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AlbertaBeef 06-11-12 08:08 PM

There's also a mobile service - the guys at bring an entire bike shop to their customers...

Mr_Pacman 02-15-13 10:08 AM

Can anyone give a "rule of thumb" for a % discount on a new bike in Calgary (Bow Cycle to be exact) in the $800 price range?

I want to be respectful of the sales rep helping me, but at the same time don't want to leave money on the table. What is a reasonable discount to ask without offending anybody?

rc211 05-23-13 10:17 PM

they all suck imo. after getting my cables done so badly at ... i decided to do it myself mailorder the parts and get joes garage to do what i cannot. i am finding that anything outside owner operator
type bike shops really suck and have very rudimentary stock/knowledge.

Buglady 05-27-13 05:43 PM


Originally Posted by rc211 (Post 15660948)
they all suck imo. after getting my cables done so badly at ... i decided to do it myself mailorder the parts and get joes garage to do what i cannot. i am finding that anything outside owner operator
type bike shops really suck and have very rudimentary stock/knowledge.

I am curious where you had a bad experience... I'm now working as a mechanic at MEC. I love doing cables & housing because they can make such a huge difference very quickly and cheaply. But we're swamped at the moment, as are a lot of other shops. Funny how many people wait till May to get their bikes looked at!

rc211 06-05-13 04:48 PM

starts with; the

(they kept my cable ferrules that was with the wire package, took my built in lever ferrules, nicked a cable shield and charged me a hun and bs'ed me on the delay)

Couple of things that get me about calgary shops not in order;

1. they offer the same product at all the shops. Why not differentiate and offer different brands? (bike bike kind of does this)
2. the pricing is way off for parts. vittoria evos at $80-85 each for example. 1 entry level mavic with a 105 hub for the online price of a custom hand built wheelset with ultegras.
3. they don't know anything and do shotty work.
4. they give attitude if you do not conform and ask for standard stuff, Double butted spokes? alloy nipples on non-drive side? what?
5. NEVER ever call you back if you want to order anything- offer to give them your CC or pay in advance, tell them the distributor- phone the distributor yourself ask if they have an account and stock, call the shop tell them this. NO call back.

MEC, is about the best of the worst.
At least I expect no one to know anything let alone even ride a bike, and second if staff give slight attitude or demonstrate grossly incorrect knowledge its nice to be able to help them out or point out stock they say they don't have. I liken it to self service with an annoying salesperson beside you. But Calgary is like that, you have to beg to give people money here. Especially in bike world.

I also patronize mec because I want all the other indie shops to die and close up.

I am sick of shopping local if they don't give me top notch expert advice because I can come here or google it and buy the part online for far less with free or cheap shipping. How can I go from zero to rebuilding an entire bike in 2 months when a guy who owns a shop knows squat about the product line he is carrying?

ryker 06-06-13 08:21 AM

As a counterpoint to the last post I'll say I've received a tremendous amount of good service from Calgary bike shops. Bow Cycle, Calgary Cycle, Campione, Ridley's and Vita Sport are in my area and have all done well by me. I have eight bikes in the garage and have had twice that in the last five years so, just as a product of statistics, I've had a few poor experiences. No shop ever gave me attitude about making something right. I actually consider Calgary blessed in terms of bike shops.

The biggest issue with bike shops in Calgary is the load factor. Calgary is one of the most active cities in North America with one of the shortest summer seasons. As a datapoint Calgary MEC does more volume than Vancouver in spite of less square footage. So shops have to hire seasonal labour to cope. There is sometimes a knowledge/skill deficit with seasonal staff but at the same time they are great folks. I guess my starting point is a person attracted to the bike industry is automatically a person I could hang out with.

If you want to put my comments in context I am a UBI trained mechanic, DT Swiss certified wheelbuilder and hold different certifications from Shimano. I have never been employed by a Calgary bike shop. I am a custom wheelbuilder that deals online mostly ( though I'm always thrilled to work with local Calgary riders.

rc211 06-07-13 01:02 PM

Ryker has a biased opinion- as a business he would love referrals and cannot slam LBS's besides its not professional.

On the other hand I don't make money from bike related anything and slam the hell out of shoddy service.

In fact it is more expensive for me to work on my own bike than to pay someone to do it, so its not like I am some cheap skate or bike weirdo perfectionist. Just make it run and do it so it lasts is where my expectation level is.

I have seen rykers site, his calculators are tops- anyone that puts that much time into something like that must do good work- but I have no first hand knowledge of him or know anyone that has worked with him. None of the bike shops I have spoken to mention him- they do wheels to so its not in their best interest even if they did know.

Its too bad I learned of him prior to placing a custom online order for new rims, I like owner operator outfits. New excuse to get another bike with old rims and try him out.

Like today I just ordered a new set of tires online, free shipping from the UK and it was instant.
Unlike a LBS shop that I called 4 days ago asking for a tire to order in that they are dealers for- would prepay- no call back. Typical for 1995 but not 2013. "Oh please sir, can I give you money, please please I beg of you good kind sir to order me tires."

Sorry, I am the customer, I am paying you, and until that changes, you call me and be at my service. PERIOD. I have to bend over in my job so you should too.

So too bad, money has left the country, that's the new economy.
LBS's and country distributors will be toast in 5-10 years tops. Retail prices will never be better because you cut out the middle man. The benefit is honest guys doing what they love with superior knowledge, like this guy above and local bike mechs.

Jack's ABC 08-07-15 11:01 AM

Weird, I went in to Bow for exactly the same a 44cm shallow drop handlebar which they had none of in stock and walked out with a second hand hydraulic disk brake for $10 to fix one I busted.

Vitasport - Campy only

Tuxedo - yes mean well. They did however install my headset cups upside down grrrr. Not going back.

Calgary Cycle - Very mixed

Ridley - Sometimes most arrogant bike shop around. Went in told and was told by sales staff they have everything. Asked for a cycling cap and the sales staff did not know what I was looking for. Last visit Travis sales manager gave me absolutely great service including a test ride with out wanting anything as collateral.

BikeShop - depends...

Cyclepath South - Just bought a new RM Thuderbolt their. Helpful but useless service. Asked them to swap levers around and having dropped $3k plus they demanded $11 and lost all my good will. Oh and checked tyre pressure at home not even at 20lbs. Now need to borrow shock pump to check that..... grrrrr

Lifesport - slowly giving up.... They do much better as cross country ski shop these days.

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