Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Long distance bicycle build: parts prices at LBS?

Old 08-27-08, 11:49 AM
  #1  
Madsnail
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Madsnail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: München, DE
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Long distance bicycle build: parts prices at LBS?

Hi, it's not really LD specific, but anyway, I would like to have a bicycle built for long distance cycling and light touring. I’ve done quite a bit of research and decided to have it built around a Salsa Casseroll frame with Shimano 105 components.

I found a nice LBS, very small but quite enthusiastic. I told the guy what I wanted and he started making a list of parts to order, so far so good.

Now, I have a question regarding the price of the parts when bought at an LBS. (I am in Europe, I don’t know if that makes a difference, apart from the fact that bicycle gear is more expensive over here anyway)
I went through the list he gave me and I noticed he was charging me 130 euros for the left Shimano 105 STI lever, and another 130 euros for the right lever. I thought it was quite expensive, had a quick look on my favourite online shop where I order various bits and pieces and found the exact same product for 139 euros, including both levers. So the 260 euros on the quote would actually be almost double the Internet price.
I thought he made a mistake but he confirmed that when he orders through his distributor, each lever is 130 euros.
(I’m focusing on the STI levers here, but he’s also charging me 250 euros for the cranks, and that too somehow sounds quite expensive.)

I’m all for supporting the local business, he probably gets a percentage of the sale and I understand he needs to make a living. But he would be charging me almost twice the price I could have from an Internet shop, just because he’s going through his distributor, which as a client I see rather as an extra middle-man with no added value.
I have no problem paying my guy more for labour and the time he’s spending talking to me, giving me some advice and such – that is added value – but concerning the price of parts I think the difference is not justified. I'm really asking myself some questions here, it's not just a question of being able to afford it or not, I generally have a problem paying 80-100% more for parts that are identical.

I am not experienced in such things, what do you think? Is this normal that there would be such a premium on parts? Am I unreasonable in my price expectations?
How did you do it when you built your custom bike?

I just would like to understand it and see if this is normal practice, this is a genuine question and I'm not trying to start a debate here. When I understand it I can make an informed decision. Right now I am a bit confused.
Madsnail is offline  
Old 08-27-08, 12:23 PM
  #2  
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Posts: 16,213

Bikes: Mostly English - predominantly Raleighs

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 695 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Inquire at another shop and see what they charge.

At the beginning of this year, I acquired a new Surly Long Haul Trucker frame, and built it up exactly the way I wanted it with all new parts (save the handlebars and saddle), for about 100 euros more than what he's asking for the levers and crank. Granted, I did go with bar end shifters (just try putting a handlebar bag on a bike with Shimano STI), I built the wheels myself, went with 105 hubs and a Tiagra crankset, but I get the impression that you're either going with state of the art components, or are dealing with someone who has excessive mark-up.
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline  
Old 08-27-08, 02:46 PM
  #3  
bobbycorno
Senior Member
 
bobbycorno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Having been in the bike biz for 7 years, and been around the sport for WAY longer than that, I have yet to see an LBS that had "excessive markups". By and large, mailorder prices are less than what your LBS PAYS for stuff. You can thank the suppliers who give huge quantity discounts, or don't sell in quantities that a local shop can justify.

If you want to buy online, then don't pump your LBS for free advice beforehand, or help when your "good deals" don't turn out to be exactly what you expected.

I'll get down off my soapbox now.

SP
bobbycorno is offline  
Old 08-27-08, 03:09 PM
  #4  
Madsnail
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Madsnail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: München, DE
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
If you want to buy online, then don't pump your LBS for free advice beforehand, or help when your "good deals" don't turn out to be exactly what you expected.
Okay, I sort of knew I would get this kind of answer at some point. You make me feel like a bad guy, but I'm really just trying to understand how things work.

I never said I was buying online, I went to my LBS, and I'm just having a look around for prices. Seeing huge differences, I am asking myself some questions. It's not unreasonable, is it?
You are in the business, but put yourself in the shoes of a first time customer, wouldn't it puzzle you?
As far as the free advice is concerned, it's the same in any business: sometimes you make a sale, sometimes you don't. It happens to me too you know.

Anyway, this is the sort of answer I'm looking for: is this normal that there would be such a difference, and if so why? Is this only because he's not selling a lot that his prices are high? He said he was very small, and as far as I can tell he's making most of his money from maintenance/repairs.

Last edited by Madsnail; 08-27-08 at 03:14 PM.
Madsnail is offline  
Old 08-27-08, 07:18 PM
  #5  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,227
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1083 Post(s)
Liked 114 Times in 75 Posts
Yes the LBS prices are almost always higher,but that price difference for the shifters is absurd. Have you thought about assembling the bike yourself? It's not rocket science. You could have the shop install the headset, the rest is mostly allen wrenches.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 08-27-08, 10:53 PM
  #6  
Madsnail
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Madsnail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: München, DE
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have considered assembling the bike myself, but since I've never done it before, I wanted to have it done by a professional.
I honestly never suspected that he would charge me so much for parts, I really need to compare with another LBS. Maybe my guy is just extra expensive...
Madsnail is offline  
Old 08-28-08, 12:43 AM
  #7  
Cave
Slowpoach
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Melbourne, AU
Posts: 1,089

Bikes: Cannondale T800, Northwood tandem, 1970s Gitane fixxed 45x16

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just tell him the parts are too expensive. Separate L and R STIs sounds ridiculous, you can definitely get them together. At those prices you'd be better off buying a 2nd bike and putting the parts on your Salsa frame.

