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Anyone else done with the LBS?

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Anyone else done with the LBS?

Old 02-13-10, 08:04 PM
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Anyone else done with the LBS?

A bit of a rant so tune out if you don't want to commiserate or read more than two sentences...

I'm getting tired of dealing with the local bike stores. I live in a city which is very bike friendly and has a lot of bike shops.

This isn't cycling Valhalla as I first thought...I really do try/want to give them my business but the more I deal with the shops, the more they bother me (vs just ordering what I want online).

I wanted to replace my tires, so I went down to the closest shop. Turns out the need to special order them. Fair enough. Originally I had bought them at another LBS as a set so I asked if there was a part number for that. No, but they offered to knock off shipping costs...fine, I bit the bullet and bought them. I don't mind pay a little extra at the LBS and understand the whole concept of markup etc (but isn't that for the convenience of walking home with the product?). Of course, PBK then stars offering the tires at 30$ LESS per tire than what I paid.

I'm also in the market for a new helmet, and am trying to decide between the Atmos and Ionos. The same shop as above doesn't have either in large and would have to order one in. They deal in high end kit...I understand not having all the colours etc, but why don't they have at least one of those in stock? WTF.

I go to the next LBS and try on the Ionos and Atmos...I find they fit/look completely differently and wonder how I was supposed to determine this at the first shop by trying on a lower end helmet.



Long story short. I am now only going to the LBS for things that need fitting, can't buy online or do myself...



Whining aside, who can't wait until spring to put the commuters aside and hop on the nice bikes and get some miles on them?
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Old 02-13-10, 08:24 PM
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I sympathise. I have serious guilt about ordering online and not going to LBS. When an LBS works well it is a community resource, if it works badly it is a drain and liability.

I believe in investing in your local area, but it's very hard to justify this when paying over the odds. I am in the market for a campy gruppo, looking at A$1600 for chorus online, or A$2500 at LBS. I can't afford $900 morals, that's more than I plan to spend on my wheelset!

A good friend of mine owns an LBS, so this is a dilemma I find particularly difficult. I too have decided that things requiring fitting will be bought from LBS, components and parts can be bought on-line. Bikes bought from LBS should be (as much as is practicable) maintained at and parts bought from LBS where bought. Exotic stuff that LBS doesn't stock can be bought online.


That's my tuppence.
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Old 02-13-10, 08:34 PM
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ef the LBS.... I buy everything online $$$ , roll the dice with sizing,send it back if it doesn't fit
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Old 02-13-10, 08:36 PM
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I use both. There are a LOT of local shops, so I can pick and choose. Most stuff I buy online though.
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Old 02-13-10, 08:45 PM
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As you become a more experienced rider, you can get away with ordering things online. For the new riders out there thought the LBS is the place to go. Unfortunately, many LBS don't seem to have as much in the way of instant gratification for those that want the higher end gear. I think if you have the tools and skill to spec it and build it then you can go the online route, if not you better find a good LBS.
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Old 02-13-10, 08:49 PM
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i buy big ticket items online because i'm broke and thats the only way to afford it, but i go to the lbs for the small stuff, cables and housings, bar tape, tools, and maintenance stuff. all of that is still cheaper online but i can afford that smaller difference so i rather give the lbs the business.
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Old 02-13-10, 09:22 PM
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I do a fair amount of price checking and there are some items at the lbs that are as cheap as anything online. If the price difference is "significant" and I don't mind the wait for the product, I will buy online.
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Old 02-13-10, 09:50 PM
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My lbs is literally a 5 minute walk from my house. The owner is a nice bloke and I take my bikes there for big jobs or for when I'm too lazy to do it. Unfortunately the prices and lack of selection means I buy online most of the time.
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Old 02-13-10, 09:55 PM
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Try before you buy is nice for the expensive things like bicycles... even if all the numbers work out in theory there is still the "in your hands effect".
For the rest of it the LBS is really out-gunned by all the online places. I will also have a LBS do more complex work for me which requires expensive tools.
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Old 02-13-10, 09:58 PM
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Agree with many of you guys, LBS lives from the dad and the mom who has no clue and buy bikes to be used 2 weeks. So the high end stuff needs to be ordered because they simply wont waste time stocking stuff they wont sell in a while.

Sadly i have to say....Long live to online buying...
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Old 02-13-10, 09:58 PM
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i use one of three lbs only when i haven't planned appropriately for upcoming purchases and needed something quickly. my wallet is better of on-line.
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Old 02-13-10, 09:59 PM
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I've tried to be an LBS zealot. My nearest LBS (granted, it's 50 miles away) didn't seem to want my business very much. I buy online exclusively now.

The last chance I gave my LBS? I tried this winter to order a frameset I knew was on clearance from the manufacturer (over 50% off). The BEST price my LBS would offer? Manufacturer's list.

