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REI rant

Old 05-29-20, 07:53 PM
  #126  
StarBiker
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Originally Posted by bruce19;21504887[b
It's not about who works there. It's about corporate vs. local business. And, I get guarantees from both the bike manufacturer and my LBS. Been doing this for over 40 yrs. without a problem.


It's nice that you haven't had a problem in 40 years. I wish it was that way for everybody.
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Old 05-29-20, 08:50 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
One advantage with an LBS is that any money I do spend there stays in the community. It doesn't go to corporate whatever.
It's a co-op. The members are "owners", hence the dividend and many donations and sponsorships to local and national recreational groups.
Last I checked the employees in the store were locals and more of them.
That's not to say the LBS doesn't sponsor local things as well
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Old 05-29-20, 09:08 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by southpier View Post
I view REI as I do West Marine. they pay kids & schoolteachers who know everything, and things go down hill from there.
You don't know anything about REI and simply spout uninformed opinion far from the truth.
Anyone hired (in any area) goes through training before working with customers. Most bike shop personnel are sent to an independent mechanic's school and each store's bike department has one or two highly trained and highly experienced mechanics. The OP bought his bike by mail order so store personnel didn't touch it, it came boxed from the factory.
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Old 05-30-20, 01:09 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
You don't know anything about REI and simply spout uninformed opinion far from the truth.
Anyone hired (in any area) goes through training before working with customers. Most bike shop personnel are sent to an independent mechanic's school and each store's bike department has one or two highly trained and highly experienced mechanics. The OP bought his bike by mail order so store personnel didn't touch it, it came boxed from the factory.

I guess you fixed me. from now on, i'm always going to rei 'cause you said.
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Old 05-30-20, 05:19 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
It's a co-op. The members are "owners", hence the dividend and many donations and sponsorships to local and national recreational groups.
Last I checked the employees in the store were locals and more of them.
That's not to say the LBS doesn't sponsor local things as well
Thank you. I stand corrected..
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Old 05-30-20, 02:23 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
The OP bought his bike by mail order so store personnel didn't touch it, it came boxed from the factory.
No clue what happened with the OP, but that statement is false. I bought my fat bike mail order, from a shop in Salt Lake City, they built the thing up, then took it apart to ship it to me, so the only thing I had to do was put on the wheels and handlebars.
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Old 05-30-20, 03:38 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
No clue what happened with the OP, but that statement is false. I bought my fat bike mail order, from a shop in Salt Lake City, they built the thing up, then took it apart to ship it to me, so the only thing I had to do was put on the wheels and handlebars.
This is correct. Bikes bought online from REÕ come from one of their stores, and are fully assembled, inspected, then partially disassembled for shipment. Sounds like this didnít go perfectly in OPís case (since a nut was loose...), but hey, humans make mistakes.
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Old 05-30-20, 05:49 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I agree on the overprice bit, BUT they run enough sales through the year that it takes care of itself. Not to mention the stupendously good deals that can be had at Garage Sales..
A lot of people took issue with this, so I must not have worded it too well. What I was trying to say is that REI is not a big box store, and having rock-bottom prices is not how they attract customers, which is one of many ways they are different from being something like the Best Buy of outdoor stuff.

(Their Shimano pedals are sometimes a factor of 2 more expensive than other places, to take an extreme example.)

I buy much of my clothing there for example, and it isn't inexpensive, but it tends to look ok and is functional.

We booked our Galapagos trip through them. It was by no means inexpensive.
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Old 05-30-20, 06:40 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post


It's nice that you haven't had a problem in 40 years. I wish it was that way for everybody.
Me too.
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Old 05-30-20, 11:59 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
A lot of people took issue with this, so I must not have worded it too well. What I was trying to say is that REI is not a big box store, and having rock-bottom prices is not how they attract customers, which is one of many ways they are different from being something like the Best Buy of outdoor stuff.
....
We booked our Galapagos trip through them. It was by no means inexpensive.
Fair enough! I don't find them overpriced persay, but there are no regular deals to be had outside of the couple times a year storewide sales and garage sale. Both of those can yield some good savings.

Never realized they had a travel agency either, despite (well despite my wife) being a member!
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Old 05-31-20, 11:20 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
REI is basically Walmart but with fancy doors with ice hammers for handles
We have a brand new REI. It was scheduled for grand opening 1 month ago and is dark.

