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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I haven't ridden in almost eight months now, and have sold (or am selling) all of my bikes and frames and components. I hadn't really even wanted to ride, probably due (in part) from dealing with my dad's progressive and ultimately fatal illness last fall. I also felt burnout from years of the buying and selling of so much bike stuff and not doing much riding. I think cycling became to me more about the time on the internet, and time packing and shipping stuff, rather than time in the saddle and out enjoying the actual riding.

A month or two ago I noticed myself seeing some folks out riding and thought about the fun part of actually riding. That led me to start looking around at bikes and trying to decide how I could get back to the riding and not the commerce side of cycling.

I decided to get a bike that was different than what I was used to buying and selling and that I didn't have lots of parts for. That allowed me to continue selling off my 9 speed parts and lugged steel frames and 1" forks and headsets without thinking I should save them for...well, just in case I needed them. I had tried to buy and ride and keep a Giant TCR carbon fiber bike a couple of years back, but so many "vintage" parts and tools and worrying about 170 vs 172.5 cranks led me to sell it.

I firmly decided to buy a new, production, non-steel complete road bike with Shimano 10 speed shifters, 1 1/8" threadless headset, in the $1500-$2000 price range, and to go with the crank length that came on it. I could pay for it with money from bike stuff I had sold, and felt I could get a good bike in that price range.

After lots of feedback and after browsing on-line and in person this week, I decided on a bike. I bought a 2008 Specialized Tarmac Elite. A very pretty blue and white all carbon fiber frame and fork. Has Shimano 10 speed shifters and derailleurs, FSA crankset, Mavic rims, etc. It was MSRP of $1950 and I bought it for $1750. I had looked at them yesterday, but the shop didn't have one in my size. The sales guy offered to check their other store, but I told him I was going to look at theirs and other bikes and would get back with him.

Some of the reasons I bought what I did include the bike geometry and dimensions are what I like, there have been very good rider and magazine reviews on the Specialized Tarmac, a lifetime warranty on the frame, the components and price were what I was looking for, and the bike really looked sharp!

Almost as important to me was the shop itself. There are bikes to be had in several different shops, but a good (or bad!) shop does make a difference. I live 100 miles from my closest bike shops, so can't drop in all the time. I have never bought a bike from this shop before, but I have stopped in many times and have bought wheels and a trainer. They know I bought and sold lugged steel frames and bikes, but they didn't so they never treated me with any disdain. They even gave me bike boxes and spacers for dropouts. It may have helped that I brought fresh donuts that morning.

I asked them several years ago about packing and shipping a complete bike for me, and they were glad to charge me and do so and did a nice job. I asked them several years ago (before I had bike tools or the inclination to try) if they would take components off one bike and put them on another for me. They were glad to do so, charging me for the cost of one tune-up and letting me watch them work and letting me ask questions and providing answers at no additional cost. It may have helped that I brought fresh donuts that morning (notice a pattern?).

The salesperson yesterday was also a big factor in my purchase. He greeted me as soon as I came in (I didn't know him) and asked how he could help me. He listened to what I said as far as price range and components and took me to look at those bikes. He mentioned higher and lower priced bikes, but only in the context of comparing components and features and frames. He took lots of time with me yesterday morning with me showing me all of their bikes, asking me what I thought, giving his first-hand experience with the bikes and Specialized"s facility in CA where he had been able to go, answering technical questions, showing me bikes on the computer that they could order, telling me when the order would arrive, reminding me they were closed Monday and the 4th, etc. He never seemed impatient or needing to do something else. He also told me the lowest price they would sell the bikes for that I was interested in, and said they included free adjustments and 10% off accessories.

He didn't have any way of knowing if I was going to buy then, today, or ever, but he treated me like his sole concern at that time was helping me get what I wanted in a bike. He never pressured me to make a decision, but made sure I had all the information I asked for and what he thought I should know. He gave me a Specialized catalog (like a wishbook...looking over it last night and today helped me make up my mind) and told me to call or come back if I had any questions or if he could help with anything.

When I called today to order the bike, he remembered me and talked a bit before he took my number and told me he wanted to make sure the bike was in stock at their other store. He immediately called me back and said it was still there, had told them to hold it for me, and wanted to know which store I wanted to pick it up at. I told him at his location because it was closer for me, and he said he would go pick it up and they would build it up for me at their store. He asked when I wanted to pick it up, and I told him early next week. He said they were closed Monday, but could have it ready Tuesday morning. I told him I would get it around noon Tuesday and he said it would be ready. We talked about my saddle height and stem rise preference for the build-up, and he said they would have water bottle cages put on it at no cost.

I am very pleased to have this process completed. It was fun, the bike shop and salesperson were great thus far, and I am ready for Tuesday to get the bike and ride it.
 

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Sounds like a great shop and buying experience. Unfortunately, most salespeople are looking for the biggest, quickest sale they can make. They don't seem to care if you ever come back to the shop for clothing, tools, consumables etc.
 

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Nice bike, and great shop! A couple of suggestions about the shop:
1. Post the name/location of the shop. Lots of folks always looking for "above and beyond" LBS.
2. Let the LBS owner or manager know what a great job the sales guy did with you, and that you're recommending the shop to others. "Positive reinforcement" of excellent service.
3. Bring donuts when you pick up the bike! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bike shop where I purchased my bike

LookDave said:
Nice bike, and great shop! A couple of suggestions about the shop:
1. Post the name/location of the shop. Lots of folks always looking for "above and beyond" LBS.
2. Let the LBS owner or manager know what a great job the sales guy did with you, and that you're recommending the shop to others. "Positive reinforcement" of excellent service.
3. Bring donuts when you pick up the bike! :D
I purchased the bike at T-Town Bicycles on 71st Street in Tulsa, OK. The salesperson was Grant. I also had excellent service at two of the other bike shops I went to in Tulsa. I first stopped at T-Town because it was the first bike shop on my way into town.

