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Old 07-12-06, 08:13 AM   #1
Tom2slow
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Is there a LBS in Denver w/ a commuting clue?

Totally frustrated w/ the LBS I (used) to use, they have totally lost my business through inept customer service.
Is there a store in the Denver area (Aurora actually) that you like? Especially with an eye towards commuting and winter biking?
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Old 07-12-06, 08:20 AM   #2
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In what respect?
Gear, clothing, bike maintenance, etc.
I am probably not the best at answering this question.
My bike maintenance is done by Golden Bear bikes in Thornton, if it is something I can not do. Good guys there. Nothing really to do with commuting.

Gear and clothing are all mail order. Most places run way too high and have a limited selection.
Plus, I'm too busy to find these items locally.
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Old 07-12-06, 08:36 AM   #3
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Yes, more details please. I have been unsatisfied with the shops in my area. But I am a very demeanding customer.
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Old 07-12-06, 04:00 PM   #4
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I haven't been there yet, but I'm going to try this place:

Cycle Analyst

They look like my kinda shop!
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Old 07-12-06, 04:23 PM   #5
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Well, for details,
Wife and I bought bikes last summer late, mine was in stock her's needed ordering. She went to pick hers up at the promised time and lo and behold it was just ordered the day before, a week to 10 days to get it in.No explanation as to why the delay, told "you must have misunderstood the salesman"
Then my new commuter ended up with the chain up the tall end of the cassette and trashed the dork disk, was told it wasn't a warranty part as they didn't stock it. (this on a Trek Hybrid).
Then when it came for using the free tune up as advertised with the sale, I was informed I was too late in the season and free became $50.
So I had a long conversation w/ the owner, he seemed like a good guy and got me taken care of.
Like a moron when my son was home on pre-deployment leave from the Marines and was looking for a bike, I took him to this store and altho they were slammed in that early summer weekend LBS way, he got great service and dropped a grand in cash for a new bike, pedals, shoes and a ton of "stuff" with the understanding that when he went back to Camp Pendleton in Ca, this store would ship the bike to him (for an agreed upon, reasonable price).
He leaves, we deliver the bike, get billed...6 days later he calls "where's my bike?". We call the store and find out that no one has shipped the bike, its still sitting there. Finally got it shipped, but just a lot of smoke about people being on vacation. So....done...never again.

And now the quest, looking for a full service type place, really don't mind paying a small premium for a local place, its the service that counts after all. If you know exactly what you want, thats what the internet is for, no?
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Old 07-12-06, 04:34 PM   #6
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I just used Cycle Analyst for my fixie repair. (see previous link) They seem like good guys but there are a few that I think may be too high on their horses. I always prefer these smaller shops for getting work done though as the big box places like Performance can easily run you around. On the same end, I'll shop performance when I need things that are not repair related because their stock is unmatched.
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Old 07-13-06, 08:46 AM   #7
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Haven't bought there, but Bicycle Village seems to have a good reputation.
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Old 07-13-06, 09:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Haven't bought there, but Bicycle Village seems to have a good reputation.
That's the LBS sticker that's on my Raleigh.... I'll have to take it in there sometime. They'll probably be happy to see a 20+ year old bike they sold still on the road.
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Old 07-13-06, 11:53 AM   #9
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When I lived in Denver (5 years ago), Bicycle Village was the worst place. Like walking into a used car lot, the sales people there would swarm you try to steer to to stuff you weren't interested in or couldn't afford and were woefully ignorant. On more than one occasion I caught them in flat out lies. They may be better now, but I still stay away from that shop. When I'm in Denver visiting I usually go to Campus Cycles (on Evans near DU) or Turin Cycles on Lincoln(?) near downtown. Don't know if they're really commuter oriented but they're very knowledgeable and helpful.
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Old 07-13-06, 02:38 PM   #10
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BV is pretty expensive on parts. Performance is much better if you are in the know and prefer self-service and price over full service. It is much like Home Depot vs Ace Hardware who can only compete with service. By being in the know, you need to know what you need before you get there, determine that they sell the part (via web site) and preferably print out the web page & take it there. This is for 2 reasons. First, so they get you what you want, and secondly, because the web site is usually/often cheaper & they will give you the web price only if you have a web page printout. If you are not in the know, then you should stick to the established stores that provide exceptional service in lieu of the lowest price. Service is worth it in these cases.

