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Stop freightening members about online purchases

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  • wilhelmfrankl2000
    Hi, I m a new member and the fellow who helped Fiona with the purchase of her Windsor Oxford. She remains delighted with the bike that I found to be of a
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 4, 2013
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       Hi, I'm a new member and the fellow who helped Fiona with the purchase of her Windsor Oxford. She remains delighted with the bike that I found to be of a quality equal or similar to those found in bike shops at a considerably greater cost. 

       I urge members to be more far minded when commenting on online bike purchaes and cease coming across as escutcheons for local bike shops. I am of the opinion that something like the Stockholm Syndrome is at work here. Those, because of their lack of mechanical  skills and experience find themselves dependent on bike shops for service and advice and are in a sense held as "hostages", hense the Stockholm Syndrome.

      So please stop freightening people like Fiona and stop defending bike shops with one-sided views

        Regards from Willy

    • anthonyeberger
      My only concern with online bike shops is that tend to greatly exaggerate the retail prices of bikes to make their prices look more attractive. I ve only
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 5, 2013
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        My only concern with online bike shops is that tend to greatly exaggerate the retail prices of bikes to make their prices look more attractive.  I've only heard of one local guy buying a bikesdirect bike.  He loved it for the first few months but was stranded when he broke 3 spokes on a tour which were repaired at one of our great local bike shops.


        I buy parts from my LBS so I know I'm getting the right stuff.  I know I can ask for advice and return parts if I get the wrong ones.  I don't mind paying a little extra to get the parts now and know it won't be a pain to return if necessary.


        Long before I'd purchase any bike online, I'd buy used.  There are tons of great garage finds out there.  The US bike industry knows that a large percentage of bikes purchased and basically never ridden.  I'd suspect BikeDirect is keen to this too.  If you get a bike from anywhere, I'd still want it looked at by a quality knowledgeable mechanic.  Why would you tune a bike at the factory if you know it's not going to be ridden.  That's wasted labor.


        Other than my hand made bikes, the only new bike I've purchased in the last ten years was from REI.  I'm lucky I purchased a bike tool at the time I picked up the bike or I wouldn't have made it the 15 miles home!


        Strictly my opinion here.  I'm anything but a typical consumer so buying a bike made anywhere but the US now a days for me isn't going to happen.  My $200 1988 Trek is every bit as good a road bike as my very expensive (not made in the US but much more modern) univega Mondo Volare and brings me just as many smiles.  I ride a lot though and I do my own mechanical work whenever possible.


        I don't care what you ride, just ride!  


        Enjoy your day


        Tony B.

        Riverwest WI



        ---In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, <wilhelmfrankl2000@...> wrote:

         Hi, I'm a new member and the fellow who helped Fiona with the purchase of her Windsor Oxford. She remains delighted with the bike that I found to be of a quality equal or similar to those found in bike shops at a considerably greater cost. 

         I urge members to be more far minded when commenting on online bike purchaes and cease coming across as escutcheons for local bike shops. I am of the opinion that something like the Stockholm Syndrome is at work here. Those, because of their lack of mechanical  skills and experience find themselves dependent on bike shops for service and advice and are in a sense held as "hostages", hense the Stockholm Syndrome.

        So please stop freightening people like Fiona and stop defending bike shops with one-sided views

          Regards from Willy

      • rons_hobbies
        I d like to suggest the comments provided were done so in the interest of preserving life and nothing else. It is very difficult to tell from a posting an
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 5, 2013
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          I'd like to suggest the comments provided were done so in the interest of preserving life and nothing else. It is very difficult to tell from a posting an individuals personal or their friends abilities and experience. A poorly adjusted bike can kill. And as Aaron has pointed out, a new bike can take a lot of work to make it safe and ready to ride. I am deeply grateful for the lesson's he's been willing to pass on about what can come from a factory bicycle. I've learned a lot! 


          I try to not extrapolate out too far any "always and never" from a very small sample. An experience at one LBS may not be applicable to another. One on-line bike purchase may not be predictive of the next. 


          Just my $.02 


          Ron



          ---In geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, <wilhelmfrankl2000@...> wrote:

           Hi, I'm a new member and the fellow who helped Fiona with the purchase of her Windsor Oxford. She remains delighted with the bike that I found to be of a quality equal or similar to those found in bike shops at a considerably greater cost. 

