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Shoulda Gone BikesDirect...

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Shoulda Gone BikesDirect...

Old 11-11-07, 01:59 PM
  #1  
Nola_Gal
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Shoulda Gone BikesDirect...

I'm new around here and to riding. I finally decided to pull the trigger and get my first new road bike. I had been riding my hybrid and my old Schwinn. There are two LBS near me and I went to both. The first highly recommended a Cannondale CAAD9 5. I test road that but decided to check my options at the other store before doing anything. Now, I had gone to the other store a couple of months back for a seatpost and didn't really care for the reception. It seemed rude and insulting but I thought, hey, everyone has a bad day go and see. I went, looked at bikes, and looked at bikes, and looked at bikes. No one ever even spoke to me much less offered to help.

I left and a few days later went back to LBS number 1. I test rode the Cannondale again along with a Trek 2.1 and Trek 1.2. I'm a little worried about how aggressive the CAAD9 is but for the money, it had the best components and hey, it's made in the USA. I bought the Cannondale but asked if they could swap out the handlebars since they felt way too wide for me.

They did that, and while they were doing the rest of the fitting, it became apparent that the front derailler wasn't working right. They took it to the back to adjust it and then off I went...for about 4 blocks before the back tire was flat. I walked the bike back, and was able to get there before they closed. Now, the main guy seemed to act like I was being a bother but the young guy took the bike and said he'd change it. When he brought it back he said they must have forgotten to reinflate it to pressure.

So I go off again for a short ride before heading home and guess what? The front derailler still doesn't shift, and now, the shifter isn't even clicking as it should. They are closed today so I'll have to get it there Monday to have them fix it.

I'm feeling pretty discouraged and really wondering if I made a mistake.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:05 PM
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With Bikesdirect, you would still be sitting waiting for the bike hoping that when it got here it would feel good to you, and wouldn't have gotten a free flat changed, and if it needed adjustment, would have had to pay for it or do it yourself...

It does sound like things are starting off in the wrong direction, but I would think you have roughly the same risk for the problems you are having regardless of where/how you buy.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:09 PM
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I wouldn't say you made a mistake assuming that the LBS resolves all your issues and stands by the bike they sold you. However it does illustrate the point that many LBSes take little time assembling or adjusting bikes before putting them on the sales floor, nor do they check them thoroughly before they send them out the door. It's up to the customer to find out what's wrong and have them fix it.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Nola_Gal View Post
I
So I go off again for a short ride before heading home and guess what? The front derailler still doesn't shift, and now, the shifter isn't even clicking as it should. They are closed today so I'll have to get it there Monday to have them fix it.

I'm feeling pretty discouraged and really wondering if I made a mistake.
Even though you should take it back and have them fix it - this is also a good opportunity to teach yourself to become self sufficient with repairs.

Simple things like a derailleur adjustment can be handled by yourself.
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

Even if you don't do anything to the bike, be familiar with the procedure so you start to gain an understanding on how things work.

P.S It sounds like the bike wasn't properly prepped before it was sent off to the customer. Mistakes happen. Only you know how good a bike shop is. There are bad ones and there are good ones.

Originally Posted by Indolent58 View Post
I wouldn't say you made a mistake assuming that the LBS resolves all your issues and stands by the bike they sold you. However it does illustrate the point that many LBSes take little time assembling or adjusting bikes before putting them on the sales floor, nor do they check them thoroughly before they send them out the door. It's up to the customer to find out what's wrong and have them fix it.
It varies widely depending on the bike shop you go to. Some do the most cursories of assemblies with no adjustments and others do a very thorough and complete one. It would be failry difficult for someone new to cycling to tell the difference. This is where shop reputation and worth of mouth comes into play
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Old 11-11-07, 02:14 PM
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Jump over the Park Tool site and see if you can't diagnosis and fix the problem yourself...

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75

Now that you own a nice bike, you should learn to do a little wrenching...

Sounds like it may be an easy fix...

Bikes Direct would give you no help in diagnosing or fixing the problem. The LBS will be there for the life of the bike...

Don't get to frustrated, it won't be long until it is dialed in or fixed...

Enjoy The Ride...

