Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting general

My commuting bike lasted 4 months....

CoalTheCatCoalTheCat Posts: 91
edited May 2016 in Commuting general
Hi All,

This is my first post, sorry if its in the wrong place...

I have always had a mountain bike that has probably been up to Macclesfield forest about 10 times in its life and the rest of the time it has just pootled to the shops and back and a couple of family bike rides. In October last year I decided I was going to get fit, ride to work every day and buy a bike more suited to the road via a cycle to work scheme. I wasn’t ready to go full lycra, so went for a hybrid. It is from a cycle chain store and is a brand developed by a famous cyclist.

I picked up the bike at the end of October and while riding home last Monday my chain flew off and there was a grinding noise from the rear hub. I carried the bike to the store and was advised that the freewheel mechanism has broken. Initially I was told that the part would be covered by the warranty and I would have to pay the labour costs. I was happy with this.

A couple of days later I get a call saying I need a new chain, new cassette, new hub, new wheel to the tune of £200.

I use MapMyRide and reckon I have done about 500 miles on the bike and I ride on all weather conditions.

They are claiming that I have neglected the bike and as a result voided the warranty.

How should I have maintained the freewheel mechanism? The warranty on parts is for 12 months, should this part be covered. Am I in the wrong for being grumpy about this?

Thanks in advance for your help.



  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Hi, and welcome to the forum

    I guess the question is did you do anything to maintain the bike, clean/oil it etc? I'd have expected it to have been washed a good few times, and possibly the chain properly cleaned - de-greased and re-lubed - 4 or more times at least during that time due to the all weather riding. The chain & cassette are likely caused by a lack of the above, but the hub & therefore the wheel, depending on a general wash down (as long as it wasn't a pressure washer) I would expect to be OK.

    So, if you want to fight it, have you checked the paperwork that came with the bike and confirmed what maintenance is defined as needed, and how to do it? Did you do it? Did you get it back to the store for the 6 week checkup?

    There are further steps you can take if you care for a fight it if you have only had it 4 months. and "personally feel that you did the necessary maintenance".

    How does the £200 equate to the initial outlay on the bike?
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • Hi Thanks for the reply Wolfsbane2k,

    I give the bike a good clean weekly using soapy water and a brush to get rid of oily road gunk from the moving parts. I have read the warranty from cover to cover and genuinely believe I have done nothing to void it.

    At the 6 week service we did have a chat about maintenance as the breaks had gone off, the shop said it was because they were dirty. I took their advice on board implemented the above routine.

    I have raised my issue with customer services and they have sent me lots of pictures showing the inside of the freewheel bit and well as pictures of other parts of the bike with dirt on trying to demonstrate that I was neglecting it. The bike broke on a rainy evening and I took it straight to the shop, so of course it was going to be dirty.

    Let me know what you think? I just don’t know if I’m in the wrong or now.

    edit.... not sure how to post pics.... do need to host them somewhere?


  • Bike1.png


  • Oh and the bike was £550.


  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    You haven't looked after the bike properly looking at the state of the cassette. You need to clean it more and pay attention to oiling and wiping components down. The wheels are cheap, and in my opinion I would have re-greased them.

    Commuting in all weathers requires regular attention. My bike is washed down after every wet ride - yes that can mean every day in winter. Salt wrecks havoc.
  • Thanks fossyant,
    I will take this one on the chin and learn from the experience...
  • Surprised at the photos and the reaction of the shop.

    So as things stand, you either pay them £200 to get the bike repaired, or write the bike off but continue paying the Cycle To Work salary sacrifices for at least another 8 months before deciding not to take ownership of the bike and hand it back in to your employer. Hard place, rock, between. :?

    Did they specifically tell you to use washing up liquid "soapy water" to clean the bike? I bought some Muc-Off cleaner recently to clean my Wazoo with after some seriously mucky off-road rides, because washing up liquid will cause corrosion damage, more so if not rinsed well with clean water and dried off thoroughly afterwards before lubing.

    Is the bike insured by you on your house insurance, as it is advised to be, while the back is owned by your employer during the salary sacrifice part of these bike purchase schemes?
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Hard to see how you could do that to the bike in 500 miles without serious neglect. So either it's a lot more miles or you didn't look after it properly. Or both. A chain, if looked after can last 3000 miles or so, cassettes longer (depends on how well you look after the chain) and wheel bearings shouldn't need much attention unless you are careless with cleaning.
    I'm guessing you aren't mechanically minded but you can still learn to look after the bike to make it last much longer between bike shop visits. There's plenty on videos on youtube about this, I'd also suggest getting a second opinion on the repairs, new cup an cones bearings would be cheaper than a new wheel & freehub. No doubt about the need for a new chain and cassette.
  • Yep, that is exactly where I am at NitrousOxide..

    yes, insured under the house insurance. Are you suggesting I lose it ;-)

    At the 6 weeks service, I was given the “don’t use a pressure washer or hose and use a brush and hot soapy water” speech. I was told not to put oil on the cassette as this will only attract more road gunk, but to keep the chain well lubed. Which is exactly what I have done.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,038
    Rust on the cassette indicates poor maintenance + salty roads.

    It's a tough call, as they should really cover for the broken parts, but your maintenance is poor...
    left the forum March 2023
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Hi Nick,
    Wow, that hub is a mess, but should be cleanable.

    You say you cleaned the bike with a brush and soapy water each week? did you spray the geartrain parts with something afterwards like GT85, WD40 or other such stuff to dispel the water, and once dry re-apply an oil?

    In my uneducated opinion, looks like something caused a seal to fail on the hub, and therefore it has injested more dirt than it should ever do - This could be degreaser, or something else like not being done up properly. But this is more than my 7 old mountain bike ever injested, and that got beaten and ignored "a lot" - 1 hub service after ~10k miles.

    again, in my uneducated opinion, The cassette looks like it's not wear driven, but I'm not sure, there are some sawtoothing, but without a new one to compare it to, I'm not convinced. It has suffered a lot of probably superficial surface rust - possibly because it was raining when you took it out, therefore washing out the oil, and now suffering rust while it's taken them a week or 2 for pictures. And the chain is normally replaced when you replace the cassette to ensure they are matched, but not always.
    So I don't fully understand why they are pushing for cassette and chain - other than they look rusty, and therefore they can.

    So, dependant on your response to the after wash care, and some more educated feedback, depends on where you go from here.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Ok, so you've had some more educated feedback while I wrote my missive. Looks like they generally align with my thoughts.
    You could be tempermental and ask them to repair/refund the bike as "Not fit for purpose" under the Sales of Goods act/ SADFART rules - (see MSE), bypassing the warranty, and therefore ensuring labour is covered too, but that's a different path.
    But it might place you in a position where the repair is cheaper than the original proposed £200.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • I think I will have to take this one on the chin, there are clearly maintenance issues and things I could have done a lot better. Unfortunately the service received from the retailer throughout the whole buying process was shocking and then this happens as a result I may be a bit more emotionally involved that I should be…
  • Had a look at Sales of Goods act/ SADFART rules. Surly they just point to my lack of maintenance to get past this...?
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Halfords does have a bad rep. Not sure if a bad idea, but what if you took it to your local LBS for a second opinion. If you're thinking of just coughing up the money then getting a second quote from a company that doesn't have the bad reputation might save you money or even give you some ammunition to fight.your cause with the original retailer.

    BTW I have been commuting since April last year at 3 to 4 days per week plus other rides. I've degreased my chain 2 or 3 times, washed it about 6 times and other than that just made sure a few things got tightened or adjusted. My bike is in a lot better state than yours looks. There's something not right there perhaps. I.just don't trust the retailer.

    One last thing, where are you based? Where is the chain store concerned? Perhaps someone on here could recommend another local bike shop or bike mechanic to use instead of the retailer.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,973
    That's a lot of damage for 500 miles; rust would indicate it's possibly been left outside and not used regularly.

