Pinkbike's Burning Question - Should You Support Your Local Bike Shop or Buy Online?

Jan 8, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
THE
BURNING QUESTION
WORDS Mike Kazimer

Today's burning question is: Should you support your local bike shop or buy online? Weighing in from the local bike shop side of this debate is John Franzky from Bow Cycle, located in Calgary, Alberta. On the other side we have Matt Cole representing Chain Reaction Cycles, the world's largest online bike store. We also asked Kevin Menard, co-owner of Transition Bikes and Mark Graff, the co-founder of SmartEtailing.com, for their views on this topic.

Pinkbike Pre-Game Show
In today's interconnected world it's possible to go online and with a few clicks, plus a valid credit card number, have a complete new downhill bike delivered right to your doorstep. Plus, the smartphone gives shoppers access to more information than ever before. Consumers can view product reviews and price comparisons with just a swipe of the finger, even from inside their local bike shop. In what has been termed “showrooming,” customers are now using their local bike shop as a showroom to try on clothing and look at accessories, then going home to buy the products online, often at a deep discount. In a recent Pinkbike poll, over fifty percent of respondents said they mostly purchase cycling gear and components from on-line retailers, while thirty-five percent bought from retail bike shops. As online retailers continue to grow and increase their ability to offer products at a discounted price, can local bike shops compete?


Local Bike Shop vs. Online Store



John Franzky: Bow Cycle

bigquotes The local bike shop will survive. The customer service game has to be upheld and get higher in order to compete against online sales. Dealers will have to be attentive to pricing but still remain profitable...You cannot bring your bike into an online store, but you can bring it into your local bike shop. And, I bet the trip to your local shop will be a bit more fun than a trip on the world wide web.


It doesn't look like your web site offers the option to purchase items online. What is the reasoning behind this? Do you have plans to enter the online marketplace in the future?

"Right now Bow Cycle is not set up for online shopping. We do take payments online, but most of the time products get picked up in store. One of the reasons we do not have online shopping is our dealer contracts state that bicycles cannot be sold online. We respect our suppliers and the relationship with them so we adhere to the rules. Plus, all bikes sold out of Bow Cycle need to be set up by Bow Cycle according to our dealer contracts.

"For online shopping, we feel to do it right the product has to get out the door the same day. Attention to the online orders has to be immediate and the inventory has to be accurate in real time. To do this you need people in place and an inventory system that can deal with the online product linking to your on-hand inventory. Our system does not do that easily and right now we want the staff talking to the people that come in our door, not a computer. I think statistics say 64% of all consumers will make an online purchase each year. With this type of statistic it does drive Bow Cycle to look into an online component for the store. Bow Cycle's owners are still questioning who the online buyer is. Is it someone looking for discounted product or is it someone looking for the convenience of online shopping? I think it is both, with the question being which online consumer is driving the online market? Convenience customer or price customer?"

Has the growth of online shopping caused you to make any changes in deciding which items to stock in the store?

"Not really, people still like to be able to see and handle new cool products. We buy what we think our customers are looking for, and try to keep up on new trends and support our customers' product requests."

Are you less likely to carry a brand if it's available from the larger online retailers?

"It does come into play somewhat; we need to stock our store with quality product. There is some product you can’t get away from selling in store that competes with online. Our relationship with suppliers also plays into these decisions. We want to support suppliers that are IBD (independent bicycle retailer) focused."

As a local bike shop, what techniques do you use to stand out over large online retailers? Why should consumers go to their local bike shop vs. an online store?

"The 'technique' we use is basic customer service. This is our number one priority. Treat everyone the same regardless of their two wheel choice or quality. We are all bike riders. The relationships you build with your customers are huge. People like to go to the shop, smell the rubber and talk with like-minded people. The shop people will have first hand info on what works and how it works. Plus, the customer may have a chance to try the product before they buy. Another reason is warranty issues. A shop can deal with them quickly, offering a loaner item or a bike if needed. Online cannot do this. I have had customers flat out tell me they choose to buy from a bike shop to have the confidence of knowing they will deal with a problem if it arises."

As online shopping continues to grow, how do you see the role of the local bike shop evolving over the next five years?

"The local bike shop will survive. The customer service game has to be upheld and get higher in order to compete against online sales. Dealers will have to be attentive to pricing but still remain profitable. Most people understand the overhead cost of running a retail business vs. online overhead cost. I think people want to support the local shop and other local retail establishments to keep their economy strong. With cycling growing and receiving attention from the municipal level this is bringing a whole group of new cyclist into the market. Along with “sales” customer service, the repair side needs to have the same high standard as well. You cannot bring your bike into an online store, but you can bring it into your local bike shop. And, I bet the trip to your local shop will be a bit more fun than a trip on the world wide web."


The Bow Cycle storefront.


Matt Cole: Chain Reaction Cycles

bigquotes For younger riders, online shopping is becoming the norm, but the benefits of online are there for every age and every type of rider to take advantage of. Customer behaviour is constantly changing too, with more people browsing and ordering via mobile devices...Our goal is to have the most enriched content online so that customers are equipped with all the details they need to make a purchase.

Who's buying online? Do you think the younger generations are fueling online sales?

"For younger riders, online shopping is becoming the norm, but the benefits of online are there for every age and every type of rider to take advantage of. Customer behaviour is constantly changing too, with more people browsing and ordering via mobile devices. Gone are the days when you were tucked away ordering a list of new spares on the desktop in the corner of the room – now people are watching TV, for example, while browsing the latest bike kit and accessories on the market via their iPad."

What segment of cycling (mountain bikes, road bikes, etc...) makes up the largest percentage of your sales?

"Chain Reaction Cycles’ beginnings were in the off-road segment, where we stocked specialist brands like GT, Marin, Proflex and Cannondale during the early days, and we continue to offer thousands of mountain bikes, parts, clothing and accessories. We’ve also developed a huge customer base in road, triathlon and BMX which have seen massive increases especially given the recent boom in sportive-type rides and the rise in popularity of amateur triathlon races around the globe."

What do you see as the greatest advantage of shopping online? What does Chain Reaction Cycles offer that local bike shops don't?

"We were founded as a local family-run bike shop, and we continue with two stores – one connected to our warehouse and another in Belfast – so we’re in a unique position in having local outlets with a huge stock offering.

"Everything we’ve done since the company’s inception in 1985 has been geared towards providing the best possible products and service to our customers and it’s those values that we pride ourselves on to this day. Our product range, in-stock availability and prices are major advantages to shopping online, but the pre-purchase support and after-care we offer is also something that sets us apart.

"We have a 12-month, 365-day hassle-free returns service, a full warranty policy, a 120-man strong customer service team who can be contacted via email or phone made up of a highly qualified Tech Team with all the bike knowledge you could ask for and an international group of advisors on hand who can offer support in seven different languages, including Japanese, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese and German."

Chain Reaction Cycles has almost 800k Facebook fans. To what do you credit CRC's success with social media?

"Chain Reaction Cycles is a rider-run company, made up of people just like our customers and fans – we love nothing better than getting out there in the great outdoors during our downtime, and it’s this passion that we think brings people closer to us via the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, ChainReactionHub.com, YouTube and Vimeo.

"Facebook and social media in general is the perfect platform to connect with our customers like never before, giving us an outlet to put our personality across and since joining we’ve offered followers a rich helping of content from exclusive competitions, the latest bike tech news, photos and more. We’re very careful in not using Facebook to just push sales and promotions, and we think our fans respect us for this."

What are your thought on the practice of “showrooming,” where customers check out items at their local bike shop, but then go home and purchase the items online?

"Our goal is to have the most enriched content online so that customers are equipped with all the details they need to make a purchase. We aim to have product specs and descriptions, 360-degree image views, video buyer’s guides, fit guides, and size guides where applicable and we have a dedicated Tech Team who are on hand to offer technical support whether you’ve got a straightforward question on crank compatibility or an in-depth query on bleeding your disc brakes. We always welcome feedback so we can continue to furnish our customers with all the information they need."

How do you see the role of the local bike shop evolving over the next five years? What do you think they can do to ensure they stay viable?

"Founded as a local bike shop in 1985 and now with two stores in the immediate area, we constantly aim to meet the needs of our local customers. What we try to do in our local stores, as well as our retail offering, is try to be an invaluable source for local riders, becoming a real hub for the cycling community – providing workshop support, running regular maintenance courses, free seminars on bike technique and training, gait analysis, bike fit, providing info for local races, group rides, spins and the like. So in the context of what we’re trying to do we feel that the future is good for the local bike shop."


Industry Opinions


Kevin Menard: Co-owner of Transition Bikes

bigquotes I still feel like the brick and mortar shop is always going to be strong if they focus on that relationship with the customer. I don't think a shop should ever be afraid of internet business if they know who their customers are and what they want.

Do you have pricing rules in effect for shops selling online versus in a store?

“Yes, we have rules in general. We're pretty firm – we only have two or three shops that can sell online. You have to have a physical storefront to be able to sell online. We did that for control reasons, so we can keep an eye on how people are marketing themselves on the internet. If you have a lot of online retailers it's very difficult to police. We have policies that if you're an online retailer you can't sell to a foreign country where we have a distributor, and you need to sell at MSRP, except for closeouts, which have set prices. Basically, it's all about keeping the playing field level. We realize we have a niche product, and we won't have a dealer in every town. There are going to be a lot people that just don't have a dealer that even knows about the product. That's where there is a lot of value in internet shops. I think when you get to a bike of our caliber you need some personalization on the internet. A drop-to-cart feature for a $4000 bike seems ridiculous.

"So many shops have these SmartEtailing carts now. A lot of new shops open and they think when they have a website and can sell online the floodgates are going to open. It's just not like that. There aren't millions of people wanting to buy bikes at retail on the internet. We try to talk people out of that. You're not really missing out, especially if you're a new website that doesn't rank well in search results. Everyone wants to do it – they think it's the holy grail. And I think some guys do really well, but they've taken a marketing approach to it and really focused on it."


Have you run into issue with counterfeit product, or unauthorized sites selling Transition brand items?

"I've never seen any counterfeit product, but occasionally sites will put up stuff on their web store that wasn't authorized. We've had cases in the past where sites were putting up product and discounting it. Not a huge deal, you just need to police it. We keep a pretty tight reign on it."

With online sales in general taking off, do you see the role of the local bike shop changing at all?

"I've always been an internet guy. Personally, when I shop, like for clothes, a lot of times I'm shopping online. But, for the bike shop experience I've found that when I've utilized my local bike shop it was when I needed something right away or needed help with a repair. They just have that expertise. I think the role of a bike shop is to create relationships with individuals in the community. They become connected to that shop. It's very hard to connect with a website. A good bike shop will create a relationship – they become your buddy. A good shop will have the products you need when you need them. I think internet shops do well because a lot of local bike shops don't cater to an individual's riding style. They don't have, say, replacement parts for a Hope brake, or they don't know how to work on a suspension fork or bleed a brake. I see a lot of people become more self-sufficient and relying on the internet because of this. But, I still feel like the brick and mortar shop is always going to be strong if they focus on that relationship with the customer. I don't think a shop should ever be afraid of internet business if they know who their customers are and what they want.

I do hear some grumbling about the discounting of model year product by the larger online retailers. Items like forks and shifters and brakes – that sort of thing is detrimental to the industry. It devalues product when it shouldn't be devalued, and I think bike manufacturers and component manufacturers need to police that. It's not necessarily the fault of the online retailers. Shops get pissed off at the websites because they're selling model year bikes and model year products for below MSRP, but it really should be the manufacturers that put their foot down and say they're pulling their product out. I think there's some joint responsibility, but at the end of the day the manufacturer is the one selling the product – they have the control. I think the two can coexist really well as long as there are some checks and balances."



Mark Graff: Co-founder, SmartEtailing.com

bigquotesBicycling is not about products. The products are simply a means to the end, which is the experience. This is where local specialty stores will always have the edge (unless they're simply not willing to put forth the effort).


With search results dominated by the bigger retailers, can independent bike shops hope to compete in the world of online shopping?

