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Burned by my local bike shop on subtle problem with bike

Old 11-30-19, 12:15 AM
  #1  
wafranklin
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Burned by my local bike shop on subtle problem with bike

I am interested in buying a rather expensive new bike,

but I got burned pretty bad on a recent new bike purchase.


The purchase was a 2019 Giant Propel Advanced Disc for about $4000 from

the most popular local bike shop in my area.


The bike "pulled" to the right a little.

It wasn't noticeable unless riding with no hands.

When riding with no hands I had to keep my weight shifted to the left on the saddle, a little bit.

I don't know how to quantify the extent of the "pulling to the right", but it was

very noticeable while on the bike.


I had the rear wheel dish checked and it was fine.

I checked the frame alignment by running a thread from one rear drop-out,

around the front of the head tube and back to the other drop-out,

then measuring the distance from the thread to the seat tube and it was exactly equal on both sides.

Summary: there was some kind of problem but I couldn't figure it out.


The mechanic at the shop I where I bought it rode it around their little strip mall and said he

couldn't see any problem.

The shop owner rode it around their strip mall and said he couldn't see any problem either.


The mechanic and owner would have been able to detect the problem if they took the bike

for a longer ride on a straight road.

We are in Florida, there are plenty of straight roads near his shop.

I traded the bike in and my new bike rides fine so I know the problem is not with me.

I lost a lot of money on the trade.


I want to buy yet another bike but how do I protect myself if there is a subtle problem

with the new bike and the shop refuses to "see" the problem?
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Old 11-30-19, 02:34 AM
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Okay ... did you check the front brake?
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Old 11-30-19, 03:41 AM
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Where is Florida are you? name of the Shop?
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Old 11-30-19, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Okay ... did you check the front brake?
Are you asking me if the front brake pads were dragging? No, they were not.
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Old 11-30-19, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by wafranklin View Post
Are you asking me if the front brake pads were dragging? No, they were not.
I'm asking if one front brake pad was touching at times.

Could be the brakes. Could be that the front wheel wasn't quite true.
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Old 11-30-19, 06:41 AM
  #6  
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Can you test ride next time? Extended test ride if possible.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by wafranklin View Post
but I got burned pretty bad on a recent new bike purchase.
It's not clear how the shop mistreated you but I would suggest you relate this story to the new shop, let them know exactly what you expect from them. Let them decide if they want your business. If they accept you as a customer you'll probably agree on an appropriate distance for a test ride before the sale is final.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:20 AM
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You say you checked the frame alignment with the "string test," but did you check the fork alignment? That's a bit trickier without a tool like the Park FT-4:

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Old 11-30-19, 07:26 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by wafranklin View Post
I am interested in buying a rather expensive new bike,

but I got burned pretty bad on a recent new bike purchase.


The purchase was a 2019 Giant Propel Advanced Disc for about $4000 from

the most popular local bike shop in my area.


The bike "pulled" to the right a little.

It wasn't noticeable unless riding with no hands.

When riding with no hands I had to keep my weight shifted to the left on the saddle, a little bit.

I don't know how to quantify the extent of the "pulling to the right", but it was

very noticeable while on the bike.


I had the rear wheel dish checked and it was fine.

I checked the frame alignment by running a thread from one rear drop-out,

around the front of the head tube and back to the other drop-out,

then measuring the distance from the thread to the seat tube and it was exactly equal on both sides.

Summary: there was some kind of problem but I couldn't figure it out.


The mechanic at the shop I where I bought it rode it around their little strip mall and said he

couldn't see any problem.

The shop owner rode it around their strip mall and said he couldn't see any problem either.


The mechanic and owner would have been able to detect the problem if they took the bike

for a longer ride on a straight road.

We are in Florida, there are plenty of straight roads near his shop.

I traded the bike in and my new bike rides fine so I know the problem is not with me.

I lost a lot of money on the trade.


I want to buy yet another bike but how do I protect myself if there is a subtle problem

with the new bike and the shop refuses to "see" the problem?
That could easily be a very minor saddle adjustment/fit problem. If it truly is a subtle problem, you may have difficulty getting someone else to see it. Your rear wheel could be in the dropout slightly unevenly. Or any number of barely perceptible things.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:47 AM
  #10  
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Roads generally do slope downward to the right.. helps with water run-off.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:53 AM
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I'd suspect the fork. Every assembly we did included a test ride with hands off on an absolutely flat stretch. Probably one in ten bikes had a pull to one side or the other that was attributable to the fork being out somehow.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:57 AM
  #12  
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Maybe something about the bike's particular geometry and your anatomy?
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Old 11-30-19, 08:46 AM
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The OP isn’t asking for troubleshooting help...the bike has already been traded. The question is how to protect oneself on a future purchase. If the LBS didn’t help make the previous purchase right, I would go to another bike store in the future. One post suggested an extended test ride, which seems like a good idea.

The only other way to protect yourself would be to purchase with a credit card. If there’s a problem with the bike that the store will not correct, your purchase can be disputed with the credit card company. I’d view that as a last resort though, because if a problem is barely perceptible, and the bike store can’t duplicate the problem, they are not going to be pleased when you dispute the purchase. It’s a burned bridge type situation.
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Old 11-30-19, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Roads generally do slope downward to the right.. helps with water run-off.
Yep. While riding hands free, the slope of the road generally makes my bikes track down to the road's edge, unless I make a correction with my body. Whether on the left or the right side of the crown of a road.
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Old 11-30-19, 11:52 AM
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Must have been a Trek labeled as a Giant
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Old 11-30-19, 12:05 PM
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Front wheel drop out, alignment, wheel true? Tire seated correctly, headset, axle seated correctly? Seems pretty minor, some bike I can ride no hands, others not. 1/2 out of 9.
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Old 11-30-19, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
The OP isnít asking for troubleshooting help...the bike has already been traded. The question is how to protect oneself on a future purchase. If the LBS didnít help make the previous purchase right, I would go to another bike store in the future. One post suggested an extended test ride, which seems like a good idea.

The only other way to protect yourself would be to purchase with a credit card. If thereís a problem with the bike that the store will not correct, your purchase can be disputed with the credit card company. Iíd view that as a last resort though, because if a problem is barely perceptible, and the bike store canít duplicate the problem, they are not going to be pleased when you dispute the purchase. Itís a burned bridge type situation.
It's also possible that the op has unreasonable expectations. For all we know their definition of a major issue tracking to the right would be imperceptible to many of us. Could be a real problem or some princess/pea fussiness.
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Old 11-30-19, 12:20 PM
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My advice would be in the future, to ride the bike longer before making the mistake of trading the bike off and losing money. I honestly think there was nothing really wrong with the bike, other than possibly a minor fit adjustment being needed, to nothing at all and the geometry of the bike was more susceptible to the way the road is crowned.
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Old 11-30-19, 12:32 PM
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your left arse cheek is bigger and heavier than the right
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Old 11-30-19, 12:52 PM
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There's a fork for that:

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Old 11-30-19, 01:18 PM
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Pulling to the right was probably the result of road surface or maybe wind direction. LBS tested it and found nothing wrong. I doubt that a $ 4000 bike made by reputable brand purchased from a reputable LBS would be defective....and if the bike was really defective it should of been replaced for free.
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Old 11-30-19, 01:56 PM
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I never know which way any of my bikes are gonna pull, when I use no hands, but solving that problem was pretty simple.
Tim
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Old 11-30-19, 03:47 PM
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$4000 Giant not behaving. We are all familar with how many old names Giant now represents with bikes being made overseas. The fine tuning is always ( or should be ) done by the LBS. I whole heartedly agree with post #8 from John D Thompson regarding the front end of the bike. Just some other information for the family here. I have not even come close to $4000 and I have been riding since my second hand 10th birthday present in June 1941. Big deal I can hear from the gallery........do ya wanna medal.....sorry we are all out of medals. .giggle Jim.
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Old 11-30-19, 03:51 PM
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Going to disagree with most here. Yes, the entire issue could be as simple as crown of the road. OTOH the OP presumably has other bikes or remembers other bikes that don't pull.

Most bikes are not perfect out of the box. Most bikes will not do what they should do until a lot of tuning has been done. This one it does sound like an alignment problem. String test is very crude, won't catch much. The store should have done a thorough alignment check and should have walked their customer through the process, making sure he knew what they were doing and what they were looking for.

Giant frames are not particularly accurate. Yes, frames on $4000 bikes can be off. Most will never notice. Most have very low standards. Not a lot of impetus for manufacturers to correct problems that few will ever perceive. Off the top of my head Look and Time have reputations for making accurate frames. There must be others. Giant, Trek, Specialized, Cannondale do not make accurate frames. If customer is very picky custom is a live option. For $4000 it is possible to do a custom and a basic build.

Buy a new bike from the oldest family-owned store possible. Best is an owner who has built frames. No, that is not always possible. Yes, it can be done. My LBS is owned by a man who has built a few hundred steel frames and was part of the team that designed and built the original Kestrel, the first monocoque carbon frame. He has very little business. Consumers want to buy from the big factory owned Trek store. Buy a carbon frame from Ron, you get hours of his time. From a guy who has literally forty years experience with carbon. The other two LBS that get some of my business the owners have also built a few steel frames and know what alignment means.

The bike business in general has extremely low standards. Anyone who has high standards is pushing uphill. You can still get to top of the ill but it won't be easy.
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Old 11-30-19, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
The OP isn’t asking for troubleshooting help...the bike has already been traded...
Sure. Well, I didn't mind hearing others' ideas about what might've possibly been wrong with the bike or if it was something else; the information could be helpful to someone else in the future, who might also have a similar problem.
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