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Should I even bother (LBS related)?(24 posts)

Should I even bother (LBS related)?filly
Sep 22, 2003 8:07 AM
I purchased a new LeMond BA in January from a LBS. I was bran' spankin' new to cycling at the time, and the only thing I knew about fit was that the top tube should not touch my crotch. Anyhow, long story short, it's now September, and I've realized over the past couple of months that I need a stem about 2-3 cm shorter (mine is currently 12.5). All the "fitter" did was adjust my seat position (height and fore/aft) and no more. I understand it's common practice for a reputable LBS to swap out stems to get the right fit, and had the job been done right, this would have happened when I bought the bike. Is it out of line, 8 mos later, to ask the shop to trade me out for the correct length stem? I'm thinking I've missed my window...

By the way, the "LBS" was Trek.
not out of line, go and ask. nmDrone 5200
Sep 22, 2003 8:13 AM
Yes, unrealistic...Dwayne Barry
Sep 22, 2003 8:16 AM
8 months is far too long for you to realize the bike doesn't fit and that a shorter stem is the fix, and to expect the bike shop to exchange it. Suck it up and buy a new one.

I also think the idea that someone can just look at you and put you on a bike and get the fit spot-on is ridiculous. How do you expect them to get it exactly right, when it took you 8-months to figure out what the problem was?
They didn't do their job...filly
Sep 22, 2003 8:29 AM
When the guy tells me to look at the top of the handlebar and asks if it covers the front hub, and I say, "No, the hub is about two fingerwidths in front", and all he says is "Hmmm..."

That's a problem that can be remedied on the spot, and it doesn't take 8 months to figure out. It's only because I've been riding for a while and have done some research on fit that I now know what he should have known the day I bought the bike.
A couple of things...Dwayne Barry
Sep 22, 2003 8:53 AM
1st off there are only rough guidelines for "fitting" someone on a bike because everybody's legs, arms, torso, necks alignment is slightly different, not to mention their "flexibility".

Maybe he said "Hmmm" because the general rule is you shouldn't be able to see the hub. To fix that you would need a longer stem (you said you think you need a shorter one, no?), maybe he saw something else that made him think this stem is OK so he was surprised by your response.

Regardless, if there was a fit problem it should have manifested itself in the first few rides. Eight months later is just silly to expect the bike shop to exchange a stem. But I bet if you'd gone in a week later maybe even a month they would have considered it.
Really?Mike Prince
Sep 22, 2003 9:09 AM
Your answer to him indicated that you needed a 2 cm LONGER stem, not a shorter one. Most riders do not need a 14-14.5 cm stem so I think that they did do their job.

I can see your complaint if you had paid for a fitting, but your story says nothing about that. Sounds like your LBS's opinion is that you fell within an acceptable range of fit with the stem, which to me is reasonable. After 8 months of having the bike, you can ask for a swap, but don't expect too much. Consider what some of the other posts here say - have you been a regular customer, or do you have new stuff since the spring on the bike that clearly were not purchased from the shop? If they are a good shop, they will work with you, but if your expectation (and attitude) is that you will get a free swap, I think you will be disappointed.

Just my $0.02. Good luck.
I think I may have confused you and Dwayne...filly
Sep 22, 2003 10:10 AM
By me saying that the hub was "in front" of the handlebar, I mean it was closer to me than the handlebar, not in front, as in towards the front of the bike. Sorry for the confusion. To correct this issue, a shorter stem would bring the hub and handlbar in alignment. Easy fix--the fitter should have done that.
talk to them and see if they offerandy02
Sep 22, 2003 8:16 AM
When you first get into cycling you don't really know what you want and a sales person doesn't know how flexable you are so it is hard to fit you. Once you have a ridding position you can go back and see what they think you need to do. I changed my handle bars three months after I bought my bike. Just approach the staff carefully. If the stem is something they can easy turn over they usually have noe problem doing that.
Sep 22, 2003 8:16 AM
Two weeks, maybe a month, an LBS might swap it out if it's still in perfect condition. Eight months later, you own the stem. Buy another one. You waited way too long.

Would you try this with any other business?

