Commuting - Which bike store? Best in area or half a block away.
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06-22-06, 11:48 AM
I am going to be getting rid of my car soon and my bike/bus pass will become my only form of transportation(unless my fiance is home rarely). So I have a small good problem to have. I will be living within a 4 minute walk from one bike store and 3.06 from "the best bike store in town". Everyone I have asked has said to go to the best one. But they don't know I will live so close to another LBS. Now my concern is if something breaks. I plan on buying a trek and they both are authorized dealers. 3.06 miles is a long walk when it is 95*+ out. But I have no one vouching for the closer store. It could be because I don't know anyone in the area I am moving to and the other lbs is in a high traffic area. Which one would you purchase the bike from?
Best in town-http://citybicycleworks.com/index.cfm
Buy from the store that gives you the better deal. There's nothing preventing you from taking your bike to City for service if you bought it from Bob. If your bike broke downtown you wouldn't walk it all the way to Fair Oaks, right? Or vice versa?
06-22-06, 12:16 PM
I would visit both of them. Pepper them with questions and try out a bike or two.
Whatever one gives you the best service and\or price stick with that one.
3 miles isn't horrible. 4 minutes is even better.
I rarely visit the LBS for mechanical issues (knock on wood *1000 times).
You could also pick up a bicycle mechanics book and try your hand at it. The bike is a relatively simple machine with the proper know how. Keep in mind that I am relatively mechanically inept and I can work on a bike.
06-22-06, 12:18 PM
see if the 'close' store will price match the 'best' store
06-22-06, 12:30 PM
I live 3 blocks from a bike store. I ride my spare bike the 6 miles(one way) to go to a different bike store if I need ANYTHING. I'll go to Walmart for tubes before I go to the bike store near me.
First, they tried to sell me a Freewheel tool for my bike ($7 tool just about anywhere, right?) for $15.99,
Second, they sold me the wrong length spokes (I took the wheel in so they could get the size off of the existing spokes) The spokes they sold me were over a half inch too short.
Third, the 'mechanic' tried to convince me that both sides of the spokes on the rear wheel are exactly the same length.
Knowing the kind of business that the "best" store does, I'd expect that the "close" store has better prices or may be more willing to deal.
06-22-06, 12:47 PM
wow- i wouldnt consider the "close" store acceptable for anything if they are like that
06-22-06, 12:56 PM
You have to decide for yourself if the close store is worth dealing with. How's their prices on blinkies, tubes, gloves, helmets, geek straps, etc. Chances are you'll be at the LBS to buy all the accessories after you buy the bike. Also talk to the mechanic at both stores to get a sense of what they're like. Ask them for old lengths of bike chain and used inner tubes and tell them you're going to use it to lock your saddle to the frame so it doesn't get stolen (a good idea anyway) and see if they give it to you for free, which they should or try to sell it to you. Some mechanics are better than others and some are more honest than others.
06-22-06, 12:58 PM
I have 3 bike shops near my house (one mile to three). But I still prefer to take my bikes to one further from my house at 8 and 1/2 miles. Why? My bikes are not your run-of-the-mill styles with one old British three speed, and 2 folders. I feel more comfortable and confident when the mechanic does not faint when my oddball bikes are wheeled into the shop!
06-23-06, 09:16 PM
I think only you can answer that question. How self-reliant are you vis-à-vis repairs? And on what grounds is the further store the "best" one? Maybe you need to spread your spendings in more than one store.
Right now, I have a few LBS that I patronize. The shop closest to home has a large inventory of parts (and best prices on parts), decent bikes, but they don't swap parts and only do repairs by appointment. A few other stores have a limited selection on parts but better selection of bikes. And my favourite repair shop does only that: it repairs bikes and does a good job at that.
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