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Old 11-05-11, 09:23 AM   #1
venturi95
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Dumbest Thing You've Heard A LBS Employee Say

Let's face it, what good are dumb people if you can't laugh at them? Here's a few gems to get the ball rolling.
I am not in the least bit overweight or very old looking, but once I was enquiring as to the climbing efficiency of a certain 29er, and I was told, "Bikes don't matter, I could smoke you on my mountain bike with you on a road bike."

I asked about steel bead tires, and was told, "The hoop kind are kept downstairs."

More sad than funny, I was looking at another 29er (a $1400 bike) and was directed to a 450 dollar comfort bike.

Last edited by venturi95; 11-05-11 at 09:25 AM. Reason: error
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Old 11-05-11, 09:50 AM   #2
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these are always a good time. especially when the lbs employees start posting about stupid customers.
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Old 11-05-11, 10:05 AM   #3
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That's pretty good.. I one time had to explain to a former UK native shop owner what 590 iso was.... and there was another I got accused of stealing my Sekai.. that was kinda funny.. but nothing funny like yours.
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Old 11-05-11, 10:16 AM   #4
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One I had - and this was a response I got from several LBS to the same question.

The question was to the efficiency of smaller wheeled cycles against their full sized brethren.

The unanimous conclusion from all LBS is that I would have to pedal more (higher RPM/cadence) to achieve the same speed.

Firstly this was not answering the question on efficiency, and secondly, while it is a correct answer if you are using the exact same gear ratio as a larger bike, 9 times out of 10 you are not and the gear ratio is closer to getting the right gear inches out of the machine.

Not one of the staff in 5 different LBS could comprehend that it is not the size of the wheel by itself that affects the cadence, but wheel size AND gear ratio.
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Old 11-05-11, 12:13 PM   #5
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I tend to avoid the shops where the staff isn’t knowledgeable, so I hear more stupid things said by the other customers than by the staff. There is one shop where the owner is particularly brash though, and that is sometimes fun to watch.
Customer: “Excuse me, will this derailleur work with an 8-speed cassette?”
Owner: “Yeah it’ll work just fine.”
Customer: “No it won’t, the box says 9-speed.”
Owner: “Well OK then Einstein, if you know every goddamn thing, why bother asking an idiot like me about it?”
Customer: Heads for the door while he looks over his shoulder and said, “Bite me ass-hole!”
I looked at the owner in astonishment. He shrugged his shoulder and said “That guy’s always here asking question about parts only to order them on line.”
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Old 11-05-11, 12:28 PM   #6
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"It's not designed to be outdoors."
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Old 11-05-11, 12:31 PM   #7
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Looking at a pile of old hopelessly rusted bikes the comment was......."They are all rebuildable".
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Old 11-05-11, 02:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Debusama View Post
I tend to avoid the shops where the staff isn’t knowledgeable, so I hear more stupid things said by the other customers than by the staff. There is one shop where the owner is particularly brash though, and that is sometimes fun to watch.
Customer: “Excuse me, will this derailleur work with an 8-speed cassette?”
Owner: “Yeah it’ll work just fine.”
Customer: “No it won’t, the box says 9-speed.”
Owner: “Well OK then Einstein, if you know every goddamn thing, why bother asking an idiot like me about it?”
Customer: Heads for the door while he looks over his shoulder and said, “Bite me ass-hole!”
I looked at the owner in astonishment. He shrugged his shoulder and said “That guy’s always here asking question about parts only to order them on line.”
LOL!

I can relate to the owner -- a couple years ago, a defensive-lineman-sized customer grabbed a 12-in toddler bike off the display hook, set the front wheel between his knees, and wrenched the handlebar sideways. He looked at me and said, "Y'all need to build these right." There's no way he could have understood the two truths:

1. NO CHILD OF 3 WILL PUT THAT MUCH PRESSURE ON A HANDLEBAR.

2. Parts are not tightened to the point of bending metal, so in case of a crash, they will give a little and cause less damage and/or injury.

I was so flabbergasted at this fool, I had no comment.

(BTW, I spend so little time in LBS's that stupid comments just haven't happened.)
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Old 11-05-11, 02:36 PM   #9
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I remember shopping for a saddle once, and explaining to an LBS employee that I was having problems with my current saddle. Namely: pain in the perineum region.

A kid of about 20 or so, pants around his knees, cap turned sideways, who was working on a bike in the back overheard and put in his two cents: "Dude, sometimes you have to tough out a little pain..."
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Old 11-05-11, 04:35 PM   #10
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"There's no demand for that."

And no offer to see if it could be had to satisfy my demand. This is why the internet is hurting retail.

