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  1. #1
    undercover brother
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    Bike shops that are 'ole fashion'

    Anyone's bike shops stay ol fashioned or not up with the times? Obviosuly the industry is moving to bigger and bigger bikes, both hardtail and FS as suspension/tire/geometryy technology progresses. Likewise, there are more different categories of bikes and riding styles than ever. I'm not saying everyone should jump on board the All Mountain train, but you cannot deny that these cross breed bikes are very capable in a wide range of riding.

    Now, with that said, I preferably go to one shop in my area. The mechanic/owner is an awesome guy, and does great work on things that I don't want to get wrapped up in doing. But, its funny when I bring my single-speed, 140mm hardtail, with beefy tires in. He looks at it with a little confusion, and another employee made a comment about how slow those tires must be. Now, on MTBR, my bike would be considered XC compared to some of the monsters on here. But, if its not a full blown XC bike, they're a little thrown off by it. It's pretty funny. They actually mentioned that my fork might not be suitable for my frame. I told them that was as the low end of the range and I could go up to 160mm and got a historical look.

    Down the road there is another bike shop. Great shop, great selection including a lot of AM bikes and all the necessary accessories (dropper posts, etc.) to go along with the style of riding. I brought my bike in there one day when I was riding the area and just wanted to browse. They all complimented and liked what I had done with it. I don't want to break the relationship and move elsewhere, because I'm sure most of you know how to difficult it can be to get a trustworthy mechanic for cheap. But man, it's nice to have conversations with people who are familiar with the AM scene. I'm sure the demographic and geographic factors play heavy, and I live in southwestern ohio, so there are some nice rolling hills but no big hit mountains of course. There is a series of trails with some decent downhill runs that have been over the past couple years.

  2. #2
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    I think customer demand and geography has a lot to do with what a shop carries. I've had similar experiences with a shop that I tend to avoid now. I went in one day shopping for tires. The owner came over and asked if he could assist. I told him I was looking for tires in the 2.3 range but I didn't see any. He laughed and told me he doesn't carry downhill tires. Then he questioned why I needed tires to big. I told him I needed them so I could crush things on the trail like a monster truck and walked out

  3. #3
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    I dont know about "old fashioned". I do know about incompetent. Ive had too many painful experiences at too many different shops until I learned to swear them off all together.

    You dont need to find a trustworthy mech, you just need to buy a few tools and do it all yourself.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with jtnord for the most part but there are times when the art of wheel building eludes me...I seem to be able to do it half the time

    If I ever need to go to a shop, I drive further to go to a shop that only sells road and xc MTBs even though there is a shop within a few miles of me that sells and stocks cool AM bikes.

    I find the shop with am bikes staffs' level of knowledge on maintenance and really bikes in general to be insulting. I've given them plenty of opportunities to change my mind too.

    Sometimes I want to ask "really? This is your profession, man!?!". You can't sell something you know almost nothing about

    The xc shop on the other hand is only that way to cater yo the local market. yet They still stock thing I assume they'll have to order.

    At the end of the day I just want a shop with staff that actually like bikes and biking enough to become knowledgeable at what they do

  5. #5
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Anyone's bike shops stay ol fashioned or not up with the times? Obviosuly the industry is moving to bigger and bigger bikes, both hardtail and FS as suspension/tire/geometryy technology progresses. Likewise, there are more different categories of bikes and riding styles than ever. I'm not saying everyone should jump on board the All Mountain train, but you cannot deny that these cross breed bikes are very capable in a wide range of riding.

    Now, with that said, I preferably go to one shop in my area. The mechanic/owner is an awesome guy, and does great work on things that I don't want to get wrapped up in doing. But, its funny when I bring my single-speed, 140mm hardtail, with beefy tires in. He looks at it with a little confusion, and another employee made a comment about how slow those tires must be. Now, on MTBR, my bike would be considered XC compared to some of the monsters on here. But, if its not a full blown XC bike, they're a little thrown off by it. It's pretty funny. They actually mentioned that my fork might not be suitable for my frame. I told them that was as the low end of the range and I could go up to 160mm and got a historical look.