Ask him to price a whole gruppo - if you go, say, 105 across the line he may be able to give you an acceptable price, and it is then much easier for both of you.

You could still get him to build the bike if you buy some of the parts. Or you could ask at another shop - plenty around if you're in Munich.
Cave is offline  
Old 08-28-08, 05:45 AM
  #8  
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 14,202

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 801 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Madsnail View Post
Okay, I sort of knew I would get this kind of answer at some point. You make me feel like a bad guy, but I'm really just trying to understand how things work.

I never said I was buying online, I went to my LBS, and I'm just having a look around for prices. Seeing huge differences, I am asking myself some questions. It's not unreasonable, is it?
You are in the business, but put yourself in the shoes of a first time customer, wouldn't it puzzle you?
As far as the free advice is concerned, it's the same in any business: sometimes you make a sale, sometimes you don't. It happens to me too you know.

Anyway, this is the sort of answer I'm looking for: is this normal that there would be such a difference, and if so why? Is this only because he's not selling a lot that his prices are high? He said he was very small, and as far as I can tell he's making most of his money from maintenance/repairs.
IMO the LBS has several bases for such pricing - actual prices from the distrubutor, various costs of the business, and direct labor for employee time. Time is huge - they're not just assembling, they're researching, ordering, et cetera. Plus you expect them to stand behind the products and the work.

If a given repair or upgrade is one where I feel perfectly confident and have time, I'll do it all myself, and I'll take on new stuff to learn. But I'm real glad to have a few good LBS service departments around my home. That said, it was really valuable for me to shop around when I wanted some wheels built.

Are you paying for each part and then a labor charge? Maybe you can get the costs broken out better.

Road Fan
Road Fan is offline  
Old 08-28-08, 10:06 AM
  #9  
Madsnail
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Madsnail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: München, DE
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
IMO the LBS has several bases for such pricing - actual prices from the distrubutor, various costs of the business, and direct labor for employee time. Time is huge - they're not just assembling, they're researching, ordering, et cetera.
[...]

Are you paying for each part and then a labor charge? Maybe you can get the costs broken out better.
Yes, he is also charging for labor separately, but that, in my opinion, makes sense. I'm willing to pay him more for that. I don't like the idea paying double for the parts.
I'll ask for the price for the whole groupset, and then see if it makes sense to buy the brakes separately because I don't think the 105 brakes are going to work with fenders and 32C tires.
Tomorrow I will hopefully have some time to go to another LBS to compare prices.
Madsnail is offline  
Old 08-28-08, 12:07 PM
  #10  
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Posts: 3,561
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Shimano in the US sells brifters as sets complete with cables and housings. Price is still
pretty high especially for 10spd compared with 8-9spd stuff. Aebikes.com is one of the
few places I found a single R brifter sans cables and price for it was about 60% of the
price for the kit with R/L brifter + cables and housings. In the US most LBS will sell for
MSRP with add on for labor. They will have occasional sales for 10-20% off depending,
around here 2x/yr. The major mail order sites in the US sell for 10% or so less than
MSRP with occasional sales for even less. For rather low euro prices www.probikekit.com
and www.totalcycling.com are two sources in the UK.
sch is offline  
Old 08-28-08, 01:36 PM
  #11  
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,375

Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by sch View Post
Shimano in the US sells brifters as sets complete with cables and housings. Price is still
pretty high especially for 10spd compared with 8-9spd stuff. Aebikes.com is one of the
few places I found a single R brifter sans cables and price for it was about 60% of the
price for the kit with R/L brifter + cables and housings.
www.bikeman.com also sells single replacement brifters. Not sure how prices compare to AEbike, but I know it's about the same (60% of a pair) when compared to buying a set.
CliftonGK1 is offline  
Old 08-29-08, 12:46 PM
  #12  
smurf hunter
Senior Member
 
smurf hunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 622

Bikes: 2006 LeMond Croix de Fer, 2005 Kona Dew Deluxe

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sch View Post
Aebikes.com is one of the
few places I found a single R brifter sans cables and price for it was about 60% of the
price for the kit with R/L brifter + cables and housings.
Last I checked, AEBike won't sell Shimano over the internet. They are still awaiting their authorization to do so. I've ordered rims and other parts, but no actual shimano products via web orders.
smurf hunter is offline  
Old 08-29-08, 03:34 PM
  #13  
plodderslusk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,396
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Buy the september edition of Tour magazine and see what amazing deals you can get at some of the mail order stores. (99 euros for a triple Dura Ace crank with a BSA BB). Assemble the bike yourself, it really isn't all that difficult. Sheldon Brown, Park Tools website and the search function on this forum will tell you most of what you need to know. The few things you may need help with you can pay for at the LBS.

