The bike business

cleo1943

Member
I am 77 years old, and until recently my experiences with local bike shops has been favorable. In fact, the local shop in Lakeport, Ca., treated me wonderfully and I appreciated them being there for me. The last six years I have lived in Scottsdale, AZ, and my last two experiences were brutal. Whether the decline in ethics that I have seen is due to the influence and impersonality of a large city or reflect the ethics of the society in general, I don't know. The last one was a doozy. I bought an Aventon Level from a dealer so that I would have recourse if a problem arose. And, a problem did arise. The shocks did not function. I borrowed an SUV and being only 140 pounds and old, it was a struggle loading it in the vehicle to drive the five miles to the shop. I left it there and they contacted me in a few days to tell me it was fixed and that the problem was that the stanchions needed to be lubed. I picked it up. The shocks worked, but only one time! It was not easy to get back there. But, I finally brought it back. The LBS claimed that there was nothing wrong with the shocks. Months went by, and I had forgotten about the problem until I rode my other bike, a Rad City that a neighbor had given me, and realized the ride was more comfortable on the Rad City because the shocks worked. I felt kind of beaten down. I just wanted a bike with shocks, which I had paid for. I emailed Aventon and apprised them of the situation. That was about a month ago and I still have not heard back from them. They make a great bike, but I guess they are so rich in sales that customer service is not an issue for them. Anyhow, I decided to dispute the charges on my debit card, which meant that I would, if I made my case, I would return their bike and get my money back. Under B of A protocol, you must inform the merchant. I called the LBS and as soon as I said, "dispute," he said, "Bring it in,. We will replace the shocks." Then he mumbled something about how things like this make small businesses go broke. WTH! This shop, by the way, does a booming business and has opened at least one other location. Anyhow, when they took it apart, they claim it was dry! Not a drop of oil! And, they said that now the shocks were functioning normally. I have to see it to believe it. I contracted the covid, so it will be ten days before I can pick it up. If what they told me is true, they put me through hell for nothing. If I get there and find out that they are lying to me again, I will just leave the bike there and dispute the charges. They could have been heroes and I would have sung their praises. I play pickleball daily and so I have dozens of friends, many of whom have asked me about my electric bike. I am not really enthusiastic about recommending that shop, which is in the next town over. How corrupting is money! How short sighted they were in alienating me! How do they live with no moral code?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
A short ride, prior to loading it up to bring it home, may be worth your time.

Just a note though, if the tires are inflated to max pressure, rather than something more suitable to your weight, that front end may feel brutal compared to the 'City.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
It seems to me; from reviewing many complaints on this site throughout the years, that Ebike brands with brick and mortar dealers want their customers to deal directly with the bike shop and not them. So aside from blowing off steam on your end, you were basically wasting your time. But a reply back to you, from Aventon; advising you to work with the dealer, would have been the courteous thing to do.

Your dealership service experience does not bode well for the future, after your 1 year warranty is up on your bike. And to be honest, an 1800 dollar ebike like the Aventon is built with that bottom dollar price point in mind. Great for their profit margins, not so good for you when something else lets go, post warranty. But don't feel too, too bad. Over at the Riese and Muller forums, those folks are experiencing similar issues with their own bikes.

I see AZ has alot of REI stores. Though their ebike lineup is a bit more expensive with that Aventon, something tells me their service departments would not be passing back a suspension fork with unfixed issues to their customer.
 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
I am very sorry to hear of your experience. Being ten years younger than you, I can already appreciate the ever-increasing challenge of hoisting a 50+ lb ebike around. To avoid unnecessary 1 hour, 20 minute trips to my Trek dealer, I have equipped myself with a good Park stand and the tools needed for basic maintenance and repair of consumables (and I “appreciate” the weight when I load the bike into the stand).

I think Trek has one of the better reputations for customer support, yet I have had hit and miss service from the dealer. When it’s good it’s very good, and I’m sorry to say that when it’s not (it’s a family business) it’s the primary owner I have dealt with. I have been clear in expressing my opinion on this to them, and an issue was rectified. But it does seem that good service is something you just can’t take for granted… likely more precarious at the lower end of the price scale but as Mike notes above, buying an R&M doesn’t guarantee a 100% positive experience either. Good luck with your bike!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I am 77 years old, and until recently my experiences with local bike shops has been favorable. In fact, the local shop in Lakeport, Ca., treated me wonderfully and I appreciated them being there for me. The last six years I have lived in Scottsdale, AZ, and my last two experiences were brutal. Whether the decline in ethics that I have seen is due to the influence and impersonality of a large city or reflect the ethics of the society in general, I don't know. The last one was a doozy. I bought an Aventon Level from a dealer so that I would have recourse if a problem arose. And, a problem did arise. The shocks did not function. I borrowed an SUV and being only 140 pounds and old, it was a struggle loading it in the vehicle to drive the five miles to the shop. I left it there and they contacted me in a few days to tell me it was fixed and that the problem was that the stanchions needed to be lubed. I picked it up. The shocks worked, but only one time! It was not easy to get back there. But, I finally brought it back. The LBS claimed that there was nothing wrong with the shocks. Months went by, and I had forgotten about the problem until I rode my other bike, a Rad City that a neighbor had given me, and realized the ride was more comfortable on the Rad City because the shocks worked. I felt kind of beaten down. I just wanted a bike with shocks, which I had paid for. I emailed Aventon and apprised them of the situation. That was about a month ago and I still have not heard back from them. They make a great bike, but I guess they are so rich in sales that customer service is not an issue for them. Anyhow, I decided to dispute the charges on my debit card, which meant that I would, if I made my case, I would return their bike and get my money back. Under B of A protocol, you must inform the merchant. I called the LBS and as soon as I said, "dispute," he said, "Bring it in,. We will replace the shocks." Then he mumbled something about how things like this make small businesses go broke. WTH! This shop, by the way, does a booming business and has opened at least one other location. Anyhow, when they took it apart, they claim it was dry! Not a drop of oil! And, they said that now the shocks were functioning normally. I have to see it to believe it. I contracted the covid, so it will be ten days before I can pick it up. If what they told me is true, they put me through hell for nothing. If I get there and find out that they are lying to me again, I will just leave the bike there and dispute the charges. They could have been heroes and I would have sung their praises. I play pickleball daily and so I have dozens of friends, many of whom have asked me about my electric bike. I am not really enthusiastic about recommending that shop, which is in the next town over. How corrupting is money! How short sighted they were in alienating me! How do they live with no moral code?
I'm curious. Have you ever run a small business? How can you evaluate the current cash flow and success for this local shop? A lot of riders think that all prices of eBikes have equal components and it should come free of defects. A sub $2,000 eBike has a lot of crappy components on them, and the forks are right at the top for poor performance. A really good fork with air suspension would cost $600+. That's 1/3 of what you paid for at the entire bicycle. When you walk into a bicycle shop, you are not walking into a Lexus dealer. You won't get the same service. Nothing is normal for business now.