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  1. #1
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    supporting my LBS

    In 1997 I bought my first full suspension mountain bike, a Specialized FSR Enduro. After I brought the bike home, I started reading the manual and it recommended, for my weight, I should have had a stiffer spring. The manual stated if the incorrect spring was used, the shock could bottom out and damage the shock and/or frame. So, I went back to discuss the issue and they told me I would have to buy the stiffer spring. How absurd! I spent $900+ on a bike that was not setup for my weight in the first place and now they wanted me to spend more $$ to get it setup correctly. Well, after debating the issue, they agreed to order and install the correct spring.

    About a month later, the next incident occurred while riding on the street. I shifted into low gear on the rear. The derailleur went too far, the chain dropped between the spokes and the cassette and the derailleur got jammed into the spokes. I brought the bike in, they straightened the derailleur and off I went. No explanation to why that happened. Several years later, I was riding on the trail when one of my spokes broke. I brought it in to have it fixed, was charged $15 and went on my merry way. The next week, another spoke broke and I thought it odd that my spokes were breaking, since the trail was fairly benign. I then examined the spokes and several of them had fairly deep gashes in them. This was obvious when I looked at the spokes. I concluded that this happened when the chain dropped between the cassette and the spokes. Due to the stresses on the spokes, metal fatigue was setting in and the spokes were now breaking. I may be anal, but if I were a bike mechanic, I would have noticed the other damaged spokes when replacing the initial one, I would have recommended replacing the damaged spokes. I went to talk to them about the issue and they basically discounted what my theory was on the second broken spoke and wanted to charge me another $15 for each spoke replaced. I said no thanks. That's when I ordered a bike repair book, tools, spokes and vowed never to step back into that LBS.

    In the interim, I purchased an IBEX ignition, which has be a great bike with routine maintenance by myself. Three years ago I bought a 2008 Specialized frame from the classified ads and a build kit. I assembled this bike and rode it the past couple years. Two weeks ago, we went to Moab for a vacation and I rode my '08 Specialized. I ended up renting a Specialized Camber Comp to try on the trail. I was hooked and wanted a 29er. After reading about the different suspensions, I was trending towards the Maestro and was ready to bid on an Anthem on ebay. After reading numerous threads here about the advantages with the LBS and since the LBS had changed owners I decided give them another chance.

    They had a Giant Trance in medium that fit me, but it was a 27.5. I asked if he could order a 29er in, he said he could, but I would have to buy it first. Hmm...I might as well order a Motobecane online. I spotted a Camber on the rack and asked if I could try it out. He said sure, but I couldn't take it on the trails, only the street. So I jumped on the Camber and rode in the parking lot. Since I demoed this same bike in Moab, I knew it would be great on the trails. I told the owner I would think about it. Later that day I called back to make a deal and it was struck. I went back to the LBS, gave the owner cash and told him I would pick the bike up in two days.

    Well, I went in today to pick up my new baby. Right after I walked in, another guy walks in with a muddy Yeti bike. The owner shakes my hand, hands me the manuals and says, "here is your bike, ready to roll". I thought he would go over the bike and field any questions, but that was not that case. I asked what the pressure should be in the rear shock and he said "it's in the manuals, that's why I gave you the manuals". I tried to asked a couple other questions, but he basically brushes me off. He then proceeds to talk to the guy that just came in with the Yeti. It appears either it was a demo or a rental. It couldn't have been a new bike on the rack because only test rides are allowed in the parking lot. So as I'm driving off, my wife who came in with me, comments on how cavalier he was to me. He was so hurried with me and concerned with the guy that came in with the Yeti, I forgot to ask about adjustments after riding the bike. I would hate for the chain to drop off the cassette and gouge my spokes So, I called him back and asked about adjustments. His response "If I didn't tell you, we provide free adjustments for the first year". So much for customer service at my LBS. It will be another 10 years before I step foot in that shop again and it would only be if it changed owners.

  2. #2
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Oh dear got not again

    supporting my LBS-air05.jpg

  3. #3
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    Sooooo.... where's your question?

    Regarding the last part of your novel: I wouldn't expect anyone to know shock inflation values for every rider and every bike in the shop. And if you're buying a sweet bike, the general assumption is that you know a bit about bikes and general set-up/maintenance for drivetrain and suspension. And it sounds like he just forgot to mention the free year of service while dealing with two customers at once. Not that matters to you, since you're never visiting that shop again.

