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Bike collection from lbs - what to look out for?

BluejuiceBluejuice Posts: 23
edited February 2017 in Road beginners
Hopefully this weekend I’ll be picking up my new bike, a giant defy advanced. My first road bike for over 20 years.

Could I ask for some advice on what are the things I need to look out for or the questions I should be asking. Ideally I’d want a 101 on bike maintenance, but that’s probably a stretch too far but it would be good if they could quickly point out how to bleed the disc brakes or re align the callipers.

I’m assuming I’ll get a quick cycle around the car park to check gears are indexed & brakes are working.

Living out in the sticks my LBS is not so local, 35 miles away so I want to make sure I’m not having to head back too soon, plus I’m hoping motivation level for humouring me will be higher as I’ll be handing over some cash.

I can see all the bike bling just getting to my head and so not making the most of the opportunity.

Thanks

Posts

  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    If its like halfords check forks are on right way round.
  • I very much doubt the sales guy (unless he's also the mechanic) will give you a service lesson.

    But you could mesntion the 35 mile issue and when you get your first free service see if you can hang about in the workshop and watch how they do things?
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,424
    Make sure they offer you a free first service in a few weeks time once you've done 500 miles or so on the bike. Most decent bike shops will do this. That way they can check all the bolts are properly torqued and everything is running smoothly once the cables have bedded in.
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 413
    I would check for any damage. Have a good look at the frame, wheels, components etc. Just make sure nothing has any dents or scrapes on. Make sure nothing is bent or where it shouldn't be.

    Take the bike for a quick whizz around the car park and check the brakes and gear changes. These will most probably degrade a little as the cables wear in, so they made need a tune up again after a few hundred miles (not sure about hydraulics though as I have never used them; maybe check the rotors are straight and not rubbing the pads). Gear indexing and brake adjustments aren't that hard to do yourself. Youtube has plenty of advice (I know as I'm learning things myself at the moment). Either learn how to do this yourself or ask for a free service after a few good rides.

    Make sure the spec is what you have paid for. May sound silly, but if something is on the quote/ad make sure it is on the bike.

    These are the thoughts of someone who isn't a mechanic, but is learning a lot and recently got back into cycling. :)

    Oh yes, before you do anything on it at home, make sure the chain and the cables are lubed. Use a good quality chain lube, drop a bit onto each link as you pull the pedals backwards. Then, take a rag and run the chain through it to wipe any excess off the edges. You only want the rollers lubed, not the sides. Also lube the cables by dropping a bit on them and wiping any excess away. If you get into this habit from the beginning, you'll ensure good life of the drivetrain components.

    In terms of how often to lube, I have read that the chain should be wiped down and lubed after every ride. I tend to do this every few rides at the moment as it's winter.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,386
    Just ride it round the car park and go through the gears and try the brakes. If everything feels ok, then it probably is.
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 413
    Slightly off topic, but as it's winter, have you got the correct gear to be riding with? I.e., good clothing, lights, helmet (if you feel you need one), saddle bag with some spares in (tubes, tyre levers, multitool), water bottles etc.

    Always good to make sure you are prepared before heading out on rides. :)
  • Get them to check the PDI has been done correctly, tightness of all the fittings on the bike etc. in front of you before you test ride

    I took a bike for a test ride at a well known retailer (rhymes with heavens) Got halfway up the car park and thought i'd test the brakes. The stem hadn't been tightened up properly around the bars and as i braked the bars tilted downwards about 30 degrees! was a scary moment, luckily i managed to stay on.
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Moonbiker wrote:
    If its like halfords check forks are on right way round.


    Why just Halfords? They have just as much chance as employing someone who does or does not know what they are doing as any other shop.

    Or is that the view of you and your club racer serious cyclist dudes?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Moonbiker wrote:
    If its like halfords check forks are on right way round.


    Why just Halfords? They have just as much chance as employing someone who does or does not know what they are doing as any other shop.

    Or is that the view of you and your club racer serious cyclist dudes?

