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Bought a new bike online. Has bad scratches on rim. On line seller offering $35

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Bought a new bike online. Has bad scratches on rim. On line seller offering $35

Old 07-17-13, 11:15 AM
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Bought a new bike online. Has bad scratches on rim. On line seller offering $35

I won't go into who bought it from for now. Suffice it to say that's a commonly used bike seller for people in this forum. The scratches are actually on the braking surface.

Here's a picture:




The bike came yesterday. I sent an email to their customer service department last night with the picture. I got an email back this morning. They said the scratches are only cosmetic, blamed UPS and offered to put $35 back on my credit card to make it good.

I told them that the scratches were probably severe enough to cause additional pad wear if nothing else and besides, a new bike should be in new condition. I asked for a new wheel. Am I being unreasonable? Frankly, I'm pissed that they thought $35 was anywhere near sufficient.
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Old 07-17-13, 11:19 AM
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What kind of wheel is it?
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Old 07-17-13, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by joshuatrio View Post
What kind of wheel is it?
It's a fixed gear bike for my teenaged son. No name rims with a Formula flip-flop hub.
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Old 07-17-13, 11:26 AM
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You are not being unreasonable to ask for an undamaged wheel with your new bike. But I don't think the S was unreasonable in offering $35 either. The S might well offer more if you asked.
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Old 07-17-13, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I won't go into who bought it from for now. Suffice it to say that's a commonly used bike seller for people in this forum. The scratches are actually on the braking surface.

Here's a picture:




The bike came yesterday. I sent an email to their customer service department last night with the picture. I got an email back this morning. They said the scratches are only cosmetic, blamed UPS and offered to put $35 back on my credit card to make it good.

I told them that the scratches were probably severe enough to cause additional pad wear if nothing else and besides, a new bike should be in new condition. I asked for a new wheel. Am I being unreasonable? Frankly, I'm pissed that they thought $35 was anywhere near sufficient.
The braking surface is going to get worn down soon enough and the scratches will be removed by the brake pads and grit. They're initial offer was reasonable, but it was also just that, an initial offer. If you want more, or want to start with a clean front wheel just ask. There's no need to get upset during a negotiation.
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Old 07-17-13, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
The braking surface is going to get worn down soon enough and the scratches will be removed by the brake pads and grit. They're initial offer was reasonable, but it was also just that, an initial offer. If you want more, or want to start with a clean front wheel just ask. There's no need to get upset during a negotiation.
This is just a question. Is $35 reasonable because it's an online seller? Because if it were a bike shop I really think they'd just give me a new wheel. Now granted an LBS doesn't have to worry about shipping but that's why I'm asking the question.
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Old 07-17-13, 11:41 AM
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I would definitely want a new wheel.
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Old 07-17-13, 11:55 AM
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That damage was not the fault of UPS, but due to poor packaging by the seller. Also, the normal machining of the braking surface does not grind down the brake pads the way those deep cross scratches will. Personally, I would request that the wheel be replaced. Unfortunately, when you deal with these discount sellers, this sort of thing will happen.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:14 PM
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It's a fixed gear bike for my teenaged son
then scratches in the braking track is just a cosmetic issue..
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Old 07-17-13, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
then scratches in the braking track is just a cosmetic issue..

Aren't brakes on a fixie just cosmetic?
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Old 07-17-13, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
That damage was not the fault of UPS, but due to poor packaging by the seller. Also, the normal machining of the braking surface does not grind down the brake pads the way those deep cross scratches will. Personally, I would request that the wheel be replaced. Unfortunately, when you deal with these discount sellers, this sort of thing will happen.
Yeah, I buy plenty of stuff on-line and one of the risks you have to accept is that things may not arrive in perfect condition. Often I've just chosen to live with minor scratches and what not rather than go through the hassle of returning.

I also wasn't impressed that the seller automatically blamed UPS. In fact if I had to bet, I'd guess it was damaged before UPS ever touched it, - at least on the journey to my house. The carton was undamaged and I don't know how something could scratch up the rim like that without damaging a carboard box.

