This is not a troll thread! I am not trying to start a pissing contest or any fundamental cycling argument here, the following questions are just based on my observations working in a NYC shop that has a lot of tri business.
Why are so many triathelets persnickety, unappreciative, and demanding of their shops relative to the regular roadie and MTB riders that come in? Especially the "middle ground" riders. Beginners seem really appreciateve of all the advice the shop can give them, and the pros already know what they want and love to sit around and talk tech.
It's the weekend warriors that really make us pull our hair out.
For instance, an italian couple came in with a huge list of very specific products they needed (certain louis garneau shoes, a polar c150 HRM, certain energy gels). When there was an item we didn't carry/stock (bout could have easily special ordered), we pointed them to an equivalent or better substitute (specialized trivent shoes, most other polar HRMS). The couple became was quite PISSED that we couldn't accomodate them immediately for some triathalon three months from now.
This happens a lot. Is there some sort of Tri-bible that some people get advice/equipment picks from? Is there some unspoken mentorship that novice riders pull knowledge from? Some of these people, who are not serious riders, shop around in our stores like they are superstars on the asphalt, water, and...er asphalt again. Maybe it's a function of being in a place like NYC, but what compels so many middle aged, in not so great shape, full-time professionals to decide they're going to put their bodies through a hell-ringer of a race?
That's it I guess, just thinking aloud without inserting the usual "tri-geek" jokes we toss around the shop.
This isn't to say we think all triathelets are jerk-offs, just an unusually high number of them. Of course there are the gems that come through.
I.E. That lady who bought a tangerine TCR composite and outfitted it with ironman aerobars for the NYC tri. Tried out several bikes without fuss, gave great feedback, and was just a dream customer to deal with. As a result she left with a bike that fit her like a glove, and is well equipped for her races.