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Dougmt 03-21-05 08:33 PM

Another bike shop rant...
I know there are good shops as well as bad shops but in all honesty "I" have yet to encounter a good shop. Yet again, today, I got to experience a bad shop. I needed a few relatively simple things to finish the build on my bike. I go in with a list. I've been in this shop a couple of times before and have tried to spend money there... they tried to accomodate, but aside from a few stickers for my kid I've never spent any money there. It should be noted that we travel the country so we don't ever really build up a "relationship" with a shop... but my experience has shown that quite frankly I wouldn't want to build up a relationship with most shops.. This is the only game in town and it's a clean enough shop that sells outdoor type clothing, shoes, and some other gear but half the shop is bicycle oriented.
so, here is what happened today.
I needed:
Good set of brake cables
Some frame protection stickers
A brake cable hanger
Some good V-brake pads
Some cable protector tubing OR the rubber doughnuts
some 1-1/8" head set/stem spacers

They had some VERY crappy cables... worse than stock.. worse than... well they were bad.
No frame protector stickers
A cable hanger.. the kind I needed, the kind that hangs from the seat clamp bolt... wanted 5 bucks for the thing!!!!!!!!!!
They did have 2 different sets of cool stop brake pads plus a good delta one but they could not tell me ANYTHING about them.. like WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO DIFFERENT COLORS!!!!
No cable protector tubing or doughnuts......
And they ONLY had some very narrow shiny aluminum spacers... the super narrow kind. Funny thing was all of the bikes on the floor (most of the haros) had the EXACT spacers I needed LOL....

I ended up buying the delta brakes because they had a graph on them that showed they were better than the cool stops... who knows.. I really only needed them for the bolt/washer assembly as my brand new ones from a bike shop on the East coast (that shall remain name-less) sent me new shimano canti brakes that included the pads but was missing the hardware to attach the pads for 1 side... I haven't given them the opportunity to correct the situation yet so no harm/no foul there.....

Here's my point in all this.. this is a bike shop, the ONLY bike shop in town, in a town that does a lot of cycling.. and has a lot of wealth here... the average price of a home is $350,000.00, that is little better than your standard bicycling section in a walmart. Both the store owner and his "mechanic" were there and while the mechanic had a decent if not apologetic attitude, the owner copped an attitude.... It has been my experience that MOST owners cop attitudes... Not all, but most of the ones "I" have dealt with.
I feel as though I've put the owner out by shopping in their store... Somehow I've inconvenienced them.. I think they dislike dealing with anybody but soccer moms that come in asking what bike they should buy for their 12 YO spoiled rotten kid or the senior citizen that comes in for a new tube and a "tune-up"
Here would be my perfect bike shop experience....
Hey I've seen you in a few times... Oh? You say you are building up a new touring bike from a specialized stumpjumper? Sounds nice. If there is annything we can do to help you just let us know. Bring it in when your done I'd love to look at it. Great I will.. Say, I need a few things to finish up the build, would you have................"
And he'd make money. I don't expect them to drool over my bike, that's my job, but for God's sake SELL ME STUFF LOL.........

OK, rant over. I need to order some goodies from nashbar.. or performance... or pricepoint... or supergo... or????????????


operator 03-21-05 08:35 PM

Doesn't sound like it's a dedicated bike shop.

phantomcow2 03-21-05 08:38 PM

I feel lucky to have the shop i do around

Rev.Chuck 03-21-05 08:54 PM

Hmmm, maybe I should move to Montana.

Good set of brake cables-- Stainless from Quality
Some frame protection stickers-- A bunch from cheap freebies(courtesy of Giant) to carbon from Lizard skins
A brake cable hanger-- Still would have been five bucks
Some good V-brake pads-- Shimano or KoolStop, Both good brands, color mostly means nothing. There is sometimes, salmon usualy wet, green is for carbon ( I have had a beer or two might be mixed up on that one :) )
Some cable protector tubing OR the rubber doughnuts--donuts, two kinds and the tubing, it is grey. I like the donuts better. they look better than the sheath.
some 1-1/8" head set/stem spacers-- 1.5mm to 20mm black, silver and carbon in the bigger sizes.

Dougmt 03-21-05 09:13 PM

Actually I'm not in MT right now... West coast. But you are right.... you'd make a mint here because there is money, it's a retirement area with LOTS of older riders on comfort bikes.
"A brake cable hanger-- Still would have been five bucks"
Nashbar has em for $1.49 LOL
brake cable hanger

You could order a dozen, use a 15-20% discount coupon.. and double your money at $3.00

TomM 03-21-05 09:15 PM

There's like 4 different bike shops where I live. I visited all 4 looking for a new bike. I bought from a shop that didn't have my first choice in bikes but I felt 100% comfortable there. Whereas at the other shops I didn't get good vibes. I am a firm believer in building relationships where I shop. Especially when I am $2500 for a bike.

geeklpc1985 03-21-05 09:16 PM

Well I find the more you talk to the guys and get to know them, the better the parts get. I first hated the shop I bought by bike from, but after spening any hours there for flat tires, broken frame (2x), and other little stuff that you wait at the shop for, I got to know the guys really well. Know I can ask for something and they get the good parts or say .".....well...we don't have anything that will be tuff enought for you...." Just get to know them, become one of the guys, it helps alot!


