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Thread: Buyer Beware

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    Newbie azeast's Avatar
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    Buyer Beware – Turner Recumbents

    As an avid cyclist encountered neck and back problems, I was advised by a physician to consider a recumbent bicycle as an alternative. Having tested several makes and models, I settled on a bike manufactured by a small outfit in Tucson, Arizona called Turner Recumbents.

    I met with the owner in person, Milt Turner. Outwardly he is a pleasant person who is quick to tout the advantages of his frame design versus those of other manufacturers. However, the location and condition of his business establishment is rather suspect as he operates out of a small storage facility that is quite disorganized and inappropriate for visitation by those who might find pornographic wall posters offensive.

    This alone should have been sufficient cause to steer me clear of his business. Unfortunately, my medical need for a recumbent combined with the fact that his demo bike was comfortable to ride were enough for me to overlook these warning signs.

    I was advised the frame size I needed was in the latter stages of being completed and would have to wait a couple of weeks. Not willing to buy the bike sight unseen, I asked that he contact me when he received and built this bike. That ended up being 3 months later wherein I made another trip to Tucson.

    Upon arrival, I tested this supposed newly assembled bike and found that it was sorely in need of adjustment. Exercising great patience, I spent over 4 hours, well into the late evening as he and I both attempted to make the bike useable. Mr. Turner spent much of this time reciting his commitment to customer satisfaction, and how he would warranty his work. Since it was dark and in a very seedy storage facility, I surmised that the bike was sufficiently fine-tuned. I bought the bike and returned to my home in Phoenix.

    What followed was two months of aggravation that today has left wondering how I could have been so foolish as to buy a Turner Recumbent. In a nutshell, when I got the bike home I found that there were several nagging problems with the chain, brake calipers, and what turned out be used parts including the bottom bracket, chain rings, and cranks. This necessitated I ship the bike back to him because I was unwilling to again drive the two hours to Tucson. Additionally, he refused to even meet me half way.

    Today I own a bike that has:
    · Clear packaging tape in place of cloth rim tape
    · Some used parts
    ·A chain that gets wedged and jammed under the rear brake caliper whenever the largest front and rear chain rings are used together
    ·A crank set that has been inexplicably downgraded from Ultegra to Shimano 105s
    ·No warranty or receipt, nor a willingness to provide one

    I have appealed to Mr. Turner to resolve these outstanding issues but he has refused to do so. When mentioning to him that I would be writing this review his response was, and I quote, “You take your best shot”.

    It is truly unfortunate that an organization such as Turner Recumbents is allowed to conduct business in this manner. In recent years, far more reputable manufacturers have gone out of business. I sincerely hope, for the industry’s sake, that others do not suffer the same fate as I have.
    Last edited by azeast; 07-20-04 at 07:29 PM.

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    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    Azeast, do not know what part of Phoenix you are in, nor if you want to spend any additional monies, but check out Recumbent Central on Dunlap and 7th Ave, the owners name is Jim.

    I brought my EZ Sport from him about a year ago, had no problems with the bike or service. I know a number of people who have been buying from him and using his service for a number of years, same results as mine.

    He also does Thursday night and Saturday morning rides. Do not know if he can help or what it will cost but it's definitely worth while checking out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azeast
    Buyer Beware – Turner Recumbents

    I have appealed to Mr. Turner to resolve these outstanding issues but he has refused to do so. When mentioning to him that I would be writing this review his response was, and I quote, “You take your best shot”.

    It is truly unfortunate that an organization such as Turner Recumbents is allowed to conduct business in this manner. In recent years, far more reputable manufacturers have gone out of business. I sincerely hope, for the industry’s sake, that others do not suffer the same fate as I have.
    First of all I want to thank you for your post. Never having owned a recumbent before, after test riding a few I opted to order a Tandem for my girlfriend and myself. Milt's was one of the (stranger) tandem recumbent's I came across in my shopping spree (i.e. his has 3 inline wheels), and I liked the design so I contacted him.

    We spoke on the phone for well over an hour and he was quite chatty. He seemed to have a lot of knowledge and was a very friendly character. However, red flags that went up to me during our converstion included unsureness about when (or even if) he'd have such a frame constructed, much less assembling an entire bike.(i.e. no real timeframe available after frame completion) In speaking of component groups, I recall him saying yes (or no) to whether he had any of those parts 'laying around the shop'.(i.e. mental pic of used components) Anyway, lacking parts he left me with a "Call me back in a month or two" and of that, I also took notice.

    In the long run, even though I liked his design, I opted to go with Kelvin at AngleTech and have him custom build me what I want, which is in process as I type in fact.

