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  1. #1
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    White Brothers RANT!

    Alright, so in early October, we were promised to see the new IMV from White Brothers , with hints of a new fork as early as August. Tim Fry, aka EkoSport1 stated that there would be forks available at the end of October. See this thread.

    So the new IMV sounds great, WB has a good reputation for customer support and building a good stiff fork. It seems to be in a good place fitting in between the Reba and the Duc32. Great. I'm on board. You sold me.

    I order my fork. I'm told they will start shipping in mid-November (what happened to late October?). I'm told specifically that MY fork will ship in mid-November. So I wait...and wait...and wait...

    I make a call towards the end of November, we're expecting snow here in Minnesota, and I would like to ride. I'm told it will ship in two weeks. Alright, I'll deal. I wait...and wait...and wait... I get a call from my LBS, who has been backing me on this. They tell me WB told them that my fork will ship in TWO days. I'm excited. Finally a shipping date. It should be here in a week.

    I call again in the middle of December. Christmas is approaching. The fork still isn't here. I'm told my fork will ship on Dec. 26. Fine. After Christmas, but I'll deal.

    My LBS is getting fed up, and so am I, so they call again just after New Year's. They're told it'll ship in two weeks. Yeah right. After some more questions, all the answers my LBS can drag out of them is that WB "ran into production delays".

    I call it lying.

    I'm not sure about where you are, but here in Minnesota, we race and ride all winter. It's 2006, now. So where's my 2006 fork?

    I'm pissed now.

    Not because I don't have a fork yet, but because I feel lied to. If you can't ship it until March, then tell me March, not November. No big deal, at least I know when to expect it. But this is bull ****. I'm one breath away from cancelling my order and going to a Reba. At least I could've been riding an 06 Reba months ago.

    I've never owned a WB fork before, but this is a poor start.

    Anyone else in the same boat?

  2. #2
    meh....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tetreves
    I call it lying.
    Have you visited the production facility to actually see how many forks are ready to ship? If there are forks ready to ship, then you might have a point.

    Call it what you want, but I'm sure they want to ship your fork as bad as you want it shipped. It's a new product, and a new production run, etc., etc. Ranting won't get it done any faster.

    Monte

  3. #3
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tetreves
    So the new IMV sounds great, WB has a good reputation for customer support and building a good stiff fork. It seems to be in a good place fitting in between the Reba and the Duc32. Great. I'm on board. You sold me.

    I order my fork. I'm told they will start shipping in mid-November (what happened to late October?). I'm told specifically that MY fork will ship in mid-November. So I wait...and wait...and wait...

    I make a call towards the end of November, we're expecting snow here in Minnesota, and I would like to ride. I'm told it will ship in two weeks. Alright, I'll deal. I wait...and wait...and wait... I get a call from my LBS, who has been backing me on this. They tell me WB told them that my fork will ship in TWO days. I'm excited. Finally a shipping date. It should be here in a week.

    I call again in the middle of December. Christmas is approaching. The fork still isn't here. I'm told my fork will ship on Dec. 26. Fine. After Christmas, but I'll deal.

    My LBS is getting fed up, and so am I, so they call again just after New Year's. They're told it'll ship in two weeks. Yeah right. After some more questions, all the answers my LBS can drag out of them is that WB "ran into production delays".

    I call it lying.

    I'm not sure about where you are, but here in Minnesota, we race and ride all winter. It's 2006, now. So where's my 2006 fork?

    I'm pissed now.

    Not because I don't have a fork yet, but because I feel lied to. If you can't ship it until March, then tell me March, not November. No big deal, at least I know when to expect it. But this is bull ****. I'm one breath away from cancelling my order and going to a Reba. At least I could've been riding an 06 Reba months ago.

    I've never owned a WB fork before, but this is a poor start.

    Anyone else in the same boat?

    HA!!! this is totally normal for the bike industry. Get used to it. About 2/3 of the small companies out there are this way. I had this same thing happen to me with Dean. Just buy a used fork and go ride, sell it when the WB gets to ya. You shouldn't lose much money.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  4. #4
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    When does any new product ship ontime in the bike industry? I have learned its best to never count on it.

    I agree that delays really suck when it keeps you from riding though.

  5. #5
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    Monte, Your "relax bro" response sounds pretty lame to me. I'd say he has a real gripe. If your product has real production delays, be up front about it. Then the customer can decide if he wants to wait it out or make other plans. It doesn't matter how badly they want to ship it, they can't possibly have thought that it would ready for shipping every 2 weeks since october.



    Quote Originally Posted by Monte
    Have you visited the production facility to actually see how many forks are ready to ship? If there are forks ready to ship, then you might have a point.

    Call it what you want, but I'm sure they want to ship your fork as bad as you want it shipped. It's a new product, and a new production run, etc., etc. Ranting won't get it done any faster.

    Monte

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately it's pretty common

    I'm in the same boat, same state. Good news is I have a 26er to ride. I'm in the middle of two 29er builds. One waiting on the Pace (again, any day now but late) and another one waiting for the WB. I also ride all winter but I'm not that anxious to use a new suspension fork or new bike until it either gets colder or we actually get Spring. I think it's pretty common on many new parts, I didn't really appreciate how big of an issue this is but after spending a lot of time on this site I've realized it's really common. Based on all this info, I've made a promise to myself to never sell a part until I have the replacement part. I'm also not sure how smart it is for us to get a first production run versus waiting for more real user feedback and for the manufacturer to work the real world issues out.

  7. #7
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    I think they are still refining the design.

    Not even close to production.

  8. #8
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tetreves
    Alright, so in early October, we were promised to see the new IMV from White Brothers , with hints of a new fork as early as August. Tim Fry, aka EkoSport1 stated that there would be forks available at the end of October. See this thread.

    So the new IMV sounds great, WB has a good reputation for customer support and building a good stiff fork. It seems to be in a good place fitting in between the Reba and the Duc32. Great. I'm on board. You sold me.

    I order my fork. I'm told they will start shipping in mid-November (what happened to late October?). I'm told specifically that MY fork will ship in mid-November. So I wait...and wait...and wait...

    I make a call towards the end of November, we're expecting snow here in Minnesota, and I would like to ride. I'm told it will ship in two weeks. Alright, I'll deal. I wait...and wait...and wait... I get a call from my LBS, who has been backing me on this. They tell me WB told them that my fork will ship in TWO days. I'm excited. Finally a shipping date. It should be here in a week.

    I call again in the middle of December. Christmas is approaching. The fork still isn't here. I'm told my fork will ship on Dec. 26. Fine. After Christmas, but I'll deal.

    My LBS is getting fed up, and so am I, so they call again just after New Year's. They're told it'll ship in two weeks. Yeah right. After some more questions, all the answers my LBS can drag out of them is that WB "ran into production delays".

    I call it lying.

    I'm not sure about where you are, but here in Minnesota, we race and ride all winter. It's 2006, now. So where's my 2006 fork?

    I'm pissed now.

    Not because I don't have a fork yet, but because I feel lied to. If you can't ship it until March, then tell me March, not November. No big deal, at least I know when to expect it. But this is bull ****. I'm one breath away from cancelling my order and going to a Reba. At least I could've been riding an 06 Reba months ago.

    I've never owned a WB fork before, but this is a poor start.

    Anyone else in the same boat?



    Thing is, they are getting the same thing from someone else. Cannondale has the same problem with Lefty's right now. The supplier just cannot handle the load, and keeps pushing dates back. To blame White, get's you no where, and as others have said, small, real, human run companies, relying on other, small, real, human run companies, is asking for delays from the get go. I feel for you, but trust me, when it shows, you will no longer care how long you waited=

  9. #9
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    No good Absolutely ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by RPK3
    Monte, Your "relax bro" response sounds pretty lame to me. I'd say he has a real gripe. If your product has real production delays, be up front about it. Then the customer can decide if he wants to wait it out or make other plans. It doesn't matter how badly they want to ship it, they can't possibly have thought that it would ready for shipping every 2 weeks since october.
    Rule number one in customer service…… Under promise and over perform

    Get a Reba and Fo-get about'it

  10. #10
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    Wow. You poor thing. You must be this close to death, what with all of the grief and misery that you've been put through on this. I really, really feel for you.

    Sheesh. Get over yourself.

    It's a bike part.

    Nothing more.

    It's not food, not heat, not shelter. The earth will still be rotating tomorrow morning (check it--I'm sure of it) if you don't have a new geegaw with which to adorn your bike.

    Now, take a deep breath. Ready? Consider this: if they had shipped your fork, and it didn't perform the way that you wanted it to and expected it to, where would you be then? Happy? Based on your rant above, methinks not.

    They are working night and day on this project. Literally. The lead engineer has lost much sleep and wracked his brains (and the brains of other engineers) to make the performance of this fork BETTER than originally promised. He is 150% consumed by this project. How do I know? I test and evaluate WB product on occasion, and I have been involved in testing this fork over the last year+. They could have shipped forks at some point this fall, but they've delayed doing that because they believe the valve can still be tweaked to get a bit more performance, and consistency, out of it. There has been continual and noticable improvement on every version I've ridden. It's the best 29" xc fork I've ridden, period.

    It's coming. If you can relax a bit and be patient, I guarantee it'll be worth the wait.

    MC

  11. #11
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Wow. You poor thing. You must be this close to death, what with all of the grief and misery that you've been put through on this. I really, really feel for you.

    Sheesh. Get over yourself.

    It's a bike part.

    Nothing more.

    It's not food, not heat, not shelter. The earth will still be rotating tomorrow morning (check it--I'm sure of it) if you don't have a new geegaw with which to adorn your bike.

    Now, take a deep breath. Ready? Consider this: if they had shipped your fork, and it didn't perform the way that you wanted it to and expected it to, where would you be then? Happy? Based on your rant above, methinks not.

    They are working night and day on this project. Literally. The lead engineer has lost much sleep and wracked his brains (and the brains of other engineers) to make the performance of this fork BETTER than originally promised. He is 150% consumed by this project. How do I know? I test and evaluate WB product on occasion, and I have been involved in testing this fork over the last year+. They could have shipped forks at some point this fall, but they've delayed doing that because they believe the valve can still be tweaked to get a bit more performance, and consistency, out of it. There has been continual and noticable improvement on every version I've ridden. It's the best 29" xc fork I've ridden, period.

    It's coming. If you can relax a bit and be patient, I guarantee it'll be worth the wait.

    MC

    I totally disagree with you Mikesee. The guy has every right to complain. He was promised a time, and they did not perform. Part of the great thing about this forum is that you get to complain somewhat anonymously. Just as you are backing White, which is your right.

    The folks at Eko perhaps might have been more forth-coming about delays rather than bubbling everyone. That is what happened to me with my Dean, and it got me grumpy after awhile. Sure I love the end result, but it sure would have been nice to have a little more accurate projection of when the final product was to be shipped.

    I appreciate that they want to get the fork right, but they should have let everyone know what is going on. I hope is is execellent, as I would like to buy a fork. But I sure as hell ain't going to wait for it now.