Never mind.
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Old 02-13-10, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by electrik
I will also have a LBS do more complex work for me which requires expensive tools.
What bicycle-related work requires expensive tools?
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Old 02-13-10, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
What bicycle-related work requires expensive tools?
Framer preparation tools are big $$.

Headtube facer/reamer. BB facer/chaser Fork crown cutting tools etc.
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Old 02-13-10, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
What bicycle-related work requires expensive tools?
Spoke tensionmeters, headset presses, etc etc.. it all adds up esp when you only use the stuff 2-3 times...
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Old 02-13-10, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Yaniel
i buy big ticket items online because i'm broke and thats the only way to afford it, but i go to the lbs for the small stuff, cables and housings, bar tape, tools, and maintenance stuff. all of that is still cheaper online but i can afford that smaller difference so i rather give the lbs the business.
I give my money to companies who deserve it. Raping customers for $10 on a 120g tube and not knowing a damn thing about any of the products they carry earns my LBS zero respect and practically zero business from me. I get far better service and prices from online vendors. Just about the only thing I buy locally are bikes. Being able to test-ride a bike for an hour or two before purchasing is useful to me and something I don't mind paying for.
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Old 02-13-10, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by operator
Framer preparation tools are big $$.

Headtube facer/reamer. BB facer/chaser Fork crown cutting tools etc.
Head tube and BB prep is often done at the factory these days. The last two frames I've purchased didn't need any special prep. In fact, the only one that needed work was the one I welded myself...
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Old 02-13-10, 10:21 PM
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I was done with the only good one in Fort Wayne, IN when the guy wanted to sell me a new bike instead of selling me two rims that I came in for, when I wasn't biting on the new bike he left! So I left and bought my rims from Peter White instead. Then I E-Mailed the owner of the LBS and told him what happened and what I did, and he was not happy with his employee and evidently corrected the problem because now whenever I go in there their being nice to everyone. We do have another LBS that came into town about 3 or 4 years ago and they "seem" nice but all they sell is Scott stuff, and the only other one in town sells only Trek stuff, the one I like to go to sells a variety and can order anything they don't carry in stock.
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Old 02-13-10, 11:45 PM
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I think everyone on this forum would agree with this. My parents live in a small town with only 1 bike shop, and I spend most of my time there. I love going into that shop wanting to support it since it is such a good service for the local community. However, as soon as I walk in - my joy turns into a burden. I would not mind paying 10, 20, or even 30 bucks more than the price online but most of the stuff is almost 1/2 price online, especially if you consider the ebay seller.

Also, I hate it when they tell me that go online and let them know what model / size I want and they car order it, and tehy will be kind enough to wave the shipping charge... wtf?

Consider :

Easton EA50 Wheels : Local 400 --- Online 220
Sram Red : Local 2,500 --- Online 1,400
Fizik Arione : Local 159 -- 75
Yakima Roof Rack : Local 600 -- Online 250

Sorry, I can't afford this price difference. All I can do it bartape...
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Old 02-14-10, 12:03 AM
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The LBS simply cannot compete on price against ebay or PBK. Stuff on ebay usually goes for at or below wholesale. It would be totally unreasonable to demand an LBS to match ebay or other super discount online stores. I sometimes wonder where they make money. Even at high volume, you couldn't possibly get a big enough quantity break to justify selling a few dollars over wholesale.

Granted, its not good financial sense to pay double over an online retailer at the LBS, but please don't come into the shop feeling righteous and demand us installing a grouppo you bought online, that you spent hours picking our brains about the grouppo, while you wait right in the middle of the busy season.
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Old 02-14-10, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by the_drain
Whining aside, who can't wait until spring to put the commuters aside and hop on the nice bikes and get some miles on them?
<--- Never stopped.
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Old 02-14-10, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Big_Red
As you become a more experienced rider, you can get away with ordering things online. For the new riders out there thought the LBS is the place to go. Unfortunately, many LBS don't seem to have as much in the way of instant gratification for those that want the higher end gear. I think if you have the tools and skill to spec it and build it then you can go the online route, if not you better find a good LBS.
Exactly. Generally, I don't advice. I need the item I've decided I need. Therefore, LBS largely obsolete.
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Old 02-14-10, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
Head tube and BB prep is often done at the factory these days. The last two frames I've purchased didn't need any special prep. In fact, the only one that needed work was the one I welded myself...
Yeah there clearly isn't a market for those tools given your extreme wide ranging experience. You don't actually work in a bike shop do you?
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Old 02-14-10, 01:53 AM
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I don't see why there is any dilemma in where you choose to spend your money. You are the consumer - you have the money, you have the choice. If the competition, in this case an online retailer, can provide better prices, then obviously you'd go with that. It's an understood aspect of business. There has never been a "moral" spending of money for necessary items - and spending more for your conscience's sake? That's called charity, and it's an entirely different issue.
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Old 02-14-10, 02:00 AM
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I don't get a charity tax refund for supporting the LBS. So they better try to earn my business.
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