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What you get with a new bike purchase?

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What you get with a new bike purchase?

Old 06-28-22, 09:45 PM
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davethelefty
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What you get with a new bike purchase?

Hi everyone. I wanted to solicit some feedback relative to a recent bike purchasing experience. I'm purposely NOT going to describe my experience (yet), but will ask a multiple choice question so I can get your thoughts about what a LBS should be doing.

You go into a LBS and purchase a bike, spending just less than $3000. As a thank-you for your business (or perhaps to demonstrate the LBS value-add versus direct-to-consumer), the LBS does the following:

a) gives you some swag (jersey, t-shirt, water bottle, etc.)
b) gives you a store-wide discount on accessories
c) does a rudimentary fitting of your bike
d) does a more thorough fitting involving measuring, video, etc.
e) some combination of a-d
f) other ___________________________
g) none of the above

What are your experiences, and what are your expectations? Thanks!!

Last edited by davethelefty; 06-28-22 at 09:46 PM. Reason: add to title
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Old 06-28-22, 10:44 PM
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Was the bike purchased at full listed price, or was it on sale or haggled down in price? It really isn't the dollar amount spent as much as the profit margin that would sway my answer.
As a consumer in local bike shops, I have made it clear that all I expect is a fair deal on purchases with respect to competing businesses, be them local or online. If the local shop is fair in their pricing, I will gladly purchase my complete bikes, parts, accessories, & special orders locally, and not expect anything else as a reward for my business.
I work in a small business retail environment also, and have a good understanding of what a brick and mortar shop needs to make in profit and margin in order to stay operational. These numbers can get fouled up pretty quickly when give-aways are expected with every major purchase. I think service plans and the like are added-on as a sort of 'thank you for your business' reward to the purchaser, as it is a useful service to the consumer, and doesn't adversely affect the bottom line as much as giving away or deeply discounting inventory.
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Old 06-29-22, 04:01 AM
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I don't think the dealer is obligated to do any of those things but naturally would factor that into my decision as to who to buy from along with many other factors.
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Old 06-29-22, 04:33 AM
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The LBS should be doing what their business model allows them to do to produce a profit.

Every consumer should ask all pertinent questions up front so there is a complete understanding of what the transaction will include. At that time you can compare your options. And make an informed decision.
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Old 06-29-22, 05:51 AM
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Kai Winters
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You should expect to get the bike you purchased...that's it !
As a courtesy you may get a rudimentary fit...seat height, handlebars, etc.
The shop is getting less and less for the bikes they buy, especially buying from Specialized.
Depending on the shop you might get a discount on accessory purchases at the time of the bike sale.
Most shops offer a period of "no cost" adjustments as cables stretch and spokes/nipples set themselves, etc.
Today you are lucky to get pedals from the bike manufacturer on the more expensive bikes.
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Old 06-29-22, 06:33 AM
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The shop is only obligated to sell the bike. I do feel they should offer a rudimentary fit and 1, or more, basic tune ups within a specified time frame, though they aren't obligated. Been a while but when I bought my road bike the dealer swapped out the stem on the spot, as the orig. felt just a little too long. I think they should offer to go over how to make basic adjustments, or how features such as thru axles or elec. shifting works. Tho it falls on the buyer to also ask, if there are features that you feel need an explanation. The dealer does not know what knowledge you might have about your purchase and may not wish to offend by explaining something which might be considered basic. So if you don't know, ask! I have no experience with thru axles or elec. shifting and would certainly ask before leaving the shop. Rim brakes and mechanical derailleurs I'm ok with. But the dealer would not know that. If there is something you feel should be offered with the purchase, don't be afraid to ask.

Last edited by freeranger; 06-29-22 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 06-29-22, 08:01 AM
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To clarify -- the bike was purchased at "list price" as defined on the Cannondale website and since this particular model was not available locally I had to drive 4 hours to get it. Because this particular LBS was not local to me, in this case I don't benefit from LBS value.


I didn't think I had specific expectations walking into the bike shop, but the fact that I'm even raising this points to the fact that I must have. My experiences have run the gamut from professional fittings to store team jerseys, to, well, nothing. Just trying to calibrate my expectations and perhaps assess the value of the LBS vs. buying direct from the manufacturer.


Thank you everyone for your feedback.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:02 AM
  #8  
John E
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The last time I bought a new bike was 51 years ago, so I don't really know.

Everything I currently own was purchased used.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:56 AM
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Purchased a new bike from local bike shop in early June 22. I did the research and knew what brand and model I wanted. Walked in said I want to by a brand X and model X ($879). They let me test ride it in the parking lot, which doesn't really tell you much. I wanted a kickstand and the one from my old bike would not fit. I purchased the stand, they installed the two bolts holding the stand to the bike frame. They adjusted the seat height to fit me, checked the tightness of all screws, pedals, ect. Told me to bring it back in a month and they would adjust the shifting cables. Bike has hydraulic brakes so no adjustment. I ask if they would take my 9-year old bike in trade. Yes, but would only give me $50 and then I had to pay $60 to ship it to the warehouse that buys all their used bikes. I kept my old bike. I bought from the LBS as I took my old bike to them several years ago as I thought the chain ring was worn. They looked at it, said it was ok and didn't charge me. I told them that is why I was buying a new bike from them. No discounts of any kind were offered or expected by me.
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Old 06-29-22, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by davethelefty View Post
Just trying to calibrate my expectations and perhaps assess the value of the LBS vs. buying direct from the manufacturer.
A main brand manufacturer will not sell directly to the consumer, for several good reasons. If they have an “order form our website” option, the order will be fulfilled by an affiliated LBS.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:09 PM
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davethelefty
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what I meant by direct to consumer was companies like Canyon who don't have any brick and mortar shops, Internet only.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:18 PM
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Last new bike I bought was a Canyon Exceed (hardtail mtb). It came with a rudimentary torque wrench and bits, which I wasn't expecting. But nothing else.
Last bike I bought from a shop was a Specialized Tarmac (road bike). It was on sale and I thought I got a good price. Didn't get anything other than the bike. Wasn't expecting anything.

