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Going to the LBS

Old 06-05-11, 03:49 PM
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llmercll
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Going to the LBS

I've had a few threads here, mostly about all the issues I'm having with my bike. I tried going to the DIY route, but after attempting to true a wheel thats out of round, I just can't take it anymore.

I've broken down and will be heading to the LBS. I'm wondering how I should go about this and an estimate of what I would end up paying.

Should I bring just the wheels? These are truly giving me problems. I've trued it laterally no problem, but no matter what I do, I can't make them round. Is there anything I can have them do specifically for a big man that will keep my wheels in true so I don't need to make this a monthly thing?

Should I bring the entire bike and have them fit + tune up everything? I was doing an alright job of this on my own, but I just feel so frustrated. I just want to ride, and have reverted to my couch potato lifestyle the past week since it's been out of service.

I'm not the kind to pay for labor, for anything. I love learning things and doing them myself, and can't remember a time where I've ever had to call on someone for help, be it with my computer, furnace, dishwasher, plumbing, car etc. But I can't take it anymore...

thanks!
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Old 06-05-11, 05:01 PM
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I would say take it to them, talk to them about it, and they might let you learn how to do it. Might be an issue that can't be corrected. My LBS has prices for most maintenance posted, and to me they are cheap. I have never had services done by any other shop so I could be way off. You might find that your LBS is the same on pricing. Good luck, for me it would be worth the coin to get back into the exercise of cycling and how it makes me feel.
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Old 06-05-11, 06:10 PM
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I also hate to pay to have items repaired. With age I have come to realize that sometimes it is cheaper and better to pay an expert. I kind of look at it like this. I paid 600.00 for a bike and I want it right. When I ride my route takes me by the bike shop and the owner is always good about looking at my problems. Prices are reasonable, and that is why I just ordered two more pair of shorts from him. I will also be buyinng my next bike from that shop in the next couple of months.
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Old 06-05-11, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by llmercll View Post
Should I bring just the wheels? These are truly giving me problems. I've trued it laterally no problem, but no matter what I do, I can't make them round. Is there anything I can have them do specifically for a big man that will keep my wheels in true so I don't need to make this a monthly thing?
How out of round are they? My experience building wheels suggests that you can have at most two of the following three things: lateral trueness, even spoke tension, and roundness. Roundness is the last thing I worry about when building wheels. If the wheels are laterally true and the spokes are evenly tensioned, I could care less if the wheels are slightly out of round...

If you're going to do anything, I'd suggest taking just the wheels (preferably sans tires and tubes) to the LBS.

Should I bring the entire bike and have them fit + tune up everything?
Tune-ups are a waste of money in my opinion. So is any bike fit that doesn't last for an hour or more or costs less than $100...
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Old 06-05-11, 06:45 PM
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A tune-up made a huge difference in my bike so I'm glad I had one. I will be learning to do these things myself but since I didn't know then I'm pleased with my results.
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Old 06-05-11, 06:47 PM
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1st Priority: Riding
Take them, get them trued, demand only the most experienced, best wheel builder do it for you

2nd Priority: Learning how to DIY
Watch them; build a second wheel yourself. Use it as a trainer/commuter/whatever. Get a beefy rim, 32-36 spokes. Be patient on this as you have the other and don't have to worry about truing it up quickly.
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Old 06-05-11, 07:37 PM
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I also like to fix things myself. BUT, when it gets to where it eats up so much time that I stop riding, or it seems like I spend more time fixing stuff than riding, then I take it to the pros.

One of the things that I also think about is how much my own time is worth. How much would my boss have to pay me for that many hours. Often, when I look at it that way, it is much "cheaper" to go ahead and take it to a professional.

I've gotten to the point where I won't let anyone touch some things (pedals, handlebars or tape, bottom bracket, rear cassette, fine front and rear derailure adjustment, saddle, brake-pads or brake adjustment, etc.).

