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Why are bike shops so awful!?! (Vent\rant)

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Why are bike shops so awful!?! (Vent\rant)

Old 10-19-18, 04:58 PM
  #1  
Whatnot
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Why are bike shops so awful!?! (Vent\rant)

I have a new set of tire that won't fit on to the rim no matter what I do. Tried soapy water, tried warming the tire and cooling the rim to shrink the metal. I also have plenty of experience with this task.
I'd heard of a "tire bead jack" but never needed one until now so stop by my usual bike shop to see if they stocked by chance and the mechanic/attendant wanted to argue that no such tool exists to stretch a tire on to a rim, to which I responded "...except for a tire bead jack ...made by Kool Tool." Then there was a long awkward silence and I finally just said "thanks anyway" and walked out promising myself I'd never set foot in that shop again.
This wasn't the first straw, they tuned up my bike for $60 and adjusted the brakes with the brakes hitting the rubber and my rear axle was loose when I got it back causing me to suspect "hanging parts"

Other shops in my area are not much better, they all feel far to entitled to my money charging $190 for a bike fit. For $190 I would want a two day measurement of every bone and joint in my body and have the study sent to NASA for analysis and specs for a custom built bike. The accessories are 30% more than online and the people who own and/or work at these shops seem more annoyed by my shopping than appreciative of my bussiness, like when I asked for a cottered pin press for my crank arms for my vintage Raleigh...

Is it just me?, or my area?, or does every shop just suck? I'd like to support my local bike shops, we've lost 3 in the last year, (we don't have a Raleigh dealer anymore) but I'm finding it more and more difficult to give my money to ungrateful shops just as a charitable act.
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Old 10-19-18, 05:08 PM
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My LBS is great. Never had any issues with them.
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Old 10-19-18, 05:11 PM
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Hanging parts? No idea what that means.

Ask to speak to the manager about the incompetent tune up. If the manager can't offer a reasonable resolution, then escalate to the owner. You will get the matter resolved easily. I can understand your desire to vent here but I would spend my time getting the matter resolved with the shop first. Report back on your success afterwards.
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Old 10-19-18, 05:21 PM
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What are "hanging parts?"
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Old 10-19-18, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver View Post
What are "hanging parts?"
This is a G-rated forum.
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Old 10-19-18, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Whatnot View Post
I asked for a cottered pin press for my crank arms for my vintage Raleigh...

Is it just me?
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Old 10-19-18, 05:53 PM
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Get to know your bike, how it's put together, do some internet research on maintenance techniques (and save the website titles) and acquire some basic tool kits. Read and post in the BikeForums bike maintenance section, where there are some excellent posters with great experience in the old and current categories, and finally realise that the changes put on us by profit searching bike designers are a little tricky to come to turn with.

Ultimately, most of the problems you are experiencing with the losses of bike shop services in the area you live (wherever that is) can be met by personal knowledge. I drop into the bike shops in the areas I live or visit to see what they stock and what prices they charge, but about 15 years ago I learnt about mechanic incompetence, and set about learning my own stuff. I don't do any racing, but do long-distance randonnees and build bikes for my own use whenever the opportunity rises price wise and access to the equipment and parts I want.
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Old 10-19-18, 05:54 PM
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Why don't you move? I am sure there are better shops in other states.
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Old 10-19-18, 06:00 PM
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Frankly, I would never expect any current bike shop to stock a cotter press. Maybe, if they've been in business for about 50 years.
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Old 10-19-18, 06:08 PM
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All local bike shops in my area are good shops. They are not perfect, but they are outstanding at times. None of them can know everything all of the time.
i think your expectations could use an adjustment, like all of us at times.
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Old 10-19-18, 06:37 PM
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Why are bike shops so awful!?! Well, look who they have to deal with every day ....



