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  1. #1
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    How many of ya'll still shop at your lbs?

    Maybe its just me but I haven't bought anything from my lbs except an emergency tube every couple of months. I have been buying all my gear and parts from online sources because its wayyyy cheaper and 100x more selection. Just recently I had to buy an emergency 29er tube for $9 (dame expensive long valves -.-). The next day I bought 4 29er tubes online for $20 shipped.
    I got a feeling a lot of guys are in the same boat as I am. Or maybe im just weird like that..

  2. #2
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    How many of ya'll still shop at your lbs?

    For me, it's not about the money. I gladly pay more to support my friends, and my local economy. Our kids play together, they've loaned me bikes (I'm a daily commuter) when mine was being wrenched on. Time and time again they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make it more than worth my while to continue to spend my money there, rather than an online marketplace.

    Sure, I could be pinching pennies and worry about where every cent goes, but at what cost?
    Bourbon: Because no good story ever started with "So, there we were eating salads".

  3. #3
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    Why would you buy an "emergency" tube on line for $9 and wait three days when your LBS would have the same item for under $5 (with $0) shipping?

  4. #4
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    @mr
    ermm I meant my lbs charged me close to 9. I have yet seen a presta long valve 29er tube for $5 at any lbs. point being is that many of my lbs will not have parts that I need and often I leave empty handed.

  5. #5
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    this topic again?

    *preparing for flame war in 5, 4, 3, 2...*

  6. #6
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    IDK, my LBS hooks me up for about what I can find stuff for online. They can also make sure the parts are installed and set up correctly.

  7. #7
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    It depends on how you define LBS.

    As retired military, I have the opportunity to buy most of my bike thing from the Outdoor Recreation people at a local base. The young guy who runs it is an avid mountain bike who has set up a very compete workshop and will do most any repair you need and lets me, at least, have access to the shop when I want to tinker.

    Cost is probably less then most pay on-line and if you like the selection of bikes they carry, you can get one around 40% below list all the time and no sales tax, not just on sale. If you don't, and I don't, you buy your bikes elsewhere and pay whatever you can find.

    In the winter, they are a great place for ski equipment and have a very competent turner on staff. I grew up with the guy and his father was a coach for the US ski team many, many years ago.

    If that's not enough, I now have the same discounted access to most any kind of sporting good you can think of from racks to Garmin to Go Pro, to kayaks and SUPs, etc. etc.

    So, yes, I still shop at my LBS only what you would define as an LBS has changed for me. Because of the way they are forced to operate however, there is no stock so you do have to wait a week but I can plan ahead for most needs like tubes and have enough bikes to carry me through if one is down for some reason.

    This type of operation is not available on every base. I'm just lucky it is on the one only a few miles from away.

  8. #8
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    I shop at the local Performance Bike store. They always have sales and sometimes coupons. I don't care for the shop I originally bought my bike from 14 years ago. But I am glad they are still around. They're not too far from Performance Bike either.

    I have bought items on line too because I have come across some real bargains that I don't I would come across at any lbs.
    Last edited by Zomby Woof (MCM700); 08-07-2014 at 09:44 AM.

  9. #9
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    Not much...Most bikes shops on Australia just sell bikes, no performance parts no upgrade parts & barely any clothes so I'm forced to buy everything online.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba View Post
    It depends on how you define LBS.

    As retired military, I have the opportunity to buy most of my bike thing from the Outdoor Recreation people at a local base. The young guy who runs it is an avid mountain bike who has set up a very compete workshop and will do most any repair you need and lets me, at least, have access to the shop when I want to tinker.

    Cost is probably less then most pay on-line and if you like the selection of bikes they carry, you can get one around 40% below list all the time and no sales tax, not just on sale. If you don't, and I don't, you buy your bikes elsewhere and pay whatever you can find.

    In the winter, they are a great place for ski equipment and have a very competent turner on staff. I grew up with the guy and his father was a coach for the US ski team many, many years ago.

    If that's not enough, I now have the same discounted access to most any kind of sporting good you can think of from racks to Garmin to Go Pro, to kayaks and SUPs, etc. etc.

