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what is the worst thing you've ever heard at a bike store?

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what is the worst thing you've ever heard at a bike store?

Old 07-30-10, 09:08 AM
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Inertianinja
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what is the worst thing you've ever heard at a bike store?

some bike stores give bad information. i notice this more and more. I will start:

(1) girlfriend went into a store shopping for a steel frame. guy was an aluminum frame builder, he told her that aluminum is actually more flexible and more comfortable than steel. okay, i disagree, but maybe that one could be subjective.

(2) father was having some chafing issues on his new bike, i told him to check out chamios cream. he went to the store, and the owner told him that chamios cream was only used "back in the day" when riders wore leather shorts on bikes, but no such product is used "nowadays."

(3) this has happened to multiple people around me - they get sold a bike, and when they ask how the gears work, the store guy tells them to "leave the gears on 1 and 7" or something like that. the rider then NEVER switches gears, despite being on a hybrid with 21 speeds.


side note on number (2), the next time i saw my father i gave him a few sample packs of Chamios Butt'r that i had lying around.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:10 AM
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"this bike will fit you just fine" - usually said no matter what the size is.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:12 AM
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I've posted this before:

I went to Performance with my sister to help her buy a cheap bike, but let her deal with the salesmen and just stood off observing, making sure she wasn't getting bad info. She asked about the difference between mens and womens bikes. The salesman told her the difference was that womens bikes have wider seats to accommodate their wider hips, no mention of different geometry. Then he went on to explain why women have wider hips. This involved talking about birthing children and mention of her uterus.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:15 AM
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"no the pedal threads do not need to be greased"

"sure the shimano 9 speed chain pin will work on your 10 speed chain".

When i told the guy he is wrong according to shimano tech docs, he said, "Well, I'm more of a mountain bike guy. I'm not aware of road bikes". 2 weeks later I went back to get something else and overheard him talking to another customer saying, "Well, I'm a roadie so I'm not certain on some mountain bike stuff."
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Old 07-30-10, 09:18 AM
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I used to work in a bikeshop, so my perspective is somewhat skewed...
a prominent judge comes into our shop, who is also know as bit of a dick...with two old-ass Campy aluminium tubular wheels with loose cones, and not-so-buttery-smooth bearings

"yeah, I want new tires on this two wheels please. can you do it while I wait?"
"well as you can see sir, we are pretty busy, it's Saturday?"
"okay, that's fine, I can wait half hour, that should be enough time, you guys are fast right?
"yes, we are, but it's also a set of tubulars, so we have to clean the old glue, and put new glue on, wait till that dries and get it so the tube is nice and centre on the rim, it's at least a 2.5 hour job"
"I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE FU*K you are saying, glue? What FUC*ing glue? I've never heard this trash, you just put the tubulars on and inflate them."
"Um, no sir, you glue the tires on so when you go around the corner, tubulars don't roll off in one direction and you the other"
"You don't know what you are talking about, I want to talk to someone older" *I go find the other mechanic, who is much more caustic than I and promptly said he won't even do it w/o glue.
"Sir, if you look at your old rims, there is GLUE on it."
"yeah I don't know why that is, the guys I took these to get done in the past never put no glue on. HOw would it hold anyway"
"um, sir, have you ever stuck around to watch them do it?"
"no"
"well..."
"it's the way of a true road racer"
"I see...are you a true racer? Were your friends? Are any of them still alive?"

*grumble cakes*
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Old 07-30-10, 09:18 AM
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There's always two sides. most shop rats and owners aren't very good communicators. They say things in ways that come off poorly. I can almost assure you that 1 - esoteric discussion - talknig to a frame builder so bias will be the tone of the conversation 2. odds are the owner was complaining about it being CALLED chamois cream because we no longer use actual chamois like we used to. He also may have been trying to say that he doesn't believe that anyone should really need cream anymore because of the modern chamois........or he meant what was said and relayed to you in which case he's a fool. He should have tried some....I know a great brand

As for the stupidest thing I have heard in a shop....

