Sunday, July 8, 2012

Our LBS and The Girlfriend Test

Olympus XA, Maco MW 100 

I'm kind of a snob about where I buy stuff.

I admit we bought my girlfriend a cheap bike to begin with because she wasn't sure she'd like riding. Turns out, I was creating a monster. Now she hates doing much else.

Which is good, because she figures in to the litmus test of how we chose bike shops. I call it "The Girlfriend Test."

She goes in to grab a part, and based on how she is treated, we decide to shop there or not.

Testing went as follows:

Performance Cycle on Colorado: Argued with her about size of tube she needed, ultimately selling her the wrong size. Attitude was "She's a girl. What can she know?"

BikeSource on Colorado: Wandered store for 20 minutes. Ignored. Left.

Ok, so the chains are right out. Let's try the little guys.

Bicycle Doctor: Way too busy to get to helping her, all three times. Good for them that business is good, but we kind of like getting waited on.

Cycle Analyst: Worst of the lot. I called ahead and asked if a particular tire was available. It was, they had over a dozen in stock, I sent her over to buy a pair. She walked in, and they told her they didn't have that tire and what she really needed was a pair of Schwalbe Marathons or something. I'm sure they were nice tires, but putting $160 worth of turing tires on a $50 frankenbike was absurd. She didn't buy from them despite some shady pressure tactics.

Which brings us to our current LBS.

Turin treated her right from the get go. Right answers, right attitude, friendly. And we're in there buying things on a frequent basis as a result. We bought two new bikes there in the last year, and I'm already looking at another. Instead of treating her like she was an idiot simply because of her gender, they actually seem to love waiting on her. The owner commented he likes her because she's so enthused about riding, and a happy customer was the best thing ever. As tight fisted as I am, I like giving money to local people who take care of folks right.

Turin Bikes, Denver CO

Now if I just had more storage space, I'd see about that new bike . . .

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