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I'm OK Never Setting Foot Inside an LBS Again

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I'm OK Never Setting Foot Inside an LBS Again

Old 08-31-17, 11:54 AM
  #101  
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It's not hard to buy a bike (or a project) at all. That's why I'm going to Planned Bikehood for Christmas and having my chain tied.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:39 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by quicktrigger View Post
Off bike topic a bit, but related ... Always be ready to walk on any deal, do your homework, and it will be allot less stressful, and will keep you in control. Sales people don't like it....
actually, last car purchase, sales manager complimented me saying something to the affect of "you weren't an a****** you did your home work" I guess some ppl go in & just don't know what they're talking about regarding prices & rates for loans. I knew the value of the car, my trade & lowest loan rates available w my credit, so it was a simple matter to stick to my guns but maybe compromise a tiny smidge. they appreciated the fact that I was there & prepared to buy. I knew what it would take to sell me that car, that day. but it takes work & many visits to many dealerships. but just like you said, be prepared, so when the right car, at the right price, with the right deal pops up, you are ready (& confident) to act
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Old 08-31-17, 02:10 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
You do realize many of the online retailers are nothing but small LBS themselves, right?

Tree Fort Bikes - Online Bicycle Parts and Accessories, Bicycle Tools and Maintenance

Tree Fort is local to me. They are a tiny physical presence, maybe three dozen bike (mostly plus/fat bikes), and something like a 30' wall of accessories. Pretty good online retailer, though, I like them for when I want something in a day or two but don't want to pay for rush shipping. Click, pay, pick up, and one helluva good price match policy/system. If you order from them, you ARE supporting a LBS.
ModernBike is here in Des Moines is similar...even more sparse, actually.
They used to be a traditional LBS(i got a sweet NOS '92 Mongoose MTB frame that was originally from them a couple years ago) and they changed over to internet sales. They were in 2 locations over the past couple years and finally moved into their current and permanent location earlier this year. They now have some displays on the 'shop floor' which is just a carpeted spot before the ordering desk.

They arent swimming in coin Scrooge McDuck style, thats for sure. They are a local business in every sense of the term, even if it isnt how a traditional store or bike shop looks.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:19 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
ModernBike is here in Des Moines is similar...even more sparse, actually.
They used to be a traditional LBS(i got a sweet NOS '92 Mongoose MTB frame that was originally from them a couple years ago) and they changed over to internet sales. They were in 2 locations over the past couple years and finally moved into their current and permanent location earlier this year. They now have some displays on the 'shop floor' which is just a carpeted spot before the ordering desk.

They arent swimming in coin Scrooge McDuck style, thats for sure. They are a local business in every sense of the term, even if it isnt how a traditional store or bike shop looks.
Have bought from them several times. Not the prettiest website, and sometimes wonder where to find something. Can't say they have "sales" like some of the other online places, but they have always delivered as promised, and gotten it out the door. Good to buy from as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:29 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
It's not hard to buy a bike (or a project) at all. That's why I'm going to Planned Bikehood for Christmas and having my chain tied.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:30 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by quicktrigger View Post
Have bought from them several times. Not the prettiest website, and sometimes wonder where to find something. Can't say they have "sales" like some of the other online places, but they have always delivered as promised, and gotten it out the door. Good to buy from as far as I'm concerned.
ha, yeah their website is something out of the 90s. i use google to search for something specific on their site- its absurd.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:39 PM
  #107  
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I got a no-haggle discount on my last car because my employer does business with the manufacturer. 2% off invoice. Also got 4-year, 0%, no money down financing. Made buying only the second car of my life a breeze.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:47 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
ModernBike is here in Des Moines is similar...even more sparse, actually.


