Adventures in Bike shopping (long)

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Jimbo, Jun 15, 2003.

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  1. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

    Friday I needed to get some work done on my Fixie. I had a flat and the rear hub needed a little
    love. We had been lucky in scoring a set of 27" wheels someone discarded and they had brand new
    tires and tubes so I was going to make a switch. Beer... some nice music.... I removed the rear
    wheel and the first thing that hit me was the drop outs on my much beloved old Italian steel frame
    were toast. Both were bent to odd angles and the drive side drop out was starting to open up in a
    scary manner. I took the bike and put it in the corner and showed Carla the damage when she got
    home. This old old bike has been my money pit for many a year. It saw my commuting abuse for years.
    I was also forever adjusting and correcting the drive train, wheels and brakes. We discussed the
    options and Carla finally won out... Full retirement for the Fiorelli... Which means it is time to
    shop for a new bike. Now fix gear track bikes are not an easy thing to come by. We narrowed our
    choices and spent the night measuring up my old Fixie and my Road bike and decided the best bet was
    a Bianchi Pista. A quick check online confirmed that Sheldon Brown had the very best price. Off to
    the bike shops the very next day.... We started with a little shop near my house. We were greeted by
    a teenager who asked us for some help. I asked if he sold any track bikes.... silence... excuse me?
    I responded fix gear... you know track bike... He looked puzzled and went to walk away and turned
    around and asked if I was looking for a Trek bike???? Carla was standing there biting her lip and I
    just told him to ask and we would wait there... When he walked off....we went for the door... Oh
    well..... Next shop is one I have only been to a few times... I had heard they knew a bit about
    biking so maybe it would be worth a try. Went in... Seemed well supplied... Went downstairs to the
    Road bike section. I found it funny that the lower floor housed both road bikes and BMXes... Some
    fat kid comes over and asks if I need help... I pose the dreaded question to him and he says in a
    snippy way... "No... is that all your interested in?" I guess he figured I would suddenly feel the
    need for a cruiser bike... since that was so close to what I asked for... He asked me again what it
    was I wanted so I tried to explain. I tried telling him the bike is used in the olympics on those
    big oval tracks... He just got snippier.. "I know... tsk"... We used the same technique as the other
    shop and as he ran off to ask the management... we beat it for the door... but before we could make
    our exit he yelled starting at $600.... Carla looked at me (biting her
    lip)... "Well what brand?... details" He had to turn around and ask... I guess the owner of the shop
    preferred to relay all his info.... while he had his head turned... we bolted... I am sorry but
    I really hate to deal with an LBS who only has a clue on their merchandise that sells... It is
    fine not to know and maybe work with the customer. Special orders are a sale too, but I guess
    making a sale is not a priority. We went to a shop who I do not like very much... Everyone calls
    them Macys, because sell lots of botique clothing. We went in and a young guy came right up and
    asked if we needed help. He not only was able to understand me, but he came in with a price for
    the bike that was even cheaper than Sheldon. He also promised delivery in 7-10 days. I was still
    skeptical... and we thanked him and told him we would need to think about it. We finally ended
    up in my regular LBS. The owner knows all about bikes so there is no question there... He tells
    us that the bike we are looking for is tuff to find and come next week sometime he would call
    and maybe be able to find a price and locate the 57cm I asked for...It might take a while for it
    to come... If he could get it at all... So basically... Don't call me I'll call you... when I
    have some time... Carla and I left... We discussed it for a while and decided screw it. Why not
    give the shop who was on the ball the business. We went back and asked to order the bike. All
    fine. It came time to order the size and I told him I was pretty sure I would need the 57. He
    very nicely asked if I would care to have it professionally fit. It would only take a while...
    If I would like that is... I was like sure. I spent about an hour getting measured up. The guy
    came up with a sizing that was a 55... and explained all the reasoning and everything that goes
    into the fit. He also was knowledgable about all the brands of bikes measurments. He also
    assured me if he got the bike in and I was not happy with the sizing he would be glad to order
    another size for me. It sure seems like they know a little about customer service. That shop had
    a good staff... Everyone from the cashier to the sales people had some sort of knowledge. and if
    they didn't know they were not slow in asking someone who does.

    Jimbo(san)
     
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  2. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    jimbo(san) thoughtfully penned:
    > That shop had a good staff... Everyone from the cashier to the sales people had some sort of
    > knowledge. and if they didn't know they were not slow in asking someone who does.
    >
    >
    > Jimbo(san)

    glad to hear you had a good outcome. It's nice(??) to know that "lie bike shops tell you" (TM) is
    not limited to females shopping, oh no.

    penny
     
  3. Carla A-G

    Carla A-G Guest

    >I don't think he realizes that the "trails" Bob rode involves dirt roads and converted rail-trail.
    >Plus some single. I've ridden out there during the 2000 MS ride. I guess mountain bikes do more
    >damage than trains. ;-)
    >

    i think the trains only damage would be a one-time thing(when the tracks are laid) and the damage
    per run diminishes as more runs are made across said tracks...

    and theres nothing more beautiful than an old abandoned trestle that has been overgrown with
    vegetation.....
     
  4. Danny

    Danny Guest

    I like poor attitude, (ie: poor customer service), even less. Danny

    "Carla A-G" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Penny S." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > glad to hear you had a good outcome. It's nice(??) to know that "lie
    bike
    > > shops tell you" (TM) is not limited to females shopping, oh no.
    >
    > I usually know more about the bikes that a shop carries than the people
    that
    > work there...I can't stand un-knowlegeable bike shops...
    >
    > - CA-G
    >
    > Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!
     
