I can relate to Fat Cyclist’s experience in “strange” bike shops, how they make you feel like an idiot after asking a perfectly reasonable question.
As a loyal LBS customer, I’ve also had the odd transaction Fatty describes, where I paid *more* than the asking price on stuff. Somebody has to make the owner’s boat payment, after all. You know that famous Karl Marx quote, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”? Mike (the LBS owner) assures me he really needs the boat. I guess that makes me a pinko commie.
Something Fatty did not mention: I’ve actually had bike mechanics who refuse to accept tips from me. That’s just weird. Is the practice of paying a gratuity now so rare in bike shops that mechanics don’t know what they are? If you’re a customer, do you tip your mechanic? If you’re a mechanic, does anybody still tip?