There are a lot of resources at your disposal when hunting for a good local bike shop. You can ask friends and other riders, memebers of your club, or maybe a coworker who is also a rider. There’s another great resource worth checking – Yelp.com.
I’ve found Yelp to be a great resource for restaurant reviews, it’s main claim to fame. But, dig a little deeper and you’ll find reviews for lots of other types of businesses – including bike shops.
There is a category called “Bikes” under “Sporting Goods,” but you can also just type in “Bike shop near Boston, MA” in their search box and find lots of resources quickly. There are many active reviewers, and they seem to be pretty open about sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly about bike shops in the area. Just like on Amazon or other sites that have ratings, entries range from “Why can’t all bike shops be like this place?” to “I had another bad experience which tipped the scale: I won’t be coming again,” and you’ll have to weigh it all to form your own opinion. But it’s nice to have some real reviews from real people to consider when shopping around.