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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Life has been hectic and I have been unable to get to my local bike shop (they are on winter hours). I am not a fan of the internet for a few reason, but I decided to send a a question to the technical support (customer service) of 1 of the larger internet retailers.

I am doing some winter repairs, adjustments and tweaks.

Asked a question, asked for advice...

"I have factory avid Juicy 5's and they squeal pretty loud. From what I have read, this is a common issue with the brake system. Some have claimed changing to organic pads would rectify the issue or at least lessen the noise. Is this correct? Are there any other options? Do you have any recommendations on which pads? Product "xxx" say best in 'dry climate.' I live on Long Island, NY..."

Maybe I was expecting too much from a response. Maybe I am just used to get detailed answers from other mountain bikers at my local shop or the fact that they hear the pros and cons of decisions and gladly pass on the information to customers (Yes, I do email the shop with questions at times when doing research - only if I am buying from them though).

The answer I received from the large internet retailer...

"You can try the organic pads and people say they reduce the noise the brakes make. "

Thanks - that is what I told you though. Like I said, I probably expected too much. But more and more, the savings the internet proves to be NOT enough to make up for the countless other ways where a LBS excels.
 

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Derailleurless
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If you're asking for our opinions, then I think you've summed it up correctly: you expected too much. Some "shops" ride, some offer personalized customer service, but they're the exception and you've got to figure out who offers the valuable feedback you covet.

I want an online shop to excel in managing inventory and communicating to me what's available, and when. I want them to excel in low prices and fast shipping. I want them to get my order right.

If I need help figuring out a squeeling brake problem, I'd much rather trust the advice I get here on the Brake Forum, from an entire group of interested riders who have possibly experienced similar problems, not from some guy paid to answer emails.
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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I'd say that's simply an example of poor customer service, bordering on laziness. It's obvious the guy simply didn't read it.. which is actually common of emails in general. Which is why, despite things being trackable, I never tell someone anything really important via email.. at least not alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Speedub.Nate said:
If you're asking for our opinions, then I think you've summed it up correctly: you expected too much. Some "shops" ride, some offer personalized customer service, but they're the exception and you've got to figure out who offers the valuable feedback you covet.

I want an online shop to excel in managing inventory and communicating to me what's available, and when. I want them to excel in low prices and fast shipping. I want them to get my order right.

If I need help figuring out a squeeling brake problem, I'd much rather trust the advice I get here on the Brake Forum, from an entire group of interested riders who have possibly experienced similar problems, not from some guy paid to answer emails.
I learned the lesson - do a lot of research now and save a lot later. I do this with big and small alike... by "save" I mean money, time and headaches.

Although I find this website (mtbr) very valuable, there are lessons I have learned. I will gladly use the site as a tool, but I would also like to hear from the people selling them and the person who is talking in front of me and not over a keyboard. I have gained VERY VALUABLE insight and advice here, but truth be told, I don't know if it is somebody justifying a purchase, read a magazine or actually knows there stuff.

I trust my LBS because I know my business is important and I know - they know - I will tell my tale to my club and friends (good AND bad).

If it is something small, something I do not need quickly and something that will not be returned - Internet is fine and the savings are a nice feature. If the product is something I want to talk about with the sales person and hear options - Local.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
I want an online shop to excel in managing inventory and communicating to me what's available, and when. I want them to excel in low prices and fast shipping. I want them to get my order right.
I can think of one... but then they are primarily a brick and mortar with an online presence. But while I agree, sometimes those demands are asking a lot, it seems that customer service beyond inventory and shipping questions is the first to place to cut corners to get lower prices.
 

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I agree with speed. I want my online people to have a large instock selection and fast shipping, I expect them to be morons with tech help. I want my lbs to have "emergency parts" ala wheel spokes, extra housing, basic cassettes and excellent advise/knowledge.

The exception to that is BWW, I've always gotten excellent advise/tech info from them when I've had wheel related questions.
 

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I'm with Speed as well. An online shop just needs to have good inventory control and good prices. I trust other riders for opinions, not shops. I'd much rather listen to other people here, then trust the people in a shop.

As for the people on MTBR, you figure out who to listen to and who not to pretty fast. Also, when people give wrong information here, they tend to get called out pretty fast.

Really my only use for a local shop is, as has been said, emergency supplies.
 

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Twenty Times said:
"I have factory avid Juicy 5's and they squeal pretty loud. From what I have read, this is a common issue with the brake system. Some have claimed changing to organic pads would rectify the issue or at least lessen the noise. Is this correct? Are there any other options? Do you have any recommendations on which pads? Product "xxx" say best in 'dry climate.' I live on Long Island, NY..."

Maybe I was expecting too much from a response...

I agree with your conclusion. A good answer to your question requires in-depth knowledge of Juicy brakes and their behavior using various pads in various conditions on your bike. Not a run-of-the mill question. Who knows who's tasked with answering email for the retailer? Not everyone working at online retailers is an expert. You're kind of fortunate even to get a response. Also, I wouldn't judge all advice from online retailers by this one instance. I've gotten good advice (over the phone) on a few occasions. It all depends who's on the other end. I'd say, spend the 40 bucks to find the answer to your question.
 

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I'm SUCH a square....
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I've never expected an online parts retailer to answer tech questions of that nature; I'd only trust them to answer questions about specific features of parts they stock. Anything else is: a.)outside their purview; and b.)beyond most of them and their skills.

Multiple forums will produce a good list of trustworthy people to call upon for other information; that's where you're better off going -- like now, here.

BTW -- ceramic pads, if available for your brakes.
 
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