How could your bike shop have helped you more?
I bought each of my bikes from a different LBS. Both were exceptionally helpful. When I bought the Cannondale, I was very much a n00b to road bikes. River City Cycles
were super-helpful and informative. They gave me educated responses to all my stupid questions and let me take extensive test rides on a few bikes. My recent Specialized purchase was from Epic Cycles
. All of the people there are super-helpful. I dealt with John Pittendreigh, the owner, and he was unbelievably helpful. He spent literally the whole day with me yesterday, setting up the new bike, doing a full fit, giving me advice about racks, panniers etc, and setting all of that stuff up on the new bike. He really went above and beyond. I chose Epic for the commuter bike because I feel they have a better handle on a commuter's needs. River City are great, but they cater to a different market. Going to Epic was not a reflection of River City's service or product knowledge.
So the short answer to the question is - both LBS's that I purchased from were just great. They couldn't have done more to help me out. Perhaps your question relates to those LBS's that I didn't end up buying from! In that case, it's a long list. All the questions below will be answered with a focus on LBS's that I did not buy from.What annoyed you most about the bike shop that you went to?
Snobbishness. I got that from one LBS. The whole "Oh, you're not an elite cyclist, here have a look at a hybrid" attitude. That got old very fast. I walked out. Another annoyance is sales people who will say or do anything to sell their floor stock. One place I went to gave me four different prices
on the one bike, depending on whether I bought it that day, the day after, the alignment of the stars, whether the tides were coming in or going out etc. I got him to write down the four prices, because he'd confused me so much I didn't even know how much he wanted for the bike. While he was writing it down, a customer came to the counter and spoke to another sales guy. She was asking about the same bike. He gave her a different price again. I walked out in disgust.What did you expect from your bike shop?
Mostly, respect. After that, speaking to me like my money is worth something to them. Also, I want to know that the bike shop staff actually know what they're talking about, and can answer all of my questions without making me feel dumb. Also, it's OK for a sales guy to not know the answer to a question. Just be honest about it. Ask another sales person for clarification. Don't step into the BS zone. I'm very good at telling when someone's making things up. Don't insult my intelligence by trying it on.Were you made to feel unintelligent?
At times, yes. Ignorance is easy to combat - all you have to do is explain the facts. If you can't do that without treating me like an idiot, you have no place working in a customer-facing role.Did you feel as though you got across what you needed well enough?
Yes, and this was primarily because I'd spend many, many hours trawling the internet - manufacturer web pages, BNA, BikeForums etc for information, reviews etc. I'd made a list of requirements and was able to articulate them.Do you feel as though you could have been better prepared when purchasing a bike?
I think that I was as prepared as I could be. I'd saturated myself with information about manufacturers, models, groupsets, specifications etc.Have you got a bike shop that helps out women really well? If so, who is it? Whose the sales person? Can we drop your name in order to get better service?
River City - see Jeremy, and Epic - see John Pittendreigh. They're both really great shops that get my business over and over. You don't need to drop my name to get me better service. They already give me great service.