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Mail order vs. local bikes shop

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Mail order vs. local bikes shop

Old 10-14-19, 08:48 AM
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thatbikeguy
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Mail order vs. local bikes shop

So I'm in urgent need of a new budget bike. I currently own a 105 CAAD12 which is now too small for me, and since I'd like to switch to something new, I clicked around and came across Condor Cycles. With their bike builder I built an $3000 Record 11spd Italia RC with Zonda wheels, but I also got a deal for an Ultegra Emonda SL for just $2800 in my nearest bike shop. I love Campy and that Italia RC is lovely, but I have read many things against mail order. What do I do then?
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Old 10-14-19, 09:11 AM
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Go ride both bikes and see which one you like best, oh wait, you can’t ride the mail order one.
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Old 10-14-19, 09:14 AM
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First off if you always buy online then the LBS (local bike shop) will close.

Can a online shop properly size you?
Can it make adjustments?
Can it easily swap saddles until you find one that fits?
Can it do warranty work?
Can it service your bike?

Don't discount the lever of customer service you get from a LBS.
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Old 10-14-19, 09:15 AM
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I don't see anything wrong with buying online assuming a few things: 1. You are moderately knowledgeable about bike mechanics and can deal with putting it together and perhaps making a few adjustments that may be needed. 2. You know what you're buying is going to fit and meet your needs.

If you are going to depend on a local shop for maintenance and repairs, that should also be a factor in the decision.
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Old 10-14-19, 09:39 AM
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Condor cycles is an LBS, it's just that it's a long way away. I've been to their London shop.. nice place.
I don't see any reason to disparage bike sellers who have sought to remain viable by offering online purchasing options.

And, I think it's pretty obvious that purchasing online, especially overseas, means that you'll have to pay a shop for any of the 'free' intro service or adjustments you'd get due to warranty issues -- if you can't do these things yourself.
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Old 10-14-19, 09:42 AM
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If $3k is your budget bike, then just buy them both.
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Old 10-14-19, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by thatbikeguy View Post
So I'm in urgent need of a new budget bike.
With their bike builder I built an $3000 Record 11spd Italia RC with Zonda wheels, but I also got a deal for an Ultegra Emonda SL for just $2800 in my nearest bike shop.






View of 'budget' aside, nobody here has any idea what you should do because we dont know how urgent is urgent. If you need the bike in the next week, then buy the Ultegra from the LBS. If 'urgent' means needed in the next month, then buy the online Campy bike.
Or if 'budget' means you cant afford $3k even though you wish you could, then get the Ultegra.

Too many unknowns for anyone to be helpful. You know the answers to the variables, so decide based off those answers.
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Old 10-14-19, 10:47 AM
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Mail order can be okay if:
  • You are comfortable adjusting derailleurs and cables, both for initial setup and for cable stretch
  • You are comfortable adjusting, and sometimes installing, brakes
  • You can true a wheel
  • You own, or are willing to buy, the tools to do these things
  • You have a very clear idea about how you want the bike to fit and you are certain that the bike you order will fit in the desired way.
Otherwise, the LBS is a good idea!

One other thing to keep in mind is that if you're not based in the UK, you may be subject to customs/duties on your purchase. IIRC, these can be quite hefty for imports to Canada and Australia, but can also be significant for imports to the US.
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Old 10-14-19, 10:59 AM
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Old 10-14-19, 11:08 AM
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Re: Too small 105CAAD12

105CAAD12 is a very nice bike, from what I've heard.
How did it suddenly become too small?

I this a possible sign that advice on fitting was overlooked on the earlier purchase?
Any risk of a second round?
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Old 10-14-19, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Mail order can be okay if:
  • You are comfortable adjusting derailleurs and cables, both for initial setup and for cable stretch
  • You are comfortable adjusting, and sometimes installing, brakes
  • You can true a wheel
  • You own, or are willing to buy, the tools to do these things
  • You have a very clear idea about how you want the bike to fit and you are certain that the bike you order will fit in the desired way.
Otherwise, the LBS is a good idea!
S.
Or.. you have an LBS that will do any of these things for you if you don't know how to yourself. And, identifying the correct size frame isn't that difficult for most people.

A couple posters already so far, are hinting that maybe their own LBS wouldn't work on any bike they didn't sell themselves. The OP shouldn't be put off by this, not all LBS shops are like this.
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Old 10-14-19, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post

