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Off topic rant on Trek store

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Off topic rant on Trek store

Old 04-06-21, 10:38 PM
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Broctoon
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Off topic rant on Trek store

I believe Trek is what’s wrong with biking today.

I like Trek and have owned some of their stuff in the past. About four years ago, I bought my wife one of their bikes and she really likes it... it’s been a good bike. We got it new, at a Trek store when those were just opening in our area. It’s nothing fancy, just an FX-3, a mid-grade hybrid/fitness bike spec’ed with fairly nice components.

The bike has been ridden maybe 500 miles and had mostly gentle treatment. It gets cleaned and lubed regularly. It’s gone a year or two since getting professionally tuned up, so I decided to take it in.

If I had a $200,000 Porsche car, full of high tech computers and made from lots of exotic materials, I bet I could take it to the Porsche dealer, ask for a 10k mile service and hear them say, “Okay, we’ll get it in for all the 10k stuff and call you if we find anything of concern.” They’d charge me umpteen thousand dollars, but I bet I’d only be at the service drive for 5 or 10 minutes to drop it off.

... Trek does not make it this simple. They’re pretty full of themselves. I think they’re caught up in some stupid, elitist corporate snobbery. Knowing their service schedule is probably busy, I called in advance to get an appointment. I was asked to bring the bike in for inspection before they can even schedule me. I said I just need a Level 1 tune up, but I’ll stop by and let them have a look at it. (Their website describes everything included in Level 1, 2, and 3 service).

When I stopped in it was near closing time, so they said I’d have to leave the bike to allow the service manager to check it the next morning. Apparently he has to do a 78 point inspection or some such nonsense. I said, “Look at it. It’s in very good shape. I’m not trying to drop off a pile of rusty junk.” So the mechanic on duty agreed to assess it and then said he could fit it in two weeks later for Level 1. I brought it home and waited my turn.

Today I took it back as scheduled and once again the store manager started talking about the requisite pre-service inspection. I said that had already been done, sort of. She still insisted, so I said that’s fine, but I already know I just want a tune up, and they can call me if they find anything lurking under the surface. She said that’s not how they operate, and they have to identify everything that might be required before they can even get started on the service. In other words, she wants to take this opportunity to up-sell me.

The chain is a bit worn/stretched, so I agreed to let them replace it at 3x the cost it should be, in my opinion. I’ll pick the bike up tomorrow and pay them about $135 total. And then I’m never going back there... unless it’s to give them another crack at anything that’s not smooth, crisp, and quiet—I’ll expect it to ride like a new bike. But my future spending will be at local mom and pop bike shops.

Trek has this ad tag line that goes “Ride bikes. Have fun.” or something like that. They should add “Just make sure your bike stays in perfect shape always. We’ll help. Brace yourself for the cost.” Plus some lawyer mandated fine print: “If Happy Fun Bike begins to smoke, seek shelter and cover head. Happy Fun Bike is still legal in 16 states. Do not taunt Happy Fun Bike.”
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Old 04-07-21, 08:27 AM
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I think it is just a fact of life that bike shops no longer do a lot of the things they used to do for free or for a pittance. Many shops used to offer "free" lifetime tune ups. Honestly, I don't know how they could do it back then and I know they couldn't today. Many of the local shops began going to a maintenance plan, offered at an extra cost when you bought a bike through their shop. For a set price you could get "lifetime" services, with limits, of course. And that was just for services, any materials or components were additional.

I do all of my own wrenching, like most here, but I did go onto a couple of local shop's websites to check to see what they are offering. The price for a basic tune up seems to hover around $80.00 and includes wheel truing, adjusting brakes, bearings, shifting, etc. Just the basic stuff. They also check for worn components, etc. Any cables, housing, or other hardware is extra.

The only way a shop could possibly justify offering any kind of free service would be to count on selling you replacement parts. Otherwise, the margin on the original sale just doesn't allow for the stuff they used to do.
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Old 04-07-21, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I believe Trek is what’s wrong with biking today.

I like Trek and have owned some of their stuff in the past. About four years ago, I bought my wife one of their bikes and she really likes it... it’s been a good bike. We got it new, at a Trek store when those were just opening in our area. It’s nothing fancy, just an FX-3, a mid-grade hybrid/fitness bike spec’ed with fairly nice components.

The bike has been ridden maybe 500 miles and had mostly gentle treatment. It gets cleaned and lubed regularly. It’s gone a year or two since getting professionally tuned up, so I decided to take it in.

