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LBS, having Problems...

Old 04-20-11, 08:34 AM
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Pub
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LBS, having Problems...

This is a bit of a rant as well as asking for a bit of advice...
First the rant!

I am lucky enough to have at least 10 very good LBS within a 10 mile radius of where I live. All sell a variety of well known Bikes etc, and from what I can make out by visiting them, they all seem very knowledgeable.

The only problem Iím having though is that their advice to me almost always seems to be telling me what I want rather than what I actually want.
What I want is a Mtb, slicks, strong wheels, front suspension with lockout.
ďNO YOU DONíT! What you want is a Hybrid, periodĒ......and then they tell me all sorts of reasons why.

Let me just say I have nothing against a Hybrid. In fact I like them, I even like the 29ers Ė the Urban oneís are built like a brick out house. But I simply donít want one Ė I want a Mtb because I have tried one (hired for 3 days) and was very impressed with it, riding around town, along a muddy track in the country, along a very uneven road by the sea, and that was on a bog standard model with the fattest tyres out there...

Today I got over that barrier and put my foot down, but now I have a problem with getting them to let me test ride a few models. They seem to point me to a specific one and it seems its a case of take it or leave it. Someone today even said all Mtb are the same so trying one will suit for all....Hmmm.
Rant over!

So the advice Iím after is does anyone buy from the internet after you have decided what you want? Or do you phone the Lbs and tell them what you want (specific model with what you want on it) and ask for a price?

To me being new so to speak this has been a bit of a nightmare because I want to support local traders but the more I try the more Iím put off.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:03 AM
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I would suggest you scour the planet for the exact bike you rented and loved. If you have to order it because an LBS cannot get it then just support them with other purchases. I promise the bike is only the first in a series of purchases to be made for cycling.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:14 AM
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Somehow I think there is more to this story.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:14 AM
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I think you should buy a Hybrid based on your description and here is why...

Screw that. It's your money and if YOU want a mountain bike then buy one. It's unreasonable to expect an LBS to have every single bike available in a particular manufacturers line up available for test riding. However, if you're talking two bikes in the same family, lets say a Trek 4300 and a 4500, the 4300 uses the same frame with the main difference being graphics and components. The shop should have no issue ordering you the bike you want if you test ride the bike with the same frame and decide you want a few models up the chain.

If that isn't what they were doing, take your money elsewhere.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:15 AM
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I'd find a new LBS or find a new sales person or deal with the owner - you should tell the owner what you want and explain that if they don't start snapping to attention or listening to what you want, that you'll just spend your $$ elsewhere. You might have to drive a few towns over to get to a new LBS, but it might be worth it in the long run. I live in Dallas and I drive past 3 bike shops to get to my favorite LBS which is 30 minutes away. You'll need the LBS to adjust your gears and brake cables after a few months, so it's almost like you have to use them ( or learn how to support yourself by watching youtube and buy the PARK manual - and then you'll need TOOLS, bike stand, etc.. ) . As for Internet purchases... my advise is to KNOW exactly what size you need, this includes handle bars, saddles, pedals, shoes, tires, shorts/bibs, jersey's, etc.. Internet is cheaper but having to repurchase something a 2nd time because what you got online doesn't fit correctly or won't work on your bike kinda defeats the savings.

Also, understand the Internet warranty options in case something fails, and to realize that if you need a fix for something, that buying online is going to mean the LBS doesn't do you any favors as far as free fixes/adjustments/discounts,trade in's, etc..
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Old 04-20-11, 09:30 AM
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the bike shop should sell you what you want. if you explain that "yes Mr Salesman I know the difference between an Hybrid and MTB. I want a MTB with street tires". I don't understand why you want a suspension fork with a lockout though. I don't think it would be very useful on the road and frankly when I used to MTB alot in N.E. I didn't see much need or one.
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Old 04-20-11, 10:02 AM
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You don't have 10 good LBS within a 10 mile radius.
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Old 04-20-11, 10:15 AM
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How far away is the company you rented from? Call them and see what the bike was. Ask them if they sell new models and would set it up the way you want. Ask what they do with their previous rental bikes when they are replaced with new models. The main rental company in the Napa Valley sells their used rentals bikes in the late fall when the new models come in.
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Old 04-20-11, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
Somehow I think there is more to this story.
No it was almost excatly as I said (missing out the hour long conversations which writing that lot down is impossible)

