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Wound Up Responds(35 posts)

Wound Up RespondsMikeC
Nov 26, 2001 6:14 PM
I ride a Wound Up fork, and was sufficiently concerned by the post about the Wound Up fork failure that I emailed the company with a link to the posting, and asked them to respond. Here's their reply:

"We have been making Wound Up road forks since 1993 and have experienced very, very few failures and none catastrophic in all that time. We get rejects back now and again for poor finish characteristics, improper dropout alignment or incorrect steerer tube selection. These happen rarely and represent perhaps 0.01% per 1000 forks. None of these problems have led to fork failure. The problem described by AINTNOSUCKA would be: 1) unique and 2) individual. This person is unknown to me and should contact me. (Though I did send out an email to the link provided with his posted message and hope he gets back to me soon.) We would need to see the fork/bike to provide an assessment to see if a fork failure actually occurred and why.
There is not much for me to go on in the text of the message and I would naturally need to see something prior to responding. There is only an indication that it is a Wound Up Crossfork...we have crossforks being ridden quite hard nationally and internationally in competitions. The Voicestream/Kona team and Mark Gullickson have ridden the Wound Up forks since 1999 without trouble or incident. Mr. Gullickson was the national champion in 1999.

As far as I can tell the posts in that thread refer to the single fork...there are no references to any specific shops, forks, individuals or whatever. So, I'm looking into it.

Ride with total confidence on your Odonata and on your Wound Up fork. We have supplied forks to Seven Cycles since their inception and test our forks constantly to ensure that safety and ride features are consistently excellent. We even launched a tandem line of carbon fiber forks six months ago after a great deal of pre-launch testing. We stand behind our product...from fork #1 to those that will be installed on bikes 10 years from now. And beyond."

I'll be anxious to see how this plays out. In the meantime, If anyone cares to name specific LBSs that can corroborate a catastrophic failure, and perhaps show some communication from Wound Up, I think there would be many people here interested to see it.
nice responsetarwheel
Nov 26, 2001 8:38 PM
I am much more likely to trust (and patronize) a product when the makers take the time to respond to e-mails and letters. I have sent a fair number of e-mails to different bike and component manufacturers, and I'm surprised at the number that never respond to simple questions. Most of the time, I end of up buying stuff from the companies that take the time to answer questions like yours.
Nov 27, 2001 10:26 AM
You'd put your trust in a company that makes a questionable product but responds over one that builds a rock solid product? Amazing.
Nov 27, 2001 1:58 PM
Well, not really. I honestly know nothing about this whole Woundup controversy, and probably should have kept my 2 cents to myself. I was just commenting that it was nice for the company to actually respond to the e-mail and try to address the concerns. I am amazed at all the companies with websites, where they ask users to send them e-mail, and then they never respond to simple questions.
re: Wound Up RespondsPjkad
Nov 27, 2001 5:00 AM
Thanks for posting this. I'm not naive but it does make me feel a lot better about my fork.
they want him to send the fork AND bike?nm
Nov 27, 2001 6:26 AM
Nov 27, 2001 8:03 AM
The bike is an important part of this puzzle, it could have a whacked-out head tube angle, it could show obvious signs of being crashed very hard (that the fork alone would not show). In short, without the bike, it could be very difficult, if not impossible, for WoundUp to determine the cause of failure.

In support of WoundUp, I sold many of their forks, and occasionally ride one, and I have never seen one break.
yeah, but what's the guy supposed to do in the meantime?nm
Nov 27, 2001 8:16 AM
yeah, but what's the guy supposed to do in the meantime?TJeanloz
Nov 27, 2001 8:37 AM
I think he was pretty injured, but how's he supposed to ride without a fork?
come onJack S
Nov 27, 2001 8:53 AM
AINTNOSUCKA "Wound-Up On The Ground" 11/24/01 6:28pm

and steel or alu 'cross forks are cheap... maybe he has one lying around that he upgraded from. So what is he supposed to do- what if has a race coming up or just wants to ride? I would bet the turnaround time isn't exactly quick.
Nov 27, 2001 10:00 AM
It comes down to whether or not he really wants to know. If he wants Wound Up to give him a good explanation, or learn for future forks, he has to give up riding that bike for a little while (on that note, I know very few people for whom a cyclo-cross bike is their ONLY bike- 'cross usually comes after you already have a road and mountain bike).

