Original Owner Compensation for Old Broken Frames
Every now and then we get a call from somebody who has a 10 to 28 year old frame that cracked, and they want a brand new frame. We can’t do that. As sturdily built and as well-designed as our frames are, they are still, in the grand scheme, lightweight bicycle frames, and like any bicycle frame or any other vehicle or mechanical object, article of clothing, tool, kitchen gadget, or body part, it slowly degrades with time, use, and weathering. This is “the nature of reality,” but we give it our best at the start, so it is possible that your Rivendell will last 50+ years. It depends on indeterminable physics.
But the frame is steel, and steel is repairable. Any repair will involve burning the paint, but paint can be touched up or your whole frame and fork can be repainted. If a dropout cracks, we can supply a new dropout. It’s an easy fix for any competent frame builder. If you don’t know of a builder, we can direct you to one we have confidence in. A dropout replacement is by far the most common, and it is not at all "common."
Other failures are even less common, but can occur. A head tube that cracks costs too much to replace, so you’re better off recycling the steel and getting a new frame. There, we can help you out with a substantial discount on a new Rivendell—either an equivalent model, or something else. If you are the original owner of a broken frameset, we’ll offer you a deal on any Taiwan-made frameset we currently offer and have in stock. The quality is as good or better than any production frame we’ve had made in America or Japan. If you break an ancient frame or any other we no longer produce, it may be time to move on, and to that end we can offer you a deal on a new closest-equivalent.
The point I hope to make here, and it’s awkward to even try, is that even though our frames have always been designed and built to my own personal high standards, they’re not unbreakable. I fully expect most of them to last your lifetime, but I (and by extension, Rivendell) can’t magically prevent aging or the accumulation of stresses. What we can do is sympathize, recommend a frame builder, and/or offer you a new frame at what we feel is a fair discount.
Stolen Bike Non-Policy for Original Owners
Keep a record of your serial number. It's on the bottom of the bottom bracket shell, and you probably also got a paper copy if you bought a complete bike from us. In any case, it's UP 2 U to find it on the bottom of the BB shell, photograph it, write it down, and keep the record.
Nobody ever registers their bike with the police department anymore, but ask your cops if you can still do that. The retro-style foil licenses are cool, and when you license your bike, the police feel obligated to help more if it's stolen. Like, that'll be the first question they ask.
If you bought a bike from us and somebody steals it and you can prove it—with a police report or insurance claim— then we can offer a slight discount on a replacement. Were you insured? Let the insurance company pay full price. You have a deductible? Without making a blanket proclamation here and now, we can probably discount it enough to cover that.
This is a non-policy, but we’ve done this in the past—generally when a customer calls us to order another bike and tells the tale in the process, with no expectation of anything. It is not a policy, it is revocable with no warning, but if we pull it back, it’s only because somebody was acting fishy.
We have a business, and we appreciate your support and will show it by going out of our way, extending our neck as much as much as possible to help you through hard times, short of risking our business and the livelihood of a dozen people. When you’re suffering, we WANT to help, and you’ll always get more help the nicer and less demanding you are. On a bicycle, the squeaky wheel may get the grease, but in this business, here, the nice and quiet wheel does a lot better than the squeaky one.
Footnote-type note: As the heading says, all of the above policies apply to original owners only. Original, as in you bought your frame from us, or you bought it new from one of our Authorized Dealers, and you have a trail of paper.
If you bought your frame any other way, we will do everything we can to point you in the right direction, but that's all we can do. Thank you for understanding.