Bad Bike Shop Manners??

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.marketplace' started by NYC XYZ, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 00:25:51 +0000, Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > Presently, the problem is primarily SKU proliferation. Too
    > many models & colors, so it's impossible to keep a good representation
    > of what's offered in stock. But they have done a much-better job of
    > having inventory in stock, at the warehouse, when I need it. Without
    > that, I'd be out of business.


    Why not offer fewer lines and models but plenty of mix and match options,
    like traditional vs. aero wheels, taller bar and stem vs. lower racy
    setup, etc? These are the only differences between most of the models
    anyway. They share frames and other parts already, they're just thrown
    together in different combinations. IOW, sell bikes like Dell sells
    computers.

    Some smaller companies have tried this, but it makes more sense for big
    companies like Trek to do it.

    Matt O.
     


  2. "Capri" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Here's a novel concept for you. Learn how to fix a flat tire yourself!



    I've had the shop fix a flat for me more than once. There's all kinds of
    reasons for it -- not just ignorance.

    One time I had the shop change a flat because I was stupid and pinched a
    slime tube. The thing exploded slime everywhere. By the time I finished
    cleaning that mess up, I was simply not in the mood to deal with the damn
    thing anymore.

    --
    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky
    http://www.bicyclemeditations.org/
    Sponsor me for the Big Climb! See: www.active.com/donate/cpetersky06
    See the books I've set free at:
    http://bookcrossing.com/referral/Cpetersky
     
  3. max

    max Guest

    "NYC XYZ" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Don't you believe in supporting your local bike shop?
    >
    >
    > max wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > WEAK!
    > >
    > > fix it yourself, poindexter.
    > >
    > > .max


    yes. Fix it yourself, poindexter.
     
  4. Cathy Kearns

    Cathy Kearns Guest

    "The Wogster" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Say you sell 2 road bikes a month, and can get additional stock in 2
    > days, you might keep one of each low to medium end model in stock, of a
    > size that sells often. Someone wants a larger or smaller size, you can
    > order it, you sell the one you have of a certain model, you order
    > another one. High end stuff, you carry as special order, nobody wants
    > to keep a $10,000 product in inventory, unless you KNOW that it's going
    > to move, very quickly.


    Last year I bought my first road bike, a womens dimension Trek OCLV 5000.
    (To match my husband's 5200...which is why I get to start with carbon
    fiber....) Now I wander into the shop and they have 3 or 4 models of carbon
    fiber women's bikes, and a few in my size. They had a Pilot in my size,
    took it for a test drive, I wasn't so big on the more upright ride. Took
    the Madronne for a test ride, very sweet, but a bit too much. Took a
    slightly bigger Trek 5000, and loved the ride, but the guy convinced me I
    really needed the stand over height of the next one down. Went ahead and
    ordered it, assuming it would ride like the bigger 5000, and fit like the
    Madronne. That was pretty much the case, but the Madronne in the size of my
    5000 had the 700cc wheels. Mine has the overly precious 650s, but other
    than it looking a bit cute it's a great bike. (Anyone who talks to the bike
    designers, yes women would prefer to have the same wheels as everyone else
    in their riding group, so we can share tubes in case of emergencies...and
    the pink Pilots, you have got to be kidding...) Moral of the story is you
    do have to carry enough stock for everyone to test ride something close to
    what they order. If I couldn't test drive the Madronne in my size, and the
    slightly bigger 5000 I would have gone to another bike shop until I could
    find one. You don't have to carry every style in everysize, but you gotta be
    able to get an approximation.
     
  5. Edward Dolan

    Edward Dolan Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > After about twenty five years in the bike business in both retail and
    > manufacturing, I"ve seen little change in the mostly poor attitudes of
    > bike shop employees. I at first blamed the shop owners but over time
    > came to realize that they were caught between a rock and a hard place.
    > The only source of employees is from the ranks of the young
    > testosterone laden male racer wannabees who have no other interests. As
    > far as they are concerned anyone who comes into the shop to buy
    > something non-racing related is someone to put up with because they
    > have to. A shop employee once told me that to be a "real" cyclist you
    > should be able to put up with pain and suffering. That seems to be
    > pretty much a universal attitude amongst them. They also don't like to
    > deal with anyone over the age of thirty, chances are if you are forty
    > and have a bit of body fat you might as well be invisible. When I was
    > in the business I would often stop at shops around the country. Many
    > times I spent ten or fifteen minutes walking around the shop and was
    > never even asked the basic "may I help you"question.
    > I realize that dealing with the public can be frustrating at times,
    > when I was building bikes in Eugene Oregon I occasionaly spent time in
    > a friend's shop and was alwaYS Amused at his having to bite his tongue
    > when people came in asking for such things as used inner tubes. It's
    > tough business that has changed a lot over the years. Most of the mom
    > and pop shops are gone. Over the last year in the Boston area I've seen
    > at least 5 or 6 shops close. One of them belonged to friend who, as far
    > as I could see did nothing wrong. He had a beautiful modern well laid
    > out shop in a great location with excellent employees who were great at
    > dealing with customers. After ten years he finally had to throw in the
    > towel and declare bankruptcy. Again, a tough business and I salute
    > anyone who make a living at it.
    >
    > Dick Ryan


