Black Sheep still trading??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Black Sheep still trading??

    Back in June I ordered a ti rigid inch fork and was told 6-8 weeks delivery. Now its September and still havent heard bck from them, they've taken my deposit 125 bucks and I've emailed a half dozen times and not had any reply at all from James. The lack of any replies when I email them is more a worry than the timing as after all I am just at the end of the 8 weeks.

    I saw they showed new gear at the bike show so assume they havent gone bust? Anybody know for sure? Are they usually this crap at getting abck to people? I'm getting cheesed off.

  2. #2
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    I have not personally dealt with them but from time to time I see some posting of people having hard time getting in touch with them.
    i should check the 29er forum, it seem to be a lot of people over there who know how James is doing at any given time...

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Try calling. Every time I have called they have picked up. The emails tend to come last.

  4. #4
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    Hey guys! I am in the same situation. 8 weeks ago I ordered flatter bars, paid for them in advance through paypal (200 usd) and this seemed to how the story end.. I also got no replies for emails so few days ago I called them. I talked directly with James and he told me he had some problems with material*suplier but it shall be alright soon..

  5. #5
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    James is still trading ithas just been an enormously busy period for him. With the rocky mountain builders show and a number of things that have taken time and focus. To top it off material supply caused him an issue as well.

    Call him and be a little patient as frustrating as it can be at times he is a genuine guy and will always come through. I have been buying from him for years now and have learned that time frames can slip and email etc responses can be slow.

    Be remembering he is a small business and if he doesnt pick up the phone it is usaully because he is welding etc. Try and trya again. It may take a numer of calls but you will get through.

    Regardless of the time it is always worth the wait for his work. I spoke to him last week so keep on trying.

  6. #6
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    I finally got an email back from James basically saying it should be done this week. Now a week later I still havent heard if its done. I'm in the UK or would have called him by now. I'll give him another week and see where its at, fortunately I hve other bikes so can live a little longer without the SS. I dont mind delay if its a genuine reasons why, just hope he keeps in touch to keep me informed.

  7. #7
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    In my experience with him, calling get's way more progress than emails. I don't think i ever got a reply to an email, but I left a message and had a call back in four hours. I'm glad I got a fork before they became so popular the wait time sky rocketed. He's a busy guy, I can't imagine trying to keep up with building/phone calls/emails/new orders all at once. The products are excellent and James is a nice guy.

  8. #8
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    Well I'm certainly sure you won't hear from him this week with InterBike happening.

    Like I mentioned before. Every time I have called he has picked up.

    I have a custom fork on order and have sent him the full price of the fork and I'm waiting patiently. It has been three weeks since I paid for the fork and I haven't heard one word from him. I know he is good for it and I know that time lines can change with things are being built.

  9. #9
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    James work is fantastic. I will never buy from him again though (I bought a seat post). I guess I require a bit more communication... I think his ti forks look super nice though.

  10. #10
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    Black Sheep are apparently alive and well ... just very very busy it would seem. No bad thing for a custom builder.

    My rigid forks arrived and they are indeed beautiful, they should get their inaugeral ride tonight in the local forest mud and roots.

  11. #11
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    I ordered a titanium fork, stem and seat post back in mid-August (of which I paid in full) and it was due on September 20, and nothing yet. I did pop him off an e-mail last week, and he responded (I also called him today and he picked right up). All are done, though my fork is being painted and is still at the paint shop. Requested stem & seat post be sent ahead and he said no problem. Like an earlier response stated, it's much better to call. I've always received a return call in a timely manner if he wasn't there. He seems not to check e-mail all the often. Anyway, he does great work, and I realize he's busy (a good sign in this economy), though a more realistic due date would have been nice. I don't mind waiting for such quality components!

