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Why support your LBS?

Old 04-29-19, 06:50 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
The one I had in mind talked me into getting a hybrid, which I despised. I gave it to my daughter's flute teacher, and he really likes it, so it worked out ok in the end.
I feel better that it is not only me! Cheers.

Not being as generous, I have bought some snow tires and the hybrid is now my snow bike.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:46 PM
  #77  
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Shopping Locally Is Patriotic

I love love love my LBS. The long-term employees are a mine of information and insight. They have helped me out countless times over the decades in ways that the internet, wonderful though it is, never could.

I do most of my repairs myself, but it's great to be able to delegate something in my life to an expert mechanic. Specialization is not overrated (as mother always said).

Yes, I order plenty of stuff from the internet, but for just about anything that I think they can get and which I can afford to wait a few days for, I'll run it through the LBS because I want there to be a shop in town with their expertise.

No, I've never bought a complete bike from them, but they still treat me like a friend. I WANT them to be there. I want those people to be able to afford to live in this town.

When you spend money at a local shop you are (I hope) getting extra value and you're keeping your community healthy.

Extra value is things like being able to try on lots of helmets in the shop and finding the one that fits your block-shaped head.

A good shop will have your back when there's a manufacturer defect.

A 5% markup doesn't pay the rent, let alone keep the person who's there to answer your questions in beans. Stop being so cheap! It's going to cost you in the long run.
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Old 09-09-19, 12:03 AM
  #78  
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I think I would never have been able to enter the wonderful world of road bike cycling had I stayed on the route upon which LBS act as gatekeepers since they recommended the wrong product (an aluminium hybrid), and priced the right product (a nice flexible carbon framed road bike) above my budget.

So while I would have liked to be patriotic, and avoid being cheap, I don't think it would have been financially possible. I got my first carbon framed bike online from Taiwan for 1500 USD (not much more than the AL hybrid which I did not enjoy riding) at which price my wife baulked. The LBS were asking about twice that for their Carbon Treks, I think.

My LBS 'friend' got angry with me for purchasing a bike online, even though I took it in for a c. 100USD tune up as soon as I got it. I have not been back in the 12 years since. I lost a 'friend,' and 8kg in weight.

I wish them all the best, and that I had ditched them earlier. If everyone got their bike online, my community might be a lot healthier, I think.

These days there is a chain store type bike shop that uses student labour. They don't have the same level of expertise but they are keen and helpful and their bikes are a lot cheaper. There are a lot more road bike cyclists around now partly due to this fact, and the impact of
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Old 09-09-19, 12:14 AM
  #79  
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Since our former LBS was family oriented it was a good thing for our community. Unfortunately things just didn't work out for him after a few years (and his dad was the LBS owner a decace earlier before deciding to start a chain of coffee shops). Now I have to rely on help from others 40-60 miles away if I can't do it myself.

Lose a bike shop and you'll know the difference.
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Old 09-09-19, 12:38 AM
  #80  
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It is not so much in that I believe in "supporting" a local shop but I "need" a local shop. The few stores I go to is because the service I receive is excellent. I know I can get my bike repaired properly and within the time frame they tell me. I no longer own a car and as a result I will pay a premium knowing that I will not break down in the middle of nowhere while riding.
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Old 09-09-19, 12:56 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by blue192 View Post
I will pay a premium knowing that I will not break down in the middle of nowhere while riding.
I have not been breaking down in the middle of nowhere while riding these past 12 years.

I can replace bottom brackets, chains, and brake pads, stems (!), seat posts, wheels myself. I am not good at setting up my gears. I wonder what repairs you need, and whether you would be better with a new bike. Carbon bikes with new components are less than 900USD (20s Tiagra) from Wiggle. My last second-hand carbon bike was 500USD with fairly new 105 components.

In addition to the student-staffed chain store, there are also several shopper bike stores for step through bike riders, who will adjust my gears cheaply if required. The local hardware store also sells bikes and will do simple maintenance. In my experience, it is only the UBC sponsoring brand supplying shops that want to sell dreams, rather expensively.
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Old 09-09-19, 01:07 AM
  #82  
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I have had a few surgeries so bending/twisting to maintain a bike is something that is hard for me. So basically anything besides lubricating a chain or changing a tube after a flat I do not do. I have my local shop do the annual tune in the spring and a light tune about 1/2 way through the riding season. After I started this I no longer break down, having said that as a fatter rider I am on the bike several hours each day during retirement.
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Old 09-09-19, 03:58 AM
  #83  
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I can do all the maintenance and repairs that any of my bikes need. That's because when I first became somewhat serious about bicycling and had a just got a decent old bike (back in the early 1980s) a somewhat local bicycle shop spent a lot of time with me in person at the shop and even on the telephone guiding me through the steps needed to fix that bike and to maintain it. I bought parts I needed from them. When I could afford a new bike I bought from them.

Just this year in another city I live in now I had a puncture at the end of an organized ride. I didn't realize it was a puncture and asked the fellow from the local bike shop at the booth they had just finished packing up if they could pump up my tire. they tried to do that but we could hear the air coming out. they offered to drive me and my bike home.

