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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.

    [SIZE=4]It's a bike part.[/SIZE]

    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.

    [SIZE=4]It's a bike part.[/SIZE]

    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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    [SIZE=4]It's a bike part.[/SIZE]

    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
    Front Range Cyclist
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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.

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