Action Bikes & Halfords, Edgware

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Pete Biggs, Apr 12, 2003.

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  1. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    My brother has just told me of a bad experience today involving these two shops in the Edgware area
    in north London.........

    [For the benefit of those not especially interested in bits of bikes, a freehub body is the unit
    attached to a modern rear wheel hub that supports the cogs and enables you to both drive the wheel
    and freewheel]

    Freehub failed (sounded broken and couldn't freewheel at all), so he first went to Halfords to get a
    replacement body, taking the whole wheel. The wheel was from a mid-price basic Trek 820 mountain
    bike with low-end Shimano 8-speed components. Shop sold him a Deore freehub, assuring him that it
    would be compatible. The staff weren't ready and confident about fitting the part there and then so
    my brother just took the part to get it fitted eleswhere. The freehub body turned out to be totally
    incompatible. That's bad enough but the story gets much worse.......

    Action Bikes, Edgware: First a long wait and messing about to see a "mechanic". The "mechanic" then
    disassembles the hub and struggles to put any of it back together again. Although did discover that
    the new freehub body was the wrong type (because it simply could not fit at all), he clearly didn't
    have the faintest idea what he was doing and ended up giving back the parts loose in a bag - with
    the hub bearing balls missing!!!!

    My brother returns later to the shop after discovering this (and further damage to the already
    broken freehub) to get the balls back. They can't find them and offer completely unsuitable bearings
    instead - different size and clipped instead of loose ones. On asking how they could possibly be
    suitable, the bloke demonstrates by holding them up to totally the wrong part of the hub. Staff were
    also overheard giving bad advice to other customers about a simple problem with some brakes.

    He shoud have gone to Shorter Rochford or any /proper/ bike shop but wanted to get the (simple) job
    done locally and quickly, didn't have a cassette remover to DIY, and didn't know about Action Bikes'
    reputation beforehand. Money will be got back and problems will be sorted; I'm just posting this
    experience as a warning.

    Personally, I'm appalled that people obviously knowing virtually nothing about bikes are running and
    working these shops, and strongly advise that everyone steers clear of high steet shops like these
    for anything remotely tricky or important. I do understand Action Bikes is a franchise* chain so
    maybe there are one or two good branches in the country, but I have gained a bad impression of their
    service from another branch as well.

    Because they are franchises, it means any old cowboys can run these places, and it's no good
    compalining to the managing directors. Somehow, I doubt they'll give a shit. Most are just in the
    business of flogging as many cheapo mountain bikes as possible and have no genuine interest (let
    alone enthusiasm) in bikes or cycling at all.

    BTW, would have been tricky to order online as the part or hub wasn't properly marked so we didn't
    know what model was required as we aren't very familar with these kind of freehubs (but I would
    expect Halfords to be!). Obviously, I wished I had helped directly more myself, but I live some
    miles away and didn't know about it all until after the event.

    ~PB
     
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  2. Al Ford

    Al Ford Guest

    Don't blame Halfords for mis-selling the wrong freehub, blame Trek for being too scabby to spec
    either fully shimano compatible freehubs (and therefore have to pay a small fee to Shimano), use
    Shimano hubs anyway.

    Over the years I've seen a number of hubs with the hub/freehub body interface reversed as opposed to
    Shimanos version. Shimano have the male section on the hub body and the female section on the
    freehub itself.
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Al Ford wrote:
    > Don't blame Halfords for mis-selling the wrong freehub, blame Trek for being too scabby to spec
    > either fully shimano compatible freehubs (and therefore have to pay a small fee to Shimano), use
    > Shimano hubs anyway.
    >
    > Over the years I've seen a number of hubs with the hub/freehub body interface reversed as opposed
    > to Shimanos version. Shimano have the male section on the hub body and the female section on the
    > freehub itself.

    ALL Shimano's?

    1. I don't know what model the hub is, but it is marked "Hyperglide". As this is a Shimano trade
    mark, I assumed it was a Shimano hub. Or could it still be another brand?

    2. Are Deore 8/9sp freehubs compatible with ALL Shimano 8/9sp hubs?

    Anyway, thanks very much for the reply. From what you say, plus the fact that the hub isn't marked
    with a Shimano logo or model numer, I guess the hub isn't Shimano after all. But I still would have
    expected Halfords to have realised this or found it out (the whole wheel was brought to them). The
    major part of the complaint, though, was about Action Bikes - who had NO excuses.

    ~PB
     
  4. Al Ford

    Al Ford Guest

    > Anyway, thanks very much for the reply. From what you say, plus the fact that the hub isn't marked
    > with a Shimano logo or model numer, I guess the hub isn't Shimano after all. But I still would
    > have expected Halfords to have realised this or found it out (the whole wheel was brought to
    > them). The major part of the complaint, though, was about Action Bikes - who had NO excuses.
    >
    > ~PB

    The main problem is that until you actually take the thing apart it is difficult to tell what
    interface is used.
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Al Ford wrote:

    >> Anyway, thanks very much for the reply. From what you say, plus the fact that the hub isn't
    >> marked with a Shimano logo or model numer, I guess the hub isn't Shimano after all. But I still
    >> would have expected Halfords to have realised this or found it out (the whole wheel was brought
    >> to them). The major part of the complaint, though, was about Action Bikes - who had NO excuses.

