Bikes and Bike Shops

Sat Oct 13th, 2001 05:56:38 PM EST

Diary Entry 52
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I am pissed at bikes and bike shops right now.

Back at Michigan State, I bought a cheap $80 Huffy bike. It worked fine for three years, and then I sold it to my sister, and as far as I know it still works just great.

Here in Palo Alto, Calif., I wasn't able to find anyplace selling $80 bikes (there probably are, just not where I could find 'em), so I bought a $200 Raleigh. I have no idea why this bike is worth more than twice as much as a Huffy. It isn't noticeably lighter, it doesn't perform noticeably better, it isn't obviously better quality, and it's only a 7-speed where my Huffy was a 15-speed. In fact, it's only noticeably more expensive.

It worked mostly okay until yesterday, when I came out of a building and the rear tire was flat. So I walked it home. Today I walked it back to the bike shop where I bought it. They charged me $8.24 to fix it. This upsets me: I paid them for the tires once already. If I bought car tires at a dealer then they'd normally fix them free, so why should I have to pay if it's a bike?

While I was biking home I noticed that they hadn't actually inflated the rear tire very much. So in the afternoon I went to a different bike shop to buy a pump and a pressure gauge, because I needed one anyway. I picked out a pump that was supposed to mount to the bike frame, pointed at my bike, and asked the clerk, "Will this attach to my bike, then?" He said yes, there was a mounting kit in the package. So I bought the pump, the gauge, and a helmet too.

Still in the bike shop, I pumped up the back tire and tried out the pressure gauge, noticing that the first place had failed to replace the valve cover. However, the pressure gage didn't actually work on the rear tire. Apparently the valve's busted. Must have been that way to start or the first place broke it.

When I got the pump home, I found that, in fact, it won't mount to the frame without extra stuff. I asked them if it'd mount; what, did the guy think I was joking or something?

Goddammit! Why are these places trying to fuck me over? Doesn't anyone try to do a good job anymore? Doesn't anyone know anything about the things they sell? When I pay $30 for a simple bike pump and $200 for a bike roughly equivalent to an $80 bike, why don't I get any goddamn service?

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
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