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did I get ripped off?

Old 06-07-07, 09:16 PM
  #1  
mitchogden
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did I get ripped off?

I replaced the drop bar on my old Schwinn Varsity (which I'm converting to a SS) with a straight bar, so I went to a local bike co-op (which will remain unnamed). They had only a few pairs of straight bar brake levers (especially without attached shifters), so I grabbed a pair of Shimano 200CX.

I'm just getting into DIY work, so I feel like I'm at the mercy of a lot of other people. So when the co-op worker says, "How does 8 bucks sound?" I agree. I don't know what they are worth. In thinking about it this evening, I think I paid too much. WAY too much. The co-op boasts a pay-what-you-can philosophy, so it irks me even more to think that I would get taken.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "What's this jerk's problem? It is 8 freaking dollars! Let it go." But it is more than that. As I look for a bike shop or co-op where I can learn what I want to about doing some of my own work, I find a condescending attitude at every turn. I ask an honest question, and I get a look like I've just broken out in leprosy. I express that I want to do something on the cheap (I'm a graduate student with two kids and not a lot of disposable income for high-end parts), and my leprosy is suddenly compounded with incontinence. No one thus far has treated me with respect. I'm not a bike mechanic, but I'm not an idiot.

And I'm not asking about these stupid brake levers so that I can go vigilante on anyone, so please don't worry about that. But—again, in the spirit of wanting to learn—I want to learn what parts are worth and be able to reasonably and ethically assess their value.

That's too much narrative for this forum. Bottom line:

How much would you pay for a pair of Shimano 200CX brake levers? More or less than $8?
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Old 06-07-07, 09:29 PM
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seriously, $8 sounds like a fair deal to me. I wouldnt think you would get any working levers for cheaper.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:31 PM
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You said it was pay as you can.

He said, How about 8 dollars? (Note the question mark)

You said, fine.

If it was more than you could afford then why did you not bring it up at the time of transaction?

Was it because you just think post transaction that you could have gotten them for less than you were able to pay? Which is not playing by the CO-OP rules. (I find that annoying because I am one of the people giving my old parts, and new tires and tubes, to the local CO-OP with the idea that they help those in need, not people looking for deals
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Old 06-07-07, 09:35 PM
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Dive dive!

The only way to get levers cheaper is to dumpster dive.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:37 PM
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dude thats like two cups of coffee from starbucks, or maybe, maybe lunch. when he said 8 you shoulda just handed him a ten spot...
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Old 06-07-07, 09:37 PM
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Old 06-07-07, 10:07 PM
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You got ripped off. Those brake levers aren't worth more than $5 IMO. Jesus.

I paid $75 for some brake levers and barely felt ripped off. You're insane sir.
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Old 06-07-07, 10:10 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by mitchogden
I replaced the drop bar on my old Schwinn Varsity (which I'm converting to a SS) with a straight bar, so I went to a local bike co-op (which will remain unnamed). They had only a few pairs of straight bar brake levers (especially without attached shifters), so I grabbed a pair of Shimano 200CX.

I'm just getting into DIY work, so I feel like I'm at the mercy of a lot of other people. So when the co-op worker says, "How does 8 bucks sound?" I agree. I don't know what they are worth. In thinking about it this evening, I think I paid too much. WAY too much. The co-op boasts a pay-what-you-can philosophy, so it irks me even more to think that I would get taken.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "What's this jerk's problem? It is 8 freaking dollars! Let it go." But it is more than that. As I look for a bike shop or co-op where I can learn what I want to about doing some of my own work, I find a condescending attitude at every turn. I ask an honest question, and I get a look like I've just broken out in leprosy. I express that I want to do something on the cheap (I'm a graduate student with two kids and not a lot of disposable income for high-end parts), and my leprosy is suddenly compounded with incontinence. No one thus far has treated me with respect. I'm not a bike mechanic, but I'm not an idiot.

And I'm not asking about these stupid brake levers so that I can go vigilante on anyone, so please don't worry about that. But—again, in the spirit of wanting to learn—I want to learn what parts are worth and be able to reasonably and ethically assess their value.

That's too much narrative for this forum. Bottom line:

How much would you pay for a pair of Shimano 200CX brake levers? More or less than $8?
hey comrade what is this co-op ?

man i forgot how chea....i mean cost conscious cyclists can be .

ed rader
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Old 06-07-07, 10:20 PM
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Hey, ya'll says you's a grad student (what ever that is). So's ya'll knows 'bout book learnin', get a friggin' book. No bike fixin' man gunna' tell ya'll 'bout doin' stuff cuzz dat's how he get his foldin' money.