Tubeless-ready tires are three bears and a crack-addict Goldilocks to get on a rim. Getting a flat has taken me 45 minutes on the roadside---Twice---and in each case I broke a tire lever ....
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Old 10-19-18, 06:45 PM
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The only tools you need to install or remove tires is your two hands , a pair of tire levers and some elbow grease. You don't need any tire bead jacks. Imagine what happens if you have a flat out on the road and you don't have a tire bead jack , what then ??...Learn how to install/remove your tires.
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Old 10-19-18, 06:50 PM
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I wander into bike shops once in awhile. Its a totally unfulfilling adventure. I cant recognize a component on any bike. All the accessories are nothing I would ever purchase. The clothing looks really wack and doesnt appeal to me in the slightest. Then if I even think about checking a price on any of it...well I am out the door. And new bike shops dont have that wonderful bike shop smell of rubber and oil. Which leaves me with my local bike shop. The owner, with gray hair, doesn't sell new bikes. Does repairs for all the old diehard racers from the '70's. And talks about farming, rowing, and this and that. When he closes shop I may never step foot in a bike shop again.

On the positive side I have ebay and the internet. I can source 50, 60 year old parts. Cool vintage clothing. And have it all shipped to my doorstep.
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Old 10-19-18, 06:50 PM
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Glad I don't live where you live, I have 3 really good bike shops, plus the beach.
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Old 10-19-18, 06:56 PM
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My LBS is absolutely fantastic. I am endlessly thankful for that.
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Old 10-19-18, 07:38 PM
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The ďattendantĒ was probably the ownerís nephew or something. I have a large, chain LBS near me that has some people who arenít sure about anything, and Iím not going in asking for cotter pin presses for bikes older than their parents... regular stuff. So they have to pass me off to someone else, usually the mechanic. So that stinks.

BUT, they have done me extremely right on a number of occasions, whether it be finishing things early, throwing in a small extra related item for free, hunting for a certain size bolt, working on a super stuck pedal, not trying to overcharge me on tires, chains, etc vs. other outlets, and thinking creatively and offering advice. So I keep going there!
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Old 10-19-18, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
The only tools you need to install or remove tires is your two hands , a pair of tire levers and some elbow grease. You don't need any tire bead jacks. Imagine what happens if you have a flat out on the road and you don't have a tire bead jack , what then ??...Learn how to install/remove your tires.
I have a tire bead jack in my sag bag. My hands are not strong enough to pull the tire over the edge. It's a simple matter of the bead diameter varying from one tire design to another, and the rim profile varying from one rim to the next. Sometimes, you end up with a tight tire.
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Old 10-19-18, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Whatnot View Post
I have a new set of tire that won't fit on to the rim no matter what I do. Tried soapy water, tried warming the tire and cooling the rim to shrink the metal. I also have plenty of experience with this task.
I'd heard of a "tire bead jack" but never needed one until now so stop by my usual bike shop to see if they stocked by chance and the mechanic/attendant wanted to argue that no such tool exists to stretch a tire on to a rim, to which I responded "...except for a tire bead jack ...made by Kool Tool." Then there was a long awkward silence and I finally just said "thanks anyway" and walked out promising myself I'd never set foot in that shop again.
This wasn't the first straw, they tuned up my bike for $60 and adjusted the brakes with the brakes hitting the rubber and my rear axle was loose when I got it back causing me to suspect "hanging parts"

Other shops in my area are not much better, they all feel far to entitled to my money charging $190 for a bike fit. For $190 I would want a two day measurement of every bone and joint in my body and have the study sent to NASA for analysis and specs for a custom built bike. The accessories are 30% more than online and the people who own and/or work at these shops seem more annoyed by my shopping than appreciative of my bussiness, like when I asked for a cottered pin press for my crank arms for my vintage Raleigh...

Is it just me?, or my area?, or does every shop just suck? I'd like to support my local bike shops, we've lost 3 in the last year, (we don't have a Raleigh dealer anymore) but I'm finding it more and more difficult to give my money to ungrateful shops just as a charitable act.
1- tight tires are no fun. I've had em. It's worth buying different tires as other brand/model will fit better for sure.

2- $190 for a dedicated professional fit isnt excessive. You are spending multiple hours and working on constant adjustments. What do you expect them to charge for a few hours of dedicated work when you are taking someone away from sales, repair, etc for the shop?

3- cottered crank? Yeah that's unreasonable to be upset. Call around and ask all the shops if they have a pin press before going in. Saves time and frustration. Its unreasonable to expect a shop to fully service 50 year old crank technology that hasn't even been used on new bikes since the Carter administration.

4- its you. Most assuredly its you.
I dont frequent one of my metro's bike shops even though it's 1mi from where it work because they dont focus on the riding I like or the type of bikes i like. Even still, I am able to recognize it as a quality shop and tell people to go there as its good, but just not for me.
apply that to your situation. The shops may be fine...for most everyone else.
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Old 10-19-18, 08:05 PM
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Have a good one & an ok one here.
But even the good one isnít perfect
but are good folks, easy to talk to &
work with me on any issue.
Trouble with both is price, pretty expensive
but thatís partly Alaska (high cost of living & shipping ).

Im learning a lot of diy, here & utube
Save $$ & fun
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Old 10-19-18, 08:08 PM
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Grand Performance here in St. Paul is excellent.
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Old 10-19-18, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
The only tools you need to install or remove tires is your two hands , a pair of tire levers and some elbow grease. You don't need any tire bead jacks. Imagine what happens if you have a flat out on the road and you don't have a tire bead jack , what then ??...Learn how to install/remove your tires.
absurd.

I had a tire rim combo that was so tight, I used tin snips to cut the tires off the rims. They were just as difficult to mount and I eventually took them to a shop for help. God forbid if I had ever gotten a flat while riding!
I have since mounted 3 other tire brand/models of varying width on those rims and they were all fine to mount and pull off.

I have put hundreds of tires onto rims and they all vary in difficulty due to the unique rim and tire profiles.
usually my thumbs are enough, but sometimes a tire lever as a pivot is needed to help get the rubber over the rim.


it isnt at all about learning how.
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Old 10-19-18, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I have a tire bead jack in my sag bag.
Me too. It makes it sooo much easier. It's part of all the other crap that weighs a ton and keeps me from having to try and talk my wife and navigating to where I am stranded.

OP: The tool you want is made by Cool Stop and is a tire bead jack, it works great and is light and made of plastic, so it's not too much weight to carry on the bike if you want to. Just order it online and you'll have it in a few days.

The couple of bike shops I've visited have ranged from very good to 'meh', so it perhaps depends on the locale, the amount of business the shop is experiencing and the person's temperament. Perhaps they got pissed because they were super busy and then you came in asking for something that was not going to generate any income for them.
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Old 10-19-18, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Me too. It makes it sooo much easier. It's part of all the other crap that weighs a ton and keeps me from having to try and talk my wife and navigating to where I am stranded.

OP: The tool you want is made by Cool Stop and is a tire bead jack, it works great and is light and made of plastic, so it's not too much weight to carry on the bike if you want to. Just order it online and you'll have it in a few days.

The couple of bike shops I've visited have ranged from very good to 'meh', so it perhaps depends on the locale, the amount of business the shop is experiencing and the person's temperament. Perhaps they got pissed because they were super busy and then you came in asking for something that was not going to generate any income for them.
I have the Kool Stop too. In fact, it was kind of a geeky thing to do, but I cut off the handle to make it fit in my bag. I also have the VAR tire lever / bead jack combination, but the Kool Stop works so much better. It's kind of a luck-of-the-draw thing, the next pair of tires might be easier to install. Of course I don't want to get new tires until the old ones are good and worn out.
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Old 10-19-18, 09:13 PM
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Maybe you should just switch to a different tire (brand, model etc.). My experience is that if I have to use much force on something it always ends up bad. Things get broken/bent or I get angry, and when angry, I sometimes put it back together wrong.
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Old 10-19-18, 09:20 PM
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The bike shops in my locale have had their ups and downs. There are several of them, that seem quite successful. But two or three of the bigger shops have all been consolidated under a single owner, so we'll see how that affects things. They're happy to sell me things like innertubes, and they're always nice to me. They have to respect my bike, otherwise **** 'em. Even the super high end road bike shop complimented my filthy old three-speed when I went there with a friend to get his super high end road bike adjusted.

In my view, becoming self sufficient for maintenance is a game-changer for your experience as a cyclist. This doesn't necessarily mean diving off the deep end, and equipping yourself with a full shop, or doing heroic repairs. One thing I've done, is to be selective of the bikes that come into the family fleet, so I can limit my collection of tools and stick with techniques until I get good at them. I choose my battles.

Last edited by Gresp15C; 10-19-18 at 09:24 PM.
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