I've been waiting to write about this until I really knew what was going on. After some initial signs that things were going to be very smooth, a longer then expected delay settled in followed by some seemingly disappointing news. At that point I was fairly certain nothing good was going to come of my situation. Things have since been sorted out and in the end, while it may not be the ideal outcome I am feeling satisfied with the outcome. On top of that I truly feel I can say that excellent service was provided in dealing with my issue; thank you Craig Hoyt and Jamis in your willingness to work with this.
So, here's the story:
I waited for 2 weeks with no word from anyone after dropping off the bike at Proteus. After the latest ride report over on the MORE forums put me over the edge I put in a call to Proteus to see about what kind of progress had been made. The general idea of Jamis' stance was pretty unclear but I left the conversation with the understanding that there were no Exile frames to be had and that I could receive a credit on a new bike. Not looking to buy myself a (replacement) Christmas present at this point. Obviously not a great outcome for me.
The shop said they'd look into it some more and I went ahead and contacted Craig to see if he knew anything more about it. He said he knew they were out of single speed frames but he'd get in touch with the distributer and see what he could find out. A few days later I get a call from the shop and they say they offered a Dragon 29'er frame and that beginning in '09 Jamis was going to have the Dragon 29'er Single Speed (it appears in replacement of the Exile). Ok, I can live with that; it's a downgrade in the frame (Reynolds 631 to the Dragon with Reynolds 520, an entry level steel frame) so it's not perfect but at least it's a new frame to ride for now. At this point I'm still a bit disappointed but it is what it is.
The next day I get a call from the shop saying they sent the geared Jamis Dragon 29'er frame. Huh? I wanted a single speed, I don't want to rebuild to a new bike, there are no vertical dropouts on the geared frame. Ok, I've got to think about this. Turns out the frame is Reynolds 853, an upgrade; it's not bad looking (though damn I really like the looks of the 2009 Dragon 29'er frame, with that saddle??? HOT!!!) and if it turns out I want to build up a hardtail geared rig up I've got a great frame to do it with. Ok, I'm sold; turns out Jamis even hooked me up with a singleator so I'm basically all set for now.
So, while I really just expected and was hoping for a new 2008 Exile Single Speed 29'er with the reinforced frame, Jamis did what they could and gave me a higher grade frame (with some solid reviews) and the setup I need to run it single for now. I appreciate not only the willingness of Jamis to work with me & Proteus to come up with a reasonable solution but even more so the quick action once things were settled and even the small details of setting me up with the singleator to get me back in the saddle quickly.
I can't WAIT to get back out on the bike! I'll post some pictures when I get it. As for the old frame, if it's hanging around the shop I'll try and snag some shots of it before they get rid of it since I forgot to before dropping it off. Otherwise, just imagine - busted.