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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 09-01-11, 09:10 PM   #1
green427
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Head-banging moment at the LBS today

Stopped at the LBS on my lunch break to check out a couple items.

Store worker was bored so I picked his brains. I wanted to bang my head on the wall after asking him general questions. Here are some of my questions and his answers:

"Are carbon frames really worth the extra cost over aluminum?"

"Depends on what kind of riding you are going to do"

"I read somewhere that carbon frames give you a more comfortable ride than aluminum, is that true?"

"Depends on the road you are riding on"

"I have a 105 drivetrain with 105 components, just wondering if the Ultegra components are that much better than 105?"

"Depends on what kind of rider you are"

"I don't see very many bikes with bolt holes for racks in the rear and front. How do your customers install racks?"

"Depends on the customer. Everyone does their own thing"

"Is there any significant structural difference between sloping top tubes and straight top tubes?"

"Depends on the rider and how he rides"

"Ok, back to the drivetrain components. As far as durability, does the Ultegra last longer than 105 under normal circumstances?"

"Depends on how well the customer maintains the parts"

"Let's say I have $900 in my pocket and want to buy a road bike with 105 components. Which brand would offer me the best components for the money?"

"Depends on what kind of riding you plan to do"




"Ok, thanks for your time, gotta go now"


I know some of my questions were too general, but I wasn't expecting these kind of answers. Other LBS's would give me their personal opinion, but this guy is pure logic.

I am sure Spock would have been more open than this guy. Still, it is probably better to deal with pure logic instead of pure opinion.
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Old 09-01-11, 09:15 PM   #2
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Sounds like the guy was trying to push adult diapers.
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Old 09-01-11, 09:28 PM   #3
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Strange but all his answers were spot on.

I have 105 with 24,000 miles no problem, Ultegra failed after 10,000.

I have sloping tubes and traditional, makes no difference.

Gina's bike has rack eyelets, mine doesn't, we'd install a rack differently.

I have an aluminum bike and no discomfort on a century, other riders claim to lose fillings.




I
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Old 09-01-11, 09:30 PM   #4
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Carbon fiber doesn't like to vibrate at high frequencies, so it will "dampen" some of the road buzz from decent but not great (and not from terrible) roads. It can be more comfortable than aluminum, but the effect is kind of like what you'd get with cork bar tape and fatter tires. It won't be like having shocks, and where there are cracks in the pavement, the faster you take them, the less you'll feel them. But they can do things with the frame, like make the fork and seat stays into springs, to get similar effects.

Whether that (and the weight) is worth the money or not depends how much riding you do, and how much the money means to you.

Also, sounds like at least that person at the shop wasn't that interested in your business. Not a good sign. You could get something from Bikes Direct in your price range if you're comfortable doing some assembly.
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Old 09-01-11, 09:41 PM   #5
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Seems like he took the diplomatic approach to your fishing expedition.

Which LBS where you at? I have only been to two in DE.. The one downtown Wilmington and the bike line on 202. While I can hardly afford to walk into the store in Wilmington, the two people i talked two were beyond helpful and encouraging. The bike line shop has random kids working there who require you to pry a response out of them.
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Old 09-01-11, 09:48 PM   #6
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Funny but he may have been banging his head over your questions with no answers.

U: Is carbon really worth th extra price over aluminum

Him: depends on what kind of riding you do

U: I will be doing organized centuries, charity events etc

Him: go with carbon

Him: Depends on what kind of riding you plan to do

U: race local crits

him: go with aluminum



Did you even bother to give him a response?
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Old 09-01-11, 10:06 PM   #7
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Strange but all his answers were spot on.
+1

My initial response was: yeah, aluminum may be better for racing crits instead of CF. And, of course, it also depends on who made the frame, what type of wheels & tires, etc...

Too often, we expect there to be a "science" of cycling, a list of correct answers and rules. There's not. Cycling is an art: it all depends so much on the individual, how they ride, where they ride, how fast they ride, what kind of terrain, etc...
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Old 09-01-11, 10:08 PM   #8
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Old 09-02-11, 02:32 AM   #9
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Green427 At least you werent ignored at LBS. The last two time I have been in the largest bicycle store in Southwest Missouri, I been ignored like I wasn't even there. Each time at least 4 sales people would be standing around shooting the breeze. I attribute it to me being a Clyde and that they figured I wouldn't be buying a high dollar road bike. Took my business to the other store and was treated like gold. They are interested in establishing a lifetime loalty with their customers and provide lifetime free adjustments as well. I am proud of all the Clydes and Athenas that pursue the love of bicycling. Happy Journeys to All !!
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Old 09-02-11, 09:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by green427 View Post
Stopped at the LBS on my lunch break to check out a couple items.

Store worker was bored so I picked his brains. I wanted to bang my head on the wall after asking him general questions. Here are some of my questions and his answers:

"Are carbon frames really worth the extra cost over aluminum?"

"Depends on what kind of riding you are going to do"
He could have said "Of course it is! And the more expensive the carbon, the bigger the smile."
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Old 09-02-11, 09:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by green427 View Post
Stopped at the LBS on my lunch break to check out a couple items.

Store worker was bored so I picked his brains. I wanted to bang my head on the wall after asking him general questions. Here are some of my questions and his answers:

"Are carbon frames really worth the extra cost over aluminum?"

"Depends on what kind of riding you are going to do"

"I read somewhere that carbon frames give you a more comfortable ride than aluminum, is that true?"

"Depends on the road you are riding on"

"I have a 105 drivetrain with 105 components, just wondering if the Ultegra components are that much better than 105?"

"Depends on what kind of rider you are"

"I don't see very many bikes with bolt holes for racks in the rear and front. How do your customers install racks?"

"Depends on the customer. Everyone does their own thing"

"Is there any significant structural difference between sloping top tubes and straight top tubes?"

"Depends on the rider and how he rides"

"Ok, back to the drivetrain components. As far as durability, does the Ultegra last longer than 105 under normal circumstances?"

"Depends on how well the customer maintains the parts"

"Let's say I have $900 in my pocket and want to buy a road bike with 105 components. Which brand would offer me the best components for the money?"

"Depends on what kind of riding you plan to do"




"Ok, thanks for your time, gotta go now"


I know some of my questions were too general, but I wasn't expecting these kind of answers. Other LBS's would give me their personal opinion, but this guy is pure logic.

I am sure Spock would have been more open than this guy. Still, it is probably better to deal with pure logic instead of pure opinion.
Better than some of the nonsense I've gotten from shops. My favorite is the suggestion I get an all carbon bike for touring.
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Old 09-02-11, 10:19 AM   #12
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Did you even bother to give him a response?
It could be a "talking style" problem. Some people, especially with people under 35 years old in the U.S., would think that they are asking the customer questions, just by adding the word "depends" to a short declarative statement.

Many people would take such terse declarative statements as a deliberate strategy on the part of the bike shop employee to broker no response from the customer.

Just saying...
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Old 09-02-11, 10:27 AM   #13
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Better than some of the nonsense I've gotten from shops. My favorite is the suggestion I get an all carbon bike for touring.
Yeah. I wore-out a 9-speed cassette last year, and was looking around for a LBS that had a SRAM 11-28 model. This one employee tried to talk me into buying an entire 10-speed group (shifters/brake levers, derailures, cassette, and all). instead of ordering a simple cassette, warning me that all of the mechanics, regardless of bike shop, would only be good at fixing and dialing-in the more modern 10-speed systems from now on.

Idiot. Bikes are not that damn complicated. You use the same basic techniques to set-up and dial in derailures going back to the 1980s (since index shifting came out).
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Old 09-02-11, 10:34 AM   #14
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Better than some of the nonsense I've gotten from shops. My favorite is the suggestion I get an all carbon bike for touring.
I should add the reasoning was that since carbon is lighter than steel, I'd have an easier time getting up mountain passes.
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Old 09-02-11, 10:46 AM   #15
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It could be a "talking style" problem. Some people, especially with people under 35 years old in the U.S., would think that they are asking the customer questions, just by adding the word "depends" to a short declarative statement....
True, I was going to add that as IMO, it's used as an answer response that begs for an answer. But like you say, can be used that way too so it's debatable. Either way, I myself would have given a response.

Are the hombre that shot my Daddy?
Depends on who your Daddy was.
Bang, you're dead!
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Old 09-02-11, 11:02 AM   #16
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Saw this post and thought it was interesting (not a Clyde).

