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  1. #1
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Williamsburg, Brooklyn alternative to NYCBikes



    Anyone out there living in Williamsburg, I thought I'd let you all know that I made a trip yesterday to my true LBS, the unmarked place near the Lorimer L train stop, between Metropolitan and the BQE. The guy trued a wheel for me and helped me take a BMX freewheel off of an old wheel for ten bucks. He didn't work that long, but I thought that considering the city's prices, that was a reasonable price. I figure that if I had gone into Bicycle Habitat or someplace glamorous like that, there'd be a 50% chance they'd charge me extra for the 5 seconds of labor it took to wrench off the freewheel.

    So anyway, I asked the guy if he needed any labor. He gave me a sarcastic smirk and in a thick Brooklyn accent, said,
    "What I really need aw customaz!"
    I told him I was kind of surprised by this, because there were so many bike riders around, and he shrugged and said everyone seemed to love "that guy ovah on Havemayaz." As I take any opportunity to rip on them, I began to do so, to which he immediately responded,
    "Hey, you don't need to tell me 'bout 'em! I've had customaz tell me that they told 'em it would take a week to fix a flat!"

    Anyway, I found the guy to be pretty straightforward and obviously hard-working. He also didn't make me wait too long. I don't think there's any reason he should be hurting for business other than the fact that the locals (esp. the hipsters) probably don't trust an unmarked storefront with a bunch of ratty old bikes in the window. And besides that, he doesn't advertise. I don't think he even knows what Craigslist is.

    For me, I appreciate having a good LBS provided I don't think they're going to scam or overcharge me. It's nice to be able to walk down the block and get something fixed quickly, instead of having to do it all in my tiny apartment. Furthermore, I hate NYCBikes, and since I've now found what I consider to be a better option (his place is also closer to mine), I thought I'd spread the word. It's in my interest to for him to stay open . I thought I'd put this plug in for anyone in the area to at least give him a try. He definitely seems to know his way around his bikes. He also has a lot of older bikes and frames, thinks he sells them for the going Williamsburg prices. But at least if something needs fixing, he'll probably be around to help.

    Also, I don't assume most people in this particular forum really need to buy a used bike, but I figure that like me, you all probably get requests from friends for help in buying a bike. Might want to try this guy out first. He's local, after all...


  2. #2
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    You should cross-post in the LBS sticky.

  3. #3
    say, by the way...
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    a more specific address might help...

    off of the lorimer stop between metro and bqe is vague. what street is it on? metro, union, lorimer, other?
    dassezzacklyright, yeeeaaaaah. uh-huh.

  4. #4
    Dirty White Boy SirrusPackage's Avatar
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    I second that emotion. I'm trying to broker a used bike purchase for a friend, and could use some more specific info.

  5. #5
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Whoops, sorry. It's on Lorimer, betw. Metropolitan and BQE, nearer to Marcy St., rt. side of the street if you're walking towards the BQE.

    PS I've also heard that Bikes by George has decent prices on used bikes. That's on 12 st. near 1st Av. in Manhattan. Don't buy 'em all before my friends get to 'em.


  6. #6
    new to road
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    2nd & 3rd. nycbikes sucks. hate them. i went to go in to look at & purchase shoes and pedals. ******* kid working there says "leave your bike outside". i go..."i don't lock it up, it comes with me"...mind you it's a lemond maillot juane all dura-ace'd...i go "later, dick". long story short, i spent my $300 somewhere else. those guys are *******s.

    side note. their nycbikes are found **** from some factory in china. dude in there told me they found a lot from the factory that makes (used to?) raleigh, got them cheap and is jacking the prices up for all the hipsters.

  7. #7
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Ditto, uncut. The place I mention isn't even a retailer--don't think he has anything other than small parts that are new, but if you need some work done, he'll do it, and it seems like he'll charge an honest price. He trued my very wobbly back wheel very efficiently, and he made me check it on the stand. I bet if you needed a part replaced or put on, for example, and you bought it online yourself, took it to him, he wouldn't charge you an arm and a leg for the labor. Think he'd just like steadier business. It's the no-frills, low-tech nature of his shop that I really like, though. Heck, it's more of a rented room with tons of bikes in it than a shop, per se.