Manager at a Performance retail location: "I'm not showing you how to adjust those brakes. Come back in like October." It was like May.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
There's always two sides. most shop rats and owners aren't very good communicators. They say things in ways that come off poorly. I can almost assure you that 1 - esoteric discussion - talknig to a frame builder so bias will be the tone of the conversation 2. odds are the owner was complaining about it being CALLED chamois cream because we no longer use actual chamois like we used to. He also may have been trying to say that he doesn't believe that anyone should really need cream anymore because of the modern chamois........or he meant what was said and relayed to you in which case he's a fool. He should have tried some....I know a great brand

As for the stupidest thing I have heard in a shop....

Manager at a Performance retail location: "I'm not showing you how to adjust those brakes. Come back in like October." It was like May.
I think you're stretching imagination to give them the benefit of the doubt like that.
maybe the Performance guy meant that the brakes were fine and he didn't want the customer messing around with them.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:25 AM
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i wanted to buy a bike but it was the wrong length stem. i know all my measurements from a comfortable well fit bike. the manager says no he will not change the stem to a longer one. I'll have to buy the bike as is and buy another stem.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:28 AM
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I don't go to bike shops anymore if I can help it.

All the bike brains are on BikeForums.

Right?
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Old 07-30-10, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I don't go to bike shops anymore if I can help it.

All the bike brains are on BikeForums.

Right?
no. i stopped going to big chain stores after i found one little owner managed shop where the owner is the mechanic and he takes pride in his work. i let him do the messy stuff i don't want to do. like annual wheel service.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:37 AM
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Was looking at road bikes in a store, and the salesman told me "Cervelos are 15% faster than any other bike out there". A year later, I saw him win a Cat4/5 criterium race on a Cannondale...
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Old 07-30-10, 09:38 AM
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This one's not so much about bad advice from the shop but an uninformed consumer... I witnessed the owner of a shop get into an argument with a customer about putting air into the tires. The customer was convinced she needed new tubes because they were going flat. When asked if she checked the air pressure or ever added air to them, the customer was flabbergasted that one would need to perform such an act. My favorite was the closing line as she stormed out of the store: "If you have to add air to the tires, you should really be telling customers that!" And maybe the shop should be more thorough with new customers but it was still entertaining.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:40 AM
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Old 07-30-10, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
I think you're stretching imagination to give them the benefit of the doubt like that.
maybe the Performance guy meant that the brakes were fine and he didn't want the customer messing around with them.
True - just saying I can usually understand what made them say the stupid stuff...doesn't mean the statement wasn't still a stupid one.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:41 AM
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my neighbour was asking me about his tyres going soft. i asked him when was the last time he pumped them up and he said 9 months ago. yikes. he didn't even have a pump.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:48 AM
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About 7 years ago I was looking to replace my vintage (late 80's) Diamondback MTB and wasn't sure if I wanted another MTB or transition to a road bike. After explaining how I use my MTB on the local hike & bike trail and on the street, the sales guy said "Well...with MTB's you have drive somewhere to get to the trails, whereas with a road bike, you just go out your driveway and start your ride!".

I had just explained to the guy how I use my MTB (from my house). I ended up buying another MTB off eBay and was VERY happy with it until it was stolen a couple of years later. I went the road route and in the first year discovered that I put my road bike into the car to get to group rides and events a LOT more than I ever did my MTB...and I always think about that guy's comment everytime I load up my roadie.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:49 AM
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Me: Hi, I need a Sora triple FD.
Shop: Sora doesn't come in triple, Tiagra does though.
Me: I JUST checked the Shimano website before coming here, Sora DOES come in triple.
Shop: No it doesn't.
Me: Let me ask a different question, what do you have in stock?
Shop: Tiagra.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:53 AM
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Here's one...

I head into a bike store that does free check for a charity ride. The mechanic proceeds to mention, "Really nice vintage bike you got here. Nice to see some people keep older steel bikes, not the crap you see in carbon fibre bikes."

The shop sells Scott CF road race bikes.

I own both steel and CF.


or two..

During the charity ride, I decided to use my BMC and didn't have the inspection form with me. I didn't want bike shops to touch my bike anyway but it couldn't be avoided. So when i took the BMC to get inspected, it was some kid, probably 18 or 19 years old performing the inspection.
"Nice bike."
"Yeah. I hope you know what you're doing." I cringe.
He puts the bike on the stand and tries to lightly clamp it down on the top tube. (You can't because the cross section is a "T".)
He goes through the gears, bike keeps wiggling off the clamp. (This happens several times.)
I cringe. (This happens several times.)
Proceeds to check the pedals with a traditional pedal wrench, but it doesn't fit.
"Yeah, you need an allen key on the other side," I pointed out.
Looks for the allen key but couldn't find one big enough for Look Keo2Max pedals.
Second older guy tries to look for it, gives up and tries the pedal wrench.
They're both dumbfounded.

At this point I just think, "Just check off the checklist."

Young mech. then proceed to check the tires.
"I've done all the checks this morning." I tell him.

Young mechanic proceeds to do a visual on the bike and check off the list, knowing that he doesn't know how to inspect it because it's too new for him.

"Thanks." I leave after 20 minutes.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
i wanted to buy a bike but it was the wrong length stem. i know all my measurements from a comfortable well fit bike. the manager says no he will not change the stem to a longer one. I'll have to buy the bike as is and buy another stem.
This is fairly common. Wish they would. My buddy got it the worst though. Bought a new Madone 6.9 and needed a longer stem. $250.00
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Old 07-30-10, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dstrong View Post
About 7 years ago I was looking to replace my vintage (late 80's) Diamondback MTB and wasn't sure if I wanted another MTB or transition to a road bike. After explaining how I use my MTB on the local hike & bike trail and on the street, the sales guy said "Well...with MTB's you have drive somewhere to get to the trails, whereas with a road bike, you just go out your driveway and start your ride!".

I had just explained to the guy how I use my MTB (from my house). I ended up buying another MTB off eBay and was VERY happy with it until it was stolen a couple of years later. I went the road route and in the first year discovered that I put my road bike into the car to get to group rides and events a LOT more than I ever did my MTB...and I always think about that guy's comment everytime I load up my roadie.
That would apply here. It's about 15 miles to the nearest decent MTB trail, but all the group rides I do start within 5 miles so I just ride there.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:04 AM
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I feel for most shop rats. They're usually male, late teens, early 20's, not exactly a prime combo for empathy and a willingness to admit what one doesn't know, let alone ask for help. And it's not as if bike shops run week-long training courses in customer service for their new employees.

When my wife was in the market for a new road bike this year, she visited a shop owned and operated by a husband and wife. The female owner was behind the counter, while an early-20's salesman was "helping" my wife pick out a couple models to test ride. My wife was there specifically for something plush and steel. Every time the salesman made a boneheaded comment about geometry and pulled an aluminum racing bike off the rack, my wife said she could see the owner shaking her head and her body language getting more frustrated. Eventually the owner politely intervened, sent the salesman to move boxes or something, and apologized.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:06 AM
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"It's not worth my time to deal wtih people that want entry level bikes"

The person that made this comment to me is no longer in business.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by go4gr8 View Post
He goes through the gears, bike keeps wiggling off the clamp. (This happens several times.)
I cringe. (This happens several times.)
That's borderline child abuse right there. You gotta stop them before they hurt your baby.

I've had good luck with bike tech on charity rides, but I still ask: you're not going to clamp it, are you? I usually get a knowing smile, and a head shake.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:13 AM
  #24  
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Don't know .. I haven't been to one in years,that's what the internet is for . Bike shops are as sleazy as car dealerships.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:19 AM
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