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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rona's Avatar
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    There are days I hate the LBS

    I just got a new Ritchey dropbar for my bike. The old Cenilli I had was just way too big for me. At the same time, I want to get new brake levers-- something better for my hands. I wanted a pair of Tektro rl341 which are made for women's hands.

    After not finding any on the Dutch bike websites, I go down to my local LBS's in the village (plural, there are two next to each other). The first one is warm and friendly. They've been great to me in the past. They specialize in city bikes but don't have what I need.

    I go into the second which specializes in racing. When I describe what I'm talking about he gives me the HTFU face and tells me that all brake levers for drops are about the same. He says I could get some interruptors to help and that it would be about 100 euros for installation with new cables.

    I told him I just want some better brake levers. He didn't even show me any in the store to look at. I'm just kinda frustrated because it's like I'm a fat noob who doesn't know what she's talking about and he wouldn't carry fat noob gear anyway.

    *grrrr*

    So when I got home, I started looking for them harder.. found them on eBay with cheap international shipping. I'll just buy them and put them on myself... or have the nice LBS do it for me. I hate being treated like a fat noob. Anyone else get treated like a fat noob at the LBS?
    http://ronajustine.blogspot.com
    American Expat living in the Netherlands
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  2. #2
    DEK
    DEK is offline
    Senior Member DEK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rona View Post
    Anyone else get treated like a fat noob at the LBS?
    Yes. When I was looking to buy a new road bike, I went to an LBS that carries Scott bikes which I was very interested in. The sales-punk I talked to was so condescending to me that I walked out without trying anything. He treated me like some old, fat guy that didn't know a thing about bikes and I just wanted something cool looking. I ended up buying a Felt Z85 at a different shop but I do regret not at least test riding the Scott. Oh, well. I'm happy with the Z.

  3. #3
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rona View Post
    Anyone else get treated like a fat noob at the LBS?
    I got treated like that one time at a shop. Haven't been back. A shame because it's the most convenient one to my commute. The one where they were all nice to me isn't as convenient and appears to only be open when I'm working, but I'll make it back there again one day.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  4. #4
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rona View Post
    I hate being treated like a fat noob. Anyone else get treated like a fat noob at the LBS?
    Oh, only ALL THE TIME!!! That's why I stopped going to them. Happily, I found a bike shop that is not only courteous and professional, but are actually amused by the XXL rider on the weird looking bike. They've been quite helpful.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    I've been very fortunate. My lbs is staffed by some of the nicest, most helpful and knowledgeable people I could ask for. They take great care of me. I do get the Fat Guy Treatment any time I go into an All You Can Eat restaurant, tho. As soon as they see me walk in the door, they rush all the meat back into the kitchen. Sigh.

  6. #6
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    When shopping for a road bike last year at 316lbs, the "big" local bike shop was my first port of call. Already feeling self-conscious, I wandered around the road bike section for 20 mins trying to catch a salespersons eye. They were all busy chatting at the register. Finally, I overcame my awkwardness and, after asking for help, a guy came over to "help" me. I asked a bunch of questions and it was blatantly obvious that the salesperson was not taking me seriously as his answers were short and quick with zero intention of pulling out bikes for me to look at etc. Eventually, I ran out of patience with the store and left.
    On the way home, I visited a smaller LBS and what a difference. Super friendly people so I didnt feel awkward asking weight questions etc. They pulled multiple bikes out for me to test and I felt such confidence in the store that I bought my bike there a week later ($2500) and my wife did the week after that ($2500).

    Great bikes - great store -Gerks, Redmond, WA

  7. #7
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rona View Post
    I just got a new Ritchey dropbar for my bike. The old Cenilli I had was just way too big for me. At the same time, I want to get new brake levers-- something better for my hands. I wanted a pair of Tektro rl341 which are made for women's hands.

    After not finding any on the Dutch bike websites, I go down to my local LBS's in the village (plural, there are two next to each other). The first one is warm and friendly. They've been great to me in the past. They specialize in city bikes but don't have what I need.

    I go into the second which specializes in racing. When I describe what I'm talking about he gives me the HTFU face and tells me that all brake levers for drops are about the same. He says I could get some interruptors to help and that it would be about 100 euros for installation with new cables.

