Alchemy Hub Recall -- Stop using every ORC-UL

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
nothingman
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:44 pm

by nothingman

Can't believe I'm the first to mention this here (unless I'm mistaken).

Alchemy has sent word of recall of all ORC-UL hubs. All of them. Apparently the freehub mechanism binds up, causing bad things to happen. Jeremey's doing his best to get everyone set, but honestly it sounds like a very hard situation for him. No ORC-ULs are being retrofitted in-house. There's no fix kit. If you return your hub to your original builder, and they send back your ORC-UL hub to Jeremy, he'll pay to have a new hub built in the wheel (DT240, T11, and the like).

Sad to see my ORC-UL go. What a bummer for us and especially for Jeremy.

See more here, including correspondence directly from Alchemy: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/genera ... 24036.html

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ergott
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by ergott

Sucks. I've already contacted all my customers so they know about it. I've got a lot of busy work ahead of me since I've sold more wheels than any other builder out there.

I still wish them the best. The design is still one of my favorite. I hope he gets it refined and back on the market. We have spoken and this has devastated him personally. I know he did so many tests of his own before it went to market including real world riders out on the hub. Newer ISO tests were developed since then. He would be happy to replace the hubs with a refined one that's more robust, but until he's absolutely 100 percent positive this will never happen again he won't. That means even more testing including long term extreme tests.

I'm confident we will see Alchemy hubs again in the future.

by Weenie


Yiannis-Super 6.
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by Yiannis-Super 6.

Too bad Ergott, you and many others were so high on them.
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Valbrona
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by Valbrona

nothingman wrote: Apparently the freehub mechanism binds up, causing bad things to happen.


Any more detail?

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ergott
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by ergott

The failure is internal and can cause the cassette body to lock up, but hasn't completely locked up in all cases. All hubs haven't failed, just a few.

Zigmeister
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by Zigmeister

I was told extensive testing is being done at a third party lab and the results should be back soon.

Until then, I've got an expensive hub/wheel build that isn't supposed to be ridden right now...fantastic.

sanrensho
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by sanrensho

I hope the recall does not end up affecting the Alchemy business. They are my go-to source for spokes.

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ergott
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by ergott

sanrensho wrote:I hope the recall does not end up affecting the Alchemy business. They are my go-to source for spokes.


Alchemy hasn't sold spokes for a while now.

"**Wheels Mfg. is taking over the spoke, rim, nipple, etc. portion of the business. You can contact Wheels Mfg. directly at Sales@wheelsmfg.com**"

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LouisN
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Location: Canada

by LouisN

That's bad news....:(

Received the email earlier this week...

Sold my deep carbons this spring, and now can't use my everyday rear wheel with a big sportive coming this weekend... :cry: ....

What would you advise Ergott ?
Do I unbuild the rear wheel, and send just the hub, and ask for replacement spokes and nipples (just like their letter says) ?
Or send the entire wheel (from faaaaarrr north east Canada :o !!!) ?

I bought directly through them, not from a retail store.

Louis :)

sanrensho
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by sanrensho

^^Thanks for making me aware of that. Too bad, Sarah and Jeremy were awesome to deal with.

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ergott
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by ergott

LouisN wrote:
What would you advise Ergott ?

Louis :)


I would contact them directly and see what is faster. If you build your own wheels I bet the fastest route is sending back just the hub and letting him know what hub you plan on replacing it with.

If you don't get in contact right away keep trying. They are working as fast as they can with each customer.

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WMW
in the industry
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by WMW

nothingman wrote:No ORC-ULs are being retrofitted in-house. There's no fix kit. If you return your hub to your original builder, and they send back your ORC-UL hub to Jeremy, he'll pay to have a new hub built in the wheel (DT240, T11, and the like).


Holy crap!

I guess I should have questioned yesterday's email more closely, because it wasn't that explicit. When I talked to him a couple weeks ago, the plan was to replace a part in the hubs that were built before Sept 2013. I thought yesterday's email just extended that to *all* OrcULs... with a curious option to replace the hub entirely. But it sounds like replacing the hub with one from another manufacturer is the *only* option.

I can only guess that Jeremy discovered that the "fix" didn't work as well as he hoped... and the only way he can ensure that his customers don't have a failure, *and* get them a replacement quickly is to do it this way.

I know this sucks for everyone involved, but it sucks for Jeremy a lot more. And I hope you appreciate that he didn't need to do this. He is going to go far into the red... I can't even guess how far. It will probably wipe out any money he has made for years. The great majority of people in his position would have just ignored it or walked away. That happens all the time with small companies. In fact I can't think of a single company that has offered to take on a financial hit of this magnitude.
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KWalker
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by KWalker

I figured I would be discreet about this, but I wanted to chime in and give Jeremy and Alchemy some much needed praises for their customer service.

Apparently I was the first to have this issue. I was riding and all of a sudden my cassette seized up causing my rear wheel to lock up on a descent. Luckily I crashed into grass. I'm not a hub expert but it seemed that the drive side bearing cracked or seized in the hub shell somehow. I had ridden the wheels for about two months and I must say that I found the build and the hubs completely awesome. During that time period I rode on generally good roads with quite a bit of racing and no big impacts. The hubs came to me with very little use and were built by a very reputable builder. It really bums me to hear that there is no fix as I would gladly ride Jeremy's/Alchemy hubs any time. Their service has been fast and direct and they have been absolutely great to deal with. They pushed hub design in a sensible direction when there wasn't many options wth high bracing angles and still make the stiffest build up hub out there.
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tantra
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:19 am

by tantra

Jeremy has a set of my wheels with enve rims around elf and orc-ul hubs. Elf is flawless with its great bracing angle and smooth spin. You can watch it rock itself to a stop all night. The rear hub has been pretty flawless too. Jeremy has taken total responsibility for this 'instant fixie' issue. I understand he already has a modification to the orc-ul hub that passed all tests. It just has to be produced. Guys, all I'm saying is, don't f**k Jeremy over on this. If you're patient Jeremy will fix it, I'm sure. We don't want to lose Jeremy or Alchemy Bicycle Works. I'm waiting for their mountain hubs! By the way, I have no affiliation with Alchemy.

audiojan
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by audiojan

I'm not affected since my wheels are built with the Elf/Orc and not the UL, but I wanted to chime in. This is an example of exemplary corporate citizenship! Instead of just dropping the whole thing and disappearing, Jeremy is standing by the problem and finding a solution. Not only replacing the hub with someone else's hub (in essence, he's putting money in the pockets of his competitors!), but also replacing spokes and nipples.

If this was the car world, if would be like GM telling you that they will fix their recall by giving you a Toyota, but since you have a roof rack for you GM for you bikes, we will give you the same for the Toyota.
"Suddenly the thought struck me; my floor is someone elses ceiling" - Nils Ferlin

by Weenie


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