sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

nana
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sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby nana » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:58 pm

is anyone else of the female gender sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?
sometimes i get the feeling that every time i walk into a shop i must have a sign on my head that says 'try and rip me off'
think it's time to really learn how to maintain and service my bike past the basics. any suggestions for courses round inner melbourne?

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ldrcycles
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:14 pm

My suggestion would be the book Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintenance (or his book on road bikes), i bought that when i first started to have a go at my own maintenance and i would never have the skills i do now without it. Anytime i come across something new or that i don't do often i can just grab the book and have a flick through. I'm sure there will be others who will know about courses. Hopefully they can also recommend some shops were you will get the service you deserve.
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:39 am

Alot of better Brissy LBS do maintainence courses and beyond, but check out what your local TAFE has to offer as well. One up here does a bicycle mechanics course and it's got good feedback coming back. I'm not a lady (debatable) but I thought the 2nd option was worth looking into
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby bianchi928 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:02 pm

Hi Nana,

I went with my wife and our female friend when they bought their road bikes. We went to 3 stores who would only talk to me and told my wife all she needed was a shorter stem.

The fourth store treated my wife and friend with respect (ie non condascending), took the time and effort to fit them properly and let them go for a 1 hour test ride.

Needless to say, they bought Campy equipped Bianchis from this store, I have bought 2 bikes (my original and replacement after it got stolen)and recommended 3 other people who have bought bikes, not to mention associated gear. We now have a great ongoing relationship with the shop.

A bit of topic regarding your courses, sorry, however after seeing it first hand, you really have to wonder when the bike shops will get it eh.
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nayfen
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby nayfen » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:27 pm

Vote with your feet.

There are plenty of great you tube videos on how to do specific bike maintainace tasks. otherwise ask the friendly folk on here.

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CommuRider
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby CommuRider » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:33 pm

nayfen wrote: otherwise ask the friendly folk on here.


Nearly a year ago I had NFI about the bicycle. But since then, I've been on a steep learning curve. Once you learn about specs etc you can start talking to them seriously. And the forums have helped me in this regard.

If you're a newbie to anything, don't expect to be treated anything more than a noob. If you want proper attention, some knowledge goes a long, long way. LBS like to size you up if you're just passing traffic or a real customer. Choice is up to you and of course vote with your feet if they ignore you. Lots of threads here about LBS that provide proper customer service.
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:32 am

Happy for good Local Bike Shops to be named... if they are doing the right thing, then lets give them credit.

When the staff are only good mechanics, but not good salespeople, they are ruining their own business... but don't think it's because you are a women, I have experienced it plenty of times that if you don't seem to fit into a certain group, you walk out (cash in the pocket) feeling unwelcome.

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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Madone SSL » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:25 pm

I bought my first road bike about 6 years ago, my local bike shop man was friendly and helpful, the too cool for school guys in the city shops treated me like I wouldnt have a clue so I spent my $2000.00 at the local shop. Back then womens specific didnt exist, now any woman should be able to buy a good womens specific road bike, I think bike shops have got a long way to go, some guys in bike shops just dont get it but there are definitely some good ones here who dont treat women like they dont exist. A couple of years ago I wanted to upgrade to serious carbon,I dont look like a racer I just wanted a beautiful bike, the city shops kept showing me small mens bikes and said that I just needed a shorter stem. They didnt treat my quest for high end carbon with respect. Needless to say I bought my beautiful womens specific hand made Trek Madone at little shop in the little town where I live. So the guy in Gisborne got my $8000.00 and the city shops got a bad reputation with women! If you dont get treated seriously and with respect just walk out!

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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:24 pm

I can assure you - many bike shops are far from sexist in their approach - they treat all their customers poorly. They are also likely to complain about the internet, while taking their business, does not give "personal" service, boo hoo hoo.

When I recommenced riding as an adult I had a great book covering everything and everything. And on that experience I very much see the benefit if you can find something equivalent. Good luck with it.

Unfortunately my book covers bikes so trad that is there would be few bikes now that it would relate to. :|
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:42 pm

Madone SSL wrote:at little shop in the little town where I live. So the guy in Gisborne got my $8000.00 and the city shops got a bad reputation with women! If you dont get treated seriously and with respect just walk out!

Deservedly so too. He's been nothing but helpful on the couple of times I've been through his door. Nearly convinced me to buy a Remedy he had on the floor with dough I didn't have at the time.
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grasshopper
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby grasshopper » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:54 pm

Yeah, it can be a pretty miserable experience, which is odd because so many of the mechanics are nice. Certainly a good relationship with one or two shops is invaluable, and for me that's mostly come from getting to know them at things outside the shop.

Courses - I did a women's course at Gran Prix years ago and found it good; excellent mechanic. I think they still do them. Goldcross used to do free ones; they might have improved but it was better than nothing, and nothing lost. Online, bicycle tutor and Park Tools.

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ozzymac
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sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby ozzymac » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:01 am

The local bike shop I bought my bike from was the opposite, totally ignored me but jumped out from behind the counter as soon as a female walked in the door.

I guess I wasn't his type :-)


Cheers


Ps: moral of the story, I never go there again, so one less customer for them.

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sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Espresso_ » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:25 am

Bsc bikes do maintenance courses, but I've not attended any to vouch for their quality.

E

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Schmenz
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Schmenz » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:58 pm

drives me MAD!

when i went to buy my bike, the guy told me not to buy carbon, but to get a steel frame as it is faster downhills. it wasnt the downhills that i was so concerned with!

the next shop told me that i wouldnt need to pay that much and i could have full carbon and all the whizz bangs for well under 1000. i didnt particularly want something that fell apart after the first corner!

the next shop just asked which i thought was prettiest.

Disheartened, I gave up shopping for a few months as all the highly recommended stores you would imagine to be good in my area had failed.

Finally went to one with a really nice guy who took the time to find the correct bike and treat me like a human.
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby CommuRider » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:30 pm

You in Sydney Schmenz? I usually refer people to Clarence St Cyclery Women for the feminine touch and understanding. Makes things so much easier for female noobs.
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Schmenz
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Schmenz » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:54 pm

yea i am.

they were one of the few i liked! actually i prefer them.

the only problem is parking. it drives me mad trying to park around there! I will be taking my bike to them to get more gears before the s2s tho as i have heard that their workshop is very good.
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Camee » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:12 pm

There are about 3 shops around here that I wont go into again when they've pointedly ignored me and spoken directly the man standing next to me. This was particularly grating when we were shopping for MY bike!

That said, Maladjusted in Dickson has some lovely people who work there.

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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby sonj » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:46 pm

I've had mixed experiences too. Decided I neeeeded an upgrade after getting the cycling bug again. It had to be a big enough upgrade from my old and comfy but heavy steel road bike to justify spending anything. $0 or best I could afford, nothing in between. Spent 6 months(!) reading cycling sites like BNA then sallied forth.

Well there was the lovely old guy who liked to have a chat, but when asked questions about specific features and inocuous questions about the difference between men's & women's frames, or alu vs CF he waved his hand and kept chatting about something, I can't recall now. Always addressed my partner, not me. Pity, because I've taken the old repco in there for some top notch work by the guys in the workshop.

Next shop, Clarence St Cyclery, fantastic and helpful advice from the women's team. The only reason I didn't buy from there was the thought that I felt obliged to go there to get it fixed, a 35k drive from home & not a quick ride in times of need. Dumb reasoning I know but hey, I can only be rational most of the time. 3rd bike store, close to home, almost as good as Clarence, stuck 100% to technical/handling stuff, no fluff, offered a great deal on a 2011 model and they got the sale. I've since been to Clarence far too often in lunchbreaks to buy tubes and stuff, I get slurped in nearly every time I try to crawl past unscathed to the computer shop next door to top up on hard disks.

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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:24 am

CommuRider wrote:You in Sydney Schmenz? I usually refer people to Clarence St Cyclery Women for the feminine touch and understanding. Makes things so much easier for female noobs.

... for which you pay more than top dollar. Roughly 25% above RRP, if my experience with things like SPD mtb cleats ($39.95 vs $32 everywhere else) and things like lights, pumps, inner tubes, gloves is anything to go by for the same brands. While I'm prepared to pay for great service, I find that a little rude.

Dee Why Bike Hub has been pretty good. The owner's wife works in the shop in sales on weekends, and is pretty good with noobs and from my observation they don't talk down to customers. City Bike Depot in Kent St and KOM2 at Crows Nest both sponsor female riders. The owner at CBD is excellent, so is Brad at KOM2.

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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Old and Rusty » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:03 pm

I just had a look on http://www.femalefriendly.com.auand not a single bicycle shop was listed. The tyre retailer I use is accredited on there and they seem to do an excellent job even for males like me. I'd suggest if you find a bike shop who provides an excellent service to their female customers then suggest they enquire as to accreditation.
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Re: sick of being treated as a subspecies in bike shops?

Postby Nobody » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:37 pm

Old and Rusty wrote:... and they seem to do an excellent job even for males like me.
Why, what kind of a male are you? :P

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