Good to know they are an actual, legit retailer. Looked at them many times, only to have my warning "SCAM" signals go off in my mind!
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Old 08-31-17, 03:36 PM
  #109  
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last time I bought a cheap hybrid was at lbs and was a great experience- the rep was very helpful, let me ride it as long as I wanted, put a kick stand on it for no charge. Took all the time I wanted. I now wish I had bought a different bike, but that's beside the point. This shop also has lifetime free labor on bikes purchased from them, adjusting something, changing something, labor is free. Maybe the only LBS in the world with that deal. Unfortunately that store is not near me.

A different lbs is just down the street and they have unpleasant customer service. Its like you are wasting their time. I hate going in it.
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Old 08-31-17, 03:42 PM
  #110  
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Oh, are we talking car buying now? We got a new car for my wife this spring. She knew what she wanted more or less (Ford Escape). She looked at the new prices and they were about $28k for Titanium models, a bit over $20k for base models. She looked online and found a used Titanium at a dealer, two model years old, 17k miles, for $19k; Blue Book about $22-23k. So we went to look at it to see if it was as good as advertised, and really, it was. It was marked as $22k on the lot, but the salesman said since we emailed them via internet, it had a $3k internet discount. We had financing set up through a credit union, but their finance guy found us a better deal with one of their lenders. We fully didn't expect the car to be as good as it was and were ready to walk if there was anything wrong with it, but so far it's been perfect.
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Old 08-31-17, 05:02 PM
  #111  
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There are close to 20 shops in my town/metro area. Every one of them is great but some of them do have some...unique individuals working there. I worked at three of them during my younger years. I prefer one in particular but only because I've been going there for 30+ years. Sadly, it wasn't around when I was a mech back then.

-

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Old 08-31-17, 05:18 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
There was someone asking about buying from BD and it just reminded me of the many goofballs I've dealt with over the years at lbs's. There seem to be a handful of specific personality types at the lbs:

1) immature kids such as stoner teens that the shop hired because they're the only person in town willing to turn a wrench all week long for $8 an hour,

2) bored, confused millenials who don't have a career path and are trying to avoid adulting

3) pompous middle aged bike zealot whose ego is completely tied up in owning the latest carbon fiber Dura Ace Di2 wunderbike.

4) late on their rent desperate shop mechanic pushing their used bikes on you instead of the bike you wanted to test ride

5) rip off artist owners trying to upsell you to a $9K carbon road bike with discs when you came in for a $400 hybrid bike.

6) depressed floor sales guy who breaks down emotionally and cries when you come back from a 15 minute test ride and tell him you're going to "think about it" and get back to him.

Walking into a bike shop is just begging to be inundated with endless examples of arrested development. Thank god for internet sales.
You sound angry

Originally Posted by quicktrigger View Post
Off bike topic a bit, but related. Key to buy a car/bike is timing and waiting for that good deal that you want to fall in your lap then act quickly. Last car (truck actually). Wasn't looking. Went online because a co-worker was buying and had been for months, and knew I would have to eventually and just wondering about current market. End up landing in a 2 year old truck with less than 14K miles for less than the book "trade in value". I got double book value for my old truck than book value (had it for 11 years) as well. Keys were that it was end of year, they were about to have to pay taxes on it, and they had had it for a few months, and my old truck was in good condition. So rather than pay taxes, they were willing to give me what it took, and I had armed myself with homework, and printouts of other good deals that I made sure to lay on the desk so they (sales people) could see. I walked on the car lot and drove off done less than two hours later. Done. Oh, and the old truck, did similar thing with similar result. Always be ready to walk on any deal, do your homework, and it will be allot less stressful, and will keep you in control. Sales people don't like it.... oh well.