    Mr. Ryan is one of the true pioneers in the recumbent bicycle business. I
    still have a lot of his literature on the fabled Ryan Vanguard, a wonderful
    LWB that I used to dream about. Alas, I never got one. Instead I got the
    less expensive Infinity.

    But I never bothered much with bike shops and their personnel. Instead, I
    got the literature and ordered all of my recumbents by mail order. I was
    never disappointed. It got to the point where I could know all I needed to
    know just by looking at the pictures and reading the literature.

    The one recumbent bike shop that I did visit was the Hostel Shoppe in
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin. It was like a little trip to Heaven for me. All
    those recumbents that I could see in the flesh! But mail order worked just
    fine for me and I never did buy a recumbent bike from a shop in a physical
    sense (I did order a couple of recumbents from the Hostel Shoppe
    eventually - which were shipped to me via truck).

    It was an adventure to buy a recumbent back in the good old days of the 70's
    and 80's. I think there were only a very few specialized recumbent shops
    back then. That has changed somewhat now but, as Mr. Ryan notes, it is still
    not an easy business to succeed at.

    Regards,

    Ed Dolan - Minnesota
     
  6. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Capri wrote:
    > Here's a novel concept for you. Learn how to fix a flat tire yourself!



    I know how to fix a flat -- I have to on the road -- but it's only
    $7-10 for someone to fix a flat, so why not support the LBS if there's
    one nearby: they do it faster, and I don't get dirty, besides.

    Next!
     
  7. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    So it's considered bad bike shop manners to have them fix flats???



    max wrote:
    >
    >
    > yes. Fix it yourself, poindexter.
     
  8. G.T. wrote:
    > Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com wrote:
    > > G.T. wrote:
    > >
    > >>Qui si parla Campagnolo-www.vecchios.com wrote:
    > >>
    > >>>
    > >>>The converstion in a retail place should in ALL cases be ended by the
    > >>>'customer', not the employee. A bike shop is supposed to be the expert,
    > >>>the person that listens and then, perhaps, sells. Sometimes it IS a
    > >>>chat room, and that's how you grow your biz. If a person is comfy just
    > >>>talking, then he will be comfy later giving you money. Pretty simple.
    > >>>NOTHING is so important in a toy store, that the employee shuts a
    > >>>person down, in order to talk to another, even if they have a $20 bill
    > >>>stuck in their nose, waiting to buy. The surly attitude displayed by
    > >>>some in this thread is WHY many bike shops go under. They commit
    > >>>suicide, they don't go outta biz.
    > >>>
    > >>
    > >>I've seen guys stay in a shop literally for hours without ever intending
    > >>to purchase a thing. You would entertain these guys for that long?

    > >
    > >
    > > I think you get the impression that we sit down in our little lounge
    > > and yack about everything including some bike stuff.

    >
    > Do you excuse yourself for a minute to help another paying customer
    > who's been standing there waiting 20 minutes just to buy a tube? Or
    > possibly even a larger purchase?
    >
    > Greg


    Well, we all learn to multi-task. I can sell a tube while I continue to
    talk about the intricacies of an ERGO lever. It just isn't that hard.
    Some here thinks it's akin to talking in the UN or something. It's not,
    it's pretty simple.
     
  9. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Yeah, The Bicycleman is really rolling in the dough over there in
    Alfred Station if he could so easily drop me, a $3-4K customer, for
    whoever it was walking through the door that time! I should have known
    that's why he could afford to open only four days a week!



