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The pros and cons of mom-and-pop bicycle shops.

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The pros and cons of mom-and-pop bicycle shops.

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Old 01-25-19, 02:37 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post
Great observations! On the first one above, it is the typical trend to taking absolutely no responsibility to do due diligence and research, and then whine and cry when they discover they bought in haste, ignorance, or with inadequare information. Buying a bike without a test ride is just foolish. Even the same model can feel different from the past years model from as little as OEM tires to different components or even frame construction. This can also happen when a bike gets purchased, and then the reaction from friends is negative or not laudatory, and the person second guesses themself.
Cool. What about bike shops that prohibit any sort of significant test ride? What about those that order a custom bike with the shops help on sizing, and then it turns out the authorized dealer was clueless to sizing as happened in another thread going on here? What about when the shop sends someone out the door with a size up or down where they should be at, because that was what the shop had on the floor and it was more profitable for them to move it than order in the correct size? A quick search here will show you threads of all those situations where a shop could easily send a person out the door with something wrong for them.

But even more basically, if I am relying on a LBS for knowledge, why should I expect to do lots of research and due diligence on my purchase to make sure what they are recommending is right? If I am the one doing the legwork and making the decisions, why would I then go to an LBS instead of just ordering it myself?

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Old 01-25-19, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Cool. What about bike shops that prohibit any sort of significant test ride? What about those that order a custom bike with the shops help on sizing, and then it turns out the authorized dealer was clueless to sizing as happened in another thread going on here? What about when the shop sends someone out the door with a size up or down where they should be at, because that was what the shop had on the floor and it was more profitable for them to move it than order in the correct size? A quick search here will show you threads of all those situations where a shop could easily send a person out the door with something wrong for them.

But even more basically, if I am relying on a LBS for knowledge, why should I expect to do lots of research and due diligence on my purchase to make sure what they are recommending is right? If I am the one doing the legwork and making the decisions, why would I then go to an LBS instead of just ordering it myself?
I can see your point on the first paragraph and the examples that hinge on deception or incompetence. However, in this day and age does anyone believe what they are told, especially by people with a financial incentive to gain by what they say, ... and should they?. That is not to say sales people are lying, but to be aware that what they say can be nuanced by self-interest (or their employers).

Do people really see a person ride by on a bike, or see a cycling event on TV, and walk into a random or close-by shop ask a few questions and buy a bike (especially if an expensive one) without doing some research in advance or asking friends? I will often ask other cyclists about their experiences with equipment, bikes that appeal to me, or shops. Do I take their word as gospel, no, but it is data for evaluation. I will check online and read reviews, and look at online retailer that allow reviews (or third party review sites) to get other input, even though many time internet adverse reviews can be the disgruntled and not the majority. But, they are all data points. My point it "Trust but Verify (FIRST)." It is my money being spent.

When I bought my first bike over 45 years ago, that shop said it should "feel right" (except for the saddles). If the frame is too small or too big, it is not like clothes that do not fit or shrink, either askl them to order the correct size or look elsewhere, either local or online. One dealer told me I should take a 52cm frame on a used bike he had. I tested it, but felt way too far forward, and passed. A 54cm or 5cm frame felt best in most of the bikes I tried or even just sat on in the store. (I recently used the online fit guide and did all the measurements and it confirmed most of my sizing, but not all, however I find no negatives as that is a guide, not a rule)

My comments were not hymn to LBS in general, and not a swipe at online purchasing, but know the pluses and minuses of either, and if you do research and are not good at it, or choose unwisely, and have to or try to return a non-defective item, then own your part of the blame. Every time I have regretted a purchase, it has been because of either impatience, chasing a 'sale', or not enough research. They (online or local) did NOT force the buyer (or me) to buy.

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Old 01-25-19, 05:04 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post

When I bought my last bike the shop told me I could being it back for a tune-up for free after riding a month or after 100 miles. (They also offer free annual minor check/tune-ups for the original purchaser - parts extra for as long as you have it). When I was purchasing it, and trying different frame sizes, they asked what my riding style was and to bring in my current bike (a C&V model), and used the French Fit sizing (a joint decision and my preference). I could also bring it back within 30 days for a stem swap (same make/model/color, different length) to fine-tune the fit at no cost which I did not need. Upgrades or color changes would cost. They also offered to take back a bike within 30 days if it was as sold and unmarred or altered (including tires and bar tape), minus a 15% charge since they would have to sell it as used.


