Forum home Mountain biking forum Women

Is it me or my bike shop?

stalkedtoaststalkedtoast Posts: 48
edited October 2012 in Women
Now Ive been riding for a good few years and without boasting Im a good rider that likes the challenges that technical cross country trails bring along with riding the black runs at trail centres, I try to keep up with the men in my club and not get left behind. Im looking at getting a new bike and I have a serious budget approx £2000 for a hard tail 29er, I already have a Scott contessa genius full susser. The problem I have is that Im 5'6" and I sit in between a small and medium mens frame, despite my budget and good knowledge of the ins and outs of a bike and its spec, I find my local bike shops don't seem to take me serious, they either want to sell me an entry level 10 tonne machine or something Im just not suited to.

The bike shops seem to be plug the bike fitting service but when I don't fit a frame size they have in stock they seem reluctant to order me in a size that would fit to see if its correct, surely if Im spending serious £'s they would want to get it right??


  • All I can say as a bloke is that I ended up traveling quite a way to find a shop whose customer service met with my expectations. Keep trying - there's a shop out there somewhere waiting for you!

    Perhaps wait for one of the big shows to see a shed load of models in the same place then hassle the relevant dealers to get you in a frame that possibly suits?
  • TwellyTwelly Posts: 1,437
    As above really, advice and fitting service can be below par sometimes in my LBS, and you do feel as though they treat everyone like a complete beginner who doesn't know a bottom bracket from a helmet. As suggested, demo days/exhibitions are probably more useful as the exhibitors are in a very salesy/marketing mindset and will be expecting people who know a thing or two to visit the stand. Plus there are often give-aways and special discounts at exhibitions...
  • I sympathise - when i was looking at womens models for my 10yr old son, all i found at my three local bike shops were..

    LBS1 - one ladies hard tail - entry level
    LBS2 - two ladies models - both entry level
    LBS3 - several ladies models, but only suitable for riding around the town park !

    Most bike shops won't hold the stock you're interested in - unless you find an outlet thats also a big online retailer then you're going to find the same problem wherever you go. I called in Wheelies (Swansea) at the weekend and they had a £1500 Spesh Myka in the shop, and a few other womens models at much lower prices -thats as much physical female stock i've seen anywhere.

    The combo of ladies model, 29er and £2k price tag = few actual customers I'm afraid. Any retailer probably sell 20-30 mens equivalent models for every womens version :(
  • mrdsgsmrdsgs Posts: 336
    No idea where you live but if you ever get to Cannock Chase, Go to Mammoth Lifestyle in Milford and speak to Nicki, or anyone else there for that matter. You will be taken seriously I think.
    Colnago Addict!
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,572
    I hope i'm wrong about this, but I personally suspect that there is also an element of assuming that you know sod-all about bikes being a girl :(

    I have been fobbed off on more than one occasion - the last time by a member of staff telling me that a certain wheel rim would suffice for downhill MTBing when I knew damn well it wouldn't (they didn't have the stronger one in stock). I also particularly hate it when I ask a question but they reply to Chris, my other half, obviously assuming that it will be too complicated for my tiny brain to comprehend :evil:

    Anyway, i'm going off on a tangent here.....
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at
  • Just dont ever make a purchase at a shop that has been substandard in terms of attitude and service.
    I agree many bike shops can be very patronizing and treat women like idiots.Its wrong for them to make assumptions because they dont know jack about you. You could be a mechanic or someone wanting to spend grands.
    The best shop I've been to in terms of service, attitude and knowlegde is Bob Jacksons in Bramley Leeds.Unfortunatley they now just build frames as the shop has shut.
    I know Evans will order in what you want for £40.00 and you can have a try and if you dont want it then get your money back. You could give this a shot,trying a few at once.
  • I've had offers from bike shops to get bikes in if I pay £40-£50 to do so but if its not right for me I loose this money, which I don't want to do. Im not bothered about it being a WSD, to be honest the previous WSD's have fallen to bits and my current Scott genius is the only one thats lasted.

    The only WDS, 29er at £2000 is the specialized fate, which I tried and didn't like, I personally feel specialised are over priced for their component level and its the specialized WSD that I had last time that fell to bits.

    Anyone know when the shows are on??

