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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

stupid lbs

Old 03-29-06, 02:09 PM
  #1  
astrx
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stupid lbs

let me hear the stories.
recently i went into one to check it out, and he guy saw my bike then tried to "upgrade" my to one of those frankinstein alphas you see on ebay. my bike isnt the greatest, but i would never trade my pista+crhis king headset + eggbeaters + sella italia slr (just my fav parts) for one of those things.

then he proceeded to try and sell me a 12 dollar helmet, and that i would not be able to find a BMX style helmet for under 80... then he said a hockey mask would protect me more and be cooler in the summer than a BMX helmet.
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Old 03-29-06, 02:51 PM
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The place I went to when I lived in Detroit lost my crown race and wouldn't admit it. Then I bought a new DA headset and reluctantly had them install it. They installed it improperly (USED NO GREASE) so I had to redo it myself.
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Old 03-29-06, 03:41 PM
  #3  
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Avoid frankenstein at all costs.
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Old 03-29-06, 03:43 PM
  #4  
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Fire bad.
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Old 03-29-06, 05:36 PM
  #5  
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My LBS sells the Alpha Mercury for $499...and I thought $300 was bad.
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Old 03-29-06, 06:00 PM
  #6  
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my lbs raped and murdered me. then it peed on me, videotaped it, posted it on the internet, and laughed. at the trial it wore a yellow pinstriped shetland wool suit and wouldn't stop muttering "jumbo beans" over and over again. then he was released for a mistrial and murdered my sister.

the worst part is that i don't even have a sister.
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Old 03-29-06, 06:05 PM
  #7  
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I was charged 20 bucks for a lockring, and needed i badly enough to pay... grrr
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Old 03-29-06, 08:27 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by worker4youth
My LBS sells the Alpha Mercury for $499...and I thought $300 was bad.
which is that?
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Old 03-29-06, 08:33 PM
  #9  
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I'm glad you started this thread, because I was going to. I just got back from my lbs. I wanted a new cheap BMX chain for my cheap fixie conversion. The f'ed up conversation when like this...

Me: Hey I need a chean BMX chain for my fixed gear bike.
1st lbs guy: what?
Me: You know, like a track bike...they can use wide chains, basically the same as a BMX bike. I converted an old road bike to a fixed gear and I need a new chain for it. My old one is stretched.
1st lbs guy: You mean for an indoor trainer?
Me: No, its a fixed gear bike, like a track bike, but I ride it on the road. Its a singlespeed, but with no freewheel.
Him: "blank stare"
Other guy walks up.
1st LBS Guy to the 2nd LBS guy: He needs a chain for a 3-speed.
2nd lbs guy: You can't shift gears with this chain. 3-speeds use a narrower chain
Me: (I'm thinking what the ^$%#!) No, not a three speed. Its a fixed gear. Look, all I need is a BMX chain. There are no gears.

Ok, so the guy finally hands my a KMC BMX chain.

Me: You think its long enough? The chainstays on my bike are probably longer than chaninstays on a BMX frame.
2nd LBS guy: What gearing do you have?
Me: 42/15
2nd lbs guy: This chain won't work. This only works with 16 teeth.
Me: (Thinking, seriously, what %^$%!) How about you just sell me the chain.! If it don't work I'll just live with it.

Then the 1st LBS guy puts the chain back away behind the counter and walks away!
So I grab another employee, ask her to get the chain for me..I didn't bother explaining anything this time, and I paid for the chain.

Got the new chain on my bike right now...works perfectly. Are these guys on crack or what?
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Old 03-29-06, 08:38 PM
  #10  
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Sometimes you just need to know what questions to ask.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:05 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by sivat
Sometimes you just need to know what questions to ask.
i think it's important to know *exactly* what you need when you go to a bike shop that doesn't deal with fixed gears and be prepared to say "no." i've had shop attendants insist all sorts of things that were completely false.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:19 PM
  #12  
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Right after I got my custom frame I went into a shop for something. One of the guys walked over and said "Nice bike. No gears huh? Why don't you have a der. hanger?"

I said "it's a track bike."

He said "what about hills? You'll need to put gears on that. Your knees won't last."

