Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32
  1. #1
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Nabob, WI
    My Bikes
    '03 Trek 7500, '08 Madone 4.5
    Posts
    1,176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    How "L" is your "BS"?

    So I'm in the market for a new (first) road bike and face a bit of a challenge in finding the right shop to do business with.

    There is a shop very close to work, so it's number one in convenience. They carry only one brand of bike, though, so my choice there is limited. Service seems decent and the owner is almost always in the shop.

    There is a truly local shop, but customer service is hit-or-miss (mainly on the "miss" side). Oh, and they only carry that same brand as shop #1.

    There's another local shop that carries a different line, but they split their time between selling bikes and a bunch of other outdoor gear. Bike knowledge is okay, but limited.

    In a nearby larger city there is a large shop. They carry a couple of different lines but seem disinterested in having my business.

    Further away, I start to get more variety in brands carried PLUS decent customer service. But it would be an inconvenience to take the bike in for servicing.

    What factors guided you in selecting a lbs? Was brand selection as important as service?

    Just looking for ideas on how to proceed . . .
    Last edited by tntyz; 01-04-09 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Edit to correct subject line

  2. #2
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    In the foothills of Los Angeles County
    Posts
    10,691
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To me, the service is all that matters. I've been using the same shop for years, even though he has moved and sells different brands than he did when I met him. I trust him, and he will help me any way he can. It doesn't matter if he moves further away.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Foothills, NC
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Crosstrail Elite, 2008 Cannondale Six13 3
    Posts
    415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would look first a customer service, then go from there. Actually in my opinion knowledge is part of customer service, what good is having the most friendly person around in your shop if he has no bicycle knowledge. Then look at repair service, this should be their bread and butter. I have used 2 LBSs since I started cycling 6 months ago. Both of these are 45 miles from my home, but the closest I have. The first one is family run and very knowledgable, customer service was decent and we bought our specialized crosstrails from them. I was just out and about one day and stopped at another LBS. This shop made me fill like family. as soon as I walked in the owner started talking to me and introduced me to everyone in the store, employees and customers alike. At that point he did not even start asking what I was there for or what I needed. as we were carrying on a convesation I told him what I was looking for. He then asked a few questions and we started from there He shoowed me the different choices and told me the good and bad of all. He then asked if I had time to let them look at fit so he could let me try some of his suggestion. I did so we did a 15 min fit session then he told me to pick out the model or models I wanted to try, I picked the one I was most interested in, he then placed that model on the trainer and did a more in depth fit. he replaced the stem and put pedald on ( my choice) he told me to take it for a test ride and then walked the bike out the front door. He then loaded it on my truck and told me to take it home for a week and then bring it to let him know what I thought. A week later I took the bike back he did another fit and at that point I bought my Cannondale six 13. To me this was customer service. And maybe even risky business but I can say he makes everyone that comes into his store fill like family. You can never find his store empty of customers, many just stop by after work for idle convesation and friendly get together. This is just my humble if not useless opinion but It is how I decided on my LBS even though it is not as local as some may want.
    09 Specialized Crosstrail Elite
    08 Cannondale Six13 3

  4. #4
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Maryland suburbs outside Washington D.C.
    My Bikes
    '06 Specialized Roubiax Expert, '08 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29, Nishiki frame
    Posts
    498
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well...for my $.02, the most important aspect of selecting a bike is fit, even if you pay for it (i.e., most LBS' will charge you for a full "fitting", but deduct it from the price of a bike if you get one from them). The bottom line is that getting the right "brand" won't matter in the long run if you're not comfortable.

    So I'd start with a shop with friendly, knowledgeable people (like the type dguest describes) who are willing to invest the time getting to know you (i.e., how will you use the bike?, how far do you plan to ride?, etc.) and make sure the bike fits.

    Living near D.C. I have many shops to choose from, but have gravitated to a local LBS (College Park Bicycles) because of the factors mentioned above.

