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REI rant

Old 05-26-20, 09:22 AM
  #101  
jefnvk
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
None of them are a real bike store, it's just a big box chain store
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
REI generally does not have the greatest of bike departments.
REIs by me aren't LBS. That is a good thing. It means they actually have what I want to buy in stock and people who are capable of working on whatever isn't the latest and greatest hyperbike. If I need a random tool or accessory, I am far more likely to find it stocked at REI than a LBS. Same goes for a part that isn't for a current upper end drivetrain.

Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Unlike Walmart and box stores, they tend to be a bit over-priced. Also unlike Walmart and box stores, they sell quality stuff and back it up with an extremely generous return policy.
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.

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 wouldn't. Not to say Dicks is great, but at least a lot of the options at Dicks would serve as a competent entry level bike. Can't say I've seen anything over the $150 or so mark at my local WalMart, and everything comes with ridiculous shocks.
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Old 05-26-20, 10:01 AM
  #102  
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Despite the ubiquity and fame of Dick's Sporting Goods, there are none in my state and I live in perhaps the outdoor activity capitol in the lower forty eight, Missoula, Montana. REI is not a "box store" but an outdoor speciality cooperative.
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Old 05-26-20, 11:42 AM
  #103  
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They will have another sale. People have to check in later summer/fall. The current CO OP bikes have been out a bit, and they will redo the line. Even if just certain models go on sale, clearance.

What kind of effect this situation is going to have on that I am not sure.

I still tend to lean towards a couple Salsa's. Anyway..........

I could actually check with the main tech if he knows anybody selling anything when the dust clears. He gets bikes from a guy who does police auctions in places like Oklahoma. He did some work for a guy who gave him a really neat Marin? Has this mid beige/brown paint, with blue lettering? Neat bike, and he built it up.
He could let me know if a deal comes through. Gotta have that frame geometry though.....
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Old 05-27-20, 12:36 AM
  #104  
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I started shopping at REI back when there was only one store and it was in a wedge shaped building at the corner of 12th and Madison. This was decades before they started carrying bikes, but if you wanted camping, skiing, and mountaineering kit it was pretty much the only show in town. On any given day you stood decent odds of running into one or the other of the Whittaker bros, Fred Beckey, Ome Daiber, Harvey Manning, or any of a million other leading lights in the outdoors world. The place was run by people who knew their stuff, people serious about outdoor sports who'd been there and done that and knew what worked and what was bunk. They sold the best of what was available at the time, and a great many of the people who went on to found outdoor equipment companies of their own cut their teeth at REI back in the day.

In the many decades since they have expanded to the farthest reaches of the known universe and there's probably an REI in BFE wherever, along with a Starbucks and hordes of affluent ******s looking to get their outdoor vibe on. I still shop there from time to time, mainly because of the dividend and geographical convenience. It's been ages since I had the sense that the people working there really knew their stuff and had the personal experience to back it up. It feels a little too corporate franchisey for my taste but that's just me. I've never bought any cycling kit there but over the decades I've spent a minor fortune on backpacking gear.

I hate to say it but LBS aren't necessarily any better. Some are, some aren't, and some suck like a remora. When it comes to buying advice I'm far more inclined to spend time scouring the web for product info than I am to trust someone working at a LBS, unless I know them to be particularly knowledgeable and unbiased. I've overheard enough bravo sierra coming out of the mouths of random employees to take everything they say with an entire mine of salt. Same with maintenance advice. A few really do know their stuff and are honest about the limits of their knowledge, and a whole lot more suffer from the Dunning-Krueger effect regarding what they do and don't know. Caveat emptor and be prepared to mercilessly humiliate anyone who pretends to know more than they actually do.
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Old 05-27-20, 05:10 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Strange View Post
I started shopping at REI back when there was only one store and it was in a wedge shaped building at the corner of 12th and Madison. This was decades before they started carrying bikes, but if you wanted camping, skiing, and mountaineering kit it was pretty much the only show in town. On any given day you stood decent odds of running into one or the other of the Whittaker bros, Fred Beckey, Ome Daiber, Harvey Manning, or any of a million other leading lights in the outdoors world. The place was run by people who knew their stuff, people serious about outdoor sports who'd been there and done that and knew what worked and what was bunk. They sold the best of what was available at the time, and a great many of the people who went on to found outdoor equipment companies of their own cut their teeth at REI back in the day.

In the many decades since they have expanded to the farthest reaches of the known universe and there's probably an REI in BFE wherever, along with a Starbucks and hordes of affluent ******s looking to get their outdoor vibe on. I still shop there from time to time, mainly because of the dividend and geographical convenience. It's been ages since I had the sense that the people working there really knew their stuff and had the personal experience to back it up. It feels a little too corporate franchisey for my taste but that's just me. I've never bought any cycling kit there but over the decades I've spent a minor fortune on backpacking gear.

