Having just brought my first serious bike (Giant CRX 1) I thought I would share my experience with bike shops and Fleet Cycles in Fremantle in particular.
I should qualify this posting in that I am a raw newbie when it comes to cycling and had a Giant CRX 1 in mind based on advice from a couple of serious cycling friends. The purchase whilst being considered for some time, was a "spur of moment" thing on the day. That is decided to go look at bikes and walked out with a long cash-receipt docket.
Before going to Fleet I did drop in on two other bike shops in Fremantle, Bike Force and the one in South Street near the hospital (name escapes me).
The South Street bike shop had nothing to compare to the CRX 1 and indicated nothing was coming in. That ended things. This surprised me a bit as I have brought a bike for my son from them in the past and found them more informative at that time.
I then dropped into Bike Force. No Giants, fair enough. Asked about alternatives. "Yeah we have this this Trek - $1600." That it? "Yep." That was about the end of the conversation. Again didn't seem interested in selling it to me or maybe I came accross as not interested. Don't know but found them really not interested in treating me as a serious customer.
This lead me to Fleet. Big bike shop, lots of options. Had Giant's including a CRX 1 but not in my size. Salesperson was very helpful, went over the bike, compared it against about three others for me. Highlighting postives and negatives. Had me try a couple for size so we worked out I needed a 55 CRX 1 if I was interested. He then went through accessories options (some I raised, e.g., panniers, shoes) and some he suggested. Felt he was trying and was giving reasonable advice given my experience and riding expecations.
Overall found him helpful with respect to advice and the selling price and pricing was good I think. Plus Fleet offer 10% off on all future purchases.
Now the downside. I picked the bike up on Saturday.
- No effort was made to confirm that the seat hike was correct (it was and probably from the trying of bikes the week before) but would have liked this checked I think;
No advice given on rider adjustments, e.g, seat angle was not correct;
Clipless pedals not adjusted to the shoes I brought at the same time nor was I shown how to adjust them. I managed to work this out before my first ride but it was a frustrating 30 minutes.
In hindsight and this is partly my fault but I felt the advice on a computer and lights could have been better. I am already looking to upgrade the lighting and the computer after a week. Ah well. Just pays to do the research first I guess.
Summary: Good sales process, reasonable pricing, reasonably good advice given, but very disappointing in terms of setting up bike at pick-up.
Hope this is useful and expressed appropriately.