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Fuel EX 8 finally back from shop; Labor Day weekend: Trails and Tires.

Friday, September 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I took my bike to the bike shop on Tuesday to have the water bottle boss repaired under warranty (the rivet was spinning freely in the frame). I also told the shop the back wheel was still out of true, and had a bad hop in it. So I got a call from the shop on Wednesday telling me my bike was all set to go. I picked up my bike on Wednesday, and when I got home I tried to attach my frame-mounted tire pump to the repaired water bottle boss; after just three turns the rivet started spinning in the frame. Sigh. Then I spun the rear wheel and there was still a very noticeable hop in it. Irritated, I called the shop and spoke to the technician who did the work. He apologized about the water bottle boss, and asked me to bring it back in. He went on to say that the reason there was a hop in the wheel is because it was bent. Bent?! I told him I’ve been complaining about that wheel since the day after I bought the bike, and have returned it twice for that specific reason. I also asked why no one had bothered to mention this to me, and just keep returning the bike to me with an obvious problem (while saying, “All good now!”)

Yesterday was a very busy day, but with the long weekend coming up I did not want to be without my bike. I took the time to go back to the bike shop so I could speak directly to the tech and also the salesperson who sold me the bike. I told my salesperson that I was not happy that the bike was returned to me twice with an “all good” while it had a bent rim. I couldn’t believe my ears when he said, “I’ll have to contact Trek to see if they will warranty the wheel. This could take a week.” I remained calm, but I told him that I was obviously sold a brand new bike with a bent rim (as evidenced by my immediate complaints about the wheel), and that it was the shop’s responsibility to make it right. The salesman said he could not make that commitment, but he said Trek would probably warranty it. I try to keep my blog friendly for all ages, so I’ll refrain from posting my verbatim reply. Basically I made it clear that I was leaving with a new wheel or things were going to get very ugly. He took off for a couple minutes and when he came back he said they would replace the wheel.

While I’m happy with the final resolution, I don’t like that after dropping a few grand on a bike I had to go through all this to make things right. I won’t be returning to this shop for any future purchases.

On a more positive note, I’ve finally settled on the wheels and tires for my new truck. This is a great time to buy because Discount Tire is running a really nice Labor Day sale: a hundred bucks off a set of 4 tires, and another hundred bucks off a set of four rims.

The wheels are MB Stryker with a black machined face. I had the shop mount one of these on my truck to see how it looked, and man… what a difference!

The MB Stryker

The MB Stryker


I really did a lot of research on the tires. Ultimately I decided to go with the brand new BFG Rugged Terrain T/A. It’s got really aggressive look to it, a 50,000 mile treadwear warranty, excellent (and quiet) road performance and it can handle off-road stuff.

The BFG Rugged Terrain T/A

The BFG Rugged Terrain T/A


Like I said, this is a pretty new tire for BFG, but all the reviews I’ve read have been very favorable. Four years in development, it seems to be a huge improvement over the BFG Rugged Trail tire.

I’m having all this mounted up today, so I’ll have some new pictures today or tomorrow.

So I’ve got a set of (4) Ford OE F150/Explorer 17×7.5″ chrome wheels (6 lug/135mm) in excellent condition + (4) Continental Contitrac P255/65R/17 tires (2 brand new, 2 in very good condition). Center caps included, mounted/balanced and ready to bolt up. Asking $800 (local pickup). Give me a shout if you’re interested.

I’m so glad we’ve got a long weekend coming up. I’ve really missed not having my bike, and I am really looking forward to hitting the trails 2 or 3 times over the next three days. 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

6 Responses to “Fuel EX 8 finally back from shop; Labor Day weekend: Trails and Tires.”
  1. Just an FYI from another Ford truck driver with aggressive tires. They are notorious for beating the heck out of front tires. Pay close attention to your rotation schedule because they cup tires super fast.

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  2. I’ve always found that the best bike service comes from the smallest, most out of the way shop. Also, look for shops that carry Intense/Rocky Mountain. Both brands really cater to more technical riders that require bike durability. Lastly, look at the shop technicians and figure out what kind of trails they ride. If it isn’t in line with what you’re looking for they will probably make bad decisions/recommendations.

    Lastly, remember that modern bikes frequently shave off weight for speed which compromises durability. Try to spec out a bike at a higher durability level than you would intend to ever ride if you want the bike to last and just accept a couple of extra pounds of weight. If you’re going to be doing mostly trail riding, spec out components that are more for all mountain. If you’re going to be doing all mountain, aim for light free ride. Etc.

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  3. I cant say madamert’s first statement holds any water with me. We have a RM dealer in town that is one of the cheesiest around. You just have to search around and find good mechanics. My favorite shop in Reno is mostly roadies(and a Giant dealer)but they know how to build wheels and install and face BB cups and headsets which is the main thing I use them for. Everything else I can do myself. Like I said earlier, the best shops I have found is where the owners are the mechanics, that way they care about what they fix. I had a friend once bring his bike in for a tune, he picked it up and went out on a big technical ride and found out they never installed the brake pads!
    As far as the second statement goes it is good to overbuild your bike a bit but if you are racing you have to pull all the extra weight around with you. Best advice is to have a light race wheelset w/ light tires and a training wheelset with burlier wheels and tires for everyday riding, when you get on the race set they feel superlight!

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    • I’m a firm believer in the old adage “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.” No one will ever care about my bike’s performance more than I do, so that’s why I’m learning bike repair. While I can’t do everything yet, I’m learning every day and am able to do quite a few repairs that I used to have to rely on the shop for.

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