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  1. #1
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    oh please, Walmart...

    Please notice that the mtb hipsters have moved on from blinged out full suspension rigs and gone to rigid ss 29'ers- and so should you. I hesitate to sit on those creaky 'dual suspension' things you pump out in big brown boxes, but a simple bike with no suspension or drivetrain should still appeal to your economy of scale, while providing me with a better bike.

    Please let me try a big rigid bike (all those people wearing sweatpants in your store want to try one too) without dropping 600$ on something so different that i might hate. You have nothing to lose; a rigid/SS/29 will take your target buyer group to home depot just as well, and they won't have to fix your bottom-of-the-line-Shimano components that never actually shift to both 1st and 7th with the same tune. Please, get rid of all that superfluous crap and get me atop a big-wheeled hard riding singlespeed.

    I love you Walmart, you can make my dreams come true...

    XOXO
    Scott
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  2. #2
    i ride bikez!!11!
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    Think about the midset that buyers of Wal-Mart bikes have.

    "Shocks! Pegs! Sweeeet!"

    Seriously, those bikes sell because the buyers think they look cool. There is obviously no consideration on function. They would sell exactly 0 one speed rigid bikes.

  3. #3
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    our shop now refuses to work on any "mountain bike" bought at walmart.


    "well, you see the problem with this bike is...you need a new one"

  4. #4
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    the junk pile of full suspension Mongoose, Roadmaster, and Next bicycles continues to grow

  5. #5
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    Well, isn't that snobby and pig-headed of you. You ARE the worst thing about the cycling industry, buddy. Try reaching out to people instead of turning your nose up at them.

    Quote Originally Posted by madcap
    our shop now refuses to work on any "mountain bike" bought at walmart.


    "well, you see the problem with this bike is...you need a new one"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by elray
    Well, isn't that snobby and pig-headed of you. You ARE the worst thing about the cycling industry, buddy. Try reaching out to people instead of turning your nose up at them.


    hahaha!

    how much sense does it make to fix a bike that is crap to begin with? Often it would cost more to fix it than the bike is worth!!!

    I reach out to them by talking them into a better made bike. If trying to keep people off walmart bikes is snobby then so be it.

    hahahahaha

    The WORST thing about the bicycle industry IMO is the crap bikes sold at Wal-mart that are put together by employees who don't know anything about bikes at all.

    Don't get me wrong, we'll fix little things on those crap bikes but once the bill goes over $40, what's the point? The bike is only worth about that much anyway. Most repairs on those bikes start off small to begin with, but almost always turns out to be something a lot more major. They are crap, 100% pure crap.
    Last edited by madcap; 05-29-2007 at 08:12 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by elray
    Well, isn't that snobby and pig-headed of you. You ARE the worst thing about the cycling industry, buddy. Try reaching out to people instead of turning your nose up at them.
    Hey elray:

    Do you own a shop? Do have to fix the junk that Wally World sells? How do you justify telling a customer that it will cost 120 dollars to fix a 69 dollar bike? Then when you work on it.... it just falls apart. I see the same thing with these pocket bikes they have been selling..... junk junk junk! Can't get parts or fix'em. Where as a Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki or Yamaha you can find dealers and parts anywhere.....

    As far as junk goes.....If you bought it from the internet and you need it fixed take it back to the internet..........

    Most of the stuff in the world is now throw it and buy new!. Lawnmowers, Weed wackers, Walmat bikes!

    Entry level is fine, but most shops try to upgrade their customers to better products!
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  8. #8
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    I always discourage people from starting on a walmart level bike. They're alway saying "well, just to try it out at first...." or some variation thereof. My response is always to start at the 600 dollar pricepoint. If you start cheap, it won't work, it will weigh a ton, and they will decide that they don't like cycling. Pushing people to give up the wally world bike for something of quality will get more people to stick with biking. And that's a good thing.

  9. #9
    i also unicycle
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    we always caution our customers that ask us to fix wal-mart bikes that sometimes, even though we've adjusted the thing to death, it still won't work quite right. we also go over the bikes very very closely in the check in process and catch as much as we can, then give as large of estimate as we can. often that's more than the value of the bike, at which point we start trying to show them our entry level stuff. you'd still be amazed at the number of people who spend $40-70 on getting a $100 bike fixed. it's crazy.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
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  10. #10
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    I've got to agree that not working on a customer's Wal-Mart bike is pretty lame. I'm guessing you weren't being literal. I've worked with people who, if they had their own shop, might do the same thing. Bike snobbery is bad, umkay.
    I've worked on so many POS its not even funny. But... I have worked on them, and from a labor point of view ($ for the shop owner), you get good margins.
    Treat the customer well, and they'll come back to your shop when its time to upgrade.
    Why I'm even responding to this, I don't know...
    -Sean

  11. #11
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    No good

    Quote Originally Posted by sean350
    I've got to agree that not working on a customer's Wal-Mart bike is pretty lame. I'm guessing you weren't being literal. I've worked with people who, if they had their own shop, might do the same thing. Bike snobbery is bad, umkay.
    I've worked on so many POS its not even funny. But... I have worked on them, and from a labor point of view ($ for the shop owner), you get good margins.
    Treat the customer well, and they'll come back to your shop when its time to upgrade.
    Why I'm even responding to this, I don't know...
    -Sean
    I can agree to a point: There are some shops who will fix anything... their choice!

    Usually the Rear Derailrer is junk and the brakes are way out of wack, if they even have pads on them. Now count the fact that dad had a try a fix'in the old junker. Plier marks on all the bolts rendering them useless by normal tools. Not to mention the chain & cables are rusted beyond use from hanging outside in the rain for months.. Where do you start? Forty bucks an hour labor rate will not get you much........The old term comes onto play...How much do you wanna spend? It is not the shop fault the bike was mistreated.

    Try taking your Harley or you Caddy to reputable dealer in that condition. Why should the dealer have to take the discount to work on crap? Not happening here! Spending time on junk just occupies time spent on work from good customers who support the LBS and buy from the LBS! Yes the first timer who has never purchased from the LBS is acceptable, but how about the people who just continue to bring junkpile after junkpile in the door and ask the same questions: Can you fix this.. I found it in the dumpster. Hey dude wake up I'm here in business because people buy "New" bikes form "ME" not the dumpster!

    Aimless Rambling..............you like it you fix it........

    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  12. #12
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    so yes, I did not mean that we turn down every single wally world bike that comes in the door. I meant that we often turn them down depending on what the problem is. With those bicycles, the problem more often is something major. Major repairs on those bikes is not fun in any way. We've even had some customers leave their POS bike at the shop indefinitely. We now have no choice but to turn down all but the minor repairs on those bikes. We've got a pile of those crappy bikes in the back that have been left at our store that we don't want to get any larger..

  13. #13
    Fauxhemian
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    "I love you Walmart"??? Man what planet are you from? Saving money is OK and not everyone has 600 bucks to drop on a bike but who LOVES Walmart?
    I hold an associates degree in underachievement.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel
    "I love you Walmart"??? Man what planet are you from? Saving money is OK and not everyone has 600 bucks to drop on a bike but who LOVES Walmart?

    even if they don't have $500-600 to spend, $250-400 is a good starting point. There are decent low end name brand bikes that are leaps and bounds better than wally world bikes, all available starting around $250.

    Save your money for a little while longer and get something decent at least. I rode around on a $300 Trek 4300 Alpha for 6 years, no problems at all. I didn't take it offroad much, but it was at least decent at it when I did.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    I can agree to a point: There are some shops who will fix anything... their choice!

    Usually the Rear Derailrer is junk and the brakes are way out of wack, if they even have pads on them. Now count the fact that dad had a try a fix'in the old junker. Plier marks on all the bolts rendering them useless by normal tools. Not to mention the chain & cables are rusted beyond use from hanging outside in the rain for months.. Where do you start? Forty bucks an hour labor rate will not get you much........The old term comes onto play...How much do you wanna spend? It is not the shop fault the bike was mistreated.

    Try taking your Harley or you Caddy to reputable dealer in that condition. Why should the dealer have to take the discount to work on crap? Not happening here! Spending time on junk just occupies time spent on work from good customers who support the LBS and buy from the LBS! Yes the first timer who has never purchased from the LBS is acceptable, but how about the people who just continue to bring junkpile after junkpile in the door and ask the same questions: Can you fix this.. I found it in the dumpster. Hey dude wake up I'm here in business because people buy "New" bikes form "ME" not the dumpster!

    Aimless Rambling..............you like it you fix it........

    That is one hell of a way to look at it. Apparently you will not be staying in business to long. The reason a caddy or harley dealer is going to work on it, is not because of the discount it is because the car is a caddy or harley and they have too. So, say I buy a bike from another shop across the country and move. If I walk into your shop since you are an authorized dealer are you going to tell me to cock off?

  16. #16
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    But it's not FS.

    That is the one thing you hear most from people. The could buy a FS at Wal-Mart for the same money they could spend for a HT from the LBS. People just need to be educated BEFORE buying a bike.
    Trust me, I'm lying.

  17. #17
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    Walmart's product offerings follow the tastes and priorities of their customers. That is why their bike section is crammed full of gimmicky garbage. If they sold a rigid, singlespeed 29er it would cost $49 and not be worthy of riding off of a curb.

    For the minimum cost of a truly decent rigid, singlespeed 29er Walmart could offer a crappy full suspension bike with a plastic MX inspired gas tank and muffler bolted on to it. Which one do you think is going to sell more units?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaddSquirrel
    That is one hell of a way to look at it. Apparently you will not be staying in business to long. The reason a caddy or harley dealer is going to work on it, is not because of the discount it is because the car is a caddy or harley and they have too. So, say I buy a bike from another shop across the country and move. If I walk into your shop since you are an authorized dealer are you going to tell me to cock off?
    That's exactly why I'm going to "BE" in business as long as I have and will continue to be, to Make "MONEY" not fix "JUNK" You missed the point: Car dealers will work on other types of vehicles, other than the brands they sell, but you can bet the brands they sell will get first preference, over junk!

    Why are we even giving this carp any time or thought. Why do I have to preach my business practice's to anyone. It works for me or I wouldn't be here!
    End of story!
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  19. #19
    mudnthebloodnthebeer
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    The sad thing is that the folks who end up buying this crap for their kids are often the ones who can least afford a bike that doesn't work.

  20. #20
    Crunchatize me Capn'
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    As far as not working on POS bikes at a LBS it doesn't necessarily equate to snobbery. Your reputation as a shop is on the line when you can't get the bike working correctly after the customer JUST SPENT $60-70. "That's BS. Why the H@LL can't you get my bike working. I'm paying you good money. You guys are crooks. You suck and don't know what you're doing. I'm calling the police." Etc. Etc. Etc. How many potential first buyers, not yet informed about bikes, may leave because of an outburst like that. Don't tell me such things don't happen because I've worked in retail long enough to know otherwise. Sometimes, the bikes just aren't working AS NOTHING YOU CAN DO WILL FIX IT. This is just life and a fact when dealing with POS bikes. How many customers aren't going to go back to wally world and buy a new bike when they "see" that a new bike really is cheaper than the repairs. "New bike, crappy old bike. New bike, crappy old bike. Ne....hey hun let's just get this great new one." "You're so smart hubby, saving us money like that blah, blah blah."

    At any rate. Take POS walkins on a case by case basis. Something simple, sure do it. Something major, refuse, and explain to the customer why you won't do it and the potential "liability" to your reputation and that they won't achieve what it is they're trying to achieve with the repair. And ya' know what? They'll probably take it back home and jerry rig it and thus "prove" that the bike shop didn't know what they were doing despite not recognizing that if a shop had pulled that "jerry rigging" they would have complained up a storm.

