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  1. #1
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    Idea! What do you want in a shop?

    Here's your chance to tell all the shops in Massachusetts what YOU want. Any topic is fair game but let's keep things positive please. Tell me what you want to see when you walk into a shop and how YOU want to be treated.

    You never know, you just might get what you want...

  2. #2
    IdontShootPeopleAnyMore
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    topless female mechanics
    What mountain bike forum do pirates use? .....



    MTB-arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  3. #3
    the test dummy
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    Quote Originally Posted by DriveByBikeShooting
    topless female mechanics
    yes please
    Quote Originally Posted by craftworks750
    Riding a mtb is like a reset button, 10 mins in and there is nothing else in the world that matters.
    my bikes
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    Ben

  4. #4
    Rider of Bikes
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    I want to be treated the way I was just treated at Belmont Wheel Works and NOT the way I was just treated at Cycle Loft. I want to be treated with respect not arrogance and rudeness.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DriveByBikeShooting
    topless female mechanics

    I like the idea but I suspect they would be expensive to employ. However service sales would increase...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpa2000
    I want to be treated the way I was just treated at Belmont Wheel Works and NOT the way I was just treated at Cycle Loft. I want to be treated with respect not arrogance and rudeness.
    Same happened to me at the Cycle Loft, there's a couple guys there that are nice, helpful and polite, but the service manager is an arrogant jerk. Never went back after that.
    If I could ask anything is mechanics that do not treat you like they are doing you a favor for taking your money.

  7. #7
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    I always thought it would be nice to have some sort of return customer discount on the number of times you have been and how much you have spent on service.

    Also if something breaks in winter I don't want to keep the shop open replacing one part. (EXPENSIVE!!!)

    Put in a Fast Lane dedicated for service. To avoid the dreaded forty minutes behind the stupid housewife buying her first POS road bike. Pick-up should be painless and certainly shouldn't take the better part of an hour!

    Pay attention to the guys who ride, I mean really RIDE. Not the artards in there to buy a pair of socks. Think about it who will give you return business?

  8. #8
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    What about some kind of customer rewards program that sends you gift coupons based on how much money you spent in the store each month?

    I am a firm believer that every customer should be treated the same regardless of how much they are spending or what they are buying. But I also agree with you that there need to be systems in place for customers to pick up their bike and get back out there and ride. You want to know that your business is important to the shop, and that new customer wants to be treated fairly so that they will stay in the sport. There's got to be a happy medium somewhere that keeps everyone happy and coming back.

    What else drives you nuts that you'd like to see change? There are shops out there that might be listening.

  9. #9
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    Main thing for me is to be treated with RESPECT, and not the dreaded I know more then you/ I'm better then you attitude. Be there to HELP! Other then that, the obvious know your regulars if someone is seriously helping you keep the lights on speed up his/her service.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogo
    Main thing for me is to be treated with RESPECT, and not the dreaded I know more then you/ I'm better then you attitude. Be there to HELP! Other then that, the obvious know your regulars if someone is seriously helping you keep the lights on speed up his/her service.

    I hear you on the respect thing because everyone was new once wanting to learn and many shops treat those people like crap resulting in them giving up on the sport. The best thing anyone can do for cycling is to get new people involved. That's what is going to keep the sport alive and the shops in business.

    And I hear you on the knowing your regulars thing. On the flip side to that though; I went into Travis Cycle in Taunton to have some work done on my Epic. I was told 2 days but the bike just sat there for 5. One day I came in to see it still leaning there and the owner said he'd get right on it while the old lady followed me around to make sure I wasn't stealing (which infuriated me). That ended promptly when a guy asked to buy a bike that needed to be built. I watched as my bike came off of the stand and was told that anyone buying a bike from them comes first. I took my ride and have never gone back there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebsc7
    I hear you on the respect thing because everyone was new once wanting to learn and many shops treat those people like crap resulting in them giving up on the sport. The best thing anyone can do for cycling is to get new people involved. That's what is going to keep the sport alive and the shops in business.

    And I hear you on the knowing your regulars thing. On the flip side to that though; I went into Travis Cycle in Taunton to have some work done on my Epic. I was told 2 days but the bike just sat there for 5. One day I came in to see it still leaning there and the owner said he'd get right on it while the old lady followed me around to make sure I wasn't stealing (which infuriated me). That ended promptly when a guy asked to buy a bike that needed to be built. I watched as my bike came off of the stand and was told that anyone buying a bike from them comes first. I took my ride and have never gone back there.
    Thing is though a regular to me is someone who uses there LBS just as much as someone would use the internet. If you did that at the store then I would of had a serious problem. Now if that bike needing to be built was a expensive bike as the owner I would hate to lose the sale! Catch 22!

  12. #12
    usually cranky
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    i totally agree with the rewards program idea. like spend x and get z back.

