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  1. #1
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    Listen! If you have Specialized own-brand forks or shocks, this may be of interest to you!

    There have been so many threads on here over the last year regarding problems & issues relating to Specialized's own-brand shocks & forks; most-especially, the Enduro SL, of which I am an owner (2007 SL Pro [aluminium])........There remains much confusion, speculation and general lack of confidence within bike shops and at Specialized's regional level, that I thought that I'd bite the bullet and broadly address concerns regarding certain aspects at corporate level

    I emailed the attached correspondence to Mike Sinyard (President) and Mick McAndrews (Director of Suspension Engineering) of Specialized HQ today (4th January)

    For those of you whom may feel that they are similarly affected, I hope that I have covered all the bases in the correspondence in respect of concerns which you might share and of course I shall post the response from Specialized on this thread, as and when recieved in due course

    I can't promise that anything will be achieved, but at least we might gain an understanding as to where things stand on certain issues

    **************************************

    <b>Technical Library:</b>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/AdvicefromSpecialized_E150Forkservicing.pdf" target="new">Advice from Specialized for owners considering undertaking E150 Fork
    servicing or maintenance procedures</a>

    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/CommentsonE150ForkStictioninsupportSlick.pdf" target="new">Comments on E150 Fork Stiction in support of Slick Honey Process</a>

    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/KelstrsE150ForkSlickHoneyAlignment.pdf" target="new">Kelstr’s E150 Fork “Slick Honey” & Alignment Owner Maintenance</a>

    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/SpecializedE150ForkServiceManual.pdf" target="new">Specialized E150 Fork Service Manual (low resolution)</a>

    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/SpecializedsE150ForkServiceManual.pdf" target="new">Specialized E150 Fork Service Manual (print resolution)</a>

    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/SpecializedE150ForkSpikeValvePressure.pdf" target="new">Specialized E150 Fork Spike Valve Pressure Settings</a>

    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/SpecializedInstructiononE150ForkDoubleCrown.pdf" target="new">Specialized Instruction on E150 Fork Double Crown setup</a>

    <a href="http://www.specialized.com/bc/microsite/suspensionsetup/main.html?x=y" target="new">2008 Enduro SL Suspension Setup Video</a>

    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/SpecializedadviceForkShockservint.pdf" target="new">Specialized advice regarding E150 Fork & AFR Shock service intervals</a>



    <b>Correspondence Letters:</b>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence1(Jan2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 1</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence2(Jan2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 2</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence3(Jan2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 3</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence4(Jan2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 4</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence5(Jan2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 5</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence6(Jan2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 6</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence7(Jan2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 7</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence8(Feb2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 8</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence9(Feb2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 9</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Corrrespondence10(Feb2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 10</a>
    <a href="http://www.mtbr.com/channels/mtbreview/data/specialized/Correspondence11(Feb2008).pdf" target="new">Correspondence 11</a>

    **************************************
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Lipps64; 01-06-2008 at 02:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Very professional!

    Hope it achieves something for you.

  3. #3
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    Smile, things could be worse. Just think you owned a Specialized brand rear shock and no one would even look it...

    Good luck with your approach, I'm indeed curious to see if and how they react on that one.

  4. #4
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    Andy,
    Your letter is professional and addresses exactly what has been on every 07 Enduro Sl owners mind who has had problems. I agree will all your points.
    I also was looking at purchasing a new Epic or Stumpjumper to complement my Enduro.
    I had pretty much decided I would not risk it and go with another brand.
    A positive response from Specialized as a result of your letter could really make a big difference for on my future bike purchases.
    Thanks for taking the time to put this well thought out letter together.
    Jack

  5. #5
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    Didn't someone once say "The pen is mightier than a Suntour fork"?
    Last edited by Lintott; 01-08-2008 at 03:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    I have a SJ Pro with the AFR shock and Brain, and all the issues related to Specialized own shocks and forks have concerned about the reliability of my shock. Your letter has came in the most opportune time, when Specialized hasn't spoken NOTHING about it, just taking the defected parts for replacement or warranty servicing, when they should have come with a REAL response to all these issues.

    I admire Specialized for their bikes and products (the BG line is just something else than good), but in the suspension department they are falling terribly short. A simple solution was give costumers the choice of havind a housebrand fork/shock or a specific fork& shock manufacturers (Fox, Rock Shox, Manitou, Marzocchi) parts in their bikes. That would even light the way to Specialized on which kind is the biggest demand, and if it IS really worthy they keep going on the suspension business or leave it to the pros.

    Also, they should start using standard measures when it comes to shocks; if I ever want to replace my shock, I have to buy either a slightly longer or shorter shock, because they have a non-standard measure for the SJ rear shock. It draws your choices to a massive ZERO chances of ever get the right fit. That's annoying, and unfair, to say the least. Come down with market standard won't make Specialized less than they are, but making things this difficult for their costumers will.

    Hope they listen to you, Andy. You have all my support on that, because if they listen to you, they might consider all the complaints of those who have bought their bikes because they are Specialized, damn it, and not some junkyard brand. But I must say I'm even considering buying bikes from other brands, because I can't take chance on spending an enormous amount of money on a bike and then stay staring at it, because it's stucked down because of a fork or a shock or both and because, by some foolish corporate pride, they just don't give us the chance of having the simple choice to get the bike running as it should: with parts that actually work.

    WAKE UP SPECIALIZED! IT'S ALMOST NOON AND YOU HAVEN'T LEFT THE BED YET.

  7. #7
    dweeby
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    Andy,
    What a word-smith, I love the fact that you employ your bike for outings.

    I ended up buying the SJ comp just to avoid own brand suspension. They shouldn't be selling it untill it has had loads of testing becouse it takes years of experience to make reliable suspension parts, if Fox and Marzocchi still bring out the odd dodgy fork then what chance dose Specialized have. I have allways bought Specialized becouse they make great frames with a great warrenty. I would like to continue but if they start sticking ther own suspension on all frames in the future then I may have to think again.
    I hope they reply to you.

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    Well done Andy!

    I have to say thank you for sending that letter to Specialized addressing all the issues with the Enduro SL suspension.

