I got a call on the Wednesday after Ironman Florida.
"Hi, this is Dave Greenfield from Elite Bicycles."
I was surprised. I like Dave, and Dave likes me, but we don't have phone chats.
He said "I have good news and bad news." I asked for the bad news first and Dave delivered it in an even-handed way. "Your frame is cracked."
Wow. That's like, your bike is broken and you'll need another one. My aluminum frame, cracked, on the top tube where the brake cable feed is. I very much doubt it's the design- it's probably the dumb ass way I flex the bike when I'm climbing. And the bike is over 3 years old.
So I asked what the good news was and Dave delivered that just as quickly. "You're getting a new bike." That's probably obvious. However, what Dave meant was that he was replacing the frame. For free.
That's Elite's policy. Your frame is cracked, there's no discussion about how it happened, whose fault it is or anything else.
I decided to trade up from my T-Class to a Razor for a nice discount.
Dave and I talked about the crack, which was not immediately dangerous- he hadn't wanted me to get all freaked out during the race about it. While I would not have trusted the frame for the Lake Placid race (and it wasn't cracked then), it will probably hold another 2-3 months if I need it to.
Dave and Elite do not produce thousands of bikes a year, where he can just pull one out of the warehouse and write the loss off against damaged inventory. He's going to have to custom order the frame, get it painted- to my specs- and spend half a day fitting me and listening to me jabber. As always, I'm impressed. Dave, for his part, just says 'your family'. And when it says it, it sure makes you feel good.