    G.T. wrote:
    >
    >
    > Do you excuse yourself for a minute to help another paying customer
    > who's been standing there waiting 20 minutes just to buy a tube? Or
    > possibly even a larger purchase?
    >
    > Greg
    >
    > --
    > "All my time I spent in heaven
    > Revelries of dance and wine
    > Waking to the sound of laughter
    > Up I'd rise and kiss the sky" - The Mekons
     
  10. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >
    >
    > There's really no such thing as a "floor model" in a bike shop. In general,
    > bikes don't get ridden much and not purchased, certainly not current models
    > anyway. And the ability to just build another one up? Not so easy (or smart)
    > to have enough inventory to do that... it's a very easy way for a shop to go
    > broke. Let's see now, the Trek 1000 comes in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 & 63cm
    > mens sizes, plus 43, 47, 51, 54 & 57cm womens. One color for womens, two for
    > men. So if a shop have only ONE, just one of each, they'd have 19 of that
    > one single model in stock. And there are, what, 25 road bike models this
    > year, maybe more?


    Thanks for the insight. But I'm not sure how your explanation applies
    to my case, if that was your intention: he didn't say that that was the
    only Trek 1000c he had -- and in which case I could have waited, I
    didn't need to walk out the door with one that day. But what could I
    do? He tells me that all bike shops do it that way -- and there would
    have been no good way to tell a new one from the floor "sample," as I
    call it.

    > Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that goes
    > broke and one that stays in business. More important even than margins.
    > That's why it's unlikely he'd have another bike to build up "new" for you.
    > Having said all that, if there is a boxed bike that's sitting in back,
    > building it up is no big deal... why not?


    That's what I was wondering. If he's just putting another one back up
    on the wall, why not that one for me? And, again, I was willing to
    wait.

    (Please don't misunderstand -- this particular issue is no big deal for
    me. What I was really wondering about was the other stuff.)

    > Presta valve caps serve no reasonable purpose that I can see. They certainly
    > aren't air-tight. The best they might do is keep the area clean so you don't
    > blow grit into your tube, but I've never seen that cause any trouble.


    Hmm, okay. I just thought that everything had a purpose when it comes
    to machines, down to the smallest detail (and decal)!

    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    > www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  11. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >
    >
    > There's really no such thing as a "floor model" in a bike shop. In general,
    > bikes don't get ridden much and not purchased, certainly not current models
    > anyway. And the ability to just build another one up? Not so easy (or smart)
    > to have enough inventory to do that... it's a very easy way for a shop to go
    > broke. Let's see now, the Trek 1000 comes in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 & 63cm
    > mens sizes, plus 43, 47, 51, 54 & 57cm womens. One color for womens, two for
    > men. So if a shop have only ONE, just one of each, they'd have 19 of that
    > one single model in stock. And there are, what, 25 road bike models this
    > year, maybe more?


    Thanks for the insight. But I'm not sure how your explanation applies
    to my case, if that was your intention: he didn't say that that was the
    only Trek 1000c he had -- and in which case I could have waited, I
    didn't need to walk out the door with one that day. But what could I
    do? He tells me that all bike shops do it that way -- and there would
    have been no good way to tell a new one from the floor "sample," as I
    call it.

    > Inventory management is the key to differentiating between a shop that goes
    > broke and one that stays in business. More important even than margins.
    > That's why it's unlikely he'd have another bike to build up "new" for you.
    > Having said all that, if there is a boxed bike that's sitting in back,
    > building it up is no big deal... why not?


    That's what I was wondering. If he's just putting another one back up
    on the wall, why not that one for me? And, again, I was willing to
    wait.

    (Please don't misunderstand -- this particular issue is no big deal for
    me. What I was really wondering about was the other stuff.)

    > Presta valve caps serve no reasonable purpose that I can see. They certainly
    > aren't air-tight. The best they might do is keep the area clean so you don't
    > blow grit into your tube, but I've never seen that cause any trouble.


    Hmm, okay. I just thought that everything had a purpose when it comes
    to machines, down to the smallest decal, pun intended!

    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    > www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  12. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    The Wogster wrote:
    >
    >
    > I am sure some shops wouldn't mind building one out of the box, if it
    > makes the customer happy, and the customer is willing to wait a few days
    > for it....


    That's what I'd figured! So I'm asking here...is this really some
    industry-standard practice, then? As a kid I want to walk out of the
    shop with my brand-new toy, but now I can wait another day or two or
    more. I mean, even when I buy magazines in the bike shop I try to get
    the "freshest" looking copy.

    > They do keep water and dirt out of the valve, and dirt could lead to a
    > valve failure. Thst's rare though, my bike is missing one, and the car
    > is missing 3, no ill effects.


    Okay. Still don't know why Evan keeps them outside the shop on the
    sidewalk.... ;-)

    > W
     
  13. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    It's amazing how people see what they want to see.

