The Trek Frame Warranty—Good As Gold

10 Jul
Trek Domane 6.9 Bike Frame

A Trek Domane 6.9 Bike Frame

Fourteen years ago I wondered into the local bike shop, Zion Cyclery in Zion, Illinois, to purchase my first “shop built” bike. The owner of the shop, Don Daisy, showed me several entry level bikes, but he suggested that I get a Trek bike because it was well built and had a great warranty. Well, I took his advice and bought my first Trek bike, a 4300 Alpha Mountain Bike. A few years later I bought a Trek 1200 Road Bike, then a Gary Fisher Big Sur mountain bike (made by Trek). In 2007 I bought my first Carbon fiber road bike, a Trek Madone 5.2. When my youngest son came back from Iraq I bought him a new road bike to help him adjust to civilian life—a Trek bike, of course. Two years ago this month I dropped a major chunk of change on a Trek Domane 5.9 Carbon Fiber Endurance Race Bike. Due to family medical problems and two brutal winters this bike has only been on the road for a total of eleven months (but I was able to get over 6,800 miles on this bike alone during that time). Unfortunately, last week a faulty component damaged the frame and the local bike shop told me  the frame was going to have to be replaced!

Replacing a bike frame is not something any cyclist looks forward to, but this experience has really caused me to appreciate how Trek takes care of their customers! The local bike shop shipped of my damaged frame to Trek for inspection on a Thursday and by the following Friday I had a new (and improved) bike frame. I’ve had friends who’ve had warranty repairs with other brands of bikes and their experience was not nearly as pleasant as mine (their replacement took several weeks to arrive).

The Trek Care Limited Warranty gives the original retail purchaser of nearly all Trek bikes a lifetime warranty on the frame. This warranty is against factory defects, not accidents or stupidity (misuse, abuse, or neglect). However, if you damage your bike frame by trying to do a somersault off the roof of your house (obviously not a factory defect), Trek has the Trek Care Loyalty Program that will help you replace a non-warranty damaged bike frame at a discount.

The damage to my bike frame was caused by the BB90 bottom bracket—either the ball bearings were faulty or the bottom bracket was incorrectly installed at the factory. Regardless of the original cause, the bottom bracket got chewed up and damaged my Carbon fiber frame. I am convinced that what happened to my bike frame was a fluke—I’ve searched a lot of bike forums trying to find someone else with the same problem and couldn’t find one. Technically, this problem is not covered under the warranty—the bike frame did not have a “factory defect.” Here is where having a good local bike shop pays off! Grant Mullen, mechanic extraordinaire at Zion Cyclery, spent a good deal of time on the phone with Trek pleading my case. While the frame damage was not due to a factory defect, it was caused by a factory installed part. I was on “pins and needles” waiting for Trek’s decision. Thankfully, Trek went above and beyond what most companies would be willing to do and sent me a new bike frame (and fork to match). Since my damaged frame was two years old Trek could not give me an exact replacement, so they graciously offered to send me a much more expensive frame at no charge—a 2015 Trek Domane 6.9 frame (a much more expensive fame).

I think it is very important to point out that your local bike shop does not make any money while they are on the phone talking to the factory rep about your bike. Any extra time on the phone is pulling profit out of their business—they do it to provide customer service, not to fatten their bottom line. This is one of the reasons that when I need a new bike I never shop around for a lower price—I always go directly to Zion Cyclery because I know that they take care of their customers after the sale (and that can’t be said about a lot of bike shops).

In my next article I will tell you more about the 2015 Trek Domane 6.9 and how I had it spec’d out.


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21 responses to “The Trek Frame Warranty—Good As Gold

  1. billgncs

    July 10, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    It’s all about your advocate – I’ve known a few people who had less success.

    I won’t buy another carbon-fiber frame.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 14, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      After riding the Trek Domane I don’t think I will ever be able to ride a different Carbon fiber bike — it is a s smooth as glass on the road!

      • billgncs

        July 14, 2015 at 4:26 PM

        my Specialized Roubaix rides like a dream too.

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          July 14, 2015 at 4:28 PM

          I looked at the Specialized Roubaix before I bought the Trek Domane — it is a really great bike as well!

        • billgncs

          July 14, 2015 at 4:31 PM

          I have a Jamis steel framed bike that rides nicely too. No more racing here though – just cruising.

          Just finished 200 miles of the Katy trail in Missouri with a friend. It was a very nice trip.

  2. tamsynsmith

    July 12, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    It’s great when brands and shops look after their loyal customers – I thought I was going to read a blog post about you havng to put in a lot of work having to rebuild a bike with an inferior frame!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 14, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      I wish every bike shop was as good as the one I use (I am very fortunate).

  3. stumblingtowardgrace

    July 13, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    Not just about the frame, but about the bike shop. This has convinced me to build a relationship with my chosen bike shop (and my son-in-law’s bike shop!), and save my money for a really good bike. Nice to see you back, ASC.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 14, 2015 at 4:27 PM

      A good relationship with a local bike shop will definitely save people money in the long run — you are going to need them for repairs anyway, so why not get to meet them before you have an emergency? And thanks — it is great to be back on the bike!

  4. joboo1967

    July 14, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    Gotta agree, Treks warranty is top notch!!
    My FS Trek 90D broke 3 times, and each time I got a no questions asked replacement.
    Brand warranty replacement is something to always remember when purchasing a new bike!
    Pedal On!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 14, 2015 at 4:30 PM

      Three times???? What on earth were you riding over?

