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botanical guru
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Went into my LBS today, which happens to be two blocks from my house. One can only dream, right? Well, I wanted to get some opinions on saddles because mine just isn't making me happy. We walked out to look at my bike, and the guy checked out my saddle. I told him I noticed most of the saddles in the shop were men's, for touring,and they even had those big ass honkers for people that think a huge padded saddle is going to keep your ass from hurting. Long story short, I was completely dissatisfied with the service(I waited 20 mins) and then when the guy helped me, it was for 5 mins, then would help other people in between helping me. I just wanted suggestions, and would have taken 10 minutes of time from him obviously because they didn't have what I was looking for. At the end of our conversation, he told me to go to a pro shop because they just don't carry "racing" saddles, because most of their customers are just trail riders with "MTB's" or cruisers. I was really confused because at least 45% of the inventory in the store were road bikes for racing or fitness.

I'm bummed because the place is 2 blocks from home, but this was the 3rd time I've been in there and was completely put off by it. There are some cool people that work there, and I wanted to give it a third chance. Never again. Bummed.
 

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Some LBS are terrible. You wonder how they stay in business. By the meager foot traffic, maybe they won't for long. I recently made a major purchase at a different LBS than I usually use (the price was really really good). It's turning out VERY sour. I'm I___I this far away from simply returning the, now used, goods. Thank God, I used a credit card.
 

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Bike shop reality

gardenrunner said:
At the end of our conversation, he told me to go to a pro shop because they just don't carry "racing" saddles, because most of their customers are just trail riders with "MTB's" or cruisers. I was really confused because at least 45% of the inventory in the store were road bikes for racing or fitness.
It's one thing to sell "race/fitness" bikes and another thing to have enough demand to stock replacement saddles. Most bike shops make their money from selling stuff to people who don't ride all that much. Otherwise they'd have a huge stock of tires and tubes, and you'll notice bike shops rarely do.

He gave you good advice. He could have tried to sell you something that he stocked and that he knew wouldn't work for you. Bike shops are not generally highly profitable businesses, and the ones that are often the least profitable are the ones where people like us stock the stuff WE need rather than what the customers need.
 

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botanical guru
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kerry Irons said:
It's one thing to sell "race/fitness" bikes and another thing to have enough demand to stock replacement saddles. Most bike shops make their money from selling stuff to people who don't ride all that much. Otherwise they'd have a huge stock of tires and tubes, and you'll notice bike shops rarely do.

He gave you good advice. He could have tried to sell you something that he stocked and that he knew wouldn't work for you. Bike shops are not generally highly profitable businesses, and the ones that are often the least profitable are the ones where people like us stock the stuff WE need rather than what the customers need.
I wouldn't have bought something I knew I wasn't looking for, anyways, I'm not that dumb.(not saying you were saying I am) I just wanted to give them another shot, but they failed miserably. They actually do have TONS of tires and tubes, because they are literally 5 feet from the major bike trail that leads through much of the southside of Chicago. Which again, is why I'm very suprised they don't have better.more options. I understand the retail aspect of it, I've worked it for 15 years now. He could be making more $$, he just choses not to. Too bad for him. Hundreds of people pass that shop on the weekends.

Point of my post was just that I'm really bummed out because I tried my hardest to like shop, because of it's proximity to my house.

Onward........................
 

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it's great to try and support our LBS, but sometimes they're just no good

I wonder if you'd have a better experience with them by stopping by when they're less busy (although I realize that not everyone's schedule allows that)

sometime a good shop can seem bad when it's just too busy (sort of a victim of it's own success) I know of a couple good LBS's in my area that are great when things are quiet, but at peak times service isn't nearly as good.
 

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gardenrunner said:
Went into my LBS today, which happens to be two blocks from my house. One can only dream, right? Well, I wanted to get some opinions on saddles because mine just isn't making me happy. We walked out to look at my bike, and the guy checked out my saddle. I told him I noticed most of the saddles in the shop were men's, for touring,and they even had those big ass honkers for people that think a huge padded saddle is going to keep your ass from hurting. Long story short, I was completely dissatisfied with the service(I waited 20 mins) and then when the guy helped me, it was for 5 mins, then would help other people in between helping me. I just wanted suggestions, and would have taken 10 minutes of time from him obviously because they didn't have what I was looking for. At the end of our conversation, he told me to go to a pro shop because they just don't carry "racing" saddles, because most of their customers are just trail riders with "MTB's" or cruisers. I was really confused because at least 45% of the inventory in the store were road bikes for racing or fitness.

