When choosing a bike shop for a new bike, accessories or servicing the options can be overwhelming, especially in cycling friendly Kits.
I had been a used bike purchaser my whole life (well, except for the shiny pink and white ride with streamers that my dad got me when I was 6) until this summer when I decided to upgrade my used basic commuter for a new bike.
I live near 4th so laziness dictated I would first browse the many options on the Burrard to Maple strip. I soon after realized there is a lot of snooty, scenester salespeople who just stare you up and down and don’t offer too much in the way of help unless you are looking for a $3000+ road bike. (Yup – I’m talking to you Dizzy. Come on – you’re not that hard core, you sell cruisers).
I could go on about the MANY of other stores I went to that were less than helpful, but I’d rather share some suggestions about the good guys. My recommendations: 1) Reckless at 1810 Fir Street or 2)West Point Cycles at 3771 West 10th Ave. Both make you feel super welcome less than 30 seconds of stepping in the door and are more knowledgeable about bikes than I thought someone could be. Prices are fair and they offer service for the first year you own the bike.
I ended up going with Reckless for my bike purchase as they carried the Brodie brand and model I decided was right for me. They just so happen to also be celebrating their anniversary and are offering incredible discounts and free accessories when you purchase a new bike. Paul and Larry are the guys to talk to, and both went above and beyond for me! Love Paul’s philosophy of why he chose to work at a bike store – “I just want to get a few more people out of their cars and on bikes.” Perhaps the other bike shops should be reminded of this.
(Note – Just in case you were wondering, no I did not get a bike discount – I just love to share about good deals and great customer service!)
Last modified: June 10, 2011
Oh yeah, West Point and Reckless are my favorites too. You can usually tell within the first 20 seconds through the door what the experience is going to be.
Some of the shops need to give their heads a shake and realize that bike stores are like coffee shops, news travels fast and opinions die hard.
Westside is also great. Not really Kits, per se, but not far (they’re on Broadway, about halfway between Cambie and Main):
My wife and I got bikes last year (our aim was to get bikes for under $800 each which we did successfully), mine was from Caps in Richmond and the wife’s from West Point on Arbutus. We had very good experiences at both stores, the sales people were very knowledgeable and friendly, but for your “average” weekend warrior, West Point is probably the better bet.
I won’t even go into places like Dizzy or Simon’s – they seem like the Holt Renfrew of bikes stores.
I love Reckless! I’m a recreational biker and my bike is neither fancy nor expensive but they never make me feel bad about that (as someone in another store tried to do). They are so nice and helpful in there.
I did a couple year stint in Winnipeg with a previous employer, and while there are very few thing (notice the singular) that I would want to bring here from there…the one thing would be a bike store.
Cycling stores in other parts of the country don’t take it for granted that there is a population that will always support the shop and actually care about their customers.
I have bought two bikes here, and neither were thrilling experiences, so my new bikes all ship from Winnipeg – go figure.
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