Why should I buy my bike at The Bicycle Wheel?
Value. Our philosophy at The Bicycle Wheel is to offer you the best brands at the best price. While it's never smart to pay too much for a bike or product, it's equally unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money once; when you pay too little, you lose a lot of money over time.
We cater to beginning cyclists as well as experienced riders and are experts at matching up the type of riding you will be doing with the best bike for your particular needs and budget. Our staff will help you choose the bike that is right for you and assist you in sizing it up to your particular riding style. What's more, our bikes are all professionally assembled so you can be sure your new bike is ready to ride when you leave with it.
Service. At our shop, you won't get the attitude you sometimes find at other bike shops. Our goal is to effectively answer your questions and to educate you on what it is you are considering purchasing. Along those lines, we pride ourselves on being women-friendly, family-friendly and beginner friendly. Haven't ridden a bike in years? No problem. We'll test ride with you if you'd like us to. We've even taught some adult customers how to ride a bike for the first time.
The point is, you know you can feel comfortable asking questions and learning about cycling without the annoyance of someone talking down to you.
after the Sale . We stand behind every product we carry. In addition to the manufacturer's warranty, every new bike we sell
comes with lifetime free adjustments on cables and bearing surfaces. What's more, we do our very best to take care of you while you wait.
Just stopping in to have a minor adjustment? No need to leave it with us for three weeks like at some other shops. If we can't do it for you on the spot, we'll usually have it ready later that same day.
Why should I take my bike to The Bicycle Wheel for repairs?
A. Quality. The most important reason to choose The Bicycle Wheel is the quality of the service you will receive from us. At our shop, we use only the finest tools from Snap-on and Park Tool to assemble and work on bikes. Furthermore, we test ride every bike we work on to be sure that we have fixed what we set out to fix.
. Scott Jones, owner of The Bicycle Wheel, brings a wealth of experience to the job. Scott has over 15 years of bicycle industry experience having worked as a mechanic, service manager and store manager over the years. Scott and his staff work on all makes and models of bikes.
In fact, we have one of the largest, best equipped shops in the Atlanta area. Our investment in our tools and training ensure that there are few things that can go wrong with your bike that we can't fix. Whether it's a tricycle or a titanium racing machine, we're equipped to do it all.
With so many levels of service, we have structured our repairs so you pay for only what you need. Our shop is completely visible to you, our customer, so you will know exactly what parts and components are being used on your bike. We strive to offer the best service at the best price.
For your peace of mind, we back all of our work with a 30-Day Guarantee. We are confident that once you try us, you'll use us again. Our goal is your satisfaction. We're not happy until you're happy!
Does The Bicycle Wheel sell used bikes or do trade ins?
Yes and yes. We routinely trade in bikes that were purchased at our store. These bikes are tuned up, cleaned and in excellent mechanical condition when they go on our floor to be sold. We even offer free adjustments for 90 days after you purchase a used bike from us. You always know what you are getting with our used bike program and have our assurance you won't have problems down the road.
We also selectively trade in bikes not originally purchased from The Bicycle Wheel. For many of our customers, this takes the hassle out of dealing with selling it themselves. Keep in mind that we only deal with bicycles originally purchased from a bike shop and we never sell used bikes that aren't in excellent condition. We do not trade in mass market and sporting goods store bikes. Mass market and sporting good store bikes are not really a good value when new, so beware of them if they are used.
I have an old bike that's been sitting in my garage for a few years. What do I need to do to get it up and running again? Is it even worth fixing?
A. If the bike you have is a bike shop quality bike it is usually worth fixing. Most of the time the bike simply needs a tune up and a cleaning. When you bring your bike in, budget about 10-15 minutes for us to check the bike in and fill out a ticket. We will go through the bike with you and if you need any additional parts, we let you know up front what they are and the cost.
Typically, if a bike has been sitting for several years we look for wear and dry rot on anything that is rubber - tires, tubes, rim strips and brake pads. We also check your chain for wear, since chains wear out over time and can cause expensive damage to the drive train if they are not changed out regularly.
Our policy is to be as thorough as possible and to give you a complete estimate when you leave. We never go over the estimate without calling you first.
The typical turnaround time for a tune-up is 1 to 5 days depending on our repair volume.
How often should I get a tune-up?
A. Usually, once a year is adequate for most bikes. Mountain bikes or commuter bikes that are ridden in harsh conditions should be tuned up twice a year. Bikes that have been in storage or not in use for an extended period of time would also benefit from a tune-up.