Or how about this: what if some slight problem with the frame caused undue stess on the crown, causing the fork to break? How nice would it be to repeat the accident with a cheap aluminum fork? The quest for answers isn't always easy- and he will have to give up his 'cross bike for a little while if he wants to know the truth.
Beta Usergrzy
Nov 27, 2001 10:35 AM
Since they can't afford to test and refine their design themselves they're asking the paying customer to help them. Why can't one of their qualifed dealers or sales reps. handle the assesment? That's what normal companies do. Heck they don't even make the carbon tubes themselves - they come from Sandy, Utah.

Point is the things fail and it doesn't require hitting ANYTHING. Maybe you'll get lucky and get a good one.

Besides, the fork is butt ugly.
Sadly, it's the industry standard...TJeanloz
Nov 27, 2001 10:50 AM
Produce, sell, re-design after failure. I could name a dozen products that have taken this approach (Bianchi EV2, anything Profile ever made, almost anything Campy made between 1970 and 1995, Time Monobloc stem, Bell 'Biker' helmet, Mavic Zap, Spinergy Rev-X). It's not a new approach.

Some people want to stick with tried-and-true products. But the push for companies to innovate (or Die!) leads to bad products in the marketplace. Very few companies have been immune to this demand- Chris King, Richard Sachs, Reynolds, any others?

That you make a blanket statement that the things fail is probably not fair. There are very few products that I've never seen fail. The question is whether they fail at a substantially higher rate than comparable products, and I'm not sure they do. I had one customer who literally broke every fork he ever owned (via obnoxious track stands, front end wheelies, etc) but has had great luck with Wound Ups.

You are right that they're butt ugly.

In other news, I have been waiting and waiting for Hurricane to show us a picture of their new road stem so I can make fun of it some more.
Sadly, it's the industry standard...gtx
Nov 27, 2001 12:20 PM
what did Campy start doing differently in 1995? Seems like they still like to throw new stuff on the marketplace every year w/o much testing. Seems like Shimano is a bit more conservative about that sort of thing.

Horray for Chris King and Richard Sachs!

I know Brent Steelman was going through a bit of a learning process in the late 80s/early 90s, but now he's building strong, light, dependable steel.

I've never even heard of an Ibis Mojo breaking. My friend who worked at Ibis for a while (pre-Mojo) remembered only one warranty--and the guy admitted jumping the bike off his roof.

Heard any good dirt on the AME forks with the ti steerer? I'm still not sure I'd trust any carbon fork, at least not for more than one or two seasons.

I always appreciate guys who break stuff. Whenever I break something, I know that I am dealing with a seriously flawed product. Just broke the Syncors post on my mtb--I already knew that the post was a POS but didn't have many options in 28.6. I am still riding on a set of mid-80s Record cranks on my cross bike, so I know I'm living dangerously.
Campy is a different storyJack S
Nov 27, 2001 12:30 PM
(or was). You would often see stuff debuted in the pro ranks, before hitting the market. I would venture to bet that they tested before giving to pros. I think the most recent things- new wheels and carbon cranks- bypassed this, however. Maybe they are 'learning' something from other companies?
Campy is a different storygtx
Nov 27, 2001 12:32 PM
uh, I remember a lot of broken stuff in the mid-80s. Ti pedals, bb spindles, etc. Lots of broken cranks. Then the stuff they were doing in the late 80s/early 90s was a total mess--that's when I switched to DA, and I haven't looked back.
Campy is a different storyNasty Jr.
Nov 27, 2001 12:49 PM
who asked about YOU?
Nov 27, 2001 12:57 PM
Revised StatementTJeanloz
Nov 27, 2001 1:04 PM
When I wrote originally, I was having a brain siezure, and couldn't remember any Campy fiascos for about the last 5 years. Then I remembered the Ergobrain (minor), PermaLink (major issues, unresolved really), and Carbon seatpost. So we'll put Campy solidly in the 'doesn't do enough testing' category.

Shimano is not immune. They had a crank recall a few years ago, they had some issues with the new Dura-Ace brake (when it came out) and a few others.

In terms of Ibis, I've seen two break (both Mojos) under JRA (mountain bike style) conditions. You heard it here first.
Revised Statementgtx
Nov 27, 2001 1:09 PM
good, I knew someone had to have broken a Mojo. I feel better now.

Yeah, I remember those cracked DA cranks. I'm still on the 7402s...

So no dirt on AME? Come on...
Nov 27, 2001 1:21 PM
You want me to say bad things about AME? Just ask. I think their forks are trash (but not as bad as Profile, or other Advanced Composites forks). I have no idea why Lennard Zinn and other magazine people fell in love with AME in the first place- except that they hand out forks to industry people like candy.

