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Salad Days
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So my friend walks into the Bike Doc one Friday afternoon this spring looking to bum some cable ends. I'm talking about those little crimps that cost $1.50 for a bottle of 500. The guy behind the counter gives him a couple and doesn't ask for money. My friend starts to walk out. The owner stops him and says with a smirk "hey man, what are you doing? That’s like 12 cents of merchandise!" only partly kidding and then says "you know we work for beer too" My friend says he'll go grab him a quarter and walks off. Previously the same friend was laughed at because he had XTR trigger shifters by the mechanic. Now I'm sorry if he isn't a freerider, but the guy rides harder than just about anyone I know and probably the entire staff of the shop and certainly doesn't deserve ridicule because he has the most technologically advanced shifters on the market.

Reminds me of a time when I was building a bike and needed a crank pulled. I went in to the bike doc and the mechanic told me it would be an hour before he could get to it. Then he charged me $12. WTF is that? It took all of 30 seconds, he could have just handed me the tool. That was the last time I went in there; it was probably 5 years ago.

If this is the Best of Missoula why the bad attitude? Do they not want to make new customers? Or are they so freeride ‘core that they don’t care unless you have a 50 pound bike? Or is that $.12 cents actually needed for gas to shuttle up deadmans?

Or is it really a nice shop most of the time?

John
 

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stone cold lampin'
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Couldn't agree more Parker. I visited the doc no more than 3 times when I lived in Missoula. The first time in I got the attitude you describe, but I went back a couple of times just to make sure I wasn't there on a bad day. The "Best of Missoula" votes have always boggled my mind. I'd bet the '420' address and hip decor bring in more than a few votes, but they don't exactly pull out the welcome mat for new customers. Open Road and Bike Works have both been great shops for me. Never had a bad experience with either one.

And thanks for posting the Pipestone pics. Good stuff.
 

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now now, John.

things are testy in Missoula for those of us who have spent time doing trail work only to have Maggie Pittman stab us in the back and revoke the products of all our labor.

on top of that, ya know, sometimes it's awfully hard to convince a customer of the fact that you want to help him/her but the help probably isn't want he/she wants to hear.

the approach usually has a lot to do with sticking the landing and having a smooth runout, eh? same in dealing with a bike shop.

why a cable end crimp should be free is beyond me. the fact that your friend started to walk off with the crimps, not even asking how much he should pay, set the stage for a smart-arsed reply. if you don't see why, then you and your friend are guilty of taking others' kindness for granted. and nobody likes that.

and finally...

"laughed at for having an XTR shifter"? you must be kidding. your friend must be kidding. someone here is kidding.

I think the biggest problem is that one needs to have an acutely sarcastic, ironical sense of humor to understand the majority of jabs and feints tossed by Bike Doc folks.
 

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Salad Days
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
gonzostrike said:
now now, John.

things are testy in Missoula for those of us who have spent time doing trail work only to have Maggie Pittman stab us in the back and revoke the products of all our labor.

on top of that, ya know, sometimes it's awfully hard to convince a customer of the fact that you want to help him/her but the help probably isn't want he/she wants to hear.

the approach usually has a lot to do with sticking the landing and having a smooth runout, eh? same in dealing with a bike shop.

why a cable end crimp should be free is beyond me. the fact that your friend started to walk off with the crimps, not even asking how much he should pay, set the stage for a smart-arsed reply. if you don't see why, then you and your friend are guilty of taking others' kindness for granted. and nobody likes that.

and finally...

"laughed at for having an XTR shifter"? you must be kidding. your friend must be kidding. someone here is kidding.

I think the biggest problem is that one needs to have an acutely sarcastic, ironical sense of humor to understand the majority of jabs and feints tossed by Bike Doc folks.
Right, and who charges $12 to work a crank extractor for 30 seconds? I'm sorry if things aren't going well for the freeriders and their trail. I was only 16 for gods sake, you think I had enough money to be throwing it at disgruntled shop employees?

