Buy your bike, buy your shop
When you buy your bicycle you should also ‘buy’ the shop. In other words, your choice of shop and bike brand should be influenced by the shop you feel most comfortable in. Not only are you investing in a bike you are also buying into a relationship. Hopefully a long-term relationship. So, you must at least like the the guys at your local bike shop (LBS), chat over a complimentary coffee and join them for beer on Friday afternoon. Visit your shop for no reason at all – even if it’s just to shoot the bicycling breeze!
Most importantly the shop will look after your bicycle. Are the service charges affordable? Is the service check-in procedure professional? Is the turnaround time good? Is the worksop properly ‘tooled’ and are the mechanics happy, friendly and experienced? Do you have access to the workshop (or is your beloved bike whisked off to closed-door surgery)? Does the owner of the shop get involved with you, your bike, your needs and and your riding stories?
Does the shop have a good and varied selection of product for your ongoing cycling needs – tires, tools, lights, gloves, bar-ends, tubes, pumps etc. Do they offer gift vouchers so that YOU get the gift YOU want? Are their prices reasonable (you’ll be surprised when you compare prices to the big sports stores)? Will they, unsolicited, give you a surprise ‘regular-customer’ discount when you’re paying for your goodies? Will they order stuff for you, follow up and keep you updated and, on bigger ticket items, give you a special price for your special order? Will they put stuff aside for your pay-day?
You will spend a lot more time at your bike store than at your car dealership! You will ask for more advice. You’ll debate and discuss doping, tours, stage races and favorite riders. At the car dealership…well you know what happens there!
So, if you want ALL these questions answered YES then Revolution Cycles is the Cape Town bicycle store for you. And those of you living in Sandton, Durban, Bloemfontein and wherever else, you WILL find a similar, owner-managed, passionate, friendly and knowledgeable LBS. But, you have to look carefully to find one. And when you do, nurture the relationship – it is, after all, a two-way affair. Just like friends and family.