    I haven't had any problems with my bike as yet (Enduro Comp 08) but I have to say that due to a small surgery I had few weeks ago, I haven't been able and won't be able to ride my SL for about 3 months. A quarter of the warranty period!!!!!!!

    At the moment, my worst nightmare is to think that my suspension will fail or brake after the warranty is expired and I will have to spend more money to fix it. I think specialized must bite the bullet with this issue, extend the warranty period and/or once they come up with reliable forks and shocks, do a full recall and replace them all. That is what a well known brand should do with their products in order to keep their good name and reputation.

    Thanks again and please keep us all SL owners posted with whatever response you get from Specialized.

  9. #9
    Wil109
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    I would like to say thanks Andy. Having bought Specialized in the past I am considering what I intend to buy as a replacement for my SL in years to come. I hope they respond in non corporate fashion as in “We here at Specialized are committed to providing excellent products and exceptional customer care. If you have any problems with your specialized product please contact the vendor where you purchased it for warranty repair”. I wonder how the consumer protection act covers this state of affairs. Off to do some detective work, ooooh yeah.
    I love my bike and my bike loves me

  10. #10
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    Great letter, they better listen. Unforunately I have got rid of mine, Cost me $900, but then I did get use out of it for 8 months, I didnt want to push my LBS for a full refund, as I was getting the Heckler from the same place. (oh and $600 dollars in fuel costs, + 6 days pay lost in getting the bike there etc. etc.) Even though I have the Heckler I still haven't forgotten the hurt I have felt with this bike breaking down. And I as another had been a huge fan of Specialized sine 1988. and 10 bikes. Iremember seeing the fork picture at a factory with Suntour on the boxes, though have heard somewhere they have switched makers?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by catnash
    I remember seeing the fork picture at a factory with Suntour on the boxes, though have heard somewhere they have switched makers?
    Man, are you sure? If is Suntour that is making those f***ing shocks and Specialized shocks in general, I'll be selling mine tomorrow. That's what I call STEALING from consumers. Before they had all going through Fox and then kick them away, knowing now that all this sh*t is coming from Suntour, a LOW-END shock company, what can you say about Specialized? They are just as lame as those sh*t suspensions they got on those f***ing bikes. Gotta be f***ing kidding me. I'll buy a Cannondale tomorrow, period.

  12. #12
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    Wink Black RONIN.......You had best sit down before reading this....

    Black RONIN; some information that I’ve lifted from other resources, aimed especially at winding you up!! (only kidding )

    I can’t find anything definitive on where Specialized are getting their own-brand suspension components sourced from. However;


    Where was my bike made?

    Some bike companies have a few secrets. And one of those secrets is where your bike is made or who actually made it. The bike companies like it that way because many of them rely upon the same factories to build their bikes!

    The big picture is pretty clear: around 95% of the bikes sold in the U.S. are made in China or Taiwan by a handful of manufacturers of which Giant is the largest

    Generally speaking, low to mid level bikes are made in China and mid to high level bikes are made in Taiwan. The exception is carbon; many manufacturers use Chinese manufacturers to make their carbon frames; even their high-end racing frames

    When it comes to knowing where your bike is made, shouldn’t it be as easy as looking at the sticker on your bike or what is printed on the box in which your bike came? After all, how confusing can a label that says “Made in the USA” or “Made in France” or “Made in Italy” be?

    Well; in a word ‘very’. It is very confusing because your definition of “made in” is different from the bike industry’s definition

    Generally speaking, the country claiming origin has to add 60% or more of the value of the final product. For example, you and I can import an unpainted carbon fibre racing frame from China to Spain, which will ultimately retail for $4,000 with Shimano components in the United States

    The frame and fork may only cost $200 from the Chinese manufacturer. In Spain, we will paint, decal, assemble, and box the bike for shipping to the U.S. Our cost to paint, decal, assemble, and box might be $300 and the cost of the components might be another $800

    So is this bike “Made in China” or “Made in Spain?” According to the bike industry's definition, the bike is made in Spain. The sticker will say “Made in Spain” as will the shipping box to the United States because over 60% of the value will be added in Spain

    Let’s say we took the same frame and have the Chinese manufacturer paint it, decal it, assemble it into a bicycle, and ship it to Spain. When we ship it to the United States, the label will have to say “Made in China”

    Perhaps the best way to eliminate the confusion is for the bicycle industry to follow the lead of the automobile industry and tell the end consumer the countries of origin of all aspects of the bicycle(?)

    After all, if you are led to believe by a bunch of marketing people that your bike was handmade in Spain when it was actually mass-produced in a Chinese factory, would you buy that bike? Maybe; but you wouldn’t pay a premium for it


    With these things in mind, here is a run-down of some of the key bike brands sold in the U.S. and elsewhere (information available & derived from ‘Bicycle Retailer and Industry News' 2007 Factory and Suppliers Guide’);

    Cannondale

    Aluminium Cannondales are made in the U.S. Cannondale, which was owned by founder Joe Montgomery and his son Scott. Cannondale is now owned by its key investment fund after experiencing financial problems. Cannondale's market share appears to have diminished but stabilized. Because it is owned by an investment fund, it is constantly rumoured for sale. The carbon bikes are sourced from Asia

    Felt

    Felt is a fairly new bicycle company, started by motocross guru Jim Felt. All production comes from Asia

    Fisher

    After struggling with his own bicycle company, Gary Fisher sold his brand to Trek Bicycle Company. Still involved in designing and marketing his brand. Fisher bikes are made in Asia, except for the full-suspension rigs (which are made in Wisconsin)

    Fuji

    Fuji is now owned by Ideal, who manufacturers most of their bikes. Ideal is one of the key Taiwanese manufacturers along with Giant and Merida. Ideal also manufactures for other brands. Topkey of China manufacturers Fuji's carbon frames

    Giant

    Giant is the world's largest bicycle manufacturer with factories in Taiwan, China, and Europe. Giant, a Taiwanese company started in 1972, manufacturers their own bikes, including the carbon bikes, which is unique in the industry (i.e., most other brands utilize other manufacturers such as Advanced or Martec)

