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It's OK to go to a bike shop. They won't rob you and/or kill you.

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It's OK to go to a bike shop. They won't rob you and/or kill you.

Old 04-28-10, 11:03 PM
  #176  
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Originally Posted by carleton
Ruining one tool to use it as another tool is not a good idea.

Spoons are not tire levers. Butter knives are not screwdrivers.
It's not ideal, but the steel tire levers most LBSes use are not much better than spoon handles. Mostly they are worse, actually.

Besides, as I said, one can use their hands with excellent results. Even I, with my tiny-girly-weak little fingers can do it every single time, usually faster than using tire levers.
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Old 04-30-10, 07:20 AM
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LBS's are great things. Now, of course there are bicycle shops that are not good - do not return to such shops. Period. I will stand beside you and clap loudly when bad bicycle shops flush down the toilet. Being in business is not a right - it is something that is earned.

If you can/want to do your own bicycle work/repairs then you should. I promise you that the owners of and workers at your LBS do not go home and stick pins in voodoo dolls with blank faces and little T-shirts that read "people I see with bikes that don't come to our shop". Doing your own work is a good thing. Get stuck with something or need parts to do your own work? Go to your LBS. They'll happily help you/sell to you.

If you go to your LBS expect to pay full price for products (no matter how long you've been going there) and expect to pay for labor. If this bothers you:

1. Next Monday go to work and tell your boss you want to continue to work but no longer want to be paid. You are doing what you do out of love. You want to work 50 hours a week for them for free. You'll find another way to keep food on the table.

2. When you tell your boss you will work for free also tell him/her you feel everything your company sells or produces should be sold at or very near cost. Profit mongering goes against what you are about. Do not let this topic go. Make appointments to see your entire management chain and forward this agenda for as long as it takes for it to happen.

In other words, walk the walk before you talk the talk.

Supporting a good LBS is no different than supporting any good local business. Pay a little more and get a lot more in return. Good LBS's are customer oriented. I walk into mine and pour a cup of coffee, grab a Cliff Bar, burp, scratch myself and spend money. It works.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:04 PM
  #178  
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I thought it would be good to dig this thread because it still seems that a bike shop is not even an option for so many still...
Let me first say that I'm cheap but despite that, I do most of my shopping at bike shops. Here in Tokyo, I visit about ten of them for different things, to buy all sorts of bike related things from used small parts to new, I don't need stuff but I want it cause I think it looks cool and I know the price doesn't justify what it is. But in Tokyo bike shops are like McDonald's there is nearly one on every corner. And just like the states, most of them are BAD. Despite that it is essential for us to find a quality bike shop if not several even if you have to travel(by bike, train, or car) to get to them.
Before living in Tokyo, I lived in the suburbs of Chicago and would have to drive to Chicago or take the Metra out on weekends to get anything fixed gear related or I would ride an hour and 30 minutes away to other burbs to get general stuff. Again, there is a lot of bad bike shops out there but it's worth it to find a good one. I found even more so in the burbs, in shops that didn't carry anything fixed gear related that the mechanics themselves usually had a singlespeed mountain bike or track bike that they were building up, as well as a geared mountain bike and/or road bike and just loved bikes in general and if they didn't know, they tried to find out. So there is hope out there.

Yes, they may be more expensive but a good one is worth the additional cost. You should know how to change your tires and adjust your bits but if you don't have the tools and know how to do certain things, take it to a bike shop and learn how to. Watch them do it if they are not busy and ask questions if they have time to answer, and the next time if you want to DIY, have them point you to the tools you will need to do the job or ask if they have loaner tools. You could also buy books, etc. Biking is a great hobby/sport, but the internet is only one source of information and a great source at that but bike shops have been around long before this forum. Again it may take some time to find a good one but they do exist, from the tiniest shop possible or the walmart of bike shops, they are out there.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:44 PM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by Mos6502
If you go into a bike shop and don't know how to do something, everybody will laugh at you once you leave.
This is true. Happened to me when I was just getting into cycling. Have I gone back to that shop? Hell no.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:53 PM
  #180  
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Its never right for you to be blamed if you do not know something.
Well its not wise at all.

