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My local bike shops = TEH SUXOR

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by eaterofdog, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    I have been trying out various shops near me over the years. I would like to have a good shop when I don't want to buy a tool or want some work done before the weekend.

    Here are my choices:

    Mr. 90's: His shop is an absolute disaster with huge boxes of bike stuff piled all over. All of the displays and bikes are impossible to see because you can't get to them. He does have the part/bike you need, but it was made in the mid 90s, so is probably outdated or lame.

    Mr. Can't Get That: Anything you want is not in stock at the distributor, but THIS brand is available. You are not told this right away, you have to wait a week, then go back. "Sorry dude, I forgot to call you again. That part is SUPER HOT right now and no one has it." I was told this about the ACS freewheel.
    Note: The same part is always available from thousands of web retailers at half the price and in half the time.

    Mr. Too Busy For You: Don't make the mistake of leaving your bike there, it takes at least 3 weeks to install a pair of grips. And don't call to ask if it's ready, or the crabby woman at the counter will say "Sigh .We will CALL you when it's READY. Sigh."

    The Pusher: Has absolutely no real interest in helping any customers. His only goal is too get you to spend as much as possible. "A new chain? You really need to replace the gears as well, so the chain doesn't slip. Let me get you a price on that."

    Maybe I am expecting too much.
     

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  2. caputo1989

    caputo1989 Turbo Monkey

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    Does he put a tool to the chain to make sure it is worn out. If so and it reads 100%+ then you most likely need a new cassette.
     
  3. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    He had not even seen the bike.
     
  4. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    I guess I am sort of lucky.

    I have a shop 2 blocks away that is cool. Small, local guy been there forever. His son built the dirt jumps near the skate park and they have group rides that are also cool. I go there when I need something like a tube that isn't worth going to my "lbs" for.

    My "lbs" is awesome. He supports my race habit, gives me good prices, helps me work on my rig, or just lets me use the shop area if he isn't busy, he orders stuff for me when I need it, just all around awesome guy.

    My "other lbs" I have been going to when I lived closer to Salem and still like to toss business to when I can. I knew Troy before he bought Santiam from the original owner and he has given me a lot of insight into how shops work. Thom at Santiam taught me how to build wheels, helped me build 2 bikes, have hooked me, my friends, and even my "lbs" up when needed.

    There are many "other" shops around that suck, though. I still buy most of my bike parts off CL and ebay, but I still end up spending $500 a year between the 3 shops I go to.
     
  5. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    You have it good.

    If I could find a nice shop, I'd spend some cash there. I need some wheels built now.
     
  6. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    I took in the machine built wheels I bought off ebay and my lbs tensioned them for free. That was awesome.
     
  7. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    Just out of curiousity, what exactly did you want?
     
  8. BurlyShirley

    BurlyShirley Rex Grossman Will Rise Again

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    I have two roadie shops in my town that dont know their ass about MTBs as far as I can tell.
    I was in a rush to head to pisgah and didnt have time to work on my mtb... brought it in to have some new hydro lines installed. Guy said he had to order extra long lines because it was an FS. No big deal, fine.
    Go to get the bike, huge ass extra loop of brake line at the front because the guy says, "these shimano lines cannot be cut to length, its one size or the other, and the other was too short"
    WTF?
    I have assembled a set of lines myself, cut them to length and installed them.
     
  9. urbaindk

    urbaindk The Real Dr. Science

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    There's your problem right there. I ran into the same sort of problems a few years back. I got a repair manual and started learning how to do everything myself. DIY (for 90+% of tasks) is the way to go.
     
  10. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    I have a horrendous local shop as well. I bought about $30 worth of housing and shifter lines and the dude charged me $0.75 apiece for the metal housing ends, and $0.50 apiece for the brake cable ends on top of that.

    The housing was appallingly priced as well.

    I have never in my life walked into a shop that charged you for the ferrules if you bought you cable there. $0.75 apiece is more expensive than gold :rolleyes:

    I just bought the last couple tools I needed and decided my reliance on shops was at an end. I like supporting local businesses, but price gouging is another matter.
     
  11. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    24" Rhyno Lites on 14mm sealed bmx hubs or similar.
     
  12. urbaindk

    urbaindk The Real Dr. Science

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    My local shop does that too. (Depending on who is working). So annoying. Those things should cost a .05 at most. Now I try to save the old ones that are still in good shape or buy a cable kit online that includes them. What I really should do is buy a box of 1000 housing and cable ends. I mean I've been riding for 15 years. I'll probably ride at least another 15 to 30. I'm guessing that I would use them all eventually.
     
  13. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    I like to work on bikes. I just wish I had an alternative when I want it.
     
  14. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    Wow, that's the kind of crap Performance did when I went there. I bought an X.0 shifter and X.9 dérailleur on ebay and my LBS charged me $2 for housing and cable, then gave me a hand full of housing/cable ends. I have no idea what cable and housing costs, but $2 seemed fair.

    They would have installed it for me if I would have had my bike there. I think I am the only one who pays for beer, Red Bull, and coffee when I'm there, though. So I guess that works out in the end.
     
  15. Barbaton

    Barbaton Turbo Monkey

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    I popped into EMS cuz it was close and needed a ferrule for a bike I was working on. Already had housing, etc. Dude wanted to give it for free but they evidently account those in their computer, so he had to charge me a nickel.

    I almost charged it just for fun but felt bad so I give him a nickel. :)

    75c is nucking futs.
     
  16. brungeman

    brungeman I give a shirt

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    :clapping:

    nice!

