Friday, August 21, 2009

Bike shop owners/employees

They are easy to take shots at, with often seriously asshole-ish, superior, condescending attitudes flying around every which way you turn. However, they are also often pretty underpaid and perhaps underappreciated skilled workers* (at least many of them). This best of craigslist post sheds a little light on some of the sorts of people and questions they perhaps have to deal with.

* A good friend of mine has been having nightmares with the shop in Houston he purchased his bike from. It was supposed to have free service for however long, but these dillweeds started making him feel like an idiot from about the second time he brought it in, bent his derailleur hanger when he brought it in for a tuneup before a big ride and then did their best to tell him he bent it, slammed the Park Tool maintenance book down on the counter in front of him on another trip in to get the wheel trued, and so on. He subsequently went to another shop to see about getting his wheels to stop having constantly loosening spokes and going out of true and they told him his rear wheel had been trued too many times and probably wouldn't last much longer. This is a Mavic CXP22 and a Shimano hub purchased new with perhaps 1500 miles we're talking about here. How hard is it to not screw that up!? This is why I generally opt to learn how to do it myself, no offense to bike mechanics as a class, it's just such a crapshoot. I'm also a raging autodidact, so if it's feasible, I'd just as soon do it myself. However, I have learned many good tricks/procedures and been bailed out once or twice by a skilled mechanic, so I will give mad props to many of them.

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