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  1. #1
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    Are all online bike shops bad?

    I've dealt with a lot of them, and I think I'm now down to 3 that I care to order from anymore.

    Every business is going to have an issue from time to time, but JHC it seems like every other order with bike parts. Too much beer/ weed, or laziness

    Local bike shops are a joke, so I don't shop there.

  2. #2
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    Pretty vague there chief...
    So my answer is, "maybe"
    Time wounds all heels...

  3. #3
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    In my experience, not Jenson. When they sent me the wrong seatpost, I only had a 5 min call with a rep. I told them my order # and he immediately apologized and said that a more valuable seatpost would ship that day. I ended up with two great seatposts, and got to keep the better one! The rest of my stuff shipped promptly and safely. Their prices are pretty good, too. Especially clearance of old models.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

  4. #4
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    Jenson is in my top 2 best.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostRing View Post
    Pretty vague there chief...
    So my answer is, "maybe"
    My sarcasim meter is on backorder with some online bike shop that listed it as "in stock" only to email me 3 f'ing days after the order was placed to tell me they're f'ing out.

    That's the bs I'm refering to.

  6. #6
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    Ok i can really help out here. I order online all the time from a store in the uk called wiggle...fast and reliable and quite cheap

  7. #7
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    Sounds like Bike Bling, if I were going to guess. They don't have live inventory on their website. But if you pick up the phone and call them, you can get pretty good customer service from people who ride bikes.

    I've had pretty good luck with Universal, Jenson, PricePoint, Chain Reaction and Wiggle, plus the Backcountry family of stores. I've also ordered from a few brick-and-mortar shops like Red Barn and Drop N Zone and had good experiences. Plenty of good places to buy from online or over the phone.

  8. #8
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    Chain reaction has always been great. They ship from GB to me faster than stateside shops 9/10 times.

  9. #9
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    love treefortbikes.com

  10. #10
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    Chain Reaction is a great online shop, ive put thousands through there and have 100% faith in their system, prices, customer service on the phone, so much so that i wouldnt dream of using another online shop, ive just put a christmas order through today and got 10% off and free shipping to Aus as always..
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  11. #11
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    Treefort, Jenson, Pricepoint, Chain Reaction have all done well by me.

    I had a long shipping delay once from CR, but that was at the time terrorists were trying to send bombs in printer cartridges or some such nonsense. I suspect a lot of internationally shipped goods got held up in inspections during that time. I e-mailed CR and they were very prompt and polite, even though the item had already been put in the post.

  12. #12
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    Universal has never given me an issue. Tree Fort is slow on shipping. And, BikeIsland is not a bad place to get cheap, unbranded frames and frame sets. Their frame sets... you basically get the frame for free.

    TBH, I order a lot of stuff from FeeBay. There are some good ones on there, like Wheel and Sprocket and Abaxo (for very cheap stuff).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Sounds like Bike Bling, if I were going to guess. They don't have live inventory on their website. But if you pick up the phone and call them, you can get pretty good customer service from people who ride bikes.
    +2

    If it is bikebling prepare to wait a bit longer for things. They usually have great prices and they answer the phone, but getting the goods is pretty slow.

    When I order from them, I always call it in as it seems to speed the process up and sometimes they don't have the stock. They did give me great deal on 13 Talas fork when the 12's that were on sale sold out.

    Backcountry (Competitive Cyclist) is my fav. The return policy will keep me customer until it disappears.
    15 Yeti ASR-c
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  14. #14
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    I agree with a lot of the above, tree fort, universal, jensons and pricepoint have all done me well over the years.

  15. #15
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    RIP huck n roll
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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    I don't need sex. My life fvcks me daily.

  16. #16
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    I buy from PricePoint all the time. Never had an issue.

    I'll have to try Jenson. I've never heard a bad thing about them...


    (and incase it comes up, as it always does...I don't support my LBS, because there is no LBS....I have to drive 70 miles for the closest shop)

  17. #17
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    Last couple times I went to an LBS, I had terrible service. As in, I had to wait for them to stop chit chatting with their regulars. Moved recently though, so I have yet to give the new LBS a shot. But I have a Bikes direct bike and IDK if they'll appreciate that hehe.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    Last couple times I went to an LBS, I had terrible service. As in, I had to wait for them to stop chit chatting with their regulars. Moved recently though, so I have yet to give the new LBS a shot. But I have a Bikes direct bike and IDK if they'll appreciate that hehe.
    I just went through the same thing, and I even wrote about it: This is the Modem World: Fear and loathing in the local bike shop

    It's unfortunate, really. Would love to have established a good start with the LBS, but their people didn't seem interested.

