Thursday, 29 June 2017

Lacing a brooks saddle

My brooks like others I have seen on the web seems to be sagging a little and more to one side so I decided to lace it.  After trying with the laces and some of the patterns online I was disatisfied with the finish and the results in terms of firming up the saddle.

I got hold of some orange paracord and a rope tensioner from an old tent and did it all in one, here's the result hope you find my approach useful.

Trelock LS950 - Long term review and great company

The Trelock LS950 has been my goto front light for a while now, with it's lcd readout telling me how long I have left in power and it's adjustable power setting letting me go 47hrs on low power (still great for night riding) it has been hard to find fault.

It may be a little on the heavy side but it's positves and reliability have really made up for that.  The only failure I have had is the little rubber cover that protects the usb charging port came away due to my clumsy hands and a little too much force, completely my fault.

So after a year or so use it still retains it's charge and has been bashed rained on and still works as good as new.

So why did I choose this one over a dynamo light, well my setup puts all my charge into a 26000 Mah battery that is pre-charged before a tour, so it makes sure all my pedaling power goes into the powerbank squeezing every last ounce and starting with a 26000 Mah headstart means it's easy to recharge anything I want and haven't even come close to running out on a tour, and this light with it's own batter gives me another 47hr headstart.

I should also mention that when I broke the little rubber bit, I sent a request to the manufacturer to purchase a replacement and they came straight back asking for my address so they could ship one for free!!! how is that for customer service, they turned up a few days later but two of them just in case!!!

Montane customer service could learn a thing or two from Treelock!!

If your thinking of a USB front light, want it bright reliable and able to see you through a few days night riding you can't go wrong, it's solid strong and well made!!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Montane Deep Heat Sleeping Bag - Don't expect any help from Montane!!

For my winter trip I bought a Montane Deep Heat sleeping bag, really excited to get it however in use I found it too constrictive.  I am very broad and just couldn't move or properly get comfortable.

So I contacted Montane support and asked if they supplied and expanda similar to those offered by other manufacturers.  Simple reply was no.....

 Not to be put off I am used to "modifying" things so I sent a polite ask to them again explaining my problem and asking if they could supply me with some material, I could then match the zips and make my own..

The response I got was - we don't keep enough material to help you out..............   Needless to say I am not impressed.  I let them know and I am writing this as a heads up for anyone thinking of buying Montane products, don't expect anything in the way of support from them unless it's standard stuff. 

I don't believe for one minute they can't get hold of a piece of their material, I believe simply that they can't be bothered as a single customer is just not worth the effort and their customer support don't consider going a little out of their way as worth their time.

Contrast that with companies like "avenir" who sent me replacemnt parts twice free of charge after I lost them....  Or Specialized who paid for an entirely new wheelset after my hubs failed on one of their bikes after  a years use... those are companies who believe their reputation and customers are worth making an effort for.

Perhaps if I was doing a high profile expedition or a large customer I would have had a better response...

For the price of the Bag I expect more support from the company - I deal a lot with support contracts in my day job and one of the first things I state when negotiating or during support reviews is that I don't measure a company by them doing their job, my standard of excellence is when things go wrong how far they are prepared to go to put things right and demonstrate their commitment to "excellent customer support". 

I am not saying they are responsible for my wide shoulders or their bag was wrong, I am saying that stating their commitment to excellence should mean more than accurate manufacturing, it's being responsive to their customers regardless of the size of the order.

Well I have learned my lesson with them and this will be my first and last purchase.

I have purchased a "Snugpak" expander panel and if I can match the zips I will use that, not the perfect solution but better than Montane's "Nothing".