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  1. #1
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    Clueless Salesman?

    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.

    I was loitering around the entry level bikes when the salesman walks up to me and of course steers me right to the expensive bikes, telling me I need one to "really get into mountain biking"

    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.

    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.

    I was loitering around the entry level bikes when the salesman walks up to me and of course steers me right to the expensive bikes, telling me I need one to "really get into mountain biking"

    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.

    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    Yes, but not OK that you were not asked questions about your intended use and budget.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.

    I was loitering around the entry level bikes when the salesman walks up to me and of course steers me right to the expensive bikes, telling me I need one to "really get into mountain biking"

    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.

    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    Thank him for not wanting you to waste your money on a cheapo bike. I don't think entry level should mean it brakes in a month but realisticaly a lot of cheap mountain bikes will not last under real mountainbiking conditions. He probably knows what he's taling about.
    Entry level MT-bikes are for riding around campus and not much else.

    I'm not sure I know what integrated headset is. Threaded, unthreaded , I haven't heard it mentioned before.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milos'
    Thank him for not wanting you to waste your money on a cheapo bike. I don't think entry level should mean it brakes in a month but realisticaly a lot of cheap mountain bikes will not last under real mountainbiking conditions. He probably knows what he's taling about.
    Entry level MT-bikes are for riding around campus and not much else.

    I'm not sure I know what integrated headset is. Threaded, unthreaded , I haven't heard it mentioned before.
    That makes sense. I see where you're coming from.

    Thank you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.
    .
    I find that sentence pretty interesting. It makes me think of a used car salesman for some reason.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    I find that sentence pretty interesting. It makes me think of a used car salesman for some reason.
    He even offered me to have the frame size up be built real quick so I could test ride that one.

  7. #7
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    Was it Performance Bicycle by any chance? (zing!)

    And no, I don't think it's acceptable he didn't know what an integrated headset was. It's common, popular technology, and that guy obviously does not understand his own product. If he doesn't understand something as simple as an integrated headset, how in the heck is he going to know what's best for you?

    That's something I don't get - there aren't that many parts on a bike. And technology hasn't changed THAT much over the past 20 years. How it that some guys work all day in a bike shop and still don't know that much about bikes? There are some shops I won't even go to because over half of the employees don't know things like what an integrated headset is...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.
    I can argue with myself about this one all day.

    One one side- How can the bikeshop guy justify trying to sell a more expensive bike to someone that is just starting out? I'm pretty sure any entry level bike sold in an actual bike shop should hold up to a season of beginner-level riding, no?

    You had the sense to go to a bike shop to begin with, so kudos to you. It sucks that this guy decided to try to make a few extra bucks off of you. I can't help but to wonder how many people get turned off from the sport before they even get a chance to get out on the trail because of people like him...

    On the flipside- Did you tell him you were new to this, and what your budget is? Don't expect them to read your mind, you should be explicit about what you're looking for. Loitering around less expensive bikes and saying "I'm looking at these because they're selling for about what I want to spend" are two different things...

    Either way, don't let one guy deter you! There are plenty of shops out there! I'm guessing you will discover that some shops give a crap about their potential customers more than others do.

  9. #9
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    This guy's a mix. He did good by pointing you to a better bike, but quite possibly doesn't know why.

    If you stated that you wanted to get into mtn biking seriously and/or wanted to start racing, it was Ok to point you to a higher end bike. If you stated you were interested in commuting or riding around town w/the occasional trail ride, then the "auto upgrade" shouldn't have kicked in.

    He should have known what an integrated HS was. But if you're new to it, how/why are you inquiring about it?

    He knows some stuff, but not everythnig. He was prolly hired as a sales guy and just started. Was this a small shop or a chain store like Performance or Dick's? If so I can understand. I worked at Dick's sporting goods about 10 years ago. I knew a lot about bikes back then too and they hired me for footwear. Go figure . Eventually I moved over to bikes after the DB rep brought in a high end bike and I talked to him for an hour about it. I told him about my two bikes and building them up myself with XTR and bleeding Hayes discs (this was in 1998-99). He made it a point to get me into the bike section of the store. Ttyl, Fahn
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  10. #10
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    I told him I'd been trying to get into better shape and that spinning in the gym is getting too boring, so I was interested in getting into mountain biking.

    I asked about the integrated headset only because I've been doing research and read mixed opinions on them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    That's something I don't get - there aren't that many parts on a bike. And technology hasn't changed THAT much over the past 20 years. How it that some guys work all day in a bike shop and still don't know that much about bikes?
    I don't know how it's possible either, but it sure is common. I can't tell you how many times I've had problems with my brakes, and have been told by one shop or another that they have no idea how they work.

    Ok, that's a lie, I can tell you- It's happened like 3 times. lol

  12. #12
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    We kinda don't know what conversation that took place between the two. What kind of bike OP wanted to buy, and what the salesman wanted OP to buy. And how IS HS question came about. Still no excused for not knowing about IS.

    I've seen a similar conversation at the LBS before, customer wanted to buy Bianchi Milano and take it off road , sales told him get MTB instead. So OP do you know the difference now?

  13. #13
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    I'd also ask the OP what he considers entry level and expensive.

    For some people entry level is $350 and expensive is $800, for others $800 is entry level and $2500 is expensive.

    But a $350 MTB is really not an MTB (well it is in the same way Velveeta is cheese), but once you get up into the $1000+ range for a hardtail you have a bike that can be used off road without failing catastrophically. If he was showing you $2000+ bikes for entry level, he was likely trying to meet sales quota. If he was showing you $800-$1000 bikes as entry level, that's about right for real entry level MTB's.
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  14. #14
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    Seeing that you live in Texas and your favorite trail is Arbor Hills, I am preety sure you live in the DFW area and I also think I know which bike shop that this happened.

    If my assumptions are correct, then there are plenty of entry level bikes you can ride on ALL of our trails here and be fine. If you are still enjoying it after a year, you can make a few upgrades to improve your bikes performance or make a decision on a better bike.

    PM me if you want. I can give you some local help if you want.

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    I completely disagree with some of the previous posters. i have been riding a trek 3700 disc that cost about $420 for about a month and a half now. i don't baby it, i ride it on techy trails and hammer on the uphills i even raced it and it has shown no signs of letting up anytime soon. oh and i forgot to mention i crash almost daily and have bent the seat rails and the deraileur hanger.

    when i went into my bike shop i knew how much i wanted to spend and what i was going to use the bike for. i told the salesman i had $800 and i wanted to ride off road. he then directed me to the entry level bikes and told me that i didn't need to spend $800 to get a decent entry level bike and if i didn't like the sport i wouldn't be out that much. i had done my research and questioned him but i took his word for it. after test riding i decided to go with his first suggestion, the trek. i couldn't be happier and have since become obsessed with MTBing and plan on buying my next bike (a 10 speed 29er XC race bike) from them.

