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Local Bike Shops -Disappointing Performance

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Local Bike Shops -Disappointing Performance

Old 01-11-17, 07:19 AM
  #51  
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Trouble is, a retail store can't stay in business (much less make a profit) with a 10% mark-up.
10% was probably a bad number as an example but the point was why not make something rather than no sale at all?
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Old 01-11-17, 07:37 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Everything is on Youtube.. though take cars for instance -- in the general populace how many folks are changing their own fan belts, doing their own oil changes and tire rotations, 50,000 mile tune-ups, etc..?
That is true, and for sure, there are folks who do their own car and appliance repairs. But for every one of those people, I would wager there are ten who would just as soon pay someone else to get the job done. Over the last 4 or 5 years, I have gotten a lot more into cycling, and so I have attempted to learn basic bike maintenance, and some bike repair.

Even my limited level of knowledge makes me the resident "bike expert" among my friends and acquaintances who are just casual or occasional riders. I now can do for myself 80% of the things I used to pay a bike shop to do. That said, there are still jobs I pay the bike shop to do, either because of lack of knowledge, lack of tools, or both.
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Old 01-11-17, 07:41 AM
  #53  
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something else about LBS service, they have tools that we can't afford, and make short work of things we would cobble.
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Old 01-11-17, 07:54 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
something else about LBS service, they have tools that we can't afford, and make short work of things we would cobble.
That is true.
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Old 01-11-17, 08:49 AM
  #55  
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Way back in the olden days I ordered a pair of Campy Record hubs. Small flange was the cool "new thing". Some retailer/wholesaler had placed an ad in "Bike World" magazine - Campy small flange hubs for $40 a pair. That was about half the price of the LBS, if they could even get them. So I mailed in my $40 check and waited 6 weeks to get my hubs.

Today, a few clicks on a key pad, a day or two delivery. Or for some stuff, same day.

Not only that but you can get a cadence speed sensor for Zwift, say what **********???, shipped to your door.

I think I will stick to my Multito.
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Old 01-11-17, 09:17 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
something else about LBS service, they have tools that we can't afford, and make short work of things we would cobble.
OTOH, a $60/hr shop rate will buy me most any specialized tool I'd need to do the job, and then I get to keep the tools. Sure, they can probably get it done faster, if it is a common modern component they know, but when I count my time of taking it in my car there, waiting for it to be done, and picking it back up, is it any faster than learning and doing it myself?

Something else about the LBS service: when they've got a pile of bikes and a couple day backlog on getting services done, do I expect them to pay fine attention to dialing it in that last little bit that I would give it, or are they going to get it done "good enough" and move on to the next job?
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Old 01-11-17, 09:33 AM
  #57  
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I live a yuppie-fied area in the Chicago burbs. There are many high end LBSs around here, the type of places that actually have a Colnago with Super Record on the floor. The majority of these shops offer indifferent/surly service, inconvenient hours, slow or downright inept mechanics, almost always full retail prices and an extremely limited selection of clothing/tools/parts/accessories. One or two shops have downright dishonest sales practices and have become infamous locally. Others have better service but still completely uncompetitive pricing in the era of Amazon Prime. I understand a lot of this is driven by the current realities of the business and I don't really blame LBS owners. After all, no one is getting rich here. This doesn't change the fact that the situation on the ground is terrible for most enthusiast customers. Every once in a while it makes sense to go to the LBS but usually it's a total hassle with limited upside.

I think companies offering quality bikes through a direct sales model like Canyon are going to be the final nail in the coffin for LBSs. I've heard from people who would know that the major US brands all have direct sales strategies ready to go. I'm not celebrating this but I don't thing the vast majority of LBSs are long for this world.

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Old 01-11-17, 09:44 AM
  #58  
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Performance bike corp. Inc. LLC?
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Old 01-11-17, 09:45 AM
  #59  
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Shawn didn't charge me a thing to remove my fixed BB cup, gave me curb service, and the tool he used grabbed the cup from both inside and outside, looked like Caterpillar built it, made instant work of it, and nothing was damaged.
Discretion is the better part of valor.
All LBS are not created equal. Counting wheel building, frame alignment, I don't think I've spent $100/year there.
And it's really smart to make friends with your LBS.
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Old 01-11-17, 11:30 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
All LBS are not created equal. Counting wheel building, frame alignment, I don't think I've spent $100/year there.
And it's really smart to make friends with your LBS.
No, they are not. I am curious how you are great friends with them, though, spending less than $100 a year at their shop? Unless of course you mean you have a friend who works at/owns a bike shop, which is another thing completely.
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Old 01-11-17, 01:34 PM
  #61  
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they're just that way - they like everything about bicycles and bicycle people.
That $100 labor is estimated and averaged over years

This is the shop with the Moser on the wall. I refer everybody I know to them. My buddy had them build a dyno + SRAM 2-speed auto wheelset on Velocity rims, and ordered all the parts through them, which gives an 80% discount on build cost.

