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Do you hang out at your LBS?

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Do you hang out at your LBS?

Old 09-11-19, 09:03 PM
  #1  
NoWhammies
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Do you hang out at your LBS?

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?
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Old 09-11-19, 09:13 PM
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Yes, a couple of them. One has a café within...


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Old 09-11-19, 10:09 PM
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I don’t hang at mine but every time I go in for something I end up chatting with one of the two owners for anywhere from 5 - 30 minutes.
Both great guys and 2/3 of the entire staff
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Old 09-11-19, 10:19 PM
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Back when I was first road riding, circa 1971 and 13 years old, I hung out a lot at the LBS. IIRC the owners’ names were Jerry and Duane, they were absolute saints for putting up with me. At least I did buy a bike from them, an American Eagle (later Nishiki) Semi-Pro.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:25 PM
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It closed in late May. Nearest one is 40 miles away.
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Old 09-12-19, 04:27 AM
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No I don't hang out at LBSs,why would I hang out at other peoples workplace ??... A bike shop is just like any other business, it's no different than auto repair or auto parts store, or wallmart or any other retail establishment. I just buy what I need and leave and hang out somewhere else.
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Old 09-12-19, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
No I don't hang out at LBSs,why would I hang out at other peoples workplace ??... A bike shop is just like any other business, it's no different than auto repair or auto parts store, or wallmart or any other retail establishment. I just buy what I need and leave and hang out somewhere else.
This. Plus at the LBS that is just a couple hundred meters from my home the owner is also the salesperson and the mechanic, so he usually doesn't have spare time for chatting anyway.
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Old 09-12-19, 04:53 AM
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I don't, because my local bike shop isn't really on my riding "circuit." They do have weekend shop rides but just not as an attractive area for me to ride as what I usually do. I brought some touring cyclists who were staying with me for a few nights to the bike shop (Race Pace in Columbia MD) to have some maintenance done on their bikes and had a very nice chat with the owner who came over to look at their bikes. There is another LBS I use for my old beater bikes and kids bikes that is not a chatty place at all.

I have friends who live in Northern Virginia, where Green Lizard Cycling is right off the Washington & Old Dominion Rail trail and also has a coffee shop and food - lots of hanging out going on there, very enjoyable on rides I've done with them over there. But LBS owners have to work out their own business models - I don't know if all the hipster cyclists sipping lattes scares away more revenue from the families looking to by bikes for their kids than it generates.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:10 AM
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Our favorite LBS closed doors a couple of years back. We would stop in during or after rides and hang out with them quite often. I bought more than a few bikes from them over the years and really miss it. At closing time on Fridays, it wasn't unusual to end up there for a couple of cold ones.

I normally do all of my own maintenance and buy parts online but I did have them assemble one bike for me. The mechanic who did the work loved it because it was truly assembling a complete bike. Normally it is pull the bike out of a box, install pedals and handlebars before truing the wheels. I did it because they had housings and cables and in the end made them charge me more than they did.

The other bike shops in the area just aren't as friendly.

ETA... If potential customers stopped in while they were busy on the phone or with other customers, we'd break the ice and chat with them about bikes and what they needed.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:29 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
No I don't hang out at LBSs,why would I hang out at other peoples workplace ??... A bike shop is just like any other business, it's no different than auto repair or auto parts store, or wallmart or any other retail establishment. I just buy what I need and leave and hang out somewhere else.
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.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:33 AM
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We used to have a great bike shop around here, for decades, until it went under a few years back. It was run by the owner, co-owner, and a mechanic, and the shop used to organize a big Sunday club ride, as well as other related stuff. Very often when I'd go in, all three of them would be working on bikes, but also casually chatting and joking with a couple customers, who you could say were "hanging out" rather than just waiting to get rung up.
So it wasn't exactly an actual 'hang out', and they surely didn't provide coffee and donuts, (though there were barstools at the big main counter IIRC), but it was a roomy, friendly place that seemed to routinely have folks hanging out and chatting, for longer than their business required. It was just that kinda place.
We have another older shop, that's considerably smaller and tighter, so it seems that folks just do their business, and hit the road.







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.
Agreed, well said. Our big local music store is another good example. The guys working the guitar section are local players, and socialize with everyone. Folks hang out for long stretches there, and always have.

Last edited by Brocephus; 09-12-19 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:51 AM
  #12  
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Yes, and my hanging out there ended up in my landing a temporary job there. I really wish the place was still open. People used to bring various beers by as tip to the mechanics and crew, had gold sprints, adult "big wheel" action out back...great place. He opted to go off some of the lesser known brands to become a premium shop for a specific brand and was pretty much forced to close the doors after he couldn't sell all the merch forced on us for that moniker. Real shame.
The only thing left local now are a couple of Trek shops.
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Old 09-12-19, 06:07 AM
  #13  
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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.
Weird. You're expected to hang out at a bar, because your a drinking customer. Probably not legal to purchase a poured boozy beverage and walk out the door with it either.

By the way, I don't see anyone ever "hang out" at regular car repair shops. They sit in the waiting room watching TV, or on their smartphones for short services, or they get a ride home from the car repair shop if the repair is a long one.