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Old 07-17-13, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
Aren't brakes on a fixie just cosmetic?
It's a fixie with a flip flop hub along with both a front and rear brake. It could be and I suspect will be ridden as a single speed some of the time.

Last edited by tjspiel; 07-17-13 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
This is just a question. Is $35 reasonable because it's an online seller? Because if it were a bike shop I really think they'd just give me a new wheel. Now granted an LBS doesn't have to worry about shipping but that's why I'm asking the question.
The $35 is reasonable because in 6 months time, if your son rides much, there won't be any difference between your existing wheel and a new wheel. Your wanting a new unblemished wheel is also reasonable since that's what you paid for.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:30 PM
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I'd expect to see some green flakes on the tire from that event if it happened while in transit.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:32 PM
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The scratch I have pointed to seems fairly deep in the photo and I would be concerned that it might compromise the rim.

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Old 07-17-13, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
The $35 is reasonable because in 6 months time, if your son rides much, there won't be any difference between your existing wheel and a new wheel. Your wanting a new unblemished wheel is also reasonable since that's what you paid for.
A few of those scratches are about as deep as the wear indicator on one of my 3 year old wheels. Those wheels are no where near worn down to that point.

I expect that a lot of the scratches and especially the damage along the edge of the rim near the tire will be there indefinitely.

Last edited by tjspiel; 07-17-13 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:34 PM
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"it'll buff out" ..
emery cloth , a few grades, no brakes are being fitted on that wheel ?,
take the wheel, out, tire off,
hand the young guy the abrasive cloth,

he may want to do something else with his time.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:35 PM
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The green paint on the rim is a more serious cosmetic issue than the scratches. At least one of those scratches looks pretty deep though. They should have told you it was a wear indicator. When that's gone it's time to replace the rim.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:38 PM
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Disagree; it's been finished green then the brake track was machined smooth.

Wear lines, when provided, are in the center of the brake track.
that is where the wear happens.

not on the edge , it's just outside of the part that the paint was removed ..
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Old 07-17-13, 12:48 PM
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I was just referring to the fact that it's green at all.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
"it'll buff out" ..
emery cloth , a few grades, no brakes are being fitted on that wheel ?,
take the wheel, out, tire off,
hand the young guy the abrasive cloth,

he may want to do something else with his time.
I think maybe the picture is not doing the damage justice.

So you're proposing that I should tell my son that the money he saved mowing lawns just earned him an opportunity to spend some quality time with an emery cloth?

I'd say if anybody needs to spend time with the emery cloth, it's the seller, not the buyer. But then again I think it would be unethical to sell a rim as new when that much of the braking surface had been removed to hide those scratches.

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Old 07-17-13, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I was just referring to the fact that it's green at all.


Though I can't always vouch for my son's tastes (or mine) I have to say the white frame with black components and green rims actually looks pretty good.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:55 PM
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If the box was undamaged then most certainly it was assembled by the seller with a scratched wheel. They most likely knew about it and tried to pass it off to a customer hoping they would not notice it. Otherwise I would just return the whole bike and get a refund shipping included and order somewhere else. Getting another wheel from them may cause problems as it might come in another color then you would have to return it again etc.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:56 PM
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I scratched one of my rims like that and wasn't happy with myself. It could definitely start a crack depending on how thick the rim is. I would ask for a new wheel too, that's a heck of a scratch.
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Old 07-17-13, 12:59 PM
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I think maybe the picture is not doing the damage justice.
well all I can do is talk .. can't do a thing from here ,

( but question the wisdom of fixies with out brakes ) I acknowledge the Trendiness , these days..


if you had a dial micrometer you could give the depth . those scratches, an exact number to the 4th decimal point..

So you're proposing that I should tell my son that the money he saved mowing lawns just earned him an opportunity to spend some quality time with an emery cloth?
.. then You do it.. I cannot.
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