Amazing things I learned at the bike shops

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ryan Cousineau, May 11, 2003.

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  1. So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing
    new things:

    "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the Sora."

    "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."

    "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase of a
    PC68 to go with my new cassette

    Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?

    The worst part is that I got these utterances from two shops I thought I could trust. One was the
    satellite location of a commuter-oriented shop I've had very good experiences with, and the other
    was at the bike desk at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
    Tags:


  2. Dave Mayer

    Dave Mayer Guest

    Ryan: yes, these are good to know facts. I can add some:

    I found out my old pedals are "Italian threaded". You can retap my (Stronglight - French) crankarms
    to make them compatible.

    How I had to go to 4 shops to find a 1" standard threaded headset. The kids behind the desk were
    willing to give me a discount because the top cap and the star-fangled nut seemed to be missing.

    You can install a JIS 1" headset on my road bike. You fix the dimensional problems with beer-can
    shims under the fork race.

    Can't fit that mountain bike bar in an old Cinelli stem? Then tighten up the stem bolt harder!

    Campagnolo? What's that?

    "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing
    > new things:
    >
    > "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the Sora."
    >
    > "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."
    >
    > "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase of a
    > PC68 to go with my new cassette
    >
    > Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?
    >
    > The worst part is that I got these utterances from two shops I thought I could trust. One was the
    > satellite location of a commuter-oriented shop I've had very good experiences with, and the other
    > was at the bike desk at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
    >
    > --
    > Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  3. "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing
    > new things:

    Your first mistake. You're supposed to be out riding!

    >
    > "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the Sora."

    Sora is noisier in my experience, but I haven't seen any durability issues.

    >
    > "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."

    Chainrings will generally last through 3-4 cassettes, in my experience. I used to think they
    lasted longer than that, but have noticed significant improvements in shifting if I don't let them
    go as long.

    >
    > "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase of a
    > PC68 to go with my new cassette

    News to me; I thought they were the same material but different finish. For what it's worth, I find
    the Shimano chains to shift better up front than the SRAMs, but durability is similar. You can now
    buy very inexpensive Shimano HG53 9-speed chains if you're trying to save money.

    >
    > Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?

    Because you've read the other threads and noticed mail-order's not immune to problems either?
    Unfortunately, those with the best advice will be those actually using the product, and most shop
    folk tend to be mountain-bike oriented and a bit more into what's cool than what works.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing new
    > > things:
    >
    > Your first mistake. You're supposed to be out riding!
    >
    > >
    > > "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the Sora."
    >
    > Sora is noisier in my experience, but I haven't seen any durability issues.

    That's interesting. I'm surprised that the tooth profile would even be different, though I suppose
    there might be some finish issues. I went with a 105 13-26 because I got a good deal on it, though.

    > > "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."
    >
    > Chainrings will generally last through 3-4 cassettes, in my experience. I used to think they
    > lasted longer than that, but have noticed significant improvements in shifting if I don't let them
    > go as long.

    Hm. Now you do have me thinking. But I'm pretty sure mine are up to the task for now.

    > > "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase of
    > > a PC68 to go with my new cassette
    >
    > News to me; I thought they were the same material but different finish. For what it's worth, I
    > find the Shimano chains to shift better up front than the SRAMs, but durability is similar. You
    > can now buy very inexpensive Shimano HG53 9-speed chains if you're trying to save money.

    Hm.

    > > Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?
    >
    > Because you've read the other threads and noticed mail-order's not immune to problems either?
    > Unfortunately, those with the best advice will be those actually using the product, and most shop
    > folk tend to be mountain-bike oriented and a bit more into what's cool than what works.

    Actually, because I'm in Canada, between the exchange rates, border hassles, and extra shipping
    costs, it's often a marginal deal to shop by mail-order. But none of the stuff I wanted was even
    particularly road-specific: cogs and chains are cogs and chains, and except for gearing choices, I
    hope the bike shop people will know this stuff.

    I might be willing to accept blank stares at most shops if I asked about the difference between
    Tiagra and 105 brifteurs, but not straightforward drivetrain questions.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  5. << "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the Sora."

    "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."

    "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase of a
    PC68 to go with my new cassette

    Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?

    Not defending these bozos but what makes a MO outfit any better versed or devoid of BS??

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  6. "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > Not defending these bozos but what makes a MO outfit any better versed or devoid of BS??

    Nothing. But getting no information is better than getting bad information. And paying a premium for
    that bad information.

    JT

    --
    *******************************************
    NB: reply-to address is munged

    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    *******************************************
     
  7. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Sun, 11 May 2003 09:56:09 -0700, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."

    "If you replace that chain, you should replace the cassette too"

    - Palmers / Cyclelife in Bristol.
     
  8. Ryan have you ever checked out Canada Bike? The prices are very reasonable and he just charges
    Canada Post rates. The guy on the other end of the phone is quite helpful.

