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rainperimeter
06-23-2006, 03:31 AM
i decided today that i can no longer suggest to friends, co-workers, acquaintances, whoever, to go to city bikes to check out this or that. for the i-don't-know-how-many-time today, a co-worker/buddy told me of going in there (either location) and having an employee treat him/her like a complete idiot.

actually, in particular it is two employees. one male, one female. both have been there forever. the female left and worked at another shop and i think is back now (that's sort of giving that one away i think). both are incredibly condescending and short. i've witnessed horrible interactions between her and my friends (or strangers to me, if i'm in looking for something) at both shops she's worked at. the guy, he's always unpleasant, even when he's a customer at another business (an ex-gf had to wait on him at the cafe she worked at). seriously. she's super patronizing and under the impression she's an authority on what you need to do and ride (and then acts like you're attacking her if you stop taking her shit). and he's grumpy and impatient (and becomes grumpier and more impatient).

somehow i've avoided this mostly. maybe it's because i used to work in a shop for quite a while, there is something i emit, a scent, a noise, a glow, that allows me to have pleasant interactions with city bikes staff, i'm in the club or something. maybe it's because i'm very much more informed than some. i don't know. acting like an asshole/elitist prick to people who want to start riding and have questions for you, bike shop employee, whose job it is to help 'em out, is no way to encourage them.

oh, years ago, in 98 i think, i bought my first burley rain jacket. i was mocked because i wasn't crazy about buying a bright f'ing yellow jacket. i wanted the red and black jacket that burley was no longer making, or city bikes couldn't get them or something like this. i was being a slave to fashion or some shit. i forget what specifically was said....there's my crap city bikes experience (and i did buy the yellow jacket).

anyways, does anyone else know of what i'm talking about? agree, disagree?

arcellus
06-23-2006, 02:19 PM
have to say i agree with this one.. which is why i never go there. however, i've had mostly good experiences with staff at the 20th/alder location.

i find this to be a problem at a lot of shops, here and elsewhere. it's probably unavoidable when you've got a staff that is usually more knowledgable than the customer base, not being challenged by their work, and underpaid (at least in their own eyes).

donnambr
06-24-2006, 01:07 PM
I wholeheartedly agree. It's really too bad because they sell things there that no one in the area does, and some of us are really committed to supporting cooperatives.

What I expect in the way of "customer service" at a co-op isn't the same as my expectations in a retail store. (Then again, I find retail store "customer service" pretty nauseating in and of itself.) So, I'm judging by co-op standards here. I may just be learning about how to care for my bike, but I have a lot of experience in and with cooperatives. I've not encountered the grumpy man, but I have interacted with the highly patronizing woman, and I think that kind of interaction can really turn people off. It is definitely my #1 hot-button issue. After my "run-in", I have gone out of my way to make my bike purchases elsewhere whenever possible. It's not ok, even for a cooperative. What would you think if you went into People's to find some bulk herb, asked for help, and were either blown off by a really cranky person or were told in a really patronizing way that you didn't really want the herb you came in for? A few people would find someone to complain to, but most others would head to New Seasons, Limbo, Wild Oats, or some other place that might sell the same herb. They'd likely never stop in there again, even casually to pick up some beer or potato chips. Certainly no one on the People's BoD would ever know why they don't shop there anymore or that there might be a problem. They may even develop a negative impression of cooperatives that they keep for the rest of their life.

People's has the co-op customer service balance down, and it makes me proud to be a member. The worst experience I've ever had was interacting with someone who was dippy and clueless, nothing I'd feel tempted to complain about in a co-op. I've never seen anyone working there who wasn't anything but kind and polite. You can let a lot slide in the customer service world if you are simply pleasant. A good co-op should know this. Does Citybikes have a BoD structure? Anyone know someone on the BoD that they could email this thread to?

RobCat
06-25-2006, 11:24 AM
I have visited both locations (on the same day) exactly one time thus far. My experience was positive on the whole; I'd say the staff at the annex were more personable than at the repair location, but I don't really expect to be fawned over anyway. In short, no one condescended to me, no one gruffly dismissed my questions.

