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Old 10-05-05, 07:30 AM   #1
Curtis_Elwood
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Sorry, this is kind of long. I bought my Gary Fisher Marlin the second week in July for about $500 (full price, no deals) from my LBS. The total was more like $750 after getting a nice helmet and other gear. It was my first real MTB in years. This a shop that I used to work at. It's a privately owned mountain sports type shop with skis, backpacking, climbing gear, etc. I worked for two years tuning skis and selling other goods, but not in the bike shop area. A week after purchasing my bike, it was missing shifts on the front ring. I took it in for an adjustment since it was free and they told me that I bent my two inner front chain rings. I was kind of ticked that it happened so fast. I must have laid it down somewhere, but I don't remember crashing it. They wouldn't consider warranteeing it, so I took the opportunity to order a better crankset. They wouldn't even cut me a deal on the parts. I thought about ordering one on the web for cheaper, but I wanted to support my LBS. Three and a half weeks later my crankset comes in. They call me and tell me that it doesn't fit my bike b/c it has a square-taper BB and the set was splined. They ordered the damn thing. I paid them for their expertise to get me the right part. Then they tried another set that was on-hand. The clearances were too tight. So, they ordered another one. The same Bontrager POS that came stock. I was hoping that I could upgrade the parts as needed and eventually have a nice bike, as I really like the frame. It's been 2 and a half weeks and my new one still isn't in. I have a voicemail in with the store manager. If he doen't give me a good resolution, I'm going to the owner since we're on a first name basis.

I've lost my ability to train for a ride that I wanted to do next weekend. It's 26 miles and one of the "Epic" trails. I'm not in shape for it since I have no bike, so my friends are going without me. That sucks.

What kind of resolution should I ask for/expect? I have bought thousands of dollars from this shop over the last 15 years and continue to purchase all of the gear for the university kayak club that I run. It's disappointing that I get this kind of service. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-05-05, 07:39 AM   #2
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Stop and go somewhere else. They didnt cut you a deal on the bike in the first place and it hasnt stopped. Support your lbs is differt then getting screwed by them although some feel its ok because your still supporting them. Time to talk to manag and get abit louder.
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Old 10-05-05, 07:53 AM   #3
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I'm such a moron! I'm so dedicated to this place b/c half of the employees are buds of mine (unfornutately not the bike shop staff) that I didn't even consider picking the bike up and taking it to one of the other 4 LBS's in town. I'm going to wait until I hear back from the manager once the store opens up this morning and tell him my intentions. If the part is not in and if they don't hook me up, I'm gone. The screwed up thing is that they didn't even talked about charging me labor for the new part. That's absurd.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:23 AM   #4
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That LBS sucks. Go spend your hard earned dollars somewhere else. It may be a little more expensive but you will receive the attention and service you as a client deserve.

Don't hesitate in telling us what did the manager say.

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Old 10-05-05, 10:19 AM   #5
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An outdoor shop (skis, hiking, cycling) is stretching the definition of a LBS, in my opinion. I consider a LBS to be one that is staffed and owned by people who know and love cycling.

I am sure you would do better than the experience you got. Honestly, it sounds like you got the same type of service and prep that an X-mart would provide.

Go somewhere else.
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Old 10-05-05, 10:30 AM   #6
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Yeah, the level of service that I get from the other areas of the store is much better than that of the bike shop. I do consider this a LBS, though. The bike shop itself if a dedicated area of the store. The bike shop mechanics and associates don't work in other areas of the store. They even have a dedicated manager. When I worked there, the guys rocked. They were all racers and damn good ones at that. It seems that things have changed. I have been dedicated to this shop in general b/c they always hook me up on other stuff. I can usually count on a pro-deal or two on other stuff each year.

I think my approach is going to be to see what the manager has to offer and then make an offer of my own if it's not good enough. I'd say that it wouldn't be out of line for them to give me the crankset and BB of my coice at cost with free labor installed in a week. If I get any pushback, I'm going to talk to the owner and explain why I'm walking. I may even pull the rest of my business if they don't make it right. I was planning on riding the rest of the Summer and Fall to get in shape for kayaking season. I've done less than 200 miles. I'll post back here with the outcome and the name of the shop after they've had time to answer.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:59 AM   #7
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Well, they are making it right. I just barely snagged the bike shop manager on her way out the door (it's her day off). My parts did not arrive. She had the tech check on the status of a BB to fit the LX crankset that they had in stock. I called back and talked to the store MOD. She got the ball rolling and the tech sourced a BB from another LBS who had it in stock. They are giving me the BB at cost plus 10% (what they paid the other shop), the crankset at cost and no charge for labor. They made it right in the end, but it shouldn't have taken 2 months. I'm going to write the owner to tell him what happened so he can take appropriate steps to see that it doesn't happen again. It was absurd and in they end, they lost money and most likely a customer. Not good business IMHO. So, there's the update.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:44 PM   #8
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Glad they made it right.

