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About that LBS? ? ? ?

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About that LBS? ? ? ?

Old 02-15-12, 07:38 AM
  #26  
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been to several bike shops in my area over the years. all carry good products. all have decent service. some are big box stores some small operations. of these I won't go back to some of them. why? I think it's the personality of the store?
they all are committed to their community, ride locally etc. but there is just something about these stores that puts me off.
I have a fab store that I really like above all the others. I will travel the extra miles just to go there. it's not a snooty issue with the other stores just they appear to be distracted when I work with them or I get the oddest reactions from them while there?
This is probably 6-7 stores in the area. One just stands out for me. The crew is fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, helpful and just really pleasant to talk with. I don't know why the other stores do not have that appeal but they just aren't quite there.
Advice? Shop around and see what else is out there. Not all bike shops are the same.
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Old 02-15-12, 07:42 AM
  #27  
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I won't go into details here, but the last 30+ years of trying to do business with my LBSs have taught me to order what I need and do my own wrenching.
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Old 02-15-12, 08:15 AM
  #28  
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I was using two bike shops, but I have just added a third and all within a 10 mile radius of me. The first shop (Temple Terrace Schwinn) is a small Schwinn/Giant dealer where I have purchased three of the 4 bikes I've owned since getting back into cycling. We are all on first name basis and anytime I walk in, it's like walking into your best friends house. They don't carry a large inventory of road bikes but they do a pretty good business on comfort and hybrids. His mechanic is a young man that I would let work on my hybrid but I have some reservations about letting him work in my road bike. I normally buy most of my cycling related items here.

The second shop (University Bicycle Center) is a bit further away, but is one of the largest and oldest bike shops in Tampa. They carry C'Dale, Scott, Fuji, Specialized, Colnago, Pinarello, Krestrel, Kuota and a few other brands. Their shop area is probably larger than many of the bike shops in the area and their mechanics are top notch. Their inventory is mostly road bikes and they also have a large inventory of accessories, parts and tools. The staff is friendly and never pushy. Since their inventory is much larger, I get items that I don't want wait on from them. I also have my road bike serviced there.

The third shop is where I recently purchased my new Colnago. They are geared more to the triathlete than a regular bike shop, and they carry bikes that many of the other shops in the area don't; Blue, Lightspeed, Quintana Roo, Scott, Colnago and Bianchi. Although UBC also carries Colnago, they didn't give me the deal that The Ironman Store gave me. I had heard from several people that this shop was not a very friendly place and that they didn't treat their customers very well. However, after dealing with them, I find that isn't the case. They went out of their way to help me with my bike purchase. The Ironman Store is also the only Retul shop left in my county so if I ever have any fit issues, it will be done there. I don't know where my original fitter went when he left the shop (shop was at the other end of the county) he was at but for other Retul fitters, I would have to go across the bay to Clearwater or St. Petersburg. Dave at Ironman is excellent at Retul fittings and did the adjustment on my Defy in a very short time and matched the Colnago to the Defy pretty much dead on.

There are a few more shops located close to me, but I haven't done any business with them so I can only comment on the Trek dealer that made me feel as if I didn't belong in the shop because I didn't look like their normal, yuppy looking clients.
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Old 02-15-12, 09:15 AM
  #29  
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I have four that I use, and portion out my business according to their strengths.

One has great fitters. I send newbies there just for that. They also know that I'm car-free and usually do my own work. So when I drop by for service, they know it must be important. Location is good too since it's right on my commute. I've learned to never special order anything there. It can take weeks and months for them to actually place the order with their suppliers.

The second is 100 yards away across the street. They're the oldest and largest shop in town. I don't steer newbies there because the only fitting they do is by the standover method. The service there has been spotty. But they have a huge parts department, and lots of whacked-out accessories in stock that one only ever sees online. (Heated handlebar grips anyone?)

Twice I've had stuff warrantied there and twice I've just shaken my head because I don't know how they can stay in business with their awesome warranty policy. On my first bike, I had 900 miles on it when both tires developed egg-sized bulges. The owner let me pick out any replacement tire I wanted in the store, and didn't restrict me to size or brand that came with the bike. I rode in on $8 40mm Kendas and rode out on $35 32mm Armadillos.

Last week I walked over with my floor pump. After six years of daily use, it needed new seals in the pump head, or a whole new pump head. I was all prepared to buy or order what was needed. The owner joked to me, "Quit breaking my stuff!" and handed me a brand new pump, several models up. "Make this one last ten years" he said with a wink.

The third store is where I go for tools and special orders. Every special order I've placed has come in within days.

The fourth store has good stock of upscale parts. They're the only store in town that stocks Dura-Ace derailleur cables, for instance. I'll steer newbies there too, since they seem to have good fitters.
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Old 02-15-12, 12:39 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by sam21fire
I appreciate mine (Yucaipa Bicycle Center, Yucaipa CA) because they're professional without being snooty, very personable, have very reasonable prices for parts and service, and don't stick their nose in the air if someone walks in w/o wearing racing clothing. I've seen them give the same great service to "pro" riders and a lower-middle income guy buying a tiny bike for his kid.
Same reasons for me! I live outside Seattle WA and we have a superb LBS on Mercer Island named Veloce Velo. They rise to the occasion no matter who walks in. It's all about service and relationships.
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Old 02-15-12, 12:48 PM
  #31  
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In 2008 we hit "bottom" financially, all I could afford for transportation was a "Wal-Mart", Roadmaster MTB. I got it in a box and then started calling around to the "many" shops in our area to have it "built up right", I basicly got , laughed at, told to by a "REAL" bike, etc. from the majority of shops here in Colorado Springs. Most of them seem to only want to deal with you, if your a USCF lic. racer and can afford "carbon fiber" racing machines, other wise, "BUG OFF"!