    I told him I just want some better brake levers. He didn't even show me any in the store to look at. I'm just kinda frustrated because it's like I'm a fat noob who doesn't know what she's talking about and he wouldn't carry fat noob gear anyway.

    *grrrr*

    So when I got home, I started looking for them harder.. found them on eBay with cheap international shipping. I'll just buy them and put them on myself... or have the nice LBS do it for me. I hate being treated like a fat noob. Anyone else get treated like a fat noob at the LBS?
    hey! WE like you and if one of us had an lbs, we'd treat you with respect.
    sometimes one wonders why someone who has no people skills will start a business or get a job dealing with folk.
    and you're NOT a fat noob, you are a better endowed, enthusiastic, spirited person.

    so there.

    rodney

  8. #8
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    The owner of my LBS likes to dissuade me from bike upgrades because my bike is "just a comfort bike". Nicer grips, better saddles, flat proof tires, brighter lights, I get the same answer "ah, you don't really need that for your style of riding". I keep telling them I commute daily on my bike and I have no problems whatsoever buying stuff when I need stuff. Usually I wait until the owner leaves the showroom to buy what I need or just order it from REI and not bother with this silly dance.


  9. #9
    Junior Member frazeer's Avatar
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    I've had a great experience with my LBS of choice. I started riding 57 lbs ago, and noticed that half the guys in there were at least as big as me. They helped me get a good bike, and spent nearly 2 hours helping me get the perfect bike and fit. They get almost all of my business now. They remember be by name, and I even stop in to chat and look at the new stuff. If I can't get something I need there right away, they can pretty much order whatever I need. Find the shop that treats you right and see if they can special order parts for you.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ka0use View Post
    hey! WE like you and if one of us had an lbs, we'd treat you with respect.
    rodney
    That's what we need to do!! We need to open a "Fatboyz Bike Shop" Instead of "Pepboys" with three dudes faces, we can put two robust guys and a fuffy chick as the advertising icon.

    Then we can get sued for discrimination when we refuse to hire skinny people LOL
    http://ronajustine.blogspot.com
    American Expat living in the Netherlands
    Artist, Educator and Cyclist

  11. #11
    Senior Member mgw189's Avatar
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    We have three LBS's in my area. I have been to all three. One is not so good the other two are much better. I found the third one after buying my Trek 7.3 FX which I love so far. The two have both done me well. I bought the Bike from one and clipless, shoes and Axiom Paniers from the other. I am thinking about buying a roadbike in the spring we will see.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    I have a REAL problem in my area. Two NICE bike shops that treat me great. I always feel like I'm cheating on the other when I go in to either shop. I purchase about 90% from the shop I got my Trek at, but the other shop is still great, but they didn't carry Trek. Plus the 2nd shop is open on Sunday! So they get any Sunday business if I need something.

    I have visited shops out of town with the people you describe! I have even picked up items in those LBS and then after asking a question and being talked down to, returned the items to the shelf and walk out. I complain with my wallet.
    Gary F.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rona View Post
    That's what we need to do!! We need to open a "Fatboyz Bike Shop" Instead of "Pepboys" with three dudes faces, we can put two robust guys and a fuffy chick as the advertising icon.

    Then we can get sued for discrimination when we refuse to hire skinny people LOL
    Awesome!!

  14. #14
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rona View Post
    That's what we need to do!! We need to open a "Fatboyz Bike Shop" Instead of "Pepboys" with three dudes faces, we can put two robust guys and a fuffy chick as the advertising icon.

    Then we can get sued for discrimination when we refuse to hire skinny people LOL
    Do you know, you may be onto something there. (Apart from the last part, LOL). There is a thriving niche market for personal trainers who cater specifically to those who are under-confident about exercise, gyms etc. - some of them target those customers with slogans like "all welcome - nobody is too fat or too old" and the like. I shouldn't be at all surprised if a bike shop that promoted itself as offering a special service for the unfit or overweight would do quite well.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  15. #15
    Senior Member zencalm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclokitty View Post
    The owner of my LBS likes to dissuade me from bike upgrades because my bike is "just a comfort bike". Nicer grips, better saddles, flat proof tires, brighter lights, I get the same answer "ah, you don't really need that for your style of riding". I keep telling them I commute daily on my bike and I have no problems whatsoever buying stuff when I need stuff. Usually I wait until the owner leaves the showroom to buy what I need or just order it from REI and not bother with this silly dance.
    Interesting. My LBS lets me know when what I want is unnecessary or won't work (ie disc brakes would require a new wheelset) but it never is about how I ride my bike. In fact, my LBS (Back Bay Bikes, in Boston) is the best LBS I could ever hope to have. Every, single staff I have encountered has been encouraging and helpful. I think the store has a rep as a sort of "hardcore" place to go, because some of the guys don't bs you, but I don't find them intimidating at all.