Sorry you had to go through that.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:49 PM   #9
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Thanks. I actually get to go ride this weekend. Two days of great trails in wine country, MO, camping out on my friend's family farm, and drinking all night. Oh yeah! I'm glad that I eneded up being able to upgrade the crankset while I was at it. Makes it a little better, I guess. Now, can I'll have to see if I can get my butt in shape for the epic Berryman trail in two weeks. I love baptism by fire. Oh, and the shop is the Alpine Shop in Kirkwood, MO for those who live around St. Louis.
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Old 10-07-05, 01:26 PM   #10
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" I thought about ordering one on the web for cheaper, but I wanted to support my LBS"

Uh, REI is not an LBS.

EDIT: My mistake, "Privately owned..."
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Old 10-07-05, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzene
" I thought about ordering one on the web for cheaper, but I wanted to support my LBS"

Uh, REI is not an LBS.

EDIT: My mistake, "Privately owned..."
Haha, thought you'd be a funny guy didn't ya! Just kidding. REI is a hair above Sports Authority, but that's about it. Even though I don't think I can be blamed for trying to support a shop that I worked at and many of my friends still do, I'll be taking my cycling business elsewhere. I'll continue to shop there for my other outdoor pursuits. Maybe I'll get real good and I'll get pro-deals like I do for kayaking stuff. Probably not.
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Old 10-07-05, 06:49 PM   #12
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shouldve been a warranty if the shop was worth its salt AND you didnt abuse it. my shop changed my shifter whe itm broke after a few months, changed the bottombracket after a year, and will still keep the crankarms quiet for free
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Old 10-07-05, 07:46 PM   #13
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One last update. I ran into the co-owner (the founder's wife) in the way in to pick up the bike. I mentioned that I would probably want to chat with her sometime when she had the chance. She took the opportunity then and there to find out what happened. She asked what the shop could to to make it right. I told her that they already did, but it should have been nipped in the butt from the get go. She then asked how it could have been handled better and agreed that it was a cluster****. I explained how I liked having one shop that I can go to get everything and have a high level of service in all areas. But, given what happened, I was planning on taking my bike business elsewhere and would have done so earlier if I weren't a friend of the shop. She again offered to do anything else I wanted to make it right and told me that she would talk to all involved and give me an answer as to what they did to ensure that it didn't happen again. I told her that the first thing they should have done after a week had gone by waiting on the parts was to call the distributer and find out the deal. I even asked them if they could have them overnight it and was told that it was on the way. Not true. Since I'm a nice guy, I'll tell them how to be a better shop. I'll be getting my new seat and grips at another store at another shop before my ride this weekend, though.

In the end, I got an LX crankset and BB for $64 installed including tax. Surely not worth what I went through, but it's fixed and I'm going riding this weekend.

On the warranty issue, yes, I sure would have liked it to have been a warranty issue. I laid it over, though. Chain rings just don't bend themselves. It at least gave me an opportunity to get something better than stock.
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Old 10-07-05, 08:12 PM   #14
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Well, until ALL LBS's learn their lesson, I say ditch ALL of them & buy stuff online....

If they can't meet U ½ way, then screw 'em....
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Old 10-08-05, 10:06 AM   #15
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You know you might get shot for saying such a thing. Many a person belives in supporting your lbs at almost all costs. I dont. They are no different then any other place of business.
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Old 10-08-05, 10:50 AM   #16
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Once I get into a position to spend more money on cycling (still in college), I plan on taking a tune-up course or two, buying some books and looking online so I can learn to fix my own problems.
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Old 10-08-05, 11:31 AM   #17
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Changing a BB and crankset is very easy. You could have fixed this on your own and been riding a long time ago. I had sooooooooooooooo many similar experiences with my "LBS." It was great motivation to learn to do it on my own. With the internet, their is simply no reason not to do it on your own. THe info is all out there.
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Old 10-08-05, 12:12 PM   #18
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Of course it easy IF you know how and have the right tools.
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Old 10-09-05, 03:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Of course it easy IF you know how and have the right tools.
Exactly. I didn't have a torque wrench laying around. And, I did ask here how to find out the correct size of my BB and no one responded. I can handle pretty much everything but working on the crank and headset. The bike worked great, BTW. I went to another, better, shop on Saturday to buy some nice (expensive) shorts and some good grips. I'll make sure to tell the other shop that.
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Old 10-09-05, 05:13 PM   #20
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Dont,just let it go.
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