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Have you ever worked in a bike shop?

What's your shop experience?


  • Total voters
    56

Cable43

Monkey
Oct 7, 2008
280
0
(Philly @ Heart)
I have from 13-18 and 19-22 loved it.

I had my porn viewing, got some strange girls drunk, and lost my virginity in a shop. :happydance: (All different occurrences)

Ahh... to be young again.

I hate going into some shops now and dudes have attitudes and stuff. There's no couches to flop on. No TVs running BMX, or MTB, or even TDF videos. Once my wife is done school I think I'm going to quit my job and find a good shop to loaf around in part time.

It did suck having to work most weekends. Tuning other peoples bikes and watching them go out and ride while you stayed in the shop. But overall it was my favorite place to work. And I've had some very very cool jobs.
 

RideRMB

Monkey
Aug 29, 2007
395
0
'Da Hood
Yep I have. Its fun, my boss is a bit of a whack, and people think $100 is craziness to spend repairing a bike. I wish I worked at a real shop.



"real shop": A place that doesnt sell Raleigh.
 

IH8Rice

I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
24,554
487
Im over here now
I actually think that shop in or just outside of cities make for a better overall environment. New people, more commuters. Though when it's dead, it's DEAD.
our town has about 80k people in it and is close to the city..it was kinda a urban area i suppose. it was better working there instead of a place in the middle of nowhere where my buddy works..

retail still sucks no matter what
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,280
1,827
Portland, OR
I worked in a sporting goods store that sold "bikes", then I sort of worked in an actual bike shop for a little while part time when I was in high school.

I still enjoy wrenching on bikes, but I also wrench on cars, trucks, motorcycles, so it fits. I would do it again if I could make $48 an hour (my current rate).
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
I wrenched in a small shop for ~6months after I graduated. The owner and mechanic (the only other employees) are awesome people, so it was a great experience. Learned a thing or two about bikes.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
Loved the work, hated the money. If I could support a family as a wrench I would do it in a heart beat.


But I like health insurance. Alot.
 

JohnE

filthy rascist
May 13, 2005
12,644
660
Front Range, dude...
Worked in two. First for a friend, it was cool, we drank, partied, rode, rode, drank partied. Was a combo hockey/bike shop. Liked it alot, but owner was a cokehead whos parents bought the shop for him, so it got old fast.
Second was for a freind whos wife ruined everything...she was a total cvnt...almost ruined me for riding too.
Both should have been cool, but ended up being weird...
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,707
144
NORCAL is the hizzle
I worked in shops from the time I was 14 through high school, college, and grad school, mostly as a wrench. It was great - good people, relatively low stress, got to fondle bikes all day, and I never had to flip burgers. I learned a lot of life lessons that can't be taught in school. But, not enough money and I started getting burnt out on bikes to the point where it impacted my desire to ride.

I don't see a poll option that works for me.
 

brungeman

I give a shirt
Jan 17, 2006
5,173
0
da Burgh
yep... I worked at a sporting goods store and was the manager of the ski and bike dept. They gave me the ability to hire people, but when the people started flaking out I couldn't fire them... I had a couple guys coming in super boogered up all the time... Not the people I would want selling or working on bikes. I left there when some of the said F'ups got substantial raises yet my good guys who worked their @sses off got next to nothing...

I went to work for a local shop and worked my way through college. I still moonlight at the shop wrenching and building bikes to keep a discount. The people I work for/with are some of the best people on the face of the planet, but as was said, you can't make a living on it! It is a great place to moonlight though! :thumb:
 
Last edited:

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,791
1
Claremont, CA
i managed a shop when i was younger and our store did bookoo business..its got boring and retail life SUCKS.
Haha...retail does kind of suck, but I didn't mind working in the shop too much. Not the best, but better than lots of jobs out there. Cheap bike stuff is always a bonus...of course getting a better job that actually pays well is a way to get around that....
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
I've worked in two shops. Well, one shop, and one "store" if you will. Retail life does in fact, suck.

I liked talking to interesting people about bikes and just life in general, but when hours upon hours would go by with no customers during the off season, it got a bit old.
 