"Actually, I disagree with two elements in your question: first, that search results are “dominated” by bigger retailers. You only have to consider what “near me now” means in today’s search offering to realize that the new focus of search is locally directed purchases. Sure, paid search budgets from larger firms are going to make it possible for these entities to maintain a presence, often in the absence of more relevant, local results. Yet the power of local access, which includes ease of returns and handling service issues, can’t be underestimated. Second, consumers today don’t think about shopping 'online' or 'offline.' The variety of connected devices and the nearly ever-present access has led to what observers today have labeled as omni-channel shopping. It means that consumers expect companies, including retailers, to be wherever and however they wish to interact. The good news for local retailers is that services such as ours help them match or even go beyond what some of the larger firms currently can provide."


As the internet and online shopping have grown how have you seen the role of the brick and mortar store change?

"We consider the future of local specialty retailing to be more vibrant than ever. There’s only so much satisfaction that can come from impersonal packages being dropped at your doorstep. There’s magic in retail that a flat-panel display can’t match. The service and sizing components of matching product to people is also a key differentiator. Yet, bicycling is not about products. The products are simply a means to the end, which is the experience. This is where local specialty stores will always have the edge (unless they’re simply not willing to put forth the effort). From advocating for access to promoting and sponsoring rides and events, local bicycle retailers play a direct role in improving the lives of people in their communities."


What makes SmartEtailing different from other software options out there?

"We work hard to tailor our web-based applications to the exact needs of our clients, yet software is only one-third of our solution. Another important element we bring is expertly prepared content. Our team of content professionals have intimate knowledge of the products and topics that they write about, plus they know how to present the information so that it’s fully accessible and helpful to consumers on behalf of specialty stores that present it. This highlights our third major difference, our people; in addition to our content creators, we also have a dedicated team of retail consultants and technical pros that offer assistance whenever our clients have questions. Many of our staff have owned or managed specialty stores. They know the challenges and opportunities firsthand and are able to go well beyond the kind of basic help-desk assistance that you typically hear is what’s offered by technology firms."


What can independent bike shops do to encourage customers to physically step through their doors?

"Start by recognizing that customers start thinking about their purchases and where they will spend their dollars long before they come to the store and, in some cases, may not need to visit. Therefore, stores need to respect how their customers wish to buy from them. This means making your store accessible via all of the ways that consumers shop. Yes, it means you need to adopt new processes and be proficient with these so that you achieve the same consistent levels of customer satisfaction that you’ve worked hard to provide within the walls of your physical store."






Must Read This Week

501 Comments

  • + 219
 Buy local! I manage a LBS. MojoWheels in Denver CO. Love us or hate us, We are a brick and mortar since 1991. It is hard to compete with the big online boys. But, If you bother to get out of your house and stop by my shop, you get deals, almost never msrp, industry knowledge and the best service in the front range. If you are cool I usually match or do better than online for product I have instock, it is that easy to get product in your hand faster and cheaper then the interweb! I don't want to go on a rant, So BUY LOCAL and support your LBS.
  • + 44
 ^just gonna give some extra props for Mojo Wheels. They are the only bike shop I've ever been happy with. This guy knows his business!
  • + 41
 If only bikeshops in my area were like this...
In my town most bikeshops have no idea what they are doing and i most of time have to fix what they installed....
So when i wanted to get a triple crown fork i went to the next bigger city and asked in 4 different shops which forks they recommended the reply's i got:
"your not going to buy here anyways... a boxxer race is 899€ + 50€ for installation (more than mrp???)"
"Just go online"
all the way to "get out your just gonna go online and get it there!"

Really im trying to find a LBS that i want to support, with the previous ones it was me trying to get to be a customer and them trying to get me to buy online?!
  • + 7
 I agree! Local bike shop here has just started a test centre for Santa Cruz Bicycles, you cant try one of those online! If you look at what CRC has on offer as well they sell stuff sometimes below the cost of the dealer price. They have power to buy in bulk direct for sure so they do. They are an important part of the bike chain, but when you cant get something to work properly or you need a fork servicing you need your local bike shop. FOX, SRAM etc don't except people sending the forks in it has to come from a dealer so they are not swamped with unnecessary repairs that could have been resolved at the local bike shop. Also when you need stuff quick and only the shop has it then buy it from them! Overheads of shops are higher yes, but without the shops no-one would be able to ask questions easily about which bike is best for them, try one and then see which you prefer and ask advice about component choices and the best brand servicing. If there is a problem the shop is there for you to take it back to, rather than post it back to Ireland at an un competitive postage rate. Remember CRC gets such a good deal on postage as it sends so much.... its often double or tripple the price to send back to them than what they paid.
  • - 5
 f*ck supporting my LBS they want £55 for SLX rear mech i can get it for £30 online somepeople cant aford to support ther LBS
W
  • + 23
 MojoWheels is a great shop! My dad stoped in to get me a hub a couple years ago and im pretty shure you guys sold it to him for half the price. Bike shops can give good deals to, support yout LBS!
  • - 9
 Does it matter where I buy ? No, what does matter is where I get best value for money. Sometimes it is best service, sometimes it is best price. What does matter how LBS or online retailer cope with their customers wishes. As a customer I want the products available at any time, at any place. Whether it is a pick-up at a place and time of my choice after work or send to my home. Therefor LBS need to share actual stock with a online retailer

Online retailers and LBS should start joint ventures:
- One online platform (e.g. CRC) to order and leave me the choice of picking it up or send it to my home. If pick up is my choice, the online retailer shows me the LBS where the product is available. The LBS gets The LBS pays a small fee for the services of the online retailer. If "home"is my choice the online retailer sends it straight to my home.
- Dense network of LBS with "lockers" where the pick up is possible at any given time, give the customer a code to enter the specific locker. And during opening times inside the store. The online-retailer supports the LBS to invest in lockers and stock-management.

If both channels are able to pull this off, you have many happy customers. It is all about logistics.
  • + 8
 LBS!! its easy to get a reasonable price if you have to order something, and especially for me in canada i find that ordering from CRC or jenson is never worth it cause even though i save x% i still have to pay duties and shit
  • + 12
 In this economy everyone is struggling, not just the bike industry , so all the half assed operations are failing and going bankrupt because there is less money floating around. in short, good lbs's get the support if they deserve it!, but when the lbs sells 2008 xtr at the price of 2013 all i got to say is bye bye, good luck finding another job!.
  • - 3
 @zaprowsdower : Thats exactly why i hate LBS !! What the hell is that ''If you are cool I usually match or do better than online for product I have instock'' It mean that you do great price to your little friends and big big customer$$$$?? Just do great price to everyone and everybody will be happy and buy more often local. Everytime i go to my LBS, i feel like a stranger, only thoses with big money get great price and thats why i prefer buy online, CRC always have great price for me Wink
  • + 6
 I wish I had a LBS like you. Most of mine pull out the MSRP books and quote me prices based on that. For example a 2010 Shimano XTR crankset is still listed as $799 in the archaic catalog he uses and quotes me that amount. What an ass eh?
  • + 4
 i use my local simply on the fact that i hate using online shops and they also compare any prices to chain reaction cycles so it works amazingly for me and i know i can get my parts in asap
  • + 5
 I feel mechanical service will always require a bike shop for most riders. Also large purchases like a new frame, I feel more comfortable getting from my LBS. there is also the purchase of small items like gloves tube patch kits and grease where I don't want to spend $10 on and item that is only $5-15. But unfortunately being a college student, money is tight and when I need something like a new set of wheels I will most likely go online cause I can easily get them at 50-60% off.

I feel full support of a LBS will depend from person to person based on where they are in life financially. when i'm done and have a job and am hopefully making enough money I do plan on fully supporting my LBS.
  • + 15
 " If you bother to get out of your house and stop by my shop"

Cyclists usually have no problem with getting out of their houses
  • + 12
 I don't agree Zapro.. I try to give my business to Mojo, but honestly I don't feel like the service is good. when I bring my bike in or ask questions or try to buy something I feel like I am a nuisance. Maybe because I don't race or because I haven't bought a bike from Mojo? As far as retail prices, no one has ever offered me a good deal so I continue to buy online and fix stuff myself. I will continue to try, but get more and more skeptical of the LBS and their inflated prices (especially on simple service things).. Glad I learned how to wrench on my own bike.
  • + 13
 My problem with local bike shops is that they rarely have what I want, typically if I need something it is going to take the local bike shop longer to order it than if I just bought it online, plus there is a good chance they won't get the order right. Frown

That being said there are great LBS's out there, just not close enough to me to make it worth while.
  • + 6
 I do a little of both. I'll buy gear/bikes in shops and components/odds and ends online.
  • - 4
 Local bike shops are outdated I say. I've gone in for simple things before and they asked me what I am asking for. Online is usually cheaper and have a much bigger range of products. For people like me, who don't have a lot of money online is usually better. Local shops are a lot more expensive and as already previously stated rarely have the range of products that an online store does. Though, that can't be said for every bike shop, it is usually correct. If you have the money, a bike shop is okay. But if you don't have a lot of funds, online is better in the long run.
  • + 9
 Pinkbike buy/sell for me is were I get most of my gear
  • + 9
 I support a local bike shop and it its epic! After being screwed over by lots of bike shops i finally found some guys who know what they are doing and are willing to help! plus the guy has an epic mustache!
  • + 1
 Local bike shops are great especially since mine has great customer service, but since I live in canada the bikes are 25% more expensive than if I buy off Danscomp, so for service and bike fixing I go local but for buying I like online
  • + 1
 MOJO wheels for sure!!!!!!!!! it's where I bought my demo those guys are the best and they know what they are talking about support the local enconomy. It's the same in any business if you support the shop often you get hooked up period if your just a random guy off the street you might not get as big of a hookup. Now that being said if I didn't have a good local shop such as MOJO then I might have to look at the internet. Support the locals as much as you can and if you happen to stumble across a drop dead great deal on the net then jump on it no one is going to kill you for that. If not then buy it local.
  • + 5
 Everyone is kind of making it out to be this big crime to buy on-line... but in the end of the day, people are going to go where they save the most money. A lot of people here who "have worked in a shop" (I am one of them) make it sound like bike shops are dropping off the face of the earth, and going bankrupt, but I beg to differ. A LBS here in Coquitlam/Pomo/Burnaby/Maple Ridge is currently opening its 4th location and doing quite well I might add. They offer hands down the best service I have ever witnessed and all of the employees were awesome to work with. If you want a place to start a great relationship, hit up Cap's Westwood Cycles, at one of their locations across the lower mainland, including their new store opening soon in Burnaby.

Having said that, will they give me close to cost on items because I worked there? Heck no. Will they give me 1500 worth of parts for under a 1000? Probably not. Sometimes, you do what you have to do. I don't see why pinkbike needs to bring this issue up over and over, its almost like a broken record. Its sort of like they sit at their head office and get bored, so they want to stir sh*t up! haha. Anyways, buy where ever you need to, LBS's aren't going anywhere.
  • + 4
 @ Mathhhh I didn't mean "if your cool" as the bro or the guy that can do a back flip. Just that if you come in with a good attitude you will leave with the same or better. Wink
  • + 5
 I wish bike shops everywhere where as cool as mojo wheels. Sadly for me, you could stand for 30 minutes on the floor of my lbs and not get any help. Once you get it you will find people who know less than my mom about bikes and don't really care about selling anything. The saddest thing for me is that its perfect for all those newby mountain bikers who know nothing and are easily fooled, and don't hold shops to any sort of standard.
  • + 3
 LBS are becoming a charity case. If they can't compete, they don't deserve our business. I'm not going to pay extravagant prices and put up with dorks at my LBS just because "they're local and I should support them". They need to step up their game. Offer me outstanding service!
  • + 2
 In Poland's local shops you usually have to pay twice much as buying parts online. And also most of the time they out of stock and you have to wait for your parts same long as buying online. So it's easy choise Wink In local stores I buy tubes, cables, sometimes brakepads and that's it.
  • + 1
 all it comes down to is people what to buy from there lbs but simply cant afford it so we go to online dealers and get stuff for half the price if i had the money hands down i would go to my lbs and buy everything i needed but its just not in the books.
  • + 12
 As I was going through school (secondary and university) I was lucky enough to have worked at an LBS, totalling nearly 10 years, and can say that zaprowsdower's comment with respect to "getting a deal, by coming in the shop" is right on the money. The LBS value committed customers: the more you shop with them, the better they treat you when you checkout at the till. Calling them, or emailing them, asking what the best price is for product XYZ, you're only going to get MSRP, or maybe some small discount off of that.

