Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Friday, July 20, 2007

You all remember how I've been complaining about my headset being impossible to adjust, ja?

Well, I sorted out the problem. More accurately, Chris at Sunset Cycles in Beaverton / Portland sorted it out. The solution makes me pretty frustrated, because it means that the south-sound area bike shop I'd come to like is a total screwup. Lame! There needs to be something like the ASE for bicycle mechanics.

Here's how it worked: I needed to swap out the heavy fork that came on my pre-production bike, since the nice full-carbon ones weren't available when the frame came out. So, since I had no idea how to do a swap like that, nor did I have the appropriate crown-race removal and installation tools, I took it to my LBS to get it taken care of. I left it there for the day, came back, and it was "done."

It seemed like it worked okay, but after a few hundred miles, it started squeaking and creaking some while out of the saddle. I tightened the headset down, and it shut up, but it came back in another few weeks or so. I took it back to the shop, he examined and adjusted it, re-greased the bearings, and it was better again, but I was always fighting with it. Recently, it got worse, and no amount of headset regreasing could solve it. So, after the 200-mile ride to Portland made the creaking unbearable, I took it to a shop near my father's place where I was staying -- Sunset Cycles.

It takes Chris all of twenty minutes to solve the problem. "Hey, dude. Did you get this fork off of another bike?"

"Uh, yeah, it was on my old bike..."

"Well, see, you've got two crown races on here."

Oh, I SEE.

When LBS Number One, whose name I shan't name at the moment, swapped forks, they didn't take off the old crown race, they just slammed the new one down atop it. Furthermore, from the scoring on the fork and race, LBS#1 used a screwdriver and hammer to remove / attempt to remove both races, not the proper crown race removal tool. I guess that tool is expensive, and the shop didn't have it. "It looks like this compression plug was installed with a BFH, too."

That would be Big Fucking Hammer.

Now I need a New Headset. Not a huge expense, but an annoying one, and a delay. But the biggest pain, of course, is that I am pretty angry at LBS#1 for doing a bunch of shoddy work, not being able to actually fix a problem, but just covering it up. They're either very incompetent, or just shady.

Either way, it's no good.


  • At 11:42 AM , Anonymous cruzer said...

    while I agree that trying to cover up their shittyness was LOW... in their defense, that crown race removal tool doesn't fit every race/fork combo (included in that list unfortunately is the FSA/Felt headset/fork combo that I currently ride :( ...) Oh well.

    the screwdriver/hammer method may seem crude, but I will say that it is possible to remove the race without any kind of markings or damage with the appropriate amount of finesse.

    2 headset races is just inexcusable...


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