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17 reasons to shop your LBS

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

17 reasons to shop your LBS

Old 04-24-06, 12:30 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by HPS
Good. At least your not one of those people who get things FUBAR and then take it to the shop...and then try to debate the service fee.

I bought my bike online for $400 LESS than I could get it anywhere local. Once I received it I finished the final assembly then took it to a bike shop and PAID them to look it over and adjust it. I fully expected to pay for their expertise. Any good business owner would not turn away the money I spent simply because I didnt buy the bike from them. Thats called spite and it's a great way to lose business and end up closing your doors. Matter of fact, the owner of the LBS and I talked about the deal I got and he was amazed. He wasnt bitter at all. I paid him for a fitting and I have been by several times since for a refit and he is always quite friendly.
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Old 04-24-06, 01:01 PM
  #77  
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got to love the LBS. When I go into mine its like your part of sitcom or live entertainment. There are always a case of characters all knowledable about almost all topics, (or so they say). If my LBS doesn't have what a want he will call or send me to another shop where I rarely pay retail. On the rare occasions I use a vender or E-bay is when its a close out or discontinued item. Got to love the LBS
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Old 04-24-06, 01:50 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Zurich
I hate the bike shops here. Can't figure out why they all feel the need to be rude and angry.....
Could be the customers they have to deal with...of course, if that's the case they should find another line of work.

Which some do...

"I was just riding along, and..."

Yeah, right....
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Old 04-24-06, 02:03 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106
I guess it was too much to expect a serious discussion of LBS vs. online buying. I really would have liked a response from the guy who is satisified when his expensive bike parts arrive in a paper bag or the box not taped shut. Good luck & good riding.
Just out of curiosity oilman - does your e-bay ID contain a reference to oil? I'm not saying it would be justified, but the current trend in oil prices could make you a target to some angry people.
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Old 04-24-06, 03:19 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Miller2
I bought my bike online for $400 LESS than I could get it anywhere local. Once I received it I finished the final assembly then took it to a bike shop and PAID them to look it over and adjust it.
That exactly my experience! I've saved about $700 on a bike via ebay, checked/adjusted it myself, and paid local mechanic to have it rechecked.

For me things are working out like that
- if I need parts: I buy them whenever it's more cost-effective (usually ebay, never had any problem; or MEC).
- if I want to bike-talk: go to local bike club rides or here (hey, there is a lot of nice people here)
- if I need a professional mechanic I go the shop that have the best mechanic (not a $8-per-hour high school boys). At this point of time such shops are still co-located with LBSs. But when LBSs go out of business there will be Bicycle Mechanic shops with profesionals running them (they simply won't need any idiots on the floor).

Last edited by bormoglot; 04-24-06 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 04-24-06, 03:56 PM
  #81  
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The question is will a mechanic be willing to keep a stock of replacement parts onhand or are you going to have to leave the bike in his/her shop for a couple days while the parts have to be ordered through a distributor? If an LBS has little reason to keep a part in stock even though local riders might install it themselves, a mechanic will have even less of a reason to have those parts lying around taking up space.
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Old 04-24-06, 04:20 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
If an LBS has little reason to keep a part in stock even though local riders might install it themselves, a mechanic will have even less of a reason to have those parts lying around taking up space.
As a lot of people said here, LBS already don't stock a lot of them, so we are not loosing anything...

People who might install the part themselves, are going to buy it from the internet cause it's cheaper and (more importantly) choices are unlimited. Go to a site like this one, and there is plenty of information about compatibility, experiences, what-worked-what-not, etc...

If you can't install it yourself, check compatibility, order the part and mechanic will do the rest.

It worked nice for me. If I get a quote from LBS, I always get a quote with separate part price and labor price. After that it is my decision what to do. And if LBS gave me fair quote, they will be happy with any decision (help me either with part and labor, or labor only).

Last edited by bormoglot; 04-24-06 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 04-24-06, 04:27 PM
  #83  
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The LBS don't stock it anymore because people don't buy from them. What people fail to see is that WE have already created the problem that we are complaining about. Bike shops used to stock tons of parts and multiple brands of bikes. Then the internet made running a mail order shop so easy that someone started to get rich off of it because he didn't have to pay for shop space. Just some wearhouse on cheap land. We suckers bought into it and ordered from them, so the LBS had parts and bikes just laying around that they couldn't sell for what they paid to have them shipped to them and assembled. So now they don't carry the stock because people don't buy it.

