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Old 10-03-06, 05:52 PM   #1
bjkeen
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Replacing cones, question and LBS rant.

I got a '06 Cannondale R700, which comes with the WH-R550 wheelset. I noticed some roughness in the front hub, which seemed odd since I've only had the wheel for 6 months and 750 or so miles, and it's never seen water, original tire, never seen a flat, perfectly in true, etc. Anyway, I went to repack it - and there was plenty of clean grease in there. I looked closer and there on one of the cones was a pit right on the track (the whole width of it, about a mm wide). Easily visible to the naked eye, easily explaining why things are crunchy.

Now, from what I've read (Zinn's book, Calvin Jones in Park, Sheldon Himself) you can't let this kind of thing go - you need to replace the cone. And certainly you don't expect a cone to go out in 750 miles on a new wheel without water-intrusion abuse, so, 'defect in materials or manufacture', sure. I was under the warranty period so I took the wheel (disassembled) in to where I bought the bike and asked them to warranty the cone, just the cone. They refused, saying that such a pit was normal wear to be expected and the wheel would smooth right out if I repacked it and that they wouldn't warrantee it. (Tech: 'Me and the owner looked at it and...') Uh.

So, is it truly folks' experience that this kind of pitting is normal/expected/just fine ok? Everything I've read indicates that it ain't, particularly in just 750 miles.

End of the story is that I wasn't having any of this 'It's just fine' from the bike store. They wouldn't even sell me a cone for wholesale - they wanted $9.99 for one but would 'generously' not charge me shipping 'since they'd have to order it from Shimano.' Having ordered parts over the counter from bike stores before I am unfamiliar with this idea of normally having to pay shipping on items which are subject to retail markup. And which are part of batch shipments from somewhere anyway. I got the wheel back and now the cone is on its way to Shimano to be warranteed by Me the Consumer.

Needless to say I feel that going to that place (let's call them 'Cycle Lawyer') to buy my bike in the first place was a huge mistake - if you go in and spend $1400 on bike + accessories (at full list, mind!) you expect not to be given guff over a $5-$7 part even if your head is full of crack and your nose is all runny and especially if you haven't got a history of coming in and making a pest of yourself. This was the first time I came in for anything at all. Most of my business (wheel parts, a frameset and parts to build a bike with, etc) since I bought the bike in the first place has been at another place much farther from where I live, based mainly on a bad vibe I got from 'Cycle Lawyer' when I was picking up the bike and getting shoes/pedals. I guess I can understand better how people feel annoyed at LBSes and prefer the internet. The implicit deal is you pay more but you get taken care of better for the small annoying stuff if you buy your bits from a retail store -- but when you pay more and get treated like that...
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Old 10-03-06, 07:08 PM   #2
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Looks like you took care of it yourself. The problem was/is not normal. And that particular bike shop should have cheerfully replaced the part themselves. What they should have done is swiped the part off a floor bike, since it sounds as though they didn't have any in stock, and waited for the replacement part for the floor bike, so you, the now satisfied customer, could ride away happy. But. instead, they probably won't get any more of your business.
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Old 10-03-06, 08:14 PM   #3
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Your experience with Shimano hubs is certainly not "normal" by any means and I expect Shimano will honor the warranty.

