Not feeling the LBS love today

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  • Not feeling the LBS love today
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I used to find that it was often cheaper to get a complete new headset from Merlin etc than buying replacement bearings from the same places.

    I think they buy OEM headsets dirt cheap but have to source replacements via the normal chain.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    For bearings head to the local bearing shop…

    For balance CRC order took 12 days to arrive quoted 4-8.
    Wiggle slow but just on target
    Commencal posted my new swingarm and dropouts to me for an rediculous postage cost and forgot to put the brake mount in that was attached to the swingarm before it left (as pictured)

    I wish I could have got the things for these orders locally as they would have been sorted in a few days not 3 weeks.

    Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    To be fair to any supplier Mike, you are on the other side of the world mate. 😉

    JoB
    Member

    there’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ 1 1/8 cartridge bearing

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    all bike shops are a pita tbh

    5 weeks to get my seatpost fixed under warranty, still didnt get it back to me in time

    3 weeks to order me a mech hanger, last time I spoke, hed totally forgotten about it and I had to re-order again

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Yep I am, but when you quote 4-8 days then you should be able to stick to it and the others to put the right thing in the box. The things that make all business’s fail are universal, it’s human.

    Premier Icon frogstomp
    Subscriber

    Explained I had the bearings in my hand

    If you have the bearings (rather than a whole new headset) then it really is a pretty straightforward job to do yourself – no special tools required, just a couple of allen keys.

    Still not great service from the shops, but if you need it done for the weekend..

    all bike shops are a pita tbh

    Bollocks.

    For bearings head to the local bearing shop…

    Good luck with that – none of the bearing suppliers near us carry any headset bearings, so its back to official distributors.

    there’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ 1 1/8 cartridge bearing

    This.

    cynic-al
    Member

    iamsporticus – Member
    Explained I had the bearings in my hand

    At this point I gave up and have bought it from CRC

    I am confused 😐

    The service you have received was not great, but I can tell you customers’ incorrect self-diagnosis of bikes wastes a lot of workshop time (and thus money).

    And of course this:

    there’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ 1 1/8 cartridge bearing

    Headsets have become an utter PITA, possibly the industry’s worst component to stock/order.

    STATO
    Member

    Some funny responses on here, its like none of you actually read the OP.

    My headset bearings are knackered

    Explained what I wanted
    Explained I had the bearings in my hand

    He wanted new bearings, and a shop to sell them to him. Not difficult.

    Have a look at your bearings, it should have a number on the rubber seal.

    Put that number into google/ebay and you’ll be able to get a hold of some pretty quick.

    iamsporticus
    Member

    Sorry, heres another slagging thread
    I wish I had a decent LBS but they continue to do my head in

    My headset bearings are knackered and as I have plans for the weekend thought Id try the local chaps
    Its a standard 1 1/8 cartridge bearing

    1st shop – part of chain with reasonable reputation
    Explained what I wanted but told Id have to book the bike in to see which part exactly it needed
    Explained I had the bearings in my hand, still insisted I book bike in to workshop

    2nd shop – similar outfit with good rep again
    Spoke to sensible sounding bloke on phone
    Was told unable to get bearings for my headset and to book in for full replacement unit
    Told him CRC and Wiggle have the bearings showing plenty of stock
    Asked him why I needed to buy a complete new headset – awkward pause on phone

    3rd shop – regional outlet with 4 shops and appalling reputation
    Didnt bother – blacklisted by me years ago

    At this point I gave up and have bought it from CRC

    Am tempted to write to CEO of chain 2, but easier just to boycott them for life too

    Grrrr

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    there’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ 1 1/8 cartridge bearing

    What he said.

    I’m in the lucky position I have a very good bearing supplier just down the road from my shop, and he does a lot of bike sized bearings too. He’s been in the industry well over 20 years and knows bearings inside out. His comments about the bike industry and lack of standardisation, I cannot repeat on here!

    Put it this way, often it’s not only cheaper but a hell of a lot faster and easier to just replace a headset than fit new bearings if you’ve not got them in stock. Of course you should be given the option to do whichever you wish, but ultimately a small LBS will only have a small amount of stock whereas CRC can afford to carry large stocks of everything.

    all bike shops are a pita tbh

    Walk into any bike shop with that attitude written across your face, and you’ll probably be dealt with “all customers that think they know better and use us as a shop window before buying online are a PITA”…

    Build a relationship with your LBS, you’d be surprised how far it gets you!

    botanybay
    Member

    You should have offered to pay with biscuits. They would have replaced the headset and given the bike a full service for some chocolate hob nobs.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    Build a relationship with your LBS, you’d be surprised how far it gets you!

    Why should you have to build relationship to get good service? Do you just play dumb until someone comes in with biscuits and then you turn into the font of all bike related knowledge?

