Is it a spiritual experience choosing your first bike? Does your bike choose you? Are you just being sold to by a fast talking sales person? Is it a decision of price, affordability and getting the cheapest? Is it an internet purchase after doing your research? Is it a quality decision? Or a friends recommendation?
There are so many ways to decide and every story is different. But I chose mine with the help of a sales staff (notice the plural) who helped me interpret price, quality and what I was thinking, and to me that was what was important.
I had never bought a bike before as my parents had always bought the few bikes that I had owned, but I did know how to buy something methodically so as usual I did.
When I started looking I had a reasonable amount of money to spend on a starter bike so I had already ruled out buying the bike online, from a discount store or a department store.
I wanted to get knowledge. I wanted interaction. I wanted to work out exactly what I needed based on what I wanted to do, my experience and my physical fitness. I wanted service! And thankfully, I found a business that did just that.
Near my home, there are a number of bike shops. I had been to 3. A very small one, a larger one that also had an online business and a concept store.
I disregarded the small one early. I walked in, had a look around and nothing caught my eye.
The second one was better at first, had some nice bikes but seriously, the people were weird and as I went back a number of times to buy smaller items, I really felt they didn’t give a hoot about me as a customer and treated me poorly. It helped me re-affirm that in sales, you can’t ignore any customer because it could be bigger sale walking out the door.
This shop became the shop I bought on price only. There was no way I was going to buy a bike from them and after speaking with other people, I wasn’t alone. My rule now is if I need something they have, get in there, pay and get out as fast as I can.
The third shop was totally different. It was a Specialized concept store and from my first visit, I was sold. I wanted one.
Every sales person or workshop treated me with respect, a smile and conversation. They loved their work and they knew their bikes. They were consistent and easy to deal with.
They listened to my needs, walked me through some options, gave me some test rides and helped me refine the decision down to one. And I was happy.
If you are in Sydney, I highly recommend Cyclery Northside in Chatswood. Everybody in there knows their stuff and you don’t just buy a bike, you get service and support because they want you to come back. And for me, that is what made the difference on purchase day and every time since. So, a special mention to Kurt, Nathan, Mike, Pete, Kev and the team.
So was it spiritual decision? No. But I have formed a relationship with my bike since then.
Was I sold too? Obviously yes but it was based on facts, no BS, so I am happy.
Was it price or quality based? Quality of course. I chose Specialized and couldn’t be happier.
And about Specialized – that’s another story. I have bought into the brand.