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View Full Version : What do you think of Conte's



lordofthemark
05-18-2016, 09:54 AM
Conte's is about to open across the street from where I work - the first bike shop in Capital Riverfront. While I intend to remain loyal to Bikenetics, having a bike shop close to work should be very helpful. I note they have existing shops in ther region - do they have a good reputation?

Tim Kelley
05-18-2016, 10:26 AM
Fun fact: FreshBikes used to be part of the Conte's franchise, but bought out the rights several years ago. Now the non-compete clause has run out, Conte's is back, just a few blocks down the street.

TwoWheelsDC
05-18-2016, 10:33 AM
Per JDLand:


Conte's will be running a 10-day pop-up version in one of Arri's open retail spaces on Tingey Street starting Thursday, May 19 through May 29th, opening on Thursday through Sunday during each of those two weeks. This means that the store will be open during both Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20 and Tour de Fat at the Yards on Saturday, May 21.
This pop-up version will have bikes for sale or rent, repair services, clothing, gear, and "expert advice."

Harry Meatmotor
05-18-2016, 11:29 AM
do they have a good reputation?

Not with their creditors, I've heard... :eek:

MRH5028
05-19-2016, 08:24 AM
When the Freshbikes in Ballston was still Conte's I stopped in a few times. Always felt that they were a bit pretentious and not super friendly unless your bike cost as much as a base model Kia. For the record, I have had good experiences at the FB in Mosaic.

TwoWheelsDC
05-19-2016, 08:29 AM
When the Freshbikes in Ballston was still Conte's I stopped in a few times. Always felt that they were a bit pretentious and not super friendly unless your bike cost as much as a base model Kia. For the record, I have had good experiences at the FB in Mosaic.

I stopped at a Conte's in Richmond just to check it out and was surprised at how much of a whole-in-the-wall it was...basically a smaller version of Capitol Hill Bikes, but the people seemed nice enough. I'm guessing that the new Arlington store is quite a bit different though.

bobco85
05-19-2016, 09:23 AM
When the Freshbikes in Ballston was still Conte's I stopped in a few times. Always felt that they were a bit pretentious and not super friendly unless your bike cost as much as a base model Kia. For the record, I have had good experiences at the FB in Mosaic.
Ditto on this. I refuse to shop at the Ballston store because I had multiple experiences of being ignored or turned away when trying to buy a spare tube, minor bicycle stuff, and when I wanted to get my old beater bike repaired (I was told "We don't repair old bikes here."). I think they do an excellent job on the Tuesday night rides and am glad they host the Ballston pit stop for BTWD, but that's the extent of my positive experience with the Ballston location. They should really advertise that they are a higher-end-only bicycle shop.

In regards to the Mosaic location, I have only had good experiences, and I enjoyed their Tuesday night rides. The reasons I don't shop there are that I live in Alexandria, I am rarely in the Mosaic area, and I have been loyal to the Performance Bike in Bailey's Crossroads (bought all my bikes there, the staff are friendly to me, and it's close to my apartment).

huskerdont
05-19-2016, 09:40 AM
Ditto on this. I refuse to shop at the Ballston store because I had multiple experiences of being ignored or turned away when trying to buy a spare tube, minor bicycle stuff, and when I wanted to get my old beater bike repaired (I was told "We don't repair old bikes here."). I think they do an excellent job on the Tuesday night rides and am glad they host the Ballston pit stop for BTWD, but that's the extent of my positive experience with the Ballston location. They should really advertise that they are a higher-end-only bicycle shop.

I prolly would have bought a $300+ Castelli jacket there, but they ignored me to the extent that I left. Who can afford to run a business like that?

MRH5028
05-19-2016, 09:41 AM
I prolly would have bought a $300+ Castelli jacket there, but they ignored me to the extent that I left. Who can afford to run a business like that?

Just sell $10,000 bikes.

Tim Kelley
05-19-2016, 10:13 AM
I prolly would have bought a $300+ Castelli jacket there, but they ignored me to the extent that I left. Who can afford to run a business like that?

There are people in this world who will spend $100K in a bike shop over the course of 6 months...

KayakCyndi
05-19-2016, 10:30 AM
There are people in this world who will spend $100K in a bike shop over the course of 6 months...

God I hope those people are part of the DC Used Bicycle group on Facebook! :)

consularrider
05-19-2016, 01:37 PM
God I hope those people are part of the DC Used Bicycle group on Facebook! :)

Why do you think you and Subby got your Furleys?

Vicegrip
05-19-2016, 07:20 PM
There are people in this world who will spend $100K in a bike shop over the course of 6 months...

