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Why are we supposed to support our LBS again?

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Why are we supposed to support our LBS again?

Old 03-22-08, 04:55 PM
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Why are we supposed to support our LBS again?

Mine usually charges more, takes longer, and does average work compared to my LBSNW (Local Bike Shop Near Work).

...oh yeah...it's so they don't close down and we can have a place to pick up tubes and tires when we have sudden flats......okay I'll keep overpaying.
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Old 03-22-08, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Λ Μ View Post
Mine usually charges more, takes longer, and does average work compared to my LBSNW (Local Bike Shop Near Work).

...oh yeah...it's so they don't close down and we can have a place to pick up tubes and tires when we have sudden flats......okay I'll keep overpaying.
You don't have to support them if they aren't giving you what you want but if you let them know what they need to work on there's a better chance that they will meet your needs.
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Old 03-22-08, 05:34 PM
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Previous poster is correct. Let them know what they are doing that is not up to your standards. Another reason to support the local shop is that they will get to know you and be more willing to help in a given situation.
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Old 03-22-08, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Λ Μ View Post
Mine usually charges more, takes longer, and does average work compared to my LBSNW (Local Bike Shop Near Work).

...oh yeah...it's so they don't close down and we can have a place to pick up tubes and tires when we have sudden flats......okay I'll keep overpaying.
Wow this thread sure hasn't been done before!! A LBS rant! Wooo! If you don't like the LBS, don't shop there.
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Old 03-22-08, 05:44 PM
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Watch for a tool set on sale at Performance or Nashbar and start doing your own wrench work. You'll be lots happier with the results and will easily come to know your ride(s) real well. The savings on shop work will more than pay for the tools and a workstand. Keep in mind that bikes are VERY SIMPLE machines. bk

Last edited by bkaapcke; 03-22-08 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by kycycler View Post
...Another reason to support the local shop is that they will get to know you and be more willing to help in a given situation.
I didn't even think about that one .......that is a pretty good reason thanks.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:32 PM
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I guess the thing is to support a GOOD lbs. Not a bunch of less then adequate charlatans who are just there to take your money. You shouldn't spend your money with any business like that.

I have had great luck with some lbs, and I have some I won't EVER go back to. That has to do with the way I was treated. The lbs closest to my home has always been good to me, and don't treat me like I'm stupid because I am a relatively inexperienced rider/mechanic.

I, however, didn't by my last 3 bikes from them. I bought them from another lbs a bit further away. Both treat me well, the latter greets me by name. The sales came from having what I wanted at the price I wanted to pay. Always a relevant factor.

The one I won't go back to treated me like an "up." You know, like when you walk in a store with commissioned sales people and they yell to the next in the rotation, "up." I hate that.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
Watch for a tool set on sale at Performance or Nashbar and start doing your own wrench work. You'll be lots happiler with the results and you will easily come to know your ride(s) real well. The savings on shop work will more than pay for the tools and a workstand. Keep in mind that bikes are VERY SIMPLE machines. bk
yyyyyes and no. i will come to know my ride better but i doubt i'll be happier if i'm doing the work.

to me photoshop is easy yet i bet most mechanics couldn't work with layers to save their lives. i do understand what you are saying that bikes are not that complex, and they are not. but some people, myself included, just are not mechanically inclined......no matter how big the hammer and how big the nail...i will find a way to hammer my thumb, wrist, and elbow.

i'd rather hack a directv box, activate the usb and ethernet ports, and extract (errrrr i mean copy at low resolutions to my betamax) my shows to my laptop. ...... so one mans cake walk is another mans high wire.

unless of course your a A/V guy who moonlights as a bike mechanic
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Old 03-22-08, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Wow this thread sure hasn't been done before!! ...
it must be a lingering problem then....i suppose
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Old 03-22-08, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Hamer View Post
You don't have to support them if they aren't giving you what you want but if you let them know what they need to work on there's a better chance that they will meet your needs.
yes feedback is good.....i agree with that.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Indyv8a View Post
...
The one I won't go back to treated me like an "up." You know, like when you walk in a store with commissioned sales people and they yell to the next in the rotation, "up." I hate that.
yeah that is pretty annoying
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Old 03-22-08, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Λ Μ View Post
yyyyyes and no. i will come to know my ride better but i doubt i'll be happier if i'm doing the work.