    In addition to making their own bikes, Giant also makes, or has made, bikes for many other prominent brands, including Trek, Specialized, Schwinn, and Bianchi. Giant's claim to fame is that they have the most sophisticated and efficient manufacturing facilities in the bicycle industry

    A bit of trivia is that Giant owns 30% of Hodaka, a key Taiwanese supplier for many other brands

    Kona

    A California company with all production from Asia. Kona, founded in 1988, is a very small company similar in size to Marin. Fairly and Hodaka in Taiwan are key suppliers

    Marin

    A California company with production from Asia, except for a handful of high-end models. Marin is a very small company similar in size to Kona. Key Asian suppliers are A-Pro, Fairly, and Sunrise

    Schwinn

    Schwinn was for many years the largest American brand. All bicycles were made domestically until the late 80's. After two bankruptcies, Schwinn is now owned by Pacific, who also owns GT, Mongoose, and the Pacific (and some other brands). Pacific is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin

    The bikes sold in the U.S. are made in Asia, many by Giant

    Scott USA

    Scott got its start in Sun Valley. In the 80's, Scott developed a bike line. Eventually, Scott pulled out of the U.S. market and focused on Europe

    Although the company is headquartered in Switzerland, production comes from Asia, with key suppliers being Hodaka and Giant

    Specialized

    Started in 1974 by Mike Sinyard, Specialized has enjoyed a long-standing reputation for being a leading bicycle design and marketing company

    Several years ago, Merida (a Taiwanese manufacturer) bought a substantial interest in Specialized. Although Specialized is still headquartered in California under the leadership of founder Mike Sinyard, all bikes are made in Asia. Key Asian suppliers are Merida, Ideal, and Giant

    Trek

    America's largest bicycle brand. Trek built their first manufacturing plant in Wisconsin and after many years of making its own bicycles in the U.S., Trek moved entry and mid level bicycle manufacturing to Asia. In 1992, Trek introduced its proprietary OCLV carbon process (Optimum Compaction Low Void) which is still used in its handmade carbon frames. All OCLV carbon frames, road and mountain, are still made in Waterloo, Wisconsin. The all-carbon 5000 (which does not feature OCLV) is made in Asia

    Worldwide, Trek is the second largest bicycle company after Giant

    Trek owns (or licenses) Fisher, LeMond, Klein, and Bontrager



    So the moral being; don't just buy the bike based purely on the label anymore!?!
    Lend me £20.00 and I'll buy you a drink!

  13. #13
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    Blimey you really do right long posts!

    Looks like I got of easy buying a Giant Trance X made by Giant themselves and buying a low end Stumpy also probably made by Giant that thankfully is all Fox.

    I think Trek has also moved their manufacturing of all aluminium off road frames to Asia as well for 2008, the big surprise being the Fuel EX cos that came with the made in USA sticker on it up an till 2008.

    I really feel sorry for any one who has a Specialized own suspension that doesn’t work, VERY easily explained if they are made by Suntour, if I had a shock made by Suntour I’d bin it like greased lightning.

    Black RONIN
    Nice use of the English language there!
    That new Dale looks very promising in the pics I have seen, the one with 130mm travel.

  14. #14
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    That's outsourcing for us, well, if the bike is entirely made in USA would you pay $8K instead of the $5K that's made in Asia? The most important thing is we consumers must be united in forcing this manufacturers to improve their quality control, costumer service, and warranties should be extended way beyond what they offer now. We are the customers, they need us more than we need them!!!

  15. #15
    Wob
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    True

    Lipps 64, well done.

    I own an Epic Marathon and have so far in 12 months been through two replacement AFR rear Shocks. I am not confident about what support I will get if I get more problems now my warrantee is up....

    I hope you get a response for all our sakes!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGF168
    Black RONIN
    Nice use of the English language there!
    That new Dale looks very promising in the pics I have seen, the one with 130mm travel.
    Really sorry about that... But it's so damn frustrating knowing such things, that you just can't help... and all these issues coming over and over without a solution, and now you come to know Specialized suspensions are made by Suntour - what used to be made by a A-Brand like Fox is now made by some D-Class company - it's no surprise it would fail big time, since those suspensions are made for nothing but commuting and even for that they are lame suspensions. Can't believe that a 7k+ dollar bike like the EnduroSL and SJ are spec'ed with Suntour parts. I don't know, but I'm really pissed off, since my SJ Pro has that thing sticked at it. I'm trying to contact Fox to know if there is a matching shock, since I won't ride it again until I get a REAL shock on it.

    Yeah, the new Cannondales are looking very promissing, and I always was a big fan of the Prophet. I do have the chance of getting one now, and I'm going tomorrow at my LBS to see the bike, and I'll probably close the deal on the Prophet. But I'll wait to get the answer from Fox first.

    Anyway, sorry again. But that really made me going mad.

  17. #17
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    Kinda strange - Suntour used to make some nice stuff back in the day.... way back.

  18. #18
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    Andy, thank you very much for all the info. I really didn't know all that, I knew some, but certainly not all of that.

    In fact, I don't mind where a bike is made and by whom, but what I care about is QC. Oftenly, in the Cannondale threads there are ardent discussions about where bikes are made and if they are good or not because of that. CDale fans are very resistent about the idea of their bikes being produced outside the US, but that is not the real problem. It doesn't matter where bikes are made, what matters is if the company has all under control to ensure their bikes will have the expected QC. Spec'ing the right suppliers for most parts and shocks are a crucial choice that will determine if the bike will deliver what is promissed by its manufacturer or not. And that what Specialized is falling short.

    Specialized choose to take the easy - and cheaper - route this time. If the suspensions are not enough to show you how lame it's been, just look at some component choices. Not that they are bad, but they came very cheap for them and they are shooting at us with high prices that are not up to those specs. Want an example? The refurbished XT cranks, painted with the new brand's brownish silver to pass as a custom part for Specialized, when it's the old crankset with a hideous color to not spend one cent more on the new XT cranks - which were smartly spec'ed on the more expensive bikes, like the Enduro SL Pro Carbon. Well, if that's not lame, I don't know nothing anymore.

