Northern California - BICYCLE EXPRESS, SAN JOSE good/bad?
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What can you guys tell me about :
131 E WILLIAM ST
SAN JOSE, CA 95112
Bike purchase, assembly, customer service, etc.
getting a touring cycle
01-27-10, 01:45 AM
for a quick tube. They mostly cater to the SJSU students with cruisers and such. There are plenty of other places to get a good deal on a touring bike. Check out Fast Bike on Alum Rock which sells Giants. He will give you a good deal and the customer service is awesome.
01-28-10, 02:12 AM
I really like that shop, but I don't think I would go there to buy a touring bike. They are unlikely to have anything like that on the floor. Bicycle Express is a hippie shop; friendly and cluttered. They have as many used bikes as new, and seem to focus on inexpensive and reliable. They appear to lend tools freely, but maybe they just have a LOT of trusted regulars. My sort of people, but not the place to find a touring bike.
01-28-10, 10:50 AM
I don't think I would go there to buy a touring bike. .
I moved here from the east coast recently, and live less than 2 miles from Bicycle Express. I live car free, and have checked out the majority of bike shops in the area.
My impression of BE is that they cater mostly to SJSU students, and carry mostly low end stuff. One way I judge a bike shop is the percentage of their shop that is workshop vs showroom floor, and in this category BE is good. Their wrenches seem helpful, and are probably pretty good at keeping bikes running.
I haven't seen any place that really caters to the utility cyclist (which is what I consider myself), the closest is probably willow glen cycles where he has some selection of panniers and racks, but I don't remember what sort of selection he had of touring bikes.
In looking for a bike shop to adopt, price is not my primary factor - I want a place which offers good service. On a touring bike, you are going to want a place that will spend plenty of time with you to get the fit right and set you up with what will work well for you. You can save a few bucks, but if you are going to spend any appreciable time in the saddle, you will regret compromises and will pay more in the long run.
Thank you guys,:thumb:
Even though I gave you almost no background information, each of you provided some very valuable information. Knowing that the shop willingly deals with many clueless college students as well as helping out knowledgeable cyclist like yourselves, that their mechanics are able to work on the low end (harder to maintain) bikes, that they are willing to loan tools, etc. helped sell me on the shop. I know, you guys actually recommended against them for a touring bike, but my reasoning for picking them follows:
Good friendly mechanics and Karen seems willing to cater to my oddities,
like an even swap for the $20-25 peddles that come with the bike - for some Cinelli Gel-Cork Bar Tape color = natural cork (the Brook saddle and leather bar tape is going on a bike I have at home in Hawaii),
I will end up swapping out the left brake lever for an old STI lever that no longer shifts - but will allow me to mount an STI mirrycle mirror (awesome product)
Bicycle Express is an authorized Raleigh dealer,
I had already determined my touring bike would be a 2010 Raleigh Sojourn (easy for shop to get),
I already know what size I needed without shop help,
best price from other shops for 2010 Raleigh Sojourn was $1100, Bicycle Express offered it for $900,
Bicycle Express is within walking distance (4 miles) of where I will be visiting/stay the previous night,
if something does not go just right and I need to assemble the bike myself, the shop sounds like they will not hassle me about it and will let me use a trueing stand, bike stand and if needed cable cutters (all other necessary tools will be in my tool kit),
the day after I pick up the bike, the two of us are starting the ride to San Diego - so I will do all maintenance and the bike will only see Bicycle Express again, if I ride through San Jose on a future vacation.
Bicycle Express was pretty clueless about Ortlieb panniers. But none of the other shops I talked to, were going to be able to order them at a better price than REI sells them for $308. That turned out to be a good thing, since I lucked out on a 15% discount and free shipping from Probikekit.com with free shipping. Total cost for Ortlieb back-roller classics and Ortlieb front-roller classics $201.43. And it will give me time to play with packing and weighting of the panniers.
Again, thanks for the help guys.:D
02-01-10, 05:08 PM
No problem. I'm glad to see them getting business; as I said, they are my kind of people.
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