Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

After 15 years, I"m done buying Trek bikes...

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

After 15 years, I"m done buying Trek bikes...

Old 07-30-10, 01:44 PM
  #1  
cycle17
Warrior Cyclist
Thread Starter
 
cycle17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 1,548

Bikes: 07 Madone SL, 06 Madone 5.5 & 04 5500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
After 15 years, I"m done buying Trek bikes...

My next bike will be some other brand of bike... due to poor customer service on Treks part.

My history as a Trek customer is the in the last 15 years I've bought 10 Trek bikes. 3 mountain bikes new, and 5 new road bikes (1 aluminum and 4 carbon). Also a couple used OCLVS. One of my new bikes is a Project One Madone with yellow and gray custom paint scheme ridden 4,300 miles.

About six weeks ago I noticed a crack around the down tube where the bike is painted yellow on this bike. Two weeks ago I'm cleaning the bike and find the crack has grown from 1/4 inch to about 1 1/2 inches. I take the bike to my LBS and ask them to look at it. They comment on how well kept my bike is and agree to have the Trek rep look at the bike when he stops in that week. A couple days later the shop calls and says I can come get the bike. I go to pick it up and ask what the results are. The shop says the Trek rep looked at the bike and said it's a paint issue, not structural and nothing further would be done since Trek only warranties paint for one year and my bike is over two years old.

While I knew that Trek warranties there frames for life I honestly didn't know that paint was only covered for one year even on a custom painted frame. (Probably because none of my other OCLVs have cracks in the paint! One is white, two have half silver paint btw...I never had an issue until now.)

The rep said that paint cracking around the joints is very common on all their carbon frames and is present to some degree in almost all their carbon bikes, it's just more visible on the lighter colors like white yellow and silver. This is directly from the Trek rep. At this point I ask the shop if they were the customer, would they be happy with a high end Project One bike with a paint scheme they paid extra for having a crack in the paint? Both owners said, 'Probably not, were can certainly see your point." They recommended I contact John Burke the president of Trek directly, since his email and a note saying "If your not completely satisfied, contact me directly." is on the owners manual of every new bike. They believe this is one of those situations where customer satisfaction should likely override the standard warranty terms.

So I send a very nice, polite email to Mr Burke and explain my situation, I list all the bikes I've purchased and that I currently own 5 carbon road bikes and a new Trek commuter. I state the local bike shop's response and ask if there is any recourse for my bike's paint issue. I added that had i known that my bike would likely develop cracks in the paint, I would have: A. Bought a darker color B. Not paid extra for a P1 paint job and C. Might not have bought another Trek, since this problem has not occurred on my other OCLVs with many more miles on them than this bike.

A couple days later I get an email from a customer support representive saying that it's very common for many of the carbon framed Treks to develop paint cracks at some or all of the joints, that it's just visible on the lighter colors and that structurally my bike should be just fine. He states that lighter brighter colors often show these cracks more visibly, which of course is a no brainer. He goes on to say that even if they repainted the frame the cracks would likely come back. Since Trek only warranties paint and finish for 1 year they consider the matter closed.

Now before anyone re-states the Trek warranty policy on paint to me, let me say... I understand they are under no legal obligation to offer me anything, because my bike is more than a year old, but from a service standpoint and as a long-time customer with many high end bikes purchased from them, I honestly thought they might offer some option, and other than the LBS Trek did not at any time say were sorry you're unhappy with your bike/paintjob. They didn't offer to repaint the bike a darker color if I shipped it back, they just said basically "Case Closed".

So I replied that since I bought the wrong color bike, I'm stuck with cracked paint. Next time I buy a bike in the near future I'll make sure I buy a different brand.

Bottom Line for me; This is just poor customer service on Treks part. My LBS...still great people and they were disappointed in Trek's response to the situation. They even stated that they could see were goodwill towards the customer should probably trump the warranty in a case like this, but Trek themselves are refusing to do anything, so the LBS is mostly powerless to do anything more.

If you are thinking about buying a carbon Trek or a Project One bike... you might take what you just read above into consideration before you buy.

