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Thread: LBS etiquette?

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    I imagine people do this all the time. Save time or money buying on-line after they've "used" the local stores for info gathering.

    When shopping, tire-kicking or considering a purchase, it makes sense to learn all you can about the product or service.
    The educated consumer stands a better chance of getting the better or best result and sometimes, that doesn't mean it's shopped down to a price but thought on quality, warranty of even support from a local brick and mortar shop become important considerations.

    As the customer browses and interacts with local shops or professionals, the opportunity to learn more, ask questions and those pro's to offer meaningful input and advice can 'win over' clients that appreciate the time and support. That independent store can possibly up-sell or show sale or discount items that may correspond and 'the store' should take or make the opportunity to build some trust and that relationship with local clients, also to illustrate the trade-off's or risks in shopping on-line or mail order.

    At the end of the day, the customer probably decides if they buy at that shop, another competing shop or mail order/ on-line.

    ** I've worked independent specialty shops where it takes time and investment to win over customers and I've sold vehicles on the internet (late 1990's) so I feel pretty objective about the whole thing.
    The case you described is more of a customer learning than picking LBS brain. My comment was specifically to those that think like these...

    "hum, need new tires, let me go check out what the LBS guys recommend so I can buy online for cheap, they know the local trails and more likely have a better idea on what's working now of around here"

    so this person had no intention to ever buy at the LBS... now if you are learning and going around figuring out what and where to buy than it's another thing

  2. #102
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    Would the bike shop owner turn his nose up if I brought in my bike for a tune-up/suspension work/wheel truing if I didnt buy the bike there? Probably not, buying online is the reality now and most bike shops simply cannot compete with the low priced items online shops can offer. What they can offer is better service, because that is what their future is, whether he likes it or not. If he can't survive at the current margins on service alone, he should question why he needs to stock so much inventory, maybe raise his service prices and recognize that a friendly face and an expertly maintained bike is what the customer is paying for. Instead he (assuming) has failed to evolve and consequenty has lost significant future revenue. Maybe bike shops will wake up some day and recognize that what their customers actually want is good mechanics and service people, not sales people.

    For a model of the future look at Wrench bike shop in seattle, almost their entire business is repairing/maintaining bikes; anything a customer brings in the store, with awesome customer service (I'm not affiliated with them, just been there a couple of times).

  3. #103
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    I can understand where the bike shop is coming from, however it's hard to knowingly pay more for the same part.
    For example a while ago I broke the chain on my bike. The chain was old and needed to be replaced anyway so I stopped at my LBS on the way back to pick one up. Support your LBS and all that. I hadn't done much research so I just asked for a particular quality level and bought whatever they suggested and installed it myself. The whole thing took less than 2 minutes. The price I paid was around $45. For the fun of it I looked up the exact chain I purchased and found that the MSRP was $34. Online retailers were selling it for $25 or even lower. Now I figured I would be spending MSRP on the chain, but 30% above MSRP? That was a lot more of a markup than I was expecting. Now I'm a bit hesitant to buy anything from them.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr View Post
    I can understand where the bike shop is coming from, however it's hard to knowingly pay more for the same part.
    For example a while ago I broke the chain on my bike. The chain was old and needed to be replaced anyway so I stopped at my LBS on the way back to pick one up. Support your LBS and all that. I hadn't done much research so I just asked for a particular quality level and bought whatever they suggested and installed it myself. The whole thing took less than 2 minutes. The price I paid was around $45. For the fun of it I looked up the exact chain I purchased and found that the MSRP was $34. Online retailers were selling it for $25 or even lower. Now I figured I would be spending MSRP on the chain, but 30% above MSRP? That was a lot more of a markup than I was expecting. Now I'm a bit hesitant to buy anything from them.
    My LBS is similar. They charge MSRP. But when I snapped a chain a few months ago, I would have had to wait a few days to get a chain online. The LBS had chains in stock. Not only that, they advised me to get a Shimano chain instead of the stock KMC chain since I have a Shimano group set. Then before installing the chain, they cut the chain to fit the bike and installed a missing link, replacing the Shimano push pin system. So I learned a few tricks and got the chain installed for free in 10 minutes. To me, it was well worth buying that chain at MSRP.

    Of course, I realize not everyone has a great LBS and if all they do is sell you an expensive chain, and offer nothing else, I would order online.

  5. #105
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    If they had installed the chain for me then the price definitely would have been fair. But they didn't and I never asked. However I don't know the financials of the shop. For all I know their rent is going up like everyone else's and their bike sales and service work don't cover the cost. On the one hand I would be sad to see them go, but on the other hand I don't want to artificially prop up a shop that would normally fail.

    The way I see it the LBS offers 3 main products.
    - service
    - parts and bikes
    - knowledge ( best parts for my riding style, how to fix things, bike adjustments, local trails,...)