Edit...If two of us are recommending the same site maybe it is worth a look...
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Old 11-11-07, 02:16 PM
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Don't get discouraged; a good education is always expensive. You're going to go through a lot of learning curves as you advance as a rider. Consider your first road bike a learner bike and remember the important stuff is what happens to the engine, not the bike. Get all the dumb mistakes out of your way on this bike so you won't make them on a future (more expensive) bike.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:18 PM
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Cables do stretch and adjustments can be made. Don't get too discouraged, the LBS should be able to fix the issue.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:18 PM
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hmmmm. i am not sure if a red angry face is warranted, maybe a purple frown face. it is likely that the fd is not adjusted right, and that is your problem. (a side note: front derailleur adjustments are something you will likely have to do many times as you ride your bike, so it would behoove you to learn how these work at some point)

your lbs sounds like they did not inflate your tire or properly adjust your fd, which is sloppy, but not something to get mad about yet. if it is still broken after you bring it in on monday, report back with a warranted red angry face. until then, stay patient. bikes will have more problems in the first two rides then they will likely ever have in the rest of their service. did the lbs guys do a quick test ride around the parking lot after they adjusted the fd? if not, that could be your problem right there. chin up. you will enjoy your bike after you get these few little details worked out.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:27 PM
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tempest. teapot.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:38 PM
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yea umm, if you went with bikesdirect you'd be having the same problems, if there were problems. Take your bike to another shop and get the front derailer adjusted. I think it is just out of adjustment.
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Old 11-11-07, 03:25 PM
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- there are many LBSs in my area... i have purchased bikes at three of them...

- one, a high-end shop, sold me a bike w/handlebars not wide enough for my frame, loose cranks, and too-short brake cable (i.e., turn the front wheel too far and the brake would engage)... i won't let them touch any of my bikes ever again, even though they're really nice folks... i do my own wrenching on the bike now...

- another, a low-end shop i purchased a bike from when i (re)started riding again, consistently and without complaint replaced broken spokes on front and rear wheels while i waited, and gives lifetime free labor with a bike purchase... although i don't think i'll ever buy another bike there, i do stop by once in a while to buy sundry goods...

- the third sells a wide range of bikes, and the wrenching, while not cheap, is solid, professional, and reliable... i'll let them do anything i can't do in my garage if they have the part in stock (aero spoke replacements, etc.)

- oh, and i've purchased from bikesdirect too, and had no problems...

- so i guess my point is that it does, like other posters have pointed out, pay to learn a bit about working on one's bike... i would take advantage of any warranty, 90-day free service, etc., but then realize that to save money and assure the best job, it's best to do your own work... i've rebuilt several bikes now from frame up, feel pretty confident, and get some satisfaction out of working on my bikes... i'm sure you would too!
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Old 11-11-07, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by linux_author View Post
- so i guess my point is that it does, like other posters have pointed out, pay to learn a bit about working on one's bike... i would take advantage of any warranty, 90-day free service, etc., but then realize that to save money and assure the best job, it's best to do your own work... i've rebuilt several bikes now from frame up, feel pretty confident, and get some satisfaction out of working on my bikes... i'm sure you would too!
that kind of spirit led to the creation of a certain operating system.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:04 PM
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I don't have any problem learning how to work on my bike. I've fixed my own flats, swapped out stems and seatposts etc. but no, I've never fooled with the deraillers. I guess I'm miffed because shelling out $1,400 was a really big deal for me and for that kind of cash, I'd hoped they'd check the bike out better before sending me out. Sure, if I'd bought online I'd still be trying to figure out the problem, but I'd have several hundred dollars in my pocket to sort it out and I'd have known what i was getting into. Spending that kind of money only to find out that they do sloppy work isn't too comforting.

Yeah, I'm disappointed. I will get over it and if I can fix the problem myself it will undoubtedly help me appreciate my bike better, but for today, maybe this face is more appropriate...
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Old 11-11-07, 04:08 PM
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Have them make sure that the front derailleur is actually installed correctly. On many bikes I have seen they are installed too high.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Nola_Gal View Post
I don't have any problem learning how to work on my bike. I've fixed my own flats, swapped out stems and seatposts etc. but no, I've never fooled with the deraillers. I guess I'm miffed because shelling out $1,400 was a really big deal for me and for that kind of cash, I'd hoped they'd check the bike out better before sending me out. Sure, if I'd bought online I'd still be trying to figure out the problem, but I'd have several hundred dollars in my pocket to sort it out and I'd have known what i was getting into. Spending that kind of money only to find out that they do sloppy work isn't too comforting.

Yeah, I'm disappointed. I will get over it and if I can fix the problem myself it will undoubtedly help me appreciate my bike better, but for today, maybe this face is more appropriate...

Won't the LBS be there to fix the problem...

