Holy shit/Bike Shop lulz


#1

Working at a bike shop has resulted in some of the funniest interactions with human beings I’ve ever had.

-Last month a triathlete became absolutely livid when we couldn’t find his Cervelo P2. After spending a good 10 minutes going back and forth looking for the bike and being threatened with legal action (we often have to store tri bikes in a different location because the disc wheels can’t be hooked into our racks), we found the problem: his bike was a P3. 9 minutes before, after seeing the P3 and not the P2, I had asked him if he was sure it was a P2 and not a P3. He was sure.

-This weekend a man got quite angry with me for telling his wife that the braking on her brand spanking new Magna was never going to be good and that we could replace the toy cantilevers with cheap V-brakes and levers for less than $75, including labor, since a new bike was “absolutely out of the question.” As I clocked out for lunch, I saw them stuffing their matching Magnas back into the trunk and back seat of a BMW with dealer plates.

-We generally do 10- to15-minute jobs for free, on the spot, especially on weekends. On one particularly busy Saturday, a customer walked back to the shop, handed his Cervelo to one of my coworkers, mumbled something and started walking away. My confused coworker asked him if he could please clarify what the hell he was supposed to be doing. The customer responded: “I don’t know, grease my bike or something” and was walking away before he even finished his sentence.

TL;DR

Earlier this year, while working in bike rentals, I sent out a road bike with a tall (6’+) 20-something woman who told me not to bother putting on pedals because it was for her dad. He was going to put on his own pedals and “he really knows his stuff.” OK. Cool. An hour later, she comes back with an older gentleman, her father, who is walking the bike I had sent her out with and carrying a shoe with a Speedplay pedal attached.

Daddy: I want a refund on this bike you rented me!

Me: What’s wrong with it?

D: The pedal threads are stripped!

Me: Really? They didn’t look stripped when I rented it out. Let me take a look.

I put the bike on the stand and see that the pedal threads are indeed stripped.

D: I tried putting my pedals on, but there was a lot of resistance about halfway through, so I stopped threading them in. Then we went for a ride and when I unclipped at a red light, the pedal came off with my foot.

Me: how far did you thread your pedals on before you felt resistance?

D: about halfway.

Me: You went for a ride with your pedals halfway on?

D: The threads were stripped!

Me: Well…they are now.

D: Do I get a refund?

Me: Because you went for a ride with your pedals threaded on halfway?

at this point his daughter interjects

Amazonian woman: He’s been working on bikes for a long time.

Me: ORLY?

D: Yeah, I’ve been working on my own bikes for 20 years.

Me: And you went for a ride with your pedals threaded on halfway?

The whole time this has been going on, these two have been walking further and further back into the shop every time I turn around to look at the bike. I turn towards the bike and when I turn around, they are less than a foot away from me, inside the employees only area. Keep in mind that they are both over 6’ tall and I am about 5’5".

D: do i get a refund or what?

as he says this, he leans over me, trying to be as ominous as possible.

Me: Are you joking? You just told me that you destroyed these cranks and you expect a refund?

He steps closer to me. At this point he is about 6 inches away and pretty much addressing the top of my head.

D: Are you trying to tell me how to put on pedals?

Me: Yes.

Amazonian woman: Excuse me, but my dad knows how to put on pedals. He’s been working on bikes for 20 years!

Me: Excuse me, but I work in BIKE RENTALS. I probably put on and take off more pedals every day than you have put on in your entire life. Now please stand behind that “employees only” sign while I assess the damage you’ve done to our rental bike.

D: I’ve been working on bikes for 20 years! I know how to put on pedals and I know that this is not my fault. Those cranks were stripped!

Me: You went for a ride with your pedals threaded on halfway. There is no way that this is not your fault.

Amazonian woman: So do we get a refund?

Me: No. Definitely not.

D: What!?

Me: Get out of here. Just go.


#2

lulz. gotta love the ol’ customer staring/approaching while you’re working on their bike, especially when they’ve fucked something up themselves.

I’ve got plenty o’ stories for this thread. Just gotta work right now.


#3

good thread, would click again


#4

I thought this thread was going to be about this:


#5

To be fair to the customer in the first story, shouldn’t you have the bike stored by name? If my shop went by customer’s descriptions of the bike they own, they’re end up with whatever red Trek we happened to have in the back. Moreover, we often have very similar or identical bikes hanging in the back room. Without a name & numbering system, bikes are bound to get lost, because as impossible for this gaggle of bike dorks to understand, not everyone knows the model or even make of their bike, nor do they care.


#6

PS Magnaguy and his wife ended up checking in her bike to get new brakes installed later that day, but he refused to get new brakes for his own Magna, since his were “just fine.” So I guess that story has a happy ending.


#7

man, when i worked at a bike shop, my bosses were crazier than the customers.


#8

For the speeds he was going to be riding on a Magna, they probably were fine.