    The issues with the forks is just so surreal that is almost hilariuos. They keep spec'ing the defective forks and shocks - man, they must have tons of that sh*t laying around (oops, forgive my English again... ) - and people that buy the bike will have them replaced until the end of that defective stock. That's just plain simple. But when you get your warranty finished, and when you finally pay for it, they will send you a supposed new fork and shock, that may be still from the defective parts and be covered with a new one-year warranty to push you more and more defective parts, or if they already have unloaded all of them, finally give you a new and working part - or not, and the story goes on and on. That's ridiculous.

    That's what I care. Specialized have become lazy over the years. Just look at Trek's and Giant's new rigs. They are solid, and spec'ed with trustful parts. No need to get fancy. Cannondale has going a long way to stabilish the Lefty, so has Foes with the Curnutt shock. Scott has came the same way. But all of those parts are made by RELIABLE manufactures and suppliers, such as Fox, Manitou and DT Swiss, which are major players and have high standards for QC. How come a A-Brand like Specilized has chosen a D-Class supplier like Suntour to make their suspensions? That's something that's unexplainable. But now they are seeing the pain of it. And soon they will feel the crack that it will leave on the Specialized brand and name.

    Look, I live in Brazil, a country where with the relative amount of money you put on a bike, you could buy a brand new car such the New Beetle or a Super Bike like a CBR Fireblade or Ducati1098 in the US and Europe. Specilized doesn't have an office here, they have an IMPORTER, and they are very, very, very small in terms of market share when it comes in comparison with Trek, Scott and Giant, which each one of them has big offices here, and each one have a massive import count on every model of their catalogs. We only get Specialized Comp models and a few Pro and S-Works frames. Mine I bought a frame-only 07 SJ Pro FSR and built it up from the ground with good parts and components. But if my shock blows, I'm lost with it. I'm covered with warranty issues, but it will take ages to get it back and working, because they don't have spare parts to help me. They have to send the shock back to Specialized in the US, then wait their word about it, and then they will be able to get the shock back and return it to me. A friend of mine waited almost 6 months for a simple FSR link to be replaced. That may give you the idea why I'm so worried and pissed about it. What I payed in the frame only, one can buy a SJ Pro Carbon complete, if we go with a relative currency (as the BigMac dollar). I payed R$5290 only for the frame, which with I can buy around 750 Big Macs here. Do the math.

    I'll try to solve this problem, or I'll simply sell the frame or the whole bike and get either a Cannondale, a Trek or a Giant. I read great reviews on both the new Fuel Ex9 and Trance X0 on MBA, and always loved the Prophet. It's my second Specialized bike, and will probably be the last. Unless they retreat and start it over again. If not, I'll simply not buy their bikes and will say that they suck big time and tell my friends and everyone that asks me to not buy their bikes. They won't go broke with this, but at least I will not cope with them and their flawed philosophy, wich is deceiving consumers into buying those SH*T bikes (no excuses this time.)
    Last edited by Black RONIN; 01-08-2008 at 08:29 AM.

  19. #19
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    The compression and rebound knobs on the AFR look very similar the the knobs on the X-Fusion 02 PVA.

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    Lipps64,

    Could you make a form letter in a generic format like a word doc or text file? I imagine if Mike Sinyard received 100 or so snail mails he might be more inclined to do something. Blogs are nice places to air problems, but signed pieces of paper have more weight in a class action suit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    Lipps64,

    Could you make a form letter in a generic format like a word doc or text file? I imagine if Mike Sinyard received 100 or so snail mails he might be more inclined to do something. Blogs are nice places to air problems, but signed pieces of paper have more weight in a class action suit.
    This is a brilliant idea! Lipps64, I back this up, I would love to send this letter to Specialized and hear from them too. If we all send a letter, they will have to some how come up with a solution!

  22. #22
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    Does this mean I would get a $900 (£450 credit note from them to buy another specialized bike) doubt it as the bike is gone, my brothers getting an S-works 07 fsr so I still reccomend them.

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    Letter

    I really want to hear the reply on that letter.

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    Listen! I suggest holding-fire for the moment.......What say you?

    Hi all

    “Yes”, I have no qualms towards providing copy of my letter originally to Specialized and displayed on here in a format that just needs alternative sender’s names & addresses editing-in and I agree that this would be a good way of asserting consumer opinion, should the situation require. Similarly, I would have no problem letting my own name be used for reference in terms of identifying the original letter and/or for that matter, as a focus for Specialized to address matters (if need be). However;

    Could I suggest though, that the option of sending additional similar copies of letters may be best kept in abeyance at this stage; as we do not have either a confirmed difference of opinion or moreover, a ‘situation’ with Specialized regarding the issues detailed within my letter; prior to any such time that we may receive a response that we may consider to be unsatisfactory;

    Indeed, my letter was not (in my opinion or certainly with any intent) drafted in an aggressive manner, nor designed to ‘get Specialized’s back up’ and I think that at the initial stage it is important that we are mindful towards not inadvertently pushing Specialized into a position where they may feel forced to go on the offensive in order to be defensive (if that makes sense[?] );

    Without doubt, there is much to be gained by all parties if these issues can be swiftly & amicably addressed!

    Moreover, all I have actually said thus-far in my letter, if it were to be translated into man-on-the-street language is;

    "I’m one of thousands of Specialized’s existing customers, whom do not have overall complaint with the brand as a whole or level of service provided. However, I wish to air concerns regarding specific elements of my current purchase, which have proven to fall significantly short of reasonable expectations and these are known to be widespread issues, whereupon, a resolute solution has not as yet been found forthcoming from Specialized. As a consequence, I consider myself to be unjustly in a position whereby I am likely to be detrimentally affected financially"

    "I request certain reassurances and similarly proffer the following suggestions, which in my opinion may alleviate some of those concerns highlighted and restore confidence in the performance & longevity of my current purchase. Please respond"

