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Do you hang out at your LBS?

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Do you hang out at your LBS?

Old 09-12-19, 10:19 AM
  #26  
Rides4Beer
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Absolutely. My favorite LBS has two locations, both have beer and coffee. After group rides a bunch of people usually hang out and have a drink. One of their locations is on my regular route, I'll often stop in during a ride and chat for a few. Great bunch of folks.
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Old 09-12-19, 10:50 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
When I bought my first bike several years ago, there were a group of guys hanging around the LBS. Chatting up the owner, the mechanics, etc. To an outsider, I felt as though these guys were buddies that rode together and just hung out at the store because it was the fun thing to do.

I do not have this type of relationship with my LBS. But I think it would be a beneficial relationship to have. I'm curious though. Are the days of the LBS owner being your friend over what with online shopping and all? Or did the LBS hangout ever exist?
"Back in the day" guys would hang around the local barber shop . (LBS)
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Old 09-12-19, 10:55 AM
  #28  
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Sure do, have a coffee with the mech and sales folks. Usually have a pastry around and I bring them in too. Its a great place to hang out and talk bikes.
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Old 09-12-19, 11:30 AM
  #29  
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I'm pretty gregarious depending on my mood, so it's fun to talk to someone who cares about something I care about as well.

If the people working there are known to me, friendly and/or chatty, yes. If they're busy, unfriendly, and/or do not seem like the kind of person who likes to talk to people they don't know, then no.

I know some mechanics who like to talk to someone while they work, I've known others who need to shut off the conversation to focus on what they're doing.

Why, it's almost like people and situations vary a lot, huh?
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Old 09-12-19, 11:35 AM
  #30  
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there's a LBS in town who does group rides at varying levels. i was thinking of joining up on one of the rides and meet new people once i get a road bike. i'm in the market for one.
but it's just me, but i prefer not to talk to people, bit of an introvert. but i'm more than willing to visit the LBS to join their group rides.
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Old 09-12-19, 11:53 AM
  #31  
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Sometimes I’ll hang out for a bit and chat after we’ve done business...depends on the vibe at the shop. But there is one near me that specializes in older bikes and is, ironically, run by a young tatted up guy. That dude loves bikes and loves to talk. He’s got good stories. I’ve stopped by there a few times on my bike commute home just to chat and see if he has any old bikes to buy and play around with.
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Old 09-12-19, 06:35 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Country Club.
Bar.
Cafe.
Diner.
Starbucks.
Panera.

These are hangout places where people sit and chat while others work.
Some are places where people talk with just one another. Others are places where people talk with staff, just like in the scenario the OP mentions.

Bar, Country Club, Diner- all places where people hang out and talk with the staff while the staff works(cleaning, picking up, doing paperwork, etc). Yes they are usually patrons, but a couple of old guys drinking coffee at a diner and chatting with the waitress while they hang out is hardly buying much. Country Clubs are filled with members who happen to be hanging out since its a social place and talking with staff while not specifically buying anything at that time.
etc
etc
You are splitting hairs now. All of those places have tables and chairs for paying customers to use while enjoying the *food/drink* they just paid for. The expectation is that they will stay for a while And paying customers generally are not chatting up the help. But you knew what he meant.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:48 PM
  #33  
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I do hang out at my job (usually to work on my bikes or help or GM work on his car) but when traveling I do try and visit and hang out at other shops. I love bike shops and there are a ton of really awesome ones out there.

I have customers who come by just to say howdy or people who hang out to watch the Tour on our couches or grab a coffee or tea (those pods but still nice) or they hang out while getting repairs or waiting for their fit appointment. I had one dude at my last shop who came in once a week to hang out and look around, unfortunately didn't speak great english but had a pretty sweet bike with old Spin carbon 26" wheels and XTR drivetrain. A friend of mine has a shop that is so small you cannot really hang out but boy did I want to tons of sweet custom steel and ti bikes and some cool crabon as well but his shop isn't a typical shop.
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Old 09-12-19, 08:34 PM
  #34  
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Yes. I work outside of my office on Thursdays. When I finish, I stop by my LBS after lunch for 10-60 minutes depending on the vibe. I frequently buy something. It may be as simple as a tube, a new light or or a Garmin. We discuss local club rides or upcoming events. I’ll even help the owner out, like if UPS brings in a bunch of new bikes. I’ll help organize the boxes while the owner is helping a customer. A couple of the other guys who stop by will do that too. If they are swamped with repairs, I’ll leave quickly.
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Old 09-12-19, 08:44 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
You are splitting hairs now. All of those places have tables and chairs for paying customers to use while enjoying the *food/drink* they just paid for. The expectation is that they will stay for a while And paying customers generally are not chatting up the help. But you knew what he meant.
The scenario where people go to a shop and buy coffee has been mentioned many times so far in this thread. There are presumably chairs/tables/couches in these locations.
I'm not splitting hairs- I think the examples I listed are valid. I see customers and workers talking all the time at those type of places.


