L B S vs. M T B R (W W Y D?)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Naturally Organic
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    We the people ... L B S vs. M T B R (W W Y D?)

    Hey all, just a question to find out WWYD (What Would You Do) or WDYD (What Did You Do)?

    I have been on these forums for a few months now (and months before that as a guest). I have enjoyed reading opinions, advice, info, rants, tips, cautions, playful & not-so-playful banter, recommendations, etc. I have searched countless topics, read and re-read many threads. I have changed my mind many times on what my new 29er will or won't be...

    Anywho, just wondering, my initial thoughts were that I would like to support my Local Bike Shops (I have 2-3 in mind). I would buy or build with these LBS. The more I experience MTBR, the more the question in my mind comes up regarding some of the people on the forums.

    There are people and companies that are highly recommended for some of the specialty, custom and boutique stuff I would like to do with my 29er build. They sometimes contribute more to some of my decisions than when I chat with the wrenches & staff at my LBS (no offense to anyone at the LBS, but I can search the hundreds of questions I've had or have and find answers readily online; plus, I get a broader spectrum of opinions -not always a good thing - on components, what works, what may not, versus a few.

    Whatever I choose, I will support my LBS, as much as possible, through servicing, fixing, tuning up and wrenching on my bikes (not the same, I know).

    I am not looking for forum names or companies (I have made my decisions, should I go this route). You are more than welcome to identify what, who, why you decided on your choice.

    So WWYD or WDYD?

  2. #2
    I need skills
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    what is your question?

    specifically, what are you asking? I'm stumped.

  3. #3
    Naturally Organic
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    Sorry.
    Buy / Build from an LBS or from those on MTBR...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce9er
    Sorry.
    Buy / Build from an LBS or from those on MTBR...
    Still unclear what you are asking. You want to buy from the members/users of mtbr vs your LBS?

    Generally, I go through my LBS to get bikes/parts I learn about here.
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  5. #5
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    What are you asking: Will you buy fancy parts from your LBS vs. online or will do your own wrenching? or ?

    I always vote for doing your own wrenching, period....

    Where you buy your parts is up to you and your budget. My rule of thumb is if a LBS has nice stuff in stock and their prices are not WAY out of line, I buy stuff there. If part needs to be ordered and costs more, well thats a different story.

    If you can walk into your LBS and pick up a Chris King headset for $10 more than the cheapest price online, or a Thompson stem for $12 more or a Maxxis Ardent for $4 more online, of course you should buy from the LBS. That is a no brainer. But for a set of Formula "The Ones" that you can get for $500 online vs. $700 at the LBS then maybe you go the online route.

    After all my rambling, i guess my point is to spread the love around a little. I am just happy that I found the first LBS in San Diego that I always go to first before I buy online. Not a big shop, but they have all the great stuff that I want and would previously buy online at good prices. (the shop is North of the Border BTW)

  6. #6
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    What did i did...

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce9er
    Hey all, just a question to find out WWYD (What Would You Do) or WDYD (What Did You Do)?

    I have been on these forums for a few months now (and months before that as a guest). I have enjoyed reading opinions, advice, info, rants, tips, cautions, playful & not-so-playful banter, recommendations, etc. I have searched countless topics, read and re-read many threads. I have changed my mind many times on what my new 29er will or won't be...

    So WWYD or WDYD?
    I think I understand the question....

    A couple of years ago, after 25+/- years of riding 26" hardtails, I decided I needed to move on---"29ers" were something I wanted to try. My route was mostly Craigslist and Ebay---for the price of one new "quality" bike I could put together 2 or 3 used rigs and have a go at it. (I do all my own wrenching) Plus I can re-sell the frames, etc. for pretty much what I paid for them when I'm through playing.

    Now having said that, it is definitely laudable to do business with the LBS (and buy American!) I suggest you demo the bikes you are interested in---several times each---and then make your choice. You won't be sorry....
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  7. #7
    Missouri sucks...
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    None of my LBS in the KC area are REALLY into 29ers so I'm basically on my own. I buy most of my 29er specific parts online, since the LBS has to order them anyway, but I buy generic items from the LBS if they have it in stock just to avoid the wait. Saving a few $$$s ordering online isn't worth it if you miss a few rides waiting! There's no reason to devote to one source pr the other. Buy/learn from any source you can get in touch with, period

  8. #8
    Naturally Organic
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    To clarify, hopefully. I was trying to not disclose names to protect the innocent...I have not officially corresponded with any of these people/companies. This is the first they are hearing of this, along with all others (if they read this at all).

    Please do not flame any of my choices in this thread. You can PM me if you really have serious issues...also, if I choose the LBS route, no hard feelings, no burnt bridges...

    I am looking into a Lefty build (Tallboy or Rockstar). For the Lefty, possibly the frame and some or all of the components, I have narrowed it down to tendonpsyclesmyth & hikerrob...(news to them; varying degrees of build and offerings possible). Wheelset: sikemee (news to him if he reads this)...other components and possibilities from the weight weenie forum, but that is another thread later on...