Somebody has to pay retail.........

lordofthemark
05-20-2016, 11:07 AM
So the guy from Conte's who was at Canal Park this AM, and will be working at the temporary pop-up (they won't open permanently till next year) seemed pretty chill, and eager to disassociate from Fresh Bikes (at least he tried to make clear that FB was no longer affiliated with them)

lordofthemark
05-20-2016, 11:10 AM
Ditto on this. I refuse to shop at the Ballston store because I had multiple experiences of being ignored or turned away when trying to buy a spare tube, minor bicycle stuff, and when I wanted to get my old beater bike repaired (I was told "We don't repair old bikes here."). I think they do an excellent job on the Tuesday night rides and am glad they host the Ballston pit stop for BTWD, but that's the extent of my positive experience with the Ballston location. They should really advertise that they are a higher-end-only bicycle shop.

In regards to the Mosaic location, I have only had good experiences, and I enjoyed their Tuesday night rides. The reasons I don't shop there are that I live in Alexandria, I am rarely in the Mosaic area, and I have been loyal to the Performance Bike in Bailey's Crossroads (bought all my bikes there, the staff are friendly to me, and it's close to my apartment).

To clarify you mean the Fresh Bikes in Ballston, that had been a Conte's franchise, not the current Conte's in Virginia Square?

cephas
05-20-2016, 11:30 AM
Ditto on this. I refuse to shop at the Ballston store because I had multiple experiences of being ignored or turned away when trying to buy a spare tube, minor bicycle stuff, and when I wanted to get my old beater bike repaired (I was told "We don't repair old bikes here."). I think they do an excellent job on the Tuesday night rides and am glad they host the Ballston pit stop for BTWD, but that's the extent of my positive experience with the Ballston location. They should really advertise that they are a higher-end-only bicycle shop.


My experience with Ballstono has been similaro. but the nonofficious pit stop by the WFC store/on WOD was the bombitty this am.

americancyclo
05-20-2016, 11:33 AM
My experience with Ballstono has been similaro. but the nonofficious pit stop by the WFC store/on WOD was the bombitty this am.
I heard the WFC store is starving for business. They always seem to do the neutral commuter support on days that I'm not around, though.

bobco85
05-20-2016, 12:49 PM
To clarify you mean the Fresh Bikes in Ballston, that had been a Conte's franchise, not the current Conte's in Virginia Square?
Correct. I have not yet been to the current one in Virginia Square.

eminva
05-20-2016, 03:07 PM
Sorry to be a debby downer on BTWD, but . . .

I find it unfortunate to see such frank observations about local bike shops on the forum. Sometimes we treat the forum like an "over the back fence" conversation but it is not. It's a public message board and anyone doing a Google search could find these threads.

If you want an honest assessment about a bike shop, it would be better to have that conversation in person at a local coffee club. If you have a complaint about a local bike shop, it would be best to take that up with the management -- or at least give them a chance to make things right before going public.

I have patronized several local bike shops over the years and I find them to be, uniformly, well meaning corporate citizens of our cycling community who are sincere in their efforts to provide good products and services. And they care about their reputations. They all have different personalities and target different markets, so if you don't find what you need in one, please try another.

Liz

lordofthemark
05-20-2016, 03:17 PM
Okay, how do I get the whole thread deleted? ;)

dplasters
05-20-2016, 04:07 PM
I think their Yelp about mirrors the thread.

But I came here to talk tires.....

MFC
05-20-2016, 04:23 PM
Sorry to be a debby downer on BTWD, but . . .

I find it unfortunate to see such frank observations about local bike shops on the forum. Sometimes we treat the forum like an "over the back fence" conversation but it is not. It's a public message board and anyone doing a Google search could find these threads.

If you want an honest assessment about a bike shop, it would be better to have that conversation in person at a local coffee club. If you have a complaint about a local bike shop, it would be best to take that up with the management -- or at least give them a chance to make things right before going public.

I have patronized several local bike shops over the years and I find them to be, uniformly, well meaning corporate citizens of our cycling community who are sincere in their efforts to provide good products and services. And they care about their reputations. They all have different personalities and target different markets, so if you don't find what you need in one, please try another.

Liz

I haven't worked my way back through this thread to see whether the statements on Conte are appropriate here, but one of the points of forums such as this is to have frank discussions about local bike stores, so members of the forum can obtain some input as to which businesses to patronize. As long as the discussion is on-point and not malicious, it should be ok. At least the forums generally don't have issues with false posts.

mstone
05-20-2016, 05:09 PM
Given how long a certain shop has been well known for only being interested in high end sales, they would have changed their practices if they didn't want people giving each other warnings. I don't see a problem here, nobody is going on a rant or blowing anything out of proportion, just sharing experiences.