    Good luck.
    2006 Specialized Roubaix Expert
    2008 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,535
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BillK View Post
    So I'd start with a shop with friendly, knowledgeable people (like the type dguest describes) who are willing to invest the time getting to know you (i.e., how will you use the bike?, how far do you plan to ride?, etc.) and make sure the bike fits.
    That's pretty much what I think too. Don't worry about bikes, shop for a shop. When you find the right sales person you'll know it. Buy a brand that they sell and you'll never go wrong.

  6. #6
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,069
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Let's see.....Pricepoint is in California, so is JensonUSA. AEBike is in Chicago.................not so local I guess.

    Maddmaxx's Wheel Works and purveyorsory of bicycle parts is close by though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do your homework on which bike you truely want and go from there. Don't be sold by a Specialized or Trek brand store to buy only their product. If you like the service at one shop ask them to get you the bike YOU want.It's your money. If they can't or won't no big deal. Even if you don't buy the bike from them they can still service it for you. Parts is parts but good service is rare.

  8. #8
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,069
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dvs cycles View Post
    Do your homework on which bike you truely want and go from there. Don't be sold by a Specialized or Trek brand store to buy only their product. If you like the service at one shop ask them to get you the bike YOU want.It's your money. If they can't or won't no big deal. Even if you don't buy the bike from them they can still service it for you. Parts is parts but good service is rare.
    Some of the brand stores have exclusive contracts. This is not always on the up and up, but pressure can be brought to bear on the owner's from many directions.

  9. #9
    Banned.
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Southern california
    My Bikes
    Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
    Posts
    3,498
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think service is the most important issue. However the customer has a responsibility to develop the relationship with their LBS. I have tried to get to know the repair/sales people and have talked to the owner several times. I have moved from a small town and I know how important supporting local businesses is and have talked to the owner on the LBS about it. In a small town if you don't support a local business in may fail and shut down. Once that has happened in a small town you just might not get someone else to shop with. My promise to them is I will try to give them the first shot at meeting my cycling needs. In return they will try to meet as close as they can any offer I get on the price of equipment I might be interested in. Yes sometimes going through the LBS can be slower than ordering things myself. And yes there are times they don't get parts back to me as quickly as a large store might. But the advantage is they get to know me and know what I like and how I like things done. In my opinion the LBS to do business with is the one you would feel comfortable with just going in and talking to people to see what new things are going on or shoot the breeze.

    All that being said the truth is when ten people get their bikes from the same place more than half of them won't like the shop they do business with just because.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Green Valley AZ
    My Bikes
    Trice Q; Volae Century; TT 3.4
    Posts
    3,772
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My favorite bike shop is about 290 miles away. They offer a huge selection of recumbents, deep expertise, excellent wrenches and a strong customer orientation.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  11. #11
    Bourbon junkie ricebowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    651
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The responsibility is not the customers', it's the LBS responsibility to attract the customers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    However the customer has a responsibility to develop the relationship with their LBS.
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Show me just one law that says that a person has a right to exercise their judgement or common sense, just one.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    My Bikes
    2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
    Posts
    6,920
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Were I you, I'd shop both local stores, and only buy out of town if I felt I was getting significantly better bike/deal. You'll end up doing lots of parts, accessories, service locally anyway.

    LBS's don't make it easy, though -- my favorite shop is quoting me $340 for some changes I want to make to one of my bikes (parts + labor). If I buy the parts on eBay and do the work myself it's $190....still, I'd like them to do the work. It's kind of a tricky upgrade and I hate to be the guy who buys something online, screws up the installation, and then limps into the store to pay for a re-do. I have 100% confidence they'd do it right.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 01-04-09 at 10:07 PM.

  13. #13
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,285
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My favourite LBS (the one I work for) is 60 miles away.
    My second favourite is 45 miles south of me, but they're never hiring.... no one wants to leave.

  14. #14
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO.
    My Bikes
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1
    Posts
    1,849
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Service is the key!

