Send Yours to:
It seems that folks like to complain online anonymously on Yelp or other websites where you can make up an anonymous user profile. Thankfully, Google Reviews and Facebook have given merchants the chance to tell their side of the story. People are more likely to be honest and reasonable when their identity is know. We find these to be anti-community bitch fests. What ever happened to actual community and face to face discussions? Think positive and don' expect to always get your way. Give and take.
Below are some past unsolicited emails we received.
Thanks to Google and Facebook we now have honest reviews and a good rating. Don't trust Yelp with their extortionist practices. Yelp, Yelp and find out the truth about that evil company.
July 2011 email
Hello, I would like to congratulate you on having such an informative cycling related website. I really enjoyed and appreciate the section on internally geared hub overhauls. So much so that I wish your shop was located in Toronto, rather than across than whole continent. In a couple of pictures in the overhaul section I can see someone showing a shop manual with detailed photos of hub parts. What manuals do you use for internally geared hubs and how can I get them, and where? Please keep up the good work, you have the best cycling site on the internet!
July 2011 email
Thanks so much for getting that bike together for me, doing the fitting, and everything else. You guys rock.
The ride home was freakin' awesome. It didn't take long to get used to the bike. It was especially fun going down Avalon and Yancy and then later going up to Capitol Hill on King St. (almost effortless).
Thanks! I think this bike is going to be a lot of fun.
June 2011 email
My name is Christy Jensen. You may or may not remember me but we met at the 2009 Bicycle Music Festival in San Francisco. I had a shaved head and took your job of powering the smoothie stand, so you could spend time with your lovely lady friend. You gave me one of your magnetic business cards which was stuck to my fridge for quite a while till it was lost in a move.
You seem to have come up in conversation the past few months wherever I have been traveling. While completing the professional mechanic course at United Bicycle Insitute, your shop was used as an example of good pricing on repair costs.
Besides all the jumbled words I wrote above, I am e-mailing you because I love what you wrote in a recent letter to the editor of Bicycle Times. I couldn't agree more with your assessment of internally geared hubs. Thank you for writing in and giving your two-cents as a mechanic. People need education from behind the work bench, not a youtube video or some times faulty owners manual.
I also wanted to thank you for being an influence on me becoming a bike mechanic. Although you may not know it, the short time we spent talking and hanging out at the BMF had a tremendous impact on my drive to follow my bicycle mechanic dreams. I am currently working at Wasatch Touring in Salt Lake City, but if I ever head your way I will drop you a resume.
I hope all is well with you in Seattle. Keep up the good work!
Sincerely, Christy Jensen
June 2011 email
Holy crap. I never realized my bike could ride that smoothly, or what a difference an upright riding style makes. Thank you thank you thank you (oh, and Ben is now a super fan of dinging the bell while he rides his lime green seat in style.)
I had great rides with the kids this weekend, and an awesome ride to work today.
Thanks again, Christian P. Sarason
April 2009 email
I dropped off a much neglected Cannondale R600 early March for your Ultimate Tune-up. My receipt shows Mikey to be my handler...
Thank you for his amazing work. My bike was completely resurrected! In fact, I do not recognize the way it rides. I knew I had a good bike, but I now have a GREAT bike. Thank you.
Naomi JM Nguyen
October 2008 email
My name is Shantel Lockett and I came into your store yesterday to buy a bicycle bell and also to look at your handlebar tape. I just wanted to say thank you :). Normally, when I go into bike shops, I run into a lot of bike riding "hipsters" (as I like to call them) on staff that treat me and everyone else like they're too cool for social interaction with someone who knows less than they do about bikes. They guys that helped me on your staff were the sweetest (even though I just wanted a bell) and I felt so comfortable being in your shop. Even though I'm not from West Seattle and Recycled Cycles is definately closer to my place, I'm bringing my bike in to you guys the next time I need any work done or any items bought. Dude, way to be awesome people :)
January 14, 2008 via email
My bike is riding better than ever, thanks for the great work.
October, 22, 2007
Aaron and All:
I wanted to drop a line and say a few words.
I recently moved from Austin, Texas to Seattle, and have felt a little intimidated by my surroundings. When my bike arrived, I thought it might be time to give the puppy a spin again. I did a bit of online research and found your website, and started investigating bike commuting. On a whim, I rode over to your store in West Seattle, and ran into Gregg Sundin.
