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LBS Story....Pretty Bummed.

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LBS Story....Pretty Bummed.

Old 07-30-18, 05:53 PM
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BassistBiker
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LBS Story....Pretty Bummed.

OK, so let me start by saying, I am totally new to mountain biking, and I'm fully aware I own a "cheap" bike....Brace yourself for a long read.


Now, the story...

I bought a 2018 Trek Marlin 5 about 2 months ago, I have since put about 75 miles on it (75% paved paths, 25% easy singletracks).

Last night I hit the trails again, super easy singletrack stuff, not an obstacle in sight, just some small dips & tiny roots, about a mile into my ride, I developed a considerable squeak in my front end, could be coming from the stanchions or maybe the headset, dunno...finished my ride, and by the end of it, I could hear my squeaking reverberating throughout the woods (would have been funny...if it weren't my bike).

I called the bike shop where I bought it this morning, and explained the problem, they told me to drop it off, so after work, I took it down there and dropped it off...

The bike "mechanic" took a look at it and said (something like), "Yeah, on a cheap bike like that, there is bound to be noise, I doubt Trek will give you any warranty consideration, but I suppose I can take a look at it, if you can leave it with me"...(He seemed like I was some how putting him out by looking at my brand....new....bike).

I have NO WARRANTY CONSIDERATION on a 2 month old bike?!?!?! I mean I get it, I only spent $519 on the bike, but for $519 shouldn't it at least be decent??

So, I left it with him, I didn't know what else to do...I don't expect him to actually fix anything, based on what he said, and how he acted.

Soooo, what do you people think? What should I do?
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Old 07-30-18, 06:05 PM
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There should be no squeak on your bike, and I'd want to get it away from that mechanic before something really bad happens to it.
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Old 07-30-18, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
There should be no squeak on your bike, and I'd want to get it away from that mechanic before something really bad happens to it.
Yeah, I'm going to go pick it up tomorrow.

I think I should just take it into one of my local Trek Corporate stores, let them take a look...I just felt weird taking it to them first, since I didn't buy it from them.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
Yeah, I'm going to go pick it up tomorrow.

I think I should just take it into one of my local Trek Corporate stores, let them take a look...I just felt weird taking it to them first, since I didn't buy it from them.
Seems like a sound strategy. I was thinking another Trek dealer, but this is even better.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:05 PM
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The mechanic obviously knows he needs to look at it. See what he says tomorrow when you pick it up.

I'd personally push them on the issue, but if that goes no where, you can always try the Corporate store or call Trek and tell them your experience.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:36 PM
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Whatever the end result of this, you need to transition to a new shop.
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Old 07-31-18, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
I only spent $519 on the bike, but for $519 shouldn't it at least be decent??
You would think so, but not really. ~$1000+ is the price point where you start getting something that is decent.
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Old 07-31-18, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
You would think so, but not really. ~$1000+ is the price point where you start getting something that is decent.
I get what your saying, and I know $1000 would have been better...Just wasn't in the budget at the moment, and I figured $519 would at least get me a bike better than Walmart...

But, with that mentality, why would a bike shop even sell a bike in the the sub $1000 range. if it isn't going to at least be decent? Seems counterproductive to good customer service?
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Old 07-31-18, 07:57 AM
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Nooo, there's no reason that Trek Marlin isn't a decent bike for the use OP is putting it to. It would be a decent bike with 10 times the miles he's put on it in 2 months, paved roads and "super easy singletrack".
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Old 07-31-18, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
I get what your saying, and I know $1000 would have been better...Just wasn't in the budget at the moment, and I figured $519 would at least get me a bike better than Walmart...

But, with that mentality, why would a bike shop even sell a bike in the the sub $1000 range. if it isn't going to at least be decent? Seems counterproductive to good customer service?
It is a step above a Walmart bike but not by much.

The bike shop sells sub $1000 bikes because they are in the business to make money and not everyone has $1000 to spend so they carry the sub $1000 bikes to fill that niche. It has cheap components on it which is why it is at that price point. For instance as an example there are suspension forks out there that cost as much or more than your whole bike.

That's just the way it is. Good MTB bikes aren't cheap.

Last edited by prj71; 07-31-18 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
OK, so let me start by saying, I am totally new to mountain biking, and I'm fully aware I own a "cheap" bike....Brace yourself for a long read.


Now, the story...

I bought a 2018 Trek Marlin 5 about 2 months ago, I have since put about 75 miles on it (75% paved paths, 25% easy singletracks).

