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Local bike shops that steal your parts..

Old 11-01-22, 01:56 PM
  #1  
afrowheels
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Local bike shops that steal your parts..

Before I went on my first long tour I arranged with a local bike shop to sit in their workshop and watch the mechanics do their stuff, as a crude way of trying to learn a little. One day a customer came in unexpectedly to check on his bike and all hell broke loose because he found out they had switched one of his parts onto another bloke's bike. This week I became that customer: took my bike in for a service before heading off on a potential tour (Possible tour of South America while writing/working?) and today I noticed that one of my XT brake calipers had been switched for a no-name brand grey plastic piece of crap. Hard to put into words what this kind of thing makes you feel...switching a rear brake lever on a bike that you know is going to be doing heavily loaded touring in difficult conditions, just to make a little extra money by fitting out someone else's bike....

Since I've had two experiences of this now and I don't exactly deal with bike shops a lot, I am wondering how common it is.
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Old 11-01-22, 02:08 PM
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Polaris OBark
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I've never heard of this happening, but with humans, anything is possible.

I hope you made them replace it.

This is as good a reason as any to do your own wrenching.

BTW: How can a brake caliper be made of plastic?
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Old 11-01-22, 02:52 PM
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I have never heard of it happening in my community. Fortunately I live in a country and city where rule of law means something. I do not know where you are but if there is no govt consumer protection bureau that can be trusted where you are, that is unfortunate.
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Old 11-01-22, 02:54 PM
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So far they've only stolen my money on parts that don't fit and tools that don't work.
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Old 11-01-22, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
BTW: How can a brake caliper be made of plastic?
One sentence reads caliper. Another reads lever. So Im confused.

Pictures?
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Old 11-01-22, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by McCycle View Post
So far they've only stolen my money on parts that don't fit and tools that don't work.
Sounds like you need to find a better source.
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Old 11-01-22, 09:58 PM
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It is not something shops I have worked at have done, certainly we have made errors and installed the wrong thing on someone else's bike due to looking the same or being mislabeled in the chain of events but we always make it right. We are humans and we do sometimes make mistakes but we don't intend to steal a customers parts we do sometimes toss worn out parts or forget to re-install a light or a seat bag or something like that, that the customer didn't take with them. However again we try and find it and get it back to them when they ask if we hadn't noticed after the bike was picked up.

I am sure there is unscrupulous person out there who might try something like that but has nothing to do with bike shops but just some humans as it could happen anywhere for any number of reasons. I would wonder where they got the extra time to be swapping parts and doing bleeds like that when it wasn't on the ticket? I wish I had that kind of life where I had loads of extra time in the day for silliness and could still get my job done without extra stress.

I am curious to hear what the shop has to say on it if what happened happened and hope they made it right again. Because you swapped caliper and lever I would wonder a bit.
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Old 11-01-22, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
One sentence reads caliper. Another reads lever. So I’m confused.

Pictures?
pictures of his surly in another thread here?
Looking for some advice on LHT rejigging/components for tour

i would assume he meant the levers, prolly switched with some tektros. not likely plasticy-gray long-arm b-brakes.

........although i kinda maybe sorta could be question the validity of this anecdote. i mean, c'mon man! they wanted to steal his brake levers, but only took one? as though a customer wouldn't notice mismatched brake levers?

poster says he personally witnessed two cases of this occurring, so it's apparently quite common at that particular shop. the whole crew and management would have to be involved............so odds they'd let him sit in the work area and watch............low..........and now planning to head off to souf' american tour with a not fully-functional bike?

i'm waiting to read that he's decided to skip the cooking gear and take an accordion instead.......
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Old 11-01-22, 10:12 PM
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Was accused of it once or twice on stupid things, replaced a worn chain and cassette and then accused to stealing/keeping the old ones which "should have been too new to need replacing." Like I really needed some worn out, 8sp or 9sp low end parts when all my bikes at the time ran 10sp. Or keeping the plastic tryout pedals on a multi-thousand dollar road bike after the buyer picked out their actual pedals. Did have the pleasure once of pulling their well used saddle out of the garbage in front of them and handing it to them after they bought a new one to replace it but thought we were trying to steal the old one. Actual theft is something I've heard of but in 5 different shops I've worked in I've never seen actually happen. We were always able to buy parts at or below wholesale and don't need someone else's worn out stuff, as to swapping to another bike, customers understandably get pissy if used parts start showing up on their bike when we claimed to have replaced something making swiping from one to fix another silly.
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Old 11-02-22, 07:13 AM
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Before seeming to cast a dark cloud of suspicion over our local bike shops, the OP should probably have mentioned he appears(from his statement in another thread) to be in Bogota, Colombia.
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Old 11-02-22, 07:50 AM
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What is common in the automotive repair industry, and is the law where I live is that repair shops must return your old parts. This could be requested when getting your bike worked on.

As far as swapping parts w/o owners knowledge, could happen but probably not in most of the developed world as the labor mostly outweighs the value of the used part.
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Old 11-02-22, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
What is common in the automotive repair industry, and is the law where I live is that repair shops must return your old parts. This could be requested when getting your bike worked on.

