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LBS rant = crap I'm tired of ...(24 posts)

LBS rant = crap I'm tired of ...Djudd
Dec 31, 2002 2:54 PM
There is a problem I run into at an LBS in DC...whatever I want to do these know-it-alls have reason why I shouldn't do it. I don't mean an alternative suggestion but a complete negative. The latest,I bought a fixed/free hub for a 70's bike refurbishing. I have good 27 inch" Araya rims to go with this bike (no brake compatibility problems with 27's). Now all I need is my LBS to build the rear with the new hub. First the guy tells me I need to scrap the 27 on the back and get a 700c..."it'll fit you know?"..."I know it'll fit and I also know what I want" Then he tells me I'll strip the threads on the Suzue hub because "they are known for that". "I know thay are not the best but they do not just automatically strip" I answer. Then the long sigh, "well let me check the computer for spoke length". After staring at the screen for a minute he tells me,"there is a problem, this rim set up is not on the computer". "Hey, I tell you what", I say, "let me get my stuff and take it somewhere else" The thing is they are not trying to be jackasses they are trying to let me know how much they know or rather how much more they know than me and it's getting on my nerves. That is the crap I am tired of

Thank you and happy new year
I'm out the door on the second eye-roll...cory
Dec 31, 2002 3:03 PM
I've done some similar things with parts I had on hand that the LBS guys didn't think were cool enough or just didn't recognize. I don't mind them giving me advice, even when I already have the information and have chosen to ignore it. Generally I thank them and tell them yeah, I know, but let's go ahead and do it my way. If they cop a superior attitude, though, I'll take my money somewhere else.
re: LBS rant = crap I'm tired of ...gtx
Dec 31, 2002 3:30 PM
I'd say this would be an exellent time to learn to build wheels. I'm sure you'll be able to dig up the spoke length somewhere or calculate it yourself. To be honest, when I was wrenching in shops I wasn't always thrilled when customers handed me a bunch of parts they got elsewhere and told me to put them together--unless I already had prior experience with the customer. Still, I can barely stand to go into shops myself these days because to the attitude you describe. I prefer mail order.
you are correct about the need to learn to buld my own...Djudd
Dec 31, 2002 3:39 PM
wheels...that is one of my new year's resolutions. However, though I am bringing the shop parts from other places I am paying for the wheelbuilding (75cents a spoke and $35 for labor)
you are correct about the need to learn to buld my own...gtx
Dec 31, 2002 4:15 PM
It's just a lot easier for everyone when the shop is putting stuff together that they sell and can stand behind. I'm not defending them, though. You might look around for a reputable local wheelbuilder instead of dealing with the shop, who will probably just hand it off to a 16 year old bike builder anyway. But I think if you build it yourself you'll be impressed with how easy AND fun it is. Just get the Jobst book and go slow.

Happy New Year!
maybe I will take this oppurtunity to build these wheels myselfDjudd
Dec 31, 2002 6:23 PM
Your advice inspires me to take the obvious solution and learn a new skill
Get the spokes from the shop and drop on by the house.MB1
Dec 31, 2002 6:40 PM
We will build the wheel together in less than an hour and you will know how to do it.

BTW which one of the awful shops in town was it???
hate to name names, but since you ask...Djudd
Dec 31, 2002 6:57 PM
City Bikes in Adams-Morgan...they have a good reputation but sometimes I find they are snide and a few are condescending in that they assume you are totally without knowledge. This, to me, is not the way to have loyal customers return. This is not the first such incident just the latest.
Duh, there's your problem right thereJimena
Jan 1, 2003 10:32 AM
Why don't you try Revolution Cycles in Clarendon? They are over the Key Bridge and up on Wilson Blvd. They rock!
A positive experience at City Bikes.Steve98501
Jan 2, 2003 12:50 PM
Sorry to hear of your experience. I was visiting DC recently, having taken a new/used bike I built up to my daughter. I'd had the rear wheel built at home by one of my shop's 16 year old wrenches, and after a couple miles, it was already out of true. I was well served at City Bikes. It turned out that my local builder hadn't tightened any of the spokes enough, and the young man at CB finished the job for us. My daughter had also ordered a different cassette, and I needed to borrow a chain whip from the shop, as I forgot to bring mine for doing the cassette switch. This was my only visit to CB, and I just wanted to offer an alternative impression.

I agree that many shop employees could improve their customer relations skills (that applies throughout the retail world it seems). A good first step might be to explain exactly why you are dissatisfied with their service. They aren't mind readers, and at least with the information, they could make choices about how to treat their customers.
coolgtx
Jan 1, 2003 10:54 AM
I think I built my first wheel for much the same reason. I wanted to build up a Bendix coaster brake hub with a 700c road rim to make a cool one-speed coaster brake commuter bike out of a frame I'd pulled out of the trash. Everyone said it was stupid so I just built it up myself (it always helps your to be using parts that you aren't super anal about when you're learning something for the first time). Worked out pretty well. That was 18 years ago and my brother is still riding that bike with that wheel.

I misplaced my Jobst book but I think there are formulas in the back for calculating spoke length based on rim and hub measurements you can make yourself. If you use Wheelsmith spokes you will have a bit more room for error on the spoke length cause they have longer nipples. Good luck.
Try being femalekatie1
Dec 31, 2002 3:33 PM
Take this scenario + XX chromosone = sh*tty service, attitude and the nerve of the idiots then ask for my phone number!
I've often considered it ;-0 (nm)mickey-mac
Dec 31, 2002 3:37 PM
nm
Then they ask for your number??? LOLMB1
Dec 31, 2002 6:44 PM
And you tell them what?
Try being female4bykn
Jan 1, 2003 5:52 AM
Unfortunately insurance doesn't cover the surgery... Sorry, the best I can come up with at 7:00am new year's day.
Try being femaleFez
Jan 2, 2003 9:20 AM
LOL. That would be quite a scene! I am imagining this:

"No, we can't do that for you... The book says it won't work... OK, we could do that, but it would take a lot of extra time and cost you a lot of money... Are you free this Saturday?"
re: LBS rant = crap I'm tired of ...rwbadley
Dec 31, 2002 4:00 PM
We have a bike shop in town that the owner is famous for inserting his foot in mouth.

