Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 47
  1. #1
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    19,176

    LBS Owners Who Try to Take Advantage of Women Shoppers

    I went to a bike shop the other day, shopping for a mountain bike. I told the sales clerk that I want a lightweight hard tail and that my budget was $4000. I told him that I have a year 1999 Schwinn Homegrown hard tail that weighs in at 22 lbs. and that I’d like to get something in that weight range, if possible. For that reason, I’d like to see if there are carbon bikes in that price range. He looked up their stock online (mainly Specialized) and told me that the least expensive carbon hard tail is $5000. Okay.

    I know that there is an aluminum Spesh for $2000. I ask if I got the aluminum Spesh, would they let me swap out the aluminum wheels for carbon wheels. He gets the shop owner over to answer the question. The shop owner says that I have to buy the bike and then buy the wheels separately.

    Me: so I’d have two sets of wheels?

    Him: yes. And you SHOULD have two sets of wheels. But what you should really do is buy that $5000 hard tail on the computer screen.

    Me: I don’t wanna spend that much money. Plus it doesn’t have carbon rims and if it came down to it, I would prefer to have lighter wheels than a lighter frame. But if I were to buy that $5000 bike, would I be able to swap out the wheels for carbon wheels and just pay the difference?

    Him: We don’t do that. You’ll have to buy the bike as it is, then buy the extra set of wheels. And you should have the lighter frame. It’s better than lighter wheels.

    Me (giving him a sharp look): Why? Why is it better to have a carbon frame over lighter wheels?

    Him (a little uncomfortable): cause the carbon frame is stiffer than the aluminum frame.

    I’m a woman. For me, frame flex is not an issue with aluminum frames. I give him a look. Everyone knows that lighter wheels are the best place to put money into when it comes to bicycles.

    I tell him: Well, I like light wheels.

    I start to leave. Shop owner starts to back pedal and tells me that they would work out a deal if I wanted to swap out components. They can make whatever I want happen, etc…

    I leave. It is clear to me that because I was a woman shopping for a bike on my own, the shop owner thought he could convince me to buy a bike way above my budget and then get me to buy two sets of wheels along with that bike. I was pretty angry with that guy. If I buy a mountain bike, it will NOT be from his shop.


  2. #2
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3,294
    $5K could get you a nice Santa Cruz carbon mtn bike.

    For about $6K I got a custom road bike with excellent wheels and only the components I wanted and that exactly fit.

    $5K for an off-the-rack hard tail is a bit much. I'm not sure if this is due to sexism or pure greed, but the sales person is incompetent.

  3. #3
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    19,176
    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    $5K could get you a nice Santa Cruz carbon mtn bike.

    For about $6K I got a custom road bike with excellent wheels and only the components I wanted and that exactly fit.

    $5K for an off-the-rack hard tail is a bit much. I'm not sure if this is due to sexism or pure greed, but the sales person is incompetent.
    IMO it was pure greed with a healthy dash of sexism.

  4. #4
    Cranky Old Bastard
    Reputation: Randy99CL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,320
    Quote Originally Posted by il sogno View Post
    IMO it was pure greed with a healthy dash of sexism.
    Yep. I've been stunned by stories my G/Fs have told me. Stupid sexist men think that if it's mechanical or electrical a woman can't possibly understand it.

    But it's not always sexist and doesn't only happen to women.
    I usually know more about an item I'm looking at than the clerk at the store selling it. It can take a few minutes of conversation for them to shut up, stop trying to control me and help me get what I want.

    Edit: I wouldn't go back to that shop either, but next time tell them the things you were thinking and didn't say. Once they realize you are experienced and know what you want they should respect you.
    Last edited by Randy99CL; 04-26-2015 at 11:58 PM.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  5. #5
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,130
    Quote Originally Posted by il sogno View Post
    ....because I was a woman shopping for a bike on my own, the shop owner thought he could convince me to buy a bike way above my budget and then get me to buy two sets of wheels along with that bike.
    Why does this have to be a gender issue?
    .
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder's with motivation, information and resources.

    Everything above, up to that blue line, is IMO IMO.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: ibericb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    4,578
    Not defending the shop owner, or his poor response to you at all. But just so you know, I regularly deal with a very large LBS group that carries both Trek and Specialized, side-by-side. They maintain a very sizeable inventory of all the bikes produced by both, and they sell at full retail other tan special sales. As a store policy the don't swap parts on new bikes at exchange prices unless the part that's being replaced is a normal stocked SKU. It's a business decision, uniformly applied to all customers, no gender bias, to control their inventory. In that store you probably would have gotten the same response as you did on the wheel swap ( the store I deal with doesn't normally stock OEM replacement wheels). If you wanted different wheels, that would most likely be a separate purchase, and what to do with the OEM wheelset would be your issue, not the stores. But, they would have worked with you to find a bike that suited you and met your budget constraints, if that was realistically achievable, and they wouldn't have given you BS about carbon vs. Al, and needing two sets of wheels.

