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View Full Version : Bike Shop Recommendations?


MrBread
01-26-2006, 07:49 PM
Hey, fellow bikers. I'm looking for some advice on a bike shop to have some repair work done.

My bike is a Pierce-Arrow, beautiful red cruiser bought several years ago (in great condition) for $15 at the Vinnie's Warehouse in Eugene (a real steal). It's got the (as near as I can tell, being something of a bike novice) original 10-speed shifters and gears, with the only "modern" parts seeming to be the new pedals a previous owner put on, and some sparkly red grips I put on to replace the chunky black rubber ones I got it with (and to better match the "look" of the bike).

It sat in a basement for a while, so I ended up replacing the tires and tubes about a year ago, and was riding for a few blissful weeks planning to get a tune-up, when the back wheel started wobbling. I called a few shops, got a guess at the problem (broken axle?), and an estimate of about $50 for the parts and labor.

I ended up skipping the repair because I found a deal on a mountain bike at Toys'R'Us for $65, and my need to get to work overrode my desire for a good-looking bike.

But now my "new" bike is falling apart because it's so cheap, and I'm looking to get the cruiser up to speed again, since I'm looking at moving to Sellwood and may be commuting for an hour or more every day.

Which leads to my question: the place I'm looking at is a few blocks from the Sellwood Bike Repair place on 17th, I've been into and liked CityBikes, and my friend swears by Four Corners.

Does anybody have a good recommendation of a shop to get the work done? I'm not as concerned with the best deal as I am with quality work, and being able to dialogue with the mechanic is important (I don't want to do the repair work myself, but I don't want to just drop it off and pick it up, either).

I appreciate any help y'all might be able to offer.

cycling fool
01-26-2006, 10:51 PM
I say try the local shop first: Sellwood Cycle Repair. It's always nice to be able to walk to your mechanic...

Anonymous
01-27-2006, 11:56 AM
Both Seven Corners and CityBikes are wonderful, but so is Sellwood (http://sellwoodcycle.com/). I've always received honest, high-quality work and service there. In fact, I became so attached to them that even after I moved away from Sellwood I kept going down there, even though that means I have to bring a second bike in a trailer when I leave my bike there.

They sell a fair number of cruisers, so I'm guessing they'll have a good understanding of how they work, too.

Be sure to remember that they're closed Sun and Mon. Somehow those are always the days I want to take my bike in...

MrBread
01-30-2006, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the replies. I was gunning for the "go to the shop closest to you" answer, but growing up in Irvington, my folks always took us to Bike Gallery, so I'm still learning the smaller shops, and until I walked past it the other day, I had never even heard of it.

nuovorecord
02-16-2006, 12:56 PM
Hey, I'm coming a bit late to this thread, but I'll second what everyone has said about Sellwood Cycle Repair. It's a fine shop - Steve and Erik are great mechanics.

I've also found good service at Veloce Bicycles on 32nd and Hawthorne. I've been going there lately for parts and service since it's closer to my house than Sellwood.

En Selle down in John's Landing is another good neighborhood shop, although it mainly caters to the high-end road bike crowd.

waybigdog
03-31-2006, 01:32 PM
Sellwood Cycle Repair to me is the place to go. I won't take any of my bike's anywhere else. Steve and Eric are great honest people and love what they do and it shows. You can also pick up a sweet used bike there at a great price and they back up all of their work.
Cheers.

jami
04-06-2006, 01:55 PM
i'd try sellwood cycle. although i think citybikes and seven corners are awesome, at citybikes, i came away from an accident-induced bent-wheel repair with a loose and crooked steering wheel, and at seven corners, i came away from a $40 tune-up with the same brakes i went in with (that is, the soles of my shoes). these are minor complaints, certainly, but if i'm gonna give up my bike for a week and shell out the big bucks for some expertise, i want the repairs that i can't do at home to be done.

editrixpdx
02-24-2007, 08:43 PM
Undead zombie thread, bringing it back to life.

I need a decent, honest, not-too-$$pendy bike repair place in NE PDX--live near 72nd & Sandy but really, tips on anywhere up here much appreciated.

Need a new rear derailleur (or so I was told at the MCBF) and probably a general tuneup, plus I'd like them to install fenders and bike rack out back (being as I have zero mechanical skills and the last one I self-installed promptly fell off).

My bike is old + not fancy (bought very cheap, used); don't want to spend the purchase price of a new bike getting this one repaired, is my bottom line.

Any suggestions?

BillD
02-25-2007, 12:52 PM
..................Any suggestions?

You are not too far from Bike Gallery at 53rd and Sandy or Hollywood Cycling at 52nd and Sandy.

editrixpdx
02-25-2007, 10:19 PM
Thanks!

Are those personal recommendations? Or simply bike places near me?

Based on my visits over the past year: Bike Gallery strikes me as snobby and spendy; Hwood Cycle guy seems clueless and haphazard. Am I wrong?

Anybody had their bike repaired up in the NE with good results, for a good price? Where would you send your bicycularly clueless, but enthusiastic, not rich aunt?

BillD
02-25-2007, 11:24 PM
Those are suggestions... which is what you asked for. It seems you have already made your mind up not to like either one. Sorry I can't help

nishiki
02-27-2007, 09:45 AM
Sellwood cycle, what a bunch of jerks

editrixpdx
02-27-2007, 10:02 AM
Haven't made up my mind a'tall; those were just my impressions (and I couldn't tell from your earlier post if you had actually been to those shops, or were simply telling me what's near me). If you've had good experiences, then maybe I'll give them a second chance. And thanks for the tips! I can always just take my bike somewhere else if they end up bamboozling me with snobby spendy repairs, eh?

steelsreal
02-27-2007, 01:08 PM
You may find different prices at different shops for parts and bikes. Those will generally be for different quality equipment, however.

