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May 2000, Fact is often stranger than fiction

An account of recent troubles with my bike leaves a sour taste in my mouth.....

I own a 1998 K2 5500 frame, which is built up with Pace Evo forks, Mavic Crossmaxes and mostly XT kit. Firstly let me say I love this bike, it is awesome. Anyway, after about 10months, the electronics in the rear smartshock started playing up and eventually they stopped working altogether. Luckily, you could still ride the bike without the ‘smart’ bit working, you just got normal damping.

As I live in the UK, I phoned Ultrasport, the importers of K2 to speak to them, to find out if they knew what was wrong. I was told, quite rudely, that I had to take the shock back to the shop I bought it from. This corresponded with me getting appendicitis, so I figured it was a good time to get the shock fixed, as I couldn’t ride for a month.

I sent the shock to Leisure Lakes (as I was just out of hospital and couldn't go anywhere) who returned it to Ultrasport. I then didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks. I phoned Leisure Lakes (who spoke to Ultrasport) and they told me the shock was broken and they would give me a new one. I waited another week, and nothing happened. I rang back and was told that Ultrasport didn’t have any in stock, and they were getting one sent over from America, and it would take a week or so to come. As I had by this time recovered from appendicitis, I asked if I could have the old shock back until it came, so I could ride the bike in the mean time. The shock was returned to me that week.

This all happened at the end of April 99. By the end of May I was ringing Leisure Lakes on a weekly basis, as I still hadn’t heard anything. The shock was still somewhere over the Atlantic we were told.  Nearing the end of June, and Leisure Lakes phoned me to tell me that Ultrasport had the shock in and would be sending it them that day. A couple of days later, they rang me to tell me that Ultrasport had send two shocks, but they were both fronts!  Leisure Lakes told me that they had already spoken to Ultrasport about this, who had apologised and agreed to send a rear shock direct to me. A couple of days later, a front shock arrived at my house!

I phoned Leisure Lakes and they chased again. Ultrasport were very apologetic and told them that the reason they hadn’t sent a rear smartshock was because K2 didn’t make them anymore. Evidently they had had trouble with the rear shocks and had replaced them with Noleen NR2 shocks for 99. Ultrasport would, due to the inconvenience caused to me, send me, that day, one of these shocks with a Ti spring and a K2 race jersey. So I waited, nearly a week, and a Noleen NR2 shock appeared – but no Ti spring or jersey, not even a note saying sorry for the inconvenience caused.

I advised Leisure Lakes of this and some days later a Ti spring and Jersey arrived, but still no note of appology, except from Leisure Lakes, but I feel it is not their job to appologise for Ultrasport.

Anyway, I would like to say thanks very much to Andy at Leisure Lakes, Daventy for doing a great job of chasing for me – brilliant aftersales service. I would also like to say to K2 get yourselves an importer who knows what they’re doing in future – Ultrasport are completely useless.

Summary: 

Leisure Lakes    5/5
Ultrasport        0/5 (before Ti spring arrived) 3/5 (after!)

Fact is stranger than fiction, mark 2

Well, that all happened in the spring of 99 and the Ti spring and Jersey both got good use all Summer and Autumn.   In about September 99, I decided that my forks needed servicing and as my local Pace dealer is On Your Bike at London Bridge, I took them there.  Pete the Pace mechanic opened them up and sorted them, but informed me that the seals in the cartridge had gone and needed replacing.  No problem, only he didn't have any, so he put the forks back together for me and I had to wait.  Anyway, I got the flu and one thing led to another (ie I forgot) and when I decided to take them in to get them finally fixed it was around March 00. 

As all the oil had drained out by this time, and I'd been running them dry, the cartridge shaft was shagged and I needed a new one.  OYB didn't have one, so they ordered me one from Pace.  Pace didn't have one either, but they were placing an order to have some made and they would be available in 2 weeks (remind you of anything yet!).  Anyway, 2 weeks passed and they hadn't arrived, Pete was very appologetic and chased Pace.  They said they would be another couple of weeks as the manufacturer was busy with other orders and was behind schedule.  Then another couple of weeks delay etc.

It was now May 3, and I was told, again applogetically by OYB that it would be May 18.  Then June 1.  By this time Pete was very pissed off with Pace.  I was taking it all in my stride - been there before.  Again bike was useable, just not on top form.  One day my forks will get fixed!

Summary

On your Bike    4/5
Pace                 yet to be determined, but probably 1/5

Moral

What's the moral of the story? I hear you ask.  Well I'm not sure.  Don't buy expensive rare bikes/parts?   Don't buy untried technology?  Buy and sell after a year?  Who knows.   One thing I can tell you though is that even when the bike is not on top form it si still awesome, and when it is working perfectly, you can't get any better!  I just wish these manufacturer's and importers got their acts sorted out.

 

NH

May 2000

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