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  1. #1
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Report Suspect LBS's in your area.

    We cyclists need to stick together, support one another and offer help when we can. Whatever we ride, we are all of the same fraternity: we're cyclists.

    It always disturbs me when I hear of fellow-cyclists who have had terrible experiences at an LBS's after I have had similar situation. It could have been avoided. We need a place where we can advise of LBS's to avoid and ones to frequent. Hopefully, the poor stores will strive to improve or go out of business and those that offer value and service will thrive.

    Here in Toronto, we have a vast array of bike stores. Unfortunately, I've run into more than few that leave alot to be desired when it comes to service. They seem to be unfamiliar with the concepts of customer service and encouraging repeat business. Cyclepath on Bloor (west of Dufferin) and The Cycle Shoppe on Queen (west of Bathurst) are two such places that are becoming notorious for over-charging, shoddy repair work (using used and reconditioned parts, etc.) and horrendous respect for their customers. Recently, a number of my fellow cyclists and I were discussing this and those two stores, in particular, were unanimously panned. They didn't fare well in a recent Now magazine survey of bike stores either where they were cited for lack of knowledge regarding their products and indifferent attitude toward customers.

    If you know of qualified, conscientious and fair LBS's, recommend them here. If your experience wasn't so pleasant, do your fellow cyclists a favour and let them know here as well.
    The slow down is accelerating

  2. #2
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Cyclepath on Bloor (west of Dufferin) and The Cycle Shoppe on Queen (west of Bathurst)
    Hrmm.. didn't know that and it's good to know.

    On the flip side, I've found the following to be decent: Spinning Wheels (now closed -- *SOB*), Duke's (albeit a tad slow for tuneups but that's due to volume), Skiis'n'bikes on Don Mills (not bad but not great either).

    Which LBSes, in downtown TO, would you consider decent?

    And I throw caution out about Cyclesmith in Halifax (on Quinpool Road). I had to use them last summer for an emergency repair (required a replacement cassette and chain). They quoted me the wrong price and wrong parts (although did finish the job in time). The manager didn't give a break but said he would speak to the employee about the price confusion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMittens
    Which LBSes, in downtown TO, would you consider decent?

    Well, I'm not sure of any that are reputable at the moment. I have been dealing with Broadway Cycle on Bloor (a block away from Cyclepath), but apparently the owner is related to the owner of The Cycle Shoppe, so there may be some question marks there. The owner had promised to 'look after me' after I had dropped almost $200.00 in locks a few weeks ago, but when I visited on Friday to get my trike modified, he was very reluctant to discount from retail and only after some arm-twisting he gave me a $40.00 reduction. I wasn't overly impressed with the interaction as I expected something a little friendlier and encouraging. The sales guy there seems good though and so does the mechanic, so if I ignore the owner, maybe it might be okay.
    The slow down is accelerating

  4. #4
    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    This is one of those things that seems like a good idea in theory, but really isn't in practice on a forum like this. Yeah, you'll get horror stories, but then someone will slam their local LBS, naming names, all because "they wuz lookin' at me funny," and that will result in a flame war. I have an LBS in town that I do not like at all, but I also know that it's hard to be a small businessman, and I'm not going to post the name of the LBS on the internet, drive away potential customers, potentially putting someone out of business, because it's got some crappy employees.At least it would take the owner him/herself doing me terrible wrong for me to do that. That's my take on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hitchens
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  5. #5
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz, CA - Best place in town. Great prices, great repairs, great people!

    Amsterdam Bicycles in Santa Cruz, CA - Great resource for harder to find stuff, ie Velox bar plugs

    Spokesman in Santa Cruz, CA - Nice people, great repair services, but their parts are waaaaay overpriced
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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  6. #6
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    I think Village Cycle in Chicago is just terrible- the people there push whatever they feel like on you when you come in looking for a bike, some of them don't know a lot about bikes, and they are just the meat markets for low grade bikes. On top of that, they take 2 weeks for a tune up, which is just tightening the brake cables and making sure the tires are filled with air.

    Koffee

  7. #7
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac
    ...are two such places that are becoming notorious for over-charging, shoddy repair work (using used and reconditioned parts, etc.) and horrendous respect for their customers.
    Selling used or reconditioned merchandise as new is surely against the law in Canada. Your post implies that customers are not informed that used parts are being installed. If this is what you mean, then you are making a serious accusation and I hope you have first hand proof of this.