    I consider those 3 completely separate products. If I want to do service without buying parts, then I think that should be 100% fine. If I want to learn about the best tire for my area, or how to true a wheel, or how to install a new cassette I think they should be able to charge separately for that.
    It seems like some LBS feel that these are not separate products, but one that shouldn't be split up.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    Some people here seem to have the attitude that only they can profit and not the LBS, and that meeting the LBS half way is "bribing" them. That's fine if you have the expertise, tools and time to do your own wrenching. If so, go get em' and take no prisoners. Can't show any weaknesses in this dog eat dog world.

    But for relative newbs or those who don't have the time or expertise to do 100% of the work, it's nice to have the LBS as a back-up.

    Act according to your skillset and resources.
    I do that. I trust pro's on stuff and I don't mind paying the fair prices. They usually offer a reasonable warranty too. I think the biz climate and strong bike sales keep most shops pretty competitive but I know ther are some techs out there with far less talent they need so it's good to know who you are dealing with.

    Even with automotive related service, it wasn't just knowing the good shop but I always made sure it was the same tech doing the work.
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post
    The case you described is more of a customer learning than picking LBS brain. My comment was specifically to those that think like these...

    "hum, need new tires, let me go check out what the LBS guys recommend so I can buy online for cheap, they know the local trails and more likely have a better idea on what's working now of around here"

    so this person had no intention to ever buy at the LBS... now if you are learning and going around figuring out what and where to buy than it's another thing
    It's all under that umbrella in the way I see it. I had to run all over town to find and buy the bike bell I wanted, felt good about it but would have been so easy to click the keyboard.

    I tend to research the heck out of some things and often start with the high end of the spectrum, dumb it down to something more reasonable that suits my purposes and budget then consider where to get it.
    I feel like I cheated the system a few times and was happy with the purchase and price. Read up on the latest bikes, realized I didn't need a $2500 and up type of rig, got a bike locally for $200 off and was done at $1200 or so.

    Another time, I read up tires a bit decided I wanted a tighter knobby and didn't want the $55 to $80 expense but found a perfect example at Performance for $19 on sale, normally $26. I think I got 6 of em.

    Now I'll be the first to admit that my buying is often getting what I call "2nd tier items" that (to me) offer good value and are not the top tier costs.

    I also bought Schwalbe 26'r tires for $9.99 on-line and I got work boots on line for $65 that I seen and tried on at Sears !! selling at $135.
    My employer was paying up to $100 for work boots so it was my diligence saving them money.

    My wife and I just bought a vehicle paying $4500 under market (supposedly $10,000 off MSRP but more like $9500). I look for deals but I also look at the bigger picture too and that often includes ways to support local commerce.

    The damnedest thing is, being in marking and sales much of my life has made me a Shopping Monster. I can talk myself into almost anything. Not the best retirement plan.

    Last edited by bachman1961; 1 Week Ago at 10:41 PM.
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  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr View Post
    If they had installed the chain for me then the price definitely would have been fair. But they didn't and I never asked. However I don't know the financials of the shop. For all I know their rent is going up like everyone else's and their bike sales and service work don't cover the cost. On the one hand I would be sad to see them go, but on the other hand I don't want to artificially prop up a shop that would normally fail.

    The way I see it the LBS offers 3 main products.
    - service
    - parts and bikes
    - knowledge ( best parts for my riding style, how to fix things, bike adjustments, local trails,...)

    I consider those 3 completely separate products. If I want to do service without buying parts, then I think that should be 100% fine. If I want to learn about the best tire for my area, or how to true a wheel, or how to install a new cassette I think they should be able to charge separately for that.
    It seems like some LBS feel that these are not separate products, but one that shouldn't be split up.
    i agree fully. i dont know what OP's LBS is whining about. he bought a bike AND had parts he bought somewhere else to HIM to put on. LBS gets to charge him to put the items on.

    most times i see, LBS have no problems installing parts they didnt order but they wont "warranty" the install because they cant guarantee the part is legit. i think thats fine. also, most LBS do what was described earlier in the thread about the guy who picked up a chain at the store.

    some of these ppl need to understand that internet pricing is never going to go away, and being salty isnt going to change anything. get with it and adapt or get passed by it.

  9. #109
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    Nothing wrong with buying parts online and putting them on your bike, and then bringing that bike in for service to fix things. They will charge you appropriately for their labor.

    But as for walking in with a bunch of new parts and asking them to install them... to keep it from being a breach of etiquette would require some acknowledgement of the fact you didn't buy the parts there. So you would have to ask "I have these parts already, and I am wondering if I can hire you to install them."

    That is true for any repair place, bike or automobile. Tire dealers are used to this as people bring them tires from Tire Rack. So I say something like "How much do you charge to install tires that I bought at Tire Rack?" Basically you have to acknowledge it head on first thing.

