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Old 03-18-06, 12:12 PM   #1
MMACH 5
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So, I've been eyeballing the Trek 520, online and in magazines. It looks like the perfect bike for my commute. I decided to stop by my local Trek dealer and have a look at one in person.

Sales rep #1: "Can I help you?"
Me: "Yes, I'd like to take a look at a Trek 520."
Sales rep #1: <blank stare with a dash of bewilderment> "Our Treks all start at 1000."
Me: "Okay, thanks, I'll just look around a bit."

(Now, I overhear him talking to another rep, behind the counter, who then thumbs through through the Trek catalog before approaching me.)

Sales rep #2: "So, why are you looking for a touring bike?"
Me: "Why? Because, I like the geometry, setup and..."
Sales rep #2: "Well, what are you going to use it for?"
Me: "To commute to work."
Sales rep #2: "But, you're not planning on riding across the state or anything, are you?"
Me: "No, but I do ride over 35 miles, everyday."
Sales rep #2: "Let me show you this 1000. I think it has everything you want."

He has me get on the bike and starts fitting it for me. I mention that it seems a bit smaller than what I am used to. He said that I he would be surprised if I rode a bike any bigger than this one. I again said that I thought this might have me a little scrunched, in the long run.
So, he starts throwing around shop talk, with a little pause to then "explain" what each term means.
This just irked me, so I began asking about the features on the 520 that I knew for a fact were not on the 1000.

He had an excuse for each like how I really didn't need to have that wide a gear range and the suspension seat on the 1000 would make up for the rougher ride on aluminum.

I was beginning to get a bit fed up and started to leave when he said, "Let me show you this Pilot."
We had almost the same conversation over this bike as we did over the 1000 except that the carbon fiber was purported as the material that would make it ride just as smooth as cromoly.

Seeing that I wasn't biting, he says, "You see, the 1000 is a 'comfort road bike' and the Pilot is a 'relaxed fit road bike' and this is really the trend in bikes. You're going to be hard pressed to find any more touring bikes on the market and cromoly is kind of going the way of the dinosaur."

I left feeling like I had been crammed full of crap, like the christmas goose. It made me feel sorry for the noob who walks into their LBS and gets 'the pitch' so that the salesman can sell whatever bike he has sitting on the showroom floor.
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Old 03-18-06, 01:06 PM   #2
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I would've left after the first, oh, five sentences or so...
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Old 03-18-06, 01:08 PM   #3
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Some shops are like that, sadly.

Oddly enough the shop I didn't like here has started to become one of my favorites...turns out what happened was the owner did make a big mistake and doubted my abilities....turns out he saw me at one of the local club rides (I'm not fast, but I'm no slouch either), and he realized I do know what I'm talking about...

...since then he's been giving me pretty good advice, and it looks like he's starting to get used to the fast utility cyclist crowd a bit more.

Maybe that's his thing....he probably doesn't know enough about that bike.
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Old 03-18-06, 02:16 PM   #4
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At least this guy didn't start off by asking you how much monthly payment you can afford to make.....
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Old 03-18-06, 04:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CdCf
I would've left after the first, oh, five sentences or so...
You're patient, that's 3 more than I would have put up with.

I've heard some amazing BS flow from snake oil salesmen working in bike shops, sometimes when the mood takes me I play the noob and have some fun but when it comes time to spend some major $$$ I do all my research long before stepping foot into the LBS then I go in there knowing exactly what I want and exactly how much I'm prepared to pay, then it's just a mtter of negotiating the sweetest deal in terms of getting accesories thrown in to close it.

Forget all the rubbish you read here about 'service' and 'knowledge', I'm yet to find anyone in an LBS that has a clue beyond what they read in their brochures and 'service' means 'sell you something for as much $$$ as possible' and most of them couldn't lie straight in bed.
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Old 03-18-06, 04:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic

Forget all the rubbish you read here about 'service' and 'knowledge', I'm yet to find anyone in an LBS that has a clue beyond what they read in their brochures and 'service' means 'sell you something for as much $$$ as possible' and most of them couldn't lie straight in bed.
That wins the ignorant ****** statement of the day. Congratulations.
I will see if we can just remove the mechaincs and general cycling section since no one needs it.
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Old 03-18-06, 05:19 PM   #7
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That wins the ignorant ****** statement of the day. Congratulations.
I will see if we can just remove the mechaincs and general cycling section since no one needs it.
WTF are you talking about? what does an ONLINE FORUM have to do with my exeriences at my LBS's?
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Old 03-18-06, 05:45 PM   #8
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I ran into a similar experience looking for an FX bike. The salesman was trying to sell me last years 1000c, so I played along until he told me how outdated Giant's frame designs are. That was enough to make me walk out because I had my bike shoes on. Maybe if I was wearing boots he could of piled it on some more.

