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Old 03-10-08, 05:36 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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Is there ONE bike shop in the immediate Bay Area...

...worth going back to?
Maybe I just have high standards for customer service but I think if you're going to be spending $1000s of dollars at a shop, they might want to treat you like they care. At least pretend.

Maybe they just don't like people who ask questions? Or too many questions, anyway?

Seems once they have one sale, that's good enough... they're really nice before that.
Is there anyone in the San Francisco/Peninsula region that treats you like they want you back?

All I know, is yesterday, San Francisco Cyclery had a repeat customer and an almost guarantied second sale this weekend. After getting off the phone with them a few minutes ago, they lost that sale. I don't really need a new bike, anyway but I've never had "need" dictate to me.

Mike's Bikes lost me when I had to nearly file a small claims suit to get them to return a wheel magnet to me after I had to go and pick up an unfinished repair from them.

Name me one, just one that won't make me feel like a piece of crap for having walked into their shop.

Just venting, I guess... sorry.
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Old 03-10-08, 05:53 PM   #2
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http://www.wheelaway.com/ in Campbell, there is also one in Santa Clara on El Camino near San Thomas Expressway. Not the Off ramp, it's further in. If you get "bad" service from those two, then you might have too high of standards.
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Old 03-10-08, 05:53 PM   #3
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I like Trail Head Cyclery and Cupertino Bike Shop. Both are in the San Jose area.
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Old 03-10-08, 06:04 PM   #4
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http://www.wheelaway.com/ in Campbell, there is also one in Santa Clara on El Camino near San Thomas Expressway. Not the Off ramp, it's further in. If you get "bad" service from those two, then you might have too high of standards.
That one further in is Calmar Cycles. I've never had a bad experience there.. The repair shop can get a little backed up, but I've never seen it so bad I thought about taking my bike somewhere else. If you're in an absolute must have it now type of mood, then I would at least suggest calling ahead.
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Old 03-10-08, 07:51 PM   #5
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I've heard good things about Calmar, although I'm not sure they're open Sundays.

If you find yourself in the East Bay, pay Eden Bicycles a visit. They work extra hard to please their customers, and I consider myself a customer for life.
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Old 03-10-08, 08:10 PM   #6
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BIG second to Wheel Away/Campbell. Hamilton Avenue near Central.
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Old 03-10-08, 08:13 PM   #7
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My favorite shop is Livermore Cyclery; I go here even though it's a 30-45 minute drive for me.
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Old 03-10-08, 08:24 PM   #8
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My favorite shop is Livermore Cyclery; I go here even though it's a 30-45 minute drive for me.
+1 - after trying a few different shops, they're the ones I keep going back to. I use the Dublin location.

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Old 03-10-08, 10:28 PM   #9
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...worth going back to?
All I know, is yesterday, San Francisco Cyclery had a repeat customer and an almost guarantied second sale this weekend. After getting off the phone with them a few minutes ago, they lost that sale. I don't really need a new bike, anyway but I've never had "need" dictate to me.
What did they say to lose the sale?

The guys at Cupertino Bike Shop have been cool and helpful the 4-5 times I've visited, and I'm sort of a newb/Fred.
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Old 03-10-08, 10:47 PM   #10
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No doubt these are all fine suggestions and I thank you
However not a one is in the SF/Peninsula region. East Bay, South Bay..
For me -and it might just be me- Palo Alto is about the end of things and if a bridge is involved then it's not someplace I'm thrilled about. Maybe if I'm just going there to buy a bike, sure, but for anything o ongoing, nah... too far to drive.

