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Vilano Warning
#1
I'm new here and not sure where to post my awful experience with a Vilano Diverse 3.0 hybrid I purchased through Amazon in January, as I couldn't seem to submit a review for this bike. Three months after purchase, I had a spoke break on the rear wheel during a regular ride. By regular, I mean I always bike on a level, paved bike path 4-5 times a week and never ride trails or submit my bike to any sudden forces or impact. I'm 63 years old, 6 ft tall and 175 lbs and have been cycling regularly for over 30 years.

When I contacted Vilano customer (no) service with my problem, I received a reply that the spoke break was the result of my local bike shop improperly assembling the bike or that they somehow had put the wheel out of true during assembly, and that they should take care of the repair. Naturally I sent off a terse, annoyed reply that my LBS, which has been in business here for over 20 years, with the same owner and tech, most certainly did not cause the issue with a wheel that obviously was defective or of poor quality. The response was that since the bike was past the 30 day warranty and return date, Vilano would not reimburse me. I had my LBS repair the wheel at my cost.

Then yesterday during another regular ride I had TWO spokes break on the rear wheel. My LBS owner suggested I try to contact the president/CEO of Vilano and advise him/her that there is a definite safety issue with this model or its components and petition them for a replacement or reimbursment. I intend to do so, but I am almost certain that it will be a waste of time, so my only recourse is to submit an angry review with Amazon and any other bike sites online and warn folks to avoid purchasing any Vilano bike. That said, can someone tell me how to submit a review here at Bikeride for this particular bike? Any other advice would also be much appreciated. Thanks.
  Reply
#2
(07-10-2023, 05:17 PM)rockpiler Wrote:  I'm new here and not sure where to post my awful experience with a Vilano Diverse 3.0 hybrid I purchased through Amazon in January, as I couldn't seem to submit a review for this bike. Three months after purchase, I had a spoke break on the rear wheel during a regular ride. By regular, I mean I always bike on a level, paved bike path 4-5 times a week and never ride trails or submit my bike to any sudden forces or impact. I'm 63 years old, 6 ft tall and 175 lbs and have been cycling regularly for over 30 years.

When I contacted Vilano customer (no) service with my problem, I received a reply that the spoke break was the result of my local bike shop improperly assembling the bike or that they somehow had put the wheel out of true during assembly, and that they should take care of the repair. Naturally I sent off a terse, annoyed reply that my LBS, which has been in business here for over 20 years, with the same owner and tech, most certainly did not cause the issue with a wheel that obviously was defective or of poor quality. The response was that since the bike was past the 30 day warranty and return date, Vilano would not reimburse me. I had my LBS repair the wheel at my cost.

Then yesterday during another regular ride I had TWO spokes break on the rear wheel. My LBS owner suggested I try to contact the president/CEO of Vilano and advise him/her that there is a definite safety issue with this model or its components and petition them for a replacement or reimbursement. I intend to do so, but I am almost certain that it will be a waste of time, so my only recourse is to submit an angry review with Amazon and any other bike sites online and warn folks to avoid purchasing any Vilano bike. That said, can someone tell me how to submit a review here at Bikeride for this particular bike? Any other advice would also be much appreciated. Thanks.

Any new bike that only provides a 30 day warranty should raise a red flag. 1 year should be the minimum. Sorry to hear of your issues.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#3
Just want to add—that for most all box bikes—they come with wheels that have been built by machine. These wheels will always come out of true fast and can even have things like this happen where spokes break (although typically from heavier riding).

Bike shops know this, but the sad truth is that, they do not often go over the wheels by hand and increase the tension to higher grade spec.

