St. Paul >Express Bike Shop
I came looking for a bike I could ride to work daily during the warm months. I'm not a bike expert, but I was able to get my questions answered, and take my time test riding several bikes to figure out exactly what I wanted. I was able to find one that suited my needs in my price range.
After about a month of riding, the lever that shifts the gears fell off while I was riding. I was able to walk into the store the same day, and get help right away. They reassembled the part that broke, and gave my bike a full tune up. It was quick, free, and more service than I was expecting. The service was exactly what I was hoping for when I decided to buy my bike from a small shop. I'm a very satisfied customer.
winter bikes that don't work.
I bought a bike which fails to function in temperatures below 25 degrees. Two components in the rear hub fail to engage - and the pedals fall to the ground, the bike does not move. When I called 23 days after purchase to complain, they were aware of this feature - but said "we can't control the weather - and you've had the bike for almost a month". I bought a winter bike which does not function in the winter - and the shop refused to rectify the situation. I have biked all my life (56 years old) and worked with many bike shops. I never ran into this kind of problem. I am used to patronizing coops and small businesses - but this is one I will avoid.
Express seems geared towards two types of people: Those who know what to look for and are patient enough for it to show up on the floor and not be overpriced and those who don't really care what they ride. The first bike I got there ($175) was, all in all, a fair if not spectacular deal. I spent 6 months staking out the place for this one. The second bike ($125) "worked" but was not tuned up at all, the rear wheel was defective, the crank was out of round and the brake pads were crumbling. I bought the second one after two visits.
In both cases, the customer service was indifferent. I got the the feeling that they were doing me a favor for selling bikes. When I asked about sizing, I literally got a shrug of the shoulders (and ended up with a bike that was too small). Some of the answers I got were just plain wrong.
All in all, with the right approach, you will probably get what you pay for at least some of the time.
Fair, friendly, cheap and nice. Not fancy, but super nice guys with affordable bikes and a great mission. Decent friendly service, and good prices. I often use them to pick up parts for my commuter bike. Not for racers, of course--but everybody else should be happy.
High on value, low fashion. Great shop for anybody looking to get something to ride around town on. This shop isn't your place to replace your stolen race bike the day before your next race (though they can order you anything), but if you want something reliable that won't cost an arm and a leg, go see Dave and his crew.
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