      • joboo1967

        July 14, 2015 at 4:39 PM

        That’s the thing, nothing out of the odinary. Lol
        I’m not a big “getting air” guy…… I really just rode the living crap out of that bike.
        One time the frame snapped after walking over some railroad tracks in the middle of no where, and hopping back on and snap. 2nd time same thing, but after a river crossing.
        3rd time the rear triangle split on the non driveside stays.
        Shortly after that 3rd time i started saving up for me Pugsley. 😉
        And the rest is as they say… history.
        Each and every time my LBS stripped the frame and within 7-10 days I was riding my Trek warranty frame.

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          July 14, 2015 at 6:27 PM

          Wow! You are very lucky it didn’t snap as you were going downhill into a curve next to a river (I ride my Pugs on a trail like that and think about it every time I over bake a turn).

  5. bgddyjim

    July 22, 2015 at 4:09 AM

    That’s a sharp frame man, thru axles and the whole 9 yards… And there’s no doubt, Trek is awesome when it comes to warranty issues. My buddy was upgraded from a Madone 6.5 to a 7 series when his seat tube cracked.

  6. wfleischer

    September 1, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    I just had a problem with my 5.9 Domane bottom bracket. I was on a 75 mile ride up by Croton reservoir in NY. and Bam, my shoes got full of rust water, metal strip (from bearings) was coming out of my bracket. Previous I went to the bike store because my chain kept on falling off when I was climbing and switching gears smoothly. come to think of it, I had to replace my hanger 2x, and the mechanic thought because the bike was put on the car rack wrong. Maybe it was because the bearings where bad and was bending the hangers. My go to LBS made a small adjustment and I was ready to ride. I was into the ride 50 miles, far away from civilization and the crank froze. luckily a bike mechanic and his girlfriend rode by, a quick check and advise me to walk 5 miles back to the station, I was done for the day.

    When I took it to the trek authorized shop, he took it apart and then advise me to bring it to where I bought it for warranty. SO Now off I go, hopefully after reading these post, Trek will do the right thing and replace the frame. I really enjoy the ride, its a great bike, I have done 300k and many centuries, I even wear the trek kit.

    I bought a top bike because of the Trek reputation of customer care. I have faith they will replace the frame. I will follow soon.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 1, 2015 at 4:48 PM

      Let me know how it works out for you! I thought my problem was a “one in a million” case where it appears that the bottom bracket was not properly installed at the factory.

  7. Peter Smith

    December 17, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    I have had a very similar problem with my Trek Madone 5.2 (2014) here in Australia where basically my bottom bracket has chewed the frame and frame now needs replacement. Bike is just over 2 years old and so far the best offer by Trek has been a 20% discount on a new bike or new frameset. I have suggested to them that this is not enough, and have researched and found quite a few cases of bottom bracket issues with Trek Madone series. The bike shop are endeavouring to strike a better deal with Trek on my behalf.

    • Don Tryon

      January 7, 2016 at 10:26 PM

      Peter, would love to know how you make out with Trek. Today I was just informed by my bike shop that I have the same bottom bracket problem as you and described and as written in this ASC article. The bike technician from my bike shop told me the same response from his Trek rep saying they would only offer the 20% discount. Sounds to me like others have had the same issue and have had some success in getting the frame replaced. Hope we are as lucking. My bike is only 3 years old.

      • wfleischer

        January 8, 2016 at 1:23 PM

        Follow up: Yes Trek came through. I went back to my LBS and told them I read on the internet it was a common problem and that they should go to bat for me. At first they blamed me for poor maintenance, then they asked me to accept it was not warranted, it happen when I was going up the hill and using my might power, the metal bearing holder scratch THE B90 beyond repair.

        Trek agreed to replace my frame with a new white one, a gift, Not! worst selling color. So I thought to my self, Hey I will pay for the upgrade to the 6.0 frame, which they agreed at a very fair price. I then talked to my mechanic, who suggest I get new cranks, one that is compatible with the 11 speed. Which I did, then said WTF, bought the front, read derailleurs new chain and gears. And because I had the old C35 I had to buy new wheel-set, put 25 tires and my ride is complete.

        So my lemon turned into lemonade, new 6.0 bike with new 11 speed.
        Happy yes, but it took alot of pushing my LBS to move there butts to do it.
        At the end, Love my Trek, great ride,

  8. Marcus Tillman

    November 21, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    You are the exception, not the rule!
    Trek is struggling because of piss poor product, bullying their bike shop partners, and offering double-talk when it comes to what they’ll fix or replace!
    Like you, 14 years ago I bought a Alpha Series USPS replica road bike, a few years ago I bought a Superfly 100 AL, swingarms cracked and it was warrantied, new swingarm cracked and warranty replaced it. I decided to go to a heavier beefier Remedy, swingarm broke, no warranty because it was used. My issue, the newer bikes are not of the quality of old, Trek has chosen a different path, and it’s unacceptable! Obviously the bean counters are in charge at Trek….and they’re destroying the company!

  9. Paul Mihill

    December 23, 2016 at 4:35 AM

    Found your post when searching for BB issue in Trek bikes as my 2016 Superfly Carbon frame suffered a similar issue. Most likely due to the tolerance of the metal insert which houses the bearings being a fraction out eventually causing Shimano retainer washer and pedal arms fell off because of minute movement. Trek were superb as was my bike shop. new frame all built up within 10 days. It pays to by new from a good shop. My local bike shop is Richardson’s Cycles in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex , England.


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