    I plan on gettting a LBS level MTB come Spring, I'm riding a department store MTB now. When I got the DSB, I took it to a few local shops and only ONE was willing to do a "Tune up" on it, now that shop will get my serious business, I'll be buying a Jamis MTB instead of a Gary Fisher or Specialized all because the shop owner and mech's. were willing to work on my POS DSB MTB and give me service with a smile! That and the fact that I couldn't afford Top O the line, they showed me 3 different brands in a extensive price range and didn't act like it was a waste of their time to work with me! I've spent more in "service" than my department store MTB cost but it rides, GREAT and I got no snobby elitest attitude as I got from quite a few of the shops. I agree that brand of bike isn't a big thing, SERVICE and understanding is!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

  15. #15
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
    My Bikes
    1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
    Posts
    14,595
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My favorite LBS is an easy 10-minute walk or sub-5-minute bike ride from my house.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  16. #16
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    My Bikes
    Bicycle Transportation: 2013 Ford Focus Electric, 2010 Toyota Prius
    Posts
    4,912
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,

    A couple of things to add. First, it doesn't matter if you buy a bike from one shop and then bring it to another to get it serviced. Also bike shops are generally small businesses so there are a lot of personalities involved in establishing a relationship. Some people really like the LBS that sponsors our club, some don't. Obviously, the business owner and employees should be working harder to establish good relationships with customers, but the customers and their ability to "get along" with the employees is part of the equation too.

    If you don't like the people working at a particular shop, find a different one if possible.

    If you establish a relationship with a shop you will get deals. The head mechanic at my LBS has done some small things for me for free. At the same time I have paid for some big things there (custom Serotta for example). I also have gotten more than the standard club discount on some large ticket items (where I end up saving more total dollars). If I walked in off the street and asked for their best deal I know that they would tell me to get lost.

    BTW, I worked at bike shops part-time and full-time for a few years and I am very picky about where I shop locally. Most shops are at best OK. I probably spend as much by mail order as I do at my LBS and they know that.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
    See my bikes at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/mybicycles
    Visit my blog at http://cleavesblant.wordpress.com/
    Lightning Velo Cycling Club: http://www.lightningvelo.org/

  17. #17
    Banned.
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Southern california
    My Bikes
    Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
    Posts
    3,498
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ricebowl View Post
    The responsibility is not the customers', it's the LBS responsibility to attract the customers.
    If you are an unfriendly old grump do you truthfully expect the same care or concern from your LBS? Or if you don't spend the effort to get to know them well will they treat you just like any store would? I am not talking about attracting a sale. I am talking about developing a relationship that keeps you coming back to the same LBS. Otherwise all you are looking for is the best price on your bike or saddle or front fork and that might be online or at any LBS. If your LBS knows you commute or they know your are going to be racing in a race in a week they will more than likely put in the extra effort to service you bike or get your part to make sure you get what you need to get on the road. They can't know anything about you our your likes if they don't know you.

    That is how it works for me but like they say on TV, "your results my vary." You might have a different process that works for you.

  18. #18
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, West of Harris Lake, NC
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR-C, Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 05 Rockhopper, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 01 Bianchi Campione, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 97 Lemond
    Posts
    8,858
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Most of my business (about 90%) including two new bikes in three years, goes to a privately owned small shop that has the knowledge and capability to work on all types and ages of bikes. IMHO they have two of the best bike mechanics in the Raleigh area, one of them is like a young Sheldon Brown in terms of knowledge.
    This LBS knows me well, treats every customer with respect and is non-elitist. Funny, there's another LBS about 10 blocks from my house, but their elitist attitude turned me off so bad I won't go in there to buy a new tube.
    When buying my new road bike, I bought a Giant because that was one of the main brands this shop sold. So yes, this shop is so good, and I have such confidence in them, I allowed it to influence the brand I purchased. I don't regret the purchase at all.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  19. #19
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Whittier, CA
    My Bikes
    GT Edge Titanium, Mercian Vincitore, Masi Gran Criterium, GT Zaskar, Hercules 3-Speed, KHS Flight Team
    Posts
    5,207
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To answer the OP, my favorite Local Bike Shop is 8 mi. away. There are two that are closer, and I've shopped there at times, but the extra service I get at my favorite LBS makes the proverbial world of difference.

