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One month LBS checkup - *Newbie Alert*(19 posts)

One month LBS checkup - *Newbie Alert*LaVelo
Nov 2, 2001 11:26 AM
First time poster...long time reader. Anyway, I just bought a Trek 2200 about a month ago and have ridden about 300 miles so far. The LBS said I should bring the bike back after a month or two for a checkup. Is this really necessary? What are they looking for? I do not see any excessive wear that needs attention. My work schedule kind of makes it hard to go by the LBS. So, should I take it by or just keep riding?
Up to youpmf1
Nov 2, 2001 11:29 AM
Generally they check for cables stretching, things like that. If its a pain to get there and the thing works fine, I'd say skip it. If its not broke ...
i've been wondering this here for awhile, and was...Js Haiku Shop
Nov 2, 2001 11:45 AM
just thinking about this yesterday. the shop says they're checking for cable stretch, brake and derailleur adjustments, etc., but there's really nothing to check after the first month or two, unless you're riding some pretty good miles, and if you were, you'd probably know how to check that stuff yourself.

when i was strictly a dirt-head, i bought a gary fisher mtb from one shop over the other because they offered two free follow-up "new bike tune ups" and the other only offered one. d'oh! my, the things i've learned...i'm wondering if this isn't a ploy by shops to get you back in for accessory sales. i could be wrong.

my advice to you: save your money over the next six months and invest in some basic cycle-specific tools and a couple books, including "zinn and the art of road bike maintenance". get familiar enough to touch-up your shifting when the bike disagrees with you after 1000 miles or so, then be slick and work it into conversation with your non-mechanically-motivated friends. it's good for a six pack of pabst blue ribbon when you're taking your time and tools on their mis-shifting (is that a word) rear derailleur.

Dependsnee Spoke Wrench
Nov 2, 2001 12:32 PM
If you think everything is working absolutely perfectly, what's the point?

HOWEVER, stuff like this really happens: The front derailleur cable stretches a little and the front shifting degrades. The chain rubs against the inside of the middle or outer chainrings and eventually wears away the little ramps that are supposed to help shifting. After this happens, the front shifting degrades even worse, if it works at all, so the customer brings the bike in for their free check up. I hate when that happens.

Now the question becomes: Who should pay for the new chainrings that are now necessary?

The manufacturer's warranty is for manufacturing defects.
There was no manufacturing defect in the chainrings, they just wore out.

The bike shop warranties the assembly of the bike, and they even offered a free remedy (which the customer choose not to use) to correct the cable stretch which caused the problem.

The only person who did anything wrong is the customer who didn't bring his bike in for a free check up as soon as he realized it wasn't working properly.
wouldn't that be mighty loud?Js Haiku Shop
Nov 2, 2001 12:42 PM
...if the chain was rubbing up against the chainrings enough to wear through the ramps?
Not for a woman...TJeanloz
Nov 2, 2001 2:17 PM
This is not meant to be sexist- but experience dictates that women are far more likely to let damage be done, even when they can hear that something isn't right. We had a woman whose chain wore a hole in her Merlin seatstay (right by the 13t cog), and she didn't notice until we pointed it out to her.
Oh 'cmon...dsc
Nov 2, 2001 6:07 PM
maybe one of those women who ride around with their helmets tipped back on their heads like a baseball cap, but a woman who owns a MERLIN???
I do all minor (and some major) adjustments on my road & mtb's myself, but never hesitate to take my bikes in to my LBS for something that I lack the tools and/or knowledge to do myself. If anything, women are MORE likely to take their bikes into the shop for minor repairs/adjustments because (most of us) lack the macho posturing that cause (some) men to attempt a ham-fisted repair job that they're not knoledgeable enough to do themselves.

Nov 4, 2001 8:09 AM
Women are more likely to take their bikes to the shop when they know they have a problem. They are less likely to know they have a problem...
Okaaaay, but...dsc
Nov 4, 2001 9:46 AM
you do realize what a broad generalization you're making there, right? I think that if you were to take an equal number of men and women who knew little to nothing about the mechanical nature of bicycles (not *real* bikers), you would find that the members of both groups were equally likely to not realize when something was not adjusted correctly (they had a problem).
I do realize that more men than women ride, race and (try!) to repair their own bicycles. But that is not an equal sample size for statistically comparing mechanical knowledge.
It has nothing to do with gender, everything to do with your experience around bikes.
By the way, I'm not picking a fight here, just standing up for the mechanically -inclined out there... Ride ON!! :-)
Are you talking about women who...Kristin
Nov 5, 2001 7:25 AM
ride mostely cheap bikes and have $45 finger nails?* What are the ratio's in the following categories for, lets say, walk-in tune-ups?

Women: Recreational Riders
Women: Athletic Sport Cyclists
Men: Recreational Riders
Men: Athletic Sport Cyclists

My guess is that the biggest percentage would be women who are recreational riders. At a recreational level, men will be more likely to tinker. So, how many "athletic" women would you say bring in their bikes for something like a derailuer adjustment? Is it a higher percentage than Athletic men? (Don't include rec. riders who just dropped a chunk of change for a nice bike.)