    Since virtually any business has some unhappy customers, I think it's better to concentrate on praising good LBSs, not griping about bad ones.

  8. #8
    Adios, Mofo J-McKech's Avatar
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    Here in Austin
    Bicycle Sport Shop- Huge place, lots of people to help you, tons of stuff; but a little pushy and seem to have an elitist attitude.

    Ozone bikes- I've had to experiences in here. One guy, Shane, was more than willing to take his time and really help me out and even invited me to a DH race. Another time the guy was just plan rude and acted like he even everything and I knew nothing.

    Discovery Bike- Probably the best shop in Austin, a bit small and turn around is sometimes slow, especially on the weekedn; as to be expected. Small selection of clothes and other things but can order pretty much everything.

    360 cycleworks- Great group of guys on the mountain bike end. One guy happens to be from Canada and knows quite a bit on the freeride scene and is very friendly. Only been in there once, but would go back in a heartbeat.
    I am Signature-less

  9. #9
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    This is one of those things that seems like a good idea in theory, but really isn't in practice on a forum like this. Yeah, you'll get horror stories, but then someone will slam their local LBS, naming names, all because "they wuz lookin' at me funny," and that will result in a flame war. I have an LBS in town that I do not like at all, but I also know that it's hard to be a small businessman, and I'm not going to post the name of the LBS on the internet, drive away potential customers, potentially putting someone out of business, because it's got some crappy employees.At least it would take the owner him/herself doing me terrible wrong for me to do that. That's my take on it.
    Then you could accept the invitation to name only the good places and perhaps improve their business.
    Last edited by EnigManiac; 05-07-05 at 07:58 PM.
    The slow down is accelerating

  10. #10
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Selling used or reconditioned merchandise as new is surely against the law in Canada. Your post implies that customers are not informed that used parts are being installed. If this is what you mean, then you are making a serious accusation and I hope you have first hand proof of this.

    Since virtually any business has some unhappy customers, I think it's better to concentrate on praising good LBSs, not griping about bad ones.
    I make no accusations. These are claims I am hearing informally from those who have had dealings with them. I've not personally had any repair work done at either location, nor did I suggest I had. If using used parts is illegal (I'm not aware that it is), and it seems many are of the opinion that those stores and others regularly use reconditioned/used parts, a public forum suggestion is not a formal accusation. I CAN attest to their deplorable attitudes and the poor quality of their service and, for that alone, I'd recommend avoiding them. I have heard other unsubstantiated remarks about those two stores and others, but choose not to repeat them. I have no qualms in suggesting to my local fellow cyclists to refrain from running the risk with those shops, however: the choice is theirs and it is no less than I would say if we speaking face to face, relating experiences and expressing opinions.

    But I will agree that it is equally as productive praising the stores that have proven trustworthy and ethical.
    The slow down is accelerating

  11. #11
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    Don't judge too quickly, I thought my LBS (the one near Sunnyvale Station) was awful on the basis of one visit, then next couple they were average, and GREAT. So you need to see how the shop is over time and pick up consistant patterns.

    (The one near sunnyvale station has been around since the 1920s or 1930s, that's kinda cool)

  12. #12
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    The illegal part is selling a used part as new.

    If you can stand it give a shop a second chance. I am pretty sure at least one of the eight people in the shop this morning were unhappy with the service. But everyone was late and I was alone.
    The guy banging on the door fourty minutes after we closed wanting to look at kids bikes while we stood around in jerseys and cleats was probably not to happy either.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
    Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

    I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac
    We cyclists need to stick together, support one another and offer help when we can. Whatever we ride, we are all of the same fraternity: we're cyclists.

    If you know of qualified, conscientious and fair LBS's, recommend them here. If your experience wasn't so pleasant, do your fellow cyclists a favour and let them know here as well.
    Well, can that work both ways? Since the LBS guys are going to be put up for public scrutiny on this site, can we start posting the names of a-hole customers also? That way, other LBS can stay away from these "potential" pain-in-the...customers, and other cyclists can avoid riding with people with bad attitudes!

  14. #14
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Welp I had a good experience this morning when my rear tire went flat just a few blocks from Sporting Life (Yonge Street, north of Eglinton). I figured since I needed a new tire anyways (and since I didn't have a repair kit with me -- given it's only the 2nd flat I've had in 7 years) I'd get them to change it. 15 minutes quick in and out. No fuss, no muss.