           I urge members to be more far minded when commenting on online bike purchaes and cease coming across as escutcheons for local bike shops. I am of the opinion that something like the Stockholm Syndrome is at work here. Those, because of their lack of mechanical  skills and experience find themselves dependent on bike shops for service and advice and are in a sense held as "hostages", hense the Stockholm Syndrome.

          So please stop freightening people like Fiona and stop defending bike shops with one-sided views

            Regards from Willy

        • John Harvey
          This seems way over the top to me. Anything can technically kill - but come on there just aren t that many moving parts on a bike. All are pretty much
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 5, 2013
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            This seems way over the top to me.  Anything can technically "kill" - but come on there just aren't that many moving parts on a bike.  All are pretty much intuitively obvious in terms of how to adjust, and most bikes have a huge margin of error in terms of those adjustments before any problems occur.  And even when the problems do occur it usually just means the bike won't work well, not that it would break or malfunction in some way which would/could kill you.

            Now I admit that if a person does absolutely nothing to their bike except try to ride it, then yes they better be a good paying customer of their LBS, or have friends who understand how to adjust and tune-up the bike.  But even then they are just going to have a more difficult time riding it than they otherwise would (more effort and poor performance).

            Overall bicycles are astoundingly simple devices - and yet incredibly effective.  That is why they are so popular and successful as a mode of transportation.
          • Zack B
            Not every online bicycle company is bikes direct. They have a reputation that they seemed to have earned for being somewhat dodgy when it comes to quality and
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 5, 2013
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              Not every online bicycle company is bikes direct.

              They have a reputation that they seemed to have earned for being somewhat dodgy when it comes to quality and customer service. Your LBS may have exactly the same reputation, of course. The problems with cheap machine built wheels are just a prevalent among bike shop sold bikes.


              On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM, John Harvey <jsharvey1961@...> wrote:
               

              This seems way over the top to me.  Anything can technically "kill" - but come on there just aren't that many moving parts on a bike.  All are pretty much intuitively obvious in terms of how to adjust, and most bikes have a huge margin of error in terms of those adjustments before any problems occur.  And even when the problems do occur it usually just means the bike won't work well, not that it would break or malfunction in some way which would/could kill you.

              Now I admit that if a person does absolutely nothing to their bike except try to ride it, then yes they better be a good paying customer of their LBS, or have friends who understand how to adjust and tune-up the bike.  But even then they are just going to have a more difficult time riding it than they otherwise would (more effort and poor performance).

              Overall bicycles are astoundingly simple devices - and yet incredibly effective.  That is why they are so popular and successful as a mode of transportation.




              --
              -Zack
            • frankroskind
              I have two bikes I bought from bikes direct. One is a cross bike, the other a commuter bike with Nexus 8. Both bikes seem fine to me. I don t know of a lot
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 5, 2013
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                I have two bikes I bought from bikes direct.  One is a cross bike, the other a commuter bike with Nexus 8.  Both bikes seem fine to me.  I don't know of a lot of LBSs that correct the tension on machine built wheels on mass produced bikes, so that seems to be a red herring.  The components are as advertised, with a typical build having a drive train of slightly better quality than surrounding components.  This seems also to be true of of LBS stocked mainstream bikes.  I think that anyone who is moderately competent with tools would be just fine doing the minor assembly work needed to get the bike on the road.  Likewise, I think a bicyclist needs a certain amount of mechanical skill to be able to treat a bike as transportation. I would not hesitate to recommend bikesdirect to a bicyclist who was going to use a bike for commuting or touring.



                ---In geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, <zoombomber@...> wrote:

                Not every online bicycle company is bikes direct.

                They have a reputation that they seemed to have earned for being somewhat dodgy when it comes to quality and customer service. Your LBS may have exactly the same reputation, of course. The problems with cheap machine built wheels are just a prevalent among bike shop sold bikes.


                On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM, John Harvey <jsharvey1961@...> wrote:
                 
                This seems way over the top to me.  Anything can technically "kill" - but come on there just aren't that many moving parts on a bike.  All are pretty much intuitively obvious in terms of how to adjust, and most bikes have a huge margin of error in terms of those adjustments before any problems occur.  And even when the problems do occur it usually just means the bike won't work well, not that it would break or malfunction in some way which would/could kill you.

