I’ve been a forensic engineer for 16 plus years now. In that time, I have seen the whole spectrum of mechanical failures from one-off, that should never have happened to broad ranging design faults. Unfortunately, I experienced the former on my beloved REEB. Yep, Dale is dead. While doing some light mountain biking, I had an unexplained tube failure on my downtube.
Keep in mind this same frame has raced the CTR, so it was never something I was going to blame on REEB, and at best, I expected some sort of ‘crash replacement’ discount on a new frame. They had every excuse in the book to not step-up; from the frame being out of warranty, to me mountain-biking a monster cross, to the fact that the failure was clearly in the tube and nowhere near a weld or any fabrication area. But I still felt obliged to send some pics and let them know what happened.
When my email buzzed with a response from Chris, I must say I was a bit taken aback by the response. So rather than summarize it and leave out some of the inherent awesomeness, I am including it below.
Hey Alex. I’m so sorry that happened to your frame! I’m very relieved that you didn’t go down because of it! We’ll definitely replace the frame; warranty or not, that kind of failure should never happen.
From this moment on, I won’t be using that down tube ever again. I’ll move up to the one we used to use on our mountain bikes – a larger diameter, larger wall thickness tube. Not as large as what we use now, so the frame will still look like a Sam’s. It will be 1-1/2″, as opposed to 1-3/8″ as it is now.
That brings up another point – we just did a redesign of the Sam’s sizing. We now have a full range of sizes, not just two. Would you say you’re closer to a L size or XL size? I’ll send you a drawing for you to look at so you can make sure it will fit like you want. Also, now that you’ve had a good amount of time on the bike, is there anything else that you’d like to change or add?
I’ve already placed an order for the new down tube. I’ll get your replacement frame out ASAFP.
Thanks for letting us know about this so quickly and calmly. Again, I’m so sorry this happened!
Chris ‘soultrain’ Sulfrian
In a world where big bike companies are suing little guys for copyrights on a name that was never theirs to begin with and where dollars drive strict application of warranties regardless of if it’s the right thing to do, it was so nice to see such a cool company be so damn, well, cool. I always have thought I’m REEB’s and Oskar Blues’ biggest fan (even though that title is taken on Instagram), but this whole experience has made me realize that I can be more impressed with them. Seeing them unquestionably make this right is, like Oskar Blues beer, so good and refreshing.
In a bit of trial by fire, or actually Oklahoma red clay, the parts swap to Dale Jr. was completed just before and the bike was first ridden in the 2017 Land Run 100 which saw a finishing rate of around 16-18% of those that started. That clay is atrocious when wet, but with the clearance of the REEB and that seemingly indestructible belt/Rohloff combination, I never had to shoulder or push my bike, and I fell in love all over again. However, you can see from the pics why I can’t have nice things. ☺
Cheers and much love to Oskar Blues and REEB,