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Why I'll never take a vintage bike to Performance again.

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Why I'll never take a vintage bike to Performance again.

Old 05-14-09, 04:10 PM
  #26  
wrk101
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Just another reason to do work yourself. Hard to find anyone willing/able to work on vintage bikes.
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Old 05-14-09, 04:17 PM
  #27  
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I have had pretty good luck with PBS. It's close and I just go there when something is on sale or it's REALLY low on their website and print it out. The day after Thanksgiving I scored a lot for about 50% off.

There is 1 very good mechanic there who happens to be African American and that's not odd, just for where I live. I once walked in with a vintage Pinarello frame that had a stuck BB cup. He put it on the stand and loosened it in 10 seconds. No charge.

He has a lot of good info for the asking as well but I don't think I would trust any of the other guys there with my entire C & V bike, definitely not.
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Old 05-14-09, 06:26 PM
  #28  
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If you're in Denver, go to the Cycle Analyst! Not the cheapest shop around, but definitely the only one i would trust with a bike older than 1999. They do excellent repair work and they stock a bewildering variety of old, small, obscure parts.
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Old 05-14-09, 06:43 PM
  #29  
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The Performance shop in my area actually has one really good mechanic who seems to know C&V bikes. The problem for them is, right down the street is an LBS that are C&V experts. I'm really lucky because there are three All Star shops in my area that work on older bikes and stock parts for them.
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Old 05-14-09, 06:58 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by yepyep View Post
A real LBS can just as easily break bikes as Performance.
Mike Barry never broke anything of mine. Even stuff that I had screwed up and he couldn't promise he could fix it without breaking it, he still didn't break it. And he fixed it.
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Old 05-14-09, 07:28 PM
  #31  
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That Bikesmith tools is really good. I've been down in his shop -- in fact he taught me how to cold set frames. Great guy.

I like Cudak888's idea -- get a partial cotter in the hole and use the press on it.
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Old 05-14-09, 10:12 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by reverborama View Post

I like Cudak888's idea -- get a partial cotter in the hole and use the press on it.
Or a small bolt might work...
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Old 05-14-09, 10:40 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus View Post
Mike Barry never broke anything of mine. Even stuff that I had screwed up and he couldn't promise he could fix it without breaking it, he still didn't break it. And he fixed it.
Yeah. Mike's a great guy, but he's retired.
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Old 05-15-09, 12:03 AM
  #34  
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Well, I've got to work all weekend...I'll have to figure this out on Monday.
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Old 05-15-09, 12:15 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by yepyep View Post
A real LBS can just as easily break bikes as Performance.
Sometimes removing cotters warrants some pretty extreme measures but a REAL LBS should have the proper tools and someone who knows how to use them... it is going to work in 99% of the situations and it is not a hard tool to use.

Some cotters don't like to come out without a fight and anytime I work on a cottered crank I have a disclaimer (same as bottom brackets) that in some cases, the crank removal may require heroic measures especially if the cotter was previously damaged.

You always want to start small and if the problem can't be fixed, get a bigger hammer.

That is the millwright's creed.

But you don't start by using the wrong tool and a sledgehammer.
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Old 05-15-09, 03:23 AM
  #36  
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I noticed that you didn't answer any of the questions regarding whether or not you messed the cotters up first and if you gave them permission to remove them violently. It occurs to me that if you did give them permission to use unconventional methods, it would almost certainly have come with a caveat that they'd do their best but couldn't be held responsible for the outcome. Not to run contrary to the spirit of the thread, but if you messed them up first and then told PBS to do what they could in the pursuit of removing them, they wouldn't owe you anything but a shrug, poor customer service notwithstanding.
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Old 05-15-09, 04:08 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Dead_Ant View Post
So I took the Raleigh Record I've been working on to a local Performance to have some cottered cranks removed, they said on the phone that they could do it no problem. I brought it in and after an hour wait they told me that they couldn't get them off (they didn't have a cotter pin press). First they tried hammering them out, then they tried drilling the left side crank. They told me that the only option left was to saw the cranks off.

I took my bike home and decided to get the proper tool to do the job, so I ordered one of the cotter presses from bikesmith. I first tested the tool on an old Nishiki that I'm working on, and it worked flawlessly. Next, I took out the cotter on the side they hadn't drilled on the Raleigh. Once again the press worked without hitch.

I tried to remove the drilled cotter, but the tool could not get into the hole to make contact with the cotter. Now the crank is attached to the bottom bracket with no way to remove it.

I decided to contact Performance in hopes that they would replace the crankset and bottom bracket that they screwed up. I called on the 23rd of April and explained the situation; they told me that they would call me back with more information in a couple of days. I waited for three weeks, but never got a call. I finally decided to call them today, and they said that all they could do was send me a new left side crank because that is all they damaged.

We argued for almost 10 minutes, and I made no headway.

I will probably never take another bike to Performance, and I definitely won't be taking a bike for anything that's slightly out of the ordinary for them.

Thanks for listening to my rant

-Ant

Oh wait, one more thing! The last 4 times that I have called them (twice because of this situation and twice about product inquiries), I was put on hold for anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes!
I used to live near Colorado and Iliff, and bought a lot of parts there, but would not have trusted them with a tough job or vintage.

The Classic Rendezvous site has a list of "vintage-friendly bike shops," and one in Denver is CycleAnalyst (www.cycleanalystinc.com), 722 South Pearl Street. It's 17 years since I lived there, but it was there then, so I know they are not fly-by-night. Another possible contact is Vecchio's Bicicletteria, up in Boulder. They specialize in repair rather than bike sales, and one of the main guys is perhaps the best authority I've found on Campagnolo arcane details.