First, the carbon steerer models have the stupidest bonded insert thing ever invented. The expander plug (esp. the Reynolds plug) is 100 times better. The thing tends to become de-bonded at the least opportune time (i.e. in the middle of Ironman Hawaii).

Second, every one I ever sold broke. How's that for a ringing endorsment? Each case the fork cracked vertically at the steerer tube from the force of the stem clamped down. And they weren't the stems that Reynolds says are no-nos either.

I did once set up a ti tandem model that was probably the best tandem fork out there- but how many forks does that compete with? I don't know how the ti is bonded to the legs, but I wouldn't trust an AME bond.
holy cow!gtx
Nov 27, 2001 1:26 PM
thanks for the info. Moots and Andy Hampsten seem to like them, too. I'm sticking with steel forks. (not that I have any other choice, financially, at the moment).
Well maybe I'm asking for it...Leisure
Nov 28, 2001 12:30 AM
...but I actually kind of like the retro-grouch look of the thing. It just seems to fit in to the look of my steel frame and Daytona stuff. Although the first consideration when I bought the fork was the feel, the look didn't take long to grow on me.

Let's face it though, even the companies that can afford to test their products don't test them as much as they should, and (perhaps in part because) tests in a lab often don't translate well in the real world. Sad, really, but you just have to figure out who knows what they're doing a lot of the time whenever you buy a new or fringe product. I almost always wait a couple years buying anything new because almost everything out there shows higher incidence of failure when newly introduced. By now I figure Woundup has been making road forks long enough to have worked out any such bugs, though their cyclocross fork is a relatively new addition I think, and "Sucka" did point out that it doesn't have the throughbolt that the road forks have. It sounds plausible.

I'm not particularly bothered by all this stuff regarding the Woundups, though I may check the fork every now and then for a bit. I still like the purchase so far simply because of the stable ride. What helped me feel confident about buying a Woundup in the first place was the number of them that my LBS has moved, none of which have failed (yet). But I'll post something if I ever have problems.

Also, Woundup does make their own legs and they are in fact based in Sandy, Utah. I live in SLC, so when I ordered mine they made it the next day and drove it up to my LBS.
Well maybe I'm asking for it...grzy
Nov 28, 2001 10:14 AM
Well, Advanced Composites makes the carbon tubes and appears to be the parent company of Wound-Up. AC also makes lots of other things including stuff for NASA and the sailboard masts we use on the coast for wave sailing. My problem isn't withe their composite technology - I've never broken one of their masts, but have literally broken everything else (I've even meet the owners - he runs the biz and she does the design work), but with the way the crown steerer is executed - in many cases this isn't even composite. So one has to ask how good you feel about composite folks playing with metal. One school of thought says no problem it's all structural, the other school says maybe they don't have a lot of direct experience in the bike biz - given that they have their fingers in so many pies. Maybe they do have strict testing standards - maybe it's variation in the mfr. process. One has to ask why they should have *any* failures under normal circumstances.

Ultimately there isn't much *inherently* wrong with the design besides the asthetics - it seems that quality varies and some people have experienced failures. Question is: do you feel lucky?

Anyone out there ever fail a Reynolds fork?
well, do ya punk?Harry
Nov 28, 2001 10:20 AM
Nov 28, 2001 10:53 AM
There is a little bit of confusion about CF makers these days. There is Advanced Composites in Taiwan, which makes the crappiest carbon forks known to man; and Advanced Composites in Sandy, Utah, which makes somewhat better forks. They are entirely, 100% different companies.

I've never known a Reynolds to fail- but they haven't been out that long really. I'd have said the same thing in 1995 about Wound Up- two years after the fork came out, I had never heard of a failure.
Nov 27, 2001 10:24 AM
Ask them why they took so long to respond to the total failure of Mr. David Hover's this summer. Maybe this is part of the strategy. I can get the name of the shop that handled his claim - I think they're still getting the run around from Wound-Up. He'll be the first to admitt that he's not "delighted" and his bike is professionally maintained.

Just a data point that confirms they have no idea of what is going on. Love the opening line as to why they get forks back - seems like shipping a quality product is a challenge for them.

