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  1. #1
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    Downtube Folding bikes - Beware! The Owner Yan DOES NOT CARE about his customers!

    I recently purchased their Full Suspension model. Based on their listed dimensions I bought a Dahon Airporter suitcase. Their FAQ's page also had a link which stated that the bike would fit in the Airporter with no disassembly.
    When I got the bike, it did not fit in the Airporter by several inches. Looking at Downtube's website, the folding demo video shows an older different design for the folding headset area.

    The Airporter would cost over $75 to return ship.

    Also, the main body folding hinge pin was very difficult to engage - the hinge doesn't line up precisely so closing it requires a difficult forceful motion that takes many tries.

    When I emailed the company owner Yan detailed info about these issues including photos & video, the process went like this:

    -No response for over a week.
    -I then sent him another email asking if he had seen my email.
    -He quickly emailed back that he had been very very sick for a week and would be getting to past emails.
    -Another week passed (maybe even 10 days)
    -I emailed him again with another video and suggesting several proposed resolutions to my problems.

    -He replied with an acknowledgement that the dimensions of the bike have changed but that it should fit in the Airporter with some creative disassembly. He also said my hinge operation seemed normal from the videos I sent. (I need the bike & suitcase for daily use/storage so lots of disassembly is not practical)

    NO apology for listing the wrong dimensions, NO indication that he would immediately update them on the site, NO answers to several of my other questions.

    When I again told him that I bought the bike and the Airporter based on his wrong specs, he didn't seem to care at all, and simply said that he would extend the return policy by two weeks (I could pay $80-100 to ship the bike back to him).

    The bottom line is the Yan DOES NOT CARE about his customers or customer service in any way.
    The bike seems to ride nicely but his terrible attitude makes me wonder what corners have been cut with the bikes.

  2. #2
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    Hmmm.... I think he cares, but just doesn't want to pay $75-$100 to ship the bike back...

  3. #3
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    If that is really the whole story (remember there are always at least two sides to a story, even our own), I think they should take back the bike and suitcase. If you paid by credit car, perhaps the credit card company will withhold the payment, which should encourage the company to work out something reasonable.
    Last edited by graycenphil; 02-10-14 at 10:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    This is not the way to conduct a dispute, with lots of sweeping statements.
    Keep to your own know issues I suggest and you will come across more reasonable.
    I suggest you state more accuracy with things like "yans does not.....in my case etc"
    It will get everyone a tad further and parties will keep a dignified front.
    Just my thoughts.
    Hope you get things resolved.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  5. #5
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    A little follow-up from the OP...

    People don't seem to be giving me much credit here.

    The dispute is over - I contacted Yan about his inaccurate & out of date dimensions and told him I bought the bike & Airporter suitcase to use together based on his listed dimensions and based on a link he provided saying the bike fits it with no disassembly.

    The balky folding hinge was a secondary issue but also very annoying.

    He admitted the dimensions were wrong (from their older discontinued model), didn't apologize, didn't say he would correct them, and didn't seem to care that his wrong info misled me. He offered me nothing and said I could return the bike at my own expense.

    Since I also needed a second folding bike for my wife, I told him that I was willing to also buy his cheaper Nova model if it was smaller and if he offered me a discount..

    He didn't respond to this suggestion in his emails at all.

    I then suggested that he could offer me a free $37 bike carry bag to help compensate me for the issues and he replied that he disagreed with me and would not.

    I posted this to get the word out that:

    1: the posted dimensions are not accurate (and make me wonder what else is not accurate on the site)

    2: Yan was not willing to help a customer in any way and just didn't care that his wrong posted info caused me trouble and expense.

    I kept the bike since I do like it and I didn't want to lose $75-100 to ship it back (and I didn't really trust Yan at this point to fully refund me).
    Since I need a second folding bike anyway, I bought a Dahon to fit in the Airporter.

    Another issue was that I bought the bike & suitcase to take on a month long trip about a month in advance. Yan's two-week delay in responding to my issues caused me stress as my departure grew closer. I finally bought the Dahon at the last minute just in time to take on the trip when it was finally clear that Yan was not willing to do anything.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
    Hmmm.... I think he cares, but just doesn't want to pay $75-$100 to ship the bike back...
    No, he truly does not care. See my update I just posted.

