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  1. #1
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    Laguna Hills bike shop destroyed my wheel after taking it to be trued

    I'm sooo angry hence this rant. I brought 3 wheels to a LBS to be trued. I just picked them up and noticed that my year old Forte Titan rear wheel now has cracks at 5 of the spoke holes (20 spoke wheel). I would expect that a bike shop which caters to triathletes and road racers should be able to true a wheel without destroying it. I picked the wheels up close to closing time, and just did a cursory inspection at the shop. I only noticed the cracks after I got home and as I was prepping the wheel to mount a tire. I already called the shop and left a message.

    Do you think they will cover the cost of a new rim/wheel? Has this ever happened to you? If so, I'd like to hear how you dealt with it and what is reasonable for the shop to cover...

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I have no relevant experience to share but that just sucks.... sorry man.

  3. #3
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Bummer, sorry Idoru.
    I hope you didn't sound too angry in your voicemail. If you can, try to keep your most serene, yoga/namaste cooperative mood when dealing with this. Make no threats and give them every opportunity to make it right. If they're a good shop, they will.
    Have you bought much from them? If you have a history and have bought a bike from them, that can frequently make all the difference.

    And if they don't pull through, write the most scathing Yelp review you can muster and sit on it for a week. S'not easy, but guns also have a cooldown period; a Yelp review with fewer adjectives and emotion can be even more deadly to a business if you can remove any emotion and state the plain facts with as few adjectives as possible. And post your Yelp interview in here too.

    I had a little (okay a lot) of trouble with Encinitas Ford down here, and politely asked them to please reconsider their technician's diagnosis. (I'm familiar with engines and knew they were BSing me, but didn't say that). I smiled, I paid, and I wrote a factual review of what they did and what they charged. Two days later, I got a call from the manager and owner offering to pay for the repair that I had done somewhere else. They paid for it, but didn't offer an explanation for their mechanic's lie, so I bumped it from one to two stars and explained why. Yelp is powerful and businesses who fleece customers don't have a long shelf life in the Information Age.
    Last edited by calamarichris; 08-06-12 at 10:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Calimari, I hear you. Yeah, the voicemail was civil enough. Will give them a chance to set it straight. Nope, no history at all with this shop. We moved into the neighborhood less than a year ago and they are less than a mile away. They have a chance to gain a loyal customer. That's the way I see it. Also, the bike club I frequently ride with have the name of this shop our jersey. I practically advertise for them half the time I ride. Keeping my fingers crossed. Luckily I have a spare rim, so I'm still rolling..

  5. #5
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    The situation requires more than civility. You don't want to sound at all accusatory, you want them to feel as if you've already forgiven them for ruining your wheel. This is the time when duplicity will produce the best outcome for all concerned and seriously tip the balance in your favor.
    Bike shops have to deal with unreasonable & dishonest people all the time, and they have to draw the line somewhere. Right now you're just a stranger who's never bought anything from them before and the only drawback they're facing is ill-will with the club they sponsor. Being patient, friendly and non-accusatory now will corner them into replacing the rim.
    But a moment of weakness or anger will give them the escape hatch and they'll cut their losses and write you off as another unreasonable, penny-pinching hothead.

    If this rim is really only a year old, it sounds like they rushed and overtorqued the nipples without balancing the spoke tension. It's understandable, because it takes a lot of time & effort to balance the tension; and if this young wheel had been built correctly in the first place, it wouldn't have had a problem already. Some shifty shops will even use that as an escape hatch, hinting that the rim was poorly built in the first place and the stresses were incurred before you even brought it in to them for repair.
    Did you buy the wheel from them originally? If so, that will be huge. Have all receipts handy, but don't whip them out until they're needed. If you bought the wheel online and took it to them for fixing, might be best to prepare for a compromise... if it looks like they're shrugging it off because you bought the rim online, maybe ask if they'll split the cost of the rim replacement? If they refuse that, it would be another damning fact you could mention in the Yelp review.

    My sweetheart just found out she passed her board! When are we going for a ride?

  6. #6
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    Congrats to your sweetheart for passing her board. I'm sure your encouragement and support played a great role in making that happen.

    Thanks for your hints on how to deal with the shop. I'm over my initial hot-headedness and ready to deal with them in a "more than civil" manner. I have to remind myself that I'm "not really" kissing their asses to get what I want from them, just "playing a part". Because truthfully, I haven't forgiven them yet, and I am hiding my vitriol for when it's really needed (Yelp review - should it come to that)....

