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Very angry

trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
edited February 2009 in Road beginners
I am quite angry at the moment. I took my bike in to the LBS for a service because there was some play in the rear wheel which I noticed after I last rode it. They said this was minor and the cones simply needed adjustment.

Well I collected the bike this afternoon to find that not only was the hub pitted and worn, but the chain needed replacing, as well as the brake blocks and the RIMS were at risk of caving in if I braked hard so it would need £140 of replacements. Then I was charged £24 for the replacement of the bearings and regreasing, gear and brake adjustment.

EDIT for clarification: the £140 is what I would have to pay to fix recommended/urgent repairs, they haven't actually charged me for this but they said it needed doing soon.

This is unbelievable because I have only had the bike for five months. I wash it regularly (every time it looks as though it needs cleaning, generally every 1-2 week). Not only this but I had replacement brake blocks put in a couple of months ago, and a chain replacement in around November! I would not have expected this kind of wear in such a short timespan. The staff at the LBS were however helpful and agreed that this is not normal, and will be in touch with the manager. However they phoned Specialized who said they were 99% sure it would not be covered under warrantee because there had not been problems with other parts.

The bike is an Allez Elite and cost £700, a lot for me since I am still at school (6th form) and I worked over the summer to save up. I don't expect to have to replace basically everything apart from the frame after 5 months of use (2000 miles).

Is this normal? What would you do in my situation?
Thanks for any help.
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Posts

  • Slow DowncpSlow Downcp Posts: 3,041
    I think the shop are extracting the urine.

    Shouldn't they have phoned before undertaking as expensive a repair?
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
    Sorry just to clarify - the shop hasn't done the replacement, but did the job requested (fix wheel play, gears, brakes) and wrote a list of recommended/urgent repairs, which would cost c.£140.
  • Robmanic1Robmanic1 Posts: 2,150
    trickeyja, agree with slow, you pants have been lowered by the sounds.. All part of the learning process I'm afraid, perhaps you need to name and shame them on here?
    Pictures are better than words because some words are big and hard to understand.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3336802663/
  • rally200rally200 Posts: 646
    It still sounds like their trying to take the p#ss. Do any of these items appear worn to you?
  • trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
    rally200:

    I don't think the bike shop is the problem, they showed me that the rims cave inward in the middle, also the hub is noisy and may be worn, I wouldn't have expected this to happen so soon though.
  • Robmanic1Robmanic1 Posts: 2,150
    Get a second opinion fella (from a different bike shop, obviously)
    Pictures are better than words because some words are big and hard to understand.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3336802663/
  • trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
    Robmanic - I think I may have to, sounds like a good idea. I wouldn't believe rims could fail after just 2000 miles though.
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    We've had a cold winter so far so there has been a lot of salt and grit put down on the roads. You have to remember that when that stuff is wet and gets on your rims (or other moving parts) it acts a grinding paste and will just eat them up.

    I've got through mountain bike v-brake blocks in just a few wet offroad rides for similar reasons. That stopped when I got a bike with disk brakes.

    In the summer I clean my bike every month or so. In the winter, I clean it after every ride. It doesn't actually surprise me that you've worn stuff out that quickly at this time of year, given how rarely you cleaned your bike.

    What would I do in your situation? I'd replace the parts when they need replacing, I'd clean my bike after every winter ride, and I'd go very easy on the brakes (you can often reduce braking by stopping pedalling a bit sooner).
  • Surely though if the hub is pitted and worn, them replacing and regreasing the bearings is a bit of a pointless exercise, as I would have thought that they would very quickly return to the state that they were in when you brought the bike into the shop. I would keep a very close eye on the hub, keep your reciepts and as soon as there is a problem, take it back in there to get them to sort it out free.

    I wouldn't have thought it was normal, but as it has been mentioned, wear does depend on how you ride and the conditions. I am quite surprised at Specialized, normally their warranty department is excellent, and I can't imagine it would be too much skin off their nose to simply replace the wheel for you.

    I would definitely recommend a second opinion from another reputable shop, and if they concur, get a quote in writing, and one from the original LBS and then write a letter of complaint, outlining your situation and how you feel this is completely unreasonable, especially when spending so much money on a bike. If that doesn't have the desired effect, then maybe speak to Citizens Advice about this, and take it from there

    Don't quote me on this! No legal experience I'm afraid, I'm sure there is some legal people on here that may be able to offer better advice, but definitely start with a second opinion and letter of complaint. Good luck!!
    2009 Giant Anthem X2
    2009 On One Il Pompino in SS CX mode!
    2009 Giant Defy 2.5
  • trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
    Surely though if the hub is pitted and worn, them replacing and regreasing the bearings is a bit of a pointless exercise, as I would have thought that they would very quickly return to the state that they were in when you brought the bike into the shop. I would keep a very close eye on the hub, keep your reciepts and as soon as there is a problem, take it back in there to get them to sort it out free.

    Thanks very much for this advice. I will see what the LBS manager says and if not then try some of your helpful suggestions. ColinJ stated that the roads are gritty, but I still would not have thought wear would happen so quickly over 5 months, and I do make an effort to clean, normally once a week or two weeks depending on how much I've ridden.