Mr. Sundin immediately put me at ease, and provided expert help in fitting my helmet and gloves. Additionally, his advice on lights proved to be right. (I'm coming back for a better bike light next paycheck.) He also took the time to mark a good bike route on the free Seattle Bike Map.
I am so grateful for my experience with Gregg and your store. Because of your store's help, I took my first bike ride in a decade on Sunday, and today I'm riding my bike home from the office.
Thanks for the help this weekend at the shop. I am looking forward to getting out and riding with y'all on Thursday. You have a great shop, very rider friendly.
Orion from the Point 83 Forum
Just wanted to let you know that I am thrilled with the 700/28 Ruffy Tuffy tires you recommended. I came into your shop thinking about a carbon fiber fork upgrade to plush-out the ride of my trusted Bridgestone RB1 a little. You suggested that a tire change would make a bigger difference than a fork upgrade, and wow did it ever. It's hard to imagine that simply changing from a 700/26 Specialized Armadillo to the 700/28 Ruffy Tuffy can improve ride comfort so much. And, I doesn't seem like I've sacrificed performance.
Good call Aaron!
John, Recreational roadie seeking comfort
You have the best shop website I have ever seen. It rocks. Nice job. I can't wait to see your shop in person.
Did you know you can see the Crop Circles [Tapeworm Trail in Renton] from space?
Just wanted to thank you again for the work on the Motobecane. We are very lucky in West Seattle to have your shop. The great majority of the bike shops I have been in are nothing more than toy stores with the owners younger brother doing the repair. Your shop is staffed by professionals that take pride in their work and it shows in the finished product. By the way the Motobecane rides GREAT, I love it.
P.S. I read the article about your vending machine in the new Bicycle Magazine, won't be too long before Bicycle magazine does an article on your shop. It's a great shop!
My name is Mike Tremann and I am the manager of a shop in Charleston, SC. Let me start by saying every time I look at your site I am inspired in so many ways. This last time I was on your site, I noticed the American flag with "Ride its Patriotic" on the screen. if possible, could you please let me where you got that, and if it is possible to find stickers and shirts with the same. Thanks for your time and thanks for the inspiration.
Mike Tremann, Manager
The Charleston Bicycle Company
Just wanted to thank you for the tune-up on my Shogun Alpine GT. It's like having a new bike. So I can see now that it was worth the money.
I would like to recognize the great customer service provided by Michael
Doig. One day recently I came in carrying a wheel with a flat tire.
Mike had his pack in hand and was just leaving for the day. You were
busy working on a customer's bike with one or two waiting in line. Mike
sized up the situation, set down his pack, took my wheel and fixed my
tire, offering advise and selling me a new tube and Slime. He followed
through clear to checkout with a smile, friendly demeanor and great
This is just a note of support for the article "Don't buy mail order" on
your web site. I mention it because I find myself returning to it now
and then for inspiration, as I did today.
I agree with you completely, in principle, until it affects me personally. I myself am currently in a price dilemma. I ride my bike to work and am trying to upgrade my rain capability, in a quest for the coveted "All-Weather Capable" patch. My rain gear is good except for footwear. I have found non-breatheable waterproof boots at Payless Shoesource, a national chain with a local store but with headquarters elsewhere, for $23. I have found higher-quality, Gore-Tex boots at Chet's Shoes, a local store, for $128. My spouse has been laid off for over a year.
I remain paralyzed with indecision. Sometimes it's hard to do the right thing. I do support my local bike store. They have been very helpful. Love you web site. Gotta go.
I have been meaning to email you for a while now... I just wanted to let you know you have a very satisfied customer. I LOVE my bike so much. It has been inspiring to work with someone who is passionate not only about biking but also about what it can stand for :) Thank you! 'Til the next tune-up...
Mike and Gypsie,
I just thought you would like to know that today's ride, the Tour de Pierce, was great. The LeWedge really does work! I had no numbness in my feet and absolutely no knee pain! I really felt great after the 50 mile ride! You guys are great! But I bet you hear that all the time!
Thanks again for all your help!
Aaron, My name is Kevin Markham, I'm an ARMY Recruiter. I have been in your
store and I love it. I may not spend a lot in your store, but I have been
treated well when in uniform. I thank you for that. As you said in your
"Free Speech" on the web page, I totally agree with most of it. I just
wanted to say I respect your opinion and will continue going to your store.
