Enigma road bikes – experiences please?
Thanks everyone, the input is much appreciated. 👍Posted 1 year ago
In a nutshell, everyone that has one is evangelical about them, which is really good to know! 😁
All I can say is, good luck if you’ve gone ahead and bought one. I mean it; lots of Enigma owners haven’t had any problems. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of them.
I loved mine. It finally died a week ago.
I say finally because that wasn’t the first crack.
I’ve just been informed that they consider the two repairs to be fulfilling the terms of the “lifetime” warranty (I bought this back before they changed that to 10 years and a loyalty scheme). They’ve asked for £600 to build a new frame. It would be foolish of me to give them any more money, so I’m out of luck. I hope you have a better ride.Posted 8 months ago
That’s quite the catalogue of misfortunePosted 8 months ago
I don’t normally name my bikes, but after the second crack I privately started calling this one Edsel.
I have two other road bikes: a Langster and an old ti Litespeed. Both have seen a lot of miles. Neither has come to similar grief.Posted 8 months ago
Despite your other one being rubbish, £600 for them to build a new frame is a pretty good deal isn’t it? Even if you get it built around fairly standard geometry and flog it on as new.Posted 8 months ago
Well, that was certainly Jim’s view of it. I take note of your clever plan, but I’m not much of a bike flogger, on top of which, it would be physically impossible for me to give them another penny. My hand would fall off first, a spontaneous amputation from the pure gall of it.
Here are more pics. This is going to be my new favourite thing to share with the world.
Posted 8 months ago
How many years did you get out of that frame?
If it’s more than 7-8 years I wouldn’t grizzle that much especially as it’s Ti.
I’m not a fan of Ti and prefer steel, I would have taken the offer and had the best steel frame they make (Columbus spirit or maybe stainless)
I have a pegoretti that cracked a couple of years ago, had it from 2007 and Dario repaired it for free, I did spend 700 euro on a new fancy paint job and a new falz fork to match and the shipping. Had it 14 years now and the cost per smile/mile is of little consequence.
It’s been worth every penny.
That new steel frame could do you 10 years and so much easier to repair if needed.Posted 8 months ago
Are you searching out Enigma threads to share your woe? The last post before yours was 6 months ago…Posted 8 months ago
I beg to differ, MrSmith: It wasn’t an offer, it was an insult (on top of the insult of multiple frame failures). Lifetime warranty = right to “grizzle”, especially after the first crack came at the measly 5 year mark. I may indeed end up with steel if I decide on another custom job. If so, at least I know where I’d not be getting it.
TomB, this came up on a search and was still open. Perhaps I should’ve started a new one, but I also think it can be useful to build on old threads.Posted 8 months ago
That’s a heck of series of failures; I’ve never seen a failure quite as bad as that. Did you not notice something earlier (creaking, etc) as that doesn’t look like an instant fail.
As above, if that were my frame and it had done me more than 5 years, I’d happily pay the £600. Hell, think of it as a cheap upgrade.
I’ve never really bought into the lifetime warranty when purchasing any frame, let alone a Ti one. Mechanical things break, they wear out. Some last longer than others, but rarely does anything last forever. Pay the £600.Posted 8 months ago
My £40k Z4MC developed rust inside the rear boot skin within the 12y corrosion warranty, it was repaired. It happened again, it was repaired. It happened again and they wriggled out of it and I had it repaired at my own cost. At no point did BMW offer me a new car @ ~25% of the actual cost of a new one. Had they done so, I would’ve probably said yes and considered it good customer service.
Just sayin…Posted 8 months ago
You’re more forgiving than I. If Enigma sees this, I guess they’ll be heartened by such responses. As I said above, it would be foolish (daffy, even) of me to give them even more money, especially given the track record on the last frame.
The first crack came with creaks, whereupon I immediately took it to them. The next two came without warning, and I was nearly thrown from the bike.Posted 8 months ago
I think if it failed that many times, I’d be a bit hesitant to give them more money too.
(otoh, I don’t think I’d be entirely insulted by the offer of a replacement for £600 – but I might look to see if I could arrange to sell it on)Posted 8 months ago
How much did it cost originally ?Posted 8 months ago
Ive had a Ti frame crack pretty quickly, my friend had another make and that also cracked.
I beg to differ, MrSmith: It wasn’t an offer, it was an insult (on top of the insult of multiple frame failures). Lifetime warranty = right to “grizzle”, especially after the first crack came at the measly 5 year mark.
