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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-15-08, 12:13 PM   #1
badgermac
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Latest Journey to a bike shop

So I decided to stop at the last LBS in my direct area today. Cool place - all sorts of vintage stuff. Was looking at ROad bike - they had Fuji, LeMond, Bianchi, and Raleigh as brands there en masse.

Tried to sell me an '02 Fuji Ace for $519 and then drop some Velocity Spartacus wheels on there to make it $699. Got a bit turned off when they tried to sell me those, considering I dont' look tiny.

Cool place -but WAY overpriced. THey figured I think I was a n00b and thus the pricing. I figure I may go back and try to see if I can get something on the cheap, but the moment I put Spartacus on my bike at my weight is the day that, well, I dont' know what could happen to make me do that.
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Old 04-16-08, 01:23 AM   #2
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I'd say they do that to everybody, not just you. I know how you feel though. Just think of the long term and don't let some clem put you off. I never heard of the wheels but if you know they're not right for your weight put your foot down and don't get them. Doesn't say much for the guy in the bike shop though,sorry!
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Old 04-16-08, 06:00 AM   #3
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I was more venting a bit than anything. THe Spartacus is a nice deep wheel (by Velocity) but low spoke count so a risk with my frame (and I'm not talking bike here)! The fuji was a decent enough bike, but a 3-4 year old "old-new stock" (as they said) for $519 was overpriced by far.

Nice enough people, and I'm far from an expert, but they definitely were going to take me for a ride.
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Old 04-16-08, 01:04 PM   #4
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My search for a more road-worthy bike has ended to compliment my Hardrock. One of our chain LBS in the area is dropping Giant as a model they're going to carry (Trek gave them an offer to go with them and drop Giant and Specialized). Got an FCR3 for about 30% the sale price since it was the last one on the floor. Took it for a spin this AM and LOVE it. Now I've got the HardRock for more offtrail with the Mrs. and the FCR for my urban solo riding I do for exercise.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:07 PM   #5
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Sounds like a good deal for you.

Too bad TREK is making these deals. It pushes me farther and farther away from TREK each time I hear about it.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:23 PM   #6
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You're like one of the few who respond to my posts (which I appreciate) but I get a kick out of your Trek issues. I looked at the Trek FX series but this Giant just took to me more. Plus I paid like $200 less than a comparably equipped Trek.

I'm a bit biased towards them since I'm a Wisconsinite, but now I only own one Trek. The Wife's Giant, my Giant, my Trek Lime, and my Hardrock.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:56 PM   #7
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The LBS I do most of my shopping at had discussions with Trek, and found their retailer agreement to be too restrictive.

But, they also have quit selling Giants in favor of other brands (not Trek).

Because the bike that got me back into cycling is a Giant, I do have a soft spot for them, but realistically I know that for the same money and requirements, when I go bike shopping I can find very similar bikes from any major manufacturer.
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Old 04-16-08, 03:00 PM   #8
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My Trek issues are with the LBS's in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area that treated me like crap. That is why I own 3 Jamis bikes and unless my LBS switches to TREK, I won't. My suggestions to most people are to buy whatever brand their local LBS carries as long as they treat you right. Three Trek stores that I contacted/went into before buying anything, and I bought somewhere else. It was the 4th store I went into.

I do the same thing when I buy my music gear for my bass playing or PA gear. The person I bought everything from basically is no longer in business, so I will go to multiple shops and see what I like when I go shopping again, or I may just buy on-line until I get burned.

I really hope you like the Giant. I think there are a few more bike stores in the same range as the bike shop I go to now, but I haven't been in them as I found a great person to deal with.

I talked my 70 year old mother into buying a TREK, because the LBS for her in Georgia carries TREK and I talked to the owner while I was there around Thanksgiving and he seemed to be a really good person to deal with.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:59 AM   #9
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My Trek issues are with the LBS's in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area that treated me like crap. That is why I own 3 Jamis bikes and unless my LBS switches to TREK, I won't. My suggestions to most people are to buy whatever brand their local LBS carries as long as they treat you right. Three Trek stores that I contacted/went into before buying anything, and I bought somewhere else. It was the 4th store I went into.

I do the same thing when I buy my music gear for my bass playing or PA gear. The person I bought everything from basically is no longer in business, so I will go to multiple shops and see what I like when I go shopping again, or I may just buy on-line until I get burned.