This is a shop with bikes from kids to cruisers, hybrids, all road, and full carbon race bikes, as well as doing builds from custom frame builders but has a full range of off the floor bike of all frame materials, types of bikes, and popular sizes. Quite a difference from some others who if you are not looking for a carbon, disc, or compact frame, brush you off

Generally speaking, these tuneups are not especially valuable, especially if the bike is built (more like adjusted or checked) properly in the first place. Most bikes come out of box 90% assembled these days, the shop or consumer just needs to install the handlebar, seat post, front wheel and pedals so there is precious little labor required to assemble a bicycle. Take a look at the unboxing videos for any direct to consumer line such as canyon. Most of the labor required involves cutting off zip ties and removing packing foam. I bought a bike from nashbar and the derailleurs were tuned perfectly. The wheels were way out of true but I got them true enough to get the brakes working well. I brought the bike to a shop for truing and they were not more true than when I brought it in.


When I've bought bikes from shops these bikes never required the 30 day derailleur tuneup. I know new cables are supposed to stretch and adjustment may be required but for whatever reason derailleurs never went out of adjustment or never enough for me to notice? One shop did tuneup my newish bike. They did an amazing job lubing the chain. Such a good job they applied maybe 4x as much as necessary, leaving the chain completely black. The shop didn't even bother to wipe off the chain. The teenaged mechanic told me that my bike was shifting perfectly but they add a lot of tri flow anyway. Gee, thanks.

I brought an online bike to a mechanic for assembly. He overcharged by $20 compared to his estimate and he did a right shabby job of it regardless. I pointed out all of the problem and he said just bring it back in 30 days. Bring it back it 30 days? It wasn't built properly on day 1! This is my experience far too often-the bike is returned in significantly worse condition or in no better condition than after I dropped it off for a "tuneup."

Most bike shops are hiring subpar labor at minimum wage. I won't step into a shop unless I need to buy something immediately or can't take care of a repair myself. I won't miss bike shops at all. I'm fine with paying a mobile van service or going to the local college shop.

I get it. The locally owned store is supposed to be symbolic of homogeneous, small town, high trust communities. It's Norman Rockwell romanticism. It's why In n Out Burger is so popular. It's a symbol of the '50's burger and soda shop. And their burgers are good enough.

But getting down to brass tacks, fewer and fewer people believe that having a shop install pedals, a handlebar, front wheel and seat post is worth a 30/40/50/100% markup. Yeah, they'll turn three barrel adjusters a quarter turn a month later. Still not worth the markup. Bike shops are disappearing across the country and even in parts of Europe such as the UK. The consumer has spoken. We don't need them.

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Old 01-25-19, 05:09 PM
  #54  
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Define "Mom & Pop" bike shop.

There are numerous bike shops in my area. There is everything from a 50 year family owned closed for the winter, to a 10 location two state goliath, and a couple co-ops. Most are independent, locally owned operations. A few I might consider "Mom & Pop", most I would just consider locally owned and operated.
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Old 01-25-19, 05:19 PM
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Radroad, have you worked in a quality bike shop? If so, you know that throwing the front wheel on and cranking on the stem bolt is not a quality bicycle assembly.

Every shop I have worked in required hub adjustments, front and rear, torqueing the cassette lock ring, tensioning of the spokes plus true of the wheel, all cables pre-stressed. Brake and der. adjustments, fasteners torqued to spec including the crank, etc., test ride of course. I am sure I am missing something as we always follow a build check list for each bike.

Have yet to encounter a hub with correct adjustment from the factory and fasteners torqued to the proper load. Never met a wheel that was properly tensioned on a production bike. There is sooo much more to a proper quality assembly of a bicycle than you are aware of. There are lots of very good shops out there.
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Old 01-25-19, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post
Do people really see a person ride by on a bike, or see a cycling event on TV, and walk into a random or close-by shop ask a few questions and buy a bike (especially if an expensive one) without doing some research in advance or asking friends?
Oh absolutely they do. Consumers as a general demographic are not well read or informed. I think us folks on forums fail at times to remember that to most people its just a bike, or a car, or a watch, or whatever else is being discussed. They'll pick one that looks good and is a pretty color, and thats it.
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Old 01-25-19, 05:55 PM
  #57  
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While the checks and tuneup are available, I used this bike to learn new tech. However I do use the shop for things that I have not yet tried, yet due to time and need, they must ne done right. This has been a workable setup. I have not had any problems with their quality or costs.