Still, co-op or not, a business really should bear in mind that whereas a customer's purchase of a lock or pair of gloves may not impact the bottom line to any great extent, goodwill on the street definitely can. Case in point: Sellwood Cycle Repair. I've bought some tires there and was treated well, and I've learned from others of good experiences while shopping there. And yet they see fit to hawk t-shirts bearing their logo and a negative quote from an online review! Since learning of that, I've been leery of going there again even though their location on Milwaukie Ave. is very convenient.

My best experiences have always been at Bike Gallery's Hollywood location. Sure, there's not much of a 'granola vibe' there, but the staff are unfailingly polite and knowledgeable, and have even steered me toward less expensive alternatives to the items for which I was shopping. Wish I could say the same for their Woodstock location but...well, I can't.

sbcohen
06-25-2006, 10:54 PM
i am no bike geek and i've always had great interactions with city bikes staff. now, they are not super cheery or anything, but they've never made me feel like an idiot. quite the contrary actually...

ephany
06-27-2006, 12:24 PM
"My best experiences have always been at Bike Gallery's Hollywood location. Sure, there's not much of a 'granola vibe' there, but the staff are unfailingly polite and knowledgeable, and have even steered me toward less expensive alternatives to the items for which I was shopping. Wish I could say the same for their Woodstock location but...well, I can't."

Wow, that is the complete opposite experience I have of the Hollywood BG. As a community organization, I think they rock and do a TON of good stuff for the cycling community and I love the people there esp. Mgrs Amy and Linda. But as a shop, I find them to be expensive and a little too quick to upsell.

Had I been able to find a bike that fit me at Rivercity, I would have happily bought from them and enjoyed the discount on accessories and lifetime minor adjustments that come with a bike purchase. No such amenities at BG.

If you want unbeatable friendly service, visit Cory at 7 Corners on 23rd & Division. I heart him. He will make your day brighter, your ride smoother, and if you bring him baked goods, he'll be your best friend for life. :)

half pint
06-27-2006, 05:12 PM
I've gone back and forth on the whole city bikes thing.
Overall my experiences have been positive (or at least neutral).
Although Peter has always been amazing, along with a few others (i just don't know their names).
I've also had a couple horrible ones.
A couple years ago I had a couple guys be snooty to me, and explain to me
that they didn't have to be nice because they have no boss.
And of course, it seems there's always someone working that seems very unhappy about being there.
I stopped shopping there for about a year.
I found coventry(on hawthorne and 20th) to be amazing,
they just don't have everything i need.
So i go back to city bikes when i need to,
but I still tell people about my experiences.
And while they have only lost a couple hundred bucks or so from me,
they have probably lost more from the people i have told to not go there.

donnambr
06-27-2006, 07:48 PM
Half Pint brings up an interesting point about what can happen when someone in a store is rude to a potential customer, even just once. You'll never know how much business you lost because of that one potential customer telling their family, friends & acquaintenances not to shop there because they're mean or whatever. A pattern of such incidents? That's a lot of business to lose.

We'd all like to think that we're unbiased and make up our own minds, but the truth is we all are influenced by the opinions of people we respect to some degree.

rainperimeter
06-28-2006, 02:09 AM
the guys who work at coventry are ridiculously friendly and helpful.

just a slight bit of clarification to my initial post: i'm not looking to be pampered when i go anywhere...at all...ever. i was a server/barista/bike shop guy all through my twenties. i know how annoying someone is who does expect to be pampered when they go out to eat, or go looking for new tires for their bike. plus that's not the type of person i am. and i'm quite certain that my friends who've i've told to go there aren't looking for any special treatment either.

i'm bummed out to see others chiming in with their bad city bike experiences.

on a side note: i bought some sylvan touring pedals, toe clips and straps the other day at n.pdx bike works. really good price and the lady working was really nice. yea for them.

RobCat
09-01-2006, 12:39 PM
If you want unbeatable friendly service, visit Cory at 7 Corners on 23rd & Division. I heart him. He will make your day brighter, your ride smoother, and if you bring him baked goods, he'll be your best friend for life. :)

Excellent. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

SEA_poseur_n_PDX
09-05-2006, 07:46 AM
If you want unbeatable friendly service, visit Cory at 7 Corners on 23rd & Division. I heart him. He will make your day brighter, your ride smoother, and if you bring him baked goods, he'll be your best friend for life.

