New Commuter glad he bought from LBS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New Commuter glad he bought from LBS

    Being a new bike commuter this year I am glad I bought my bike and gear from an LBS as opposed to online. Here are my reasons other than knowledge and experience:

    -They installed all my accessories from fenders, racks, lights bells, etc
    -Pre/Post purchase inspections done, great for safety and piece of mind
    -Gave me advice pertinent to where live on commuting
    -Little things they do for me free. My example is I wore through a rear tire and chain and put them on for me for free on the spot.

    For me online ordering can be a pain and prices at my LBS are competitive with most online items. Besides when deliveries are made I'm probably at work and have to pick it up anyways.

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    That is good to hear about your LBS. So many just don't know how to do it. Be sure to pay them back with some donuts for the mechanics, or a six of beer if you get to know them well enough. You would be surprised the relationship you can build with a shop just by treating them every once in a while. I really try to do LBS only, but there will be times, and I think that we all get them, they cannot meet or beat a price online and the online deal will be killer. It's OK to get stuff online on occasion as we all do it. Hitting the shop up for something small, be it a water bottle, a pair of socks, chain lube, whatever it may be goes a long way.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  3. #3
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    I have a terrific LBS. They give me deals for being a college student and for being a loyal customer. Sometimes they do way much work and don't charge me for it, so I'll give them a tip. What's better is that it's a good place to go and hang out and talk about bikes, all pretensions aside.

    Hell, I've made pretty good friends with the head mechanic there. Sometimes they let me work on my bike with their tools behind the counter so they can teach me what to do. I'd be lost without them.

  4. #4
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    I'll try to buy locally, although often I want weird stuff that no one stocks so it's easier to just order online rather than having a shop order for me.

    But I do think there's a real problem with pricing of shimano, and tires, and some other stuff. It's easy to find shimano online for half what it would cost locally, or tires for 30-40% off. What's a reasonable price for an xt cassette - $110+ at a shop, or $60 from Jenson, or $45 from CRC? I assume the shops don't have all that much say in their price, but there's no way I'm not going for the online discount. But with stuff like raceface or surly, shop prices are close enough to online that I might as well just buy locally.
    Last edited by newfangled; 10-05-2014 at 08:16 PM.

  5. #5
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    We are blessed with at least 5 LBSs within a reasonable distance. Two of these are staffed by extraordinarily helpful individuals, and a third has a great following but hours which don't work for me.

    My LBS had the Kona Rove AL coming soon when I contacted them. The Rove AL was in stock (not in my size) when I got down there, I was ready to put cash on the barrel head and one guy said "wait." I still think the Rove AL would have made me one happy customer, but, Ryan, Randy, and Tim, spent a combined 13 hours with me reviewing how I use/ would like to use a bicycle and looking at the best possible combination. I ended up ordering a Bosanova with year end discounts and could not be happier.

    I have had a few minor alignment issues with the disc brakes, my LBS has taken the time to fix the problem and to explain the alignment issue fully while I am in the shop. No blaming the customer, no questions.

    As for pricing, the lights and other goodies i have bought were within $1 of the Amazon price, my LBS has a much more rigorous return policy (if you don't love it, bring it back). Panniers are limited, but they have offered to order Axiom or Ortleib matching or beating Amazon prices.

    Perhaps I am lucky, maybe the local competition keeps them honest, I like feeling like a character from "Cheers." When I go through the door, several people ask "Rob, how is that bosanova?"

  6. #6
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Oh you are in if they know your name and your bike. I have that relationship with 2 shops now. They don't know my bike per say as it changes way too much, but they know me, and they know what style I ride. If the owner comes around from the counter, shakes your hand, asks how you are by name.....yeah, you are in pretty good with them. The other shop, the owner and the manager both fist bump me when I walk in. I like the relationship that I have built with both shops.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  7. #7
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    I'm CDN so with duty and shipping its just easier to order from the LBS, and I know I'll get what I need. Also real world advice for your location is a big bonus too. What I lose in a possible cheaper price I will more than make up for in good after sales service and freebie work.

  8. #8
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    I get a discount for my LBS for being a member to a club that mentors young bike riders....And when they order parts or accessories for me, its always cheaper than online. If I pay cash, no tax....

  9. #9
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    Just took my MTB in to my shop at 4:30 Saturday (they closed at 5). Told them I had recently had a tune up and now my front brake was soft (probably not related as I doubt he had the brakes apart for any reason). Planned to just drop it off on my way to ride and said no hurry as I had brought my other bike to ride. They immediately threw it up on a stand and bled the front brake, we also ended up changing out both sets of pads, they would have lasted another month probably but since we had it apart figured why not.

    Charged me for the pads, no labor on the rest, out the door by 5 in time to ride it (didn't really feel like riding my SS anyway). Even ran into the mechanic after our ride and made sure he got a cold one.

    I do get my bikes serviced there, but have never actually bought a bike from them (just due to the brands they carry). Helps to have a good relationship with your LBS.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I'll try to buy locally, although often I want weird stuff that no one stocks so it's easier to just order online rather than having a shop order for me.

    But I do think there's a real problem with pricing of shimano, and tires, and some other stuff. It's easy to find shimano online for half what it would cost locally, or tires for 30-40% off. What's a reasonable price for an xt cassette - $110+ at a shop, or $60 from Jenson, or $45 from CRC? I assume the shops don't have all that much say in their price, but there's no way I'm not going for the online discount. But with stuff like raceface or surly, shop prices are close enough to online that I might as well just buy locally.
    I have to agree with you there. I have been pretty shocked at the price of some things, like chainrings, at the LBS.

    It seems like their labor rates are too low to possibly sustain them though, but perhaps that is because I am such a slow mechanic that it feels like it should cost more when I have someone skilled do it for me.

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