Dumfries Cycling

My experince buying an 'Ex Demo' bike from Hargreaves Cycles

2016 GT Sensor Carbon Expert, Purchase September 2018

I looked online and found an awesome deal at Hargreaves. A ‘2016 GT Sensor Carbon Expert’ selling for half it’s original price: £1499.99. Ex Display / Demo unit.

I promptly placed the order.

I then pondered on the ‘Ex Demo’ description. What did this actually mean? I emailed Hargreaves who advised ex demo’s generally have only been ridden a couple of times.

Great. That put my mind at rest.

The bike arrived.

I opened the box, assembled the bike and inspected it.

There were a lot of paint chips, poorly covered with dark greyish touch up paint. The decals on the fork were ripped and in a mess. Cosmetic, I decided. The lever on the rear shock moved a bit too far…. Hmm, is this actually a problem?.. I don’t think so. The seatpost clamp lever was bent downwards, but was fine if you lifted it whilst closing. Otherwise the bike looked fine.

Normal Position

Play Position

Excitedly I took the bike up my local trail. (Mabie Forest)

The back brakes didn’t work properly. They were on or off – no modulation. The front brakes were better, but not great.. I examined the rotors and pads when I got home. The rotors were dirty, and the rear pads were saturated with oil/grease.

I emailed hargreaves:


Unfortunately I have some issues with the bike I purchased from you.

The rear brake doesn't work and sounds like a car horn when I use the brake lever. The front brake is better than the rear but still squeals when I use it.. (My thoughts are, the rotor/brake pads are contaminated with oil/grease).

The problems below I wouldn't have mentioned, but seeing as I'm writing this email I thought I'd include.

The seatpost clamp is faulty, as per attached seatpostClamp.jpg picture.

There's play in the rear shock lever.. As per attached photo play3.jpg and play4.jpg. Play3.jpg is the correct position, and play4.jpg shows the amount of play in the lever.


I waited…
A week later and still no response.

I emailed RideFox for advice on the rear shock. They advised to have it sent back for repair. After a bit of research it turned out that silverfish in the UK do all the Fox warranties.

I emailed hargreaves asking if they would cover the repair cost if it turns out not to be a warranty issue. To their credit they responded quickly and said they would.

I nipped down the post office and sent the shock off to Silverfish.

Whilst the shock was away I had the wheels off to clean the disk pads. After putting the front wheel back on I noticed play..

I took the wheel off and found that the hub lock nut was loose. No problem, I’ll tighten it.. But wait a minute. Why would it be loose?… There was also fresh grease on the hub indicating that it must have been serviced recently. Why would they service it?

I removed the right side cone, cleaned and inspected it. I found it to be worn. I inspected the ball bearings, and they were nice and shiny. I had to investigate further. I stripped the whole hub and found the right side cup was pitted. On the left side the cone and cup were perfect, however the ball bearings were worn, rusty and pitted.

I waited for my rear shock to be delivered. The fault was fixed FOC under warranty. I emailed Hargreaves.

I found that the lock nut on the front hub was not tight. I had the hub examined and discovered that the cone and cup on one side were worn and pitted and bearings on the other side were worn and pitted. It would appear the worn bearings have been swopped from the bad side to the good side of the hub?! (photographs attached)

In addition as I have previously advised:

The brakes are faulty.

The seatpost clamp is broken.

The rear shock lever was broken.(which I've since had repaired)

Therefore I would like you to arrange to have the bike collected and refund me in full. Or reimburse me £500 to to reflect the price I would be willing to pay for the bike in the condition it is in.

I look forward to hearing from you.

A day later I still hadn’t heard anything.

I sent the above email again without the pictures attached. They responded and advised they’d credit me when the ‘boss’ gets back from holiday.

On the day the ‘boss’ got back from holiday I emailed them again chasing up the credit. A couple of hours later they responded with an email detailing a credit transaction. I kept checking my bank account and a couple of days later the credit appeared in my account.

Since then I found the rebound adjuster on the fox fork wasn’t working. It was working a week earlier however, so this might just be bad luck. I sent the fork back to Silverfish to repair under warranty.


I replaced front and rear disk pads £14.00 from Chain Reaction Cycles.

I’ve since replaced the front bearings (£5.51 from Simply Bearings). The wheel seems absolutely fine, but I’ll inspect it in 6 months time and replace the hub if necessary. I bought a replacement hub that a got in a sale for £20.00 ready for this.

I decided to cover the bad paint/patch up job with vinyl frame protector film. This worked fine on the rear seat stay, however I didn’t fit it well on the Top Tube, and on lifting the film I managed to remove paint, revealing matt patches. I discovered to my delight that rubbing it with toothpaste sorted this issue and now the Top Tube paintwork looks like new.

I had the decals on the fork replaced which cost me £15.99.

I replaced the saddle with my favorite one – Charge Spoon Cro-mo Rail Saddle and have since replaced the tyres with Schwalbe Magic Mary Addix, and have converted to tubeless.

I now consider I got a fantastic deal, and now couldn’t be happier with my bike.

Click on Picture to Enlarge

Dumfries Cycling