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LBS Policy against working on your own bike!

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LBS Policy against working on your own bike!

Old 11-02-21, 04:45 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by MrK. View Post
Let me preface this by saying I'm 62 years old. I have been working on bikes since the mechanics in the bike shop close to my house would let me hang out when I was 10 and hand them tools and be otherwise annoying. I live in a small East Texas town. Closest bike shop is an hour away. I go there if I am close and need something, otherwise I order parts online. I was in that town today so I stopped in because I needed some cable and housing. I walked in and asked for a mtb brake cable and a full length piece of housing. The guy was pretty condescending telling me every bike is different and he needs to know exactly how long to cut the housing. I told him it's for a rear disc brake and the housing is full length so to cut me 5 feet. That seemed to annoy him so I said just cut it the length of the cable (knowing full well that there would be some left over). He blew and shook his head in frustration and I turned and started looking at the bike tools (ironic) thinking he was getting the housing. I heard him talking on the phone and mentioning housing. A minute later he gets my attention and asks me if I was bringing the bike in for installation. I told him that I would be installing it myself. He then picked up the cable and told me that I cannot install it myself, they had to do the install per company policy. ??? I know this shop changed hands recently and like to give them business when I am in the area but this is the last time I will give them business. Anyone else ever seen anything this absurd from a bike shop? Sorry for the rant.
you would think they would want the extra sales for parts.
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Old 11-02-21, 04:57 AM
  #27  
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Trying to buy 12" of derailleur housing is a pretty good litmus test. Having to calmly and clearly state that you would like to purchase the $1 worth of housing that you need and not the $30 "shift kit" that's "over there", once, is acceptable, if no more than 3 thunderous eye blinks occur before resolution.
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Old 11-02-21, 06:22 AM
  #28  
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One of my beliefs is that some small businesses are small for a reason: "they are poorly run." Most if not all BIG businesses all started as small businesses, and grew from there. And most did not have a unique product or service, and were not first into a new segment.

Word of mouth can kill a small business. I am often asked to recommend a bike shop. I have a chosen few I recommend, and a couple I tell people to avoid.

One shop on my avoid list is the one I visited to see if they had any take over parts. Guy asked me what I was working on. "My 1987 Schwinn Prologue". He proceeded to tell me any bike over five years old was obsolete and not worth repairing. I haven't been back.

Shops have the right to run their businesses however they want, and I have the right to shop elsewhere.

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Old 11-02-21, 06:53 AM
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This is the type of thing that keeps me from going to any LBS. Cables/housing/tubes are some of the biggest percentage markups for a bike shop. They were probably going to charge something ridiculous like $4.00/ft for cheap housing anyways. It cost me a little over $200, but I just bought a file box of each cable and cheap housing to ensure I don't ever get caught having to pay LBS prices in an emergency.
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Old 11-02-21, 06:58 AM
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I'm wondering if the issue is Covid-19 related? Over the past 1-1/2 years there have been a lot of supply issues with various products. Maybe the LBS has been having issues obtaining cables and/or housing. Consequently, they may be reserving their stock for in-house repairs, which generate more profits.

Edit: First priority should be to the customers who bought bicycles from the LBS. You have to ensure you can service them. Of course, if you turn somebody away, you should always explain why. It may not make them happy but if there are extenuating circumstances, they may understand and still do business with you.

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Old 11-02-21, 07:01 AM
  #31  
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All people make mistakes, all businesses make mistakes. What differentiates a business is how well they respond to their own mistakes.

I'd have a sit-down with the manager (no emails, texts or the like) and ask whether what happened was standard policy.

If it is, you know everything you need to know - no need to go back again unless you want more of the same.

If it isn't, you give the manager a chance to cover for the misguided employee and make things right.

I've always believed that when a business bends over backwards to try and correct their mistake, that's the business I want to go to again. They want you as a repeat customer, not a one-off. So how they respond to their own mistake dictates whether they are worthy of your repeat business.
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Old 11-02-21, 07:44 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
Try going to a Goodyear, Firestone, Tires Plus, National Tire, PepBoys, Wal-Mart, etc... and they probably will not sell you CARRY OUT car/suv/truck tires. Even if they did, they wouldn't at the specially advertised Sale prices..
Yes they will. I've done it.
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Old 11-02-21, 09:28 AM
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It's worth familiarizing yourself with the "right to repair" movement currently going on in the farm equipment industry.

Basically manufacturers are making it impossible for non-factory authorized dealers to get parts. Period. So no more repair by owner.

the german car companies (mercedes, bmw, audi) are all going down this road as well.

and of course it's a revenue thing. they claim potential liability for non-factory-trained repairs. but it's all about revenue.
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Old 11-02-21, 11:50 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
It's worth familiarizing yourself with the "right to repair" movement currently going on in the farm equipment industry.

Basically manufacturers are making it impossible for non-factory authorized dealers to get parts. Period. So no more repair by owner.

the german car companies (mercedes, bmw, audi) are all going down this road as well.

and of course it's a revenue thing. they claim potential liability for non-factory-trained repairs. but it's all about revenue.
I am a rabid supporter of "right to repair," because I do almost all of my own bicycle and appliance repairs and many of my own car and house repairs.
So far, I am still able to buy the parts I need online, and I have a trusted local independent VW/Audi (now also MBZ and BMW) repair shop that I use for every repair I do not want to do myself. They let me buy the parts in advance, and when they buy any parts for me, they don't mark them up. I worry about the future of honest, hard-working small auto repair shops, who provide an extremely valuable alternative to money-hungry dealerships. I value walking in and talking to the owners (two brothers) and their chief assistant mechanic, the people who do the actual work, instead of some clueless service writer.
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Old 11-02-21, 12:14 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
It's worth familiarizing yourself with the "right to repair" movement currently going on in the farm equipment industry.

Basically manufacturers are making it impossible for non-factory authorized dealers to get parts. Period. So no more repair by owner.

the german car companies (mercedes, bmw, audi) are all going down this road as well.

and of course it's a revenue thing. they claim potential liability for non-factory-trained repairs. but it's all about revenue.
this is an interesting topic! I watch some of Louis Rossman's videos that are about electronics repair, and can see both sides of the argument. Electronic components have gotten so small that it is incredibly difficult to manually solder some of them. There are other issues too, but I'm very much in favor of fixing whatever can be fixed. In fact, I was trying to fix a nice Epson scanner that was dying. I managed to find the schematic on the web, and figured out that the motor controller had failed. The only problem was that the part was no longer in production, so I still couldn't fix it.

I spent many years designing electronics for big yellow machines produced locally, and the parts business was known to be a key portion of corporate revenue. There are small businesses that do refurbish mechanical subassemblies for the machines, and I don't think there is a problem with that. One area that is pretty sensitive is engine controllers, where a small change in software settings is all that is needed to increase the horsepower and torque ratings. Software is also where a lot of proprietary info is located, so that stuff is controlled tightly, as well as any service tools that can make these sorts of changes.

I don't know that this has been an issue in the bike world.... yet. I've been able to buy old SunTour derailleurs in order to keep my lovely Cyclone GT's running, and was able to buy a SunXCD clone of the T.A. Cyclo-touriste crank when I needed some lower gears. I suppose it might be different for the electronics shifting stuff, though.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 11-02-21, 12:39 PM
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as long as your bikes (cars, airplanes, whatever) are not too brand new, they are fixable by mere mortals and parts are available thru secondary channels

However brand new stuff is much harder to repair, as the rate of product churn and "dedicated" parts engineering has risen dramatically

Go and look at the current Specialized SL7 (a $12000 road bike) currently has a stop ride order - turns out the brake hoses and shift cables go thru the headtube for that "aero look"

Nice until said cables start to saw thru the steerer tube.

what do you suppose is the likelyhood of somebody re-assembling that mess "wrong"

things are not built for long term sustainability. they are one shot non repairable items, like a phone, if it breaks, you replace with a new one
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Old 11-02-21, 12:55 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Personally, I would contact the owner. It might actually be his policy but they need to get customer feed back.
+1. I could see the conversation including something like "You know, I was on a club ride over the weekend and asking around, everyone thought the policy was a bit nutty" (you know, the "and she told two friends, and they told two friends..." approach).
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Old 11-02-21, 01:51 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
.......

Go and look at the current Specialized SL7 (a $12000 road bike) currently has a stop ride order - turns out the brake hoses and shift cables go thru the headtube for that "aero look"

Nice until said cables start to saw thru the steerer tube.

what do you suppose is the likelyhood of somebody re-assembling that mess "wrong"

things are not built for long term sustainability. they are one shot non repairable items, like a phone, if it breaks, you replace with a new one
Leuscher Teknik did a couple of videos on this particular lousy design...
here's the first:

Bad designs aren't the same thing as not allowing folks to repair their own stuff, but both are signs of problems in the manufacturer's mindset.
For cranky old guys like us, the attraction to reliable, simple-ish, and well designed stuff is clear.
I suppose I might be happier if I adopted the philosophy of disposable products, but I hope that doesn't happen.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 11-02-21, 01:56 PM
  #39  
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All it takes is just one person who isn't an employee working on a bicycle is a bicycle shop to spoil it for everyone.

All it takes is an injury and the non employee threatening or actually suing the shop.

Or it could be theft of parts or tools.

Or it could be damage to tools.

Or it could be that the shop simply has too much work of their own to do.

You should talk to the new owner/manager and see why their policy has changed.

Cheers
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Old 11-02-21, 02:06 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
you would think they would want the extra sales for parts.
Have you tried getting parts recently? Might be that they need to keep enough on-hand to be able to perform in-house service.

I suspect the shop owner has a reason that makes sense for him, but that it was horribly communicated.
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Old 11-02-21, 02:08 PM
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I do agree that is an example of a terrible design likely driven by marketing and the need to keep up with the competition.

if you took 100 of those things and had "shop mechanics" try to disassemble and re-assemble it, I'd bet half of them would be wrong.

it's a needlessly risky and convoluted example of (my opinion) where the market is going. Like the main bearing problems on M3 BMWs, or the Boeing MAX for that matter, needless complexity can often fail in unexpected ways.

hence this discussion.
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Old 11-02-21, 02:23 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
It's worth familiarizing yourself with the "right to repair" movement currently going on in the farm equipment industry.

Basically manufacturers are making it impossible for non-factory authorized dealers to get parts. Period. So no more repair by owner.

the german car companies (mercedes, bmw, audi) are all going down this road as well.

and of course it's a revenue thing. they claim potential liability for non-factory-trained repairs. but it's all about revenue.
That's taking a page from America's Military Equipment Contracting's playbook.
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Old 11-02-21, 02:23 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
All it takes is just one person who isn't an employee working on a bicycle is a bicycle shop to spoil it for everyone.

All it takes is an injury and the non employee threatening or actually suing the shop.

Or it could be theft of parts or tools.

Or it could be damage to tools.

Or it could be that the shop simply has too much work of their own to do.

You should talk to the new owner/manager and see why their policy has changed.

Cheers
title and first sentence are a bit confusing, but it is not that the shop is not letting the OP do work in the shop, but that the shop won't sell OP cable and housing to take home to work on bike, parts they sell have to be installed by them
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Old 11-02-21, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
this is an interesting topic! I watch some of Louis Rossman's videos that are about electronics repair, and can see both sides of the argument. Electronic components have gotten so small that it is incredibly difficult to manually solder some of them. There are other issues too, but I'm very much in favor of fixing whatever can be fixed. In fact, I was trying to fix a nice Epson scanner that was dying. I managed to find the schematic on the web, and figured out that the motor controller had failed. The only problem was that the part was no longer in production, so I still couldn't fix it.

I spent many years designing electronics for big yellow machines produced locally, and the parts business was known to be a key portion of corporate revenue. There are small businesses that do refurbish mechanical subassemblies for the machines, and I don't think there is a problem with that. One area that is pretty sensitive is engine controllers, where a small change in software settings is all that is needed to increase the horsepower and torque ratings. Software is also where a lot of proprietary info is located, so that stuff is controlled tightly, as well as any service tools that can make these sorts of changes.

I don't know that this has been an issue in the bike world.... yet. I've been able to buy old SunTour derailleurs in order to keep my lovely Cyclone GT's running, and was able to buy a SunXCD clone of the T.A. Cyclo-touriste crank when I needed some lower gears. I suppose it might be different for the electronics shifting stuff, though.

Steve in Peoria
this is where the issue is for farm equipment and "right to repair" often time a local implement repair place or the farmer them selves can do the part replacement or repair, but need dealer to do the software part.

the problem is say if you combine goes down in the middle of wheat harvest, you often don't have a couple of days or even hours to be idle waiting for a software update.

some farmers are just keeping older combines, tractors and the like and repairing
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Old 11-02-21, 02:30 PM
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the comment about military hardware is exactly right.

an F-35 jet requires 25-35 hours of service per flight hour. B-2 probably 10X that.

which makes you wonder how they would ever operate in a "real fight".

Answer: they won't.

Words like fragile, non survivable and baroque come to mind.
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Old 11-02-21, 02:53 PM
  #46  
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To me its about forming a relationship, my LBS know me, by reputation and or by the last time i was in there, i do buy some stuff on line, but its becoming ever more expensive on line, just to use brake cables as an example.
I couldn't find decent cables for under $6.00 on line, and some places didn't have stock or only had high high end pre-lubricated or coated, local guys greeted me like an old friend and sold me as many as i wanted for half that price,
If we don't support the good ones they wont make it, i try to buy my clothing and helmets shoes from them and take them jobs i don't have the tools or experience for.
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Old 11-02-21, 02:59 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
this is where the issue is for farm equipment and "right to repair" often time a local implement repair place or the farmer them selves can do the part replacement or repair, but need dealer to do the software part.

the problem is say if you combine goes down in the middle of wheat harvest, you often don't have a couple of days or even hours to be idle waiting for a software update.

some farmers are just keeping older combines, tractors and the like and repairing
yeah, I wonder why Deere allows these sorts of problems to exist with their dealers?
Also, why don't their competitors jump at this opportunity to steal some of that market share? I see J.I. Case and Agco hardware in use, but in pretty small numbers compared to the Deere stuff...



