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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocop View Post
    This is what I believed until I actually started working in a shop. Their are so many componet groups out there in different combinations...... I was shocked and felt in over my head when road bikes/commuter bikes/kids bikes/internal geared hubs etc, started showing up on my schedule. When it's your own stuff you are familiar with it. When it is something you have never worked on before, and you are expected to be fast and professional it can get a little scary.
    I still, aside from the above mentioned wheel building, have NEVER had to take my bike(s) in for work. For anything - and I ride everything from BMX to road riding and everything in between.

  2. #52
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    To the the perfect bike shop is as follows

    Knowledgeable - not just in one aspect either, but having people there who excel in all areas of the sport (have staff who races and have other staff who trail rides and other staff who dirt jumps ect.) That way there is always someone who is knowledgeable about the specific area or niche you are looking to get involved with.

    Inventory - having proper inventory is key but far to often a shop will try and fill their store with something that moves quickly or maybe just have high end stuff to try and cater to a more mature(for lack of a better word) audience. This is not how it should be done IMO. There is a company Ideal with for my motorcycle racing called sportbiketrackgear. They have a saying that if they wont use it they wont sell it. What I find intriguing about them is that there are many products I see other companies carry that then do not even if it is something that sells popularly. They will only stock a part if they feel its a good part but they cater to all levels of need, meaning they carry one brand of race glass for example that is a little easier on the wallet than others they carry but the fit is decent and its relatively strong in a crash but it has some downsides like flexibility and weight which can be had by purchasing one of the better sets. Basically have options that are realistic and even on a budget are not crap.

    Be Inviting - I hate walking into a store just to have the people that work there look at me like I dont belong/fit in. I recently went into a skate shop that opened up in my area that is owned by one of the largest mail order skateboard companies in the country whom I have used for the last 15+ years of my life. What I was presented with was people who ignored me because I didnt look the part, even after I went up to the guy and said what I was looking for he was reluctant to help me as if he was better than me. At this point I laughed at the guy and said you know what kid I have been skating since you were in diapers, Im sorry if that is not good enough for you and turned around and left. I later called the mail order company to let them know what I thought of their stores service towards me and they were very displeased to say the least. On the other hand I walked into a LBS recently to discuss my desire to cross train utilizing MTB and the guy was super inviting and honestly seemed like he just wanted to hang out. Even offered me a drink from the fridge. I went back to that shop and bought my bike from him even though it was cheaper elsewhere because to me dealing with good people is worth the extra money. The personal experience is what separates local businesses from internet shops and yet there are so many companies that forget this, if I wanted to be treated like a number I would get online.

    I think that those three things are key to creating a good culture for a bike shop to thrive.

  3. #53
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    Some shops are eager to help you find a trail (print outs, maps on the wall, etc), and other want you to buy a 12 dollar pamphlet. I don't want a book for a place I might only visit every few years, but when I'm helped out for what seem like for free, I'm compelled to spend a little money even if its just a bar.

  4. #54
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    I would like to see a bike shop with a demo course. Some rocky terrain, roots, slippery moss...etc. So I can actually test out the bike instead of riding around a flat paved parking lot.
    I like to hug trees at FULL SPEED!

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    I was in a shop the other day talking to a mechanic about forks and he mentioned a coil fork would be best for me because I'm a "big guy."

    Really? I'm 6'2" and 200 lbs., I was a little offended by this remark.
    Really? Grow some thicker skin. In what way is 6 2 and 200 # not big? "fat" might be offensive but "big guy" isnt. Coil suspension definitely works better for heavier folks because air forks lose small-bump compliance at those high psi's. (theyre pretty much designed for 160 # riders.) Im 5'8 and 215, mostly muscle but a little chub and bike shop guys often mention my weight when talking about suspension or components, they would be doing me a disservice if they didnt. Doesnt offend me at all, i am what I am.
    Last edited by dwyooaj; 01-17-2013 at 12:06 PM.
    '14 rocky mountain altitude, rally edition
    '11 transition blindside

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by GelatiCruiser View Post
    I think all LBS should give basic tuning and maintenance classes. I get free tuneup ups and basic service (lifetime) on my bike. I understand the drive behind this because it brings people into the shop... But imagine if you sold 30 bikes in a month. Now you (possibly) have 30 bikes to service. I know most people buy the bike and never come back, but imagine if you had a class that taught 20 of those people how to do the basics. Now you only have 10 bikes to service and 20 people who will come into the shop for tools/gear. Or maybe they'd just buy it online and youtube/ehow the install... Who knows?
    Very wise, me thinks! I think I'll run this past my employer. I can't help but think that the best part of this idea is that all the guys who buy bikes will probably be to embarrassed to admit they don't know how to fix bikes, leaving only the women to sign up because they'll find the idea fun. I'm in!
    "I am hard at work right now, you just can't tell because I'm wearing an apron!"

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  7. #57
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    Yeah, once you get over 200# you can really start to find that Air presents a LOT of compromise.

    You get great small bump compliance and bottom horribly
    OR
    You get crap compliance and a nice end-stroke ramp up.

    Also, once you are a "big guy" NO MORE QR or even QR15, just use 20mm Through Axle forks.

  8. #58
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    The LBS near my house has high school aged kids working in there that don't know the inventory and have under-developed people skills, to put it mildly. Also, I was talking to the owner of the shop about the local trail scene and he went off on a minor tirade about the timber company owner of a local riding area starting to require a yearly permit fee to enter their property (we're talking $45/year). He was advocating ignoring the permit as a protest, etc, blah blah blah. I just want to talk about good trails I haven't riden yet. Not a ration of politics and protest.

