Differences in warranty lengths between manufacturers

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by jspaceman

I'm in the market for a new road bike. I notice that many of the N. American manufacturers like Trek, Specialized, Cervelo (OK, I guess they're Dutch), etc. offer lifetime warranties on their frames & forks. I notice that many European manufacturers, mainly the Italian ones like Colnago, Pinarello, De Rosa, offer only two or three year warranties on their frame & forks. Is there a reason for this? I'd like to get a Colnago or De Rosa, but the short warranty is turning me off and making me consider an S-Works or Cervelo R5 instead.
Last edited by jspaceman on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie

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by Valbrona

I think the warranties might depend on which market the frame is sold in. You mention the lifetime warranties available with Trek, etc., but is it the case that such warranties are only available in North America but not if the same frame is bought in Europe. And conversely, a Colnago sold in Europe might come with a two year warranty, but in North America it perhaps might come with a lifetime warranty.

In Europe there is a general two year warranty rule on everything purchased and we have an EU-wide consumer organization to help enforce this rule. As such there is no legal or other requirement for manufacturers to warranty beyond this two year period.

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by FeitoSpain

In Europe, Trek has lifetime warranty too. The same happens with Orbea, BH, Cannondale, and more.

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by jspaceman

I'm going by the warranty information I see posted on sites like Wrench Science (a US based company). For example, if I select a Colnago C60 frame it says the warranty is for two years. If I select an Eddy Merckx 525 frame it says "Limited lifetime warranty".

Merckx is a European brand so I guess it's not a North American v. European manufacturer issue. I should modify my question to ask why is it that some brands offer short warranties, whereas others offer lifetime warranties. I loves me some of that Colnago C60, but for $6200 I expect a longer warranty.

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by fdegrove


The basic idea behind these warranty policies is to provide a way of protection against manufacturing defects to the customer.
Anything beyond that may vary from one manufacturer to another but I'd read the policy very carefully before deciding to choose a frame based on warranty and not much else.
So check it out carefully to see exactly what's covered and what not, is this warranty transferrable to the next owner etc...

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

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by Andrew69

fdegrove wrote:So check it out carefully to see exactly what's covered and what not, is this warranty transferrable to the next owner etc...

Ciao, ;)

And most importantly of all, if the manufacturer actually stand behind their product and warrant faulty frames.
There was a European brand mentioned that has let me down with their "lifetime warranty". Luckily for me, the local importer took the hit and paid for repairs (but only after my LBS threatened not to stock the brand anymore).

Yes, Im still pissed about it all :(

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by HammerTime2

Andew69, true story. A bike was sold by a major American vendor, and included a lifetime warranty on the frame. After a few years, the frame broke. The owner filed a warranty claim. The vendor informed him that the lifetime frame warranty applied for the life of the bike. When the frame broke, that ended the life of the bike, and therefore it was not covered under warranty.

A somewhat well known Italian bike (frame + fork) company provided a limited warranty on the road racing frame and fork it sold. The warranty was not valid if the bike was used for racing or training. What the hell are you supposed to do on a racing bike? I think if you ride the bike, even with no intention of racing, they could consider that to be training, and therefore the warranty is invalidated. Even a 50 year old dentist riding the proverbial 25 kph to the coffee shop could be considered to be using the bike for training.

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by deltree

HammerTime2 wrote:...

Similarly I had a frame replaced under warranty and a year later that replacement developed a fault too. I put off the process as at the time because, working in a bike shop we were in our busiest season. Things died down a bit and I submitted the claim only to be told the warranty is three years from the purchase of the original frame and I was now a fortnight outside that period. Needless to say I didn't sell another bike from that brand for the remainder of working there. Which was a real shame as I'd met the Marketing Manager several times in the past, he'd even gifted me some team kit before.

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by BRM

Lifetime warranty is just a marketing term. :)
And maybe not exactly what you think when you hear the term. Pretty much a fake term.
Warranty is Always coming with a set of terms, rules and exceptions.

In my part of the world (Europe) when you buy something at a shop, you have a legal contract with the shop, not with the manufacturer. Normally you dont deal with the manufacturer at all.
When having a problem you contact the shop and they need to solve your problem. Often even when there is no longer warranty from the manufacturer. The shop has far going obligations to you as a consumer, a manufacturer very limited. (look to the consumer rights/laws in your specific country)

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