Rev.Chuck 03-21-05 09:21 PM

"Nashbar has em for $1.49 LOL
brake cable hanger "

True, but I buy them three at a time, not, three thousand. AND you would still pay to get it shipped and wait at least two days

mtnbiker66 03-21-05 09:30 PM My LBS.When my son killed his rear wheel, instead of selling me a new one the owner taught him to build his own. I droped him off at the shop on a Sat. morning and he watched freeride videos and learned to build a wheel.Cool place and the best coffee in town!

PWRDbyTRD 03-21-05 10:02 PM

5 bucks @ the LBS versus 1.5 plus 6 dollars for shipping and waiting 6 days...hmm...I don't know

Dougmt 03-21-05 11:56 PM


Originally Posted by PWRDbyTRD
5 bucks @ the LBS versus 1.5 plus 6 dollars for shipping and waiting 6 days...hmm...I don't know

Well, actually I got the hanger, "250" diacompe cable donuts, I think I'm gonna give a bunch away on the stickied, -pay it Forward thread, a new blue water bottle holder for the mrs., and a bunch of carbon headset spacer shipped 2nd day air for $29.00. I WOULD have bought them at the LBS but lets remember that they didn't have them which was half of my problem.... I still saved money AND got the parts I needed.
Trust me, I WISH I had a good LBS... I'd do biz with them. I might not buy stuff like the $119.00 XT crank and BB deal I got from pricepoint at the LBS but, as I told my wife on the drive home from the crummy LBS, I'd certainly buy all of my tubes/tires/cables/brake pads/little part and pieces/handlebar grips/tape/waterbottles/cages/helmets/shoes/ etc....... Sure I ain't gonna make 'em rich but if a shop is good in this regard it seems to be that they would be GREAT selling complete bikes and larger components to folks that aren't savvy enough to buy online. The LBS comes out the winner. A crummy LBS is simply a biz waiting to die. The best bike shop I've encountered so far is one in NC North Dakota. Pretty good group of people but even they seemed to have some sort of a chip on their shoulder. They would DEFINETLY not be a shop that would let you take a bike for anything more that a ride around the block, which I can kind of understand with a smaller shop, but if I were gonna spend much money on a bike I'd expect more. That said my wife DID buy a bike from them and guess how they sized it? Yep, stand over it, do you have room? Great that will be $450.00.
I've always said that it's tough to understand someone else's position unless you stand in their shoes and I've never worked in a bike shop but I have worked in much worse jobs than a LBS, rest assured of that. Maybe LBS folk just get sick of the same 'ol $h!t everyday???? I mean most of what they sell is lower end bikes to soccer moms, their husbands, and kids.... and maybe that gets old after awhile??????
At any rate, it doesn't excuse MY LBS for not having some pretty basic parts on hand-nashbar and fedex will appreciate my biz, that's for sure :-)
PS, PWRDbyTRD, you got a nice website... I wish I was your age again LOL

PWRDbyTRD 03-22-05 12:12 AM


Originally Posted by Dougmt
PS, PWRDbyTRD, you got a nice website... I wish I was your age again LOL

Quit livin' it up like that last fall...I gotta get straightened up and get forreal...get in college, all that good snaz.

Dougmt 03-22-05 12:51 AM

Well if ya need some donuts for that new bike your trying to build up let me know and I'll send ya some... I'll even pick up the 37 cent postage :-)

liv_rong 03-22-05 02:51 AM

Yes TRD your site is pretty damn cool. And this thread wasnt bad at all, I was expecting some fighting and angry typing, but im glad to see it was civilized. I know i havnt done much good contributing to threads like that but i get angry when people call out the shop by name. Good shops are hard to come by. You are a cool guy Dougmt.

kid charlemagne 03-22-05 09:41 AM

I guess I'm really lucky. In my area there are four bike shops in the same town and all of them are no more than a mile or two from each other.

Retro Grouch 03-22-05 09:48 AM

When I owned my own shop I kept all of that stuff in stock. Actually, I didn't even stock the super cheap cables because the good ones cost so very little more.

Now I have to go to local bike shops that only have Dura Ace 9 speed chains, crappy brake pads and I had to get bulk tubes without the packaging because they only have long stem tubes in stock. So guess what? I went broke and they're still in business.

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