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Looking for reasonably charged bike assembly/tuning service.

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Looking for reasonably charged bike assembly/tuning service.

Old 10-01-12, 03:51 PM
  #1  
spanth
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Looking for reasonably charged bike assembly/tuning service.

I bought a Pacific 24' dual suspension bike on Amazon.com for my 8 yr. old son's birthday. It came partially assembled. Following the manual I was able to assemble the handle bar, wheels, adjust brakes etc. The bike is 'okay' to ride. But I do know that it's not good enough, because first of all the ride feels a little sluggish. I can see the brakes getting tighter at one particular spot on the rim. Both the wheels need truing. One of the brake shoes is closer to the rim than the other. And I can't figure out how to make them evenly spaced at 1mm from the rim. Also the gears need to be adjusted for smooth transition. I bought this bike for $150. Is there a place in/around Cupertino, CA area that offers reasonably charged service - in the range of $30-$50 - for tuning/correcting the assembly? I don't mean to discount the skill of a bike mechanic, but I'm not able to bring myself to spend more than a third of the bike price. Or if somebody knowledgeable can guide me, I most likely can do this myself. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-01-12, 03:55 PM
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Is there a bike co-op in your area? These provide service and assistance at no to very reasonable cost. For future reference, but a bike from a reputable bike shop unless you are truly well versed in bicycle adjustments and maintenance. Your son's safety is too important to risk.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:02 PM
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HillRider, Good tip. I'll search for a bike co-op. That sounds like a good start. If I can't find one, the bike shop guys near my home should have an idea. Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:06 PM
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The cost of running a business in High Tech Si valley is what it is .
Bike shops is a low income biz , unlike programming.. and IT engineering.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:13 PM
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You're right, FB, I should have known....
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There's no such thing as a routine repair.

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Old 10-01-12, 04:13 PM
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I'm with FB. Buying really cheap bikes, even for children who'll grow out of them, is a false economy. The number of such bikes we see at the co-op I volunteer at is astounding, often they're almost brand new and still in horrendous condition - brakes with no power, brakes dragging so badly the bike's unridable, gear shifters that just fall apart and won't index properly, cranks that come off after the bike's been ridden a few hundred yards, I could go on. Everyone's advice still stands though, co-ops are your best bet.

Edit; FB's post seems to have vanished....

Last edited by Airburst; 10-01-12 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by spanth View Post
Is there a place in/around Cupertino, CA area that offers reasonably charged service - in the range of $30-$50 - for tuning/correcting the assembly?
Call Cupertino Bike, ask for Peter Piepel. They probably charge upward your upper end for this kind of stuff, but if the bike is in decent shap might be able to bring it in within your budget. Also Peter is an old friend, so it you tell him I sent you --- Francis from New York, AKA the Chain-L guy, he might go the extra mile to accommodate you.

Otherwise, check for a bike co-op in the area. The advantage of a co-op, besides price, is that you may do some (or all) of the work yourself with guidance and support from staffers (co-ops vary if their formulas), so not only will the bike come out OK, but you'll have learned in the process.

BTW- dealers HATE assembling bikes bought at discount at Amazon, ebay, big box stores etc. so whatever you do, don't say you bought. It's a gift from your mother-in-law who tends to be a bit tight.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
You're right, FB, I should have known....
Originally Posted by Airburst View Post
I'm with FB. Buying really cheap bikes, even for children who'll grow out of them, is a false economy.
Edit; FB's post seems to have vanished....
You guys are trying to gaslight me. I know I'm getting old and forgetting things, but I definitely didn't post on this thread today, until AFTER your quotes of my (imaginary) post.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:30 PM
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I think there are bike co-ops in San Jose and San Francisco. Maybe not anywhere in between. Do you have a friend that can do this for you in exchange for dinner or another favor?
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Old 10-01-12, 04:33 PM
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Yes, it's hard to spend a large proportion of the original price on assembly, but the lack of assembly (and quite possibly less of a warranty) is why it was so inexpensive. It was common for people to come into our shop with an auction bike, and when told how much it would cost to get it running, say "But that's more than I paid for it!" What you paid is what it was worth in the condition you bought it - has nothing to do with what it is worth as a well-adjusted, safe bike for your son. One would think that price would indeed be quite a bit higher.
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There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
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Old 10-01-12, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
You guys are trying to gaslight me. I know I'm getting old and forgetting things, but I definitely didn't post on this thread today, until AFTER your quotes of my (imaginary) post.
I'm pretty sure the "FB" referred to in cny-bikeman's post was "fietsbob", who is notorious for recommending all posters go to a bike shop for every problem. In this case, I agree with him.
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Old 10-01-12, 05:24 PM
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Folks, thanks a bunch for all the replies. You are right, Si Valley is so expensive in so many ways, the so-called high-charges are well justified.

Thanks FBinNY. I'll call Peter Piepel at Cupertino Bike.
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Old 10-01-12, 05:27 PM
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Bicycle Express in downtown San Jose, CA

50.00 for a tune-up.

Tell 'em Fleming / MrRabbit sent you...

=8-)
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Old 10-01-12, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I'm pretty sure the "FB" referred to in cny-bikeman's post was "fietsbob", who is notorious for recommending all posters go to a bike shop for every problem. In this case, I agree with him.
Nope, somehow I posted that in the wrong thread.
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There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
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Old 10-01-12, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Nope, somehow I posted that in the wrong thread.
OK, well, the FB did fit even if it was in the wrong place.
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Old 10-01-12, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Nope, somehow I posted that in the wrong thread.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU
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An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:59 AM
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Hey I know CA is pretty big and Cupertino is far away from San Diego, but I have a local guy I like to recommend, in case anybody from my part of the world is reading this thread.

Rick in La Mesa advertises $25 tuneups on craigslist, if that ad expires he always has a recent one up, just search sandiego.craigslist.org/bik for "6901" (part of his phone number)

I went to him once, and have never been back -- only because he taught me as he went along, and I learned so much I can take care of my own bike now! I have referred him to friends who have also come away happy. I know there's a lot of people around BF that are strong advocates for supporting a good LBS, but for tweaking of a cheap-ass Amazon bike, I see it as a no-brainer to go to Rick instead of paying for full-retail LBS labor. (And if I had an expensive bike, I would have no reservations going to Rick for anything beyond my intermediate wrenching skills).

(And speaking of LBS, another place I recommend without hesitation is Ye Olde Bike Shoppe on University Ave, near the Kroc center. It's a dirty, dingy shop crammed full of vintage bikes and buckets of greasy old parts. The prices are low, and they don't look down their noses at any customers, no matter how crappy their bikes are)
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