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  1. #1
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    Durango Moonshine Problems

    Durango Moonshine

    Sad to report the two Durango Moonshine frames I was sent were terrible. Both were badly misaligned, the welds on both, were sloppy. Both frames came with 71mm bottom bracket shell shells and 73mm bottom brackets requiring spacers. On the first bike the spacers were installed by Durango Bike Company on the wrong side.
    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-8.jpg
    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-6.jpg
    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-5.jpg
    After the first frame was wrong Jeff at Durango repeatedly told me “this never happens.” He said they’ve never had a customer have a problem with frame alignment on a Moonshine.” He blamed Fed Ex. After the second frame arrived also out of alignment he has thus far refused to comment.

    If you beleive that Fed ex damaged frame #1, how is it possible that frame #2 is also a big ugly box of wrong? Jeff Estes the owner himself said he machined frame #2, assembled frame #2 and built frame #2 with his own hands. How could he not notice what is so obviously a bad weld, and a bent seat tube? How could he in good conscience put his name on that mess and ship it to a paying customer?

    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-2.jpg
    It’s hard to believe I have been lucky enough to receive the only two bad frames DBC has ever sold. It’s also hard to believe Fed Ex could severely damage a frame built for aggressive trail riding while leaving the shipping box unmarred. Both frames were assessed by qualified and reputable mechanics and found to be unacceptable.

    When the first bike arrived, the first thing I noticed was the rear derailleur hanger was severely bent. I called Jeff at DBC and he said they make the hangers soft to save the derailleur from rock impacts. He advised that I bend it back by hand and try that out before attaching the replacement hanger provided with the bike. I bent it back into shape, but the shifting was out of whack so I installed the replacement hanger. Sadly it was still not shifting.

    I called Jeff and he suggested taking it to my favorite mechanic at Durango Bike's expense. I took it to my shop where it became apparent something was horribly wrong. After consulting with Jeff back in Durango, taking measurements, and running through the faulty shifting all agreed the frame was out of alignment.

    Jeff at DBC said he test rode my bike himself prior to shipping and all was fine. He also said he's never had any similar issues with any other bikes. He asked my shop to make it rideable while I wait for a replacement frame all at DBC expense. The mechanics made it rideable with one caveat; my 11 speed drive train would become a 9 1/2 speed. No big cog, and occasional difficulty getting into the second biggest cog.

    My second ride wasn’t so great. The shifting started getting worse and I noticed the link was now contacting the seat tube and the crank arm was contacting the chain stay. I sent the pics to Jeff and he said, “keep riding it’s safe.” “I’m working on your new frame.”

    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-1.jpg

    The third ride was scary. I did a little 2 to 3 foot drop and heard a clunk. The linkage had apparently dented the seat tube. I sent this pic to Jeff and explained that I really didn’t feel safe on the bike.

    Jeff said “Take it to your shop I may be able to work out a demo you can use for now.” More days passed and I called to ask about the demo, but was told all his domo bikes were tied up. He did offer to pay for a demo from my shop, but nothing was available in my size.

    After more delays, and Jeff missing a promised delivery date by a few weeks, the second frame arrived. My shop dropped everything and built it up. This was a Friday. I had been eagerly awaiting the call all day as Jeff had assured me I'd have the bike in time for the weekend and that he had talked to my shop, made the arrangements for them to do the build, and that he'd call to let me know as soon as he heard it was there.

    Receiving no call I phoned my bike shop the following morning and was immediately asked, "Did Jeff not call you? He said he would call you last night." The shop proceed to tell me how they had built my bike and towards the end noticed the seat post wasn't straight. They guessed it was bent sideways at least 10 degrees. Here's a picture the shop took and sent Jeff that afternoon and to me the following morning.

    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-1.jpg

    Coincidentally, there was an open house at my bike shop that same Friday night. Lured by free beer, bike mechanics and shop professionals from all over the city flocked to the shop. My Moonshine was on the floor and became the subject of a lot of head scratching, jokes, and ridicule.

    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-7.jpg
    Faced with these pictures, professional assessments, and my polite request for an immediate refund Jeff refused to issue a refund before receiving the bike back in Durango adding, “Again, we deeply regret that you did not choose the keep the Moonshine." "Chose to keep it?!?