    Bike shops like any other shop should give good service from the off, that’s how you keep and gain customers.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    my reasoning about them being bollox….

    live in west london, I have 2 Evans a halfords and a cyclesurgery nearby, all of them have been average to very poor at times, basic knowledge of bikes here, Im not talking about stock levels, I accept may require time to order stuff in

    theres an old school shop in acton that are pretty good but only really deal with commuting and town bike stuff

    when I bought my latest bike I made a conscious decision to avoid the chain stores and my nearest independent dealer was in reading- a 40 minute drive

    Ive been friendly and polite and the staff are nice enough, Ive chatted with mechanics and staff, despite having spent over 3 grand in their shop, I seem to have to chase everything I ask them to order and never receive the phone calls back Im promised

    the last good LBS I dealt with mysteriously burnt down and the owner did a runner to Spain back in 1994

    since then Ive lived in aberystwyth- despite being in mid wales at the time(95-98) no decent bike shop

    cambridge 99-2004, very well serviced if youre a roadie, there was a shop on mill road that wasnt too bad, had to go to the fens somewhere to get a warranty frame replacement once, they insisted on swapping my parts over and did such a shoddy job that I never went back

    must be a London thing but finding a reliable mountainbike savvy shop
    is impossible, if I found one Id be all over it like a shot!

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    You do have to think about this from the perspective of the customers who booked their bikes on for work a week in advance, if they then get told the work wasnt done as someone who walked in off the street was given priority then they’re not going to be happy.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    let’s say that i’ve spend £10,000 on bikes in my life.

    i’d estimate that at least 10% of that value is sitting, unclaimed, in those mysterious ‘books’ that bike shops write things down in at the weekend.

    i suspect i’m not alone:

    me(at the weekend): ‘hello mr/mrs bike shop person, can you please order me a frame/crankset/pair of tyres/pair of forks/item of clothing/pair of wheels?’ **

    bikeshopperson: ‘certainly, i’ll put a note in our book, and we’ll order it on monday morning’

    only for me to never hear about it again.

    (**these are just those items that i can remember)

    esher shore
    Member

    @kimbers

    its definitely hard finding a reliable mountainbike savvy shop in London because there are very few mountain bike riders living in London actively working in those bike shops

    I’ve worked for Evans, Cycle Surgery and several LBS and can think of perhaps 1/2 dozen staff in those stores who actually “mountain biked” and knew their mountain bike. The rest were all road, commuting, fixies or didn’t even own / ride a bike

    when we had our shop at Esher (Freeborn) we did huge business from London mountain bikers wanting proper support. Our weekends consisted of fitting E13 chain devices, bleeding Avid brakes, doing “lowers services” on forks and selling DH tires, full face helmets, body armour and downhill / freeride and dirt jump bikes and frames!

    It might be a little further away for your needs, but if you want some mountain bike servicing give me a shout at Specialized Concept Store in Kingston 😉

    and to be fair, headset bearings are a completed PITA, I have been waiting 2 weeks to get a FSA #70 bearing for the lower race of my Specialized Tarmac road bike

    Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    I count myself lucky, I have a really good bike shop where I live and in the town that I work in. I try and use them for everything part related although I do most repairs/spanner work myself. Recently they price matched for some Hope brake bits and both of them offer club discount. If anyone is in the Bucks/Herts area and wants to know who they are then please msg me.

    Poor service doesn’t deserve repeat business.

    gozarch
    Member

    kimbers, you’d be fine if you lived in Aber now. Summit Cycles always give great service. I can’t say they don’t like a cake or two, but the good service isn’t dependent on it!

    i’d estimate that at least 10% of that value is sitting, unclaimed, in those mysterious ‘books’ that bike shops write things down in at the weekend.

    i suspect i’m not alone:

    No, you’re not. I’m still waiting* for JE James’ to call me back about the order I placed for ‘chips’ for my LTS frame in about 1998.

    *I’m not really. I gave up, but they don’t know that… The entry was in a similar sounding mysterious black book.

    18bikes, however, very fast replies to enquiries.

    captain slow
    Member

    You do have to think about this from the perspective of the customers who booked their bikes on for work a week in advance, if they then get told the work wasnt done as someone who walked in off the street was given priority then they’re not going to be happy.

    missing the point – he didn’t want any work done, just to buy the bearings

    I can absolutely understand that no lbs can carry every part under the sun, but when they start telling the customer what he has to do they are starting down a rocky road

    btw I have recently had excellent service from a lbs that I don’t usually visit and as a result I will be going back. they had what I needed in stock, advised me on fitting it and told me the truth about a tool they could not source so I got one online. I even bought something else in there that I could have got cheaper elsewhere.

    No biscuits changed hands…

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    In the interests of balance…

    I booked my Anthem X in for new rear bearings and various repairs, and as neither my LBS or the distributor had any in stock, they had to be ordered, with a 2-week lead time. They saw my sad little face, and lent me – free of charge – a £2k Scott Spark so I could go riding that weekend.

    So a big shout for BW Cycles in Bristol.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow
    Subscriber

    theres an old school shop in acton that are pretty good but only really deal with commuting and town bike stuff

    Woolsey of Acton?

    Try Moose Cycles?

    iamsporticus
    Member

    Some funny responses on here, its like none of you actually read the OP.

