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Don’t Let The Crack-N-Fail Make You Crash-N-Wail
July 30, 2021 – The Twenty-Seventh Official Friday Night BeerBlog
We’re in a strange time. And I’m not talking about the fact that we’ve been through a worldwide pandemic over the last 18 months. I’m talking about the fact that now that we are emerging from said worldwide pandemic and you can’t get certain things; lumber, chlorine tabs, crayons. Crayons for Pete’s sake! And prices are soaring everywhere else. Have you seen the housing market? CRAY!
What I know for sure is that if you want anything to do with bicycles; be it frames, chains, components, ANYTHING – you aren’t going to get it. This is expected for the next couple of years, until supply and demand is reset.
What I’ve found is that because of this issue, there seems to be a new power struggle. Whereas the customer used to be right, now, because of demand, the customer is straight outta freaking luck. And you’ll take it and shut the hell up.
Case in point. I have been riding the bicycle brand “Cannondale” for years and years. It has been my favorite bike beyond all others. And I am someone that rides my bike six days a week. I am a former National Champion and former junior development team founder. I am an advocate of the sport, my shop, and the bike brand that I ride. Until now.
Long story short, but I had an unfortunate issue with the stock headset on my Cannondale Super 6 bicycle. It has a plastic insert that seems to get itself jammed. Instead of allowing the steer tube of the fork to be able to turn freely, it has worn a deep groove into said steer tube. To the point that it is dangerous to continue riding.
While waiting on the Cannondale warranty department to address this defective headset and compromised fork, my home shop installed a Cervelo fork on my bike to make sure that I continue to ride safe. After just two months of riding on the Cervelo, waiting on Cannondale, the Super 6 headset had begun to groove a ring around this steer tube, too. Again, further evidence of the malfunctioning headset. Especially since the Cervelo fork was installed by the mechanics at the shop.
The Cannondale warranty department didn’t agree. They believe it to be installer error (both times).
I am not someone who looks to get anything FREE. I am willing to pay, but only if I owe it. Cannondale will not warranty the headset or the fork. Their only offer was a chance to BUY one of two forks that they made available to me. One was black and pink and one was gloss red. My bike is matte black and red. Neither option is a match to the bike I ride.
Did I mention that because of the forks offered, I had to buy a new headset as well? Obviously the one I had was defective, but it also would not fit on the forks they offered me. Convenient. As you see in the photo, the fork is for another type of frame because the word Cannondale is not whole. So it reads CANNON on one side and NONDALE on the other. Wah-wahhh.
The word from my shop was that the Cannondale warranty guy was a real dick. These aren’t the normal words he uses, so there is no question of whether it is true or not. So why was the representative of this company a dick? Was it because he is aware there is a problem or is it because he can while demand is off the charts?
Is it okay? Hell no it’s not okay. Basically the word is that it’s my fault and that I have to live with whatever they offer and be happy about it. So now, here I am, riding this Cannondale, out representing their company and myself with it’s mix-matched fork. Forget about the fact that the bike’s resale value has now plummeted.
Not since Thrifty cars let me drive off of their rental lot with bald tires on a snowy Pennsylvania February day have I lost more respect for a company as a whole. Why am I writing about this in my blog? Well, number one because I can. Second, because this blog is about my life and a big part of my life is riding my bike; or my janky ass Cannondale, as my friend Moulton now calls it.
Cannondale has some work to do. I can’t tell you how many people have referred to my bike as the Crack-N-Fail as opposed to a Cannondale. That right there should tell you something. All I know is that when supply and demand catches up, I’m due for a new bike. At this point it won’t be another Cannondale. Bikes are an investment and if this how I’m going to be treated as a customer, I’ll take my hard-earned dollars elsewhere.
The link to the podcast version: