Holy shit/Bike Shop lulz

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deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture
Holy shit/Bike Shop lulz

Working at a bike shop has resulted in some of the funniest interactions with human beings I've ever had.

-Last month a triathlete became absolutely livid when we couldn't find his Cervelo P2. After spending a good 10 minutes going back and forth looking for the bike and being threatened with legal action (we often have to store tri bikes in a different location because the disc wheels can't be hooked into our racks), we found the problem: his bike was a P3. 9 minutes before, after seeing the P3 and not the P2, I had asked him if he was sure it was a P2 and not a P3. He was sure.

-This weekend a man got quite angry with me for telling his wife that the braking on her brand spanking new Magna was never going to be good and that we could replace the toy cantilevers with cheap V-brakes and levers for less than $75, including labor, since a new bike was "absolutely out of the question." As I clocked out for lunch, I saw them stuffing their matching Magnas back into the trunk and back seat of a BMW with dealer plates.

-We generally do 10- to15-minute jobs for free, on the spot, especially on weekends. On one particularly busy Saturday, a customer walked back to the shop, handed his Cervelo to one of my coworkers, mumbled something and started walking away. My confused coworker asked him if he could please clarify what the hell he was supposed to be doing. The customer responded: "I don't know, grease my bike or something" and was walking away before he even finished his sentence.

TL;DR

Earlier this year, while working in bike rentals, I sent out a road bike with a tall (6'+) 20-something woman who told me not to bother putting on pedals because it was for her dad. He was going to put on his own pedals and "he really knows his stuff." OK. Cool. An hour later, she comes back with an older gentleman, her father, who is walking the bike I had sent her out with and carrying a shoe with a Speedplay pedal attached.

Daddy: I want a refund on this bike you rented me!

Me: What's wrong with it?

D: The pedal threads are stripped!

Me: Really? They didn't look stripped when I rented it out. Let me take a look.

I put the bike on the stand and see that the pedal threads are indeed stripped.

D: I tried putting my pedals on, but there was a lot of resistance about halfway through, so I stopped threading them in. Then we went for a ride and when I unclipped at a red light, the pedal came off with my foot.

Me: how far did you thread your pedals on before you felt resistance?

D: about halfway.

Me: You went for a ride with your pedals halfway on?

D: The threads were stripped!

Me: Well...they are now.

D: Do I get a refund?

Me: Because you went for a ride with your pedals threaded on halfway?

at this point his daughter interjects

Amazonian woman: He's been working on bikes for a long time.

Me: ORLY?

D: Yeah, I've been working on my own bikes for 20 years.

Me: And you went for a ride with your pedals threaded on halfway?

The whole time this has been going on, these two have been walking further and further back into the shop every time I turn around to look at the bike. I turn towards the bike and when I turn around, they are less than a foot away from me, inside the employees only area. Keep in mind that they are both over 6' tall and I am about 5'5".

D: do i get a refund or what?

as he says this, he leans over me, trying to be as ominous as possible.

Me: Are you joking? You just told me that you destroyed these cranks and you expect a refund?

He steps closer to me. At this point he is about 6 inches away and pretty much addressing the top of my head.

D: Are you trying to tell me how to put on pedals?

Me: Yes.

Amazonian woman: Excuse me, but my dad knows how to put on pedals. He's been working on bikes for 20 years!

Me: Excuse me, but I work in BIKE RENTALS. I probably put on and take off more pedals every day than you have put on in your entire life. Now please stand behind that "employees only" sign while I assess the damage you've done to our rental bike.

D: I've been working on bikes for 20 years! I know how to put on pedals and I know that this is not my fault. Those cranks were stripped!

Me: You went for a ride with your pedals threaded on halfway. There is no way that this is not your fault.

Amazonian woman: So do we get a refund?

Me: No. Definitely not.

D: What!?

Me: Get out of here. Just go.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 13:52
Elderbear
Elderbear's picture

lulz. gotta love the ol' customer staring/approaching while you're working on their bike, especially when they've fucked something up themselves.

