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Parts Source?

Old 04-30-20, 07:27 AM
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Parts Source?

I'm in the process of refurbing a GT MTB that I bought used and am looking for a source for some of the parts I may need. I would prefer to -not- source these sort of things from a local bike shop due to the crazy markup they will carry. For example - I may need to replace the springs on the direct-pull brakes. But, I'm guessing the cost for just those from a local shop would be anywhere from 50-100% of the cost of buying a complete set of brakes online to replace these. If I add in the cost of new hex-head bolts used in the attachment and adjustment areas (these are rusting), I'm probably looking at double the cost of new brakes.

I will need to replace the shift and brake cables and will source those locally so that they can be matched up directly against the ones I'm replacing for length.

Does anyone know where I can possibly find a correct handlebar for a GT Outpost Trail? This one is late 90's and has some surface rust on it. Since it appears to be painted (will be determining that soon) and not plated, I would like to replace it with an aluminum version.
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Old 04-30-20, 07:33 AM
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Now is the time to be supporting your local shop. If you want to be able to show them your bike in six months and ask them questions, they need to be in business.
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Old 04-30-20, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
Now is the time to be supporting your local shop. If you want to be able to show them your bike in six months and ask them questions, they need to be in business.
+1 You will also not find cables of the correct length for your application, no matter where you source them; you will need to trim standard cables to length.
Having said that, I have had good results with Tree Fort and Niagara among many others.
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Old 04-30-20, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
Now is the time to be supporting your local shop. If you want to be able to show them your bike in six months and ask them questions, they need to be in business.
That would be great if they would actually let anyone in the door. I called my LBS yesterday and if I wait two days to travel the 2 hours one way to stand on the sidewalk and try to shop, I am told I will also have to wear a mask or face a $500 fine from the city. I just gave up and will learn to do all my own bike service.
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Old 04-30-20, 08:14 AM
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If you're looking for period correct parts, then I'd scour EBay and Craigslist as that bike is on the older side.
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Old 04-30-20, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
That would be great if they would actually let anyone in the door. I called my LBS yesterday and if I wait two days to travel the 2 hours one way to stand on the sidewalk and try to shop, I am told I will also have to wear a mask or face a $500 fine from the city. I just gave up and will learn to do all my own bike service.
So you don’t have a local shop to support. You either live in the boonies, or your local shop closed because everyone was shopping on the internet to save 15%.

The OP actually has a local shop to support.
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Old 04-30-20, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
So you don’t have a local shop to support. You either live in the boonies, or your local shop closed because everyone was shopping on the internet to save 15%.

The OP actually has a local shop to support.
Yes,I live in the boonies and would love to support my local shop but their current virus policy makes that impossible, so I wish them well but whatever happens is on them because they are more cautious, or whatever than the law requires.
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Old 04-30-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
Now is the time to be supporting your local shop. If you want to be able to show them your bike in six months and ask them questions, they need to be in business.
Honestly I find the LBS rarely stocks or cares to find older parts.
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Old 04-30-20, 12:24 PM
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I have "plenty" of local shops, but A) their stock levels are predominantly focused around only what fits on the bikes they sell or have sold over the last couple of years. Anything else and they have to order it in which adds time and ends up being super expensive because it's a "special order." Additionally, I have been extremely underwhelmed with overall level of experience, knowledge, and skill from the repair departments. The ONE shop that I have a good repair experience with is quite far away from me (close to an hour's drive).

With regard to cables, I understand that the cables have to be trimmed - that's actually what I was sort of saying in my post. There's one shop close by that I can hand them the cable that I take off and they will cut the cable and the sheath both to the correct size for me, AND they can provide the correct ends to slip onto the sheath prior to installation. That way, they are trimmed correctly and I don't have to do it.

I wholeheartedly support my local businesses ALL of the time whenever I can. My research so far is showing me that I can't get what I want anywhere - let alone from a bike shop. And, for period-specific parts, bike shops aren't going to have 20+ year old parts just sitting around.
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Old 04-30-20, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ember1205 View Post
I have "plenty" of local shops, but A) their stock levels are predominantly focused around only what fits on the bikes they sell or have sold over the last couple of years. Anything else and they have to order it in which adds time and ends up being super expensive because it's a "special order." Additionally, I have been extremely underwhelmed with overall level of experience, knowledge, and skill from the repair departments. The ONE shop that I have a good repair experience with is quite far away from me (close to an hour's drive).

