Pole Bicycles' CEO Resigns, Company Founder Leo Kokkonen to Take Leading Role

Oct 30, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  
Pole Stamina 140 EN

Pole Bicycles are best known for their early adoption of what's now considered 'modern' mountain bike geometry, and for using aluminum frame manufacturing techniques that are a departure from the norm. The company has been experiencing some growing pains over the last couple of years, and the move to a new factory combined with increased demand and component supply issues has led to long wait times and frustrated customers.

In order to help steer the ship back on course, a recent announcement states that Leo Kokkonen, the company founder, will take over as the head of Pole, while Lauri Hulkkonen will resign after three years as the CEO. The goal with the changes is to improve customer service, speed up the warranty process, and provide more accurate timelines as to when bikes and parts will be available.

The full press release can be found below.

Pole Bicycles at Sea Otter 2018.
Leo Kokkonen, founder of Pole Bicycle Company

PRESS RELEASE: Pole Bicycle Company


The CEO of Pole Bicycle Company Oy, Lauri Hulkkonen, resigns after three years of service. This significant change is for us to evolve as a company. We want our service and customer experience to meet better with our philosophy and values. Pole will continue as an owner-managed company, as Leo Kokkonen takes the leading role. The resignation process started in early August and takes effect starting today, 30th of October 2020.

Three grand years of progress

Within the past three years, we climbed up to the highest peak of our success so far. We introduced big things to the mountain biking community, gained fame for our products and made a big overall impact on the scene. As a company, to match the growth, we made considerable investments to fit the increased need. For example, we bought the machines and figured out a way to produce the CNC’d frames. The direction we were going was excellent in many ways. The latest significant change was moving to a new factory. Lauri was a big part of all these major decisions and changes and a key player implementing them. We thank him for these years.

Flatter organization – better service

Despite the good things and the growth, we found ourselves from a spot where responsibilities were too centralized. This situation had paralyzed and plunged us into a shallow point of our story.

After careful analysis of us as a company, we decided to flatten the organization, sharing responsibilities based on expertise each of us has. Flattening the organization the way we are doing, makes us more agile than before. To prevent work overload from happening, we introduced new powerful tools for our operations. We also adopted new ways of handling tasks and internal communications. This change started in August and already shows results: We are catching up the customer service queue.

Logistics and production are also in change. During last year, we have struggled to get components like forks and brakes from suppliers. This problem goes both ways, and by working smarter in every sector, we can tackle many obstacles seen past times.

We are confident that this change in Pole as a company is good.

Apologies for the inconvenience

We sincerely apologize to those who are upset because of our actions during this past year. We have identified two critical problems causing anger and intrust between the customer and us:

• Slow customer service especially in after-sales
• Failing Stamina frames

The reason for slow customer service is not in the customer service personnel. The problem lies in the management and the processes. The changes that we now make will work to solve these problems.

During the last 12 months, we have witnessed around ten cases of Stamina frames that have failed and gone public. Even while there are many happy Stamina riders, each break down has significantly lowered the trust towards our machined frames. We apologize for this but want to assure you that the production method works. We have assessed the failed frames carefully. The failures are not severe and we don’t see a reason for a recall. Our warranty continues to cover problems that are caused by manufacturing, and the process of handling after-sales support will be better.

One thing we are known for is that we do take action and make the change. Just look at how the industry has changed since we introduced our geometry and how the aluminium bikes have become relevant again. Now, it is time to take actions that initiate an internal change.

• Change the management and share the responsibilities to serve faster.
• Improve user instructions to prevent actions that may damage or weaken the frame permanently.
• Handle and close each currently open warranty case within the next ten weeks.
• Stick with the promised delivery time on bikes and frames, continually improving the process.
• Inform customers more frequently about the state of their orders.

We base the actions mentioned to the feedback received lately.

Future of Pole Bicycles

Quote from Pole philosophy still describes our future: “Pole wants to create the fastest, most striking, and most thoughtfully designed machines.”

If we don’t make the change, we don’t see how we would have that future.

Sincerely,

Pole Bicycle Company Oy



348 Comments

  • 1618 3
 Did the recruitment agency send them a prototype CEO by mistake?
  • 25 0
 LOLOL
  • 30 0
 fuckin gold
  • 42 1
 This is going to set a record for upvotes.
  • 21 0
 Ha! Oh dear.
  • 14 4
 I´ve never seen someone win the internet that damn hard! LEGEND!
  • 91 2
 This comment puts you in pole position
  • 14 13
 @secondtimeuser: You just fakie nose-manualed the entire DH course and still had the fastest time.
  • 44 1
 Let’s hope the new CEO has more Stamina.
  • 9 0
 @blackthorne: He broke from the pressure
  • 4 5
 I was number 1000 kn the up vote
  • 7 0
 Yeah, apparently he was on crack
  • 7 0
 Does anyone know what the record is
  • 2 0
 Sick burn
  • 1 0
 Yea looks like his rear was snapped under pressure...
  • 1 0
 Oh my.
  • 4 0
 @Ooofff: 2469 currently, for comments in the past decade at least: www.pinkbike.com/news/the-top-20-pinkbike-comments-of-the-past-decade.html a few more have upvoted since that article was posted.
  • 1 0
 Merciless!
  • 1 0
 amazing,absolut fuckin gold!!
  • 308 3
 Way to publicly throw your exiting CEO under the bus.

Good lord Leo.

You better deliver 100% after that soap box.

Best of luck.
  • 16 2
 Not sure what is happening internally but then you go from an in place ERP to All Hands On Desk internal management model during growth...its a bad sign. I doubt things will get better any time soon. Likely they will get worse.
  • 11 14
 This statement doesn't sound like he was throwing the CEO under the bus.

"The direction we were going was excellent in many ways. The latest significant change was moving to a new factory. Lauri was a big part of all these major decisions and changes and a key player implementing them. We thank him for these years."
  • 44 1
 @tacklingdummy: And then he summarizes all the challenges they have had under the context of management change with out a single admission of his own mistakes.

For instance;

We have identified two critical problems causing anger and intrust between the customer and us:

• Slow customer service especially in after-sales
• Failing Stamina frames

The reason for slow customer service is not in the customer service personnel. The problem lies in the management and the processes. The changes that we now make will work to solve these problems.

So CEO rule 101 Leo; You hired the guy, you vetted him, you tested your concerns. You made a mistake. Just run with it, be humble, honest and stop blaming everyone but yourself.
  • 44 0
 @noplacelikeloam: failing frames, that’s all Leo.
  • 6 0
 It seems like he grew them to this point but to go on the next stage they needed a full overhaul of how the company is run.
  • 13 20
flag tacklingdummy (Oct 30, 2020 at 13:50) (Below Threshold)
 @noplacelikeloam: He is just identifying out some of the issues of the company and how they are moving forward. That is what CEOs do. They have to identify issues and try to solve the issues. He is not pointing any fingers at anyone specifically. The press release wasn't some dog whistle. Seems like people reading way too much into a press release when they don't know anything that is really going on inside the company.
  • 25 1
 1. why do a press release about firing a CEO if you're not a public company?

2. Why did the comment about throwing a CEO under the bus, get some many upvotes? If you take a job as CEO and perform, you get compensated well. If you don't you get fired, at least that's how it should work.
  • 8 0
 @mark4444: Your first point is spot on and should lead you to answer point 2.
  • 20 1
 @tacklingdummy: No, its pretty clear he's throwing the former CEO under the bus. "thank you for these years"....... read between the lines..... This fella essentially said "good work on breathing, you existed for 3 years while working here"

Cited again:
"The reason for slow customer service is not in the customer service personnel. The problem lies in the management and the processes. The changes that we now make will work to solve these problems." Thrown under the bus 101.

