Thursday, July 25, 2013

Keen 2 Cycle

This post is gonna be longer than usual because I'm gonna be reviewing 3 different bicycle shops nearby my place at Kelana Jaya.

If you're reading this, happen to be thinking about getting a bike, and lives somewhere accessible to Sunway Pyramid, you can give this bicycle shop a go. I've been terrible with luck during the past 2 months when it comes to my bicycle. But I'm so grateful for their good service that I really just want to give them a little shout out here. They deserve it anyways.

I'll get to that story in a bit. But before that, I wanna do a little bashing.

You see, I was a loyal customer to Fook Sang in SS1, Sungai Way ever since I purchased my black bike from them in Form 3. After being in their service for more than 6 years, I can't help but notice a change in attitude towards me and all the other customers in general. Namely the ones who come back for petty repairs.

Very pimped up web layout.

When my brother first introduced Fook Sang to me, that shop was great. Friendly people, nice workers, good service and most of all, they carry some of the cheapest replacements parts in all of KJ. 3 years or so later, they started being bitches, arrogant and picky to all the customers. The price raise of parts is understandable. But with that, they also began treating all us petty customers like unwelcome flies to a dinner table and would only give a shit to customers that spend RM4k and above for their premium merchandises.

That, I cannot understand.

So I approached my brother about the issue, and he told me that they have already opened a new outlet somewhere else, and the business there is booming. I mean, it's great and all to see people successful, but it really irks me to see how much a little wealth can turn such great people I once knew into despicable money-minded assholes. I guess they believe that when they have money and success, they can begin to give less of a fuck to customers who don't give them much profit to their business.

Because whatever it is, my brother was treated no differently than I was. We were both given poor service, and even poorer attitude.

Sure, it's not wrong to be a little picky when it comes to business. We all wanna earn a living. And we wanna focus on the good customers that gives us a good boon. By all means, focus on those good deals you can get. But please for fuck's sake, don't treat those who aren't within your focus group like dipshits.

What irritates me the most is how so much people cling onto FookSang for their services just because they really have nowhere else to go to when it comes to a nearby bicycle shop. All those elder folks, the foreign maids and labour workers, they kept going back to them because they're the most accessible bicycle shop around. They've already got such a great thing going for them in terms on location feng shui, but they just had to screw it up with poor service and crappy attitude with a dash of overloading cockiness.

Well, good for you FookSang. You can continue to do just that. I'll just make sure I never stop by your shop again and I'll spread the truth of your service to everyone I know, beginning with this blogpost. Because honestly speaking right now, your service stinks just as bad as your cockiness. And sooner or later, the other patrons will realize this, and they'll know you for who you really are.

We'll see how you manage with just your premium customers alone in the future.

One of the many reasons why I hate the idea of having too much money. We all need money to live in civilized grounds, but seeing money rot people to the core with their greed and lust for power is just so dumb. And sometimes it scares me so much that sometimes I ask myself, "what good would it be if I had shitloads of money if I'd just turn into the likes of them?"

Mahatma Ghandi once said something very insightful, and I quote him:

"There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics."

Business without ethics

Anyways, that's just that about FookSang. If any of you out there are still going to them for services, just open your eyes wide and see what's happening. You can choose to stick with them or not after you do that. Who knows, maybe they have a certain biasedness towards you and even though they treat everyone else like crap, they treat you like VIP. Good for you then. Don't let this post change your mind. If they treat you like VIP, just suck off everything you can from their goodwill. You earned it somewhat anyways, so might as well.

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Now, this isn't a bash. I'm just pointing out that a bicycle shop in SS2 exists. They carry Merida bicycles and on their website, they're called NgeeCycle. You shouldn't miss them if you know where that corner mamak across Taman Bahagia LRT station is. They're situated in the same row, a little further up, next to Bosch.

This bicycle shop is actually the closest one to my place. But the one reason that repels me away from them is the fact that they are really hardcore on selling high-end bicycles and bicycle parts. Their customer demographic range is just like that, and this is where I, as a customer don't really fit in I guess. Because I'm not looking for such bicycles and parts, I'm just looking for something good enough. (and I won't mind paying for in the case I hit a nail on the ground or got rammed by a motorcycle)

But despite their obnoxious pricing, their service is good, and even more so with their product quality. So I know I can rely on them to fix anything urgent if I had some extra cash to spare in my wallet. And I definitely won't have to return for quite some time if I did do my repairs there.

However, please be wary of the staff's tendency to always upsell everything. They all behave somewhat like direct salesman who always opt to sell the highest priced items first. You need a little getting used to talking down their upselling before you have access to their cheaper regular merchandises. And if you're a bicycle noob that has no bicycle background whatsoever, oh well, be prepared for a good quality con haha.

The only thing that bugs me shitless about this decent place is the fact that they don't carry any regular bicycle tubes as part of their stock. They only sell those with that weird valve opening that you can't use to pump at petrol stations or a regular pump, unless you get it's head adapter that costs RM5.

Those tubes have an added advantage of losing air a lot slower though. Whether it actually justifies it's RM18 pricetag where a normal one only costs RM12 is highly debatable though. Because accessibility is very important, and when I don't have my backpack where I keep the adapter I spent RM5 on, I'm just pretty much screwed all the way back home or until I luck into a nearby bicycle shop.

With that being said, they are not bad. Just...well, you'll know if you pay them a visit.
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Now, back to the story I mentioned above before all the bashing. I first found these two brothers, Yoon & Soon one day when my bicycle's tyres went flat on my way to college in Sunway. I remember them, being very humble and always earnest with what they do, and I'm glad to know that they still are today, despite all the aesthetic upgrades they've done to their shop.

I've been going back to them all the time ever since I bought my first bike from them last April, and it was the best bicycle decision I've ever had. Because after those frequent visits, the two of them appeared to be a lot better people than how I originally remembered them.

The brothers only run the store with just the two of them, so they deal with everyone directly. When it's busy with customers, they will always give priority to the ones who came first, regardless of status. And they know the right way to make other customers wait. They don't neglect anyone, and when you deal with them, you can feel that they genuinely want to make life better for you with your bike. It's something I haven't felt in my many years of cycling. I mean, I was with Fook Sang after all.

During the past 2 months, the bike I bought from them has been giving me it's share of menstrual cycles. And boy, the costs aren't cheap. My tyres went flat about 3 times, the 3rd one being the worse as it happened on the day where I went to Digital Mall to get a new 2GB RAM for my com. That day was just plain bad. The guys at C-Zone there were all being so incompetent and slow that I just can't help but to think how much more my day could be any worse. And then they double charged my debit card. How in the world would that happen with a debit card in the first place?

Anyways, I'm glad Maybank did return the cash to me after all when I had to call up their customer service who only picked up after 15 minutes, and told me about the news 10 minutes later. But despite all the crap I've been through that Tuesday, I'm glad to know that the 2GB RAM I got made all the difference in my com's performance. It was really worth going through all those pesky annoying mutts on the way.

Oh, yeah, I got chased by dogs as I walked my way back home, pushing my bicycle along. Usually I shrug strays away through ignorance, but I was in such a pissed off mode at the time that when those dogs started tailing me and began barking furiously, I just instinctively held up my bicycle and chased them around with it as if I'm about to crush them with my steel alloy frame. Nice way to destress.

But I digress. Going back to Keen2Cycle; so when I sent my bicycle the next day for the repairs, they found some industrial wires hiding beneath the rubber plating of my wire, which was the sole cause of the entire tube rupturing in the first place. It cannot be salvaged, and if I continued using that tyre, all other tubes inserted will just blow and be rendered useless.

Then the other time, my left crank kept coming off. It was becoming such a hassle that I had to cycle with my right leg alone. Gosh, my muscles were suffering then. The first time I went to Keen2Cycle for it, they recommended me to change to a different bearing set. I took in their advice, and cashed in the RM50. They were right, the problem was solved, and I could go to work without any trouble.