Me...I've bought my last Trek. I think I see a Tarmac in my future.
__________________
Just Do It..
cycle17 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 01:51 PM
  #2  
cshell
In the dark
 
cshell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 1,890
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
cshell is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 01:56 PM
  #3  
cycle17
Warrior Cyclist
Thread Starter
 
cycle17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 1,548

Bikes: 07 Madone SL, 06 Madone 5.5 & 04 5500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Exactly...
__________________
Just Do It..
cycle17 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:01 PM
  #4  
RiderC
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yep, new brand next time. Finger nail polish for now. Finger nail polish comes in about a million colors. You should be able to find a close match.
RiderC is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:01 PM
  #5  
Quel
Senior Member
 
Quel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,653
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
All that and no pics of the crack? For shame.
Quel is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:10 PM
  #6  
Hunt-man
Tete de Couch
 
Hunt-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: West Linn OR
Posts: 1,488

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Quel View Post
All that and no pics of the crack? For shame.
+1 We need pics to determine if this is bad or if you are nitpicking.
Hunt-man is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:11 PM
  #7  
cycle17
Warrior Cyclist
Thread Starter
 
cycle17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 1,548

Bikes: 07 Madone SL, 06 Madone 5.5 & 04 5500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm nitpicking...how's that. It's a crack that is getting bigger on a custom painted bike. :-)
__________________
Just Do It..
cycle17 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:12 PM
  #8  
jrobe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
10 Treks in 15 years. Wow. They got a live one when you walked through the door . The LBS should have repainted it themselves just to keep the cash register rolling.
jrobe is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:12 PM
  #9  
mayukawa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 910
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It seems if they're aware of such a problem, shouldn't they use different paint or perhaps strengthen the joints to minimize flex so it doesn't crack in the first place?
mayukawa is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:13 PM
  #10  
Atol
Senior Member
 
Atol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 639

Bikes: CAAD9-6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Way to stand behind your product, Trek.
Atol is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:17 PM
  #11  
RoboCheme
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Moraga, CA
Posts: 1,701

Bikes: 2008 Cervelo RS, 2011 Scott CR1 Elite, 2014 Volagi Liscio

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
They should have offered to repaint it. I was curious why you bought four carbon road bikes. Were they all for you?
RoboCheme is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:19 PM
  #12  
Nachoman
well hello there
 
Nachoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Point Loma, CA
Posts: 14,952

Bikes: Bill Holland (Road-Ti), Fuji Roubaix Pro (back-up), Bike Friday (folder), Co-Motion (tandem) & Trek 750 (hybrid)

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 12 Posts
It's amazing to me that they didn't even offer you a free mini bottle of touch up paint.
__________________
.
.

Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.
Nachoman is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:21 PM
  #13  
BengeBoy 
Senior Member
 
BengeBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,940

Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cycle17 View Post
The rep said that paint cracking around the joints is very common on all their carbon frames and is present to some degree in almost all their carbon bikes, it's just more visible on the lighter colors like white yellow and silver. This is directly from the Trek rep.
Would love to see them update their website with this information: "Choose any color you want; please be advise some colors colors are subject to cracking."

One of the really disappointing things about your experience is this: how do I, as a customer, tell the difference between a paint crack and crack in the frame that might be structural? I guess I'm supposed to wait for the paint to crack, and then take it in for inspection by the dealer? What if the crack gets worse -- do you keep getting inspections to put your mind at ease that it's still "just paint"?
BengeBoy is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:22 PM
  #14  
cycle17
Warrior Cyclist
Thread Starter
 
cycle17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 1,548

Bikes: 07 Madone SL, 06 Madone 5.5 & 04 5500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
They should have offered to repaint it. I was curious why you bought four carbon road bikes. Were they all for you?
I'm a bike addict. I like cycling and previously I had a lot more disposable income, nowadays...not so much!
__________________
Just Do It..
cycle17 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:24 PM
  #15  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,284

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 452 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 33 Posts
That type of brand loyalty should be worth something. Have you been buying from the same LBS all these years?
tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:25 PM
  #16  
Phil85207
Century bound
 
Phil85207's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mesa Arizona
Posts: 2,262

Bikes: Felt AR4 and Cannondale hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have to agree. There are paints out there that flex a great deal. Most car bumpers are now plastic and very flexible. I don't see them cracking. There is no excuse for them to not address this problem in a satisfactory way.
Phil85207 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:25 PM
  #17  
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's very common for the carbon Treks to develop cracks in the paint at some of the lug locations. I wouldn't worry about it; it's only cosmetic, not structural. Apparently, this is more of a problem on the lighter-colored frames.


Phantoj is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:26 PM
  #18  
Hunt-man
Tete de Couch
 
Hunt-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: West Linn OR
Posts: 1,488

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by cycle17 View Post
I'm nitpicking...how's that. It's a crack that is getting bigger on a custom painted bike. :-)
It really is disappointing that they did not offer to at least touch it up but then maybe it would crack again.... Nice that the president (Ha ha) of Trek got back in touch with you personally! (Oh thats right, he must have been at the TDF hanging with Lance and drinking champagne)
Hunt-man is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:28 PM
  #19  
Emptei
Specialized!
 
