Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
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Disclaimer: I have no relationship with this shop other than the events I describe in this post.
I just wanted to let everyone know about a really nice experience I had at Smith's Bike shop in Canberra. It has been refreshing to deal with a shop that has not tried to mislead me and knows what they are talking about.
I had been looking at a Merida bike for $800 in Melbourne but was hoping to find something similar locally.
Anyway I went to Smiths and explained what type of bike I was looking for. The owner spent the best part of an hour explaining the differences between the bikes he had available and in particular Sora vs Tiagra without pushing either groupset.
More importantly when I explained the deal I was looking at in Melbourne he did an internet search to find the specs for the bike. After reading these he acknowledged that it was a good deal and he did not have a tiagra based bike at a similar price. However he did take the time to explain where some of the differences between his more expensive bike and the Merida were, in this case generic crankset, brakes, bottom bracket and hubs on the Merida bike as opposed to Shimano on his bike.
What really impressed me was that he was honest and did not suggest that these differences really matter. He explained that the generic components on the Merida bike probably work fine but they are what helps keep the price down. He never tried to convince me that the additional shimano components on the bike he stocked were neccessary to my enjoyment of the bike. He made it clear the decision was mine and I should choose the bike that suits my needs and budget.
As a result I have decided to buy my bike from Smiths (an Azzurri Torino) even though it is almost $300 more than the Merida for a similar spec.
Again a really nice experience from a knowledgable honest bike shop.
Thanks for sharing this Rob. Great to hear you had a good experience. I personally will be interested in how you find the Azzurri Torino once you have gotten it as I am considering a Azzurri, albeit a carbon model as a possible purchase.
Always like to hear 'good news' from Canberra
Lots of competition in Canberra and lots of $$$ spent on bikes.
I think the bike shops now know they can always wring a little more out of a customer if they treat them with respect and take the time to have a chat.
I know my LBS love to see me when I walk into their shop.
Lots of people are ditching their car$ for bikes down here...
Thanks for sharing the story Rob. You've had an experience which you are happy with and so is the owner of the LBS.
I read that as a story of excellent salesmanship. The real test of how good the service has been will come in the next few months. If he is smart, he'll treat you well and you'll return for many years, spreading the good word to your mates too.
However, if he now feels like his job is done (ie he sold you a bike for more than you initially wanted to pay) and leaves you in the cold when it comes time for more advice or for (God forbid) a warranty claim, your great experience with him will quickly sour.
I'm really hoping the first scenario wins. And there is no reason for it not to.
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