The only thing they did not seem too enthusiastic about (understandably!) was to refit an original Nervar steel cottered crank back onto a old Peugeot that has been changed many years ago to a Japanese cotterless crank. Not many shops have experience with old French bikes, and those that do know the potential pitfalls.
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Old 01-25-19, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Radroad, have you worked in a quality bike shop? If so, you know that throwing the front wheel on and cranking on the stem bolt is not a quality bicycle assembly.

Every shop I have worked in required hub adjustments, front and rear, torqueing the cassette lock ring, tensioning of the spokes plus true of the wheel, all cables pre-stressed. Brake and der. adjustments, fasteners torqued to spec including the crank, etc., test ride of course. I am sure I am missing something as we always follow a build check list for each bike.

Have yet to encounter a hub with correct adjustment from the factory and fasteners torqued to the proper load. Never met a wheel that was properly tensioned on a production bike. There is sooo much more to a proper quality assembly of a bicycle than you are aware of. There are lots of very good shops out there.
That's the great thing about canyon: all adjustments are made at the factory prior to shipping.

That was definitely not true for the nashbar as the wheels were noticeably out of true. Der. adjustments were spot on and the hubs didn't require adjustment. No play in the headset, the handlebar turned freely, no work necessary there. The large ring was badly out of round but this is an entry level bike. Mainly the wheels were out of true.

Another example with the "30 day tuneup." I asked right away for the brakes to be adjusted on my new road bike. What could the shop do? These were abysmal quality tektro/axis dual pivots. The worst set of brakes I've used in a long time. There was no adjustment possible that would reduce the caliper flex. If the components are subpar, the tuneup is of no value.

I spoke to a different shop about how thoroughly they checked and adjusted their bikes. They itemized a comprehensive check-list over the phone. I stopped by for a test ride. The grips and saddle were dirty. The entire bike was dirty. The brakes were mediocre, the shifting loud and slow (Shimano 2x9), the chain was dirty. This was a prior model year close out. It looked like it had been ridden regularly for at least as long. They were discounting 10%. They had a year or more to at least clean the bike to the point that it was presentable but they failed to do even that. They talked a good game but didn't back it up.

It would require dozens of pages to document all of the shenanigans I've encountered at bike shops: bait and switch, dangerously poor builds, shady owners trying to sell 3 year old models at full list, shops pushing bikes of the wrong size, annoying upsells. I've tried to give local and not so local shops the benefit of the doubt for decades. Their success rate is at best 50/50.

Like I said, I just don't bother unless absolutely 100% necessary.
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Old 01-26-19, 09:46 AM
  #59  
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One day in 1986 my wife and I decided it was time to buy new bikes. Having read reviews in Bicycling magazine and looking around I had decided that I wanted to get a Fuji. There was a Fuji dealer in my town, the shop also carried Raleigh and I had read some about the Raleigh equivalent model to the Fuji and was open minded about the decision. The owner knew me as I had been in the shop many times but it had been several years since I had ridden a bike and wasn't sure of exactly what I wanted.

So I asked a question. I asked a simple question about the Raleigh and for some reason the owner became highly offended, for what I don't know. So we simply left the store and went to another that I had been inside of many times in the past and they were able to separate me from my money. The shop that I left had two locations and had been in business for maybe 10 years. I mentioned my experience to others at the club I rode with and others had a similar story.

The bike shop I did purchase my bikes from is still in business today the one I left is now long gone.

In 2004 I purchased 4 bikes total, one each for my wife and me, plus one for each of our two kids. The first was for my daughter, it was an entry level Raleigh MTB. I bought this from a LBS literally just down the street from where we lived at the time but knowing that we were moving out of state in a few weeks. I will say the owners were friendly and just getting started but I had to adjust everything on the bike that could be adjusted and trued both of the wheels. Because we were moving I just didn't have the time to fool with the shop but still the shop should not have let the bike leave the place in the condition it was in. Before anyone asks, my wife picked up the bike and she told me nothing was said about bringing it back for a 30 day tune up. The other three bikes bought from a different LBS were adjusted properly at delivery. For me like many here I have the tools and ability to get a bike running properly so no biggie but anyone not able to do that would be unhappy I would think.

