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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I am new to cycling. I bought my first bike this May to train and complete RAGBRAI...which I did!!!! Yeah!!

My friendly LBS suggested the Specialized Sequoia for my first road bike. I love the Sequoia because I love the geometry. I was the only one of my friends who didn't have their hands fall asleep and my back and shoulders were comfortable.

Unfortunately, the bike has not been reliable. In June,with about 300 miles on the bike, the bike started making a clicking, almost like it was trying to change gears, or skipping something each time I pedaled. After about 20 miles, before I could get home and get to the bike shop, the chain broke. I took it into the shop and they repaired it, telling me the pin on the chain broke.

On the 6th day of Ragrai,with 800 miles on the bike, the exact same problem developed again. I stopped at one of the road side stands, a Specialized dealer, and he looked at the bike, adjusted the derailleur slightly and said it was fine. Within 5 miles, my bike broke down. The rear deraillur was flipped up into the sprockets, a piece of it fell off when I touched it and the chain was broken.

I've gotten nothing but the run-around. The bike shop on the road on RAGBRAI told me I must have done something wrong. My LBS will fix my bike, but they have talked to Specialized and Specialized will absolutely not stand behind the product and my LBS must eat the cost. My bike is less than 90 days old. I'm in my 40's, average shape, not overweight (but not super skinny). I don't stand up and pedal hard while I'm shifting. I ride it like everyone else around me does. I dont' mash the gears. I haven't falled on it or wrecked on it. I haven't dropped it or knocked it over.

What's the deal? Did I do something wrong? Am I missing something that all the other cyclists know? Are there never any defective parts put on bikes?

What frustrates me the most is I spent $800 on the bike (not alot for a road bike, I know, but still alot to me). With the $120 repair, I could have thrown in a few more dollars and probably gotten a better bike to start with.

What do you think? Did I do something wrong or did I get a lemon to start with? Thanks
 

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... unless you inadvertently knocked the rear der out of alignment (laying the bike on the drivetrain side or allowing it to fall on said might cause this... or rarer still, ingesting a foreign object (it's possible a broken spoke set all this in motion)) I'd say this is a rare though not unheard of snafu... and prolly not your fault...

As for a resolution, it's a shame that Specialized (distributor) won't eat a bit here if necessary to keep a happy and returning customer. At least your LBS seems willing to assure a future sale. While I understand part of their prob... sometimes you just gotta eat it!

Hope this doesn't put a dent in your continued cycling!
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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Wow, sorry to here of all your troubles. If it makes you feel any better I had the exact same thing happen to me on my one week old Ventana mountain bike and my wife just did it on her Specialized Stumpjumper out in Colorado 3 weeks ago. It is a 4000.00 and 2000.00 dollar bike respectively so cost is not the issue with your bike. Just out of curiosity what gears, if you can remember, where you in when the chain broke. Were you "cross chaining", meaning you gears were at the opposite end of the spectrum big ring front and back or small ring front and back. This could explain the shifting like noise you were hearing about puts a lot of strain on a chain because it is almost twisted. That is how my wife destroyed her drive train on a trail. She did great on the single speed trail conversion though. My bike had a different problem. The rear derailluer hanger got bumped being shipped and in turn knocked it out of alignment causing the chain to jump from the cassette down in between the cassette and the spokes. HIGH suck factor being suspended over a cliff on the Snake River holding onto a twig so you don't slide off. Sounds like you LBS is willing to work with you on it. If you enjoy the bike get it fixed but make sure they go over it with a fine tooth comb. New bikes should not do those sorts of things.
 

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jupiterrn said:
Sounds like you LBS is willing to work with you on it.
As they SHOULD work with her on it. If they don't give her decent service, then she should save money & buy another bike online if either the LBS or Specialized isn't going to help her out in this situation.
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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lx93 said:
As they SHOULD work with her on it. If they don't give her decent service, then she should save money & buy another bike online if either the LBS or Specialized isn't going to help her out in this situation.
Oh I agree they SHOULD help but what some folks do and SHOULD do are 2 seperate things. I hope they get it worked out soon.
 

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As a former bike shop warranty manager, there are a couple things that need to be considered here.

