My experience with Downtube (I'm thinking of turning it into a mini-series) - When my DT IX FS arrived all of the Bolts and nuts were overly tightened and the derailleur hanger was very bent - Fortunately I have the equipment and knowledge to deal with these - However, the right folding pedal did completely collapse within two hours of light use which at the wrong moment on a busy junction could have been dangerous - I did email Mr Lyansky regarding the pedal alone as setting up the bike is the buyers responsibility - Did he care? My conclusion was, no - As I was probably going to replace the pedals anyway I let it ride.
Not by any means a tragic series of events.
I can understand the OP being peeved and indeed emotive but it's the kind of feedback that I want from forums like this, to get real consumer experience not just hype and bumf.
Would I buy another Downtube? Well! a resounding maybe (despite the imploding pedal) It was a reasonable price and the frame is still fine after 5 years of enjoyable pootling.
There seem to have been a lot of DT customers with less than ideal experiences, here's something to redress the balance.
I'm in the UK and bought my bike from Yan through eBay. It needed setting up and some fairly dry bearings regreasing. I was realy pleased with the bike.
After a couple of weeks the bearings in one of the pedals disintegrated - I emailed Yan and he responded to say he would replace it. A pair of folding pedals duly arrived from the USA a couple of weeks later.
A couple of months later the bottom bracket started making creaking noises. I disassembled it (non cartridge type), greased it and reassembled. Still creaking. - I emailed Yan again and he mailed back to say he would replace it. Again, a week or two later a Shimano cartridge BB turned up. Result! An upgrade.
Two weeks before the 12 month warranty expired I found a hairline crack in the frame close to the seat tube clamp - I emailed Yan and he said mail him that part of the frame (which is pretty small on an IXFS). He confirmed receipt of the part and mailed me a replacement frame part.
After more than 5 years and 12k miles my Downtube was beyond practical repair, and I had by then amassed a small stable of folders so did not buy another. But not for one minute do I regret the purchase.
Just as an observation, I find Yan's writing style short, curt and to the point - definitely no flowery language - and I think some people mistake this for rudeness. But I just put it down to the way he communicates electronically. Why waste words? ;-)
Would I buy one again? Without a doubt yes if the UK price was better and I had space in the garage.
Seriously? You spend half the price of the next cheapest model, yet you expected full customer service? Where do you think the savings come from?
Originally Posted by jeffsnavely
If you want the level of customer service you seem to be expecting, spend the $1000.
This isn't quite true. Origami Bicycles has several full suspension models for $3xx. The Downtube bikes do have nicer components (so I will won't claim they aren't worth the price). You can go really cheap on Ebay where you'll almost have to replace the components, so it isn't at all clear this is a good route.
Originally Posted by jeffsnavely
I will certainly take this opportunity to point out that this is what you (can) get when you deal manufacturer direct.
Buy from a decent LBS, and you should have a shop going to bat for you regarding inconsistencies like this. Buy direct, and you are the shop, you get to deal with warranty and return headaches.
You do pay a premium over direct from manufacturer (importer) purchase buying from a shop, but you also get a de facto mediator along with the deal. Most of the time it's something you'll never need to take advantage of, and in most cases such a shop premium over manufacturer direct pricing overpaying, but for situations like this, it might have been helpful.
Of course there are also shops out there who wouldn't do squat for you. Know your dealer...
When I got my Downtube Mini years ago, the seat post bent. I emailed a photo to Yan and he sent me a new one. I put a broomstick in it so it wouldn't bend again. So I wouldn't say he doesn't care about his customers. I've had stores that I disagreed with also and went away unhappy. It can happen with any two humans.