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Extent of obligation of LBS on new bike

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Extent of obligation of LBS on new bike

Old 07-16-09, 09:20 PM
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Extent of obligation of LBS on new bike


I don't know if this has been discussed before, but I wanted to hear some of your stories about how accommodating your local bike store has been in terms of follow up on new bike purchases. There are usually some things that need tweaking in the first days or weeks and I would think the LBS will happily spend time on your and your bike. It's assumed to be included in the price of the bike. One year parts and labour guarantee may not cover every little thing that may go wrong, but at some shops it could well co ver quite a bit. But how far does this goodwill towards the new customer extend?

I recently bought a hybrid from a local bike store. I wanted a few things changed on it before I bought it, and the guy was quite obliging -- steel pedals instead of cheapo plastic, different seat post without suspension, and new shorter stem so it fit better (I paid an extra 10 bucks for it because it was more expensive). But I've had a number of ongoing problems with the bike and have gone back there almost 5 times in the past 6 weeks that I've owned it. The stem creaks like crazy and there's nothing he can do to stop it. There's a mysterious clicking sound on certain gear combinations that has defied all attempts to diagnose. He tried riding it and of course couldn't hear it (it is somewhat intermittent -- aren't they always!) The replacement stem is going to have to be replaced and who knows if the clicking will ever stop. The guy is probably sick of seeing me come in but I'm still quite friendly towards him and do not want to appear as a demanding a-hole.

He's probably going to charge me for the new stem but I feel like the one he sold me was no good. But is he obligated to provide me with a stem that doesn't creak? I would like to hear some other views and experiences on this.

I can see how a finicky rider could really take advantage of a softhearted bike owner since there's always something to tweak or complain about. But there ought to be some basic expectation that a new bike should be trouble free at the outset and the LBS needs to do all it can to realize that goal.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:10 PM
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I have only had real dealings with one local bike shop and they have a 1 year free service offer with all bikes sold plus cover all warranty matters on bikes and parts sold per the manufacturer's warranties. No real problems with either bike I have bought from them though.

Is the stem an adjustable one? I would not expect creaking from a threadless stem unless it has a inserted shim for size reduction or angle adjustment. IMO if it is creaking then the LBS should determine why and correct or replace it under a parts warranty.

Intermittent noises can be a PITA to track down. You need to determine the riding circumstances as close as possible so they can be duplicated.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:15 PM
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I'll have to give you an update when I go in to have some adjustments made on my new hybrid. I can tell you this much. After I bought my bike I realized I needed one size smaller, I'm inbetween sizes, so I called my LBS (Budget Pro Bikes) and they exchanged it for me with no issues at all. I was quite impressed. My husband also had a flat on his new bike, which was not purchased at that shop, and when we brought it in they were VERY helpful and in less than ten minutes we had a fixed tire and bought some extras along the way.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:53 PM
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Often it is really up to the manufacturer of the bike you buy what the bike-shop is obligated to do for you. For instance - I bought a Trek 7.5 FX. For a year on components I needed but to bring it to the shop and they had (this shop bites) to fix whatever. A full tune-up within 6 months. And the frame is forever - either sent to Trek and fixed if it failed. And a bargain on the carbon-fork that came with it. I let that shop do a couple of minor things here and there, but as a mechanic - I soon had it customized well beyond it's being what it had been.

Check your warranty. And bring it in if anything goes wrong. Even a squeak. One thing that turned up - a clicking from the bottom-bracket area. They found their brand-new Shimano chain was stretched and needed replacing after less than 20 miles! They gave me a new SRAM chain. Then I pulled the cranks and bottom-bracket.....
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