I then went to Bicycles of Tulsa on S. Mingo because it was the farthest away. Larry showed me the Giant OCR Alliance A1 and the Orbea Onix they had in stock in my size and price range, as well as other bikes they had in stock. When I asked about the fork steerer on the Orbea being alloy or carbon fiber, he checked and said they were not sure but offered to take the headset off to check. I declined, but sure appreciated the willingness to answer my question. The OCR A1 and Onix both looked very nice (especially the Orbea) and he was very helpful, but I wasn't sure if I wanted the carbon fiber/aluminum combination on the Giant (although they do a nice job as far as looks on combining the two materials) and the Orbea was at the top end of my price range. He offered a test ride had it not been pouring down rain and said if I came back after the rain passed and dried up a bit I was welcome to take one out. He gave me a Giant catalog and asked me to call if I had any questions or if he could help me at all.

I then went to Tom's Bicycles, because his shop was on my way back home and I had bought a Giant TCR C3 from him a couple of years ago. He had also been a contributor to the Tulsa Community Cycling Project, which helped get basic bike transportation for folks who had no other means of getting around. He even took some of the stuff I donated over the years that wasn't appropriate for commuting bikes and sold it to get money for parts that could be used in the TCCP. Tom didn't have anything in stock in my size, and even checked his Giant source via computer and his other shop and both storerooms, but there was nothing in my size and price range available. He said he thought it would be August or so before Giant had new bikes available, but he said he knew that was a long time to wait for a bike if I was looking to get something to ride now. Tom then mentioned BOT carried Giant and might have some available, and then mentioned looking at Specialized bikes because he understood they still had some 2008 models available. BOT is a competing shop, and Tom doesn't carry Specialized, but he was looking to help me get a bike.

Finally, I stopped by the Tulsa Trek Bicycle Store on S. Riverside to look at the Trek lineup as I left town. The fellow who greeted me after I came in the shop was pleasant and took me to the road bikes and told me to let him know if I had any questions. Not not the same level of customer service I got from the other three shops, but if I had needed help I am sure he would have done fine.

I think I am fortunate to have such good bike shops available, even if it they are 100 miles away.
 

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I only have two things to say:

1) Congrats! It's always great to find a good bike shop to support and buy a bike from

and

2) WHOOPTY FREAKING DOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you have to spend the entire night writing an essay on why you made good by supporting your local bike shop?! For all that is sane in this world! I can't believe I just read all of that. I mean, how hard is it to say that you went down to your local bike shop, and they were nice, and you bought a bike?!?!?! Come on dude! I don't need another freaking dissertation on how some local people were nice to you and you bought a nice bike.
 

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barbedwire said:
I only have two things to say:

1) Congrats! It's always great to find a good bike shop to support and buy a bike from

and

2) WHOOPTY FREAKING DOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you have to spend the entire night writing an essay on why you made good by supporting your local bike shop?! For all that is sane in this world! I can't believe I just read all of that. I mean, how hard is it to say that you went down to your local bike shop, and they were nice, and you bought a bike?!?!?! Come on dude! I don't need another freaking dissertation on how some local people were nice to you and you bought a nice bike.
Israel announces they are going to release a Murderer who killed a Father and His Four year old Daughter in cold blood ...as a trade for two Israeli Soldiers Remains ... and you are bothered that someone wanted to write about his joy in returning to Cycling and the LBS that helped? :thumbsup:
 

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I worked in a shop all through college and grad school. Granted, biking and certainly road biking wasn't big back then, but I always appreciated when someone told me I did a good job. Good write up and let the guy know and his boss. BTW, I once sold a bike to a little kid with the same first name as me (he was with his nanny). When he came to pick it up he drew a picture of the two of us riding our bikes and put our names on the picture. Clearly I never forgot it.

It's easy to complain, it's harder to tell someone they did their job well and you appreciate it. Good for you for taking the road least traveled.
 

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Quest08 said:
Israel announces they are going to release a Murderer who killed a Father and His Four year old Daughter in cold blood ...as a trade for two Israeli Soldiers Remains ... and you are bothered that someone wanted to write about his joy in returning to Cycling and the LBS that helped? :thumbsup:

Where did that come from? Dude. seriously. Chill! I was just kidding. The original poster is a good guy and he got his local bike shop good publicity. It's all good! Congrats! I have an idea :idea: , Um, uh nevermind! Yes. So, thumbs up for the poster and his bike shop! :thumbsup:
 

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barbedwire said:
I only have two things to say:

1) Congrats! It's always great to find a good bike shop to support and buy a bike from

and

2) WHOOPTY FREAKING DOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you have to spend the entire night writing an essay on why you made good by supporting your local bike shop?! For all that is sane in this world! I can't believe I just read all of that. I mean, how hard is it to say that you went down to your local bike shop, and they were nice, and you bought a bike?!?!?! Come on dude! I don't need another freaking dissertation on how some local people were nice to you and you bought a nice bike.

you could of hit the back button at any point in this thread or clicked on another link.
 

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Einstruzende said:
Just make sure you ride it now!

In other news, that seat looks mega-uncomfortable. Have you had a chance to sit on it for 2 or 3 consecutive hours yet?
Its not. Its really popular for a reason- it works surprisingly well. Coming off a Fisik Alliante, I thought I would ditch the stock Toupe saddle on my Specialized right away, but ended up liking it alot. Liked it enough to by a Specialized TriTip saddle for my TT bike.
 
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