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Discussion Starter #1
So, I ordered a specific length of double butted Wheelsmith spokes from Cambria Bicycle Outfitters, enough for two front wheels with about four extra spokes for posterity. I got them a few days ago and finished assembling one of the wheels today. Just now, I noticed that CBO slipped 12 non-butted 2.0mm spokes in with them. Four of these made it into my wheel without me noticing. Eight more remain.

Sure, they're the correct length. I'd have been upset about it if they weren't, but I also would've almost surely noticed. And it won't make a bit of difference as far as the weight or strength of the wheel goes, and no one but me will know that the spokes don't match 100%- who looks that close? But I still feel like I didn't get what I paid for.

I guess that in the big scheme of things, it doesn't matter what gauge those few spokes are. At the same time, I took the time to order this stuff and build it myself, I paid extra for the butted spokes, and I don't think it's cute that my work has been subverted this way. What if someone sold you shocks for your sports car and then you later learned that two of them were for a Geo Metro? So I'm feeling pretty put out by this. In addition, if Cambria actually comes across with the 12 extra spokes to settle this, it's a hassle for me to replace those four spokes and re-tension the wheel just right. I'm sure they're going to act like they're great for replacing my spokes (if they even bother), but what they're really doing is giving me a chore to do.

So, should I bother them with this? Am I being obsessive if I replace these four spokes in a wheel that's already round, true, and tensioned just right? Is it rude of me to bring this to their attention? If they'd warned me about the substitution and priced them accordingly, I wouldn't care, or at least I'd have had notice if I wanted to order them elsewhere. What do you guys think?
 

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personally stuff like that bothers the hell out of me. even if you don't replace the spokes, i'd most def. contact them and let them know whats up. hell get the spokes and use them as sturdy zip ties or something if you have to, but def. let them know they screwed up and that you want to be compensated. i've had problems with them before and they eventually came through but it was a hassle. sorry the wheel was already thrown together, thats a pain.
 

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Basura Blanca
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kenjihara said:
Is it rude of me to bring this to their attention? ... What do you guys think?
No, it's rude of you to bring the matter here first, before contacting Cambria, and insinuate that it was a deliberate substitution when it might have been something else. Give them a chance to make it right, I say, since you asked what I think.
 

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I like Monkeys
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NuMexJoe said:
No, it's rude of you to bring the matter here first, before contacting Cambria, and insinuate that it was a deliberate substitution when it might have been something else. Give them a chance to make it right, I say, since you asked what I think.
Agreed, griping on a public forum before contacting the seller is the wrong order of business. Contact Cambria and see what they will do for you. Everyone makes mistakes and it would be easier with the spokes than getting a color wrong etc. Someone could have easily put a few back in the wrong box. I don't see a reason for them to do it on purpose. I would get the correct spokes all around, tension would be easier to get even with the same spokes.
 

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Friendly Neighborhood MTBer
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If you do decide to contact them, be sure to post up what they say.
A similar mistake happened not too long ago to a dude who realized the online bike shop sent him the wrong fork only after he had installed it.
Since we're only talking about spokes this time, you'll probably get the right ones N/C. Just consider the time you lost as the price for the lesson you learned.
I've used them before with no problems.
 

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I think you should try to call them… You seen to know something about bikes if you are building up your wheels and you didn’t notice the problem until you where completed with your project.

So could it be possible that it was a just a honest mistake… You didn’t give them a chance. If I was a Carpenter, I would check my dimension’s twice before I start cutting… Because **** happens...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
...

So, I guess I should really email them with an apology for being such a prick.

...Of course they're going to fix this, I don't doubt that. If you guys really want to see their response, here it is:

Sorry to hear about the mix up! We did not intentionally substitute
your spokes. We'll go a ahead and send you out the 12 DB + a couple
extra for free. The invoice you receive will show as paid, but we've
adjusted the price on your original document to cost in the extra
spokes. You were not actually charged for them. Hope this helps. Please
let us know if you have any questions. Once again sorry for the mix up.

CBO, Inc.


And yeah, it's an easy mistake to make; I didn't catch the four that were on my wheel until after I'd finished assembling it. It's just kind of a hassle for me if I want to fix this, and really, it's their job to get stuff like this right. I just hate to monkey with the wheel now that its tensioned so nicely... The twelve extra spokes aren't really going to do anything for me; what am I going to do with those extras? If they sent me the 12 butted spokes and then 16 more of the straight gauge spokes, I'd have enough for another 28 hole front wheel.

The wheels aren't for any specific bike build. I just wanted practice building wheels, and so I bought some clearance rims, hubs, and the appropriate spokes. I'll have like half a dozen sets of rim brake wheels when I'm done, and hopefully wheel building will be second nature for me. I already laced another last night, this one with fifteen gauge spokes (these all matched). I'll take it to the shop and tension it on the stand before work.

So, do you think it'd be out of line for me to ask for a very small discount on my next order? I still need a few more rear hubs. You know, after I apologize for inconveniencing them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
in closing...

...I just talked to CBO on the phone and they were very cool about it. I ordered enough spokes to match the ones they sent accidentally for another wheel, along with five additional rear hubs, and they ended up taking a couple bucks off of each of the hubs. I'm certainly satisfied with the way the whole thing was handled on CBO's end. I guess that I just like complaining, but in the end all's well that ends well. I'm off to tinker with that wheel.
 
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