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LBS rant(32 posts)

LBS rant6was9
Dec 18, 2003 9:34 PM
I am tired of paying my lbs twice as much for bikes so I am starting to build them myself. It's damned hard finding a lbs to prep and install Campy BB on my new Look frame though. 3 out of 5 lbs never heard of Campagnolo let alone Chorus. One place advertises as a Colnago dealer yet they don't have no Campy tools (saw no Colnago neither.) This one guy thought my new Look CF frame was some kind of cheezy Walmart special and didn't want to work on it.... Apparently he never heard of Look. Must have seen some Look pedals I would think....? Perhaps not.

My lbs 35 miles away seems to carry just about everything(Colnago, Merckx, Litespeed, Trek, Giant, DeRosa, Specialized, etc. etc) and work on Campy but he charges an arm and a leg for his bikes (I've paid it a few times already.) Also he carries no Look.

I found one lbs, though they never deal with any Campy (Lemond, Specialized, Trek dealer,) whose the owner said he got Campy tools and knows what to do. He saids he'll install it himself.... Hey!!! wish me luck....

Living in oblivion (as far as Campagnolo is concerned.)
Get the........divve
Dec 18, 2003 11:17 PM
.....$18 dollar or whatever it costs tool and install the BB yourself. The tool also will double for cassette installation. In addition you'll also need an adjustable or 24mm (I think) wrench in order to tighten it.

There's really nothing complicated about installing a Chorus BB. Just screw it into the BB shell with some grease and tighten the crap out of it.

(I do recommend that you use a quick release skewer with some shims to keep the Campy tool secured and aligned with the BB while tightening it.)
There's overspray paint...6was9
Dec 18, 2003 11:46 PM
in the threads so it needed to be chased. I wasn't sure about how much paint in the thread is okay as well as whether to face or not and which side.

When I asked the general consensus was that have a lbs do the headset and BB. I do have the tool though. Thanks for the Quick release tip. I'll try that on a crappy trainer frame I have to put together yet.
save money and greif, do it yourself...NEIL
Dec 19, 2003 7:33 AM
If you're mildly mechanically inclined, put up the dough to get a good set of tools, (Park has a good kit, with everything you're likely to need) and good bike mechanic book and teach yourself how to do it. Find another rider who you know does all their own work and watch while they do something on your bike.

Bikes are not complicated when you break it down into components and understand what is really going on. Today with catridge everything, there is even less to know.

In fifteen years since I started riding, I have never taken my bike in for work. I have two frames and one decent set of components, and strip and rebuild the other one on a whim. I actually enjoy it, it's therapeutic.
Dec 19, 2003 8:35 AM
Good advice, but the tools he would need to chase and face the Campy BB cost between $400-900, and he'd use them once every 5-10 years.
Sledgehammer mechanic??Alexx
Dec 19, 2003 4:12 PM
i Just screw it into the BB shell with some grease and tighten the crap out of it., do NOT grease the threads. If the BB doesn't come with an anti-sieze coating (like shimano BB's do), then get the correct anti-sieze compound, and coat a bit on the threads. I belive the typical 'automotive' version is good for both steel and aluminum, but titanium requires a different kind..

As far as "tightening the cr@p out of it" goes, well, you go ahead and do just that, and have fun extracting your BB when you f*ck the installation splines up. As for myself, I will continue to use a common automotive torque wrench (converting foot-lbs to inch-lbs as needed), and installing the thing correctly.

Oh, BTW, the reason why your BB's don't go in easily is because you didn't CHASE the threads first...
bonehead expert??divve
Dec 20, 2003 1:36 AM
My bottom brackets always go in smoothly. I typically tighten them all the way by hand first, before I even touch them with a tool. There's no danger in overtightening a BB when using normal hand tools...but by all means use your torque wrench if you're so compulsive that you can't even restrain yourself on a BB. Grease works just fine. You should try it sometime.
ignorant knucklehead??Alexx
Dec 22, 2003 7:04 AM
Grease is bad for 3 big reasons:

1) Grease often allows conductivity. This permits corrosion. Anti-sieze doesn't

2) Grease can dry out over time, causing deposits. Anti-sieze doesn't.