    My letter was emailed via Specialized’s Customer Care on Friday 4th January 2008 at approximately 1400 hrs GMT. It is acknowledged through experience in my own line of work; that it is common practice for large commercial entities not to enter into matters which may potentially incur legal implications by way of emails. Therefore, two further signed hard-copies of my letter were also separately posted, addressed to both Mike Sinyard and Mick McAndrews on Friday 4th January 2008 by Air Mail sent from the UK, each requiring receipt-confirmation signature by the recipient (ie, an agent of Specialized)

    It generally takes about five working days to ensure Air Mail correspondence has been received between the UK and USA. From thereon, assuming that Mike Sinyard or someone of prominent standing, whom can address these issues from a corporate level are in attendance at Specialized HQ; then, I would expect to receive confirmation that my letter had been received within a period of say, seven days

    From that time, it would be reasonable expectation to receive a full response to the contents of my letter; perhaps another seven days later as a maximum time-scale, before I would feel need to enquire as to the status of my correspondence

    Therefore, could I suggest that, whilst I hold great value in the support that is being offered by you guys (and girls ) towards achieving resolution on these issues. In respect of writing additional letters at this current juncture; it would perhaps be prudent if you could you be patient for a period of say, three weeks from the date of my original letter. Thereby, giving Specialized every opportunity to address these issues both positively & amicably from the onset of them being initially brought to their attention

    Purposefully, I omitted to include any telephone contact details within my letters & emails to Specialized, thereby, exploiting opportunity to engage with them in writing, in respect of these matters

    As previously promised, I shall be pleased to advise & provide copy of any and all responses received from Specialized reflecting my own correspondence, by means of employing this thread as the conduit for doing-so

    Is my above suggestion to hang-fire for the meantime with respect to others sending additional correspondence mirroring my original letter to Specialized considered agreeable to all?
    Last edited by Lipps64; 01-08-2008 at 11:55 AM.
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  25. #25
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    This stuff right here that you guys are going through is exactly why I didn't buy another specialized! You start using someone's proprietary parts, they've got you over a barrel all of the sudden. The only place you'll get repair or replacement parts from is a Specialized dealer.....that's not right in my opinion.

  26. #26
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    Quite right!
    It was stupid with me, the dealer referred me to Specialized, vice versa no less than 5 times, it was then that I referred myself to a new non-Specialized dealer, which proved to also be a mistake so I referred myself to the same dealer I bought the Trance X from and they seem to be doing a good job with the Stumpy now.

  27. #27
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    Lipps....excellent post

    Seeing each breakdown you posted reminds me of the manufacturer info collected from various industry insiders over the years - some of which was harder to come by than others.

    Spech has had a looong standing relationship with Giant in Taiwan. Yes the Giant facilities cranks out a variety of rebadged frames. On the more expensive fames duallies and such I would bet Hodaka but my memory fails me.

    Spech - Legal: Mention even the potential for personal injury resulting from design, manufacture, or QC defect or the likes and the conversation either verbal or email will be immediately terminated. No *****footing around on this note. Good luck on the Letter Campaign - tis a good idea but the Corporate COntrol is likely to result in a non-response/white wash. No offence meant to Crackers out there, I am of Afro descent hence I can get away with it - we do have a few special inalien-able rights. No offense to Mexicans or Aliens intended - as I am also part Mexican.

    Spech Proprietary Suspensions: I too have heard from suspension insiders that Suntour makes their forks. Suntour is a terrible large manufacturer who rebadges for many, and make a ton for PacifiBikes and some of the worlds largest rebadged bike part giblets. Why on earth anyone would slap an unknown and proven to be incompetent front fork on a mid level bike is, for lack of a more technical term - well RETARDED. No offence meant to any retards out there. Lard knows I myself dont feel too offended cept being asked to pay for this hidden garbage. Yank this crap off, put it on yer Huffy and buy from Marzocchi.

    Kona: You are spot on Fairley and Hodaka. Again Hodaka for the higher quality stuff. If you saw the welds etc etc side by side you could tell the better quality and QC fron Hodaka. I love KONA products and my experience with their customer service is surpassed by NONE.

    Tainwan made frames are a pleasure to buy. Chinese frames should be illegal. Why scrimp a few cents for a crappy product. Many of us refuse to but China (enemies of freedom) made frames. Supporting Taiwan is a vote showing your displeasure with China governmental policy. Now if we could only get a Hodaka style facility in Cambodia who have implemented regulations to eliminate slave labor and horrible sweatshops but have been losing market share to China. Hey as soon as some bike companies can save a nother nickle having frames made in Russia, or IRAQ the sooner we will be riding those. Well some might...some will refuse to cave.

    Carbon: There is a large manufacturer who makes most of the mid and high end carbon giblets...HAL my memory banks are going....can't remember

    I TOTALLY AGREE...the major components should show origin. As for who makes the sparkly grip tassles on my bikes...well I dont really care. If it is child slave labor in China tis sad indeed. This my little pony stuff is all made in China.

    Again thanks for your full post as reminder, and keep up the good fight.

    CS
    C.SPRINGS

  28. #28
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    Listen!

    I’ve cross-referenced a response that I placed on an adjoining thread regarding similar issues Anybody ever blow out a Specialized shock after 100 miles??, which I think is equally relevant here. So;


    Quote :

    Originally Posted by bhsavery


    ………….We both (and Specialized dealers apparently) realise that there were some reliability issues. I did notice your other thread and read the "open letter" to Specialized. The only thing I have to say about that is, well Specialized already has your money and has already agreed to a warranty period of one year. Seems like you want some compensation for being the "2007 Guinea Pigs" for Specialized shocks, but honestly, you're not going to get it. I think maybe that the only thing that would affect them at this point is the prospect of losing future customers………..



