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Nuffy

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    http://grahamvdr.com

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    Harare, Zimbabwe

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Domestique

Domestique (4/6)

  1. The ratings system definitely helps, but I don’t think it catches everything. As an example, I’ve just been working on a bike that came in for new pivot bearings. I did a few other basic checks, and noticed that the front brake caliper had some extra washers that made it sit high enough above the rotor that only half the pads were making contact. They had worn nearly to the point where the unworn parts were bottoming out on each other, which would make the brake nearly useless. When I removed the washers and replaced the pads and tried to align the caliper I noticed that it wasn’t sitting flat, and then saw a big crack running along the upper post mount. It turns out it had already been repaired once before with putty and a helicoil. When trying to look at options for replacing the fork lowers I was struggling to identify the year model of the fork using the serial number, and realised that the lowers and uppers were from different generations. Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be an issue, but clearly this bike has some stories to tell. I also noticed that some of the splines on the Sram XD cassette are broken off, meaning removing it could be a challenge. I am fairly certain the current owner of the bike bought it second-hand in “mint condition” and has been enjoying it for a few years unaware of these issues. If the seller was polite and friendly he may even have earned himself a five-star rating. But whether these issues cause real problems to the buyer or not (the brake caliper misalignment certainly would have caused problems), he definitely should have been made aware of them by the seller and factored that in to the price.
  2. I do think there is room to be an ethical reseller. Consider someone who buys bikes that look like bargains but potentially have a few issues. He identifies the problem parts and replaces or repairs them, possibly drawing on a pool of parts he has accumulated from other bikes. He might replace gear cables and brake pads, and makes sure the drivetrain has decent life left on it and there are no mismatched parts, and tunes it up ready for a new life. From time to time perhaps this dealer buys bikes just to use for parts to get other bikes going again. People who buy from this dealer win, because they get a bike that has already had all the problems identified and fixed, which they might not have been able to do themselves. Using his technical knowledge and skill, his workshop, and his pool of parts and bikes this dealer has added value to the original bike and potentially saved someone from buying a lemon. In a perfect world this dealer would get good reviews and his reputation would bring him more customers, both buyers and sellers. Sadly we seem to hear more about the other kind of dealer, and there are more than enough stories on here to know how he operates. Unfortunately a lot of new buyers don’t spend the time reading the stories and don’t have the technical knowledge to properly assess a bike before buying. And as long as new buyers continue to come along, these guys will keep doing what they do. I guess we just have to hope that there are enough of the former type that not all the good deals are lost to the “vultures”. In future if I’m referring friends to BikeHub to look for a bike I might direct them to this thread to check for anything that’s been called out. I wonder if it would be worth putting together a crowd-sourced buyer’s guide that potential buyers would be directed to when they click through to contact a seller? I’d be happy to include my list of things to look for based on what I’ve seen.
  3. I assume he’s talking about a road wheel. They have different freehub and cassette widths for 10- and 11-speed, and he wouldn’t be going that big on the cassette. As others have mentioned, you may be lucky with your hub. Push the unmodified cassette on as far as it will go and check the clearance between the big ring and the spokes, hub flange, etc. If it looks like there's more than enough space to lose 1.6 mm, and the cassette has enough meat to maintain structural integrity, then it might be worth doing. You could always install a 1.6 mm spacer with that cassette to use it on an 11-speed freehub later if necessary.
  4. Jared and Mel at BMC in Cape Town have done some amazing work and seem to be highly regarded: http://www.bicyclerepairs.co.za/
  5. Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll follow up on some of these contacts.
  6. Thanks. I did find their site when I tried some searching. It looks like it’s all freestyle / park / street stuff, but there’s certainly no harm in contacting them.
  7. Are there any distributors of BMX racing bikes and parts in South Africa? I know Omnico sometimes has some bits, but does anyone else sell a complete range of bikes and spares? Rims, brakes, bars, forks, tyres, tubes, helmets, etc. Or is the market too small and everyone buys directly from overseas?
  8. Buffalo Bikes? They’re pretty sturdy and widely available north of the Limpopo – not sure about in RSA.
  9. It looks like Cool Heat (the South African distributor for Shimano) doesn’t stock these parts. I think your best bet might be to post the model number of the pedal (eg PD-M8000) and see if someone happens to have one that is damaged somewhere else and is willing to give you this part for a good price. As well as the model number you will need to specify if it is the left or right pedal. If you want to get the part number for that part specifically, go to si.shimano.com and enter the pedal model number. Then open the exploded view and see the parts codes. With that you might be able to do a search and find it through online retailers overseas.
  10. This is a four-digit alpha-numeric code that all Fox forks and shocks after a certain year (I’m not sure what year) have on them. On forks this is usually on the back of the left leg just under the dust wipers. It might just say “ID ####”. It’s possible that sticker has been removed, or if it’s a really old model it might not have it. You can enter that code on this page https://www.ridefox.com/fox17/help.php?m=bike and get all the specs for that fork or shock. Usually for forks there are only two things you need to know to get the right axle: The brand of the fork (different brands use different thread pitches, and the thread length might also vary) Whether the hub spacing is boost (110 mm) or not (100 mm) With that information you should be able to choose the right part from Fox, KCNC, or any other brand that makes them. Most will offer quick release options and hex bolt options (sometimes called “Stealth”). There are other axle styles (like the 20 mm ones used mostly on downhill bikes), but it’s clear that yours is the common 15 mm standard. Comparing your measurements to one that I have here I can see that it’s a non-boost width. So, you need an axle for a Fox 15 × 100 mm dropout. Quick release or not is your choice. With rear axles it gets a lot more complicated, as you have variations in frame thicknesses to account for as well as the boost/non-boost issue. And it’s not as simple as using the brand to determine the thread pitch.
  11. Yep, that’s a good idea. Some people do like stickers. Even if it goes on the tool box or bike rack that’s still good. And presumably people who take them voluntarily are more likely to use them and not bin them, so minimal wastage from the shop’s point of view.
  12. Thanks for all the responses. I run a shop myself. I’ve never done this, as I would feel the same way as most of you – if I want a sticker on my bike I’ll put it there myself, thank you very much. But a couple of other shops in my area do it, and I feel violated on my customers’ behalf when I see the stickers on their bikes. Then I started wondering if maybe I was in the minority and my emotional reaction was unjustified. But the poll results and comments speak pretty clearly. I do think, however, that if we polled all the customers from these shops the results would be a bit different. The fact that I see these stickers means the owners of the bikes didn’t notice them or mind enough to remove them. On average, Hubbers are probably more particular about their bikes and in tune with the details, and do more of their own work than the average shop customer.
  13. I can remember that it was nice to see community members backing up sellers offering something for a good price, or something that was particularly niche or hard to find. It’s all very well for a seller to say things like “one-of-a-kind”, “great price”, “super rare item that you need for X, Y, or Z situation”, but having community members comment with feedback like “I’ve had mine for five years and love it”, “I spent three months looking for one”, “good value – if it was my size I would buy it now”, really adds value to the ad, supports the seller, and gives potential buyers more confidence too. Perhaps this is open to abuse by sellers posting under multiple accounts, but those who frequent the forums will get to know who is trustworthy and who has certain specialist knowledge. There are a few Hubbers whose feedback on items I would take very seriously. Also, while there might be a few selfless members sending feedback or suggestions directly to the sellers (thank you!), it adds a barrier that I think would deter most members who would otherwise quite readily post a quick clarification or question in the comments.
  14. If you take your bike or suspension product for a service, how do you feel about the shop putting their sticker on it when they’re done?
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