Now maybe people do hang out at a custom/hot rod/aficionado car shop, but not a commonplace car shop while getting the muffler bearings calibrated and the blinker fluid changed.
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Old 09-12-19, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
It closed in late May. Nearest one is 40 miles away.
Sort of the same here. LBS closes, and the only show in town is... well... me. Most of what I do is restorations, but I started an LLC to legally take on customers and have a tax ID. I'm trying to swap out my ugly boilerplate shop woodstove for one that has nicer open glass front, and put some seating next to it so that people can come and relax and have a cup of coffee.
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Old 09-12-19, 06:31 AM
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I live in a small town and 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.
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Old 09-12-19, 06:57 AM
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I sometimes hang out, briefly, at my LBS (Win’s Wheels in Agoura).

Mostly, however, I spend time hanging with the shop’s two dogs. They greet me at the door and from then on it is fun and games.

Sometimes I also talk to the shop owner and to the mechanics.

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Old 09-12-19, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
No I don't hang out at LBSs,why would I hang out at other peoples workplace ??... A bike shop is just like any other business, it's no different than auto repair or auto parts store, or wallmart or any other retail establishment. I just buy what I need and leave and hang out somewhere else.
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
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Old 09-12-19, 07:11 AM
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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?
Why do you think such a relationship would be beneficial to have? Besides hoping that it gets you a brodeal, what benefit would there be?

I dont hang out at a bike shop. Just no interest as I am not looking to have a place to socialize(bar, lbs, country club, etc) and I am busy with family and other life activities.
A couple of the shops around me have a vibe that would be conducive to people hanging out if they sold something besides bikes/accessories. If it were a bike shop with a connected cafe, then I could see more people hanging out on the bike shop side.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:13 AM
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I absolutely do. I've known most of the guys that work there for going on 20 years, and did some of the remodel and construction work on both locations years before I even got into cycling. I was just there yesterday on a stop during a 67 miler, stopped in at the donut shop next door for a ham 'n cheese croissant, and chatted about everything and nothing with two of the mechanics and the manager, all of whom I've known for years and years.

From the sound of it on here, it seems like it's unusual for BF members to make actual connections in the real world, so the bike shop is the place they have to go when they can't wait for internet delivery. The guys at my LBS are are the very least acquaintances, and in some cases friends-- I've gone on rides with them, I've gone out and done non-bike stuff with them. It doesn't seem out of the ordinary to me.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:44 AM
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not normally, but last fall, a day or two before Thanksgiving?, I went into mine for a spoke & wheel truing, I think. the owner's Mom was there & we started talking about the photos on the wall & her deceased husband, the original shop owner. we chatted about their old cars & how the shop was originally a tavern, with live bands & dancing. then the owner broke out 2 types of limoncello & put up the closed sign. I must have had 3 small glasses. I left really happy & I think they enjoyed their time as well
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Old 09-12-19, 08:08 AM
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Our LBS has an informal cycling club with group rides every week. Some of us used to hang out in the shop at other times, when there was a coffee and sandwich shop inside, but the place has been invaded by hipsters and the coffee shop closed down due to lack of paying customers.
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Old 09-12-19, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Yes, and my hanging out there ended up in my landing a temporary job there.
Right, this is how I got a job as a bike shop mechanic as a teen back in the 70's... and then bought my first car (a hot '67 fastback Mustang!) from the manager.

More recently many of us enjoyed hanging out at the local Performance bike shop. Besides group rides they held training seminars, parties, and movie nights. Much more fun than hanging out at Walmart. Sadly, they are now gone.

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Old 09-12-19, 09:05 AM
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I do most of my shopping at my local coop, Recyclery, in San Rafael. As I am pretty new to wrenching, they have been incredibly informative, kind and fun to talk to. I have tons of newb questions and I'm always treated with respect and I they appreciate that I am open to using used parts and want to support a local non-profit. In terms of hanging out, well, I can spend a half hour to 45 minutes looking, talking to employees and chatting with other customers. I would call that hanging out, no?

I work retail myself, and I can say from personal experience there is a difference between hanging out and malingering. Some customers come in and it's readily apparent that they have the day free and intend to stay a few hours. This can be tiresome for myself and other employees in that you are now not only supposed to help them, but also entertain them! Some do not have good enough social skills to know when they are keeping us from getting work done.
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Old 09-12-19, 09:48 AM
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I have been known to hang out at my local bike shop as it is 25 miles away from my house while the next nearest bike shop is over 60 miles away.

I also have formed a relationship with the owner and his son so that they don't try and sell me items that won't work under my weight.

I have purchased four bikes from them since 2013 and had them do almost all of my maintenance other than the tire change and lube jobs.

The owner's son invited me to his wedding, and I gave him a photograph printed on metal of he and his bride's kiss. I also give them growlers of beer at time, and they have been know to share other drinks with me.

I try to buy most of my bike parts from them, but occasionally due to getting a zero interest deal on my Amazon card I do go the online shopping route.

My local bike shop also has group rides twice a week during the spring summer and fall and we do trainer sessions twice a week in the winter. I jump on my smart trainer at my house and log into the route they will be riding and ride with the group that way while others are physically at the shop.
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Old 09-12-19, 09:53 AM
  #25  
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I go in, I purchase (if they have it), and leave. Just like any other retailer I deal with.
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