I hate to say it but LBS aren't necessarily any better. Some are, some aren't, and some suck like a remora. When it comes to buying advice I'm far more inclined to spend time scouring the web for product info than I am to trust someone working at a LBS, unless I know them to be particularly knowledgeable and unbiased. I've overheard enough bravo sierra coming out of the mouths of random employees to take everything they say with an entire mine of salt. Same with maintenance advice. A few really do know their stuff and are honest about the limits of their knowledge, and a whole lot more suffer from the Dunning-Krueger effect regarding what they do and don't know. Caveat emptor and be prepared to mercilessly humiliate anyone who pretends to know more than they actually do.
The ones around here are can be very snobby, and cater to mostly the affluent. It amazes me now many people have a thousand plus to buy their teenage kid a bike.
That said REI's shop prices for repairs are really high. I would not take a random bike to them to have it serviced just based on cost. WAY HIGH.
I see people taking them bikes that just are not worth the effort. And paying a lot for basic services that if they looked online they could figure it out for the most part.

I would pay little attention to what an LBS has to say abought selling me. No thanks. The main REI Tech is pretty cool. He may be working at another store since I have only seen a couple of the younger techs for curbside service. We just talk, and he mentions likes, and dislikes. He knows I don't have thousands laying around for purchases (actually.....) and is just straight about certain bikes and their problems. I could not do any of this at a local LBS.

Woody Allen in line at the Movie theater in Annie Hall.


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Old 05-27-20, 05:50 AM
  #106  
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I've been an REI member since about 1975, but never saw the inside of one of their stores until a few years ago when my daughter moved to Ann Arbor, so I have no experience with their bike store prowess or lack thereof. Last year, REI started work on a store here in my town, supposed to open this summer, but the virus business seems to have slowed things down. I am worried about the impact it will have on the LBSs, if it eventually opens. We already have a Wheel & Sprocket chain store in town, and the LBSs survived that, anyway.
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Old 05-27-20, 09:02 AM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Strange View Post
I hate to say it but LBS aren't necessarily any better. Some are, some aren't, and some suck like a remora.
I've got a lot of hobbies. Bikes, fishing, shooting, homebrewing, cars, hockey, etc. All of them more or less follow the same pattern: out of ten "local" shops, one or two will truly be a welcomed experience filled with folks who know what they are talking about and who know how to run a proper business, a couple will be places that should have gone out of business long ago out of incompetence but only hang around because of the folks who insist you have to support local, and the remainder are pretty much "meh" who may or may not be able to serve my purchasing needs on any given day that I'll use if they are of benefit to me but I am not going out of my way to keep in business.

Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
The ones around here are can be very snobby, and cater to mostly the affluent. It amazes me now many people have a thousand plus to buy their teenage kid a bike.
Yep. My first adult bike buying experience put a bad stain on LBS for me. Went to three or four shops, would have been fine spending up to $800-900 or so, told them as much, not a single one was interested in helping me out for an entry level road bike for under $1500. Ended up rebuilding a 20 year old MTB and riding that for another two years until I learned more and realized what I could actually buy for jus tunder a grand, but by then I was hooked in a vintage phase.

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I am worried about the impact it will have on the LBSs, if it eventually opens. We already have a Wheel & Sprocket chain store in town, and the LBSs survived that, anyway.
I wouldn't worry too much. As stated somewhere above, different crowds for the most part. I like REI for their "touring" type house brand bikes, and for their wide selection of in-stock and competitively prices bits and parts, but the folks shopping there generally are the outdoor lifestyle folks looking to add cycling to their activities, not cyclists looking to add more bikes to their stable.

Actually the other big thing I enjoy REI for is cycling clothing. I can actually buy decent clothes in plain colors at affordable prices, that aren't emblazoned with whatever brand the LBS represents.