Very happy with both purchases.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:27 PM
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I've only bought a new bike through a retail store twice in these last ~20 years...the first time I got c) a rudimentary fitting of your bike. The most recent time I got doodly-squat.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
The most recent time I got doodly-squat.
That's terrible.

Our LBS at least gives us jack-diddly.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:54 PM
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what I got
I purchased my bike $1,650.00 plus tax I suppose,
I got bike and bike fit, they installed my pedals for me and made sure I was comfy and fit to the bike.
I've gotten 5 years of friendship and Service sometimes free of charge and have been rescued on the road and bike fixed for free.
I do pay full price for parts or other purchase items but the offset explained above. do I buy everything from them? no but when I can I don't mind because they help me very often with great prices on service.
they support our local mtb trails and sponsor rides and races. good group of folks.
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Old 06-29-22, 03:19 PM
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Our local shops on average will give you a basic fit, and might be willing to swap (like for like) stems if it doesn't involve changing out all the cables and housing runs. They also provide discounts on basics like water bottles, helmets and fenders etc. Mind you, since shop markups on the accessories are like 100%, getting 10% off of these is no bargain; you'd be far better to buy this stuff online. And coming from a shop mechanic here: please please please do not take your new carbon road bike and ask us to install impediments such as racks and fenders or an attachment for a kids trailer. Or (please let me die a kickstand.

As far as basic service such as 'tuneups', yes, provided as well for a year or two. However, what is provided is twiddling the barrel adjuster on derailleurs, checking tire inflation, checking brake pad wear etc. These are the kind of things that any cyclist (absolutely) needs to know, and so you'd actually doing yourself a long-term disservice by outsourcing these fundamental maintenance tasks. If during the free 'tune-up', problems are identified such as wheel needs truing, or chain replacing, this cost is not covered by the shop; you'd still be better off learning this stuff yourself.
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Old 06-29-22, 04:55 PM
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My last new bike purchase was a pre-pandemic clearance discounted $400 to $1600. I was offered 10% off accessories at the time of purchase, a rudimentary fit and free adjustments for a year. I didn't take them up on any of those offers but I didn't expect to leave the store with anything other than the bike I purchased either.
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Old 06-29-22, 09:03 PM
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My LBS guy retired a couple years ago. I had been buying bikes and stuff from him for 30 years. When we first met, I suggested he carry Kucharik toe warmers. He did and I sent people from my club there to get them. He always treated me like a friend after that and gave me discounts and even sold me the last bike I got from him at cost.
I couldn't have been more fortunate and now that he is closed I am out in the cold, cruel world all alone.
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Old 06-29-22, 10:03 PM
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Considering the profit margin on bikes is relatively low and most profit is on service and accessories, nothing. We are not talking about mark-up on a new car.

As a courtesy, many bike shops usually offer a 6 month free tune-up to adjust stretched cables.

The bike shops I frequent are not cash fat but hanging on to survival against internet sales.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:51 PM
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With my first new "real" bike, a Schwinn Le Tour, the LBS threw in some cheesy black rubber foam grips which were fashionable at the time. Nowadays I don't haggle. If I like the bike, I buy it, and that's it. Having worked for a bike shop when I was younger, and knowing the sleepless nights my boss and his wife endured due to being pretty much always a day late and a dollar short, I am less included to haggle with bike shop owners.
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Old 06-30-22, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
And coming from a shop mechanic here: please please please do not take your new carbon road bike and ask us to install impediments such as racks and fenders or an attachment for a kids trailer. Or (please let me die a kickstand.
Why not? Is your advice based on mechanical problems caused by installing/attaching these accessories to a new carbon road bike, or is it based on your personal sense of proper bicycling aesthetics overrides the customer's request for service?
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Old 06-30-22, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by davethelefty View Post

f) other _____________________
They put the bike on the stand, check/adjust spoke tension and trueness, make sure everything else is adjusted and working perfectly and everything is tight, and offer you a free "tune-up" within some period of time to account for break-in.
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Old 06-30-22, 08:10 AM
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I expect a rudimentary fit -- make sure the saddle is (can be) adjusted to me, and I do think the shop should be willing to swap out a road bike stem when needed.

Anything else is gravy or negotiable. I've never personally run into a discount on things you buy with the bike, but that would be a nice benefit. Especially since all my bikes get their own water bottle cages, a blinky or two, a pump, patch kit, spare tube, multitool, and a seat bag to carry the last four. REI offered to put fenders and the rack on my daughter's bike -- that was very nice!
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Old 06-30-22, 08:19 AM
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I went for a 3 hour fitting that was to cost $275, they recommended a new frame. I bought the frame and was given 10% off the price and credit for the fitting towards the frame, which was drop shipped from the Mfg.
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Old 06-30-22, 09:11 AM
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I got my bike, two water bottles, a standard fitting, a free 90 day bike adjustment, and a 30 day discount on accessories.
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