Monday, January 15, 2007

Quickbeam Fiasco

Calabaza Grande: The Great Pumpkin.
The Workhorse in the fleet

From FraternalTriplets...

I really love the concept of this bike and was so excited to have received it as a Father's Day gift from Anika. I have an old 1993 Trek 520 touring bike that has served over the years first as a touring bike and singlespeed conversion commuter bike. It's been crashed, it's been fixed, it's rusty, it's not a good fit, but I'm too cheap to have spent the money to replace it. I put all of the eggs in one basket on the green bike

From FraternalTriplets...

I'd wanted a Quickbeam since first catching glimpse of the idea. I'd put my name on the waiting list and missed out on the opportunity to actually buy one when the time came around. I forget what the financial priority was at the time, but it certainly wasn't another bike at the time.

Anika surprised me by ordering the last QB that Rivendell had in stock at the time for Father's Day. I built the bike up with my own mix of parts and sold off the stuff that I didn't want. I put LOTS of miles on the bike last summer including my trip to Duluth and back.

I continued to be plagued with problems with the headset though. In December the frame and fork went back to Rivendell to be supposedly replaced due to the fork crown being under specification. The fork crown wouldn't fit a normal crown race and I could install and remove the headset cups in the frame by hand.

So, my frame arrived back at RBW World Headquarters on December 7th. Impressed by my birthday on 12/11 that the resolution was indeed that I was not crazy in my measurements and that the frame and fork were going to be replaced. Not one to accept something for nothing and feeling somewhat uncomfortable about having receiving a new frame in place of my used frame, I suggested that I at least pay for parts and labor for installing a new Ultegra headset in the new frame and I would cover the cost of return shipping.

I did this for a couple of reasons. I figured that it's just right that I pay for something and that it would ensure that whatever I received for a new frame would be of the correct size and specification for a normal headset. Knowing that it would take time and understanding that during Christmas, they were expectedly very busy, I patiently waited until December 28th to follow up and find out when it might be/have been shipped. I talked with Brian and in my conversation I was told how my frame was on its way back to Panasonic and that a new one would indeed ship that week. (Read: Oh yeah, haven't done anything yet, I'll get right on that.)

So, I patiently waited, accumulating new parts for the bicycle rebuild. I constructed my post the other day in hopes of offering a friendly reminder of my bike. Wondering when I might be able to expect to receive a frame and fork. Hoping that I might just get a response with a tracking number. Instead, I got the message. Brian does have a sense of humor but the situation was a little more complicated. (Read: I've got bad news for you.)

So, my Quickbeam hasn't shipped... My frame hasn't gone back to Panasonic. There isn't a replacement any different than mine. What do I want to do?

I'm such a fool. I told Brian to send me back my frame and fork and I would figure it out. I am such an idiot... Just what am I going to do? So, I'm going to find a frame-builder to look at a year old frame and figure out how to fix it? Then I'm going to pay to have it fixed and for a new paint job!? Sorry, that just isn't realistically going to happen. It was a financial stretch to just have just put a deposit down on a new touring frame.

Instead, I think I get to fix it temporarily with Loctite hoping that at some point in the future, I might be able to fix it. So, being very particular about how things perform and how they work, I'm stuck with a $989 frame and fork made to the incorrect size to fit a normal headset. I've got a whole bikes worth of very premium parts to fit a very practical singlespeed frame. (Not something easy to find.) I want the Quickbeam, I just want it to be the bike I would think it should be were I to belly up to the bar and order a $1000 frame & fork. I would expect it to be of a size to fit standard bicycle components. Are my expectations too high?

This sucks!

So, furthering my looking like and feeling like a fool will be in facing the guys at the bike shop with whom I consulted with before wondering in the first place if I were crazy. I brought the frame into the bike shop to ponder what to do about the headset in the first place. And... upon my later visits and being asked what ever happened with my QB, I informed them that I was going to get a new frame and fork.

Yup, I'm an idiot.

So, why...? Well, I feel bad for RBW and that's a stupid reason for me to accept the responsibility to fix their problem. I read stuff like this and want to believe it. As bad as my problem is, it's just the tip of the iceberg for Rivendell. I fixed the problem in the way that I'd like my customer to fix it if I were running the show. But, I'm not running the show, as much as I would like to work there, I don't. And, if I did, I'd know enough to recognize that this isn't really an acceptable solution either.

I don't have any hard feelings toward Rivendell or anyone that works there. Nor do I think that I even know what an acceptable solution might be... Yup, I'm a fool.

No comments:

Blog Archive