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Old 12-29-12, 07:25 PM   #1
sbslider
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Bike Direct warranty service

Based on several recommendations I saw on this forum, I purchased a Bikesdirect bike for my son for Christmas. Put it together yesterday while I was under the weather, and noticed the front derailleur was not looking so great. Upon further inspection today, it appears that the front derailleur shifter is not functioning properly. It won't stop on the middle chain ring, but skips from big to little. I now get to see how submitting a warranty claim goes with Bikesdirect.

Anyone have a similar experience?
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Old 12-29-12, 07:30 PM   #2
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That is a set up adjustment Not Warranty item.

Some buyers have a bike shop do the set up.
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Old 12-29-12, 08:27 PM   #3
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That is a set up adjustment Not Warranty item.

Some buyers have a bike shop do the set up.
Really? I would not have guessed that. I have not yet seen any info about an adjustment for an indexed shifter, but if someone can point me in the right direction I am sure I can fix it.

Many thanks!!
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Old 12-29-12, 09:07 PM   #4
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http://www.pinkbike.com/news/technic...t-up-2010.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-uANcaVBfI
http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...ur-adjustments
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Old 12-29-12, 09:19 PM   #5
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As the others have mentioned I wouldn't be surprised if it's just an adjustment issue.

In the videos/articles rebel posted above, all will have you begin with the FD cable disconnected. When disconnected, before proceeding with the setup procedure, hold the cable fairly tight with one hand and activate the FD shifter with the other. You should feel the cable pulling and releasing to three distinct spots (assuming it's a triple like you alluded to). This will at least first establish that the shifter is indexing correctly.

The FD can be a little tricky but follow those procedures exactly and you should be fine.
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Old 12-29-12, 09:35 PM   #6
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Ok, thanks all for straightening me out. I will give this another shot tomorrow when my son comes by.
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Old 12-29-12, 09:44 PM   #7
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I'd agree it sounds like adjustment, not warranty.
That's the tradeoff with BD - they offer excellent bang for the buck, but it helps to have some mechanical chops to do a set-up and tune. If you're not comfortable with that, a LBS should get your son's bike on the road.
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Old 12-29-12, 10:42 PM   #8
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I got a Motobecane Fantom CXX bike from them last spring. The fork was defective, the dropouts were spaced nearly 2cm too narrow for the hub. Not something that can be bent back into the correct width. BD was speedy to pull a fork off another CXX bike and send it. When it didn't arrive after a while, maybe lost in the PO, they sent out a second fork. The first one finally did show up and the bike was built. When the second fork showed up they sent a call tag to send it back to them. I was happy with their customer service!
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Old 12-29-12, 11:19 PM   #9
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is the derailleur damaged? That's what it sounds like from the first post. Ask them to pay for you to take it to a bike shop.

I would take any BD recommendation on forums with a grain of salt. You get what you pay for.
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Old 12-29-12, 11:23 PM   #10
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is the derailleur damaged? That's what it sounds like from the first post. Ask them to pay for you to take it to a bike shop.

I would take any BD recommendation on forums with a grain of salt. You get what you pay for.
The derailleur does not appear damaged. The shifter, at least as set up right now, will not shift from the big chain ring to the middle chain ring. It skips the middle one and goes to the small chain ring. Shifting from the small chain ring to the middle chain ring, and from the middle chain ring to the big chain ring work fine. That is why I think (thought?) the shifter is defective. I will get to take another crack at it tomorrow, and follow the posted procedures, to see if perhaps some sort of adjustment will fix it. Since the shifter itself does not have an adjustment I know of, not sure how this will work out, but I am game for taking another crack at it. It is good to know form the previous poster that if indeed the shifter is defective I will likely get another with little to no pain involved.
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Old 12-29-12, 11:27 PM   #11
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The derailleur does not appear damaged. The shifter, at least as set up right now, will not shift from the big chain ring to the middle chain ring. It skips the middle one and goes to the small chain ring. Shifting from the small chain ring to the middle chain ring, and from the middle chain ring to the big chain ring work fine. That is why I think (thought?) the shifter is defective. I will get to take another crack at it tomorrow, and follow the posted procedures, to see if perhaps some sort of adjustment will fix it. Since the shifter itself does not have an adjustment I know of, not sure how this will work out, but I am game for taking another crack at it. It is good to know form the previous poster that if indeed the shifter is defective I will likely get another with little to no pain involved.
This helps.
Out of curiosity, what is the shifter? Is it a "brifter" (integrated brake/shift lever), or a trigger shifter (flat bar)?
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Old 12-29-12, 11:50 PM   #12
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I would take any BD recommendation on forums with a grain of salt. You get what you pay for.
While I've certainly made my share of recommendations for BD, I tend to agree with you about the "grain of salt", which in my case, I qualify any recommendation I make for BD with the need for mechanical aptitude and/or LBS with good personal rapport.