Last edited by plodderslusk; 08-30-08 at 12:20 AM.
plodderslusk is offline  
Old 08-29-08, 04:28 PM
  #14  
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 11,504

Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 205 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by Cave View Post
Just tell him the parts are too expensive. Separate L and R STIs sounds ridiculous, you can definitely get them together.
Not ridiculous at all. While you can buy them together, you may want to buy them separately. The week before last, I bought a right hand STI from the LBS to replace one that had gone bad. I wound up spending way less than I would have had I ordered both levers online. Then I bought only the amount of cable housing I needed and some other stuff.

If the parts seem expensive, I think it's legitimate to raise your concerns directly and see what you think of the response. We have great shops where I live, but I can believe that the situation may be different elsewhere.
banerjek is offline  
Old 08-30-08, 09:08 AM
  #15  
rtruectoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: north bergen, nj
Posts: 410

Bikes: cannondale caad 8 custom

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
do his prices include the labour to install them? do the internet prices include vat and shipping?
rtruectoc is offline  
Old 08-31-08, 11:42 PM
  #16  
Madsnail
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Madsnail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: München, DE
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
The week before last, I bought a right hand STI from the LBS to replace one that had gone bad.
Yes, I thought about it and this is the only situation where it would make sense with those prices. When you need to replace just one STI that has gone bad, I would definitely go to the LBS and pay 130 euros for one, instead of 139 euros for both.

But when you're building a complete bike from scratch, those prices don't make any sense.

@rtruetoc: Prices do not include labour to install them, Internet prices do include VAT and shipping.

I went to another LBS on Friday morning, and their prices are similar. They told me I would pretty much get the same thing everywhere. They agreed it didn't make sense at all for me to order the parts through them for a complete bike. They told me the following is possible: they order the frameset for me, press the headset in and give it to me. I order the parts I want online, assemble it myself and go back to the shop briefly to have the fork cut. I pay them for the time they spend ordering, putting the headset and cutting the fork. I think this is quite reasonable.
I'll ask the first LBS I went to if this could be arranged.
Madsnail is offline  
Old 09-09-08, 01:53 PM
  #17  
treebound 
aka: Mike J.
 
treebound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: between Milwaukee and Sheboygan in Wisconsin
Posts: 3,365

Bikes: 1995 Trek 520 is the current primary bike.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Yep, the LBS has to pay for the building and heat and lights and staffing, the internet business has most of that as well but can get by for much less overhead. The LBS I help at also does Ebay sales, over the counter stuff is priced at the counter, internet sales are priced in the basement . Just the nature of the world these days.

Along the lines of doing the partial work at the shop also check to see if they'll give you a package price for the whole lot of items you want. They might also be able to cut you a little slack on the labor charges.

But, yeah, you could have the LBS just do the headset cups, bottombracket facing if required, BB installation, and any other unique stuff requiring special tools or knowledge. I'd personally probably leave the steering tube long at first and just put spacers up on top until you know how the bike fits your needs and until you really get it dialed in to your proportions and preferred setup. It's hard to uncut a tube. You might even find the extra tube usefull to attach an accessory bar to.
treebound is offline  
Old 09-09-08, 09:55 PM
  #18  
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Posts: 3,561
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by smurf hunter View Post
Last I checked, AEBike won't sell Shimano over the internet. They are still awaiting their authorization to do so. I've ordered rims and other parts, but no actual shimano products via web orders.
You just pick up the phone and call, no problemo by landline.
sch is offline  
Old 09-09-08, 10:52 PM
  #19  
skylla
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
Having been in the bike biz for 7 years, and been around the sport for WAY longer than that, I have yet to see an LBS that had "excessive markups". By and large, mailorder prices are less than what your LBS PAYS for stuff. You can thank the suppliers who give huge quantity discounts, or don't sell in quantities that a local shop can justify.

If you want to buy online, then don't pump your LBS for free advice beforehand, or help when your "good deals" don't turn out to be exactly what you expected.

I'll get down off my soapbox now.

SP
This doesn't make sense to me. Is the problem that bike shops aren't allowed to order from other retailers? Like Shimano will sue them if they buy shifters from Cambria or something? Who wins when a shop makes $30 by charging the customer an extra $70 (using randomly made-up numbers)?

Seems to me the OP wants the wisdom and mechanical assistance of the bike shop and is willing to pay for it, so why don't they charge true cost for that instead of underpricing it and trying to make up the difference with inefficiently priced hardware?
skylla is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
nlerner
Classic and Vintage Sales
2
03-24-19 09:10 AM
Steve Whitlatch
Classic and Vintage Sales
4
02-01-16 09:47 PM
ClarkinHawaii
Bicycle Mechanics
14
08-29-14 09:22 AM
jetta-the-hut
Bicycle Mechanics
1
09-16-10 02:42 PM
Hagisan
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
27
12-10-08 05:10 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.