Cable43

Monkey
Oct 7, 2008
280
0
(Philly @ Heart)
Worked in two. First for a friend, it was cool, we drank, partied, rode, rode, drank partied. Was a combo hockey/bike shop. Liked it alot, but owner was a cokehead whos parents bought the shop for him, so it got old fast.
Second was for a freind whos wife ruined everything...she was a total cvnt...almost ruined me for riding too.
Both should have been cool, but ended up being weird...
seriously,
that is the worst thing I have ever heard. I need to take you for a beer and some strippers - you need some healing!
 

Prettym1k3

Turbo Monkey
Aug 21, 2006
2,867
0
In your pants
Worked for Performance as a Sales manager for about 4 months. Quit because of a job offer.

Then worked there for about a year as a sales person (for the discounts). Quit because I got married. But during that year I bought a full DuraAce road bike, and built up a nice little trail/AM bike that I frickin' love riding.

Oh, and I completely rebuilt my Freeride/DH bike from front-to-back with all new parts.
 
Apr 9, 2004
516
8
Mount Carmel,PA
i owned a shop in a small town for the last 7 years. I just had to close it because my real job transfered me away and long distance managing did not work out.
The real bike fans, the BMX racing families, The young dirt jumpers, freeriders , and Downhillers were some of the best people I hade ever met. I will miss most of them. The posers, DR and Lawyer roadies and the xc riders who made every ride a training run, I am glad they now have to travel 30 miles away to a decent shop.

Would I do it again? Yes, but in a small market I could never survive on the pay. maybe when I retire I will reopen somewhere, untill then all I want to do is ride.
 

Jim Mac

MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN
May 21, 2004
6,364
281
the middle east of NY
I work PT at a shop, so it's not a heavy load and no weekends. The downside for me is my 'extended line of credit' for parts. I'm a year deep now and am afraid to see the bill.

I do some repairs, but mostly I am the bright and smiling face of retail. (and look out for theft, as we're the only bike shop in the city proper).

Once had to bounce someone because they tried to steal a 35c wire bead tire by shoving it under their shirt, if you can imagine that....
 

James

Carbon Porn Star
Sep 11, 2001
3,559
0
Danbury, CT
The comments here prove the truth of this oldie but goodie:

If you want to make a small fortune owning a bike shop, start with a big one.
That's true for anything in the bike industry.

I got my start at a shop in high school, then moved on in the industry. Had a stint back about 4 years ago where I was running a store, it was fun, but not what I wanted to do for the rest of my career. I do enjoy the retail game, for the most part, but I like doing more with bikes than I was able to at a store.
I think just about everyone I work with started out at shops.
 

boogenman

Turbo Monkey
Nov 3, 2004
3,421
119
BUFFALO
I worked in shops from 16 to 25. Started wrenching at 16, did some sales. Moved to a big store and sold for a few years, quit there because it sucked working at a HUGE store and went to a smaller shop doing wrenching again and some sales then in the end I managed the shop for 2 years. I would do it again if the money was good which it is not.

I would love to buy the shop but it is to far of a commute and I'm not moving. I can ride pretty good singletrack from my front door.
 

spocomptonrider

sportin' the CROCS
Nov 30, 2007
1,336
12
spokanistan
I liked working in the shop, I mean come on pretty much everyone on here likes riding and talking about bikes so bike shops seem like a perfect fit, there are just two small problems with this logic, A) and most importantly (to me anyway) working there did not provide a lot of time for riding, B) I really did not enjoy working on some of the super clapped out scrapers that hadn't seen the business end of a wrench since they were built... at wal-mart. Then having to explain this to people.
If I were to work at a shop again I would much prefer a specialty shop of some sort, similar to FluidRide in Seattle. A shop that focuses more on giving back and building a stronger rider base and following through racing, coaching, trail building/advocacy, and general stewardship for the sport. They also remember their roots, as far as making sure the workers are taken care of with ride days for themselves and other perks.
 

Cable43

Monkey
Oct 7, 2008
280
0
(Philly @ Heart)
If I were to work at a shop again I would much prefer a specialty shop of some sort, similar to FluidRide in Seattle. A shop that focuses more on giving back and building a stronger rider base and following through racing, coaching, trail building/advocacy, and general stewardship for the sport. They also remember their roots, as far as making sure the workers are taken care of with ride days for themselves and other perks.

werd!

I can't wait to check out fluidride when I go out to WA.