However if you actually try to claim on this warranty they tell you that the normal ‘life’ of a bike is 5-7 years. They even state that ‘fatigue’ through normal use is not covered at all. It gets worse, “lightweight and carbon frames usually have shorter lives.” (not defined) Anything that has exceeded the life expectancy is not covered.
It would seem that this warranty is of little worth.
I have pasted extracts of the relevant parts of the current warranty document below. Unfortunately my friend (see below) doesn’t have his original manual but I wouldn’t be surprised if the wording of the warranty that he thought he bought was actually more generous.
FRAMES (frame, fork structure, swing arm):
Cannondale frames (except frames for Freeride, and Dirt Jumping bikes, see below) are warranted by Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, 16 Trowbridge Drive, Bethel, CT 06801 against manufacturing defects in materials and/or workmanship for the lifetime of the original owner.
Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle.
A case in point:
A friend of mine bought a nice Cannondale bike in 2001. He says he only rode it approximately every other week for 3 years and then only rode it about 10 times since then and not at all for the last 3 years for a total of about 100 rides.
He was going to lend it to another mate of mine to do some big events like RTB and the Hartley Life Cycle challenge. I was servicing the bike to make sure it was road-worthy and noticed a crack in the right chainstay next to the bridge. Disappointment all round, but hey this should be covered by the ‘lifetime warranty’ shouldn’t it?
Here is the response from Cycling Sports Group Australia.
From: Terry Freshwater [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:04 PM To: xxxxx
Subject: RE: Warranty details for WID31186
The Cannondale warranty covers the life of the bike. That is not to suggest that your bike will last forever but that is has a use full life span. The life span of a frame is dependant on many factors such as amount of use and riding conditions. Obviously a frame that undergoes heavy or even just regular use will not last as long as a frame hung up and never ridden. So, rather that set a specific time line, Cannondale tries to allow for individual differences. Even so, with normal use, our experience suggests that an aluminum frame will last 5 to 7 years before metal fatigue and the pressures of normal wear and tear take their toll. Lightweight and carbon frames usually have shorter lives. At 11years old your frame is well outside normal expectations and is no longer covered under warranty.
Technical Support and Service
Cycling Sports Group Australia
Unit8 31-41 Bridge Rd.,
Stanmore NSW 2048
T: +61 2 85954444 F: + 61 2 85954499
Note that this response was provided before the owner provided any input in terms of usage. The only response so far has been a re-statement of the policy above.
Whilst Cannondale make some fine bicycles, it appears that the warranty is not something that should count in their favour in your purchasing decisions.