    The good news is that there are a lot of shops out there. Find one that suits you, and deal with them.
    "When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments."
    -Elizabeth Howard West

    Never use your face as a brake pad.”
    -Jake Watson

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Why does this have to be a gender issue?
    I also don't see the gender issue. Many people would like to swap wheels out for nicer ones at the point of sale. If the shop owner did this, he would have a pile of OE wheels that nobody wanted.

    If I was rolling on carbon wheels off road, I would also want to have back up aluminum wheels in case I cracked the carbon somehow.

    For a 22 lb bike, it will be hard to get down to $2000. Especially when you think about how the trend has been towards big jumps and more "extreme" trail riding. Your current steed probably has a ~3 lb fork and ~3.5 lb frame to make 22 lbs. Price those out with modern parts and you are probably near or past $2000 already.
    Click here to edit signature.

  8. #8
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,130
    Quote Originally Posted by jfaas View Post
    I also don't see the gender issue. Many people would like to swap wheels out for nicer ones at the point of sale. If the shop owner did this, he would have a pile of OE wheels that nobody wanted.
    If I was rolling on carbon wheels off road, I would also want to have back up aluminum wheels in case I cracked the carbon somehow.
    For a 22 lb bike, it will be hard to get down to $2000. Especially when you think about how the trend has been towards big jumps and more "extreme" trail riding. Your current steed probably has a ~3 lb fork and ~3.5 lb frame to make 22 lbs. Price those out with modern parts and you are probably near or past $2000 already.
    It's a shop policy issue. The choices are -

    1. Go with it. As you say, a spare set of wheels is sometimes handy. The LBS is not going to lose out on trading wheels so maybe selling the original wheels privately makes better financial sense.
    2. Try to change the LBS person's mind. Then read my second sentence in point 1.
    3. Go to another store. Get the deal you want and again read my second sentence in point 1.

    What's not appropriate is to whine about "Oh poor me I'm a female; I get shafted because of this".
    .
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder's with motivation, information and resources.

    Everything above, up to that blue line, is IMO IMO.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    7,508
    I'm pretty sure any man who's been to a bike shop or two shopping could tell a similar story.
    Do you seriously think being up-sold is unique to females?

  10. #10
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3,294
    I'm speculating here, but I think it was the dismissive part where she said wheel weight is more important than frame weight (which, from the point of view of basic Newtonian physics, is absolutely right). She obviously knows this better than the sales-person, but is dismissed. It is hard to know if the dismissal is informed by sexism (the undercurrent being women don't understand physics or some such thing), or just simply completely uninformed. You would have to do some sort of control test.

  11. #11
    Fecal indicator
    Reputation: Oxtox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    9,225
    not sure about the degree of sexism involved in this instance.

    seems to be just a typical case of shop staff blowing a sale by not being amenable to working with a customer.

    someone comes in with a $4K budget, you'd think that would open up some lines of negotiation for swapping parts to move some inventory.

    the OP should consider just building something from a frame up and avoid the aggravation of the LBS retail sales experience.

  12. #12
    Höchstgeschwindigkeit
    Reputation: mimason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,378
    I don't see the sexist thing either but I'm not trying to pile on here and I wasn't there. I get killer deals from 2 different shops and the wheel request is something that they have denied my request on as well. Its situational but OEM wheels are typically **** and they don't want them. A rare occasion if the shop rents bikes in volume and they can replace their own stuff etc.

    One mistake you made IMO is that you went in telling them your actual budget. To get the best pricing I typically hold the #s close to my chest. I say that I'm purchasing a bike and I am looking at different brands and test riding them etc. I get a shop to earn my business.

    Also, not to get into semantics but MY order of importance is frame, wheels and components. Maybe that's what the shop owner was thinking too. I understand there are some times when wheels would be the tipping point but there is no bike that comes with the wheels that I want.

  13. #13
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    19,176
    Quote Originally Posted by ibericb View Post
    Not defending the shop owner, or his poor response to you at all. But just so you know, I regularly deal with a very large LBS group that carries both Trek and Specialized, side-by-side. They maintain a very sizeable inventory of all the bikes produced by both, and they sell at full retail other tan special sales. As a store policy the don't swap parts on new bikes at exchange prices unless the part that's being replaced is a normal stocked SKU. It's a business decision, uniformly applied to all customers, no gender bias, to control their inventory. In that store you probably would have gotten the same response as you did on the wheel swap ( the store I deal with doesn't normally stock OEM replacement wheels). If you wanted different wheels, that would most likely be a separate purchase, and what to do with the OEM wheelset would be your issue, not the stores. But, they would have worked with you to find a bike that suited you and met your budget constraints, if that was realistically achievable, and they wouldn't have given you BS about carbon vs. Al, and needing two sets of wheels.

    The good news is that there are a lot of shops out there. Find one that suits you, and deal with them.
    There's another shop in town, about 8 miles from my house. They are willing to swap out wheels to make the deal.

  14. #14
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    19,176
    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    I'm speculating here, but I think it was the dismissive part where she said wheel weight is more important than frame weight (which, from the point of view of basic Newtonian physics, is absolutely right). She obviously knows this better than the sales-person, but is dismissed. It is hard to know if the dismissal is informed by sexism (the undercurrent being women don't understand physics or some such thing), or just simply completely uninformed. You would have to do some sort of control test.
    The salesman and the shop owner both know this. The owner thought he could get me to buy two sets of wheels. Maybe cause I'm a woman.