I'm surprised that he didn't probe any further such as inquiring on the type of rider you are and how he would at least attempt try to make a sale. Duh! Customer service isn't for everyone. Just my two cents. Pretty lame answers IMO.
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Old 09-02-11, 11:22 AM   #17
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I posted this since I was caught off guard by the guy's responses to my boring, loaded questions. I wanted to pick someone's brains to get their point of view on topics that I already have some knowledge about.

Yes, all his answers are correct. Was it what I wanted to hear? No. I was hoping to hear an older cyclist's point of view on all the high-tech stuff we have today.

Instead, I ended up with a Lieutenant Commander Data early prototype.
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Old 09-02-11, 11:26 AM   #18
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Seems like he took the diplomatic approach to your fishing expedition.

Which LBS where you at? I have only been to two in DE.. The one downtown Wilmington and the bike line on 202. While I can hardly afford to walk into the store in Wilmington, the two people i talked two were beyond helpful and encouraging. The bike line shop has random kids working there who require you to pry a response out of them.
This one was at PB across from the CCHS hospital. They seem to have the same group of people working there, and after seeing this older guy there occasionally, I jumped on the chance to pick his brains. I told him just before I left that when I am ready to buy another bike, I wanted him to help me so that I can torture him some more with my loaded questions. He actually cracked a smile.
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Old 09-02-11, 11:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green427 View Post
Stopped at the LBS on my lunch break to check out a couple items.

Store worker was bored so I picked his brains. I wanted to bang my head on the wall after asking him general questions. Here are some of my questions and his answers:

"Are carbon frames really worth the extra cost over aluminum?"

"YES"

"I read somewhere that carbon frames give you a more comfortable ride than aluminum, is that true?"

"YES"

"I have a 105 drivetrain with 105 components, just wondering if the Ultegra components are that much better than 105?"

"NO"

"I don't see very many bikes with bolt holes for racks in the rear and front. How do your customers install racks?"

"THEY DON'T"

"Is there any significant structural difference between sloping top tubes and straight top tubes?"

"NO"

"Ok, back to the drivetrain components. As far as durability, does the Ultegra last longer than 105 under normal circumstances?"

"NO"

"Let's say I have $900 in my pocket and want to buy a road bike with 105 components. Which brand would offer me the best components for the money?"

"None is head and shoulders above the other"




"Ok, thanks for your time, gotta go now"


I know some of my questions were too general, but I wasn't expecting these kind of answers. Other LBS's would give me their personal opinion, but this guy is pure logic.

I am sure Spock would have been more open than this guy. Still, it is probably better to deal with pure logic instead of pure opinion.
Would these answers have been more helpful?
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Old 09-02-11, 11:44 AM   #20
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Are the hombre that shot my Daddy?
Depends on who your Daddy was.
Bang, you're dead!
Hello.

My name is Inigo Montoya.
You killed my father.

Prepare to die.
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Old 09-02-11, 12:10 PM   #21
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Also, I kind of expected from the title that this thread would be about going into a bike shop and finding some heavy metal bands doing a show or something.
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Old 09-02-11, 12:16 PM   #22
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It could be a "talking style" problem. Some people, especially with people under 35 years old in the U.S., would think that they are asking the customer questions, just by adding the word "depends" to a short declarative statement.
This sounds like it could have been the issue. I've had some of the LBS kids "ask" me questions in a similar fashion.
me - Would you use a cheaper 7spd or the more expensive PC1 chain for a singlespeed conversion drivetrain?
him - Depends on what sort of riding you're planning with it.
(*crickets*)
him - Are you building this for the velodrome, are you commuting on it, will it be a race-training bike...? There's different strength and durability tolerances to consider.
me - OK, got it. Here's my plans for it...
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Old 09-02-11, 12:17 PM   #23
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Did you even bother to give him a response?
The shopkeeper never asked a question to respond to.
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Old 09-02-11, 12:19 PM   #24
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Hello.

My name is Inigo Montoya.
You killed my father.

Prepare to die.


I guess really, I'd prefer this approach!

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Old 09-02-11, 12:21 PM   #25
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The shopkeeper never asked a question to respond to.


I guess you'd have to go back and read post #12 and beyond.
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