  19. #19
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    x3 on Bike Bling. 2 years ago I bought Easton Haven Carbon wheels which they said were available, to include the sales person on the phone after having read the negative reviews. Turned out 2 days later they e-mail me saying they are on back order. I didn't get the wheels for 8 weeks. Decided to try them again as they had a sale for Black Friday on Sidi shoes 25% off. Website said the Drako's were available in my size. Find out by calling them today, that they are on back order and they have no idea as to their availability! 2 years ago, called the owner about the wheel problem. He told me they were no longer accepting orders if not in stock. Looks like he did not tell the truth or they have a different owner. I am now done with Bike Bling. Historically I have had great success with Competitive Cyclist, Jenson, and Excel sports. They don't have as many sales but they send things right away and are great with returns.

  20. #20
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    To clarify, I didn't say I'm done with Bike Bling. On the contrary, they have a pretty good selection and some great prices. I've just learned that it's worth the phone call. I don't mind doing that; about a third of the time I order from Backcountry it's over the phone after I've called them with a question, and if I order something from Red Barn, it's also via the phone. My understanding is that Bike Bling is a real retail store so updating their website with live inventory probably hasn't been a priory for them. If it means I have to pick up the phone to score some of the deals I have, I'm cool with it.

  21. #21
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    I usually shop at Universal, Chainreactioncycles, Treefort and aebike. Never a problem. I do avoid Jenson and Pricepoint for the reason of CA state tax (eff you Sacramento). Chainreaction ships from UK faster and cheaper than many shops, BTW. Boggles my mind how you can get a part from UK twice as fast and much cheaper than ordering it in some local store - who never have anything I need in stock.

  22. #22
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    I usually shop at ChainReactionCycles and Probikeshop, both are very good for me.

  23. #23
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    For online I like:

    Pricepoint
    Jenson
    Performance

    Had great experience (and easy returns) with all of them.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by stencil View Post
    I just went through the same thing, and I even wrote about it: This is the Modem World: Fear and loathing in the local bike shop

    It's unfortunate, really. Would love to have established a good start with the LBS, but their people didn't seem interested.
    Great article, good job. My thoughts word-for-word.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by stencil View Post
    I just went through the same thing, and I even wrote about it: This is the Modem World: Fear and loathing in the local bike shop

    It's unfortunate, really. Would love to have established a good start with the LBS, but their people didn't seem interested.
    Great article. Very true and this is the reason that many shops are going out of business...its not the pricing, its the $hit-house service. I also think that the mystical "building a relationship to get deals" thing is WAY overstated...this typically only happens for folks buying v. high end bikes and that come back repeatedly for service/accessories. For the average-Joe consumer, you buy a bike at full price, and go back a few times for odds and ends and pay full price. Customer service is so easy...just don't be a d-bag and treat people how THEY want to be treated.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  26. #26
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    Anybody use MTB Garage?

  27. #27
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    Christmas deal atm at Chain reaction cycles, spend over 175 bucks and get 25 bucks off and free shipping anywhere in the world, plus the sales are on atm so its all win, takes about 6-9 working days to get to OZ, happy days my second order in a week, i just couldnt help myself....
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  28. #28
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    Treefort rocks.
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  29. #29
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    Is everybody being careful not to use the "N" word? I've bought 2 bikes from them plus a whole lot of pumps, peddles, packs and a whole lot more. Occasionally something will be listed in stock and not ship and get removed from the order but overall they are usually pretty cheap.

    Otherwise I've used treefort, bike tires direct, amazon (and all the shops that sell through them), bikeman, backcountry and others all with good luck.

    How about GiantNerd? Anybody have any experience?

  30. #30
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    Jenson is one of the best online stores I've ever bought from, bike related or not.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebush View Post
    Jenson is one of the best online stores I've ever bought from, bike related or not.
    Love them too, just a bummer for some of us that they're in CA (tax).

  32. #32
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    A few years back CRC had a major problem with secure payments and alot of peoples personal details were stolen, they dealt with that very well and other than that incident seem to be the most consistantly reliable online bike shop shipping worldwide, and that's my own experience too, especially with me being in the UK.