There has been plenty of choice, Cube and Ghost (German brands doing well all over Europe) Specialized, Trek, Marin, etc.
The point to the story is that I set out for a Mtb and have been told that as I don't or wont be going off road, a Hybrid is what I want or should have...I'm sorry but that is exactly how it went.

The problem they are not understanding is that because I will not be using a Mtb as a Mtb and purely for local roads, they try and steer me clear of them. I can see their point but I don't want to be swayed into something I don't want. I could have lied and said I want to do ALL off road but I could not see the point of that.

The last store (today) who suggested that ALL Mtb are the same regardless of manufacturer was talking out his rear end - I even know that. Its like saying All Touring bikes are the same...utter rubbish. And that leads me to the last point when I asked if I could try out 2 different bikes (manufacturers) to compare......"One make is the same as the next so no need to try different one's"...Oh ok..

In answer to the person who asked what bike I originally liked (hired), it was a Trek....but I can't phone them up as it was in Spain lol. My guess is that is was a lower end model as I don't think they would hire out top end stuff.
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Old 04-20-11, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
You don't have 10 good LBS within a 10 mile radius.
Well it seems you're not wrong mate.

I wish there was just a Mtb store, they would have to sell me one then lol
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Old 04-20-11, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
I think you should buy a Hybrid based on your description and here is why...

Screw that. It's your money and if YOU want a mountain bike then buy one. It's unreasonable to expect an LBS to have every single bike available in a particular manufacturers line up available for test riding. However, if you're talking two bikes in the same family, lets say a Trek 4300 and a 4500, the 4300 uses the same frame with the main difference being graphics and components. The shop should have no issue ordering you the bike you want if you test ride the bike with the same frame and decide you want a few models up the chain.

If that isn't what they were doing, take your money elsewhere.
Yeah i understand that, but when they say a Trek xxx is the same as a Specialized xxx and Marin xxx, that to me is hogwash....

I'm thinking of going down the Hybrid route...lmao
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Old 04-20-11, 11:07 AM
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I had the exact opposite experience at my LBS. Last year when getting back to the saddle, after a 20 year hiatus, I "thought" I wanted a hybrid bike (then 316lbs) and very self-concious of my weight. My LBS assured me a carbon road-bike would hold my weight if I was interested. He brought a 2010 Roubaix down from the stand for me and I was in love. So sleek and so responsive on the test ride. I bought the Roubaix and have rode many miles on it since. Two weeks ago I picked up a Trek Fx (hybrid) for a good price to use as a "winter bike". The two bike both have their strengths and weaknesses but I must admit, the Roubaix allowed me to get further faster and really ENJOY the hobby - my LBS was right...

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Old 04-20-11, 11:29 AM
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There are two possibilities (ok there are infinite possibilities but let's not get existential). The cynical one is that multiple shops have some incentive (better profit, etc) for selling the hybrids. The other is that they actually listened to the stated needs/usage and are suggesting the best solution. OP has stated that the majority of 10 shops are telling him the same thing. I would suggest that this should not be ignored and that the OP should at least listen to the reasons the shops gave. There is a lot of difference between enjoying a rental bike for 3 days and living with a bike and it's intended usage for years.
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Old 04-20-11, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Pub View Post
I want a Mtb because I have tried one (hired for 3 days) and was very impressed with it, riding around town, along a muddy track in the country, along a very uneven road by the sea, and that was on a bog standard model with the fattest tyres out there...