We buy Thule Bike racks there.

Never a bike. Never. I joined coop 25 years ago and have shopped in a dozen stores. I just walk thru bike area.
Never buy boat motor or ATV from big box stores.
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Old 05-31-20, 11:33 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
It's not about who works there. It's about corporate vs. local business. And, I get guarantees from both the bike manufacturer and my LBS. Been doing this for over 40 yrs. without a problem.
Like restaurants, local businesses mainly suck. Nice if you have a good one, many people don't.
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Old 05-31-20, 11:54 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Fair enough! I don't find them overpriced persay, but there are no regular deals to be had outside of the couple times a year storewide sales and garage sale. Both of those can yield some good savings.

Never realized they had a travel agency either, despite (well despite my wife) being a member!
https://www.rei.com/adventures

I've only used them that once, but some of the people we met on the trip did it every year (or more).
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Old 05-31-20, 11:57 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Like restaurants, local businesses mainly suck. Nice if you have a good one, many people don't.
I have no idea where you've lived or your experiences but that's never been true for me.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:05 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Youíd have to live in a pretty deep cave to not know what Dickís Sporting Goods is. They have almost 750 locations in the US. REI has just over 160. And, while Dickís can be found in some smaller cities, you wonít find them in many small towns. In Colorado, all the Dickís are along the I-25 corridor from Pueblo to Fort Collins...about150 miles long by about 50 miles wide. There isnít single one outside of that fairly narrow band.

REI has a number of stores in the same corridor but they have 2 stores elsewhere in the state...one in Dillon and one Grand Junction.
REI is big hiking back packing Dicks sells a lot of basketball shoes and jerseys.

I had a flat and bought a quart of slime Friday 2 blocks from a Walmart at farm supply store. Slime 50% more expensive at Walmart.
I go to Walmart and they don't have much even for a spare tube inventory.

The "bike guy" was on the floor and told me their sales were incredible. I walked past computers and electronics and computer inventor is wiped out.
I saw a guy on a bike yesterday. brand new dime store bike. Less that an hour riding and the knock off shifter busted. So he dropped his bike onto the city bus rack to haul it to the dime store "W" and the bus stopped running. The virus is now attacking machines.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:20 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I only know one REI, the local shop. There's so much employee turnover that it's inevitable customer experiences will vary tremendously. A friend was a mechanic at REI but went on to another job. For awhile that REI had no experienced mechanic, just young adults getting on the job training at bike assembly. Over the past three years, sometimes the shop has a trained, experienced mechanic, sometimes it doesn't.

Same with every department there. Sometimes you get an employee who actually has experience in the activity you're buying gear for, sometimes not. Some of them adhere to the no-pressure REI ethic, some of them are pushy like they're working on commission.

And it's not really a co-op. There isn't actually a workshop for "members" to learn to do their own bike maintenance. There's no procedure for checking in, using the shop tools, etc. When I was learning basic car maintenance as a teenager we had access to a real co-op, supervised by an experienced mechanic, with a complete Chilton's library, tools, the works. REI is not a co-op.

As Tacoenthusiast said, it's a tarted up Walmart in a fancy neighborhood. Our REI opened in one of those pricey shake-and-bake upper middle class pop-up condo communities with a shopping strip where neighbors could shop at REI, Whole Foods, and a revolving door of overpriced taco boutiques that shut down every six months as the fads fade. The pandemic is gonna kill that niche local economy that was based on promises and hot air. With luck an actual REI co-op in a working class warehouse will open up.
REI is an investor member owned cooperative, I belong to a farm cooperative with grain elevators and many towns to buy crops and do trading. I get a dividend. We have farm supply stores which do farm tires, major repairs including trucks that travel and do field repairs. No use of their shop tools allowed.

Sears, Penneys, Wards all had appliances and automotive shops which are almost 100% gone.

