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Old 07-12-07, 08:33 PM   #1
GRedner
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Screwed thrice by the same bike shop

Argh. Come and listen to my tales of woe.

Tale the first
This was maybe three years ago, when I was just getting into cycling. I knew almost nothing about mechanics. I was riding to work, when I felt a loud *POP*, and suddenly my rear wheel was wobbling. Having no idea what had gone wrong (I was a neophyte, forgive me), I brought it to The Shop.

I walked up to The Guy, and said, "Hey - I was riding to work, and I felt this loud *POP* and now it looks like my rear wheel's warped."

He didn't even touch the bike, - just glanced at it and said, "Yeah, looks warped."

<awkward silence>

"So...what did I do to fix it?"

"I dunno - maybe new wheel?"

This seemed fishy to me, so I thanked the guy and left, and called a friend who was on the cycling team - he said "It sounds like you popped a spoke, have you checked?" And so I did, and so it was, and so I got it fixed for $10 at a different shop.

Tale the second
I needed something to ride in the rain, so I had The Shop install fenders on an old hybrid of mine. Everything was fine until one evening as I was riding downhill, and shifted into my smallest cog for the first time in a while.

*BANG* and my chain jammed hard. I worked my way to a stop and pulled off the road. I poked around the drivetrain, trying to see what was wrong through the rain pouring off of my head. I noticed that the screw being used to hold the rear fender on was protruding right into the path of the chain. Argh! Fortunately or unfortunately, The Shop was just a block away, so I downshifted, cleared the jam, pedaled there and had The Guy (same guy) fix it.

Tale the third
My commuter bike is a beautiful old Centurion road bike equipped with some kind of horribly obsolete Dia-Compe caliper brake. While working on the bike, I stripped one of the nuts on the rear brake. I spent about a week hunting for a replacement nut - I hit two bike shops, two hardware stores and Home Depot - none of them had a nut that matched. As a last resort, I stopped by The Shop on my way home.

I told The Guy (different guy this time) my problem, and handed him the bolt from the brake, showing the nut that was stripped, the various washers (there are three - brass, plastic, steel) it needed to mate with, and so on. He took the bolt and went around to the toolbench, and began rummaging around in drawers. About five minutes later, he came back and apologetically told me he had nothing that matched, and handed me the bolt...without any of the washers.

"Where are the washers?" I asked.

"Oh, ****!" he replied.

He ran back around the bench and started rummaging. He was digging through drawers, knocking over piles of crap, and hunting around on the floor. After a few minutes I told him to forget it, since I was probably going to need new brakes anyhow. "No no," he said, "man I'll find them washers for you, man."

He gets The Other Guy involved, and they rummage together. I get impatient and try again to get my bolt back so I can go home. The Other Guy digs into a particularly large pile of crap, yanks out - a busted old brake that's almost as old and busted as mine, and says, "Here. Dia-Compe caliper brake. Maybe you can use the washers from this one." Never mind that the brake had completely different washers on it - I wanted to go home. So I went home. I cannibalized the brake he handed me, and neither the washers nor the nut were right. Argh. Tomorrow I go to a better shop and buy new brakes.

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Gabe: 0
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Old 07-12-07, 09:57 PM   #2
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#1 Sales persons are not mechanics, he should have deferred to the mechs at the back if he didn't know
#2 Incompetent mechs at said store
#3 Excusable error I guess
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Old 07-12-07, 10:10 PM   #3
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#2 seems all to common. On my fuji touring then put too long a bolt through holding the rear rack. It was unnoticed until I had shifted in the smallest cog and then downshifted at a light. Jammed that sucker right up. #@$#* so yeah never ride until you check out the repair/install yourself. Sometimes they stick the new wrench on easy jobs and they mess up by not checking their work.
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Old 07-12-07, 10:26 PM   #4
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Old Saying: Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

The one time a shop rudely mistreated my wife I started telling everyone in the Bicycle Club of Irvine and The Orange County Wheelmen what they had done. While I can't take full credit for their being out of business in a few months, I did my part. Good move telling the Internet/BF, now see if other local cyclists have similiar stories then tell yours.
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Old 07-12-07, 10:52 PM   #5
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Brick through the window.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:40 AM   #6
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#2 seems all to common. On my fuji touring then put too long a bolt through holding the rear rack. It was unnoticed until I had shifted in the smallest cog and then downshifted at a light. Jammed that sucker right up. #@$#*
rack or fender bolts
this must have happened to almost everyone 1 time or another .

Cheers T
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Old 07-13-07, 01:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
#1 Sales persons are not mechanics, he should have deferred to the mechs at the back if he didn't know
Even a salesman responding like that is an arrogant tard. Even the slightest knowledge of bikes would give the correct answer to that description of events without even looking at the bike.

You're way too forgiving and understanding. That LBS is total barf.

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Old 07-13-07, 05:33 AM   #8
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This is all the same store? If so, why did you keep going back?
I have zero tolerance for incompetent stores. Then again we have a ton of them over here.
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Old 07-13-07, 05:46 AM   #9
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Big Moe walks into the bar. He saunters up to the bartender and loudly proclaims "My name's Big Moe and I want ****ed!" The bartender sheepshly informs him to go up the stairs, down the hall to the third door on the left, knock and announce himself.