1. Specialized warranties Specialized product...they do not warranty Shimano, SRAM, etc (Trek, Giant, Cannondale, etc. is the same). So if the issues have been with the chain and/or rear derailleur than it sounds like Shimano is the company that needs to be contacted.

2. It is obvious from the picture that the chain is the culprit...look closely, the chain broke allowing the side plate to catch the derailleur pulley cage and bend/yank/tweak the derailleur. You should be able to get a warranty from Shimano on your chain minimum. Your LBS should also at least offer you replacement parts for a substantial discount for buying the bike from them in the first place.

A new rear derailleur, hanger, and chain (you could consider upgrading here, although I use Shimano HG-73 chains...the same one you got on your bike...on both of my bikes and I have never broke one...and I weigh 215lbs) and you will be rolling again.

The Sequoia is a great bike, but even Specialized makes a lemon every once in a while. However, I think the blame falls squarely on Shimano and/or your dealer for the chain issue.
 

· Number 2 on the course.
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It sounds like the chain was either deffective or improperly installed.

The clicking and skipping could have been the derailleur going out of adjustment, which is common when a bike is new. But it could also have been a stiff or damaged link in the chain.

The roadside tech could have assumed the former. The fact that the bike is new might have influenced his diagnosis, and it is likely that the derailleur was in need of a tweak.

Then he sent you on your way and the latter issue caused the failure.

It sounds like you were operating the bike properly. If the chain was defective it is the chain manufacturer's fault. If it was improperly installed, it could be either Specialized or the dealer's fault, depending on where it was installed. It is unfortunate that the roadside tech didn't catch the chain problem (assuming there was a problem at that point).

At this point though, the finger could be pointed in many directions, including yours. Not that I think it is your fault, but nobody is clearly to blame. That said, if the shop won't give you replacement parts at cost, shame on them.
 

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I have to agree with the previous number of post. This is really a Shimano issue. Your bike shop should work with you on this and make it right. Most that like return business will do so. They know that once you are hooked, many, many, and I emphasize many, more of your hard earned dollars will be spent there on accessories and other fine items that you will want. Good luck with this and keep the chin up. You have many miles ahead you on your bike. Keep safe and enjoy.
 

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did they replace the chain in June OR just put another pin in it? the pin they put in failed 300 miles later. Hard case to prove either way. better off to buy the part yourself and installing them yourself. that way you have no one to blame but yourself.
 

· haole from the mainland
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cmg said:
did they replace the chain in June OR just put another pin in it? the pin they put in failed 300 miles later. Hard case to prove either way. better off to buy the part yourself and installing them yourself. that way you have no one to blame but yourself.
Yea, that makes sense. Have a newbie install her own chain. Then the shop & Shimano can claim she didn't know what she was doing & it's her own fault.

It was either a lemon chain or the shop mechanic set it up improperly; the Specialized field tech sounds like he deserves some blame here, too. The shop should absolutely step up to the plate and make the OP whole again. If not, then the OP should look into lemon laws in her state.
 

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I find it kind of interesting that bikermom44 bashed Specialized (since its on the home page of roadbikereview right now) in the review section even though the issue is clearly a Shimano and/or dealer issue.

Bikermom44...if your reading this, Specialized DOES NOT make chains and derailleurs so it is not their responsibility to stand behind those parts. Your warranty from Specialized is on your frame and fork...and any parts labeled "Specialized" on the bike.

I don't own a Specialized but I spent a few years being a warranty manager for several Specialized dealers. Specialized was one of the best when it came to standing behind THEIR product.

Your beef should be with Shimano and your LBS
 

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I'm looking at the Specialized warranty and clearly states there's a "limited one year warranty on complete bicycle." The limitation isn't only on Specialized parts, but on the bike being operated under normal conditions and use and properly maintained, and that you have to be the original owner. I don't see how this can be interpreted any other way other than the entire bike, regardless of who made the components, is under warranty.

Your beef should be with Shimano and your LBS
Specialized and their dealers I've dealt with have always been great on warranty issues with me. I wonder if there's something else going on here?
 

