• 05-10-2006
    frizzle-fry
    favorite central jersey bike shops
    I see many threads about northern jersey bike shops, but hear little feedback about central jersey shops. Out of curiosity which shops do all of you frequent. I want to hear:

    1. what you like best about the shop
    2. pricing of components/bikes
    3. quality of customer service.
    4. quality of work performed/skill of mechanic(s)
  • 05-10-2006
    clarkenstein
    i have two shops i like to use... somerville cyclery and bike-n-gear in somerset.

    1. both are close to me.
    2. bikes are expensive toys, but i never feel like i am being overcharged.
    3. customer service at both places rock. staff is really knowledgeable in both spots, and willing to chat.
    4. both have performed copious amounts of work on my bikes. i just brought in my stumpy for a serious overhaul at somerville cyclery (new fork, stem, disc brakes - its a totally different monster). had my older fork rebuilt and a bottom bracket replacement done at bike n gear. no problems to note.
  • 05-10-2006
    Ice25gt
    There are 2 shops that I like in the Toms River area. One is Beachwood Bikes. They Sell Specialized and Rocky Mtn bikes. Excellent mechanics there and very knowledgeable. Everyone who works there rides and rides very well. The other is Beacon Bikes. I bought my TREK there, and they also sell Specialized. They have competetive prices and they gave me some insane deals on a lot of extras I bought around the same time I purchased my bike. Most of the time I need any work done on my bike, both shops get it done asap. Alot of the time they are able to do it as i wait there.
  • 05-11-2006
    gsurftaco
    I definitely have to back up the guys at Beachwood Bikes. Greg is an awesome guy and constantly gives great customer service.
  • 05-11-2006
    RTM
    Bike n' Gear is #1 by far. Planet Bike in East Brunswick has a nice selection, but they are pricey. Somerville seems to cater to the mom and dad with a baby cart riding the tow path. I've never had any work done there, the mechanics may be top notch but I do all my own repairs. Anything beyond my ability I'd only trust Gary at Bike n' Gear.
  • 05-11-2006
    KirtM
    Bike & Gear
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RTM
    Bike n' Gear is #1 by far. Anything beyond my ability I'd only trust Gary at Bike n' Gear.

    I Agree 100%.
  • 05-11-2006
    CondorTrax
    Thumbs up to High Gear Cyclery in Stirling . Nice shop, good selection, great people.
  • 05-12-2006
    normZurawski
    Liberty Cycles is the closest shop to my house - maybe 3 miles. High Gear Cyclery is slightly further. I have also dealt with Somerville, which is about 15 miles and Bike N Gear which is 20+.

    Liberty is really expensive but the guys there are nice/knowledgeable. Downside is that they forget who you are 10 minutes after you walk out the door. High Gear is so big it's hit or miss. They have a lot of people who really know what they're talking about and, frankly, some people who don't know squat. Plus they actively advocate riding at South Mountain and Watchung. I've only been to Somerville once recently and the 2 guys there were very friendly - one really knew his stuff and the other did not. I have heard a lot of negative things about them in the recent past. Finally, I bought my last bike from Bike N Gear. Small shop so you're not going to talk to a different person if you walk out and back in 5 minutes like you would at High Gear.

    As for maintenance I do absolutely everything I can myself. For my road bike, I wouldn't go anywhere but my own basement. It's just not complicated enough to need to go elsewhere to have it fixed. I would only bring the mountain bike back to BNG because I bought it there.
  • 05-12-2006
    Hawk1970
    Beachwood Bikes
    :thumbsup: They definitely are top-notch. I have referred several friends to them and they are definitely a very reputable shop with a knowledgable staff.:thumbsup:
  • 05-12-2006
    lancerracer
    I have had good experiences with Efingers in Bound Brook. I didnt know they had a shop, but then I walked in and saw it, and they have a huge selection. They are extremely helpful and the guys are knowledgable. They just got a new mechanic from another shop in Central Jersey,Planet bike. Jim does a hell of a job, and has built one of my xc bikes in the past...he is also the only one I have found around here that works on Hope Brakes...
  • 05-12-2006
    SuperbMan
    Another vote for Gary and Bike N Gear in franklin/somerset--good guy, good bikes, and he's a great rider---who has ridden everything and can really give in depth advice and guidance on bike buying-parts selections and the finer points of riding Jersey, Moab or Fruita!

    Liam
  • 05-12-2006
    Stinky05rider
    Efingers HELL YES
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lancerracer
    I have had good experiences with Efingers in Bound Brook. I didnt know they had a shop, but then I walked in and saw it, and they have a huge selection. They are extremely helpful and the guys are knowledgable. They just got a new mechanic from another shop in Central Jersey,Planet bike. Jim does a hell of a job, and has built one of my xc bikes in the past...he is also the only one I have found around here that works on Hope Brakes...




    Guys there are friggin great. Willing to do anything to help you out and get you riding. Prices are low, people are nice, store is pretty bad ass...they got sharks in there for christ sake.