  13. #13
    usually cranky
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    or maybe like buy 2 tires get two tubes or buy a shock get a pump. something like that.

  14. #14
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    Here is what I would like to see in a shop:

    1) Fair pricing on repairs. There are a few shops in the Boston area that have decent prices, but some places rob you blind.

    2) Treated with respect regardless if you are buying a $2000 bike or a $4 bottle of lubricant.

    3) Mature sales people that actually know something about what they are selling. There are some shops in the Boston area (JRA Cycles) that actually tell you what does and does NOT work.. For example, I was enquiring about purchasing a remote adjust seatpost for
    ~$200 and one of the sales people told me that he purchased one, but only used it six times in the last season. Thank you for saving me $200!

    4) Discounts for repeat customers. I find it a bit annoying when you go into a shop and they will not budge from MSRP pricing (and they wonder why everyone buys from the internet!!).

  15. #15
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    I shop around at a few LBSs in central MA depending on where I am during my errand runs. Hate to say it, but sometimes I am totally happy buying stuff online. Some places just make me cringe even if all I do is pop in for $6 worth of gels. Either got some poor dude trying to help 10 people at once or a bunch of guys just standing around sniffin' lube or something. Repairs is another black hole of customer service, ugh. It is like they blame you for the inability of metal and plastic to stay shiny and in one piece.

    On the other hand, I can understand the pressure they are under. My small company sells a very specific data analysis service to huge corporations, we are constantly trying to patch holes in our systems while maintaining our excellent reputation for customer service. It is a hard balance to strike between the big contracts and the small requests for $500 worth of excel spreadsheets, but you absolutely have to suck it up and be as helpful as you can. I seriously hope that 50 years from now we still have bike shops. I appreciate these guys for enabling this peculiar hobby we all have.

  16. #16
    GNR
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    I hate most bike shops...

    ...because when I go in to one, I'm admitting defeat that I can't fix something myself. It's like a walk of shame for me, so no matter what happens I'm not in a good place.

    As for buying stuff, (bikes, tools, clothing, etc) I shop 100% online. I can get whatever small parts for rebuilds at 1/2 dozen shops online and for merchandise, large internet shops' prices can't be beaten. I order what I need without talking to anyone who hassles me and it arrives while I'm at work so I can come home to a package. What fun!

    If I had to pick one, I'd want every bike shop to be The Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge. They are willing to share what they know and charge you for it (which is highly respectful of both customer and shop).

    When I've needed a fix I can't do myself, I've been interested in learning or watching the repair on my bike. When I was rebuffed at both Wheel Works, both Internationals, ATA in Cambridge, and at the dink shop in Powderhouse Sq, I was done with those shops in terms of supporting them financially. I love visiting and seeing new builds and frames, but will never actually buy anything.

    After all this, I'm curious about who is asking the question and why.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GNR
    ...because when I go in to one, I'm admitting defeat that I can't fix something myself. It's like a walk of shame for me, so no matter what happens I'm not in a good place.

    As for buying stuff, (bikes, tools, clothing, etc) I shop 100% online. I can get whatever small parts for rebuilds at 1/2 dozen shops online and for merchandise, large internet shops' prices can't be beaten. I order what I need without talking to anyone who hassles me and it arrives while I'm at work so I can come home to a package. What fun!

    If I had to pick one, I'd want every bike shop to be The Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge. They are willing to share what they know and charge you for it (which is highly respectful of both customer and shop).

    When I've needed a fix I can't do myself, I've been interested in learning or watching the repair on my bike. When I was rebuffed at both Wheel Works, both Internationals, ATA in Cambridge, and at the dink shop in Powderhouse Sq, I was done with those shops in terms of supporting them financially. I love visiting and seeing new builds and frames, but will never actually buy anything.

    After all this, I'm curious about who is asking the question and why.
    I too have sold out the LBS and buy almost everything online, mostly from Price Point. I do this not because I like the experience or the prices. Quite often I think I found a great deal on Panaracer Fire XC Pro's only to receive the junk Japanese knock offs. I shop online because my LBS closed and I have nowhere to go to get what I need because the other shops don't stock anything. Why don't they stock anything? Because no one will buy it, and if someone wants to buy it they want a deal or the internet price they saw on Amazon. Can the LBS afford to do this? Hell no, because most of the time they have to buy from some large distributor that charges the a few dollars below what someone could just buy it online for. Online and mail order have really hurt the small LBS.

    And as for why I started this thread; it is because after working in a shop for 5 years and contemplating starting my own I want see how the other side views things. I want to see what people really want when they walk into a shop. So far the answers have been really helpful, but widely varied.

    RESPECT: Some people just want to be treated with it regardless of their purchase. Too many shops out there are acting like they're better than everyone. Case in point; I walked into a bike shop and asked about Specialized and their other brands. The guy's response was, "Yeah, this Epic sucks the least." and then he just walked away. I took my money down the road. Other people would like to see a hierarchy of customer service based on how much you spend and how often you visit. I still think there's a way to make everyone happy without making the new customer who wants to join our sport feel like they don't belong.

