July 2009 San Diego BMX Shop/Store Review. 3 out of 5 Stars:

Bike Empire
Customer Service Sucks
without the Owner (Tim Gill) in the store! They are located in Poway, CA.

By the way San Diego; this 'Store Review' is solely based on my personal customer service experience.

(UPDATE: SDBMX.com has already contacted Tim Gill, Bike Empires owner (by phone) & gave him an opportunity to explain what went wrong. Below is his response to the situation. By the way, after a nice chat on the phone, I thought Tim Gill, the owner was really cool. His staff on the other hand.......well....)

Driving past this store for the past year; I decided to stop, buy and inner tube for my BMX bike and at the same time, meet the guys at Empire Bikes for a free" review on SDBMX.com.

*Please note that SDBMX.com reviews tend to influence our San Diego BMX community and make our Bike Shops money! I like to keep business local but NOT in this case situation.

As I walked up, I noticed their awesome sign outside. I decided to take a picture of the sign outside (I now know to ALWAYS ask for 'permission' to take pictures before I start 'clicking' away ;p) to start off a new meeting.

Anyway, as I entered Poway BMX Bike Shop called Empire Bikes, this really old guy named "Matt" did NOT greet me; instead I warmly said, "Hi Guys, how are you all today?"

Matt, the old cashier dude, said instead, "Hold on, I'll be right with you." I was completely shocked at their rude customer service from a man that has never met me. I decided to

I asked if he was the owner; the rude old dude said, "no" and "man, you shouldn't take pictures without permission", grumpily. I sincerely apologized for doing so (again, I now have learned to ask permission first before I take pictures. Well......maybe not. LOL).

As I waited for Matt to ignore me some more, I decided to go towards the back of their store to meet the Head Bike Mechanic (by the way, he admitted being the 'Head Mechanic') for Empire Bikes in Poway, California. He looked really cool with his tattoos, so I decided to introduce myself. He seemed OK but Matt on the other hand....

Then across the store, I hear the old guy, Matt barking at me.... He said, "You're gonna have to leave and come back and talk to the owner" which is a Mr. Tim Gill.

Anyway, SDBMX.com does not recommend dealing with anyone except for Tim Gill, the owner!

Plus, I never got my inner tube! :(

As an alternative to Bike Empire located at 12624 Poway Road (Suite #4), Poway, San Diego, CA 92064,
SDBMX.com will be interviewing other BMX shops in Poway, CA for BMX Service and Parts in San Diego County community.

BMXNEWS.com (update): http://www.bmxnews.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=35&action=printpage;topic=5911.0


  1. Anonymous Said,

    Dude, that really sux that they treated you like that!

    I will not go to them anymore. F Bike Empire.

    Ive met Mat. He is a dick!!!!!!!

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 12:24 PM

  2. Anonymous Said,

    I can't wait to hears Matts responce

    THis is gooooood stuff

    SDBMX.com rulzzzzz

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 12:39 PM

  3. Anonymous Said,

    I've been there. They seem pretty good. Interesting expirance though.
    I'll think about it. Is there another shop you recomend in poway?
    cant wait to hear tims words...
    John Sebastian

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 1:13 PM

  4. Anonymous Said,

    Local business results for bike stores near Poway, CA

    Cycling Promotions West
    - www.bikelink.com - (858) 679-1027 - More
    Great American Bicycle LLC
    - maps.google.com - (858) 391-1310 - More
    Beyond Bikes
    - www.beyondbikes.com - (858) 673-8800 - More
    The Sports Authority
    - www.sportsauthority.com - (888) 801-9164 - 4 reviews
    Beyond Bikes
    - www.beyondbikes.com - (858) 521-0957 - More
    Black Mountain Bicycles Inc
    - blackmountainbicycles.com - (858) 566-0710 - 9 reviews
    Hidden Valley Bicycle Store
    - www.hiddenvalleybicycle.com - (760) 746-1509 - 2 reviews
    Performance Bike Shop
    - www.performancebike.com - (760) 781-1132 - 2 reviews
    - www.bikebling.com - (760) 317-5450 - 1 review
    More results near Poway, CA »

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 1:15 PM

  5. Anonymous Said,

    First, you have the names wrong. I, Tim am the owner, Matt who CJ talked with is a salesman. Bike Empire has been in business for 17 years and has served the community well for all those years. Many shops have come and gone in those 17 years, others will come and go as well. We are obviously doing something right. I talked with Matt and he seemed to think he was cordial so what can I say. Matt also seemed to think he had a nice conversation with CJ after he was done with another customer. Matt also stated CJ was taking pictures without asking first, so next time you go into a shop, you should approach the employee or owner and introduce yourself FIRST and take it from there. If you ask the many thousands of customers who have come through our doors over the years, I'm sure most would say we have treated them very well.

