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  1. #1
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    Upset Help! Custom shop not talking and me not riding

    First off, I won't name the builder, as I still have hope. From what I've read, he's been great to work with, amazing results, etc. But... there are those few single comments in a thread that shows what I am experiencing is not unprecedented.

    My rant:

    I got a 2000 v-brake only Dean bike at a great price. I bought it because I always wanted a Dean, and I wanted to put my dream commuter together. To meet my needs, the frame would need some upgrades like rack brazeons, disc mount, and enhanced dropouts to handle rack/brake clearance issues. So I looked around and called multiple custom Ti frame shops, and found one that had the right pricing and solution for my requests and as an added bonus they've won "Best" at the NAHBS, so I'm stoked! I am told that the turnaround would be about a week "I hate having jobs sitting around" was the line. I am now super stoked ! They got the frame from me on Feb 9th, and I asked for confirmation of the work (an invoice). I was told it would get to me, I was told it was on the way, I was told "I'll send it tomorrow." This has transpired over the past five+ weeks.

    At this point, I have not heard from them for over a week. There have been no responses to my weekly email ("Hi, me again, just wondering when you think you can get to my frame?), nor to any of my bi-weekly voice mails (3 left to date, "Hi, just wanted to know if you could send out the invoice so you can get going on the work"). I have been courteous, understanding, and patient. I have only asked for a real timeline regarding turnaround. When I last spoke to the builder, I was told that the bike would be done last Friday, but no bike, no invoice, no communication.

    What is one to do? I have to assume that the work will get completed (won't it?), but I'm reaching a breaking point ... I even found myself looking to Nashbar for tide-me-over cheap frame ($75) as my current setup has some real issues.

    Any advice? And thanks for the look.

  2. #2
    Big Gulps, Alright!
    Reputation: Berkley's Avatar
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    Send them another email or voicemail, and prominently include the words "Under advisement from legal counsel." Bluff and see if they respond.

  3. #3
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    I would hope it doesn't come to that. I will admit that I am wondering how it would play out if I said just send it back. I would hope he could at least get to that promptly.

  4. #4
    Single Speed Junkie
    Reputation: crux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    Send them another email or voicemail, and prominently include the words "Under advisement from legal counsel." Bluff and see if they respond.
    This is a bit abrupt and to the point, however when a shop is not replying then actions such as these are required. I'm still waiting on my frame that was to be here and ready to rock Last July. Frame was finished and shipped out via UPS who proceeded to loose the new frame. Now out of money and no bike I've been promised a ride by mid March. Date has come and gone with no word so now it looks like I'm canceling the order Monday. Sure it sucks, but what is one to do. Continue waiting and hoping something shows up???

  5. #5
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    Reputation: Hardguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleo
    First off, I won't name the builder, as I still have hope. From what I've read, he's been great to work with, amazing results, etc. But... there are those few single comments in a thread that shows what I am experiencing is not unprecedented.....
    \
    Quote Originally Posted by crux
    This is a bit abrupt and to the point, however when a shop is not replying then actions such as these are required. I'm still waiting on my frame that was to be here and ready to rock Last July. Frame was finished and shipped out via UPS who proceeded to loose the new frame. Now out of money and no bike I've been promised a ride by mid March. Date has come and gone with no word so now it looks like I'm canceling the order Monday. Sure it sucks, but what is one to do. Continue waiting and hoping something shows up???
    I would just name the builders that are giving you guys the run around since it seems like you guys have already tried every method of communications short of showing up at the said builders' shops yourself. You'd be surprised how some well deserved negative attention on a public forum read by both potential buyers and other builders from all over the world might get your emails or phone calls replied and your frame modifications done all of a sudden. It is pretty obvious that these two builders do not care about your feelings or for your respect so I don't know why you guys would care about their reputations on this forum. Also, it would be very helpful to other members of this forum to know which builders are more or less dependable to deal with. I am sure after going through what you have been and still are going through with this builder, you would most likely not want any of your fellow forum members to go through the same bad experience.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    For me, the hope is that there will soon be resolution... I'm going to be really screwed if this doesn't pan out as I bought the used frame with this builder's promise as my motivator. From what I've read, he is good with frame delivery, and my guess is that bigger ticket items keep getting pushed to the front of the queue over my small job. Trust me, if I do end up having to get the frame back, the rants and raves will be forthcoming. If the work gets done, I will still post a follow-up. I figure the six week mark is when I crack (5 days hence!)...

  7. #7
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    +1 Hardguy. Name the builder. This thread would be more effective if you name him.

  8. #8
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    Hey-------Lets make this a fun game. We ask...you answer.
    Is the frame builder in Fort Collins????

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onetrack
    Hey-------Lets make this a fun game. We ask...you answer.
    Is the frame builder in Fort Collins????
    Hey Onetrack, sounds like a fun game. I'll add some clues also. Here is a link to all the "Best" awards this year at the NAHBS. I guess narrow that down to the a few ti builders since the OP was talking about a ti frame.

    http://www.2011.handmadebicycleshow....award-winners/

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onetrack
    Hey-------Lets make this a fun game. We ask...you answer.
    Is the frame builder in Fort Collins????
    Fort Collins.... Hmmmm. Well, bah bah to you!

  11. #11
    widebody
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleo
    Fort Collins.... Hmmmm. Well, bah bah to you!
    My guess would have been baah baah too. It is a frustrating thing to wait for a custom builder. My guess is you happened to be "unfortunate" to start your process just in time for the NAHMBS. Just keep at him with the emails and phone calls. I understand the frustration with the silence, I remember it too. Said never again will I go this route, but 6 months later I ordered a fork too. Same waiting but this time around I knew what to expect. All will be forgotten once you have the bike between your legs, seriously. I love mine and at over two years this is the longest time I have kept a frame. I do think about selling it as they are getting too popular on these boards Hang in there as the finished product will be well worth it. I had the luxury of having another bike to ride while waiting for the frame. Later dude.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleo
    Fort Collins.... Hmmmm. Well, bah bah to you!
    They should make the bah-bahs jump on the website continuously across the screen so you can count them while you wait for your frame. Keep calling and emailing daily and they will get annoyed and finish the job and send you your frame back. The squeaky wheels usually get the grease. Like SSumo said, you just picked the worse time to send it in to get the mods done with the bike show and trying to fill already backlogged orders. It still doesn't justify 5 weeks and counting for something they promised you would be done in a week or so though. Good Luck.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    I like the leaping bah bah concept. It should be personalized with your own time ticker if you log in. I will conjure up all of my Zen powers and wait patiently and contact consistently with visions of the ultimate commuter/tourer dancing in my head.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    James (aka Black Sheep Bikes) rocks!

    So I just got off the phone with him... Bike and new fork should ship tomorrow! Redemption is sweet and apparently (moral of the story) patience & courtesy pay off.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleo
    So I just got off the phone with him... Bike and new fork should ship tomorrow! Redemption is sweet and apparently (moral of the story) patience & courtesy pay off.

    Awesome, that is great news! Patience and courtesy plus maybe someone in Fort Collins got wind of this thread...haha. Please post some pics asap, now, yesterday, hurry up, chop chop! Oh, I forgot that patience again. I do want to see some pics though for some inspirations to finish my Dean commuter build also.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help! Custom shop not talking and me not riding-attachment.jpg  

    Last edited by Hardguy; 04-03-2011 at 06:58 PM.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    Will do!

  17. #17
    widebody
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleo
    So I just got off the phone with him... Bike and new fork should ship tomorrow! Redemption is sweet and apparently (moral of the story) patience & courtesy pay off.
    Let us hope you get your tracking number today

  18. #18
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    so to sum up story:

    guy sends bike
    bike builder doesn't respond to several emails nor calls
    -5 weeks later-
    guy still tries reaching builder - nothing
    guy refuses to oust builder on public forum
    guy ousts builder on public forum
    -2 days later-
    guy gets contacted, bike ships out next day

    moral of the story - oust the damn bike builder guys. its valuable for other consumers out there. you might think you're being a cool guy and "bro" by not ousting them but you're only perpetuating the problem. Now the next guy that wants work done at black sheep has to wait 5 weeks.
    Last edited by Stumpy_Steve; 03-27-2011 at 11:34 AM.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
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    Well, to more accurate:

    -2 days later-
    guy gets contacted
    card gets charged next day
    And then,,, Well...