    I drive across town to a place where everyone is a little older and deeply into the biking scene themselves. They are down to earth and friendly. Even their shop dogs are super friendly. They charge me for things that take a while or certainly for new parts, but they drop what they are doing to help me out for free if it is minor. They know the trails and are happy to share what they know. What it comes down to is a relaxed and friendly vibe. If I have to give my bike related money to someone, it is definitely going to be them.

  9. #59
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    Every Model of Bike so you could compare them all! So annoying not being able to side by side comparo on two bikes your looking at

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuel&Fire View Post
    Every Model of Bike so you could compare them all! So annoying not being able to side by side comparo on two bikes your looking at
    And every one of them in your size.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    And every one of them in your size.
    Damn straight. Every color too.

  12. #62
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    Or every one in all sizes, so you could make sure youre getting the right size, and not just the size in stock tehy wanna sell.
    '14 rocky mountain altitude, rally edition
    '11 transition blindside

  13. #63
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    Faster special orders - I will buy from a LBS, but I am not going to wait 2 weeks and pay more for something I can order online and have in 2 days. Understand the online thing - understand that the SRAM XO derailleur you are asking $200 for is only $130 online. I am not saying price match, but be realistic if you want folks to order from you b/c you don't have it in stock. I like the comment above about a special-order kiosk! Put your already-marked up prices on there and then there is no hassle, no "let me check", not showing the customer the wholesale price etc. Finally, keep a stock of the basic stuff so you don't have to do special orders. I have argued before in these LBS threads that customers will pay more to buy local and get it now. Note - I worked in a shop for 4 years.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  14. #64
    All this harmonica stuff
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    Avoid personal politics being a binding-point for Customer relations, and do not have others poach upon public trail networks for personal gain.

    Me, I'd found that I was watching someone who'd been an acqaintance of sorts up-end a local riding-center to interject a warped personal politic into the community. Through operating a business, a bike shop. Contending w/ it while blissfully unaware, and then when rudely made aware, it rapdily became a nightmare-scenario. And sustained an already disproportionate ego.

    Any effort such as this on company time really do place any & all customer base at high risk for losing their own identity; as a valued customer, or as a bike nerd, or even for a hopeful friend.

    Simply, when in the postion of influencing potential customers decision making, leave it to the reason they chose your sales-radius to begin with. If people wanted muscle they'd join a gym.
    But keep it up, it stinks like Laundered Money.

    This is an extreme example, but when Public and Private Land allows the ability to generate revenue anyone who has a business that supports the persuit of these activities should really choose their manners wisely.

    'Silent' and 'Listen' have the same Letters of the Alphabet.

    End Rant.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches.

  15. #65
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    The perfect bike shop is the one who builds relationships with their customers regardless of the type of bikes they ride.

  16. #66
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    There is a good book that talks about bike shops and owners a little. The majority of it is about cyclists and their passions, as strange and fun as they can be. Bike Tribes by Mike Magnuson
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkpaw View Post
    There is a good book that talks about bike shops and owners a little. The majority of it is about cyclists and their passions, as strange and fun as they can be. Bike Tribes by Mike Magnuson
    Just read it - wife got it for me for Christmas. Its *OK*. I think he missed a lot of the "tribes" within the mountainbike community, but the shop part is good.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  18. #68
    All this harmonica stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by daves4mtb View Post
    What are you trying to say here? I feel like I read some crappy spam email.
    My attempt to show others when poorly chosen manners and attitudes choke-off repeat business. The rant highlights an 'extreme example' of pushy individuals and of sprawl within 'growth industry'.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches.

  19. #69
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    The perfect bike shop already exists. Repairs while I wait. Parts usually no more than a day away. It's in my garage.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Beer on tap.
    this, and maybe a dirt park in the back lot?

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by UPSed View Post
    The perfect bike shop already exists. Repairs while I wait. Parts usually no more than a day away. It's in my garage.
    Yep, I now have a full repair shop in my garage. After all the years of wrenching I actually have more specialty tools then any shop in my area. I can do any repair at any time. If you bring me food you can co-op.

    PS - I still need to install a massive sound system.

  22. #72
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    I am very close to parting ways with the LBS closest to my house. The latest is a charge of $50 to install a headset (I was expecting $20 or $30, if they would have told me it was going to be $50 I would have done it myself). I regularly visit the shop (i.e. I'm not a stranger at this point), yet I always feel like I should have either done the repair work myself or ordered the product online. Trust that I would much rather see a local business thrive than to support a nameless/faceless internet shop, but when you walk out of the store with a $90 tire that you could have bought online for $60, AND you feel like a sucker (that is, not appreciated), then why go back? I think I've finally decided that this shop really just wants to suck the teat of the local doctors and lawyers, and they don't care at all about the real riders in the area (I regularly lead rides through local advocacy group, etc.)

    Meanwhile, the bike shop 10 miles away is awesome: 1) they make me feel like an old friend the instant I walk in the door (even if they don't remember my name), 2) they regularly provide small parts "on the house" (small bolts, even a used seatpost clamp, whereas I was once charged $5/ for a pair of seatpost clamps from the other shop), 3) mechanical or training advice is regularly shared (once adjusted derailleur for no charge, whereas the other place charged me $20), and 4) prices are competitive enough with online ($5 or $10 more for LBS is good, $40 more for LBS is ridiculous). For these reasons I often make the trip, even though the other shop is right down the street from my house, and I don't hesitate to recommend to others to check them out.

    Like I said, I'd like to see a local business do well, but it's very hard for me to justify stepping foot in there anymore. Friends have sworn off the place years ago because of the very same reasons.

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