AFHokie
05-20-2016, 05:17 PM
I heard the WFC store is starving for business. They always seem to do the neutral commuter support on days that I'm not around, though.
I stopped in the WFC store for the first time earlier this week (happened to be out that way with time to kill) & while I didnít buy much (ordered tires) it was probably one of the most pleasant LBS experiences I've had in awhile.

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ShawnoftheDread
05-20-2016, 07:39 PM
Sorry to be a debby downer on BTWD, but . . .

I find it unfortunate to see such frank observations about local bike shops on the forum. Sometimes we treat the forum like an "over the back fence" conversation but it is not. It's a public message board and anyone doing a Google search could find these threads.

If you want an honest assessment about a bike shop, it would be better to have that conversation in person at a local coffee club. If you have a complaint about a local bike shop, it would be best to take that up with the management -- or at least give them a chance to make things right before going public.

I have patronized several local bike shops over the years and I find them to be, uniformly, well meaning corporate citizens of our cycling community who are sincere in their efforts to provide good products and services. And they care about their reputations. They all have different personalities and target different markets, so if you don't find what you need in one, please try another.

Liz

I disagree with this, at least in part. I think it's helpful to know which shops have a good reputation and for what reasons. I doubt FB cares at all what the commuters here think about them; on the slight chance that they do, it shouldn't be too difficult to address the issue.

dbb
05-20-2016, 08:15 PM
I suppose that eminva has a point in that the thread might have benefited from some curation as there was some confusion about exactly who was being discussed. I suppose the initial question was asking about the business that recently entered the local market called Contes. The discussion appeared to blend the old 5-6 years ago Contes, FreshBikes, and the "new" Contes.

Judd
05-20-2016, 08:39 PM
I don't know... I'm a fan of open and honest assessment on the internet. Generally, I think everyone on the forum is pretty balanced when they offer negative feedback, whether it's about a product or a local business. And I also view what's posted in relation to what I know about the poster and how similar my own outlook on the world is. Based on most folks on the forum being somewhat similar to me, I know that Conte's is probably not my shop. I can similarly offer my perspective that everyone I have ever talked to at Revolution Cycles in Clarendon is awesome except for the one dude that is not awesome and has nearly caused me to walk away from two bike sales in the last sixth months and who I will have no problem telling to get lost the next time I buy my next bicycle there.

rcannon100
05-20-2016, 08:43 PM
Hmm. My experience with LBS has been pretty close to horrible. One LBS failed to install rim tape resulting in a blow out on the 14th St bridge. Another LBS did not deliver when promised, did not notify me, and when they did deliver the bike, the cabling was wrong (rushed job). Another LBS likewise failed in a repair and makes you wait in the mechanics line to get the simplest of supplies. Oh and after that blow out I walked my bike several miles to a LBS who made me wait just to buy a role of rim tape that they kept behind the counter. Then there is the LBS owner who heckled me because I pronounced Bianche wrong (I looked at him - showed him the $1000s I had in my pocket for a new bike for kidv1 - and walked out). And then there is the LBS who never game me the time of day because their commission-paid sales people would not make money off me. Oh yeah and then there is the LBS that EVERY time I have gone in their they have told me my bike is no good and I need to buy a new bike.

There are a lot of LBSs out there that do just lousy jobs. They have bad business plans that basically are premised on selling $1000s bikes to poseurs. Their business plan is not based on return business. They don't like commuters. They don't like people who understand bikes. And they don't like people who do their own repairs. And some don't hire people who know anything about bikes.

No I am not making that up. Kidv1 worked in various bike shops in the past few years and gave pretty good insight in how crappy their business plans are, how they are struggling, and basically how *you* are not their target audience.

Are their good LBS? Yup. A few. And they get talked about all the time here. And these generally are the LBSs very involved in the cycling community.

So what's my point. I think as a cycling community discussing how the LBS businesses are failing us is perfectly reasonable. And I think they ARE failing us. I think they are pushing us to online bike stores because either I go into a store and they don't have parts on the shelf or I go in and they do just ignore me.

I actually think this discussion is 100% appropriate. I understand eminva's concern. But frankly LBS are failing us. I wish LBS's would read this forum and buy a clue about what is wrong - but that actually IS part of the problem that a number of LBSs have little contact with the local biking community. I know for a fact they are unaware of this forum and unaware of other cycling communities in DC.

And again, their are good LBS. And we should support them.

ShawnoftheDread
05-20-2016, 08:53 PM
Wait, how were you pronouncing Bianchi?


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LeprosyStudyGroup
05-20-2016, 09:29 PM
Wait, how were you pronouncing Bianchi?


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https://youtu.be/3ADu3tHanP8

KLizotte
05-20-2016, 09:58 PM
I've been going to Spokes (Belle Haven, Quaker Lane, and Vienna) for years and the mechanics have always been super, super, super awesome to me (and most recently to a good friend of mine who knows next to nothing about bikes and had allowed his rig to deteriorate to a very bad state). They have been consistently honest, done excellent repairs and have admitted mistakes and fixed them promptly. They have also bent over backwards at times to help me out of a time crunch when they didn't have to and often not charged me a dime.