    Durango Moonshine Problems-photo-4.jpg

    I wrote Jeff again explaining that I needed the refund before I’d be able to afford another bike. I told him that I had been without a ride for well over a month. I reminded him that he’s had my money for a month and a half and that the bike was still in the shop’s custody. I asked for the refund immediately so I could order something else and get on the trails. Stating policy he refused saying that’s “your shop not my approved vendor.

    I reminded him that it was his idea to take it to a shop. I then asked for a partial refund now so I could order something else, again stating policy he refused.

    I asked if I could at least keep all the parts and return just the frame so that I might order something else now and get on the trails without waiting another week for yet another fed ex Truck. He took the time out of his supposedly busy schedule to break down the retail prices of every component, a sum that totaled more than the complete bike itself, and said that it was policy to charge retail on any component not sold on a complete bike. I was free to keep any parts I’d like, but the full retail prices would be deducted from my refund. This must be a new policy because originally he offered to sell me a frame, drive train, and fork at the discounted bike manufacturer’s price. A practice I now hear he has discontinued.

    If you look I’m sure you may find a happy DBC customer and at least one favorable, (but very short) review is available right here by the editors of MTBR. In a few short rides that reviewer discovered a flaw regarding seat post insertion limitations due to the crazy looking curved seat tube. That little fact has never been mentioned by Jeff, or on the DBC website. Maybe they should rename the bike “The Russian Roulette.”
    Last edited by Bondseye; 06-10-2014 at 05:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Maybe they built your bike after the mandatory Monday afternoon staff meeting.

  3. #3
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    I am sorry to hear your ordeal though. Don't like to hear anyone go through that.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by richulr View Post
    I am sorry to hear your ordeal though. Don't like to hear anyone go through that.
    Thanks. Not much of an ordeal, after all were talking about bikes. I was mad at first, but I finally got my refund and will be picking up a Norco Sight today. If anyone is considering a Moonshine, at the very least check the alignment.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bondseye View Post
    Thanks. Not much of an ordeal, after all were talking about bikes. I was mad at first, but I finally got my refund and will be picking up a Norco Sight today. If anyone is considering a Moonshine, at the very least check the alignment.
    Ya your right its only a bike that you will be using in your spear time, but! its something that you paid for that you couldn't use. Summer is short where i live, missing a month of riding would super bum me out. They should have shipped you one of their personal bikes from dbc to ride. I think its always a good idea to buy a bike from a good shop, so if the bike company drops the ball, the shop has your back. I'm sure your going to like your norco.
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

  6. #6
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    The Spring season is short here as well, in fact it just ended unless that is you like riding in humid 90 plus degree Atlanta Summers. While all this was going on it was 70 degrees, dry, and sunny. It was killing me! Fall will be sweet on the Norco.

  7. #7
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    Dang, man. I didn't see any alignment issues that couldn't be a camera-angle thing (except the one where the linkage scarred the seat tube). But those welds? Wow. That literally looks like something I welded and I'm a truly awful welder.

  8. #8
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    It's best seen in the head on pic. You can see the rear wheel out way left of center. It's not the camera it's the bike. I had several mechanics confirm

  9. #9
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    They have a good location, cool looking shop, and a nice little gimmick: we only source American made components. But when a buyer suggested there are no good American made brakes, they had no problem using Shimano.
    I think they are more hype than substance, but that is just my opinion.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  10. #10
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    When you spend that amount of money for a "Made in USA" product, you expect:

    1) higher quality (and quality assurance)
    2) better service
    3) a product and company that wants to maintain its reputation.

    It sounds like the money is not buying any of those features.

    It's sad that whenever I see a new company charging ridiculous prices, whether based in the USA or elsewhere, that I immediately say to myself "that'll be a flop." Look at how many people have gotten crappy quality stuff from China, and you know what they say? "At least it was cheap!" And guess what, the chinese manufacturer or retailer will send them a replacement ASAP (which typically takes months.) The big manufacturers will do the same. They've got warranty replacements built into their business model.

    When you get junk from a company in the USA, you expect them to either say "we'll fix that immediately" or "will give you a refund." I understand that a frame built in the USA will take some time to be built by American hands, but I wouldn't think it would be hard to find experienced welders.

