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Question for LBS Mechanics / Owners

Old 10-24-12, 11:53 AM
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bud16415
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Question for LBS Mechanics / Owners

There is a similar topic going on in another thread but I don’t want to hijack that thread with an off topic bike brand and my question is somewhat different.

I have a mail order bike from BD that I bought second hand off a local guy on CL and I wouldn’t have owned if I had to spend the money locally for a more well-known brand that falls into the same category of bike. So for the sake of talking points my bike is a touring bike a Windsor tourist from BD and not that it’s a close comparison but what I could get locally would be the Trek 520. The difference being the Windsor sells for $600 with free shipping and the MSRP of the Trek 520 is $1490.

Having had this Bike for a couple years it’s not really that bad of a bike for the money IMO. And I have often wondered what a LBS would do if someone just walked in and said could you order me a Windsor Tourist, put it together for me, adjust it, true wheels, etc. and here is $1000 cash for the service?

I have no idea if $400 is the right amount to offer or if it would be more or less than that, or if shop would toss me out on my ear. I know the LBS’s in my area have huge inventories sitting on the floor and I have no idea if they carry the full burden of that inventory or not. And if they have agreements to not do compete things like this. I have never had any issues with taking my bike in for service and I never felt I was getting charged extra for a service or part because it was a mail order bike to start with.

I know there is markup to everything sold and big ticket items that require a slow turnover the markup has to cover all costs plus profits. In my case it would be a revenue source they most likely wouldn’t see otherwise because as many times as I have drooled over the 520 in the front window I never was ready to spend that much.
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Old 10-24-12, 11:58 AM
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You're probably pretty high on the cost. We ordered my wife's bike on-line and had our LBS set it up with some modifications and the total cost was ~ $200. Would likely have been half that just to assemble it. I purchased a vintage bike and had them rebuild the drivetrain at the same time. The bike shop guys commented that it was a good deal for them as they made as much as they would have selling us new bikes (they market largely to students and have a fairly low end inventory - nothing over $1,000).

(I will note that my wife bought a Salsa which our dealer could not order. We did talk to them in advance to make sure they couldn't order it before we bought on-line.)
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Old 10-24-12, 12:17 PM
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Yeah, I would have expected a build charge more in the $200 range than the $400, but I don't know that they'd order one for you and put the normal shop service contract (free tuneups in the first year or for life or whatever they usually offer with bikes they sell) for any money just because they're not distributors and don't have a relationship with BD. Maybe they would. I'll be interested to see if anyone from a shop management side of things has any input.
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Old 10-24-12, 12:23 PM
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LBS here,
I think you'll get a full spectrum of responses, ranging from get the %%^& out of my bike shop! to sure we'll do that. Most shops won't or will be very reluctant because of warranty and liability issues that may be required to be addressed with a distributor that isn't really a distributor, including manufacturing defects, gray area items, not to mention potential shipping damages. To specifically answer your question, we won't do that, but will be happy to assemble and later on adjust/repair your bike, a la carte of course. Now get the %^# out of my bike shop!
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Old 10-24-12, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
You're probably pretty high on the cost. We ordered my wife's bike on-line and had our LBS set it up with some modifications and the total cost was ~ $200. Would likely have been half that just to assemble it. I purchased a vintage bike and had them rebuild the drivetrain at the same time. The bike shop guys commented that it was a good deal for them as they made as much as they would have selling us new bikes (they market largely to students and have a fairly low end inventory - nothing over $1,000).

(I will note that my wife bought a Salsa which our dealer could not order. We did talk to them in advance to make sure they couldn't order it before we bought on-line.)

I also could see making a few changes to things like gearing on a new bike like the Windsor. And what better time to do it than during assembly. I would expect those type things to be an adder no matter what bike I bought.

So in your area $100 would be reasonable assembly charge if you walked in with the bike in the box. Did you have the agreement ahead of time? Did they do any type of fitting?
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Old 10-24-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason View Post
Now get the %^# out of my bike shop!



HaHaHa It’s much easier getting thrown out on line.
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Old 10-24-12, 12:35 PM
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We didn't discuss price in advance. I trust that these guys charge what is fair. I just discussed the fact that we wanted to do it as some bike shops have very negative feelings about people who buy bikes on-line. And that may vary depending on the bike - we were buying on-line because that was the only available option. If you're buying on-line to save a couple bucks over the bike shop price, the reaction may be different. But it's good to talk to them in advance in any case as they become involved in the process and may have alternative ideas you would want to consider.

