Have you found yourself a good local bike shop yet? If you haven’t then you don’t know what you’re missing out on.
When I got to the local bike shop I know the advice I will get and the parts I will be recommended will be exactly right. That is the kind of peace of mind you get from someone who has worked on bikes their whole life.
Sure, the local bike shop is run by a grumpy old man that sometimes get’s annoyed when I ask him lots of questions but for me it’s part of the fun! I look forward to going off to make him grumpy!
Recently I even went in and cheekily asked to borrow one of his tools. If I hadn’t said it with such a huge grin I’m sure he would of told me to take myself elsewhere (but not in such a polite way)!
I know, that when the old man in the apron picks up a chain with no brand name on it, or a grease I’ve never even seen sold online and hands it over to me it’s probably the best damn chain and grease there is! “It’s a good chain that one”. I always nod pretending to know more than I do. Frequently, he catches me out. Especially when I try to outsmart the owner but there’s soon a big grin on his face. “Shimano…?” he pauses for effect. “You know they make fishing rods.” They laugh between themselves at this poor helpless fool standing in front of them. Once I get over the humiliation, I pledge to myself to learn more about bike repairs.
A lot of people haven’t discovered the joy of trying to outsmart the local bike shop owner. There’s a number of reasons for this. The one commonly given is “it’s too expensive”
In my experience it’s often cheaper.
There are three reasons for this. The first is if I need something like a replacement chain pin he will give me just one. Elsewhere I would have to buy 3 or more. The second is that I trust the bike shop not to try and sell me more expensive parts when there is no benefits. The third is that when comparing prices I have often found they matched or were cheaper than the ones online.
I love having shops run by local people who love what they do so whenever I can I help them out. Anyway enough about what I love about my local bike shop. With your help I want to discover some more great local bike shops in London and elsewhere so please tell me about your local bike shop and why you go there for your bike bits.