It should be mentioned that the CEO could easily have been a hack job. But more likely CEO was in an ego driven environment dictated by the founder while attempting to manage a product that is defective. Sucks for all involved. Pole wont be around much longer.
  • 17 0
 @noplacelikeloam: there is nothing humble or honest about leo! This is a cowardly move
  • 3 0
 @vjunior21: Yup. U took the words outta my mouth. I see lots of scrambling and long, disorganized hours in their future...
  • 8 0
 @vjunior21: I'd bet you're right. Looks like the CEO is leaving a sinking ship. They've invested a shit ton of money last year and tripled the fork force. I'm guessing the CEO saw the hole they're in is too deep to get up from with failing frames and a shitty reputation. Hope I'm wrong and they do get their shit together.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: it might state, that he's good at building up a factory and not being good at working on the internal processes and organisation to keep up with growth
  • 3 3
 @vhdh666: Perhaps, but well within reason for a press release. Personally, I'm not going to publicly cancel culture the company over what I have heard about the company or over that press release. Never had any firsthand experience with their company or their bikes.
  • 206 8
 Pole's biggest problem is its founder, Leo. Such an a' hole
  • 38 4
 Lol went down to the comments just to see what shade was being thrown at Leo. I am not disappointed. Seems like he has wronged many PB users in some way.
  • 43 7
 The next step is to get rid of Leo and sell the company to Nicolai
  • 63 14
 @Mntneer: Why would Nicolai want to buy Pole? That would be like Santa Cruz buying Ellsworth! Pole is a boat anchor of the bike industry
  • 17 0
 @rivercitycycles: Could you elaborate, please? I'm genuinely interested about what you have to say about this.
  • 11 0
 The one dislike is from leo. Also can somebody sum up what happened with Leo?
  • 46 0
 During the last 12 months, we have witnessed around ten cases of Stamina frames that have failed and gone public. Gone public...... Classic Leo
  • 10 8
 Make the Stamina in carbon = WIN
  • 4 40
flag likeittacky (Oct 30, 2020 at 12:20) (Below Threshold)
 I wonder was the inspiration of Pole geo taken from his facial features?
  • 9 0
 @cavegiant: so they didn’t have stamina?
  • 18 14
 Not fair when the succes and reality of it's bikes it´s also due to his genius and entrepreneurship... For me props ups to anyone who steps forward to do the world a better place and take exposure in it... Geniuses always had a special character in order to think out of the box..
Having said that If I was Leo I would step back and focus just on what I do know and I proved I do best...
Also keeping the ones own Ego healthy enough is recommended.. humilty is about realize what you´ve been gifted to do and what not... superman it´s an individual chimera..
  • 16 0
 @rivercitycycles: Ellsworth is an excellent analogy...so many similarities to Pole. Their leadership will drive them to the same end result.
  • 29 0
 @rivercitycycles: the bikes ride well, but the business model and management are obviously a failure. I would never expect nicolai to actually purchase Pole. I would like it if someone bought the company and could turn it around, who also was knowledgeable about working with alloys and domestic manufacturing.

Buying a Pole was the worst bike experience that I’ve ever had, and I never even received my bike. Leo will be quick to blame Covid, moving offices, and now being too top heavy to effectively operate, but my experience dates back to before all of those things.
  • 16 1
 @cavegiant: How many are not public? So many bike companies hide their failure rates. YT gives the statement that it is "rare" for frames to break but scroll through comment sections or forums and you will find loads of broken frames and what is worse are the stories of poor customer service.

Hoping that with the new recognition of a problem Pole can change some practices and honour their customers.
  • 45 1
 I don't know the guy enough to comment on whether he is Pole's biggest problem, but I will say my observation has been that in general, the founder/creator/inventor/guy with the vision is often not the guy who should be running the company. Good CEOs are good CEOs, and good engineers are good engineers, but rare are those who can do both. Good luck to him, but he seems to be falling into a bit of a trap thinking he can do it all.
  • 11 0
 Pole is on the path to becoming a footnote in mountain bike history. Unfortunate, because I really think they pushed mountain bike geometry design. Let’s be honest, early Pole designs looked almost as far out there as the Grim Donut at the time. Execution has had much to be desired though.
  • 8 1
 @cavegiant: yeah! if all you whiners would just quit counting the failures you'll find there are no failures. Out there blabbing.
  • 1 0
 @rivercitycycles: someone out there would be interested in their aluminum capabilities and what I assume many patents they hold.
  • 12 1
 @Mntneer: @Mntneer: What would Nicolai want with Pole? Karl Nicolai may be a mad scientist, but he's an awesome, mad, German scientist who does things properly and he's always happy to talk about his 'hobby welding old scaffolding poles into bikes' to randoms like me at trade shows.
  • 12 0
 Yep. For anyone who doesn't know why this comment is 100% true, go back and read Leo's rants, comments and replies here on PB, and responses to criticism over the past few years. He needs to pay someone to be the public face of the company, and stay in his office to improve his bike designs so they stop breaking.
  • 3 0
 @Trudeez: I’m sure someone would be interested if Pole was for sale but my response was based on what @Mntneer said regarding Nicolair.

I think it’s cool seeing an entire frame being machined from aluminum plate but I have personal opinions about it being viable.
  • 2 3
 @Fix-the-Spade:

It’s a step up from welding filing cabinets

At least Nicolai would put right a frame that only a mother’s love could tolerate.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: I pictured your comment as Nicolai welding Poles into scaffolding frames! Lol, gotta get my prescription updated.
  • 6 3
 @monsieurgage: Can you please do some research and provide valide numbers to substantiate your statement before talking out of your a$$ and throwing shit at companies?
Having owned 4 YTs I‘m following YT forums pretty close since many years and breaking frames are almost a non issue in the last 4-5 years. Besides, if you happen to ride in German bikeparks or in the Alps you will see tons of shredders abusing their Capras, Tues and Jeffsys. Wouldn’t happen if the frames were prone to break. If any, the carbon YT frames are rather overbuilt at the moment.
  • 11 1
 @roQer: the Pole Vs YT failure rate comparison is a poor one, let’s think of just how many bikes YT sell compared to Pole - thousands to one I imagine.

Plus I would rather a cracked chain stay than my frame literally falling in half.
  • 4 0
 @roQer: current gen Capra aluminum chainstays have an extremely high failure rate... (I've only owned Jeffsy carbons, no issues so far).
  • 2 2
 @gramboh: this is not true. BTW my Capra is still ok after 2 years of heavy use.
  • 1 0
 @cxfahrer: I’m interested to see how the act of five frames hold up www.instagram.com/p/CE4VcPhHuXg
  • 3 0
 @roQer: Hard to do when the failure rates, nature of failure, and time to resolution is not published. It would have to be a poll opinion and some weaker anecdotal evidence. That in itself is a problem. It should be disclosed across all brands what breaks and where with analysis reports of suspected mechanism.

Failed frames will happen though and YT is a big company so I mean they make a ton and have a lot of means of production. Which also means it should not be hard to ship parts globally. They pride themselves an expedient service and right to your door delivery yet how many stories do we hear about waiting months for warranty claims to be settled. It reflects on corporate values more accurately how you take care of your existing clients vs. how you market to new ones.

Right now we have two dudes following forums and asking questions. I think we need data to be released. Why not? Increased safety and transparency an issue @YTIndustries?
  • 142 1
 I had an issue with my forbidden druid... it cracked. I had a new frame in the mail less than 24 hours after I sent them pics. I was riding a new frame in under a week. Buy a druid.
  • 23 0
 Mine should be here next week. Delicious, delicious eggplant.
  • 11 0
 DRUID GANG!
  • 7 0
 Yep shit happen, it's all about how you make it right when it happen. Good on forbidden I have 100% confidence is something go wrong with mine I'll be taking care of.
  • 7 22
flag nurseben (Oct 30, 2020 at 12:13) (Below Threshold)
 Wait, it cracked?

Isn’t that supposed to be the end all and be all of bike designs?

