Got a job in a bike company

lloyders Posts: 8
edited March 2010 in MTB beginners
Hi, I am fresh to bike radar and would firstly like to say hi, I have always been a keen Mountain biker however never in a month of sundays thought i would start work in a bike shop dealing with there cycle to work scheme.

My new boss has told me to do so homework on bikes I.E - Magazines, Web etc etc... and this is where you come in.

I am just after some help on what i should be reading up on etc i have purchased the latest "What mountain bike" magazine.

Any help/support/advice would be most welcome.

Thanks for taking your time out to read this



  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    well it al depends on what you want to know.

    the two links in my sig are a good point for parts of and how to fix and some history of bikes.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • lloyders
    lloyders Posts: 8
    That was the most confusing part of the conversation it was "Go away now and brush up on general knowledge" Could you imagine me turning up next monday "Hi Boss found out the wheels turn and brake stop the bike" :wink: Sure he would be thrilled. I sent him an email yesterday trying to drop the hint as to what he wants me to look at. Without blatently saying what am i looking for in particular? And my response was "what bike magazine" so as i say i will bury my head in that over the course of a week and just hope i learn something.
  • If you are already a keen mountain biker, you should have a reasonable amount of background knowledge in that area, but what about road bikes, hybrids, BMX's? This is probably going to be what your new boss means, look at what they sell and make sure that you have a bit of background there so that should you talk to a customer, you won't look like a gormless monkey. He will not be expecting you to know everything, you will be continually learning, and if you are ever asked a question to which you don't know the answer, say so, and do your utmost to find the answer. People get found out when they make stuff up and it doesn't help the reputation of the shop.

    Also, it's all well and good knowing everything about bikes, but the majority of customers will be after accessories. Learn what tools do what, differences between cables or lubes, why slick tyres are better for commuting etc.

    Don't get bogged down learning the weight of the newest craziest component range, useless details for most customers, and if someone really cares, check the catalogue. Learn things that will build up your basic knowledge and help most customers you come across.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY: Learn how to make a good cup of tea :lol:
    2009 Giant Anthem X2
    2009 On One Il Pompino in SS CX mode!
    2009 Giant Defy 2.5
  • lloyders
    lloyders Posts: 8
    Cheers for your help.

    1) How do i make a good cuppa? Milk before tea bags :?: :!: :?: :!: :?: :!: :?: :!:

    When i say keen i mean i ride my apollo dual suspenison bike as much as i can.

    I am going to be dealing with customers over the phone which is part of the goverment backed scheme of cycle to work. As you say i can't know everything it is all a learning process but i just feel that i need to go and look at sites mags etc and hopefully when i get there next monday i know at least some things.
  • Ok, so read about the government guidelines on C2W, just so you have a bit of a background on the whole thing. This page should help you get started:

    Then have a look at the range of bikes your employer sells. Try and remember what the different bikes are designed for and the direction the ranges travel in (eg, Giant XTC 1 is more expensive than XTC 4, whereas Trek 6500 costs more than 4300). Also look at what the bikes are designed for, often people will say they want a mountain bike or a road bike, but a lot of people won't know the difference and will rely on you to recommend a bike to best suit their needs.

    People can also buy accessories on the C2W, quickly brush up on the helmets, lights, locks, reflective gear, pannier racks etc. Again most of the time you will be making the recommendations, so see which ones have good reviews and which ones offer good VFM. For you to be recommending these items to the customer shows good initiative and is called upselling, your manager should like that!! Even getting things on there like inner tubes helps, a lot of the time the customer will have only thought of the bike and not bothered with the things that make the bike rideable in the cold or wet, or keep it safe when you get to work. Getting the customer the right gear can make the difference between them using the bike day in, day out, or just for a week.

    When it comes to dealing with customer queries or problems with the scheme itself, I would expect your boss to help you out with that when you start. There are no end of questions that customers ask about what they can or cannot have which there is no way for you to find out beforehand.

    Tea? Milk, 2 sugars and some hob-nobs, thanks 8)
    2009 Giant Anthem X2
    2009 On One Il Pompino in SS CX mode!
    2009 Giant Defy 2.5
  • lloyders
    lloyders Posts: 8
    Thank you so much for your help. Hob nobs en route now :wink:

    (Note to self)

    Monday - Take in my bike mag and notes & hob nobs & tea bags :wink:
  • Skonk
    Skonk Posts: 364
    You may also want to make sure your clear on the finer details of the C2W scheme that often catch a few people out.

    Eg: that the person doesn't own the bike until they buy it back from the company they work for (lot of people think the bike is theirs, which isn't the case. It's effectively hired from their employer for 12 months, at which point the can buy the bike outright from the employer for a fee).
    Canyon Spectral AL 9.0 EX
    Planet X RT90 Ultegra Di2
  • lloyders
    lloyders Posts: 8
    Cheers Skonk, I thought that was the case but have to make sure peeps are also
  • llamafarmer
    llamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    lloyders wrote:
    1) How do i make a good cuppa? Milk before tea bags :?: :!: :?: :!: :?: :!: :?: :!:

    You put milk in the cup first if you're using a teapot, but if you're putting bag straight into cup, the milk goes in last :wink:

    My mate insists it's always milk first, but he's wrong and he makes a crap cuppa.
  • lloyders
    lloyders Posts: 8
    Right shall try it myself first. LOL cheers guys been really good help. Just to get my head stuck in a magazine is really not my idea of fun but hey if ireally wanna last then so be it.
  • Joycie
    Joycie Posts: 127
    I agree with Llamafarmer - nothing (other than water) should be added to the cup until after the tea bag has been removed! :D
  • GHill
    GHill Posts: 2,402
    Know your product. As in, what the shop sells and what it can get.
  • thel33ter
    thel33ter Posts: 2,684
    Also, for tips lurk around the beginners, buying advice and workshop forums, you'll learn a lot.
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
    05 Trek 1000 Custom build
    Speedily Singular Thingy
  • ilovedirt
    ilovedirt Posts: 5,798
    Reading these forums has helped me gain a lot of knowledge, mountain biking uk is a good magazine as it has more tech tips etc whereas what bike is purely about what to buy
    Production Privee Shan

    B'Twin Triban 5
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Well. not always - we have a tech section, letters and of course a big guide that shows many bikes.
  • FSR_XC
    FSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    If you want to know about Cycle to work scheme, here is the place you should be looking:
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50
  • lloyders
    lloyders Posts: 8
    Cheers for all your help and support i really appreciate it. However NOTHING seems to be sinking in!!! My head is buried in my bike magazine and this webpage is on constant but nowt seems to be sticking. :? :? :? :?