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New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 6th 04, 08:25 PM
Glm
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Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?


I have a 3-week old bike, a Roubaix Elite 27, that I purchased from what
is supposedly a reputable dealer in Manhattan.

I've tried pretty hard to support the LBS, buying quite a few accessories
there, not moaning that they forget my club dicount, etc. It's expensive,
but convenient and, well, these shops have to make ends meet, so why
not?! One tries to establish some goodwill.

A couple of days ago, the left crank started to 'jolt' whenever it passed
the eleven o'clock position. Not on every turn, but let's say, six times
out of ten and right across the cassette and chain-rings (i.e., not
specific to any gear).

I waited until I thought the LBS would not be busy then took the bike in
for inspection. It was quite clear that no one wanted to look at it.
Eventually managed to get a mechanic to spin the rear wheel and fiddle
with the derailleur adjustment. I explained that I failed to see how that
would stop the left-hand crank from jolting (it happened at the same crank
position, regardless of gear or chain position, etc.). No joy: they
clearly weren't interested in helping further. Said I could leave the
bike there for ten days so that they could do a 'full check-up'.

And I certainly wasn't asking them to tighten cables and polish the seat
for me. My only concern was this crank/bracket anomaly.

So, at the same time I'm paying over the odds for lubricants, cleaners and
a cadence monitor for my Polar device (another $70). Still, no interest
in looking at the bike.

I assume it's the LBS's responsibility to sort this out, but I am
reluctant to press the issue as the last thing I want is a p*ssed-off
mechanic playing around hastily with the bottom bracket on a bike rhar's
cost me well in excess of $2,500 (including bits and pieces, tax, etc.).

I'd be happy to go and pay a few dollars for another shop to sort this
out, but, frankly, I have no idea which places are good. And I cannot
guarantee I'll get any better service!?

So, my question is: will my LBS refuse to touch the bike if I have another
shop look at this particular problem? And, if not, does anyone know a
decent LBS in Manhattan who could sort this out in a few hours.

Any thoughts on how to handle what I assume is a common challenge for
people who buy new bikes would be appreciated. Thank you.

Glm
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  #2  
Old August 6th 04, 09:44 PM
tcmedara
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Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?

Glm wrote:
No joy: they clearly weren't interested in helping further.
Said I could leave the bike there for ten days so that they could do
a 'full check-up'.

A 3 week old bike with mechanical problems and they aren't "interested" in
helping? Sounds like you might want to:
a) rethink the *reputable* label
b) find a new LBS

At the very least, you should talk to the manager/owner. If that doesn't
work, then spend your cycling $$ elsewhere.


Tom


  #3  
Old August 6th 04, 10:15 PM
Badger_South
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Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?

On Fri, 6 Aug 2004 16:44:27 -0400, "tcmedara"
wrote:

Glm wrote:
No joy: they clearly weren't interested in helping further.
Said I could leave the bike there for ten days so that they could do
a 'full check-up'.

A 3 week old bike with mechanical problems and they aren't "interested" in
helping? Sounds like you might want to:
a) rethink the *reputable* label
b) find a new LBS

At the very least, you should talk to the manager/owner. If that doesn't
work, then spend your cycling $$ elsewhere.

Tom


I've seen a bit of this at my LBS, but they still will look it over if I
pester them nicely. I always figured it was a bit of 'oh the new owner is
obsessing over every little squeek and creak'. But yeah, why wouldn't one?
It's nerve wracking to have those noises and be worried something's gonna
break miles from home.

Certainly shouldn't be the norm after only 3 weeks and spending that amt of
money. Go talk to the owner, I agree.

-B


  #4  
Old August 6th 04, 10:22 PM
Leo Lichtman
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Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?


"tcmedara" wroteclip) At the very least, you should talk to the
manager/owner. If that doesn't work, then spend your cycling $$ elsewhere.
^^^^^^^^^^^^
I agree completely with Tom's advice. $2500 for a bicycle should buy you
more than a hasty "shuffle." When you talk to the manager, I would take the
attitude that one or more of his employees may be driving away customers,
and he needs to be aware of it. He should also be aware that he may be
driving away a new customer who WANTS to continue to help him keep his store
profitable. From all your comments, you are not short of money, and not
stingy, and you are not a pain in the ass.

He also needs to know that he may be employing one or more incompetent
mechanics. When the customer understands more about the problem than the
mechanic does, something is wrong. A good mechanic will home in on a
problem--he/she will be irresistably attracted to it, and WANT to fix it.
The incompetent will do what his mechanic did.



  #5  
Old August 7th 04, 12:09 AM
Martin Wilson
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Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?