    Oh, yeah, lets plan a ride for later in the summer. My sweetheart and I have been wanting to ride Mt. Palomar, so let's make plans for that!

  7. #7
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idoru2005 View Post
    I only noticed the cracks after I got home and as I was prepping the wheel to mount a tire. I already called the shop and left a message.
    When dealing with small business, I usually give them adequate time to respond and make it right before trashing them on the net.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    When dealing with small business, I usually give them adequate time to respond and make it right before trashing them on the net.
    I don't see anywhere in this thread where I'm trashing anyone. I haven't even named the small business. Just seeking advice on how best to deal with them. In calling them right away, I've given them a chance to review the service ticket (which I left on the voice mail I sent them). Heck, I won't even call them at 10AM when they open, and give them a few hours to get the message and call me back. Anyway, thanks for your kind advice.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idoru2005 View Post
    I don't see anywhere in this thread where I'm trashing anyone. I haven't even named the small business. Just seeking advice on how best to deal with them. In calling them right away, I've given them a chance to review the service ticket (which I left on the voice mail I sent them). Heck, I won't even call them at 10AM when they open, and give them a few hours to get the message and call me back. Anyway, thanks for your kind advice.
    My bad, I thought is was Laguna Hills Bike Shop, as opposed to a bike shop in Laguna Hills.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  10. #10
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    However is there anyone here that doesn't know what shop Idoru is referring to?

    Always give the shop a chance first to respond then complain if there is no satisfaction. Things happen; mistakes are made. It would have been best not to mention Laguna Hills and Triathletes unless there is a real problem but we all understand being angry about something and not thinking about what is being written...
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  11. #11
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    Well, I got the outcome I was hoping for (a new wheel), without any drama or any ill will.

    As for the shop in Laguna, I need to come in and show them the wheel. But when I spoke to them on the phone this morning, they didn't seem at all interested in helping me out in any way. They sent me to Performance Bike (where I purchased the wheel), to check if it is covered under warranty. So I went to the Fountain Valley store where I learned my wheel is actually 8 months out of warranty.

    However, the store manager, John, is a very reasonable man who cares about customer service. He did right by me, by giving me a new Titan wheel from the rack, albeit begrudgingly. He didn't have to do it, and went WAY out of his way to make sure I was taken care of. As for the Laguna Hills shop, I hope they at least refund the fee for "truing" my wheel.

  12. #12
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Delighted to hear it Idoru!
    You have found a great shop, and they deserve your (all of our) business & support.
    That Yelp power? It works both ways. These guys deserve a glowing review, and I intend to visit this shop in the very near future and get my Sweetheart a pair of shorts or overpriced eyewear or something to celebrate her board certification. (I can't tell you how pumped I am right now. No more studying, and one major step closer to making our dreams come true!) John's praises deserve to be sung to anyone who will listen.

  13. #13
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    Oh for sure. I already wrote a Yelp review for Performance (FV), haha.

    I'm sure the other shop is great. And when I visited the shop, everyone there was very personable, and I was excited to start doing business with them. I probably will continue to use that shop if needed in a pinch. If I ever want to rent race wheels, they are my go-to shop, for sure. And I'd trust them for any mechanical repair I can't handle on my own. I saw lots of vintage bikes in their repair queue for instance, and that says a lot. On top of that, I hear they are also Campy experts which appeals to me since two of our bikes have Campy.

    Here's my biggest takeaway from all this: I need to learn to true my own wheels!

  14. #14
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    If you and the hausfrau can ever make it down here, my truing stand and tensiometer are at your disposal, as well as the meager knowledge I've gained over the years. Maybe Dr. L and I can take you guys out to dinner.
    It's supremely satisfying to bomb down a hill at over 50, nail the brakes, and lean aggressively on wheels built by your own hands from components picked by you. It's not the cheapest way to get wheels under you in the short run, but you save benjamins in the long run.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idoru2005 View Post
    Here's my biggest takeaway from all this: I need to learn to true my own wheels!
    I agree, especially since it looks like you have a few bicycles in your household. I bought a brand new Park Tool pro level truing stand for a song from a guy in San Clemente who had received it as a gift, but then stopped mountain biking because he hurt his back. So keep your eyes on Craigslist.

