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How crucial is a warranty on a carbon frame?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How crucial is a warranty on a carbon frame?

Old 04-20-08, 09:19 PM
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Davidlean
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How crucial is a warranty on a carbon frame?

I would like to upgrade my 25+ year old bike to one that is comfortable and efficient in pedaling up hills. I am leaning towards a carbon frame bike, I hope somewhere between 1500 and 2100. It seems that there are better values in used bikes but I understand that the warranty is not transferrable. So which is better, new or used without a warranty? I am sort of debating between a used Specialized Roubaix and something new like the Kestel RT700 or perhaps a Tommaso bike at Randall Scott. Where I live it is pretty hilly, and I am into club ride distances. Anyway, open to suggestions and opinions.
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Old 04-20-08, 09:40 PM
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It's important for any bike- I've had two frames break, a Ti and a steel frame. No carbon frames have broken under me yet. OTOH if the frame is cheap enough that you can afford to replace it easily, the warranty isn't so important.

I thought that Kestrel was getting bought. You might check to see if the buyer will be honoring the warranty.
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Old 04-20-08, 10:01 PM
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Kestrel was bought by Fuji if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 04-21-08, 04:57 PM
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Limited Lifetime Warranty covers your bike from faulty workmanship. Its very important. Its the same with cars, whitegoods etc etc.....

You will never know if you are riding a lemon on the production line.....choose wisely.
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Old 04-21-08, 05:09 PM
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Get the roubaix, i ride a tarmac and absolutely love it, I bought my dad a roubaix to ride around and he loves it almost as much as his 1971 bmw 2002

My LBS gave me a written warranty for my bike saying that if it does ever break under normal use they will replace it. Excludes crashing, hitting it with a hammer, being ran over... But if I'm ever just pedaling and a crack shows up they said they would replace it the same day with something comperable. Thats a good LBS... then again... i paid sticker!!! but no tax.
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Old 04-21-08, 05:12 PM
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If there is no crash replacement discount don't bother buying it.

Is your 25 year old road bike of higher quality? I mean the cost of a powder coat new wheels and a flashy groupo could be just the ticket...
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Old 04-21-08, 07:19 PM
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Specialized as a company has been great with me. I had a cracked headtube on my 3 year old alum frame. Didn't have to find the warranty or anything. I just took it in, they called the rep, and I brought the bike in. A few days later, it was replaced with a carbon frame, and they moved everything else over (I did pay for their time) Handed it back to me. WOW.
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Old 04-21-08, 09:55 PM
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The parent company that owns Fuji bought out Kestrel.
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Old 04-22-08, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by overthere View Post
Specialized as a company has been great with me. I had a cracked headtube on my 3 year old alum frame. Didn't have to find the warranty or anything. I just took it in, they called the rep, and I brought the bike in. A few days later, it was replaced with a carbon frame, and they moved everything else over (I did pay for their time) Handed it back to me. WOW.
Wha? Damn, that does sound like a sweet deal. I should crack the head tube on my 3 y.o. Allez. How'd you swing the upgrade? Did you have to pay the difference, or they just comped you?

OP: I'd say go with the warranty, if you can find something you want within your price range. Warranty is important, at least to me, but it's not necessarily a deal breaker if you can find a really sweet price on a used carbon frame that maybe has better components than you could get otherwise. I'd say it would have to be a very good deal. As in, you could get another like it and still be at or under the price you would've paid for a new bike w/ warranty.
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Old 04-22-08, 07:17 AM
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Depends on how much you're paying for it, how much your saving over a new bike, and how much it would hurt you to replace it if it failed outside warranty.

Realistically the odds that any good frame is going to fail in the first 5 years of use, other than in a crash (not covered by warranty) is pretty low.

Assume your frame costs $2000 to replace, and there's a 5% chance that it will fail, then the value of a warranty to replace it would be less than $100. (the reason that it is less than $100 is you have to apply a discount rate to the timeperiod between you pay for the bike, and the time of the average warranty claim, to get a present value figure.)

Thus I'd say if you save more than $100 on a $2000 frame, it would make economic sense to not worry about the warranty.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:17 AM
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I bought a scratched, dinged, bashed and crashed 2004(?) giant TCR frame off ebay and had it shipped 1 billion kilometres from Darwin. Goes oright. I treat it like ****. Its a bike. It deserves it.
 
Old 04-22-08, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Depends on how much you're paying for it, how much your saving over a new bike, and how much it would hurt you to replace it if it failed outside warranty.

Realistically the odds that any good frame is going to fail in the first 5 years of use, other than in a crash (not covered by warranty) is pretty low.