Any thoughts on how to handle what I assume is a common challenge for
people who buy new bikes would be appreciated. Thank you.

Glm


There are LBS's crying out for customers like you with pretty serious
money to spend. Logically they should want to keep you happy in the
hope that you will buy future bikes from them in the next few years.
It may be worth contacting the manufacturer of the bike to express
your concerns.
  #6  
Old August 7th 04, 01:51 AM
Glm
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Posts: n/a
Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?

On Fri, 06 Aug 2004 17:15:43 -0400, Badger_South
wrote:

[snip]

-B


Thanks to each of you for your responses. Glad to hear from someone that
I am not being a pain in the gluteus maximus!

You're right: I've tried pretty hard to be considerate and understanding,
but, really, jolting cranks I can do without. And, although it may make
me seem like a moron, I regrettably don't have the expertise or the tools
to open up bottom brackets myself; that said, I am sure it doesn't take a
week to do so!

A discreet word with the manager (there are two of these stores in
Manhattan, so I fear that the owner may well be elusive!) is probably
appropriate at this point. Shall see how I get on.

In fact, I have 101 niggling little complaints about this shop - nothing
that has truly incensed me to date, but enough to ensure that when I buy a
new bike I won't be buying it from there. So much for being the oldest
and largest...

Again, thanks to you all.
  #7  
Old August 7th 04, 03:12 AM
Bill
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Posts: n/a
Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?


"Glm" wrote in message news[email protected]

I have a 3-week old bike, a Roubaix Elite 27, that I purchased from what
is supposedly a reputable dealer in Manhattan.

I've tried pretty hard to support the LBS, buying quite a few accessories
there, not moaning that they forget my club dicount, etc. It's expensive,
but convenient and, well, these shops have to make ends meet, so why
not?! One tries to establish some goodwill.

A couple of days ago, the left crank started to 'jolt' whenever it passed
the eleven o'clock position. Not on every turn, but let's say, six times
out of ten and right across the cassette and chain-rings (i.e., not
specific to any gear).

I waited until I thought the LBS would not be busy then took the bike in
for inspection. It was quite clear that no one wanted to look at it.
Eventually managed to get a mechanic to spin the rear wheel and fiddle
with the derailleur adjustment. I explained that I failed to see how that
would stop the left-hand crank from jolting (it happened at the same crank
position, regardless of gear or chain position, etc.). No joy: they
clearly weren't interested in helping further. Said I could leave the
bike there for ten days so that they could do a 'full check-up'.

And I certainly wasn't asking them to tighten cables and polish the seat
for me. My only concern was this crank/bracket anomaly.

So, at the same time I'm paying over the odds for lubricants, cleaners and
a cadence monitor for my Polar device (another $70). Still, no interest
in looking at the bike.

I assume it's the LBS's responsibility to sort this out, but I am
reluctant to press the issue as the last thing I want is a p*ssed-off
mechanic playing around hastily with the bottom bracket on a bike rhar's
cost me well in excess of $2,500 (including bits and pieces, tax, etc.).

I'd be happy to go and pay a few dollars for another shop to sort this
out, but, frankly, I have no idea which places are good. And I cannot
guarantee I'll get any better service!?

So, my question is: will my LBS refuse to touch the bike if I have another
shop look at this particular problem? And, if not, does anyone know a
decent LBS in Manhattan who could sort this out in a few hours.

Any thoughts on how to handle what I assume is a common challenge for
people who buy new bikes would be appreciated. Thank you.

Glm


Sounds like a loose crank arm and all it needs is a bolt tightened. About 60
seconds worth of work. Will the shop replace the crank when it is damaged by
riding with it loose? Most shops offer free adjustments on new bikes after a
little use.
Bill


  #8  
Old August 7th 04, 04:30 AM
Glm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?

On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 02:12:24 GMT, Bill wrote:


Sounds like a loose crank arm and all it needs is a bolt tightened.
About 60
seconds worth of work. Will the shop replace the crank when it is
damaged by
riding with it loose? Most shops offer free adjustments on new bikes
after a
little use.
Bill


"Bring it in after a couple of hundred miles and we'll give it a good
going over!" was the sales pitch.

The mechanic tried to tighten the crank arm but couldn't move it. Played
around with the rear derailleur limiter instead - seeing him put the bike
on a stand and turn the pedal a fewe revolutions really impreesed me...

Either way, no improvement whatsoever. Could be the pedals, I suppose.

Regardless, still at a loss as to why, with over half a dozen employees in
the shop and not a single customer, they thought it would take a week to
do anything to it!

Anyway, I received my answer from the newsgroup, viz., that I am not being
an obdurate old ass by asking them to take a look at it.
  #9  
Old August 7th 04, 04:33 AM
Richard Tack
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?

Glm wrote:


I have a 3-week old bike, a Roubaix Elite 27, that I purchased from
what is supposedly a reputable dealer in Manhattan.

I've tried pretty hard to support the LBS, buying quite a few
accessories there, not moaning that they forget my club dicount, etc.
It's expensive, but convenient and, well, these shops have to make ends
meet, so why not?! One tries to establish some goodwill.

A couple of days ago, the left crank started to 'jolt' whenever it
passed the eleven o'clock position. Not on every turn, but let's say,
six times out of ten and right across the cassette and chain-rings
(i.e., not specific to any gear).

I waited until I thought the LBS would not be busy then took the bike
in for inspection. It was quite clear that no one wanted to look at
it. Eventually managed to get a mechanic to spin the rear wheel and
fiddle with the derailleur adjustment. I explained that I failed to
see how that would stop the left-hand crank from jolting (it happened
at the same crank position, regardless of gear or chain position,
etc.). No joy: they clearly weren't interested in helping further.
Said I could leave the bike there for ten days so that they could do a
'full check-up'.

And I certainly wasn't asking them to tighten cables and polish the
seat for me. My only concern was this crank/bracket anomaly.

So, at the same time I'm paying over the odds for lubricants, cleaners
and a cadence monitor for my Polar device (another $70). Still, no
interest in looking at the bike.

I assume it's the LBS's responsibility to sort this out, but I am
reluctant to press the issue as the last thing I want is a p*ssed-off
mechanic playing around hastily with the bottom bracket on a bike
rhar's cost me well in excess of $2,500 (including bits and pieces,
tax, etc.).

I'd be happy to go and pay a few dollars for another shop to sort this
out, but, frankly, I have no idea which places are good. And I cannot
guarantee I'll get any better service!?

So, my question is: will my LBS refuse to touch the bike if I have
another shop look at this particular problem? And, if not, does anyone
know a decent LBS in Manhattan who could sort this out in a few hours.

Any thoughts on how to handle what I assume is a common challenge for
people who buy new bikes would be appreciated. Thank you.

Glm


Go to another LBS and pay for a second opinion. Then either
go to the seller and demand for it to be repaired or just
let the second guy do it and the hell with it. At least 1.
you'll know whether its a real problem and 2. get it fixed.
  #10  
Old August 7th 04, 04:41 AM
Mike Jacoubowsky
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Posts: n/a
Default New Bike, Reputable LBS, So what is the Problem?

I agree completely with Tom's advice. $2500 for a bicycle should buy you
more than a hasty "shuffle."


In a peculiar way I resent that remark. I fail to understand why the
purchase of a $1000 bike ought to entitle a customer to any less effort to
make the bike roadworthy than a $5000 bike.

If an LBS doesn't take care of the people who buy moderately-priced road
bikes (or expensive ones, whatever), it's not just a customer *they* lose...
it can be a loss to cycling in general. Chances are that bike is going to
sit & rot away in the garage, and the potential cyclist decides that
cycling's not worth the hassle... just one more expensive toy that didn't
work out.

I believe a business can thrive by making sure that customers not only use,
but become addicted to the product. Those customers are going to come back
and buy all manner of accessories & apparel, and they'll want their friends
to join in their addiction. The $1000 bike customer can often provide as
profitable a relationship, sometimes more so, than the $5000 bike buyer. In
fact, without charging more for the initial product than others around, it's
possible that I make a lot more money off that customer than a shop down the
street selling a bike many times more expensive (because they're just
selling a bike and I'm hopefully selling cycling in general and creating an
addiction).

Or maybe my mind's still scrambled from my recent trip to France?

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"Leo Lichtman" wrote in message
...

"tcmedara" wroteclip) At the very least, you should talk to the
manager/owner. If that doesn't work, then spend your cycling $$

elsewhere.
^^^^^^^^^^^^
I agree completely with Tom's advice. $2500 for a bicycle should buy you
more than a hasty "shuffle." When you talk to the manager, I would take

the
attitude that one or more of his employees may be driving away customers,
and he needs to be aware of it. He should also be aware that he may be
driving away a new customer who WANTS to continue to help him keep his

store
profitable. From all your comments, you are not short of money, and not
stingy, and you are not a pain in the ass.

He also needs to know that he may be employing one or more incompetent
mechanics. When the customer understands more about the problem than the
mechanic does, something is wrong. A good mechanic will home in on a
problem--he/she will be irresistably attracted to it, and WANT to fix it.
The incompetent will do what his mechanic did.





 




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