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Fixed gear bike shop employees, why don't you know anything about bikes?

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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Fixed gear bike shop employees, why don't you know anything about bikes?

Old 03-13-09, 12:57 AM
  #51  
soul05
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ive been to my lbs once.
i took in a peugeot frame in once cuz i couldnt get the damn bottom bracket cups off. the bike store i went to was pretty high end as they sold many TT and road racing bikes.

"what kind of bottom bracket is this?"
"is this reverse thread?"
"i think its swiss"

...uh guys..its a french threaded 70s peugeot

"ive never seen this before, what kind of tool should i use?"
"i wouldn't recommend this to be a fixed gear"

alright well thanks for getting the cups off for me....i'll probably never come back...
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Old 03-13-09, 01:02 AM
  #52  
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I was bringing my old conversion back to life to sell it to a friend and thought I might buy him a new chainring if I could get it cheap enough since the one it had was a 52t. So i take the crank arm with me to a lbs cause I am not sure the bcd. He measures it and tells me it's 144 and they don't have any of that size.

I take it to another and they remark that they haven't seen any cranks that size in a long time but check through what they have and say they don't have any that size either, but that they'll sell me some new omnium cranks if I want something new for a fixie.

I take it to another shop they say they probably don't but allow me to check through their stock and see. They didn't have any.

Went to another higher end shop and asked if they had anything 144bcd. They actually knew that they didn't.

Went to the last bike shop in the area and he says "oh 144bcd, thats campy right." I tell him no they're sugino. He says ya, but thats campy styling. (the man worships campy stuff. Said the same thing about my miche bb when I brought it in for installation help). He says they don't have anything 144bcd but why even keep the cranks. A new chainring in that size would pretty much be as much as new cranks anyways. He asks another employee where they had those fixie cranks at and shows me some pake cranks. i reply that I know those and he says like it makes a difference, they're all made in the same shop in Taiwan anyways. Needless to say I didn't buy the cranks from him.

All 5 of these shops are downtown within 3 blocks of eachother and none of them had a 144bcd chain ring or even offered to help get me one if I wanted. I felt very let down.
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Old 03-13-09, 01:04 AM
  #53  
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I've seen many boutique type fixed gear shops, they were all about fashion.
I've recently found a real Keirin bike shop in an industrial zone near the Seto Island Bridge in Japan. I took a short cut to the bridge after stopping at a gas station. I was driving on a super narrow street chatting with my girlfriend and something caught my eye in a tiny window front, I stopped and back the car to find a glimpse of heaven. There it was, an electric yellow LOOK track bike and aero wheels. I walked into the shop to see that the whole place was filled with track frames, used handmade track frames!

A huge guy walked out from the back, just from the size of him, I knew he was a retired keirin racer. We talked and I realized that the shop was the real thing. He sold only Dura-Ace cranks, Dura-Ace hubs, everything in the shop was NJS. No frills, no gimmicks, just racing equipment. He handbuilt the wheels himself.

I walked out of the store with a Nitto handlebar and a bunch of souvenirs. He gave me the handlebar! I was probably the first white guy to walk into his store who knew about track racing.
I am going back this week end and I am bringing him some Maple Syrup from Quebec where I am from. I will try to take some pictures.

No more boutique for me, I have found my holy grail!
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Old 03-13-09, 01:15 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by orange-toei View Post
I've seen many boutique type fixed gear shops, they were all about fashion.
I've recently found a real Keirin bike shop in an industrial zone near the Seto Island Bridge in Japan. I took a short cut to the bridge after stopping at a gas station. I was driving on a super narrow street chatting with my girlfriend and something caught my eye in a tiny window front, I stopped and back the car to find a glimpse of heaven. There it was, an electric yellow LOOK track bike and aero wheels. I walked into the shop to see that the whole place was filled with track frames, used handmade track frames!

A huge guy walked out from the back, just from the size of him, I knew he was a retired keirin racer. We talked and I realized that the shop was the real thing. He sold only Dura-Ace cranks, Dura-Ace hubs, everything in the shop was NJS. No frills, no gimmicks, just racing equipment. He handbuilt the wheels himself.

I walked out of the store with a Nitto handlebar and a bunch of souvenirs. He gave me the handlebar! I was probably the first white guy to walk into his store who knew about track racing.
I am going back this week end and I am bringing him some Maple Syrup from Quebec where I am from. I will try to take some pictures.

No more boutique for me, I have found my holy grail!
Sounds like the shop I go to! It's in an industrial area and is run by a former Soviet track champion and team mechanic. No frills (well, he does give my wife chocolate.....) or BS, onlytop notch parts and service for an excellent price.
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Old 03-13-09, 01:31 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by conor View Post
Awesome. Being owned by xkcd is like being bike snobbed.

