A reliable cycle shop is indispensable to the Triathlete. Not only in the technical aspects of having your bike in tip top shape, but in the personal aspect of getting it done fast, well, and by quality people you trust. (Especially as your careening down a mountain at 40+mph)
As long as I am anywhere near the metropolitan area I will be hanging out at Marty's Reliable Cycle. I tend to gravitate to the Randolph shop, but only because of geographical considerations. The Hackettstown and Morristown shops are just as great and offer the same great service with their own idiosyncratic spin.
At the Randolph shop I sometimes just hang out. I did especially when I was a newbie. I think that says something. I mean, it's a bike shop, not a cafe. They don't mind...I think. As a rookie I'd find any excuse to stand around and talk shop and pick their brains. Everyone there knows so much more about bikes than I ever will. That, and they are just fun people. There are no pretensions, only good natures. (The reason Marty's will always kick SBR's ass. Yes, NYC...suck it.) Everything at Marty's is so anti-elitist. This is so important since in this regard cyclists can be such a pain in the ass. (Triathletes, are by far, the worst!)
Upon picking up my bike up on Saturday I had one of the most important rituals that can mark the beginning of a serious season of biking. I got 'fit' to my bike. The 'fitter', none other that Rob.
I will always maintain that people invest in getting the most out of their gear. I mean, what good is your mega bucks bike rig if you are pedaling it with complete inefficiency? Rob is there to make sure that every wattage of power generated from my body goes directly into unadulterated forward motion on my bike.
At Marty's, Rob has all sorts of do-hickeys and levels and charts. But that doesn't qualify him in my mind. What does make him a master of the 'fit', is that I leave the shop faster then when I go in. Faster, more comfortable, and less prone to injury. He took his time with me and broke down his analysis into Jason terms. What more could I want? The important thing his he listens to my triathlon needs and my particular style. He is no dogmatist, something I really appreciate in an industry where everyone claims to have 'the way'.
Marty's sold me my first bike over six years ago. I wandered in and declared I needed a bike because I wanted to ride one from Oregon back to NJ. I was so over my head, clueless and bike dumb. I'll always love Marty's because they took me seriously and gently and kindly led me though the initiation into bike-dom.
I sent them a postcard from every state I crossed. I could never had made the trip, or my athletic career happen without them. They are a part of every bike split I've ridden and will ever ride. When I road race, it's always for Team Marty's. They now have a triathlon team, too. So make sure you swing by their website: