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Old 07-08-06, 01:36 PM   #1
Cosmoline
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Bike Shops .. Grrrr

Is anyone else sick of the "xtreme" youth-centered bike shops? I went into one yesterday to get a bell and was accosted by a clerk with disks in his ear lobes who asked me what I wanted. I mentioned I was after a bell and a spare seat post. This did not please him, and he could not help me. The music was some sort of hip hop idiocy, and the clerks were overflowing with attitude. I wouldn't care, but since I've started biking again I've noticed these shops are the rule not the exception. What's going on here? Do people actually like this sort of punk attitude?

As for the bikes, they were either ultra light over priced mountain and road bikes with no fenders or racks or cheaply made cruisers. Ask for a steel frame heavy bike and they look at you like you're insane.
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Old 07-08-06, 01:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
Is anyone else sick of the "xtreme" youth-centered bike shops? I went into one yesterday to get a bell and was accosted by a clerk with disks in his ear lobes who asked me what I wanted. I mentioned I was after a bell and a spare seat post. This did not please him, and he could not help me. The music was some sort of hip hop idiocy, and the clerks were overflowing with attitude. I wouldn't care, but since I've started biking again I've noticed these shops are the rule not the exception. What's going on here? Do people actually like this sort of punk attitude?

As for the bikes, they were either ultra light over priced mountain and road bikes with no fenders or racks or cheaply made cruisers. Ask for a steel frame heavy bike and they look at you like you're insane.
That descsibes most shops with under 25 year old sales staff, not just bike shops.
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Old 07-08-06, 01:46 PM   #3
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I dunno. There's a bike shop I go to because it's close and I like the staff. One employee has discs in his ears...and he is the nicest one there. They have everything I need and are really nice and fair.

There's another I go to in a pinch because it's in the center where I work. They only have road bikes and seem pretentious to me.

I figure each shop caters to their demographic or closes. I wouldn't give it too much thought and just go to a different shop.
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Old 07-08-06, 01:58 PM   #4
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Id like to trap all youth and put them on an island until they
are ready to conform to approved standards.
These kids need to learn early the world is not a place to exercise
creativity or free thought and spirit.
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Old 07-08-06, 02:17 PM   #5
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There are 3 differently personalitied LBS' around me; one is road race oriented, one is X-treem all the time, and the last is aimed at commuters. Interesting mix, and not very overlapping product lines, so I wind up in all of them periodically although I really only fully trust one of them (sadly, not the one I bought my bike from). I feel guilty when I go to the others or, gasp, order online, but I soldier on.
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Old 07-08-06, 02:18 PM   #6
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I dunno. Things are pretty nice around here, but I live in the midwest. People tend to be a little nicer than back east. That being said though, I dont think my LBS has many lower end bikes. Most of their bikes are higher MTB or Road/TT bikes with an equal section of medium end hybrids in all shapes and sizes (college town and no college student is gonna drop a grand on a bike typically..).
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Old 07-08-06, 02:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=-
Id like to trap all youth and put them on an island until they
are ready to conform to approved standards.
These kids need to learn early the world is not a place to exercise
creativity or free thought and spirit.
It's not free thought and creativity that I find annoying, I'm all for that, but rather the PFR, know it all attitude of 'too kool' kids.....
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Old 07-08-06, 03:02 PM   #8
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Last time I checked, each and every generation knows more than their parents, and has a know all attitude, and is superior to all those older than them. Yawn. How boring. This attitude changes when their "cool hip" attitudes become the fossilized norm of the older set and suddenly the young are a pain in the ass.

Sadly, people tend to figure this out once it is too late, if they ever figure this out. (If you have ever wished that you could go back 20 years in time knowing what you know now in terms of how human relationships work, then you get my point I am sure ...)

People are amusing....
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Old 07-08-06, 03:14 PM   #9
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There is going to be an LBS opening up here that is supposed to cater to commuters, transportation/utilitarian cyclists, and cyclists who are older and/or might have health issues that require them to use "special" bikes or trikes. I'm really looking forward to it.

Went with a coworker to look for a new bike for her. We went to a shop that is supposed to be commuting/transportation friendly and the guy spent most of his time trying to convince her she didn't really want a step-through frame.

Although he did have piercings (many, many people in Portland do), I don't think that's why he was so against step-throughs. His mind just isn't open to why people might prefer something different.
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Old 07-08-06, 03:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Neist
I dunno. Things are pretty nice around here, but I live in the midwest. People tend to be a little nicer than back east.
Hey! I grew up on the West Coast, lived in the midwest for 10 years, and have been in Boston for 6 years. I actually find most people here very nice.