    We're talking about a lot of money for one of these, and the quality and service sound pretty horrible.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  11. #11
    Durango Bike Co.
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    Caution in Jumping the Gun...read between the lines

    Durango Bike Company acknowledges that the post initially released 6/2014 upset many members, that was obviously not our intent. Please accept our apology. Please note that our company responded immediately and swiftly to Mr. Bond's concerns prior to his post. We ensured that he was made whole financially within 2 hours of receiving the bike at our facility. We apologized repeatedly to Mr. Bond for the hardship the damaged/flawed bike caused and had hoped our immediate response to make things right would have been a satisfactory resolution. We are pleased that no other clients have had the same experience as Mr. Bond. Please review the Moonshine under USER REVIEWS to see how our clients view our Company and more importantly, our bike's performance. Sincerely, Jeff Estes, President
    Last edited by Cycle Chief; 1 Week Ago at 11:08 AM. Reason: Member suggested that we remove

  12. #12
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    hhhmmm, the plot thickens......

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycle Chief View Post
    Kevin,

    As we stated numerous times to you and responded to your 64 e-mails, yes 64 e-mails, countless texts and countless phone calls. We have a "no questions" asked return policy, unlike any bike shop in the U.S. It seems you have the facts a bit confused but we have learned that you enjoy the conflict and as we stated to you it is counter productive. This posting is a personal vendetta not an informative response. You didn't get what you wanted, you couldn't bully us into doing what you wanted so your action was to make negative noise about our company. We regret the challenges you had with the bike, we refunded your money in full (including shipping to and from) once we received the bike. You fail to mention in your rant that you wanted all your money without returning the bike. You failed to mention that you were unable to box a bike up or check the suspension on your own yet you are able to determine what issues the bike had? You failed to mention that a claim was submitted and paid for in full by FedEX for the damage to your bike. You failed to mention the positive feedback you had on even a damaged a bike. You failed to mention that I found you a loaner bike in your area and it wasn't good enough for you.

    There was an issue with the spacing on your bike, we investigated the anomaly with your bike and had it remedied within 72 hours...let me know if your Taiwanese Norco could do that. We are are handbuilding each one of these bikes, if the welds bother you then don't buy it. We offer a lifetime warranty on the frame...you want a pretty weld, have a cute little girl in Taiwan do it for you. There are choices out there, we all stand for something. You make your choice but don't try to beat down a company that stands for something more than mass production and cheap components. Moonshine will go head to head with any full suspension bike out there and kill it...guaranteed...or your money back...when you are done with your childish temper tantrum let me know which pretty weld company can do that for you. This will be the only response I have to this post to avoid childish banter back and forth. If members have a specific question I will be more than happy to respond under a new subject. Jeff-President, Durango Bike Company
    It seems you're the one taking it personally. I calmly and acuratlely stated the facts and provided supporting pictures. All I wanted was the working frame you sold me. If you consider a customer wanting what they paid for as "bullying " good luck with the business.

    For the record I did mention my request for a refund without you having the bike back, and I did see both crooked frames in person. I also admire your ideas, that's why I paid you $6,400.00. Problem is I can't ride your ideas and if you claim either frame you sent me was even close to aligned you are flat out lying.

    Peace

  14. #14
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    Cycle Chief delivers a solid response

    *grabs popcorn*

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    Regardless of the plot, those are some hideously horrific looking welds dude. If I am gonna pay that kind of cash for someone other than a "cute little girl" to hand make me a bike in the US and pay top dollar, I'd expect a work of art when it got to me. I'm not a welder, but I'm not even sure that looks safe. Always three sides to the story and I get that.

    In general your response even turns me off as an elitist brand even though I TOTALLY get and appreciate your stance on Made in the USA... Best of luck. I'll never have your kind of cash anyhow. LOL
    2014 Devinci Troy Carbon XP

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    Three sides to every story, the OP's side, the manufacturer's side and what really happened. I understand and appreciate that. And I love the made in America aspect of the company.

    However, having the head of a company respond in the above fashion is pretty tasteless. I've owned several American-made frames. All were relative works of art with gorgeous welds. It's disingenuous to suggest that you need a "pretty Taiwanese girl" to have decent welds on a bike at that price point.

