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  1. #1
    Senior Member fuish's Avatar
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    Went to the LBS today UPDATED

    Update: I took a pic of me w/ my new gear on. Wee

    Went to one of the LBS today, when I first walked in they were rather snooty to me, being an athena and all, asked me if I was looking for something specific, and I said, "Yeah some gear" and they're like "For you?!" And I said, "Yes for me, do you even carry plus sized gear?" and then they got a little nervous, I mean, GOD I know I'm fat, don't you dare try to be all snooty to me, I'm at least TRYING to do something about my weight. So I get a nice winter riding coat and a new helmet and some gloves talking to the people practically the whole time and by the time I left they'd extended a riding invitation to me. Ha, how the snooty people turn when they realize that fat people have feelings too.
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    Last edited by fuish; 02-02-08 at 01:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Trucker_JDub's Avatar
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    Been there, done that. I find that my LBS (small town, next one is 30mi away) looks at me like I must be up to no good (my opinion) until I tell them why I am there. I actually went to mine today to get a new scewer for my rim and while the shop keep was busy with someone else I stood back holding my rim looking at a nice Trek on display. The whole time I could feel the guy drilling holes in my back with his stare. If gas wasn't 3.45 a gallon I would have gone to the next shop I felt so uncomfortable.

    *A fat guy just parked a pickup truck by the front door now he is eyeballing an expencive bike; he must be up to no good*

    I would like to think I am wrong but I think I am also a good judge of whats going on around me. (BTW I tip the scales at 6'1" 340lbs.)
    Last edited by Trucker_JDub; 02-01-08 at 12:24 AM.

  3. #3
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    I would have walked out , I hate this type of BS from LBS , Our money is as good as anyone else's if not better

  4. #4
    Senior Member fuish's Avatar
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    Nah, I wouldn't walk out, I won't put up w/ bs so I make sure they know I'm not a pushover.

  5. #5
    Senior Member breadbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuish View Post
    Nah, I wouldn't walk out, I won't put up w/ bs so I make sure they know I'm not a pushover.
    Good for you fuish, alot of fat people have whats called the centre of attention syndrome;-)(not wanting to make a scene), not just overweight people either but you did well not to walk out and get upset. so are you gonna take them up on their invitations? blow a few cobwebs out of their heads? hehe
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  6. #6
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I guess my LBS must really be different. I walk in and they say Hi Phil, how are things today and can I help you with anything. Or, Hi Phil, can I sell you a new bike today. :-)

    They were the only ones that I went into and the people were nice to me. I went to three in Omaha, and the TREK store was the worst, so I kept shopping.
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  7. #7
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Hopefully there are other shops in town with better attitudes. There are two local shops I don't go to anymore becasue of the rude servie I have recieved. (neither was relating to my weight, but bad service is bad service).

    If you don't have other options for shopping local, I've been very happy with everyhting I've ever purchased from Areotech Designs and they make cycle clothes up to 5X so they obviously understand that cyclist come in all shapes and sizes.

    Good luck finding something to keep warm, and right on for not puting up with rudeness based on being an Athena.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuish View Post
    Went to one of the LBS today, when I first walked in they were rather snooty to me, being an athena and all, asked me if I was looking for something specific, and I said, "Yeah some gear" and they're like "For you?!" And I said, "Yes for me, do you even carry plus sized gear?" and then they got a little nervous, I mean, GOD I know I'm fat, don't you dare try to be all snooty to me, I'm at least TRYING to do something about my weight. So I get a nice winter riding coat and a new helmet and some gloves talking to the people practically the whole time and by the time I left they'd extended a riding invitation to me. Ha, how the snooty people turn when they realize that fat people have feelings too.
    The LBS probably gets a lot of clydes and athenas who are strokers, they walk into the bike shop, stroke the nice bicycles dreaming that if they ever lose that extra 25lbs (which is often more like 75lbs), they use up a lot of staff time, then leave having not bought anything. They do buy a gallon of ice cream and 4 dozen donuts, which they eat in a depressed funk when they get home. The snootiness is a defense mechanism, so the strokers don't eat up staff time. As soon as they realized you were serious and wanting to actually buy some stuff, their mood changed.

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    I guess my LBS must really be different. I walk in and they say Hi Phil, how are things today and can I help you with anything. Or, Hi Phil, can I sell you a new bike today. :-)
    Last Sunday's exchange at my LBS.

    - (me)
    + (shop guy)


    + Oh man. This guy again?
    - Yeah. I need some SKS P45's for my studded tires. Got any in the back?
    + Not for you.
    (Other customer looks a little puzzled at this point)
    + Well, I guess since you already bought the tires here I'll get a pair for you.
    (Heads to the back and gets my fenders)

    I've got a good relationship with the gang at my LBS, and we'll bust each others' chops sometimes.
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  10. #10
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuish View Post
    Went to one of the LBS today, when I first walked in they were rather snooty to me, being an athena and all, asked me if I was looking for something specific, and I said, "Yeah some gear" and they're like "For you?!" And I said, "Yes for me, do you even carry plus sized gear?" and then they got a little nervous, I mean, GOD I know I'm fat, don't you dare try to be all snooty to me, I'm at least TRYING to do something about my weight. So I get a nice winter riding coat and a new helmet and some gloves talking to the people practically the whole time and by the time I left they'd extended a riding invitation to me. Ha, how the snooty people turn when they realize that fat people have feelings too.
    Ah man, and here I opened this link looking for pictures of a new bicycle or gear .

