Tuesday, October 30, 2007

But it's a Schwinn!

I am not sure what it is, but one of our favorite customers at the shop are the Schwinn men (read with sarcasim). They expect you to know exactly what they need for there 25 year old Schwinn without having seeing it, or knowing what the customer is describing. When you say you need to see the bike the response is ALWAYS, "but it's a Schwinn"!

Here is a sample conversation. First you must picture a man in his late fifties or later (yes, they are ALL like that) by himself. Sometimes he'll be carrying parts in a coffe can/rag/plastic baggie:

Me: Hi, what can I help you with?

Customer: Yeah, I need a bolt/nut/part.

Me: Where on the bike do you need that bolt (trying to narrow it down).

Customer: Well, it is near the wheel. It is about 5/8" round and has threads on it.

Me: O.K., there are several different sizes that that bolt could be. I would have to see the old bolt or the bike to get you the right one.

(Here it comes)
Customer: But it' a Schwinn!

Me: Yes, but it still could be several different sizes.

(I swear they all say this too)
Customer: Well, I bought it here 15-20 years ago. It still runs great. It is in mint condition. Do you guys take in trade-ins?

Me: We don't take in trade-ins on old Scwinn road bikes because no one wants them.

Customer: Well, that is too bad. It is in really good shape....

(Fast forward 10 minutes later after the old guy gets done telling me about the history of the bike, what he is doing to it, his wife's bike, how he does all of his own work, what the shop used to look like, and the last mechanic he had spoken too 5 years ago.)

Me: Alright, I'll see you later.

Later they bring in the bike. Every customer that thinks they are going to trade in their bike describes it as being in MINT condition, by the way. This is how these bikes look when they actually bring them in. Note the crooked seat, brake levers, bent handlebars, velcro water bottle holder, and poor bar tape. That is not counting the fact that it probably needs a ton of work.

Time to ride then work.


Anonymous said...


I'm 35, not 50+. I have at least 2 old Schwinns, I think I asked you a question on the BB threading a few days ago.

How about the "I was just riding along and by wheels/frame exploded"?

since 2000

Chuck Sorenson said...

I might be that guy you are talking about, except I don't have a schwinn anymore if I did it would be more like 40 years old and some punk stole that and threw it in Silver Lake. Damn that was a nice bike. Oh by the way you should have seen the store then. There was no big head and it was full of Schwinns but that was way before your time JR.

Trust me though it was a really nice bike. "mint condition".