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  1. #1
    Member firesfate's Avatar
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    Apprehensive about visiting LBS

    Ok. I have really started to like the trek crossrip bikes and want to go see one in person. I am concerned that they will take one look at me and point to beech cruisers or trikes. Anyone have good/bad stories they can share? (If some of you are wondering why I want a new bike so soon it is because my daughter wants mine)

  2. #2
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    How you get treated will say a lot about how good a business the bike shop in question runs. Quite simply, it's pretty easy for a competent, friendly bike shop to outfit most anybody with whatever type of bike they want. As we've said often on this board, the main issue with heavier riders and bikes are wheels. Not being familiar with Trek's cross bikes, I took a look at a photo and the wheels seem to have enough spokes that you shouldn't have a problem. But again, a good shop mechanic or sales person will be able to tell you for sure.

    But, certainly, if you don't get treated well from the get go, walk out. There's too much competition and too many offerings across all the well respected brands to put up with bad customer service.

  3. #3
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    I don't know what you weigh... but i'm over 300#... every shop I'v ever gone into has asked how they could help and then what I was interested in...

    Ive had enough years around the cycling world and shop to be comfortable walking into just about any shop and talking shop with em and that helps now but really they are there to help you... or they don't want your $$$$
    mtbr clyd moderator

  4. #4
    Texas Tornado copswithguns's Avatar
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    I started at 320 and was asked by my LBS if I wanted to ride any of their $3000 Cervelo bikes. YMMV, but if you aren't treated the way you expect to be, move on to a different shop. If they know what they're talking about, they should be helpful AND know that big guys can ride what they want, within certain limits.
    "Speed never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...Now that's what gets you." -Jeremy Clarkson

  5. #5
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    The only reasonable course of action is to go visit the LBS and see what happens.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  6. #6
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    Be confident when you go in, and don't tolerate any mistreatment. I don't know your area at all but the shop in Reston Town Center was very friendly to me while popping in when I was in town on business. I even told the guys I was just in town poking around and they still offered to assemble a bike in my size for a test ride (I declined). That impressed me.

  7. #7
    Member firesfate's Avatar
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    Thank you for everyone's reply. I am just under 400 pounds. Even my not so nice co-workers when doing weight loss competitions say I don't look over 300-320 though and they are brutally honest but not as honest as the scale.

    My closest bike shop I found out yesterday on a drive by closed down. There is another one further out in my county I want to visit. http://oldetownebicycles.com/ Ashland is in the county I live in and their website is pretty awesome with a lot of information on it. Just have to get past my own apprehensive issues.

    Also I am open to other bicycles. I just have certain features in mind I am looking for based on things I have read and am definitely willing to listen to what the pro at the shop has to say. I have also started with my budget to include tire upgrades and seat upgrades if needed. What doesn't get spent will go into a hobby type account so if repairs, maintenance etc.. come up then I will be prepared.
    Last edited by firesfate; 09-11-13 at 06:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Notgrownup's Avatar
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    If they disrespect you. First find out who you are talking to...if not the store manager or owner ask to see Him/Her and tell them what happened and tell them you are taking your money elsewhere because of it....Money talks...I am 250 lbs and was treated with respect at all the shops i have been to and they acknowledge my weight questions very nicely...
    Go visit the places and it will give you an idea of what you can expect in the long run.
    For me, i found out quiclky that my CAAD8 needed new wheels... i only paid $625 on a last years model so i had an extra $150 for a Heavy duty wheelset and they are tuff... Vuelta Corsa HD wheelset from Nashbar... There are soooo many choices, take your time and decide wisely...I have the wrong bike because i bought with haste.
    Last edited by Notgrownup; 09-11-13 at 06:11 AM.
    BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.....

  9. #9
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    Of the shops I visited, at 5'8" 275 which is wider than it is tall, were very friendly and helpful. They truly just seemed glad to help a new rider get started. There are bound to be rude people out there, and if you run into that just take your money else where. You want to be comfortable in the LBS you choose because you will be spending time there for tune-ups, upgrades, and dreaming about your N+1.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    start with LBS(s) outside of your hometown and gradually work your way closer to home
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Rolling roadblock
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    Quote Originally Posted by firesfate View Post
    Thank you for everyone's reply. I am just under 400 pounds. Even my not so nice co-workers when doing weight loss competitions say I don't look over 300-320 though and they are brutally honest but not as honest as the scale.