As far as swapping parts w/o owners knowledge, could happen but probably not in most of the developed world as the labor mostly outweighs the value of the used part.
That is what the bike shops do here. The shops used to ask if we wanted them to recycle our used parts, but now they give us back our old parts.
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Old 11-02-22, 11:27 AM
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Great place for an unscrupulous person to fix bevies of old bike correctly, by "rebuilding" customer's bikes.

While Bogota seems a far more dangerous place, I did end up at a North Idaho biker "Pig Roast" complete with "wet T shirt contest", riding this '56 Harley Panhead I'd restored, a long ways from the Schwinns I started on back in the 70's... A '56 Panhead that had been nearly a chopper that I restored back to as original as it could be, good enough for a trucked invite to be in a Xmas show at the Harley Dealership that winter, after 5 years of restoration, in the living room, being single has certain advantages...

So when I pulled into the lot, I didn't want to park with all the "ugly" new bikes, so I gravitated to the back of the lot and parked to a bike a lot like mine, but with Shovel top end.

In the middle of the pig roast and wet T shirts and beer I notice this dude loitering by my bike, so I head to the parking lot.

Uncomfortable.

Dude has his tools out next to my bike, pretending to be checking some valves but he's removing his footboards is what he's doing, he wants to swap his Chaiwan repops for my 50's originals.

So I hang out, because reparking would have been an affront, and I really just needed to to just get the fk outa Dodge with my bike and my life, so as soon as he stopped playing with his bike I split.

The moral to this story is if you own/ride a neat old bike, don't leave it next another bike like it that could use better parts.

Last edited by McCycle; 11-02-22 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 11-02-22, 01:33 PM
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^^Cool story, bro, but nor relevant.^^
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Old 11-02-22, 01:59 PM
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Highly relevant, as it relates to someone willing to steal/swap out your bikes parts for theirs in broad daylight.
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Old 11-02-22, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by McCycle View Post
Great place for an unscrupulous person to fix bevies of old bike correctly, by "rebuilding" customer's bikes.

While Bogota seems a far more dangerous place, I did end up at a North Idaho biker "Pig Roast" complete with "wet T shirt contest", riding this '56 Harley Panhead I'd restored, a long ways from the Schwinns I started on back in the 70's... A '56 Panhead that had been nearly a chopper that I restored back to as original as it could be, good enough for a trucked invite to be in a Xmas show at the Harley Dealership that winter, after 5 years of restoration, in the living room, being single has certain advantages...

So when I pulled into the lot, I didn't want to park with all the "ugly" new bikes, so I gravitated to the back of the lot and parked to a bike a lot like mine, but with Shovel top end.

In the middle of the pig roast and wet T shirts and beer I notice this dude loitering by my bike, so I head to the parking lot.

Uncomfortable.

Dude has his tools out next to my bike, pretending to be checking some valves but he's removing his footboards is what he's doing, he wants to swap his Chaiwan repops for my 50's originals.

So I hang out, because reparking would have been an affront, and I really just needed to to just get the fk outa Dodge with my bike and my life, so as soon as he stopped playing with his bike I split.

The moral to this story is if you a neat old bike, don't leave it next another bike like it that could use better parts.
Been there.
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Old 11-02-22, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by McCycle View Post
Highly relevant, as it relates to someone willing to steal/swap out your bikes parts for theirs in broad daylight.
News flash..this isn't a motorcycle forum.

Bikers here wear spandex...as outerwear..in public..and like it.
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Old 11-02-22, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
News flash..this isn't a motorcycle forum.
Bicycles could be seen as a gateway drug to motorcycle ownership, as well as ideal modes of transportation for suspicious people with probably suspended driver's licenses or even worse too poor to own a car ;[]

Last edited by McCycle; 11-02-22 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 11-02-22, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by McCycle View Post
Bicycles could be seen as a gateway drug to motorcycle ownership, as well as ideal modes of transportation for suspicious people with probably suspended driver's licenses or even worse too poor to own a car ;
Bicycles are a gateway drug to motorcycles? Well thats a first.
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Old 11-02-22, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by McCycle View Post
Highly relevant, as it relates to someone willing to steal/swap out your bikes parts for theirs in broad daylight.
The alleged incident occurred in a LBS. Not the same. Not to mention the other dissimilarities.

Iggy list update in 5, 4, 3
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Old 11-02-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Bicycles are a gateway drug to motorcycles? Well thats a first.
That post is a brain on drugs. Any questions?
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Old 11-02-22, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The alleged incident occurred in a LBS. Not the same. Not to mention the other dissimilarities.

Iggy list update in 5, 4, 3

As previously mentioned, humans were involved, so anthropologically speaking it's more the same than not. There are people out there who covet your bike's part, in or out of a bike shop.
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Old 11-02-22, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by McCycle View Post
Bicycles could be seen as a gateway drug to motorcycle ownership, as well as ideal modes of transportation for suspicious people with probably suspended driver's licenses or even worse too poor to own a car ;
Those are called e-bikes.
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Old 11-02-22, 06:12 PM
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I was on a road bike before I had a motorcycle. Seemed like a natural transition at the time.

Not having ridden either in years, about a decade ago I was thinking about getting a motorcycle. And ended up getting a road bike instead. I joked that it satisfied the desire.
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Old 11-02-22, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
News flash..this isn't a motorcycle forum.

Bikers here wear spandex...as outerwear..in public..and like it.
spandex ---- leather chaps....................same-same but different!
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