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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-26-14, 10:39 AM   #1
GoHorhay
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Bike Shop Nightmare

I'm so frustrated I can't even see straight. I need to vent and perhaps gather some opinions and advice. This is going to be a long post because the situation is so honked up...

First off, some background. I have a Specialized Tarmac Comp Rival which I love. It's been fast, responsive, and a lot of fun to ride. I was professionally fit just last year. The only issue since day 1 has been the front shifting / derailleur. It's always been hit and miss. It requires a lot of effort to engage from the small ring to the big. I can usually massage it into gear but it's not smooth or consistent. I did some research and found this to be a common problem with SRAM. The one fix that seems to work is replacing the front derailleur with Ultegra or something comparable.

This brings me to Tuesday. I have my bike with me at the office because I had planned to ride after work. On a whim I decided to take it to a major franchise bike shop over lunch because they have a good price on the derailleur, it's near my office, and they offer an additional 10% off on Tuesday. It should be an easy fix, right? I bring it it there and explain the situation and the guy in the shop suggests he look at the derailleur before I buy a new one. He makes some adjustments and takes it out back for a ride. He comes back and the shifter is making this loud cracking sound and is barely able to move. I don't know if he tried to force it into gear or what? He then suggested I leave the bike with him because the actual shop tech won't be in for another half hour! I reluctantly agreed and explained I was hoping to get the bike back quickly and ride that day.

A few hours later I get a call from Hector, the shop tech. He explains that the problem was isolated to the shifter and the loud cracking sound. That wasn't even the symptom I brought the bike in with! He recommends I buy a new shifter for $180. I let him know that this cracking sound wasn't there earlier today (or ever) and that my original intention was to just put a new front derailleur on the bike. He decides he'll give that a try and call me on Wednesday.

On Wednesday afternoon I get another call from Hector that the bike is ready to be picked up. He replaced the front derailleur to the Ultegra and everything is working fine. I go and pick it up but I'm unable to ride it because I'm in a suit. First thing I notice on my white bike with white bar tape is that it is completely covered in grease. They wrecked my new lizardskin tape and made no effort to clean anything. Next thing I notice is my saddle has been lowered by a couple inches. Who does that? I had been professionally fit to that bike! That should NEVER happen, correct? I somehow manage to keep my composure and take the bike home and figure I'll call the manager later to voice my concerns.

Once I get home I take the bike for a quick spin on my cul-de-sac. I immediately notice that something isn't right. It is noisy and has some extra drag. I try going through the gears but my real derailleur is not shifting well at all. I keep trying to shift going about 3-5 mph and it throws the chain. I've only dropped one chain since I've owned the bike. This isn't your typical chain drop either, it throws the chain ripping the rear derailleur partially off the frame, into the spokes, bending it to hell. It practically exploded. I don't see any way it is salvageable.

I immediately called the store manager and was told to bring it in today and "they will make it right." So now what? What's right? They will likely have to replace the rear derailleur and hanger at a minimum. They are an authorized SRAM dealer but not Specialized. Should I even continue to have these guys work on it? Do I have any other options?

So far, I've invested $60 to have a couple hundred dollar professional fitting undone, wrecked $40 bar tape, and destroyed my dialed in rear derailleur. WTF?!?! Help?!?!
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Old 06-26-14, 10:46 AM   #2
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Raise the saddle to the level it was at...easy fix for that.

I don't even know what they did with the shifting so won't comment...but raising the saddle is the first thing I would do.
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Old 06-26-14, 10:52 AM   #3
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Talk to the store manager about the problem.

This happened at Performance, right? They'll bend over backwards to fix the problem.
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Old 06-26-14, 10:54 AM   #4
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Judging from the manager's response, I'd guess you are not the only one who has had trouble with their service. The problem is that if you let them work on it again, they will still not get it right. They are obviously incompetent. If it were me, I'd see if the manager will replace the damaged parts and pay for someone else to fix it. He'll say "no" so then I'd negotiate that they at least provide the parts and still I'd have someone else fix it. I would also contact customer service at the company whose bikes they do sell and complain.
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Old 06-26-14, 10:59 AM   #5
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Yes, Performance. I'm bringing it in to the store manager at 2PM today.