  5. Reco Diver

    Reco Diver Guest

    "jimbo(san)" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    <snip>

    > I was like sure. I spent about an hour getting measured up. The guy came up with a sizing that was
    > a 55... and explained all the reasoning and everything that goes into the fit. He also was
    > knowledgable about all the brands of bikes measurments.

    You should have put out the word for a day ... I have a 55 C to T 1982 Eco-Pista, that spent the
    majority of its life at Hellyer. http://www.stanford.edu/~roadman/Bike_Racing/NCVA/

    I was just thinking that the frame might be looking for a new owner.

    R
     
  6. "jimbo(san)" <[email protected]> wrote
    > Full retirement for the Fiorelli...

    Bummer!

    > Which means it is time to shop for a new bike.

    Whee!

    > Now fix gear track bikes are not an easy thing to come by.
    [...bike shop woes elided...]

    The Right Way to do this would have been to hop a train into the city, go to Bicycle Habitat, and
    talk to Martin. Last I was in, they had about three Surly Steamroller frames hanging from the
    ceiling. Gotta love that babyshit brown paint job.

    Anyway, glad you found somebody who knew what to do... but are you sure about the 55 thing? Seems a
    little small if you ask me, but then you get what you pay for when you ask me.

    So, more to the point: when are we going to do a Bridges of Manhattan ride? Time is running short
    for us -- we'll be heading to Buffalo for good in a month. (Weird thought...) Next weekend or the
    weekend after are about the only options.

    CC
     
  7. Carla A-G

    Carla A-G Guest

    "Corvus Corvax" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So, more to the point: when are we going to do a Bridges of Manhattan ride? Time is running short
    > for us -- we'll be heading to Buffalo for good in a month. (Weird thought...) Next weekend or the
    > weekend after are about the only options.

    Rest of June is a washout for us, it will have to be in early July.

    - CA-G

    Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!
     
  8. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

    Corvus Corvax wrote:

    > "jimbo(san)" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > Full retirement for the Fiorelli...
    >
    > Bummer!

    You're not kidding... I have had that frame for neigh on 20 years and it has real sentimental value.
    I bought the frame from some really weird dood who had it outfitted as a touring bike... It turns
    out his dad gave it to him... by way of encouragement to get out and ride... Turns out his father
    was a a track racer and raced on the track at Madison Square Garden... Back in the 30's and 40...So
    I thought it was very approriate to turn the bike into a fixie. Also the fact that me and the frame
    survived getting hit by a car... I felt like we had a bond there.

    >
    >
    > > Now fix gear track bikes are not an easy thing to come by.
    > [...bike shop woes elided...]
    >
    > The Right Way to do this would have been to hop a train into the city, go to Bicycle Habitat, and
    > talk to Martin. Last I was in, they had about three Surly Steamroller frames hanging from the
    > ceiling. Gotta love that babyshit brown paint job.

    Cost was a factor... and looking up a build on a frame started adding up... The Pista worked nice
    cause it is all done... slap a brake on it and off I go!!! Besides train fare being what it is... I
    probably saved the cost of a set of brakes by staying in the 'burbs ;-)

    >
    >
    > Anyway, glad you found somebody who knew what to do... but are you sure about the 55 thing? Seems
    > a little small if you ask me, but then you get what you pay for when you ask me.

    That's what the numbers say... I liked the fact that he will let me order another size if I am not
    happy... So the only downside is I might have to wait a week or 2 extra if needs be and the 55
    doesn't fit.

    >
    >
    > So, more to the point: when are we going to do a Bridges of Manhattan ride? Time is running short
    > for us -- we'll be heading to Buffalo for good in a month. (Weird thought...) Next weekend or the
    > weekend after are about the only options.
    >
    > CC

    Whoa whoa whoa... for good??? Never to return??? ever? Neverever???? I'll bet you will re-visit one
    day... I mean how long will you be able to stand weaving in and out of cows like they were cabs? Our
    hands are tied on the date (and no I don't enjoy having hands tied ;-))... beginning of July is all
    we have... Email me maybe we can get something going...

    Jimbo(san)
     
  9. Bill Wheeler

    Bill Wheeler Guest

    On Sun, 15 Jun 2003 11:14:36 -0400, "jimbo(san)" <[email protected]> wrote:

    [snip shopping adventure]

    Pays to shop around.

    You get the S.I.S.S yet?

    Peace, Bill

    The mind serves properly as a window glass rather than as a reflector, that is, the mind should give
    an immediate view instead of an interpretation of the world.
    :-]
     
  10. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

    Bill Wheeler wrote:

    > On Sun, 15 Jun 2003 11:14:36 -0400, "jimbo(san)" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > [snip shopping adventure]
    >
    > Pays to shop around.
    >
    > You get the S.I.S.S yet?
    >
    > Peace, Bill
    >
    > The mind serves properly as a window glass rather than as a reflector, that is, the mind should
    > give an immediate view instead of an interpretation of the world.
    > :-]

    Well it is getting beyond ridiculous by now... I got a call from the LBS... and they tell me that
    Bianchi has no 03 Pistas availbale.. the 04s go into production in another 4 weeks (the same for the
    SSs) I wouldn't see a fixie for 6 weeks (four weeks to production, 2 weeks to ship) and it looks
    judging by that info we won't see a SS for the same. I don't mind the wait there as Carla's is a
    little bit of a special order. I took a stab and called Sheldon Brown and he had 2 Pistas in my
    size... Good price...so I ordered it from him... That will be about a week... Now I have to figure
    out what to do with one wracked frame. I won't throw it away... but I sure won't ride it.

    Jimbo... the fleet continues to grow...(san)
     
  11. Carla A-G

    Carla A-G Guest

    "Bill Wheeler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > You get the S.I.S.S yet?

    They are currently being produced, we won't be getting them until August.

    - CA-G

    Can-Am Girls Kick Ass!
     
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