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Was he just having a bad day?(25 posts)

Was he just having a bad day?PsyDoc
Nov 21, 2002 10:41 AM
I took in an open pro wheel laced to a dura ace rear hub to the LBS for an adjustment. I get the wheel back and there is a lot of noise that was not there before.creaking and clicking. I figured that a few couple of spokes must have been loosened too much and the tension was not even or something like that. So, when I dropped the wheel off at the LBS, I asked him to check the tension of the spokes. He said he always checks the tension by "ear" and has never used a spoke tension meter. He then gets all "huffy" and tells me that because I am so "picky" about my wheels that perhaps I should take my wheels elsewhere for truing. Next closest LBS is about 1.5 hours away. Picky about my wheels?! No, I just expect the job to be done right. I wonder if he was just having a bad day or if he was getting defensive about my inquiry.
Take his adviceUncleMoe
Nov 21, 2002 11:01 AM
I suppose when the next closest LBS is 1.5 hours away, the guy sort of has a monopoly on bike repairs, so he gets some leeway in not doing the job to your satisfaction. If there was a shop closer I'd take his advice and go elsewhere.

As is, if I were in your shoes, I'd buy a tensioner myself and learn how to true my own wheels. Heck, learn to do all of your bike maintenance on your own. No one needs that sort of attitude from someone you are paying to do a job.

A good LBS is hard to find. It sucks when you don't have multiple options.
Take his adviceBrokenSpoke
Nov 21, 2002 11:14 AM
Tensioners can be notoriously inaccurate unless the spoke threads and the nipple threads are spotless. New spokes / old nipples or old spoke / new nipples can have dirty or corroded threads. Any of this can throw off the reading on a spoke tensioner. The best way to true a wheel is by ear. When the tension is equal on each spoke, the ring will be identical since each spoke will vibrate at an identical frequency. If you really wanted to get an exact pitch, I guess you could get a tuner from the local music store but I think that would be going overboard. Trueing a wheel is not that hard, just take your time and make small changes.
This would have been a better reply from the employee...UncleMoe
Nov 21, 2002 11:33 AM
The businesses I frequent are the ones that will educate me as well as offer the service I'm paying for. This would have been a much better response than "if you are picky take your business elsewhere."

Even if he was offended by the request to use a tensioner, he should have offered the reason why he doesn't use one.
I think you mean tensometer...brider
Nov 21, 2002 11:33 AM
which will be independent of threads, new/old spokes and nipples, etc. It merely measures the relative tension of a spoke by measuring the deflection of the spoke along three points. Given that the spokes are of equal gage, they SHOULD make the same tone when plucked.
Let's clear this upKerry
Nov 21, 2002 4:55 PM
I'm pretty sure the guy meant spoke tensionometer, and now you are talking about a "notoriously inaccurate" spoke tensioner. Are you referring to something used to machine build a wheel? Something that attempts to measure the tension on a spoke by the torque needed to turn the nipple? A tensionometer would not care if the nipples were sticky, since it measures the force required to deflect a spoke along its length. Could you describe this spoke tensioner device to which you refer?
Its actually a tensiometer (nm)cyclequip
Nov 22, 2002 12:41 AM
I meant "tension meter" as that's what...PsyDoc
Nov 22, 2002 4:49 AM
...the Park Tool site used. Their description:

"The key to wheels that are strong and reliable is having spokes that are properly and uniformly tensioned. The TM-1 Tension Meter accurately and reliably measures the absolute tension of each of the spokes in a wheel, as well as the relative tension between all the spokes in a wheel. Easy to use and priced affordably, the TM-1 works on nearly any bicycle spoke-no matter what the diameter, material, or shape. Not just for the experienced mechanic, the TM-1 is for anyone building or truing wheels, diagnosing wheel problems, or assembling new bikes. It's a tool that belongs on every workbench."

Take his advicePsyDoc
Nov 21, 2002 11:28 AM
Truing wheels is the only thing I do not know how to do...I guess it's about time I learn. Christmas is right around the corner, so perhaps I will get a spoke tension meter in my stocking :)
dunno, but . . .Jas0n
Nov 21, 2002 11:02 AM
dunno about his day, but truing a wheel by the sound the spoke makes when plucked is actually a very good way to ensure proper tension. still, if you brought in the wheel, the least he could have done was pop it in a truing stand and use the guage. good luck
re: Was he just having a bad day?PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 21, 2002 11:09 AM
Whether he was having a bad day or not thats no excuse for treating a customer like that.I'm in the service industry and can remember alot of bad days but I've never treated a customer like that.I agree with previous reply.Take your business elsewhere or better yet learn to do it yourself.
I worked for...PsyDoc
Nov 21, 2002 11:34 AM dad for 6 years as a rep for the automotive aftermarket in Southern California while finishing my undergrad and master's degrees. My dad would have put my head through an engine block if he ever heard me treating anyone like the way the LBS did. Call me a pessimist, but the more I interact with others I believe more and more that many people just do not give a crap anymore about anyone but themselves.
How did he explain the "creaking and clicking?"Sintesi
Nov 21, 2002 11:37 AM
The guy's being a jerk. Tell him you're taking your business elsewhere and why. If he was having a bad day then maybe he'll apologise and make good. Let him know how you feel; it won't hurt you and it may help him.

