Wednesday, January 02, 2008

State of the LBS

I try really hard to support my LBS'. Its just they make it so damn hard for me to not go postal. Sometimes I think I would rather get kicked in the nuts than go to the LBS. I quit going to Sunshine when I heard a salesman tell a customer "you don't want a cross bike, cross is a fad." I walked out & have never been back.

Today I needed tubes & tires for my mtb so I went to A&B to use my gift certificate. They didn't have the Conti's I wanted so I grabbed a salesman to ask about the other tires they had. I first inquired about ordering the Conti's. Answer it would take 2 weeks. What the ?? I can get them in 3 days online. That was my mistake & I take credit for being stupid and asking for help. I spent the next 10 minutes trying not to laugh at the guy.

Next he tried to tell me a 2.4 tire weighed less than the exact same tire in a 2.1. I called him out on this to explain his psuedo science on that one. UH, UH they use less material. Really? Less material in a wider tire? What kind of special rubber are they using here? OK I didn't beat him up to bad over that. EDIT I guess I'm an idiot because WTB does make the 2.4 lighter than 2.1. How the hell they do that is beyond me. Sorry to the LBS.

Then he tells me that tire X is great if you have the skills to ride it & then goes on to tell me he has mad skills & they work great for him. That's pretty much where I ended the need for help & started looking on my own. I decided I wasn't going to buy a tire just because it was what they had in stock & left without even getting any tubes. I'll just patch the ones I have. If they would have cashed out my gift certificate I think I would have. Oh well I'll just go back on Saturday when Skip & Stokes are working.

It seems a simple concept. Customer service. Give people what they want not what you think they should have. I've been riding a long damn time & I know what I like. I'm not stupid enough to think my way is the best & am open to suggestions. I just want to have intelligent suggestions given to me.


  1. Anonymous3:07 PM

    That is pretty sad! Typical, but sad. Good luck in the tire market.

  2. Anonymous4:41 PM

    I feel your pain, but Mike is right talk to Pat. Stokes and Skip are very good help as well on Saurdays.

  3. That's why from now on I only shop on Saturdays. Stokes will literally jump in the dumpster to help you out & Skip; what can you say about Skip the kid is a whiz fixing the bike.

  4. Hey Scott what about Roger?

  5. Roger's never there anymore. At least not in the last two months. I know he works more during the summer months.

  6. Anonymous10:12 PM

    Obviously I was talking a little too fast for you to stay with me earlier. I am Nick Hartman, the salesman you talked to at the shop. I’ll go ahead and clarify a few things for you (I’ll go slow). Generally it takes 10-14 days to special order things for two reasons. First, it covers our rear. If I told you it would be arrive in 3 days and it came in 4 you would have to take valuable time out of your day to blog about it. Second, in case you haven’t realized it is cold outside. For some reason business slows down this time of year. Our QBP (a distributer we use) orders are less frequent because we don’t sell as much, therefore less is purchased. You can order and receive things in 3 days off the internet because you pay shipping. Yes, it is really that simple.
    Next item. The tires we were talking about are WTB Mutana Raptors. There are 2.4” and a 2.24” width. I told you the 2.4 is lighter. Yes, I agree it doesn’t sound right when you first hear it. That why I explained that they make the tire thinner (apparently you were laughing so hard in your head you didn’t hear that part). I would gladly weigh both tires for you next time you are in the shop. The 2.24” is 732g. The 2.4” is 594g. That is 138g difference in favor of the 2.4.”
    Next item. You were still laughing (I’m assuming) when I explained that the Specialized FastTrack tire is less knobby, rolls faster, but doesn’t climb or corner as well as the Mutana Raptor of Little Albert tires we were discussing earlier. I said I don’t recommend them for beginners as I have found they slip on wet roots and/or rocks. They take more skill to make them work. I don’t like the tires, that’s why I recommended the others. Never did the words “mad skill” or anything of that nature come out of my mouth.
    The last thing I would like to say is that I welcome you back into the shop to personally talk about anything else (and to weigh tires) that you have questions about. Obviously, my answers are not up to your standards so I will make sure to direct you to Stokes, Skippy, or Pat. I hope I explained things adequately and up to your superior standards. If you have anything else to say that you don’t feel like “blogging” about I welcome them,

  7. Anonymous10:18 PM

    KA POWIE! My man is on his game. Go LBS...CMac

  8. Check out the big brain on Nick. I stand corrected & I apologize to Nick. I looked at the WTB Site & low & behold they do make magic rubber. Who would have thought it.

    Yes I realize the shipping part & how ordering of the net works thus the reason I try & support the LBS system. I say system because I do shop at all the local stores.

    You actually said I(being Nick) have the skills to ride said tires but at this point who gives a shit.
    Holy shit its cold out side?>? & I'm buying tires in January guess what I ride a lot & still have crap skills but I do ride semi slicks. I guess the part of the conversation we had about the 10 mile each way commute I have to Sac & wanted lower rolling resistance slipped past you when you were trying to get me to buy 2.4's that won't fit in my frame. But like I said before all a moot point now. LBS shop employee out smarts customer.

    Cale I have your peddles if you want them back.

  9. Heavens to Betsy, if I see you spell Pedals ... Peddles one more time I'm gonna lose it!!! Yes lose it, with one "o" not loose it (I've seen that here before as well) like a loose bolt. Shitfire!!!

  10. Check out the big brain on Ryan. Sorry I no type so well. Use firefox spell check not fucking grammar police.

  11. local shops would convert a few more customers into loyal customers if they would eat the cost of shipping once in awhile. even if it is the dead of winter.

  12. But the rising costs of freight make it almost impossible for a small business to eat the cost of shipping.

  13. We eat the shipping costs every day in my business and our margins are not close to the bike industry so we cant play that tune.

  14. Oh burn!!! Nice job Nick. I love it when scott gets put in his place. I don't even have a mountain bike but I think I'm going to go buy some WTB 2.4 from Nick at my local shop.

  15. Scott- you're losing this one like a champ!

    Next time, get your panties all bunged up and keep it to yourself before you go bashing your LBS. I can't tell you how often we cater to the "racing folks" who next day a part the day before a big race only to have ordered the wrong one or have no idea how to put it on... We got you covered like a jimmy hat.

    He was right on the FAST TRAKS too. SW Fast Trak LK 2.0's are the heat. For someone with skills doing XC racing try the super light SW FT SLK 1.9's.

    2008 is here, turn that frown upside down!

  16. You can tell that Scotty has a job again, HE IS ANGRY!

    Scott, I love you but that kid fucked you up!

  17. Oh I admit freely he got the best of me. I'm man enough to admit that. But we (Nate & me) we're both wrong. Instead of getting pissed I should have gone & talked to Pat right then instead I walked out. In my opinion which is the one we're talking about I got shit customer service, end of story.