And when I first started biking I was a completely naive noob who bought a really heavy upright bike and didn't even know how to fix flats or shift properly but they never made me feel like I was less of a person than someone in lycra with the 5K racing bike. They have always been instructive and respectful when I have brought in botched home repairs (an all too frequent occurrence). I'm not sure if that is because I'm a woman but I hope they treat every *reasonable* person that walks in their door the same way.

Curtis at FreshBikes in Clarendon (was, and perhaps still is, the service manager) has also treated me the same way though I haven't gone to FB in a couple of years because of price and location; also their turnaround times aren't as good as Spokes. Clovis, FB's fitter, was also super helpful and professional when I had my fitting. I've been to Revolution a couple of times in Georgetown for minor emergency repairs and they were great as well.

Salespeople at most LBSs I have visited have tried to be helpful but I've found that their level of knowledge to be highly variable and finding a good fitting bike is so individualistic that I think only hard earned experience and good luck will prevail in the end (barring a professional fitting); at least it is for the vertically challenged like myself. I agree that FreshBikes does give an aura of elitism but as a more experienced cyclist now I don't give a hoot; that said, I was rather intimidated as a noob.

When I was looking for my first bike, I visited Papillion on Columbia Pike and was treated like pond scum; the owner was obviously uninterested in making a sale or dealing with a noob. I've never been back; it was truly an awful customer experience. I still cringe at the thought of it.

The only other LBS I can think of that I'm disinclined to visit again is Bicycle Pro Shop in Georgetown because the front of house staff were not very friendly and looked down their nose at my commuter setup. The mechanics were perfectly friendly and respectful though.

I'm a big fan of Spokes and they carry a range of bikes from the inexpensive casual to pricey carbon lightweights. They also carry an assortment of kiddie bikes so I think it is fair to say they don't discriminate against the non-racing crowd.

Just my two cents. I must admit to being rather perplexed by rcannon's experiences (and I know he is a really nice guy!).

Judd
05-20-2016, 10:25 PM
When I was looking for my first bike, I visited Papillion on Columbia Pike and was treated like pond scum; the owner was obviously uninterested in making a sale or dealing with a noob. I've never been back; it was truly an awful customer experience. I still cringe at the thought of it.



I've also had two not good experiences at Papillion when getting service, which is a shame because it's less than a half mile away from my apartment and I won't go there anymore. I've been really pleased with the two tune ups I've gotten at Revolution in Clarendon and a rear derauiler fix from Freshbikes.

Subby
05-21-2016, 12:11 AM
Bikenetic holds a special place in my heart. Always will. I love the people there and it's hands down the best shop I have ever experienced.

That said, a while back when they were backed up on service (a good thing!) and I needed some work done really quickly, I took a chance on the new Conte's on Rt. 7 in Falls Church. The head mechanic there - Brian - is a super nice guy and very knowledgeable. The other folks who work there were extremely nice, too. Really laid back and down to earth. They were very good and generous to me with their time when I had a need, and I think that says a lot about them.

AFHokie
05-21-2016, 06:50 AM
I like having the discussion, but I do temper the observations by realizing everyone has a different perspective & standard.

I've had good and bad experiences at both Revolution and Spokes and like Judd refuse to deal with a specific individual at each location. For the most part, I've had good experiences with Papillion, but find their available stock limited and will no longer let one of their younger mechanic's touch my bike. I really like Green Lizard & their mechanics immediately figured out a 'mysterious' shifting problem I had, but Herndon is very out of my way unless I happen to ride out that way on the WOD. As far as Fresh Bikes, I share the board consensus and only go there if I know they are the only shop carrying something I cannot get online.

Not a local LBS, but REI at Bailey's Crossroads gets the majority of my business simply because they're the closest and I've always had a pleasant interaction with their maintenance shop.

hozn
05-21-2016, 07:57 AM
I think the distaste for FreshBikes is just indicative of a cultural divide in cycling. Fresh Bikes has a great reputation among the "faster" crowd for their mechanics' competence and their inventory of latest, greatest bikes. And their bike fitting services (Clovis) are really well regarded. Probably fewer places have more experience with electronic shifting systems, tubular wheels, etc. I don't think it would be considered a negative by most of their customers that they refuse to work on cheap bikes. Less chance of some grimy commuter bike rubbing against a carbon dream bike.

