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  1. #1
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    Trackstar Quality Control

    So... as i posted in another thread, i just had a BrassKnuckle built up by Trackstar here in NYC. This was my first experience with shop and i chose them for the build for a few reasons:

    1. They had the frame in stock so they were actually able to size me on it (pretty important IMO). There are a few other shops (BikeWorks, Habitat) that deal EAI, but only custom order.

    2. They offered the best value for cost of build of the three (little things like an EAI cog, color matched FSA headset were included without me even asking) and kept the cost under the price i asked them to by almost 50 bucks (build came to $760 and i told them i didn't want to go over 800)

    3. They were really nice when i told them i was interested in the build, actually pretty decent costomer service the whole way through.

    BUT, i've been riding the bike for a week and began to notice a bunch of things that seem to be half-***ed. such as: the stem wasn't aligned exactly with the front wheel, the front hub wasn't properly adjusted (minor play in the axel), the saddle wasn't straight, the frame wasn't clean (dirt/grease scuff marks on the seat tube).

    Obviously, none of these things are major, and i've since taken care of all of them myself, but this should not happen when buying any stock bike, let alone dropping 8 bills on a build (or potentially much more). I guess this is less of a query and more of a warning.

    an aside: the bike rides beautifully. anyone accusing these bikes of being too stiff needs to try one out, really smooth, Retem speaks the truth.

  2. #2
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    any reason why you didn't take this up with Trackstar first? That would be the logical progression of getting things straight instead of posting a warning on here.
    I would have waited to post this here until you get a response from them. People do make mistakes and I am sure they would look into your findings and right the wrongs.
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

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    Quote Originally Posted by swisloc
    BUT, i've been riding the bike for a week and began to notice a bunch of things that seem to be half-***ed. such as: the stem wasn't aligned exactly with the front wheel, the front hub wasn't properly adjusted (minor play in the axel), the saddle wasn't straight, the frame wasn't clean (dirt/grease scuff marks on the seat tube).

    You're somehow surprised that a place like trackstar is good at color matching and shopping for you but bad about actually making a bike work? Seems about like what I would expect from somewhere like that.

    I guess the grease is pretty suprising though.

  4. #4
    prolly is not probably johnprolly's Avatar
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    I mean, my LBS chips my frame when I leave it with them. The heads at Trackstar always do a great job and regardless to preconceptions, are the least pretentious of any NYC shop... They may be a bit taxed on some of their stock, but $760 isn't a bad price for a build. Just watch your elbows with aluminum frames, they will tend to get sore after a while... Friend of mine developed "tennis elbows" from riding an aluminum in the city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnprolly
    Friend of mine developed "tennis elbows" from riding an aluminum in the city.
    Not knowing how to fit his bike properly or find someone who did or maybe very very poor form are the real culprits not this guy

  6. #6
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    Dude, it's not like they took a **** on your rims. How off was your stem and saddle? Don't get all high and mighty with your 800 dollars; shops in the city sell bikes easily 10 times that cost and breaking out the droplines and laser levels isn't standard procedure.
    Carries suspicious allegiance to Brooklyn Machine Works.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitboss
    any reason why you didn't take this up with Trackstar first? That would be the logical progression of getting things straight instead of posting a warning on here.
    I would have waited to post this here until you get a response from them. People do make mistakes and I am sure they would look into your findings and right the wrongs.
    i guess i just didn't think it was worth the time to ride my bike into manhattan to talk to them about it when i could fix them all in ten minutes at my apartment in brooklyn...anyway, the reason i didn't tell them imediately when picking up the bike is that i had to rush just to get there before they closed, and just paid the remainder on my bill and left, my mistake, i know...but still...

    to dutret...i'm NOT surprised they are good at aesthetics, i'm just surprised that any shop that professes to be all about track bikes, would miss ANY adjustments, since track bikes need so few. but i do agree that the "pretentious" tag they get labelled with is completely unwaranted. they are really nice, and any pretention is toward the loads of LES hipsters that go in and out of there asking them assine questions, not towards anyone who is actually interested in doing business with them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
    Dude, it's not like they took a **** on your rims. How off was your stem and saddle? Don't get all high and mighty with your 800 dollars; shops in the city sell bikes easily 10 times that cost and breaking out the droplines and laser levels isn't standard procedure.
    dude, seriously, this is a stupid statement. are you saying shops should take more pride and perfection to more expensive bikes? that's horrible business, for any field. i managed a bike shop and worked as a mechanic for three years and would never let even a $250 Trek 800 Sport out the door with loose hubs. that's not professional, no matter the cost. i'll let the alignements slide (i guess) but loose hubs? we're talking basics here...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by swisloc
    i guess i just didn't think it was worth the time to ride my bike into manhattan to talk to them about it when i could fix them all in ten minutes at my apartment in brooklyn...anyway, the reason i didn't tell them imediately when picking up the bike is that i had to rush just to get there before they closed, and just paid the remainder on my bill and left, my mistake, i know...but still...