My LBS seems to cater to suburban tootlers and roadies. They are big and, except when they get super busy and don't have enough staff around, have been knowledgable and great to work with.
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Old 07-08-06, 03:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ziemas
It's not free thought and creativity that I find annoying, I'm all for that, but rather the PFR, know it all attitude of 'too kool' kids.....
Exactly. The irony is my broad ass probably clocks a lot more bike miles than they do. Anyway I managed to find a brass bell and a shiny mirror (the horror!)
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Old 07-08-06, 03:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by newbojeff
Hey! I grew up on the West Coast, lived in the midwest for 10 years, and have been in Boston for 6 years. I actually find most people here very nice.

My LBS seems to cater to suburban tootlers and roadies. They are big and, except when they get super busy and don't have enough staff around, have been knowledgable and great to work with.
Well, all I've ever visted is the DC/Baltimore/Surrounding areas, but they werent very nice at all.

I'm living in the Bible Belt at the moment. People who move here from other parts of the country think its actually rather creepy how nice people are. I have to admit its really creepy too, but I work in public services so I'm used to it to an extent.
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Old 07-08-06, 06:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cosmoline
Is anyone else sick of the "xtreme" youth-centered bike shops? I went into one yesterday to get a bell and was accosted by a clerk with disks in his ear lobes who asked me what I wanted. I mentioned I was after a bell and a spare seat post. This did not please him, and he could not help me. The music was some sort of hip hop idiocy, and the clerks were overflowing with attitude. I wouldn't care, but since I've started biking again I've noticed these shops are the rule not the exception. What's going on here? Do people actually like this sort of punk attitude?

As for the bikes, they were either ultra light over priced mountain and road bikes with no fenders or racks or cheaply made cruisers. Ask for a steel frame heavy bike and they look at you like you're insane.
WTF do you want a bell for? Got larengitis?

Just kidding. Anyway, just order online like the rest of us freaks. The LBS is for mainstream stuff. I don't think bells are mainstream anymore.

I like my LBS for urgent needs like "I just blew up my tire and need a new one." Otherwise, they just don't have what I want. Its my fault. Not theirs. I just want eccentric stuff.
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Old 07-08-06, 07:27 PM   #14
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I have no clue. I'm still desperately trying to avoid turning into my parents.
Being condesending towards the youth is a trait I am trying to avoid with all my willpower.
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Old 07-08-06, 08:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
Is anyone else sick of the "xtreme" youth-centered bike shops? I went into one yesterday to get a bell and was accosted by a clerk with disks in his ear lobes who asked me what I wanted. I mentioned I was after a bell and a spare seat post. This did not please him, and he could not help me. The music was some sort of hip hop idiocy, and the clerks were overflowing with attitude. I wouldn't care, but since I've started biking again I've noticed these shops are the rule not the exception. What's going on here? Do people actually like this sort of punk attitude?

As for the bikes, they were either ultra light over priced mountain and road bikes with no fenders or racks or cheaply made cruisers. Ask for a steel frame heavy bike and they look at you like you're insane.
So let me get this straight. You are upset that a LBS sells bikes you don't have an interest in, the staff dresses in a way you don't get and the music isn't to your taste?

Get over it. Your post is brutally judgemental about cultural elements that don't suit your world view. How can you be critical of the staff's attitude when you demostrate an equally disrespectful and intolerant mindset.
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Old 07-08-06, 08:50 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cosmoline
Is anyone else sick of the "xtreme" youth-centered bike shops? I went into one yesterday to get a bell and was accosted by a clerk with disks in his ear lobes who asked me what I wanted. I mentioned I was after a bell and a spare seat post. This did not please him, and he could not help me. The music was some sort of hip hop idiocy, and the clerks were overflowing with attitude. I wouldn't care, but since I've started biking again I've noticed these shops are the rule not the exception. What's going on here? Do people actually like this sort of punk attitude?

