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  1. #1
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    West-side Detroit-area bike shop recommendations?

    In the market for a new bike, and trying to determine which local company to do business with.

    Kinetic Systems in Clarkston, Cycletherapy, Fraser Bicycles and Two-Wheel Tango have all gotten good recommendations. I've visited Two-Wheel Tango at their Canton Store, and Cycletherapy at their Walled Lake store. Fraser is a long way from me (I'm in Livonia on the near west side), but I might make a run up to Kinetic in Clarkston which is only about 45 minutes away.

    Can anyone recommend any other good shops on my side of town?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    I have limited experience in dealing with bike shops when shopping for a bike and am not sure what factors you are using to determine with whom to do business with. I would presume someone that is honest and will help you pick out a bicycle that you will be happy with--actually knowing about the differences between the bicycles, what is a good value, their tradeoffs between makes, models, and types of bikes, etc.

    Personally, I've only been to the three bike shops closest to me Downriver and to a few of the American Cycle and Fitness shops in the area (where I purchased my bike) and I don't have much input in that regard because I don't remember much about the process--I basically just wanted a decent bike for road cycling and went with an entry level hybrid--I don't remember my mindset and don't think I was all that picky.

    However, it would probably would help others to give you a recommendation if you gave more info about what type of riding and/or bike you are interested in. I believe "a new bike", more so than in the past, is a bit vague--and in a major metropolitan area, I believe some shops may have a little more selection in a certain type or types of bikes.

  3. #3
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    There are two in Northville.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
    IHowever, it would probably would help others to give you a recommendation if you gave more info about what type of riding and/or bike you are interested in.
    I'm looking to buy my first road bike after having ridden an MTB, then a recumbent, then a hybrid over the last 15 years or so.

    If I'm going to drop over $1000 (and yeah, folks I know that's not a lot) on a bike, I'm going to do so only at a place that comes across as highly customer-service-oriented. I'm a very easy customer to work with, and I prefer to work with companies whose interest goes beyond just making a sale. I've discussed the selection process in another thread, and I agree with those that have advised me to shop for an LBS, not just a bike.

    This assessment can only be made by making repeated visits to the shops - not taking a lot of their time, but asking a few questions, gauge how they respond, note the suggestions they make etc. I've visited Two Wheel Tango twice - first time I got good vibes, second time not so much. I've visited Cycletherapy once, had a good experience and will be going back again. This is not a super-busy season for bike shops, and in both cases you could shoot a cannon through their shops and not hit anyone, so if they can't be bothered with me now, they sure won't be very accommodating when I need some service or advice in the middle of the summer. They've both been recommending Specialized bikes, and I'd like to visit someone who carries or would recommend a different brand, like Cannondale, so that when things warm up I can arrange a test-ride on more than one brand of bike.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    There are two in Northville.
    Judging by your location, I'm assuming you aren't in a position to make a personal recommendation...

    Actually, there are three in Northville, including the local REI. I bought my Trek hybrid from another of the three, though at their Canton store rather than the location in Northville, and haven't been super pleased with their service.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GVLaker09's Avatar
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    Check out KLM Fitness in Birmingham and Rochester Hills. The Birmingham location is probably only 30 minutes from Livonia.

    I actually purchased mine for the Rochester Hills location. They gave me some really good pointers and I was impressed with the way they took my budget into account. I didn't know a lot going in, but did some research online and was most interested in a Specialized Sirrus. I told them for my first bike my maximum price would be $650. They could have easily just given me a Sirrus Sport, which would have taken me right to that max I gave them, but they encouraged me to check out a few comparable Giants. They easily saved me over $100 and I'm very happy with the bike that I got (a Giant Escape 1). They also had a buy one, get one 25% off sale going on about a month before I purchased. I noticed it on their Facebook page and asked them about it. The offer had already expired, but I told them my wife was interested in a bike as well so they gave us the deal anyway. That saved us another $100.

    It's probably pretty standard for most LBS, but we get one year of free service on both bikes. We also got enrolled in their "perk" program. Every dollar spent gives you one point. The points we got from the two bikes are enough for a couple Giant multi-tools, a handful of spare tubes, and a couple 15% coupons for clothing or accessories. So far I've only cashed in a 15% coupon to buy some fenders at the Birmingham location. They were very helpful as well, answered all the dumb little questions I had without making me feel like a noob, and with the coupon I got another great deal.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVLaker09 View Post
    Check out KLM Fitness in Birmingham and Rochester Hills. The Birmingham location is probably only 30 minutes from Livonia.
    Hey, thanks for the recommendation. I'll add them to my list of stores to check out...

  8. #8
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    My husband and I have purchased several bikes from Jack's Bikes in Dearborn (on Michigan Ave 1 block west of Telegraph). They are my road bike go to store. Great service after the sale when needed and good advice. We highly recommend them to anyone. They have Trek, Giant, Specialized, and several other brands can be ordered. Losts of trikes if that is of interest. They have 2 web sites: jacksbikes.com and industialbikes.com (trikes are here). Worth a trip.

    Good Luck,
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinsonp2 View Post
    My husband and I have purchased several bikes from Jack's Bikes in Dearbor
    I work in Dearborn and just drove by there a couple of days ago.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

  10. #10
    Junior Member colinmonty's Avatar
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    Try Tree Fort Bikes in Ypsi!

    www.treefortbikes.com

  11. #11
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colinmonty View Post
    Try Tree Fort Bikes in Ypsi!
    I stopped in there just last week. I had a chance to chat with Casey, and they had an interesting assortment of bikes. The two other shops I've been into were both recommending the Specialized Secteur, and Tree Fort gave me the first chance to eyeball some Cannondale and Giant bikes.