Walk in the door, and talk to the people, and see the difference. Talk about your riding, the bike you've got, etc., and build a relationship. THEN ask what the price is on product XYZ, you'll undoubtedly get a different price then the guy who just calls in.

In addition there's the non-monetary value you get from the LBS: sure they'll give you discounts on product as a long-term customer, but additionally their employees will become your friends, they'll lend you their own personal bikes to ride. The shop will always fight for you when a vendor is questioning the validity of a warranty claim. The list of great friends that I have from my time at the LBS is long. I invited many of them to my fricking wedding!!

As mentioned in the article, a quality LBS will have loaner parts - we had (they still have, I'm sure) forks, wheels, full bikes, and more, all available as loaners when our top customers were going to be down a bike or part for an extended period of time. Our goal was to be sure you were always able to ride!

The relationship that you'll build with real people versus buying from an online "e-tailer" kicks the crap out of the short-term monetary savings you'll get.
  • + 2
 @zapro- good to see another representative of a CO LBS on here. Reading some of the replies to your comment it seems a lot of people don't have access to the type of LBS customer service you guys offer at Mojo or we offer at Criterium down south in the springs. One thing I've noticed that keeps people coming in our shop is that an online place can't offer you bike set-up/fit advice, draw you a map to a great trail, give you trail condition updates, or honor their product. You buy a fork from me and you have an issue I'll fix it or swap it out free, often times the online buyer is left high and dry
  • + 1
 my LBS is usually pretty good and can beat or price match most online prices if not ill use online. Will always research online, try my LBS, if they can price match then ill buy haha
  • + 1
 I've been to Mojo Wheels, and though it's a nice shop, nothing can beat Craigslist for me, I can't afford a new $3,000 bike. With all the used stuff that's out there, new doesn't even occur to me when I'm looking for another bike.
  • + 4
 My lbs owner is a bitch so i dont buy there anymore
  • + 2
 IT really comes down to customer service. In my town i can say with out boasting that i know more about mountain and bmx bikes than the shops that sell them here. I've had terrible customer service and dont plan on ever buying from a bike shop again. It takes forever to get items in stock and often they order the wrong ones. This also is why i do my own repairs as bike shops over charge for simple repairs that anyone can do.
  • + 3
 Mojo's is the SH!T!! I consider myself lucky to have made friends with those guys. They've price matched or damn close for pretty much everything I've asked them to order for me. Find a shop like this and by exclusively from them. Support local!! Ride global!!
  • + 2
 Shame on Shimano for not helping all of the LBS out there. The pricing will never compete with big online retailers....not right
  • + 3
 I will start supporting a local bike shop when they decide not rip me the f*ck off, here in richmond the lbs charges $1 per spoke and nipple, sure that isn't a whole lot but when you have a new rim and hubs set and need it laced it sure is. they already charge $80 to lace them up and another $64 for spokes, for that price I will buy a truing stand and watch a couple tech tuesdays. and why they hell do they expect me to pay $40 for grips, screw that ill go pay $20 online. All the prices are so high you would be a fool to not buy online, with this being said i still go to them for small things like cables and bolts but for larger items i can save hundreds online. for me online and PB buy/sell is where its at for me because cash is tight and why not save a tone of bread and get it delivered strait to my door.
  • + 1
 Yeah, support LBS! I work at one of my local bike shops and most of our customers know all of us personally, and it feels so much better supporting and helping guys you know and ride with than corporate monsters. I love Chain Reaction too and know they started out small, but they will never need our well earned coin as much as some LBSs do.
  • + 2
 I have a love/hate relationship with my LBS.

When I bought used brakes off Pinkbike only to realize I needed service, I brought them into one shop and received a lecture about how I wasn't supporting local business, etc.. I felt like asking him if I could see his refrigerator to see the C.o.O.L. on his food...I went in there willing to pay whatever it takes and just just got shat on and guilt tripped.

This shop is in the used parts business and does trade-ins, and when I asked him if I could trade in some small spare parts he gave me a condescending response about how he can't make any money off of that--how about a yes or no! When he realized I wanted a full tune-up for my bike and my little brother's, plus this brake work, and a fork installation (I don't know how to remove or install a crown race) done he eased off, accepted the trade-in, and gave me a deal on the service cost. Money talks, right?

Having said all this, I'm actually now a repeat customer because they do excellent repairs and started giving me good prices. I just didn't like being talked down to like that, especially since I wasn't pushy in the slightest, albeit a little ignorant.

Anyone else ever gotten similar lectures from shops?
  • + 1
 Look for those saying about MSRP, keep in mind where the product comes from, and who the shop gets the product from distribution wise. At my shop we're always trying to get the best price, not just for our sake but your sake, but facing facts, if the distributor charges more than they should, if shipping and or duty to your region, or even your shops size/relation adds to it, naturally the cost goes up.

The problem is that attitude of "well I can get it cheaper" only makes your LBS worse. The more traffic, the higher volume you put through your shop, the better deal they can score parts for, the better distributors they can do business with, that's how online shops are dominating right now.

Also @valtra up there, yes I have gotten that. The shop I work for used to be the shop I hung out at as a kid, and the condescension did suck, but keep something in mind, while in your story puts you in a good place with something to offer, day in and day out people want to trade in supercycles, rusted, stolen, hacksaw bikes and parts even in shops that clearly don't do trade-ins.
  • + 1
 That being said, if ANY of you feel like when you go into a shop and ask for something, like the sales guy feels burdened by your presence, point it out to them! Politely would be the best approach, but remember we're just riders like you, and we get 100 ridiculous requests or offers for every 1 good customer, no joke. If you come in with genuine curiosity, and an open mind, and an understanding that we're trying to balance a business and a community for all of our interest, we'll do what we can. That being said, don't be upset if we can't do what you want for you, the business is rigid, I'm sure most shops would love to give out deals anywhere possible and spread the good vibes, but there are so many factors from rent, location, and beyond. Point is, buy local until you can't get what you need within reason, learn to barter and ask for deals politely, and eventually your local shop will be big enough to give you better deals.
  • + 2
 I've heard a lot of great things about MojoWheels.. and I live 6 hours away.
  • + 1
 @ Webhead

Why the heck should I have to keep going to some LBS and spending more on bike parts and trying to make the staff like me, just so I can get a price that's almost as good as online prices? The only bike shop within 50m of me worth visiting is the warehouse showroom for a large online bike retailer... They are open long hours and have good service and good prices, if I'm desperate for a part, that's where I'll go.

And to those who worry about their LBS disappearing and no one being able to bleed their brakes for them... Go on a college course... The most difficult thing to do on a bike is build wheels (IMO) and even that only takes a few months to become proficient at (and a lifetime to master of course Smile ).
  • + 1
 Money doesn't always talk...Chain Reaction definitely has a ton of deals going on at any given time, BUT that doesn't mean it's better than your local shop. When you buy online you have no support. Last time I checked the UK isn't two blocks from Colorado if I have an issue or concern. I have purchased little things from Chain Reaction here and there, but my business belongs to Mojo Wheels which ISN'T MY LOCAL SHOP. Recently I found a set of brakes that were cheaper than Mojo could get them to at least make a penny or two, and I still bought them from Mojo because THEY TAKE CARE OF ME. Sometimes you spend a little more, but save a ton more in the long run. Nobody is perfect whether it's in reference to the customer or the retailer. If you come into a business that's not yours as if you own it, then no one will want to deal with you. If you go into a business with the right attitude, and the retailer sucks then go somewhere else, and those shops exist for sure in Colorado Springs otherwise I would have never found Mojo Wheels. It is impossible to develop any kind of relationship with an online vendor especially one that isn't in your country. If you can't find a shop that will help you than it is unarguably a good enough reason to shop online. Most of you awesome American citizens probably complain about how bad the economy is, yet you refuse to support your local shops simply because it is an inconvenience for you to drive somewhere or wait a bit longer for a product. If you feel like you should buy local it's because you should so stop ignoring right an act on it.
  • + 1
 @mudzuricky - Completely agree if we're talking dollars difference, however my specific issue is hundreds of dollars difference on the larger items. I actually prefer to shop locally since even if they don't have stock at the shop they typically make a weekly order which is fulfilled fairly quickly by the distribution warehouses. This takes a maximum of a week instead of 2-3 weeks when ordering online (unless you pay extra for FedEx or UPS). But then again it boils down to trying to find a shop which is competitive as well. I live in a rather large city (Toronto) with a pro bike shop found on almost every 3 city blocks from each other. Time to find the right shop and convenience also plays a factor. Plus sometimes a used bike part will fit the bill.

Another factor which is actually allowing online retailers the advantage is that some online retailers are finding ways to sell product to other countries despite the vendor agreements against it. I have no idea how this can be controlled but it's affecting the distribution network in a big way driving cost of parts up even for the LBS.

IMO a LBS should introduce three things to become more competitive:
1. Online purchasing, Completely adhering to the vendors sales restrictions.
2. Competitive market prices
3. Offer to sell on concession or used bikes/parts.
  • + 1
 Try finding a 12mm thru axle for a DH bike in Charleston, SC...LBS for service matters that I don't have tools for. Other than that, online for me.
  • + 2
 I would just like to point out after typing my little rant there, and coincidentally looking for some bike parts, I decided to call Dunbar Cycles here in Vancouver. They had what I was looking for, and they beat Chain Reactions price by over $100. I have a great outstanding relationship with the guys at Dunbar after buying my Demo 8, and I have no problem spending my money there in the future.
  • + 1
 I agree Svard75.
Why doesnt the LBS have a parts exchange service like hmv or blockbuster?
I buy a lot of second hand parts, my current fork (08 1.5" marrzo 66) and headset i got for 150 quid.
  • + 1
 well said, service means you serve. why should the effort be on the consumer? you want my money? extend a premium to me. not necessarily price but I want service don't call me dude and look me in the eyes, I sound like an old man but its just from having done it retail foe 5 years, I've noticed bike stores don't always extend this service. the one I was dealing with moved so that relationship I built over a couple of months now has to be established.
  • + 3
 2 oz bottle of Stan's sealant @ LBS - $10, paid it because I needed it right then but you don't build a loyal customer base charging triple MSRP. I get the whole cost of rent, electric, labor etc. but I have those expenses as well.
  • + 1
 It all depends on the bike shop itself...... I've had great experiences with some, and terrible with others. It's either you get a LBS that stocks proper kit with prices that won't kill your wallet with owners that are friendly and out going, OR you get ones that stock improper kit with owners that have little to no interest in their customers and/or rip off their customers to make a buck.
The larger problem I see with some shops..you almost have to make the staff like you in order to get a slightly better price on anything. Most customers don't feel like doing that anymore when they can go onto CRC, get a part at 35 percent off the tag price WITHOUT trying to beg or haggle and get the part overnight. Of course the LBS has to make a profit but in this digital age where you can surf for low costing parts, it shouldn't be surprising to see people leaning towards online shopping.
That being said, I only ever shop at LBSs for my bike equipment because 1. I prefer supporting small local businesses over Corporations and 2. I can get the part NOW with support if anything goes wrong.
Of course this isn't the story for everyone, so trying to demonize people that shop online is absolutely silly. Some people these days simply can't afford the prices a LBS offers.
  • + 1
 You have those expenses, but my boss has those times 2 shops, and about 18 employees that are also cyclists, employed in your area, that by buying local, you keep employed, for your service.

Mind you, like I said, MSRP is set by the company to their research or local market values. That product then goes to a distributor somewhere else who determines their own profits, who then sends those to shops who are at the mercy of how much volume their store is low traffic, and low volume, what power do they have to demand better prices from a distributor? "Give me better prices or I wont order all of the 20 bikes my shop brings in yearly" as if that would touch them.

