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New Bike 30 day service? How important is it?(11 posts)

New Bike 30 day service? How important is it?shamelessgearwhore
Jun 13, 2003 11:03 AM
So I've had my new steed for about a month and a half and I'm supposed to be bringing it in for the 1-2 month service. Apparently to inspect their work on the build, tighten spokes, cables etc. Problem is I'm not super close to the shop to have this done. I've skipped this the last two bikes I bought new and was wondering what some of you industry guys thought about the importance of this. A local shop offers to do this for $90. WTF?
... that's odd...Akirasho
Jun 13, 2003 11:17 AM
Virtually every LBS I've ever visited have a "free" 30 day tuneup... which, aside from adjusting for cable slack... is a good way to get your customer back in the shop to start buying the real cash cow... accessories.

If you're competent with your own maintenance (and inspection... which you should do before each ride anyway) and the bike came from a reputable shop, it's generally unnecessary...

If you were bringing the bike to a shop other than the one it was purchased from... then they have the right to charge you full price for this "service"... even if no service is actually needed (time is money).

Be the bike.
Free at shop purchased, butshamelessgearwhore
Jun 13, 2003 11:21 AM
its not that close to me. That's why I checked to see what the close shop charges.
The close shop is on crack...TJeanloz
Jun 13, 2003 11:41 AM
At most, it would be a full tune-up charge, but I don't think I'd charge that much for the 30 day check. I'd say $30 is about the top end of what the service is worth. I do think it's important though. In my experience in the shop, the 30 day tune up serves 3 goals:

(1) readjust the cables after their initial break in.
(2) make sure there are no defective parts - if something is defective, it usually makes itself known only after a little bit of riding.
(3) checking to see if the owner has any bad habits that should be pointed out - like if the hubs have no grease in them, maybe they shouldn't wash their bike at the car wash. Maybe that modification they made was more dangerous than they thought, etc.

That said, the cables need adjusting 90% of the time, (2) applies ~1% of the time, (3) applies ~20% of the time - so it's not likely to be really necessary. If it's free and easy, I would always do it. If it's 90 bucks, it's probably not worth it.
Thread last week...biknben
Jun 13, 2003 12:23 PM
Did you see the thread last week about the woman who's Rr. deraileur was not functioning properly? It tore through her spokes and caused significant damage. She had only had the bike a few months. It was not said whether she had had the proper maintenance done but a 30-day check is intended to catch problems like that.

I'd call ahead and see if the shop could do the work while you wait. It's not a huge job. They will just check that everything is still working as it was a month ago. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
they should build the whole bike for under $90. nmDougSloan
Jun 13, 2003 12:38 PM
I'll tell you what I check for and you can do it yourself....russw19
Jun 13, 2003 1:04 PM
Assuming you know how to do all the below that I mention... here's my routine when checking a bike for a 30 day check.

First off are the obvious questions to the customer, so I will ask them to you...
How is the bike shifting? Does it shift up the cogs to easier gears fine? Does it shift down the cogs to harder gears? Does it grind inbetween or skip or mis-shift? If so, which way? If it skips going up like it is not going into the next largest cog, you need to add tension to the cable. If it seems to go into that cog, but wants to go into the 2nd higher too, you have too much tension. Do you know how to use the barrel adjusters? Screw into the derailleur to take tension off, screw out from derailleur to add tension.

Next, check the set screws. Shift the bike into the small chainring and small cog combo. (This is best done in a bike rack by the way, or have a friend hold the bike's rear off the ground for you) and while pedaling by hand, push the derailleur manually towards the spokes. Don't shift with the shifters, just push it over and see how far it goes. If it lines up in the last cog and the derailleur doesn't hit the spokes, you are fine. Also, look at the front. There should be about a millimeter of clearance between the inside front derail. plate and the chain. As close as you can get it with out it rubbing. Now, let go of the derailleur in the rear and push the front derailleur out to move the chain to the big ring. The derailleur should not move more than half way over the big ring. Too far and it will throw the chain over into your pedals. In the rear, make sure the derail won't throw the chain into your dropouts. You can always disconnect the cables when doing this adjustment as the set screws are independent of the cable tension. Between the shifting and the set screw test, you should be fine on your derailleurs. Also check that the front derailleur isn't too high or low on the frame. The bottom of the outside plate should have a 1 mm gap over top of your big ring when the two are lined up.

After your derailleurs, check your brakes... make sure they are not rubbing or hanging up on one side and that the cable is still tight. But check to make sure your wheel is true, dished, and in the frame properly before making any changes. Sometimes the wheel isn't all the way aligned in the drop outs so check that first.

Next after truing wheels and checking shifting and brakes, I check the hub adjustment. With the wheels in the frame, grab your rims and rock them side to side.. if you feel any knocking or play, the hubs are loose. Next check the headset. Put the bike on the floor and grab the front brake and rock the bike back and forth. You may notice fork flex, but if you feel a knock, it's loose. You can also do the good old fashioned rattle test. Lift the front wheel off the ground like 2 or 3 inches... and then drop it. If the front end rattles you have a loose headset... if it just bounces, you are fine. Keep in mind that is less acurate than grabing the brakes and rocking the bike, but faster.

Next, tighten your crank bolts. They almost always need it on a 30 day check. This is a MAJOR reason I like to see the bike back. If you don't catch a loose crank on a square taper BB, you will destroy your crank arm. The left arm will come loose more often than the right (I don't know why, it's a torque thing that was explained very well in the components forum by someone last week, but it happens) so tighten the crank bolts. Then grab both crank arms and pull them together side to side to see if the bottom bracket is adjusted. If you feel the knocking, it's loose.

When you have the bike in the stand, (or when I do at the shop) is a good time to look at the tires' sidewalls. Make sure there is not any wear from brake pads riding too high and hitting the sidewall, they will eventually cut and blow out if so. Check the tension on the spokes when you true the wheel... make sure it feels
Thanks, I'm saving thatshamelessgearwhore
Jun 13, 2003 1:19 PM
That's the most useful bit o data for my repairs in the future!
Glad I could help!russw19
Jun 13, 2003 1:41 PM
Paying someone for their labor or time is one thing.. but don't pay for the knowledge. There are plenty of people here who are willing to share what they know to help a fellow cyclist out. I happen to be one of them. Glad I could help you out.

re: New Bike 30 day service? How important is it?CallMeClyde
Jun 13, 2003 1:35 PM
Unless you know and trust the shop and the mechanics then the free service is worth exactly what you pay for it... nothing.

I have bought three new bikes in the past few years and each was so poorly set up when I brought it home that there's no way in hell I would trust the same mechanic to do a tune-up later. Sure, they shifted and stopped but screws were loose, bearings were dry, etc.

For me it is worth my time to rebuild the entire bike when I get it home. It may well be worth the $90 to have the other mechanic go over it. There is a very good shop near my home that charges about the same to do a setup on bikes from other shops. They do the same thing I do at home, take everything apart and make sure all screws are lubed and tight, make sure every bearing on the bike is properly lubed and adjusted, and properly true both wheels.
Mine offers free tuneups for a year - nmmagnum
Jun 13, 2003 2:26 PM