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 Post subject: LBS experience.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:51 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:41 pm
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Location: Worcestershire
Oh dear, I tried to hold back but I was just festering with rage inside.

I took one of my Alpinestars to my local (to work) shop to have the headset cups removed prior to painting, the shop was empty with some dweeb stood behind the till area sucking his lip. I approached with 20+ year old frame in hand and told him what I wanted done. I was prepared to part with cash and thought that £5 or even £10 would be just fine as I didn't have the tool (do now) and it was going to the painters the next day.

Dweeb looked at the frame and glazed over, he then asked if I had an appointment, I had lost patience instantly. A bloody appointment, since when did you become a hair dressers I muttered; Dweeb did not see the funny side. Dweeb picked up the diary and offered an appointment in over a week’s time. Luckily I was saved by one of the mechanics who came bounding over saying that he hadn’t seen one of these in years and how much he liked them when they first came out. He took the frame from me and had the cups out in seconds, when I offered him cash for his momentary trouble he just told me to keep it in my pocket. I left the store, smiling at Dweeb as I went who was still looking as if last night’s cannabis was affecting him.
I haven’t been back since.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:51 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:25 pm
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Location: Edinburgh
I'd say a fiver for removing a bottom bracket is pretty standard and cheap by the standards of a lot of places. Especially as for every few that slip straight out there is probably one that is a complete nightmare.


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 Post subject: Re: LBS experience.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:01 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Location: Don't mess with monkeys, man
maverick wrote:
Luckily I was saved by one of the mechanics who came bounding over saying that he hadn’t seen one of these in years and how much he liked them when they first came out. He took the frame from me and had the cups out in seconds

Just out of interest, what sort of tool did he use for that - the type that's a sort of splayed tube you push through from the other side, then back down, and the splayed edges are used to push out the cups?

Or something else?


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 Post subject: Re: LBS experience.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:55 am
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Location: Swansea/Birmingham
maverick wrote:
Luckily I was saved by one of the mechanics who came bounding over saying that he hadn’t seen one of these in years and how much he liked them when they first came out. He took the frame from me and had the cups out in seconds, when I offered him cash for his momentary trouble he just told me to keep it in my pocket. I left the store, smiling at Dweeb as I went who was still looking as if last night’s cannabis was affecting him.


I think that is the way to go in most of the small local shops now, try and speak to the more experienced older guys in the shop and stay away from the spotty teenagers that seem to be jobs worths


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:31 am 
iconoclassic best in show
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Location: Derby
I know it's difficult to make a living these days and I used to be an exploited bike mechanic myself working at Mountain Tamers in Boston ,Lincs in the early 90's (I loved every minute ) the boss wanted us to deal with every request and I believe he was right making the shop a service to the local community as well as selling top line gear...the worst jobs were on bikes from the war years Humbers and Rovers Old fellas would pop into the workshop for a new cotter pin or to have a puncture fixed ,no quick release here ,chain guards rod brakes and Imperial sized rusted up nuts. A typical job would take twenty or thirty minutes ,as long as it would take to build up a Kona out of the box ! And we charged pennies .
That's why I bought these parts from a shop and not off the Internet I want to support a business that employs people and hopefully supports it's community but If I had gone down the other route I would have had these bits cheaper and in half the time ....not sure if I will be so soft in the head next time ?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:35 am 
iconoclassic best in show
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Location: Derby
I seem to have been moved ?
The bits are for a '95 RM Blizzard ???
WTF jobsworths


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:43 am 
iconoclassic best in show
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I guess it won't do from a commercial point of view to have anyone complaining about other 'buisinesses' even if they have had rubbish service !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
- 2012 : Sbike 728, build in progress : 4 days waiting list to swap a crown race from one fork to another.

- 2011 : Bulls Copperhead 3, 25-50 miles since new : Brought the bike in for its first service, and specifically asked LBS to look at strange vibrations from the rear (due to misaligned brake caliper).
The bike came out of that maintenance with even more vibrations and a warped front disc.
Took the bike back in immediately and told them it was worse. A week later I picked it up again ... and there was little improvement.
The bike has been back 4 times in the following 25 miles, all for brake setup issues. I eventually bit the bullet, replaced the brakes completely and sorted the alignment out myself.