These days I pass by a LBS on the way home from work and stop in there from time to time. Every time I do so I ask myself "why?" There just isn't a good chemistry between the place and me. As I say this... I really try to support LBS but just because there is an LBS that is convenient doesn't mean the ownership has good business sense.

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Old 01-26-19, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
Generally speaking, these tuneups are not especially valuable, especially if the bike is built (more like adjusted or checked) properly in the first place. Most bikes come out of box 90% assembled these days, the shop or consumer just needs to install the handlebar, seat post, front wheel and pedals so there is precious little labor required to assemble a bicycle. Take a look at the unboxing videos for any direct to consumer line such as canyon. Most of the labor required involves cutting off zip ties and removing packing foam. I bought a bike from nashbar and the derailleurs were tuned perfectly. The wheels were way out of true but I got them true enough to get the brakes working well. I brought the bike to a shop for truing and they were not more true than when I brought it in.


When I've bought bikes from shops these bikes never required the 30 day derailleur tuneup. I know new cables are supposed to stretch and adjustment may be required but for whatever reason derailleurs never went out of adjustment or never enough for me to notice? One shop did tuneup my newish bike. They did an amazing job lubing the chain. Such a good job they applied maybe 4x as much as necessary, leaving the chain completely black. The shop didn't even bother to wipe off the chain. The teenaged mechanic told me that my bike was shifting perfectly but they add a lot of tri flow anyway. Gee, thanks.

I brought an online bike to a mechanic for assembly. He overcharged by $20 compared to his estimate and he did a right shabby job of it regardless. I pointed out all of the problem and he said just bring it back in 30 days. Bring it back it 30 days? It wasn't built properly on day 1! This is my experience far too often-the bike is returned in significantly worse condition or in no better condition than after I dropped it off for a "tuneup."

Most bike shops are hiring subpar labor at minimum wage. I won't step into a shop unless I need to buy something immediately or can't take care of a repair myself. I won't miss bike shops at all. I'm fine with paying a mobile van service or going to the local college shop.

I get it. The locally owned store is supposed to be symbolic of homogeneous, small town, high trust communities. It's Norman Rockwell romanticism. It's why In n Out Burger is so popular. It's a symbol of the '50's burger and soda shop. And their burgers are good enough.

But getting down to brass tacks, fewer and fewer people believe that having a shop install pedals, a handlebar, front wheel and seat post is worth a 30/40/50/100% markup. Yeah, they'll turn three barrel adjusters a quarter turn a month later. Still not worth the markup. Bike shops are disappearing across the country and even in parts of Europe such as the UK. The consumer has spoken. We don't need them.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...so funny. As someone who has built a lot of bikes and worked at shops where we build a lot of bikes, most bikes in fact DO NOT come out of the box all ready to go just put some handlebars on and your done. I think it is a very naive opinion. Occasionally you get a bike that is good from the box and needs very little adjustment and is properly lubed and such but that is a super rarity. Most bikes need some work some fairly minor and some fairly major across various brands.

I wonder where these one or two experiences happened and why you didn't just mention where they happened? As someone who has worked for various shops I haven't seen this happen often. There are occasions things happen or someone misses something especially younger mechanics with less experience but it is not very often and certainly not representative of all shops. Maybe you complain about everything and that is just your nature. "WAITER WAITER, my soup is cold" "Sir, you ordered gazpacho" It seems like a lot of people have that issue. They have a minor issue or two at a shop (that they don't bother to resolve) or maybe not and suddenly all shops everywhere are all bad.

I have a doubt someone made your chain black with tri-flow and I don't know of any black colored lubricants on the market could it be you actually rode your bike and the chain never got cleaned. I see plenty of black chains but not because of pure tri-flow but because the customer never cleans it or rides a lot in nasty conditions. A viscous wet lube can attract more grit and grime and overlubing with that could cause a significantly blacker chain over time but tri-flow not so much and not inside of a shop not getting ridden unless the chain was already dirty and black.
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Old 01-26-19, 01:13 PM
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Maybe it is people's attitudes. If you go into something with a negative attitude you probably won't come out much better. When you here stories that are pretty unsubstantiated and extremely generalized it is easy to get a negative attitude. People do that a lot now in the age of the internet. We also certainly just want to attack without trying to resolve the problem in the first place. I had a bad experience so EVERYTHING IS BAD instead of saying I had a bad experience but I spoke with management calmly and respectfully and resolved the situation. Nobody wants to resolve things they just want to be negative and it is sad.