If I had a $200,000 Porsche car, full of high tech computers and made from lots of exotic materials, I bet I could take it to the Porsche dealer, ask for a 10k mile service and hear them say, “Okay, we’ll get it in for all the 10k stuff and call you if we find anything of concern.” They’d charge me umpteen thousand dollars, but I bet I’d only be at the service drive for 5 or 10 minutes to drop it off.

... Trek does not make it this simple. They’re pretty full of themselves. I think they’re caught up in some stupid, elitist corporate snobbery. Knowing their service schedule is probably busy, I called in advance to get an appointment. I was asked to bring the bike in for inspection before they can even schedule me. I said I just need a Level 1 tune up, but I’ll stop by and let them have a look at it. (Their website describes everything included in Level 1, 2, and 3 service).

When I stopped in it was near closing time, so they said I’d have to leave the bike to allow the service manager to check it the next morning. Apparently he has to do a 78 point inspection or some such nonsense. I said, “Look at it. It’s in very good shape. I’m not trying to drop off a pile of rusty junk.” So the mechanic on duty agreed to assess it and then said he could fit it in two weeks later for Level 1. I brought it home and waited my turn.

Today I took it back as scheduled and once again the store manager started talking about the requisite pre-service inspection. I said that had already been done, sort of. She still insisted, so I said that’s fine, but I already know I just want a tune up, and they can call me if they find anything lurking under the surface. She said that’s not how they operate, and they have to identify everything that might be required before they can even get started on the service. In other words, she wants to take this opportunity to up-sell me.

The chain is a bit worn/stretched, so I agreed to let them replace it at 3x the cost it should be, in my opinion. I’ll pick the bike up tomorrow and pay them about $135 total. And then I’m never going back there... unless it’s to give them another crack at anything that’s not smooth, crisp, and quiet—I’ll expect it to ride like a new bike. But my future spending will be at local mom and pop bike shops.

Trek has this ad tag line that goes “Ride bikes. Have fun.” or something like that. They should add “Just make sure your bike stays in perfect shape always. We’ll help. Brace yourself for the cost.” Plus some lawyer mandated fine print: “If Happy Fun Bike begins to smoke, seek shelter and cover head. Happy Fun Bike is still legal in 16 states. Do not taunt Happy Fun Bike.”
I would ask why you didn't go to a small, locally run place in the first place. So far as I know, there is nothing proprietary about the FX3, so no special Trek/Bontrager approved parts you have to go to a Trek dealer to get.
But I feel what you are saying. Finding a bike mechanic you trust is sort of like finding a good barber, or car mechanic.
I personally prefer bike shops where you can see what the mechanics are doing over the ones where they take your bike in a back area and close the door. This should not be a process shrouded in mystery. I was disappointed when my favorite local shop closed a few years ago. The owner lost his lease, and at first said he would be moving the business, then threw in the towel and just closed his doors. I thought maybe he would hold a customer appreciation farewell, or at least a liquidation sale, but instead he just put a closed until further notice on the door, then one day, I drove by the place and it was cleaned out.
On a positive note, the head mechanic of that shop reached out to me a few months later and told me he would still service bikes on a by appointment basis out of his apartment, as he bought or was given all the tools from the old bike shop. And that is what I have been doing ever since. Now, since this is not his only job, it isn't as convenient as it used to be, but he does good work and his prices are reasonable. I appreciate his work, but I always let him know that if he just doesn't have time to do the work, just let me know and I will look for another shop somewhere.
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Old 04-07-21, 09:14 AM
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Sounds like they created the structure and procedural imperatives that most corporations subject their customers to. My recommendation is to resolve to start doing your own tune-ups and minor repairs; they are not all that challenging although you will have to invest in a few tools. If there is a bike co-op in your area, take advantage of the resources there.

