The best bike shop in San Diego is Bicycle Warehouse, especially the one in Kearney Mesa run by Jeff and Morgan. I’ve been to most of the bike shops in San Diego and I think Bicycle Warehouse head and shoulders above the rest. I’ve been a customer of Bicycle Warehouse ever since I bought my mountain bike and have been really impressed with the service I get there. The two primary guys, Jeff and Morgan, seem to really care. Here’s just one example of the kind of service you can get.
Yesterday, as I was prepping my mountain bike for a recovery ride to the coast I noticed a ton of extra friction in the crank. I’ve seen this before on my road bike so I removed the crank, disassembled the bottom brackets and examined the bearings. Sure enough, one bearing spun easily, the other barely moved – I’ve blown my bottom bracket bearings. No wonder it was so hard coming home Monday, I was on a resistance trainer.
I called the guys at Bicycle Warehouse and sure enough, they had the replacement bearings. An hour later, I’m in the store and paying for the new bearings. I joke with Jeff that I must be doing something wrong because I lost a set of bearings on my road bike over the summer. He calls Morgan (the mechanic) over who walks me through a bunch of questions to see if I’m doing something dumb to blow the bearings. Do I use a high-pressure hose to wash my bike? No. What degreasers do I use? Just SimpleGreen and Park Chain Brite. We talk about my style of riding and my experiences with the bearings going out. He’s amazed that the bearings went out so fast – the ceramic bearing on my SRAM Red crank only lasted a few months.
Then he picks up the phone, calls someone and explains what happened. After a short conversation he hangs up and says, “That was our SRAM dealer. She’s sending you out a new set of bearings.” Just like that, SRAM is ready to replace $189 bearings. No receipt, no inspection, they just want me to have a great experience with their components.
Now, I’m really stoked that SRAM is so willing to replace the bearings. This experience will definitely play a part in future component decisions. But, I kind of expect them to go the distance. They’re a “big company” and are competing with Shimano for the components market in the US.
I certainly didn’t expect Jeff to care enough about why I was buying bearings to call Morgan over to help me out. And I didn’t expect Morgan to care enough to really dig into what was going on. I definitely didn’t expect him to care enough to call the SRAM dealer on my behalf.
Many of the employees at other bike shops have a “who cares?” attitude which defines their service. At Bicycle Warehouse, Jeff and Morgan really care.