  12. #12
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    James is a lovely guy and his work is amazing but his sense of timing is awful in the extreme, my 6 week forks took 6 months. I'm not sure whether he actually believes he can do things in the times he suggests or whether it's a good pitch to get the business, but whatever, you have to double his lead time at least

    Unfortunately you do have to be prepared for a wait safe in the knowledge that it is worth it, in the end

  13. #13
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    I ordered my black sheep ti fork 2 weeks ago. James Told me 4 weeks, I guess I will be waiting a lot longer lol. Hope to get it by spring lol.

    Tom

  14. #14
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    I ordered a SS Frame and Unicrown fork 3.5 months ago, it was suggested that there would be a 14 week wait which was cool.

    The completion date is mid November and it seems that James is very nearly finished my projects so its fair to say that he is right on time bar the shipping. ( I live in Australia )

    I will confess that emailing him is a waste of time from my experience and the guys that are ordering the parts for me seem to have far more success contacting him via the phone.
    "Be the Gear..."

  15. #15
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    So, I received my order this morning via FedEx Saturday delivery. My due date was 9/20, so he was just a little off in his estimate. If he originally estimated a 12 week production schedule, that would have been okay, but I was told 4 weeks. This is my second order with James and I sort of knew what to expect, but in retrospect, I wouldn't have paid in full with that kind of timeline (James does offer 50% down, but I like to get it out of the way). Anyway, it was certainly worth the wait. Everything is just amazingly beautiful and the craftsmanship is, well, stunning. Kudos to James for sending it overnight Saturday delivery.

    Would I use James again with such a long wait? Sure. I just hope he's more honest with his schedule though.

    Attachment 497350
    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 05:55 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdangerpants
    So, I received my order this morning via FedEx Saturday delivery. My due date was 9/20, so he was just a little off in his estimate. If he originally estimated a 12 week production schedule, that would have been okay, but I was told 4 weeks. This is my second order with James and I sort of knew what to expect, but in retrospect, I wouldn't have paid in full with that kind of timeline (James does offer 50% down, but I like to get it out of the way). Anyway, it was certainly worth the wait. Everything is just amazingly beautiful and the craftsmanship is, well, stunning. Kudos to James for sending it overnight Saturday delivery.

    Would I use James again with such a long wait? Sure. I just hope he's more honest with his schedule though.

    Attachment 497350
    I ordered my frame and fork sometime back in July-August, the Blacksheep importer here in Australia estimated a 14 week wait which means my parts would be due about mid November....right about now

    My frame, fork and Gates Carbon drive shipped on Friday last week and should be here Thursday this week coming!

    I couldnt be happier with my estimated completion time, but I think I have my local importer to thank for that

    Im guessing my order was shipped the same day yours was.

    Enjoy your parts and remember....Good things come to those who wait...
    "Be the Gear..."

  17. #17
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    Lost in the passion

    Ordering from James is like expecting Christmas to happen in July. You have to take his time estimate with a grain of salt and be willing to wait for the true rolling art that he produces. My bike was several months late and I was beyond cranky before it showed up in the mail.

    I have to say it was well worth the wait and I would do it again in a heart beat. With a garage full of bikes, the Blacksheep got 90% of the miles this summer.

    James is one of the nicest person you will ever meet and a small business man trying to eek out a living doing the impossible - answer the phone, take orders, ship, and some where find the time to build frames, forks bars, posts, etc. His biggest fault is he won't quit until its perfect. The reason your parts are probably late is because he is working on something until it is bent just perfect. When he gets to your part it will be bent perfect.

    Waiting is hell!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irishbuddha
    Ordering from James is like expecting Christmas to happen in July. You have to take his time estimate with a grain of salt and be willing to wait for the true rolling art that he produces. My bike was several months late and I was beyond cranky before it showed up in the mail.

    I have to say it was well worth the wait and I would do it again in a heart beat. With a garage full of bikes, the Blacksheep got 90% of the miles this summer.