I called the last shop on my list, The Colorado Springs Bike Shop (719-634-4915) and they said, "NO PROBLEM", they regreased all the bearing, set up the bike adjust the cheap stamped brakes so they worked perfect, etc. and charged me $70.00, yep, it was the "same amount" that I paid for the "bike" but for a solid YEAR (till I SOLD it), it ran like a top and I even pulled my "homemade utility trailer" with it! I asked them, WHY, they were willing to work on my POS Wal-Mart bike, they said: WE are a FAMILY bike shop, not a Pro Race shop and we know that not everyone can afford a better bike! We hope that if we can keep your beater running great, that when you CAN afford a better bicycle, you will buy it from us!

I've now bought several bikes from them and spend a LOT of money on upgrades, conversions and accessories since that time and the wife and I think of the owners like "FAMILY" and friends and they even give us a bit of "priority" cause we are, CAR-FREE and our bikes are our MAIN transportation to keep them running. It's not the shop for the "RACER BOY" rider but if you NEED your bike to run great, get a good price and be treated with care, It's THE shop here in Colorado Springs! JMHO, YMMV.
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Old 02-15-12, 01:16 PM
  #32  
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Black Mountain Cycles in Point Reyes Station is a great shop.
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Old 02-15-12, 01:32 PM
  #33  
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Whichever has LARABARS and Nuun. . .

I split my time amongst three shops in my "area"-- all depending on what I'm looking for (a Specialized shop (lowest labor rates), Trek shop (best hours), and a, um, dedicated MTB shop (best sales).

I really liked Blackwater Bike Shop in Lynchburg, VA the one time I went.
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Old 02-15-12, 05:25 PM
  #34  
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I've got three all with in five miles of my home and try to spread the money around since they are all local small family businesses.

As much as I liked the closest one it was how they handled the warranty repairs on the new bike I purchased from them that ruled them out for any future new bike purchases. While they did go above and beyond even picking the the bike up for the repairs and bring it back the fact is they charged me for what really should have been covered under warranty. Granted they gave me a major break on these cost it was still money out of my pocket. The final straw was when they rebuilt the black rear wheel after the fourth broken spook (costing me 20$ each time) with silver spokes instead of black. When I mentioned this their response was oh it had black spokes? I was like look at the ones sitting on your sales floor!!! That cost me 20 bucks too. And for the kicker. Two weeks later the axle on that rebuilt wheel broke!!! And before someone says I was abusing the bike. I'm 50 and used the bike on MUP to commute to work and pleasure rides. Needless to say they don't touch any of my bikes any longer and I've since traded in the POS on a new bike from shop number three. I spend very little in this shop now using them for small stuff because they are just a few blocks from home..

Bike shop two is RASMUSSEN & SONS BICYCLE SHOP in West Des Moines, Iowa. They have the best selection of parts, clothing and accessories of all the places here in town and a good selection of top quality bikes in all styles. I like this place, friendly knowledgeable staff and they support the sport with rides, events and riders. I went in just before Christmas looking at cold weather clothes and was handed a beer(s) just for stopping in. When it was time for that new bike I gave them a shot. Answered all my questions gave me an idea of what things might cost me and so on. Nice guy. Than I asked when I might be able to go for a test ride since they didn't have one built up in my size but had it in stock. I was told in a couple of day and if I wanted they would call me when it was ready so I could ride it. After two weeks I stopped waiting for the phone to ring. Needless to say they didn't sell me a new bike. That might seem harsh but if they couldn't call me back and try to sell me something, what was it going to be like after the sale? Again I like this shop and will continue to buy parts and clothes from them happily.

Bike shop number three, Barr Bike and Fitness in Urbandale, Iowa, and I started doing business shortly after bike shop #1 failing to fix my bike. It's the smallest of all of them with limited clothing and accessories but again quality brands with a fair selection of all types of what they do sell. It was buying my fourth or fifth inner tube for that new bike that they proved their worth. They wheeled the bike in the shop and found the cause of the 20+ flats I had up to that point in time (4 months) with that bike. They found the front tire was the cause for the front and the rear wheel, yes that wheel, was the cause for the rear flats. When the first shop had thrown their hands up at the cause of the flats this shop that didn't sell me the bike dropped anything and found the problem. A set of new tires, installed for free no less, and some new quality rim tape and the flats were a thing of the past. So needless to say when it came time for that new bike I bought last weekend they were the only choice left. Did they win out by default? Maybe but not really because of the way I've been treated in the year plus I've been doing business with them. Not once was I shun because I didn't buy the first bike from them. Instead they were more than happy to help me fix it when it needed it often times while I waited. So last weekend not only did a get a smoking deal on this new bike but I've got a shop I know will stand behind what they sell and do it promptly and happily. Now I just wished the weather hadn't turned back to winter so I could ride it

So that's my story and how customer service, which is so lacking these days, wins over price every time in my book.

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Old 02-15-12, 05:39 PM
  #35  
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Nothing like pedaling your ass off listening to a Rossini Overture! La Gazza Ladra is my fave.[QUOTE=lhbernhardt;13852358]Yeah, bikes and classical music go together. Especially operatic music. Something Italian about riding a bike. Or even German.
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Old 02-15-12, 07:21 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bikejrff
bikes and classical music go together. Especially operatic music. Something Italian about riding a bike. Or even German.
I used to have a delightful Chinese mechanic who worked in my shop. He insisted we listen to opera ever Saturday afternoon. I loved working with him and learned to love listening to opera.. Years later, when he became a naturalized American citizen, he invited me to the ceremony. I loved that too.
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