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Thread: My LBS

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    Senior Member Aeolis's Avatar
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    My LBS

    Having a good relationship with you local bike shop is so crucial if you are a serious or semi serious cyclist. One time I went in there and bought a bike pump, as soon as I go outside I break both my stems with it (first time with presta). The owner notices me outside struggling and invites me in. Without asking he puts 2 new tubes in when I went to pay he said no charge.

    Just today I went in for a new stem about 5 min before close, I figured I'd just pick it up and out it on myself. Well I ran into some space issues and he stayed with me 30 min after close to help me get it all squared away. He told me to try it out for a couple weeks and if I like it come back and pay. It was a brand new FSA carbon fiber stem and I already can tell I love it so I'm going back tomorrow to pay for it.

    I think the fact that I'm young and enthusiastic about the sport makes him extra friendly towards me so it's really nice. I'll be going to him for
    Many years to come whenever I need anything and I'm thankful the big
    Box stores havnt pushed out everyone.

    What's your relationship with your LBS like?
    Cannondale r1000 aero (caad4)
    2008 giant fcr

  2. #2
    Senior Member hamiltonian's Avatar
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    My favorite LBS is actually a sports equipment swap shop that has various bike mechanics on duty. They all have their distinct personalities, but they're all good mechanics who don't mind me hanging around while they work on my bikes. Today I offered my strength to remove a stripped pedal the mechanic couldn't budge (I'm a big guy), and he replaced the crank arm/pedal used for $10.

    I agree that having a good relationship with your mechanic is fun, educational, and generally pays off.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolis View Post
    Having a good relationship with you local bike shop is so crucial if you are a serious or semi serious cyclist.

    I'll be going to him for Many years to come whenever I need anything.

    What's your relationship with your LBS like?
    Having a good relationship with your local bike shop is important if you are a new cyclist or if you have no desire to learn to fix things on your bicycle yourself. As you learn more about cycling and especially about how your bicycle works and how to fix things, your relationship with your local bike shop becomes less important.

    In fact, for my husband and me ... we don't have a LBS. The closest bicycle shop to where we lived in Australia was 100 km away. We make use of the internet to acquire most of what we need for cycling purposes, and then we might drop into a bicycle shop to have a look if we're in an area where there is one and if we happen to need something.

    You'll only be going to that particular LBS for many years if it happens to remain in business with the same people for many years. My father was given a "lifetime tuneup" package when he bought his Trek from a particular shop. Within a year they had closed. So much for his "lifetime tuneup" package. Fortunately he knows his way around bicycles so it wasn't a big deal for him.


    My suggestion to you is to see if this shop you love so much has courses on bicycle maintenance. If they do, take the courses. If not, find some place that offers the courses and take them. Learn all you can about your bicycle and about cycling. Then you won't need to depend on a shop which may or may not be helpful to you, and may or may not exist a few months or a few years from now.

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    My local LBS is great. They let me use all the tools and racks to work on my bikes, clean up after rides with the wash station, and lets me fix my bikes with whatever parts I need at the time and and lets me pay when I can afford it. Its more of a social club than a shop. All the local mtb riders go there not just to buy, but to socialize, they even have a card game going most evenings. It opens at 8am, closes at 10pm 365 days a year (no vacations at all). They run group rides - but the pace is slower than a glacier and the times they start out are way out of sync for my schedule so I give those a miss. He keeps an eye out for second hand parts to improve my bike and lets me have them for a fair price as well. All in all its enabling the nth degree and I'm more than willing to let him have some profit margin over the internet for the services he provides.

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    Aeolis,

    It's nice that your LBS took care of you, but you will discover that your dependence on the LBS will have to lessen the more you suffer from the "N+1" affliction.

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    Senior Member Aeolis's Avatar
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    Good points, as of right now I don't know if I could even tune a derailer. A month ago I didn't even know what a derailer was so I guess that's progress. I don't have Any friends that ride so I'm almost using the LBS for feedback and general questions.

    Im starting to fix my own problems although not correctly. My rear wheel was wobbling and hitting the break pad so I just removed the rear break pad it was hitting lol. When money is available I'll get it fixed the right way. The LBS owner had a good chuckle at that.
    Cannondale r1000 aero (caad4)
    2008 giant fcr

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolis View Post
    Good points, as of right now I don't know if I could even tune a derailer. A month ago I didn't even know what a derailer was so I guess that's progress. I don't have Any friends that ride so I'm almost using the LBS for feedback and general questions.

    Im starting to fix my own problems although not correctly. My rear wheel was wobbling and hitting the break pad so I just removed the rear break pad it was hitting lol. When money is available I'll get it fixed the right way. The LBS owner had a good chuckle at that.
    Take a course ... you'll find it very helpful.

    I don't ever regret taking the beginners bicycle mechanic course offered by a local university, and then an intermediate bicycle mechanics course offered by MEC. I do, however, regret not taking the very advanced 12-week course offered by a bicycle shop on the other side of town.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolis View Post
    Having a good relationship with you local bike shop is so crucial if you are a serious or semi serious cyclist. One time I went in there and bought a bike pump, as soon as I go outside I break both my stems with it (first time with presta).
    Seems to me being a serious cyclist and braking off both stems would anti-correlate. Just sayin...

  9. #9
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    There's a lot of material on-line on how to maintain your bike. Park Tools has a lot of information here

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

    It will require an investment in tools though and you should only buy the tools you need as you go. bundles will offer tools you may never use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Seems to me being a serious cyclist and braking off both stems would anti-correlate. Just sayin...
    Cut him some slack, the OP may be referring to his attitude about cycling and not his skill level. Even those that take cycling seriously were not born with a wrench in their hand.

  11. #11
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
    Cut him some slack, the OP may be referring to his attitude about cycling and not his skill level. Even those that take cycling seriously were not born with a wrench in their hand.
    ^^^ THIS ^^^

    Besides a lot of us would rather ride more and wrench less.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  12. #12
    Member RyleyinSTL's Avatar
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    I like doing as much of my own repairs as I can but there is nothing wrong with knowing little about bike wrenching and leaving it to the pros. My LBS is not even close to a club house but they are friendly, helpful and talented. Can't ask for much more really.

    How many of us do all the mechanical work on our automobiles?
    ----
    Trek Domane 5.2
    Cannondale Rush SL

  13. #13
    Senior Member Aeolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Seems to me being a serious cyclist and braking off both stems would anti-correlate. Just sayin...
    If by serious you mean loving the sport than yes I'm a serious cyclist, but I'm a slow noob and I have no idea what I'm doing lol.

    Changed my first tire today with 2 plastic spoons because I didn't have any tire levars. It worked surprisingly well and I was proud of myself.
    Cannondale r1000 aero (caad4)
    2008 giant fcr

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