Every time I go in, I somehow get the feeling my equipment isn't worthy to be worked on. I wanted to swap forks on one bike, I had my reasons for doing so. The response given to my idea was certainly not the one I was looking for considering I was about to spend a hundred and a half.

More recently I acquired a bike I am quite happy with. I was in the shop one day looking for some parts, and made small talk with the guy. In front of others, he made a rather derisive comment about it 'not being the lightest'. This is something I really don't need to hear, and felt it ridiculous being as how the bike as it sits now, weighs all of 17.25 lbs. w/o pedals.

I still go in and give them business, and I really try to spread the money I spend around to the other shops in town also. I would like to be on good terms with four shops than only speaking to one. It's too easy to take offense, we're all human.

About your wheel build, I know you wanted it the way you did for a reason. The bike shop guy may have been trying to save you some trouble down the road, but he could have been more (tactful). I wanted some 27's built for the tandem. Bike guy Tom not only built first rate 48 spokes for me, but had the Phil hubs overhauled also. I was really happy he didn't try to second guess or talk me out of it. These wheels look great, and the bike gets alot of comments because (in part) the wheels look Big.

He just did it and did a great job of it.

Sometimes that's all we want, right?

Have a safe New Years y'all, see ya on the other side.

Ron
The more I hear...TREKY
Dec 31, 2002 4:32 PM
....of other people having bad experiences the more I thank God I found my LBS.I've never had problems or attitude from my LBS in the 8years I've gone there.Thats why when you find a good shop you stay loyal.
re: LBS rant = crap I'm tired of ...delco
Jan 1, 2003 10:37 AM
hey d sorry to hear about your lbs, we all go thru it. what treky says is true once you find a good shop stick with it man. about gtx's comment on mail order is ok but not everybody knows how to wrench, also mail order is what's putting a lot of the little shops out of business.from past experiences when you go into a bike shop and tell them what you need and they rub you the wrong way just say "thanks anyway" and walk out, trust me they'll remember you next time you walk in and approach you differently.anyway, since we are naming lbs i've been going to my lbs for about 10 yrs. now real cool place and they deserve the "props" for always helping me out, they are south of philly, if anybody is near the area is called cycle fit. hope there are other people on this site that know about the place.
These bike shops wonder why there going out of businessAmbishawn
Jan 1, 2003 2:40 PM
Ive experienceed the same stuff from most bike shops in California. Right now I have a custom IF Crown Jewel frame that's being painted at IF. The painter and I spoke on Monday and he says they called My bike shop 8 weeks ago regaurding a question on the paint. The selling LBS hasen't contacted Me in 8 weeks. The owner of the shop don't return My messages and he's the only one who knows whats going on. The shop is unfortunatly 80 miles from My house adding to the frustration. This guy is not gonna sell the rest of the bike. I'm gonna pay the balence of the frame and go mail order for the rest. I will have a bike mechanic build it for Me though.
The very last thing I would do...crosscut
Jan 1, 2003 7:22 PM
is take my bikes to a LBS for work of ANY kind. Even the good shops are lousy. The reason I've become a fairly decent wrench is because NONE of the LBSs in my area could perform ANYTHING without screwing things up. Lots of sloppy work, damage to other parts of the bike as a result of their ineptness, lots of returns. I finally gave up. As far as wheels, learn that skill. You'll find it easy and self-satisfying. Besides, you'll do a better job than some hack at the LBS.

I'll probably catch some heat for the above comments from wrenches at LBSs, but I've taken my bikes to very reputable shops, only to be dismayed (flabbergasted) at the crap they do. And on top of everything, many have this arrogant attitude. Nah, learn to do the work yourself. It aint rocket science, and all you need is some good tools. It's much more satisfying and less frustrating that way.
re: LBS rant = crap I'm tired of ...JerBear
Jan 1, 2003 9:58 PM
Jobst Book ya'll were talking about..If ya'll are interested
re: LBS rant = crap I'm tired of ...JerBear
Jan 1, 2003 10:01 PM
sorry..link didn't work..here it is.. http://www.avocet.com/wheelbook/wheelbook.html
Mine is clueless ...Humma Hah
Jan 2, 2003 11:33 AM
... I've yet to have them fail to mess up an order (they never have what I want in stock).

I wanted a custom-built flip flop rear wheel. Most of their wrenches are not dry behind the ears and have never seen a fixie in their whole lives. The shop manager tries to be helpful, tho, and he and I went thru a catalog picking parts for the wheel.

I come in a couple of weeks later and he shows me the parts. I comment that the 700c rim looks a mite small, and lay a 700c tire down around it ... he looks dumbly at it, not quite registering that the tire does not even touch this 650c rim at any point. I point it out. He corrects the order.

About a month later, I get the call. My wheel is ready. I come in, pick it up, try to mount it on the bike. Won't fit. Get out the calipers: I'd specifically ordered a 120mm hub for my 120mm frame. He'd CHANGED THE ORDER TO A 130mm hub, figured he could "pull some spacers off of it"! There were no spacers to pull. I made him give me my money back and have not been back since.