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View Poll Results: Where do you buy your bikes?
Local bike shop 60 70.59%
Mail order, assembled by local bike shop 2 2.35%
Mail order, assembled by myself 20 23.53%
Used/refurbed bike from owners 24 28.24%
Other (explain) 10 11.76%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-12-10, 12:13 AM   #1
vol
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Where do you buy your bikes?

Where do you buy your bikes? Probably most buy from local bike shops. I'm especially interested in those buying from online sellers who ship to you a semi-assembled package. Would be a pain to return it in case something is wrong.

This is a multiple answer poll, since you may have bought many bikes in different ways.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:34 AM   #2
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From my LBS, as I like it's service, and the ability to chat with them in person if there is a problem
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Old 10-12-10, 03:55 AM   #3
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Since I started cycling "seriously" 20 years ago ...

1) Road bicycle - given to me by my father (still have this one)
2) Road bicycle - given to me by my father (returned to my father several years later, subsequently sold to a cousin)
3) Tandem - given to me by my father (returned to my father several years later, subsequently sold to a theatre company)
4) Road bicycle - purchased from an acquaintance (sold to another acquaintance)
5) Mountain bike - purchased from department store (given away)
6) Road bicycle - purchased from LBS (traded in on next road bicycle)
7) Road bicycle - purchased from LBS (still have this one)
8) Road bicycle - purchased from LBS but was a custom order from the manufacturer, and was subsequently extensively customised by ordering new components - some were installed by shops, others were installed by my husband (stolen)
9) Mountain bike - given to me by my husband, was an ebay purchase, I believe (still have this one)
10) Road bicycle - picked up frame from shop that mainly deals with online orders, components selected from a variety of other online shops, assembled by my husband (still have this one)
11) Step-through bicycle - picked up at a local tip by my husband, and awaiting restoration (still have this one)

There are several other frames and bicycles out in the garage too which have been acquired at the local tips and it's possible some of these may become mine as well or may be used for parts toward another bicycle. We've also got a tandem we're borrowing from an acquaintence with some thought of possibly buying it.

Rowan (my husband) ordered his carbon frame and had it shipped here (Australia) from the UK, and then built it up with components from a variety of places, and we're looking at ordering a pair of touring frames from the UK sometime soon.
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Old 10-12-10, 03:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
I'm especially interested in those buying from online sellers who ship to you a semi-assembled package. Would be a pain to return it in case something is wrong.
If it were shipped to you, it would be either not assembled or semi-assembled ... it is highly unlikely that it would come fully assembed.

And what might you anticipate would go so wrong that you'd have to return it?
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Old 10-12-10, 05:42 AM   #5
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Big fan of supporting local business. Mom and Pop stores. Never seen a mail order service , repair a damaged derailleur.
My only problem with mom and pop bike stores. Sometimes my favorite store owner has too short a supply of bikes from which to choose.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:54 AM   #6
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Yes I forgot the option of buying from department stores

Re what could go wrong (#4), e.g. defective parts or wrong/damaged bike.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:06 AM   #7
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LBS. I'm a big believer in laying hands on the product before purchasing. I have difficulty in understanding exactly what I'm getting by looking at the pictures and reading the description/specification.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:14 AM   #8
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Now that I have 50 years of mechanical experience
I can buy used and cure mechanical problems , that may arise.
and buy bare frames and pick the components that I assess as best filling my requirements.

also have 1 DIY frameset, and 1 a touring frame for long distance camping tours,
i had custom built which I took a hands on portions of the build and design
from the beginning
and some On the road repairs, as well ..

Bike = frame fork and parts, what the various parts cost + Businesses profit margins
is what it costs..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-15-10 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:30 AM   #9
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LBS, Thrift store, Ebay and Craigs List/private party sellers. Out of the ~30 bikes I currently have hanging around probably about half of them came from an LBS new and used. I don't buy too many brand new bikes.

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Old 10-12-10, 12:16 PM   #10
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I only buy from my LBS but in two forms.

They know me well and I like a bargain- so I mention that I am up for a bike and they surf for the bargains from their suppliers. I also do not want certain things like wheels or may want an upgrade on the bike they have found for me so I get an allowance for the parts I do not want. They haven't let me down yet on the qaulity or the price- But I have been using them for 16 years and spend about $8,000 a year with them and do manage to send about 10 sales a year to them from my customers.

And the other way I buy is a Bare frame and Custom build on parts. Once again from my LBS and have had about 8 bikes built up in this way in the last 10 years.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:32 PM   #11
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i bought 2 of my bikes brand new from local bike shops and my 3rd bike i ordered from bikesdirect.com.

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Old 10-12-10, 12:35 PM   #12
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I do my own work so I just buy new and used bikes and build them up how I want. I support my LBS by buying random things (cables, housing, chains, cassettes, etc.) but I rarely ever have anyone do anything to my bikes.