    BTW I have not ordered anything from them (yet).

    http://www.bikecanada.com/

    Jeff

    "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing new
    > > > things:
    > >
    > > Your first mistake. You're supposed to be out riding!
    > >
    > > >
    > > > "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the
    > > > Sora."
    > >
    > > Sora is noisier in my experience, but I haven't seen any durability
    issues.
    >
    > That's interesting. I'm surprised that the tooth profile would even be different, though I
    > suppose there might be some finish issues. I went with a 105 13-26 because I got a good deal on
    > it, though.
    >
    > > > "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to
    replace
    > > > the chain rings too."
    > >
    > > Chainrings will generally last through 3-4 cassettes, in my experience.
    I
    > > used to think they lasted longer than that, but have noticed significant improvements in
    > > shifting if I don't let them go as long.
    >
    > Hm. Now you do have me thinking. But I'm pretty sure mine are up to the task for now.
    >
    > > > "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase
    > > > of a PC68 to go with my new cassette
    > >
    > > News to me; I thought they were the same material but different finish.
    For
    > > what it's worth, I find the Shimano chains to shift better up front than
    the
    > > SRAMs, but durability is similar. You can now buy very inexpensive
    Shimano
    > > HG53 9-speed chains if you're trying to save money.
    >
    > Hm.
    >
    > > > Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?
    > >
    > > Because you've read the other threads and noticed mail-order's not
    immune to
    > > problems either? Unfortunately, those with the best advice will be
    those
    > > actually using the product, and most shop folk tend to be mountain-bike oriented and a bit more
    > > into what's cool than what works.
    >
    > Actually, because I'm in Canada, between the exchange rates, border hassles, and extra shipping
    > costs, it's often a marginal deal to shop by mail-order. But none of the stuff I wanted was even
    > particularly road-specific: cogs and chains are cogs and chains, and except for gearing choices, I
    > hope the bike shop people will know this stuff.
    >
    > I might be willing to accept blank stares at most shops if I asked about the difference between
    > Tiagra and 105 brifteurs, but not straightforward drivetrain questions.
    >
    > --
    > Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  9. Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing
    > new things:
    >
    Snip

    Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, LaBicicletta or Il Campione (moved to 8 & Burrard) are the only places you should
    be shopping. Remember you are a racer and racers have standards, they may be low, but they are
    standards.
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>, "Jeff Pitblado"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ryan have you ever checked out Canada Bike? The prices are very reasonable and he just charges
    > Canada Post rates. The guy on the other end of the phone is quite helpful.
    >
    > BTW I have not ordered anything from them (yet).
    >
    > http://www.bikecanada.com/
    >
    > Jeff

    Hm. Not bad. I didn't see any raging deals, but their prices are competitive.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  11. Kbh

    Kbh Guest

    In general, I don't bother asking anything difficult of the summer help teenager behind the counter.
    I have to chuckle when I come in to pick up spokes that I called to have cut for me, and the kid
    who's ringing it up has to ask someone what type they are so he knows what to charge me (and they're
    always 14/15/14 DB).

    Look for the guy with the gray hair.

    Kyle

    "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing
    > new things:
    >
    > "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the Sora."
    >
    > "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."
    >
    > "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase of a
    > PC68 to go with my new cassette
    >
    > Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?
    >
    > The worst part is that I got these utterances from two shops I thought I could trust. One was the
    > satellite location of a commuter-oriented shop I've had very good experiences with, and the other
    > was at the bike desk at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
    >
    > --
    > Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  12. In article <[email protected]>,
    Mike Latondresse <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing new
    > > things:
    > >
    > Snip
    >
    > Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, LaBicicletta or Il Campione (moved to 8 & Burrard) are the only places you
    > should be shopping. Remember you are a racer and racers have standards, they may be low, but they
    > are standards.

    I'm beginning to believe. At least there I imagine they confine themselves to old-world lore like
    "steel is real" and "tie the spokes together".

    Elbow infection, related fever, allergic skin rash, on 4 prescription and 4 non-prescription
    medications this weekend, something's gotta get better soon or I won't be at the Tuesday
    night crit....

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  13. Dave Mayer

    Dave Mayer Guest

    Boiling down my bike shop experience, here is what I've learned from sales staff over the years.
    Insert the name of a bike part in the blanks:

    "If _____ is more than 5 years old, it is worthless" "The only drivetrain stuff worth using is by
    Shimano" "Your existing ____ is not compatible with a Shimano ____" "To upgrade to _____ speeds you
    will have to replace _____ and ______ and ______ and _____ etc." "Your old ____ is not compatible
    with anything" "It can't be upgraded" "It can't be fixed" "We can't get that".

    Including my favorite comment from one of the shops below:

    "Campagnolo has not made 8 speed stuff since 1998!!!" "Suntour? What the hell is that?"

    Although to be fair, one of these shops did ask a very astute question:

    "How (and why) did you get a Simplex derailleur to work with Ergopower levers?"

