I Lost the Fight with TREK – Part 3

The 3rd and final episode of the ongoing saga regarding my TREK replacement frame ended with the protagonist getting a pump shoved in his front wheel by TREK and sliding on pavement with road cherries.

The new Frame colors.  Not ugly at all.  But not what I wanted.

The new Frame colors. Not ugly at all. But not what I wanted.

Goes so well with my gear.

This is the paint job I was hoping for but lost.

The non Hollywood story is much more anticlimactic with a simple email from TREK Japan that reads:

Hello Kelly,

We are sorry to keep you waiting.

This past week the US customer service manager, APAC customer service manager, sales rep and I discussed and concluded that we cannot replace this frame.

The reason is that the store sold the custom painted frame, and then it was taken home.

However, we are working with the shop on options to help you on their behalf.

The store mentioned that they would like to contact you but have had difficulty contacted your cell phone.

Could we tell them your email address?

We appreciate your patience in working through this!



Forced to use my winter bike for races since my Madone surrendered to the cycling Gods.

Forced to use my winter bike for races since my Madone surrendered to the cycling Gods.

So I talked to the store out of curiosity what those “options” could be and unfortunately they didn’t lead to a discount.  The store owner just said he looked into finding someone who privately re-paints frames but came up with no one who will do carbon frames. 

So the story ends there.  No riding off into the sunset with a gold medal around my neck on my dream bike.  But, at the end of the day this story is still pretty good.  I love the frame, like the colors and am fortunate to be able to enjoy riding a very, very nice bike.

Read Part Two

Read Part One


TREK Madone 6.5 Replacement Frame Part 2

My baby.  We've been through a lot of miles together.Since my 2012 TREK Madone 6.9 Frame had a crack in the seat stay I had no choice but to give it to my retailer to return it to TREK.  From there, TREK examined the bike and said I was entitled to a replacement frame (which means buying a new frame with a 30% discount off retail price).

"It's nothing Ma, it's just a scratch".Since they don’t make the 2012 frame any more I have to buy a 2013 frame.  So what do I buy?  They don’t make the 6.9 anymore.  The top of the line 6 series is the 6.5.  Do I upgrade to the 7 series?  I do race a lot but I am not a pro cyclist.  After a lot of consideration I decided to get the 6.5.  It’s slightly stronger, hardly any heavier and hopefully will last through all my training and racing for a few years to come.

The new Frame colors.  Not ugly at all.  But not what I wanted.

The new Frame colors. Not ugly at all. But not what I wanted.

But the story doesn’t end there.  Eagar to get the new frame in time for spring training I ordered it from a TREK retailer using the managers iPad to search through Project One frames.  My bad.  When the frame arrived both the store manager and I realized the color scheme was not what we thought it was.  We were both surprised to see purple in the frame color.  Also, during the wait for the frame I did a lot of research on the H1 and H2 frames and wish I had ordered the H1.  So here I have a TREK 6.5 Madone frame that cost a handsome amount of money and I don’t like the color and I don’t like that it’s H2.  To kick myself even more, when it arrived I talked myself into thinking, it’s not really that bad.  But a few sleepless nights wishing I could exchange it got me back to the retailer asking to change it in.  After all, when I spend this kind of money, I want to be 100% satisfied.

When I told the store manager what I wanted to do he hummed and hawed about it.  The Frame has never been out of its box except the one time to look at it.  When he finally said it can’t be done, I emailed TREK directly.  I live in Japan but I emailed TREK USA because I wanted to speak English and make sure there were no misunderstandings. They told me it is possible but needed some more information first.   When I explained that I live in Japan they turned me over to the TREK JAPAN.  The last email I got from TREK JAPAN says:

Hi Kelly,

Thank you for contacting us.

Our sale representative for “Retail Store” already knew your situation and provided the shop with our answer.

Please let us consider what we can do for you.

We will talk with you when the solution is decided. 



I haven’t heard back from them yet (3 weeks later).  But they did call the retail store and try to get them to tell me “No”.  But the retailer couldn’t give a reason why.

