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Old 04-06-05, 10:51 AM   #1
ChezJfrey
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Shim Sham Scam

So, I've got an italian stem and some standard bars that I'd like to mate rather than getting a new bar. I check a few bike shops on/off-line and the h-bar/stem shims are $10-15. Excuse me? I can buy a .010"x6"x50" roll of stainless steel shim stock for the same price!

Inflated bike-specific pricing for standard items strikes again.
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Old 04-06-05, 10:57 AM   #2
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I'm told a strip of soda can works fine :-P
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Old 04-06-05, 11:45 AM   #3
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Actually, I needed two strips of a soda can. But it was a pain to keep them aligned (I suppose I could superglue them), and it still seems a bit too thin. Adding a third, seems ridiculous, so I thought a single strip of metal the right thickness would be a bit more elegant in my inelegant solution...maybe I'll just cut another Coke can and save myself the expense.
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Old 04-06-05, 12:27 PM   #4
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Beer cans work better than soda cans.
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Old 04-06-05, 12:44 PM   #5
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Always use a beer can imported from italy, to keep your stem happy.
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Old 04-06-05, 01:07 PM   #6
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"Actually, I needed two strips of a soda can. But it was a pain to keep them aligned (I suppose I could superglue them), and it still seems a bit too thin. Adding a third, seems ridiculous, so I thought a single strip of metal the right thickness would be a bit more elegant in my inelegant solution"

That is why the shim is ten bucks. Buy it, stick it in, it fits. Forget about it.
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Old 04-06-05, 01:44 PM   #7
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Large hardware stores like Sears Hardware often have a selection of inexpensive shim metal in various thicknesses.
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Old 04-06-05, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
That is why the shim is ten bucks. Buy it, stick it in, it fits. Forget about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jemoryl
Large hardware stores like Sears Hardware often have a selection of inexpensive shim metal in various thicknesses.
Yes, and this was my point. One shim at a bike shop costs $15. A roll of stainless steel stock capable of providing 96 of the "bike" things is also $15.
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Old 04-06-05, 05:11 PM   #9
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I can buy cro-mo tubing for sixteen bucks a stick, but I have to make it a bike. The shim is made to the right size and once installed you do not have a five foot roll of stock, with a 2x3" piece missing, you will never use again.
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Old 04-06-05, 05:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChezJfrey
Yes, and this was my point. One shim at a bike shop costs $15. A roll of stainless steel stock capable of providing 96 of the "bike" things is also $15.
So buy the shim stock, cut out one shim for you, and 96 to sell on ebay.
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Old 04-06-05, 05:27 PM   #11
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So buy the shim stock, cut out one shim for you, and 96 to sell on ebay.
Yes, you see what I'm gettin' at
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Old 04-06-05, 07:26 PM   #12
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That is what you shoud have said, " Can you believe ten bucks for a shim? I just cut one out of a 0.1mm roll of shim stock I picked up from Sears". Not, "Can you believe ten bucks for a shim? I just spent a half hour trying to make one out of a cut up Mr. Pibb can and it is still to loose".
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Old 04-06-05, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
That is what you shoud have said, " Can you believe ten bucks for a shim? I just cut one out of a 0.1mm roll of shim stock I picked up from Sears". Not, "Can you believe ten bucks for a shim? I just spent a half hour trying to make one out of a cut up Mr. Pibb can and it is still to loose".
All I can say is, I just got a free Cinelli stem, so I'm glad somebody has tried this before
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Old 04-06-05, 08:29 PM   #14
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Go ask Greg Lemond about soda can shims...
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Old 04-06-05, 11:55 PM   #15
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Go ask Greg Lemond about soda can shims...

Okay.
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Old 04-07-05, 12:02 AM   #16
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Go ask Greg Lemond about soda can shims...
He's not returning my calls.
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Old 04-07-05, 04:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChezJfrey
So, I've got an italian stem and some standard bars that I'd like to mate rather than getting a new bar. I check a few bike shops on/off-line and the h-bar/stem shims are $10-15. Excuse me? I can buy a .010"x6"x50" roll of stainless steel shim stock for the same price!

Inflated bike-specific pricing for standard items strikes again.
I don't think that it's bike-specific. Small, slow moving items that should be cheap always seem to be way over priced. I think that it's at least partly due to the distribution costs. At every stage in the distribution process, everybody who touches that shim has to have a bin to store it in and somebody to pick the order. There's packaging to consider too. Those costs are all pretty much the same whether it's for a penny shim or a hundred dollar hubset. Also, slow moving items, since they don't turn over as often, have to command a higher gross profit margin or they won't cover their share of the warehouse overhead because they don't earn any money sitting in the bin.

I ran into the same thing last week when I needed 26 brass woodscrews for a project. I think that I paid 24 cents apiece for them. I could have bought 100 for just slightly more, but then I'd just have 74 extra screws to store somewhere in my workshop that I probably wouldn't be able to find if I ever needed them anyway.

The Air Force encounters the same issue whenever they order replacement toilet seats for transport planes.
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Old 04-07-05, 06:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jim-bob
He's not returning my calls.
Stage 21, '89 Tour de France, a TT for the final stage, he and his mechanice had to shim some SCOTT aero bars on to his TT bar with a soda can to get them to fit. It held to togehter long enough for Lemond to gain 66 seconds on Fignion, but Lemond was only behind by 58 seconds.
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Old 04-07-05, 10:01 AM   #19
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So you're saying I should keep the soda can shim because I'd be as fast as Lemond. Cool! Do we know what particular brand of soda Greg used? I want to make sure I use the right one.
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Old 04-07-05, 11:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChezJfrey
So you're saying I should keep the soda can shim because I'd be as fast as Lemond. Cool! Do we know what particular brand of soda Greg used? I want to make sure I use the right one.
Just an example on how effective a soda can shim could be. It was a Coke can, but it may have been the older, steel cans that were still used back then. But, your using it for a seat post, not exactly the same as a handlebar attachment.
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