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The Real Bike Direct Question/Issue

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The Real Bike Direct Question/Issue

Old 06-29-15, 06:33 PM
  #1  
Inpd
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The Real Bike Direct Question/Issue

I understand there is a lot of angst towards BD and I understand why.

But I think a lot of criticism misses the mark. Most criticism seems to focus on that: i) a BD bike is poor quality and/or ii) a BD bike won't fit you well.

I think both are clearly wrong but am surprised that the more important question of whether BD stands behind their product has not been addressed either way.

I spent $400 on a BD entry level bike and I had no problem doing that. But for my second bike I'll spend $1K+ so now service becomes an issue.

I did a bit of research and there are lots of examples of BD fixing up small issues directly after shipping like broken STIs quickly to the customers satisfaction. But what happens if there is a big problem like the frame cracks? Strangely there is nothing positive or negative about this on the web. So that remains the real bike direct question: How well do they stand behind their product.

I'd be interested in hearing people's experience with large warranty claims with BD well after the purchase price. No hearsay please, just experiences!
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Old 06-29-15, 07:11 PM
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I don't know everything I ever got from them was perfectly fine no issues. It helps to be a wrench and know what to do but even if you don't it can still work fine. The bikes they sell hold up just fine cannot see how they could sell what they do if frames started coming apart or cracking. If you are a good bike mechanic I think they are the best but otherwise you might want think twice. What I see in the frames that come on the bikes they sell are many still with English threaded BSA bottom brackets................I will avoid those press fits until they simply are not made anymore.
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Old 06-29-15, 08:20 PM
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They are solid bikes at a good price. If you want the latest/greatest in frame technology, look elsewhere. A $1000 bike is no more complicated than a $400 bike, just research on the web what you need to do to adjust/fix something.
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Old 06-29-15, 09:23 PM
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I'd be willing to wager that a fairly small proportion of BD customers actually make warranty claims.

Regarding apparent online animosity toward BD, keep in mind that "volunteer samples" tend to include a much higher proportion of individuals with something negative to share, whether legitimate or not. You just don't read much from folks like myself, who own a BD bike that gets ridden a reasonable amount, yet have experienced no warranty-claim-type problems. No one has any reason to post such as that, even on a slow news day. And I can't recall reading some post or thread-- here or elsewhere-- about a BD bike that had some kind of warranty-covered problem, where BD unjustly told the customer, perhaps not in so many words, to go pound sand. They may be out there-- feel free to correct me-- but I don't think BD is selling anything that is significantly better quality or worse quality than what you get from other mainstream brands (Trek, Specialized, Giant, et al.) sold through brick & mortar channels.

Some people are more comfortable buying something like a bicycle via traditional retail distribution channels, and you can't expect such folks to get on a forum like this and write positive things about a retailer that sells directly.
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Old 06-29-15, 10:44 PM
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How insecure are you about your BD bike purchase that you need to make yet another thread about it?
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Old 06-29-15, 11:00 PM
  #6  
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I'm just tired of hearing about that company and wish there was a way to Not see threads about them.
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Old 06-30-15, 04:14 AM
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I think that forums like this have leveled the playing field between vendor and buyer.

In the old days the big bad vendor from far away could beat up the poor little customer who really was pretty much powerless to do anything about it.

Now with forums like this to air his grievances, the little guy has a lot of leverage that he never had before.

Any company that hopes to remain in business and maintain or enlarge its market share is going to do its best to avoid negative publicity.

So if you have a problem, it's to their advantage to meet you at least half way.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:19 AM
  #8  
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About 7 years ago a BD bikes I bought (1 of 3) came with a defective chainring. I emailed them and they overnighted a new one. I've had a number of exchanges with BikeIsland, BD's online parts store, about stuff that I was considering buying, and always got prompt info back. I think BD has very good service for an online establishment. I've had worse luck with a local LBS and now treat them like the plague.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
About 7 years ago a BD bikes I bought (1 of 3) came with a defective chainring. I emailed them and they overnighted a new one. I've had a number of exchanges with BikeIsland, BD's online parts store, about stuff that I was considering buying, and always got prompt info back. I think BD has very good service for an online establishment. I've had worse luck with a local LBS and now treat them like the plague.
Right. Those type of cheap warranty claims I'm sure they handle well judging by yours and others experience.