  21. #21
    You know, for kids
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabpn
    As far as not working on POS bikes at a LBS it doesn't necessarily equate to snobbery. Your reputation as a shop is on the line when you can't get the bike working correctly after the customer JUST SPENT $60-70. "That's BS. Why the H@LL can't you get my bike working. I'm paying you good money. You guys are crooks. You suck and don't know what you're doing. I'm calling the police." Etc. Etc. Etc. How many potential first buyers, not yet informed about bikes, may leave because of an outburst like that. Don't tell me such things don't happen because I've worked in retail long enough to know otherwise. Sometimes, the bikes just aren't working AS NOTHING YOU CAN DO WILL FIX IT. This is just life and a fact when dealing with POS bikes. How many customers aren't going to go back to wally world and buy a new bike when they "see" that a new bike really is cheaper than the repairs. "New bike, crappy old bike. New bike, crappy old bike. Ne....hey hun let's just get this great new one." "You're so smart hubby, saving us money like that blah, blah blah."

    At any rate. Take POS walkins on a case by case basis. Something simple, sure do it. Something major, refuse, and explain to the customer why you won't do it and the potential "liability" to your reputation and that they won't achieve what it is they're trying to achieve with the repair. And ya' know what? They'll probably take it back home and jerry rig it and thus "prove" that the bike shop didn't know what they were doing despite not recognizing that if a shop had pulled that "jerry rigging" they would have complained up a storm.

    well put.

  22. #22
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    hat is why their bike section is crammed full of gimmicky garbage. If they sold a rigid, singlespeed 29er it would cost $49 and not be worthy of riding off of a curb.
    I saw a full 18 speed solid fork mountain bike at wal-mart Friday night, not a sale, clearance, or return - $51.97. I wanted to buy it just to light it on fire.

    I bet they could hit the $34.97 or $29.97 price point on a single speed.

  23. #23
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    This thread is so awesome. Here's why:

    a) Most LBS I've gone to totally overrate the type of work that they can do. And I'll bet that this applies to half the LBS represented here in this thread. I've seen mechanics stare quizzicaly at a bottom bracket or a headset not knowing how to install it. I once had a shop assistant freak out about knocking in a starnut - despite having all the correct tool at hand - because he was worried he'd bollocks up my fork. I have now amassed a ton of tools of my own and I've learned to do a lot of things myself because I've grown to learn that if I want something done right, I had better do it myself. If I leave it to the shop, I'm gonna have to end up fixing it myself in the end anyway. But that's my privilege, not most others'.

    b) Turning away business because you deem a bike to be some Wal-Mart rubbish is not only a foolish business model, it's an incredibly foolish business model. That's two 'foolishes'. If you believe that if you tell a customer that his bike it rubbish, he'll buy a new one from you instead, then it's pretty clear that you think you make your living by leeching off morons. Because only a moron would fall for that sort of sales pitch. A smart, rational sales person might offer to fix the bike - and let's face it, if you can't get even the crummiest Wal-Mart bike to working condition, you probably shouldn't be a bike mechanic in the first place - explain that there's probably limited life cycle for the Wal-Mart bike that they brought in and that if they'd like to enjoy riding a bike for a longer time, they should check out some of the bikes in your shop that come with a proper warranty and are professionally (hah!) assembled. But no, some of you believe that it's beneath you to fix the rubbish that comes out of Wal-Mart, which bring me to my next point.

    c) For a vast number of people who aren't taking their Magna bikes and launching them off a 5-foot cliff, the Wal-Mart variety of bikes is good enough for them. Nevermind that somehow, working in a shop, you suddenly think that everyone's got $300 to spend on a bike. Welcome to reality, sparky. Not everyone who's bought an $80 Wal-Mart bike has gobs of cash lying around, but has actively sought out a Wal-Mart bike instead of walking into your store to buy a $500 hybrid bike.

    d) The people I feel sorry for the most are the casual riders - those who are placed squarely in the middle of the bell curve. It's difficult to get a lasting bike out of the likes of Wal-Mart or Target, but they're also being treated like crap if they don't blow $500 at a bike store. There's no place left for them, so maybe they'll just ditch the bike altogether. Hell of an outcome, isn't it.

    e) You can make lemonade out of lemons. It all comes down to your bloody attitude.

  24. #24
    those are Rollercams...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Walmart's product offerings follow the tastes and priorities of their customers. That is why their bike section is crammed full of gimmicky garbage. If they sold a rigid, singlespeed 29er it would cost $49 and not be worthy of riding off of a curb.

    For the minimum cost of a truly decent rigid, singlespeed 29er Walmart could offer a crappy full suspension bike with a plastic MX inspired gas tank and muffler bolted on to it. Which one do you think is going to sell more units?
    I couldn't agree with you more.
    I gave up years ago trying to explain something as simple as why I paid four or five times as much for my work boots than what a coworker paid for "the same damn boots" at Walmart, as he complained about his aching feet.

    Truly a wealth of useless information.


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  25. #25
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    Hooo doggy, a real man of the people here!

    Walmart bikes are built for the tastes of rubes who prioritize price over value. They bought their bike at Walmart because they don't want to spend money on a bike. Such a person is of no value to a real bike shop. None. The LBS has nothing to gain from humoring their ignorant delusions other than opening themselves up for a lawsuit when their robot welded POS injurs them.

  26. #26
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    Funny thing is that I see more of those next or magna bikes on the road than anything else. They only further the idea that riding sucks and driving is better. But most people's cars aren't in any better shape. And what's more bothersome is the amount of money these people are willing to spend on cable/satellite TV, fast food, athletic club membership and a host of other shoddily made consumer electronics/appliances that they don't need, won't use, and won't last.

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  27. #27
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    ski shops have an indemnified binding list, why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    b) Turning away business because you deem a bike to be some Wal-Mart rubbish is not only a foolish business model, it's an incredibly foolish business model. That's two 'foolishes'. If you believe that if you tell a customer that his bike it rubbish, he'll buy a new one from you instead, then it's pretty clear that you think you make your living by leeching off morons. Because only a moron would fall for that sort of sales pitch. A smart, rational sales person might offer to fix the bike - and let's face it, if you can't get even the crummiest Wal-Mart bike to working condition, you probably shouldn't be a bike mechanic in the first place - explain that there's probably limited life cycle for the Wal-Mart bike that they brought in and that if they'd like to enjoy riding a bike for a longer time, they should check out some of the bikes in your shop that come with a proper warranty and are professionally (hah!) assembled. But no, some of you believe that it's beneath you to fix the rubbish that comes out of Wal-Mart, which bring me to my next point..
    Well, ski shops have a list of bindings they will work on. If you have a pair of old skis and bindings that you bought at a garage sale, you very well may walk in, ask to have them adjusted and be told no, we can't work on them. And yes, people get pissed. "Why should I have to buy expensive new bindings when these work perfectly well!?!" Well, the shopes don't want to get sued, so they don't work on them.

    Honestly, it amazes me that Wal-Mart gets away with selling cheap crap like it does. I guess any bike failure can be labeled "well they weren't using it for it's intended purpose", but I can understand why a reputable bike shop would not want to be associated with something they expect to fail. Sure they can fix the deraileur, but when some kid gets injured when the handlebars or frame fails, it's going to be "We just paid $50 to have it tuned up at that shop!"

    Obviously it has to be handled the right way. Not "We don't work on crap like your Wal-Mart bike! Buy a new one here!" But if you explain to a parent that "Look, I would love to help you, but I have to explain to you that bikes like this are of very poor quality. If it's used in the typical fashion that kids use a bike, it could break catastrophically. Fixing this may cost more than you spent on the bike when it was new, and it will likely continue to need a lot of repairs since the components are not good to start with. We take pride in our work and while I could get this bike working for a short time, I have no faith in it and would not feel comfortable putting my name behind it as your mechnic. I hope you can understand that is why I don't feel comfortable working on this bike." It makes sense to me anyway.

  28. #28
    ballbuster
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    Not true

    Quote Originally Posted by arkadi
    I always discourage people from starting on a walmart level bike. They're alway saying "well, just to try it out at first...." or some variation thereof. My response is always to start at the 600 dollar pricepoint. If you start cheap, it won't work, it will weigh a ton, and they will decide that they don't like cycling. Pushing people to give up the wally world bike for something of quality will get more people to stick with biking. And that's a good thing.
    I started out on a year 2000 $350 Giant Yukon that must have weighed 30+ lbs. I rode the crap out of that thing and had a huge fat grin on my face the whole time.

    There are quality bikes that aren't too heavy that perform just fine for that price. I never really broke anything on the Yukon because the parts were junky. Sure, they were heavy and not terribly refined, but they didn't break. I wore some stuff out, I got upgrade-itis, but in reality, it was solid. I still have the frame, and I'm going to build it back up into a townie. See, I'm still getting use of my old cheapo bike.

    Granted, Wal Mart bikes are crappy, but some are fine for kids if you know what you are doing. I seem to be the guy in the neighborhood who was elected the local bike tech for kids. My neighbors bring their kiddie bikes to me to check out and be sure they are safe. I have found some scary stuff that I fixed. Pedals not threaded in all the way, brakes loose or not working. I can usually spend 10 minutes on a bike to make it safe for the kids to ride.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I started out on a year 2000 $350 Giant Yukon that must have weighed 30+ lbs. I rode the crap out of that thing and had a huge fat grin on my face the whole time.

    There are quality bikes that aren't too heavy that perform just fine for that price. I never really broke anything on the Yukon because the parts were junky. Sure, they were heavy and not terribly refined, but they didn't break. I wore some stuff out, I got upgrade-itis, but in reality, it was solid. I still have the frame, and I'm going to build it back up into a townie. See, I'm still getting use of my old cheapo bike.

    Granted, Wal Mart bikes are crappy, but some are fine for kids if you know what you are doing. I seem to be the guy in the neighborhood who was elected the local bike tech for kids. My neighbors bring their kiddie bikes to me to check out and be sure they are safe. I have found some scary stuff that I fixed. Pedals not threaded in all the way, brakes loose or not working. I can usually spend 10 minutes on a bike to make it safe for the kids to ride.
    Your Giant may not have been cheap and unamazing in every sense, but as others have stated it is a lot better than a Wal Mart bike that was sold for 150 less and assembled by people who aren't trained. The fact that it held up fine is just another argument against the dept. store bikes.

  30. #30
    ballbuster
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    This thread is so awesome. Here's why:

    a) Most LBS I've gone to totally overrate the type of work that they can do. And I'll bet that this applies to half the LBS represented here in this thread. I've seen mechanics stare quizzicaly at a bottom bracket or a headset not knowing how to install it. I once had a shop assistant freak out about knocking in a starnut - despite having all the correct tool at hand - because he was worried he'd bollocks up my fork. I have now amassed a ton of tools of my own and I've learned to do a lot of things myself because I've grown to learn that if I want something done right, I had better do it myself. If I leave it to the shop, I'm gonna have to end up fixing it myself in the end anyway. But that's my privilege, not most others'.

    b) Turning away business because you deem a bike to be some Wal-Mart rubbish is not only a foolish business model, it's an incredibly foolish business model. That's two 'foolishes'. If you believe that if you tell a customer that his bike it rubbish, he'll buy a new one from you instead, then it's pretty clear that you think you make your living by leeching off morons. Because only a moron would fall for that sort of sales pitch. A smart, rational sales person might offer to fix the bike - and let's face it, if you can't get even the crummiest Wal-Mart bike to working condition, you probably shouldn't be a bike mechanic in the first place - explain that there's probably limited life cycle for the Wal-Mart bike that they brought in and that if they'd like to enjoy riding a bike for a longer time, they should check out some of the bikes in your shop that come with a proper warranty and are professionally (hah!) assembled. But no, some of you believe that it's beneath you to fix the rubbish that comes out of Wal-Mart, which bring me to my next point.

    c) For a vast number of people who aren't taking their Magna bikes and launching them off a 5-foot cliff, the Wal-Mart variety of bikes is good enough for them. Nevermind that somehow, working in a shop, you suddenly think that everyone's got $300 to spend on a bike. Welcome to reality, sparky. Not everyone who's bought an $80 Wal-Mart bike has gobs of cash lying around, but has actively sought out a Wal-Mart bike instead of walking into your store to buy a $500 hybrid bike.

    d) The people I feel sorry for the most are the casual riders - those who are placed squarely in the middle of the bell curve. It's difficult to get a lasting bike out of the likes of Wal-Mart or Target, but they're also being treated like crap if they don't blow $500 at a bike store. There's no place left for them, so maybe they'll just ditch the bike altogether. Hell of an outcome, isn't it.

    e) You can make lemonade out of lemons. It all comes down to your bloody attitude.
    ... said.