    Sigh. No tracking number, emailed a request for one, no response, and Saturday and no frame (yet? Hahahahaha but it's going to be here any day! I know it! I can feel it! He wouldn't do me wrong! (insert crazed icon here)). He is good, as anyone in such a relationship can be... He heard my son in the background when discussing my order four days ago, and asked about him (wow, he really does care!)

    It'll get here eventually, I just need to be pleasantly surprised when there's a box at my door.

    Moral of the story - I suggest to all you potential customers out there that there is more to a relationship than smooth welds and clean lines... (even though they can be sooooo nice at the start of things).

  20. #20
    widebody
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleo
    Well, to more accurate:

    -2 days later-
    guy gets contacted
    card gets charged next day
    And then,,, Well...

    Sigh. No tracking number, emailed a request for one, no response, and Saturday and no frame (yet? Hahahahaha but it's going to be here any day! I know it! I can feel it! He wouldn't do me wrong! (insert crazed icon here)). He is good, as anyone in such a relationship can be... He heard my son in the background when discussing my order four days ago, and asked about him (wow, he really does care!)

    It'll get here eventually, I just need to be pleasantly surprised when there's a box at my door.


    Moral of the story - I suggest to all you potential customers out there that there is more to a relationship than smooth welds and clean lines... (even though they can be sooooo nice at the start of things).
    I was hoping you would have your frame in transit to you. This brings back memories of my frame and fork process. Hang in there and keep up the emails, phone calls and text messages You will get a RUSH UPS delivery soon. I never took him up on the rush shipping offer.......I just wanted the confirmation it was on the way. Just hope all the correct size tubing and parts are in stock and not lost in the relocation to the new shop?
    The bike will rock.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    Update!

    Looks like the frame is going out today! James was missing some parts, got them in, so here we go...

    For a frame (hahahahaha) of reference, here are some crappy pics of the Dean before shipped out to BSB:



    Typical Dean here... Came with all XTR 8 speed from a local seller, including Hugi Wheelset with Ti spokes... Old School Bling to the max!



    I love the shape of the stays, amazing! The frame weighed in at 3.2 lbs once stripped down.



    Adding a Black Sheep fork as pictured.



    The work that's getting done:

    1. Disc Tab
    2. Extensions for rack and disc brake clearance
    3. Rack brazeons
    4. Removing canti brazeons
    5. Fender mounts
    6. Disc cable guide
    7. Polished frame!

    Will post pics of the build once begun...

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kokothemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy_Steve
    so to sum up story:

    guy sends bike
    bike builder doesn't respond to several emails nor calls
    -5 weeks later-
    guy still tries reaching builder - nothing
    guy refuses to oust builder on public forum
    guy ousts builder on public forum
    -2 days later-
    guy gets contacted, bike ships out next day

    moral of the story - oust the damn bike builder guys. its valuable for other consumers out there. you might think you're being a cool guy and "bro" by not ousting them but you're only perpetuating the problem. Now the next guy that wants work done at black sheep has to wait 5 weeks.

    I'll come out of the woodwork here. I had the same treatment from this unnamed person as well many years ago. Nothing was getting done until I had to get very ugly about it, missing races, missing months, etc. I will never go with a custom builder again, it's just not worth it IMO.

  23. #23
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    can anyone recommend a US made steel frame that isn't custom made?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
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    Gunnars (http://gunnarbikes.com/site/) always looked really nice. VooDoo has one that's also nice (853 tubing: http://www.voodoocycles.net/bizango.htm), but I don't know if they make their frames in the US.

  25. #25
    underachiever
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    Keep in mind James and crew just moved to some new digs, so that can throw a monkey wrench into the works.

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