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Trek - why are there such haters? Same for Bontrager

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Trek - why are there such haters? Same for Bontrager

Old 01-26-11, 11:35 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by RacerOne
Just to clarify on this.. does this mean you don't submit some claims because you see for yourself they don't meet the warranty standards? ie, the wheel is tacoed and the frame is cracked / scratched up from an obvious crash so you say I'm not even submitting that? Or everything you've ever sent in, regardless of condition / circumstances Trek has warrantied?
One has to be diplomatic. I will do everything in my power to fulfill a legitimate warranty claim, and my long experience in the business helps me to tell what is a warranty due to defect, and what was abused. One notable case was a guy who used a non Velox rim tape along with extreme high pressure tires on a carbon wheel, in spite of the explicit warnings in the manual to NOT do this. Doing so cracked the rim near the braking surface and he was mightily miffed. When confronted with the fact that this was certainly not a defect, but outright abuse, he became even more angry. Diplomacy prevailed, however, and we reached an accord. In every case, it is incumbent on the end user to fully apprise themselves of the limitations of the coverage and conditions of coverage. There have been several other circumstances where Trek (and other vendors I deal with) went above and beyond normal coverage because we bothered to push a little on a borderline case. It's all part of being a good LBS, to me.

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Old 01-26-11, 11:38 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1
One has to be diplomatic. I will do everything in my power to fulfill a legitimate warranty claim, and my long experience in the business helps me to tell what is a warranty due to defect, and what was abused. One notable case was a guy who used a non Velox rim tape along with extreme high pressure tires on a carbon wheel, in spite of the explicit warnings in the manual to NOT do this. Doing so cracked the rim near the braking surface and he was mightily miffed. When confronted with the fact that this was certainly not a defect, but outright abuse, he became even more angry. Diplomacy prevailed, however, and we reached an accord. In every case, it is incumbent on the end user to fully apprise themselves of the limitations of the coverage and conditions of coverage. There have been several other circumstances where Trek went above and beyond normal coverage because we bothered to push a little on a borderline case. It's all part of being a good LBS, to me.
That's what I supposed but I just wanted to be clear. Otherwise, I was going to be making a trip to Ohio with my cracked seatstay.
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Old 01-26-11, 02:17 PM
  #103  
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fwiw, my Trek-built Lemond has been solid. No issues at all. I bought used so no warranty issues. While everyone hates on the Bontrager saddles, the one on mine fits my ample arse just fine - only reason I'd change would be to drop some weight.
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Old 01-26-11, 02:37 PM
  #104  
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Bontrager and being joined at the hip with Lance Armstrong are two reasons why I am not inclined to buy a Trek product. Beyond that, I just don't feel that many of their products exhibit the design and manufacturing qualities that I have come to respect from companies like Cervelo, Specialized, a few others. I'm open to feeling otherwise and certainly am not a hater, but something about Trek just leaves me feeling cold. It wasn't always so, but of late, they just don't ring my bell. But hey, I feel the same way about Nike Golf products and they do make a few very nice clubs.
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Old 01-26-11, 02:41 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1
Or not. More on that in a moment.

I have been a Trek dealer for many years, and have lots of happy customers because I have a maintained a good working relationship with Trek that benefits my customers. Never yet had them turn down a warranty claim I have submitted. Never failed to replace a bad wheel. Or saddle. Or tire. Or.....anything! I have dealt with several other brands in my 3+ decades in the business and can say no one does warranty better more consistently.

I feel that part of the problem is that people don't read the legal document that is the warranty before they buy, then blow a fuse when something they think should be covered isn't. Read the warranty before you buy! Know what you're getting into.

Is Trek perfect? Far from it. I have my complaints as a dealer, and it pains me to see more and more production sent outside the US. I understand, of course, that they have to respond to market pressures, and when their main competitors make nothing (and haven't for decades) in the US, they have to act in such a way as to continue to support their customers. That means more products are made in Asia.

The new Bontrager tires and saddles are really good and there aren't many other brands with such a thorough "love it or bring it back" policy. They have made it so that there is no risk in trying their stuff, which is more than I can say for many, many other companies.

