For any cyclist (or triathlete), one of the most valuable resources you can have is a solid relationship with your local bike shop (LBS for short). And I feel the need to give out some kudos right now to a few that I have dealt with over the last 20 weeks or so.
First is my true LBS – Speed River Bicycles in Guelph. The guys there are true heros and just superb to deal with. Any time I have a question I can just go in and ask. Anything I need they either have on hand or can get for me on short notice. And they are always willing to throw me a deal. Truly wonderful customer service.
The wrenches there (I’ll call out Mike D in particular) are some of the best I have ever dealt with… and Mike D can build a wheel better than I have ever seen elsewhere!
All the more amazing since my really big purchases (recently – 2 bikes!) have been made elsewhere – since they don’t carry some of the brands I have been focused on. They understand that… I understand that. And I try to make sure my regular business, maintenance business and all other types of business flow through them!
This is a nice seguay to my next LBS to thank. And that is Endurosport in Toronto. Not truly “local” for me… but it’s where I picked up my 2 Cervelo bikes in January. Those guys are fantastic to work with as well. Always friendly. Remember me every time I walk in the door. Ask me how my training is coming along. Chris is a fantastic bike fitter — and got me comfortable and locked in on my S5… And well, the sales staff have the best customer service around. On and off the sales floor. I always end up more than satisfied!
Just last night I dropped into the shop to pick up some drink powder stuff — the drink they will be serving at my races this year… because I found out they have it… despite the fact that I also found out I could get it a local shop in Guelph. Because I’d rather give Endurosport the business.
And the final shop I want to thank is La Bicicletta in Toronto. In this case I don’t do a lot of business with these folks. I did buy a set of race wheels (Zipps) from them at the Spring Bicycle show in the Spring of 2011…wheels that until this year saw very little use.
When I travelled down to vegas for the Leadman Triathlon the guys doing a quick check of my nbike noted that my rear wheel was cracked. So I brought it back into La Bicletta and – after a bit of a long story saga of being told it wasn;t warranty-able, and that I’d obviously “crashed”…. they decide to “warranty” it anyhow.
That is customer service.
I don;t know whether they ate the cost of a new wheel? Or whether they pushed that cost up to their distributor? But the reality is, I walked out of the shop yesterday (yes, I had a few errands to run!) with a brand new rear Zipp 404 without having to shell out any money for a “crash replacement”.
So… for all you athletes out there…. especially those like me that used to do a lot fo “internet shopping to find the best deal”… come to love your LBS. Without them, you’d be lost. You’d never get your random questions answered. You’d never get “special warranty service”.