.*No offense if you wear $45 nails. Actually if you can keep nice nails while riding 100+ miles a week and doing repairs, then you've got my vote!
Are you talking about women who...dsc
Nov 5, 2001 3:27 PM
Yep, I agree 100% with you that rec. women riders are probably the group most likely to take their bikes into the shop for repairs. Wasn't really what I was driving at, though. My original post was to express disbelief that a woman who owned and rode a Merlin would not notice that her chain had worn through her chainstay! Unless of couse, she had WAY too much money to blow (perhaps on those $45.00 fingernails :O)?)
That last post was simply to dispute the over-generalized statement that any woman rider would be less likely than any male rider to know that she had a problem with her bike. You may have heard people say that they don't trust statistics because they can be skewed to show anything that the person doing the analysis wants to show. That is absolutely correct. You have to pick your sample size carefully, thus my breaking down of the groups.
Now, once you do know that you have a problem, whether or not you choose to handle it yourself, or take it into the shop, is another topic altogether.
My point was that knowing you have a problem with your bike in the first place has nothing to do with whether you're a man or a woman, but instead has to do with your level of experience around bikes in general.
Ride On, Sister!! :O)

Thanks DebiKristin
Nov 6, 2001 8:58 AM
My question was posed for TJ--who made the generalization to begin with. But, I'm guessing he'd reply with nearly the same answer you gave.

I'm with you on the Merlin chain rub deal. You have to be pretty dense/spaced out to not hear that or be concerned with noises on an expensive bike. Such a shame too!

Do itvanzutas
Nov 2, 2001 12:37 PM
It is not a big deal if you do it or not. I think a shop will do it a couple times after you buy a bike. if it doesn't shift right or the brakes are a little off. give them a call and find out a good time that they can do it while you wait. They will also check the headset and the crank arm bolts. these are important things because after a little riding in the beginning they may loosen up. it is easy for the shop to check it and you will get a lot more life out of the bike if they are adjusted right. My LBS guy said something like 5% of bikes actually come back for thier tune up. The way I look at it is that they want you to enjoy your bike so that you ride it. you wont enjoy riding a bike that is out of adjustment.
Just do it...TJeanloz
Nov 2, 2001 12:40 PM
Preventive maintenence goes a LONG way. I'd say that only about 1/2 of people bring their bike in for the free tuneup. But of people who have a mechanical problem in the first year of ownership, almost all neglected the free tune. There is a lot of mechanical checking over that goes into the free tune up beyond cable stretch.

We used it as an opportunity to talk some more about fit- after the customer had ridden for 90 days. The mechanics will notice things that you might not, like you're not tightening your QR skewers enough, etc. Or that you're hosing the grease out of your headset every time you wash your bike. It's a really good opportunity for you to ask any questions that you might have developed over the rides you've done. I say do it.
re: One month LBS checkup - *Newbie Alert*John-d
Nov 2, 2001 12:50 PM
I bought my new bike 6 weeks ago, Rode it to the shop - 25 miles, left it with them while I had lunch, they gave it back told me all the things they had done. The thing is I thought that there was nothing wrong with it until I rode the 25 miles home and could actually feel the improvement.

In any event protect your guarantee, See the site of the cracked Giant frame below for what happens if you don't
Definitely do itandycogbill
Nov 2, 2001 1:03 PM
I worked as a mechanic at a bike shop last summer (at school now) and pretty much all I did were 30 day tuneups. They are definitely suggested, at least at my shop, because cables definitely stretch, things get maladjusted, and I fixed all of that. It is really a free tune up, so I would say go for it!
re: One month LBS checkup - *Newbie Alert*Samcat
Nov 2, 2001 1:06 PM
Lots of good advice so far...My .02:

Go in and have them check the bike over by all means. It's their nickel, and the service is included in the price you paid for the bike when you bought it.

But wait until you've got a couple of hundred more miles on it if you can...

Cables don't "stretch" any more...but they do seat in. If you've got no cable adjustment issues (shifting/braking) and if your wheels are still true, give it a few more weeks/miles.

Remember though, have them check the wheels for spoke tension...that's the most important reason to bring the bike in.

Do itErik W
Nov 2, 2001 4:19 PM
I had a bike built up by Excel here in Boulder last spring. After 30 days I noticed a little noise shifting the front derailer and the headset had a slight bit of play in it. I took it in and those problems were fixed and my drivetrain was even quieter then when I originally bought it. If I were you I'd bring it in.
Not to sound wishy-washy, but a definite maybe...Elefantino
Nov 2, 2001 4:31 PM
Depends on how your bike was put together. My OCLV was put together by a good wrench who stretched the cables himself with a store-made stretchy thingy and he "guaranteed" that they wouldn't need adjusting.

He was right. I didn't notice any need for a 30-day, so I didn't do it. But I DID take them up on the free one-year tuneup. That's a must.