Here is why LBS are so expensive- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Here is why LBS are so expensive

    Took an afternoon off yesterday to take my son and his friend to the bike shop to get the friend's water-bottle bolt replaced. Should've been a $20 bill, right? Well. Here is how that little adventure played out:

    Cost of one riv nut:.............................................. ..1.10
    Labor to install said nut........................................10.00
    Cost of new grips x2, because they
    looked so darn cool.............................................2 0.00
    Cost of tire x 2, for dad who is a sucker
    for new tread pattern.........................................11 0.00
    Cost of new riding gloves for the kid....................35.00
    Surly Moonlander in stock in my size!.............2350.00
    Decided against Moonlander (whew!)............(2350.00)
    Look on kid's face wearing new gloves...................
    Look on wife's face upon returning home...............
    .................................................. ...................---------------
    Total cost of getting one bolt replaced.............

    Yep! It is in the Kid in A Candy Shop syndrome. Is there a treatment? I dunno...I hope not.

  2. #2
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    I'm lucky....my wife can walk into a shop with me ( I needed tubes), zero intention of buying anything, and walk out with a $230 Gore jacket and a new Polar HRM (true story).

  3. #3
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    I don't see why they would get mad. As long as you don't betray them! The Moonlander sure is nice though, huh?
    Ragley Blue Pig

  4. #4
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    My girlfriend went to the shop with me one time. Never again, it cost me a specialized stumpjumper fsr expert for her to ride.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks View Post
    I don't see why they would get mad. As long as you don't betray them! The Moonlander sure is nice though, huh?
    Ah, my wife is all good with it. I just added that bit in for the humor effect.

    And yes, that Moonlander is tempting. Fattest bike going, that I'm aware of.

  6. #6
    turtles make me hot
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    I've actually gone into the bike shop with my wife. They have stuff waiting for me to pick it up. They wait until I ask for my parts before just bringing them out in front of her. If it's an authorized purchase, I pick it up in front of her. If it's an UNauthorized purchase, the parts sit until I come back alone.
    Once, I was picking up the two bike add on for the Thule T2. I called ahead and had the bike shop owner put my parts in the Thule box. Paid for everything, put the box in the truck and left. On the way home, my wife says Wow, that thing was expensive. I was like, Sure was.
    I like turtles

  7. #7
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    You are a good dad.

  8. #8
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    A long time ago I was into off road RC car racing, like way into it. After spending near 10k on that hobby over the course of maybe 6 months my then wife decided to start *****ing about the money I was spending.

    A few months after the *****ing started a new radio came out that I "had" to have.
    But there was no way I was going to get it without risking her wrath.

    Then it came to me; it was just a couple weeks until Christmas. So I bought the radio, wrapped it and mailed it to myself with my parents return address on the box.

    The "present" shows up in the mail, she gets it opens it and puts it under the tree.
    Fast forward to Christmas morning; imagine how surprised and happy I was to get the new radio as a Christmas gift from my parents.

  9. #9
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    Ive heard of drug addicts that will get there "pizza delivery guy" to get the goods. We really do have problems.
    Last edited by machine4321; 04-05-2012 at 09:22 AM.

  10. #10
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    I find my wife is *worse* - I'll be at a bike store or whatever with her, and she'll be like "Well, why buy that one? You'll just upgrade it - you should be the nicer one and save yourself the extra!"

    So, long story short, I'll walk in trying to get like XT, walk out with XTR or something.
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC View Post
    My girlfriend went to the shop with me one time. Never again, it cost me a specialized stumpjumper fsr expert for her to ride.


    That could be considered a wise investment.

  12. #12
    Never Forget 9-11
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    The owner of my LBS knows my wife by name. I guess it works to my advantage.
    It's such a fine line between idiocy and genius.

  13. #13
    they took the bar
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    I took Wifey into the LBS, and cost me a bit of coin too.

    (love the thread).

  14. #14
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    I spend way more at the bike shop that my husband does. I have much nicer bikes. Rat bastard still out climbs me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon View Post
    I spend way more at the bike shop that my husband does. I have much nicer bikes. Rat bastard still out climbs me.
    I am not showing your post to my Wifey! (only because she'd pick a new pet name for me from it...)

    Naw. Awesome to see the ladies loving it. MTBing is way to much fun!

  16. #16
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    Did I read that right... 10.00$ to install one waterbottle bolt? I've seen similar inflated prices for just turning a screw (so very wrong IMHO) - If so, holy f***k, WTF?

    If your a shop owner (and I understand your a business - but c'mon), and you charge 5-10$ just to turn a screw - I'm calling you out, your a thief IMHO.

    You going to charge me for air (as some gas stations do) next time too...and the bike boxes you throw out (actually, I've seen shops charge for both said items) ...again, robbery if you ask me.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Did I read that right... 10.00$ to install one waterbottle bolt? I've seen similar inflated prices for just turning a screw (so very wrong IMHO) - If so, holy f***k, WTF?
    Especially after you dropped the other coin on the goodies. He should have just said "Don't sweat the bolt".

    I too always end up buying more than intended. Because, well, I NEED stuff.

  18. #18
    they took the bar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Did I read that right... 10.00$ to install one waterbottle bolt? I've seen similar inflated prices for just turning a screw (so very wrong IMHO) - If so, holy f***k, WTF?

    If your a shop owner (and I understand your a business - but c'mon), and you charge 5-10$ just to turn a screw - I'm calling you out, your a thief IMHO.

    You going to charge me for air (as some gas stations do) next time too...and the bike boxes you throw out (actually, I've seen shops charge for both said items) ...again, robbery if you ask me.
    Don't ask him how much they wanted for clamping down the skewers too...

    Yow!

  19. #19
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    Should've gone for the Moonlander. I've been lusting over a fat bike for a year now.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDMC View Post
    My girlfriend went to the shop with me one time. Never again, it cost me a specialized stumpjumper fsr expert for her to ride.
    Totally approve of this.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Did I read that right... 10.00$ to install one waterbottle bolt? I've seen similar inflated prices for just turning a screw (so very wrong IMHO) - If so, holy f***k, WTF?

    If your a shop owner (and I understand your a business - but c'mon), and you charge 5-10$ just to turn a screw - I'm calling you out, your a thief IMHO.

    You going to charge me for air (as some gas stations do) next time too...and the bike boxes you throw out (actually, I've seen shops charge for both said items) ...again, robbery if you ask me.
    You read it wrong. Had to have the rivet nut installed to screw the bolt into.

  22. #22
    REALLY?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post
    You read it wrong. Had to have the rivet nut installed to screw the bolt into.
    My bad...still, I've seen shops do what I've mentioned.

    Um, not sure what part the rivit nut is or what exactly your talking about (part of the frame?)
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Did I read that right... 10.00$ to install one waterbottle bolt? I've seen similar inflated prices for just turning a screw (so very wrong IMHO) - If so, holy f***k, WTF?

    If your a shop owner (and I understand your a business - but c'mon), and you charge 5-10$ just to turn a screw - I'm calling you out, your a thief IMHO.

    You going to charge me for air (as some gas stations do) next time too...and the bike boxes you throw out (actually, I've seen shops charge for both said items) ...again, robbery if you ask me.
    Labor and tools like air compressors aren't free. Why should places act like they are?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    My bad...still, I've seen shops do what I've mentioned.

    Um, not sure what part the rivit nut is or what exactly your talking about (part of the frame?)
    It's the thread part that you can rivet to the frame and then you can bolt the cage onto the threads.

    $10 for labor to install a rivet nut sounds like a fair deal to me. $20 wouldn't be too much. If you're not happy about that, go buy tools, parts and do it yourself. Be good to your grease monkey!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazycarwes View Post
    Labor and tools like air compressors aren't free. Why should places act like they are?

    I'm not saying that, what I'm saying is charging five bucks for litterally turning a screw a few twist is robbery.

    Free air is just good business - but go ahead and charge me for the use of your compressor/floor-pump, see if I ever visit or spend money in your store.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by O-h View Post
    It's the thread part that you can rivet to the frame and then you can bolt the cage onto the threads.

    $10 for labor to install a rivet nut sounds like a fair deal to me. $20 wouldn't be too much. If you're not happy about that, go buy tools, parts and do it yourself. Be good to your grease monkey!
    Since I've never installed said part, or seen one installed, I couldnt quote what I think is fair. But I know what part your talking about - actually, I thought that might be the part you were talking about but wasnt sure.

    And I already have most of the tools needed - bike wrench here.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWill View Post
    A long time ago I was into off road RC car racing, like way into it. After spending near 10k on that hobby over the course of maybe 6 months my then wife decided to start *****ing about the money I was spending.

    A few months after the *****ing started a new radio came out that I "had" to have.
    But there was no way I was going to get it without risking her wrath.

    Then it came to me; it was just a couple weeks until Christmas. So I bought the radio, wrapped it and mailed it to myself with my parents return address on the box.

    The "present" shows up in the mail, she gets it opens it and puts it under the tree.
    Fast forward to Christmas morning; imagine how surprised and happy I was to get the new radio as a Christmas gift from my parents.
    Bwaahahahaha!!!! That's awesome!!I'm going to need to remember that one! I was big time into 1/8 scale buggies as recently as 1 year ago. I converted to electric and spent a ton on the motor and esc. I would leave the parts in the car and waited for the wife to jump In the shower so I could haul ass outside and bring the parts into the house. Now I do the same with bike stuff!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Um, not sure what part the rivit nut is or what exactly your talking about (part of the frame?)
    The kid who owned the bike had broken the water bottle boss while moving a bottle cage from another bike. A rivet nut is a nut that can be set into a hole in the frame from the outside. It fastens like a rivet and includes a nut. There's a special tool used to install the thing. The end result, in our case, is that we can now install a bottle cage again.

    $10 in labor was more than fair. I was happy to pay it.

    Edit: My point in starting this thread was not really to complain about cost. Most of you know that, I think. The kids and I had a fun trip to the shop. That's all.

  29. #29
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    Cost of coke……$100.00/gram
    Cost of rehab…..$36,000.00 for 90 day program
    Cost of a funeral from drug overdose…..$8,000.00
    I think you get the picture…..I’ll take the cost of a trip to my LBS to support my child’s MTBing addiction!

  30. #30
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    Hmmm... I've got an idea... my birthday is coming. Maybe I should bring my wife to an LBS and just tell her that I need a nut for my bike... maybe we'll come out of the store with more goodies!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09F5 View Post
    Cost of coke……$100.00/gram
    It took me until the second line to realize you weren't talking about soda

  32. #32
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    Labor is one thing, but have you seriously tracked the true cost of goods?

    Even in massed produced, with an entire infrastructure around it to keep the costs down (things like shoes) will blow you away with how much things are. Take a pair of Timberland Hiking boots for example:
    Produced in QouDong China: 3.15 a pair. 3.50 shipped.
    Wholesaler profit and operational costs: +$50
    REI profit and operational costs: +$50
    Total cost with taxes 115 bucks.

    Shimano Deraileur XT
    Cost to create (R&D + construction): $10
    Shipping and wholesaler uplift (Shimano): $35
    QPB Operational and profit: $65
    LBS Operational and profit: $95
    Installation (labor): 40/hour

    None of these numbers are accurate, but the point is real. The actual cost of the product is 3%-10% of the actual cost of the goods. The sad thing is all the people in the middle that want to get rich (can't blame them).

    Crap adds up. Capitalism creates jobs, no matter how much it kills us.
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  33. #33
    Clyde on a mission!
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    I can't remember ever spending less than $100 at my LBS, even if I'm just in for a free service. I always stumble upon some clever grips, a new pair of sun glasses or something, never fails.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure View Post
    Labor is one thing, but have you seriously tracked the true cost of goods?

    Even in massed produced, with an entire infrastructure around it to keep the costs down (things like shoes) will blow you away with how much things are. Take a pair of Timberland Hiking boots for example:
    Produced in QouDong China: 3.15 a pair. 3.50 shipped.
    Wholesaler profit and operational costs: +$50
    REI profit and operational costs: +$50
    Total cost with taxes 115 bucks.

    Shimano Deraileur XT
    Cost to create (R&D + construction): $10
    Shipping and wholesaler uplift (Shimano): $35
    QPB Operational and profit: $65
    LBS Operational and profit: $95
    Installation (labor): 40/hour

    None of these numbers are accurate, but the point is real. The actual cost of the product is 3%-10% of the actual cost of the goods. The sad thing is all the people in the middle that want to get rich (can't blame them).

    Crap adds up. Capitalism creates jobs, no matter how much it kills us.

    All of that is totally true. What "balances the books" for me is that without this ability to make a profit, there wouldn't be any reasons for companies to continue to innovate and make all the the new toys that are available or create lighter versions of those toys. Also, the faster the new stuff comes out, the more quickly the prices of stuff that was cutting edge last year drops.

  35. #35
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    I love taking my boys into the LBS. We get to druel and test every bike. The wife really doesn't enjoy it along with my daughter. They get bored.

  36. #36
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    I'm always the annoyingly cheap customer who is scrounging through the box of used parts that can inevitably be found in every shop.

    I buy new stuff too though and like to support my LBS.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by zold View Post
    All of that is totally true. What "balances the books" for me is that without this ability to make a profit, there wouldn't be any reasons for companies to continue to innovate and make all the the new toys that are available or create lighter versions of those toys. Also, the faster the new stuff comes out, the more quickly the prices of stuff that was cutting edge last year drops.
    What sucks here, is what do you think is realistic to pay? I personally would like to see the middleman out of it. Parts are reduculously expensive to begin with, what's reasonable? Sorry, why can't LBS's just get stuff factory direct rather than going through places like BTI and QBP?
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  38. #38
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    My wife sits in the car and reads a book. We've learned not to complain about each other's spending as long as the family financial responsibilities are in order.
    Last edited by ImaginaryFriend; 12-01-2014 at 05:14 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by O-h View Post
    It's the thread part that you can rivet to the frame and then you can bolt the cage onto the threads.

    $10 for labor to install a rivet nut sounds like a fair deal to me. $20 wouldn't be too much. If you're not happy about that, go buy tools, parts and do it yourself. Be good to your grease monkey!
    I have a rivnut tool. I'll install those things all day long for ten bucks a pop.
    I like turtles

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    I'm always the annoyingly cheap customer who is scrounging through the box of used parts that can inevitably be found in every shop.

    I buy new stuff too though and like to support my LBS.
    I do the same, once in a blue moon I even go a step further sometimes and try to talk there price down on new items, sometimes works, sometimes not (talking the price down works better at pawn shops and swap meets and the like).
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWill View Post

    So I bought the radio, wrapped it and mailed it to myself with my parents return address on the box.
    brilliant

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by elkootcho View Post
    brilliant
    Just out of curiosity what were you searching for when you resurrected this old thread?
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWill View Post
    A long time ago I was into off road RC car racing, like way into it. After spending near 10k on that hobby over the course of maybe 6 months my then wife decided to start *****ing about the money I was spending.

    A few months after the *****ing started a new radio came out that I "had" to have.
    But there was no way I was going to get it without risking her wrath.

    Then it came to me; it was just a couple weeks until Christmas. So I bought the radio, wrapped it and mailed it to myself with my parents return address on the box.

    The "present" shows up in the mail, she gets it opens it and puts it under the tree.
    Fast forward to Christmas morning; imagine how surprised and happy I was to get the new radio as a Christmas gift from my parents.
    I've spent a fortune in R/C cars too. In the 80's I raced 1/8 scale on road nitro cars. That was the heyday of new technologies advancing the hobby/sport. I recently sold off my HPI Baja 5b. I lost a bundle on that too.

  44. #44
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    Wife didn't know about my new bike till she came out to visit , she will find out about the rode bike I'm buying a day after she goes home when I move back to the states.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure View Post
    What sucks here, is what do you think is realistic to pay? I personally would like to see the middleman out of it. Parts are reduculously expensive to begin with, what's reasonable? Sorry, why can't LBS's just get stuff factory direct rather than going through places like BTI and QBP?
    Because distributors like QBP warehouse a lot of different brands and items, so a shop can cut freight costs by combining their various purchases into one order. This helps keep the final retail price down. BTW: shops make nowhere near that level profit on any Shimano product...

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I have a rivnut tool. I'll install those things all day long for ten bucks a pop.
    Are you counting the cost of the heated, cooled, and insured space that you are working in, and the cost of the employee, SSA, Fed & State taxes, health insurance and pension plan, or are you just standing on the sidewalk waiting to use your tool?
    I ride with the best dogs.




  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffgothro View Post
    Did I read that right... 10.00$ to install one waterbottle bolt? I've seen similar inflated prices for just turning a screw (so very wrong IMHO) - If so, holy f***k, WTF?

    If your a shop owner (and I understand your a business - but c'mon), and you charge 5-10$ just to turn a screw - I'm calling you out, your a thief IMHO.

    You going to charge me for air (as some gas stations do) next time too...and the bike boxes you throw out (actually, I've seen shops charge for both said items) ...again, robbery if you ask me.
    I can guarantee that NOT ONE of that store's regulars would get charged a dime for replacing a water bottle bolt. Get to know the owner and leave the entitled attitude at home, these issues will disappear. From the flip, we despise customers that comes into the store once a month for air because they are too cheap to purchase even a $7 pump from Walmart. Pumping up tires takes time, and time costs money. Don't be THAT customer.

    As for bike boxes, some shops use them for online sales or transfers, some use them to line the floor of the tech area, and some have someone paying to pick up the boxes so they can repurpose them. Of course, there are the customers that you wouldn't sell a box soaked in oil because their entitled attitude pissed you off within 30 seconds of entering your store.

    Also, sales clerks and techs that ring you up wrong because they can't remember the no charge code, but DO remember that every service must appear on the receipt. Like I said, get to know the owner, give him good business, and these issues become non-existent except for the rare a$$hat owner.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  48. #48
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    Yup. Pretty much any engineered quality based good (with high R&D Costs and numerous competitors) in the $500-$8000 price range the local stores have a properly hard time keeping up, especially against internet sales combined with the misguided notion that anybody can be mechanically qualified to just go it alone from the internet.

    The big box, and very high end roadie centric stores are mildly frustrating for me to go to - one I know I'm more mechanically savvy than their all but their lead mechanic, the other they seem to forget that paying the equivalent of $60/hr for work only makes sense on bikes worth more than a certain amount. Each made me feel briefly like one of 'those customers', but after more extensive experience I realized that brakes should work (and to trust my judgement absolutely on that), the other was that I just needed to find a shop with equally passionate people, but that doesn't cater to the dentist/lawyer crowd so exclusively.

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