Apparently shit breaks.
  • 4 1
 How did it crack? Just curious as I've broken a rear wheel, rear axle, steertube, stem, and blown the shock, and my frame looks to be fine?
  • 16 1
 I love products when I don't even know if customer service exists. Those are the only products I ever recommend.
  • 11 3
 People who bought pole won´t buy super conservatively sized Druid.
  • 22 0
 I had this same experience from a chinese fatbike supplier (ICAN cycles) and they had to ship out of china. Frame clearly had a mfg problem I sent a photo of the failure, and a photo of the serial number....they sent a tracking number an hour later.....new frame had the problem corrected.


bike was at my house in a week....

customer service matters.....some companies need to step their game up

Similar experience as a kid racer with trek bikes....I would break their 1st gen carbon bikes bi-annually they'd ship out replacements....superfast...One time I broke the new frame within a month of receiving it....they kinda forgot about me on the warranty claim....assumed it had already been filled from the last one they sent out. ......I followed up when I hadn't heard anything and to make it right they custom painted it for me....I still have this bike and I still ride treks because of this.....they don't break as much anymore
  • 4 0
 @Mikevdv: straight up. I broke several Gary Fisher hardtails back in the day. I broke a frame on a Wednesday and stopped at my LBS on the way back from the trails and they photographed it told me they'd be in touch. I took it home and stripped it, brought it back to the shop on Saturday AM and they handed me my new frame that had come in right before COB Friday. I rode that Saturday afternoon.
  • 8 0
 Yup, all brands crack, more or less, it's the putting right that counts.
  • 1 0
 I'm waiting for the new 165. Can't wait!
  • 1 0
 @ThunderChunk: you gonna wait along time for a 165... Wink
  • 4 0
 Same experience with my Transition sentinel. I had some cracks around the bearing journals. Less than 8 hours after I did the online process parts were in the mail by courier. Many companies have carbon failures, just pick one that treats you well!
  • 4 2
 Personally after buying a Pole I ended up selling the frame and sizing down - twice Smile
  • 3 0
 @Mondbiker: I have a second hand Nikolai. I damaged the chain stays not keeping a bolt tight. They made me a new chainstay. I'm super happy with a company that can and will make bits to keep their old bikes going.
  • 1 2
 @ybsurf: it's ok. I currently have an Enduro with ohlins suspension. It will get me by for now.
  • 2 0
 @ThunderChunk: no I meant the new one is not a 165 travel.
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: the new Enduro bike? I thought the prototype had 165 travel. What is the new frame? do you have a Link?
  • 1 0
 @ThunderChunk: dont want to reveal any details but you are not far off. Forbidden punch way above their travel so you wont be disappointed when it comes out, I saw it in the flesh and it looks awesome.
  • 1 0
 @tall-martin: Come on man it´s spelled Nicolai lol. And good on you, I have 2 Nicolais so I know what you are saying.
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: interesting way of releasing details about the bike. Can't wait to see the production model. I'm hoping they have a mullet version instead of having to buy a Ziggy link.
  • 1 0
 @ThunderChunk: not sure if they will make a production mullet but I'm happy I went mullet with the Ziggy link, best of both worlds.
  • 2 0
 Excited for mine on its way right now to New Zealand!!!
  • 83 1
 Safe to say he is no longer in the pole position...
  • 31 1
 He didn’t have the stamina
  • 16 1
 Sad to see the bonds break and everything become unglued
  • 74 0
 Believe it or not, I bought a 1999 Kona Mano Mano when I was 14 Yrs old. A couple years ago I cracked the frame (yes, I still rode the bike). I ended up calling the bike shop I bought it at to see if they could find the receipt and lol n' behold they had it. At the time Kona's warranty was 9 Yrs, so it was technically expired. But Kona said pick any bike you want and we'll sell it to you for cost. I had was riding my new bike within a week. Thanks Kona Smile
  • 2 0
 Yup! Those guys kill it with that kind of thing. They just want to keep people out having fun on their bikes.
  • 23 0
 In my experience, Santa Cruz and Kona aren't warranty in a traditional sense, they're just guys that ride bikes and want to see everyone else ride. I've had more than a few broken models from both companies by the shop, and in three years, have yet to encounter one story that didn't have a happy ending. Huge massive props to Ryan Heywood, JP DaSilva, Matt Stevens, and Dan Capek. You dudes legitimately have made cycling in Canada better. I know there's others, but those are who I've had the pleasure of working with!
  • 1 1
 Very well put, those guys deserve a ton of credit.
  • 2 0
 Amazing service. I had a similar experience with rockshox. Bought a used 2012 monarch plus that was 5 years old. It started leaking oil so I sent it directly to rockshox to get it repaired/serviced. 2 weeks later a brand new 2017 debonair monarch plus shows up in the mail. They said the old shock wasn't worth repairing so they just gave me a new one.
  • 4 0
 That is a great story and a testament to Kona's CS. I'm now even happier my most recent bike purchase was a Kona 153!
  • 1 0
 Dude I had bought the exact same bike at the exact same age! Rode it so hard for years!
  • 1 0
 @onterribleftw: Hell yeah, Kona Gang! Just road at the bike park yesterday. I swear the more I ride this bike the better it gets.
  • 68 0
 "The failures are not severe and we don’t see a reason for a recall"

Yeah, totally not severe...

forums.mtbr.com/pole-bicycles/catastrophic-failure-pole-stamina-180mm-1136557.html
  • 16 0
 @thegoodflow: The one where the top tube is buckled at the shock mount is... wild. Looks like aluminum foil
  • 5 0
 @thegoodflow: Imagine being a pro enduro racer and having to race on such bike... Argh!!! www.pinkbike.com/news/pole-enduro-team-launch.html
  • 6 4
 @snowwcold55:

:armchairQBEngage: That failure screams I got lazy and ignored the bending moment from the eccentric shock link and just grabbed the ID surface of the frame side shock mount bore to add a contact load to make the model simpler and run faster. Or maybe it's just foil? Or maybe 270lb endurbro hucked to flat with his heels dropped and legs locked ?
  • 10 0
 Once upon a time I was looking at buying one of these, NOT ANYMORE!
  • 8 2
 I'm sorry, but who actually thought these things would stay together?
  • 10 3
 Looks like the CEO is a shit design engineer and may want to reconsider his position before the lawyers do. Looks like a legal mess waiting to happen.
  • 15 0
 Hilariously, Leo’s first instinct was to insinuate that the guy purposely did this to his frame. After contact and further investigation, it was revealed that they know the guy and he’s totally trustworthy, and the design is just stupid
  • 13 0
 And apparently It’s the owners faults?

“ • Improve user instructions to prevent actions that may damage or weaken the frame permanently.”
  • 2 0
 @ninjatarian: Cue the stupid legal disclaimer attached to every pole bike being purchased. This is going to be gold! :-)
  • 4 0
 @ninjatarian: you noticed that too, eh? These guys ALWAYS seem to find a scapegoat, couldn't be our fault, the bikes are fine it's our bum CEO and our clueless customers and our sloppy guy in shipping who sent out a proto part, that are really to blame!! The bikes are flawless tho!
  • 7 0
 @thegoodflow: this my thread on RB.

I had a 30 odd minute video call with Leo 2 days ago about my issues and his plan moving forward. I did make light of my distrust in the frame as it shows their manufacturing and QC isn't up to scratch. He did stress he wants to make right and already has design changes to increase the wall thickness of the frame and more bridging for strength. I took away that a timeline for this is Q2 2021. Leo did stress he wants to make this right. However it is going to be difficult as I have already previously said I've had to order a privateer 161 so I have a bike to ride for a southern hemisphere summer.
  • 3 1
 @AccidentalDishing: i am 6'2" 260 and my nukeproof mega is flawless so far.
  • 1 0
 @ninjatarian: he's making reference to things like people clamping the frame in a work stand I believe. Going off his Facebook tirades anyway lol
  • 3 0
 @erg6k: Sounds like sick bicycles (on a different degree though)... Sometimes it's part of a proper mental disorder with unability to take the blame/responsabilities, always blaming someone else, can start at an early age with the kid blaming the teacher for his bad ratings, the parents for being unfair, etc (can be part of ADHD, narcissism, oppositional defiant disorder, borderline maybe).

@woffa04: Q2 2021 ? Wow, the CNC design is supposed to allow for some very quick changes so while the failure are not deemed "severe" it seems the whole frame is flawed. Seems like they may have taken it a step too far by removing the bolts between the machine and stamina.

