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The Rudest bike shop?

The LunchThe Lunch Posts: 21
edited October 2007 in Commuting chat
Is Bikefix the rudest bike shop? I'm used to supercilious (remember the racing specialist just off Golden Square?) and even questionable (Bike in Pimlico abhorring the Sale Of Goods Act) but I've never been banned ("Don't come back, now!") before - and for the sin of complaining about the service.

One member of staff simply didn't understand what I was asking and the other was FAR more interested in discussing her holiday plans over the phone (Spain, I believe) to deal with customers.

So Bikefix don't want my custom - possibly yours too - but are there other such horrors out there?
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  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    shorter rochford in friern barnet, extremely rude but in the other shop in potters bar very helpful.
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    When I saw the heading I thought "Bikefix". I've never been to a shop with such rude and unhelpful staff, and I've been to a lot of bike shops.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    spasypaddy wrote:
    shorter rochford in friern barnet, extremely rude but in the other shop in potters bar very helpful.

    Funny, I'd have said the Potters Bar lot are ruder. But not like Bikefix...
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    Aktive8

    4 days and no response to 2 emails
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    In fairness Stuart himself is pretty good, especially when you're there to test ride recumbents. I've also had bad experiences IMO with his staff though. I think he should carefully think about changing how they are managed because it's the future of his business that's being seriously impacted IMO.
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    edited September 2007
    If you want a folder or bent then I'm sure that Bikefix are OK for you. I once met that bloke, Burrows in there. But if you have a regular bike with a flat tyre or slipping chain then they don't want to know.
    That place was set up as a council-funded co-operative to serve Camden's cyclists long before there was money in the game; they should remember who they are and what they're for and be polite to those of us who need to keep our old irons running and don't want the latest trick.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • jbindmanjbindman Posts: 1,328
    ive used bikefix occasionally for bits & pieces (its on my route just not open early enough for me most days); i havent had any unusually bad experiences though like quite a few shops (eg condor, or even brixton cycles, which I like) one has the slight sense that you have to have to demonstrate that you know what you're after to be taken seriously.

    and they provide free recumbents for playing on at camden green fair, or did a couple of times anyway (i didnt go this year) which is a plus......
    fgg 1666
  • Seconding bikefix. I had my bike nicked a couple of years back and was looking to replace it. I strolled in and said "Hi, are you able to get Specialized bikes?". The guy turned round and said "No, why would I want to?".

    I rang up to enquire about servicing the other day (as they are nearby and Condor are booked up weeks in advance) and received probably the rudest phone service I have ever encountered from any shop. I will never, ever go there again.
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    dondare wrote:
    spasypaddy wrote:
    shorter rochford in friern barnet, extremely rude but in the other shop in potters bar very helpful.

    Funny, I'd have said the Potters Bar lot are ruder. But not like Bikefix...
    ive never been to bikefix and i dont think i ever will now! I had a nice convo with one of the guys in potters bar about bib shorts, what he rode, his TT times and censored . Walked out not having bought anything. Went into the one in friern barnet to get a quote on my bike (£400 of damage) and they just told me they couldnt do me a quote and to come back (obviously it was much ruder than that)

    Best service is The Cyclestore in friern barnet, incredibly friendly staff, highly highly recommended! Even today i turned up 5mins after they closed and they still took 5mins to talk to me and check my bike out in the street even though the boss was standing there with a bottle of wine and was clearly going out somewhere! Brilliant shop and no im not on commission!
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    Bike and Run in Finchley are good.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    dondare wrote:
    Bike and Run in Finchley are good.
    are they the ones that are open late on a wednesday night? if so i keep meaning to go down there
  • Bikefix pretty unhelpful about getting a suitcase for my Airnimal..

    I guess i'm in a minority here but i bought a mountain bike from Condor a few years ago and found a couple of problems when i got home, on taking it back the response was
    " Well what do you expect for a £325 bike"

    Classy comment!

    Others say its better now.