I can only base my recommendations for BD on personal experience, and in the 6-7 Bikes that I've either purchased (2) or have set up for friends (4-5), I've been impressed with the quality for the money from what I've seen firsthand.
Let's face it, Trek, Giant, and all of the other big bike companies do the majority of their fabrication in Taiwan and/or China these days, so all are susceptible to the same issues in fabrication, pre-assembly and shipping.

The distinction, of course, is the LBS factor (support, initial set up, etc) vs. ordering online and having to take any issues up with them via the webz. For many, the risk of any inconvenience is not a deterrent to saving alot of money on a bike - same applies for Nashbar and others out there. For those who are mechanically adept or do their own mechanical work, it is difficult to overlook the value that the online discount drop shippers are offering.

In this case, we'll see how it pans out. I've heard good things about BD's customer support, so if it comes to that, perhaps this case will be another "data point" for everyone's benefit.
Cheers

Last edited by canyoneagle; 12-29-12 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 12-30-12, 12:07 AM   #13
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This helps.
Out of curiosity, what is the shifter? Is it a "brifter" (integrated brake/shift lever), or a trigger shifter (flat bar)?
All I can tell you about the setup is from the BD webpage:

Derailleurs Shimano Sora RD3400GS Triple rear, Shimano FD-2303 front
Shifters Shimano rapid fire 8 speed brake and shift lever

It is a flat bar bike, but the shifter and brake are integrated from what I remember, which seems to agree with the web site description. Of course the shifter in question is not a 8 position, but the 3 position one. Here is a picture of the handlebar setup:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...laxy_tour_xii/
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Old 12-30-12, 12:17 AM   #14
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For those who are mechanically adept or do their own mechanical work, it is difficult to overlook the value that the online discount drop shippers are offering.

In this case, we'll see how it pans out. I've heard good things about BD's customer support, so if it comes to that, perhaps this case will be another "data point" for everyone's benefit.
Cheers
I have been riding bikes my whole life, and commuting every day by bike for 25 years. While I will be the first to admit I know a disproportionately small amount about bikes and repair when compare to the time/distance spent on them, I kind of thought that I knew how to adjust a front derailleur. And since I was able to get the derailleur to not rub and shift properly going up without reading anything, I figured that the fact it would not shift properly to the middle chain ring must be a mechanical malfunction.

I hope I am proved otherwise when I get a shot at it again tomorrow. Either way, I will let those interested know how it all pans out. All in all I was impressed at how easy the bike went together, and how little wheel truing and other adjustments were required right out of the box. Time will tell how high a quality the components are. For my son, I know he won't treat it right, so I did not want top end stuff anyway. I gave him the lecture about keeping it in shape, we will see if he changes his ways or not . . .
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Old 12-30-12, 12:23 AM   #15
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All I can tell you about the setup is from the BD webpage:

Derailleurs Shimano Sora RD3400GS Triple rear, Shimano FD-2303 front
Shifters Shimano rapid fire 8 speed brake and shift lever

It is a flat bar bike, but the shifter and brake are integrated from what I remember, which seems to agree with the web site description. Of course the shifter in question is not a 8 position, but the 3 position one. Here is a picture of the handlebar setup:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...laxy_tour_xii/
Good. That is an easier setup to swap out if it does turn out to be a bogus shifter.

It might be worth posting in the mechanic's sub-forum for some tips on troubleshooting, etc.
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Old 12-30-12, 12:25 AM   #16
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Good. That is an easier setup to swap out if it does turn out to be a bogus shifter.

It might be worth posting in the mechanic's sub-forum for some tips on troubleshooting, etc.
I thought about posting there to begin with, but I did not expect the thread to become a repair thread, but more of a customer service thread. I find out more tomorrow on that one. Thanks for the feedback!!
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Old 12-30-12, 09:32 AM   #17
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While I've certainly made my share of recommendations for BD, I tend to agree with you about the "grain of salt", which in my case, I qualify any recommendation I make for BD with the need for mechanical aptitude and/or LBS with good personal rapport.
I recently went to a well known bike shop here in Salt Lake and asked them what they had that could match, or beat the Kensington 8 from Bikes Direct. They told me, quite frankly, nothing.I particularly wanted a mixte with an IGH. My reason for wanting this combo is that it was for my daughter and I wanted (she wants) low maintenance.