to me photoshop is easy yet i bet most mechanics couldn't work with layers to save their lives. i do understand what you are saying that bikes are not that complex, and they are not. but some people, myself included, just are not mechanically inclined......no matter how big the hammer and how big the nail...i will find a way to hammer my thumb, wrist, and elbow.

i'd rather hack a directv box, activate the usb and ethernet ports, and extract (errrrr i mean copy at low resolutions to my betamax) my shows to my laptop. ...... so one mans cake walk is another mans high wire.

unless of course your a A/V guy who moonlights as a bike mechanic
That is a great way to put it. I think it is easy to rebuild a Campy shifter. My wife thinks it is easy to make a DVD with full menu, editied chapters, and soundtrack in Adobe Premier(Which I have NO idea how to do)
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Old 03-22-08, 07:06 PM
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I'm never sure why these threads end up in the mechanics forum.
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Old 03-22-08, 07:17 PM
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A friend of mine is a bike tech. He is remodeling his house, and I am a Home Improvement guy. I help him with remodeling, and he wrenches on my bike. I haven't had work done in a bike shop in years.
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Old 03-22-08, 07:28 PM
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This thread is funny because I build my own computers, know my way around photoshop layers, can build a home featured in national magazines...and can also wrench on a bike.

Some people are amazingly versatile, and assuming they're one-dimensional is shortsighted in almost any situation.
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Old 03-22-08, 07:33 PM
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"Supporting your LBS" means buying bikes/parts/accessories at designated bike shops as opposed to department stores or online. Not sure where Performance fits in.

Whether the shop is near your home, near your work, or in the city where you happen to be staying on vacation, is immaterial. The fact is that you are supporting a small business that sells bikes.

Bike shops should compete among each other for your business.
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Old 03-22-08, 07:34 PM
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Lots of people can wrench on their own bikes and our shop teaches them to do just this, but I know that some people just are not mechanically inclined and others can do the work but do run a higher risk of having their head explode when things baffle them.

Any good business will listen to their customers and make adjustments to make sure those customers stay happy.
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Old 03-23-08, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
This thread is funny because I build my own computers, know my way around photoshop layers, can build a home featured in national magazines...and can also wrench on a bike.

Some people are amazingly versatile, and assuming they're one-dimensional is shortsighted in almost any situation.
I'm with you Wordbiker. I say I can do anything except brain surgery. Now all I need to do is find the time!
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Old 03-23-08, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rogerfisher View Post
I'm with you Wordbiker. I say I can do anything except brain surgery. Now all I need to do is find the time!
Well, I could do brain surgery, but I wouldn't be very good at it. Probably, it would be illegal as well... and I'd lose all the patients... but... I'm prepared to turn my hand to anything.

Shopping at any shop is to do with personal relationships. If you feel comfortable, you will continue to shop there. Comfortable means being at ease with the staff and how they treat you, with the products on offer, and with the prices that are being asked (and if servicing is involved, the time it takes to deliver the bike back to you).

I discovered a bike shop on the internet. It's a bricks-and-mortar place with an internet catalogue. I received an immediate response to an email inquiry. I live country, inconveniently far enough away from bike shops, but the response was enough for me to arrange to travel on Saturday to visit this particular shop (the fact it was open on Easter Saturday was a revelation).

The owner spent an hour on my order of spokes (I have a few wheel builds and rebuilds) and as a rsult, he got a few extra purchases I hadn't planned. He provided a discount on the purchases, investigated availability of a particular crankset, offered mail service, etc, etc. He didn't even bat an eyelid when I said I dealt with eBay and overseas for some parts. It was a fair dinkum encounter (Australian for honest, up-front).

The place instantly became my favourite B-and-M bike shop.
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Old 03-23-08, 06:01 AM
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My local bike shop only knows how to work on 100 dollar bikes. I kid you not, of course, I live in rural Costa Rica. I do have a full set of tools and the book, and actually did a stent as a car mechanic for a while. BUT, about 1 1/2 hours away is a Cannondale bike store that services are the MTB racers in the Northern Zone - and sponsers the races. 1 1/2 hours the other way is a bike shop owned by someone who actually placed pretty high in the Route of the Conquistadors (check it out, it is considered the hardest MTB race in the world) We do have a full-time mechanic too - but he is much better rebuilding diesel engines, etc.

