We have second hand bike shops near me and cyclists work in bike shops and even they don’t want to shell out on new tyres and accessories. They know what they want and they have the tools to remove them. Maybe they are doing it for a friend so they find a bike that has the parts they want. The Real Cycling website shows a couple of bikes without their parts and it was ‘conveniently by the bike shop’. This does not surprise me. Do people ever see a bike without wheels where there isn’t a bike shop nearby, now that would be interesting. Also if you see a cyclist with a pair of wheels, well, that’s ok, he works in a bike shop. What a great cover that is. I have had my suspicions for a while and what the credit crunch and all that, it just wouldn’t surprise me if they took ‘opportunities’. When I discussed bikes having their parts stolen in the area with my own bike shop, they were somewhat disinterested and not really concerned. To be honest, he had a bit of a shifty look. There is no proof as such but this type of thing never happens in my village, but in a town where there are bike shops with poorly paid bike mechanics. I think they know more than they are letting on.
I know when not to trust my bike shop when they fail to tell you that thieves can get into a Kryptonite lock in seconds with a pencil. They know full well how easy it is to get into them but choose not to tell you because they want to make a sale. Bike shops tend to care more about their sales than you as a customer. I would rather go to an honest bike shop than a shifty one. They are few and far between.
With locks and stuff, I don’t trust their opinion but I trust other cyclists on Youtube who ‘tell me how it is’ than at a bike shop, where generally speaking, I will trust them with maintenance only and that’s about it. (Actually even then I am not completely sure, maybe they are doing some maintenance scam!) I wonder who else distrusts bike shops as much as me? The fact that they treat you like a number and still call you by your formal name, creates a business distance, and the more formal it is, the less trust between bike retailer and customer there is.