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Old 11-11-07, 03:25 PM
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linux_author
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Penniless Park, Fla.
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Bikes: Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2

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- there are many LBSs in my area... i have purchased bikes at three of them...

- one, a high-end shop, sold me a bike w/handlebars not wide enough for my frame, loose cranks, and too-short brake cable (i.e., turn the front wheel too far and the brake would engage)... i won't let them touch any of my bikes ever again, even though they're really nice folks... i do my own wrenching on the bike now...

- another, a low-end shop i purchased a bike from when i (re)started riding again, consistently and without complaint replaced broken spokes on front and rear wheels while i waited, and gives lifetime free labor with a bike purchase... although i don't think i'll ever buy another bike there, i do stop by once in a while to buy sundry goods...

- the third sells a wide range of bikes, and the wrenching, while not cheap, is solid, professional, and reliable... i'll let them do anything i can't do in my garage if they have the part in stock (aero spoke replacements, etc.)

- oh, and i've purchased from bikesdirect too, and had no problems...

- so i guess my point is that it does, like other posters have pointed out, pay to learn a bit about working on one's bike... i would take advantage of any warranty, 90-day free service, etc., but then realize that to save money and assure the best job, it's best to do your own work... i've rebuilt several bikes now from frame up, feel pretty confident, and get some satisfaction out of working on my bikes... i'm sure you would too!
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