    I think all of you guys siding with the salesman and suggesting that a beginner needs a deore or above equipped bike are simply underestimating the quality of entry level bikes. and remember its not all about the bike, it is more about the rider than any thing else.

  16. #16
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    That's the exact bike I was looking at, and he directed me over to the 2011 4300.

    It's good to hear that your bike is holding up. Thanks for the insight.

  17. #17
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    in my experience working at a bike shop (i worked in the service dept), most of the sales workers were roadies. the shop hired a lot of people who wanted to work at a bike shop because it's cool to do so, and they get discounts on bike parts. it's hard to find really good qualified people who really know what they are talking about. they guy you talked to knows how to sell. if the have their staff divided up among sales and wrenches, you should probably talk to a wrench about finer points.

    a sales person should know what an intergrated headset is, but it does not surprise me that he didn't.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milos'
    Thank him for not wanting you to waste your money on a cheapo bike. I don't think entry level should mean it brakes in a month but realisticaly a lot of cheap mountain bikes will not last under real mountainbiking conditions. He probably knows what he's taling about.
    Entry level MT-bikes are for riding around campus and not much else.

    I'm not sure I know what integrated headset is. Threaded, unthreaded , I haven't heard it mentioned before.
    4 billion posts and you haven't heard of an integrated headset?
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  19. #19
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    When I was first shopping for a mtb bike I had the sales guy do the exact same thing........Im glad he did bc I ended up with a bike with a better frame that I still ride today.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.

    I was loitering around the entry level bikes when the salesman walks up to me and of course steers me right to the expensive bikes, telling me I need one to "really get into mountain biking"

    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.

    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    he should ask you your budget and type of riding you are doing to at least get a sense of what type of riding you would be doing. maybe he sized you up as someone that had good coordination and would get good at mountain biking fast. you may of not looked like a guy with no skills. in that case, getting a better bike would save you in the long run.

    i have been riding bikes for 30 years and am a total equipment techie and i didn't know what a integrated headset is. the technology changes so rapidly that it is difficult to keep up with all the new stuff. i would expect the salesman to know about the bikes in the shop though.

  21. #21
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    That kid had no idea what a intergrated headset is!! He is not the smart or just really high!
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  22. #22
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    First, when I was shopping for my first real mountain bike, I was encouraged to purchase the bike one model above the one I wanted to pay for. That turned out to be a fantastic decision in the long run.

    Second. Bike shop employees often don't get paid that much, and don't often get much training, if any. Some have a specific interest (ie. road racing) and might not know everything about all different types of bikes (i.e. dirt jumpers). Whether it is right or wrong, this is the reality of the situation.

    It's not a good sign that the employee displayed a lack of technical knowledge, but at least he admitted he did not know, rather than making up some BS.
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  23. #23
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    I've found it to be in my best interest to befriend all sales people and listen to them and encourage them to be more expansive. I do not know more than the sales person, or I'd be the trader. Often I've been the one who hasn't really understood the level (and I've bitten my tongue at times, for sure). It might take one or two visits, after you have introduced yourself ... and remember the sale's person's name.

    I've been getting good deals for a long time. If you say that you will return? ... do return. I guess I'm a salesman too. I have not (ever) forgotten or appreciated a good client ... or a tyre kicker.

    When tyre kickers do, actually do the deed, they tend to be surprisingly good clients. timk125 you weren't being just a light-weight tyre kicker, were you Mate?

    Is a integrated headset ...something like a full frontal lobotomy? I'd rather a full bottle in front of me.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 10-25-2010 at 08:18 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Wassa
    I've found it to be in my best interest to befriend all sales people and listen to them and encourage them to be more expansive (and I've bitten my tongue at times). It might take one or two visits, after you have introduced yourself ... and remember their names.

    I've been getting good deals for a long time. If you say that you will return, do return. I guess I've been a salesman too. I have not (ever) forgotten or appreciated a good client ... or a tyre kicker.

    Warren.
    Buying a mtb is opposite than buying a used car, you'd kinda want to give the sales person all the info up front, like the kind of riding you do, and budget. They'll fit you in a range of bikes in your budget. Take a test ride se which one fit you best.

    You should ask what the LBS offer as far as warranty, and service. Take your time do some homework, you should select the best package, sometimes not the cheapest.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    That's the exact bike I was looking at, and he directed me over to the 2011 4300.

    It's good to hear that your bike is holding up. Thanks for the insight.
    Heh, the way you worded it I thought he was telling you to go from a 3700 to a Fuel Ex 9.9 or something! 4300s are still on the entry level end of the spectrum. I haven't regretted the purchase of my 4300. There's obviously much better bikes out there, but it's still a great bike to get introduced to MTBing with.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    ... you'd kinda want to give the sales person all the info up front, like the kind of riding you do, and budget. They'll fit you in a range of bikes in your budget. Take a test ride see which one fit you best. You should ask what the LBS offer as far as warranty, and service. Take your time do some homework, you should select the best package, sometimes not the cheapest.
    Then after doing your homework go back and ask for at least 300 bucks off. A sale is a sale, in this climate. A good salesman always takes a profit, no matter how small (relatively). Otherwise the sale will go elsewhere? ... and tell them that is how it is.

    Buying a bike from an LBS isn't a once off visit?

    Warren.

  27. #27
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    As a side note, the season is pretty much over and there are good deals on '10 models if you shop around. So you might be able to get a nicer bike within your budget.

    As for not knowing their stuff, that's what separates a real "lbs" from your typical volume chain.

  28. #28
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    he did a pretty standard sales person thing. always starting talking about higher end stuff, and never assume you know someone's budget until they tell you. plenty of shops lose out on higher end sales because they start at the entry level and build up. that said, when people talk about getting into the sport, i start in the middle, or ask more specific questions. as a sales person you're taught to not directly ask for a budget as it makes people defensive and makes them think you're out to get every last penny. as a customer you need to be up front about your needs, and in a bike shop, a budget is helpful, or at least a component level, which can be relatively tied to budget.
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  29. #29
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    As a salesman myself, i'm more ashamed of his selling ability than i am his lack of technical understanding. I don't know about integrated headsets, however i could easily be a mountain bike sales person. All a good sales person needs to do is ask good questions, show options, and fill the customers needs.