Here is Trek's list for Level 1 (with my comments in ()):

• Lubricate drivetrain (This is just putting a drop of oil on each chain link - If you opt for a new chain it's not necessary)
• Torque all fasteners (I doubt that they loosen each fastener and re-tighten with a torque wrench. More than likely they just test for tightness. Critical fasteners would be crank bolts, brake bolts, stem and bar bolts.)
• Align and adjust brakes (This does take some finesse; however you should already know if they need this treatment. If you are happy with your braking, then it's likely that the mechanic will not mess with them much. Cable replacement does not appear to be included)
• Align and adjust shifting (I'm not sure what 'align' means here, but it may mean that they check the derailleur hanger. Gently used bikes generally should not be misaligned. If the hanger is bent, they you probably will experience bad shifting issues. If your shifting is already ok, then it's likely that the mechanic will just run it through the gears a few times and then maybe tweak the cable adjust a click or two)
• Adjust headset (On a gently used bike, this is usually not an issue unless it was prepared poorly at the initial sale. It's easy to judge if the headset is too tight or too loose. If you need to make an adjustment it takes a bit of skill and patience for a threaded fork, not so much for threadless.)
• Inspect bottom bracket (this will require removal of the crank arms. After removal, the spindle is turned by hand to feel for problems. If the BB feels bad then it can be replaced (cartridge type) or adjusted (cup and spindle type; if adjustment doesn't resolve it will have to be removed and rebuilt or replaced))
• Adjust wheel bearings (Not that difficult but you'll need cone wrenches)
• Bike wash (I'm sure you can handle this)
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Old 04-07-21, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
In other words, she wants to take this opportunity to up-sell me.

The chain is a bit worn/stretched, so I agreed to let them replace it at 3x the cost it should be, in my opinion. I’ll pick the bike up tomorrow and pay them about $135 total. And then I’m never going back there
You seem to view the shop as predatory because they want to be sure to cover all the bases and spring no surprises on you. Good for them -- since you're griping about the price of a chain and the tune-up you agreed to in advance, I can only imagine the fit you'd throw if they called you mid-repair to tell you it needed new brake pads. IMO, you're the kind of customer that inspired the policy.
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Old 04-07-21, 10:08 AM
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My real gripe is not necessarily with their prices, although I feel they’re high. It’s their service policies and the way they interacted with me.

I’m a reasonable guy and will pay fair prices for honest labor, whether it’s for something identified in advance or discovered after the tune up starts. I think this place is way too fussy about how they handle service appointments.

As for the chain, they charge $43 parts and $12 labor. A good 9 speed chain is $17 new retail at other places, and it seems like five bucks would be reasonable for the five minutes of labor, since they’ll already have it on the work stand. I could have said I’ll do that part myself, but of course they would be unable to proceed with the tune up until I’ve done it.

They’re charging premium prices, and that’s the reason I’m going to hold them to premium quality expectations. I get it, they have a legitimate business approach that probably works for many customers. It rubbed me the wrong way, so I’m going elsewhere from now on.

I have several bikes and do all my own work on them. I could replace the chain myself, as I’ve done many tasks far more advanced than this. In the past, when it comes to my wife’s bike, *we just preferred to take it to Trek. I plan to change this policy in the future and either work on it myself or take it to an independent local shop.


*My reason for involving Trek mega corporate factory authorized superstore was simple: When I’m out of town and the bike develops a problem, my wife can take it back to said superstore. They will have worked on it recently, and ideally will have built rapport with us. If they sold it to us, they serviced it regularly, and all its parts came from them, I hope they’d be more willing to help her. Now I’m only sort of sure that’s the case, as they seem more interested in covering their own tails.
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Old 04-07-21, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
My real gripe is not necessarily with their prices, although I feel they’re high. It’s their service policies and the way they interacted with me.

I’m a reasonable guy and will pay fair prices for honest labor, whether it’s for something identified in advance or discovered after the tune up starts. I think this place is way too fussy about how they handle service appointments.

As for the chain, they charge $43 parts and $12 labor. A good 9 speed chain is $17 new retail at other places, and it seems like five bucks would be reasonable for the five minutes of labor, since they’ll already have it on the work stand. I could have said I’ll do that part myself, but of course they would be unable to proceed with the tune up until I’ve done it.

They’re charging premium prices, and that’s the reason I’m going to hold them to premium quality expectations. I get it, they have a legitimate business approach that probably works for many customers. It rubbed me the wrong way, so I’m going elsewhere from now on.

I have several bikes and do all my own work on them. I could replace the chain myself, as I’ve done many tasks far more advanced than this. In the past, when it comes to my wife’s bike, *we just preferred to take it to Trek. I plan to change this policy in the future and either work on it myself or take it to an independent local shop.