                Now I admit that if a person does absolutely nothing to their bike except try to ride it, then yes they better be a good paying customer of their LBS, or have friends who understand how to adjust and tune-up the bike.  But even then they are just going to have a more difficult time riding it than they otherwise would (more effort and poor performance).

                Overall bicycles are astoundingly simple devices - and yet incredibly effective.  That is why they are so popular and successful as a mode of transportation.



                --
                -Zack
              • Alex Wetmore
                From: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Zack B ... Their steel bikes are double butted
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 5, 2013
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                  From: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com <Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Zack B <zoombomber@...>
                  On one sells frames online that in terms of the manufacturing quality and 
                  > the tubeset are equal of superior to anything in the bike shop mass market, 
                  > at about half the price:

                  Their steel bikes are double butted 4130 (just like almost every mid-level steel bike on the market) and are probably made by the same factories as Soma, Surly, and others.  What make them superior?

                  alex
                • Zack B
                  The quality of the welding mainly.
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 5, 2013
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                    The quality of the welding mainly.

                    On Nov 5, 2013 3:28 PM, "Alex Wetmore" <alex@...> wrote:
                     

                    From: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com <Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of Zack B <zoombomber@...>
                    On one sells frames online that in terms of the manufacturing quality and 
                    > the tubeset are equal of superior to anything in the bike shop mass market, 
                    > at about half the price:

                    Their steel bikes are double butted 4130 (just like almost every mid-level steel bike on the market) and are probably made by the same factories as Soma, Surly, and others.  What make them superior?

                    alex
                  • rons_hobbies
                    I ve seen someone on a bike run over by a bus. Their brakes were properly adjusted and contributed, IMHO, to their injuries not being fatal. Something I think
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 6, 2013
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                      I 've seen someone on a bike run over by a bus. Their brakes were properly adjusted and contributed, IMHO, to their injuries not being fatal. Something I think about every time I teach basic maintenance and ensure those who leave my classes know how their brakes work, what is proper adjustment, and how to adjust their own brakes. 


                      3/5 of the bikes I see in the coop have improperly adjusted brakes. Most aren't full on till the brake lever is far less then 1" from the handlebars and well within where any adrenaline would easily connect the two and stop any further braking.


                      Where i work we have a fair number of bike commuters, it isn't uncommon to see 100+ bikes parked around the complex. My casual observation is that maybe 1/3 of those riders are giving those bikes any maintenance at all. 


                      Not "Over the top" IMHO.


                      I respect your opinion is different.


                      Ron



                      ---In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, <jsharvey1961@...> wrote:

                      This seems way over the top to me.  Anything can technically "kill" - but come on there just aren't that many moving parts on a bike.  

                      <Snip>

                    • John Harvey
                      RE: I ve seen someone on a bike run over by a bus. Their brakes were properly adjusted and contributed, IMHO, to their injuries not being fatal. Something I
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 6, 2013
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                        RE: "I 've seen someone on a bike run over by a bus. Their brakes were properly adjusted and contributed, IMHO, to their injuries not being fatal. Something I think about every time I teach basic maintenance and ensure those who leave my classes know how their brakes work, what is proper adjustment, and how to adjust their own brakes. 


                        3/5 of the bikes I see in the coop have improperly adjusted brakes. Most aren't full on till the brake lever is far less then 1" from the handlebars and well within where any adrenaline would easily connect the two and stop any further braking.


                        Where i work we have a fair number of bike commuters, it isn't uncommon to see 100+ bikes parked around the complex. My casual observation is that maybe 1/3 of those riders are giving those bikes any maintenance at all. 


                        Not "Over the top" IMHO.


                        I respect your opinion is different.


                        Ron"




                        But this has NOTHING to do with where the bike was purchased.  Does purchasing a bike at a local bike shop make someone magically want to engage in proper upkeep?

                      • jpbabic
                        I feel obliged to counter your assertion that members of this group would steer everyone away from an online bike purchase. There is lots of ways to look at
                        Message 11 of 12 , Nov 6, 2013
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                          I feel obliged to counter your assertion that members of this group would steer everyone away from an online bike purchase.