    I just sold enough ferrules (both brake and shift...) and cable ends to finish about 5 bikes to a guy... when I asked the owner of the shop "how much should I charge" he glances into the bag and was like "tell him a buck fifty"!

    the shop I moonlight at though sounds more like "Mr. 90's shop" with stuff everywhere but is super cool and great people! Usually the best prices as well! :thumb:

    good shops are hard to come by, that is the truth... we in Pittsburgh only have 2 or 3 worth their weight in salt!:disgust:
     
  17. mantispf2000

    mantispf2000 Turbo Monkey

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    Two shops I'll give kudos to--

    A few years back, was riding in Mammoth w/stepson, and one of his cleat screws fell out. I finished the ride, while he went back to the Adventure Center. They put in a new screw and didn't charge him. Small detail, I know, yet I felt that was cool of them.

    Second is the LBS here in Minden/Gardnerville, Big Daddy's. When I was looking for a new bike, and contacting various for sponsorship for my riding for Alaina, I wrote to Trek, and the area rep sent me to the shop. After finally deciding on the bike, I ordered it with Keith, did the paperwork, gave my card, and was excited when it arrived. Keith even let me build it in his shop (I did have various parts I was swapping out, and thought I had all the proper tools). The kicker? When I would get my card statement, it never showed the charge for the bike. Not ever. Though I've thanked Keith and Trek's rep repeatedly, they really don't know how much that still means to me today.
     
  18. stinkyboy

    stinkyboy Plastic Santa

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    The 3 rules of getting great service from the LBS:

    1) Buy a few bikes from the shop.

    2) Be a regular.

    3) Drugs, booze and tips for the mechanics.
     
  19. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    Are they doing me some kind of favor? I am a paying customer, I should not have to EARN good service.
     
  20. stinkyboy

    stinkyboy Plastic Santa

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    The are underpaid, underappreciated grunts that deal with at least 50 morons a day.

    If I were in their shoes, I would punch everyone who walked through the door.

    Ride with them, drink with them and goodness will come your way.
     
  21. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    I am not claiming all bike shops are lame. There are lots of great ones out there. Just... not near me.
     
  22. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    If that happened to me, I would likely take my business elsewhere.

    Right next door to Trail Head Cycles (my awesome lbs) is a roadie shop called "The Athletes Lounge" and they are a bunch of pretentious pricks. It's funny due to the comparison of the laid back attitude at THC.
     
  23. HAB

    HAB Chelsea from Seattle

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    They almost certainly cut a loss on that one, or broke even at the very best. That's what happens when you're nice to the mechanics.
     
  24. HAB

    HAB Chelsea from Seattle

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    There are 4 shops in town, and there is an inverse relationship between their suckage and how much they pay their mechanics. That's not an accident.
     
  25. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    well duh.
     
  26. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    As much as I appreciate the fact that they're underpaid and underappreciated, the idea that you have to bribe your local retail establishment in order to get a modicum of decent service is pretty asinine.

    Fundamentally decent service should be a given. I'm not saying they have to jump through hoops but why is it right to get lousy service just because you haven't developed the close bonds of brotherhood with your local shop employees?
     
  27. r464

    r464 Turbo Monkey

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    Fixed.
     
  28. HAB

    HAB Chelsea from Seattle

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    The service you got is unacceptable. No arguing there. But we get people coming in the day before they go ride an Ironman, expecting us to do a complete overhaul of their bike on the spot. (This really happened.) If it was a regular customer who bought us food, etc., we'd have done are best to get him ready. If Joe Schmoe comes in asking for that treatment, he can go fvck himself.
     
  29. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    I figured. I know when I got housing at Performance (I did it once when it was late and I was desperate) they measured it and charged by the foot. My lbs just pulled some out of the box and cut it long since I had no idea how much I needed for sure. I could have run it full length if needed.

    They make money off me regardless, plus I give them lots of business and publicity outside of the shop. Hell, I gave them $5 more than what they asked for on my seat because I saw what cost was and it was still $20 less than retail. I'm not THAT cheap.
     
  30. caputo1989

    caputo1989 Turbo Monkey

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    Hey Opie, what shop do you go to?
     
  31. HAB

    HAB Chelsea from Seattle

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    Charging by the foot is standard practice. It's 75c/foot at the shop I work at (this gets a little messy because we always round to the nearest dollar to avoid dealing with change :rofl:), $2 for a cable, and we give away ferrules and cable ends.
     
  32. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    Agreed, but as HAB pointed out, it's not that different than any other shop type (car, motorcycle, stereo). If you have a relationship, there are often unspoken perks. Common courtesy should be a given, but the expectation to drop everything is ridiculous, unless large sums of cash are involved.
     
  33. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    see PM.
     
  34. Dartman

    Dartman Old Bastard Mike

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    You're so mysterious. :p
     
  35. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Opie would never pay retail.
     
  36. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    I don't want people knowing where I live... former and current stalkers make the top of that list :p :twitch:
     
  37. r464

    r464 Turbo Monkey

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    C'mon... we can double date

     
  38. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Excellent. I get the dumb one with low self-esteem.
     
  39. stinkyboy

    stinkyboy Plastic Santa

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    I'm not saying people get crap service for not being regulars, but I will roll in sometimes, see people are busy, grab a Mean Bean and plop down in the big comfy couch, hang out with the shop dog, until she gets too friendly, test ride a bike or two, all the time waiting to spend more money than most. I sit and watch the endless parade of tweakers on stolen Next bikes hitting the wrenches up for used tubes, etc.

    Finally when a wrench frees up, they ask what's up and I get great service and can get my bike worked on then and there rather than 3-5 days for most people.

    These guys are stressed, greasy and swamped with retards all day and only after I applied my tavern techniques to the LBS, did I see the light.

    Taking care of people in service industries should go without saying.
     
  40. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    And that's why I tip $2 at the strip club.