Arranged to swap my Xizang frame and some cash for Andy's Klein Aura with "full" Dura Ace 7800. I told him that I am 6'3" and he assured me that the bike had a compact 55cm frame and would fit me as he is 6'2" and it was fine. He also claimed he had owned the bike for 2 years and had recently fitted a chain and cassette. In the picture the bike was shown with bottle cages and pedals.
I sent my Xizang and what I now realise was far too much money to Andy and he sent me the Klein in return. Unfortunately there were a number of issues which I will now detail:
The pedals and bottle cages were not there - when asked about it I was told that "the cages are worth a few quid" and "road bike's never come with pedals, so I took them off" - fine if you show that in the photos or state it in correspondance - not fine if you don't. He offered to send me some onld MTB pedals and never did.
Most importantly the bike was a 51cm, not a 55cm, so in fact far, far too small for me and completely unsuitable for a man of my height. When questioned I was told that he was 6'1" (shrunk) and that he had ridden it for ages with no problems. He then told me to sell the frame on Ebay and buy a replacement. When asked for some of my money back or if we could reverse the whole deal and I could have my Xizang back he laughed and told me no way.
The seat post in the picture looked like it would be plenty long enough for me, but when the bike arrived it became clear the the cut down post must have been inserted just a few mm in order to give the impression of a compact frame. When inserted to a safe height it was so low that I could stand over the saddle without it touching my bits!
Following some increasingly frustrating telephone conversations with Andy where he completely refused to accept that he was in the wrong I did some digging. When I found his Ebay account (same username) it became clear that he had only owned the bike for a couple of months and had purchased it from a bloke in London. The text in the advert was virtually the same as the description he gave me, which made it clear he had not built the bike or owned it happily for ages. To rub salt in the wound I had paid Andy a total of £400 more than he bought the bike for. Now I don't mind people making a profit, but it was clear that I had been ripped off.
The worst thing though was that Andy had asked the seller a question about size and the seller had clearly stated that the bike would fit someone 5'8" - 5'10"!
There is no way he could have been under the impression that the bike would fit me and obviously set out to deceive.
I contacted the original owner of the bike through Ebay as he had left negative feedback for Andy and he explained that he had had some ugly confrontations with him over the bike and in his words "was a very unpleasant man".
I have now swapped the frame for something larger and have a road bike I can use, but the whole experience has been extremely unpleasant , left me massively out of pocket and nearly stopped me using retrobike for any buying and selling. As you can see from my feedback I have been a fair and considerate buyer and seller on this site for 2 years and have no reason to lie. All of the statements in this post can be backed up with emails and PM's.
I realise that some of these issues were down to my lack of knowledge about road bikes (I am a MTB'er through and through), but Andy took every opportunity to deceive me and abuse the trust I put in him. I normally do much more research on a seller before completing a purchase, but having recently sold him a couple of items with no issues, I thought he seemed like a good guy. How wrong I was.
Avoid dealing with this man at all costs - his kind will ruin this site.
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