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How good is your shop?

Feb. 1, 2020, 11:41 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan. 18, 2019

We're lucky to have to have a few shops locally but one in particular is the reason I decided to finally (10 years ago) invest in some basic tools and gradually build on them while I educated myself in most things mtb bike related (right up to wheel builds, bearing replacement and basic suspension servicing but not dampers, mind). Blessed art thou youtube.

Not long ago I was out with a friend who'd just picked his bike up from the shop I mention above who was supposed to have shortened his new brake hoses, rebleed and fit them front and rear. 

Early in the ride he was talking about a bit of rotor noise and the derailleur not shifting quite right. I checked it out at the top of the first climb. The rear caliper was loose on the mounting bolts, the through axle was nearly completely wound out of its thread and the shifter cable was, somehow, on the wrong side of the drop out and getting eaten by the smallest cog. (I fixed it up and we carried on riding, thank jebus for good multitools and modern bikes using mostly allen bolts).

But all that for NZD$130!!

I made sure my mate knew he could just come to mine for the cost of a coupley nice beers from now on...

Feb. 2, 2020, 9:16 a.m.
Posts: 3658
Joined: Aug. 22, 2005

I do my own wrenching. There's two shops in Nanaimo that have been great to me, I favour one of them because they are friendly and don't dilly dally with parts orders.

Feb. 2, 2020, 9:27 a.m.
Posts: 3
Joined: Sept. 22, 2019

Find a shop with some non-alcoholic people with gray hairs that still ride. I know that is a high bar in the bike industry. Also a shop that has been around for a long time in a market with competition. 

And once you do find it dont go in and complain about the price because "we are building a vacation home" or "our kids are in college".  The list goes on of insulting rich guy excuses I have heard for paying the pittance we charge for primo work on the $10000 toys these guys can barely ride. Also a big fat $$ tip goes way farther than the sixer if PBR some people think is a good tip. 

"If money talks then I'm the ventriloquist" -lil Wayne

Ps I work at a shop if you did not guess already.

Feb. 2, 2020, 9:35 a.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I bought my bike at John Henry's in North Van.  They've been great to me.  I would always drive from the Langley/Surrey area to bring my bike there since there wasn't a good local alternative.  Finally, we have a phenomenal shop in Langley.  Tyson at the Giant dealership is a magician.

Feb. 2, 2020, 5:57 p.m.
Posts: 75
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: shoreboy

I dont think that having this happen over 3 different shops makes things any better.  That just goes to show how hard it is to get someone you trust to work on your bike.  I decided long ago to invest the time and money into myself.  I do all my own work (apart from full suspension rebuilds), and have outfitted my home shop with everything I need.  Im pretty particular about how I like things done, and I enjoy wrenching as much as I do riding sometimes.

It sounds like you know what you are looking for, and you probably know your way around a bike.  Is there a reason why you dont work on it yourself?  Some people dont have the time or inclination, which is fine, but it doesnt take alot to do the basics and more advanced things are often fun/easy to learn.

I am the same way. I do everything except damper service myself. I figure I am far more motivated to take the time to do the job properly than any shop mechanic. Having said that, I think LV Bikes is pretty good.

Feb. 2, 2020, 9:55 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: May 17, 2018

Posted by: skooks

Posted by: shoreboy

I dont think that having this happen over 3 different shops makes things any better.  That just goes to show how hard it is to get someone you trust to work on your bike.  I decided long ago to invest the time and money into myself.  I do all my own work (apart from full suspension rebuilds), and have outfitted my home shop with everything I need.  Im pretty particular about how I like things done, and I enjoy wrenching as much as I do riding sometimes.

It sounds like you know what you are looking for, and you probably know your way around a bike.  Is there a reason why you dont work on it yourself?  Some people dont have the time or inclination, which is fine, but it doesnt take alot to do the basics and more advanced things are often fun/easy to learn.

I am the same way. I do everything except damper service myself. I figure I am far more motivated to take the time to do the job properly than any shop mechanic. Having said that, I think LV Bikes is pretty good.

While I can do most of the grunt work myself, when I have an opportunity. That said I usually let the boys at LV take care of most of the work because I don't have the time. I live in the West End. I don't have the tools at hand or the room to set everything up.