    I'm goin to have to say that Somerville Bike shop sucks. Straight up, money hungry, VERY UNHELPFUL and if they are helping its making sure u waste as much money as possible. Prices there are a rip, i bought shinguards they charged me 60 bucks and my buddy got them at another shop for 35. That was my bad for not shopping. I'll will never buy another thing from there again.

    If you go to Efingers ask for Mark, big dude long hair. Nicest person your going to meet. Built my a set of wheels that he said were the biggest pain in the ass ever and still charged me regular price. (somerville wanted 75 a wheel, Efingers 25 front 35 back) and let me tell you that man can build one hell of a wheel. I give it nothing but abuse and it doesn't come out of true ever.

    Over all I highly recommend Efiners if your in the Somerset County area, I was just their the other day and they are getting TONS of new stuff in.
  • 05-12-2006
    JIM(eration)
    I'm gonna put my vote in for Efinger's in Bound Brook!! They are really getting it together over there, enough so that I left my spot at Planet Bike after a whole lotta years to wrench for them...Just come in and see for yourself...And if you liked my work at Planet Bike, you can now have me for a lot less money!!
  • 05-14-2006
    DavidD
    Yep, another postive vote for Efinger's.

    Great prices, top notch service, lots of inventory. The guys there know their stuff and are willing to help you get what you need rather than pushing you into something that you don't.

    If you haven't checked them out lately, you need to head on over. This place could easily become the area's "go-to" store.
  • 05-15-2006
    normZurawski
    I went to Efinger's a while back, and the guys there were friendly but couldn't really help me out very much. Wasn't really a fair testing of the waters, but still.
  • 05-15-2006
    Ice25gt
    What brands of bikes does Efingers carry? I used to buy fishing supplies there when I was a kid and lived closer to it. I'm looking for a road bike now and maybe I'll check Efingers out.
  • 05-15-2006
    lancerracer
    Efingers carries Cdale Scott Raleigh and Bianchi I think.
  • 05-15-2006
    Stinky05rider
    they also just picked up jamis, which actually makes some nice bikes. they should have Kona but Somerville ******* shop is gay from what i understand
  • 05-16-2006
    Cfrone1
    Some quick info...
    Hey guys,

    Marc C. here from Efinger. I thought I would clear up some info...

    We do, indeed, have a full fledged shop at Efinger Sporting Goods in Bound Brook. I have set up the shop as a full service, fully stocked bike store that just happens to be INSIDE of Efingers'. We offer bikes, parts, accesories, and full service.

    Our bike brands at this point are Scott, Cannondale, Raleigh, Diamondback, Bianchi, Jamis, Cadillac, and BMX bikes from DK, FIT, Diamondback, and some others (coming soon).

    We have experienced mechanics here at the shop. I personally have been in bikes my whole life, and professionally for over 20 years. Both Harley and Vince have worked for me for a number of years at my previous shop and can tackle anything thrown at them. Jim Vreeland joined us this month from Planet Bike, and he is also a hell of a mechanic. Last, but CERTAINLY not least, is Mike who does a great job as well on builds, repairs, etc.
    He also rides a heck of a lot, road and mountain. We round out the staff with a few of the new, young guys, Alex,Matt,and Rob who are learning more and more every day, and who at some point will be allowed to touch wrenches.

    We have started doing road rides on Sunday mornings, and willl be adding more shop rides (road and mountain) very soon, hopefully during the week.

    I appreciate the kind words from those who have posted here, and we will strive to make things even better! Please let us know what you guys and gals are looking for so that we can provide the best possible experience.

    And as far as Stinky05 goes, man I love your passion! While it is true that we do NOT do Kona at this time, I want to say that if you are in this area, and need a Kona, go see Chris at Somerville. He is a great guy, and is very helpful and concientious with his customers.
    I have also heard very good things about Diamond Bikes in Montclair, who also have Kona.
  • 05-16-2006
    RTM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cfrone1
    I want to say that if you are in this area, and need a Kona, go see Chris at Somerville. He is a great guy, and is very helpful and concientious with his customers.
    I have also heard very good things about Diamond Bikes in Montclair, who also have Kona.

    that's real class Marc. you guys are off to a fine start.
  • 05-23-2006
    HPbiker
    No shouts outs for Highland Park Cyclery?
  • 05-23-2006
    SwollenYak
    Did everyone clear out of Planet Bike? I went up there last week to buy a new ride. I had blocked out six hours for the trip, but since Paul wasn't there, I was in and out in less than an hour!!! Did he join you at Efingers?
  • 05-23-2006
    goldenplum
    Some impressions of local shops:

    Bike King, Rt 31 in High Bridge - knowlegable, will try to sell you something cheaper than the blingy item you want because they both work the same :-) Recommended.