    I've been to several bike shops where the young sales person offers up info that i knew to be untrue.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf
    he did a pretty standard sales person thing. always starting talking about higher end stuff, and never assume you know someone's budget until they tell you. plenty of shops lose out on higher end sales because they start at the entry level and build up. that said, when people talk about getting into the sport, i start in the middle, or ask more specific questions. as a sales person you're taught to not directly ask for a budget as it makes people defensive and makes them think you're out to get every last penny. as a customer you need to be up front about your needs, and in a bike shop, a budget is helpful, or at least a component level, which can be relatively tied to budget.
    You couldn't be any more wrong in that sentence. Unfortunately you were probably taught this by a poor sales person. Salesman simply avoid talking about budgets because it is uncomfortable to the sales person. You just need to step back and ponder how you would feel comfortable with being approached and mirror that in your sales. Find a way to ask the customer about their budget in a way that is comfortable to you, don't avoid. I try to envision that my customer is a random guy in a bar that is picking your brain. You would have no problem asking some guy in a bar what his budget is in order to give him advice. You probably think that the customer is untrusting of you because you are a sales person but 80% of the lack of trust is made up by you.

    What is really bad advice is showing people a bunch of bikes that are out of their budget, essentially wasting their time and scaring them off. The sale should be absolutely customer centric. If i were a bikes sales person i would have a valuable list of open questions (i.e. questions that require an explanation, not a yes or no answer), and i would open it up by asking the customer if they mind you asking a few questions.

    I would also let people walk around for a minute and tell them you are here is they have any questions as opposed to pushing your help on them.

    Is this the sales thread?

  31. #31
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    I also asked about 2010 models, and he said he didn't have any. Then I asked him about his used bike section, and he said I won't find what I'm looking for in there either.

  32. #32
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    Buying a model one step over what you originally planned/budgeted for is a great long term move IF you end up sticking with the sport. If you aren't 100% sure about your interest level, I don't blame anyone for going toward the lower end of things. I still think a $500-$600 bike is a better idea than a $300-$400 range entry level.

    Trek is putting out some of the better low end bikes from what I've seen on trails. I would encourage anyone to go for a model with disc brakes though. I guess on the really low end maybe available disc options are actually worse than decent V brakes though, not sure.

  33. #33
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    If you're uncomfortable asking what the customer's budget is you have built no report with the person. If the first thing out of the sales person's mouth is asking what the budget is then I can understand a customer's defenses going up. A good sales person will find out the needs and the wants of a customer, then find out the budget and go from there.

  34. #34
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    BB7 disc brakes at that. I'd rather have good mechanical brakes than i would crappy hydro's.

    $500 does seem to be the breaking point, unless used. My entry was a 2002 Giant Iguana.

  35. #35
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    Listen!

    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    Okay to not know, but he should've found out from someone before you left. As its been stated before, there are only 25 "standard" types of Integrated Headsets.

    Off topic, I would stay away from a starter bike with an integrated headset. There really is not standard size or style so replacement parts and the ability to upgrade are unknowns.

    Good luck.

  36. #36
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    Lets take a look at your situation. You probably spent a fair amount of time researching the bike(s) you are interested in online before showing up at the store. You got there and were made slightly uncomfortable by the suggestion to push the price you were comfortable with a bit, so you asked a very specific question about a specific product. The salesman you were talking to has somewhere between 50 and 100 different bikes he needs to be able to speak about (and that's a small estimate). It kind of sounds like you already knew the answer to your question anyway, so what was the real reason for asking it?

    It is really unfair of the customer to expect a salesperson to know every spec about every product they sell and it's a sign of a good salesman that he confessed that he did not know. My world is a little different, but I'm in sales and I know almost nothing about the products that I sell or how they work. The company I work for makes encryption and data protection devices that I do not and probably never will understand, but I am able to sell them because a technical knowledge of a product is irrelevant. If you want to discuss the technical aspects of an integrated headset, you should talk to the service guys, not the salesmen.

    Overall, I would say this is a fairly typical sales experience and I think he did the right thing by encouraging you to push your price up a bit. No matter what bike I get, I always wish I had one slightly better.

  37. #37
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    I get the impression that the customer in this situation asked a specific question as a sort of quiz to see if sales person knew what he was talking about. I can sorta see why someone would do that, especially if the customer felt pushed to higher priced products. However, the comment about the bike buying process being very different from that of a car is spot on in my view. The customer needs to be very open about their budget, current riding style, and where they see their riding going in order to buy a bike which is the best fit for them. Also, in my experience, folks at bike shops don't typically work on commission like car sales people.

    As for selling products in the IT industry without knowing anything about them; I also work in IT. In my view a sales person selling IT solutions without any product knowledge is not a good situation. While sales folks don't need to be able to configure IT equipment and architect complex solutions, sales people should have knowledge of the products they sell and the problems those products supposedly address. Otherwise, why should any potential customer believe you're products will solve their problems? Just like IT managers don't have the knowledge to configure equipment, but good IT managers know enough to make sound decisions on IT solutions. I don't think sales people need to be subject matter experts but they need to understand what they are selling otherwise they are just selling without regards to what addresses the customer's wants and needs. A good sales person partners with the consumer to address those needs.
    Last edited by 2wheelsnotfour; 10-26-2010 at 12:11 PM.

  38. #38
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    How do some of you guys not know what an integrated headset is? They have been around on popular bikes for the better part of 15 years!

    I heard about this other amazing technology out there, called "tubeless tires.". You guys ever heard of it?


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    How do some of you guys not know what an integrated headset is? They have been around on popular bikes for the better part of 15 years!
    Believe it or not; not knowing what an integrated headset is has had no impact on my ability to enjoy mountain biking. I guess if i was told that they are much better and how they would make my riding experience better i might listen up and research. But i doubt that will happen. I didn't know what thru-axle was three years ago and now i swear by it.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour
    As for selling products in the IT industry without knowing anything about them; I also work in IT. In my view a sales person selling IT solutions without any product knowledge is not a good situation. While sales folks don't need to be able to configure IT equipment and architect complex solutions, sales people should have knowledge of the products they sell and the problems those products supposedly address. Otherwise, why should any potential customer believe you're products will solve their problems? Just like IT managers don't have the knowledge to configure equipment, but good IT managers know enough to make sound decisions on IT solutions. I don't think sales people need to be subject matter experts but they need to understand what they are selling otherwise they are just selling without regards to what addresses the customer's wants and needs. A good sales person partners with the consumer to address those needs.
    I didn't want to call him out but i agree with you. While you don't need to know the technical aspects of what you are selling the lack of it definitely does you more harm.

    A good sales person with no technical knowledge will outsell a technical person with no sales sense. But i'm a firm believer that you should know at least as much as the person you are selling to in regard to the specifics of your product.

  41. #41
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    $300 off!?

    Margins in the cycling industry are way too small for that sort of discount unless the shop is trying to dump the previous year's model, and even then, a $300 discount would only happen on the high end bikes. And then they are taking a loss. Maybe the product is paid for, yes, but the investment in the product is not producing the returns that the shop would need to stay in business.

  42. #42
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    Is an integrated headset the kind where black and white bearings can coexist?
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
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    screampint is right $300 off a $400 bike isn't happening.
    I got about that off my first hardtail but it was a previous year leftover and listed at ~$1100.
    At that point they MIGHT have been getting their money out of it.