Maybe you could email or send him this thread. I think most people here would agree with your side.
Is He the Owner?Roadrunner25
Nov 21, 2002 11:40 AM
If not, I would let the owner know about it. Of course, if the owner keeps this clown, you will never get good service again, maybe even sabotage.

Maybe he was having a bad day!

And it may also have been your attitude.
Is He the Owner?PsyDoc
Nov 21, 2002 11:43 AM
Yes, he is the owner and he is the only employee.
Where do you live?UncleMoe
Nov 21, 2002 11:45 AM
That must be a small town.
Yep...a small town in Georgia.PsyDoc
Nov 21, 2002 11:57 AM
Yep...a small town in Georgia.53T
Nov 21, 2002 12:59 PM
Ever thought of opening a bike shop?
How make a small fortune, 1st get large fortune, 2nd open a bike shop (nm)Scot_Gore
Nov 21, 2002 1:19 PM
re: tensioning wheels is easyFredrico
Nov 21, 2002 3:14 PM
A tight spoke makes a tone, like a guitar string. Just at the point the spoke starts to sing is where you can stop tensioning, although the spokes can be tightened another quarter-turn safely, producing a slightly higher pitched tone. The main trick is to get them all to make the same tone (and the wheel to be true and round at the same time!). That means they're all taking up equal tension. If so, the wheel will stay true for years.

There's nothing so mysterious about tensioning that you need a tensionometer, except to check what tone equals what tension measurement.

Pinging and creaking is most often caused by not stressing the wheel after tensioning the spokes. The spokes get twisted when they're tightened. Grabbing the wheel rim and pushing down with your hands on opposite sides of the rim with the axle resting on the floor, will straighten twisted spokes where the nipples rest against the rim. You may have to re-true or re-tension after stressing, but not much. The tighter the spokes get, the harder it is to throw the wheel out of true.

Have some fun with it. A spoked wheel is a wonder of physics now unique to bicycles.

That bike shop techie is a loser, to be pitied. He isn't alone, either, but that's another subject.
Nov 22, 2002 4:43 AM
When I went to pick-up the wheel, the LBS said that because I questioned his "professionalism" and that he was not professional enough for me that I should just take my business elsewhere. I said "no problem." When I asked about the wheel, he said he found a "few spokes that were loose." I then said, "professionalism...hmmmm" and just smiled at him and walked away.
What a dick.UncleMoe
Nov 22, 2002 9:23 AM
I rarely wish ill on people, but that guy shouldn't be in the business he is in. I hope someone soon opens up another LBS in your town and he goes outta business.

Best of luck in finding another shop or wrenching more yourself. In the long run you'll be better off without him.
Same herePeterRider
Nov 22, 2002 9:37 AM
I bought a rear wheel last year from the Pasadena Cyclery in CA. Well, those people look down to you and are overpriced. The wheel broke 2 spokes in about 1000 miles. I was pissed, I relaced the wheel myself with the same spokes (well, of course except the 2 that broke), and 2000 miles later no problem. And of course, when the spokes broke, they were ready to charge me 10-15$ for replacement.

Many LBS lace their wheels too fast and don't spend enough time to do it correctly, even if they are skilled.... I built only a few sets myself and don't pretend to do a perfect job, but the result is much better than many wheels you will pay $$$$. They stay true without loctite of other gluing product, and I jump curbs and bumps.

I forgot... get the Brandt bookPeterRider
Nov 22, 2002 9:45 AM
As others have mentioned countless times before, the Jobst Brandt book is very good for lacing wheels and everything related.

Learn to do it yourselfpmf1
Nov 22, 2002 10:24 AM
Get a stand and a spoke wrench and learn to do it yourself. Its pretty easy. I can true a wheel quicker than it takes me to take it to a LBS. You don't need a spoke tensiometer.

Hell, you might even venture into building wheels yourself. You don't save any money doing this, but its kind of fun.