Also wonder if they blew up the money on the DH (or enduro ?) team and Madeira trips and are now short on cash and production time to do CS and so prioritize new customers to bring some fresh cash. But if they do it by selling a flawed product I'm afraid it's not gonna work well.
  • 4 0
 @ninjatarian:

This to me is proof that the company is heading in the wrong direction. If you make a big travel bike that fails, the solution is NOT to give more instructions to the user...
  • 2 0
 Or maybe the contrary to what I was saying previously : The CNC design may allow for quick changes that, if they're not properly tested (long enough term) may clear the FEM testing but fail a few months later. If so that may be a reason why it'll have to wait Q2 2021^^.
  • 72 2
 10 WEEKS for a warranty claim as a goal, that right there should dissuade any future customers.
  • 1 0
 That's 10 weeks to close existing warranty claims, who knows how long they've been in process already. That's just crazy.
  • 55 1
 Cracking news
  • 37 0
 He was the glue keeping it all together.
  • 49 0
 CEO: "Leo, we have major design flaws - our bikes are literally failing. We need to start at square one."
Leo: "You just aren't making them FAST enough. GET THE f*ck OUT OF MY KITCHEN."
  • 43 0
 I had three Evolink swingarms fail, several months each time to get warranty over a span of two years.... first replaced swingarm lasted 44 days... second replaced swingarm lasted 3 months but with less riding in that time. It took 7 months and around 100 emails to get a replacement swingarm, for the third time. Unfortunately both Pole frames will be up for sale soon.

Worth mentioning that when customers have issues about their failed bikes and no one replies for weeks or months! Phone, email or social medis. They get left in the dark. Pole Bicycles blocks customers from their "riders group page" to try and remove all the bad rep and failed bikes. Problem is for them that now another facebook page has been created to expose their failed products when customers just want communication and guidance about their failed expensive bikes.

Be aware that Pole will put the reason on the customer for the failure, did you ride with in it's intended use... i don't know how many times i had to answer that question. Maybe i should video log every ride i did on them so i have proof of what i used it for.

By all means, spend the money on a Pole... if you don't plan on riding it much and love emails! I've spent more time and days getting warranty than riding the damn thing!


Last but not least, first paragraph says it all.
"Pole Bicycles are best known for their early adoption of what's now considered 'modern' mountain bike geometry,"

"Now considered modern geometry", so go buy a more reliable, consistent and customer focused brand for less $$$ and that you'll be able to ride rather than sending emails!
  • 4 0
 How did your swingarm fail? I'm just curious because I've had an Evolink for 3 years myself.
  • 4 0
 Here is the uncensored Facebook page for the people that get blocked by Leo, the new CEO to turn things around...... ????

www.facebook.com/groups/391332644913734/?ref=share

People that have had outstanding poor communications with (non-existent) customer service for a long time, i would go to the Finnish consumer affairs. They've already had several cases from customers....
  • 2 0
 @Jake-man: Okay thanks, I've applied to join the group.
  • 39 0
 "Handle and close each currently open warranty case within the next ten weeks." Is that supposed to be good? So what was the queue until now? 10 months?
  • 10 0
 They're so boutique that they spend a full week contemplating the coverage of each blown up Stamina frame
  • 13 0
 My friends has been waiting since oct 2019 for his warranty to finally close
  • 2 0
 @Jayarnel13: I'd like to revise my previous smartass comment to 1 full quarter per frame
  • 1 0
 Ture that. And I though I was having a bad experience with Commencals warranty process for having to wait 6 weeks on a replacement frame. But this seems to be the full-on boutiqe company experience
  • 39 0
 Hopefully, the separation will be seamless.
  • 34 0
 "Leo Kokkonen, the company founder, will take over as the head of Pole"

Does that make him a d**khead? Sorry, I couldn't resist.
  • 32 1
 Such a shady narcissistic prick.
  • 28 4
 machine the Gdam things from a weldable alloy and lay a damned bead round the whole thing......
heat treat, load it back into he mill, finish bore the head tube, bb, seat tube, and suspension pickups.




also,
you know,
you could machine all the welds back away
Smile
  • 24 0
 The whole idea is that aluminium 7075 is a lot stronger than most weldable aluminium. Despite what they said, I think it's more of a design issue.
  • 3 0
 Have you seen their Evolink?
  • 8 2
 @Loche: I'm aware of that...
But its obvious that the benefit of the strength of 7075 doesn't outweigh the weakness of the resulting head tube.
  • 7 1
 @englertracing: Yeah a split headtube seems sketchy to me. That joint will always be weaker than the base metal
  • 5 0
 @englertracing: Just saw the resulting failure, I think that's just bad engineering, it's too much force on one joint. An interlocking design instead of a straight joint would solve that. It would never open up like that.
  • 4 1
 @DavidGuerra: they are machining out of the minimum size of aluminum plate.
To add something that would cross the centerline would be horrifically expensive due to additional machining time and extra material.
  • 2 2
 @englertracing: pretty sure most alloy producers can arrange for certain dimensions upon request. Especially when it comes to common "aerospace grade" alloy like they use. Sure, 1x1x1 metric cube is almost impossible but asking for a 20% thicker plate is not out of question. Buy in bulk, that alloy is not going to go wrong while it sits in your warehouse for a decade... as for increase in costs - yes, but not as horrific as you think. Even if it has to spend 1 hour extra in milling machine, it is not going to increase costs twofold. Their products are not cheap to begin with. Customers accept that, even seek it and know that price is justified when they look how much work had to be done.
  • 39 1
 Leo is an industrial designer trying to be an engineer....
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: not if they take a piece of plate that is 2x(as thick as both sides combined, plus 2x the amount the overlap passes the centerline) and split it so that there is just enough at the headtube to machine dovetails(or whatever) into it. would be only a small percentage of additonal machining and material.
  • 31 0
 Or you could just weld a frame out of tubes or something. Crazy, I know, but it might just be crazy enough to work.
  • 3 1
 @englertracing: There are ways. The interlocking could occur at the sides of the headtube, joining both halves of the frame with a frontal part.
  • 4 2
 @thegoodflow: different doesn't inherently suck. it can, and often times does, but without trying new shit, you'd still be eating mashed carrots for every meal and we'd all be riding pennyfarthings.
  • 8 2
 @conoat: I'd rather eat mashed carrots than pay a premium for gourmet dogturds... which is what Leo has been feeding people. Innovation is one thing, but asking for customers to fund your concept r&d is another. I personally think those customers should have known better, but still.
  • 4 1
 @englertracing: My point is one joint weakness doesn't mean the strength of 7075 is outweighed. They don't have to give up on the 7075 aluminium, there are other design options. Just thinking out loud, but they could make a slightly bigger headtube and have a (steel?) sleeve that slides in and would get bonded. It would create a much larger joint and distribute shear stress.
  • 3 1
 @thegoodflow: welds have been holding back bikes for decades, that's never gonna work
  • 2 2
 @jaydawg69: Of course, they have engineers working at the company. However, many companies start with a creative visionary type person with the ideas. Rob Roskopp isn't an engineer and started Santa Cruz bikes. Gary Fisher wasn't an engineer when invented the modern mountain bike. Jobs wasn't an engineer when he started Apple. They all started their companies in their garages with minimal money and no formal college education.
  • 6 7
 With this discussion exploding/thriving like mad, have there been any reports of their headtubes failing? Otherwise I'm surprised for this to be such a hot issue. Commencal also had an "open" headtube closed with bolts on their DH bike (ACC era) so that users could open it and swap out head tube angle adjusters. Hasn't caused any issues I'm aware of. Typical head tube failure (on conventional metal tubed frames) is ovalization. The tube that was supposed to be round turns oval. Long axis front to back, short axis left to right. Makes me think there is more strain at the sides than there is at the front or back. Sure the front and back are loaded too, but not as much as the sides. It can be made to work. You know, bearings enclosed in a machined cavity that can be opened and closed with a bolt. Eccentric bottom bracket bearings, bearings for the suspension linkage... Doesn't seem to bother anyone. Now Pole does it with the headtube as Commencal did it about fifteen years ago. The concept can be made to work, sure. But again, have there even been failures in this department.

As for machining it out of a single piece, it would be hard for the cutting tools to reach the inside of the frame. It is a hollow frame, you see... The British brand Empire did machine DH frames (after they also cast DH frames) and instead of saving weight on the inside, they were doing it on the outside. So basically a central web with ribs extending left and right. Cool too though to me it appears more painful to crash with and hit it wrong. I think they have also been printing frame parts before Robotbike did it. Only thing I'm waiting for now from them would be a cold forged frame... still waiting. I think only Shimano might be able to pull that off.
  • 3 1
 @vinay: somebody else has linked this in a comment further up, but here you go: forums.mtbr.com/pole-bicycles/catastrophic-failure-pole-stamina-180mm-1136557.html

I'd say that's about as failed as a headtube can get.
  • 2 13
flag vinay (Oct 30, 2020 at 14:59) (Below Threshold)
 @bicycleconnor: Yes, bikes can fail and a different material and/or production method gets you a different failure mode. I browsed through that thread (but gave up reading all of it, sorry) but couldn't find out what exactly happened. This is a quote Pole posted in the thread:

"
At the moment we are talking with the rider. He didn't want these photos to get online. The photos are screenshots from his private Strava and only someone who follows him has access to these.

We have met the rider earlier and we know how he rides. He is a friend and we will warranty his frame. Also, we have to get to the bottom of this. This incident is one of a kind at the moment. We have a detailed documented data of the frame manufacturing phases with weight before bonding, weight after bonding, and the batch number of the adhesive used. Also, we have the names who worked with the frame and who inspected it before shipping. With all this data we can track others for example if we find that the adhesive is the problem. When we get the failed frame, we can find the reason why the frame broke. We will arrange a pick up for the frame next week.

Since this is only one incident we are not yet taking any actions. However, we remind everyone to check their frames regularly before every ride. Washing your bike throughout is a good routine where you can go through the frame and parts. I personally check my frame, tires, and parts after every ride when I wash the frame. When the frame is clean, it's easiest to see if something is not right.
" (end of quote)

So, someone took someone elses pictures and published them without consent and without context. And you come here to link to that thread? How is this helpful?
  • 8 1
 @vinay: I don't think it really matters that someone else "stole" his strava pictures on a public app. His account might be private (i don't know for sure) but to his followers, everything he posts is now public. It doesn't make that catastrophic failure any less real. Could have been a one off for now but if that happened on a regular bike that was shipped to any customer it could absolutely happen to another persons bike. Then when the CEO blames the riders or says none of the failures are serious, that's a problem.
  • 11 0
 @vinay: I had an Evolink. It was very poorly made, like a bike from 2001. It ate shocks because there was so much flex though the links and swingarm. Shock rebuilds would last a few weeks on average and the tech said the guts were worn sideways too.

I was using the Evolink as a stepping stone to a Machine. I asked Leo about the head tube seam on the Machine. Are the two sides keyed together somehow, or offset the seam so it's not right in the path of steerer tube forces if you case or overshoot something and massively load the head tube. Leo assured me it would never ever break. That that was impossible. I've broken enough bikes to see a potential problem when I see one.

Then he went to Whistler for the first time. Imagine a guy making promises about a bike's toughness having never been to Whistler. Where one of his riders zippered open a head tube just as I predicted.

Anyway. If you want a really progressive aluminum bike with real pedigree from a legit engineering genius buy Nicolai. A G1 costs less than a Stamina and they don't break. Nicolai has been building extreme bikes for 30 years and have the reputation to go with that.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: It happened at walnut creek in Austin Texas were the trails are fairly flowy and mild. The guy posted pictures of the bike and his face that got all jacked up on our local social media riding page.
  • 1 1
 @bicycleconnor: I have seen much worse with both aluminum and carbon frames. Not going to name company names because don't want to start some viral backlash.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: Yeah, they have welded aluminum and chromoly frames. Not just machined aluminum frames. The Evolink frame is only $1695 for the 158mm and $1440 for the 140mm.
  • 3 0
 @alexsin: they should engage bike consulting firm to validate their design, not just trial and error. www.downtimepodcast.com/faction-bike-studio
  • 5 1
 @vinay: Linking to that thread could be very helpful to someone considering a Pole. Do you think it's helpful to try to hide shit like this?
  • 2 0
 @thegoodflow: This idea might be the start of your first million $$$
  • 5 1
 @zid: Leo isn't interested in discussion. His brain gives birth to perfection fully formed. If anything goes wrong after that it's someone else's fault. You're lucky to even be riding one of his bikes. You should be thanking him.

There are plenty of bikes where the head tube opened up like that. The Machine or Stamina's head tube design could easily have the seam offset slightly to one side with a keyed interface and some massive hardware. You don't need to be a mechanical engineer to see that this is super high stress area. A reasonable designer would see that his cool concept needs some review - that's how the process works. Stop bashing people who honoured you by spending $5k on one of your frames and adapt the design. Mid-stream design changes - isn't this touted as one of the benefits of the Pole CNC-clamshell system?

Remember when they released the Machine and its front shock mount was one-sided? www.pinkbike.com/news/pole-bicycles-announces-cnc-machine-press-release.html
That seemingly obvious error was resolved so why can't this?
  • 2 3
 @alexsin: Levy of PB said the Pole Stamina 140mm was one of favorites in the Huck to Flat video.
  • 2 2
 @tacklingdummy: you mean the huck to flat test where the poorly designed rear triangle crumpled? That huck to flat test? The one where Pole responded by making bullshit excuses about accidentally sending the wrong prototype frame and accusing pinkbike of unfairly smearing them? That huck to flat test?

Wow, what a glowing endorsement.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: That is unfair to many industrial designers. But it is also unfortunately familiar, and correct in sentiment.

Signed:
An Industrial Designer.
  • 1 3
 @thegoodflow: I just said it was one of his favorite bikes. That is all I said. Do you have firsthand experience with the bike and it failing? I would understand your anger a little more. However myself personally, I don't slam companies that I don't have firsthand experience or knowledge with.
  • 5 1
 @tacklingdummy: There's been a pattern of people that are stoked on how the bike rides, then the frame breaks, then pole handles the situation very poorly. The pinkbike test was one such high profile example. That's all I'm saying.

Do you have firsthand experience with the frames performing well and not breaking? Me personally, I don't go out of my way to defend companies with shit reps for manufacturing quality and customer service that I don't have firsthand experience or knowledge with.
  • 3 4
 @thegoodflow: I believe in innocent until proven guilty. Let those people with firsthand accounts voice their opinions. However, across the board almost every bike frame model has had numerous failures. I have owned many bikes and all have had several failures (not by me) when I looked online. Just do a search online for you frame breaking likely there are several accounts of your frame failing.

However, I do have one experience of a design flaw with a very well known bike company. Rear tire was hitting the seat tube on bigger hits (nothing super crazy). The company did not admit to anything wrong with the frame, but just told me to change to a smaller tire despite my tires being within the recommended size range. Later models, they fix the problem. Even then, I didn't publicly shame them. They make great bikes. Not a fan of cancel culture because some stories just go viral when others are not in the spotlight.
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: So, you prefer to ignore all available evidence when making decisions until some kind of "proof" is offered to you? If you think that pole is being vilified, you should be a part of the solution and send them a deposit for a new frame... I bet you won't.
  • 2 2
 @thegoodflow: No, you are ignoring all the available evidence of all the other companies that have had failures and perhaps didn't warranty frames or took a long time to do it. Cancel culture picks losers and winners by which companies story goes viral and is in the spotlight.

You always seem to seek out my comments to get into it with me. I'm at the top of your troll hit list, right? Lmao.
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: yeah, you're my favorite pinkbike troll. You should feel very special. I have this bad habit of replying to the dumbest comments, so here we are again. Regrettable every time.
  • 1 2
 @thegoodflow: Thanks for the compliment!! Coming from you means makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
  • 3 6
 @thegoodflow: Personally, I think they need to change the Huck to Flat parameters. Granted it is Bro-Science and for fun, but there is still a lot that can be learned from the test. They should change the parameters to avoid breakage. Currently, they set all the bikes to 30% sag regardless. To me, they should be setting the sag of all the bikes so they don't bottom out. Whenever you set a bike that goes beyond bottoming out, of course it increases possibility of it breaking. In the real world, if anybody notices their suspension bottoming out hard, you automatically raise the psi and decrease the sag.
  • 3 1
 @tacklingdummy: Yeah but it's (adding pressure) not so nice to do anymore when you notice that your rear swing already bent after 3 feet huck to flat with very common 30 % starting sag Smile
  • 4 1
 @JAK79: A 3 foot huck to flat with no speed could put a more stress on a suspension platform than a 10 foot drop with good speed and a good landing transition. You are lumping all suspensions platforms into the same 30% sag? As you know, different suspension platforms have different leverage curves and different recommendations for sag. Starting at 30% sag on a huck to flat is a broken frame waiting to happen. They should start conservatively at like 15-20% and see where the suspension is bottoming out and then adjust accordingly. Also, the hucker in the test looks like a pretty big tall guy that would need to set his sag much differently than a short grom.

The huck to flat is not a test for testing to see how a frame will hold up after bottoming out. It is a test to see how a suspension platform holds up to bigger compression hits.
  • 1 2
 delete
  • 28 1
 Trying to buy a Stamina was the worst bike industry experience I have ever had in 25 years. By a long shot.
  • 8 0
 Totally agree. Cancelling was easier and even that was a shit show with less money returned because of the exchange rate changing. I hope they figure out the design for at least the sake of folks who already have one.
  • 5 0
 @ironhorse-rider: Yep I lost over $300 by canceling. The whole experience still just blows my mind.
  • 4 0
 @ironhorse-rider: Leo is redesigning the frame but still trying to sell the current ones. Not sure why .
  • 1 0
 I’m right there with you
  • 2 0
 @duro1 : Wow back when USD was rising, that must have been a long time ago.
  • 29 3
 10 of the 10 frames ever produced have failed thus we don’t need a recall. Smile
  • 21 0
 @mikekaizmer Editorial Suggestion for Title Change "Pole's CEO gets the SHAFT"
  • 8 0
 *Head of Pole gets shaft
  • 5 0
 * Pole shafts Head
  • 16 0
 Well obviously Leo fault he’s just too much of a child to realize that.

CEO just manages the sales, engineering, and production.

Two things didn’t happens proper testing during prototype phase. And since this is Leo brain child, Leo is the founder and engineering manager. The other issue is quality inspection. It makes you think, do they even have a second set of eyes looking at these parts?

You can’t exactly fire the founder, especially if they own majority shares of the company. You can however, reallocate them to a position where they’ll do the least amount of damage to the product line. This is how many companies in DoD behave as well. Leo will hold the title of CEO, but it was the best way to drive him out of the engineering department for his incompetence.
  • 18 0
 " • Improve user instructions to prevent actions that may damage or weaken the frame permanently. "

What, like riding them?
  • 14 0
 I don't work in the industry but my common sense leads me to think that Pole could solely focus on frame manufacturing and not depend on parts suppliers. I would assume that 95% of their customers have many parts laying around in the garage and/or can place an online order to fulfill the build. I mean you can get forks and brakes everywhere but a Pole frame can only come from Pole. #my2cents
  • 9 3
 only about 5% of of MTBers have the capability to build a bike, source the parts. Then, you have to consider that going that route and having an LBS build it, is about 20-30% more expensive than buying a complete from manufacturer.

trust me, your sales would not rise to the level of profitability. ever.
  • 7 0
 @conoat:
You are an optimist. I'd put the fraction of MTBers who could put all the parts on the frame at 1%.
  • 4 0
 @SJP: hey thats not fair I put my frame together and almost everything works almost the way its supposed to!
  • 18 1
 I hope that Pole is not in danger of folding
  • 12 0
 I'm sure there's a lot of other issues but this gives the same impression as Jeff took back the intense control. Not saying intense bikes suck since then but they seem lost on stock management/pricing/distribution/model refresh and the god awful kid's crayon paint job.
  • 13 1
 Key word being 10 warranty cases gone public, there's many more that haven't so the real number is much higher.
  • 12 1
 Glad I cancelled my stamina order after a 7 month wait and piss poor communication. Bullet dodged. Maybe they should have an engineer look at the design...
  • 12 0
 after this i'd rather get an Ellsworth than a pole
  • 2 0
 May as well get a huffy instead of either .....
  • 8 0
 I'm really sad to see what's happened to Pole. I have an Evolink that I bought 3 years ago and it's still going strong, I liked it so much that I bought a second frame in a different size. I always had excellent customer service with them, and the girl who helped me with the first frame even remembered me years later. I hope things go well for them, I just feel like Leo might need to dial back the ego a little, he's shooting his own company in the foot Frown
  • 6 1
 Agreed.

Bought an Evolink two years ago. Smooth process and customer service was good.

Best bike I’ve ever owned and haven’t had a single issue with it.

Hope Pole sort things out.
  • 3 0
 @righto-bucko: Me too. Great communication when buying my Evolink, and it's a fantastic bike, no issues. Haha, looks like we may be stuck with'em.
  • 10 2
 Since we're talking shit warranty service, shoutout to Loaded! My stem broke and haven't heard a reply in 8 months regarding it. Local LBS sorted me out a replacement for free.

Meanwhile Loaded still has a webpage and you can still buy product from them. Disgracefully shit company.

@Pinkbike it'd be super cool to get a list together of companies that seemingly don't respond to warranty claims. This would require serious in depth work, but it would be one of the best buying guide articles of all time!
  • 6 1
 That will Never Happen on this website. Independent journalism will be needed.
  • 5 0
 Never gonna happen. too much money is made with paid "reviews". "Bad reviews" will mean loss of income for Pinkbike.
  • 10 0
 He just didn't believe 2 piece head tubes were viable.
  • 9 0
 I've seen pics of a local guy here who's headtube split along with his HEAD split! No thanks.
  • 6 0
 "In order to help steer the ship back on course, a recent announcement states that Leo Kokkonen, the company founder, will take over as the head of Pole []. The goal with the changes is to improve customer service"

Were previous complaints centered around each customer not receiving a personalized diatribe?
  • 10 0
 And so it begins...
  • 12 4
 It’s bad form to wish ill on another.

Hopefully Pole works things out, we need more out of the box tinkers.
  • 2 1
 Kinda depends on who the other is.
  • 1 2
 @commental: not really, it depends more on who you are, how you see the world, and your place in the world.

There’s an old saying about walking in another’s shoes, worth considering.
  • 3 0
 @nurseben: Yes really. Some people lead their lives in such a way that there's no defending their actions. This is just a general observation and not directed at Pole in any way. Would you have espoused empathy for Hitler in his day?
  • 8 1
 For those who want more Pole-based soap box action, I suggest joining their Facebook Owners Group. Some of the most abrasive shit you'll ever see.
  • 3 0
 It was well-worth the quick search.
  • 2 0
 @MrCerulean: all of these groups now appear to be private
  • 8 0
 Maybe they should just re-launch it as the Pole Fragile and call it a feature?
  • 5 0
 ...pronounced Pole Frah-ghee-lay
  • 7 1
 When an industrial designer designs mechanical products, you get mechanical products that look great but don't work well. Rather than firing a CEO, perhaps they should hire an actual mechanical engineer?
  • 1 0
 Better still, outsource to a consultant/studio who are proven
  • 6 0
 I'm liking Kokkonen less each time I read or hear something about him. He represents an obscure boutique company that makes niche products, but seemingly has an ego as if he was the CEO of Trek, Giant or Specialized.
  • 6 1
 Its interesting to me to seek all these negative comments on Leo and Pole when 2 years ago I have been insulted by some guys on the forum after complaining on the poor customer practices of Pole: deleting instagram comments (negative but polite), constant delays in schedule and arrogant personal messages towards me. Seems I was not that wrong...
  • 6 2
 Would love to buy a Pole Stamina, but prices are way to faar for me! Despite their own issues, tried to buy a enduro bike in the last year and it was almost impossible,no brands or shops have stock. Any brand trying to sell a enduro bike, 29er, 150,160mm of travel for 3200 euros? Just reach me
  • 4 1
 Nobody's having stock right now, used is your best bet, check out privateer, that looks like in your budget
  • 2 0
 @knightmarerider: Thanks for the advise. Dindn't take it into account but hey, beautiful bike!!!!
  • 5 2
 @knightmarerider: even if you have the money and ordered a stamina 9 years ago, you still probably wouldn’t have received your bike yet
  • 2 0
 Ordered an MDE shortly after the covid lockdown in Italy was lifted - arrived (although stating 60 day delivery time) after 40 days. Excellent build quality - Works great!!°
  • 4 0
 @knightmarerider: Ibis figured it out. Ordered my Ripmo AF (Deore build with Jade X coil shock) on 9/11 and it was shipped on 9/22.
  • 1 0
 Propain has stock bikes
  • 2 0
 The UK brands seem to be doing ok. Try a Starling, Stanton, or Cotic maybe.
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: Maybe ol' mate Leo should give Scot Nicol a call about how to do customer service properly?
  • 1 0
 @BobChicken: not sure he’d listen
  • 9 1
 LOL @ thinking he started the trend on aluminum bikes
  • 5 0
 I don't think he ever heard about Nicolai or Liteville...
  • 4 0
 The biggest problem is Leo himself. Too many public utterances show that his ego is too big to understand public relations and what customers (Leo, the people paying you money!) actually want and expect.
Foremost a functional product and excellent customer service. It is not enough that Kokkonen himself is convinced he is engineering and selling such hot shit that customers need to be thankful they got it - the customers themselves have to be convinced and satisfied!
The enormous ego will be Leo‘s undoing because it obscures the problems occurring and being brought to him from the outside.
I have witnessed (as an employee) the downfall of a very innovative company into bankruptcy because of exactly the same problem...
  • 4 0
 Being a former pole customer i would like to say good luck and thank you to lauri as I unfortunately did have to deal with him a lot. I thought I would put money into a smaller mtb firm but it was so stupid of me. The customer service is really really terrible from pole and if it wasn't for the ceo actually responding, no one ever would of got back to me. They might be in bother without a ceo who actually checks the emails.
  • 3 0
 This just smells of classic 'founder syndrome'.