    Depending on the OP's budget and how serious they are entry level could last a couple three years or it might end up in the garage on the wall.
    If they get into they may want to upgrade faster but starting out who knows.

  44. #44
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    LBS is LOL.

  45. #45
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    It comes down to, "Are you forging a relationship with your customers to solve their problems?" or are you just trying to push product.

    Which brings this back to buying bikes. A good shop wants to make money by selling you the product which is right for you. They should be attempting to solve your riding challenges or improve your riding enjoyment. This means you as a rider need to communicate to the shop your riding style, goals, and budget. Then evaluate the purchase the shop proposes. The consumer needs to get informed and take an active role in the process. This will likely take several trips to different shops and some internet research.
    Last edited by 2wheelsnotfour; 10-26-2010 at 02:19 PM.

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    I once asked a cars salesman what species of bovine the leather on the steering wheel was from. When he didn't know, I left the dealership as I'm not buying a car from someone who obviously does not know leather from vinyl. The nerve of some salespeople!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    I once asked a cars salesman what species of bovine the leather on the steering wheel was from. When he didn't know, I left the dealership as I'm not buying a car from someone who obviously does not know leather from vinyl. The nerve of some salespeople!

    Funny, but not quite accurate. If the car salesman had said "I'm not sure I know what a leather steering wheel is," then you'd be a little closer to the situation here.

  48. #48
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    Pop quizzes are good, and I bet since you've done some research it would have boosted your ego a bit, give the guy a chance to impress you with other things before you dismiss him as clueless. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of clueless sales person out there. But I usually give them plenty of chances before I declare them useless.

    If the in for are components base then I give them a lot of room because things change quite rapidly from year to year, there are a lot of subtle differences. Even IS headset there are still different kinds, Campy standard or internal, or Chris King Inset, would one work with your frame, I don't know. If the bike you were asking is Giant, then IS head set that fit Giant is different than the one that fit on Ibis, and another one for Maverick. It's not that simple. Some can't tell the difference between ISCG 03, and 05. Or the weight of the King Devolution Headset.

    They know how to fit you on a mtb, tell you how they like the Kenda Nevegal VS Maxxis Arden. If you are in between sizes they can offer their advice or solution, make necessary adjustment for ride height, and reach.

    Most shops can't stock and demo the latest gadget, they can order one for you but that's about it. These guys can't know every piece of component and the benefit, Pro/con and compatibility of each components, and whether or not it's mane in USA or not. Not even all mech knows.

    Beware of the ones who really knows, because they are the ones who would make you feel small in a second, as you can't follow the conversation. Hope by then you don't come back and accuse them of being elitist

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by dust3313
    i couldn't be happier and have since become obsessed with MTBing and plan on buying my next bike (a 10 speed 29er XC race bike) from them.
    There you have it folks.

    A good bike shop will get you hooked for a reasonable price. No need to try to sell a pricey bike from the start if you can sell both a starter bike and then the high end bike to the same person.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    If the in for are components base then I give them a lot of room because things change quite rapidly from year to year, there are a lot of subtle differences. Even IS headset there are still different kinds, Campy standard or internal, or Chris King Inset, would one work with your frame, I don't know. If the bike you were asking is Giant, then IS head set that fit Giant is different than the one that fit on Ibis, and another one for Maverick. It's not that simple. Some can't tell the difference between ISCG 03, and 05. Or the weight of the King Devolution Headset.
    Knowing the specs and differences of all the different types of integrated headsets is not the same as knowing the difference between an integrated headset and, say, a threadless or threaded headset.

    God forbid the guy selling the bike actually knows the basic construction of a bike. I mean c'mon, bikes are simple machines with very few complex parts (excluding suspension and braking systems.)


    I guess I have a chip on my shoulder from my visits to places like Performance where the employees are naturally condescending, yet blissfully ignorant.

  51. #51
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    Try out a different shop if you have one in the area and see if you get a better vibe from them. A bike shop is a business just like any other, so if you weren't satisfied with your visit....move on

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    ^ +1

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Knowing the specs and differences of all the different types of integrated headsets is not the same as knowing the difference between an integrated headset and, say, a threadless or threaded headset.

    God forbid the guy selling the bike actually knows the basic construction of a bike. I mean c'mon, bikes are simple machines with very few complex parts (excluding suspension and braking systems.)


    I guess I have a chip on my shoulder from my visits to places like Performance where the employees are naturally condescending, yet blissfully ignorant.
    Performance , you come back with Performance

    In the perfect world every bike shop you walk in would have the answer like when you call the Manufacture. But it's not, you can either get the cheapest deal online and be on your own, or pick your LBS. If you can wrench it yourself and have tools, you don't need LBS. You can be more careful and take your time with your parts. You'd be most happy there, I guaranty that.

  54. #54
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    Smart arse M/cycle salesman

    I am seriously into M/cycles and have been for 30 years, read all the mags, visit showrooms regularly, belong to two clubs, had 27 'bike in my time etc I.E. I know my stuff.
    A couple of years ago I was ready to drop $15k on a brand new 'bike so I visited the local Yamaha dealer to have a look at models X and Y.
    Yamaha make two models with theoretically the same engine and frame except model X is "naked" I.E. no fairing and model Y is the full super sport/superbike
    As I was looking at the naked model I was dissapointed to see Yamaha had penny pinched on the "softer" model with old spec brakes, plated steel parts instead of cast alloy, Carbs instead of FI etc on a bike that was supposed to be the same as the super bike model just less the fairing.
    At this point the young [sub 25] salesman approaches and asks if he can help.
    Me, being friendly said maybe, but I was dissappointed that what was supposed to be the naked superbike was in fact a much cheaper version without the latest brakes, FI etc.
    Without so much as a blink he pulls out an imaginary pen and pad and makes a grand show of writing a pretend letter as he put it "To Mr Yamaha to explain how Mr Green thinks he can make a bike better than all of Yamahas combined marketing and engineering staff" clearly taking the piss out of me
    Well... I went from zero to 100 mph in 2 seconds.
    F..King wanker, I thought, how dare he dis me like that - it was a fair, justified comment and this young tosser tried to heap S**t on me.
    So I let him have it, verbally that is, very loudly in fact.
    The manager came over and asked if there was a problem, damn straight I said, gets this arse wipe out of my face.
    He got rid of the salesman and profusley appologised, I did not buy the bike.
    2 days later he rang to see if I had made a decision and pointed out that the saleman had been fired later that day as it was the 2nd similar incident.

    It still pisses me off thinking about it

  55. #55
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    I'd take the fz1 over the R1. Neither is near $15k here in the states.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by yater
    I'd take the fz1 over the R1. Neither is near $15k here in the states.
    Congrats on picking the bikes.
    I wound up buying a Buell XB12Ss

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.

