Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Hate My Local Bike Shop

The Tour Of Pain is this weekend and there has been a snag, Last week I thought I had found a solution to my rear wheel problems when the Local Bike Shop closest to my house found an old single speed flip-flop hub that they could build me a wheel with. They said the wheel would be ready in a week. A week passed without a call, I called them yesterday and it went like this:
"I am just checking on my wheel."
"We have not opened the shipment with your hub in it, but the box is right here"
"I did not order a hub, you had a suntour flip-flop hub for me"
" turns out that was a tandem hub so we ordered you a different hub."
"What hub did you order me?"
"I don't know I haven't opened the box."

Why wouldn't they call and say they were ordering a part for me? Don't they think I would have a preference? Two hours later I get a call back.

"We have a wheel here for you."
"you built it that fast?"
"no we found a wheel already built and ready to go, I just need to adjust the chainline." (I am assuming that they scrambled to find a wheel after it was discovered they did not order the hub or ordered the wrong one.)
"What kind of wheel is it?"
"It's a nice alloy wheel."
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. An alloy wheel, this is all he can tell me about it. I should have known this was going to be bad, but I decided that I was going to be glad that I had a solution to my problem.
I showed up at the shop on the bike that is going to get the wheel. I ran into some people I know and talked to them as the guy I had been talking to did some measuring of my chainline.
After an hour of him switching out spacers on the axle, I paid the hundred bucks for my generic wheel, strapped it to my rack and rode home. At home it did not take me long to figure out that the hub was in fact not a single speed hub, it is probably a 7 speed hub so old it has freewheel threads. The ridiculous thing is that after an hour of chainline adjustments the chain line was still off but that did not matter because the entire wheel was about an inch off center. Worthless.

All of this comes just a few weeks after I asked them to order a set of pedals. It would have been cheaper and faster to order them online but I want to support my LBS. A week later I show up at the shop (because no one called me). There was some hushed talking in the back room and then one guy lets me know that they forgot to order them and wanted to know if they should reorder. Several months before that I walked in with an extensive parts list for my new frame. It was well over $2000 of equipment. I asked if they could give me a price quote on the list so that I could see if it would work with my budget. the list had my email and cell number. Several weeks later, I was told that they gave the list to the owner but he was not around. I never did get the quote and they will never again see me step foot in that store. Just so you know, these are the last three examples, I have been struggling to make this relationship work ever since the only guy who knew what he was doing left a couple of years ago.
BTW, another local shop, Wheelsport South, emailed me back the parts list in the hour and for that they will get the $2000 to put the bike together.

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