Anyway, I buy Specialized stuff there. I used to buy other maintenance stuff there (cables, lube, bottom brackets), but am making a concerted effort to give Bikenetic my business whenever I can. Bike shops could probably learn a lot from Bikenetic about how you can be excellent and still inclusive. Heck, we could probably all learn a lot from Bikenetic's example.

lordofthemark
05-21-2016, 09:27 AM
Wow, this sure went in a different direction than I expected. Really just wanted confirmation there would be no issues getting repairs done at the new shop (since I did have a minor problem with a repair at one LBS). I guess it may be too individual a thing for the question to be worthwhile.

dkel
05-21-2016, 03:42 PM
Anyway, I buy Specialized stuff there. I used to buy other maintenance stuff there (cables, lube, bottom brackets), but am making a concerted effort to give Bikenetic my business whenever I can.

Really? I thought you were an LBS unto yourself. (Like, really.)

hozn
05-21-2016, 03:45 PM
Really? I thought you were an LBS unto yourself. (Like, really.)
Well sometimes I need chain lube or brake cables and don't see a need (or benefit) to ordering online. Picked up some new Salsa bars from Bikenetic recently (they ordered for me). And I plan to order some Hope hubs through them when this child bike project stops draining my allowance. :-)

But yeah, I do my own work on the bike. That way I am the only one to blame when it isn't right!

Mark Blacknell
05-23-2016, 02:25 PM
Just a few additions:

1) Freshbikes is a great shop for the people in its target demographic. Outside of that? Ugh. They're still my road bike shop, but I wish that second part would change (that's a short version of my Yelp review from years ago).

2) You should alway support Bikenetic. They're special. (And not in the short bus way. You know, despite them having a short bus.)

3) If anyone takes anything away from this thread, it should be to never ever ever support Big Wheel Bikes on Lee Highway. Ever.

TwoWheelsDC
05-23-2016, 04:36 PM
Just a few additions:



3) If anyone takes anything away from this thread, it should be to never ever ever support Big Wheel Bikes on Lee Highway. Ever.

+1 I was just afraid to be the first one to say it....although I would expand the critique to the whole chain.

rcannon100
05-23-2016, 09:01 PM
Wait, how were you pronouncing Bianchi?


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"Biankabuttt" - it is also pronounced at times as "With $$$$ in my pocket, I can pronounce it "beef biskets" and that should be okay.

I will say that I have exposed my ignorance and stupidity to the hipsters in Falls Church and they try hard not to laugh at me too much and generally help the infeebled with useful advice like "pedaling backwards no longer stops the bike"

huskerdont
05-24-2016, 07:17 AM
Care to elaborate on BWB? I had decent luck with them, and they are on my way home.

I've also had good luck with Papillon, although I admit they're probably best for certain types of riding. Really good helping folks fix up old bikes, and they were great in finishing off a bike I put together but couldn't get quite right.

Bicycle Space is great for emergency repairs/parts when at work, and for commuting stuff.

The one I won't ever go back to is Revolution in Clarendon. They were oh so proud that W. had shopped there but couldn't be bothered to fix the Gary Fisher Tass they sold me. Ended up spending money to get it fixed elsewhere, and have never spent a penny there since.

Spokes in Vienna warrantied an aluminum Trek that broke, but the salesperson at Spokes in Alexandria was like a used car salesman, which sent me elsewhere.

I've only bought a couple of parts so far from Bikenetic, but they seem just about right. Test rode a Raleigh there that wasn't in my size, but ended up getting something else. As someone else stated, I understand they can't carry everything in every size, but if what they have doesn't line up for you, it's hard to buy. I'll likely support them first when I can.

americancyclo
05-24-2016, 07:48 AM
Just a few additions:

3) If anyone takes anything away from this thread, it should be to never ever ever support Big Wheel Bikes on Lee Highway. Ever.

Ask me about my experience there the one time I went in, sometime.

Mark Blacknell
05-24-2016, 08:19 AM
Care to elaborate on BWB? I had decent luck with them, and they are on my way home.



From my 2010 Yelp review:


I would push my bike home with a flat rather than give this shop my business. I cannot say enough bad things about the Arlington location of Big Wheel Bikes. Over the years, I have personally witnessed:

1) a hard-sell for an obviously wrong-sized bike to a customer
2) an attempt to send a bike out on a test-ride with a loose stem
3) bait-and-switch rental tactics
4) ridiculously rude behavior to customers

And that's just my direct experience. There's not enough room on this page to repeat the stories of other people's experiences with this shop. There is not, as best I can tell, a single redeeming thing about this place.


That covered my experience with them from the late 90s until then. Looking at their Yelp page, it doesn't seem like anything has changed (https://www.yelp.com/biz/big-wheel-bikes-arlington). And if you ask cyclists who have been riding in Arlington for decades, you'll get even worse stories (and speculation), I bet.