Love 'em or hate 'em, they do a lot more for the cause of bike advocacy than the vast majority of bike companies.

Back to the waterrockets case: That guy was totally out of line demanding brand new stuff to replace a piece of gear he knowingly purchased used without any warranty from another racer. Admittedly trying to "save money", he made a poor assumption that because he spends lots of time on BF, and has a good reputation as a racer, that it entitled him to defacto warranty coverage. He seemed to be attempting to extort a new frame by telling everyone he would go out of his way to tarnish Trek's reputation if they didn't accede to his demands. At least that's how it looked. Had he purchased a new one through authorized channels, and Trek had denied the warranty, then I would have been just as upset as he appeared to be.
This dude right here. Right on the money.
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Old 01-26-11, 03:13 PM
  #106  
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I really like my Bontrager InFormL saddle.
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Old 01-26-11, 03:16 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by fosmith
This dude right here. Right on the money.
Yep. All kidding aside, he nails it. You can quibble with whether or not you like Trek or Bontrager stuff, but the company is the most rock solid in the business, and by all accounts about the best when it comes to backing up their product with warranty.
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Old 01-26-11, 05:22 PM
  #108  
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Holy exploding pared spoke wheels batman!
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Old 01-26-11, 07:46 PM
  #109  
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BikeWise1 is the best wrench in the region, and does wonders for wheels. I wish he was my LBS, but the 40 minute drive is well worth it. Thanks again to him and Trek for my new 6 series SSL! Trek may not have the flash of a boutique brand, but still builds a very good frame in the US.
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Old 01-26-11, 09:31 PM
  #110  
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Ford versus Chevy, dealer means an awful lot no matter what brand your buying. Buy from a dealer that you trust. There is bad ones out there and I don't care what bike it is if you have a bad dealer no brand is good.
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Old 01-26-11, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting
no one hates specialized and they are more common.
I have to say that I hate Specialized. I will say that it has more to do with my LBS who have horrible customer service. Maybe that's why I am so unhappy with my Tricross. No matter what i do, I can't find a comfortable position on that bike. I just walk by it in my garage and give it a one finger salute. I still ride a 1999 Trek 2000 and the thing has been nothing but perfect. That's why I am back now drinking the Trek koolaid and am considering the GF Lane, Mendota, or FX as my next "hanginout" bike.
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Old 01-26-11, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter2
Thanks to everyone for the input. I know that there are some people who just hate Treks for the sake of hating, and others who have has bad CS experiences. Personally, I don't like Giant bikes. I have no good reason, I just don't like them.
My wife & I each have a new Madone 4.7, and an old 930 SHX MTB. All of the bikes are great. We haven't had to deal with CS (hopefully we won't), but we have a really good LBS in the Boston area that has always been good to us. I usually judge a company on how it deals with problems, because every every company makes a bad product now & then. I have had horrible CS from Sony, where Samsung replaced a defective HDTV with a newer, better model after my original TV went bad 15 months out of warranty.
I'm aware of the problems with the Bontrager paired-spoke wheels, although they've been fine on my wife's bike, but she's pretty light. My wheels aren't paired-spoke, and they've held up well on Boston area roads. I know that they are on the heavy side.
I do love the integrated DuoTrap sensor, it hides the ugly tie-wraps that are needed on other bikes. Combine that with hidden cables on 5 & 6 series, and you've got a clean look.

I do understand the dislike of Treks because everybody seems have one, and that goes with any popular product (iPhone?).
Trek's are ~$100-$200 more than comparable Specialized, although Trek hasn't bumped up prices yet like Specialized just did.

Thanks to everyone,

Peter
well, sounds like your local store is keeping the bar high and customer happy.

