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Old 05-19-12, 05:55 PM   #1
Hamrat
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Peugeot PX-10; Repair shop messed something up.

Hi all, I thought I'd get some input before going back to the shop to have them try and fix what they did. Here's the story:

I brought my stock '72 Peugeot PX-10 in for a rear wheel bearing re-pack and for them to replace a broken back spoke. Oh I also wanted them to swap out the right side brake hood.

I get it back, the shop had replaced both brake hoods and the front cable and housing, they had tightened to headset so much that it barely turned, and the old rear axle was swapped out with a solid axle(they told me that it was broken- when I asked the next time I went in I told them I knew it was bent, was it really broken? They told me they tried to unbend it and broke it in the process). I had them measure the rear dropout because it looked like they respaced it and they said it was 125mm. I told them I was nearly positive it was 120mm when I brought it in and they said with these old bikes it was either 120 or 125mm(yeah... not worth getting into it with them).

The real issue is, my bike is now noticeably slower. It's not something with the pedal motion which is what they keep trying to figure out something wrong with, it's with the coasting. Before I brought it in there was nearly no resistance(other than being able to notice the old grease in the rear hub), one pedal stroke on flat surface and it'd just go. Now there's a resistance that is very noticeable, especially when going uphill. Just spinning the wheels with my hands looks ok, but there is just something wrong and these shop people have started to talk to me like I'm crazy.

I bought this bike from someone who had it in his garage and stripped it down and put it back together(except for the rear hub, it didn't bother me that much ever).

I think it's either that the new axle that they installed is fighting the hub somehow(is a French axle a different size than a standard one?), or that they replaced the bearings(despite me telling them not to- is it possible that they replaced them with the wrong size bearings?) They're Normandy Luxe Competition hubs by the way.

Needless to say this whole experience has made me very upset. They ravaged my baby(the second time I got it back they had lost the plastic part on the front quick release skewer and also bend the skewer really badly- I didn't tell them to touch the front wheel at all, and for some reason the wheel is on backwards). This is a very respected shop in NYC by the way... Also they never called to ask before doing any of these repairs that I didn't ask for.

I just want to get my bike back to the speed machine that it was. Unfortunately it'll never be the original collectors bike it was ever again.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-19-12, 08:02 PM   #2
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I'll go out on a limb here and say up front that I haven't the ability
to diagnose your problem over the internet.

I have several of these guys, and while they are nice riders, I wouldn't
get too bent out of shape about having a few parts replaced in terms
of collector value, because, like me, you seem to want to ride it.

If there's a resistance problem in the hub, you ought to be able to feel
it when you spin the wheel with it removed from the bike with each end
of the axle in your hands. Otherwise, given that these guys thought
so little of you that they replaced a QR axle with a solid one tells me
(and you) a couple of things.

1. Their expertise seems, at least in this instance, lacking.

2. You have correctly surmised that possibly the new axle
cones, possibly the bearings, might not mesh with the hub cups
in your wheel. Again, hard to diagnose over the interwebz.

3.Anything is possible, including too many, or too few bearings
in the hub, incorrect adjustment for end play, maybe even
incorrect spacing on the new axle which is leading to some
sort of interference with the stays or drops.

4. You can measure the rear drop spacing with a caliper yourself.
Likewise, someone who has a clue about wrenching should be
able to do likewise. Again, my impression is that you have been
less than well served, and I'd politely, but firmly, point that out
to someone at the management level in the organization...preferably
the owner. If that does not help, find another mechanic, but do
your homework first.

5. I have a tendency to adjust headsets pretty tightly, myself,
so that particular issue may not be one. Sorry for your bad experience,
but this does not seem to be an unusual case in today's world.
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Old 05-19-12, 09:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input 3alarmer. I will definitely be going back in with more confidence of what the problem might be.

Took another look and it sure seems that perhaps the cones are slightly too big and rubbing against the hubs. The first time I got it back there were definitely different cones/spacers on the axle... Very weird. These look like big spacers that are cones- normal for solid axle?

