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should i get a refund?

DazzaBTDazzaBT Posts: 37
edited March 2018 in Road buying advice
OK - so I decided last year to buy my one-off 'bike of a lifetime'. I went to a reputable local maker and ordered it. A gorgeous handmade stainless steel beauty with Dura Ace Di2, disc brakes, 50mm carbon wheels - the works. Anyway after waiting nearly 3 months (a month longer than promised) I finally got it - just in-time for a big ride I had been training for in September. I took it out for a few flat miles to test the gears and everything else and it seemed fine. The day of the ride came, all seemed fine but when I got to the first climb and dropped the chain into the small ring, the chain came off when I put down some pressure, so I put it back on and tried again, after a few revolutions it happened again, then again and again. So I had to abandon the ride.

Not best pleased, I took it back to the guy at the shop. He was very apologetic and said he would investigate. He called me and explained that there was a fault with the build and the bottom bracket was misaligned so they would need to build me a new one from scratch. I am an easy going person so I said fine (I just wanted what I'd paid for - a beautiful functioning bike). Anyway I picked the new build up a few weeks ago just after christmas. I got my first chance to ride it this past weekend (was waiting for nice weather) and guess what - the same thing happened. The chain came off the small ring twice at the first sign of any downward pressure, and to make matters worse, I spun the pedals and put the chain on the big ring to try and ride it that way and the chain came off on that side too - and ruptured.

I sent him a very 'strenuous' email and now I'm waiting for the guy to come and pick it up as he wants to figure out what the issue is. As far as I'm concerned, this was a very expensive bike (my mid-life crisis treat to myself) and I' have no confidence in the builders capability anymore, so I feel I'm within my rights to ask for a refund and forget it ever happened.

Am I being unreasonable - should I give him another chance to fix it? Am I within my rights to ask for a full refund?

Apologies for the long-winded post!

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,258
    Get the bike assessed by a third party (ie another bike shop or builder, perhaps with access to some alignment tools). If it turns out that the frame is not fit for purpose, then I would agree a refund value for the cost of the frame, but hang on to the Di2, wheels and other finishing kit to swap onto another frame.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Struggling to see how a respectable frame maker could censored things up so much.

    Did he assemble it and set up the di2 ?
  • He's told me that this is the first of the new di2 dura-ace disc set-ups his mechanics have done. Which hasn't filled me with confidence.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,068
    DazzaBT wrote:
    He's told me that this is the first of the new di2 dura-ace disc set-ups his mechanics have done. Which hasn't filled me with confidence.

    Sounds like some sort of scratching around for an excuse, setting up di2 Dura-Ace, even disc is easy. All they have to do is follow the Shimano Dealer Manual guidance, which gives step by step instructions. For an experienced mechanic it really shouldn’t be much of a challenge at all.

    Assuming it is a problem with the frame and not the di2 setup I would expect a full refund if they don’t sort it out satisfactorily.

    Good luck.

    PP
  • *Disclaimer* - I've not actually set up a Di2 system myself, but my understanding is that provided you are using the full groupset, then it should fairly much install itself - you fit the components correctly for alignment of the FD and then it sets it's own trim for the changes? Don't think the disc brake bit is anything to do with it...

    Unless the BB shell is so far out of specification that the correct chain line is impossible to achieve on the frame then I can't see how it can possibly go so wrong? AFAIK there's no change in the spec that says a standard Shimano Dura Ace road chain set should use a 68mm BB shell with their outboard bearings, so a frame builder should be able to get that bit right, surely?

    There's (a little) anecdotal evidence that using non-Shimano chainsets can give you shift issues since the rings and/or crank arms can flex more than expected, and the servo motors doing the front shifting are surprisingly strong and can cause that, but it's pretty rare. You'd have to be using a cheap and nasty chain set for that to be a problem.
    Open O-1.0 Open One+ BMC TE29 Titus Racer X Ti Giant MCM One Cannondale Prophet Lefty Cannondale Super V SL Cove Handjob Cervelo RS
  • Sure they put the chain on correctly? The Shimano chains are allegedly "directional", so will work properly installed one way, but not so good if installed the opposite way.

    Also, just a thought... does the disc brake version of the DA group set require a 73mm BB shell to accommodate the 135mm rear axle spacing for disc wheels, and the builder has used a 68? Not sure if the chain set is different between the disc and non-disc groups for the wider spacing...
    Open O-1.0 Open One+ BMC TE29 Titus Racer X Ti Giant MCM One Cannondale Prophet Lefty Cannondale Super V SL Cove Handjob Cervelo RS
  • Pilot Pete wrote:
    DazzaBT wrote:
    He's told me that this is the first of the new di2 dura-ace disc set-ups his mechanics have done. Which hasn't filled me with confidence.

    Sounds like some sort of scratching around for an excuse, setting up di2 Dura-Ace, even disc is easy. All they have to do is follow the Shimano Dealer Manual guidance, which gives step by step instructions. For an experienced mechanic it really shouldn’t be much of a challenge at all.