    So, yes, I still shop at my LBS only what you would define as an LBS has changed for me. Because of the way they are forced to operate however, there is no stock so you do have to wait a week but I can plan ahead for most needs like tubes and have enough bikes to carry me through if one is down for some reason.

    This type of operation is not available on every base. I'm just lucky it is on the one only a few miles from away.
    I wish I was at a base like that

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphajaguars View Post
    IDK, my LBS hooks me up for about what I can find stuff for online. They can also make sure the parts are installed and set up correctly.
    For me, most of the time they don't have what I want/need, so I'd rather just buy it online at my own convenience. Also, I trust myself more when installing/fixing things than I do the LBS's in my area, and that's the main reason I rarely go into a bike shop anymore.

    In my opinion, LBS is mostly for the casual biker or road biker in my area.

  12. #12
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    I buy accessories and little things like tools and tubes from local shops, but parts I usually buy online, and most of my bikes I've bought used. Mostly it's cost and selection. On my budget getting used stuff or deals on Ebay is the only way to afford decent parts. Also the shop in my town carries almosy exclusively Specialized, so I have a Specialized helmet, shoes, tire pump, but many other brands they simply can't order. The next nearest shop is small and doesn't have much selection either. They can order parts but I don't always have time to go drive there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim_from_PA View Post
    For me, most of the time they don't have what I want/need, so I'd rather just buy it online at my own convenience. Also, I trust myself more when installing/fixing things than I do the LBS's in my area, and that's the main reason I rarely go into a bike shop anymore.

    In my opinion, LBS is mostly for the casual biker or road biker in my area.
    That sucks.

    My LBS is staffed by folks who not only love what they do, they really know what they are doing. They have MTBers, roadies, and a BMX dude on staff.

  14. #14
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    I like to try and use my LBS's ( I frequent several) but I find that it's only when I need service that I can't perform myself (wheel repair) or when I need that small part or tool NOW.

    For the most part I know that if I need something larger like cranks, brakes, bars, stem etc. I can order it online and receive it quicker and cheaper than any shop can.

    This topic has been discussed ad nauseam and will surely cause a stir once again. The line between supporting a local business and getting a good deal is a jagged one.

  15. #15
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    Yeah, I got lucky. Three or four miles away and plenty of mountain biking in the area. It was all because the young guy I mentioned decided there was no reason not to go big time into bikes. They sell many hundreds of Cannondale a year and a good number of Diamondback too.

  16. #16
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    I worked in shops years ago, so I was already used to ordering out of a catalog or online, like BTI or QBP. Also have my own tools. But most normal people still go to shops.

  17. #17
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    Just bought cleats yesterday from a local shop. if i need it now i'm buying from a shop

  18. #18
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    I used to buy online most of my stuff but have found myself going to the LBS recently and buying what I need there if they have it.

    What drives me mad is the shop that has little to no inventory and relies on ordering the stuff you need, when that happens I just leave and buy on another shop that almost always have what I need. Understand the business side of this but for the customer (at least for me) is a PITA because makes you go all over trying to find parts, this almost always happens with BB cups for example.

  19. #19
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    When this topic comes up, a major determining factor tends to be the quality of the shop. I don't buy everything at mine because they know that stocking up on inventory for accessories and clothes is a losing game for a small brick-and-mortar shop, but I buy a fair amount there. I often have them order things for me. They get deliveries a couple times a week, so ordering through them really isn't any slower than buying online. Plus, they're friends of mine and treat me really well, so I'd rather spend my money there.

    There's an article on my LBS in the September issue of Decline.
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  20. #20
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    Mostly support my LBS as I'm not the most skilled hands on. They are passionate mountain bikers in a competitive area (three LBS in a small town) that really know quality customer service and repair/maintenance,, often giving decent discounts. Do have to admit though,,, I brows online almost daily drooling over high end parts.

  21. #21
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    I do because after having my bike built there they give me at least 15% off of everything and give me solid advice. If you don't have an excellent LBS then that could sway you the other way.

    Here's an example... I just bought new brake pads and a DT Swiss ratchet for my bike. I paid the same for the pads as I found online and got the ratchet for cheaper after my discount. They even took the time to show me how to remove/replace the ratchet and how to regrease it.