I have lots of experiences and opinions (positive and negative) about lots of shops across the DC area, but it's only Big Wheel Bikes that gets my open disgust.

Steve O
05-24-2016, 09:02 AM
rcannon's experiences (and i know he is a really nice guy!).
ymmv

Steve O
05-24-2016, 09:19 AM
In talking with people over the years, and my own experiences, there are a couple of themes I believe help create a positive experience.

1) Most importantly, if you can become a known customer and build a relationship with a shop you will have much greater success. This is part of the reason, I think, we hear differing opinions about the same LBS. I agree that a good shop should treat every customer with respect and good cheer, but since it doesn't always happen, it's good to have your own personal go-to place where they know you.

2) Low turnover. That is a good sign overall: that they treat their employees well, those employees have experience, and they know you because they don't keep changing.

3) This is more of an add-on and not necessary to have a good experience, but I do appreciate shops that get involved in the community. FB in Ballston sponsors the Tuesday night rides and hosts BTWD, and that is awesome. Bicycle Space does the cool theme rides (Luau, Plaid..) Revolution Clarendon just hosted a great Taco Ride that was loads of fun. Proteus is well known for being integrated into the community over there in Merland, Green Lizard hosts FCC III, etc.

ian74
05-24-2016, 09:31 AM
From my 2010 Yelp review:


That covered my experience with them from the late 90s until then. Looking at their Yelp page, it doesn't seem like anything has changed (https://www.yelp.com/biz/big-wheel-bikes-arlington). And if you ask cyclists who have been riding in Arlington for decades, you'll get even worse stories (and speculation), I bet.

I have lots of experiences and opinions (positive and negative) about lots of shops across the DC area, but it's only Big Wheel Bikes that gets my open disgust.

Such a shame. The BWB in Alexandria is actually decent. At least for repairs. The manager there, Bennet is just an all around great guy and I totally trust him. He's done quick fixes for no charge for me before, one time he gave me tools and just said, all you have to do to fix it is do this x, y, z and stood and watched while I did it.

He just loves bikes, last time I was there he was showing me his classic steel ride he just picked up and we talked for quite a while. Another time he gave me a tamale when I just popped in to chat with him.

OneEighth
05-24-2016, 09:43 AM
"pedaling backwards no longer stops the bike"

It does on my going-to-market single speed.

lordofthemark
05-24-2016, 10:01 AM
Basically it sounds like I just need to avoid bike shops in North Arlington. Hmmm.

ShawnoftheDread
05-24-2016, 10:40 AM
Basically it sounds like I just need to avoid North Arlington. Hmmm.

Fixed!



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TwoWheelsDC
05-24-2016, 10:46 AM
Eh, I like FB for my road bike needs. They've always been friendly and helpful. I know everyone here loves Bikenetic, but after being completely ignored three straight visits, I've given up. The last time I was in there I, and a couple other customers, stood waiting for several minutes at the checkout counter with merchandise (a compromise selection because Bikenetic's hardware selection can be really terrible) in hand, while the shop guys were bullshitting in the back, in clear sight. I set the merchandise on the counter and walked out, went to FB, and got the thing that I really wanted and got checked out immediately.

Obviously, experiences vary widely in this arena. Personally, I like to get my stuff and get out, so I like shops that allow me to do that. I'm not interested in places where I have to become buddies with the staff to get decent service.


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dasgeh
05-24-2016, 12:06 PM
3) This is more of an add-on and not necessary to have a good experience, but I do appreciate shops that get involved in the community. FB in Ballston sponsors the Tuesday night rides and hosts BTWD, and that is awesome. Bicycle Space does the cool theme rides (Luau, Plaid..) Revolution Clarendon just hosted a great Taco Ride that was loads of fun. Proteus is well known for being integrated into the community over there in Merland, Green Lizard hosts FCC III, etc.

Totally agree. To add to the list: FreshBikes Arlington supports Kidical Mass Arlington (sponsors our Halloween ride every year) and BicycleSpace (and maybe the Daily Rider?) have sponsored Kidical Mass DC. Bikenetic does lots of community rides and I'm pretty sure more stuff.

And, of course, Phoenix Bikes builds community and adds to community like few other bike shops...

jabberwocky
05-24-2016, 02:23 PM
I hardly ever shop in B&M shops, so I form most of my opinions on shops based on how big of a douchecanoe their shop riders are. There are a few highly regarded local shops I totally ceased visiting or recommending entirely because I was tired of being run off the trail by people in their jerseys.

On that criteria, Bikenetic gets my recommendation. Almost always a chill, polite bunch when you run into them.

