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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 08-14-12, 05:20 PM   #1
Allen55
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Does your LBS employees act weird with you?

Its strange, but whenever I go into the LBS where I purchased my bike last year, all of the employees kind look at me like "what would someone his size be doing in here". Even the salesman that sold me the bike is like that. I just feel strange in there and definitely not like its a place where I would want to hang out and learn from them. I see the guys come in there on their fancy road bikes and the employees there act like those riders are Gods. And it isnt like they are friends, because they all introduce themselves and dont talk like they even know them.

Maybe its just my local LBS. There is a LBS on the Silver Comet Trail here in Ga., and those guys act like they are sincerely interested in helping you.
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Old 08-14-12, 05:40 PM   #2
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I recently moved. My former lbs was always glad to see me, gave me excellent advice and treated me like I knew more than I really do about cycling. In turn I was loyal to them, buying over 40 bikes (for me and family members) from them over the past 35 years.

In my new town, there are two bike shops. I was in one almost thirty minutes without anyone acknowledging me. Had to ask someone to wait on me to pay for some chain lube I had picked up. The other shop, while larger seems more interested is selling outdoor clothing and camping supplies than cycling stuff. I ordered a tool from them, and they were to call when it came in. Two weeks, and I haven't heard from them.

I'm glad I only moved 90 minutes away from my former lbs.
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Old 08-14-12, 05:55 PM   #3
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Maybe its just my local LBS. There is a LBS on the Silver Comet Trail here in Ga., and those guys act like they are sincerely interested in helping you.
And this should be your new LBS. If they won't give me the time of day, I won't give them my money.
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Old 08-14-12, 06:03 PM   #4
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Sounds like that bike shop might favor the super fast roadbiker type....do they have alot of non roadbikes for sale or is it mostly roadbikes on display?...if it's mostly filled with roadbikes, they may be trying to be a pro shop of sorts. In my limited experiences, a pro shop type place does seem to give off a somewhat un-friendly vibe to me....I ride a roadbike but I probably don't give that impression when i walk in to one of those shops as I definately don't fit thier mold & for some reason i usualy feel uneasy...I'm way more comfy in a shop that carries mostly hybrids but a few roadbikes over in a corner

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Old 08-14-12, 06:06 PM   #5
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Two LBSs in my town.

One gave me a bad vibe when I talked to one salesman. I now realize I was probably talking to the owner. The conversation was awkward, and left me wondering if biking was for me.

Then I went to the other store. It's a bit further away, but what a difference in attitude.

The salesman was enthusiastic, friendly, and gave me a lot of great advice...some that even cost him the sale of a bike (I bought used elsewhere). But, he even checked their used inventory to see if there were any trade-ins in my size. Turns out this guy was also the owner. Gave me a good 30 minutes of his time explaining bike differences, what to look for, etc. They have group rides of different levels, offer maintenance classes, and their website has some great articles.

The second LBS will be my biking home.

Last edited by Tower936; 08-14-12 at 06:46 PM. Reason: I wasn't drinking and posting...but it would explain the mistakes.
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Old 08-14-12, 06:43 PM   #6
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A new LBS opened where I live - first time I went in I felt comfortable for the first time in a bike shop. Second time I went in the owner remembered my name. I am not going anywhere else.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:13 PM   #7
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My LBS treats me as a friend, mostly because I am. The relationship started with me needing wheel service on my Schwinn and grew from there. I have always been treated with great service. At 5'9" and now 231 lbs. bald with a mostly grey beard I don't exactly look like a well healed roadie because I'm not. Still they offer encourgaement to me and accept me for the clyde I am on my way to roadie stardom.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:14 PM   #8
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I have two LBS's that I goto all the time, they're both Landis Cyclery's, and in both the employees are happy to see me. My local one I stop in at all the time to shoot the **** and say hi / oogle their high end road bikes. This is the one where I get most if not all of my service on my bikes done, and where I've purchased a couple bikes... Jim at this one has helped me out with my wheels on numerous occasions... and I'm going to be building a set there very soon for my road bike. (still on the factory non-clyde friendly wheels on my road bike).