With regard to cables, I understand that the cables have to be trimmed - that's actually what I was sort of saying in my post. There's one shop close by that I can hand them the cable that I take off and they will cut the cable and the sheath both to the correct size for me, AND they can provide the correct ends to slip onto the sheath prior to installation. That way, they are trimmed correctly and I don't have to do it.

I wholeheartedly support my local businesses ALL of the time whenever I can. My research so far is showing me that I can't get what I want anywhere - let alone from a bike shop. And, for period-specific parts, bike shops aren't going to have 20+ year old parts just sitting around.
All fair points. I am spoiled by the number of competent local mechanics, co-ops, and service-minded shops in Portland. I am also fortunate that my favorite on-line shop is a 30 minute drive or a 2 hour ride - Universal Cycles.

Where do you live? Is there a co-op? They often have more vintage parts. Also, after a floor pump and hex keys, a good pair of cable cutters is probably the next-best investment in bike tools.

“Special order” is BS. Shops of a decent size just include what you need in their next order, and it doesn’t cost them any more. They wont discount, but it certainly shouldn’t cost more.

Last edited by aggiegrads; 04-30-20 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 04-30-20, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
All fair points. I am spoiled by the number of competent local mechanics, co-ops, and service-minded shops in Portland. I am also fortunate that my favorite on-line shop is a 30 minute drive or a 2 hour ride - Universal Cycles.

Where do you live? Is there a co-op? They often have more vintage parts. Also, after a floor pump and hex keys, a good pair of cable cutters is probably the next-best investment in bike tools.

“Special order” is BS. Shops of a decent size just include what you need in their next order, and it doesn’t cost them any more. They wont discount, but it certainly shouldn’t cost more.
Special Order is like a scarlet letter of sorts... They label it that way for any number of reasons including hiking the price, making you wait, requiring payment in full ahead, refusing a refund, etc.

I don't now about any co-ops as I've never looked. For right now, I have one bike that needs a few very small parts to make it back into a really nice piece of equipment. I think that, once I verify the intended rider likes it, I'm going to plan to strip it down to nothing and rebuild it from bare bones. Thorough cleaning all around, adjustments everywhere, re-greasing of all bearings, new cables, and thorough polishing of all of the chrome to remove the rust that's starting. I'll see what parts might need actual replacing at that point since I'll have it completely gutted down.
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Old 04-30-20, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
Yes,I live in the boonies and would love to support my local shop but their current virus policy makes that impossible, so I wish them well but whatever happens is on them because they are more cautious, or whatever than the law requires.
Wearing a mask is just good sense these days law or not. I wear a mask and gloves all day at work and we use a bunch of Isopropyl alcohol, do I enjoy it, NO but do I want this whole situation to end quickly, YES VERY VERY YES!
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Old 04-30-20, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
Yes,I live in the boonies and would love to support my local shop but their current virus policy makes that impossible, so I wish them well but whatever happens is on them because they are more cautious, or whatever than the law requires.
You are penalizing the shop for something outside of their control. Try to be understanding and reasonable. “Their current virus policy” may not be theirs. As there is a fine for not wearing a mask, there definitely seems an element of local regulation there. And, frankly, it’s not all that unreasonable. The shop is trying to avoid having their workers get sick. Those are workers who likely have minimum insurance if any at all and don’t make much money.
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Old 04-30-20, 07:15 PM
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OP: I would prefer to -not- source these sort of things from a local bike shop due to the crazy markup they will carry. For example - I may need to replace the springs on the direct-pull brakes. But, I'm guessing the cost for just those from a local shop would be anywhere from 50-100% of the cost of buying a complete set of brakes online

Crazy markup? Even if small parts are marked up 2x or more, open your eyes. That's just on small parts. Even the big box DIY centers have that kind of markup on nuts, bolts, etc. Your guessing at the cost compared to new online prices is just a guess.