    Hi bhsavery

    I agree in the most-part with your comments & analysis, with the exception of a possible insinuation that Specialized customers (say, for point of argument, 2007 Series Enduro SL purchasers) should perhaps accept comeuppance for ‘agreeing’ to enact any role of being product 'Guinea Pigs'. In this day & age, if a product developer or manufacturer wishes to release a product for public consumption; it is entirely their responsibility to ensure that adequate investment & resources have been afforded to pre-release testing; whereby, any fundamental problems with the product can be identified and eliminated in order to ensure fitness for purpose before the product is brought to the marketplace

    That said, this is not a perfect world and it is acknowledged that there shall always be instances where products do reach the marketplace with inherent defects/do not fulfil the design criteria for which they were intended and in these instances; the products are invariably recalled by the manufacturer and replaced with re-engineered or improved models; erstwhile another satisfactory replacement or alternative solution made forthcoming by the manufacturer

    Seeking compensation” (as you suggest?)........No, certainly not! Merely seeking assurances and the implementation of a situation which ensures that certain ranges of bikes being sold to consumers, are in actual fact going to have components fitted with the capacity to be reliably termed ‘adequate for purpose’ and to hopefully embrace an accord with the manufacturer, which ensures that purchasers of said bikes do not incur an unjust financial detriment in the event of products being supplied not meeting these fair expectation ‘adequate for purpose’ criteria;

    This has never been, nor lays any claim in respect of a, “Specialized AFR Shock is not in the opinion of a rider, ‘as good’ as a Fox shock or a Specialized E150 fork ‘as good’ as a Marzocchi product and therefore we are disappointed” scenario. What we are talking about here are widespread occurrence of ‘catastrophic failures’ (ie, the product not physically working) and highlighting the fact that similar specification of said products are being employed as a replacement; whereby reoccurrence of problems are subsequently taking place within the one year warranty period term. Whereupon, at the end of the one year warranty period the owner of the bike currently inherits responsibility for identifying & funding a solution in respect of replacing significant & somewhat costly components, which have proven inadequate for their intended purpose from the onset at the time of initial sale and subsequently henceforth, throughout the warranty period

    These are fair & just expectations for any consumer and as such, I am confident that Specialized will be agreeable towards entering into a meaningful dialogue with the common aim of addressing these matters to all parties’ satisfaction

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  29. #29
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    X-Fusion

    X-Fusion makes Specialized forks and shocks, not Suntour . Admittedly there has been a lot of problems with the forks and shocks, but I seriously doubt that Specialized would give up this easily. They have invested a lot of money into these products and have very talented designers. I think they just made the Enduro SL's suspension technology a bit too advanced. They should have started with a coil fork instead. I think this would have been more reliable.

    Interesting to see what response your letter will get from Specialized.

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    Cool-blue Rhythm Can't say 100% that I know for sure, but...............

    Yes, I would agree that it is most likely "X-Fusion" manufactured parts, as they are the people who make a lot of the Fox stuff and also make the shocks for Scott. However, the lowers do look very Suntour though and several sources have indicated that Suntour certainly did manufacture for Enduro SL suspension but rumours have similarly abound that Specialized have latterly, since gone elsewhere for sourcing

    Again, it is pretty much the case that all the suspension forks in the whole world come from only two or three different outfits based in Taiwan. The lowers for Boxxer's were cast right next to sets for 888’s. Some companies may 'assemble' their forks in Italy or the US, but the majority of the parts were in fact made by Spinner or SR
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    You are joking aren’t you?

    Stop this rudeness now please!

    Are you seriously telling me some Fox and Scott suspension is made by X-Fusion. Surely if they can make suspension as good as Scott and Fox they would have made much better and more reliable suspension themselves.

    I’m afraid after demoing a couple of bikes equipped with X-Fusion shocks I regard them as very nearly as awful as as as--- SR Suntour ahh!!!!!!! **** **** ******* *** ******, se just writing the words has resulted in me stabbing my computer screen with a blunt axe.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGF168
    You are joking aren’t you?

    Stop this rudeness now please!

    Are you seriously telling me some Fox and Scott suspension is made by X-Fusion. Surely if they can make suspension as good as Scott and Fox they would have made much better and more reliable suspension themselves.

    I’m afraid after demoing a couple of bikes equipped with X-Fusion shocks I regard them as very nearly as awful as as as--- SR Suntour ahh!!!!!!! **** **** ******* *** ******, se just writing the words has resulted in me stabbing my computer screen with a blunt axe.

    Before we jump off the Specialized parts are made by a Crappy Manufacturer bridge, lets slow down here.

    First of all you'd probably be surprised about how many bikes are made at the same factories. And all levels (crappy steel and high end carbon bike) will be made at the same factory. So dont think that because your Specialized is made in the same factory as (INSERT CRAPPY BIKE HERE) that they are equivalent frames.

    Also saying "Specialized Shocks are made by Suntour" is misleading. It does not mean that Suntour designs some shocks that they hand to Specialized. Specialized probably designs the forks and shocks and hands the specs to the factory who agrees to make them of a certain quality. This happens all over the manufacturing world. Just because they're made in the same factory as suntour or whoever does not make them equivalent.

  33. #33
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    Its like cars, how many different models and makes use the same engine from the same manufacturer. Just different body parts. Its the customer care that does it for me, everytime. A replacement fork or shock after just 48 hrs and carriage costs refunded within a week. You can't get much better than that. Out of curiosity has anyone had the AFR shock or E150 fork serviced yet? I was curious to see how well they perform after a 250/50 hours service for the fork/shock respectively. Specialized are having suspension problems, but other manufacturers have theirs. It all comes down to luck and I would back the company with a reputation for helping you out when it goes wrong.
    I love my bike and my bike loves me

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    Well I can certainly agree with you that if there was some problem that Specialized realizes with 2007 shocks, they should replace them with the 2008 model. Period, nuff said there

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhsavery
    Before we jump off the Specialized parts are made by a Crappy Manufacturer bridge, lets slow down here.

    First of all you'd probably be surprised about how many bikes are made at the same factories. And all levels (crappy steel and high end carbon bike) will be made at the same factory. So dont think that because your Specialized is made in the same factory as (INSERT CRAPPY BIKE HERE) that they are equivalent frames.

    Also saying "Specialized Shocks are made by Suntour" is misleading. It does not mean that Suntour designs some shocks that they hand to Specialized. Specialized probably designs the forks and shocks and hands the specs to the factory who agrees to make them of a certain quality. This happens all over the manufacturing world. Just because they're made in the same factory as suntour or whoever does not make them equivalent.
    No but if Suntour did make the shocks then I would expect Suntour to catch onto some of the ideas and practices used on good suspension and use them to make better Suspensions of their own, this also works with X-Fusion.