Last night I hit the trails again, super easy singletrack stuff, not an obstacle in sight, just some small dips & tiny roots, about a mile into my ride, I developed a considerable squeak in my front end, could be coming from the stanchions or maybe the headset, dunno...finished my ride, and by the end of it, I could hear my squeaking reverberating throughout the woods (would have been funny...if it weren't my bike).

I called the bike shop where I bought it this morning, and explained the problem, they told me to drop it off, so after work, I took it down there and dropped it off...

The bike "mechanic" took a look at it and said (something like), "Yeah, on a cheap bike like that, there is bound to be noise, I doubt Trek will give you any warranty consideration, but I suppose I can take a look at it, if you can leave it with me"...(He seemed like I was some how putting him out by looking at my brand....new....bike).

I have NO WARRANTY CONSIDERATION on a 2 month old bike?!?!?! I mean I get it, I only spent $519 on the bike, but for $519 shouldn't it at least be decent??

So, I left it with him, I didn't know what else to do...I don't expect him to actually fix anything, based on what he said, and how he acted.

Soooo, what do you people think? What should I do?
I would have a conversation with the service manager, or owner of the shop. Part of the problem is, you need to be realistic regarding what you bought, but at the same time, you should expect the shop where you bought it to support the product without attitude or snarky comments. I would politely tell the manager that they sold me the bike, and if the bike was not a good fit for the type of riding I was doing (trails), the shop should not sell that bike to customers.

But, back to my point about realistic expectations. The Marlin 5 is really more a mountain style bike than a mountain bike. The strong point of the Marlin 5 is, for the price, you get a 29er mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes. And a decent frame. The weak point of the build is the entry level Tourney drivetrain and inexpensive suspension fork, which is really not adequate for single track, at least for a grown man. I warn anyone who comes on this board, DO NOT BUY AN ENTRY LEVEL SUSPENSION FORK BIKE. The suspension fork is the weak point of this bike. Go up at least a couple of hundred bucks, or look for a sale. When my son was competing, we saw this every year. Because it is hard to ask parents to shell out $1,000 or more for a mountain bike for a growing boy, or girl, a lot of parents opt for bikes like the Marlin 5. or Marlin 6. Sadly, even for younger teenagers, these entry level mountain bikes rarely hold up for more than a season of single track. If you have your heart set on Trek, go up to Marlin 7 or better yet, X Caliber line of bikes. Or just be realistic that what you bought is mostly an around town bike.

It is an expensive lesson to learn, but maybe if you have that conversation with the bike shop now, you can get some concession from them, like maybe a discount on upgrading the fork, or maybe taking the bike back and selling you what you actually should have bought in the first place.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
I get what your saying, and I know $1000 would have been better...Just wasn't in the budget at the moment, and I figured $519 would at least get me a bike better than Walmart...

But, with that mentality, why would a bike shop even sell a bike in the the sub $1000 range. if it isn't going to at least be decent? Seems counterproductive to good customer service?
The question is, decent for what? And for whom? If this is a first geared bike for a kid looking for a bike that looks like a mountain bike, but that will be used mostly for riding around the neighborhood,, maybe some really light off road, than the Marlin 5 is for you. If you are an adult and plan to use the bike for any single track at all, than IMO, the Marlin 5 is a little under spec'd. I would hope your bike salesman would have had that conversation with you before you bought the bike.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:44 AM
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Geez, am I the only person who thinks 500 bucks isn't cheap? Also I wouldn't let anyone (in person) say my bike is cheap without a getting a piece of my mind and reminding them I bought that "Cheap" bike from them.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Geez, am I the only person who thinks 500 bucks isn't cheap? Also I wouldn't let anyone (in person) say my bike is cheap without a getting a piece of my mind and reminding them I bought that "Cheap" bike from them.
It is all relative. $500 is a reasonable budget for a general use bike, if you are buying new. $500 is a little bit cheap for a bike purpose built for trail riding.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post

