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  1. #1
    Senior Member Prodigy4299's Avatar
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    The best LBS I have come across in Vancouver

    Hello everyone,

    I am wrting this as an independent consumer, who has been on the hunt for a road bike for more than 2 years now. First, I thought of getting a road bike after high school, but I took a year of, did some travelling and found that it just wasn't the right time.

    Now, two years later I finally made the plunge and am now a proud owner of a Cannondale R1000.

    Anyway, the reason why I am writing this post is that I think it's crucial that the LBS where you buy your bike is friendly, informative, and has good prices. I found all of the above at BSP (Bicycle Sports Pacific) Bikes.

    Back in 2004, even when I was remotely considering buying a bike, they spent considerable time with me, giving me honest advice on the pros and cons of every brand, letting me try as many bikes as I wanted and even measuring me up for one. I remember walking away that day thinking, "I don't know what bike I'll eventually end up with, but do know that I'll end up buying it here."

    With a few exceptions, that staff at BSP is always friendly, and willing to go out of their way to serve their customers. I found this especially true at their downtown location. In addition, they tend to have good prices, and they support local bike teams too (namely, Escape Velocity).

    I guess what I am trying to say here is, before you decide to buy a bike, give BSP Bikes a try. They've been really good to me, and I wholeheartedly recommend them.

    PS: Once again, I am not getting paid by anyone, I am just a satisfied customer, wanting to share his positive experiences.

  2. #2
    Commited Suicide WannaGetGood's Avatar
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    Yeah, service is important.

    Did you ever try SnowCovers. Down by Granville Island.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Prodigy4299's Avatar
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    To be honest with you, I've ever even heard of it...

  4. #4
    Commited Suicide WannaGetGood's Avatar
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    oh ok. Because I happen to know the owner. Nice guy. Not that I was trying to promote his business.

  5. #5
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prodigy4299
    To be honest with you, I've ever even heard of it...
    Pretty hard to miss. Ever been on the Burrard Street bridge?

    I bought my Cannondale there.

    La Bicycletta is great, the best buys are at Cheapskates, but my everyday LBS for the last 20 years has been Steveston Bikes.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 04-04-07 at 05:17 PM.

  6. #6
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    New shop opened up on the north shore - Different Bikes. They did West Van last year and now just opened up North Van. Lots of Mtn bikes and are doing a fair bit of roadies as well. That's where I started going and the guys there are great.

  7. #7
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    #1 - Steveston Bikes
    #2 - MOUNTAIN & BEACH BICYCLES! back when they used to be on Main/17th, and then on 2nd ave...sadly they are now retired.
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  8. #8
    Member nogonoma's Avatar
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    LBS Van City

    Dream Cycles on Commercial Drive. Road, track, mtn, cruiser...know their stuff and no attitude to boot!

  9. #9
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    I live in the Kerrisdale area, and west point cycles is great; great bikes, great service

  10. #10
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    i'm going to add to my list:

    - CheapSkates - BEST palce to find a dust covered Campy equiped road bike or obscure parts
    - La Biciclettea - BEST road/track shop in BC. Custom wheel building.
    - Mighty Riders! best singlespeed shop in town
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanCityJ
    New shop opened up on the north shore - Different Bikes. They did West Van last year and now just opened up North Van.
    I wasn't so impressed with the North Van shop. Since I live very close I took my road bike to them for an overhaul knowing that my rear shifter was wearing out and most likely needed to be replaced. I expected that it might be hard to find a 7-spd shifter these days, but I asked them to see what they could do. A few days later they told me that they couldn't find one, and basically implied that my bike was now worthless and there was no point doing an overhaul even though the existing shifter still had some life left in it.

    After picking up my bike I went home, spent 10 minutes on Google, found a shifter on BikeParts.com and ordered it up. It's being installed this week at Obsession, who were happy to help me get my old bike back into top shape. I suspect they'll be getting more business from me in the future.
    Last edited by BCRoad; 08-09-07 at 03:16 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Steveston Bikes just closed shop ater Christmas with no warning. Bummer, I received a gift certificate there for Christmas. I'm bummed Robby sold my mother-in-law that just before he closed without saying anything.

    It re-opened a bit further down the road recently, but someone else is running it and it's not yet clear if he's going to honor the certificate. It'd be bad news if he didn't considering I've bought from there for 20 years and he'd lose my business if he doesn't.

    I had an issue about finding a 7 cog cassette for my Cannondale. Some shops say they can't find any, but I'm pretty sure I can get them on-line. Maybe the shop wants to sell me a new wheel, de-railer and shifters because they only have 9 and 10 cog cassettes in stock.

    I hope the new guy works out because it's much more convieniant to go down the street when somethings wrong than accross town.

  13. #13
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    Steveston Bikes moved to Ladner temporarily. They told me they will have a new location in Richmond, so I guess it's the same people running it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I was there yesterday.

    Saw the sign up a couple of weeks ago (bad sign - Steveston bike + Kayak established 2007!), went in yesterday, it's been open a week, new owner, new workers.

    I have to go in soon and get this straightened out. Over 20 years of building a relationship, gone.