I am not interested in hanging out at a bike shop for more time than what I'm there for, but I can see the appeal as it's similar to other scenarios. That's all I'm saying.
If you dont like the examples I gave, fair enough.
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Old 09-12-19, 09:15 PM
  #36  
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I'd like to stop by my LBS on my way home from a ride and hang out. Or just say hi and chat for a bit. But getting in to that relaxed mood is hard/difficult. And as other have pointed out on the thread, if they are busy either fixing bikes or closing a sale stopping by to chat might not be welcome.

That said, I would like to make friends with my LBS just like I've done with my mechanic, barber, etc.
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Old 09-13-19, 02:09 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Mostly incorrect and maybe you haven’t noticed but people frequently hang at local repair shops to talk cars.
And if Walmart specialized in one thing people would hang there to talk about it.
I guess you never hung out at a bar either?
Because that is also someone’s workplace.
Maybe not the best example because you're supposed to hang out there, they sell alcohol, not bikes and repairs.

Actually, the former LBS shop owner's father was also the LBS owner until 2001 when he decided to sell coffee and make beer.
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Old 09-13-19, 03:38 AM
  #38  
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no but i do contribute a premium craft beer sixer or two a month to shop coffers/reefer just because when riding past.
assists with the occasional quickie shifting issue when i do stop in for service maybe every two months.
started a thread about it a while ago and it really seemed to upset a segment of the cycling population.

https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...nic-store.html
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Old 09-13-19, 04:48 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
Maybe not the best example because you're supposed to hang out there, they sell alcohol, not bikes and repairs.

Actually, the former LBS shop owner's father was also the LBS owner until 2001 when he decided to sell coffee and make beer.
It was a great example and I think you know exactly what I meant as the person I was referring to stated something like ‘why would I hang out at someone’s workplace’
A ridiculous blanket statement.
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Old 09-13-19, 05:00 AM
  #40  
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I like to shop/support the LBS but I never hang out at there.
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Old 09-13-19, 05:11 AM
  #41  
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Do you hang out at your LBS?
Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
When I bought my first bike several years ago, there were a group of guys hanging around the LBS. Chatting up the owner, the mechanics, etc. To an outsider, I felt as though these guys were buddies that rode together and just hung out at the store because it was the fun thing to do.

I do not have this type of relationship with my LBS. But I think it would be a beneficial relationship to have. I'm curious though. Are the days of the LBS owner being your friend over what with online shopping and all? Or did the LBS hangout ever exist?
Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I …know the owner of the local shop. Sometimes when walking downtown on errands I'll stop in to say "hello" and have a quick chat.

Never when there are customers though, and I don't really hang out in the sense that the OP is thinking of.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I absolutely do. I've known most of the guys that work there for going on 20 years

The guys at my LBS are are the very least acquaintances, and in some cases friends…I've gone out and done non-bike stuff with them. It doesn't seem out of the ordinary to me.
I have a cordial, but professional relationship with my LBS, just a block from home.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Do You Work / Maintain Your Own Bikes?”

Besides time, I have never had good facilities to work easily. Even now we live in a relatively small, but elegant condo, and my wife would frown on a room with a bike stand. Having the LBS do it all, in my case is a really good deal.

The shop is one block away, and they will fix many things at a convenient time for me. They are so expert that they can do these things quickly, better than me, and often spot problems that I did not see. Whenever I leave the shop, the bikes ride as if new again.

Because the bikes are a major transportation mode for me, keeping them in good repair is critical. We save a lot of money on transportation, so further using the LBS is even more cost-effective. I tip well, not, “To Insure Prompt Service,” but because I am so appreciative of their work. Hats off to Back Bay Bikes.
Originally Posted by GuessWhoCycling View Post
“Do you buy beer/beverages for your lbs/mechanic/store?”

I have followed my mechanic for 23 years. I was 220 and he was the first guy who built a wheel that lasted more than 2,000 miles back in the late 90's.