  15. #15
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac
    I make no accusations. These are claims I am hearing informally from those who have had dealings with them. I've not personally had any repair work done at either location, nor did I suggest I had. If using used parts is illegal (I'm not aware that it is), and it seems many are of the opinion that those stores and others regularly use reconditioned/used parts, a public forum suggestion is not a formal accusation. I CAN attest to their deplorable attitudes and the poor quality of their service and, for that alone, I'd recommend avoiding them. I have heard other unsubstantiated remarks about those two stores and others, but choose not to repeat them. I have no qualms in suggesting to my local fellow cyclists to refrain from running the risk with those shops, however: the choice is theirs and it is no less than I would say if we speaking face to face, relating experiences and expressing opinions.

    But I will agree that it is equally as productive praising the stores that have proven trustworthy and ethical.
    Wow - you post on a public forum something you're hearing as RUMOR??? Informal claims? Not sure what the libel/slander laws in Canada are, but in the states, you could get in trouble for that. And so could Joe. I expect this thread to dissapear fairly quickly, actually.

    As for ethics, the only thing you should post is PERSONAL, FIRST HAND experiences. Don't relay your friend's cousin's brother's buddy's experience you're hearing 4th hand and through numerous sympathetic filters. Don't even post second hand accounts you heard from your best friend. You're hearing his/her version and, of course, as their friend you give it credibility and perhaps even subtly change it yourself when you post it 3rd hand.

    "I make no acccusations."

    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac
    I've run into more than few that leave alot to be desired when it comes to service. They seem to be unfamiliar with the concepts of customer service and encouraging repeat business. Cyclepath on Bloor (west of Dufferin) and The Cycle Shoppe on Queen (west of Bathurst) are two such places that are becoming notorious for over-charging, shoddy repair work (using used and reconditioned parts, etc.)
    I beg your pardon? "I've run into more than a few...." That is a bold, in your face accusation of the litany of charges (accusations) you subsequently make, including "(using used and reconditioned parts, etc.)". You don't say you've heard through friends, friends of friends etc, just that YOU'VE RUN INTO MORE THAN A FEW. You... personal experience.

    Post your own bad experiences, by all means. That's capitolism at its best. But don't be a rumor monger.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahctogi
    Well, can that work both ways? Since the LBS guys are going to be put up for public scrutiny on this site, can we start posting the names of a-hole customers also? That way, other LBS can stay away from these "potential" pain-in-the...customers, and other cyclists can avoid riding with people with bad attitudes!
    Then go start your own thread.

    Seriously I have a couple places I would like to mention but don't think it is a fair thing to just say a place is blanketly bad. Granted there are some shops that just simply suck, and there is no hope for ever getting a good result in them.

    However, more often than not it is the individual that you deal with in the shop that makes it a good or bad experience. You can walk into Mike's Bike World on Saturday at 5 PM and find two snot nosed kids with tatoos and piercings all over running the place. They might give you some very crappy advice and/or ignore you for the most part. Conclusion: Mike's Bike World SUCKS!!

    But wait! On Monday morning, you might go in there and find Mike behind the counter. Mike is a highly decorated racing veteran, who organizes many rides in the community and is a great local friend to cycling. Mike proceeds to teach you all sorts of interesting things about bikes and helps you out a great deal. He assists you with fitting, talks to you at great lengths and you go home with the perfect bike. You are a happy camper.

    Same shop, two completely different results. Mike's Bike World doesn't suck. At least not all of the time. Mike just has a few employee issues he needs to work out. Unfortunately most customers never tell Mike. They just tell their friends that the shop sucks. Mike thinks his shop is cool. Mike has a problem.

    Then of course there is the worst case, where example #1 is the rule instead of the exception. There may never be anyone behind the counter that gives a crap about you or about bikes.