I've got plenty o' stories for this thread. Just gotta work right now.

johnnyraja wrote:
This is the most pointless conversation ever had on a forum entirely devoted to pointless conversation.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:04
mander
mander's picture

good thread, would click again

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:04
Larry Winget
Larry Winget's picture

I thought this thread was going to be about this:

The Pitbull of Personal Development®

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:12
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

To be fair to the customer in the first story, shouldn't you have the bike stored by name? If my shop went by customer's descriptions of the bike they own, they're end up with whatever red Trek we happened to have in the back. Moreover, we often have very similar or identical bikes hanging in the back room. Without a name & numbering system, bikes are bound to get lost, because as impossible for this gaggle of bike dorks to understand, not everyone knows the model or even make of their bike, nor do they care.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:14
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

PS Magnaguy and his wife ended up checking in her bike to get new brakes installed later that day, but he refused to get new brakes for his own Magna, since his were "just fine." So I guess that story has a happy ending.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:13
biek

man, when i worked at a bike shop, my bosses were crazier than the customers.

pappaheugwang wrote:
u mad bro?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:16
FIXIE STAR
FIXIE STAR's picture

deadforkinglast wrote:
PS Magnaguy and his wife ended up checking in her bike to get new brakes installed later that day, but he refused to get new brakes for his own Magna, since his were "just fine." So I guess that story has a happy ending.

For the speeds he was going to be riding on a Magna, they probably were fine.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:17
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

bonechilling wrote:
To be fair to the customer in the first story, shouldn't you have the bike stored by name? If my shop went by customer's descriptions of the bike they own, they're end up with whatever red Trek we happened to have in the back. Moreover, we often have very similar or identical bikes hanging in the back room. Without a name & numbering system, bikes are bound to get lost.

If it was a repair, that definitely would not have happened, but we are a pickup and dropoff point for a company that ships tri bikes around the country for specific events. When this company drops off bikes for customer pickup, they often fail to leave the list of bikes, so all we have to go by is a sticker on the top tube with the customer's name on it. We usually have to store the bikes with disc wheels in a storage room, leaning in a row with an empty but still intact (not flattened) bike box in between each one. When we go to look for bikes, we typically ask the customer for his or her name and what bike we should be looking for, then go find that bike, match the name and send them on their way.

We are thinking of severing our connection with this company because we receive no financial compensation for providing this storage and we end up taking tons of abuse from customers who never buy anything. Probably 25% of triathletes who use this service complain to our manager about it, usually because the company always delivers the bikes a day or two later than they tell their customers to start picking up their bikes, so customers come in, we don't have their bikes yet, and they get pissed at us. Most of them seem unable to understand that we are separate companies.

We actually had one lady who, upon hearing this, called the tri-bike shipping company and threatened legal action on behalf of US, the employees at our shop, for the abuse we had to take from triathletes such as HERSELF ten minutes before. It took another few minutes to convince her that that was not necessary.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:29
Larry Winget
Larry Winget's picture

deadforkinglast wrote:
We actually had one lady who, upon hearing this, called the tri-bike shipping company and threatened legal action on behalf of US, the employees at our shop, for the abuse we had to take from triathletes such as HERSELF ten minutes before. It took another few minutes to convince her that that was not necessary.

Now that is some funny shit.

The Pitbull of Personal Development®

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:32
crabbi
crabbi's picture

biekridd wrote:
man, when i worked at a bike shop, my bosses were crazier than the customers.

This. I helped open up a shop that two of my former customers from a different shop were opening. Neither of them had ever worked at a bike shop nor worked on bikes outside of changing a tube on a ride. They went to Barnett's and came back and were trying to fix EVERYTHING. From old, busted freewheels to 20 year old, blown out trigger shifters. You name it, they tried (and more often than not, failed) to fix it. I tried to explain that there are some things you just don't bother with. They got so mad at me until they realized I was right.

I have a few good stories to add sometime.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
if you're here, you probably fucked up somewhere along the line.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:32
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

Tri-Transport? I'm glad that another shop in town handles that mess.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:34
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

bonechilling wrote:
Tri-Transport? I'm glad that another shop in town handles that mess.

This is, apparently, how every other shop in town feels. Unfortunately, our shop is part of a larger store whose customer service motto is "Just say Yes!"

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:43
zombie

Which shop?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 15:00
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

Sports Basement.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 15:09
radicole
radicole's picture

I love this thread, and feel like I have so many stories to add.