I am on the same boat when i come to the paired spoke bontrager, it was not bending/breaking like everyone think it is. When i sold them, they were as good as new in the performance stand point. they are not as light as they look but they held up fine for me(and i am a fat arse at 160lb)

as far as the weld goes, my 05trek SL(low end bike)'s weld is as good as the caad9's weld cosmetically, there's no durability problem as well. I have no idea about the higher end madone but for what i paid for i am very happy with trek. I am not big for graphic or cosmetic on my bike, I ride them for what they are and that's why i gotten my current giant roadbike.(ugly but works great)
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Old 01-27-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mmmdonuts
Nobody? Really? I see...

you obviously know I meant the road bikes which they decided to seriously get into the market by their relationship to LeMond, and then Armstrong, that is when things really changed. I don't have their financials in front of me, but I would surmise that is when the business really took off.

You also must have missed my point that I own 3 Treks...actually, sold my Hybrid 7.3Fx last night..so now 2 Treks..for the wife/daughter. They are descent bikes for the price range.

Their road bikes..are nothing special, that is for sure.

I'm a Cannondale guy, have been since '87...so anything anybody says about other brands..I don't care, they all suck in comparison in my eyes....
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Old 01-27-11, 10:37 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by techlogik
you obviously know I meant the road bikes which they decided to seriously get into the market by their relationship to LeMond, and then Armstrong, that is when things really changed. I don't have their financials in front of me, but I would surmise that is when the business really took off.

You also must have missed my point that I own 3 Treks...actually, sold my Hybrid 7.3Fx last night..so now 2 Treks..for the wife/daughter. They are descent bikes for the price range.

Their road bikes..are nothing special, that is for sure.

I'm a Cannondale guy, have been since '87...so anything anybody says about other brands..I don't care, they all suck in comparison in my eyes....
Still wrong. And if you've really been buying road bikes since '87 you should know better. The OCLV bikes pre-date the LeMond and Armstrong relationships. And before that were the lugged CF, Al, and steel road racing frames.
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Old 01-27-11, 10:42 AM
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My issue with them has to do with the way they treat their subsidiary's. I have heard lots of stories of very overbearing behavior towards Gary Fisher and LeMond before they dropped LeMond.
Trek is something like "big corporate" which in the bike world I think just rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
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Old 01-27-11, 10:47 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by benajah
My issue with them has to do with the way they treat their subsidiary's. I have heard lots of stories of very overbearing behavior towards Gary Fisher and LeMond before they dropped LeMond.
Trek is something like "big corporate" which in the bike world I think just rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
Big corporate rubs a lot of people the wrong way in any world.
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Old 01-27-11, 10:49 AM
  #117  
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I just remembered that my Bontrager tire irons are the best I've ever used. Thrice the price of cheap little 3-packs, but have lasted far far longer. My Bontrager shoes have been decent and not uncomfortable, but they're my first set of road shoes.
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Old 01-27-11, 11:15 AM
  #118  
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Everyone has an opinion about Trek, that and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee at any Denny's...

Most of the bikes I have are vintage Trek road bikes (1987-1990, with one Gary Fisher ATB from 1996) and they all seem to be pretty solid machines, in my experience. Of course, I'm biased toward the lugged steel frames (all but two of my bikes are) which are pretty rugged (this is important for me, because I tend to be pretty hard on my bikes). I'm not too interested in most of the new stuff Trek is coming out with mostly because 1). I don't need/want that many gears, 2). I don't trust carbon fiber (which many of the road bikes seem to be these days; check out www.bustedcarbon.com), 3) I don't really know how to work on new bikes, and have little desire to learn, and 4). For the hefty price, I don't feel like I'm getting much more of a machine by paying $1200 for a new bike than I would be getting from a good 20 year old bike that's $400 (of course, I don't really do racing, so this makes a big difference in how heavy of a bike I'm willing to accept)

Whether you believe that Trek products are quality or not, it's just like any other brand name product in the world; part of what you are paying for when you buy the product is the prestigious name (the same reason why a Coca-Cola will cost you twice what a generic soda will). I don't have a lot of experience with Bontrager products; in general, for things such as bike lights, computers, and other accessories, I will pick up the Bell or Schwinn stuff at a department store for cheap rather than pay twice as much for the "Bontrager" name; so far I have no regrets about that. One thing I won't buy anymore is a Bontrager Select K tire (unless maybe they're on sale as NOS at a flea market for $1 apiece); I bought a set for my commuter in August, they lasted me maybe 1000-1300 miles or so; one tire catastrophically failed on the commute home by blowing out the sidewall, I chalked it up to "maybe I had the brakes maladjusted for awhile or something and that wore through the sidewall," and a few hundred miles later the other one was wearing through the tread and had a puncture through the surface of the tire.