    My closest bike shop I found out yesterday on a drive by closed down. There is another one further out in my county I want to visit. http://oldetownebicycles.com/ Ashland is in the county I live in and their website is pretty awesome with a lot of information on it. Just have to get past my own apprehensive issues.

    Also I am open to other bicycles. I just have certain features in mind I am looking for based on things I have read and am definitely willing to listen to what the pro at the shop has to say. I have also started with my budget to include tire upgrades and seat upgrades if needed. What doesn't get spent will go into a hobby type account so if repairs, maintenance etc.. come up then I will be prepared.
    We're pretty close to the same boat, and I can honestly say that I was treated well in all three of the shops I visited. One shop took a while to get to me, but they were really busy. They were all up front with me about what would work and what would not. Visit a couple shops, and see what they say.

    The only thing to know up front - you CAN find a bike you can ride at your size and weight. Accept no naysaying on that count. You might have to have a rear wheel upgraded, but you also might not have to upgrade anything.

    Go for it.
    With every ride, I get a little stronger. I gain a little stamina. I gain a little pride. And so I await the next ride...

    http://fmriding.c5i.net/



  12. #12
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    start with LBS(s) outside of your hometown and gradually work your way closer to home
    My problem is, all of them are outside of my hometown (heck, my hometown is outside of where I live, LOL.)

    I don't like the area that has a bike shop close to work. It is snobville and either rich snobs or thieving druggies. There's no middle folks left. It certainly isn't the thieving druggies who own the few businesses that are not corporate retail stores. I visited and roamed around the shop for a good 20 minutes looking around before I had to hunt him down. Once I hunted him down, he didn't really seem interested in talking about anything, though I was just stopping in to see him, the shop, and what was offered because he doesn't have anything left until the 2014's come out nor do I have the cash until next spring. He didn't seem to want to tell me much about the bikes other than "yeah, that's a nice bike" and didn't seem to want to offer any info on selling a bike or after sale service. He has been there though since before I was born (guessing his father since he was only a bit older than I.) Back in the day as a kid, it was the only place to rent videos and I frequented the shop way back then for that.

    My "local" radius is about 50 miles. Trek being the furthest while Giant being right there 10 minutes from work. I have a Cannondale dealer "close" and I don't know about Specialized. I already know what I want, a "fitness" hybrid. I just want to check out each brand of bike. I'm not sure if 50 miles away is very convenient though if I need help after the sale.

    None of the bike shops have any information on their websites other than location and hours, if they even have a website.

    Unfortunately I have a shop that is right there at my bike trail head, but all he has is comfort bikes. He said he does more renting than sales and rents Segway tours more than bike rentals, though I've never seen a Segway on any bike trail around here. He was a real nice guy when I stopped in to talk to him on my way to the trail. He mentioned he hopes to get Trek in his store next year, but I won't know if that happens until next year. At least I do have a place to shop for accessories. He stated that he models his prices on Amazon prices, so that's a good thing for my pocketbook.
    Last edited by mrodgers; 09-11-13 at 07:12 AM.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  13. #13
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    Since they're all far away, you might call them up and talk about what bikes you could try in the range you're looking at. (I wouldn't mention weight on the phone, myself, but height/style of riding -- if they're sold out of the 2013s in your height, it doesn't matter if they're nice people.) If you get a good feeling, go, and be like "Hi, I called earlier about the XYZ bike." You'll at least weed out the ones that are snobby to everyone who isn't a $$$$ racer, and when you show up after calling they'll know you're serious, rather than someone who was walking by and decided to come in and window-shop.

  14. #14
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    Depending on your budget, the only extra you may need could be some stronger wheels. Even then it should be a matter of "wait and see what happens" with the stock ones. If you're a careful rider on your toes over big bumps then perhaps no problem. If you're in the habit of staying seated while you clatter your bike over kerbs then some bombproof wheels will be needed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    There is the opposite extreme and I have witnessed both. On one hand you want the shop to be respectful and open to what you think you want to ride and help you with the purchase. After all they are in the business of selling bike foremost. They have experienced it a thousand times and looking at it from their perspective they see all types of people walk in and want something. It doesnít have to be weight related ether. The out of shape normal weight person comes in with enough cash and wants the fastest lightest most expensive bike on the market, chances are he will go out the door with it.