    Cycle Craft - Long Valley/Chester - nice selection, helpful, friendly, solid work from what I can tell

    Pete's Bike & Fitness, Flemington - lots of roadie stuff, nice staff but I've never had any work done there so can't vouch

    EMS - Somerville circle - what can I say? I had some gift certificates left from xmas and they opened up a mini shop there. Have some OK parts, Rocky Mountain bikes only. Don't expect the "store" to be in there when winter rolls around.

    High Gear Cyclery - charged me an arm and a let to have a headset and bottom bracket put in. Always get the feeling I'm being "sold" to when I'm there. I'm sure some of the guys are cool, but it's a hectic place to try to get questions answered.
  • 05-23-2006
    Wobbegong
    Halters and Knapps....
    I've always been treated well by Pete at Knapps Cyclery and Jason at Halters.

    Although not a local shop, Larry at Mountain High Cyclery is good to deal with for mail order, although he can be quite busy at times.
  • 05-24-2006
    eclark7
    Kims Bikes in New Brunswick
    If you have never been in there, go check it out. They are hella cheap, mail order cheap even. Mrs Kim will order anything you might need, if she does not already have it. They carry a slew of brands, and they are willing to negotiate. They have always taken care of all of my warranty issues in a timely manner also. I have been gone for a year now, so I can not vouch for the mechanics. When I left, there was Robbie and Dave, and they were both awesome riders and good wrenches. My 2 cents.
  • 05-30-2006
    wage
    I'd vote for High Gear. Although it can be crazy busy in there everyone seems really helpful and friendly. I usually deal with Wayne he always goes out of his way to help me out.
  • 07-22-2006
    dragonfly
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wobbegong
    I've always been treated well by Pete at Knapps Cyclery and Jason at Halters.

    Although not a local shop, Larry at Mountain High Cyclery is good to deal with for mail order, although he can be quite busy at times.


    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.
  • 07-22-2006
    chrisg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime.

    Holy crap. Did he take your lunch money?

    This is about bike shops and customers, not some 15 year-old high school grudge. If you've got that much beef with someone, how about dealing with it like an adult?:skep:
  • 07-22-2006
    jettie1767
    Hmm...I beg to differ about Jason at Halter's. I have only good things to say about him and about the shop itself.
  • 07-24-2006
    gmookher
    My list
    Halters-simple honest, not a DH shop but for all else, theyre great,roadie & XC points
    would go back over and over.Jason is very helpful and kind. He wasnt a racist to me, and I'm pretty colorful. my 2 cents. Owners ride both road and light XC.

    Bike N gear-best all around shop in central NJ, Gary is SMART people, raodie,Dh friendly,xc too.would go back over and over, strong service shop.Make friends with this shop.Buy most of my stuff there if not mail order.Owner is an awesome rider road and mtn and DH.

    Kims Bike-I avoid them like the plaugue, good prices often too good or too low to be true good to buy but dont expect any support-its a fishmarket in there.
    NO!Never again except for lube and polish. Owner doesnt/cant ride...go figure

    Highland park-roady shop, no stock, thru the roof prices, but nice guys,roadies only
    I bought bikes there and he will support what he sells, if you want a lower end brand name bike. Owner doesnt ride mtn.

    Planet bike-good all around shop, both locations are good: Barrys nice guy.
    would go back over and over. Riders, a bunch of them. Stocks nifty stuff.
    I shop here cause theyre cool, and younger bunch of riders who ride hard.

    Cycle craft-a bit north but very knowledgeable, not cheap but its worth it
    would go back over and over, smart shop, top notch

    Bloomfeild bikes-DH friendly, fast service, down to earth
    would go back over and over.bought bikes there great service and prices.

    High Gear-great inventory, lots of parts at Millburn, but stirling is nice too. Chi Chi, but good hi zoot top dollar service. Lots of carbon, very high end feel, awesome customer care.
    would go back over and over. Bought bike sthere and got red carpet service.

    hopethat helps. While I too want to support my local bike shop, i only shop where my business is welcome, and greeted with warmth and a smile. I only pay for service if I like the shop. Tools cost less then the attitude you get at some shops. be nice to the CUSTOMER and they will be loyal. be NICE!
  • 08-03-2006
    smalbikpro
    My dad owned Greg's Bike Town in Somerville, so I've pretty much been around bikes since the day I was born. The shop is gone now but I work at Garden State Bike Shop on 22 a few days a month. Gary is a really nice guy, hard working and great service.
  • 08-03-2006
    frizzle-fry
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gmookher

    Kims Bike-I avoid them like the plaugue, good prices often too good or too low to be true good to buy but dont expect any support-its a fishmarket in there.
    NO!Never again except for lube and polish. Owner doesnt/cant ride...go figure


    I beg to differ. I have had nothing but great service and support from them. I deal strictly with Jennifer who has given me the best deals and treatment around. Warranty issues? Always taken care of immediately. Never a hassle like other shops I have used. I can be confident that she will take care of me if and when I experience any problems. The mechanics may not be top notch, but the service is unmatched.
  • 08-04-2006
    scotty878
    Any body have anything to say about either Bike Haven in Fair Haven, or The Peddler in Long Branch.....?