Thank you for what you do in the community and for the environment.
SFC Kevin "MAYHEM" Markham
I just want to pass on a favorable comment about your staff at the Bikestation. I try to do basic maintenance on my bikes myself, but was too busy to change tires and brake pads over the holidays. I left my Bike Friday with your staff on 12/30/03 in the morning. The work was well done and completed early that afternoon. Mike and another guy, I believe named Gus, were in when I stopped by that morning. They were both very friendly and helpful. It is great to have a shop so near my office, particularly one with such a friendly and positive attitude. I believe this was my third or fourth time using your services and I have had similar experiences at the Bikestation then. Best wishes for the New Year. I will continue to use your shop and will refer others.
The last time I was in to your shop you sold me a taller stem for my Raleigh sport bike. It has made a great improvement to overall comfort. And it’s perfectly obvious to me now that the size you recommended for the Atlantis frame makes sense; I wouldn’t have been able to stand over anything taller. I just needed to get the idea into my head of adjusting the height of the bars with the stem instead of the frame.
I log onto your web site now and then and always find something interesting to think about. Thanks.
Thanks for the great service you did on my Bianchi -- it rides really well. I'm looking forward to Chilly Hilly, which I've not done before.
Major kudos to you for this Website, it is fun, refreshing and highly informative. By far the best retail Website I have ever visited
Just found your site, very impressive and very complete.
Can't wait to check out the store.
You have an excellent web site. I have really enjoyed reading the bike fitting articles.
Dear Gypsie and Aaron,
Thank you for everything you are doing for the earth, the people in your community and all over the place. All the treasures in your website are very much appreciated and admired, even over here in Switzerland where I live. There is so much to do, and times are so sad in the world right now, that it is more important than ever to have wonderful energy like yours made known.
That's a pretty sweet bike you put together for me. I've been outrageously busy, and the only ride I've been able to take besides my daily commute was my ride home to Fremont the evening that I picked it up. I'm looking forward to some longer rides.
It feels solid. It handles well. It's predictable and comfortable with the hands off the bars. The light system seems entirely adequate for the dark sections of the Burke. The extra drag of the generator doesn't matter to me. I like the size of the tires.
I haven't ridden a saddle that uncomfortable since I switched from a Brooks to an Avocet saddle back in 1980. I'm using the Proofhide daily, and my daily commute on it is just fine. I'll switch to an old saddle if I get the chance to do a long ride before I get the new saddle broken in.
I appreciate the care you took in putting it together, both the selection of parts and the actual assembly.
It's a sweet ride. It's a pleasure to do business with you.
I want to tell you how terrific your website is. It is a great public service and I would not have known about your business without it. I especially enjoyed your eloquent discourse on business philosophy.
I was looking over your web page yesterday, and was impressed by your values
and the way you do business. I would like to do business with you, even though I live in Kirkland.
Aaron, This is the first time I have visited your web site and loved it. I'm from Iowa, so probably won't be visiting your store anytime soon but appreciate what you do with your website. I am a student at a school called UNI and have many environmental ethics and sociology classes. Thanks for the book referrals, I'm always looking for new ones that have been recommended. I don't know if you are a Daniel Quinn fan but if you are looking for another good book, you should try Ishmael. It's definitely my favorite book to date that I have read. Thanks for doing your part and a terrific web site.
After closing Island Bicycles this evening I happened upon your website and spent a pleasant 20 minutes or so checking it out. Good grief! someone else in Washington preps bikes the way we do. I'm impressed. I have a bike shop in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, and have to make do with part-time help (no/little help in winter, lotsa help in summer), so I'm constantly training new people to do things the right way.
I attended UBI 18 years ago and had ingrained in me that everything coming out of a box is dry and too tight...so right! After spending enormous time removing a stuck handlebar stem that hadn't been greased 10 years before, or replacing pitted cones on a near-new set of wheels, one learns some lessons.
If I can get down your way sometime this winter I'll drop in and introduce myself. Judging from the kinds of bikes you sell: Atlantis, Heron, etc. you guys are steel frame people too. I do Gunnar, Waterford, Soma, and DeSalvo, in addition to Specialized and Redline.
