I bought my bike in January from a shop called Cycle Logic, on Hillsborough Street here in Raleigh. I stopped by there first and rode the Raleigh Venture. It has push buttons gears, a super comfy seat. It's a great bike. They would even throw in all the proverbial bells and whistles too, like a helmet, lock, water bottle, patch kit, extra tube, etc. The price was right. Sadly, the owner of the shop is a complete jerk. I went to REI and tried a couple more bikes in the same price range. They did not compare. The seats weren't comfortable, they had the twist shifters, and nothing extra was included. I bought the Raleigh bike. I didn't feel good about it. I feel like making a purchase in this shop validates his behavior.
I had to take my bike in for service today. It's not downshifting between 5, 4, and 3. The front brake is too mushy too. The owner helped me today. I told him about the front brake. His response made me feel like he thinks I'm stupid. If one year free service was not included in the purchase of the bike, I'd go someplace else. I am all about giving my business to a small, local shop. Even if REI is a "co-op" it's still corporate. The guy who owns Cycle Logic is such a dick that he makes it hard to want to give him my business. Once I get my bike back, I'm going to All Star. They are nice people.