Please keep this in mind so you can personally request your shop to go over wheels on your box bike by hand.
  Reply
#4
A wheel should still be properly built and checked before shipping, if not then the cost of bike assembly, and wheel truing could easily run over $200 at a shop. Most shops charge about $50-$150 for assembly (depending on bike type and size; not including any wheel work), and $25-$50 or more per wheel for a full truing. If the new wheel's spokes have not been seated and stress relieved and and truing rechecked and adjusted at the factory then it is technically not a completely built wheel; and this is before any riding of the bike. Vilano is just an importer of bikes, and just warehouses prepacked units waiting to ship out orders to customers and dealers. Their bikes are Chinese built and more than likely those same exact bikes are branded under mamy different names and resold by other companies similar to Vilano.
For a lower cost bike that means paying nearly the cost of the bike in some cases just to make it road worthy and that doesn't include the "break-in" tune-up which would most likely be needed adding to the overall cost (possibly another $25-$50).
If bikes are being shipped in this manner (whether with machine or handbuilt wheels) then it is absolutely not worth buying them (or similarly marketed bikes) unless it has been originally assembled at a shop all the way through the break-in tune-up. Unfortunately, Vilano bikes are meant to look better than they are, and they are just high volume low cost bikes meant to satisfy a price range in the market. The 30 day warranty (if true) says it all.
I have never had to have a new wheel adjusted or repaired except for a very, very minor re-truing after a fair amount of riding which is to be expected. Same goes for wheels I've built, and I am a mere amateur at that practice.

@rockpiler
Here is Vilano's warranty from their website. I am not sure where the 30 day time frame figures in, but I would contact them and send them a copy of their warranty statement for clarification as to why the bike is not still covered. I would also have the bike shop provide a statement for you to send also, or have them contact Vilano directly on your behalf. The bike shop should state that they did not assemble the wheels, but merely installed the factory assembled wheels which would not cause spoke breakage in and of itself on properly constructed factory wheels unless installation of the wheels was mechanically affected by other factors from improper bike assembly (e.g rear derailleur interference, etc.). Thus any spoke breakage would be the result of a defect in workmanship (human and/or mechanical), and not necessarily due to a defect in parts (bad spokes) both of which should be covered regardless. I am not sure why your bike would not still be under warranty unless Amazon is not an "authorized" retailler of Vilano bikes. Does Amazon have any responsibilty regarding any warranty coverage, or do they provide any type of buyer protection for items purchased from them? I do not use Amazon so I have no idea. I would expect Vilano to cover any repair costs at this point in time. I would also ask your bike shop if they deem the wheels to have been correctly built. If they had to do much more than to install new spokes and true up that area of the rim then it would be evident that the wheel was never correct in the first place and they should make a statement to that effect.

I would also advise using your post as a comment on Vilano's facebook page (if they have one); and also leave as a review on dedicated review sites like Yelp and others. Sometimes when a company keeps seeing their name pop up on various sites it makes them take corrective action to avoid more bad press.

Everything that follows is from Vilano's site:

Vilano Limited Warranty
POLICY: Vilano Bicycles provides the original retail purchaser of each new Vilano branded product, purchased from an authorized Vilano dealer, a limited 1 year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. For new bicycles, the warranty applies to the frame and rigid fork, and requires a certified bicycle mechanic either assemble, or perform a safety inspection prior to use.

Warranty Resources
Vilano offers a generous warranty on items sold by authorized dealers (including internet retailers). This warranty is for the original purchaser. Please Note: crank arms and pedals are never covered under warranty so please be careful when installing your pedals, please see our Assembly Instructions for more information.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#5
I recommend, pursue the warranty first, even if you need to be quite assertive, even if you need to deal with someone higher up in the company. I think it is still under warranty, but they lied to you.

Warning others on the internet, is also worthwhile.

Bikes are being made weaker and weaker. This type of thing is going to be a problem for many others in the future.

I am modifying my bikes with non-standard parts, to prevent things constantly breaking. Here are a couple of examples.

spokes broke rapidly https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-8373.html

I put stronger bearings and axles in my wheels https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-8365.html
  Reply
#6
Greetings Friends,

I was looking for info on the Vilano Diverse 3.0 bike when I snagged your post here. I liked the environment I sense on your forum so I signed up. Please forgive my newbie status.

I was once young and had 2 very nice bikes. I had a very nice (used) Trek for the road - (I only paid $400 for it in the 1990’s).

