bike dealers in general


minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
north carolina
A few months ago for some reason known only to god, I decided that I needed a new (not rusty old used, that I had everywhere) bike chain. So I went to the bike shop near me and bought one for 10 bucks. Later that week I went to the big box wallymart and found a bike chain (not the same one of course) for 6 bucks.

However, I bought a tire from the bike store for ten bucks and the big box tire was 14. Lots of things for bikes you can't even find at the big box. If you can find them though, most of the times they are less expensive.

When I ran the photo business, I could buy three trays to develop paper in for about ten bucks for the three. They were about three inches deep. I could buy 8" deep dish pans at the big box for 75cents each. If it had camera stamped on it, the price was four times more than a generic product. If it came from a specialty camera shop triple the price of the camera marked one.

So in general I don't trust specialty stores or dealers to give me a good deal. Toss in their attitude and most of the time, I will avoid them like the plague. At my local bike store in general they have two kinds of customers. One is the guy with the spandex shorts and the five hundred dollar bike, or the dad buying his kid a bike. My local shop has begun selling scooters as well.

What they don't want is me riding up on my homemade bike. They act as though anything they do for me is an imposition on their time. First of all they only have one real bike mechanic and he is a pretty decent guy, but all the other staff can't wait to get me out the door.

I would expect them to realize that, if you are going to charge 75% more for your product, you should at least give the customer some respect. Even the ones who didn't buy your over priced bicycle.

God forbid you should question anything they say. I asked about having a 3 speed hub put into a 20" rim and one would have thought I came from another planet. If the bike mechanic hadn't been close enough to hear me ask, I think they would have thrown me out bodily.

So in my opinion bike shops are like camera shops, a place to go as a last resort. If all else fails, I will slip in and out the back door. I realize that since I didn't buy a 52 speed tungston alloy framed bike from them, I am not going to get any respect, so I just hang my head and ask for a coaster bike wheel. In their opinion I am a freak for riding the motor bike period, especially since it is on a coaster bike frame.

Okay you have had my weekly rant.

Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
up north now
That's the feeling I got going into one local bike shop, the other one sells motorized bicycles!

The first one the guy acted like I wasn't good enough to even buy a bicycle from his shop and pretty much said "The kind of bike you want is at Wal-Mart".

"Sorry, we don't serve your kind here."