    to dutret...i'm NOT surprised they are good at aesthetics, i'm just surprised that any shop that professes to be all about track bikes, would miss ANY adjustments, since track bikes need so few. but i do agree that the "pretentious" tag they get labelled with is completely unwaranted. they are really nice, and any pretention is toward the loads of LES hipsters that go in and out of there asking them assine questions, not towards anyone who is actually interested in doing business with them.
    your problems could have been things that just went unnoticed by them during installation but would have been (and were) noticed by you on first ride. if that is the case then why would you leave the shop with such an investment and not give it a once over in store (and maybe a quick test ride outside) to make sure everything is as it should be? I don't know the people at trackstar but I bet that they wouldn't have minded adjusting those things for you even if they were about to close for the day.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mailer
    your problems could have been things that just went unnoticed by them during installation but would have been (and were) noticed by you on first ride. if that is the case then why would you leave the shop with such an investment and not give it a once over in store (and maybe a quick test ride outside) to make sure everything is as it should be? I don't know the people at trackstar but I bet that they wouldn't have minded adjusting those things for you even if they were about to close for the day.
    you're absolutely right. that's why i said in my first post that it was a word of warning and have said a few times that i'm sure they would have fixed it had i not taken care of it myself.

  11. #11
    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swisloc
    dude, seriously, this is a stupid statement. are you saying shops should take more pride and perfection to more expensive bikes? that's horrible business, for any field. i managed a bike shop and worked as a mechanic for three years and would never let even a $250 Trek 800 Sport out the door with loose hubs. that's not professional, no matter the cost. i'll let the alignements slide (i guess) but loose hubs? we're talking basics here...
    If you are a mechanic why let anyone build your whip to begin with?

  12. #12
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1fluffhead
    If you are a mechanic why let anyone build your whip to begin with?
    DING DING DING!
    Carries suspicious allegiance to Brooklyn Machine Works.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mailer
    your problems could have been things that just went unnoticed by them during installation but would have been (and were) noticed by you on first ride. if that is the case then why would you leave the shop with such an investment and not give it a once over in store (and maybe a quick test ride outside) to make sure everything is as it should be? I don't know the people at trackstar but I bet that they wouldn't have minded adjusting those things for you even if they were about to close for the day.
    The real question is why didn't THEY take it for a ride or if they did why didn't THEY notice?

    Really I don't understand all of this "let the business make it right before you let others know of there incompetence" BS. If a shop is sloppy a shop is sloppy and while they may be able to fix your specific problem what about the noob who gets a loose headset but doesn't realize it? Maybe if he had heard about a few of the other problems from the shop he would have not purchased from them or would have been worried about the knocking he felt.

    Sure everyone makes mistakes and one misaligned stem probably isn't reason to avoid a shop. That doesn't mean that it is OK as long as they are willing to correct their error or that it should be kept hush hush out of respect for thier accommodating yet possible incompetent mechanics.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1fluffhead
    If you are a mechanic why let anyone build your whip to begin with?
    i have neither the time nor the space at this point in my life to do this (unless i want it to take a year). sad and unfortunate, but true.

  15. #15
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    fix your stem, wipe off your seat tube and go ride your fackin bike!

  16. #16
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    everybody has an off day. this stuff is pretty minor. if they sent you home with a bike that didn't have the brakes connected or the wheels tightened in the drops and ends, than that would be major - seriously unsafe.

    when i adjust my saddle and stem, i need to tweak several times before i get it right. that stuff just isn't easy to eyeball - at least for me anyway.

    the misadjusted front hub, well, that's too bad. but that's thirty seconds with a cone wrench and some knowledge.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk
    everybody has an off day. this stuff is pretty minor. if they sent you home with a bike that didn't have the brakes connected or the wheels tightened in the drops and ends, than that would be major - seriously unsafe.

    when i adjust my saddle and stem, i need to tweak several times before i get it right. that stuff just isn't easy to eyeball - at least for me anyway.

    the misadjusted front hub, well, that's too bad. but that's thirty seconds with a cone wrench and some knowledge.
    Wow I missed the loose hub. It sounds like they didn't check the bike out at all.

    What if he hadn't had the knowledge to know something was wrong? These are serious issues and all of them on one bike are evidence of ****ty mechanics. Maybe it was someones off day. It's still good for all of us to hear about this off day. Maybe there will be more of them and it will turn out just to be the rank incompetence or indifference that plagues most LBSes.

  18. #18
    knucklehead roscoenyc57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swisloc
    ...i didn't tell them imediately when picking up the bike is that i had to rush just to get there before they closed, and just paid the remainder on my bill and left, my mistake, i know...but still...
    In a hurry eh?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Wow I missed the loose hub. It sounds like they didn't check the bike out at all.

    What if he hadn't had the knowledge to know something was wrong? These are serious issues and all of them on one bike are evidence of ****ty mechanics. Maybe it was someones off day. It's still good for all of us to hear about this off day. Maybe there will be more of them and it will turn out just to be the rank incompetence or indifference that plagues most LBSes.
    If the OP only noticed them after a week of riding I'd hardly call them "serious issues." It's easy for a stem or saddle to be off by a millimeter or two. It's also easy to have a wheel in the shop that didn't have the axle properly aligned at the factory (and is just as easy to miss this).

    While yes, I'll agree these things shouldn't happen, it seems to me like you're more interested in flaming trackstar for seemingly no reason by blowing things out of proportion.

    What do you have against trackstar?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Wow I missed the loose hub. It sounds like they didn't check the bike out at all.

    What if he hadn't had the knowledge to know something was wrong? These are serious issues and all of them on one bike are evidence of ****ty mechanics. Maybe it was someones off day. It's still good for all of us to hear about this off day. Maybe there will be more of them and it will turn out just to be the rank incompetence or indifference that plagues most LBSes.
    thanks for the sane comments... seems as though everyone else in the thread is willing to let anything slide.

    besides, what is the point of the message board if not to make people aware of these things? I would hope anyone having a bad experience with a LBS would say something. those of us who can tell when things haven't been done well should be making those who cannot aware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi
    What do you have against trackstar?
    I despise the ethos of conspicuous consumption that surrounds that ****hole.

    Really though this isn't about my disgust with trackstar or those associated with it but rather that I don't understand the "you can't complain till you've given them a chance to make it right" mentality of this board. If a shop does sloppy work it's good to know about it whether or not they are willing to fix their mistakes. Rational people will understand that one incident shouldn't be held against them but if every incident is suppressed there is no way to discover a trend.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    I despise the ethos of conspicuous consumption that surrounds that ****hole.
    Have you ever been to trackstar? Because I don't really get the feeling that that's their ethos. The people who own it really really love bikes.

    Really though this isn't about my disgust with trackstar or those associated with it but rather that I don't understand the "you can't complain till you've given them a chance to make it right" mentality of this board. If a shop does sloppy work it's good to know about it whether or not they are willing to fix their mistakes. Rational people will understand that one incident shouldn't be held against them but if every incident is suppressed there is no way to discover a trend.
    I agree with this to a point, however there are plenty of people (the OP is NOT one of them) who complain loudly about absolutely nothing. Those people should really take the "issue" up with the shop/manufacturer before spouting off on a forum (For example, the "My Velocity rims failed!" thread about a guy who hit a car, or the "King Kog's quality sucks!" thread about a guy who bought a distressed-printed hoodie without knowing what distressed means).

    In the case of this thread I think the OP had a right to post about his issues with trackstar in the way that he did.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi
    Have you ever been to trackstar? Because I don't really get the feeling that that's their ethos. The people who own it really really love bikes.


    I agree with this to a point, however there are plenty of people (the OP is NOT one of them) who complain loudly about absolutely nothing. Those people should really take the "issue" up with the shop/manufacturer before spouting off on a forum (For example, the "My Velocity rims failed!" thread about a guy who hit a car, or the "King Kog's quality sucks!" thread about a guy who bought a distressed-printed hoodie without knowing what distressed means).

    In the case of this thread I think the OP had a right to post about his issues with trackstar in the way that he did.
    The velocity thread was absurd and that came out pretty quicklu. I think the King Kog one was reasonable as his complaint went beyond the hideous design but that it wasn't visible on their crappy website and the overall quality of the garment was lacking.

    Trackstar's DQM bikes say it all. I don't see anyone who just really really liked bikes doing something that boring yet over the top. though it does appear that I had their website confused with king kogs,

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Trackstar's DQM bikes say it all.
    The Trackstar/DQM bikes were meant as an art pieces and weren't really for sale. Most of them were built for specific people (the owners of trackstar, Dave of DQM, etc.) and were displayed in the shop for awhile. Right now most of them are being ridden.

    I don't really see any conspicuous consumption there, at least no more than anyone else who gets their frame painted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi
    The Trackstar/DQM bikes were meant as an art pieces and weren't really for sale. Most of them were built for specific people (the owners of trackstar, Dave of DQM, etc.) and were displayed in the shop for awhile. Right now most of them are being ridden.

    I don't really see any conspicuous consumption there, at least no more than anyone else who gets their frame painted.
    They were meant as "art peices"? Quite frankly I respected these people a ****load more when I just thought they wanted to show off how cool they were and how much they could blow on a bike that wasn't functionally suited to any task(the definition of conspicuous consumption) rather then considered those boring cliches works of art.

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