The short story: Clark Custom Cycles Denver owned by Rodney C. Clark took nearly 5 months to complete a simple disc brake mount weld and paint job. The weld failed after 2 hours of riding and the spray can paint job is chipping. I could have been badly injured or killed had the weld failed under heavy braking.

I have long missed my old Schwinn Homegrown Mountain bike that I sold many years ago.  So I bought a used 2000 Homegrown Pro frame and took it to Rodney C. Clark’s shop; Clark Custom Cycles (Denver) or C3 Cycles at 2525 15th Street, unit 1b, Denver, CO, 80211 on or about March 28, 2010. I was very impressed by his hip, tidy shop in a trendy neighborhood.

I wanted to modernize the bike so I asked Rodney if it was safe to weld an IS Disc Brake mount to the seat stay, he said yes and that other than re-tapping the bottom bracket shell the bike was in very good shape. He said that it was a very beefy (strong) frame. Nevertheless he said that before proceeding that he would inspect the bike frame for any cracks or other compromises to its integrity. He said that he would need a month to complete the job.

After a little over a month the weld was not complete (he said he was waiting for a part), so he offered me a “deal” to repaint the bike an reproduce the graphics (stickers). This was April 30, 2010. He told me that a wet paint with a clear coat would look really good. Little did I know that wet paint meant spray can. He asked me for a deposit in cash or check because his credit card vendor had been hacked or compromised in some way. I gave him cash and got a receipt, that specifically stated that the rear brake mount would be spec’d for a 6″ (160 mm rotor).

The bike still wasn’t done on June 30, 2010, and I visited his shop and he said that he would “try” to have it done by July 15, 2010.

The bike was finally ready on August 15, 2010. I actually had sourced all of the components for this bike myself, but I knew that I would need help building it. Rodney told me he teaches classes, and he told me to plan all day. He charged me about $350 for the class. I confess that I was 20 minutes late, but I thought all day meant all day.  And remember, he was months late!

Turns out, all day meant 10:30 to 2PM, he another class booked at a different location at that time. My abbreviated class time was cut shorter because I wound up driving to bike shops all over Denver because I had bought the wrong headset for the bike. However, he unpacked all of my parts and failed to warn me at the beginning of the class. Part II of the class had to be rescheduled.

On the second day of the class, Rodney discovered that I needed hydraulic brake line guides, so I’m off in my car again while he is assembling the bike on my class time in my absence. When I returned he told me I needed different brake rotor because he had spec’d it to 8″ (180mm) instead of the agreed upon, stock 6″ 160mm rotor.

He also told me that he needed to grind down the brake mount so that it wouldn’t rub, and that it would have helped if he had had one of my brakes to use as a model. I remember offering him a brake, and even if I’m wrong, he had nearly 5 months to call me and ask for a brake to model! I agreed to bring the bike back the following Wednesday for the final touch. When I arrived Rodney calmly tells me “I can’t get to it today.” After leaving in stunned disbelief I call him and demand my bike the next day, which he managed to deliver.

Well, after two hours of riding he disc brake mount weld cracked all the way across, I’m lucky I wasn’t killed. It turns out the weld was part tig welded part metal filler (bondo, epoxy, glue) !!!!!

. . . . to be continued.

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