I did go in earlier this week and talked to the owner, he didn't want to say yes or no to giving me a replacement front quick-release skewer to replace the one they bent without the tech that worked on it there. But did say they could change the solid axle to a quick release one(originally they didn't even tell me about the swap and held onto my skewer-resale much?-I had to go back in and ask for it). Then the owner talked to me about my bent handlebars and the infamous breaking stem which I am very aware of, and showed me ones he could sell to me. I told him it's French sizing, and he said it didn't matter. It does. Honestly since every time I get it back they manage to break something else I'm wary of going back for this, but I don't have the money to start over from square one at another place, and they should back up their shoddy work.
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Old 05-19-12, 10:04 PM   #4
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I afraid your LBS is simply out of it's league. Your Normandy hub probably takes a standard 10x1 axle but needs very specific cones; there is such a variety of Normandy cones even for the same model that the only way to find replacement is to measure them, (then you can match them with up here http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...id=40431125762 for cones of the same size and thread) so it's a strong possibility they used the wrong cones (if they didn't save the old ones, your in a world of hurt).

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Old 05-19-12, 10:18 PM   #5
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Spring is a poor time of year to take a bike in for work. The shops are at their peak business both with new bikes/sales and tune ups/repairs. Shops may add temporary staff or be training in newbies to handle the load, sometimes with minimal training or supervision. Two of the shops I frequent have new people behind the counter whom I suspect are seasonal help.

A short while ago I was looking for a rear derailleur hanger and called one of the shops. Someone I didn't recognize answered the phone. I gave him the make, model, and year of the bike and asked if they had a new hanger in stock.
"What kind of derailleur is it?" he asked.
"I don't have one for it yet, but I'm thinking it'll probably be Alivio." I answered a bit puzzled.
"I don't think we have them. All we've got are Shimano and Schram (no, I didn't misspell it, that's the way he said it)."
"I'm not asking for a derailleur, I need a new derailleur hanger," I explained.
. . . Silence . . . umm . . . more silence . . . "What's it look like?"
I dropped it there and asked, by name, to see if one of my trusted mechanics was on. No such luck. Took the frame to another bike shop the next day and within 3 minutes had the correct hanger.

When I need to take a bike in for work, I make it a practice to ask for a mechanic I trust, by name, and then explain what I need and hand the bike off directly to him/her. Even if they don't do all of the work themselves, it gives them a kind of ownership of the project and I rarely have any problem with the results.

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Old 05-19-12, 10:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
Your Normandy hub probably takes a standard 10x1 axle but needs very specific cones; there is such a variety of Normandy cones even for the same model model that the only way to find replacement is to measure them, (then you can match them with up here http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...id=40431125762 for cones of the same size and thread) so it's a strong possibility they used the wrong cones (if they didn't save the old ones, your in a world of hurt).
This makes me that much more angry that they didn't call to authorize the work. If they had called I would have told them not to replace the broken one, I'd get a proper replacement. Instead they throw in whatever axle they have lying around and chuck the old one in the trash. I always tell them to keep any old parts for me, they never listen.

I know for a fact that a less experienced guy did the work hastily as my bike still wasn't ready late the day after I dropped it off and he was just taking it off the stand as I walked in.

But wait, would the cones on the front axle perhaps be the same ones I need for the rear?
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Old 05-19-12, 10:46 PM   #7
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or that they replaced the bearings(despite me telling them not to- is it possible that they replaced them with the wrong size bearings?)
Any specific reason you want your old bearings? It's normal to change the bearings when repacking a hub, like changing the oil filter when you have your car's oil changed.

It's unfortunate that your bent axle broke when being straightened, but in order to repack your bearings, the freewheel would need to be removed, which requires getting a freewheel tool between your axle and your freewheel in the case of a splined model, which requires that your axle isn't so bent as to make that task impossible. So these types of projects can snowball very quickly.

Quote:
originally they didn't even tell me about the swap and held onto my skewer-resale much?-I had to go back in and ask for it
It would've been best for them to give you the old skewer, but it's pretty far-fetched to think they'd want it in order to sell it.