I love your website-- it's chock full of good information and It's very pro-cycling in all it's forms. Sometimes I get really bad vibes from hardcore roadies or mtb folks who believe that the whole cycling world revolves around them and their sport. The truth is that the bike universe is huge-- from millions of commuters riding $50 junkers to the Tour de France. Personally, I'm more of part of the great unwashed commuter crowd-- used bikes, no biker jerseys or biking shoes, doing most repairs on my own. This is why a tend to avoid most bike shops. I feel like I'm out of place. It's very strange because I have such a love for bikes-- any bike, form old clunkers to the high end racers.
Good luck on the whole commuter bike idea. I'm going to be rebuilding a bike for my wife this spring and I would like your input on it (and also some new parts from your shop as well) I'll be putting an internal gear hub and new wheels on an older steel frame.
Dear Aaron Goss,
Wow, I was just at your website, it is totally kick ass. If I ever get the nerve up to learn to ride a bike I will definitely come to your shop.
From the book
Choosing A Shop You Can Live With
Written by Sam Braxton of “The Bike Shop”, with Gary MacFadden I received this letter from a member in Connecticut. Sam: You’ve answered a good many of my cycling questions… to a point! My question is, where do I purchase [these items] and who do I get to assemble all of the above? I’ve written to several supply houses; kids run them, don’t know what you’re talking about, send credit slips backs two months after the order was placed, and send wrong data. My dilemma: In all of Connecticut, the bike stores habe a kid working in the back room and a manager up front who’s only interest in bikes is limited to department store quick sale models. I’m in total sympathy with this member. He’s got a legimate complaint concerning the quality of a lot of bike shop service. At the same time, I find it difficult to believe that there are no qualified shops in Connecticut or all of New England who have the materials he wants or the personnel with the skill to assemble them. Check with fellow cyclists – find out what shops they’ve had luck with. Every shop, including ours, has weak points. Untrained personnel answering and putting together equipment appears to be a widespread problem (we’re just dealing with kid’s toys, right?) Lots of shops hire highschool kids, especially for the spring & summer rush, and turn them loose on customers. You just about can’t get away with that, simply because the mechanics of the bicycle are getting so complicated now that you’ve got to have an exteneded knowledge, stretching over a period of years, to be able to answer a lot of the questions that come up in the business. It’s all right to have untrained help, if the shop owner makes sure the new kid isn’t doing any major troubleshooting and compatibility stuff that might get some cyclist in trouble down the road. Every summer we see between 500 and 1,000 cyclists come though Missoula (during the 1976 inaugural tours of Bikecentennial, we had about 2,000 cyclists though here; boy, what a learning experience that was!). Though all of this, I’ve formulated some pretty hard and fast ideas about how touring bikes and components should be stuck together. Now, I believe that a lot of bicycle shops around the country are doing the best job they know how. And, personally, I think some of their decisions are based on mis-information, but I can’t fault them for it. Lot’s of shop owner’s just haven’t had the opportunity that we’ve had here in Missoula to see and talk to lots of bicycle tourists, to see exactly what their problems are, and what solves those problems. My hope is that, as bicycling becomes more popular, we will see a greater number of skilld, well-trained bicycle mechanics. Perhaps we’ll soon see courses on bicycle mechanics being taught at universities and voc-tech schools around the country. This will do a lot to upgrade bicycle shop mechanic status to that of an adult professional making his living. That’s a key point in the relationship between the cycling consumer and the shop owner. You have to find a shop yjay will ask this basic question: “What are you going to use this bike (or this wheel, or component) for?” If a customer comes into the shop and says he wants the light frame, the lightest wheel and drilled out components, I can’t assume that he will be using that bicycle for time trialing or criteriums. He might be thinking that he needs a nice, light bicycle for cross-country touring, in which case he may be in for some nasty surprises when those one-inch rims start buckling on the second day of the trip. Once the bicycle shop personnel know the intended use for the bike, they should make recommendations for several models that would fit those needs. But, it is finally up to you, the customer, to make the choice and purchase the right frame, component, or whatever. If you want to use lightweight, inch-wide rims for touringm and don’t mind putting up with 20 punctures in a 500-mile trip just to gain a putiful decrease in rolling resistance, fine. That’s up to you. My responsibility ends with telling tiy that that’s what is going to happen.