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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:47 pm 
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Location: Dutchess County, NY
boots2000 wrote:
I think that if you mess about with weight weenie parts you should learn how everything works and do your own maintenance and repair.
Many WW parts need to be tinkered with to work optimally and require more TLC to stay in adjustment than say a straight Shimano group.



I'm with you on this one. As I went over to the "dark side" (WW), I started doing my own work. My bike hasn't been into a shop in the last 6 years. Come to think of it, neither have the kids' bikes, I just do it all myself. Having all my own tools paid off even more when I had to fit a new wheel on my lawn tractor- I had to cut a nylon bushing down to make it fit and I used my park saw guide- worked perfectly.

This WW thing finally saved me some money! :beerchug:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Without wishing to offend any of the truly good mechanics or LBS's , the simple sad fact is that most LBS's and their mechanics are just not very good. They are adequate for commercially popular bikes...that's it. If you are very picky, and into exotic equipment you have to do it yourself. that's just the way it is. The purchase of the correct tools will always pay for itself virtually immediately.

This even seems to apply to arts like wheelbuilding. I have had a few whells built by "experts" that always broke spokes quickly and/or went out of true very easily. When I build them myself they stay virtually perfect for years. But I don't feel like any sort of wheel artist. I just go slowly and carefully. Double check everything as you go.


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Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:42 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:49 am 
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Weight Weenism in its earliest days meant you making or modifying your frame or components, shaving tires since the off the shelf stuff just did not cut it. The came the boutique companies like AX Lightness, BTP, Extralight and THM giving us options to purchase. Now many companies frames and components come in at weights to be competitive and light enough for our liking. Weight Weenism has evolved so we don't necessarily have to be a mechanic ourselves and can still have a plenty light bike.

Having been a weight weenie longer than some on here have been on this planet still has me doing my own bike building and wrenching, including wheel building. I really now prefer to just buy something light verses making or modifying it and then install it myself since riding my bike has a much higher priority. Must be an aging thing. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:32 pm 
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I've never heard of this LBS chain store, seems like it varies alot depending on the area :lol:

comparing local bike shops in general is like comparing bikes in general; they're all a little different, good ways and bad, and you likely get out of them what you're willing to put in.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:01 pm 
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While you are right that shops are different, if your shop sells a brand, they probably require the shop to send someone to their "school" to learn to work on their bikes. My old local mechanic would go to the Trek school once every couple of years. Locally, they send their mechanics to Specialized's school (one just went and came back with all sorts of Spesh swag). That being said, what's pushed there are the bikes, and how their bikes and components are the best, etc. There's little in the way of training for using special equipment that we look for when we purchase things. Trek school won't teach BB30 tech, much like Spesh school won't teach BB90 tech (not that there's much of a difference in press-fit bearings, but you know what I mean). Unfortunately, as much as I love to hang out at the shop (especially if there's good coffee), IMO, the best way to truly know what is going on, and get the best equipment for your bike, is to do the work yourself.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:06 pm 
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The impression I get from a "good" shop here is that they fight over the chance to work on something high-quality or exotic.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:20 am 
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Location: Near Horgen, Switzerland
I found that if you want a job done properly then you generally need to do it yourself.

That said there are a few exceptions and disappointments:
- Condor workshop - very good - could not fault the build of my wife's bike. Probably better than I could have done.
- Mid range bike shop - Wrongly adjusted FD, bad bar taping...
- Another leading London bikeshop - Did not adequately tighten the brake pads on my tandem more than finger tight. At some point this would have caused a crash. Not good.
- Swiss bike shops - Pretty good, but for the price you can buy all the tools and the parts online to do the job...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Ironically, the shop that advised me to stick to complete groupset sells a hell lot of high end stuff like Q-rings and Osymetric, ciamillo zero G/gravitas brakes and Tao Berner derailleur cages, Tune parts...

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:34 am 
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Used to be these kind of bikes were far and few between, and the mechanics who had time to work on them even fewer. You'd set up an appointment and miss a week of riding to have a wobbly hub looked at.

Used to be no internet either. Go buy that Big Blue Book for $50 and hit up a Borders if you want to learn more...

Now we have almost every manufacturer with a dedicated YouTube tech page, and more. Almost anyone can learn how to fix almost anything bike related by using online resources, (of course there is going to be trial and error, experience vs first timers) and advanced mechanics (shock rebuilding etc) but there are tons of resources.

I find that the current mechanic can go about it two ways. He/she is either super happy to wrench on something that "is easy to work on and precision made", versus the mech that has to wrench on some beater bike with 10 inches of snow and salt, fiddle with outdated parts while keeping in-line with the labor for a bike that's worth less then the new set of brake pads it requires.

But then there are still mechanics who also have no idea, or take on more then they can chew, or just don't like the (insert pretentious bike build) customer who cant even adjust the high limit screw on his FD, doesn't tip, wants to pay $5 tops and expects in and out service.

Past and present there are many ways to play the cards.

I find its more fun to try and DIY, and should you need help (small part, advice, a hand) make the trip to your LBS.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:11 pm 
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After sustaining so much damage (including entire frames broken) by mechanics, there are exactly 2 mechanics in all of NYC that I will trust my semi-WW bikes to. Thats pathetic bit true and learned the hard way. The rest couldn't care less until something breaks and then its "oops" or "we didn't do that" ... yeah I rode my cracked seat post and shattered frame in to your shop just like that. Sure.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:56 am 
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Fortunately my LBS is a small operation catering specifically to custom builds and ordering in standard and custom frames from Parlee, Legend and DeKerf. They also stock Specialized, Cannondale and Focus bikes.
The owner specialises in hand built wheels, and enjoys assisting customers with restorations and custom builds.
His advice on parts is invaluable as he knows which parts work well together, what parts have a rep for failure.
It is great to pop in for a beer on a Friday and chat about a planned project, and come away with good ideas and assistance to get a bike built the way you want it


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Ozrider wrote:
Fortunately my LBS is a small operation catering specifically to custom builds and ordering in standard and custom frames from Parlee, Legend and DeKerf. They also stock Specialized, Cannondale and Focus bikes.
The owner specialises in hand built wheels, and enjoys assisting customers with restorations and custom builds.
His advice on parts is invaluable as he knows which parts work well together, what parts have a rep for failure.
It is great to pop in for a beer on a Friday and chat about a planned project, and come away with good ideas and assistance to get a bike built the way you want it


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:38 am 
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Very perceptive, I will pass on your message. They are a great shop, and are really willing to build truly "custom" bikes, or as their name denotes bespoke cycles.

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Parlee Z5 XL 2011 (6055g/13.32lbs) Raleigh RC Ltd 2008 (7.6kg) Reynolds 653 Custom 1990 (9.8kg, now 8.8kg)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:13 am 
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For a mechanic doing this as a job and not as a hobby, it's not hard to understand why:

1. More finicky to work on (ZG brakes, tiny bolts here and there, etc.); Stuff a lot more delicate, breaking a bolt could mean $$$.
2. May need to study new manuals, etc. and may require special tools.
3. Owner of a $400 stem is probably a lot more demanding than the owner of a $400 bike.
4. Almost zero chance you will buy a high dollar item from the shop (or buy anything at all from them).

Just sayin'

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:40 am 
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I think if you decide to go down the weight weenie path, then you must be prepared to do all the building/maintenance yourself. It is actually not difficult. I also don't really trust the bike shops to correctly tension items. Whenever you have been at LBS near the workshop how often have you seen a torque wrench in someones hands? Never?

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Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:40 am 


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