Mostly as I said keep in mind, that just because MSRP is $1, does not mean by charging $3 that the shop is making $2, because an easy $1 goes to the distributor, and 50 cents goes to paying the employees, thus the shop makes 50 cents on 3 dollars in that example, so you tell me why a shop would want to cut that small profit again?>
  • + 1
 Online my local is Merlin Cycles near chorley. not only do they have shockingly bad service they are rude. they send you away unless the thing you want to buy is over £25. if you go in for anything small they cant be bothered to go and find it for you. i can walk there in 2 mins but still buy online and wait for it to be delivered just so i dont have to go in there!
  • + 2
 To all those complaining about their LBS: When it comes to human interactions, you reap what you sow. Put another way, "You gotta give a little to get a little."
Someone made a good example here:

bikefat.com/are-you-a-good-bike-shop-customer
  • + 1
 ^ Best said of the day.
  • + 1
 @ matbar20

I have to re-iterate what I said previously: I disagree that I should have to work to earn a bike shop's favour, if anything it should be the other way around. I'm a paying customer, who wants a shop to have competitive prices (I don't expect them to match CRC on everything, but I will never pay over MRRP, or considerably over the prices available on-line), a good selection of parts, and staff who actually know what they're talking about and have the customer service / social skills to make my transaction a pleasant one. It's hardly an unreasonable expectation is it? That's how business in the capitalist world works.

Back in the late 90's when on-line stores were not around in the format they are now, the three local bike shops in town were great. I used to pop in when passing any of these shops just to chat with the people inside, and despite the fact it was probably quite annoying to have a teenager with little spending power taking up their time, the staff in these shops always seemed happy to help in any way they could, and so what little money I had from my paper round was spent in their shops.

Fast forward to today: There are numerous bike shops within 50 miles of where I live, but only one can tick the three necessary boxes for me. The rest fail on one or more of the following:

1. Price (and NO I do not want to have to make them a F$%^*& BFF bracelet to get access to reasonable prices! It's their job to build rapport with me, not the other way around)
2. Stock selection
3. Customer service
  • + 1
 "but I will never pay over MRRP"

Well that's good for you coming from the other side of the counter, I'm starting to see what kind of customer you are, and I'm glad you shop online.

Take the music/movie rental industry, and project it 10 years, that's an extreme we're looking at for bikes, not a certain one but it could very well go that way at the current rate.

As explained, MSRP does not mean it's worth the same everywhere you go. If Rockshox says MSRP on a fork is $550, and you wonder why it's $650 at your shop, that's probably because the distributor which I wont name the few I'd get from back here for my own sake, charge about 3/4 that MSRP to us, the shop. On top of that we have to pay shipping and taxes like any other person on the face of the planet. Now tell me why I would charge MSRP, only to barely make $50 on the part, because by your logic I should do that for everybody, and then we go out of business, and then where am I?
  • + 1
 @man0with0stick - What you're saying makes complete sense and we could quite possibly see a slow demise of the LBS but there will always be customers who don't have either the skills or the time to wrench so customers will always need a bike shop. The LBS I was talking about specifically does not turn out a lot of product. In fact every time I go there he chats me up about how slow the business has become. I really feel for the guy and try my best to buy whatever I can. Sometimes I just can't justify that extra couple of hundred at the brick and mortar vs an online robot.

Not sure if you feel a difference in the last several years but I seem to think the bicycle buying market has grown significantly. I see more mountain bikers and road riders then ever and think at the rate the sport is growing there should be a balance or increase in customers shopping at a brick and mortar to offset the people switching to online. Thoughts?
  • + 3
 Main reason why I buy on line is because I am deaf so communication is an issue with me. Each and every time I go into a bike shop with a pad and a pen to communicate they look at me like I have no money and is a retard. This is why I go on line and shopp and get my things on line for me it has nothing to do with the price of items I has to do with respect when I shop on line I dont get that looked down feeling I get excited to wait for my part to arrive to my front door. I do find it funny how pb and consumers only say pricing is the only reason is why we customers but on line but in my case not so.
  • + 2
 I'm a mechanic (and suspension tech) at a very small town shop in southern California and have been for about 5 years. As with all other shops we do loose some business to online stores but we make an attempt to match prices and if we can't than we simply say go for it because I know that the crank or derailleur or whatever it is that you are getting, you are going to need help putting it on. And I will still be able to make money installing it for you. Another advantage to buying at a local shop at least the one i work at is when you buy from us we are willing to switch it out for no labor charge in most cases, on some items just due to time needed to do it we may. but it will be a discounted labor cost in comparison if you bought it online. As far as the economy effecting the local shop (as mentioned by another user) i think that if anything it has helped the local shop. More people are getting into riding to escape the economy either through mountain biking, road riding, or even commuting for a little escape before and after work. In short simply ask your shop if they are willing to match prices if they can justify it, because in the long run when you need help from your local shop they will be allot more willing to work with you if you make that attempt to help them out. All i'm saying is give your local shop a chance to make a relationship with you and your bike. I'm not saying that all shops are going to be willing to do this but if they are its worth it.

Also major props to pinkbike for putting this up it's a neutral point of view that people can read and discuss with other users.
  • + 3
 Props to Mojo! Unfortunately they're on the other side of town from me but my wife bought we a bunch of gear from there for x-mas and when I went to exchange some of it they were super cool and helpful. Also, they let my kids run around the store without making me feel like I sh!t in their cornflakes, a huge plus in my book.

With that being said there are forces at play in this situation that should be addressed. First is that I have only recently become financially secure enough to 'afford' to be able to shop at an LBS. Prior to now my gear purchasing decisions were between CL and Ebay. I have always wanted to support my LBS, but in the end I'm here to ride, not support a business. So basically what I'm trying to say is deep down most people want to buy from their LBS but simply can't afford it.

Second, my "corporations are not people" alarms start ringing whenever a business wants me to make sacrifices in order to make a profit. Its the same feeling I get when people talk about farm subsidies going to Monsanto or bailouts going huge banks. Love it or hate we exist in a capitalistic society, the basic premise of which is businesses fail and thrive based on their ability to offer a desired product at a competitive price and it drives me out of my f-ing mind when they do neither yet feel somehow entitled to exist based on some emotional argument, like we're local or a family business or super hip.

End of rant. Move along.
  • + 1
 @ man0with0stick (long post, probably not succinct enough tbh Razz )

I see what you're getting at with the music/film comparison, however LBS's are able to offer things music and film shops cannot (at least not as "naturally") - mechanical expertise, the ability to become the hub of the local riding community with charity events, interaction with local schools, youth community projects etc... and the opportunity to provide courses, whether it's mechanical or riding skills. Bike shops can certainly survive, but it's hardly surprising that their nature may need to change from the pre internet era (like many other businesses) to be successful.

With regards to the MRRP, LBS's perhaps need to address this with either rockshox or the distributor directly, as a large group of LBS's working together, rather than singly. As for "why" you would charge MRRP on an item... Simply put: market forces. Why would I pay $650 for some forks when I can probably go on-line and find them at $500? I appreciate your predicament, obviously you can't sell them at a loss, you've got bills to pay and food to put on the table like everyone else. Remember though, everyone else has bills to pay and food to put on the table, and $150 can be spent elsewhere...
  • + 1
 So something needs to change for bike shops to be competitive. I imagine it will be something similar to what has happened to newsagents and petrol stations all over the UK (and pubs before that). Local bike shops will have a "brand name" attached to them, get their stock exclusively through that brand name, who will get the stock from the distributors, and using their much larger buying power, will get it far cheaper, possibly even negotiating direct with suppliers in some cases on the LBS's behalf. It will mean LBS's lose a little of their independence which is sad, but it makes the business model more viable. This already exists to some extent, but as far as I can tell is nothing like as developed for bike shops as it is for other areas of the retail sector.

Obviously my opinions are based on my experience of UK bike shops, primarily those based around the south east, the situation may be different in other parts of the world.
  • + 1
 I think you missed my point @Sinule, and I'm not going to bother trying to explain it again. Seems many other got it, judging by the +11 it's got beside it at the moment...
  • + 1
 Okay Sinule, I get that, but let me try and frame this as logically and neutrally as I can, without a paragraph this time hopefully.

Shops have bills, fees, and competitive markets.

Customers have bills, fees and other costs of living just the same.

Okay now I see this point you're trying to make, but let's put it again into a perspective where both are true to their inherent natures.

Customers have bills, every citizen of our societies has some tax or duty to pay, somewhere down the line. You choose to partake in a sport that you know is a luxury, we all know it, we do not NEED all the fancy things we buy, we WANT a better version of what we need.

Shops NEED to pay employees, educate/train employees, pick the best of employees, arrange strict business deals with strict ruling distributors, and all on top of that, compete with 4 shops within the region, and a dozen online.

The reason online can offer for less is simple, less cost of operation, mind you originally it's a heavy investment, but in the long run the cost/profit ratio would be insane for an online shop, literally 5 people could run 80% of the average online shop, with half the man hours and resources wasted.

When you pay $150 more, you're investing in mechanics, a community of cycling events LOCAL to you, and giving back mostly of all, to YOUR community, and if that isn't enough reason than you should probably go back to school and study the economy. It's not even the companies profit, it's all the people in between getting it to you.
  • + 1
 For example I mostly work in BMX these days because it's busiest. We fight with local and south of the boarder shops, like 3Ride and Dans Comp. Any other store in the area will tell you how many dozens of kids lose their shirts because they go online for a deal, lacking the tech knowledge themselves end up with wrong parts, or worse need warranty and can't get it through the online source, and want us to resolve it for them. Let alone the hours of labor we get putting the shit together. These kids attack us with your same argument, they can get it cheaper and I don't blame them, but we've lost 2 indoor skateparks in the last 2 years here in Ontario, surrounding Toronto a lot of the new skateparks suck, and we pretty much have one competition a year (not including Joyride150) which pretty much sucks. The reason being is demos come to shops, busy shops where they can promote business.

These events are happening less, these competitions move farther away and disappear, and the skatepark quality is just pathetic but lets face it, who's going to foot the bill? not struggling LBSs.
[Reply]
  • + 50
 I feel like I should always buy local, but when push comes to shove, and I run the numbers... i always end up buying online:/
  • + 7
 I feel the same, i'm 15 and sometimes can't really afford supporting my lbs, if I where to get a new bike I would get it from my LBS cause we have a good relationship and they gave me a better price on my giant trance X4 than any online retailer, plus free maintenence for 2 years! bbut for other things I will sometimes support online retailers
  • + 9
 I MOSTLY buy from my LBS. But I'm a sucker for online deals now and then. I only buy small parts like stems, seatposts etc. online. But buy from my LBS for big stuff, like bikes, and other big parts, i.e wheels, which I will be doing.

If you don't support your LBS, one day, it'll be gone and all we'll have are online bike stores to buy from. Where can we get specialist help from, like bleeding brakes or headset pressing from if we don't have an LBS? I'm pretty sure headset presses cost a lot too.

I know the people in my LBS and they're a great shop/people (C&D Cycles) But I guess not can be said for all shops. If your LBS people are good, buy from them. Online retailers are killing LBS's with cheap deals.

Just remember, not everybody knows bike mechanics, nor have the tools to fix their bikes. Bike shops do, and have good people with good advice for anybody who's stuck with a technical problem. CRC aren't going to be able to help if you're in England or Canada (for example) when your bike is f**ked.

For people saying "bike shops are the biggest rip off." - think about shops having to make a profit. They're small against big giants like CRC who're online retailers and don't make as much profit!!

Support your LBS as much as you can people.
  • + 7
 I encourage people to learn about bike mechanics. Last year I dropped my expensive bike off to my LBS for repairs, and as I watched some 17-year old stoner working on it, I realized, "if that guy can do it, how hard can it be?" So, I started investing in bike tools, and with the help of youtube and Pinkbike Tech Tuesdays, I've learned to do most repairs myself. Bikes are remarkably simple!

My point? Invest $500-800 in tools, learn how to do the repairs yourself, and buy your components online. I will support my LBS if they provide good service, but truthfully, a good LBS is a rare species in Prince George BC.
  • + 1
 In my town I can't find parts for DJ/Street so I buy that kind of stuff online, when it comes to AM/FR and service I go to my LBS without even thinking, I can pay in parts and not all at once, what happens with CRC.