    If you were a cycle mechanic, would you prefer to work in a bicycle shop or Halfords? I'm pretty sure that most competent cycle mechanics would prefer to work in a proper bike shop (and not have to also provide advice on car air fresheners and illuminated washer nozzles) so it is unlikely that Halfords will be employing the best (though that doesn't imply that there are no decent mechanics in Halfords).

    And Halfords do have form in sending bikes out with the forks on back to front.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 413
    Rolf F wrote:
    Moonbiker wrote:
    If its like halfords check forks are on right way round.


    Why just Halfords? They have just as much chance as employing someone who does or does not know what they are doing as any other shop.

    Or is that the view of you and your club racer serious cyclist dudes?

    If you were a cycle mechanic, would you prefer to work in a bicycle shop or Halfords? I'm pretty sure that most competent cycle mechanics would prefer to work in a proper bike shop (and not have to also provide advice on car air fresheners and illuminated washer nozzles) so it is unlikely that Halfords will be employing the best (though that doesn't imply that there are no decent mechanics in Halfords).

    And Halfords do have form in sending bikes out with the forks on back to front.

    Maybe the forks are correct and the bike is attached back to front. :D
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Biggest problem with potential failure is brakes touching rims not tyres when applied. Any play in the headset. Cable runs underneath bottom bracket are in the rail and not crossed over or rubbing on the frame.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Rolf F wrote:
    Moonbiker wrote:
    If its like halfords check forks are on right way round.


    Why just Halfords? They have just as much chance as employing someone who does or does not know what they are doing as any other shop.

    Or is that the view of you and your club racer serious cyclist dudes?

    If you were a cycle mechanic, would you prefer to work in a bicycle shop or Halfords? I'm pretty sure that most competent cycle mechanics would prefer to work in a proper bike shop (and not have to also provide advice on car air fresheners and illuminated washer nozzles) so it is unlikely that Halfords will be employing the best (though that doesn't imply that there are no decent mechanics in Halfords).

    And Halfords do have form in sending bikes out with the forks on back to front.

    I'd prefer to work somewhere that gave me experience with working with bikes, the general public, stocktaking, suppliers, etc. If Halfords is your only option then take it.

    Many bi-cycle shops have rubbish mechanics but they aren't pointed out. But then again, if you're a hip club member intent in dishing out humility to newbies then hey, you're too cool to need a high street retailer.

    They have form for sending out bikes with forks on back to front? How many? Oh.

    But then again, so long as you and the lads from the "fast" group at Lutterworth Velocity are happy then that's cool.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • benws1 wrote:
    I would check for any damage.

    Definitely this. When I picked up a bike some years ago, it had the "ice grey" Ultegra cranks on it. One of the cranks had a long scratch on it, deep enough to go through the grey finish to the bare metal underneath. It wasn't structurally damaged at all, and would have been perfectly safe to ride, but it was a new bike, which I expected to be perfect, for a reasonable definition of "perfect".

    To be fair to them, they changed it on the spot when I pointed it out, but if I had taken it home and then noticed, they might not have changed it for free.

    Also, some bikes are sold without pedals, which might be something to bear in mind if you're planning on riding it home from the shop.
  • Thanks all, some good stuff here. Will try not to get distracted by the shiny kit and give the thing a proper look over.
  • Rolf F wrote:
    Moonbiker wrote:
    If its like halfords check forks are on right way round.


    Why just Halfords? They have just as much chance as employing someone who does or does not know what they are doing as any other shop.

    Or is that the view of you and your club racer serious cyclist dudes?

    If you were a cycle mechanic, would you prefer to work in a bicycle shop or Halfords? I'm pretty sure that most competent cycle mechanics would prefer to work in a proper bike shop (and not have to also provide advice on car air fresheners and illuminated washer nozzles) so it is unlikely that Halfords will be employing the best (though that doesn't imply that there are no decent mechanics in Halfords).

    And Halfords do have form in sending bikes out with the forks on back to front.

    Usual uniformed snobbery about Halfords. I bought a Boardman Team Carbon from Halfords nearly 4 years ago and have taken out an annual maintenance plan with them every year since. When the latest one expires this April I will renew it again as I have had nothing but good service from them and the maintenance plan is very good value - particularly if you have British Cycling Club membership and get 10 percent off everything.

    My experience of all the LBS is that they are expensive and you have to book your bike in about 3 weeks in advance. With Halfords I drop it in on my way to work and it's usually done that day or day after, minimising my downtime on the bike.
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,332
    Bluejuice, I presume from your original post that hydro disc brakes are what you are getting? I wouldn't bother with worrying about maintenance of these - bleeding the brakes should not be needed if they are properly bled from the off (have a squeeze of them to make sure they grip the rotors okay). Similarly the calipers should be fine, but they are easy to set up again if there is rotor-rub. Another contribution to brake pads rubbing could be wheel alignment, which again is very easily fixed by re-seating the wheels in the dropouts.
    Ultimately any LBS worth it's salt will see you take away a bike that's fully ready to go. Given it's a Giant, you won't need to worry about it being Halfords from the comments above - I presume, as they don't do Giants! In the meantime, why not try and search for reviews of the LBS in question? What has their service been like?

    Most of all, enjoy the new bike!
  • I would personally get public transport to the bike shop if possible and then make a day of it and ride back. I got my first road bike a few years ago at a shop in central london after work, so cycling back in rush hour for the first time on a new bike was a bit interesting, it was also a lot of fun and a great way to get to know your bike.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    They have form for sending out bikes with forks on back to front? How many? Oh.

    Fair point but a few years ago people seemed to be reporting them all the time and I've seen a few myself. Possibly in recent times they've sorted that one (it seemed to happen with the rim braked variety).

    But I find your faith in Halfords touching. I quite like Halfords as an online shop where I can pick up orders in store. But I would never, ever hand over my bike to be tinkered with by their mechanics. But then there aren't many other places I would do that either. It's about trust and you can't build that up with Halfords as the staff are not likely to hang around long enough. If you get your bike serviced by Halfords and they do it well then I'm happy for you.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Usual uniformed snobbery about Halfords. I bought a Boardman Team Carbon from Halfords nearly 4 years ago and have taken out an annual maintenance plan with them every year since. When the latest one expires this April I will renew it again as I have had nothing but good service from them and the maintenance plan is very good value - particularly if you have British Cycling Club membership and get 10 percent off everything.

    My experience of all the LBS is that they are expensive and you have to book your bike in about 3 weeks in advance. With Halfords I drop it in on my way to work and it's usually done that day or day after, minimising my downtime on the bike.

    Yep, I'm never a snob in plain clothes. You've had good service (if you read my post you will have noticed that I said that it didn't imply that there were no decent mechanics in Halfords unless you were disagreeing with that as well which would be confusing!). Anyway, that's great. Your LBS is censored - that's unfortunate. But your experience doesn't mean that everyone else's is the same.

    What do you get for your money anyway on the maintenance plans? Can you just bring the bike in any time there is a problem or is it a routine service thing?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • I bought a new road bike last year from a good LBS. I picked it up a week later after they had had chance to PDI it, popped it in the back of the car and drove home. Next day, I took it out for a first ride - I stopped in at a friend's house about half a mile later to borrow his pump (no puncture, they just hadn't pumped up the tyres which had <20psi) and, while I was there, borrowed his Allen keys to straighten the handlebars which were sufficiently out of line with the forks to make riding feel very peculiar.

    I thought that was pretty poor of the bike shop - the reason I hadn't taken it the day I bought it was so that they had a week to do the basics to make it rideable. I've learnt - next time I buy a bike from a LBS, I will take it for a spin straight away so I can go straight back in to get them to fix the stuff they hadn't done right in the first place.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 413
    Due to pick up my new bike on Saturday. Will try to give it a spin around the car park before taking it away.
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