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Dilemma or decision ?(16 posts)

Dilemma or decision ?eayste
Jul 2, 2003 1:49 PM
A month ago after about 2 years away from road riding , I decided to buy a new road bike and start hitting the pavement. Since I work part time at a LBS , the owner gave me a super deal on a new Cannondale R400. The road bike I had prior to this 2 years ago was a R300 . So I kinda new how it rides and it's traits .
After of about a month and 250 miles with the R400 . I decide I wanted something different than an aluminum bike.
All the road bikes I've ever had were Aluminum.
While I knew they were stiff and a little harsh over a distance I knew I wanted something different.
Having discussed this with some other LBS guys , they try'd to talk me into a r600 or r1000. So I took the r600 on a test ride and it was fine for about 30 miles then it started feeling very harsh.
Having ridden steel and Titanium bikes on test rides I dicided to go with a Titanium bike.
The guys I work with at the LBS are very Pro-aluminum and the owner thinks Ti is to expensive and steel should die.
But Looking on the web I have found several places to order High quality Ti frames for reasonable prices.
So having knowledge in what size and geometry works for me and knowing what ride traits I want .
Am I in the wrong to oust the LBS I work at and get and build up a frame that they don't carry just because I work there ? Or know the choice is mine , get what I want and not care what they think ?
It's your hobby - look out for #1t0adman
Jul 2, 2003 1:53 PM
I'd hope the die hards at your LBS would build up their own bike if the store didn't carry what they like. It's your money, and your enjoyment. Get exactly what you want and don't worry about the LBS guys.
what's the problem?mohair_chair
Jul 2, 2003 2:09 PM
It's your money and your bike. End of discussion.
re: Dilemma or decision ?russw19
Jul 2, 2003 2:10 PM
Is that the only line that shop carries is Cannondale? Surely the owner would welcome in a second line. Find a bike you like that no competing dealers in your area carry and check into ordering just one. If you have the bux, you can call any place like Moots, tell them you work at a shop, want to order a single bike for yourself and may order more from them later if your bike grabs the attention of others in your area. Moots will simply ask you for a few things like a Tax ID number and a copy of your yellow pages ad to make sure the shop you are at is an actual "brick and mortar" building and not some internet only shop, and they will sell you a bike for wholesale.

The same hold true for most brands. As long as there is not a competing dealer in your area that carries the line, you can get almost anything you want if you work at a shop. Of course that is all up to the shop's owner, but I can't see why they would block you buying one frame from someone you like. If they need a 10 bike minimum to open the account, that's another story.

There are all kinds of bikes you can get just one of if nobody local stocks them. Call Gita and you can get Pinarello and Merckx, call TriAltir and you can get Colnago, call Sinclair Lewis and you can get a DeRosa. Call smaller Ti companies that are not likely to have open accounts around you and you may be able to get an Independent Fabrications, a Spectrum, Hampsten.... there are a thousand bikes out there... and if you work for a shop, you can get them at wholesale if your owner is down with it.

I would sit down and explain to the shop's owner that you would like a Ti bike and would like to see if you can order it thru the shop. Tell them if you find someone that will let you order just one bike so the shop has no commitment if they don't want it, and explain that it may help bring in sales for people looking for similar bikes.

I ride a Pinarello, but I work at a predominately mountain bike shop. But since I bought my Pinarello, we have sold 2 of them just because someone saw my bike in the shop and wanted a Pinarello too.

Back in the day...MShaw
Jul 2, 2003 2:31 PM
I used to be a manager at a Performance bikes store. We (employees) used to go specifically looking for different bikes to buy. One guy was riding a Brew mtn frame, I had Battaglins and Specialized, and..., others WTB frames, etc. All in the name of trying something different so that when a customer comes in and asks about XYZ material, chances are someone in the shop actually had one or had had one previously.

Granted, your shop owner may get a little hissy about things like that, its their store, they can, but on the whole, it does nothing but help his bottom line when a customer sees your custom ABC bike with the full 123 component group sitting there gleaming in the shop...

Step 1. talk to the owner and explain to him the benefits of you owning something different and how it'll affect his sales.

Step 2. Call the manufacturer of the bike/frame you are interested in and find out if they'll sell to you, and how much you're going to have to fork over.

Step 3. Keep your bike handy as a demo in case someone comes into the shop and wants something other than a C-dale. Then the owner may see that carrying ABC bikes is an alternative to those that don't like C-dales. A sale of ABC is better than having a customer walk down to the next LBS!

Step 4. Smile, smile, smile as your back doesn't hurt, your crotch doesn't go numb, etc.

What's the problem?Leroy
Jul 2, 2003 3:01 PM
Get the bike you want. You work there part time? They don't own you. That being said, I can't understand your aversion to Cannondale. Mine is not harsh. I just finished my second century on it and it's every bit as great a ride as one could want. I did my first century on my steel ride. I like them both, with an edge to the caad 5. To each his own.
What's the problem?eayste
Jul 2, 2003 3:36 PM
Don't get me wrong . I have no issues with Cannondale , I love there bikes. I own a Scalpel and have owned a road bike and a f700 .
I just have aversions with ALuminum road bikes .
I guess I just want something different.
I have a steel mtn bike and really like that. and I have the scalpel and that is the best bike I have ridden for a do all bike.
Perhaps I want something different in a road bike.
So I have no qualms with C'dales road bikes.
I just want something that rides different.
That's why I was looking at titanium .
I have test rode a few and like them , but they were out of my $$$ range until now.
I am looking at Independent Fabrication , Seven , Vangard , Strong & Zion .
KNowing that Zion is made by litespeed I am leaning towards that.
As for the LBS I work at. Since it's a small shop that doesn't carry much for high end stuff , they carry mainly Giant low end bikes and Mid range C'dales.
With a few high end C'dales.
Like mentioned , it is my $$$ and I should get what I want.
The owner isn't to hip on a "special order" . So I think I am on my own .
The hardcores swear by their brand .
So I will do what I want to do .
Sometimes I just need some input of others to make a good decision.
Check out Sampson as well at ...Brooks
Jul 2, 2003 3:54 PM
Eric has all Ti, Ti/Carbon, Al with great prices on a wide variety of build kits.
What's the problem?Leroy
Jul 2, 2003 6:06 PM
Steel does have a great ride. I just got back from a ride on my steel bike and I would not give that one up for anything. Just get the one you really like. Good luck with it. Let us know what you decide.
What's the problem?russw19
Jul 2, 2003 7:33 PM
One thing that your owner may be thinking... and if so, I can't fault him for it, is that he doesn't want the shop employees riding on bikes you don't sell. Some feel that sends the wrong message to the customers. I once briefly worked for a shop that felt that way, but being as I had a bike before I worked there, I told them that they need to buy me a bike, or deal with me riding what I wanted.

For some small shops, special order can be a pain in the butt. Talk to your owner and tell him you will put it on your credit card so he's not involved in the process (unless they want to be... that's another issue.)

Otherwise, if they really want you to ride something you sell, get the top of the line Giant. They are very popular and hold resale value pretty well for a bike. Ride one for a few months and sell it in the spring for more than you paid for it. Employee Purchase is such a wonderful perk.

What's the problem?eayste
Jul 2, 2003 7:44 PM
You know . I kinda had that thought .
We had a Giant TCR 1 and an OCR1 in the shop and I road them around the building about 20 times. I just couldn't get them to fit quite right.
BTW I had that issue with the C'dales I test road also .
The 56 felt alittle to big and the 54 alittle to small.
I did got to and use there "fit calculator and a 55 seems to be a good choice for me .
But in all fairness.
I know the owner knows I like Cannondale . Come to think of it he does call me the shop "bike whore" since one of the other employees stated
" does he have to ride everything "
I just laughed.
So did he .
In fact he was the first one I asked about Ti frames since he's been around the industry.
He recommended Seven or Litespeed. But those were alittle out of my price range.
So far I have it narrowed down to Zion or Strong.
But I think I may go with the Zion.
What about the Giant carbon?MShaw
Jul 3, 2003 9:37 AM
...or the TCR 0? The shop owner has the brand already in stock...

get what you wantmoschika
Jul 2, 2003 4:42 PM
i know an LBS owner that will ride a brand that they don't even carry but, they also ride what they carry. i think for them it depends on what they feel like riding that day.
Not much of a dilemma.djg
Jul 3, 2003 9:49 AM
Figuring out exactly what you want can be tricky, although that's not exactly a dilemma. Figuring out what you don't want is sometimes easy, and it sounds like you don't want another AL frame.

It seems to me that the only issue here is whether you feel more comfortable simply finding a bike/frame on your own, or whether you want to try to get what you want THROUGH the bike shop where you work--they can almost certainly order you all sorts of things they don't normally carry. Start doing some leg work to figure out what you'd like, and then talk to them about a possible deal. If they don't want to help I'd be surprised, but people are sometimes funny about things like that. You should get the bike you want.
Jul 3, 2003 9:53 AM
if you like the idea of Ti and are trying to keep the price down, you might add Macalu to the list. It's the Excel Sports house brand frame and it is also made by litespeed (has a litespeed sticker on it) and looks A LOT like a litespeed Arenburg. Less than a grand.

Many good deals on reasonably lightweight steel, by the way.
thanks for your input guys !!eayste
Jul 3, 2003 11:57 AM
I appreciate it .
I went and talked to the owner of the shop today .
He knew kinda what I was looking for and was willing to work with me in finding a good frame.
He was hoping that I would like either a Cannondale or Giant since they are the brands they carry , and it helps when talking to customers if you own one.
He was willing to work with me and give me a super great deal on a High end giant or C'dale , if I was willing to go with that. He also stated that after a month or so , If I didn't like it , he would buy it back.
So I think I may try that.
He's a good and reasonable person to deal with ,
I think I may take him up on his offer and give a high end Aluminum frame a run for the money since all the other (2) aluminum frames I have owned were "lower" end ones.