Right now I'm running a set of Schwalbe faux vintage whitewall tires on my commuter, (750 miles so far and they still look pretty good, we'll see how it goes).
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Old 01-27-11, 11:16 AM
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I'm no Lance hater, but I equate Trek, and yellow bracelets with my sport becoming a bandwagon. Treks leave the same taste in my mouth that the ubiquitous US Postal, then Astana, then 'Shack' jerseys do.
I liked it better when my neighbors & family thought I was weird, not another Lance Wannabe. Popularity's good and all, and I enjoy watching my DVDs of the Lance years (though I immediately fast-forward past the cancer/Foundation crap to get back to the suffering) but I'll be glad when these Bandwagon jumpers move on to the Next Big Thing and my neighbors stop calling me Lance.

And all three of the Bontrager products I've bought (tubes, bar tape & something else I can't remember right now) have just sucked. If they've finally gotten around to improving their quality, they took too long to do it.
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Old 01-27-11, 11:16 AM
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I own a Madone and I am absolutely in love with it. I test road many different bikes (orbea, canondale, jamis etc.) and I love the smoothness of Trek. I had a problem with my bill on the bike and I contacted the customer service office and the problem was solved promptly. So Trek is nice in my opinion
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Old 01-27-11, 12:05 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by R900
BikeWise1 is the best wrench in the region, and does wonders for wheels. I wish he was my LBS, but the 40 minute drive is well worth it. Thanks again to him and Trek for my new 6 series SSL! Trek may not have the flash of a boutique brand, but still builds a very good frame in the US.
Wow! Thanks!
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Old 01-27-11, 12:06 PM
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I wouldn't say I hate Trek, but to me their road bikes are the Toyota Camrys of cycling. There's nothing really wrong with them but I don't find them exciting either.
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Old 01-27-11, 12:06 PM
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1. They're successful and people get sick of hearing it.
2. Their brand model is all about the superiority of Trek. A lot of brands just talk up cycling, high end bikes, and then their product. Trek talks about Trek bikes and how Trek is Trek of all Trek and it's super Trek. They even have "Trek stores." That I dislike. I want my bike shop to be able to cut its contract with a dealer and find a new one.
3. Bontrager stuff is occasionally really good, occasionally faulty crap. Probably why Trek won't write it's name on it.
4. Lance rode Trek and we're sick of hearing about him.


I like my Trek bike though. Don't regret it at all, it's a great bike! Trek makes a fine product, it's very competitive (when they write "Trek" on it). Been (minorly) burned on Bontrager branded items twice. Really got burned on a Wrench Force stand when it decided to release all over the top tube of my bike...
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Old 01-27-11, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by thcri
Ford versus Chevy, dealer means an awful lot no matter what brand your buying. Buy from a dealer that you trust. There is bad ones out there and I don't care what bike it is if you have a bad dealer no brand is good.
What if your "dealer" is actually a "Trek store." I'm not a fan of this concept and I'm told Specialized is trying to do it as well.
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Old 01-27-11, 12:39 PM
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It seems the companies that spend most on advertising tend to inspire either extreme loyally or hatred toward their brand. I wouldn’t say that I feel so emotional toward bicycle brands that I hate one company or another. It might just be that the particular dealers I’m used to dealing with are overpriced, but it does seem that some companies (Trek, Specialized, Cannondale) with large promotional budgets tend to recoup their expenses by taking advantage of the fact they have a cult-like fan base that will walk right past what is basically the same bike with a different word on the down tube in favor of their favorite brand, and pay extra for it. I might feel a little angry on behalf of all the bike manufacturers making perfectly good bikes that will never outsell the latest CAAD or Madone because so many people are attracted to names. I guess I should be angry at the customers rather than the manufacturer. They are doing what good companies do, making money. So many of those customers, however, are my friends so it’s easier to direct my anger at the brand.
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