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Sticker shock!

Old 06-08-17, 06:20 PM
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Sticker shock!

Hit up my LBS today and picked up two Presta tubes, two brake cable inners and two derailleur cable inners. Total before tax was $47.94.

Strangely enough, each item ran $7.99. Almost eight bucks for a brake cable? How do those of you who overhaul before flipping break even, much less make a profit, when sundries cost this much?

What kinds of prices are the rest of you paying for items like this?

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Old 06-08-17, 06:23 PM
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I buy the Bell cable kit from my local hardware store, $5 for the whole kit.
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Old 06-08-17, 06:28 PM
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That would run me, at a local bike shop, roughly $22.00 CND or just over $16.00 USD. Find a different shop. As for spokes, ey-yi-yi--yiyi! Spokes for two 36 hole 700c to high flange hubs, stainless steel and not even butted - $154.00 CND and that was the largest cost to put this on the road...

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Old 06-08-17, 06:31 PM
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yeah you are paying way too much for cables at that shop. even REI will sell you cables for $3 and they are on the expensive side. presta tubes - depending upon the brand- but can be had for $6 at certain places.

sometimes I cheat and get the direct from china "jagwire" complete kit for $12.
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Old 06-08-17, 06:32 PM
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Buy bulk through a shop that will give you QPB +10, at the most.
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Old 06-08-17, 06:46 PM
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I bought a box of a hundred. Gets it down to about a buck a piece. If you'd get your heiny perpendicular down to PDX I'd gladly share the wealth.

;-)
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Old 06-08-17, 06:49 PM
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I'm done buying and selling for the most part. Mostly just buying what I envision keeping.

I tend to not buy consumables unless I have 20% or better off somewhere and thats generally to outfit an entire bike+. Sometimes a shop but it's mostly online. If I need something same day, usually it's something small and run to whichever shop is closest.
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Old 06-08-17, 06:57 PM
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For wear items - cables, housing, tires, tubes, bar tape, brake pads and the like - I buy in bulk, typically from Niagara, but sometimes other places if Niagara doesn't have what I want.

For one-off purchases, I typically visit my LBS first, as I have a good working relationship with them and they give me a good price. In turn, I help them out by giving them a heads up on used bikes they might want to flip that I have no interest in. Couple years ago, I found them a Schwinn Duosport tandem for right around $100 that they flipped for $750 if memory serves.
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Old 06-08-17, 06:59 PM
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I find it interesting to hear what others are paying for stuff that I rarely used to buy in small quantities. These days, however, I am getting a real idea of what it costs to fix up old bikes. I nearly crapped at the price of spokes. It seems only a few years ago that $40.00 CND would do both wheels.

While on the subject, I went to buy a dozen sets of handlebar tape, through Ebay, the other day. I am used to paying about $2.50 a set, shipping included, if I buy a dozen sets at a time. Now, I can't even find the vendor, from China in case that makes a difference, for these inexpensive sets. And I have only two sets left - pooey-stinko!
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Old 06-08-17, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
That would run me, at a local bike shop, roughly $22.00 CND or just over $16.00 USD. Find a different shop. As for spokes, ey-yi-yi--yiyi! Spokes for two 36 hole 700c to high flange hubs, stainless steel and not even butted - $154.00 CND and that was the largest cost to put this on the road...
I started to buy spokes from rosebikes, pretty good pricing, especially for triple butted Alpines and you don't have to buy entire box
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Old 06-08-17, 07:26 PM
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Mountain Co-op, $2 Cdn for stainless cables. $10.50 for gel cork tape.
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Old 06-08-17, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
That would run me, at a local bike shop, roughly $22.00 CND or just over $16.00 USD. Find a different shop. As for spokes, ey-yi-yi--yiyi! Spokes for two 36 hole 700c to high flange hubs, stainless steel and not even butted - $154.00 CND and that was the largest cost to put this on the road...