I show up with wheels to true after Shawn has his coffee on a weekday and get curb service.
They've aligned dropouts on my Moser and Shawn's father Jim Britton had to talk to me about the bike.
On my daughter's '86 Team Fuji they had the right rear lockwasher to let me use recessed nut Chorus brakes so I gave them the BB and headset rebuild, as well (I already had the bridge washers).
I took my finished Viner by for show and tell, and they flipped.


On my "new" International, Shawn aligned the frame and pressed my headset, and I let him FrameSave it.
When I brought it by for show and tell, he took photos and sent them to his friend, and we had a text conversation there in the shop.
I took Tad there with his 7-11 Team frame for inspection and questions.
They got me a warranty axle on new Raceface pedals that I didn't even purchase from them. (The pedals have gone 8000 mi since then)

They just know how to conduct business, and I guess I know how to make friends.
They don't need to sell me a bike - they're selling enough to everybody else and there's always a new bike on the build stand.
I also see them building up vintage frames brought into them, and they have a very good used bike and vintage consignment business - my buddy also bought a Santana tandem through them for relative peanuts - $1200.
Last time I was in, this was on the build stand.

Last edited by bulldog1935; 01-12-17 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 01-11-17, 04:09 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
There is more to bike repair than a simple derailleur adjustment. For this reason alone, bike shops will remain in business for some time to come.
While I don't disagree, the post I quoted was this, which is all very basic, entry-level mechanic stuff that just about any cognizant adult could figure out if properly motivated to do so.

Reduced supply could potentially lead to much higher labor rates -- derailleur adjustments of $20 instead of $10; chain installation costs doubling, new cabling for $60 instead of $30. Bike assembly (from that BD bike you got online
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Old 01-11-17, 04:14 PM
  #63  
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I'd also add changing a tube. That's just so ridiculously overpriced in a bike shop to begin with. Bleh!
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Old 01-11-17, 04:19 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
OTOH, a $60/hr shop rate will buy me most any specialized tool I'd need to do the job, and then I get to keep the tools. Sure, they can probably get it done faster, if it is a common modern component they know, but when I count my time of taking it in my car there, waiting for it to be done, and picking it back up, is it any faster than learning and doing it myself?
Indeed. Bought a BB Press tool for 28 dollars and then a truing stand and spoke tension-meter thing for about 100 bucks and have used them both a dozen plus times. More than paid for themselves pretty quickly and after the first try got pretty efficient with time.
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Old 01-12-17, 02:30 PM
  #65  
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I love my LBS--like the way it smells. The guys (and gal) there are wonderful--actually have become my friends. I dont get everything there--into CV so I order on line, bid/buy on ebay. I have even brought in items I purchased on ebay and had them install. Any time I install deraileurs or even brakes, I ask them to check my work...never a comment or anything except how cool this or that component is. I had them replace my old funky pedals with VO road pedals I had bought for my '84 Torpado and Tom installed and didnt charge me a dime. Bike World of San Antonio. Bunch of people as crazy about bikes and cycling as I am.
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Old 01-12-17, 02:34 PM
  #66  
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The Alamo Heights guys are great, and good coffee.
Howard from Schertz (Action Bikes) leads a group arriving there before 7am on Sunday, and we proceed downtown on deserted streets.
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Old 01-12-17, 11:55 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
A chain is a chain and a tube is a tube. If I need these things, it's usually bc one broke or I would rather get one that day instead of waiting 2 days for it to arrive at the house. Bonus if I have my bike with me at the time, cause mine lets me just throw it up in the repair stand and take care of business there and then.
Interesting that I see it the complete opposite. My LBS can sell me a cheap Kenda or Sunlite tube, but if I want Schwalbe or Continental, I have to order it online. All tubes are NOT created equal.

Same with chains. I can buy a KMC or SRAM chain off the shelf at my LBS, but if I want a Shimano HG70 or HG90, I have to order online. All chains are NOT created equal.

If I want cable housing, I can get generic lined housing at my LBS (for too much money) but if I want Jagwire, I have to order online. All cable housing is NOT created equal.

