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Bikes Direct/Nashbar really comparable to name brands?

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Bikes Direct/Nashbar really comparable to name brands?

Old 05-12-14, 05:02 PM
  #76  
rms13
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By the way, I have also frequented 3 LBS near my home since I started commuting and riding every day. I have paid for various mechanic work before I learned to do much of it myself and have since bought various parts and accessories from all three (mostly when I needed something immediately so didn't mind paying 20% more then I would on line). And in that time I can say I have been insulted (both personally and having my intelligence insulted) by employees at all three shops including the owners who are typically the rudest and most arrogant people there. So I would never buy a bike from anyone of them just out of spite. I'd much rather go to REI or Performance or another corporate bike shop where at least I will get polite and humble service and great return policies that don't involve arguing and being made to feel at blame for wanting a refund on something.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:22 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
By the way, I have also frequented 3 LBS near my home since I started commuting and riding every day. I have paid for various mechanic work before I learned to do much of it myself and have since bought various parts and accessories from all three (mostly when I needed something immediately so didn't mind paying 20% more then I would on line). And in that time I can say I have been insulted (both personally and having my intelligence insulted) by employees at all three shops including the owners who are typically the rudest and most arrogant people there. So I would never buy a bike from anyone of them just out of spite. I'd much rather go to REI or Performance or another corporate bike shop where at least I will get polite and humble service and great return policies that don't involve arguing and being made to feel at blame for wanting a refund on something.
I have experienced this many times as well. It's almost like many shops would rather fail than suffer a blow to their ego resulting from acting professionally and serving their customers. Perhaps they feel as if serving a customer is demeaning in some way?

I've been putting off buying a bike for MONTHS now. There's a shop 2 hours out of town which has the bikes I want in the size I want. Their mechanics are very experienced. Their staff is knowledgeable. But they are insufferably ARROGANT.

They make snide, sarcastic remarks to customers on a regular basis. They forego politeness in order to assert that they are always right and you are wrong. I've dealt with this myself and seen it happen first hand with other customers.

The internet has mitigated some of this behavior to a degree (with sites like yelp) and hold businesses accountable to a greater degree than ever before, but it's still remarkably common. It's like they're willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

Shop employees are disproportionately male, disproportionately in their 20's and a significant percentage either are, or claim to have some experience in racing (bmx? cat 4?).

I know pretty much exactly what I want, yet find myself in no particular rush to go buy them, because of the arrogant ****** pseudo racer employees who infect lbs's.

Then again that's what the cycling industry is all about. Poser racer bike shop employees selling "racing bikes" to dudes who want to pose with their carbon wheels and carbon frames.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:29 PM
  #78  
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I have had numerous interactions with the three LBSs in my area and several others further away and can say the overwhelming number of experiences have been positive and the products excellent. On the rare occasions that my experience wasn't so good the LBS fixed the problem.

I have had one experience with Bikes Direct in which I purchased a road bike that arrived in a timely manner and met all the expectations set forth on the BD website. The price was very good, the service was above average, and I'm very happy with the bike which took me a leisurely afternoon to assemble and adjust to my liking.

I would not hesitate to order from either my LBSs or BD, it all depends on who has what I'm looking for.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:30 PM
  #79  
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So basically the LBS's near you are real life versions of the 41?
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Old 05-12-14, 05:45 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
I have experienced this many times as well. It's almost like many shops would rather fail than suffer a blow to their ego resulting from acting professionally and serving their customers. Perhaps they feel as if serving a customer is demeaning in some way?

I've been putting off buying a bike for MONTHS now. There's a shop 2 hours out of town which has the bikes I want in the size I want. Their mechanics are very experienced. Their staff is knowledgeable. But they are insufferably ARROGANT.

They make snide, sarcastic remarks to customers on a regular basis. They forego politeness in order to assert that they are always right and you are wrong. I've dealt with this myself and seen it happen first hand with other customers.

The internet has mitigated some of this behavior to a degree (with sites like yelp) and hold businesses accountable to a greater degree than ever before, but it's still remarkably common. It's like they're willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

Shop employees are disproportionately male, disproportionately in their 20's and a significant percentage either are, or claim to have some experience in racing (bmx? cat 4?).

I know pretty much exactly what I want, yet find myself in no particular rush to go buy them, because of the arrogant ****** pseudo racer employees who infect lbs's.

