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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:25 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:16 pm
Posts: 4337
Bromley Bike Co, my LBS, have been excellent to me. I've often asked for advice and they've let me watch how they do certain things, like fitting headsets so that I can do it in the future. They know that I'll come back for the essentials so whilst they may not get as much service £££ from me, they will on Park Tools and such.

Since this is about poor service, I have to mention these jokers at London Bridge:

http://www.onyourbike.com/

Not only are their prices astronomical, feeding off the folks with too much money and not enough skill, but their workshop leaves a lot to be desired. I only use them if I absolutely have to and sadly I needed them a couple of weeks ago when I had some rear mech issues.

They replaced it but the set up was totally ****; slippage, skipping, grinding, you name it, it was going on. I had replaced the big ring, cassette and chain the week before so it had nothing to do with worn parts. After a horrible 12 miles home, I took it all apart and set it up properly; they'd messed about with cable length, stuck an extra 5 links into the chain along with another quick link but worse of all, added a spacer between the frame and rear cassette causing stress on the frame and bearing (hence the grinding). This was completely unnecessary, a total botch job.

I sent the spacer back to them in the post with a "polite" note asking that their workshop monkeys to be taken back to the zoo. I haven't had a response as yet.

AVOID AVOID AVOID :!:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:47 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:32 pm
Posts: 1953
Location: Staffordshire
As said by someone else said, it must be tough with such a diverse range of bikes and parts. The old Rock Shox range was easy to stock....3 Indy's, 3 Judy's and a pair of downhill forks. Now there are three hundred steered variations etc. None of this is an excuse for poor service....not stocking everything is one thing, but not calling, ignoring customers etc is just plain bad.

The shop I worked in took no account of the local riding scene which was pretty DH orientated so lots loads of sales; no single rings, no chain devices, no short stems, no DH tyres etc. Madness. Even the staff bought stuff from CRC!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:16 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 276
In the name of balance I have to say my LBS is brilliant (Cowleys in Northallerton). On the whole little jobs get done, if not there and then, usually within a couple of hours. It helps that I regularly pop in there for bits and to get jobs done that I can't tackle myself (wheel truing being the main one).

I have, before now, though experienced the worst of LBSs, the most memorable being the one in the last town I lived in. Unless you were a Cat2 or above racer and wanted some exotica costing north of £2k he wasn't interested in helping you. Needless to say I only went there a couple of times, and at least one of those times was to buy some tools to do the job myself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:25 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Posts: 9719
Location: Skipton
My favourite LBS is very good on the whole. Same problem competing with the interweb but they are always happy to talk through bike problems and have fixed quite a few small jobs for free as well as giving me a Shimano fm spacer for nothing when CRC wanted £5 for it. I got my original 1989 Tufftrax from there but it's changed owners a few times since then.

The other local LBS has also been about since it stocked the 1990 Alpinestars range. The same bloke runs it although he's changed shops a few times. He's still a grumpy git who is no help what so ever. Wouldn't trust him to put a chain on tbh. A bloke up the road took a bso to him saying he was going to sell it so he'd like it given a tune up. Said bike shop charged nearly £100 for a few new cables and a squirt of wd40 instead of telling him he'd be better saving his money and chucking the bike out. Bloke up the road was not happy when I told him I could have done the work for free and he'd be lucky to get £30 for the bike. :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:50 am 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 2784
My most local LBS is great.... the guys that work there are all good blokes, always happy to help, are active locally in cycling events in the community, have done work for me for free, have given me free parts (admittedly some have been out the bin.... chainrings for my SS set-ups, but given a brand new sachs chain the other week, and colour coded cable crimps when finishing a build), always give me a discount on parts that I buy (tenner for a £15 seatpost?), and only charge labour when doing any wheel work (£15 for a rear wheel build and dish)

I know another poster on RB goes there too, as I have seen his Hei Hei in there


Cannot recommend Ken Fosters enough



G


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 Post subject: Re: LBS experience.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:31 pm 
Gold Trader
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 982
Location: Worcestershire
Neil wrote:
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?