Assume your frame costs $2000 to replace, and there's a 5% chance that it will fail, then the value of a warranty to replace it would be less than $100. (the reason that it is less than $100 is you have to apply a discount rate to the timeperiod between you pay for the bike, and the time of the average warranty claim, to get a present value figure.)

Thus I'd say if you save more than $100 on a $2000 frame, it would make economic sense to not worry about the warranty.
I think like this.
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Old 04-22-08, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by seppomadness View Post
I bought a scratched, dinged, bashed and crashed 2004(?) giant TCR frame off ebay and had it shipped 1 billion kilometres from Darwin. Goes oright. I treat it like ****. Its a bike. It deserves it.
me too. I think mine's an '05. Cost like $600 -- buy 3 if it'll make you feel better.
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Old 04-22-08, 12:50 PM
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Trek offers a lifetime warranty on their OCLV Carbon frames.

How much is peace of mind worth to you?
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Old 04-22-08, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by munkyv22 View Post
Trek offers a lifetime warranty on their OCLV Carbon frames.

How much is peace of mind worth to you?
What does that even mean? Peace of mind? If it's about your money -- I think it was clarified very succinctly early in the thread that it doesn't really add up to much. If it's about the frame failing while you're riding it, I don't think Trek's are any more or less likely to fail than another brand of carbon frame. How many TRUE JRA stories of carbon blowing up are there? I'm guessing it's very few.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:55 PM
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Orbea gives you lifetime warranty on their frames,can't get any better!!

Get yourself the new Orca and you will never get another bike....ever !!

http://www.orbea-usa.com/fly.aspx
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Old 04-22-08, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PipinFan View Post
Orbea gives you lifetime warranty on their frames,can't get any better!!

Get yourself the new Orca and you will never get another bike....ever !!

http://www.orbea-usa.com/fly.aspx
except a tarmac
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Old 04-22-08, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Davidlean View Post
I would like to upgrade my 25+ year old bike to one that is comfortable and efficient in pedaling up hills. I am leaning towards a carbon frame bike, I hope somewhere between 1500 and 2100. It seems that there are better values in used bikes but I understand that the warranty is not transferrable. So which is better, new or used without a warranty? I am sort of debating between a used Specialized Roubaix and something new like the Kestel RT700 or perhaps a Tommaso bike at Randall Scott. Where I live it is pretty hilly, and I am into club ride distances. Anyway, open to suggestions and opinions.
Man are you in for a disappointment.... Bikes dont pedal up hills riders do.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Man are you in for a disappointment.... Bikes dont pedal up hills riders do.
How true. Get schooled often enough by old guys on old steel bikes on long climbs, you'd realise it's not about the bike.
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Old 04-23-08, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by gurana View Post
Wha? Damn, that does sound like a sweet deal. I should crack the head tube on my 3 y.o. Allez. How'd you swing the upgrade? Did you have to pay the difference, or they just comped you?
I didn't ask for an upgrade...they offered, I jumped up and down with joy and agreed! I didn't pay anything beyond the labor to move over everything to the new frame. I honestly have no clue why the rep did that. Maybe they no longer had any WSD Dolce alum. frames in my size in stock and had to replace it with *something* -
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Old 04-23-08, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Asian Sensation View Post
except a tarmac

+1!!!! Specialized has Limited Lifetime Warranty as well....crash is not covered of course but I have heard they also have crash replacement discount.
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Old 04-23-08, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Man are you in for a disappointment.... Bikes dont pedal up hills riders do.
That's my problem I guess. I keep wanting the bike to pedal up the hills and I just come along for the ride.

Seriously, I appreciate all the comments. It looks like it comes down to risk comfort level. Spend more money and get a warranty with a new bike or spend less on used and take my chances. Or buy a lower quality new bike. Hmmm. Choices, choices.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:28 PM
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Yeapp is all about that choice,I've being there.. but I've got the love of my life... my Orbea Orca.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:54 PM
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A lot of the warranties are a bit dubious. Lifetime against manufacturing defects really means that on the exceptionally slim odds you get a lemon you'll get a new frame without having a lawyer involved. And lets face it, given what happens if it suddenly falls apart (regardless of material) at speed, it's a bit duplicitous. After all, warranty or no, they'd happily give you a new one to sign on the line.

Now Crash Replacement Program is a whole 'nother bit.
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Old 04-23-08, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by munkyv22 View Post
Trek offers a lifetime warranty on their OCLV Carbon frames.

How much is peace of mind worth to you?
Yeah I mean riding a Trek. That's humilating enough right there.
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