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The Hub Bike Coop Shopping Tips

Erica’s post about her most recent experience at The Hub (along with her frustrated Twitters on the subject) reminded me that The Hub is service challenged:

Metroblogging Minneapolis: The Hub lost my bike. Again.

Most recently I called a week after my bike was promised (two weeks after I took it in) and was immediately told that if they hadn’t called me it probably wasn’t ready yet. I’ll cut them some slack if they’re a little short-staffed. Plus, this is the busy season for spring tune-ups. They didn’t check on my ticket over the phone. I couldn’t get a revised time estimate. If it’s going to take a little longer, I’d be a lot more understanding if they would tell me so up front. But they just told me to wait for the call.

I think Erica’s problem here is that she’s going to The Hub for the wrong things. Just like you don’t go to the Seward Co-op for Lucky Charms, you don’t go to The Hub for bike tune-ups.

Here are my Hub Bike Coop Shopping Tips in no particular order:

1. Dress down: Don’t go walking in there looking like a Yuppy like Fritz does (see comments here) and expect to be helped.

2. Shop for commuter or single speed gear. They know this stuff. Go elsewhere for road bikes or hybrids. Mountain bikes are a draw.

3. Stick to accessories. Skip the service department, and go somewhere with better service if you’re looking for help picking out a bike to buy.

4. Have correct change ready. You may find yourself frustrated at check-out. If so, just throw down what you owe and head for the door.

Best Bike Shops in Minnesota

According to the folks at Boulder Sports Research:

  • Bokoo Bikes, Chanhassen, MN
  • Erik’s Bike Shop, Bloomington, MN
  • Freewheel Bike, Minneapolis, MN
  • Penn Cycle, Bloomington, MN

I’ve never heard of Bokoo. Freewheel has taken good care of me. Carly got her mountain bike there.

The Hub Bike Coop in Minneapolis is okay if you’re looking for commuting gear and don’t mind helping yourself. The service has been a bit underwhelming in the times I’ve been in there, but they come through with a wide selection of flashing taillights, biking shells, seats, etc., for the commuter crowd that are harder to find at other stores.

via Biking Bis.