  7. #7
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    Jeffsnavely - Where are you located?

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    Last edited by HGR3inOK; 02-10-14 at 08:50 AM. Reason: To clarify
    DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in an independent bike shop that is an authorized dealer for Raleigh, Dahon, Tern & Brompton.

  8. #8
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    I wasn't questioning your statements, just saying that the seller might see it differently.

    I'm curious if he updated the website with the correct dimensions. If he hasn't, that speaks very badly of him.

    The Dahon does fit easily into the suitcase, without disassembling, and the suitcase is acceptable by airlines as regular checked baggage? Which model Dahon is that. I'm curious because I have a Breezer (rebadged Dahon, I believe) and would like to have a suitcase for it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    No, as of just now, the dimensions as stated on his site for the FS version are "approx 30 x 60 x 81 cm (12" x 23.6" x 33")". The Dahon Airporter is "26" (690 mm) x 33.5" (850 mm) x 13.75" (350 mm)". So given these 2 pieces of information there is clearance on all sides - maybe the length could be just a bit tight, but otherwise it should have been a good to go. Unless his approximates are like plus/minus 25%?

    Edit update- Checking on the Downtube site Feb 15 2014, looks like dimensions have been updated to now reflect 13" x 24" x 34" which would exceed the dimensions of the Dahon Airporter.
    Last edited by badrad; 02-16-14 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Dowtube site updated with correct dimensions

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graycenphil View Post
    I wasn't questioning your statements, just saying that the seller might see it differently.

    I'm curious if he updated the website with the correct dimensions. If he hasn't, that speaks very badly of him.

    The Dahon does fit easily into the suitcase, without disassembling, and the suitcase is acceptable by airlines as regular checked baggage? Which model Dahon is that. I'm curious because I have a Breezer (rebadged Dahon, I believe) and would like to have a suitcase for it.
    Different Airporters from Tern Dahon and I used to have no Names .... the Mini Airporter which is not available anymore fits Airline regularions without any hassle .
    The large Airporter is oversized and some Airlines will charge for it. Large AIrporters are also very hard to find these days.
    Mini AIrporters require more dissambly. Large Airporter minor dissambly. Pictures are on the web with bikes inside the Airporters

    Best Thor
    Having fun selling Terns and Dahons for a living. My personal website is also my business website, same as my profile name, therefore no link given to follow forum rules.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    I had issues with my folding pedal on my VIII. I asked for replacement, he obliged, but he asked for the broken one (maybe just to see if it is really broken?). I paid the shipping back.

    This was some years ago.

  12. #12
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    I will respond to this only once because I find the concept of this posting disturbing.

    #1 For the record I was very ill for over a month.
    #2 I was never able to see the video, so I went by the the text of the email.
    #3 Jeff claimed a link to a page by Scott Holman's has wrong information. I have not received a link but I trust he is correct. He never claimed our information was faulty.
    #4 He did not buy the Airporter from us.
    #5 He seemed unsatisfied that the bike did not fit in the case and requested some money back or a free carrybag.
    #6 Since I was sick and did not respond in a timely manner I extended his satisfaction guarantee period, however I refused to refund monies or give a free bag.
    #7 He followed up with a rude email which I responded in an improper rude manner.

    I believe I could have handled this better but I think Jeff's intentions are questionable. If he was unsatisfied with the bike he had an extended window to return it. I wish him the best but I am moving on from this thread.

    Om,
    Yan

  13. #13
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    Thanks for responding Yan.

  14. #14
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    I own a Brompton and am just reading this thread for fun, but after reading this in full and looking at Yan's response, I agree with the OP. If you own a company, you can't have an excuse that you were sick for weeks...it is your responsibility to answer. Also, whether or not he purchased the bag from the downtube, he bought the bag based off the dimensions on the website. Just seeing Yan's response, I would never buy anything from him, nor will I ever suggest a downtube product. It's a shame that an owner responds like this...obviously has not worry's about word of mouth or customer satisfaction.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ed in Toronto's Avatar
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    Two sides to every story.