    Assuming it is a problem with the frame and not the di2 setup I would expect a full refund if they don’t sort it out satisfactorily.

    Good luck.

    PP

    If i give em another go, it'll be the second chance and for what its cost me i shouldn't have to really.
  • Sure they put the chain on correctly? The Shimano chains are allegedly "directional", so will work properly installed one way, but not so good if installed the opposite way.

    Also, just a thought... does the disc brake version of the DA group set require a 73mm BB shell to accommodate the 135mm rear axle spacing for disc wheels, and the builder has used a 68? Not sure if the chain set is different between the disc and non-disc groups for the wider spacing...

    I would hope he considered that, but who knows!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    DazzaBT wrote:
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    DazzaBT wrote:
    He's told me that this is the first of the new di2 dura-ace disc set-ups his mechanics have done. Which hasn't filled me with confidence.

    Sounds like some sort of scratching around for an excuse, setting up di2 Dura-Ace, even disc is easy. All they have to do is follow the Shimano Dealer Manual guidance, which gives step by step instructions. For an experienced mechanic it really shouldn’t be much of a challenge at all.

    Assuming it is a problem with the frame and not the di2 setup I would expect a full refund if they don’t sort it out satisfactorily.

    Good luck.

    PP

    If i give em another go, it'll be the second chance and for what its cost me i shouldn't have to really.

    Why wouldn't you give them a second chance though ? If it's just a case of setting up the gears then it could be fixed in ten minutes. It's a quicker way.
  • rdtrdt Posts: 869
    I'm a bit confused about the timeline here...

    Is it: took delivery in September; the fault arose during first proper ride around that time; bike back to the builder until after Christmas; first proper ride since gave rise to the same problem?

    It seems quite drawn out...

    What remedy do you want? In your shoes, given that the builder (retailer) has been given a couple of attempts to remedy the problem via repair, but has apparently failed, I'd now be considering a full refund.

    BUT... it depends on what the cause of the problem is:
    - if it's due to a faulty frame build, then full refund time without hesitation;
    - whereas if it's merely a setup issue, then I'd give them another chance or two to resolve it, whilst also pushing for some sort of (significant) financial goodwill gesture to ease the wasting of my time, the inconvenience, impact on riding my target event, etc.

    What do you want?
    ----
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,068
    edited February 2018
    Dazza, I hope you didn’t think I was meaning you were scratching around for an excuse - I meant the builder!

    I would give them one last chance to sort it properly - remember during any dispute it is all about being ‘reasonable’. Things can go wrong, problems can happen. A reasonable person gives the supplier a chance to put that right to your satisfaction. If they are incapable I’d get a second opinion from someone who knows what they are doing with Di2/ framebuilding. I’d start with the Di2 setup which is easy to diagnose and adjust/ check for correct functioning.

    If that doesn’t sort the problem I’d then look at the build and get a second opinion on that. I would speak to the builder and inform them at every stage and request that they pay any associated inspection fee BEFORE taking it elsewhere. Depending on the findings they may be definitive for corrective action or replacement/ refund as ‘not fit for purpose’. If they refuse to pay your fee to have it assessed elsewhere then that would not be reasonable as you have given them every chance and they have failed to sort it.

    Pain in the butt as it is, and I know where you are coming from when you say you spent enough to not expect this kind of hassle, it is what it is and you need to remain reasonable throughout, expectations or no expectations. They will come into play if you end up in dispute and have to go down the formal route to recover your losses, as will your reasonable (and presumably their unreasonable) behaviour in dealing with the issue.

    Stick at it mate and if it isn’t sorted to your satisfaction TELL them what they have to do, in writing, to sort it. Depending on how they are dealing with you (are they trying their hardest to fix or do you feel they are fobbing you off?), if the latter I’d list the problems that you have had, what actions they have taken which have failed to rectify the issue and give them a reasonable timescale in which to sort it. Tell them you want an independent assessment from someone of your choice, if necessary paid for by them (if they can’t fix it they can’t complain at that) and see what the result is...

    Cheers

    PP
  • rdt wrote:
    I'm a bit confused about the timeline here...

    Is it: took delivery in September; the fault arose during first proper ride around that time; bike back to the builder until after Christmas; first proper ride since gave rise to the same problem?

    It seems quite drawn out...

    What remedy do you want? In your shoes, given that the builder (retailer) has been given a couple of attempts to remedy the problem via repair, but has apparently failed, I'd now be considering a full refund.

    BUT... it depends on what the cause of the problem is:
    - if it's due to a faulty frame build, then full refund time without hesitation;
    - whereas if it's merely a setup issue, then I'd give them another chance or two to resolve it, whilst also pushing for some sort of (significant) financial goodwill gesture to ease the wasting of my time, the inconvenience, impact on riding my target event, etc.

    What do you want?