With that Big Moe climbs the stairs marches down the hall counting off the doors on his left until he reaches number three. With an earthshattering report he bangs on the door and once again loudly proclaims "My name is Big Moe and I want ****ed!". From behind the door a demure and sexy voice replies "Please slide a twenty dollar bill under the door Big Moe."

Big Moe stuffs his hand in his pocket grabbing up a wad of bills and peeling off a twenty. He straightened it out and slid it under the door. He waited about 2 minutes for the door to open, which it never did.

Once again he banged on the door and bellowed "My name is Big Moe and I want ****ed!"

From behind the door the voice replies... "What, again?"
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Old 07-13-07, 06:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by operator
#1 Sales persons are not mechanics, he should have deferred to the mechs at the back if he didn't know
Sure, but it was hardly an obscure issue I was asking about. Anyone with non-trivial experience with bikes should have recognized (or at least suspected) the problem immediately. I think the guy was just being a shmuck, which agrees with other observations I have made.

I also forgot to add, there's a fourth tale. My girlfriend went in there to buy a lock and a saddlebag. Now, she's quite small physically, and some of the locks were too high for her to reach. She asked The Guy (same guy) if he could help her reach some items she wanted to look at. He first ignored her, then sighed heavily and...slowly...sauntered over and took down the items she wanted. Argh! The Guy seems to have a permanent chip on his shoulder.

Bike Shop: 4
Gabe: 0

Last edited by GRedner; 07-13-07 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 07-13-07, 06:49 AM   #11
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While I can't take full credit for their being out of business in a few months, I did my part. Good move telling the Internet/BF, now see if other local cyclists have similiar stories then tell yours.
Hmm - I wasn't going to call them out by name, but this seems to have convinced me otherwise.

It's Boston Bicycle on Beacon Street, near Kenmore Square. http://www.cambridgebicycle.com/design/locations.htm (bottom of the page). Their sister shop in Cambridge is quite good, oddly enough.
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Old 07-13-07, 06:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
This is all the same store? If so, why did you keep going back?
When I was in school, it was two blocks from my dorm. Now it's right on my route to work.

After each incident, I decided never to go back. I went back the second time because it was convenient and I needed to be able to walk to work after dropping the bike off for service. The third time I went back because hey, I was just looking for a nut, what could possibly go wrong?
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Old 07-13-07, 08:07 AM   #13
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ugh
I say avoid them like the plague if you can.
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Old 07-13-07, 10:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRedner
When I was in school, it was two blocks from my dorm. Now it's right on my route to work.

After each incident, I decided never to go back. I went back the second time because it was convenient and I needed to be able to walk to work after dropping the bike off for service. The third time I went back because hey, I was just looking for a nut, what could possibly go wrong?
You're a glutton for punishment aren't ya!
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Old 07-13-07, 01:53 PM   #15
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This is life telling you to do your own wrenching. Loudly. bk
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Old 07-13-07, 02:39 PM   #16
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I just installed a rack, and caught that mistake before taking the bike out.... Whew!

Have you talked to the owner? It sounds like he/she spends most of their time at the sister shop (the quality one)... Be good enough to give them a heads up... He/she might not know....

The LBS here is Junko too. I walked in and asked a few questions, and the owner was too busy doing inventory to answer questions... The older gentleman (owners dad?) tried to help, but didnt know and the other guy just didnt care...

Having worked retail, I just cant excuse that kind of customer service... I'll go to the TREK store that is 5 miles farther on instead... Vote with your feet and go somewhere else.

JMHO
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Old 07-13-07, 07:55 PM   #17
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I had a bad experience from a shop a month ago; the arrogance at this one in Burbank,CA. I've told many people already to not go there. Since I work in radio, this news will quickly spread.
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Old 07-14-07, 12:24 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by soderbiker
rack or fender bolts
this must have happened to almost everyone 1 time or another .
Never happened to me. I put my own fenders on. If you want something done right, do it yourself.
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Old 07-14-07, 02:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soderbiker
rack or fender bolts
this must have happened to almost everyone 1 time or another .

Cheers T
+1 on the never happened to me. Why, do a visual check, then test the bike in the stand and then do a full test ride.

The shop should have caught the problem. Mechanics that do not perform proper test rides can be dangerous.
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Old 07-15-07, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRedner
Hmm - I wasn't going to call them out by name, but this seems to have convinced me otherwise.

It's Boston Bicycle on Beacon Street, near Kenmore Square. http://www.cambridgebicycle.com/design/locations.htm (bottom of the page). Their sister shop in Cambridge is quite good, oddly enough.
Have you talked to Kip the owner? Cambridge Bicycle was my shop for years in Boston and I can't recall any problems I had with them. Never did much with Boston Bicycle but you should let someone know.

Rob
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Old 07-15-07, 05:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicodemus
Even the slightest knowledge of bikes would give the correct answer to that description of events without even looking at the bike.
Are you saying the OP does not have the slightest knowledge of bikes?
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Old 07-15-07, 06:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicodemus
Even a salesman responding like that is an arrogant tard. Even the slightest knowledge of bikes would give the correct answer to that description of events without even looking at the bike.

You're way too forgiving and understanding. That LBS is total barf.
The irony of your last sentence is... humorous I'm not usually known to have either of those qualities. hehe.
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Old 07-17-07, 06:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Are you saying the OP does not have the slightest knowledge of bikes?
I assumed he was referring to The Guy in The Shop. Although at the time, I really didn't know anything about bikes, except how to ride them
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