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Is what the LBS are suggesting necessary?

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  • Is there none of us forummers who live locally and could have a quick look. IME a large number of people on here are just as knowledgable, if not more so, than some of the staff in LBSs. Just an idea if anyone is local enough.



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  • I think it is unfortunately a pretty standard response at all but the best LBS's to state that if the chain is worn, the cassette and chainrings are as well. I have been told this several times. True, a new chain won't mesh with a worn cassette, but most of us probably get through 3 chains per cassette change, and maybe double that before a chainring needs replacing.

    Just buy the chain (not from that shop!), get one like a Sram which has a "Powerlink" allowing you to fit it with no tools. (You may still need a chain splitter to remove the old one, unless you undo the rear mech jockey wheels).

    If the new chain slips on the sprocket, then you have proof that the cassette needs changing; if it doesn't, then all's well and you've saved yourself œ30 (or more).

    As for the rims, more tricky, but the fact that they are slightly concave does not mean they are too worn. Ideally, get the braking surface thickness measeured with a caliper. Probably the LBS are being over-cautious here, rather than trying it on.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I have never replaced cables unless i was swapping the gears over to a new bike and even then not all the time.

    I've had the same block for years, but I do change the chain if it starts to stretch.

    Get a chain tool and new chain and do it yourself. You'll save a fortune and its not hard if I can do it....
  • Following what Maggot said, i'm in Canterbury if you are coming over this way. i'll have a look for ya
    I normally charge a bottle of good scotch for a good overhaul

    probably cost you more in petrol than a decent service at wildside though [:P]

    Mleh Mleh Mleh
  • DavidTQDavidTQ Posts: 943
    My LBS mechanics twice managed to set up my gears badly enough to have them missing cogs at the front and the chain slipping off, once when they first built the thing, I brought it back and they got it so the chain stayed on but still wasnt running 100%, then I brough it in for its first service and again it came back with the chain jumping off and skipping gears.

    Got myself the haynes book, spent 10 minutes on adjustments the whole thing worked so smoothly I wondered how the heck they managed to get it so wrong??? I WILL NOT be going back again. They claim to have 5 bike mechanics, but I think they've got a chimp out back somewhere as well.
  • The BosscpThe Bosscp Posts: 647
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by JMag</i>

    I too am not very technical, but here goes:

    As I understand it, the chain and the cogs wear together over time, and therefore a new chain on worn cogs can be problematic - as the LBS said, slipping, jumping etc. See this article on the Sheldon Brown site:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/chain-care.html

    However, you could always try a new chain on the old cogs and see what happens. If its a problem, replace the sprockets.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    But if you put a new chain on the old cassette and it's fine, then the chain probably didn't need replacing... so just keep it safe in the knowledge that you've got a spare chain.

    It sounds like the LBS is talking the same kind of talk that a lot of car mechanics talk. They've identified that a part is worn, and they're probably right, it is worn. But the crucial thing is, and what you often have to decipher for yourself, is whether it's worn <i>enough</i> to need replacing.
  • sloboysloboy Posts: 1,139
    LBS's I suppose are no different than garages when it comes to having the opportunity to fleece the innocent punter with a sharp intake of breath and a muttering of "that'll be your tappits that will".

    The difference is that basic maintenance on your bike is really easy and doesn't take long. I reckon it's highly desirable to know how to look after your drivetrain (adjust gears, clean and lube chain) at least to the level where it'll keep work nicely until there's really something wrong.

    There are a couple of specialist tools I don't have (headset press, and in fact I don't have the right crank extractor for my road bike), but apart from that I've built and stripped down my bikes entirely. And I'm the world's biggest numpty. I've found bikes generally to be fairly simple and pretty forgiving.