Years ago (a long long time ago) I was behind a sales counter and a guy came in and said "I want a (insert top of the line product here) have you got it?" I said sure and then proceeded to find out what this guy wanted to do with this product. I told him he could do the same thing and probably better with a much less expensive product.

He looked at me for about a half a minute and said, "Look, kid I work 80 hours a week and I make good money. I want to buy myself a really expensive toy, if you don't mind."

My response was "Thank You, sir! Let's put together a great outfit!"

I learned one of the most important lesson in sales from that guy. Some people really want to dispose of their income and get a nice piece of bling for it. Never ever stand in the way of a customer who wants to give your business money.
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Old 11-05-11, 07:59 PM   #11
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This goes for any brick and mortar business, not just bike shops:

"We can order that for you."

Really? So can I. Amazing.
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Old 11-05-11, 09:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
One I had - and this was a response I got from several LBS to the same question.

The question was to the efficiency of smaller wheeled cycles against their full sized brethren.

The unanimous conclusion from all LBS is that I would have to pedal more (higher RPM/cadence) to achieve the same speed.

Firstly this was not answering the question on efficiency, and secondly, while it is a correct answer if you are using the exact same gear ratio as a larger bike, 9 times out of 10 you are not and the gear ratio is closer to getting the right gear inches out of the machine.

Not one of the staff in 5 different LBS could comprehend that it is not the size of the wheel by itself that affects the cadence, but wheel size AND gear ratio.
I've dealt with customer who get their rocks off playing quiz master with every bike shop in town. The smart shops play dumb and get the trivia buff out of the shop early on so they can spend time answering real questions from customers who really need an answer.
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Old 11-05-11, 09:14 PM   #13
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Went to my LBS looking for a single sprocket to make my first fixed gear bike. The mechanic who overheard me ask the owner said "Can't do it." Guess he knew more than Sheldon.
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Old 11-05-11, 09:36 PM   #14
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Not one of the staff in 5 different LBS could comprehend that it is not the size of the wheel by itself that affects the cadence, but wheel size AND gear ratio.
I've run into that level of intelligence from a mechanic, but that wasn't in a bike shop. It's incredible when someone has had the same job for xx years but doesn't know much about it. In fact, doesn't even seem to be really interested in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
I learned one of the most important lesson in sales from that guy. Some people really want to dispose of their income and get a nice piece of bling for it. Never ever stand in the way of a customer who wants to give your business money.
I enjoyed that, and it happens. The little saying 'you get what you pay for' seems to me to be one of the dummer things around, but so many people think it is gospel. I usually like to ask 'how much do you spend on oxygen?'

It seems that a lot of people don't research the product. They just look at the price and assume that the more expensive it is, the better. They don't take the details into account.
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Old 11-06-11, 07:02 PM   #15
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Bike mechanic told me, "yea, they close the mountain bike trails when they get wet, but you can just sneak on and ride anyway."
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Old 11-06-11, 07:41 PM   #16
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High end shop, popular racing team as well. Walked in and asked the sales guy about MTB tires. Encountered this guy a few times before, freaking annoying guy, looks well educated and, dresses like a lawyer in court and acts like he knows everything. I just want a feakin' tire so I figure this guy can't be too much of a smart ass today.

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Can I help you?

Beanz: I need a 26 MTB tire, a 2.1 inch

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: A What?

Beanz: 26 MTB tire, a 2.1 inch

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: WTH is a 2.1 inch?

Beanz: A freakin' tire that is 2 inches and one tenth wide

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Oh, you mean a Two Point One

Beanz: That's what I said

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: No you said a 2.1 inch wide tire

Beanz: WTF do you think 2.1 means?

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: It has nothing to do with inches

Beanz: WTF! The tire measures 2.1 inches, it's all freaking math dude!

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Has nothing to do with math, it's bike lingo

Beanz: Bike lingo? 2.1 is all about math, get a ruler dude, the tire measures 2 inches and one tenth, 2 inches and 100 thousandths, whatever you want to call it, it's the width of the tire and it's all about the math.

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Nothing to do with math, it's bike lingo, you want a two point one or a two point two, nothing to do with math.

Beanz: Do you have freaking two inch and a tenth tire or not?!

I swear it was like Monthy Python's argue department, I never went back after that!
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Old 11-06-11, 08:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
High end shop, popular racing team as well. Walked in and asked the sales guy about MTB tires. Encountered this guy a few times before, freaking annoying guy, looks well educated and, dresses like a lawyer in court and acts like he knows everything. I just want a feakin' tire so I figure this guy can't be too much of a smart ass today.

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Can I help you?

Beanz: I need a 26 MTB tire, a 2.1 inch

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: A What?