I wholeheartedly agree! I've been to almost every bike shop on the east side, and Seven Corner's Bike & Fitness has been hands down the most accommodating. everyone there is really positive and helpful.

can't say enough nice things about cory and his gang.

shhambo
09-05-2006, 12:21 PM
Yep vote 3 for 7 corners. They are great there.
I also have never had problems at citybike. In fact I am having them build me a bike right now. And, I will continue to recommend them

Joe Planner
09-05-2006, 10:53 PM
I would agree also. About 4-5 months ago (just shortly before this initial post was created), I went to shop for a road bike. As a broke student and beginning cyclist, I was unaware of the bike terminology and price ranges. The female worker was very condescending. I've heard this time and again from others. Perhaps I and the others who experience bad service don't give off enough of a granola vibe. A more granola-appearing friend of mine was shopping there recently and witnessed a stark contrast in customer service. First, someone looking like he just got off work with a shirt and tie walked in and waits at least 10 minutes before someone will even talk to him and when they do, it's not friendly or helpful. Sure.. that happens when people have a bad day.. but just moments later, a more granola guy walks in and gets waited on like he was a bike god. According to my friend, who I trust, both customers were respectful and not the least bit rude and the store was not busy during either visit.

I for one, have had great experience with Bike Gallery, a place that fellow bikers reluctantly recommended to me when I first moved here. I took my bike in for a tune-up and was treated with a free tune-up because the bike didn't need much, according to the mechanic who helped me. I also helped a friend of mine shop for a bike there and we were treated amazingly well every time we stopped by.

I like the idea of City Bikes, but you won't find me shopping there or ever recommending that place to friends.

k
09-06-2006, 02:48 PM
i would like to chime in here about citybikes as well. last summer i began biking. it was the first time in almost five years i had hopped on a bike, and after a week of just riding around portland, i was hooked. the bike i started off with was not the nicest(an old specialized mountain bike), but it wasn't a piece of shit. to be honest, i knew and still no very little about bikes, and sometimes feel very intimidated by the biking community, and you can thank citybikes for that. here's my story: i went into the one on 20th to buy a bike lock. a simple bike lock. very low maintenance purchase. i did not have any questions for the mechanics, i did not expect to be pampered, i simply wanted to hand them my money in trade for a bike lock. instead of that relatively easy experience, the two assholes behind the counter start making jokes about my bike, as i am handing them my money. it really made me feel self-conscious and stupid. i now tell every person i know, out of town or portalnder, to avoid citybikes like the plague. they are rude. their work sucks. they don't even have a very good selection. and when it comes down to it, they run a poor business.

it wasn't until i started going to places like 7 Corners and Veloshop that I realized there are actually bike people that aren't snobs. and of course i also realized that once i started visiting this site.

Crunchy
09-07-2006, 03:39 AM
As a new biker, I've been to several bike shops around town. My first visits into bike shops were always like a puppy getting let loose in a shark tank. These people could all tell that I had no idea what I was doing, and were willing to punish me for it. As time went on and I began to learn more and more, and ride more and more, I felt like I was accepted more and more by the bicycle service men and women of the city, regardless of whether or not I had interacted with them before.

I've experienced horrible service pretty much across the board here in portland. I think that it's more a symptom of the town than it is a symtom of the bike shops. As I said before, I was treated coldly when I had no idea, but have since been treated very well. I'm glad that I have taken up biking in this town for one main reason - I'm in great shape now.

I've been here for a year now and as a whole the service community still has a chip on it's shoulder, but bike shop people can smell their own and treat them right. It's just a matter of commitment.

rainperimeter
09-07-2006, 11:45 AM
crunchy: just about every last thing you mention in your post is exactly what i had to say is wrong with the service at city bikes (and any other shop where you might experience the same thing). while you and i may not have issues with rude service because we go in, know exactly what we want to purchase, get it and leave, my friends who ask me questions and want to start biking full time, when they go to city bikes they get treated like shit because they don't know the difference between friction and indexed shifting (or whatever).

here's what city bikes has to say about themselves: "Citybikes promotes a life-style utilizing bicycles for transportation and recreation. We aim to provide dependable reconditioned bicycles, new and used components, accessories and the highest quality service at affordable prices to ensure that bicycling is accessible to the full spectrum of those that wish to ride".

all that is great but based on the experiences of my those i know and everyone who has posted on this thread, they don't do so well.

