NYC XYZ wrote: > Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood bike dealer? > > Actually, I've never known one myself, but somehow I get the feeling > that these guys are at least supposed to care where you spend your > money. > > I contacted Peter Stull, "The Bicycleman," and though I found him > friendly at first, after a long ten or thirteen-minute telephone > conversation he hangs up on me 'cause a customer suddenly walked in the > door. He never answered 90% of my questions -- very basic ones like > "how much does it cost?" -- though it was an interesting enough > conversation otherwise where he told me about his bike races, his > customer from Australia, the guy who works for him that specializes in > recumbents.... > > Before he excused himself with the near-equivalent of French Leave, I > asked him whether I might wrap things up via e-mail. I could almost > see him shrug casually -- "sure," he said. > > Three weeks now and no response. > > So I get in touch with another dealer, Northeast Recumbents. E-mailed, > phoned, left messages...nothing. Finally got through to him last > weekend, set up a look-see tomorrow. But there's rain in the forecast, > and now this dealer is incommunicado. > > WTF?! > > Are my expectations out of order? > > The LBS on the next block from me where I got my Trek 1000c, the Bike > Stop in Astoria, was another crazy place. The owner himself insisted > on selling me the display model. It was in good condition, far as I > can tell (though by the time I'd noticed some marks and scratches, a > week had gone by and I couldn't be totally sure they weren't caused by > me somehow), but apparently all bike shops insist you pay "new" prices > for "good as new" bikes. > > Small matter that, sure enough -- but then the headset wasn't quite > right. Turned out to be defective. But Gus, the owner, tried to > convince me that its being loose was nothing to worry about! And > indeed, I could ride the bike fine...but it just didn't feel right that > I had a moving part where things are tight on other bikes. > > Or another LBS, in Manhattan, the Pedal Pushers...Evan over there is a > nutcase. He's very charming and talkative like Peter Stull, but he's > got a weird switch which somehow gets flipped and he'll go schizo on > you with his passive-agressive act. One day I came in for a flat fix. > While he was ringing up the sale, I noticed that my tire cap was gone > and asked him where it was. He told me he put it outside the shop -- > ??? I asked him what he meant. He nodded incredulously at me and > repeated that he left my tire cap outside. Not only was it a bizzare > enough thing if true, but doubly strange was the fact that it wasn't > true, he never touched my bike until I brought it in. So I asked him > how could that be...he responded that, duh, how? I used my hands, you > know, hands, and unscrewed it and gently placed it on the sidewalk. So > I'm just really mystified at what's going on -- him swiping my card and > all all this time -- and I ask him why would he do that. > > He goes, well, where do you put your TV in your place? I'm like, what? > Where do you put your TV, he repeated. I asked him why. He said that > just as I have my reasons for placing things in my apartment, so he has > his reasons for organizing his shop the way he does (actually, it's > owned by a sour old fart, Roger, who's absent half the time -- another > neurotic cat). > > Now I ask you all; does that sound crazy or what? > > What's even more bizzare is that there was a line of customers behind > me, every one non-plussed by the brief conversation. > > Tell me, is there some bike shop etiquette I didn't observe? Is there > some kind of secret bike shop salute or handshake I should have > employed? Did I bother them somehow by smiling? > > Honestly, I don't get it. Now I'll have to contact the fella over in > State College, PA, for the Velotechnik SMGTe. I am not awarding ~$3K > (maybe even more, if I don't contain my newfound lust of Rohloff > gearboxes and other exotica) to folks who don't care enough for it to > return a goddamned phone call or e-mail! > For anyone who can manage the travel, if required, there is no one like Kelvin Clark of Angletech in Woodland Park, CO http://www.angletechcycles.com/index.html I have purchased 2 bents from him. I have spent many hours--more than 12--at his shop riding and talking, dozens of phone conversations and dozens of emails. Satisfaction guaranteed. Highest quality. No churning. Always alternative suggestions for highest end components when suggested. I could go on and on but 'nuff said.' And I live 400 miles from him.