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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 02-03-03, 05:10 PM   #1
outiv
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Tyre tread direction...

Hello everyone
I recently bought a bike (raleigh m40 mountain bike) and I'm quite new to all this bike business. I generally just use my bike to ride around on roads and don't do any actual mountain biking stuff.

Recently, my rear wheels got tacoed (spelling?), and I'm not really sure why. All I know is I left on joy ride around the street, came back home an d found the real wheels badly bent. I do recall running over a small pothole at perhaps 40kmh, but didn't think my wheels should have tacoed that easily...

Anyway, I took it to the bike shop I bought it from to get it serviced and the wheels trued. All was good untill I came home and realised that the treads on my rear wheels were in the wrong direction (the arrow on the side of the tyres is pointing in the opposite direction that the wheel normally rotates in).
So back to the bike shop it went, where I got a rather surprising response.

"They are meant to be like that on these bikes, the rear treads are supposed to be facing that direction". Upon questioning why there is an arrow pointing in the other direction, the employee turned towards a fellow workmate, who continued to back up what he was sayiong earlier, that "they are meant to be like that".

So now I have a bike with my front wheels pointing the way it should be, and the back ones with the treads in the opposite direction, but supposedly the way it should be.

Is this guy just too lazy to change the direction or admit that he has put it on the wrong way in the first place or is he right?

Thankyou very much for any help in advanced,
Regards,
Outiv.
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Old 02-03-03, 05:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by outiv


Is this guy just too lazy to change the direction or admit that he has put it on the wrong way in the first place or is he right?

Thankyou very much for any help in advanced,
Regards,
Outiv.
It takes a 6 pack or quart of cheap whiskey to get things made right. The directional arrows are there for a reason.
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Old 02-03-03, 05:16 PM   #3
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There are some unidirectional tires, but usually they either have no rotational arrow, or they have an arrow that says something along the lines of

"--> Dry conditions / Wet Conditions <--" "--> Dry / Mud <--" etc...

What brand & model tire is it?
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Old 02-03-03, 05:25 PM   #4
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Howdy, thanks for that... Kenda kwick NYLON is what it says on the tyres. The tyres are road ones, not dirt tyres. That's about all I know. I think I'll tkae it to the shop again and demand they change it. There is nothing like
--> Dry conditions / Wet Conditions <--" "--> Dry / Mud
printed on it. Just <--Drive

THe guy also refused to give me a brake screw (the screw that adjusts the alignments of the brake). I found that one was missing after I got the bike back from service, but the guy insisted that I didn't need it as long as I had one on the other side. I would liked to have had it back anyways, some service eh?
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Old 02-03-03, 05:34 PM   #5
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Ouch, I think I'd be lookin up the owner of the shop and bending his / her ear.

Sorry you've experienced such trouble getting started, hope you find that cycling really is enjoyable in spite of this.
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Old 02-03-03, 06:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for your help. I appreciate it. I think I will have a word to the manager of that store.

Just one more small question. What is the real term for that brake adjustment screw? When I talk to them, I want to sound like I know a bit about bikes. Also, what is the real name for the tube screw (the screw covers the air valve on the tube for the tyres). You see, that was also missing, but I did manage to get that back. Still, I want to bring it up again and want to make sure I use the right terminolgy.

Thanks again for your help,
Regrads,
Outiv.
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Old 02-03-03, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by outiv
Also, what is the real name for the tube screw (the screw covers the air valve on the tube for the tyres). You see, that was also missing, but I did manage to get that back. Still, I want to bring it up again and want to make sure I use the right terminolgy.
We Yanks call them "valve caps". I don't know what the Brits call them. I do know you spell "tyre" kinda' funny. If they're presta valves the caps are not needed.
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Old 02-03-03, 07:08 PM   #8
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I guess I would call them "brake centering screws" not sure that's the technical term though.

You do need both of them though. I read in a maintenance book that these screws are designed to work together. i.e. after you turn the left screw in a quarter turn you should turn the right screw out a quarter turn, followed by pulling and releasing the brake lever, don't just keep cranking on one screw or the other.

Best wishes
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Old 02-03-03, 08:37 PM   #9
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Sounds like they ARE giving you the screw!

I would change the tire around myself, then change bike shops.

Good luck and welcome to the forums
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Old 02-03-03, 11:12 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Louis
Sounds like they ARE giving you the screw!