A couple posters already so far, are hinting that maybe their own LBS wouldn't work on any bike they didn't sell themselves. The OP shouldn't be put off by this, not all LBS shops are like this.
I have never heard of that. Ever. I know one LBS owner who has refused to work on BSOs for liability/customer hassle reasons. But I heaver never heard of a LBS refusing to work on a bike bought somewhere else.
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Old 10-14-19, 11:44 AM
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My earlier post aside, I bought a mail order bike from a brand unavailable in the US (no chance at a test ride or bike fit), from a UK shop, paid a nice little customs fee, and don't regret a minute of it. I also sized down on the frame according to the Cube specs, but was able to compare geometry to my other bikes to make an informed decision. I do 99% of my own bike maintenance and builds though, and I am sure that has a lot of bearing on being comfortable with a purchase where you might need to make changes upon arrival.
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Old 10-14-19, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
A couple posters already so far, are hinting that maybe their own LBS wouldn't work on any bike they didn't sell themselves. The OP shouldn't be put off by this, not all LBS shops are like this.
Agreed and Ill take it a bit further.
If any shop is like this, I wouldnt bet they will be in business for the long term. Its a perplexing position to take, given how arbitrary and limiting it is. To only work on bikes that a shop sold would remove bikes that were bought elsewhere by people who then move to the area, bikes that were bought 2nd hand and need maintenance, bikes that were bought elsewhere due to a deal or availability, and bikes that are bought online.
A shop that will only work on bikes they sold is limiting them to a small % of the potential service market- and repair/service is a place where shops can make good money.
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Old 10-14-19, 01:54 PM
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Not working on a bike they didn't sell is stupid. It's a good way to fix what was done incorrectly and make a new customer.

The margin on sales is so low they make real money on accessories and service.
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Old 10-14-19, 01:59 PM
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Who will offer better service if something breaks or you need to repair something and don't have the correct tool? Who will contribute the most to your local economy? Who are you more likely to see at your next race, group ride, or other bike event?
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Old 10-14-19, 02:21 PM
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If you need to ask, you probably should buy locally. Mail order works best for folks who know what they want and have some level of expertise. Also, if the new bike should become too small for you, it will be easier to sell a well known brand than a shop brand.
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Old 10-14-19, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Who will offer better service if something breaks or you need to repair something and don't have the correct tool?
Of course the local shop will be able to provide better service. That service would be the same level for guardless of if they are working on a bike bought had their shop or a bike bought over the Internet though. So to use this as a reason makes no sense.

As for which company will support local races or group rides, for most of the cycling public, it doesn't matter. Most of the cycling public does not race or go on bikeshop group rides.

The whole by off the Internet birses by local argument is never ending and it has been played out to death. Obviously there is no right or wrong it just depends on what you happen to value at the time period sometimes saving money as valued. Other times local service and support his valued. And still yet there are also times where neither those applies like right now when it's components that are what is driving the consideration to buy online. If the local shop wants his business, then perhaps they should carry the components he wants.
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Old 10-14-19, 04:52 PM
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I bought a Canyon bike recently (internet order only). I haven't had any trouble getting help with it locally. The guy that does local bike fits had worked on a number of them before and the local bike shop has no problem working on it. I agree they would be crazy not to service bikes they didn't sell!
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Old 10-14-19, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
If you need to ask, you probably should buy locally. Mail order works best for folks who know what they want and have some level of expertise. Also, if the new bike should become too small for you, it will be easier to sell a well known brand than a shop brand.
Agree
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Old 10-14-19, 05:05 PM
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Although this smells like a troll thread, I dare comment. Why not just get another Caad? Caad13 is a wonderful bike, and with 105 it will save over 1000 dollars when compared to the 1800 to 3000 of the other bikes referenced. All day rider and a great racer, and he can get one locally or online! Problem solved. Now back to the troll...
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Old 10-14-19, 08:10 PM
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buy a caad 13 frame and transfer the parts over.
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Old 10-14-19, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
First off if you always buy online then the LBS (local bike shop) will close.

Can a online shop properly size you?
Can it make adjustments?
Can it easily swap saddles until you find one that fits?
Can it do warranty work?
Can it service your bike?

Don't discount the lever of customer service you get from a LBS.
For me its all about the service. God bless you guys that like to work on your bikes, but I'm not a mechanic and I don't want to be. The precious little I do is out of necessity, not out of enjoyment.

The best thing about my bike mechanic is the he knew me and my bike. When I took my bike in for service I hardly have to explain anything. He repair and adjust thing I didn't even know was bad.

I finally moved away from my old LBS after 15 years just after my mechanic retired. My LBS and he will be sorely missed.
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Old 10-15-19, 06:26 AM
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thatbikeguy to the white courtesy phone....

...paging thatbikeguy to the white courtesy phone....
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Old 10-15-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by thatbikeguy View Post
So I'm in urgent need of a new budget bike. I currently own a 105 CAAD12 which is now too small for me, and since I'd like to switch to something new, I clicked around and came across Condor Cycles. With their bike builder I built an $3000 Record 11spd Italia RC with Zonda wheels, but I also got a deal for an Ultegra Emonda SL for just $2800 in my nearest bike shop. I love Campy and that Italia RC is lovely, but I have read many things against mail order. What do I do then?
I prefer encouraging my local bicycle shop if/when possible, especially if you get good service from them when you buy things. If price is better online, I try to have my LBS price-match it. In your case, I believe they don't have the other bike you're considering so it'll be impossible.

The bad side about mail orders is that you don't get to try the products you're buying & you sometime get crappy after sales service.

Always encourage your LBS! Cheers.
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