Most of the on-line bikes are substantially assembled anyway, so $100 should be in the ballpark in most areas I would think. People wanting to charge a good deal more might be telling you they really don't want to do it. (And some shops don't because they don't want to be blamed if there are issues with the bike. But that's where starting to build a relationship in advance comes into play. They can get a sense as to whether or not you are the sort of person who may be trouble down the road if there are any problems with the bike.)
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Old 10-24-12, 12:47 PM
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Windsor is a made up name, 1.. there was a bike company in the 70's
in Mexico using that trade name.. they had a sponsorship deal when Merckx
did his Hour, record in the Mexico City Olympic velodrome,
their money got their name painted on the custom DeRosa.

2, a bike is a frame with some name on it, and parts bolted on..

Cost is what the suppliers charge for the pieces,
+ the cost of the bank making the money available.
to for example float the loan for the inventory..

If you need help getting the bike together ,
and cannot find anyone to bring the BD carton to the LBS,

Ask about listing the LBS as the Ship to: address ,
but pay for the bike with your money . all warrantee
issues are between BD and you, not the LBS.

the BD business model, is skipping over local dealers..
they are the warehousing importer.

The LBS will charge labor, to do the build up and adjustments..
wont be K$


out here lots of people send the bike they own, ahead of them, UPS.

then use public transportation to get here to start the biketour.

also, travelers leave the bike, like trans Am finishers, then the shop,
ships their bike to the address given..

some send to their house, or to their LBS on the other end.

personally, if you cannot fix your bike, at least jury rig repairs to get back to town,
when you have troubles in the boonies, you have more homework to do.

before starting the trip.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-24-12 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 10-24-12, 12:51 PM
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Jon c

Around here you most likely correct. Like you our shops have a lot of lower end but fairly good quality bikes in stock. Much better department store bikes. And in the $400 to $500 bike shop range bike finding a $300 BD bike and making a deal to build it wouldn’t work, and I can see them doing just what you said showing you a similar bike they have in stock offering the warranty and one year service etc. and that would be a no brainer.

In my case with a tour bike there isn’t that mid-range model out there so maybe that makes it a bit more of an exception and with a bigger savings. Maybe it would also be true on the upper end road bikes also.

I would never expect a warranty or anything after the sale, the risk would be all the buyers. The a la carte method sounds right.
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Old 10-24-12, 01:09 PM
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Fietsbob

Ya I could care less about the name on the front. I look at the parts that are known and then the quality of the more generic parts and go from there.

Even the big names are most likely coming from the same shop in China as the recycled names.

I would take your advice and have it sent to a shop by you. But I think the airfare out would kill my cost savings and dang that’s a long ride back home too.
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Old 10-24-12, 01:11 PM
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We are only 10 miles from the tire wetting on the beach,
on the Pacific


Given a few big Contract Manufacturers, in Asia are making the bikes under several Brand names , the differences are the details
specified in the Contract, and the CAD 'drawings' , submitted.
[Taiwan is different , politically, than the mainland]

But, NB: You really don't Have to own a 'Touring Bike' to take a Bike Tour.



One of My Friends has a Scott brand bike , the previous owner finished the Transcontinental Tour, said "I never want to see this bike again".
sold the thing pretty cheap , and did not have to deal with more than getting them self and their soft goods Home.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-25-12 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 10-24-12, 01:33 PM
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Shop mechanic here, and my shop would charge you for a tune-up as the assembly fee with a 30 day service warranty, we warranty the work we did, not the bike.
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Old 10-24-12, 02:37 PM
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You can order it yourself and then just bring it to the LBS for them to put together. It shouldn't cost much more than a tune-up.
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Old 10-24-12, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
Shop mechanic here, and my shop would charge you for a tune-up as the assembly fee with a 30 day service warranty, we warranty the work we did, not the bike.
I used to manage a shop and that's what we would do. And we'd be so nice about it that you would buy all your accessories and parts from us, too.
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Old 10-24-12, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by AlabamaCommuter View Post
You can order it yourself and then just bring it to the LBS for them to put together. It shouldn't cost much more than a tune-up.
Our LBS charges $15 over the price of a "tune-up" for unpacking and installing pedals, bars and the like. Then performs the tune-up so the bike is ready to go. A fair price to me.
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Old 10-24-12, 05:24 PM
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easier for you to just order it yourself and bring it in the shop for a tuneup/assembly. cost 90 here
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Old 10-24-12, 05:43 PM
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Hi,

They have videos of putting the bike together. Depending on your abilities, consider putting it together yourself. Take pictures, go slowly, and if you get in trouble, stop and then take it to a mechanic.

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 10-24-12, 05:52 PM
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It's better to apologize later than to ask first.

If you go at it your way there's no way to predict the dealer's response. Moreover, if he says no you have no comeback.

OTOH if you go ahead and buy the bike, and bring it in, it's a straight job and the dealer can take the money, (way less than you're offering), or say no and get nothing. This is far less likely to raise hackles and burn a possible relationship.

