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Old 09-24-05, 06:44 PM   #1
Roaming.Gnome
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Bike Shop question

I'm looking for an "entry level" road bike (i.e. less than $1000) and just recently visited a local bike shop in my area, which carries Trek bikes. Two of the bikes I'm looking at are the Trek 1000 and 1200, which are $575and $795 respectively. The gal who helped me said that if I buy a bike there, I get a free professional fitting of the bike, 10% off any other merchandise for 30 days, and free tune-ups for life. Is this fairly typical of a bike shop, or is this extraordinary? A followup question regarding the two bikes mentioned above: those of you in the know--do you think I would be happy with either of these bikes for both commuting and 20-30 mile road rides on weekends?

Thanks!
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Old 09-24-05, 06:53 PM   #2
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I know one of ours in town here has a very similar deal. Most will do some form of fitting, although the definition of 'professional' varies quite a bit Free tune ups for life is pretty generous, as far as I know - I'd expect an initial look-over/adjust at about 100 miles and maybe one tune up that fall or next spring, lifetime seems pretty good.
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Old 09-24-05, 06:56 PM   #3
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That is the standard treatment by the better bike shops. Those are two nice bikes at great prices. Does the shop carry anyother brands?
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Old 09-24-05, 09:20 PM   #4
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Either bike will do you well. If you want to spend the extra $, the 1200 has better parts so it will shift better, brake better, roll more nicely, etc. Everthing that your salesperson said was standard stuff. The only question I have is the lifetime free service stuff. If you buy a quality brand car, do you get lifetime free service ? No. The car dealer made , let's say $5000 profit on the sale and cannot give you free service. You spend $600 at the local quality bike shop and the owner makes a $175 profit. How can he afford to give lifetime free service ? He can't. Do you really think that the owner can pay his quality mechanic $12 an hour to do free tune-ups all day ? No way.
'Lifetime Free Service' means a 5 minue wipe down of the bike and that is it. No one operating a profitable business can afford to do free service. Especially with the high seasonality and very poor profit margins that a bike shop generates. Get a Trek and enjoy it, but do not expect a $40 free thorough tune up for life. It is just not possible.
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Old 09-24-05, 09:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jacksbike
Either bike will do you well. If you want to spend the extra $, the 1200 has better parts so it will shift better, brake better, roll more nicely, etc. Everthing that your salesperson said was standard stuff. The only question I have is the lifetime free service stuff. If you buy a quality brand car, do you get lifetime free service ? No. The car dealer made , let's say $5000 profit on the sale and cannot give you free service. You spend $600 at the local quality bike shop and the owner makes a $175 profit. How can he afford to give lifetime free service ? He can't. Do you really think that the owner can pay his quality mechanic $12 an hour to do free tune-ups all day ? No way.
'Lifetime Free Service' means a 5 minue wipe down of the bike and that is it. No one operating a profitable business can afford to do free service. Especially with the high seasonality and very poor profit margins that a bike shop generates. Get a Trek and enjoy it, but do not expect a $40 free thorough tune up for life. It is just not possible.
So...you've obviously worked in shops that offered free tune-ups for life, otherwise you wouldn't have said that, right?
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Old 09-25-05, 12:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by AppStateEvan
That is the standard treatment by the better bike shops. Those are two nice bikes at great prices. Does the shop carry anyother brands?
Actually, yes. The gal mentioned Klein and a couple of others I can't remember at the moment. I could be misreading her, but I got the impression that Trek was the only line they carry that had bikes in my "low-end" price range. One of the first questions she asked me was what my price range was.