I was also privileged to have a new Klein “Pro Race” MTB in that time frame - that was insanely priced at around $1200.

Now I am old - and having sold both of those years ago - I wanted to get back into riding - now that I am retired. It was “therefore” that in 2022 I bought the China-ware from Vilano.

It really came down to my expectations of frequency vs the cost outlay. As you know, Trek bought Klein - and prices for super quality bikes, wearing good components have increased by four-fold since I was riding the hills and hwys before.

I feel like the Diverse 3.0 is an average cheapie bike, that as long as the frame holds out, it should serve me well. Of course, I expect to upgrade the cheesey components over time, as I am “inspired to do” - or “forced to do” - due to breakage.

Overall - mine has been fairly robust (thus far), but it does have its “weak links”. It doesnt like to perfectly “tune” when shifting into all of its gears. I replaced the front derailure with one that was a higher grade than the low-rent OEM offering.

And yet, even after that - it is holding on the hairy edge in 1 certain gear combo. (Even its manual says “avoid using these gears”)! My opinion is that perhaps they should have made the front cassette only 2 rings - instead of the 3. But anyway - I can usually improvise to get what I need.

I dont take my bikes to the LBS. I would - if they were fair about their rates and did good work. But there are only 2 (local to me) - and both are totally ridiculous. I wish I could trust them because I am too old to fool with some of the issues I am bound to face.

OK, so I read the horror story on the spokes posted - and I was disgusted to see that any company treats a paying customer that way - after showing such an embarrassing void in their own quality control or workmanship.

My similar surprise was revealed when I did a close tooth inspection on my largest chain ring - to discover that many of the teeth are so broken off or rounded looking - I now have to find a way to replace that mess.

I dont know if those rings are made in std sizes - with std attaching points - or what….
(I NEVER had to even adjust a cable on my Klein from delivery - to the day I sold it)!

That original LBS I bought from back in the day (now extinct) did a single tune (included in price) after 1 month. And I never had a single component or mfgr issue in 5 years!

But that was then - this is now. So despite my XL post, if anyone knows of a good 3-ring cassette assembly that will fit - and bolt right up to the (OEM) Diverse 3.0 crankset - I would appreciate the numbers I’d need to order it! Thanks and good luck.
  Reply
#7
(03-06-2024, 02:25 PM)Roadhard Wrote:  if anyone knows of a good 3-ring cassette assembly that will fit - and bolt right up to the (OEM) Diverse 3.0 crankset - I would appreciate the numbers I’d need to order it!

I started this topic.

'Modern chainrings are like partly worn out old style chainrings'

https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-8222.html

I had teeth break off a chainring.

I replaced the broken triple chainring with a single vintage chainring. It will never wear out.

If it happened again, I would get the vintage chainring welded on to replace the broken chainring, and keep the tripple combination. I know a lot of people would not want to do that. You need someone who can do high quality welding.

If you are buying one, I would look at chainrings for mid drive electric bikes. They need to be stronger, but most of them would only be single speed. Check them out, and see what you find.

Sometimes I have rescued bikes from the trash. Some of the old triple chainrings are stronger than modern ones. If you come across a bike on the trash with a triple chainring, consider rescuing the chainrings.
  Reply
#8
A lot of modern wheels are not strong, and will break. As more people buy these bikes, and share their experience on the internet, more people will become aware.

The smart people will become aware of what to look for in the wheels, when buying a bike.

I have been caught with a wheel breaking. I put together my own wheel using a stainless steel rim from a bike about 40 years old.

https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-8529.html

Most people would be smart to buy an older bike, because they are much stronger.
  Reply
#9
I greatly appreciate these replies. I half expected a condescending viewer to criticize my comments due to my reference to the ring for containing the term “cassette” - which obviously is different, (being the rear wheel “stack” of cogs).

But to my pleasure, instead I found multiple responses offering good counsel sharing wisdom achieved by experience.

Thank you all for your comments. I don’t run into older bikes anymore but I will have a more careful eye out for such from this point forward.