I've got Ultegra hubs with 30,000 miles and Dura Ace hubs with 40,000+ miles and the original cones and races are still flawless. And these get overhauled, at best, at 5000 mile intervals.
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Old 10-06-06, 01:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by orange leader
Looks like you took care of it yourself. The problem was/is not normal. And that particular bike shop should have cheerfully replaced the part themselves. What they should have done is swiped the part off a floor bike, since it sounds as though they didn't have any in stock, and waited for the replacement part for the floor bike, so you, the now satisfied customer, could ride away happy. But. instead, they probably won't get any more of your business.
What they should have done is check that hub for being too tight when they built up the bike. Sounds like it was over tight and ground down from riding it. Sorry about your experience with "cycle lawyer" but it sounds like you have your act together and have delt with the situation.
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Old 10-06-06, 02:31 PM   #5
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My bike shop experience so far, has been horrid. Ordering online experience has been less than stellar. I'm just not used to the pathetic service of this industry in general. I'm used to ordering electronics one day, and having them at my door two days later. Cripes, I contact the 'evil' Microsoft about an infrared mouse that's gone bad, and they have one delivered the next day without even requiring me to send the old one back! That's after being on hold for all of 20 seconds waiting for tech support, and arranging the replacement within a few minutes. I can't even get a stinkin' quote for a bicycle inside of a few days! Who do you folks favor for online bike parts? Who is the NewEgg of the biking parts world?

If I were you, I'd tell the head 'lawyer' to fork over the cost of that part, or have the name of their establishment besmirched in front of thousands on the WWW. I'd also contact Cannondale about their wondrous retailer, and ask them for reimbursement as well
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Old 10-06-06, 03:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ornery
If I were you, I'd tell the head 'lawyer' to fork over the cost of that part, or have the name of their establishment besmirched in front of thousands on the WWW. I'd also contact Cannondale about their wondrous retailer, and ask them for reimbursement as well
In all fairness, there's another LBS around here that's great. I first started to sour on Cycle Laywer, the place I got the bike from immediately after I got it, which is why I switched - this biz with the cone was sorta the icing on the cake. Not like I'd been going into Cycle Lawyer talking about having gone to the Other Better Place - they basically didn't see me at all between when I bought the bike and when I came in with the wheel.

Maybe additional business would have made a difference to them but I don't think it should have been required- if a $1400 purchase isn't enough to get a $5 cone warranteed when it fails in a year, then additional biz would have just been throwing good money after bad.

As mentioned above, yeah, likely an overtight hub was the reason it went south. Now I know better and have checked my other ones. It's a lot to expect the customer or anyone to do that especially since this hub needs a 17mm cone wrench. I only got one after I noticed it was crunchy and found my other wrenches didn't fit....
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Old 10-06-06, 05:00 PM   #7
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Just snagged some 17mm wrenches myself. Hah, Sheldon says, "Very few applications, save your money." Though, that's what my new bikes use, as well as a couple other dept. store bikes floating around here.

That LBS is lucky they're dealing with you and not me. I've had it up to here with the whole lot of them. That would have pushed me over the edge. Kudos on your even temperament.
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Old 10-06-06, 05:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ornery
Just snagged some 17mm wrenches myself. Hah, Sheldon says, "Very few applications, save your money." Though, that's what my new bikes use, as well as a couple other dept. store bikes floating around here.

That LBS is lucky they're dealing with you and not me. I've had it up to here with the whole lot of them. That would have pushed me over the edge. Kudos on your even temperament.
Most bikes use 17 mm wrenches for the locknuts but you generally should not be using cone wrenches on the locknuts. I use combination wrenches for the lockuts, they're a lot stronger and gentler on the hands than cone wrenches.

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Old 10-06-06, 05:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
Most bikes use 17 mm wrenches for the locknuts but you generally should not be using cone wrenches on the locknuts. I use combination wrenches for the lockuts, they're a lot stronger and gentler on the hands than cone wrenches.

Sheldon "13 In Front, 15 In Back" Brown
Quite right, but this hub is weird. It really is 17. The locknut is 17 as you say, and for that one I used an adjustable wrench. This just to get it apart; naturally it's not going together again until I get a new cone.

Ben "13, 14, 15, 16 don't fit, but 17 does" Keen.
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Old 10-06-06, 06:02 PM   #10
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Damn, I just ordered some expensive, useless wrenches!

Edit: 10-07-06

Guess it's not a total waste. 17mm is the correct size for the cone on the Dyna-hub and INTER-8. Only cost $5.00, but I only needed one.