So, periodically I take my bike to the shop and say "fix everything" and they proceed to whine. The last time it was "You need to stop pedaling so hard going up hills..." Fat chance - just replace the parts guys and let me at it again!

But I have decided I need a backup. Better yet, my wife has decided I need a backup to keep me riding when my bike is in the shop.

This is when it gets interesting. The local shop (1 1/2 hours away) has Cannodales in stock but they are even higher than you would pay up there. But, if I go with a bike from Bikesdirect parts might be a problem. Of course, I might be able to order the bike and stuff to rebuild it with the savings...

Back to the OP, if the LBS gives you good service, they are worth it. If not, find another or do it yourself. You are paying for service, if you don't get it, don't pay for it.
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Old 03-23-08, 09:54 AM
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You should see the majority of local bike shops in China!

Here they don't even know what kind of bike you have if it's anything nicer than your standard China commuter.

That being said, they do have some nice shops here, only they usually require a subway ride to get to.
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Old 03-23-08, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I discovered a bike shop on the internet. It's a bricks-and-mortar place with an internet catalogue. I received an immediate response to an email inquiry. I live country, inconveniently far enough away from bike shops, but the response was enough for me to arrange to travel on Saturday to visit this particular shop (the fact it was open on Easter Saturday was a revelation).

The owner spent an hour on my order of spokes (I have a few wheel builds and rebuilds) and as a rsult, he got a few extra purchases I hadn't planned. He provided a discount on the purchases, investigated availability of a particular crankset, offered mail service, etc, etc. He didn't even bat an eyelid when I said I dealt with eBay and overseas for some parts. It was a fair dinkum encounter (Australian for honest, up-front).

The place instantly became my favourite B-and-M bike shop.
That's cool, and brings up a point that I've wanted to make --

A big part of the appeal of an LBS is its location. Naturally, "local" is also the basis for that word. If it's convenient to you, it'll be easier for you to get there when you need parts or assistance.

A local bike shop can't change its location and remain a "local bike shop". If they move, you've got to go somewhere else; if they shut down, you've got to go somewhere else.

A local bike shop can, however, change its personnel and/or its practices.

Every complaint about an LBS is about the people, and has nothing to do with its walls. They want to stay in business, whether just to make money or out of the goodness of their heart ( ). They need to learn how to please you. If they don't seem to be willing to learn, you can certainly complain. I've noticed, though, that people are much more receptive to criticism... no, that's harsh, I'll say "critiquing"... if it's given calmly, with a level head, while staying out of earshot of other customers or junior employees.

I'm saying "staying out of earshot" because the possibility of immediate embarrassment turns a routine critique into a threatening gesture, which puts the other person in a defensive position. They will be highly unlikely to even admit to seeing your side of the story. And, the more senior you can go, the better -- it's their shop, with their employees. They know their people better than you do, and can make adjustments to their business better than you can.

I may not abandon my LBS. I like to see them continually improve, though.
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Old 03-23-08, 02:08 PM
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If you spend thousands of dollars and hang out at your local bike shop, they won't rip you off as bad.
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Old 03-23-08, 05:54 PM
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Just like Punxsutawney Phil showing on Feb 2, the trash the LBS posts come out every spring. The only good thing is that spring might actually start with the advent of these posts.
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Old 03-23-08, 08:28 PM
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My favourite LBS doesn't sell bikes at all; they specialise in repairs and parts/tools. It took a while for us to warm to each other, since I mostly ride BMXes and they mostly don't have much of anything to do with them, but I've been in there a lot lately for smalls parts, tools, advice, etc, and I don't get as much of the "we don't really do BMX stuff..." routine anymore.

I've been around to some of the other places in the area looking for specific parts when the other place hasn't been open or hasn't had or been able to get the part I need, and gotten nothing but static. Even the place with a "BMX specialist" wouldn't give me 5 minutes on a Saturday when I was after a front hub in a specific size. I would have bought a rear hub and spokes there too, if they'd been able to sell me a front hub. I would've at least gone back there for other parts if they'd listened to what I wanted, checked to see what they had in stock, and it had turned out they didn't have any. But instead they were all "we're busy, come back during the week". Well **** that, I'm busy during the week.

So in my admittedly limited experience, LBS's that sell bikes are only interested if you're there to buy a bike, or service a bike you bought there. Tough luck if you ride second-hand, or do the C&V thing, or just moved to the area...
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