    "Mike Latondresse" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing new
    > > things:
    > >
    > Snip
    >
    > Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, LaBicicletta or Il Campione (moved to 8 & Burrard) are the only places you
    > should be shopping. Remember you are a racer and racers have standards, they may be low, but they
    > are standards.
     
  14. Andy Dingley wrote:
    >
    > "If you replace that chain, you should replace the cassette too"
    >
    > - Palmers / Cyclelife in Bristol.

    As the typical rider usually waits way too long to replace a chain, this is often true. Not always,
    but often enough.

    Barry
     
  15. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Mon, 12 May 2003 01:37:54 GMT, "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Look for the guy with the gray hair.

    Are there any grey-haired guys working in bike shops ? I can only think of one, and now he's shaved
    it all off !

    (Which has deeply traumatised uk.rec.cycling)
     
  16. Andy Dingley wrote:
    >
    > On Mon, 12 May 2003 01:37:54 GMT, "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Look for the guy with the gray hair.
    >
    > Are there any grey-haired guys working in bike shops ? I can only think of one, and now he's
    > shaved it all off !
    >
    > (Which has deeply traumatised uk.rec.cycling)

    I have some gray hair, and I work in a shop, as does our service manager. We're both older than the
    owners, so customers often assume WE are the owners. <G>

    Barry
     
  17. "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In general, I don't bother asking anything difficult of the summer help teenager behind the
    > counter. I have to chuckle when I come in to pick up spokes that I called to have cut for me, and
    > the kid who's ringing it up has to ask someone what type they are so he knows what to charge me
    > (and they're always 14/15/14 DB).

    It's not so terrible if they know what they don't know.

    Though once I went into a shop to buy a brake cable. I knew exactly what I wanted but the kid behind
    the counter didn't, and he refused to sell it to me until he could clear it with the one person on
    their staff who had that knowledge. But that guy was tied up with several other customers so it took
    20 minutes for me to get in and out instead of three or five. Annoying.

    And the guy who said it was OK for me to buy the cable was really arrogant when I complained about
    having to wait for his approval to buy something when I knew exactly what I wanted.

    That shop went out of business less than a year later.

    JT

    --
    *******************************************
    NB: reply-to address is munged

    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    *******************************************
     
  18. KBH wrote:
    > In general, I don't bother asking anything difficult of the summer help teenager behind the
    > counter. Look for the guy with the gray hair.

    Man, that is true. I broke a spoke a while ago, and when I picked up the repaired bike, the gray
    haired guy wheeled it out for me. He then spent half an hour fixing the stuff the new kid did wrong
    on it, all the way down to putting the tire on backwards.

    He was madder than I was. :)

    Duke
     
  19. Ronald

    Ronald Guest

    > and the kid who's ringing it up has to ask someone what type they are so he knows what to charge
    > me (and they're always 14/15/14 DB).

    Reminds me of a batch of spokes i once got, alle the same type just different lengths. They were 50
    euro cents each....i was a little surprised when the guy got out the calculator and started
    calculating prices for each length. Let's see, 40 x 0.5 = 20 (duh) if i recall right he even
    calculated some numbers twice. And then he tried to get a pricelabel to stick to the greasy spokes.

    "KBH" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In general, I don't bother asking anything difficult of the summer help teenager behind the
    > counter. I have to chuckle when I come in to pick up spokes that I called to have cut for me, and
    > the kid who's ringing it up
    has
    > to ask someone what type they are so he knows what to charge me (and
    they're
    > always 14/15/14 DB).
    >
    > Look for the guy with the gray hair.
    >
    > Kyle
    >
    >
    > "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > So I went out to a couple of shops Saturday to pick up some parts. I learned some amazing new
    > > things:
    > >
    > > "[a 105 8v cassette] may cost twice as much, but it will last three times as long as the Sora."
    > >
    > > "If you need to replace the cassette, you will probably have to replace the chain rings too."
    > >
    > > "If you ride hard, you'll end up breaking that [SRAM PC 48] chain." --recommending a purchase of
    > > a PC68 to go with my new cassette
    > >
    > > Argh! Remind me again why I'm not shopping mail-order?
    > >
    > > The worst part is that I got these utterances from two shops I thought I could trust. One was
    > > the satellite location of a commuter-oriented shop I've had very good experiences with, and the
    > > other was at the bike desk at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
    > >
    > > --
    > > Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni
    > > Fan Club
     
  20. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote:

    >JFT-<< Nothing. But getting no information is better than getting bad information. And paying a
    >premium for that bad information.
    >
    >Agree, we hear of some pretty strange things fropm bike shops here in Boulder. The latest is how a
    >32 hole wheel is stronger than a 36 hole wheel. I suspect they are 'supplier' challenged when it
    >come to finding 36h hubs, rims..

    Or maybe the anecdote started out as "a 32h MTB wheel is stronger than a 36h road wheel" and morphed
    from there...

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
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