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Old 08-23-12, 09:15 PM   #1
Aeolis
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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?
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Old 08-23-12, 10:01 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-24-12, 06:20 AM   #3
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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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Old 08-24-12, 06:38 AM   #4
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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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Old 08-24-12, 07:16 AM   #5
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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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Old 08-24-12, 07:39 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 08-24-12, 07:43 AM   #7
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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.
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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Old 08-24-12, 07:45 AM   #8
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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...
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Old 08-24-12, 07:49 AM   #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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Old 08-24-12, 07:53 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-24-12, 08:53 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 08-24-12, 09:17 AM   #12
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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?
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Old 08-24-12, 04:06 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 07-12-15, 04:57 PM   #14
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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). 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?
Keep in mind: your in a small state. Where you're likely in a small town of that small state.That's where the real c.s. is received.
Opposite of the big states
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Old 07-12-15, 06:13 PM   #15
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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).
You mean that screw on the top of the stem? I haven't broken one for years. A long time ago, I had a sewup, I think with that broken off... But the tire/tube worked just fine without the screw top.

As far as my LBS, when I was younger, I used to go in a bit.

It is now rare that I go to my regular LBS, although I do like browsing around the local co-op/junk store a bit.

Some of my needs are quite specific. And, I've gotten used to just researching online... and then logically also purchasing online.
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Old 07-12-15, 06:26 PM   #16
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I've been to several LBS' and so far my experiences have been positive. I bought my bike at a certain LBS because their sales staff is the deadliest out of all the LBS' here. In particular, a sales agent named "Yuri". She's an Akita, and absolutely irresistible.

Cycling for me is not a sport. I know some people enjoy competing on their bikes. I respect that. As for me, I ride because it's fun. Riding to train for races would sap all the fun factor out.
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Old 07-13-15, 08:02 AM   #17
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Seems to me being a serious cyclist and braking off both stems would anti-correlate. Just sayin...
Don't be a b0ner, one can be pretty serious about cycling while at the same time not have the best mechanical inclination. Not every muscle car enthusiast knows how to tune dual Holly's, or even a single 2bbl for that matter.
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Old 07-13-15, 08:31 AM   #18
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Haven't been in a bike shop in c. 25 years.

Back when I would patronize them, my experiences were mediocre to poor.
There were a couple of shops in the town where I lived at the time.
Owner of one was jailed for pedophilia....and that was the end of that shop.
Other shop didn't want to know you, unless you were buying an expensive bike from them. They too went out of business.
Then there was an old man who did bike repairs out of his garage when I was a kid...used him once...he seemed pretty nice.
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Old 07-13-15, 09:05 AM   #19
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^^^ THIS ^^^

Besides a lot of us would rather ride more and wrench less.
Ah, there's the rub. Most bike shops will keep your bike for a few days before they get around to doing a fifteen-minute job on it -- at least in my experience, bike shops tend to be first-in, first-out kind of places, so if you want to use your bike regularly, you are pretty much required to learn to fix it yourself.
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Old 07-13-15, 10:17 AM   #20
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Ah, there's the rub. Most bike shops will keep your bike for a few days before they get around to doing a fifteen-minute job on it -- at least in my experience, bike shops tend to be first-in, first-out kind of places, so if you want to use your bike regularly, you are pretty much required to learn to fix it yourself.
Yup, this is exactly why I don't use bike shops for repairs. My friend and most-often riding partner learned this the hard way, after trying to get a simple stem fixed and being without a bike for a week (and he's an avid rider and commuter like me). There is no way I could be without my transportation for that long. Even with my backup bikes... I keep used parts on my deck (mostly from abandoned bikes), and have plenty of tools to do most repairs myself. If I lack the parts or tools though, then I go to the volunteer-run community bike shop where you can work on your own bike with the help/guidance of more experienced staff if needed, and access their larger supply of used parts and specialty tools. For me, the LBS stops after new bikes, parts, and accessories.
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Old 08-17-15, 02:11 PM   #21
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Ah, there's the rub. Most bike shops will keep your bike for a few days before they get around to doing a fifteen-minute job on it -- at least in my experience, bike shops tend to be first-in, first-out kind of places, so if you want to use your bike regularly, you are pretty much required to learn to fix it yourself.
That's where N+1 comes in.
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Old 08-17-15, 04:59 PM   #22
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My LBS is great. They do a lot of community based volunteer work especially the P.D. and recreation dept. Any repair work or adjustments are usually made on the spot or in a timely manner. Between working all day as an electrician, fixing stuff around the house and whatever the kids need done I would rather ride with the time I have then wrench on my own stuff. Maybe in the future I will get into bicycle repair and maintenance more..
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Old 08-17-15, 07:33 PM   #23
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Apparently we're only allowed to discuss the bicycle business in positive ways on this forum since the 4 page thread on supporting your LBS got locked?
I'm blown away - there wasn't anything in that thread that I think called for any intervention at all. Kind of confused.
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Old 08-18-15, 05:14 AM   #24
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I have a great relation with my LBS, and I'm treated very well there. However, I live in a small town and I'm a serious and knowledgeable cyclist, so geography and the cyclist's attitude has something to do with how well you will get treated.
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Old 08-18-15, 05:27 AM   #25
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I like my bike shop , still work on my stuff still patronize My lbs tho
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