  22. #22
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    Used to Have a Good LBS

    Bought my last two mountain bikes there, and pretty much everything else to do with them.

    The owner died, the store was sold and only has cheap low-end stuff now.

    Looking for a new LBS (in the Bay Area).

  23. #23
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    I buy lots of stuff at the lbs including a bike recently. My rule is to buy it at an lbs if I can and otherwise buy it off the net. The net is almost always cheaper but it just isn't there when I need a tube or cable or whatever right away.

  24. #24
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    The parts selection isn't very broad at the lbs. I usually purchase online due to deals and other things not sold at lbs then take it to the lbs for installation for the things that I don't have the tools for. As far as bikes go, I always buy from lb shops whether local or an hour away.

  25. #25
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    I do both. There are a lot of shops that I pass on my commute, and I've been to all of them. There are 2 or 3 good ones that are on my short list.
    The closest shop to me doesn't usually have what I'm looking for, but I often try them first.
    My favorite shop is out of my way, but I like them enough that I'll find excuses to be in their neighborhood.
    One of the bigger shops around seems to be run by the elitist roadie types, I don't bother with them at all.
    The internet sometimes has better pricing, but seldom helps me when I've got some obscure problem, or need help with an adjustment.
    Hold my beer and watch this!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmrevo8x View Post
    Maybe its just me but I haven't bought anything from my lbs except an emergency tube every couple of months. I have been buying all my gear and parts from online sources because its wayyyy cheaper and 100x more selection. Just recently I had to buy an emergency 29er tube for $9 (dame expensive long valves -.-). The next day I bought 4 29er tubes online for $20 shipped.
    I got a feeling a lot of guys are in the same boat as I am. Or maybe im just weird like that..
    I get most of my more expensive/important stuff online because of the variety and the cheaper price. I do however get all my cheap and not so important parts from my LBS in order to support them.
    Last edited by Max24; 03-09-2015 at 11:49 PM.

  27. #27
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    I just bought a new bike at my LBS. I outfitted it mostly there and also some at another shop. Just trying to feed the local economy.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I just bought a new bike at my LBS. I outfitted it mostly there and also some at another shop. Just trying to feed the local economy.
    What bike did you get?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewjones View Post
    What bike did you get?
    I got a semi-roadie Kona Dr. Dew!

    It's for when I do not have the time to head for the dirt. I use it to just shoot out the front door for a quick 5-10 mile pavement ride. The hills are steep (as you know) in my neck of the woods so I don't need to ride far to get the lungs pumping.

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  30. #30
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    Nice, I've got a kona zing road bike. Great bike

  31. #31
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    Walmart makes a lot of profit, and brings affordable consumer goods to a place near you. But if that Walmart bike doesnt suit you, and its the only game around...

    Its a numbers game. When the LBS is gone and the online sellers find they arent moving a whole lot of niche bikes the bean counters take over.

  32. #32
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    Dead horse thread.

    I use my LBS (several different ones depending on the need) as well as online...like any other normal cyclist in 2014. Of course the LBS is more $$...they have a store to run. You are paying for convienence...nothing like getting something for a 10 min drive instead of waiting a few days...you pay a few more bucks but who cares? For me, I am not going to drive to the LBS only to have to order/wait for a part and then pay a premium for that privilege..online in that case if I know they don't carry it. Bikes...all LBS all day unless used. No issue with Bikes Direct if I wanted to go that route on the flip side.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  33. #33
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    I buy/order most of my stuff from my LBS because the team discount they give me is cheaper than I can get stuff online for. Really no reason to not shop at them, given that reason! Perks of being sponsored I suppose... Every once in awhile I buy something used off ebay, usually something that I can't get new anymore.

  34. #34
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    I like to support my local bike store, it's nice being able to ask someones opinion; the workers there don't seem to try and get me to buy more expensive solutions. Plus I get 10% off most parts. It's a few minutes away so that innertube I need is always there.

    That being said, some items such as tyres cost far too much so I buy them online.

  35. #35
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    you nailed it for me--emergency tubes.

    I am planning to buy a new bike soon and a big factor in my decision is whether I can buy through the internet--so far SantaCruz is the likely winner. I look forward to when I can buy directly from SantaCruz for a complete build. When that happens, a lot of others will follow suit and the LBS will likely go the way of the local hardware store.

