Why I'll never buy from a local bike shop again

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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dim
Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

there's bike shops .... and there's bike shops

we have several here in Cambridge, and I've been ripped off a few times by many, but never return, and never recomend them to my friends

however, there is one bike shop in Cambridge that now services all my bikes .... great guys, very knowlegeable, and always go out of their way to help. These guys are all experienced and keen cyclists ... I've been using them for 4 years

People from afar as London bring their bikes to them for servicing etc

A full service costs £29 .... and one of the best wheelbuilders in the UK works there

It's all good and well saying that you should do it yourself and check youtube etc but if you are as stupid as me with DIY, get someone else to do it properly
Trek Emonda SL6
Miyata One Thousand

Wookski
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

dim wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:26 pm
there's bike shops .... and there's bike shops
So true. I am a customer of a shop that has been established for over a decade and only specialises in high end road bikes (Parlee, Pegoretti, Sarto etc). No commuters, no kids bikes and nothing pre built. The mechanic is the owner and is very reluctant to take on any new clients. He’s expensive, meticulous and extremely detail oriented- a few pros take their bikes to him to strip and rebuild every season as he’s far superior to their team mechanics. Judging by his hourly rate and workload he’s making a good living and when he hires extra mechanics he pays double what they’d earn in a regular shop. The outcome is an extremely loyal customer base who appreciate value over price. The problem with most shops is that they try to be everything to everyone. Choose your market and be the absolute best you can be for that market and don’t compromise.

by Weenie


ancker
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:29 pm

by ancker

Wookski wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:09 am
dim wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:26 pm
there's bike shops .... and there's bike shops
So true. I am a customer of a shop that has been established for over a decade and only specialises in high end road bikes (Parlee, Pegoretti, Sarto etc). No commuters, no kids bikes and nothing pre built. The mechanic is the owner and is very reluctant to take on any new clients. He’s expensive, meticulous and extremely detail oriented- a few pros take their bikes to him to strip and rebuild every season as he’s far superior to their team mechanics. Judging by his hourly rate and workload he’s making a good living and when he hires extra mechanics he pays double what they’d earn in a regular shop. The outcome is an extremely loyal customer base who appreciate value over price. The problem with most shops is that they try to be everything to everyone. Choose your market and be the absolute best you can be for that market and don’t compromise.
I'm not doubting this guy is better than pro mechanics, but I wonder how true this really is. Unless pro = local domestic pro. Or it's the Pro's personal bike or something the team likely wouldn't work on anyway. In which case I'd totally get taking to a boutique shop over having the team mechanic(s) that has 32 other bikes to get through today.

Most Pros get a completely new bike every year with the latest group, wheels, etc from their team's updated sponsor list. At the very least an update in parts and updated paint scheme. I find it unlikely that the Pros are receiving their bikes fully built by the team, shipping them off to this guy to get stripped and rebuilt, and then getting them back before riding.

And I get/believe he's extremely meticulous and detail oriented, but what does that really mean after an initial build? Once you have all of your parts installed/torqued and do the scary bits (cutting steerer/seatpost, pressing bearings) the rest of the bike is extremely easy to properly maintain. The Pros all race/ride on electronic (they've gotta be seen on their sponsor gear). So at worst it's finding the neatest place to hide the Di2 junction box, or carefully adjusting the eTap FD. Hydro brake lines are somewhat tricky, but other than bleeding, you don't have to worry about them as much as with cabled systems that are sensitive to housing length, binding, friction, etc. I don't think you need someone extremely meticulous or detail oriented. You just need someone who knows how to do it correctly.

This not commentary on whether there are bike shops or mechanics that are worth the extra money spent. They certainly exist and I'd definitely patronise them if one was nearby. I just wouldn't pay them a huge amount of money to do the 97% of bike maintenance that's _super_ easy to get right if you have the tools. And I doubt a Pro would either given there are likely a handful of team mechanics that can turn around a bike build with like 99.99% the same quality and likely much faster and for free.

But maybe I'm wrong.

ichobi
Posts: 953
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

by ichobi

Seems like this thing is universal. I have had enough bad time with bad lbs to be extremely specific about which shop i take my bike in. I am really lucky to have a reliable lbs 500 meters from my house. In Bangkok here the level of mechanic skills vary too much to trust anyone to be able to handle your expensive bike, yet the service fees are relatively low compared to US or EU that buying your own toolsets can be considerably more expensive than having your bike serviced regularly for a few years.

A complete bike assembly from scratch costs around 30-40 usd. A wash including bearing service costs less than 15-20 USD. (Of course you should be able to handle small stuff yourself). Considering I can earn more per hour I never hesitate to have them do all the servicing. Peace of mind and time well saved. They are doing well because they are known for meticulous service at a fair price. It’s nit making anyone a millionaire but they seem happy with the business.

It might be just another mechanical work, but taking care of high end bike parts can be quite finicky and you have to be really careful. The house mechanic at Specialized importer flagship store here scratched my SL6 frame from the first day it was opened out of the box. It was really shitty. Since it wasn't that big of a scratch and in hard to see part (yet still a deep scrach), I didn't bother pressing for warranty. (and I wanted to take it abroad soon). But this thing should NEVER happen for a bike that costs you 10k. It's just simply not acceptible.
Last edited by ichobi on Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Calnago
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

ancker wrote:... I don't think you need someone extremely meticulous or detail oriented. You just need someone who knows how to do it correctly.
You will rarely get it done “correctly” (at least by my standards), if it’s done by someone who isn’t extremely meticulous and detail oriented. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

Wookski
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
I'm not doubting this guy is better than pro mechanics, but I wonder how true this really is. Unless pro = local domestic pro. Or it's the Pro's personal bike or something the team likely wouldn't work on anyway.
I don’t really care whether you doubt it or not :lol: I have seen the bikes and yes, they bring new team bikes in every season. Draw whatever conclusions you want, in a world where the lbs model is failing here is an example of an operation that has been thriving for years.