Every day for about two weeks, this meth-y looking lady would come in with her adorable 2 -year old son and their expensive BOB stroller. the first day the rear tube on her stroller was flat. I couldn't find a leak, but she wanted to pay for a replacement, so naturally, I replaced it. Not one hour later, she came back, the rear tire deflated.

Meth Mom: "It's flat again, what happened? Am I doing something wrong?"

Me: "That's quite odd, I wouldn't imagine you'd have another flat. Let me take a look at it"

The tube was not punctured or pinched in any way, simply deflated.

Me: "I honestly have no Idea what happened unless you deflated your tire."

MM: mumbles something and gets on her cell phone, walking around the store. She speaks loudly, and officially, as if speaking to a customer service representative from BOB ....on a Sunday.
She comes back, telling me something about how the company will be replacing the wheel for her.

Me: "Okay, well...you can use our pumps anytime."
She comes back in an hour later, looking for "the screw thingie"
Me: "the what?"

she has removed her tube's valve cap, and wants a replacement. I give her one.

she comes back in every day for the next week and claims the same issue, each time acting confused and in awe. Each time coming back for a valve cap. Each time acting interested in a pink tricycle for her son. She is apparently amazed at the construction of the tricycle, and wonders what it's called.
"it's a tricycle, they've been around for quite some time, I say."

She comes in again...Shop manager finally tells her:

"Look, you're deflating your own rear wheel. We keep taking off the tire, inspecting the tube, and nothing is wrong with it. keep it inflated."

She walks out, mumbling again, opening her cell phone, son in tow.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 15:14
timberland boots
timberland boots's picture

I work in a bike co-op one night a week and there's so much condensed stupid on a regular basis it doesn't even register any more.

Anal Beads Al-Qaeda Ball Gag NAMBLA

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 15:20
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

Heh, I miss working at a coop. It was nice not having a manager/owning a shop with little to no obligation to make money.

Most interactions went thusly:

Customer: hi, I keep getting flats and I wanna know what to do.

Me: well, your tire seems to be about forty years old and has no tread left.

Customer: do you have tires?

Me: yes, we have tires that will fit your bike starting at $9 and going up to about $25. If you would like something nicer we can order it.

Customer: (incredulous) $9?

Me: yes. We try to keep our prices as low as we can so you can keep your bike running.

Customer: don't you have anything you could, like, give me? I thought this was a coop?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 15:53
Larry Winget
Larry Winget's picture

deadforkinglast wrote:
Heh, I miss working at a coop. It was nice not having a manager/owning a shop with little to no obligation to make money.

Most interactions went thusly:

Customer: hi, I keep getting flats and I wanna know what to do.

Me: well, your tire seems to be about forty years old and has no tread left.

Customer: do you have tires?

Me: yes, we have tires that will fit your bike starting at $9 and going up to about $25. If you would like something nicer we can order it.

Customer: (incredulous) $9?

Me: yes. We try to keep our prices as low as we can so you can keep your bike running.

Customer: don't you have anything you could, like, give me? I thought this was a coop?

I think the correct answer to this is "Sure. Here's a tire the last idiot like you donated."

The Pitbull of Personal Development®

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 15:56
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

We typically invited them to dive into our dumpster anytime they wanted. They usually got stoked and then ended up buying new tires within a few days.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 15:59
oogens
oogens's picture

I bum around at one of the local bike shops, helping clean or tube changes.

anyways, close to closing time, this guy in his 50s comes in. looks like a bum, has no bike, and is carrying a trader joes bag. he talks about how nice he bikes are, then goes up to the owner and talks in hushed tones. I figure he's talking about pricing or something. Anyways he leaves and the owner says the guy came in to try and sell his bag of weed.

$1k+ bongz man

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 16:03
timberland boots
timberland boots's picture

I've had,

A lady who was looking at a Lemond Road bike with the high end Suntour Shifty bits, Shimano 600 brakes and aero levers, Shimano 105 double cranks and decent ambrosio rims complain that for 200 dollars (in America prices that's like, 150) the bike should really have the shifter integrated into the brake levers...

Also people who complain that their chain makes rubbing noises when they ride crosschained, and that if I tell them "don't cross chain" they tell me "well yeah, but you can't fix this?".