    Making somebody feel like a dufus for buying a WalMart bike is not the way to sell them one of you nice bikes. There is a reason a lot of regular folks hate walking into bike shops, and this is the main one. FUD a lame sales tactic that is unercutting the whole biz.

    That said, there has to be a happy medium here. It might start with bike shops knocking off the whole 'Fear Uncertainty Doubt' (FUD as it is known) tactics.

    To some folks, $300 is all the money in the world. Let's not make them feel stupid or cheap by not spending $600. Heck, try going to just about any country in the rest of the world. Most folks are riding around 40-50 lb comfort bikes for transportation, and are doing perfectly well with it. Not my idea of a good time on the trails, but you get the idea.

  31. #31
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    That was more...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeveless
    Your Giant may not have been cheap and unamazing in every sense, but as others have stated it is a lot better than a Wal Mart bike that was sold for 150 less and assembled by people who aren't trained. The fact that it held up fine is just another argument against the dept. store bikes.
    ... a cut on the $600 minimum price comment. I would put the minimum around $250 in an LBS for an adult gearie mountain bike.

    Let me also add that the guy sporting the favor saver at the first LBS I went to told me that I had to spend at least $1000 to get something that would not break on me the first ride. Smelling the typical FUD sales tactic, I argued with him and left. They did not get my business that day, or the other $2000 (mostly 50 point plus markup accessories) I spent on bike gear the following two years before I moved out of the area.

    My wage slave nephew was told the same exact thing from another LBS, which made him think that mountain biking was way out of his league. To him, $1000 represented two months pay, which simply wasn't in the cards. He could have done it if the initial outlay was under $400 with helmet, bottle and gloves.

    This is not an isolated way of thinking in the bicycle world.

  32. #32
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    People in the rest of the world are smart enough to recognize that if you only have a certain amount of money, you should focus it on a bike that delivers the minimum acceptable functionality and the maximum durability. In America, on the other hand, the low cost bike market is domiated by rubes who are willing to waste their money on a POS bike with suspension and shifters they don't need and won't use (especially after they crap out).

    Walmart bike purchases are motivated by ignorance and obstinance, not finances. You can build up a decent, safe townie for much less than $300 if you bother to do some research and hit up the classifieds.

  33. #33
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    My $.02

    I remember this well because bikes were a big part of my life as a kid. When I was 10, my parents decided it was time for me to buy my own bike when I told them I wanted a mountain bike. I knew nothing about bikes. So my first 'mountain' bike was a cheap ass huffy that I mowed lawns for. We took it to an LBS at my mom's insistence because it wasn't shifting well after a while. They were nice and adjusted it. The guy even explained to me how to adjust the derailleurs myself. I rode the crap out of it for a couple years. Then I wanted to get into BMX, and after shopping local big box stores with my parents, I bought a Dyno BMX bike at the same LBS. I was 13 at the time. A couple years later I bought my first real mountain bike there, many accessories and parts, and a few more years down the road I bought my Super V there. All because they treated a 10 year old with a Huffy right.

  34. #34
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    Some have taken a few statements way out of context. Adjusting a derauiller is one thing. I've seen some stuff at my LBS that defies logic. Wally World bike, every cable is rusted and broken, shifters are full of water and broken, chain resembles a rusty rod and is no longer a chain, brake pads are dry-rotted and falling off, both tires have slashes 12" long in them, the list goes on and on. And people want them fixed for 10 or 15 bucks. I had a bike in similar condition, but it had alot of sentimental value to me as it was my "ride" when I was in Germany 15 years ago. I spent more than the bike was worth, and that was using alot of second-hand parts from some other bikes I have. I hang out at the LBS quite a bit, some people think I work there. It is rediculous what some people expect, and I wouldn't blame anyone for not working on some of that stuff.

  35. #35
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    I'm sure there are some ridiculous cases, but I'm just saying the LBS should at least treat people nicely, regardless of what POS they bring in. Even if they won't fix it. If I or my parents had detected any negativity regarding the POS I took in, you can bet we never would have gone back.

  36. #36
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    From an LBS perspective, there are three major problems with working on a Walmart bike.

    1. The cost of the repairs is often more than the value of the bike. That's more of a major problem for the customer, but for a bike shop that values its cusotmers, the shop needs to point that out as they write up the estimate. Customers do appreciate you informing of that fact rather than just fixing it and handing them a huge bill.

    2. Less money is made on the repair of a Walmart bike because it often takes much longer to repair the Walmart bike. A tune-up on a LBS quality bike may take an hour; adjusting just the brakes on a Walmart bike so they don't make you go deaf may take twice that long. (and you know the customer is going to complain about the squeal--even though the brakes now actually do stop the bike unlike when they brought it in). From a shop perspective, fixing a Walmart bike can be a money-losing enterprise.

    3. Third, because of number 1 and 2, working on a Walmart bike can be a real pain. And when that pain returns so little profit, you have to wonder if it is really worth it. The customer didn't buy the bike from you, he hasn't bought any accessories from you where you actually get some halfway decent margins, so you just end up feeling used and abused by the time you're done with it.

    Usually, based on number 1, many customers are happy to have a new bike that will last them longer and better. Obviously, you don't start off with, "Well, I won't fix your bike because it's a pile of junk, so look at this shiny new $1000 rigid 29er SS." After you total up the repair estimate, most customers start asking, "Should I even bother having this fixed?" They're not stupid! Then the way is paved to point out what makes the bike shop bike better than the Walmart bike. In the end, hopefully, you may earn yourself a loyal customer who is riding a bike that will really make them happy.

    At our shop, we do fix Walmart bikes, but we also do win quite a few new customers with honesty about the product they bring in for repair.

  37. #37
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    being a shop employee, here are some of my thoughts.

    we see an endless lineup of crappy bikes being brought in. a lot of shop time is spent working on old and/or cheap bikes. there are a lot of customers who want tuneups on these type of bikes. well, the fact of the matter is, that sometimes it is hard or impossible to tune crap. a $35 tuneup gets expensive pretty quickly.

    Recently, we had a customer pay $96 to repair a bike that was probably worth about $115 new. It is pretty surprising to me how much people are willing to pay to hold onto their rusty old bikes.


    As for the original topic, a dirt cheap SS bike, might sell. less stuff to go wrong is not a bad thing.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle
    From an LBS perspective, there are three major problems with working on a Walmart bike.

    1. The cost of the repairs is often more than the value of the bike. That's more of a major problem for the customer, but for a bike shop that values its cusotmers, the shop needs to point that out as they write up the estimate. Customers do appreciate you informing of that fact rather than just fixing it and handing them a huge bill.

    2. Less money is made on the repair of a Walmart bike because it often takes much longer to repair the Walmart bike. A tune-up on a LBS quality bike may take an hour; adjusting just the brakes on a Walmart bike so they don't make you go deaf may take twice that long. (and you know the customer is going to complain about the squeal--even though the brakes now actually do stop the bike unlike when they brought it in). From a shop perspective, fixing a Walmart bike can be a money-losing enterprise.

    3. Third, because of number 1 and 2, working on a Walmart bike can be a real pain. And when that pain returns so little profit, you have to wonder if it is really worth it. The customer didn't buy the bike from you, he hasn't bought any accessories from you where you actually get some halfway decent margins, so you just end up feeling used and abused by the time you're done with it.

    Usually, based on number 1, many customers are happy to have a new bike that will last them longer and better. Obviously, you don't start off with, "Well, I won't fix your bike because it's a pile of junk, so look at this shiny new $1000 rigid 29er SS." After you total up the repair estimate, most customers start asking, "Should I even bother having this fixed?" They're not stupid! Then the way is paved to point out what makes the bike shop bike better than the Walmart bike. In the end, hopefully, you may earn yourself a loyal customer who is riding a bike that will really make them happy.

    At our shop, we do fix Walmart bikes, but we also do win quite a few new customers with honesty about the product they bring in for repair.
    very good summary. in the short term, it is often not very profitable to do work on these bikes. one day, a mechanic spent many hours on a bike that was brought in for a "tuneup." In the end, brakes, cranks, and more were replaced. it was a break even deal at best.

    but, if customers are treated fairly, they are more likely to come back, and/or recommend the shop to a friend or family member.

    also, working on an endless line of rusted crap can be very demoralizing for an employee.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  39. #39
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    Here's the problem..

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    ... said.

    Making somebody feel like a dufus for buying a WalMart bike is not the way to sell them one of you nice bikes. There is a reason a lot of regular folks hate walking into bike shops, and this is the main one. FUD a lame sales tactic that is unercutting the whole biz.

    That said, there has to be a happy medium here. It might start with bike shops knocking off the whole 'Fear Uncertainty Doubt' (FUD as it is known) tactics.

    To some folks, $300 is all the money in the world. Let's not make them feel stupid or cheap by not spending $600. Heck, try going to just about any country in the rest of the world. Most folks are riding around 40-50 lb comfort bikes for transportation, and are doing perfectly well with it. Not my idea of a good time on the trails, but you get the idea.
    Real mountain bikes are not cheap and never have been. I'm not sure what you meant by riding the heck out of your $250 Giant, but I have never seen a sub $500 bike that can take the riggers of truely being ridden of road; when tried the wheels bend and the components break. true the frame stays together, but if the brakes don't work because the rims won't stay true and the fork locks up, there is nothing an LBS can do to make it better. In 1989 Specialized shocked the mountain bike world with a $900 off road worthy bike. Several years later you could by a Rockhopper for $700. Since then prices have gone down to around $500 for an off road worthy bike thanks to Mr. Shimano. A $250 dollar Giant will work great tooling around town and riding on fire roads. But that is not what a real mountain bike is made for.

    Brad
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  40. #40
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    After 3 or 4 years into riding my best friend of 22 years who was a 3 pack a day smoker and at 5' 3" weighed 270 lbs decided he wanted to go ride with me.

    He without my advise went to wal mart and bought the 40lb FS mongoose with the big coil spring rear shock that actually did work under his weight. Well that 40 lb POS saved his life as it's been 10 years since he quit smoking and he has lost about 70 lbs.

    The mongoose was repaired several times at the LBS and it kept him going for about a year. Then he replaced it with a Giant, the Giant was then replaced with a Bianchi and he now also rides a Surly SS and a Orbea Road bike with full Campy group. All bought from the same LBS that repaired his POS mongoose more times than it should have been.

    I for one am grateful that the LBS continued to repair the mongoose as it kept him riding through lean financial times and this bike allowed him to continue with a healthy lifestyle. I am also sure that he in the past 10 years has spent at least $15,000.00 and is still a loyal customer to that shop because of the way they took care of him when he first brought that POS bike in.

    My point is that customers should have the right to bring any bike into the shop and given an honest estimate of what it will take to fix the bike. It is then the customers choice.They should be treated the same no matter if they spend $10.00 or $6000.00. Bike snobs suck and so do LBS that employ them.

