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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 05-05-10, 08:37 PM   #1
elemental
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Unfortunate LBS situation REDUX (or: How could this possibly happen AGAIN?)

After reading all of your input on my last thread, I decided that I was justified in thinking it's ridiculous for a shop to damage a fork while attempting to install a crown race, and I went back to see what they would say. To my surprise, they were extremely apologetic. In exchange for their error, they gave me a bottom bracket (which I needed) and installed it for me. I also needed some singlespeed chainring bolts, so I paid for those and the mechanic installed them as well. With that settled, I went home and worked on finishing the build.

I finally got everything together and set up tonight, and (of course) I was very excited for the inaugural cruise. The good news: The bike is a lot of fun. It's a fixed gear 29er with a disc brake up front and low gearing, and it's just awesome to fly around town on it. I rode around some back streets, rode over some little curbs, and did some trackstands (easy as can be with the upright geometry and short gearing). The roads in my town are pretty clean, so I was surprised to hear the occasional "ping!" of a rock off the downtube, and some occasional little cracks suggested that my eccentric bottom bracket wasn't tight enough, so I headed for home. Trackstanding at a light behind a car, I lost my balance and went to put a foot down. As I did, I heard a "pop!" and the sound of something small and metallic rolling away. I walked to the sidewalk and scoured the street, and found, to my amazement, one half of a chainring bolt. I looked down to find that this was the third to fall off, and the other two were extremely loose. The threads were dry - no Loctite, not even any grease. I was literally riding for fifteen minutes max. I'd heard some similar noises up the hill to the light, and the first two probably fell off then.

I really can't believe this happened. I was pleasantly surprised with how agreeable the shop was about comping the bottom bracket and the half hour of labor, but I am shocked they were so sloppy. Again (in hindsight, I should have seen this coming). And this time, it was a very dangerous mistake. I've never had a chainring fall off of a fixed gear at speed, but I can't imagine it's pretty. I know I should be more aware of these things while I'm riding (and probably shouldn't do shakedown rides in the dark), but this makes the first mistake look trivial.


That's it. From now on, it's either do it myself or do it at the one shop I have real ties to (and I know and trust every mechanic there. They're much better wrenches than I am, and I know because they're the people I learned from). Ugh.
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Old 05-05-10, 08:40 PM   #2
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what what a fail mechanic
I'm always astonished by some of the people some fairly reputable shops around here hire, I assume its the same everywhere
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Old 05-05-10, 08:51 PM   #3
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many cheap steel and alloy bolts will snap, no matter what you use on the threads.
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Old 05-05-10, 08:57 PM   #4
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many cheap steel and alloy bolts will snap, no matter what you use on the threads.
They didn't snap, at least the one I found didn't. It's "half" in the sense that it unscrewed itself and fell apart, and I only found one piece, but it looked brand new (sparkly, clean, greaseless). No evidence of damage or proper installation.
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Old 05-05-10, 09:16 PM   #5
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I think he's saying they popped off, not snapped.
And while you should be able to trust an LBS to do things like this I gotta say pretty much every bike I've ever had needed the chainring bolts tightened. In fact anytime I'm riding a new bike for the first time I check the bolts every 5 or so minutes. I have never had a new bike come from the shop without having problems with the chainring bolts. Often the crank arms aren't tightened enough either. And I try to only go to LBSs that don't suck completely.

Since your bike is fixed unless you installed the cog, I'd double check that too.
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Old 05-05-10, 09:17 PM   #6
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They didn't snap, at least the one I found didn't. It's "half" in the sense that it unscrewed itself and fell apart, and I only found one piece, but it looked brand new (sparkly, clean, greaseless). No evidence of damage or proper installation.
oh, okay, in that case they weren't tightened properly.
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Old 05-05-10, 09:21 PM   #7
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Avoid those phonies.
Find a new bike shop.

I'm just curious, but which bike shop is this exactly?
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Old 05-05-10, 09:24 PM   #8
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I think he's saying they popped off, not snapped.
And while you should be able to trust an LBS to do things like this I gotta say pretty much every bike I've ever had needed the chainring bolts tightened. In fact anytime I'm riding a new bike for the first time I check the bolts every 5 or so minutes. I have never had a new bike come from the shop without having problems with the chainring bolts. Often the crank arms aren't tightened enough either. And I try to only go to LBSs that don't suck completely.

Since your bike is fixed unless you installed the cog, I'd double check that too.
Guess you havn't found one yet
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Old 05-05-10, 09:50 PM   #9
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Bicycles are very simple machines. There's no excuse to take one to a bike shop for anything short of projects like facing bottom bracket shells and such. The cost of the few tools needed for routine projects will be recovered the first time you use them in lieu of paying a shop to do the same job.
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Old 05-05-10, 09:53 PM   #10
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Why do you think we all do our own repairs? Get some new chain-ring bolts from them for free and install them yourself.
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Old 05-05-10, 10:00 PM   #11
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See that's what gets me, I'm really hamfisted and tend to break little things through over tightening etc.. That's why I like having the bikeshop do things. I'm continually amazed at how crap bike shops can be. And yeah, while I guess those bike shops that screwed up all the damn time weren't that good I cna honestly say that they were generally the lesser of two evils. So yeah, there ya go.
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Old 05-05-10, 10:07 PM   #12
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I'm really hamfisted and tend to break little things through over tightening etc..
So don't do that.

Few of us were born mechanics. I sure as hell wasn't. But I learned. And now I'm not at the mercy of the moron at the bike shop.
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Old 05-05-10, 10:31 PM   #13
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I did almost everything for this build myself, with the exception of installing the bottom bracket (I really need to get the tool), pounding on the crown race (I really need to improvise the tool), and putting on the chainring bolts (he was already working on it free, and I figured he's grease or Loctite them - I really need to get blue Loctite).

Quote:
Originally Posted by spcialzdspksman
Avoid those phonies.
Find a new bike shop.

I'm just curious, but which bike shop is this exactly?
I'm not looking to drag any names through the mud right now, but rest assured that they are roughly 2,694 miles of I-80 away from you.

Last edited by elemental; 05-05-10 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 05-05-10, 10:43 PM   #14
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I really need to get blue Loctite
No you don't, there are many threads about the use of thread lcoking compound, the general consensus is it is unnecessary for almost anything on a bike
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Old 05-05-10, 10:50 PM   #15
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Yeah, the only thing you need blue loctite on is an Italian BB
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Old 05-05-10, 10:58 PM   #16
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Yeah, I had a decent amount of tools together at my mom's place in Spain, then I took some with me to Utah when I moved there, lost a bit of it, moved back to spain, got some new tools, then moved to Amsterdam, lost some more tools, and now when I moved to Sydney I just left the tools in Spain. I really don't wanna buy new tools again only to lose most of them in the move to Amsterdam/London this november. So yeah, that's why I'm at the mercy of my LBS. In fact all I have for tools right now is one of those cyclists all in one allen key screw driver a spoke wrench and chainbreaker(the chainbreaker only breaks the chain, it wont put the pin back in, how stupid is that?!?) and one adjustable wrench. That's it. So removing cranks, putting in bottom brackets, pressing cups, thats all up to the lbs.
I'm thinking, im not too many tools short though. I should just shell out for some more tools now.
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Old 05-05-10, 11:14 PM   #17
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Yeah, the only thing you need blue loctite on is an Italian BB
not even italian/french BB really requires blue loctite. Just some grease and proper tightening will do.


now radially laced spokes need loctite.
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Old 05-06-10, 12:53 AM   #18
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That's a shame, elemental.
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Old 05-06-10, 01:11 AM   #19
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Hi elemental, sorry to hear that your LBS is consistently doing moronic stuff. Incidently, did you ask them if they even had the correct tool for installing the crown race? "Correct tool" meaning, a PVC pipe and a block of wood, at least, or did they just hammer on a flat screwdriver?

I have a bad temper, so I'd probably go over to them with the new problem (chainring bolts unsrewing).

For the record, I have installed dozens of chainrings, and have never, ever had a single chainring bolt unscrew, or even untighten. If anything, I had the opposite problem sometimes: difficulty removing them.



Oh, and if your LBS is called "Goofy's bicycle repair shop" that would explain their extreme incompetence.
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Old 05-06-10, 01:14 AM   #20
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PS: while scuffing paint/scratching a newly powdercoated fork is quite bad, it's also mostly aggravating but not dangerous. Sloppily installing chainring bolts, however, can have serious consequences.
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Old 05-06-10, 01:17 AM   #21
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PS 2: You're a bright guy, elemental. Get those few tools you're missing, and you won't have to see the inside of a LBS, ever again, in your entire life. I know I haven't, in years. Buy your stuff online and get a better deal (they're much cheaper), and... do a competent job, instead of relying on someone for whom elementary school was challenging - that dude won't be able to basic bicycle maintenance competently, even if he/she has been working in a LBS for decades.

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Old 05-06-10, 01:32 AM   #22
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That's it. From now on, it's either do it myself or do it at the one shop I have real ties to (and I know and trust every mechanic there. They're much better wrenches than I am, and I know because they're the people I learned from). Ugh.
YEP! At least if you do it yourself and it fails you only have yourself to blame... An as for me, when in doubt I either read up on it or call a friend at a shop...
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Old 05-06-10, 08:48 AM   #23
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No you don't, there are many threads about the use of thread lcoking compound, the general consensus is it is unnecessary for almost anything on a bike
You have to use blue locktite 242 on any phil bb, including English ones, since there is no shouldered DS cup and lockring, but instead two countersunk cups. I had my phil bb loosen twice using the supplied threadlocker. It wasn't until I got the 242 that I solved the loosening issues.

Elemental, on all my bikes without serrated crank arm spiders like the SG75s and other track cranks, loosing chain ring bolts was a common occurrence. I can't tell you how many I lost on my 29er and dirt jumpers back when I had those bikes. On my dirt jumper alone one day at the jumps I lost 3 of them. I had a bash and an inner guard and they held the back nut, so I had one chainring bolt holding on the ring and three little back nuts jangling around in between the bashes.

Last edited by Yo!; 05-06-10 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 05-06-10, 12:12 PM   #24
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Some grease on your chainring bolts is all that is needed. Whenever I replace or change a chainring, I check the bolts after the first ride and then a few more times before being satisified that they are staying tight. it sounds like they may not have been tightened enough and you needed to only check them.

Although I will note that a customer at my friend's bike shop apparently constantly breaks chainring bolts but it had something to do with the ****ty cranks he was riding. He recently upgraded.
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Old 05-06-10, 02:05 PM   #25
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I worked as a mechanic in bike shops for six years. I now do it as a side business in my home. I think of myself as extremely thorough, and I check just about every nut and bolt before I let a bike go. This includes stem expansion bolt, handlebar binder bolt, seat binder bolt, wheel axle nuts (or QR skewer), crank fixing bolts, spoke tension, tire pressure, lubrication of chain, brake lever attaching bolts. I check for looseness in all bearings and lockrings and locknuts. I have to confess I haven't been checking chainwheel bolts. I'm going to start now, and I'm surprised that this happens. Is it new? If not, how have I been lucky enough not to have a customer's bike (or my own bike) lose a chainwheel bolt?
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