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I'm OK Never Setting Foot Inside an LBS Again

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I'm OK Never Setting Foot Inside an LBS Again

Old 09-02-17, 01:41 AM
  #126  
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Okay. I had a great experience with a local Trek dealer getting a bike fit. Found new saddle and the "basic" fit lasted 2 1/2 hours ($150.00). Fitter spent a lot of time and was very detailed. A little disappointed the saddle mapping , tier 2, was an additional $100.00. I declined. The new saddle needs a zero offset and the fitter says I do better with 165 mm cranks. Post $100.00, new crankset (105) $200.00 plus labor. Also, he says, my speedplay pedals need to be wider, another $300. Hummm. I liked this guy and he seemed very credible and I liked the results so OK I think I'll go as far as the speed plays as, I mentioned to him, I'm planning on building a new build soon.
So then I expressed an interest in a Trek Domane frame, and building a bike around it this fall/winter with the new Sram hydro etap with the quarq power meter. Well both the fitter and the owner expressed "I don't want to do this as there might be warranty issues (Okay I ran numerous businesses and I can understand this) and I'll spend much MUCH MORE building this and at over 13K ( the project one build for the way I want it), this bike is a bargain. Really? The fitter than proceeded after getting this bike in we could continue to fit to the next level(s) "just" for the additional costs. Okay....no throw ins after dropping 13k. BTW The basic fit I just paid for would have come with this bike free but I need to pay for Tier Two and Three?
Now I'm old and have 4 months and 1,200 miles in my cycling comeback, but in my youth I built bikes, including wheels. I was born in the morning but not yesterday morning..... So a quick internet search "apples to apples" (well the BB I would use would be better than the one supplied by Trek), the price I come up with a build is over 3k less than the bargain project one price.
My point is a great experience turned into a not so great experience as this business's credibilty suffered from, what I feel was a lot of upselling and outright BS. I felt they saw me as an easy mark. If I feel people are not being straight with me, I nod and let them do all the talking and , in most cases they remove all doubt. Your thoughts? Am I wrong???
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Old 09-02-17, 06:39 AM
  #127  
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I guess I am really lucky.

My local LBS is about one mile from my house, easily within walking distance. Not only are they close, but they are good! The owner manages the business and is almost always out front, while the son manages the shop, and goes wherever he is needed.

Both are excellent bike mechanics, and not afraid to get dirty.

Everyone in the shop does whatever is needed - not unusual to see a mechanic talking sales, or a salesman changing tires...... they are all finely attuned to their customers.

More than likely, they are competitive on pricing for bikes, accessories, clothes, etc - with on line sales. They always get first chance for my business, and even advise me to buy on line if they can't beat it. They usually ask who the other seller is, and I tell them.

I take them donuts, and they buy me coffee - whether I am just window shopping, killing time, or actively buying.

They always welcome me in, by name, and are always genuinely happy to see me.

They don't mind if you go into the shop, and frequently do a lot of stuff for everyone for free.

They are a family owned, family run business, and all indications are that they are doing a good business, as they are frequently expanding, and strongly support the local community - bikes or otherwise!

I hope everyone can find a shop like this!
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Old 09-02-17, 01:00 PM
  #128  
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Since the advent of the internet, I've never felt the need to set foot in an LBS- so I haven't. Life is good.

It's not just LBS's, either; it's most small retail businesses. Their business models and practices are as obsolete as a typewriter. Add to that the lack of integrity which many exhibit, and it is no wonder why Main St. USA is dying.

I was looking for a used commercial-grade zero turn mower this summer. Getting tired of waiting for something to appear on Craigslist, I went to a local dealer. Long story short, he tried to screw me. Two days later i ended up finding what I wanted on CL for half the price of the dealer's con-job. I'll remember to scrupulously avoid that dealer should I ever be in the market for a brand new ZTR. (The motor on their mower, which supposedly only had 180 hours on it, didn't run as well as the motor on my old riding mower that has over 1000 hours on it!)

I still remember the treatment I got at the last LBS I visited c. 25 years ago, when I went in to nuy a cable and a tube, and not a $3K Cannondale- it was like they couldn't be bothered. (They are long out-of-business now...)
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Old 09-03-17, 05:53 AM
  #129  
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Two bike stores in my area, both carry major brands. One is a mixed bag. The owner and his family as well as their regular mechanics are top notch and will go above and beyond to make sure you are happy. During the busy season they hire college kids that range from enthusiastic and helpful to downright rude. I bring repairs that I cannot manage to them, knowing once I get past the cordon of "temps" that jump you when you walk in I'll be helped by interested parties.