Raising the saddle is an easy fix but not first thing on a bike I can't ride.
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Old 06-26-14, 11:04 AM   #6
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I guess I would write it up, using most of what you posted, but clear simple facts and bullets of what to correct and your expected results, date and sign it. Give that to the manager, be sure it's taped to the bike. Also have a repair estimate from them so that you know what they will be charging you for, if anything. See if you can arrange for the fix while you are at the shop and have a friendly conversation while watching the fix.

Then establish a relationship with a shop and mech and learn enough of how to work on your own bike.
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Old 06-26-14, 11:22 AM   #7
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Performance is hit or miss. One of my friends swears by the mechanics at one of the local Performance and he always takes his bikes (bought elsewhere) to Performance over any of the dozens of LBS around. But obviously it depends on the particular mechanics at the shop just like any LBS. But I do think you'll get more responsiveness to make things right at Performance or REI than you will at a lot of LBS. Another friend spent $150 to have an LBS build up a bike for him. When he got it back the RD was basically unshiftable. They held it for 3 days to fix it and talked sh@t about him as he was leaving after picking it up as it was somehow his fault and how he doesn't know anything about bikes. I would rather deal with Performance than that kind of arrogant nonsense that goes on at most LBS
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Old 06-26-14, 11:26 AM   #8
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On the bike fit, your fitter ought to have marked your seatpost so that you could take it out and replace it/prevent it getting stuck etc.

On the derailleur stuff, "making it right" means giving you back a bike in perfect working condition. Don't accept anything less, no matter what it takes.
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Old 06-26-14, 11:27 AM   #9
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your pro fit is ruined, I too would be pissed!
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Old 06-26-14, 11:29 AM   #10
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SRAM stuff should be easy to dial in, just follow the manuals. I think whoever has been working on it is making adjustments by feel. Getting a a different brand derailleur shouldn't have been considered. As far as lowering your saddle, perhaps they did that during testing but it and all the grease left on your bike demonstrates a lack of courtesy. BTW, write out your bike measurements so you can easily replicate them.
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Old 06-26-14, 11:56 AM   #11
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You should have measured the seat position and recorded it. Hey, I'm a total idiot and even I can figure that much out. But good luck, sounds like a really crappy situation.
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Old 06-26-14, 11:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
... it depends on the particular mechanics at the shop just like any LBS. But I do think you'll get more responsiveness to make things right at Performance or REI than you will at a lot of LBS.
+1 - My family (3 riders) uses REI, and prefer a specific mechanic at one of the 3 stores. One of my boys took his bike to the other store for tweaking the spokes and a 10 mile ride the wheel was visibly wobble-jawed. Took it to our preferred store/mechanic, they de-stressed the spokes and redid the the alignment no charge.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:03 PM   #13
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If you, your fitter or the mechanic recorded your saddle height, readjust it. Easy fix.
Hopefully a magic eraser, or whatever it's called, can clean up your bar tape for another easy fix.
As for your derailleurs, good luck!
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Old 06-26-14, 12:08 PM   #14
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The store is in what state?
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Old 06-26-14, 12:15 PM   #15
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when they F up, performance bends over backwards to fix it.

unfortunately the one near me F's up often.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:19 PM   #16
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The store is in California. My fitter did mark the seat post at the first fitting but I've been refit since. He may have been marked it up again but I can't recall. I'm sure I can get that dialed back in but isn't that horrible bike shop etiquette? That's what irritates me more than anything.

The moved it substantially and then the counter guy denies it without even asking the shop...
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Old 06-26-14, 12:20 PM   #17
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your fitter should have given you a printout or email of your old and new measurements. I marked my seat post and saddle position using nail polish just incase

as for the bar tape..why did you accept it when they handed it over to you?
Unless it is trusted mechanic I always test ride, suit and all.

now pull up your panties and return to the store and get your **** fixed.


