Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Bikes: 1992 Trek 3 tube carbon 2200
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ABQ LBS Rant, I've HAD IT with ABC!!
OK, so I got a PM from someone looking for a good LBS to point his dad towards, and it reminded me that I hadn't posted about this recent....experience.
Last Saturday I rode my bike up the crest road to the top of sandia peak. It's the hardest climb in our area, and I wanted to do it to see if I'm ready for my ride in Colorado at the end of the month. I made it, but towards the end was having to stop about every mile to catch my breath. So I decided to get a 12-28 casette to give myself some more gearing.
Well...I looked around online, got some prices, and then called the local shops. I have a shimano 105, 8 speed setup, so didn't really expect to find one in town (most shops stock 9 and 10, and only have older 8 stuff in stock) well I found one at Albuquerque Bicycle Center on Juan Tabo. I normally don't go there because they take forever to get work done on my bike, overcharge and in general are just frustrating. But they are located near my house and I can ride over there from work, pick up the part and have it right away. So after I find they are the only place that has one, I call back to make them double check that it really is an 8 speed and they really do have it.
Now, I thought it was pretty common knowledge that 1) shimano works with shimano (well and SRAM too but that's not the issue here) 2) a certian number of speeds (8, 9, or 10) will work with a derailer (more specifically a shifter) of the same number. 3) the customer is always right.
Now I ride in, all sweaty, hoping to be about 3 minutes inside before I get moving again. I grab a salesman and tell him I called about this part, can he get it for me, he goes and comes back with it, and says "your gonna put this on a road bike?" (I'm riding said road bike :-)) "Yes, I know a 28 is low for a road bike but I can't afford to upgrade to a tripple right now, so a compact double with a 28 in the back is about as good as it gets." (side note, i've even read of folks fitting a 30 or 32 on a road bike without changing derailers but this seems to not always work so I didn't want to push my luck, hence the 28)
About this time the "manager" walks up and says "your putting THAT on a road bike?" "yes" "it'll never work" Why not? I'll skip over the gorey details but after 20 minutes of trying to tell me it was "totally different" and I "would probably need to get a new derailer" , because that one can't throw the chain that far, and you can't find 8 speed stuff anymore so you'ld have to go 9 speed, and you'ld need a new shifter (suddenly in their world i'm spending $300+ instead of $30) So now convinced he's just trying to sell me more than I need, I finally asked him to look up what he COULD order for me in an 8 speed "road" cassette to get a 28 onto my road bike, because I knew it was possible. He pulls out his manuals and finds a SRAM casette that is an 11-28 (same as the shimano part they are trying not to sell me) and they can order it but it'll be a week. I say "well, what's too long, I'ld just order from a catalog if I wanted to wait a week, what's the difference between that cassette and this one" "well um....that one SHOULD work actually, but we can't take it back if it doesn't.
Well, I never expected them too, just wanted them to sell me the damn part and let me go. If I got home and it didn't work, oh well.
So 30 minutes later I'm finally out of there. Pissed that they wasted all my time and convinced they are TOTAL fools at this shop. I get home, slap on the cassette and guess what? uh huh...it worked PERFECT. Didn't even have to adjust the derailers or ANYTHING....
Result, they lost my business, forever. AND I'm strongly recomending to anyone who asks that they never go there. They are (I feel) the worst LBS in town