    Just curious of any experiences because they are the closest to me...
  • 08-04-2006
    gmookher
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frizzle-fry
    I beg to differ. I have had nothing but great service and support from them. I deal strictly with Jennifer who has given me the best deals and treatment around. Warranty issues? Always taken care of immediately. Never a hassle like other shops I have used. I can be confident that she will take care of me if and when I experience any problems. The mechanics may not be top notch, but the service is unmatched.

    The mechanics may not be top notch, but the service is unmatched

    Hmm, you said it your self: "The mechanics may not be top notch, but the service is unmatched" Thats a contradiction. Why go there? Cause she haggles? Cause shes about undercutting competitors to get your money, but if you walk in for service, you'll have to deal with MR KIM and he is as much a scum of the earth as they come. Go ahead, you go there, either your bikes not important to you or you just dont know better. try some real bikes shops. No ones pushing a shop where the owners cant even ride a bike. Its a mess back there, its like a flea market. Jennifer is a nice lady, I really do miss her discounts, but that shops back end is a horror story, and a lawyers wet dream.

    Incase you havent guessed, I have found a wealth of other better shops, even though she is closest i wont go there.

    My buddy told me about a bike he got there: she, nice as she is, failed to clarify she was pushing 2004 stock in 2006. She took his non refundable deposit to 'order' this closout bike that she stripped of the oe clipless pedals and put on plastic flats. She even tried to sell him the OE clipless peddals for a discount $15 AND wanted the flats back. She even took off the OE stem and used a generic brand. when asked, she said, 'thats why its a good deal'. so yeah, if lowest price is all you want, irregardles sof product qulaity or integrity, go for it. I for one will try to spare as many riders as I can the misery I got after having been loyal to her for 3 years. I spent thousands at her store, so if i sound sore, more sore than you, I probably spent more with those incompetant idiots than I should have. lesson learned. Like I said, its MR Kims fault, he rund the service, he lost me as a customer and made me an "anti Kim's walking Billboard" for life....
  • 08-04-2006
    frizzle-fry
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gmookher
    Go ahead, you go there, either your bikes not important to you or you just dont know better. try some real bikes shops.....


    Now shame on you, I love my bikes and I love to ride. No need to pop your top. You have no clue as to how important bikes are in my life. You don't know me at all. Nobody is making you go back there. And yes, I will always go there. I don't deal with Mr. Kim as he has many issues, substance abuse being one. And I don't understand his grunting noises. I always get great service there, plain and simple. For those that don't, its a free country and you can go anywhere else. And about "trying some real bikes (sic) shop," that is just poopy talk. There are many shops that people like or don't like. I like Kim's for my own reasons and I don't discount your experiences/reasons for not liking them. I have had bad experiences at other local shops like Highland Park, Jay's, Bike n Gear etc. So I go to Kim's. You may want to make character judgements about Kim's and that is fine, but don't involve me as you have never met me.
  • 08-04-2006
    NMBPmike
    Yo Jimbo !!!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JIM(eration)
    I'm gonna put my vote in for Efinger's in Bound Brook!! They are really getting it together over there, enough so that I left my spot at Planet Bike after a whole lotta years to wrench for them...Just come in and see for yourself...And if you liked my work at Planet Bike, you can now have me for a lot less money!!


    Yo JIMBO. !!! Long time no see and Hear...
    i see your still trying to pimp yourself out again. :D hey bud if i am ever up that way, ill be sureto stop in and say hello.. hows the Mrs. you still married ? PM me..

    Later bUd

    mike Flatley ( old Bike HUB Employee)
  • 08-05-2006
    jdog
    I've been called a lot of things..
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.


    Well Dragonfly (Ravi),

    I am sure that I teased you in the 10th grade. I probablly made fun of whatever made you different. I am sorry that you haven't gotten over it.

    I know a good thearapist locally that might help you wotk out the demons from your past.

    As for not giving me a Dime.. Well you have. The F600 that you bought from us cost at least a dime for certain. I hope that you enjoyed it.

    Pulling the racist card is a low blow.

    If something was done in the shop that didn't sit well with you this would be the place to talk about it. To bring back something I said or did in 1992 is just silly.

    I have friends and customers of every color under the sun.. (yours too!)


    Enjoy the ride!


    Jason Fenton

    Halters Cycles
  • 08-05-2006
    Mtnz2Sea
    Back to the topic
    Campmor has Kona too. ya, I know this is a central jersey bike shop topic line, but they have great stock in the shop and can order too. Jeff, Mike, Tyher, and kyle, etc. are great in their bike wrenching. Each one has there favs, Jeff mtb & SS, Mike road bikes, etc.

