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What do LBS's actually have to do assemble new bikes?

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What do LBS's actually have to do assemble new bikes?

Old 04-30-12, 05:27 AM
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What do LBS's actually have to do assemble new bikes?

I wonder how much assembly the LBS does for the major brands. Like Trek,Cannondale and Giant.
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Old 04-30-12, 05:58 AM
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I bet there are other threads that get into this question in painful detail. There's a ton of packaging material to remove. Then you must deal with all the space-saving measures taken when the bike is packed. Front wheels usually are not installed. Forks can be turned sideways or backwards, and maybe not even be installed into the stem. Handlebars will be sideways. Seat probably is not installed.

Someone with shop experience can probably give a better blow-by-blow, but think in terms of removing a bunch of packing material and "unfolding" the bike and installing all the parts that would otherwise have forced the shipping box to be larger. Then you must test and adjust everything to be sure the bike is functional.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:13 AM
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It depends on the bike. The post above answered for most high production, low to moderate cost bikes. Higher end are often shipped without the comnponets installed so the LBS essentially builds the bike up from scratch. This includes all the fun things like running the cables through the frame.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:20 AM
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Jonathan has it pretty well covered. Bikes are pretty much assembled in the box - crank installed, rear wheel installed, cables/housing run, chain, etc.

There is some times a check list included with bikes. This can include: wheel truing, derailleur hanger alignment, checking torque for various bolts, greasing various parts...basically a full/complete run-down. There is a bit more involved than just pulling the bike out of the box, bolting up the bars, installing seatpost, and riding.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:29 AM
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The reason I posted this was I'm trying to figure out cable routing and lengths for my first build of a Surly Cross Check. As I read thru different articles on this I notice a lack of attention to detail in how my Trek 4.5 Madone was assembled. If the LBS did this I can see how this may be less than ideal. From the factory, I'd think maybe I don't understand the material as well as I should.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:02 AM
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This reminds me of something I'd like to know:

How much scope is there when ordering a bike worth say, $2.5k+ to spec it yourself? I know this depends hugely on who you're dealing with, but surely a lot of the same parameters would apply generally.

For a start, surely you can ask for a different bar, seat, pedals, stem angle/length, crank length and ratios, right? And if the shop doesn't carry some bit of gear, can you get em to just leave that bit out?

Can you ask for em to get SRAM gruippo when they usually only do Shimano or Campy, and do it for the same sort of price? Like, the price of a bike, rather than per part? Ever? Somehow?

Can you then get em to skip buiding it, and just give it to you as parts, which should actually cost less? Unpainted, even?

Now, I realise this is a pretty big wish list, but is there any possible way a business could be organised to do this? Is it any kind of possibility at all, or a pipe dream?
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Old 04-30-12, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
The reason I posted this was I'm trying to figure out cable routing and lengths for my first build of a Surly Cross Check. As I read thru different articles on this I notice a lack of attention to detail in how my Trek 4.5 Madone was assembled. If the LBS did this I can see how this may be less than ideal. From the factory, I'd think maybe I don't understand the material as well as I should.
What specifically did you notice?
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Old 04-30-12, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
The reason I posted this was I'm trying to figure out cable routing and lengths for my first build of a Surly Cross Check. As I read thru different articles on this I notice a lack of attention to detail in how my Trek 4.5 Madone was assembled. If the LBS did this I can see how this may be less than ideal. From the factory, I'd think maybe I don't understand the material as well as I should.
Most production bikes ship with way too much cable housing. Some shops might be nice enough to trim down the extra housing. What's wrong with the routing on your Trek? I suppose it might wind up kinda wack if they put a junior associate on your rig.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:35 AM
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I wonder how much assembly the LBS does for the major brands. Like Trek,Cannondale and Giant.
Here you go, grab a drink and snacks:


Last edited by mechBgon; 04-30-12 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
This reminds me of something I'd like to know:

How much scope is there when ordering a bike worth say, $2.5k+ to spec it yourself? I know this depends hugely on who you're dealing with, but surely a lot of the same parameters would apply generally.

For a start, surely you can ask for a different bar, seat, pedals, stem angle/length, crank length and ratios, right? And if the shop doesn't carry some bit of gear, can you get em to just leave that bit out?

Can you ask for em to get SRAM gruippo when they usually only do Shimano or Campy, and do it for the same sort of price? Like, the price of a bike, rather than per part? Ever? Somehow?

Can you then get em to skip buiding it, and just give it to you as parts, which should actually cost less? Unpainted, even?

Now, I realise this is a pretty big wish list, but is there any possible way a business could be organised to do this? Is it any kind of possibility at all, or a pipe dream?
Trek's "Project One" would let you order certain Treks in that fashion. http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/colle...ct_one/models/
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Old 04-30-12, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
This reminds me of something I'd like to know:

How much scope is there when ordering a bike worth say, $2.5k+ to spec it yourself? I know this depends hugely on who you're dealing with, but surely a lot of the same parameters would apply generally.

For a start, surely you can ask for a different bar, seat, pedals, stem angle/length, crank length and ratios, right? And if the shop doesn't carry some bit of gear, can you get em to just leave that bit out?

Can you ask for em to get SRAM gruippo when they usually only do Shimano or Campy, and do it for the same sort of price? Like, the price of a bike, rather than per part? Ever? Somehow?