    I think CRC's prices aren't quite as mega cheap as I once thought when I first browsed their site, but alot of stuff remains very good value

    I've recently had very good service with hargroves cycles also in the UK, they gave my new bike a complete build and test free of charge before sending it to me, leaving me to only having to tweak a little, and when I found my bike alot cheaper eslwhere online they price matched too.
    I scurry away with my hardtail between my legs

  33. #33
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    In no particular order: Jenson, CRC, Universal and Price Point have been excellent.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by stencil View Post
    I just went through the same thing, and I even wrote about it: This is the Modem World: Fear and loathing in the local bike shop

    It's unfortunate, really. Would love to have established a good start with the LBS, but their people didn't seem interested.
    Good article.

  35. #35
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    I will only order from Jenson or Treefort. Both offer price matching and are great with returns if there's a problem. If I find something cheaper elsewhere and they won't match it for some reason, I'll still usually order it from them at the slightly higher price because they're so easy to deal with.

  36. #36
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    Funny title from the OP, being that 99% of my online experience has been excellent. I live in Canada and buy from all over the place. I've been burnt once from someone in Hong Kong and also had to return a used Ebay item that was not as described, but that's it.

    Harris Cyclery, Jenson, MEC, are the only big retailers I can recall by name, but all the others I've used have been great.

    Online have very likely saved me $2000 or more on the two bikes I've buit up.

    Nothing against the LBS's in my area, but the can't even come close on price or delivery times.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  37. #37
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    So, the latest

    Please wait. The next available member of our Jenson USA Customer Support Team will be with you in just a moment.
    Lee Baldwin says:
    Hello Paul. My name is Lee Baldwin how can I help you?
    Paul says:
    What's up with order E3049506?
    Lee Baldwin says:
    it looks like your order was stuck in the system and failed. A new Pick Ticket was created yesterday to ship out today
    Lee Baldwin says:
    it is shipping via UPS OVERNITE service, so you will see it tomorrow before 2:00PM
    Paul says:
    Guy yesterday said it would ship yesterday'
    Lee Baldwin says:
    what time of day was that, Paul?
    Paul says:
    Must've been about 1;30? there?
    Lee Baldwin says:
    hmmmm, not sure why it didn't ship yesterday unless we just ran out of time. It will ship today. Sorry it didn't ship yesterday.
    Paul says:
    So, 8 days before the order ships. Thanks
    Lee Baldwin says:
    you will rfeceive a UPS e-mail later today that shows your tracking information
    Paul says:
    I've heard that before, thanks

  38. #38
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    What was the previous interaction like? If I was Lee Baldwin I wouldn't be in any particular hurry to ship your order either.

  39. #39
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    Am I rude in that? I stated -the guy the day before said it would ship the day before- to make a point that he did.

    I ordered a bike frame(different seller) the same day and I've had it for 3 days. The parts for it are still in their store.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by plstrns View Post
    Am I rude in that? I stated -the guy the day before said it would ship the day before- to make a point that he did.

    I ordered a bike frame(different seller) the same day and I've had it for 3 days. The parts for it are still in their store.
    You were a bit... terse.

    I always try to be friendly as I can't assume that the person I'm talking to is at fault for the problems I'm having.

  41. #41
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    I know the person chating is probably not the person responsible for dropping the ball, but it's their job to hear about it. If that's the "rude" customer of the day they have it too easy, or they only screw my orders up.

  42. #42
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    Treefort is my LBS. Always like picking up there.

  43. #43
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    great contribution, I bought in r2bikes and wellI

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by plstrns View Post
    Local bike shops are a joke, so I don't shop there.
    You've apparently never been to a good shop then.
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZXFT View Post
    You've apparently never been to a good shop then.
    Shops are for people who need a mechanic, or a bike.

    I still don't have my parts. Jensonusa did eventually ship them, UPS dropped the ball.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by plstrns View Post
    Shops are for people who need a mechanic, or a bike.

    I still don't have my parts. Jensonusa did eventually ship them, UPS dropped the ball.
    To me shops are for people who want more than a faceless corporate giant sending them parts. While riding bikes is the main aspect of our sport, online retailers don't bake you cookies, host group rides, give you last minute replacement parts, make you laugh, give you a place to tell stories, sponsor races, give you free schwag, maintain your trails, and the list goes on.

    Online retailers are great at saving you money, but riding our bikes is not the only reason the sport is fun. I enjoy meeting and talking to people who love riding their bikes as much as I do, and the gathering point for us "nutjobs" is the LBS.