dan
09-07-2006, 04:45 PM
i'm building a bike from scratch for the first time, and yesterday i went to citybikes to get a bunch of parts. i saw this post before i went and was sort of expecting not to be treated too well, but nowhere else has as much used stuff. the guy (i don't know his name) was totally willing to explain some pretty basic stuff to me so i would know what parts to pick out, and didn't have a condescending attitude about it at all. he even kept helping me like 10 minutes after they closed, until i had everything i needed. i'm sure not everyone is that nice, but most stores probably have at least some grumpy workers...i get grumpy when i have to go to work too. almost everybody does. anyway, that's my experience, and i'll keep going there...maybe instead of saying that citybikes is grumpy(how can a shop be grumpy?) you could say that certain people there(and elsewhere) are grumpy. it doesn't seem very fair.

Rixtir
09-07-2006, 07:16 PM
So I have nothing against them, or for them. I'm neutral-- except that I really hate snooty service, which is why this thread has gotten my attention. Here's my take on Citybikes, based on what they've posted on their website:

Citybikes exists to provide a livelihood for our workers.I understand what they're trying to say-- that Citybikes is about the workers, not the investors-- but no service business can survive if it's about making money. Service businesses survive by providing a service, and if they're not providing a service, customers will go elsewhere. If they provide a service, they get to make money. In order for those employees to earn (there's an interesting word) their livelihood, they have to provide service. No service, no customers, no worker-owned business, no livelihood.


We aim to provide dependable reconditioned bicycles, new and used components, accessories and the highest quality service at affordable prices to ensure that bicycling is accessible to the full spectrum of those that wish to ride.From the complaints, it sounds like they're not meeting their aim of providing the highest quality service, nor does it sound like they really care about the full spectrum of those that wish to ride.

We adhere to a nonhierarchical personnel structure that focuses on all workers taking responsibility for the business. Through cooperation, we hope to make our work enjoyable and to get our jobs done efficiently by utilizing each others strengths.Sounds like the cooperative needs to have a meeting.

Suggested Citybikes meeting topic: Manifestos don't provide livelihoods. Customers do.

RobCat
09-07-2006, 07:36 PM
Suggested Citybikes meeting topic: Manifestos don't provide livelihoods. Customers do.

Heck, that should be the sign at the front counter!

Cowboy_X
09-07-2006, 11:13 PM
My experiences with City Bikes have been uniformally positive. I admit that one or two of the people I've encountered have been somewhat... socially autistic? Like they don't know how to speak casually or look you in the eye. But they've always been friendly and helpful, and gawd bless the place for existing at all.

tvhwy
09-10-2006, 12:19 AM
Case in point: Sellwood Cycle Repair. I've bought some tires there and was treated well, and I've learned from others of good experiences while shopping there. And yet they see fit to hawk t-shirts bearing their logo and a negative quote from an online review! Since learning of that, I've been leery of going there again even though their location on Milwaukie Ave. is very convenient.


What's offensive about the t-shirt? By the way you describe the shirt, it sounds like they're merely making a self-deprecating joke. Do they try to pass off the negative review as a good review, or something?

RobCat
09-10-2006, 09:08 AM
What's offensive about the t-shirt? By the way you describe the shirt, it sounds like they're merely making a self-deprecating joke. Do they try to pass off the negative review as a good review, or something?

Well, here's a lesson about re-checking sources. Once upon a time and for quite awhile, there was only one review published about Sellwood Bicycle Repair here: http://portland.citysearch.com/review/8454809

When I read your question about it here I went back to it with the intention of providing the link, only to discover that a few other people had posted more favorable reviews. One can tell from the dates of the posts that considerable time had passed between the original review and the next. Still, it bears mentioning that obviously not everyone feels as the original poster did/does, and it reinforces the observation that perceptions of service are personal.

The service I received on my sole visit to SCR was casual but polite enough and perhaps I shouldn't have taken one lone negative rant to heart, but when I saw that they'd sloganized it I couldn't reconcile it with any logical motivation save one meant to convey disregard for customers. There's tongue-in-cheek, and then there's lack of respect.

mizake
09-18-2006, 12:27 PM
SCR is an awesome shop! My girlfriend told me a story about the her first experience going in there. She came up to the counter and was about to ask the older mechanic a question. Before she had a chance to speak, he looked her dead in the eye and gruffly said "we don't serve short people here." She paused for a second, totally shocked, and then they both started cracking up.