To be honest you did better than you would have done with the Cannondale lifetime warranty
Don’t get me started on Kona, absolutely awful warranty, refused to even inspect the frame. The coke can thickness down tube creased at the butting simply not a fit design for MTB. Kona don’t honour warranty claims in my experience.Posted 8 months ago
There is definitely a range of lifetime warranties. Therefore you put your faith in someone and hope for the best.
Scruff, the frame was just north of £1500.Posted 8 months ago
The more I look at this, the more I’d say that the first failure and repair was the cause of the subsequent failures.
I’d wager that the first repair caused some level of shrinkage and embrittlement around the DS of the BB putting increased strain on the DS chainstay. This would’ve meant that the response in the two chainstays to conventional loads would’ve been asymmetric with one flexing more than the other. This could’ve caused the resulting dropout failure. The repair to the dropout may have further increased the strain in that DS chainstay and/or its attachment to the BB shell. The final failure looks to be a classic brittle failure mode fracture of titanium in and around the welds/repairs to the BB.
How much heat treatment did the frame get after each repair? Without going into too much detail on grain phases – too much heat and not enough heat treatment will result in poor properties in the fabricated titanium parts and in this case, possibly differential properties to other areas of the frame.Posted 8 months ago
From your blog…
With 20k miles on the odometer
20,000 miles on a singlespeed is good going, kudos! (actually amazingly my singlespeed is one of my most ridden bikes also but only has about 3000 miles on it…).
I honestly reckon you’re just one of those outliers than manufacturers don’t include in their warranty calculations. If they’d sold me the same frame I’d still have approx 18 years to rack up a similar sort of mileage on it! (in my defence, my annual mileage is split fairly evenly over numerous bikes).
I think you’ve also fallen foul of the ‘bike for life’ myth that I’ve also heard about ti, in fact, if anything the thread above has convinced me maybe I should go steel for my next build…
Not sure if Enigma could have handled it much better, I guess like most brands they’re guilty of not making clear what a ‘lifetime’ warranty really means.Posted 8 months ago
We have had quite a few bikes over the years, the Ti ones that have cracked were a Van Nicolas MTB that my partner owned the frame was promptly replaced, a Litespeed road bike and was repaired in the States by Litespeed, a Bontrager mountain bike which cracked and was replace by Trek with a different bike. I have a year 2000 Litspeed MTB which is still in one bit and an Independent Fabrications mtb which has not cracked. In that time I have broken my steel Kona commuter bike frame.Posted 8 months ago
I would speculate that all frames are liable to crack and it depends on the quality of the materials used and the design of the frame not on the frame material.
Aye ‘lifetime’ sounds great in Marketing speak but is usually just bullshine. Anyone remember Karrimor’s KS100e ‘lifetime guarantee’? Try phoning Mike Ashley to get your repair and see how far you get…Posted 8 months ago
I was the OP.Posted 8 months ago
Despite the post from @anothersam I’m still keen on an Enigma. There’s lots of great feedback and happy owners in the thread. Sam has put huge miles into the bike (more than I would do!) and Enigma have at least tried to resolve or assist in some way. Any manufacturer is going to have some issues to deal with. On balance they get great reviews and seem to have lots of evangelical fans. And I accept that NO bike is a bike for life.
Once I’ve paid last year’s tax bill there should be enough pennies left in the piggybank!
Thanks for all the replies, and for stopping back, OP. Hopefully you and everyone else with an Enigma will continue to be happy with your purchase. When you’ve spent a bundle on a bike you want to believe in the brand; there are lots of evangelicals about. I used to be one myself.
I’ve put my case as best I can (again, a major failure after 5 years upon which I should’ve been given a new frame, followed by the two other failures). Of course, opinions are going to differ. I know if I’d come across a thread like this when I was doing my research, I would’ve looked elsewhere. Clearly, YMMV.Posted 8 months ago
Is there any reason why Ti frames should be more prone to cracking than any other metal frame (or indeed are they)?Posted 8 months ago
Is there any reason why Ti frames should be more prone to cracking than any other metal frame (or indeed are they)?
AIUI, Ti is very fussy when being welded. Prep, during and post. Plus tube utilisation/frame design is critical to long life.
I’ve broken dropouts (steel) during use and bent frames during ‘exciting episodes’ (AKA, ‘crashing’) but haven’t fatigued a frame to death be it Ti, steel, aloominum or plastic.Posted 8 months ago
Just to add my 2p, I’ve had an Enigma Efo MTB for 9 years now, never broken.
