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  1. #1
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    Am I foolish for wanting to patronise a given bike shop?

    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of going from my slick-tyred 23" Trek X-cal (1100 miles since July, and 60,000' of climbing) to something a little more road-oriented. As part of this process I've really been shopping bike shops, more than bikes. One in particular has absolutely stood out as the best I've found in town, and I really want to buy a bike from them.

    They're Specialized/Ridley/Scott. They've spent a tonne of time with me. I've found a couple of bikes that work well, and one I really like (56cm Ridley X-Fire, which I fit with a nice big drop to the bars thanks to mutant arms).

    Most of the other bikes I'm interested in (Trek Domane, C'dale SuperSix) are at a shop I don't like as much.

    Am I being stupid with focusing on trying to get a bike from the shop that works with me for fit, etc? Should I widen by search out -- there's some killer deals on leftover 2013 SuperSix bikes around here).

  2. #2
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Absolutely commend you for trying to work with your LBS... that said, unfortunately. sign of the times, shops are limited and if you have your heart set on a bike the shop cannot carry or obtain for you; you are out of luck.

    There is a shop in my town that cyclist (well mostly mountain bikers) worship. It has a very dedicated client base. Sepcialized tried to pressure them into becoming a concept store and they refused. Specialized pulled out but that gave the shop and the community, the opportunity to showcase and sell other brands; just as worthy but not as well known.

    Unfortunately you are dealing with the Concept model that both Trek and Specialize are pushing... I think both brands are equally good but lately I have been pushing friends towards Trek since they are more willing to deal.

    But if you have spent alot of time at the one shop, and they have been willing to work with you, you should strongly consider buying a bike from them. It's just the moral thing to do if nothing else...
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    I've found that there's a much bigger difference between LBS's than bike brands. In my case I wanted a Specialized Roubaix; however, the only bike shop that carried them near me wasn't high on my list. So I got a Giant Defy Advanced that is very similar to a Roubaix from an LBS that I liked a lot. Sometimes I see a Roubaix and have a twinge of buyer's remorse; however, I'd probably had a lot more remorse if I hadn't bought at my favorite LBS.

  4. #4
    Senior Member peckma's Avatar
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    Kudos for wanting to patronize your local LBS. I faced a decision earlier this year: the bike I wanted was not carried by my preferred LBS. I explained the situation to the owner, who said "we appreciate every dollar you spend here, even if it's just a dollar." Bought the bike at another shop, and had its breakin service done there. But, from there on forward, I take it to my preferred LBS for service, parts, etc.

    Keep in mind: a bike purchase is a one shot deal. Bike maintenance, parts and apparel are an on-going relationship.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
    I've found that there's a much bigger difference between LBS's than bike brands. In my case I wanted a Specialized Roubaix; however, the only bike shop that carried them near me wasn't high on my list. So I got a Giant Defy Advanced that is very similar to a Roubaix from an LBS that I liked a lot. Sometimes I see a Roubaix and have a twinge of buyer's remorse; however, I'd probably had a lot more remorse if I hadn't bought at my favorite LBS.
    I'm all over the map with what I want; thought I wanted a Roubaix, but less and less sure now. I'm all over the map on what I want.

  6. #6
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatbrit View Post
    Am I being stupid with focusing on trying to get a bike from the shop that works with me for fit, etc? Should I widen by search out -- there's some killer deals on leftover 2013 SuperSix bikes around here).
    NO. You need to find a shop that you're comfortable with before you buy a bike. You're going to depend on them from everything from initial tune-ups to warranty work (hopefully you'll never need any warranty work).

