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Heaven and hell service


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Hello all


Please read this it took me ages to write.

Heres the story, its a plug and a diss to two way different bike stores.


After a lengthy absence from mountain biking and contact from the outside world due to a family illness (sorry mich) i thought id get back into mtb by racing the spring classis this weekend.


Thus i needed to get my bike serviced to make sure everything was fine.

Now to give you all a little insight, my Fuji has jsut over 200kms on the clock and has only been a pleasure except for the usual (sometimes unusual) niggles.


Since buying the bike with its Sram groupset i have had constant gearing issues and after taking it to my now favorite bike store it was discovered that the gear cables was not lubed and they had "kinks" in them, thus making my fast shifting 1:1 actuation ratio a big bugger up.


So yesterday my bike was scheduled for a full service at Mikes Bikes in Greenside (my favorite bike store).

Full service meaning that cables get replaced (maby at extra cost) and the bike gets rebuilt.

Happy that ths bike was in good hands i continued my day as usual untill Mike gave me a call with the just of it.

Nothing on the bike was lubricated when it was put together by..... Solomons in Pretoria this included the bottom bracket, seatpost, well everything that needed to be lubed wasnt.

Then came the last straw.


You see i dont mind paying the service price and only dealing with mike's bikes, and realy woundnt have moaned if it was jsut the service, but then mike told me that not even the shock had been properly checked.


There was no oil in the shock, except for a little bit in the one side, so the seals had gone etc.

There was also a few spacer and washers missing from the bike itself. Meaning it was put together like crap.


So that meant extra cost went to my pocket due to a stores laziness and apparent inability to check bikes.


So i went and phoned solomons bikes in pretoria. Ashad? phoned me back after leaving a message and the "fight" ensued.


I explained the problem to him to which i think both of us got a bit peeved off.

After trying to explain the problems etc to him for a while with him not listening to me and trying to talk over me the whole time, i gave him his chance to explain and hopefully find a solution.


He then explained to me that the bikes come 80% assembled to them and bofore it goes to the floor/client that they check it and explained that they check everything from the shocks to the lube to the gearing.

I then had the arguement that they didnt check my bike, because then they would have seen that the shock was "faulty" and the gearing was out and nothing was lubed.

And this continued for a while.

He then continued to say that if i had let him know that there was a problem with the shock he wouldhave sent it in for me.



so this meant that if i had not taken the bike in for a service with mikes, then nothing would have been known and i couldhave broken something or hurt myself on unlubed parts.

He continued to say that i could have phoned and got my free service from them or he would have organised for my bike to get a service.

Why would i take my bike for a service with them, or a partner if i have only found problems witht the way they build bikes and give them to their customers.


At this stage i would like to stress the fact that i am not mad at the fact that i got the bike serviced at mikes bikes. i did this willingly because i like their service and their approach to bikes servicing. so this i not the problem.


He then got pissed and myself aswell, which resulted in him trying to talk over me some more. In short he refused to re-pay me for the losses due to faulty workmanship or find any solution to our problems.


I hung up the phone...


30 minutes later i got a call while in news cafe at lunch with work collegues.

heres how the conversation started:

"Im calmed down now..."

tough poop, im not.

he then realized that my words of writing to each and every magazine, paper and online blog wasnt a lie and offered  me my "free service" value of 350 rands (shock service and bike service) to make up for the problems... WHY THE HELL WOULD I TAKE THE BIKE BACK TO THEM????


The result of this is still pending because that solution is not acceptable to me.


So the end of this post is:

If you are in the joburg/pretoria area and not at one of the major stores like fritz pienaar etc, who love bikes. then please visit MIkes BIKES. They have all the cool stuff, chris king, spank, downhill bikes, trail bikes, race mtbs. and the biggest love for mountain bikes (and roadies) in JOBURG.


If on the other side you are a masochist then please phone Solomons Gifts in pretoria.


I have learnt my lesson, rather spend the extra 50-300 bucks at a store like Mikes than spending less on the product at a place like Solomon and not getting the service delivery.
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You pays your money and you takes your chances!!


If you purchase from discount stores you need to know your oats. Tuff lesson, but this is why the LBS maybe charges more.
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infernox, a novice should go to a shop where he knows the salespeople are also riders. i heard a story of a top(ish)-end carbon fibre bike coming out another of the discount stores with the fork on backwards!

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keep in mind, to the novice/beginner biker, this is not easy to spot the difference.

because everyone who knows what a i.e. a actuation ratio is, sounds smart to the beginner. thus with that bad experience new riders/users could be scared away form the sport thus slowing/halting the development of the sport itself.


it is a service orientated market and the Bike stores should start looking at it as such and not only look at the sell for a quick buck aspect.


I have to say, thank you to Mike and the staff at mikes bikes for making me fit perfectly on my bike and sorting out my problems without a hitch.
infernox2007-08-29 02:08:54
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I see this everyday. Customers buying bikes from discount stores and discovering sooner than later that they made a mistake. They then take the bike to a speciality store to sort the problems out. In the end of the day the only one that wins is the shop that can make the bucks out of other peoples mistakes. So much for buying it for R50 bucks cheaper somewere else. I love it.....

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my brother has  had a service at Cajees in roodepoort' date=' where they fitted the shock backwards.[/quote']


First they need to know which side is font and which is back. With Manitou the arch is on the back. LOL


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I have heard similar stories of other bike chain stores (who have just opened up in Roodepoort as well as moving to new premises in Fourways), who will buy a bike, then build it up with different specs to the ones from the bike manufacturer. Therefore the unwitting customer trying to compare apples with apples chooses the 'better' pricde, except it doesn't come with standard components!

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I must just say that between myself and family we have bought 4 complete bikes (MTB) from Solomons, a carbon road frame, a complete groupset and various accesories etc.


I have never had any problems with any of our purchases. The reason we purchased from them is obviously price and I do know a bit about bikes so I know what I looking for.


Unfortunately it is always case that one unhappy customer more than makes up for all the satisfied ones.




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I dont think you can blame the customer, he generally buys in good faith and expects the dealer to have the appropriate experience and technical expertise conmensurate with his prime business undertaking which is selling and servicing bicycles.

If someone buys a bicycle from a sweet store, well Yes "let the buyer beware" but buying a branded product from a known distributor authorised store should have the same peace of mind (irrespective of the fact that the dealer may be a discounter or not).


If a customer cant get peace of mind buying from an authorised dealer, where on earth will they be comfortable.?

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i dont mean to be strange but have you gotten the bikes stripped and checked IANJ?


personally i would, because if they dont check one bike, it means they actually dont check quite a few in the long run
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widget, i totally agree with you, its like buying a pro camera from hifi corp, your taking the chance to buying it from a pro photographer in a pro photographer store.

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