    If I choose the LBS route, it would be a first for all of the shops I have contacted within 30-minutes drive (still contacting some aittle further away). One shop did not know of any adapters for non-C'Dale bikes (they sell C'Dale & Titus) I shared info regarding Project321...this was before the Lefty4All was announced. So limited knowledge LBS (I don't mind being a guinea pig to an extent), or experienced MTBR forum peeps (aforementioned).

    Edit: Names changed to protect the innocent...

    Sorry for making a long story longer...

  9. #9
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    I am torn by this myself- Love my local shop, great guy with kids. Love to support him, but I also have a budget that I have a hard time keeping. I do what Bigdrunk says. If its in stock and ballpark, I get it from him **OR** he has done a lot of sleuth/leg work looking up sizes or calling places, etc, I pay him for his time by buying from him- I will not have him get me a size/color options then buy on-line when he does all the work. I also try to commit in my head to buy certain parts from him before I look and I try not to compare shop a bunch.

    However, if he is no where near a price I can get on-line, I just can't justify paying $475+tax for a set of brakes I can pick up for $250 (free shipping no tax) elsewhere. I would have half the bikes and be riding X-7 if only bought from him.

    The inner turmoil continues... as another build lumes......

    Maybe we should all start a support group?

  10. #10
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    I think you are all missing the OP's question. There are memebers on this forum who build/sell things. the OP wants to know if he should buy/build at his LBS or send his money to one of the many forum posters that do that sort of thing.
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  11. #11
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    Since you're going to have to order stuff anyways see what your LBS can do for you. If you're ordering a whole custom bike build I'm sure they can show you a little love.

    It is odd though, as many 29ers as I see at the races, you go into a LBS to buy a tire and have maybe two choices if you're lucky. Maybe they figure they just can't compete so why bother?

  12. #12
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    I like to keep informed, so whether that is here, or at the lbs doesn't matter. The fact is I get much better information here and other forums that are relevant to my interests. It is a great way to be part of a network instead of relying on the lbs. I do like to support my lbs if possible, but they just often don't have what I want, hardly ever at the price I want it. It depends on what you are after. LBS is great for warrantee, and trying stuff before you buy. I never get gear fixed or fitted at the lbs unless totally nescessary. If I have to order something specifically in I will rarely consider the lbs a good option. I would like to talk to the manufacturer first.

  13. #13
    A Surly Maverick
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    As with finch 2, my LBS cannot cater for my 29er requirements.

    If you know what you would like and are happy with the reputation of the `names changed above`, then I would just go for it.

    Most LBS,s are set up for the `middle ground`, so if that's not where you needs lie, don`t worry .

    Good luck with your build,

    Dr FG
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  14. #14
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    Generally you get more for you money online when it comes to higher end components, frames or forks ... The pricier the item the more likely I will purchase it online. Sometimes the difference can be staggering , try comparing you lbs's shimano prices to CRC's

  15. #15
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    I'd like to chime in here too because this is something I've been internally fighting with myself.
    First, full disclosure... I used to work at a pretty big shop here in our state for about 12 years before we parted ways and wife and I decided I should be a stay at home dad....Because of this, I've always tried to avoid going mail order when I can.

    There are two shops now that I normally frequent. One because it's close and they help me out and the other because one of my good friends works there. If I need something small and quick, I usually go to one of those (if they have what i want). Bigger stuff, I see what they can do for me, but usually I just go online because in the end, it's still cheaper. You have to remember, high mtb'ers is not a money maker for a shop, it's the families and hybrid people....

    The problem I'm having with going to the LBS is the fact that everyone of them nowadays has all there inventory tied up in one of the major brand's product (Specialized and Bontrager, etc). I have two problems with this...one, it doesn't allow a shop to bring in any kind of variety because they have to carry x% of a comapnies brand (which ties up alot of money) and it also doesn't really allow them to "close out" items all that much (I'm a big close out fan) because the companies won't let them. Because of these issues, I can't shop around for items anymore unless I go online.

    OK, I've rambled and vented... sorry that this might be totally off topic

  16. #16
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    The problem with LBS's in my view is that they are woefully un-knowledgeable on bikes in general, and 29er's in particular. I hate it when I go ask for a part, etc, and they've never heard of it...then I have to explain at length, while the min-wage teenager is completely lost.

    It's not just limited to the tatt'd up "dude" workin' the counter... The OWNER of a local shop fully denied to me that Trek owns Fisher (this was 2yrs ago), and his shop had both Fisher and Treks on the floor!!!! I never shop there anymore unless it's an extreme emergency. Sux, becuase he's the main game in town.
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  17. #17
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    I try and buy as many tools as I can from my LBS. Every tool that I buy means I can do that work myself. Oh, My LBS sucks.