But, back to my point about realistic expectations. The Marlin 5 is really more a mountain style bike than a mountain bike. The strong point of the Marlin 5 is, for the price, you get a 29er mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes. And a decent frame. The weak point of the build is the entry level Tourney drivetrain and inexpensive suspension fork, which is really not adequate for single track, at least for a grown man. I warn anyone who comes on this board, DO NOT BUY AN ENTRY LEVEL SUSPENSION FORK BIKE. The suspension fork is the weak point of this bike. Go up at least a couple of hundred bucks, or look for a sale. When my son was competing, we saw this every year. Because it is hard to ask parents to shell out $1,000 or more for a mountain bike for a growing boy, or girl, a lot of parents opt for bikes like the Marlin 5. or Marlin 6. Sadly, even for younger teenagers, these entry level mountain bikes rarely hold up for more than a season of single track. If you have your heart set on Trek, go up to Marlin 7 or better yet, X Caliber line of bikes. Or just be realistic that what you bought is mostly an around town bike..
Yep, and I knew I was getting a lower quality bike for sure, so I wasn't expecting "top tier" by any means, but is lasting 2 months in a row without repair asking too much for my $500??

Taken directly from Treks webpage...

"Marlin 5 is a trail-worthy daily rider that's perfectly suited for everyday adventures, on and off the trail. A front suspension fork with 100mm of travel, 21 speeds, and mounts for a rack and fenders make it an ideal choice for new trail riders or anyone looking for a comfortable, stable commuter with the ruggedness of a real mountain bike."

Now, I know that's all marketing designed to sell bikes, but it most definitely doesn't say "Not suitable for singletrack usage" or "for road use only" anywhere.

My plan was to buy the bike, then waste some money over the first year or two upgrading some components, starting with the fork, and ending with a proper driveline...I figured it would be a fun & great way to learn about my bike...yes, I could have just saved up and bought a higher quality bike in the first place, but being an ex auto technician (20+ years), I like to tinker, and this would be a fun project.

But, back to my first point...2 months, very light riding, and the chance that I'd have to pay to fix the bike already??? Seems kinda strange to me.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:07 AM
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Bike mechanics generally don't have salesperson social skills. Being a scientist with a similar inclination, I actually find this a bit refreshing. So take the grumbling with a grain of salt. If it is a warranty issue, Trek will most likely stand behind it.

If it makes you feel any better, my kid broke a derailleur (stick flew into it -- not their fault) and chainstay weld (their fault -- warrantied) on a $3K mtn bike within the first hundred miles. Shyte happens.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Geez, am I the only person who thinks 500 bucks isn't cheap? Also I wouldn't let anyone (in person) say my bike is cheap without a getting a piece of my mind and reminding them I bought that "Cheap" bike from them.
Pick any hobby that requires good equipment and nothing is cheap. One of my other hobbies is fly fishing. I pay ~$500 for good a good fishing rod, ~$200 for a decent reel. $60 for line. $400 for waders. You should see how big peoples eyes get when I tell them I paid $500 for a fishing rod.

I could go cheaper on all of those items but then I would expect breakdowns of equipment. In the world of mountain bikes...$500 is cheap.

Last edited by prj71; 07-31-18 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post

Now, I know that's all marketing designed to sell bikes,
Yes. That's exactly what it is.

but it most definitely doesn't say "Not suitable for singletrack usage" or "for road use only" anywhere.
Then they wouldn't sell the bike. The reality is it will do those things (ride single track) but not very well for very long.

My plan was to buy the bike, then waste some money over the first year or two upgrading some components, starting with the fork, and ending with a proper driveline...I figured it would be a fun & great way to learn about my bike...yes, I could have just saved up and bought a higher quality bike in the first place, but being an ex auto technician (20+ years), I like to tinker, and this would be a fun project.
That's what most think, but in the long run you save more money buying a bike with the higher end components in the first place. Mostly due to the volume pricing the bike manufacturer gets on the components that is then passed onto the consumer.

What you thought would be a fun project has now turned into a headache for you.

Last edited by prj71; 07-31-18 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
Yep, and I knew I was getting a lower quality bike for sure, so I wasn't expecting "top tier" by any means, but is lasting 2 months in a row without repair asking too much for my $500??

Taken directly from Treks webpage...

"Marlin 5 is a trail-worthy daily rider that's perfectly suited for everyday adventures, on and off the trail. A front suspension fork with 100mm of travel, 21 speeds, and mounts for a rack and fenders make it an ideal choice for new trail riders or anyone looking for a comfortable, stable commuter with the ruggedness of a real mountain bike."

Now, I know that's all marketing designed to sell bikes, but it most definitely doesn't say "Not suitable for singletrack usage" or "for road use only" anywhere.

My plan was to buy the bike, then waste some money over the first year or two upgrading some components, starting with the fork, and ending with a proper driveline...I figured it would be a fun & great way to learn about my bike...yes, I could have just saved up and bought a higher quality bike in the first place, but being an ex auto technician (20+ years), I like to tinker, and this would be a fun project.