  36. #36
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    I think there will always be a need for the LBS. A lot of riders left to their own devices will purchase the wrong size bike if their only choice is to purchase online without riding first. I am not sure how but I believe the LBS will have to adapt to be able to compete with direct to consumer companies because test rides and fittings along with service may not be able to sustain many LBS.

  37. #37
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    My personal opinion is that you should try to support your lbs first if they cant supply the part then look on line . My thinking with this is to keep my money as local as i can.
    There are two bike shops in a 10 km radius of home. One i have found to be very helpful when i was chasing some help with a older ht bike that i was riding. The time spent helping me was probably worth more then the profit they made on a new seat that fixed the problem but the other shop just wanted to sell me a new bike . ymmv

  38. #38
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    I try to, but sometimes it's just stupid how some local shops are.

    Example:
    I recently sold a frame and needed a box to ship it in. One local shop wanted $25 for a bike box from a new build that they were going to throw away. I ended up getting one for nothing down the road.

    SInce I will NEVER buy another complete bike, it's often easier to order online for obvious reasons.
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  39. #39
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    There are four full hardware stores (including big boxes with lots of hardware) in Woodland, CA, about 60K people. Only a few miles away, there are more hardware stores in Davis and West Sacramento, not to mention scads of them in Sacramento proper.

    I'm a biker, a nut farmer (pistachios, not tea partiers), and a maker and there is not greater asset for a do it myself maker than the hardware store. They are alive and well here and I suspect everywhere. You'd be amazed what you can build with a little imagination and a good hardware store!

    There are also at least 20 bike shops in the county, not surprising given Davis's reputation as a bicycle city, and I give three of them my business, but I buy what they don't have off the internet.

  40. #40
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    I'd like to do more for AN LBS, but -aside from one mechanic- at mine it doesn't really feel like the employees at mine have done anything to really earn the kind of devotion that some shops seem to inspire, and online stores employ people too.

    Typically I get little things and stuff I'm willing to compromise on locally, and I just get items that I'm more specific about online where I know I'll be able to find them easily.

    Most people at my shop are just salespeople. They push what they have and they sell a lot of stuff that wouldn't pass muster with more discerning shoppers. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but it's not what I'm looking for. I wish they carried lots of high quality after-market parts or specialised in dealing for a couple respected manufacturers, but that just isn't the case.

  41. #41
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    I support my local independent LBS because they are very knowledgeable and great guys and gal anyway. The alternative big box stores and online retailers are making enough money.
    NTFTC

  42. #42
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    Parts or things I can buy and wait on, I'll order online. Complete bikes I'll go to a LBS and buy. I just picked up a Santa Cruz Tallboy a few weeks ago, but outfitted it with items bought online. I'll buy in stock items that are on sale, and emergency tubes at the bike shop, but when it came to parts I learned that the LBS orders them and it takes a week to get them in stock, or I could order them using amazon prime and get them in 2 days with free shipping, or 1 day at a discounted rate.
    Example from today, LBS said they could order me a Shimano 7 speed rear shifter for my kids bike to go from grip shift to trigger, $35 and be here next Thursday. Amazon Prime, same shifter, $15 and free 2 day shipping.

  43. #43
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    It always depends on what I need. Rubber, tubes, Hammer gel, common parts, I most always go to the LBS. But for clothing, bleed kits, suspension rebuild kits, fork oil, and anything not normally in stock at the LBS I will buy online. Shorts and gloves can be found at such great deals online that its hard to pass up.
    All good things in all good time

  44. #44
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    My local shop just can't cut it a lot of the time when I need stuff, especially if trying to do things on a budget. Also they could be doing a better job of being a bike shop.

    For instance, I needed a set of clipless shoes, they only carried two brands; Specialized and Garneau, and there were only three mtb shoes to choose from. I bought the Specialized Tahoe shoes for about what it would cost to get them online, they're good and I like them, but more selection would have been nice, maybe I would have liked something else much better. I know it's hard for a little shop to stock a lot of shoes but they only had three models of mtb shoes. At least the employee who helped me was as helpful as she could be.