Then again that's what the cycling industry is all about. Poser racer bike shop employees selling "racing bikes" to dudes who want to pose with their carbon wheels and carbon frames.
OK, this posting explains a lot of the rants you posted earlier. You have been treated shabbily by the shop that has the bike you want so you lash out at all bike shops and mount an impassioned defense of places like Bikes Direct, which you admit you've never dealt with.

I have a shop near me pretty much like the one you describe. Mechanically competent but arrogant, superior and condescending to anyone not spending $3000 or more. I find them as offensive as you do. However, I also have a couple of nearby shops that are cooperative, patient and treat the customer with $300 to spend with fairness and courtesy so it's unfair to generalize from one bad experience.

As to "trolling", I do not and have never worked in a bike shop or in the bicycling industry in any capacity so Nashbar, Bikes Direct, etc. are not competitors, rivals or threats. I have also heard good reports about their bikes and am not by any means issuing a blanket condemnation of them. However, it remains true that when they do have problems, the customer is pretty much on his own which is why I'm reluctant to recommend buying from them to the novice.
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Old 05-12-14, 06:32 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by vstkrc View Post
+1 Thank you! Someone who tells it as it is.
Hah! Except that their entire website is playing a game in comparing their bikes to top tier brands. They have nothing but cost-of-acquisition on their side and they know it.
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Old 05-12-14, 06:37 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
Hah! Except that their entire website is playing a game in comparing their bikes to top tier brands. They have nothing but cost-of-acquisition on their side and they know it.
I know. But those goddang bikes are so difficult to assemble properly! Not without those magic bean powered blue box hex keys sold exclusively to bike shops!

Oh nose, what will we ever do! Please, mr. snooty bike shop guy, please help me!






Sarcasm.
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Old 05-12-14, 07:01 PM
  #83  
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Well, I am glad I waited and I got alot of different opinions... I lucked out... Giant has just dropped the price on the Escape 2 and 3 about hundred dollars each... I picked up an Escape 3 in my price range at one of the LBS's... cheaper then BD would have been considering I would have needed to have a LBS build it for me. Thanks guys.
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Old 05-12-14, 07:27 PM
  #84  
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My Motobecane Fantom CXX at $799 is fully equal to the Surly Cross Check that was going for well over $1,100 when I bought the CXX in 2012. (The Fantom CXX was clearly designed to compete head-to-head with the Cross Check). The CXX is better in some respects. For example, the CXX comes with SRAM Apex brifters vs the bar-end shifters that the Cross Check has, and the SRAM Apex crank is nicer than the Andel crank IMO. At the time I was comparing them, they came with the same brakes, rims, hubs, seat, and tires, so the price difference wasn't explained by any of those things. The Fantom CXX frame is really nice as well, and rides at least as nicely as the Cross Check frame. You just get far more for your money with the CXX. (I should note that I was all ready to buy a Cross Check when I found the CXX, but I didn't like the Cross Check color choices and didn't want to wait for the next model year to see if they would change).

I also have the aluminum frame/steel fork that comes with the Fantom CX (which is a totally different bike than the CXX). They sell those for a reasonable price of $200 on BikeIsland. It rides nicely and had no issues. (Edit after reading other comments on the thread - this frame/fork appeared to be new, not a scratch and dent.)

After these experiences, I would say that BikesDirect bikes are just fine. I also love that they provide a really detailed picture gallery for most of their bikes, most of their component specs are pretty detailed, and geometry charts are provided. Therefore, if you know you fit a competing product, you have a pretty good chance of getting the right size when you order from BD.

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Old 05-12-14, 07:53 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
I know. But those goddang bikes are so difficult to assemble properly! Not without those magic bean powered blue box hex keys sold exclusively to bike shops!

Oh nose, what will we ever do! Please, mr. snooty bike shop guy, please help me!
First, let me say that I have never worked at an LBS and rarely shop at them because they hardly ever have what I need in stock, or on the rare occasion they do I can get it way cheaper online without ever leaving my house. I do all my own repairs so I do not need them for service either. Also, there are great LBSs and there are terrible LBSs.

You still seem to be missing the point that a bike is NOT a trivial thing to assemble to person without the tools and knowledge to do so. Some people cannot or will not do this themselves, and they are NOT ready to go out of the box.

Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
The only "competence" you need to assemble a BD bike is the ability to use a hex key, the ability to install quick release wheels and the ability to screw in pedals.
NO. This is not correct. The BD bike I assembled needed a complete inspection and adjustment of all the major and minor parts. The crank was way too loose. The disc brakes were hopelessly out of adjustment and the rotors weren't even close to true. Both derailers needed adjustment. Hubs needed adjustment. Not to mention that none of the screws/bolts had any grease on them to stop them from getting stuck. These are things that someone without any bike experience would not have gotten right.

BD bikes are great for someone that knows how to work on them. Otherwise, the fee for a shop to properly adjust the bike (or a friend to do it) must be taken into account.

Finally, all the "everyone is trolling" comments are getting old. You are by far the biggest and probably the only troll on this thread. Having a bad experience at an LBS doesn't make them all evil. Nor does it make BD the right choice for everyone or every situation.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:20 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Vexxer View Post
Well, I am glad I waited and I got alot of different opinions... I lucked out... Giant has just dropped the price on the Escape 2 and 3 about hundred dollars each... I picked up an Escape 3 in my price range at one of the LBS's... cheaper then BD would have been considering I would have needed to have a LBS build it for me. Thanks guys.
That's great! You should love that bike!

I hope you've lucked out twice and got it from a good shop that will do a good set-up and deal with any problems you may have under the warranty. You could give them a good laugh and print this thread and give 'em a copy!

Have fun!
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Old 05-12-14, 11:06 PM
  #87  
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NOTHING is wrong with BD... as long as you have the tools and knowledge of setting up a bike. If you don't have BOTH, just get a LBS bike!

OP: glad you found a bike you liked in your price range! I trust myself wrenching more than any LBS, but I do have a few I enjoy giving my business, just not for bikes/repairs (again, I do my own work, and I don't need to pay someone to do it for me)

My brother has a Motobecane Adventure Elite. Its a very nice bike, and he paid near 1/2 what a comparable Trek or specialized sells for. It did need some work, nothing was really set up at all. But it gave us something to do, and the bike is of good quality. The 2 hours we spent setting it up was worth the $400 savings...
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Old 05-13-14, 11:21 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
You still seem to be missing the point that a bike is NOT a trivial thing to assemble to person without the tools and knowledge to do so. Some people cannot or will not do this themselves, and they are NOT ready to go out of the box.
I dunno. The first time I ever assembled a bike was a BD bike. I was able to do it with basic tools and didn't have any problems. I'm fairly mechanically inclined, but I'd think people know if they are the same way before they order.
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Old 05-13-14, 11:45 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by roadandmountain View Post
truth be told, even 30 day tuneups are not necessary. Brake and derailleur adjustments are extremely easy to perform,
Oh I don't know about that. I have been shocked on several occasions when experienced cyclists with noisy drivetrains on $3k bikes told me they didn't know which way to turn the barrel adjuster on their down-tube. Egregious regular tuneups that keep your lbs in business are entirely necessary for the google ignorant population of cyclists that "just want to ride their bikes man".
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Old 05-13-14, 04:13 PM
  #90  
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We have quite a few bike-shops around where I hang my hat/helmet. And if any of you have seen my other posts on this forum, then you likely know that I'm a decent mechanic. I have an "underground" bike business - building up custom machines while also being kind and helping people with repairs and tune-ups and the like. But I decided to take a survey of the local shops and see who-was-who. So...

I went into each shop and pretended I was the average 'rube' with no real knowledge of bikes. I asked pointed questions such as "How much is a overhaul of the thing the cranks go through? My friend said I need one." And so on. And based on answers and attitudes, I formed my who's who list. One shop won hands down, and I took off my 'cover' and introduced myself - congratulating them for everything from rock-bottom prices and up to their taking me into the mechanic's area and showing me how it was done! If you are ever up my way in Northern Vermont - drop me a message and I'll tell you what shop this is.

The lowest one are run by a crook who shouldn't be allowed to own a pair of pliers. He destroyed one shop down in Cambridge, Massachusetts before fleeing north to continue his avocation of criminal incompetence. Example: That shop always fails to do any work they are asked to do. A tune-up is not done. They demand full payment up front. And they always leave their "calling-card" - they tighten down the rear brake so it drags on the rim, resulting in the customer/victim bringing the bike back for repair. KA-CHING!!$$ More money. Then they fix that, and proceed to sabotage something else.

So yes - some shops should be firebombed. And some should be carried through the streets on people's shoulders.
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