Emptei's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Newport Beach
Posts: 86

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL3/Sram Red

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ouch, what a way to end such a profitable relationship. Those morons.
Emptei is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:30 PM
  #20  
cycle17
Warrior Cyclist
Thread Starter
 
cycle17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 1,548

Bikes: 07 Madone SL, 06 Madone 5.5 & 04 5500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
That type of brand loyalty should be worth something. Have you been buying from the same LBS all these years?
This is my second shop, I moved from the east coast to west coast. I do deal with my local shop for most things and they agree with my position on this. My old shop would have been extremely P.O.d since I was a customer there for many years. The mountain bikes were 2 of my own and 1 for my ex. The road bikes....I just liked them so I started 'Collecting" them shall we say. You can never have enough bikes!
__________________
Just Do It..
cycle17 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:32 PM
  #21  
bdcheung
Carpe Diem
 
bdcheung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MABRA
Posts: 13,149

Bikes: 2007 CAAD9; 2014 CAADX; PedalForce CG1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Over the past few months I've heard more bad experiences with Trek- and Trek-owned bikes (Gary Fisher) than I can keep track of.

Steerer tubes snapping--Trek says "user error".
Manufacturing errors--Trek says "user error".

Trek seems to genuinely not care about their consumers any more.
__________________
"When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!
bdcheung is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:38 PM
  #22  
Mr. Beanz
Banned.
 
Mr. Beanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Upland Ca
Posts: 19,896

Bikes: Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cycle17 View Post
Now before anyone re-states the Trek warranty policy on paint to me, let me say... I understand they are under no legal obligation to offer me anything, because my bike is more than a year old, but from a service standpoint and as a long-time customer with many high end bikes purchased from them, I honestly thought they might offer some option, and other than the LBS Trek did not at any time say were sorry you're unhappy with your bike/paintjob. They didn't offer to repaint the bike a darker color if I shipped it back, they just said basically "Case Closed".

When purchasing ANY new item or product, there is a reason I read and purchase according to their warranty. I'd never buy a bike that had a $1000 frame replacement fee. I had a frame break on a Trek and it was replaced free, no charge according to the warrranty as expected no hassles. I bought the bike knowing it had a lifetime warranty on the frame. Knowing it has a one year on the paint, why should I expect something more than anyone else that spends their money?

I have 4 Trek bikes. Maybe I'll call Trek and ask for a steak dinner for two at my favorite restaraunt!
Mr. Beanz is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:47 PM
  #23  
Blackdays
Boom.
 
Blackdays's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh -> Cleveland -> San Francisco
Posts: 2,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
When purchasing ANY new item or product, there is a reason I read and purchase according to their warranty. I'd never buy a bike that had a $1000 frame replacement fee. I had a frame break on a Trek and it was replaced free, no charge according to the warrranty as expected no hassles. I bought the bike knowing it had a lifetime warranty on the frame. Knowing it has a one year on the paint, why should I expect something more than anyone else that spends their money?

I have 4 Trek bikes. Maybe I'll call Trek and ask for a steak dinner for two at my favorite restaraunt!
What? Beans, you're usually a pretty smart guy, but I smell a brain fart here.

He PAID extra for a custom painted project one Trek. He PAID for that paint! And Trek turns around and tells him (after his purchase) that: "Oh yeah, the paint cracks on this bike and we're not going to take any responsibility for it!"

That is horrendous customer service. I could see your argument if it was just an off the shelf 6.9, but on a Project one bike? Nope.

Trek has really been going downhill lately. None of this would be half as bad if they would just man up, and take responsibility for their mistakes.
Blackdays is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:48 PM
  #24  
igomez70
Junior Member
 
igomez70's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mayukawa View Post
It seems if they're aware of such a problem, shouldn't they use different paint or perhaps strengthen the joints to minimize flex so it doesn't crack in the first place?
They should, I have a project one (white by the way) and it's not a quality paint, it comes right of at contact points like cages bolt holes and dropouts when you tight the skewers.
igomez70 is offline  
Old 07-30-10, 02:51 PM
  #25  
SpongeDad
Overacting because I can
 
SpongeDad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The Mean Streets of Bethesda, MD
Posts: 4,552

Bikes: Merlin Agilis, Trek 1500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Do all CF bikes actually have this issue? I remember Giant touting their clear coat a few years ago.

Either way, man that bites.
__________________
“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

"I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)
SpongeDad is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.