Bike Shop Rant

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5/6/2016 11:29 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/6/2016 5:02 PM

So I've been going to this one bike shop , ever since I got into biking . Bought my first bike there , been there for years . They're awesome , I hold the owner and all the staff in the highest respect , they're all some of the coolest people I've met . They always help me out and are all genuine guys . Get my bike sorted out , good selection and vibe , but it's a place where I can walk in and feel like home , not like a "business" .

I've had blown bearings in my rear hub , along with 3 broken spokes . Some know my local shop moved farther away , no longer in bike distance and I don't have a car so I got my mom to drive me around to different shops , just to see the service and check them out . Making this thread off experience .

I went to 2 shops , the first being Caps..

Been here before and they have a good shop but the staff have been eh , last time I went in with my WTP Supreme hub the guy was like "you'll need to buy a new wheel if you want to run guards" where I simply asked "do you have any universal guards that will work" . Probably thinks I'm a dumbass , anyways I go in . I'm like "Hey , I have 3 broken spokes , and I blew the bearings in the hub . How much will it be to get the spokes replaced and bearings installed ? So he takes it to the back and comes out a minute later . Word for word , he tells me "so we checked it out and it turns out a nipple is pulling out of your rim , it's cracked internally . I'm gonna have to take your tire and unlace your wheel to check but you'll need a new rim ." I was like , who the fuck do you think I am ? I asked for my wheel and walked out . What a joke .

The next shop was Bicycle Sports Pacific , which turns out was near by . I knew them slightly , so I went in and talked for a moment . Went to the shop guys and I said "hey , I just came from caps and they were being dumb , ALL I want are 3 spokes replaced and new hub bearings , that's it . How much will it be?" And again , word for word ,"well to take the wheel and check out will be 50$ , plus a hub rebuild is another 30$ on top . Each bearing will be 12$ ( x2 ) and each spoke will cost you 3$ . Plus each day you don't pick up your bike is another 2-5$ ( I forgot ) . My mom was like "let's go to the other shop"

I am super bummed from these 2 shops , as I've easily spent thousands upon thousands in bikes and parts , as well as maintence and service . I do NOT ever claim to be a mechanic , I fuck my shit up too , so I rely on people to help me out . Plus , I enjoy going to my local shops. But as of today , I will only being dealing with my local and online orders such as Transition and 3ride , because frankly I will much rather support the people the help me out then go to a shit shop . I understand business , and I respect the concept of money through it , but come on ... I've got nothing but respect for my local shop . The owner was once a huge BMX guy in his younger times , my friend / mechanic James is sponsored by Deluxe , and Anthony Messere who rides DJ / Slopestyle goes there. You can tell they all love bikes and it really makes the difference when going in , you can feel the passion and it's not just "business" . It's awesome that I can have a shop like that around , and help support them .

I know it's a long read but if you have a cool shop , help them out , or if someone online gives you good service give them your business . I'm gonna buy my local shop a 24 pack of beer and a pie to say thanks , they're fuckin sick they hold it down . Awesome people .

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Instagram : braydenbuckingham
My Cult 2 Short

5/6/2016 12:28 PM

my local shop just lets me go in the back and use all the tools and everything because they know they dont know shit i toss em lunch money for letting me use the tools

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1996 dyno slammer, 1997 mosh pro, 1998 gt vertigo, 2000 haro backtrail x3, 2004 free agent tigercat, 2005 volume dinosaur, 2005 s&m black bike, 2013 stolen saint 24", 2015 flybikes proton

5/6/2016 12:33 PM

JonnyGanja wrote:

my local shop just lets me go in the back and use all the tools and everything because they know they dont know shit i toss em ...more

That's sick , ya with mine I can usually go in the back and work on my bike if it isn't busy .Sometimes they'll toss me a pop or something and throw on an edit or movie and I can dial my bike while watching Travis Hughes bar - manual - 180 whip haha .

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Instagram : braydenbuckingham
My Cult 2 Short

5/6/2016 12:35 PM

It's rare to find a shop like that these days. Look after them and they'll look after you smile

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5/6/2016 12:45 PM

My shop is my garage. Buy tools, they are never a bad investment.