    I completely agree with you about the regreasing of the hubs being pointless. I will bring this up with the manager and see if there is any chance of a refund. I am really glad I have been careful with last year's receipts!

    Fortunately I have a mountain bike I can get by on in the meantime, perhaps I need to try some offroading again :)
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    I think it is like when I get my car MOT'd, the mechanics give me a long list of things that aren't fails, but advisory. For instance, the brakes need replacing - but it turns out they last another year, etc. Now, if I was completely ignorant of cars/mechanics stuff I might panic and say, yes do it, and pay £100's extra replacing part worn parts. For some people, who may only want one annual garage visit, perhaps it makes sense to get everything that might possibly wear out within the year replaced, maybe they are happier that way, have enough money and just don't want to think about it. I have had an exhaust pipe that was an advisory for 3 years before it finally blew - if I had replaced it first time they said then it would have only been used for half of it's actual service life.

    I think some LBS's are taking the same approach - fine if they are honest and tell the customer realistically about the expected life, after all, nothing wrong with a fair appraisal of what's what - you want that, but I suspect they saw an opportunity to drum up business from you. There was a thread on here the other day about someone who had a strangely premature (6 months?) demise of their entire drivetrain - all replaced, then the shop claimed not to have the bits taken off for inspection.

    I would suggest, if you do get parts changed, ask up-front to have the parts removed retained for you (might make them re-evaluate their recommendations).

    Alternatively, find a better LBS.

    The brakes and rims are potential safety issues, but you can easily determine the condition of these yourself.
  • rally200rally200 Posts: 646
    I agree with Alfablue - it sounds exactly like the b*lls that car garages come up with - especially the exhaust/tyre fitting types - stretching a point do that that can say they didn't actually lie to you - just gave you some friendly advice.


    ColinJ's point about winter muck - but really to wear out a brand new wheel - I'd be expecting to go through more than 2 sets of pads before stuffing the rims.
  • thexvwthexvw Posts: 135
    Can you post up some good close up pics, I am sure there are plenty on here that will offer an opinion.

    Winter does really accelerate wear on your bike though. I am on my third set of brake pads already this Winter.
  • If the bike is only 5 months old all the components should be under warranty for 1 year, so if the 'faults' actually exist take it back to where you bought it and get them to sort it.
  • trickeyja wrote:
    Fortunately I have a mountain bike I can get by on in the meantime, perhaps I need to try some offroading again :)
    I would check your road bike out first, if there is a potential safety issue, then yes, go on the mtb, otheriwse, if it is fine, ride the road bike. If you go back in 3 months and have only ridden it once, they, and to be honest myself, probably wouldn't believe you. Get a good few miles in if you can, just to make sure that they have fixed your hub
    2009 Giant Anthem X2
    2009 On One Il Pompino in SS CX mode!
    2009 Giant Defy 2.5
  • trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
    trickeyja wrote:
    Fortunately I have a mountain bike I can get by on in the meantime, perhaps I need to try some offroading again :)
    I would check your road bike out first, if there is a potential safety issue, then yes, go on the mtb, otheriwse, if it is fine, ride the road bike. If you go back in 3 months and have only ridden it once, they, and to be honest myself, probably wouldn't believe you. Get a good few miles in if you can, just to make sure that they have fixed your hub


    It's an annoying situation, I can't tell whether they are giving genuine advice or not but I expect/think they are. I bought the bike from them and they have been good, I just don't know what to think now.

    The hub is still rattling a lot though. They said they did it as best they could despite the fact that it was pitted and worn. I think they should have rung me before doing this instead of charging my £24 to regrease a worn component; I think I may get some backup ie my dad and demand a refund!
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,693
    I had a similar experience (as was noted earlier in the thread). It's a pain in the preverbial. I've put it down to a very expensive learning experience. Do try and get hold of any removed parts though as I fail to see any instance where they can keep those (or 'throw them away' as was the case with me).
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    My mate has an allez, the hubs are on their way out and I didn't check the rims when i serviced it for him. IIRC they tend to have pretty shoddy wheels as the only weak link in the spec. If I were you I'd start saving for a new set of wheels and get some decent cartridge brake pads so you can swap them out easily. Ashima make some nice ones that are cheap.
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Maybe these things are showing signs of wear, but do they need replacing ?

    I once took my car in for a 3 year service and was told the brake pads needed replacing.
    How badly ? I asked.
    They then told me they were 50% worn.

    I told them not to bother : as it was a 3-year old car, obviously it had taken 3 years to wear 50%, so presumably it would take another 3 years to wear them out completely...?

    I did have them replaced, but it was a couple of years later, not there and then !


    The list of things they've told you need replacing seems w-a-y excessive in a 5 month old bike, but it does depend how much you've used it
    - daily, or couple of times a week ?
    - how many miles : 50 a week or 500 ?

    I can believe if you've done high mileage on salty gritty roads that you could have worn-out the brake pads, but two chains in 5 months ? Let alone the rims & hubs...
  • How are you washing your bike?

