Something bugging me…

Articles Mountain Biking

One of my pet peeves in life is lack of effort. I can’t stand it when people see an opportunity or challenge and don’t even bother trying. I’ll give you a bike related scenario, I was just at 2 different bicycle shops in my immediate area and I walked in looking for a frame within a certain budget. Shop #1 told me with an arrogant tone that there’s no way I can get frame for that price and recommended that I just save up my money and put it towards a new bike. I explained to the guy that this was not the direction I wanted to go. So I asked, “are you guys a Santa Cruz dealer?” He hesitantly says yes and follows it up with, “ya we really don’t do too much with them but if we HAVE to, we can order something.” So I tell them that I know for a fact (because another shop quoted me a price, but they are a bit further away) that the SC Superlight was around my budget. He then says, “Ya that’s cool…but we don’t have anything in stock that would be in the same price range. You’re better off going to Jenson USA or something like that.” WHOA whoa WHOA! Did I just hear an LBS tell me to go ONLINE to find what I’m looking for? Don’t LBS people complain all the time how people SHOULD buy from their LBS to help support them? At that point, I just said my goodbyes and was super disappointed with the lack of effort the kid made.

So I drive off to shop #2 and I ask them the same question. The sales rep gave me the reaction that Don would have had from Napoleon Dynamite…

Then he goes on to tell me that Trek carbon XC frames start at over $2k…annoyed I walked away. Like I said, lack of effort is something that REALLY bugs me. I’ll be honest, I shouldn’t be too surprised because I’ve been to these shops before and have had the same experience. What am I going to do now? I mentioned earlier that another shop, though further, has offered me a SC Superlight within my budget. Unfortunately, that one in particular just got sold. But here’s where EFFORT comes in, the gentleman who I am dealing with put in a call with SC to see if they have any other frames available and he’s checking their inventory for another frame that would suit my needs. See…that’s what I’m talking about, EFFORT!

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

6 thoughts on “Something bugging me…

  1. Honestly it’s mainly the sales guys who don’t know how to compete. In your case it’s harder to sell to you since you have your mind set on what you want (which is fine. I do the same thing.)

    The last guy you’re talking about is exemplary. When I was working in the shop I always checked inventory at the store or at the bike distributor for stuff people you wanted.

    It’s how you bring in repeat business.

  2. When I bought my last bike I wanted to do a custom build and I knew a shop near me could do it… but I couldn’t get them to give me a quote! I tried calling twice and went there once, but the only guy who apparently knew anything about the custom build I wanted was always busy or not there, and nobody else could find the build price info. They lost my business not because their prices weren’t good (I have no idea if they were competitive or not) but because I didn’t want to wait any longer.

  3. What is it about bike shops in particular? I have had the same experience repeatedly since I was a kid! Are the profit margins so high they don’t have to encourage repeat business? I don’t even bother with local shops any more and buy solely online.

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