Quote:
These look like big spacers that are cones- normal for solid axle?
Pics?
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Old 05-19-12, 11:11 PM   #8
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Any specific reason you want your old bearings? It's normal to change the bearings when repacking a hub, like changing the oil filter when you have your car's oil changed.
The ones in the front hub were perfect and I was wary of size issues with the French standard.

Quote:
It's unfortunate that your bent axle broke when being straightened, but in order to repack your bearings, the freewheel would need to be removed, which requires getting a freewheel tool between your axle and your freewheel in the case of a splined model, which requires that your axle isn't so bent as to make that task impossible. So these types of projects can snowball very quickly.
I understand that totally but they should have called me before doing all this work that I didn't ask for. Surprise! You owe us way more than we told you you would!


Quote:
It would've been best for them to give you the old skewer, but it's pretty far-fetched to think they'd want it in order to sell it.
I've bought a lot of odd-ball parts from them that I'm sure have taken the same route in life.



Quote:
Pics?


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Old 05-19-12, 11:20 PM   #9
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You can rest easy on the bearing size aspect. 1/4".

Quote:
I understand that totally but they should have called me before doing all this work that I didn't ask for.
You asked for your rear hub to be overhauled, which as I explained, requires the other steps. The best you could ask, is that they recognize "hey, if we're going to do his hub overhaul, we have to straighten this axle so we can get the freewheel off, and that could break it. So let's call him first, and make sure he's prepared to accept the consequences if it does."

From your photo, that cone is so dirty I doubt it could be a new one, if this all went down recently. Are you sure that's not the original?
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Old 05-19-12, 11:27 PM   #10
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Chances are that hub needed an axle and cones anyway, but it's a shame the shop used ill fitting parts. The whole job was totally amateurish.

Front axles are thinner than rear. I don't know the measurements, but they're different, so the cones aren't interchangeable.

1972 Peugeots did have 120 mm rear hub spacing and Normandy hubs. When I overhauled a few of these back in the day I learned that nobody stocked French axles and cones. I did find that Campagnolo axles and cones, while having different threading, fit into those hubs with just a bit of diddling with spacers. Actually, they improved performance considerably.

My suggestion is to stop using that rear wheel and decide whether you want to give this shop another chance to do it right (on their nickel) or chalk it up to experience. If the latter, get the phone to find a shop that knows something about overhauling 40-year old hubs. Axle and cone sets in several tapers are available to shops through QBP. While your problem requires some creativity, it's not rocket science to a shop that takes pride in quality service.
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Old 05-19-12, 11:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
You can rest easy on the bearing size aspect. 1/4".


You asked for your rear hub to be overhauled, which as I explained, requires the other steps. The best you could ask, is that they recognize "hey, if we're going to do his hub overhaul, we have to straighten this axle so we can get the freewheel off, and that could break it. So let's call him first, and make sure he's prepared to accept the consequences if it does."

From your photo, that cone is so dirty I doubt it could be a new one, if this all went down recently. Are you sure that's not the original?
Here's a pic I took when I first received it, looks like a different cone to me:


oldbobcat- Good info thanks, I'll inquire about the Campagnolo stuff. Unfortunately I am very broke and my beater UO-8 died recently so this wheel and bike is my only option for the near future. Also unfortunately this shop is the shop that all other shops send stuff to if they can't do something, they're "the guys" apparently. Another shop I was told about wanted to charge $30 to chase the pedal threads... Needless to say I'm not to thrilled about asking for pricing on other repairs...
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Old 05-20-12, 07:20 AM   #12
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They kept one quick release skewer and damaged the other? Are you sure they didn't swap a damaged front skewer they had on hand for your good one? Those early Simplex skewers sell for as much as $100 a set on eBay. I paid $40 for just one. You have really been screwed over by that shop.

