Snobs in Bicycle Stores

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Oysterville, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Oysterville

    Oysterville New Member

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    I'm in the midst of gathering the various things necessary to build my first motored bicycle. The motor is about a week and a half out from arriving (it's gonna be a very LONG week and a half), and I scored a Specialized Expedition off of Craigslist last weekend for a fair price. I've still got about a hundred bucks in bicycle parts to buy to get this sewn up, outside of a trip to NAPA to put the lighting together. This forum has been a gem as far as answering my questions before I even have to post a thread, and for that I thank you all.

    The heart of small towns are the small businesses within, so I'm a big proponent of giving them my business whenever I can, as long as the price is at least competitive. Usually they are, so that's fine. Service is usually where these small shops shine, and in the end if I have to pay a bit more for good service and knowledgeable help I'm all for it.

    Today I went into the regional bicycle shop (for those who live in the southern Washington/northern Oregon coast, you know who I am talking about). I've run into the manager of the place a few times out and about, and we know each other by first name. That doesn't mean that I'd invite him over for a beer, though. Guess I'm selective like that. :D

    While in this establishment I was apparently the only customer there. I walked in, and when he saw me he greeted me appropriately. After some small talk he asked what brought me in, and I told him what I had just bought on Craigslist and that I was going to convert it into a motorized bicycle. The change in demeanor was radical. He said that he had sold the motors for awhile, but then got out of it. When I followed up that statement to ask why, he had already marched off to do something else on the computer, not answering me. As I walked from seats to helmets to fenders and back (another 5-10 minutes in the store) he said nothing to me.

    This was not the first time he had done this to me. I actually brought up motorized bicycles over a year ago when I ran into him and his lady friend in a local tavern. As soon as I mentioned them, he literally gave me a look and turned in his barstool to look the other direction. End of conversation.

    Gotta admit that the whole experience took a bit of the wind out of my sails. Is this a common experience with pedal pushers? Personally I can't imagine treating a customer in such a way, but maybe sales is so good there with traditional customers that he can afford to do this.

    Thanks to the regional grocery/variety chain and the Internet I will do just fine not frequenting his establishment. Doesn't keep it from being disappointing as a member of the community.
     
  2. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Dunno but sounds like there is more to it if he sold kits before. Of the 4 or 5 bike shops here, I only got a bad reaction once and all the others are great. Take their time and are interested in my projects.
     
  3. taddthewadd

    taddthewadd New Member

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    The manager at my local bike shop is not the most customer friendly either. I get along with all of the other guys at the shop and I ride (non motorized bikes) with some of them on their days off. When I first brought my motorized project in all of the guys were into it and telling me how cool it was. The first thing that came out of the managers mouth was, "how do you get exercise on that thing". I quickly told him if I want exercise then I ride my road bike! He doesn't belong in retail. It seems that in the bike community they either hate them or love them.
     
  4. Creative Engineering

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    Oysterville,

    Don't be a wuss about the whole thing...If you want a motorized bike...build it!!!

    Jim
     
  5. Oysterville

    Oysterville New Member

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    I direct you to the first line in my original post. :)
     
  6. Creative Engineering

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    Cool,

    I've talked to a lot of store owners. They just don't want to be associated with what they consider a pending disaster. It's easier for them to act as though they don't want your business than to explain why.

    We have an even split here as far as bicycle shops go. The local BMX superstore guys are totally accepting of the idea of motorized bikes. They have been very helpful, especially with wheels.

    At the local "house of Spandex", the staff will ignore you unless you can recite the life story of the top ten finishers of the most recent tour de france. At these stores I just get what I need and keep the application to myself. At some stores the parts counter guy will not give you what you want until he hears your story. I usually just tell them that I'm working on an unrelated project and need a few bicycle parts to make it work.

    Jim
     
  7. civlized

    civlized New Member

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    Good job, Oysterville. It sounds like you are still moving forward without buying anything from that store. That is exactly what I do. Not that it is any of their business what you are doing with your purchase, but if they ask and then act all stuck up about it when you tell them, then they should loose your business. It's the same kind of mentality with motorcycle people. There are Harley's and there's everything else. I don't understand it. I've owned a couple of them that were complete crap and really don't know of any trouble free Harley's, but to a Harley guy that is the only "real" motorcycle. I will never own another Harley just because of the attitude from the owners and stores. To the Harley guys, I ride a Honda. To the spandex guys, this is transportation, not a toy for exercise.
     
  8. TurboGoat

    TurboGoat New Member

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    I own a bicycle shop in N. Louisiana and I work real hard at making sure that anybody that walks through the door, from the granite legged athlete to the guy that just scored an entry level hardtail is as comfortable as can be. My livelyhood orbits the cycling culture, however a person defines it. but I must say that the purest that walk through the doors usually have something to say about my little projects. Sorry you had a less than satisfactory experience at your LBS, if you're ever near Ruston, LA stop by 'cause I totally dig motorbikes.wee.
     