I'm not kidding, this **** pisses me off. I've been to enough good shops to know something is wrong there. A condescending attitude is bad business.

To use your metaphor, If the approach is ****ed you aret going to go hit something better. Unless thats all there is in town. . .

I've got a pretty ironical sarcastic sense of humor but there is a differnece between that and a bad attitude.

Wait, maybe I have one of those too.

John
 

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maybe you should just head back across the clark fork and talk to Alex at MBW. not like he's HELPFUL or anything. you know alex. you come in looking for a Deore rear der and he insists you buy at least XT. insists. hard sell style.

then you can go to Big Sky if you like hanging out in a hospital. that's how sterile that place feels.

or maybe Open Road. at least Dan Swala is cool, but since Sam Hall isn't really there any more it's hit-or-miss.

then there's Bike Hangar. or is it Freemo's Pizza?

yeah, you're right. absolutely right. :rolleyes:
 

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nobody MAKES you go in there. stop going if it bugs you that much.

or if you do care about the shop and its owners, then maybe you might just think about talking to them.

come on, man. it's one experience out of many. are you saying you never have been short with anyone when you were at work?
 

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Salad Days
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
gonzostrike said:
nobody MAKES you go in there. stop going if it bugs you that much.

or if you do care about the shop and its owners, then maybe you might just think about talking to them.

come on, man. it's one experience out of many. are you saying you never have been short with anyone when you were at work?
I mentioned earlier that I haven't been there in over five years.

I do care about the shop and its owners, and wish they could have given me a better retail experience.

It's one experience out of many for me, but it was the attitude my freind got two other times recently that caused me to make the comment. If this is the way a lot of people who go there feel it might be worth noting. It has cost at least one customer.

I hope you see my point. I don't really want to drag it on any further here. PM me if you still feel strongly and want to discuss the issue further.

John
 

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The Bike Doc is a great shop on the right day as is any shop. Maybe you caught someone at a bad time. Bike shops have to make money too. If they recognized you as a repeat customer then maybe they would help ya out. Im not sticking up for the Bike Doc.

We have a local shop that charges retail for everything and actually punches a time clock when they work on your bike. They charge almost double for every part, too. People still keep goin back. On the other hand, the shop here gives their employees year around work and HEALTH insurance.

I think the best shop in Missoula is Big Sky. They carry just about everything you need and the mechanics are great guys to boot.

Plain and simple; if you dont like the shop dont go back.
 

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ride your bike
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jparker164 said:
Right, and who charges $12 to work a crank extractor for 30 seconds? I'm sorry if things aren't going well for the freeriders and their trail. I was only 16 for gods sake, you think I had enough money to be throwing it at disgruntled shop employees?

I'm not kidding, this **** pisses me off. I've been to enough good shops to know something is wrong there. A condescending attitude is bad business.

To use your metaphor, If the approach is ****ed you aret going to go hit something better. Unless thats all there is in town. . .

I've got a pretty ironical sarcastic sense of humor but there is a differnece between that and a bad attitude.

Wait, maybe I have one of those too.

John
I don't know the shop, but have dealt with shops I wouldn't piss on if they went up in flames. Long story short? If you don't have a shop/wrench you like to deal with, buy your own tools, learn to wrench, and buy your stuff on the internet. It's their loss.
 

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Thats what we do here is Kalispell. There are about 8 of us that all ride together. When someone has a problem, we fix it. Someone in our group will have the tool and the info on how to fix it.
 

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jube, I think that john basically got pissed because he dealt with someonet there who has a wickedly bitter sense of humor, or maybe it wasn't, but the point simply is that he had a personality conflict.

but that's why Missoula has 5 bike shops!

kanter is correct about the Big Sky guys and their mechanical skills. one of the mechanics also is a great rider, super skilled at just about any type of MTB riding (Jason Hudson). I just don't like the cold sense of the place, it's not warm, it's like they're trying too hard to be "professional" or something. I don't know what. it's cold and distant, the vibe I get there. I think they're all nice and helpful, it's just that the shop makes me feel unwelcome. I'm not gonna post nonsense about that though. it's not a good fit for me, that's all.

