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  1. #1
    Nirvana
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    Buying a bike online?

    Does anyone know why the lbs won't sell you a bike online and have it shipped directly to you instead of picking it up in the store? I'm talking about big brand name bikes.

  2. #2
    ... . Tmax1's Avatar
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    Big brands and the LBS probably have a contractual agreement not to do so. They want you in the store so you can purchase all the other stuff you might need.

  3. #3
    Nirvana
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    They will let you buy all the other items online not bikes...

  4. #4
    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    Bike manufacturers realize that they need do things to keep the local bike shops happy. When you allow online retailers to sell your bikes, local bike shops aren't happy because online retailers can undercut their prices. As a result, local bike shops may be less likely to push your products, especially when customers come in with a printout of a web page, asking Mr. Bike Store Owner why they are selling Model X for $3,000 when they can buy it online for $2,600.

    In addition, bike manufacturers realize that there is an important element missing from online sales that may compromise the enjoyment of the bike - help with sizing, setup and post-purchase tune-ups. This is a very important part of the purchase process, particularly for less experienced riders.

  5. #5
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhs494
    Does anyone know why the lbs won't sell you a bike online and have it shipped directly to you instead of picking it up in the store? I'm talking about big brand name bikes.
    It's a liability thing. LBS's are responsible in part for the quality and safety of the product they provide. One of the ways they ensure this is by inspecting and assembling the bike in house. This way they can say "the bike was in fine working order when we sold it". On the other hand if they sell the bike to someone of questionable experience (I don't care if you've been riding and wrenching for 20 years the shop's still liable) and something goes wrong it's on the shop for not inspecting / assembling and on the brand for shipping a defective product. This applies to complete bikes, they can sell you frames and components until the cows come home because it's not considered as a "complete bike" even though you may have bought all the parts for a full build.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
    Bike manufacturers realize that they need do things to keep the local bike shops happy. When you allow online retailers to sell your bikes, local bike shops aren't happy because online retailers can undercut their prices. As a result, local bike shops may be less likely to push your products, especially when customers come in with a printout of a web page, asking Mr. Bike Store Owner why they are selling Model X for $3,000 when they can buy it online for $2,600.

    In addition, bike manufacturers realize that there is an important element missing from online sales that may compromise the enjoyment of the bike - help with sizing, setup and post-purchase tune-ups. This is a very important part of the purchase process, particularly for less experienced riders.
    YES,it's a well founded,logical possition for companies to take. I'll add,speaking from expierience: Where I lived,'till recently in and near NYC., one could find any brand within a 15 minute drive in any direction.I now live in coastal NC. Steel bikes in general represent a relatively small percentage of bikes sold.Some brands are hundreds of miles away from me,one or two models I'd be better-off driving 800 miles to NY to see,let alone ride. I went a far different route in my lastest purchase,had I chosen to buy a LeMond or a Bianchi and a steel Jamis to name a few,the only other option would have been to send-away for a bike.
    A few places DO sell through the net,some bike COs are more "cotrolled" than others. I found that even the more contolling brands were more likely to be available as last year's model or 2004 or 05. I may still do that for an extra,less racey bike to round-out my collection for "practical" reasons.I know my size anyway. Rules and motives are understandable for sure,I bear no malice,I feel my wishes trump their's.

  7. #7
    Nirvana
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    My only problem with the whole purchase at the store is that in my case I live in a rather rural area.
    The LBS that has any size and selection is over an hour drive, which I have done many times. But if I choose to make a purchase and select my size and the style and features that I want. Then isn't it up to me to assume all the risks involved. Honestly I would rather assemble it myself anyway.
    Shouldn't manufacturers have a method of allowing me to purchase thru the LBS, and say me the consumer signs off on the risks involved with it. I was given an answer at the LBS telling of a lawsuit involving a consumer that was injured and later sued the LBS and Manufacturer for him not being told the risks of riding without proper safety devices ie reflectors. The consumer, it was told to me won the case.
    Honest, I am not trying to cut out the LBS, just the drive.
    Thru a little research I have that some LBS are getting around this thru ebay. Perhaps employees selling under there name and the item not being sold as new. The LBS sells the bike, cuts out the cost of assembly and the risk of the consumer saying it was not correct by it being sold by the individual. They reach consumers that they might not get otherwise.

  8. #8
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    I think the whole concept is fishy. I understand the rethoric used by major bike manufacturers, and for the most part, I wish it were true. Each time I shopped for a bike, I had to fight my way and insist to have a bike adjusted to the way I want it.