- 2008 : Cannondale F6, 300 miles since new : the front brake cable had snapped, so I asked for replacement of all cables.
The bike came back with a different front shifter. LBS claimed that the original one was broken.
Ironically, the original one was used twice in those 300 miles, both times to put it from the middle chainring onto the large one as I left the LBS. If it broke, it broke in their workshop.

- 2007 : Cannondale F6, 200 miles since new : Took the bike to the LBS because one of the V-brake arms didn't want to return to its normal position.
Their mechanic also replaced the Kool Stop pads (which had 20 miles on them) with generic Shimano junk and forgot to put the brake boosters back on. Tried to charge me for the 4 screws he put in instead as well.

- 2007 : Cannondale F6, 20 miles since new : needed complete headset and wheel bearing replacement because they forgot to put grease in there.
LBS tried to claim it was no warranty because I had probably blown it out with a compressor, but I hadn't even washed the bike yet.

- 2004 : Bulls Sport 3.50, 5-60 miles since new : Been back to my LBS 5 times because the BB on a new bike kept loosening.
The 6th time I bought the tool and tightened it myself. Never had a problem with it again (20K+ miles before the bike was stolen)


LBS? Sure, but only to buy the parts or tools I need, provided I can't find them online.


Last edited by Raging_Bulls on Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:12 am 
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Location: Staffordshire
It's tough for bike shops with the advent of the internet, and the expansion of the likes of CRC and Wiggle. If they can't compete on price, they need to go the extra mile to build a customer base....this means service. Especially as bikes and parts are so expensive these days. It we were going to spend a couple.of grand on a new TV, you wouldn't expect to be ignored, not called back etc.

Other retailers seem to be changing in response to customers becoming more savvy, but most bike shops lag way behind. I tend to.see what shops are like with a small purchase first before spending more money there. Things like ordering a mech hanger shouldn't be an issue, if you say you're going to call me back.....do it. It's one thing that really winds me up.

I worked in a shop when I was younger so understand how difficult it can be to cater for everything and everyone, but at least do he easy stuff like calling people back, trying to solve problems. At the shop I worked in, the younger people were generally more helpful because we were still enthusiastic about bikes; some of the older guys no longer rode, had no idea about what people were riding etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:55 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6851
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
I'm very lucky, as my LBS is excellent and I have supported them since they opened around 20 years ago. The owner knows me and I have ridden with some of the staff. The manager used to live in the same road as me and he plus another of the staff were pupils at the school my wife was teaching at.

All of that said, I don't buy everything from them, as they are more expensive than some of the on line stores and more usually they don't have a source for the parts I want. They do supply me with all my consumables though, and have removed the occasional rusted in bottom bracket cup.

We have a second shop in town, I recently visited for the first time as other LBS is closed on Mondays and I wanted some silicone grease. I was immediately struck that I had walked into a generic 'cycle store' and could have been at any of a hundred other locations around the UK. These stores all have the same tyre, nutrition, clothes etc displays and are specifically designed to sell bikes to people who know nothing about bikes. I turned on me heels and left.

We also have a Halfords, where my son worked for a couple of summers. They used to have an excellent mechanic there, who was the only person my son would allow to work on his Boardman road bike. The mechanic was made redundant, and now they have a bike hut full of kids.

The last L(ish)BS is quite new, owned by an enthusiast who stocks what he would buy. The last time I went in, they had a CD of rugby songs playing loudly and had nothing I wanted. I don't think I'll go there again.

Owning a bike shop must be a tough way of making a living these days, as the diversity of styles of bikes is immense, and what do you keep in stock? With a typical MTB or decent road bike easily costing over a grand, you've got to have a decent turnover, or very understanding bank manager, to fill a showroom, plus parts, plus staff etc. It's no wonder so many are turning into generic or chain owned 'stores', but I won't go near the places.

Long live my LBS.


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