I WAS a huge proponent of lbs. I always WANTED to buy local. So far this year that has been a truly disappointing experience. There are quite a few shops withing easy driving distance of my home. I would guess 10. I have been in at least 5 of them and called the rest.
Over this season I have purchased 3 bikes, and numerous accessories. In all that, almost without exception, none of the bike shops have had anything in stock. You spend all your time driving over there, hoping you get someone to help you with half a brain, and then being told they can order it.
I am talking about things as simply as conti 4000 tires, carbon cages, gator skin tires, cassettes, etc (not to mention the bikes)
On my last bike purchase I went to bike shop 1...told them what I wanted in my cross check build...they said they needed to price it..called back next week said it would be one more week...one more week, said it would be next week...went to bike shop 2...told them...they said they needed to price it...week later...called and said around 1400...no list of components (I didnt specify the exact components I just said what I wanted in general) I asked for an exact price and a real list (otherwise how would I know 1400 was fair)....week later didnt get it.
I went online bought all the components, frame seats etc, had them delivered in 3 days, no local tax, 200 dollars cheaper and then had the bike built by the same shop that wouldnt give me a price.....
Then they wonder why folks wont come in and buy....the facts from my perspective is they stock almost nothing now, and have no more help than a web page does, and cost more.
I am just not seeing the value.
PS when I bought my bike, good god try and find a xl frame or a 60-62 frame on a lbs shop floor....no one had one, all wanted to order.