The other bike shop is a mess. A friend bought a Bikes Direct bike and called them for a price on assembly and tuning, and was harangued for not buying locally. When pressed for a price he said "100, and it goes up from there." That's not the only bad story I have heard about it either. The brand they carry had me interested at one time, but their reputation is so bad I avoid the place. That's important- they must not realize word of mouth is vital to their business. One pissed off customer could be the tip of the iceberg for them.
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Old 09-03-17, 07:48 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
There was someone asking about buying from BD and it just reminded me of the many goofballs I've dealt with over the years at lbs's. There seem to be a handful of specific personality types at the lbs:

1) immature kids such as stoner teens that the shop hired because they're the only person in town willing to turn a wrench all week long for $8 an hour,

2) bored, confused millenials who don't have a career path and are trying to avoid adulting

3) pompous middle aged bike zealot whose ego is completely tied up in owning the latest carbon fiber Dura Ace Di2 wunderbike.

4) late on their rent desperate shop mechanic pushing their used bikes on you instead of the bike you wanted to test ride

5) rip off artist owners trying to upsell you to a $9K carbon road bike with discs when you came in for a $400 hybrid bike.

6) depressed floor sales guy who breaks down emotionally and cries when you come back from a 15 minute test ride and tell him you're going to "think about it" and get back to him.

Walking into a bike shop is just begging to be inundated with endless examples of arrested development. Thank god for internet sales.
Could the same be said about on-site mechanics who visit, VERSUS in-shop mechanics??
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Old 09-03-17, 07:51 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
Bike mechanics should need to be state-licensed, with proven capabilities in the various flanges of bicycle design. As it is right now, they are about as regulated as carnival workers. Finding a good shop can be like discovering an oasis.
Expect that YOU & OTHER CONSUMERS WILL PAY THE PRICE for this.
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Old 09-03-17, 07:57 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
I've had a much different experience with shops here.


Here is the real problem, consumers come in without knowing what they want. The same is true when trying to purchase a car. One cannot expect a shop to mind read, but they can ask questions then leave you alone to decide what you want to do.


There is also the issue with "tire kickers" who never buy because they really cannot afford the item in the first place. What are they doing shopping. I'd say if more people started to respect these business they would get the respect they need to make a purchase. These shop do not owe you something. They are running a business that requires they make a profit.
You have not explained the "problem" to "consumers without knowing what they want." This be nothing new in any small market. This be why there supposed to be customer service, to help.
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Old 09-03-17, 08:02 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by Ald1 View Post
Okay. I had a great experience with a local Trek dealer getting a bike fit. Found new saddle and the "basic" fit lasted 2 1/2 hours ($150.00). Fitter spent a lot of time and was very detailed. A little disappointed the saddle mapping , tier 2, was an additional $100.00. I declined. The new saddle needs a zero offset and the fitter says I do better with 165 mm cranks. Post $100.00, new crankset (105) $200.00 plus labor. Also, he says, my speedplay pedals need to be wider, another $300. Hummm. I liked this guy and he seemed very credible and I liked the results so OK I think I'll go as far as the speed plays as, I mentioned to him, I'm planning on building a new build soon.
So then I expressed an interest in a Trek Domane frame, and building a bike around it this fall/winter with the new Sram hydro etap with the quarq power meter. Well both the fitter and the owner expressed "I don't want to do this as there might be warranty issues (Okay I ran numerous businesses and I can understand this) and I'll spend much MUCH MORE building this and at over 13K ( the project one build for the way I want it), this bike is a bargain. Really? The fitter than proceeded after getting this bike in we could continue to fit to the next level(s) "just" for the additional costs. Okay....no throw ins after dropping 13k. BTW The basic fit I just paid for would have come with this bike free but I need to pay for Tier Two and Three?
Now I'm old and have 4 months and 1,200 miles in my cycling comeback, but in my youth I built bikes, including wheels. I was born in the morning but not yesterday morning..... So a quick internet search "apples to apples" (well the BB I would use would be better than the one supplied by Trek), the price I come up with a build is over 3k less than the bargain project one price.
My point is a great experience turned into a not so great experience as this business's credibilty suffered from, what I feel was a lot of upselling and outright BS. I felt they saw me as an easy mark. If I feel people are not being straight with me, I nod and let them do all the talking and , in most cases they remove all doubt. Your thoughts? Am I wrong???
My thought is that $750 for the fit and necessary changes sounds very high, especially only 4 months into cycling.
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Old 09-03-17, 08:03 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Considering that describes the workers at nearly every store and restaurant and bar and entertainment venue I go to, I really hate to think how you get about in society at all.