    I like my shop because I feel they will be honest with me and I encourage their opinion. I tell them donít tell me what you think I want to hear tell me what you truly think and I wonít take offence. I ride a touring bike with 36 spoke wheels and at 275 I was popping spokes right and left a few years ago. I went in with this plan to buy some killer 48 spoke wheels and bullet proof rims etc. and we went over my wish list. Would have been a nice sale for the shop and I didnít know better would have bought them and went away happy. I asked the owner donít hold back am I nuts wanting these wheels and he said in his opinion in so many kind words that he thought I was nuts, haha. He said I think you bought a really nice bike that has some really crappy spokes and not such a good wheel build and if he was me he would rebuild the wheels I have with new spokes for a fraction of what these new wheel sets would be. And I havenít broke a spoke on them yet.

    I would want that same honesty on a bike purchase because I want to value their thoughts. I tend to overthink and overreach my expectations based around my reality of where I am at as a rider at this time. Now if he pointed me at a beach cruiser or a comfort bike I would also see that as an insult maybe. I havenít seen that ever in my experience but I have seen people over sold because thatís what they wanted. The best bet is to build a relationship with a shop you trust. They should have a bigger and better insight into it just because thatís what they do all day every day. I personally think you are not overreaching your abilities withthe bike you like.
    Last edited by bud16415; 09-11-13 at 07:45 AM.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  16. #16
    Member firesfate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
    Depending on your budget, the only extra you may need could be some stronger wheels. Even then it should be a matter of "wait and see what happens" with the stock ones. If you're a careful rider on your toes over big bumps then perhaps no problem. If you're in the habit of staying seated while you clatter your bike over kerbs then some bombproof wheels will be needed.

    Haha....no I started as a mountain biker growing up which is why I have the Trek MountainTrack XL. I am quite used to standing up when appropriate and still do. I mainly do so because I don't want to feel the impact on my arse...

  17. #17
    Member firesfate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
    There is the opposite extreme and I have witnessed both. On one hand you want the shop to be respectful and open to what you think you want to ride and help you with the purchase. After all they are in the business of selling bike foremost. They have experienced it a thousand times and looking at it from their perspective they see all types of people walk in and want something. It doesn’t have to be weight related ether. The out of shape normal weight person comes in with enough cash and wants the fastest lightest most expensive bike on the market, chances are he will go out the door with it.

    I like my shop because I feel they will be honest with me and I encourage their opinion. I tell them don’t tell me what you think I want to hear tell me what you truly think and I won’t take offence. I ride a touring bike with 36 spoke wheels and at 275 I was popping spokes right and left a few years ago. I went in with this plan to buy some killer 48 spoke wheels and bullet proof rims etc. and we went over my wish list. Would have been a nice sale for the shop and I didn’t know better would have bought them and went away happy. I asked the owner don’t hold back am I nuts wanting these wheels and he said in his opinion in so many kind words that he thought I was nuts, haha. He said I think you bought a really nice bike that has some really crappy spokes and not such a good wheel build and if he was me he would rebuild the wheels I have with new spokes for a fraction of what these new wheel sets would be. And I haven’t broke a spoke on them yet.

    I would want that same honesty on a bike purchase because I want to value their thoughts. I tend to overthink and overreach my expectations based around my reality of where I am at as a rider at this time. Now if he pointed me at a beach cruiser or a comfort bike I would also see that as an insult maybe. I haven’t seen that ever in my experience but I have seen people over sold because that’s what they wanted. The best bet is to build a relationship with a shop you trust. They should have a bigger and better insight into it just because that’s what they do all day every day. I personally think you are not overreaching your abilities withthe bike you like.

    Thank you for sharing, that was awesome. I certainly will take offense to a beech cruiser offering! I plan to tell them what bike I am interested in the most. The reason I want this bike is because it boasts on and off road capability and durability. I plan to be on the road the most however if I come across a path or hill that looks tempting, I want to be able to take it with authority because I loved mountain biking at one point. I am now getting that enjoyment out of the speed I can achieve on the road. It is pretty cool going faster than a car doing the speed limit on the big hill in my neighborhood. So I think I am going to tell the shop those exact things and say that is what interests me about the Trek CrossRip series of bikes.

