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LBS fixation on Racing

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LBS fixation on Racing

Old 06-07-04, 07:29 AM
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LBS fixation on Racing

Is this a common problem?
My LBS is staffed by some great people, but they are really fixated on racing.
I greatly prefer to buy my gear from a local store, and support them, but I'm getting frustrated by the complete lack of availability in gear for anything but racing. The local chains are beyond useless, which leaves me with few options.
Clips, racks, panniers, etc. They know nothing about these products, beyond what is best for racing.
Thoughts and ideas on how to nudge my LBS towards a more "road bike" friendly environment would be appreciated.
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Old 06-07-04, 07:52 AM
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Thats too bad. But you say you would prefer to support your LBS; however they prefer not to support you. I'd shop on line.
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Old 06-07-04, 07:54 AM
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Hard to argue with that line of reasoning unfortunately. It's very frustrating.
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Old 06-07-04, 08:23 AM
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Is that the only shop in town? Can't you find another more friendly one in town to support for the same reasons you want to support this store?
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Old 06-07-04, 08:26 AM
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Best shop in town in terms of actually knowing bikes is the one I go to.
Second best is pretty good, but I'm uncertain as to how I feel about Specialized bikes. I've never owned one, and thats all they sell.

Beyond that, crappy chains that hire no nothings from off the street near as I can tell.
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Old 06-07-04, 08:34 AM
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Specialized have been making bikes for a long time and provide a great combination of being innovative yet affordable. I consider them an almost sure win purchase if you buy one of their products, as long as you buy the one designed for your needs.
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Old 06-07-04, 09:51 AM
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I've run into quite the opposite. Though I'm not a bike racer I do appreciate the role bike racing plays in driving biking innovation and popularity with the general public. My experience has been that when I have staff at the LBS who are passionate about bike racing their knowledge usually spills over into all facets of biking. In fact, I'm a little suspicious when I'm at a bike shop and the person I'm talking with could not name a bike racer other than Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond.

To me bike racing fuels the passion for bicycling like nothing else and if your LBS doesn't know anything outside of racing this does seem odd. Maybe they have the knowledge but are just horrible at serving their customers. Either way, if you cant get the service you need go some place else or learn what you can from sites like this.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-07-04, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DVDaze
Maybe they have the knowledge but are just horrible at serving their customers. Either way, if you cant get the service you need go some place else or learn what you can from sites like this.
I found it odd as well. But they are really obsessed with racing. Most of the people that work there are on sponsored teams, the works.

And yes, haunting sites like this is where I get most of my information at this point. It just really pains me that I want to support them, but they can't help me.
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Old 06-07-04, 10:09 AM
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Hard to imagine a LBS that is mainly race oriented to survive and continue to stay in business. It doesn't make sense. I would imagine the majority of customers patronizing this shop to be common recreational riders who have absolutely no interest in racing. This shop owner must be satisfied with its sales figures.
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Old 06-07-04, 10:23 AM
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go in one day and talk to the manager or owner. i'm willing to bet money that he/she would be interested in hearing your point of view. if not, then they don't deserve your business.
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Old 06-07-04, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Joat
Second best is pretty good, but I'm uncertain as to how I feel about Specialized bikes. I've never owned one, and thats all they sell.
I can't speak about their bikes, but when my wife was looking at getting some gloves (which for some may seem like a trivial purchase, but not when you have/had carpal tunnel syndrome), she purchased Specialized gloves because they as a company had done tons of research into ergonomics of the hand/handlebar interactions. She had a 10-page article on their research. If they're willing to do that for an items like gloves, I'd like to think their bikes would be as well researched and designed.
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Old 06-07-04, 12:22 PM
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Thats a good sign Prabbit. I just may have to switch. This loyalty thing, is hard to drop
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Old 06-07-04, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Joat
This loyalty thing, is hard to drop
I totally understand. My wife and I both got our Bianchis from a bike shop across town. That shop kind of keeps banker's hours. They're very, very knowledgeable, but also usually very busy when we stop in. It's a small, small shop with limited selection in the store (but they can order anything). Meanwhile, we have a larger store with better in store selection much closer to us with some pretty knowledgeable people and better hours (for us), but the quality of the staff is not as high as the first store. We'll probably support them both.
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Old 06-07-04, 12:39 PM
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hehe, I have considered that. buying my bikes from one, and all my parts and such from the other. Somehow feels wrong. Again, I need to get over this overly loyal thing.
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Old 06-07-04, 03:38 PM
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i think it must be said that there's something about the LBS that's akin to the totally out of touch record store guys in High Fidelity.

I was just looking at an 03 Fuji Roubaix at an LBS and it was taken as a personal insult when I pointed out that they were charging $1099 for last years model that Performance is clearing out for $699. The LBS has my size (a 64cm) but that's about all they have that i want to deal with because this attitude of bitterness is nothing to do with me.

I know this isn't totally on topic, but I think it relates in the way the LBS ppl think you have to come to them and deal with them on their terms because they know more about bikes. How about knowing something about business and service?

My advice is to do like I do with fancy car stereo stuff - use the LBS for what they're good at: advice and tune-ups and then use the internet for shopping because the LBS can't compete and it doesn't seem like they even want to.

Sad situation admittedly, but I'm not in good enough shape financially to let this guy put me on last years bike for more than this years model plus the promise that I'll get a new helmet and some shoes at the same time so I can do them the favor of getting their profit margin back up for the total sale. Wait 'til I tell them how much their helmets are really selling for outside the cave....
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Old 06-07-04, 04:02 PM
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It does seem that there are some specialty LBSs out there. I have seen one or two "race only" stores. Get near the beach and they can be cruiser / comfort only. You need to see if there is another shop around that caters to your needs. There are so many aspects to cycling, oten one LBS does not do it all. I find that I go to several different ones depending on what I need.

But you say you would prefer to support your LBS; however they prefer not to support you.
That pretty much says it all. That is like trying to be loyal to a speed shop when you really need Auto Zone.
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Old 06-08-04, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Hard to imagine a LBS that is mainly race oriented to survive and continue to stay in business. It doesn't make sense. I would imagine the majority of customers patronizing this shop to be common recreational riders who have absolutely no interest in racing. This shop owner must be satisfied with its sales figures.
Here in Montréal, we probably don't have shops with a strictly racing interest, but we do have quite a few who cater mostly to fast-pace recreational riders. So they may not be "race-oriented" per se, but they don't sell panniers, racks or tires wider than 25 mm!

To Joat:
I don't see a problem with patronizing a shop that sells Specialized bikes and products. Nowadays, bikes are little more than a frame, a brandname and a bunch of Shimano, Campagnolo and other third-party parts. A 9-speed drivetrain is the same on a Specialized and on a Bianchi bike. So the important aspects to consider are qualifications, service and the availability of parts/accessories/support that you need.

I have 3 LBS that I patronize, because they have their own strenghts and weaknesses.
- One repair shop. They also sell used bikes, tires and such, but no new bikes nor expensive parts.
- One LBS, mostly for its extensive parts inventory. Great price, but their ordering service is lousy.
- One LBS tends to cater to roadies, but do wonders with special orders.
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Old 06-08-04, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mgagnonlv
I don't see a problem with patronizing a shop that sells Specialized bikes and products.
I'm sold. Definately gonna spread my love around.

Thanks for all the input folks.
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