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Advice re warranty for cracked frame

GiantNut's picture

By GiantNut - Posted on 03 January 2011

Thanks to my recent xmas pressie of a ALDI bike stand I just noticed what appears to be a hairline crack on a weld on the rear triangle next to the cranks. A scratch would be straight I guess and under a magnifying glass its jaggered on top of the weld so I think it warranty time....but the place I bought it from TBSM doesn't stock Norco's anymore and locally I believe its Belrose OR Dee Why who stock em - I have a relationship with Belrose but wonder what will happen as I didn't buy it from there - other factor is that i have replaced nearly all the drivetrain in the two years so its no longer original spec - will his matter?
The bike is 2.4 years old and the Norco warranty is for 5 years - what's my chances???? or skip and get a new frame?

Brian's picture

Frame warranty should still apply. Regardless of where you bought it there may be a fee for swapping the parts over.

jaseh's picture

Warranty is with the manufacturer, not the retailer. If you take it to a Norco dealer you should have no problems if you do, contact pacific brands direct and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

loki's picture

Yes the frame will have warranty from the manufacturer, however someone will have to process the warranty claim and the bike strip/rebuild. I have been told by a bike shop that they do not get reimbursed for the work they do processing warranty claims and that labour cost comes out of their profit from when they sold you the bike, or from your pocket!
If you had a regular relationship with the original shop you purchased it from then they may do that work for you for free, but after 2 1/2 years is it reasonable to expect them to cover that?
If you take the bike to another shop then I would expect them to charge you for the labour to rebuild your bike.

One alternative would be to strip the bike yourself and return just the frame?!? I'd discuss that option with the bike shop first though.

Good luck!


ps Belrose bicycles is a great shop and I'm sure they'll help you out Smiling

hawkeye's picture

would be TBSM. They will still have a relationship with Noroc for warranty issues and are less likely to give you grief with labour charges in the hope of retaining your future business, given you have a track record with them.

Just expect a lot of whining about Norco, and plug your ears - they'll be looking to turn you onto purchasing one of their current manufacturers bikes, which is only natural I suppose.

But if they're going to charge you labour, then you've got little to lose by going local.

carbon-monkey's picture

the warranty - as said before is with norco, so any current norco dealer (or someone with the ability to be a norco dealer even if they currently choose to not stock them) should process the warranty for you.

A few notes of caution first though - as someone whose worked in the bike industry for the last... well longer than i like to admit:
- if you've changed things like forks and wheels to heavier duty ones they may pull the whole - you specced the bike for harder riding than it was designed for - it's your fault it's broken bollocks, which some shitty shops / manufacturers will still try on you, but any reputable brand / shop will just take the warranty anyway.
- stripping it yourself may invalidate the warranty so after reading the above comment i'd test the water before you actually take the bike in, maybe check how things lie with one shop and take it to another if you think shop 1 is going to mess you around.
- expect to pay for a re-build - this seems to be common practice over here, which i was outraged at, the UK bike shops will only charge you if they are the most tight fisted shites going, and i've never known it happen outside london. if the shop will give you a replacement frame and allow you to re build it - and you know what you're doing, take the frame, build it yourself and if it fails (not through fault of you building it badly) just neglect to mention it when the next warranty comes round. $80 for a warranty build is a joke but that's what one shop just charged my mate - and they took two weeks to do it, screwed the build up, forgot to transfer some of the smaller bolts and fittings, and we're really shitty about it while doing the job.

- if norco skive out of a warranty - check the rep of the manufacturer of your next frame before you buy it - a crap warranty / company is good enough reason for me to not buy a bike off some companies now. typically the smaller the company the better they are (eg: cotic, on-one, charge)

good luck

GiantNut's picture

I would be very happy with a new frame and having to pay for the build as the alternative is buying a new frame or bike so $100 compared to $1500- $4k worst case - seems great to me.
I am happy it's Pacific Brands the importer as they are fairly massive so fingers crossed and will see how I go and let you guys know - to help with future purchasing decisions. Somone told me that City bike Depot and KOM are now stockists so if they are expanding their distribution you would hope they would not try it on - Their reputation is all how they treat customers in the end.
All the enhancements I made were lighter components i.e from DEORE to XTR - I actually took a kilo out of the bike if you incl wheels.

Fatboy's picture

I've had a number of cracked frames from various well known manufacturers and have always been pleased with the response which really highlights the advantages of buying locally.

Once I cracked a 3yr old Giant frame after an impact and was hoping for a discount on a replacement. They gave me the latest frame free!

Once I hit a tree and snapped a frame in half and was given $1,000 discount on the replacement frame.

Another time I developed a crack in a top tube, took a pic with my phone and had it sent to the importer and had my replacement air freighted and in my hands within 2 weeks.

I think you will find the shops and importers will try really hard to accommodate as they are trying desperately to demonstrate the advantages of buying from your LBS rather than the Internet.

obmal's picture

Earlier this year I cracked a frame, the LBS was great but ultimately at the mercy of the importer (Pac Brands) who to their credit after a long an protracted wait for a suitable replacement eventually replaced the frame with another one, although since the importer had ceased importing the brand I had purchased; I ended up with a different brand.. kinda like taking my Subaru in for repair and driving away with a Daewoo?

Without the help of the LBS, I think that I would have ended up with SFA.

GiantNut's picture

I took the advice from the forum and rang where I bought it first - TBSM. Got an ok response but then I rang the local Norco dealer - Bike Hub Dee Why - Instantly they were great, interested in helping and initially just had to send some photo's via email too easy and no drama's - they have contacted I believe Pac Brands on my behalf who want the frame sent down to them for the final verdict.
So fingers crossed and great work from the guys at Dee Why - but I bet a long time bike-less.

Brian's picture

DY Bike hub always get good reports. I have always had good service when I have been in the shop.

GiantNut's picture

Well Pacific Brands has ok'ed the warranty claim but instead of a new frame they are sending ONLY the swingarm - as the crack is just behind the cranks. For a while there thought I would get a new frame but I guess the reality is that they are only obliged to fix the damage.
Missing the MTB - hopefully back on the trails soon.

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