View Full Version : Dummy No More!

12-21-2003, 07:28 PM
After my last trip to my LBS, I've decided to take a couple of community classes & learn how to do basic maintenance myself. I've asked Santa for a bike stand (and Santa is very accomodating!) so I can adjust cables, true wheels and other basic things (according to the class description.)

I'm so tired of not being taken seriously at the LBS. :mad: I had them put on a new saddle (Serfas with titanium rails, really nice!) and they swear they measured the previous saddle placement - yeah right. Unless I grew 2 inches overnight there would be no way I could reach the pedals comfortably! I even have a mark on the seatpost that they ignored. The cyclometer didn't work and you'd think for $275 they could at least wipe the grease off of the quick releases.

Truth is, I'm a middle aged (49, just barely middle aged, OK!;) ) professional women riding a custom bike MORE than just around the block! I'm lucky to have a few extra dollars to indulge my hobby and would gladly patronize a bike shop if they'd pay as much attention to me as to the 25 year old, 3% body fat male racer. I always tell them, if it looks in the least weird replace it. Yet, they showed me a bent adjusting screw that they think "will be OK." Why didn't they just replace it? Oh, it's a special order (???) It's C-Chorus, but isn't a screw a screw? (Hmmm...)

OK - I'm ranting. Anyway, stand back. Dummy no more!

12-22-2003, 04:07 AM
Dogmama -
So sorry your experiences @LBS have been so poor! I guess I'm really lucky w/my mechanic at the LBS I go to. Before that, I had a very mechanically oriented friend who did all the work on my bike at home so I could watch - very interesting. It seems to make no difference where you live (or gender), I hear complaints from the guys on another forum I visit too and many of them can repair most of their own stuff, choose not to.
Enjoy your classes though and have a merry holiday!

12-22-2003, 10:26 AM
Good for you, Dogmama! I've slowly been increasing my maintenance abilities, and really look forward to the day when I won't feel helpless when strange sounds start coming from the drivetrain.

I can second the LBS rant. Some of the local shops around here are great, with people who really have a passion for cycling. Unfortunately, at the shop nearest me they're unable to differentiate between the enthusiast who rides thousands of miles a year versus the person who takes their bike out of storage once a year. And being a female 10 to 20 years older than the guys in the shop doesn't help -- they'll never "get" that a woman can be serious about the sport.

So go for it! Knowledge is power, right?

01-02-2004, 08:03 PM
Wow, that's terrible how they treated you Dogmama.

I have found that the younger people in the bike stores are snotty little jerks but the older people are usually very kind and not patronizing at all. Sadly, I think the chicks working there are snots, too.

I also found that if you use some old fashioned girly skills--like asking the Big Smart BikeGuy about some dumb thing they get all
aroused by being able to tell you their reccommendations and blab about their experience and then seem to listen to you a bit better. Yeah, I mean stroke their egos! hA! Go ahead read me the riot act but sometimes my mother's methods work!


01-02-2004, 08:04 PM
Hopefully its just a matter of time until someone opens a whole friggin' bike store just for women! It could be great with all the gal specific stuff and loads of cute clothes. :)

02-12-2004, 09:09 PM
There is that shop- sort of. Terry Bicycles and Team Estrogen. And the way they treated you is inecusable Dog Mama, but some shops just plain suck; some shops are so great they're worth a trip. Find a new one. I was making a 45 minute sit in traffic commute to a shop that adores women, then I was blessed with one in my neighborhood. I also have been treated like garbage at other shops- and gave them a blast of Queen B**ch Estrogen- I have a choice and won't stand for being condescended too, especially when they hire non riders off the street to try and sell me pricey parts that aren't compatilbe! :mad:
I could do a ten paragraph rant on this- but I'll throw out one more thing; Good LBS are staffed by accomplished riders and the owner is usually there, and usually out front. Does this tell you anything?


Yeah, I can wrench too, but my LBS taught me how. Blessed am I! And they keep good beer in the mechanics room...

02-18-2004, 07:43 AM

Wow, Maybe I need to start learning how to tinker too!:D

02-25-2004, 11:19 AM
Recently took the brand-spankin' new COLNAGO Asso to the LBS to have the bars and stem changed out. (originals was too big and totally un-girl friendly).

Upon bringing her home (I named her Giovanna!) I realized that the brake hoods/shifters WERE NOT INSTALLED EVENLY spaced and one was WAY crooked. And computer was not set properly.
AND tires were underinflated (supposed to be a 'safety check')


NOT only that, some bonehead put BLUE plastic valve caps on my presta valves and the friggin' bike is Ferrari Red.

I had gotten a computer, etc and total bill came to $100.

Its taken me til now to even discuss this it pissed me off so bad.

02-25-2004, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by ChainsOflove
NOT only that, some bonehead put BLUE plastic valve caps on my presta valves and the friggin' bike is Ferrari Red.

Uhm, those valve cap covers come with the tubes...so if you are going to have new tubes put in you'll have to pick a brand that has colors you like, or do what racers do and just ditch 'em.

The rest of the stuff (crooked levers, under-inflated tires etc) IS sloppy work. Take your business elsewhere.

I like your bike's name :)

02-26-2004, 05:03 PM
I didn't get new tubes. They just put those caps on.
Sorry, anybody who puts ****ty plastic stuff on a Colnago doesn't know what their doing as far as I'm concerend. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Took Giovanna back today. Met with the manager who was okay about straightening things out. He asked if I got the bike by mail, and the answer is yes. He then told me that the Colnago Asso is their low-end bike that they don't make anymore and I could have gotten a better bicycle for my $1350.

I knew all this and he didn't really cheese me off again, but I really don't think I'm going back there. They sort of just don't get it.