Regarding purchasing the more expensive 1200 model: I may well go that route, although I haven't decided for sure yet. I know there are plenty of more expensive bikes with higher-end components out there. I just want to see if my enthusiasm with bicycling grows large enough to justify a proportionately larger pricetag.
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Old 09-25-05, 01:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jacksbike
Either bike will do you well. If you want to spend the extra $, the 1200 has better parts so it will shift better, brake better, roll more nicely, etc. Everthing that your salesperson said was standard stuff. The only question I have is the lifetime free service stuff. If you buy a quality brand car, do you get lifetime free service ? No. The car dealer made , let's say $5000 profit on the sale and cannot give you free service. You spend $600 at the local quality bike shop and the owner makes a $175 profit. How can he afford to give lifetime free service ? He can't. Do you really think that the owner can pay his quality mechanic $12 an hour to do free tune-ups all day ? No way.
'Lifetime Free Service' means a 5 minue wipe down of the bike and that is it. No one operating a profitable business can afford to do free service. Especially with the high seasonality and very poor profit margins that a bike shop generates. Get a Trek and enjoy it, but do not expect a $40 free thorough tune up for life. It is just not possible.
Every time I've bought a bike with free tune ups that's just what it's been. The labor is free but you pay for things like cables. A fair deal in my mind.

The fact is that most people don't bring in their bikes for tune-ups on a regular basis. Most bikes sit in the garage and come out for an occasianal week end trip around the park.
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Old 09-25-05, 08:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ziemas
Every time I've bought a bike with free tune ups that's just what it's been. The labor is free but you pay for things like cables. A fair deal in my mind.

The fact is that most people don't bring in their bikes for tune-ups on a regular basis. Most bikes sit in the garage and come out for an occasianal week end trip around the park.
Exactly. At all but one of the shops I've worked at we had free tune-ups for at least a year, and in two cases, lifetime. Each and every shop did a full tune-up, though the customer pays for any needed parts. The reason you can do so and remain profitable is two-fold: you often make very good customers out of people that experience the benefit of the free tune-ups (and their referrals), and second, as Ziemas mentioned, so few people actually take advantage of this.
Funny how people try to pass off their opinion as fact and then disappear...the beauty of internet forums, I suppose.
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Old 09-25-05, 09:56 AM   #9
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I'm definitely no expert on the bike business but the free tuneups should actually increase a shop's business. That would be their way of a getting a former customer back in the door. The customer would be more likely to buy something else from the shop. Also like someone else said cables and other repair items wouldn't be free but the markup on them would be profit for the shop, even if it's a very small amount.
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Old 09-25-05, 10:20 AM   #10
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Don't forget that the LBS is already paying its mechanics to show up, regardless of whether or not there are bikes to repair. So having free tuneups likely doesn't cost the LBS extra...if anything, it helps ensure repeat business because the cyclist will be compelled to bring their bike back to that particular LBS, and as the poster above mentioned, the LBS will be able to sell them parts and other items necessary for the tuneup.
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Old 09-25-05, 12:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roaming.Gnome
I'm looking for an "entry level" road bike (i.e. less than $1000) and just recently visited a local bike shop in my area, which carries Trek bikes. Two of the bikes I'm looking at are the Trek 1000 and 1200, which are $575and $795 respectively. The gal who helped me said that if I buy a bike there, I get a free professional fitting of the bike, 10% off any other merchandise for 30 days, and free tune-ups for life. Is this fairly typical of a bike shop, or is this extraordinary? A followup question regarding the two bikes mentioned above: those of you in the know--do you think I would be happy with either of these bikes for both commuting and 20-30 mile road rides on weekends?

Thanks!
Sounds good. Trek is the largest of the U.S. bike manufacturers and backs up its products well. Klein, by the way, is one of Trek's brands. It should serve your intended purpose just fine. Good luck with it.
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Old 09-25-05, 03:28 PM   #12
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i have a friend who really doesn't know a whole lot about bikes and he just went to tallahassee and bought a raleigh mojave 4.0 for dirt cheap AND with free tune ups for life. i was concerned about this claim as well. the mechanic allegedly told him if his bike EVER made any sort of squeak whatsoever, to get off the bike immediately and bring it in for free. i'm glad someone else brought this up, i wish somebody would have offered me this 15-20 years ago...
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