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Thread: Carousel Design

  1. #1
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    Carousel Design

    Is this company still in business? After speaking with Jeff I sent them a deposit and a tracing in June 2011 and haven't heard anything since. No responses to phone messages or emails.

    Any help in contacting them would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Jeff was a good guy and made some nice stuff. I managed to get a set of his bags back in the day. Recently I heard he is difficult to get a hold of and a few people are without bags. I really hope he is still around as he was a good guy. I would not hold your breath though it might be a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crux View Post
    Jeff was a good guy and made some nice stuff. I managed to get a set of his bags back in the day. Recently I heard he is difficult to get a hold of and a few people are without bags. I really hope he is still around as he was a good guy. I would not hold your breath though it might be a while.
    Maybe he caught what Matt Chester had...I'm still waiting on a frame from MC I ordered in 2005.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2xPneu View Post
    Maybe he caught what Matt Chester had...I'm still waiting on a frame from MC I ordered in 2005.
    Sorry to hear about the MC frame. Hope you can track him down in Canada to get some of your $ back. Think MC took a few individuals $$$ over the years.

  5. #5
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    Jeff is a great guy. I swung by his shop a few month ago and picked up some bags. I would be patient but give him a call every once in a while. You will be stoked with his work.

  6. #6
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Frame ordered 2005 still waiting, bags ordered 2011 still waiting........
    Hell man you'll be dead before you get this bike built.

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  7. #7
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    CDW has gotten hammered a lot for failing to deliver and for not responding to inquiries. I've never met Jeff, so I have no idea whether he's a "good guy." Many of people seem to think that he is, despite running a terrible business--so I'm not going to rip him personally.

    But after not getting an responses from Jeff about a year ago, I bought bags from Phantom (custom frame bag) and Revelate (seat bag, harness, gas tank). Both companies are terrific, and they are run by great guys.
    Last edited by TobyGadd; 10-31-2012 at 09:52 AM.

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    He's too busy riding... Assuming its the same Jeff.

    Multiday Self-Supported Mountain Bike Rides | Bicycling Magazine

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    Caveat emptor

    I'm one of the people who got burned by Carousel. Gave him a meticulous pattern, a deposit and 6 months to do a frame bag. After several non-replied inquiries I finally caught him by phone. He admitted he "didn't even reply to any emails" during the period in question, and had no explanation why my bag was not even started beyond the desired completion date. Quickly changed the subject to how I'd be first in the queue to get a bag made. No dice. It's been a year and a half, so I assume he has no intention of refunding my deposit. Sure, he's a nice guy, but that's irrelevant. He failed at communication and production, and stole my (and apparently others') deposit.

    Conversely, Scott F. at Porcelain Rocket was spot on with communication and delivered several custom pieces–on time and for a nice price.

    Jeff screwed himself more than he screwed anyone else. I have to wonder if he even realizes that. As if people in a small community such as bikepacking don't talk to each other... Truly pathetic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    Jeff screwed himself more than he screwed anyone else. I have to wonder if he even realizes that.
    As one of the guys who pioneered the whole ultra-light bag movement, it's tough to watch him fail. But ripping people off isn't cool, and diminishes my sympathy. If he doesn't want to (or can't) make bags anymore, he could simply refund everyone's deposits and take down his website.

  11. #11
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    I'm one of the people who got burned by Carousel. Gave him a meticulous pattern, a deposit and 6 months to do a frame bag. After several non-replied inquiries I finally caught him by phone. He admitted he "didn't even reply to any emails" during the period in question, and had no explanation why my bag was not even started beyond the desired completion date. Quickly changed the subject to how I'd be first in the queue to get a bag made. No dice. It's been a year and a half, so I assume he has no intention of refunding my deposit. Sure, he's a nice guy, but that's irrelevant. He failed at communication and production, and stole my (and apparently others') deposit.

    Conversely, Scott F. at Porcelain Rocket was spot on with communication and delivered several custom pieces–on time and for a nice price.

    Jeff screwed himself more than he screwed anyone else. I have to wonder if he even realizes that. As if people in a small community such as bikepacking don't talk to each other... Truly pathetic.
    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    As one of the guys who pioneered the whole ultra-light bag movement, it's tough to watch him fail. But ripping people off isn't cool, and diminishes my sympathy. If he doesn't want to (or can't) make bags anymore, he could simply refund everyone's deposits and take down his website.
    Toby,
    Two long time mtbr members have reported their money has been taken and no goods received from this vendor. I think you should remove this vendor from the Bikepacking gear bags - who makes 'em? list.

    I don't want to check the list for a vendor then post a question to see if I can trust the vendor before placing my order.
    just my 2 cents

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    Toby,
    Two long time mtbr members have reported their money has been taken and no goods received from this vendor. I think you should remove this vendor from the Bikepacking gear bags - who makes 'em? list.

    I don't want to check the list for a vendor then post a question to see if I can trust the vendor before placing my order.
    just my 2 cents
    I've been struggling with this for a while. There's really no perfect answer. In the end, I've decided to leave him on the list for now. I'm really not in the business of policing a business's customer service, beyond posting a warning or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    I've been struggling with this for a while. There's really no perfect answer. In the end, I've decided to leave him on the list for now. I'm really not in the business of policing a business's customer service, beyond posting a warning or two.
    I appreciate discretion, Toby. OTOH, when a moderator on a site called MTB Review includes a vendor in a list, it is (to my mind) an endorsement. Where would you post said warnings?

    What would a vendor have to do to be nixed from the list? Would there have to be a certain number of different bikepackers corroborating the same bad behavior? A certain dollar amount of theft? A firsthand experience?

    Not goading, just curious. Cheers...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    I appreciate discretion, Toby. OTOH, when a moderator on a site called MTB Review includes a vendor in a list, it is (to my mind) an endorsement. Where would you post said warnings?

    What would a vendor have to do to be nixed from the list? Would there have to be a certain number of different bikepackers corroborating the same bad behavior? A certain dollar amount of theft? A firsthand experience?

    Not goading, just curious. Cheers...
    It's a good question, so I know that you're not goading.

    The minute I decide who NOT to list, is the minute that I inherently start endorsing the remaining vendors. And, for all I know, some of them may also be guilty of the same stuff that CDW stands accused of.

    MTBR is a review site. You'll find all sorts of crappy products and vendors listed on this site--and the members (like you!) rip them to pieces. By not listing CDW, there would be nothing to review.

    I'm not here to police vendors, but rather allow members to speak their minds.

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    I am new to bike packing (but not MTBR). When I started looking at bag manufacturers, I read the listings in this forum's stickies and looked at websites created by the various bag makers. The Carousel website is pretty nice, and it looks like it is up to date. I had no idea it would have been a risky venture ordering from them, had I not seen this thread.

    I think many people look to the experienced voices on MTBR for guidance on technical issues and for advice on the best way to make investments in their hobby. The more clearly certain warning signs can be posted, the better.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    It's a good question, so I know that you're not goading.

    The minute I decide who NOT to list, is the minute that I inherently start endorsing the remaining vendors. And, for all I know, some of them may also be guilty of the same stuff that CDW stands accused of.

    MTBR is a review site. You'll find all sorts of crappy products and vendors listed on this site--and the members (like you!) rip them to pieces. By not listing CDW, there would be nothing to review.

    I'm not here to police vendors, but rather allow members to speak their minds.
    Fair enough, Toby. I see your point, although I have some ethical issues with the net result. To be fair, MTBR is not in the business of ethics.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    PS: RE "rip them to pieces": I reported exactly what happened. I'm not sure how that can be characterized as vindictiveness, which it sounds like you have. I simply don't want the uninformed to have to go through what I and others have with this vendor. I'd say Jeff ripped himself to pieces when he treated some of us the way he did.

  17. #17
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    Fair enough, Toby. I see your point, although I have some ethical issues with the net result. To be fair, MTBR is not in the business of ethics.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    PS: RE "rip them to pieces": I reported exactly what happened. I'm not sure how that can be characterized as you have. I simply don't want the uninformed to have to go through what I and others have with this vendor.
    I've entered the grey area and made a change. See what you think.

    FYI, my "rip them to pieces" comment didn't refer to your response to CDW. Please re-read my post. I was referring to the fact that MTBR members can--and sometimes do--post scathing reviews on MTBR. That's how the site works--members post reviews (glowing, positive, negative, hateful, etc), and moderators only intercede in rare instances. Your review was appropriate, polite, and well-received.
    Last edited by TobyGadd; 11-06-2012 at 04:06 PM.

  18. #18
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    -Carousel Design Works (Moderator TobyGadd: based on MTBR-member feedback, CDW may not be delivering on all orders).
    thank you, as someone who is outfitting a new bike right now my confidence in the list has improved. This has taught me a lesson when dealing with small home run businesses. Contact them, talk to them on the phone if possible before putting down big $$$
    Last edited by SingleTrackLovr; 11-04-2012 at 11:40 AM.

