Bike Shop Question

  • Home
  • Bike Shop Question
13 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

So last week my rear derailleur was ripped from my frame, have really no idea how, but I found out the next day that it also cracked my frame (Trek Pilot 2.1, 1 year old, 700 miles on it). The closest bike shop that is also a Trek dealer is 6th Avenue Bicycles, where I took the bike to get the warranty process started. After a bit of confusion at the outset, including me convincing the manager that a warranty claim can be submitted by a Trek dealer other than the one where the bike was purchased, I was told that the bike would be stripped and then the broken parts would be sent to Trek's Warranty department. This was last Tuesday. I called today to check on the progress, and found that they had stripped the frame, but still hadn't shipped the bike, promising that the delay was due to a problem with their delivery truck (not sure how that is important). Moreover, I was told (for the first time) that I would have to pay $170 for the work, both stripping the bike down and then putting everything back together when the new parts come in. Needless to say I was taken aback at the charge, considering there was no mention of it when I brought my bike in, but I felt like I was a bit over a barrel - they have my bike, and it is currently in pieces.

On reading the July NYCC bulletin, I saw that that whole chain of shops of which 6th Avenue Bikes is a part is not a shop that provides discounts to NYCC members. Is this (and my experience so far) dispositive of their service? $170 seems somewhat steep for a rebuild, but perhaps I'm wrong. I'd appreciate any insight into my problem. Thanks and happy trails.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Go get your bike back

Bicycle Habitat built a bike for me last spring--the mfr paid for it (purchased online from Terry) but I was told the cost was about $30 for the build.

When Trackstar on E. 2nd St. built my custom bike this spring, they charged me about $80 to build the bike AND two wheels. So again about $30 for the build. (No derailleur on that baby, though. ;)

Go get your bike back, even if it's in parts, and do business with someone you trust. $170 is almost a new bike.

There's no way they can charge you $170 after the fact. Report them to the dept. of Consumer Affairs if they squawk.

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

"There is a difference between putting together a bike that comes in a box, and building up a frame. To build a bike you may need to face the HT and BB, lube or re-lube hubs etc. I know what it takes to build a bike, and I'm quick at it, but no way can a bike shop build a bike properly for under $100. No wai, no how!

In the cases Carol is talking about, the bikes came with the headsets pressed in and the bottom brackets installed. That's not a bike build, that's a ""put in the front wheel, stick in the seatpost, put the stem on the steerer, and adjust the front brake.""

- Christian"

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

Maybe the Terry was close to pre-assembled.

But Trackstar built my bike from scratch, including the wheels.

What they got from Havnoonian was a steel frame and fork. They put everything on it--including headset and bottom bracket, and a front and rear brake--even if there was no derailleur. I bought only a few parts from them that they got markup on.

I'm not advocating stiffing the LBS. I love my LBSs.

But if someone accepts work from you without saying there's a cost, then after performing the work says there's a cost, then there's no binding contract. Especially not if the cost is inflated. I'd be interested to see the itemized receipt.

P.S. Grant, both Neile and Christian know mechanics a lot better than I do. I go by common sense--stick with a shop that is honest and wants my business for the long run, because I'll keep coming back, and be telling my friends.

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

Ok, you've got me. Unless they've got slave labor in the back, I have no idea how they can do that. Do they have slave labor in the back?

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
I hope not.

My conscience would kill me.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Metro-Bikes is not a chain I'd recommend.

If you can get the bike back, I'd do so.

I can't say that $170 is unreasonable, but that they were reluctant to take it in for warranty -- and then did work without giving you a chance to approve the expense -- doesn't enhance my opinion of them.

If the bike shop you purchased from is not convenient, Bicycle Habitat is the one I'd trust from the dealer list on Trek's website:

I'd contact BH and possibly Trek customer service. If I were to spend $$ to have a bike torn down and rebuilt there are a number of shops I'd prefer -- including Sid's, Conrads, BH.

If the frame has to be stripped and sent to Trek -- and you have to pay to have it done, I don't know why any shop can't do it.

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

1) $170 is too much to build a frame. To build a frame up (including facing the headtube and bottom bracket) should cost about $100. Of course, stripping the bike doesn't seam unreasonable to charge $30-50, so I don't think they're being completely reasonable, but they certainly weren't going to charge you $30 either.

