I’m a massive fan of hardtail riding but Ragley and Stage 1 Cycles have tainted that experience this year. If you are looking for a quality hardcore hardtail & good customer support I’d suggest avoiding these two companies. I am currently £600 down, and in exchange I have a 5 month-used Ragley Big Wig frame with cracked seatstays and out of alignment rear end. I’ve put all the detail about what’s gone on, in this post.
I’ve ridden various hardtails over the years, but only more recently the longer travel ‘hardcore’ frames. An Onza Jackpot (was a bit short), Ragely Big Al, Ragley Big Wig and now a Pipedream moxie. The Ragley Big Wig stood out as being noticeable flexy, which alongside its uneven chainstay bracing was what caused the problem, in my opinion.
Dont get me wrong stuff breaks. and there is plenty of stuff that I’ve broken this year, saddles, rims, tyres, chains, that im not ashamed to admit was my fault. Ive also had stuff go wrong that wasnt might fault (2x leaky magura brakes) and in all cases the retailer/manufacturer have kept to their side of the deal by replacing or refunding me. But this is different. This is a £600 frame. Its one job is to hold all the other bits together. As you can see by the complete build photos below the damage was clearly not done my some accident. And if you ride bikes and have basic enginerring knowledge, you’ll understand it’d be next to impossible to crash a frame and cause a crack on the inside of the frame, where its cracked. And certainly not without causing some obvious denting/damage to rest of the frame and component.
As for Stage 1 Cycles. They appear to know next to nothing about consumer rights or are choosing to ignore them. Consumer Law states that in the case of faulty products, within 6 months of purchase, its up to the retailer to show evidence that the failure is not due to the orginal design/manufacture of the product. It also states that items should be fit for the purpose they are advertised for. Stage 1 Cycles claimed I fitted the wrong axle (142 instead of 148mm), which wasnt true and i showed the evidence of this by sending the photos of the axle/wheel. Besides the fact, it’d be impossible to cause that crack on the inside of the frame by squashing it inwards. Their final response was to just say, ‘we have no evidence of manufacturing fault at time of delivery’. They are completely ignoring the importance of design and specification as ‘part fit for purpose’.
What appalled me about Stage 1 Cycles was finding the note enclosed with the frame, (after receiving it back from ragley’s inspection) which said that I intentionally damaged the frame in order to get a refund. This led to various spurious claims coming back to me, including fitting the wrong size axle, crushing the frame without the wheel fitted and damaging the frame through ‘use’. All the while in the process Stage 1 Cycles was making it out like they were doing what they can to get Ragley to replace it.
I’ve had 3 months of to and froing with the shop/Ragley. Ragley have paid lip service to my concerns about the frame design/specification, which is worrying for someone who’s selling frames as ‘Enduro Race’ and ‘Trail centre ready’. It was too flexy from the outset and has uneven/inadequate bracing on the stays, causing excessive tyre rub which resulted in problems. I’ve done everything suggested by Consumer Advice, bar making a small claims court order.
They offered me a 40% crash replacement discount, which i consider to be unreasonable due to the fact the frame was only 5 months old and had clearly not been damaged from an accident. If i did accept it, i would have paid out a total of £1200 for Ragley’s so called hardcore hardtail in less than 2 years. You can buy a complete bike for that!