Feb. 3, 2020, 6:55 a.m.
Posts: 239
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I have a buddy who owns a LBS and when he works on my bike it's like watching a F1 mechanic in action. He'll often comment "Do you want me to just fix the 1 problem you asked me to work on or the other 5 things that are wrong with your bike as well?" Then I get my bike back and it's working so well I'm blown away. Every time.

Sadly he lives ~2,500kms from my house so these wrenching sessions are only sporadic. 

Even more sadly he's ruined me for working with our local bike shops by setting a standard that's almost impossible to meet.

Feb. 3, 2020, 7:46 a.m.
Posts: 1313
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Dave if you are reading this... we miss you

Feb. 3, 2020, 7:59 a.m.
Posts: 295
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Posted by: Brocklanders

Dave if you are reading this... we miss you

Yes, yes we do

Feb. 3, 2020, 10:01 a.m.
Posts: 132
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

My shop is awesome. On time every time, no waiting, no booking appointments, my favourite music always on the radio, my brand of beer in the fridge, and reasonably priced (just parts and tools, no labour charge).

Feb. 3, 2020, 4:59 p.m.
Posts: 228
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: earleb

My shop is awesome. On time every time, no waiting, no booking appointments, my favourite music always on the radio, my brand of beer in the fridge, and reasonably priced (just parts and tools, no labour charge).

Your three “employees” are pretty awesome too.


 Last edited by: andy-eunson on Feb. 3, 2020, 4:59 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 4, 2020, 6:32 a.m.
Posts: 41
Joined: Dec. 1, 2008

Posted by: Bagheera

Seems to be quite different here across the pond. I'm usually happy with the work they do and when I pick up my bike, they tell me to take a ride around the block to make sure everything is as it's supposed to be. AFAIK, the pimply kid is never allowed to work on my bike. When I come in, it's usually "Go right through, Dave (shop owner) is in the back." Also, on various occasions, they did overtime and/or snuck me in when they were really swamped to get things ready for a race/vacation/just to keep me rolling. Moreover, replacement parts (when they had to work on wheels or a fork, for example) or even demo bikes as replacements (free of charge) so I wouldn't have to go without a bike on a sunny weekend. No complaints. I usually bring cakes or ice cream instead of brews.

So cake is the secret to having amazing shops?

Joking aside, i live on the same side of the pond as you do and my experience with bike shops hasn't been great. Over many years and multiple cities, i found a handfull of good shops.  But the good ones were either dedicated to touring/bike travel/commuting or triathlon or they were specialized wheelbuilders and suspension shops. No good all-purpose MTB shop.

Feb. 4, 2020, 9:37 a.m.
Posts: 132
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: andy-eunson

Posted by: earleb

My shop is awesome. On time every time, no waiting, no booking appointments, my favourite music always on the radio, my brand of beer in the fridge, and reasonably priced (just parts and tools, no labour charge).

Your three “employees” are pretty awesome too.

Good thing the small two work for fishy crackers and milk, because their work is suspect. Their favourite task is tightening axle bolts with flat head screwdriver.

Feb. 4, 2020, 9:40 a.m.
Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

We're pretty lucky In BC to have so many amazing bike shops but even among so many good choices I have definitely favourites.

Feb. 6, 2020, 4:35 p.m.
Posts: 1524
Joined: July 11, 2014

Posted by: RAHrider

To be fair, these problems span three different shops and all three have good reputations. I think it's just the quality of work that bikes endear. Does anyone have a shop that they can just drop their bike off and everything is perfect every time no matter who works on it?

I've had steed do a couple of jobs well. Seems like a pretty professional shop.

Yep, formerly Dave (and Stoyan) at BicycleHub. Over the 4 years I had him working on my bikes it was always high quality work, no surprises, always on time or faster. Miss that guy dearly, but stoked for what he's doing and hope to check out his new operation sometime.

Haven't needed any work since he left, gonna give Wheel Thing/Jeff a go.

I've had good luck with Steed as well, and crap work done by a couple other well known/popular shops, one of which is a 5 min drive from me... so that really sucks.

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