I really hope you like the Giant. I think there are a few more bike stores in the same range as the bike shop I go to now, but I haven't been in them as I found a great person to deal with.

I talked my 70 year old mother into buying a TREK, because the LBS for her in Georgia carries TREK and I talked to the owner while I was there around Thanksgiving and he seemed to be a really good person to deal with.
+1 on going with the shop that treats you best. I guess in Lincoln I'm pretty lucky as all our shops are all very good, but I'm starting to notice the "TREK creep" that you hint toward. It seems like the shops that carry Trek have begun to carry more Trek and less of others. One used to carry Bianchi, and stopped this year (but in fairness started carrying Surly "complete" bikes and some awesome Orbeas). Another used to carry a variety but seems to basically have switched to all-Trek.

Not a bad thing, I guess, Trek makes good bikes that are affordable. I'd much rather have it than "NEXT"exclusive shops!
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Old 04-17-08, 09:00 AM   #10
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the only thing i like about stores of all sorts that have only 1 brand is that if they are biased toward a model it tends to be for the right reason. For instance if a store carries Bianchi and Giant, there may be 2 bikes of a comparable price but the person might not push toward the right bike they may (hypothetically because i have no clue of the mark up) push you toward the Giant because they get 35% profit on it opposed to the Bianchi that they get 25% profit, when the bianchi may be a slightly better bike or just a better bike for you. Thats the only thing i like about stores with an exclusive contract with one brand, of course that is assuming that it's a brand that you like. I would however prefer a store with more variety, but i'm just pointing out that when a store carries only one brand there is at least one good point to it.


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i have known places(not bike shops) that would push a certain brand although it was an inferior product just due to it being a higher profit margin, but hey, that's business.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:57 AM   #11
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My LBS, which used to handle both Trek and Specialized, is dropping all the Trek aluminum frame models and will continue to sell only their carbon framed bikes -- the salesperson couldn't (or didn't want to) explain why.

BTW, it's my first visit here. I've posted on other forums, but since my weight hovers around 211, I think I qualify.
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Old 04-19-08, 09:16 PM   #12
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Old 04-19-08, 09:20 PM   #13
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I didnt' mean to sound like I was taking a shot at you. More power to you sticking with your LBS. The chain LBS here in the area is running the others out of business or really limiting the geographic that the other LBS handle.

The big chain LBS here is Trek and their sub-brands. They say they are a Surly dealer but dont' carry much in stock. They jsut dropped Giant. The LBS I have tended to visit more lately is the Schwinn/Specialized shop that carries some of the other brands like GT/Mongoose/DB, etc.

Being a Wisconsinite I've had a softspot for Trek (I think I explained before) but after today I'm totally on board with this FCR I just bought, I absolutely love it. I'm keeping my HardRock as well, still love it also!
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Old 04-19-08, 09:24 PM   #14
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Sounds like a good deal for you.

Too bad TREK is making these deals. It pushes me farther and farther away from TREK each time I hear about it.
I can't imagine it's any worse than 'deals' automakers make with dealerships.
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Old 04-20-08, 02:11 PM   #15
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I didnt' mean to sound like I was taking a shot at you. More power to you sticking with your LBS. The chain LBS here in the area is running the others out of business or really limiting the geographic that the other LBS handle.

The big chain LBS here is Trek and their sub-brands. They say they are a Surly dealer but dont' carry much in stock. They jsut dropped Giant. The LBS I have tended to visit more lately is the Schwinn/Specialized shop that carries some of the other brands like GT/Mongoose/DB, etc.

Being a Wisconsinite I've had a softspot for Trek (I think I explained before) but after today I'm totally on board with this FCR I just bought, I absolutely love it. I'm keeping my HardRock as well, still love it also!
You do realize that lower end Trek bikes are made in China, and that even a US made Trek uses components that are made in Malaysia (Shimano).

Chain stores are often more interested in getting stock out the door, to keep sales up and the managers bonus nice and high, the sales people are probably on commission, so they want models that sell well, mostly cheaper mountain bikes and hybrids. For the person who wants something higher end, they can order it within a day or two. They really don't care about the individual customer, who may come back, may not, but they don't really care, because there are 5000 other suckers who saw the big splashy advert and are waiting to come in the door.

Independents often are more interested in a happy customer, because happy customers keep coming back, maybe the first time the customer comes in they buy a bike and a helmet, then they come back for some other stuff, or to get a repair or adjustment done, the dealer knows that you might spend $500 on a bike, once, but spend $300 on accessories and other crap every year for the next 10, stuff that has a much higher profit margin then the actual bike does. They also know that if your happy you will recommend the shop to others.
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Old 04-20-08, 04:17 PM   #16
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I can't imagine it's any worse than 'deals' automakers make with dealerships.
I lost my job and another 500 + did in our small town of 6000, because of moving automotive things to Mexico, so I will not respond to this post without blowing up. I disagree, but not worth the hassle to go off-topic. You can say the same thing about many other things also.
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Old 04-20-08, 04:20 PM   #17
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Independents often are more interested in a happy customer, because happy customers keep coming back, maybe the first time the customer comes in they buy a bike and a helmet, then they come back for some other stuff, or to get a repair or adjustment done, the dealer knows that you might spend $500 on a bike, once, but spend $300 on accessories and other crap every year for the next 10, stuff that has a much higher profit margin then the actual bike does. They also know that if your happy you will recommend the shop to others.
That is why my LBS (60 minutes away) gets my money and they also get my recommedation when people ask me where to buy and that is why the Trek stores don't. I bought a used roller setup from an ex-Trek employee, and asked me what I was riding. I told him Jamis, so he told me the store I bought it from. Then asked me whey I didn't buy a Trek, or one of the many companies they own, and I told him the attitude. He laughed and agreed, and then threw in some water bottles and dropped his price on the rollers.

I would really hate to find out how much is not manufactured in the US, but only boxed and/or assembled in the US.
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Old 04-20-08, 05:01 PM   #18
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Yep, I knew it. My home town used to house the Trek plant that did all their helmets back in the day but that's all overseas now as well. Still doesn't mean I wont' support them though.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:25 PM   #19
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My LBS was a Trek Dealer for 14 yrs till they started telling him how to run his
business. What to stock, where to put it, what to stop selling etc. He sent em packing.
Another shop in town had trek after that, but the guy died last year so now they have nothing.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:59 PM   #20
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We've got the big chain LBS here that dropped Giant is is pretty much Trek and Trek sub-brands even though they say they have Surly, etc.

Another small one-store LBS is Trek, Schwinn, Cannondale. Another is Schwinn (and derivative brands) along with Specialized. Then the one I posted about above which sells Raleigh, Fuji, etc.

Trek definitely has hardened their business model with their successes. It will all even itself out - business has a way of doing that. Ironically, being a "trek guy", I only have 1 Trek, and it's my kid-cruiser Lime.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:05 PM   #21
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That is why my LBS (60 minutes away) gets my money and they also get my recommedation when people ask me where to buy and that is why the Trek stores don't. I bought a used roller setup from an ex-Trek employee, and asked me what I was riding. I told him Jamis, so he told me the store I bought it from. Then asked me whey I didn't buy a Trek, or one of the many companies they own, and I told him the attitude. He laughed and agreed, and then threw in some water bottles and dropped his price on the rollers.

I would really hate to find out how much is not manufactured in the US, but only boxed and/or assembled in the US.
Well, first there is no such thing as a US made bicycle, (except maybe the Worksmen) nearly all of them use components made by Shimano, their largest plant is in Malaysia, they don't have a US plant, they do have one in China though..... Cheaper models of Trek, are made entirely in China, which isn't uncommon, pretty much any sub $1000 bicycle from a US company is. One thing, not all Chinese made bicycles are crap, the Chinese have been making and using bicycles for many decades, and most Chinese made bicycles for American companies, need to meet the specifications set down by the company. It's understandable when you figure that a Chinese worker in a Chinese plant is happy to get $1/hour, all benefits are supplied by the Chinese government, they also don't need to worry about things like toxic or hazardous waste. An American worker gets say $15/hr plus company paid benefits and companies are strictly regulated on toxic or hazardous waste disposal, which is expensive. Right now, it's dirt cheap to ship stuff in containers from China, because oil is still relatively cheap. I expect that as oil becomes more and more expensive, and shipping costs from China become more and more expensive, that this will change.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:35 PM   #22
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I lost my job and another 500 + did in our small town of 6000, because of moving automotive things to Mexico, so I will not respond to this post without blowing up. I disagree, but not worth the hassle to go off-topic. You can say the same thing about many other things also.
I'm sorry you suffered a loss because of a business decision unrelated to the control an automobile manufacturer has over their dealer network. My point was to compare it to Trek's alleged 'deals' with their dealer network.
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