Bad experience with LBS - Dare I goto Halfords

splreece

Regular
Hi all,

I have taken some great advice from this forum, so thank you very much, but I am still left frustrated.

Are there any smaller chain shops to watch out for?

I bought a Giant Roam 4 from Cycle World Chester le Street, which has never been right from the start, but like many a newbee I took the bike shops word for it and assumed it was my riding or my technique and not the bike (the chain constantly jumping when pressure is applied, the creaking and the front tyre constantly getting flats (by constantly I mean after every 6-7 rides on roads).... (incase its important, the back tyre is perfectly fine).

The last straw was after the 7 time in the shop for the same issues and after the initial free service period ended they quoted £25 for gear line replacements, and I was charged £50 for brakes as well...

Not a huge sum, but considering if they'd asked me i would have said b&&&&ger off, I feel a little bit like I've just dealt with a Kwik Fit of the bike world.

As much as I would love to deal with LBS's I am actually am feeling forced into dealing with the dreaded Halfords to get a replacement. i am looking at a boardman cx comp 14.

My thinking is at least if it goes wrong, i have a company where i can fight up the chain and deal with professionals who care about careers rather than just a random owner of franchise/shop who wanted rid of a lemon.

Any experience with Cycle World and any advice on what to do with the bike... its less than 1 year old but i haven't the tools, time or skill to mend whatever is making the chain jump.
 

September

Well-Known Member
Location
Wolverhampton
Hi - I'm fairly new to cycling (6 weeks) and I had a really similar issue.

I bought my bike from a LBS and the owner told me that I was spending too little (£300). Despite me telling him I was just testing the waters, he told me that at this price point that it was a glorified toy.

Ignoring his suggestion to spend £699 on my first MTB, I bought a cheaper one. After all, why does he sell them if they're crap?

Anyway (trying not to hijack the thread and keep it short), the gears were very badly set up. When I took it in for an adjustment after 3 days, he said "on toy bikes, if the gears are not working well, they'll never work well" and completely dismissed my request for a repair.

In the end, I was left no choice but to go to Halfords. Fairly over-priced, but the guys behind the counter knew their stuff and weren't afraid to share advice as they were doing the repairs.

I'm not saying you should certainly go to Halfords, but I don't necessarily think they're entirely as bad as most people make out... Or at least the two near me aren't...
 
OP
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splreece

Regular
funnily enough i was told almost exactly the same thing...except i wasn't told until AFTER its first service (once i had paid for it).

i was told at that price the components wouldn't last and the plasticy structures are prone to fail...and i specifically asked for a robust bike under £600 that would last and put up with road and a little bit of coast to coast. i may as well have done a 150 quid halfords special, destroyed it and bought another 6 months later.

I dont mean to cause a sturr but tell you what though, there is a strange similarity between certain bike enthusiasts and photographers in my industry....

My kit is now worth over £11,000, yet i started on a 200 quid camera...... surely cycling is the same... you dont buy pro until you cann handle it and do it justice. I see many great photographers who are just glad to have another fellow member enter the fold and would never sell rubbish or advise rubbish.... and then you have the designer photographers who buy all the kit, just to feel important and show off, forgetting about the skill or the ability side....strange parrallel there.

My LBS is full of self obsessed overweight middle aged men who compete on seat weight, brand label and carbon fibre everything...... when surely with a bit more excersize and training they would naturally beat whatever time the new seat would save anyway.

apologies to the majority and the forum because you guys have been fantastic but i have means, time and had energy to really enjoy cycling, but because of a trend of posers and poor comrads, its no longer a feeling of club, more a public show off session.

(apologies to anyone who reads this as am not normally this dramatic, but I normally don't throw away £600 either).
 
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ushills

Senior Member
Now I don't know you and your abilities, but in my experience a lot of bike shop mechanics leave a lot to be desired and the Giant Roam 4 has a low end Shimano groupset, this should be smooth shifting and the chain should not skip from new. Depending on mileage, however, the cassette or chainrings and chain could be worn.

I would recommend watching some of the park tools guides on youtube and having a go at setting the gears yourself, regarding the front punctures I would remove the tyre and inner tube and check the rim tap and rim for sharps and then check the inside of the tyre for sharps as well.

