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need advice for an entry level road bike

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

need advice for an entry level road bike

Old 04-26-03, 02:16 PM
  #26  
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Originally posted by mcone
If you are going to buy online then use that online retailer for your pre-sales questions.

If you use a lbs for pre-sales, at least have the courtesy to buy from them. Don't try to justify the "stealing" of service


Wot he said.

I buy many things locall, and many things over the net. I don't use the services of one, and then shaft them.
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Old 04-26-03, 10:20 PM
  #27  
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Merckxrider, thanks for clarifying about the margins. It's ridiculous what cages and certain other items cost us, let alone a customer.
As to the running debate, there's nothing more frustrating than someone who picks my brain, uses my expertise for sizing, etc. when they have no intention of purchasing from me. I've just lost time I could have spent with a paying customer or time I could have invested in shop or bike maintenance. While I can't argue with some items that can be had online less than my cost, this is a rather frustrating thing to deal with.
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Old 04-28-03, 09:03 AM
  #28  
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I'm in agreement with Belfast.
it seems to me that the original poster never even
considered purchasing from LBS, just used them
for measurements.
My LBS will try to stay competitive with online stores
where possible.
The only times I buy online is for either vintage parts
(no longer carried by lbs)
or for items that LBS doesn't carry (specific brands etc.).
Merkx. you mentioned how much you paid for items
(assos Bibs?) but not profit margin, 20%, 30%?
I applaud your support of LBS, I have a feeling that
this isn't what BB and others are "ranting" about.

just my $.02 worth,

Marty
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Old 04-28-03, 10:43 AM
  #29  
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You know i am holding off waiting for a lbs to have a good price on a bike i like so i have been going in{while at least 3-5 salesguys are standing around doing nothing}and talking to them about these bikes.The ones i am looking at are still to high.While i wait'if i see one online and they cant match it i will buy online.Now that said,i have got in the past 3 new bikes,all from lbs and all from different ones because after i got the bike i felt when i would go back in it was like,who are you.The only one that doesnt do that is the one i didnt buy from but i take my bike in for service.I guess thats screwing the place i got the bike from.Getting the bike from one lbs and getting service at another,is that different from getting it online and getting it serviced at the lbs?As picking brains,most the shops have kids that dont do road bikes and as little as i know,its more then they know.I bet at least 10 times in the last 15 visits to bike shops i ask and they say,well the owner will be in at so and so,he will know.All business are in a war with the internet for sales and prices.I know that the markup on stuff in the lbs is pretty good,at least around here it is.
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Old 04-28-03, 11:10 AM
  #30  
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Originally posted by Flea77
My complaint for you is that you basically stole their services and expertise on choosing a bike, in my opinion that is. Allan
Hi Allan,

Steeling is taking something with out the permission of the owner. He stole nothing.

If the bike shop valued the service (and I consider it a service) of advice and expertise, they should charge for it. If they are loosing money hand over foot because of internet prices, they should take action: complain to suppliers, manufacturers, etc.

Basically, the advice, the time is added value to the purchaser. If that added value doesn't reach a point to convince him to purchase there, then the bike store would need to revaluate their cost, thier service, or something to make it such the buyer want's to buy.

Trek bike store sold my tires for 33. Online the tires cost 25. I found them at Preformance (formally Bike USA) for 19.99. Did I rip off Trek Bike shop when I went in to ask about tires and prices? Did I rip off the online place when I browsed their tire section and read the FAQ?

No.

I understand your point on supporting the small buisness. I'm anti starbucks to an extent. But at somepoint, there will be a break over for all of us to where we purchase based on price, not service.
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Old 04-28-03, 11:39 AM
  #31  
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Hey William,

I understand your point, and I did say that even I would buy online if the prices were so different, and the service rendered so small, that I didnt feel personally obligated to purchase at the LBS. (Like my jerseys where the LBSs contribution was "that looks cool on you")

One example is that I am replacing some Sora calipers with Ultegra ones next weekend. Performance has them for $89.99 and the LBS wants $129.99. The difference is that the LBS will install them and adjust them for life and to me, who knows squat about the new bike I just bought, that is VERY important. To someone who has been working on bikes for 10 years that would probably mean nothing. But I will pay $40 to know that anytime I dont like the way they work, I haul the bike to the LBS and they get fixed, free.

What I saw happening when I first replied, which the story has changed since then, was a person walks into a LBS knowing nothing about what bike he wants or needs, and having no intention at all to buy there, uses the LBS's knowledge and inventory to pick out the right bike, then takes that newfound freely obtained knowledge and buys online to save a few bucks. THAT is the story that made me a little upset. Since then it turned into a story where he had purchased many bikes from them before and spends lots of money there all the time. I am NOT infering that he lied or stretched the truth, just that he left so much out of the original post that the story seemed different.

The internet can offer prices so much cheaper because there is no store, and I am quite sure their warehouse rent is dirt because most of the online places are in BFE somewhere. Additionally some online stores are affiliates that purchase in such huge quantites that smaller outfits can not compete. Take for example Walmart, they buy everything in 10+ truckloads at a time, so heck yeah they get it cheaper than anyone else who wants to buy 5 items (.0000002 truckloads). And following that logic we would have no LBSs at all because the online stores would be cheaper. Who here wants all LBSs to go away?

And BTW, theft is when you take something without permission, I agree, but I didnt hear him say that the owner of the business said "sure, use my knowlege and let me pay people to help you while you go buy online". Permission has to be given, not assumed because it was not denied. Employees are paid to help customers because the owners assume that helping customers will lead to sales. Employers do not, in my experience, pay employees to give things (including information) away with no hope of any return on their investment.