3) Grease over-lubricates threads. This causes torque reading to be innacurate, and permits 'backing out' of bearing cups-big problem with Italian BB's. Anti-sieze doesn't.

Of course, you don't need an engineering degree to know this. Still, my engineering degree does help..
better hit the books again...divve
Dec 22, 2003 9:53 AM all three points you make can be applied to anti-seize as well, depending on compounds and fastening materials. Point three is especially interesting, considering the high torque ranges for BB cups and the various frame materials, you're worried about grease drag or the lack thereof.

Trying to change peoples perception and validating your argument by stating your credentials is simply laughable.
Poor choce of wordsDave_Stohler
Dec 23, 2003 8:41 AM
I really doubt that "tightening the crap" out of a Chorus BB is a good idea. Yeah, if you are using a short socket wrench and you aren't as strong as a gorilla, it's probably ok advice. The problem is, sure as sh*t, some big guy is gonna get a 2' breaker bar out, slap on a 1/2" to 3/8" adapter, than procede to ruin the unit (and maybe the frame, too). Anybody who's ever wrenched in a shop will know-people actually do things like this to their bikes.

When I used to work in a shop back in the mid-late 70's, the head wrench showed me his quick method-tighten to snugness, then hit moderately with the heel of your palm twice. Probably would work here, too, but conconsidering the price of a chorus unit, I'd certainly want to use a torque wrench.

As far as using grease goes, we used to do that only on the cheap bikes. Anit-sieze is a better lubricant for this job than grease, for the same reasons that another poster stated. In fact, all his advice was basically sound, and your degrading him sounds rather childish.
Nothing that complicated.divve
Dec 23, 2003 11:18 AM
I simply thought it was his preferred avenue of communication. Considering the tone of his initial and following replies to me, I think my assumption wasn't that far of a stretch.



The Hammer.
A machine shop can clean the threads for under $5spookyload
Dec 19, 2003 8:05 AM
Just make sure they know not to cut new ones. Check out Sheldon Browns site. He probably even has the size of the shell and threads so you can tell them. The headset is best left to a LBS if you don't know how to do it though.
A machine shop can clean the threads for under $56was9
Dec 19, 2003 11:07 AM
That sounds complicated trying to explain to a mechanic how to cut new Bottom braket threads for a bicycle. I might have to though if this guy trashes my Look.
NO WAY....C-40
Dec 20, 2003 8:33 AM
A machine sho would NEVER have the tools to chase a bottom bracket thread! BB threads are an oddball standard, and with the drive side also being left-handed.

The only way to chase a bottom bracket is with the specialized taps made for this job.
this thread is a nightmare so farArnold Zefal
Dec 19, 2003 12:43 PM
You've spent good money to buy a Look frame and Campy gear, yet you're going to fart around to try and save $30 bucks on a proper frame prep. False economy. I'm all for building ones own bike if you have the talent and the tools. It's not brain surgery, and yes you learn by doing. But most guys start out on far less esoteric parts. Let the shop that knows how, and has the tools chase and face the BB and head tube. then build the bike up yourself, using the Park Tools site, or Zinn book for reference.
I know...6was9
Dec 19, 2003 2:13 PM
I actually have another cheap frame which I meant to build up first as my first bike build practice and as trainer bike. But as the way things go I haven't been able to get the components for it yet where as I have everything all set to go with the Look frame. I do have all the books and most of tools, more than I need, to do the rest of building. It's just that I was having a very difficult time finding a confident shop with the proper tools to chase the threads and install the BB. My rant was about how no shops around here have any knowledge or tools for Campagnolo.

Well, the shop I left my frame did a beautiful job. I think I finally found a shop that I can trust without having to spend many Gs buying their bikes. He charged me $15.
I think there could be a nomenclature problemTJeanloz
Dec 19, 2003 2:48 PM
If you asked most shop wrenches if they had "Campy tools", the overwhelming response would be "no". Campagnolo produces a professional tool kit, which, at one time, was coveted by Americans as the ultimate tool kit to have. As you might expect, it comes in a fancy box, looks very nice, and was very expensive. Having "Campy tools", for a shop wrench, is about like having nice china or silver - they're nice to have, to impress your friends, and use on special [Italian] bikes, but utterly unnecessary. From time to time, some stuck-in-the-80s customer will ask if you have "Campy tools", because some people view this as an indicator of shop quality.