    Down the road there is another bike shop. Great shop, great selection including a lot of AM bikes and all the necessary accessories (dropper posts, etc.) to go along with the style of riding. I brought my bike in there one day when I was riding the area and just wanted to browse. They all complimented and liked what I had done with it. I don't want to break the relationship and move elsewhere, because I'm sure most of you know how to difficult it can be to get a trustworthy mechanic for cheap. But man, it's nice to have conversations with people who are familiar with the AM scene. I'm sure the demographic and geographic factors play heavy, and I live in southwestern ohio, so there are some nice rolling hills but no big hit mountains of course. There is a series of trails with some decent downhill runs that have been over the past couple years.
    No bike shop is an expert in everything.

    Is this "AM" bike store equally knowledgeable about road racing, road touring, gravel grinding, off-road touring, commuting, kids bikes, cargo bikes, single speeding, town/cruisers, track bikes, hipster fixies, fat bikes, and XC racing?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like the first shop is about suppling bikes suited for your area, the second shop sounds like a shop for suppling bikes based on a fantasy. With no mountains to ride why specialize in AM bikes?

  7. #7
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    If all shops only sold what people need instead of what they might want, the world would be a different place.

  8. #8
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    curious as to which shops you are talking about? i am in cinci also. got my bike from trek in blue ash.
    it's not that i dont like them, but they don't give me the warm and fuzzy sometimes. they take care of me, but not in that special kind of way that i read about online....sigh....
    12 Trek Fuel EX8
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  9. #9
    undercover brother
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antikid View Post
    curious as to which shops you are talking about? i am in cinci also. got my bike from trek in blue ash.
    it's not that i dont like them, but they don't give me the warm and fuzzy sometimes. they take care of me, but not in that special kind of way that i read about online....sigh....
    I'd rather not slander their name publicly, but I've been to the trek store in blue ash. It's a typical chain store IMO. They're aren't looking for a relationship, just for you to buy their stuff.

  10. #10
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    For me its about the relationship and customer service. I live near several large bike shops including 2 internet shops that advertise on this site, yet I still drive 30 minutes to a shop that is smaller, I know the owner by first name, who is glad I came in even to just browse. He will match most internet prices for me. I refer him business because of that. Does he cater to the type of riding that I do. Sorta. I have to order a lot of stuff that I need/want... but he will drop ship to my house. What I do though is schedule my major maintenance ahead of time (yes I can and do a lot of it my self, but the major stuff I still outsource) and I order any upgrades so they are there when I drop off my bike. In a pinch he will pick up the bike and drop it off at my house. I refer him a lot of business...

  11. #11
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    I'm new to MTB, bought my bike used online, have been to a few LBS for service/sales. I like the LBS's but taking my bike to a shop when I need something is to restricting for me - haul it to the shop - wait - pay & drag it home. I would rather learn to do it myself. That way I know it's done right, on my own timeline, at my price. The big plus is I learn more about how to fit the bike to me and my style of riding. I had no idea what I wanted in a MTB before I bought other than full suspension. No clue as to fit, components and chassis design. I still know squat but am learning fast through the DIY ethic. LBS operators hate people like me but thats just the kind of guy I am and believe that's the only way to go.
    My bike is a XC but now wish I had an AM. But with a few mods I can push it closer to my needs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 702Biff View Post
    I'm new to MTB, bought my bike used online, have been to a few LBS for service/sales. I like the LBS's but taking my bike to a shop when I need something is to restricting for me - haul it to the shop - wait - pay & drag it home. I would rather learn to do it myself. That way I know it's done right, on my own timeline, at my price. The big plus is I learn more about how to fit the bike to me and my style of riding. I had no idea what I wanted in a MTB before I bought other than full suspension. No clue as to fit, components and chassis design. I still know squat but am learning fast through the DIY ethic. LBS operators hate people like me but thats just the kind of guy I am and believe that's the only way to go.
    My bike is a XC but now wish I had an AM. But with a few mods I can push it closer to my needs.
    The only "work" that I don't do to my own bikes is brake bleeding and fork rebuilds. Although, I plan on doing my next fork service myself... At the price of $20 for both brake bleeds, I can cope with that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    historical look.
    Like George Washington or more like Nixon?

    First off let me get this out of the way, ride what ya like. Seriously, it doesn't matter to me. That being said I've thought about this alot lately. I question how many people "need" AM bikes. Here on the CO FR there are people *****ing about not being able to ride their x inches of travel on local trails cause it's boring... and that's CO. I'm not suprised that shops in Ohio aren't embracing that type of riding or at least aren't fully up on it technically.