I would change the tire around myself, then change bike shops.

Good luck and welcome to the forums
more and more shops these days treat people like dumbasses (us newbies anyway)
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Old 02-03-03, 11:27 PM   #11
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Seems to me that the byke shoppe that sold you the tyre could have been more helpful and informative, but, they may not have been wrong. The Kenda Kwick tire does not have front and rear specific treads. In that case, some riders like to mount the rear tire facing "backwards" on the theory that it will give more traction. The shop should have explained this.

The problem with the centering screws is another matter. They ought to give you the needed hardware or explain why.
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Old 02-03-03, 11:29 PM   #12
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Oh, yeah. Regarding valve caps. They are not necessary, but they are cheap and should be given away as freely as water. Heck, I've got about 40 of them in my parts bin just taking up space. If you lived in the U.S. I'd mail you a few just to get rid of them.
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Old 02-04-03, 07:31 PM   #13
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Hello all, Thankyou very much for your input.

Well, If you want to hear the ordeal I had with this particular bike shop (I live in australia by the way, and we spell tire "tyre" half of the time... not sure which is really the right way round, our Queen is in britian...) Her goes my story.

Bear with it, it could be entertaining...

Anyways, I gave them a phone call, asking to speak with the manager, he was not in but fortuanetly, the workshop manager was. I told him that I've brought the bike back after a service where I found a few things wrong with it and how the staff treated me. He apologized and told me to bring the bike back in where he would resolve the issue.

So on my 1 hour journey I went (It's quite far from where I live).

By the way, Louis said "I would change the tire around myself, then change bike shops.", which is what I would have done if I knew how...

Anyway, when I got there, I told them them that I was missing the brake adjustment screw after had my bike serviced there and also the valve cap and that the rear treads were put on the wrong way. I got the valve cap immediately. Then I waited a while for my treads to be changed around in their "workshop". When it came back out (it was a junior mechanic who did the work i presume, about 16 years of age) I was shocked to see that he had changed the front wheels around. So now, I had a bike with both treads facing the wrong direction. I told him that in which he's response was "it doesn't really matter, how fast are you going to go on it anyways?".
I will start in story form to make it easier to follow through now...

I said "How fast I go isn't the issue here, I want the treads facing the right way..."

"But that's how they come out of the box", he replied

"I don't care how they come out, I brought my bike in with properly fitted treads for service, and I get it back with improperly fitted treads, I want them back the right way"

"I'm telling you, it doesn't matter", he persisted.

I turned towards the nearest person, which was a customer, but knew a reasonable amount about bikes.
"Exscuse me sir, would you happen to know if these treads are facing the right way?"
He examined them and after a short moment, he replied "No, they're both the wrong way round, look at the directional arrows"

The workshop manager then approached, "is anything the problem?" he asked.

The educated customer spoke immediately, and on my behalf without my request, though this was fine by me.
"This lad here has his tyres fitted the wrong way round"

"Let me take a look" says the workshop manager. "You're right, they are... Who did this?". He turned towards the young mechanic.

"But they come out of the box like that" The boy said in protest.

"It doesn't matter, the customer wants it the right way round and it's always up to the customer", says the workshop manager.

So back into the workshop the boy went, with a not so happy expression on his face. About 10 minutes later, he emerged with the tyres put round the right way. I went over the bike once again, and this time noticed a huge, silver bolt jammed into one of the brake centering screw that was missing earlier. I took it to the workshop manager who wasn't even phased by this, which isn't what I expected. He ordered anpther mechanic, not much older than the first (I'd say maybe 17-18, hereafter known as mechanic#2) to find a replacement that matched the other.

"Get one that looks exactlay like the other" said the manager

"but what if there's none?" asked mechanic#2

"Then find one" replied the manager.

So off into the workshop mechanic#2 went. He showed up after about 5 minutes, which is quite a long time to wait believe you me. I took a look at the screw, and again, it wasn't the right one. Although it was black this time (the same colour as the rest), it was way too large, and didn't even have that counter-screw thingy (it's like a washer but hexagonal and is the thing that actually allows the screw to be....screwed).