    I picked the bike up in September and returned it in September immediately after the initial issue. I didn't get the rebuild back until after Christmas as I told him I just wanted a good job doing and there was no rush as winter was coming and I probably wouldn't ride it till the new year now anyway. Picked build number 2 up in January, and took it out for its first ride last weekend - where the same issue arose. (I should also add the rear brake wasn't functioning)

    It is a gorgeous bike - I would love for it to be working. So if he is reasonable he should offer to fix it 'again' and offer some kind of financial goodwill too.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Doesn't sound like a great bike shop. Why was the brake not working ?
  • I know it shouldn't be your job to do it, but have you tried following the Shimano tech' docs for correct fitment and adjustment of the front mech'?

    IMO, the Di2 front mech is the only component of the group that needs any inkling of precision when installing. The fact that the chain keeps getting thrown off could be something as simple as the initial limiter screws not been set upon installation?

    http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-R9150-05-ENG.pdf

    Check out the Adjustment chapter (in particular p153 onwards), for FD and see if they've set the thing up properly.
  • cougie wrote:
    Doesn't sound like a great bike shop. Why was the brake not working ?

    Your guess is as good as mine
  • I stopped reading at 'bike of a lifetime' and disc brakes, 50mm wheels
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Thanks for all of your 'mostly' helpful advice. I'm gonna give them one more chance in the hope that it's a set-up issue rather than frame.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    I stopped reading at 'bike of a lifetime' and disc brakes, 50mm wheels

    Got as far as di2.

    I'd get it checked and sorted at a proper bike shop at his pre-arranged expense.

    Any warranty work is done elsewhere at his expense. If he is proud and sure of his work he should be comfortable with this.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Pilot Pete wrote:

    Sounds like some sort of scratching around for an excuse,
    DazzaBT wrote:
    there was a fault with the build and the bottom bracket was misaligned
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • rdtrdt Posts: 869
    DazzaBT wrote:
    I picked the bike up in September and returned it in September immediately after the initial issue. I didn't get the rebuild back until after Christmas as I told him I just wanted a good job doing and there was no rush as winter was coming and I probably wouldn't ride it till the new year now anyway. Picked build number 2 up in January, and took it out for its first ride last weekend - where the same issue arose.

    For future reference, I think the way you've gone about this has not helped...

    By giving them several months to address the initial fault, you've signalled you're not too motivated and so ensured you're merely a backburner issue for them rather than being a priority case requiring maximum attention. Similarly with the second fault, leaving it several weeks between collection and return. It's all very slack, reducing the likelihood of getting things remedied satisfactorily.

    In your shoes, on identifying the initial fault I'd have informally given them 1 week to fix it; I'd have checked it immediately they returned it and if the fault was still there informally given them a further 3 days to fix it. If that failed to remedy the problem I'd have then given them 7 days, in writing, to resolve all issues else require a full refund from them, ie. signalling very clearly to them that you're not fracking around.

    Per Pilot Pete's post, you need to tell the other party what you require of them and by when. Everyone knows where they stand and you get to be a priority case. Being polite but assertive normally gets prompt and good results (or at least maximises your chances) when dealing with retailers.

    Good luck.
    ----
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    Sorry to be blunt - but grow a pair.

    Ask for him refund - like now !

    When he has the bike in working order - you go back and buy the bike again - maybe a slight discount for all the hassle you caused.

    If he objects (and you paid by credit card) - File a section 75 claim - the credit card will refund you your money

    I don't think the above is unreasonable - if delivers a working bike - he gets the cash, until then the cash is in your pocket.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Ultimately a chain dropping due to the groupset isn’t a DI2 issue, it’s simple limit screws with have existed for many years. If the chainline isn’t aligned properly then they don’t know what they are doing, money back for me.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,068
    Pilot Pete wrote:

    Sounds like some sort of scratching around for an excuse,
    DazzaBT wrote:
    there was a fault with the build and the bottom bracket was misaligned

    Very selective Sloppy, what are you trying to demonstrate? Your quote of what I put was in relation to the shop’s comment that it was the first time his mech had fitted new Di2, not that Dazza had said there was a fault with the BB alignment. It would appear that thus far we don’t know if it is a fault with the Di2 setup or the frame, or the crank or anything else.

    Anyhow, thought you’d stopped reading...:roll:

    PP
  • Stueys wrote:
    Ultimately a chain dropping due to the groupset isn’t a DI2 issue, it’s simple limit screws with have existed for many years. If the chainline isn’t aligned properly then they don’t know what they are doing, money back for me.

    Exactly. I'd be very surprised if the issue is anything other than nobody has bothered to set the limiter screws properly, and has nothing to do with BB misalignment
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Until the problem is correctly diagnosed your course of action isn't clear. Sounds more like a set-up issue but of course if the frame is fundamentally wrong it might prevent the set-up being correct.

    Is the frame-maker familiar with wider rear axle spacing for discs and the corresponding chain stay length parameters as per Shimano specifications?

    Is the currently fitted groupset the same one as was on the original new bike or a second one?

    You need to get into a proper dialogue to determine what the issue is. If he can't tell you then you can then insist on an independent assessment - at his expense.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
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