    I was loitering around the entry level bikes when the salesman walks up to me and of course steers me right to the expensive bikes, telling me I need one to "really get into mountain biking"

    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.

    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    So you're looking at entry level bikes - do you know what an integrated headset is?

    I'd like to hear some more context here. Did you just stop him and ask, "What is an integrated headset." Did he answer, and you deem his answer incorrect? (per of course your superior knowledge of bikes)

    Come on people - quit jumping to conclusions. If I went into my local LBS and asked the fatigue rate of 7-series aluminum vs reynolds 853, and the salesperson said, "I don't know" - does that make him/her an idiot? Isn't that common knowledge?

    And since everyone here knows what an integrated headset is, how about everyone write their definition since they are such experts on the subject. Let's see how many people are wrong.

    Give the poor saleskid a break. He's just trying to make some extra beer money.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Motivated
    There you have it folks.

    A good bike shop will get you hooked for a reasonable price. No need to try to sell a pricey bike from the start if you can sell both a starter bike and then the high end bike to the same person.
    A good bike shop can also explain what you get for the money at each price point and if or when it will make any difference to you.

    Also a good roadie shop isn't always a good MTB shop but quite often you can get a good bike for either type of riding at either kind of shop.

  59. #59
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    edited this one, sorry.

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    Yes, I know what it is. Otherwise I wouldn't of asked.... There's this thing called the internet, with lots and lots of information in it. God forbid I do some research.

    After test riding it I pulled up to him and asked him if it was an integrated headset, and he said he didn't know what that is.

    And he wasn't a "saleskid" it was an salesman at least 40 years old.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    Yes, I know what it is. Otherwise I wouldn't of asked.... There's this thing called the internet, with lots and lots of information in it. God forbid I do some research.

    After test riding it I pulled up to him and asked him if it was an integrated headset, and he said he didn't know what that is.

    And he wasn't a "saleskid" it was an salesman at least 40 years old.
    Then that's a different story than not knowing what IS is, your earlier quote was
    [/QUOTE]My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?[/QUOTE]

    Care to share with us what was the conversation that took place, so far you've accused of a few things he didn't do wrong

  62. #62
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    I don't understand what your asking.

    I've already had my question answered, and I wasn't expecting to open a can of worms like this.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I don't understand what your asking.

    I've already had my question answered, and I wasn't expecting to open a can of worms like this.
    This is MTBR. A simple question like " are wheels round?" will open a can of worms.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I don't understand what your asking.

    I've already had my question answered, and I wasn't expecting to open a can of worms like this.
    I thought the OP's question was something along the lines of, "Is it ok for a sales person to not know what an integrated head set is?". The OP has been receiving feed back on what people think about his situation with the sales person. I'd say the feedback received is valid. However, perhaps the OP was really only hoping to just receive validation about his feelings about the sales person and is surprised that some who have posted don't share those feelings. But that's what discussions are about.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    This is MTBR. A simple question like " are wheels round?" will open a can of worms.

    Are they?


  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour
    I thought the OP's question was something along the lines of, "Is it ok for a sales person to not know what an integrated head set is?". The OP has been receiving feed back on what people think about his situation with the sales person. I'd say the feedback received is valid. However, perhaps the OP was really only hoping to just receive validation about his feelings about the sales person and is surprised that some who have posted don't share those feelings. But that's what discussions are about.

    I can see your point It's a solid point, just don't get what he's trying to accomplish with his title, is all

  67. #67
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    Threadless/Threaded/Integrated Headsets do not sell Bikes. Pretty Colors, Shimano 105, Straight Pull Spokes, etc. sell Bikes. No offence, but he is simply a product of his environment.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodyknee
    Seeing that you live in Texas and your favorite trail is Arbor Hills, I am preety sure you live in the DFW area and I also think I know which bike shop that this happened.

    If my assumptions are correct, then there are plenty of entry level bikes you can ride on ALL of our trails here and be fine. If you are still enjoying it after a year, you can make a few upgrades to improve your bikes performance or make a decision on a better bike.

    PM me if you want. I can give you some local help if you want.
    +1 good advice, DFW-area rider here as well.

    To answer the original question, I do think it's kind of odd a bike salesman wouldn't know the difference between headset types, especially since that is one area of bike tech that is changing relatively quickly these days. But, you never know - that guy might have been filling in on the floor for someone else, or maybe he was new. (just curious, what shop was it? PM me if you don't want to say on the open forum)

    The more $$ bikes do have better quality components - obviously. But the extra cost isn't necessarily going to mean more durable components - in many cases it's going towards lighter weight and better performing components. Smoother "plusher" shocks, hydraulic vs. mechanical discs or v-brakes, faster shifting dérailleurs, carbon bars and posts, lighter wheelsets, hubs with more points of engagement, etc. You might not even be able to benefit from or appreciate some of these gains at your level of riding.

    Also, don't buy the FUD that a cheaper bike will break if you ride it on a dirt trail. That's mostly just salesmanship to get you into a more $$ bike. You aren't going to be hucking off of 5-foot drops anytime soon. One of my first mtn biks was a steel framed, fully rigid 1995 Specialized Hardrock 3x7, with v-brakes and SRAM grip shifters I bought from RBM in Richardson. I still have it, and so far it works just fine and nothing has broken. I think I paid $275 for it.

    There is nothing that guarantees that you will love mtn biking and stick to it if you spend more money, and if you don't stick with it, you don't want an expensive bike gathering dust in the garage. But if you do love it and stick with it, trust me - this won't be the last bike you will ever buy. So don't feel like you have to get all the bike you will ever need the first time out.

    BTW I ride Arbor Hills a couple of times a week. Great little trail. Erwin Park and Horseshoe are great trails nearby you should check out, too.

    PS to add: take some of that money you save and get some quality cycling clothing. Trust me, this will make a big difference in your level of enjoyment, especially in the summer.

  69. #69
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    when you go into any kind of store, the salesman will always direct you toward what they have in stock, and what they get the best margin on. period.
    whatever...

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    Asking a salesman of 40 years about an integrated headset might be like asking a salesman of 1 year about a threaded headset. I guess my question would be if you were actually on the bike when you asked, why didn't you just look at it? I wouldn't be too quick to judge.
    "You know you're stupid when your own brain doesn't even try to protect the head that it's in." -P nut

  71. #71
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    Whenever I purchase any big ticket item, I always research the hell out of it, assuming the salesperson I will encounter may not very knowledgable. If they are knowledgeable, that's a plus. If not, at least I know what I am looking for.

    We have an abundance of information available to us these days - it's not like BITD when we were dependent on salespeople and marketing slicks soley to make a decision.

  72. #72
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    I had a salesman not know Shimano

    A new store opened near my house so I decided to give them some business. I asked for a Shimano XT chain and was greeted by the classic deer in the headlights look and shown some off brand item.