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Old 05-27-20, 12:07 PM
  #108  
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My story: I bought the ADV 3.1, from what I can tell a clone of Salsa Vaya, on clearance at something like 20% off. Was super excited to pick it up from the store, it was assembled fine. Discovered at home that the fork rubbed against something in shipping and there were a couple of spots where the paint was worn off.
I was going to go back and complain but then I just said whatever and so far put 1850 miles on it according to Strava. 99.9% of the time I don't even remember that some paint is missing. Loose caliper bolt? Heart wrenching.
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Old 05-27-20, 01:00 PM
  #109  
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On the web page for every bike REI is selling, right by the price, is the disclaimer:

Bikes shipped to your home require some assembly upon delivery. Instructions included. Shipping of bike orders may be delayed up to 3 weeks.Wonder what that means. You need to be able to tighten a few bolts, maybe?
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Old 05-27-20, 01:27 PM
  #110  
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I bike past REI everyday, and while taking my coffee pit stop some guy was picking up his kids CO OP. Bike looked like it was for a 5 year old. He was asking questions like it was a $2000 bike that he just paid to much to have serviced. Somebody was right behind him dropping off an older Specialized MB.
While I briefly talked to the regular tech outside (Everything is still curbside) some 13/14 year old kid rode by us on a brand new Salsa Journeyman Claris.
People will drop a thousand on a bike for a kid around there quick.
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Old 05-27-20, 02:04 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
I bike past REI everyday, and while taking my coffee pit stop some guy was picking up his kids CO OP. Bike looked like it was for a 5 year old. He was asking questions like it was a $2000 bike that he just paid to much to have serviced. Somebody was right behind him dropping off an older Specialized MB.
While I briefly talked to the regular tech outside (Everything is still curbside) some 13/14 year old kid rode by us on a brand new Salsa Journeyman Claris.
People will drop a thousand on a bike for a kid around there quick.
I am fascinated with your posts on this topic because I continue to struggle to understand what your point is for most of them.
I have picked up on the not so subtle annoyance you have with parents buying kids bikes that you consider to be too expensive for what the kids deserve.
Ok, its been noted- you think too much money is spent on kids bikes there. Thank you for that share.
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Old 05-27-20, 03:00 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I am fascinated with your posts on this topic because I continue to struggle to understand what your point is for most of them.
I have picked up on the not so subtle annoyance you have with parents buying kids bikes that you consider to be too expensive for what the kids deserve.
Ok, its been noted- you think too much money is spent on kids bikes there. Thank you for that share.
And most likely will continue to do so.
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Old 05-27-20, 04:48 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Woody Allen in line at the Movie theater
I donít really understand people who need to quote a movie to make their point. Iíll tell you this, I never saw Annie Hall and if I had it was long enough ago that I wonít remember it. Please go to whatever bike store you want. And stop making a big deal about your choice. Store has thing you want go there, anything else just leave us all alone. Thanks
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Old 05-27-20, 05:43 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
My story: I bought the ADV 3.1, from what I can tell a clone of Salsa Vaya, on clearance at something like 20% off. Was super excited to pick it up from the store, it was assembled fine. Discovered at home that the fork rubbed against something in shipping and there were a couple of spots where the paint was worn off.
I was going to go back and complain but then I just said whatever and so far put 1850 miles on it according to Strava. 99.9% of the time I don't even remember that some paint is missing. Loose caliper bolt? Heart wrenching.
I got the 3.1 also and Iím loving crap out of it. Havenít touched my road bike since I bought it two Fridays ago. When I ride it it, I remember what I liked about cycling in the first place. Sorry yours has a scuff on it, but glad itís not ruining your enjoyment.
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Old 05-27-20, 08:04 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I donít really understand people who need to quote a movie to make their point. Iíll tell you this, I never saw Annie Hall and if I had it was long enough ago that I wonít remember it. Please go to whatever bike store you want. And stop making a big deal about your choice. Store has thing you want go there, anything else just leave us all alone. Thanks
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Old 05-27-20, 10:01 PM
  #116  
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I don't like most movies, or most Woody Allen stuff, but Annie Hall was exceptionally good.

Kind of like REI is exceptionally good (for a a big box store).
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Old 05-28-20, 11:52 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I don't like most movies, or most Woody Allen stuff, but Annie Hall was exceptionally good.

Kind of like REI is exceptionally good (for a a big box store).
early 70's to mid 80's...he was on a roll. nearly everything he did was must-see and is now classic. much like mel brooks, he had quite the career before making a name as a director.

five pages on a boring bleep store-rei-really? not going to rei to suss out the current state of cycling affairs in whatever discipline you think you are in tune with.
​​​​​​​if their offerings appeal to you, great. if they don't, great. just as many people on this thread would be miffy if rei didn't offer any cycling services.
it's a big store trying to offer many things to many people. the cycling aspect appeals to a smaller percentage of members.

op wasn't 100% happy with rei build but seemed to get over it faster than some posters here. heaven forbid, this had happened at an lbs or elsewhere. it's not like rei has a monopoly
on incorrect builds/repairs.

rei member since 1990. i have never gone there for cycling stuff but i have picked up some excellent cycling deals over three decades. whether it was due to associate broho error or design, dunno and don't care.
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Old 05-29-20, 10:47 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
I bike past REI everyday, and while taking my coffee pit stop some guy was picking up his kids CO OP. Bike looked like it was for a 5 year old. He was asking questions like it was a $2000 bike that he just paid to much to have serviced.
So a parent getting a kid a decent bike and asking questions so that either he knows it'll suit his kid or so he knows how to properly maintain it is a bad thing? Would you prefer he just go to Wal-Mart and buy whatever is on the clearance rack?