    I live in metro Atlanta and we have more than our share of the snobby road market type shops that won't give you the time of day unless your wanting to spend big $$$ every time you walk in the door. If your cool with that then keep going, I'll take my cash elsewhere.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by madcap
    our shop now refuses to work on any "mountain bike" bought at walmart.
    Same as the shop I work out. The mechanic boys have a very clear disclaimer:

    WE DO NOT SERVICE THE FOLLOWING:

    - Bicycles which have been purchased from K-Mart, other department stores or toy shops. These are toys, not bikes.
    - LearSport and Azzuri brand bicycles.
    - Prams, electric bikes, trikes.

    But like Jwiffle, should the customer ask why, we're not rude about it. In fact, last weekend a customer brought in a clunker Huffy- rusted to heck and with a majorly ovalised head tube, but I treat all customers the same whether they own a $100 bike or $7000 Carbon Rush.

    We just explain to them why a AUD$80 bike is going to break if you use it regularly and give them the spiel about cheap non-durable parts. Rigid SSers make sense- just look at the netherlands or germany or just most of europe! Those bikes just keep on going. Alas, to get a little political- shiny bouncy 'extreme' disc brake things sell. But Jwiffle's right- they take too long to service, our customers already have a 1-2 week waiting period for service and we have 4 full time mechanics- we can't afford to work on them.

    I think what annoys me most is the sheer wastage. Buy, Ride, Trash.

  42. #42
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    I think I've seen some of you guys out on the trails. You're the ones who are too good to acknowledge other riders with a simple hello..or even a nod. I realize it's asinine to expect the elite to acknowledge peasants..but we're only asking for a simple hello..geez..

    I passed two middle aged guys on the trail the other day. They were both a little overweight and they were sweating their asses off. The shocking part was that they were doing it on Magna's..oh, excuse me..I meant big hunks of crap. How dare they impede on our precious trails with their crap. The nerve of them for getting some much needed exercise..and having fun while doing it..all while riding big hunks of crap. I tried explaining that they would be much better off going home..sitting on the couch..eating another big bag of chips..drinking another six pack of Coke..and getting one step closer to that ever elusive heart attack..than riding those big, ugly, heavy, crappy, WAL-MART hunks of crap. A loser who rides a big hunk of crap like a Magna must drive a Pinto..or maybe even a Gremlin.

    Try getting off your elitist, bike snob high horse..and accept the fact that not everyone can afford a *bike-shop-bike*. They simply buy what their finances allow for them to buy. Can you afford to drive an Escalade on your bike mechanic wages? Or do you drive what you can afford?..Some ugly, crappy, cheap Honda..or maybe even a crappier..and uglier..Kia?

  43. #43
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    The typical bike shop attitude, as exemplified by several reactions in this thread, is a big reason I learned to fix my own bicycle and now mail order my parts. The only retail establishments I've ever been in that throw you more attitude are record stores that sell only DJ vinyl.

    Here are the typical employee presentations I get:

    1) Clueless teenagers. Actuallly, they're usually very nice to me but can't help and have to go get Old Crochety Guy out of the back.

    2) Old Crochety Guy. He's been working there forever and maybe owns the shop and is annoyed at the world for not having the same connoisseur's taste in bicycles that he does. If you don't want a hand-brazed lugged steel frame built by someone who lives in a non-running schoolbus in the mountains and has more facial hair than Santa Claus, you're clearly a Philistine and will be assisted with the same consideration given to someone who shows up at Le Cirque in s**tkickers and a cowboy hat.

    3) Bro Brah. He's there for the employee pricing, gone once he builds his dream bike, and doesn't give a s**t about you. Usually found talking with his riding buddies who are all cooler than you because Bro Brah gets parts for them on shop form. Comes in Fixie/Messenger and Mountain variants.

    4) Cynical Bro Brah. This is a Bro Brah who stayed on after he got his bike built and is on his way to becoming Old Crotchety Guy. Frequently tells people the most outrageous bull**** if he thinks he can get away with it, because he knows that working in a bike shop makes him better than his customers.

    Independents aren't any better in this regard. Some of the best customer service I've had from a bike shop was from a Supergo.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    ... a cut on the $600 minimum price comment. I would put the minimum around $250 in an LBS for an adult gearie mountain bike.

    Let me also add that the guy sporting the favor saver at the first LBS I went to told me that I had to spend at least $1000 to get something that would not break on me the first ride. Smelling the typical FUD sales tactic, I argued with him and left. They did not get my business that day, or the other $2000 (mostly 50 point plus markup accessories) I spent on bike gear the following two years before I moved out of the area.

    My wage slave nephew was told the same exact thing from another LBS, which made him think that mountain biking was way out of his league. To him, $1000 represented two months pay, which simply wasn't in the cards. He could have done it if the initial outlay was under $400 with helmet, bottle and gloves.

    This is not an isolated way of thinking in the bicycle world.

    Well, I kinda agree with that flavor-savin dude from your local shop. Especially if he had a bunch of low-end Treks on the floor, because Trek bikes are starting to look more and more like Walmart bikes to me. They're thrown together with cheap components, stripped out bolts, misaligned forks, untruable wheels, etc. Even if you have a pro mechanic pulling it out of the box there's still only so much he can do to make it live up to what one would expect from a bike shop bike. I think Trek either needs to accept their department store calling or start over with most of their line. So when he told you you had to spend $1000 to get something that wouldn't fall apart on the trail, he was saying that anything in their entry level is going to fall apart because they're just glorified comfort bikes.

    ...and if you walked in there ready to spend $2000 why did you get all fired up about $1000?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcoco01
    Well, I kinda agree with that flavor-savin dude from your local shop. Especially if he had a bunch of low-end Treks on the floor, because Trek bikes are starting to look more and more like Walmart bikes to me. They're thrown together with cheap components, stripped out bolts, misaligned forks, untruable wheels, etc. Even if you have a pro mechanic pulling it out of the box there's still only so much he can do to make it live up to what one would expect from a bike shop bike. I think Trek either needs to accept their department store calling or start over with most of their line. So when he told you you had to spend $1000 to get something that wouldn't fall apart on the trail, he was saying that anything in their entry level is going to fall apart because they're just glorified comfort bikes.

    ...and if you walked in there ready to spend $2000 why did you get all fired up about $1000?
    The other day i was in Zellers - a Canadian department store - and was actually surprised how some of the bikes shared a lot of components with some of the low end bikes i have built at the LBS. The main difference is the person building the bike. Zellers actually even had a bike worth like $600 that was equipped with Shimano disc brakes!
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  46. #46
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    Mall-Wart's stoopid

    I don't shop Wal-Mart. I like Target better. Not as many ugly chicks wearing blue smocks.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabpn
    As far as not working on POS bikes at a LBS it doesn't necessarily equate to snobbery. Your reputation as a shop is on the line when you can't get the bike working correctly after the customer JUST SPENT $60-70. "That's BS. Why the H@LL can't you get my bike working. I'm paying you good money. You guys are crooks. You suck and don't know what you're doing. I'm calling the police." Etc. Etc. Etc.
    What Jabpn says here is true. A few years back my neighbor kid took his Wally-world bike to the LBS to get the brakes adjusted. His front brake had never worked from day one. Kid saved up $35, took the bike in, paid his money, felt proud of himself for investing in his bike, and the brakes were out of whack again the next day. Do you think the kid blames Walmart? Sadly, no. To this day, the kid blames the LBS.

    Aside from the possible injury to reputation, the economics just do not favor working on those bikes. I saw a rack of full-suspension bikes at Walmart just last Thursday. Only $53.99 each! How do you justify working on such a bike? Oh, sure, maybe an adjustment to the derailleur or a tweak to the brake cables, but to invest serious money into parts and labor for such a bike? I sure wouldn't do that. I wouldn't counsel anyone else to either.

    Now, were I a bike dealer, I would not be flippant when I customer came in with a cheap bike. Heck, I would want to make that customer my own! To that end, I would give honest advice, and I would caution agains investing too much into a too-cheap bike.

  48. #48
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    This is where common sense and a simple matter of ethics goes rushing out of the bike shop front door.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    What Jabpn says here is true. A few years back my neighbor kid took his Wally-world bike to the LBS to get the brakes adjusted. His front brake had never worked from day one. Kid saved up $35, took the bike in, paid his money, felt proud of himself for investing in his bike, and the brakes were out of whack again the next day. Do you think the kid blames Walmart? Sadly, no. To this day, the kid blames the LBS.
    Of course the kid blames the LBS. I would, too. Any sane, normal person would blame the LBS. Why because they took the money and accepted responsibility to fix the front brake. If you can't fix the brake, don't take the money. If you take the money, then it's on you to get the front brake working.

  49. #49
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    The idea of putting up a list of things a bike shop won't repair cracks me up. Regardless of how you wanna phrase it, it simply comes across as "we think your bike is rubbish and we don't want you in our shop." Which is probably the exact effect that you were looking for in the first place.

    So why not start implementing that everywhere else?
    Put this up in an auto shop: "Your Kia is not worth our time repairing"
    Furniture? "If your furniture isn't from Ethan Allen, don't even think about bringing it in for upholstery"
    A cobbler? "We won't touch your Payless shoes - Jimmy Choo or higher only"

    Get a grip - you're a bike shop. Get over yourself. Those who don't know their way around the bike - the ones who end up with Target and Wal-Mart bikes - are the ones who need you the most. The rest of us who do know our way around the bike have less and less need for you. We order stuff online where we can get them cheaper, we have probably collect our own tools along the way, and we LOVE to wrench stuff ourselves.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    Of course the kid blames the LBS. I would, too. Any sane, normal person would blame the LBS. Why because they took the money and accepted responsibility to fix the front brake. If you can't fix the brake, don't take the money. If you take the money, then it's on you to get the front brake working.
    Yes, that's a good point, actually. Though the brake did work, for awhile. It just went out of whack again very, very quickly. Even I was taken aback, at the time, by how quickly the brake went back to not really working.

    Still, it would probably have been better for that LBS to have politely declined the repair. That's what I was really getting at in my post. I can understand a bike shop wanting to avoid such problems to begin with. Just be diplomatic, that's all.

  51. #51
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    The old steel huffy's are great, you can weld them together into all kinds of cool stuff!! Tall bikes, chopper bikes, they are great! i work with our local bike kitchen fixing broken down POS bikes for people who can't afford gas, or even a car. if you get them to shift between a couple of gears, they are stoked! Let them ride their bikes. most of the time these bikes are in such bad shape because of lack of maintance. help explain how to take care of their bikes and help them fix their bikes. if they want it fixed, be nice and explain the costs of the fix up front, if they are willing to pay it, fix it. I get people making fun of my SS because i use old parts off old bikes and it runs and i have fun. most of these POS bikes are used for transportation by people that have no other way of getting around except for the bus and that sucks way worse than riding a crappy bike.

  52. #52
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    Get off your high horse. You are doing nobody a favor by abetting the waste of their money on unsafe, unreliable, junk bicycles.

  53. #53
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    My perspective.....

    In more than one post on this thread, it has been implied that the people purchasing bikes at the big box stores are doing so because they could not otherwise afford the purchase of a bike. For the vast majority of the box store customers this could not be farther from the truth. Look in the parking lot the next time you drive past Walmart. Is it full of old crappy cars that look to be on their last legs? NO! Sure they are there, and more so than at the boutique mall a few blocks down, but I'm guessing that the nearly a third of the vehicles parked in front of Wally world are less than 5 yrs old and the owners are making payments on them. Depending on the cost of the car and the loan/lease terms, those payments can be in excess of $500.00 a month for some pretty pedestrian vehicles. These people are making a shiny new car a priority in their life. It is what we as americans have been sold all our lives. A nice NEW car advertises your status and power.