I went back to the LBS where the owner was not willing to assemble the right size bike for me to test ride. This was in Febuary and on a week day. Lucky for him, a decent mechanic let me do the test rides another day.
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Old 03-18-06, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
WTF are you talking about? what does an ONLINE FORUM have to do with my exeriences at my LBS's?

"Forget all the rubbish you read here about 'service' and 'knowledge'" << It would be that part. You imply that all shops and their employees are crooked, not just the one you frequented.
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Old 03-18-06, 08:06 PM   #10
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OP: Sorry about your experience at the Trek dealer, the 520 is a great bike from an s***y company. I would humbly suggest looking at something like a Surly “Long Haul Trucker” at a LBS that is actually independent. It sounds like you were shopping at a “concept” store; indys will treat you better if they want to stay in business.

CYCLAHOLIC: I try to help guys like you all the time with honesty and empathy…but you know it all- I couldn’t possibly have the right answer for you, OH NO! But you guys still come into bike shops and ignore good advice, and then blame us for your bad experience and ***** about it on the internet. Do you come into bike shops to get yourself pissed off? Is that your little game…Huh?

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Old 03-18-06, 09:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
"Forget all the rubbish you read here about 'service' and 'knowledge'" << It would be that part. You imply that all shops and their employees are crooked, not just the one you frequented.
I imlied nothing of the sort, you read into it something that was not even in the ballpark. what I said (not implied but actually said) was that what I read in these forums regarding 'service' and 'knowledge' is rubbish in my experience, if it wasn't I wouldn't be saying it now would I. By far the best product knowledge and quality of service I have ever experienced within the cycling industry has been dealing with mail order companies that sell online.
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Old 03-18-06, 09:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JoshFrank
CYCLAHOLIC: I try to help guys like you all the time with honesty and empathy…but you know it all- I couldn’t possibly have the right answer for you, OH NO! But you guys still come into bike shops and ignore good advice, and then blame us for your bad experience and ***** about it on the internet. Do you come into bike shops to get yourself pissed off? Is that your little game…Huh?
No Josh, the guys you try to help are nothing like me otherwise I'd be on here saying "my LBS is cool, he's honest and knows what he's on about" but that's not the situation, If we had just one LBS run the way you would run it I'd be one loyal customer. As an example I was looking at a new road bike recently and one LBS proprietor tried to convince me that brand X bikes, which they don't stock, were imported into the country by a religious cult so that they could circumvent imort tax (undercut other manufacturers with same specs) and you'd never ever get a warranty claim honored for the same reason, ofcourse he wasn't exactly sure which religious cult that was he also tried very hard to convince me of several things that were in breach of the laws of physics.
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Old 03-18-06, 09:36 PM   #13
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I just noticed cyclaholic is from Australia. He gets a partial pardon for his bigotry. He has never been in a US bike shop, I'll wager, and lives in a country with only a half dozen bikes shops and a HUGE import tax. Plus he has nothing to deal with but other Australians, explains the crookedry. Like father, like son.
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Old 03-18-06, 09:59 PM   #14
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I just noticed cyclaholic is from Australia. He gets a partial pardon for his bigotry. He has never been in a US bike shop, I'll wager, and lives in a country with only a half dozen bikes shops and a HUGE import tax. Plus he has nothing to deal with but other Australians, explains the crookedry. Like father, like son.
Ok, so we're done discussing our LBS experiences and have now moved onto personal attacks and insults.....

I'm done, the moderators can take it from here.
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Old 03-18-06, 10:24 PM   #15
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FYI...blue star beside name=moderator
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Old 03-18-06, 10:31 PM   #16
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It is not personal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convictism_in_Australia Just history

By the way bigotry is assigning traits to an entire group based on your experience with just a few. For instance were I to base my opinions of customers on guys like you, I would seek a career elsewhere. However I choose to believe that my customers are not "know it alls" that think I am out to screw them, but, in fact, people that trust me to help them as I trust them not to run out of the store with a handful of Oakleys.
So it was not personal just an observation of exhibited behaviour.
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Old 03-18-06, 10:32 PM   #17
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FYI...blue star beside name=moderator

Yep. Makes one phrase themselves with forethought. It does not, however, make them willing to take **** from someone that insults them and their freinds.
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Old 03-18-06, 10:40 PM   #18
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Whoops! Didn't mean to stir up that hornet's nest, guys. I'll try to stear this puppy back out of the ditch.

Anyway, I've been into this shop on many occasions and have had great experiences dealing with the wrenches, in the back. They are courteous, know their stuff and even toss in the little freebie items when I purchase things like chains and tires. This was the first time I've ever had anything to do with the salesman, in there.

