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Spokes Wheaton, IL(64 posts)

Spokes Wheaton, ILRollinFast
Feb 11, 2002 7:48 PM
Just curious, is it my imagination, or do I get constantly blown off every time I try to do business at Spokes Bike Shop in Wheaton, IL. I might get five minutes of their time, and then they are off somewhere else. Has anyone else who has frequented this establishment found the service to be this bad?
I've got zee perfect bike for you! (nm)Sammy
Feb 12, 2002 6:29 AM
I've got zee perfect bike for you! (nm)RollinFast
Feb 13, 2002 10:27 AM
I wonder how many times a day that gets said in that store. Or this one, "I love zis bike." Has anyone actually seen Sammy on a bike?
re: Spokes Wheaton, ILRayBan
Feb 12, 2002 6:44 AM
I visited them a couple times in the past to get my LOOK cleats setup on the fit kit they have. The italians spent a decent amount of time with me. No complaints here..... I have switched to Time pedals now, so no more fit kit sessions for me!
Not that it matters what nationality they are but....Pack Meat
Feb 12, 2002 6:56 AM
they sure ain't Itailians. I believe they are Lebanese or Palastinian.
Not that it matters ...RayBan
Feb 12, 2002 10:49 AM
OOPS been quite a few years since I was there, I remember the accent and dark hair. I'm brainwashed into the whole cycling italian connection. Didn't mean to make an issue of it
Not that it matters what nationality they are but....BianchiAmber
Feb 13, 2002 11:06 AM
When I first read that I thought you wrote I believe the are lesbians or palestinians. :) Now here come the blonde jokes, and yes I am.
There are Italians at Spokes?Kristin
Feb 12, 2002 6:58 AM
Actually, I've never had trouble there. But I tend fit (quite naturally) into that clueless and lost category. I go in and say something like, "Look, I stripped out my cleat bolt you have any more?" And then I buy a pair of Trek Neoprin booties because I got some free $2 cleat bolts. (Not really, I needed the booties too--Man are they warm. Much better than celophane!) But its a nice way to say thanks for the bolts don't you think?
Your rideMisJG
Feb 12, 2002 11:50 AM
You don't ride a Red, White and Blue Trek, do you? I saw a woman cyclist out around lunch time last week heading North on Leask, tuned left on Roosevelt and right by the Speedway. I could only assume she was heading towards Spokes, or at least right past the shop. . .
Nope. Yellow DiBernardi.Kristin
Feb 12, 2002 12:57 PM
Riding on Roosevelt? Yikes. I've riden in that area a couple times---if I have to drop my car off at the shop. But mostly I try avoid Roosevelt & 53. You might see me during lunch somtimes around downtown Downers Grove or Lemont.
Lemont is awesome!Pack Meat
Feb 12, 2002 3:44 PM
For that area I think Lemont is some of the best riding you can find. The town is cool and there are those steeply rolling hills and it takes no time at all to get to areas where there aren't to many cars. Do you ride Timberline road? I used to do that road about 10 times in a day when I was training for a hilly crit.

Have you ever noticed Vandevelde on the roads out there?
Lemont is awesome!Kristin
Feb 13, 2002 7:10 AM
I've been on less than 20 lunch rides and haven't explored much yet. I work near Finley & Ogden and usually I head east down Prairie or north down Carpenter (both pretty boring). If you want to recommended some routes, I'll try 'em out!

