Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby herzog » Sat May 11, 2013 7:21 pm

Yeah I've had good results from Cell too.
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by BNA » Sat May 11, 2013 7:53 pm

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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Lurkin » Sat May 11, 2013 7:53 pm

Maybe next time you should buy some cheap Shimano wheels instead of cheap Mavic ones?
Instead of being upset about them going out of true, you can then get upset about broken spokes, cracked rims and problems with freehubs.

And how much do you weigh? I wouldn't go near a 20 spoke wheel with a barge pole unless I was under 60kg.


They are the second set of Mavic Aksium rims I have owned, as posted earlier.

I have been very impressed/ satisfied with the first set - I have had them for over 6 months/ 2,500 kms and they are still true, hence the decision to purchase a second set.

I'll contact Mark and see how I get on.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby twizzle » Sat May 11, 2013 9:15 pm

Lurkin wrote:
Maybe next time you should buy some cheap Shimano wheels instead of cheap Mavic ones?
Instead of being upset about them going out of true, you can then get upset about broken spokes, cracked rims and problems with freehubs.

And how much do you weigh? I wouldn't go near a 20 spoke wheel with a barge pole unless I was under 60kg.


They are the second set of Mavic Aksium rims I have owned, as posted earlier.

So, potentially you got lucky the first time.
The second-last wheel I had built (32-spoke Mavic OpenPro rim, first and only time I will use Mavic) went out of true within 150km, and that was hand built by someone who knew what they are doing. Six months later it popped a spoke in a race, and now, after only ~17,000km it's gone out of true again.
A light-weight machine-built 20-spoke staying true from the factory? More likely to go out of true than not.

Lurkin wrote:I have been very impressed/ satisfied with the first set - I have had them for over 6 months/ 2,500 kms and they are still true, hence the decision to purchase a second set.

Did you look into the rep of the Aksium's first?
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Lurkin » Sat May 11, 2013 9:39 pm

Sorry to hear that.

I'd rather go on first hand experience, and as earlier posted, mine have been good. I'll note I also had Mavic Aksium rims put on my partners bike, similar km's/ timing, and hers are also still true.

Not really wanting to get into a 'to Mavic or not to Mavic' debate - I have already determined they should be sufficient for my requirements.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby boss » Sat May 11, 2013 10:36 pm

Lets get this straight.

You bought cheap rims.

They went out of true relatively quickly.

Shop offered to true them at no extra cost to you. Either locally at a wheel builder of your choice, or by sending them back.

You felt this unsatisfctory as you were gunning for a new set of wheels.

Cell confirmed all that was needed was a tension adjustment to get your wheel true.

You're unhappy because you were gunning for a new set of wheels.

Reality check #1. From factory, unbuilt rims are often not 'true'. They need tension applied to roll dead straight.

Reality check #2 - it is not unheard of for a wheel to require retensioning after being ridden in.

In your case, you bought some cheap, low end, machine built wheels. Rode them for a bit, lo and behold they went out of tension quickly.

If this happened two or three times within a few weeks, yep, I'd say you deserve a new set. Currently you do not.

The only reason you may get what you want is because you've publicly bent Mark over, knowing he will bend over backwards to fix anything raised on here. I think that is questionable - you're essentially having a politely worded tantrum.

Quite honestly, if I thought you were being reasonable I would come into bat for you. But your not being reasonable.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby sdnelson19 » Sat May 11, 2013 11:01 pm

Boss, I could not have put that any better myself.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby MarkG » Sat May 11, 2013 11:12 pm

Agreed 169%
Proudly "a hater of academics with helmet cams"
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby sminns » Sat May 11, 2013 11:28 pm

boss wrote:Lets get this straight.

Quite honestly, if I thought you were being reasonable I would come into bat for you. But your not being reasonable.


Wasn't going to get into this but I agree
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby ozzymac » Sun May 12, 2013 8:28 am

And I also agree....

And besides op also states he rode on them for 60kms on nice smooth roads, do we have such things?

And it's only his word he didn't hit a pothole or something else to cause the problem.


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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Lurkin » Sun May 12, 2013 10:08 am

Lets get this straight.


The rims turned up in a damaged box, and thus may have been damaged on arrival. Why should I be content with damaged goods?

Being reasonable, I decided to continue to use them as they looked ok. Then they went out of true within 60kms.

Having had a set of these rims before, I certainly did not expect them to go out of true within 60kms. There was nothing in the product description to suggest expectation otherwise. Accordingly, I have deemed the product as defective.