    > The main problem is that until you actually take the thing apart it is difficult to tell what
    > interface is used.

    In that case, they should have either been willing and able to take off the freehub there and then,
    or explain that they couldn't be sure what model would be suitable. Instead, they dithered about
    then sold the wrong part with the assurance that it would fit.

    I'm still not clear whether ALL modern 8sp MTB Shimano rear hubs are marked "Shimano" on the outside
    somewhere. Can anyone answer this please? And I'd still like to know if modern Deore 8/9sp freehub
    bodies fit ALL modern Shimano 8/9sp hubs.

    ~PB
     
  6. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    >
    > In that case, they should have either been willing and able to take off the freehub there and
    > then, or explain that they couldn't be sure what model would be suitable. Instead, they dithered
    > about then sold the wrong part with the assurance that it would fit.
    >
    > I'm still not clear whether ALL modern 8sp MTB Shimano rear hubs are marked "Shimano" on the
    > outside somewhere. Can anyone answer this please? And I'd still like to know if modern Deore 8/9sp
    > freehub bodies fit ALL modern Shimano 8/9sp hubs.
    >

    I'm still not sure why you bought the freehub in one shop and had it fitted in another. If it was
    because it was cheaper its a false economy. Far better to have had one shop replace the freehub for
    you from their stock. Probably would have charged you less for the fitting and if it did go wrong
    you would have a far better case. As it is they will probably absolve themselves by saying you asked
    them to fit an incompatible part

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  7. Jim Price

    Jim Price Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:
    > My brother has just told me of a bad experience today involving these two shops in the Edgware
    > area in north London.........

    > Freehub failed (sounded broken and couldn't freewheel at all), so he first went to Halfords to get
    > a replacement body, taking the whole wheel. The wheel was from a mid-price basic Trek 820 mountain
    > bike with low-end Shimano 8-speed components. Shop sold him a Deore freehub, assuring him that it
    > would be compatible.

    Compatible with an 8 speed cassette, almost certainly. With other Shimano hubs, most likely. For
    exceptions, see: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html#transplant For anyone elses hubs, see under
    "cat in hell's chance". Trek wouldn't give a monkeys about Shimano compatibility in an area of a
    cheap/midrange bike of theirs if you couldn't see it from a casual examination of the bike. When
    manufacturers say things like "Shimano equipped", the phrase never seems to mean "equipped with a
    full complement of shimano components", unless on expensive bikes.

    However, Shimano parts pricing can tend to mean its not much more expensive to buy a complete hub
    (especially online), but is obviously more difficult to swap the hub out.

    > The staff weren't ready and confident about fitting the part there and then so my brother just
    > took the part to get it fitted eleswhere. The freehub body turned out to be totally incompatible.

    Doh!

    > That's bad enough but the story gets much worse.......

    <snipped disaterous stuff about Action Bikes etc.>

    > BTW, would have been tricky to order online as the part or hub wasn't properly marked so we didn't
    > know what model was required as we aren't very familar with these kind of freehubs (but I would
    > expect Halfords to be!). Obviously, I wished I had helped directly more myself, but I live some
    > miles away and didn't know about it all until after the event.

    It wasn't a shimano hub then. You don't say what year of Trek 820 the bike is, but the current 820
    spec just says "alloy hubs" - almost certainly not Shimano, as "Shimano equipped" seems to be a
    regularly used bit of advertising blurb, and you rarely see any Shimano hubs without Shimano logos.
    I don't think Halfords sell Trek, and I would doubt even every Trek seller would have the right
    spare freehub for that wheel. Also, bear in mind that the magic words in Halfords are "can I talk to
    the bike specialist", who would be the member of staff most knowlegable about this sort of thing. He
    or she would also have days off.

    JimP
     
  8. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    > Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    >>
    >> In that case, they should have either been willing and able to take off the freehub there and
    >> then, or explain that they couldn't be sure what model would be suitable. Instead, they dithered
    >> about then sold the wrong part with the assurance that it would fit.
    >>
    >> I'm still not clear whether ALL modern 8sp MTB Shimano rear hubs are marked "Shimano" on the
    >> outside somewhere. Can anyone answer this please? And I'd still like to know if modern Deore
    >> 8/9sp freehub bodies fit ALL modern Shimano 8/9sp hubs.
    >>
    >
    > I'm still not sure why you bought the freehub in one shop and had it fitted in another.

    That's besides the point, and it was my brother and not me. He did ask for it to be fitted but did
    not get a straight answer about when it could be done and also wanted it fitted on the same day if
    possible. Halfords did not give the impression of being competent or organised so he went elsewhere.
    Personally, I don't think I would have then accepted the part. (Actually, I wouldn't have gone to
    Halfords or AB at all for this job but my brother is not quite so clued-up on modern bike equipment
    or shops as I am; although I'm not cexactly lued-up mountain bike freehubs either).