    Evans-poltie but incompetent. (And we haven't had an "I hate Evans more than you do" thread for a long time)
    17 years commuting up and down the King\'s Road and i still don\'t get faster...
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Can't be worse than Bikes UK in Watford who dismantled my bike for a full service, then told me that they weren't sure how to put it back together, and handed it back to me in 2 bits along with a carrier bag full of bits and pieces. They even wanted me to pay for half of the service as they had dismantled it!!!!
  • CyclegentCyclegent Posts: 601
    I've had good service from Bike and Run in East Finchley and Archway Bikes, and also Cycle Surgery on Holloway Road. I find some of the staff in the big chain shops can be a bit too 'cool for school' though, but the fact my bike has a Reynolds 501 frame seems to generate a bit of respect for some odd reason!
    \'Cycling in Amsterdam.is not a movement, a cause, or a culture.It\'s a daily mode of transportation. People don\'t dress special to ride their bike any more than we dress special to drive our car... In the entire 1600 photographs that I took, there were only three people in "bike gear" and wearing helmets.\' Laura Domala, cycling photographer.
  • Would recommend Bike & Run in East Finchley too. On my fourth bike from them (plus two balance bikes for the kids), loads of excellent service and always answers to my daft questions.

    Don't think they have a late opening day, but if the door shutter isnt down, means they're probably still working in there and you can always try the bell. Has worked for me on a number of occasions when I've needed some emergency help/bits.

    Top fellas
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    yeah bike and run is the late opener on a wednesday night, they are also the bianchi stockists for the area. the east finchley bit was what convinced me
  • OK I know all the instances here are in and around London. However as a candidate I would nominate Bike Art Thetford Forest.

    Knackered BB needed replacing, called friday evening to check if they could look at it AM Saturday. Yeah no problem bring it in early if you can.

    Arrived AM Sat early 9, they wouldn't even look at it!!

    The owner also has a bit of a reality problem, he thinks he owns Thetford Forest.

    WASTERS don't go there.
    If you see the candle as flame, the meal is already cooked.
    Photography, Google Earth, Route 30
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Can't be worse than Bikes UK in Watford who dismantled my bike for a full service, then told me that they weren't sure how to put it back together, and handed it back to me in 2 bits along with a carrier bag full of bits and pieces. They even wanted me to pay for half of the service as they had dismantled it!!!!

    That is a classic
    :D:D:D:D:D
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  • helzhelz Posts: 406
    I've got a comment about good service rather than bad service - I went to Cycle Surgery in Spitalfields twice last week (not the one on Spital Square, but the one off Middlesex Street), first to get some cycling shoes and the second time to get a puncture fixed. I was served by a different staff member each time and in both cases they couldn't have been nicer. So I'll definitely be going there again.
    *´¨)
    `.·´ .·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·´
    Power to the pedal
  • palinuruspalinurus Posts: 836
    Can't be worse than Bikes UK in Watford who dismantled my bike for a full service, then told me that they weren't sure how to put it back together, and handed it back to me in 2 bits along with a carrier bag full of bits and pieces. They even wanted me to pay for half of the service as they had dismantled it!!!!

    Incredible!

    Can't remember what it was called before- but it hasn't changed much!. They had a Brompton in there once. I wanted one. Went in and asked to try it out. They wouldn't let me. Said i'd leave deposit, no joy. The salesperson tried to put me off- demonstrating that the back wheel was all floppy and that it'd be dangerous anyway. And that Bromptons are "weird". Just for amusement I asked how it folded. Took them a while.

    Got on the train and went to Bikefix the same day and got one there. They were great.

    I find Cyclopedia in Watford are OK for servicing if you ever need any done.
  • flappyflappy Posts: 21
    Aother vote for Bike UK in Watford - I went in there one Sunday - explained to the miserable manager (who might have gone by now) that I was interested in a good Sirrus for my commute (26 miles per day) and said I'd be better off with a Claud Butler 150£ mountain bike?! While he was offering me his wisdom(!) he leant over to a 45-50 year old normal looking chap - and told him he had 10 minutes to make a choice of bike or get out!!!!! I ran away to Cyclopedia in Watford who are a proper LBS with nice people and good advice.
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    I actually go to Cyclopedia now, I find them very helpfull, although the shop can get really busy and you sometimes have to wait for a while, but I suppose that's a good sign!!
  • flappyflappy Posts: 21
    The story of the bike returned in bits from Eat My Dust was the most incredible I've ever heard - how ballistic did that make you exactly? maybe the clue about BikesUK not being a proper LBS with people interested in cycling is that when you go past there are 1, 2 or 3 staff all outside having a censored !
  • homercleshomercles Posts: 499
    Like they say about referees in football, it's the lack of consistency that drives me nuts. When I was buying a bike a couple of years back I had a few models in mind and went out one day to test some.

    Evans in Fenchurch Street let me test a couple of bikes but the one I most fancied they didn't have in my size. Said they'd source it and call me the next day, never did. They lost £800 of business because of that.