Great mechanic and finally opened his own store a few years ago.. .
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I too have such mechanics at my LBS, and I have previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Tip your LBS”

Personally, I think tipping in anything but cash is condescending. As described above, I have a congenial, but respectful relation with all the mechanics at my shop, but I don’t think any of us have intentions to be “buddies,” and share some brews, bourbon, doughnuts, or whatever; or even know their preferences.

Imagine offering a non-cash tip to those workers who are traditionally tipped in cash…waiters, hotel bellmen, cabbies, hairstylists…

For me, my bike mechanics provide a vital service that I think about for example when hurtling down a steep hill, secure that the bike won't fall apart.
I’m on a first name basis with the staff there, and they have a friendly nickname for me. Sometimes on long walks through the public bathroom-poor neighborhood, I stop by even occasionally just to peruse the cycling accessory inventory.

Their suggestion are always spot on. Indeed,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My trusted mechanic said here’s the bike you want, knowing my riding style. Well the MSRP was $8000, but he got it for me at half off…[Specialized S-Works]
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Said trusted mechanic is also a racing coach and a well-respected bike fitter

After I had bought the bike and enjoyed the apparently perfect fit as best as I can tell, after just saddle height adjustment, it occured to me he made no measurements, and just ordered the bike.

I asked him about it later, and his vague reply was something like he knew it would fit fine, and the frame height would be compatible with my arm reach on this “off the rack” model.

I had been a long-time customer there…another vote to buy not only the bike, but also the bike shop. :
I learned that my current favorite mechanic has musical tastes similar to mine, and just this week I repeated my previous offer to take him and a guest to a monthly music venue we attend.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-13-19 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 09-13-19, 05:27 AM
  #42  
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Some shops encourage you to have a cup of coffee or a beer. Heck, my barber has a fridge full of beers and sodas! He likes everyone to be happy while they wait.

I'm putting an area into my shop where people can rest and relax, have a coffee and wait. Often I'll just fix someone's bike while they wait. Since I do mostly restorations and wheel builds, many of my customers need "education" for what they are getting for their money. A comfortable place to sit and chat can be a good sales tool.

However, as someone mentioned before, there is a big difference between a friendly chat-up and malingering. If I had someone stopping by every day to grab their morning coffee and keep me from doing my work (I'm polite to a fault), then I'd be shutting that down quite promptly.

Its also situational, I suppose. A teen, hungry for knowledge, might hang around a bit to learn. A retiree with time on his hands, might enjoy a daily visit after a ride. Who knows? Good people attract good people.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:27 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by jetlagged View Post
there's a LBS in town who does group rides at varying levels. i was thinking of joining up on one of the rides and meet new people once i get a road bike. i'm in the market for one.
but it's just me, but i prefer not to talk to people, bit of an introvert. but i'm more than willing to visit the LBS to join their group rides.
That's exactly what I did, my first group ride was with this LBS. It's been almost a year since that ride, now I do at least one of their rides every week, bought my gravel bike from them, and have made a bunch of good friends.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:50 AM
  #44  
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I wouldn't hang out at the local LBS unless the owner were a close friend of mine, and then maybe only long enough to catch up. I run an automotive shop, and sometimes it's very busy so I don't have time to just BS for an hour or so. Sometimes I get a lot of jobs coming in at once so I can be on a tight schedule, and the last thing I need is to take a half or a full hour out of the middle of a busy day to shoot the breeze. It projects a very poor image of customer service when someone comes back to pick up their vehicle (or bike) only to find it not done and you're just lounging around talking.
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Old 09-13-19, 12:48 PM
  #45  
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When I was growing up in the 90's it was a pretty normal activity for me and my friends to "hang out" at local ski and bike shops. We had favorite shops that we'd visit every few weeks, even if we didn't need to buy anything. We'd chat with employees about new products, tech, local races, etc. I feel like it was different then because there was no internet, so the only way to learn about new products or stay up to date on the local race scene was to go into a store and talk to people, so this didn't seem weird. If they were busy we'd stay out of their way and leave them alone, but when they were slow employees would hang out and chat.

The coolest stores usually had little "lounge" area with sofas and they'd play races and bike or ski movies on TV's and encourage people to hang out. I doubt we were ever in these places longer than a half hour or so, but it was still a fun thing to do on a Friday or Saturday afternoon when we were bored. Record stores used to be this way too. We'd stop in, say hi, chit chat for a few, maybe browse around and buy a few things and then move on.

I was eventually offered a job at a ski shop I frequented, and I loved working there because I already knew everyone and had a ton of knowledge about the products.

The retail world is totally different now. I can't remember the last time I just walked into a bike or ski shop (or any store really) without a specific reason, just to browse around and see what they had. The internet is pretty great for learning about new products, but maybe has ruined the social interaction I used to enjoy with local shops. Also I have kids and a full time job now, so... there's that too I suppose?
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Old 09-13-19, 01:04 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I wouldn't hang out at the local LBS unless the owner were a close friend of mine, and then maybe only long enough to catch up. I run an automotive shop, and sometimes it's very busy so I don't have time to just BS for an hour or so. Sometimes I get a lot of jobs coming in at once so I can be on a tight schedule, and the last thing I need is to take a half or a full hour out of the middle of a busy day to shoot the breeze. It projects a very poor image of customer service when someone comes back to pick up their vehicle (or bike) only to find it not done and you're just lounging around talking.
Not the best analogy as LBS also cater to retail sales and usually have available staff to engage customers.
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Old 09-13-19, 01:30 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Not the best analogy as LBS also cater to retail sales and usually have available staff to engage customers.
Good call.
Also bikes are (usually) a recreational activity that many people enjoy spending money on and learning about. Most people don't like buying new brakes for their mainstream car, or learning about the latest radiator fan technology for the family SUV.

The exception of course is motorsports types of operations, where specialty shops work on and sell modified sports cars, race cars, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, etc. Those shops likely have people hanging around them on a regular basis and have staff available to sell products.
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Old 09-13-19, 01:55 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Mostly incorrect and maybe you haven’t noticed but people frequently hang at local repair shops to talk cars.
And if Walmart specialized in one thing people would hang there to talk about it.
I guess you never hung out at a bar either?
Because that is also someone’s workplace.
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I wouldn't hang out at the local LBS unless the owner were a close friend of mine, and then maybe only long enough to catch up. I run an automotive shop, and sometimes it's very busy so I don't have time to just BS for an hour or so. Sometimes I get a lot of jobs coming in at once so I can be on a tight schedule, and the last thing I need is to take a half or a full hour out of the middle of a busy day to shoot the breeze. It projects a very poor image of customer service when someone comes back to pick up their vehicle (or bike) only to find it not done and you're just lounging around talking.
Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Not the best analogy as LBS also cater to retail sales and usually have available staff to engage customers.
I'm thinking the auto repair shop analogy was brought into the thread by someone before Milton Keynes did.
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Old 09-13-19, 02:09 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I'm thinking the auto repair shop analogy was brought into the thread by someone before Milton Keynes did.
It sure was.
And it makes my point. People hang at speed shops.
Thanks!
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Old 09-13-19, 03:45 PM
  #50  
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Sadly, the closest town to me does not have a LBS... The closest shop is about a 30-45 min drive and is pretty small. I think they had about 15 bikes total and very few add on parts and accessories and the only time I went in there a few weeks ago, they did not seem real friendly.

I do however hang out my favorite LGS or Local Gun Shop, from time to time. IF he is not to busy or swamped with other customers.

I've been shopping there long enough that if I want to look at something I'll get it out of the case myself.
If I ask, he'll just say "Hell, just grab it, you've been coming here long enough"...

The owner has invited me and another shooting friend of mine over to his place a few times to check out and shoot his collection, many of which were Suppressed and Full Auto., BBQ and Swin..

I try and buy everything from him that I can within reason and I recommend them to anyone in the market for something he sells.

Over the years, I've come to consider the guy a friend.

One day I just happened to be behind the counter when a hand full of various customers started streaming in.
Before I could get out from behind the counter, customers started asking questions. So, I greeted them and started working the counter, helping each customer with their questions and selections.

That day, I sold an ACOG, a few other scopes, a Holster for a Glock, a red dot and a few Magpul magazines to a several guys...

The guys buying 30 round magazines asked for one, I said "One, you sure you don't want two, or a few more???"
"You can never have too many mags, you never know when they'll dry up again and at this price."
One took two, another took 4... Then I said, If you'll step over there and Ben will get you rung up.

The owner Ben said, I like the way you think.

I try and buy something every-time I'm in, I don't just go hang out for hours on end and take up space.
Although, he has coffee, some refreshments, chairs and various reading materials laying around for folks to read.
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