I became a Bike Doc regular customer because I dealt with all the shops in Missoula and found only two to be near my style. one of them was Bike Doc and the other was Missoula Bicycle Works. the former owner of MBW was someone I got along fairly well with and the main mechanic, the same. but MBW's new owner is an "upscale" kind of businessman, courting the yuppies. he has a 3-bike display in one of the downtown banks' lobbies, with suggestions to FINANCE THAT DREAM BIKE. grotesque, if you ask me. but again, bad fit.

Bike Doc gets Best Shop in Missoula every year for a danged good reason. it's too bad john doesn't find himself feeling welcome there.
 

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I really dont think Jasons last name needs to be involved.;) Anyway, I know the feeling you get when you walk in BS. I think they are more worried about money so they try and be more professional. BS and BD are the only 2 bike shops I go in when in Missoula. MBW is a nice shop but their new location next to the ol Roxy is terrible.

I sure wish I could open a bike shop in Kalispell. I just need a manager or second owner that I can trust. I would have bought Starr bikes but working full time and opening a bike shop would have been a hard job.

Anyone wanna open a bike shop in Kalispell?
 

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you do, you know it. what is filling prescriptions compared to runnig a bike shop?

probably a lot nicer income, I'd bet. ;)

PS since I don't know all the BS guys I didn't know if there was more than one Jason there.
 

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Salad Days
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Big Sky is the shop I usually tried first when I was in town. It is a pretty sterile place, but the staff seemed knowledgable and to be real riders.

I quickly learned that the shops usually don't have what you are looking for anyway.

I usually try to do all the wrenching at home, or at the shop here in Bozo that I sort of work at.
 

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gonzostrike said:
you do, you know it. what is filling prescriptions compared to runnig a bike shop?

probably a lot nicer income, I'd bet. ;)

PS since I don't know all the BS guys I didn't know if there was more than one Jason there.
I bet the owner of BS makes a pretty good living. I would bet he makes close to $100k. That would take awhile though before that amount of money would roll in.

A website would help too. Guided tours would be sweet. There are endless possibilities for a big bike shop. If Big Mountain would get off there butts and make some trails and FR stunts I would open a bike shop in a second. Fernie is close and really stepped it up last year. The local riding in Fernie is sweet too. There are actually a lot of bikers that roll thru here.
 

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sounds to me like all you need to do is start your search for a shop on the skids income-wise but location and size wise that fits what you imagine to be good.

there ain't much better in the world than introducing people to outdoor recreation and helping them keep at it. of course, the income you have from your present job would be hard to match until you'd grown the shop as far as BS have grown theirs... remember when they were over by Dornblaser Field at Higgins & South? how small the shop was?

I think a good solid shop run by a passionate rider could do quite well, especially if you take the time to do the things that will show people it's worth stopping in Kspell to ride, as you said, website, guided rides, etc.

check out what Chris and Beth Currie did in about 5 years' time with Speedgoat back in pennsylvania. from a tiny locals-only shop to a big time Internet etailer. it's definitely possible.

and as you noted, when people take a drive north to TBM or Fernie, they would be coming through Kspell and you could bring them the local goods.
 

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im thinking it was your friends attitude that caused the "bad experience" in bike doc. im surprised he only got off with a sarcastic remark. a goddamn thank you would have been nice.. sure, its only some cable caps, but what i don't get is this feeling of entitlement in the matter. it as if its everyone's right to just walk into a shop, ask for a something, however trivial in cost it may be, get it, and just walk out. ridiculous.
ive been in there numerous times and have had my bike wrenched on there as well. my ride is by no means high end, but i was treated well every time. ive also seen folks roll in off the street, and gotten free help just because.
its all in the attitude. drop it and see how much better things become.
 
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