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Avoid the Bike Shop Swindle

By Sarah Bonner
Seatbelt-WalletWhile bike shops may share your passion for cycling, sometimes they seem more interested in your wallet than your ride. Especially if you’re a beginner, you might be easily convinced to buy products you don’t need. Being an informed, regular customer will help you get the best from your bike shop.

  • Do Your Homework: Thanks to the Internet, you can research products before you buy. You can determine what products will suit your needs and possible price points. Don’t be afraid to tell your local shop if certain products are much cheaper online. They just might adjust their price.
  • Ask Questions: If the bike shop makes suggestions on what product to buy, ask for their reasoning. If they are knowledgeable about the product, and you have done your homework, you should be able to make an informed decision. If they can’t tell you why to buy a certain product, they might just be selling you the most expensive version or, worse, the wrong product. Always ask if you can return the product if you are not satisfied with it.
  • Necessity: There are certain products that are necessary and there are certain products that are luxury items: learn to know the difference. Don’t get sucked into a good sales pitch for the most expensive item when the bottom of the range is all you need. Read here about where to spend and where to save.
  • Service Fees: Be willing to pay for good service but ensure you are happy with their work. Ride your bike immediately after it is returned to you and take it back if the bike shop hasn’t fixed what they claimed or something isn’t quite right. They should never charge you for the follow-up fix.
  • Be a Good Customer: If you are a returning customer, especially for service, over time the bike shop is more likely to give you reasonable service rates, good advice, and maybe even the occasional discount.

Sarah Bonner


Sarah Bonner the author of a new e-article, The Clean Girl’s Guide to Cycling: How to Clean Everything from Bar Tape to Sports Bras, has lived and cycled in Canada, Africa, and Europe. Currently, she splits her time between the Netherlands and South Africa where she trains and competes at an amateur level. With a Masters in English and a Diploma in Sports Management, Sarah combines her love of writing and passion cycling to share honest advice and inspiring stories. Follow her at sarahkimbonner.wordpress.com

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