... Until last Sunday, the crank got loose again on my way home from my last day of work for the week. I thought it was just my imagination, but the moment I saw it coming off from my wheelset, I knew it was in for some happy walking time. I managed to pedal until Taman Bahagia from 1U, then walk all the way to my housing area until I hit a downward hill, in which I used to ride down all the way back home.

Monday was a pure rest day for me, and I met that Ausfarm guy, so after that, I had no much time to spare, and my legs were still sore from the 3 days of standing at work during the weekends. On Tuesday, my mom's hospital meet ended a whole lot sooner than expected. I went ahead and slept until I woke up at 5pm, where the electricity incidentally got cut. So I finally got time to pay Keen2Cycle a visit.

I asked them for some clarification as to what's actually happening to the crank, because they sorta guaranteed that with the new bearing upgrade, my crank wasn't supposed to come off until the next 4800 km or so. And I highly doubt 3 trips back and forth from my place to 1U would hit near that amount at all.

And this is the part where it kinda gave me feels. This guy actually showed signs of guilt, and he admits it and tries to make things better for me. He gave me this second hand wheelset, which is still in great shape, and began servicing my bicycle. It costed me RM100, but the moment I rode it out after his servicing, I knew that it was a good RM100 well-spent.

He actually serviced me for 2 whole hours, non-stop. And it so happened to be a quiet day too, so he could pay all his attention to servicing me. He lubricated all the moving parts, and this is another good one, he was the first bicycle repairman to actually go through the trouble to check my gearset mechanism near my handle, take it off because he found out that something was wrong with it, tried to put it back, but failed, and replaced me a new one for free.

I intended to tell him that he could stop servicing that part, because it requires the right tools to assemble and it takes a lot of time and dexterity to make such a small difference. Every other repairman I've met would do whatever in their power to not touch that part, because if something's wrong with it, it's highly likely you can never put it back and make it function like it does originally. They'd simply suggest a replacement. And if they do screw it up upon your request to fix it, they'll definitely charge you for the new one. But not this guy.

With that gearset thing itself, it took him around an hour. The other whole hour was devoted to my new wheelset. Seeing him so passionate about it calmed me down, and I let him continue doing what he thinks is best for my bicycle.

After everything was done, I paid him my cash, and all I saw was a humble man with a huge sigh of relief on his face, with the look of a job well done. This guy is just so honest and passionate about his service that seeing it actually brings tears to my eyes. I actually felt sorry that I never went to Keen2Cycle earlier, and kept feeding shops like FookSang.

The brothers' business is a bit small and secluded, and they don't have that much of luck with clientelle. It's probably because of where they are located. But I must say that these 2 brothers really touched me with what they do, and I really want to help them build a larger client base.

So here's hoping this post can make a difference to them. Their bicycle quality is great. I got mine at RM500, and it's lightyears better than any of the bicycles you can get at FookSang at the same price. It came with an alloy frame which is only about 30% of the weight of my original bike. It was so light that when I first bought it, I had trouble adjusting to it's lightweight frame while cycling. Because my old bicycle was a strength powerhouse. It had badass weight, badass strength, badass cranks and badass gears. It's just a bicycle that requires a lot of muscle to cycle. When I pushed the crank on the new bicycle for the first time, I nearly fell of balance. Because I was just so used to using that much energy with my old bicycle.

But after what I've experienced from the past 2 months, I might as well have just bought a RM700 bike instead. Because if I went for the higher end ones, I would have already gotten all the upgrades I have now, and save all the unnecessary time and money I had to spend on repairs.

I would have gotten a better bike if I had the means to buy it. But I must admit that I'm also a little paranoid with bikes worth RM1k and above, because lets face it, I cycle around as a primary means of transport, and I need to leave my bike at times to get into the places I want to be in.

I've already gotten my first RM1.2k bicycle stolen 1 month after using it. So it's hard to shrug the feeling off. The RM500 bike I bought looked great too, so I'm always weary with where I'd park it. But after cycling with it for a while, I realized that nobody gives a crap about it too, despite it's sparkle, so it's all good.

Anyways, I hope y'all can pay them a visit sometime if you happen to be needing a bicycle. They could really use some extra customers haha. Ok, thanks for reading and have a nice day. 

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