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Slightly Off topic: online bike shops

Old 06-10-05, 07:39 PM
  #1  
Ricardo
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Slightly Off topic: online bike shops

Guys,

I've never bought cycling gear from an online bike shop. Are there any recommended 'low price - great service' shops???

Thanks in advance,

Ricardo-.
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Old 06-10-05, 07:48 PM
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Is there even such a thing as a "great service" online shop, other than places like LL Bean?

If you want service--which is to say, a person who knows what they're doing, who answers the phone, who gives good advice, who is attentive--then it isn't going to be cheap. If I wanted that, I'd have gone to my LBS.

And, in fact, I ordered my frame from them (LBS), because I wanted advice and fit help and was willing to pay the extra $$. And when i went in today to pick it up, they were nice enough that I bought my tires, computer, and bar tape there as well even though I _knew_ it was costing me an extra $30 to do so.

Conversely, I ordered a lot of stuff off ebay from power ebay sellers, from stems to handlebars to a full ultegra group. No service there--none, nada, zilch--but the savings were worth it TO ME. Only got $1000 and you want a full DA group? Be prepared to give up service, or go Ultegra instead. And so it goes.

Places like Performance are (sometimes) cheaper than other stores, and while they may be annoying they at least have decent return policies, in general. Of course, they're not all that cheap. Good luck.

Still, for what it's worth, I've just finished up what must have been DAYS of online time shopping for bike stuff (when you have the flu, what else is there to do?). I've certainly found a few places that are cheap. Many of them have very limited stock; you have to buy your FD separately from your RD if you want to save the most money, sometimes. If that's all you want, and you tell me what you're looking for, I'll PM you any relevant info that I have around.
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Old 06-10-05, 08:01 PM
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performancebike.com
nashbar.com
supergo.com
coloradocyclist.com
jensonusa.com
pricepoint.com
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Old 06-10-05, 08:30 PM
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Most online cycling purchases do not require much service other than someone sticking the product in a package and mailing it to you. If what you are buying requires service, you might want to buy at your LBS.
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Old 06-11-05, 12:31 AM
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Cambria Bike should be mentioned as well. Use www.qbike.com for price comparisons - nuttin' betta!
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Old 06-12-05, 02:24 PM
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Old 06-13-05, 10:31 AM
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What are you ordering and are you prepared to install it yourself? My LBS warraneties all the parts and service if they do the work with a part that they ordered. If you order a bottom bracket and strip out your frame installing it, you are out of luck. Your LBS won't make this mistake, or if they do, it's on them to make it good. Also, the online dealers don't know what you have or if it's compatable with what you got. They sell parts cheap, and if you know what you are doing, then it's a good deal fo ryou.
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Old 06-13-05, 06:10 PM
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to me online shopping makes good sense for "consumables," like tires, if you plan far enough ahead, and stuff that doesn't require installation, like clothing, water bottles, etc. Or "easy" stuff, like saddles or computers. I would never buy something as major as, say a BB without either the knowledge and tools to install it myself or a local bike shop that was ok with me stepping out on them. I love the selection of tires (and pretty much everything else) at cbike (Chicagoland).
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Old 06-13-05, 10:08 PM
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That's a valid point. But along the same lines, most shops make their profit off of tubes, clothing, helmets and the like. If I buy all their profit makers online, the LBS might go away or cut back on help or the like. I support my LBS when they are conpetitive with some online dealers, but I never ask them to match prices.
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Old 06-14-05, 05:28 PM
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I will confess that I have bought a few things on line when I could not find what I wanted locally. I do check websites, just to see what is new and shiny, but I confess I prfer to buy locally, even if the price is a little higher. Austin is blessed with some great local shops, and I gut it up and even buy sexy tubulars at local prices. I am galled that people would ask locals to match online prices. I can't go online and BS with Nelo (and his dogs) on a rainy day or pick up and handle that carbon crank I covet or find that tire that is just what I want and has been curing on a rim for a year or two!
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Old 06-15-05, 01:06 AM
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tirvine, I agree about needing to go in a shop and hang out. My old LBS in the states had a fridge full of cold drinks, and didn't mind letting "Locals" hang out in the repair area. I still keep in touch, and the owner will happily order anything I need and mark the whole order up only a few $$ over his cost. My dad picks it up and ships to me here. The owner is successful because he makes a decent living, and likes going to work each day. There is a huge shop (also privately owned) not 1 mile away, but they don't seem to compete with each other, as this little shop keeps winning community awards for service and customer satisfaction.
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