But my question is regarding major claims perhaps even made years down the track. BD claims life time warranties but I've not read of anyone making a claim like a broken fork or frame.

Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
You just don't read much from folks like myself, who own a BD bike that gets ridden a reasonable amount, yet have experienced no warranty-claim-type problems. No one has any reason to post such as that, even on a slow news day. And I can't recall reading some post or thread-- here or elsewhere-- about a BD bike that had some kind of warranty-covered problem, where BD unjustly told the customer, perhaps not in so many words, to go pound sand.
Absolutely true. But I've also never seen a thread saying my frame broke one year after purchase and BD fixed it. Plenty of people say that about other manufacturers.

I'd be reluctant to spend $1500+ on a product without knowing how good the vendor is about claims

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Old 06-30-15, 06:15 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
...and now treat them like the plague.
Floss, brush twice daily, and rinse with Listerine! Wait. You said plague, not plaque. Nevermind...
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Old 06-30-15, 06:32 AM
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How often do frames and forks fail? Rarely to hardly ever, would be the answer. It's a silly metric to focus more on.
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Old 06-30-15, 08:34 AM
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I don't think I've ever heard of a BD bike frame failing, other than in situations which are not covered by warranty, like crashes/garage-door encounters/etc. A good percentage of their bikes are AL, TI and steel- so it'd be pretty unlikely for them to be defective- and their CF bikes are not the lightest, cutting-edge frames... they're rather bulletproof tried-and-true well-built designs, so I would think major warranty issues pertaining to the frame are indeed pretty rare.

I did ONCE hear of someone who had to send back a bike- dunno if it was shipping damage, or a crack in the frame (I believe the former though), and they reported a very satisfactory experience. I believe BD sent them a free shipping label immediately (after being sent pics of the damaged bike) and sent out a replacement bike the very day that the damaged one was picked-up by UPS.

Another thing to consider, is that I've only seen positive comments as to how they handle smaller issues....and generally, one can assume that if they treat customers well on smaller issues (shipping out replacement parts free of charge; very quickly; and with no hassle) that they are very likely to handle larger issues, should they arise, with similar quality.

My first road bike a few years ago, was one of the lower-end BD bikes...and I was well pleased with it; and have been a fan of the company ever since. I'll likely be buying from them again in the future. I just wish they'd stop the sleazy perpetual "sale" BS, and other such marketing tricks, as it reflects poorly on their otherwise above-board conduct; and I'm sure it drives away many potential customers (I almost didn't buy from them for that reason)- as you don't expect a company that tries to use BS and trickery in it's advertising to do the right thing once they have your money....but in BD's case, they do.

And in case anyone from BD should read this: Hey guys, how about a light, high-quality steel bike, with downtube shifters and quality components? [I see some lower-end steel bikes on their site that look interesting, but they have very low-quality components].
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Old 06-30-15, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
I don't think I've ever heard of a BD bike frame failing, other than in situations which are not covered by warranty, like crashes/garage-door encounters/etc.


And in case anyone from BD should read this: Hey guys, how about a light, high-quality steel bike, with downtube shifters and quality components? [I see some lower-end steel bikes on their site that look interesting, but they have very low-quality components].
That's a fair point that chaadster made as well. Then pick some other failure that can occur well after delivery date. I've never seen positive or negative experiences with BD warranty claims well *after* the bike was delivered. But I agree with you they handle immediate issues very well.

Regarding high quality steel bikes with good specs. Isn't this a fit for that Save Up To 60% Off Pro Level Steel Road Bikes | Commuting | Commuter Bikes | Motobecane Gran Premio PRO if not, I'm curious why not!
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Old 06-30-15, 08:47 AM
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Any idea what that Gran Premio weighs?
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Old 06-30-15, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Any idea what that Gran Premio weighs?
That's another area BD isn't great. I you ask them they can't give you a concrete answer probably because the guy answering the question isn't in the warehouse!

But reading on the web it seems that the 50cm version seems around 19 pounds.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Any idea what that Gran Premio weighs?
Don't know, but have you noticed that it's basically a Jamis Quest frame with cheaper tubing? Look at the seatpost area on the frame and the rear dropouts, they're identical to the current Quest. This is perhaps not unexpected, as both BD and Jamis source their frames from Kinesis.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:06 AM
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Old 06-30-15, 09:07 AM
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BikesDirect needs to do a 853 bike in SRAM!
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Old 06-30-15, 09:08 AM
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Not hearing stories about warranty frame replacements is a good thing. It likely means they have a very low failure rate.

Find the thread on BF where a guy had a defective Cervélo, they did a repair for him and were replacing the frame when they had one to send, and he posted a thread to complain about the warranty service. If there were problems, you would have heard about them.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:10 AM
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Geometry does look different from those pictures, and the Jamis is clearly better equipped, but you can see that the frames are built by the same people, IMHO.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post

Very VERY similar. 631 vs 520 steel (I would probably go for the 520 as I am heavier and that likely has thicker tube walls); Jamis has externally reinforced head tube (possible because it is 631 steel), and Jamis has split calbe stops ont eh downtube while the MB has bosses threaded for barrel adjusters,.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:21 AM
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Isn't is funny how so many more people talk about the bad crap they have heard about BD than actually spout the bad crap? Makes you wonder.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:27 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
How often do frames and forks fail? Rarely to hardly ever, would be the answer. It's a silly metric to focus more on.

I remember when Trek came out with their first generation of OCLV Carbon Road Bikes. Wish bones rears were failing faster then Tyson Fooks could make a chicken read to go to market killed, pluched, and quartered, from the standing position. But Trek did stod behind their product making the OCLV owner happy who had cracked or broken frames.

I honesly have been looking at the Bikes Direct Web-site, as I would like to replace my 20+ year old road bike. There are two Dura Ace Road Bikes they sell that are like 3K. they appear to be a great value. I can look at the geomatry, measurements, and figure out what is very close to what I ride now.


The thing that keep me from pulling the trigger is all the trash talk about Bike Direct, PLUS I have searched their web-site, and can not find where they are located. Only an e-mail, & telephone number.

BTW it is nice to hear they do have happy customers. BTW if you have a problem with Bikes Direct, and you paid with a credit card, you have the dispute process. I am sure most merchants hate deal with a dispute of all charges over a$20.00 problem. Plus I know if you use a VISA, it automatically extends all warranties by a year.

Wife recently had a battery die on her lap top, the lap top was 14 months old. She call Visa, they said we are sending paper, go buy a replacement, she submitted prooof of purchuse, compy of warranty, and receipt for new battery. She was reinbursed by VISA with check in under 20 days.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:29 AM
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Orange bike rocks in above photo, silver is not exciting but OK, Orange reminds me of what I like Pumpkin Pie.

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Old 06-30-15, 09:35 AM
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From my limited experience (i.e. "newbie"),

BD seems like a great online company. The problem is that are often viewed as the Justin Beiber of the bicycle world. They get ridiculed and laughed at by the pros and top level amateurs alike.

LBS's can't stand BD from what I have read on various threads. Can't do the wrenching yourself? No sweat.... Buy a bike from BD and bring it into your LBS. You will pay dearly for the LBS to go over the BD bike, tear it all down, redo it, reassemble it, etc... and get it all setup for you. Sure, sure, the LBS has a nice household name road bike on sale for $800 bucks. But you bought the BD bike for $400. Well, after it was all said and done, the final cost (reassembly/assembly) of the BD bike would darn near equal the cost of the LBS bike anyway!

I seriously wanted a bike from BD, but when I realized that they ARE pretty nice bikes, but yet just coupled with lower end components, I shied away from them. In other words, you pay for a nice BD bike, but yet it comes with Shimano Claris? It looks darn near identical (geometry-wise) to the LBS bike, and the LBS bike has Shimano 105. Upgrading the BD bike's components to 105, again would put you up near the $800 price of the LBS bike anyway.

Am I way off base here with my analogy? I'm not defending BD nor defending LBS's. Look at what I did and quite honestly, I don't care what people think... I went the cheap route, cheap way beyond cheap... I snagged a 30 yr old steel bike off Craigslist and Fuji is a common name brand. 30 years ago, it was something like the next model down from Fuji's flagship model. $120 bucks - I couldn't pass it up. It is in almost mint condition and was probably a "garage queen" for the past 20 or 25 years. Then again maybe I just got lucky on Craigslist...

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