But, in 2016 my 4.5yo carbon Bianchi broke at the chain stay whilst climbing at normal effort up a hill. To cut a long story short, Bianchi asked for my frame back for inspection, received it, denied all knowledge of receiving it, lost it then stopped talking to me all within the guarantee period. Therefore IMO there’s far far worse that what Enigma are offering you.
It got resolved eventually by Wiggle – through whom I bought the Bianchi – proving me with one of their stock bikes which I still have an use today FOC as a replacement all credit to them.Posted 8 months ago
Kryton, you’ve got to admit that’s an extremely low bar set by Bianchi. I think it’s a good idea to try to hold people to their word, else we get used to all kinds of nonsense.Posted 8 months ago
All frames can break. All materials have pros and cons. Let’s start there.
I am a lifelong ti bike fan, but they aren’t unbreakable (although I have personally not had one fail). Unfortunately over time ti bike frame folklore and marketing haven’t helped. Things like ‘bike for life’ are a bit flawed, and the price of ti vs other materials also raises the expectation. So, when a ti frame breaks, it is usually newsworthy. In reality fashion, standards and geometry changes make a ‘bike for life’ a pretty redundant statement. What is true is that a ti frame is somewhat more timeless, particularly if left bare. No paint to date it. No model years as such. My Seven Evergreen ‘gravel’ bike is 8 years old now, and still looks new. My Sola hardtail is younger, but already the geometry looks dated. Both frames will potentially last longer than the standards that they are equipped with.
If it is well made, backed up by a decent warranty (and clearly ‘lifetime’ is open to some interpretation) and well supported, then I could heartily recommend ti, and despite some comments earlier in this thread, despite rider weight. A good ti manufacturer can make a bike relevant to any rider weight.
Expensive ti manufacturers (the likes of 22, Seven etc) custom make bikes for the rider, and select the tube sets respectively. Also, if something goes wrong, they are the fabricator too and can fix things. Some brands don’t fabricate, and dealing with warranty can be tricky. There is a component of ‘you get what you pay for’, which is not to say that cheap ti is problematic, but you only really know whether it is well supported when you really need to fall back on that support. It kind of works like this:
Low end – you pay your money, you take your risk. A warranty claim usually means a new frame.
High end – well supported, capable or repair, but you pay for the privilege
Mid end – maybe that’s what we are talking with Enigma (hope I am not being too dismissive here). small enough to be bespoke, small enough to be custom, but perhaps not large enough to offer limitless warranty.
The middle ground of any debate is often a grey and difficult area. With high end, you expect the best in terms of product and support. With low end you kind of accept a certain degree of risk. In the middle expectation is high, but not always delivered.
Having said all of that, despite one exception above, I have only ever heard great things about Enigma and their product and service. As I opened with, all frames can break. Between my riding buddies, we have broken pretty much every brand out there, regardless of material, source or brand. None of it would put me off, unless there was a systematic and regular failure rate. One offs are one offs. The bike above has failed in so many ways that I suspect it simply wasn’t made properly. Too many welds have failed and maybe they weren’t properly purged and cleaned prior to welding. Just speculation and internet armchair critics are the worst kind since I haven’t seen the bike, but it is just so bad that I could almost dismiss it as being so far from normal that it wouldn’t harm my image of ti or Enigma.Posted 8 months ago
Solarider, I think your putting Enigma in the mid-end slot sounds right (though some of their prices are enough to make normal people faint). I couldn’t afford truly high end. I would also agree with the poster above that I’m somewhat of an outlier; I’m assuming there aren’t that many of us who get a custom built singlespeed (in my case to add to his other singlespeeds. I don’t do gears.)
I think I got a lemon which was turned into a bigger lemon by their less than expert repair. That’s what warranties are supposed to be for, and it’s not like I washed up at their door after 20 years.
My image of Enigma actually wouldn’t have been irreparably harmed either, if they had been willing to make this right. Asking for more money to cover their mistakes, isn’t.Posted 8 months ago
Definitely sounds like a lemon, and would have expected better from Enigma to sort it since there is clearly something wrong to have failed in so many places. It is so comedically wrong that they should have just held their hands up.Posted 8 months ago
Just as a wee update, I eventually ordered an Enigma Etape from Pedal Power in West Calder (Scotland). Currently being built up and I’m pencilled in for a bike fit on it and to pick it up on January 4th. Zipp 303 wheels, Enigma finishing kit, Pirelli tubeless tyres, and largely an Ultegra groupset – cannae wait to get it and get the miles in.Posted 1 month ago
Thanks so much for the input, all very much appreciated. Fraser 👍
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