OP:
Anything else and they have to order it in which adds time and ends up being super expensive because it's a "special order."

Again, your paranoia. They're not snickering and it's usually not complicated. 90% of the time, the shop finds exactly what you need from QBP, and they drop it into the shopping cart, and it'll be ordered the next time they order.

OP: I will need to replace the shift and brake cables and will source those locally so that they can be matched up directly against the ones I'm replacing for length.

OP: With regard to cables, I understand that the cables have to be trimmed - that's actually what I was sort of saying in my post. There's one shop close by that I can hand them the cable that I take off and they will cut the cable and the sheath both to the correct size for me, AND they can provide the correct ends to slip onto the sheath prior to installation. That way, they are trimmed correctly and I don't have to do it.

You actually want the shop to to measure your derailleur cables bend by bend, cut them, do the same for the other cables and housing? If that Outpost has OEM cable housings, I'd bet you $20 that those housings are too long. And therefore the cables would be too long? Why don't you invest in a set of cable cutters so you never have to go through this again? Yeah, there is markup on those cable cutters too.

OP:
Does anyone know where I can possibly find a correct handlebar for a GT Outpost Trail?

Again, your LBS is your friend. That is a generic part, but there are different widths. I think you'd be surprised how cheap an LBS can you one. I bet they can get you one for $15. And that's brand new. Or you can spend your time scavenging (though that can be fun!)

OP: or period-specific parts, bike shops aren't going to have 20+ year old parts just sitting around.

Again, you'd be surprised. Every LBS has a junk drawer. Any decent shop should let you rummage through it. And the longer the shop has been there, the bigger the drawer is.

OP: I wholeheartedly support my local businesses ALL of the time whenever I can.

Doesn't sound like it to me.

OP: I have been extremely underwhelmed with overall level of experience, knowledge, and skill from the repair departments. The ONE shop that I have a good repair experience with is quite far away from me

That can be tough, I hear it a lot. Shop around. I'm the same way, if I don't like a business they'll never see me again. Maybe you should focus on specific people at each shop. Hopefully multiple visits will build rapport. There are more good folks working at LBSs than bad ones. Find the good ones and support them.

As for bike co-ops, that could be a great source of small parts, but don't get your hopes up. If they have a small part you may need, chances are they need it to get one of their bikes up and running, they're not going to be stocking parts.
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Old 05-01-20, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rogerogeroge View Post
OP: I would prefer to -not- source these sort of things from a local bike shop due to the crazy markup they will carry. For example - I may need to replace the springs on the direct-pull brakes. But, I'm guessing the cost for just those from a local shop would be anywhere from 50-100% of the cost of buying a complete set of brakes online

Crazy markup? Even if small parts are marked up 2x or more, open your eyes. That's just on small parts. Even the big box DIY centers have that kind of markup on nuts, bolts, etc. Your guessing at the cost compared to new online prices is just a guess.

OP:
Anything else and they have to order it in which adds time and ends up being super expensive because it's a "special order."

Again, your paranoia. They're not snickering and it's usually not complicated. 90% of the time, the shop finds exactly what you need from QBP, and they drop it into the shopping cart, and it'll be ordered the next time they order.

OP: I will need to replace the shift and brake cables and will source those locally so that they can be matched up directly against the ones I'm replacing for length.

OP: With regard to cables, I understand that the cables have to be trimmed - that's actually what I was sort of saying in my post. There's one shop close by that I can hand them the cable that I take off and they will cut the cable and the sheath both to the correct size for me, AND they can provide the correct ends to slip onto the sheath prior to installation. That way, they are trimmed correctly and I don't have to do it.

You actually want the shop to to measure your derailleur cables bend by bend, cut them, do the same for the other cables and housing? If that Outpost has OEM cable housings, I'd bet you $20 that those housings are too long. And therefore the cables would be too long? Why don't you invest in a set of cable cutters so you never have to go through this again? Yeah, there is markup on those cable cutters too.

OP:
Does anyone know where I can possibly find a correct handlebar for a GT Outpost Trail?

