Most bike shops are owned by people who have a passion for biking and they hire sales people and mechanics that share that same passion. That’s the kind of place that be a big help to you in terms of helpful cycling advice and tips, learning simple maintenance and repair work you can do yourself, advice on bike and accessory purchases and of course help for the big repair jobs that are done with quality and quickly.
The Look and Appearance of the Shop
When you walk into a new shop take note of how everything is laid out. Is the shop cluttered or is it neat and organized? Is it clean and tidy or dusty and unkempt? Is it well lit or dark and dingy? If the shop is clean and orderly, brightly lit and well stocked with merchandise, this is usually this is a good sign. Do they seem to have a wide selection of bikes for all types of riders? Does it look like a family oriented store or is it more oriented toward the racer. Depending on what you are looking for, this will be important.
Their Approach to Customer Service
As soon as you walk in the store you should get an overall feel of their customer service. Were you greeted? Are there sales people visible walking about the store and interacting with customers? How long did it take for someone in the store to greet and acknowledge you? A store that cares about its customers and offers good customer service is very important and the best bike shops know this.
Knowledge of the Staff
Talk to employees, more than one if possible. Are they friendly and helpful? Most important do they seem knowledgeable and passionate about what they do? Do they ask you good questions to determine how best to satisfy your cycling needs? Stay away from the ones that try to sell you something you are not interested in. Ask about their mechanics, what training they have had and their level of experience. Find out how many mechanics they have on staff. It can also be helpful to know how long they have been in business.
Hours of Operation
What are their hours of operation? Are they open early and late so it accommodates your working schedule? Are they a seasonal shop and closed during the winter? The best shops stay open year round. The winter is the best time to have maintenance and upgrades done on your bike.
Learn How Fast Can They Do Repairs
Ask how quickly they can accomplish your repair or maintenance needs? Will they give a date and time for completion? Can you make an appointment? The last think you need is a bike shop that takes forever to get your bike repair work done and doesn’t deliver when they say they do.
A good bike shop can be very important in a biker’s life. Take the time to research and find one that will take care of you and will meet your individual needs.