    Thanks (from a girl who can do more than ride in a straight line along a canal tow path) :lol:
  • I specifically asked at Evans if I paid the money then didnt want the bike would I get the money back and he said yes definatley. I agree about specialized I think the frames are good but the components let them down.
    If your spending 2k then you definatley need to have a ride on it !
  • Hels147Hels147 Posts: 15
    I recently test rode about 4 bikes in total from Evans and I have to admit that they were really good ordering in one after another after another for me! There was a £50 deposit, which would have been returned if I hadn't bought from them (yeah, I know, I bought from Evans, but the bike was there and I wanted it...!). I think you can order in about 3 bikes at a time, although I don't know if you have to pay a deposit for each bike though. They say the test ride is only for 10 mins (although I did stretch it to 20 mins) and whilst it was long enough to know if a bike definately wasn't for me, it wasn't really long enough if I wasn't quite sure.
    My budget was £1500 and I did manage to take the bike down a few steps I found, which gave me a bit of an idea, but I think if I'd not been so fed up with searching for months and also desperate for a bike, I wouldn't have bought after such a short ride! I understand why they do this (they told me they sell new bikes, not secondhand!), but when I buy my next bike I will make sure the timing is better and attend some demo days. Luckily I absolutely love my new bike! :D
    Oh - and it's not you and it's deff not just biking where I find they talk to women like we don't know anything - try being a female drummer!!! :lol:
  • I would like to thanks the guys at "Pedal On" for their great service in helping me with my problem, i have had great communication both on the phone and online regarding advice and help, they sorted out the right for me bike which I now have :D , can't believe I had better service via email and on the phone than I did face to face with my "local" bike shop.
  • Chris`IChris`I Posts: 206
    Pedal On are cracking chaps, always very helpful and dont tend to talk to women as if they are children which is refreshing.

    Evans are also very good in Reading. I ordered in a a Saffire FSR for Mrs I which we went to try at the weekend. The chaps there let her try out the bike, after explaining what sag was and setting it right (and quickly realised she knew what sag is and what she wanted it set to) and also having a good stab at setting the seat in the right position. They said she could have ordered in 2 bikes at a time but would have had to pay a deposit on each I believe. They even got the double blind bearings out of my Stumpjumper FSR swingarm for free while Mrs I did her test ride, which is a PITA if you dont have the right tools. This was all while they only had 3 of the 7 staff they were meant to have on that day so they were very busy. I do find it can be a bit hit and miss with whoever you get though, and we were lucky. Bit like Halfords in that respect, sometimes you get someone that doesnt know their censored from the elbow and sometimes you get someone really good.
    2010 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp
    2010 Specialized Tricross Sport (commuter)
    2012 Boardman Road Team
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    To be honest as a man I find some bike shops assume a certain lack of knowledge.

    My old LBS in Reading could be a bit that way, even if you went in with a specific item you needed, they often either tried to steer you in the direction of a lesser item or gave you a bit of old bs about some such or rather. I got to know the head mechanic and did a couple of days work for them and he was much better with me, a couple of his mechs were still dicks though and the front sales staff didnt change their attitudes much either.

    The 2-3 bikes shops near me in BC are really good and have good ladies specific stock as well as great customer service - I think the lack of internet shopping options mean that the shops here still have to sell themselves and product to their customers.

    The internet has literally ruined customer service in the UK! Burn it! I blame Wiggle.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,291
    [quote="stalkedtoast"...I find my local bike shops don't seem to take me serious, they either want to sell me an entry level 10 tonne machine or something Im just not suited to.

    The bike shops seem to be plug the bike fitting service but when I don't fit a frame size they have in stock they seem reluctant to order me in a size that would fit to see if its correct, surely if Im spending serious £'s they would want to get it right??[/quote]

    £2k would buy you a hell of a good 2nd hand bike - why buy a new one ?
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • marzmarz Posts: 130
    It is the bikeshop, they're trying to BS you into buying a bike they think you need instead of listening to what you actually want. Of the almost 20 bike shops I could visit within 15 miles of home, there's only 1 I actually trust with my service.
    It take time to find a good LBS, but then more time to develop a relationship to where they work with you and not against you. After 10 years of using the same shop I get a standing 15% discount on everything and phone/calls emails on specials and close out gear.
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