Isn't some sort of free maintenance included for the price...

BikesDirect sells you a product cheap and thats it...
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Old 11-11-07, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by barba View Post
Have them make sure that the front derailleur is actually installed correctly. On many bikes I have seen they are installed too high.
If you need to do this, it's time for a new shop.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Hammertoe View Post
Won't the LBS be there to fix the problem...

Isn't some sort of free maintenance included for the price...

BikesDirect sells you a product cheap and thats it...
This isn't a maintenance problem, this is a mistake before ship out problem. Maintenance has nothing to do with it.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:32 PM
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Based on your OP, I think you did exactly the right thing. Keep in mind a BD bike would likely come out of the box in need of tuning. It sounds as though you have neither the tools nor the knowledge to do the work yourself as of right now. So you would have been looking at paying a shop $$$ to assemble and tune the bike. and then in 3-6 months tune it again for cable stretch, which would also cost $$$.

Yes it is annoying to have a bike with some minor issues out of the door, but it happens. At least buying from the shop you should be able to get all of those things working for no extra charge. Many shops also offer lifetime tuneups, also worth it if you don't know how yourself.

-D
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Old 11-11-07, 04:37 PM
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Nola: Let me know if you want to sell that Cannondale. It might be cursed; this is almost certainly the case if it's a 52 or 54. Slightly less cursed if it's 56. If it's a 58 or 50, it probably isn't cursed.

(P.S.: sure, the LBS made a couple of mistakes, but if you went BD, you'd be on your own, as others have said).
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Old 11-11-07, 05:07 PM
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Regardless of where you buy your bike....


Male or Female, nubie or oldie, OCP or Fred....


One should always buy a 19pc tool kit, and learn basic bike maintenance for themselves.


Even if you're not very mechanically inclined, the reality is, you will not always have someone there to help you with everything that needs fixing. Whether it be serious, or even minor in nature.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:45 PM
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Well, thanks for letting me get that off my chest! I feel better now

I looked at the Park Tools site and at Sheldon Brown's site and was able to adjust the limit screws to at least get it to shift to the large crank without any rub. It's still not shifting back and forth properly, but it's a start. I lowered the seat a bit as well and took it out for a little spin. Did I mention that this bike is FAST! I mean, even with me in the saddle, I can feel how fast it wants to go!

So, unless I can get it working tonight (the tough part is I don't have a stand), I still want them to take the time to do it right. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, and in the interest of inner peace, I've decided to list a few things that I LIKE about this particular bike shop...

1. They are three blocks from my house.
2. The people working there are generally friendly.
3. They didn't try to put me on an old lady's bike.
4. They steered me to a racing bike!

The last two are probably what accounts for a lot of my anxiety about the bike as well as my excitement. This bike will take some getting used to for me. I'll have to move the seat level back up slowly as I get used to the position and I might even put an adjustable stem on it for a while until I develop some core muscle strength but, that's to be expected. In the end, I will be riding a hot bike!

And, did I mention, it's white???
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Old 11-11-07, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
One should always buy a 19pc tool kit, and learn basic bike maintenance for themselves.
While I don't disagree, I also don't agree that getting a bike online in a box is the best time/way to learn for the first time.

I had a friend who bought a bike from Performance last winter. They had some great deals but he had to buy it online. He still got local support and so forth, but he didn't want to wait, so I helped him put it together.

The stem needed to be installed, which meant dealing with headset loading etc.
The front brake needed to be installed, wired up, adjusted etc.
I forget all of the other things. None of it was impossible, or even that hard. But he didn't feel comfortable on his own and I don't blame him.

And even though I have done all of my own maintenance for the last 15 years, I still use my free tuneup at the LBS sometimes when I just don't feel like dealing with it myself.

-D
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Old 11-11-07, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by derath View Post
While I don't disagree, I also don't agree that getting a bike online in a box is the best time/way to learn for the first time.
+1

But learning how to do simple repairs after you buy a new one from the LBS would be a good thing. Everybodys got to start somewhere.
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Old 11-11-07, 06:09 PM
  #24  
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Pics? I hope you enjoy your Cannondale after you get everything squared away at your LBS.
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Old 11-11-07, 06:42 PM
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Your LBS should adjust the front derailer. Most LBS will give you free tune ups and adjustments for a year after you make the purchase from the shop. I know mine did and I have taken it up for several adjustments, also getting to watch and learn as they tweak the adjustments so that I know what to do myself. Have fun with the new Bike and post some photos of it..
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