I do most stuff myself now as I do not trust mechanics and bikes aren't that hard to fix.
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
A bad shop is a bad shop, some of them are just in it for the money and probably sleep well at night figuring most people they sell bikes to aren't going to ride them anyway. I'd liken it to guitars rather than cameras though, you can be put off learning to play the guitar by buying a cheap one, because they are harder to use than an expensive one. Bikes can be the same (below a price point). If you don't want to hang with the wannabes, ignore them.
 
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splreece

Regular
ahhh w00hoo_kent... funnily enough i am the master of youtube easy guitar lessons..... (I digress), but I bought a 90quid spanish guitar and can't read guitar music, but copied the obvious tunes like nivana, oasis stuff and some classical spanish tunes... needless to say I need the core bits before i get to any decent technique. but i agree with you there.

ushills.. thanks for the response, i've only done around 700 miles and i changed the chain incase it was that.... (sacrilege I know), but your idea is a good, one. i might use it as learning tool for more expensive bikes so i can maintain them myself, because i don't think i cn damage it too much more than it is... its never ridden so needs to have some purpose.

thanks again for the contributions, this is a cracking forum.
 

Craig-SR

Active Member
I go to Cycleworld in sunderland regularly for my services, the Chester le street shop put a group set on my bike once and never had any problems, both shops have been great and never get sick of me going in and not buying anything. I am shocked to be honest. I have never been charged that much for gear and brake cables there, why did they say you needed new brakes?
 
Location
Pontefract
@splreece I let my pictures and riding do the talking, if your interested https://www.flickr.com/photos/35557179@N04/
and I have done 15,000 miles on my 6 year Viking Torino 105 equipped (more due to the fact my Sora failed at the weekend), I do all my own repairs including changing shifters setting up new FD & RD, I struggle on hills due to the weight, but I can hold my own against some people riding £3000+ bikes.

Cycling maintenance is pretty easy.
 

Saluki

I've run away with my friends to..
Location
...New Tealandia
The Giant Roam is a nice bike. Is there another LBS near you who can set your bike up properly so you get the ride that you have paid for.
I ride a Giant and it's great. It sounds like you are having a horrendous experience with customer service which is not the fault of the bike. If it's less than a year old, work should be done under warranty. My Giant dealer fitted me a new BB under warranty when the original failed horrendously at 600 miles and 4 months old.

Re: the front tyre. Have you checked all inside the tyre for anything small and pointy? I know this sounds daft but I kind of bend mine nearly inside out when I'm looking for any foreign bodies in there after a p*******. Have you changed your tyre? Giant tyres are made out of cheese and are a bit flakey at the best of times. I switched my tyres to Schwalbe Luganos at the earliest opportunity.

Learning to maintain your bike is not hard. I can set my gears and brakes up, change stuff and whatnot too. I learned some from my dad and a whole lot more from Youtube. It's not rocket science. Bikes are relatively simple machines.

Seriously try another LBS, or even Halfords for a service before you start laying out money for a new bike. You might want to consider giving the Giant Head Office a bell too. I don't know if they have a UK base but surely it's got to be worth a looksee.
 
OP
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splreece

Regular
I go to Cycleworld in sunderland regularly for my services, the Chester le street shop put a group set on my bike once and never had any problems, both shops have been great and never get sick of me going in and not buying anything. I am shocked to be honest. I have never been charged that much for gear and brake cables there, why did they say you needed new brakes?

Hi Craig,

I have no idea.. I took it in for a final plea to fix it.. Got the slightly more chilled, cumbersome guy that always stays in the repair part. (the one that looks like he isn't really that bothered about much in life).

They said £25 for general once over and will call if more...they didnt call.

But I got to the shop and was charge £48. They said mine were low and cables needed doing ... and they said the tried calling and for some strange reason my phone number was not working..... so BT temporarily disconnected my phone line for the 3 minutes that they were calling my house................ dont you hate it when that happens..... 10 years of continuous faultless service and the 3 minutes the LBS call my phone... its broken.......hmmmm

Excuse the terminology if its wrong but i told them i could see a worn out fixing on the crankset (where the pedals are connected to), and asked if a loose crank would cause a chain jump. They ignored it and blamed me for it (calling it wear and tear and rust). Basically one of the holes that you use to tighten or remove the cogs is all worn out so it can't be tightened (similar to when you wear out bolts and you lose shape and can see clear scratch damage.... looks like someone previously had the same issue and tried to tighten the cogs and sheered the hole). I said it wasn't me but they tried to say it was general rust and wear n tear.... but if i have never touched it, why would it shear away and lose the hexagon shape from just rust...(there was no rust anywhere near it)..???

