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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 02:42 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...

  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
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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.

  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
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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
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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
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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.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by surly357
    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'.
    Of course, you have the internet taking a nice chunk out of the LBS sales as well.... then you have people who come into the shop with a bad attitude, stating that they saw the Chris King headset online for $120, which is nearly cost for LBS.

    50% profit margin for a $400 bike? That is not typical, not even close.

    How many small businesses sell anything at under 50% profit margin?

    Sure, tubes are often well over 50% profit margin. So you sell 10 tubes in one day for $6 each. The 10 tubes cost the shop 2.25 each. The shop made $37.50 on those 10 tubes. Wo-hooooo.

  27. #27
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    One possible reason could be that the staff is tired, working on a bike takes time, you actually have to do something, possibly get dirty , while selling a bike requires nothing. Well you have to put the cash in the cashregister of course.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000fps
    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!

    Sorry to hear about your experience. A shop like that doesn't deserve your business. I'm lucky in that my local bike shop is passionate about old bikes, and the owner is an encyclopedia of cycling history.
    Keep looking and and hopefully you'll find a shop that will do the work and spare you the obnoxious attitudes. As others have said in this thread, there are good shops out there. I'm convinced the good ones outnumber the bad ones.


    Craig

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcufrog02
    How?
    Of course there is the cost of the employee's wages, and unemployment insurance, but there is no cost off goods sold, such as buying a stem for $20, and hoping to sell it for $25. That employee is showing up every day, and costing you money, regardless whether he makes any sales, or works on any bikes. He ought to earn his keep, by pleasing customers and doing some work on the "old" bikes that come in the door.

    There is no room in a small business for egos.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by longcat
    while selling a bike requires nothing. Well you have to put the cash in the cashregister of course.
    You're kidding right? Selling bikes sucks. Hours of sending a customer out on different bikes so they can make up their mind which feels better. Enduring the constant hemming and hawing. Suffering the notion that another shop will undercut you, or worse that the customer will find something online and then expect you to handle putting it together for them AND handle any quality issues.

    Working in a bike shop was awsome except for having to deal with customers
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That is one big f'n dude!
    Yes I am!

  31. #31
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    Oh, and I forgot to mention that suddenly all of the folks that you know are suddenly your best friend and want you to hook 'em up with a killer deal, or do service for free.

    Or how people will waste hours of your time shopping parts or shoes or whatever and then order them from a catalog, or now online. AND when they bring the box of parts in with 'Nashbar' on the side they are surprized when you wince.
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That is one big f'n dude!
    Yes I am!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo_matic
    Of course, you have the internet taking a nice chunk out of the LBS sales as well.... then you have people who come into the shop with a bad attitude, stating that they saw the Chris King headset online for $120, which is nearly cost for LBS.

    50% profit margin for a $400 bike? That is not typical, not even close.

    How many small businesses sell anything at under 50% profit margin?

    Sure, tubes are often well over 50% profit margin. So you sell 10 tubes in one day for $6 each. The 10 tubes cost the shop 2.25 each. The shop made $37.50 on those 10 tubes. Wo-hooooo.

    if your lbs is trying to wring a decent margin out of the internet shopping chris king crowd he's chasing the wrong demographic. coupon clippers and internet shoppers can be welcome 'customers', especially on repairs and internet part installations, but rarely become the most profitable 'clients'. we keystone $300 bikes, 40+ % at $400, and sold literally thousands of $9 tubes last year. tubes are certainly not the only high margin part- nearly every part that goes onto a repair is keystoned, at least up to the lx/ultegra level. when a consumer buys a bag, a rack, a light set, etc, those items are also keystone at a minimum. to a shopper value often means more than just the lowest price. i get tired of 1980's retail maxims still being related in a 'woe is me' fashion in 2008. other businesses that sell below keystone? don't know, don't care- i'm not in those businesses.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo_matic
    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.
    Actually, I went into two different shops that had attitude. The third was cool about it. And at the very first shop I visited, my wife and I were in there shopping for her bike. The guys kept pushing expensive bikes on us, when she wanted to spend around $1500. He then asked if I needed a bike too, that is when I mentioned I was building up a hardtail, and the guy was a jerk about it.

    That is why I went to shop #2. He was cool until the next day, when his boss and other coworker were there. That is when they started in on me about my old junk. When they kept pushing a full suspension on me, that is when I told them I wanted a hardtail. Then came the rude comments started. So no, I do not think the way I presented myself was the issue.

    In five years, the high end crap they were trying to sell me, will be low outdated "junk", and people will be laughing at it too!

  34. #34
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    My wife still has her 98 Klein Attitude, she's using as a single speed. I have the 96 Klein, with Mission control headset. Klein made very solid and beautiful hardtails back then. My heart still yerns for a Tinker Team Issue Attitude, in storm paint job. I've only seen 1 before, and it was a med.

