Most bike shop people are assholes. It’s probably true with just about any hobby: You get so far into it, that you forget that other people may not be as passionate as you are about it. Bike snobs, beer snobs, movie snobs — whatever. They’re hard to deal with.
So when the girlfriend’s bike broke and I couldn’t fix it, no matter how much I dremeled, I dreaded going into any kind of bike shop to ask for help.
Turns out, though, that Bicycle Village was a delight.
Here’s a true story: Went into Old Town Bike Shop downtown because I live near them. I brought in the shredded gear cable and asked what I ought to do.
Old Town Bike Shop Guy: Oh, yeah, that’s an old Positronic.
Me: Really? Says “Shimano” on it.
OTBSG (in the snippiest way possible): I am not guessing.
Whoa, there, sensitive bike guy. I wasn’t challenging your expertise or trying to insult your delicate feelings. I was just pointing out that, to the casual rider, the “Shimano” stamped onto the gear led me to believe that it was a Shimano gear. Now, if there is some nuance that I didn’t understand or some hidden, secret feature that made this gear something other than what was stamped onto it, well, clearly, I am an idiot for not noticing. Please accept my sincerest apologies.
Now, compare the Bicycle Village experience. Guy looked at my stupid cable and talked to me at length about possibilities. He said he needed to probably actually see the bike, so I brought it in the next week. He was clearly pretty busy, but he spent the time going over some more options with me. The 1980s-era Huffy 3-speed was beneath his dignity, but he went over all the ways we could tackle the problem. In the end, though, and here’s what’s probably most impressive: He suggested to me that fixing it might not be worthwhile, knowing that he could probably have milked this stupid project for a good amount of money.
No, he said he could work on it, but it might not be fixable, and 3-speeds are plentiful.
So next time you’re in the market for a bike or some bike repair, check out Bicycle Village. They’re not assholes.
EDIT: To be fair, I only had that one experience at Old Town, so maybe they’re not always this way. Maybe Sensitive Bike Guy was having a bad day and I should cut him some slack. Fair enough. The girlfriend’s brother was in town and bought a bike there, and it looks like they treated him pretty well. Soon, I’ll be going back in to ship his bike to L.A., and we’ll see how things are then.