And so on.
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Old 01-13-17, 08:52 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Interesting that I see it the complete opposite. My LBS can sell me a cheap Kenda or Sunlite tube, but if I want Schwalbe or Continental, I have to order it online. All tubes are NOT created equal.

Same with chains. I can buy a KMC or SRAM chain off the shelf at my LBS, but if I want a Shimano HG70 or HG90, I have to order online. All chains are NOT created equal.

If I want cable housing, I can get generic lined housing at my LBS (for too much money) but if I want Jagwire, I have to order online. All cable housing is NOT created equal.

And so on.
I've never had a tube "go bad" on me or need to be replaced because it was of lesser quality. This excludes 40 year old bikes bought with their original tubes still installed, of course. I don't really care about very high end chains either.

The cheap consumables work pretty damn well - good enough that I don't need to spend extra money for the higher quality consumables.

And it depends on the shop. Go to a specialized dealer and you'll get specialized tubes (I miss my old shop, they stopped selling Specialized when a new owner bought them and all of their remaining stock was always 50% off, including tubes). Same if you go into a Giant dealer. Trek dealers sell Bontrager tubes. As far as I'm concerned a tube is a freakin tube unless you want to go latex.
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Old 01-13-17, 01:17 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
As far as I'm concerned a tube is a freakin tube unless you want to go latex.
With all due respect, that is most definitely not true.
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Old 01-13-17, 03:21 PM
  #70  
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I have 2 (well had 2) great LBS in my area. The closest just closed his doors (Oct 2016) to retire . Started in 1978, only employed himself. Supported our bike club, too. As a hobby, I do my own work with exceptions. Replacing a headset, installing a sealed BB are out of my area of the hobby. Also, building a set of wheels, to replace my aging , original wheels from my Ciocc. Some of the maintenance projects that my LBS did for me. Chains, tubes, lube I would purchase at the LBS, as his prices were comparable to Nashbar and Performance, if you included shipping fees. I can understand, not having a large inventory, to compete Nashbar and Performance Bike. Selling bikes and maintenance was a large part of his business.

Higher end items, shoes, clothing were out of my budget. My daughter bought her latest bike (used vintage in beautiful shape) there, as he did sell used bikes, that were higher quality. He and his wife (dental hygienist ) and no kids had a nice home and 3 cars, '65 restored Mustang, Austin Mini Cooper, and late model small SUV. They still own a small cabin in ME. He was a dealer for "Seven" bikes and had a nice one, as well as a few vintage.

They sold their home and moved to Florida . By all accounts, I'd say he did well. Not having kids, he could afford a few luxury items.

He will be missed by our community.
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Old 01-13-17, 06:22 PM
  #71  
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options are always going to be a good thing for the consumer. I have an LBS that i have stopped by to fix things on my bike that i just couldn't get right myself or couldn't figure out and they have fixed it for me for free because i visit them regularly. I don't understand why people in this thread seem to want to choose a side on this topic.

When i need something i always check both, i check online and i check my LBS. If the prices are close and don't want to wait for shipping time I will go to my LBS. If i'm saving alot and i can wait, i order online. I also have to take into account that i live in a condo and i hate when the only shipping option is UPS because i don't like that they just leave it on my door as many times i am at work and i have had things stolen.

For example I got my first 27.5 bike a few days ago and had no spare tubes for this Saturdays ride. I ordered a 4 pack on Amazon and they will be arriving on Sunday but I will be riding on Saturday so i'm going to stop by and pick 1 up from the LBS.. I rather pay more for 1 tube then go on a ride without..
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Old 01-13-17, 06:24 PM
  #72  
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There are lots of bike shops in Fort Worth, across the entire spectrum: old school type with lots of used bikes fixed up by the owner; old school LBS with outdated marketing strategy; high priced for well heeled dilettantes; REI, the nearest thing I've seen to online shopping in meatspace.

Out of loyalty, and because they're only a mile away, I go to the LBS as often as possible when I need/want something. It's a bit of hit or miss. The repair shop does good work at a fair price. Overall retail prices are fair, just a reasonable markup to keep the lease paid and employees employed. A few months ago the mechanic, whom I've watched building new wheels, charged me only ten bucks to save a wheel that I'd thought was warped beyond repair. And they've invited me to prowl through the parts bin to find the hub cones I need to replace the pitted cones in my old Shimano Exage hubs.

But I don't always get the advice or suggestions I need at that moment. Depends on who's in the shop. A few months ago I got exactly what I needed in replacement brake pads. A few weeks ago they sold me the wrong chain -- actually, chains, since I needed two spliced together for a long wheelbase bike. Turns out the KMC Z33 chains were for 6-speed (18, with the triple) only, which I didn't notice on the box until after I'd spliced the chains, ridden it for 10 miles and realized it was skipping the two smallest rear cogs. And my Missing Link II connectors are 7.1mm pin length, the wrong type for the Z33 and Z50 chains which are 7.3mm pin length. I'll take the blame for not reading the tiny print on the packages more carefully, or researching the KMC website more thoroughly before buying. But it was annoying that I'd asked for chains for a 7-speed and got chains for 6-speed bikes.

So yesterday I stopped at REI, only because it happened to be along my ride on the local MUP. My experience with REI tech stuff has also been hit or miss, because they have a full time experienced repair tech, but also some trainees/apprentices who are trying hard to learn the craft -- and I give 'em credit for that.

So, last time I was in, before the holidays, I needed some cables and housings. It was after 5 pm and only the trainee tech folks were in the shop, busily assembling youth bikes, presumably for holiday gifts. They did their sincere best to find what I needed, but it took awhile to put together the appropriate brake and shifter cables, and the 12" bit of housing they gave me (no charge) wasn't what I needed. But it was free so I'm not complaining. I decided to wait until after the holiday rush to resume replacing all the cables and housings on my 1992 mountain bike.

Yesterday I stopped at REI to see if they had the chain I needed to finish the other bike. This time the experienced mechanic was in. He handed me exactly the chain I needed: KMC Z72, better than the Z33 from the other shop for only a couple more bucks since the Z72 includes the Missing Link quick connector/disconnector and the better quality mushroom pins, plus the Z-Bridge plates which neatly mimic the original Shimano HG-50 narrow chain designed specifically for the Uniglide/Hyperglide.

And when I mentioned I needed 122 links to finish the chore (again, long wheelbase and unusually long chain stay), and moped about needing to buy two new sets of chains again, the mechanic said "Hang on a sec..." and returned with a handful of four to six link sections of identical KMC Z72 chain, gratis. They'd been cut from brand new Z72 chains to fit various bikes they worked on.

And then he invited me to come in anytime I needed tips on handling a DIY bike chore, and reminded me about their various workshops, etc.

So, mixed experiences with both the old school LBS and REI, but overall I'm satisfied with both. And REI is trying awfully darned hard to combine old school LBS service with the new marketing model necessitated by online shopping.

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Old 01-13-17, 06:39 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
...I can buy a KMC or SRAM chain off the shelf at my LBS, but if I want a Shimano HG70 or HG90, I have to order online. All chains are NOT created equal...
I've been wrong recently on selecting chains before, so research the following carefully before buying, but...

I think the KMC Z72 may be an appropriate replacement for the apparently-discontinued Shimano Uniglide/Hyperglide chains like my 1992 Univega mountain bike's HG50, and the HG70 you mentioned. The Z72 has the same plate configuration as the Shimano narrow HG50, which should work better with the Uni/Hyperglides.

And the KMC Z72 features mushroom head pins (vs peened with the old HG50), which should be secure, and includes the appropriate Missing Link if you want to use it.

But, again, check this stuff carefully on KMC's website tech section. I failed to read that stuff carefully a few weeks ago and bought a pair of Z33 chains which aren't compatible with anything I have. And while the Z50 has worked fine with my old Hyperglide cassette, it wasn't a good value compared with the Z72 from REI (only a couple of bucks more, better chain, and includes the Missing Link that I bought extra via Amazon). I also didn't read the fine print carefully before putting a 7.1mm Missing Link II on a chain with 7.3mm pin length that needed the original Missing Link version one.
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Old 01-13-17, 06:49 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I've been wrong recently on selecting chains before, so research the following carefully before buying, but...

I think the KMC Z72 may be an appropriate replacement for the apparently-discontinued Shimano Uniglide/Hyperglide chains like my 1992 Univega mountain bike's HG50, and the HG70 you mentioned....

You can buy Shimano HG70 or HG71 chains all day long. But that's my point - you have to go online. My LBS only stocks the HG50, along with the usual SRAM and KMC that everyone sells.
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Old 01-13-17, 07:14 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
You can buy Shimano HG70 or HG71 chains all day long. But that's my point - you have to go online. My LBS only stocks the HG50, along with the usual SRAM and KMC that everyone sells.
Got links to any sites that stock those Shimano chains? The handful of places I've tried always seem to be out of stock.
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