Canberra bike shops - recommendations?

Canberra bike shops - recommendations?

Postby Jean » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:04 pm

Hi,

Being fairly new to Canberra riding I'm trying to find a good LBS. I've tried out a couple but they were either gougers (one, which shall remain nameless, was trying to get me to replace bits that didn't need replacing) and/or their customer service was of the typically patchy LBS variety. I don't need to be swept off my feet, but friendly customer service backed up by some knowledge would be a good starting point.

I know this is very subjective area, but if anyone can offer any recommendations about where to try next it would be welcome. A shop that knew something about Campagnolo would be nice too (as I'm trying to keep an oldish 8-speed groupset up and running - PBK doesn't help much on this front). I don't know what you have to do to get your shop listed on the Campagnolo website but, judging by the discussions I've had with the Canberra shops, knowing something about Campagnolo components doesn't seem to be part of the criteria.

Cheers
Jean
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by BNA » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:41 pm

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Postby stu » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:41 pm

ive allways used Smith Cycles in Fyshwick

Paul Smith has always been very friendly & very helpfull for me.
Pop in & see him & he might be able to help

Stu
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Postby LuckyPierre » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:00 am

I'm a big fan of Paul and Carl Smith too (just in case no-one's noticed :wink: ). Smith Cycles are a 3 Willuna Street Fyshwick, opposite the Shell servo just off Canberra Avenue.
Not many of the shops have a strong background when it comes to Campagnolo components and Paul is no different - but he'll tell you where you stand.
Probably the best bet with Campagnolo gear is to take it to Ian Downing (he used to own - and be the chief mechanic - at Bike Culture). Ian has set up a formidable workshop at home, so 'Downing Bicycles' are at the 12 Raymond Street, Ainslie and you can call Ian on 6247 4636. I saw him last night and he said that he would be away until Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
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Postby Jean » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:55 am

Thanks for the suggestions. Bike Culture is one of the two ACT shops listed on the Campagnolo website - I wonder if this is a hangover from from the previous owner?
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Postby HAKS » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:51 am

Dunno much about campag help, but the past few weeks i've been in and out of most bike shops looks are various parts and prices. By far the best customer service has come out of TLC cycles in Philip. They have always been happy to field any of my questions, seem to have pretty good prices and had a general happy vibe happening in the shop.
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Postby vic » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:21 pm

For repairs and essential parts, I recommend Lonsdale Cyclery Workshop in Lonsdale St Braddon, tell Peter I sent you.

For other stuff, accesories, tools etc, I go to the bike store in Lyneham Cnr Wattle and Hall st, right next to the service station. Speak to Garth or Drago
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Postby Jean » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:36 am

Thanks vic, but Lonsdale are one of the ones already on my sh*t list. Trying to convince you that you need a new $100-ish headset when all you need is $15 worth of bearings is not a good way to get off to a good LBS relationship. Have to admit their front shop is well stocked though, if you're looking for bits.

I go past the Lyneham shop on way to/from work so I'll drop in there and have a look.

Cheers
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Postby vic » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:09 am

Jean, I'm sorry you had a negative experience with Lonsdale workshop, and its good for me to have my rose coloured glasses removed. I have to admit that I haven't had too much contact with them, but they have been generous in donating parts to charity, and they do know their stuff.
I agree the shop front has lots of stuff, but my experience with the sales staff is that unless I seem keen to spend lots of money, they seem less interested. Hope Lyneham store is a positive experience for you.
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Postby slik50 » Thu May 22, 2008 9:34 pm

I have a vote for Smiths, I found them to be honest and thorough in my dealings with them (just buying a bike so far).

In my view you can't ask for much more than that.
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Postby Jean » Sat May 31, 2008 8:54 pm

Just to follow up, I was out at Fyshwick today and thought I'd check out Smith's. Didn't buy anything, but the two guys in the shop were very friendly and helpful. Had a nice chat about the old 531 steel bike one of them had picked up along the way and had in the shop. High customer service rating for a first visit and they weren't pushy about anything or too busy to attend to me. Very refreshing and a good start, so I'll take my next LBS job to them when I've got it.
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Postby Sia » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:43 pm

I went to Smith Cycles today after reading the recommendations here, and I must say the service is exceptional! I didn't know they actually lend tools to their customers... very impressive! I bought a pair of shoes and pedals, and was going to buy a spanner to install the pedals, but Paul actually offered me one to borrow :lol:
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Postby mycyclingdisorder » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:30 pm

I'd suggest you try Onya Belconnen as i've found their service excellent, their wrenching so far has been very well priced and accurate and I get no attitude (I can't say the same for certain stores i've tried in Fyshwick, Dickson or Civic. I'm not sure if they're Campag compliant, but they do wonders with my shimano clad toys... off and on-road alike. Might be worth a shot.
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Postby skeeo » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:42 pm

i found the shop at lyneham quite good, the guy was reasonable, not too pushy and generally very helpful

i'm also not a fan of the shop on lonsdale, no service at all.

i was there to buy buy buy but walked out after about 5 minutes of no service.
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Postby slik50 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:29 pm

+1 For onya Belconnen.

I was in there today looking for a helmet. I was a little surprised when I explained what I was after (i.e the cheapest helmet they sell..) they sales guys still helped my find one that fits properly.

The one on display fitted perfectly and I told the sales dude I don't need a box. He then gave me $10 off (the helmet was only $50 so it's not insignificant) because I took the display model. I didn't even have to ask.

Friendly, helpful and a discount.

Rob
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Postby brent84 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:47 pm

+1 Onya bike belco.
I didnt buy my bike from them but i get it serviced there because they're so good. Always willing to share their knowledge which is a plus.
Some people say i have a bad attitude...those people are stupid.
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Postby skeeo » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:58 am

negative vote for Bike Superstore in Mitchell.

Admitedly I was wrong but they were absolute bastards about it, absolutely no customer service and I won't be heading back there again.

Basically, went in to try on helmets, they didn't have my size so they said they would order me in one (+ get more stock of larger sizes - it wasn't just my order).

I got a call a few days later saying it was in and ready for me to come get. I said I would come in over the weekend but didn't end up going in as another helmet had caught my eye.

About 10 days later, I got a call from them saying "THANKS FOR THE CALL, I'LL GO AND PUT THEM BACK ON THE SHELF NOW (with attitude :roll:)" to which at that moment it had just clicked that I had completely forgotten about the helmets on hold for me (he put on hold 2 colours for me) and he proceeded to hang up.

oh well, no wonder from what I have seen, they have next to know business, when I have visited in the past, it has been deserted.
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Postby BG » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:28 pm

Cycle City in Lyneham gets my vote - friendly and helpful and they remembered my name on only my second visit.

I'd also recommend Ride Shop in Bradon - they've helped me out with little things (both parts and service) more than once and when I asked 'how much?' they said 'don't worry about it'. Definately a reason to go back.
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Postby jcjordan » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:47 pm

If you are down south come and see the gang at Onya Bike in Tug.
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Postby kilroy » Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:42 pm

skeeo wrote:negative vote for Bike Superstore in Mitchell.

Admitedly I was wrong but they were absolute bastards about it, absolutely no customer service and I won't be heading back there again.

Basically, went in to try on helmets, they didn't have my size so they said they would order me in one (+ get more stock of larger sizes - it wasn't just my order).

I got a call a few days later saying it was in and ready for me to come get. I said I would come in over the weekend but didn't end up going in as another helmet had caught my eye.

About 10 days later, I got a call from them saying "THANKS FOR THE CALL, I'LL GO AND PUT THEM BACK ON THE SHELF NOW (with attitude :roll:)" to which at that moment it had just clicked that I had completely forgotten about the helmets on hold for me (he put on hold 2 colours for me) and he proceeded to hang up.

oh well, no wonder from what I have seen, they have next to know business, when I have visited in the past, it has been deserted.


I'm finding myself on the LBS side here. You ordered a helmet and found a different one instead never bothering to tell them...
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Postby seddo » Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:54 pm

Big Vote for TLC (AT) Phillip - they went out of the way to help when I was buying my first roadie just recently
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Postby HAKS » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:52 pm

TLC is good........except the little kids which know SFA about bikes and their parts. Asked about a part and just cos he had never heard of it he was like nope don't have them. Asked about something else which he pointed out use to sit on that wall but since they have rearranged some bits it is no longer there.........therefore we don't have them anymore.

Next day I rang and spoke to a senior staff member and both parts they had in stock :roll:
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Postby twizzle » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:22 am

kilroy wrote:
skeeo wrote:negative vote for Bike Superstore in Mitchell.

Admitedly I was wrong but they were absolute bastards about it, absolutely no customer service and I won't be heading back there again.

Basically, went in to try on helmets, they didn't have my size so they said they would order me in one (+ get more stock of larger sizes - it wasn't just my order).

I got a call a few days later saying it was in and ready for me to come get. I said I would come in over the weekend but didn't end up going in as another helmet had caught my eye.

About 10 days later, I got a call from them saying "THANKS FOR THE CALL, I'LL GO AND PUT THEM BACK ON THE SHELF NOW (with attitude :roll:)" to which at that moment it had just clicked that I had completely forgotten about the helmets on hold for me (he put on hold 2 colours for me) and he proceeded to hang up.

oh well, no wonder from what I have seen, they have next to know business, when I have visited in the past, it has been deserted.


I'm finding myself on the LBS side here. You ordered a helmet and found a different one instead never bothering to tell them...


Nope - this is an old discussion. They were getting in stock for him to try on, it was never an actual order. And there is no excuse for an abusive phone call.

I was talking to a former employee from there on the weekend - the owner isn't into bikes, it could have been a store for anything (fridges, furniture etc.). Reason for the high prices is the quantity of advertising they do.
I ride, therefore I am.
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Postby Papa Campagno » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:23 am

Does anyone remember how they used to be called the 'ACT' Bike Superstore? Anyone know why the dropped the 'ACT' part?
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canberra LBS

Postby llew51 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:30 pm

Cycle city Lyneham gets my vote.Have had bikes tuned/serviced there and bought bits and pieces.Have been given info freely and good ideas about saving a buck instead of buying expensive bits and pieces.Like tennis handle wrap is cheaper than bar tape .
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Postby Strawburger » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:59 am

i went to TLC cycles in Phillip when i was down there a few weeks ago. We had excellent service there. Picked up a few bits and pieces, they even slipped in a quick service of my bike (even though they weren't doing that sort of thing on saturdays) and the missus got to test ride a bike knowing that we were not going to buy it.

We will be heading back to TLC when in town.
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