Paceline Podcast #81

Paceline Podcast #81

So what do you do at the end of the season when you have massive fitness and all your goals achieved or finished? Fatty is busy compiling a new late-season race schedule now that he’s flying, post Leadville.

As cyclists, we’ve all experienced stuff breaking, right? That just happens, part of life, and such. The question before us today is how you deal with it. We’ve got a couple of stories of bike industry success, as well as a miss, or two. How much of a company’s reputation is a result of good or bad customer service?

Gerard Vroomen is one of the more creative minds in bicycle design. Since his departure from Cervelo, he’s brought an interesting bike to market with the Open U.P. Hottie interviewed the genius about his views on bikes and the bike industry.



This podcast is supported by Health IQ, a life insurance company that celebrates cyclists and other health conscious people.  Visit to learn more & get a free quote, or check out their life insurance FAQ page to get your questions answered.

The Paceline is also supported by Eliel Cycling. Crafted in California, the Eliel brand combines the latest technology with cycling tradition to deliver an experience that is authentically California. View their retail gear and custom program at


Show links:

Junk Miles

Open Cycle

Hottie’s review of the Open U.P.

The Punisher

Hottie’s Head-On ride

On Mendocino National Forest


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  1. Mike

    Unlike fatty’s positive wahoo experience I have encountered constant pushback on kickr hardware issues since I bought the unit over 3 years ago. Finally, this year after the fine folks at trainer road helped me diagnose the issues wahoo agreed there could be hardware issues that they could fix for around 200-300 dollars. While it is good to hear about others positive experiences I struggle to give wahoo a positive rating for customer support.

  2. happycamper

    I have had great customer service experiences with Cervelo (granted that was prior to their acquisition by Pon), Praxis, and Genuine Innovations.

    Actually, my only negative experiences have been with the local bike shops. It’s tough to find a shop that provides consistently good service.

    1. happycamper

      I should add that the local Cervelo dealer at the time didn’t think my bike had a problem and weren’t willing to investigate it further. But when I sent a picture to Cervelo directly they immediately said the frame needed to be replaced. Seems like a similar issue to the one Patrick saw.

    2. mathew

      my wife and I went into 4 stores trying to find some new mountain bike/ commuting shoes for me. (partially a date and partially a great need my mtb shoes are 10 years old) The first two local shops were smaller and they had poor selection or none at all and really did not offer much of anything bikes or whatever else. Very weird and I felt unwelcome there. Then we went to another shop and they were friendly but selection was lacking. 🙁 I ended up buying shoes from Performance because 1. had the most selection 2. I was able to try some on 3. were decently priced.

      I asked her which one she would go back to and she said the friendly local shop and performance because they had the selection and the rep gave us quality time as I tried on different shoes.

  3. mathew

    in regards to Garmin I cracked my screen mountain biking (wrecked) and they sent me a new one before my big ride across the state.
    I am not sure if they would do it again without me paying more money but it was free other than shipping.

    My Jamis 650 B1 mountain bike frame broke and I walked into the only Jamis shop and said I have problem. they immediately came around to look/ take pictures and did everything to get my a new piece for my frame. I had to pay $54 for them to put it all back together and that was okay because I did not feel comfortable doing all that work myself. I had not bought the bike from them or anything.

    @Michael that is just terrible about your accident. I think you have the best paceline pics but this one just makes me sad for the state of humanity when people don’t care enough to ask if you are okay. I mean so what if the kid is just learning to ride. you ran someone off the road… did you just forget to be a human? SMH

    glad you are on the mend and hope the bike is as well.

    keep the rubber side down!

  4. Gene Kriegsmann

    I was interested in Fatty’s experience with Wahoo. I bought a Wahoo Tickr about 18 months ago. I had intermittant problems with it in terms of getting erratic reading. I assumed the problem was the strap and replaced it. This seemed to work briefly, and then the problem would begin again. Finally, after months of frustration I called Wahoo about the problem. They said it was too late for them to do anything about it. I would have bought another brand, but only Wahoo has both Bluetooth and ANT+ which I needed for use with my iPhone and Garmin 520. I bought another Wahoo Tickr. It works perfectly which proved to me that the older on was defective from the beginning.
    I had been very clear with Wahoo as to the duration of the problem. It wasn’t new at the time I called. My belief is that on a device like that that they should have replaced it. As a consequence, I will only buy products from Wahoo that cannot be bought from another manufacturer.

  5. TomInAlbany

    My ‘stop to help’ story was that i was riding up a hill in my area and, ahead of me, I thought I saw someone fall next to the road. When I came around a bend, I saw someone standing there looking just fine. He waved. I rode past about 20ft and looked back and decided to turn around and ask if he was OK. (I didn’t turn around, initially, because he looked fine.) anyway, he was a diabeted and his blood-sugar had dropped. He was eating at the time I saw him. I offered my phone if he wanted to call someone. He ended up calling his wife to come get him. i hung out until she got there. he kept insisting he’d be OK after he called his wife but, i felt better not leaving him alone for an undetermined amount of time.

  6. Derek

    Just finished listening to last week’s podcast and thought I’d add a comment to give a little +1 for humanity…

    A couple of weeks ago I crashed my brand new (4th ride), custom Breadwinner Lolo going down a descent I’d ridden several hundred times at least. We’d had a little rain, the first in weeks, I was on tires I don’t like or trust in the rain, but I just felt the rear tire break loose in a hard left hand turn and despite trying to steer into it, was already behind and fell off while going north of 30 mph and wound up in the ditch.

    I had no fewer than 4 passing cyclists stop, make sure I was OK and help me to a parking area just down the hill. They slowed traffic, in a corner, that while not blind, certainly put them at a little risk. Only when I assured them I was OK and could manage from there did they take off.

    Bleeding a fair bit from my elbow, forearm, hand and hip, I could have gotten home, but I opted to call the wife for a pickup. As I waited, again, several people who were parking at the trailhead where I was stopped, asked if I was OK/needed anything, offered to drive me home or call someone.

    While I have since swapped out the tires, replaced the bar tape and the spoke that was damaged and I’m healing up nicely. The incident served to restore some of my faith in humanity as I had cyclists, hikers, runners and random drivers all stop to check on me and offer help. Crashing sucks, no doubt, but here in Portland, OR, humanity had my back on that day.

    1. Author

      This is quite the mixed bag. Sorry you went down, but really glad to hear that so many people were willing to lend a hand. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. TazMini

    Sorry to hear about Hottie’s crash and glad he’s ok, but I’m wondering if 20mph (thought I heard this mentioned as the speed before the crash) was too fast for a crowded path? We have signs on may of our shared use paths stating a limit of 15mph.
    Also it seems greater speed around foot traffic gets people’s blood up, and I’ve had people yell at me to slow down even when keeping it under 15.

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