2) Here's the part you're not going to like. You weren't just bloody JRA (just ridin' along) when your rear derailleur imploded. You either shifted into the spokes or exceeded the capacity of your derailleur. Then the spokes yanked the derailleur around and bent/broke the hanger (if you're lucky) or busted the chainstay/seatstay, if you're unlucky.

I'd consider myself supremely lucky if I were in your shoes and that bike gets repaired under warranty at all. And if the bike shop is willing to send it in as a warranty claim, I'd probably live with the strip/build charge.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Matty (not verified)

"The Cow is right. This sounds like ""pilot"" error on the rider's part.

1. Practice your shifting.
2. $170 is not exceptionally expensive in a city with $29 burgers. Most shops in big cities charge ~$75 for a break-down or build-up.
3. Take a bicycle repair course. With a few simple tools, you can at least strip a bike in less than an hour. The build can be a bit more complicated, but is certainly not rocket science.
4. If this is the shop on 6th Ave. at 15th, I've been going there for three years. It's not a great shop, but it's 200 yards from my apartment. The employees know the prices are outrageous (I think they charge $15 to fix a flat), but they don't set the prices. The only employee I will let anywhere near my bike is the manager, Alejandro. The others have no idea what they are doing.

Good luck and ride safely."

Anonymous's picture
Rich (not verified)
What warranties cover

"First, you have to go through a Trek dealer to at least get the frame replaced on warranty. If the shops that Carol mentioned are not Trek dealers, they can't do that part for you, but they could do the build once you get the frame from a Trek dealer.

Here's what the fine print on manufacturer's warranties say, and what the shop staff should have told you up front. Warranties cover replacement of the frame; the manufacturer gives you the new frame, through one of their dealers. It doesn't cover shipping (~$30 each way) and the build (about $100 labor charge at Metro stores, and the 6th Ave. store is a Metro store). Keep in mind that the ""build"" also includes the ""de-build"", which is more labor for the shop, and their mechanics are not working for free. Shops' policies and prices may vary; maybe one dealer will absorb the shipping costs; others won't. Some will charge more or less for a build, but $30 for a build is less than the cost of a standard tuneup. $100 for a build is not out of line. If you take it back to the shop from whence you purchased it, they may be more kind on the warranty replacement costs; shops that didn't make the sale are less likely to give you a break on that.
The reason for the delay at Metro is that they ship warranties and special orders through their warehouse, which means that everything going to and coming from the shop gets delivered on their own truck, then picked up by the shipper. If there's a problem with that truck, then those sorts of things get delayed."

Anonymous's picture
Grant (not verified)

Thanks Rich that breakdown sounds perfectly reasonable, I only wish they had given that to me over the phone or when I first took the bike in. I appreciate everyone's comments, it's comforting to be part of a community where people will help out a stranger. Hopefully once I get everything fixed I'll be back on NYCC rides and run into all of you. Happy trails.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
rear derailleur was ripped from my frame/repair class

Reading your description of the problem, I also agree with A.C. that you are lucky to have this covered under warranty as it is most likely not due to a defect in the product.

Following the other good comments in this thread, when you get the bicycle back, be sure that the rear derailleur's limit screws are properly set. A bike shop can do this for you. It's easy enough to do on the spot at the shop floor.

Or even better yet take a class and learn how to do such yourself. This club is offering such a class soon. For $20, by New York standards, it's a bargain. The series of classes will also teach you how to strip down and build up a bike yourself. See this website's home page for details.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)
Call trek customer service

Let them know the dealer and they will take care of it. Trek is great to deal with - my 1994 frame cracked and they got me a 2004 frame (new at the time) and full strip/re-build at no cost.

I was so impressed that I immediately purchased a new high-end Madone.

Good Luck.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
I wouldn't do that

I wouldn't quite bite the hand that feeds me.

A broken derailleur hanger is almost 90% NOT warranty problem. Count yourself lucky the dealer was inexperienced enough to let it be replaced. That is, assuming TREK isn't going to refuse the warranty and leave you stuck with a broken frame AND bits and peices laying around the shop!

If you do get the frame, pay the shop and take your bike elsewhere. Making a stink with TREK might just prompt them to look closely at what the shop sent them. They might (rightly) conclude the frame was not eligible for warranty!

cycling trips