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Old 06-20-11, 04:25 PM   #1
hobkirk
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WHAT"S GOING ON? All my parts arrived w/o manufacturer's boxes - Is this kosher?

I was having some difficulty finding the parts I wanted but found them at BlueSkyCycling.com - and they had good prices. I haven't heard of them so I called to verify they had the parts in stock and to verify they sounded legitimate.

I ordered 3 "major" driveline items...
  1. 5026-1134 SHIMANO XT M771 CASSETTE 10-SPEED (11-34)
  2. 9133-SGS SHIMANO DEORE XT M771 REAR DERAILLEUR (SGS LONG )
  3. 6209 SHIMANO ULTEGRA CN-6701 CHAIN 10-SPEED
...and some cables...
  1. 3099 SHIMANO DURA ACE BC-7900 ROAD BRAKE CABLE & HOUSIN
  2. 3011 SHIMANO BRAKE CABLE
  3. 3088-RD JAGWIRE SLICK STAINLESS BRAKE CABLE (ROAD)
  4. 3026 JAGWIRE HYPER SLICK STAINLESS INNER SHIFTER CABLE

Everything arrived promptly but nothing was in a product box. I've bought Shimano chains, RD's, and cassettes before and they always arrived in boxes. Everything was in a generic plastic bag and the only label was a sticker with the Bluesky Cycling part number. The RD did have the Shimano spec/instruction sheet included. No instructions or even labels. A bare Shimano brake cable could only be told from the bare Jagwire brake cable by the part number. Note that the picture of the BC-7900 does show the factory packaging. None of the descriptions mention missing boxes or OEM (?) packaging.

Nothing showed any signs of having been used. But there were defects I observed, which makes me wonder if there are other defects...
  1. The chain had a kink - I straightened it using two sets of pliers - no other problems noted, it felt good except for that
  2. The cassette had at least two defective cogs - gear 1, 11-tooth, had 2 teeth bent, and gear 2, 13-tooth, had one bent tooth. I will demand a replacement, but in the meantime I set them straight enough to test the drivetrain.
  3. The packaging showed zero damage.
Before I call them, I thought I'd ask you all about this.

Is this some type of scam? Should I simply return everything?

Thanks.
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Old 06-20-11, 04:34 PM   #2
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They are likely takeoffs from stock bikes.
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Old 06-20-11, 04:48 PM   #3
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They are likely takeoffs from stock bikes.
^This. I've ordered items like that before. And sometimes they are removed from boxes to save on shipping weight (they usually inform you of this practice ahead of time).
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Old 06-20-11, 05:12 PM   #4
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Check the Bluesky ad carefully. I think they're OEM components.

Bicycle assembly plants buy components in bulk without the typical manufacturers retail packaging. When they make the model year changeover I think that companies like BlueSky buy up any leftovers.
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Old 06-20-11, 05:22 PM   #5
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I can't speak for Blue Sky but at the place where I buy my components, they build and sell their house brand of bikes. Thus, they get their components packed in bulk for OEM installation. For individual sale, they just bag 'em up.
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Old 06-20-11, 05:36 PM   #6
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Call them and ask? I would guess that it could be either of the above scenarios.

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Old 06-20-11, 06:11 PM   #7
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generally, when i find really good prices on the internet, i find the product is probably a "second". i have found a number of online stores do not mention that their products are "seconds" just that they are "on special" or have "special" pricing. beware.
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Old 06-20-11, 09:49 PM   #8
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I wouldn't know. I suggest checking with your rabbi maybe?
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Old 06-21-11, 08:38 AM   #9
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definetely OEM components. Factory floors don't want to waste all the time to remove the retail packaging just to throw it away.
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Old 06-21-11, 10:00 AM   #10
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Yeah, OE takeoffs from Bluesky is my guess as well.

I once bought a pair of WTB "something" Comp tires from Bluesky. They were delivered without a box. Just taped together, they were non-folding wire bead tires, with the UPS shipping label slapped on the tape. Piss poor packing by any reasonable persons standards. That was the last time I bought from them.
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Old 06-21-11, 11:45 AM   #11
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I wouldn't know. I suggest checking with your Rabbi, maybe?
I think Kosher requires some inspection by the appropriate religious authority.

but I'm just a Gentile ..
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Old 06-21-11, 09:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobkirk View Post
I[*]The cassette had at least two defective cogs - gear 1, 11-tooth, had 2 teeth bent, and gear 2, 13-tooth, had one bent tooth. I will demand a replacement, but in the meantime I set them straight enough to test the drivetrain.
Cassette teeth would be hard to bend on purpose. Are you sure they're actually bent, and not shaped that way for shifting ?
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Old 06-22-11, 05:05 AM   #13
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I can't speak for Blue Sky but at the place where I buy my components, they build and sell their house brand of bikes. Thus, they get their components packed in bulk for OEM installation. For individual sale, they just bag 'em up.
This.

A lot of Bike/component sellers build their own bike brands and buy components in bulk. This affords them significant discounts over those strictly packaged for resale. This is why you get component/ groupset deals at online stores like Ribble. It isn't because your LBS marks them up significantly. The LBS just doesn't get the same pricing. This is a sore spot with LBS owners and component manufacturers.

Last edited by jdon; 06-22-11 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 06-22-11, 05:35 AM   #14
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Cassette teeth would be hard to bend on purpose. Are you sure they're actually bent, and not shaped that way for shifting ?
OP, this is what I thought too?
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Old 06-22-11, 06:18 AM   #15
hobkirk
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Cassette teeth would be hard to bend on purpose. Are you sure they're actually bent, and not shaped that way for shifting ?
Your question makes sense, as does Homebrew01's comment about whether they were "shaped that way for shifting?"

But my "discovery" technique seems valid.
  • I found the drivetrain felt "lumpy" when I cranked the bike upside down on the saw horses. I slowed down cranking and observed that the chain would jump every so often. I put my old chain back on and the problem continued. I slowed the cranking way, way down and I observed multiple jumps over the length of the chain. But i still expected it was the chain, so i started marking the chain with White Out at every jump. After about the 5th mark, I noticed I had globbed some White Out on the cassette and that it lined up with the link I was about to mark.
  • To clarify, the chain did NOT MESH with the gear on one tooth and only on that tooth, it did it on every rotation, and it did it with two chains
  • I removed the cassette, put on my glasses, and inspected gear 1, 11 tooth. The ridge of that tooth did not line up with the other teeth. My 25 year old son, with his disgustingly better vision, saw the misalignment immediately when I showed him the cog.
  • Furthermore, that tooth looked like the chain had worn away some of the metal from the bent-over portion of the tooth
  • Later, after fixing the #1 cog, I found a similar, although less pronounced, problem on the #2 cog (lumpy feel, then poor meshing almost every revolution of the cog)

I was not able to change the set of the tooth by prying or pliers. I had to use a 16-ounce hammer and punch to correct their incorrect alignment. I did it on the bike with the wheel still mounted, bracing against the seat stays, and it took several whacks on both bad teeth (there was a bad tooth on gear 2, 13-tooth). The "lumpy" feeling disappeared and there was no failure to mesh on either cog. I figured the worst that could happen is the tooth would brake, and I needed to get the cassette replaced anyway.

PS - I must admit I am very, very impressed by the sophistication of cassettes. And that definitely includes the sophisticated shaping of the teeth on the 11-tooth cog.

Last edited by hobkirk; 06-22-11 at 06:36 AM.
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