    No need to be so uptight.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  4. #4
    I didn't do it
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    Long rants tend to be short on merit.
    Let's eat Ted
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  5. #5
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    You've been riding fs since 97. You need to know rear derailleur setup and adjustment by now.
    And the list goes on. A quick read or a video and 15 minutes- you're there on many of these things.
    No one makes service calls out on the trail.
    He honestly may have thought you would be offended by mentioning the free year of adjustments.

    Plus you live in Great Falls.

  6. #6
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    I stopped after the first paragraph.

  7. #7
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    supporting my LBS

    Man, the whine-o-meter is busy with this one.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Man, the whine-o-meter is busy with this one.
    Yea, I did peg it pretty high on this one. Point is, many people on this board say to support your LBS. It is tough to do when customer service sucks. I do know how to adjust and maintain my bike. It's not rocket science. Maybe subconsciously I was testing the owner's customer service and it didn't pass the litmus test. I really had no intentions of bringing my bike in for service that I can do.

  9. #9
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Re: supporting my LBS

    When you learn to adjust you own derailleur and set up your own shock, you're gonna see its so simple, that you too will roll your eyes at those who don't want to teach themselves or can't .

    If you rely solely on a shop to set your low gear limit screw, eventually you're gonna dive your chain and destroy your spokes. Small derailleur hits on the trail can be enough to do it.

    There's a reason you have a barrel adjuster on your shifter right under the bar : so you can adjust your derailleur indexing during your ride, while pedaling, whenever it feels like it's getting out of adjustment.

    After one learns these things they'll realize they spent more time loading up the bike and driving to the shop than it would have taken to fix them.

    I agree that it sounds like you didn't get great customer service after buying a brand new bike, but, like eb said, he probably assumed that someone spending several thousand dollars on a bike knew their way around it. When you buy an m3 they don't ask you if you know how to drive a stick.

  10. #10
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    Just find a different shop. There was a shop in town where I felt like I didn't exactly get bad service just sort of more indifference and kind of a "why don't you know that?" sort of vibe so I started going to a different shop. They are awesome. I have no clue how to fix or adjust anything on my bike and they take the time to answer all my dumb questions (and trust me some of them are really dumb) and I never get an annoyed vibe from them. They even take time to explain stuff to me that I didn't even think to ask. Sure I could look stuff up on the internet and Youtube and teach myself how to do it but it's so much easier to take it to them and have them do it right.

  11. #11
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    I think it depends on the shop. I got a great deal on my bike from one shop but their service after the purchase was not good. Don't really want to go into much detail but I found out that what was actually a simple fix on my rear shock (after being told I would need to warrantee through Fox) was overlooked because my bike never actually made it on the stand for an inspection. I had left the bike for an entire week and the inspection never went beyond what I told the mechanic and his 60 second look at the bike.

    So, now I only go to a different shop where the service is top notch, when I need something diagnosed or major work done. In short, try another shop.
    2011 Trance x1

    All good things in all good time

  12. #12
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    Sounds like you're expecting way to much out of a shop.

    I bought a bike and it had problems a year later it's your fault! why didn't you teach me how to be a bike mechanic cause I bought a bike! why don't you fix everything for free!

    Would you like some cheese with your wine.

  13. #13
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    Shops make mistakes, because they are owned and staffed by people. If someone working at a shop annoys you, or doesn't treat you well, please let them know. Feed back is the only mechanism by which they can make corrections. If they get all defensive, or do not respond positively to your feed back, then find another shop. But give them the chance to fix the issue. Running or owning a bike shop is not easy, and I know that I would want to know if I'm doing something wrong.

  14. #14
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    If you came in wearing normal street clothes he wouldn't have been able to properly set your suspension sag for you to begin with. You can do a ballpark setting, but it will be inaccurate when you have riding gear on. You said in a previous post that you know how to adjust and maintain your bike...one would assume you also know how to properly set the sag on your suspension. If I were to buy a bike from someone that I didn't trust as a mechanic and knowing that I have the skills to work on a bike, I would have given it a complete run through before even riding the thing on trails.

    He should have taken the time to tell you a little bit about the bike and answer any questions you had, though.

  15. #15
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    The LBS I bought my bike from sets up a meeting between you and one of their mechanics where they go through all the functions and features of the bike plus answer any questions you have. It's like any industry - there are always companies or shops that are better run than others. Seek out the good ones and support them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan4jeepin View Post
    Sounds like you're expecting way to much out of a shop.

    I bought a bike and it had problems a year later it's your fault! why didn't you teach me how to be a bike mechanic cause I bought a bike! why don't you fix everything for free!

    Would you like some cheese with your wine.
    Yea, I like smoked cheddar. If you read the post (it was a long rant), after the first spoke broke, I opted to buy a bicycle repair book, tools and replace the gouged spokes. This required me to take the cassette off to remove the spokes and true the wheel after I got all the spokes on. I also bought a FSR frame and build kit online and cobbled together my own FSR. I've replaced rear derailleurs, front derailleurs, brake pads etc.

    Would you like 1.75+ reading glasses to look at your monitor? I love all the key board warriors online. Anonymity brings out the best of us. LOL

  17. #17
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    I read you're whole rant and I suppose I was a little harsh but lets break it down a bit.

    "No explanation to why that happened. Several years later," Did you ask for an explanation? Multiple years later? Can't say I really buy into your theory on why they were breaking either. $15 bucks sounds expensive for spokes but what did you except free because your chain came off several years ago?

    I'll give you the guy sounded busy and was rude when you picked up your new bike.

    "I would hate for the chain to drop off the cassette and gouge my spokes" Since you know say you know how to adjust a bike you would know a properly adjusted bike wouldn't allow the chain to drop off the cassette.

    " I called him back and asked about adjustments. His response If I didn't tell you, we provide free adjustments for the first year" The reason they don't teach about adjustments when you buy a bike is because 90% of the population isn't going to adjust there own bikes. It's easy to learn and do but people these days have no mechanical skills. It's better to offer free adjustments then have people screw it up and break more parts.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by radnur22 View Post
    Yea, I like smoked cheddar. If you read the post (it was a long rant), after the first spoke broke, I opted to buy a bicycle repair book, tools and replace the gouged spokes. This required me to take the cassette off to remove the spokes and true the wheel after I got all the spokes on. I also bought a FSR frame and build kit online and cobbled together my own FSR. I've replaced rear derailleurs, front derailleurs, brake pads etc.

    Would you like 1.75+ reading glasses to look at your monitor? I love all the key board warriors online. Anonymity brings out the best of us. LOL
    It was a long rant, 17 years in the making, but unlike a fine wine this was a whine that did not age well even though the shop was remiss in the quality of new bike delivery and possibly quality of service. But whine is whine.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan4jeepin View Post
    I read you're whole rant and I suppose I was a little harsh but lets break it down a bit.

    "No explanation to why that happened. Several years later," Did you ask for an explanation? Multiple years later? Can't say I really buy into your theory on why they were breaking either. $15 bucks sounds expensive for spokes but what did you except free because your chain came off several years ago?

    I'll give you the guy sounded busy and was rude when you picked up your new bike.

    "I would hate for the chain to drop off the cassette and gouge my spokes" Since you know say you know how to adjust a bike you would know a properly adjusted bike wouldn't allow the chain to drop off the cassette.

    " I called him back and asked about adjustments. His response If I didn't tell you, we provide free adjustments for the first year" The reason they don't teach about adjustments when you buy a bike is because 90% of the population isn't going to adjust there own bikes. It's easy to learn and do but people these days have no mechanical skills. It's better to offer free adjustments then have people screw it up and break more parts.
    I learned to adjust and work on a bike after the spoke incident. Like I said, I had no intentions of bringing my bike in for them to adjust.

  20. #20
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    Man, all you guys should chill. Quit hacking on radnur22. He had a beef with how he was treated as a paying customer and decided to take his business elsewhere. He stated he does his own mechanical work, but since the bikes were new to him figured the people selling the bikes could take time to show the things he did not know about said specific bikes (which the shop should know).

    I think his complaints and remarks are legit. I have worked in bike shops in sales and service and have heard and seen everything that could possibly come through the shop door, so I have something to base my determination on.