    Santa Cruz actually did a informal study on bearing life for different cleaning intervals: you can definitely wash the bike too much.
    Bikes that were washed after every ride went through bearings as quickly as those that never got washed.

    If your using a high press hose, you're washing out the grease along with the dirt.

    Re: the rim, 2k miles seems fast, but I've had a sidewall fail. Not pretty. Fortunately, it was the rear, and no skin loss.

    Bike mechanics is not rocket science or voodoo.
    Take the time to learn the basics and pick up a few tools. With the exception of headset, alignment and frame prep, you should be able to do most of this on your own.
    Watch your chain wear. It is cheap to replace a chain, relative to chain cassette and chain rings.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,163
    I m no mechanic - but you can get a set of wheels for around £100 - pretty good fulcrums for £150 - or those quest wheels for £60. - Why not buy a spare set of wheels for back up - and save one set for best ?

    You can replace the brake blox yourself ?
  • boondogboondog Posts: 205
    start by changing your own brake blocks - then go from there.

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=21

    sheldon is good too, http://sheldonbrown.com/brakes/index.html
  • 4042740427 Posts: 119
    i very much agree with percusski.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Lampwick wrote:
    How are you washing your bike?

    Santa Cruz actually did a informal study on bearing life for different cleaning intervals: you can definitely wash the bike too much.
    Bikes that were washed after every ride went through bearings as quickly as those that never got washed.

    If your using a high press hose, you're washing out the grease along with the dirt.

    Bike mechanics is not rocket science or voodoo.
    Take the time to learn the basics and pick up a few tools. With the exception of headset, alignment and frame prep, you should be able to do most of this on your own.
    Watch your chain wear. It is cheap to replace a chain, relative to chain cassette and chain rings.

    +1 - I think a lot of people make the mistake of enthusiastically spraying degreaser everywhere and then jet washing etc. I don't use degreaser at all on the best bike (unless I really really need it) - I have managed to lightly scuff one area of the frame as the result of over vigorous use of degreaser and a soft brush in an attempt to remove French sheep censored (officially the stickiest [email protected] known to mankind!). Instead I just clean after each ride with a damp cloth and then lube/wipe where needed.

    After 3/4 rides I'll take the cassette off and thoroughly clean/rinse/dry that as well (ok to use degreaser here).

    Your chain may well have suffered from excessive degreasing. KMC recommend not using degreaser at all on their chains, cleaning and lubing regularly is the way to go and remember to wipe off the excess lube - it is needed inside the chain not all over the external surfaces where it will attract dirt and gunk. Alos make sure you are using proper lube and not something like WD40 (like an Evans store once tried to recommend to me). WD40 is not a lubricant.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Well, I went for my first ride of the winter yesterday afternoon and I can tell you that every time I braked I could hear the censored grinding away at my blocks/rims. It's a different sound to the sound of blocks acting on clean, dry rims

    When I got home I washed my bike down and it was amazing how much filth there was on it from just one short ride.

    Chains pick up the censored too, especially if you over-oil them. Let the oil soak in, then wipe off the excess. Chains need cleaning regularly if you want them to last.

    As for brake blocks wearing down, but not rims... Take a close look at the blocks and you will often find lots of little alloy slivers embedded in them. If they don't come from the rims, where do they come from?
  • Sounds like you ride regularly - and given the amount of salt/grit etc that has been on the roads this winter (its been a lot colder than last year) that this amount of wear is enitrely possible.
  • rally200rally200 Posts: 646
    aren't there rim wear indicator grooves on the Allez Elite wheel set?
  • trickeyjatrickeyja Posts: 202
    Thanks for the above advice. To clean my bike I simply use MucOff and a damp cloth - toothbrush and cloth for the chain.

    I have calmed down a little now :P I think I will take the bike back to the store and see what the manager thinks, they can't be giving false advice since they said it was down to the wear indicator and showed me how the rims are caved in. When I do get it fixed I don't think I will be getting the same rims though! I will try and push for some kind of reduction in repair/replacement price if possible considering how rapidly everything has worn.

    I have been riding fairly regularly, it was about 120 miles a week until dec, then down to about 80 until now... haven't ridden since last thursday though due to the trouble!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you ride the bike a lot in all conditions, then it wouldn't surprise me with this degree of wear - the use of cheaper materials is where they cut costs to meets lower price points. As far as a warranty is concerned, there's no chance, wear and tear isn't covered - a warranty only covers you for faulty design or manufacture, not for low spec materials. You're always free to take your bike somewhere else for a second opinion and get the breakdown in terms of parts and labour - I expect half the cost of your quote is for the workshop labour.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • HudsterHudster Posts: 142
    I think this level of wear sounds about right to be honest. They are probably cheaper rims, which will wear quicker and you are riding regularly in the wet. Unfortunate about the hub, but not surprising or unusual. And as for the chain, again the salt and grit wears them out. It's the reason why a lot of people have cheap winter bikes and save their best bikes for summer.

    When I was mountain biking with rim brakes I could get through rims in just a few rides and with hardly braking. The mud build up would just grind them away, which is why disk brakes have been such a big thing for mountain bikers.
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