I love xkcd.
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Old 03-13-09, 03:45 AM
  #56  
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FixedinIA,

I'm going to agree with Mackerel with this one. When I first started to bike, I went to the LBS first before going online. I found a bike I liked, and they were about to set me off with the biggest bike they had! I kept saying that it was uncomfortable to ride, but they kept telling me that it would be too small if I went smaller. I'm 5'9'' and ride a 56, they were about to put me on the equivalent of a 62. Of course I was too stupid to know that you usually are measured to fit a bike.
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Old 03-13-09, 09:24 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by LoRoK View Post
The only fixed gear shop I've ever liked was Yojimbo's Garage back home.

amen

marcus and yojimbos is by far my most favorite bike shop in the chicago area, theyre great guys if you know what youre talking about and dont just come in looking for a fashion bike. they know their stuff and will go out of their way to help you, ive gone in there just to chat it up with them for an hour or two, and end up walking out with a ton of parts.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:25 AM
  #58  
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The good shops have adapted and many have added online sales to their business strategy. They bad shops are being driven out because they are poorly run.
+1

That pretty much nailed it. Good local bike shops are awesome, but they're few and far between.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:37 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by stryper View Post
I was bringing my old conversion back to life to sell it to a friend and thought I might buy him a new chainring if I could get it cheap enough since the one it had was a 52t. So i take the crank arm with me to a lbs cause I am not sure the bcd. He measures it and tells me it's 144 and they don't have any of that size.

I take it to another and they remark that they haven't seen any cranks that size in a long time but check through what they have and say they don't have any that size either, but that they'll sell me some new omnium cranks if I want something new for a fixie.

I take it to another shop they say they probably don't but allow me to check through their stock and see. They didn't have any.

Went to another higher end shop and asked if they had anything 144bcd. They actually knew that they didn't.

Went to the last bike shop in the area and he says "oh 144bcd, thats campy right." I tell him no they're sugino. He says ya, but thats campy styling. (the man worships campy stuff. Said the same thing about my miche bb when I brought it in for installation help). He says they don't have anything 144bcd but why even keep the cranks. A new chainring in that size would pretty much be as much as new cranks anyways. He asks another employee where they had those fixie cranks at and shows me some pake cranks. i reply that I know those and he says like it makes a difference, they're all made in the same shop in Taiwan anyways. Needless to say I didn't buy the cranks from him.

All 5 of these shops are downtown within 3 blocks of eachother and none of them had a 144bcd chain ring or even offered to help get me one if I wanted. I felt very let down.
why? you essentially went into barnes & noble expecting to find an underground comic book.
if you don't have a shop that has at least some track stuff, finding a track chainring in stock is going to be next to impossible.
if anything, you should feel chumped because you bought a standard without researching it.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:38 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by bigvegan View Post
+1

That pretty much nailed it. Good local bike shops are awesome, but they're few and far between.
Yep, I'll take a fewer number of better shops over having a half-assed shop on every street corner.

FWIW, supporting a variety of online shops is fundamentally no different than supporting a variety of local shops. Not all OBSs are huge corporations. Many of then are LBSs and other small companies, but with an online store. OBSs are usually higher quality and more competatively priced on average compared to LBSs.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:39 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by orange-toei View Post
I am going back this week end and I am bringing him some Maple Syrup from Quebec where I am from. I will try to take some pictures.
this is the coolest thing i've read today.

pretty rad, take pics. sounds like a cool shop.
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Old 03-13-09, 12:13 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by orange-toei View Post
I've recently found a real Keirin bike shop in an industrial zone near the Seto Island Bridge in Japan.... the shop was the real thing.
Okay - that sounds like one shop that I truly hope stays open forever.
I wish they were all like that.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:30 PM
  #63  
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zsm

sounds like i got lucky then. There are three bike shops in my town, 4 if you count the retail sports store (they have a pretty big bike section, repair shop, etc. but don't have a lot of variety, lots of high end road bikes). Two are alright, but there is a small, independent shop that is excellent. He helped me get into fixed gear, gave me tons of advice, and will teach me how to do repairs/maintenance that I don't know how to do. I recently bought a Kona MTB from him, and he fitted me properly. It's a shame there aren't more shops like this around, I buy almost everything for biking from him. I'd much rather support the small independent business owner than a chain, or online. I understand that there aren't decent shops everywhere, but the demise of all LBSs? I'll do my part to keep my shop in business.
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Old 03-14-09, 12:48 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by birthdaytronic View Post
Apex Cycles in Davis is an incredible bike shop - puts all the other bike shops in town to shame. For a bike-centric town, Davis only has a few solid bike stores.
+1
I try to buy used (I can do most of the work on my bike myself or at school with the tools I have access to there), but if I'm buying new I like to go there (of course, I rarely do because I live in another city). That dude has been really helpful.
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Old 03-14-09, 12:51 AM
  #65  
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Old 03-18-09, 08:12 AM
  #66  
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I went to two bike shops in de and asked if they had a quill stem. Both shops were aghast that I could possibly want some out dated relic and proceeded to explain that NO ONE uses threaded anymore. Both shops did not have even one stem that is compatible with a threaded fork. The one was more than happy to sell me a threaded headset though. haha
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