Be positive a little more of the time. Maybe we won't need so many anti-depression drugs if we all attempted to be happy and get our minds away from the negatives all the time. It is hard and depression is certainly not easy to shake but if we all tried to be decent towards each other and resolve our differences and issues rather than just fanning flames maybe just maybe we could be happy.
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Old 01-26-19, 05:52 PM
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Let's look at reality here. I can understand why kids in college or young adults in their 20's would enjoy working at a bike shop. Shop discounts, working with cool toys, maybe not so much pressure, they probably don't have a family to support.

But you have to wonder about 30-50 year old employees at bike shops. I'm not talking about the owner. But when someone who should be in their prime earning years is making minimum wage in a dead end job in an industry with sales numbers falling off the cliff, it's not too difficult to figure out that perhaps they're not prime job candidates and likely aren't especially intelligent.

You can't rely on these people for meaningful advice. You're best off doing the research yourself before stepping into the shop. But if you've already done the research, no point in 'consulting' with the not so well informed, not so bright shop employee. That means no need to step into the shop at all, meaning you can buy direct to consumer and save a couple of thousand clams on a nicer bike.

There's really no going back. Might as well try to make betamax and 8 track tapes a 'thing' again. Good luck with that.
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Old 01-27-19, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
Let's look at reality here. I can understand why kids in college or young adults in their 20's would enjoy working at a bike shop. Shop discounts, working with cool toys, maybe not so much pressure, they probably don't have a family to support.

But you have to wonder about 30-50 year old employees at bike shops. I'm not talking about the owner. But when someone who should be in their prime earning years is making minimum wage in a dead end job in an industry with sales numbers falling off the cliff, it's not too difficult to figure out that perhaps they're not prime job candidates and likely aren't especially intelligent.

You can't rely on these people for meaningful advice. You're best off doing the research yourself before stepping into the shop. But if you've already done the research, no point in 'consulting' with the not so well informed, not so bright shop employee. That means no need to step into the shop at all, meaning you can buy direct to consumer and save a couple of thousand clams on a nicer bike.

There's really no going back. Might as well try to make betamax and 8 track tapes a 'thing' again. Good luck with that.
Trolling much?
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Old 01-27-19, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...so funny. As someone who has built a lot of bikes and worked at shops where we build a lot of bikes, most bikes in fact DO NOT come out of the box all ready to go just put some handlebars on and your done. I think it is a very naive opinion.
The only bike I've ever mail ordered came out of the box in nearly perfect shape. Bolted the handlebars on, gave the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur a couple clicks, and its been great for the past year. As much as some people make them out to be complicated and needing special knowledge to touch, bikes are very simple machines.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
but if we all tried to be decent towards each other and resolve our differences and issues rather than just fanning flames maybe just maybe we could be happy.
Why do I want to spend my time resolving differences when better buying options exist? It is not my job to be patiens with local brick and mortar shops, it is their job to provide me competitive service.
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Old 01-27-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Why do I want to spend my time resolving differences when better buying options exist? It is not my job to be patiens with local brick and mortar shops, it is their job to provide me competitive service.
Better is a truely subjective value judgement that varies from person to person, depending on their individual circumstances, knowledge and experiences. None of those however make it a unversal fact.
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Old 01-27-19, 04:06 PM
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"I've tried to give local and not so local shops the benefit of the doubt for decades. Their success rate is at best 50/50.
Like I said, I just don't bother unless absolutely 100% necessary. "

In your case, you are much better off buying online. A town filled with lousy bike shops is a sad thing.
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Old 01-27-19, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Convivial Panda View Post
Speaking of a "truly subjective value judgment that varies from person to person, depending on their individual circumstances, knowledge, and experiences" :
BIngo! Truely got me there. Guilty as charged. Thanks!
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Old 01-28-19, 01:39 PM
  #68  
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It's all good

Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
It is amazing the number of folks who have little to none good things to say about the shops they have dealt with over time. I have worked in 4 different shops, two of which were multi store shops in which I worked at all 5 locations, and have not experienced negative encounters with customers on the level I consistently read about on this forum. Even when I go into shops in other cities the experience is always good. Wonder what I am doing wrong?
Most bike shops are struggling to get and keep customers and many love cycling so they are going to go out of their way to help. I've come across a few that deal in high end racers and can't be botherd helping out newbies or diy'ers but they're rare. The cost is the only thing that keeps me working through online shops but LBS are almost always a good place to be.
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Old 01-28-19, 03:17 PM
  #69  
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Sounds kind of like R and E ( who built our tandem) 😎😎
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Old 01-28-19, 09:27 PM
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Reasons to appreciate LBSs:
You don't know what an allen wrench is and don't care to know or to use one.
You don't like to get grease under your finger nails
You believe that a bicycle is more complicated than you can ever comprehend
You believe that you can't choose the "right" bicycle for yourself without a "demo" ride around the parking lot
You believe it is your moral responsibility to support local businesses owned by people you know, share interests with and, perhaps, like
Your time is more important to you than your money
You don't mind sometimes dealing with tense, frustrated or ornery LBS owners or employees

Reasons to appreciate On-Line stores:
You know what an allen wrench is and are willing to use one
You don't mind fiddling with mechanical things even if you get grease under your finger nails
You are not intimidated by bicycles and know or are willing to learn how to clean, lubricate, adjust and repair them, even if you have to resort to a book or youtube video
You believe that the small differences between one bicycle and another are within an acceptable range and you can be satisfied riding almost any reasonably adjusted bicycle
You believe that you can get a "good deal" from someone you will never meet or get to know on the other end of an internet connection
Your money is more important to you than your time
You don't want or expect much, if any, service from the seller

Different strokes for different folks.

As long as there are people who don't know what an allen wrench is and don't care to know, there will be a need for LBSs, good or bad. They will pay full retail price for their bikes (never mind trying to rationalize why a decent bike costs $1,000 or more, perhaps even $10,000! or more.) and pay more for maintenance (if any), many won't ride them often, most will store them indoors and their bikes will last forever, decades at least, so, even though they prefer LBSs, these people don't create much on-going revenue for the LBSs and LBSs struggle to stay in business.

For those who do know what an allen wrench is and are willing to use it, they often have little or no need for an LBS, they shop on-line and do their own maintenance, so LBSs struggle to stay in business.

Maybe if we were all TdF-level riders, we would spend gobs and gobs of money at LBSs and have our bikes repaired, upgraded, replaced and tuned-up frequently and generate lots of revenue for LBSs, but the vast majority of bike owners are just not that devoted, so LBSs struggle to stay in business.

It's not easy to be an LBS so, if some owners or employees seem tense or frustrated or ornery, that may be why. Give your LBS a hug and pray that they somehow stay in business until that very rare, but almost certain, day when you need an expert skill (like wheel building), expensive special tool(s) or hard to find part(s) to keep your bike rolling. Or, be prepared to discard it and buy a new bike on-line simply because there is no longer anyone available locally to fix it or sell you another one..

For all their faults, God Bless the LBS!

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Old 01-29-19, 09:47 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
The only bike I've ever mail ordered came out of the box in nearly perfect shape. Bolted the handlebars on, gave the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur a couple clicks, and its been great for the past year. As much as some people make them out to be complicated and needing special knowledge to touch, bikes are very simple machines.



Why do I want to spend my time resolving differences when better buying options exist? It is not my job to be patiens with local brick and mortar shops, it is their job to provide me competitive service.
You got lucky. Sometimes they aren't as terrible out of the box or people live with the terribleness because they may not know better.

You want to resolve issues because that is what you do. People love to just go on the attack without even giving anyone a chance to do right. People make mistakes sometimes and not allowing them to correct those mistakes and just being negative is immature and short sighted.
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Old 01-29-19, 10:48 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by StillBiking@71 View Post
Maybe if we were all TdF-level riders, we would spend gobs and gobs of money at LBSs and have our bikes repaired, upgraded, replaced and tuned-up frequently and generate lots of revenue for LBSs, but the vast majority of bike owners are just not that devoted, so LBSs struggle to stay in business.
For some reason, the concept of Chris Froome wheeling his bike into the LBS to have the derailleur adjusted amuses the heck out of me

