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Old 07-08-03, 08:10 PM   #1
mightypudge
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Is this normal for a new bike?

I purchased my MTB new on June 20. During the first few rides I heard a metal scraping sound, so a week after I bought it I brought it back to the LBS. They said the scraping sound was the rear wheel flexing during turns, causing the rim to scrape against the outer disc brake pad. While they "fixed" the rear wheel, they also noticed the front wheel was out of true, so they fixed that too.

It's been a week and a half since then. After the "repair" the scraping sound never quite went away, it only lessened. But now it's back full throttle. Also, during a routine post ride check today I noticed one of my front wheel spokes is very loose.

I was told to bring the bike back after 100 miles or 30 days for a free tune up, but after only 2.5 weeks and 80 miles I am having real problems keeping the wheels in shape.

I haven't done any serious off-roading or downhilling, nor have I hit any major bumps or curbs. I haven't even spilled yet.

I'm just wondering if the bike is "breaking in" or simply breaking!

BTW - The bike is a Specialized Hardrock Pro.
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Old 07-08-03, 08:55 PM   #2
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Well built wheels are good for very extended periods (months/years) without going out of round. Assuming you aren't doing multi G jumps/ falls it sounds like the wheels need to be completely retuned by someone who knows about untorquing spokes as they tighten up. Ie tires removed, mounted on a wheel builder frame and loosened up completely and then retensioned with untorquing done periodically. See Barnetts' book in pdf on the top of this page on wheel building. Steve
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Old 07-08-03, 09:05 PM   #3
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This is what we've been talking about with your road bike.

These are machine built wheels. As such, they will be undertensioned, and the spokes will not have been stress-relieved. The wheels may have been geometricaly true, but they were not proprly prepared.

A good bike shop will tension (with a tension meter) and stress-relieve the wheels on a new bike before it's delivered. If this is done, even wheels of modest quality will last indefinitely without major problems. If this is not done, even high-quality wheels will fail prematurely.

Unfortunately, many shops use less than the highest standards, particularly during busy season, when assembling bikes, and this step is often omitted. And in a surprising number of shops, it's unknown.

If the the shop won't tension, true, and stress-relieve these wheels for you (or, worse, claims it's not necessary or doesn't understand what you're talking about), take the wheels to the wheelbuilder you found that's doing your road bike wheels.

But I'll say this: if you've bought two bikes from this shop in the last month, they should be going to great lengths to keep you happy. They should definitely be prepping all four of your new wheels with loving care, to the highest standards, at no charge, since this should have been done during assembly.

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Old 07-08-03, 10:23 PM   #4
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I'd definitely agree with the others and talk about ensuring the wheels correctly tensioned.

However at this point I start getting a little disillusioned and wonder if the LBS knows what they are selling and how to repair/maintain them. I'm torn a bit with my LBS seeming to know even less than I do which is sweet fairy all

The LBS replaced a tyre with an inferior quality one after their fauly alignment of the brakes at installation cut the tyre causing a major blowout (dangerous!). Also replacing the tube with a dodgy quality, hard to inflate tube. A brake cable run which slipped through an inadequately tensioned nut causing rear brakes to fail (dangerousx2). Installation of the speedometer wires which were strapped against the shifting cables on the tube causing shifting to be problematic (blinking obvious). They also sold 2000 model year speedometer at full retail as at the time of purchase I was unaware.

As a customer who would prefer to pay their asking price and avoid excesive haggling in return for their knowledge, time and service I get upset when they let me down. Right now I'm wondering if its the best place to take back my warranty and servicing issues to. I guess I really need to discuss the matter with the shop owner who is broadly speaking aware of the issues but underplays them.

I'm sure the profits with a bike store must make it hard to run a good business which can afford and keep good staff, but if they don't get the basics right they'll lost a lot of customers. I'm at a point where I don't know if I should bother returning with my problems and just find somewhere else to service it.

...
/rant mode off
....

However... getting back to your wheel... Talk to the LBS owner, discuss your concern that the shop is not servicing your bike correctly as it appears the wheels have not been tensionined correctly and ask to be reassured they know what they are doing and will not be risking your safety by incorrect servicing and inattentiveness!!
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Old 07-09-03, 05:21 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your replaies and insight. I'm glad to know that when I go to the LBS today to raise holy hell, I will be well within my rights.

Bottom line, I won't leave until they rebuild the wheels for free, or at least send them to someone who knows what they are doing.
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Old 07-09-03, 06:18 AM   #6
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Push them to do it, and hope they are good builders.

I've had my new 700c wheels on for about 600 miles, commuting (where they take a punding) and a long 110 mile charity ride.

I was supposed to take them back after 400 miles to get them checked, but even with brake clearances set to as small as I can get them, these wheels have stayed as true as a die.

Also no creaks (which suggests the tension is spot on and they were stress relieved), and no twangs.

They cost 300 (including tyres and tubes) but boy were they worth it. My local LBS guy sure can build wheels. he put one together for my friend to do the Paris Brest Paris and it came home as true as it went out, even after 1200 km of cobbles etc.

