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Bike shops get skewered by Engadget blogger (and of course, I respond)

You can read the full content here, but I’ll post an excerpt to give you an idea of what Joshua Fruhlinger, an influential blogger at Engadget (a website for people who like high-tech toys), thinks of his local bike shops-

This year, I was in the market for a new mountain bike. My first move, of course, was to look online where I found a multitude of great deals, free shipping and, of course, no tax. I then checked online communities like mtbr.com where I was guilted into checking my local bike shop. For not much more money, it was argued, I’d establish a relationship with a local dealer who would also service my bike and hook me up with equipment and accessories over the life of the bike.

This sounded nice. I like relationships. So I set out to visit two of the most reputable bike shops in the area, money at the ready, in the dead of Black Friday.

The first shop was set up for the big day with a clearance tent out front full of last year’s shoes and pedals. I sauntered past into the showroom and over to the mountain bikes. I stood, staring, waiting for help from one of the three unoccupied salespeople. After 10 minutes, not one approached me. Finally, I walked up to the counter to ask a young, Bieber-esque dude if I could get some help. Without leaving the comfort of the counter, he asked, “What are you looking at?”

“Well, I’m not sure, but I wanted to check out the Specialized and Yetis you have.”

“What’s your budget?”

“I’m still figuring that out.”

He was still behind the counter. I told him I’d come back when he wasn’t so busy.

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