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

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Glm, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Glm

    Glm Guest

    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
     
    Tags:


  2. tcmedara

    tcmedara Guest

    Glm <[email protected]> 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. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On Fri, 6 Aug 2004 16:44:27 -0400, "tcmedara" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Glm <[email protected]> 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. Leo Lichtman

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "tcmedara" wrote:(clip) 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. >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. Glm

    Glm Guest

    > On Fri, 06 Aug 2004 17:15:43 -0400, Badger_South <[email protected]>
    > 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. Bill

    Bill Guest

    "Glm" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:eek:[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. Glm

    Glm Guest

    On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 02:12:24 GMT, Bill <[email protected]> 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. Richard Tack

    Richard Tack Guest

    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. > 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" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "tcmedara" wrote:(clip) 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.
    >
    >
    >
     
  11. > 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...


    It's the total package that makes something worthwhile or not. I might have
    "101 niggling little complaints" about my wife, but I wouldn't trade her for
    the world. Give me 10 seconds to contemplate that before hitting the send
    key. OK, I'll stick with that one.

    But you've got a serious issue regarding the lack of someone taking your
    bike's problem seriously. If the store's a chain (you mentioned two
    locations), then I'd see about talking with the store manager... but try to
    pick a time when it's likely the store won't be jammed with customers.
    Store managers & owners spend a lot of time putting out fires, and it will
    be easier to deal with your own situation if he/she isn't having to
    multitask (juggle different things) too much. I know when I tend to drop
    quite a few things when I'm juggling, er, multitasking.

    It's also possible that an owner *is* on site. In our operation, I'm around
    99.2% of the time (the other .8% I'm in France for two weeks at the TDF)
    we're open, but that isn't typical (and I could probably use a day off now
    and then). But the point is, don't assume absentee ownership.

    Good luck, and if you have trouble finding a responsible party, let me know
    (privately) and I can possibly help you connect the dots.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  12. This thread reminds me of something that people might want to think about
    when buying a new bike.

    There's nothing at all wrong with asking the salesperson who you see, after
    buying the bike, if something isn't quite right mechanically. Maybe even an
    introduction to the service manager if you like. Then, if something does
    come up, I'll bet you'll be taken a lot more seriously when you say "I was
    told when I bought the bike that I should see Mark Benson if there were any
    problems. Is he around?"

    The manner in which they answer this request might be quite telling!

    Ultimately, the most expensive bike you can buy is the one that sits,
    unused, in the garage.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  13. Mark Jones

    Mark Jones Guest

    "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > 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.


    Even $1000 is too high. Even if the bike was a $250 bike,
    they should make sure that it works right. If they wouldn't
    do that for me, I wouldn't trust them enough to buy a more
    expensive bike from them.
     
  14. Jeff Starr

    Jeff Starr Guest

    On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 03:33:47 GMT, Richard Tack
    <[email protected]> wrote:



    >
    >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.


    At this point, I don't think the OP should spend any money, at another
    shop. I think, as others have suggested, that he speak to the manager
    and/or owner. Give them a chance to make it right. If that gets no
    satisfaction, then head to another LBS.

    Life is Good!
    Jeff
     
  15. Mike Schwab

    Mike Schwab Guest

    Ask them to slightly tighten up your bottom bracket. Probably just
    broke in the bearings slightly. Also inform them you ride your bike to
    work every day and will need a loaner biycle for the duration of the
    shop visit. Insist on a quality loaner,

    Glm wrote:
    >

    <snip>
    >
    > 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).
    >

    <snip>
     
  16. Glm

    Glm Guest

    On Fri, 06 Aug 2004 23:33:34 -0500, Jeff Starr <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 03:33:47 GMT, Richard Tack
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> 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.

    >
    > At this point, I don't think the OP should spend any money, at another
    > shop. I think, as others have suggested, that he speak to the manager
    > and/or owner. Give them a chance to make it right. If that gets no
    > satisfaction, then head to another LBS.
    >
    > Life is Good!
    > Jeff


    Life is, indeed, good.

    Re spending more money, I quite agree in principle - the LBS from which I
    purchased the bike should fix the problem (whether it be minor or
    otherwise).

    However, one must weigh against this principle (and I detest being ripped
    off or exposed to incompetence or, worse still, indolence or carelessness)
    the fact that I want to go out and ride my bike; and that, if I don't ride
    my bike, I'm going to crack open another bottle of wine, which will for
    sure cost more than getting this problem resolved at a second LBS!
     
  17. Glm

    Glm Guest

    On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 04:17:36 GMT, Mark Jones <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> 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.

    >
    > Even $1000 is too high. Even if the bike was a $250 bike,
    > they should make sure that it works right. If they wouldn't
    > do that for me, I wouldn't trust them enough to buy a more
    > expensive bike from them.
    >


    Agree.

    When I was a teenager I was passionate about photography. I once went
    into a camera shop with a friend, dressed in school uniform, and asked to
    see a decent camera; we were about fourteen at the time. The salesman
    (sic) turned around and said, "What, thinking of stealing one?"

    "Err...no. We need three of them and a whole bunch of lenses for a trip
    beginning on Wednesday, actually. But, we'll go elsewhere. Thanks for
    your time."

    The laws of economics may dictate a certain amount of prioritization
    within a business. However, that should be done at the strategy and
    marketing stages: if you don't think there's enough profit on a $250 bike,
    and cannot treat buyers of such with respect, then don't stock bikes in
    that price range.

    Once someone walks through the door, the only question on people's minds
    should be, "What can I do to ensure that this individual leaves my shop
    satisfied?"

    If you insult me when I'm spending $250, then what incentive do I have to
    invest $5,000 with you (and a bike purchase *is* an investment, given the
    level of after-sales support that is, in some way or another, required)?
    A customer is a customer: to see shades of grey is unhelpful for everyone.
     
  18. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 00:51:00 GMT, Glm <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> On Fri, 06 Aug 2004 17:15:43 -0400, Badger_South <[email protected]>
    >> 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.


    Just call up and request the owner. Then repeat the last para to him after
    you tell him you dropped over 3K bucks in his store and that you're not
    happy.

    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out. If you don't get quick
    satisfaction post the name of the bad LBS, perhaps.

    -B
     
  19. > > 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.

    >
    > Even $1000 is too high. Even if the bike was a $250 bike,
    > they should make sure that it works right. If they wouldn't
    > do that for me, I wouldn't trust them enough to buy a more
    > expensive bike from them.


    Definitely. I was trying to be as relevant to the original poster as
    possible, but recognized that my example might still sound a bit elitist.
    To be sure, there is a lot more done regarding sizing of a road bike than
    there is for a basic mountain bike or hybrid, but there's never an excuse
    for ignoring basic mechanical issues, regardless of price.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  20. On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 03:50:49 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >It's the total package that makes something worthwhile or not. I might have
    >"101 niggling little complaints" about my wife, but I wouldn't trade her for
    >the world. Give me 10 seconds to contemplate that before hitting the send
    >key. OK, I'll stick with that one.


    For us that don't work at bike shops, we spend a lot more time with
    our wives. Well, most of us do. 101 niggling issues, even as
    hyperbole, is a bit more than should be for even the process of buying
    a custom bike from the ground up. And this isn't the case here.

    If there is another bike shop in the area that is competent, then
    maybe its time to take a look there.

    Curtis L. Russell
    Odenton, MD (USA)
    Just someone on two wheels...
     
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