    So don't blame the customer!!!! The staff at Halfords didn't do their job properly. The customer did
    not ask specifically for a Deore or even a Shimano freehub. The customer presented the whole wheel
    and asked them to either replace the freehub or provide a _suitable_ freehub for it. In this
    situation, under the Sale of Goods Act, the shop has a clear legal obligation (as well as a moral
    one) to either do and supply nothing or fit/supply the correct goods.

    > If it was because it was cheaper its a false economy.

    Was nothing to do with the cost.

    > Far better to have had one shop replace the freehub for you from their stock.

    Of course. But if short of time and one shop seems to offer what's needed, there's the natural
    inclination to grab it while you can because other shops may well not have it in their stock. ...You
    know what bike shops are like! ...Lucky if they have what you want half the time.

    > Probably would have charged you less for the fitting and if it did go wrong you would have a far
    > better case. As it is they will probably absolve themselves by saying you asked them to fit an
    > incompatible part

    I don't think you have fully understood the situation. Nevermind, there's bound to be no further
    problem with Halfords as I'm sure they will take back the part for a full refund. It was Action
    Bikes who bollocksed up big time (on the fitting).

    ~PB
     
  9. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Jim Price wrote:

    >> The staff weren't ready and confident about fitting the part there and then so my brother just
    >> took the part to get it fitted eleswhere. The freehub body turned out to be totally incompatible.
    >
    > Doh!

    Indeed, but men in a hurry do desparate things! As I've explained in my last message, Halfords still
    were in the wrong. If they weren't sure, they should not have said that the part would be suitable,
    and it now seems that the part was extremely unlikely to be suitabable!! The point was that Halfords
    were crap, but I suppose I'm preaching to the converted here! :)

    ~PB
     
  10. Thus spake "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc>

    > Anyway, thanks very much for the reply. From what you say, plus the fact that the hub isn't marked
    > with a Shimano logo or model numer, I guess the hub isn't Shimano after all. But I still would
    > have expected Halfords to have realised this or found it out (the whole wheel was brought to
    > them). The major part of the complaint, though, was about Action Bikes - who had NO excuses.

    I've not been inside Action Bikes, Edgware since I told the chap who ran the shop I had five bikes.

    He said he only sold bikes and didn't ride them.

    Enough said.

    I now have one bike and *can't* ride it :-(

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  11. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Helen Deborah Vecht wrote:

    >> The major part of the complaint, though, was about Action Bikes - who had NO excuses.
    >
    > I've not been inside Action Bikes, Edgware since I told the chap who ran the shop I had
    > five bikes.

    ...Five bike _shops_, I think you might mean - which is what my brother heard yesterday. I think the
    bloke was boasting about it!

    > He said he only sold bikes and didn't ride them.
    >
    > Enough said.

    Indeed, it's enough to make the blood boil!

    > I now have one bike and *can't* ride it :-(

    I'm sorry to hear that. I didn't realise (until very recently from another post of yours) that you
    couldn't cycle at all now. I hope I'd still be interested in the world of cycling if I ever have to
    give up riding myself.

    Good luck.

    ~PB
     
  12. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:
    > Helen Deborah Vecht wrote:
    >
    >>> The major part of the complaint, though, was about Action Bikes - who had NO excuses.
    >>
    >> I've not been inside Action Bikes, Edgware since I told the chap who ran the shop I had
    >> five bikes.
    >
    > ...Five bike _shops_, I think you might mean - which is what my brother heard yesterday. I think
    > the bloke was boasting about it!

    Sorry, BRAIN FAILURE (I think I've got some kind of dyslexia!). From re-reading, I see _you_
    had five bikes. By coincidence over the number "five", the manager there does indeed run five
    bike shops.

    ~PB
     
  13. Jim Price

    Jim Price Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:
    > Jim Price wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>The staff weren't ready and confident about fitting the part there and then so my brother just
    >>>took the part to get it fitted eleswhere. The freehub body turned out to be totally incompatible.
    >>
    >>Doh!
    >
    >
    > Indeed, but men in a hurry do desparate things! As I've explained in my last message, Halfords
    > still were in the wrong. If they weren't sure, they should not have said that the part would be
    > suitable, and it now seems that the part was extremely unlikely to be suitabable!! The point was
    > that Halfords were crap, but I suppose I'm preaching to the converted here! :)

    Well, not quite. I may end up working in Halfords in the next few weeks, due to the current state of
    the UK IT jobs market. Maybe I can change peoples opinion of at least one Halfords store (a case of
    men without a job do desperate things) - mind you, where I live, the local bike shops between here
    and Halfords struggle to give them any serious competition on anything but who can sell the cheapest
    bike. This may well be a good part of the reason why I've had to learn to do all of the servicing on
    all of my bikes.

    JimP
     
  14. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Staff were also overheard giving bad advice to other customers about a simple problem with
    > some brakes.

    There should be a law ...

    --
    Dave...
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    UPDATE #1: My brother has now been to a (proper!) shop and it's now obvious that the hub is NOT
    Shimano and is "unusual". I suspect Trek changed the spec to save a few pennies - or maybe even the
    dealer supplied non-Trek wheels. The shop is going to try to order a suitable freehub.

    ~PB
     
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