Essentially, we have it backwards. It's not that you don't buy LBS because the store doesn't stock it, it's that the LBS doesn't stock it because you don't buy it from them.

I understand your reasons and even do the same thing myself, but we have to remember that we caused this to happen. I can't stand people who order from the internet while complaining that they have to wait for it when they're not the victim. They're the instigators.
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Old 04-24-06, 06:47 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
I understand your reasons and even do the same thing myself, but we have to remember that we caused this to happen.
Well, I wouldn't nessessary say that we've created this problem. It is like saying that water by itself created canyons. While actually it is laws of physics - tendency to minimize energy - caused water to run through rock, and by doing that destroy the very same rock.

Our tendency to improve our quality of life caused us to look at the most efficient way to get bicycles/parts. It's just laws of the free market: if somebody getting cheaper bike parts than me then he have competitive advantage over me - he can accept the same job as me and be happy with being paid less cause he needs less money.

It turned out that LBS inherintly isn't the most efficient model. So they must be replaced by a more efficient model. We'll see what is coming...

P.S. We may well end up with something like that: few LBS-boutiques (NYC, Paris, Milan, Tokyo) with brain-damaging prices for the people who can afford it... and overnight delivery for very resonable price for the rest of us.

Last edited by bormoglot; 04-24-06 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 04-24-06, 07:50 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
The LBS don't stock it anymore because people don't buy from them. What people fail to see is that WE have already created the problem that we are complaining about. Bike shops used to stock tons of parts and multiple brands of bikes. Then the internet made running a mail order shop so easy that someone started to get rich off of it because he didn't have to pay for shop space. Just some wearhouse on cheap land. We suckers bought into it and ordered from them, so the LBS had parts and bikes just laying around that they couldn't sell for what they paid to have them shipped to them and assembled. So now they don't carry the stock because people don't buy it.

Essentially, we have it backwards. It's not that you don't buy LBS because the store doesn't stock it, it's that the LBS doesn't stock it because you don't buy it from them.

I understand your reasons and even do the same thing myself, but we have to remember that we caused this to happen. I can't stand people who order from the internet while complaining that they have to wait for it when they're not the victim. They're the instigators.
Yeah, but we make more money fixing the screwups from the home mechanic experts than from stocking the parts.
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Old 04-24-06, 07:58 PM
  #86  
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You're doing something wrong if you're running into that many problems. I've never had a problem buying or selling on ebay and I've been at it since '99 or so. My feedback is still 100%.
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Old 04-24-06, 09:25 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
The LBS don't stock it anymore because people don't buy from them. What people fail to see is that WE have already created the problem that we are complaining about. [...]
Essentially, we have it backwards. It's not that you don't buy LBS because the store doesn't stock it, it's that the LBS doesn't stock it because you don't buy it from them.
Who's complaining? The internet is always in stock, and my mechanic (me) is always available and his customer service is excellent. I'm not going to pay twice as much to get parts at an LBS (amounting to hundreds of dollars a year), regardless of whether they have them in stock or not. Some people would rather pay twice as much and wait a week to get their bikes fixed, and the LBS works for them. There, everybody's happy and nothing to complain about.
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Old 04-24-06, 10:17 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by rvabiker
If your "expensive bike parts" arrive in a paper bag or untaped but they are not injured then why complain? It worked...
Wow. This is amazing. Your an officer in the USCG and you would see nothing wrong with shoddy packaging on high priced parts? Your standards are really, really low. If this is where we'er headed your kids will be speaking Chineese.

It is also amazing that you run on down to NAPA or Advance Auto Parts and ask for a part for your 1983 and they have it and you pay whatever they want. Yet you run down to your LBS and expect them to have every part know to the bike world and sell it to you below their cost? This defies logic. The main cost in the auto parts biz is the cost of carrying the inventory. What makes the bike biz any different?
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Old 04-24-06, 10:24 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106
Wow. This is amazing. Your an officer in the USCG and you would see nothing wrong with shoddy packaging on high priced parts? Your standards are really, really low. If this is where we'er headed your kids will be speaking Chineese.