  15. #15
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    19,176
    Quote Originally Posted by jfaas View Post
    I also don't see the gender issue. Many people would like to swap wheels out for nicer ones at the point of sale. If the shop owner did this, he would have a pile of OE wheels that nobody wanted.

    If I was rolling on carbon wheels off road, I would also want to have back up aluminum wheels in case I cracked the carbon somehow.

    For a 22 lb bike, it will be hard to get down to $2000. Especially when you think about how the trend has been towards big jumps and more "extreme" trail riding. Your current steed probably has a ~3 lb fork and ~3.5 lb frame to make 22 lbs. Price those out with modern parts and you are probably near or past $2000 already.
    My Homegrown is from 1999. It has 26" wheels. The reason I'm shopping for a new mtn bike is to get 27.5 or 29" wheels.

  16. #16
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    19,176
    In re: sexism, it's gotten to the point where I cannot have my husband with me while shopping for a bike. He has gray hair and when he is in the shop with me, I cannot get service from any of the shop personnel.

    We have been in situations where the shop owner/clerk is schmoozing him like crazy, showing him Colnagos and Parlees. He tells them that he is not shopping for a bike and that I, his wife is the one shopping for a bike. They glance at me, exchange pleasantries, then go right back to schmoozing my husband.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by il sogno View Post
    My Homegrown is from 1999. It has 26" wheels. The reason I'm shopping for a new mtn bike is to get 27.5 or 29" wheels.
    My Klein is from 1999 as well and I have looked for something similar. It is very difficult to find a lightweight hardtail with modern wheel size and disc brakes.
    Click here to edit signature.

  18. #18
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,130
    Quote Originally Posted by il sogno View Post
    There's another shop in town, about 8 miles from my house. They are willing to swap out wheels to make the deal.
    They're just humoring you 'coz you're a woman. They don't want a crying hissy-fit in the store.
    .
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder's with motivation, information and resources.

    Everything above, up to that blue line, is IMO IMO.

  19. #19
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3,294
    Quote Originally Posted by il sogno View Post
    In re: sexism, it's gotten to the point where I cannot have my husband with me while shopping for a bike. He has gray hair and when he is in the shop with me, I cannot get service from any of the shop personnel.

    We have been in situations where the shop owner/clerk is schmoozing him like crazy, showing him Colnagos and Parlees. He tells them that he is not shopping for a bike and that I, his wife is the one shopping for a bike. They glance at me, exchange pleasantries, then go right back to schmoozing my husband.
    What part of Alabama do you live in?

  20. #20
    Sooper Dooper Moderator!
    Reputation: il sogno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    19,176
    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    what part of alabama do you live in?
    lol.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    5,343
    I go with my wife to our chosen lbs here in Houston.... we both have gray hair (well, mine is actually more white than gray, not that it matters) when we are shopping for her, she has a way of letting them know it is her they have to make happy....watching her deal with sales folks always makes me smile, I love that woman.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by il sogno View Post
    There's another shop in town, about 8 miles from my house. They are willing to swap out wheels to make the deal.
    Sounds like your shop and your husband's shop are not the same shop.
    Click here to edit signature.

  23. #23
    Pooped a refrigerator.
    Reputation: SauronHimself's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    6,590
    I see this as yet another case of a LBS employee with his head up his ass, and we've all experienced those. You're better off going to the other shop or buying online.
    Ghurarmu shirkush’ agh azgushu. Zant ya apakurizak. Gûl-n’ anakhizak.

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Father Guzzi Obrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    122
    I have found that dealing with my two primary types of bikes, Specialized and Trek, the specific dealer makes 90% of the difference. I have purchased 4 Specialized from Rock and Road Cyclery in So Cal, and 2 Treks from Jax Bicycles (both chains in So Cal). When I had issues with a spesh bike, they hopped on it, fixed it immediately and if needed went to bat for warranty. The Trek dealer does the usual good service, but when something cant be addressed in multiple visits, they say that is the way the bike is. I need them to push a warranty claim, and I am sure they will, but if I did not push this, I would be expected to keep a new bike with a permanent problem. I know if I had a different Specialized dealer, it would likely be similar to Trek, but my point is, the LBS you do biz with is one of the most important decisions you can make when buying a bike... YMMV

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Why does this have to be a gender issue?
    Experience. Lots of experience. One of the skills most women learn is detecting when they're getting talked down to and dismissed in a way that men around them aren't. And we get loads of practice at detecting those occurrences. And then we get practice in defending ourselves against men who don't believe us.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Attention Walmart Shoppers
    By gutfiddle in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-10-2011, 08:39 PM
  2. 'shoppers and locatzters: raw materiel herein
    By Creakyknees in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-17-2010, 07:26 PM
  3. Attn Expert NNC Bargain Shoppers
    By GScot in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-26-2008, 10:28 AM
  4. Attention pit bike shoppers. . .
    By PeanutButterBreath in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-11-2008, 01:06 PM
  5. Attention Shoppers!
    By vonteity in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 05-03-2007, 03:48 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •