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Specialized and a Local Bike Shop Controversy(22 posts)

Specialized and a Local Bike Shop ControversyCippoFan
May 3, 2002 4:13 AM
Last year, I asked my local bike shop what they thought of the Specialized compact frame. The owner of the shop told me that the frame was junk. Cheaply made and overpriced. When I went to the bike show in Chicago last month, there he was selling the Specialized compact frame and saying it is the best frame he has seen in years. I really wanted a Specialized last year, and I respected his opinion and didn't buy one. Instead I purchased a Giant TCR with his advice. Don't you wish these shops would be honest for a change?
re: Specialized and a Local Bike Shop ControversyAbol98
May 3, 2002 6:07 AM
Just out of curiosity, which shop were you dealing with? I live in the Chi-town area and have had the same experience...
re: Specialized and a Local Bike Shop ControversyCippoFan
May 3, 2002 6:29 AM
I dont' feel comfortable broadcasting the name of the shop over the internet. I don't think it is fair to do that without the shop being able to defend its commments. I just get tired of the hippocracy that goes on in these shops. I am sure it wouldn't be to hard to narrow down the shops that carry both Specialized and Giant if you wish to do so. I just wish that if they knew they were going to start carrying Specialized, they would have told me to wait instead of taking my money a few months earlier.
re: Specialized and a Local Bike Shop ControversyAbol98
May 3, 2002 7:51 AM
Hey Cippo... why don't you email me the name of the shop... (bigten_web1@hotmail.com) I'm really very curious. This guy totally bad mouthed specialized when I was inquiring about the allez comp and pro. He sells Giants, although he told me they were crap too (odd, right?). He was trying to get me to buy a Litespeed, but gee whiz, I didn't have 3 grand handy, or I wouldn't have been looking at the allez in the first place. Now, he sells specialized in his shop, and one of the employees was telling me how at 2400 with Ksyriums and DA the Allez pro is the best race value on the market. Hmmmm...
shops ALWAYS knock what they don't sell (nm)ColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 8:58 AM
Not always..TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 10:04 AM
At our shop, knocking a bike (without cause) was punishable by firing. If somebody asked about a different brand, all we ever could say was: "They also make very good bikes, but I think you'll find that our brand offers a better Y". The fact of the matter is that when I sold bikes, for the most part, I had no idea what was on the market aside from the brands I sold.

In regards to the Giant/Specialized question (I worked at a Specialized dealer), I would have said: "Giant popularized the compact design, so they obviously know a thing or two about it; but the Specialized offers Columbus tubing (the implication, falsely, being that Italian tubes are inherently better)."

In short, we couldn't be dishonest with our customers, and that almost always meant not saying bad things about other bikes. The one exception was if we had dropped a line (like we did Trek), we might highlight our bad experiences with their frames- but we did actually have the experiences.
Bad Experiences With Trek?RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 10:41 AM
What kind of problems did you see with their frames?
Sure,TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 11:00 AM
There wasn't anything out of the ordinary with Trek frames. But in the course of things, bikes don't always come in perfect. It's true of every manufacturer- a certain % of frames will break or have an error from the factory- Trek, and everybody else, was far from perfect (maybe Torelli had a perfect record- I'll have to think about it).
Sure,RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 11:03 AM
Obviously Treks record was a little more flawed than others?
No,TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 11:14 AM
Well, OCLV's were in the habit of cracking. But so were Bianchi EV2's, and MegaPro Al's.

If you work around bikes long enough, you'll have a horror story to go with every company. There isn't a company I worked with (save Torelli) that didn't have some slip ups. Colnago was far and away the worst, Trek was somewhere in the middle.
What kind of problems did you see with the Colnagos?RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 11:26 AM
I've heard of a few thingsColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 12:11 PM
Anything from QC problems with paint to them needing a lot of prepping compared to american bikes. I think that could be said of most european bikes though.
Tell me the Colnago horror storypmf1
May 3, 2002 11:27 AM
When I got my C-40 in last year, I had my LBS check it on their alignment table. It was right on. My wife's was the same. We did have to wait a while because the first frame sent to the Italian bike shop where we bought them had messed up paint. I was impressed that the guys there checked before sending it on.

I think the sheer number of OCLVs out there makes it very probable that many of us have a friend, or friend of a friend, who had a problem with one. I know a guy who had the braze-on for the front derailer break off and fall into the down tube. Trek replaced the bike, but wouldn't pay for the teardown/build-up.

So hopefully you don't have stories about C-40's falling apart. Come on, lets hear it.
I'm bored of seeing OCLVs?RadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 11:32 AM
Does anyone else feel this way?
It wouldn't be fair...TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 12:01 PM
I just wouldn't be fair to tell one and not tell them all. But suffice to say that everybody, regardless of what bike you bought, had a chance at getting a 'lemon'. The laws of probability are such. I'm sure there have been a few bad C-40's in the world. And every other production bike, from Seven to KHS.
This board is about opinionsRadicalRonPruitt
May 3, 2002 12:03 PM
Just share a few of yours with us.
That's true,TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 12:11 PM
While it is true that this board is about opinions, my war stories are more about statistics. And that's precisely why I don't think they're important. Because I think that Litespeed makes a great bike, even if 1 in 20 had to be sent back because the bottom bracket was milled wrong. And I think that Colnago makes a great bike, even if they were spacing the rear dropouts at 126mm in a 130mm world. And I think that the Bianchi EV2 was a great bike for a specific purpose, even if they did crack on command. I think Specialized builds nice bikes, even if they did weld the wrong dropouts on the earliest E-5's, rendering them useless with the wheelset that was spec'd (Ksyrium).

So you see, bad bikes are part of the process. You just need a competent and watchful person to build your bike, and maintain it, and everything will be fine.
I was being too general of courseColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 12:09 PM
but for the most part if you find a good shop (louisville cyclery is one in my opinion) then hang onto it and support it.
You really shouldn't be surprisedDave Hickey
May 3, 2002 6:27 AM
Did you buy the Giant TCR from him? If he sold Giant and not Specialized, of course he's' going to try to talk you into a Giant. You don't walk into a BMW dealer and ask which is better, BMW or Mercedes?
What's the point?Breakfast
May 3, 2002 9:05 AM
So, he's a whore. Big deal. Tell the LBS guy that his advice means nothing. Don't shop there and next time seek better guidance.

I could rant about a LBS who sells Giants and spews so much B.S. about what's good and what's not. Bottom line is I don't buy from him anymore. There's something about being lied to that makes you do such drastic things like boycotting that livelihood and passion he calls his bike shop.
pure spam...sheesh, just kidding (this time).Crankist
May 3, 2002 9:39 AM
Agreed, show up educated on the product line and vote with your feet.
Mike
Is that a joke?Breakfast
May 3, 2002 1:08 PM
Spam?