It is also amazing that you run on down to NAPA or Advance Auto Parts and ask for a part for your 1983 and they have it and you pay whatever they want. Yet you run down to your LBS and expect them to have every part know to the bike world and sell it to you below their cost? This defies logic. The main cost in the auto parts biz is the cost of carrying the inventory. What makes the bike biz any different?
The difference? Napa will likely have what I'm looking for. My LBS doesn't carry JACK and I can order it myself and get it faster and cheaper. I don't let anyone else work on my stuff. Until they can compete, they will lose business. I don't feed money to the nissan dealership because I feel bad for them since their stuff is overpriced and never in stock....why should the LBS be any different?
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Old 04-24-06, 10:26 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
Just out of curiosity oilman - does your e-bay ID contain a reference to oil? I'm not saying it would be justified, but the current trend in oil prices could make you a target to some angry people.
These problems started long before the run up in oil prices. If, in the case of the torn jacket, someone is sick enough to damage it before shipping to me, then God can only save em. I have a total of 6 employees .
Exxon or Chevron this is not. It used to crack me up when my kids were in school and Dallas was on tv. My kids would get razzed at school & come home and ask why we don't have a house like JR. Maybe I should get out of the oil biz & start an LBS that would make these people happy. On second thought that is impossible.
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Old 04-24-06, 10:29 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by yater
The difference? Napa will likely have what I'm looking for. My LBS doesn't carry JACK and I can order it myself and get it faster and cheaper. I don't let anyone else work on my stuff. Until they can compete, they will lose business. I don't feed money to the nissan dealership because I feel bad for them since their stuff is overpriced and never in stock....why should the LBS be any different?
So if your LBS had every part in stock like NAPA you would be willing to pay NAPA like prices for your bike parts?
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Old 04-24-06, 10:47 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by bormoglot
P.S. We may well end up with something like that: few LBS-boutiques (NYC, Paris, Milan, Tokyo) with brain-damaging prices for the people who can afford it... and overnight delivery for very resonable price for the rest of us.
Good point and probably true. I just miss the days when I could say "oh crap, broke a _____. Guess I'll just go over to the LBS and see what they have to replace it"

Loved the comment about fixing the home mechanics screw ups, especially since I am about to install my BB for the second time since it's squeaking from the first attempt. Manufacturer said 35 ft/lb which seemed a bit loose for me. We'll try 50-60 like I always used to.
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Old 04-24-06, 10:50 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by yater
The difference? Napa will likely have what I'm looking for. My LBS doesn't carry JACK and I can order it myself and get it faster and cheaper. I don't let anyone else work on my stuff. Until they can compete, they will lose business. I don't feed money to the nissan dealership because I feel bad for them since their stuff is overpriced and never in stock....why should the LBS be any different?
Yes that's the root of the problem. It might be worth a little extra if the LBS carried it in stock, but they have already given up and just stock things like consumer bikes, tubes, helmets, jerseys... the stuff that moves at retail prices. I'm just glad they got a Performance not too far from me, superstores will be the only ones left very soon. It worked for Walmart, it can work for LBS too.
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Old 04-25-06, 06:33 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106
So if your LBS had every part in stock like NAPA you would be willing to pay NAPA like prices for your bike parts?
Yes. I would more than likely just stop there to get my parts. I hate waiting for orders and would love to "shop" for my stuff like I used to. Unfortunately, it's not possible since they don't stock anything. I went to 3 different LBS yesterday and none had a standard 100mm stem for my MTB. That's piss poor

BTW, I drive a nissan so I don't spend much time looking for parts.
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Old 04-25-06, 07:01 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106
What are you implying? That I work for an LBS or something. I own 3 energy related small companies and have nothing to do with any LBS other than I have found that I could have spent about the same money and assuredly less time shopping there than on ebay. The post about the crap LBS earlier in the week got me thinking about this. Every one of the items I listed is 100% true. I guess if you buy a $400 carbon fork and it comes in a box that is not even taped shut your a satisified buyer? Why would you put up with shoddy service like that? I don't. End of story. The items I listed represent about 15% of the total purchased. A 15% reject rate is about what you expect when you buy like this?

