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  1. #1
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    Rate your Milwaukee Area LBS

    Just wondering what others' impressions of Milwaukee area LBS's are. I'm always on the lookout for another good shop. I have three that I like, depending on what kind of service I need:

    Hang out all day and shoot the sh!t: Wheel and Sprocket North Shore.

    Get a hard-to-find part within a day of ordering it, and get an internet-price-match: Emery's in Tosa.

    Get parts and tools dirt-fricking-cheap (although it may take them a while to find them!): Ben's Cyclery.

  2. #2
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    W and S's are good shops. Lots of stuff to look at and people who know what they're talking about.

    I prefer Extreme Ski and Bike in Thiensville. Then again, I race for them so I have to like them. They do treat everyone I refer to them well.

  3. #3
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    Cory the Bike fixer seemed like a good shop when I went there.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klein_man
    W and S's are good shops. Lots of stuff to look at and people who know what they're talking about.

    I prefer Extreme Ski and Bike in Thiensville. Then again, I race for them so I have to like them. They do treat everyone I refer to them well.
    I've never been to Extreme Ski and Bike. I'll have to check them out. I live in Grafton, so they aren't too far.

    Anyone ever visited Pedal Moraine or Mountain Outfitters in West Bend?

  5. #5
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    Ben's is the Bomb!

  6. #6
    Witty McWitterson
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    ME!


    Oh, wait. I don't live in Mwke.

    Sorry, carry on!
    Just a regular guy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    ME!


    Oh, wait. I don't live in Mwke.

    Sorry, carry on!
    Marty is a truckload of bomblettes!

  8. #8
    One Colorful Rider
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    As a Former Milwaukee Citizen,

    As Gomez Said
    Ben Cycle on Lincoln is Very Cool Bike Shop A great Culture Shop

    I also liked Crank Daddy's on Prospect A Beautiful Retail Shop.

    Did Not get a Warm Welcome From Corys

  9. #9
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    BENS RULES.................but who the heck is this vince guy i talked to

  10. #10
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    I like racine cyclery!!!

  11. #11
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    Wheel and Sprocket in Hales Corners is high pressure sales, sales people don't know much about the product. Great deals can be had here at end of season sales, but you need to LOOK over the bikes. They tried to switch a rear wheel for a lesser quality wheel after I paid for the bike. I called them on it and they switched it back, said the manager told them to do such. I wasn't happy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Efff
    Wheel and Sprocket in Hales Corners is high pressure sales, sales people don't know much about the product. Great deals can be had here at end of season sales, but you need to LOOK over the bikes. They tried to switch a rear wheel for a lesser quality wheel after I paid for the bike. I called them on it and they switched it back, said the manager told them to do such. I wasn't happy.
    thats serious, very far up my list of ten deadly bike shop sins.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Efff
    Wheel and Sprocket in Hales Corners is high pressure sales, sales people don't know much about the product. Great deals can be had here at end of season sales, but you need to LOOK over the bikes. They tried to switch a rear wheel for a lesser quality wheel after I paid for the bike. I called them on it and they switched it back, said the manager told them to do such. I wasn't happy.
    Wow, that's nuts, because W&S north shore is nothing like that. Everyone is very friendly and will talk your ear off about local trails, experiences on certain bikes, etc., but I've never felt any pressure to buy.

  14. #14
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    In my opinion Milwaukee dosen't have any good bike shops for MTB. I guess my impression of most shops around here cater to fixies and roadies. A good portion of the shops make me feel like scum of the earth when I walk In. Maybe I don't fit into the mold of their average MTN biker. I used to be a big fan of Emerys in the falls, but that was about 10 years ago. Crank Daddys, I wouldn't recommend that place to my worst enemy. Online Sales seem to be my most viable option.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by brumski
    In my opinion Milwaukee dosen't have any good bike shops for MTB. I guess my impression of most shops around here cater to fixies and roadies. A good portion of the shops make me feel like scum of the earth when I walk In. Maybe I don't fit into the mold of their average MTN biker. I used to be a big fan of Emerys in the falls, but that was about 10 years ago. Crank Daddys, I wouldn't recommend that place to my worst enemy. Online Sales seem to be my most viable option.
    Wow, I totally have not had that experience at all. The first time I walked into each of the three shops I mentioned in my OP, they talked to me for hours about MTB riding, local trails, recommendations for my bike, etc.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle7775
    I've never been to Extreme Ski and Bike. I'll have to check them out. I live in Grafton, so they aren't too far.