  10. #110
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    i bought all my bikes elsewhere before i found my current lbs. whilst taking a wheel in to be fixed i said i had some parts at home i bought with the intention to install myself but still hadnt got around to it, whats their policy. he replied that any shop that didnt want to take the business of servicing on those grounds wont be in business long. later i needed a wheel rebuilt. i gave them the old wheel and a new rim i got online and paid a fair rate for their work.

    i expect to pay for service at a rate they can profit from. i will probably never buy a bike from them as they dont stock brands i like, but ive still spent a decent amount there on services and fixes.

  11. #111
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    Find another shop. It's not 1990 anymore. Bike technology changes, business models change with ecommerce changes, etc. Today's shops need to change. If they don't appreciate or want your business, let them lose money.

    I've done this in the past a few times, bought things online and had the shop install them. I always made it known beforehand that I am bringing in an outside part. Reaction ranged from them not really caring to being slightly standoffish, but nothing like you received.

    To be blunt, I don't really care how they feel, just as they don't care about charging me 40-60% more getting it from them. Yes, I understand why their prices are what they are, but I am more concerned about my pocket than theirs.

    I have been going to this one shop since 1998. Like you, I bought three bikes from them and other items as well. I don't pump them for info or recommendations, or try things on to then buy online. They get it, so,I still give them my business.
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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsilvers View Post
    Nothing wrong with buying parts online and putting them on your bike, and then bringing that bike in for service to fix things. They will charge you appropriately for their labor.

    But as for walking in with a bunch of new parts and asking them to install them... to keep it from being a breach of etiquette would require some acknowledgement of the fact you didn't buy the parts there. So you would have to ask "I have these parts already, and I am wondering if I can hire you to install them."

    That is true for any repair place, bike or automobile. Tire dealers are used to this as people bring them tires from Tire Rack. So I say something like "How much do you charge to install tires that I bought at Tire Rack?" Basically you have to acknowledge it head on first thing.
    That's a very strange line of thinking to me.

    I understand refusing to install products of questionable source or quality for reasons of liability or reputation or as a business decision.

    Other than that, just like charging the appropriate amount for service, an appropriate amount is charged for installation.

    As a business person I would never put myself, or my customers, in a position of having to determine etiquette. Sales and service are really two separate operations conducted under one roof and the pricing of each is also separate. If I have the capacity and willingness to offer a service it doesn't matter where the parts come from. The profit on the labor is the same.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by MASC1104 View Post
    Find another shop. It's not 1990 anymore. Bike technology changes, business models change with ecommerce changes, etc. Today's shops need to change. If they don't appreciate or want your business, let them lose money.

    I've done this in the past a few times, bought things online and had the shop install them. I always made it known beforehand that I am bringing in an outside part. Reaction ranged from them not really caring to being slightly standoffish, but nothing like you received.

    To be blunt, I don't really care how they feel, just as they don't care about charging me 40-60% more getting it from them. Yes, I understand why their prices are what they are, but I am more concerned about my pocket than theirs.

    I have been going to this one shop since 1998. Like you, I bought three bikes from them and other items as well. I don't pump them for info or recommendations, or try things on to then buy online. They get it, so,I still give them my business.
    I totally agree with you. I personally would never go back to this shop again if I were him. LBSs need to change as the world is changing.

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  14. #114
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    I'm kind of on the wall but I think an LBS is within their right to charge more for parts that were brought in from the customer because sometimes there are warranty issues and the manufacturer (I think Sram is one) that will only go through a dealer, not consumer-direct. At that point the LBS is on their own dime to act as a third-party, maybe even a counterfeit part that the consumer bought.
    Or maybe the lbs could give a discount or credit on parts bought and installed there.

    My friend has an auto repair shop and will install parts brought in from the consumer with the understanding that if the part fails, say an alternator or fuel-pump from Autozone, the job will cost more knowing that the consumer now has to take the part back and replace it and a lift will probably be tied up in the meantime.
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    I might be in the minority in regards to my LBS. It's a small town with a very small shop...however, his prices are every bit as competitive as anything I find on Amazon. On one occasion he even encouraged me to buy online because he could not get the part (Hope freehub body) for the $ I was finding it for online.

    I do most of my own wrenching...but what I don't do...I am glad to have him do. I want the LBS to succeed and so I will intentionally buy things from him even if they are a few $ cheaper online. Now if they are $20 cheaper online...that is a different story.

    In fact I recently bought a new set of brake pads, a chain, two replacement cassette sprockets and chain ring...and he came in UNDER $ than anything I could find on Amazon for each item.

    Friends have brought him parts to have installed (i.e. suspension forks) ...and he will do it...I have not done this...yet...

    That is what a relationship with your LBS can do

    Granted...I have visited and purchased from other lbs...with mixed reviews...some would kick you out the door...others will serve you in anyway you can...

    Bottom line...

    Depends on the Bike Shop

  16. #116
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    I wasn't aware LBS need etiquette. They are concern with making money.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oleycow View Post
    I might be in the minority in regards to my LBS. It's a small town with a very small shop...however, his prices are every bit as competitive as anything I find on Amazon. On one occasion he even encouraged me to buy online because he could not get the part (Hope freehub body) for the $ I was finding it for online.