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Da Laird

unfuckwithable ill

Refs-brokenbmx, MaximusBikes, Brian_Griffin, Colonydirt94, Aebasher



5/6/2016 1:00 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/6/2016 1:01 PM

I think in a lot of general bike shops, they just aren't comfortable working on BMX bikes.

They aren't experienced with them, and it makes them a little more hesitant to work on them.

Did you check and actually see if your rim was cracked on the inside? That could actually be true.

To give you a frame of reference, here's what we would charge:

Wheel True - $30
Wheel Build - $60

Spokes are $1 each, or $25 for 36 -- if there's more than a couple broken spokes, we generally suggest a fresh wheel build with new spokes

Bearing Swap - $30
Bearings - $10 each for most hubs

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Chris

www.bmxtransition.com
Canadian BMX Mailorder
Instagram: @transitionbmx

5/6/2016 1:39 PM

I'd want to know how the guy knew there was a crack in the rim just by taking it out the back for a couple of mins.

After working in the industry for a while, I'd definitely suggest getting some tools and learning how to do everything yourself though. It doesn't take much for an order to not be delivered or go missing, the wrong part to be sent, the part to be out of stock from the supplier, or some other complication. Meaning you could end up without a bike for over a week. Whereas you could order the part from a shop that has it in stock, fit it yourself, and it's done. And it's all really easy on a bmx once you've played around and familiarised yourself with it.
If there was a good local shop, I'd still order anything that wasn't urgent from them. But to get my bike working, I'd want it done asap.

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5/6/2016 1:56 PM

Not knowing BMX bike is not an excuse , you run a business , you shouldn't charge more for your lack of knowledge . I'm the one paying you ultimately . 30$ for a swap is understandable , and then 20$ for both bearings fine . 50$ . The one shop wanted 50$ to take it and 30$ to top it off ( literally 50$ to give it to them and 30$ to take it apart ) That's already 70$ before bearings and spokes . That's theft in certain provinces lol .

My rim isn't cracked and if it is I'd rather order off you

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Instagram : braydenbuckingham
My Cult 2 Short

5/6/2016 2:03 PM

Brayden_Buckingham wrote:

Not knowing BMX bike is not an excuse , you run a business , you shouldn't charge more for your lack of knowledge . I'm the ...more

Tell ya what. Open up your own shop and deal with rent, over head, employee pay, and unexpected bills and then come tell me what is too much money.

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Da Laird

unfuckwithable ill

Refs-brokenbmx, MaximusBikes, Brian_Griffin, Colonydirt94, Aebasher



5/6/2016 2:24 PM

Brayden_Buckingham wrote:

Not knowing BMX bike is not an excuse , you run a business , you shouldn't charge more for your lack of knowledge . I'm the ...more

Ricked_Em wrote:

Tell ya what. Open up your own shop and deal with rent, over head, employee pay, and unexpected bills and then come tell me ...more

You're pretty good at turning things around , blows by 75% of what I said lol . Always so negative. Look what Chris said .

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Instagram : braydenbuckingham
My Cult 2 Short

5/6/2016 2:37 PM

Not only will my local shop replace your stock bearings with pimp ass ceramic bearings, they can powder coat your bike any color you want. Basically they can do anything. And they're sponsored by redbull so whenever I go in I get a can for free lol

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It’s all bmx

5/6/2016 2:48 PM

Brayden_Buckingham wrote:

You're pretty good at turning things around , blows by 75% of what I said lol . Always so negative. Look what Chris said .

You're young and don't quite understand how it works. A-you're not a regular there and you've never spent money there and yet you expect them to bend over backwards for you. B-since you're not a regular there they want to service the people who buy from there. C-They want to make it worth their time for the job because they have the above mentioned things to pay for. I work in the service industry 6 days a week and people come in all the time demanding better pricing and better service for no real reason. You were the common denominator in the two new shops you walked into........

