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Old 04-14-14, 01:13 PM   #1
Hardcore21
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Buying a New Mnt Bike @ LBS vs Online

Hello All,
I am in the process of shopping for a new FS mtb and have eyes on the Giant Trance and Kona Hei Hei (have only recently started looking). I am limited mostly to what my local stores stock if I want to test ride.

However, during my search I have also come across specials and closeouts but usually I would have to buy these without being able to test ride or even see it. Here's an example of a great deal:

Universal Cycles -- Online Specials & Overstock Items

A $3,200 bike for $1,700! What are your thoughts on going this route? Any experience out there with Salsa bike vs Giant vs Kona?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-14, 01:33 PM   #2
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Buying on line is a viable alternative, if you know what you want, what you fit, and can do your own basic setup and maintenance.

There are advantages to being able to try stuff out, get advice from the LBS as to what will work best for you, test your fit, and swap stuff out to get the fit dialed in.

Also your online bike is likely to need some assembly and adjustment, which will cost money if you don't do it yourself, and time if you do.

I just bought a bike from Bikes Direct, and by the time I get done dialing the fit in the way I want, it's likely to add about $200 to my total cost, and that's doing my own labor. Buying from a good shop they would swap out seatposts, stems, bars at little to no cost.

When you add it all up, the gap between LBS and online is not always as big as it seems.
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Old 04-15-14, 06:20 AM   #3
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^^^True. The online bike can seem like a great deal...until you have to visit a LBS and have them change, tweak or set-up anything for you which would have been free had you purchased it from them.
I experienced this again recently when looking for a new road bike. I was REALLY leaning towards a Motobecane from BikesDirect as the price seemed too good to pass up, but then one of my LBS's had a closeout sale on 2013 models and I ended up getting a brand new Cannondale CAAD8 for under $600, plus I got about 45 minutes on their GURU fit system and bike that is perfectly adjusted to me...and a free adjustment in a couple of weeks.
To add to this, I've been visiting this particular store since I was a kid and they are an integral part of the local community, so I feel rightly obligated to do business with them if at all possible (and the several other local bike shops in this area).
They've also done right by me when I needed warranty work on my other Cannondale, something that may not have been so easily accomplished with an online company.

Re: Salsa...I've got a few friends who have picked up Salsa bikes over the years and have been very happy with them, although they did get them through another local shop that is a distributor for them.
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Old 04-15-14, 08:35 AM   #4
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It's easy.
At first, go to your LBS and know your size for those bike brands. Diffirent brands have diffirent sizes, if you are, for example, 20'' with Specialized, it doesn't mean you are 20'' with Bull.
Then, if you can do little repair yourself, you had better to buy online where a price is less. Else, it's not enough convenient.

Garantee.
This onlineshop offers quite not bad conclusion.
*Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run

Apparently, there are many such.

Last edited by Kostik; 04-15-14 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 04-15-14, 08:43 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I do like the idea of supporting the local shop plus it is nice to go in there knowing you purchased it from them. They're always willing to help regardless but if they know you bought it from them that helps. Also I don't have a lot of mechanical expertise so I wouldn't be doing most of the work myself.

Cheers.
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Old 04-15-14, 09:29 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. I do like the idea of supporting the local shop plus it is nice to go in there knowing you purchased it from them. They're always willing to help regardless but if they know you bought it from them that helps. Also I don't have a lot of mechanical expertise so I wouldn't be doing most of the work myself.

Cheers.
I've gone in for a simple tweak or service and had the guys at my LBS do the work for free and send me on my way.
To me, much more important than getting a good deal is forming good relationships with local retailers as that's what will pay off in the long run. I do the same with music/guitar gear and equipment purchases, the majority of which I make locally.
Granted, there can be bad experiences w/ local retailers, but I've found them to be in the minority.
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Old 04-15-14, 10:01 AM   #7
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Here is what I am looking at right now from the LBS:

Specialized Camber 29
Kona Precept (27.5)
Giant Trance 29

All offered at two local shops and (mostly) in my $2K price range. I've tested them all, they all feel good, but how will I feel in a day or a week or month or years?? I am not used to sitting a little farther back. I did notice that. My older and only bike (Trek 4500) had me closer "up front" and over top but I suppose that is the geometry these days. The drop seat on the Trance may take a little getting used to. Any experience with that?

There is also a Santa Cruz Tallboy but I didn't test that one.

THOUGHTS??
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Old 04-15-14, 10:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kostik View Post
It's easy.
At first, go to your LBS and know your size for those bike brands. Diffirent brands have diffirent sizes, if you are, for example, 20'' with Specialized, it doesn't mean you are 20'' with Bull.
Then, if you can do little repair yourself, you had better to buy online where a price is less. Else, it's not enough convenient.

Garantee.
This onlineshop offers quite not bad conclusion.
*Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run

Apparently, there are many such.
I am a big fan of buying online. But going to a shop to try stuff that you intend to buy online is a very slimey move.
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Old 04-15-14, 12:01 PM   #9
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going to a shop to try stuff that you intend to buy online is a very slimey move
Why?

When you go to shop, it's additional chance for shop to offer to you something. Seller can show you some new things, which you would buy. Why to try some stuff for to know something about it is not fair?
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Old 04-15-14, 12:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kostik View Post
It's easy.
At first, go to your LBS and know your size for those bike brands. Diffirent brands have diffirent sizes, if you are, for example, 20'' with Specialized, it doesn't mean you are 20'' with Bull.
Then, if you can do little repair yourself, you had better to buy online where a price is less. Else, it's not enough convenient.

Garantee.
This onlineshop offers quite not bad conclusion.
*Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run

Apparently, there are many such.
Please don't do this. When you buy in a store, you're paying for the employee's time and expertise. To take advantage of that and then go online is rude. Would you hire a firm to build a house for you, but as soon as the blueprints are done, run off with them and build it yourself without paying them? (Impossible situation, since no one will design a house without a deposit, but work with me here). Of course not, but that's basically what you're doing when you get your local shop to do all the hard work and then go online to buy.

If you know what kind of reach and stack works for you, it's probably safe to buy online. A lot of the time, the bikes come assembled enough that you can be mechanic-stupid and still get put it together. Otherwise, it's more beneficial to test a bunch of bikes in the shop. Plus you'll start to establish a relationship with the shop, who can help with tune-ups, repairs, etc. Plus shops often hold group rides and such, and being friends with the employees will keep you in the know.
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Old 04-15-14, 12:22 PM   #11
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Why?
I bet you can figure it out.
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Old 04-15-14, 12:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kostik View Post
Why?
to quote an old German guy:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Immanuel Kant
Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.
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Old 04-15-14, 12:58 PM   #13
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Well, just minute.
Let's imagine a other situation.
You were looking for a new bike in Internet and found it on some online shop. You read articles, advices and reviews on this site, you even read opinions on that site. You almost ready to buy it there but you avoid making a mistake with size and go to LBS.
What are differences here?! In online shops work same people, they work hard too. Online shop is result of work of:
  • programmers
  • analytics
  • copyrighters
  • specialists in testing
  • SEO specialists


You don't see each other, but their work is not less difficult. But so often people don't think about it even.
By the way, of course when you had come to shop and really took consultant a long time, it would have been even nasty, but you can do it differently.

Last edited by Kostik; 04-15-14 at 01:19 PM.
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