-Entrepreneur sets up company, is told they need to step away to allow business to grow/or are burnt out
-CEO comes in
-Founder undermines, dips in an out, pulls CEO left and right
-CEO quits or is ousted
-Founder returns thinking they are the savior, realises they cant run the existing business as they dont have the skillset, value drains from company
-Business goes down the tubes (no pun intended).
  • 4 0
 The upside to a head tube with a zipper closure is how quickly you can swap from a single crown to a dual for those bikepark days.
  • 5 4
 To become the CEO of a company during a global pandemic with a shortage of bike components worldwide... urgh that’s literally what nightmares are made of and definitely not a make or break moment! But best of luck to you Leo
  • 6 1
 Leo is an artist that thinks he's an engineer.
  • 1 0
 Seems he changed his mind on his strengths?
"Pole grows as a company all the time and soon, there will be someone else doing the press releases and forum talk. You will get something that does not show my personality any longer. There are a lot more people involved in the company already and I am handing over my responsibilities to others. When we started the company, I was doing pretty much everything that was about bike engineering, website UX design, marketing, communication or negotiation with suppliers. I have never been the CEO because I don't want to be handling the everyday stuff. My passion is in company strategy, engineering, and product development. We have finally found a very capable growth hacker who will take over soon the marketing activities and communication that I have been responsible for since the start. I will be available on our Facebook forum for our customers in the future for technical advice."
  • 4 2
 Someone tell me why Cnc clamshell design is superior to straight up normal tubes? Saves 300g? Think I prefer my head tubes made from one pc now. Evolink 158 still looking good
  • 2 0
 the aluminum alloy they used is lighter/stronger but cant be welded.
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: Exactly my point. Maybe stick to conventional tubular frame construction. Benefits of a CNC clam shell design arent worth it - if the headtube splits open.
  • 3 0
 I don’t see how CNC’ing the whole thing would be better, there has to be so much spring back cutting such a large block so thin. I like that they’re trying something different but they should have sleeved the head tube Or taken some other approach in that region. Pressing in a headset cup and tightening up the headset will put a significant tensile load on that glue joint in the direction it’s weakest, especially for what looks like a single shear joint
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: Not strictly true, 7075 Al has higher strength, but less fatigue resistance, plus can be welded but not recommend due to cracking
  • 2 1
 @mtmc99: To be precise, most 7000er aluminium alloys can be welded. Just not with traditional methodes. Doing so is hugely more cost intensive. They also have other drawbacks, for example they are straight up stronger than most 6000er alloys, but less elastic, which results in worse fatiguing properties.
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: 7075 has a higher density (albeit by a tiny amount) than 7005.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: As far as I am aware the only welding of 7075 is taking place in a laboratory
  • 3 1
 @BenTheSwabian: Not a lot of companies admit their flaws until it is totally proven that it was not user error. I have read countless accounts of failed bike products where companies didn't do warranty exchanges because they deemed the failed product to be user error. Businesses have to stay profitable to stay in business. That is the nature of business.Wink

I have had one flawed frame (not naming the company but very well known bike company) due to the design. Rear tire was hitting the seat tube on bigger hits that was nothing crazy. They told me to change to smaller tire, however, the tires I were using were in the recommended size range. They never admitted to a design flaw after months of exchange, however they made the change in later models. Again, companies have to protect their product/company until it is known for sure it wasn't user error. Sweety-Bella.
  • 2 0
 @JoshieK: Different composition would be better description?
7075 aluminium alloy's composition roughly includes 5.6–6.1% zinc, 2.1–2.5% magnesium, 1.2–1.6% copper


7005 is: Aluminium 91.0% - 94.7% Chromium 0.06% - 0.20% Copper =0.10 %
  • 2 0
 "• Improve user instructions to prevent actions that may damage or weaken the frame permanently." ....such as jumping or riding downhill at a high rate of speed. Razz Maybe they should contact @dakine for a business model.
  • 6 1
 how do you google for broken poles without the obvious inconvinience?
  • 1 0
 The words "Pole", "Stamina" and "Broken" will probably make for some interesting google search results LOL
  • 2 0
 Cannondale went through this in the early 90s. Sometimes companies grow a little too fast and have trouble with service until they make changes to deal with increased sales volume.
  • 1 0
 Dear Pole. If you REALLY want someone to maximize efficiency, speed up any kind of processes, and provide more accurate timelines for bike parts and frames, hire these guys:

capital.enna.com/team-member

They kick @$$. Your welcome
  • 2 0
 This certainly proved to be a popular topic. What I took out of it is that Leo needs a better communications director. English is clear not his mother tongue, but that was just painful to read.
  • 6 1
 Leo is a Pole.
  • 2 0
 "Leo is a Pole smoker" - updated version
  • 3 0
 Pole: The unique, tunable riding experience that changes as you break it in!
Hire me for marketing.
  • 3 0
 Another Sick company?