Prices for the same brand/year/model are generally identical everywhere you go. A few bucks up or down, but saying a shop is expensive makes no sense. Some shops look expensive and sell high-end gear. Though they will still have the same inexpensive parts tucked away somewhere.

No place would stay in business if they sold the same goods for more than the shop across the street. They certainly would not have 6 locations in town and get away with that! The smaller shops will be way more likely to try and pinch an extra few dollars out through their margins. But again it will just be a few bucks.

Repairs are generally the same everywhere you go. If something is radically cheaper to be repaired, they are either doing less work, or not doing it nearly as well.

My point being, unless you are getting a new bike and are after a certain type of care and attention(or selection), go to the shop closest to you. If they make you feel comfortable and fix your problem, keep going there! If they are snobby and rude, take your business to the next closest shop.

If I were you, I would give the Bike Gallery a chance to earn your business. Don't like it there? Go across the street.

Donald
02-27-2007, 03:25 PM
I've had great service at Seven Corners, now in fancy new digs.

I've also had terrific service at Revolver on Interstate. Very cozy digs.

Purchased bikes at River City, but I've never felt particulary welcomed there, even as I was thunking down a couple of grand...

funk
02-27-2007, 03:29 PM
The mechanics at Bike Gallery have always been good to me. Pulling bearings out of hubs for free just because I was buying the new ones there, etc.

There is also the Missing Link @ 57th and Fremont (same basic neighborhood). Joe (the mechanic/owner) is knowlegdable and friendly.

I usually go to the Missing Link if I need work that is not new-part related and to the Bike Gallery if I know that I am going to need new parts.

-Andy

P.S.
I have never had any work done at Hollywood cycle, so I cannot speak to quality of work done there.

editrixpdx
02-27-2007, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the explanations and tips! I *totally* forgot about Missing Link; thanks for the reminder. They're right up the street, so they sorta fade into the woodwork for me. I should check them out. Although in this case I will probably end up at Bike Gallery, being as I'm guessing I need a new part.

I knew you people could sort me out, get me to quit dithering and just get it fixed already!

cycleguy
03-03-2007, 08:52 PM
Does anyone have any experince with Performance Bikes? They are located in Mall 205 next to Home Depot and in Beaverton. Their prices seem good and the one time I was in the Mall 205 store the salesperson seemed pretty knowledable and helpful. I know they are a national chain and that's why I suspect their prices are better than other local shops.

editrixpdx
03-03-2007, 11:24 PM
The staff has ignored me every time I tried to shop at the one at Mall 205. Even when there was not another customer in the store and I was (politely) asking for help. So I stopped shopping there.

Joe Planner
03-04-2007, 09:18 AM
Bike Gallery staff have been nice to me. Since I'm not quite up on the bike part terminology (and I know, I should be...) and still somewhat new to biking, I find the staff to be a little more patient with me than other places that cater to more advanced/knowledgeable bicyclists. Also, I got a free minor tune-up once (without buying anything during that visit) and they, like many other shops, offer the 10% BTA discount on accessories.

nuovorecord
03-05-2007, 01:12 PM
Does anyone have any experince with Performance Bikes? They are located in Mall 205 next to Home Depot and in Beaverton. Their prices seem good and the one time I was in the Mall 205 store the salesperson seemed pretty knowledable and helpful. I know they are a national chain and that's why I suspect their prices are better than other local shops.

Their prices aren't that much better than you can find elsewhere, in my experience. I've not found their staff to be too knowledgeable or helpful, either. The only thing I buy there are Michelin tubes and only because I can't seem to find them in any of the Eastside bike shops. If anyone happens to know who carries them, please let me know so I can keep my business in local shops. Thanks.

Matt P.
03-09-2007, 11:15 AM
Performance is a mixed bag for me. I usually come in when there aren't a lot of customers, and since I'm overweight, I look like a beginning rider to a lot of sales-ey people. They usually offer to help me out right away, but I don't find any of them to be especially knowledgeable and I know at least one instance where one of their salespeople gave out totally wrong information. Generally I go to Performance when I know what I'm looking for and want the best price (which means during one of their sales - the rest of the time, their prices are no better than anywhere else).

I've had very good experiences at the downtown and Sandy Bike Gallery shops, and at River City Bicycles. I've found all their people to be very knowledgeable and helpful, and whenever I'm shopping for something I don't know much about, or need an opinion as to quality, that's where I go. They also tend to have better stuff than Performance, in terms of quality and in terms of features / usability. I like the atmosphere a lot more, and I like to support local shops whenever possible. Also, BG carries a few brands that I prefer for certain items, like Bontrager tubes. I'm also more confident in their service department, especially since I bought my GF mountain bike there - if you own a Trek or GF, Bike Gallery and River City are awesome places to have it fixed.

Of course, the more I learn, the more I can fix myself, so now I leave them the tasks I can't do, like removing a stuck bottom bracket. (I mean REALLY, really stuck)

editrixpdx
03-20-2007, 11:36 AM
I take back everything I said about BG being snobby. The young man who assisted me could not have been nicer or more helpful. He diagnosed the problem after some careful testing, offered up a list of solutions *with prices*, and then did exactly what I asked, flawlessly.

The bike changes gears very sweetly now, but not perfectly--as he'd warned me, given the options I chose. Which is fine by me. Everyone's a winner!

They also installed shiny new fenders and, at no additional cost, reinstalled my back rack properly (lacking any mechanical skills, I had attached it with baling wire and duck tape). They rock!

rubbish heap
03-25-2007, 05:37 PM
As far as wheel building / truing, I'd say Dean at Bike Central is one of the best in town.