    One difference is making the "right sale" as compared to simply making "a sale." I've had my LBS advise against a purchase, just because they know the kind of riding I do. While it would have made a good sized sale for their day, they passed on it for the sake of keeping a long term customer.

    I may have a bit different perspective than most 50+ forumites, since I worked in several bike shops when I was younger, both as a salesperson and a mechanic.

    Rick / OCRR

  20. #20
    Old Fogy
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Murray, Utah
    Posts
    1,224
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've bought two bikes, and sent friends to buy two more, at a shop that is so expensive on parts and accessories that I don't go there for anything more that a tube. I think they are competent mechanically, but I haven't needed to use them. Probably couldn't afford them.

    The shop I deal with most doesn't carry any bikes that I liked well enough to buy, but are very reasonable on most parts and accessories, plus a couple of their employees are truly expert mechanics. I have called on them for advice several times, although I do all of my own wrenching.

    Another shop I have dealt with is so-so on prices, but carries a broader range of stock than the others. So depending on what I want, I go to different shops. Occasionally buy on line, but prefer supporting the LBS.

  21. #21
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    My Bikes
    06 Lemond Reno, 98 GT Timberline mtn.bike
    Posts
    1,013
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Within the last year, one opened up about 6 miles from my house. Small shop, but I've had them order things for me, and usually get in within a fair amount of time. Most of the stores locally don't carry a large inventory of parts/accessories, but can order and most will come close to online stores if you deal with them. Do most of my own repairs (other than tensioning/truing wheels), so don't rely much on them for repairs/adjustments. Next closest shop, which has more bikes to choose from, is about 20 miles. Almost forgot, another new shop opened up the road, about 14 miles away, haven't dealt with them yet, but did stop in-hope they make it, seem like some good folks running it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    6,989
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The only difference between a LBS and a mail-order place is the service, and any owner that doesn't recognize that is going to run himself out of business.

    I have a shop right up the block from where I park for work. They work on anything, but their forte is small parts. There's one 6 1/2 miles from my house, and they NEVER have a part I am looking for -- unless I'm looking for a water bottle. I'll occasionally take a wheel problem to them, although only if I don't need it done quickly; because they will have to order even spokes or bearings. Finally, there's a shop about 9 miles from my house, but I never go there because although it's in a highly-visible location, it's also impossible to get in and out of their lot. Apparently they pay a premium for the location, because their prices are out of sight. Finally, there's one about 20 miles away. The shop is clean, they'll often work on something while I wait, they automatically give me a club discount, and they're the only shop in the area to carry recumbents and recumbent-oriented parts.

    Guess which shop I like to use?

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    201
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My LBS is 25 miles away. But they are the closest to me. I get really good service when the manager is there because he knows me. But there has been a turnover there lately so I get lesser service from some of the other guys.

    I had to take my bike in last fall for some work and they were REALLY backed up. The manager wasn't there. But when he spotted my bike in line for work, it got pulled and done much earlier than promised.

  24. #24
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Nabob, WI
    My Bikes
    '03 Trek 7500, '08 Madone 4.5
    Posts
    1,176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the great input, as usual.

    I ended up going back to shop #1 (close to where I work) this noon. Had a great conversation with the owner. He remembered that I had bought shoes and pedals there this summer even though I pretty much waited on myself. He recalled it, he said, because they were really busy at the moment and he didn't get the chance to help me out me more! Though that was true, I didn't feel like anyone was ignoring me. I could see they were busy, too, and I knew what I wanted.

    They have serviced my bike in the past and I know they've done a good job at it.

    Looks like I'll be looking at a new Trek in the near future!

  25. #25
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    10,497
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My LBS is in Colorado. I live in Cali.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha
    We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by making View Post
    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •