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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-13-07, 10:29 PM   #1
j-lie
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Worst fixed conversion ever

this is a vent, and hopefully a cautionary tale.
sorry, no pictures.

so the story goes:

i just started working at a bike shop this summer. we're extremely busy with a full rental fleet and a week out with repairs. some girl comes in with an old frame she's repainted. right off the bat you can see the bike is way too big for her. the frame was a 56 and the girl was no bigger than 5'7". the seatpost was totally buried in the seat tube. also, no clips and straps steel hoops and a crummy long reach brake wth shot cables.


so anyway, the frame sits in our basement for about a week, of course she calls everyday to see if it's ready. my boss who was suposed to do the conversion is extremely busy fixing bikes that actually deserve fixing delegates this clunker over to me. so as i'm looking the frame over it looks alright for a conversion besides the horrible sizing. the spacing is 126, the dropout are nice and long etc, but when i take off the freewheel there are barely any threads. on top of that, the inside two threads are stripped clean off. i threaded a new surly cog on and it just barely threads all the way with no room for a BB lockring. at this point i was dumbstruck by the whole thing. but my boss tells me thats they way they used to do it back in his day etc. so i go ahead with it anyway. so after a lot of rotofix respacing, cold setting, redishing and locktight this is a really scary conversion. so anyway, i'm going through my last check and i'm checking the headset. so i turn the handlebars and BUMP... the wheel hits something. It's the ****ing crank. the top tube and downtube are buckled cause the bike's been in a head on collision. there is so much toe overlap that the crak arm rubs up against the wheel. i tell my boss and he shrugs it off.

so finally i hand it off to one of the girls friends. the actual owner was out of town or something like that. i tell the guy not to go faster than 5 miles an hour otherwise the cog'g going to unthread or you kill yourself in a turn. i was hoping the message sunk in. two days later the bike comes back in with another one of her friends who's complaining that the chain keeps coming off. what she really meant was the cog would unthread constantly. the girl is aparently still out of town and one this other girl got a hold of the bike not knowing the shape it was in. she could have died cause the bike was a death trap.


bottom line... don't make ****ty conversions even if your boss says it's what thy used to do back in the day.

side note: i have done suicide hub conversions before but they had enough room for a lockring and used 2 brakes with clips and straps.
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Old 07-13-07, 10:35 PM   #2
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your boss sounds shady as hell.

you: "This girl's frame doesn't fit her at all and has been in a horrible collision that buckled the frame, it seems really unsafe and she could possibly die. Maybe we should tell her to get a new frame."

boss: "Eh, thats how we used to do it. Just sell her the damn thing."
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Old 07-13-07, 10:36 PM   #3
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Sounds like you'd be setting yourself up for a world of lawsuits with a job like that!
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Old 07-13-07, 10:37 PM   #4
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Does your boss not mind the getting his pants sued off him? Why not just hand the kid a stick of dynamite and a pack of matches?
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Old 07-13-07, 10:43 PM   #5
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in our shop.

' the bike's ****ed'

'lemme have a look.............yep, give it back to em and tell em whats wrong'

'will do'

But remember. Time wasting jobs still make you money. If the boss was meant to originally do the conversion, it is his responsibility. He owns the shop and is responsible for QC. Basically, it isn't your fault. If you work in a bike shop, forget ethics, do what your told, if you do something that you were not told to do, it becomes your responsibility.
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Old 07-13-07, 11:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shogun17
Basically, it isn't your fault. If you work in a bike shop, forget ethics, do what your told,
I understand what you're trying to say, but **** that!
I love to try and work on my own bike and figure things out/gain new skills. I also realize that I am rather hamfisted and am poor enough that I often need to decide whether to pay for the tools/materials to **** it up then pay to get it fixed or just take it to the LBS and get it done right the first time. I
f you knowingly send someone who trusted you out the door with a ****ty/dangerous product (not talking about the OP, he warned him) then it is entirely your fault. Hopefully the boss would man up to take responsibility if something happened in a situation like this, but when you are sending someone out into traffic with something you know could fail at anytime you can't just excuse it as earning a paycheck.
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Old 07-13-07, 11:58 PM   #7
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we've all had bosses that are too busy to care or understand our problems. that's when its time to take some initiative!
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Old 07-14-07, 12:26 AM   #8
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When that girl comes back with black eyes and missing teeth you're the one that is going to feel horrible, not your asshat boss. Would you rather be making a ghost bike for that girl or getting her on something safe?
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Old 07-14-07, 01:11 AM   #9
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if that bike comes back in throw it away--shame on you for letting it out the
door.
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Old 07-14-07, 01:35 AM   #10
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Depends which boss you have, but I'd hate doing it too. My boss wouldn't let it out the door. Present your case to the boss, and if he lets it out the door, then he let them ride it. Normally I try to advise a customer not to do something, but over here we would be told not to work on the bike, not the other way round. If it is like that over there, I feel kinda sorry for you. And arguing with your boss is not the best idea. Unless you are really strongly opposed to something and willing to take a fall for it.
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Old 07-14-07, 02:53 AM   #11
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you sound like a total pvssy, shogun...
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Old 07-14-07, 03:00 AM   #12
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I can't think of it off the top of my head, but there could a criminal negligence charge in that bike if someone gets hurt and they trace it back to bad work/****ty frame and parts. Not saying they're coming after you. Just to remember karma also has friends in the legal system.
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Old 07-14-07, 06:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jodypolk
you sound like a total pvssy, shogun...
Someone buy this dude a beer for that amazing contribution.

I think it all boils down to you having a shady boss. You could have pressed the issue a little more. I don't care if you're letting people ride around on bikes that make no sense...but bikes that in your own words could kill...doesn't sound like that shop has a quality work ethic.
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Old 07-14-07, 07:07 AM   #14
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They were always so nice to me at that shop, although the owner/boss guy is a little crazy...
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Old 07-14-07, 09:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-lie
the top tube and downtube are buckled cause the bike's been in a head on collision. there is so much toe overlap that the crak arm rubs up against the wheel. i tell my boss and he shrugs it off.
At this point I would have refused to work on the bike any furthur, contacted the owner, and explained why it was unsafe to ride the frame. There are more than enough safe and usable steel frames laying around for conversion.

I'm surprised your boss OK'ed a suicide hub, let alone one on a stripped hub.
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Old 07-14-07, 10:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoshnasi
I can't think of it off the top of my head, but there could a criminal negligence charge in that bike if someone gets hurt and they trace it back to bad work/****ty frame and parts. Not saying they're coming after you. Just to remember karma also has friends in the legal system.
a negligence tort
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Old 07-14-07, 06:41 PM   #17
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you sound like a total pvssy, shogun...
Its business. If you have checked, it isn't really the most friendly world out there.

In a case like this, I'd tell my boss that it isn't fixable/rideable, and let him take it from there. I don't own the shop, I'm not in control and acting like I'm in control just pisses bosses off. They are not the person you want pissed off at you.

What you should have told the person who wanted the conversion is the labor will cost more than the bike ever will. This usually gets them to change their mind, money talks.

But I've taken a few falls, lost a few jobs (in similar scenarios over situations like this), and in doing so, my conscious has left me, and a dark, cold empty space remains.
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