I've heard and understand this argument about brakeless. I wanted to point out that's where he should be making the argument about considering I ride sans brakes, but I just said "OK." and left.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:31 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by sivat
Sometimes you just need to know what questions to ask.
yeah like "is this brake cable gonna cost me 13 bucks?" because if i would have asked that question and gotten the answer "yes" i would have just walked out.

instead it went like this.
"i need a brake cable, about 60 inches long"
guy goes out and cuts the housing from a large spool of basic, cheap houseing (no special teflon lined "slick" cable, not even a cool color, just a large spool of Inline brand cable)
"ok sir that is is one cable, $3, and 5' of housing at $2 a foot, that is #13, and we will throw in some free cable ends"

wtf!!!

free cable ends, wow, that almost made it worth it. i hate this bike shop but it is so close to me i dont know what to do.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:37 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by mihlbach
I'm glad you started this thread, because I was going to. I just got back from my lbs. I wanted a new cheap BMX chain for my cheap fixie conversion. The f'ed up conversation when like this...

Me: Hey I need a chean BMX chain for my fixed gear bike.
1st lbs guy: what?
Me: You know, like a track bike...they can use wide chains, basically the same as a BMX bike. I converted an old road bike to a fixed gear and I need a new chain for it. My old one is stretched.
1st lbs guy: You mean for an indoor trainer?
Me: No, its a fixed gear bike, like a track bike, but I ride it on the road. Its a singlespeed, but with no freewheel.
Him: "blank stare"
Other guy walks up.
1st LBS Guy to the 2nd LBS guy: He needs a chain for a 3-speed.
2nd lbs guy: You can't shift gears with this chain. 3-speeds use a narrower chain
Me: (I'm thinking what the ^$%#!) No, not a three speed. Its a fixed gear. Look, all I need is a BMX chain. There are no gears.

Ok, so the guy finally hands my a KMC BMX chain.

Me: You think its long enough? The chainstays on my bike are probably longer than chaninstays on a BMX frame.
2nd LBS guy: What gearing do you have?
Me: 42/15
2nd lbs guy: This chain won't work. This only works with 16 teeth.
Me: (Thinking, seriously, what %^$%!) How about you just sell me the chain.! If it don't work I'll just live with it.

Then the 1st LBS guy puts the chain back away behind the counter and walks away!
So I grab another employee, ask her to get the chain for me..I didn't bother explaining anything this time, and I paid for the chain.

Got the new chain on my bike right now...works perfectly. Are these guys on crack or what?
You made the situation far too difficult for yourself. By volunteering unnecessary information (the entire description of your bike), you introduced confusion to shop folks who probably never see or work with fixies. This would have worked better:

You: I need a 1/8" BMX chain.
Them: Okay, here it is.
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Old 03-29-06, 09:55 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by $0.00/Gal
The place I went to when I lived in Detroit lost my crown race and wouldn't admit it. Then I bought a new DA headset and reluctantly had them install it. They installed it improperly (USED NO GREASE) so I had to redo it myself.
Hrm which shop is this? I tend to go to American Cycle & Fitness in Royal Oak or Continental in Hazel Park.
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Old 03-29-06, 10:47 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by r-dub
You made the situation far too difficult for yourself. By volunteering unnecessary information (the entire description of your bike), you introduced confusion to shop folks who probably never see or work with fixies. This would have worked better:

You: I need a 1/8" BMX chain.
Them: Okay, here it is.