The prepy spandex crowd has pushed for such weight reduction in bikes over time. It has led to some great leaps in frame materials and design, when done correctly. But it has also allowed cheapening and corner cutting to be performed to cut cost and increase profits. This can make bicycles disposable. Very sad.

This often forces good bikes to be too expensive for most people to buy. And the cheaper bikes are at best “lookers” that cannot perform or last.

I was hoping for someone familiar with the Vilano ring setup to recommend a good quality replacement set, that fits the mounting, etc of the OEM pattern. Something that I could procure without doing my own research from scratch.
  Reply
#10
(03-06-2024, 02:25 PM)Roadhard Wrote:  Overall - mine has been fairly robust (thus far), but it does have its “weak links”. It doesnt like to perfectly “tune” when shifting into all of its gears. I replaced the front derailure with one that was a higher grade than the low-rent OEM offering.

And yet, even after that - it is holding on the hairy edge in 1 certain gear combo. (Even its manual says “avoid using these gears”)! My opinion is that perhaps they should have made the front cassette only 2 rings - instead of the 3. But anyway - I can usually improvise to get what I need.

If front derailleur alignment not correct, or height (1 to 2mm) clearing the outer ring is wrong then it might affect shifting. If an indexing system then it might need tweaking if possible.
Read this as it might be related to your problem:
https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-8808.html
Not much you can do on frame alignment depending on where the problem is and type of frame material, and it may not be cost effective to re-align if possible.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#11
(07-10-2023, 05:17 PM)rockpiler Wrote:  I'm new here and not sure where to post my awful experience with a Vilano Diverse 3.0 hybrid I purchased through Amazon in January, as I couldn't seem to submit a review for this bike. Three months after purchase, I had a spoke break on the rear wheel during a regular ride. By regular, I mean I always bike on a level, paved bike path 4-5 times a week and never ride trails or submit my bike to any sudden forces or impact. I'm 63 years old, 6 ft tall and 175 lbs and have been cycling regularly for over 30 years.

When I contacted Vilano customer (no) service with my problem, I received a reply that the spoke break was the result of my local bike shop improperly assembling the bike or that they somehow had put the wheel out of true during assembly, and that they should take care of the repair. Naturally I sent off a terse, annoyed reply that my LBS, which has been in business here for over 20 years, with the same owner and tech, most certainly did not cause the issue with a wheel that obviously was defective or of poor quality. The response was that since the bike was past the 30 day warranty and return date, Vilano would not reimburse me. I had my LBS repair the wheel at my cost.

Then yesterday during another regular ride I had TWO spokes break on the rear wheel. My LBS owner suggested I try to contact the president/CEO of Vilano and advise him/her that there is a definite safety issue with this model or its components and petition them for a replacement or reimbursment. I intend to do so, but I am almost certain that it will be a waste of time, so my only recourse is to submit an angry review with Amazon and any other bike sites online and warn folks to avoid purchasing any Vilano bike. That said, can someone tell me how to submit a review here at Bikeride for this particular bike? Any other advice would also be much appreciated. Thanks.

Trying not to sound smart assed but why would you buy a near low end bike from Amazon rather than a high end bike off of Craigslist? The prices would be comparable. But I have been riding for 50 years and am not approaching 80 so my view might very well be distorted since I do all of the work on my bikes myself. Used bikes are such a great deal that I cannot understand why sales of them have almost stopped altogether.

After going through all of the new equipment and being dissatisfied I have returned to metal bikes with 10 speed components. I don't like e-shifting because I can't tell us upshifter from the downshifter and Campy is great as long as it works but you cannot buy small repair parts like the shift reels.