Jason
05-30-2016, 05:09 PM
I really wanted to go to my local bike shop for fixes and sales. Problem is, fixes take forever at nearly every bike shop in Arlington, waits can be weeks at some of the shops. As a result, Ive become my own bike mechanic. It was painful at times, but now I am glad I went through the process. As for local shops, my best experiences were actually at Freshbikes. My salesman was Jason, and he was excellent and very accommodating. Clovis is outstanding and equally accommodating. Management however, on getting wide fit shoes, to a specific specialized glove is byzantine at best. So I have to pay up front for a special order shoe? Ummm, why go to the bike shop then, I can just order online thanks. And thats what I did. Revolution was totally HORRIBLE in Clarendon, the front staff was just completely unknowledgeable and would describe products as "THATS THE BOMB." Hmmm, less informative than an internet forum and way more annoying. NOPE! Oh another shoutout for Freshbikes, the mechanics there are super good and helpful. Easy to talk to and knowledgable.

Toonces
05-31-2016, 01:03 PM
Conte's is about to open across the street from where I work - the first bike shop in Capital Riverfront. While I intend to remain loyal to Bikenetics, having a bike shop close to work should be very helpful. I note they have existing shops in ther region - do they have a good reputation?

To answer the original post: I can't say enough good things about the Conte's in Virginia Square. They have provided outstanding customer service every time I have gone into the shop. I've been in twice with flats while out on a ride (destroyed tires) and they immediately changed out tires for me. They have been prompt with their service, very friendly and helpful, and provide regular updates on status of repairs. Their staff and mechanics are great.

adamx
06-06-2016, 04:55 AM
Conte's is about to open across the street from where I work - the first bike shop in Capital Riverfront. While I intend to remain loyal to Bikenetics, having a bike shop close to work should be very helpful. I note they have existing shops in ther region - do they have a good reputation?

make sure they have a FULL TIME TECH in the shop before you do anything. I wont say anything bad about the new Contes in Falls Church NOR will I say anything good. Lets just put it this way; I bought a Giant Liv for the wife in Nov and we had to take it in three times to get the shifting adjusted and it is still not right. the last time I went in I discovered the tech had returned to Richmond and they didn't have a full time person. coincidentally? this shop is only 2-3 miles from the Fresh Bikes at Mosaic. they opened another shop down the street from the FB on Wilson and now opening a shop in DC. it is my understanding they are here to win market share back from FB. customer service and being part of the community? but, I have also heard they serve up donuts and coffee along the trail in FC where it intersects with Shreve every other Friday morning. after 'more' cable stretching, we'll go back to the Contes in FC for another shifting adjustment and will probably only go back for maintenance on that bike.

GovernorSilver
06-06-2016, 02:21 PM
If this is a hijack, feel free to kick my tail but...

Any recommendations for a shop that can repair internal gear hubs? The Nexus 8 has a known issue in which it will randomly shift in/out of the selected gear. I've done the adjustment process a couple of times myself, where you open it up a bit and line up the yellow lines, but the adjustment seems to last only a few days before the random behavior starts happening again. The behavior seems to be getting worse.

I bought my IGH bike from Papillon but I think I might need to take it to a place with greater expertise in IGH maintenance/repair - and they just did the complementary 12-month tuneup on the bike too.

Steve O
06-06-2016, 03:48 PM
If this is a hijack, feel free to kick my tail but...

Any recommendations for a shop that can repair internal gear hubs? The Nexus 8 has a known issue in which it will randomly shift in/out of the selected gear. I've done the adjustment process a couple of times myself, where you open it up a bit and line up the yellow lines, but the adjustment seems to last only a few days before the random behavior starts happening again. The behavior seems to be getting worse.

I bought my IGH bike from Papillon but I think I might need to take it to a place with greater expertise in IGH maintenance/repair - and they just did the complementary 12-month tuneup on the bike too.

Phuoc at the Bike Club can fix almost anything. I presume it is out of warranty. If you go, mention me and/or Boomer for better service.

GovernorSilver
06-06-2016, 04:26 PM
Phuoc at the Bike Club can fix almost anything. I presume it is out of warranty. If you go, mention me and/or Boomer for better service.

Thanks, Steve!

The Nexus 8 hub has one more year of warranty. Just thought it was a good time to get a recommendation for an alternative repair shop in case Papillon is suddenly not an option. When I took the bike there for the tuneup, they made me show them my sales receipt before knocking the price down from $120 something to free for the tuneup - nothing like the warm treatment I've gotten from Proteus, where seemingly everyone who works there remembers who I am and when I bought my Renegade.

Debating whether to stick with this hub or get the "red band" version after the warranty runs out.

Harry Meatmotor
06-07-2016, 07:57 AM
Thanks, Steve!

The Nexus 8 hub has one more year of warranty. Just thought it was a good time to get a recommendation for an alternative repair shop in case Papillon is suddenly not an option. When I took the bike there for the tuneup, they made me show them my sales receipt before knocking the price down from $120 something to free for the tuneup - nothing like the warm treatment I've gotten from Proteus, where seemingly everyone who works there remembers who I am and when I bought my Renegade.

