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01/07/11
English (US)  

The problems associated with consumer reviews:

Consumers have developed a false sense of security when it comes to relying on star ratings. As a retailer, I take the time to review comments made on the internet for products that I sell. Down Cycles is confident in every item we sell. If an item we sell is rated poorly, I research the issue. We certainly do not want unhappy customers. So far, I’ve been able to easily debunk every poor online rating.

For example, a customer called interested in bikes that sell for under $400.00. I recommended one in particular that I like that fit the bill. We have been selling this particular model successfully for years. I know that for the money, the bike I recommended would be hard to beat and it was the perfect choice for this person’s style of riding. This customer took it upon herself to Google the bike and found some negative reviews! This scenario plays out on a daily basis. This time the customer alerted me of the poor reviews. Most of the time, I’m sure, the customer reads the poor reviews, considers our shop one that doesn’t care or lacks knowledge of bikes and never calls us back.

I understand that customers take precautions and research purchases. This is fine and dandy and I recommend everyone continue to do so. It’s simple to pull up information on virtually anything these days. I read views myself before diving in with a purchase. Please be smart and weed through the nonsense in these reviews. Understand that you are not reading reviews submitted by experts!
This customer that confronted about the poor reviews on a bike that we love to sell was willing to send me the links. This is what I found and always seem to find with customer reviews:

Six reviews of the bike were found, three of which were negative. The consequence of a half positive half negative review set the rating of this bike at 2.5 stars. Not an attractive item to consider buying! I could see why this customer doubted my recommendation!

To be frank, I was shocked and dismayed. How could a bike that we find perfectly sound and incredible bargain be such a lemon? After all, I got in this business not to rob or upset customers, but to offer them a quality product that they will enjoy for many years. I prefer that customers actually ride their new bike, not use it as a clothes hanger.

Consumers have a tendency to never blame themselves for a poor decision. The first negative review was from a rider who obviously purchased the wrong bike for his style of riding. He complained that the wheels bent the first week and he constantly had problems with flat tires. Surprisingly, he admitted that he rides hard and jumps. He felt as though a $350 was a lot to spend for a bicycle and it should to hold up to his punishment. One of two things went wrong with his experience. Either the shop he bought from didn’t ask the proper questions before selling him the bike or this customer didn’t bother to explain his style of riding to the shop before buying. I got the vibe that the parent of an aggressive child who they bought the bike for was writing this review. My conclusion to the first negative review: “Busted” as they say on Myth Busters. This review should be tossed out. The customer bought the wrong bike and should have saved up for a bike designed for jumping. Star rating now at three, still ugly.

Next negative: This person was really “***” angry. They just can’t get comfortable on the bike. The fit is all wrong. It turns out they are 5’9” tall and bought a 15” size bicycle. The rider is 5’9” tall! They bought the wrong size bike! How dare they give the bike a negative review? A size 15” fits riders 5’ tall! The specifics were left out, but I assumed they bought online and didn’t consult a professional. This hell bent moron tried installing a longer/lay back seat post and longer stem to compensating for buying too small a bike. They complained about flipping over the bars on every ride and issues with toe overlap. Conclusion: “Busted”… There is nothing wrong with the bike itself. There is something wrong with the consumer. Star rating now up to 4 stars and looking pretty good!

Last negative rating: The consumer has listed a 2002 year bike along with the rating for a 2009! Not only that; the model is not even the same! This review should be omitted entirely! Conclusion: “Busted” Star rating for the bike now at 5 stars or 5 flaming chili peppers or 5 whatever’s.

People, don’t be sheep! Read these reviews and be smart! You were slick enough to do your research, at least do it right. Learn to trust the experts in the shops. We did not open a bicycle shop to steal your money and sell you junk! Most shops are sincere (probably 99% of them) and prefer you enjoy cycling. You should be able to tell in 10 seconds whether you’re talking to a shop that cares or not. Come in and visit us, explain to us your style of riding, and ball park price range that you’re able to spend. I know it’s hard to believe with all the scams and sensationalism on TV, but we will sell you a quality product that is sure to last you many years and bring you enjoyment. Buying the proper bike at a shop that cares could change your life for the better!

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01/01/11
English (US)  

“I racked my bike and some POS stole my seat. Do you have a seat in stock that fits my bike?”
For some reason, customers assume that seat post size is standard. Low and behold their disbelief when I tell them that posts begin at size 25.4mm and go all the way up to 31.6mm in increments of a tenth of a millimeter!

Seat post clamps are not as much a headache. Make sure your clamp didn’t get nabbed as well. Typically one of four size clamps fit your bike: 28/30/32 or 34mm. You may have an odd ball size if your bike is 50 years old or was purchased at a department store.

You must bring your bike into the shop in order to buy a new seat post. Down Cycles measures the frame with a micrometer measuring tool. This measurement is a ball park figure. The frame has been clamped down on the post and the true inner diameter may differ from the clamp area. We trial fit new posts in the shop to determine the proper fit. For instance, a measurement at the clamp area may read 27.0mm on the micrometer. We then attempt to install a 27.0mm post in the frame, but it can be a sloppy fit. Then we fit a 27.2mm post and whamo, perfect fit. The 27.0mm post would not perform properly on a bike designed for a 27.2mm, no matter how crazy tight you make the seat clamp! You could also ruin or crack the bike frame tightening down the seat clamp onto the wrong size seat post.

Sorry you had your post stolen! Don’t make the ordeal any worse on yourself! Get the bike into the shop to buy a new post otherwise you will drive back and forth multiple times to get it right. Please don’t roll up for a new post without your bike with this much too common statement: “I need a post for my 94 fisher Y bike.” (My guess on that model would be a 31.6mm by the way).

A new alloy post, a decent seat and a bolt on clamp will set you back minimum $60.00. Sometimes we have old seats hanging around we can set you up with that would be OK on a station bike.
Next time you rack your ride, use a bolt on, not QR seat clamp or bring your seat, clamp and post with you after you lock up. It sucks that we have to live this way, but such is life. I’m not sure why thieves would want your grunge old seat. Defend yourself against stank seat sniffing weird-o’s for crying out loud. It’s a long ride home without a saddle!

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