    As a fellow commuter, I do look at upgrades frequently. We ride a lot, and if we want to upgrade, let us! lol
    The only way to know for sure is to practice, and if you practice enough, it will be obtainable. - cranky velocist

  16. #16
    Senior Member zencalm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgw189 View Post
    We have three LBS's in my area. I have been to all three. One is not so good the other two are much better. I found the third one after buying my Trek 7.3 FX which I love so far. The two have both done me well. I bought the Bike from one and clipless, shoes and Axiom Paniers from the other. I am thinking about buying a roadbike in the spring we will see.
    I am glad I tried my Axiom panniers, but I think I am realizing panniers in general drive me sort of nuts because of how the bike responds to the extra rear weight. I do appreciate the waterproofing and reflective panels.How do you like the Axioms?
    The only way to know for sure is to practice, and if you practice enough, it will be obtainable. - cranky velocist

  17. #17
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I use mine for hauling birding equipment. I like that they are large and waterproof. I do not especially like the extra weight but I don't use them for long distances. I don't have a picture with them carrying my scope and tripod. Those stick out the top and it is a bit unwieldy.



    My experience with LBS is mixed. Five years ago when I bought my comfort bike I went to the LBS two blocks from my house. I said I wanted a bike for "riding around" the neighborhood. They showed me various comfort bikes and I bought the smallest, a diamond back. It turned out that it didn't fit me at all, too far a reach for this short person. I had no idea. They were no help. All they saw was a fat older woman wanting an inexpensive bike. Nothing serious going on there! I hated that bike and hardly rode it.

    When I shopped for a new bike this spring I did my homework first, mostly on this forum. So I was armed with questions and knew a lot better what I wanted. I did have one weird experience in a small town bike shop. I went in and casually looked at bikes. I asked the one person on staff what the frame size was of a bike hanging up above. She said she didn't know. I asked her if she could find out and she said read the seat tube. It was up 10 feet in the air, no way to read a label! I said I couldn't read it and she didn't say anything. I took the hint and walked out the door. I ended up buying my bike in the Mpls area because I was on the hunt for a very small hybrid. However, I wasn't fitted to the bike I bought beyond seat height and ended up paying for a professional fit a month later at another LBS. The bike shops pay a lot more attention to me now when I walk in assertively and immediately talk about what I am looking for and what my needs and concerns are. I also am no longer fat. I may be old but I am looking a lot more like I can ride a bike. I got a lot of good help when shopping for my road bike and my current fitter has worked with me extensively.

    My other mixed experience comes from getting work done on bikes. Because I travel a lot I have ended up getting my Cannondale Quick hybrid worked on at four different bike shops. From the get go I was having trouble with my front derailleur. I took it back to the shop I bought it at after about 50 miles. They adjusted the derailleurs and said that it was as good as it was going to get. The front derailleur was just going to rub on some of the gears. I got it tuned up when I had my fit at another LBS. They did it as part of the fit and said the front derailleur should be better now. It wasn't. I finally talked to Cannondale who said bring it in to another LBS and they would change out a bunch of parts to fix the issue. New chainrings, new front derailleur. Not much of a change. It still rubbed in some gears. I am not talking about cross chaining, this is rubbing when I was on the center chainring and in the lower two and upper two gears.

    Then I bought my Madone at yet another LBS. I asked if they would take off the slicks on my Quick, mount more aggressive tires, and look to see if there were other, lower rack options. They did this for free. I casually mentioned to the mechanic as he was doing the work that I hated the drive train on the Quick and that the front derailleur always gave me grief in the middle chain ring. He immediately said that the kick stand mount was interfering with the cable and it was an easy fix. Change the mount. I paid $25 to do so. Now it shifts absolutely perfectly.

    So why did all the Cannondale dealers miss this? It doesn't make sense to me at all.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 10-02-11 at 09:10 AM.

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