A '72 PX10 would not have Campagnolo parts. They were 100% French.
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Old 05-20-12, 07:33 AM   #13
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I recall having this sort of experience, but it was so long ago that I don't remember the details. I do remember the helpless feeling that I had no options other than to accept the incompetence, or pay someone else (of unknown competence) to redo/fix. It was at that point that I decided that if anyone was going to screw up my bike, it would be me. I bought a few tools (you don't need many to start) and discovered that, with a bit of attention to detail, bike repair was not difficult. Yes, I did screw up a few things, but it was still cheaper to correct than to have paid some shop to do it in the first place.

Your experience was ridiculous. How do you break an axle trying to straighten it? Must have put it in a vise and whacked it with a hammer. How do you bend a skewer on a wheel that requires no work? Boggles my mind. Does this shop hire gremlins who intentionally do damage? The biggest question is how your bike made it out of the door with the issue that you describe.

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Old 05-20-12, 08:43 AM   #14
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I don't let anyone work on my vintage bikes. There aren't many mechanics that are competent to work on them, especially the French ones. (French bikes, not French Mechanics)
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Old 05-20-12, 10:18 AM   #15
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Which shop in NYC? There are shops that know vintage bikes, but most don't. If I'm on the phone, generally they don't get what I'm talking about. I normally need to go into the shop with the part/s that need to be replaced. I have some sort of informational interview with the mechanic or shop hand. I exchange key words, and if they don't understand what I am talking about, either I move up the food chain to the head mechanic or owner.

I think in this case that they did not replace your axle with the same quality part, which you should have been entitled to. Putting a nutted axle on when the bike that came in had a QR is not acceptable. Perhaps, they did not understand what a PX-10 is or your investment in the bicycle. The adjustment sounds improper.

In the future, I strongly urge you to learn to repack your bearings. It's not that hard and will save you a lot of problems. As for the hoods, that is about a 10 minute job, and there are many tutorials on youtube for rewrapping your bars.
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Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
It's pronounced, "Co-burn."
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Old 05-20-12, 10:40 AM   #16
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Your experience was ridiculous. How do you break an axle trying to straighten it?
It's pretty simple: unbending a bent steel axle by any means involves a risk that it will break instead of bending back.

Quote:
Another shop I was told about wanted to charge $30 to chase the pedal threads...
Out of curiosity, are your pedals French-threaded? If they are, then re-tapping them to 9/16" x 20 is certainly worth a $30 labor charge, it's not a quick-&-dirty thread chase job.

Quote:
Putting a nutted axle on when the bike that came in had a QR is not acceptable.
Perhaps they thought it would be more resistant to bending, and from the sounds of it, the OP bought this bike more for transportation than as a vintage jewel, so they may have made a judgement call (right or wrong) that function was more important than preserving it in vintage condition.

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Old 05-20-12, 12:20 PM   #17
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It's pretty simple: unbending a bent steel axle by any means involves a risk that it will break instead of bending back.



Out of curiosity, are your pedals French-threaded? If they are, then re-tapping them to 9/16" x 20 is certainly worth a $30 labor charge, it's not a quick-&-dirty thread chase job.



Perhaps they thought it would be more resistant to bending, and from the sounds of it, the OP bought this bike more for transportation than as a vintage jewel, so they may have made a judgement call (right or wrong) that function was more important than preserving it in vintage condition.
I know that you work professionally doing this stuff.

So let me ask you a couple of things, please.

First, are you immune to the argument that there is a significant
amount of bad and unbelievably bad repair work going out the door
of bicycle shops in the USofA (the only country in which I have
personal experience)? If so, nothing more to discuss here.

It would appear, in this thread at least, that you are willing to
go to painful lengths to somehow justify the "service" that the
OP has received. To the extent that you are willing to ignore
his basic point that somehow, the bicycle seems to require more
effort to propel. Why is that, do you think ?

Look, I don't do this for money any more, but I do it plenty at
the local coop. I see plenty of questionable stuff come in from
one or two of the local shops, and have remedied some of it.
But for you to argue that there was a "judgement call" made
in this case is quite a stretch. This is not up to any professional
standards of which I'm aware, if it happened as described.

I'm betting that if you can overcome your opinion that this is
just another one of those guys who comes onto BF to ***** about
the local bike shop, and who is telling some kind of selective story
about what actually happened, you'll probably feel the same way.