Whatever happens with the removal, you should consider how to score some new parts - you might have bearings dented from the hammering. You should also take a good look at the integrity of the BB shell, once you get everything out.
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Old 05-15-09, 04:31 AM
  #38  
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An old square taper bottom bracket axle with the threads ground off has worked pretty well for me as a punch for getting out a broken off cotter pin.

I've also drilled straight through one or two. They can't put up much fight after that.
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Old 05-17-09, 08:32 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by purevl View Post
I noticed that you didn't answer any of the questions regarding whether or not you messed the cotters up first and if you gave them permission to remove them violently. It occurs to me that if you did give them permission to use unconventional methods, it would almost certainly have come with a caveat that they'd do their best but couldn't be held responsible for the outcome. Not to run contrary to the spirit of the thread, but if you messed them up first and then told PBS to do what they could in the pursuit of removing them, they wouldn't owe you anything but a shrug, poor customer service notwithstanding.
Sorry for not responding, I've been at work all weekend.

Before I attempted to remove the cotters I consulted Sheldon's page and decided that it was too grand of a task for me to undertake without damaging the bike. So the cotters were in the same condition as when I pulled the bike from the shed.

I don't recall giving them permission to drill the cotters. I just assumed that they (at the very least) wouldn't screw anything up (which they did).
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Old 05-17-09, 08:38 PM
  #40  
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I think this is why I'm overly cautious with LBS near me. I don't like doing it, but I'll ask tons of questions and get verbal reassurance on the smallest detail just to be safe. It may make me sound like a pain in the ass, but I rather be "that guy that asks a ton of questions" (at least until I trust the LBS) than have my bike damaged. Thankfully I have a couple trust worthy places that know their vintage.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:15 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Dead_Ant View Post
So I took the Raleigh Record I've been working on to a local Performance to have some cottered cranks removed, they said on the phone that they could do it no problem. I brought it in and after an hour wait they told me that they couldn't get them off (they didn't have a cotter pin press). First they tried hammering them out, then they tried drilling the left side crank. They told me that the only option left was to saw the cranks off.

I took my bike home and decided to get the proper tool to do the job, so I ordered one of the cotter presses from bikesmith. I first tested the tool on an old Nishiki that I'm working on, and it worked flawlessly. Next, I took out the cotter on the side they hadn't drilled on the Raleigh. Once again the press worked without hitch.

I tried to remove the drilled cotter, but the tool could not get into the hole to make contact with the cotter. Now the crank is attached to the bottom bracket with no way to remove it.

I decided to contact Performance in hopes that they would replace the crankset and bottom bracket that they screwed up. I called on the 23rd of April and explained the situation; they told me that they would call me back with more information in a couple of days. I waited for three weeks, but never got a call. I finally decided to call them today, and they said that all they could do was send me a new left side crank because that is all they damaged.

We argued for almost 10 minutes, and I made no headway.

I will probably never take another bike to Performance, and I definitely won't be taking a bike for anything that's slightly out of the ordinary for them.

Thanks for listening to my rant

-Ant

Oh wait, one more thing! The last 4 times that I have called them (twice because of this situation and twice about product inquiries), I was put on hold for anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes!
KISS. Keep it simple...

Just remember: Payday is on Friday BUT $hit rolls up hill

Write the above letter, one page max, to the CEO of Performance. Include the address of the local Performance shop, names, dates, details...just the facts, no attitudes, adverbs or adjectives.

Conclude the letter with the 'cure' you request, and too, request that they respond within a time limit such as 24 hours, 3 days etc.

Send it overnight. Be sure to note your overnight expense within the 'Cure' section.

Customer service and satisfaction are taken very seriously at 'C' levels in every business. That's why it's important that you be very clear and objective.

Please post back here the result, which I am sure will be most satisfactory.

Last edited by mrmw; 05-18-09 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:50 AM
  #42  
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I've seen ugly, failed hack jobs by a LBS 'round here, but process-wise, bike/car/HVAC/whatever, when they saw they couldn't do the job, they should have consulted you before resorting to destructive methods. Period.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:14 AM
  #43  
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The service departments of the mass retailers are geared towards servicing recent models, just like auto dealerships.

If I had a 57 Chevy, one of the last places I would take it for service would be a typical Chevrolet dealership.

That being said, the LBS probably has an obligation to warn, "Well, we usually don't work on old bikes" or something and wave off the job if it is outside their scope of expertise. You've probably got a legitimate beef w/Performance over this.

About a year ago, I was talking w/Jill Dimauro, the proprietor of Proteus bikes in College Park, Md. about vintage bikes. She's a C&V fan, but said that they stopped doing builds for customers on vintage frames because of the complications - parts, tech knowledge, messing up something difficult to replace, etc. So they had an honest policy in this regard.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:10 AM
  #44  
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Sweet success! I managed to get the cotter out.

It took quite a bit of time, but I was able to get a bolt in there and push it out.

Thanks for all of the posts everyone!
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Old 05-19-09, 01:46 AM
  #45  
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My local Performance (Mountain View, Ca) has a couple of mechanics with lots of experience that I trust. But when it came time to get some cottered cranks off, I took my vintage Peugeot to a shop with a press.

In my mind, Performance just doesn't care about serving a huge portion of the bike market. For instance, try to find a decent quill stem or anything of that nature there. I heard an employee (different location, but still bay area) talking about Performance buying a parts supplier so they could really drive up the volume and margins on their limited selection. Another employee, listening to my comments/complaints about their tire selection said, "yeah, but we sell a LOT of the tires we carry." Duh.
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