As for the bikes, they were either ultra light over priced mountain and road bikes with no fenders or racks or cheaply made cruisers. Ask for a steel frame heavy bike and they look at you like you're insane.
That's because you were in the record store instead. Seriously though, most of the LBS's around here don't seem to have that problem. The store I bought my bike from also sells skateboard equipment, but I've had nothing but good service from them.
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Old 07-08-06, 08:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ziemas
It's not free thought and creativity that I find annoying, I'm all for that, but rather the PFR, know it all attitude of 'too kool' kids.....
Ha Ha....
The last two bike shops I visitied had 'older' people with more staid sensibilities.
Up here the 'wHoA dO0dz' are usually on the sno-bored side.
The one in Rutland ingraciated himself upon me by ripping my choice
of bikes (Surly) and telling me a fixe shouldnt be ridden on the street under any
circumstance..
I could only think what a great sales tactic !!!! insult someone who comes into
your shop wanting to spend money..Ha Ha
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Old 07-08-06, 08:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cosmoline
Is anyone else sick of the "xtreme" youth-centered bike shops? I went into one yesterday to get a bell and was accosted by a clerk with disks in his ear lobes who asked me what I wanted. I mentioned I was after a bell and a spare seat post. This did not please him, and he could not help me. The music was some sort of hip hop idiocy, and the clerks were overflowing with attitude. I wouldn't care, but since I've started biking again I've noticed these shops are the rule not the exception. What's going on here? Do people actually like this sort of punk attitude?

As for the bikes, they were either ultra light over priced mountain and road bikes with no fenders or racks or cheaply made cruisers. Ask for a steel frame heavy bike and they look at you like you're insane.

The shops here are normal. Post your location in you info...would be nice to know what part of the world sucks.

cheers,
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Old 07-08-06, 09:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by vik
So let me get this straight. You are upset that a LBS sells bikes you don't have an interest in, the staff dresses in a way you don't get and the music isn't to your taste?

Get over it. Your post is brutally judgemental about cultural elements that don't suit your world view. How can you be critical of the staff's attitude when you demostrate an equally disrespectful and intolerant mindset.
Couldn't have been better stated...
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Old 07-08-06, 09:28 PM   #20
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I don't think bells are mainstream anymore.
bells aren't mainstream? They are fringe?. wow, who wouldathunk?
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Old 07-08-06, 09:30 PM   #21
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My local LBS is family owned, and all the sons work at one or the other location. I don't think their Dad would accept less than excellent customer service. Wish I would have bought my first bike there, and I'm glad I did buy my road bike there.
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Old 07-08-06, 10:36 PM   #22
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So let me get this straight. You are upset that a LBS sells bikes you don't have an interest in, the staff dresses in a way you don't get and the music isn't to your taste?

Get over it. Your post is brutally judgemental about cultural elements that don't suit your world view. How can you be critical of the staff's attitude when you demostrate an equally disrespectful and intolerant mindset.
I have to disagree here. I'm not sure the OP was "brutally judgemental." Yeah there may be a generational gap thing going on, but I think there is more. I don't have any problem with piercings, tatoos, hip-hop, etc. That said, I find a lot of shops are populated by younger folks who have bought in heavily to the "everyone needs to ride a super-light road bike, a fully suspended mountain bike or a crappy hybrid." They only know about Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale, etc. Trying to find a shop that has any good support for serious commuters is tough. Just try to find a shop that sells Brooks saddles, Tubus racks, decent panniers, etc.

I must have gone to a dozen shops or more when I was looking for my last bike--a lot were filled with salespeople with more attitude than experience. I tried to explain to a bunch of salepeople my back problems and the answer from most of them was that I would "get used to" the position I'm in when my saddle is four inches higher than the bars which is pure nonsense. I felt judged by them a lot of the time. Some even suggested that maybe I needed to stop riding when all I needed were higher handlebars a la my Surly or Rivendell, etc.

I tend to agree with the OP that a lot of shops are long on attitude and short on service.

Last edited by Emerson; 07-09-06 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 07-09-06, 12:00 AM   #23
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Get over it. Your post is brutally judgemental about cultural elements that don't suit your world view. How can you be critical of the staff's attitude when you demostrate an equally disrespectful and intolerant mindset.
I am deeply intolerant of poor service and poor selection served by a staff with a poor attitude.

Thankfully there's a better place just down the street, but unfortunately it has a limited stock of add-ons. The internet is OK, but shipping to the greatland can add up fast.
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Old 07-09-06, 12:59 AM   #24
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I detest shops that have attitude, too. That's why I don't seek out the shop near my work unless I am in an emergency. I always feel like I'm just in their way when they "help" me. They also taught me to double check the sizes of tubes I buy. I asked them for a 27x1.75 tube and they gave me a 26x1.75. That was the suck when I got a flat...
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Old 07-09-06, 02:07 AM   #25
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Sure some of the youth are a holes, but then again so are some of the middle aged old farts who think the world should go back to the ways of Beaver Cleaver. Some of those with a "punk attitude" have been the most valuable source of info I've come across.
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