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  1. #1
    Senior Member OneLessFixie's Avatar
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    What is wrong with people?!? (Seattle LBS rant)

    I got my new bike and had my follow-up appointment with my fitter. She recommended an 80mm stem for the time being but suggested I keep the 90mm one I picked up as I will probably graduate to it shortly. Anxious to ride, I figured I'd call around and pick one up locally. I mean, how hard can it be to find a bloody stem, right?

    LBS 1:

    Me: "Do you have an 80mm ±6 degree stem for a 31.8mm handlebar?"
    LBS guy: "That's an awfully short (snicker) stem ... "
    Me: (click)

    LBS 2:

    Me: "I'm looking for a stem."
    LBS guy: "Oh yes, sir, that won't be a problem at all. We specialise in fitting and have every size in stock! Do you need a fitting too?"
    Me: "Do you have an 80mm ±6 degree stem for a 31.8mm handlebar?"
    LBS guy: "80mm?!?"
    Me: "Yes, 80mm."
    LBS guy: "I'm sorry, sir, we don't stock stems that short."
    Me: "I thought you specialised in fittings and had every size in stock. 80mm isn't that short, right?"
    LBS guy: "Uhh ... "

    LBS 3:

    Me: "Do you have an 80mm ±6 degree stem for a 31.8mm handlebar?"
    LBS guy: "No, but we can get it for you. It would take 7-10 business days and you'd have to pay for shipping."
    Me: "Get it for me? I can get it for myself in two days without paying for shipping. It's called Amazon.com, you've heard of them, right?"
    LBS guy: (crickets)

    I ultimately called a half-dozen shops, many of which claimed to "specialise" in fittings. None of them had an 80mm stem. Zero. The closest I was able to get was one shop that wanted to charge me $60 for a used 75mm (huh?) GT stem. You're kidding, right?

    Seriously, I've yet to have a positive experience at a Seattle LBS. They either don't have what I need or want to charge me this year's prices for last year's model and tell me what a great deal I'm getting. And then they cry pauper and whine about how hard it is to stay in business while "only" charging a 150% markup on bikes and gawd-only-knows how much on everything else.

    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure."

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    An 80mm stem is quite extreme, I'd be tempted to buy a smaller frame than go with such a short stem.

    And because it's unusual, were I a bike shop owner I probably wouldn't carry it as stock.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Senior Member OneLessFixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    An 80mm stem is quite extreme ...
    60mm is extreme. 80mm is well within two sigma of the mean, or well within the range of what any shop that "specialises in fittings" should keep on hand.

    And because it's unusual, were I a bike shop owner I probably wouldn't carry it as stock.
    Again, we're talking here about shops that claim to be fitting specialists. Riiight.
    Last edited by OneLessFixie; 04-18-13 at 07:34 AM.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure."

  4. #4
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    what's wrong with just buying something a little longer and inexpensive, and putting a hack saw to it?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member stevebiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    An 80mm stem is quite extreme, I'd be tempted to buy a smaller frame than go with such a short stem.

    And because it's unusual, were I a bike shop owner I probably wouldn't carry it as stock.
    That's not the answer he's looking for. He wants you to agree and join in slamming those no-good Seattle area LBSers. Tell him how they're all a bunch of fat weenies who've probably never even ridden a bike before and would fall off if they tried. Their coffee sucks and they're all lazy bums. A bunch of contemptible, know-nothing slobs.

    Death to the bastards! Drive them into the sea. Slam 'em!

  6. #6
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    wait, somehow I was under the impression it of 8 inches. 8 cm?? my dick is bigger than that.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    what's wrong with just buying something a little longer and inexpensive, and putting a hack saw to it?
    Do you even know what a stem is?

    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    wait, somehow I was under the impression it of 8 inches. 8 cm?? my dick is bigger than that.
    No, you don't.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    The difference between 80 mm and 90 mm is about the radius of a US 5˘ coin (AKA Nickel). Half of a nickel ain't much at all. Just use the 90 mm stem and save a lot of nickels.

  9. #9
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    oops, not a saddle stem... it's been a long tired morning, especially with this nj prick stalking me on the Internet.

