A quick re-cap:
As I was riding my road bicycle a couple of weeks ago, the frame suddenly cracked and completely separated where the seat and chain stays come together, near the rear axle.
Thankfully, it did not throw me off the bike. However, it understandably freaked-out a few of the riders behind me in our large group.
The manufacturer, Felt Racing, LLC, accepts warranty claims through any of their bicycle dealers. In theory, that’s wonderful. In practice, it’s not so simple.
The first question my LBS asked me was whether I bought the bike at their store. Clearly, they want to support the customers that support them. That’s how business works; a little reciprocity goes a long way. Being a military family, and new to the area, I had not bought the bike locally. It was purchased from a Felt dealer in California while we were stationed there.
Luckily, I have a good relationship with my LBS, and ride with them most weekends. In fact I bought a fixed gear Raleigh Rush Hour from them just a few months ago. When my frame broke, I was grateful that I had cultivated this relationship.
Felt will replace the frame, at the minimum. I’m still waiting to learn all the details, but this is a big plus. Without a new frame the bike is worthless. I will still need to pay my LBS to transfer all the gear from the broken frame to the new one, but I will still be ahead.
Alternatively, Felt may offer a completely new bike. This would be even better!
Initially I was hesitant to make a warranty claim. After all, I had been riding the bike for 3 1/2 years. At what point does a limited, lifetime warranty expire? Surely frames have a useful life, beyond which they should not be ridden on? It appears as thought my 2007 model was inside the warranty window.
I had not even considered liability issues. If a frame fails within the warranty window, causing personal injury, is the manufacturer liable? It would depend on the circumstances, but in certain situations they would be liable.
I look forward to learning all the details beyond “Felt is going to hook you up”, and will keep you updated.
This past weekend our bicycle group was hit by a sad deliberate act. Our bicycle loop was covered in thumbtacks. The perpetrators spread thousands of tacs over 15 miles of rural road that we regularly ride on.
The tacs were also painted gray, to blend with the road and be invisible to cyclists. About 100 cyclists suffered punctured tires and tubes. Thankfully there were no injuries. Virginia Beach City Police are actively conducting an investigation to determine whom is responsible.
One member of our cycling group has personally offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved. If you have any relevant information, please contact Virginia Beach Crime Solvers.