Debating whether to stick with this hub or get the "red band" version after the warranty runs out.

Which gear is it popping in/out of? I've seen these hubs get worn out coming in and out of parity/unity/1:1 drive. Unfortunately, it's not so much about the skill of a mechanic (tho, personally I'd pass on futzing with a Nexus), it's about the ability to get any parts for the planetaries/sun/ring gears that may need replacement.

GovernorSilver
06-07-2016, 09:12 AM
Which gear is it popping in/out of? I've seen these hubs get worn out coming in and out of parity/unity/1:1 drive. Unfortunately, it's not so much about the skill of a mechanic (tho, personally I'd pass on futzing with a Nexus), it's about the ability to get any parts for the planetaries/sun/ring gears that may need replacement.

It used to be the 6th speed, which started happening around the 2nd month of commuting on this bike.

Now it's the 6th and 7th speeds that are both misbehaving.

The behavior seems to follow whatever speed I settle on as my cruising speed.

That's why I'm pondering replacing the hub with the red-band (premium) version - it reportedly has better seals, bearings, etc. than the version that came on my Uptown 8.

dasgeh
06-07-2016, 10:23 AM
That's why I'm pondering replacing the hub with the red-band (premium) version - it reportedly has better seals, bearings, etc. than the version that came on my Uptown 8.

Wouldn't you want to get it replaced under warranty regardless, so you have something not-worthless to sell?

GovernorSilver
06-07-2016, 10:26 AM
Wouldn't you want to get it replaced under warranty regardless, so you have something not-worthless to sell?

Yeah, that's the quandary. Warranty doesn't expire for another year.

I doubt Papillon will replace the bargain Nexus 8 with the premium one for free (under warranty).

dasgeh
06-07-2016, 10:30 AM
Yeah, that's the quandary. Warranty doesn't expire for another year.

I doubt Papillon will replace the bargain Nexus 8 with the premium one for free (under warranty).

Have you asked them about (1) removing broken nexus 8; (2) putting in premium one; (3) submitting broken one for warranty replacement, which you'll then have new in box to sell?

Harry Meatmotor
06-07-2016, 10:50 AM
It used to be the 6th speed, which started happening around the 2nd month of commuting on this bike.

Now it's the 6th and 7th speeds that are both misbehaving.

The behavior seems to follow whatever speed I settle on as my cruising speed.

That's why I'm pondering replacing the hub with the red-band (premium) version - it reportedly has better seals, bearings, etc. than the version that came on my Uptown 8.

That sounds like the axle pawl sticking - does it make a clunk a minute (or, a short time) after shifting into one of those gears? I believe unity is 5th gear, so if it's happening in 6,7,8, those ratios all run on the outer ring gear set/ring gear 2.

The last time I looked, the full ring gear unit was available from shimano, but that was several years ago. Also, IIRC, the red band versions steps up to nicer roller clutches very similar to those used in the Alfine units, which make more of a difference than just upgraded seals.

A remnant of the 3-speed SturmyArcher days: pop the fill cover, squirt some 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil, shift through the gears, and if that doesn't fix it, don't spend anymore time on it; just replace it. Just not worth the time, unfortunately.

GovernorSilver
06-07-2016, 01:21 PM
That sounds like the axle pawl sticking - does it make a clunk a minute (or, a short time) after shifting into one of those gears? I believe unity is 5th gear, so if it's happening in 6,7,8, those ratios all run on the outer ring gear set/ring gear 2.

The last time I looked, the full ring gear unit was available from shimano, but that was several years ago. Also, IIRC, the red band versions steps up to nicer roller clutches very similar to those used in the Alfine units, which make more of a difference than just upgraded seals.

A remnant of the 3-speed SturmyArcher days: pop the fill cover, squirt some 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil, shift through the gears, and if that doesn't fix it, don't spend anymore time on it; just replace it. Just not worth the time, unfortunately.

The clunk will sometimes happen after the shift into one of those gears. It was intermittent before, but seems to be happening with greater frequency of late.

You have given me yet another reason to consider the upgrade to the red band version.

I'm supposed to bring my Renegade back to Proteus for the complementary tuneup within a few weeks, so I'll be riding the Uptown 8 and its Nexus 8 while the Renegade is at the shop. I'll try calling Papillon and see if they can take care of this before that time. As dasgeh says, it wouldn't hurt to ask Papillon if they would replace the hub with the red band, and for how much. Well, maybe I should describe the issue to them first, and see first what they'll do about it. The last time I had an extended phone conversation with someone at Papillon, he brought up rebuilding the hub or something extreme like that.