Most shops, however, do not have the box set. They have long identified the superiority of Park and Snap-On tools, and never saw a need for the more expensive, crappier, Campy version. This isn't to say they don't have the tools to work on Campy - just that they don't have actual, Campagnolo brand, tools.
BesidesMel Erickson
Dec 19, 2003 3:07 PM
You don't need Campy compatible tools to chase and face a BB or install a headset. Any shop should be able to handle those jobs. I can imagine a shop might not have a BB tool for Campy BB's (however every shop in my town, four in a community of 65,000, has the proper BB tools) but that would be rare. I agree it was probably a misunderstanding.
Dec 19, 2003 4:30 PM
First of all I live in Chicagoland. Secondly two of the shops they didn't know what Campagnolo or Chorus was. The owner/manager of third one(the supposed a Colnago dealer according to their Yellowpage ad w/o any Colnago in the showroom) said they only have one set of Campy competible tools between two of their stores and they didn't have any at the time(?) I didn't believe him because the mechanic didn't know much about Campy BB at all. And finally the shop who installed the BB in for me said that although they have Campy tools he can't remember ever using them. He said even when they were selling some Bianchi they all came with Shimano. Go figure.
Where do you live?Chicago_Steve
Dec 19, 2003 7:54 PM
Are you in the city or the burbs?

Here are my shop suggestions (assuming you haven't taken you bike there already...)

North Shore - Their Highland Park store should have the tools and I'd be surprised if their Fullerton Ave. store DIDN'T have the tools...

South Side - They handle a lot of Euro stuff. Should have the proper tools.

West Side - Bike shop in Oak Park that's been doing it for a long time.

Northwest Side - High end bike shop selling Euro stuff to Barrington cyclist. Located in Long Grove....
One other thing...Chicago_Steve
Dec 19, 2003 7:55 PM
Higher Gear is a Look Dealer.... I test rode a KG361 there last year...
I was there...6was9
Dec 20, 2003 11:11 PM
a few monthes ago. Very nice guy/owner. Come to think of it maybe he did have one Look, can't be sure. I went there to see some Calfee but he said he stopped dealing with Calfee. Instead of Calfee he sells Seven now and he wanted me to take his own steel Seven for a test ride for a couple hours. We have a business in Highwood but I hardly ever go up there. It's a hike from where I am.

I've never been to Shamrock but I should check them out. Although it's a bit of hike but I have friends and family in Long Grove. I think they sell Time. I became pretty disappointed after visiting many of the high profile shops including the ones you mentioned and assumed that Shamrock is another hole in the wall with tricycles and few road bikes. The two of the shops you mentioned are basically On-line stores. Lick is a tiny, dusty, quiet oldtown bikeshop near a college with one man on-line sales 'operation' on the back. C bike is another on-line store behind a Schwinn bike store; no high end bike to see there. They are also too far from me.

BTW I live a little southwest of Schaumburg.
Dec 22, 2003 8:14 AM
I don't know a whole hell of alot about these guys but I've heard good things from other people that have visited Shamrock Cycles. Their website needs some work but I do know that they support the roadie scene in the NW 'burbs pretty well. Supposedly the local Postal guys (Venturi and Labbe) show up on the group rides that go out of there. They always have a pretty nice showing of Euro frames at the Chicago Bike Show too...

Of course Postal's sponsored by Shimano ;-)
We have 2 Campy Tool Sets...gonzo77
Dec 19, 2003 7:56 PM
Where I work at. And we how to use em.
I think there could be a nomenclature problemdivve
Dec 20, 2003 1:44 AM
Admittedly I haven't seen any other Campy tools besides my HD-L chain tool. However, if it's any indicator of how the other tools look like they are far superior over anything Park has to offer. I only use Park stuff for very specific bike tools. Their quality compared to "real" tool maker tools is rather lacking in my opinion.
Bonehead opinion / assumptionflakey
Dec 20, 2003 6:57 AM
PARK TOOL makes a very high quality set of tools, especially where it counts, their frame preparation tools.
Sure, some of their basic tools dont have a fancy finish on them like the HD-L chain tool, so to say that they are not a "real" tool maker based on comparing their basic tools to the HD-L chain is huge uneducated assumption on your part. PARK TOOL is one of the stars in the industry, who else offers such a complete and diverse tool selection?
They also back up their tools with great, helpful, free tech info on their website and they provide neutral support for many,many events.
Oh and theres nothing wrong with somebody suggesting to use a torque wrench. Why does almost every bicycle component sold these days have a torque spec listed in their instructions?