    Seriously though, congratulations on not being a push over. You went in, got what you were looking for and hopefully made whoever was working there feel like a prick. I can't tell you what to do but maybe its time for a new shop. If no other shop is available in a reasonable distance then maybe you should start ordering gear online. The best way to hurt a business is to take your dollars elsewhere be it to the shop down the street or the web.

    They say that if you provide excellent service your customer will tell a friend, provide poor service and your customer will tell ten friends. As of this time (9:05 am Eastern) you have told 86 friends.

    Bau

  11. #11
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    I guess my LBS must really be different. I walk in and they say Hi Phil, how are things today and can I help you with anything. Or, Hi Phil, can I sell you a new bike today. :-)
    That must be really annoying for their customers who are not named Phil.

  12. #12
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post

    They say that if you provide excellent service your customer will tell a friend, provide poor service and your customer will tell ten friends. As of this time (9:05 am Eastern) you have told 86 friends.

    Bau
    This is very true, except I brag on True Wheel in Council Bluffs, because they have jumped through hoops to help me out. I have sent multiple people to their store and they have purchased new bikes, new gear, bike racks, etc........

    Service seems to be rare these days and sometimes it shows. I went looking for a road bike, and planning on buying a TREK (advertising) and am now a Jamis customer and will probably stay that way.

    I hope some bike shops read through some of these posts and understand how easy it is to get on a bad list quickly. The internet spreads the "work of mouth" very quickly.
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  13. #13
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    The LBS probably gets a lot of clydes and athenas who are strokers, they walk into the bike shop, stroke the nice bicycles dreaming that if they ever lose that extra 25lbs (which is often more like 75lbs), they use up a lot of staff time, then leave having not bought anything. They do buy a gallon of ice cream and 4 dozen donuts, which they eat in a depressed funk when they get home. The snootiness is a defense mechanism, so the strokers don't eat up staff time. As soon as they realized you were serious and wanting to actually buy some stuff, their mood changed.
    Maybe they do things different in Toronto, but when I worked retail through college we were told to treat every customer as a potential sale even if you knew they were just looking. If I owned a bike shop I would be more than happy to sell to larger riders. If you make them feel good about the purchase and themselves they will bring the bike back to you for service. If stress induced by their weight means more time in for service thats more money I would make. Clydes might be more fruitful to a bike shop in this sense. Then again I never worked in a bike shop so if I'm wrong so be it, it still makes sense to me.

    Are there not skinny "strokers"? Why single clydes and athenas in your argument? You may have a valid point but crappy service is still crappy service.

    Bau

  14. #14
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Fuish, After you went through all that BS did they anything to fit you?

  15. #15
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    I don't think this is limited to LBS's. I've noticed that since I dropped weight I get treated differently at most stores that I go to.

    Last week I went to Banana Republic and the clerk was falling over himself to help me. When I went in there as a XXL (now a L) I would get ignored. Bigger folks are simply harder to find stuff for and people treat fat people differently right or wrong.
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  16. #16
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan112 View Post
    I don't think this is limited to LBS's. I've noticed that since I dropped weight I get treated differently at most stores that I go to.

    Last week I went to Banana Republic and the clerk was falling over himself to help me. When I went in there as a XXL (now a L) I would get ignored. Bigger folks are simply harder to find stuff for and people treat fat people differently right or wrong.
    Back in my 385 pound days I went to a Foot Locker in King of Prussia, PA, and was ignored by the staff for a half hour. I left without purchasing the athletic shoes I came in for. The next morning a Black co-worker advised me I did exactly what she does when she is discriminated against - go somewhere else.

  17. #17
    Disgruntled grad student beingtxstate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuish View Post
    Went to one of the LBS today, when I first walked in they were rather snooty to me, being an athena and all, asked me if I was looking for something specific, and I said, "Yeah some gear" and they're like "For you?!" And I said, "Yes for me, do you even carry plus sized gear?" and then they got a little nervous, I mean, GOD I know I'm fat, don't you dare try to be all snooty to me, I'm at least TRYING to do something about my weight. So I get a nice winter riding coat and a new helmet and some gloves talking to the people practically the whole time and by the time I left they'd extended a riding invitation to me. Ha, how the snooty people turn when they realize that fat people have feelings too.
    This is so awesome! I'm glad you stood up to them, and look what it got you...am invitation to ride. Assertiveness is a valuable skill! Reminds of a blog I read the other day:
    http://sittingin.bicycling.com/2008/...nting-the.html
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  18. #18
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    I guess I'm luckier than most. I've got two LBSs that I regularly patronize (one near work, one near home), and they both know and treat me with respect. Of course, when you walk in with a bike that's obviously been tricked for commuting and ridden hard, that might make a difference. My bike's not pretty, but you can tell it gets ridden.

