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Old 01-19-11, 04:33 PM   #1
Bobsled
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Open Road in Pasadena

So, about 7 months ago I took my 2001 Litespeed Classic into Steve for a tune up and to have him basically give it the once over. Anyway, that was my first time in there and his shop is exactly as people describe (for better or worse). He is very involved with everything bicycle and did a superb job on my classic and at a very reasonably fee. The only problem I had was, he accepted my bike and I told him what I needed done and that was it. I mean, he didn't write anything down, no claim ticket, etc., etc. Just leaned it up against the other bike in for service and went back to work. It made me feel a little uneasy leaving a $2000 bike just like that. Not that Steve would rip me off, but what if some guy says, that's my bike over there. Anyway, it was midday Saturday and prolly the busy time for him. So, for the folk who frequent his shop, is that SOP or does he usually hand out claim tickets and just forgot to give me one??

I really want to go back to him when my Tarmac or my wife's Felt needs servicing but I just felt strange dropping it off and saying good bye.
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Old 01-19-11, 11:14 PM   #2
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Haven't ever left anything for Steve to work on, so I don't have any first hand experience with that particular situation. I wouldn't doubt that it may be his normal practice. I have asked him for some particular item that I was unable to locate, after what I thought was a fairly thorough search of the store, and he'll disappear into a stack of stuff to return with the item in hand. That's just Steve.
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Old 01-20-11, 10:22 PM   #3
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You want a claim ticket? He'll give you a claim ticket.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:51 AM   #4
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A buddy of mine crashed bad a few months ago and dropped off his bike at Open Road for inspection/repairs. I should mention that my buddy maintains a decent relationship with the guy at Open Road over the last couple of years. Anyway, he left the bike there for a few weeks (had to deal with hospital visits, rehab, applying for disability, etc). When he finally did go back to retrieve his bike, he was told that several bladed spokes had to be replaced, and was charged for such. However, after coming back home with the bike, he found no signs of blade replacement (i.e., all the spokes still had dirt/dust in areas that would've been cleaned had they been replaced). Looks like the shop just trued the wheel out and charged him for a job that wasn't performed. The lesson here is to make the mechanics show you the work done and present any replaced parts; my buddy learned it the hard way at Open Road.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
A buddy of mine crashed bad a few months ago and dropped off his bike at Open Road for inspection/repairs. I should mention that my buddy maintains a decent relationship with the guy at Open Road over the last couple of years. Anyway, he left the bike there for a few weeks (had to deal with hospital visits, rehab, applying for disability, etc). When he finally did go back to retrieve his bike, he was told that several bladed spokes had to be replaced, and was charged for such. However, after coming back home with the bike, he found no signs of blade replacement (i.e., all the spokes still had dirt/dust in areas that would've been cleaned had they been replaced). Looks like the shop just trued the wheel out and charged him for a job that wasn't performed. The lesson here is to make the mechanics show you the work done and present any replaced parts; my buddy learned it the hard way at Open Road.
Thanks for the replies guys.

Yeah, but that can happen at any shop be it cycling, automotive, etc., etc. One needs to ask what was done and verify it.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:13 AM   #6
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Yeah, but that can happen at any shop be it cycling, automotive, etc., etc. One needs to ask what was done and verify it.
True. And I told my buddy that. But still, he is a repeat customer at Open Road and had no reason to doubt the guy. In fact, while his bike was in the shop, he kept telling me I should go check out Open Road and get work done there on my bike. It's not like my buddy brought in a cheap entry-level/walmart bike, either; he crashed one of his nicer bikes and the blades that were "replaced" cost him close to 3 bills.
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Old 01-21-11, 03:08 PM   #7
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Don't know your friend or their particular circumstance, but Steve has been around for a long time, is well known in the local cycling community, and probably has too much at risk to be engaging in questionable business practices. This is sounding more and more like a BS story based on rumor more than anything else. If there is any fact to the matter, have your friend post photos and explain the situation first hand, otherwise it's nothing but rumor. The internet is a great place to expose improper consumer dealings; unfortunately, it is used all too often to disseminate false and scurrilous info.
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Old 01-21-11, 07:09 PM   #8
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I have nothing to prove, nor do I have anything to gain from disparaging Open Road. I am merely sharing the somewhat bizarre experience of a buddy of mine, who happens to be a repeat customer of Open Road, and who had previously recommended the shop to me until this recent experience. He had another friend (a former racer/mechanic who is a reputable figure in the bike industry) examine the wheel and confirm his suspicions; I also looked at the blades and they all looked used to my untrained eyes. I have nothing against Open Road, but as stated by bobsled:

Quote Originally Posted by Bobsled
"Yeah, but that can happen at any shop be it cycling, automotive, etc., etc. One needs to ask what was done and verify it."
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Old 01-22-11, 06:59 AM   #9
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well, did your buddy tried to talk to steve about it?

Been with steve for quite some time now, never have problem with his service. He's not the most friendly guy if you know what I mean but he's been very reasonable from experience.

I leave my "expensive" bike there all the time, never have a problem neither.
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Old 01-22-11, 07:59 AM   #10
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I bought my first bike from Steve, and I could tell he was big into the racing crowd, so it was refreshing to see he wasn't dumbing me down. I could tell he definitely knew what he was talking about, so I trusted him, and bought it. I have had nothing but great things to say about his service. Yes, he is not very formal or organized, but he gets the job done. I never had any problems with Steve (and I dealt with him over a span of 10 years ... live in the Bay Area, so I don't go there anymore). This was back in '88, when his shop was in San Gabriel on Las Tunas ...

Paperwork ... oh that clutters things ... tax? Sometimes, you pay things that are tax-free ... write a check ... no DL needed. He's like your local shop owner in a small neighborhood ... in a big town. Gotta love it.
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Old 02-18-11, 03:55 PM   #11
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Steve has serviced all of my bikes over the past 4 years. I've never had any issues. I only take in bikes that require service outside of my own skill. He's saved my quite a bit of money on my classic Masi when another LBS nearby said I required a new crankset. Steve charged me something like $15 to repair my existing Edco chainring. I've learned to double check any and all work from local bike shops in the area.

It's true that he doesn't issue claim tickets and more than often he'll attend to your bike when he gets to it (unless you make it clear that you need it back by x time). Since he's a one-man shop with help on occasion, I already anticipate a wait beforehand.
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