What did they say? It's not so much what they said as how they handled the call. I'm interested in a bike I rode there on Sunday and I had some questions. After grudgingly admitting that I could ask her, the young woman on the phone -who reeked of attitude when I saw her in the store- was obviously being asked things she couldn't answer and was not terribly interested in answering the questions in her scope. After I asked her about coming back to take another test drive, she was getting pretty indignant. She was really being a b*tch about it in a quiet sort of way.
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Old 03-10-08, 10:54 PM   #11
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In the East Bay I like Sharp Bicycles in Lafayette and Pegasus Bicycle Works in Danville.
Sharp is a Trek/Litespeed/Lemond dealer with some other fancy bikes like Calfee, Parlee, Moots, and Orbea.
Pegasus has a fantastic selection of European bikes as well as some US brands (Time, Look, Bianchi, Pinarello, Willier, Colnago, Cannondale, Felt, Eddie Merckx, Pegoretti, Scott).
Both have a great service department, they know what they are doing and are friendly.
I visited Wrench Science in Berkeley once, they also have a great selection but I never tested their service department. Their website is very useful though especially their size calculator.
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Old 03-10-08, 10:55 PM   #12
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+1 for Calmar Cycles. Very good shop.
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Old 03-10-08, 11:02 PM   #13
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Try Shaw's in Santa Clara.
I've always found the service excellent
and Terry's an awesome resource.
http://www.shawscycles.com/
Keep in mind they're more custom with a limited inventory.
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Old 03-11-08, 03:53 AM   #14
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Valencia Cyclery in SF is tops in my book.
The mechanics are very friendly and helpful, best I've ever dealt with.
They may not have the brand of bike you're looking for but they may still be able to get it.
As for parts, they have most everything I've needed in stock. What they don't have, they can get it too (usually).
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Old 03-11-08, 11:28 AM   #15
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What did they say? It's not so much what they said as how they handled the call. I'm interested in a bike I rode there on Sunday and I had some questions. After grudgingly admitting that I could ask her, the young woman on the phone -who reeked of attitude when I saw her in the store- was obviously being asked things she couldn't answer and was not terribly interested in answering the questions in her scope. After I asked her about coming back to take another test drive, she was getting pretty indignant. She was really being a b*tch about it in a quiet sort of way.
She sounds like the French waiter of LBS staff, except for the efficiency part.

Have you thought about talking to the owner or manager about your experience? Worst case, nothing changes and you spend your money elsewhere. Best case, that woman gets her attitude adjusted or moves on, and you've improved that LBS for everybody.
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Old 03-11-08, 12:21 PM   #16
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My favorite shop is Livermore Cyclery; I go here even though it's a 30-45 minute drive for me.
Another big "thumbs up" for Livermore Cyclery. The owner, Steve Howard, is absolutely top drawer, all the way. He knows his stuff, he's a great guy, and he enjoys helping you get it right. He's usually at the Livermore store.

If that is too far for you travel, try Missing Link in Berkeley (Shattuck just north of University). It's walking distance from the Berkeley BART station.
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Old 03-11-08, 12:28 PM   #17
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My favorite, and this sholdn't be construed as a sympathy vote in light of recent events, is Roaring Mouse in SF (Irving between 11th and 12th Ave.). Never had a bad customer service experience. They've always gone above and beyond what I've expected and I've always been treated with respect. It's a small shop with few staff available so it's best to be there at non-rush times (weekdays are usally best). I've never made a major purchace there but they can rest assured my next bike will come from their store. I might not get a killer deal that I would find at a larger store but I'm positive they've ended up saving me money in the long run because of their knowledge.
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Old 03-11-08, 12:44 PM   #18
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+ Missing Link; I make the effort to stop in every once in a while...

From there, for me it's "personal;" Darcy at Pacific Bike has done me right. The big guy at Walnut Creek Performance, same (there have been some scuds there...), and so on. Almost every shop I frequent there is/are help I avoid, and others I look for.

A few shops I outright boycott, and in those cases I do contact management because I was put out of my way; sometimes that gets a response...
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Old 03-11-08, 12:47 PM   #19
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The sales guy and mechanic at Summit Bicycles in San Mateo were nice when I went there to ask about installing a headset. Because of their nice demeanor I brought my bike back and they actually finished it sooner than they estimated. But that's the extent of my experience with them. They are at least on the Peninsula side... I'd go back if the need arose.