    I do most of my own wrenching...but what I don't do...I am glad to have him do. I want the LBS to succeed and so I will intentionally buy things from him even if they are a few $ cheaper online. Now if they are $20 cheaper online...that is a different story.

    In fact I recently bought a new set of brake pads, a chain, two replacement cassette sprockets and chain ring...and he came in UNDER $ than anything I could find on Amazon for each item.

    Friends have brought him parts to have installed (i.e. suspension forks) ...and he will do it...I have not done this...yet...

    That is what a relationship with your LBS can do

    Granted...I have visited and purchased from other lbs...with mixed reviews...some would kick you out the door...others will serve you in anyway you can...

    Bottom line...

    Depends on the Bike Shop
    I wish I lived near your shop. I do most of my own wrenching but sometimes I would like an alternative that I could count on when I am pressed for time.

    I broke a spoke last year and decided to drop off the wheel at the LBS. 3 days later, I saw the bill and almost choked, $50 including taxes, for changing ONE spoke.

  18. #118
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    He's a great guy with a great bike shop...and that is why I want him to stay in business and why I will gladly support him with purchases and occasional labor. I still enjoy doing my own work...that is part of the fun of cycling...

    I too took a wheel in last year for 1 spoke...truing a wheel is not in my wheel house...I don't recall the exact cost but I do know it was less that $20

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by leo_s View Post
    Totally, utterly, completely disagree. Are your doors open to the public? Or just for patrons who buy everything at your shop? Do you have a disclaimer on the door? B/c in my whole life, having worked at at least 8 different shops between Oklahoma, Iowa, Fort Collins, CO and Denver, I never heard that rule.
    I thought HikerDave was spot on...with it all. It goes both ways, the door opens out just as easy as it opens in.

  20. #120
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    I'm missing how the owner was passive-aggresive - like HikerDave said, he was assertive, good for him. Now you know where he stands, if you like it or not, that's a different story.

    Lots of talk about how local bike shops doing stuff for free, favors, price match, etc. I don't expect any free handouts and don't necessarily like getting 'hooked' up since the unwritten rules of what's expected varies so much from person to person and shop to shop....it can complicate things.

    Lets be real here, human relationships be it with children, spouses, sig other, etc is a two way road....there is something in it for each person. Bike shops are no different. There is an expectation that you come back, treat them well, whatever...or maybe they are repaying you for good deeds done, who knows. That where I personally get touchy, if I get hooked up, I feel an obligation.

    My way around it is simple - beer. If they won't let me pay (I usually offer and insist), I'll typically bring in a 6 pack next time or when I am passing through. I always err on the side of over-giving vs over-expecting...has treated me well over the years, personally and professionally.

    While getting advice is not typically a revenue generator in itself, it is indirectly. Next time you roll in bring them a sixer, tell them thanks and that you appreciate the advice.

    Maybe I'm just old school though....

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodino View Post
    I broke a spoke last year and decided to drop off the wheel at the LBS. 3 days later, I saw the bill and almost choked, $50 including taxes, for changing ONE spoke.
    Replacement spoke and nipple: $1.50
    Personal Lubricant: $48.50
    Bending the customer over on a simple repair: Priceless!

    If all it was is was a simple spoke replacement, that is a way out of line.

    However, if you dropped your wheel off covered in mud, with the cassette stuck on an aluminum freehub body, with corroded and rounded off spoke nipples, wildly uneven spoke tension and badly out of true, and you expected them to redo the rim tape and re-install your tubeless tires.....well, then they probably gave you a deal.

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Replacement spoke and nipple: $1.50
    Personal Lubricant: $48.50
    Bending the customer over on a simple repair: Priceless!

    If all it was is was a simple spoke replacement, that is a way out of line.

    However, if you dropped your wheel off covered in mud, with the cassette stuck on an aluminum freehub body, with corroded and rounded off spoke nipples, wildly uneven spoke tension and badly out of true, and you expected them to redo the rim tape and re-install your tubeless tires.....well, then they probably gave you a deal.
    Nope, fairly clean wheel (maybe a little dusty), no rounded off nipples since I do not true my wheels myself (LBS does that), cassette was on but not stuck on since I had just serviced hub less than a month, also the tire was removed when i gave it to them. So basically all they had to do was remove the cassette, rim tape and then change the spoke and check the tension. That is it.

    I learned my lesson though. I need to learn about truing and lacing wheels as that is the only thing I have the LBS do.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    I'm missing how the owner was passive-aggresive - like HikerDave said, he was assertive, good for him. Now you know where he stands, if you like it or not, that's a different story.

    Lots of talk about how local bike shops doing stuff for free, favors, price match, etc. I don't expect any free handouts and don't necessarily like getting 'hooked' up since the unwritten rules of what's expected varies so much from person to person and shop to shop....it can complicate things.

