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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is amazing how frustrating it can be trying to do the right thing by the LBS.

I am putting together yet another nice old steel frame, I need a headset, stem and handlebars. Mind you I only need the bars because I cannot find find a threadless stem that will fit the beautiful old 26.4 mm Cinelli bars I have in abundance in the garage – different rant.

Anyway, I want a 1 inch threadless headset, Ritchey WCS stem and classic bend handlebars.

I go to the local LBS and order them. Except I can’t order them because the Ritchey distributor does not have classic bend bars in the catalogue and the monkey the distributors office swears that such a thing does not exist.

The headset comes from a different distributor as I want a Chorus, threadless. So that gets ordered and while the LBS guy is on the phone he asks about classic bend bars. Certainly they have them, Oval Concepts – OK send me a pair.

I get a call from the LBS two days later – headset and bars are in. Except they aren’t. They sent a 1 inch threaded headset and even though I ordered 42 cm bars they sent 44cm. The headset – they admit they were wrong and will send the right one. On the bars – they say 44cm is all they have and I should try them. I explain to the LBS guy, I asked for 42 cm because I want 42 cm – not 44cm. “OK, fine I’ll send them back then” - “you sure you don’t want to try ergo bend bars you might like them” – except I don’t like them and asked for classic bend.

So a week and a half after trying to do the right thing by a local LBS ( knowing it will cost me more ) and ordering some parts from them, I still have nothing and now have to go to Nashbar or Excel and order the parts I wanted in the first place.

P’d off? Yup.

Frustrated? Yup.

Shouldn’t be this hard to try and do the right thing by the local store.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Man. You need a new LBS (yes, I know most people don't get a choice). My LBS of choice tends to give me better-than-internet pricing if I special order things (possibly because I tend to shell out for the good stuff when I do that), and has never gotten me the wrong thing.

Is there nothing you could do by talking to the owner of the shop? Maybe they're unaware that their employees are doing a lousy job placing orders (which is where I think the problem lies).
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The real problem is in two places;

1) The distributors are sh&tty and don't care so the LBS is limited in what they can get ( but Ritchey ??) , and

2) I was dealing with the owner because the guy I really like to deal with is away - I get good pricing from this LBS and usually get great service ( which only matters if I can actually get the parts I want) but I need to be able to talk to the Roadie guru in the store who will get me the right stuff or find an alternative. The owner is a MTB guy and is clueless about roadie stuff. I will talk to my normal guy about it when he gets back.
 

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Shirtcocker
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toomanybikes said:
now have to go to Nashbar or Excel and order the parts I wanted in the first place.
Performance AND Excel are LBS for me. Move to Boulder.
 

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On your left!
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Same here...

at a certain point in a persons home wrenching life, the LBS becomes pretty much useless. To newbies, an LBS is the best thing in the world. To folks who have wrenched their own bikes long enough to know the terms classic and 1 inch head tubes (let alone the meaning of quill stems and lugs)...forget about it, we are on our own.

Not the fault of the LBS, simply supply and demand. The thing that makes our world go around.

Keep up the good work, letting the LBS have a stab at your business. My philosophy is I will ask them first, but if they have to order, well, I might as well do that myself. Now come back with me to the retro forum where we belong...sigh....

****Note to self, must buy a new bike by next spring so I can figure out what all the hub bub is about here....****
 

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100% torqued
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It is not the distrubutors. Any LBS with any sense can get the parts you describe easily, from one distrubutor. There are several I can think of that have what you need in the same place. Somebody just doesn't pay attention at that LBS and it sounds like the owner. Funny.
 

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racerx said:
at a certain point in a persons home wrenching life, the LBS becomes pretty much useless. To newbies, an LBS is the best thing in the world. To folks who have wrenched their own bikes long enough to know the terms classic and 1 inch head tubes (let alone the meaning of quill stems and lugs)...forget about it, we are on our own.

Not the fault of the LBS, simply supply and demand. The thing that makes our world go around.

Keep up the good work, letting the LBS have a stab at your business. My philosophy is I will ask them first, but if they have to order, well, I might as well do that myself. Now come back with me to the retro forum where we belong...sigh....

****Note to self, must buy a new bike by next spring so I can figure out what all the hub bub is about here....****
This is, in my opinion a very good post that puts things in context.:)
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Racerx and Insight Driver, I tend to agree and in fact rarely go in to buy things. A feeling of guilt has been gnawing at me though. I get stuff free or for a good price.

If I'm gonna be out of town or tied up and I need something done, they'll do it - they move to the front of the line and do stuff for me for free.

So I thought I should throw the scrill their way - good theory. Bad execution.

Ah well, back to the old farts steel bike forum.
 

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Shirtcocker
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estone2 said:
Dude. University Bicycles. You're in Boulder. C'mon. They freaking rent C50s!
-estone2
Ubikes, Pro Peloton, Vecchios, Sports Garage, Full Cycle--some others I can't recall the name of...if you want a bike or bike stuff there is plenty of competition for your $$ here.
 

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Cross Bike Collector.....
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very simple TMB

toomanybikes said:
I bet I could even buy a handlebar in Boulder ...........................................
the reason you can't get parts from the LBS is: Badd juju, on account of the fact that you haven't ordered that Strong CX yet! Had you done so, the karma parts mo would have been on your side.:p
Now, what wheels am I gonna put on my Psychlo-X project? :D
 

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I'm sure lots of folks have trouble with the local bike shop,,, but I have not.
However.... The local guitar shop on the other hand...............
 

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And why can't you get tools???

This one always pissed me off. Every bike shop bigger than a hole in the wall should have a full rack of Park tools. Yet everyone I know has a tiny selection of just a few. I usually end up going to REI or EMS for a new bike tool I need where they have a much larger selection. For EMS I can even look online to see what store in my area has it in stock before I head out!!

Clearly shops don't want people getting the idea they can fix things themselves. On one hand I understand, on the other I think even with the entire Park tool collection displayed with huge spotlights, shops will always have about the same number of bikes in for repair.
 

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stevecaz said:
This one always pissed me off. Every bike shop bigger than a hole in the wall should have a full rack of Park tools. Yet everyone I know has a tiny selection of just a few. I usually end up going to REI or EMS for a new bike tool I need where they have a much larger selection. For EMS I can even look online to see what store in my area has it in stock before I head out!!

Clearly shops don't want people getting the idea they can fix things themselves. On one hand I understand, on the other I think even with the entire Park tool collection displayed with huge spotlights, shops will always have about the same number of bikes in for repair.
You are so right. A while back I lost my cassette lockring tool and went to the closet shop to me, not my LBS just the closest shop, looking for one. I thought a tool this common would have been easy to find, but they didn't have any and said they usually don't stock them, but would let me buy one that they used in the shop for the retail price. I told the mechanic I would give him $2 and he said ok. They wanted to charge me $8 for a tool that had probably been used 100 times or more.
 

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stevecaz said:
I think even with the entire Park tool collection displayed with huge spotlights, shops will always have about the same number of bikes in for repair.
Oh for sure. I remember hearing or reading about a shop that gave out free spoke wrenches and then made a ton of $ re-truing wheels that the people messed up while trying to true them themselves.

I think it's along the same lines as what that earlier poster said in that the type of customer that is looking for tools probably does his parts shopping online and therefore usually won't be in the LBS.
 

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order everything on-line, have the LBS install the headset, install the race on the fork. you install the stem and handlebars. if they give you flak about not buying from them tell you'll do that next time. i'm lucky city has plenty of shops to get service from.
 
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