Ok, I still haven't actually been to the shop. But I need to. I don't really have much excuse since they are only like 40 miles away. I rarely find myself north of Anchorage so here I am ordering tires from a shop that is essentially in my backyard.
When I purchased my Fatbike, I began my quest for decent studded tires that would not break the bank. I figured I would pick up a set of used studs for somewhat cheap and that would be that. Unfortunately, used studs still cost an arm and a leg and I still need all four limbs. I turned to online used bike part sellers.
Finally, I found a listing on Pinkbike for Arisun Shartooth studded tires. They were brand new and cheap. They were also located in Wasilla, a town 30-40 miles north of Anchorage. After looking for information on these products and finding nothing that would constitute a sufficient review (don't worry, I have fixed that now. Here is the review) I decided to purchase a set.
Noticing the seller (ABCReese on Pinkbike) was nearby and in the state I inquired how many tires they had left and what their hours were. Within a few hours, I had a response with their hours and information. I responded with a thank you and continued on with my busy life. So that was great and all. Nothing to write home about though. It does get better.
A few weeks later, I still had not made it to Alaska Bicycle Center. Fat bike tires were on the back burner of my mind. That is until I got a message on Pinkbike from ABCReese. It was short, sweet, and to the point: they were getting low on the tires I had inquired about and just wanted to let me know. I responded and just apologized for being busy and not making it out there yet. Lame. The response? They offered to ship them to me free of cost. Wow, well I can't say no to that.
Let me just stop for a moment and make this significant point. This guy remembered that I was interested in tires and remembered almost a month later. He took the time to let me know that the stock was getting low. Clearly these tires were selling and my business was not not critical to get them off the shelves. Regardless, he took the time to make that simple and very appreciated communication to gain my business. Wow.
Anyway, I immediately agreed to purchase and ABCReese sent me an invoice for Paypal. Within an hour of making my payment, he had sent me the tracking information. In a few days, my tires arrived on my doorstep. The whole process was quick and painless (minus the $300 dent in my bank account for 4 tires. However, that could have easily been a more expensive purchase for fewer tires)
In looking over my inbox and message history writing this review, I did a completely lackluster job of communicating. My communication certainly was not stellar enough to warrant the fantastic communication and service that I received.
Ok, so I have not actually been to the shop. They have a good website and carry a large variety of top brands including KHS, Santa Cruz, Surly, and Devinci. Of course, they service bicycles and claim to carry a huge variety of parts from various bands (which I absolutely believe without seeing-after all I found some obscure fat bike tires there).
Honestly, it probably would be worth making the drive out there just to check out their shop. However, at the moment, I am not looking to purchase any bikes or bike parts. Though, when it comes time to make a big purchase again, I will keep Alaska Bicycle Center on my list of places to check out. Their customer service was absolutely fantastic.
ABCReese went above and beyond anything I would expect. Though I had never met him in person or even bothered to drive out to his shop, I felt like a valued customer.