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Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks

9 years 9 months ago #952 by zephyr
Replied by zephyr on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
Just curious. This thread got off to a pretty nasty start about Jonathan about 6 months ago. With the downswing in full tilt has anyone noticed any improvements in the service at the their bike shop. I was at FW a few weeks back on a Sat and the place was deserted and that is not the way it was a year ago. The service was okay and a bit faster since there were so few other customers but it seems that the squeeze has not really hit them yet!

Prices matter. Discounts are rare or non-existent therefore me and my riding buddies are now grouping together and using the internet to save $$. Our favorite online shop is currently ChainReactionCylces and they have free shipping on orders over HKD$2250. For example, a friend just ordered a set of custom built Hope Pro II wheels with 819 rims and spoke upgrades for about HKD$2700. Even 28bike.com cannot compete with these kinds of prices for "90% new wheels"...

How can local shops compete?? Does it matter???

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10 years 2 months ago #431 by Jeff
Replied by Jeff on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
One odd problem that I've encountered in more than one shop here is that sometimes the salesman (or even the owner) has no idea how to size a bike for a rider. I've had one owner tell me that I needed a Small frame (at 5'9"!) and another tell me that I needed a Large. I've come to the conclusion that if you're going to really rely on a shop for advice, you should build a relationship with 1) someone who has a clue but also 2) someone who does the same kind of riding as you.

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10 years 2 months ago #429 by jezblanchard
Replied by jezblanchard on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
This is a very interesting topic.

Yes the guys at BW can be less than helpful, but so too can some of the other shops.

To me the key way to work with them, as i believe has been mentioned, is to develop a relationship with one or two of the guys, let them know what you ride and like to ride, basically shoot the breeze with them and develop some understanding. This helps 2 ways, as you get to know what they know and they get to know you.

I always talk to Kwong at BW and find him ever helpful and accomodating, even keeping 2.5" Maxxis tyres hidden aside for me at times.

I find in all the shops here theres a bit of, we will sell what we stock if its not here, then an unspoken tough, no one will try and get it, which is why some shops are holding outdated gear that they never marked down.

They all have their benefits and limitations, I am with Rogue in that go in knowing what you want, best you can, phone in advance to see if they have it etc then buy it and if you can fit it yourself.

Just a real chestnut, I have a buddy who was prepared to drop over 30k on a FS bike at a very well known dealer, who I basically did the pluses and minuses of each frame, every time he asked a question the assistant ran off, no one took him seriously, so he ended up buying a complete on a trip to the states and saved himself the bother. its a bit like who can be bothered sometimes!

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10 years 2 months ago #428 by dsarosi
Replied by dsarosi on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
Try Bullbike in Mongkok. ( www.bullbike.net ) Tony is the manager. His English is really good and he loves to chat about anything bike related. He'll give you tons of advice within being pressured into buying. He's got tons of stock as well.

Paul at Shun Lee is also good. I think he just moved to Yuen Long.

Flying Ball is also great. Get to know some of the guys or join Philip on the weekend outing.

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10 years 2 months ago #420 by Crash
Replied by Crash on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
I have had the same experience as most of you, while BW used to be terrible with service, Jonathan has made a huge difference, and I wont speak to anyone but him now. The downside, and I imagine the lease is responsible, is there prices. I do most my riding on TMS, but live on the island, so BW is the most convenient, but Paul's service and prices are way more competitive.

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10 years 2 months ago - 10 years 2 months ago #417 by Jeff
Replied by Jeff on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
Some of the shops in HK are really great- Friendly is super helpful, FB has really good and fast mechanics (where else can you walk in on a weekend and have a wheel built in a couple of hours? And the wheel will stay true for a year), and Sunny on Tung Chung is always happy to shoot the breeze out on the trails.

And the prices we pay for what is pretty much a niche sport in HK are really, really good.

I was pretty much warned off Bicyle World by more knowledgeable riders as soon as I started riding, so I've only used them for simple parts. These retail experiences there have pretty much backed this up- sometimes service is fine, sometimes it's slow and surly (even when the store is quiet), which has pretty much dissuaded me from any larger scale purchases there.

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10 years 3 months ago #415 by GirvinNRS
Replied by GirvinNRS on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
work as bike maintenance in Hong Kong is hard because the high rental push the salary to minimum level, it can only attract people with low education level with a bit of passion to work in bike industry, even motorbike, never talk about professionalism, it's hard to survive. Everything is about supply and demand, parts are expensive because of shipping and currency. As the bike technology is getting high in suspension is more complicated technique and lack of resources in training, who will send a worker to US for training? I think the guys there are very wise to learn the maintenance themselves here, and it's true to save time and money on studying the problem if you are out of warranty, most of the time, replace is faster and cheaper for those who did not invest on the training before. The style of service management of Chinese always sucks, their eyesight are very narrow, we have to wait for the new generation, but the education in Hong Kong is still looking for a direction...... I've an experience to share with you guys, I brought a Fox jacket from a motorbike shop few years ago, and the shoulder broken after a ride, I went back to the shop and spoke to the owner, he was doubt with my speed and refuse to replace it. Then I quickly sent a email to Fox's website and the customer service reply me the next day and told me the jacket is for biking instead of motorbike and they have a line of motorbike wear for me to choose, gave me contact of the owner and the new jacket was ready to collect.B)

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10 years 3 months ago #414 by julien
Replied by julien on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
OK, HK shops have a slight tendency to be slack on the mechanics.
Their policy: something doesn't work = buy new.
And it's true that if you want spot-on tuning you've better learn how to do it yourself. No one in HK does bike fitting although FBall has a some knowledge about it and may let you get on the rollers and help you to adjust your posture.