There are definitely some C&V tractors being used too, but tends to be on smaller properties.

The most productive equipment is usually the new stuff with the complicated sensors and actuators and all of that stuff. A lot of this stuff is communicating over networks (probably CAN), with lots of different components being essential for operation. Without the proper service tools, the odds of troubleshooting it properly might be slim. Even then, the diagnostics aren't perfect, and you might have to swap a few parts in and out before finding the real problem.
Admittedly, I'm basing this on my experience with the big yellow machines that I helped design, but I dealt with component manufacturers that were also selling to Deere, so there are known similarities. Plus... Deere was buying some joysticks that I helped develop. We got a cut for each one that Deere bought.

Actually, those joysticks are a good example of the difficulty of repairing the electronics. The stuff was potted and not easy to dig into. I had difficulties when troubleshooting items that came back from the field, and was likely to cause damage just trying to find the original fault. The potting was needed to keep it waterproof, though.

Anyway... it's easy to imagine Shimano or Campy or SRAM ending up like this... having to trash a $500 derailleur or brifter because some solder joint failed deep inside. The level of complexity and features almost guarantees that the part will be incredibly difficult to repair.
I wonder how many other engineers deal with the failings & challenges of high tech during the day, and ride home on a bike with downtube shift levers??

Steve in Peoria (but retired now)
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Old 11-02-21, 03:12 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
title and first sentence are a bit confusing, but it is not that the shop is not letting the OP do work in the shop, but that the shop won't sell OP cable and housing to take home to work on bike, parts they sell have to be installed by them
Okay and thanks for clarifying that.

There used to be a shop here in town that wouldn't work on anything but high end bikes and didn't like to sell cables and stuff to people who didn't buy their bikes there.

Another shop once told me that seat binder bolts for steel frames were no longer made. Another time thy told me that they didn't like fixed-gear or single-speed bikes because owners of those didn't buy accessories for them. Yet other employees of that same shop were very helpful.

I guess that sometimes it just depends on which employee you get.

Cheers

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Old 11-02-21, 03:15 PM
  #49  
Miele Man
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
yeah, I wonder why Deere allows these sorts of problems to exist with their dealers?
Also, why don't their competitors jump at this opportunity to steal some of that market share? I see J.I. Case and Agco hardware in use, but in pretty small numbers compared to the Deere stuff...



There are definitely some C&V tractors being used too, but tends to be on smaller properties.

The most productive equipment is usually the new stuff with the complicated sensors and actuators and all of that stuff. A lot of this stuff is communicating over networks (probably CAN), with lots of different components being essential for operation. Without the proper service tools, the odds of troubleshooting it properly might be slim. Even then, the diagnostics aren't perfect, and you might have to swap a few parts in and out before finding the real problem.
Admittedly, I'm basing this on my experience with the big yellow machines that I helped design, but I dealt with component manufacturers that were also selling to Deere, so there are known similarities. Plus... Deere was buying some joysticks that I helped develop. We got a cut for each one that Deere bought.

Actually, those joysticks are a good example of the difficulty of repairing the electronics. The stuff was potted and not easy to dig into. I had difficulties when troubleshooting items that came back from the field, and was likely to cause damage just trying to find the original fault. The potting was needed to keep it waterproof, though.

Anyway... it's easy to imagine Shimano or Campy or SRAM ending up like this... having to trash a $500 derailleur or brifter because some solder joint failed deep inside. The level of complexity and features almost guarantees that the part will be incredibly difficult to repair.
I wonder how many other engineers deal with the failings & challenges of high tech during the day, and ride home on a bike with downtube shift levers??

Steve in Peoria (but retired now)
For years I've been saying that bicycles were getting to be very complicated and that a lot of stuff was not repairable by your average home bicycle person.

I have a pair of Dura Ace 9-speed integrated shifters here that the rear shifter doesn't function properly. I've tried the flush with WD-40 but that didn't help.

Edit.

Those Dura Ace 9-speed shifters live in a parts bin in the hope that someday I'll be able to get them working again.

Cheers

Last edited by Miele Man; 11-02-21 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Added comment
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Old 11-02-21, 03:38 PM
  #50  
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Stories like this make me appreciate my shop even more. Great owner and a great team that have no problem keeping my old rides going for me, or building up another project, or selling me parts, or just giving advice.

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