Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    162

    Custom frame builders and warranties.

    I'm considering a custom frame. Either Ti or Carbon.

    After some of the discussions here lately about warranties ( and manufacturers allegedly not honoring them), I have been paying close attention to the warranty policies ( where I can find them - which isn't always easy).

    What I've found is that those that publish a warranty use the generic "defects in materials and workmanship", and exclude everything else, including "normal wear and tear"

    I get this. A published "no questions asked" warranty would be impossible to honor.

    The part that makes me uncomfortable is the "at the builders discretion" part. I would hate to get into a " you crashed it" , "no I didn't" argument over a warranty on an expensive, once in a lifetime custom made bike.

    I'm sure the wording is mostly a CYA thing, to prevent abuse like you see at Costco and REI, and that most custom builders stand behind their work.


    I'd be interested to hear people's actual experience with warranty support from a custom builder.
    Last edited by Finx; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
    Reputation: DaveT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,410
    I’ve had 5 bikes custom made for me over nearly 20 years, Kirk, Quiring, Milholland, Tsunami and Spectrum. I’ve not had any warantee problems with any of them.

    Anecdotally, I have read and heard about reputable frame makers taking care of issues with their products quickly and without fuss. Custom frames are personal, done one-on-one and often face-to-face. The reputation of the builder is very important to them, it’s their name on the downtube, and they’re keenly aware of the power of the consumer nowadays.
    Last edited by DaveT; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:58 AM.
    Trying to cram the rest of my life into the rest of my life!

  3. #3
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    12,628
    OP needs to proofread his posts before submitting...
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    OP needs to proofread his posts before submitting...
    Sorry to offend. I wrote it on mobile and didn't have a lot of time...

    Hopefully there are a few less autocorrect issues now...

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,800
    I had a custom Bilenky fail at the seat tube. Bike was at least 10 years old at the time. They repaired it under warranty THREE TIMES in rapid succession. I had to keep sending it back because they kept screwing up something or other. But they DID honor the warranty.

    Rock Lobster custom ATB frame: Upon delivery, the frame had a gloss clear coat and not a matte finish as I requested. I let Paul know and he didn't hesitate to offer to take the frame back for a refinish, but I kept the frame anyway. A few week's after taking delivery, the clear coat started to chip and peel like sunburn. Paul honored his warranty and promptly took the frame back for paint repair.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    8,398
    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post

    I get this. A published "no questions asked" warranty would be impossible to honor.

    The part that makes me uncomfortable is the "at the builders discretion" part. I would hate to get into a " you crashed it" , "no I didn't" argument over a warranty on an expensive, once in a lifetime custom made bike.

    I'm sure the wording is mostly a CYA thing, to prevent abuse like you see at Costco and REI, and that most custom builders stand behind their work.

    Given the quotes in bold the quote not in bold doesn't make much sense. You understand but choose to ignore your understanding apparently.

    You just need to pick a reputable builder that you're convinced will be in business in the long term. All else equal, staying local if possible would help too due to lack of mailing expense if something were to happen. Seven for metal and Parlee for carbon would be good examples especially if you lived in Mass.

    Not being able to find anecdotes about a companies warranty use is probably a good thing. I get it would be nice to confirm they'd honor it but I'd take assurance I won't have any warranty issues in favor of a bunch of successful warranty claims.

  7. #7
    gazing from the shadows
    Reputation: QuiQuaeQuod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    25,380
    I think your chances of being screwed on a valid warranty claim by a custom bike builder is much lower than being screwed because the builder is out of business when you try to make the claim.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,959
    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    Hopefully there are a few less autocorrect issues now...
    Autocorrect is evil. I turned mine off long time ago.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    122
    The other thing to consider is that repairing a frame isn't necessarily that expensive, especially relative to the cost of a nice custom frame.

    I recently purchased a used Lynskey (not custom, but they do custom) from a member on here, and it turned out to have a couple of small cracks in a chainstay. Lynskey said it'd be $250 + shipping for two new chainstays, which seemed very reasonable. In the end, they ended up doing it for free, even though the lifetime warranty didn't apply to me (only the original owner gets the warranty). Good guys over there... and good seller on here, because he agreed to pay for it.

    But like everybody else said, just look for somebody who has been around a while with a good reputation. If it's a one man show, ask what happens to the warranty if they go out of business.

  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    12,628
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I had a custom Bilenky fail at the seat tube. Bike was at least 10 years old at the time. They repaired it under warranty THREE TIMES in rapid succession. I had to keep sending it back because they kept screwing up something or other. But they DID honor the warranty.

    Rock Lobster custom ATB frame: Upon delivery, the frame had a gloss clear coat and not a matte finish as I requested. I let Paul know and he didn't hesitate to offer to take the frame back for a refinish, but I kept the frame anyway. A few week's after taking delivery, the clear coat started to chip and peel like sunburn. Paul honored his warranty and promptly took the frame back for paint repair.
    Paul (Rock Lobster) is a great guy and exemplifies the best of custom builders.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

Similar Threads

  1. Frame wear-and-tear in warranties
    By moonmoth in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-17-2010, 01:58 PM
  2. Custom wheels and custom builders
    By rocco in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-27-2006, 10:02 AM
  3. Frame painting and warranties
    By bike_guy in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-09-2006, 03:34 PM
  4. Custom carbon fiber frame builders?
    By ifcjti in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-12-2005, 04:03 PM
  5. Custom carbon fiber frame builders?
    By ifcjti in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-22-2005, 01:28 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

roadbikereview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.