Once I had to use their headset press.....
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Old 10-12-10, 12:39 PM   #13
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Since I have somewhat special needs I buy my bikes directly from the manufacture custom built to my order. There is a bit of assembly needed when the bike arrives but not to much.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-12-10, 01:16 PM   #14
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I am generally interested in the "Nouvo Classic" era bikes from '85ish to about '94 so I buy via word of mouth/post, ebay and CL
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Old 10-12-10, 01:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
LBS. I'm a big believer in laying hands on the product before purchasing. I have difficulty in understanding exactly what I'm getting by looking at the pictures and reading the description/specification.
I do my best to frequent mom and pop bike shops. Always have. But, since I wanted a touring bike, often shops have fewer of that sort on the floor. No nearby store had one in stock.. So, the owner I trust. He investigated the geometry of the bike I wanted, sight unseen.. He found the closest bike to it's style of frame and said this is what your chosen bike will be close to .. Steel of course.. I thought that was decent of him. So, sometimes, it's not possible to ride the style of bike you might want to buy..
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Old 10-12-10, 01:41 PM   #16
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My 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bikes came from three different bike shops. My 4th and 5th bikes were purchased on ebay. My next one (Felt?) will come from a bike shop.
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Old 10-12-10, 03:52 PM   #17
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Where I find them. 2 from LBS, 1 from neighbor.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:00 PM   #18
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The only problem with LBS is the range of choices. They only carry limited models which they are sure will sell. They are reluctant to order a particular model for you if they don't consider it sells well.
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Old 10-12-10, 08:02 PM   #19
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Re what could go wrong (#4), e.g. defective parts or wrong/damaged bike.
As in ... the parts arrive defective or the bicycle arrives damaged? Before you order the bicycle or the parts, check the returns policy. But as far as parts goes, it is rare to have something arrive damaged. They generally pack parts fairly well.

As for wrong bicycle ... double check your measurements, double check the ordering information, and order the right bicycles.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:26 PM   #20
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Are the bikes from eBay only semi assembled as well?
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Old 10-13-10, 01:27 AM   #21
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Two of my bikes I built from the frame up, mostly buying the needed parts online. The other five bikes I bought from the local bike shop.
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Old 10-13-10, 01:39 AM   #22
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Are the bikes from eBay only semi assembled as well?
Unless the bicycle is child-sized, it would be very difficult to get it into a bicycle box fully assembled. Bicycle boxes are designed to take bicycles with the wheel(s) off, handlebars off and turned, and pedals off at the very least. The wheels may very well have the skewers removed, and in some instances the rear derailleur might have to be removed or partially removed (if the bicycle is particularly large or the box is particularly small).

Edit: And the seatpost with saddle will likely be removed.

It's the same as what you'd do when you travel with a bicycle.

Last edited by Machka; 10-13-10 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 10-13-10, 07:51 AM   #23
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02 Raleigh - NOS from Ebay
84 Raleigh - new from LBS
88 Trek - Used from co worker
87 Trek - CL - mostly for frame, future commuter build
68 Raleigh - Yard sale

All of my kids "real bikes" were bought at LBS or REI
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Old 10-13-10, 11:04 AM   #24
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So many ways to buy....

I've gotten them
New at an LBS
Used at an LBS
From ads in the paper
eBay
Hand-me-downs
Bought from friends
Salvation Army / Thrift Store
Bought a trailer online
Department store
Birthday Gift
Garage Sale
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Old 10-13-10, 07:43 PM   #25
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Whoever does the work gets the sale.

I hadn't bought a bike in over a decade. An injury in august '09' made it necessary to switch to riding recumbents so I've bought 3 brand new bikes this year: a single recumbent, a tandem recumbent and a recumbent trike for my wife.

The single recumbent required the least dealer effort but, being inexperienced with recumbents I wanted to talk to somebody who spoke the language. In the end, I ordered a frameset which was drop shipped directly from the Rans factory. I was glad that I dealt with a high volume recumbent dealer when making decisions like how long of a chain do I need. Naturally, I had to build the complete bike. That was an interesting challenge because, although I have pretty extensive bike mechanic experience, I had virtually none working on recumbents.

The tandem recumbent was a fairly high dollar semi-custom bike. I ordered it from a different high-volume recumbent dealer because they offered a custom component package that perfectly matched my personal preferences. The bike came shipped by motor freight in 2 big boxes but, aside from the seats, was virtually fully assembled. It required no gear or brake tuneing to make it ready to ride.

The trike we bought locally. My wife wanted a trike but we had no idea how to transport one until we found out about folding recumbent trikes. We drove to a local dealer and said: "If you can show my wife how SHE can fold and fit this into the trunk of her (compact) car we'll buy it." They did their part and we were happy to do ours.

In all three cases, I felt like the people who provided the bulk of the service got the sale.
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