I probably have seen Vandevelde, but would not know it! :) I'm so clueless about that stuff.
Finley & OgdenMisJG
Feb 13, 2002 8:01 AM
From that intersection you could go west down Warrenville rd. The 355 overpass is a nice little bump. On the other side of 53 is a nice steep little climb after you go under 88. Then it's mostly flat as you go past my office and you could take Warrenville out to Fermi Lab if you wanted. When you get to the intersection of Warrenville, Ferry and Mill, turn right (north) to follow Warrenville. Take that to Batavia and turn right. Stay on Batavia across 59 and it goes right into Fermi. Low traffic in Fermi, and there's Bison to look at! This may be a bit long to go at lunch, depending on how fast you ride, but Warrenville has nice wide shoulders, so it's included in almost all of my routes. You could just do hill repeats on the section between Finley and 53. Just ride back and forth.
You will eventually run into the Spokes Posers Riding Thru Fermidonnaturner
Feb 13, 2002 9:04 AM
They ride that route through Fermi. You will eventually hear Rouf yell YOU IDIOTS, because these people are in a paceline and shouldn't be. Of course, you can question one calling his customers idiots. That says a lot for itself, but eventually they are going to cause a 50 or 60 bike pile up somewhere.
You will eventually run into the Spokes Posers Riding Thru Fermikerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 9:43 AM
I was on one of the Saturday Spokes rides last summer. We pulled into Aurora and stopped, waiting for all the slow people to catch up. All of a sudden the owner started calling all the people who had not bought clothing with Spokes logos "IDIOTS". He wasn't speaking in a joking manner either. He said if you are going to ride these rides, then you need to buy your bike, clothing, shoes, socks, and everything from Spokes. I wonder if he thinks he owns the road or something and can keep those people who buy their clothes from Performance down the road in Naperville for much less?
You will eventually run into the Spokes Posers Riding Thru FermiBianchiAmber
Feb 13, 2002 11:11 AM
You should see them attempt the rotating paceline. Someone should tape it for America's Funniest Home Videos.
You will eventually run into the Spokes Posers Riding Thru Fermikerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 11:41 AM
How are fat rich guys going to become thin rich guys if they are saving 40% of their energy riding in a paceline?
Lunch Rides???kerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 9:37 AM
Are these an organized ride? Can anyone come along? I am looking for people to ride with during the middle of the day.
We can always begin one!Kristin
Feb 13, 2002 10:08 AM
I just throw my bike in the car when: its warm, I'm busy at night or I just get the notion. But I'd be game for an organized lunch hour ride. Question: Is 60-80 minutes too short for an organized ride? Could be more trouble than its worth. But if people want to do it, just hollar.
We can always begin one!RollinFast
Feb 13, 2002 10:39 AM
I'd would want in. Especially if it is a fast paced ride.
We can always begin one!kerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 11:44 AM
So there is some interest on an organized lunch ride in the Downers area. Who is going to get it rollin?
Feb 13, 2002 12:10 PM
I'll get it rolling. I won't be able to keep pace with y'all, which is fine...I'm just slow and new and don't mind being dropped. But I can be the point person regarding the details. If you are interested, I need the following info from you:

How much time do you have available?
What days are you available?
If coming from work, what interesection are you near?
What pace do you prefer?
Email address where I can contact you?

This could be the "I Hate Spokes and I'm bitter" ex-customer lunch hour ride. Of course, I'm joking...I'm not bitter.

Does anyone know Don V. at BikeSource personally? Do you think he would be interested in hosting said ride? I'm not sure thier shop has any rides yet.
I'm a bitter ex Spokes Customer Ride (I hate Spokes ride)BianchiAmber
Feb 13, 2002 12:34 PM
I would be interested. I wonder if we could get everyone to leave from the Danada Shopping Center parking lot? I have about 2 hours of time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I would be leaving from I355 and Butterfield. I think the pace should grow faster each ride.
Vandevelde and other area PostiesRollinFast
Feb 13, 2002 10:36 AM
I think you are more likely to see Robbie Ventura or Kenny Labbe pedaling around Chicago than Vandevelde who rides regularly in Europe. I know you can catch Ventura on several area centuries. He did the Harmon last year.
Lemont is awesome!RayBan
Feb 13, 2002 7:20 AM
Timberline road WILL make you an animal cyclist! I love that climb. I was heading down McCarthy road this past Monday and was thinking about riding into Lemont to do it. Didn't have the time though... The hill by the church rocks too!
Lemont is awesome!donnaturner
Feb 13, 2002 9:09 AM
What roads intersect Timberline Road?
timberline road specificsRayBan
Feb 13, 2002 12:13 PM
Hiya Donna,
Timberline starts at (I believe) its W. New Ave at the bottom and climbs up to 127th at the top. If you follow the road that parallels the railroad track you will find it. It's a bit west of State street.
Downtown Downers GroveMisJG
Feb 13, 2002 6:39 AM
Ever see Emo Phillips in Downtown Downers Grove?
Perhaps, but I wouldn't have realized it!Kristin
Feb 13, 2002 7:20 AM
Funny story: One Friday morning last August, I decided to throw my bike in the car for a lunchtime spin. I headed out at 2pm after the lunchtime rush. On my way to downtown Downers, I passed a whole bunch of fancy looking cyclists, and I grinned and waved at all like a child on a new tricycle. I was excited to see so many cyclists out and about. That's when I saw the barriers! It was the day before the Downers Crit. I felt rather foolish after that. A thorn among so many roses. Those pro's are all so pretty.
US Pro Criterium Championship Downers GroveRollinFast
Feb 13, 2002 10:42 AM
I love the Downer's Grove race. It is so cool that we can get all that talent here in an event like that.
Who Is Emo Phillips?donnaturner
Feb 13, 2002 9:12 AM
What is the background on this Emo Phillips character?
Who Is Emo Phillips?kerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 9:49 AM
He is a comedian from Downers Grove. Personally, I would rather bump into Denise Richards!
you mean he's not a cyclist? (nm)Kristin
Feb 13, 2002 9:58 AM
you mean he's not a cyclist? (nm)kerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 10:00 AM
I assume there is a sense of sarcasm here?
Feb 13, 2002 10:33 AM
I love riding around Lemont. I just wish you could bypass the bridge on Lemont road. The hills are well worth crossing the bridge though.
Feb 13, 2002 12:17 PM
I'm lucky enough to not have to deal with the bridge. I come into town via McCarthy Road from the east :)
Your rideRollinFast
Feb 12, 2002 5:05 PM
That was probably Christine from Trek Volkwagen Midwest.
re: Spokes Wheaton, ILRollinFast
Feb 12, 2002 5:01 PM
They are not Italians. They are from Saudi Arabia.
I used to work there.Pack Meat
Feb 12, 2002 6:50 AM
Your impressions are correct, if you are not there to spend to much money for a sh!tbox bike that is to big for you they don't give you the time of day. This store caters to rich fat guys that want to ride what they think is the latest and greatest bike, even if it doesn't fit them. The owner is a complete used car salesman. The post above got it right on the money. The owner doesn't do anything illegal that I could tell (although I'm not sure all the exporting of bikes that he does is completely on the up and up) but he will do whatever it takes to sell a bike. One thing that he did that I thought was really scummy was with his employees and the various manufacturers' employee purchase programs. I knew one of the reps from a previous shop that I worked at and worked out a killer deal. When I told the owner he got pissed. I didn't know why until I spoke with the other mechanics that told me they had never heard of employee purchase programs, this was ridiculous because they were all riding Treks and Specialized, two companies that have really good EPPs. This is one of the perks of working in a shop cause you really can't work there for the great pay.

