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Funny LBS visit looking for random old style component

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Funny LBS visit looking for random old style component

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Old 09-12-18, 02:16 PM
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Funny LBS visit looking for random old style component

Since these are a popular and regular on the forum, I figured I would add mine here.
I realized a bike I brought with me to ride after work didn’t have a seat post bolt in it. I have 2 bikes that share the bolt and have delayed getting another because…its about 1503rd on my list of things to do.
I went to a shop in the town where I work that has been around for 30-40 years figuring they may have one in a drawer somewhere.

The young mechanic had 0 idea what I needed so I showed him a picture. He then asked me if I am sure the bolt is for what I say.
An owner came up, saw the pic, and said she couldn’t remember the last time someone wanted one of these as they are for super old road bikes(well at least we are getting somewhere as she knows what it is). She couldn’t find one, but asked me to wait.
Her husband then came into the shop, searched around, and found one that’s the perfect length. He too said he couldn’t remember the last time someone wanted one.
At this point I am thinking to myself, ‘I get it, I get it, I like old stuff that isn’t popular’.

The young mechanic then rang me up(for the price that was shown on my phone since they don’t have a listed price for such an item) and again commented that he had no idea what I was asking for. He then said he hasn’t seen one of those before as it must be on a really old bike. I kinda surprised him when I mentioned its for a bike that I built 6 months ago.

This isn’t meant to be a complaint thread as I found what I was looking for, had a good conversation while waiting, and paid a fair price. It was actually a fantastic visit in the end.
Just found it funny to hear how all of the shop folk viewed the seatpost bolt. A mix of nostalgia, confusion as to why I would want it, and confusion as to what it even is.
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Old 09-12-18, 02:32 PM
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As in, the bolt that goes through the seat lug cluster, holds the post from sliding around or down?
What’s the current mechanism for that job on a new bike?
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Old 09-12-18, 02:35 PM
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^^^^^ +1; have I missed a whole techno-leap somewhere, and are seatposts now held fast by plasma beams or something? :shrug: Since when are a bolt and nut considered so "quaint"?

Wait, don't tell me - you need to adjust your seat, you put your phone up next to it and bring up the app.....
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Old 09-12-18, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
As in, the bolt that goes through the seat lug cluster, holds the post from sliding around or down?
What’s the current mechanism for that job on a new bike?
Seatpost clamps! Just another excuse to spend money where it doesn't count!

https://fireflybicycles.com/store/Ti...llar-p84222848

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Old 09-12-18, 02:46 PM
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I can almost hear a teenage girl somewhere...

"OMG Dad! Don't you know anything?"

Shaking my fist at the sky, "why back in my days..."
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Old 09-12-18, 02:48 PM
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I think the newer bike, at least the better ones use a smart phone to set the seat height. I don't know for sure since all of my bikes are not from the smart phone era. It is just what I have heard. I know for sure that you switch gears by touching a button somewhere on the bike that is like a volume button on the phone.
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Old 09-12-18, 02:50 PM
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Back in my day we dug ore from the EARTH! Smelted it down and purified the iron...
added carbon! Manganese! Chromium!
We made OUR bikes from DIRT!

That was the way it was, and we LIKED it!

Carbon Fiber?!? The only fibers of carbon we had were the charred silk mantel in our Colman Lanterns!

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Old 09-12-18, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
As in, the bolt that goes through the seat lug cluster, holds the post from sliding around or down?
What’s the current mechanism for that job on a new bike?
Yeah, there are a few ways now. The seat collar, as mentioned already, is one way. Another that is on a lot of carbon aero frames is an internal wedge thats on the top tube where it meets the seatpost. Internally, something wedges/clamps and tightens the seatpost. Then there is the old QR clamp that was on MTBs for decades. I was asked twice by the mechanic if what i was describing was a QR clamp.
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Old 09-12-18, 03:36 PM
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Ok QR clamps I HAVE seen. I got one in my Marin Bear Valley drop conversion. Makes sense going from cross country to downhill but not in a roadie.
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Old 09-12-18, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
Ok QR clamps I HAVE seen. I got one in my Marin Bear Valley drop conversion. Makes sense going from cross country to downhill but not in a roadie.
I have them on a couple of bikes. Why not, I figure. Sometimes someone borrows the bike, so it makes adjustments easier.
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Old 09-12-18, 08:49 PM
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Seat post wedges will become a major PIA for mechanics 20 years from now. Rusted in the frame, and ain't going nowhere. Had to deal with a few in years past. They suck.
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Old 09-12-18, 09:14 PM
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Here's hoping in another 20years all this stuff is gone and my collection is valuable enough to provide an inheritance.

Here's not counting on unicorns learning to sing the National Anthem, either.
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Old 09-13-18, 08:27 AM
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BITD....we had this strange classmate in gradeschool that kept shaving the wood off his number two pencils with his little pocket knife, while repeatedly saying, "I'm gonna build myself a bike!".
He's a jillionaire now that own modern bike factories in China!
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Old 09-13-18, 10:46 AM
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I had the same experience trying to buy a binder bolt about a year ago, except they couldn't find one, but at least they knew what to look for on-line from the local distributor. I decided then I better stock up (from Niagara or somebody).

I was also unaware at the time that a binder bolt was obsolete tech.
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Old 09-13-18, 10:56 AM
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A couple of local bike shop owners have told me that they prefer if I bought the weird stuff from the web rather than asking them to order it. I was surprised, but now it makes sense. One of them told me that over a year, he used 40,000 different SKU codes.
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Old 09-13-18, 11:26 AM
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Sort of similar but went into three LBS's asking how and where I could find upright handlebars because at the time I was having a hard time finding them online. I showed them this picture and they all said they had never seen handlebars like that or know what they were called. Also asked for some really small ball bearings for pedals and the manager tells me "yeah we don't have that size. Bike shops don't carry those" I asked if any hardware stores would have them and he says "I highly doubt it" Of course, Dale's Hardware had them. I only needed a couple. Wasn't worth ordering online.