Last edited by Ornery; 10-07-06 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 10-11-06, 05:49 PM   #11
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Take that, Bike Doctor.

I got a nice little package today from Shimano. In it was not just a replacement cone, but indeed a whole replacement front axle assembly, no questions asked.

So take that, Bike Doctor of Crofton. Shimano stands behind what they make even if you don't stand behind what you sell.
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Old 10-11-06, 06:10 PM   #12
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Ah, good for you. I'll echo the same sentiment. I've got no bones to pick with my bike or its component's manufacturers, but the lugnuts who sell these things... oh brother!
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Old 10-11-06, 06:26 PM   #13
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They refused, saying that such a pit was normal wear to be expected and the wheel would smooth right out if I repacked it and that they wouldn't warrantee it.
The LBS are right. Pitting damage on a non-new hub is not "manufacturing defect". This is not an warranty issue.

Perhaps if they were nice, they would give you a cone for free from their spare parts bin (if they even have one) but I wouldn't expect this. I'd expect to pay for one.
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Old 10-11-06, 07:14 PM   #14
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Who is responsible for the over tight cone, then?
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Old 10-11-06, 07:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bjkeen
Having ordered parts over the counter from bike stores before I am unfamiliar with this idea of normally having to pay shipping on items which are subject to retail markup.
That's fairly common. In my shop, if we have to place a special order, form say QBP, we'll usually just add it to the list and it will be places proably sometime that week or next. But most people want the part asap, so we have to call QPB, and have them send only that one part which shipping may be $10. Say the part retails for $50, that a pretty big chunk that is coming out of our pockets if we had to pay for tax.
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Old 10-11-06, 07:39 PM   #16
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Who is responsible for the over tight cone, then?
You
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Old 10-11-06, 07:57 PM   #17
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BS. You pay a premium to buy a bike from a retailer. What exactly do they add to the value of the product? Why won't the manufacturer sell dirctly to the public?

They're suppose to tweak it, and this particular, useless POS... ur... LBS blew it.
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Old 10-12-06, 06:43 AM   #18
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Make sure you send a little note to C-dale explaining what crappy customer service you received. And don't go back to that shop, what they did is stupid over a few dollars.
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Old 10-12-06, 06:48 AM   #19
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Who is responsible for the over tight cone, then?
You
Rubbish! I don't know about you, but when purchasing a bike from a LBS I expect it to be properly adjusted and in good working order. If it isn't, I expect them to rectify the situation... as far as I'm concerned this includes replacement of damaged parts, when said damage was caused by their lack of proper setup in the first place. That's simply a cost of doing business.
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Old 10-12-06, 11:58 AM   #20
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The LBS are right. Pitting damage on a non-new hub is not "manufacturing defect". This is not an warranty issue.

Perhaps if they were nice, they would give you a cone for free from their spare parts bin (if they even have one) but I wouldn't expect this. I'd expect to pay for one.
Well, you're alone in that opinion. Maybe you work there! Perhaps you could explain exactly whose fault it is.

A single pit on a single cone on a new hub - perhaps you didn't read carefully, this was full of fresh grease and at only 750 miles on the ground, original tire and tube, rim still in true. Cones aren't supposed to get pits within that time.

Shimano apparently doesn't agree with you either.
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Old 10-12-06, 12:00 PM   #21
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That's fairly common. In my shop, if we have to place a special order, form say QBP, we'll usually just add it to the list and it will be places proably sometime that week or next. But most people want the part asap, so we have to call QPB, and have them send only that one part which shipping may be $10. Say the part retails for $50, that a pretty big chunk that is coming out of our pockets if we had to pay for tax.
Sure, for superexpress boutique whatever, but I was willing to wait for a couple weeks and said so when I came in. As it happened it took about a week for Shimano to warranty the cone, including me sending the part out and getting the new one back. And Shimano didn't charge me any shipping either.
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