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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-13-06, 03:13 AM   #1
Daily Commute
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I went to a used bike shop to help a neighbor shop for a bike. It was definitately a lot grungier than the LBS's I usually go to, and with a different customer base.

This 50-60 year-old guy came in with a knobbie MTB wheel. He had old clothes and a face that looked like it's spent too much time exposed to the elements. He commutes roughly the same distance I do on my direct route (4-6 miles). Like me, his employer lets him take the bike inside. His method for dealing with the cold is to have a cup of coffee at a White Castle near the middle of his commute.

Some of his bearings were shot. They repaired the wheel for him. He showed a five and two ones and then asked how much extra he would owe them. The wrench took the five and said that was the price. I'm not sure exactly what my normal LBS's would have charge him for that, but my guess is $20 to $40.
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Old 02-13-06, 05:21 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good LBS. I'd wager if someone wearing full kit came in, the price would have been $20+ as well. I'd rather shop at a grungy looking place with people like that in it than a shiny place catering to Lance wannabes.
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Old 02-13-06, 07:42 AM   #3
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word! that would be my new LBS!
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Old 02-13-06, 10:18 AM   #4
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That's a good price, I pay about $7. If I don't ride in with the bike, I would look gubby too, because I would be working on the bike. After you go to a LBS for a lot time, and dropped some good money you get a lot of good deals.
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Old 02-13-06, 10:20 AM   #5
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One of the LBSs I frequent is a small shop neighborhood shop that carries the best local selection of road bikes I have seen. However the owner and several employees have a collection a nice commuter bikes from a heavily upgraded Jamis Aurora to an old 70s Nishiki. The've been great about helping me out with my hydralic disc brakes on my recumbent to parts for my fixie conversion.
I've had so much luck with the two small local stores that I don't ever feel the need to visit the big chain stores in the area.
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Old 02-13-06, 10:39 AM   #6
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I loved my old LBS, small town with the small town feel. People they knew rode everyday and came to them for things go anywhere from 15-25% on many items. When I moved I tried to talk them into franchising up here!
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Old 02-13-06, 01:55 PM   #7
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The little one-man shop around the corner in my 'hood is great. I rarely ask how much anything will cost -- I just ask for the part of tell the guy what i want fixed and he gives me a very fair price I pay when it's all done.
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Old 02-13-06, 02:49 PM   #8
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Sounds like my LBS. Two old duffers with nearly a hundred years experience between them and a bunch of old Italian steel (and a really cool wooden rim that I always like to fiddle with) hanging from the ceiling. No BS and always an honest deal. They even make small parts they don't have or can't find.

I shudder if I have to go into a showroom clean LBS.
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Old 02-13-06, 03:05 PM   #9
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The two bike stores in Rochester, MN are OK for picking up a few parts occasionally. I try to avoid them because the city of Rochester charges an extra sales tax on top of the state sales tax. The chances of me buying a bike at either are pretty slim. They are full of $1500+ Treks and Specialized machines which I just don't need.

I guess there is a small shop downtown too. I went there a few months ago and saw they were closed until February.

Actually, I like the bike store in Mankato by the university better. It has that one man small shop feel to it. The guy gives me free coffee and has some really interesting bikes (mostly Kona and Surly).

So, I buy at the LBS if I want a small part in a hurry. Otherwise, I wait until I'll be in Mankato or buy mail-order.
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Old 02-13-06, 08:02 PM   #10
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Do any riders in the LA area know of such LBSs?? So far my experiences with the LBS around my area (Culver City/Beverly Hills) have not been spectacular. "Good" would be a stretch, at best, and that's because there would be no condescension. But LBSs like the aforementioned sound HEAVENLY, esp. to a newbie commuter/MTB rider as myself.

There is one, however, LBS that has been somewhat kind and helpful and that is the Beverly Hills Bike shop off RObertson--which is down the street for my apt. A ways back, on my tour of LBSs, I stopped by trying to gather any info I could as I sought out a bike to purchase. The owner (Steve) was very, very kind and helpful and clearly knowledgable--he helped me out by giving me the newbie biker "run down" and answered any questions I had(without a chuckle or a trace of insolence)and provided myself with several catalogues and brochures(his shop specializes in Gary Fisher bikes, so a lot of the info packets dealt with Gary Fisher). But aside from that comfortable haven(which is not so comfortable when he is not around) every other LBS visit has been disappointing. I know myself that I am fairly new to this sub-world and the other LBSs do not hesitate in helping me feel that way; and at times, even worse. I mean, seriously, now I bring any inquiries to this very forum. I much prefer this place over the LBSs here(those I know of, of course).

I guess I'd like a place where they are welcoming, sincere and affable. And probably more importantly a place where they are concerned with my needs more than the amount of money that rests within the walls of my wallet. But even then, if I can nail down the prior, the latter would not sting as much. I do not seek to be pampered or seek the "red carpet" treatment associated with this, at times, vainglorious city, but I'm sure you guys/gals catch my drift. Just a small bowl fish biding his time in the big bowl til fish school lets out. So if anyone in this area knows of such a place around the LA area, or one within reasonable distance (30 miles or so?), would you mind posting? This newbie would greatly appreciate this. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-13-06, 09:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knykersnatchurs
Do any riders in the LA area know of such LBSs?? So far my experiences with the LBS around my area (Culver City/Beverly Hills) have not been spectacular. "Good" would be a stretch, at best, and that's because there would be no condescension. But LBSs like the aforementioned sound HEAVENLY, esp. to a newbie commuter/MTB rider as myself.
So if anyone in this area knows of such a place around the LA area, or one within reasonable distance (30 miles or so?), would you mind posting? This newbie would greatly appreciate this. Thanks in advance!
See if you can find out which bike shop Hugh Freed is working in. We crewed in RAAM in 1988 and have been friends since. He is probably in Orange county or somewhere east of the LA river channel.
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Old 02-14-06, 11:24 AM   #12
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great post...had the same experience with an LBS near Georgetown U...the guys working there looked like they were students. It's such a different atmosphere when all you've ever been to are chain stores or the back corner of a 'sporting' goods store.

The set of fenders they had hanging up weren't right for me...so the guy rumaged around in a box in the back and found me a set of 'neused' ones and installed them for $5. I was so caught off guard...i didnt have any cash to tip the guy.

Next time i see him, he's getting double.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:28 PM   #13
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Boone's here in Houston is much the same way. Very friendly, family owned business, located in a rather dilapidated house near downtown. I was having some issues building my fixie up, and the wrench Steve took me back to the shop, sat down and explained everything to me while he was working. I took about 2.5 hours of his time. I don't care if their prices were 3x what I'd pay at one of the other "shiny" LBS's (which they're not), because they've now got a customer for life.
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Old 02-14-06, 05:04 PM   #14
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For those in Columbus, the shop is "Once Ridden" on Indianola near Hudson at the north end of the OSU campus area.
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Old 02-14-06, 06:12 PM   #15
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thanks for the post Ken, I will look him up. And if I do manage to locate him, shall I send a "hullo, hullo" on your behalf?
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Old 02-14-06, 06:34 PM   #16
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Clyde Dunaway Bicycles.........Augusta,GA. Schwinn dealer since 1927. The store is about 12 feet wide. The guy who took it over from his father is about 50-55 and has never worked anywhere else. Good place to do business.
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