    Lastly, in speaking with some other recumbent enthusiasts I know, I inquired about Milt Turner. The response I got was: 1)He's a good guy who's been in recumbents for 20+ years, 2)In the past there have been some issues raised about him not standing behind his frame design/durability. Apparently, some of his earlier frames cracked and he would not honor his initial warranty to repair them. As such, those who'd dealt with him in the past were left with a very sour opinion of him & his business practices in general. Myself? I read into that "Buyer Beware" and opted to move on to peruse other mfgs.

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    Newbie azeast's Avatar
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    adr1ru - Your visual imagery about him looking around his shop to see if he might have the parts in stock couldn't have been more accurate.
    Last edited by azeast; 07-22-04 at 02:06 PM.

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    Errand Boy for my girls sukispop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adr1ru
    In the long run, even though I liked his design, I opted to go with Kelvin at AngleTech and have him custom build me what I want, which is in process as I type in fact.
    Hi adr1ru,

    I think you made a really good call...I've found it a good policy(for myself, at least) to never ignore those "red flags" that pop up inside whenever something just doesn't seem or sound right.

    Only great stuff comes out of AngleTech's doors, and Kelvin is very friendly, courteous, professional, and he really knows his stuff! I had the pleasure of speaking with him on the phone once, when I was hoping to possibly get a bike through him. Unfortunately, I had to change plans due to an unexpected major home appliance going kaput(don't you just hate it when that happens? )...but I wouldn't hesitate, at all, to jump at the opportunity to buy a bike from Kelvin and AngleTech in the future...and since I'm determined to make either the Rans Stratus or the Easy Racers Tour Easy my next bike project(hopefully within the next couple of years), AngleTech would be the perfect place to go to, since they carry both lines! And with AngleTech, I can either order the bike completely stock, or I can order the bike in one of their custom spec flavors! They can even custom build your bike so that it's almost maintenance-free!


    Azeast, I'm so sorry to hear what you've had to go through with your first recumbent...
    I hope that your lousy experience won't sour you to the world of being bent...it really is as good as you've heard....take care....
    ***Geoff***
    '05 Greenspeed GT3, '04 RANS Stratus, '04 RANS Fusion

    "Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
    (by John F. Kennedy, from The Quotable Cyclist)

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    Quote Originally Posted by azeast
    Buyer Beware – Turner Recumbents

    As an avid cyclist encountered neck and back problems, I was advised by a physician to consider a recumbent bicycle as an alternative. Having tested several makes and models, I settled on a bike manufactured by a small outfit in Tucson, Arizona called Turner Recumbents.

    I met with the owner in person, Milt Turner. Outwardly he is a pleasant person who is quick to tout the advantages of his frame design versus those of other manufacturers. However, the location and condition of his business establishment is rather suspect as he operates out of a small storage facility that is quite disorganized and inappropriate for visitation by those who might find pornographic wall posters offensive.

    This alone should have been sufficient cause to steer me clear of his business. Unfortunately, my medical need for a recumbent combined with the fact that his demo bike was comfortable to ride were enough for me to overlook these warning signs.

    I was advised the frame size I needed was in the latter stages of being completed and would have to wait a couple of weeks. Not willing to buy the bike sight unseen, I asked that he contact me when he received and built this bike. That ended up being 3 months later wherein I made another trip to Tucson.

    Upon arrival, I tested this supposed newly assembled bike and found that it was sorely in need of adjustment. Exercising great patience, I spent over 4 hours, well into the late evening as he and I both attempted to make the bike useable. Mr. Turner spent much of this time reciting his commitment to customer satisfaction, and how he would warranty his work. Since it was dark and in a very seedy storage facility, I surmised that the bike was sufficiently fine-tuned. I bought the bike and returned to my home in Phoenix.

    What followed was two months of aggravation that today has left wondering how I could have been so foolish as to buy a Turner Recumbent. In a nutshell, when I got the bike home I found that there were several nagging problems with the chain, brake calipers, and what turned out be used parts including the bottom bracket, chain rings, and cranks. This necessitated I ship the bike back to him because I was unwilling to again drive the two hours to Tucson. Additionally, he refused to even meet me half way.

    Today I own a bike that has:
    · Clear packaging tape in place of cloth rim tape
    · Some used parts
    ·A chain that gets wedged and jammed under the rear brake caliper whenever the largest front and rear chain rings are used together
    ·A crank set that has been inexplicably downgraded from Ultegra to Shimano 105s
    ·No warranty or receipt, nor a willingness to provide one

    I have appealed to Mr. Turner to resolve these outstanding issues but he has refused to do so. When mentioning to him that I would be writing this review his response was, and I quote, “You take your best shot”.

    It is truly unfortunate that an organization such as Turner Recumbents is allowed to conduct business in this manner. In recent years, far more reputable manufacturers have gone out of business. I sincerely hope, for the industry’s sake, that others do not suffer the same fate as I have.