    He wanted new bearings, and a shop to sell them to him. Not difficult.

    Thanks 🙂

    I didnt necessarily expect them to carry stock for a gazillion different standards, but I did have an expectation that as its a commonly fitted one they may have some in stock or be able to get them quickly

    What I also didnt expect was to be told they couldnt get the bearings at all and I needed a new headset or despite me having disassembled it and had the product codes and part numbers they still needed to book my bike in to the workshop to see what I wanted and order it

    Premier Icon mcnultycop
    Subscriber

    My LBS is superb. Just sorts stuff out in reasonable timescales at sensible prices. Little things I need are often free. That’s what building a rapport with an independent is all about. I’ve then sent other people there, who are equally as well looked after.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    curiousyellow – Member
    theres an old school shop in acton that are pretty good but only really deal with commuting and town bike stuff
    Woolsey of Acton?

    Try Moose Cycles?

    yup woolsey, very helpful and knowledgeable

    and used Moose Cycles, its just a bit awkward for me to get to, they are the best ive used in london though

    eshershore, yup I liked freeborn, only got onto them shortly before they closed, thanks for the offer, next time im down that way ill pop in

    hora
    Member

    A bikeshop taught me indirectly to start building/repairing my own bike.

    Never wait, trust, feel like a leper, a pain again when you ask them to do work for money.

    Simply sort your own bike out.

    Nowadays I’d only go to another person for rounded bolts or swapping fork internals that aren’t as easy as Fox travel adjust. I’m even going to do my own brake bleeds myself- in 10yrs back on a bike I’ve only had brakes bled once.

    Hindle Pie
    Member

    Managed to snap a rear spoke whilst riding the CyB Enduro one year, so headed down to the bike shop in Dolgellau. Got there 2 minutes before he was due to shut up for the night. Booked my bike in as we were heading to Antur the following day. Picked my bike back up at 10am Sunday morning and spoke was replaced, wheel nice and true and me very happy. Think I was only charged £7.50 but paid him extra for outstanding service.

    there’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ 1 1/8 cartridge bearing

    This.

    Headsets have become an utter PITA, possibly the industry’s worst component to stock/order.

    What he said.

    You’re all wrong 🙂

    I’ve a Sunline (or is it straightline?) headset that takes standard cartriges. So there is such a thing as a headset that takes standard bearings, they’re just not common (or to put it another way, standard).

    If only I had a good LBS, the 2 here (part of chains) are horrendously bad, take today for example. I went in to buy a new outer gear cable for my current build to be standing at the counter when one of the sales people told some guy who’s inner kept bulging from the rim that not only did he need a new inner he also needed a brand new £50 tyre for it to go in when there was sweet fa wrong with his present tyre, he just hadn’t seated it on the rim properly!

    Totally agree that headsets are a total PITA, one of the LBS’ took 3 weeks to order mine and still managed to get it wrong despite giving them exact sizes for my frame and telling them the headset I needed. Ordered it online instead, arrived in 2 days and got it fitted at another shop 20 miles away

    gearfreak
    Member

    To the OP, sounds like you had crap service so let me apologise on behalf of your LBS’s(we all get it wrong sometimes, sounds like you were dealing with a chain and possibly got a junior member of staff), you can obviously get replacement bearings. Off the top of my head three different possibilities for 1 1/8 cartridge – 45/45 45/36 and 36/36. We have all in stock, but probably at a higher price than CRC etc. As you had the bearings with you would have quite happily measured them up against the options and sold you the right ones.

    Had you not had the bearings with you, would have advised you to go get them, or book the bike in.

    iamsporticus
    Member

    Thanks Steve

    If I lived in Wales I would be perfectly happy to pay a bit extra* for good service
    Unfortunately youre miles away

    * the CRC price was discounted 10% from RRP so not exactly cut throat

    Rscott
    Member

    I Don’t understand why people go to bike shops for bearings.

    If you have your bearing, take it to a local engeneeing supplier. there will be a tiny code on it somewhere and they will get you the exact same thing for much cheaper.

    did a 2004 specialized enduro for £7 the other day.
    Hope rear hub £5
    Race Face Dues head set £1.20

    Rscott – Member
    I Don’t understand why people go to bike shops for bearings.

    If you have your bearing, take it to a local engeneeing supplier. there will be a tiny code on it somewhere and they will get you the exact same thing for much cheaper.

    did a 2004 specialized enduro for £7 the other day.
    Hope rear hub £5
    Race Face Dues head set £1.20

    That’s epically (is that even a word) cheap!
    Who’s your supplier?

    Rscott
    Member

    It was Huddersfield bearings but I get them through my brother in law now who gets them cheaper as he works in one of the biggest engineering company in the country.

    Gary_C
    Member

    Rscott – Member

    did a 2004 specialized enduro for £7 the other day.

    I used to have a bike just like that!

    😉

    Sancho
    Member

    We cant get headset bearings from any engineering supplier in the UK, we have to go through the bike suppliers.

    hora
    Member

    Re Rscott. Just shows how someone in the supply chain is making an epic killing.

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