    Only 2 kinds of bike shops out there:

    1. Ones I can't stand.
    2. Ones I can tolerate.

    I do ALL my own maintenance for that reason. I starts off expensive, but you'll dig buying tools as you need to make repairs or install parts. Been doing that for 10 years and have a nice collection of tools and parts.

  35. #35
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    Hey, I'm nightmare guy!
    I Just dropped off an 86 Mongoose ATB frame after transferring a bunch of stuff from my bike that jettisoned off my bike rack while moving.
    I did it to save money.
    Stupid ATB frame has a threaded bottom bracket and I could go no further.
    I figure I'll have a hundred in it plus the $60 for the frame and forks.
    Still cheap I think.

    My LBS guys are cool and we now ride and drink together and they dig my old bikes.
    I just innately know which shops to avoid. The shiny shops with multi thousand dollar bikes in the window and all the clothing racks on the floor.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000fps
    In five years, the high end crap they were trying to sell me, will be low outdated "junk", and people will be laughing at it too!
    Hate to say it, but you sound a little like the shops you're bashing. High end stuff you buy now is still going to be very good stuff years from now. It's not crap, and it's not going to magically become "junk". Much the same as the old stuff that was high quality then, is high quality now...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sho220
    Hate to say it, but you sound a little like the shops you're bashing. High end stuff you buy now is still going to be very good stuff years from now. It's not crap, and it's not going to magically become "junk". Much the same as the old stuff that was high quality then, is high quality now...
    Hate to say it, but the original poster makes a very valid point. The high end stuff of today will be perceived as 'crap' by a certain group of folks, for example people who think they need to be on the bleeding edge of technology. You see it all the time, once something gets a few years old a big chunk of folks will see it as old and outdated, or to some, crap. Look at how many 'lightly used' high end parts pop up on eBay. Perfectly usable, but the original owner felt liek they weren't keeping up with all the new geewizz parts on the scene.

    And then there are the vitnage scavengers who see it as gold.
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That is one big f'n dude!
    Yes I am!

  38. #38
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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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"
    Every spring the shop I work at currently cleans out the lockup cage in the storage area of the bikes which were brought in for service LAST YEAR, and then abandoned/forgotten about by their owners. Anything good and worth salvaging gets snagged by the mechanics and fixed up. Either to give to friends, kids in their neighbourhoods, or resold to deserving owners who'll actually put the things to good usage. The rest is given to a scrap dealer to be recycled. There IS a bicycle recycling co-op in the area but the morons won't actually pickup any donated bikes... they insist it be delivered to them, and really... its not worth our trouble to load a couple hundred pounds of bicycles up to deliver them across town when a steel & aluminum recycler guy will drive here with his own truck to pick them all up.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  39. #39
    25-yr old Retrogrouch
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    I live in a bike-friendly city and the shops in my area are pretty sweet and i've never had a problem.

    So there's your answer: move to a bike-friendly city!

  40. #40
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    Reminds me of when I was at a LBS inquiring about any 29ers under $1500 they may have and the guy says they don't have any of those fad bikes and then immediately offered to measure me up for a $1700 custom frame (with 26" wheels).

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sho220
    Hate to say it, but you sound a little like the shops you're bashing. High end stuff you buy now is still going to be very good stuff years from now. It's not crap, and it's not going to magically become "junk". Much the same as the old stuff that was high quality then, is high quality now...
    Sorry, my response came out wrong. I was being sarcastic. The bike I am trying to build was considered by many, a kick ass bike back in the day, but now it is perceived as junk for some reason. They wanted to sell me a $3500 bike, that in 5 years, the same shop would mock me for. That is what I meant.

  42. #42
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    On a positive note, I went to some mountain bike trails yesterday. The parking area was full of people. I went with my wife, so she could practice on her new bike, and I walked the trails since my bike is in the shop. Everyone I met that day was really friendly, every single person that rode by told me hello. Funny part is, I did not see one hardtail out of probably 50 bikes that pedaled by. Should be fun to be odd man out, LOL.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000fps
    Funny part is, I did not see one hardtail out of probably 50 bikes that pedaled by. Should be fun to be odd man out, LOL.
    Yeah, I get a kick out of that. NE Ohio isn't blessed with much in the way of mountains, mostly just rolling hills and such. Yet whenever I drive past the Erie Canal tow path, which is a popular family friendly gravel bike path in the area, I see guys poking along on their long travel double boingers. Kind of a lot of bike for a bike path, but if that's what make you smile, so be it.
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That is one big f'n dude!
    Yes I am!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000fps
    The bike I am trying to build was considered by many, a kick ass bike back in the day, but now it is perceived as junk for some reason.
    That reason would be ignorance...you did the right thing and moved on to a better shop. Don't let smarmy, arrogant, know-it-all douchebags get ya' down!

  45. #45
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    I saw a guy pedal by on a bike that looked like it was made for downhill. Didn't look fun pedaling that monster down the path, looked like it probably weighed 45 pounds! haha

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