I then attempted to remedy the problem with Cell Bikes through detailed, clear correspondence. I have posted it all so it was clear:-
- the nature of the correspondence;
- the detail of same; and,
- the amount of time spent trying to communicate with Cell bikes.

I probably spent approx. of half an hour on each letter, quarter of an hour on each email.... at my charge out rate, they are becoming a very, very expensive set of rims.

Further, the responses from Cell Bikes ignored the fact that I did not want either pre damaged or rims that required trueing on arrival.

I was well aware of the fact that I could take them to a LBS and get them trued. I would have proceeded without contacting Cell Bikes - the ~$30 to get it trued would not have been worth pursuing if I genuinely thought that would fix the issue . I was more concerned that the rim would continue to bend out of shape in conditions where it should not - and prove to be less durable than the rims I already had. The only explanation given to me was that the riding conditions had affect the rim... which was addressed - smooth roads etc.

I wasn't 'gunning' for anything other than having rims that do not go out of shape prematurely. Note that given Cell Bikes had determined they were fine - why not accept their return for a refund???? why not use it as an opportunity to upsell to something more durable? Again, if there was actual advice given, rather than continuing to 'gun' for sending it back to me, it's likely I would have bought something else.

Reality check #1. From factory, unbuilt rims are often not 'true'. They need tension applied to roll dead straight.


Fine - I wasn't aware of this, nor was I made aware of this when consulting Cell Bikes! Both of the other sets of Mavic Aksium rims I have had have certainly not required this level of fiddling. Further, if that's whats to be expected from customers, why not advertise it as so? or alternatively, why not check their shape before they are posted???

If this happened two or three times within a few weeks, yep, I'd say you deserve a new set. Currently you do not.


Had I have known this would be the expectation and test, I would never have bought them in the first place.

Are you trying to suggest that I need to keep riding on them, bending them, sending them back???? It has been a right pain in the backside dealing with the so called 'couriers'. Further, as far as I'm aware, I haven't been reimbursed for the first lot of postage! I'm not going to keep incurring costs for some 'cheap' rims. I want to ride my bike, not muck around with couriers/ postage/ more damaged rubbish in the mail.

The only reason you may get what you want is because you've publicly bent Mark over, knowing he will bend over backwards to fix anything raised on here. I think that is questionable - you're essentially having a politely worded tantrum.


I am not publicly bending anyone over. I deliberately took all references to name out of the post to ensure exactly that - it was intended to illustrate what has happened without withholding information so other forum users can review it and come to their own conclusion - with all the facts.

The reasons I have put it publicly are:-
(a) I have tried to get help privately, directly from Cell Bikes and found the response unsatisfactory.
(b) If the negative experiences do not get posted, then it would appear as if every trade going through Cell Bikes is perfect, and on this occasion, it has not been.
(c) what else can a consumer do? If you cannot get help directly from the supplier, and its not worth enough to litigate over, what else can you actually do??

As detailed in earlier posts, this has not been a 'out to get someone' situation. Right from the first correspondence, I would be more than happy if Cell Bikes remedied the situation with more thought than, 'let's just true them and send them back regardless of what the customer says'. I have sent a PM to Mark, and I am more than open to a resolution which is more acceptable.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby sdnelson19 » Sun May 12, 2013 10:19 am

So, you received a set of wheels in a damaged box- but decided to use them anyway. Then after 60km of use decided that they must be defective because they went out of true. I'm unsure how cellbikes are responsible for the first of those decisions or why they would take the word of someone who isn't a professional bike mechanic with years of experience when they have plenty of those in their own service department. Putting wheels from a damaged box on my bike is definitely something I would never do- I value my safety too highly for that. I'm fairly certain a photo emailed to cell of the damaged box would've led to them having another set of wheels sent out immediately and if i'd used something for 60km and been offered free repair/truing i'd have been more than gracious. I certainly wouldn't take to the internet to guilt the (fantastic) company into doing more than they are reasonably obliged to do.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Philipthelam » Sun May 12, 2013 10:35 am

Sorry Lurkin but I'd have to agree with the others as well. Looking at your post it seems like you got very good service from cell bikes, they trued the wheel at no cost for you and they paid for postage as well. This should be good outcome.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby greatapoc » Sun May 12, 2013 10:55 am

You had a response within 3 days with a resolution that didn't involve you sending anything away that would've gotten you back riding for free but you neglected to take it and instead have spent the next 2 months complaining about it.