But, back to my first point...2 months, very light riding, and the chance that I'd have to pay to fix the bike already??? Seems kinda strange to me.
Waste is the operative word. Hang around here for any amount of time and you will see that while you can upgrade an entry level bike, it usually is much more cost effective to find the sweet spot for value and just go with that to begin with, maybe upgrade a mid range bike with higher end components than try to do the same with entry level. And we haven't even started talking about wheels yet, another weak point on entry level bikes, trail or not.

What we don't know is, did the salesman suggest a higher spec bike to begin with, or not? Understand that if he tells you you should go with the $700 bike or the $900 bike and you ignore his advise, he will sell you the $500 bike.

As for your complaint about the 2 months, I will say, it is common for new bikes to need minor adjustments a month or two after purchase. Mechanics chalk it up to cable stretch or some such thing. Hopefully, they can address the noisy suspension fork, but the mechanic's reaction suggests he has seen a lot of these come back for repair or adjustment.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:26 AM
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I've got several (three kids worth, mostly outgrown) Trek mountain bikes in the $500 range in my garage and they have all been absolutely rock-solid and almost maintenance-free. My kids have really beat on them, too, and we have taken them to Utah and other places that really push the limits of their capabilities. I cannot think of a single significant problem with any of these bikes, and they will make good used/donation bikes for someone else's kids when I get around to cleaning them up and getting rid of them.

They are $500 bikes with comparatively cheap but solid components and very robust frames, assembled and adjusted competently. These aren't BBS bikes.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Yes. That's exactly what it is.



Then they wouldn't sell the bike. The reality is it will do those things (ride single track) but not very well for very long.



That's what most think, but in the long run you save more money buying a bike with the higher end components in the first place. Mostly due to volume pricing the bike manufacturer gets on the components that is then passed onto the consumer.

What you thought would be a fun project has now turned into a headache for you.
Yup. Entry level bikes are not great candidates for big upgrades. I know hardcore mountain bikers are really into upgrades, but most of them budget more just for a suspension fork than OP spent on his entire bike. And frankly, it makes no sense to put a high end fork on an entry level bike.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:32 AM
  #22  
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I work on my own bikes most likely on this new of a bike its probably something simple as in a bolt not torqued down or something else that has worked itself loose. the cost of the bike should not have come up at all. I have a fuji nevada its about the same bike as the marlin 5. whats at issue is a possible safety issue if its a loose bolt or spoke not in tension etc. the mechanic should have went through the bike checked everything enough to at least know where the squeak is at. if its that the coil fork has a squeak might not can do much about that. Friend of mine has a marlin 5 his spokes started loosening up after about a year tightened them and his squeak went away. @OP also might be helpful to tell them under what circumstances it squeaks. when you brake when its rolling or when you are turning. all of which would be helpful to limit to where the problem is at.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:46 AM
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Methinks prj is being a bit harsh about the product and usage.

Trek is going to stand behind the product within their warranty guidelines. I would think that the mechanic could have been a bit kinder considering that you helped keep him there another few days with your purchase and required service on a new bike...which is always needed a bit after your break in ride(s) on any level bike. As was stated above though he doesn't have to have people skills to be a good mech. Perhaps someone else had just crapped in his Oaties about something else, who knows.

I would expect that some minor item worked loose and it will be as good or better than new. Let us know.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:59 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by carlosponti View Post
@OP also might be helpful to tell them under what circumstances it squeaks. when you brake when its rolling or when you are turning. all of which would be helpful to limit to where the problem is at.
Yep, I told him everything I knew.

Basically, you can duplicate the noise riding, or even just standing next to the bike and pressing down on the handlebars with any pressure...If I were to wager a guess, my guess is the seal on the left stanchion is dry, but I haven't heard back from the LBS yet, and I work until 4:30, I'm going over after work.
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Old 07-31-18, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
I have NO WARRANTY CONSIDERATION on a 2 month old bike?!?!?! I mean I get it, I only spent $519 on the bike, but for $519 shouldn't it at least be decent??

So, I left it with him, I didn't know what else to do...I don't expect him to actually fix anything, based on what he said, and how he acted.

Soooo, what do you people think? What should I do?
FYI for the future, what you get for a $500 used bike, particularly in the off season is radically more than what you get for a $500 bike new. If you plan to actually ride the thing off road, a $500 bike is going to be a constant hassle.
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