I think that Leo filling every positions in his company doesn't solve all problems.
  • 5 3
 LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLPLLLLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 suckers eh....
  • 13 0
 @jaydawg69: one of the happiest days of my life was when I got out of the 'Pole Warranty Vortex' by deciding to drive over my Evolink with my truck and throw it out
  • 5 2
 So, why do PBers hate this guy so much? I'm uninformed to the story.
  • 12 0
 He has a very long history of posting rants, diatribes, and attacks. That, and he flatly refuses to accept any responsibility for his product failing.
He’s another company owner with no interpersonal skills and a vastly overinflated sense of his own importance.
It’s a shame because a little humility and reason could have fixed these issues fairly early on if he’d been willing to do a redesign.
  • 2 13
flag tacklingdummy (Oct 30, 2020 at 19:36) (Below Threshold)
 @raytheotter: So, you know that firsthand, hearsay, or surveillance? Lots of companies frames have failed and companies don't really take much responsibility and chalk it up to user error. Never seen so much backlash and frontlash for a bike company on PB. Quite interesting.
  • 5 1
 He's like what Specialized was until a couple of years ago, but condensed in one single person. Just an insanely big ego and unwilling to accept that his products might have design flaws.
  • 3 1
 @BenTheSwabian: also now Specialized doesn't admit their mistakes....for example new enduro 2020+....
  • 2 1
 @Andrazzz: True that. Have seen quite a few people complain about their 2020 Enduro having cracks in the frame. Probably not a coincidence at this point
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: is publicly blaming someone else really ‚saying sorry‘ and admitting mistakes?
  • 3 1
 @BenTheSwabian: in addition to the cracks frame design has serious problems with small stones and mud - that catch in the frame (between moving parts) and causes damage to the frame.....Specialized denies warranty in this case and blame customer for that.....
  • 3 2
 @Heidesandnorth: I read the original exchange and press release for the broken frame. Pole didn't really blame anybody. They just said they were disappointed that the correction could not be re-tested to make a wrong right. They specifically gave a reason for the failure and tried to correct it. Not sure why the backlash has gone so viral. PBers are so sensitive on words of the issueWink . Several other frames have broken in PB tests that haven't gone viral which is why cancel culture is not equitable. Some stories go viral while other stories fall to the wayside.
  • 3 2
 @tacklingdummy: Apparently you didn't read the article above this comment section. Im no fan of Cancel culture nor equity but here the rule of the mob has been applied consistently. Pole is a low volume producer, they have a high percentage of failures. They have bad customer service. The have a flawed design/construction. They have an arrogant arsehole running the company.
  • 3 2
 @JoshieK: How do you have any facts of the percentage of failures? You would only know that if you worked at the company and leaked that info or surveillance on the company. All of what you just said is hearsay.
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: Leo is that you?
  • 2 3
 @tacklingdummy: Perhaps the best thing at this point is to consider a name change. May I respectfully suggest “headupmyass”...
  • 2 1
 @mtnbkrmike @JoshieK: Reverting to name calling. "Headupmyass" is not a strong intelligent rebuttal to a debate. Lol.
  • 2 1
 @tacklingdummy: "PBers are so sensitive on words of the issue" lol remember when you wrote that!!!!
Other failures in reviews didn't result in the company behaving like arrogant arseholes. I hate Canyon but their response was very transparent. Leo (YOU) deletes comments, blamed everyone but Pole, and has terrible warranty claims process to boot. For the companies which have had failures and still have a good rep have one thing in common - They took it on the chin.
  • 1 2
 @JoshieK: Not butthurt by the comment. Just think it is funny to revert to name calling. Their responses were well within reason and no reason to get panties all in a bunch. Many, many companies have had the same responses to frame or component breakage. From my own experience, several companies said the same exact things when my components broke or frame with design flaws. FYI: I am not Leo, but I just don't care for the cancel culture game.
  • 2 2
 @tacklingdummy: You sound pretty butthurt Leo. Anecdotes and finger pointing does absolve Pole of being dicks. Now step away from the keyboard Leo.
  • 1 1
 @JoshieK: You are right. I'm going to the therapy tomorrow because of your comments. Are you a paid troll? How much do paid trolls make? Asking for a friend.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: I'll sleep well tonight knowing you are getting help. I'm actually a russian bot so I can't get paid. Deployed by Putin. The CCCP is still but hurt the fins Beat them in 1939.
  • 1 2
 @JoshieK: You might want to stay off the drugs and alcohol when commenting. It affects coherency.
  • 1 1
 @JoshieK: Is that you @WAKIdesigns? I'm really thinking you are. Lol.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: Leo, I don't have time for drugs or alcohol, As a russian bot I have an election to rig.
  • 4 1
 Oh snap! Didn't see that coming.
  • 2 0
 This is a great example of the power social media has over the success or failure of a business. Ignore it at your peril.
  • 2 0
 Now we just need the piece of crap CEO of specialized to kiss off then we be golden
  • 1 2
 ouf couldnt be a better announcement for Pole, its the move, cant just lay it out and die as a corp. hoping things go proper, even if Pole resides in the quite high end expensive but innovative and creative part of the market, it is needed in the industry GL!
  • 3 1
 Sad. They had somethign special...this Leo guy sounds like a trip.
  • 1 0
 What was so special about them? They didn't really have any selling points that were truly unique to them. And more importantly in their niche they were going up against Nicolai, which is arguably a more established brand.
  • 5 0
 @BenTheSwabian: actually selling fully machined frames is pretty unique... Now if the frames would stay together that would be really nice.
  • 2 2
 @BenTheSwabian: Also they were the first ones pushing modern geometry. That's a pretty big selling point.
  • 5 7
 So much hate here. Having met Leo irl, he is actually a pretty cool guy. That said, I almost bought a Stamina but decided not to after talking to people who ordered Machines that failed. I really hope they can turn things around, I'm sure that once they figure out their service and qa issues, a good reputation will follow
  • 5 0
 It's not a QA problem. It's a design problem. And Leo seems incapable of hearing constructive criticism such as "this frame broke because there's a seam up the front of the head tube - maybe there's a better way to do this". In my interactions with him he was defensive and adamant that it could never fail, etc. Dude, the FRAME. IS. BROKEN. Which means the design needs to be reviewed, not defended.
  • 2 0
 I guess the CEO just had to split
  • 2 1
 The Pole was Levy's favorite bike in the trail bike Huck to Flat. Until it broke in the test.
  • 2 0
 POLE x SICK BIKE CO: Coming to a front page near you!
  • 2 0
 This is the weirdest looking iceberg about to sink this fucking ship
  • 1 0
 Most big companies just pay for their bad press too be hidden, problem solved?
  • 2 0
 I resign from pole too if I worked there too. cant blame the guy
  • 2 0
 Why tf does anyone still buy these bikes? Asking for a friend.
  • 3 5
 Wow. Can't help but wonder the human nature. How cool is it to focus on bullying someone, who's allready going through tough times? And who you propably don't even know well enough, to comment on his personality? Gather a bunch of coward people who don't have nothing else to do, just to talk shit about someone in the net? Seems there's a whole bunch of great CEOs and founders showing us how to be humble and understanding ????

For real. I think Pink Bike should take some actions towards this unfortunately common bullying in social medias, and restrict all unprofessional comments. It's okay to criticise companies' actions, but when it goes to comparing someone to Hitler and discussing whether someone has personality disorders... It's not.
  • 3 0
 In case it’s targeted at me as I’m one of those (or the one) who mentioned personality disorders, notice that there’s a difference between saying a certain attitude can be part of a disorder (which I did), and actually stating someone has a disorder (which I didn’t).

I also try to raise awareness by talking about it, I’m not bullying. There’s maybe even less of a point to bully someone for his behavior if that someone actually has a disorder as the brain may interpret differently what came through the ear.

I’ve also spent most of my free time during 5 years documenting myself on mental health to make sense of the shitstorm closed ones threw at me over the years.
  • 1 0
 When you've tried and the bikes still suck, let some new pole run the company
  • 7 8
 Taking ownership of their mistakes is sign of better things to come. In this day and age its rare to see leadership that starts with a sorry. Best of luck to pole.
  • 16 1
 You should send them a deposit for a new frame. They said sorry, so no worries.
  • 11 1
 Doing it by throwing someone else under the bus isn't good leadership.
  • 1 0
 Pole is planning an e-bike(stamina).
  • 4 2
 Breaking news
  • 2 1
 Donut, but my friends call me Grim
  • 2 2
 From all the overwhelming negativity, it looks like it might be the end of Pole. Not easy to comeback from such backlash.
  • 5 1
 Tbh I never found any of their products particularly appealing... They had an interesting manufacturing process going for the Stamina and the Machine, but for me it was more novelty factor than anything else. Would have never seriously considered to buy one of their bikes.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: I did before they bumped up the pricing. Glad I didn´t actually buy one at the moment.
  • 4 3
 Poles biggest problem is that they make terrible bikes
  • 1 1
 For some reason, I really don’t care and I think no one else does either?
  • 2 0
 Poles are closed.
  • 1 0
 Cut down your bikes and make 26ers?
  • 3 5
 well well well, that something seriously worth watching! I wonder if he ever will manage to be something other that Chris Porter bitch.
  • 1 1
 that's not the right flag for poles
  • 1 1
 Classic bicycle industry steaming pile of garbage all the way around.
  • 1 3
 When you have helmet hair but you have not had a helmet on....
  • 1 2
 Tat623r5e tr
  • 2 5
 Maybe u should start making shorter frames
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