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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, 12:58 PM
  #1  
Dead_Ant
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Why I'll never take a vintage bike to Performance again.

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!
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Old 05-14-09, 01:05 PM
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I would really push them on this -- There is no reason that they should have drilled that out, unless you told them to try it, which I can't image is the case. If they could not do the work, they should have said so. They broke it and now they should have to pay for their mistake.
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Old 05-14-09, 01:05 PM
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Performance: The Home Depot of bicycles!
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Old 05-14-09, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post
I would really push them on this
Yes, seriously.

Ask to talk to the store manager, regional manager, vice president, whatever. Call corporate headquarters. Send emails through their website, post your story on all the forums.

Messing something up is not a substitute for fixing something. They have an obligation to make it right somehow or offer to send it to someone that can repair it right.

Guess I'll have to break down and buy that cotter press...
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Old 05-14-09, 01:11 PM
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Of course I got an awesome deal on my Fuji Touring bike a week ago from them, so I still have a good feeling for them. Never looked at them as a place to take a bike for service though.
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Old 05-14-09, 01:14 PM
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Just curious, did you OK them to hammer and drill the crank when you took it to them, or did they just do that without consulting with you?
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Old 05-14-09, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
Guess I'll have to break down and buy that cotter press...
It is a wonderful tool.

If you live near Denver you can use mine
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Old 05-14-09, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead_Ant View Post
If you live near Denver you can use mine
Oakland, CA. I'll let you know. Somehow I've survived without one working on bikes the last 35 years, but I only do a cottered every couple of years.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:07 PM
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Why can't you use a punch to knock the rest out?

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cotters.html

Last edited by mparker326; 05-14-09 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:08 PM
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Yeah, I've had really bad luck with asking the guys at Best Buy to repair my old tube amps..

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Old 05-14-09, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead_Ant View Post
I tried to remove the drilled cotter, but the tool could not get into the hole to make contact with the cotter.
Stick another wrecked cotter (cut in half) down the hole - or anything of similar size and of strong enough steel. Get to cranking with the cotter press. Problem solved.

-Kurt
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Old 05-14-09, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mparker326 View Post
Why can't you use a punch to knock the rest out?

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cotters.html

That's what we did back in the day, before cotter presses. Be sure to hold the punch with a pair of pliers
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Old 05-14-09, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
That's what we did back in the day, before cotter presses. Be sure to hold the punch with a pair of pliers
That's what I tried before taking it to Performance. I followed Sheldon's guide step by step trying to get them out.

Stick another wrecked cotter (cut in half) down the hole - or anything of similar size and of strong enough steel. Get to cranking with the cotter press. Problem solved.

-Kurt
This is what I'm trying now. The old cotters are just a hair too wide so I've been searching for something else that is sturdy enough to use.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:39 PM
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Got to say it, find a "real" LBS with a real wrench working behind the counter,(Young or old, look for the guy with dirt on his clothes). Every Proformance I've ever been in has been full of preppys.

R.N.W. (Part time LBS wrench)
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Old 05-14-09, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead_Ant View Post
That's what I tried before taking it to Performance.
So, did you instigate the mess up, or was it already messed up?
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Old 05-14-09, 02:42 PM
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A real LBS can just as easily break bikes as Performance.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:43 PM
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I did my first cottered crank a few weeks back. After the hammer trick which yielded nothing but bent threaded ends, I was about to give up. As a last resort I ground off the threads to get a flat surface to hammer(with a punch) and both of them popped out easily. I imagine heating the metal slightly with a MAP or Propane torch, would do the same while saving the threads. I would never take a cottered bike to a shop that didn't seem to know what they were doing. It being Performance, that goes without saying almost. The employess at my local store looked at me funny when I aksed if they could get tan(cork) bar tape. They had never heard of it?,,,,BD
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Old 05-14-09, 02:51 PM
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A new Performance store opened in town just over a year ago. I walked in for their Grand Opening hoping to find great sales on something I could actually use. What shocked me was overhearing the new manager advise a customer about a bike repair. He said, "you could probably take it to any local bike shop, such as xxx or xxxx, their mechanics should be able to adjust that for you in no time at all". They had quite a few "sales people" on the floor helping people find things, but none seemed no know much about anything beyond what they had available. I figured they had simply not had time to hire a mechanic. Perhaps they really only have personnel in their "shop" area to assemble bikes and attach new accessories, but no one trained to handle general repairs.

I asked a local bike shop manager and owner what they thought about the big discount chain moving to town, and located nearby. They both actually laughed and said they were not worried at all. "They'll sell the bikes and then we'll get the customers who will need them repaired or even just assembled correctly." Perhaps they had heard tales from other towns.

I'll keep buying some stuff from them online (mainly tires at greatly reduced clearance prices) unless they can match the catalog sale prices at the retail store. Otherwise I have no use for then apart from seeing a catalog item close up.
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Old 05-14-09, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
That's what we did back in the day, before cotter presses. Be sure to hold the punch with a pair of pliers
When were there no cotter presses?
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Old 05-14-09, 03:14 PM
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Sew them. Thay ruined the set not just the one side. Take it to court.
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Old 05-14-09, 03:24 PM
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Yep for sure there, I would keep on complaining since they F0RK3D it up until you get something tangible. I hope you didn't pay any money for the messed up work they done did!
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Old 05-14-09, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by yepyep View Post
A real LBS can just as easily break bikes as Performance.
A real LBS is far more likely to have someone who has SEEN a cotter in his or her lifetime.
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Old 05-14-09, 03:45 PM
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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!
Unfortunately, they are the only ones in town with the gumption to repair my '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike. The downside is that it's 9999 on their priority list to fix and to add injury Schwinn/Pacific Cycle/the Red Chinese are sending parts to the US via Junk (Chinese windjammer/Tall ship) so it takes weeks to get a 10 cent part shipped.
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Old 05-14-09, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tolfan View Post
Sew them.
I guess you have big needles and thread out there in amish country but we just Sue them out here.
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Old 05-14-09, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
...unless they can match the catalog sale prices at the retail store.
They will. Just print out the online price (I usually just fill the online shopping cart up with whatever I plan to buy and print the one page). Just make sure they give you the lowest price. Occasionally, the in-store price has been even lower than the online price.

As for their mechanics, there are three that are good (one I've known for decades - long before PBS existed) and a couple I don't deal with. I've bought 3 bikes there and saved 33% on one and over 50% on the other 2 plus got 10% back in merchandise with the PBS club membership. I would love to buy from a small LBS but I'd be forced to either spend a lot more (which I can't afford) or ride a much lower level bike (which doesn't make sense). As with most things in life, it is all about trade-offs.
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