Again, your LBS is your friend. That is a generic part, but there are different widths. I think you'd be surprised how cheap an LBS can you one. I bet they can get you one for $15. And that's brand new. Or you can spend your time scavenging (though that can be fun!)

OP: or period-specific parts, bike shops aren't going to have 20+ year old parts just sitting around.

Again, you'd be surprised. Every LBS has a junk drawer. Any decent shop should let you rummage through it. And the longer the shop has been there, the bigger the drawer is.

OP: I wholeheartedly support my local businesses ALL of the time whenever I can.

Doesn't sound like it to me.

OP: I have been extremely underwhelmed with overall level of experience, knowledge, and skill from the repair departments. The ONE shop that I have a good repair experience with is quite far away from me

That can be tough, I hear it a lot. Shop around. I'm the same way, if I don't like a business they'll never see me again. Maybe you should focus on specific people at each shop. Hopefully multiple visits will build rapport. There are more good folks working at LBSs than bad ones. Find the good ones and support them.

As for bike co-ops, that could be a great source of small parts, but don't get your hopes up. If they have a small part you may need, chances are they need it to get one of their bikes up and running, they're not going to be stocking parts.
So, you shop my local shops? You've dealt with them? You know how things operate around here?

"multiple visits will build rapport" - You quoted an awful lot of my posts - did you READ them?
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Old 05-01-20, 06:50 PM
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I am all for supporting local bike shops, too, but, like you, I ride an older bike that the shops around here don't "support" anymore. The two shops I used to be able to rely on went out of business in the past 12 months.

That said, I ride a 1995-96 GT Outpost and I have a bunch of spare parts, some of which you can have if you're willing to drive out to Nassau County, Long Island to pick them up. Can you show me a pic of the handlebars you want?
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Old 05-01-20, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I am all for supporting local bike shops, too, but, like you, I ride an older bike that the shops around here don't "support" anymore. The two shops I used to be able to rely on went out of business in the past 12 months.

That said, I ride a 1995-96 GT Outpost and I have a bunch of spare parts, some of which you can have if you're willing to drive out to Nassau County, Long Island to pick them up. Can you show me a pic of the handlebars you want?
That's a generous offer, and much appreciated. Below is a pic of the bike (along with my Alta) that I'm going to be doing some refurb work on. I don't yet know that new handlebars are necessary as they may well be chrome that is dulled (in addition to having some surface rust). If that's the case, they will clean up quite nicely with some aluminum foil and water (the supposed need to use cola, vinegar, or something acid is actually false - I restored some fairly rusted chrome exhaust pipes on a motorcycle with just aluminum foil and a. little water).
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Old 05-01-20, 07:34 PM
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I used to run a bicycle recycling program and was going to suggest you hit it with aluminum foil before replacing. If you want, I will look for a bar to match that one tomorrow. I was expecting to see a flat bar like mine, but I know I had at least one of those curved ones at one time.
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Old 05-01-20, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I used to run a bicycle recycling program and was going to suggest you hit it with aluminum foil before replacing. If you want, I will look for a bar to match that one tomorrow. I was expecting to see a flat bar like mine, but I know I had at least one of those curved ones at one time.
It's going to be a few days before I can even think about touching it, so there's no rush.

It's also possible she may want something that will sit a little higher for a slightly more upright riding position. If/when you get around to discovering what you have, feel free to PM me instead if you'd rather and I can let you know where this resto journey is taking me.
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Old 05-01-20, 11:18 PM
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I am an LBS mechanic but I'm not too stressed about you doing your own work, for what it's worth. Anyhow, If you're doing your own work you really should just buy some decent housing cutters.https://pedros.com/products/tools/br.../cable-cutter/ are quite nice for the price (price io object, either Knipex or Felco). https://www.amazon.com/Muzata-Steel-...98&s=hi&sr=1-4 are cheaper yet and they're OK in my experience. If you own a rotary tool a cutoff wheel will also do a good job (actually, a better job on brake housing.) Buying cables and housing in semi-bulk will also cut your costs down significantly and will encourage you to change them more often, which really does help shift performance a lot.Like https://www.amazon.com/Jagwire-Lex-D.../dp/B01789FVYA, is a pretty sane quantity for an individual to buy (and is pretty good stuff, better than many shop's bulk rolls).

