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LBS Morality Question

Old 10-16-05, 04:18 PM
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peugeot1SPD
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LBS Morality Question

So I'm having morality issues in dealing with my LBS and would really appreciate the opinion of those who have been on the other side in this situation.

I bought a new frame and am very excited to build it up. I know enough about bikes having worked in a shop ages ago but dont have the tools to install the BB/headset and fork. I went to my LBS (not truly my LBS as its further away but the one I really like and trust) to get the work done. Thing is, the options for components are not what I am really after, for instance the 2 headsets options in 1" threadless are the Aheadset ($39) and the Chris King (well you know). I would really like something in between that, maybe cane creek, something similar.

What it comes down to is that I would love to give my business to the shop but would really like to souce the parts from somewhere else. Is it wrong to buy the parts where I can find them (online or at another shop) and go to them for the labor? What is the general thought here? Sorry if this is unecessary but they do good work and I want to make sure I'm not offeding anyone here.
Thanks.
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Old 10-16-05, 04:22 PM
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I think that's cool. From what I understand they make more money on labor than on parts, so sure. Go for it.
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Old 10-16-05, 04:38 PM
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Unless they're total jerks, they should be happy to install parts you provide. But they may be willing to make you a deal on parts/labor if you purchase from them.
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Old 10-16-05, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Expatriate
But they may be willing to make you a deal on parts/labor if you purchase from them.
^^^--and that is quite often the key. most lbs's markup items between 66 and 100%. compared to wholesale, this is only a little more than nashbar plus shipping. If they are doing the labor already, it'll often make sense for them to reduce their markup to 40 or 50%. Given a good shop, it only really makes sense to order the parts if you are doing all the labor, or if your shop can't get what you need.
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Old 10-16-05, 05:05 PM
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Or sometimes if you buy a part, they'll offer free installation. Negotiate a deal with them for a package-deal with parts & labor...
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Old 10-16-05, 05:09 PM
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If you're not in a rush, see if they can order something for you. They may charge less on a special order, since it's already sold - there's no risk to them, no $ tied up in inventory. If you try and build a relationship with them, it will pay off in the long run. If they don't want to work with you, you shouldn't be giving them your business anyway.
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Old 10-16-05, 05:36 PM
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By all means, talk to the shop first. Most of these guys will "play ball". If not, use another angle. It's worth it to have a good relationship with a shop, but the relationship needs to be a mutally beneficial one.
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Old 10-16-05, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by peugeot1SPD
Is it wrong to buy the parts where I can find them (online or at another shop) and go to them for the labor? What is the general thought here?
--- There certainly is nothing morally wrong with that. I walked into my LBS with a hard-to-find 6-speed freewheel I ordered via the internet and hired them to install it and a new chain. They said they were glad not to have to "go through the hassle" of ordering the freewheel themselves.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:37 AM
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If I were you I'd tell them I'd like to support their shop and then ask them to special order the parts that you need.
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Old 10-17-05, 06:51 AM
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Thanks all, this has helped and confirmed a few thoughts I already had. I think I will go with asking them to order the parts I want. Although it may be a little more $$ heavy, I'll get what I want and they get the business.
Cheers.
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Old 10-17-05, 08:05 AM
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Just check sugg retail on QBP before you ask a shop to order anything to make sure you're not getting totally hosed.
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Old 10-17-05, 09:05 AM
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^^--right. some shops have multiple distributor accounts, but only use one, even if stuff is more expensive. I've seen differences between catalogs be over $10.
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Old 10-17-05, 10:25 AM
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The good news is that this was taken care of. My bike was in the shop and they were going to call to confirm which headset to use today. Well I got a call that it was ready to pick and that they had found a campy headset to use.

I'm happy, they're happy, only bad thing is I have yet to find out which level and price the campy one is. I was pretty specific about the pricepoint I was after so I think it should be fine.
Cheers.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:19 PM
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This isn't a moral issue at all. Ask the LBS what the deal would cost in total. If you like it, go with it. That is, if you like it for any of the many combinations of reasons mentioned here, including LBS loyalty.