    AZEAST I've been comparing lwb uss bents and came up with Longbikes (descended from Ryan), Linear, now sold by Bicycleman in Alfred, NY, and Turner. Turner has a pretty looking machine on the website but as you make clear an attractive ad and a functional bike are quite different matters.

    Longbikes Slipstreams are beautiful bents. They're what Alladdin took his pilot training on before he got his flying carpet. I haven't ridden a new Linear. Now I can quit dreaming about Turners. Longbikes seems to be in good business shape.

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    Senior Member bentbaggerlen's Avatar
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    I have a early Slipstream, and a new Gulfstream. Both are well made bikes, Greg Peeks takes pride in the products that he makes and sells. If your thinking about ordering a Gulfstream, or Slipstream he has the frames and parts in stock right now.
    Bentbaggerlen
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." - Arthur Conan Doyle

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    Quote Originally Posted by azeast
    [
    I have appealed to Mr. Turner to resolve these outstanding issues but he has refused to do so. When mentioning to him that I would be writing this review his response was, and I quote, “You take your best shot”.

    It is truly unfortunate that an organization such as Turner Recumbents is allowed to conduct business in this manner. In recent years, far more reputable manufacturers have gone out of business. I sincerely hope, for the industry’s sake, that others do not suffer the same fate as I have.
    ============================
    azeast,
    With a comeback like "You take your best shot". IMO, if it was me that he said starement to I would be at my local Better Business Beu. filling a complaint before that day was done.
    I have to admit to dealing with a few of those so called business people, they are more like con artists than metal artists. Gladly I've gotten wiser in the years and can tell a crook in a heartbeat, so I just leave.
    IMO again, these kinds of people talk way, WAY, to much trying to convince you they are the best in the biss, but have not much to show for all the talk.
    Myself, looking for my first 'bent, I'm looking at every bit of info that I can find. Web sites and forums like this are a great way to find out about the good, bad, & ugly in this business of recumbents.
    For that matter anything that is bought and sold, information is out there, it's up to you to find it, it's your money.
    Anyway, azeast, have a good day and DO give your best shot. :-))
    John

  9. #9
    Newbie azeast's Avatar
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    John (aka miller 99)

    I'm glad to see my original post is potentially helping others from having the same unfortunate experience as I had with 'Turner Recumbents'.

    Just a quick comment on your note and a follow-up to my original post...
    - I did in fact write the Better Businees Bureau of Tucson. After three attempts by the BBB to contact Mr. Turner via mail, he chose not to reply to any of their correspondence.
    - I have since made several modifications to the bike, and can pretty much sum up the bike with one word, unrefined. Today, I continue to ride the Turner Long at least 20-25 miles once or twice a week in the North Phoenix/Scottsdale area. If you don't see me pulled off the side of the road trying to unpry the chain from the rear brake caliper, you'll certainly hear me coming with all the rattling and creaking noises this bike makes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miller99
    ============================
    azeast,
    Anyway, azeast, have a good day and DO give your best shot. :-))
    John
    On the following webpage (http://www.ajobikes.com/turner_review.htm) it states:

    "Milt Turner has been building and designing recumbents for many years. However, Turner is still a rather small company. This may change soon. Milt is about to release a new LWB model. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this machine from people whose opinion I trust. Hopefully this will fatten up Turner’s operating budget and allow him to finance the changes that he wants to make to the T-Lite."

    Atop that same page is an embedded LINK saying "Link: Turner Web Site", which when clicked upon now states:

    "Sorry, but the page or the file that you're looking for is not here.
    • Please check to see that you've entered the correct URL.
    • The owner of this site may have chosen to delete their membership.
    • The site may have been removed due to a violation of Tripod's Terms of
    Service.
    • The site may have been moved to a different URL."

    And Searching TRIPOD for "Turner" no longer turns up ANY hits for Milt or his Business.

    Anyway, I'm just happy ' I ' didn't play a part to "fatten up Turner's operating budget" and I really have no one but azeast to thank for that. THANK YOU azeast, for taking the time & effort to report your experience so the Paul Harvey Page 2 of the matter (so to speak) could be known to others!
    Last edited by adr1ru; 03-29-05 at 06:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sukispop
    Hi adr1ru,

    Only great stuff comes out of AngleTech's doors, and Kelvin is very friendly, courteous, professional, and he really knows his stuff!
    Yes he does. I spent probably 2hrs on the phone with him before deciding to place my order for a ANGLETECH/RANS SCREAMER GLXD27.(see http://www.angletechcycles.com/bikes/tandems/index.htm)

    He was somewhat tardy in getting it built (I ordered it at the end of June and he stated 4 to 6 weeks for delivery, yet it was September before I received the bike), but we're happy with the results of his labor and have managed to enjoy our rides together since getting it.