*My reason for involving Trek mega corporate factory authorized superstore was simple: When I’m out of town and the bike develops a problem, my wife can take it back to said superstore. They will have worked on it recently, and ideally will have built rapport with us. If they sold it to us, they serviced it regularly, and all its parts came from them, I hope they’d be more willing to help her. Now I’m only sort of sure that’s the case, as they seem more interested in covering their own tails.
The rapport and institutional memory you will build is more likely with a small, locally run place than with the mega store.
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Old 04-07-21, 12:02 PM
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Why would a chain be a problem after 500 miles? Of any kind of problem short of outright abuse? Shoot, it would take 100 miles to do the initial riding on the OEM lube on the chain before reapplying or doing whatever you do after that.

That's something that stuck out to me here.

Next, every bike shop I've ever been to has this issue with scheduling service. Nobody can give you any accurate window to dropoff and pickup that is reasonable. It's hemming and hawing about how many bikes are in line but just leave it there indefinitely and we may call you someday. Somehow the vehicle repair shops get this right, bicycles get it wrong.

I think bike shops could resolve the "diagnostic" bit like car shops. Diag fee of $25 applied to repairs if you choose to do so. A basic bike is a freaking bike. Not much to it. For the basic bikes just have the prices and work be the prices and work on a menu. Pads, cable/housing, brake adjust front/rear, shift adjust front rear, etc........

If I was bike shop king for a day:
-you get a specific date/time to drop it off and pick it up
-you get an email during that period of the "menu" items to pay to do
-you choose the menu items, the $25 diag is applied to those items assuming they exceed $25
-you pay and pickup when we told you it would be ready

Doesn't sound hard, but must be.
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Old 04-07-21, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
The rapport and institutional memory you will build is more likely with a small, locally run place than with the mega store.
I believe you’re absolutely right.
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Old 04-07-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Why would a chain be a problem after 500 miles? Of any kind of problem short of outright abuse?
My theory is that it took a beating last winter, as we rode a lot in wet, gritty, and sometimes salty conditions. I believe the guy when he measured it with his gauge and said it’s worn, because the drivetrain has begun making some noise. I keep Boeshield T9 on all our chains, but didn’t have a chance to wash the bikes after every nasty ride.

burnthesheep, on everything you wrote above, I agree!
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Old 04-07-21, 01:40 PM
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Watch some GCN videos, buy some tools, and get to know your bike. There are very few routine jobs on a bike that are beyond the capabilities of a home mechanic. It can be very rewarding. Yu may make mistakes as you learn, but it takes some effort to do any actual damage.

Find a small local bike shop that you trust and ignore the official "warranty" and "service schedule". Anything that is beyond your abilities should be a quick and easy job for any competent bike shop.

Bikes should be simple, robust and reliable.

In a lifetime of cycling, I've used a bike shop for repairs/servicing only twice: once to build a new wheel, and once to cut a steerer tube. I could have done the second of those myself but the shop charged me less than the cost of the cutting guide I was going to buy.
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Old 04-07-21, 02:16 PM
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So it looks like you brought in a bike for service and they fixed it for not a ton of money but of course like all shops these days are super busy and have their own protocols for dropping off? Any shop should look at the bike holistically and make sure there are no issues most customers don't always see problems it is why you hear so many squeaky chains and we see so many people having no idea why they aren't braking when they have zero pads left. Plus if they give you a proper estimate you can approve that so you know how much it will be before you complete the service which is quite reasonable.

I will agree it is good to support the mom and pop shops but it doesn't look like Trek did anything exceptionally wrong in this case. Maybe they seemed a bit annoying on your end and there were some crossed wires but it doesn't seem like they overcharged you dramatically for a tune up and a new chain. The average tune up is going to be probably $100 and a 9 speed chain is $25-45 plus you have tax so over all not to terrible plus if they didn't remove drivetrain components for the tune which is probably the case they would have charged to install the chain.
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Old 04-07-21, 02:34 PM
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Here’s how I’d kind of hoped the whole transaction would unfold, and maybe would have, if I’d gone to a local yokel…

Bubba’s Bike Emporium: “Thanks for calling Bubba’s Bikes, Cleetus speaking, how can I hep ya?”

Me: “I want a Level 1 tune up on my wife’s Trek bicycle.”

Cleetus: “Alrighty, let’s check the schedule… [hollering in background] Hey, Bubba, can we fit in a tune up?... Sir, we’re scheduling about two weeks out. Can you bring it Tuesday the 6th?”

Me: “Sure, see you then.”

Fast forward to appointment day, Me: “Dropping this one off for a tune up. I believe I have an appointment.”