    As far as it just being a bike part, tell that to the engineer that is slaving over it as you said yourself. To many in this forum, bike parts represent a large part of our life. Your attitude is not one I hope to see when I buy from any company. Your attitude frankly sucks. Of course it is not a life and death situation, but that doesn't mean that Eko's excuses aren't frustrating and would not make some fellows ticked off.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  12. #12
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    I think WB should be more careful what they promise, because they rarely manage to match it. If they say they'll be good to you, they're always right, but the WHEN, that's the problem.
    Tetreves is not waiting for a better product that is just a little late, but on a part that's supposed to be good right away, and in time, I totally understand him on that. Cool they'll make it even better, but many will read that as "so it wasn't near ready, huh".
    I'm a total fan of WB, and cool parts in general, but I'm getting used to not having what I really want in the season or year I want it. I only have to want it to get a half year delay, that's how it works for me. Guess I'm selective with the things I want. I want too good to be true. A magic fork in October may also just fit the bill. But then, it was promised.
    At first I wanted the magic magnetic stuff too, but since I decided to go rigid and light, I'm getting more patient before I can get my WB fork retrofitted.
    As much as I want parts to be in time as promised, it's not smart, knowing how stuff is never in time, let alone before time in cycling, to plan not yet existing parts in an ongoing build project. I agree, get a Reba, ride the bike, love the bike, and see if you still want the WB when it gets ready at some point in time. Riding the Reba for some time may even be cheaper per mile, it does cost half or less to purchase...

    To be clear, I'm still a WB fan, and always will be. I wish you guys could ride those awesome forks already. Stiffer, lighter and smarter than Fox, it should be well worth the wait.

  13. #13
    what a joke
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    All the small guys do it all the time! ..........Then all the small guys need to improve their communication skills. Honesty goes a long way in most peoples books.
    blah blah blah

  14. #14
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    It's a bike part.

    Nothing more.

    It's not food, not heat, not shelter. The earth will still be rotating tomorrow morning (check it--I'm sure of it) if you don't have a new geegaw with which to adorn your bike.



    I have to defend you on this one as it seems you may be misunderstood. I completely understand the gentlemans' pain, but just because I hurt, it doesn't give me authority to go crap on someone's parade, just practice a little self restraint, you'll look better, and feel better. What I believe Mike to be getting at is this, it's a bike part, life will go on. As in, it's a consumer product , in a world filled with consumer products. To get all flustered because the new blingy wheels for your BMW aren't in yet, helps no-one, you, the guy that's selling them to you, or the guy that's putting them on. We're all people, relying on other people, and we're all fallible. Now, if you where say, building home in northern Canada, for you, your wife and kids, it's October, and the furnace guys just said that it's going to be January before you get the furnace, sorry you'll just have to freeze, well, now you should be upset. Upset at the uncaring attitude of the furnace company, and it's people. There's a difference between want and need. We as consumers get caught up in thinking that because we WANT it, we have the right to get pissed when it's late. You NEED what Mike listed above, shelter, heat, food. Want to get upset about something, how about the state of our government, that could use some pissed off folks right about now! I'm not attacking here, just hopefully helping point out misguided frustration, and redirecting it. Sure, I get mad too, I've had bikes that I ordered in July, show up in March, or how about Rivendells waiting list, currently about 2 years. People are happy to wait, if they keep their eye on the fact that it's gonna be sweet when it get's there. On another note, Mikesee, since you do not accept PM's, could you send me a note @ cats3elton@aol.com? I have a question for you. Thanks!

  15. #15
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    I've got your back MN. It appears that there are two camps re: this issue.
    Camp # 1: Argues that these are small companies up against large challenges, the customer should overlook the oversights of promoses not kept (it's only a bike part,) and this happens in the bike industry all the time and is standard practice. Let's call this camp something like the "suck it up camp" or "the better business report camp."
    Camp # 2: Argues that companies should represent themselves honestly and follow through on commitments made to the customer whenever possible. If not possible, then reasonable actions should be taken to recompense the customer for his/her loss.

    So, I think we can all say that when we do business we hope that our company is firmly in the camp # 2 category, right? I'm really baffled by the responses that fall into camp # 1. Why would one want to be an apologist for companies who disappoint? Why be part of the problem by helping to perpetuate fraudulent bussiness practices? And with respect to the arguement that this happens all the time and it should be tolerated....well, this sounds like the type of arguement that would come from industry insiders- a self-serving one.

    To make it "country simple," we all vote with our dollar (or euro.) The best way to insure that companies do the right thing by the consumer is to reward those who deliver with good business practices by giving them our business. I know I'll think twice the next time I'm considering a White or WB product.

  16. #16
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    Regardless of:
    1. the size of the company
    2. the amount of R & D
    3. the complexity of the product
    4. the desire of the company to get it right

    bottom line...it seems the underlying issue is COMMUNICATION.
    In this case, either faulty or outright false communication.

    What's wrong w/ a press release of sorts indicating the delays on the product....or heck....an EMAIL to those who've got money down on one?

    How about a post on mtbr to let folks know?

    It's admirable that WB wants to get the fork right even if it means a delay...but Mike, why are you the one that has to come on mtbr months and months later to say that?

    Btw, i think the "no whining" arguement is a bit of a red herring.

    All in all, I bet this fork will be so cool, if/when it actually does come out, that this entire discussion will be lost.

  17. #17
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    I'm sorry, customer service has to come first

    If the guy was told 2 weeks and it has been delayed 5 times, he should practically get the fork for free. WB ought to have called him up personally and told him why the delay. The engineers might be working like crazy to tweak the deaign, but someone in management made the choice to delay the release. It is the job of customer service to take care of their customers.

    Its simple:
    Case 1 - You get the unhappy result above. You get bad impression of the company and likely will think hard to buy from that company again.

    Case 2 - The company can't make good on the promise so the do their best to satisfy the customer. The customer is happy even tho his original plan is changed (Ride in 2 week), and will repeat this story to many friends.

    I had case 2 happen to me with Jetboil stove. I got a free stove after my initial one kind of messed up my winter hike. I love the fact they took care of me and am loyat to them.

    Bob

  18. #18
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    I like WB's communication

    I have emailed Tim Fry numerous times and get back a response that day. How many other manufacturers can you say that about? As I am a small manufacturer, I can empathize with production delays. It doesn't take much to throw a monkey wrench into the whole process. At least their products aren't being shipped to China to be made. I suffered through a month and a half wait for my WB fork, but it was worth it, and I survived.

  19. #19
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Btw, i think the "no whining" arguement is a bit of a red herring.

    All in all, I bet this fork will be so cool, if/when it actually does come out, that this entire discussion will be lost. [/QUOTE]

    Kind of my point, it will be good,(better cause they took their time) and you will love it. Whining does nothing to move the process forward, that's all, it just spreads the negative feelings. To Axis's one thought in particular. How should they make recompense (and why, when he's lost nothing tangible whatsoever)? Send a bunch of interbike hotties to wash his car in bikinis? =

  20. #20
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    White Bros should start a blog documenting their progress for customers. I would hope that the reason they aren't effectively communicating with folks like the originator of this thread is that they're busy wading through tides of BS and numbers trying to get their product perfect. Assign one guy the task of blogging and they'd probably get a lot more sympathy.

  21. #21
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    It is a customer service thing. If the fork is that far out on the production side, White shouldn't be taking orders. At the very least, if a person places an order, a simple statement that "we don't know when this is going to be done" is in order. Dealing with companies can be frusterating some times, but it does happen. Could White have offered a discount to preorders for the fork? Ala Niner? They said aqqroximent ship dates, and gave people a discount for waiting. People understood that there would be a wait, and Niner got a ton of orders. This is a point in case for the whole small company deal, they just handled a similar problem loads better.
    I sell bikes here. Check out the Blog here. Facebook.

  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=benwitt11]It is a customer service thing. If the fork is that far out on the production side, White shouldn't be taking orders.


    Here's a question that may put it in perspective. Ever started a plumbing job, and promised your significant other, that it would be done in an hour or so, only to find yourself, still crawling around under the sink, 4 hours, and 2 trips to the hardware store later? Things happen, that are unforseen, that's my point here, and to fight with your SO over it does not turn the water back on any faster does it?

  23. #23
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    I'm siding with White Brothers on this one big time. While I'll admit, I've owned one of their forks (4 years ago) and wasn't 100% impressed with the product, I'm 125% impressed with the company. I met Tim Fry at an bike industry gig at QBP a few years back while I was working for LEW Composites. For a guy who is the owner/president of a fairly major fork player he is VERY available to the general public (proof to this by the fact many have emailed him directly on this thread). I've met a lot of guys in the bike industry, but still to this day Tim stands out.

    When LEW went under I came through GC and stopped at their facility. They were warm and welcoming. I was impressed with the shop's set up and got to see work they were doing on other projects. I've toured the likes of many a factory and a few bike companies including Rock Shox, Seven, Independent Fabrications, QBP, Strong, and Ground Up to name few. I was impressed with everyone I met there. And that was 4 years and ya know what? They were showing me this thing called a "29er" back then. No one else did.

    I've been in that seat White Brothers is in. It's not a fun one. When I worked at LEW we really thought we had a clincher rim 100% nailed. 300 gram on the dot clincher rim that my 230lbs road hard on the pot holed roads of Vegas and the dirt roads that surrounded it. We did a lot of testing. It seemed ready. But it wasn't, first batch went out and sure enough one broke. We had to recall everything. We worked for months trying to fix the issue pretty much night and day. The lead engineer I lived with, we talked about it all night when we got home each day. We came so close and when someone would call, we'd be honest and say what we thought "2 weeks and they'll be done it looks like. We're close." 3 days away we develope a bond issue or a cosmetic issue and something that shouldn't happen does. When you think you are done you have no way of imagining it'll be out 2-3 more months. Especially when you are so close.

    That said, enjoy the wait. I know they've wanted to come up with a special fork and that takes time. Also to everyone who says "f-'em get a Reba", please shut up and return to your little Office Space cubicle and your red Swingline stapler. To everyone who has said, "This is the bike industry" bingo you all get a star next to your name and a cookie because that is the nature of the business. You folks have answered it correctly.

    I think someone said it best when they said, "I never sell a part until I have the new one in my hands". I've used that same rule of thumb for 12 years w/o disappointement. I know when I talked to WB in person 4 years ago they said they really wanted to change the way their internals worked and create a system that'd blow everyone away. Well folks, they just may be there. Patience is a virtue.

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=MendonCycleSmith]
    Quote Originally Posted by benwitt11
    It is a customer service thing. If the fork is that far out on the production side, White shouldn't be taking orders.


    Here's a question that may put it in perspective. Ever started a plumbing job, and promised your significant other, that it would be done in an hour or so, only to find yourself, still crawling around under the sink, 4 hours, and 2 trips to the hardware store later? Things happen, that are unforseen, that's my point here, and to fight with your SO over it does not turn the water back on any faster does it?
    I think that's an excellent outlook on life in general. pissing about it never changes the fact it isn't done. Argueing solves nothing.

  25. #25
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    whiners

    Everyone here wants the bike industry to kiss their 29" wheels which I understand. But that takes time. When you have a small fork producer making a real effort on 29er forks, cut them some slack. R & D takes lots of time and lots of $. Just be glad WB is making the effort. It's more than most of the industry is doing.

  26. #26
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    I've been in that seat White Brothers is in. It's not a fun one. When I worked at LEW we really thought we had a clincher rim 100% nailed. 300 gram on the dot clincher rim that my 230lbs road hard on the pot holed roads of Vegas and the dirt roads that surrounded it. We did a lot of testing. It seemed ready. But it wasn't, first batch went out and sure enough one broke. We had to recall everything. We worked for months trying to fix the issue pretty much night and day. The lead engineer I lived with, we talked about it all night when we got home each day. We came so close and when someone would call, we'd be honest and say what we thought "2 weeks and they'll be done it looks like. We're close." 3 days away we develope a bond issue or a cosmetic issue and something that shouldn't happen does. When you think you are done you have no way of imagining it'll be out 2-3 more months. Especially when you are so close.



    It's people that make the bike industry so special, and so frustrating at the same time. If I wanted uniformity, I'd own a McDonalds franchise! Thanks for so eloquently making, what has been my point all along! Ride hard.

  27. #27
    AOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    They could have shipped forks at some point this fall, but they've delayed doing that because they believe the valve can still be tweaked to get a bit more performance, and consistency, out of it.
    So why didn't White Bros just say this to their customer rather than "you will have it in two weeks"?

    The issue here is not that small companies have production delays, or that this guy doesn't have things in perspective, but that White Bros. is not being straight with their customer and/or dealer.

    Compare to WaltWorks. Walt tells people up front that there is a long delay for his frames. He probably loses sales because of this, but he is honest about it. My frame arrived almost exactly when Walt predicted.

    I also think the "once you get it, you won't care" statments are lame and irrelevant. I once went through a similar experience with Titus - they told me "next week" for 3 months. I stuck it out, got the frame, and loved it. But I have never forgotten the negative impression I had of Titus' customer service. All they had to do was say "3 months" up front rather than lying to me for 3 months. I seriously doubt that any company in the bike industry strives to leave this sort of negative impression on their customers.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Regardless of:
    1. the size of the company
    2. the amount of R & D
    3. the complexity of the product
    4. the desire of the company to get it right

    bottom line...it seems the underlying issue is COMMUNICATION.
    In this case, either faulty or outright false communication.
    Good point, and I agree that their communication should be better.


    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    What's wrong w/ a press release of sorts indicating the delays on the product....or heck....an EMAIL to those who've got money down on one?
    Another good idea, and I hope they do this or something like it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    How about a post on mtbr to let folks know?
    That'd help some people too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    It's admirable that WB wants to get the fork right even if it means a delay...but Mike, why are you the one that has to come on mtbr months and months later to say that?
    I'm not speaking for WB. I'm not an employee, not a contractor. The opinions here are mine. When they (WB) have something to say, they come on here and say it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Btw, i think the "no whining" arguement is a bit of a red herring.
    Maybe, but how exactly does whining help get forks into consumers hands? The answer is that it doesn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    All in all, I bet this fork will be so cool, if/when it actually does come out, that this entire discussion will be lost.
    Agreed.

    MC

  29. #29
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    DEAN? ! ? ! ? Haq HA HA hA HA HAHAHA JHHHA

    Quote Originally Posted by Law
    HA!!! this is totally normal for the bike industry. Get used to it. About 2/3 of the small companies out there are this way. I had this same thing happen to me with Dean. Just buy a used fork and go ride, sell it when the WB gets to ya. You shouldn't lose much money.
    Man, comparing White Brothers to DEAN in this argument is like saying that George Bush told you there were WMD. Judas said he just wanted to talk to the prophet, and Hitler said he thought they really were going to the showers in Auchwitz.


    LOL, DEAN said it was shipping in two weeks... LOL that's a good one.........
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashtestdummy
    Everyone here wants the bike industry to kiss their 29" wheels which I understand. But that takes time. When you have a small fork producer making a real effort on 29er forks, cut them some slack. R & D takes lots of time and lots of $. Just be glad WB is making the effort. It's more than most of the industry is doing.
    Wrong. We the issue is not that we need kissing but that we receive a purchase that we paid for in the promised time period. That's it. If White Industries needs people to subsidize it's R and D by taking payment for a product that doesn't exist based upon unrealistic delivery dates then they should have been up front about that. Wake up sheeple. If we expect and allow bad service then that's what we will continue to get. Am I glad that WB is working on new 29 product? Of course, that's not the issue here.

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    Regardless of any business in any industry....just give the customer honest accurate info, and let them make their decision accordingly... that wasn't done here.

    I agree it's definitely faulty communication by WB that created an unreasonable expectation that couldn't be met, therefore causing a customer's frustration... you can't flame that guy for 'whining'... I don't think he's expecting to get a fork faster because of it, he's just venting because he was in a frustrating situation... and that's perfectly ok. He's doing the board a service, I know a lot of people are wondering where these new magic WB fork guts are. If WB had communicated this delay and the reasons, there wouldn't have been this situation to complain about, and I think waiting would have been (or is) acceptable.

    I think we'd all be willing to wait for something that WB was saying would be worth the extra wait... just let the customers know what's going on so that there aren't unreasonable expectations, and no problem, take as long as you need to to deliver the best product you can. I don't think anyone is disputing this or wanting to see a fork rushed to market before it's ready.


