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Bike build = Risk of voiding warranty?

TurboTommyTurboTommy Posts: 493
edited October 2015 in Road general
Hi all

Apologies if this is a stupid question / has already been asked, but I've tried to establish the answer from my LBS and they were unsure and somewhat non committal.

I bought a bike frame around 4 months ago, and have slowly been buying the rest of the components with the intention of then building the bike up myself. I did the same with my current bike and although the new frame is far higher spec I'm confident I can carry out most of the work myself.

The concern I have is having read through the paper work that came with the frame, specialized suggest that not having the bike put together by a recognised dealer could void the frame warranty further down the line.

I may be being a bit paranoid here but I'm just wondering if anyone has had any experience / problems in this regard. Or has been asked to provide evidence of who built a bike while trying to claim for a faulty bike frame.
Cannondale caad7 ultegra
S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
Colnago c64 etap wifli
Brother Swift

Posts

  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    It wouldn't cover the retailer from defects which would be covered by consumer law, but you'd have to show that it was not due to your negligence in the process. As a general tip you want to get it built up well within 6 months as the proof of defect shifts from retailer to consumer typically after that time.

    I would have thought a bike build wouldn't cost a lot if you are talking of an expensive frame.
  • Thanks for the quick response diy

    You're right in that relative to the frame ( s-works Tarmac ) the cost of the build wouldn't be that high. I just think ideally I'd rather build it myself if possible. I learnt how to build / maintain bikes through bad experiences with bike shops and beyond that I just find it more satisfying doing these things myself.

    The frame comes with a life time warranty as I understand it, but I was just wondering if say for example I have a defect within the bottom bracket which is not of my doing, will they dismiss my claim simply on the basis that I built the bike? And therefore breached the warranty?

    Sorry if I'm being daft here. I just want to try and cover all the bases if I can
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,138
    Why not get an authorised Specialized dealer to fit the BB and headset then you do the rest of the build. I can't see how Specialized would be justified in voiding a warranty because you built the bike yourself, unless you did something really stupid like over torqueing every component attached to the frame/forks.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    This warranty is void if the bicycle or frameset was not assembled by an authorised Specialized dealer in accordance with Specialized’s instructions and does not transfer to subsequent owners of this bicycle.

    Its pretty clear to me - you have no additional warranty beyond your consumer rights against the retailer who sold you the frame. There are some slightly more complex angles:

    - If you told the retailer that you were assembling the bike yourself and this formed part of your specification in contract of sale. If the retailer failed to make you aware of the impact on the warranty then they have arguably modified it.

    - The requirement for the dealer to be authorized could be argued to be intended to restrict the consumers choice of service, components and assembly. I think it could be argued to be an unfair term* - I think its reasonable that it must be assembled according to their specification, but not for the dealer to be authorized.

    Work on the basis that all you have is your consumer rights - which are substantial

    *The items in bold, could create a clause which is unfair and subject subject to http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999 ... tents/made
  • Buckie2k5Buckie2k5 Posts: 600
    I would assume every part has its own warranty.
  • I think it would be the same as how car manufacturers are no longer permitted to require servicing to be at their own dealerships?
  • I think the grey area for me is the possible implication that if the entire build isn't completed by an authorised dealer than the warranty is void.

    It did occur to me to get the bb and headset installed by a dealer as this would also have the bonus of not buying tools I'd very rarely use at best.

    It really was a dream come true to buy the tarmac and part of the way I justified to myself was the added assurance of the life time warranty on the frame. This, unless I'm mistaken, gos well beyond my basic consumer rights?

    If I thought I'd have to get bogged down in a legal battle with specialized to redeem my warranty I definatley wouldn't build the bike myself. I suppose I'm just wondering in real terms of anyone has had problems regarding this in the past

    Thanks for all your responses. You can probably tell this is all a bit new to me!
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • I don't know about Spesh, but my Scott CR1 frame says that the warranty is 3 years no matter what, but 5 years if regularly serviced by an approved dealer with stamps etc.
  • Sorry as I haven't kept the e-mail but I contacted Specialized directly on this and they confirmed it wasn't something they'd hold you to. Having said that, if you do genuinely screw something up on the build then I don't imagine they'd help.
  • Spot on! That's what I was hoping for. Now I'm just a ridiculously over priced geoupset away from living the dream!!

    Thanks londoncomuter and everyone else for your well thought out and very helpful answers

    Tom
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • Sorry as I haven't kept the e-mail but I contacted Specialized directly on this and they confirmed it wasn't something they'd hold you to. Having said that, if you do genuinely screw something up on the build then I don't imagine they'd help.

    I wonder if that is industry standard, or only Specialized. I'd be interested to learn who else does that. I could imagine quite a few frame builders would have issues, rightly or wrongly!

    Great result for you guys though!
  • It's not industry standard, with different companies offering a variety of warranties. I own a pretty old canonndale from when the frames were still built in the states and that also has a lifetime warranty although I couldn't say if they still offer this.

    It does give you more confidence knowing the frame has a life time warranty. Having said that I think specialized only offer 1 years warranty on the paint work so that may tell it's own story. Either way it's well worth thinking about when buying a frame as it may indicate how much confidence the manufacturer has in their product.
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • Very good points TurboTommy.
  • The worst warranty I'd spotted was Merckx. Lifetime warranty so that's great isn't it, job done. Oh hang on:

    b. The bicycle must be serviced a minimum of one time per calendar year at an official EMC dealer or at a dealer approved by EMC or one of its affiliated companies for the Strict Lifetime Warranty to remain in effect.
  • I noticed that too when I built up my Tarmac.

    Don't worry, they're American and just trying to cover their backs, and/or scare you off from building it yourself.

    You don't even need any special tools - the Specialised crankset just slots right in, and so does the headset.

    If the frame were to crack across the top tube 3 years later, they cannot prove that it was your fault.
  • FlâneurFlâneur Posts: 3,027
    Built mine up myself, I asked the concept store about it, they said just bring it for its first service (which was free as I had bought the frame there) and that would validate the warranty. Legal I don't know but I have an email from a specialized concept store stating that so I was ok to move forward
    Stevo 666 wrote: Come on you Scousers! 20/12/2014
    Crudder
    CX
    Toy
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    As long as you can link the email to consideration which formed the purchase then its as good as being in the warranty. It is effectively an agreement to modify the terms. In the absence of a warranty - you still have 6 years (5 in Scotland).

  • You don't even need any special tools - the Specialised crankset just slots right in, and so does the headset.

    I'm leaning towards running sram red at the moment ( still not 100% decided ), but as they are compatible I assume same rule applies?

    With regards the headset I'm a little weary of knocking the star nut in as it kinda seems like a one shot deal if it Gos badly wrong.

    I have a concept store very near me in Covent garden. I might ask them to do that for me, ask if they'll give the rest of the build a looking over, and see if this is enough to endorse my warranty

    Like you say sa0u823e, an email or some confirmation would be enough for me too I think.

    Then I can just get on with enjoying the bike!
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Not if you break it during the build
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    TurboTommy wrote:

    You don't even need any special tools - the Specialised crankset just slots right in, and so does the headset.

    I'm leaning towards running sram red at the moment ( still not 100% decided ), but as they are compatible I assume same rule applies?

    With regards the headset I'm a little weary of knocking the star nut in as it kinda seems like a one shot deal if it Gos badly wrong.

    I have a concept store very near me in Covent garden. I might ask them to do that for me, ask if they'll give the rest of the build a looking over, and see if this is enough to endorse my warranty

    Like you say sa0u823e, an email or some confirmation would be enough for me too I think.

    Then I can just get on with enjoying the bike!

    Knocking in a star nut on an SWorks Tarmac? Is that what they supply? Just use an expander type bung then you can re-cut the fork column whenever you fancy committing to it being cut lower.

    Or, have I missed something here?
  • MccariaMccaria Posts: 869
    Shouldn't be a star nut with a carbon fork, scraping a star nut down the inside of a carbon fork will void the warranty ! The S-works should come with a Specialized expander bung. Have used the CG store before and the guys were helpful, would definitely suggest going in there versus hammering in a star nut.
  • Ah ok cool. I feel a bit silly now

    I actually thought that when you wanted to shorten the steerer tube at a later date you'd just knock the star nut further down... Yikes!

    I guess it would've become clear when I started to look closer at the bits and pieces that came with the frame.
    Cannondale caad7 ultegra
    S-works Tarmac sl5 etap
    Colnago c64 etap wifli
    Brother Swift
  • rich_erich_e Posts: 389
    Bringing this thread back to life, as I recently purchased a Specialized Venge frame as a bit of project for me. I decided to go with the frame option because I was going to use some of the parts from my current bike and a new groupset, which overall works out to be a saving of at least £2.5k compared to a complete bike, so it was a no brainer.

    When the frame arrived, I wasn't expecting to see the big notice on the side of the box:
    "WARRANTY VOID UNLESS ASSEMBLED BY AUTHORIZED DEALER"

    Obviously this has already been discussed somewhat in this thread, but what is not clear to me is how they determine who built it? I bought the frame from what is considered to be a 'Specialized Elite' store online, so they are I guess the first point of call if anything were to go wrong.

    In terms of building the bike, I believe I can do everything aside from fitting the bottom bracket, as I want to use Shimano. I believe the steerer tube will also need cutting down, which I'd probably feel safer getting somebody else to do.

    Is fitting those two things by a professional enough to consider assembly?
    Also, how exactly do Specialized record that a bike has been assembled by an authorised dealer?
    Are they using some kind of database of the frame numbers that the dealer has to update?
    Do they just stick some kind of sticker on it?

    Does anyone know?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    As much as Specialized try to say that a warranty would not be valid if you put it together you still have consumer rights protection.

    If the frame had an obvious defect then it is not fit for purpose you are within your rihts to a refund or replacement regardless of who fit it together.

    To what degree do you consider a bike being put together by a mechanic? Installing a BB? Threading cables? Changing a wheel? Its a ridiculous situation and where would you draw the line? Most part of the bike dont even touch the frame directly. But a wheel does in the dropout. Should that mean you call out a mech for a puncture? Can only a mech fix your snapped chain or adjust your saddle?
  • Most frame warranty are worthless.
    You have to prove there was a manufacturing defect, which is extremely rare as the frames would be properly quality checked before leaving the factory.

    Just carefully check the frame before assembling and you should be okay. Unless the frame starts melting, any damage down the line will go down as misuse or wear and tear.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Most frame warranty are worthless.
    You have to prove there was a manufacturing defect, which is extremely rare as the frames would be properly quality checked before leaving the factory.

    Just carefully check the frame before assembling and you should be okay. Unless the frame starts melting, any damage down the line will go down as misuse or wear and tear.

    Sorry but that is just not true. I had a warranty replacement on my Bianchi as a crack appeared around the BB shell. Bianchi replaced it immediately. No questions. I had a new 3rd party crank fitted too.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Did you have any dialogue with the store about how you were going to build up the bike? In other words could your intention to build the bike up, have formed part of the specification of the purchase?

    As others have said, your consumer rights probably exceed the warranty specialize provide. manufacturer warranties are primarily about giving the retailer somewhere to go when dealing with faults/issues covered by consumer law.
  • rich_erich_e Posts: 389
    Did you have any dialogue with the store about how you were going to build up the bike? In other words could your intention to build the bike up, have formed part of the specification of the purchase?

    As others have said, your consumer rights probably exceed the warranty specialize provide. manufacturer warranties are primarily about giving the retailer somewhere to go when dealing with faults/issues covered by consumer law.

    No dialogue with the store, I just spotted they had it in stock at a good price, so ordered the frame. There is no mention on their webpage anything about the warranty or having to be built by a Specialized authorized dealer. All they mention is that they do offer custom builds, so get in touch if its something you are interested in.

    In all honesty, this is the first time I've ever bought just a frame, rather than a complete bike. I assumed that the whole point of which was so that you could run whatever components you liked, or the components offered at stock sizes weren't compatible. For example, the handlebars offered on the stock bike for my frame size is not as wide as what I intend to run.

    Having looked at the frameset page on Specialized's website, the terms don't actually seem to state what is written on the box:
    http://static.specialized.com/media/docs/support/0000009968/0000009968_r4.pdf

    The only thing it does mention is that it should be serviced periodically at a Specialized approved dealer and that when making a warranty claim, you need to show proof of purchase linking to the frame number.

    So perhaps the statement written on the box is just hot air and nothing to worry about.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Did you have any dialogue with the store about how you were going to build up the bike? In other words could your intention to build the bike up, have formed part of the specification of the purchase?

    As others have said, your consumer rights probably exceed the warranty specialize provide. manufacturer warranties are primarily about giving the retailer somewhere to go when dealing with faults/issues covered by consumer law.

    No dialogue with the store, I just spotted they had it in stock at a good price, so ordered the frame. There is no mention on their webpage anything about the warranty or having to be built by a Specialized authorized dealer. All they mention is that they do offer custom builds, so get in touch if its something you are interested in.

    In all honesty, this is the first time I've ever bought just a frame, rather than a complete bike. I assumed that the whole point of which was so that you could run whatever components you liked, or the components offered at stock sizes weren't compatible. For example, the handlebars offered on the stock bike for my frame size is not as wide as what I intend to run.

    Having looked at the frameset page on Specialized's website, the terms don't actually seem to state what is written on the box:
    http://static.specialized.com/media/docs/support/0000009968/0000009968_r4.pdf

    The only thing it does mention is that it should be serviced periodically at a Specialized approved dealer and that when making a warranty claim, you need to show proof of purchase linking to the frame number.

    So perhaps the statement written on the box is just hot air and nothing to worry about.

    You can understand any manufacturer stating they would prefer a qualified mechanic assembling the bike. Especially an American one since they are not scared to sue anyone for anything over there. But, This still doesn't infringe your consumer rights in the UK if the frame had a defect. If you cause damage yourself during assembly then thats different but if you put it together and then one day yo discover a hairline crack in the tube it cannot be classed as your fault if under general use it fails to do the job it was desinged to do. i.e Not fit for purpose. This would mean you are entitled to a refund or replacement. Sale of Goods Act 1979
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