Anal Beads Al-Qaeda Ball Gag NAMBLA

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 16:05
Joe
Joe's picture

Rich wrote:
Also people who complain that their chain makes rubbing noises when they ride crosschained, and that if I tell them "don't cross chain" they tell me "well yeah, but you can't fix this?".

I have tried to explain this to my girlfriend many times to no avail. smiley

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 16:40
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

Rich wrote:
Also people who complain that their chain makes rubbing noises when they ride crosschained, and that if I tell them "don't cross chain" they tell me "well yeah, but you can't fix this?".

This is basically a day in, day out occurrence for me. It's only gotten worse as I've moved up the ladder from crumby neighborhood bike shop to high-zoot tridork heaven. Expectation are so low in your neighborhood shop that no one cares, while the idiot who just dropped $8000 on his new Madone can't help but indignantly think "why shouldn't I be able to use my 50/28?!"

I usually tell them that I can fix it by raising or lowering the derailer to the incorrect height, or by angling it so that it doesn't shift properly.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 16:45
Patch
Patch's picture

Haha classic BC response.
TC: I've made the same comment once, but the shop who assembled my bike had also shortchanged me on housing so my brake cable popped out of my bars turned far enough, so I figured it had something to do with that (I was fourteen!).

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 16:49
yung jeezy
yung jeezy's picture

jeez...
i have so many stories from working in the cracked out spot in town.
i'll type some up later.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 17:16
biek

rabbi wrote:
biekridd wrote:
man, when i worked at a bike shop, my bosses were crazier than the customers.

This. I helped open up a shop that two of my former customers from a different shop were opening. Neither of them had ever worked at a bike shop nor worked on bikes outside of changing a tube on a ride. They went to Barnett's and came back and were trying to fix EVERYTHING. From old, busted freewheels to 20 year old, blown out trigger shifters. You name it, they tried (and more often than not, failed) to fix it. I tried to explain that there are some things you just don't bother with. They got so mad at me until they realized.

kassebaum's dad?

pappaheugwang wrote:
u mad bro?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 17:41
Elderbear
Elderbear's picture

^lulz

johnnyraja wrote:
This is the most pointless conversation ever had on a forum entirely devoted to pointless conversation.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 17:45
pirate
pirate's picture

This thread is gold.

I was in a shop the other day perusing some tires and a guy came in holding a Bianchi with a cracked seattube. He stated, unprompted, that the bike was fine until he replaced the stock seatpost with a carbon post he bought on CL. Of course it was too small, and the dumbass just overtightened the binder. Immediately after admitting to using the wrong size seatpost, he asked the mechanic how he was going to handle warrantying the frame. The best part: the shop isn't even a Bianchi dealer.

Machines were mice and men were lions once upon a time, but now that its the opposite it's twice upon a time.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 17:52
series of good ...
series of good decisions's picture

this thread is great.
good motivation for not working in a shop

Cross track road it's all good. Cept Tarck. Tarck sucks.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 17:55
EivlEvo
EivlEvo's picture

Working in bike/ski shops was so much fun because you're a service that people "need" and as such, you have the final say. If a customer is being a douche and you want to tell them to GTFO, you can. Of course... this is done using secret sick burns and stealth braggin.

Haha...

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 18:17
yung jeezy
yung jeezy's picture

so when i worked at this shop in the "hood" (as hood as you can get in portland), we had a local group of crackheads that would frequent the shop with their shitty shitty bikes.
on day the whole posse rolled in, were talking two dealers, one crackhead and one crackwhore. anyway, the dealers names were dennis and pimpin willy or some shit. dennis is at the counter arguing with us about a brake adjustment when the crackwhore rolls up to the counter and starts being super loud complaining or something. dennis straight up turns to her and tells her "shut the fuck up ho, us men are talking" while slapping her across the face and continuing his conversation like nothing had happened. all three of us just stood there watching this go down. one of the craziest days.
next up, the shooting...