Anyway, I really like that SCR. Very helpful, good prices. I needed some headset wrenches, and one of the mechanics sold me some extras from his cache for $5.

Bike shops are stereotypically notorious for having crappy customer service, hence the "what a bunch of jerks" logo. Thus turning the stereotype on it's head, and having a sense of humor about it (SCR do).

City Bikes - I don't go there 'cause the people are dicks.

RobCat
09-19-2006, 03:52 PM
SCR is an awesome shop!...Anyway, I really like that SCR. Very helpful, good prices...

Good to read this. I'll have to re-evaluate my initial concern. Thanks.

steelsreal
09-20-2006, 03:12 PM
Personally I do not shop at City bikes for another reason. They purchase used parts. The similar co-ops in Austin, Tucson and C.A.T. in Eugene are all capable of functioning on donated parts and bikes. The C.C.C. here seems to do just fine without buying used stuff.

For any of you with stolen bikes, check in Citybikes from time to time. A good friend of mine recently found a freshly sold box of goodies there. All removed from his stolen bike.

With photos of his bike he was able to get it all back. I am sure the 30 dollars they gave the thief for his box of Campy stuff was put to good use on meth or alcohol.

It should not be so easy for thieves to convert a chopped bike into cash. The people at City bikes would have to be nuts to not realize a lot of the parts they buy are off chopped bikes.

It is a great racket. Steal bike, strip parts and chuck frame into the Willamette. Then simply cruise into City bikes for the evenings entertainment funds...

FixForLife
09-20-2006, 03:48 PM
i sell old parts and things that i've traded and really don't need anymore to city bikes. non of that was stolen. i know you are not saying everyone does that and that some do. but when you say something like that, it makes that people that just have a shit ton of parts they need to get rid of look shady. it really sucks that people rip off bikes and sell the parts to city bikes. i wish that wasn't the case

steelsreal
09-20-2006, 04:51 PM
"it makes that people that just have a shit ton of parts they need to get rid of look shady."


I am sorry if you now feel "shady". I was in no way trying to disparage you for having loads of parts.

My point was simply that I actively discourage people from frequenting and supporting a business whos practices encourage bicycle theft.

The harder it is for people to convert stolen property in to cash, the fewer people will see bicycle theft as a viable option to get their next fix.

The fact that so many other co-ops and non-profits function without purchasing parts shows that there is really no true need for this.

steamboat
10-06-2006, 12:19 AM
So, anyone have experience with the Bicyle Repair Collective at 46th/Belmont? I have done business with them now and then ever since the mid 80s. They were one of the few bike shops/coops around then. While they provide a generally good service to the bike community, some of the attitude expressed about City Bikes by the initial poster on this thread reminded me of the attitude I get now and then from the 2 main guys at BRC. Especially, but not always mind you, when you are trying to understand something. And it may be one more than the other of the 2. I tend to mix them up. Are they brothers?
The other week, I had left my old StumpJumper there to replace the bottom bracket (?) where the pedal arms come into the frame, for about $45. Having said I was cautious about putting too much into the bike, they called later the same day to say that the thread to access the part was stripped in such a way that it would take more time (ie, labor and money) than is probably worth it to me to hack their way in. When I arrived and asked a few specific questions to understand exactly what the problem was and what my options were, I just got curt, vague, raised voices. He simply didn't care to have a meaningful conversation about it. If I were to believe him, I had a useless piece of metal and I should go buy another bike. But I took the bike to CCC on Alberta and while I watched, the mechanic unscrewed the necessary part without any real problem. And they fixed it.
Go figure.

Oh, and when I had earlier made a reference to the CCC, to one of the Bike Repair Collective guys, about the work done at CCC, the Collective guy made some remark that seemed to be questioning the quality of service one could expect at CCC, like they were just a bunch of volunteers types or something. I forget the exact context, but he definitely seemed to exhibit real or feigned ignorance of the CCC services.

shhambo
10-06-2006, 09:20 AM
Funny, I was just thinking about BRC. I really got the feeling they are just out for cash. They are so unwilling to give advice on how to do things yourself and charge as much as Bike Gallery for repairs but without the good customer service. I will stick to City Bike.

rainperimeter
10-07-2006, 02:28 AM
see, that's funny. i kind of like those guys. grumpy indeed, you're right. the first time i went there i had them cut down a fork crown race from 27.1mm to 26.4mm (older bridgestone, 27.1 is the old japanese standard diameter?). I think they enjoyed that. Also I proved one of them wrong regarding brake levers/brake compatibility. I gained some credibility? Every time since then i've gone to pick up some random thing there they tread some fine line between grumpy jerks/really nice.