Cleetus: “You sure do. It’s gonna be 80 dollars. We’ll get right on it and call you if we find anything wrong.”

The next day, Cleetus: “Hello, sir. Bubba’s Bikes calling. Looks like your bike needs a new chain.”

Me: “Good catch. How much will it cost?”

Cleetus: “Normally 25 bucks plus labor, but I can trim off a few dollars since you have us already doing the tune up.”

Me: “Okay, I guess that’s what we get for riding on wet, salty winter roads. Please replace it.”

Cleetus: “That’s right. We’ll get her done, and you can pick it up tonight. We appreciate the business, so please tell yer friends about Bubbas.”

I don’t know, maybe Trek just isn’t “folksy” enough for me? I respect professionalism, but was a little put off right from the first conversation with them. I called to inquire about their lead time for basic service and was told “It’s currently two to three weeks, but I can’t even put you on the schedule until you bring the bike in for us to inspect.” I thought, “Wait, did I dial wrong? Seems like I got the DMV.” And it got worse from there.

One more example I’ll share about their elitist attitude. The mechanic I talked to on my first visit asked how long it’s been since I refreshed the tubeless sealant. I said, “I installed those tires last fall, like six months ago, so maybe I should add another ounce of sealant in each?” He sneered, “Oh, I dismount my tires, clean out the old latex residue, and start over with all new sealant and rim strips (!) every three to four months.” Seriously? It was at this moment I realized I’m dealing with some bike snobs. Do any real people have the time and money (or feel the need) to completely re-do their tubeless setup three or four times a year? Or am I the one who’s crazy?

Thanks to everyone for chiming in on my rant. I don't know if I expected to be validated or to see my attitude realigned as I consider your perspectives. Seems like I got a little of each.
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Old 04-07-21, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Here’s how I’d kind of hoped the whole transaction would unfold, and maybe would have, if I’d gone to a local yokel…

Bubba’s Bike Emporium: “Thanks for calling Bubba’s Bikes, Cleetus speaking, how can I hep ya?”

Me: “I want a Level 1 tune up on my wife’s Trek bicycle.”

Cleetus: “Alrighty, let’s check the schedule… [hollering in background] Hey, Bubba, can we fit in a tune up?... Sir, we’re scheduling about two weeks out. Can you bring it Tuesday the 6th?”

Me: “Sure, see you then.”

Fast forward to appointment day, Me: “Dropping this one off for a tune up. I believe I have an appointment.”

Cleetus: “You sure do. It’s gonna be 80 dollars. We’ll get right on it and call you if we find anything wrong.”

The next day, Cleetus: “Hello, sir. Bubba’s Bikes calling. Looks like your bike needs a new chain.”

Me: “Good catch. How much will it cost?”

Cleetus: “Normally 25 bucks plus labor, but I can trim off a few dollars since you have us already doing the tune up.”

Me: “Okay, I guess that’s what we get for riding on wet, salty winter roads. Please replace it.”

Cleetus: “That’s right. We’ll get her done, and you can pick it up tonight. We appreciate the business, so please tell yer friends about Bubbas.”

I don’t know, maybe Trek just isn’t “folksy” enough for me? I respect professionalism, but was a little put off right from the first conversation with them. I called to inquire about their lead time for basic service and was told “It’s currently two to three weeks, but I can’t even put you on the schedule until you bring the bike in for us to inspect.” I thought, “Wait, did I dial wrong? Seems like I got the DMV.” And it got worse from there.

One more example I’ll share about their elitist attitude. The mechanic I talked to on my first visit asked how long it’s been since I refreshed the tubeless sealant. I said, “I installed those tires last fall, like six months ago, so maybe I should add another ounce of sealant in each?” He sneered, “Oh, I dismount my tires, clean out the old latex residue, and start over with all new sealant and rim strips (!) every three to four months.” Seriously? It was at this moment I realized I’m dealing with some bike snobs. Do any real people have the time and money (or feel the need) to completely re-do their tubeless setup three or four times a year? Or am I the one who’s crazy?

Thanks to everyone for chiming in on my rant. I don't know if I expected to be validated or to see my attitude realigned as I consider your perspectives. Seems like I got a little of each.
Let's just hope the Cletus and Bubba in your fantasy aren't the stereotypical "down south folk" who are oft portrayed as not very bright. Your bike might not get the best service and if what I said is true about you using them in a stereotypical way that is quite elitist.