    Lets be real here, human relationships be it with children, spouses, sig other, etc is a two way road....there is something in it for each person. Bike shops are no different. There is an expectation that you come back, treat them well, whatever...or maybe they are repaying you for good deeds done, who knows. That where I personally get touchy, if I get hooked up, I feel an obligation.

    My way around it is simple - beer. If they won't let me pay (I usually offer and insist), I'll typically bring in a 6 pack next time or when I am passing through. I always err on the side of over-giving vs over-expecting...has treated me well over the years, personally and professionally.

    While getting advice is not typically a revenue generator in itself, it is indirectly. Next time you roll in bring them a sixer, tell them thanks and that you appreciate the advice.

    Maybe I'm just old school though....
    Spot On!

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodino View Post
    Nope, fairly clean wheel (maybe a little dusty), no rounded off nipples since I do not true my wheels myself (LBS does that), cassette was on but not stuck on since I had just serviced hub less than a month, also the tire was removed when i gave it to them. So basically all they had to do was remove the cassette, rim tape and then change the spoke and check the tension. That is it.

    I learned my lesson though. I need to learn about truing and lacing wheels as that is the only thing I have the LBS do.
    You must have gotten a breakdown of cost? If you are so adamant that you got ripped off, what does the bill say and why didn't you ask them at the time?

    Replacing a spoke is simple, sure, but they likely had to true up the wheel. Your leaving out a bunch of detail. Custom spoke? Expensive spoke? True up the whole wheel? Etc.

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Replacement spoke and nipple: $1.50
    Personal Lubricant: $48.50
    Bending the customer over on a simple repair: Priceless!

    If all it was is was a simple spoke replacement, that is a way out of line.
    That is about what I would expect to pay if I brought my bike in for service, which I would never do, because I know I would be charged at least that. Plus I would have to drop it off and pick it up.
    A woman I know brought in her bike for a cable to be replaced, and for some other small things, and it was almost $200. I forget the exact details though, except that I remember thinking it was too expensive.

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    You must have gotten a breakdown of cost? If you are so adamant that you got ripped off, what does the bill say and why didn't you ask them at the time?

    Replacing a spoke is simple, sure, but they likely had to true up the wheel. Your leaving out a bunch of detail. Custom spoke? Expensive spoke? True up the whole wheel? Etc.
    Leaving out a bunch of detail? What detail? LoL. If I had custom or expensive spokes, i would have said so and more importantly expected the cost to reflect it. It was too expensive for the service they performed. Period. Anyway, I have DT Swiss double butted competition spokes on a Stans Flow rim. The cost online right now would be $1.45 including the nipple for one spoke. They did not have to retrue the wheel as it had just been retrued probably a couple of months before that. When I gave them the wheel, it was still straight at least to my naked eye so all they had to do was replace the spoke and tension it correctly.

    And yes, I got a breakdown of the cost at the time. I do not remember the details apart from the $15 to remove the cassette which made me chuckle because in my garage at home, that is a one minute job.

    It was my fault for not asking upfront what the cost would be because even though this is known as the pricey LBS, I did not think I would have to pay that much for a spoke change.

    As a comparison, 3 years ago at a different LBS, I had to pay $110 to get the same wheel relaced and the price included the spokes and nipples.

    I am not against this LBS though. They charge what they can get away with in their area. They will not see much of my business on the service end BUT they are great for the bike community especially roadies.

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodino View Post
    Nope, fairly clean wheel (maybe a little dusty), no rounded off nipples since I do not true my wheels myself (LBS does that), cassette was on but not stuck on since I had just serviced hub less than a month, also the tire was removed when i gave it to them. So basically all they had to do was remove the cassette, rim tape and then change the spoke and check the tension. That is it.

    I learned my lesson though. I need to learn about truing and lacing wheels as that is the only thing I have the LBS do.
    Hmm...that should have been very straight forward and quick.

    If the wheel was properly tensioned and true beforehand, it shouldn't take much time to replace a spoke. Any wheel builder worth their salt should still give the rest of the wheel a once over to check tension/true.

    I'd highly recommend learning how to do this yourself. It's not rocket surgery, but it does take some patience and a bit of pride in your work goes a long way.

    Plenty of resources available for learning.

    I'd recommend starting with Gerd Shraner's book, The Art of Wheelbuilding: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Wheelbuil.../dp/0964983532

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerdave View Post
    It was rude of you to bring in your own parts because parts and labor are two sides of a coin as far as service work goes.

    ...