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Da Laird

unfuckwithable ill

Refs-brokenbmx, MaximusBikes, Brian_Griffin, Colonydirt94, Aebasher



5/6/2016 3:15 PM

Ricked_Em wrote:

You're young and don't quite understand how it works. A-you're not a regular there and you've never spent money there and yet ...more

Non of that gives them a reason to over charge though. What they should've done is look up all the parts that are needed from a supplier (assuming they don't carry every size bearing that exists), write a written quote with a break down of parts needed and labour cost. They should be able to justify $50 just to look at something. The whole thing is a 30 minute job. I'd charge £15 for the hub service, £15 for the spoke replacement, plus the cost of parts. Probably no more than £55 in total (I don't know what that equates to in dollars). I'd also give a time scale for parts to arrive, and get it done the day they arrive.

I do this on a daily basis. My expected income to the shop is roughly £500 on an average week just on labour (busy periods I can take over £800 in a week). I take home about £230 a week. The rest is profit, plus the profit on all the parts which is usually 100% mark up, sometimes more. This is just the repair side of the business and doesn't include parts or accessories, or bike sales.

I often do deals and discounts, especially if the job goes easily or I build a rapport with the customer, to ensure they come back.

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5/6/2016 4:26 PM

Ricked_Em wrote:

Tell ya what. Open up your own shop and deal with rent, over head, employee pay, and unexpected bills and then come tell me ...more

Brayden_Buckingham wrote:

You're pretty good at turning things around , blows by 75% of what I said lol . Always so negative. Look what Chris said .

Ricked_Em wrote:

You're young and don't quite understand how it works. A-you're not a regular there and you've never spent money there and yet ...more

Never once gave anyone a hard time about pricing or shop . Presuming someone is an idiot saying you need new parts everytime I walk in says something about the shop more than what I can say in a thread . Hopefully you are not one of those people.

"You're not a regular so they want to service who buy from there" lmao

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Instagram : braydenbuckingham
My Cult 2 Short

5/6/2016 6:02 PM

Unfortunately there are no bmx shops in philly anymore. You can find some parts here and there but luckily I've found a couple regular shops with employees who know and/or ride bmx bikes at least so they're not completely ignorant/arrogant

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5/6/2016 6:26 PM

ironmaiden666 wrote:

Unfortunately there are no bmx shops in philly anymore. You can find some parts here and there but luckily I've found a couple ...more

Community Bike Shop(I think that's the name?) had some bmx parts and bikes when I was down there last month, the owner was cool as hell too and even offered us free beer through a sponsor they had, my friend was all over that one haha. But yeah, not too much from the other shops there. Bikesmith saved my ass last year when I got a flat down there, they were stoked on our FBM & Little Devil apparel but mentioned how they don't get to work on a lot of bmx related stuff anymore.





Hanging out at the bike shop is one of my fondest memories. Years ago you didn't even have to hit anyone up in the morning, it was always go to the bike shop and everyone was already there hanging out waiting to go ride. The shop I work at currently (Different one from that one) is a fun hangout place too. If we want, we can throw on some bmx DVDs or even older VHS tapes of Props, Demolition, etc, and just hang out while I work on stuff.

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5/6/2016 6:59 PM

Community bikes and boards is where I got 2 of my bikes built. They are opening a shop in Haddonfield, NJ soon. I had a problem installing my bottom a while back and I went to a local shop in Deptford, NJ. I think they under charged me it was very cheap for the amount of time they spent. I don't know much when it comes BMX but a quick conversation with and employee and I can tell if they know their shit. Last year I was in Baltimore and had an issue with my hub. The owner wasn't around but the young kid that was working fixed it for free and even did some other minor work. I gave him some money even though he kept telling me to keep it. He told me he loves working on bmx bikes so he didn't care doing it for free. I'm not sure the owner would have been happy about that but I was. Bottom line is sometimes you get a great deal sometimes you have to pay what is worth. Running a business isn't cheap so they have to make money in order to stay in business. Either it's cheaper for you to buy the parts and do it yourself or you have to pay what they ask. I trust the shops I go it's I don't even ask the price I just tell them to work on it and let me know how much when they are done. Also a thing to think about is things don't always work out like it should. If they mess something up while working on your bike, they will most likely lose money trying to rectify it.

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5/6/2016 7:31 PM

Decent bike shops with good customer service are kind of hard to come by these days, or atleast in my area. I havent found one that i am willing to give my money to since i left NJ. Im in the DC area and all they have around here are MTB shops or road bike shops filled with snobby rich folk or hipsters looking for a new set of wheels to get to the local starbucks. Recently i was in search of a 24mm fork cap and the mechanics at multiple shops tried to sell me a star nut style compression bolt for over 25 bucks and was dumbfounded that they even make different types. I feel your pain.

