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How to survive in your local bike shop

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Bigtallfatbloke, 19 Jun 2008.

  1. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Following todays experience at the LBS

    (see here http://www.cyclechat.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=14208&page=2)

    I wondered if anybody has any advice on how muggins here and any beginners etc can avoid getting fleeced by bad LBS's?

    I am thinking about what questions to ask and what to accept /not accept as good practice etc.

    I still believe that many LBSs offer a good value for money service and for the most part do not seek to rip off the customer..(.only I havent found one around here yet:sad:)

    So perhaps we can put together the 'Cyclechat guide to surviving LBSs'?
     
  2. dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    Single most important thing to do is to use an LBS based on recommendation from someone you trust. Perhaps the one the local club use?

    Dave.
     
  3. Regulator

    Regulator Treachery is noble when aimed at tyranny.

    My top tip is never, ever take a credit or debit card in with you. Only cash! That way you have a limit enforced on your spending... :biggrin:
     
  4. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Excellent advice which I have, and probably always will, completely ignored.
     
  5. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    You need to learn to distinguish between long-established bike shops with experienced staff and rubbish shops with muppets for staff. I know both types here in Lancashire.
     
  6. Regulator

    Regulator Treachery is noble when aimed at tyranny.

    E.g. avoid Halfords and Evans'... :biggrin:
     
  7. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    If you appear to know more than they do then don't go there! Ask detailed questions. If you get vague, evasive or even aggressive answers rather than conciliatory ones spelling out the pros and cons of something don't bother.
     
  8. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    Yup. Go on a recommendation.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I guess the saying 'knowledge is power' rings true here.
     
  10. red_tom

    red_tom New Member

    Location:
    East London
    I think things changed for me when I got a copy of Zinns bike book and I started doing things myself. Whilst there are still some things that I leave to the bike shop (wheel truing for example), it's definitely saved me a lot of money. It's not just doing the work yourself, a better understanding of how it all works helps you when arranging the work with the bike shop (although in this case BTFB, it looks like they were just a bunch of to$$ers).
     
  11. Lardyboy

    Lardyboy New Member

    +1.

    And then ask detailed questions!
     
  12. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    After having problems with my rear brake, i contacted Mickle and he gave me some good tips. I'm guessing he will be along soon.
    Go in there and tell them exactly whats wrong with your bike. Ask them what they think it is and what could be causing it and what they think could be wrong. Ask straight away how much for the parts, and then ask how much fitted, or ask, is that fitted? See if they can do you abit of a deal.
    Best thing to do is talk to them aswell, talk about bikes and try and go techinical, if they start talking like they know what they are talking about then its good. Go in when its busy aswell, see how they are with customers, and see what type of bikes they have.
    My LBS has more MTB then road bikes, but he fixes my road bike and other people road bikes well.
    I also go by deals aswell, who will let you have it cheaper and if you feel welcome in the shop as soon as you walk in.
     
  13. Plax

    Plax Veteran

    Location:
    Wales
    Apparently the LBS I used (on recomendation), who I found well priced and efficient (not that I would ever name drop I knew XXX) charge a silly amount for changing a puncture. Apparently if they are too stupid to be able to change their own puncture they are stupid enough to pay the price!