Of course some dealers may turn you down outright or highball you on the price, but you're free to shop around.
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Old 10-24-12, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
Our LBS charges $15 over the price of a "tune-up" for unpacking and installing pedals, bars and the like. Then performs the tune-up so the bike is ready to go. A fair price to me.
I've been arguing with my boss about adding $15-$20 over a tune-up for a customer assembly. Tune-ups don't include installing stem, handlebar, pedals, and front brake.
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Old 10-24-12, 11:01 PM
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From my site:

A word about bike assembly:

With the advent of companies who sell bikes over the internet in unassembled condition and expect the customer to do the final assembly, we feel the need to educate our customers about what they should expect should they want us to assemble such a bike for them. Although many of these bikes are touted as "90% assembled", they arrive in much the same condition as bikes from our own vendors, which is to say, in need of a lot of attention. All BikeWise bikes get a thorough assembly with all systems receiving attention. This usually takes a skilled mechanic at least an hour, and in the case of a triathlon bike, up to three. Because of our commitment to the highest standards, we are unable to do partial assemblies for bikes bought elsewhere or over the internet. We are happy to do complete, and guaranteed assemblies, but we do not offer a service where we will do only the "final adjustments". Only by doing the complete assembly can we be certain the bike is safe and reliable. This service starts at $75 for single speed bikes up to $200 for high end tri and road bikes.

Bikes previously assembled and ridden are another matter, and if the bike is in good working condition when boxed for shipping, prices start at $40 for a simple reassembly. Multispeed and tri-bikes may be higher, depending on state of disassembly.


Now, of course, if it's someone I know and/or they know what they're doing, exceptions can be made. But more often, what most guys that work on their own bikes think is correctly adjusted and set up and what a real pro wrench thinks is correctly adjusted and set up are not the same.
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Old 10-24-12, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
From my site:

A word about bike assembly:

.
A straightforward, sound and reasonable policy. Kudos.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
From my site:

A word about bike assembly:

This usually takes a skilled mechanic at least an hour, and in the case of a triathlon bike, up to three.

Out of curiousity: why longer for a tri bike? I'm sure there's a sound reason but can't imagine what it is.
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Old 10-25-12, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
Out of curiousity: why longer for a tri bike? I'm sure there's a sound reason but can't imagine what it is.
they come more disassembled than regular bikes. most of the time its a bare frame. cervelo's are pretty close to a bare frame except the crank and a few parts. also internal cable routing and brakes that are hard to access
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Old 10-25-12, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
.......also internal cable routing and brakes that are hard to access
That's the main thing, IMO. And with all the unconventional designs from one model to another, there's no real "standard" way the cables and brakes are set up; you can easily spend as much time getting a weird brake set up on a TT bike as you would spend assembling an entire conventional bike.

To the OP: your thoughts about going to an LBS and requesting they purchase the bike for you and giving them a lump sum of money up front to do so, along with money to assemble the bike, are really not the way to do it nor is it the way things are normally done. We live in the age of online purchases. LBS's get that. They have standard policies in place to assemble bikes brought to them in boxes; it happens all the time in this age of online bike sales, ebay purchases, etc.

It's really no biggie; the consumer weighs the benefits of a fully supported complete bike purchase directly from the LBS that can be test ridden, fitted, compared in person to other models, etc before the purchase, along with whatever perks the LBS offers along with the purchase of the bike, vs. a discounted bike purchased online, the additional cost of having the bike assembled at the LBS without the perks. The consumer can make an informed decision as to how to purchase their bike, what works best for them.
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Old 10-25-12, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
Out of curiousity: why longer for a tri bike? I'm sure there's a sound reason but can't imagine what it is.
Some tri-bikes are a complete nightmare to work on, they do some horrid things with internal cable routing and the brakes on modern bikes are almost always a pain to get to. We have spent 30ish mins on one cable before trying to get it through the internal routing on a frame that did not use guides. If the bike has been raced before there is always the chance of having an over-zealous racer that did not want to stop to piss so they just let it go as well....

Our shop would charge between $80-$120 depending on the level of dis assembly but with that we actually make sure all the bearings are adjusted right (they never are from the factory, even from the big guys) wheels are true, EVERY bolt is tight and we will still try to help you with swapping stems/etc (although you would have to buy the stem instead of it being included) We would NOT order it for you though, but like was said earlier, we would make nearly as much profit from this as we would selling you a new bike. Bike margins are poor and when you take into account the time spent with a customer and the free service after the sale we really do not make much on new bike sales. What we do get from them is customers that continue to come back for accessories/consumables/upgrades down to road so if you are feeling a bit guilty buying online, save some of those online purchases for your shop but still get your bikes direct bike.

Last edited by chriskmurray; 10-25-12 at 10:57 AM. Reason: typo
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