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Old 08-10-05, 12:38 PM   #1
zebano
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In praise of my LBS

Since there are so many LBS bashing threads here, I thought I would take the opposite tact and sing the praises of mine.

I was commuting to work this morning when I hear a "twang". I stopped and sure enough, I broke a spoke. I was almost to work, so I completed the trip. Over lunch, I took my bike to my LBS. I asked how long it would take for them to fix it up and I was told 2-3 days. I mentioned that I commute and would really like to be able to ride home, and he said oh I think we can help you out =)!

So thanks to my lbs for keeping me from missing any time.
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Old 08-10-05, 04:53 PM   #2
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I love this....a "Let's show some love for my LBS" thread. I had a problem fitting my skewers into my trainer one recent, rainy day, so I called them up to ask about buying some skewers. Well when I got there they had a pair of them waiting for me. I also mentioned that I needed a set of lights and a new wheel reflector (I do alot of night riding). They gave me a head/tail light set a few energy bars for my ride home...and dates for when the 06s are coming and therfore when the 04s and 05s will be silly reduced.

Gotta love being a regular at the LBS.

Brian
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Old 08-11-05, 07:02 AM   #3
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I love the guys at my LBS. They are VERY knowledgeable. They know I am a relative beginner and take the time to listen to me and explain things in depth. Moving up from a 10-speed I had been riding for the past 35 years put me way behind on the technology scale. They have a great sense of humor and every visit is a fun experience, as well as instructional. I went clipless last night. They spent over an hour going over all the pedals, the pros and cons, how to clip in and out, which shoes matched which pedals, and then installed everything and showed me how to use them. This was their normal service. I bought my road bike from them last year, not a really an expensive one, but a good one. The owner spent two hours with me on a trainer the first time and a few shorter visits later to get the bike fit just right. They have always been more than patient. Of course, I do pay attention, ask questions in a non-confrontational way, do some research on my own, and try to do what they tell me, so I guess that makes them feel good too. We have 2 dozen bike shops in town (including a chain) and none of the others are as wonderful as these guys are! They even give me grief if I don't come in to say hello to them often enough.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:00 AM   #4
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It may be that I bought the bike there. At the time, I was suspicious...my mother recommended it, and she has a tendency towards militant opinions and loyalty in odd directions. It's a toy and bike shop, and they just deal in Giants. Since it was a combo present (two parents and I chipping in equally), I didn't make a fuss, because I was really excited to buy the first bike since I'd squandered all my newspaper route money on the world's heaviest Huffy MTB in 6th grade (right after, everyone had a Diamondback...why didn't girls get these memos?).

Every time I go in there (and they sell the full line of Giants, your basic accessories, and do service, plus toys, that's it.), they know who I am. They listen to my stupid little questions. I call ahead and they move heaven and earth to tune it up before races. I was back up there over the weekend, rode over there, walked in, and got my derailleurs and brakes tweaked...for what must be the 18th time, on the spot, no problem. Since I bought that $600 bike I've never had to lay out another cent there, but I have.

I love that place. Mum was right.

I guess if I could afford to buy a bike every time I move...
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Old 08-11-05, 08:06 AM   #5
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if you're ever in London UK pay Condor Cycles a visit - by far the best bike shop in London.

http://www.condorcycles.com/pages/about.htm
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Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
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Old 08-11-05, 08:14 AM   #6
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thanks. it's appreciated.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:17 AM   #7
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I just bought my first road bike, and my LBS is great so far. The owner took me for a 20 mile ride on the bike I was looking at before I bought it. I didn't have any bike shoes to go with the pedals, and he doesn't stock many because it is kind of a small market. Anyway, it turns out his display pair of Specialized road shoes fit me, so he let me have them. That's right, Freebie (zip, zero, nada........).

He also does overnight turn arounds on repairs at no extra charge. He's closed on Sundays, but he is meeting some friends of mine this Sunday at his shop to let them test ride some bikes because they just can't seem to get in during his normal hours. I'm sure if you were going to a ride/race and broke something after hours the day before, he would meet you at the shop to get you fixed up. Mailorder shops couldn't do that if they wanted to.

He's also letting me try out seats 'till I find one I like.

One last nice thing is that on Thursday evenings there is a pretty big casual ride that starts at his shop.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:37 AM   #8
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Be still my heart. Thanks for some positive stories. Small amounts of praise, even if for another shop, dull the bite of the posts that consider all of us ripoff, nosepicking losers.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:18 AM   #9
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I was just praising my LBS on another thread but I'll add one more example. My husband and I bought our Trek hybrids there in May but I bought an electric bike last month at another shop (I would have bought it at my LBS but they don't sell them.) The e-bike shop didn't have fenders for my bike so I went to my LBS. They oohed and aahed over my bike and put it up on the stand to see if they could get their $15 fenders to fit but no good. But they were cheerful and supportive the whole time, as they always are. And it's not like they remember that we bought bikes in May. It's a pretty big shop with lots of customers.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUM
Be still my heart. Thanks for some positive stories. Small amounts of praise, even if for another shop, dull the bite of the posts that consider all of us ripoff, nosepicking losers.

so you don't pick your nose? i need a classy shop like that.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetharriet
so you don't pick your nose? i need a classy shop like that.
No, but I have this annoying tic and my glasses are held together with duct tape.
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Old 08-11-05, 10:04 AM   #12
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If anyone, ANYONE is in the boston area go to Belmont Wheel Works. Honestly, you wont regret it.

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Old 08-11-05, 10:10 AM   #13
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My LBS manager is cordially abusive toward me, always gives me a discount and has never requested me to leave my bike for repairs or adjustments. He gives me on the spot service, always. Additionally, when he can't come close on an internet offer, he tells me to go with the on line deal and bring it in for adjustment, truing or whatever. He's sold me 4 bikes in three years and hundreds of dollars of tools, clothing, accessories and upgrades.
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Old 08-11-05, 11:33 AM   #14
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I can only second the experiences of many folks here. My LBS has been very supportive and pleasant. It is well worth some shopping around to find an LBS where you feel comfortable and appreciated as a customer. MY LBS and I have been learning together what components work best for a large rider. Their advice has been very good and I've been really pleased with everything they have done so far.

I will add that I did not go in to any LBS with a bad opinion. Bike specific stuff can be very overpriced -- that is just a fact in the market. A good LBS can add a level of service and expertise that makes the price worthwhile. My only complaint with some LBS is their attitudes toward newbies or non-racing type riders -- condescending or patronizing covers some of it in other cases it is just polite indulgence since you might spend some money.
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Old 08-11-05, 04:22 PM   #15
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My dilemma is the number of good bike shops near my house. Within a mile, there are 3 locally owned shops that all have superb mechanics and sales staff. Big problem, huh?
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