    On the other hand, when I went to my local bike mechanic for some custom work which required extra care, special tools, and skill beyond my ability, I refrained from ordering the part myself even though I knew exactly what part was required because I knew that his labor charge wouldn't cover the entire expense -- as it turned out some custom machining was also required which he had a friend do for him and for free. So sometimes it's good to have friends and a relationship with a bike shop can be a good thing.
    I don't think it makes sense to assume that his labor charge wouldn't cover the entire expense. If that's true, he should charge more for his labor. I do agree though that service and parts often go hand in hand because often good service includes making sure they obtain and install the right part. But these are bicycles, not cars, planes, or rocket ships. It's not hard to figure out very quickly whether someone bought the right thing or not.

    As to being rude, I think it's certainly not *rude* to bring in your own stuff purchased elsewhere and ask the LBS to install it. After all, you're just asking, and you don't know their policy. Now the LBS is well within their rights to say sorry, we only install our own stuff, or, sorry, we have an upcharge for labor when you bring in your own stuff because we don't know if you ordered the right thing/etc.

    Being rude happens when the LBS gives you some kind of attitude like you owe them something, or spouting nonsense about how this is a relationship so you are bound to purchase from the LBS if you want them to ever help you. That is not only rude, it is bad business.

    LOL @ $50 for a spoke fix. I brought my whole bike in, wheel attached, for them to fix a broken spoke on my rear wheel and I think they charged me like $15. There was no BS cassette removal fee. That being said, I think if I ran an LBS I'd probably have some kind of minimum service fee, because just the overhead of taking your bike in, putting in the queue, etc. costs money. But I'd be upfront about it - any work is a minimum of $50 because if I charge less than that, I'm sorry but it's not worth my time.

  29. #129
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    $50 seems steep for just a spoke, but I can see why a shop may prefer a minimum $50, e.g., there is overhead and a seemingly "small job" may turn into a money loser because of unexpected s.

    on my commuter bike, which is a generic Trek cromo probably 25+ years old, I had a crankset issue 4 years ago. i didn't want to mess with something that old and took it to what I. ew was an expensive repair shop. It cost me $130. more than bike is worth. but that old trek is worth a lot to me because it is. dry non-descript, is smallish, and less of a target for thieves. I had no problem with the bill and I have had disagreements with this shop in the past but their wenches are top notch and worth the money if you need them.


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  30. #130
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    This is a tough subject for us as a consumer and LBS.
    I personally if I go in for advice I end up buying from the LBS, they have helped me, I will reciprocate.
    Unfortunately high price items I do my shop online, their prices are outrages here in Canada. Went to my LBS to buy a Shimano XT front hub they wanted $130 plus 8% taxes ($147) for the hub, I had to walk away, no way I was paying that much, got one from Chainreaction for $63 shipped to the door.
    Went back to get it installed he couldn't believe it and now didn't want to install it for me, was trying to sell me a new wheel, I was about to walk away, when he said he would do it.
    The LBS can't win and neither can we as consumers, How can I justify buying something from the LBS with a 135% surcharge.

  31. #131
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    I will only use a LBS for the two things I don't have patience for- truing a wheel & removing a stuck square taper crank arm.

  32. #132
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    We always hear about parts having small margin, so I never understand this whole issue. Especially if you are having them do the labor where they should have better margins and their labor rate directly pays their mechanic.

    If you have bought multiple bikes and parts from them and he's being melodramatic about a tire, it may be time to find a new LBS.
    In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains.

  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    ...I'd highly recommend learning how to do this yourself. It's not rocket surgery, but it does take some patience and a bit of pride in your work goes a long way.

    Plenty of resources available for learning.

    I'd recommend starting with Gerd Shraner's book, The Art of Wheelbuilding: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Wheelbuil.../dp/0964983532
    Thanks for the link. That is the plan. Through Youtube videos and repair manuals, I can tackle just about everything else on my bike but when it comes to my wheels, I am completely clueless. Time to fix that.

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Vicente View Post
    This is a tough subject for us as a consumer and LBS.
    I personally if I go in for advice I end up buying from the LBS, they have helped me, I will reciprocate.
    Unfortunately high price items I do my shop online, their prices are outrages here in Canada. Went to my LBS to buy a Shimano XT front hub they wanted $130 plus 8% taxes ($147) for the hub, I had to walk away, no way I was paying that much, got one from Chainreaction for $63 shipped to the door.
    Went back to get it installed he couldn't believe it and now didn't want to install it for me, was trying to sell me a new wheel, I was about to walk away, when he said he would do it.
    The LBS can't win and neither can we as consumers, How can I justify buying something from the LBS with a 135% surcharge.
    Are you exaggerating these costs? Like you, I live in Canada (Calgary). I have ordered from Chain Reaction more than once when I wanted something my LBS did not have in stock, and did not have access to. EVERY TIME, the duties, shipping, etc destroyed Chain Reaction's pricing. As I said in a much earlier post, my pricing at my LBS (team discount) is cheaper than anything I can get from Chain Reaction. And immediate. I have waited a while for stuff to arrive from Chain Reaction. My limited online experience does not mirror yours.