When a seller lists a NWT Jacket it should not mean New With Tear. In this case the seller knew full well about the condition of the item. I ended up with a discount, big deal. Had to get a patch kit. Apparently your time has no value or you don't work and have lots of time.
Hmm, wonder if you can reveal your ebay ID, I just want to find out about those bad sellers so I can stay away from them.

By the way, ebay is not the best place to shop. The cheapest price I find on ebay for Campy record with carbon crank is $1500, while I can get that at probikekit for $1425 with free shipping. Or 2006 Campy Eurus on ebay never go below $700, while totalcycling price is $700. And there are lots of thing I purchased from ebay or from LBS. The point is, do your research before you shop.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:11 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by yater
Yes. I would more than likely just stop there to get my parts. I hate waiting for orders and would love to "shop" for my stuff like I used to. Unfortunately, it's not possible since they don't stock anything. I went to 3 different LBS yesterday and none had a standard 100mm stem for my MTB. That's piss poor

BTW, I drive a nissan so I don't spend much time looking for parts.
Original question was: if your LBS stocked an inventory like NAPA does for auto parts would you be willing to pay the LBS NAPA like prices for your parts? I don't see the answer to the price issue? And that is the real question.

I think many LBS owners should read some of the comments on this thread.

So after several days comments the ideal LBS is as follows: On hand inventory of every part ever made for bicycles. Prices at least as low as the lowest online seller, freight asorbed by the LBS. Open at all hours. Polite and helpful salespeople. Nose and lip rings allowed for the salespeople. Willing to service at no cost parts and bikes purchased elsewhere. Instant turnaround on service, no waiting. Special order parts, in the rare case not in stock will be air dropped from a FedEx plane at no extra charge.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:15 AM
  #97  
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I'm not interested in service. I want parts. If the bike shop had them in stock, I would consider the shipping cost and probably be willing to pay a little extra for the availability. I don't care what it costs them to get the parts. If they are losing money, step aside and let the market determine it's course. Until they do that, I'll get my parts cheaper and faster online. What don't you understand??

And why the reference to Napa? My truck doesn't eat parts but from what I've gathered, napa parts are always considerably cheaper than dealerships and always on hand. Why wouldn't you buy there?

Last edited by yater; 04-25-06 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 04-25-06, 10:04 AM
  #98  
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The kinds of parts I want for my bikes aren't all that easy to get online anyway. And my LBS is cool. Like, I'm building up a bike, I can grab a couple stems out of the box 'o stems and decide what fits best at my leisure and am just on my own honor to bring the other one back.
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Old 04-25-06, 10:15 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by yater
I'm not interested in service. I want parts. If the bike shop had them in stock, I would consider the shipping cost and probably be willing to pay a little extra for the availability. I don't care what it costs them to get the parts. If they are losing money, step aside and let the market determine it's course. Until they do that, I'll get my parts cheaper and faster online. What don't you understand??

And why the reference to Napa? My truck doesn't eat parts but from what I've gathered, napa parts are always considerably cheaper than dealerships and always on hand. Why wouldn't you buy there?
Incredible!!! You would only consider paying a bit more for the fact that the business has them on hand. Used NAPA example because it is similar. Multitude of brands & parts & high inventory carry costs. You really don't care what it costs the business to get the parts but your willing to pay your online source for the shipping? UPS has about doubled their rates recently due to high fuel costs. Do you think the online co. is in business to loose money also? See you at Walmart when they are the only place remaining where you can get your bike parts locally.

NAPA is not always cheaper than the dealership by the way.
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Old 04-25-06, 10:22 AM
  #100  
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Yater guy. This really got me fired up. I would bet you have a stash of bike parts at your place that you got cheap online. Ever hear of the time value of money concept? It is costing you, yes you, money to keep your own inventory of parts. It may not be large scale but the money you have tied up in parts is not working for you. So what is the real cost of the part? Your total delivered cost plus the money you lost not using it elsewhere.
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