Are there some basic maintenance procedures that I can do myself?
A. There are some basic things that you can do to keep your bike in shape year-round. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure is one thing that will help prevent flats and make your bike easier to ride.
We are always willing to share what we know, so feel free to ask us if there is something you are unsure of or something you would like to learn to do yourself. We also sell bicycle maintenance books that teach simple mechanic skills in an easy-to-follow format and we periodically teach bike maintenance clinics based on The Park Tool School? format. Like most things, once you master the basics, it is easier to learn the hard stuff.
I bought a bike on-line and it came delivered partially assembled. Do you guys assemble bikes that are not purchased from your store?
A. Yes. We do this quite frequently, in fact. We assemble any brand of bike not purchased from us for $79.99. This is a complete assembly and includes a one-time readjustment of the brake and shifter cables after they have broken in and stretched.
When you drop your bike off for assembly, we will take it out of the box and be sure that there are no missing parts and that there is no damage to the bike. If you need additional parts, we let you know up front what they are and the cost. Please allow 10 minutes or so for us to check the bike in and fill out a ticket.
The typical turnaround time for an assembly of this nature is 1 to 3 days depending on our repair volume.
Is The Bicycle Wheel a franchise?
A. No. We are a locally owned and operated shop and not part of a chain or a franchise system. In fact, the business started out of Scott's garage in the fall of 2002 as a mobile bicycle repair business. Many of our customers think we are a franchise because we don't look like the typical bike shop found around Atlanta and the country for that matter.
We have a well thought out look, logo, website, and nice looking display materials. We're also detail oriented and pay close attention to every aspect of our image. That shows in the way our shop looks and in the way we treat our customers.
One problem with many chain stores, concept stores and franchises is poor inventory and product representation. When you shop at The Bicycle Wheel, you don't have to drive all over town to get what you need. It's all under one roof.
Another problem with many chains is that as their business organization gets larger, the focus becomes geared toward opening more stores and squeezing out as much profit as possible. You pay a penalty in the way of higher prices and inconsistent service.
At The Bicycle Wheel, you'll get consistently great service and no pressure to buy. Sure, we'd love to sell you a bike, but we'll gladly spend time with you and answer your questions even if you are just looking. That's what we're here for.
You see, our "concept" is to create loyal customers through consistently great service and a fun atmosphere.
So, sorry, franchises are not available. And never will be.
Why don't you open on Sunday?
A. We believe that everyone needs a day to worship, to spend time with family, or to just relax. For this reason, we will never open on Sunday. We try to offer convenient hours for our customers, but we also realize that our team needs time to have a life outside of bikes. Because of this balance we believe our team is better rested, both physically and mentally, and better able to offer you outstanding service.
What's the difference between bikes that you sell and those at the big box discounters? They look the same.
A. Big box stores sell plenty of bikes for less money than local bike shops. To the untrained eye, they look like the same thing you'd find in a bike shop. That's where the similarities end.
Mass market bikes are cheaper because they come in only one size (yes, bikes are supposed to fit you - it makes them more comfortable to ride), use cheap parts that are heavy and don't hold an adjustment very long. Most importantly, they are not assembled using the proper tools nor or they assembled by trained mechanics.
What many folks don't realize is that bicycles come to retailers unassembled and need to be put together properly. Assembling bikes is not rocket science, but like any profession it requires a core level of knowledge to be competent.
The point is you get what you pay for when it comes to most products. With bikes that is magnified. Cheap bikes are not bargains - they're unsafe money pits.
We routinely see $80 bikes that need $100 or more of service. What most folks don't realize until it's too late is that cheap bikes require more time to work on than a bike shop quality bike due to sloppy tolerances and poor quality control and many times will cost more to repair than what the bike sold for new. Usually, they still don't run great after being repaired because the components used have poor machining and are inferior to begin with.
Trust us - that full suspension mountain bike is really not the sweet deal you're being led to believe. There's a reason it's only 80 bucks.
So go to the super cheap mega mart for cases of toilet paper and 10-lb tubs of mayonnaise, but leave the bicycle stuff to the pros. You'll save a lot more money in the long run.
How do I get my child to ride a bike without training wheels?
A. Here's a quick way to do it in 5 easy steps:
1. Choose a safe relatively flat area that is free of obstacles. Of course, pick a spot where street traffic isn't a concern.
2. Lower your child's bike seat so that they can comfortably put their feet flat on the ground.
3. With a properly fitted bicycle helmet, have your child sit on the bike with their hands on the handlebar.
4. Have your child "walk" with the bike while still sitting on the seat. They can either go one leg at a time or use a "frog type" of push, where both feet push together (at the same time).
