There are two bike shops in the town where I am at the moment, one that specialises in BMX and MTB, the other a bike shop that has a full range. I want to build up a fixed gear using an old Venture (department store bike ) that has a great lugged frame and is pretty lights when stripped down. So, I go to each bike shop, and these are the abridged versions of the conversations.
Me: Do you have track cogs?
LBS 1a: Errrrr... front or rear?
Me: Rear, a track cog for spinning on to a hub to make a fixed gear.
LBS 1a: Do you mean these (and shows me chainrings in a showcase)?
LBS Dude 1b (I can use "dude" because they were all under 20) who was standing around said: No man, fixed gears, like they use on track bikes.
LBS 1: No we don't. Have you tried the bike shop around the corner?
Went to bike shop around the corner.
Me: Do you stock track cogs?
LBS 2: (Puzzled look on face). No. (turns away and continues something menial).
My friend: You know what we're talking about don't you?
LBS 2: You mean the cassette?
Me: No, a single cog that spins on to a hub to make a fixed gear... like a track bike.
LBS: No we don't do track bikes.
It's a town where FG is unheard of, obviously. Maybe it's the end of the season and everyone is tired of people coming in and asking for track cogs. Who knows.
My friend and I discussed retail on the way home. Particularly how a really switched-on LBS dude would have dragged the QBP catalogue from under the counter and found what I wanted. "I'll get it in by this time next week" is a statement that would have delighted me.
I doubt these people would know what QBP is. And people wonder why bike shops' market share is declining against internet shops. Now... who has the cheapest track cogs on-line?