I have one 1 mechanic who is allowed to touch my bike, slowly but surely I am learning how to do my own repairs in the hopes of being self sufficient.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:31 PM   #18
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Wow, that is a horror story... and I recently joined as a member with REI when they mentioned free bike tuneups. Should I steer clear of either REI or Performance? I like to support my LBS, but they charge $70 for a basic tune up. I'm wondering if that money is well spent by avoiding headaches like yours. I've never taken my bike to a chain retailer because my LBS occasionally gives me free services when I come in.

That being said, I bought a Fuji off Craigslist and had your exact same problem because it came from Performance (I shifted, chain slipped, rear derailler destroyed in the spokes). My LBS mechanic has told me that those retailers just throw bikes together because they're paid per bike assemblage and don't have any kind of quality control or pride in their work. I'm more inclined to believe that now.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:33 PM   #19
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The fitter kept a file at the shop but I didn't receive anything myself. I did complain about the bar tape and the employee's response was "everyone knows white bar tape gets dirty."

As recommended earlier in the thread, I'm taking a letter in with me to the Performance store manager outlining my experience and minimum requirements for a solution:

"Please help. At a minimum, my rear derailleur and hanger needs complete replacement. The carbon frame should be inspected for any damage. The wheel and spokes should be inspected and at a minimum trued. Please also inspect the skewer because at first sight it looks like that might be bent as well, the cassette for any bent teeth and the chain for any bent links.


I’m already looking at missing two schedule group rides and I’m so frustrated I can’t see straight. Please do whatever you can to expedite a solution. Anything less than perfect is not acceptable."
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Old 06-26-14, 12:36 PM   #20
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Save yourself the $70 for the tuneup. Anything that they do you can easily learn to do yourself with basic tools. I'm all left thumbs and I do all my own derailleur adjustments, brake adjustments, tire work, changing cables, headset adjustment, etc. I just don't try anything that requires a special tool or that I'd blow a gasket trying to do myself.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:38 PM   #21
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My LBS mechanic has told me that those retailers just throw bikes together because they're paid per bike assemblage and don't have any kind of quality control or pride in their work.
Your LBS mechanic has no idea what he is talking about.

BTW, many things could have caused the problem with your secondhand Fuji.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:40 PM   #22
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This is why I do my own wrenching. There's too much at stake with handing an expensive bike over to a stranger who may or may not care.
Sorry you are having so much trouble. Sometimes lessons are expensive.
Are you handy with a wrench?
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Old 06-26-14, 12:43 PM   #23
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The fitter kept a file at the shop but I didn't receive anything myself. I did complain about the bar tape and the employee's response was "everyone knows white bar tape gets dirty."

As recommended earlier in the thread, I'm taking a letter in with me to the Performance store manager outlining my experience and minimum requirements for a solution:

"Please help. At a minimum, my rear derailleur and hanger needs complete replacement. The carbon frame should be inspected for any damage. The wheel and spokes should be inspected and at a minimum trued. Please also inspect the skewer because at first sight it looks like that might be bent as well, the cassette for any bent teeth and the chain for any bent links.


I’m already looking at missing two schedule group rides and I’m so frustrated I can’t see straight. Please do whatever you can to expedite a solution. Anything less than perfect is not acceptable."

they couldn't tell me that **** .. the cops would have to come and sort this out. Hopefully you paid by credit card and then called the credit card company and cancelled payment.

why couldn't they take some degreaser and wipe it off?
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Old 06-26-14, 12:46 PM   #24
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That sucks man.
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Old 06-26-14, 01:03 PM   #25
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Also a good reason to have more than one bike.

My problem I had with SRAM front shifting was that I tried to set it up as I would a Shimano derailleur. Once I gave the cable a little slack the front shifting improved greatly.
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