At my shop and every shop I have worked at and all the mechanics I have talked to dropping your bike off for an estimate is always the first thing, we generally don't do appointments without seeing the bike. We need to be able to plan the day and figure out what needs to be done on it and order parts or just know it will be an hour job or 3 hour job. The only time I do appointments if it is for an install and we know it is just that as the bike is new or recently serviced.

The sealant thing who knows I don't know their side of the story but usually it is good to refresh everything and if it has been sitting a while it might not be a terrible thing to clean and replace every 6 months. Maybe they said it poorly who knows we only heard your end. However it maybe a bit much to redo everything that often. I probably wouldn't replace rim tape unless it was leaking or exceptionally worn or showing signs of failure or close to failure but cleaning sealant and adding new stuff isn't bad at all.
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Old 04-07-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Let's just hope the Cletus and Bubba in your fantasy aren't the stereotypical "down south folk" who are oft portrayed as not very bright. Your bike might not get the best service and if what I said is true about you using them in a stereotypical way that is quite elitist.
Hehe. Love it!

I make no judgements about individuals of rural southern persuasion. Remember when Karl Childers figured out what was wrong with that mower or tiller or whatever it was? Just ran out of gas--pretty sharp troubleshooting right there.
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Old 04-07-21, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I believe Trek is what’s wrong with biking today.

I like Trek and have owned some of their stuff in the past. About four years ago, I bought my wife one of their bikes and she really likes it... it’s been a good bike. We got it new, at a Trek store when those were just opening in our area. It’s nothing fancy, just an FX-3, a mid-grade hybrid/fitness bike spec’ed with fairly nice components.

The bike has been ridden maybe 500 miles and had mostly gentle treatment. It gets cleaned and lubed regularly. It’s gone a year or two since getting professionally tuned up, so I decided to take it in.

The chain is a bit worn/stretched, so I agreed to let them replace it at 3x the cost it should be, in my opinion. I’ll pick the bike up tomorrow and pay them about $135 total. And then I’m never going back there... unless it’s to give them another crack at anything that’s not smooth, crisp, and quiet—I’ll expect it to ride like a new bike. But my future spending will be at local mom and pop bike.”
500 miles and you already need a new chain?

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Old 04-07-21, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Hehe. Love it!

I make no judgements about individuals of rural southern persuasion. Remember when Karl Childers figured out what was wrong with that mower or tiller or whatever it was? Just ran out of gas--pretty sharp troubleshooting right there.
Frikkin' Larry the Cable Guy went to University and is making tons of money and is real (not a Sling based Blade)
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Old 04-07-21, 06:10 PM
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Bike shops ALWAYS charge 3x internet prices for parts.

The shops I've worked in "claim" to generate zero revenue from service, only the markup on parts. (explain that one to me when I would do 12-15 $85 tuneups every day while making $9.98/hr)

I taught myself almost everything I know and it's all very easy. After my last shop tenure, I recommend to any and everyone to learn how to fix any problems that have themselves. There are videos to show exactly how. The bike shops have over-inflated the costs of servicing anything on a bike and there's no reason to pay hard earned money to have someone else fix things.
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Old 04-07-21, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
Bike shops ALWAYS charge 3x internet prices for parts.

The shops I've worked in "claim" to generate zero revenue from service, only the markup on parts. (explain that one to me when I would do 12-15 $85 tuneups every day while making $9.98/hr)

I taught myself almost everything I know and it's all very easy. After my last shop tenure, I recommend to any and everyone to learn how to fix any problems that have themselves. There are videos to show exactly how. The bike shops have over-inflated the costs of servicing anything on a bike and there's no reason to pay hard earned money to have someone else fix things.
You phrased it wrong, manufacturers or distributors allow internet sellers to sell their products at 3 times less than the MSRP or MAP therefore undercutting small business. Also bike shops are charging money for services rendered and part of that is the tools and skills required to do the job as well as all the other costs associated with running a business. Bike shops are not charities and people who assume we are because we enjoy bikes are kidding themselves. You claim to have worked in one but it seems like you had a poor experience which could be due to anything and could potential cloud some of the judgement in that one experience.

It is good to learn things for yourself, that is never a bad thing but to say that bike shops are crooks when you know that isn't the case it just silly.