    He was the one doing ~85% of the talking.

    (Now how many times do I have to say that before I'm accused of being
    repetitive?)



    ellis wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > Thirteen minute conversation? The longest I've ever talked to a bike shop
    > on the phone was a minute. A bike shop owner is not a bartender.
    >
    > "Do you have this in stock? OK, good."
    > "How much?"
    > "What time you open until?"
    > "Thanks. See ya."
    >
    > I buy lot of stuff online and do all my own work.
     
  14. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Major thanks for the ref! I often go that way, either towards Coney
    Island or off to the Rockaways. This shop is very centrally-located!



    Steven M. O'Neill wrote:
    >
    >
    > I just came from there -- it's Bicycle Station on Vanderbilt
    > Ave. in Brooklyn. The owner, Mike, is friendly, knowledgeable
    > and refreshingly competent. Prices are even very reasonable.
    >
    > (I'm not related, just a satisfied customer.)
    >
    > Here's the info in Google local:
    > http://bicyclestation.notlong.com
    >
    > --
    > Steven O'Neill [email protected]
    > Brooklyn, NY
     
  15. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...

    ....

    > > Presta valve caps serve no reasonable purpose that I can see. They certainly
    > > aren't air-tight. The best they might do is keep the area clean so you don't
    > > blow grit into your tube, but I've never seen that cause any trouble.

    >
    > Hmm, okay. I just thought that everything had a purpose when it comes
    > to machines, down to the smallest detail (and decal)!


    The caps are pretty important in bad weather to keep the area clean and
    usable. I've seen them get pretty well iced up in cold weather, and
    jammed with grit in wet weather. Those of you in San Diego, Miami or
    Phoenix may not have to worry about, but in New England we do...

    --
    Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in the
    newsgroups if possible).
     
  16. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Yes, I did say The Big Fella!

    What, you didn't know that THIS is the afterlife and we're in Hell??



    Tom Keats wrote:
    >
    >
    > Ya but don't recumbents emanate from The Dark Side? ;-)
    >
    >
    > cheers,
    > Tom
    >
    > --
    > -- Nothing is safe from me.
    > Above address is just a spam midden.
    > I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  17. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Tom Kunich wrote:
    > Let me tell you a little about bad bicycle shop manners.
    >
    > 1) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    > most of which have to do with what parts cost. Well, to anyone that has had
    > experience in a small shop they'd know that they can't tell you what most
    > parts cost because they try to buy them from the cheapest source at the time
    > they;re ordered and sometimes the difference in price can be 100%.


    He should have said that, then. And if he thought I was the
    competition or something like that, he could have said it wasn't his
    policy to give out prices over the phone.

    Etc.

    > 2) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    > and apparently doesn't know that small shops only have one or two people in
    > them and walk-in money-in-hand customers have priority over time wasting
    > phone callers.


    Did you actually read what I wrote??? I'm begging him to take my
    $3K!!! Part of the call was to determine whether options might cost
    another $1K!!!!

    > 3) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    > and doesn't know that small shops make most of their money off of labor from
    > repairing bicycles and time spent on the phone answering questions for
    > someone they're in all likelihood never to see is taking money directly out
    > of the till.


    I guess I forgive The Bicycleman...after all, he only *heard* me over
    the phone, whereas even you, who has my words in writing, doesn't know
    a sale when it stuffs money in your mouth!!

    > 4) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    > and whines to everyone else that the bicycle shop was rude to them without
    > mentioning how rude they were to take up valuable time and then complain
    > that they weren't satisfied with the answers they got or that paying
    > customers should have been made to wait by someone who will never enter
    > their shop but loves to take up their time.


    Of course, you're not whining here? Or am I keeping you up?

    You can try ALT+CTRL+DEL or my new Usenet Reader Satisfaction Hotline
    at 800-GET-LOST.
     
  18. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    David Kerber wrote:
    >
    >
    > The caps are pretty important in bad weather to keep the area clean and
    > usable. I've seen them get pretty well iced up in cold weather, and
    > jammed with grit in wet weather. Those of you in San Diego, Miami or
    > Phoenix may not have to worry about, but in New England we do...
    >
    > --
    > Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in the
    > newsgroups if possible).



    Great point! I was just about to give up my valve cap fetish, too,
    until you installed visions of myself freezing over trying to fix a
    flat, only to find out that I can't pump 'cause of an ice-sealed
    uncovered valve!
     
