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  1. #1
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    Beware of the Desperado

    I employed Jalon Hawk (real name Laurence B. Gust) of Desperado Cycles in Deerbrook Wisconsin to create a custom bicycle for me. 22 months and over $14,500 later (yes, I'm an idiot) all I've received are excuses, demands for more money and verbal lashings for being unwilling to pay more for the work of a "master builder".

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  2. #2
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    wow, that's bad. Good luck in getting your money back.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  3. #3
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    For that amount you could have been able to get anything else in the market, in a matter of fact you could have figure it out the situation after the second G man. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    $14,500? What the hell kind of frame/bike were you supposed to be getting?
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  5. #5
    Randomhead
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    you've certainly posted this everywhere you could, it's easier to find all 5 copies of your post than it is to find their website. This page says it takes a $1000 deposit, what went wrong?

  6. #6
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    Yeah, still trying to wrap my head around the $14,500 thing.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudboy View Post
    $14,500? What the hell kind of frame/bike were you supposed to be getting?
    Frame made out of unicorn horns, lashed together with dragon gut.

  8. #8
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    Again, I'm an idiot. But, the cash actually went to pay for 1 complete bike (including parts), a second frame and one existing frame that was going to be reconditioned. Nice outlay but the reality is had he been honest we would have done 4x that. I would have fed him personally for 6 projects. Then, others would have joined the party. He would have eaten very well for years to come and would have been financed to create beautiful and unique works. Instead, I was taken advantage of. Obviously, I'm most upset at myself. But, I don't want anyone else to suffer. I got the hard lesson - hopefully others will wince and go elsewhere. Oh, just to be beyond clear, I have received absolutely nothing. I have even paid for the boxing and shipping costs of 2 of the projects. The man sank to the point where he defrauded me for common postage.
    Last edited by Cycling_Guy; 05-25-11 at 08:32 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Alan Edwards's Avatar
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    Can we wait for a reply from Desperado Cycles, as a contractor I have worked for many people who screwed me before a job, during a job, and after a job. I would realy like to reserve judgment with out all the facts. Lastly I don't think this forum is for complaints.
    Totaly cheap wieght weenie. Totaly cheap bike snob. But I love Italian hand made stuff. 84' Ciocc, 85' Raleigh Super Course, 96' Sakae Litage, 2000 Lemond Maillot Jaune,
    2010 Nashbar SRAM RED, 86', 87', 89' Ironmen, 96' Schwinn Super Sport, 79' Shogun 1500, and ten projects.

  10. #10
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    I have a sincere question - why did you pay in full for stuff you didn't have in hand? It's highly unusual.

    I sometimes have folks that want to pay me in full right up front and I always talk them out of it - I don't want the liability. Did you two have a special arrangement?

    dave

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    . Did you two have a special arrangement?

    dave
    And cycling guy said,
    "I would have fed him personally....Then, others would have joined the party. He would have eaten very well for years to come"

    Sounds a little too special if you ask me

  12. #12
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    Live Wire:

    Ha ha. Cute.

    Alan Edwards:

    I understand your take and think you are the right person to ask this - being a contractor yourself. I'm going to cut and past a few quotes from Mr. Gust below. I want you to take off points for all manner of assumed bias on my part. Assume I'm skewing, assume I'm taking things out of context, etc.. I'm not but assume it, anyway. Then, ask 1 question - under what circumstances would you the contractor find it appropriate to say the following to a customer that has paid you in full per your quotations for all materials and labor to complete a job:

    When asked for timelines to completion. By the way, "Alfred" is the name of the frame I paid to have built

    "I have used up the money for a good chunk of the parts for this project to pay for bills and needless to say the same goes for Alfred, and that leaves me working on Alfred without being able to pay for bills."

    When asked about starting to work again after a 6 month long break

    "No Christmas bonus, no incentive to continue the work."

    Dave Kirk:

    Fair question. It all go to the mentality I chose. you see, I wasn't doing business. I was making personal dreams come true. Once I decided who I was doing this with I just went along. I never once question cost or timing of funding. Decisions were made, costs were quoted and I paid. Yes, I know - stupid. But, that was how it happened.

    So, I have a mess to clean up and that is going to take some time. Then, I'm going to no doubt lick my wounds for awhile but then it will be back to what I want. But, with some hard learned adjustments:

    1. Small is OK but the name I choose next time will be well established. Period.

    2. It will not be a US builder. Now, I know that's a terrible thing to say and I feel like crap. But, once bitten...

  13. #13
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    Wow. I've got to say that I haven't had a whole lot of sympathy all along, I don't agree with your approach, and I get the sense that this is just one of many marginal decisions made by you. You also seem to be quite impressed with yourself and giving the impression that you're trying to tell us how impressed we should be with you. And all along, knowing that people are what they are, I ignored it. And then you wrote this:

    It will not be a US builder. Now, I know that's a terrible thing to say and I feel like crap. But, once bitten... It will not be a US builder. Now, I know that's a terrible thing to say and I feel like crap. But, once bitten...
    Personally, if I were a small custom builder with a good name (I'm not, I've just built a couple of frames and probably won't ever build for anyone but myself, friends, and family), I'd avoid you like the plague.

    Good day.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 05-26-11 at 06:49 AM. Reason: spelling
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  14. #14
    Randomhead
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    I am curious how someone that isn't in the U.S. got hooked up with a builder like this. It's not like it was easy to find them doing a online search

  15. #15
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I am curious how someone that isn't in the U.S. got hooked up with a builder like this. It's not like it was easy to find them doing a online search
    I didn't see any indication that the OP wasn't in the US?
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  16. #16
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    mudboy,

    Not at all sure where you are coming from. Regardless..... I am not in the US. I found Desperado Cycles through a combination of asking around and the Internet. I do agree with you about marginal decisions. That's actually kind.

    Anyway, I am going to leave it as is. I never meant to convince anyone of anything. I meant to inform. I also meant to make myself feel better. Instead of feeling better I just feel small and vindictive. Add those to being an idiot.

    Hopefully, at least information was passed on.

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