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since 4/10/2009
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34,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was supposed to ride on Friday afternoon, but that opportunity got tossed. I was riding some pavement on the way to the TH, when I mis-timed a bunny hop up a curb and hit my rear wheel just precisely the wrong way upon landing. Compressed the tire down to the rim, dinged the rim slightly (should be repairable), but worst of all ripped a gaping hole in the sidewall of the tire right at the bead.

Rapid loss of pressure and my ride ended there.

At first, I thought it was a burp and that I could just reinflate and go. I pumped it up, and could tell that the bead was still seated, but it wasn't holding. At that point, I found the hole and realized my problems were much bigger. My tire was toast. I probably could have booted it and run a tube in an emergency repair situation miles from the TH, but at this point it wasn't worth it so I could do some trail maintenance (the intent of the trip in the first place).

The trails are packed into a tight space, so I didn't have to walk far. I loaded the bike into my car and went to do some work on the trails.

Afterwards, I made a stop at the LBS (the only one) to see if I might be able to find an acceptable tire in stock. I should have known better. The WIDEST tires the guy had in stock were 2.0's. The tire I needed replacing was a 2.2, and my front is a 2.4. For the sandy trails around here, that combination has been working GREAT for me.

He kept showing me assorted tubeless tires he had...one as narrow as 1.85. Does anyone even run tires that narrow anymore? I kept telling him that all his tires were too narrow, and he asked me what I ran. I told him and he commented "wow, that's wide" and I told him how well the combination has been working for me after switching from 2.0's last summer.

I hope he takes a hint and at least stocks a few wider tires in the future, but I'm not exactly counting on it. Of the "tubeless" tires he carried, a majority of them were Slime branded tires and only two were UST. I haven't seen those Slime tires on any of the bikes around here, so I don't know who buys them.

I wound up ordering the tire I needed online...delivery time was the same as what he offered, though I could have paid a lot more for it to arrive a day sooner. I still paid less. It's a shame, I would have paid the higher price at the shop if he'd had something there.
 

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EDR
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10,421 Posts
Well...I don't have any idea of where you live but I guess most shops stock what sells.

I stopped by my local mom and pop lbs today to look for some Buzzy's Slick Honey. I fully expected him not to stock it but I was right there so I stopped in. I asked him about it and he said he had a bunch in bulk that he uses but none for sale. I then asked him what he did have on hand and he said kinda sheepishly that he didn't have any grease at all for sale. It just doesn't sell at his shop he told me. He is a great guy and a mtb'r, and sells some high end Giant mtb's, but his shop mainly caters to the average family type customer so I understand where he's coming from.

What doesn't sell doesn't get stocked.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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34,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have a small but budding mtb community. The guy does carry some AM-type FS bikes (mostly Giants, but occasionally a Trek, too).

There's an active roadie group, and it's obvious he carries lots of roadie supplies.

And he is right on campus, so most business is probably the campus beater crowd.

But he does carry some mtb stuff. Because people do look for it sometimes. Problem is...it's not the good stuff. I asked about Ergon grips about a year ago...the person there didn't even know what they were.

It really seems like the folks there carry some mtb stuff because people around do mtb, but since they don't, they don't really have a concept of what's good. One thing I would expect a shop who carries mtb stuff to know is what tires work well for the local conditions. They don't really know. If they knew, they'd carry and recommend tires that they know work well.

I wouldn't necessarily expect them to carry much in the way of saddles...I would expect them to carry a bunch of cheap ones to sell to the college kids who get their seats stolen on campus. Grips - cheap ones to sell to the college kids who leave their bikes outside all the time resulting in dry rot. But not to even be aware of some of the popular stuff that's on the market?

He's got stuff in there that's been on the shelf for 10+yrs still marked at the original price. That tells me he doesn't care much about moving product.
 

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Sounds like a generic jack-of-all-trades" LBS not catering to any particular niche market, in this case mtbrs. My area has a number of LBSs and some focus mostly on roadies, some on mtbrs, and some are a lot like your LBS, I'm guessing.

