's overly optimistic in a low or high demand market. Other bike mfgs are dealing with similar issues. They (Trek or any other mfg) are not going to set a precedent of varying the mrsp based on component availability as that would be a nightmare to manage over time. They are more likely to ride the current supply chain issues out, doing what they need to do(per published disclaimers), and this too shall pass. In the long term the current issues are a blip in the time line. The mfgs also know that the vast majority of people buying a bike like the Verve 3 aren't going to realize the degree of substitution being made(or even notice), or understand whether the substituted components are markedly better or worse than the published spec..and in the end, even care.

The reason for my previous comment is that most members here that have been around for a while see new posters roll in and with hair on fire & the sky is falling posts proclaiming some injustice or other. When someone (new) with some technical knowledge lays out an "issue" as you have they may well come here with an agenda. Had a regular, longer term member posted your issue, it would be accepted as a simple observation..take from it as you will.

I does sound like the bike you tested has some braking issues. Bike shops vary in their abilities or care in setting up new bikes. Something being not quite right on a new bike isn't new, or unusual. It is what it is and whomever ends up buying the bike will work through it one way or another. If you don't like the setup or cost of the Verve 3..buy something else.
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Old 06-29-22, 10:54 AM
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I just bought a Verve 2 a few days ago and it also had subbed out parts. I know the brakes are something like the power ones mentioned above, and also the seat, grips, and maybe stem. The brakes are not very responsive and I am going to be taking the bike in for an adjustment in a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:04 PM
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I suspect this is the new reality for lower end bikes which use cheaper components, as the supply chain shrivels. With China sticking to the zero COV policy, it's going to be a while before things normalize.
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Old 06-30-22, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
They may resemble these and are probably knock-offs of the Shimano brakes. They're almost certainly not fitted with genuine Shimano pads, but with one of the many off-brands available on the internet. In other words, I think the pads sucked and were not bedded to the rotors. The rotors were likely not genuine Shimano rotors, either. I personally own genuine Shimano, genuine Tektro, and knock-off rotors, and the genuine stuff is demonstrably better. It all adds up to braking performance that won't be on par with what you'd get from the real thing.
Good find, I believe those are clearly the ones fitted as that "Power" label seems identical, setting up what is likely to be a frustrating ownership experience from the start IMO.

Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
The mfgs also know that the vast majority of people buying a bike like the Verve 3 aren't going to realize the degree of substitution being made(or even notice), or understand whether the substituted components are markedly better or worse than the published spec..and in the end, even care.
That makes sense and Trek covers itself by advising about that right to make substitutions. Still, Trek markets and produces a Verve 1, 2 and 3 and advises that the components are improved. I think anyone who does any research cares about specs and Verve 3 buyers have made a decision to pay several hundred more and presumably rejected the setup on two cheaper bikes. Will they notice? Possibly not but the excuse that they may not seems p***poor to me in this unusually off-spec example.

Assembly and performance is on the shop and whichever mechanic let that out of the work area. Value and integrity is squarely on Trek and this experience seems notably deficient in both. I may yet buy a Verve 3 or FX 3, would even consider the shop, but it won't be with trash components.

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Old 07-01-22, 01:21 AM
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I'm confused. Doesn't Trek have a 30 day return policy, even at the LBS? If it comes with substitutes, can't you just refuse to accept it?
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Old 07-01-22, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Sardines View Post
I'm confused. Doesn't Trek have a 30 day return policy, even at the LBS? If it comes with substitutes, can't you just refuse to accept it?
I didn't buy the bike or even really do a thorough test ride. After I showed their salesman the brake issue I left to post breathlessly on the interwebz. I'm still considering the Verve, Dual Sport and FX bikes though, trying to make sure that I get the right profile between these machines, often with similar mechanicals. I have a great mountain bike and a basic but very functional comfort bike so I'm still searching, just irritated at the perceived value from Trek and attention to detail from the shop.
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Old 07-01-22, 09:08 AM
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Ah ok. Have you looked at Canyon, Giant or Cube? They may not be as hampered with supply chain issues. If the geometry and other criteria fits, I think you should broaden the search.
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Old 07-10-22, 09:30 PM
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Do they charge the msrp for the bicycles with the substandard substituted brakes et al?
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Old 07-11-22, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ilikebikez View Post
Do they charge the msrp for the bicycles with the substandard substituted brakes et al?
oh hell yeah, if they think they can- but Iím thinking I could pick up the bike for a discount. Thing is this:

-I think the subs are bad enough that I could just as well have bought a Verve 2
-now looking at hybrids like the FX and Sirrus anyhow
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Old 07-12-22, 08:10 AM
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I’m going to have to learn everything I can about components so that when it comes time to go to an LBS for my new hybrid I get what I actually came for.
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