    "no you don't"

    no I don't what?
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  10. #10
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Unusual? I have an 80mm stems on most of my bikes. The ones that don't have 80mm stems are even shorter. Perhaps it is not as common as the long ones, but it shouldn't be hard to find. I may ask some of my local shops and see if that lack of 80mm holds true for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
    The difference between 80 mm and 90 mm is about the radius of a US 5˘ coin (AKA Nickel). Half of a nickel ain't much at all. Just use the 90 mm stem and save a lot of nickels.
    I can tell a difference in 1 cm of reach. It doesn't make the bike unrideable of course, but when you are trying to get your bike dialed in just perfect, it does make a noticeable difference.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  11. #11
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    I had the same problem so I ended up ordering on ebay, should get it in 10-15 days.
    Originally Posted by Leebo

    Headwind is like a hill without a soul. Just gear down and suffer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Headwinds are hills dipped in evil!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    oops, not a saddle stem... it's been a long tired morning, especially with this nj prick stalking me on the Internet.

    "no you don't"

    no I don't what?
    You don't know what a stem is.

    A "saddle stem"? Do you mean a seat post?

  13. #13
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    ... it's been a long tired morning, especially with this nj prick stalking me on the Internet.
    Don't feel bad, you are not alone, that particular sniper has a list of posters he stalks. I am also "honored" with his attentions

  14. #14
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    So you're looking for a very specific, rather unusual size item, and you hang up on the first guy, just for making an appropriate comment? You then proceed to dismiss the people at every subsequent shop you called, simply because they did not have this unusual item......

    How many reading this think that there are some bike-shop employees out there making posts on forums, entitled "What's Wrong With People???Seattle Customer Rant!"?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Don't feel bad, you are not alone, that particular sniper has a list of posters he stalks. I am also "honored" with his attentions
    That coming from you is pretty funny! "Sniping" is your middle name!

    If this internet stuff upsets you so, you should give it up.

    Bizarre.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 04-18-13 at 10:09 AM.

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Well I see 2 sides to the story here

    Side 1) There is a reason many of us shop for parts online. We can order them ourselves, freee shipping at times, get better prices AND...get the parts we want.

    Side 2) You went on line to save money. Why would you expect a business to stock parts that will sit on the shelf for a long period of time? Low turn over parts often don't bring money to the business. Everybody is tryng to save a buck nowadays, you did by going on line for your bike.

  17. #17
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    That coming from you is pretty funny! "Sniping" is your middle name!
    There is a difference between addressing errors of, or disagreements with specific posts no matter who makes them, as I often do, and your practice of sniping at specific posters no matter where or what is posted.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Spoonrobot's Avatar
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    I don't think you can label a part "unusual" if both Performance and REI stock that size part.

  19. #19
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    I retract every offensive statement that I've made. We're better than this. Sometimes, that teenager troll mindset sets in, but this is ridiculous...
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    Well it could be worse, you could have a stock 115mm stem that is way too long but it's on an NVO adjustable headset and the LBS that you *bought the bike from* can't get you the 90mm stem that NVO claims to sell, but only to bike shops and manufacturers. Jamis and NVO all ignore my emails about where to get a replacement. I'm going to have to rip out the whole thing and spend another $100+ on this.

    This is in Seattle too.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    There is a reason we develop a Bicycle parts box.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  22. #22
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    Well, I have to agree with the OP. I have seen all sizes around down to 40mm even. You would think that 80mm would be the first or second alternative if 100 is too long. It is obviously impossible for them to stock even 1 % of what's available, but that attitude was ignorant. To say that stems do anything but tweak fit and shorten the TT, for non-racers, is dumb. 50mm used to be normal. My custom has zero stem.

    For my build, the only parts they had on hand were the TIRES and tubes. They were the reps for my lock, crank and rims.
    Peter White's place is wonderful and the ONLY supplier of WH13 spokes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    There is a difference between addressing errors of, or disagreements with specific posts no matter who makes them, as I often do, and your practice of sniping at specific posters no matter where or what is posted.
    Crimany, does your ego even fit in the room?

    If you write posts it's "addressing the errors of". But if other people are "addressing the errors of", it's "sniping".

    You don't like your "errors addressed" so you resort to ad hominems! If you can't handle it, you shouldn't post.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 04-22-13 at 07:43 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
    I don't think you can label a part "unusual" if both Performance and REI stock that size part.
    To be fair, I don't think you can compare the average LBS to REI or Performance. Local LBS owners has to be really careful about what and how much stock if they want to remain bike shop owners. What I don't get is the delivery time from the distributors. You'd think 3 or 4 days tops to receive an order for an in stock part.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
    Well it could be worse, you could have a stock 115mm stem that is way too long but it's on an NVO adjustable headset
    I had one of those on my Jamis Coda. It was an even dumber idea than the isozone bars on my Trek FX.

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