    Anyone ever visited Pedal Moraine or Mountain Outfitters in West Bend?
    I like Pedal a lot. Not a huge stockist shop like W&S or the like but they do much better repair work and wheel builds etc in my experience. They also will go out of their way as much as possible to help you get what they may not have.

    G
    You can't depend on honest answers from dependant hands...

  17. #17
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    Extreme Bike & Ski, Ben's and Expedition Supply. I don't play favorites.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  18. #18
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    Really like this thread! Since I ride mostly by myself I do not really get into the gossip of what are the best bike shops. Here are my experiences:

    Wheel & Sprocket - bought my 2008 GF Superfly they gave me the discount as it was just before there big sale on the fair grounds. Do not really have anything bad to say about the North Shore and the Hales Corners locations.

    Crank Daddys - I am disappointed every time I walk in there. They are GREAT people to talk to but I just do not understand one thing. They sell bikes with Thomson and Syntace stems but do not have any of these stems alone in stock. So if you buy a bike and the stem does not fit you can not get it switched out? They are always up to order something for me though, well I can order/buy it myself.

    So what shop has Thomson stems in stock? Better yet if the have Syntace F119 I will be there tonight!

    I am just frustrated since I live 2 blocks form Crank Daddys and would love to give them all my business.

  19. #19
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    I like Patio Bike Shop in Hales Corners. It's a friendly mom & pop place, but selection is VERY limited. However, it's the ONLY local place I have been to where I didn't feel like just a wallet with legs (or wheels for that matter). I wrench my own bikes, but if I needed "special" work done it would be here or...

    Brookfield Cycle & Fitness. Those guys will wax (tech talk) bikes with you until they close. Good guys, good shop. I also build wheels, but if I had to send someone for a special lacing, it would be here. Tom can build some fine wheels!

    I also dig W&S Brookfield since I know guys who know guys there and their selection is pretty good for mainstream Trek & GF. Want something exotic? Go elsewhere (like maybe a different state lol).

    Crank Daddy's is alright if you know your bikes. They seem to smell their own. I do believe they have the most sophisticated sizing equipment in the area and a decent selection.

    There are other good shops out there that I didn't mention, sorry. Yes, most local shops seem to cater more to road bikes. That's WI, try to get over it.

    I don't know of any local shops that carry tons of parts, like stems and such. TONS of accessories though, like water bottle cages and lights, but not much for real parts. I think this is to prevent stock from just collecting dust. Honestly, I pretty much only buy parts online.

    BTW, who here also can't wait for winter to end?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RudeSechsVibe

    I don't know of any local shops that carry tons of parts, like stems and such. TONS of accessories though, like water bottle cages and lights, but not much for real parts. I think this is to prevent stock from just collecting dust. Honestly, I pretty much only buy parts online.

    BTW, who here also can't wait for winter to end?
    I think you're best bet for parts on hand is Ben's on Lincoln--they have that upper floor that they disappear into for 1/2 hour and come down with the part you want (and usually a few other options, too!) And yes, they are often covered in dust. They build Milwaukee Bicycle Co. bikes there, so it makes sense that they'd have parts on hand.

    Emery's in Tosa has some sort of direct line to a Trek warehouse somewhere, and they seem to get parts delivered virtually every day. I've had them get me parts on three separate occasions, and on each they have arrived the next day. Like I said in my original post, they also match internet pricing, so if you want to save yourself from having to pay for postage and can wait a day or two to get the part, they are a great way to go.

    Oh, and yeah, +1 on winter ending ASAP.

  21. #21
    Living the High Life
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    I've been out in CO for the last few years, but I still check these forums. I lived in Milwaukee for 3 years, and I only ever went to Cory the Bike Fixer. Great guy, great shop

    After buying a bike and hanging out there he always gave me a good deal and was great help. It was fun to just talk bikes with him too, its cool to be in a shop and just shoot the **** with the owner.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  22. #22
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    The best LBS in the Milwaukee area is across the border, Zion Cyclery is by far the best shop between Chicago and Milwaukee. I love my bikes and have been lucky enough to find two of the best mechanics anywhere, Kurt at Zion Cyclery and Keith formerly at Over The Edge here in Fruita.
    I need to ride moooore

  23. #23
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    I used to be a big Ben's supporter until I got some questionable repairs.

