Issues with Spa Cycles - advice?


Gold Trader
I have always had good experiences with purchases from Spa, mainly chainsets, rings and bbs bought online. Having worked in a bike shop part time over the last few years i have seen some of my full time, normally very level snd helpful, colleagues become frayed and ratty through lockdown. Likewise some normally decent customers have become aggressive and bullying. Contrary to the idea that lockdown has been a great time to be in the bike industry (and maybe it has for some shop owners and brands) i would say it's been pretty awful for most employees. Perhaps you got someone who had reached the end of their tether - maybe you had too and weren't aware of it. It might be worth putting what you've said here in an email to Spa and giving them the chance to respond.


Devout Dirtbag
Hi guys,

I seem to be one of the few unfortunate individuals who is having a problem with Spa Cycles.
I bought a chainset, tried to remove the inner ring, and found out that thread came off with the bolts. John, the owner, told me to send the crank back.
Now he phoned my and said he cannot issue a refund because I damaged the part.

It's clearly my word against his, and he seems to have the annoying attitude of not even listening to what I say, talking over me and clearly having no intention to listen.
What is your advice in these situations?
I know what I have done, it's not a complicated affair to remove 5 bolts, and yet I have no way of proving what I have done.
He insists I stipped the threads by turning the bolts the wrong way, which is of course impossible, as they would have never come off that way.
Is there something I can do to have my voice heard? Or should I just forget about it and accept the loss?
Visited once, very helpful. Had some wheels used (100 miles) built by them, far too slack. Have a Titanium bike of theirs bought used which has had the stays manually dressed to clear cranks. Clearly a mistake at design, they said prototype. Asked to spec some 11 speed wheels, got reply for threaded hub. So: as with everything else in this world.....My local bike shop has great mechanic, really helpful at sales as well as his job. The sales staff, another story, its endemic.

half cog

Senior Retro Guru
The rims are ambrosio.As said I bought them as cheapos because I probably wont use them more than a couple of times a year. They are deep v rims . Not my sort of thing.It was suggested that they were tubeless when the lad had a struggle to try and fit tyres.Either way I have now tried other tyres on these apart from the ice spikes and it gets to a point where you feel you are going to damage the tyre.They are now slung in the back of the garage.Someday I will use the hubs on something else.If you are selling something that is crap making it cheap does not make it any less so. Clearance because an item is not popular is one thing. If its because it wont do the job then that is another

Apple Tree

GT Fan
Sorry to hear about trouble with Spa. I have bought quite a bit over the years from them, but on line with no personal contact. Perhaps that is the problem. Their computer and my computer work well together - but let the humans in !
They have stuff that us Retrobikers need such as Freewheels, Chain Rings, Cloth Bar Tape, Pedal Washers, Toe Clips & Straps and similar old bike stuff that other bike retailers do not stock. Always prompt delivery too.
A friend of mine who is heavily into the Rough Stuff Fellowship told me that is how they started, as RSF sales. The founder then developed it into an independent business and with Harrogate being a spa town, the name was born !


Senior Retro Guru
I can confirm there are some quality issues with the XD2 from Spa. I worked on a brand new chainset and the finish is poor but worse, most of the inner ring bolts were almost “seized” in place. Upon removal it would appear the threads in the crank were poorly cut or poorly chased, with swarf jamming up the threads and the person assembling having little knowledge of threading steel into aluminium. No threadlock or grease was used either, so if you buy a chainset I’d recommend dismantling, checking and reassembling properly. If the bolts don’t want to come out then send it back, the threads will be toast.

Spa accepted the return and promised to refund the return postage too, a replacement was received promptly and looks to be much better quality, although not assembled yet as I’m waiting on the bolts…

To say the customer over tightened the bolts (when disassembling?!) is quite ironic, especially as it sounds like exactly the same problems as I encountered… which are issues with the cranks inner ring threads, no question. But in this instance, Spa’s service was ok. They are aware of the issue and it’s clearly not a one-off, so let’s hope they check their stock and rectify accordingly.

half cog

Senior Retro Guru
I have four of these chainsets on various bikes and all the inner rings have been swapped at some time or other and not a single problem. Must be a new thing


Old School Grand Master
It's a small volume part with very simple processes, it's probably contacted out by whoever owns the sugino name to the cheapest machine shop they can find who wants the work.
If this was 10-15 years ago, I'd not be surprised to find the holes being cut on a pillar drill and tapped by hand. But NC machines are so cheap these days it's probably not even worth buying a set of hand taps!
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