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From the picture it sure looks like the chain was improperly installed, a far more likely cause than a deffect with the chain. What is this LBS charging $120 for? A Sora RD is $40 +/-, a chain is $25 +/-, $5 +/- for a cable, it's 30 minutes or less work to swap out a chain, cable and RD +10 min if they have to align the RD hanger (it does not look like it needs to be replaced). Aparently they are not interested in good will. If they are going to charge you $120 I would go to another LBS and pay it there just on principle.
 

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Most likely scenario

bikermom44 said:
In June,with about 300 miles on the bike, the bike started making a clicking, almost like it was trying to change gears, or skipping something each time I pedaled. After about 20 miles, before I could get home and get to the bike shop, the chain broke. I took it into the shop and they repaired it, telling me the pin on the chain broke.
If we take this literally, the bike shop is on the hook. If they truly did "repair" the chain, the it was likely their "repair" that failed. This can be easily determined to see if the chain failed at the link where they put the pin in. The cost of that original repair should have been covered under warranty by Specialized, but unless the chain failed at some other point than where the chain was repaired, then it is the shop's problem. If, on the other hand, they replaced the original chain (which they should have done, IMO) then they are still on the hook unless the replacement chain failed at some point other than the installation pin. Dollars to donuts a close visual inspection of the chain will show that it failed at the installation pin, and that is the bike shop's fault.
 

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When the chain first broke, it was the factory's fault. When the chain broke for the second time, (causing secondary damage) it was the bike shop's fault. When chains break, it is always the installers fault.

PS.. Pins on chains never break. If not centered, they can pull out of the chain side plate.It is critical on 9 and 10 speed chains that the connecting pin is installed perfectly. If the pin is not installed perfectly, bad things can happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all your help

Thanks everyone for your help and encouragment. One of my big questions was, did I do something wrong as bike rider to cause these problems on my bike? Are my repair expectations unreasonable?

I chose to have my bike repaired on the ride so I could finish the last day (my own personal choice, I know, but after completing 6 days, I really wanted to ride into the last town on the last day). Before the repair, I called the LBS and he told me to save the parts and he would try to sort it out when I got back. So, it is my own doing that I am paying $120 ($56 for the Tiagra deraill, $35 for the chain, $3 for a cable, $15 to straighten the hanger and $10 to install the deraill). I knew that I may not get this back. MY LBS cannot refund what I spent on the road, he is a small shop owner. So, he will give me what I spend as store credit. Unfortunately, i don't really need anything else right now. I knew this was a possibility.

However, when the LBS called Specialized, they told him this is NOT under warranty. Specialized rep told him something like a chain breaking would not take out the deraill, but rather it would just fall off. What I find frustrating is the complete lack of the manufacturer to stand behind their product at all... not even willing to share a single penny of the costs or even possibly acknowledge that it was anything but my fault. If they even made a SMALL effort, I would be pacified.

Like others, I find it confusing that Specialized would not stand behind all the components on their product, especially on a bike that was less than 90 days old. My friend works for John Deere. Many of their tractors have Koehler engines which are not manufactured by Deere. If there is an engine problem, the consumer does not go back to Koehler, rather they go back to John Deere. Deere then makes the repairs/replacement and deals with Kohler as needed. I'm not trying to 'bash' Specialized, I would have this complaint if it was any manufacturer. Mostly, since I'm new to this sport and equipment, I'm trying to figure out what I did and how I can avoid this repair again in 300 miles.

It's been a learning experience and it is what it is. If this is my biggest problem in life I AM DOING OK :)

Thanks to everyone for their kind and encouraging words. I really enjoy cycling. My next training goal is a 100 mile ride in October for the Boys and Girls Club fundraiser in Iowa!!
 

· Scott in Maryland
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Make some lemonade...

My thought on bikes is buy the best frame you can afford, then upgrade the components as they wear out. You have a great frame. Now you are just up'ing the components a little sooner than normal. Use the credit and the goodwill you have with your LBS to upgrade something on the bike. Maybe add a computer (odometer, speed, RPM's etc). Or splurge and upgrade the wheels, which will really make a noticeable difference. Happy trails!
 

· Matnlely Dregaend
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Daddy's got a new pic!








 
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