It is not at all unusual for my LBS to suggest going on line and bringing the part to them for install.
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Old 10-17-05, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by peugeot1SPD
So I'm having morality issues in dealing with my LBS and would really appreciate the opinion of those who have been on the other side in this situation.

I bought a new frame and am very excited to build it up. I know enough about bikes having worked in a shop ages ago but dont have the tools to install the BB/headset and fork. I went to my LBS (not truly my LBS as its further away but the one I really like and trust) to get the work done. Thing is, the options for components are not what I am really after, for instance the 2 headsets options in 1" threadless are the Aheadset ($39) and the Chris King (well you know). I would really like something in between that, maybe cane creek, something similar.

What it comes down to is that I would love to give my business to the shop but would really like to souce the parts from somewhere else. Is it wrong to buy the parts where I can find them (online or at another shop) and go to them for the labor? What is the general thought here? Sorry if this is unecessary but they do good work and I want to make sure I'm not offeding anyone here.
Thanks.
So if they face the bottom bracket to make sure its right, parallel faces, right width, do not count on a production frame to be right, and chase the threads. Face and ream the head tube, press the cups in, cut the steerer and set the star nut what is left to do push the steerer throught the cups and tighten the cap down. Install the bb forgot that. I doubt they would charge you more than 2 hours labor, probably less. You can do the bb install yourself, if you want tools to do that won't cost too much and are nice to have, the bb will not last as long as the frame. I do not think the LBS would care where the parts came from, but how come they can't get what you want or is it a price issue? Cheaper some place else? Which direction out of D.C. are you headed to and how far to your Favorite LBS. Just curious I am in Baltimore. I know of one good shop near DC, and two in Baltimore. There are more I am sure, just know three of them.

Last thing, have you asked your favorite LBS how much they would charge for JUST the labor?
Two hours might be on the high side. You might be suprised.
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Old 10-17-05, 03:39 PM
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2 hours labor? In SoCal it was $25 and about 15 mintues to have a BB faced, chased, and installed. And it's probably less time to face a head tube, plus 5 minutes to press in the headset. I could have assembled my entire tandem in 2 hours, if I had all the parts together in one place.
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Old 10-17-05, 03:59 PM
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sorry, perhaps I should know this, but what IS bb facing anyway? I've always lubed the threads and screwed them in with no issue...
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Old 10-17-05, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
sorry, perhaps I should know this, but what IS bb facing anyway? I've always lubed the threads and screwed them in with no issue...
That's when they use a cutter that makes the left and right sides perfectly parrallel to each other.
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Old 10-17-05, 05:53 PM
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Two hours to install a headset? That doesn't sound right, I had the entire drivetrain (crankset, bb, cassette, and both derailleurs) replaced and adjusted in about an hour - I was watching and asking questions all along, which probably made the whole process quite a bit slower than normal. I don't quite see how installing a headset will take two hours worth of labor (unless you count beer/smoke breaks as work )
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Old 10-17-05, 06:15 PM
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Even with the BB and facing/chasing, 2 hours is way too long.
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Old 10-17-05, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by krezirussian
Two hours to install a headset? That doesn't sound right, I had the entire drivetrain (crankset, bb, cassette, and both derailleurs) replaced and adjusted in about an hour - I was watching and asking questions all along, which probably made the whole process quite a bit slower than normal. I don't quite see how installing a headset will take two hours worth of labor (unless you count beer/smoke breaks as work )
Reminds me of the Frank Zappa song "Flakes"......
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Old 10-18-05, 02:57 PM
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"Is it wrong to buy the parts where I can find them (online or at another shop)..."
The only "wrong" thing is believing that the LBS is entitled to your money. Having said that, if you are mechanically challenged and require that the LBS look at your bike every couple of months to keep it spinning, you probably ought to throw some unearned business at the LBS to maintain the relationship. Many riders seem to really enjoy a "warm & fuzzy" relationship with the local shop. If you're like that then give them all your business, whether they deserve it or not. Else, keep it purrely mercenary and pay them what they earn with no extra bonuses for being either smiley or local.
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