    I think that's one slight advantage of starting with MTB'ing. You have to know a bit about how to keep the basics running because it takes such a battering.
  • sloboysloboy Posts: 1,139
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Jackus</i>

    The guy at the LBS I was speaking with was suggesting I should bring it in for a check up every 3 months, and then have a new chain put on, to stop what apparently happened here happening again. It's that really that is now screaming bull**** to me after what I've read here.. 4 new chains a year.. thats bollocks clearly. They haven't called me with their quote yet, so my plan is to call them tomorrow morning and ask for it, then tell them I'd like to have a second opinion. I'll take it to Wild Side and see what they say. Hopefully they will agree that it doesn't need all this doing to it.

    Oh - and Overmars... that brings back memories.. we could do with him now.. haha.

    Thanks for all the responses.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Does anyone know of LBS's offering a subscription based maintenance service ? One might imagine they'd be something they could sell with a new bike - œX/mth to include maintenance labour, œY/mth labour and parts, œZ/mth labour, parts and we'll send the bloke round your house in the van on a callout basis.
  • JackusJackus Posts: 55
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Steve Austin</i>

    Following what Maggot said, i'm in Canterbury if you are coming over this way. i'll have a look for ya
    I normally charge a bottle of good scotch for a good overhaul

    probably cost you more in petrol than a decent service at wildside though [:P]

    Mleh Mleh Mleh
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Thanks for the offer. [8D] I'll check out wildside first.

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by DavidTQ</i>

    My LBS mechanics twice managed to set up my gears badly enough to have them missing cogs at the front and the chain slipping off, once when they first built the thing, I brought it back and they got it so the chain stayed on but still wasnt running 100%, then I brough it in for its first service and again it came back with the chain jumping off and skipping gears.

    Got myself the haynes book, spent 10 minutes on adjustments the whole thing worked so smoothly I wondered how the heck they managed to get it so wrong??? I WILL NOT be going back again. They claim to have 5 bike mechanics, but I think they've got a chimp out back somewhere as well.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    That's awful from the LBS, although it does give me some kind of hope as to being able to do this myself.

    Just got off the phone with their quote. They have now dropped needing to do anything to the rims, but have told me this.

    They want to upgrade the chainset or something from the square taper system it currently is to some better system.. He was talking about how it would cost œ50 to replace what I currently have, but for œ73 I could upgrade to a Shimano Tiagra set, which apparently is much better? Then it would be œ10 for a new chain, œ15 for the sprocket I think he said?

    Then he wanted to put some new bar tape on (which I think it does need actually) and new brake blocks.. œ7 and œ10 respectively. For this 2 hour repair he said it would be œ51 labour.. and in total the mechanic has given a quote for œ166.97.

    What do you think? Seems I am upgrading something, but I'm not sure if this is a worthwhile upgrade? Or even if this bit needs replacing anyway. Any thoughts?

    I said I would like to come in and pick it up so I can get a second opinion, and I said I'd do that later today.

    Thanks.
    -Jack
  • Chris JamesChris James Posts: 1,040
    Mmm, so lets get this straight. You have a bike that you have said seemed to be running fine and you were happy with.

    Now you need to spend œ170 to get the same bike back that hopefully will be running smoothly.

    Do you want an upgraded chainset? It is extremley unlikely that your chain rings are worn so this would be an upgrade rather than maintenance.

    Either:

    a) Follow the suggestion above and get a new chain. Fit it, if it skips then get a new cassette too. In which case you will effectively have a good as new drive train as chain rinsg wear very slow in comparison.

    or

    b) just ignore the whole issue and run the chain, cassette and your chain rings in to the ground. They will adjust to one another as the chain wears so should mesh okay but will wear at an accelerated rate. Once you have problems (which could be well into the future) then simply do the upgrade as described by the bike shop.

    I would recommend option 1, but if you fancy a new chainset (and the new Tiagra is supposed to be good) then I would go for option 2.

    In any case, I wouldn't replace everything as suggested by the LBS if the bike is running okay.
  • JackusJackus Posts: 55
    Okay, that makes sense. I will see what Wild Side say now, I've just called them to check its ok to bring it into them this afternoon. Be interesting to see if they say the same thing.

