Canyon – Great bike, great price, but man the business is inept

I have a Canyon Aeroad, or maybe had… Perhaps this is an esoteric question better left unaddressed. After all, if you destroy your bike, is it still a bike? Or just a collection of bike parts, using a strange carbon fiber hanging/storage mechanism? Not that it really matters, because the point of this post is to highlight the experience I had with Canyon USA’s customer service, it got complicated…

First off, have to say that the Aeroad is a fantastic bike. Fast, nimble, and comfortable so when I crashed even though my eyes wandered to other frames, I wanted to replace it with another Aeroad. The problem is that, even though Canyon has a crash replacement policy, I’m not the original owner. Knowing this, I still figured it was worth a shot to see what, if anything, they would be willing to do, so I gave them a call… After a brief hold, I ended up speaking with someone, and they confirmed that the crash policy didn’t apply, BUT she was willing to make an exception and cover the frame. New frame would be $1500 (great price), so I was more than happy to sign on the dotted line…

Couple hours later, I got to thinking that I should have inspected the fork, so I did, and there was a suspicious indentation where the bottom headset bearing made contact with it. Not awesome, but weighing new teeth and the possibility of wrecking my shoulder, again, against the $350 for a new fork seemed a no-brainer, so I rang Canyon back up to add a fork to the order…

As it turned out, the first rep ordered me the wrong frame, I have a disc Di2 frame, the one that was ordered was a rim brake frame, but it was too late to cancel it that day (it was ~5pm mountain time), so the rep would send a message to the business office (?) for that frame and arrange to swap it for the right one. He assured me that it would all be good, and I should just wait for the email that would come later that night.

Next morning, no email. So I call Canyon again, speak with someone who could see that the wrong frame was now with Fedex, but it wouldn’t be a problem to order the right frame and they could claw back the wrong one. Great, right… not so much, because the replacement frame + fork (minus tax/shipping) is now $2350. Which, to be fair, isn’t a crazy amount of money for a frameset, but this isn’t a frameset. It’s a naked frame (i.e. none of the finishing kit or a seatpost) and fork. In comparison, when you cost out the realistic resale price for the parts on Canyon’s Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2 Aeroad actually puts the frameset at a lower cost than that. It would have made more sense to buy a whole bike, and part it out, than buy it at that “discount”… So, I declined and we were done, a little saddened on my part, but ultimately no worse off than I was before I called.

But, that’s not the end of it. When I ordered the frame, I’d opted to also order a rear derailleur hanger, just in case. So when the Canyon rep canceled the order, they didn’t cancel the whole order, just the frame, so the hanger showed up a couple days later for a frame they knew I didn’t have…

It went back to Canyon, and ~two weeks later (couple days ago), I received a refund for the frame + hanger.

Now, again, Canyon owed me nothing. And everyone I spoke with on the phone was super nice, friendly, and incredibly eager to help. But, you don’t get this level of ineptitude without a level of institutional disorganization that is frankly shocking. That’s not to say I wouldn’t ever buy another Canyon – it was a fantastic bike. But, I thought it important to point all this out, partially to remind my future self to strap in, and partially because it’s useful to understand that the crashed frame discount isn’t really a discount.

It’s also worth noting, that this wasn’t the first time I had an experience like this with Canyon USA. I probably would have let this go as a one-off, if I didn’t have an almost identical exercise in incompetence obtaining a 7×9 saddle clamp – which ended up taking almost six months.

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