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Maelstrom 09-12-02 08:30 PM

A lbs owner who shouldn't own one
This is a funny storey but one that left me frustrated.

I have heard of this bike shop in vancouver. Cheap prices, good parts good service. I plan on making around 1700$ worth of purchases over the winter and am looking for a shop to buy parts (in the winter there are no lbs as they turn into snowboard shops) I walk in. First of all he doesn't acknowledge me to start. Even though I am clearly interested in his most expensive stock. When he finally does speak with me I ask about Z1 freeride fork explaining that I currently own a Kona Roast with a 4 inch fork. HE explains that he only buys forks when they are on special as they aren't worth the full price (I am willing to pay full price but hey this is a small thing compared to his next mistake) I ask what his opinion would be for a 'suitable' replacement. HE carries rock shox and manitous and I am interested in everyones opinion.

He proceeds to direct me to a 2003 3 inch suspension xc fork. I almost laughed at him but quickyl said "That fork would screw up the geometry of my bike". So he then points at a boxxer 6 or 7 inch (his words) dc fork. I then proceeded to walk out of the store. No matter how cheap he is I can't bring myself to buy from a moron.

I also happened to hear him trying to sell a bike to a customer (before the incident) He was looking at a Rocky Mountain Hammer which is a great xc bike. This guy specifically asked 'Is this a good all mountain / freeride type bike'. The owner then stated 'Yes it is a great bike for all mountain'. Its not. Especially for a rider of this size. It is clearly a xc geometry which would be trashed on a freeride trail.

How can someone like this own a store. Especially in an area where riders are generally hardcore and know bikes. I couldn't help but just laugh but this is a really pissy situation. Just to let everyone know he doesn't run a cross shop either, he only carrys mountain bikes. He doesn't have anything street worthy so he has even less he has to know then some of the shops that carry street and mountain.

I don't rant too often but this just steamed me up when all was said and done.

Joe Gardner 09-12-02 08:49 PM

Yikes, how long has the shop been around? Was he the only person there? It couldnt posibly be a new shop hand, could it? :)

sscyco 09-12-02 08:56 PM

One local LBS owner here is about as bad - he just does'nt know sqwat about bike parts. I'm sure if you came in with a 1992 MTB with 7 speed, he'd hook you right up, but if it comes to new stuff he's an idiot. Like most jobs LBS owners get sick of their jobs - and just stop paying attention to the new stuff. That's why I decided not to open a shop - I used to love my job, but I hate it now. I don't want that to happen with bikes.

dirtbikedude 09-12-02 09:03 PM

This guy sounds like some one Beavis & Butthead would call a "Dumb A**"

I would double check to see if he is the manager or owner and if so not buy from him. If he is just a new hire I would let his emplyer know that one of his emplyee needs a bit of schooling on cycles. He does not need to know every thing but he should be a bit more informed.

Maelstrom 09-12-02 09:18 PM

I don't want to relay the name of the company. But the guys name is the name of the shop. t is definately the owner. As for how old I don't know...There were several shop guys in the back but they weren't too interested in selling. They were mechs only I think.

I would have allowed a little leeway but to jump from a freeride fork to a xc fork to a dh dc fork. Thats a lot of variety :)

KevinG 09-12-02 10:21 PM

I believe he is talking about Simon's, but I could be wrong.

webist 09-13-02 12:16 PM

I read things like this and consider myself fortunate that the people at both LBS in my town seem to have it together.

Not everyone on the staff is excellent in all areas. Indeed there are times when I learn something from a book, magazine or this forum that is unfamiliar to all who work in my LBS, including the owner.

There is certainly more knowledge extent in the shop about products they sell than on products outside their lines or those that they might have to special order.

One of the greatest services they perform is to admit they are unfamiliar with a product and explore for new knowledge with me. It takes a bit of effort to determine where the pockets of knowledge are in both of these stores. The MTB expert isn't the one I'd discuss road stuff with, though I would certainly let him ring up a purchase when I already know what I need.

Though not true of the bike shops in town, it isn't unusual to see stores in my town where the person on the floor is just there to ring things up, give directions and occupy the floor so that people are less tempted to help themselves.

No one person, even in a bike shop is capable of knowing everything about everything related to our sport. Each though is certainly capable of learning who does know what about what. They should be willing to help by directing you to the right person or simply saying that they don't know.

I'm fortunate in that my LBS are interested in my overall cycling experience and appear not to be focused on making certain that they make an immediate sale. At the same time, they also know that I am strongly loyal to them.

a2psyklnut 09-13-02 01:08 PM

No one person, even in a bike shop is capable of knowing everything about everything related to our sport.
I'm sure there are some members here that would disagree with this statement and be offended by it! j/k Not me of course!


Maelstrom 09-13-02 02:23 PM

Originally posted by KevinG
I believe he is talking about Simon's, but I could be wrong.
I guess that means you have been to Vancouver :)

wabbit 09-13-02 02:37 PM

The closest bike shop is just down the street, and it's notorious among the other LBS owners (and cyclists) as being a total loser. He's one of those ex-hippie 60's types who's 'anti-bike' and caters to the bell-and-basket crowd. Most of the people I see going in there have long gray hair and ride beat-up old bikes. Actual roadies who go in there are treated rudely- one guy I know was even ordered out of the store. The owner just hangs around all day and never seems to do anyathing. and he hasn't ordered new stock since about 1975. No one ever seems to actually buy anything there and I have no idea hwow he stays in business. There is a theory that he uses it as a front for drugs, but apparently he's a lawyer and has quite a bit of money so he probably just uses it as a hobby. It's just weird. Needless to say, no one I know goes there. The shop we actually go to is a bit further away but it's far superior- it's where I bought my GT and my Kona.

KevinG 09-13-02 08:21 PM

Originally posted by Maelstrom

I guess that means you have been to Vancouver :)

I have been to Vancouver a few times. But Simon's lousy reputation is known far and wide thanks to the internet.

Joe Gardner 09-13-02 08:32 PM

Hehe, did you see there website? "We're excited about having the most knowledgeable sales and service staff of all the bicycle shops we've ever seen (and we've seen a lot of them). That’s because we’re a full service bike shop and we have to know all about bikes; what to look for in a new bike and how to repair, service or upgrade your existing cycling equipment."

Maelstrom 09-13-02 08:59 PM

No I actually never noticed the blurb. I have heard the odd bad thing as well but never thought I would run into a shop like this. It has definately been my worst all time experience in a shop. And I deal with some real doozies sometimes.

Maybe I should have tried to talk to one of the techs. At least they would know what a pedal is :)

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