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Old April 14th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #1
rodewald
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Default Manitou fork recall, advice wanted

So in doing research on my wife's Buck Shaver, which I'm thinking we'll sell, I looked up the Manitou Mach 5 fork and there's an open recall on it. I called Manitou and they'll send me a new Manitou Drake, but I have to do all the work, pay for shipping the old fork to them, and get the steerer tube cut on the new fork. I don't really have the time or money at the moment, so I'm curious what others think. I could list if for sale and include the info on the recall. The buyer could then take advantage of the recall and either put a rigid fork on it and sell the brand new fork to defray the cost of the bike or use the new fork. Or I can put the time and money into the bike and just swallow the inevitable loss. Any other thoughts (not including "send me the bike and avoid the headache")?

Of course this way of handling a recall seems wrong to me. Sort of like Toyota saying, "Send us the faulty parts and we'll send you replacements that you can pay your mechanic to install." But maybe bike parts recalls are always handled this way. It's my first experience with one. It'd be different if I could reasonably be expected to do all the work, but that's just not the case. And the new fork isn't a draw for me since I'm going to sell the bike and I won't be able to get more money for it just because it has a new fork. Grrrr.

Thanks, JR
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Old April 14th, 2010, 1:09 PM   #2
yo-Nate-y
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A fork installation won't cost much.

If your wife is still planning on riding it and it is an urban bike, I would do the exchange, sell the new fork, and put a rigid fork on the bike. Might be more of a hassle than you are looking for if she isn't using it. But if she were, twood be the way I'd go. And the new Drake could easily cover the return shipping + rigid fork+ installation cost.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 1:12 PM   #3
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Yep, JR, that is the norm for how bike warranties get handled. Except, usually the companies will only deal with the bike shop and won't just send parts to the consumer. I'm a shop guy and the worst thing is telling a customer that they have to pay us to install this new part even though they are not in anyway at fault(plus charge shipping etc). It sure would be nice if the company gave a little to the shop so that they don't have to charge the customer. We usually under charge, a bit, out of sympathy.

As for advice on what to do, I would take your own advice and throw a cheap rigid fork on the Buckshaver until you have the time to send it in. (then sell the new Manitou and buy a nice rigid fork)

Cheers and good luck!
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Old April 14th, 2010, 1:13 PM   #4
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Nice, Nate and I both recommend a selling the new fork in favor of going rigid
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Old April 14th, 2010, 3:46 PM   #5
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Can you post the information for the recall? I have one of those forks laying around that might be worth the shipping for a new fork.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 5:41 PM   #6
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Here's the info I stumbled on:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml96/96114.html

Thanks for all the good suggestions. I'm leaning toward getting the new fork, while I wait searching for a rigid, and see where I am when it arrives. It definitely looks like we're going to sell the Buck Shaver (unemployment is not conducive to extra bikes) either way.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #7
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So here's the latest. I got the Manitou Drake replacement fork, but of course they didn't notice that the recalled fork has a 1" steerer tube. They sent me a 1 1/8". So I called and they apologized on behalf of the person who did the exchange but said they don't have anything with a 1" steerer. I asked what I should do. One suggestion was to get a new frame. Nice. So I asked they guy to check with his boss and see what the monetary value of that fork is to them (if I sell the fork at a huge discount that's one less fork they might sell and it lowers the value of the fork slightly in the eyes of consumers when they see one selling for half what they'd have to pay for it; if Manitou sends me a check it avoids that scenario and it can still sell the fork). The answer? Zero. The bottom line is that the manufacturer's defect is now going to cost me even more time and money. The company's stance is that when they bought Answer they bought only the assets and not the liabilities, but for customer service reasons they chose to honor that recall. If it were that easy, every company would just sell itself to shed liabilities (would've been an easy solution for Toyota). They must figure that the industry is so small and fragmented, and the recalls small enough, that there's not going to be much outrage. And they're probably right. It seems like an industry-wide problem. It's the second recalled bike part I've owned where the company had been bought and the outcome was less than satisfactory (Syncros told me to throw my stem away, end of discussion). I guess I'll sell the fork, and sell the Buck Shaver without a fork and let the buyer decide what fork they want on it.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 1:49 PM   #8
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I am impressed they sent you a new $250-300 fork for a 14 year old recall.
I think you made out pretty well, all things considered.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 4:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yo-Nate-y View Post
I am impressed they sent you a new $250-300 fork for a 14 year old recall.
I think you made out pretty well, all things considered.
+1

I can think of no other company in any industry that would do the same.

Manitou has gone up a notch in my eyes as a result of this thread.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 4:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodewald View Post
The company's stance is that when they bought Answer they bought only the assets and not the liabilities, but for customer service reasons they chose to honor that recall. If it were that easy, every company would just sell itself to shed liabilities (would've been an easy solution for Toyota).
Yeah, pretty much. You may or may not remember when Yvon Chouinard spun off Chouinard Equipment under Chapter 11 for pretty much that reason. It allowed Chouinard Equipment to be sold off to employees and reformed, and protected Yvon's other company, Patagonia for the legal risk and laibility that the climbing gear company (now Black Diamond) was facing.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 1:21 PM   #11
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If I were you I'd sell the new fork. Then using the proceeds buy a 1 inch judy SL or XC. Buy a set of springs and get the damper serviced. You then get a plush retro fork in 1 inch and your Buck is happy. I think you got a pretty good deal out of them honoring the recal, just need to turn it to your advantage.
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