    Comparing posting a frustration on a board full of opinions and the like, should not be compared at any time to survival... I'm sure all of us get frustrated about things that aren't food, heat or shelter related on a daily basis. I would think that the desperation of someone in survival mode would manifest itself a lot more radically than a post on a web forum.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    So why didn't White Bros just say this to their customer rather than "you will have it in two weeks"?

    The issue here is not that small companies have production delays, or that this guy doesn't have things in perspective, but that White Bros. is not being straight with their customer and/or dealer.

    Compare to WaltWorks. Walt tells people up front that there is a long delay for his frames. He probably loses sales because of this, but he is honest about it. My frame arrived almost exactly when Walt predicted.

    I also think the "once you get it, you won't care" statments are lame and irrelevant. I once went through a similar experience with Titus - they told me "next week" for 3 months. I stuck it out, got the frame, and loved it. But I have never forgotten the negative impression I had of Titus' customer service. All they had to do was say "3 months" up front rather than lying to me for 3 months. I seriously doubt that any company in the bike industry strives to leave this sort of negative impression on their customers.
    All due respect, but do you get what is being said here? They, really believe 2 weeks or whatever, is when they will be done, and then something get's in the way of that goal. I have complete faith that they are not sitting in their office saying, yeah , let's be A-holes, and yank everyones chain about how long they have to wait, which is what you seem to be implying they are doing, more or less. Why is this so hard for folks to understand? If they knew upfront it would take 3 months, I am guessing they would have said so.

  33. #33
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    FWIW - on the post-production end....I've had 4 WB's total...every time I've needed work/maintenence, they've handled it flawlessly and had it back at my door within 5 business days, even hooking me up with neccessary parts at no cost to me at times.

    It seems that this pre-production delay is anomalous to normal procedure for WB.

    Let's chalk this up to a "mulligan" and just ask for clarification from the horses mouth, eh?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    All due respect, but do you get what is being said here? They, really believe 2 weeks or whatever, is when they will be done, and then something get's in the way of that goal. I have complete faith that they are not sitting in their office saying, yeah , let's be A-holes, and yank everyones chain about how long they have to wait, which is what you seem to be implying they are doing, more or less. Why is this so hard for folks to understand? If they knew upfront it would take 3 months, I am guessing they would have said so.
    Why is this so hard for you to understand. With all due respect it's irrelevant that they meant for the delay to happen or not. At the end of the day the guy didn't get what he was supposed to at the time he was supposed to. They made a mistake intentional or not and failed to make it right. They easily could have given this guy his money back and then given him the option of purchasing the fork later when it was available but they didn't. They were aware that they had this customer out hanging on multiple missed promises and chose the Gearge Bush option of "staying the course." That's not nearly good enough for me.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo
    I think that's an excellent outlook on life in general. pissing about it never changes the fact it isn't done. Argueing solves nothing.

    I disagree, never telling a company that you are displeased, results in the same unacceptable behavior over and over again.

    "Argueing solves nothing." This is not always the case here either. Letting the other party know that you are displeased (in a constructive and nonattacking manner) can help iron out problems. But then maybe that is just discussing, not argueing.

    I enjoying pissing about stuff, often times it is a relief
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  36. #36
    AOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    All due respect, but do you get what is being said here? They, really believe 2 weeks or whatever, is when they will be done, and then something get's in the way of that goal. I have complete faith that they are not sitting in their office saying, yeah , let's be A-holes, and yank everyones chain about how long they have to wait, which is what you seem to be implying they are doing, more or less. Why is this so hard for folks to understand? If they knew upfront it would take 3 months, I am guessing they would have said so.
    I don't think that they are purposely being jerks, but there is clearly a big disconnect between the estimates they are giving and the reality inside their company. Like someone said above, "underpromise and overperform".

    Perhaps the sales/marketing folks just need to talk directly to the designer more often to get the real situation before they make promises. Or perhaps the designer needs to be more realistic with the estimates that he is giving to the sales/marketing folks.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    So why didn't White Bros just say this to their customer rather than "you will have it in two weeks"?
    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    ...He probably loses sales because of this...
    Every customer, upon initially buying a bike and therefore becoming susceptible to falling in love with cycling, should be told, "if anyone in this industry ever tells you 'two weeks', don’t have any expectations."


    “Two weeks” is an industry variable invented by Marketing and is typically isolated from the design/R&D/production people who don’t work in terms of time but rather a finished product. The problem is that those outside of the bike industry aren’t made aware of this variable and the unfortunate side effect is irritability.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    “Two weeks” is an industry variable invented by Marketing and is typically isolated from the design/R&D/production people who don’t work in terms of time but rather a finished product. The problem is that those outside of the bike industry aren’t made aware of this variable and the unfortunate side effect is irritability.
    Harumph!

    (nodding in agreement)

    MC

  39. #39
    AOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    Every customer, upon initially buying a bike and therefore becoming susceptible to falling in love with cycling, should be told, "if anyone in this industry ever tells you 'two weeks', don’t have any expectations."


    “Two weeks” is an industry variable invented by Marketing and is typically isolated from the design/R&D/production people who don’t work in terms of time but rather a finished product. The problem is that those outside of the bike industry aren’t made aware of this variable and the unfortunate side effect is irritability.
    Why is it that everyone "in the know" of the bicycle industry thinks that these things are a) specific to the bicycle industry and b) acceptable?

    Disconnects between design and marketing happen in all industries. When promises made to the customer are broken, it is generally considered to be a bad thing.