Wheels consist of a hub, spokes and a rim. A rim is true when all spokes are evenly tensioned. These wheels are built by machines and sometimes they get it wrong. It is quite possible for a wheel to be true but have some spokes overtensioned while others are undertensioned. Just because you have other sets of the wheel does not mean that this wheel should be perfect out of the box. Yes it is a reasonable expectation that something you purchase should work out of the box but unlike, say, a toaster that doesn't work, a wheel can be easily fixed in a matter in a minutes. Cell were absolutely correct in saying it could happen at 60km, 600km or 6000km or even never. Despite that, they offered to reimburse you the cost of a true which is all that was required. Wheels are very basic devices and they were also absolutely correct in saying short of obvious manufacturing defects (which this isn't) there is no reason to go through all this rigmarole.

I popped a tube yesterday after only having had it on the bike for a day. I suppose I should send it back because other tubes have lasted months.

Lurkin wrote:The rims turned up in a damaged box, and thus may have been damaged on arrival. Why should I be content with damaged goods?

Would've rejected the delivery right there.

I was well aware of the fact that I could take them to a LBS and get them trued. I would have proceeded without contacting Cell Bikes - the ~$30 to get it trued would not have been worth pursuing if I genuinely thought that would fix the issue . I was more concerned that the rim would continue to bend out of shape in conditions where it should not - and prove to be less durable than the rims I already had. The only explanation given to me was that the riding conditions had affect the rim... which was addressed - smooth roads etc.

Except that it would fix the issue because that's how wheels work

Note that given Cell Bikes had determined they were fine - why not accept their return for a refund???? why not use it as an opportunity to upsell to something more durable? Again, if there was actual advice given, rather than continuing to 'gun' for sending it back to me, it's likely I would have bought something else.

Why should they offer a refund on something that is a normal maintenance activity? Should a whole bike be returned because a rear derailleur needs an adjustment? Actual advice was given right at the start of your novel to go and get it trued by an LBS for free and you rejected it. Then you sent it back and they did exactly that and you refused to have it back.

The reasons I have put it publicly are:-
(a) I have tried to get help privately, directly from Cell Bikes and found the response unsatisfactory.
(b) If the negative experiences do not get posted, then it would appear as if every trade going through Cell Bikes is perfect, and on this occasion, it has not been.
(c) what else can a consumer do? If you cannot get help directly from the supplier, and its not worth enough to litigate over, what else can you actually do??

Seriously, this is ridiculous. You rejected all offers for help from Cell from the outset because you wanted a new set of wheels and any advice to the contrary you ignored. If anyone else had posted about this same scenario it would have been a positive experience that would go somewhat like this:

"I bought a set of cheap wheels from Cell which arrived in a damaged box. I chose to ride them and after 60km one of the wheels went out of shape. I contacted Cell who promptly told me to take it into my LBS and they would reimburse any costs. I was back riding within a week!"
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby boss » Sun May 12, 2013 11:50 am

Mate you've got it all wrong. You aren't BENDING the wheel, the spokes are incorrectly tensioned and that means it doesn't roll straight.

The way I see it is you've just got an incorrectly tensioned wheel. Very serviceable. The box being dinged was just a coincidence.

You trumpeted your 'experience' at the start of one of your posts... And I don't mean this in a nasty way, but its clear you are fairly new to bicycles. Half a dozen people are telling you that you're being unreasonable - isn't that telling you something?

And hey. What do you have to lose. Take th trued rim back, ride it, and if it goes wonky again... Then ask for a replacement?

No need to be a stick in the mud. Nor is their reason to tarnish a good shop (I mean, repeated references to cell fail?!?).
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby CELL Bikes » Sun May 12, 2013 11:57 am

Lurkin wrote:I have sent a PM to Mark, and I am more than open to a resolution which is more acceptable.


Hi Lurkin, I have not received a PM in my BNA message box, or my ( [email protected] ) inbox.

To everyone supporting us, thank you. I will always do my best to make everyone happy the best I can.
Everyone is important to us, and I do my best to maintain a good standing relationship with all of you. I see you all as my cycling mates and not just a number or a faceless customer, all of you are living, breathing 'real' people, and an oversight or slip up by us, can totally ruin things on your end, so I do my best to resolve things the best I can if any of you are unhappy.

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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Lurkin » Sun May 12, 2013 2:12 pm

Mark - PM has been sent in the last couple of minutes.

Would've rejected the delivery right there.


Couldn't. The receptionist at work accepted the delivery on my behalf. This will be remedied in the future, as I agree, the delivery should have been refused.

