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  1.  
    Hey dudes. Let's talk about our Local Bike Shops, or our favorite ones near us. Hell, even the ones who we think are dicks. What do they do that is cool? Any ideas for what makes a good or bad shop?

    The shop I work here in the Seattle area is known for being a really mellow and inviting pace. We put customer service ahead of everything else, and that's not marketing mumbo jumbo, we will spend all day with a customer (especially someone just starting out) to answer all their questions and get them set up. This to me is the most important thing for a shop to do, from new riders to experienced ones. And that's what sets an LBS apart from the internet.
    • CommentAuthormeatman
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
     
    The closest shop to me is run by some really cool dudes. They are very helpful and I've never seen or heard of them judging anyone. I also like the fact that they'll show you how they did everything, repair wise. The few times I've needed them to do something I couldn't, they were like "come on back and watch me so you know what I'm doing."
    • CommentAuthoriliketoes
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
     
    The Seattle area is sooo good to me. Just in my neighborhood I have access to a university-sponsored workspace (so clutch), a shop specializing in "recycled" bike parts (and poor service, but whatever), and one just down the street from my house that, besides being generally rad, custom builds some amazing frames.

    RideEveryday, where do you work?

    Good shops: used bins, co-op workspace, rad people with knowledge and patience
    The Bad: pretentious employees (when I was looking for my first 10-speed I was literally laughed at when I mentioned my price-range, thanks bros), over-priced components (I hate having to weigh the online cost against supporting local business), and definitely lack of weekend hours.
    • CommentAuthorper.k
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
     
    not everyone is bad at Recycled Cycles but they do decent work and the used parts are a huge bonus.

    If not there, I'd generally go to 2020 Cycles. Relaxed environment, friendly, nice selection of parts, good knowledge, honest, community supportive, independently owned.

    Toes, is that custom shop on the north end of university ave??
  2.  
    I think he's talking about R&E Cycles
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
     
    I never go to bike shops(my dad used to own one, so our garage pretty much is one), but there is a shop near downtown called Westend that is situated in the middle of a neighborhood in an old building that seems very good. They have been around a while so they must be doing something right. They even have a museum of old and unique bikes right when you walk in.
    • CommentAuthorKevint143
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
     
    Portland has too many bike shops
    • CommentAuthoronionskin
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2011
     
    This will surely get someone riled:
    Yellow Jersey in Madison.
    The owner gets flamed on all kinds of forums, but this is a guy who has been living and breathing this stuff for almost four decades. If you go in there to TALK to him, not to try to impress him with all your knowledge, he is an encyclopedic resource, as is his website (disorganized as is...google is your friend).
    My typical experience is to scour every forum, come up with what I think I want to do, then go talk to Andy and end up 180 degrees from where I thought I would.
    You are all a great resource on this forum and others, but we are all biased by what we like and own and that is what we talk about or recommend. So IMO, forums provide a good starting point only, if you go from here to Universal, you are probably missing out. Andy is not biased, contrary to what some of his critics out there say, he will do whatever you want get whatever you want, build whatever you want with no complaints. He listens carefully (even when he is doing three other things simultaneously "go on, I'm listening...") to what you are trying to accomplish, what your riding style is, your stature, etc. and gently nudges you in the right direction by dropping very important kernels of carefully tailored information...the kind you DON'T get on forums. That is experience that only comes from selling and building bikes for thousands of clients of all abilities. That's why I get pissed when some punk levels a bunch of slander against him because he didn't hear what he wanted.
    Cost? I don't even worry about the slight premium I occasionally pay on stuff, he saves me way too much money in the long run, but he often has very competitive prices anyhow. That and his shop is overflowing with an unbelievable collection of some of the nicest frames I have ever seen, from vintage to modern (he just got in a new orange waterford sprint frame that almost made me weep just holding it, almost a religious experience, pure perfection).
    If that isn't enough to make you want to support such a shop he has given generously of his time and money to the biking community.
    So, seek out a good bike shop in your community, it may not exist, but if it does then support it.
    ..and I step off my soap box.
    Thanks RideEveryday, for giving me the opportunity to get that off my chest...over enthusiastic once again I'm sure.
  3.  
    Posted By: iliketoes
    RideEveryday, where do you work?


    I prefer to remain anonymous so I can say whatever is on my mind here, but it's on the east side. Honestly, I just wanted to hear what people had to say to improve our shop, because we are always looking for feedback from people on what makes a good shop. I remember not knowing anything when I was 15 and going into a shop looking for a BMX bike, and the experiences you have then can have a huge bearing on your preferences down the road. On the flip side, it can be difficult to remember what it was like to be a newbie, and when you get to a point in which you can talk the talk, it can be hard to scale back down to make sense to the guy or gal who's just getting into the sport, or even someone at the recreational level. It seems to me that's often what makes or breaks a shop, no matter the market. When you sell the big brands, the $300-$2000 price point is what keeps the lights on, and the typical customer in that range is usually looking for their first or second bike, and so being able to communicate effectively is pivotal. I think it puts people off when you either posture, and talk about how cool your own bikes are, or try to upsell. I usually sell the stuff I ride, so when I show them my bike with what I'm trying to sell them, and I give examples, pros and cons, that puts you on the same level as a customer. I go to shops from time to time in the area just to see how they sell stuff. I don't mean to waste their time, but I just want to see the atmosphere and the sales pitch. And that attitude isn't too common.
    • CommentAuthortypeDvorak
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011
     
    i'm lucky enough to live in an area with a handful of shops.
    Incycle Chino is a shop staffed by bmx kids and a managed by a couple of old roadies. I think their most common consumer is the suburban first-bike-buyer so they have the cruisers, hybrids, big comfy seats and such in stock. They carry 70 percent of what I need and are due to proximity the shop I most. i buy small things like my tape, or lights there and spend around 20ish. The advantage is people buy fancy road bikes or mtbs and buy a different saddle in store, leaving the stock saddle in the shop and available in the clearance bin. (awesome.)
    Incycle Rancho Cucamonga is their roadie specific branch/store. I like this place because the mechanics are nice and will talk to you as they work.
    Jensen USA storefront Corona is my favourite store because i order stuff of of their site often and can pick it up in store. There's a girl there that's hired as a pretty face, which kind of sucks because when i ask a question but is nice when she tells you to have a great day and means it.
    Bumstead's is an inland-empire would-be orange20. they serve a bmx and fixie tarck market and do it with little enthusiasm.
    Finally a mexican shop in nearby pomona where i can buy used stuff pretty inexpensively. i got an extra pair of look keo pedal there, my friend bought one of those older cannondale caad aluminum mtbs, and good for odds and ends like cables, housing, bearings, races.

    tl;dr i like where i live.
  4.  
    downtown san diego is plagued with shit shops.
    the two decent ones are across the street from each other so they're always the tension if you ever walked into the other one looking for something (50t chainring) they didn't have.
    the one i've kinda stuck to out of the pair has a dynamic dumbass duo that feels the need to critique you for every component on your bike. (yes my bike isn't that expensive but fuck it i like it)
    I've resorted to my friends LBS a few miles away
    far worth the trip
    family owned and the owners still actually run it
    Nicest sales-people in general, a pretty sick mechanic
    UNHEARD OF customer service (i bought pedals, guy saved me the effort of putting them on and he gave my bike a general maintenance tune up for no cost)

    they've treated me well thus far and have everything i'll ever need + if they don't they'll order it for me
 
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