5. As the bike goes forward, encourage your child to coast a little bit by picking their feet up from the ground. If they feel like they are going to fall, they can quickly put their feet down and avoid injuring themselves. Once they feel comfortable doing this, try repeating on a slight downgrade.
We've taught many children and even a few adults how to ride using this method. Since the rider can quickly put their foot down if they feel that they are going to fall, they are firmly in control of the learning process, unlike the "old school" method of mom or dad running alongside the new rider with their hand on the seat and then letting go.
Do you ever run any specials or have sales?
A. Rarely. We decided a long time ago not to try to be all things to all people. Because of that we don't deal with high end exotic bikes - the kind that most bike shops typically have sales on - and instead focus on the everyday rider and their needs.
Occasionally, we'll order something that sits on our floor too long and we'll mark it down a few bucks, but mainly we stick with bikes and accessories that our customers want at a price that allows us to pay our employees a good wage and keep our doors open.
Shop around; you'll find that our prices are reasonable. Every now and then we'll get beat on price. But we'll never get beat on service.
I used to love riding my bike when I was a kid, but when I ride my bike now it's very uncomfortable. Why are bikes so uncomfortable to ride?
A. Most of the time when a customer tells us their bike is uncomfortable to ride, it is due to one reason: the bike is not fitted properly to the person. Usually the culprit is the seat - either the seat is too high, too low, angled too far up or down, situated too far forward or back, or just doesn't fit their anatomy. Another cause is that the handlebars are not adjusted properly, which may make you lean too far forward on your seat.
If your bike is uncomfortable for any reason, we can solve your problem. We help by properly fitting you to your bike and making recommendations on how to get the most comfort from it. Whether you are competing or just riding with the kids around the neighborhood, your bike needs to be comfortable.
I see bikes that come with 24 speeds or more- why do I need all those gears?
A. Believe it or not, those gears are there to make it easier to ride your bike. The best way to understand all those gears is to make a simple comparison between a bike and a car. Assume you had a car with only one gear. That car may be just fine at a certain speed, but starting from a stoplight or going up a steep incline would be an arduous task that would eventually wear down the engine. That's why cars have five or six gears. It causes less wear and tear on the engine.
Now, let's look at a bike. Single-speed bikes that have only one gear are much more difficult to ride than bikes with multiple speeds. They may be fine if you are riding at a constant speed along a road that is flat. But in reality, that's not what happens. Terrain changes, your speed changes and the wind changes direction.
The more gears you have to choose from, the easier and more enjoyable it is to ride and, more importantly, the less wear and tear on the "engine"...your legs. By learning to use all of the gears on your bike and by keeping up the "RPM's" (revolutions per minute), your legs will be fresher and you'll feel more comfortable on your bike.
How do I use the gears? What's the best way to shift my gears when I am riding?
A. This is a question we get a lot. There is no right or wrong gear to be in when riding. The most important thing is to keep your legs spinning. You'll be more comfortable and more efficient if you are spinning your legs at approximately 75-80 RPM's. This may sound fast, but it is actually very easy to maintain.
Secondly, bikes do not shift like cars do. Bikes don't have a "first" gear or a "second" gear. The gears are there so that you have a variety to choose from as you ride over various terrains and through various conditions.
So, when do you shift? When your legs feel tired and when you are pedaling too slowly. A lot of times you see folks riding a bike in the highest gear they have. They are slowly pedaling...and gradually wearing down their legs. The key is to keep your pace steady and to choose a gear that allows you to comfortably maintain that pace.
I'm just riding around the neighborhood and not racing or anything. Do I need a helmet when I ride?
A. Absolutely! One of the common misconceptions is that you have to be going fast to injure yourself on a bike. This couldn't be further from the truth. Serious head injuries can happen just riding down your driveway. It is better to be safe than sorry.
And you don't have to have an expensive helmet to protect your head. We carry affordable helmets that protect your head just as well as expensive ones. The expensive ones usually have the added features of more ventilation, lighter weight and snazzier looks, but they are usually made of the same basic materials.
We are experts at helmets and helmet fit and would be glad to help you select a model that is right for the way your ride. Once you select your helmet, we can also help fit it properly to you so that it offers you maximum protection in the event of an accident.
Where are there places to ride around Atlanta?
A. For road riding, check out www.southeasterncycling.org.
For mountain biking, check out www.sorba.org.