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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the bike shops where I live offer a wide range of products and brands, but with one notable exception, they are all abysmal in customer service. I dread going to them for anything and would prefer to buy online when possible, even though I try to buy local in other aspects of my life. Between apathetic salesmen and owners and repair people doing shoddy work, I can't say much good about them. I feel like I could make a killing by opening a shop that cared about their customers here.

I've been to some other shops when I go to Dallas and it seems slightly better, but not great. This got me thinking: are all bike shops this way?
How is the customer service aspect of your local bike shop?

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I have two where I live, one is a chain store, the other isn't. I generally favour the smaller independent store over the other. They don't have as big a selection of items (as you'd expect), but they are a generally a friendlier bunch and are much more accommodating when I ask semi stupid questions. The other, bigger store just kind of stare at you with blank looks, or give entirely wrong info as well.
 

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There are 72 bike shops in Portland.

I have found that if a mechanic is pressed with tight schedules the work does not always get good attention to detail. I have also noticed a bias in my area toward MTB from the tour-cycling community mechanics, unless you know the mechanic, it's a good idea to keep your MTB away from these shops, and not because of hate, but due to specific training and education around a particular riding discipline and technology. I have learned that some of the best MTB mechanics are at shops on the outskirts of town, near the countryside.
 

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Heavylegs
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We have four here near Youngstown, Ohio. I am truly disapointed in the lack of willness to support our IMBA chapter. Even the one that most of our local riders go to will not cough up $100 to be a club sponser. The guys in the shop are great and the one mechanic is even our club president, but I think the owner is a, well I won't go any further. I will say I will not purchase one damn thing from him untill he steps up and supports us, hell my purchases alone cover the $100. So I will take that money and donate it my self in the name of another bike shop.
 

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I'm very lucky with the options I have local to me:

These guys are a small outfit, but they know their stuff and consistantly go above and beyond for me, hands down the best service and that's saying a lot considering the local competition-
Home

This place is owned and employed with true bike lovers that host weekly no drop shop rides, and the shop is an absolute candy store-
Home - The Path Bike Shop | Orange County | CA | Bicycles | Mountain | Road | Custom Build | Repair | Bike Fit

Great bikes, great mechanics, great service, and great attitudes-
Adrenaline Bikes
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe I just need to move to a more biker friendly town! Great replies so far! Keep em comin!

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Rogue Exterminator
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Bike shops here are awesome for the most part but cycling especially mountain biking is huge here and the competition is tough. So if you don't have your act together, you won't last long here.
 

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Here in my area of Michigan we have a number of good LBS. I'm comfortable going to most of them. Customer service is good. I find an excuse to go to at least one every ten days or so.
 

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I live in Escondido, Ca. and I go to BikeBling. They have always been helpful and their service people seem pretty competent. And yes they price match if you ask.
Don't get me started on bicycle whorehouse or non-performance bike, they are here in town also
 

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There are about a dozen or so good shops in a thirty-ish mile radius of me, all vary from a decent selection to a handful on the floor. There is one shop next to a major local spot, and my two brief experiences there were not good, they had a very snooty roadie-like attitude, so f**k 'em, I don't go there. My only gripe is most of the shops here carry the same bikes, and finding something other than the big boys usually means a long drive, which also means traveling for any warranty/maintenance issues is a n inconvenience. In a perfect world...
 

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DFL
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I frequent two bike shops, both of them because of one manager. When I started back on my journey I went into the shop about 30 miles away, because it was the closest one, for a new helmet. He was very cool about it, showed me what they had and took care of business. In the next couple months, small things started going wrong with my 12 year old bike. He would meet me at the door, genuinely pleased to see me, and take my bike right back to work on it himself in most cases, he also answered my incessant calls and questions. About 2/3 of the time he didn't even charge me labor. In Oct when I decided to buy a road bike I went to him and he gave me a good deal on a 2014 Madone. My wife went out to buy me a Christmas present in December,and when she got there she found out he had left, no explanation given. I continued to go for little things here and there because I believe in supporting LBS before online.

Fast forward a couple months I saw his picture on the Facebook page of a shop about 50 miles north of me. I called him just to see what was up, and again he seemed pleased to talk to me. Since I found him again it's not uncommon for me to call and shoot the breeze for ten minutes or so or stop by and chew the fat for a half hour. When it was time to buy a new mountain bike, I looked at brands they his store carried, and ultimately bought a Niner. I actually didn't buy it from him because I found it a lot cheaper online, but that didn't seem to bother him. I called to talk about building a bike for my son with my old mountain bike, and he invited me to go on a group ride next month. I'm not an isolated case from what I can tell, he treats all his customers this way. I called on a day he happened to be off,and the guy I talked to said there were people calling all day looking for him. I won't hesitate driving the extra miles to see him because I know he will take care of me.


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