There was one shop here in town that was the sloe source for Campagnolo components. He'd tell me when he was putting in an order and when it would arrive. Far too many times I'd go in to pick up my order only to find out that it had not even been ordered yet because his order didn't meet the minimum required. He also did not like people to come in and browse or chit chat. he actually told one customer that he wished people would come in, buy what they wanted and get out. I found out years later that he didn't want to work in that shop but that his dad owned it. Not surprisingly, that shop is long gone.

The thing is with LBSs is that there are some good ones as well as some bad ones. Also, sometimes you might hit a good shop when they are just having a bad day.

Cheers
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Old 09-09-19, 04:50 AM
  #84  
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Last week I rode into the LBS (not my preferred but have used them a couple of times prior) close to work but still out of the way on the ride home for a tube. If I were to base my LBS experience on that one time I would probably never use one again. On the rude side and really seemed bothered that I am there. Incidentally, not that it should matter, but for a 700c tube so not something off a mongoose. Fortunately I have had good experiences, but still find myself going online due to I canít see paying the LBS Ďsaleí price or waiting for them to order the part from where I would probably be buying from anyway.
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Old 09-09-19, 07:29 AM
  #85  
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I was looking for something online the other day and noticed all the online places were charging retail. So I can get it cheaper at my LBS. I was going to get it at the LBS anyway. I do this a lot, I call it reverse showrooming.

I have a friend that used to waste a lot of money buying online and then finding out what he bought wouldn't work. Now he pays the LBS. The real mistake is to shop afterwards, once they have figured out what you really needed. That's not really a fair comparison, is it?

They loaned me a bike case to take on a trip. Saved me quite a bit of money I didn't want to spend. When I buy my own, I'm going to get it through them.
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Old 09-09-19, 07:45 AM
  #86  
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The LBS' that I purchase from are all local somewhere in the country.
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Old 09-09-19, 08:02 AM
  #87  
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LBS in Atlanta are a joke.

I asked the LBS if they had Shimano L04C metal pads and said, "I need L04C metal, not L02A resin" at least three times. I was told they were available at one of their other locations and drove an hour only to be told, "We don't stock the L04C metal pads. We only stock the resin pads."

It's stuff like this, over and over and over again.


-Tim-
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Old 09-09-19, 11:14 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
LBS in Atlanta are a joke.

I asked the LBS if they had Shimano L04C metal pads and said, "I need L04C metal, not L02A resin" at least three times. I was told they were available at one of their other locations and drove an hour only to be told, "We don't stock the L04C metal pads. We only stock the resin pads."

It's stuff like this, over and over and over again.


-Tim-
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Old 09-09-19, 11:34 AM
  #89  
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This is a hit or miss kind of deal. If your LBS consists of good people who really want to help you, then of course, go ahead and support them. There is a channel on youtube, i think it is called "bikemanforU". That channel had videos featuring an oldish man, teaching about bike repairs. It was really helpful back in the day. Maybe it still is (the channel is old and i lost track). Later on, i found out that this man had a bike sales/repair business. Now if i was living anywhere near that shop, i'd support his business, just because of the fact that he took the time to shoot all those videos and shared them for free. But of course, that's just me.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:55 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
LBS in Atlanta are a joke.

I asked the LBS if they had Shimano L04C metal pads and said, "I need L04C metal, not L02A resin" at least three times. I was told they were available at one of their other locations and drove an hour only to be told, "We don't stock the L04C metal pads. We only stock the resin pads."

It's stuff like this, over and over and over again.
-Tim-
Chain/franchise stores are going to be hit or miss.

I've found that the best shops are independents which are run by actual cyclists. Not surprising.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:09 AM
  #91  
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I am all about free market. If a LBS has a tool, bike, or service that I can get there at a reasonable price and I will go there. Otherwise I have no qualms about going online since most of the time it's cheaper and shipping is quick at 1 business day. The fact of the matter is that LBS or brick and mortar shops are just un needed for most people. Margins aren't great on bikes, there hasn't been massive innovation in bikes where people are buying them every year, and frankly buyers have become smarter. Since bikes change very little year to year most bikes are just a new color schemes, so buying a closeout or through a wholesaler can save your thousands. I used to think you go into a LBS and just take whatever they have and if you are lucky they will order it for you at MSRP. I think this is why so many people in the past had ill fitted bikes, since LBS used to be the only place to get bikes and accessories. Now with the internet eating into margins why would you want to pay full MSRP for a Shimano group set when you can save hundreds buying online? I once asked a LBS if I bought the group set myself and brought in my bike how much they would charge to set it up. Honestly I was expecting a high number but the answer was boggling and infuriating, since the tech replied since I bought the items online and not through them they would have to charge me 15% more. First why even tell someone that and secondly me bringing in my own goods for service is higher margin and less of a hassle than ordering them from the store.