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That moment in life when you realize everything is either a potato, or not a potato.

5/6/2016 8:47 PM

Where I live, certain specific sealed bearings are usually mostly available only online unless I have my local bike shop order for me, which I might as well at that point, order them by myself and install them by myself. Long years of trial and error and tons of research, etc. plus buying like most of the necessary tools does a HELL OF A LOT. When I got my very first bike like 5+ years ago, which was a Hyper Mike Spinner Pro, I went to the bike shop and I bought a flat cone wrench, for those of you who know how to properly work on unsealed hubs. And pretty much, I figured out everything else myself. Took much time.

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Bought from: adam1234, tomdon (2), oscarbmx, the balt, smokesmokesmoke

5/6/2016 10:58 PM

You know the way to make a small fortune from bmx?

Start with a large one.

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5/6/2016 11:45 PM

Mychaylo wrote:

You know the way to make a small fortune from bmx?

Start with a large one.

That's what she said

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5/7/2016 12:01 AM

The best shop is the one that is in your garage. The best bike mechanic is you.

I only rely on shops to buy stuff, then I don't say anything anymore. Whenever I go back, they try to sell me something. I went back to the place where I bought my BMX (in town-so 1 hour away) to ask about any jams happening. BMX scene is now dead. Do you want to buy a fat tire MTB? or this road bike? What about this one? (They had about 3 BMXes dumped outside from guys who didn't want them anymore, rusting away). Even my old friends who used to dig with me were onto motorcycles and cars. Their BMX was left alone (I wager I could buy all those high end completes-WTP Envy, WTP Versus, etc, Fit WiFi, etc for as little as 20-50 bucks each......)

I went to Thailand (Udon Thani) to the MTB shop. I wanted them to change my fork oil. No chance. "Buy a new fork, I can sell you this one". So I ended up buying oil, tools, and an overhaul kit for my fork and shipped the lot here. Same thing for bleeding my brakes that somehow ingested some water (as there are no MTB trails here mine is used to explore the country side and I come often across small streams where I had to submerge the bike). THey didn't have the fluid and wanted a brake change. For my derailleur pulleys, I bought some crappy thai ones (LA Bicycle Co). I was really mad at the guy until I discovered that the Thai government was putting pressure on shops to sell Thai made bikes (pieces of serious crap).

I also like wrenching on stuff, which is why I am fully equipped: I can go from fixing a flat on my BMX (a pain to get those 20inch tires out) to overhauling my MTB suspension.

Of course, amassing all those tools take quite a long time, but it's okay as you learn the ropes progressively, and as soon as you want to tackle something more challenging, you order a tool and you have a crack at it. It's a really fun game for me.

When it comes to servicing the BMX or the MTB, I enjoy working on the BMX more as it is SO SIMPLE (mechanically) from the MTB. No suspension. No front derailleur. No rear derailleur. No hydraulic disc brakes. No shifters. No clipless pedals. Hell, the seat isn't even for sitting on.

BMXes are a great way to start leaning the ropes on. They are so simple and yet so strong that even an error won't cost you the world.Spokes are harder to work with tho as they don't flex as much (due to their shorter length). Apart from that, even the headset and the BB are dinosaur-like when you compare to MTB technology.

Wrench by yourself. I went from MTB to BMX to cars in no time. Sadly, shops are now becoming shops: it's a place where you buy stuff.

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It doesn't matter where a train goes. It's decidin' to get on that does.

5/7/2016 8:30 AM

from what I have experienced, the bike shops are so used to the people in their not being knowledgeable that they get into a rut. Not saying it''s an excuse, but around here, the bike shops are usually filled with soccer mom and/or dad who has childs Wal Mart bike that broke, and the want it fixed. the mechanics get passive in what they do and it just sort of spirals downward. the shop also knows it can charge like it "shouldn't" b/c most of those people just whip out their credit card and go....they don't know how to compare.

