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thought I would introduce myself- I'm Matt and I have been cycling for over 20 years. Up till now I have been lurking around this site for a number of years.

Anyway, I wanted to know if anyone else is dissapointed in overall bike quality. I have bought two bikes over the past 3 years (both new). One mountain and one road. Both bikes had to be taken back to the shop to have repairs done under warranty. The MTB for the fork and the road for various squeeks, rattles and a rear wheel that keeps going out of wack. The MTB is a Cannondale and the Road is a Trek. Therefore, I have to think it is not the brand because the components that needed fixing were neither cannondale or trek specific.

What is everyone else's experience? How come when I bought my Toyota and Honda I have never had a warranty repair and both are a little more complex than my bike. What will happen when Di2 takes off?
 

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RoadBikeRider
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In my opinion the manufacturers are more concerned about being cutting edge/hi tech/light weight than they are concerned about reliability. And...it is almost impossible to find old parts that work on new bikes.
 

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I bought a Trek 1600 in 2007 no squeaks or rattles wheels did go out of true, but were replaced with Neuvation R28SL3 and has been perfect since.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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I haven't bought a complete bike off the shelf since I got my Stumpjumper in the late 90's. All the rest were frames and parts and traditional wheels. Never had a problem with those.
 

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Most people who assemble bikes at a shop are under 20 and only do it for a year or two. Thats the nice thing about higher end shops, the people who work there are often a touch more experienced.
 

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kbiker3111 said:
Most people who assemble bikes at a shop are under 20 and only do it for a year or two. Thats the nice thing about higher end shops, the people who work there are often a touch more experienced.
I agree. The issues you speak of aren't brand related, but shop related. I think the two bikes you had issues with were poorly assembled.

A good shop does more than bolt on the parts that aren't already installed and call it a day but they check spoke tension and wheel true, They pull the crank and check the BB and so on. If they don't do this you end up with an otherwise nice bike that rattles and squeaks and generally works like crap right from the get go.

If I have this right then I think it's time for you to change shops.

dave
 

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n00bsauce
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+1:thumbsup:

The OP's problems sound like final assembly issues at the LBS rather than poor quality from the manufacturer. However, I am disappointed with machine made wheels and virtually all bikes from major manufacturers come with machine made wheels. They almost always need truing/tensioning and stress relieving. I don't think it's too much to ask manufacturers to take a machine made wheel and give them the final human touch before they are sent to the LBS.

David Kirk said:
I agree. The issues you speak of aren't brand related, but shop related. I think the two bikes you had issues with were poorly assembled.

A good shop does more than bolt on the parts that aren't already installed and call it a day but they check spoke tension and wheel true, They pull the crank and check the BB and so on. If they don't do this you end up with an otherwise nice bike that rattles and squeaks and generally works like crap right from the get go.

If I have this right then I think it's time for you to change shops.

dave
 

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Mel Erickson said:
+1:thumbsup:

The OP's problems sound like final assembly issues at the LBS rather than poor quality from the manufacturer. However, I am disappointed with machine made wheels and virtually all bikes from major manufacturers come with machine made wheels. They almost always need truing/tensioning and stress relieving. I don't think it's too much to ask manufacturers to take a machine made wheel and give them the final human touch before they are sent to the LBS.
If its an expensive bike, that makes sense, but if its an entry level (<$1000) bike, you can't eat into profits. If you buy a $750 bike at your local shop, its probably only making ~$250 in profits on it. If they take the time to meticulously tension poorly built wheels, it eats into profits. There's a big difference in time between making sure the wheels look ok and knowing they're built right. I'm not saying they shouldn't take the time, just that there is a justification for reducing the amount of time to build a bike.

Thats why I like a shop where only old kermudgity mechanics work. If there aren't a half dozen 17 year olds "mechanics" sitting in back, its more likely the little things won't get passed over.

(BTW, I got my start as a 16 year old 'mechanic' in the basement of my local shop, so I speak from experience)
 

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There's several factors as has been mentioned, obsession over weight rather than reliability and poor assembly are definitely big problems. Another problem in my opinion is the continuous downgrading of "groups" on new bikes. You used to get an Ultegra group on a bike and it was all Ultegra: FD, RD, shifters, crank + BB, brakes, chain and cassette and even HUBS!!!. The group worked well together because it was designed to work well together. Now, there is a hodgepodge of various parts from a bunch of different manufacturers even if the all say "Bontrager" on them. There is no concern for them working well together, only for the bottom line. They will throw an Utegra RD on the bike and the saleman will go on about how Ultegra is the #2 group, but you only got 1 or 2 Utegra parts on the bike. The rest is low quality junk with Bontrager silk screened on it.
 

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Add me to the list of posters blaming the problems on poor assembly at the LBS's. When I read these types of posts, it reminds me why I invested in a workstand and some tools back in the mid 80's (after a bad LBS service experience). Now, when something squeaks/ rattles I finish out my ride, head to my basement and fix it! :thumbsup:
 

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kbiker3111 said:
If its an expensive bike, that makes sense, but if its an entry level (<$1000) bike, you can't eat into profits. If you buy a $750 bike at your local shop, its probably only making ~$250 in profits on it. If they take the time to meticulously tension poorly built wheels, it eats into profits. There's a big difference in time between making sure the wheels look ok and knowing they're built right. I'm not saying they shouldn't take the time, just that there is a justification for reducing the amount of time to build a bike.

Thats why I like a shop where only old kermudgity mechanics work. If there aren't a half dozen 17 year olds "mechanics" sitting in back, its more likely the little things won't get passed over.

(BTW, I got my start as a 16 year old 'mechanic' in the basement of my local shop, so I speak from experience)
I hear you but taking the time on an inexpensive bike builds loyalty.. If a person buys a poorly assembled bike, there is less chance that they will come back to that shop for a more expensive bike or for repairs..
 

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Dave Hickey said:
I hear you but taking the time on an inexpensive bike builds loyalty.. If a person buys a poorly assembled bike, there is less chance that they will come back to that shop for a more expensive bike or for repairs..
AAAAAAAaaaaaaa-men.

If you're looking at cash-in-my-pocket-right-NOW, then the point was well made. Time spent on cheap bikes is cash wasted.

But IF you want a sustainable business, with profits that increase over time, you make a happy long-term customer out of everybody that rolls out of your shop, on wheels :thumbsup:
 

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Last May I bought a Trek 7.5 FX hybrid. First to go was the saddle. Then the god-awful wheels - I built a good set. Now the only things that are Trek 7.5 FX are the frame/fork, the headset, and the handlebars. It would have been okay with new wheels and a good saddle (got a Terry Fly). But the frames on these are worthy of being brought up to the peak of performance. And so I did - it's now the best custom hybrid this side of a full carbon frame. Which I wouldn't want on a bike that's designed for dirt paths and long stretches of gravel - as well as pavement.
 

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Dave Hickey said:
I hear you but taking the time on an inexpensive bike builds loyalty.. If a person buys a poorly assembled bike, there is less chance that they will come back to that shop for a more expensive bike or for repairs..
I completely agree with you, I'm just sayin the way it is, not the way it should be. I've worked in a few 'reputible' shops where the owner was running it like a used car lot.
 

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n00bsauce
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I'm not suggesting this be the job of the LBS. I'm saying the manufacturer should do this when the wheels are made.
 
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