The more i think about the more i feel like if you're a current or former shop employee you get respect in shops. So just get a job in a shop and show all the snobby employees at other shops what's what...

FixForLife
10-07-2006, 12:51 PM
let me just do that, get a job in a shop that is. you know any that will take me in? cause every single shop is looking for someone with prior shop experience but non will give you the damn time of day no matter how hard of a worker you are or how bad you WANT to work. once i get said job, i shall go into city bikes and pw3n s0m3 n00bs

TCR Punk
10-07-2006, 02:23 PM
I hate to say this, cause i totally like to give the LBS my hard earned doller, over commercial shops, but Performance Bicycle at mall 205 has the best service for newbies, and the best selection of parts and service. Period. But since I always know what i want, how to do most of my work, when i need a professional hand, i go to BRC. Old grumpy man, does best work. Just deal with his shit, get good quality work, if he wants to do it.

rubbish heap
11-03-2006, 09:12 PM
Ya know, I was about to say that I've had nothing but good experiences as far as customer service from BRC. When I was a complete newbie and didn't know a crank from a cog, they helped me out and I didn't get any drift of pretension from them. With that said, I took my bike for a tune up there and don't know if it really made a difference 60 bucks later, and City Bikes seems to give you a little more for the money on tune ups if you're not mechanically minded like myself.

I've had bad experiences and good experiences with City Bikes. When I was first trying to find an old vintage bike, a butchy type short haired lady was really giving me a hard time, intimidating me and acting like a general asshole. She was trying to tell me I'd have a horrible time trying to find a cheap road bike because she'd never seen the market for them get so big as it is now. Well, she probably hasn't ever heard of craigslist either...

Anyways the last time I was at City Bikes, a more hippyish guy was noticably more friendly to me then my experiences in the past.

Veloshop behind Rocco's Pizza right off Bunside downtown is another shop that's pretty friendly and unpretensious. They're really down to earth and laid back there...

Oh yeah, and Hollywood Cycling across the street from Bike Gallery on Sandy has a really friendly owner too. He's pretty mellow and nice, not the sharpest or most quick-witted guy but very well intentioned and has some really good prices (top of the line Kryptonite NYFU lock for less then 70, Brooks seats for less then 60, lots of vintage bikes, cheap tires). Not the greatest selection, but if they have what you need you'll probably end up paying the cheapest there. But really, the owner is a very nice guy.

cranky_pedaller
11-07-2006, 02:04 PM
I normally take parts in and trade them for other stuff (cables, tire levers, brake pads... stuff like that), or apply the money acquired to my bills if I'm really short on cash. I think the workers I see there have the idea that I have my own little psuedo-shop in my apartment. I've worked on and built up bikes for some of my neighborhood folk, even bringing some of them in to look at parts and accessories they'd like on their bike. In turn, I end up with components I don't have use for... eh, you get my drift (i think).

For the most part, I haven't had a really bad experience at citybikes... but I've never had a great experience either. So long as they can help me get the shit I want, which I usually know EXACTLY what I need, I don't care if they provide service with a smile or scowl... I've never had any of them treat me like a fool or a goddess, and frankly I don't care. Yeah, granted some of their prices are kinda high, but I'm not looking for their expensive shit.

BUT! If I ever have an unpleasant experience there, I wouldn't stop myself from telling people not to go there.... which could hurt them a lot, since I live right in the neighborhood and can easily go up belmont or hawthorne or mlk. bleh.

what was my point? Oh right... I like selling/trading parts at citybikes. I'm not a theif, either. Thanks...? :B

fetishridr
11-22-2006, 02:08 PM
i would agree with other posts, some of the employees are socially autistic, but the shop does have a lot of cool stuff.

i did however take parts in to trade and was told that they werent sellable and that i should recycle them in their recycling.

2 days later, THEY WERE IN THE DISPLAY CASE!!!!! What the EFFF?

there is a disconnect from the employees and customer service there. i've been there many times when people need flats changed, and the employees do a horrible job identifying if the rider needs help or just a lever and tube.