I agree some people will always want LBS for service they can't do themselves, warranty purposes, last minute service or accessories, support local business, or just to be part of community but frankly LBS need to adapt and some have turning their shops into bases for their internet sales, or selling closeout bikes online, doing classes or training. I have no issue with LBS but I find myself using LBS to window shop now a days more than anything
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Old 09-10-19, 02:09 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Jrasero View Post
I find myself using LBS to window shop now a days more than anything
I'm sure your local LBS is thrilled to use their capital, real estate, staff, and advertising to help you buy things from other people.
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Old 09-10-19, 02:38 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
I'm sure your local LBS is thrilled to use their capital, real estate, staff, and advertising to help you buy things from other people.
your sarcasm is why people hate cycling elitists. Jabs aside work is work and how is a LBS in this case spending their capital? They do not have to spend their budget or tie up part of their credit line to obtain the group set I was going to buy independently. Real estate, again they didn't need to accept or hold any stock since the place didn't even carry any full on group sets let a lone parts above Tiagra. Staff, I literally was giving work to their staff... Advertising? It be one thing if they purchased an ad to sell Shimano group sets and I went there just to look at the parts or price match them. All and all you have no clue what you are talking about. If anything I was saving them money. My point is the attitude of LBS and them being in this sinking ship refusing to pump water out.
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Old 09-10-19, 04:05 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Jrasero View Post
your sarcasm is why people hate cycling elitists.<irrelevant comments and ad hominem deleted>
You said you liked to use LBSs for window shopping only, implying that you'd buy elsewhere. It doesn't matter whether you're talking bikes, cars, tools, or any other consumer product, it costs a merchant money to have the window and stock you're using to make your purchase decisions. If you take advantage of the fact that there is a Giant Propel in the window of the local dealer, then go online and buy one cheaper elsewhere, you benefitted from his investment.

I'm not sure what any of that has to do with cycling elitists. I'd think it has more to do with recognizing the investment all businesses make in inventory, real estate, labor, advertising, utilities, and the million other things it takes for a business to exist.

Have a great day.

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Old 09-10-19, 07:58 PM
  #95  
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There isn't any reason I need a LBS. Everything I own, I can fix, if I couldn't, it's likely junk.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:31 PM
  #96  
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I find it harder and harder to do business with LBS. Not so much the price but the lack of selection. They simply do not have what I need. I am tired of Trek, Specialized and C'dale, Bontrager etc. From bar tape to tubes, they just have no selection. Everything is the same Chicom box factory crap. I tried really hard recently to purchase a SS 18T Shimano freewheel at the three LBS, no joy there. They are willing to order but I can do that myself, I want to walk in and put my hands on the stuff. One of the LBS has most such things down in a basement and I have to explain to them what I want and they invariably give me these dumb looks like I do not know what I am talking about, quite contrary, it is they who are not knowledgeable. Then they go down into the basement and rummage around for 30 minutes before reappearing with something Bontrager or other that in no way is even close to what I wanted or described.
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Old 09-11-19, 06:09 AM
  #97  
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Was charged $3.22 for a straight gauge spoke this Saturday. 1000% markup. Needed it, didnít complain... to them. But worthy of complaint.
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Old 09-11-19, 06:25 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
You said you liked to use LBSs for window shopping only, implying that you'd buy elsewhere. It doesn't matter whether you're talking bikes, cars, tools, or any other consumer product, it costs a merchant money to have the window and stock you're using to make your purchase decisions. If you take advantage of the fact that there is a Giant Propel in the window of the local dealer, then go online and buy one cheaper elsewhere, you benefitted from his investment.

I'm not sure what any of that has to do with cycling elitists. I'd think it has more to do with recognizing the investment all businesses make in inventory, real estate, labor, advertising, utilities, and the million other things it takes for a business to exist.

Have a great day.

BB
This.
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Old 09-11-19, 06:37 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Was charged $3.22 for a straight gauge spoke this Saturday. 1000% markup. Needed it, didnít complain... to them. But worthy of complaint.
No, it really isn't. Obviously, you found the convenience of them having it in stock worth the $3.00. That's a pretty small price to pay to fulfill an immediate "need".
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Old 09-11-19, 06:46 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I find it harder and harder to do business with LBS. Not so much the price but the lack of selection. They simply do not have what I need. I am tired of Trek, Specialized and C'dale, Bontrager etc. From bar tape to tubes, they just have no selection. Everything is the same Chicom box factory crap. I tried really hard recently to purchase a SS 18T Shimano freewheel at the three LBS, no joy there. They are willing to order but I can do that myself, I want to walk in and put my hands on the stuff. One of the LBS has most such things down in a basement and I have to explain to them what I want and they invariably give me these dumb looks like I do not know what I am talking about, quite contrary, it is they who are not knowledgeable. Then they go down into the basement and rummage around for 30 minutes before reappearing with something Bontrager or other that in no way is even close to what I wanted or described.
This is not a knock on you because I think it's great that you know what you do or don't want, but I'm pretty sure most LBS would go broke trying to cater to people with such diverse preferences. So basically, you can either look to buy stuff out of the mainstream or you can expect to put your hands on it before you buy, but you really can't expect both.

That said, I think it's quite reasonable for you to say that LBS can no longer meet your needs and you need to move on, and there's no reason for you to feel any obligation to act otherwise.
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