I mean, the 16" COOP is a whopping $189. If I ever have kids, do I really think $189 is an extravagent amount to spend on a bike for them? Nope. Would I want to ask questions to get something they'll like and use? Yep.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:06 AM
  #119  
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I just bought a bike online from REI. I've been a member for years, so was ok with paying a bit of a premium to order from a company that I know has superb customer service.

I got an email letting me know that my shipment for the bike was delayed by a few days, so I called up the store which it was being sent from to find out what was causing the delay. They let me know that during pre-shipment inspection of the bike they found an approximately 1/4" scuff on the rear tire, so had transferred the order to another store in another state who also had the bike in stock, to ensure the bike I ordered was perfect.

REI is a big company with a lot of employees, so I'm sure that they have plenty of errors, but I remain a loyal member due to their track-record. As an avid camper/hiker, I haven't found a better retailer.
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Old 05-29-20, 12:22 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
REI might not have the world's best bike mechanics, but they are the most honest of any shop I've been in - FACT.
Sorry to hear that. I have 3 top notch LBSs near me. I have never had a problem.
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Old 05-29-20, 03:23 PM
  #121  
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I thought they have been doing curbside, but they just started it today. Somebody smashed a large bay window out in an attempt to pull a caper without success. They couldn't brake the window completely. I kept thinking where are they going to go? Even late at night there really is no place to escape to, not close enough to woods. And to well lit, with bored police that would be there quickly. People are crazy.
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Old 05-29-20, 03:30 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Sorry to hear that. I have 3 top notch LBSs near me. I have never had a problem.
I have three near me that are top notch, one is notoriously bad for customer service, and the other two are good, but they are no better than REI, and I do not have the return policy. I do not have the kind of options, recourse with an LBS that I do with REI. And they can be less than stellar with their demeanor at times as well.

Do you have a top notch REI near you? Have you ever had to return a bike beyond a couple months? Ever had a major problem even a year, or two out that was not from poor care/use of the bike. If so what were your options?

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Old 05-29-20, 04:38 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
I have three near me that are top notch, one is notoriously bad for customer service, and the other two are good, but they are no better than REI, and I do not have the return policy. I do not have the kind of options, recourse with an LBS that I do with REI. And they can be less than stellar with their demeanor at times as well.

Do you have a top notch REI near you? Have you ever had to return a bike beyond a couple months? Ever had a major problem even a year, or two out that was not from poor care/use of the bike. If so what were your options?
I have an REI about 30 min. from me. But, I don't buy any bike related stuff there. I haven't had any significant issues but I attribute that to proper set up from the start from the local LBS. And, if I have to take a bike back for the initial service I've never been charged. One advantage with an LBS is that any money I do spend there stays in the community. It doesn't go to corporate whatever.
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Old 05-29-20, 06:00 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I have an REI about 30 min. from me. But, I don't buy any bike related stuff there. I haven't had any significant issues but I attribute that to proper set up from the start from the local LBS. And, if I have to take a bike back for the initial service I've never been charged. One advantage with an LBS is that any money I do spend there stays in the community. It doesn't go to corporate whatever.
So the people that work for REI aren't part of the community? I know people that work there part time because their health insurance is great for instance.

Proper set up is great, but if the bike fails, or you thought it comfortable, and long term it's not then what. Better make sure?

I am not discouraging people from patronizing their LBS. But you do not get the guarantees with an LBS. That might be fine for certain people, but not for others.

Many may not have the means to be so charitable as others on here........

(I think I have $250 in my current bike, and it's the most I have ever had in a bike, and that includes the price I paid for the bike, I have flipped many bikes though)

Last edited by StarBiker; 05-29-20 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 05-29-20, 06:32 PM
  #125  
bruce19
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
So the people that work for REI aren't part of the community? I know people that work there part time because their health insurance is great for instance.

Proper set up is great, but if the bike fails, or you thought it comfortable, and long term it's not then what. Better make sure?

I am not discouraging people from patronizing their LBS. But you do not get the guarantees with an LBS. That might be fine for certain people, but not for others.

Many may not have the means to be so charitable as others on here........

(I think I have $250 in my current bike, and it's the most I have ever had in a bike, and that includes the price I paid for the bike, I have flipped many bikes though)
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.
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