Bottom line - go to Bicycle Specialties, I haven't been there lately and I know the previous owner sold the place but they are pretty cool people that will give the time you need.
That's why I stopped going there. . .MisJG
Feb 12, 2002 8:57 AM
Everything was overpriced and the owner was always yelling at someone (customer or employee). I watched him sell overpriced junk to unsuspecting consumers. With people like that out there, no wonder the LBS gets a bad rep. Bicycle Specialties is/was a great shop. Always friendly and helpfull. I haven't been there for a little while, so I don't know what it's like since the management change. I honestly thought it was gone! Maybe I'll give it a drive by today at lunch and check it out. I haven't seen a Colnago in person for a while!
That's why I stopped going there. . .Eric16
Feb 12, 2002 11:26 AM
Spokes is, without a doubt, the sketchiest wheaton LBS....if you buy anything there make sure you can quote a price comparison b/c Sammy will jack the price way up. Actually, I heard that sometimes he changes the prices depending on what kind of car the customer drives up in....buyer beware.

"Buddy, you are going to love dis bike! You cannot ride trails with anything less than full xtRRR!"
That's why I stopped going there. . .Spokes Wheaton, ILBianchiAmber
Feb 13, 2002 12:42 PM
So I guess you should buy a Yugo for a few dollars, last I looked the blue book value of a Yugo was $17, and pull up at Spokes in your new Yugo for the best deals.
Bicycle Specialties is now Bike SourceMisJG
Feb 12, 2002 11:45 AM
Nice clean shop, people were friendly, prices seemed normal. The shop is now twice as big as it was when it was "Specialties". Lots of C-dale stuff (which I like). I had two people ask me if they could help me find something and they were cool when I said I was just checking out the shop!