Although, I always get a chuckle out of the old farts who can't make an argument without blaming millennials in some manner.
Millenials DID CHANGE SOCIETY. Especially when it came to electronics. Cell-phones. The use of such, during driving. Pedestrians. ETC ETC
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Old 09-03-17, 08:13 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
At the shop I work at, if you come in asking about a $400 hybrid, that is what I will put you on. If you ask about a $5k race bike, that is what I will put you on. We listen to the customer and get them set up appropriately. I will show you other bikes close to that price range, like a $500 hybrid that has disc brakes, but if you want to take that $400 hybrid on a ride, I pull it down and we prep it, and you go ride. When you come back, if you decide to think about it, we say thanks for stopping in, put the bike back on the rack and continue on to the next customer. No tears shed. No one gets upset. Not even if I spend 2 hours with you while you piddle paddle and ponder on making a decision.

Sounds like you haven't found the right shop yet.
That's a funny, cold, simple --- bike shop. (from how you word the above) No narcissism via the bike shop; but expect such of the customer.
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Old 09-03-17, 08:19 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Another "LBS Suck!" thread. How original.
Doesn't such make you feel better how the internet threatens the existence of the bike shop to remain? I still wonder how some of those small b.s. remain w/o price match.
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Old 09-03-17, 08:31 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
I did too and totally agree! I made the mistake of giving a couple car salesman my cell number. They are relentless, even after I informed them that I already bought another vehicle.

And even the car salesman the sold me the vehicle won't stop calling and e-mailing me. They must get a commission on follow-up surveys or bringing your car back for routine maintenance. I finally ended up blocking all calls from the dealership.
What's that got to do with a Bill Holland, or a local bike shop in San Diego area?
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Old 09-03-17, 08:35 AM
  #138  
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My Local Bike shop Is doing very well,
The owner knows his customer base and responds to the demands of his customers,
Has skilled help, pays them well enough to keep them evidently,
He Is a professional In every way.

I won't rant about a bad bike shop ever, I just would not go back.
There have been poorly run shops In my area but they don't last.
Things work themselves out.

I think the OP needs to go ride his bike more, complainers are so boring, such a waste of life.
Most people who are healthy and genetically fortunate get about 25,000 days of life, give or take.
A third goes to sleeping and a third goes to working and choirs right ?

No thank you, I don't have the time to waste complaining and I'll never recover the time I just spent writing this.

Log out and go F.A.R. For A Ride.

My rear end will be on my saddle In about 10 minutes.
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Old 09-03-17, 08:39 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The reason I probably won't ever enter another bike shop is purely economic---and if I do, the reason would be the same.

I don't have a lot of bike shop horror stories .... it doesn't take long to size up a shop, and when I used bikes shops I quickly narrowed down the field to two which were worth it ... and however many others, who cares?

I bear no grudges against any shops or LBSs in general. I don't assume most of them suck. I just know that it is Not my business to "support local business." (How many of them ever called me up looking to support me?) If a local business supplies a product or service the community wants or needs, it survives. If I decide to open a fried dog-turd stand, do all my neighbors have to come buy my fried-turd-on-a-stick? But I'm Local!

Money is too scarce for me to waste it on charity, so when I spend on charity I do it deliberately and carefully. I do not consider supporting a bike mechanic to be a worthwhile charitable contribution. I'd rather help people who cannot help themselves, or are in situations they cannot escape or survive without outside help. The guys in the bike shop can either make the shop work, or they can get other jobs. They don't need charity. Right now everything I have goes to stopping people from being killed for their organs in China (https://dafoh.org/) ... to me, knowing people are being arrested, held, and killed to order to provide organs for transplant is a Little more serious than the plight of the guy who cannot sell his over-priced bike parts.

So ... I will buy bike parts online ... and when (as now) all my bikes have all the parts they need ... I will Ride my bikes and not buy parts.

So ... why do I need to support an LBS?
As so long YOU have: (a) another bike shop/s to access any parts/accessories, that you cannot get online, (b) access to labor work for your bike, from someone who who really like/trust -- more than that lbs. You then have it made.~~
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Old 09-03-17, 08:48 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Sindy View Post
I think the OP needs to go ride his bike more, complainers are so boring, such a waste of life.
OP is gone. Time to close this thread.
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