    I know perfectly well who and where the frames are made, the frames are very good and not in dispute here, especially as some of them are made by Giant who make consistently good bikes and don’t try to bring every part of kit on a bike under their own brand which is Specialized’s ultimate goal.

  36. #36
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    i just want to thank all of you for working to get specialized on track, i really appreciate it

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by EGF168
    No but if Suntour did make the shocks then I would expect Suntour to catch onto some of the ideas and practices used on good suspension and use them to make better Suspensions of their own, this also works with X-Fusion.
    Copyrights and patents prevent such things as this. Plus if they are making a profit as things are, no need to change production processes just to make a cheaper product better. It costs quite a bit of money to change manufacturing specs on a product.
    - Just livin' the dream -

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kersh13
    Copyrights and patents prevent such things as this. Plus if they are making a profit as things are, no need to change production processes just to make a cheaper product better. It costs quite a bit of money to change manufacturing specs on a product.
    They may well stop actual copying but the company is bound to pick up certain things that they can use to improve their own designs.

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    Listen! That's entirely correct; but....................

    Accurate, justified & worthwhile comment by bhsavery above and likewise, equally accurate, justified & worthwhile comment by Wil109 above

    However, let us not lose sight of the point that; irrespective of whether significant & majorly expensive components such as front & rear suspension elements of bikes are designed, manufactured or even merely caressed lovingly in a factory which is carpeted in the Union Jack & annexed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace; or likewise put together in an igloo located in the Arctic; plant within deepest Amazonian jungle or even sited upon the front lawn of The White House…………

    This has no bearing whatsoever, on the fact that the consumer is wholly justified in having reasonable expectation that the product will not be provided in a condition likely be regulalrly interrupted by recurring mechanical failure throughout the term of a twelve month warranty (ie, it is fair to expect the manufacturer to provide reliable components capable of fulfilling the design criteria). Whereupon, at the end of the twelve month warranty period, the manufacturer should at the very least be in a position to provide assurances that satisfactory improvements have been instilled into the reliability of the product; thereby averting the likelihood of unjust future reparatory costs being transferred to the purchaser, subsequent to closure of the twelve month warranty term (right?)
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipps64
    Accurate, justified & worthwhile comment by bhsavery above and likewise, equally accurate, justified & worthwhile comment by Wil109 above

    However, let us not lose sight of the point that; irrespective of whether significant & majorly expensive components such as front & rear suspension elements of bikes are designed, manufactured or even merely caressed lovingly in a factory which is carpeted in the Union Jack & annexed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace; or likewise put together in an igloo located in the Arctic; plant within deepest Amazonian jungle or even sited upon the front lawn of The White House…………

    This has no bearing whatsoever, on the fact that the consumer is wholly justified in having reasonable expectation that the product will not be provided in a condition likely be interrupted by recurring mechanical failure throughout the term of a twelve month warranty (ie, it is fair to expect the manufacturer to provide reliable components capable of fulfilling the design criteria). Whereupon, at the end of the twelve month warranty period, the manufacturer should at the very least be in a position to provide assurances that satisfactory improvements have been instilled into the reliability of the product; thereby averting the likelihood of unjust future reparatory costs being transferred to the purchaser, subsequent to closure of the twelve month warranty term (right?)
    Quite right!

    Who started this where things are made and who makes them malarkey?

    The point is they did not fulfil our expectations so we expect some kind of compensation or replacement, or at the very least the re assurances that this will be 100% fixed by 09 and an explanation as to why these problems are occurring.

  41. #41
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    YESSIR...Implied Warranty of Merchantibility...

    Your paragraph..."This has no bearing whatsoever, on the fact that the consumer is wholly justified in having reasonable expectation that the product will not be provided in a condition likely be regulalrly interrupted by recurring mechanical failure throughout the term of a twelve month warranty (ie, it is fair to expect the manufacturer to provide reliable components capable of fulfilling the design criteria)..".

    ...if I could amend that :...the consumer is wholly justified in having reasonable expectation that the product will be suitable for use as the sellor either sold/marketed/implied/and/or in accordance with the typical use of similiar product. (Sales puffing aside) <<< Sounds like...Implied Warranty of Merchantibility, a legal term I have not used in years. Look it up ( I hope I am close) as it is the fundamental underpinning of our economy and contract law.

    Various "Lemon Laws" were enacted for this precise purpose. Regardless of a "warranty period" if the defect could not be PERMANENTLYcorrected within the warranty period, the purchaser can say thanks but no thanks to the seller as a promise and a warranty is not what we have agreed to purchase. We agreed to purchase a product that works, not one that only partialy works - warranty or not.

    The Specialized fiasco with respect to suspension components smells very very lemony indeed. In most states the state Attorney General can be solicited if the product does not meet the standards that a reasonable man would expect when purchasing. Typical recourse is that the manufacturer has the opportunity to correct said defects BEFORE the consumer demands his money back for a breach of contract---a failure to deliver a product fit for the purpose <<this is the warranty. Generally a Class Action Lawsuit can follow as resuly. The State Attorney General's office or those in several states can often force the sellor to either fully refund or refund partial to satisfy the consumer.

    In light of all this, it is very likely that the letter to Mike and Co will result in either total silence, or a kiss on the bum as any real acknowledgement will only strengther the case against them. No way will they acknowledge that they have not fully delivered on their promises as this would be a tacit acknowledgement in a breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantibility ( an implied contract ...aka Sales Agreement.). If I am wrong I will happily buy the letter originator a Ploughams, a pint of Courage Directors, as well as a Lion's bar for his knapsack to enjoy on his next ride to Warwick , Bath, or White Horse. Bloodpudding optional.

    I just wish they would offer refunds for defective forks and we could go buy a fork that works. Simple...Period. They are losing sales over this kind of stupidity and treating their customers like morons who once had money to spend on a new shiny bike and a thin veiled promise of two sometimes reliably rolling wheels.

    CS
    C.SPRINGS

  42. #42
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    It's a long shot (and I'm not saying it's true cos I don't know) but maybe the ultimate (or majority) shareholders in both companies are the same - then no-one (apart from some customers) is going to mind if designs and expertise get shared and profits of both companies flourish due to the co-operation. Just a thought.

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    Some very interesting posts, of course it is obvious that some form of representative for Specialized will be reading all of this and reporting on content. Again their action of not replying here or to your letter speaks volumes.

    I am not going to hate on Specialized, I have an 04 SJ and 06 Enduro that I utterly love. But and its a big BUT, I am watching very closely how Specialized approach this problem as it will influence my future buying, as it will probably every other Specialized customer on this site. If legal bullying tactics etc suddenly errupt, scare mongering or anything like that it will show very poorly on them for what does seem to be an obvious failing on their part on this new product.
    When the SL came out I looked at it and thought wow, I was in the market to spend a lot on a bike so was comparing top end bikes. The new technology made me reluctant, I thought if any company in the world could pull it off Specialized could, especially as they honour their frame warranty etc so well to owners. But at the end of the day I got cold feet and decided to beef up some of the spec for lift days etc so ended up building my 06 Sworks enduro.
    I can completely understand why you are looking for something past your warranty period as known faults are still present on your bike and you have no assurance of resolution. This boads very poorly for your resale value and means that you have bought a very expensive bike which will be worthless as it has no support and no solution. These things need to be addressed by Specialized imo or general consumer confidence will be lost.

    I will repeat, it is obvious that this thread is being read by someone at Specialized. If it was a frame warranty matter, new product, sometimes a general design matter someone would be on to explain design ideas or company policy as they usually have good feedback and solutions. Unfortunately this does not seem the case this time.

    I hope this does not end up with such disgruntled customers that websites etc are setup to explain the problems that owners have with their bikes and how specialized have failed to support them. If everytime someone on a bike forum put up a thread asking about products that contain AFR shocks etc and were linked to these sites and read peoples personal experiences it would be disasterous PR.

    I hope Specialized can come up to the plate with the goods as many people on here such as myself support them and would expect this.

    Martin
    Last edited by MartinRo; 01-10-2008 at 06:59 AM.

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    I don't know if many or any of you guys here own a X-Box 360, but these issues are comparative with the same QC/design/fabrication issues Microsoft had with their early consoles, which had overheat problems, graphic board and memories shut down. The "3 red lights of Death" were famous and desperating, and such was the return of dead consoles that Microsoft HAD to make a move and aid the thousand of consumers that had their consoles down. My 360 had the worst problem issue, and they replaced it, and now, new versions that are supposed to cure the problems are available, and the warranty was extended to a 3-year period for 3-Red-Light related problems for EVERY console sold that was still in its one-year warranty period, or extra coverage could be solicited if your console had those issues back then. I know that using Microsoft is not the best example I can give, but even them did something to assure the consumers that they could trust the product and the company, and that they were listening. That's a major improvement for any company like MS. I never thought I'd say this one day, but Specialized should learn from MS and feedback their consumers ASAP.
    Last edited by Black RONIN; 01-10-2008 at 06:50 AM.

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    I may be one of the few who had problems early on but no warranty problems since with either the fork or rear shock. The discussion I find interesting in that the situation is not dissimilar to when Fox first started producing bike suspension. Same basic situation - many failures, inability to repair in a timely fashion. All you heard was Fox sux. In fact, Fox hasn't improved much in the service department. Send it in for leaking seals and get the new leaking seals back. If you have a problem, you'll get a quicker turnaround and better service from Push.

    What will be interesting for me to see is the non-warranty service on S suspension. If cost is not unreasonable and turnaround good, I will not be complaining. My understanding is that S recognized that an important part of marketing their own susp components was having a good service/repair facility in place. I haven't really heard anything yet that indicates otherwise.

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    At least if Specialized doesn't like the way (not talking about anything illegal!) you acquired one of their suspension you won't get any service anywhere.
    And apparently bad PR doesn't impress them (yet).

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    He might already be aware of your letter. I imagine someone at Specialized keeps an eye on MTBR posts. Just a thought.

  48. #48
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    There are people from most of the big companies on here that look over what is being written, most of them are very nice and mainly here to help customers or just come on here like us and look around.

    I’ve never found anyone from Avid to have a go at which has disappointed me but its still good fun on here.

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    Wink Well at least they didn't catch on who "Lipps 64" was and confiscate my bike........

    Just for info; got my bike back today, having been in the Bike Shop since last Friday on this latest occasion to do with Fork & Shock warranty issues attributable to my 2007 Enduro SL Pro

    Haven’t had any opportunity to set the sag and try out what’s been done to the front internals on this occasion (went in with ‘lifeless’ characteristics and no adjustments for rebound or compression) but I can certainly see that they’ve fitted yet another rear Shock to replace the failed one that I also took the bike in with (if you look closely, you’ll spot the increased yaw dimension on the top of the Shock’s can, indicating 2008 specification). That said, the Bike Shop were very professional, extremely supportive towards dealing with the problems and bordered on providing an exceptional level of service; no qualms on that aspect whatsoever

    Hmm; whilst I can stay tongue in cheek about things during the warranty period (and until such time that Specialized hopefully respond to my letter upon which this thread is based); the bottom line is that this is now my third Shock (bike supplied during the Autumn of last year with 2007 specification Shock and two subsequent 2008 specification replacements). As for the front-end, I have previously had two blown cartridges and whatever, “We’ve swapped the internals, Sir” means on this occasion

    When you consider that there remains a wealth of wear left in the original brake pads and barring any possible unlucky event of becoming torn by a sharp rock, I should expect the tyres to provide continued service with my “all day relatively unaggressive UK South Downs single track stylee riding”, for a period corresponding at least to the extent of the one year warranty issued with the bike; then I feel that one has to ask the question…………………

    "Until the reliability issues alluded to in my letter have been resolved; exactly which components should be classified as being ‘consumable items' on this bike???"
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    Last edited by Lipps64; 01-10-2008 at 03:29 PM.
    Lend me £20.00 and I'll buy you a drink!

  50. #50
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    Are you still using Freeborn to do the work on you’re bike or have you gone somewhere else like me?

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