    James is one of the nicest person you will ever meet and a small business man trying to eek out a living doing the impossible - answer the phone, take orders, ship, and some where find the time to build frames, forks bars, posts, etc. His biggest fault is he won't quit until its perfect. The reason your parts are probably late is because he is working on something until it is bent just perfect. When he gets to your part it will be bent perfect.

    Waiting is hell!
    Your message has lifted my spirits a little.....My frame and fork were to arrive yesterday and having waited 5 months Im jack of it. I was starting to wish I never bothered going down this route but Im sure once it arrives I will change my mind.

    James promised it would be in the mail last Friday so it should be here very, very soon.....just not soon enough!
    "Be the Gear..."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    Your message has lifted my spirits a little.....
    Maybe this will lift it a little more. Installed all my parts on Wednesday.

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    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 05:55 AM.

  20. #20
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    please show the whole bike

  21. #21
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    Beautiful.....

    We must have the same desires, I now remember waiting patiently for 4.5 months for my Independent as well.

    Well, lets see the rest of it then....
    "Be the Gear..."

  22. #22
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    According to my tracking number my frame and fork are in transit from Sydney as we speak, Woohoo!!!


    Should be here in a couple of days just in time for the Australian SS Champs!!!
    "Be the Gear..."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    According to my tracking number my frame and fork are in transit from Sydney as we speak, Woohoo!!!


    Should be here in a couple of days just in time for the Australian SS Champs!!!

    TIC, TIC, TIC

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR
    TIC, TIC, TIC
    Hehe, the tic, tock stopped yesterday arvo when Pete dropped it off!
    "Be the Gear..."

  25. #25
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    Pics or it never happened!!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR
    Pics or it never happened!!
    Here ya go

    Black Sheep still trading??-006.jpg

    Black Sheep still trading??-010.jpg
    "Be the Gear..."

  27. #27
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    Definitely worth the wait.

    I like very much!!!!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    Here ya go
    Oh yeah, that's wicked nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Limon
    please show the whole bike
    Okey Dokey! It's an Independent Fabrication Titanium Crown Jewel.

    Attachment 500032
    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 05:55 AM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    Here ya go

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    What Bars are they?? I was thinking of having James build me a set of bars too.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by njbiker66
    What Bars are they?? I was thinking of having James build me a set of bars too.
    The bars are actually from Rody at Groovy Cycleworks, they are Ti 28" x 25.4mm, 21.5 deg sweep and weigh 217 grams. I really like them, super comfy and light to boot. He does custom lengths and colours to your liking and they are normally 26" as stock. Takes roughly 4-8 weeks to get them so order soon. He does steel ones for 85 bucks too.
    "Be the Gear..."

  31. #31
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    I got the Phone Call today my Ti unicrown fork is on its way!!!!!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by njbiker66
    I got the Phone Call today my Ti unicrown fork is on its way!!!!!


    Hopefully that means he finished my stem, too!

  33. #33
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    If you want the kind of quality that comes from artisan workshops, you need to be prepared to wait for it. Even if the original timeframe you were quoted has come and gone. I know it's hard, but frame/component builders have lives just like all of us. I think some of them might even ride their bikes from time to time. Email is real easy to neglect when you're busy, telephone not as much. Not saying this to bash the OP, cause I've been on the waiting end for a custom frame that went several months past the time window I was quoted and know how eager one gets. When it finally arrived, it was just that much sweeter!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdangerpants


    Hopefully that means he finished my stem, too!

    yes that would be great too. I was thinking of getting a Ti stem but I just can't find a way to break my Thompson stem.

    Does any run the lonestar bars? are they like the Jones bars? I would like to try a set.

    I will post pictures this week once i get my fork

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    Here ya go

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have a stellar on order but dang- I like that frame. Did you basically ask for the highlight w/o the connective bar between top tube & down tube? Love the HACS- looks awesome & glad to see someone utilizing the belt drive option... Question though, how heavy are you & how's the flex (I know his bikes flex in a good way) - Just interested.
    Cheers

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rooster44
    I have a stellar on order but dang- I like that frame. Did you basically ask for the highlight w/o the connective bar between top tube & down tube? Love the HACS- looks awesome & glad to see someone utilizing the belt drive option... Question though, how heavy are you & how's the flex (I know his bikes flex in a good way) - Just interested.
    Cheers

    Thanks mate

    I saw a picture of a similar frame that James had used at the National Handbuilt Bike show and said " build me something like this ".

    It wasnt until after the build had started that I realized I could slip a belt in through the HACS system and it has worked a treat!

    The frame has the usual flex for Ti, weight is 1565grams and I weigh 81kg's. My Salsa Mamasita was definately stiffer but heavier and harsher to ride in comparison.

    The Ti fork from James is nothing short of amazing, its like Ive got suspension onfire roads and general single track.

    Im happy knowing that noone else has a bike like this around here anyways. There are quite a few Highlights here now and didnt want to be another owner. No point getting a custom frame if it looks like all the others I thought and Im pleased with the outcome thus far.
    "Be the Gear..."

  37. #37
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    Thought I would add our Blacksheep Imports team bikes to the Quasi Blacksheep thread.

    Mine






    Singer's








  38. #38
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    ITs Here

    My Fork Came in yesterday! It was great timing to I was off form work cause of the snow we where getting. I will post pictures a little later. Thanks James!

  39. #39
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    @ -Muz R-

    That is the prettiest bike I have ever seen. I'm in love!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden boy
    @ -Muz R-

    That is the prettiest bike I have ever seen. I'm in love!

    Kind words there my friend, for that Im very greatful.

    So good things do come to those who wait after all, even the nice comments after the patients required to build one of these puppies.

    Thanks mate
    "Be the Gear..."

  41. #41
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    And all of a sudden i am down on a BS road fork. The wait begins...

  42. #42
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    Those Black Sheeps are awesome!

  43. #43
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    My replacement stem is on its way to me via UPS. Decided to order some riser bars while I was at it.

  44. #44
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    I received my handlebars and replacement stem yesterday and all I can say is "Wow!" Again, worth the wait. The stem is absolutely stunning. James and Todd were super easy to deal with and very honest (and apologetic) about the delay.

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    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 05:55 AM.

  45. #45
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    Nice beads on the stem!

  46. #46
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    Yeah very nice beads but i can`t quite get around the slightly agricultural looks of that stem... I really want to complement my fork with a seatpost and stem but... Those four bolts and the flanges they bolt down on, chunky. I remember the quill Ibis ti stem back in the day, that was functional art.
    Last edited by erol/frost; 04-12-2010 at 08:21 AM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by erol/frost
    I remember the quill Ibis ti stem back in the day, that was a functional art.
    Yup, they were (and still are)! I have both the road and mountain versions (quill). Super nice stuff!





    Mountain:


    Road:

  48. #48
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    Yeah, I think James' frames are gorgeous, but that stem??? Ugh! Although what can you really do to differentiate a stem without making it look contrived.

  49. #49
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    I agree, everything that James does is stupendous...with the exception of the stems. For each his own of course, but I find the face plate too bulky.

  50. #50
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    I actually like the utilitarian look of his stems. I think it looks great on a mountain bike. For road bikes, maybe not so much. I've had both Moots and Seven titanium stems (for 1 1/8" threadless) and I like this the best. I have an older Moots (1" threadless) on my CX bike and it's a beautiful polished stem similar to the Ibis. It has a very simple clamp, and it looks nice on the bike.

    Here's my Ted Wojcik when I built it up with my very first order from Black Sheep. I had the stem done in 25.4, which is fine, but for my next project I did 31.8 as I wanted the flexibility to use whatever bar I wanted.




