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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the deal on taking parts bought online to an LBS for install? I have a bottom braket and disc brakes that I would like to get put on. I would do the brakes myself but I don't want to mess with the BB.

I am thinking it would probably piss them off but I find that I usually settle for the parts they have in stock instead of what I really wanted to get when I deal with the LBS. I don't want to wait and pay premiums either.

Are they going to bang me on the cost to do the labor?
 

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Skip the LBS! Spend the money that you would have given them and buy the proper tools to do it yourself. Any shop that you have to worry about getting attitude from when you are a PAYING customer doesn't deserve your hard earned money. Oh, yeah, forgot to say, MAIL-ORDER the tools!!!


Power to the people :D

~Drew
 

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Not that hard

If you don't consider yourself mechanically challenged then changing the BB is not that hard. I just did it myself, and I'm not a mechanic by any means. I had to go the shop at one point because I didn't have a piece to hold the BB tool attached to the BB cartridge. It helped that I'd bought the Park BB tool from them just the day before, so they didn't charge me - and it took the mechanic less than a minute once he had the proper tool for the job.

If you're concerned (and I would be too), buy something from them that you may need anyway - like maintenace products (lube, degreaser, etc.) - so they don't treat your bike like the INS would treat a foreigner.
 

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Philo,

I do have the tools already and have installed/removed many a BB (assuming it's not a fancy BB...). Is your frame faced/reamed already (or has another BB already been in there) ? If that's the case we could hook up (I live in Central NJ and thought I saw your pseudo in that forum) and I'll show you how to do.

All it takes is a bit of manpower and a BB tool...

Maurice
 

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Hell, man that's how I do all my parts. Let them get you on labor and buy some lube and other miscellanous stuff and everyone is happy. Sure they would rather you buy the parts from them, but sometimes that's not possible. But it also helps if you take your bike to them for service as well. That way they will get plenty of money from you, and it helps build a nice relationship with the shop; so sometimes they won't stick it to you on labor.
 

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Maurice said:
Philo,

I do have the tools already and have installed/removed many a BB (assuming it's not a fancy BB...). Is your frame faced/reamed already (or has another BB already been in there) ? If that's the case we could hook up (I live in Central NJ and thought I saw your pseudo in that forum) and I'll show you how to do.

All it takes is a bit of manpower and a BB tool...

Maurice
YES!!! This is what I'm talking about. Folks helping folks. I have a really hard time with the dysfunctional relationships some people have with their LBS's. Look at some of the responses here. Give them money for the work and beer to be nice to you?!?!?!? (Please daddy don't hit me I swear I'll never do it again...) Come on! If an LBS can't beat the prices of their competition (internet), gives attitude for buying parts elsewhere (and can't be trusted not to treat your bike "like the INS would treat a foreigner.") then SCREW THEM!!! Learn to do it yourself and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that your bike is maintained solely by you!!!

Again I say, Power to the people!!!!!

~Drew
 

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Mr.Whitney said:
Hell, man that's how I do all my parts. Let them get you on labor and buy some lube and other miscellanous stuff and everyone is happy. Sure they would rather you buy the parts from them, but sometimes that's not possible. But it also helps if you take your bike to them for service as well. That way they will get plenty of money from you, and it helps build a nice relationship with the shop; so sometimes they won't stick it to you on labor.
This is pretty much it where I work. I work in a shop and labor is where the money's at. Most shops don't make squat from selling replacement parts unless they have the part in stock and you need it that day. Otherwise, most shops know that if they sell at mail order prices, they make about nothing, and if they don't sell at mail order prices then they really make nothing because people will mail order the part anyways. But labor is mostly pure profit for a shop. They pay the mechanic for their time and have the overhead of the tools and the day to day running of the building, but labor is profit. Call ahead and get a price quote and don't tell them you have the part already... just ask how much to install a bottom bracket. They will tell you.... go in hand them your bike and part and if they quote you more money tell them you already got a quote and it was "x dollars" Simple.

Shops know where their money comes from... if they want to stay in business, they won't stick it to you on labor even if you bought your parts somewhere else. Most shop owners aren't stupid... they know where they can and can not compete and most know they can only beat mailorder based on service. If you have a good shop in your area, they know that already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I like working on my bike

But things sometime don't go all that smoothly. I have been doing all the work on my hardtail since I got my FS. I have had mixed results.

Took apart a fork: not so bad except the manitou instruction were wrong so I wound up taking off the wrong leg and dumping the oil by accident.