    Another example is I needed a common basic tool a couple months ago, they didn't have it, they said they'd call me when they got one in with their next shipment. I never got a call. Last week I saw the tool on the rack. I had already gone to a different even smaller bike shop and they had the tool. If that smaller shop was closer I'd frequent them more often.

    Most recent example is I bought a used frame on Ebay, nothing special, just an old hardtail frame that I could hang a bunch of parts bin stuff on to make a loaner/beater bike, it said it came with a headset but it only came with the cups. I figured the bike shop must have a big parts pile that might include bearings and an upper race, if I had a bike shop I'd save everything because you never know what stupid little item you'll need. Nope, apparently they just throw away everything they take off a bike. They didn't even have a 34mm headset, or any headset at all, said they could order one for $25. I went home and looked on Ebay and Deal Extreme, got a basic cheap VP-A71 for $7.30 on Deal Extreme. Of course now I need to wait for it to ship from HK, but I don't need that bike finished right away anyway. Obviously it's not a certainty that they'd have the bearings and race, but they were a common size that you'd think any shop that has been around a little while would likely have removed from a few bikes by now. Also if the bike shop had a 34mm headset in stock for $25 I might have bought it.

    Long story short, unless your local shop is big, has the ability to order anything, and keeps a lot of merchandise and parts in stock, they just can't provide enough for customers who need more than the basics. Those of us who are more DIY and/or on a budget can get just what we want/need online much easier and save money. It's just the way it is, no local bike shop can complete unless they have the resources and sales to pour into large inventory and purchasing power. I try to visit the local shop when I can, but sometimes I still leave empty handed. So small shops need to operate smart and make sure they have enough items in stock and try to carry at least one of everything. They need to make sure they don't forget about a waiting customer, and they need to save parts that can still be used. You never know what stupid little part will save the day, or who might really appreciate getting a used part that gets them back on the road without having to spend a lot.
    Last edited by DanHS; 08-22-2014 at 11:31 AM.

  45. #45
    Robtre
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    IF QBP can get 90% of what online cycling websites can get, then retail bike shop owners would benefit from price matching. If I were a bike shop owner, I would have IPADS or something available for customers to access and shop options online and work with the shop on pricing. Never will a retail shop have the inventory of on-line discount websites. Current and next generations are growing more and more tech oriented, and retail cycling shops are really endangered. I love my LBS and the folks who work there, but options are really limited.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  46. #46
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    Re: How many of ya'll still shop at your lbs?

    I tried to buy a Trek Stache from my LBS but they had sold it by the time I went to pick it up and wouldn't make any effort to get one for me because it was "too late in the season." They did offer to sell me one a size too small and one level up for just $700 more than my budget though. I bought twice the bike used for the same money, then bought all my supplies online.

    Riding 3.0 (third time I've been seriously involved in biking) for me involves doing ALL of my bike work myself, in the garage so the LBS may never really factor in again for me.

  47. #47
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    Ordering online isn't always cost effective for me, since I live in interior Alaska, even many "free shipping" offers don't apply, especially for smaller purchases. So buying from an LBS is usually my go-to. For more expensive items that are on sale online, sometimes its worth it to order, even with shipping costs included. Though lately I've been shopping from the LBS more often, since my wife and I both recently bought new bikes and had a great experience there.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtre View Post
    IF QBP can get 90% of what online cycling websites can get, then retail bike shop owners would benefit from price matching. If I were a bike shop owner, I would have IPADS or something available for customers to access and shop options online and work with the shop on pricing. Never will a retail shop have the inventory of on-line discount websites. Current and next generations are growing more and more tech oriented, and retail cycling shops are really endangered. I love my LBS and the folks who work there, but options are really limited.
    So true. I tried yesterday to get a front set of xt brakes. QBP was 10% more than Jenson right now. There is no way a LBS can compete with that.

  49. #49
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    Where the ones from Jenson a take off?

    A lot of the great deals I have seen there were from bikes they bought on close out and strip to sell the parts individually.

  50. #50
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    Doesn't say take off. I think just close out of 2014 models. I have even tried to order thru Shimano and they are continually back ordered.

    Shimano XT BR-M785B Disc Brake > Components > Brakes > MTB Disc Brakes | Jenson USA

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