    I broke my derailuer at the Lewis Morris race and they were willing to take my bike from the race to the shop since I live in south jersey. After work 2 days later, I stopped in for some camping stuff. Jeff saw me in the store and told me that the derailuer was on backorder. But he had a inexpensive temp that could get me back on the trail til the other came in. Sure I said. When could I pick it up, I have a race this weekend. Well, I'll do it right now if you can wait a bit. Wow, 30 minutes later I was out of the store with my Titus. Was the temp any good, you ask. Well, I was riding the tire on the National champion throughout the Root 66 race and came in second.(Darn hills)

    So if you want a Kona or a Titus, Campmor is the place.
  • 08-05-2006
    gmookher
    service -right relationship is everything
    see, i think when shops have owners that ride, they understand its about being on the trail, and can empathize whether its to race ride or just have fun. there is nothing that tops a shop understanding what you need, when you need it and being resourceful to help you. Its the easiest way to make a customer into a POSITIVE walking billboard.

    I know where to go for HSCV upgrades. I know where not to go too. I got shops I wouldnt let them touch my bike but I'd shop there. then sure, places like campor know what they are doing, and have the means to offer great service.

    i'm not ashamed to say i also shop on line, and if one site doesnt have it the others usually do.(saves the boos and hisses, all you shop owners need to realize its a reality, we will shop at pricepoint, no wthe question is where do we take the headset to have it installed? where do we go when u strip a thread or break a bolt, or loose a part?) thats where the LBS relationships suffer, I get shops who openly express anger at my having shoopped on line, like its a crime. what, do shop owners not order stuff on line? I do support my LBS's but there are items they dont stock and I `can have for less faster', like maxxis UST tires or a raceface parts. chainrings, derailleurs, brakes, stuff we can do at home or learn to do with a little help. i think its actually empowering as a cyclist to be able to do basic bike stuff, for what thats worth
  • 08-05-2006
    Flynn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.

    Holy jeebus, dude. Issues? I cannot believe someone could find a bad word to say about Jason. Since getting back into cycling seriously in 2000, I haven't found a shop in the Princeton area that comes close to providing the level of service that Halters does. And that means Jason. Having purchased both my current rides there, and anything that I try and buy from a LBS, Jason has always been more than fair. I can be a really tough customer as well. I live 45 minutes from Halters, yet I go there for one reason - Jason's customer service. Jason and his employees always treat me with the utmost respect. There's no "attitude" that is sometimes prevalent in bike shops. I'd be hard pressed to find better deals anywhere in this area. When I crashed my Jekyll and broke my hand, who lent me ( for an entire year ) an R700 road bike so that I could still ride? Who lent me the track stand? Who fixes my bike most of the time while I wait, cause he knows I live far away? Who has told me about some awesome trails in the area that I didn't ride? I could go on and on with the reasons I go to Halters. But again, the reason comes down to one person - Jason Fenton.

    I haven't posted on MTBR for a long time. Even when Francois went down. ( hope you're healing! ). But when someone posts crap like that about a guy whom is my "bike shop guy", but who I consider a friend, its time to up my post count. I really thought that most people left high school in the past....I'm sure I wasn't an angel. But you know what? The past is the past. People change. I honestly couldn't think of any harsh words for J. He rocks. As does Halters.

    Go ride your bike chief. Maybe then you'll realize what's important in life.

    Flynn
  • 08-05-2006
    Wobbegong
    Wow....
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.

    Did Jason flush your head in the toilet or something?

    When I bought my road bike from Jason, he spent over an hour with me and my new bike in the trainer, getting everything correct, he swapped out my bars to match my wide shoulders, swapped the stem out to get my reach correct, he adjusted my cleats, brake levers, ect. until the bike was where it needed to be. All free of charge. I couldn't be happier with how things went.
  • 08-05-2006
    scotty878
    Umm, where is Bike N Gear....? I tried to go today, in Edison, and it wasn't there. A nail salon was in its place....!?
  • 08-05-2006
    Wobbegong
    Closed..
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty878
    Umm, where is Bike N Gear....? I tried to go today, in Edison, and it wasn't there. A nail salon was in its place....!?

    They closed up a while ago. I remember seeing a post about them blowing out their remaining inventory.
  • 08-06-2006
    normZurawski
    Amwell road in Somerset. There used to be 2 shops. Worth the visit but call first because the hours are currently in flux. 732-873-0212.
  • 08-06-2006
    Rip
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by smalbikpro
    My dad owned Greg's Bike Town in Somerville, so I've pretty much been around bikes since the day I was born. The shop is gone now but I work at Garden State Bike Shop on 22 a few days a month. Gary is a really nice guy, hard working and great service.

    I'm the other one that works there as well.
  • 08-06-2006
    Brendan
    No Boos or hisses!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gmookher
    see, i think when shops have owners that ride, they understand its about being on the trail, and can empathize whether its to race ride or just have fun. there is nothing that tops a shop understanding what you need, when you need it and being resourceful to help you. Its the easiest way to make a customer into a POSITIVE walking billboard.

    I know where to go for HSCV upgrades. I know where not to go too. I got shops I wouldnt let them touch my bike but I'd shop there. then sure, places like campor know what they are doing, and have the means to offer great service.

    i'm not ashamed to say i also shop on line, and if one site doesnt have it the others usually do.(saves the boos and hisses, all you shop owners need to realize its a reality, we will shop at pricepoint, no wthe question is where do we take the headset to have it installed? where do we go when u strip a thread or break a bolt, or loose a part?) thats where the LBS relationships suffer, I get shops who openly express anger at my having shoopped on line, like its a crime. what, do shop owners not order stuff on line? I do support my LBS's but there are items they dont stock and I `can have for less faster', like maxxis UST tires or a raceface parts. chainrings, derailleurs, brakes, stuff we can do at home or learn to do with a little help. i think its actually empowering as a cyclist to be able to do basic bike stuff, for what thats worth

    On line shopping is a wonderful thing. For someone who knows what they want, getting the lowest price is just smart. I have customers who regularly buy stuff on line and bring it to us for insallation. Sometimes they are getting prices on stuff that are equal to my wholesale cost. I don't blame my customers for saving money, I blame the manufacturers for pumping too much stuff into the pipeline which then forces prices down. I think the thing that irritates shop owners is when customers make mistakes ordering on line and then ask their LBS to solve the problem. i.e. " I ordered the wrong clamp size for this front derailleur, can you trade with me?" Usually they ordered a close out on a part that I will never be able to turn around. Customers will also want cheap installation on stuff. Our shop rate is $60 an hour. Is $22.50 too much to charge for a rear derailleur installation?
    Funny thing is, at Cycle Craft, I have lots of customers who spend tons of money in our stores and never ask for a deal. They usually get one though because they are pleasant to deal with and genuinely appreciate what it takes for us to provide the level of service that we do. My regular customers almost always get a better deal with us than they can online unless it is some crazy close out. We will usually turnaround their work on a priority basis as well. My advice is to find a shop that you like and who will work with you in this way. Give them all of your business, negotiate prices on hardware when necessary, and pay a fair price for labor. You will be happier, your shop will be happier, and your bike will be happier:)
    By the way, if you have tried this approach in any of our stores and had a less than stellar experience, please let me know about it. We can't improve if we don't know what we are doing wrong! Thanks.
    Happy Trails!
    Brendan
    Chief philosopher and General Manager (who also rides mountain and road bikes)
    Cycle Craft, Inc
    www.cyclecraft.com
  • 08-07-2006
    PMRides
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Scum,

    High school can be a rough and lonely time for many people. Iím sorry Jason didnít do more to make you feel warm and fuzzy when you guys were in school together. But that was well over a decade ago and I think itís time you let that dark chapter of your life close.

    It is nothing personal, but I have to disagree with everything you stated earlier. While it is true that no bike mechanic has ever single-handedly cured cancer or put a man on the moon, I donít think Jasonís choice to pursue a career that he loves constitutes being a failure or a dumbass.


    I have been dealing with Jason Fenton at Halterís Cycles for well over seven years now and have nothing but the best things to say about him, his staff, and his shop. I would recommend Jason and Halterís Cycles to anyone looking for great products, knowledge, and service.

    Guy keep up the ďniceĒ!!!!!

    -patrick
  • 08-07-2006
    biknben
    1 Attachment(s)
    I've been a regular customer at Halter's since I moved to the area in ...oh 1995. Jason's been there throughout the years and knows his stuff.

    Each time I stop in, he's fitting a customer on their new bike. He goes above and beyond what is expected. You can leave with a bike but also be confident that a professional has made sure it fits you properly so you can enjoy the ride.

    The store has recently moved to a new space in the same shopping center. If you haven't been there recently, it's worth a visit.

    BTW: While Jay rips on the local trails, he also knows how to handle the skinny-tired bikes too. Proof?
  • 08-07-2006
    Jersey1
    Great Service, Greater People
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.

    I have had the oppurtunity to travel extensively in this last year. I have made several relocations in the western US and have been blessed to ride the coast of Northern California, the Tahoe Basin and the deserts of the Eastern Slope of the Sierras. My odometer pales in comparsion to many here but I do beat my 29er up from my shear size, clumsiness, and shipping so I have visited a few shops during my travels. The cool thing is that this sport has allowed me to meet so many wonderful and skilled people. At the top of the heap is Jason Fenton. I say this as a customer who became a friend.

    As far as service goes walking into Halters is a disarming experience. No I'm better than you X games skater attitude, just a smile and geniune inquiry as to your well being even if its summer weekend and he's on the run. As an expert rider, he is intuitive in diagnosis and repair even over the phone 2500 miles away to me or another mechanic. He built it and remembers every detail. His ability to fit is inate which I appreciate being a clydesdale.He won't let you by garbage and doesn't stock it which I also fully appreciate after dumping a tri bike at maximum velocity and having quite a few less pebbles to remove in the ER, keloids to heal, and noggin intact wearing gear he recommended I upgrade to. Even if he laughs at you trashing your ride while cleaning the blood off it. What other guy calls you out of the blue and say he's got the perfect bike for you and when you react skeptically, he says if you don't love it I'll keep it here as a demo. (I love it) or shuts down the shop to get a cup of coffee when he sees you got trouble in the midst of his own problems. As for intellegence he figured out long ago what most of us find at mid life, do what you love or it will kill ya despite your SAT score or bank account.

    As to thoughts on racism, I was raised in a household which made Archie Bunker look like a saint and could grade it despite my generation's revulsion to it. I have never ever, even in moments of absolute candor or drunken revelry (Mr. Gibson) observed Jason Fenton exhibit minute signs of it even when he has nothing to sell me. He is simply not capable of it. He is a loving decent human being who is very grounded and remarkably wise for a man of his age despite the clowning around.

    As for your Mr. Dragonfly comfortably hidden behind a shallow and easily deceiferable pseudonym, I am surprised that you are not holding a certified letter from J's attorney asking you to stand before a court of law to validate your claims or pay for any loss in revenues such damaging and unsubstantiated claims could have caused his livelihood and passion. Then again J ain't like that. Next time, grow a set and speak with the man if you have a gripe.
  • 08-07-2006
    Wobbegong
    I guess.....
    It seems that these comments about Jason have brought foward some new members to to mtbr.com NJ forum, Jason included. I alway try and look on the brighter side of things.

    Welcome to the newcomers.
  • 08-08-2006
    jdog
    Lurkers
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wobbegong
    It seems that these comments about Jason have brought foward some new members to to mtbr.com NJ forum, Jason included. I alway try and look on the brighter side of things.

    Welcome to the newcomers.


    ..We have been here all along. Sometimes it is much more entertaining to watch a train wreck than to be in one.


    J_:thumbsup:
  • 08-08-2006
    normZurawski
    Welcome to the wreck.
  • 08-08-2006
    dskriv
    Pot calling the kettle black
    You're calling Jason a racist?????

    Check out this post from Dragonfly:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...6&postcount=17

    nuff said.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.

  • 08-08-2006
    frizzle-fry
    Well, I didn't intend to initiate such a colorful exchange of opinions and name calling when I started this thread, but it appears to have brought many mtn bikers together and has spawned new posters as Wobbegong pointed out. Although I have not dealt with Jason regularly, I have shopped for bikes/advice and bought some equipment from Halter's in the distant past and I can validate the many positive comments about Jason from my extremely limited experience in talking with him. I remember bringing a friend into Halter's who was shopping around for a road bike. Jason focused all of his attention on us and took the time to take measurements, seat my friend on a bike to watch him ride and swap out parts to find the right riding position. It was obvious that he knew what he was talking about and was concerned about customers getting the right fit/bike size. I also see him occasionally on his road bike and I believe I have seen him at Six Mile Run on his mountain bike a few times. When it comes to dealing with merchants I'm not too concerned about one's character as I believe that the customer service and overall quality of services offered are of primary importance. And I don't have the time to debate about bike shop staff and their personal faults/character. If I did I'm sure I wouldn't shop in most of the places I have. When it comes to my personal life - friends, family , etc. it is a different matter. But this is business and quality of care and services is all I need.
  • 08-11-2006
    zaskar27
    High School BS
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dragonfly
    Jason Fenton @ halters is a racist prick that use to go to my school @ west windsor plainsboro ... I wouldn't give him a dime. He's "nice" now because he was a dumbass in school and never went anywhere in life and the only way he can put food on the table now is to fix bikes and kiss customer's ass.


    scum.

    Sounds like you didn't get along with him in high school so now you feel the need to bad mouth him. Get a life. I've been dealing with Jason for about 6 years now and have never had any bad experiences. I have refered several people to him and have seen him deal with customers on a regular basis. He is good at what he does and is friendly and takes care of everyone equally well. It sounds to me like you need to get a life and start educating yourself and stop being jealous of other peoples success.
  • 08-11-2006
    zaskar27
    I agree.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dskriv
    You're calling Jason a racist?????

    Check out this post from Dragonfly:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...6&postcount=17

    nuff said.


    Mr. Dragonfly definitely needs to do some growing up. A lot of his posts are off base and childish in nature. I think it's time to grow up.
  • 08-11-2006
    Rip
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dskriv
    You're calling Jason a racist?????

    Check out this post from Dragonfly:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...6&postcount=17

    nuff said.

    Owned.
  • 08-14-2006
    tommyjay
    My 2 cents
    My experience (albeit limited):

    Halter's - Jason and the guys at Halter's are top notch. I've dealt with Jason several times - he is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable mechanics I've come across. And he's a good guy - simple as that. He's always made it a point to go out of his way and make sure I'm satisfied with whatever I'm buying or having done in the shop. He deals fairly. He rides, and he cares about the trails and the area riders. If only he would start selling Specialized...

