Bloody Halfords. Inept - no - Damn Dangerous. And Ham-Fisted.

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Sheffield_Tiger, 5 Mar 2019.

  1. Picked up the new Carrera Crixus today and it is - or could be - a lovely bike for a bargain price.

    I know how things get confusing so I'm not grumbling about the long wait for them to sort out the price match agreed by their customer service on two separate emails. For £240 a Claris equipped CX is a good deal worth waiting around for.

    HOWEVER....I do know halfords so I took my multitool along with me when I walked down to pick it up and ride my "professionally built" bike home tonight.

    Now this isn't a grumble about the individual but the first thing I noticed was the young lady running the workshop on her own wes the same person I interviewed for a cycle store/workshop position a month ago. SO I know that (a) she was new to the job and (b) her exact level which was, and she was quite open about this, very much trainee hobbyist and Halfords seem to have overlooked this and just left her to get on with it. The company's fault not the employee, let me be very clerar about that. I also know it's not her name on the build sheet BIT...first alarm bells rang when she got the ratchet and 5mm hex and swung on the top cap bolt to tighten the bars.

    So first job when I got the bike outside - loosen the almost rigid steering and actually tiughten the very much loose clamp bolts. Will have to check the star nut and see if that's still as it should be because it was swung on significantly - but may be a moot point..more on that later...

    Ridden like that would have been dangerous, hard to steer and if I hit a pothole the bars would have turned. I'd have been off.

    Next thing I notice when they are faffing around trying to put the price match builder has left off the front refelector. Not only a legal requirement (being fussy) but on a CX with cantis and a straddle wire. Nothing to catch the straddle wire if something goes wrong with the main cable. Again - significantly dangerous.

    Noticing the bell is loose the guy who has since taken over serving since the price match needed a more senior staff member goes to tighten it up but it's already as tight as it gets. Mutters about "you'll probably take that off anyway and they always come with the wrong size" - Nah mate, it's in the wrong place you just need to loosen it, move it to the centre and it'll fit perfectly, but I said nowt since I'm thinking I don't want these people near my new bike.

    Also notice the cable hanger is off centre, pulling the bridge off centre and the cantis are not centred. I can sort all this myself no worries, plus the slightly maladjusted front mech so just a minor irritation really. Otherwise it rode fine on a little pootle (I might swap the freewheel for a 32T - think it's a FW, not looked too closely)

    BUT....arrive home and fit the nice new red composite bottle cages I bought that match the decals and have a good look round...

    THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE ON A NEW BIKE, budget or otherwise! What ham fisted moron has ragged the stem round without loosening off the bolts?

    Dangerous build and clearly "don't give a s**t" attitude to workmanship. These photos are off to Halfords, I want new forks for this level of gouging out of the steerer, especially so visible.

    Stem1.jpg Stem2.jpg
  2. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    2 questions.

    Why did you buy a bike from Helfrauds, knowing what you already knew?

    Why didn't you insist on having the bike boxed so you could do your own assembly/Pdi?
  3. OP

    Sheffield_Tiger Guru

    2 answers

    1) Lot of bike for £240
    2) Ease of getting it home plus warranty issues. I've seen a few issues with Claris shifters, no "oh well you built it wrong" argument
    Also I expected better from that branch but looks like the guys I know from working with in the 90s who did know their stuff, must have left or not been on shift for my bike

    I expected to have to re-PDI it myself, not the steerer to be gouged to bits.
    Also doesn't help others who wouldn't have a clue that the bike had been set up dangerously. I wonder how many bilkes like that go out
  4. Elybazza61

    Elybazza61 Veteran

    Pays yer £240 and makes yer choice,,,,

    Not wishing to sound flippant but why didn't you just order it online and build it yourself? I would presume they would come mostly built only needing a few things doing(that's certainly the case with most Ridgebacks).
  5. Elybazza61

    Elybazza61 Veteran

    Apologies (sort of) just seen the above post.
  6. Elybazza61

    Elybazza61 Veteran

    Claris can be a bit agricultural but not had any issues with Claris bikes from our end.
    Milzy likes this.
  7. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    I think the OP is indicating that he is perfectly capable of sorting the problems himself, but anyone with no experience of cycling would have trusted the store to set it up properly and ridden off on a dangerous machine that could have cost him or her their lives. A bike sold with those faults is inexcusable.
    iancity, tyred, tallbikes and 9 others like this.
  8. OP

    Sheffield_Tiger Guru

    Had a couple of failures on Galaxies recently so googled and saw some grumbles on Claris STI's. Not just that. Everyone thinks that they are a bicycle mechanic so in any warranty issues, Halfords don't know I'm not a numpty whereas if it's something caused by their numpties it's their problem.

    I have plenty of experience at the retailer side of mail order / self-build bikes and some customers do have some intriguing ways of building bikes....then blaming the product
  9. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    I wouldn't leave a Halfords store with a bike and expect to ride it home. Maybe walk or carry.
    Drago likes this.
  10. roadrash

    roadrash cycle chatterer

    but would you have enough hands to carry all the parts that would probably fall off it :whistle:
    Illaveago, mjr, classic33 and 3 others like this.
  11. OP

    Sheffield_Tiger Guru

    I thought it felt small but with all the faffing around, and currently riding a Giant that lives up to its name and far too big, just figured it was me just feeling the difference from an oversized bike

    It's even the wrong bloody size, 48 not 51

    Which makes taking it back for the forks issue more straightforward....
  12. I’ve had one or two issues when Halfords have let the Saturday till boy loose on a built bike, and friends have asked me to give their bikes a once over, before they rode them “just to make sure”. Including, but not limited to, a star nut wedged into a Carbon steerer, an expanded plug in an alloy steerer ( not in itself a massive problem, but I’d prefer a star nut was in there), jockey wheels in the wrong positions ( G pulley at the bottom, Tension pulley nearest the sprockets in the cassette ), and gear cables used in the brakes ( no wonder they felt “spongy”). I was picking up some inner tubes at a Halfords a few years ago, and I noticed one of the guys in the workshop was using a torque wrench on a top cap, on a Carbon bike ( which I knew had a Carbon steerer). I had to feign interest, to see if he could explain what he was doing. “I’m torquing the headset up to the correct setting” came his reply, okay, it’s possible he was using a manufacturer supplied setting, rather than just going on finger tight feel / point of play elimination, so I asked where he got the value from, so he kindly removed the top cap, and pointed to the steerer, and said “it’s there mate”. No, you muppet ( I thought ) that’s the max Torque setting for the expander plug / anchor point in the steerer. I’ve also seen forks on back to front. I know the knowledge and experience of the staff can be variable, but wow:laugh:.
  13. OP

    Sheffield_Tiger Guru

    Actually what irks me most is that we struggle to get footfall at work with some decent "everyday" bikes (Raleigh, Dawes) losing out to Halfords a couple of miles away*. We probably have a worse perception as a "leisure shop that also sells bikes" - public probably think "go to Halfords, they know what they are doing". Yet the budget "Tiger" MTB with no-name cable discs that went out today was built with far more care and attention. Yes, the brakes are low end. I take that to mean not that "well, they'll just be a bit naff" but rather "well, they'll need a lot more attention to setting up to make them work as well as they can"

    Maybe I'm just fussy

    Maybe my view that what goes through my hands and has my signature on it is a reflection of me and my ability so needs to be the best it can be, is just old fashioned these days

    *price of course is a big thing hence my going to Halfords being cheaper than anything I could get even with perks
  14. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    Perfect, get your money back and never return.
  15. OP

    Sheffield_Tiger Guru

    Nah, it's actually a nice bike for the low price. No issues with the bike itself. When I get the right size and build it myself.
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