    A bike on the other hand is nothing more than a toy to them. It does not elevate ones status. The neighbors don't come by to check out your new bike like they do when you get a new car. Outside of our little cult, bikes are viewed as toys. Why would they want to spend a months car payment on a toy.

    So, it isn't the evils of the capitalist system forcing wage slaves into the purchase of a Walmart bike because they can't afford any better. It is the evils of the capitalist system convincing people to be wage slaves for cars that do nothing but lose their (percieved) value over time. We have been taught to value "new" over good. I do my best to reject this with my cars. I put nearly 200,000 miles on one, and only got rid of the previous one when I delivered it to the salvage yard after the engine blew (I new better than to buy that car and did anyway). I never buy new. That way I can afford more and pricier bikes

    I can see certain bike shops "refusing" to service walmart bikes. After all, you don't take your Kia to a Ferrari dealer for an oil change. If your business model is built around very high end bikes, you keep busy with your high end clientelle bringing them in for work, and you are making profits and beating last years numbers with this model, then it doesn't make sense to work on Joe sixpacks Magna that has been stored in a shed for 3 years. And on the other side of the coin, you don't take your Ferrari to Jiffy Lube either.

    I currently live in a rather small community. We only have one real bike shop. It is a third generation family owned business. I have seen many people wheel in their POS box store bikes. The way they handle it goes like so.

    1. Give a fair estimate of the cost of repairs. Show them the parts that need to be replaced with the cost clearly marked. This usually exceeds 50% of the original purchase price of the bike. If it needs a wheel replaced, it often exceeds the cost of the bike.

    2. Wait for the inevitable "But I only paid $$ for it." statement. Then wait again. They don't start with, you might want to buy a bike from us, but they let their customers come to the conclusion themselves. It does help that many of the people have fond memories of the Schwinns their parent's got at the same shop from the current owners dad back in the day.

    3. Some people are stubborn and insist on putting $150.00 of repairs into a $70.00 bike. When that is the case, they ask for a deposit up front. That way, if they abandon the bike, they at least have a bit of cash from the transaction.

    They have sold many entry level mountain and comfort bikes (under $400) by just letting people figure it out for themselves.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  54. #54
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    If you don't get that certain bike parts can never be made to work properly, then I can "bike snob" on you, as you clearly have no concept of how crappy bike parts can be. Even your "$80" bike has at least $300 worth of upgrades on it.

    Its just a fact of life that some things cost more to repair than they are worth. Consider yourself priviledged if this is news to you.

  55. #55
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    if more Walmart shoppers actually rode bikes this world would be a much better place.
    I treat my bikes from the same perspective as a car, if you cant afford a decent new car or bike get a used one.
    Last edited by Scottie Rox; 05-30-2007 at 04:47 PM.

  56. #56
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    Frozenspokes, thanks. That's a very thought-provoking post that you made. Really thought-provoking...

  57. #57
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    This has been a fantastic read.

    I like working on my own bike, but I also like to support the bike shops in my area that treat me with respect and provide me good customer service.

    I also think that all bikes are good. I just want more people to ride bikes even if they are labeled Next or Magna.
    I have a name for my pain and call it "dog".

  58. #58
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    i deal with a lot of WM bikes...i also deal with many 3-4k bikes. quite a few eclipse that and approach the 10k range. i give a fair estimate. if the repair comes close to $100 on a WM bike, i ask the customer how much riding he is doing, how he's caring for the bike...basically, "what kind of abuse is the bike seeing?" that answer will tell me how i to direct that conversation. if customer rides often and does what he can for the bike, i tell him that he'd likely be better off spending money on a bike from us. i'd rather him spend as little as possible to get him by until he can afford one from us.

    some customers don't really care how much the repair costs 'cause it works for them. i just did a $120 repair on a WM bike. i asked the customer if he wanted to look at new bikes from us, and he said that the bike works fine for him, and asked that i just repair his. fine with me. a bike's a bike.

    a lot of these that i see are this person's mode of transportation. with these people, i do as much work as i can for a little money as i can, as quickly as possible.

    it's not so much that the bikes are Magnas, Huffys, or Nexts...it's that the people building them aren't really up-to-snuff when it comes to building bikes.

    i see a lot of older Raleighs, Schwinns, etc. i've got a 70s Raleigh in que right now that's got a $300 (plust tax) estimate and the lady is adamant that we do the repairs. bike would get maybe $30 at a pawn shop. 3 sales people have talked to her, trying to tell her that a new bike would be a better idea. she won't do it, because she doesn't want to lock the bike up. c'est la vie.

  59. #59
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    I like having a spare WalMart bike because I never have to worry about it being stolen. If I did need work on it, and a bike shop told me that they don't work on WM bikes, I'd tell them that I'd gladly never step foot in their shop again.

    I work 4 miles from home and I ride my beater $80 WM bike because there is no use locking up a bike's wheels, seatpost, handlebars, oh and just about everything else that can be stolen in a few minutes.

    All of you sound like the usual pretentious bike riders I ride with on the weekends. I think it was dirt rag or mtn bike action mag that rated the average big box store bike and for the average person that commutes to the bus stop or whatever. The bikes work surprisingly well for the average bike rider. Can one billion Chinese people be wrong? You guys know that the rest of the world can't all afford a 1k+ bike or even want to yet somehow all is well.

  60. #60
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    The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart

    This is hands-down the best ever example of someone truely understanding the value of their brand.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/...n_snapper.html

    I read this when it was first published and it still rings true today.

    There is a lesson to be learned here.

  61. #61
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    (I work 4 miles from home and I ride my beater $80 WM bike because there is no use locking up a bike's wheels, seatpost, handlebars, oh and just about everything else that can be stolen in a few minutes.)
    All of you sound like the usual pretentious bike riders I ride with on the weekends
    .




    I would not wave to you if I was riding past you. Nothing personal, I just wouldn't want anyone to think I know you.

    I laugh at people who wave anyways. Now a days its more of a litmus test to see if you are an a$$h0le. Well get it right the first time. I am. I think most cyclists are figs anyways.

  62. #62
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    My, what a lovely bunch cyclists have turned out to be. Won't fix a bike if it didn't cost $500. Proud declarations of assh0le behavior. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

  63. #63
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    I can't believe i am contributing to this but here it goes...

    First, there is tons of sarcasm in here so don't get your panties in a bunch too much.

    Second, I think there has been some great examples on how to handle working on a WM bike. I don't think these shops are saying they won't work on a WM at all, I think most BS would evaluate the situation and if the repair is going to cost more than the bike explain that to the customer. I see nothing wrong with that. I also can see not working on the bike if the repair is something that obivously won't hold because of the quality of the product, but that needs to be explained. The key point that the BS bashers continue to miss is that the bike isn't worth fixing. They could simple go get another bike for the cost of the repair. Heck, if I worked in a shop I would go as far as to tell them to go back to WM and get another bike or buy a better bike from any shop, not even the shop I work in. Explain why and by being up front and honest and even directing them to competition you have a pretty good chance of getting the customer.

    The point is WM bikes have a place, the majority of people that buy them don't always understand that place and that is where the dilemia comes in. It isn't right to bash the owners of the bikes because that is what they can afford, period. There is a place for those bikes, just as there is a place for quality craftmenship and repair. A discerning customer will understand the explaination given and one that doesn't probably would never have bought a thing from the LBS anyway.

    I can think of a few of businesses that specialize in repairs that won't work on products they don't deem worthy. Try to get a dated HVAC system repaired? Face it, we live in a throw away society now unless you pay for quality.

    Flame away I guess.

  64. #64
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    H.......

    It is kind of relevant to me that this discussion is going on at the moment so i will share my views on the subject.Today i walked out on my job.It is not the first time i have done this ,in fact i think it is the fourth at my last employer.I worked at H...... which is a car accessory,So called bike shop and have been there for about two years now. I feel like i am banging my head against a brick wall every day when i went to work.Lack of staff,untrained staff.Managers who couldnt care about anything other than store profits and their wage packets,no customer care.Very poor sales service,cheap bikes that don't work even when new,no stock control what so ever.Work experience kids taking the place of paid members of staff who couldnt care less about work at all.Having to face aggressive customers that cannot get their heads around why it is that the bike they brought with hard earned money fell apart as soon as it gets ridden down the road(even if it was assembled correctly )which was rare.Customers think YOU are ripping them off when you quote them on a repair which i would rather not do because i would have no faith in the bike in the first place.There is a row of bikes in the warehouse that customers have left because of second thoughts about the cost of the repair.When i first joined the company i was shocked at the amount of stock that had been stolen by kids in the area and nothing was even done about it.Maybe i am ranting on a bit but most of these things are a reflection of selling cheap shoddy bikes that for most of their lives are forgotten in a shed at the bottom of the garden.Why should i even bother educating customers about their crap bikes,sorry but i really have more important things to do in life.People who i don't know that would catch the bus or walk to work rather than pay out to have the bike repaired.Some people have more important things like living to pay for.I can see both sides of the coin here,but cheap products equal cheap service and a 'decent' (if that is the word) bike shop will not survive for very long if it is to cater to the 'CYCLIST'.

  65. #65
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    Well, I'm not really going to comment on this too much but I do have one small thing to add: I got into mountain biking because of a WM bike (double-squishy Mongoose). It was a gift to me and I rode with a few guys with "real" mountain bikes. They didn't care what I rode on, and I managed to keep up with them until I beat that bike into the ground... which took about 12 months of hard riding. Hell, I even put clipless pedals on it! Then it was stolen, if you can imagine that. I was okay with it by then... it was pretty much done for.

    But it was enough to get me hooked. Now I've got three mid-range "bike store" bikes (double squishy geared, a single-speed, and a road bike) that cost a few thousand combined.

    My point being: It was my introduction to mountain biking and for that I am forever grateful for it.

  66. #66
    I AM I AM
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    I used to ride my BigW bike just to get out of the house really away from the smoke & alcohol. I used to seek out the trails & explore around the local hills. Slogging it up the hill and seeing if I could do it without getting off and basically it got me fit and have always loved getting out there riding the dirt seeing where the trail goes, turning back before I get too far from home (or lost). One day this guy flew past me going up a hill on a real mtb - yeah by that stage I was reading MTB mags and dreaming of a nice bike (Norco Nitro) that was waaaay out of my reach. Anyway I was pretty gobsmacked "wow how can he ride so fast!"

    When you're a kid and your parents have no money you can dream all you like but reality is that real bikes are out of reach and you're probably grateful just to have a bike to start with.

    It's funny I had 2 of them stolen! I think it was probably a matter of having brought cheap locks. It was the third one that got ridden till the hubs wore through etc. The first one was a

    But yeah the bike was ridden into the ground eventually. Step by step I've progressed - Hardrock Comp and now Trance. The Trance is a keeper for the next 5 or so years and after that well who knows.

    My kids will start out with wally world bikes, until they can step up to one that they won't outgrow too quick. Probably get them a true bmx when they're old enough, then if they like mtb later on so be it. Never know if the Trance goes the distance I don't mind sharing it with my boy when he's big enough.

  67. #67
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    Until you work on stuff that is built so poorly that it will not stay adjusted no matter how good of a mechanic you are, you shouldn't assume that people have the worst business plans in the history of business. WM bikes are like diposable razors, they look great and are cheap when you buy them but after 3 uses they suck and are garbage. Unless of course you deem it worthy to sharpen said razors.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by elray
    Well, isn't that snobby and pig-headed of you. You ARE the worst thing about the cycling industry, buddy. Try reaching out to people instead of turning your nose up at them.

    I won't read the rest of the replies but it's likely that they will say something about liability and safety over snobby and pig headed. Those bikes truely are of a different quality level than those sold at bike shops. They seriously are a liability to any shop owner/mechanic who touches them. Our shop is about to enforce the same policy. It can be done politely while educating the customer v. simply sticking a nose in the air.
    My one says BRAP!

  69. #69
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    While a lot of folks around here are

    prejudging others and making unnecessarily inflamatory remarks, I'd like to take a moment to crystalize what I believe is the gist of this thread:

    If you even LOOK at a Walmart as you're driving by, you're a loser and your both parents had Down's Syndrome. In fact, you've probably never even met your parents but trust me, neither of them was dumb enough to buy a bike at Walmart.

    I hope this settles the issue.

  70. #70
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    lol. Ok I lied, I got sucked in and read the rest of the thread.

    The truth of the matter is that you get what you pay for. As of now we sell a trail worthy mountain bike that starts @ $429. That's what we tell people. "This is a real mountain bike and it's the most affordable one we offer." We have another mountain bike shaped object as I call it that's only $229, guess what I tell people? "This is a great bike for getting around town and for riding dirt roads and paths, IT IS NOT FOR SINGLE TRACK USE."

    Why? because of the fact that 400 dollar bike has a freehub while the 200 dollar bike has a freewheel. Don't know what either of those things mean? Then don't judge shop owners/employees for knowing what the fvck we're talking about!

    $500 on a bike? That's a bargain... and in all honesty that's where the price point for a real bicycle begins. You think that's being snobby? No way, that's just knowledge and common sense... YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR people, plain and simple.

    carry on.
    My one says BRAP!

  71. #71
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    Wal-Mart's only good for music and nail polish. And it's fun to get thrown out of

    Good for mtb's? I think not.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by plume
    $500 on a bike? That's a bargain... and in all honesty that's where the price point for a real bicycle begins. You think that's being snobby? No way, that's just knowledge and common sense... YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR people, plain and simple.

    carry on.
    I'm pretty sure I got ripped off on my (M.B.D.E.P.C.B.'s) Max Bling Diamond Encrusted Platinum Chainring Bolts.

    LBS said they were the safest but I'm starting to wonder....

  73. #73
    MTB Withdrawal
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    Nothing's funnier than watching 3 guys push their NEXT full-suspension bikes UP a black diamond.

    Or, riding past a guy that's put Mavic Crossrides, a RaceFace crankset, and carbon seatpost and bars on an entry-level full-suspension. At least he'll be set when he switches to a better frame, I suppose.

    Now, that said, I rode the hell out of my X-Games Airstrike. Even after I had outgrown it, I rode that 24" beast around everywhere. I honestly don't know how much mileage I got out of it before...... the cranks stopped turning the chainring. I'm still not exactly sure what happened, but now it's in my basement (having been rescued from under the porch after 4 years), awaiting a retrofit with an electric motor.

    Also, that bike taught me how to tune derailleurs. Now that I look back on it, I don't know how I put up with the almost-daily tuneups. My next bike was a fully rigid, with 10, and then 5 speeds. The front derailleur got eaten by my big ring, so I just took off the whole setup and left it in the big ring. That bike taught me how to true wheels, which I had to do every few rides. It also taught me how to handle a fully rigid, and sure does make riding a lightweight hardtail with a SID fork feel pretty good.

    Anyways (I hate ADD), Wal-Mart bikes brought me to where I am today. But, it seems that I'm a very rare exception. Take my brother, for example. He's always recieved trickle-down from me, but what this means right now is that he's riding a hardtail with a cockpit that I fit for him, his fork has been upgraded twice, he gets free maintainence, but he still treats his bike like it's a wal-mart bike. Granted, he can change tires and tubes all by himself now. So I guess he's getting somehwere.
    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Completely off topic, please ignore.

  74. #74
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    I remember one LBS I frequented a few times where I used to live. The same thing as a lot of you have already said, people would go in and expect them to fix their wallmart type bikes. It was just hard to explain why it couldn't be fixed and such.

    I totally understand where the bike stores are coming from. To a lot of people a bike is just a bike, kind of like cars, some people buy one and expect it to keep going, their job is just to drive it and fill it up with petrol, maybe give it a wash now and then. Change a tire, check the oil, how on earth do you do that?

    I suppose at least when the hub on a wallmart bike breaks you can just go out and buy another wallmart bike for the same price as a new hub / wheel would cost you on a real mountain bike, so if you're not seriously riding trails it doesn't really matter that much. I do agree that wallmart bikes can be unsafe for offroad riding (hence the stickers on them) but aside from that who cares people should ride what they want, kind of like buying cheap anything, not everyone wants a Sony TV.

    I think it's a good thing about bike stores posting up signs, some people will always think it's because the store wants you to buy a bike from them, but look at it this way; If it's widely known that you can get a huffy for $x but you have a very slim chance of getting it serviced when something breaks and the original retailer won't do anything about it then they may think twice and they may actually consider saving up a bit more and actually getting a half decent bike. Or otherwise they will see it for what it is - a throwaway investment.

  75. #75
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    Ok, I own a Walmart bike. It's the only bike I've owned and I have had it for 7 years now. It's never given me trouble until recently. I had a leaky tire so I took it into the LBS to fix it. While I was there they were talking to another customer about a spring tune-up. I asked them if I could get a tune-up also. They said, "Well, you got a pretty cheap bike and you'd be better off to just buy a new bike." I didn't want to buy a new bike, I want a tune-up. Anyway, I left because it was obvious I wasn't worth their time just because of the type of bike I had. I didn't let them fix the leaky tire either.

    So, I left and went to another LBS. They looked at my bike and said I needed a new tire to fix the leaky one. I said they are really old tires so replace the front tire too. I asked them if they had a tune-up. They said they did and asked me if there was anything specific that needed attention. I said the shifting could be crisper, the brakes squeal and there's a creaking noise in the crank. Nothing big just some annoyances. Ok no problem. So a week later I pick the bike up. They put new brake pads on and said the squealing should be gone. They adjusted the shifting. They couldn't find the creaking noise in the crank. I got two new tires and tubes. So, I paid them and left. Holy ****! The bike won't stop to save my life although the brakes don't squeal, it shifts 10x worse and both tires have bulges on the tread surface. So it's like you're riding over bumps all the time. I take it back and they said, "It's a cheap bike and can't be fixed. We did our best. You should save your money and get a new one." It worked much better before I brought it in there. So I leave there unhappy.

    I take it to Scheels because I can't ride it like that. The mechanic said I can't promise anything because it's a cheap bike but I will give it my best shot. Well, that's all I want. He calls me on the phone and says the tire problem is because the steel rims won't work with these tires. He said the rims aren't dual channel and tires are sinking down into the rim creating a low spot. He says I need new rims for these tires. (why in the hell did the other LBS put these tires on these rims?) I told him I have some aluminum rims for it. I brought them down and he said they would work. He said the braking problem was because they put really cheap pads on it. He said he would get me some better ones. He adjusted the shifting too. He also found the creak in the crank. It was the front derailleur. He sprayed some WD-40 on it and he showed me where to spray it if it comes back. I left Scheels and my bike works like a dream! 400+ miles now. I have been back there many times and spent a couple hundred dollars on a hydration pack, gloves, helmet etc. I will go back there when I buy my next bike this fall. I will never go back to the LBS's even after I get my new Trek.

    You shouldn't pass up the little guy with the cheap bike. They just lost out on all future business from me. Also, when fixing a bike, don't make it worse and then blame it on a cheap bike and keep their money, then try to sell them a new bike. They won't be back!

    Sarah
    (Walmart POS bike owner)

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sahra
    Ok, I own a Walmart bike. It's the only bike I've owned and I have had it for 7 years now. It's never given me trouble until recently. I had a leaky tire so I took it into the LBS to fix it. While I was there they were talking to another customer about a spring tune-up. I asked them if I could get a tune-up also. They said, "Well, you got a pretty cheap bike and you'd be better off to just buy a new bike." I didn't want to buy a new bike, I want a tune-up. Anyway, I left because it was obvious I wasn't worth their time just because of the type of bike I had. I didn't let them fix the leaky tire either.

    So, I left and went to another LBS. They looked at my bike and said I needed a new tire to fix the leaky one. I said they are really old tires so replace the front tire too. I asked them if they had a tune-up. They said they did and asked me if there was anything specific that needed attention. I said the shifting could be crisper, the brakes squeal and there's a creaking noise in the crank. Nothing big just some annoyances. Ok no problem. So a week later I pick the bike up. They put new brake pads on and said the squealing should be gone. They adjusted the shifting. They couldn't find the creaking noise in the crank. I got two new tires and tubes. So, I paid them and left. Holy ****! The bike won't stop to save my life although the brakes don't squeal, it shifts 10x worse and both tires have bulges on the tread surface. So it's like you're riding over bumps all the time. I take it back and they said, "It's a cheap bike and can't be fixed. We did our best. You should save your money and get a new one." It worked much better before I brought it in there. So I leave there unhappy.

    I take it to Scheels because I can't ride it like that. The mechanic said I can't promise anything because it's a cheap bike but I will give it my best shot. Well, that's all I want. He calls me on the phone and says the tire problem is because the steel rims won't work with these tires. He said the rims aren't dual channel and tires are sinking down into the rim creating a low spot. He says I need new rims for these tires. (why in the hell did the other LBS put these tires on these rims?) I told him I have some aluminum rims for it. I brought them down and he said they would work. He said the braking problem was because they put really cheap pads on it. He said he would get me some better ones. He adjusted the shifting too. He also found the creak in the crank. It was the front derailleur. He sprayed some WD-40 on it and he showed me where to spray it if it comes back. I left Scheels and my bike works like a dream! 400+ miles now. I have been back there many times and spent a couple hundred dollars on a hydration pack, gloves, helmet etc. I will go back there when I buy my next bike this fall. I will never go back to the LBS's even after I get my new Trek.

    You shouldn't pass up the little guy with the cheap bike. They just lost out on all future business from me. Also, when fixing a bike, don't make it worse and then blame it on a cheap bike and keep their money, then try to sell them a new bike. They won't be back!

    Sarah
    (Walmart POS bike owner)
    Sarah:

    You spent lot's of time dragging your bike from shop to shop to have it fixed. You could have been out riding a better bike that would hold up. I would never feel safe on junk..not cutting up your bike either. I have ridden all my life and i have gained much respect in quality products that hold up well and are safe.

    It's about enjoying the ride not seeing who you can get to fix it or how long something will last. Yes it costs more upfront but in the end you have gained more fun time and less aggravation. You should have done your homework in the first place and went to Scheels for a bike not Wal-Junk.
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  77. #77
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    Given your attitude on here Performace cycle I would never step foot in your shop.

  78. #78
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    Go girl!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahra

    You shouldn't pass up the little guy with the cheap bike. They just lost out on all future business from me. Also, when fixing a bike, don't make it worse and then blame it on a cheap bike and keep their money, then try to sell them a new bike. They won't be back!

    Sarah
    (Walmart POS bike owner)
    Sarah, you proved us all wrong. BTW, I take it you had an aluminum rimmed "wheel set"? That alone should double its value .

    Brad
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  79. #79
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Toff
    Given your attitude on here Performace cycle I would never step foot in your shop.
    Dude:

    It's "Proformance Cycle"

    "Thanks"
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toff
    Given your attitude on here Performace cycle I would never step foot in your shop.

    Why not? He speaks the truth, in a very nice way I might add.

    I've had this same discussion w/ my parents when I first started riding. They thought they did a great thing by getting two bikes from WalMart. You know where the bikes are now? Rusting in the garage and getting ridden maybe once a year. For them, sure they work. For anyone who actually spends any amount of time on a bike it's obvious that the reality of it is that $500 is pretty much the least amount of money you can expect to pay for a quality ride.

    It's just the honest truth. Not working on big box bikes isn't snobby, it's just smart. Not only do shops make NO money on those repairs, they're putting themselves at risk simply by touching them.

    We FINALLY convinced this lady who was not only riding a crappy f/s walmart bike, but a child's bike on top of it with the seat post raised well above the danger line. Did she want a new bike? Nope. Just fix the old one please. Ok, until the 5th repair bill..."so how much for a nice bike again...?" Got her on a bike that fits and will hold up well - she gets free tune ups now forever since she got it from us and she's much safer. And she actually spent less than 500...
    My one says BRAP!

  81. #81
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    Good job!

    plume:

    You hit it right on the head!

    I'm not speaking from a BS or boasting point of view. I have worked on thousands of bikes and I feel I'm saving the customer money right off the bat.. Buying a Wally World bike is Ok, but you "WILL" be repairing it all the time. For a shop to spend time just adjusting the brakes on those monsters takes more time the it would ever be worth. For all of you non believers, ask your favorite shop to show you what I'm talking about. Buy a pizza and some beer and stop by after hours and let the shop tech show you why we hate these bikes the way we do. Then make sure to buy your next bike from them.......

    Just like Sahra said the brakes didn't even work, what kind of liability is that to a shop.. Thankfully nothing bad happened in that case......

    It can compare to a customer bringing a motorcycle in and having the top end rebuilt..they ask what kind of warranty do they get. I tell the same as Yamaha gave them when they purchased the bike form Yamaha when it was new... Which was none!

    Yes, I always stand behind my work, and always go out of my way to make sure the customer is happy with the way things work for them, but how do I give an upgrade for something I didn't create.

    Here's the real deal!

    With a Wally world bike if you take it out and it doesn't work the way you want it to, you can return it and get a brand new one. Even for the smallest complaint. Usually the problems stem form the way the bike was put together by teenager who could care less about the build. They don't fix them so you can just imagine what it cost them to purchase a bike 15 bucks? They just tell you to take a new one. No question asked! Customer wasn't satisfied so he returned the bike........ Now consider what you are swinging your leg over and riding down the hill at 20 MPH? Imagine the same kid building your new CHEVY or FORD?
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  82. #82
    2 miles & my butt hurts!
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    I got the bike for my 13th birthday so I didn't really have a say about where it was bought. I'm now a college student and I still don't have the money to get the bike I want. Although I will this fall thanks to my internship. However, I didn't want to sit out this riding season so I wanted my Wal-mart bike fixed. The time spent dragging it around was worth it. I'd go crazy if I couldn't ride this summer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    Sarah:

    You spent lot's of time dragging your bike from shop to shop to have it fixed. You could have been out riding a better bike that would hold up. I would never feel safe on junk..not cutting up your bike either. I have ridden all my life and i have gained much respect in quality products that hold up well and are safe.

    It's about enjoying the ride not seeing who you can get to fix it or how long something will last. Yes it costs more upfront but in the end you have gained more fun time and less aggravation. You should have done your homework in the first place and went to Scheels for a bike not Wal-Junk.

  83. #83
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    Yup.... Wal-Mart Bikes Suck

    But it is still a bike. I believe what others have stated here. Let them know what it will cost to fix it. Why would you turn down $ to fix a cheap bike. Charge them what you charge anyone else. Are you afraid of working to hard? Afraid of working on something that is dirty and not new? A good business person will let the CUSTOMER decide what is worth it an what is not. Shops I have been with would work on strollers, scooters, even big wheels if we could fix it. I have never met a shop that had too much business (maybe not enough good mechanics).

    It is also important to educate the customer on what makes the more expensive bikes better. Not taking the time to talk to the customer just because they have a Wal-Mart bike is just plain stupid business. Like someone stated earlier not everyone who shops at Wal-Mart is poor. Many just don't know any better. For many a Wal-mart bike is all they need. Why spend more money on something you are only gonna use once or twice a year.

    The best wrenches I know have gotten good at what the do by making the cheap bikes work. Any knitwit can make a nice bike run nice. It takes an expert to make a junk bike work nice.

    It is no wonder the cycling industry in the U.S struggles. This attitude about not working on bikes which YOU consider junk is hurting more than helping anything. Do you work on older bikes with outdated technology??? How about cruiser bikes or folding travel bikes??? I guess business is so good you only need to work on Shimano LX level an up bikes!!!

    BTW I would rather ride a Wal-mart bike 20 mph downhill than drive a Ford or Chevy.

  84. #84
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    Good job!

    Phoinix:

    Yes bike or not It's still MY business and I decide what to work on or not. I decide where the most important work/customer relations are not Walmart. I don't need to work lower end stuff, does that make me wrong or pig headed NO WAY! I know my market as you know yours. Working hard is not a problem for me. Hey I can fix golf carts, do I Hell no! Not that golf carts are evil or below me, but the stuff I work at is my choice. Notice... all the stuff I fix or don't none of it comes from Walmart!

    Why do people get up in arms over a shop who does what they believe is best for their shop. Go tell the bank, the hardware store, the dry cleaners how they should run their business. I think you will find yourself a very lonely person. People go into business because they are sick of the boss telling them what to do so they do what they feel makes them and their customers happy....

    "Quote"
    The best wrenches I know have gotten good at what the do by making the cheap bikes work. Any knitwit can make a nice bike run nice. It takes an expert to make a junk bike work nice."Qoute"
    So I guess the knitwit off the street can adjust and set up all the new Shimano stuff never having see it before...Ok... I want that knitwit setting up my brakes...ya right...If your an expert mechanic and your NOT being paid your worth then your missing a better opportunity for yourself, junk bikes or not.


    "Quote"It's is no wonder the cycling industry in the U.S struggles."Quote"
    The cycling industry struggles cause Walmart sells junk for extremely low prices and like you said the average customer doesn't know what they are buying. Sir...outdated tech is my specialty. Suntour made some of the best stuff..no not afraid of it...on REAL bikes not toys. Do you rebuild and service suspension in your shop?

    Riding the Walmart assembled bike downhill rather than a Ford or Chevy assembled by the Walmart principle of hired knitwits who assemble the bike at the store PRICELESS!

    So all in all I work on what I like and you work on all the stuff you like!
    I like what I work on!
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  85. #85
    2 miles & my butt hurts!
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    I agree with Proformance Cycle in that it is his business and nobody should tell him how to run it. I would much rather walk into his shop with my wal-mart bike and be told "sorry, we don't work on those" versus the experience I had at my LBS. I don't want someone working on my bike who really doesn't want to work on it anyway. Don't waste my time, send me on my way or even offer up the names of some shops that would work on it. Although you will probably lose all of my future business, I respect your decision to not work on wal-mart bikes. I always believe in freedom of choice for business owners. If you don't like how someone does business, don't go there. It's that simple!

  86. #86
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    I've worked in shops. I built every bike I and my wife have. I run an online parts store now. I adventure race.

    My 10 cents:

    1. The biggest problem with Target / Walmart bikes aren't the bikes, it's how poorly they are put together. You put one together correctly and you won't have too many issues with it on the street.

    2. Every business can run their business however they want. There is one LBS in town that will not deal with big-box bikes. That store doesn't see a lot of business... big suprise...


    Most people are out to have a good time on their bike. Not go off road. Not bomb off a loading dock. They want to spin around the neighborhood or at a park. It is to an LBS's benefit to do service work on anything they can. SERVICE IS THEE SELLING POINT!!!!

    You want to know why websites like Pricepoint stay in business? Because there are a ton of people that have LBS's that don't take care of them. Their service is POOR thus they lose sales. Not only are hourly service charges very profitable, but they are an opportunity to be the future support for that rider 10yrs down the road.

    So yea, you can blow off big-box bikes, but you are costing your business money and eventually putting more into the pockets of Internet retailers.

  87. #87
    College Boy
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    Proformance Cycle has a good point about not working on walmart bikes. I can think of a long list of good reason not to work on them.

    A.) cost of repairs/tune up is 50-70% of the value of the bike when new and the tune up is not going to last very long because the parts are crap and the customer would blame the LBS for it and not understand it is because it is cause by crap parts. (reputation is on the line)

    B.) the LBS is already very busy with repairs to the quilatiy bikes (350-400+) and is having trouble keeping up with demand on those bikes. So the walmart bikes are not worth the reputation plus the odds are they will not be back but they eat up time that the shop could be working on a good bike. Because of that those bikes go to another shop. General people who have Bike shop bikes will be back and tend to buy more stuff. So I would not want to loose them.

    C.) LBS is being honest telling the customer that it is not worth the money to fix the bike and refuse to do it.

    Mind you all of the above would be told to the custumer in a very polite and professional manner but the logic there is sound. If I was a bike shop owner I would turn down wally world bikes because of those reasons. I would be polite and explain to them the reasoning why and encourage them to look at cheaper entry leval bikes my shop sold. For example I would show them a Speilized hard rock. Trek 4300 ect. Low end bikes but have parts on them that are worth maintaining and the bike is worth puting some upgrades on though out its life.

    What I think is scary is I am seeing bikes at wally word that have disk brakes, FS and still less than 300 bucks for that pill of crap. Problem is wally world is showing the flashy stuff and pushing the flashy stuff but to get that flashy stuff they have to make sure everything is dirt cheap and well crap. I got people giving me greif about me spending 520 on my rockhopper because it was a hard tail and they spent less than me and got a FS bike and they though they had a better bike. I think the thing that is needed the most is educations.

  88. #88
    Glad to Be Alive
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmynameisdan
    Think about the midset that buyers of Wal-Mart bikes have.

    "Shocks! Pegs! Sweeeet!"

    Seriously, those bikes sell because the buyers think they look cool. There is obviously no consideration on function. They would sell exactly 0 one speed rigid bikes.

    LUCKY !!!!!....come on...get it right
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  89. #89
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    Good job!

    DocAltie:

    So yea, you can blow off big-box bikes, but you are costing your business money and eventually putting more into the pockets of Internet retailers.

    So tell me how do you plan on have the "INTERNET" fix your bike?

    Don't you understand the TIME spent on junk is way too much when you can repair a good bike and move on to the next one. I don't know where you are but the bike shops in my area are busy and not from Walmart bikes........

    LBS pluses vs Walmart minus'

    LBS
    1. Great service
    2. Educated staff
    3. Help with Tech questions
    4. Free adjustments, most shops, I do.
    5. Help with Sizing on clothes and helmets
    6. Pick up & Delivery
    7. Knowledgeable about Trails to ride
    8. Able to talk the talk and walk the walk whenever questions are asked....

    Waljunk
    1. What service "NONE"
    2. Educated by who? Sam Walton? He's still Dead!
    3. Help try to find someone first, then ya the guy in Paint rides.. Kinda...
    4. Adjustments... sorry just take another bike......Sir
    5. Help with what..... same as the paint guy!
    6. They don't leave the store till closing time
    7. I know how to get to the highway......
    8. They can't talk or fix anything cause they are not educated in bicycle repair or any faction of how it's done in a "REAL" bike shop!...PERIOD

    So if ALL the LBS's go away you will have to just keep sending stuff back to the internet or Walmart to get a new ride every time a small adjustment or part breaks.. Or you can FIX it yourself...and learn spending time on junk is NOT fun... Riding a GOOD bike is though!

    Take that to Walmart or the Internet!

    I'm done here! GOING RIDING a good bike now..........oh ya I might need TP so I guess it's a stop at Walmart...I hope it wipes as good as the expensive stuff.......laughing

    C ya guys ride on.........
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  90. #90
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    "Don't you understand the TIME spent on junk is way too much when you can repair a good bike and move on to the next one. I don't know where you are but the bike shops in my area are busy and not from Walmart bikes"

    Well if you explain that to those who come in instead of just saying "sorry, we don't service POS". Why not do the work for them and sell them on the benefit of getting a good bike instead of just kicking them out? Get them in the door...
    LBS
    1. Great service (depends on the shop)
    2. Educated staff (depends on the shop)
    3. Help with Tech questions
    4. Free adjustments, most shops, I do.
    5. Help with Sizing on clothes and helmets
    6. Pick up & Delivery
    7. Knowledgeable about Trails to ride (these folks riding $70 bikes don't ride trails)
    8. Able to talk the talk and walk the walk whenever questions are asked (depends on the shop)

    I'm not disagreeing with "quality". I disagree with the one-size fits all business ideas. If your shops are so busy fixing stuff that's not Walmart bikes, maybe you should sell better bikes too???