    Y'all can make all the excuses you want for WB by saying "its the way the bicycle industry works", but in the end WB has screwed up.

    This doesn't mean that WB is the worst company in the world. It doesn't mean that we should never buy anything from WB again. But it doesn't excuse the fact that in this instance (assuming the original post is accurate) WB has provided lousy service to their customer. The customer has every right to be upset about this.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axis II
    They were aware that they had this customer out hanging on multiple missed promises and chose the Gearge Bush option of "staying the course." That's not nearly good enough for me.
    Please take your rant to the political forum....

  41. #41
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    Here is how I look at this.

    I beleive that the OP was quite understanding with the White Brothers, he said that originally the fork was going to be in his hands sometime in November. It sounds like he was understanding enough to know that when he is ordering a new item it could be delayed, and the first few delays he let fly.

    I think the problem comes in where they tell him that the item will ship in 2 weeks, and even once he says they told him 2 days. Thats a straight out lie, they don't know when its going to be shipped if they are still testing it. They "THINK" it will ship out in 2 weeks but that doesn't mean it WILL.

    I really can't believe that there are people that think its fine that a company would completely make up a time when you call in, I mean the least they can do is say

    "The product is going through some final testing steps and is scheduled to go out in the next couple weeks, give us a call in a few weeks if you haven't heard anything"

    Then the customer knows that they are trying to make sure that the product performs exactly as promised and they understand that its not a concrete date for shipment.

    Like someone else said "Under Promise and Over Deliver" thats going to make your customers happy.

    Just my 2 cents.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Please take your rant to the political forum....
    So sorry Big Brother. If that's what you call a rant then perhaps it would be helpful for you to cover those raw nerve endings.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Why is it that everyone "in the know" of the bicycle industry thinks that these things are a) specific to the bicycle industry and b) acceptable?

    Disconnects between design and marketing happen in all industries. When promises made to the customer are broken, it is generally considered to be a bad thing.

    Y'all can make all the excuses you want for WB by saying "its the way the bicycle industry works", but in the end WB has screwed up.

    This doesn't mean that WB is the worst company in the world. It doesn't mean that we should never buy anything from WB again. But it doesn't excuse the fact that in this instance (assuming the original post is accurate) WB has provided lousy service to their customer. The customer has every right to be upset about this.
    My reply was mostly sarcastic. My real job is in the defense industry and let me tell you, I know about delays and how design and production issues exponentially effect a delivery date. I'm not saying the WB is OK for doing this and I'd be a hypocrite if I tried to make anyone believe that I haven't been "burned" by bike industry communication problems (for the rest of my life, I'll never give one cent to Curtlo or Ellsworth.)

    I'm not inside enough to know whether or not WB is using contract work to manufacture the forks. If they are, odds are they're passing on communication and in a sense, not lying about anything. It's also possible that there's a disconnect between CS and production which would mean again that CS isn't lying. It doesn't make it less irritating to the customer, but it doesn't make WB outright wrong either. Whatever the case, I'm sympathetic to the problem as I've experienced much longer waits and different degrees of honesty from quite a few manufacturers. Still, I think everyone could benefit by taking a deep breath.
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  44. #44
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    Getting back to the communication thing......

    First of all, I'm a shop employee, and I live with this sort of thing on a daily basis. Some folks have hit on the communication aspect of this already. I would just like to elaborate a little on that.

    How about taking a look at a company or two that get the job done a little better. I would offer for your approval QBP's house brands, Surly, and Salsa. Surly utilizes the blog approach, which was suggested before. At any time, you can get an idea of what the production wait times are, reasons for delays, and when things come on line for purchase. For example, that's how I came to own one of the special edition purple ano hubsets. I saw the blog post, and ordered.

    Salsa takes the approach suggested of communicating more directly, here, on this forum. Jason is always pretty upfront about how things go from idea, to prototyping, to manufacturing, to delivery, to quality checking, and finally when things come into stock.

    Sure, these companies screw up once in awhile too, but since they are more transparent in their dealings, we are more understanding. There is a new awareness amongst consumers because of things like the internet, and the "old way" that business was done is no longer acceptable. I believe that companies like Salsa and Surly are examples of ways to do it better.

    Finally, I'd like to say that "yes" this is not an uncommon thing in the bike business. As far as any other businesses, I don't know. It's not fooling anyone anymore, and these practices- done on purpose or by default- need to cease. This discussion is a perfect example of why.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Law
    I disagree, never telling a company that you are displeased, results in the same unacceptable behavior over and over again.

    "Argueing solves nothing." This is not always the case here either. Letting the other party know that you are displeased (in a constructive and nonattacking manner) can help iron out problems. But then maybe that is just discussing, not argueing.

    I enjoying pissing about stuff, often times it is a relief
    I'm glad there's some people here that get it. I feel that companies can, and should be accurate about their release dates. I work for a small company, too. It can be done, and it's not hard. If I schedule something for one of my clients, and I'm ONE day late, it's over, and I've lost that job. Most of the time, I can't afford to be more than an hour late, ever. And I work with other small companies, and we're on time, almost always. If we're going to be late, I inform my client, and tell them why, and how late. If for some reason I was so late I couldn't perform the job in time, I would try to find someone who could, and pass the business onto them so that my original customer can have what they ordered on time. If it's late, it's over, and there's no going back, ever.

    So if you're going to be late, that's fine, but an explanation would be helpful. All I've been told is that there are "production delays". Duh.

    If you can't make an accurate release date, then don't. You could say something vague like "First Quarter 2006".