Saying that the sellers would laugh at you after you have left the shop is the other concept that I will not agree with at all. A wise seller would never do that at all!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-24-11, 12:38 AM
  #181  
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It's just shop talk. Happens in any field.

Take IT for example, if someone cannot access their e-mail because of a proxy or numbers. Dudes be laffin when they leave.

Respectful, though, not laffin in the face.
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Old 08-24-11, 08:07 AM
  #182  
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I went into a shop once looking for a bell for my commuter bike. After looking at their selection for 5-10 minutes without getting anybody interested in talking to me (everyone in the store was just standing around shooting the **** eating chips - it was a Friday afternoon, but they didn't close for another hour), I went over and asked one of the guys if any of their bells would fit a 31.8 mm bar. He said they didn't have any because why would anyone want to put one on that part of the bar. I asked if he knew if anyone made one that would and he's like "no, why don't you go check the internet?" in a real [feminine hygiene product]-y way. Sure I did happen to be wearing a nashbar jersey, but the dude had never met me before and his shop was on my commute home, so I passed it every day and was willing to consider shopping in there from time to time as it would be a convenient place to pick up my tubes and consumables as needed. I did end up buying a bell that fit my needs on the interwebz, but I would have bought it from him (I already knew one existed and it was a QBP product) if he's been willing to be at all helpful. Guess I'll stick to going to the one that's a bit out of my way and doesn't have the most conveneent hours, but where the folks seem nice enough.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:12 PM
  #183  
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I in no way think anyone should just support a bad business just because its local. So if a shop has a bunch of unhelpful feminine hygiene product- bags, then don't support them at all. I don't support bad local businesses, only good ones. Bad ones can die a flaming death and be replaced by something else.
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Old 08-25-11, 12:06 AM
  #184  
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Went to my local LBS today and somehow foot straps for cages are cheaper than/on par with leather ones online. Go figure. And I was certain they would fit my clips before I left. So I talked for like 20 minutes about a Panasonic that my friend picked up off craigslist that had a Johnnie's Bikes (their store) sticker on it from probably the late 80s which had this weird freewheel on the cranks that lets you shift while coasting. Cool stuff. Compared some prices on brake/derailleur cables. Overall a more fun experience than ordering from amazon. I would say being in a bike shop > not being in a bike shop, as long as there's cool stuff to browse and not-******y people to chat with.
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Old 08-25-11, 11:39 AM
  #185  
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I confess that I only go down to ye olde bikee shoppe when I need wheels trued or spoke tension adjusted. But when I do go, they are cool guys even though they know I am a jackass that drives a loud japanese convertible with no emissions equipment and rides a converted steel road bike.
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Old 08-26-11, 03:41 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by carbondated

As for your claim that you know more than certified mechanics...welcome to the answer for why you don't get on well with shops.
+1

working at a LBS people like this annoy the **** out of me, if you can do everything yourself go buy a stand and do it yourself at home
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Old 08-26-11, 05:29 PM
  #187  
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Funny seeing this topic, as I've had a couple of friends have a slew of issues with their local shops lately.

Beyond the usual "laughing at the new guy" stuff, and whatever about that stuff. Laugh at the new guy if you want, but don't be surprised if he doesn't come back.

But one of my friends who ordered a nice Pista for himself from his local dealer, to have the cog slip on the very first ride- inexcusable

And on the next ride, had his drop bars come loose due to an improperly tightened face plate- completely inexcusable

Or, today, when he took it in to get a different headset installed, and got his bike back with all slack taken out of the chain- inexcusable (and, why? did the mech **** it up the first time, or did he just feel like tinkering?)

Then there is my other friend, who noticed a wobble in the left pedal of the salsa he bought from a local shop to find that the pedal was installed improperly, cross-threading the threads on the NDS crank arm.

How do you **** up a pedal installation anyway?

Then there's the local bike coop, a real fountain of wisdom. Real "700c rims are bigger than 27" rims" wisdom, real "i put some Neats foot oil on my Brooks and then tossed it in the oven for a bit to soften it up" wisdom.