Wookski
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

Calnago wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:45 pm
ancker wrote:... I don't think you need someone extremely meticulous or detail oriented. You just need someone who knows how to do it correctly.
You will rarely get it done “correctly” (at least by my standards), if it’s done by someone who isn’t extremely meticulous and detail oriented. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Calnago knows what’s up- internally routed aero bikes with mushy brakes that are greatly improved by compressionless/ segmented housing (awkward when sponsored by shimano) etc etc. Some people have different standards and aren’t satisfied with something being done “correct” when it could be perfect.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
I'm not doubting this guy is better than pro mechanics, but I wonder how true this really is. Unless pro = local domestic pro.
There are several levels of "pro" that you've missed when going from WT to local domestic.
ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
Most Pros get a completely new bike every year with the latest group, wheels, etc from their team's updated sponsor list. At the very least an update in parts and updated paint scheme. I find it unlikely that the Pros are receiving their bikes fully built by the team, shipping them off to this guy to get stripped and rebuilt, and then getting them back before riding.
Some of the mid/low level pro teams will get stock bikes sent direct to them (possibly still boxed) with a few added goodies (bars, stem, saddle, seatpin, tyres, wheels) to be fitted. I've built a good few of these. They usually needed a PDI and a thorough going over. Some of them hadn't been touched since they were assembled in the far east.
ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
The Pros all race/ride on electronic (they've gotta be seen on their sponsor gear.)
Really? (Not really) Once you get out of the pro tour most of the team issue home/training bikes will be mechanical. (cheaper, more robust, easier for the riders to look after or get serviced.)
Then focus on detail (cabling mainly) is actually important, especially if this is a tool to do your job for 25-20 or more hours a week and you can't be without it. As above, they might drop it off mid afternoon for consumables and want it back, ready to ride 9 am the following day. The better job you did first time round, the less work it is next time.
ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
But maybe I'm wrong.
Not really, just making assumptions. Not every pro is on a multimillion dollar contract with Sky.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Wookski wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:55 pm
Calnago knows what’s up- internally routed aero bikes with mushy brakes that are greatly improved by compressionless/ segmented housing (awkward when sponsored by shimano) etc etc.
Gloss finish heat shrink tube. :wink:

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Calnago
Posts: 8532
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

mattr wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:02 pm
Wookski wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:55 pm
Calnago knows what’s up- internally routed aero bikes with mushy brakes that are greatly improved by compressionless/ segmented housing (awkward when sponsored by shimano) etc etc.
Gloss finish heat shrink tube. :wink:
Aaach... please don't associate me with any of that metallic segmented housing stuff. :beerchug:
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

No, i meant i've seen segmented housing on a pros aero bike (few years ago now) disguised with heat shrink.

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Calnago
Posts: 8532
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

Yes, got it. I was more referring to Wookski’s comment which might have made some kind of association with me actually liking that stuff. Lol
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

Wookski
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

Calnago wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:31 pm
Yes, got it. I was more referring to Wookski’s comment which might have made some kind of association with me actually liking that stuff. Lol
I didn’t mean to associate you with anything other than perfection
Last edited by Wookski on Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wookski
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
But maybe I'm wrong.
Oh dear, an Australian Pro/ team principal referencing my man. You’re welcome :beerchug:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OpbWXDFcouA&t=2m8s

ancker
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:29 pm

by ancker

mattr wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:58 pm
ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
I'm not doubting this guy is better than pro mechanics, but I wonder how true this really is. Unless pro = local domestic pro.
There are several levels of "pro" that you've missed when going from WT to local domestic.
ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
Most Pros get a completely new bike every year with the latest group, wheels, etc from their team's updated sponsor list. At the very least an update in parts and updated paint scheme. I find it unlikely that the Pros are receiving their bikes fully built by the team, shipping them off to this guy to get stripped and rebuilt, and then getting them back before riding.
Some of the mid/low level pro teams will get stock bikes sent direct to them (possibly still boxed) with a few added goodies (bars, stem, saddle, seatpin, tyres, wheels) to be fitted. I've built a good few of these. They usually needed a PDI and a thorough going over. Some of them hadn't been touched since they were assembled in the far east.
ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
The Pros all race/ride on electronic (they've gotta be seen on their sponsor gear.)
Really? (Not really) Once you get out of the pro tour most of the team issue home/training bikes will be mechanical. (cheaper, more robust, easier for the riders to look after or get serviced.)
Then focus on detail (cabling mainly) is actually important, especially if this is a tool to do your job for 25-20 or more hours a week and you can't be without it. As above, they might drop it off mid afternoon for consumables and want it back, ready to ride 9 am the following day. The better job you did first time round, the less work it is next time.
ancker wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:33 pm
But maybe I'm wrong.
Not really, just making assumptions. Not every pro is on a multimillion dollar contract with Sky.
I'll agree to stop making assumptions if you'll agree that using "even a few pros bring their bikes to this guy" was misleading. Anyone reading that would think World Tour Pro was implied, not 3rd-4th teir domestic pro that gets paid to ride, but has to buy everything but their main race bike. I'll even give you Pro Continental. But still, how many people see "The pros" and think of anyone but WT pros?

That non-WT level pros bring their bikes to upstanding mechanics is completely believable. Given the number of lowly paid lower teir pros, I'd expect most use local LBS/Mechanics since their teams probably have a limited service course. A local pro that used to ride with us had to buy his own 120mm stem because the team bike he got came with a 100mm and the team wouldn't pay for the replacement, _and_ it had to be sponsor (Zipp) correct.

by Weenie


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