Recommendations for a Clyde friendly LBS in Baltimore?
Sorry for the kinda localized question
I've read a bunch on this forum and it has inspired me to give a try to taking up cycling. I've noticed that at least a few of you are from the Baltimore / DC area and was hoping to get a recommendation or two for a local bike shop that can help outfit me with a well setup used bike for somewhere between 300 and 500 bucks.
I am 28, 6 feet tall and nearly 400 lbs (the scary number that is getting me active again) I live in East Baltimore and work in Beltsville, so anything from Cockeysville on down to DC would work for me.
I am also interested in hooking up for rides after I build my conditioning up a bit.
Thanks for any input. Hopefully, before too long, I'll be another success story!
First of all, AWESOME that you are looking towards cycling to improve your life, it will trust me. I have lost 50lbs cycling and had a great time doing it. 2nd, I'm not from DC but I'm sure you could find some shops online. I would just do a search, make a list, and start visiting. From experience some bike shops I have been to look at you kind of funny when you tell them you are interested in a bike and you aren't a 135lbs tight jean wearing scene rider, but pay them no mind, just move on to the next shop. Good luck man.
I don't live in Baltimore so I can't really be of any help there.
I found a really nice LBS completely by chance. Back in June I really needed some upgrades done on my bike, and wasn't happy with the service I got from one of the bigger "chains" around here. So I randomly picked a LBS that advertised on the web that they treat every bike with the same professional quality, whether it's $500 or $10,000. Ok, so I gave them a shot. Walked in... and felt discouraged immediately. Every bike in sight was a sleek carbon racer costing $8k or more. Every patron in the store was 150-170 pounds, athletic as hell.
I don't know why, but I felt very nervous, like I didn't belong. I almost walked out.
Anyhow, they worked with me on what changes I wanted to make and did absolutely perfect work. I was impressed so I went back again and again for new stuff as the year progressed. I was amazed at how professionally they treated me every time I was there, and how personal they were as well. Little details of information I told them, they remembered months later. At first I was simply impressed that they remembered my name every time I walked in, but all the other details blew me away. I eventually decided to have them build my new bike; it's perfect.
So I guess the moral of the story is that any good bike shop is probably going to be good for a clyde. If they know their stuff, and if they want your money, they'll treat you with utmost respect and professionalism, no matter what weight you are.
I did take your advice and checked out a bunch of local shops, they all were really helpful and I've narrowed in a bit on what I am going to choose, but it has pushed my budget up a hair I just like the 29ers too much. I am in the process of simultaneously trying to talk myself into and out of a really sweet looking Specialized Hardrock that is on end of year closeout special...
Also, I've already run into the fun problem of liking one shop more than the others, but not the bikes they sell so much. i was hoping to fall in love with a bike and shop all at once.
I'll keep folks updated once I make my choice.
I look forward to actually sticking with something for once.
Good deal man. The Specialized is a sweet bike you won't regret it. 29ers are awesome bikes for clydes IMO. I have owned a 29er and I loved it. It was super easy to ride and it was really forgiving and I was riding it at the peak of my weight (around 290).