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  1. #1
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    In the perfect bike shop...

    Just for fun ! It would be preferable not to mention any names or specific details, just looking to hear some of your input.

    I work in a bike shop myself, and like to think we give pretty good service, but you never know where there is room for learning and improvement. Is there any thing you don't like about bike shops? What would you like to see change?

    Love to hear some stories, whether good or bad.

  2. #2
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    Make free service, free service when you buy a bike!!

    Took my bike to the LBS that I bought it from a month after I bought it. Brakes sounded like crap. They did from the time I took it home. They said that the brakes needed adjusted and cleaned. I was even told that when they get them, the rotors usually have crap on them that cause them to squeal.... When I go to pick up the bike, the adjusting was covered, cleaning the rotors was not. Charged me 20 bucks!

    To me, this should have been done when they assembled the bike........ Especially if they know they come in with crap on the rotors.

  3. #3
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    at the shop where I work, basic service is free for the life of the bike if you buy the bike from us. everything that does not involve replacing a part (chain, tires, bar tape, etc) is free- truing wheels, adjusting brakes, headsets/hub adjustments, cleaning the bike off, etc. we are also very reasonable about getting a relatively new bike working immediately if something goes wrong. if you, to cite a recent example, buy a new mountain bike and the fork's air sleeve blows the wiper seal off after a month, we will get another fork on it asap or bug the manufacturer until they overnight the right parts to get it working again.

  4. #4
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    In a perfect shop every employee rides to work and preferably doesn't own a car. Also no one working at the perfect shop can have even a hint of an attitude that suggests "I am above you, or better than you".

  5. #5
    Your Best Friend
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    I feel it needs to be a cycling community gathering point. Make cyclists welcome, not just as customers. Have a place where people can meet and talk, have a drink, peruse a magazine and basically just spend time with others who share their passions.
    I guide and rent bikes in Northern Utah

    http://www.facebook.com/AdventureEarthRides

  6. #6
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    Beer on tap.

  7. #7
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    Treating customers as something other and more than a "customer.". More like a potential or shared member of the experience.

  8. #8
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    4 acres of racks and display cases of everything you'd find at your 5 favorite online stores, plus another acre of niche stuff from another 5 onlines. Not gonna happen, I understand the economics, but a guy can dream. It'd be great to be able to go to the lbs for more than lube or the occasional item they have in stock that I'm actually looking for.

    That said, helmets and shoes are always lbs items - fit is too important.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  9. #9
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    Obviously customer service is key. The LBS I got my bike from is very friendly, has cut me a couple deals, and has worked with me so I could get the things I wanted/needed. And that was really before they knew me, but were going more off the word of a friend. They have a customer for the rest of the time I am at this location, and I have and will send business their way.

    An old boss of mine had a saying, "The customer is not always right. But the customer is always the customer, right or wrong." It actually makes sense, and I think is a good philosophy for any business.

  10. #10
    B.Ike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I feel it needs to be a cycling community gathering point. Make cyclists welcome, not just as customers. Have a place where people can meet and talk, have a drink, peruse a magazine and basically just spend time with others who share their passions.
    ^^this, One of my favorite shops has a coffee bar and is caddy corner to a trail head.

  11. #11
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    I like that the shop I got my bike from didn't try to upsell me on everything, or talk down to me. I told them what king of riding I was going to be doing and they sold me an appropriate bike for that and then some. I went in for a ~$400 bike and walked out spending $700 and didn't feel bad about it in the least (it was the wife's money anway!). While I was test riding the Hardrock I went in looking at, a customer (plant? lol) who was there getting his bike serviced told my wife I should look at a 29er. The shop didn't push me to buy either. I like that they didn't try to get me onto a more expensive bike, rather, they tried to get me on the RIGHT bike. Totally satisfied with their service. Plus, free tune-ups for life is sweet. And they hooked a buddy of mine up and he was satisfied with their service as well. I just wish they had more fun toys for me to ogle...

  12. #12
    beater
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    Beer on tap.
    Check.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  13. #13
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    How 'bout just having the stuff I want to buy in stock. And be a resource, not just a turd who's only interested in a commission.