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Old 06-07-07, 10:44 PM
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Just to give a reality check, we sell new brake levers for $10/pr, but they're not Shimano and nothing to write home about.

I'm sorry, but I haven't ever been to college, have 3 kids and I'm supposed to feel sorry for you? Once you get your degree, you'll be making much, much more than me. Will you give me a break on your professional services then? I think professional services requiring a degree are worth about $8/hr, and anything more is a ripoff. After all, with no degree myself...that's all I can afford. I will also expect you to never be condescending or disrespectful to me, and help me for free whenever I ask because I'm disadvantaged. I may not have a degree, but I'm not an idiot.
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Old 06-08-07, 01:39 AM
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I think you got raped.
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Old 06-08-07, 01:46 AM
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Old 06-08-07, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchogden
I replaced the drop bar on my old Schwinn Varsity (which I'm converting to a SS) with a straight bar, so I went to a local bike co-op (which will remain unnamed). They had only a few pairs of straight bar brake levers (especially without attached shifters), so I grabbed a pair of Shimano 200CX.

I'm just getting into DIY work, so I feel like I'm at the mercy of a lot of other people. So when the co-op worker says, "How does 8 bucks sound?" I agree. I don't know what they are worth. In thinking about it this evening, I think I paid too much. WAY too much. The co-op boasts a pay-what-you-can philosophy, so it irks me even more to think that I would get taken.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "What's this jerk's problem? It is 8 freaking dollars! Let it go." But it is more than that. As I look for a bike shop or co-op where I can learn what I want to about doing some of my own work, I find a condescending attitude at every turn. I ask an honest question, and I get a look like I've just broken out in leprosy. I express that I want to do something on the cheap (I'm a graduate student with two kids and not a lot of disposable income for high-end parts), and my leprosy is suddenly compounded with incontinence. No one thus far has treated me with respect. I'm not a bike mechanic, but I'm not an idiot.

And I'm not asking about these stupid brake levers so that I can go vigilante on anyone, so please don't worry about that. But—again, in the spirit of wanting to learn—I want to learn what parts are worth and be able to reasonably and ethically assess their value.

That's too much narrative for this forum. Bottom line:

How much would you pay for a pair of Shimano 200CX brake levers? More or less than $8?
If you are getting a nasty attitude at 'every turn' maybe the problem is with how you approach and talk to people.
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Old 06-08-07, 02:34 AM
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Pretty much anything bike related that I have ever bought cost me more than $8.

Dude, if you had posted a parts wanted for flat bar road bike brake levers, I could have sent you an old pair of mine.

I maybe would not have charged for the parts. I would have charged for the postage.

Postage would have been more than $8.
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Old 06-08-07, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchogden
I think I paid too much. WAY too much.
We all did at sometime. Get over it.

Originally Posted by mitchogden
Now, I know what you're thinking: "What's this jerk's problem? It is 8 freaking dollars! Let it go." But it is more than that.
You must be telepathic, how did you know we thought you were a jerk.

Tim
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Old 06-08-07, 03:46 AM
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Remember the value you got in those brake levers the next time a JAM does something JA and you have to throw out the anchor and miss a collision with room to spare.
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Old 06-08-07, 03:46 AM
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8 bucks for a pair of Shimano brake levers is cheap. The fact they are used is inconsequential, as there is no reason they wouldn't last forever.

In other words: please go back to the coop, make a stink and return the brake levers. Make sure you will henceforth be known there as "The ******bag" and buy your components online.
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Old 06-08-07, 04:56 AM
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Most of us who "learn what we want to about doing our own work" quickly learn the value of quality parts new or used. Shimano makes quality parts. Getting some that work for your application for 8$ sounds great, you should let it go at that.

Now I don't have any bike co-ops in my town, I sort of locate my own parts through various sources and use this forum to answer questions I have about any bike mechanic work I can't do myself. You're lucky to have a bike co-op. What a great resource. I agree with the poster who said, "if he asks for $8 give him a 10 spot and tell him to keep the change, but maybe that's just me.

Doing a little homework on your particular bike could get you more respect at the local co-op. If you just could write down some of the dimensions, and sizes in a little notebook or commit them to memory. Maybe know what brand of freewheel you have and how to remove your own chain. Things like that that you can do on your own. This way, the "teacher" who is likely just a volunteer won't have to appear "all condescending" on you.