Some things are just not worth it for me to learn how to do right, though. I've seen a pro throw on a brand new set of brake and derailure cables in 15-20 minutes, and have everything fully adjusted. I usually end up dinking around with cables for days after the initial installation when I install them. It is not worth it.

Similarly, if a rear wheel really comes out of true, it is better to pay someone to rebuild it with new spokes, than to fight it for weeks and weeks. I don't know why I have the "touch" with derailure adjustment, but can never quite get building my own wheel right.

Last edited by Pinyon; 06-05-11 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 06-05-11, 07:42 PM
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Oh, and many locations these days have shops that specialize more in fixing and selling older bikes, than selling new ones. Places like that want your return business, and tend to do a better repair job around here.
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Old 06-06-11, 12:48 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone =)

I'm really feeling bad about this, right now my bike is upside down in my garage with the tire and tube off =( Just looking at it makes me sad, I want to ride it!!

@sstorkel - they seem to be out of round really badly at one location only. The rest of the wheel is fairly round, at most being out by .2-.5 mm which is acceptable. At the location thats really out though, it bounces, a good mm or 2, and is very noticeable when riding. I can't seem to get it fixed, and is most likely due my inexperience in wheelbuilding =/

One of my main concerns is paying to have them trued, and then a month or two later them going out of true again, or popping a spoke, because of my weight. I just don't have the money to keep bringing in my wheels =( It really scares me because I haven't even ridden this bike for 2 weeks. It's entirely possible they weren't properly trued in the first place, but it's still a scary thought. I'd like to ride my bike without investing ALL my money into it =p

thanks for the input I really appreciate it!
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Old 06-06-11, 07:44 AM
  #10  
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First, I strongly recommend you develop a relationship with your LBS. They not only can handle those tasks you feel uncomfortable with (which for me would include rebuilding a wheel) but advice on other tasks I can do or things I need/don't need. My LBS is cheap compared to the time I would need to do the same thing. And they do it right. I believe in supporting your LBS and make almost all my biking purchases from them, even if the catelog stores could save me a couple of bucks.

Second, an out of true wheel will only get worse if not trued. And the 200+ pounds hastens that. Before you find yourself stranded twenty miles out of town....
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Old 06-06-11, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by llmercll View Post
@sstorkel - they seem to be out of round really badly at one location only. The rest of the wheel is fairly round, at most being out by .2-.5 mm which is acceptable. At the location thats really out though, it bounces, a good mm or 2, and is very noticeable when riding. I can't seem to get it fixed, and is most likely due my inexperience in wheelbuilding =/
This should be pretty easy to fix. Make sure the wheel is laterally true before you start, though. You want the spoke tension to be good, but not at the maximum. Spin the wheel and note where the bump is. Tighten the 6 or 8 spokes that are closest to the bump. You want to tighten spokes from both sides of the hub, so it doesn't go out of true. Start small: say, 1/8th of a turn per spoke. If the wheel suddenly goes out of true while you're doing this, it may mean that you've over-tensioned the spokes.
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Old 06-06-11, 08:49 AM
  #12  
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IMHO - if the wheels rotate and the tubes hold air then ride it. Unless the wheel is majorily out of whack where its physically impossible to ride the bike, ride the bike. You will go isane trying to keep a heavier guys wheels 100% true. Ride it like you stole it

Think back to when you were 12 years old as what you want is the bike almost falling apart around your ears because you keep on riding the bike and patching it together. When you get to that point - your a cyclist
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Old 06-06-11, 03:06 PM
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I true my rear wheels once-a-month or so with no problem. It is when you pop 2-3 spokes, or it really gets out-of-whack (brakes rub HARD), that I call in the pros. At that point, I've found it much less frustrating to go ahead and have the wheel re-built using new spokes. Once they get the wheel off there, they will be able to tell you if you need a new rim or not.

At a couple of bike shops that do good wheels around here, it costs about $100-$110 to rebuild a wheel using an existing rim (depending on spoke count, and type of spoke). Add another $80+, depending on what kind of new rim you put on there (I like Deep Vs and Aeros).

Either way, I know that I won't have to do anything but make minor adjustments for at least a couple of years.
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Old 06-06-11, 09:16 PM
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If I just need my wheels true should I bring them attached to my bike? Is there anything they can use or would cause for them to do a more accurate job if I brought in my bike along with the wheels?

I'm thinking of just bringing in my wheels without tires or tubes. Is there anything in particular or extra I can ask them to do to secure the wheel for a big man?

thanks!
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Old 06-06-11, 09:38 PM
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Bringing the bike does not effect the true job: if you bring the whole bike, they'll just take the wheels off to true them anyway, but certainly won't care if you do.

Assuming you have traditional spokes & nipples, tires & tubes won't get in their way either.

When you're there, just tell them you're a big guy. Go ahead, tell them your weight. Tell them you've been having trouble with the wheel repeatedly going out of true. Ask if they think they should re-tension the whole wheel as you don't want to keep coming back. Even if you do come back, they should touch it up at no cost just to stand behind their truing job.
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Old 06-07-11, 01:12 AM
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llmercll
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Yeah, it'd be easier for me to just bring the wheels.

Is a tensioning usually included when they true it? or is that usually a separate charge?

thanks!
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Old 06-07-11, 07:48 AM
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Not usually. A plain ol' "truing" is just adjusting a couple spokes here/there to get the wheel straight/true. Retensioning the whole wheel involves loosening all the spokes, then tightening them back up making sure they're even & highly tensioned. They don't have to re-lace with new spokes, they just use the ones that are there (unless problems arise).
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Old 06-07-11, 08:50 AM
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Ah I see. You guys would recommend me getting a retensioning too?

thanks!
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Old 06-07-11, 10:51 AM
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Based on your OP, I would. In my neck o' the woods, they run ~$40-50 or so.
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Old 06-07-11, 11:09 AM
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Split the difference if you can--look for a coop or membership shop that sells instruction and rents workstations and tools. I don't know where you live but these are becoming more common.
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Old 06-12-11, 07:19 AM
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Any update on the wheels?
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Old 06-15-11, 09:24 AM
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Going today actually. I don't have a car and no mode of transportation so I had to arrange for a ride =(

I think I'm just going to get the front wheel trued and possibly tensioned. I took a look at my rear wheel, and aside from being a little loose and slightly off lateral, the roundess was great. It was a cinch for me to true it up laterally and tighten the loose spokes. It's just truing radial I have issues with.

Every now and then I'll look at the wheels, true em up, tighten em, and if I get any broken spokes, I'll just replace them myself. It's a lot cheaper than always going to the lbs.

thanks!
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Old 06-22-11, 02:52 PM
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Well I'm pretty disappointed, it's been a week since I brought in my bare wheel to be trued, and they still haven't gotten around it!!

I'm dying to ride...
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Old 06-22-11, 04:02 PM
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zoste
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Wow...I took a wheel to a shop and they replaced a spoke and trued it while I was standing there waiting...
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Old 06-22-11, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GeoBigJon View Post
I would say take it to them, talk to them about it, and they might let you learn how to do it.
My bike shop, or I guess the mechanics who work there, invite people back into the shop area to watch things be repaired, if the person with the bike shows any interest whatsoever in knowing how to do something. They let me use their tools, and have been known to lend them out from time to time. ( I ordered a torque wrench there for a carbon road bike they sold me; until it arrived, they told me to hold onto theirs. )

I don't know how much you paid for your bike, but it sounds like this is an issue that's preventing you from getting any value from your investment. Even worse, bikes are fun, but only when you ride them. Take the wheels in, and pay to have them fixed for you. Watch if you can. Figure out what to do about the fit issue once you get back in the saddle.
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