As you described Neil, the splayed tube thingy, I now have one. Came out in 2 hits with the required Birmingham Screwdriver. Saved from saying something really truthful to the Dweeb by the mechanic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:50 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:16 pm
Posts: 8658
Cultivate a relationship with a LBS and its staff and you can do quite well. I used to get free labour on some of my old bikes purely because the guy liked old stuff and the odd freebie :D
Unfortunately others can be rip off merchants. One guy who owns a roadbike specialist shop looked me straight in the eye and said seatpost shims dont exist, I must be mistaken, you need a correct diameter post which in his shop started in the £30 plus area :shock:
I told him this was rubbish and he was mistaken and left.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:19 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:54 pm
Posts: 905
Location: Heathfield
I think we've all had both good and bad experiences at an LBS, but for me what keeps me going back is the atmosphere of the place. My LBS runs monthly (ish) rides which the owner goes on, it's a good way to get to know your customers and also to see how they ride for advice etc. They also give me bike boxes and other packing materials if I ask. That being said there is one person who works there who is staggeringly rude and has at best minimal bike knowledge. I went in there as I was having a problem with my disc brakes, despite listening to me explaining the problem I was having, at the end he just said "you'll probably need new brakes". I knew I didn't and when the owner came back he sorted them in about 5 mins.

I used to frequent a bike shop near Brighton as a kid, mainly I hung around as they used to have nice bikes there but I remember ordering a pair of yellow DMR V8's from them. It took weeks for me to be contacted despite me passing the shop every day, when I did pick them up I was told off for not collecting them sooner as they were taking up space in the shop. I never went back but do still have the pedals!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:41 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:24 am
Posts: 7562
Location: Manchester
I won't mention the name as the shop has been sold to someone else now. Twice I ordered from them and both times it took 12 weeks for the parts to arrive. On one occasion I even phoned the distributor (as that's who the shop were blaming for the delay) and they said they had them in stock ready to send out!

The only bricks and mortar place I go to is Evans Cycles or NWMTB, but they don't really like you looking around unless you buy something. They do keep loads of old used parts in stock though in-case you need something bizarre. Also, they have some early 90's bikes in the window.

Robert cycles also haven't returned my emails from earlier in the year. I've given up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:57 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:21 pm
Posts: 824
Location: County Antrim
Jeez, where do I start.....

I recently ordered a hub from a UK based Hadley dealer. I waited almost three weeks then gave them a call. A very helpful chap informed me that he'd picked and dispatched my order that very morning and it would be with me shortly. One week later and still no hub so I called again. "Umm sorry, the hub is not in stock but we are expecting a delivery soon and you should have it in another week or two." No thanks mate, you've already lied to me once so I'll have a full refund please. Tosser.

I can think of a few other 'experiences' but my worst one came courtesy of McConvey cycles in Belfast. Rewind to March 2000 and I'm looking to buy a Marin Wolf Ridge 5" fs with the Hope disc upgrade and McConveys are the only Marin dealer in town. I went in to order the bike in a size small but the gimp at the counter starts trying to sell me a different Marin that they had on display and telling me that I didn't really need disc brakes or 5" travel and the 3" V braked display bike would do me. I pointed out that the bike he was trying to sell me was a large but he just said to adjust the seat post and buy a shorter stem. I eventually got speaking to a member of staff who wasn't a complete tit and my new bike was ordered without fuss. All was well until a month or two later when my new bike started creaking from the crank / bb area. I had no bike tools so asked to shop to look at it as part of the first service free offer that most shops run. I got the bike back and it was ok for a while but soon started creaking again. So I decided I'd buy the right tools and fix it myself. Thats when I discovered the threads on the drive side crank arm were properly chewed up and I was unable to remove the cranks :evil: . I went back to the shop and the same tit was at the counter again. I explained the damage to my new cranks and his response was along the lines of "well you can buy these tools in Halfords that are like a screw type thing and you just get one the right size, screw it into the damaged thread and it cuts new threads, then you will be able to get the crank off." Luckily the owner was there and came over to see what the problem was before I had the chance to kill the muppet with my bare hands :evil: :evil: :evil: . It just so happened that there was a new bike in the shop with the same cranks and the owner offered to swap them over. No thanks I said, just take the wrecked crank off my bike and give me the new ones, I'll fit them myself thanks. It was a few years before I visited that shop again and the muppet was still working there. I haven't been back since.


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