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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kudos to Hollywood Bike Racks: Great Bicycle Rack, Awesome Customer Service

07/31/12 234# 0m
An unsolicited true story:

About eight, maybe nine years ago I walked into my Local Bike Shop and asked, What hitch-mounted bike rack should I buy? Without hesitation, G. said: "A Hollywood bike rack is the only rack you'll ever need". And I said, well then please sell me one, and that was that. I love my LBS (Ambridge Bike Shop).

I bought a Boomer-Two for $145, which had a 2" hitch and held two bikes; the rack locked to the car, and the bikes locked to the rack. Later I bought an additional segment for $30 that bolted on to carry two more bikes, making it a Boomer-Four.

This was a great rack. I left it outside for most of eight years and it performed as advertised, no problem. Once I left it mounted on a car for three years straight and when I was getting rid of the car I found that the bolt/nut that holds the rack onto the hitch receiver had rusted and become one, and I broke it taking it off so I ordered a new one for about $20. No problem; I'm hard on gear.

It's an indication of its longevity that the rack has outlasted cars. Whenever anybody asked me about my rack, I told them the story of what my LBS said and that it was exactly true: only rack you'll ever need.

Over the last season I've noticed that the vertical part of the Boomer rack has developed a fore-and-aft wiggle. When a bike is on the rack, it tends to lean back about 15° which is OK, but when you brake it rolls back to vertical and tends to bang back and forth a bit.

Not a huge crisis, but probably not long-term desirable and so I called Hollywood Racks. Talked to a tech-support guy, explained my question, asked if he's heard about this before and what the solution was. He'd never heard of that, seemed puzzled; the Boomer series has been very reliable. I said, Can I email you a picture? And he said Yes Please, so I sent over the photo shown here.

He called me back and said, I want to show this to the engineers. He called me back in an hour and said, We're going to send you a new rack. How much? I asked. No, we're just sending you a new rack, he said.

Problem is, they don't make the Boomer series any more, they're going to have to send me the (upgrade) Road Runner Four. The MSRP on the Road Runner Four is $299. I had spent $175 for my Boomer-Four eight years ago. The tech support guy said, We're good with that if you are. Wow.

Today the nice man in the brown UPS truck dropped off a big box with a brand new bike Hollywood Road Runner rack in it, as promised. Wow, just wow.

The new model is a better design than the old Boomer. I am so glad I bought a Hollywood rack eight years ago, and I am so glad I listened to G. at my Local Bike Shop.

Just saying.

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