    I left.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion
    Whenever I purchase any big ticket item, I always research the hell out of it, assuming the salesperson I will encounter may not very knowledgable. If they are knowledgeable, that's a plus. If not, at least I know what I am looking for.

    We have an abundance of information available to us these days - it's not like BITD when we were dependent on salespeople and marketing slicks soley to make a decision.
    The OP seems to have done research but didn't care for the sales person. I probably would try another shop or re-visited the same shop in hopes of getting another sales person. I certainly wouldn't rely solely on a shop for information. Personally I have better experiences with smaller shops where you get personalized attention.
    Last edited by 2wheelsnotfour; 10-28-2010 at 01:06 PM.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour
    The OP seems to have done research but didn't care for the sales person. I probably would try another shop or re-visited the same shop in hopes of getting another sales person. I certainly wouldn't rely solely on a shop for information. Personally I have better experiences with smaller shops where you get personalized attention.
    Also, didn't the salesperson "tell" him what he needed to buy? I hate that when shop workers input their own biases.

    One time I asked a guy about a Surly Cross Check frameset and he blurts out, "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FIXIES, DON'T EVEN ASK..."

    Precceding this was his stories about hucking off this and that at Northstar. What a d00sch.

    He said it like I was asking about gay porn. I just said, "Yeah, that's not a fixed gear frame..." and walked out.

  75. #75
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    How many of you on this forum aren't bike salesman but still know what an integrated headset is? I mean it's not like it's some obscure or rare bike tech. I guess it wouldn't be so bad that he didn't know that if he wasn't trying to upsell the OP to a bike with more expensive components.

    I was in a store to get a set of clipless pedals and the guy was arguing with me that they didn't come with cleats, and that I needed to buy cleats too. I asked if he was joking, and had to ultimately open the box to prove to him that SPDs did in fact come with cleats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian
    I didn't want to call him out but i agree with you. While you don't need to know the technical aspects of what you are selling the lack of it definitely does you more harm.

    A good sales person with no technical knowledge will outsell a technical person with no sales sense. But i'm a firm believer that you should know at least as much as the person you are selling to in regard to the specifics of your product.

    The products that I sell are encryption devices used protect communications and control access. I know what they do and what problems they solve, but if you want to get into detailed discussions about the exact API calls and where the files are embedded, anyone with any programming knowledge will be able to talk over my head. Realistically, I'm not here to dazzle potential customers with my ability to talk turkey about encryption--I'm here to demonstrate that our product can meet your needs and do it in a cost effective way.

    I think the same is true for buying a bike or anything else. Realistically, if you spend 30 minutes online, you can find enough information to stump any sales person in the world, but what is the point of that? A decent sale person should be able to discuss your wants and your needs to find a good fit. Anything they can offer in terms of obscure technical knowledge might be helpful, but it's really just a trap for them to fall into if they say the wrong thing.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWheels
    The products that I sell are encryption devices used protect communications and control access. I know what they do and what problems they solve, but if you want to get into detailed discussions about the exact API calls and where the files are embedded, anyone with any programming knowledge will be able to talk over my head. Realistically, I'm not here to dazzle potential customers with my ability to talk turkey about encryption--I'm here to demonstrate that our product can meet your needs and do it in a cost effective way.
    Selling in the IT sector was presented differently in that previous post then in this most recent one. In my opinion a quality sales person in IT seeks to partner with customers to solve the customers' problems. That requires a certain level of knowledge of products, potential problems customers seek to address, and above all, caring about solving those problems. A quality IT sales person need not be able to configure and architect solutions, but a higher level of knowledge is required then just reciting sale literature.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    A detail like that wouldn't really bother me. Do you, for example, know what a Perdido headset is? Or a Columbus type? If not, better go and read this article:

    http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/tech/...wfix_headtypes

    My limited experience is that I see integrated headsets mentioned more often in a BMX-bike context than w/mountain bikes.

    I think what would matter more to me would be the sales person's response to not knowing. I had a doctor once who left me in the exam room after telling me he had to run back to his desk for a moment to look something up in a book regarding my symptoms. I respected his forthrightness a great deal. Now if the salesperson tried to bluff his way through answering your question, then that would put me off.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill

    But a $350 MTB is really not an MTB (well it is in the same way Velveeta is cheese), but once you get up into the $1000+ range for a hardtail you have a bike that can be used off road without failing catastrophically.
    I sometimes ride with a 16 year old that is only able to afford a 3000 series Trek. Its about that price level. He has a blast riding his rig and I don't think I can find any reason not to call his bike an "MTB". Thankfully, bike co.s make such bikes as it would be a shame not to let people of all income levels enjoy this great sport.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    A detail like that wouldn't really bother me. Do you, for example, know what a Perdido headset is? Or a Columbus type? If not, better go and read this article:

    http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/tech/...wfix_headtypes

    My limited experience is that I see integrated headsets mentioned more often in a BMX-bike context than w/mountain bikes.

    I think what would matter more to me would be the sales person's response to not knowing. I had a doctor once who left me in the exam room after telling me he had to run back to his desk for a moment to look something up in a book regarding my symptoms. I respected his forthrightness a great deal. Now if the salesperson tried to bluff his way through answering your question, then that would put me off.

    You are failing to see the fact that "Integrated Heatset" is a descriptor for a whole family of headsets.

    2wheelsnotfour, bingo!

    BlueWheels - nice anecdote, but it's apples and oranges. When working in a field that requires a degree, the salespeople often don't know everything about their technology. But we're talking bikes here - everything you need to know about bikes (short of unique or advanced designs) can be found on Wikipedia.

    I love this thread, and am entertained by all the people who think it's OK for the salesperson to be lacking in basic knowledge regarding one of the fewer than 30 significant parts on a bike. I hope it was just a kid, because if the person was serious about their job, they have a lot of learning to do!

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    You are failing to see the fact that "Integrated Heatset" is a descriptor for a whole family of headsets.
    No. I did not fail to see that at all.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    No. I did not fail to see that at all.

    Actually, you did, otherwise you wouldn't have brought brands into this discussion. Perdido and Columbus are specific models of headsets. We're talking about a whole type of headset here, not just certain models.

    It's like the salesperson saying they didn't know what an external bearing bottom bracket was. It doesn't matter if the person didn't know the difference between Truvativ, Race Face, or Shimano bottom brackets (specifics) - the point is they didn't know the whole family of technology.

    For those that care about headsets, this is a pretty good article from Chris King describing the weaknesses of integrated headsets:

    http://chrisking.com/files/pdfs/Int2...sExplained.pdf

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Actually, you did, otherwise you wouldn't have brought brands into this discussion.
    You're ass-u-ming things. The article I linked to makes it quite clear that Perdido is a brand. The article also makes the clear claim that Perdido "should not be considered an Integrated System, nor a Zero Stack". Thus, so far as the article is concerned, Perdido represents both a specific brand, and a type.

