Extent of obligation of LBS on new bike
I don't know if this has been discussed before, but I wanted to hear some of your stories about how accommodating your local bike store has been in terms of follow up on new bike purchases. There are usually some things that need tweaking in the first days or weeks and I would think the LBS will happily spend time on your and your bike. It's assumed to be included in the price of the bike. One year parts and labour guarantee may not cover every little thing that may go wrong, but at some shops it could well co ver quite a bit. But how far does this goodwill towards the new customer extend?
I recently bought a hybrid from a local bike store. I wanted a few things changed on it before I bought it, and the guy was quite obliging -- steel pedals instead of cheapo plastic, different seat post without suspension, and new shorter stem so it fit better (I paid an extra 10 bucks for it because it was more expensive). But I've had a number of ongoing problems with the bike and have gone back there almost 5 times in the past 6 weeks that I've owned it. The stem creaks like crazy and there's nothing he can do to stop it. There's a mysterious clicking sound on certain gear combinations that has defied all attempts to diagnose. He tried riding it and of course couldn't hear it (it is somewhat intermittent -- aren't they always!) The replacement stem is going to have to be replaced and who knows if the clicking will ever stop. The guy is probably sick of seeing me come in but I'm still quite friendly towards him and do not want to appear as a demanding a-hole.
He's probably going to charge me for the new stem but I feel like the one he sold me was no good. But is he obligated to provide me with a stem that doesn't creak? I would like to hear some other views and experiences on this.
I can see how a finicky rider could really take advantage of a softhearted bike owner since there's always something to tweak or complain about. But there ought to be some basic expectation that a new bike should be trouble free at the outset and the LBS needs to do all it can to realize that goal.