    And you can teach yourself how to true wheels, as there are numerous videos on Youtube. That is how I learnt.The important things are to make sure you understand how wheels work, be very patient, and the most important of all, first do no harm, as you can make the wheels worse than they were if you don't understand why bicycle wheels work as they do.
    Regards,

    Jed

  16. #16
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    OP, glad to read that you obtained some satisfaction.

    I'm a little late to the party here but I'll throw in my $0.02: several of the people I ride with are loyal customers of a particular LBS. They buy their bikes at this shop and go there for service, etc. Long story short, one rider had them true a wheel for him. Same problem as you: he picked up his bike, and in the middle of the first ride on the tuned-up bike with the recently trued wheel, noticed some cracks in the rim of the wheel which was trued. How many cracks? I can't recall exactly, but at least three good-sized ones. Actually it was moi who spotted them, but I'm not the rider in question.

    So the rider went back to the LBS immediately, and complained. They tried to blow him off, saying "things happen, the wheel is not new, blah blah blah." He told them, in essence, "make it right, or I'm done with this LBS, and I'll tell this story to any other rider who will listen."

    Now, it should be mentioned, this was after some other questionable mechanical work on that same bike from a different visit to the same LBS: replacing a very worn, stretched chain, and not replacing the equally-very-worn cassette. This LBS was apparently hiring some "mechanics" with a lot of gaps in their knowledge and experience.

    Anyway, the LBS caved and gave the rider a new wheel. Unfortunately, not matching. But, better than nothing.

    As for me, I don't like this LBS and patronize it only reluctantly.

    Moral of the story: everything is negotiable, and you need to stick up for yourself.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Genaro's Avatar
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    As much as people on BF hate PBS, I am becoming a huge fan of the new one here in Ontario. It is walking distance from my job, the sales people / mechanics are the friendliest and have some pretty good stuff and good prices.

    Chris mentioned blasting the LBS on Yelp. I would use a YELP/Bikeforums, socalbikeforums,roadbikereivew combo threat!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genaro View Post
    As much as people on BF hate PBS
    Was at their Tustin store on Sunday and overhead the salesperson tell some lady about the different between 700 centimeter tires and 26 centimeter tires. The lady's accent betrayed her as "not from around here" and the ignorant white boy was given a skeptical stare from someone obviously raised on the metric system.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by haaseg View Post
    Was at their Tustin store on Sunday and overhead the salesperson tell some lady about the different between 700 centimeter tires and 26 centimeter tires. The lady's accent betrayed her as "not from around here" and the ignorant white boy was given a skeptical stare from someone obviously raised on the metric system.
    I think I heard a mech saying same thing at pretty reputable LBS. (Trek & Specialized authorized dealer) When it comes to confusing metric in US, it seems dime a dozen no matter how nice of place you go.

  20. #20
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haaseg View Post
    different between 700 centimeter tires and 26 centimeter tires. .
    26 centimeter tires?

  21. #21
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    Another quick update. I went back to the original bike shop to get a refund for the wheel truing that went wrong. Well, I must have excellent road karma, or just have some good luck because they are going to replace the cracked rim! So, out of all my hassle, I got a new wheel from PB, and I will be getting my original wheel repaired! It's been a great week. Now if I could only find more time to ride.......

  22. #22
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    26 centimeter tires?
    You got that and missed the 700 centimeter tires? 700c yes, 700 cm, no

  23. #23
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    You got that and missed the 700 centimeter tires? 700c yes, 700 cm, no
    I was leaving that for someone else, sharing the wealth.

  24. #24
    [IMG]http://i4.photobucke jeepseahawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idoru2005 View Post
    Another quick update. I went back to the original bike shop to get a refund for the wheel truing that went wrong. Well, I must have excellent road karma, or just have some good luck because they are going to replace the cracked rim! So, out of all my hassle, I got a new wheel from PB, and I will be getting my original wheel repaired! It's been a great week. Now if I could only find more time to ride.......
    That karma is going to be bad if you fail to tell both stores the whole story.

  25. #25
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    For what it's worth, I told the original shop (that trued my wheel) that PB replaced the wheel already. I told him it wasn't necessary to replace the rim. He insisted. Should I feel bad when I follow some advice given to me here and it works out well for me in the end? HELL NO!

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