I also like the mechanics at Pacific Bicyles in SF. They have always been helpful when i needed small bits and pieces for my bike that I either broke or lost. There is one guy that seems like he has an attitude (older balding/greying guy) but I think that's just the way he looks. Once you talk to him he's very nice. I bought a used wheelset on the net and brought it to them to replace a bent bladed spoke. He said that he'd have to order a new spoke but asked if he could check out the wheel first. So I walk around the store and when he gave it back he had repaired the bent spoke and trued the wheel, saving me a few bucks and time instead of replacing the spoke. I really couldn't tell it was previously bent. If I ever get the $$ to buy a Cervelo, Bianchi or ?? I'll definitely check them out.

EDIT: spiduhman got his name... it's Darcy. Really cool guy!
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Old 03-11-08, 01:00 PM   #20
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+1 - after trying a few different shops, they're the ones I keep going back to. I use the Dublin location.

JB
Used them heavily when I lived in Livermore they are a good group and the store in Livermore is now huge, Dublin is a bit smaller. A long drive for SKT though.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:08 PM   #21
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+1 for Roaring Mouse. I've bought my last two bikes from them, and will probably buy many more there. They have gone above and beyond too many times to count, e.g., installing a headset (that I did not buy from them) on a frame (that I also had not bought from them), and when I tried to pay, they would not take it.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:11 PM   #22
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Yeah, Dublin is a stretch but some of these are good:
Valencia. When I busted my FD (sheer stupidity on my part. There are, uh, things you should not do before working on your bike), they came through in quick, friendly, professional order. I broke a Tiagra, they had a 105. No problem, they said. They were right and really saved the day for me.

Summit, Roaring Mouse and Pacific are pretty convenient (I have zero problem with going to San Mateo.
Heck, I could just about ride my bike there) so I'll keep them in mind, too.

I'm curious if anyone has anything -good or bad- to say about Ocean Cyclery?

Meanwhile, I did contact the owner of the shop in question and the response I got from her was MUCH more in line with the experience I had there on Sunday. Lesson learned? Deal with her and forget the rest. She will talk to the "woman up front" that I dealt with on the phone" I did make it clear that she wasn't necessarily rude, just beyond indifferent... you know, kind of "I don't know and I don't care. Why are you bothering me"... almost a worse crime. Granted, I was asking a LOT of questions but, hey, uh?

So, I guess "game on"
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Old 03-11-08, 01:12 PM   #23
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Not a shop, but I really like the mobile bike repair The Wheel Peddler
Serving Contra Costa County. He's done really good work for me, is a great guy, and supports a lot of racing events.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:46 PM   #24
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...
However not a one is in the SF/Peninsula region. ...
How about CyclePath in San Mateo? I called them a few years back about some tech question re: an FSA crank and the fellow on the other end (Gerhard?) was really very good about things and did what he said he would. I notice that seems to be increasingly rare nowadays, and not just in the bike biz...
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Old 03-11-08, 01:55 PM   #25
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I'm curious if anyone has anything -good or bad- to say about Ocean Cyclery?
My experience with Ocean Cyclery was good. As you probably know, it's a small shop with a limited number of new bikes. The shop owner was helpful and friendly when I needed to order a new fork, and the work they did on my bike, replacing cables, fixing a bent derailleur hanger, etc. was good. They were also happy to let me test-ride a Redline 925 even though I wasn't that serious about buying one.

EDIT: Also, I haven't been to Mojo Bicycle Cafe yet, but I like what they say on their website: "We always fantasized about a bike shop where you could get your bike worked on, buy some bike gear, a good cup of coffee or just come to hang out. All this without the "bikier-than-thou" attitude that too often seems to permeate shop culture. It's just not that hard to be nice, and have good... mojo."
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