Building up a frame... HELP !!

veggiechris Posts: 6
edited November 2013 in Workshop
I recently had my winter bike nicked at Calais. Deciding to build my dream bike I bought a new Lynskey Sportive titanium frame :) from those (seemingly) nice guys at Fat Birds in Norfolk. Bought some great Campag Athena stuff to go on it, nbut decided to let my LBS build it for me...

Basically - the bottom bracket facings are not parallel, so the frame has to go back. Unfortunatley, LBS had build up the rest of the bike first, before doing the BB, so to send the frame back they'll have to completely strip the bike, then rebuild it after the new frame arrives.

Fat Birds and the importer of these lovely frames are only willing to give me £25 arguing that standard practice is to do headset and BB first before doing the rest of the build. LBS will have spent about 5 hours by the time the bike is rebuilt and are asking me to pay 4 hrs ie £120! Basically they spent about 2 hrs building the bike, 2 hours trying to work out why the cranks felt awaful when turned (ass BB faces misaligned) inc taking off chainset and trying it in a frame they new was OK, and an hour on the rebuild once the new frame arrives.

So... IS standard practice to do Headset and BB/chainset first? or are MY LBS justified in doing it randomly as they have never had a problem with a BB for years?

Also should my LBS stopped when they had a problem and not spent time looking for the cause?

Feel like I'm In between two difficult places with LBS and Fat Birds saying opposite things and expecting me to pick up a bill for over £100!!




  • kwi
    kwi Posts: 181
    Did the LBS face the tube before installing the BB?
  • ^^ Sounds like no, the BB shell was not even checked by the LBS.

    Sorry Veggie, but I'm gonna say your LBS is at fault. Any decent shop mechanic assembling a new frame *should* know to check the BB shell and head tube (if external headset bearing type) FIRST, for precisely this reason. Just assuming it would be fine because most are is no excuse.

    It's not difficult, takes 5 minutes max to do. Even a half-decent inspection will tell you whether the BB shell has probably been faced or not.

    ETA: The LBS took 2 hours to figure out the BB shell was mis-aligned???? Either they are taking the pi$$, or are seriously incompetent, along with slack for not checking in the first place.
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    Two things most likely to cause trouble are headset and BB, why the hell wouldn't you do them first and make sure they're ok.
  • vanleapo
    vanleapo Posts: 150
    I've built 4 bikes of my own and always started at the BB. It's the logical place to start a build.
    Also, I'm sure I could "unbuild" a frame in <30 mins, so what they are charging seems excessive.
    Tearfund Tour of Scotland 26th May to 1st June 2013
  • How out of parallel are they?

    If it is something that could be solved by facing the shell then the lbs is taking the piss. If not then I wouldn't accept the frame.
  • Sounds like the BB needs facing, but I'm not 100% sure if you can use the same tool for a Ti frame as you can a Steel or Alu frame.

    Could you explain the problem in more detail? Is the frame welded wrong? Is the BB not faced? Is it a painted frame?

    Which bike shop is it? Did they give you a quote before hand?
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I always do headsets and BB first, pretty well standard practise. What is the nature of the problem? BB shells are machined and threaded at the same time - it's very uncommon these days to need to face a BB shell and the thread being out of alignment sounds like the BB shell is twisted in the frame. If the frame needs to go back, then I'd expect Fatbirds to be a bit forthcoming- they sold you a duff frame.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • 1) Learn how to do the maintenance yourself, it will a) save a you a fortune in the future, b) is actually quite enjoyable and c) means you do not need to let people touch your bike who are less careful with it than you!

    2) As others have said, your LBS are either taking the p1ss or totally incompetent, I would never darken their door again if I were you.

    3) Check they haven't ruined the bottom bracket cups and bearings when they were trying to "work out" why they were so rough.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    It's not uncommon for titanium frame tubes to become distorted due to weld-pull if they weren't clamped correctly e.g. ovalised BB shell or twisted during welding. I would doubt it's down to the machining of the BB.
    Doesn't sound like your LBS are competent enough to deal with this type of job and they're taking the pi$$ to ask you to pay for their incompetence - it's not like they've lost a whole load of money
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Thanks guys... I'll tackle the LBS on Monday!

    Frame has gone back to the importers and they are sending me a new one. Apparently you can use the usual facing tool for a titanium frame.


    Can't wait to ride my new bike...!!