To me being new so to speak this has been a bit of a nightmare because I want to support local traders but the more I try the more I’m put off.
If you're new to cycling, you might want to at least try riding a few hybrids over the same roads and trails, and see if there's anything to them. And then get whichever one you prefer. If you still want the mountain bike, you might get a deal on the one you rented.
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Old 04-20-11, 12:46 PM
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BTW, a 29er "dualie" is kind of a beefy hybrid.
A 29er mountain bike is adifferent story.
I think that the suggestion that you find out what your rental was is a great one.
Otherwise, I recommend that you speak to the manager at said shop and explain what you want ... if he recommends a hybrid, ask him why.
At given price points certain models of different brands may have the same component/simailar part spec and the same/similar frame materials ... they are all the same is a poorly worded way of saying it, but in some cases not exactly untrue.
If the shops in your area have everything then test ride a mountain bike w/26" wheels, test ride a mountain bike w/29 inch wheels and test ride a hybrid or a duallie. It will tell you a lot about what you want as well as what you don't want.
I would recommend that you avoid purchasing a bike on the internet do to the cost and complication of doing so, when you have many shops in your area to choose from.
Also, do you have any friends who are knowledgeable cyclist or worked at a bike shop? If so, they may be able to assist you in determining and communicating exactly what you want and more importantly helping you find it
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Old 04-20-11, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
There are two possibilities (ok there are infinite possibilities but let's not get existential). The cynical one is that multiple shops have some incentive (better profit, etc) for selling the hybrids. The other is that they actually listened to the stated needs/usage and are suggesting the best solution. OP has stated that the majority of 10 shops are telling him the same thing. I would suggest that this should not be ignored and that the OP should at least listen to the reasons the shops gave. There is a lot of difference between enjoying a rental bike for 3 days and living with a bike and it's intended usage for years.
No it was exactly the opposite.

Listen guys I have not come to any decision over night, I have thought about this a lot. I like Mtb's, I like the style, the way they feel, I am happy on one, I can ride one easily, I like 26 inch wheels, so on and so forth...so what's the big deal with putting slicks on one and just using it for the road? I don't go fast and don't want to.

I have ridded a Hybrid, a few in fact. A Raleigh, A Marin, and a another make I can't remember the name of. Nothing wrong with them but I don't want one.

For some unknown reason I am being highly, (and I say that as fact), being told the same old story - that because of my needs I do not want a Mtb..and no matter how much I keep on (without being rude) I am getting nowhere..

In the last hour I have just tested my theory AGAIN. I phoned another store and told them I am after a Mtb with slicks....Oh dear, what do I want that for? Why not have a Hybrid??? So on and so forth......

I suppose some of you will be thinking I have got this all wrong, that somehow I have either not explained everything or left out some of the story. But its all perfectly true, so much so that I am going to get sized up and then buy blind off the internet.

I would not have any problem with anyone giving me advice to consider a Hybrid or anything else other than what I want, but its not that at all, its like trying to sell me a cheese burger when I want chicken and ribs.

