Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bike Store Rant #2

bikes are way more complicated today than yesteryear

I was in Performance Bike Store today picking up some tires and tubes for my son. As I waited for the salesperson to bring my order up, I noticed a lady with her husband trying to buy a road bike.

I felt bad for both of them. Neither had a clue as to what to look for in a good road bike. The young man waiting on them, maybe 20 yrs old if he was lucky, looked bored out of his skull. He was no help to this woman. He had picked out a Fuji, probably last year's model I am guessing as the clerk was talking about discounting the bike.

He did put the lady on a trainer with the bike but past that, he did not do much. Told the lady he would move the seat up and put a shorter handlebar stem on the bike for her.

The bike had compact gearing and was priced at $1499 with the discount. I could not tell what brand the components were. But this is a lot of money and watching this couple spend this kind of money and not have a clue as to what they were buying broke my heart.

The clerk almost talked the woman into a cross bike. Luckily, she did not bite.

Bike stores want to sell bikes but do so little to make it a worthwhile experience for newbies looking to enter the sport of biking. No one gives them good information. The fit is hit or miss depending on who waits on you.

If I owned a bike store, I would set up a section just for bike buying. I would have displays about the components. Terry Cycles has many fabo videos talking about fit and how to buy a bike. These could be running for folks to view. There are many things that bike stores could do to lessen the fear and ignorance that most women have when they go into a bike store.

From what I can see, it is not a good experience if you do not know much about bikes. I wish bike stores would address this problem. Maybe more women would take up the sport if they got top flight help when they went into the store.

My town just had a bike store close up. Bike store owners think, just open up a store and put some bikes in it. They have no clue how intimidating it is for newbies to go into a bike store and try to buy a bike. Come on bike store owners, do something different and sell some road bikes to women.


Kathy said...

I went to REI when I first decided to take up kayaking. The salesperson fitted me in a boat that was too small for me. At the time, I knew nothing about kayaking and bought the improper boat.

The mistake is to go to the bike store or kayak store or whatever sport you are trying to learn with no information.

I suggest folks go to your help sessions first.

I took a kayak course at Phila canoe club, learned about my mistake and bought a different boat.

Luckily for me REI has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will take back used stuff even kayaks.

They also run courses for beginners in many sports.

Try out a bike or whatever sport you want to get into at a course or class then you might know more about what you want or do not want in your bike.


BG said...

Hey, since I was harshing on your other posts (but only because I want people to be safe), I thought I should be fair and say you're right on in this one. Nice post!