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  1. #1
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    Got attitude from shop about my "old" bike...

    Long story short, I have a 1994 full suspension bike, that finally died (shocks, and forks dead). So, I bought a used 1998 Klein hardtail frame. I wanted to just swap a lot of the parts over from my old bike, because they still worked great. I am also a fan of "retro" bikes, so that is why I bought the old Klein frame.

    I talked to one shop about it, a month ago, and they scoffed because I had a hardtail. I wrote them off the list, and talked to another shop. The guy was cool, so I dropped off my frame and forks yesterday, and he told me to bring in the wheels and seat so I could sit on it and get the right length stem. No problem...

    Today, I bring in the other parts, and there were a couple other guys in there, and they all kind ganged up and started giving me some snobby attitude. Saying comments about how I am not saving money, if I wanted to have fun I would get full suspension, the bike is old, blah, blah, blah.

    I told them I wanted to use my old parts, because they all work great, and it is all XT. They wouldn't let up, and they started being *****. I finally said F it, and got all my parts and left. As I was leaving, one of the jerks said, "yeah, bring it back by when you get it done, and really show us someting."

    I don't understand why they care what the hell bike I am riding. I was in there trying to give them some business, and spend some money. In return, I get attitude, and a sales pitch for a $3500 full suspension!

  2. #2
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    Don't let it get you down, there are "*****" everywhere (even here). Build it how you want it and enjoy the ride. Search for answers to questions, ask for help if needed and post some pics of your project
    "I won't sell these for a penny less than $60.00. I'd rather put 'em back on the shelf and keep 'em! "

  3. #3
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    im calling weak sauce on them right now
    Let The Good Times Roll

  4. #4
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    I've only had bad luck in bike shops. They can't install stuff worth a D@%$.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000fps
    Long story short, I have a 1994 full suspension bike, that finally died (shocks, and forks dead). So, I bought a used 1998 Klein hardtail frame. I wanted to just swap a lot of the parts over from my old bike, because they still worked great. I am also a fan of "retro" bikes, so that is why I bought the old Klein frame.

    I talked to one shop about it, a month ago, and they scoffed because I had a hardtail. I wrote them off the list, and talked to another shop. The guy was cool, so I dropped off my frame and forks yesterday, and he told me to bring in the wheels and seat so I could sit on it and get the right length stem. No problem...

    Today, I bring in the other parts, and there were a couple other guys in there, and they all kind ganged up and started giving me some snobby attitude. Saying comments about how I am not saving money, if I wanted to have fun I would get full suspension, the bike is old, blah, blah, blah.

    I told them I wanted to use my old parts, because they all work great, and it is all XT. They wouldn't let up, and they started being *****. I finally said F it, and got all my parts and left. As I was leaving, one of the jerks said, "yeah, bring it back by when you get it done, and really show us someting."

    I don't understand why they care what the hell bike I am riding. I was in there trying to give them some business, and spend some money. In return, I get attitude, and a sales pitch for a $3500 full suspension!
    You will find that the LBS staff is a direct reflection of the owner/manager. If the owner is passionate about cycling, and respects the cycling community, the staff will as well. If the owner is purely profit motivated and cares little about the community, the owner will likely have punks for employees (because people who actually embrace the cycling culture will HATE working such an owner/manager and move on).

    There are great bike shops out there.
    Last edited by mojo_matic; 04-26-2008 at 01:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. I took the parts to yet another shop, and got zero hassle. They simply said "we will call you in a couple days when it is done, and you can come and pick a stem at the same time."

    The other shop was all "you think you are saving money, but you aren't. You ought to just get a new one. What about getting new components...?" (got hassled because I have 8 speed.)

    I replied, "I wanted the frame I have, that is why I bought it, and why do I want to upgrade a bike I have not even gotten to ride yet?"

    I finally said "if you guys aren't interested, I can go somewhere else, I thought you might like the business."

    To which he said "no, we can do it, just not sure why you want to, when you aren't going to save any money. I already know we are going to find some problems when we start putting it together."

    I even pointed out that they are making fun of my bike because it isn't new, but in 3 years, that super-duper $3500 bike will be outdated too, and only worth $300, so what is the difference?

    So, I left and took my business down the street. Funny thing is, I am not in denial, I know I might need to buy some new/different parts, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo_matic
    There are great bike shops out there, do not get your hopes up.
    I hope you meant "to keep your hopes up" as in don't be disillusioned (sp?)
    "I won't sell these for a penny less than $60.00. I'd rather put 'em back on the shelf and keep 'em! "

  8. #8
    artistic...
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    buy tools, a workstand and forget bike shops.
    there you go...
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    buy tools, a workstand and forget bike shops.
    there you go...
    Two outa three right...