    Your site looks nice and I am sorry you had a bad experience when you were here yesterday.

    My mechanic is off today but it is my understanding that CJ asked first if he was the "head mechanic" to which he replied yes. Not sure what happened after that. We always try to act friendly and nobody's perfect!

    Tim Gill
    owner-Bike Empire

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 1:38 PM

  6. Anonymous Said,

    These guys have always been good to me and my buddies

    Hi Tim


    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 4:30 PM

  7. Anonymous Said,

    Boycot EB in Poway!

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 6:08 PM

  8. Jacob aka Jake Sr. Said,

    They are a little expensive but fantastic work!
    I don't BMX but my son, Jake does everyday.
    Interesting experience you guys had at Empire.

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 8:20 PM

  9. Anonymous Said,

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Posted on July 9, 2009 at 9:39 PM

  10. Anonymous Said,


    Posted on July 10, 2009 at 8:49 AM

  11. Anonymous Said,

    I have personally dealt with Tim Gill for many years and find him to be an upstanding businessman in Poway. I will continue to shop at his store :) I have actually had him fix minor things for free, that is the way to treat a customer. Thanks Tim

    Posted on July 10, 2009 at 11:43 AM

  12. Anonymous Said,

    what exactly is the point of asking permission to take a photo of the storefront? that seems to me to carry with it the attitude of superiority.. which in the bicycle shop business is completely out of control.... and most likely a reason cycling in america at large, suffers in numbers.

    i cant speak for "bike empire" in poway, CA from personal experience but i can tell you that i have been in hundreds of bike shops across the country. in a large enough to notice majority of them the employees carry an attitude of "we're cool" and we "know" it and you dont know jack schnizzle.... and forget about trying to get a job at one these places unless you are in the same circle jerk ring.

    before you say i have insecurity issues just know that i intentionally act as a total newb,completely ignorant to the industry, shopper everytime i visit a new shop just to see how im treated... and im a pro racer and long time dirt jumper with 25+ years of riding experience.

    so what if someone takes a photo of your shop after hours? if you "bust" them are you gonna ban them from your store? or just flip them crap so they feel inferior? grow up tim! quit being a snibbling little kid with a rock star ego. what? is your shop that "cool" that its a privilege to take of photo of the front of it? completely ridiculous.


    btw, your shop looks like hundreds of others in similar cookie cutter strip mall fashion. completely void of any of the individuality and independence that defines true BMX.

    Posted on July 12, 2009 at 7:36 AM

  13. Anonymous Said,

    wrayzor....well said :)

    Posted on July 14, 2009 at 2:02 PM

  14. Anonymous Said,

    wow that place sucks..i live right next store and i dont even like to go in because ow gay it is..u guys shoul get some real bmx parts and stop selling just haros..sell some real stuff..the only eason ur still in bussniuse is because of montin bike crap..if u want a shop wit way better down hill shit then go to beyond bikes..

    Posted on August 16, 2009 at 2:07 PM

  15. Anonymous Said,

    I have used Bike Empire for several years, and Ive never had an issue with any employee there, the owner, or the service, the exact opposite actually. Ive bought two bikes there as well as gotten parts, service (paid for and a couple freebies), and technical advice. I have seen them put up with inarticulate morons who dont understand why their $90 Wal Mar "dirt bikes" will cost $80 to fix, hipsters demanding discounts because they are buying a fixie and are too cool to pay the sticker price. I saw their (not lead) mechanic change brake cables on a Cannondale in about 90 seconds, explain without using english that they would have to order parts to repair a womans jogging stroller, and have taken on work for recumbents, a trike, and a nifty looking hand bike.

    And BTW, a store owner might not like you taking pictures of their outdoor sign, but any store can and frequently WILL toss your sorry posterior out if you start snapping pics inside their store; its more often seen as someone scouting for thieves than any sort of journalistic effort.

    Posted on September 24, 2010 at 4:54 PM


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