Dealing with Bike Shops

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by momentummotorgroup, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. momentummotorgroup

    momentummotorgroup New Member

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    I have begun to believe that most of west Michigan bike shops are either run by elitist snobs who frown upon motorization or people who hate the Chinese in general. After calling around to replace yet another Micargi bottom bracket, I found a place that was close and inexpensive (relatively) for an upgraded bearing set.. The phone conversation went fine until I told them I was motorized, then the tone changed - too late to say no, as he'd already said yes to fixing my bike... I showed up with the bike to have the owner of the shop look like he stepped in something. The daughter and tech for the store were great people, but the entire time I was waiting for the change out the old fart kept saying "guess that's what you get for buying Chinese" .."when will people learn"... I came to realize that #1, there was christian radio being played in store and #2 all bikes were allegedly "all american made".. Now, I have no problem with your religious views, but West Mi is well known for it's rather isolationist and judgemental take on Christianity. I apparently did not look like part of the flock, so Mr McSheistypants had an issue with that (I have been flat out ignored by him in the past) and once he knew the bike AND the motor were Chinese, he did everything he could to make me feel unwelcome. Funny, as in all I spent over $200 in the last month there, and will never go back due to the ignorance and hate he displayed. As for "all American Made" I highly doubt it. seems these days our "made in america" stickers have a "made in china" sticker on the back. That and he was selling beach cruisers for $400 a pop for exact same bikes I've found online and in other shops for half that cost..

    I can't wait to get back to Chicago..:-||
     
  2. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    when you get back to chicago, go visit the abandoned schwinn factory...

    best way to deal with bike shops, is to buy the stuff online and learn to install it yourself.

    oh, by the way. they're mostly bike "stores" now, not shops.

    there's another thread here somewhere with pages of problems people have had.
     
  3. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    I want to hear more about the "isolationist and judgemental take on Christianity" part.

    I deal with bike shops by not going to them.
     
  4. momentummotorgroup

    momentummotorgroup New Member

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    I will definitely be heading back to Chicago, and definitely will hit that old Schwinn factory. I totally concur with the "store" instead of the "shop".. I guess I was just lucky growing up as the family run shop around the corner (Alger Schwinn) were always great people to deal with, with an equal part bike shop as well as sales area.. the type of place that you could still smell the axle grease and see every worker had knowledge of their trade and an inquisitive take on new/old tech.

    As far as the isolationist judgemental take on christianity, the area is largely Calvinist Christian Reformed. Think Catholicism without the pope or the virgin mary. John Calvin was an evangelical who thought that torture and ostracism of those deemed heretical was a good thing, Only slightly less offensive than Tomas Aquinas, who believed killing heretics was the right thing to do. (Interestingly enough the only Catholic college in the area is Aquinas College..) Growing up my next door neighbor sent missionaries to our house to "convert" us, even though we went to church. Apparently believing in Christ wasn't enough, we needed to believe in HIS version of Christ, and that viewpoint and mentality is still quite common here, sadly enough. I know many self professed Christians who are hard working kind hearted nonjudgemental people. Unfortunately their number is quite low compared to the bible thumping masses that populate this area. As Gandhi said: "Christians, how I admire your Christ, but your Christians are so unlike your Christ".. It seems these factions need to feel the security of feeling chosen, and have missed ol' Hey-zeus's simple message of "be good to each other", also missing the old adage "The need for the wise man isn't on the mountain top but in the valley below.."
     
  5. weekend-fun

    weekend-fun New Member

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    Geesh, sounds like my bro!!
    he says i should go start a"gay motorbicyclists" club.
    I almost knocked his brains out rotfl
     
  6. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Bicycle snobbery is as old as the hills, and the purists are probably not that thrilled with motors, even if there is potential sales and profit for them. But it's odd that a bike shop would have something against something foreign. I worked at I think five of them through the years, and almost everything they sell is in fact of foreign manufacture.

    I've wondered lately if a large share of the cycling corporate structure has been bought up by the oil companies, because so many bike parts these days are so ridiculously priced.

    I found some good buys- below internet cost- on a few things last summer at Bikesmith's in Bloomington Indiana. But the really cool place? The Bloomington Bicycle Co-op, run by volunteers, where you can pick up some good used items for a donation of your own choosing.

    I was just saying to myself last night, it seems that the more professional a website is, the higher the prices always seem to be. The best places are, in my opinion, always owned and operated by people who are out to promote the whole cycling thing, not just in some business to make money.
     
  7. Creative Engineering

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    I've been into a number of local bike shops...

    They have no idea what I'm talking about...I have no idea what they are talking about...and I leave with what I need.

    Jim
     
  8. turtle tedd

    turtle tedd Member

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    Jim..that about sums it up for bike shops in our area
     
  9. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    That about sums up the world of retail in general.

    Home Depot adventure- "Hi, can I help you?" "Yes, I need some glue for a laminated floor." "Uh, let me get someone in gluing."
    Before I can tell this guy his store doesn't have a "gluing dept." he's on the special phone calling for back up and then I have three guys, all trying to figure out what the first guy is trying to find, one says; "It's in the Paint dept., by the other glue." One says; "I think it's by the drywall and floor leveler." One stands there looking like he's ready to pee his pants, and I walk down to the flooring dept., get my glue and leave them all in a "meeting of the minds".

    I do it just to be mean I think.

    Mrs. Joe asks me when we leave "Why do you always ask when you know where it is?"

    "Well, he asked 'Can I help you?' didn't he? I was just trying to let him do his job."
     
    #9 Bikeguy Joe, Nov 10, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  10. lordoflightaz

    lordoflightaz New Member

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    Well at least Home Depot is back in the "can I help" mode. The last few years that had gone away. I noticed that they started asking to help you again this year. Still I have found my Ace Hardware to nicer and more helpful. Curt at my Ace helped me wander the store for things this last Sat to put in my 20% off bag.

    Some people are just asking for it when they ask if they can help me. I often go out of my way to give them something to do, just so they can feel good. Too bad I walk so slow. LOL.
     
  11. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    It's really sort of surprising that bike shops (or "stores") are one area where a huge chain conglomerate hasn't taken hold of. In fact, the biggest and closest thing to it- SCHWINN- has dwindled off since I first started getting into bikes back in the '60's.

    Part of is that bike shops really often make most of their profit from repairs- not their retail, which has then been more severely cut into by other more general retaillers like Wal-Mart and Target. Through the years those places have offered better bikes- 30 or 40 years ago, all they had was real cheap stuff. And no one is all that worried about service with the sales- cost is the bottom line.

    I know that in this forum, I'm preaching to basically a 26" wheel choir, but I recall when I first move to California back in 1982 and I was working at the Murdoch's, the largest Schwinn dealer there, I was kinda bothered then that the trend was all at once fatter tired mountain bikes, that I knew would seldom leave the pavement otherwise. (As a cycling purist, I always gravitate towards more roll for the same effort- 27", sew-ups and then 700c). I had worked a couple of shops then, selling mostly ten speeds, but I was putting all these Specialized MB's together then. Nice bikes, but heavy and over-tired.

    What I'd like to see now is a superstore- with virtually anything available, but not solely catering to the exotic. Most of the shops I visit haven't got enough space, or sometimes the opposite- not enough customer traffic.

    The Track fixie phenom sorta demonstrates that people will go for different things. I like to build custom things with road and BMX parts that are still light and narrow and well geared and that still roll like a road bike, but COMFORTABLE. Colors are the untapped thing- My god, that old school BMX stuff on ebay is now selling for ridiculous sums. It isn't like it can't be copied and manufactured again.

    Racing has gotten TOO exotic and non-standard, and I'm not sure how much a shop can focus on that without a huge internet department.
     
  12. fall_down_stand_up

    fall_down_stand_up New Member

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    My local bike shop is cool to me....He is a one man show and I know he hates my bike but he puts up with me when I come in....
    John-John.shft.
     
  13. longhorn6

    longhorn6 New Member

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    I Jus had to reply to this thread, because i go to one place and one place only in my area. Which is Richardson, TX AKA Dallas near garland. My home away from home is simply called "the bike shop" (literally) And they have been in business and in my neighborhood since i can remember I'm 17 my brother went to them ever since he could remember hes 25. They are a shop/store. The friendliest crew you've ever met. unlike what i've heard so far from everyone esles bike shops LOLZ and they work on my MOTORIZED bike, and are actually interested in it and enjoy working on it. One of them even rode it !!

    I believe they get most of their income from fixing up peoples bikes and selling every part known to man kind and if nthey don't have it they'll order it for you. prices are very good. r.ly.

    One there was a guy that came in for a rear wheel when i did. and i was like what do u ride? cause why would he need a wheel? I was HOPING he was a fellow MBist AND HE WAS!!!!!! He and his wife rode up here 28 miles away with their 4stroke hondas (mountain bike) All red, very clean and nice. too bad i didnt have my camera they wouldv'e made u drool. it made me want to go 4 stroke cause of no mixing and they WERE SO QUITE :0

    if your in dallas or ever are please check out "the bike shop" in richardson near Plano/Garland YOU'LL THANK ME !!!!!!!!!!!!! dance1
     
  14. deacon

    deacon minor bike philosopher

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    I must have the only good bike shop in the country. I deal only with the owner who is also the bike mechanic. He often finds me parts he has take off new bikes for his snob customers. He sells them to me for better prices than wallymart.

    Now and then I have to deal with his wife or son so I try not to go in too often.
     

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