The closest thing they had was the Linus, essentially the same bike at, nearly, twice the price. However, when asked about set-up they said that they would un-box and assemble the bike for $50. I can even have it shipped to their shop (this is a useful thing because my daughter is living car free).

I am strongly considering asking them to put a front drum brake on it during set-up. This gives them an accessory sale (Where they make their money), leaves my daughter with a bike that has better brakes in the rain, and still costs less than the other options; it's a win for all.

Ask at your LBS about set-up even if you can not afford to buy the bike there.

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Old 12-30-12, 10:42 AM   #18
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I had excellent results from BD for a bad shifter replacement so if it is a problem there shouldn't be any issues getting a replacement.
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Old 12-30-12, 11:13 AM   #19
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I would take any BD recommendation on forums with a grain of salt. You get what you pay for.
I no longer purchase bikes off the internet, not so much due to poor workmanship, but more about not being able to test ride a bike until one has paid for it and assembled it, a hit and miss operation at best.
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Old 12-30-12, 11:27 AM   #20
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Just to clarify, I don't think you get less than you pay for either, at least from BD. It's just that they have to make their bikes cheaper than bike store bikes and they do it in ways that aren't obvious. And for many of their bikes, if they included competent assembly by a bike shop it wouldn't be any cheaper.
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Old 12-30-12, 11:47 AM   #21
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You’d be SOL around here, as none of the bicycle shops in this area allow “test rides”. One LBS replied with, “You can test ride it all you want after you purchase it.” Bikes Direct is beginning to look pretty good from my vantage point.

Sucks to be in your area in the way of not test riding, but my main concern is that one cannot even do a "hands on" test until one has already purchased and assembled their online bicycle, I'm sure that even the most stringent of LBS's will let a customer sit on one of their showroom models.
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Old 12-30-12, 11:53 AM   #22
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You’d be SOL around here, as none of the bicycle shops in this area allow “test rides”. One LBS replied with, “You can test ride it all you want after you purchase it.” Bikes Direct is beginning to look pretty good from my vantage point.
My most recent purchase (not the bike I am talking about in this thread) I rode twice before I bought it. The first time for maybe 10 minutes, the second time. for nearly an hour. Had a friend test ride it also during that hour. Guess there are some advantages to living in liberal SoCal besides the weather.
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Old 12-30-12, 02:14 PM   #23
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Just to clarify, I don't think you get less than you pay for either, at least from BD. It's just that they have to make their bikes cheaper than bike store bikes and they do it in ways that aren't obvious. And for many of their bikes, if they included competent assembly by a bike shop it wouldn't be any cheaper.
Where I've found BD to "cheap out" (on their bikes below $400-500, any way) is bottom brackets, saddles, seatposts, stems and bars. I guess the same is true for the big brands, as their entry level stuff has no-name equipment in the same spots. I think the pricing difference lies more in the business model than in the products.
Since BD is really nothing more than a warehouse/freight forwarding operation, they do not share the same overhead costs that the LBS's have. Also, most LBS's are under strict rules for retail vs. discount operation (they can discount closeouts/prior year models), so they are a little hamstrung on how deep they can really go.

In the 80's I wrenched for a guy who started up a shop almost exclusively based on Trek closeouts. He'd buy up HUGE lots of prior year models well below normal wholesale pricing, and not constrained by retail agreements. He was able to price the bikes at 50%-70% or so of retail, and he made a killing doing this. His shop flourished and grew year to year, and he gradually added current year models as well as other brands, but his bread and butter remained with deeply discounting prior year closeouts. He had alot of out of state business, and bear in mind this was prior to the internet, so word got out.
Not many shops work on this basis, and typically stick with a retail (i.e. 100% markup on wholesale) model.
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Old 12-30-12, 02:22 PM   #24
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The jury is in, operator error. Bike is riding sweet now, all is good. Thanks to those who pointed out the mis-adjustment possibility. I almost posted a very wise-crack type response to the first one, glad I did not. I learned, my son learned, and it all works before even hearing back from BD (suspect I will hear from them tomorrow).
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Old 12-30-12, 02:26 PM   #25
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The jury is in, operator error. Bike is riding sweet now, all is good. Thanks to those who pointed out the mis-adjustment possibility. I almost posted a very wise-crack type response to the first one, glad I did not. I learned, my son learned, and it all works before even hearing back from BD (suspect I will hear from them tomorrow).
Sweet! Glad you found the issue.
FWIW, it isn't a bad idea to verify that the cable housing ends are seated properly on both ends (for all cables - brake/derailleur) and that the housings are routed in a good way. This is easy to overlook when assembling a bike out of the box.
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