over the past 6 months or so i've looked into buying bike components or a complete bike. i've been to several shops in the philly area and well... if you're looking for a shop here's some feedback on various locations. a bit of background about me, my most recent bike i built basically from scratch. with the exception of the frame and some components. but everything on that bike was taken off and replaced or overhauled. i know and love my bike. to build it is to love it.

trophy bikes; 38th + walnut. visited in late april
first bike shop i really delt with. i was looking to buy a cheap folder to take with me on my train commute (for a job i ended up not getting). i set my top price around 500$. the owner proceeded to show me his priciest bikes. i asked to see the inexpensive models and he told me "you don't want a cheap one. invest the $$$ in a better bike." it turned out he had none in stock, but was "getting a shipment soon, come back next week and take a look". i never went back.

bikeline, 40th and locust walk
my mom had a rust spot on her bike that was starting to bother me. i was walking by and just figured i'd drop in and ask them what i should do. they told me "just paint over it with nail polish." no primer? "no primer. just make sure it's covered". i was chatting with my neighbor (who's a messenger) and he said that's an excellent way to ensure your frame rusts through. never went back there.

bikeline, 10th and arch
i needed a new pair of tires. i ride a touring bike and would rather spend extra for kevlar than have a blow out every other day. i called them in advance and asked speficically for a 35 or 32 kevlar touring tire for a 700c wheel. they said they had it. i asked if they had continental (i'm not a huge botranger fan) and they said "yes, but it's more expensive". i said "fine." they quoted me a price around 30$, which was better than the price bike therepy had give me (i had called earlier and asked them to hold a pair of tires for me, i ended up calling them back and telling them not to). i needed the tires for 6:30 so i got to bikeline around 5:15. most of the philly bike shops close at 6:00. when i got there, they had no continental kevlar tires for a 700c wheel in anything less than 38. i can't ride with a 38. it's just not my style. i was infuriated that they had wasted my time, since by the time the guy was done checking every possiable place where the tires could be, it was 5:45. i am never going back there.

bike therepy, 22nd and south
i needed a new pair of tires. i called this place up looking for a 35 or 32 kevlar touring tire for a 700c wheel. they had it. the price they quoted was around 35$ for continental 1000s. i had them set them aside. i then called bikeline, which quoted a better price. i called bike therepy and had them take the tires off reserve. bikeline ended up lying to me. i raced over to bike therepy and got in at about 5:55. i told them that i had called and reserved the conti 1000s and then taken them off reserve but "the dude who was supposed to get them for me screwed up and got me 38s" (a little white lie). they found the tires and sold them to me, along with a pair of tire levers. i'm buying all my components from this shop now, no question of that.

moral of the story? this is a shameless plug for bike therepy, the only bike store i'll ever buy from again in philly.