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New Levers?

Old 02-17-14, 12:47 PM
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New Levers?

I need a brake cable for the rear brake on my new commuter bike. The levers and brakes are Dia-Compe and they are from the early 80's. They take the mountain bike type cable but the barrel stop/nipple is slightly smaller than what I assume is the current standard mountain bike cable. Rather than going through the trouble of filing it down to fit I thought I would stop by a local bike shop on the way home and pick one up. We have nice weather coming up and I don't want to miss the opportunity to ride without freezing.

The first shop I went to didn't have what I was looking for.

The second shop told me that they don't make those anymore, and that I needed new levers because if they were old enough to only fit the smaller barrel/lever that they were not safe anymore. He says this without seeing them.

This is my second time to this shop and my last. The first time I went, it was just to look around. They were brand new at this location, there original store which is still open is one town over. I was talking to the manager and he of course starts talking up all their new bikes, Specialized and Giant. I comment that I do my own wrenching and that I go for vintage steel. He proceeds to tell me why steel/vintage is inferior to modern aluminum and carbon. I thought it was kind of rude but understand he needs to sell new bikes and blew it off.

Normally I buy these cables at the shop on the other side of town or get them off eBay, him being a bike mechanic he has to know that they are still available. To claim the levers are not safe without seeing them is over the top. Granted, I probably look like an idiot, and in some ways I might be, but not in this case. His use of fear and disdain for 'old' is very off-putting at the least and I wont be back to that shop.
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Old 02-17-14, 12:58 PM
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Tough to make a living catering to the vintage bike crowd, so most shopkeepers don't try. My local guys right across the street from my work are great, they seem to have a bunch of misc old crap on hand, but don't assign any value to to it, so they just usually give it to me. I make sure I go there and buy tubes, patch kits, tire levers, mini pumps etc, every now and again.
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Old 02-17-14, 01:07 PM
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Nothing like actually encouraging potential customers to go to the internet instead of the local brick and mortar!
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Old 02-17-14, 01:10 PM
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An acquaintance was telling me about the shops in the country she is living in. There, courtesy is utmost, they will never tell you "no". If she asked for a certain product, they would never say "no", but always "yes", but tell you with their expression that "no, we don't have it".
Until she learned to read what the expression said, not the words, she found it very awkward.

With this shop owner you have found the polar opposite, if you ask for a product the shop does not carry, they demean you for wanting what they don't have.
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Old 02-17-14, 02:46 PM
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I think you are right about forgetting those guys. I have never bought a bike from my LBS, but I buy all nearly all my tires, tubes, and small parts there. They are cheaper than Wal-Mart on tires and tubes, but a bit high on accessories, but unless I find a good deal online (with free shipping), I buy them too. They have a few drawers of take-offs and junk parts that are invaluable to me. I never get any pressure there, and the people are always interested my current project. I usually ride there and show it off when it's complete.
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Old 02-17-14, 02:57 PM
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Being a C&V guy, when I was working at the LBS, I never turned away a customer asking about old stuff. Often the other mechanics or the owners would call for me.
I never upsaled them. And if we didn't carry it, but if it's available, we'd put forth the effort to get it for them. They leave pretty happy usually.
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Old 02-17-14, 03:29 PM
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The guys at my local store are about as supportive as they can be.

I was surprised when one of the guys asked me "do you still have that bike with the front rack?"
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Commence to jigglin’ huh?!?!

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