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 20:41
Matthew Trujillo

fuck shop people, yes offense. i called down to the lbs and asked what the price for a 105 chain was. $70. bought one on ebay for $25. called for some basic eggbeaters. $100. bought on ebay for $45. fuck the lbs

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 21:42
Matthew Trujillo

i went to cycle sport in oakland to buy an ultegra/op wheelset and they tried to put me on a 58cm cervelo. wtf

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 21:45
biek

0_o

pappaheugwang wrote:
u mad bro?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 21:46
turpencat
turpencat's picture

-so

johnnyraja wrote:
If you've never done it then yes, it's very surprising.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 21:48
Matthew Trujillo

first lbs told me i need to buy a compact crankset from them in order to be able to shift.

is it true that you have to use a compact crankset to run 10s ultegra?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 21:49
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

i bet somehwere on the netz there is a bike shop lulz thread and some mechanic has posted about sol getting hte wrong size seatpost from them and trying to hammer it in his frame...lollin.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 21:56
Larry Winget
Larry Winget's picture

-s wrote:
first lbs told me i need to buy a compact crankset from them in order to be able to shift.

is it true that you have to use a compact crankset to run 10s ultegra?

wat

The Pitbull of Personal Development®

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:00
turpencat
turpencat's picture

REMOVE A LETTER

johnnyraja wrote:
If you've never done it then yes, it's very surprising.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:03
beargrinderrrrrr
beargrinderrrrrr's picture

deadforkinglast wrote:
Sports Basement.

which one?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:06
Matthew Trujillo

cookietruck wrote:
i bet somehwere on the netz there is a bike shop lulz thread and some mechanic has posted about sol getting hte wrong size seatpost from them and trying to hammer it in his frame...lollin.

nah, the fucking lbs measured the seattube inside diameter AND THE ACTUAL SEATPOST and still told me 27.4 (instead of the actual size, 27.2). fucking morans

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:11
jamey
jamey's picture

redyourmod wrote:
-s wrote:
first lbs told me i need to buy a compact crankset from them in order to be able to shift.

is it true that you have to use a compact crankset to run 10s ultegra?

wat

it's unbelievable how little sol has learned about bikes.

truckdoug "never turn down free beer, dont stick your dick where you wouldnt put your face, and always ride shimano"

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:17
Sneaky Viking
Sneaky Viking's picture

sposedta be bike shop lulz, not bike shop facepalms itt

ckd wrote:
I mean, seriously. We're just a bunch of washed up bicycle burnout dipshits.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:22
Matthew Trujillo

jamey wrote:
redyourmod wrote:
-s wrote:
first lbs told me i need to buy a compact crankset from them in order to be able to shift.

is it true that you have to use a compact crankset to run 10s ultegra?

wat

it's unbelievable how little sol has learned about bikes.

so the lbs is right? must use compact crankset to be able to run 10s ultegra?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:23
Larry Winget
Larry Winget's picture

Bicycle trannies - how do they work?

The Pitbull of Personal Development®

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:41
biek

dyin

pappaheugwang wrote:
u mad bro?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:52
yung jeezy
yung jeezy's picture

next shop story:
the shop i used to work at is located on a corner. to the left across the street there is a bunch of welfare housing and across the street there is this murder mart. one day we were all chillin working on bikes when we heard this weird knocking sound. we thought it was just some neighborhood kids messing around and bangin on the windows/walls so we all went our onto the floor to take a look. as i walked out i looked through the window and saw a dude running towards the murder mart shooting blindly behind him at another kid that was running along the side of our building. i immediately hit the deck and there were at least 10 shots fired. when i came back up i saw this old ass lady chillin face first on the sidewalk behind a car with her wheelchair still in the street. i thought for sure she had been hit but when we checked up on her we found out that she had dove for cover as well. when we got everything figured out, i decided to go around and look for holes in the building seeing as multiple shots were fired. i found one bullet hole in the door jam probably an inch and a half from the window. i went back inside and dug that sucker out with a knife and still have it. it was a pretty decent size caliber as well.
when the cops showed up so did this dude that we knew that lived in the building. since the cops wouldnt let him in he kicked it in the shop. he is this old ass black dude with a fucked up eye that works in a paint factory and has for years. he is super screwed in the head from fumes too. anyway, while were chillin he walks up to me and whispers, "you know what to do when the cops come in here right? you tell em you didnt see anything. lord knows they just tryna keep us down. yep, no one saw anything"

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 22:57
Matthew Trujillo

biekridd wrote:
dyin

im seriously sarcastic tho.

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 23:00
Chris_Kulczycki69

murder mart?

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 23:06
yung jeezy
yung jeezy's picture

corner store/asain mart

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 23:07

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