    PRICE: Everyone wants to pay internet prices in the shop. Most people want a discount if they've been to the shop more than twice.

    IN-STOCK BIKES: Everyone wants to see shiny high-end exotics in the store. Unfortunately no one wants to buy them, just look at them. I'm one of those people, but I never buy it because all anyone stocks is Medium and I'm 6'3". Also from other threads I have gathered that no one wants the bike that is built on the sales floor (commonly mis-referred to as the the floor model). Unfortunately shops can't afford to keep high end bikes in boxes out back and never sell the one they built. In reality the "floor model" bike gets constantly cleaned and has been tuned over and over again before and after test rides. The one in the box just collects dust and gets bumped into every 10 minutes.

    REPAIRS: They need to be done quickly, honestly and not break the bank. And most people would like to watch it happen. Watching can be good and bad. Most shops believe that if you learn to fix it yourself you won't need them anymore. I think it means you'll buy tools from me, which is a win anyway. Bad; sometimes a tough repair on an older bike requires a rubber mallet. Seeing this does not go over well with most people.

    What does everyone think about a "Quick Repair" fee? You come in with something you can't figure out and the mechanic whips out a screwdriver and fixes it in 10 minutes. How's $10 sound?

    I hope everyone keeps commenting, the more ideas the better!

  18. #18
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    a shop that can repair the propietary components that are on their bicycles (Cannondale forks and cranks). this is impossible where I Iive. They didn't even know how to obtain the tool I needed for my fork. no problem. I got it myself. I do everything myself.

    stock common disc brake pads that are on at least the bikes they're selling.

    how about stocking anything I need!!! I stopped visiting my lbs more and more and now seldom. I know this is difficult now during this recession.

    How about just being competent enough to remember to order the stuff you said you ordered!!!!! OR returning the factory reps calls so I can get my replacement frame. sorry going to have to bypass you and arrange to pickup elsewhere.

    how about giving some prefferential treament to the guy who buys all their expensive bikes and frames and parts DURING THE WINTER!! And maybe thinking about doing something, anything, with my warranty repair on propietary parts instead of changing the tube on that $85 bike!!!!

    how about remembering that I'm an experienced long time cyclist and when start shovelling the daily Sh** as you do with the recreationalist I know it and just politely leave. and go home to my computer.

  19. #19
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    hey guys if you're a serious cyclist, you have to repair your own bike. you're going to be behind all the stupid tube repairs.

  20. #20
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    when I was kid and broke things my THEN lbs was always very helpful and respectful. now I'd be kicked to the dirt. guess what? when I became older I bought my rather expensive bikes there. hmmmm. bicycle shop owners: YOU NEVER KNOW WHO THAT KID IS!!!

  21. #21
    rack admirer
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    Bike shops bail me out

    I buy most of my stuff on ebay or eshops. I do 99% of the wrenching (can't build wheels). When I have a stuck bb or need my disc tabs machined, I'm in there all humble. I have been treated with total respect at Bike Barn-Whitman, Rockland cycle, Bicycle link-Weymouth. All have let me watch the process to learn more.

    Most good shops are smart enough to size up the customer. In turn, explain to your neighbor the merits of avoiding a walmart bike at entry level and getting the service and confidence that a real rider wants.
    MCM # 57

  22. #22
    Rider of Bikes
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    After B1tching about Cycle Loft the other day (they still suck) and raving about Belmont Wheel Works, I just checked my credit card statement and Belmont Double charged me. A $75 jersey has now cost me $150. I just called them and they were very nice and hope to have it sorted tonight. Where the hell did I put the receipt. I will keep this one updated.

  23. #23
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    Here's a question for LBS staff - does an LBS will pay more from QBP than they would if they bought it online from Jenson or PP? It seems like QBP has my LBS by the shorthairs.

  24. #24
    GNR
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    Another comment

    I don't have any stake in Bike magazine other than my yearly subscription. That being said, the most recent issue's editorial section, known as 'Ask Chopper', contains some of the exact douchebaggery that I can't stand in shops. Page 50.

    Basically the author gives shops the green light to overcharge you or treat you poorly if you bought parts online that need service. I'm writing the mag to express that this attitude will continue to drive bike shops into "saurus" status and prevent shops from evolving and staying alive.

    PS 2-page Pricepoint ad in the back of the mag, but no other big internet shops...

  25. #25
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    personally, i see no reason why shops get so behind in the service dept. fast repairs and installation should be same day not 7 day ordeals. connected idea: have stuff in stock. the way to keep customers from shopping on the internet is to actually have the part in stock and offer to install it immediately. other than wheels being built there are precious few installations that should take a long time (assuming bike is built up).

    summary:
    same day service
    parts in stock
    multiple sizes of gear

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