  19. Mike Rice

    Mike Rice Guest

    On 23 Jan 2006 10:46:49 -0800, "NYC XYZ" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >Tom Kunich wrote:
    >> Let me tell you a little about bad bicycle shop manners.
    >>
    >> 1) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    >> most of which have to do with what parts cost. Well, to anyone that has had
    >> experience in a small shop they'd know that they can't tell you what most
    >> parts cost because they try to buy them from the cheapest source at the time
    >> they;re ordered and sometimes the difference in price can be 100%.

    >
    >He should have said that, then. And if he thought I was the
    >competition or something like that, he could have said it wasn't his
    >policy to give out prices over the phone.
    >
    >Etc.
    >
    >> 2) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    >> and apparently doesn't know that small shops only have one or two people in
    >> them and walk-in money-in-hand customers have priority over time wasting
    >> phone callers.

    >
    >Did you actually read what I wrote??? I'm begging him to take my
    >$3K!!! Part of the call was to determine whether options might cost
    >another $1K!!!!
    >
    >> 3) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    >> and doesn't know that small shops make most of their money off of labor from
    >> repairing bicycles and time spent on the phone answering questions for
    >> someone they're in all likelihood never to see is taking money directly out
    >> of the till.

    >
    >I guess I forgive The Bicycleman...after all, he only *heard* me over
    >the phone, whereas even you, who has my words in writing, doesn't know
    >a sale when it stuffs money in your mouth!!
    >
    >> 4) Someone who calls on the telephone and wants a dozen questions answered
    >> and whines to everyone else that the bicycle shop was rude to them without
    >> mentioning how rude they were to take up valuable time and then complain
    >> that they weren't satisfied with the answers they got or that paying
    >> customers should have been made to wait by someone who will never enter
    >> their shop but loves to take up their time.

    >
    >Of course, you're not whining here? Or am I keeping you up?
    >
    >You can try ALT+CTRL+DEL or my new Usenet Reader Satisfaction Hotline
    >at 800-GET-LOST.


    Hi NYC. Hope your purchase experience goes smoothly for you from here
    on out (maybe this is already too late?).

    Just wanted to thank you for the way you posted in the above quoted
    text. It was easy to follow the 'conversation' when the points you
    were responding to were included above your reply. In some (seems like
    roughly half today) of your posts you have been typing your message
    above the older ones, it really is somewhat more confusing to follow
    that way. Watch out or Ed D. might call you an idiot. He normally gets
    set off by those who top post.

    Of coarse he is glad to have you in the group and might refrain from
    exressing his more normally combative nature when responding to you.
    Most of the rest of us aren't so lucky, and have learned to ignore his
    more incoherent tirades. You haven't been here long enough to have
    witnessed that side, good for you.

    Again, welcome to the group(s), and good luck with your two wheeled
    ventures!

    Indiana Mike
     
  20. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Mike Rice wrote:
    >
    >
    > Hi NYC. Hope your purchase experience goes smoothly for you from here
    > on out (maybe this is already too late?).


    Hello, Mike! Thanks for the well-wishes -- I think I'm helping out
    someone going out of business soon, NorthEast Recumbents. It was
    amazing riding that SMGTe!! What an introduction to recumbent bicycles
    -- I can't remember feeling the potholes which I would riding an
    upright!!! I could almost fall asleep on that thing!!!!

    > Just wanted to thank you for the way you posted in the above quoted
    > text. It was easy to follow the 'conversation' when the points you
    > were responding to were included above your reply. In some (seems like
    > roughly half today) of your posts you have been typing your message
    > above the older ones, it really is somewhat more confusing to follow
    > that way.


    You know, if it's a short sentence or two, something like that, I just
    dash off whatever -- hence the top-posting. Also, some don't like
    scrolling down just to see a few sentences. And I often prefer a
    "bottom-heavy" visual in many contexts -- just seems to look more
    "appropriate" to have "the cherry" on top, as it were.

    > Watch out or Ed D. might call you an idiot. He normally gets
    > set off by those who top post.


    Why, is he a cranky bike shop owner?

    > Of coarse he is glad to have you in the group and might refrain from
    > exressing his more normally combative nature when responding to you.
    > Most of the rest of us aren't so lucky, and have learned to ignore his
    > more incoherent tirades. You haven't been here long enough to have
    > witnessed that side, good for you.


    Oh, he tried to tickle me too, but I think I placated him with some
    pin-ups.

    > Again, welcome to the group(s), and good luck with your two wheeled
    > ventures!


    Hey, thanks! Here's hoping God's sense of humor doesn't run out on
    me...I need to get that self-supported know-how.

    > Indiana Mike
     
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