After a visit to a bike shop this afternoon, I struck up the idea of reviewing bike shops in Albuquerque, and like a restaurant critic provide insightful comment on the quality of service and knowledge of bike shop employees and mechanics.
This should be fun as I've been to most of the bike shops in the area and have had some very interesting experiences from excellent service to poor service.
The first bike shop review:
Performance Bike Shop
1432 Mercantile Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
The first thing I noticed about Performance Bike Shop is the very competitive prices for gear, parts, and bikes. The second thing would have to be the amount of bicycle parts, tools, gear, clothing and bikes this place has. But, the best part of Performance Bike Shop is the set price for repairs, hourly repair fees included. Bike shop staff, while limited in numbers, are generally helpful. But, if you're in a rush and the place is busy, prepare to wait. As for getting fitted to a bike, that service is pretty much standard: "You look to be a large frame. Mount the bike. Do you have some room from your crotch to the top tube. Good." Before you can take a spin on one of their bikes you have to sign a form releasing Performance Bike Shop from any liability and also leave a credit card and your driver's license. And upon buying a bike, you also are read a standard "you have been informed of the hazards of riding a bike and that a helmet should always be worn." statement, and then you sign another form that releases Performance Bike Shop from any liabilities. Understandable, but it feels as if you're breaking up with your significant other, or signing a prenuptial agreement. The upside is that you get free tune-ups for the life of your bike. Which isn't too shabby. And their bike shop snobbiness is about a 3 and 1/2 on a scale of 10 if you come back at least three times buying gear and parts, or drop a bike off for repairs. However, if you are a first time customer, expect to be ignored like I was; just be persistent and you'll see the chill warm up a bit. On a scale of 10, 1 being the the lowest quality of service and 10 the best quality of service... I give Performance Bike shop a 7 (cheap prices added a point).