Beanz: 26 MTB tire, a 2.1 inch

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: WTH is a 2.1 inch?

Beanz: A freakin' tire that is 2 inches and one tenth wide

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Oh, you mean a Two Point One

Beanz: That's what I said

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: No you said a 2.1 inch wide tire

Beanz: WTF do you think 2.1 means?

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: It has nothing to do with inches

Beanz: WTF! The tire measures 2.1 inches, it's all freaking math dude!

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Has nothing to do with math, it's bike lingo

Beanz: Bike lingo? 2.1 is all about math, get a ruler dude, the tire measures 2 inches and one tenth, 2 inches and 100 thousandths, whatever you want to call it, it's the width of the tire and it's all about the math.

Lawyer wannabe bike shop dude: Nothing to do with math, it's bike lingo, you want a two point one or a two point two, nothing to do with math.

Beanz: Do you have freaking two inch and a tenth tire or not?!

I swear it was like Monthy Python's argue department, I never went back after that!

Heavens to Betsy! I'd go back just to continue to plumb the depths of that Jackwagon's entertaining stupidity!! I'd bring along folks to watch!!
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Old 11-06-11, 08:57 PM   #18
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Heavens to Betsy! I'd go back just to continue to plumb the depths of that Jackwagon's entertaining stupidity!! I'd bring along folks to watch!!
It's tempting!
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Old 11-07-11, 04:37 AM   #19
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Maybe not exactly an LBS, but I remember once asking an employee in Dicks Sporting Goods if they carried any 700 mm tires. He informed me that they only carried modern bicycle tires.

Quote: "I've never heard of 700mm tires. Must be a really odd size, or for older bikes or something..."
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Old 11-07-11, 05:26 AM   #20
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Maybe not exactly an LBS, but I remember once asking an employee in Dicks Sporting Goods if they carried any 700 mm tires. He informed me that they only carried modern bicycle tires.

Quote: "I've never heard of 700mm tires. Must be a really odd size, or for older bikes or something..."
Well, he wasn't necessarily too off. 700c wheels really have bead seat diameters of 622mm. The outer diameter of the tire, where it makes road contact, will vary a lot on tread thickness and tire width (since wider tires are taller, too).
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Old 11-07-11, 06:31 AM   #21
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I don't go into bike shops much, but when I do the dumbest thing I hear is always about lights. The employee will point at a ridiculously over priced blinky and say 'this is really good for city riding', or something similar. Not only dumb it is dangerous too.
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Old 11-07-11, 06:59 AM   #22
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I was 50 pounds overweight, I hadn't ridden a bike for 20 years, I live in an extremely hilly area, and I had already explained this to the LBS guy ...

Me: "I'm interested in buying this bike but the gearing is too high for me. I wondered if you could swap the 12-25 cassette for a 13-28?"

LBS guy (literally, LOL): "You're kidding, right?"

Me (irritated at his rudeness): "The customer is always right, and I'm telling you that I will need lower gears. I'll be climbing some really steep hills on this and a 42/25 bottom gear won't be low enough.

LBS guy: "Listen, I spent a couple of years racing in Belgium and we used to attack wet cobbled 25% climbs in a 42/21 gear so you can get up anything in 42/25!"

Me: "Okay, I've learned 3 things here today - 1: You are superbly fit. 2: You love showing off how superbly fit you are. 3: You don't have a f*****g clue how to talk to customers! I'll give you one last chance. The correct answer to the next question of mine is 'Certainly sir, I'd be happy to do that for you, right now!'"

LBS guy (blushing): "Er, okay ..."

Me: "If you will swap this 12-25 cassette for a 13-28 at no extra charge in less than 30 minutes, I'll go to the bank and get the cash to buy the bike - okay?"

LBS guy (embarrassed smile on face): "Certainly sir, I'd be happy to do that for you, right now!"

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Old 11-07-11, 10:06 AM   #23
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video or it didnt happen
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Old 11-07-11, 10:13 AM   #24
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I think I must luck out. My lbs owner used to ride with THE LANCE, and all of his techs are pretty die hard and honest. When any of then don't have the answer they are more than happy to admit it and find it. Questions and a bs session are always welcomed, just make sure you bring roger a jamocha shake from arby's:-)
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Old 11-07-11, 10:19 AM   #25
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This goes for any brick and mortar business, not just bike shops:

"We can order that for you."

Really? So can I. Amazing.
But I have found that the beauty of having my lbs order it, or any other place for that matter, is that when its not right im not the one hassling with it and it was worth the 37 cent mark up I paid. Besides that the mail order places never answer my questions or wrench on my stuff when I wreck it......
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