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LBS vs. Performance: Newbie questions

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LBS vs. Performance: Newbie questions

Old 10-18-09, 10:54 AM
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nwengerd
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LBS vs. Performance: Newbie questions

I'm looking to buy a new bike fairly soon, and my question is regarding buying at Performance vs. buying at my LBS. The bikes I'm looking at are a Cannondale CAAD9 5 w/ Tiagra RD/brifters and Sora FD for $950 at the LBS, and a Fuji Roubaix with 105 RD and Tiagra FD/brifters for $899. The question is: is buying at the LBS (who've been incredibly helpful) worth taking the dip in components? Is Performance's service really as bad as some people make it sound?
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Old 10-18-09, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by nwengerd View Post
Is Performance's service really as bad as some people make it sound?
My local Performance is worse than what you've heard. No matter what you've heard, they're worse.

If your LBS is really as helpful as you said, tell them what you're thinking about and ask them what they would charge you to swap out components to match the Fuji Roubaix. Might not be that expensive. Good bike shops are harder to find than good bikes.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:33 AM
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I agree with BengeBoy. Doesn't hurt to ask the LBS if they will compromise a little. In this economy you can negotiate some. BTW, I didn't know you could run 105 RD with Tiagra brifters? BTW, Brifters are something you can easily learn how to upgrade yourself when the time comes.

BTW performance is performance. I've had very good luck and then some bad. I used to allow them to adjustments, etc before I learned how. I would never let them work on the BB or something 'major' for me to do. The major stuff goes to the LBS, which is essentially all that is left for me.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:40 AM
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The Sora FD on the Cannondale isn't really going to make a difference but if you really want a Tiagra one you can get it by ordering the bike with a double crankset.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:46 AM
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Good points, gentlemen. I'll have a chat with my LBS about the Cannondale.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:52 AM
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After a year of taking my Fuji Roubaix RC back to Performance for their free "adjustments", I finally took it to a very highly recommended LBS (for tuneup and new tires) and it's now riding better than it ever has.

That said, I know that the price I paid for the bike at Performance ($840 for an Ultegra bike, including year-end sale price, an additional weekend-only sale and their 10% "points" rebate) just could not be matched by any LBS. LBS's appear to make most of their profit on service so I would have no problem buying a Performance bike and getting it serviced at the LBS.

If you really think you need to buy at the LBS, ask about component upgrades (as mentioned above) and also for a free fitting. (A real fitting where they measure you... not just the eyeball "yeah, that looks OK" that Performance will do.)
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Old 10-18-09, 12:30 PM
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It's all about Performance
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Old 10-18-09, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 125psi View Post
I agree with BengeBoy. Doesn't hurt to ask the LBS if they will compromise a little. In this economy you can negotiate some. BTW, I didn't know you could run 105 RD with Tiagra brifters? BTW, Brifters are something you can easily learn how to upgrade yourself when the time comes.
Tiagra/105 is fine- Shimano components don't care what they're tied to, as long as the shifters, derailer, casette and chain are all designed for the same number of gears. 9-speed Dura-Ace would work fine with Sora, if you were inclined.

Also, I wouldn't suggest a brifter swap to a complete novice- after paying for the individual parts to upgrade, he might as well have just bought a 10spd bike to begin with. Also, he would need to know how to re-cable an entire bike.
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Old 10-18-09, 01:16 PM
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LBS forever

Always, always, always, support your local bike shop. It is best for your bicycling karma. You never know when you'll need a random length of cable housing, or the little metal things for the ends of cables, or help building a wheel. Your LBS is like a Public Library for bicycling knowledge. Give them your support.
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Old 10-18-09, 02:18 PM
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If the local shop always, always, always had the best products and the best selection at the best prices then indeed I would always support them. But they don't. So I have struck a compromise that I'm happy with. The LBS that did my service is primarily a "service" shop. They don't have the floor space to sell 40 kinds of headlights and 100 different helmets.