I'm bummed because the place is 2 blocks from home, but this was the 3rd time I've been in there and was completely put off by it. There are some cool people that work there, and I wanted to give it a third chance. Never again. Bummed.
Give them a third chance at what, giving you advice on a saddle they don't have in the store? If you're already aware that big saddles aren't necessarily more comfortable, you already know more than most people. Beyond that, there's not much advice to be given on saddles as they're mostly personal preference.
 

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botanical guru
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jesse D Smith said:
Give them a third chance at what, giving you advice on a saddle they don't have in the store? If you're already aware that big saddles aren't necessarily more comfortable, you already know more than most people. Beyond that, there's not much advice to be given on saddles as they're mostly personal preference.

No, FYI, I went in there two other times for different reasons. Noseypants.

#1. I wanted to know if they would fit me for one.
#2. I wanted to know if they had any in stock I was interested in.
 

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gardenrunner said:
No, FYI, I went in there two other times for different reasons. Noseypants.

#1. I wanted to know if they would fit me for one.
#2. I wanted to know if they had any in stock I was interested in.

Just post a topic in this forum asking, "Recommend me a saddle" and you'll get at least 20 different recommendations, all of them consisting of the responders' personal preference. Shops know that even if they special order a saddle for you, there's an equal chance you may or may not be comfortable on it.
What do you mean or expect by getting "fit for a saddle"?
Even if a shop has saddles on hand for you to sit on, there's every chance you'll only find out it's uncomfortable after you've ridden it for a week.
A family oriented shop won't have a computerized, 3-D ass-analysis fit system, so beyond the absolute basics, which you already know, recommending saddles is a sucker's bet.
I'd bet a great majority of people who've found a saddle that works for them found it by trial and error.
 

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A lot of people around here seem to be in love with their LBS's, but I've just not been able to find a good one where I live now (Washington, DC). There are several ones that are OK, but none are nearly as cool as the average shop in Colorado Springs where I moved from.

I've pretty much given up and gone internet for anything that doesn't need to be had right away. I get the potential for a great LBS, but I find few shops really live up to it.
 

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Jesse D Smith said:
Just post a topic in this forum asking, "Recommend me a saddle" and you'll get at least 20 different recommendations, all of them consisting of the responders' personal preference. Shops know that even if they special order a saddle for you, there's an equal chance you may or may not be comfortable on it.
What do you mean or expect by getting "fit for a saddle"?
Even if a shop has saddles on hand for you to sit on, there's every chance you'll only find out it's uncomfortable after you've ridden it for a week.
A family oriented shop won't have a computerized, 3-D ass-analysis fit system, so beyond the absolute basics, which you already know, recommending saddles is a sucker's bet. I'd bet a great majority of people who've found a saddle that works for them found it by trial and error.
I'm in general agreement with what you're offering re: saddle preferences, but just a FYI, there are simple methods for measuring sit bones. Both Bonty and Specilaized shops offer the service, but Speciailzed also offers a simple method to do it at home. No computerized, 3-D ass-analysis fit system needed, just a piece of foam dense enough to hold an impression of your sit bones long enough to measure the distance between them.

Because of the myriad of shapes/ contours and construction of saddles this measurement doesn't guarantee success in finding that perfect saddle, but it does give some insight as to sizing requirements.
 

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gardenrunner said:
Went into my LBS today, which happens to be two blocks from my house. One can only dream, right? Well, I wanted to get some opinions on saddles because mine just isn't making me happy. We walked out to look at my bike, and the guy checked out my saddle. I told him I noticed most of the saddles in the shop were men's, for touring,and they even had those big ass honkers for people that think a huge padded saddle is going to keep your ass from hurting. Long story short, I was completely dissatisfied with the service(I waited 20 mins) and then when the guy helped me, it was for 5 mins, then would help other people in between helping me. I just wanted suggestions, and would have taken 10 minutes of time from him obviously because they didn't have what I was looking for. At the end of our conversation, he told me to go to a pro shop because they just don't carry "racing" saddles, because most of their customers are just trail riders with "MTB's" or cruisers. I was really confused because at least 45% of the inventory in the store were road bikes for racing or fitness.

