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Kona frame Crack- what to do?

  • 13-07-2014 10:16pm
    Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭

    Hi guys, what to do about the pic below. Second frame replacement couple of years old new frame not much use as only recently got back into biking! Kona gave me awful grief replacing the rear triangle when it sheared last year and I ended up paying cost price and labor. Despite being within warranty and frames I understand have lifetime warranty. any ideas? I have posted pics to kona and am awaiting feedback! Thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,830 ✭✭✭doozerie

    The rear drive-side dropout of my (steel) Kona MTB snapped where it joined the chain stay a few years ago. My understanding at the time was that Kona frames had a lifetime warranty and when I brought it back to the local bike shop where I bought it they were quite optimistic too that it would be sorted in quickly and painlessly. It took several months, and I was told that the shop had to push and push until Kona relented and actually replaced the dropout. I received the frame back with a new and unfinished (i.e. not primed or painted) dropout welded in place of the broken one. I wasn't very impressed but sucked it up.

    Since then I did some digging online to find details of the Kona lifetime warranty. According to one article I found on Kona's own website they changed the warranty, saying that it only applied to frames built after a certain date (can't remember the date, 2003 springs to mind but that could be wrong). Apparently a "lifetime warranty" doesn't mean the same thing to Kona as it does to most people.

    Anyway, the new dropout snapped last year, in the same spot. This time Kona apparently said they'd refuse to honour the warranty as I'd used the bike to tow a trailer. I'm not sure why towing a trailer is deemed so detrimental to a steel frame that is supposedly build to take the hammering of being ridden off-road (this MTB frame was just one below their top of the range MTB frames when I bought it, from what I can recall), but I'm just the customer and when it comes to Kona I've come to believe that the company policy is that the customer is always wrong.

    I replaced that bike with a new Kona, but only because I was offered a 20% discount off a replacement frame or bike. Even with the discount this brought Kona's frankly ridiculous prices down to just about competitive with alternative brands that offer much better value for money. I had specific requirements though that pushed me (reluctantly) towards the Kona option. So I now have a Kona tank (according to one weighing scales that I used just today, the bike plus mudguards and rear pannier rack weighs 13.5kg) with rubbish wheels (I've snapped 2 spokes on the rear wheel already and the bike hasn't even towed our child trailer yet) and a budget groupset (SRAM Apex), all of which had an RRP of €1,600 - even with my 20% discount it remains overpriced for what it is.

    Anyway, sorry about the rant, my reason for mentioning my experiences at all is to suggest that you might be able to push Kona for a discount on a replacement frameset or bike if they simply refuse to do anything under warranty. Personally I have no faith whatsoever in their warranty and I have nothing but disrespect for them as a company so any replacement other than a Kona would be a better option in my view, but given your circumstances you might have to make the best of a bad lot.

    Good luck with it. Having a local bike shop that supports your cause would, I imagine, be a big help. (I'm actually not convinced that I had that in either of my two cases but I'm just speculating there based on various other experiences with the same people, it remains a possibility that Kona are a great company and that the blocking point in my cases was more local).