Also generally speaking linear pull brake springs are usually aren't sold as a replacement part these days, though they can certainly be scavenged sometimes. They rarely if ever need replacement in my experience, so the relatively low price of decent linear pulls seems sane in the very few times that brakes need actual replacement parts.
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Old 05-01-20, 11:55 PM
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I am surprised with the people saying pay more to support you local bike shop.

Those bike shops which are not profitable will go out of business. Your support may postpone this by a few months. You will not actually save unprofitable shops. So why waste your money?

There is more to it. Once there is less competition, the big players will put prices up. But there is nothing you and I can do to stop what is happening.

The world is changing. We have to accept a new business model.
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Old 05-02-20, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
I am an LBS mechanic but I'm not too stressed about you doing your own work, for what it's worth. Anyhow, If you're doing your own work you really should just buy some decent housing cutters.https://pedros.com/products/tools/br.../cable-cutter/ are quite nice for the price (price io object, either Knipex or Felco). https://www.amazon.com/Muzata-Steel-...98&s=hi&sr=1-4 are cheaper yet and they're OK in my experience. If you own a rotary tool a cutoff wheel will also do a good job (actually, a better job on brake housing.) Buying cables and housing in semi-bulk will also cut your costs down significantly and will encourage you to change them more often, which really does help shift performance a lot.Like https://www.amazon.com/Jagwire-Lex-D.../dp/B01789FVYA, is a pretty sane quantity for an individual to buy (and is pretty good stuff, better than many shop's bulk rolls).

Also generally speaking linear pull brake springs are usually aren't sold as a replacement part these days, though they can certainly be scavenged sometimes. They rarely if ever need replacement in my experience, so the relatively low price of decent linear pulls seems sane in the very few times that brakes need actual replacement parts.
Thanks for the comments here. With regard to cables, I will buy those from my local shop and let them trim to size for me (for the sheathing, anyhow - I can easily shorten up the cable itself if I need to) as they have the tools to do this cleanly. If I did this a lot (and I don't because I just don't create the sort of wear on cables that many do), I would buy the tools and do it myself. Since this would only be the second time ever for me to buy cables (assuming that I actually end up buying them), there's no value in buying the tools and doing it myself - in the long run, it won't save me any money and might even cost me more.

The comments about the brake springs are helpful, too. This setup is a little over 20 years old. And they were not left in a "relaxed" state at any point, so I don't know if they're fatigued. Until I get the mechanisms apart to inspect the surfaces where pieces move, I won't know if the slow recovery is weak springs, dirty / non-lubricated surfaces, poor adjustment, bad cables, or some combination of those things.
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Old 05-02-20, 11:20 AM
  #23  
Trakhak
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Originally Posted by ember1205 View Post
The comments about the brake springs are helpful, too. This setup is a little over 20 years old. And they were not left in a "relaxed" state at any point, so I don't know if they're fatigued.
One of the things I learned from materials engineers who have posted on this forum is that springs do not fatigue if left under tension. What fatigues springs is going through cycles of tension and release.
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Old 05-03-20, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ember1205 View Post
It's going to be a few days before I can even think about touching it, so there's no rush.

It's also possible she may want something that will sit a little higher for a slightly more upright riding position. If/when you get around to discovering what you have, feel free to PM me instead if you'd rather and I can let you know where this resto journey is taking me.
I THINK I have that exact bar, with the shifters intact. However, mine is also a little rusty. Nothing that can't be sanded out, though. Let me know if you want them. It's probably only worth it if you have another reason to cross over the Sound.
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Old 05-03-20, 08:17 PM
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modernbike.com looks pretty good, just ordered some stuff there. Cheap or free shipping. Great to support LBS in theory but they often suck in many ways, can't even get 26 inch inner tubes or tires in most of the ones around here so basically worthless to me. Couldn't even get a spoke tool at one of them last time I went.
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