I'm bummed because the place is 2 blocks from home, but this was the 3rd time I've been in there and was completely put off by it. There are some cool people that work there, and I wanted to give it a third chance. Never again. Bummed.
Yeah, I know the feeling. There is a bike store with two locations near where I work that's really convenient. But I think they suck.

The two good shops are beyond my daily driving and the one with better stock is all the way across town so I pretty much shoot my evening going over there. But I haven't regretted making the trip yet.
 

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Perhaps print out the complaint you have just posted and hand it to either the shop manager or owner.
See how they respond.
Shops don't always have customer service driven employees, just like most businesses, but they usually have so few that they stand out...not in a good way hehehe.
Perhaps he did not have a clue and did not want to admit it...
Perhaps he misunderstood what you wanted or you did not make yourself clear.
Good luck saddle shopping.
 

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Jesse D Smith said:
A family oriented shop won't have a computerized, 3-D ass-analysis fit system
This made me laugh out loud! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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PJ352 said:
Because of the myriad of shapes/ contours and construction of saddles this measurement doesn't guarantee success in finding that perfect saddle, but it does give some insight as to sizing requirements.
I'm glad to know somebody buys it... to me that all seems propoganda. Find a bike that has a saddle you're interested in, jump on the bike, ride it around for 30 or 40 minutes. If you like it, jump off, buy the saddle. No ass-analysis needed.
 

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Sucks that your not happy with the store, especially one so close. But that is the beauty of living in a big city. I drove to almost every store in the greater San Diego area till I found one I liked, now I get everything there and even try to avoid buying online so I can support the LBS and he knows that now and we can work out prices if it is a big difference. Usually I don't care cause I know I will get it installed then adjusted to my liking for minimal fees. Tiny store though, so everything I want has to get ordered.
 

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estone2 said:
I'm glad to know somebody buys it... to me that all seems propoganda. Find a bike that has a saddle you're interested in, jump on the bike, ride it around for 30 or 40 minutes. If you like it, jump off, buy the saddle. No ass-analysis needed.
I 'buy it', but with the caveats I posted. Whether you believe it or not, your process also sizes a rider, you just use the 'seat of your pants' method rather than the ass-analysis, as you say. :)
 

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botanical guru
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Kai Winters said:
Perhaps print out the complaint you have just posted and hand it to either the shop manager or owner.
See how they respond.
Shops don't always have customer service driven employees, just like most businesses, but they usually have so few that they stand out...not in a good way hehehe.
Perhaps he did not have a clue and did not want to admit it...
Perhaps he misunderstood what you wanted or you did not make yourself clear.
Good luck saddle shopping.
Meh- He's really arrogant and needs to ride with an XL saddle bag to carry his ego around.

The guy that helped me knew what I wanted- something they clearly did not carry, and never will.

Thanks for the GL saddle shopping. Trial and error I suspect. I've already been through 3 this season. *sigh* I've been eyeing one I think will do the trick.

Onward.......
 

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gardenrunner said:
Meh- He's really arrogant and needs to ride with an XL saddle bag to carry his ego around.

The guy that helped me knew what I wanted- something they clearly did not carry, and never will.

Thanks for the GL saddle shopping. Trial and error I suspect. I've already been through 3 this season. *sigh* I've been eyeing one I think will do the trick.

Onward.......
What have you tried? What did you like? What didn't you like? What features did you like? What features did you not like?

While nobody can tell you, "This saddle WILL work for you, I GUARANTEE it," we can offer suggestions.

For instance, I liked the Wingflex on the Fizik Aliante, and I loved the padding at first, but I didn't like the hammock shape - I like moving around, and I didn't like the amount of padding after 20 miles. As such, I prefer the Fizik Arione, which is flat and longer (so I can move) and has less padding.
 

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You should try Capital Bikes in Annapolis, about 45 minutes east of DC. Very rider friendly group. They will take the time to answer questions and just sit around and talk bikes, if they're not too busy. Stay away from the other store in Annapolis..they are just too busy.
 

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Regardless of the request, there is no excuse for poor service. He could have told her 20 minutes earlier how seat preferences work.
 
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