Not mine but have the same handlebars on my single speed.
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Old 09-13-18, 01:38 PM
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A #12 x 28 allen head cap screw and the correctly sized nut make a perfect binder bolt. If you search the hardware bins at the Home Depot you can find something nicer.
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Old 09-13-18, 04:46 PM
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Yea it’s quite a shame that most brick and mortar bike shops that still exist today, have no idea about or carry basic parts that any decent bike shop would have had 10-15 years ago. What I find even more perplexing is that the younger mechanics often don’t even know what a lot of these are. Like what? I can wire up a di2 system and I’ve never owned one, but you don’t even know what a bottom bracket lock ring is? Like 100+ years of bicycle technology just never existed? I went into a bike shop in my downtown area a couple months ago looking for said bottom bracket lock rings. I figured they probably didn’t sell any directly, but would surely have some in the shop, even used ones. Dude literally looked at me and said “bottom brackets don’t have lock rings.” Like ok, I get that your shop clearly focuses on new bikes and mostly performance bikes, but how can you be a mechanic and not even know what a bottom bracket lock ring is? I’d swear, the people I volunteer with at my cities bicycle advocacy org. know more than these guys. It’s really an even bigger shame when I consider the fact that my city has a lot of cyclists, especially for its small size. Most of those are poor college kids just getting around and they’re are either riding cheap ‘fixies’ Or vintage city/townie bikes and cruisers. Hardly the latest technology. It’s no wonder, 3/4 of them are riding around on flat tires, rusty chains, broken brakes, destroyed cables and derailluers that won’t shift. It’s a right travesty to be honest. But I guess selling one $10k carbon road bike is better for business than the other 97+% of the cities daily riders? We have a few other shops though, and a co-op, so I guess it’s not all bad? Oddest part about it all, was that same mechanic then said “nice bike.” I was tempted to say “how would you know? You don’t know what any of these parts are.” I didn’t, but I left the shop with a feeling of defeat, completely deflated like dry rotted tire.
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Old 09-13-18, 05:13 PM
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It's a phenomenon similar to the auto industry. Car dealerships are focused on selling new, and fairly new-ish used, cars. They seldom see anything more than 10 years old, and they no longer have mechanics that have been there more than about 10 years. I refer to them as "pediatricians", trained only to work on the "youngest" vehicles. They don't have a stake in the maintenance of older vehicles; in fact, it works against their bottom line. People who maintain older vehicles need to find "gerontologists", old-school _service_ facilities (typically not involved in vehicle _sales_), run by old-school mechanics who know how to troubleshoot from the hip, rather than from the phone in their back pocket.

Likewise, the big-showroom (even local) bike shops brimming with new-tech-encrusted high-profit new bikes have a major blind spot for "us". The closest thing we have to the old-school mechanic model are the bike co-ops, and enterprises like Dream Bikes here in Madison, that focus on rebuilding used bikes for working class people. That, or as said above, turn to your local bike advocacy group.

If the LBS is your only choice, don't bother with the guys on the retail floor. Go right to the counter by the service area. Shoot, if you have to, if the service is all done in a "back room", stick your head through the doorway and start asking those folks.
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Old 09-13-18, 05:27 PM
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^^^ You know for me, as an experienced mechanic myself, thankfully I don’t need anything from shops like this. But it’s a shame that they’ve positioned themselves in such a way that they are useless to most cyclists. Doesn’t seem like the best strategy for long term survival. What do I know though? I’m not a retrogrouch per se, but I appreciate and enjoy past, simpler technology, especially when it comes to the humble bicycle. It’s a shame to see the idea of a bicycle shop as most of us know it, disappearing. But I’m no fool, I recognise time marches on. I mean try finding a proper photo/camera store today. Much less anyplace that even sells film or develops. And get a camera serviced? Hang it up. But I digress, time marches on. I can still get my beloved near 50 year old Seiko serviced though. For now at least.

I bought a NOS dura ace lock ring on eBay, by the way. Waited 2 weeks for shipping from EU. 😐
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Old 09-13-18, 06:18 PM
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I don't have any funny LBS stories because there is no LBS.
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Old 09-14-18, 08:06 AM
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I've had this experience before, where they're baffled, mildly amused, but still try and help out ("Let's humor the crazy person, he seems harmless enough.").
Much better than the other version, which starts out the same but rapidly shifts to an unspoken "why are you wasting my time with this stuff?" You can almost feel the invisible hands on your back trying to push you out of the shop.

The former type of shop gets my money for consumables and accessories, even if it's a bit pricier than online. The latter type doesn't, and we're probably both happier that way.
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Old 09-14-18, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
I've had this experience before, where they're baffled, mildly amused, but still try and help out ("Let's humor the crazy person, he seems harmless enough.").
Much better than the other version, which starts out the same but rapidly shifts to an unspoken "why are you wasting my time with this stuff?" You can almost feel the invisible hands on your back trying to push you out of the shop.
Version 3, starts out the same but rapidly shifts to an unspoken (or sometimes not) "why are you wasting your time with that ratty old bike?" Then you feel the invisible hand tugging on your forearm to show you the latest spendy slabs of carbon hanging on the wall.
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Old 09-14-18, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
I don't have any funny LBS stories because there is no LBS.
This
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Old 09-14-18, 11:10 AM
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I had a lot of fun riding to 3 different bike shops to ask if they could rethread my French cranks to the modern standard.
One simply refused, the other couldn't believe modern pedals didn't go in and the third one had all the mechanics gather around and joyfully rethread it.
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