I think there are lots of them, but Turin has a good reputation, also Campus Cycles, Wheat Ridge Cyclery. First 2 located in central Denver. I've been to both and they both stress service over price. I'm sure there are others, but those I know of. There are a lot of really good stores in Boulder as well, and many of them cater to commuters. University Bicycles actually has Bianchi Volpes & Surlys & Trek 520s and Fuji Touring bikes IN STOCK in more than 1 size. What's the likelyhood of that in a bike shop?

I primarily shop Performance because I always go in there knowing exactly what I want and what the price should be. If I was forced to pay MSRP for every part I've ever bought, I'd be poor! And they know me which does seem to help the level of service I get. Plus, I know who is good and who is a walking zombie.
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Old 07-13-06, 03:49 PM   #11
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great, thanks for the input, I will go checking this weekend
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Old 07-13-06, 04:17 PM   #12
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I wouldn't say that there is any bike shop in Denver that caters to commuters, not since Self Propulsion in Golden closed. But then, you don't need any thing all that special to commute to work. I make it up as I go along. All my bikes have been used at one point or another to get me to and from work, including tandems As for shops, avoid the big guys. Sure they might have selection (although I was less than impressed at the Bicycle Village that opened in Arvada) but they can't match smaller shops for service.

My favorite: Westside Cycling and Fitness in Lakewood. Turin is okay, if a little snobbish. Cycle Analyst is eclectic, if a little grumpy. I don't like Campus, not since a guy there tried to sell me a 700C tire when I needed a 27" and then insisted that they were exactly the same (they aren't!) And Performance is just Performance. At least they are open until 9 pm
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Old 07-13-06, 04:32 PM   #13
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My favorite: Westside Cycling and Fitness in Lakewood.
Westside is 4 blocks from my house. I'll go ANYWHERE but there.

1) Sold me the wrong size spokes (over a centimeter off, when they had the wheel there to compare them)

2) Tried to convince me that the spokes on the drive side and non-drive side of my rear wheel were the same length (they're not. duh)

3) Tried to sell me a freewheel removal tool for $15.95 ... The same freewheel tool you can get anywhere else for $7-$8
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Old 07-13-06, 09:25 PM   #14
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What did I do wrong at BV? Aurora and Boulder have always treated me nicely and I haven't found any wrong info. I bought the wrong stuff at BV and they did a swap with no paperwork. I was impressed. Performance is good for low to medium level goods and has fair prices. Only once have I gotten out of the store in less than 60 minutes. Registers are just tooooooooo sllllloooooooowwwwwww.

I need a better bike than performance offers for next bike, and BV has both several models I'm interested in and lots of inventory. I tried a small store in Longmont and was very unimpressed.

If you look at bike manufacturers site, you'll see there has been a drop of about 1/3 LBS in the last 3 years. That is very significant. Too many bikes are sold at big sports stores who specialize in cheap disposable bikes. No wonder many think of bikes as a toy instead of a means of transportation.

I don't know what a commuting LBS is like? Heck , what do you need: spare tubes, tires, racks, bags, locks and lights. Part of the problem is the cycling commuters. How often do you hear forum members brag about how cheap they are. If they are cheap, LBS won't be able to make enough profit to stay in business. You want a good LBS, you have to pay your dues. Even if you paid 5x as much on biking stuff, it's still worlds less than motor commuting. So plan ahead and be safe this year and buy that HID light you have been lusting over.
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Old 07-13-06, 09:43 PM   #15
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Which shop was the problem?

I have always like Turin. [Full disclosure: they sponsored my racing team.] Relatively pricey, though. I think the prices are good at Wheatridge - but they have some real nimrods mixed in with the good guys in service.

Campus Cycles is mixed. They have some good people but the manager (or maybe the owner) was a jerk when I needed a warranty replacement.
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Old 07-14-06, 08:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
Westside is 4 blocks from my house. I'll go ANYWHERE but there.