  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Are you exaggerating these costs? Like you, I live in Canada (Calgary). I have ordered from Chain Reaction more than once when I wanted something my LBS did not have in stock, and did not have access to. EVERY TIME, the duties, shipping, etc destroyed Chain Reaction's pricing. As I said in a much earlier post, my pricing at my LBS (team discount) is cheaper than anything I can get from Chain Reaction. And immediate. I have waited a while for stuff to arrive from Chain Reaction. My limited online experience does not mirror yours.
    I've ordered from CRC(chain reaction cycles) many times when I was in Vancouver, Canada. They shipped for free if my order was over $99. I don't remember paying any taxes(import duty) unless the total of each order was over $200 or so. Delivery took less than 2 weeks every time. My experiences with CRC were excellent. When parts are on sale at CRC, they are incredibly cheap. I got the entire XT drivetrain from them for about 60% cheaper than Canadian retail price.

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  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Vicente View Post
    This is a tough subject for us as a consumer and LBS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Vicente View Post
    Went to my LBS to buy a Shimano XT front hub they wanted $130 plus 8% taxes ($147) for the hub, I had to walk away, no way I was paying that much, got one from Chainreaction for $63 shipped to the door.
    Went back to get it installed he couldn't believe it and now didn't want to install it for me, was trying to sell me a new wheel, I was about to walk away, when he said he would do it.
    The LBS can't win and neither can we as consumers, How can I justify buying something from the LBS with a 135% surcharge.
    Sounds like you both won - the LBS got to charge you for an install, and you got to save some money on the hub. Also your LBS guy is a dick and you should find a new one. Or better yet, learn to do it yourself. As I said above, I don't really have an issue if the LBS says look our policy is not to install this stuff unless we supply it for some ******** reason. Fine, I'll find someone else to do it. But there's no reason to be a dick about it.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Sounds like you both won - the LBS got to charge you for an install, and you got to save some money on the hub. Also your LBS guy is a dick and you should find a new one. Or better yet, learn to do it yourself. As I said above, I don't really have an issue if the LBS says look our policy is not to install this stuff unless we supply it for some ******** reason. Fine, I'll find someone else to do it. But there's no reason to be a dick about it.
    I think so too, the LBS doesn't think so....
    It's not like he's going to install the hub for free, argh!!!

    I pretty much do all the tuning and install of every part on the bike, I've never built a wheel or even tried, it seems way to complicated.
    The worst part is that I probably wouldn't be able to get it right and end up with a damaged wheel, for me it's not worth it.

    As far as delivery and service from CRC, I have nothing to complain, if I place my order on Monday I have everything by Friday to work on Saturday.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    EVERY TIME, the duties, shipping, etc destroyed Chain Reaction's pricing. As I said in a much earlier post, my pricing at my LBS (team discount) is cheaper than anything I can get from Chain Reaction.
    What duties? Never paid duty on anything, and I've ordered a lot. Tax, and a $10 Canada Post fee are the most I've paid, and often this is skipped. I never order anything I can't install myself, but then I can do most everything.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oleycow View Post
    I might be in the minority in regards to my LBS. It's a small town with a very small shop...however, his prices are every bit as competitive as anything I find on Amazon. p
    i buy a ton of stuff from amazon prime. But I have never had to buy a bike part there. I have always found it cheaper somewhere else online.
    "Holy crap, you are creepy as shit sneaking up on me wearing that collar with that freaky ass smile."




  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    What duties? Never paid duty on anything, and I've ordered a lot. Tax, and a $10 Canada Post fee are the most I've paid, and often this is skipped. I never order anything I can't install myself, but then I can do most everything.
    Not sure what to say. Perhaps you are a lucky guy. Perhaps I am an unlucky guy. Perhaps both. In any event, I can assure you that I have NEVER (not even once) NOT paid taxes and/or duty and/or brokerage fees from Chain Reaction (not sure if it was one or more of these, but it has never been insignificant). A complete cooler on the whole purchase experience. Trust me. I am not imagining this. I wish it were otherwise. The package arrives at my courier desk at work, I get a call from them, I go up, and a delivery dude is standing there telling me that if I don't pay an additional $39.62 for taxes and/or duties and/or brokerage fees, I don't get my package. Sure, I can tell him to f off, and that is exactly what he will do. With my stuff in hand. Maybe there is a secret ordering methodology of which I am not aware...

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Not sure what to say. Perhaps you are a lucky guy. Perhaps I am an unlucky guy. Perhaps both. In any event, I can assure you that I have NEVER (not even once) NOT paid taxes and/or duty and/or brokerage fees from Chain Reaction (not sure if it was one or more of these, but it has never been insignificant). A complete cooler on the whole purchase experience. Trust me. I am not imagining this. I wish it were otherwise. The package arrives at my courier desk at work, I get a call from them, I go up, and a delivery dude is standing there telling me that if I don't pay an additional $39.62 for taxes and/or duties and/or brokerage fees, I don't get my package. Sure, I can tell him to f off, and that is exactly what he will do. With my stuff in hand. Maybe there is a secret ordering methodology of which I am not aware...
    When I order from CRC, I devide my orders like make each order over CAD$99(to get free shipping) but not exceeding CAD$150.