Not all coops suck, look at REI, they do a little more business than citybikes.

TCR Punk
11-22-2006, 06:10 PM
Not all coops suck, look at REI, they do a little more business than citybikes.

REI is Co-Op, I didn't know that. Cool. Where is REI, Jantzen Beach,? if thats the case, it's a little difficult to get there when i'm in the city though.

jyl
11-22-2006, 06:47 PM
I've had good experiences at CityBikes.

At the repair shop, they did a nice job tuning up my bike and one of the women who works there made nice comments about the bike, good karma stuff. She and I are both vintage Bridgestone fans.

At the annex, they had an Xtracycle kit for a good price and did a really nice job installing it on my other Bridgestone. Took a lot of time helping me pick the right handlebar, good and economical parts to convert over the brakes and shifters, fixed some other things too.

They have a laid-back pace and seem to prefer customers who are the same way.

I do like Hollywood Bike on Sandy too. Nice guy, good prices, small shop. Bought a Brooks B-17 from him recently.

scottogo
11-22-2006, 09:27 PM
Yes. A couple months ago I went to four bike shops with a problem and they were all too busy, and he (Hollywood Cycling) helped me very quickly with a simple adjustment.

BillD
11-22-2006, 09:29 PM
REI is Co-Op, I didn't know that. Cool. Where is REI, Jantzen Beach,? if thats the case, it's a little difficult to get there when i'm in the city though.

The original Portland REI store was at Jantzen Beach but is not there now. There are stores at NW 14th and Johnson as well as in Bend, Hillsboro, Tualatin and Eugene.

Bill

Starkmojo
11-24-2006, 10:04 AM
I bought my latest bike from citibikes, and get most of my work done at the BRC... I like them both. I also like the tall guy at REI for parts/accesories help.

Bill Donohue
02-15-2007, 01:39 PM
i decided today that i can no longer suggest to friends, co-workers, acquaintances, whoever, to go to city bikes to check out this or that. for the i-don't-know-how-many-time today, a co-worker/buddy told me of going in there (either location) and having an employee treat him/her like a complete idiot.

actually, in particular it is two employees. one male, one female. both have been there forever. the female left and worked at another shop and i think is back now (that's sort of giving that one away i think). both are incredibly condescending and short. i've witnessed horrible interactions between her and my friends (or strangers to me, if i'm in looking for something) at both shops she's worked at. the guy, he's always unpleasant, even when he's a customer at another business (an ex-gf had to wait on him at the cafe she worked at). seriously. she's super patronizing and under the impression she's an authority on what you need to do and ride (and then acts like you're attacking her if you stop taking her shit). and he's grumpy and impatient (and becomes grumpier and more impatient).

somehow i've avoided this mostly. maybe it's because i used to work in a shop for quite a while, there is something i emit, a scent, a noise, a glow, that allows me to have pleasant interactions with city bikes staff, i'm in the club or something. maybe it's because i'm very much more informed than some. i don't know. acting like an asshole/elitist prick to people who want to start riding and have questions for you, bike shop employee, whose job it is to help 'em out, is no way to encourage them.

oh, years ago, in 98 i think, i bought my first burley rain jacket. i was mocked because i wasn't crazy about buying a bright f'ing yellow jacket. i wanted the red and black jacket that burley was no longer making, or city bikes couldn't get them or something like this. i was being a slave to fashion or some shit. i forget what specifically was said....there's my crap city bikes experience (and i did buy the yellow jacket).

anyways, does anyone else know of what i'm talking about? agree, disagree?

I hope you will try out Hollywood Cycling.net,I try to stay happy.Regards Bill

ADirtMonkey
02-27-2007, 03:04 PM
I have had only one moderately negative experience at city bikes, but that same person has been nicer to me on other occasions. I might have the 'scent' as well, since I usually know what I am looking for and have worked in shops before. I haven't heard all of this negativity before and am a little disconcerted by it b/c they are right around the corner from my house and i frequent the 20th shop almost weekly. Its an addiction, I know.
Regardless, if you are in a business that sells things, customer service should be job #1. Epsecially in the cycling industry where many of your customers need quality advice in choosing the products that would suite their needs.
I will continue to shop there, but hopefully they will take some constructive criticism to heart and help out the less knowledgeable.