I went to another bike store where I’m good friends with the mechanics and they told me all the frames they deal with (ie BMC, Specialized etc) have a return policy if the customer isn’t happy.

Some pondering questions:

1)   Why can’t the frame be exchanged?  It’s brand new and never been used.   It’s not a custom paint job.  It’s a factory chosen color.

2)  TREK USA said it is possible to do.  Why is TREK Japan different?

3)  Is this a TREK policy or is the retailer the one that is refusing to let me exchange the frame?  No one is giving me direct answers (Which is very typical in Japan).

4)  TREK claims to have the best warranty in the business.  My Frame has never been used, and it is a 2013 model.  I simply want to upgrade and spend even more money with TREK.  Why is this not possible?   TREK is the 2nd largest bike company in the world.  Isn’t customer satisfaction important?

I sent the guy at TREK who’s in charge of my case the same questions (but more polite) and have not heard back from them.

This sounded like a good idea when I registered.

Riding my winter bike in a race because my Madone 6.9 had a crack in the seat stay.

NOTE:  Now, I should clarify, I actually do like the frame I have.  More so, if I can exchange it I will.  The goal is to search out all possible angles so that I leave nothing on the table.  When I find the answer either way, I will be satisfied.  🙂

Story to be continued….

Read Part Three Here

Read Part One.

Have Bike Will Trouble – I mean Travel – PART 1

Madone 6.7 SSL WSD™

OCLV2 SSL Carbon, E2, BB90, internal cable routing, DuoTrap compatible

The Worst Luck.

When it rains it pours they tell me.   Seems to be the case for me when it comes to cycling lately.  First let me remind myself I have my health and a beautiful family.  Now, let me share my story to get some much needed sorrow off my chest..

My beautiful TREK Madone 6.7 SSL WSD with all the trimmings got a crack in the seat stay a week ago.   It wasn’t from a crash or from banging it into a wall.  It was from attaching a light to it.  It pains me to share this because I NEVER attach a light to the seat stay.  I got home from work late and there was little light left in the day.  Somehow I couldn’t find my regular lights I use and I was running out of daylight so I called the search off and grabbed an old cat eye light I used to use on my mountain bike.  Now, I always attach my back lights to my seat post but this time I decided to throw it on the seat stay because that way my left leg wouldn’t rub against it when pedaling.

So I head out to climb route 145 to Lockheart castle which is a ride I do sometimes for intensity training.  It’s perfect for a short ride as I ride it at usually over 80% of my max heart rate and get the heart and legs both rocking.  On my way home heading down hill at about 65 km/hr the back light moved into the spokes of the rear wheel and got eaten up in a hurry.  I stopped, swore, looked at the remains of the light and checked my back wheel and spokes.  When I saw there was no damage on the spokes and the wheel seemed true I was relieved and went home.

The next morning when on a group ride my friend behind me asked what happened when he saw the crack.  I stopped and initially we both thought it was just the paint.  But a few more tests concluded indeed the frame was cracked.  How easy it was to ruin the frame.  A plastic light attachment that couldn’t break the spokes or untrue the wheel ruined my frame.

"It's nothing Ma, it's just a scratch".

So next I decide on what to do, either buy a new replacement frame or try to get this one fixed. I took it into Takezawa cycles where some friends work and asked them to switch the parts over to my winter bike which is an older TREK 5.2 carbon frame.

Today, they call me and said, “Did you know your top tube on your 5.2 has a 4 cm crack in it”?

All I could do is laugh because well…. Crying aint gonna do no good.

I feel like we’re going in reverse here.

So that’s where I stand.  I have a bike race on Sunday and I will ride it with my winter bike. I have double checked the winter bike frame top tube and I personally believe it’s not cracked but just scratched.   I will continue to use it as a winter bike and as my only bike until I get a new frame or get the 6.7 fixed.

Stay tuned and please, whatever you do… be careful with your frames friends.

Read Part Two Here.