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
People love to just go on the attack without even giving anyone a chance to do right. People make mistakes sometimes and not allowing them to correct those mistakes and just being negative is immature and short sighted.
I could also say that people will defend them to the death, no matter how many mistakes they seem to make. The people that love them, glorify and display blind loyalty to them to a level I simply can't comprehend putting into what is at the end of the day a retail store. I can come up with grievances for many of them around me, some of which I still go back to regularly. At the end of the day, all they really are to me are buying options. It might suck for the employees, but if every last one went out of business, my cycling wouldn;t really be affected in the least.
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Old 01-29-19, 02:43 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
It is amazing the number of folks who have little to none good things to say about the shops they have dealt with over time. I have worked in 4 different shops, two of which were multi store shops in which I worked at all 5 locations, and have not experienced negative encounters with customers on the level I consistently read about on this forum. Even when I go into shops in other cities the experience is always good.
I agree. One thing I always liked about the bike shops I worked in was that it's basically a very honest business in general - one of the few out there, imo. I never worked for a shop where we recommended unneeded repairs or accessories so that we could make a buck. And I definitely wouldn't work in a business where I felt I was ripping people off, it's against my moral beliefs. I think that many times people that complain in threads like this often aren't telling the whole story, or simply think they know more than the shop employees. Or that a shop is incompetent because they don't know some tiny detail about a bike the customer has spent many hours researching. Doesn't mean the shop sucks.

I'd also add that making a profit in a bike shop is extremely difficult these days. You get people saying they think bike shops are a good place to test ride bikes, so they can then buy them cheaper online once they know what they want. This is totally unethical, and it's one of the things killing B&M shops, imo.

Personally I think there will eventually be almost no shops left. Just like with malls, the internet and companies like Amazon are putting them out of business. I buy all my own stuff online as well. Soon enough there won't be any shops left for people to complain about.
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Old 01-29-19, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
I agree. One thing I always liked about the bike shops I worked in was that it's basically a very honest business in general - one of the few out there, imo. I never worked for a shop where we recommended unneeded repairs or accessories so that we could make a buck. And I definitely wouldn't work in a business where I felt I was ripping people off, it's against my moral beliefs. I think that many times people that complain in threads like this often aren't telling the whole story, or simply think they know more than the shop employees. Or that a shop is incompetent because they don't know some tiny detail about a bike the customer has spent many hours researching. Doesn't mean the shop sucks.

I'd also add that making a profit in a bike shop is extremely difficult these days. You get people saying they think bike shops are a good place to test ride bikes, so they can then buy them cheaper online once they know what they want. This is totally unethical, and it's one of the things killing B&M shops, imo.

Personally I think there will eventually be almost no shops left. Just like with malls, the internet and companies like Amazon are putting them out of business. I buy all my own stuff online as well. Soon enough there won't be any shops left for people to complain about.

People are way more likely to post about a negative experience than a routine satisfactory one, so stories posted on BF are going to be a skewed sample. It's inevitable.

That being said, I think the future of the LBS has to be service-oriented to a much higher degree than traditionally. There's no way they can compete on parts and accessories, and they're down to a very small market share of complete bikes, with big box dominating and internet growing.
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Old 01-29-19, 02:54 PM
  #75  
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[QUOTE=jefnvk;20769601]For some reason, the concept of Chris Froome wheeling his bike into the LBS to have the derailleur adjusted amuses the heck out of me

I didn't mean that Chris Froome uses LBSs, (although he sort of has his own personal LBS, doesn't he?), but that there are certainly a relatively few motivated individuals (for example, aspiring to or, let's say, near TdF-level, but not actually professional team supported) who buy $5k-$10K+ bikes more often than the vast majority of the general biking public, own multiple bikes, ride the heck out of them, buy all the new and expensive gear including such things as power meters, cycling computers, Di2 and eTap groupsets, carbon bits, indoor trainers, kit, etc, get pro fittings, break their bikes and have them repaired and maintained regularly in their own neighborhood and frequently seek out the services and expertise of and otherwise financially support their LBS.
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I believe that those kinds of riders spend a great deal more money, per capita, at their LBS than the vast majority of "casual" bikers and the LBSs would be happier, more cooperative and more financially viable if there were far more customers like that.

All I was saying was that while the casual biking public might cherish the comfort of knowing that there is someone around the corner who has the expertise and resources to fix that rare malfunction or damage that requires special expertise or special tooling and keeps a broad selection of bikes ready for convenient "demo" rides, the majority of bikers spend so little at a LBS that it is tough for the LBS to make ends meet. Just look at the recent demise of Performance Bike's LBSs.
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LBSs; Love 'em or leave 'em; Use 'em or lose 'em.

In any event, I am glad that you were amused by my comment, even though I didn't intend that. Feel free to be sarcastic as much as you like, though. That's amusing to me.
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