It's a shame you don't have access to a good mtbr-oriented LBS doing good work and selling quality rides and gear at a fair price. In instances like that, the internet is your friend. :thumbsup:
 

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since 4/10/2009
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34,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
roxnroots said:
Sounds like a generic jack-of-all-trades" LBS not catering to any particular niche market, in this case mtbrs. My area has a number of LBSs and some focus mostly on roadies, some on mtbrs, and some are a lot like your LBS, I'm guessing.

It's a shame you don't have access to a good mtbr-oriented LBS doing good work and selling quality rides and gear at a fair price. In instances like that, the internet is your friend. :thumbsup:
I've got no problem with a "jack of all trades" shop. In a town like this, a shop that specializes just couldn't make it, I think. The shop seems to do an okay job handling other aspects of cycling. It's just that mountain biking seems to be pretty heavily neglected.
 

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757 Posts
Too bad ya'll arent out here in Las Vegas. I have to give it to a few of the shops out here.

Las Vegas Cyclery where I purchased my last rig is absolutely awesome. They stock almost as much stuff as Pricepoint.com. LOL.

They have tires of any size, but mostly from the bigger brands like Specialized, Kenda, Continental, etc. They carry a lot of the roadie tires and tubes as well.

Seems that they bring in a healthy bit of extra money by doing mountain bike tours, and guided adventure trips for the tourists. I applaud that, as it makes it a great shop to visit. They really know their stuff, and service (so far) has been top-notch.

I have to say, if they have stuff in stock that I need immediately, I'll definitely buy from them. Items like Forks, Cranksets, and high-dollar items, I'll stick to the major websites to order them. As decent as prices in-shop can be, they just can't beat the pricing of say Pricepoint.com. Now.. if only they had a 2010 model Fox Float fork, in white, in stock....

:D
 

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Token Hillbilly
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712 Posts
We have a similar situation in our town. Plenty of roadie gear, light and generic in the MTB arena.

I recently purchased a Marlin SS, and have been making changes to it to make it a better bike than it started. I will always give the LBS the first dibs for business, but in items like forks and such they can't compete with the online stores.

The other day I had a question about the fitting of my ride and was thinking of maybe fitting a longer stem than the 70mm that came on the bike to open up the cockpit a bit more. I had recently put a FU2 handle bar on it, and when I brought the bike in to discuss the stem he looked at the handle bars, and then me like I had grown an extra head. He was perplexed at the idea of that style of bar being used on a MTB. The thing is, they're not a bad shop, they're just used to people buying a MTB, and never much changing the configurations of the bikes from the original format that Trek or Specialized puts forth from the factory.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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34,312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
J. Fragera said:
The other day I had a question about the fitting of my ride and was thinking of maybe fitting a longer stem than the 70mm that came on the bike to open up the cockpit a bit more. I had recently put a FU2 handle bar on it, and when I brought the bike in to discuss the stem he looked at the handle bars, and then me like I had grown an extra head. He was perplexed at the idea of that style of bar being used on a MTB. The thing is, they're not a bad shop, they're just used to people buying a MTB, and never much changing the configurations of the bikes from the original format that Trek or Specialized puts forth from the factory.
Yep, mine too.

One of the chainstay pivot bolts fell out of my FSR one day (I have NO idea how that wound up happening) and I took it in hoping the shop would have some spare nuts & bolts laying around (it was just a generic nut & bolt, not a special piece). He did and fixed me up, and couldn't believe all the things I've done to my bike over the years I've owned it to make it fit me and the riding I do.

Too bad ya'll arent out here in Las Vegas. I have to give it to a few of the shops out here...
Oh, I envy folks who have good shops nearby. I have in various places I've lived had access to good shops (that handled road, mtn, campus/family, bmx equally well) and I miss that. To have a mechanic I trust take care of things I'm not good at yet (like just about anything wheel related) or things that require special tools (pressing bearings, for example). To know that if I have a last minute emergency, I can hop in and grab what I need without totally bailing on a ride.
 

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Truly Doneski
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541 Posts
Most of the LBS in my area are "Jack of all trades" style shops. I wouldn't call a shop without 2.0+ Inch tires of any variety a jack of all trades shop at all.

I'm pretty lucky in my area that the LBS's stock some really good employee favorites as far as componentry go. Stuff like Oury grips and SB8's, common and popular and having a fairly wide range of applications.
 
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