|Not all bike shops are created equal...|
This is about bicycle shops like the one I work at. Independently owned and operated shops, usually owned by a single individual. Not corporate chain outlets, or big box joints. No, this is about a dying breed. The "local bike shop".
I was a bit tweaked off yesterday. I was on that social network site a lot of folks use when I saw a thread that caught my attention. It had to do with a crank arm falling off a bicycle. A crank arm I am familiar with, and yes- this one has a tendency to fall off if you don't look after it. (Some knowledge I will point back to later, by the way, so take note.)
A commenter made a statement something to the effect that "..those bike shops have high school morons putting their bicycles together, so what do you expect." See- that kind of statement is where I draw the line.
Okay- I am not going to pretend I know why this particular bicycle had its crank arm fall off. It very well may have been the fault of the bike shop, but .........it may not have been either. You see, not all bicycle shops have "high school morons" putting their new bicycles together, and some even have seasoned, knowledgeable assemblers doing their work. It is like anything else you buy. There are levels of crap, some decent shops, and a few outstanding ones. Guess what? If you are a consumer, it is on you to figure out which is which.
See, that's where this whole perception of bike shops by some folks is all jacked up. "LBS" retailers are not all a bunch of stupid, price gouging, moronic grease monkeys, unlike what you might think from reading internet forums and other mindless chit-chat. In fact, some of us would have been able to tell you to check that FSA non-driveside crank for pinch bolt tightness, because they have a tendency to come loose and, well, the crank arm likes to work itself off the spindle, you see. Just, you know.....check those bolts from time to time, (like you should anyway), and you'd have been okay. It's part of the deal folks. Bicycles need maintenance. Yeah....that's another thing that is on you to take care of, one way or the other.
And again- there are bad apples out there. I get that. But most of us care. Most of us want to help you out, and yeah....we do this for a living, so we need to make money, just like you do.
Okay- nuff said. Hope that makes some sense.