The other I stop by all the time when my wife goes to her running store... It's where I bought my actual road bike, and the fitter there (sam), is a total bad ass. Him and I always talk about racing, and our rides.

At both, I frequently bring in my wife's baked goods... At my local when I drop my bike off (I ride it there), I'll frequently grab stuff for them from QT if they ask; while I wait.

If I were ever to go into a bike shop and feel uncomfortable, I'd walk the **** out, cause **** people who are in the service industry who have attitudes.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:28 PM   #9
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I am in the same situation as the OP. Local-LBS guys are jerks, but the LBS on the rail trail in the next town is great. I think it has something to do with seeing more customers that are normal people and less people in full team kit.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:47 PM   #10
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The shop that Christine deals with is excellent. Small shop, staffed by young guys---little more than kids, really. They race. But, when she walked in, middle aged and overweight, they didn't try to steer her to a hybrid or cruiser. She wanted a road bike. They let her try a few. She settled on a Trek Lexa WSD, because the shorter top tube and reach fit her better. With their advice on fitting. I'd never been in the shop before, but when I went in with her for some follow up work, they treated her courteously and with respect. Not even the slightest bit condescending. They've never tried to stick her for repairs she didn't need. They worked with her to solve her saddle issues. Several saddles were tried and exchanged.

You can expect that when the time comes for me to upgrade my present ride, they will get very serious consideration. Even if the only brand they sell is Trek.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:01 PM   #11
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I have seen this thread too many times, and seen the responses too many times, for me to believe the overwhelming majority of bike shops are disinterested in the overwhelming majority of the population as customers.

I personally think its a phobia many of us have in our own monds, and we quickly find what we expect to find.

When I purchased my bikes (the wife's and mine at the same time) I went to quite a few stores. I found one or two of the 5-6 that I visited that made me feel comfortable with both their
level of service, and their business
practices. Never once did I feel as though I wasn't given serious consideration because I was 50 lbs overweight at the time.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:21 PM   #12
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Before buying my last bike I visited several stores just to browse. I quickly wrote off the ones that didn't seem the least bit interested in me and jumped right to the more serious looking cyclists who came in after me. Strangely, the local chain store (Erik's) had the best service of the bunch and were very interested in me as a beginner cyclist and helping me decide my path in the hobby. I never once got a snarky look from anyone or a hint that I didn't belong there. The sales guy didn't try to up-sell me or push me toward a lesser bike but listened to what I was looking for and made suggestions. Now when I go in to pick things up, the guys I've dealt with ask how my riding is going..ect.

I went to a couple of the more snobbish places around town and it was pretty clear they were not interested in working with any but the racing types or the hipsters.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:44 PM   #13
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My experiences in the past year have been positive. Now I'm well known when I walk in and get friendly greetings by name....that is at the LBS that I have bought 3 bikes from within 12 months. Getting complements on my weight loss and talk of me working part time there.

The surprise is the friendly/personal greetings I get from some of the employees at Performance Bicycles. I buy stuff there (nutrition, clothing etc)....
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Old 08-14-12, 08:58 PM   #14
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Still they offer encourgaement to me and accept me for the clyde I am on my way to roadie stardom.
That's what I love about my LBS. I had quite a huge mental hurdle to jump in order to start riding a road bike at my age and size. They treated me as though it was the most normal thing in the world. You'd think that half their customers were 60ish overweight old ladies.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:14 PM   #15
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When I first got on a bike, as a grown up, it was at an absolutely wonderful LBS. I walked in and one of the owners waited on me and took at least an hour with me before I bought a Raleigh hybrid. I learned how bikes worked from them and never felt "weird" at 6-2 260. Between me and my kids, I bought 6 bikes over the next 10 years. I moved away. New job, new stress... Just getting back in. Lots of bike shops in greater Portland, but none of them have the family feel of the first one. On the plus side, I know enough about bikes that they stop looking at me funny once we start talking.

Can I get away with a shameless plug? If anyone is on the Olympic or Kitsap Peninsulas in Washington, stop in at Silverdale Cyclery. Same guy has owned the place forever.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:05 PM   #16
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My experience is that bike shops with an attitude towards us Clydes are the exception, not the rule. The one I go to is run by a guy who will look you in the eye and discuss clyde issues knowledgeably and without a hint of condescension.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:09 PM   #17
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My LBS has been AWESOME to me. Their BG fitter there has taken a lot of time with me to get the fit on my hybrid dialed in. They're been super supportive of my goal to do the ALC next year.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:19 PM   #18
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I feel lucky. My LBS at first glance seems to be an elite shop for racers. You walk in and all they have is carbon bikes, and wheels all over the place that cost $4000. I almost walked right out.

I'm lucky I didn't, I could not have asked for a nicer friendlier more supportive shop ever.

Here's an example. I ran over a screw 7 miles after they built me a new rear wheel. Ruined the rim. This was within hours of them building the wheel. I had been off the bike for 3 weeks due to a car crash and I could not wait to ride. I brought the wheel in the very next day and they said they would fix it "as fast as humanly possible", because they understood how badly I wanted to get back on the bike. They were closed on Monday and Tuesday in order to do some renovations, but the owner gave me a call Monday morning telling me to come on in and get my wheel. They gave me a 10% "we feel bad for your luck" discount and tossed some rim tape in for free too. As I was checking out the owner said he was very happy to have me as a customer and that I'm very important to them and didn't mind servicing me when the shop was closed at all.

I'll shop there for life. They treat every cyclist, no matter what shape or ability, with respect.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:27 PM   #19
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Sounds like that bike shop might favor the super fast roadbiker type....do they have alot of non roadbikes for sale or is it mostly roadbikes on display?
You hit it. They have a LOT of the road bikes there...the thing is, they ony sell Trek in that store. I just realized that. Thats kinda weird.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:30 PM   #20
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You hit it. They have a LOT of the road bikes there...the thing is, they ony sell Trek in that store. I just realized that. Thats kinda weird.
Not super weird...from what I hear about Trek...my LBS sells BH and Trek but mostly Trek.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:36 PM   #21
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the only reason Ill go back in there is because they are located just around the corner from my house. I think my serious business will go to the place on the trail.
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Old 08-15-12, 01:24 AM   #22
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I've been lucky with my LBS. We have four in town but only one that I deal with. The guys there have actually become friends of mine. They've always taken really great care of me and have never "Sold" me anything. They don't even charge me Labor for most of my repair work. I've spent a lot of money there since '08 and I've sent a lot of business their way but I wouldn't have done either if I wasn't 100% satisfied with them. Great bunch of guys.
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Old 08-15-12, 02:05 AM   #23
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The first time I went into my local Performance Bike(my only lbs in a reasonable distance to the SO) it took me a while to get someone's attention, just because they were busy and regulars/bigger customers than me were already there. But a new employee noticed me standing by and we got talking. We looked at a few bikes that would fit my needs, and his supervisor came over when he was free to help too. I didn't end up with the bike I'd wanted due to money issues, but I fully intend to go back when I'm ready to buy a new bike.
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Old 08-15-12, 03:18 AM   #24
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And this should be your new LBS. If they won't give me the time of day, I won't give them my money.
I'm over 50 and find that the only shops where I don't get ignored are bike shops.
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Old 08-15-12, 07:38 AM   #25
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You hit it. They have a LOT of the road bikes there...the thing is, they ony sell Trek in that store. I just realized that. Thats kinda weird.
It's common actually. Think of a car dealership, they get deals and training from their major supplier. They can sell other brands of course but they usually have to order them. My shop is 90% Specialized. The other shop in town is 90% Trek.
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