    **I'll fully admit that this is based on my assumption on the type of riding there is there.**

    I have a rigid SS, front sus SS, front sus HT and a doolie. I find that for CO the only time I need the FS is for all day epics or certain, technically challenging trails. Bike companys keep selling us more and more travel yet most land managers aren't building trails to suit those bikes for the most part. I know this is somewhat off topic and again, just one a$$hole's opinion.

    Back to the OP... not sure what to say. I have so many decent>awesome shops to choose from it gets difficult deciding who gets your cash.

    Sorry for ramblin'...
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  14. #14
    undercover brother
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish View Post
    Like George Washington or more like Nixon?

    First off let me get this out of the way, ride what ya like. Seriously, it doesn't matter to me. That being said I've thought about this alot lately. I question how many people "need" AM bikes. Here on the CO FR there are people *****ing about not being able to ride their x inches of travel on local trails cause it's boring... and that's CO. I'm not suprised that shops in Ohio aren't embracing that type of riding or at least aren't fully up on it technically.

    **I'll fully admit that this is based on my assumption on the type of riding there is there.**

    I have a rigid SS, front sus SS, front sus HT and a doolie. I find that for CO the only time I need the FS is for all day epics or certain, technically challenging trails. Bike companys keep selling us more and more travel yet most land managers aren't building trails to suit those bikes for the most part. I know this is somewhat off topic and again, just one a$$hole's opinion.

    Back to the OP... not sure what to say. I have so many decent>awesome shops to choose from it gets difficult deciding who gets your cash.

    Sorry for ramblin'...

    Hysterical !!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtnord View Post
    You dont need to find a trustworthy mech, you just need to buy a few tools and do it all yourself.
    This is walking a fine line, really. Before I got a job working as a shop mech, I did all my own maintenance and rarely visited a shop unless I needed some kind of part or tubes. I'm cool with people wanting to learn how to wrench on their own stuff, but if everyone bought tools and did all of their own maintenance, people like myself would be in a different line of work. Not to mention smaller shops wouldn't survive since they rely on maintenance to pay the bills during slow sales months.

    That said, I do feel everyone's pain on going into crappy shops or shops that don't listen to what you want. It's impossible to know every fine detail about every single bike and component in existance, but here if I don't know the answer to something, I educate myself before spouting out nonsense or dismissing the customer altogether. Some shops don't have that same attitude.

    Just my two cents.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish View Post
    I question how many people "need" AM bikes.
    Sorry for ramblin'...
    Unless your riding proffesionally there is no "need" for any special bike.
    Hell, grab a hybrid and head for the mountains!
    For me a FS is what I "want", it makes me feel better and helps make up for my lack in skills, you could even say I spoil myself with a FS bike. One day I may find that FS is holding me back from progressing and move up to a more old school bike. Who knows...

  17. #17
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    You are making it sound like FS and AM are the same, they are not obviously. Jugdish I think was simply referring to the AM catagory. A lot of people would be better served riding FS cross country or trail bikes. Their terrain makes AM bikes overkill. I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, an hour away from an awesome trail system. I would have to travel to BC to find terrain that made a FS AM bike neccessary.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    No bike shop is an expert in everything.

    Is this "AM" bike store equally knowledgeable about road racing, road touring, gravel grinding, off-road touring, commuting, kids bikes, cargo bikes, single speeding, town/cruisers, track bikes, hipster fixies, fat bikes, and XC racing?
    I am not gonna say expert, but the shop i work part time for, we have staff on hand at any time that can assist with any one of those options. everybody rides multiple disciplines. we even have unicycles for sale, as well as a Hi-Wheel bike for display/test rides!
    We will work on pretty much anything that walks through the door. if there is something we dont already have at least some knowledge about we will do the research to learn for the future.

    there are shops out there that offer the customer service, and have the knowledge you might be looking for. You just might have to search a bit to find one in your area.
    Juice

  19. #19
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    Xc

    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish View Post
    Like George Washington or more like Nixon?

    First off let me get this out of the way, ride what ya like. Seriously, it doesn't matter to me. That being said I've thought about this alot lately. I question how many people "need" AM bikes. Here on the CO FR there are people *****ing about not being able to ride their x inches of travel on local trails cause it's boring... and that's CO. I'm not suprised that shops in Ohio aren't embracing that type of riding or at least aren't fully up on it technically.