I do also notice tha tmost of the LBS's focus on road and MTB becasue they have more components...they are trickier to deal with. BMX bikes, at least to me, are very simple machines. I think most of the BMX guys around here do their own work on their bikes, so the shops don't see much product come in. I know the one shop I go to will do work on BMX bikes, but mainly focus on MTB,s.

We have 2 BMX specific shops that I go to, and they are the places I would take my BMX to have work done that I couldn't do...which is mostly BB's and wheel truing. These are also the shops where you go to "hang". Many of the other LBS's are full of epic beards, flannel, and Starbucks cups...lots of hipster stuff. I don't mind most of that, but I don't like the "fashion show" that goes on in those worlds. It seems like in the BMX shops, the talk is more about riding, parts, the good old days etc...less posing. Ia msure there are BMX shops where there is tons of posing,

The place I got the weirdest looks from when I took my bike into was REI. The local REI has a really cool mechanic that I take my MTB to, and I was on the way to ride some trails, and my brake cable was slipping. The REI was on the way. I rolled in and he was like "dude. I haven't seen a bike like that in years." He called the other mechanics out and they were all talking about it. The other floor people were like "why is that "toy" in our store? He knew his stuff about ALL bikes - which is why I like him - and solved the problem (which is 20+ year old cables). Some would not consider REI a "local" place, but I definitely do.

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5/7/2016 9:35 AM

Definite shout out to Community bikes. They're doing more for BMX than any other shop in philly including working at the local pump track/lending bikes for kids to ride there and willing to order anything they don't have in stock

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5/7/2016 6:47 PM

ironmaiden666 wrote:

Definite shout out to Community bikes. They're doing more for BMX than any other shop in philly including working at the local ...more

for sure, they seemed awesome when we were there. a bunch of kids on bmx bikes were casually hanging out, it was sweet. they even let us use a chain breaker free of charge.

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5/9/2016 1:05 PM

sXeBMXer wrote:

from what I have experienced, the bike shops are so used to the people in their not being knowledgeable that they get into a ...more

When I was in a shop (4 years as service manager at one of the biggest Specialized dealers in the USA) we stocked what was selling. In our area, we sold a LOT of MTBs, comfort bikes and road bikes, and only a small handful of BMX stuff. We didn't flood the floor with BMX as a result. It was NEVER based on how many parts the bikes have, and that thought is honestly a little strange if you ask me. A good shop would work on whatever comes in, but maybe they have more experience with one aspect or another. Also certain people have more experience with certain bikes. I was the BMX guy in my shop, so when they came in and it was more complicated (gyro adjustment, freecoaster etc) or advice on parts, it was brought to me. Another guy was the MTB guy, and was proficient with suspension etc. I worked on pretty much everything-including strollers, and I even helped hook a throttle up on a gas powered scooter that used a regular brake cable. Point is, a shop that refuses to work on different styles or brands of bikes limits themselves.

Based on "most of the LBS's focus on road and MTB"aspect of your statement-

Why use up space on stuff that doesn't sell? Fill the shop with what sells, move more inventory, make more money, sell more bikes, make your brand/business bigger and better, improve your quality of life (potentially) and help your scene better, be it MTB, road riding, BMX, comfort bikes or whatever. A business that is full of stuff that doesn't sell will not last long. Also, unless you have a GREAT scene with TONS of riders, BMX does not make a lot of money (while younger kids have a huge percentage of their money being disposable, they are usually broke) when compared to MTB and road bikes. And that is NOT based on the amount of components, it is based on the fact that people into those styles tend to have more and spend more money on their bikes, and are less likely to just rig it and run it until it breaks.

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5/9/2016 2:38 PM

ironmaiden666 wrote:

Definite shout out to Community bikes. They're doing more for BMX than any other shop in philly including working at the local ...more

sundaybmxRR wrote:

for sure, they seemed awesome when we were there. a bunch of kids on bmx bikes were casually hanging out, it was sweet. they ...more

Ended up going by there last night for an emergency rear-wheel adjustment. It was after hours on a Sunday and dude happened to be there, brought a bunch of tools outside and tightened up my dudes rear wheel

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My Ride
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I've sold stuff to Ecuadevil, LLURider, and Mario.villegas90 with no complaints.
IG: evildeadhands