Like anywhere else you will get better services when the shop manager knows you. It takes time to build-up trust.

I got served big sales bullshits at Flyingball, I didn't listen and got over it. Now I don't get the sales arguments anymore and the mechanics built the best set of wheels I ever had in 18 years riding. On busy says they did bad jobs, on good days they did outstanding jobs.

Bworld were super friendly since day one, when I arrived in HK i found the shop and asked with an almost understandable french accent where I could race DH. Since Ah Kwong remained helpful and friendly. They've serviced my bike inside-out without complaining that it was coming from Fball. I usually do the fine tuning myself.
One note on Jonathan: he is a real rider, I mean someone who rides a lot every week. So he sort of knows what he talks about. But like anyone else, there is good and bad days, there is day when the boss pushes employees to sale and that's a pain.

Friendly bicycle on Lantau is #1 for services. The owner would fix your bike on the spot and within minutes for free so you can go riding on Chi Ma Wan. The down-side of it that they sometimes push speed over quality. But what can you say? It comes from the heart and it's free.


I think HK shops have many good sides and a few flaws. The mechanics and the sales in HK are not "bike doctors" saying "that guy" about a bike – as I've seen in San Francisco – but the parts are 35% cheaper, the services 50% cheaper (if not free) and 90% faster.

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10 years 3 months ago #413 by Jan Ayalin
Replied by Jan Ayalin on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
I have been going to BW for most of my mountain bike needs since i started with mountain bikes, over a year now, and i couldn't really complain less with the service that they give me.
I can say that the service they have isn't any different with any of the service that you could find in hong kong, be it a computer store, a clothing store or a local restaurant. It is pretty much a local shop, with local attitude, and I am pretty much surprised with how a lot of people a reacting to their service. "cmon lets be realistic, we've seen a lot worse here in hong kong.
I agree with what someone here has said that probably some some of you guys are just a little bit spoilt.
For the guy who has started this thread, well one thing i can say as a consumer, is that considering that you already know what the problem is with your bike, and the necessary adjustments that you need, then you should have just asked for the necessary service you want. You need not listen to whatever crap, as you said has been told you.
It is a business they're running, and these guys are employed. If they can get away with doing less, i guess they'd try to.
I am a newbie with mountain biking, but i try to do my reseach every now and then, well actually a lot, before i hit out to the shop. And i'm pretty much surprised that i have received very good advice from BW, better advice than what i thought was good enough, particularly from WATSON. Not only to me but also to some of my other friends who also frequent the other bike shops on the kowloon side. And I am not even a westerner, i'm southeast asian. I look like i have less money than most people who come to the shop, but still i get good service, because when i go to the shop, i know what i need, and i don't expect a lot of pampering.
These guys who man the shops are blokes, and mechanics..... 'cmon guys.
And for the record, Last year I went to flying ball to make inquiry about purchasing a bike, and considering that they only carry really high end bikes, i didn't get good service as well as i din't have enough money. That' fine with me, nothing in this world comes for free.B)

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10 years 3 months ago #406 by Red
Replied by Red on topic Bicycle World Sucks/Flying Ball Rocks
I agree that the bicycle industry in Hong Kong is considerably behind Europe and the States in terms of knowledge and assistance. Although , I doubt you would see such a great range of products in a shop than what we do. Perhaps we are a little spoilt here!

In terms of 'responsibility' as termed by Kenneth, it would be worth reading the owners manual and warranty outlines of the products that you are complaining about. Remember, it is not the shop that gives you the warranty - it is the manufacturer.

The shop that you purchased the product from - (remember to bring your receipt) will check to see if its a correct claim and then forward it to the distributer who forwards it to the manufacturer for your claim. This is usual, and is unreasonable to get annoyed at the bike shop if it is taking longer than you would like. The margin on bikes is not that good, and it is not financially reasonable for a shop to replace the product or give your money back without verification of a refund from the manufacturer.

However, if the distributer is not being helpful - they seem to perform the minimum unless you are spending money - you can contact the manufacturer after trying the distributer first. However, they will always direct you to the distributer first as they will be very busy - especially if you own a mass market brand like Giant etc.

I worked in a bike shop for some time, and to be honest, most claims were the result of people crashing into curbs, trees etc. Always give the best service, but the validity of a warranty claim needs to be checked.

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