    What I consider my new LBS is where I have bought 2 bikes from in the past year an hour away. I will give them business on small stuff. Grips, misc stuff. Most higher dollar items I will order online. But there is the kicker, many of the online places are LBS also. I have given Bikerbob here a fair amount of business. I was going to buy a Titus frame from him but got a great deal at the shop I use. But went through Bob to get cranks and wheelsets that I wanted to swap out.
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  18. #18
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    Check with River Market Cyclery in Downtown KC
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  19. #19
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    Assuming you have a good relationship with your local LBS or three, and you trust them and believe them to be capable and knowledgeable; buy from them, and have them work for you. Because ultimately when things go wrong, they'll save your butt. And they'll do good work, so that things won't go as wrong. And that good relationship usually means that you'll save money in the long run. A lot of people see cheaper prices on the internet and only see the short-term savings. Unless you are your own bike shop and can do all your own work, support your local shop. You do not want your local shops to go out of business. Support them.

    If you have a full workshop with all the necessary bike tools, know how to use them, then buy your stuff cheap on the internet and never go to your LBS. Even then, you're relying solely on your own judgment, and it's good to get the input and variety of options available from the local shop.

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  20. #20
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    It was rewarding to build up my SS vassago 29er myself. The build was probably much slower than it would take at the LBS, but now that I have wrenched on my 29er for 8 months, I feel that I have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge. I can fix anything on my 29er and I know it was done right the first time. The parts are cheaper on line and will save you a lot of money. If you run into problems just go to the LBS and ask questions or post on MTBR. Build your own, it is worth it.

  21. #21
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    i had a similar dilemma building my new bike. i wanted very badly to support the LBS that carried the bike i wanted, but they just refused to be competitively priced. add on sales tax, and i was looking at over $300 difference in just the frame not to mention the other parts.
    i decided to order my parts and spec it out myself, but talked to another lbs, told him what i was doing, and asked if he would build the bike for me. he told me his shop hourly rate, and told me he would like the business. in the end, i bought a few parts that i didn't have and spent about $350.
    we were both up front and it worked out great. he guaranteed the build, and i have a shop that i can use for parts and service without feeling bad since i didn't buy the bike from him.

    in the end, unless you can do all of your own maintenance, having the support of a lbs is really important. i was just conveying this to a friend yesterday who is getting ready to purchase his first mtb.

  22. #22
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    This is how I look at it:

    1. Your budget is your budget. The dollar goes farther online regardless. This is why I hardly ever buy anything other than small accessories from an LBS.

    2. LBS is a service center. If you need help, go to them. If you are in a bind, go to them.

    3. Your LBS should be a community gathering place. If it is not, find one that is and support them with service and accessories (the two things they make the most margin on).


    I build for people. I've wrenched for 20 years. I look at LBS's like I look at churches. You can pray anywhere, like you can shop anywhere. A good church has "community". A good LBS has "community". If your LBS does not get involve din community activies, have multiple group rides per week, and generally aren't all the inclusive... leave.

    My 10 cents... PS - I am not religious in any way.

  23. #23
    AZ
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    Source what you need from the places that can supply them . Most LBS's cannot source out of the mainstream stuff , if yours can consider yourself very fortunate .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq
    This is how I look at it:

    1. Your budget is your budget. The dollar goes farther online regardless. This is why I hardly ever buy anything other than small accessories from an LBS.

    2. LBS is a service center. If you need help, go to them. If you are in a bind, go to them.

    3. Your LBS should be a community gathering place. If it is not, find one that is and support them with service and accessories (the two things they make the most margin on).


    I build for people. I've wrenched for 20 years. I look at LBS's like I look at churches. You can pray anywhere, like you can shop anywhere. A good church has "community". A good LBS has "community". If your LBS does not get involve din community activies, have multiple group rides per week, and generally aren't all the inclusive... leave.

    My 10 cents... PS - I am not religious in any way.
    My LBS does all of that .......................................... as long as you ride a road bike.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Source what you need from the places that can supply them . Most LBS's cannot source out of the mainstream stuff , if yours can consider yourself very fortunate .
    +1

    Local shops usually do not work with a lot of custom parts like the modified lefty and specialized chainrings/cogs. Get you want from both online and LBS, both are great sources. I buy what I can from my LBS unless there is a huge price difference, at that point I cannot justify the extra $$. They are usually in the ballpark on standard parts.
    I like to ride Bikes. This might be turning into an obsession, not sure?

  26. #26
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    I use to work at a bike shop part time. And sometimes it is not their fault. Companies release things to the press months before they do to the public. And sometimes suppliers do not keep speciallity items in stock so LBS try to sale what they know they can get. And alot of the time try to talk you in to just buying a complete bike. Because building does usually cost more $.

  27. #27
    Naturally Organic
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    Thanks for the replies.

    If a support group is started, sign me up.

    I would like to support my LBS. I even made another spreadsheet with a build of components I can get from them.

    In the end, it looks like I will be sharing the love. I guess I will be supporting an LBS, it just happens to be on the other side of the country...whatever helps me sleep at night...

    Bottom line, I am not going to sacrifice the components I would like. Local LBS (as much as possible) or out-of-state LBS (next best choice) or online (last resort)...for me YMMV, IMO, FWIW, AFAIK, TIA...FTW!!!

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