All I wanted was air

I walked out of the shop flabbergasted...

For the first time in my entire 31 years of cycling, I was not allowed to use a bike shop's air compressor to pump my tubeless tires, nor were they willing to do it for me. I can understand if they didn't want a customer touching their tools, but refusing to do it even if I was willing to pay for their time and air, that made my eyes pop wide open and my mouth open so wide that you could shove an entire air compressor down my throat.

So I just bought a spanking new carbon rims (which I should do a review on 6 month from now) that I had Cyclomotion (awesome guys and top notch service) build the wheel for me. Since this was my first tubeless I thought I'll give it a try and install the tubeless tires myself. I flawlessly installed the first one, but the second one is where my story begins.


Cyclomotion, awesome guys and top notch service

With a rear wheel full of sealant I couldn't leave it to tomorrow to have it inflated at a bike shop, I had to do it now. Off I went to the nearest bike shop (it was the only one I knew within a 5km radius from my place) to have it pump using a compressor. Greeted a young man who I knew ran the place and politely ask if I could use his air compressor to pump my tire, which by now was leaking precious sealant. He said NO. I ask if he can do it for me (I know some bike shop loves their tools), he said NO again. "Can I pay for your air and service?", I was starting to get desperate. "No, and it's not about the money. You need to do it yourself.", he told me while at the same time working on a bike. "Yeah I'm willing to do it myself if I could use your compressor.", I tried to reason with him. "No you have to do it outside at another place, this is ours." was his reply.

I walked out of the shop flabbergasted, I didn't want to argue or scream at him since I had more pressing matters to attend to, my tire, which by now was leaking sealant like it was shot by a firing squad. But then 5 seconds later I walked back in and asked an older gentleman for a presta valve converter that I can use at the petrol pump, which cost RM 5. Not knowing exactly how to work the petrol pump's air pump, everything I tried didn't seem to work - scratch off that idea.

Finally I went to Cyclomotion, luckily for me they just open a branch 15 minutes away, and asked if they could help me out. A scruffy looking mechanic there said Yes, what a relief. He showed me how it's done and 5 minutes later I was on my way. Asked him how much and he said No.

USJ Cycle

... they have no respect and couldn't careless about a fellow cyclist who just needed air in his tire.

If you've been wondering which bike shop that didn't allowed me to use their bike pump, well it's USJ Cycles at USJ 9 Subang Jaya. They might be great at getting you your first bike or hooking your entire family with one, but they have no respect and couldn't careless about a fellow cyclist who just needed air in his tire. I've been to many bike shops in Malaysia, some didn't look like bike shops at all while others look like they could be selling Ferraris instead, but none of them will say No to anyone asking to fill their tires with air... unless you happen to live in USJ.


4 days later on 9th March 2015; USJ Cycles contacted me to apologies and offered me a gift. They told me they've change their policy and now accept any bike for service or repair. So I guess the pressure by everyone (especially the cycling community) worked! Thanks everyone who shared my post on Facebook or here, you guys are awesome.

As for their offer, I accepted their apology but not the gift. Like I told them in my response, I didn't write this article just to get a free gift from them, but to highlight their short comings - in this case the most basic of em all, the right to use their air compressor to pump air into my tire.

Thanks again to everyone who wrote a comment here and shared their story. I would like to think your stories played a huge role in making them realize the error of their ways. Thanks again.

Now let's get stoked and ride!

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