1) Sold me the wrong size spokes (over a centimeter off, when they had the wheel there to compare them)

2) Tried to convince me that the spokes on the drive side and non-drive side of my rear wheel were the same length (they're not. duh)

3) Tried to sell me a freewheel removal tool for $15.95 ... The same freewheel tool you can get anywhere else for $7-$8
That's odd. I've been going there for nearly 15 years and have never had a problem with them. I do all of my own work so I can't comment on their mechanical work but I have purchased lots of equipment and parts from them. Sure their prices are higher than Performance but they are always willing to get me special stuff when I need it.
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Old 07-14-06, 08:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
What did I do wrong at BV? Aurora and Boulder have always treated me nicely and I haven't found any wrong info. I bought the wrong stuff at BV and they did a swap with no paperwork. I was impressed. Performance is good for low to medium level goods and has fair prices. Only once have I gotten out of the store in less than 60 minutes. Registers are just tooooooooo sllllloooooooowwwwwww.

I need a better bike than performance offers for next bike, and BV has both several models I'm interested in and lots of inventory. I tried a small store in Longmont and was very unimpressed.

If you look at bike manufacturers site, you'll see there has been a drop of about 1/3 LBS in the last 3 years. That is very significant. Too many bikes are sold at big sports stores who specialize in cheap disposable bikes. No wonder many think of bikes as a toy instead of a means of transportation.

I don't know what a commuting LBS is like? Heck , what do you need: spare tubes, tires, racks, bags, locks and lights. Part of the problem is the cycling commuters. How often do you hear forum members brag about how cheap they are. If they are cheap, LBS won't be able to make enough profit to stay in business. You want a good LBS, you have to pay your dues. Even if you paid 5x as much on biking stuff, it's still worlds less than motor commuting. So plan ahead and be safe this year and buy that HID light you have been lusting over.
There's nothing wrong with Bicycle Village, I was just less then impressed with their selection at the new Arvada super store. They had lots of 'bikes' but they just had a lot of the same model. I was looking for a new bike for my wife and wanted to see one of the Trek upper end hybrids in a WSD, about a $1000 bike but they didn't have any. When I started looking around, they didn't seem to have very many high end bikes of any type. I just wasn't that impressed.

I may have to go to their swap meet out in Aurora this Saturday however. They had a Libertas tandem advertised in the paper. I used to own a Libertas...wonder if it's the same bike?
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Old 07-14-06, 08:50 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by davidmcowan
I just used Cycle Analyst for my fixie repair. (see previous link) They seem like good guys but there are a few that I think may be too high on their horses. I always prefer these smaller shops for getting work done though as the big box places like Performance can easily run you around. On the same end, I'll shop performance when I need things that are not repair related because their stock is unmatched.
I went into Cycle Analyst last night and they were GREAT to me. I've definetely found my shop!

I went in because I was concerned about the wobble in my freewheel (I hadn't noticed any wobble before I got tapped by a truck)

After he explained why the freewheel wobbles, he assured me that it was within norms, and he trued up my wheel a bit for me. When I got home, I realized I'd forgotten to get a bolt to replace the one that fell out of my rack (I had it zip-tied!) I looked, and he had replaced it while I wasn't looking!

So... he talked me out of buying a wheel I didn't really need, trued my wheel a bit, and replaced a bolt for me... took the time to really explain things, and talk with me.

Total cost? $0

I believe the gentleman's name was Richard (I'm horrible with names, though....) Older guy, definetely knew what he was talking about.
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Old 07-14-06, 09:15 AM   #19
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The older fella over at Cycle Analyst is hit miss which is where I think grumpy came from. This particular guy has been extremely grumpy and condescending to me before AND he has been ultra helpful and kind. I would say avoid campus just based on one experience there when after about 10 minutes of talking road bike with one of the sales folks I mentioned I was just "sizing up" for a purchase in the future. He literally just walked away. No more service!! Needless to say, I bought a roadbike over at performance. Which, by the way, doesn't just sell "throw away bicycles". That is one of the most ridiculous responses to the OP yet.
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Old 07-14-06, 09:48 AM   #20
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I've heard Cycle Analyst, though a tiny shop, is THE place to go if you need the most obscure old part from a bicycle. Apparently, they throw nothing away. It does look that way when you peer into their shop area. Dozens of used derailleurs hanging from hooks on the wall and lots of other parts too.

I've got a set of Open Pros that need a few new spokes (frozen to the nipples & loose) & a truing. Maybe I'll take them to CA and see how it goes.

