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
Advice from Specialized for owners considering undertaking E150 Fork
servicing or maintenance procedures
Comments on E150 Fork Stiction in support of Slick Honey Process
Kelstr’s E150 Fork “Slick Honey” & Alignment Owner Maintenance
Specialized E150 Fork Service Manual (low resolution)
Specialized E150 Fork Service Manual (print resolution)
Specialized E150 Fork Spike Valve Pressure Settings
Specialized Instruction on E150 Fork Double Crown setup
2008 Enduro SL Suspension Setup Video
Specialized advice regarding E150 Fork & AFR Shock service intervals
Last edited by Lipps64; 01-06-2008 at 02:34 AM.
Hope it achieves something for you.
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.
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.
Didn't someone once say "The pen is mightier than a Suntour fork"?
Last edited by Lintott; 01-08-2008 at 03:20 PM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[SIZE=1]I love my bike and my bike loves me[/SIZE]
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?
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.
Originally Posted by catnash
Black RONIN.......You had best sit down before reading this....
[SIZE="2"]Black RONIN[/SIZE]; 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;
[SIZE="4"]Where was my bike made?[/SIZE]
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’);
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 is a fairly new bicycle company, started by motocross guru Jim Felt. All production comes from Asia
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 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 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
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
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 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 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
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
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
[SIZE="2"]So the moral being; don't just buy the bike based purely on the label anymore!?! [/SIZE]
Lend me £20.00 and I'll buy you a drink!
[SIZE=2]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.
Nice use of the English language there!
That new Dale looks very promising in the pics I have seen, the one with 130mm travel.
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!!!
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!
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.
Originally Posted by EGF168
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.
Kinda strange - Suntour used to make some nice stuff back in the day.... way back.
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.
The compression and rebound knobs on the AFR look very similar the the knobs on the X-Fusion 02 PVA.
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!
Originally Posted by PB Matrix
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.
I really want to hear the reply on that letter.
I suggest holding-fire for the moment.......What say you?
“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;
[SIZE="3"]"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"[/SIZE]
[SIZE="3"]"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"[/SIZE]
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.
Lend me £20.00 and I'll buy you a drink!
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.