jeff gardner.

On oil baths

Many of you know that recently I got a new mountain bike.  It’s amazing. Vicious Cycles definitely knows what they are doing. Reynolds 853 for the front triangle and a Titus aluminum rear triangle. It’s a work of art.

Well, when I was building the groover (that is the name of the bike) up I decided it was time to send my fork off to be rebuilt. In the 5 years I’d owned it I’d never sent it away. So I asked around and mailed it to the name that came up most often. Suspension Experts in Asheville, NC. The service was quick, I was happy and I started riding my new bike. Then I noticed the oil. I stopped riding my new bike. There was fork oil leaking out of the bottom of the left leg of my fork. Right next to the disc brake mount. Right next to the disc brake pads. Oil + brake pads = no stop. I called the guys at Suspension Ex, they were really apologetic and said to send it back right away, on their dime, and they’d get to it fast.

The fork came back from them, clean and appearing to be fixed. 2 rides later, same story, a steady stream of oil from the bottom of the left leg. Not good. The only reassuring thing about the situation was that there isn’t anything important in that leg. Since I own an old coil spring Manitou Black at least I didn’t have to worry about having blown out the rebound damper (which is on the right side). Again, Kevin (the president of Suspension Ex) apologized profusely and had me mail it back, again on his dime. After I was sure they’d gotten the fork I called Kevin to ask about it and he explained some of the problems, he also said that if something happened this time he was going to build me up a completely new fork (of considerable upgrade) at his cost and mail it to me. There was no way he wanted a fork leaking oil with his name on it. When I picked up my fork from the bike shop on Friday, I was told that the entire cost of the original rebuild had been refunded by Suspension Ex, simply for my trouble. I wasn’t annoyed, I wasn’t angry, I didn’t ask to be refunded and I certainly didn’t expect it. This is a great example of a simple thing that a small company can do to make evangelists out of their customers. I know that from now on, I’ll never send a fork anywhere else. Even after I move to Europe. I also know that from now on, anytime anyone mentions anything even remotely wrong with their fork I’ll be pushing Suspension Ex.

So, thanks a lot Kevin and the other guys down there in Asheville for the really great experience even if it was a pain in the ass to all involved.

Suspension Experts

Vicious Cycles

The Groover

Tagged: business, mt. biking, suspension ex, and customer service
30 June 2008

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