  51. #51
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    Ordered a road fork back in spring and took delivery a couple of weeks ago. Took pretty much six months from first contact to delivery.
    I found Black Sheeps e-mail communication spotty and occasionaly felt left in the dark. For charging such premium prices for such a premium product BS left something lacking in the communication and taking-care-of department. James should just setup a simple blog with the waitinglist and names and post a few pics along the way so one could get a general grasp of where things are atm.
    Still, I am debating if I should order a road frame too unless I find a smoking deal on a Moots Compact

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by erol/frost
    Ordered a road fork back in spring and took delivery a couple of weeks ago. Took pretty much six months from first contact to delivery.
    I found Black Sheeps e-mail communication spotty and occasionaly felt left in the dark. For charging such premium prices for such a premium product BS left something lacking in the communication and taking-care-of department. James should just setup a simple blog with the waitinglist and names and post a few pics along the way so one could get a general grasp of where things are atm.
    Still, I am debating if I should order a road frame too unless I find a smoking deal on a Moots Compact
    I am waiting on a BS myself. I agree a simple blog (like Walt has) would make a lot of sense and alleviate frustration. I would forgo pictures -- James is busy enough.

    If you are looking for a master of road bikes, consider Kish. I have one of his bikes and it is incredible.

  53. #53
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    They seem to post to Facebook regularly and I got a quick response to my first inquiry there but no followup on the second. I also tried their phone number on Friday and got no answer and no voice mail, and then emailed to inquire about placing a new order and no response. They don't seem to communicate much!

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimInSF
    They seem to post to Facebook regularly and I got a quick response to my first inquiry there but no followup on the second. I also tried their phone number on Friday and got no answer and no voice mail, and then emailed to inquire about placing a new order and no response. They don't seem to communicate much!
    Hopefully is working on my bike

    More constructively; send an email and ask for a time/date to call in. Sometimes that works best.

  55. #55
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    I`ve tried calling them a couple of times but only reached their voicemail. They replied to an email I sent yesterday so they are out there

    Climber 999: The Moots got a bit too expensive so I went all-in and ordered a Northdam. Preliminary delivery by March 1.

  56. #56
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    I pinged them on their Facebook wall and they noticed same day, so perhaps a message through FB is the new preferred method.

  57. #57
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    Looks like I'm going to be traveling this week - anyone know if they welcome drop-ins or have bikes around the shop?

    EDIT: Caught up with James by phone tonight, will be out there shortly for test rides and can't wait!
    Last edited by JimInSF; 11-16-2010 at 08:55 PM.

  58. #58
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    Smile

    Hey Jim, snap a few photos (if ok with James) while you're there. Would be fun to see what the BlackSheep workshop looks like

  59. #59
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    I definitely will!

  60. #60
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    Here is my IF with the Blacksheep Post and Bars. My next part will be a stem.


  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by twklei
    Here is my IF with the Blacksheep Post and Bars. My next part will be a stem.
    What are the bar parameters? Width, sweep...?

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber999
    What are the bar parameters? Width, sweep...?
    28 wide and 9 degree sweep.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdangerpants
    I received my handlebars and replacement stem yesterday and all I can say is "Wow!" Again, worth the wait. The stem is absolutely stunning. James and Todd were super easy to deal with and very honest (and apologetic) about the delay.

    Attachment 532534
    I didn't need to see that, I had to order one today.

  64. #64
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    I spoke with James today, ordered a MM bar. It ships today.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgerat
    I spoke with James today, ordered a MM bar. It ships today.
    Pics? I'm thinking this will be the setup for my custom if I go that way.

  66. #66
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    Did you visit his shop?

  67. #67
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    Got a bad cold along with my wife and son and pushed it, but have tickets now for the 14th and can't wait. (Hopefully the snow will have melted by then!)

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimInSF
    Pics? I'm thinking this will be the setup for my custom if I go that way.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...light=mustache Post #20 in that thread. I don't have a picture of mine.

  69. #69
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    Thanks. Hopefully he'll have some around the shop (and/or a photo book of prior work) to take a peek at.

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