    I understand fine tuning, fixing problems before release, etc... but it would be nice to know that's what is taking so long. Maybe one or two broke or have had problems and they want to avoid a recall. Great, so would I. I'd hate to have to ship it back. I'm understanding. But as a paying customer, I don't feel it's fair to keep me (and the rest of the customers) waiting in the dark.

    Take On One for example. I waited a little longer than I hoped for my 29er, but they never made a promise they couldn't keep. And they keep a blog going of how the production is coming. We see pictures of tubes before they're welded, and maybe frames before they're painted. All that's not neccessary, but it helps.

    A simple explanation, even in the form of a mass email, press anouncement, post on MTBR, would be courteous, and help some of us be more patient. And ESPECIALLY when a phone call is made from a customer to the company. That's all I'm really asking for.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    FWIW - on the post-production end....I've had 4 WB's total...every time I've needed work/maintenence,
    Just don't get started on the "stiction" issue again, and we'll all be fine!!


  47. #47
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    Lol...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutarious
    Man, comparing White Brothers to DEAN in this argument is like saying that George Bush told you there were WMD. Judas said he just wanted to talk to the prophet, and Hitler said he thought they really were going to the showers in Auchwitz.


    LOL, DEAN said it was shipping in two weeks... LOL that's a good one.........
    damn, thats funny !!!!!!!!!!!, and true !.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29inch
    Just don't get started on the "stiction" issue again, and we'll all be fine!!

    hey now!
    i've been giving WB props here!

    Not to mention that my new 1.3 is a think of functioning beauty. It's amazing feeling.

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    2006 Forks Are Shipping

    Yes, we did over promise and under deliver. And for that I apologize. Some of the promises we just failed to live up to and some were caused by vendor delays. As a small company we don't always get the respect of vendors that we have to rely on. I assure you that we want to ship forks and we want to get this new technology in the market place. But we also want everything to be right. And the inspection of the parts that we produce in house and parts from vendors has taken longer than anticipated. Final testing of the production run parts also took longer than we would have liked.

    The forks did start shipping this week. We have a lot of orders pending and we are filling orders on a first in basis. These are handbuilt forks and they do not fly off of an assembly line. But we are working each and every day to get every order filled.

    I think you will be very happy with the performance of the new damper and the overall performance of the forks. And I do apologize again for the delays.

    Tim Fry

    White Brothers Cycling

  50. #50
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    Ya Hoo, mines on its way. K monkey fork is starting to take its toll on this old body.

  51. #51
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    Thanks.

    Thank you for the update.I will be ordering mine tomorrow.
    Jeff
    Quote Originally Posted by EkoSport1
    Yes, we did over promise and under deliver. And for that I apologize. Some of the promises we just failed to live up to and some were caused by vendor delays. As a small company we don't always get the respect of vendors that we have to rely on. I assure you that we want to ship forks and we want to get this new technology in the market place. But we also want everything to be right. And the inspection of the parts that we produce in house and parts from vendors has taken longer than anticipated. Final testing of the production run parts also took longer than we would have liked.

    The forks did start shipping this week. We have a lot of orders pending and we are filling orders on a first in basis. These are handbuilt forks and they do not fly off of an assembly line. But we are working each and every day to get every order filled.

    I think you will be very happy with the performance of the new damper and the overall performance of the forks. And I do apologize again for the delays.

    Tim Fry

    White Brothers Cycling

  52. #52
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    Well, DUH testing takes longer than expected, you're located in freakin' Colorado! I'd never come back from a test ride there!

    I'm dieing to get the first customer review!! Since I've heard of anti-bob systems (just when I switched to 29") I can't live with bob anymore. Please let this fork solve it!

  53. #53
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    Thank you for the update Tim. I appreciate it, and I think we all appreciate knowing what's going on, it helps us to be patient if we know what the delays are, and how far the set back is (at least it helps me). I appologize if I came off a little harsh in my initial post.

    I look forward to owning this super fancy new fork! I'll post a review as soon as I ride it.

  54. #54
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    No I apologize

    Quote Originally Posted by Tetreves
    Thank you for the update Tim. I appreciate it, and I think we all appreciate knowing what's going on, it helps us to be patient if we know what the delays are, and how far the set back is (at least it helps me). I appologize if I came off a little harsh in my initial post.

    I look forward to owning this super fancy new fork! I'll post a review as soon as I ride it.
    As a small company we sometimes get so focused on the product that we drop the ball in other areas. Through the launch of the new technology, we never meant to deceive anyone on availability. And each time we threw out dates, we really believed that we would hit the date - and then something would happen. And the problem with a vendor or a part took our focus away from communicating the effects to our customers.

    Thank you again for your patience.

    Tim Fry

    Eko Sport/White Brothers Cycling

  55. #55
    mechmann_mtb
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    so are there any updates on ride quality?

    i want to build a 29er and want to get the best fork for my money. i really am hesitant to bolt a Rock Shox fork on my bike. never liked their forks and they don't offer the through axle which i believe to be a key option.

    white bros. seems to be the only company offering a fork that fits the bill.

    i don't care if it takes a while to get the fork, i just want a high quality part on my bike that works well.

  56. #56
    Law
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutarious
    Man, comparing White Brothers to DEAN in this argument is like saying that George Bush told you there were WMD. Judas said he just wanted to talk to the prophet, and Hitler said he thought they really were going to the showers in Auchwitz.


    LOL, DEAN said it was shipping in two weeks... LOL that's a good one.........

    the comparison in at least this instance seems spot on to me. the path to hell is paved with good intensions...
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

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