    When I first went into the shop near my home to buy a bike, I explained to the clerk why I wanted one and what I wanted to do with it, and he was very helpful. He recommended a couple of models for me, fit me to a couple for some test rides, and explained the differences between them, with some specific recommendations about why one would be a better ride for a clyde than the other.

    I doubt that the guys at either shop know my name, but they're all welcoming and very helpful whenever I come in. OTOH, we have lots of shops here in the Seattle area, so if you don't like one for any reason, there's another just down the road. That probably makes a big difference.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    Went to my LBS (Richardson Bike Mart) and, due to experiences like yours, was fairly apprehensive. Just needed a new mirror for my helmet, bought it and was doing my share looking at all the goodies I can't justify buying (to my Spousal Unit).
    Was very surprised when two of the guys pulled me aside...Seems a new bike designer/developer had brought in some bikes and they wanted me to try them. My immediate response was to duck and cover (damned Pavlovian conditioning!), but they didn't have to do too much arm twisting.
    Had a blast riding on the road in the back on these things with the staff. I know what I want for Christmas now! They just made me a customer for life being so welcoming.
    .....
    Now I told you That story to get to this one...
    Went to their other store by Whiterock and got the other treatment...felt the "fat guy alert" signal from the staff. If I could have bought the tires I needed at the first store I would have just walked out.
    I guess I could have ordered them on line, but was hoping to get a ride in that afternoon.
    As it turned out, I ended the day feeling demeaned and didn't take the ride because of the freakish arctic wind that started blasting when I got everything ready (only made it for a mile before turning blue and heading home.)
    I'll be using the shop close to home form now on.

  20. #20
    Hip to the Game. bcart1991's Avatar
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    The more you show your face in the shop and talk to the people there, the more familiar and comfortable you will become with each other. After a while, you'll be stopping in to say hello, cracking jokes, etc.

    That's what I did when our new LBS opened a few years ago.

    It's kinda human nature to be a little uncomfortable with that which you are unfamiliar.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuish View Post
    Went to one of the LBS today, when I first walked in they were rather snooty to me, being an athena and all, . . .
    The bike shop I frequent has never been snooty to me; this is why I frequent them. They have definitely increased the amounts of plus-sized bicycle clothing they carry in the last couple years.

    When I first went there I could only find men's shorts that would fit me but in the last year and a half or so, they started carrying more and more stuff, women's specifically plus-sized stuff, I can wear. And I notice it is selling too.

    The owner of the shop is a really nice guy and he sez my Boulder is the most-ridden bike of it's kind; I am not high-milage, but I am pretty regular-mileage. And he knows that I come in fairly frequently to buy stuff with my husband--I guess you could call us regulars. I have seen a few other athena sized women in there and I know I am not buying all of the stuff, so I wonder if my regularity has influenced his stocking decisions. . . ? I hope so because having bike stuff available fairly close-by is great!
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  22. #22
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    I have been through this quite a few times, mostly at the shops that cater to the "Roadie" segment of the market. I found that smaller shops have a far less judgemental approach to sales.

    When I was close to 300lbs, a lot of sales people at stores looked at me like I was a space alien or something. Not exactly a reassuring thing.

    Sad to say, in our culture, certainly in anything having to do with sports, heavier people won't allways be treated well. But keep at it.

  23. #23
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    I walk into my LBS in performance clothes all the time and one kid once accidently pointed out the LBS jersey/bib that I should get. Well everyone else in there and I know there is not a single piece of clothing (save socks) that I could possibly wear. So I told him sure if you find my size so I gave it to him and my waist measurement and after a somewhat sheepish reaction he walked to the rack a second and then dissapeared. Poor guy
    The mechanic last night was much nicer but for good or bad kinda blows of my weight as a real problem.
    I'm having issues with my old fashioned BB where just friction holds it in. It is sliding right and he jokingly said I must pedal harder with one foot.
    So I mentioned I do have limited movement in my left ankle due to surgery and weigh in at oh more then twice as much as most riders so maybe. He nodded and said well it could be anything really maybe one crank flexes more then the other or ... but a little epoxy in there and it shouldn't move until we want it to when servicing it.

  24. #24
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    The problem is that you don't have much choice if you live in a smaller town. Except when I lived in Minneapolis for a few years and worked at a shop myself, I've always lived in smallish cities that can support no more than three bike shops. You have to just learn who to talk to and how to handle everyone else.

  25. #25
    Opus PATH's Avatar
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    My LBS is the best. I stop in mnay times just to say howdy. Nice folks and they have always been dynamite. Helped outfit me and get all my bikes set up. I count myself fortunate.
    Go raibh an chóir ghaoithe i gcónaí liom!

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