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Yes, it is absolutely worthy of a black mark. So many bikes are great
nowadays, earning excellent to outstanding ratings, that some of the most
significant differentiators are the finer details regarding the finishing.
Ungreased and seized components, parts not properly fastened, and properly
installed cabling are aside from the manufacture of a frame the only other
thing that a turnkey bike company brings to the table. All other parts that
are strapped to a frame are supplied by someone else and as a consumer we rely
upon the bike company to have the proper quality mechanisms in place to asure
a safe and reliable build.
More so, the bearing failure you experienced could be indicative of a problem
more significant such as eccentricity or angular misalignment of the bearing
seats within the frame and could be indicative of a problem wiLe a bike
manufacturers core competencies….the actual manufacture of the frame. Given
your empirical evidence of said headset it isn't a leap of logic to consider
So should you rebuild a bike completely for a bike review? In my mind, heck
no. A complete bike that is dialed and ready to rock should be the target
deliverable for all highend bikes. It isn't a matter of should you rebuild but
a matter of should you need to. As a reader and consumer I want to know every
flaw that can be expected that exists at the design, quality, part selection,
and supply chain level and I appreciate reviews that acknowledge all problems
and provide more thoughtful analysis than how the suspension feels or the new
improved super long reach geometry of a bike….
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