Not sure this is the right place for this in the forum or if there is even a place for it but just wanted to share my horrible experience with James and Blacksheep bikes so as to warn others that are thinking of taking the plunge.

My unfortunate process started when I contacted James May 10, 2017. Luckily, or not, he had a frame fitting my wants and sizing which was built for another customer who appeared to have backed out. I put a deposit down and eventual spec’d the frame with his custom fork, handlebars and post along with some other bits which was just shy of a complete build. He gave me a guarantee delivery date 10 days later with a few additional days to source the wheel build etc. That promised date quickly came and went which should have been my first red flag. I sent several emails most of which were unanswered. He did send an occasional update giving excuses as to why the bike had not yet arrived. When it approached the 4 month mark, I sent another email telling him I just wanted to cancel my order and go a different route. Within minutes of this email he promptly responded apologizing for his lack of follow through and asked that I give him another chance to deliver the bike. I agreed and again, several weeks pass before the bike arrived.

Upon delivery, looking at the bike I was extremely happy and the first ride proved the headache of the process and the wait were worth it. I did, however, realize that he sent a BB that was not what I had paid for nor was the stem and he forgot to send the post. He explained that the stem was just to verify sizing before ordering the Paul stem which was spec’d and paid for. I still have not received the stem. I also soon realized that the front fork had some lateral play which was only remedied by placing a washer on the front axle, again not a huge deal, but annoying given everything else. Then, while pedaling, I noticed a slight knocking noise near the chainstay. Upon inspection, I realized the 32T chainring was hitting the chainstay and technically marring the tubing as was the Next SL crank arm. Talking with my shop, it was determined that I needed the longer 170mm spindle and not the 134mm that was currently on the bike. One reason James claimed that the delivery was delayed was due to him waiting on the longer spindle from RaceFace which obviously never made it on my bike. I again reached out to him explaining my dilemma and looking for a fix so I could get back out on the trails but again, radio silence for a couple of weeks. He finally replied saying he could guarantee getting the issue fixed and me back out riding but to call him on his cell to talk over the options. I call the number, only to be sent straight to voicemail. So again, I sit and wait for a resolution for a bike that can’t be ridden and has basically become an art installation in my garage.

I have three other custom bikes, two Breadwinners and a Potts and I have to say, James’ custom process is hands down the worst. Going custom is not only meant to give you a great riding bike that fits like a glove, but the process of designing and spec’ing your bike is supposed to be enjoyable. He absolutely kills the process and I advise anyone considering one of his builds to look elsewhere. There are so many other builders out there producing great bikes and offering amazing customer service. His lack of communication should also make you think what nightmare lays ahead should you ever have an issue and need the bike serviced.

Just my two cents!