    I'm hoping to get back there for a test-ride on a Defy 2 and a Synapse 6 when things warm up.

  12. #12
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sawyer View Post
    Judging by your location, I'm assuming you aren't in a position to make a personal recommendation...

    Actually, there are three in Northville, including the local REI. I bought my Trek hybrid from another of the three, though at their Canton store rather than the location in Northville, and haven't been super pleased with their service.
    I like REI a lot, bought a Scott Boulder MTB from there, during the first year it opened.
    Town & Country in downtown Northville carries many different brands. I bought a Trek 850 MTB from their Saline Store in 1996.
    No experience with the 3rd store in Northville.

    Treefort appears to be more MTB and 29er oriented.

    In Ann Arbor, there is Performance Bike, another REI, Great Lakes Cycling (Cdale & Giant), and Wheels in Motion (Trek and a few others).

    The beauty of REI is if you don't like it, you can get your $$ back.

    The only new bike I bought recently was a GF Simple City 3, from Two Wheel Tango. I felt like I stole it. Too many good used bikes for sale to ever buy new again.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

  13. #13
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    I like REI a lot, bought a Scott Boulder MTB from there, during the first year it opened.
    Town & Country in downtown Northville carries many different brands. I bought a Trek 850 MTB from their Saline Store in 1996.
    No experience with the 3rd store in Northville.

    Treefort appears to be more MTB and 29er oriented.

    In Ann Arbor, there is Performance Bike, another REI, Great Lakes Cycling (Cdale & Giant), and Wheels in Motion (Trek and a few others).

    The beauty of REI is if you don't like it, you can get your $$ back.

    The only new bike I bought recently was a GF Simple City 3, from Two Wheel Tango. I felt like I stole it. Too many good used bikes for sale to ever buy new again.
    I'Re REI - I'm interested in test riding their Novara Verita - a very charming retro steel frame model, but the won't have much in stock until March

  14. #14
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Which shop is best also depends on what type of bike and riding you are planning on. Some shops are more "family oriented" and sell a lot of hybrids, comfort bikes, etc. This is especially true in my area around Rochester where people just want something to ride on the numerous rail-trails that pass through here.

    If you're serious about road riding, the Continental Bike Shop on John R north of 9 Mile in Hazel Park is a long-established, knowledgeable place that carries Specialized, Giant, and less common brands such as Cannondale and Bianchi. Fraser is also for serious cyclists, but has tended to concentrate on tri-athletics lately (I bought my Cannondale Synapse Carbon road bike there a couple years ago). They definitely have a better road bike selection than most shops around here.

    My most recent purchase of a 2013 Specialized Crosstrail was from KLM at their Rochester Hills location, which is only a couple miles away.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    If you're serious about road riding, the Continental Bike Shop on John R north of 9 Mile in Hazel Park is a long-established, knowledgeable place that carries Specialized, Giant, and less common brands such as Cannondale and Bianchi.
    Thanks, Doug. I've been looking at several brands including Specialized, but the two dealers that I've visited carry ONLY specialized (in the road bike category) and it'd be real nice to road-test several different bikes at a single store, as I'm also looking at models from Giant, Trek and Cannondale.

  16. #16
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    WEST SIDE DETROIT...G&R Bike Shop on Grand River near Lahser. Great customer service. Not a huge selection (lot of Huffy) or a great neighborhood, but for great CS I highly recommend.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 313Biker View Post
    WEST SIDE DETROIT...G&R Bike Shop on Grand River near Lahser. Great customer service. Not a huge selection (lot of Huffy) or a great neighborhood, but for great CS I highly recommend.
    Wow - are they still there? I grew up in that neighborhood and lived right near there for the better part of 43 years. As Detroit neighborhoods go, that area's not too bad. With places like Palmer Park, Rosedale Park, Boston-Edison etc. being the 10's, and parts of the lower east side a 1, Old Redford still ranks about a 7 or 8. I'll have to swing by there on my next ride downtown...

  18. #18
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    I was just in there on Saturday. Good thing too cause I popped a chain at 7 and middlebelt. Walked a mile and a guy picked me up and dropped me off there. So happy cause it's a long walk! Yup, they are still there. I was amazed that he is open this early but good thing for me!

  19. #19
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sawyer View Post
    Thanks, Doug. I've been looking at several brands including Specialized, but the two dealers that I've visited carry ONLY specialized (in the road bike category) and it'd be real nice to road-test several different bikes at a single store, as I'm also looking at models from Giant, Trek and Cannondale.
    Fraser carries Specialized and Cannondale at least, in addition to specialty bikes like Pinarello. KLM has both Giant and Specialized. And of course, Trek stores AFAIK are always strictly all-Trek (and all-Bontrager accessories), which is one reason I don't care for them much (afraid of brand competition?).

  20. #20
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    Fraser carries Specialized and Cannondale at least, in addition to specialty bikes like Pinarello. KLM has both Giant and Specialized. And of course, Trek stores AFAIK are always strictly all-Trek (and all-Bontrager accessories), which is one reason I don't care for them much (afraid of brand competition?).
    Frazier comes very highly recommended, unfortunately they're completely on the other side of town from me.

    I ended up buying a Specialized at Two Wheel Tango who have a Canton store. I actually have the fitting appointment tonight - and it's gonna be close to 60 tomorrow. Looks like the new bike will be mounted to my roof on the way to the office tomorrow morning!

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