Put a headset on: Not good. Grinding and not moving smoothly. Need to take apart and do again.

Derailluer adjustments: always a pain. Is there a tried and true method to do this easily?

So you can see I don't want to "experiment" with my new FS if I don't have to, but I am looking into a tool kit and stand. It will pay off in the long run.

Maurice: Where are you? I am in South Plainfield.
 

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Derailleur adjustments

Philo Beddoe said:
Derailluer adjustments: always a pain. Is there a tried and true method to do this easily?
QUOTE]

I've found that most of the time when my bike needs a derailleur adjustment, it usually is either A) filthy with grease/dirt buildup, B) bent, or C) hanging off a bent derailleur hanger. Occasionally, there is a D) which is drops that are out of alignment. But mostly derailleurs are set it and forget it devices, as long as A, B, C, and D do not apply.
 

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Philo Beddoe said:
Derailluer adjustments: always a pain. Is there a tried and true method to do this easily?
QUOTE]

If you've got the high and low range adjustments set already, you're good to go. Put the bike in a stand or flip it upside down, middle ring up front, small ring out back. spin the cranks and shift the RD into the next easiest gear. If it doesn't want to go, give the barrel adjuster a 1/2 or 1/4 twist until it will go, then go back to the original smallest cog and shift to the next easier cog. If this shifts smoothly, click again, if adjustments are necessary use the barrel adjuster and then restart and work your way up.

This might not be the best method but it works for me.
 

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It's quite simple, really...

If you're going to mail-order parts, you need to learn how to do your own maintenance. Use the money you save on parts and labor to buy the tools you need, and have at it. If you can turn a wrench clockwise and counterclockwise, you can install a bottom bracket.

A Park BB tool costs around $12. You'll need a crank puller too, if you don't already have one. That's ~ another $12-15. Use an 8mm allen wrench to remove the crank bolts, use the puller to remove the cranks. Then, starting on the left side (non-drive), insert the BB tool into the BB.

Assuming your bottom bracket spindle is hollow, use a rear quick-release skewer to hold the tool in place so it won't slip. This is optional, but will greatly reduce the risk of stripping the splines on the BB cups. Using a big box or crescent wrench (if you don't have one that fits, you can forego the skewer and use a socket wrench w/ the tool...just be CAREFUL not to let the tool slip), turn the left side cup counter-clockwise and remove it.

Repeat the process on the right (drive-side) cup BUT!!!!!! the drive side is threaded 'backwards'. This means you have to turn it CLOCKWISE to remove it and COUNTER-clockwise to re-install it.

Once you have the old BB out, clean the BB shell thoroughly with a rag, then lightly grease the threads on both the shell and the new BB cups. Carefully install the new BB by reversing the steps above (i.e. drive side first, counterclockwise, then the non-drive, clockwise. Tighten everything up well, but don't go crazy. You don't want to strip the threads on your frame.

That's all there is to it.

If you don't want to learn how to do it yourself, then you're probably better off paying the shop's retail price because a good shop will install the part for you for free.

Philo Beddoe said:
What is the deal on taking parts bought online to an LBS for install? I have a bottom braket and disc brakes that I would like to get put on. I would do the brakes myself but I don't want to mess with the BB.

I am thinking it would probably piss them off but I find that I usually settle for the parts they have in stock instead of what I really wanted to get when I deal with the LBS. I don't want to wait and pay premiums either.

Are they going to bang me on the cost to do the labor?
 

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I think it is a mistake to oversimplify mechanics.

It fails to show respect for the craft and the knowledge already aquired over time. Mechanics on a bike is still mechanics. Mechanics is a learned skill defined by hours and hours of practice. It is SO dependant upon knowledge, tools, and touch. Touch is critical. How tight is tight? How much force do you use on certain parts? How much tension do yo put on bearings? Which lubes, where? What happens WHEN I cross thread something? We've all done it.
We learn from our mistakes. The key is to learn on the simple and cheap mistakes, build your skills, and work up. I'd rather cross thread a cheap bolt than a bottom bracket.
So you don't start with a bottom bracket on your new bike.
Simply call the Bike shop and ask the price to install your BB. It is a straightforward proposition. You have the parts and have teh bike and you are good to go.
Then promse yourself a Zinn and the Art of Bicycle Maintainance and start building up your tools and skills on simple stuff.
 

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I disagree, Mike. You're right in that you've pointed out one has to start somewhere, but if that person is already riding expensive bikes, there's little chance he'll be going back to a cheap one anytime soon just to wrench on.