Where are you buying your Spokes Randy? Just bought 72 from a Bike shop in Southern Ontario for $72.00 cdn a Buck each. Plus Tax of course...
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Old 06-08-17, 07:51 PM
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I at least double my money on most flipped purchases. It's not all great bike picks, either, consumables are where you win money. Three major things I do to keep prices down:
  • Price-match in bulk online
  • Buy pre-fab universal kits online
  • Buy bulk packages online

Helps to know places that price-match and some Google-fu, but... pedestrian examples:
  • Last month I found an authorized retailer online selling Kenda K161 tires at $7.99/ea but turnaround time and freight wasn't great when buying multiples. Took that to Bike Tires Direct and price-matched it, bought 6 tires with $5 ship, out the door for under $60 with 3 pairs of tires. Buyers seem to love these on 27" wheels. Someone is always having a sale on tires and this is the single biggest way to save big bucks. Tires are expensive!!
  • I buy Schwinn-approved cable kits for $7-10 which include all brake+shift cable supplies needed for one bike: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L8NDVD6/
  • I buy my tubes and rim strips as a package on Amazon in bulk and get free ship thru Prime. For example, $11 for two tubes and rim strips: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RZV0XBS/ Same with bulk 10-packs of shift cables, name brand. $1-3 per cable if you buy in tens.
So basically with those three points, to flip a complete bike (minus bearings), I'm out less than $20 on tires, $12 on tubes, $10 on cables, so I'm completely tearing down and rebuilding for less than $50 out the door.

There's always an unexpected snag in there, but the parts bin is well-stocked from years of wrenching, there's usually something to cover it, and when there's not, I'm patient... Have several projects waiting on 1-2 parts.

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Old 06-08-17, 07:54 PM
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PS - you can also save big buying in bulk other places online, like eBay, for mid-range stuff. Pork Chop BMX is one of my favorites for bulk cables and fairly good quality colored/translucent cable housings. He also has double-end cables for those of us who dabble in mixte and whatnot.

I also keep eyes on specials and clearance stuff at online retailers like Jenson USA, Bike Tires Direct, and REI (and latter sometimes brick and mortar stores).
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Old 06-08-17, 07:55 PM
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Since I don't flip bikes I don't worry alot. I will try to order online but periodically will go to the LBS for tubes and cables or a miscellaneous tool. Even though I won't buy a new bike from them I do try to support them occasionally because they do a lot in the community. Tubes have definitely gotten more expensive.

I will say I have also used the Bell cable pack and get it here for about $6
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Old 06-08-17, 08:16 PM
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Sounds like you need to go online, nashbar or performance bike. I just ordered a few road tubes for $3 each and I thought that was high.
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Old 06-08-17, 08:22 PM
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I've bought a dozen or so tubes from my LBS at $4.95 and $5.95. Lots of tire levers, a couple minipumps, some stuff from their occasional "garage sale" section (used and returned items). Couple of spokes ($2 each) a couple bikes worth of brake cable ($2/foot, available in any color you want, as long as it's black).

But - I must admit I stock up on brake and shift cables at .99 per from various China sellers on ebay, buying in lots of 10. Bar tape anywhere from $1.69 for really cheap generic foam tape (takes a month to arrive) to $20+ for Fizik fake leather and several steps in between.

I would buy more stuff from my LBS but they are more a bike-selling place than a parts and consumables place, and their selection of parts off the shelf is quite limited. They'll do a fine job tuning up your bike, but you won't have much say on what parts they use. That's OK, their real customers don't know or care, they just want someone else to get their bike back in shape for them. I'm happy they can make a living in this little town.
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Old 06-08-17, 08:50 PM
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Some insightful comments so far - thanks to everyone for your takes.

I figured buying in bulk had a lot to do with overhaul-type flippers. Sounds like some great prices to be had that way.

Since I need them rarely (I currently have only 5 riders and can get at least two seasons out of a set of brake/gear cables), I couldn't really see picking them up in bulk. However, going with 10 would be perfect

I don't want to have to give up completely on my LBS. Tube cost doesn't strike me as too high (as long as they don't get any more expensive...right...), but I figure four bux is pretty much what a cable inner should cost. The problem for me is the only reason to go in is for consumables like this. Tires? Online. Bar tape? They don't carry cloth - online. Or Recycled Cycles. I'm stocked for years with Campy/Mathauser brake pads. I do my own maintenance and rotate bikes enough so that I'm not wearing out my drivetrains any time soon.