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Old 10-18-09, 02:56 PM
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I like performance - good prices, fairly good selection and close by but I'd rather have the c9 than the fuji.
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Old 10-18-09, 03:16 PM
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i have the same dilemna, my LBS is very knowledgeable and have helped me a ton with my biking. however everything they sell, performance sells for cheaper. fortunately as they've gotten to know me they've given me discounts with my purchases (still doesnt match perf. but helps) however every now and then perf. will practically give something away and i'll bite.
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Old 10-18-09, 10:27 PM
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LBS vs cheaper options from Performance can be a dilemma, but what you describe doesn't sound like one to me. Shifters have a much bigger effect on performance than the derailer does (and also are much more expensive--from a quick check of Jenson, the 105 shifters cost more than 4 times what the 105 RD does). So I call something a "105 bike" or a "Tiagra bike" based on the shifters. Actually, when I see a bike with the RD one step above the shifters, I kind of resent it. Like the manufacturer is trying to trick me into thinking the bike is spec'd higher than it is (which might be unfair--maybe they honestly feel that the upgrade is worth the price difference).

But so I look at your scenario as a choice between two Tiagra bikes. Maybe my pro-Cannondale bias is unfounded, but I might pay the extra $50 just for what I perceive to be a better frame. And that difference plus the LBS advantage makes it an easy decision in my mind.
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Old 10-19-09, 05:51 AM
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Seems like the service at Performance shops is very hit-or-miss. One of the shops around here was OK, the other was horrible.
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Old 10-19-09, 06:31 AM
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I see what your saying, skylla. I'm going to performance today to ride the Fuji again, and also check out a Scattante R-660 (ultegra brifters/RD for $1150.) I'm also going to talk to the guy at LBS and see if there's anything he can do to sweeten the deal for me. There's just no way I can bump up to the $1400 he wants for a full 105 2010 CAAD9 5.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by nwengerd View Post
I see what your saying, skylla. I'm going to performance today to ride the Fuji again, and also check out a Scattante R-660 (ultegra brifters/RD for $1150.) I'm also going to talk to the guy at LBS and see if there's anything he can do to sweeten the deal for me. There's just no way I can bump up to the $1400 he wants for a full 105 2010 CAAD9 5.
If you can afford $1150, you can afford $1400. And if you can afford $1400 you can afford the $1800 for the Caad9-4 with rival/force. And if you can afford the $1800, you can afford the $3k for the Caad9-1. Just do it.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by max power View Post
i have the same dilemna, my LBS is very knowledgeable and have helped me a ton with my biking. however everything they sell, performance sells for cheaper. fortunately as they've gotten to know me they've given me discounts with my purchases (still doesnt match perf. but helps) however every now and then perf. will practically give something away and i'll bite.
Which do you want to still be around in five years? The helpful place, or the cheap place? There will always be somewhere cheap to get something, but if you really have a great shop, they are a gem and are worth keeping around even if it costs a few bucks more.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:55 AM
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One thing I noticed is, the quality of staff at some PBS stores have gone down through the years, Haven't been in the bicycling scene in some years, but I don't remember the staff at their stores to be almost clueless techincally about bikes, tools and accessories. I guess you can't blame the guys that work there when the company seems to hire people just off the street these days, some of them obviously not even bikers, when you start asking them questions about stuff they sell or stuff you might be looking for......you also get what you pay for. Reminds me of how it is at the "big box" electronics/appliance/computer stores across the country.
Although they do give me the best deals on purchases most of the time, when shopping at many PBS stores, you're pretty much on your own. It would be wise to bring along an experienced biker friend when you go shopping there if you are a noobie bicyclist.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:57 AM
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depends on your comfort level and basic mechanical ability. if you can turn your own wrenches and figure out how to adjust a drivetrain (its not hard) - go for the best components you can upfront, you'll thank yourself later.
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Old 10-20-09, 05:32 AM
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Well, guys. Thanks for all you advice. I'm now the proud new owner of an '09 CAAD9 6 from my LBS and I couldn't be happier.
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Old 10-20-09, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by nwengerd View Post
Well, guys. Thanks for all you advice. I'm now the proud new owner of an '09 CAAD9 6 from my LBS and I couldn't be happier.
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Old 10-20-09, 06:04 AM
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You don't really own it until you post pics of it here. So, let's see the new ride...
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Old 10-20-09, 07:25 AM
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That's awesome, congrats on your new CAAD! Post a pic, in front of a white garage/wall, chain on big ring, crank lined up correctly, etc.

I was actually going to drop a note that Performance isn't THAT bad, but then again, I've been having recurring problems with my Fuji and they seem to either be making it worse or pretending like they're fixing it but not really doing it. Maybe I'll just stick to using them for accessories/clothes/the indoor trainer I want for Xmas (feel free to send one, thanks!) and not use them for actual bikes.

Sigh.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:52 AM
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Pics or your not the owner
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Old 10-20-09, 08:47 PM
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Here she is:

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