I know it's eight months later, but this car doesn't seem to fit me. Can I exchange it?
for the sake of being a pain in the arse!filly
Sep 22, 2003 8:41 AM
you know, it's not my style, or my personality to even ask for the swap--i'd feel uncomfortable about doing it. i'm the guy who gets embarrassed when his wife complains to a waitress or a store clerk. but, for the sake of debate, i feel i would be justified in asking for the swap. from my post above, the fitter clearly knew that i needed a shorter stem when he asked me the question. at the time, i didn't know any better. i should have known everything i could about fit, but that's just gravy, and it shouldn't factor into whether or not they provided me with the best fit at the time. his lack of action was just plain neglect. it was late in the day, and he probably didn't feel like swapping it out.
for the sake of being a pain in the arse!MrCelloBoy
Sep 22, 2003 8:48 AM
I'd bring my complaint to the management and discuss it.
sue himmohair_chair
Sep 22, 2003 8:57 AM
Your only real action at this point is to find a lawyer and sue the guy. Go for big punitive damages and really ream him. Take his house if you can. Definitely make him cry. That's the only possible way you can make right this great injustice that has been thrust upon you. The guy probably has a whole racket going where he makes people buy the wrong stems so they come back later and buy another one. He deserves to be in jail.

If you lose, sue your lawyer for malpractice, and the law school he went to for poor instruction.
for the sake of being a pain in the arse!MShaw
Sep 22, 2003 9:32 AM
I'm going to agree with the guy further up this thread that you probably needed a longer stem rather than a shorter one if you could see the hub in front of the bars the first time, BUT if you want to go shorter, it is entirely up to you.

Since you were completely new to cycling, you had absolutely no clue how to even sit on a bike, the fitting that you had done at the time of purchase was adequate for your level of riding. Now that you've had vast amounts of experience (yes, I'm beind sarcastic), it is be time to acutally go in and pay for a full fit session.

Make for sure that you get someone that REALLY knows what they're doing. Ask around your riding friends for recommendations. If you're in SoCal, you're really in luck 'cause there's lots of knowledgeable people around here.

Now is the time to fix potential bad habits, BEFORE you develop them! ie: a too short TT/stem means you'll arch your back, compressing your diaphram, making O2 uptake that much harder, meaning you can't go as fast/hard. As an added bonus, if you do arch your back, it makes for more trips to the chiropracter.

Once you've been professionally fit to your bike (and vice versa), and find out something was way off, THEN you may be able to toss around terms like neglect. Till then (and without seeing you on the bike) all we have is your side of the story, and there's 3 sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth!

FWIW, when I was working at a shop, we'd do the same thing for new riders. The only thing I'd have done differently is to tell you to ride for a while and once you've ridden for a while, come back for another fit session. That way, we can fix whatever's gone astray in the months that they've owned the bicycle.

See the post above--"I think I may have confused you and Dwayne.filly
Sep 22, 2003 10:20 AM
It all dependsMR_GRUMPY
Sep 22, 2003 8:54 AM
If you haven't been back in the shop, since the day you bought the bike, I would say that you are out of luck. If you are a regular customer, I would ask if there is anything that they could do for you. Ask for a discount, if you give them your old stem back. Even if it is only $10-15, it would show good faith on their part.
two thingsSpiderman
Sep 22, 2003 9:07 AM
1. I never understood what being able to see/not see the front hub has anything to do with the bike fit? if a person is flexible or inflexible, they won't be able to reach as far or as low so what does the front hub have anything to do with? I think that is bogus, but i will reserve that for another post.

2. What Filly has to think about (i am not saying this is definately the answer, how the hell should i know?) but if you were brand new to cycling when you bought the bike, and if you put considerable time in on the bike over the next 8 months, your body shape is going to change. So it might not be that s/he fit you wrong (he may very well have) but you have a different body than when you originally bought the bike. Talk to the shop and see what the say. The worst thing is they can say "no."
How do you know you need a shorter stem? Does your upper/lower back hurt, your nuts, your hands, your knees? etc.

Just my thoughts...not right or wrong, just mine.
Similar problem W/ Lemond dealer.shakyfish
Sep 22, 2003 9:10 AM
I had a similar experience with a local Lemond/Trek dealer. I did not have to exchange parts but a similar exp. with lack of fitting. My first RB purchase was a Lemond Zurich. They did the same type of fitting that your shop did. Adjust the seat only and they did ask if the bar blocked out the front hub. That was only after I had purchased the bike, which they ordered in. No measurements or anything, just a guess on looking at me for proper frame size. I called Lemond to complain about their lack of proper fit up. Lemond's website say to go to a dealer for fitting of their bikes. They were very disturbed at the fact that they just looked at me to get the frame size. I did not follow up to see what they did about it but I would follow up through Lemond to get results. That is part of the reason that you cannot mail order Lemond bikes. Thay want you to be properly fitted at one of their shops. They even told me that they give training to the shops on fitting their bikes.

my .02
I got measured up -twice!Nigeyy
Sep 22, 2003 9:32 AM
When I bought my road bike I went through a pretty thorough measurement fitting with sticks, rulers, etc...

Interestingly, they glanced at me, and thought I was going to be roughly a 52cm, but they kept getting back figures in the 54-55cm, so they measured me again using another method (can't remember) but it came out the same. They did ask me to try a 52cm, but I just wasn't comfortable, and sure enough a 54cm was my size(Cannondale sizing felt just right). I never knew it, but apparently I have long legs for my torso (and I really would never have guessed that!).

They adjusted the seat, saddle position, and changed the stem for me as well. I guess they did a good job since I feel pretty comfortable (though I did move the saddle back a tad since).

Oh an fyi, the store was Landrys in Westboro -also a Lemond dealer. Got to say I've been really happy with them.
That's Landry's in Westboro, Massachusetts. (nm)53T
Sep 22, 2003 9:45 AM
oops, no state or even country! thanks 53T(nm)Nigeyy
Sep 22, 2003 10:17 AM
Buy a new stem, it's the cost of your learning curve in cyclingCarbonTi
Sep 22, 2003 9:42 AM
Most riders will go through refinements of their position over time, especially if they were completely new to cycling at the start. Likewise, expecting a bike shop or even a fitting session to get you to the perfect fit is not a real expectation - they might get you close and depending on how serious you are about the sport and your fit, the rest is up to you.

A 12.5cm on a Lemond geometry is a lot of reach, probably just right for some of the experienced riders on this board. I might have surmised that as your seating posture and core strength developed on the bike, that the stretched out position didn't work better for you.

Dial in your own fit, it takes time and you're the only one who can judge the subtleties of the adjustments.
here's what I would dotarwheel
Sep 22, 2003 12:18 PM
I also think you waited too long to expect the shop to swap stems at this point. No harm asking, but don't be upset if they decline. Before you buy another stem from them, however, I would get their assurances that they will let you swap if the new stem turns out to be too long, short, low, high, whatever. My LBS has let me try out a number of stems for a period of time, but just don't wait too long. The stem needs to look like new so they can restock it and sell to someone else. Some mail-order/internet shops will let you return stems within a reasonable period of time, assuming they are in like-new condition. What I've done in the past, when I was trying to dial-in the fit of a new frame, is to order several stems with different reaches and rises, try them out for a week or so, and return the ones that don't fit. will let you do this.
Bought my first real MTB and the salesman did the samelonebikeroftheapocalypse
Sep 22, 2003 12:26 PM
bang up job that your's did. When you're new you really don't know what you like or what fits. Several saddles, bars, stems and $200 later I think I've got it right. You waited too long, now you have to go through what most of the rest of us have had to go through. Stems are cheap.
Fit mythsdeHonc
Sep 22, 2003 3:49 PM
Firstly - 8 months later is too long a time period to return your original stem. But as a poster above was pointing out - why do you think the fit isn't OK? Just because you can see your front hub? If you don't have aches and pains and feel comfortable - you're probably OK anyway - I think this hub blocked by the bars thing is BS. So is most of the endless diatribe regarding fit on this board. People are just too hung up on this if they really believe you need to find a brand of frame that "suits" you over another frame with different geometry.. Look, take absolutely any bike and put someone on it. With a rudemantary "fit" - adjusting cleat position, seat height and position - and using an appropriate length stem - your body will get used to the bike and you will be comfortable. Any decent LBS can/should do this - paying big bucks for a "fit" is unnecessary. I'd be very suprised if you have a problem at all.