Bike shops? It's all about the customer service

I really like this video about the owner of Push Cycles, a bike shop in Stoke Newington, and what drives him to work with people and how he feels interacting with customers.



I know a fair few shop mechanics who could do with watching this.  A carbon-nut who once called my old bike a 'useless bit of steel' before tyring to sell me the most expensive tyres he had in the building (I'd only gone in with a puncture) springs to mind.  What's your local bike shop like?  Do you love the service or dread going in?

Hat-tip to the Daily Crank for highlighting the vid

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Push from Saeed Taji Farouky on Vimeo.

21 comments:

@kevcampbell said...

the only place i like to go for my bike, is decathlon lakeside, all my local shops are mainly halfords and other rubbish shops, unfortunately

Texas 'Tornado Hands' Paul said...

Wow, what a breath of fresh air to here the guy from Push ackowledge how awful most bike shop staff are! So glad he saw that and is actively addressing it.

I've never understood why so many bike shops have very grumpy, elitist staff. It used to make me really dread going to bike shops, despite being a keen cyclist. In fact that's the main reason I learnt how to do so many repairs myself, so I guess there's a positive side to it.

I don't want to name and shame (so a certain bike shop in West London will be let off the hook) but on a positive note, I've always had very friendly and affordable experiences with Holloway Cycles.

Anonymous said...

Why were you going into a bike shop with a puncture in the first place? Change tubes yourself, it's cheaper and quicker!

Bryony said...

Putney Cycles are ace - excellent, knowledgeable, friendly staff who go the extra mile.

John H said...

Local bike shops can be a breath of fresh air after dealing with some of the chain stores - I recently spent a fair bit of cash on a bike through Ride2Work, was in there getting bits and pieces almost daily, yet when it came to helping me with an early repair job, the "more than my job's worth" mentality came in.

A little bit of common sense and customer focus can ensure repeat custom. I went to Get on Your Bike at Tooley St. recently and they couldn't have been more helpful - they now are my first recommendation and port of call for bike gear!

Stray Photon said...

I must mention Moore's Cycles in Twickenham who have saved me £££'s over the past few years by sending me home with money in my pocket having persuaded me that I don't really need a new chain/tyre/cassette etc. Young enthusiastic and friendly staff but NOT snotty if you're only popping in for a tube rather than a £1K bike. Recommended.

Anne said...

@anonymous: I'm all for having punctures repaired by the professionals because my bike is my transportation, not my hobby. I don't fix my own car, either.

Mark: My local bike shop is a little outside I Bike London's sphere, but I love them to pieces. I switched from an elitist shop to a nice one, and believe me, they get a huge word-of-mouth boost from me at every opportunity.

Clever Cycles on Hawthorne in Portland Oregon US. Best bike shop ever.

Mark said...

@Anne You're back! I missed you! Where have you been? Always love having your comments on here :o)

I agree, I could repair my own puncture, and it would take a couple of hours, or I can pay my local bike shop a tenner and get it done for me while I have a coffee and flick through the bike catalogues. Much more fun!

Anonymous said...

I dread going into CyclesUK, they rip you off and aren't particularly friendly. I only go in 'in an emergency'. If I can buy things online or go to a smaller independent shop I will. I don't trust bike shop 'salesmen' at all and they have no interest in reporting stolen bike either.

Oli said...

Brixton cycles has never let me down...friendly staff, considerate to different needs (they won't sell you a load of upgrades if you don't want them for your old beater) and good range of components for a small store.

On your Bike, as John H has said, are also incredibly friendly.

dexey said...

Fred Williams Wolverhampton!
Mainly racy stuff but they get me what I need and when I threaten to find a better price on the internet they remind me that the insults aren't personally tailored on thre :0)

Martin said...

Great shops at both ends of my commute. Bexley Bikes in Bexleyheath are my local and are really down to earth and helpful while Harry Perry in Woolwich have been really helpful when I've got stuck. Both are really anti-elitist and I'm grateful to Bexley in particular as they have been really instrumental in getting me back on a bike properly after a gap of 30 odd years so I'm now doing a 10 mile round trip most days.

Andrew said...

I spent last Saturday afternoon cycling round a few bike shops in search of a small hub part. It was almost surreal how varied the service I received was. From the outright rude, to utterly amazing.

Some kid in Condor tried to convince me that the Shimano quick release bits were right for Italian track hubs, and at Brick Lane bikes I was basically told that my hubs are shit so buy some other brand. Neither Bike Fix nor 14 Bike company didn't have what I wanted, but were really friendly, as were Evans in London Bridge and Black Friars.

By the same measure I've also had really helpful staff in Condor before, so I guess you win some and losr some. I suspect that as cycling grows, good retail staff with experience will become harder to find and retain. As the end consumer, you can either vote with your feet, or just talk to someone else in the shop and see if maybe it's just one poor sales person.

Anonymous said...

@Andrew

I don't know if you ever found your part, but Bicycle Workshop in Notting Hill are very knowledgable in old hub gear bikes and stock parts other shops don't.

Ironic really that I recommened them in this post, as they also unfortunately certainly fall into the grumpy/patronising staff category. Still, like I said, they do actually understand older bikes so it's worth putting up with.

Alix said...

Great to see this video about Push, it's my local cycle shop, and they're really friendly and helpful. Also recommended is Two Wheels Good in Stoke Newington, while Evans in Spitalfields gets the thumbs-down: patronising service is rubbish.

Anonymous said...

I have to mention Apex Cycles on Clapham High Street. A bunch of nice guys who always try and make time for you no matter what the problem, even on a busy saturday afternoon.

hokey said...

Good post - I don't get why bike shops can get away with shoddy service? And I'm sorry to say I think it's even worse if you're a woman. I've written a few posts on my treatment at various bike shops round London:

http://thehokeycokey.com/2010/09/13/are-there-any-good-bike-shops-in-london-part-1-%E2%80%93-velorution/

Yuriy Akopov said...

For me this workshop is local but to be honest I prefer to fix the bike myself, especially with those helpful sites like http://bicycletutor.com around.

The reason is that I find a bit strange that many workshops offer services like nuts and bolts tightening or brakes adjustment (which is not generally a problem for anybody knowing how to hold a wrench), and when I recently needed to get a rim replaced on my wheel, all the workshops I have checked refused and I ended in ordering a new wheel from abroad. Btw, they all have offered to order a new one for me for a fee, but no sooner than in December.

So I believe that there are really good workshops in London but my personal experience with them wasn't pleasant so far.

Yuriy Akopov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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