    Don't get me wrong, I've bought entire bikes online because money does talk, but there will never be a day when I stop visiting LBS's.
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  47. #47
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZXFT View Post
    give you last minute replacement parts, make you laugh..
    I have practically never been able to get a replacement part in local shop. Maybe a tube. Nothing I use on any of my multiple bikes is ever in stock.

    They did make me laugh, that's right, when I asked for price for some nicer bits.

    The only cookies baked was by race promoters.

    But yes, I do know great local shops, and get out of my way on occasion to give them my business. It is fairly hard though..

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I have practically never been able to get a replacement part in local shop. Maybe a tube. Nothing I use on any of my multiple bikes is ever in stock.

    They did make me laugh, that's right, when I asked for price for some nicer bits.

    The only cookies baked was by race promoters.

    But yes, I do know great local shops, and get out of my way on occasion to give them my business. It is fairly hard though..
    The great shops are the ones I patronize, the others can die slow deaths for all I care
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  49. #49
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    Never really had an issue with any of the bigger online shops like Jenson, PricePoint, Universal, Competitive, CRC, Nashbar, Treefort, etc. My only gripe is with ship time with Treefort. Maybe it was my timing on submitting the order but on avg it seems to take at least 4-6 business days for them to ship it out on in stock items. Granted it is with the free shipping but Universal and others get the stuff out the next day (with free shipping) unless you order on a Friday. Really not a big deal, just something I have to keep in mind if I need something within a week.
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  50. #50
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    Universal took 3 days to put a 2 day delivery in the mail for me the last time I ordered there. Treefort? SLOW filling orders. Why pay additional shipping when it's going to be a week anyway?
    I've had good dealings with Cycle Club Sports, and they're only 20 ish miles away. So maybe I'll have a local shop I can actually get parts from now.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    My only gripe is with ship time with Treefort. Maybe it was my timing on submitting the order but on avg it seems to take at least 4-6 business days
    When I was in Ohio last August I went up to Michigan to visit tree fort as they are a Niner dealer. I was expecting a shop like Bert's Bikes out here in western NY. Let me clarify, as big as Bert's. I pulled into a strip mall and found their shop. It is a nice shop, not very big. What I found out was they have another space 2 space down that they use for parts and storage and where I assume they run their Internet business from. The young man I talked to in the shop was very nice and knowledgable. But like any online business, you are only as good as your web updates. Some of the smaller companies have 1 maybe 2 people responsible for taking orders, picking stock, shipping and updating the web site so if you get a flurry of orders it can easily get backed up. I don't want to get into my LBS stories. Just my observation about tree fort.

    Millman.
    "Boldly they rode & well, into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell, rode the 600"

  52. #52
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    I’ll contribute some…

    -Jenson – 50+ orders over the years – Always on time, always a smooth experience, never dropped the ball. Being in So Cal, I’ve occasionally gone and picked up my orders from them when I was passing through Corona. Once I walked out of the store with a lot of parts, and completely forgot a wheel I’d also bought. Called them after I got home, and they said they’ll hold on to it for me. I didn’t make it back until weeks later, and sure enough, they had it waiting for me.

    -Nashbar – Dozen+ orders – They are a tad on the slower side to process orders, but have been reliable so far. Have bought frames and wheelsets from them, and were all packaged decently. Just be patient with them, and it works out. Notable stuff – had a $75 order stolen off my porch (caught on surveillance; perps eventually caught by police). Called Nashbar, and they quickly sent me replacements. Have also returned orders to them before. Took a while to process, but it all went through.

    -Pricepoint – 2 orders so far – Just started using them. Will certainly do more business in the future. Processes orders and ships very quickly. Bought their Razzo frame with my credit card, but had it shipped and billed to a relative’s address because they would be home during the day. I got a call the next morning from PP’s customer service to make sure my credit card hadn’t been stolen, because the billing address didn’t match my card’s shipping address. Was quite impressed by that.

  53. #53
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    Universal, Chain Reaction, Price Point. Universal is my favorite.

    As noted above, it IS amazing how fast shipping from the UK happens.
    Check out my You Tube Channel

  54. #54
    Axe
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    After three orders, on time, for good price, and with reasonably priced shipping (and not by fugging UPS who charges you "brokerage fee" even when you do not owe ANY import fees) I should add Bike-Discount, der Bike-Shop mit Best-Price Garantie to my "good" list.

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