Then again, some people have mechanical abilities, and others don't. While a good book is a necessity (Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance should be standard), it's not a guarantee. But if a noob prospective mechanic has the willingness to try it out, get familiar with the material, and have enough common sense to re-think something or ask for help if something doesn't look or feel right, they should have no problem jumping in.

Taking the bike to a shop will get the job done, but it won't necessarily lend towards building mechanical skills.

A bottom bracket is actually a pretty good place to start if approached with care. Big threads, hard to overtighten (unless dealing with cup and cone setups, in which case a great opportunity to learn about bearing adjustments, endplay, etc.), and a perfect excuse to purchase a torque wrench, something not enough mechanics use.

Let's face it: any job can be buggered up. But I think the benefit of the doubt has to be given to someone with the desire to wrench for the first time, working on something that has great personal value to him, as long as its approached with the right attitude.
 

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We just disagree on where to start.

You don't start with a BB and a good attitude. I'm sorry.That depends too much on luck.That is just stupid.
You don't start a mechanic's toolbox with a torquewrench and a bearing puller.
Learn with something more peripheral; there is plenty of stuff like that on even an expensive bike.
 

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Berkeley Mike said:
You don't start with a BB and a good attitude. I'm sorry.That depends too much on luck.That is just stupid.
You don't start a mechanic's toolbox with a torquewrench and a bearing puller.
Learn with something more peripheral; there is plenty of stuff like that on even an expensive bike.
No need to make it personal, Mike. I'm just expressing an opinion.

You're making a bottom bracket replacement job sound like something shy of tapping and threading a new frame. In my reality cartridge bottom brackets have made the whole affair not much more difficult than replacing a lightbulb, albeit with a few extra steps involved. There isn't a whole lot of "luck" in screwing part 'A' into part 'B'.

A $20 torquewrench isn't a requirement for the job but it's a tool that will last forever, and if a budding mechanic is going to learn how to work on his bike properly and by the book, an inexpensive torque wrench is most certainly a proper start. Not only for something as "complicated" as a bottom bracket, but for disc brakes, checking suspension pivots, ensuring specified crank bolt torque, etc.
 

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Berkeley Mike said:
It fails to show respect for the craft and the knowledge already aquired over time. Mechanics on a bike is still mechanics. Mechanics is a learned skill defined by hours and hours of practice. It is SO dependant upon knowledge, tools, and touch. Touch is critical. How tight is tight? How much force do you use on certain parts? How much tension do yo put on bearings? Which lubes, where? What happens WHEN I cross thread something? We've all done it.
We learn from our mistakes. The key is to learn on the simple and cheap mistakes, build your skills, and work up. I'd rather cross thread a cheap bolt than a bottom bracket.
So you don't start with a bottom bracket on your new bike.
Simply call the Bike shop and ask the price to install your BB. It is a straightforward proposition. You have the parts and have teh bike and you are good to go.
Then promse yourself a Zinn and the Art of Bicycle Maintainance and start building up your tools and skills on simple stuff.
I'll agree with you to an extent here. You are right: Mechanics on a bike is still mechanics (actually mechanical assembly for the most part). However, I'll add that mechinics is not rocket science. There is a learning curve. The proper preparations must be made (especially good instruction or directions). Maybe I'm overestimating the common sense and fine motor skills of the general populace, but with instructions, proper tools, a careful attitude and a little thought a bottom bracket shouldn't be a major leap. I'm assuming (I know ass - u - me) that since this bottom bracket is a replacement and he didn't mention any catastrophic failure that the frame has been properly prepped and isn't in need of repair. Also, he did mention that he felt comfortable installing his disc brakes so the guy isn't totally incompetent.

My point is this. Short of frame repair and wheelbuilding, most bicycle repair IS pretty coarse tuning. I know some will disagree vehemently with me, but there are SO many other disciplines that require greater mechanical prowess than assembling and maintaining a bike.

BTW, if your bearings have "tension" on them then you have more serious problems than crossed threads.

~Drew
 

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It's not personal at all.

It is just a bad method for learning. Run a search on Tools and Techniques and see how often people cross thread stuff.It happens all the time.
I know. Let's have this guy come over to your place and you can hand him a Zinn's and a $20 torquewrench and let him replace your BB without you helping him at all and you can pick up the liability.Oh, I take that back, you can check him for attitude.
Now, tell em that doesn't make a difference?
It's easy to say, yeah go ahead, stick it to the man, power to the people, when it isn't your new bike and on your dime.
 
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