    **I'll fully admit that this is based on my assumption on the type of riding there is there.**

    I have a rigid SS, front sus SS, front sus HT and a doolie. I find that for CO the only time I need the FS is for all day epics or certain, technically challenging trails. Bike companys keep selling us more and more travel yet most land managers aren't building trails to suit those bikes for the most part. I know this is somewhat off topic and again, just one a$$hole's opinion.

    Back to the OP... not sure what to say. I have so many decent>awesome shops to choose from it gets difficult deciding who gets your cash.

    Sorry for ramblin'...
    I seem to have run into this attitude/ complaint a lot lately out on the trail, on FB and in some shops. The fact is that 6+ inches of travel and really fat tires were built for very aggressive terrain, jumps, drops, etc. that most hard tails and purpose built xc bikes will not handle. Bike company's are getting so good at building these bikes that they can pedal very well these days. You are running into dudes with a lot more travel on tame trails because they only have one bike and that bike can handle the lift access park AND the smooth single track and do a pretty damn good job of both. You also don't need 'real mountains' to take full advantage of these rigs. Hell, I used to live in CO, and have since moved to Rhode Island. My 6+" Ibis Mojo HD is much better suited to the trails in my back yard here in RI with 250' of vert than the smooth single track I used to ride 3000' at a time in Steamboat.

    Jugdish, it sounds like you are an xc guy that has been riding for a long time. If you just ride xc I can see how bikes with more travel would seem curious and unnecessary. Perhaps there is no progression going in the front range, but back here on the east coast there are more and more public freeride areas popping up. Additionally, many of the old local riding spots are putting in aggressive trail where a burly AM bike is the proper tool for the job. There is a tangible progression happening, features that were once considered 'freeride' are being incorporated into trail riding. IMO, bike company's keep selling bikes with 6" of travel because there is a demand and need for it. Btw, I would argue that the past few years it has not been more and more travel; but slacker, lower and longer while still being able to pedal well...

    Anyway, to the OP you are right to call it old fashioned' because that's what it is. Looking at your fat tires and stating they look slow is straight out of 93'. I say if they are a good shop aside from that then stick with them.

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  21. #21
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    My area is SW Ontario - the Great-lakes flood plain. We be talking FLAT!!. The only hills are ravines that the glaciers were kind enough to leave and river valleys.

    So by this I should be riding a hardtail or short travel XC rig, not a 170mm full coil.

    Problem is I'm pushing 50 and have a bad back (Facet-joint syndrome) so having a nice cushy rear-end can be the difference between riding and not.
    As well, with a bike "suitable" for my terrain I'm now limited by things that I find to ride, weather it be some stairs, loading dock or cool landscaping in town, or a drop into a rock-garden in a ravine system...if you look you will find lots of things to ride that while maybe not requiring a big bike, are much more fun on one. I would rather launch off the drop and hammer the rock-garden then pick my way thorugh.

    I've been riding off-road in the dirt since before their were off-road bikes - pushing 45 years now... Have owned and ridden everything from home-built full rigids to high-tech FS. You can ride anything anywhere given enough time to build the skills. At this point in my life, I have nothing to prove, have the t-shirts and no longer wear them.

    I ride what I want so I can ride what I want without having to justify myself to some pigeon-holeing twat.

    March to your own drummer.

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  22. #22
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    My trans am is a hell of a lot more fun than any xc bike I have ever ridden. I don't race and don't plan to ever own a pure xc bike again. But the shop is great and can have anything I want ordered there. It's awkward sometimes because they always suggest skinnier tires and carbon fiber this and that.

    I will keep my steel frame and extra pushin for the cushin!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    The only "work" that I don't do to my own bikes is brake bleeding and fork rebuilds. Although, I plan on doing my next fork service myself... At the price of $20 for both brake bleeds, I can cope with that.
    Brake bleeds is the best thing you can learn to do on your own. The guy at the shop just doesn't have the motivation or time required to do an amazing bleed versus an OK bleed...makes a huge difference on the trail. Also the kit to do it isn't expensive ...I have avid and it was a one time cost of ~$30 plus the eventual dot fluid refills

    But yeah I do basic service on my fork but leave the full rebuild to the experts

  24. #24
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    lol... I thought I gave a sh!t for a minute.
    Last edited by jugdish; 12-20-2012 at 06:43 PM.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  25. #25
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    nevermind
    Last edited by Saddle Up; 12-21-2012 at 07:16 AM.

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