Why is it that all the new bikes in the shop seem lighter and prettier than mine?
I don't know if I should be saying this...Spoke Wrench
Feb 12, 2002 2:50 PM
we use special lighting and electro magnets in the ceiling to make our bikes look prettier and feel lighter.
That's why I stopped going there. . .RollinFast
Feb 12, 2002 5:14 PM
I am one who was yelled at by Sammy Radi. I have a friend who was upgradign to Dura Ace. Sammy was going to give him $200 for his Ultegra set up and apply that credit to the Dura Ace. Cost to my friend, $900. I told him he could get his Dura Ace cheaper without trading his Ultegra. He did, and sold the Ultegra to another friend of mine. My friend who got the Dura Ace paid just over $500 after everything considered. Therefore he saved about $400. No wonder why Sammy yelled at me. If more people would use their common sense, Spokes would go out of business because of their inflated prices.
Feb 13, 2002 3:49 PM
re: Spokes Wheaton, ILdonnaturner
Feb 12, 2002 5:34 PM
Every time I would go in there, I felt like Sammy was trying to pick up on me. It was really gross. The grease just drips from his hair. I don't go in there anymore. I think they are cheavinist, and I have received much better service since leaving. I bought my bike from there, and I now know I overpaid for it. I would recommend Blazing Saddles as a good local shop. It is a little out of my way, but the service and knowledge beats anything SPOKES has to offer. Also, in terms of repair speed, they shouldn't be called SPOKES but rather POKES.
Feb 12, 2002 6:14 PM
Also, I got ripped off on a pair of campus pedals. I had no idea how much they were supposed to be at the time, but I found out later that they charged me about 50% over MSRP.

A friend of mine was looking for a new bike and went there to look at some options. They talked for a while and he asked if they had a shop/club ride. Sure enough, next weekend he shows up on his old bike, wearing a pair of old Performance shorts.

...they blew him off. The ride was only for "people who had bought their bikes there".

He went off for a ride on his own, cooled off, came back, went inside and said: "You know, I was about to lay down about $1500 for a new bike here, but I think I will go somewhere else now". And he did.
Spokes didn't give a damn about me and my warranty!!!BianchiAmber
Feb 12, 2002 7:14 PM
I purchased a LeMond OCLV carbon fiber bike from Spokes. I regualarly rode their Tuesday night and Saturday morning rides, and considered myself a loyal friend of Raouf and Sammy. I did all my business there, and at one time thought Spokes was the greatest. That is up until the time that I found a crack developing in LeMond OCLV frame. Spoke would not help me with the warranty of the frame. They claimed that the crack was my fault because of a very minor accident that I had earlier, and they assured me TREK would not replace the frame without ever going to TREK themselves. Then they tried to sell me a new LeMond OCLV. I started to see what these people were all about. I haven't been in there since. The regulars on the rides snub me, so I am sure Sammy and Raouf don't have too many nice things to say to me. I just wanted to make people aware of what goes on in the Soap Opera known as Spokes. Stay away.
What A Dump! Spokes claim these are new bikes?kerrdog
Feb 12, 2002 7:54 PM
The first time I walked into Spokes I noticed how dirty and unorganized the store was. If they don't care about first impressions that you get when you walk in the store, then they must not care what you think about them after you get screwed by them. They wait for the next sucker to walk in their doors. Another thing I noticed was the S in the Spokes logo is shaped just like the S in the SS of Hitler's Nazi Germany. Don't know if that really matters or not. Just an observation. Seriously, you go into the clothes section, and you see lycra that look like it just walked out of an eighties Molly Ringwald movie. We are talking turquoise blue shorts and other not so cool colors. The clothes were dusty too like they have been there since the day Sammy first heard Culture Club. A lot of their bikes that they consider new are beaten up and scratched. I went to look at their selection of Kleins. They had about 20 different Klein frames that were new sitting above everything. Upon closer review, these so called new frames had dents and scratches in them like you wouldn't believe. If this is how they treat their own personal stock, imagine how they are treating your bike in the back. I tried to pick one of these damaged Kleins up for dirt cheap, and they wouldn't budge. They asked almost a $1000 for everyone of them. Let me remind you, they had noticable scratches and dents in each of the frames. This occurance didn't just happen in the Kleins. Numerous other complete bikes that they were selling for new also had scratches in them. They had mountain bikes that they were selling new that had obviously seen some trails already. This isn't the way I would run my shop, and it is definitly not some place that I would want to take my bikes to to be repaired.
SPOKES in one word...donnaturner
Feb 13, 2002 4:45 AM
SPOKES in one word...kerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 9:57 AM
Fortunatly Chicagoland is full of great bike stores, so that one store does not ruin the appeal of cycling to all types. With the internet age too, the resources to all sorts of great stores that you can order from are just a few keystrokes away. I like ordering my stuff online. Not only do you normally get a better deal, but you also avoid sales tax, which can be a huge savings when buying things like frames, components, and wheels. I have ordered from numerous online stores. The service has been great. I recommend The last shop is a shop in the United Kingdom. I had my order within ten days. Very impressive for being across the pond. The customer service department kept me informed with e mail too. I was a bit skeptical at first, so I placed a small order with them. They are a great online store. Like I said, Spokes may suck, but at least we have some options.
re: Spokes Wheaton, ILEdWood
Feb 13, 2002 6:33 AM
All true. Mechanics are total hacks too.
I wouldn't want anyone from SPOKES touching my bikesdonnaturner
Feb 13, 2002 9:16 AM
First of all, take a look at the shop. They don't even take care of their own bikes they have in stock.
So many people from the area! You must go try...Kristin
Feb 13, 2002 7:33 AM
The "New Day Cafe" on Park Avenue in downtown Lombard. The new owners moved in last September. I happened upon it last week and was drawn inside (sucked inside really) when I noticed an old wheel hanging in the window and spied a Jan Ullrich(sp?) poster on the wall.

