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Old 02-22-06, 12:33 PM   #1
Old Dirt Hill
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So I've decided to take the plunge and build my Surly LHT myself. I'd really like to give the LBS my business, although since I'm on a pretty tight budget (isn't everyone?), I'm not going to do anything foolish. So I've compiled a list of the various components that I'd like to use and I've included the best prices I could find online. Using this list, I've got a fairly good idea how much everything is going to cost me.

Should I take this list (without the penciled prices, I'm assuming) to my LBS and let them quote me a price? Is this how you guys normally do it? Would they be totally weirded out if I did something like this?

Assuming I do give them this list and they give me a price that's somewhat comparable to my penciled in prices, I fully intend on going through them. I'm keeping in mind that I don't mind paying a slight premium to the local guy...I just don't want to pass up an incredible deal that I might get if I do it myself online.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 02-22-06, 12:33 PM   #2
Old Dirt Hill
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Mind you, I have no idea which forum I should put this in...this seemed to be the best fit. Sorry if I'm wrong.
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Old 02-22-06, 12:55 PM   #3
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You know, your LBS can get you a completely built LHT to your specs through QBP, most likely cheaper than acquiring new parts bit by bit and building them up yourself. But of course, nothing is more satisfying than doing this yourself, often times, at regardless of cost...
On my recent LHT build I bought the frame from my LBS but I had most Mtb parts laying around to put this thing together. Other missing components needed were either ordered on-line or purchased at my LBS.
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Old 02-22-06, 01:02 PM   #4
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I am building up a cyclocross bike right now, trying to build it up on the cheap with ebay parts because the wife really didn't think I needed a fourth bike. My experience is that it is hard to find a truly smoking deal on ebay. If you shop around on ebay you can find parts for a little less than the lbs sells them for, but then there is shipping and you don't always get what you think you are getting on ebay. Stay away from used parts online- you have no idea what you are getting. If its true that time is money, the best option is to tell the lbs exactly what you want and keep your eyes peeled for sales. Some shops are better than others for ordering parts. Find a good shop that is willing to work with you. Good luck with your build!
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Old 02-22-06, 01:15 PM   #5
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I try to support my LBS, but I was amazed at how much they wanted for parts. I bought frame, bars, and a couple of other parts from them to give them business (and they're doing the build), but bought a lot of stuff on-line which saved me significant money. I also went around to local shops and pawed through their used bins--some good prices there. It's suprising how saving $10 here and $15 there adds up over the cost of building up a new bike.

I'm enough of a cheapskate that I was tempted to buy it all on-line, but I know I want local businesses to survive. In the end I didn't actually wind up saving a whole lot because whatever the LBS quoted me for parts I didn't go and find the same part for less, I just spent the same amount for a better part. The shop was very cool about me dropping off a handful of parts to them.

Just a few examples:

XT crankset 271 from LBS, 197 from local Performance Bike (220 on sale + 10% cause it just got swapped off another bike)
9 spd bar-ends 80 from LBS, 65 on-line
Cane Creek S-3 headset 50 from LBS, 30 on-line.

Yeah, shipping adds a bit, but I still got better parts or saved money by going on-line-even if I feel a bit sleezy.

I also agree that ebay is not always such a great deal--I looked carefully and in the end found that parts are often the same or even less from someplace like Jenson.

Good luck. Post some pics when it's all done.
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Old 02-22-06, 05:28 PM   #6
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If you are uncomfortable telling an LBS that you priced it out online and want them to price match then all you have to do just ask for a quote for the same thing. If you like their quote then buy from them. If you don't like their quote don't buy from them.
I don't think a business should get upset with you for telling them that you are trying to give them your business but you want to make sure you aren't paying too much. Most businesses have to deal with this and it's normal. Why should it be different at a bike shop.
The one thing that I don't like is when people come in and act like they are going to buy a bike or gruopo from me and have me get all the part numbers and sizes and compatibility issues worked out for them when they were planning on mail ordering it or having a buddy get it for them at a discount all along.
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Old 02-22-06, 08:55 PM   #7
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IMHO* you should tell them that you are looking to see if they can match or come close to the online price. We have the price that the boss wants us to sell parts for and, in a case like yours, we will try to match the online guys. Matching is not the regular price because we don't have a single guy working by a 60watt bulb in a 25 cents a foot wharehouse, but if we have a customer trying to deal we can at least attempt to hit the online price. Depending on the onliner, and the item, the price can be easily matched or seel online less than it cost us to get it wholesale. I have no problem with a customer buying online, my problem lies only with the manufacturer that is screwing us on wholesale price.
Yes, you think when a bike shop sell a fork for a $100 more than the online guy, they are screwing you? WRONG. The company that makes the fork is screwing the LBS by selling the fork to someone(Who?) way cheaper than they sell it to the LBS.

* I hate using AOLese almost as much as the expression, "In my humble opinion"
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Old 02-23-06, 07:13 AM   #8
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All good thoughts, thanks for your help. I'll keep this in mind as I continue the process. I guess in the end, if I feel uncomfortable in the LBS (for any reason), I should probably find a different LBS.
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Old 02-23-06, 11:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmgardner
All good thoughts, thanks for your help. I'll keep this in mind as I continue the process. I guess in the end, if I feel uncomfortable in the LBS (for any reason), I should probably find a different LBS.
I wouldnt let the bike shop know that you are buying parts online, I have had alot of BS thrown at me for this. For smaller parts like bottle cages/grips/tires I think your LBS can be realatively competative, but for all big ticket items you will most likely be better off getting it online.

For example, Mavic rim $109 at LBS, $70 online(shipped). I told the LBS I found a good deal on them and they started giving me flack in the store in front of customers.
But somebody posted alread that a LBS could probably get you a complete bike for a 'decent' deal, possibly less than parting it out yourself even with good online deals. Might be worth considering-
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