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I bought a Carrera Velos from Halfords and when riding at speed there was a very noticable thud everytime the wheel rotated over a certain spot with brakes applied.

After looking at the seam, where the rim is welded, it is not aligned and shreds the crap out of my brake pads. So I took it back to Halfords who said that's what I get for my money, so I've switched for a newer model which came out a few days after I got the new bike. Same problem.

Halfords are saying it's the manufacturers fault (tough luck basically). So do I have a new faulty bike, buy at my expense new rims because they won't replace them or refund?

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It's not unusual for the seam to be slightly irregular on a less-expensive rim, but it should not be so bad as to tear at the brake pads. How much did you pay for the bike? Any bike over maybe $500US (300GBP) or so should not have a serious problem, and over $1500US (900GBP) should have silky smooth seams. Much cheaper, though, and you get whatever carp China decides to turn out. (Hint: Carefully examine the bike before you buy it.) –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 6 at 12:13
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If Halfords admits it's the manufacturers fault, they should either replace or refund it, since you bought it from them, not from the manufacturer. They are the intermediary between you and the manufacturer, so they should handle all problems due to the manufacturer.

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This is covered by the Sale of Goods Act, as part of the product is not fit for purpose, so you are entitled to a repair, replacement [bike] or partial refund. See Trading Standards' SoGA site here: sogahub.tradingstandards.gov.uk –  Emyr Mar 7 at 12:04
    
machining down the high spot should have fixed the issue –  ratchet freak Mar 7 at 15:56
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