If the LBS can't build well, cut your losses and take them to someone who can.
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Old 07-09-03, 09:55 AM   #7
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OK, quick update...I think my LBS is ignorant.

I took the MTB to the LBS this morning and asked that they tension and stress-relieve the spokes. When the "mechanic" looked at the wheels, he said they were already true and couldn't find a loose spoke. I pointed out the loose spoke and he said that sometimes a spoke can be looser than the others and the wheel can still be true.

I then said, "Why do you keep saying 'trued?' I want the wheels tensioned and stress-relieved." The guy says, "That is the same thing as being trued." Then they started feeding me this BS that all disc brakes make that scraping noise. I said, "That's funny, I test drove a Cannondale with disc brakes that didn't make that noise." Idiot.

Needless to say I started getting very upset. I figured if a schmuck like me knows the difference, how could a bike mechanic be feeding me this kind of BS? I told the mechanic that I wanted to speak with the owner when he gets in. I also said I was going to leave the bike there until the "real mechanic" gets in as well.

In the meantime, I have started a search for a local wheel builder that actually knows what they are doing. I have a funny feeling my LBS will not be helpful.
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Old 07-09-03, 10:21 AM   #8
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You are running into the classic problems encountered in bike shops. I recently move to this area, and having retired from the biz, wanted to patronize my local bike shop(60 miles away), so I purchased my Bianchi Pista from them. I felt fairly comfortable because the owner said he had been through Barnett's and was a certified Master Technician.

I went to pick up the bike a month after they rec'd it. They told me it was ready. The bars were not taped because "we thought you might want to tape your bars, alot of our customers do". I was able to unthread the pedals BY HAND. The front brake cable was left 6" long past the binder bolt, no cable end cap. I had asked for an extra rear cog and was charged $32 for a rear cog. I had asked for tire liners to be installed in the tires. They didn't do it. When I asked why, I was told "Those tires have alot of tread on them." They charged me a full $100.00 over MSRP for the bike alone. Since I don't need them, I've never been back. If you can't find a shop to give you good service, teach yourself to do your work if you have time. You'll be happier in the long run.
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Old 07-09-03, 01:03 PM   #9
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Update Number II:

They are replacing my bike. I now own an '03 Trek 4900 MTB. Without the disc brakes option. But that's OK. It's a great ride, and it stops fine.

I will be upgrading the cheap Promax brakes, however. Anyone know where I can get a good deal on Avids?
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Old 07-09-03, 06:10 PM   #10
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AdrianB

Go somewhere else once you have these issues sorted (see later). Having a good working relationship with your LBS can add to the satisfaction of owning and riding a bike. Having a bad LBS turns everything into a nightmare because your bike doesn't work like it should, and you are literally ripped off.

There are way too many road and MTB jocks about who may be good riders, but know fairy all (as you put it Adrian) about ordinary cycling, and the needs of ordinary cyclists. Hence the commuters and touring cyclists of this world are generally given short shrift by them (that's my personal rant).

In Australia, bike shops are usually tied to supply contracts with importers/distributors. So a shop may supply Trek and Bianchi, but won't have a Specialized anywhere in sight. Your problems sound really serious in terms of failures through maladjustment. I'd seek recourse by:

1. Giving the bike shop a really hard time, and let them know that you're...
2. Going to your State's consumer affairs office and lodging a complaint on safety grounds.
3. Contacting the distributor for that brand of bike (you should be able to track it down via internet) and lodge a complaint about the bike shop with them.

The last point is the only one is the only real leverage you might have. If a bike shop loses a supply contract, they could be out of business. The contracts are usually very carfully guarded by other LBSs and are very hard to pick up.

FWIW

R
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Old 07-09-03, 10:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by mightypudge
Update Number II:

They are replacing my bike. I now own an '03 Trek 4900 MTB. Without the disc brakes option. But that's OK. It's a great ride, and it stops fine.

I will be upgrading the cheap Promax brakes, however. Anyone know where I can get a good deal on Avids?
I jsut got set of Avids at price point and should get them this monday. Here is the link http://pricepoint.com/product194.html. I've read some great reviews of these brakes on mtbreview.com Here's the link http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/Bra...ct_78255.shtml
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Old 07-10-03, 06:07 AM   #12
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Thanks Chuvak.

If I buy the Avid kit, do I need to buy brake cables/housing or can I use the existing stuff?
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Old 07-10-03, 07:17 AM   #13
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you should be able to use the existing stuff. It is a new bike right? just pull off the little endcaps off the cables, or unthread the hex nut on the brake so the cable comes out. install new brakes, and GO FOR A RIDE!!
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Old 07-10-03, 10:18 AM   #14
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Thanks Chuvak.

If I buy the Avid kit, do I need to buy brake cables/housing or can I use the existing stuff?
Probably not, since your bike is new, the cables and housings should be new as well . They will also undergo a braking in period since cables have yet to stretch.
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