    You are free to disagree w/the article. I myself would argue that Perdido should be classified under an existing type such as integrated, or that a new type should be created to contain it. But all that really doesn't matter. All I asked was whether the OP knew what a Perdido headset was. That's a fair question regardless of how you want to classify "Perdido".

    So you can just bugger off JT, and not try to tell me what I was thinking when I wrote something.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.

    I was loitering around the entry level bikes when the salesman walks up to me and of course steers me right to the expensive bikes, telling me I need one to "really get into mountain biking"

    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.

    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    That's an interesting question.

    Integrated headsets are more on road bikes than mountain, so that could be one thing.

    Headsets are certainly the least important spec to look at when buying any bike.

    Having little mechanical knowledge is typical of some salespeople, particularly at shops which have a clear division between repairs and sales.

    And you would likely be the only person this year to ask that salesman about an integrated headset.

    I would be more worried if he acted like you were an idiot. It is your right to test a salesperson's knowledge. I do it when I buy stuff, not that I need to know the answer but if the person doesn't know or he acts poorly, I rather not buy from him.

    Really, the only answer if as a sales person, someone asks you a question which you don't know, is to say, "I don't know, but let's find out together".

  85. #85
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    I find the bike salesmen are usually more knowledgable about the product than car salesmen. (It seems like if you read the brochure or a single magazine article, you'll know more about the product than a typical car salesman does).

    However, just last weekend I had a salesmen trying to tell me the matte finish on the tallboy is how real carbon actually looks (true), and that the woven pattern usually seen on carbon parts is there for marketing purposes only (WHAT!?) I tried to explain they're both real-carbon finishes, and it was just the difference between a woven fabric layup and a unidirectional fiber layup, but he'd have none of it. He started getting real douchy about it, too. Some salesman just have to be know-nothing know-it-alls.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    That's an interesting question.

    Integrated headsets are more on road bikes than mountain, so that could be one thing.

    Headsets are certainly the least important spec to look at when buying any bike.

    Having little mechanical knowledge is typical of some salespeople, particularly at shops which have a clear division between repairs and sales.

    And you would likely be the only person this year to ask that salesman about an integrated headset.

    I would be more worried if he acted like you were an idiot. It is your right to test a salesperson's knowledge. I do it when I buy stuff, not that I need to know the answer but if the person doesn't know or he acts poorly, I rather not buy from him.

    Really, the only answer if as a sales person, someone asks you a question which you don't know, is to say, "I don't know, but let's find out together".
    This, I believe, says it all.
    1. Headset type is irrelevant on an entry level bike; you will surely break every other part on the bike before the headset becomes an issue, and before it prevents you from upgrading other parts (just get the right crown race, and run whatever disproportionately nice fork you want..)
    2. The headset is one of the last things to wear, indeed the weakness of an IS headset ovalizing your headtube is a non-weakness because generally you're way done with the bike before that happens.
    3. In many shops, there is a distinction between sales and mechanics; forgive the poor guy for not knowing the HS on the bike.
    4. Trying to stump people is a lame way to decide where to shop - because does it matter how well he knows that level of detail, or how well he can say - fit you to the right size, and recommend the right bike.

    So... if you got a bad vibe, felt you were put on the wrong size or wrong model, felt the salesperson wasn't respectful, etc. - move on.

    But honestly, Headset? Seriously, it's basic, it is, but it's irrelevant. The bikes your looking at need oh say - 10 other things upgraded before the headset matters.

    Shop based on how well the person addressed your needs, if quizes is one of them, i'm sorry for you... I dropped 24k on a car, and didn't expect the sales person to know the ups/downs of direct injection, the particular downsides of the changes between the 2010/2009 model year, or even how to snyc the bluetooth in my ipod with the car... i just expect them to let me test it, and make me good deal, because i'm the person that already knows what i'm getting into.

    If you're asking questions about the type of headset, you probably should've just done the extra 5 mins of research; sounds like you're the person that wants to already know.
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
    Your not all mountain unless your runnin' crushed dew cans..
    '12 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1
    '13 SuperSix EVO Red Racing

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvmdmechanic
    3. In many shops, there is a distinction between sales and mechanics; forgive the poor guy for not knowing the HS on the bike.
    That is true. You got to stop at some level - nobody cares what aluminum alloy is used in rims.

    Idiots like myself can probably browbeat pretty much any given mechanic with a string of buzzwords gleaned from teh interwebz - but I would not hold it against them.

    I would hold it against them, and I do, when they give clueless advice to novices where it matters - fit, type of bike, price range, meaningless marketing drivel about the particular brand they peddle .. in that order.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    So you can just bugger off JT, and not try to tell me what I was thinking when I wrote something.
    I have to apologize to everyone for this remark, and especially to JT. I shouldn't have made the remark. It was inappropriate for the forum.

    Maybe we can chalk it up to a bad day at the office.

    In better news, I managed to sneak out early for an hour-long ride. That definitely has put me into a better frame of mind.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvmdmechanic
    This, I believe, says it all.
    1. Headset type is irrelevant on an entry level bike; you will surely break every other part on the bike before the headset becomes an issue, and before it prevents you from upgrading other parts (just get the right crown race, and run whatever disproportionately nice fork you want..)
    2. The headset is one of the last things to wear, indeed the weakness of an IS headset ovalizing your headtube is a non-weakness because generally you're way done with the bike before that happens.
    3. In many shops, there is a distinction between sales and mechanics; forgive the poor guy for not knowing the HS on the bike.
    4. Trying to stump people is a lame way to decide where to shop - because does it matter how well he knows that level of detail, or how well he can say - fit you to the right size, and recommend the right bike.

    So... if you got a bad vibe, felt you were put on the wrong size or wrong model, felt the salesperson wasn't respectful, etc. - move on.

    But honestly, Headset? Seriously, it's basic, it is, but it's irrelevant. The bikes your looking at need oh say - 10 other things upgraded before the headset matters.

    Shop based on how well the person addressed your needs, if quizes is one of them, i'm sorry for you... I dropped 24k on a car, and didn't expect the sales person to know the ups/downs of direct injection, the particular downsides of the changes between the 2010/2009 model year, or even how to snyc the bluetooth in my ipod with the car... i just expect them to let me test it, and make me good deal, because i'm the person that already knows what i'm getting into.

    If you're asking questions about the type of headset, you probably should've just done the extra 5 mins of research; sounds like you're the person that wants to already know.
    Well, asking "stumping questions" just for the sake of it is not exactly useful for the buyer or the salesperson.

    However, maybe I had a bike with a problem with a headset, and I felt that integrated headsets were either the cause or the solution.

    I certainly wouldn't want to feel like my question was not important. Maybe it would take a knowledgeable person to explain what is the difference and how it applies here (and the answer would be a headset doesn't really matter on an entry bike).