Don't personalize it, there is plenty of ineptitude in any service
and repair industry that exists in today's USofA. To pretend
otherwise is to fly in the face of reality. Sorry, that's the way it is.
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Old 05-20-12, 12:56 PM   #18
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I know that you work professionally doing this stuff.

So let me ask you a couple of things, please.

First, are you immune to the argument that there is a significant
amount of bad and unbelievably bad repair work going out the door
of bicycle shops in the USofA (the only country in which I have
personal experience)? If so, nothing more to discuss here.
Oh I agree, there's a lot of incompotence at LBSes. Trying to find compotent people to hire is difficult.

Quote:
It would appear, in this thread at least, that you are willing to
go to painful lengths to somehow justify the "service" that the
OP has received.
I wouldn't say I'm justifying it, just explaining the likely thought process behind it. "Hmm, dude has an old Peugeot, looks like low-budget transportation, and he bent a hollow axle, which just broke when we tried to get it straight enough to remove his freewheel so we can do his overhaul. Let's give him a solid axle, it'll hold up better for him." That's my guess from the one side of the story that we've heard. Would it be better to anticipate the problem, and contact the customer about the risks? You bet

Quote:
To the extent that you are willing to ignore
his basic point that somehow, the bicycle seems to require more
effort to propel. Why is that, do you think ?
Without examining the bike, it's impossible to be sure. If the rear hub is consuming so much power to rotate that it makes a noticable difference in how the bike rolls, then it would have to be sucking down a heck of a lot of wattage. From the laws of thermodynamics, that energy would have to be going somewhere. If he were my customer I'd certainly look into it exhaustively. But as a reality check, I ride with a dynohub that sucks down about 6-8 watts of power with my headlight on, and it makes no appreciable difference in how fast the bike goes, uphill or otherwise. I have the Strava results to support that right here... same climb, lights on and lights off. 1 second apart over almost 18 minutes:



Perhaps there's another explanation, such as a brake rubbing.

Quote:
Look, I don't do this for money any more, but I do it plenty at
the local coop. I see plenty of questionable stuff come in from
one or two of the local shops, and have remedied some of it.
But for you to argue that there was a "judgement call" made
in this case is quite a stretch. This is not up to any professional
standards of which I'm aware, if it happened as described.
I'd be curious to hear your approach, then. Your customer wants the hub repacked and a broken spoke replaced. To do that, you'll need to remove the freewheel, which cannot be removed until you can get the freewheel remover into the splines, which cannot be done until the axle's straight enough to allow the freewheel remover into the splines. What would your approach be?
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Old 05-20-12, 01:33 PM   #19
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Mech, no need to defend everything you've written here. In general, I find your posts enlightening when it comes to bikes.

I think you're right that the LBS saw a vintage steel bike, and thought exactly what you wrote: inexpensive transportation. They did the fastest, easiest thing to get this bike back on the road.

The problem is twofold: (1) They didn't communicate what they were doing (and apparently didn't do it so well) and (2) they didn't give a thought to the idea that this might be somebody's vintage baby.

My experience in New York is that any rider needs to be careful with bringing any vintage bike to a bike shop.
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Old 05-20-12, 02:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post

A '72 PX10 would not have Campagnolo parts. They were 100% French.
No argument there. I just stand by my point that Campagnolo axle and cone sets have worked for me in Normandy hubs. The hub shell and freewheel don't care about the threading or nationality of the axle, just that the cup fits in the hole, the tapers of the cup and cone work together, and the spacing between the dropouts can be duplicated.

Wheels Manufacturing supplies a plethora of hub parts to bike shops that want to do the job right.
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Old 05-20-12, 02:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TimmyT View Post
My experience in New York is that any rider needs to be careful with bringing any vintage bike to a bike shop.
Caution is prudent on both sides of the coin.

For the owner, make sure that the shop you're entrusting your pride and joy to has the capability and the knowledge to service your bicycle.