  7. #7
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
    I've found that there's a much bigger difference between LBS's than bike brands. . .
    Sorta agree, but to be fair, making side to side comparisons will reveal differences in how different bikes fit and feel. Overall quality, however doesn't vary that much once you get above Big Box level bikes. I rode a GT, and Specialized CF road bikes at a Performance Bike Shop. Cannondale and Giant at other places. That was to do due diligence before getting my Masi at my favorite LBS. The guys a really good mechanic, willing to answer my questions, and I like the guy, YMMV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    Unfortunately you are dealing with the Concept model that both Trek and Specialize are pushing... I think both brands are equally good but lately I have been pushing friends towards Trek since they are more willing to deal.
    Several reasons I don't do Trek. The quality is good, but I have problems with aspects of their business.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    There is a shop in my town that cyclist (well mostly mountain bikers) worship. It has a very dedicated client base. Sepcialized tried to pressure them into becoming a concept store and they refused. Specialized pulled out but that gave the shop and the community, the opportunity to showcase and sell other brands; just as worthy but not as well known.
    I think I know this shop. Either it is a tiny little place near where I work, really hidden away in a little industrial park off Warner, or the one on Bake pkwy a little east of Trabuco. Am I right? I happened on the Bake shop by chance on a hot ride last summer, and thank the gods that they were generous with the water.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Stick with the shop. If the Ridley suits you, and the price is right, go for it. While it's true that a purchase is once, but post-purchase service is ongoing, and that great shop will service anything you buy, having a good shop to run interference for you with the manufacturer of a brand they carry, on an warranty issue, is a good thing to have.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    Stick with the shop. If the Ridley suits you, and the price is right, go for it. While it's true that a purchase is once, but post-purchase service is ongoing, and that great shop will service anything you buy, having a good shop to run interference for you with the manufacturer of a brand they carry, on an warranty issue, is a good thing to have.
    The Ridley fits (though I'm still nervous it's 'too small', the fitter seems to be good). Price is a bit high, especially compared to on-line, but I love the way it looks and it rides just fine.

    As with all too many things, reading too many Internet reviews leads to decision paralysis. BikeRadar appears to love everything C'dale, and the Trek/C'dale dealership is 'ok', and blowing out bikes at silly, silly prices. I bought my MTB from there earlier this year and haven't been unhappy.

    Finding the other shop, however, has been a revelation. I'm glad that my gut feeling is right -- the store really is more important than almost anything else. If I want to go Spesh, I could there as well (I rode a Tarmac and a Roubaix, and the latter was pretty damn nice -- but more than the Ridley).

  10. #10
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I like the idea of building a good relationship with people you NEED to be able to trust. They also carry some of my favorite bike lines.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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  11. #11
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatbrit View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of going from my slick-tyred 23" Trek X-cal (1100 miles since July, and 60,000' of climbing) to something a little more road-oriented. As part of this process I've really been shopping bike shops, more than bikes. One in particular has absolutely stood out as the best I've found in town, and I really want to buy a bike from them.

    They're Specialized/Ridley/Scott. They've spent a tonne of time with me. I've found a couple of bikes that work well, and one I really like (56cm Ridley X-Fire, which I fit with a nice big drop to the bars thanks to mutant arms).

    Most of the other bikes I'm interested in (Trek Domane, C'dale SuperSix) are at a shop I don't like as much.

    Am I being stupid with focusing on trying to get a bike from the shop that works with me for fit, etc? Should I widen by search out -- there's some killer deals on leftover 2013 SuperSix bikes around here).
    You

    No. You're not being stupid. When you buy a new bike, you're buying a relationship with a shop, and if one shop stands out from the others, that's the way to go.

    Fact of the matter is that you can find a great bike in nearly every manufacturer's line at nearly every price point. Between Specialized, Ridley, and Scott, you have lots of options. But you can't find great service from people you like at every shop. THAT should make your choice in this situation.
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  12. #12
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    I think I know this shop. Either it is a tiny little place near where I work, really hidden away in a little industrial park off Warner, or the one on Bake pkwy a little east of Trabuco. Am I right? I happened on the Bake shop by chance on a hot ride last summer, and thank the gods that they were generous with the water.
    The one on Bake - Bike Co, I patronize ('tis my shop when I need one as well as Jenson out in Corona). I have tried to go to the Warner shop but its always closed. No I am speaking of The Path (in Tustin and Trabuco). Frankly I hate the shop but its worshipped by many...I have to admit it does carry tons of product including bikes... but its service sucks and its prices are very high... and Path People before you flame me, been abused before, don't care...
    Last edited by Pamestique; 12-18-13 at 03:34 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatbrit View Post
    I'm all over the map with what I want; thought I wanted a Roubaix, but less and less sure now. I'm all over the map on what I want.
    I bought a Giant Defy, but rode a Domane and a Roubaix enough (and side by side) to feel pretty confident in saying any of them would have made a great bike for me. There's not enough difference there to go to a shop you don't like.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
    I bought a Giant Defy, but rode a Domane and a Roubaix enough (and side by side) to feel pretty confident in saying any of them would have made a great bike for me. There's not enough difference there to go to a shop you don't like.
    Thanks.

    Like I said -- that covers how I feel. The shop in question has told me to go ride everything, find the best I can. Can't argue with that, especially when you're tall.

  15. #15
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    Great shop, great service, and a Ridley XFire??? Sounds like a recipe for pedaling bliss!
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
    No. You're not being stupid. When you buy a new bike, you're buying a relationship with a shop, and if one shop stands out from the others, that's the way to go.
    In my case, I'm actually buying a bike. Why would I want a relationship with a bunch of nitwits who know less about the models I'm considering than I do, want to sell me $10 inner tubes and accessories at MSRP, or make me wait weeks for service that I can easily perform myself?

  17. #17
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    In my case, I'm actually buying a bike. Why would I want a relationship with a bunch of nitwits who know less about the models I'm considering than I do, want to sell me $10 inner tubes and accessories at MSRP, or make me wait weeks for service that I can easily perform myself?
    Sounds like you have a relationship with the wrong shop.
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  18. #18
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    In my case, I'm actually buying a bike. Why would I want a relationship with a bunch of nitwits who know less about the models I'm considering than I do, want to sell me $10 inner tubes and accessories at MSRP, or make me wait weeks for service that I can easily perform myself?
    yeah, I do all my own maintenance too. The last straw was before my first century - all the wags say to get your bike once-overed (nice english there, eh?) and the good shop near me said they didn't have any openings for weeks. Of course, they have hooked me up in the past but let's face it - bike maintenance is not rocket surgery.

    Regardless, I'd rather support a shop I like with my money over a shop I do not like.

  19. #19
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    Re think this whole thing - and you are going in the right direction ----------------------- BUT, GOSH, MAKE SURE IT FITS !

    Be absolutely correct that it fits properly, even I you have o wait for them to order......... You don't want ot be the proverbial monkey on the football, as it (and you) will never be right!

    Why do you feel it's too small?

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  20. #20
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatbrit View Post
    The Ridley fits (though I'm still nervous it's 'too small', the fitter seems to be good). Price is a bit high, especially compared to on-line, but I love the way it looks and it rides just fine.

    As with all too many things, reading too many Internet reviews leads to decision paralysis. BikeRadar appears to love everything C'dale, and the Trek/C'dale dealership is 'ok', and blowing out bikes at silly, silly prices. I bought my MTB from there earlier this year and haven't been unhappy.

    Finding the other shop, however, has been a revelation. I'm glad that my gut feeling is right -- the store really is more important than almost anything else. If I want to go Spesh, I could there as well (I rode a Tarmac and a Roubaix, and the latter was pretty damn nice -- but more than the Ridley).
    Trust your fitter, especially if this is your first road bike purchase. Don't go by frame size. Geometries vary. One 56 might be another company's 58.

    With Ridley, there's also the style points plus of riding something less ubiquitous than the big 4. It's not a big deal to me, but to some, having something other than the 4 different brands of the same vanilla matters.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Re think this whole thing - and you are going in the right direction ----------------------- BUT, GOSH, MAKE SURE IT FITS !

    Be absolutely correct that it fits properly, even I you have o wait for them to order......... You don't want ot be the proverbial monkey on the football, as it (and you) will never be right!

    Why do you feel it's too small?
    Because I'm so used (at my height and size) to buying the largest of everything, and I'm paranoid about buying too small.

    Trusting the fitter is key. I don't think he'd steer me wrong, however, so...

    To mprelaw's point -- yeah. There's an appeal to the Ridley, and their 56 is certainly not anyone else's. The other thing I've learned with shopping is that bike sizing by the numbers is ... well. Yeah.

  22. #22
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    Well.

    The price was /definitely/ right; they made sure. Fit appears good, though it was after dark when I got home, so didn't get much of a maiden ride in.

    However, there is now a 'road' bike in the garage, and I can convert the mountain bike back to a /real/ one, not a fake hybrid. Black and yellow Ridley X-Fire, Ultegra. I mounted up a set of 28mm Conti Gatorskins for road work, and will see (assuming there is no snow) how we go tomorrow. Based on the test ride I'm going to love it!

  23. #23
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    ^^^^ awesome job pulling the trigger....picture please
    ...mad as a box of frogs

  24. #24
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the new ride.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
    ^^^^ awesome job pulling the trigger....picture please
    Everywhere I possibly can post it? Black and yellow is BY FAR my favourite colour combo, I think. Unless I can get screaming AUSTRIAN Orange.



    I don't have your style for posing it; it's trying hard to snow again, and did last night so I just spun around the neighbourhood for a little bit of climbing.

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