Yeah, it's OK to go to a bike shop. There are shops out there that do wonderful work and are filled with wonderful, passionate employees. But there are some people out there that also do really poor work.
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Old 08-26-11, 07:14 PM
  #188  
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i have ordered very little bike related stuff online because i believe in supporting local business, even at a small premium. i have a shop close to my home[i live outside the core] and a shop downtown toronto i patronize. i choose these shops not because they have provided the best service[the service is great tho] to me in the past but because they didnt act like cycling was a secret club when i was first getting into it.

something i would like to mention is i find it extremely embarrassing when i go into a shop for the bike mechanic to talk to about a technical aspect of the bike like it is the space shuttle. i mean no disrespect to the bike mechanics on this forum when i say this but if you are that bike mechanic there are many tradespeople out there who do much more complex mechanical and technical things everyday at work. making the most perfect[yet simple] machine in the world sound like something from NASA makes you look ignorant and arrogant. even the most complex technical repairs related to the bicycle pale in comparison to some of the basic tasks conducted by others on a day to day at work. so please, if you are that bike mechanic, stop doing that.

also, i would like to mention that a hand built wheel by a great wheel builder is such a joy that buying a pre-built wheelset isnt even on my radar anymore. i really appreciate the artform of building a perfect wheel and i like the idea of having someone craft it for me personally. i have a set of 32h 105/velocitys i had laced at prev mentioned shop downtown and i have absolutely abused the hell out of them for 3 years now. mileage unknown but my commute is 60kms roundtrip so, like, alot. just last week the rear finally started to show a 1/2mm of runout.

Last edited by 91MF; 08-26-11 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 08-27-11, 09:00 AM
  #189  
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Originally Posted by carleton
Hey, man, there are some folks that don't know how to change the oil in their car either. Or cut their own hair, or make their own steak dinner. To each his own.
I can do all of these things for myself quite well. In preperation for the zombie apocalypse, I've also taught myself carpentry, gardening and home-brewing.

...now if I could just figure out this wheel truing thing
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Old 08-27-11, 09:07 AM
  #190  
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here's what my LBS is good for:
-advice, certified mechanics who work with bikes every day have much better advice to give than most folks online
-headset cup install/removal
-wheel building
-reaming, tapping, threading, cutting, chasing, facing
-and most parts are actually cheaper at my LBS than they are online (especially when you count for shipping costs) - almost anything I find online that my LBS doesn't carry, I can have ordered from the LBS in 2-3 days and I pay no shipping

the internet is good for entertainment and finding vintage ****, that's pretty much it
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Old 08-28-11, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mos6502
If you go into a bike shop and don't know how to do something, everybody will laugh at you once you leave.
good one dip*****. dealing with the ignorant is something that happens every 5 minutes. nobody ever thinks less of a customer that comes in looking for help. they are, after all coming in for HELP
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Old 09-06-11, 09:45 AM
  #192  
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There are literally 10 bike shops within a 20 block radius in my neighborhood.

Wanna hear a good? $17 to fix a flat. One place wants $20. LMAO

Not sure where you're from but many are indeed looking to rip off people.
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Old 09-06-11, 01:06 PM
  #193  
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we have three bike shops:

-one full of riders that love to geek w/ customers, but do crappy builds.

-one that just wants to get paid and every time you ask a question it's "let me get you a catalog".

-one with a great technical crew, highest prices, best selection and "doing you a favor" attitude.

i bought my first fixed from the first one. great guys, knew exactly what i was talking about. went for a first ride and the cog/ring was finger tight and there wasn't a tight bolt anywhere on the bike. i complained and they were very apologetic. gave me a $50 gift certificate.

moral? i'm going to learn to do as much as i can on my own, but i'm glad there's a shop i can go to w/ questions if i get in trouble.
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Old 09-06-11, 09:07 PM
  #194  
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My local bike shop went out of business, so my brother and I (mostly my brother) repair people's bikes in our community for a nominal fee. There is little demand for a full fledged shop, so we basically just fix flats and do check-and-adjust type stuff. I wish there was more of a cycling scene in the area.
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Old 09-06-11, 09:20 PM
  #195  
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My LBS just got a new Black Cinelli Vigorelli in my size!!!!! OMFG. If they had that in stock when I was looking for a new aluminum frame I would have shat my pants then given them all my credit cards and my social security card. I got my frame at a LBS to someone in San Francisco, at least I didn't get it online from a big warehouse, but I still would have loved to support the shop that's 3 blocks away from my house.
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