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    I don't have a dog in this fight but was just wasting some time on a conference call reading this thread to help me endure the boredom. I'm getting my popcorn popped to sit back and watch this unfold...

    In the meantime, I will chime in:

    1. I would argue Kevin's original post with pictures is informative. Was it personal? Maybe a little but I would suggest that is expected when spending $6.5K on something and it not meeting expectations.

    2. I'm in the market for a new FS bike and will likely spend in the $6-$8K for it. When spending that kind of money, I expect quality. If I was going out of my way to buy a frame built in the US, I would expect an even higher level of quality than a frame built overseas. With all due respect, regardless of all the other variables, those welds are absolutely horrendous. Safe or not, they suck and I can't fathom how someone could defend those...

    3. While DBC/Jeff has every right (and frankly should) to defend themselves, I'm not so sure Jeff's response/approach, again, irregardless of all the other variables, is conducive to attracting potential customers. I know - running a business is hard...

    Popcorn is almost ready so I'll get to that and back to my conference call...

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    I cannot believe that even left the workshop. What a sack of crap, I bet it rode like a drunk 75 year old woman.

    To the manufacturer, the only thing you will be "killing" with bikes like that is the rider. Also who hand built it? Stevie Wonder?

  19. #19
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    Bad welds, yea, that sucks. I think everyone, and hopefully DBC can agree that the aesthetic quality of the welds and certainly the alignment isn't up to par.

    Unlike others, I feel that any "community interaction" with a company is a good thing. I'm not going NOT buy a product from a good company because it went through some early problems and the owner is passionate about the product he's trying to sell. If Durango Bike Company is going to succeed, it will need to stay active in the community, but it will also need to realize that ANY imperfection on a $6000 bike is going to raise eyebrows of some.

    If I spent that kind of money on a bike that I really wanted (because it was made in the USA), I would give the manufacturer some time to remedy the problem. That being said, I'd also want the manufacturer to give me something to ride in the meantime.

    All that shipping back and forth would get real old, real quick.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  20. #20
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    Look at how far off centre the top tube is welded at the seat tube junction, its not even in the same State let alone neighbourhood.

  21. #21
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    Good job! The Truth is Out There...

    ...I love it when customer service issues are so effectively resolved on the InTarWebz!

    Well, at least Francis enjoyed riding one of these bad boiz.

    Happy riding!
    - -benja- -

  22. #22
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    Easy now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cycle Chief View Post
    let me know if your Taiwanese Norco could do that. We are are handbuilding each one of these bikes, if the welds bother you then don't buy it. We offer a lifetime warranty on the frame...you want a pretty weld, have a cute little girl in Taiwan do it for you.
    Pro-Tip: Don't badmouth other companies, not matter how big, Asian manufactured or otherwise. Norco didn't take a crap in your front yard.

    It's bad form and makes you seem defensive and childish, just like your former customer here. There are plenty of badass welders in mainland China, Taiwan and elsewhere. They're doing their thing and earning their keep just like you. They may not be as Enduro as you and as American as you, but that doesn't mean they're not laying down a competent bead, as you well know.
    - -benja- -

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja55 View Post
    Pro-Tip: Don't badmouth other companies, not matter how big, Asian manufactured or otherwise. Norco didn't take a crap in your front yard.

    It's bad form and makes you seem defensive and childish, just like your former customer here. There are plenty of badass welders in mainland China, Taiwan and elsewhere. They're doing their thing and earning their keep just like you. They may not be as Enduro as you and as American as you, but that doesn't mean they're not laying down a competent bead, as you well know.
    Last I checked this website was called Mountain Bike Reveiw. I'm not sure what's childish about providing the forum with the facts about my experience with any given manufacturer, but flame on bro.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bondseye View Post
    Last I checked this website was called Mountain Bike Reveiw. I'm not sure what's childish about providing the forum with the facts about my experience with any given manufacturer, but flame on bro.
    He was referring to the DBC owners post.

  25. #25
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    Nah, he said "childish, just like your former customer here."

    I apologize if my review was too personal. I tried to stick to the facts, but I'll admit, After a month and a half of rediculous frames, and broken promises I was pissed. You should have read my first draft.

    I considered not posting anything, but I wish like hell someone had warned me about DBC.

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