    Like, how is he going to fool you?

    (Note to self: gotta go find out his name, if not the name of the shop--there's no sign or anything.)



  8. #8
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    I'll second that recommendation, chill guy, specializes in schwinns, great place to grab a good beater. Lives in Jersey though, so not 100% local... Help a friend get a frame last week and noticed a beautiful pink japanese "focus" frame in the back. Would make an ill conversion, but a bit too big for me... Chill as the dude is I do wonder where the frames come from, he does some legit volume, anyone know the source?

  9. #9
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    I far from love the guy, but the Bicycle Doctor on Grand & Berry is also another option other than nycBikes. Usually charges me $13-15 to true a wheel for a price comparision w/ your guy. Shop looks totally ghetto, but I was in there the other day and he actually has a decent selection of handlebars, has an ok selection of frames and bikes and has hooked both me and my roommate up with chainrings with totally rare BCDs that no one else in the city had.

  10. #10
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visceral a
    Help a friend get a frame last week and noticed a beautiful pink japanese "focus" frame in the back. Would make an ill conversion, but a bit too big for me...
    Saw that bike the other day, too. Really nice. Good vintage components on it, too--there was a SunTour Cyclone RD and the frame was Tange tubing. Did you notice the fork? Really elegant-looking.

    Jersey seems local enough to me these days.

    I went to the Bicycle Dr. last week, and he seemed okay, but the minute I asked him about my seat tube, he just shook his head and said, "It's seize, no way, nothing I can do." I know the options, and I was kind of hoping he'd help me explore them (I don't have a saw or PB Blaster or even strong muscles.) Anyway, I'll go to him more, too, but the guy on Lorimer is literally down the street from me.


  11. #11
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    Hey i live literally four doors down from this dude. He is a nice dude, he used to run a comic book store before that bike shop. As for simple enough stuff, trueing, flat repair, minor adjustments..i would say he is ace. Otherwise, i'd definitely double check that stuff first. For older bikes though (especially shwinn) he knows whats up. And yeah, i would second the "i don't think he knows what craigslist is comment."

  12. #12
    Dismount Run Remount etc. 12XU's Avatar
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    This shop sounds like Kraynik's here in PGH. Let's give it up for unpretentious guys who know their bikes!

  13. #13
    Senior Member sethw's Avatar
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    is this the area this guy is located? im new to the area
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=brookl...0.006217&hl=en

  14. #14
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    yep, lorimer btwn skillman & jackson, east side of the street, look for the cave like place rammed with beaters.

  15. #15
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    Yea, I figured out those NYCBikes guys are jerks a while back. I asked one of them for help because I had to replace a crank arm on my bike. I spent a minute explaining carefully what I was trying to do but he was either drunk or just flat out being a snob about me using up his time(I was attempting to $purchase$ tools from him!). So I bought the wrong tool at his advice. I brought the tool back and wasn't impolite at all about it - because at this point it didn't occur to me that these guys are jerks - I was still excited about having a nice new bike shop nearby. But, to continue the drunk theory, the guy misunderstood me and overreacted. Was I not supposed to explain that he sold me the wrong tool if I'm trying to make a return? There was no hostility in my voice and I tried to put it across as plainly business-like as possible. But he immediately insulted me by saying, "Alright, stop your huffing and puffing", which left me pretty speechless. I wouldn't usually put up with someone speaking to me that way either but he really caught me off guard... I wasn't expecting that at all. He had escalated a simple return into a confrontational and unpleasant situation. Not to mention he'd just tried me on the spot. I had to stand there and have a second dude come up from the back as the first guy explained unhappily why it was okay to process my return. This guy wasn't being nice either. Basically - these guys don't deserve your business. If they think they're in the clear with their business and don't need to be professional with people who walk into their store then I want to make an extra effort not to use their services. And it's really a waste on their part because I was happy to find a higher quality bike store in the neighborhood and was ready to fork over the dough for stuff I needed. Don't get me started on the guys who used to have a shop next to Matchless bar!(guess they went out of business for a reason)

  16. #16
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    What the hell kind of bike shop doesn't let you bring your bike inside? That's the red flag of doom right there.