    I now use CycleSmith in Waukesha.
    Get 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order by clicking here.
    Check out my blog at SquidBuzz's Garage

  24. #24
    1GEAR
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    After I had problems with the W&S in Hales Corners, I'm wondering if I should take my bike in for the free maint. tune up they provide with each sale of a new bike. My crank sqeeks like hell, but after the questionable sales tactics I'm not too sure this tune up isn't going to cost me big bread. Any advice?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Efff
    After I had problems with the W&S in Hales Corners, I'm wondering if I should take my bike in for the free maint. tune up they provide with each sale of a new bike. My crank sqeeks like hell, but after the questionable sales tactics I'm not too sure this tune up isn't going to cost me big bread. Any advice?
    Clean and Lube everything down where you think the noise is coming from....test ride....If it still squeaks, drink two beers and pull the cranks and disassemble the bottom bracket ....clean all the parts and threads up really well. I like to use mobile one synthetic oil to clean out my BB's. Re-grease, (anti seize if applicable) and re-assemble.....test ride.....If it still squeaks, drink one more beer and before you start to pull your hair out trying to find the squeak, go to bed and sleep on it. The next day, check to see if you might be mistaken about where the squeak is coming from. Sometimes pedal spindles or seatposts can illicit pedal induced squeaks. Sometimes a stem or handlebar can squeak too, but shouldn't happen just from pedaling. After all this, I'm afraid you'll be back to square one, wondering if you should take the bike back to W&S to get it fixed. IMHO, repacking the bottom bracket wouldn't be covered by a basic tune-up, whether it's free or not. A shop might opt to just replace a squeaky BB instead of cleaning and lubing it, depending on the age and type of BB that you have. Where ever you decide to take it.....I would do it soon....before the weather breaks, because mechanics have a lot more time to take on each repair during this time of year as opposed to when everybody brings their bike in for a spring tune-up.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heckled
    The best LBS in the Milwaukee area is across the border, Zion Cyclery is by far the best shop between Chicago and Milwaukee. I love my bikes and have been lucky enough to find two of the best mechanics anywhere, Kurt at Zion Cyclery and Keith formerly at Over The Edge here in Fruita.
    why would someone leave Fruita for Zion IL?

  27. #27
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    Other way around, I left Zion for Fruita.
    I need to ride moooore

  28. #28
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    Crank Daddy's is alright if you know your bikes. They seem to smell their own. I do believe they have the most sophisticated sizing equipment in the area and a decent selection.
    I would have to say that you are quite wrong. Unless you are talking about some of our higher end mountain bikes, the majority of our bikes come equipped with Specialized or just no name stems, and if you are looking for a good fit we are happy to change out the stem for one of equal value that fits you.

  29. #29
    One Colorful Rider
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    BENS!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Normbilt
    BENS!
    BENS!
    is code for Ben's

    Enjoy the full moon!

    g

  31. #31
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    I really like Zion They always anserw my questions honestly. They always spend time with a stupid newb. (like myself) Have a good selection of bikes even for somebody thats 6'5" tall like myself. Im sold on this shop.

  32. #32
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    I like Racine cyclery give good deals on bikes. honest and help full people!

  33. #33
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    Hands down it's Ben's Cycles for me. I drive past several bike shops just to get there. Most of the employees there either race on a regular basis (Like a Nat. cross champ!) or ride daily and or both. They also usually will have anything that you'd ever want that's mountain bike related, from low end oem's to high end full race components. Just ask em they probably got it there.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle7775
    Wow, that's nuts, because W&S north shore is nothing like that. Everyone is very friendly and will talk your ear off about local trails, experiences on certain bikes, etc., but I've never felt any pressure to buy.

    Glad to hear that W&S North Shore is still treating customers well. I worked there when I attended UWM. Been out in San Francisco since mid 2006. The guys I worked with were great. Wonder who's still around. I think I saw Theo's (Service manager before I left) photo on their website recently, so he must still be there.

    I never understood a high pressure sales shop or one that looked down on customers. Its so much more than just a business, it really is part of a lifestyle, and you would think that people would want to share that enthusiasm.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Efff
    After I had problems with the W&S in Hales Corners, I'm wondering if I should take my bike in for the free maint. tune up they provide with each sale of a new bike. My crank sqeeks like hell, but after the questionable sales tactics I'm not too sure this tune up isn't going to cost me big bread. Any advice?

    To keep a long story short I bought my Trek 6000 from them. It wasn't set up right. I took it to two other W&S locations and each time the bike got slightly better. It wasn't until I went to Emery's in Milwaukee and had a fitting by Brent that I found things they skipped. The rear wheel was trued, front wheel axle wasn't tight all the way, front and rear derailure not set up properly.

    After I put some miles on this I will be taking it to Brent and Andy at Emery's and paying them to do the tune up on it. Unless I try to tackle it myself.

  36. #36
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    So far I have had very good experiences with Allis Bike shop on the corner of Lincon and National. Their bike selection isnt the greatest, but when it comes to timely quality repairs and servicem they have yet to let me down.