  17. #17
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahctogi
    Well, can that work both ways? Since the LBS guys are going to be put up for public scrutiny on this site, can we start posting the names of a-hole customers also? That way, other LBS can stay away from these "potential" pain-in-the...customers, and other cyclists can avoid riding with people with bad attitudes!
    Sounds like you need another line of work. A-hole customers exist. You can't avoid them. Not every person who walks in the door is going to be a cuddly, cozy, warm and fuzzy friend. The difference is they are CUSTOMERS and they are why and how stores exist. If you can't treat all customers with respect, dignity, honesty and fairness, you need to either not work with the public or find another profession. It's really quite simple.
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  18. #18
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    Boy, I'm glad I don't run a bike shop......
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  19. #19
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    Wow - you post on a public forum something you're hearing as RUMOR??? Informal claims? Not sure what the libel/slander laws in Canada are, but in the states, you could get in trouble for that. And so could Joe. I expect this thread to dissapear fairly quickly, actually.

    As for ethics, the only thing you should post is PERSONAL, FIRST HAND experiences. Don't relay your friend's cousin's brother's buddy's experience you're hearing 4th hand and through numerous sympathetic filters. Don't even post second hand accounts you heard from your best friend. You're hearing his/her version and, of course, as their friend you give it credibility and perhaps even subtly change it yourself when you post it 3rd hand.

    "I make no acccusations."



    I beg your pardon? "I've run into more than a few...." That is a bold, in your face accusation of the litany of charges (accusations) you subsequently make, including "(using used and reconditioned parts, etc.)". You don't say you've heard through friends, friends of friends etc, just that YOU'VE RUN INTO MORE THAN A FEW. You... personal experience.

    Post your own bad experiences, by all means. That's capitolism at its best. But don't be a rumor monger.
    What are you, a lawyer? Public forums, including these ones, are rife with OPINION, impressions and everything in between. Is Bush going to sue over the millions of slams he's taken in the Politics and Religion section? I don't think so. How about the bike manufacturers who've been soundly criticized? Nope. I have read more damning remarks, valid and otherwise, about everyone from the Pope to the guy down the street. That's what public forums are for. I'm not PUBLISHING false statements. Public forums are not the same thing as broadcast media and everyone knows it. I certainly don't believe everything I read nor accept everyones advice or opinions that I read in forums, but there they are for anyone who wants to read them. Others are free to post counter opinions if they have them. That's why I suggested the post. We aren't under heavy-handed republican oppression here.

    'I've run into more than a few' is hardly a bold, in-your-face accusation. Exactly, what does it accuse? I clearly qualify that these two locations were roundly thrashed by a group of friends (cyclists all) who have had the misfortune of dealing with them. Others whom I know and trust have related the same experiences, so, yes; I'll gladly suggest that fellow cyclists consider another shop. The decision is up to them. I know I appreciate it when they warn me about a place I'm considering spending my money at.
    Last edited by EnigManiac; 05-08-05 at 01:09 PM.
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  20. #20
    Glutton for Punishment
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    "Everybody else does it" is a pretty juvenile excuse.

  21. #21
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mswantak
    "Everybody else does it" is a pretty juvenile excuse.
    Is that your opinion, that it was an excuse? Or do you have legal precedent for rendering such a claim? Should I consider calling someone 'juvenile' slander and, therefore, perhaps explore legal avenues of recourse?

    The intention of forums is to exchnage ideas, opinions, impressions and everything else freely. That's not an excuse. That's what forums are for.
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  22. #22
    dam this is fun ! STEEKER's Avatar
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    I use Cycle Solutions in east end of Toronto they are really great and yes every bike shop will have a person on staff that rubs you the wrong way but this shop is awesome they really care and give great service and are working on my 1959 3Speed and will get parts for my single speed too that I want to build ,,,,,Mcbryde cycle and Dukes are places that I would never go tooo , way to many bad stories about peeps being taken
    LOW RACER PILOT MASI fixed/singlespeed http://www.flickr.com/photos/steeker/

  23. #23
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    Boy, I'm glad I don't run a bike shop......
    Boy am I glad I don't have to deal with shop rats much ...

    Seriously. There are dicks on both ends. If a shop has one stray employee you can't judge the whole shop. There seems to be a lot of "memememememe" in all of these threads , and thats from both ends. If shops don't provide the service, the deserve to get slammed and if the buyer is being a knob he deserves nothing at all.

  24. #24
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    I use Cycle Solutions in east end of Toronto they are really great
    Is this the one on Parliament Street?

  25. #25
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMittens
    Is this the one on Parliament Street?
    I have heard these guys are good (Cycle Solutions on Parliament), but haven't been there myself. I know one of the mechanics there and I personally trust him.
    The slow down is accelerating

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