A little update:
This evening, I went to another Trek dealer, here in town. It's considerably farther away than the one from my original post, (10 miles vs less than a mile), and in a much more "ritzy" part of town.
I asked about the bike and, just like the last guy, he hadn't heard of it before. However, he said, "I'm not familiar with that one. Gimme just a sec to look it up." I have no problem with a rep not knowing every bike that is sold by a manufacturer. In fact, it kind of put me at ease that he let me know that.

He tapped around on the keyboard back there and said, "Here it is. Hey, that's a good looking bike. We don't have one in stock, but let me check the availability on it." More tapping on the keys...

I did interject at this point that I wasn't actually looking to make a purchase today.
He said, "That's fine. It only takes a couple of days to get one into the shop. So, when you are ready, come on in, we'll get you all measured and order the size you need."

Ding! Ding! Ding! I think I've found a new LBS. I don't mind driving further for that kind of service.
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Old 03-18-06, 10:41 PM   #19
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So it was not personal just an observation of exhibited behaviour.
Quote:
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Plus he has nothing to deal with but other Australians, explains the crookedry. Like father, like son.
It's not personal.... yeah OK.
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Old 03-18-06, 10:45 PM   #20
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The "know it alls" are probably only 1% of the customer base, but damn when they come in it gets my fur up. (can you tell I delt with finikey recumbent man today?)
EDIT: OP, I'm glad you found a shop that treated you properly. That is how shopping for a bike is suposed to be.
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Old 03-18-06, 10:49 PM   #21
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Congrats on finding a LBS that will give you the service deserved.
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Old 03-18-06, 10:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
It's not personal.... yeah OK.

You must not have read the link or looked at my sig line.
As a White Southern (quasi)Christian male I get far more crap for the possible past inequities of my ancestors than you get for, possibly, having british convicts as your ancestors. As far as that goes, my ancestors were also nerdowells kicked out of Scotland by the British crown, and sent to America. Some of them even got to spend time in the Tower and some may have been executed.
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Old 03-18-06, 11:08 PM   #23
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I am not familiar with every bike we offer and have no problem looking it up.
Same with repair. I don't know the procedure for every fork overhaul and will tell a customer up front that I intend to read theu the pdfs before I touch the thing just incase there is an unusual aspect to the repair.

i just looked that bike up, it is pretty buried in the Trek site. It looks like the only steel bike they offer. I have one of their lugged bikes, 531 reynolds from the eighties, nice ride.
JoshFrank brought up the longhaultrucker. That and the crosscheck are made by Surly and any bike shop(most shops do deal with them) that deals with Quality can get them. They are both very much like the 520, steel bikes aimed for the distance rider that wants a comfortable ride and the ability to run loaded.
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Old 03-18-06, 11:10 PM   #24
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You must not have read the link or looked at my sig line.
As a White Southern (quasi)Christian male I get far more crap for the possible past inequities of my ancestors than you get for, possibly, having british convicts as your ancestors. As far as that goes, my ancestors were also nerdowells kicked out of Scotland by the British crown, and sent to America. Some of them even got to spend time in the Tower and some may have been executed.
I couldn't care less about your ancestry, it is immaterial to the fact that you answered a post about service and knowledge of an LBS with a disgusting insult of my ancestry and my father, then claim its not personal...... and you're supposed to be a moderator! Well done champ, go ahead and nominate yourself for modrator of the month.

(edit)mmach5, I sincerely apologise for my part in letting this thread get so farr off topic. I'm happy that it worked out for you, a new bike is always such a buzz
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Old 03-18-06, 11:14 PM   #25
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To the Op:
I kind of went through the same thing when I was a n00b to road cycling. I knew fro what I'd read online I wanted a touring bike, since that would best fit my riding wants/needs. So when I enter the LBS I get a whole line of spiel from the salesperson, who wants to sell me an OCR.
Me: Will it fit larger tires, like 700X32?
SalesRep: No, but everyone who tours uses 25s (He said this very thing, no hyperbole.)
Me: Will it fit fenders?
SalesRep: Yes. (No, it didn't, unless I'd switched to 700X20 tires, maybe.)
Me: Can I put a rack on it?
SalesRep: Yes. (No. I was too much of a newbie to see it didn't have eyelets, but assumed the guy knew what he was talking about.)
Well, I do take responsibility for my ignorance, but I ended up spending $700 for the OCR, and for what it was it was an OK bike, but it definitely did not fit my needs as a commuter/tourer, so I felt as if I'd been cheated out of $700 that I could've spent on what I was after in the first place. ($700 is not an insubstantial amount of money to me.)

The most maddening part is, the guy could've ordered a bloody touring bike for me and made more money, as they are quite a bit more expensive, instead of trying to sell me what he had "on hand." Note to Rev. Chuck, I am not attacking all LBSs and their sales staff, and I still go to this LBS, I just don't deal with this guy. Either the 520 or the OCR Touring would've made me very happy and made them more money, I am still curious to this day why I was given the runaround like this.
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