While contemplating some deep questions about bike setup for next Spring’s gravel racing campaign, I fell to wondering whether my Handsome Devil had enough room for the tires that I was thinking about running.
I consulted the internet, but things didn’t seem quite right, so I dug out the original specification sheet that came with the frame nearly a year ago. I’ve highlighted the relevant bit.
Given the current setup on the Devil — SKS P50 fenders that barely fit and 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Pluses with very little clearance (about 2.5mm) under the front fender — I was skeptical.
Thinking perhaps that something was amiss, I emailed Handsome. There was either a problem with their specifications, or the frame and fork dimensions just weren’t right.
After a good deal of back and forth with Jesse Erickson from Handsome, and some measurements on both ends of the line, we found that there was indeed a problem with the fork itself. Here’s what he said:
The news is not good. It looks like the run of forks from that batch of Devil Framesets had an anomoly in them that the crown was much narrower than our standard size. I am not sure exactly how many of them were made with that crown, I am trying to determine that now, although it is hard to track down all of the customers that bought The Devil that year. Current models have the correct size crown on the forks and they will going forward. We apologize for that mistake and would send you a replacement fork if you like. I’m sorry but we wouldn’t be able to match the color your frame is. If I can help you with this further, don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you for your patience on this. I just wanted to do enough research to be able to give you a definitive answer.
Since I rather like the Devil (this whole thing started out with my desire to use it as a gravel racer) and how it’s set up now, I don’t really have much interest in a non-matching replacement fork, so I suggested the following:
I’ll pass on the replacement fork, as I like the way that I have the Devil set up and don’t plan on changing it (at least in tire size and fender configuration). However, I am still in the market for a second frame to set up as a monster-cross/gravel grinder. Would you be willing, instead, to deduct the cost of the fork if I order another frame?
I figured this was a fair bargain for both of us. I’d get a frameset that I like and can set up as desired, and Handsome will make a little more money than they would have just by sending me a fork.
The response? Not a damn thing. Not only did they not take me up on my counter-offer, they didn’t even bother to get back to me to tell me anything, one way or the other.
That’s a dick move, if there ever was one. So fuck them.
Public Service Announcement
If you bought a 2011 Devil from Handsome and you find yourself without the tire clearance you were expecting, especially in the front, you might want to get in touch with them. You can reach Jesse Erickson directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.