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Thread: Shim Sham Scam

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    Rider in the Storm
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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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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    I'm told a strip of soda can works fine :-P
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    Rider in the Storm
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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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    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Beer cans work better than soda cans.

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    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    Always use a beer can imported from italy, to keep your stem happy.

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    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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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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    Large hardware stores like Sears Hardware often have a selection of inexpensive shim metal in various thicknesses.

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    Rider in the Storm
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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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    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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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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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  11. #11
    Rider in the Storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    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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    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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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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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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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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    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Go ask Greg Lemond about soda can shims...
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    Mind,Heart,Spirit Kokoro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Go ask Greg Lemond about soda can shims...

    Okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Go ask Greg Lemond about soda can shims...
    He's not returning my calls.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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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.

  18. #18
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  19. #19
    Rider in the Storm
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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.

  20. #20
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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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.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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