I spend all of my time shifting over most of the gears of the 11 and 12 speeds and I use a 105 rear derailleur on my Dura Ace 10 speed levers so that I can shift an 11-36. I used to do sa lot of climbing but the rains of 2 years ago in the SF Bay Area destroyed all of the hill roads and Gavin Loathsome isn't about to repair them.
  Reply
#12
(07-10-2023, 05:17 PM)rockpiler Wrote:  I'm new here and not sure where to post my awful experience with a Vilano Diverse 3.0 hybrid I purchased through Amazon in January, as I couldn't seem to submit a review for this bike. Three months after purchase, I had a spoke break on the rear wheel during a regular ride. By regular, I mean I always bike on a level, paved bike path 4-5 times a week and never ride trails or submit my bike to any sudden forces or impact. I'm 63 years old, 6 ft tall and 175 lbs and have been cycling regularly for over 30 years.

When I contacted Vilano customer (no) service with my problem, I received a reply that the spoke break was the result of my local bike shop improperly assembling the bike or that they somehow had put the wheel out of true during assembly, and that they should take care of the repair. Naturally I sent off a terse, annoyed reply that my LBS, which has been in business here for over 20 years, with the same owner and tech, most certainly did not cause the issue with a wheel that obviously was defective or of poor quality. The response was that since the bike was past the 30 day warranty and return date, Vilano would not reimburse me. I had my LBS repair the wheel at my cost.

Then yesterday during another regular ride I had TWO spokes break on the rear wheel. My LBS owner suggested I try to contact the president/CEO of Vilano and advise him/her that there is a definite safety issue with this model or its components and petition them for a replacement or reimbursment. I intend to do so, but I am almost certain that it will be a waste of time, so my only recourse is to submit an angry review with Amazon and any other bike sites online and warn folks to avoid purchasing any Vilano bike. That said, can someone tell me how to submit a review here at Bikeride for this particular bike? Any other advice would also be much appreciated. Thanks.
Regarding submitting a review here at Bikeride, you can usually find a section for user reviews on the product page for the specific bike model you purchased.
sharing your experience on Amazon and other online platforms can also be helpful in warning potential buyers
  Reply
#13
(03-31-2024, 02:38 PM)Talha Wrote:  Regarding submitting a review here at Bikeride, you can usually find a section for user reviews on the product page for the specific bike model you purchased.
sharing your experience on Amazon and other online platforms can also be helpful in warning potential buyers

As a note I do not use reviews on a products own site page. I see them as not very indepth, and more often they seem like blatant advertising and "canned". Never once have I see a review where someone says anything negative (read as: honest) on a compant page. I myself tested this theory and re-posted someone's actual problem on their site and Fbook pages. The review was not a lie and had both positive and negative comments about the product and customer service. Those reviews were immediately removed. Even on "review" sites it is common practice now for a company to place fake positive reviews (more like ads) for their products; and unfortunately is has also spread into forum sites like ours. Any review that is fairly general ("I love my so and so, and it is great!") and has no negative feedback, however minor, is open to suspicion; but I would trust a fourm site review over any other, especially if there poster has some history to thwir profile and is not just a one and done. Always be cautious of reviews/remarks that continually use a specific company name and/or model repeatedly, and/or use "flowery" statements since those are known marketing tactics and should raise a red flag (e.g. "I love my Vilano 1#4. I take my Vilano out everyday. The 1#4 is a great bike. My Vilano 1#4 gives me the freedom to go wherever I want to go with ease"). Caveat emptor!
I have done direct and retail sales, and marketing; and while using those tactics in an honest manner (no lies or falsehoods), I always felt a bit sleazy knowing that it was done for no other reason other than to sell a product or service with a complete disregard to the entire story. When I opened my own business that BS stopped and I would (to the financial detriment of myself) readily point out the good and bad features of my products allowing a customer to make an educated decision based on facts and not psychology. It probably actually helped in the long run and provided me loyal customers wbo trusted my words and excellent word of mouth advertising. I did that for over 6 yrs and built a business up from scratch; my silent partner who took over when I left did the exact opposite and killed that business in 3 months (my old customers told me of the nightmare; poor service, lies, inflated prices, etc.).
So be open and honest in reviewing a product and services, and tell others the good, the bad, and the ugly. It might just be a relative or friend who is reading it. Remember, the company is not paying you; you paid them so be honest!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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