    I ride a lot of miles all year, no matter the weather and my chains last 3000 miles give or take (cleaned / degreased every 4 - 500 miles), cassettes double that and the front wheel on my current commuter is at 13,000 miles.

    I agree with what others have said though, it looks as though the seal on the rear wheel has been compromised allowing the ingress of crud but you would normally notice something way before the state it's in.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    that looks to me like a bike that is stored outside...

    In terms of the cassette, did you not see the rust and do something about it before now? Thats been left neglected with rust on it for some time. I have had rusty chains in the winter when roads are salted and wet rides on a regular basis but I have never had a cassette even start to rust, let alone like that...

    The wheel looks like it has been on some very muchy rides and maybe even submerged and the seals have failed. even serious abuse should not have caused that in this short a time unless you have used it lot more than you say or jet washed it and washed muck into the hub.

    chain and cassette are consumable items so i wouldnt expect those to be covered by any warranty, especially when you would have seen them rusting for some time and took no action.

    The hubs you could maybe argue but the will be cheap wheels and i would use it as an excuse to upgrade for not much money.
  • It’s not a Halfords bike, but the other chain. I am in Macclesfield, we have a couple of lovely indi bike shops here. However, our company had already been set up with Evans (Ooops) on its RTW scheme so it was a path of least resistance. I am kicking myself now…

    The bike is used 3 or 4 times a week for a 11 mile round trip on hard tarmac only. It is garaged at night, but it locked up round the back of the office during my working day which is under the eaves of a building and exposed to the elements..
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    I park my bike in a very open bike shed that offers no protection from heavy rain. One day I rode in on a wet morning and the bike was ok. That afternoon it dried up and I rode home with my chain screaming at me. All the lube had.been washed off in the bike shed. Even got a comment from this oldish MAMIL that it needed oiling. State the bleedin obvious.

    Heavy rain can strip lube off even the best wet lube. Poor quality hubs I.guess can get flushed too. The rusty hub looks to my ignorant eye to be a product of some time being exposed to the elements. Did you not see any earlier signs of rust and think you'd look at doing something?

    One afternoon at the start of a short car camping trip with bikes we had to leave the bikes leant against a post while we sat out an hour of very heavy rain in the tent we'd just put up later that day noticed rust on the chain from that short period of time. That surprised me at the speed of the rust presenting. Anyway that was surface rust which disappeared the next day on a ride. Whilst it is possible for surface rust to show arty a very short notice/period of time, this is still only surface rust. It looks like the OP has penetrating rust which takes a lot more time, certainly enough time to be noticed in. This is why I believe you are just going to have to accept paying for the necessary repairs. I'd just go to a good bike mechanic. As I said earlier, let us know what town is best for you to reach with a duff bike and perhaps someone will recommend a better place to take it.
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,991
    ok new chain and cassette due to lack of oil etc...but new hub/wheel? Really? How could that be due to not oiling the chain enough?
  • Tangled Metal I am in Macclesfield (still) ;-)
  • So this a Hoy hybrid?

    £200 to replace and fit a rear wheel; cassette; chain; transfer over the brake rotor sounds a bit steep to me. You could buy the new bits yourself plus a basic Jobsworth tool kit for as little as ~£120.

    But the real issue here is whether so much should need doing to a four month old bike and whether the deterioration of at least some of the parts is due to the cleaning and lubing advice you were given by the shop, such as using soapy water. This afternoon I've just pulled my £300 new Tricross out of the garage for the first time in ~26 months to try fitting it to my turbo trainer and it looks in better condition.
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    I am sorry - I think everyone on here is trying not to say it but those pictures and your account of how you look after the bike just dont match up. The cassette, not just deep inside but on the face too has clearly been left covered in rust unloved for some considerable time, so much so that it has eaten into the surface and taken all the shiny metal away. There is no way you wouldnt have seen this and no way that would happened if you cleaned it regularly. I maintain a family fleet of bikes and use washing up liquid and have done for years - if you rinse it off it doesnt do any damage. I have never seen anything like this except on bikes left unwashed and abused or left outside. My daily commuter is locked up all day at work uncovered and this doesnt happen. Even over winter when the roads are salted and the bike put away wet sometimes, the chain might get some surface rust but nothing like this.

