Monday, 9 November 2015

Alienation and your local bike shop

Difficult to believe but just because somebody works in a bike shop it doesn't mean they know a lot about bikes.

I try whenever I can to buy at my local bike shop. I've blogged about it in the past. Sometimes you don't need that part that you've been researching online and whatever is in stock at you local bike shop (LBS) is going to be just fine. My saddle, stem, seatpost and wheels were all bought online after extensive research. My headset, bottle cages, tyres, cables and saddle pack were all bought at an LBS after taking their advice. Absolutely happy with all the above items. I've even bought online and contacted my LBS for fitting costs... And happily swallowed them because labour and skills cost money.

I took Emma in to my LBS to get the parts that had worn out in spectacular fashion last week replaced. The chain was measured...

"You replaced that in June"
"Oh. Have you thought about replacing the groupset?"
"Yes, but not before Christmas. I thought maybe before spring though."
"Well 10 speed is fine but you'd need new wheels for 11..."
"No. There's a spacer fitted by you to run the 9 speed. "

Then he went on to tell me that 105 is 10 speed and tiagra is old but probably what I should fit to a
Bike like mine. Wrong on point 1 and the 2nd is subjective.

I'm not going to name the bike shop because I know full well that if the owner had not been busy trying to serve a tricky customer then he would have called him out on some of this. All I suppose I'm saying is that like many things, the right choice is subjective. If I'd been sold the Claud Butler alu road bike I'd gone into Evans to buy in 2003 I'd have ridden that for LEJOG. As it was I got a specialized commuter that I replaced with Emma in 2011. Ironically that did end up working out for the best but at an extra cost of £600 to me.

Anyway. After assessing what needed to be done (and consulting with the owner) they did what I asked and Emma is waiting for pick up. I have 2 cycling mad friends who won't use my favourite bike shop because of past experiences. Assistants need to be a salesman where an excuse is needed and a solution when money is tight. I'll continue to patronise my LBS because I know Emma will come back to me better for the visit. I know the onsite mechanic loves her too. Just maybe not the floor staff.

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