Trek quality (3)

I wrote about this before.
After Trek replaced practically all metal parts on the bike, it took about 20 DAYS until the rust showed up exactly like before.
The promised (?) upgrade to “better” parts did not happen. I spoke to the retailer and he said, everything was just as before.

Here are some pictures:
https://box.yahoo.co.jp/guest/viewer?sid=box-l-jaghdprmkptah3ca4norzwuw6m-1001&uniqid=989b5775-b9e4-4cc1-b9e0-9973f2074f6a

When I pointed that out to the Trek people, the person in charge mailed me (partially) the following:

“I am definitely disappointed to see that the bike has again started to rust on the brakes and wheels.
Your model of FX is quite popular in Japan, and to date, we have not seen similar rust issues.
The only issue I can think of, is that with your riding being so close to the ocean that this is quickly corroding some of these small bolts on the brakes, and also the steel spokes on the wheels.
The 3T stem, which had stainless steel closing bolts was also showing heavy sign of corrosion.
Just some quick reading:
https://www.outsideonline.com/1779286/how-can-i-keep-my-bike-rusting-around-salt-water
http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2011/08/saltwater-and-rust.html

That being said, we do stand behind our products, and we also want to make you confident in the bicycle that you are riding.
We could try a different brake set all together, and a wheelset that has a different anodizing/finish process on the spokes.  
Would this be of interest to you?”  

I responded with the following – detailing my impression of their “quality”:
→  “Would this be of interest to you? “
You must be joking! First you knowingly sell substandard products and then ask the customer, whether s/he wants to have the “real deal”? Strange way of running a business.
* If you want to try to supply the quality you are advertising … please be my guest and go ahead. I very much doubt, though, that Trek can do that.

A few things to clear up.
1) The 3T stem + rusty bolts. Naturally, I complained to 3T too. They sent me a “replacement / upgrade kit” of titanium bolts. The stem is according to their website 70 USD, while the 6 titanium bolts are 33 USD. I am now curious how long those last.
* They openly admitted, that the rusty bolts are “Made in China”. THAT explains the quality / rust.
* Business model: Let’s see if we can get away with it. If we do .. big profit. If we don’t, just give the few complaining idiots something a little better to shut them up. Wonderful.
2) Trek (everybody) has so far carefully avoided answering my question, whether they use Chinese parts or not. If Trek is NOT using Chinese parts, the used parts from whereever they are, DO NOT meet ANY quality standards.
* I have patients running businesses dealing with metal parts: nuts, bolts, screws, tools etc. These people ALL share the same view: metal parts for outdoor use rusting in 3 weeks → useless/garbage.
3) You did not answer my question: How would YOU react, if you bought a product of this quality? Let’s say you buy a new middle class car in New York or so for 30,000 USD and find the bolts on the wheels rusting after 20 days. You would just stand there and say: “That’s life.”?
4) I did contact Mr. Burke, since he invites customers to do that. Twice: after my first request for support and the other day, when I was not satisfied with your quality 3 weeks after the “upgrade”.
“We value your business and if you ever have a problem with your Trek, see your Trek dealer and they will take care of it. If you are not completely satisfied, please contact customer service at Trek or send me a note at j.burke@trekbikes.com.
Naturally, he is apparently to noble to talk to ordinary mortal men and thus die answer at all.
* I can VERY WELL understand, why the retailer where the bike was bought, has recently chosen NOT renew its contract with Trek!
5) How come I do not believe you, when you say:
“Your model of FX is quite popular in Japan, and to date, we have not seen similar rust issues.”
I am the one and only person complaining??? That makes me probably a most annoying person. These bike are assembled on some assembly line. All fitted with the same parts. I do not live a corner of the world that is absolutely unique and I did not do stupid things like immersing the whole bike in acid or something similar.
That means, there are thousands of bikes out there fitted with the same substandard parts. Any of which can fail at any time. That possibly can lead to serious accidents / injuries.
Since you know exactly where and what you (not you personally, but Trek as a company) buy as parts for your bikes, selling those with the advertising slogan:
“Trek Bikes – The world’s best bikes and cycling gear”
renders your business a fraud.
6) Salt wind. That is nonsense too and you know it. I attach pictures of wheel and brake (calipers) of my old bike + 1 of the “new and upgraded wheel” Trek gave me. These parts have been used DAILY in salt wind, rain, snow .. any whether for 10 years and look back on a mileage of about 80-100,000 km. The brake calipers show some rust normal for the age; the wheel / spoke does not show any rust. And this bike was MUCH cheaper than yours. You want me to believe that rust after 20 days on a luxury model of The world’s best bikes is normal???
* Outdoor use. That is what your bikes are meant for, right? Take ANY other outdoor products: marine sports, mountaineering, trekking, camping etc. and ask customers, who bought related luxury brand products, what they would think/do, when they find their “quality” products are s**t?
7)  “we do stand behind our products
That is definitely not the impression I got.
First your company knowingly sells substandard products – most people would call that fraud.
When complaining about the quality, I am ‘promised’ replacement/upgrade – only to find out, that this “upgrade” (implying something “better”) is the same inferior quality – I think, most people would call that, if not lying at least a broken promise.
Now: “We could try a different brake set all together …” Your company has just demonstrated TWICE, that it is using substandard quality and has no intention of doing any better. A “different brake set” from the same set of parts / same manufacturer … bad would still be bad.
From what I have seen so far, I very much doubt that Trek is actually capable of supplying the kind of quality it advertises.
8) “We are committed to getting you happy with your bike …”
About that. Here is a partial copy of what I sent to Mr. Burke.
“Apart from the shitty parts, your bike is BY FAR (!!!) the most uncomfortable thing I have ridden over the past 50 years! I tried already a million combinations of adjusting everything relevant to the riding position, but NOTHING helps.
Riding your bike for anything in excess of 10 minutes turns into a torture: painful wrists, numbness of the fingers, tendinitis, painful + very uncomfortable buttocks and numbness of both legs … Any adjustments can ONLY change the degree to which these symptoms appear. Probably I would have to replace all relevant parts, but unfortunately do not have the money to do so.
And your bike makes a LOT of horrible noises. Some sound like crushed bearings, others like a ratchet and still others are the kind of clatter cheap Chinese plastic toys might make.  
I have ridden a lot of different bikes over the past 50 years and ALL of them were both much better AND cheaper than your bike.

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About nyuwa

German acupuncturist living in Japan for 32 years. My ideas about "common sense" may not necessarily be common sense to others.
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2 Responses to Trek quality (3)

  1. Pingback: Trek – Bontrager TLR wheels -> quality =??? | 柔和

  2. Pingback: 日本の企業の信用性はどうなっているだろうか | 柔和

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