  9. azbill

    azbill Active Member

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    Turbo G....I totally dig your attitude (^)
     
  10. Sharksfan

    Sharksfan New Member

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    Oysterville,

    What this particular bike store owner neglected to tell you was that 3 years ago a guy on a motorized bike ran over his cat. (purely speculation) I have only run into problems with only one bike store and it was one of those "house of spandex" kind of places. I walked in to look around for some ideas and after I told the guy what I was doing he pretty much walked away. I have better places to spend my hard earned dollars. Good luck with your build and I hope to see pictures soon.
     
  11. Sharksfan

    Sharksfan New Member

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    Civlized,

    What do Harleys and hound dogs have in common?.....



    The both like to ride in the backs of old pick-up trucks!

    One of my favorite Harley jokes.laff
     
  12. TerrontheSnake

    TerrontheSnake New Member

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    LoL, I can't stand snobs of any sort, their complete ability to think they know what kind of person you are is Vile.
     
  13. DOC BOLM

    DOC BOLM New Member

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    I have 4 harleys and have never had a problem.Are you buying new are used.Harleys Dad
     
  14. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    What I have found in my motoring adventures are these general attitudes. Spandex wearing bikers are mad at me, harley riders laugh at me, scooter drivers and kids under 14 think I am the bomb...
     
  15. stuartracing

    stuartracing New Member

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    I get that here... I just don`t tell them what i`m gonna use it for....**** even the non mb give us a nasty look or comment....
     
  16. civlized

    civlized New Member

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    Sorry, Doc. I don't want to offend anyone. It's just one of those crazy things that I don't understand. Would you ride beside me on a Honda and you on your Harley? I know a lot of people that won't, which is why I bought the two that I had. I wanted to fit in, at the time. That's the biggest problem I have with the "Harley" club. I don't care what anyone rides. If it's any kind of cycle (or trike), let's ride. I don't descriminate! I have actually ended up in fights at rallies because I was riding a Honda. I'm a proud kind of person and don't take a whole lot of crap from people, so it didn't take much, but really, because of the name on my bike?
    I could only afford(and would only pay for) used Harley's. Had to have the cam bearings replaced in both, along with other miscellaneous issues. I've had my Honda Shadow 1100 since 2002(bought it new for $8000) and only done normal maintenance. Pretty much just turn the key, press the button, and go. Been riding for 20 years and had many bikes. Hate to say that the two Harleys were the only ones that ever had to enter the shop for major repair. Could be coincidence, I don't know or care. I won't own another just because of the stigma. My dad sold his and vows not to own another. Kind of funny to me, he has to change out his entire wardrobe. Everything he owns has "Harley" printed on it. He was going to buy another a couple of months ago, but when he found one he wanted, they would only sell at MFRP! Wouldn't budge at all and was very bold in stating that. They supposedly haven't been doing much selling with the economy and all but don't want to negotiate at all. Think they will get another bail out?

    Sorry, didn't want to go off topic or thread jack, but I did want to explain to Doc.
     
    #16 civlized, Apr 27, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  17. DOC BOLM

    DOC BOLM New Member

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    A few years back i met a guy who owned a bicycle shop.We became good friends over the years.His dad was one of the spandex bikers and he would always cut down every motorcycle i rode.To make a long story short he got into a financial bind with the I.R.S And i bought his Schiwin dealership and his beloved B.M.W Motorcycle.When a SNOB falls he falls hard.
     
  18. civlized

    civlized New Member

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    That's pretty sweet. Are you still in that business?
     
  19. DOC BOLM

    DOC BOLM New Member

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    Never was i put the parts and stuff in storage.If his son wants to go back into the repair business i will set him up.
     
  20. Motorbike Wanabe

    Motorbike Wanabe New Member

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    Went into a Trek store here and left feeling sorry that I inconvenienced them so terribly. Would have loved to go in with a basket full of thousands of dollars worth of stuff. Then, tell them that it was all for a motorized bike. Then, when they go all spandex on me, just drop all the stuff and walk out the door and let THEM put it back on the shelves.

    I went right across the street to a no name mom and pop bike shop and the guy there was very courteous and honest with me. Made me WANT to spend money there.

    There's another bike shop (Schwinn) in town and I've told them what I was doing. They said that they knew of others who have done the same thing. They answered a lot of my questions and spent time with me about some of this "bike stuff". I've tried to buy stuff there repeatedly but, sadly, they've not had the stuff available or whatever.
     

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