    Where I live (in the Hills of TN) it's a lot of work, but it's enabled us to ride together & stay together, thus bringing my girlfriend into the ranks of biycling now!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Thanks AZEAST. I am looking at recumbents now and was considering the Turner because they were local. Will avoid them now.
    Sunrise saturday,
    I was biking the backroads,
    lost in the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azeast
    Buyer Beware – Turner Recumbents

    As an avid cyclist encountered neck and back problems, I was advised by a physician to consider a recumbent bicycle as an alternative. Having tested several makes and models, I settled on a bike manufactured by a small outfit in Tucson, Arizona called Turner Recumbents.

    I met with the owner in person, Milt Turner. Outwardly he is a pleasant person who is quick to tout the advantages of his frame design versus those of other manufacturers. However, the location and condition of his business establishment is rather suspect as he operates out of a small storage facility that is quite disorganized and inappropriate for visitation by those who might find pornographic wall posters offensive.

    This alone should have been sufficient cause to steer me clear of his business. Unfortunately, my medical need for a recumbent combined with the fact that his demo bike was comfortable to ride were enough for me to overlook these warning signs.

    I was advised the frame size I needed was in the latter stages of being completed and would have to wait a couple of weeks. Not willing to buy the bike sight unseen, I asked that he contact me when he received and built this bike. That ended up being 3 months later wherein I made another trip to Tucson.

    Upon arrival, I tested this supposed newly assembled bike and found that it was sorely in need of adjustment. Exercising great patience, I spent over 4 hours, well into the late evening as he and I both attempted to make the bike useable. Mr. Turner spent much of this time reciting his commitment to customer satisfaction, and how he would warranty his work. Since it was dark and in a very seedy storage facility, I surmised that the bike was sufficiently fine-tuned. I bought the bike and returned to my home in Phoenix.

    What followed was two months of aggravation that today has left wondering how I could have been so foolish as to buy a Turner Recumbent. In a nutshell, when I got the bike home I found that there were several nagging problems with the chain, brake calipers, and what turned out be used parts including the bottom bracket, chain rings, and cranks. This necessitated I ship the bike back to him because I was unwilling to again drive the two hours to Tucson. Additionally, he refused to even meet me half way.

    Today I own a bike that has:
    · Clear packaging tape in place of cloth rim tape
    · Some used parts
    ·A chain that gets wedged and jammed under the rear brake caliper whenever the largest front and rear chain rings are used together
    ·A crank set that has been inexplicably downgraded from Ultegra to Shimano 105s
    ·No warranty or receipt, nor a willingness to provide one

    I have appealed to Mr. Turner to resolve these outstanding issues but he has refused to do so. When mentioning to him that I would be writing this review his response was, and I quote, “You take your best shot”.

    It is truly unfortunate that an organization such as Turner Recumbents is allowed to conduct business in this manner. In recent years, far more reputable manufacturers have gone out of business. I sincerely hope, for the industry’s sake, that others do not suffer the same fate as I have.
    Hey come on over to my Blog!

    http://magillagorillakk.blogspot.com/

    Look at some of the posts here. They defend the guy! You are not happy with the bike and he did not make you happy. It matters little if anyone else had good luck with the bike or his company.
    That bike sounds like a pice of junk and you are right to post about it.
    There were some people that complained about the censorship on the net on my Blog and this very issue came up. Not reporting the negitive about some in the 'bent industry.
    Most offer good service. Some are poor. I would keep at it and slam the guy. You already lost your money so I guess you will have to seek satisfaction some other way.

    MG

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    Newbie escapevelocity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adr1ru
    On the following webpage (http://www.ajobikes.com/turner_review.htm) it states:

    "Milt Turner has been building and designing recumbents for many years. However, Turner is still a rather small company. This may change soon. Milt is about to release a new LWB model. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this machine from people whose opinion I trust. Hopefully this will fatten up Turner’s operating budget and allow him to finance the changes that he wants to make to the T-Lite."

    Atop that same page is an embedded LINK saying "Link: Turner Web Site", which when clicked upon now states:

    "Sorry, but the page or the file that you're looking for is not here.
    • Please check to see that you've entered the correct URL.
    • The owner of this site may have chosen to delete their membership.
    • The site may have been removed due to a violation of Tripod's Terms of
    Service.
    • The site may have been moved to a different URL."

    And Searching TRIPOD for "Turner" no longer turns up ANY hits for Milt or his Business.

    Anyway, I'm just happy ' I ' didn't play a part to "fatten up Turner's operating budget" and I really have no one but azeast to thank for that. THANK YOU azeast, for taking the time & effort to report your experience so the Paul Harvey Page 2 of the matter (so to speak) could be known to others!
    The website still exists, moved to a new URL, evidently. Try:

    http://www.turnerrecumbents.com/

    I am also a Turner owner (1999 T-Lite SWB). It was my first bent, bought without testriding. No problems, save my inexperience, built it from a frameset.


    e-v

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