Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Bike and the Specialized Aerobar Recall

Let me start by saying that I love my bike and up until the recall fix, I was extremely comfortable on this bike. It didn't matter what kind of ride was scheduled, my #Specialized #Shiv was my bike of choice.  Then I got the email from the bike shop on April 25, 2015 saying the aerobars had been recalled and that I shouldn't ride the bike until it was fixed.

My original fit session...I loved this bike!!!
I went ahead and scheduled the fix because I didn't want it to affect my training or, God forbid, the actual race. I took my bike in on May 13, 2015 and picked it up two days later. Unfortunately the recall fix changed the bike and the fit was not the same.

Recall notice
After installing the recall parts, the mechanic/shop manager took it upon themselves to move my seat forward to try and close the gap. I asked if they could check my fit before I took the bike home and the "fit specialist" (the same one that originally fit me on the bike) moved my seat back, and then lowered it too! WTH? Have I been riding with my seat too high for over a year and a half or are you just changing things to change them?

Then, as a stop gap measure, the fit expert guy was going to take a stem off of a lower quality bike and swap it with mine. Now, this is not my first rodeo...when I bought the bike I found that they had swapped the seat with a seat off of a lower quality bike and I had to drive back up to the shop (45 minutes) to get the spec seat. Anyway, I was not about to let them do this again. I told them I didn't want the other stem. The fit guy tried explaining that I don't steer from the extension bars and the shorter stem shouldn't affect the handling. Really???

So, I brought my bike home and took it out on a century ride the next day. I was miserable. My shoulders and neck were on fire by the end of the ride. I contacted the shop on Monday and let them know. After a couple of days they responded that a shorter stem was in order to fix the 1 - 1.5cm difference. I informed them that I took measurements before and after the fix and that it was, in fact, an INCH and a half difference...not a CENTIMETER and a half!

Before recall fix - arm rest behind base bar, after recall fix, directly above the base bar :-(
I guess the LBS conferred with Specialized and it was agreed that I would get an aftermarket set of areobars. Specializied would replace alloy with alloy or carbon with carbon or give a $150 credit if I decided to upgrade from alloy to carbon.

My problem was that my bike is matte black and most (except the very cheapest alloy bars) were GLOSS black. Why should I be forced to replace my matte black alloy bars with shiny gloss black bars? I decided to look at carbon. I was faced with a similar problem in terms of gloss vs. matte, but eventually found a matte black base bar by Profile Design.

Here's some matte black, alloy bars...NOT! Do these even look close to the recalled bar?
Gee, really? Could I get a round base bar to replace the one that came on my bike?

Because I was not only trying to remedy the fit but also the look of the bike, I decided that I would go with the Profile Design Svet Zero base bar. It was one of their few offerings that came in matte black. If I paired it with a set of alloy bars, I would be able to get my fit back to where it was. My question was, will this work?

I emailed Specialized and let them know that I wasn't happy with the $150 credit and a final out of pocket expense of $400+. Really, you have to sell the parts at full retail? Anyway, after some negotiation, I was told that I could use my additional $100 of Specialized $$$ on the bars instead of strictly Specialized gear. Ok, this will knock the price down a bit. The final piece of the puzzle was to confirm with the bike shop that the base bar and extensions were going to get me to where I needed to be.

I emailed the shop and got an email back that they called and left a message and that I should call them back. I called twice the next day. First time, no answer... second time left a message. No response. So I sent another email the first thing next day (hey, I can only do so much during the day). Here is the response I got...

Really? You couldn't have told me this two days ago?
So here I am, less than two months before my race...a bike that is painful to ride and a LBS that has been less than accommodating. I get it, I only spent $3,000 on a $4,000 bike (end of year sale) and it pales in comparison to some of the more pricey models...but cut me some slack! I still bought local, I didn't buy it off the internet, and all I am asking is that my bike is returned to what it was in terms of fit and looks at the time I bought it.

HS has told me to just order the parts and have it fixed locally... I guess that is what I am going to do...

#Specialized #bike #aerobar #recall #profiledesign