Hey it's your skin - spend it wisely.
If the breaks....koala
Nov 27, 2001 11:24 AM
are occuring at the place where the two dissimilar materials are bonded and the failure rate is higher than all carbon(SAY REYNOLDS) then the touted advantage is actually the opposite. And they are really ugly.
a consensus!DA
Nov 27, 2001 11:57 AM
They are butt UGLY. So why do people keep buying them???
There is simply no accounting for bad taste. (nm)grzy
Nov 27, 2001 1:32 PM
Funny Mathgrzy
Nov 27, 2001 5:16 PM
Interesting statement: "These happen rarely and represent perhaps 0.01% per 1000 forks."

Dusting off the olde slide rule says that 0.01% is one in ten thousand. Another way to look at it is that 1% of 1000 is 10, so 0.01% of 1000 is 0.1 forks, which of course leads to 1:10,000. So given that they see a few rejects "now and again" this would mean that their volume would have to be 9,999 good forks for every "defect". Something says to me that these guys aren't shipping 30,000 to 40,000 forks in a year. Now consider the reported cases of problems with their forks and one begins to suspect that the numbers don't add up. Either that or they don't open any mail that is labeled "Warranty Claim" - actually we already know that they don't process claims very well.

Now, let's ask about their testing - who does it and what protocol and standards are used? Ultimately carbon tubes bonded to metal structural members is a bad idea and both Specialized and Trek could provide some direct experience here. Doing it in an autoclave is the acceptable method in the aerospace industry.

Testimonials from sponsored pro riders who constantly get new swag and equipment is meaningless and actually deceptive.

Kinda funny to use such percise statistical figures and then throw in a "perhaps" to hedge, but what would expect from a "marketing poet?" You didn't honestly think that they would admit ANYTHING did you? "Perhaps" he's mistaken. Perhaps.

Now one should then ask that if they ship and warranty product with obvious visual defects what about the hidden structural problems that can't be determined. Do they ship these or pass sacred crystals over them?

You'd have to be a lunatic to buy this product, my kid could do a better design job with Lincoln Logs, and I don't have any off spring (that I know of).

You can take a chance OR you can buy a Reynolds. Wound-Up will be SOL in a matter of time - then try and get a warranty claim covered.
Funnier and funnierKrill
Nov 27, 2001 9:27 PM
I agree that the numbers he lays out are wags, but I don't think that Wound Up fork owners should have any real concerns about their forks suddenly failing. Big difference between "I heard of a guy who's brother had a friend who's WU broke" and "I've seen many broken units."

You seem to have a hard-on for Wound Up, but since you asked about their testing protocol, what do any of the other manufacturers (like Reynolds) do? Do they conduct product testing in house, or submit to a non-partial a third party? I don't know what WU does for testing, but I'd lay odds it's as good as any of their competitors. Fact of the matter is that the only thing that drives product testing is design/engineering integrity and liability issues. There is no laws/codes that apply to the way we use our bicycles and please don't bring up current US bike testing standards. They're a joke any Huffy could pass.

Merely anecdotal evidence, but I have a WU fork with a steel steerer that has been in constant use since '97 and it's still fine though it looks like hell (rubbed against another bike's skewer on a long road trip. We both cried over our beers on that one). I also have a WU cross fork that has suffered numerous collisions with barriers, brutish crashes, and a numerous bouncing stoppies while one of the local trials boys provided post-ride entertainment. I was sure it was going to break. It didn't.

Moving away from first hand experience to second hand, I've never heard of another rider who used a WU have it fail. I know numerous users and you only have to attend one cross race to know the WU cross is considered the hot setup.

I admit the WU is not the prettiest fork out there, but come on, that Ouzo ain't too pretty either with those big chunky dropouts. Reminds me of those English gals who's calves run all the way down to their heels. No ankle. Damn that's ugly.

By the way, every carbon fork you're likely to see will have carbon tubes bonded to metal structural members, they're called fork ends.
Nov 28, 2001 10:00 AM
Naw, my experience was this summer when my riding bud said 'Hey, feel this play in my headest." And this was a steel steerer. Another guy on the ride runs a WU w/carbon steerer and has had no problems - for several years - and he rides like an animal. So while YMMV I don't want to be the guy on the low end of distribution - do you?

Dunno Reynolds testing protocol, but I know for a fact that a large suspension fork mfr. gets their forks destroyed by my helmet testing buddy. You'd cry if you saw how many high end forks get wacked on his rig. doing all the FEA and theoretical stuff is fine, but at some point you need destructive tesing and need to get a handle on faituge life. To do otherwise is totally irresponsible. Contrary to what you may think some companies invest big $$$ in tesing - otherwise they stand a pretty good chance of getting their butts sued off - this is America. I honestly think you don't know much about testing in the bike industry. Many companies have invested in testing rigs like Instron and the likes - Fox Racing Shocks (worked there), Specialized, C'dale, etc.

I'm not saying that most or even very many WU forks will fail, but it only takes one to ruin your day if you happen to be riding it at the time. To see and hear about a few failures should make anyone nervous - afterall it isn't like you're getting a super sweet deal - might as well buy a product free of problems. Next year in CX something else will be hot - most bikies are lemmings when it comes picking products. This is mostly a function of their non-techie backgrounds and inability to think for themselves - not to different from the general population really. I've seen CX guys running Ksyriums - so what?

If you want to be a smarty, at least get the terminology right - fork ends are really called drop outs - check a QBP catalog for enlightenment. All forks need dropouts - it's the chunky MTB style crown and the straight round tubes on the WU that makes it so butt ugly - bear in mind that the crown is very highly stressed due to the moment arm applied. the failures I've seen are with the actual steerer/crown, not the tubes/blades into the crown. You can have a failure occuring, but not see any outward signs initially.

Ultimately why buy a product with a spotty reputation - it's not like dating.
I see the problem nowKrill
Nov 30, 2001 5:03 PM
"If you want to be a smarty, at least get the terminology right - fork ends are really called drop outs - check a QBP catalog for enlightenment. "

If you have arrived at all your bike knowledge via QBP, I understand what your problem is. "Fork end" is the proper name for your fork "dropout". Not so long ago, even the rear dropouts were called fork ends, rear fork ends to be specific. Still the common name in Europe. "Dropout" is a colloquialism made popular by the cycling press and is now popularly used to describe any axle interface. IMHO, "dropout" is an especially unfitting term for fork ends today now that lawyer tabs are popular. Trick question, why are track fork ends popularly called dropouts? People with thru-axle forks also call them dropouts. Speak to someone who as been around bikes before the MTB boom.

Back to the subject at hand, I think this whole thread is a hoax. I agree that a WU steerer could come loose, but can't simply come "unbonded" and catastrophically fail. You would think that at least one of those four quality shops he took it to for inspection would have noticed that the steerers are threaded and screwed into the crown and according to my sources the threaded connection is bonded via an aircraft adhesive along the lines of a super loctite. The failure you describe your buddy having is much more believable: that the steerer loosened in the crown, but did not fail catastrophically. I also find the specifics of the failure confusing. SUCKA said he was just JRA and the fork crown and lowers fell off. Again this defies logic unless the crown split in two or he was JRA doing a wheelie. You think he would of realized he had lost steering control or his bars were getting higher if the steerer was so loose it had backed up out of the crown and allowed the crown to come free. Again, the failure he describes simply doesn't make sense unless the steerer tube sheered off or the crown split in two. He claims neither happened, only that the steerer came unbonded. To me this is evidence that his story is untrue and a hoax.

I also note he has now disappeared off the forum and never posted any of the requested information to confirm his story. In classic lemming fashion, small minded naysayers quickly started casting stones with no first hand knowledge with the intention of causing unnecessary concern for those who own the product. You yourself stated in another post in this thread that in your opinion the only thing wrong with the fork is that you don't like the way it looks. It takes some spotty logic to deduce that "not pretty" means "not safe." The fact that you promote a Reynolds fork over the WU simply on the fact that you have not heard of that fork failing is again poor logic, especially in light of you inferring that Reynolds conducts superior testing of their product compared to WU and then you the state you have no idea what either do in the way of testing. While I believe you are entitled to your opinion, I believe that by your attempting to establish some false authority and knowledge in the matter, you are being irresponsible and, in my opinion, quite stupid.

On the issue of product testing, if you re-read my post you will see I stated that engineering integrity and liability drove product testing so it is left up to the manufacturer to decide what they feel is necessary. The CPSC testing requirements for bicycles and related components are laughably poor and incomplete and therefor do allow juries the ultimate say on what is, or is not, adequate product testing. Your comments regarding mine on this are unfounded and pointlessly inflammatory.

Stepping away from the fork issue, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but any component can fail, even if used within the design assumptions and regardless of the testing conducted. Granted some products are better designed than others or are more tolerant of stresses experienced outside the design assumptions but even so, they can still fail. Given the market pressures and the pursuit of achieving minimal weight, just because you HAVE NOT heard of a failure does not mean you are safe, just because you HAVE heard of a failure doesn't mean you are in danger. If you want to be safer, don't chase lightweight componentry and add a few pounds of quality material to your bicycle.
Right on!!!nm
Dec 1, 2001 12:41 AM