Your psychology is spot on.
The upper income camper hiker has ski rack on top of his SUV and mountain bikes on a rack in the summer.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:32 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Pugs2xLove View Post
I'd buy a bike at Walmart (already did twice) before going to Dick's. This took place when I first got into biking. Now I wouldn't buy bikes from either stores.
I bought a Walmart dime store bike 2 years ago. I busted a chain on my bike 1 mile from Walmart. Bought a cheap Roadmaster and rode home. Went back and hauled my mountain bike home.
3 bikes before that, I bought a Trek. I spent less on broken parts 9,000 miles on the Trek than on the Roadmaster which I road untill it needed new tires in 1,000 miles.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:40 PM
  #143  
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I like to go to REI, proud and high-minded in the knowledge that I'm an owner. But oddly, they don't treat me like an owner because they always apprehend me when I start stuffing my pockets with goods.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:45 PM
  #144  
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Bikes do not come from the factory anywhere near ready to ride. A good shop will have the bike prepared and ready to ride with all bolts properly tightened and torqued, spokes tightened, wheels trued and running gears and brakes adjusted. If your bike isn't handed to you in that condition from an REI shop, write a letter to the company and word it professionally and kindly and you might like the response. If you go off on them then don't expect anything. Oh, and don't ask for anything. Tell them you love their stores and service and will continue to shop at REI but this experience just wasn't good. Then see what happens.


-

Last edited by drlogik; 05-31-20 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:58 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
Bikes do not come from the factory anywhere near ready to ride. A good shop will have the bike prepared and ready to ride with all bolts properly tightened and torqued, spokes tightened, wheels trued and running gears and brakes adjusted. If your bike isn't handed to you in that condition from an REI shop, write a letter to the company and word it professionally and kindly and you might like the response. If you go off on them then don't expect anything. Oh, and don't ask for anything. Tell them you love their stores and service and will continue to shop at REI but this experience just wasn't good. Then see what happens.


-
The upper end brands use dealers which have contracts and territories. They have mechanical procedures for setting up a bike for the customer. It saves them money on warranty expense. LBS Trek shop says I can buy a Trek online, it is sent to him and he gets paid to set up the bike.
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Old 06-22-20, 06:08 AM
  #146  
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Well hello fellow REI fans and those that are not.

The bike is fine, me the OP is also fine. For those wanting to know I did true the wheels and spot checked spoke tension, made all required adjustments needed for fit and function, replaced the rear Schwalbe Marathon 700C38 due to a lump that formed in the tread < 200 miles, I like REI, I like the CO-OP bike, I love their service. With just over 1000 miles on the ADV1.1 in the last 30 days nothing else has required anything but soap, water and lube. MY ONLY COMPLAINT WAS... don't tell me you assembled and tested a bike when clearly it was not. Yes, mistake happen, and it did which I got over quickly. When I needed to contact REI service they acted quickly, apologized for the mistake and offered a acceptable resolution. I expect to always need to turn a wrench now and then and I am able and enjoy doing so but, these errors and lack of attention where not in line with my prior REI experiences. All is well as I step back from the keyboard and go enjoy a nice ride.
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Old 06-22-20, 11:03 AM
  #147  
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I posted this in another topic, we've had LBS bikes have tons of mechanicals up to and including dropped chains ruining chainstays on the first group ride. So, it happens.

REI is a co-op box store. They do what they can, it's better than a Walmart/Target/whatever but about on par with a LBS IMHO. Not worse than a LBS.

I use REI because:
-sometimes I need a little item NOW and my LBS doesn't have it and Performance Bike box stores are gone
-the dividend makes it so that the prices aren't that bad
-it's a 7min jog from the house
-they took back a kid's bike no question asked when he couldn't shift the twist shifter and wouldn't be able to for a while
-A LBS here that has a couple stores tried to con me out of solid money when trading up on a kid's bike claiming they were going to true the wheels.......GTFO of here, you know you ain't going to true some freaking 40 spoke 12" kids wheels...you're going to glance at it sideways and put it at the curb sale....I called em out on it too, they thought I was some moron dad who doesn't know bikes or how to see if a wheel is in true. Also tried to say they needed to center the brakes. Bike was a coaster brake bike. I showed them it was true and explained I'm not some moron dad they could fleece over and that it is a coaster brake. Worse than a used car dealer. That LBS was my closest other option at the time. The other LBS I frequent just often doesn't stock what I need versus REI. And it's usually "I tried to maintain this the day before a group ride, and now am stuck without a part".
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