    If I was in his position as a paying customer (and it does not matter how much I am paying, just the fact I am is enough) I expect a certain level of customer service, which is something of a lost art these days. It doesn't matter if Mr Yeti rider might have been ready to pay a lot more than radnur22, the shop guy (even if he was the owner) was rude by not finishing up with radnur22 prior to moving on to the next guy.

    radnur22, you are so right in how the anonymity of the internet allows for people to give forth their worst.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  21. #21
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    So have you been dealing with an LBS that you don't like since 1997? That is 17 years.

  22. #22
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    When I bought my Cobia last year, the owner of the LBS lectured me on EVERYTHING about it. How to do this, how to do that, tuning deals, when to do this, when to do that.

    I think it is good that they have all that info but seriously I forgot almost everything he told me anyway because I was psyched to have a new bike.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    So have you been dealing with an LBS that you don't like since 1997? That is 17 years.
    The last time I set foot in that shop before the new ownership was the broken spoke incident, which prompted me to learn how to fix my own bikes. When I need parts like brake cables, cable housing etc, I go to Scheel's sporting goods. The techs are very knowledgeable and committed to customer service. It's too bad they don't sell Specialized, otherwise I would have bought my Camber there. I guess when manufacturers limit their bikes to one LBS, they develop an elitist attitude.

    I was going to drive 90 miles to get a Giant with Maestro suspension, but I thought since there was a change in ownership, why not give the LBS a second chance and keep my money in the community.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    When I bought my Cobia last year, the owner of the LBS lectured me on EVERYTHING about it. How to do this, how to do that, tuning deals, when to do this, when to do that.

    I think it is good that they have all that info but seriously I forgot almost everything he told me anyway because I was psyched to have a new bike.
    That's the service I would expect. The least the owner could had done was to ask me if I had any questions. Instead I got, "here is your bike and manuals, it's ready to roll".

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by radnur22 View Post
    I guess when manufacturers limit their bikes to one LBS, they develop an elitist attitude.
    Yeah, no, that's got nothing to do with it. It's how the shop owner runs his shop. I purchased a Cannondale road bike in N.C. in the 90's and that shop bent over backwards to work with me. The shop I bought my Cannondale MTB from three years ago was not such a pleasant experience. What it comes down to is: is it a bike shop, or a bike store? Some owners only care about the revenue, and will do the least that is required to keep the customer from returning the product.

    Regarding shocks, yeah, it sucks, but the bike mfg's don't make the shocks, and opening up a shock to replace the spring is not a quick job, so including proper weight spring in the cost of the shock is going to add significant cost to the bike. In this day and age, be happy they don't waste a f!ck-ton of steel providing all three springs with every shock. Suck it up that you have this added cost because most of us do, too.

    Regarding your initial derailler alignment issue, the shop can only go do so much to setup the bike initially. As you ride the bike, cables stretch, casings bend, and your drivetrain and controls settle in. Unless you think they are going to adjust your bike after every ride, you need to check it yourself after each of the first 15-20 rides. The biggest thing to watch is the low lockout screw on the rear derailler as that is where the most damage occurs when the chain comes off. The bottom of the screws are often shaped like a bowl, and the edges of this bowl shape will wear in to the derailler a bit each time you punch up to that large cog. As the screw digs in to the landing, adjustment will be required less and less often.

    Regarding the spokes, if the spokes broke at the bend, and I bet they did, then they were free to disregard your thought because it was wrong. Did you check spoke tension once in that two years since the derailler incident? Low spoke tension is by an extremely wide margin the biggest cause of spoke failure at the bend. Hell, I've had spokes that were cut half through by the chain break at the bend that WEREN'T low tension (I keep after these things), just from cycle fatigue.

    Regarding the new ownership, did you form a relationship with the salesperson first, taking a few weeks just to look at and consider options with him, or did you try to complete the deal with just two visits? Most owners, hell, even most salespersons are willing to take time with you to find exactly what you need... the more you show them you are a serious cyclist, the more they will take you seriously. They know you are the guy that will walk out with what you want, and will return for accessories, upgrades, and service. The other kind of people don't come back for much but the free adjustments, and 10% of them want to return the bike after they decide they don't like it or cycling at all.

    Sorry you've had a bad time with your LBS, sometimes there are nothing but crappy LBS's, but sometimes it's as much the fault of the consumer as it is the retailer.

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