    Buy tools, a workstand and find a GOOD shop. They are out there. And when you find em, tell your biking buddies.
    "I won't sell these for a penny less than $60.00. I'd rather put 'em back on the shelf and keep 'em! "

  10. #10
    velocipede technician
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan4bikes
    Two outa three right...

    Buy tools, a workstand and find a GOOD shop. They are out there. And when you find em, tell your biking buddies.
    amen

    (am I the only one that finds this threads title a little funny?)
    looking for 20-21" P team

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan4bikes
    I hope you meant "to keep your hopes up" as in don't be disillusioned (sp?)
    DOH!!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollister
    amen

    (am I the only one that finds this threads title a little funny?)
    Received attitude about his Attitude?!

  13. #13
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    The mechs at my shop like working on my old bike as it's dirt simple to fix, and I'm always wearing something out so the sales guys are happy too. Bike shops don't make a ton off bike sales, it's the parts and service where they make the bulk of their dough so there's really no reason for some douchebag at any shop to try and make an older bike sound like a bad thing. Tech has not changed that much since the mid 90's in regards to bikes, sure it's refined a bit but we still use two wheels and gears right?

  14. #14
    He be a moose too.
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    The only mechanic that has ever hassled me about my stuff was a retro Fat City guy, so he was kidding.

    It was probably 1995 and I was riding my rigid 91 Attitude. I was talking to a few guys at at a trailhead and said, "Suspension makes you a faster rider but doesn't make you a better rider." They didn't seem impressed and when I was going away, I heard them laughing at me and talking about how dumb I was.

    They got out on the trail just before I did and I kicked their collective asses. I was very fit and strong...it wasn't very hard to leave them in the dust. If a shop gives you a hard time, find someone else. If someone on the trail hassles you, show them what the back side of your jersey looks like.


    'Guin

    P.S. Let me take that back, I just remembered there was one shop owner who told me I was full of it when I said thumbies were the best shifters ever. I said I wouldn't go back but it's a small town and had to. Turns out he's a pretty cool guy and is known for being pretty gruff and blunt. I told him of our first encounter saying, "At first I thought you were a dick, but now that I've gotten to know you I've realized that it's just that you have no social skills." He's a direct enough sort of guy and he appreciated that statement.
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  15. #15
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    OK, here is the other side of the story.

    We get folks almost every day bringing in old bikes trying to get them fixed to save money. Some times, they bring in a box of parts that there buddy gave them or even a second parts bike. My favorite is the guy who buys a frame on eBay and brings it in to switch over all of his parts from his old bike not thinking that there are different sized parts. (3 headset sizes, 2 headset styles, no canti stops, 2 bb shell widths, 3 front derailleur sizes, 25+ seat post sizes, bb spinddle lengths........) They also bring in a mixed bag of Campy, Shimano, SRAM parts and expect them all to work together flawlessly. On top of this, their tires are worn slick, cables are rusty and the dog chewed up the seat. All of this can be done but it takes a lot of time to do which gets expensive. Keep in mind, that a majority of people are doing this to save money and it doesn't work. The bike shop has seen this a hundred times and it usually doesn't end up working out for the shop since the customer leaves pissed (thinking that is should be $50 and that the shop was out to get them) or goes home "to think about" after you spent 45 minutes telling him why it wasn't a good idea.

    What you are doing wasn't the same thing but the salesperson treated it like the scenario above. For most people, they would have been correct that it is less expensive to buy a new bike. Also remember that the shop would make more profit fixing your bike than selling you a new one so it is not a financial benefit to them.

    That being said, there are bad shops and that should give you even more reason to support the good ones!

  16. #16
    velocipede technician
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    Quote Originally Posted by First Flight
    OK, here is the other side of the story.
    do they have "throw out your bulky crap month" where you are?

    one month out of every year,at least three times a day I get to say" there was a reason that was in the dumpster"
    looking for 20-21" P team

  17. #17
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    When I worked in a shop the only customer that got any attitude were the people who thought it was acceptable to bring in their bikes covered in cat hair and urine. Dog poo on the tires also got you directions to the garden hose and a rag. Go find a better shop.

  18. #18
    Hit The Road Cyclery
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollister
    do they have "throw out your bulky crap month" where you are?

    one month out of every year,at least three times a day I get to say" there was a reason that was in the dumpster"
    The semi-annual police auction weekends were my version of that.