  15. #15
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    can any one give me a full list of bike shops around vancouver/richmond? The only ones i know of right now is WestPointCycles, and Cap's Bikes. all they carry mostly are trek, norco, and Kona. thanks

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    wow mkyy, thanks a lot, i never thoguht theyd have a compelte list on superpages, thanks

  18. #18
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    Ambleside Cycles in West van + Corsa in Squamish = ***

  19. #19
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    ...I have to go in soon and get this straightened out. Over 20 years of building a relationship, gone.
    Got it straight.

    They'll honor the certificate, but it takes time to build up stock (especially the old stuff) and find good workers who're experienced (who'll work for cheap). The new space is limited and it's split with Kayak stuff.

    There's another new shop closer to home who's owner I've known for 35 years. His son is running it. It's in a similar situation. I think I'll see how it is as well.

    Better news is Cheapskates has lots of stock in now and I just bought a new pair of Shimano A525 pedals for $8!


  20. #20
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRoad View Post
    I wasn't so impressed with the North Van shop. Since I live very close I took my road bike to them for an overhaul knowing that my rear shifter was wearing out and most likely needed to be replaced. I expected that it might be hard to find a 7-spd shifter these days, but I asked them to see what they could do. A few days later they told me that they couldn't find one, and basically implied that my bike was now worthless and there was no point doing an overhaul even though the existing shifter still had some life left in it.

    After picking up my bike I went home, spent 10 minutes on Google, found a shifter on BikeParts.com and ordered it up. It's being installed this week at Obsession, who were happy to help me get my old bike back into top shape. I suspect they'll be getting more business from me in the future.
    Lately I've had a similar experience, but it depends on who you're dealing with. There's one guy I know that I haven't been too happy with - but a couple of others that treat me great. I think it's the same with any shop - it's the people you deal with, not so much the shop itself.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Prodigy4299's Avatar
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    I have something to add to this post that has dampened my experience considerably.

    I took my bike in to the shop in the spring for a regular 6 month check-up (cable tensioning, etc.). On my first ride after I picked it back up, I noticed that my seat was crooked. So, I went to adjust it, when I noticed that the carbon seat post was broken (no wonder, the post was tightened very tightly). Anyway, right away I realized that this must be something that they did a the shop. So, I go to the shop that did the BSP West Van and explain the situation. They admit that yes, they do always take out the seat post, but that there is no way one of their gutys would have broken it and so there is nothing they can do. They did, however, refer me to the downtown shop to their 'road cycling' manager.

    So, I biked over, explained the situation to him, and he gave me this look of, "Well, then why did they send you to me?" I couldn't have agreed more... Anyway, after many phone calls to the West Van store and many minutes of me standing around gettig impatient, the manager told me to go to their North Van store where they have a similar seat post in stock. However, the replacement would be $30 more expensive, so I had to pay that difference. By this time, I just wanted a new seat post, regardless of the level of service I received, so I went to their North Van. store.

    # of mistakes made by me: 0
    # of km's wasted biking around from store to store to store: about 60
    hours wasted getting all this sorted out: about 5
    cost of replacing a part my LBS broke: $30
    # of customers lost: 1

    Ugh! Even just remembering this makes me so frustrated that I have little desire to go to BSP ever again!

  22. #22
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    Steveston Bikes just closed shop ater Christmas with no warning...It re-opened a bit further down the road...Over 20 years of building a relationship, gone.
    I brought my bike in the new re-opened shop after talking with the workers (and one owner?) for 2 simple jobs I couldn't do because of a time situation.

    When came back to get it, the work was good, but the mechanic decided what was on the work order just wasn't enough. He decided to do a bunch of other stuff too and the charge was far more than what I expected.

    When I came in to pick it up I asked the person on staff that morning (already not a good sign - I talked to a different staff member initially, he relayed the GC info to the owner, when I received the message about the charge for the work, I talked to the mechanic who did the work) I asked her (that's 4 different people in a small shop - how many more workers do they have?) to look at the work order to show the work I asked to be done vs. what was done. The mechanic "assumed" he was to do more work than ordered, did it and charged me for it.

    It all worked out. I got a reduction in price so I didn't have to pay more than I had expected, but wonder, if I go in for more work in the future and ask for say, a new head set, will they put on (and charge me for) new pedals, shifters and a saddle too?
    Last edited by closetbiker; 01-15-08 at 05:56 PM.

  23. #23
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    if you are looking for older cogsets etc

    the bike shop in abbotsford has a selection of older parts. is not great. but larger than i have seen in other places. also the mechanic has been wrenching for years and likes the older stuff too.

  24. #24
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    Wentings, Mission.

  25. #25
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    Different Bikes

    I have tried a lot of shops in the lower mainland over the last 15 years. Robson Cycle was a good one in the day. Cove was my favourite until they left the cove. But these days I'm finding Different Bikes (either location - I go to both) is really living up to the name. Mechanics are very good and usually do more than you ask and charge less than you think. Sales guys are no nonsense and the prices are always very fair. If I ran a bike shop this is how I would do it. Low attitude, high service, great products. Surprisingly rare.
    Are they perfect, probably not. Best in town? Maybe.

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