    Eventually bought bike from On Your Bike in London Bridge. Sadly after a while the back brake went and wouldn't stop rubbing no matter how many times it was adjusted/ reset. Despite numerous (4) attempts at them solving the problem they kept giving me the bike back with the same problem.

    Sheer frustration at the lack of a resolution took me to Evans in Spitalfields where I checked in the bike. About 2 hrs later the mechanic rang me up, explained that the rear lever had gone (as in broken, not missing!) and needed replacing, advised me of the cost and asked if it was OK to order the part. Been fine ever since.

    Seems like you're in the hands of the gods half the time. My current LBS lot at Moosecycles seem OK though.

    EDIT: Looks at original title of post, accepts that may have rambled slightly off topic here. Still, my point remains :oops:
  • mekontamekonta Posts: 58
    I don't remember the name of the shop, but I found a bike shop in Briancon (French Alps) a couple years ago and tried on a jersey there. It was a good fit, pretty snug, but that's how I like it and I'd more or less decided to buy it.

    But while I was putting my other top back on a guy (I'm guessing the owner) came over and starting ranting at me in French. I did my best to show him I didn't understand what he was saying, but he carried on anyway. And through the universal language of hand signals, I think he was telling me off for trying on a jersey that he thought was too small and I had stretched it out of shape.

    So inevitably I left him with his malformed jersey and spent my money at the LBS when I got home.
  • Sounds like I'm in the minority here, but I've always had a very good service from Bikefix when I've popped in or spoken to them on the phone.

    Unlike Condor (the nearest shop to work), where apparently converting Road bikes to fixed is "always going to be a bodge job". I went in recently to try to buy a 10mm track nut, which apparently they didn't stock. Bikefix sold me a pair for 60p.

    Personal favourite shop is Pearsons in Sutton.
  • PeteinSQPeteinSQ Posts: 2,292
    Velorution aren't the world's most helpful. Not helped by the fact that they only ever seem to have one person working there and he is always busy with some middle class twerp (could easily be me).
    <a><img></a>
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    When I last used a certain independent cycle shop in West London I vowed never to go there again, the owner was SO rude I felt like lumping him.
  • flappyflappy Posts: 21
    ...and regarding the earlier mentions of bike shops in Watford, I've just popped my Sirrus in to Cyclopedia due to a pedal problem, and new pedals installed in a few mins under warranty with a smail and no fuss.
  • OK I know all the instances here are in and around London. However as a candidate I would nominate Bike Art Thetford Forest.

    Knackered BB needed replacing, called friday evening to check if they could look at it AM Saturday. Yeah no problem bring it in early if you can.

    Arrived AM Sat early 9, they wouldn't even look at it!!

    The owner also has a bit of a reality problem, he thinks he owns Thetford Forest.

    WASTERS don't go there.

    If that's the shop at the Centre with the bike stand/park area outside the doors, then I agree wholeheartedly!

    A mate and I had already ridden and, being our first time at Thetford, we did what any self-respecting biker would and decided to check out the shop for any bargains. Having no locks with us on our ride (who would?) I politely asked the young lad checking a couple of hire bikes over outside if we could just leave our bikes in two of the 40-odd empty bike-stand spaces.

    We were rudely told 'nah, hire bikes only' so I mentioned that the only other place was out of sight around the corner where anyone could be away on it in seconds. He seemed completely unbothered and I had to verbally prod him about 4 times that we were potentially spending money in the shop (which was empty at this time!) and that he was unlikely to suddenly get 40 bikes turning up before he gruffly agreed. Even then, they were so well prepared that our 2.1 tyres would not fit into the slots for the wheels! At a venue for MTBs. What were they renting?!

    We then put the bikes in clear view of the door and carefully cleaned off the dirt and mud from our feet and legs before entering. As we walked in we had a look of complete disdain from the guy inside because we were a bit muddy. In a bike shop, in a Forest, in March. I ask you.

    We did not stay long as they then watched our every move as though they expected us to stick something in our Camelbaks and sneak out. I wouldn't mind if we were kids but we're both in our late 30s!!

    I will never go back to that shop unless there was extreme, mitigating circumstances!

    I have also heard of someone taking his teenage son to hire bikes to ride together, being told that they would not let him hire an entry-level MTB because he was 'not expert enough to ride it properly' despite the fact that they were both regular riders and had their own bikes at home, both of which were much better quality than the rubbish they were hiring out!

    When the guy asked how they could tell how good a rider his son was or wasn't he just got rudeness in return. I don't think he used the shop again, either....

    It amazes me that people like that are still in business!
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    Now living happily at http://www.uk-mtb.com !!
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