The owner is an avid rider, and the shop is dedicated to all things cycling. Sip a mocha, read the lastest magazines and watch tour tapes (there is always one playing).
So many people from the area! You must go try...donnaturner
Feb 13, 2002 9:18 AM
I will be sure to check that place out. I get tired of the created atmostphere of Starbucks. It is overpriced watered down coffee anyway. Thanks. Do you have the exact address? Directions?
Boycott Spokes Wheaton, ILkerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 10:07 AM
The one clear message you can send to a place like Spokes, or any other place that lacks good service and ethics is to boycott that place of business. Either, the place of business will get a clue and improve their customer relations or they will lose money and eventually die. I think this is an epidemic in America in general. We settle for less and receive less service every year, yet we continue to shell out the money to these places. How will service ever improve under this premise. So if you aren't getting good service at Spokes, do what I did, do your business elsewhere. Boycott Spokes and any other establishment that doesn't earn YOUR money.
Boycott Spokes Wheaton, ILRollinFast
Feb 13, 2002 10:49 AM
They won't be getting another dime from me.
Boycott Spokes Wheaton, ILkerrdog
Feb 13, 2002 11:51 AM
There must be something in the water around that shopping center that Spokes is in. I was at Cozymels not too long ago, and it took forever to be served drinks and get a menu. We finally got our chips and drinks. Waited and waited and waited and ate chips. We ran out of chips, and finally the waitress came running by. We stopped her and asked for a chip refill. She told us to go get our own and the direction. I was flabergasted. I was out of drink and chips at a restraunt and told to get my own refills. This isn't McDs mind you. An hour after being there, we still hadn't been served our dinners, so we left without paying the bar bill. Cozymels is in the same shopping center as Spokes. Ironic. I called the manager that night to complain. He said he would send us free meal tickets. They never arrived. I am boycotting Cozymels.
re: Spokes Wheaton, ILCherry1
Feb 13, 2002 12:18 PM
Let me put it this way. Spokes could sell a vibrator to a nun. When that vibrator broke down a got stuck up that nun's hoochie coochi, those guys would try to sell her another and not take care of the one that was stuck. You can buy a bike from Spokes, but you aren't going to get much service in other words. I learned that the hard way.
re: Spokes Wheaton, ILBianchiAmber
Feb 13, 2002 12:47 PM
Subject : Spokes in Wheaton IL
Author : Jeff Date : 6/24/01 6:52:56 PM

Thinking about shopping at spokes in Wheaton or Naperville think again. Ask anyone in that area who knows anything about biking and they will tell you to stay away.

This was taken off another bicycle message board I was surfing. Spokes is probably lucky most people don't take the time to read message boards.
The Problem With Spokes And Most Other ShopsCherry1
Feb 13, 2002 4:49 PM
The problem that Spokes shares with so many other shops is that they really don't offer their customers anything different. You go into most of these shops and you see the same staples that you see in almost every other shop. In Chicago you can easily find Trek, Cannondale, Raleigh, or Giant. You can easily find Shimano. However, some riders out there don't want to have anything to do with any of these companies. We want our Campagnolo. We want our unique frames. I am tired of being spoon fed by all these bike shops that are afraid to give the roadie what satisfies their exotic needs, and these same bike shops get upset with what the internet has to offer riders like me.
Okay, we get it already!Kristin
Feb 14, 2002 6:29 AM
How many times do the same people have to say the same thing???? This is getting old. Everyone gets it! You all hate Spokes. Now I'm dreading this lunchtime ride, if it involves listening to people complain about this shop insessantly. Can we move on or do we need group therapy to get past this? Besides, I have some friends who ride with that group and they are not bad people.
Looks like the boys at Spokes read this board toojigs
Feb 15, 2002 8:18 AM
Or maybe there are actually a few that like this shop. A couple of defenders have shown up...