    Again, it is not the information but how the question was answered.

    "What are you, stupid?"
    "Uh, what's a headset?"
    "I can give you a headset upgrade for $300."
    "Hmm, I can find someone who knows the answer."

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    I have to apologize to everyone for this remark, and especially to JT. I shouldn't have made the remark. It was inappropriate for the forum.

    Maybe we can chalk it up to a bad day at the office.

    In better news, I managed to sneak out early for an hour-long ride. That definitely has put me into a better frame of mind.

    Hey it's all good, no harm no foul . I wasn't trying to step on your toes, just trying to clarify between uncommon specifics and common types.


    Quote Originally Posted by rvmdmechanic
    If you're asking questions about the type of headset, you probably should've just done the extra 5 mins of research; sounds like you're the person that wants to already know.
    Funny how you (and others) are defending the salesman and attacking the customer. As if he's wrong for judging a shop on the knowledge of his employees...I judge shops based upon the knowledge of their employees all the time. If you're going to spend money, why waste it on a shop whose employees are only good for finding a bike in your price point and sizing you correctly??

    Issues like this seem to appear more often nowadays with the advent of the internet. Customers have access to more information, and a lot of sellers/service providers are seeing the results. A lot of people with mis-information, or real knowledge and unreasonably high standards when shopping.

    We see the same issue in health care. People go look up symptoms on Google, make an inaccurate and uneducated diagnosis, and demand treatment that won't help them.

    As others have said, it's about patience and education. I can't count the number of times shop owners or employees have gotten visibly irritated when customers ask "dumb" questions. And then I'm entertained, because I know those shops won't ever be as successful as they could be.

  91. #91
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    Another example would be that someone could google buying a bike and integrated headsets, and this thread could pop up.

    Maybe he goes to the shop and says, I don't want this Trek because it has an integrated h/s.

    A knowledgeable salesperson could say, "Well, frames are rarely damaged because of integrated headsets, which is why most of the Trek line has them. Even if it is damaged, Trek's warranty will cover you for a new frame".

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    I have to apologize to everyone for this remark, and especially to JT. I shouldn't have made the remark. It was inappropriate for the forum.

    Maybe we can chalk it up to a bad day at the office.

    In better news, I managed to sneak out early for an hour-long ride. That definitely has put me into a better frame of mind.
    That's nice of you to do so, it's rare on MTBR


    We've been misdirected by OP since the conversation was taken out of context.

    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    I walked into my LBS today looking for a good starter bike.

    I was loitering around the entry level bikes when the salesman walks up to me and of course steers me right to the expensive bikes, telling me I need one to "really get into mountain biking"

    He had me test ride the bike he wanted me to buy and I asked him a few questions about it.

    My question is; Is it okay for a bike salesman to not know what an integrated headset is?

    I was kind of baffled he didn't know, but maybe I'm wrong....
    Quote Originally Posted by timk125
    Yes, I know what it is. Otherwise I wouldn't of asked.... There's this thing called the internet, with lots and lots of information in it. God forbid I do some research.

    After test riding it I pulled up to him and asked him if it was an integrated headset, and he said he didn't know what that is.

    And he wasn't a "saleskid" it was an salesman at least 40 years old.

    Sanjuro said it best

    If you asked the mech and he/she doesn't know then it's another problem altogether. LBS already get bad beating with the interwebz sales, "most" would try to compete with online, in what detail are we expecting when it comes to "entry level" bike section. Most salesperson get pay by the hour, not commission. Shops may put more knowledgeable or experienced sales in a high(er) end section.

    My shop Mech come out and help with the sales. There's no google then cut and paste answering a live transaction. Lots are based on experience, and knowledge of the sales person. The 2 trades don't come cheap per hour, not to mention a good customer service skills, and a desire to stick around doing things they "love".

    I'm not siding with LBS, but I see their point. You can avoid all of this problems as a buyer, just by getting it online. It would minimized human error, the only one to blame on the info is you. Both my LBS are knowledgeable and very helpful to me, since I'm there regular. If they don't know something, they'd tell me. I can look it up myself, that's easy.

    It's not about defending the shop and/or attacking consumers, it just business. The weak ones would not survive, only the strong one can stay in business. Choices is good. I wish it was the case on the thread, it just wasn't. I'm willing to let some inexperience, and ill-inform salesperson slide, as long as there are shops nearby, when I need parts, accessories, and service. I own many bikes, and most likely know more about my bikes and parts than the sales person, but it does not mean that I can't seek their opinion on their expertise.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvmdmechanic
    Trying to stump people is a lame way to decide where to shop.
    I agree with this whole heartedly.

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    People sure do get worked up over nothing around here.

    My only question was is it considered okay for him to not know...

    Granted my title was a little off putting, but it sure did get ya'lls attention.

    I had no intention on making the salesperson look stupid, I was curious and he said he didn't know what it was.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Another example would be that someone could google buying a bike and integrated headsets, and this thread could pop up.

    Maybe he goes to the shop and says, I don't want this Trek because it has an integrated h/s.

    A knowledgeable salesperson could say, "Well, frames are rarely damaged because of integrated headsets, which is why most of the Trek line has them. Even if it is damaged, Trek's warranty will cover you for a new frame".
    Current and recent Trek mtb's do not have integrated headsets. Most of them are internal, a few are standard.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by blunderbuss
    Current and recent Trek mtb's do not have integrated headsets. Most of them are internal, a few are standard.
    What's "semi-integrated"? That is what I noticed?

    I think I better head to the local Trek dealer and ask that question!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    What's "semi-integrated"? That is what I noticed?

    I think I better head to the local Trek dealer and ask that question!
    Apparently, semi-integrated means the same thing as internal. News to me. The headsets in question are internal with caged ball bearings.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by blunderbuss
    Apparently, semi-integrated means the same thing as internal. News to me. The headsets in question are internal with caged ball bearings.
    OMG! Bananas! Teh interwebz "experts" are all wrong.. Oh. My. God..

    I see this thread on subscription list - I must admit I forgot what was the topic. Can we start over?

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    What's "semi-integrated"? That is what I noticed?

    I think I better head to the local Trek dealer and ask that question!
    Oh That's it! just went to both my LBS and none can tell me what it is, may be they are "clueless"

    Well both LBS don't sell Trek, but So? They gotta know right. Also asked them what the difference technically and performance between "semi-intergrated" to Fully-Intergrated and Inset HS. they gave me a That's it! I'm shopping for a new shop

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Oh That's it! just went to both my LBS and none can tell me what it is, may be they are "clueless"

    Well both LBS don't sell Trek, but So? They gotta know right. Also asked them what the difference technically and performance between "semi-intergrated" to Fully-Intergrated and Inset HS. they gave me a That's it! I'm shopping for a new shop

    So, because I know what the difference is between the three, should I be crowned King of Bicycle Land?


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