    I like a bike which is a touring bike: that accepts 700x32 and preferably 700x37 tires with fenders, that has a relatively high top tube, that has drop handlebars as high or even higher than the saddle, that has cargo capacity and that has a low gear of less than 20 gear-inches. Well, not only such bikes don't exist as such in bike shops, but I have to fight my way to convince the sales persons that it can be done. I also have to convince them that I'm not a weakling because I don't like 700x25 tires (we have potholes aplenty), that I want gears that won't be painful when climbing a 10 % grade with 50 lb of gear, and that I don't want to stand up to climb hills because it's not my cup of tea, that I don't want to race, and that I actually want to use my bike in the city rather than carry it on top of a car to a place where potholes are non-existent. In such an environment, I don't find that bike shops are doing a service to the manufacturers.

    Since i got my touring bike, I discovered that one local bike shop in Montréal seems to be willing to sell that kind of bike and even to suggest good ways of doing so. And I also discovered one or two tiny manufacturers that design touring bikes the way I want them.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  9. #9
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    I had a friend buy a bike for me in North Dakota and then he had it boxed and shipped it to me in Pennsylvania.

    My LBS didn't deserve my business and I ended up saving about $300.

    Not as slick as ordering online but it gets the job done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhs494
    My only problem with the whole purchase at the store is that in my case I live in a rather rural area.

    The LBS that has any size and selection is over an hour drive, which I have done many times. But if I choose to make a purchase and select my size and the style and features that I want. Then isn't it up to me to assume all the risks involved. Honestly I would rather assemble it myself anyway.
    Actually, it's not a problem to buy a frame and components online, and then assemble your own bike the way you want.

    For example, a Surly frame from QBP: http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ory=501&type=C
    A cheap frame from Nashbar: http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...it=y&pagename=
    A more luxury frame from www.gvhbikes.com GVhBikes & Tom ROCKS!!! [and rolls]

  11. #11
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    I think the whole concept is fishy. I understand the rethoric used by major bike manufacturers, and for the most part, I wish it were true. Each time I shopped for a bike, I had to fight my way and insist to have a bike adjusted to the way I want it.

    I like a bike which is a touring bike: that accepts 700x32 and preferably 700x37 tires with fenders, that has a relatively high top tube, that has drop handlebars as high or even higher than the saddle, that has cargo capacity and that has a low gear of less than 20 gear-inches. Well, not only such bikes don't exist as such in bike shops, but I have to fight my way to convince the sales persons that it can be done. I also have to convince them that I'm not a weakling because I don't like 700x25 tires (we have potholes aplenty), that I want gears that won't be painful when climbing a 10 % grade with 50 lb of gear, and that I don't want to stand up to climb hills because it's not my cup of tea, that I don't want to race, and that I actually want to use my bike in the city rather than carry it on top of a car to a place where potholes are non-existent. In such an environment, I don't find that bike shops are doing a service to the manufacturers.

    Since i got my touring bike, I discovered that one local bike shop in Montréal seems to be willing to sell that kind of bike and even to suggest good ways of doing so. And I also discovered one or two tiny manufacturers that design touring bikes the way I want them.
    Easiest way around that is to build your own from the frame up.

  12. #12
    Nirvana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabaika
    Actually, it's not a problem to buy a frame and components online, and then assemble your own bike the way you want.

    For example, a Surly frame from QBP: http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ory=501&type=C
    A cheap frame from Nashbar: http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?c...it=y&pagename=
    A more luxury frame from www.gvhbikes.com GVhBikes & Tom ROCKS!!! [and rolls]
    Thanks for the tip about GVH bikes!
    I am in bike heaven looking at all the frames.....

  13. #13
    Year-round cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Easiest way around that is to build your own from the frame up.
    But building your own is definitely not cheap, at least in my neck of the woods. An interesting factor is that usually things like swapping the crankset is done for free or very cheap. I had to have a good discussion with the LBS employee who did not believe it was a wise thing to do, and therefore would recommend against it, but I didn't even have any discussion on the price of these exchanged components.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  14. #14
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    Michel,I think that guy's a mechanic. I do believe that installing ,removing and re-installing does beat the heck out of the bottem bracket cartridge bearing assembly,folkes seem to take that for granted. I don't, neither do any of the 3 shops I deal with these days. As far as ground-upping-it,maybe it's good in some instances,my next won't be but it would appear that doing so is in the direction this post has taken.

  15. #15
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    But building your own is definitely not cheap, at least in my neck of the woods.
    I won't deny that, but it how bad it gets depends on how well you can shop. A couple years ago I showed a member here that he wouldn't save any money building a certain mountain bike from the frame up using the same components as the pre-built version from the company. It took some doing, but I was able to just break even on the build. The best part about building your own is the COMPLETE control over what goes on the bike

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    I won't deny that, but it how bad it gets depends on how well you can shop. A couple years ago I showed a member here that he wouldn't save any money building a certain mountain bike from the frame up using the same components as the pre-built version from the company. It took some doing, but I was able to just break even on the build. The best part about building your own is the COMPLETE control over what goes on the bike
    AHH,yes, control and choice,I wish I was a better wrench,I'll see to that too. Too bad you aren't my LBS Mister.

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