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Rear hub maintenance needed on a brand new bike and not covered under warranty?

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Rear hub maintenance needed on a brand new bike and not covered under warranty?

Old 11-13-20, 12:30 PM
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eduskator
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Rear hub maintenance needed on a brand new bike and not covered under warranty?

Hi all,

So long story short, my new bike has been making a creaking sound every time the drive-train is under load. Due to shortage of bicycles in my area this year (COVID), I had to buy it from a bicycle shop that's 5 hours away from where I live - needless to say that I don't want to drive back there to perform maintenance. I always buy local, but it was my 30th birthday gift and I didn't want to wait a few more months to get it.

Fortunately, that BS agreed to cover any fees that wouldn't be covered under warranty that my LBS would charge me:

-Two weeks ago, my LBS (Giant authorized retailer) serviced the crank (remove, clean, grease, reinstall): creaking disappeared. They charged me for that and I got reimbursed by the other BS. Unfortunately, the noise came back after 2 rides.

-Earlier this week, I brought it back. Yesterday, they called to say they had found the problem; the rear hub. They tried the bike without my rear wheel and it wasn't making the noise so they did a hub overhaul and charged me 40$ for it. When I asked why it wasn't covered under warranty because it was faulty from the beginning, he said he - quote - had to charge me since I hadn't bought the bike there and didn't make any profit out of it - unquote. Plus, my freewheel now makes less noise than it should because they probably packed it with grease (what the f*ck!).

Now, I fully understand that the LBS needs to get paid for the job performed, but how can a 1 month old bike not be covered under warranty for this kind of issue, especially when the faulty part is factory installed? I could understand the charge of the crank maintenance if the crank isn't factory installed and was improperly installed by the other bicycle shop, but a hub that's mounted on a wheel in Taiwan & then shipped to a LBS?

I am thinking of calling Giant directly and see what they can do.

Last edited by eduskator; 11-13-20 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 11-13-20, 01:04 PM
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If the part is defective and covered under Giant's warranty, then the shop would have sent the wheel back to Giant - at your cost - for replacement. (Yes, you are responsible for the shipping costs to return defective parts.)

From your story, it sounds that the shop determined the wheel was not defective and therefor did not qualify under the manufacturer's warranty, and it simply needed to be serviced. Service isn't covered under Giant's warranty - many shops offer 1-year of service on bikes they sell, but as this shop pointed out, you did not buy from them, so you don't get that free service.
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Old 11-13-20, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
If the part is defective and covered under Giant's warranty, then the shop would have sent the wheel back to Giant - at your cost - for replacement. (Yes, you are responsible for the shipping costs to return defective parts.)

From your story, it sounds that the shop determined the wheel was not defective and therefor did not qualify under the manufacturer's warranty, and it simply needed to be serviced. Service isn't covered under Giant's warranty - many shops offer 1-year of service on bikes they sell, but as this shop pointed out, you did not buy from them, so you don't get that free service.
I get it, but a new bike should not need to be serviced and if so, the manufacturer is the one who should be paying, not the LBS nor the customer.
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Old 11-13-20, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
I get it, but a new bike should not need to be serviced and if so, the manufacturer is the one who should be paying, not the LBS nor the customer.
It's not new anymore. You rode it.

Read what your warranties and guaranties cover. If you don't feel like they are being honored then how much effort and money do you want to pay to make them honor it?

Sometimes being a squeaky wheel you can get some oil put on you so you'll be quiet even if you don't deserve free oil. Other times you just burn yourself and others up with your squeaking.
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Old 11-13-20, 02:52 PM
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Yes, do have a whinge to giant. Is that really likely to be caused by the hub though?
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Old 11-16-20, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Yes, do have a whinge to giant. Is that really likely to be caused by the hub though?
The creaking sound seemed to come from the BB area, but the LBS tried the bike with another rear wheel and it was gone so, it most likely is, yes. They packed it with grease and it's now gone. Haven't done a big ride yet because of the weather. I am not sure if I'll be able to at this time of year. Oh well, I'll know next year for sure.

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Old 11-16-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
It's not new anymore. You rode it.

Read what your warranties and guaranties cover. If you don't feel like they are being honored then how much effort and money do you want to pay to make them honor it?

Sometimes being a squeaky wheel you can get some oil put on you so you'll be quiet even if you don't deserve free oil. Other times you just burn yourself and others up with your squeaking.
Pardon me, sir, for being a squeaky wheel for a bike that's only worth 7500$. Money must be growing in trees where you live. I probably didn't pay enough to expect a flawless bike and immaculate after sales service .
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Old 11-16-20, 10:37 AM
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Does your new car warranty pay for oil changes and all the other service that needs to be done to it?

I can't say what the noise was that you want me to sympathize with you against the big bad bicycle maker.

If your warranty does cover it, then gripe to them. If you paid too much for a bike and can't afford stuff that's not covered by warranty, then consider it learning.

If you need to vent, then go for it. You can transfer your rage at your bike maker to me and get it all out. <grin>
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Old 11-16-20, 11:17 AM
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If my car’s differential is sent from the factory without lube, then hell yes it’s a warranty issue.
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Old 11-16-20, 11:53 AM
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So I took the time this morning to dismantle the freehub body & check inside. Based on this Giant Tutorial - https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...8WD1WTQhvJL0CO - it seems like my SLR-1 (star ratchet) rear hub is ''the equivalent of a'' DT Swiss 240.

The internal is exactly the same, but there is no spring between the bearing and the ratchet close to the spokes. There is only one inside the freehub.





For you hub connoisseurs out here, is this normal? Shouldn't there be 2 springs inside? My bike rides exactly the same as before except for the freewheel sound that is quieter. If a spring was missing, I guess botch ratchets wouldn't engage under load, right?

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Old 11-16-20, 12:41 PM
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The 240s hub uses 2 springs, while the new EXP version only uses 1...so, my guess is that the Giant hubs this year are based on the 240 EXP hubs.

Regarding the noise, I'd speculate that the freehub was not fully seated on the hud, so once the shop serviced it, they reinstalled it correctly, thus eliminating the noise. I wouldn't consider that a warranty issue, and would expect to pay the shop for their services. Now, if you took it to the actual shop that you purchased it from, they probably wouldn't have charged you for any of it.
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Old 11-16-20, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by melikebikey35 View Post
The 240s hub uses 2 springs, while the new EXP version only uses 1...so, my guess is that the Giant hubs this year are based on the 240 EXP hubs.

Regarding the noise, I'd speculate that the freehub was not fully seated on the hud, so once the shop serviced it, they reinstalled it correctly, thus eliminating the noise. I wouldn't consider that a warranty issue, and would expect to pay the shop for their services. Now, if you took it to the actual shop that you purchased it from, they probably wouldn't have charged you for any of it.
Thanks for the info. It's indeed a EXP. However, I noticed there is no washer between the bearing inside the freehub and the spring. If a washer should be in there but is missing, it would mean that the spring is ''looser'' and could explain why it's quieter? Or is it just Giant's version that does not have one...


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Old 11-16-20, 02:09 PM
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I can see both sides of this argument, but I'm curious as to why the original shop reimbursed you for the cost of removing/reinstalling the crank, but not the hub?

Did the second shop just do the hub work without telling you that there would be costs involved? Or were they aware that your expectation was that this was all handled under warranty at no cost? From their perspective, you just paid them to remove/reinstall a brand new crank, so it doesn't' seem unreasonable to expect payment for a similar job on the hub.

That said, a brand new hub should not need to be overhauled. I'd probably ask for some more details on what they found, then go back to the original LBS and ask them how they might handle it.
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Old 11-16-20, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
If my car’s differential is sent from the factory without lube, then hell yes it’s a warranty issue.
I would agree, but I'm not sure if expecting bike stores to operate like car dealerships is a fair assumption.

A better analogy here might be something more retail focused. If you buy a brand new high-end audio component from an audio specialty store, and a few weeks later discover that it isn't working correctly, do you expect that you can take that component back to any store that sells products from that manufacturer (an "authorized retailer") and assume that they will disassemble, diagnose and repair the problem at no charge? I would definitely expect the store that I purchased from to diagnose the problem and come up with solutions, but my assumption is that any other store would probably not go as far. They might offer to call the manufacturer and/or send the product back for me, but I wouldn't expect them to do much else. At the very least, I'd have a conversation with them about what is/isn't covered before they started unscrewing things.
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Old 11-16-20, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
Thanks for the info. It's indeed a EXP. However, I noticed there is no washer between the bearing inside the freehub and the spring. If a washer should be in there but is missing, it would mean that the spring is ''looser'' and could explain why it's quieter? Or is it just Giant's version that does not have one...
Yes, there should be washer...are you sure it is not stuck inside the freehub? I'd imagine that Giant still uses standard DT Swiss freehubs, so I don't see why it would not have/need the washer. If you are positive that it is not in there, then I'd reach out to the shop and/or Giant directly and ask them. It is possible that the shop forgot to reinstall it...I'd hope that they are not that careless, though.

If it is missing then, I'd be more worried about the ratchet possibly slipping while under load, than it being quieter.
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Old 11-16-20, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by melikebikey35 View Post
Yes, there should be washer...are you sure it is not stuck inside the freehub? I'd imagine that Giant still uses standard DT Swiss freehubs, so I don't see why it would not have/need the washer. If you are positive that it is not in there, then I'd reach out to the shop and/or Giant directly and ask them. It is possible that the shop forgot to reinstall it...I'd hope that they are not that careless, though.

If it is missing then, I'd be more worried about the ratchet possibly slipping while under load, than it being quieter.
No, I removed every parts this morning to see if there was too much grease inside. There wasn't, but I noticed that the spring sits around the bearing inside the freehub and there is nothing between the two. Given that the washer would compress the spring - therefore increasing its tension - this could explain the noise difference (stiffer spring = louder noise).

I tried the bike a few times and the ratchets do not slip at all. I would tend to say washer is not needed, but since it's a Giant hub and not a DT Swiss and I can't find any details on internet about it, I can't confirm if it's supposed to be in there or not. I would need to find the blueprints or open an identical one from another bike. Is there a member on this forum using 2021 SLR1 42mm disc wheels?

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Old 11-16-20, 08:48 PM
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So... wait.

You bought a $7500 bike and are now whining about $40 dollar service charge for what is essentially a maintenance issue?

And on top of that, you apparently have the time and ability to completely take apart your rear hub on your own, but again, you're complaining about paying $40 dollars for a bike shop to do it?

I get why you're complaining, but I think it's completely misdirected at the bike shop. You seem to have dropped the ball a few times in this story.

Next time, just do your own work.
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Old 11-16-20, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
No, I removed every parts this morning to see if there was too much grease inside. There wasn't, but I noticed that the spring sits around the bearing inside the freehub and there is nothing between the two. Given that the washer would compress the spring - therefore increasing its tension - this could explain the noise difference (stiffer spring = louder noise).

I tried the bike a few times and the ratchets do not slip at all. I would tend to say washer is not needed, but since it's a Giant hub and not a DT Swiss and I can't find any details on internet about it, I can't confirm if it's supposed to be in there or not. I would need to find the blueprints or open an identical one from another bike. Is there a member on this forum using 2021 SLR1 42mm disc wheels?
Giant and/or the shop can confirm it. The specs list it as a 30T ratchet, and EXP hub is 36T, so it is possible that it is a different design
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Old 11-17-20, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
So... wait.

You bought a $7500 bike and are now whining about $40 dollar service charge for what is essentially a maintenance issue?

And on top of that, you apparently have the time and ability to completely take apart your rear hub on your own, but again, you're complaining about paying $40 dollars for a bike shop to do it?

I get why you're complaining, but I think it's completely misdirected at the bike shop. You seem to have dropped the ball a few times in this story.

Next time, just do your own work.
The price isn't important here, the principle is. New thing = should be flawless. If not, labour cost should be fully covered by the manufacturer. It's not a maintenance issue, it's a manufacturing defect since it was creaking from day 1. Moreover, I shouldn't have to perform maintenance on a brand new bike regardless of my mechanical knowledge.
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Old 11-17-20, 08:11 AM
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I agree that new things should work. For me though, I would fix it and move on. I only have so much energy and would not want to spend it fighting over $40.00.
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Old 11-17-20, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by melikebikey35 View Post
Giant and/or the shop can confirm it. The specs list it as a 30T ratchet, and EXP hub is 36T, so it is possible that it is a different design
So I watched a couple videos last night from DT Swiss on how to maintain ratchet hubs. The guy was applying a very thin layer of special grease (the red one, which is not what my LBS used) and it made me realize they had put too much grease inside. I removed most of it this morning and only left a thin layer on the contact areas and it's much better now. It's surprising to see how little can be too much sometimes.

I also tried to put a custom made washer (same size & thickness) and it wasn't working properly, which makes me pretty confident that Giant hubs don't require one.
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Old 11-17-20, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
The price isn't important here, the principle is. New thing = should be flawless. If not, labour cost should be fully covered by the manufacturer. It's not a maintenance issue, it's a manufacturing defect since it was creaking from day 1. Moreover, I shouldn't have to perform maintenance on a brand new bike regardless of my mechanical knowledge.
Your expectations might exceed what your warranty covers. Labor isn't always a covered expense. What does your warranty say specifically? If you don't know, then don't be imagining things you want to be true but might not.
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Old 11-17-20, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Labor is rarely a isn't always a covered expense.
FTFY.

If the frame had a major defect that justified a warranty replacement, you would still be responsible for the labor to swap parts from one frame to another.

And I agree that it should be working fine out of the box, but it may work fine in the shop and after a few test miles but go out of whack after more extensive riding. It not uncommon for things to adjust and settle after a bit on new bikes, causing problems. For example, with new wheel builds, they frequently go out of true after a few weeks/100 miles as things settle. Or with mechanical shifting systems, performance degrades after a few weeks after the cables have had time to stretch and settle in to the housing.
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Old 11-17-20, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Labor is rarely a isn't always a covered expense.
FTFY.

If the frame had a major defect that justified a warranty replacement, you would still be responsible for the labor to swap parts from one frame to another.

And I agree that it should be working fine out of the box, but it may work fine in the shop and after a few test miles but go out of whack after more extensive riding. It not uncommon for things to adjust and settle after a bit on new bikes, causing problems. For example, with new wheel builds, they frequently go out of true after a few weeks/100 miles as things settle. Or with mechanical shifting systems, performance degrades after a few weeks after the cables have had time to stretch and settle in to the housing.
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Old 11-17-20, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
The price isn't important here, the principle is. New thing = should be flawless. .
You live in a different world than I do. I've seldom experienced new things that were flawless. Cars, computers, phones, houses (HA!), appliances, etc.
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