Is bike shop and customer service an oxymoron?

2manyoranges

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We drove to Wales with our enduro bikes on the roof of the Yeti, plus a hardtail. Yeti is worth about 10k. Bikes are worth about the same, probably a bit more.

I expect to pay upwards of £80 an hour for VAG service. I reckon half that rate is really reasonable for any work I need which I can‘t do on the bike….(frame repairs and wheel building)
 

Imlach

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I don't trust bike shops. Never been to a bike shop that wasn't run by people with hammers for hands. They ding the frames, they don't have an appreciation of old tech, they seem to work slower than me and I'm slow because I down a can between every task.

I would only trust bike shops run by cave dwelling looking being's that reminisce about the old days while wearing tattered jerseys from the 80s
 

MattiThundrrr

Kona Fan
Just had the most lovely experience at the LBS. On a more modern bike I have a Rockshox Recon that has gone flat. Out of curiosity I walked into the shop to see what was on the shelves and to see what they would charge for fork service. I knew I would be treated with the utmost respect and discretion as I listened in on the salesperson's phone call. He was a large man, speaking very loudly into the device about the thousands of dollars in ebikes he was shipping here, and the freebies he was giving out over there because of the thousands of more ebikes he was shipping to them. I have doubts that there was even a person on the other end of the line, because as I approached the counter he simply put down the phone and asked me what I wanted.
"Well, I pulled the bike out of storage, and the Recon, about ten years old, was a little low, and one of the seals had popped, so I was wondering what it would cost to have it cleaned and serviced?"
"Oh we wouldn't do that, we'd just ship it out to have it done."
"You don't do that here?"
"No. It is an older shock, it was about $600."
"I know what it is, I want it serviced."
"I could sell you a different fork, starting at about $400"
Service doesn't pay as well as sales. Sales make you the Big Man at the shop.
 

Imlach

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Just had the most lovely experience at the LBS. On a more modern bike I have a Rockshox Recon that has gone flat. Out of curiosity I walked into the shop to see what was on the shelves and to see what they would charge for fork service. I knew I would be treated with the utmost respect and discretion as I listened in on the salesperson's phone call. He was a large man, speaking very loudly into the device about the thousands of dollars in ebikes he was shipping here, and the freebies he was giving out over there because of the thousands of more ebikes he was shipping to them. I have doubts that there was even a person on the other end of the line, because as I approached the counter he simply put down the phone and asked me what I wanted.
"Well, I pulled the bike out of storage, and the Recon, about ten years old, was a little low, and one of the seals had popped, so I was wondering what it would cost to have it cleaned and serviced?"
"Oh we wouldn't do that, we'd just ship it out to have it done."
"You don't do that here?"
"No. It is an older shock, it was about $600."
"I know what it is, I want it serviced."
"I could sell you a different fork, starting at about $400"
Service doesn't pay as well as sales. Sales make you the Big Man at the shop.
Surprised they didn't offer to take your bike to the tip for 100 dollars.
 

MattiThundrrr

Kona Fan
I've seen the gut, er, I mean guy, around town. He rides his full squish 29er specialized e bike to pick his kid up at school. Saggy jogging pants and a bad haircut wrapped in a really rad pair of Oakleys, still on the mobile, still bragging loudly about e bike shipments. Never seen him at the trails, maybe he's hitting more awesome stuff than I can conceive of riding on my old hardtail.
 

M_Chavez

Retro Guru
I don't even have a local bike shop - just some dude with a van who apparently charges more for a 30 minutes call out than the lower end of the local prossie market.

There is a huge big-brand bike shop right next to my work though.
I walked in a couple of weeks ago and was greeted by a feller who looked like a bad caricature of Jack Black's character from the Tenacoius D film.
- How can I help you?
- Do you have a 650B rim in 28 hole drilling, suitable for rim brakes?
- ... ... ... What?... I don't think we sell that sort of stuff here. I'll ask our mechanic specialist.

The "mechanic specialist" emerges from the back of the shop, looking like a heavily tattooed version of He-man:
- 650B? ... ... No, we won't have any wheels like that - don't think we ever had them, nobody rides them these days.
 

2manyoranges

Senior Retro Guru
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I don't even have a local bike shop - just some dude with a van who apparently charges more for a 30 minutes call out than the lower end of the local prossie market.

There is a huge big-brand bike shop right next to my work though.
I walked in a couple of weeks ago and was greeted by a feller who looked like a bad caricature of Jack Black's character from the Tenacoius D film.
- How can I help you?
- Do you have a 650B rim in 28 hole drilling, suitable for rim brakes?
- ... ... ... What?... I don't think we sell that sort of stuff here. I'll ask our mechanic specialist.

The "mechanic specialist" emerges from the back of the shop, looking like a heavily tattooed version of He-man:
- 650B? ... ... No, we won't have any wheels like that - don't think we ever had them, nobody rides them these days.

?????!!!????

why do such people even think they should inhabit places called ‘bike shops’?
 

greencat

Senior Retro Guru
I don't even have a local bike shop - just some dude with a van who apparently charges more for a 30 minutes call out than the lower end of the local prossie market.

There is a huge big-brand bike shop right next to my work though.
I walked in a couple of weeks ago and was greeted by a feller who looked like a bad caricature of Jack Black's character from the Tenacoius D film.
- How can I help you?
- Do you have a 650B rim in 28 hole drilling, suitable for rim brakes?
- ... ... ... What?... I don't think we sell that sort of stuff here. I'll ask our mechanic specialist.

The "mechanic specialist" emerges from the back of the shop, looking like a heavily tattooed version of He-man:
- 650B? ... ... No, we won't have any wheels like that - don't think we ever had them, nobody rides them these days.

One of my local bike shops used to be exactly like this. Run by an enormous self-important salesy guy called Steve who clearly hadn't been on a bike in years, if not decades. I remember taking my mountain bike in there bitd because the chain was slipping . They spent a week to tell me they couldn't do anything for it - showed me the bike in pieces and said they'd charge me 7 quid to put it back together before I could have it back.
 

Imlach

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I have been demeaned by people in bike shops for wanting to buy a torque wrench to do stuff on my bike, being told it was unnecessary and overkill. I've called up to bike shops telling me it was nearly impossible to get a bolt key to tighten down my bolts on an old crankset, but their specialists could do it for a fee (ordered one for a pound the same evening)

I have no bleeding heart sentimentality towards 'local' bike shops, because to fit in with the times they have to sell their soul to corporatism and it shows in their costumer service. At the end of the day here is how I look at it:

No one will treat my bike better than me, when I do things on my bike, I feel my body tensing if I accidently clang a tool against the frame, and I adjust everything with care because I have spent money on a product and now I am devoting my own time to install it. I feel with the bike.

The brutes at the shops generally don't.
 

player

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A bit of background some of which I've mentioned before. I worked in bike shops from my teenage years until my mid-twenties. Freewheel in West Hampstead, Yellow Jersey Cycles in Camden and Edwards of Camberwell being three of them.

I always remembered Sid from Edwardes from the late 80s early 90s, bought my first mountain bike off him so something none of us would forget i guess.
 
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