Yes, but you normally can't get away with not giving any information. First of all, as a fixed gear fan, if I get a chance to introduce the fixed gear concept to a bike shop person, I definately will. At any rate, if I ask for a part, they usually ask what its for because they want to be sure you are buying the right part. Generally, I think thats a good thing...to make sure customers are not buying incompatable parts and tools. Everytime I go in there for a tool, part, or whatever I always get something like, "What sort of bike is this for?". Then let the confusion and misinformation begin. I know what I want so its not a real problem for me...it just always results in a stupid nonsensical conversation. But I would say that the degree of confusion and misinformation that I got today was extreme. I mean, I had a lbs guy tell me that a chain would not work because my cog was 15 teeth, and the chain was for 16 tooth cogs. Thats just ********. How can you work at a bike shop and say something so stupid. That goes beyond not understanding fixed gears..these guys sell tons of BMX and they should have a basic understanding of singlespeeds.
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Old 03-29-06, 10:56 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by mihlbach
I mean, I had a lbs guy tell me that a chain would not work because my cog was 15 teeth, and the chain was for 16 tooth cogs. Thats just ********. How can you work at a bike shop and say something so stupid. That goes beyond not understanding fixed gears..these guys sell tons of BMX and they should have a basic understanding of singlespeeds.
I'm BMX-ignorant, but I think I just read in another thread something about 16t is the smallest freewheel you can fit on standard threading, and so the smaller freewheels use a different hub threading. Maybe the cogs are also smaller (Like, say, 3/32"?). It doesn't completely make sense as why would they all be 3/32" and why wouldn't the 1/8" chain work with them even if they were... But that could at least be why he thought of 15 as significantly different than 16.
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Old 03-29-06, 11:05 PM
  #18  
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bike shops are not nashbar, nor are they primarily populated with idiots. during the summer, especially in areas where bike sales are season dominated, there will be extra help, often high school kids who are learning the industry and might not properly understand what you're talking about. find a local shop you like and learn which are the regular and knowledgeable mechanics.
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Old 03-29-06, 11:08 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by gorn
Hrm which shop is this? I tend to go to American Cycle & Fitness in Royal Oak or Continental in Hazel Park.
+1 continental is awesome.
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Old 03-29-06, 11:40 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Rikardi151
I was charged 20 bucks for a lockring, and needed i badly enough to pay... grrr

i have a little story about something similar. there arent many guys locally that ride fixed. i met this guy that owns a shop and rides fixed. i thought "****in sweet!" well i had him order a lock ring for me. he ordered a campy and wants to charge me $27. YIKES! ****ty deal or what? how can i let him know that thats a bit steep for me? i think it was the only one he was able to order for me. i found another shop that sells surly and other brands for about $12
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Old 03-29-06, 11:41 PM
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In Boston, i'd rank the top 3 shops as follows

1.) Revolution - They sell track frames and parts, and sponsored an alleycat. They're a bit out of the way for me though.
2.) Boston Bikes - They have a nice selection of track parts and have a lot of experience with fixies. They're dumping BMX and are arranging to import Keirin frames.
3.) Broadway Bicycle School - IRO dealer. The wrench wenches (don't call them that) are really helpful, but they're not always the most knowledgeable. A great place to do work on your bike.

International Bicycle is an upscale roadie haven. Great selection, but higher than average prices. They refer to fixed gears exclusively as "that kind of bike." and have *no* experience working on them. On the upside, they're really nice and helpful.

I haven't been to Cambridge Bikes in quite some time, but the last time I was there, it took forever to get someone to help me, and they were kind of snotty.

Back Bay Bicycle was equally as underwhelming, though they do sell surly cross frames.
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Old 03-29-06, 11:46 PM
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+1 on Boston and Cambridge Bikes.

-1 for International.
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Old 03-29-06, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mattface
+1 continental is awesome.

It was Continental. I bought the DA headset at American though.
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Old 03-30-06, 12:12 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by riotboy
i have a little story about something similar. there arent many guys locally that ride fixed. i met this guy that owns a shop and rides fixed. i thought "****in sweet!" well i had him order a lock ring for me. he ordered a campy and wants to charge me $27. YIKES! ****ty deal or what? how can i let him know that thats a bit steep for me? i think it was the only one he was able to order for me. i found another shop that sells surly and other brands for about $12
The campy lockring is a different pitch than the Surly. If you have an italian hub you need the campy.

$27 for a campy lockring is reasonable. I think J&B charges $18. So after his shipping costs for your special order, I'd have to say WHAT?
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Old 03-30-06, 12:40 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by astrx
let me hear the stories.
recently i went into one to check it out, and he guy saw my bike then tried to "upgrade" my to one of those frankinstein alphas you see on ebay. my bike isnt the greatest, but i would never trade my pista+crhis king headset + eggbeaters + sella italia slr (just my fav parts) for one of those things.

then he proceeded to try and sell me a 12 dollar helmet, and that i would not be able to find a BMX style helmet for under 80... then he said a hockey mask would protect me more and be cooler in the summer than a BMX helmet.
the guy sounds like he shouldnt be working at all
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