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    "Don't you understand the TIME spent on junk is way too much when you can repair a good bike and move on to the next one. I don't know where you are but the bike shops in my area are busy and not from Walmart bikes"

    Well if you explain that to those who come in instead of just saying "sorry, we don't service POS". Why not do the work for them and sell them on the benefit of getting a good bike instead of just kicking them out? Get them in the door...
    LBS
    1. Great service (depends on the shop)
    2. Educated staff (depends on the shop)
    3. Help with Tech questions
    4. Free adjustments, most shops, I do.
    5. Help with Sizing on clothes and helmets
    6. Pick up & Delivery
    7. Knowledgeable about Trails to ride (these folks riding $70 bikes don't ride trails)
    8. Able to talk the talk and walk the walk whenever questions are asked (depends on the shop)

    I'm not disagreeing with "quality". I disagree with the one-size fits all business ideas. If your shops are so busy fixing stuff that's not Walmart bikes, maybe you should sell better bikes too???
    We do!

    Why didn't you give props to the Walmart List? Can't find any? You bag on the LBS. Yes all LBSs are different, yet ALL the Walmart are the same as I listed all over the world!

    And yes I have lot's of people riding trails with Waljunk and they soon see how inferior it is. How bad the set up is how the bike really sucks...... These are the customers I get to purchase a "REAL" bike!........They all had the same comments with the new bikes they got... WOW it works great not like the POS I was riding.......So as you can see I don't throw anyone out the door.........just put them on a REAL bike.

    So I ask with th rep Walmart has in the bike business why would you promote them? Junk is junk.....By the way do you only ride Walmart bikes?
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

  92. #92
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    When I tell people I'm buying a $1000 Trek this fall from Scheels they think I'm absolutely crazy. "You're going to spend $1000 on a bike? Are you nuts?" Then they tell me walmart has got nice bikes for $150. I think for most people they don't associate any difference between walmart bikes and high end bikes. One guy told me I was getting ripped if I pay that much for a bike.

  93. #93
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    No problem here.

    I understand your points. I would never tell anyone how to do things. I do feel not working on certain bikes is bad business but that is where we agree to disagree. In concept your shop would be the shop that works on the exotic cars. If the business is there to support that than sweet. Sounds nice.

    IMHO a mechainic who can make chicken salad out of chicken sh#t is more skilled than one who can put a new part on a bike that is designed to have everythin be perfect. Problem is that an experienced skilled mechanic is expensive and far and few between. Tough to get one and keep them. IMHO the majority of mechanics are not worth there salt but that is the subject of another topic (perhaps one that has been beaten to death already).

    We have refused to work on bikes. If the bike can't leave the store in safe working condition than we wont work on it. If someone want there cranks tightened but the brakes are not working we will also require a brake adjustment before we do any of it.

    I dont think anyone will disagree WalMart bikes are bad quality and a LBS offers so much more in terms of service an expertise. Wal-Mart is not a bike shop. It is a store that sells among other things cheap bikes. Have you wondered how many more people have been exposed to cycling because of the prices of bikes there. By people buying bikes there they can se the need and justification for more expensive bikes bought from a store with a knowledgable staff that can actually fix it. I feel the contrast is GOOD for the industry.

    Most Wal-Mart fixes are usually followed up by " It will work as good as when you bought it (which isn't always good)." or "Yes the tune up plus new cranks will be the same price as you paid for the bike". But we also educate as well.

    As far as the internet. I feel that is just the free market. Do I like it. Not entirely. But I am not offended by those buying from it. We will charge our service fee for putting the part on. Service is where most of bike shop profits come from. Again this is another subject who has been beaten to death.

    I have gained some insight into the way you look at things. Bikes shops like anything else can have different flavors. Well I hope you had a good ride cause its raining here. Ride on.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    We do!

    Why didn't you give props to the Walmart List? Can't find any? You bag on the LBS. Yes all LBSs are different, yet ALL the Walmart are the same as I listed all over the world!

    And yes I have lot's of people riding trails with Waljunk and they soon see how inferior it is. How bad the set up is how the bike really sucks...... These are the customers I get to purchase a "REAL" bike!........They all had the same comments with the new bikes they got... WOW it works great not like the POS I was riding.......So as you can see I don't throw anyone out the door.........just put them on a REAL bike.

    So I ask with th rep Walmart has in the bike business why would you promote them? Junk is junk.....By the way do you only ride Walmart bikes?

    The only props I can give to Walmart is delivering cheap goods to people. Believe me, I dislike Walmart. We had one of their super-stores pop up 8 blocks away and their damn sign lights up my house at night. I think we can all go on and on about how terrible Walmart is. The only upside is the price on a great many things.

    I personally don't see big-box bikes on any trails around here. I see them on the street regularly. As I stated above, all the bikes I and my wife own, I built... not that it should make any difference. So no, I don't have Walmart bikes, but I have worked on quite a few and yea they are a pain in the a$$ so I charge accordingly.

    And yea, I'll ALWAYS bag on LBS's until they get their stuff straight. For every one, really solid shop, there are five other questionable shops and more riders should call them out. Of course a lot of LBS's don't like bikes that come from places other than their shop. They didn't sell them.

    Gotta start by building relationships no matter what POS or bling-cycle someone brings in. I understand where you are coming from. I still think the blanket statement "won't work on big-box bikes" thing is stupid for business.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoinix
    I understand your points. I would never tell anyone how to do things. I do feel not working on certain bikes is bad business but that is where we agree to disagree. In concept your shop would be the shop that works on the exotic cars. If the business is there to support that than sweet. Sounds nice.

    IMHO a mechainic who can make chicken salad out of chicken sh#t is more skilled than one who can put a new part on a bike that is designed to have everythin be perfect. Problem is that an experienced skilled mechanic is expensive and far and few between. Tough to get one and keep them. IMHO the majority of mechanics are not worth there salt but that is the subject of another topic (perhaps one that has been beaten to death already).

    We have refused to work on bikes. If the bike can't leave the store in safe working condition than we wont work on it. If someone want there cranks tightened but the brakes are not working we will also require a brake adjustment before we do any of it.

    I dont think anyone will disagree WalMart bikes are bad quality and a LBS offers so much more in terms of service an expertise. Wal-Mart is not a bike shop. It is a store that sells among other things cheap bikes. Have you wondered how many more people have been exposed to cycling because of the prices of bikes there. By people buying bikes there they can se the need and justification for more expensive bikes bought from a store with a knowledgable staff that can actually fix it. I feel the contrast is GOOD for the industry.

    Most Wal-Mart fixes are usually followed up by " It will work as good as when you bought it (which isn't always good)." or "Yes the tune up plus new cranks will be the same price as you paid for the bike". But we also educate as well.

    As far as the internet. I feel that is just the free market. Do I like it. Not entirely. But I am not offended by those buying from it. We will charge our service fee for putting the part on. Service is where most of bike shop profits come from. Again this is another subject who has been beaten to death.

    I have gained some insight into the way you look at things. Bikes shops like anything else can have different flavors. Well I hope you had a good ride cause its raining here. Ride on.

    You had hit the nail on the head... "Justification". Why go to an LBS when the bikes are more expensive? Why put up with a salesperson? I just want to ride around the neighborhood so why do I need a Trek, Specialized, GF, Diamondback, Kona...etc...

    It's hard to make that arguement until that person:

    1. Finds an LBS that treats them correctly
    2. Sits their cheap-a$$ on a great bike
    3. Gets great service after the sale

    Their first splash in the pond shouldn't be "We won't deal with your Wallyworld POS"... even if that is the case.

    And of course I think the Internet is great, but anything we can't provide, we forward to an LBS I know that is super solid as far as customer service. They can co-exist and make each other better.

  96. #96
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    I am trying to figure out why the people saying how the bike shop is wrong for not working on walmart POS have yet to figure out that the bike shop does not call the bike a POS to there face.
    No the LBS polite tells them they will not work on a bike from walmart and politely explains their reasons for it. Which has been pointed out here time and time again it is a waste of money and they do not want to put there rep on the line with a bike they are not sure they could get in condition the person wants.

    As for a rather distubing thing I saw today at walmart today. for about $160 bucks you could get a REAR SHOCK, a FRONT SUPESION FORK and DISK BRAKES. IT HAS 21 SPEEDs (sorry kind of had to put it like the stuff walmart had showing on the bike

  97. #97
    You know, for kids
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timeless
    As for a rather distubing thing I saw today at walmart today. for about $160 bucks you could get a REAR SHOCK, a FRONT SUPESION FORK and DISK BRAKES. IT HAS 21 SPEEDs (sorry kind of had to put it like the stuff walmart had showing on the bike

    I like it when the bikes from Walmart say stuff on them like "front suspension technology"


    freaking WOW!!! FRONT SUSPENSION TECHNOLOGY!!!

  98. #98
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Timeless
    I am trying to figure out why the people saying how the bike shop is wrong for not working on walmart POS have yet to figure out that the bike shop does not call the bike a POS to there face.
    No the LBS polite tells them they will not work on a bike from walmart and politely explains their reasons for it. Which has been pointed out here time and time again it is a waste of money and they do not want to put there rep on the line with a bike they are not sure they could get in condition the person wants.

    As for a rather distubing thing I saw today at walmart today. for about $160 bucks you could get a REAR SHOCK, a FRONT SUPESION FORK and DISK BRAKES. IT HAS 21 SPEEDs (sorry kind of had to put it like the stuff walmart had showing on the bike
    Ya... and a picture of the Mona Lisa doesn't mean it's th real thing!

    Does the shock, fork and disk brakes work proper.... Nope.... Funny thing is that bike probably weighs 35 or more pounds and doesn't even work... too bad for the Newbee who has that amount of money to purchase it............So goes it... Some people buy that bike have a bad time due to maladjusted and poor setup and they never ride again......
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

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    545
    I bought one of those supermarket bikes for my son a few years ago. He was absent-minded, and I figured he'd leave it unlocked somewhere. My intention was that I'd get him a better bike once he'd proven himself.

    The bike was definitely a POS. It improved after a proper tuneup - which would have cost far more than the bike was worth if it had been done at an lbs. I used this to teach him some basics.

    The bike worked fine. It was heavy and sluggish to ride, but so long as it was kept well lubed it kept going. I had to put a fair bit of work into it, but not excessive. Its downfall was when the wheels went out of true, the nipples were so soft it was impossible to true up. I fixed this with an old set of decent wheels.

    My experience with it makes me agree with the lbs who say they won't service them. It's simply not possible to keep one in good fettle without puting an inordinate amount of time into the job. Definitely more than the bike is worth.

    But they have a place, and can provide an entry point into cycling for the uncertain or reluctant purchaser so long as that buyer is capable of and prepared to do minor maintenance regularly.

    BTW it was very shiny...
    "The man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest" Henry David Thoreau (obviously a single speeder)

    "...everytime you throw something away your load gets lighter..."

  100. #100
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3
    "Some people buy that bike have a bad time due to maladjusted and poor setup and they never ride again......"

    The perfect reason to educate them, not just call them cheap and send them on their way.

    My first couple of bikes were from big boxes, LBS wouldn't work on them. I agree that that is the choice of the LBS owner, not anyone else. I currently do my own work and order through the Internet. I have no use for a LBS. I have worked on POS bikes and improved them and my abilities.

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