    Bike 'n Gear - Another great shop. Gary is really nice and like head-explodingly knowledgeable.

    Somerville - Pretty good shop, with a couple of drawbacks. As others have stated, it does seem to cater more to the family biking niche. The technical service depends on who does the work. The biggest issue is that some of the employees have an "insider/outsider" mentality, where they turn jobs around and so forth depending on how much they like the customer.
  • 08-16-2006
    ktwodownhill
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty878
    Any body have anything to say about either Bike Haven in Fair Haven, or The Peddler in Long Branch.....?

    Just curious of any experiences because they are the closest to me...

    Yeah, the peddler in long branch is a great shop mike the owner is super cool and will do almost anything so that u are happy with what u need. they carry jamis, cannondale, specialized, del sol, hawaii, and haro. over all great shop plus the guys in the back really know there stuff. as for bike haven they tend to jack up prices and if your not in cliffs click ur not getting any deals, however they do carry kona, lifespeed giant and a few others, so if u need those types of bikes then go there. i live in fair haven and i rarely go there personal i prefer Peddler. also check out shrewsbury bike shop and the brielle bike shop they are great as well

    -KYLE-
  • 08-16-2006
    bozizle
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ktwodownhill
    Yeah, the peddler in long branch is a great shop mike the owner is super cool and will do almost anything so that u are happy with what u need. they carry jamis, cannondale, specialized, del sol, hawaii, and haro. over all great shop plus the guys in the back really know there stuff. as for bike haven they tend to jack up prices and if your not in cliffs click ur not getting any deals, however they do carry kona, lifespeed giant and a few others, so if u need those types of bikes then go there. i live in fair haven and i rarely go there personal i prefer Peddler. also check out shrewsbury bike shop and the brielle bike shop they are great as well

    -KYLE-


    Totally agree that Peddler's is a great shop and I use to have classes with Mike. Super good guy knows the business from his father and has been into the bike scenc for a long time. One of the mechanics they had there was the best hands down that ever wrenched my bike..not sure of the name but always dialed it in perfect.

    High Gear is also a great shop. 2 store locations with mega selection and every employee serioulsy rides and knows what they are talking about. Sometimes it's packed because of their reputation and may be a bit backed up but you won't beat the on hand selection on every part and bike they sell at their locations. Also have a great club and offer group rides every weekend.
  • 09-05-2006
    late_start
    Knapp's Cyclery in Lawrenceville/Trenton. Sponsor of the New Jersey State Triathlon. Pete's a good guy. Also got some good advice/repair work at Kopp's in Princeton. I avoid Jay's in Princeton because they don't appear to be riders or as knowledgable.
  • 09-06-2006
    mkrev
    If you build and wrench your own bikes Kims is the shop to get great prices on components and frames. I've purchased several frames and every component you can think of and always paid the same or below mail order. I recommend dealing directly with Jennifer.
  • 09-19-2006
    spidron
    woodbridge area?
    I'm from Port Reading. Anyone around here know of a LBS in this area? There was one on Main Ave. in Woodbridge but it's unfortunately closed. I got my bike from Jay's Cycle in Westfield but was wondering what is the closest.

    Also, does anyone have any experience with the bike shop @ Campmor in Paramus? Need this input for my brother who lives really close and is interested in getting a mountain bike.

    Thanks all.
  • 09-20-2006
    idbrian
    Numerous positive things were written about Campmor in the Northern NJ LBS thread, as far as wrenching goes. They don't seem as personal when buying a bike there (i.e. fitting you to the bike), from my experience. They offer one (or maybe it was two) free tune-ups with a purchase.
  • 10-24-2006
    The Rose
    I do all my business with Brick Bicycle in Brick NJ. Jason ( owner , and full time mechanic) is very knowledgeable, and willing to help customers get the best possible bike for their money. I've dealt with him for more than7 years now and have no complaints what so ever.
  • 10-26-2006
    cham666
    Here's another vote for Brick Bicycles. Jay's a great guy and always gets my bikes working perfectly and quickly.
  • 10-26-2006
    gt2brew
    Yet another vote for Jason at Brick Bikes.I've known him for a few years now and he ALWAYS greets with a genuine smile,is very knowledgable, and does whatever he can to make his customers happy.....not to mention I just got my 29er from him.Thanks Jason.
  • 10-26-2006
    BShow
    I was in action wheels last weekend and was thoroughly impressed by their selection of stuff, bikes, and most importantly their customer service. The shop was nice and clean which also impressed me.
  • 10-28-2006
    The Rose
    Do you think Jay would be uncomfortable if he knew how loved he was?:D
  • 10-30-2006
    gt2brew
    naaaa
    "It's all you" he would say.