Further agree about a damaged rims box - I will never ride on rims from a damaged box again!

Sorry Lurkin but I'd have to agree with the others as well. Looking at your post it seems like you got very good service from cell bikes, they trued the wheel at no cost for you and they paid for postage as well. This should be good outcome.


If they have reimbursed same. Which I have had no confirmation or communication about after sending through my banking particulars.

Except that it would fix the issue because that's how wheels work


Again, as posted earlier, I suspected there was more to the story due to the unexpectedly short time frame they went out of true in. I know that they could be trued! read the earlier post - I was concerned that the problem was systematic with the rim and did not want to spend time sending them back and forth proving it - although that appears to be the exact advice of the forum - there's no problem until they have been sent backwards and forwards three times to prove it.

You aren't BENDING the wheel


I am aware of this - terminology only. I was concerned that there could be something further that has impacted the rims ability to remain true. Whether you call this bending, or going out of true, is a matter of words only.

The vague comments from Cell Bikes and and the utterly appalling, time wasting 'customer service' from Couriersplease seem to have been overlooked with the 'you're a noob, you've got the wrong end of the stick.'

As posted earlier, I posted up all of the correspondence for other forums users to determine what their conclusion on the matter is.

I think the key information in the posts received is that machine made wheels can come incorrectly tensioned and this was something I was unaware of, and was not informed of by Cell Bikes. Nor is there any mention of same in the advertising of the rims. Despite multiple contacts with Cell Bikes, I have had to post it on the internet to find it out!

Believe it or not - more than happy to be informed with regard to this. Having had two sets of these rims, perfect out of the box, I had no idea that they could be tensioned incorrectly out of the box. I am surprised that there is no quality review before such products are sent out? Further, why wasn't further specific information provided, other than 'we've looked at it, trued it, and its fine'? (particularly when its evident the customer seems to have the wrong end of the stick?)

What's wrong with picking up the phone, having a twenty minute conversation, ironing out any misunderstanding and having a customer that is willing to return again and again because they have comfort that it will be sorted in the event of a problem? I know I tried to do this - and simply got the 'we'll true it and send it back to you' without further explanation.

Why should they offer a refund on something that is a normal maintenance activity?


Depends whether this is treated as a once of sale or a potentially repeated customer relationship. It takes a degree of trust to deal with an online trader, especially if you are new to cycling!

You sell a customer an item once and expect them not to return - their satisfaction effectively doesn't matter because its a once off.

You sell a customer an item once and expect that they will return, or affect other people if their decision to purchase more. Immediately, customers who have problems, regardless of how much of a newbie they are, or whether they have the wrong end of the stick - have value.

Deciding only to sell to only those who know your products in and out shrinks the market considerably...

What do you have to lose.


Simple - Time. Money. Opportunity cost of using a different supplier who is more interested in informing their customers about things that go wrong, communicating when they are issuing refunds/ returning rims by Aus Post :shock: /communicating with their customers to allow them to understand what has gone wrong and why the offered solution is sufficient etc.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby sdnelson19 » Sun May 12, 2013 2:30 pm

As posted earlier, I posted up all of the correspondence for other forums users to determine what their conclusion on the matter is.


I think it's pretty obvious what other forum users conclusion on the matter is, yet you seem reluctant to accept it.

I think the key information in the posts received is that machine made wheels can come incorrectly tensioned and this was something I was unaware of, and was not informed of by Cell Bikes. Nor is there any mention of same in the advertising of the rims


Is it really up to the retailer to pre-empt every single question regarding the manufacture of every product they list for sale online?

I had no idea that they could be tensioned incorrectly out of the box. I am surprised that there is no quality review before such products are sent out


I'm certain that Mavic (one of the largest manufacturers of wheels worldwide) would have some pretty stringent quality control at the factory. I certainly would not expect any retailer to go through the exact same process before selling each wheelset from them.


My summary of all this: you bought some wheels, they came in a damaged box, it was someone else's fault for accepting delivery, you fitted the wheels anyway, they were fine to start with, you used them for 60km, they went out of true, cell offered to fix them for free, you weren't happy that they took so long getting back to you because they have other customers to deal with too, you asked a forum for advice (by publishing a string of emails and repeatedly call them cell fail), got a response that you really didn't want to hear.