Try this example, get a ratty old beat up car worth about $50, dress like a bum who has been on the street for years, drive to your nearest Ferrari dealer and ask to test drive the new $150,000 car in the window. Next, clean up, dress up in a nice suit and tie (rented is fine, nice stuff though not Sears brand), hop in a $60,000 Caddy and try the same thing. The first time you will get nothing because they dont think you can buy the car and will not waste their time and money on you. The second time you probably will get a ride because there is the assumption that you might be able to afford it. It's all about the sale.

Hope this clears my points up and remember, it's all just my opinions and I dont mean anything personal by any of it. I would have to meet you before I could hate you :-)

Allan
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Old 04-28-03, 12:05 PM
  #32  
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I think they are paying the employees to give out information in hopes of a return customer.
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Old 04-28-03, 12:06 PM
  #33  
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Originally posted by shokhead
I think they are paying the employees to give out information in hopes of a return customer.
I agree fully. This is why I return to certain stores. How good thier service is despite a lack of sale.
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Old 04-28-03, 12:42 PM
  #34  
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Heh, leave it to me to disagree :-)

I have never met a store owner who thought:

"Gee, lets give great service in hopes they may buy something next week"

It has always been:

"Lets give great service in hopes they will buy NOW! And hopefully next week too!"

If you have ever met any of the former, I would love to talk to them and understand their logic. Sure we all want repeat or return customers, but we also want them to buy right now. If we didnt want the immediate sale why do we have all the fancy displays, bold colors and sales?

Allan

I would say that's my two cents worth but I think we are over a buck and a quarter now :-)
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Old 04-28-03, 12:53 PM
  #35  
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Originally posted by Flea77

"Gee, lets give great service in hopes they may buy something next week"

It has always been:

"Lets give great service in hopes they will buy NOW! And hopefully next week too!"

6 of one, 1/2 a dozen of another. Pretty close to the same thing.

Most buisness are trying to build the long term customer.

I DO NOT want to like Preformance Bike Shops. I do not like that they bought a locally owned company (Bike USA San Diego). But I tell you what, I go in, I get good advice, there's a variety of product (I don't get forte' brand shoved down my throat), they try to discount anything I buy, liberal return policy, AND they don't act like snobs too much..

They are earning my return buisness. AND I might just buy my next bike from them.
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Old 04-28-03, 01:12 PM
  #36  
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At the risk of beating a dead horse...

I purchased 2 bikes from my LBS last year, a Specialized A1 Sport and a Specialized Hardrock Pro. Neither high end, neither junk...

I buy most of my accessories from the LBS when possible. Some things I buy on-line when the price difference is substantial, but it has got to be substantial. Why?

Well here's one reason. I was hit last Tuesday and my rear wheel was trashed. I was scheduled to ride in a charity ride Sunday. The LBS did not have new wheels in stock, but said they would order them right away. In the mean time they put on a temporary replacement wheel (Rolf) for me to use on the charity ride. Cost for the temporary and labor to install and set-it up? Nada. Zero. Zip. It's worth a few extra bucks to build that kind of repoire with the LBS...which I have been doing ever since I bought my first bike. The guys know me and I know them. Good feeling when you walk into a store and have people who know you. Can't find that on-line.

My 3 3/4 cents...

Greg
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Old 04-28-03, 01:27 PM
  #37  
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Originally posted by LegalIce
The guys know me and I know them. Good feeling when you walk into a store and have people who know you. Can't find that on-line.

My 3 3/4 cents...

Greg

Good points.


BUT... it's not buying online persay I have issues with - I just bought a cycling heart rate boiok from Amazon this very second - it's USING all the facilities and time of a local shop with no intention of buying the goods there.
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Old 04-28-03, 01:29 PM
  #38  
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6 of one, 1/2 a dozen of another. Pretty close to the same thing.
Actually no it isnt. The immediate sale offsets the immediate cost of helping you (payroll, electricity, rent, etc) while the long term is just a bonus. If anything, the long term is what offsets helping people with no intention to buy :-)

For example, if the business had to continually help people with absolutely no sales, but promises of sales a year later, they would never get to the "year later" because they couldnt pay their rent and payroll now with no income.

Most buisness are trying to build the long term customer.
Absolutely! Because 90% of return customer sales do not require the investment in time (aka money) to make the sale as the initial sale does. This is why I was initally upset with your comments because from what you said it sounded like this was your initial encounter with them and that is what they spend the most money on.

They are earning my return buisness. AND I might just buy my next bike from them.
Glad to hear it! Hope they do well for you and I hope you continue to support your LBS!

Allan
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Old 04-28-03, 01:35 PM
  #39  
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Belfast,

Are you really in Belfast? Hows the riding over there? Do you realize you are just as annoying as I am? :-) (ok, maybe I am a little more annoying, heh)

Allan
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Old 04-28-03, 01:43 PM
  #40  
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Originally posted by Flea77
Belfast,

Are you really in Belfast? Hows the riding over there? Do you realize you are just as annoying as I am? :-) (ok, maybe I am a little more annoying, heh)

Allan


Moi, annoying?

(I get that a lot.... I speak my mind, and don't care if I'm in the minority, which I often am, especially in political discussions.)

Yup, I'm in Belfast... I do most of my riding (only had the bike a week or so) along to local river path.... I'll get some pics up of it on Saturday, weather permitting.

Just fitness riding and to and from gym at the mo apart from the river path.

I've done some nice longer roads, but those were on my OTHER two wheeled vehicle....it's more....motorised....
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