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Free hub failure -warranty issue or no?

CryddaCrydda Posts: 8
I purchased a Specialized Robaix Comp in August 2020 - Ultegra R800, DT Swiss R470 wheels, which, as an aging roadie, nowadays demanding comfort over speed, has been a revelation - the most comfortable bike I've sever ridden.
However, after five months' riding, admittedly in some pretty dire autumn and winter conditions and covering some 300kms, the free wheel hub bearings began to make rather pained noises, following by occasional siezures, leading to some pretty scary moments and chain hopping.
The bearings were replaced by my local bike shop, through which the bike was bought and the mechanic asked me, if I had used a pressure washer for cleaning, such was the extent of water ingress (I have never used a pressure washer on any bike).
The costs of replacement bearings were not huge, but I was most dissappointed when told that the problem was not covered by warranty. It seems the maximum bearing warranty is only three months.
My view is that there was an initial assembly issue - namely the seal wasn't fitted correctly and so any work required should have been free of charge.
I would appreciate any advice, or if anyone else has encountered a similar issue with a Specialized product, or whether you think I've just been unlucky.
This is the first bike I have ever, in fity plus years of riding, had this problem with. My old Canyon Ultimate SLX endured eleven years of similar road condtions and coped perfectly, so needless to say, I would be reluctant to consider or recommend a Specialized in the future.

Posts

  • i.bhamrai.bhamra Posts: 165
    Shouldn't your issue be with DT Swiss rather than Specialized?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,150
    It's very common and there is a range of possible outcomes. If you go against what the dealer said, then it's a case of begging for a refund to the manufacturer... it might work, it might not

  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    edited 27 January
    your shop is talking sh ite.

    you have a reasonable expectation of the wheels working beyond three months, goods of sufficient quality and all that . that they werent as evidenced by the fact they were crackered which indicates either you did something to them to ruin them beyond normal use which you havent or they need to be replaced. Bearings are a consumable item that is true but under normal use you would expect much longer life. Tyres maybe not because they could be sliced by a flint on the first ride, Rims damaged by riding into a bagdad size pothole same thing but the bearings should last, theyre sealed and inside the hub safe from the worse of autumn weather.

    Of course if you had ridden 10,000 miles in August and september then fair dos.


    Specialized have a good customer services record and DT Swiss are absolutely first rate.

    Contact TF tuned who are the uk warranty organisation for DT Swiss and see what they say but as the wheels were bought as part of a bike manufactured by specialised theyre worth contacting too.

    The issue you have is that you have no idea where the wheels were stored or how they were shipped prior to you getting them so it is quite possible that the corrosion was already present or even that the wheel hadnt been assembled properly prior to your use.

    I think the EU law relating to this (which is what they were supplied under and is reflected in UK law then and still now ) is 2 years. look it up on google.So send them back

    Dont put up with BS

    BTW did they replace the freehub bearings or them and the hub too?
  • CryddaCrydda Posts: 8
    edited 27 January
    David 37. Thank you for your input and advice. I will follow it up. Only the bearings were changed, not the entire hub.
    As a follow up: FT Tuned were very helpful and told me that DT Swiss R470 probably only refers to the rim and that the hub would probably be a Specialized product; so I've now emailed Specialized.
    My bike shop will also get an email.
  • CryddaCrydda Posts: 8
    i.bharma.
    You could be right and it's an avenue I've been advised to explore; although, of course, if we bought a new car and I had a warranty issue with certain part, not made directly by the company whose name is on the logo, I would go to the dealership and expect resolution. The process doesn't seem to apply to cycling, though.

  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    Youre issue is with the shop as the seller, and that's the response you'll get from Specialized and / or DT Swiss. Get the shop to prove that you were advised the bearing warranty is only three months - I've never heard of a limited warranty on bearings before. It'll have to be written down somewhere if true.
  • CryddaCrydda Posts: 8
    Rafletcher:
    Yes, I'd never heard three month bearing warranty claim before either and I think I should be covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, because the fault occurred within the first six months. The Act states:

    The first six months

    If you discover the fault within the first six months of having the product, it is presumed to have been there since the time you took ownership of it - unless the retailer can prove otherwise.

    During this time, it's up to the retailer to prove that the fault wasn't there when you bought it - it's not up to you to prove that it was.

    If an attempt at repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund, or price reduction if you wish to keep the product.

  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    DT offer a 24 month warranty - excluding "wear and tear" of course, but 3 months/300km for a bearing is nothing. So the shope talking censored , unless they can prove otherwise.

    https://www.dtswiss.com/en/support/warranty#:~:text=DT SWISS WARRANTY-,We grant the statutory warranty of 24 months from the,proven with a sales receipt.&text=Products with damage which has,charge within the warranty period.
  • CryddaCrydda Posts: 8
    edited 29 January
    Hi folks
    Thank you for all your advice - it's been very helpful.
    A quick update: I have discovered the defective free hub, is in fact, a Specialized brand product - the wheels are DT Swiss rims only.
    Specialized warranty stipulates a two year warranty (lifetime on same parts) with a few exceptions - tyres, chains, etc and the free hub assembly.
    Of course, this revolves around what constiutes normal wear and tear, which is not very helpful in assessing my claim.
    My view is that 5 months and 3000kms, should not constitute excessive wear and tear for a free hub assembly and does not address, at all, the water ingress that led to the bearing failure in the first place.
    So, if all this is a bit vague, the 2015 Consumer protection act seems to support my claim. It satates:

    If you discover the fault within the first six months of having the product, it is presumed to have been there since the time you took ownership of it - unless the retailer can prove otherwise.
    During this time, it's up to the retailer to prove that the fault wasn't there when you bought it - it's not up to you to prove that it was.
    If an attempt at repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund, or price reduction if you wish to keep the product.

    Any futher input will be welcome.
    Thanks again all.

  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    I think youve got it right there.

    The question is , is it worth the hassle for a few quid. just ditch your LBS for taking your money and running and make sure everyone knows on facebook or wherever that your experience was poor.

    Then let it go, it will ruin your enjoyment

  • CryddaCrydda Posts: 8
    david37.
    Actually, i've quite enjoyed the process of exposing the uniformed bullshit, I was given by just one of the maangers of my local bike shop. I had a long conversation with the other manager, who's a very pleasant, helpful guy and the upshot is; he agreed Ihave a warranty case and fully accepted my rights, clearly covered under the Consumer protection act.
    So, the ruined bearings (the complete hub hasn't been changed) are on their way back to Specialized; the bullshitter has been made to look like a t**t. Therefore, at this stage I'm quite content - now I'm waiting for the results from Specialized.
    By the way; ebike is now running smoother and quieter than it ever has, which further leads me to believe there was an assembly issue, right from the start.
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