I'd have to agree on the bike selection at Performance. They seem to have all the bases covered, but most bikes are not "best of breed" IMO. The last bike I bought from them was my 03 Jamis Quest. Since then, we've been buying bikes from BV, Sampson, Craigslist.

BV in Aurora has tons of bikes. And the good thing about them is that if they have the model you are looking at, at least they have every size that bike comes in, built up and ready to test ride. It's disappointing to go to a shop where they have 1 size (always the wrong one) of each model. I'd never buy/order 1 the way shops require you to buy before they order. That's just ridiculous.

I do all my own wrenching except advanced wheel truing which would require a truing stand. It's pretty easy to do everything if you have a decent set of tools and a workstand. Both of which I bought at Performance at prices so low after sale prices & coupons & my Team discount that they probably barely made money on me. I'd like to think their lifetime profit margin on me is low. However, they make up for it on the scary volume of stuff I buy!

Tom2slow, you might consider taking a basic bike maintenance course at REI or picking up the Zen book. Then do your own work. All you'll need the shops for is parts & bikes. And if you don't know what parts you need, all you have to do is post/search and sort through the opinions.
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Old 07-14-06, 12:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyptak

I've got a set of Open Pros that need a few new spokes (frozen to the nipples & loose) & a truing. Maybe I'll take them to CA and see how it goes.

I do all my own wrenching except advanced wheel truing which would require a truing stand. It's pretty easy to do everything if you have a decent set of tools and a workstand. Both of which I bought at Performance at prices so low after sale prices & coupons & my Team discount that they probably barely made money on me. I'd like to think their lifetime profit margin on me is low. However, they make up for it on the scary volume of stuff I buy!
Now's the time to learn! Wheel building and, especially, wheel truing aren't black arts and they are what make you into a true master mechanic rather then just someone who plays one in your garage. You don't even need a truing stand to true wheels. Your brake pads work quite well actually. If you do want a stand, Performance sells a sevicable one for cheap.

Go forth! Build and true wheels! Become a real mechanic!
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Old 07-14-06, 12:28 PM   #22
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I love Cycle Analyst. They've got the best selection of used parts and are happy to sell you something that is less expensive than the newest stuff. Richard (the older guy) can be grumpy but he is uber-knowledgeable and builds the best wheels.

Another shop to visit is Salvagetti on 12th/Speer. Scott owns the shop and is super nice and knowledgeable. Again, this shop does great work and aren't focused on multi-thousand dollar race bikes. Scott builds strong wheels too.

I've had good luck at Turin too. None of these shops are cummuter specific but carry a lot of cummuter gear.

Bicycle Village is overpriced unless you find something on sale. Performance is hit or miss depending on who is working. i've got great advice and I've talked to people who I doubt even ride bikes there.
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Old 07-20-06, 08:09 AM   #23
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Bicycle Village is the home of the 30 minute assembly. I bought one bike from them. The brakes rubbed on the tires and the space in the handlebar clamp on the stem was closed on one side with a big gap on the other - very dangerous.
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Old 07-20-06, 10:36 AM   #24
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Quote:
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When I started looking around, they didn't seem to have very many high end bikes of any type. I just wasn't that impressed.
I thought aurora had a good selection of litespeeds and tri bikes. [I thought the other main vendor was Guru, but don't recall as it's been some time now and Guru is not listed on their site. It was either Guru or QR.]

Boulder has fewer bikes, but both seem willing to work with me. I do recall seeing a bunch of treks in the 2-5k grouping. Maybe we looked at different parts of the store.
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Old 08-08-06, 06:00 PM   #25
Tom2slow
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well, so I am late responding to all the input.
1st off the original LBS I had troubles with is Treads, specifically the Illiff and Buckley store. The resident Guru Joe is fantastic, it is a shame he isn't backed up by a working system.

This weekend I went to the Cycle Analyst and was really, really impressed. The had the friction bar end shifters I wanted (used) and Richard (I can see Grumpy comming up if you put on airs) was great, taking me over to their rack of bikes and discussing different cable housing routing options.
I am sure that there are people working there that might have a higher friction co-efficient (but thats true every where) Again all I can say is that I was impressed.

Thanks for all the input, I learned that the net is prolly the best pricing, but for help along w/ service the guys at Cycle Analyst get my dough.

Tom
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