    You say get a new chain, and if it skips a new cassette. How much is a new cassette? Is this the œ73 they are telling me about? If not, what is that œ73? I'm feeling a bit stupid at the moment. :)

    I think your option a) seems to be right..

    Thanks.
    -Jack
  • Chris JamesChris James Posts: 1,040
    From what you have said above then they are suggesting you change your chain (œ10, probably needs changing unless you go for option B above), cassette (œ15, the cluster of cogs on the back wheel, probably doesn't need changing yet, but might do), and a new chainset (œ73, cranks and chain rings at the front, very unlikely to need doing but would be a modest performance upgrade and I guess they are suggesting replacing the crankset as it isn't THAT much more expensive that replacing the chain rings - which I guess he has said would be œ50).

    Option A I have given above would be a normal course of action. It is quite likely that simply getting a new chain will be okay. In which case you will have spent œ10 not œ170! Take note of what people have said about your cabkes and stretch too. That is an easy job to do yourself. Taping your handlebars requires a bit of a knack but is easy enough too.

    Personally I don't think your bike shop is ripping you off as such, but are being a bit cavalier with your cash. And a bit lazy.
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Jackus</i>

    Okay, that makes sense. I will see what Wild Side say now, I've just called them to check its ok to bring it into them this afternoon. Be interesting to see if they say the same thing.

    You say get a new chain, and if it skips a new cassette. How much is a new cassette? Is this the œ73 they are telling me about? If not, what is that œ73? I'm feeling a bit stupid at the moment. :)

    I think your option a) seems to be right..

    Thanks.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote"><i></i><center></center>
    Don't feel stupid! This is better than you getting ripped off!! [:)]


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
  • JackusJackus Posts: 55
    Ok, feeling a bit better having been to the first shop, and two others!

    Chris James you were exactly right, the Tiagra thing was the chainset, as they said replacing the 3 chain rings would be nearly the same cost (well, œ20 less but still). Each of the three shops told me that the chain and the cassette were worn, and in Wild Side and Cycle-ops, the original shop, I suggested just putting a new chain on the old cassette. They told me they would do it, but both guaranteed me with the cassette worn like it is, it WOULD slip. As it came from all 3 of them really, I am pretty confident that's right.

    So I went back to the first bike shop and told them that I wanted the chain doing, and the cassette. Would have asked Wild Side to do it but they don't have any slots for repairs for another 2 weeks.. I can't wait that long. They agreed to that, and I will try it with the new chain and cassette, and hopefully the chain rings will be ok without needing to be changed. They are also putting the bar tape on, doing the brake pads, and adjusting the cables, not replacing. They have dropped the story about the wear on the rims completely. Also, Wild Side told me the bottom bracket needed changing, which is this creaking noise I have been hearing.. Cycle-ops reckoned I should just ride it until it got louder and more annoying and then they would replace it.

    Phew. I think thats the right thing to have done.. hopefully. Thanks everybody for your help. Hopefully I should be able to pick it up tomorrow or Saturday, and the chain ring won't need changing. I need to clean it a bit better I think - either using a chain cleaner or a learning to use a chain splitter and cleaning the chain in some paint stripper or whatever.. I'll probably get the Haynes book to try and help me with it. I can see that is the best way of cleaning the chain, taking it off, but what is the best way of cleaning the cassette, the chain rings and the small cogs beneath the cassette (technical jargon!!)?

    Thanks everyone for your help.
    -Jack
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Tooth brush and white spirit for the derailleur jockey wheels and chainring. Avoid getting any spirit near bearings eg bottom bracket and hubs. A long strip of folded rag sandwiched between cassette sprocket wheels.
  • Thats good news that you have come to a resolution Jackus.

    On the cleaning side of things, yes it is good to keep it all clean, but don't get to obsessed (so that it spoils your riding enjoyment) - I have run mucky drivetrains for years (always well lkubed though) and I haven't experienced untowards wear and tear levels. It is a bit more important in the winter, but even so, I haven't made a chore out of it.
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