    In my 15 years of getting paid to fix bikes, I saw plenty of the kind of b.s. that 4000fps got about his "old" Klein. Once I had enough experience to be a service manager I was able to "re-train" the people I worked with, but unfortunately this kind of attitude is prevalent in 20-something sub-adult male shop employees. Considering how much money there is to be made off of repairs and parts, these guys are shooting themselves (and their store owners) in the foot, but apparently it's better to be too cool for "old" bikes than it is to shut up and make money .

  19. #19
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    the local version of the cop auction results in buyers bidding WAY to high for things that look good but are just so worn out, that they should have just bought a new bike or something off craigslist.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  20. #20
    Exaggerated member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo_matic
    Received attitude about his Attitude?!
    Exactly what I thought too.

    Obviously the shop members are a bunch of twits. XT was always a solid, reliable group set and it does make sense to learn how to do most of the work yourself. However it's always great to have a knowledgeable LBS that you can call on for expertise when something falls into the 'too hard basket'.
    Alex

  21. #21
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    It is a poor business man that would hassle any customer, especially a pure labor job. Labor is pure profit, compared to the slim profit margin on bikes and parts.

    I did my homework, and all my parts are correct, although they did talk to me like they weren't. The good news is, I contacted the guy I bought the frame from, and he has all the proper tools, and we are going to build it up. He even has an appreciation for retro bikes.

  22. #22
    tcufrog02
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000fps
    ...Labor is pure profit...
    How?

  23. #23
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    reflection....

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo_matic
    You will find that the LBS staff is a direct reflection of the owner/manager. If the owner is passionate about cycling, and respects the cycling community, the staff will as well. If the owner is purely profit motivated and cares little about the community, the owner will likely have punks for employees (because people who actually embrace the cycling culture will HATE working such an owner/manager and move on).

    There are great bike shops out there.

    The LBS is certainly a reflection of the owner/manager. Maybe the owner is too passionate about his own cycling to spend enough time in the shop to know what's really going on. Perhaps he is so concerned about being the cool guy in the cycling community he isn't business oriented enough. His employees could just as easily be directionless punks due to a distracted owners failure to understand that good employees are the key to profitability, and that profitability allows him to retain good employees. Maybe if a shop owner is profit motivated, which requires providing the value in goods and in service needed to gain and keep clients along with the margin neccessary for a decent return on his investment (it is a business, and presumably his livelihood, after all) his employees feel they're part of a real, thriving organization that also relates to their interests and lifestyle- not just some amateurs hobby. Perhaps this would be reflected in the courtesy and professionalism found in the great (and profitable) bike shops out there.

  24. #24
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    good question!

    Quote Originally Posted by tcufrog02
    How?

    wages, taxes, insurance, tools, etc certainly cut into that 'pure profit'!! on the other hand, don't let your lbs cry about 'slim margins' on bikes and parts either. most parts are "keystoned", a term for a 50% profit margin (that translates to a 100% markup). little things like tubes, lower end tires, shifters,etc, are often much, much higher. popularly priced bikes ($250-$400) have gone from the sub 30% margins of the 80's to now approaching or equaling keystone. they are also far quicker to assemble than in the 'old days'.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000fps
    It is a poor business man that would hassle any customer, especially a pure labor job. Labor is pure profit, compared to the slim profit margin on bikes and parts.

    I did my homework, and all my parts are correct, although they did talk to me like they weren't. The good news is, I contacted the guy I bought the frame from, and he has all the proper tools, and we are going to build it up. He even has an appreciation for retro bikes.
    Labor is not pure profit.... only after the bills have been paid, and the paycheck for the guy wrenching on your bike.

    As stated above, you have to understand that there are numerous knuckle-heads who come into a shop who know EVERYTHING about bikes, and have everything "correct." This rarely happens. Problems arise, from blown bottom brackets and headsets, to trashed wheels, to frozen seat posts, to dry rotted tires, to stripped crank arms, to.......... well, you get the picture. Then there is the guy who has a heart attack because a set of rim strips cost $8, so you have to spend 10 minutes explaining to the guy why he needs new rims strips.

    If you went into three different shops, and did not get a warm fuzzy in one of them, you MAY be presenting yourself and goals in a manner which places the employees on the defensive. Understand that these guys deal with morons on a nearly daily basis, especially this time on year when the season is picking back up.... their skins are a little thin right now.

    Regardless, glad to hear that you are learning to wrench yourself! Build a relationship with an LBS, for when you need that derailleur cable or bottom bracket tool mid project.

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