"It's not the right one", I told him. (I might seem a bit fussy to some of you, but at this point, I am actually very fed up, I would have setteled for this if they had friendlier service, but the way I was treated up to this point really annoyed me.) "It doesn't even have that counter screw thing" I added, pointing to what I was referring to on one of the properly set up screws. (notice how I used the word counter-screw, which I made up on the spot, and highly doubt that it was the correct termininolgy).

"The screw probably came out missing from the box when you first got it", said mechanic#2 in a less-than-friendly tone.

"Look", I began. "I brought the bike in for service with all the screws in place, when I got it back, one was missing, it didn't 'come out of the box like that'!". My tone was also less-than-friendly, and trust me, it was called for.

So back into the workshop mechanic#2 went and this time, a whopping 30minutes passed before he reappered. That amount of time is unacceptable for a customer in my position to wait. But finally, the correct screw had been given to me, and all was weel from what I could tell.

That was my ordeal. Do you want to know how you can tell if a bike shop has bad customer service?? I shall tell you. If you ride home after having your bike serviced, with a whole lot of doubt in your mind about the stability of the bike (god knows what those mechanics did to it to spite me...), then that's bad customer service.

I now hear this wierd creaking noise when riding my bike around, which I am sure is eminating from the rear wheels near the gears. I took the rear wheel of and found that the noise is coming from the wheel itself when I rotate it without being attached to the gears. I'm not taking it back there thats for sure. I think I'll pay anotehr mechanic to take a look at it. Hopefully, the service will be better.

Thanks for reading! Bye everyone, and glad to be part of this comunity.
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Old 02-05-03, 04:07 PM   #14
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Shops like that cause so much harm to the growth of the cycling community it isn't funny. Get a new shop and let us know how it turns out. Perhaps you'll take an intrest in doing your own maintenance?
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Old 02-06-03, 04:26 PM   #15
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I would change my bike shop if they are giving me wrong information, "no way Jo..se
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Old 02-06-03, 04:56 PM   #16
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Just more reason to do it yourself.
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Old 02-09-03, 03:49 AM   #17
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Just more reason to do it yourself.
i agree.

i had a fallout with a LBS earlier. actually only one person there was giving me attitude, but it was unfriendly enough to make me stay away from them. internet companies and the good advice of people on these boards lured me into learning how to maintain/build up a bike.
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Old 02-09-03, 06:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by outiv
Hello all, Thankyou very much for your input.

Well, If you want to hear the ordeal I had with this particular bike shop (I live in australia by the way, and we spell tire "tyre" half of the time... not sure which is really the right way round, our Queen is in britian...) Her goes my story.

comunity.
What state do you live in, if it is Sydney im sure i can help with a couple of 'professional' shops that know about tyres and im sure you wont tire of easily
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Old 02-09-03, 10:19 PM   #19
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Hello all,
I am trying to learn how to maintain my bike by myself actually. I've already done some minor truing on my bike by myself recently which turned out pretty well. bought myself a soke "key" as the shop I went to didn';t have any spoke wrenches. AU$10 was what it costed.

I do live in sydeny The_Peddler. I would appreciate any shops you'd recommend.

I'm really starting to dig all this bike stuff. Recently, I took apart the front suspension of my bike (RST) and to my shock, the two suspension things are made of different materials!! Not the actual spring itself, I'm talking about the conical shaped supports located at the very end of the springs (towards the wheel end). One is made from metal and the other is from plastic. I doubt the bike came out of the box with mis-matched supension material.

I don't think I want to take it back to that shop though.... *sigh* oh well, i suppose it doesn't affect my riding much,

Thanks again everyone,
Outiv.
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Old 02-09-03, 11:09 PM   #20
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North south east or west Sydney?

I must also ask, why are you pulling apart the suspension on what is a brand new bike?
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Old 02-10-03, 06:27 PM   #21
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I live in Fairfield, surrounding areas would be liverpool and parramatta.

The reason for me taking off the suspension was because it wasn't working very well. I have a friend who has a bike the same as mine and he's supension makes a very noticeable difference when you ride. My one feels somewhat stiff, and so took it appart to see what might be wrong. I don't think the mis-mathced materials could have done this though.. I don't know.
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Old 02-13-03, 07:28 PM   #22
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some shocks are adjustable to be somewhat stiffer or softer to your preference. If your shock is stiff there is probably nothing wrong with it. mine has a thumb-screw at the top though I couldn't tell you which direction to turn it to soften the ride up.
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