Unfortunately you got sold (probably incredibly cheaply) a set of great wheels (have used them before myself) that turned out to have a fault from the manufacturer, the retailer offered to true them at no cost to you. There's lots of online retailers out there who would say 'bad luck' and probably 2 or 3 out of 100 wheelsets that have a spoke that isn't tensioned quite right; these things happen sometimes, and cell have gone above and beyond (as usual) to try and help solve the problem.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby greatapoc » Sun May 12, 2013 2:35 pm

There is nothing at all wrong with being a newbie and not understanding how things work or being misguided about what is acceptable. The problem is that after receiving numerous expert opinions both over the phone and email you still rejected everything because you thought you knew better when you admitted that you don't! You bought the wheels at the end of February, we're now nearly halfway through May. You could've been rolling since March 5 which is when Cell emailed you saying to take it in to an LBS and they'd reimburse you. That should have been the end of it but you got all fired up and here we are.

Major props to Cell for their responses I think they've gone above and beyond what I'd expect from an online retailer. I know a few that would probably just say too bad or want you to mail it half way around the world on your dime.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Lurkin » Sun May 12, 2013 2:59 pm

The 'solution' offered was not what was required. As I have posted numerous times, getting the rim trued wasn't a problem, or an issue of money. The concern was whether it would actually fix the problem. If I had proceeded to just get them trued without contacting Cell Bikes, and they went out of true more than once then what?

The general consensus seems to be to ride on them further, if they continue to go out of true, then its a manufacturing fault.

Frankly, I'm still not convinced that trueing the wheel has done anything other than put it back in shape - I am still concerned that whatever caused the rim to go out of true is still there, a partially stripped nipple some other issue etc. The rims are still in the garage.. I don't really want to use them.

However, thank you all, I have at least been given plausible explanation, other than a generic, inspecific reply.
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby sunho » Mon May 13, 2013 9:49 am

back on topic....
Mark & the Cell team, Paypal is just awesome!
Order done!
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby boss » Mon May 13, 2013 10:07 am

Remember that order I did from Ribble that never came, and how they made me wait 20 business days (even though I made an order the day after and that one came in just over 7 business days)?

Well yeah, they re-dispatched the order... it was some shimano booties, castelli vest and a castelli long rain jacket.

Took the gear out on a very wet ride on the weekend.

The booties and vest were great, kept me warm... and while the jacket was a bit of a sweat bag, it kept me dry from the rain and sweating underneath it was very manageable. I was happy with it.

As one would expect, the jacket got a bit dirty with road grit and whatever. I toyed with the idea of just hosing it down, but I made my first mistake checked the care instructions - it said cold machine wash was cool. So I then proceeded to make my second mistake and throw it in the wash with my other kit.

Pull the jacket out of the wash... it was stuck to itself, and there was resistance pulling it apart. Weird. Initially I thought I'd maybe left a gel packet in the was or something, and somehow the sticky residue has made its way inside the jacket.

Nup. The waterproof coating had started peeling away. Yep, after one was.

Took some photos of the jacket and sent them to Ribble... when i was taking the photos, I discovered the Castelli logo on the front of the jacket had peeled off too!

Not really what you expect when you are paying $50 for a very, very basic sheet of waterproof nylon (with an admittedly very good fit).

Some photos... the white reflective bits are where the coating has peeled away. And that last photo is the logo peeled up.

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I know this isn't Ribble's fault (at all) but it is icing on the cake for a bad experience! I'm not bitter about it, I just want to stay dry because this next week is going to be some pretty crappy weather!
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Dan » Mon May 13, 2013 10:53 am

So, I'm thinking of buying some Aksiums. Any opinions?
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby boss » Mon May 13, 2013 10:55 am

Dan wrote:So, I'm thinking of buying some Aksiums. Any opinions?


:twisted:
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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby CELL Bikes » Mon May 13, 2013 11:14 am

Dan wrote:So, I'm thinking of buying some Aksiums. Any opinions?


If you get them and the box is damaged, don't accept them! (or tell anyone who may receive the package this).

The Aksiums are a decent basic wheel, suitable for light training or commuting, and are usually found on road bikes in the $1,000aud range.

Many of our customers ride bikes equipped with them and have no complaints.

As with anything, if you want performance, I'd suggest paying a bit more. Also regarding the reliability of some more expensive, low spoke count wheels, your weight needs to be a factor as well.

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Re: Online Purchases - good and bad experiences

Postby Dan » Mon May 13, 2013 12:56 pm

Thanks Mark. I'm not sure I'll ever actually be in the market for Aksiums, however if I am, I'd be more than happy to order from you guys.
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