OH and did I mention that the Hybrids that they suggest are about $1,100 compared to a $700 Mtb?
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Old 04-20-11, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperFatDave View Post
BTW, a 29er "dualie" is kind of a beefy hybrid.
A 29er mountain bike is adifferent story.
I think that the suggestion that you find out what your rental was is a great one.
Otherwise, I recommend that you speak to the manager at said shop and explain what you want ... if he recommends a hybrid, ask him why.
At given price points certain models of different brands may have the same component/simailar part spec and the same/similar frame materials ... they are all the same is a poorly worded way of saying it, but in some cases not exactly untrue.
If the shops in your area have everything then test ride a mountain bike w/26" wheels, test ride a mountain bike w/29 inch wheels and test ride a hybrid or a duallie. It will tell you a lot about what you want as well as what you don't want.
I would recommend that you avoid purchasing a bike on the internet do to the cost and complication of doing so, when you have many shops in your area to choose from.
Also, do you have any friends who are knowledgeable cyclist or worked at a bike shop? If so, they may be able to assist you in determining and communicating exactly what you want and more importantly helping you find it
But Dave I do know what I want. A Mtb with 26 inch wheels, slicks, and nothing else.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:10 PM
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Now I understand. $1100 vrs $700. Around here (Central Illinois) they try to sell you MTB's. Even though the mountains are 1/2 a day away. I tried to find a cyclocross bike around here and got the same story. One dealer told me that If I wanted one it would take 18 months to get.Another said "No-one rides cyclocross bikes." My next bike will be an internet bike.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:11 PM
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Thanks for the last response ... I share your mindset to a degree. I am big on utility and versatility, that's why I am partial to mountain bikes or duallies [ w/both 26 and 29 inch wheels ]
So what you need to say to them is to some degree that you'd like a mountain bike as it's what you are comfortable with.
You can tell em that you understand the arguements for a hybrid given the type of riding you do, but despite all of that you like what you like and that's what you want to purchase. You like the gearing, you like the weight and your are more comfortable w/26 inch wheels.
Say it's what you want and ask them if they have a mountain bike that they could show you. Maybe you can deal w/the manager right off the bat.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:14 PM
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Pub maybe relax a bit when you go shopping. Tell the sales that you want a mtb so in the future you can ride some off road, but for now just want to get back into riding ie fitness and fun.. that is all. Then would like to test this rockhopper, 4500 etc. Then when you are more ready to buy a specific model or lbs just have then switch out the tires should be little to no cost, same are any ie saddle, handlebars stem. No need to explain. With 10 shops around you a couple will fit you needs.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Pub View Post
In the last hour I have just tested my theory AGAIN. I phoned another store and told them I am after a Mtb with slicks....Oh dear, what do I want that for? Why not have a Hybrid??? So on and so forth.....
I think I have a solution for you. Call one of the remaining bike shops, tell them you are interested in purchasing a mountain bike. Don't say anything more than: "Hey, I was looking at XXX bike on the internet, do you have one in my frame size in stock which I can view and possibly test ride?" If they do, end the conversation. Go to the shop, test the mountain bike out. If you like it, buy it. Leave the store. Ride the bike back to whichever shop irritated you the most, park the bike you just bought on the showroom floor and ask to see what slick tires they have in stock for it.

It's kind of a silent "screw you, this sale could have been yours" type move.
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Old 04-20-11, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
I think I have a solution for you. Call one of the remaining bike shops, tell them you are interested in purchasing a mountain bike. Don't say anything more than: "Hey, I was looking at XXX bike on the internet, do you have one in my frame size in stock which I can view and possibly test ride?" If they do, end the conversation. Go to the shop, test the mountain bike out. If you like it, buy it. Leave the store. Ride the bike back to whichever shop irritated you the most, park the bike you just bought on the showroom floor and ask to see what slick tires they have in stock for it.

It's kind of a silent "screw you, this sale could have been yours" type move.
That's funny lol.
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Old 04-20-11, 03:00 PM
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Similar to bautieri's post but I have a pretty simple suggestion.

You know what you want. So go in to whatever LBS MTB selection (I suggest looking alone and not having them tag along pestering you with questions) pick one out that is in your price range and is visually appealing to you and tell them to get your size. No use explaining to them WHY you want the dang bike, they don't have to know. Ride it and then pick out the next bike you want to ride. If they ask what kind of riding you're going to be doing the simple answer is "I'm going to be riding a mountain bike and I'm figuring out which one I want". Ta DA

Second step - buy the bike but before you make the purchase have them switch out the tires. I wouldn't tell them in advance about the tires.
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Old 04-20-11, 03:39 PM
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My suggestion is to go to the Trek website and see what bike you rode that you want to purchase. Then call the LBS's and see if they have any in your size. Test ride to make sure it was the bike and purchase. Ask to swap out the tires and ride away.

I understand your frustration Pub. They are really not listening to you, and are trying to sell you something that you don't want (for whatever reasons). You may want to reconsider what a "good LBS" is in the future.

Good luck, I hope you find the bike that you want .
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Old 04-20-11, 08:53 PM
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I can understand why they suggest the hybrids but when you say no, I want a MTB, then they should help. It probably feels worse to you than it really is because you are having the same experience at several stores. Pick one that sells Trek, say you wan to try out their Trek mountain bikes, find you you like, have them put slicks on it and be done with it.
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