  14. #14
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    Two minor annoyances, which come more from salesmanship and customer interaction skills than anything:

    1) teach employees that the top of the line isn't necessary for everyone. It is annoying when I go in say, for brake pads, and they come back only with the $60 organic super set. I ask what else they have and get that eye roll, come back with the 'normal' ones that are what I'm after. I know, the shop may make more if they sell me expensive stuff, but I don't really want or need an XTR chain or whatever. It really is both refreshing and confidence-inspiring when an LBS employee steers me toward what will work well for me, even if it isn't their most expensive item. Makes me want to go back, because I believe I'll get good advice, and not just be sold or be made to feel like I'm cheaping out. And if you really think that item is worth 100% more, please explain why, and don't just tell me "well, it's better..."

    2) employees have biases and preferences, to be sure, but sometimes they get a little carried away trying to sell the bike they have or want to everyone. A little more listening than talking would be nice. And some product knowledge. If you're just going to pick up the item and read the tag to me, don't bother ... I already did that ...

    I'm sure it is hard to find good people persons and salespeople in an LBS -- the applicants are attracted because they like bikes, not because they want to sell stuff. But I wonder how much training is given to some of these kids before they are put out on the sales floor.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  15. #15
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    I have been working summers and on breaks from school at a bike shop for the past 8 years. Though as a business we are obviously trying too sell goods in order to pay the bills etc, I try to not necessarily try to sell someone a specific bike and accessories, but to sell them on biking itself. I attempt to not only discuss the bikes and there differences, but the fun and camaraderie that I have experienced as a cyclist. More or less I am selling an experience that the bicycle enables and to me that is more powerful to some people.

    Basically, I figure If I sell a low cost bicycle to a customer, but do my best to ensure that they are going to have a good time riding it (suggest riding locations, give riding tips, etc), then they will probably be back at some point for a better bike or for upgrades to their current bike.

  16. #16
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    Tools for customers to use free of charge. As a consumer its hard to justify pricey tools like trueing stands, headset presses, air compressors, etc when I only need to use them a few times per year.

    It'd be nice if you could pay pay a shop a cheap flat rate to use some of their equipment.
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
    2012 Banshee Spitfire V1.5
    2011 Yeti 303R DH
    2005 Trek Bruiser SS

  17. #17
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    All based on past experience: All different shops except the last two are the same.

    Don't act like you are doing my wife some great favor by selling her the last new leftover bike well into the next season at the price that the manufacturer has already discounted it to. And the fake call to the owner of the shop to see if he would accept our offer was pitiful. And not including the factory accessories should get me something.

    Don't push the bike you have in stock if it is not the right bike for me. This actually goes for many components. "No really, it is just as good as all the others". Yeah, I am gonna buy a wide gel saddle after asking for a WTB Rocket.

    Don't comment on my physique when I am shopping for a light weight component.

    Do try to price match. I know this stuff is cheap online and your overhead is high for a seasonal business but if you just budge a little on that printed price sticker, I would buy more stuff at your store.

    Do continue to give me on the spot free service for a 5 minute adjustment knowing that I buy stuff from you and am happy to pay for the more complicated service.

    Do continue to advocate for new trails.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    Don't comment on my physique when I am shopping for a light weight component.
    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.
    2013 Transition TransAM 29er
    2012 Banshee Spitfire V1.5
    2011 Yeti 303R DH
    2005 Trek Bruiser SS

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    In a perfect shop every employee rides to work and preferably doesn't own a car. Also no one working at the perfect shop can have even a hint of an attitude that suggests "I am above you, or better than you".
    If you drive your car to the shop we can.

  20. #20
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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.
    Actually sounds like pretty good advice, to me.

    I welcome my LBS trying to help me find what works for me and what I'll be happiest with. I think it is fairly well settled that coil forks work well for heavier riders, and at 6'2", 200#, you're bigger than most.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  21. #21
    29er and 26er
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    My shop knows me as a regular now and will take time and talk to me about my current project and actually make helpful suggestions. Yes, their parts cost more than I can find on the Internet, but I like supporting my LBS. Many times I have saved or reduced the cost of labor for things I con't do myself by buying there.

    When I was in the market for a new bike they actually listened to what I wanted and made reasionable recommendations.

    I guess I feel like they treated me the way I wanted. For that, I will probably keep coming back.

  22. #22
    usually cranky
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    hot topless salesgirls.

  23. #23
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    ^^^ +5

  24. #24
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    I like a place to chill...because in the Winter I'm cold and in the Summer I'm hot and I always like hanging out with other cyclists. And free beer.

  25. #25
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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.
    Well, I think they were right. Big doesn't mean fat, and in your case I can't see how you could be fat, so.....I wouldn't be offended. I think the whole business is overly focused on the 140-160 lb audience. IMHO.

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