Can you then get em to skip buiding it, and just give it to you as parts, which should actually cost less? Unpainted, even?

Now, I realise this is a pretty big wish list, but is there any possible way a business could be organised to do this? Is it any kind of possibility at all, or a pipe dream?
To get what you propose you would probably have to order a bare frame and fork and a "build kit". I did just that with my first Litespeed (a 1996 Catalyst).

I bought the frame and fork from my dealer and then we spec'ed a parts kit through QBP that let me choose each item individually including crank length, bar width, stem length, wheels, saddle, etc, etc. I actually built it up myself but the dealer would have done so for a modest cost if I had asked.

Colorado Cyclist will do something similar if you buy a frame and fork through them. They offer complete build kits with various groups and wheels and let the buyer customize sizes and substitute some of the components for a cost adjustment. They will build it up for you or just send the order as parts for you to assemble.
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Old 04-30-12, 09:40 AM
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It rained this morning so the bike is still gritty.

The first Picture I think the shifter cable is too short.






This picture I think the Brake cable is too long.




The handlebar picture didn't come out too well but the rear shift cable is too long. The cables are all on the front of the bar even though there's a groove for cabling in the back. They don't lay flat against the bar as they cross over each other.
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Old 04-30-12, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Here you go, grab a drink and snacks:
That was great!
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Old 04-30-12, 09:49 AM
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I don't see a protective sticker where your cable housings are likely to abrade your paint (and eventually your carbon) as the brake and RD actuate, either. Make sure to get those, the Trek dealer will have them (and should've installed them during assembly). Make sure to add them to the head tube as well.

You can also remove those little duct-tape patches from your brake calipers, they're not necessary.

That was great!
Thanks we had a local mountaineering store buy about 25 bikes for their employees and they were wondering about what we do to them, so I put out my webcam and made them that impromptu video rundown. Turned out good

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Old 04-30-12, 10:02 AM
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I just watched the video and I can say they did not pull the crank. The crank developed a click after about 200 miles. The first 120 mile round trip they tightened the pedals and said "These cheap pedals (which they sold me) have a lot of problems. " The click returned after 5 miles. I took it back and They pulled the crank and found almost no grease.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:08 AM
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mechBgon: What about the cable lengths?
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Old 04-30-12, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
mechBgon: What about the cable lengths?
You're correct. Shifter cable is short, brake cable is a bit long.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
I just watched the video and I can say they did not pull the crank. The crank developed a click after about 200 miles. The first 120 mile round trip they tightened the pedals and said "These cheap pedals (which they sold me) have a lot of problems. " The click returned after 5 miles. I took it back and They pulled the crank and found almost no grease.
And that's a perfect example of two schools of thought in LBS bike assembly. One is "if a problem crops up, then we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, or catch it at the free break-in tune-up. For now, let's just crank out some units." The other is "let's proactively prevent as many known, predictable issues as practical; the customer will have a better experience and we won't have to fix it later." Where I work, the store owner obviously subscribes to the second theory, but is paying about 3x as much labor for assemblies as a consequence (paying a full-fledged mechanic rather than a noOb at starter wages; taking longer due to all the extra steps; and the opportunity cost of tying up a mechanic doing assemblies rather than profitable repairs).

Last edited by mechBgon; 04-30-12 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:16 AM
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Rear derailer loop looks a little short to me also. Hard for me to judge the seatcluster brake cable housing run, since I'm only really familiar with bikes having round metal tubes.
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Old 04-30-12, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Thanks we had a local mountaineering store buy about 25 bikes for their employees and they were wondering about what we do to them, so I put out my webcam and made them that impromptu video rundown. Turned out good
Rivendell did a video of the reverse process. I suppose most new bike companies do something similar knowing that a mechanic at the shop will put the bike together but the Rivendell pack is intended for the buyer to DIY.

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Old 04-30-12, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
This reminds me of something I'd like to know:

How much scope is there when ordering a bike worth say, $2.5k+ to spec it yourself? I know this depends hugely on who you're dealing with, but surely a lot of the same parameters would apply generally.

Now, I realise this is a pretty big wish list, but is there any possible way a business could be organised to do this? Is it any kind of possibility at all, or a pipe dream?
My LBS,which is a large store, does this. They will take any bike and switch components and give you credit for the parts you don't want. I did that for wheels and bars. They also let me choose the group.
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Old 04-30-12, 11:54 AM
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When I worked at a discount dept store in the 70's, the bikes came in with the wheels off, the pedals off, and the seat removed from the post. I did most of the assembly, then the chains' licensed bike guy would come in and adjust the brakes and derailluer, and give it a final check out.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Here you go, grab a drink and snacks:

Cool video! I think there is a bike shop near my house called Two Wheel Transit. I wonder if that is the same shop. Is that anywhere near Spokane, WA?
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Old 04-30-12, 01:28 PM
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Re #12 ... NB rear derailleur cable drag, inside the housing, is less with a larger radius curve
than a short tight one..

And as the brake housing pushes down on 1 arm and the cable pulls up on the other
to rotate it around it's pivot..

I see much ado about nothing..
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Old 04-30-12, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
Cool video! I think there is a bike shop near my house called Two Wheel Transit. I wonder if that is the same shop. Is that anywhere near Spokane, WA?
Correct, that's where I work but I'm the guy you never see, since I work in the basement.
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