Timing and patience goes for bike as well. Just bought a gorgeous 2017 carbon frame mountain bike for just over half price because they are are trying to clear inventory ahead of 2018's.
Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Oh, are we talking car buying now? We got a new car for my wife this spring. She knew what she wanted more or less (Ford Escape). She looked at the new prices and they were about $28k for Titanium models, a bit over $20k for base models. She looked online and found a used Titanium at a dealer, two model years old, 17k miles, for $19k; Blue Book about $22-23k. So we went to look at it to see if it was as good as advertised, and really, it was. It was marked as $22k on the lot, but the salesman said since we emailed them via internet, it had a $3k internet discount. We had financing set up through a credit union, but their finance guy found us a better deal with one of their lenders. We fully didn't expect the car to be as good as it was and were ready to walk if there was anything wrong with it, but so far it's been perfect.
Casuals detected

Last edited by switchknee; 08-31-17 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 08-31-17, 05:26 PM
  #113  
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The LBS by my house is a nice little place, but their inventory is limited and their shop is booked out three weeks. There are two by my office. One of them seems uninterested in talking to you unless you are Greg LaMond, but I have nothing but positive things to say about the local Trek shop. The kids in there are friendly, know their product line, and don't treat me like I'm an out of shape 50 year old man, even though that's exactly what I am.

So that's where I shop.
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Old 08-31-17, 05:39 PM
  #114  
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Stopped by my LBS today because I thought I might have a case of "parts falling off bike"...the manager dropped the wrench in his hand came out and looked at the place of the potentially missing piece of plastic...nope, it's okay. Talked with me a couple of minutes about a century many from town are heading to on Saturday, shook my hand, no sale, no charge. The front man/fitter stopped me to talk about something else going on, shook my hand...and I'm out the door. I like them.
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Old 08-31-17, 06:34 PM
  #115  
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I think I've supported just about every LBS in town at some point over the last 20 years. Not all of them are the greatest but I had one experience that stood out recently.
I went to go on a ride after work a few weeks back and noticed my rear tire had flatted overnight. Rather than switch it out myself and burn my spare, I just threw the bike in the car and drove 10 minutes to the nearest LBS. They happened to be slammed at the time but I walk in with the bike, all kitted up for my ride (I think they took pity on me) and within 5 minutes they had my bike on the rack tearing the tube out, finding the piece of glass stuck in the tread. 10 minutes later and $18 poorer for a new tube and labor I walked out of the store and went on my ride. I lost all of 30 minutes and couldn't have been happier for it. I will definitely go back there in the future if that's the kind of service they give on a regular basis.
Sure I could have saved myself like $5 in labor but the pita of having to do it myself and using up my spare made it totally worth having a local store nearby do it for me.
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Old 08-31-17, 07:00 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by animasfire View Post
I think I've supported just about every LBS in town at some point over the last 20 years. Not all of them are the greatest but I had one experience that stood out recently.
I went to go on a ride after work a few weeks back and noticed my rear tire had flatted overnight. Rather than switch it out myself and burn my spare, I just threw the bike in the car and drove 10 minutes to the nearest LBS. They happened to be slammed at the time but I walk in with the bike, all kitted up for my ride (I think they took pity on me) and within 5 minutes they had my bike on the rack tearing the tube out, finding the piece of glass stuck in the tread. 10 minutes later and $18 poorer for a new tube and labor I walked out of the store and went on my ride. I lost all of 30 minutes and couldn't have been happier for it. I will definitely go back there in the future if that's the kind of service they give on a regular basis.
Sure I could have saved myself like $5 in labor but the pita of having to do it myself and using up my spare made it totally worth having a local store nearby do it for me.
Buy a patch kit for a dollar and save yourself $17 next time. You also spare the car's interior instead of trashing it. Not to mention you save on gas and multiple forms of wear and tear on your car.
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Old 08-31-17, 08:35 PM
  #117  
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The Bike Shoppe in Ogden UT is an awesome group not at all like the OP's complaints. They are always eager to help even if you walk in with your "emergency" while they are slammed. I haven't bought a bike from them in years but they've built up several vintage rides for me and work on my old bikes all the time. I'd rather be riding than working on my bikes so they even get about 1/2 of the normal maintenance stuff I can do. I'm spoiled with the best LBS around!
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Old 08-31-17, 10:27 PM
  #118  
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I do a lot of my own work, but sometimes drop by a shop, for stuff, and problems I cant figure out. Never had an issue with them. Bad attitudes get reflected back at you sometimes. Keep positive, and treat the shop people as you would like to be treated, and the respect comes back to you. Sounds corney, but it usually works for me. Paul at Atomic Cycles (Van Nuys, CA) comes to mind. I had a wobbly bottom bracket, showed it to Paul, and he found that I had the bearing carriers in backward. He also trued a rear wheel, and adjusted the cones, all while I waited. I think it cost around $20. You just need to find a better shop, the bad ones will not be around long, at least where I live here in LA.
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Old 08-31-17, 11:11 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
There was someone asking about buying from BD and it just reminded me of the many goofballs I've dealt with over the years at lbs's. There seem to be a handful of specific personality types at the lbs:

1) immature kids such as stoner teens that the shop hired because they're the only person in town willing to turn a wrench all week long for $8 an hour,

2) bored, confused millenials who don't have a career path and are trying to avoid adulting

3) pompous middle aged bike zealot whose ego is completely tied up in owning the latest carbon fiber Dura Ace Di2 wunderbike.

4) late on their rent desperate shop mechanic pushing their used bikes on you instead of the bike you wanted to test ride

5) rip off artist owners trying to upsell you to a $9K carbon road bike with discs when you came in for a $400 hybrid bike.

6) depressed floor sales guy who breaks down emotionally and cries when you come back from a 15 minute test ride and tell him you're going to "think about it" and get back to him.

Walking into a bike shop is just begging to be inundated with endless examples of arrested development. Thank god for internet sales.
I tell them what I want and choose items by myself.
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Old 09-01-17, 05:16 AM
  #120  
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You've got to find your shop man.
We have a similar LBS here.
And a little further we have a guy that's cool, passionate, has a staff that's been working there for 5+ years, trains local race team members, and would special order you a 56 even if he had a 58 that seemed close.
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Old 09-01-17, 09:40 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by swampboy62 View Post
My LBS has done me good. No complaints.

They've been in business since 1909, still owned by the same family. Bike mechs come and go, but the owner knows his stuff - never had problems with a repair.

They've gone out of the way to keep me as a customer, and have saved me hundreds of dollars over the last decade.

Yeah, I'm lucky to have a shop like them in town. The shop one town over, with the really impressive showroom, screwed up the repair the one time I went there (back when I started riding again). And the people on the floor seemingly knew less about bikes than I did. So they're the other end of the spectrum.

Too bad for you. Yay for me.

Steve Z

I'd like to know the name and location of the good store, please.
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Old 09-01-17, 10:56 AM
  #122  
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People make mistakes, no matter their experience.
I once had a guy who worked at speedplay accidentally install my cleats backwards.
And I once had an ex professional mechanic (who wrenched at the tour de france ten years in a row) fail to properly tighten my handlebar.
**** happens.
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Old 09-01-17, 05:09 PM
  #123  
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OK the LBS is a wash out.
But why buy online? You have to wait for it, hope it's right and then send it back.

Just go to Wal-Mart, pull it off the rack, wheel it up to check-out and Bob's your uncle.
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Old 09-01-17, 08:48 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by bargeon View Post
OK the LBS is a wash out.
But why buy online? You have to wait for it, hope it's right and then send it back.
Cheaper prices, far more vast selection, the ability to research a specific product myself, and I don't have to sit through the LBS employee telling me that a Thule seatpost rack is appropriate for a loaded tour through the center of Iceland. And half the crap I go to the LBS looking for, the response is simply that they can order it in, so not only do I have to still wait, I've gotta drive back.
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Old 09-01-17, 09:55 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Cheaper prices, far more vast selection, the ability to research a specific product myself, and I don't have to sit through the LBS employee telling me that a Thule seatpost rack is appropriate for a loaded tour through the center of Iceland. And half the crap I go to the LBS looking for, the response is simply that they can order it in, so not only do I have to still wait, I've gotta drive back.
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