    Regardless of whether there was a problem with the hub that shouldnt have happened, it will have been obvious for some time that the bike needed TLC. if you had got it looked at sooner they could have cleaned and serviced the hub without damage but you continued to ride it in this sorry state till it broke.

    Apologies if I have got it wrong but those pictures are fairly damning in my opinion.
  • Yeah, it is a Hoy Hybrid and I loved it until this happened. Evans are clearly well used to having this argument with their customers. Their answers are very polished as to why it’s not covered on the warranty or under my consumer rights…

    Hoy ho, lesson learned. I will keep better care of my next road bike and I won’t be buying it from a corporate monster.

    I don’t have the money for a solicitor to take it any further or £200 for repairs at the moment so will have to slug it out with my old trusty mountain bike for a while…

    A genuine thanks for everyone’s input today…


  • apreading, I hear you, I have posted the worst of the pics. I do have a pic of the front of the cassette and the chain on the bike and they are different, and you can see the chain is spotless... i'll post it when I get home...
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    chain and cassette I can see are lack of cleaning/oiling but the Hub?

    My old MTB which is my riding to work/popping into town bike, has mixed surfaces gravel tracks/tow paths/roads etc. chews through. chains just under 1000 miles and cassettes 2000 give or take.

    It now (since 2014) spends it's life as a outside pet, both at home and work it's kept outside, I haven't cleaned it in months I just use dry oils etc. wet oils just clag almost instantly and surface rust on such a frequently used bike isn't a problem.

    I did replace the rear wheel recently the hub had died, it was 10 years old and pre 2014 the bike. had been my main MTB, so had spent years in wet gritty conditions, the front wheel is still going...
  • Amusing to see the usual Halfords hate when the bike is a Hoy from Evans.

    Anyway, if you've cleaned it weekly and you've that much rust on the cassette and gunk in the hub then that suggests something a bit dodgy unless you've been storing it outside over winter and live very near the sea or some other salt water body.

    I never strip my bike down, I just make sure it's cleaned and lubricated. That said, if I leave it for a while then I do get rust spots on the chain and chainwheel. These come off with a good wash, degrease and oil. Gunk in the hub though? Never.
    Carrera Subway 2015
    Boardman Hybrid Team 2014
  • here is a pic of the other side of the cassette, also supplied to me by Evans.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    Image is a bit small and not in focus, so hard to be conclusive but it looks as though the chain might be clean as you say, but the cassette just looks slightly less but still tarnished and rusty than the other side. What did you lube the chain with, by the way?

    The rest of the bike looks clean but the cassette really looks like its been left wet and caked in crud for a long period. Or maybe hosed down but never cleaned properly or dried afterwards - did you use a brush to clean it? Do you have a water softener? Did you hose it down with salty water and then put it away wet on a regular basis? And at other times ride home in the wet and put it away without drying? You must have at least noticed the cassette wasnt shiny any more some time ago?

    Honestly, I dont think the bike shop is trying to do you - I think any other LBS would say the same thing - its been trashed by something seriously wrong that you have been doing to it, whether knowingly or not. If you dont find out what you are doing wrong then any bike you get in the future will maybe suffer the same fate.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    I use a quality wet lube on the commuter, it creates a disgusting gunge that needs removing occasionally, but I don't get any significant rust on chain or cassette, that's riding in all weathers and conditions for circa 1100 miles a year.

    A chain usually lasts me two years before I decide to change it as you inevitably get small rust patches after a wet and salty day and the damage adds up, my last cassette lasted 4 years (it had been bought used anyway).

    Cold wet winter days when salt has been put down are the worst, it will usually get a quick blast of WD40 to dispel water when I get home and a lube later on once most of that has evaporated.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
Sign In or Register to comment.