  17. #17
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim-bob
    What the hell kind of bike shop doesn't let you bring your bike inside? That's the red flag of doom right there.
    an arsehole business man shop. obviously not a biker's bike shop.

    i just dealt w/ Tony @ IRO today and he's fantastic: "i'm a bike guy, not a business guy."

  18. #18
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    They act like little babies when you bring your bike in. I brought my bike in once and they rolled their eyes and were immediately dismissive about it. As if it was the most obvious thing in the world not to bring your bike inside. DUH! It's a bike repair shop... don't be so surprised when people roll in. Those guys are real turds.

  19. #19
    Senior Member brunning's Avatar
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    my friend just bought a beautiful celeste bianchi pista at this shop today for $300.

    it has tubies on it, but the guy is relacing the hubs to clinchers at no charge. cool...

  20. #20
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brunning
    my friend just bought a beautiful celeste bianchi pista at this shop today for $300.

    it has tubies on it, but the guy is relacing the hubs to clinchers at no charge. cool...



    Nice luck for your friend. Unfortunately, it doesn't in any way invalidate the crap-ass service so many of us have received from them.

    Hope they're giving him a nice repair warranty, too...


  21. #21
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic


    Nice luck for your friend. Unfortunately, it doesn't in any way invalidate the crap-ass service so many of us have received from them.

    Hope they're giving him a nice repair warranty, too...

    I think brunning means the shop you originally posted about...

  22. #22
    Senior Member brunning's Avatar
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    ah, yeah... i should have made it clear - he got it at the place on lorimer. i'd never expect that kind of service from nycbikes!

  23. #23
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Heh, heh. See what happens when I lose the thread?

    Anyway, brunning, your friend is a lucky mo-fo.

    Can I just say because it can never be said too much? I greatly despise NYCBikes.

    And by the way, I talked to the guy on Lorimer the other day, his name is Peter. He says his shop is unnamed and he likes it that way because...

    He is known as 'the guy with the Schwinns,' and according to him, he gets like ten calls a day from Puerto Rico--sometimes collect, maybe--from Puerto Ricans looking to buy and ship vintage Schwinn cruisers. The way he describes it, they've kind of become a nightmare for him, so he's trying to anonymize himself as much as possible. Funny, I thought.


  24. #24
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    I was in that shop one time when that happened. So after the person left upset and cursing the person that said to not bring in their bikes. I asked why they did that. And I got two very good answers the first is that the shop is very narrow and gets jam packed with customers and when people bring their bikes in it is total chaos. They also said they don't do it all the time just try to time the rule with the rush like weekends and mornings and afternoons. The other reason was that people bring their bike in and lean it up against a row of new bikes and they all fall over and or something gets scratched. Sounds reasonable enough to me but I'm sure they appreciate the name calling. SOOOO what kind of shoes and pedals did you buy?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by notfixt
    I was in that shop one time when that happened. So after the person left upset and cursing the person that said to not bring in their bikes. I asked why they did that. And I got two very good answers the first is that the shop is very narrow and gets jam packed with customers and when people bring their bikes in it is total chaos. They also said they don't do it all the time just try to time the rule with the rush like weekends and mornings and afternoons. The other reason was that people bring their bike in and lean it up against a row of new bikes and they all fall over and or something gets scratched. Sounds reasonable enough to me but I'm sure they appreciate the name calling. SOOOO what kind of shoes and pedals did you buy?
    That's not the point. Sure it's a small shop - the rule makes good sense. They can make any kind of rules they want if they can also be cool about it - if they wanted people to take their shoes off at the door it would be alright if done in an understanding way. But, instead, those guys have an indignant, disdainful way of addressing customers right off the bat. It's a snowball of their own creation.

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