This kind of reminded me when I took an adult woodworking class at at local school and also an introductory woodturning class a few years ago. I'm not saying I'm great, but I got more out of some of these "beginner" classes by going into it with a hungry attitude. I had boatloads of questions yes, but directed most of them to the library (or, I suppose nowadays as they say, "google is your friend"). So, you see being a complete "noob" can be pretty annoying when the learner could have gotten answers to the first 264 questions (give or take 300 ) through self directed means. This kind of eager attitude helps the teacher immensely. Instead of dealing with "does this part exist?" you're able to flatter the teacher by allowing him to articulate on the finer details such as "stepped ferrules need to be crimped on the housing to get greater feel at the brake lever". See what I'm saying?

College educated noobs (I'm sorry to say) can be even more annoying because they want to analyze everything intellectually. Do your bike homework, in between your college homework and family respsonsibility time, then you're starting to appreciate the value of others assisting you in getting where you want to get to. And this is where the fun begins if you've made it this far. A lot of us find mechanical work a revelation. Once you read about it, you know about it in theory. Once you do it, with your hands and do it correctly, you commit it to memory. And that has "quality" much higher than any $8 worth of disposable cash. You're connection to the co-op may obligate you to share the love and rig up some other dude's Schwinn Varsity brake levers next month.

Last edited by masi61; 06-08-07 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 06-08-07, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchogden
And I'm not asking about these stupid brake levers so that I can go vigilante on anyone, so please don't worry about that. But—again, in the spirit of wanting to learn—I want to learn what parts are worth and be able to reasonably and ethically assess their value.
A very long time ago I had a car that I wanted to sell so I asked my dad how I should price it. He said: "Pull a number out of your hat. A month from now if you still have the car, the price was too high. If you've sold the car, the price was too low."

Things are worth whatever a reasonably prudent buyer and seller agree to. In this case, you got a pair of flat bar brake levers, that you admitted were in short supply, for $8.00. I'm thinking that you got a really good deal and may possibly have even taken advantage of the good-heartedness of the co-op. If there was any evil done in this transaction, I'd say you were the evil doer.
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Old 06-08-07, 05:51 AM
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Old 06-08-07, 07:01 AM
  #21  
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$8 for a pair of brake levers. Doesn't sound too bad. Of course, you could probably have gone to a thrift store and bought some junker bike for $5, stripped the levers off, and donated the carcass to the coop. I the coop is a nonprofit you might have gotten a tax deduction for the value of a brake lever-less bike.

So, you buy a junker for $5. Take a tax deduction of $4 when you donate the hulk. At 25% tax margin, you get $1 back from Uncle Sam. Net price for the brake levers is $4.

Hmmm. Maybe you did overpay...

But wait. You have to remove the levers from the junker. that takes time and time is money. Let's say it takes 6 mintutes to do. That's 1/10 of an hour. At mechanic rates of $40/hr, that comes to $4.

Now, your total cost is $4 for parts, $4 for labor = $8.

Looks like you paid the right amount for your levers. Enjoy.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:03 AM
  #22  
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As I look for a bike shop or co-op where I can learn what I want to about doing some of my own work, I find a condescending attitude at every turn. I ask an honest question, and I get a look like I've just broken out in leprosy. I express that I want to do something on the cheap (I'm a graduate student with two kids and not a lot of disposable income for high-end parts), and my leprosy is suddenly compounded with incontinence. No one thus far has treated me with respect. I'm not a bike mechanic, but I'm not an idiot.
If you get this kind of treatment everywhere you go, I agree it says more about your attitude than it does about the shops and co-ops your dealing with. Not everyone else in the world is wrong.

As to the $8 for Shimano levers in good condition, you got a bargain. Go back to the co-op and thank them.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:31 AM
  #23  
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Wow. Maybe there is something wrong with me. I certainly pissed off this forum! Now that my name is mud around here, I might wait a while to ask my next mechanical question.

Thanks for giving me some perspective. I appreciate it. Sorry if my post angered any of you. And sorry that I sound like a class A jerk.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:35 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by masi61
Shimano makes quality parts.
Lol.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchogden
Wow. Maybe there is something wrong with me. I certainly pissed off this forum! Now that my name is mud around here, I might wait a while to ask my next mechanical question.

Thanks for giving me some perspective. I appreciate it. Sorry if my post angered any of you. And sorry that I sound like a class A jerk.
You didn't "piss-off" the forum so much as sound like everyone you deal with is condesending and rude. That makes us think is can't be everyone else's fault.
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