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  19. #19
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    Hey, Toby, I appreciate your balancing act here, and putting forethought into your decisions is a good thing. I think your addition to the list is apropos–in a positive light that fewer (hopefully no one) will get hosed on their big ride.

    I did as you suggested and re-read your post. It still (IMO) infers what I took away from it, but that's neither here nor there. Thanks for your explanation.

  20. #20
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    I'm not here to police vendors, but rather allow members to speak their minds.
    Makes 100% sense to me.

    A vendor makes their own path. Over the years this board has been a great source of information. Think the information should be available good, bad or otherwise.

  21. #21
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    replying here seems a bit petty, but for the sake of others who might lose out: i put a significant deposit down with jeff several years ago. communication reduced then stopped. no bags, no explanation. i would strongly suggest that anyone looking for bags avoids jeff. i know of 3 others personally who have had very similar experiences. beware.

  22. #22
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    As a small business owner who sells a product to cyclists, I find this conduct absolutely criminal. If you order an item online, over the phone or through email exchanges, it is a binding agreement. To not finish the deal is theft and negligence.

    As a bikepacker, I feel that people like Jeff and Matt are no better than any other scammer in this industry. But for some reason they get treated like victims. Trust me these guys are straight con artists. Just like the mail order guys who scam people. I would recommend to them to never show for a bikepack race. The people you have ripped off are not going to be happy.

    Since everyone looking at this thread is interested in bikepacking bags, I suggest what I have recently done. Make your own gear. Why? Well for starters you wont have to wait in some queue because some ego freak thinks he is better than his customers.

    Second- you are not bound to the same standard "we all copy each others bike bags" from the big boys. The seat bags sway in four directions after a couple of hours riding, the harnesses crunch cables and hold dry bags down but not tight enough thus allowing play to develop, the top tube bags are way overpriced and the frame bags rely on too much zipper tension through attachment methods (Zippers fail in 20-30 overnighters. We buy frame bags to stuff until nearly exploding- not to look cool on the bike. It takes longer to replace a zipper on a big boy frame bag than it takes to make your own new bag).

    Third- it aint that hard. My bags look nice but are not as nice visually as Revelate or Porcelain Rocket. But they outperform the big boys where it counts- they dont move at all. No loosening of straps ,degrading of performance and readjusting during the ride. This is simply not possible with the big boys- they cant make the bags for someone elses bike and test, rework and dial in. It doesnt take sewing skill to make these bags- it takes only the ability to visualize the bag from inside out and correctly plan your steps to complete the bag. Make a mistake and use your seam ripper and start over. Cant sew it all inside out? A little top stitch never hurt anyone- it would only be noticed by bag makers. Same color thread as material hides most errors or extra seams and generally the bag loaded on the bike will hide most of the seams anyway.

    Did i make mistakes? Sure, but I learned and reworked and tested and sewed some extra straps and velcro to make it happen. And I paid 1/7th of what I would have paid to wait for big boy bags. In two weeks spare time I made 4 bags and 3 dry sacks, for the price of one gas tank plus shipping from Revelate. I used some patterns and ideas from bikepacking.net MYOG forum, and I looked at everyones websites to compare my ideas to theirs. But I really used my own experience in bikepacking to design bags that fit my needs.

  23. #23
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Howdy all,

    For better exposure and more relevance, I moved a few great DIY posts to: Make Your Own Bikepacking gear - Mtbr Forums

  24. #24
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    Better Business, or maybe not

    FWIW I decided to file a complaint with the BBB on Oct 4. After receiving no reply from CDW after several attempts by the BBB, Jeff finally replied to the BBB with the following:

    11/19/2012 BBB RECEIVE BUSINESS RESPONSE : Thank you for contacting me about this matter. This custom order has gone uncompleted for a variety of reasons, but I am making efforts to resolve the matter and will be completing the work and shipping the order as originally agreed upon this week. I will contact the customer to notify them of the status, completion and delivery ASAP, and I will contact you with shipping information for this order this week. If I can do more to assist you in resolving this complaint, please let me know.
    Jeff Boatman
    Carousel Design Works

    "This week" was last week, and I haven't heard fvck-all from CDW. Granted it was Thanksgiving, but if he was sincere about it one would think he would have at least touched base with me and told me it was in the works. I assume he's simply slow rolling the BBB as he's been slow rolling me since June 2011.

    Between him and Matt Chester I'm suicidal. Why me? Why me?

  25. #25
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    It's good that you posted a complain, although I don't know if it will change how CDW operates. The BBB is a toothless organization, with no enforcement powers beyond sending official-looking nastygrams.

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