RIP “Ninja”. RIP Giant.
I’m frustrated. 1st world frustration, to be sure, but frustrated, nevertheless. I bought my first carbon cross-country bike in April 2011. It was Giant’s first foray in to 29″ carbon race rockets. So new, that in April 2011, Giant listed it as their 2012 model. The photo above is from the bikes first ride, all stock, the way it left Giant’s Taiwanese factory.
I was in love. I named the bike “Ninja.” Old trails felt new. 29″ wheels flew! Hardtails screamed! Acceleration was instant. Perhaps I’ve loved this bike to death.
I’ve broken this bike twice now. Carbon is only so strong, I suppose. That or Giant makes this frame to last only so long.
The first crack in the frame occurred on the seat-tube. Giant warrantied it and sent my LBS (same store I purchased the bike at) a replacement frame about a month later. The LBS had it built back up the day they received it. My second frame failed in an odd area: the rear brake bolt. The photo below shows how the carbon material that the bolt screwed into became…uh….un-bolty. Back to the LBS I sent it.
I gave the bike back to the LBS in min-November 2013. I write this 4 months later in mid-March, and Giant is now telling my LBS that a warranty frame won’t be available until mid-April. Giant originally quoted mid-March, and prior to that quoted mid-February. I understand life happens and production cycles fluctuate, but I’ve become frustrated by the situation. I hear mid-April so I should assume May, right?
My frustration is also borne out of the fact that I’m hearing about the delays third-person, by the LBS. I need to talk with the Giant warranty people directly. (Anybody have their contact info?)
Another source of frustration is that they can’t quote me a price to upgrade from the current frame type, XTC composite, to their top model, the Advanced SL frame. Why/how does Giant not know the cost of their frame? They’re asking me to commit to and reserve a frame without knowing the price. Sure… let me scratch out this blank check!
For being the world’s largest bike manufacturer, Giant seems rather minuscule in my mind these days.
Several of my priority races are coming up in April (Vision Quest on 4/5 and Whiskey 50 on 4/26) and my hope was to have my hardtail race bike for this. Thankfully, I’m able to ride our team’s Trek Superfly full suspension bike as a backup… (thanks Jax Bicycle Center)!