    If you're going to be buying a bicycle with the idea of it fitting a bag exactly, then I think getting the bag first, then going to your local bike shop and trying the bike and fitting it, then buying it from your local bike shop would be the way to go. Or at least take a measuring tape to your local bike shop, then measuring and buying a bike from them would be a way to go also. If you want great service, including trying, seeing, feeling and measuring things before you buy them, then support you local bike shop. If you want the lowest price and no personal service other than a possible return policy at your expense, then buy online (it's taking a chance, gambling on something sight unseen). Everyone knows this. Some people want everything and to pay almost nothing, we live in a world where you get what you pay for.

    The other side would be if you're going to be selling stuff online and if you're sick for a few weeks, you'd better have someone fill in for you. If not, if all you have is a one man operation, you'd better go out of your way to apologize for the temporary shut down of your business. I can see where someone in retail business has small margins and can't give stuff away for free or at cost. I think that if your website has false information and has mislead someone, then you should apologize, fix the false info immediately, and bite the bullet and pay for the return shipping in this case as it was your error. The info you provide to customers on your website, including links to other info is your responsibility, it should be updated and accurate, but mistakes happen, so fix it.

    No one wins here, it's just a mess. I wouldn't want Jeff as a customer, and I won't want to buy anything from Downtube.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube View Post
    I will respond to this only once because I find the concept of this posting disturbing.

    #1 For the record I was very ill for over a month.
    #2 I was never able to see the video, so I went by the the text of the email.
    #3 Jeff claimed a link to a page by Scott Holman's has wrong information. I have not received a link but I trust he is correct. He never claimed our information was faulty.
    #4 He did not buy the Airporter from us.
    #5 He seemed unsatisfied that the bike did not fit in the case and requested some money back or a free carrybag.
    #6 Since I was sick and did not respond in a timely manner I extended his satisfaction guarantee period, however I refused to refund monies or give a free bag.
    #7 He followed up with a rude email which I responded in an improper rude manner.

    I believe I could have handled this better but I think Jeff's intentions are questionable. If he was unsatisfied with the bike he had an extended window to return it. I wish him the best but I am moving on from this thread.

    Om,
    Yan
    You're "moving on" rather quickly, aren't you?

    I'll be sure to never buy anything from you.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ever1ast15 View Post
    I own a Brompton and am just reading this thread for fun, but after reading this in full and looking at Yan's response, I agree with the OP. If you own a company, you can't have an excuse that you were sick for weeks...it is your responsibility to answer. Also, whether or not he purchased the bag from the downtube, he bought the bag based off the dimensions on the website. Just seeing Yan's response, I would never buy anything from him, nor will I ever suggest a downtube product. It's a shame that an owner responds like this...obviously has not worry's about word of mouth or customer satisfaction.
    +1.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube View Post

    #3 Jeff claimed a link to a page by Scott Holman's has wrong information. I have not received a link but I trust he is correct. He never claimed our information was faulty.

    Om,
    Yan
    This is Jeff the OP:
    I am in the Washington, DC area.
    Yan's response #3 above makes no sense. On his Downtube.com website FAQ page he has a link:
    http://www.downtube.com/How_To_Pack_...in_a_Suitcase/
    that specifically says his bike will fit in the Airporter with no disassembly!
    This is false and misleading. I bought his bike and the Airporter based on this and his incorrect dimensions.

    Yan doesn't seem to even know what is on his own website! He doesn't know about the reference I'm referring to which is very disturbing.

    The Dahon Speed D7 (and most of their 20" bikes they say) fits perfectly.
    Not sure what one poster is saying about large vs. small Airporter - the only one available currently fits my bike. It does suddenly seem unavailable now a few weeks later.

  19. #19
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    OP Jeff again:

    Downtube's full-suspension model for $580 w/shipping is one of the only 20" folders with suspension unless you spend well over $1000. Therefore "trying, measuring, etc at a local bike shop" is not practical.
    I took a risk buying from a small company and got burned.
    There really aren't two sides to this story - Yan posted wrong info in two places on his site, took weeks to respond and then had no interest in owning up to his mistake or making me a satisfied customer. Telling me I can return the bike at my (large) expense is not in any way a satisfactory solution.