    Plus, they are very cool with prices. They tried to let me walk out of the shop without paying a dime after swapping a cassette for me, I couldnt let that slide so I hit the dudes up with $5 or so. Next time I went in there, they knocked off a buck from the price of what I was buying by a buck since their register needed 5s

    I have heard of this "Ben's" place... Where is it exactly?

    Im on 65th and Lincoln, so it would be cool if it were even closer that Allis Bike Shop

  37. #37
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    overall, the MTB knowledge at Milwaukee shops is very poor, especially when it comes to suspension. I feel like I have to educate the employee's on bike models, suspension tuning and other various MTB concepts. Very oriented towards road bikes, and the small shops cater to the crunchy singlespeed messenger boy crowds.

    Ben's is a solid place, as is Emery's and Crank Daddy's.

    Cory the Bike Fixer is a waste of space. Garbage place - horrible inventory, knowledge, and just unprofessional overall. Just awful. Stay far, far away.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5
    Cory the Bike Fixer is a waste of space. Garbage place - horrible inventory, knowledge, and just unprofessional overall. Just awful. Stay far, far away.
    Gotta agree with this take... I got my Titus there 'cuz I wanted to go local (at least as close to local as possible) and they were the only dealer in the state at the time. What a lousy experience. In retrospect I should have given my cash to one of the online dealers. I mean, these guys sucked. Major attitude problem, general lack of product knowledge, and the shop is pretty much a pit. Harsh words, but accurate I'm afraid.

    cheers,
    SR

  39. #39
    1GEAR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby12many
    So far I have had very good experiences with Allis Bike shop on the corner of Lincon and National. Their bike selection isnt the greatest, but when it comes to timely quality repairs and servicem they have yet to let me down.

    Plus, they are very cool with prices. They tried to let me walk out of the shop without paying a dime after swapping a cassette for me, I couldnt let that slide so I hit the dudes up with $5 or so. Next time I went in there, they knocked off a buck from the price of what I was buying by a buck since their register needed 5s

    I have heard of this "Ben's" place... Where is it exactly?

    Im on 65th and Lincoln, so it would be cool if it were even closer that Allis Bike Shop
    I have been going to Allis since I was 10 years old, I live on 99th and lincoln Great staff there, and although the inventory is pretty limited they can get anything

  40. #40
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    Pedal Moraine & Mountain Outfitters in West Bend

    Pedal Moraine in West Bend can handle the Treks & Fishers. Mark will treat you right. I think they lose money on every deal and make it up in volume! I hope that keeps working. Very good at taking care of warranty claims.

    Mountain Outfitters will take care of your GIANT needs. Very business minded. Very Professional.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5
    crunchy singlespeed messenger boy crowds.
    *snort*

    Do you mean the "crunchy fixie messenger boy crowds"?

    Crunchy. I like that description.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5
    Cory the Bike Fixer is a waste of space. Garbage place - horrible inventory, knowledge, and just unprofessional overall. Just awful. Stay far, far away.
    Weird, I always like Cory personally. However I can't say much about knowledge. Its been 3 years since moving to CO and my bike knowledge has sky rocketed racing DH.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by motard5
    overall, the MTB knowledge at Milwaukee shops is very poor, especially when it comes to suspension. I feel like I have to educate the employee's on bike models, suspension tuning and other various MTB concepts. Very oriented towards road bikes, and the small shops cater to the crunchy singlespeed messenger boy crowds.
    LOL on the SS messenger boy crowd.

    I disagree on FS MTB knowledge....W+S Oshkosh really seems to shine. I searched every shop from downtown Chicago to Central WI, and W+S Oshkosh had a great bunch of guys, from presales knowledge to setup/fitting. Dan F. is the manager and he set me up with a very fair deal, and really knows his stuff.

    Zion was a very close second, and is by definition my LBS, but they didn't have anything in my size that was interesting....I'm a fan of last years models.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG333e
    LOL on the SS messenger boy crowd.

    I disagree on FS MTB knowledge....W+S Oshkosh really seems to shine. I searched every shop from downtown Chicago to Central WI, and W+S Oshkosh had a great bunch of guys, from presales knowledge to setup/fitting. Dan F. is the manager and he set me up with a very fair deal, and really knows his stuff.

    Zion was a very close second, and is by definition my LBS, but they didn't have anything in my size that was interesting....I'm a fan of last years models.
    I don't know if Oshkosh counts as Milwaukee area, but you're right, W&S Oshkosh has a lot of MTB knowledge. That's the store that runs their MTB/Ebay business.

  45. #45
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    I really like Fox rive sports and spa. Really nice there in Waukesha, WI

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