    What will get to me is if they seem to be unwilling to help me. Like you said, I want to be able to go back there multiple times to keep up my hobby.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    You won’t have quite the low gear you had on the 830depending on how big those hills are you might want to go after. But if thegearing is right for you I think the rest of the bike should be also.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  19. #19
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Everyone has stated good info, but also if you find someone you "click" with in regards to talking bikes and shop, never be afraid to ask for a card and ask for them your next time in.

    Also, just something to keep in mind because I was looking at CX bikes like the Crossrip, Ion and Jamis line of those bikes is if you live in a hilly area the disc brake technology on road bikes for hills is a little behind. If you ride up and down a lot of hills, especially long ones where you can get some speed, you'd best stick to rim brakes. You'd be a lot of mass and the disc brakes would overheat and leave you with little to no brakes. If you poke around BF there are several good links on disc brakes and hills; much of what is written is with lighter riders. I was almost set to get a Jamis or the Trek Ion but decided to avoid disc brakes all together. Not that Chicago is anything other than flat, but I don't want any issues with not being able to stop if I travel some where with hills.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  20. #20
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firesfate View Post
    Ok. I have really started to like the trek crossrip bikes and want to go see one in person. I am concerned that they will take one look at me and point to beech cruisers or trikes. Anyone have good/bad stories they can share? (If some of you are wondering why I want a new bike so soon it is because my daughter wants mine)
    Give it a shot. My local shop is a "Pro Bike Shop" with nothing but racing bikes in the showroom. I was nervous at first too, but after going in, they were openly friendly, and listened to everything I said and ended up giving me everything I asked for.


    Some bike shops are bad, but you never know until you try. You might end up finding a gem, and if they're smart, they know they'll be getting your money for years down the road.

  21. #21
    Senior Member BaseGuy's Avatar
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    firesfate,

    Lots of good advice above. I experienced some of what you describe when I started shopping last year. I was at 260 or so at the time. But I found it was just awkward at the beginning. Once I said "I need a road bike," I found that they were fine.

    It's your money. Go tell them what they want. I'm with the others - if they are snobby in the least, just leave.

  22. #22
    Member firesfate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike View Post
    Everyone has stated good info, but also if you find someone you "click" with in regards to talking bikes and shop, never be afraid to ask for a card and ask for them your next time in.

    Also, just something to keep in mind because I was looking at CX bikes like the Crossrip, Ion and Jamis line of those bikes is if you live in a hilly area the disc brake technology on road bikes for hills is a little behind. If you ride up and down a lot of hills, especially long ones where you can get some speed, you'd best stick to rim brakes. You'd be a lot of mass and the disc brakes would overheat and leave you with little to no brakes. If you poke around BF there are several good links on disc brakes and hills; much of what is written is with lighter riders. I was almost set to get a Jamis or the Trek Ion but decided to avoid disc brakes all together. Not that Chicago is anything other than flat, but I don't want any issues with not being able to stop if I travel some where with hills.
    Most of the hills here are not San Francisco type of hills... there are a lot of rolling hills and 90% of the time I have had no need to use brakes while descending. Thank you for telling me about this though, lets me know I need to read a bit more into the differences.

  23. #23
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    It is my experience that most LBS's go out of their way to not treat Clydes differently. The good ones want your business, and believe me, you will not be the first large person they have seen in there.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  24. #24
    Ancient Clydesdale 2 wheeler's Avatar
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    Wow, based on what everyone above has said, I must have encountered the worst sales guy in the universe!

    I was in the market for a bike and had the money to buy in the $1K+ range. I've ridden since 1969 and raced in college, held the time trial record at my school for 4 years, rode lots of century rides, did tours, etc... I was 175 or so at the time, but jobs, kids and other things turned me into a Clyde, 6'-2" and 235.

    I went to a bike shop in Hood River, OR and the sales guy asked me how he could help. I told him I was looking for a racing bike. He said, "No, you need a comfort bike". I said, "I know what I want, I want a racing bike". The sales guy looked me up and down, very deliberately, and said "that's not a good idea and we don't have anything for you". I asked him if he had any Cannondale information, he said "you can find it on the internet", then turned and walked away.

    I was completely shocked. I didn't set foot in that shop again for 7 years. I bought a bike from another bike shop that treated me like I had a brain and wasn't a "fat idiot".

  25. #25
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    2 wheeler... that is exactly how it should be done... outside of maybe a nice little talk to the owner... I think many of us clyds can only dream of being down to your starting clyde weight...
    mtbr clyd moderator

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