                          There is lots of ways to look at this. My take is many here would like to support their local bike shop so they may have a reliable supply of repair parts quickly available so they can get their bike back on the road without waiting for the mail order process, along with a trusted local source for advice. Developing that relationship may be important for some, not so much for others.

                          I'm guessing most folks participating in this group have the inclination to work on their own bikes and might be better positioned to purchase a complete bike online, sight unseen. I do not think that would apply to someone who comes here asking for advice on which bike to buy.

                          I think it is fair advice to steer a novice bicyclist away from an online purchase without some guidance available. Lucky for Fiona you were able to assist.

                          --- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, <wilhelmfrankl2000@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi, I'm a new member and the fellow who helped Fiona with the purchase of her Windsor Oxford. She remains delighted with the bike that I found to be of a quality equal or similar to those found in bike shops at a considerably greater cost.
                          >
                          > I urge members to be more far minded when commenting on online bike purchaes and cease coming across as escutcheons for local bike shops. I am of the opinion that something like the Stockholm Syndrome is at work here. Those, because of their lack of mechanical skills and experience find themselves dependent on bike shops for service and advice and are in a sense held as "hostages", hense the Stockholm Syndrome.
                          >
                          > So please stop freightening people like Fiona and stop defending bike shops with one-sided views
                          >
                          > Regards from Willy
                          >
                        • rons_hobbies
                          The hope is that the bike starts with properly adjusted brakes and someone explains why upkeep is necessary. Forlorn perhaps, but Behold the Underlying
                          Message 12 of 12 , Nov 6, 2013
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                            The "hope" is that the bike starts with properly adjusted brakes and "someone" explains why upkeep is necessary. Forlorn perhaps, but "Behold the Underlying Truth" a bike purchased over the internet is, in my experience, less likely to come properly adjusted and probably without any instruction. If you choose to throw out that hope, then you are correct, that there is no difference. 


                            Honestly, my experience so far is that no one anywhere did anything to help the consumer. But I can hope that at least as many LBS are as good as there are those who only want to sell a bike. In balancing that hope against my personal experience, if a person doesn't know anything about maintenance, I'd still try to steer them to a LBS.


                            I've purchased one bike at a LBS, two bikes on-line, and one at a large chain bike shop. The LBS bike probably came with the "Bring it back in 30 days." guidance but it was over 25 years ago so I really can't recall. Of the two purchased on-line, neither came with guidance. The second they wanted a $100 set up charge. In between those two bikes I purchased one at a large bicycle chain. It also came with zero guidance and when I brought it back for the check up the mechanic did it in <1 minute without a single word on what he was checking and what I should watch. A little less than impressive and I no longer give them my business.


                            My last VW was a '67. Brakes, clutch, valves, all required regular maintenance now no longer required on most current vehicles. Add in lubrication with an oil change.  I use that as an example in my classes. 


                            In my experience.most people in our times in the US have zero experience in what it means to have to monitor the adjustment of anything.  I respect your experience may be different.


                            In the end without an unbiased study, it's all opinion. You have yours and I've tried to give my reasoning behind mine. It isn't about fright. It's about trying to pass on lessons so others don't have to pay for the same ones. If you choose to believe different, that's your choice.


                            Ron





                            ---In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, <jsharvey1961@...> wrote:

                            RE: "I 've seen someone on a bike run over by a bus. Their brakes were properly adjusted and contributed, IMHO, to their injuries not being fatal. Something I think about every time I teach basic maintenance and ensure those who leave my classes know how their brakes work, what is proper adjustment, and how to adjust their own brakes. 


                            3/5 of the bikes I see in the coop have improperly adjusted brakes. Most aren't full on till the brake lever is far less then 1" from the handlebars and well within where any adrenaline would easily connect the two and stop any further braking.


                            Where i work we have a fair number of bike commuters, it isn't uncommon to see 100+ bikes parked around the complex. My casual observation is that maybe 1/3 of those riders are giving those bikes any maintenance at all. 


                            Not "Over the top" IMHO.


                            I respect your opinion is different.


                            Ron"




                            But this has NOTHING to do with where the bike was purchased.  Does purchasing a bike at a local bike shop make someone magically want to engage in proper upkeep?

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