#9

If it was a repair, that definitely would not have happened, but we are a pickup and dropoff point for a company that ships tri bikes around the country for specific events. When this company drops off bikes for customer pickup, they often fail to leave the list of bikes, so all we have to go by is a sticker on the top tube with the customer’s name on it. We usually have to store the bikes with disc wheels in a storage room, leaning in a row with an empty but still intact (not flattened) bike box in between each one. When we go to look for bikes, we typically ask the customer for his or her name and what bike we should be looking for, then go find that bike, match the name and send them on their way.

We are thinking of severing our connection with this company because we receive no financial compensation for providing this storage and we end up taking tons of abuse from customers who never buy anything. Probably 25% of triathletes who use this service complain to our manager about it, usually because the company always delivers the bikes a day or two later than they tell their customers to start picking up their bikes, so customers come in, we don’t have their bikes yet, and they get pissed at us. Most of them seem unable to understand that we are separate companies.

We actually had one lady who, upon hearing this, called the tri-bike shipping company and threatened legal action on behalf of US, the employees at our shop, for the abuse we had to take from triathletes such as HERSELF ten minutes before. It took another few minutes to convince her that that was not necessary.


#10

Now that is some funny shit.


#11

This. I helped open up a shop that two of my former customers from a different shop were opening. Neither of them had ever worked at a bike shop nor worked on bikes outside of changing a tube on a ride. They went to Barnett’s and came back and were trying to fix EVERYTHING. From old, busted freewheels to 20 year old, blown out trigger shifters. You name it, they tried (and more often than not, failed) to fix it. I tried to explain that there are some things you just don’t bother with. They got so mad at me until they realized I was right.

I have a few good stories to add sometime.


#12

Tri-Transport? I’m glad that another shop in town handles that mess.


#13

This is, apparently, how every other shop in town feels. Unfortunately, our shop is part of a larger store whose customer service motto is “Just say Yes!”


#14

Which shop?


#15

Sports Basement.


#16

I love this thread, and feel like I have so many stories to add.

Every day for about two weeks, this meth-y looking lady would come in with her adorable 2 -year old son and their expensive BOB stroller. the first day the rear tube on her stroller was flat. I couldn’t find a leak, but she wanted to pay for a replacement, so naturally, I replaced it. Not one hour later, she came back, the rear tire deflated.

Meth Mom: “It’s flat again, what happened? Am I doing something wrong?”

Me: “That’s quite odd, I wouldn’t imagine you’d have another flat. Let me take a look at it”

The tube was not punctured or pinched in any way, simply deflated.

Me: “I honestly have no Idea what happened unless you deflated your tire.”

MM: mumbles something and gets on her cell phone, walking around the store. She speaks loudly, and officially, as if speaking to a customer service representative from BOB …on a Sunday.
She comes back, telling me something about how the company will be replacing the wheel for her.

Me: “Okay, well…you can use our pumps anytime.”
She comes back in an hour later, looking for “the screw thingie”
Me: “the what?”

she has removed her tube’s valve cap, and wants a replacement. I give her one.

she comes back in every day for the next week and claims the same issue, each time acting confused and in awe. Each time coming back for a valve cap. Each time acting interested in a pink tricycle for her son. She is apparently amazed at the construction of the tricycle, and wonders what it’s called.
“it’s a tricycle, they’ve been around for quite some time, I say.”

She comes in again…Shop manager finally tells her:

“Look, you’re deflating your own rear wheel. We keep taking off the tire, inspecting the tube, and nothing is wrong with it. keep it inflated.”

She walks out, mumbling again, opening her cell phone, son in tow.


#17

I work in a bike co-op one night a week and there’s so much condensed stupid on a regular basis it doesn’t even register any more.


#18

Heh, I miss working at a coop. It was nice not having a manager/owning a shop with little to no obligation to make money.

Most interactions went thusly:

Customer: hi, I keep getting flats and I wanna know what to do.

Me: well, your tire seems to be about forty years old and has no tread left.

Customer: do you have tires?

Me: yes, we have tires that will fit your bike starting at $9 and going up to about $25. If you would like something nicer we can order it.

Customer: (incredulous) $9?

Me: yes. We try to keep our prices as low as we can so you can keep your bike running.

Customer: don’t you have anything you could, like, give me? I thought this was a coop?


#19

[quote=deadforkinglast]Heh, I miss working at a coop. It was nice not having a manager/owning a shop with little to no obligation to make money.

Most interactions went thusly:

Customer: hi, I keep getting flats and I wanna know what to do.

Me: well, your tire seems to be about forty years old and has no tread left.

Customer: do you have tires?

Me: yes, we have tires that will fit your bike starting at $9 and going up to about $25. If you would like something nicer we can order it.

Customer: (incredulous) $9?

Me: yes. We try to keep our prices as low as we can so you can keep your bike running.

Customer: don’t you have anything you could, like, give me? I thought this was a coop?[/quote]

I think the correct answer to this is “Sure. Here’s a tire the last idiot like you donated.”


#20

We typically invited them to dive into our dumpster anytime they wanted. They usually got stoked and then ended up buying new tires within a few days.