    Yan's response above also says he never saw my video.
    I send him two videos weeks apart, and he did tell me he saw the second but never told me he didn't see the first one showing the balky folding hinge.
    Good customer service would include asking me to resend the video or ask me about it in more detail, not just ignoring it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ever1ast15 View Post
    I own a Brompton and am just reading this thread for fun, but after reading this in full and looking at Yan's response, I agree with the OP. If you own a company, you can't have an excuse that you were sick for weeks...it is your responsibility to answer. Also, whether or not he purchased the bag from the downtube, he bought the bag based off the dimensions on the website. Just seeing Yan's response, I would never buy anything from him, nor will I ever suggest a downtube product. It's a shame that an owner responds like this...obviously has not worry's about word of mouth or customer satisfaction.
    I think its a bit rash to jump to such a conclusion about a company you have not dealt with directly to discount them.

    But if you want I can help you discount some more manufactprs!!!!

    have had slow or none responses to queries from bromptom, mezzo, downtube. Brompton have been dam right rude to me and very heavy handed.

    No ones perfect all the time

    Ps I own a downtube, brompton and a mezzo and I recomend all of them for what they do well.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  21. #21
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    Bhkyte, I did not have to deal with them. The owners response on this thread said it all. You can tell he could care less. We are all entitled to feel how ever we want and that is the way I feel. If you don't, good for you.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    My, admittedly slightly flippant, point is;
    Are you going to sell your brompton and have nothing to do with them due to my bad experience with brompton?

    I take people as I find them and bear other people's responses as information but it's not direct. Theie has been many cases of people posting bad reviews and then asking for money to withdraw them. Also if you look at posted comments it tends to be the few unhappy customers that post complains not the majority of satisfied ones.

    I am not suggesting the op does not have a case, nor am I suggesting he is gulity of posting a misleading review. It is however not straight forward when another product is involved.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 03-10-14 at 04:41 AM. Reason: inacurate asumption of mine removed based on OP basing information on a third party
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  23. #23
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    I've dealt with Yan personally and it hasn't always been as speedy or fruitful as I would have liked. And I do agree that he needs to have the correct numbers on the web site for exactly the reason the OP stated. (And if I were the OP, I'd be pissed off, too).

    All that being said, many people have bought Downtube bikes and have been quite happy with them.

    Should this thread give somebody new pause before ordering? Probably.

    Should it cause people from ordering Downtube bikes? Probably not.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  24. #24
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I've dealt with Yan personally and it hasn't always been as speedy or fruitful as I would have liked. And I do agree that he needs to have the correct numbers on the web site for exactly the reason the OP stated. (And if I were the OP, I'd be pissed off, too).

    All that being said, many people have bought Downtube bikes and have been quite happy with them.

    Should this thread give somebody new pause before ordering? Probably.

    Should it cause people from ordering Downtube bikes? Probably not.
    I agree.
    I am happy with my purchases from Downtube. The bikes were nicely equiped for the price, except on one minor issue (see my post above).
    Both of my Downtube bikes are now way past the warranty period, so I guess, I don't have to expect getting support from Downtube, because I know I won't get any. But I can say for sure, that the bikes are good value.
    Last edited by DVC45; 02-18-14 at 09:54 PM.

  25. #25
    BikingYupik BikeKraft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I've dealt with Yan personally and it hasn't always been as speedy or fruitful as I would have liked. And I do agree that he needs to have the correct numbers on the web site for exactly the reason the OP stated. (And if I were the OP, I'd be pissed off, too).

    All that being said, many people have bought Downtube bikes and have been quite happy with them.

    Should this thread give somebody new pause before ordering? Probably.

    Should it cause people from ordering Downtube bikes? Probably not.

    Also agree.

    When and if the Downtube 8H comes avalable again I'll be in line.
    If shopping you should definitely consider a Downtube.
    I was completely happy with the product and service.
    a driver's test is not an IQ test

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