You can lose money on service quite easily, when you give it away all the time or you make mistakes and have to discount labor or you have sold a product that is not of quality and has constant issues or you have a beyond impossible client who wouldn't be happy if you gave them a free bike and a bottle a wine or would complain about the bike and the wine if you did.
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Old 04-07-21, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Trek is what’s wrong with biking today.
They’re pretty full of themselves.
I think they’re caught up in some stupid, elitist corporate snobbery.
I think this place is way too fussy about how they handle service appointments.
Trek mega corporate factory authorized superstore
their elitist attitude.
Elitist? It sounds to me like you don't approve of corporate retailers, so you went in looking for things to confirm your prejudices.
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Old 04-08-21, 04:42 AM
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The local Trek store goes through people like water. It can't keep anyone longer then a few weeks. The repair work is bad. How bad? The other shop in town laughs and has to redo their repair work. I'll never go to another Trek store again.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:27 AM
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Broctoon,

Trek has gone the way of corporate America. Meaning, they have a "process" they have to follow for everything. This slows everything down and makes them less efficient than a small shop. Granted the Covid issues have dictated some of this but not all of the goofy process overhead they have.

I don't think that Trek has an "elitist" attitude. My local Trek store is pretty good but I rarely buy anything from them except spray solvent. It's more of a corporate attitude where process and procedure run the business. It has to with a company that big.

Performance got to that same state before they imploded. Small shops are the way to go; however, I strongly recommend that you tune your own bikes and leave warranty work for the Trek store.. That way you control the quality and cost.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:57 AM
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Get schooled/handy or get used to it, one or the other. It’s a bicycle, not a Mars rover.
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Old 04-08-21, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
I think it is just a fact of life that bike shops no longer do a lot of the things they used to do for free or for a pittance. Many shops used to offer "free" lifetime tune ups. Honestly, I don't know how they could do it back then and I know they couldn't today. Many of the local shops began going to a maintenance plan, offered at an extra cost when you bought a bike through their shop. For a set price you could get "lifetime" services, with limits, of course. And that was just for services, any materials or components were additional.

I do all of my own wrenching, like most here, but I did go onto a couple of local shop's websites to check to see what they are offering. The price for a basic tune up seems to hover around $80.00 and includes wheel truing, adjusting brakes, bearings, shifting, etc. Just the basic stuff. They also check for worn components, etc. Any cables, housing, or other hardware is extra.

The only way a shop could possibly justify offering any kind of free service would be to count on selling you replacement parts. Otherwise, the margin on the original sale just doesn't allow for the stuff they used to do.
Yup. It's what car dealers do. "$19.95 oil change" and the service tech comes up with $1800 ofsuggested maintenance or repair items.

That said, in todays C19 environment I can understand why Trek set the policy. Look at Craigslist descriptions of bikes; "Tires hold air" as if that makes them ok to ride on. Asking $225 for a 1970 Schwinn Varsity "just needs to be tuned up and new tires".....

All that said, the OP has a valid point. I'd be ticked off too.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:24 PM
  #25  
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This is why I take my cars to a small independent shop. He's not any cheaper for the work he does, but I don't have to deal with a "service advisor," i.e., high pressure salesman, and all of the other theatrics. Also, if something can be fixed and not replaced, he fixes it. For instance he fixed a stripped thread instead if replacing half of the car. I've experienced the high pressure sales tricks, and my spouse has experienced how car shops treat women. Part of the schtick was to scare you into believing that a car needs extensive maintenance to remain roadworthy. But it's not 1975 any more.

On the other hand... people keep going to the dealers for service. I assume that there are enough people who actually like the checklists, ceremonies, and so forth, to keep the dealer service departments doing business the same way. There is also a customer base who absolutely wants to never have to open the hood or even think about the innards of the car, and the same is true of bikes as well.

It could be that Trek is trying to emulate that atmosphere, to attract that customer base, who are happy with it. But the devil's in the details. Making multiple trips and multiple phone calls is just too much for servicing something as simple as a bike. Trek is the new Schwinn. I'm not saying this in a bad way. This is what you expected when you bought from Schwinn in the 1960's -- you would be completely taken care of, with Schwinn service and Schwinn approved parts, for a price.

Going with what Moe Zhoost says, it's true that a cyclist should be able to do this kind of tune-up themselves, but I would go even one step further. I don't do a scheduled or checklisted tune-up at all. Instead, I'm attentive to the condition of my bikes when I ride them, and take care of adjustments as needed. If the bearings are working fine, I don't mess with them. I tell people that the overall experience of cycling can be greatly improved by gaining some self-sufficiency on basic maintenance.
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