Wednesday, April 15, 2009


From what I hear in the media, we live in hard times. I do agree that some parts of the economy are having it rough, but a lot of it is artificially created by media hype. Seems that talking about bad news sells, what a shame!

For those of us fortunate enough to still have a job, it is imperative that we go out there and spend if we have to. I don't proclaim that we should over spend, but if you have the money and in need of something, well go out there and make some people work.

If your purchase involves any bike related items, then I strongly suggest supporting your local bike shop. Not any bike shop, one that will look after your best interest whatever it is you set out to buy. If they don't really care about helping you, then they don't deserve your business.

Buying bikes or related products at Wally World and such big places does cost less...in the short run. Actually in the very short run, I'm talking parking lot short! Don't believe me? Try taking that new bike for a ride in the parking lot right after buying it without fiddling with it. People I know have seen these bikes end up in bike shops merely hours after being bought and the money saved was spent on adjusting and fixing what was wrong with it.

You have to realize that very few of these big chain stores have qualified mechanics on staff and if they actually do it's by a fluke, not on purpose. Bikes are actually assembled by hired crews that are paid by the unit, so they have every reasons to go fast. Quality is not the main issue here. I play a game with my kids when we go at these stores to try and find the mistakes on the bikes while my wife is shopping for decoration stuff. Brakes and pedals assembled backwards are just the tip of the iceberg, I can just imagine how well the brakes and shifters are adjusted!

All these things will not happen at a bike shop and if they do, you can be sure that a qualified mechanic will take care of it right away. Your new bike should also come with a 6 month free adjustment package. Buying cheap tools is also a waste of your time and time is money.

Buying at a local professional bike shop is smart and economical. Buy the good stuff and pay only once. You'll also develop a relationship with the people there that will last for years.

That's my .02 on the economy.

Until next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)


Big Oak said...

I agree, Gerry. Although I do all of my own mechanic work myself, I buy my bike parts at my local bike shop because it helps them out. It also helps me out because my parts are often the same price or less expensive than ordering over the internet (due to shipping and handling costs). Plus, it's just really nice to talk to people that appreciate bikes.

Rebecca said...

Wow! What a great blog. You gave me the confidence to fix a flat tire, replace the brakes and replace some cables. WOW! I feel so great about myself and what I can do! Thanks.


Unknown said...

Thank you for making my day Rebecca.

Gerry :)

Mark John said...


I know MEC isn't necessarily a big chain and, while I do like the concept behind it, I find that if you're not one of the "elite" of whatever sport you happen to be buying a product for, they don't really give you the time of day.

Case in point is their bike staff. They are trying to expand their stores to include bicycle sales by next year and, while there is a bike shop in the Montreal location, the people that work there have only really treated me with disdain, or as an idiot. God forbid you should want to use a tool for a minute.

I purchased a couple things there, asked to borrow one tool that I needed to install immediately as I didn't really want to wait, and was told no. I understand, they can't just give everyone a tool, but it's a coop fercryininthesink. When I offered to return the items and purchase them at a local bike store, they relented. However, from now on, you can bet your ass that I'll be at ye olde local bike shop first.

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about your experience at MEC Mark. I sometimes forget that I don't have the same experience at bike shops than most people since I pretty much know what I need and I have just about every tool for any job. I guess it's good place price wise when you know what you need and they actually have it in stock. Have you tried Bikurious on Amherst? They have a Facebook group and very friendly staff. The prices are decent as well from my experience.

Gerry :)

Dodgers323 said...

So funny, the first day i rode my new Huffy the pedal fell off. Either i messed up when installing it or it couldn't take my weight when i stood up on it a few times, lol!
I also went to a local shop and it seemed so disorganized, prices were high and they looked like they didn't really wanna help me. Guess you have to go through several until you find the right one.