19 year bicycle industry vet
13 years shop service manager
6 years with international bicycle parts distributor
All my Campy bikes get assembled with PARK tools
Dec 20, 2003 9:33 AM
I guess I should have been more elaborative in my post, but I did make the distinction between bike specific tools and regular tools (the part where I used "real").

Therefore, I stand by my statement that their wrenches, hex keys, basically anything that looks like a regular tool, are of no special quality.

No, there's nothing wrong with using a torque's just rather pointless for bike parts if you know what you're doing. The torque numbers I find valuable in the sense that they give me an idea of how tight something is permitted to be. With that knowledge in mind going by feel works very well.

Regardless of spec it's important for common sense to prevail however. For instance I will never tightened a Campy rear derailleur at the suggested 11.1 to a hanger.
Dec 21, 2003 9:16 AM
Most professionals don't use Park tools for common things - hex wrenches, etc., because they aren't as nice. The box set of Campy tools has the bike specific stuff - cutting tools, presses, etc. and there's nothing worse than a poor cutting tool. One of the reasons mechanics only use their Campy tools on special occassions is that they're afraid they'll break them...not what you want in a tool.
Dec 21, 2003 10:16 AM
What do you consider "most professionals"?
If not Park, what do they use, and how did you get come to this conclusion?
More than anything, I am curious as to what most professionals (shops?) use on a day to day basis.
Dec 21, 2003 10:27 AM
I obviously haven't done a survey, beyond the shops I've worked in. But, over the course of my career, I've worked in 4 shops, and, considering turnover, probably known about 100 professional mechanics. I can't think of the brand name that most use. Even something as simple as a hex wrench needs to be made well for a bike shop mechanic, who will use the 5mm wrench all day long, every day. The only Park tools that were universally used were the bicycle-specific splined tools - BBT2, etc.

Tool buying is much more thought out than customers might expect. Everything has to feel just right, and be strong enough to last.
Can't answer for anyone but myself...russw19
Dec 21, 2003 7:40 PM
But I don't use Park tools for non-bicycle specific tools...

For open end wrenches I use either Craftsman or Snap-On at the shop. We have 3 sets of each. For allen wrenches we use Bondhus (sp?) allen wrenches (Of which Pedros sells a set of their wrenches that are chrome plated, but still made by Bondhus, and much more expensive)

For screwdrivers, Craftsman. Electric drills and pneumatic drills are all Makita. Most of our frame tools are Shimano Dura-Ace tools. Drop out tools and frame alignment tools..

Cutting tools are mostly Park. Although I personally have a Campy tool set but I NEVER use it except on my personal bikes. That's the only time it comes out.

For stuff like freewheel tools, cone wrenches, pedal wrenches, truing stands... all that is Park. I like Park's spoke wrenches, but the other guys I work with all like Spokey Wrenches (leaves the Park ones newer for me!)

Cable cutters are Park, but Housing cutters are Shimano. Some of the rest of the tools may be random, for example we have Race Face ISIS BB tools, but Shimano tools for the Dura-Ace BB and lockring. It fits just slightly better than the Park model. Pliers and Diagonal cutters are all Craftsman.

Think that covers most of it. But like TJ said, for non-cycling specific tools, most of our shop tools are Craftsman. Cycling tools are split between Shimano (one of our ex-mechanics worked for Shimano so we got a really good price on their stuff,) or Park.

Bondhus is the brand I couldn't think of,TJeanloz
Dec 22, 2003 6:07 AM
I tried and tried to think of the brand of hex wrench that is basically universal, and I couldn't come up with it yesterday - Bondhus it is. What's amazing is how particular mechanics get about specific tools - like Shimano housing cutters. Everybody prefers them to the others. You can have 4 brands of a specific tool in the shop, and all of the mechanics will gravitate towards the one they like the best (and usually fight over whose bench it sits on)...