For the mechanic, examine the situation carefully before you even put a wrench on the bike. A lot of this frustration could have been saved if the
mechanic took the time to call the customer and make him aware of what's wrong, especially given the owner's financial situation.

That being said... if the OP knew his axle was bent, and he was also aware of the fact that what he owns is considered 'vintage', then why did he
continue to ride on the bent axle?

As far as the headset adjustment and the QR skewer issue... I cannot comment on that because I wasn't there to witness what happened.

Bottom line; it was a lose/ lose for everyone involved. The OP is not happy, the shop now has a credibility issue... lessons to be gleaned from
every response posted here, and food for thought regarding other related interpersonal issues.
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Old 05-20-12, 02:33 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I don't let anyone work on my vintage bikes.
+1

Out of the 4 local bike shops I frequently visit, I would not let any of them work on a PX-10 or any bike of that caliber unless it was a job I absolutely could not do myself like having a BB shell faced.

OP: you really got screwed on losing the original parts of the bike, especially the rear QR. Take it to a known trusted shop next time or learn to do the work yourself.
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Old 05-20-12, 04:00 PM   #23
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1. Shop screwed up.

2. Around here at least, most of the shops are not capable of handling vintage bikes, particularly ones with non-standard parts (French bikes fit that description). The largest shop in my area calmly told me that any bike over five years old was obsolete and not worth working on. Since my newest bike is over 20 years old, I don't go there.

3. Learn to do work yourself or very carefully qualify a shop you can trust. On vintage stuff, its not like you can just have them order you a new skewer (or at least one that matches the original one).

4. Solid axle replacement is really lame IMHO.

5. +1 to comment above, uninformed shop saw an old bike and assumed it was cheap, basic transportation, not something special. Most shops are focused on new, modern bikes. I have bought more than a few vintage bikes from bike shops that just did not appreciate what they had, and sold them cheap.

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Old 05-20-12, 04:28 PM   #24
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TimmyT, I'm going to hold off on naming names for now, although trust me I am very tempted partly to warn people in a similar situation to be wary. But that advice should probably ring true for any shop. Do you know of any shops that you'd recommend for vintage French repairs?

MechbGon, you're spot on I think. The tech that it gets assigned to sees an old bike, says let's just make it ride-able *whatever*

I talked to who I believe is the senior most tech at length about what needed to be done, and again when I took it back the second time. The first time as I said a less experienced guy worked on it, the second time I believe the more senior guy did the work. Better but still off.

I have taught myself how to do all work on the bike, I had already repacked the front wheel(I think they went ahead and re-did it despite me telling them I already did it- what a waste of time). The only reason I had them do the rear hub was because I don't have the freewheel remover tool and had to get the spoke replaced anyway. When I got the bike originally it already had the bent axle, it was very slight(enough so that the qr skewer could go through easily). I'm sure it might have gotten worse in the time that I rode it.

I'm going to go back in Tuesday, which is when the original tech and owner are both in and see what happens. Will report back.

Funnily enough the shops website has a PX-10 they worked on in a position of prominence, and the owner doesn't even know that you can't just throw a 22.2mm stem in it.
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Old 05-20-12, 08:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
I'd be curious to hear your approach, then. Your customer wants the hub repacked and a broken spoke replaced. To do that, you'll need to remove the freewheel, which cannot be removed until you can get the freewheel remover into the splines, which cannot be done until the axle's straight enough to allow the freewheel remover into the splines. What would your approach be?
When I worked on cars for money, almost every place had a couple
of standard procedures that might apply to bike shops now that labor
rates have risen quite a bit.


1. Get some idea of the repair requested, get a customer signature
regarding approval up to a certain dollar amount, contact the customer
prior to exceeding this amount and in the event additional issues are
encountered that need repair.

2. Always, always, always put the old parts in a bag and return them
to the customer.

3. Bringbacks are painful for all concerned. Get it right the first time.

I have no argument with your analysis of the axle breaking or the need to
remove the freewheel, only that someone would make all the assumptions
you've credited them with and simply proceed. I, personally, would not
do so, so if you want to call that my approach, feel free.
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