    I got the entire XT drivetrain from CRC like I mentioned earlier. I placed 4 to 5 separate orders for this, and I paid no delivery/duties/taxes/handling fees. Don't place your orders all on the same day though. If they arrive on the same day, they will be taxed for sure.

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  42. #142
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    The fees you're paying for those CRC shipments should equal the sales tax in your province. There should be no additional duties on top of that. So for me in Ontario every order I've received has come with an additional bill of 13% of the total. CRC now has a shipping option that included this now so there aren't any surprises anymore.
    When you're comparing prices vs. buying local its the the same sticker price, they are both going to charge you sales tax on top of it.
    For me, I've found my LBS can compete or better most online prices except for Shimano parts and CRC's Hope wheel builds. There the online prices are way too good to pass on. I build up a bike in the spring, bought everything from the LBS except the groupset and wheels. I told them this before I started though, and they had no problem at all with it. I put the bike together myself, just had the shop do a few things I didn't have tools for (headset and cutting fork steerer). Overall a great experience with the LBS and my mechanic there had no problems working on parts I bought elsewhere.

  43. #143
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    Guys. I have been riding a long time. I have bought close to two dozen bikes over the years. I have two degrees. I am dialled into the e-technological side of life, owning 5 different devices. I am not a particularly dumb person, nor am I technologically stagnant. I am a sophisticated shopper. I just placed an online order with Oakley last night. And dozens and dozens and dozens with other retailers before that. It's not GST I am talking about. Of course I wouldn't care if that was all it was. And it wasn't shipping costs. Every order I have placed with Chain Reaction included free shipping. Anyway, whatever. Hats off to you for somehow avoiding the costs I was not able to.

    Point is that I can generally pay less at my LBS for stuff (so long as they have it in stock). Why? Because I get great deals because I have been a loyal customer. My Enve wheelset for example...$1,000 out the door. Including GST (and shipping, brokerage fees and duty...). My LBS literally called me one fine day and said "We have a few wheel sets we are blowing out and we thought of you." My bet is that there is no way a deal like that could be found anywhere online.

    That's the $hit I am talking about.

  44. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Guys. I have been riding a long time. I have bought close to two dozen bikes over the years. I have two degrees. I am dialled into the e-technological side of life, owning 5 different devices. I am not a particularly dumb person, nor am I technologically stagnant. I am a sophisticated shopper. I just placed an online order with Oakley last night. And dozens and dozens and dozens with other retailers before that. It's not GST I am talking about. Of course I wouldn't care if that was all it was. And it wasn't shipping costs. Every order I have placed with Chain Reaction included free shipping. Anyway, whatever. Hats off to you for somehow avoiding the costs I was not able to.

    Point is that I can generally pay less at my LBS for stuff (so long as they have it in stock). Why? Because I get great deals because I have been a loyal customer. My Enve wheelset for example...$1,000 out the door. Including GST (and shipping, brokerage fees and duty...). My LBS literally called me one fine day and said "We have a few wheel sets we are blowing out and we thought of you." My bet is that there is no way a deal like that could be found anywhere online.

    That's the $hit I am talking about.
    If you can get stuff cheaper than online prices, that's really good for you.

    However, that isn't the case for me and my riding buddies. For instance, my buddy bought three of his $4,000~$6,000 range full suspension bikes and lots of gears from the same LBS, they still give him 10~20% off the Canadian MSRP on gears and parts unless they are on winter sale. No discount on services though. They also told us that there is very small margin on bikes and parts they sell, so most of their income generated from bike services. If this is true, I don't understand why they refuse to install parts bought elsewhere LOL

    Canadian MSRP is always more expensive than the US or the sale items on CRC even after some discounts at the LBS. Maybe me and my buddies are not loyal enough.

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  45. #145
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    Never order through a courier, make sure that Canada Post delivers. The only exception is Jenson.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    ....
    Point is that I can generally pay less at my LBS for stuff (so long as they have it in stock). Why? Because I get great deals because I have been a loyal customer.....
    I think that is the issue most people including me face. That in order to get good deals, you must be a loyal customer. How long must we overpay before we get the secret LBS deals? Also in my case I do not regularly buy new stuff. I ride until stuff breaks which means I would not regularly frequent the LBS anyway to count as a loyal customer.

    I would support them if they gave me a decent deal, not great, just decent. As I believe they do a lot of good in the community to further riding like building trails etc

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananafish View Post

    ...I had extra tires at home (HR2's and DHF's) from previous bikes and I asked the owner if he had any experience/recommendations for which one of those tires to pair with the new Aggressor I purchased, and after he told me he had no experience with either....
    Big, red flag.

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