I think i must have offended them in a previous life, as I even tried (before i took the bike in), to tell them i was interested in upgrading to a more expensive bike that will last...budget of £1k. I even picked the bike out..... even then they were just dismissive.
 
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splreece

Regular
The Giant Roam is a nice bike. Is there another LBS near you who can set your bike up properly so you get the ride that you have paid for.
I ride a Giant and it's great. It sounds like you are having a horrendous experience with customer service which is not the fault of the bike. If it's less than a year old, work should be done under warranty. My Giant dealer fitted me a new BB under warranty when the original failed horrendously at 600 miles and 4 months old.

Re: the front tyre. Have you checked all inside the tyre for anything small and pointy? I know this sounds daft but I kind of bend mine nearly inside out when I'm looking for any foreign bodies in there after a p*******. Have you changed your tyre? Giant tyres are made out of cheese and are a bit flakey at the best of times. I switched my tyres to Schwalbe Luganos at the earliest opportunity.

Learning to maintain your bike is not hard. I can set my gears and brakes up, change stuff and whatnot too. I learned some from my dad and a whole lot more from Youtube. It's not rocket science. Bikes are relatively simple machines.

Seriously try another LBS, or even Halfords for a service before you start laying out money for a new bike. You might want to consider giving the Giant Head Office a bell too. I don't know if they have a UK base but surely it's got to be worth a looksee.

THanks... yeah there are a couple.

I've changed thetyre, and several innertubes both cheapo wilko's and expensive branded.

It must be the wheel, but i havent crashed, dropped it or had any accidents. I was thinking should i just replace the bike rather than paying over £100 for cheapo yet reliable wheel, tyre and tube. Because if i replace them, i still have the chain jumping issue.
 
OP
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splreece

Regular
@splreece I let my pictures and riding do the talking, if your interested https://www.flickr.com/photos/35557179@N04/
and I have done 15,000 miles on my 6 year Viking Torino 105 equipped (more due to the fact my Sora failed at the weekend), I do all my own repairs including changing shifters setting up new FD & RD, I struggle on hills due to the weight, but I can hold my own against some people riding £3000+ bikes.

Cycling maintenance is pretty easy.
Thanks,

As another hollywood style coincidence...

I am in the market for a wide angle lens and your images (cracking by the way), you have used a canon 10-22mm. How is it? I'm about to get the tokina 11-16mm as well as the 10-22mm, but i normally shoot macro, and this is my venture to wideangle shooting.
 
Location
Pontefract
Thanks,

As another hollywood style coincidence...

I am in the market for a wide angle lens and your images (cracking by the way), you have used a canon 10-22mm. How is it? I'm about to get the tokina 11-16mm as well as the 10-22mm, but i normally shoot macro, and this is my venture to wideangle shooting.
Thanks, like I said I let my result speak., they say the glass is like "L" series glass, but because it's on an EF-s mount they couldn't call it "L" series as its not a pro range.
Excuse the terminology if its wrong but i told them i could see a worn out fixing on the crankset (where the pedals are connected to), and asked if a loose crank would cause a chain jump. They ignored it and blamed me for it (calling it wear and tear and rust). Basically one of the holes that you use to tighten or remove the cogs is all worn out so it can't be tightened (similar to when you wear out bolts and you lose shape and can see clear scratch damage.... looks like someone previously had the same issue and tried to tighten the cogs and sheered the hole). I said it wasn't me but they tried to say it was general rust and wear n tear.... but if i have never touched it, why would it shear away and lose the hexagon shape from just rust...(there was no rust anywhere near it)..???

I think i must have offended them in a previous life, as I even tried (before i took the bike in), to tell them i was interested in upgrading to a more expensive bike that will last...budget of £1k. I even picked the bike out..... even then they were just dismissive.
Would this be the bolt that joins the rings to the spiders or something else.
 
OP
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splreece

Regular
upload_2014-7-19_9-50-48.png


will photograph mine when i get home but its the siver bits connecting the chainrings.. 3 of my four are hexagonally shaped inside but 1 is completely smooth with scratches from when someones tried to either loosen or tighten it.
 
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