If I can't get them to cut me a 1/2 off for a bulk purchase (but not too bulky) then I'm afraid my only real reason for dropping in would be gone. Then I become a cyclist who doesn't support his LBS. I guess I'd feel guilty if I weren't paying twice as much as everyone for the most basic of bike parts.

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Old 06-08-17, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I bought a box of a hundred. Gets it down to about a buck a piece. If you'd get your heiny perpendicular down to PDX I'd gladly share the wealth.

;-)
See, I'd have to go in with someone (there's a thought...) to do 100. But yeah.

I know, I know. I was supposed to go for Pedalpalooza, but I'm now down to one car and it's NOT the cool black one with the purpose-build roof rack with room for two bikes

In the end, I would only have been able to bring one bike - that would've been the too-small-to-ride bare metal Colnago. But I don't trust the reliability of the Audi currently. Car-related stuff hit at just the wrong time.

Hopefully before the summer is out. Doesn't sound like you're gonna run out of cables any time soon

DD
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Old 06-08-17, 09:03 PM
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Campy ended cables when I bought from the LBS last year were $8 each. $8 a pair from an eBay seller now and I just bought some for $2 and change each from Ribble. I just went to the LBS today for a 2 prong freewheel remover, which they didn't have of course (and a quizzical look from one of the staff) so bought one on Amazon.

I find the best prices routinely from the British websites like Ribble and Wiggle and I'll stock up on consumables when I need a bigger ticket item. Got some stuff on the way including $6 Fizik tape.
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Old 06-08-17, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
I at least double my money on most flipped purchases. It's not all great bike picks, either, consumables are where you win money. Three major things I do to keep prices down:
  • Price-match in bulk online
  • Buy pre-fab universal kits online
  • Buy bulk packages online

Helps to know places that price-match and some Google-fu, but... pedestrian examples:
  • Last month I found an authorized retailer online selling Kenda K161 tires at $7.99/ea but turnaround time and freight wasn't great when buying multiples. Took that to Bike Tires Direct and price-matched it, bought 6 tires with $5 ship, out the door for under $60 with 3 pairs of tires. Buyers seem to love these on 27" wheels. Someone is always having a sale on tires and this is the single biggest way to save big bucks. Tires are expensive!!
  • I buy Schwinn-approved cable kits for $7-10 which include all brake+shift cable supplies needed for one bike: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L8NDVD6/
  • I buy my tubes and rim strips as a package on Amazon in bulk and get free ship thru Prime. For example, $11 for two tubes and rim strips: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RZV0XBS/ Same with bulk 10-packs of shift cables, name brand. $1-3 per cable if you buy in tens.
So basically with those three points, to flip a complete bike (minus bearings), I'm out less than $20 on tires, $12 on tubes, $10 on cables, so I'm completely tearing down and rebuilding for less than $50 out the door.

There's always an unexpected snag in there, but the parts bin is well-stocked from years of wrenching, there's usually something to cover it, and when there's not, I'm patient... Have several projects waiting on 1-2 parts.
This breaks down the economics of flipping pretty well. Almost a mini-tutorial

I think we can all relate to your last lines, flipper or no. When it comes to finding that last little part... Most times what's cool is it can be found right here!

DD
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Old 06-08-17, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
This breaks down the economics of flipping pretty well. Almost a mini-tutorial
It works out pretty well if you have the tools, know-how, and a community of other junkies for support
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Old 06-08-17, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
It works out pretty well if you have the tools, know-how, and a community of other junkies for support
Yup - raise your hand if you're an enabler

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Old 06-08-17, 09:35 PM
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Sticker shock is exactly right. For that reason I buy all consumables online. As much as I wish I could support the LBS', the price difference is just too high for me.
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Old 06-08-17, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Yup - raise your hand if you're an enabler
This is worth a thousand words, right?:


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