As I said I buy DJ/Street parts from 26bikes and CRC because I know they will have them, while I don't want the LBS to order just for me, plus they migh not work with the brand I want.

The LBS guy knows about what he sells so when I need anything for AM I'll go there because I know I'll get a great advice and a little bit of discount, not as much as online, but it's nice.

@Psyclist I don't buy like you I actually buy things like frames, forks and so on the Internet because my LBS doesn't work with Octane One, RMD nor Dartmoor when it comes to servicing, small parts and wheelsets I get them from him
  • + 1
 I try to support my lbs as much as possible, they have definitely come through when I needed them to. Living in washington there are a lot of shops but most of them suck huge donkey balls, even the mtb specific ones. Finding a good shop is tough but when you do, support them. That being said, most of my parts come from online sources just purely because the shop will have to order for me anyway. Usually easier to just order myself.
  • + 1
 the Toronto LBS has nothing I want but complete bikes. I order ALL my kit and parts for a REASONABLE price. I am not sorry.
  • + 1
 johnkoz,
Can't find a good bike shop in PG??? You are referring to Prince George B.C.? Located about 800km north of Vancouver? The small city that has 4 amazing bike shops, 2 of which have great mechanics? Go see Merle at The Northern or Adam at Ruckus, both have been bike mechanics for 10+ years, always helpful & give great advice. The other shops have decent mechanics & are always ready to help. Ten years ago the situation was a little different but now PG has a great local scene that supports riding (friday night rides at Otway see Dave at Cycle Logic) in my experience all the shops go the extra mile to get business.
  • + 1
 Yeah, we got it made in PG for bike shops. Small enough to get to know all the mechanics but large enough so there's some competition between the shops.
  • + 4
 Why buy from a LBS? I have a box of spanners, hex keys, spoke keys... etc... if I want to put a headset in I can use a fly press @ work, and if I want my suspension servicing/tuning... I send it to TFTuned, all arranged online!

Every time I go to my LBS, they are stroppy, slow (leave your bike for two days, we'll get it done when we can be arsed) and the prices are way higher. Some people are lucky to have a nice LBS, I'm not.
  • + 2
 Usually, at least from my experience, a small LBS works way better than a big one, on the one I have here there's only one guy working there yes, he sometimes spend an eternity to fix my bike, buthe is nice, I know the job will be well done and when I'm a little bit more broke than usual he lets me pay the debt fractional
[Reply]
  • + 28
 I'd like to support my bike local bike shops but most of the places you go to have douchey employees that don't know anything about mountain bikes but think they do and just have no ides. It's bad when you know more than them when it's there job to know that stuff. I'd love to get paid to talk about bikes all day haha
  • + 8
 My lbs is run and owned by local downhill riders so they know what they're talking about, I still buy tyres, brakepads ect. from them but bigger things are just so much easier to get cheap online, it's just too hard to resist
  • + 0
 Different subject but its exactly the same as Camera stores, nerds and douche bags that read stuff on the internet all day and try telling you they know different/better. If they know everything then why are they working in a shop on minimum wage every day and Im making more money than they make a week in a few hours doing exactly what they are trying to preach to me. I just wish it was different and I was a pro rider instead of a photographer :-(
  • + 2
 That's good. There are so many bike shops that are road based so when you ask for a MTB part they just have no idea when they carry high end bikes I had a some argue with me about the existence of 20mm thruaxels on a fork once. There are a lot of condescending know it Alls too either way it's harder to have a good experience at slot of bike shops out there but there are quite a few who are rad beyond belief too you just gotta sort through the BS if your lucky enough to have more than one shop in your area. That's just my honest opinion though.
  • + 7
 Between either associates or shop techs or both, at most of my local bike shops have burned their bridges with me. A lot of associates are unhelpful and more than you'd think- not knowledgeable. The techs can be condescending and just all around don't seem to enjoy their jobs to the slightest. We had one shop that opened up a couple of years ago that I loved, and gave every other shop a run for their money, but it recently shut down. I'd love to support locally, but retail prices, not a wide variety of brands, and douchebags combined make it harder.

I still buy some small stuff from them (ie: lube, grips, chains, etc.). By the looks of it, I'm not the only one that's turned to shopping online. I miss hucknroll.com
  • + 6
 I must say I have had friendlier and more helpful service from CRC. The guys in my LBS always make it seem like its an effort to talk to you. Even though CRC gets a lot of my coin (logging in reminds you of how many orders you've made) bricks and mortar stores get my patronage for complete bikes (for the whole fam) fork and shock servicing and the odd small item. If they showed any interest in me as a customer I'd look for more options to spend. Short of that, clicks, convenience and discounts will keep on winning...
  • + 15
 Coming from Sydney, Australia. Most of the LBS are aimed at the Roadie, Entry level Mtb or commuter.

If i want to get a part like a new shock spring, Saint brake pads or DH tyres they charge me 3 times the price of an online dealer and it will take the same amount of time. If not longer to order....thats if the dude actually ordered it on time, not 3 days later because he forgot.....
Even parts for my 4X and AM bike are few and far between.
I once ordered a lower linkage on my Reign x1. It took 4 months! FROM A GIANT LBS!! wtf. fuk you!
(CRC sent me new tyres in 3 DAYS over Christmas... and i have no chance to get them from my LBS. Plain old Minions btw)

Not to mention the terrible workshop staff most LBS have (no idea wants going on, damaging parts, marking frames, 1/2 bleeding brakes etc)
They are a blessing in disguise i like to think... If it wasnt for them i would have never spent countless hours researching how each part goes together and what works for me. Therefore i take better care of my bike and components and understand how things such as my fork and brakes work. And therefore i need to spend less time at my LBSs. Big Grin
And had a tonne of fun doing it.

Back when i was a noob there was two bike shops in my area.
1. Was fanfukentastic. Always gave me advice, helped me work out problems. Always would have a chat. And get parts in asap.
2. Sold Entry lvl bikes. Crap parts for increased prices. Crap service. Laughed me for once asking for a part.

Guess which one survived.... Fuken number 2. A shop with a workshop that seems to make most of its money fixing flats on 10year old kids bikes.

Of the 15 or so good LBS around Sydney. There is only one ill go to. Its 45mins from my house (TBSM)
Yet they still sell stuff for double what CRC does.

Frown
  • + 6
 Every time ive emailed crc for help, theyve got back to me quickly and with a helpful solution. dont tell me you can go into a bike shop and ask for advice on how to fix your bike (especially if you didnt buy it there), they want you to have to bring it in and pay them to do it.

I hate to say this, but as someone who can fix almost everything on my bike, the LBS offers nothing for me.
  • + 6
 If you find problems in Sydney, imagine how things are here in Brazil. Most of the LBS are crap, with an attendance ridiculous, worthless. Not to mention parts outdated or of questionable quality. Here in Brazil, our best option is to buy online from companies like Jenson or CRC. Still we waited, sometimes for months until the Brazilian authorities (most sloppy and corrupt) release the orders, but first we need to pay absurd taxes in cash (60% industrialized products tax, plus up to 20%, varying from state to state Federation). It is this corrupt country that will host the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics, and he lost one of the stages of the UCI World Cup DH. But that's it. We have carnival, big ass women, sun, beach, favelas, more corrupt politics of Latin American, and also a poor and lazy industry that survives thanks to the Brazilian government protectionism stupid.
  • + 4
 I'm with Tyler. I wanted a freecoaster back hub with disc for my Norco Ryde and they told me it didn't exist. Then I asked them for rigid forks with disc brake tabs and 20mm axle capabilities and they basically walked me out the door. There are few people at the shop that know what they are talking about and when you try and describe things to certain people they look at you like you're trying to out smart them. It's not that, it's that I know what I freakin want!!! Lol Pinkbike Buy/Sell FTW!!!
  • + 1
 @I-am-John I work in a bike shop and can tell you that if you came in with a query about fixing something, we would do our best to help you. Regardless of whether you buy anything from us or not. We would prefer to build a relationship with a customer, and if we can give a piece of advice away for free there is more chance than when something goes wrong and you can't fix it you would bring it back to us. It's not about the sale every time.
  • + 2
 It's strange, because I hated my LBS and was happy I wasn't alone. Then an old LBS is under new management and sponsors, and they're re-locating closer to my side of town. I went in to just buy a front brake system, and it was awesome. They hooked me up. Found me one that someone returned after riding with it twice. They talked about AM bikes, they dropped some knowledge on my and I gave them a handful too, but it was just great-vibes. I'm buying a bike from them this spring! I'll purchase a lot online. Especially gear, clothes, etc., but they reestablished themselves with me. Hopefully the next time I go in it doesn't all go to shit. Hah. I'm high now, so I'm having trouble getting the details. Long story short, maybe we should go try to establish something with a shop we never wanted to go to again and see if something magical happens.
[Reply]
  • + 28
 I buy my bikes from the LBS, even though I could find lower prices online. I come back to them for major maintenance or repairs. They are good people and they deserve it. About 90% of clothes and parts I buy online without feeling guilty.
  • + 7
 Buy 2nd hand online off people who can afford new, normally the gear I buy is like brand new! then what I can't fix (or haven't time to fix) gets done at lbs. everyone's a winner that way in my eyes.
[Reply]
  • + 12
 i always support my LBS, the guy in the workshop is a good friend of mine iv known him for about 20 years, he really knows his stuff.. and the guys in the shop are all sound as well... i always get discount on the stuff i have and if i do want something i cant afford they will let me take it and pay it off bit by bit as and when i can......... now thats not going to happen on line is it.!!!!
  • + 3
 I'm gna second that statement..my local shop is thesame... A group of cool lads who are open and understanding towards people and finances... Also they have designed there shop to be a shop as well as abit of meeting place.. I've been over to pick up a part and a few hours later I've still been there talking bike waffle and drinking monster and eating space invaders!!! Random but awesome!!! Lols.. they can't always beat prices but is always worth the extra couple of pounds to have it there and then!!!
  • + 1
 @stucon.... actually, because you can only buy online with a credit card, you can pretty much take as long as you want to pay it off..... not that its a good idea. your bank would probably love if you payed it off "bit by bit"
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Most LBS dig their own graves. No selection, clueless staff, 100% markups and ridiculous pricing for work. I love buying local at the shops in Austria, Canada or the US, because you can actually find gravity oriented ones with shredder staff. Around here there's only 2 decent shops and both are concept stores that obviously carry mostly their own brands making them pretty useless to me...
  • + 1
 I find this to be true, especially in big cities. I live in Houston, and if I needed Magura Blood (Brake Fluid) or Brake Pads - I am SOL and if I were to order through the LBS they mark it up quite a bit. Not to mention very few LBS seem genuine any more - and to be honest its not very confidence inspiring when at the end of the day you as a consumer know more about bikes than the Staff at the local LBS. Also lets not get into the pricing for any service rendered! I bought my Bike through an LBS - University Cyclery in Austin (2.5hrs away), and I gladly go there to have my Bike serviced and looked over as well as getting parts and apparel. Yet that is one of out of hundreds of shops within 3hrs that I am willing to support. I now order offline, because a lot of the time, the retailers not only have what I am looking for but they also know the product and are not going to pull a fast one by marking it up.
[Reply]
  • + 15
 CRC is my LBS!
  • + 1
 Jenson usa is my lbs!! Haha don't we have it good?
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Many shops today are owned by people who do not fully understand how to embrace and utilize technology for their benefit. The old model of bike sales and customer service is not as relevant anymore, shops need to adapt and evolve or die... This may weed out the shops owned by people from previous generations who lack the understanding of technology to evolve properly. Sad as it may be there is a silver-lining, as this exodus of shops leaves gaps in markets for more modern shops with younger owners to fill in. Customers still enjoy both the experience of purchasing new product as well as they enjoy a sense of belonging to the bike-culture clubhouse that well run shops become. This sense of community will always prevail as the only thing we love more then a good deal on bike parts is the ability to share our cycling experiences with our friends. Perfect example of this is Pinkbike it's self as our desire to share led to the rise of Pinkbike as the online cultural-center for cyclists internationally.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Coming from someone who has spent the past few years as a consumer with very limited money, I can see the urge to buy online. However I have also worked in a bikeshop over the past year and understand how important they are to our sport. Local bike shops are not monsters who jack up prices just to screw consumers over, the reality is the mark up in bike shops is very minimal on the vast majority of products we sell.
Think about our sport and who puts on the local events near you. Where I live, local bike shops are the heart of almost every event and race near by. Here at Cowichan Cycles where I work, we are hosting 2 downhill races, 1 cross country race, one cyclocross race, and one multi day mountain bike festival to develop mountain biking in our home town, and that's just our shop alone. My point is that by killing off the bike shop, you are killing the growth of mountain biking. Bike shops provide a community, support events, maintain trails and genuinely care about all riders, wheather they are our own customers or not. What kind of online retailer would lend their own personal bike to a customer who is waiting on a repair? Our local bike shop just did.
I understand that there are times when cash is tight or a deal is too good to miss and online retailers make sense. However, I think anyone purchasing something online should ask themselves if that extra few bucks is worth it. We have all used our local bike shops, and they are always there when your online purchased parts fail, but what if one day they are not. Buy from your local bike shop, and look at that little extra cash as an investment in our sport.

www.bikemag.com/blog/the-bakery-for-the-love-of-independent-bike-shops
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Erm.... should I support my local bike shop who stock absolutely sod all and charge the earth for the pleasure or buy anything I like online at a fraction of the price ?

What do you think ??
  • + 4
 You should try Monsterbike in Inverness. Run by Mark who raced world cup DH he really knows his stuff and is happy to compete with online prices as much as possible. As for kit you'd want.... Lappiere, Morewood, Merida, KTM, Nukeproof, POC, Troy Lee, Alpine stars, Nema, Hope, Easton, Answer, Burgtec......
If that doesn't sound good then what does!
Phone number's 01463 729500
www.facebook.com/Monsterbikeshop?fref=ts
Hope that helps you!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Having worked in Cycle shops for most of my adult life, this is a conversation I've had too many times to remember. At the end of the day, bike shops are not "jacking up" prices as some of the misinformed on here like to believe, we sell the products at the RRP. This is almost entirely down to the fact that the cost to us is much higher than online retailers. They are also not always buying their stock through the appropriate distributor...ever wondered why Thomson products from CRC come in a clear bag and not all the proper packaging? What they are often purchasing is just OEM equipment.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the lure of the internet and have bought over the internet many times for items I can't find elsewhere. However as an employee in a LBS, the most insulting, rude (and unfortunately increasingly common) problem we are experiencing is customers who seek our free knowledge, want to find out what size bike or helmet they need, take up sometimes hours of our time with sizing and set-up and then casually slip in that they will be buying it on line, or worse, search for the product on line in front of you then demand a discount "because CRC/Wiggle are selling it for this". Discount is earned via loyalty, and will always be given to repeat customers, it is not given because "on-line says this". Of course I, like many if not most sales assistants in the trade do not work on commission, I am salaried, so realistically there is nothing but the satisfaction of someone buying the right bike and being thrilled to bits with it as a reward for me, I want to hear stories of the "first time I took it to Wales", that's enough to keep me doing it, I doubt most/any on-line retailers give a damn, whereas friendships are forged in a LBS, customers become riding buddies...
  • + 3
 ...And stop deleting my post.
  • + 2
 they deleated mine too...really annoying....
  • + 4
 You've hit the nail on the head about loyalty. I've argued with my 'online only' friends and I challenge them to get the sort of loyalty discounts I'm getting after many years of purchasing with, riding with, and racing with everyone at my LBS. They throw me clothing and cycling gear just so I can rep the shop when I race - podium finish or not.

In the long run I think I've saved money by shopping at my LBS, but I also have a large number of riding buddies too. And how much are they worth? Heaps!

The best way to get a discount from your LBS is to NEVER ASK FOR A DISCOUNT!
  • + 1
 LBS all the way! Your always pin to need them! Some people actually believe they were born with a spanner in their hands! And think they can fix everything! Thing is they've ha to learn either from a bike shop - or a Internet video which was a bike shop showing them!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 When I buy from an online retailer I get exactly what I want at a good price. When I buy from a shop I often have to compromise and not get exactly what I wanted, and pay more, even after discount. That's why I buy most things over the internet.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 People always talk about how great a LBS can be. Let me tell you that there are some really great online retailer that I buy from all the time who would bend over backwards to help me with an issue. It seems like most people are tired of the prices and services you get from a brick mortar. I buy from the LBS when I really need something because I know that I will pay a high fee for it. It's not my job to try and deal with the service manager trying to get a "hookup", when I can order it for far less and get it in a day or two. Big shout out to www.treefortbikes.com, www.jensonusa.com and www.competitivecyclist.com who are my LBS!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Well personally I always buy online, you can BROWSE for bargains... Its the way forward for consumers... Nobody wants to get ripped off just for being nice and visiting a local shops address...

Ill admit I have been to local shops and browsed the stocks and items then gone home and purchased online with easily 25% less on the price and that is no hassle delivered to the door...

Chainreactioncycles & superstar.tibolts.co.uk, ALL THE WAY...
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Why should we support anyone? People are looking around for better deals, waiting for sale and saving money in most cases, it is clear as day and makes perfect sense to look around for cheaper deals. Everything is overpriced on the market and the real cost of the product manufactured somewhere in the 3rd world barely hits 10% of the asking price. So wtf?! local businesses and shops SHOULD support local buyers and riders not vice-versa! How ridiculous does that sound? Common employees or people for hire working their asses of to afford something except primary needs actually think about supporting fat businessman?! There is something wrong here.
Business nowadays is looking only for fast and vast profits (low investment - high output). Not many out there are interested in consumers, how long the product will last, the quality of the product and how to make everyone happy. Of course that involves long term business strategy, lower profits in the short term, etc. My verdict is to not be crazy and stay logical about spending your hard earned coin. After all it is up buyers and users to decide whether they agree to buy that product for that price or not thus influence the market this way.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 if i was living where most compagny are established A.K.A in the U.S...i would go to a LBS, reason you guys get the actual dealer cost price when buying from the compagny itself, which is far easier to compete with the online shops outhere who have the same cost as you.

Here in canada, it's another game. there's distributors in the way (norco, OGC, cycles lambert etc...) who make a a way to big of a marging, they often make a 100% profit on parts before the bike shop get to sell something that is now way overpriced compared to online shops...i know i work and managed many shops and sales whent down on certain items...especially suspensions and high end parts...when i asked one of the distributors if they would adjust and reduce their share to make it easier on us...they said they would do something, only to find out in my next year catalogue that my cost stayed the same but the MSRP went down by 15-20%....way to go you fat cake eaters, thanks for killing the small local shops here in canada...some bigger shops may do better due to high volume but a shop located in a smaller town can't cope with this and can't rely only on service and repairs...at the end of it it's all about money...i droped the shop and went and did something else and when i need bike parts i go online, because most of the time chain reaction's prices are lower than what my dealer cost was....
  • + 5
 I agree 100%. I enquired to most of the Canadian distributors to sell to me (crazy canuck cycling) - but they told me I had to have a brick and mortar store. So much for buying and dealing with canadian businesses. Where do I get my stock from then ? I get it from Authorized dealers/retailers from the USA, UK and China - thats where.
I agree that we get royally screwed here in Canada when it comes to buying bicycle parts- thats why I started up my own online retailing store. There is an obvious need for people like me to get people the parts they need/want (!) that are comparable pricing in the USA/UK. There should NOT be such a price disparity here in Canada !!!!!!
When the prices come down at LBS for parts prices at the same level as USA or UK - then I will end my business happy and fulfilled : my ultimate goal is to get those prices down here in Canada so everyone can enjoy the main event : JUST RIDING YOUR STYLIN' BIKE !!!!!
  • + 1
 i tought about doing the same here when i found out that the canadian distributors don't have any exclusivity on any brands...it's just easier to buy from them in one catalogue...that's the only benefit they can provide...now the are probably trying to stop you by any imaginable way...when really it's the actual "brand compagny" that has the final say. and when they see the main distributors sales are going down and all the online store order more and more...it's a no brainer for them...all about money. i hope it goes well in your business. i lived in calgary/rockies in the past and it's a great place.
  • + 1
 Thanks man !
  • + 4
 @poonworks... Babac cycles in montreal will deal with anyone, storefront or not as long as they have a business permit/tax #. A lot of operating out of garages/home repair businesses use them. Its sort a quebec tradition that many small towns had grizzled old guys doing business that way, and well they had to order parts from somewhere... Give them a call at 1-800-361-8888

@zoopla... its amusing that cycles lambert won't open an account with an online only shop, but they themselves last year started an online-only sales account to clear inventory on ebay.

stores.ebay.ca/DRAGON-SPINZ


I myself get my inventory from wherever is cheapest. I've never had any loyalty to one particular method (local store, online, distributor(s), etc). As it happens I was sorting thru invoices and receipts last night and found ones from eight years ago and was reading them and could recall a few parts that I still had, or had recently sold, that I made a ridiculous profit on. In 2004 Babac had a summer clearance on NOS Joe Murray Foldable tires, $3.95 each. I bought twenty or so of them. A few weeks ago I sold the last pair I had of them for $40 each to a guy in spain. I remember about 12 of them sold to a LBS in toronto for $25 each only a few months after I bought them. A few months after I bought the tires I was at a garage type business here in town, old retiree who runs weekend sales out of his driveway/garage all summer long / every summer, and in the rafters of his garage were a dozen boxes of those tires so obviously he had a babac account also.
  • + 1
 Thank you for the information ! I will check Babac cycles out !
  • + 2
 i happen to live just a few minutes away from cycles lambert and know a few key people from there and they are not akowledging what they are doing to the industrie...

i'm also aware of that dragon-spinz ebay store that sales all of cycle lambert unwanted parts at discounted price...his name is DAVE TURGEON and i have already informed a buch of shops here in the city of what is happening...

so poonworks...if lambert give you trouble, you now have leverage Wink
  • + 2
 ha ha ok great man ! no surprise there ! cant say anything more or else i may get sued !! ha ha !
  • + 1
 Canadian bike parts distributors are like the mafia. Bricks and mortar or no sale! That's not free market. Somebody should sue them.
  • + 1
 Im glad you said it ! thanks !!!
  • + 1
 Ok so I just called Babac cycles- they dont sell to internet only retailers anymore ! Back to square one again !!
  • + 1
 Looks like Babac only carries lower-end stuff as well - they seem to be geared towards the entry level market like Asama. Good luck getting Fox, Rock Shox, or any Shimano product above the Deore level.
  • + 1
 FYI: in the states you can't buy from a distributor either. shit rolls downhill; manufacturer sells to distributor, distributor sells to dealer (LBS) and dealer sells to consumer. unfortunately the consumer is at the bottom of the hill.... and everybody adds their margin, so the consumer pays a bunch more than the distributor, et.al. Don't feel so bad about being in Canada, it's a world wide problem.
  • + 1
 yes but at least you folks in the USA have waaaaaaaay better prices for bike parts than Canada !!
Why do you think a good majority of Canadians go down to shop in the USA or shop at an online bike retailer in the USA??
  • + 1
 You guys should see the prices in my mother country(Brazil)....Sometimes the same model cost 3 times more than here in europe and US/Canada...its idiotic....Just to you guys hava an ideia, a stuypid Chevy Camaro in Brazil cost around 90.000 USD! Yes, i know, unbelieveble!
But i totally agree with raman503, greed is a huge world problem....
  • + 2
 Maybe i'll start a new sideline selling camaro's to brazil....they almost a 2for1 deal here to get them out of the dealership lots Smile
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I just went down my LBS to ask if they could order me in some fox launch pads and he started looking on mojo's website as in fox racing shox not fox clothing. Long story short they said they cant order them in for some silly reason. Its a fuckin joke all the shops over here only either sell BMX XC or kids stuff. You get a sideways look if you even utter the word Downhill
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Is it really a matter of supporting a company whether big or small? Online or a local retail store?

This question is mainly targeted towards people who have extra money to blow.

For those who can't afford to buy that nice top of the line bike or bike parts and accessories they will often seek out where to get the best deals. It's not a matter of support its a matter of making due with what they have and can afford.

If I see two equal bikes. One online for $1500 and the other in the bike shop down the road for $2200 I'm going to get the bike online. As long as its a reputable online store. This rule is also applied vice versa.

I'm supporting myself and knowing I have other bills and needs in my life. If it wasn't for the cheaper option maybe I wouldn't have a bike at all.

Would I rather buy online or retail? That's a better question to ask. I'd rather buy local because I could test and see the bike in person. I can also walk out with it the same damn day. No waiting for it to arrive B.S.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I buy from CRC in my living room. Cant get much more local than that!! Actually I have a great local shop i support when i can, Different Bikes' on Main Street in North Vancouver, for service, repairs, kit, etc... but when i can get something for almost half price???? come on.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I tried to buy a bike from my local shop, the bike was 2,400 euro in the shop,the same bike on line 1,400,wow,and i spent a lot of money in this shop, I ask the owner why this is,he told me it was the bike maker fault ,even the the rrp was 1800 euro,...................CRC i love you
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I tried to build a relationship with a lbs, they seemed like nice people, it didn't work out. It was going fine until I had them do some work to my rear axle, swapping the standard 135 for a 12x142 on my fuel ex. Apparently they don't know what a manual is because they took a grinder to an expensive DTSwiss part and botched the job, they tried to cover it up too. It was unsafe to ride and the rear wheel would have locked up randomly on the trail causing an accident. Obviously I wont go back, but the mechanic was the owners son so its not like he'll loose his job over the incident. I tried some other lbs but they are snobbish since I don't seem to fit their biking clique. I shouldn't have to earn good customer service by spending a lot of money and putting up with crap until I'm 'accepted'. Now I do all my own work on my bikes and buy everything online.
  • + 4
 Similar experience. Learn to do the repairs yourself, invest in the tools, it will pay off handsomely in the long run.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Explain to me why I have to earn my LBS'... privileged bike/parts/insider deal? Shouldn't they try and earn my business? The LBS needs me, I don't need them, I have CRC and am lucky to be able to do my own wrenching. I support my LBS because they are an alright bunch of guys and I like to support my local economy....some shops though in town, good god..not sure how they can afford to turn the lights on.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 I will buy from wherever it's cheaper. lol
  • + 3
 you said it, man, the ultimate truth right there
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Local BS. Only good bike shop I know is North Shore bike shop - THANK you guys for all of your help. Rest of them is garbage - " yep we can order for you..... gues what, I can order for me!!" , year ago I tried to buy from lbs on Van. Island I had to prepay and was waiting HALF YEAR for my gear with no option to get money back or cancel my order, at same time I was looking online and it was available . I promised to myself : NEVER EVER AGAIN to deal with L-BS. There is always something.
  • + 3
 Thanks for the props! Glad we were able to meet your expectations and hope to have an opportunity to do so again!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I have a local bike shop "Chelmer Cycles" knowing the guy who runs it means he'll stock the stuff we like even down to brands of clothing. You can't beat local service and any shop that values your custom will/should look after you on price.
  • + 1
 yeah, that..................
[Reply]
  • + 6
 I would support more local, but when the shops around me don't even have disc brake rotor bolts. It kinda makes you wonder what they're doing.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Online FTW, I went to my LBS yesterday to see about a mrp chain guide, 160 bucks as a "special price for me" after I've spent nearly 6,000 dollars at this shop. Went online to eBay and bought the same device for 116 dollars. Why would anyone want to support a LBS?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 If bikes and components were even reasonably priced, there would be no argument. In today's market, top drawer bikes are selling for upwards of $10,000, which is absurd. Traditionally, your LBS marks up parts at 100% and that is after the manufacturer and distributor have gotten their profit slice. The sad fact is that the dollar is king, and lower cost retailers win every time - Walmart, Home Depot, Target - the list is long. Safe to say that the LBS will always have a place in town, but like every other retail industry, they will have to fight to survive among powerful big-box stores with irresistible price appeal.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 LBS's can't compete with the prices of online companies and survive... But if the value the LBS offers bridges the cost gap, it's a no brainier. If I buy a new helmet online, I save $40. If I buy it from my LBS and they adjust it for my head, that's worth the extra $40 and I'll make that decision in a heart beat. Local businesses have to evolve as the market evolves and I have no sympathy for companies that complain about loosing business and don't innovate for their customers.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Can't it be both?

I love my local discount, but sometimes online is better for certain products.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I'm sorry but when my LBS offers me 80$ for a tire, and I can get it on CRC for 35 (which includes duties and tax)... no f*cking way am I gonna be paying that much.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Whoever has the best price. Capitalism FTW!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I said before, i do the maintance of my bike so i just need the local bike shop for small parts or a check up if im feeling lazy to do myself. My bike and others acessories i bought/buy on CRC coz the most important is my WALLET. They delivery at my door and i dont need to pay import taxes coz we are inside of E.U.
Anyway, i dont think the addicted riders like me and many here are the ones that make local bike shops survive but the "normal" people, coz the most part of them dont have the hability/patience to fix theiy own bikes, and off course they prefer to go to a local bike shop to see and then buy some bike....
  • + 1
 P.S: My last bike i bought in a local shop and then some a*shole stolen, now my current bike(Nukeproof snap) i bought on CRC.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i always end up getting my stuff online as living in switzerland you would think the shops would have the stuff for theyre mountains but they are absolutely shocking, even halfords back home are ten times better. i mean in one shop i wanted some little washers for my chainring bolts to go down to single ring and they said they cant help its too technical and specific and another shop by me wants 1950chf for a pair of lyric dh forks, thats pretty much £1500, they just take the piss so am forced to use crc even when they take forever to ship stuff out to me, not just because of customs but because its just its sometimes upto two weeks before it actually leaves the warehouse even when i have paid extra for faster delivery in time. if anyones listening in switzerland, open a decent bloody shop and il use it!
  • + 1
 I know the problem... Have you looked at the price of a Yeti sb66c in Switzerland?? 4400 CHF!!! That's about 5000$. Funnily enough the same frame in the US costs 3200 $. OK, you have to add up the VAT but c'mon, there's only one more "person" to make money on the frame, that's the local distrib. What do they use this margin for? Promoting the brand? When? Where?? Sure they have to make cash but local distributors in europe are a plague. Check the price for a Fox fork, same crazy story.
  • + 1
 Try Bandit Bike (no affiliation, just a happy customer): www.banditbike.ch
  • + 1
 that shop is actually pretty good! thanks very much for the info. that will defo save me from waiting two to three weeks per order!
  • + 1
 I buy online and in my LBS (basebike in Lamone, if you live in Ticino it's the best). My bike is serviced by basebike. they are my friends, they are competent and up to date, and when it happens you know something better than them, they are happy to learn. but, they can't have the stock of chainreaction and, most importantly, they have a lot of problems with swiss distributors and their price policies. in fact, recently they ended up collaboration with specialized because of their prices and policies (they had to pay the bikes completely one year in advance and were never sure about exact delivery etc.). another good exemple is hope products. my LBS is the first one that said to me: buy it online, swiss prices of those products are a robbery! and in fact that's why I decided to buy more often in my LBS. but only when the difference is ok. this year I bought a crossmax sx wheelset and my LBS price was 40 CHF higher than chainreaction price... that's ok, when the difference is more, sometimes I buy elsewhere, and my LBS understand...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Its a healthy balance between both. Not all of us can afford to buy the more expensive items from the LBS as you can achieve better prices online. However for cheap items, such as grips, chains, little things does it hurt to spend a couple of extra quid if that to support a local community. I know my main Local shop has a fair role to play in helping to keep trails alive, plus the guys that work there a legends. You may also find the more times you visit youre local shop the more the staff will get to know you, and I personally have managed to get myself a nice chunk of discount from knowing the guys that run it. Plus if the parts you need are in stock you get it there and then which has saved my skin more than a few times now. Any decent bike shop will be massively grateful for the business you do give them and the fact I know im helping the keep biking enthusiasts in a job so they can afford to do the sport we all love so much, i dont mind spending a couple of extra quid. And finally i have struggled in the past to weigh up the many options for parts available online, there is too many parts and each items description is purely from the manufacturers that dont have a bad thing to say about their parts. Once you have got to know youre shops staff a little bit they will be in a much better place to help balance the pro's and con's to make that all important decision. Dont be stingy and help people a little!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 In my town there are 4 (maximum) riders I ride with and that's it,a few xc boys about but they ride on there own and some roadies.my lbs looks after the roadies and xc jeyboys but for us proper mountain bikers who hit jumps and the rough stuff there is nothing so I have to drive an hour to get to a half decent mountain bike shop or order online!I must say chain reactions is the best and has way more deals than a loc bikeshop and I can actually get what I want not something I have to settle for that o don't actually want.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 In this day and age economy, brick and mortar retailers have to make their prices more competitive with online retailers or they will end up becoming mechanic service only shops (which do thrive in their own right). Having worked in shops for over 10 years, the one thing I never understood (but then again, I don't have a business degree of any kind) is why shops don't lower their margins in the anticipation of selling greater quantities at the lower margins, and at the end of the day, coming out more or less par?

Retailers get so focused on ensuring key-stone (or more) prices, that when I go into a shop and an product is 30-40% more than I just saw it online, it really makes me stop and think about how much that shop's existence is worth to me? Good, face-to-face, customer service isn't worth 40% extra of my money when I can get amazing email customer service from online retailers such as Chain Reaction Cycles. Not only that, most shops have only so-so customer service, and many of them have people working there who couldn't even tell you what a freewheel is, and blush when you say "nipple" when referring to spokes.
  • + 1
 I think you got it, but beyond that issue of margins is the "market" th shop can serve. Are there enough people that can buy that larger volume of product from this retailer at that lower margin, so the shop can still remain profitable enough to keep the doors open. That defining of a market is probably something that most small businesses fail to accomplish, and some are just lucky to find that they have a market. You can't run a shop on the backs of the dozen riders you hang with at your local trail.

Another knife to twist on that point, is you may love DH biking, but all the riders in your area may be roadies... or parents just looking for kids' bikes and hybrids... are you willing to run a shop that supports those activities too as a shop owner? The customer is goign to drive that boat, no matter how hard the retailer tries to believe otherwise.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 There is always a better choice online. LBS' can only afford to carry a select line of products, and in my experience never have exactly the product I want. Like others have said above I prefer to do my own work on my bike, but I know that this is not for everyone. The LBS definitely has a place and role to play, but they have to have experienced and attentive staff who know what they are talking about. They need to be InterTECH savvy with an online presence and active on social media. I found Moonglu on twitter, and bought some wheels from them. My LBS Psyclewerx in Bristol UK is also a good example.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 LBS all day long....there are riders that work at and own those shops, and they are there to support local races, local rides, charities, and trail building! As well as the local economy....
Dot coms.......they have their place if you can't get to a shop but you are supporting some venture capitalist or group of "investors" these people don't give a F%$# about you, your trails, your economy, your neighbors kids bike or much of anything else than maximizing profits...but hey....you can save $17.38 on an XT derailleur!!
When 99.99994% of all you got your first "good" bike as a kid....you know you got it or your parents got it from the local bike shop.....but now....."oh yeah I just got friended on clown book !!"
Log off.....get up.....go to your LBS and look at and touch those new models !!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I like how everyone thinks your LBS ramp up there prices when the majority of the time they have no chance on competing with the likes of CRC when they are selling products cheaper then what we actually get them for on trade from our suppliers. The only way your local bike shop can compete is with great customer service and thats what im willing to provide to our customers and its much more enjoyable in meeting the people who are buying from you as you make friends with the locals, new friends to ride with, they may know trails you dont know its always good to have a chat with them as they will always know something you may not.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I try and stick to my LBS's. my only exception is when, if somebody at the bike shop is acting like an idiot/a##hole that works there. in which case, im not going to support you or your shop if your rude. even if you have a better price, i refuse to support rude people, even if they are local!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I buy almost everything online, and had a close friendship with bike shop employees. Several times I've gone into my LBS and said I am buying X,Y, and Z. This is what I can get it for online, if you can come close...I'll buy from you. I'm happy to spend a little extra to support a GOOD shop, but 20% on a 200$ or more part is a little ridiculous.

Why should "manufacturers put their foot down" for shops selling items below MSRP, a local shop doesn't have to beat internet prices...they just have to be in the same ballpark. How are they devaluing merchandise when a new Specialized Demo 8 costs 10 grand and a 2013 Honda CRF450R cost less than $8,500!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 With the economy in the shape it is, Local shops are in need of our money more than ever, as are the internet company's. Yet we ourselves are struggling for cash and need cheaper products. With company's like CRC you can buy products at a reasonable rate compared to local shop prices, but can't talk to people about their experiences and opinions of bikes and their components. Also, CRC can not do the maintenance on the bike if I'm a cyclist who needs that service. Going down the route of being charged RRP from your local shop, yet building relations with them can pay off sooner than later. Some shops will react to your loyalty and begin to offer discount. Especially if you're a rider who buys often. If they don't, ask. You have nothing to loose. A sales person will tell you that most people are too embarrassed to ask for discount. Yet there's plenty to be had as products are marked up in price so much. Find the middle ground somewhere between RRP and CRC price. If you don't get discount, move on. My local will give me discount because, eventually, I asked. Sometimes I've asked for too much and have to take it on the chin, They cannot match CRC prices, but I always get 10% to 20% off new up to date stuff, depending on the product. You've just got to spend a little time building relations. In conclusion, work with the bikes shops that want to work with you. If you don't have a local who wants to work with you, shop online or better still, open a shop of your own, because your needed in your area. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It's hard to resist online discounts when up to a 50% off than LBS!! it makes it even harder when you are on a tight budget, every penny counts!
Maintenance and repairs for sure goes to LBS, you need the bonding with the guys that you see and ride together!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Not everything lays on the prices and discounts. Personally i prefer a L.B.S. even if it is more expensive , only if the L.B.S. tries to have a good relationship with the costumers and does exactly what a L.B.S. should do which is except selling and fixing bikes also supporting with their manner the growth of the local bicycling community. On the other side if the L.B.S. cares for the money only then i will choose the cheapest on line store
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Buy local - support your lbs! It's a no brainer.... service, community support, trail building, friendship, warranty issues, advocacy, grass roots, engagement, discussions, last-minute-help, emergencies, deals, quality and most of all a building a friendship with your lbs owner. Don't think twice, it's all right!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Always support as local as you can. Thanks to all the bike brands that are committed to making their bikes in North America and to the local bike shops who give my neighbors jobs and give me coffee, beer and good good times.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I can't believe this is even a question!! SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL!! Who are the guys putting up prizes for local races and comps? Building the loca tracks and fixing up everyones bikes? Support your local and your local supports you. It's what the biking community is all about!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I spent about 9 thousand pound in LBS over 10 years on bikes parts and some servicing/repairs, but over the last 2 years my eyes have been opened to onlined purchasing. I'm lucky enough to be able to service and trace faults on my own bikes due to being around bikes for 15 years and working in the motor trade for a living. In the 2 years online shopping ( mostly with CRC and a little with E-bay ) i have spent about 3 thousand pound on my two bikes. If this was spent in my local bike shops this would have been more like 4 to 5 thousand pounds for sure. I find that the benifits of cost saving far out-weigh the benifits of LBS service i'm affraid as i'm sure most people would agree. I have liked going to my LBS over the 10 years but it makes me sick when i think i could be probably saved about 4 thousand pound in that time. LBS need to stock more top end/sort after parts in bulk in bring prices down to even remotely near online prices in order to stay open. 60 pound on in store on a part i can pick up for 35 online ( for examlpe) is a no brainer, especailly when CRC customer service and refunds are so fast and helpful in my experience.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 We are now into a global economy, part makers, bike makers , distributers need to understand that...prices need to be equilized in a global way.

An oem part is as good as a well packaged one...really who care about pakaging? If component makers are making profit by selling a oem prices to bike makers, then oem price should be the norm for everyone in that global economy.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 LBS definitely - but -

1. Fix my bike properly the first time - and TEST RIDE it!
2. Don't BS me. (be honest - tell me that certain bike part has a recall or is inferior - don't just keep replacing it with the same crap)
3. Don't tell me my Trek is inferior to Specialized just because you have a Specialized dealership (replace the names with any bike manufacturer)
4. Don't be shy - give me some "preventive maintenance" advice.
5. Don't play 'favorites' on pricing with individual customers. (I'll find out I got 'burned' and never come back)

The LBS has to make a profit to stay in business so I don't mind paying more for parts. Deal with me fairly, be polite and honest and I will return.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I have mixed feelings on this. I would love to support my LBS more often, but after too many screw ups, I would rather do my research, order the right part online and install it myself for a better value. I wish my LBS had the correct knowledge and skills to answer my questions, and get me the right parts, but they don't. So, for now, I'm limited to driving an hour one way to a better bike store, or shopping online. Guess what I'm going to pick. Just my 2 cents.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would support my local bike shop if they were dishonest and didn't talk shite!!!!!!
Needed a seat post desperatley, 31.6mm
Only to be told that they don't stock them as the manufacturer has made the frame wrong???
Oh a week later tried to charge a friend £15 for 2 Mtrs of gear cable and £18 for some Aztec pads
Cycletec Wakefield you should be ashamed.
A holes.
  • + 2
 My local bike shops are exactly the same everyone working there are ignorant pricks and after buying a lot of stuff there they still don't offer a discount for buying products from them, online is where the deals are too
[Reply]
  • + 4
 If you know what you want and your on a buget most of the time you'l go online. If you want to support and get to know your community you go to your local shop
  • + 4
 Exactly, money is the biggest problem.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 All depends on the quality of your local bike shop. What is the point in buying from your local bike shop if they do not have everything you want I would not want to settle for inferior parts or perhaps the one that was not my first choice that I could have got off the internet just for the sake of supporting the local bike shop. I do however support my local shop which is extremely good its called void and the owner has had some real problems had to move location and other things like that but does a quality job stocks all the best parts that people really wants and does it for a great price. He also really knows what it means to put the customer first which is another reason why I use the local bike shop. He even once dropped of my wheel for me after building it the next day which was roughly a 45 round trip from his old location. Support your local bike shop if it is worth supporting!!
  • + 1
 that's right too... where the LBS gets poor product shoved own their throat by the distributor they end up in bed with, and has to try to get full premium retail pricing for it... right down to askig for twice the price for chep-ass tubes.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Clearly the online operations have the business edge now and you see it in their pricing. The Internet is winning, however fitting and service is where brick and mortar bike shops have their edge(for how much longer?), but if like most seasoned riders you know bike parts, can do your own fitting and do your own service why do you need the current style of expensive lbs? If you want to support a business do something for a company like IMBA.

If I opened a bike shop what i'd do is get a small postage stamp property, hire a solid wrench and some sort of machine to fit users. That is it, no massive inventory that will bankrupt me and run up my site/business costs. Maybe i'd even partner up with a large online retailer. Funny how that works, almost like today's LBS distributors got too greedy and the online spots have run away with their cheese leaving local shops in the lurch. Anyway you already see this next generation of "virtual LBS" with companies like shoefitr, which provides laser mapped virtual sizing of the inside of shoes. How long till such tech is available to general shop owners for cheap? Come to my shop, pay to get scanned sit on the bike fitting jig. You get the exact info you need to shop online and I get my money. If you break something you are clueless to fix or have a warranty claim come back and pay me. Why do i want to carry all that inventory it is dangerous? One can have parts in 48hrs or so, if you are really worried about having spare parts you need, buy them yourself. Times are a changing!
  • + 1
 That's a great point, about the industry, and how it goes to market through distribution that likely failed to adapt their ways to a changing market, and the local dealer takes it on the chin. Perhapse the supply chain need to value their "partner" in the local bike shop a little more, and help to be proactive in adapting how bikes, parts and gear get to us the consumer.

"run away with their cheese leaving local shops in the lurch"!!! great
[Reply]
  • + 1
 There are a few workers at my LBS who just act like I'm blessed to be able to be in their presence...I got that ever since I first went there looking at bikes one day to waste time. They only carried Trek and Specialized and I ended up going with a cheaper brand online with better components...some of the stuff the salesman tried to feed me was ridiculous. There are a few cool mechanics so I always take my bike there if there's something I can't handle but I couldn't bring myself to consider purchasing a bike from them, the selection is too limited and bike prices aren't nearly competitive.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The one thing this article is missing is the fact that bike shops actually have to make money to survive. We can't survive solely on making the customer feel happy and having a 'cool' atmosphere that makes people want to come into the shop. The reality is we have to sell product to survive and can't live off charging people 10 or 15 dollars to fit a crankset they bought online. Support your local otherwise there won't be a local around much longer.
  • + 1
 If a "cool" atmosphere means not being rude to customers, good luck with your LBS surviving! It's better that shops like yours won't be here much longer, leaves room for LBS that has a different attitude towards customers.
  • + 1
 Buddy, I personally pride myself on giving each of our customers an equally pleasurable experience when they come into the shop. What I meant is a key point this article is forgetting is that it actually costs a lot of money to run a shop, which is something that is often forgotten. Shops cannot survive solely on people coming in and talking to the staff. They actually have to purchase product from the shop for it to make money, so that it can be there.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Should You Support Your Local Music Shop or Buy Online? - Same question

Answer - people are cheap. If something costs online 7 and 14 in the shop, guess where I will buy?

Same will happen soon with clothes and everything else. Just a matter of time. Future is online. Only antiques and unique products (not mass produced) could survive this but recently even antique furniture can be purchased online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have mixed feelings on this subject Ill say for the longest time I always thought the bike shops never hook up or get great deals because being here in Boston Ma as a rider I had went to many different bike shops in my experience they always gave me a hard time because I'm deaf so I have communication issues so I always got looked down on or not get helped. Even tho I spend half of what I make a year on bikes. I still always had that feeling after I left the bike shop. I wanted to support my local bike shop but I never got support from them. I, then gave up on bike shops along time ago. that all changed when I stopped by a shop on the way home from highland. I was blown away from the level of service they gave all staff greets you and they make sure you are helped they spent time and patience to work with me. they hook me up each and every time I go there and I leave with out that old feeling I get all the time. I have to give shouts out to JRA cycles in medford, Ma the reason for that was because after they helped me with my bike I got to highland a few weeks later they came up to me said hi and lets shred. Boy they showed me how to shred alright. so in the end some shops are not worth going to some are. I am guilty of buying on line not because of the prices really but because I dont have to deal with a 16 year old who wont give me time of day for my bike needs or wont help me because I am deaf.... i dont bite haha
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'll buy things from LBS if the price is relatively close. I bought pedals for $130, when I could have gotten them for $100 online. However, I can buy shorts for $35 online, vs $120 in the store. I can buy cranks for $125 online and $350 in the shop. These kinds of deals are impossible not to take.
I wish I could shop locally more often, but prices are often sooo far off.
I've also bought my last three bikes from Pinkbike buy/sell after buying my first one from the shop.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have been working in a shop for the last 7 seasons. I have been on the other side of the fence being a consumer as well and the prices online are very tempting but what I find happens mostly with my customers is that they get an amazing deal on the wrong product. The problem with buying online is there isnt someone to talk to who knows exactly what they are talking about, who is going to recommend a product that will suit your purposes the best and if your lucky not try to upsell you. I come from a shop that offers the best service that can be offered. We are the highest rated bike shop in Alberta and we have an awesome crew of very knowledgeable and very skilled people. Is that not worth spending more? Supporting online retailers is putting people like me out of jobs, and what will happen when there is no local shops left? Who will service your parts? I say local shops need to prove that creating that relationship with the customer is worth the extra few dollars.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I always like to try and support my LBS but it isn't always possible, in fact most of the time.
I built up a 6"+ plus AM bike over 3 years ago before it became popular, in SA that kind of bike is still far from popular and very niche. this country is filled with unskilled 'dirt roadies' on 29ers.
the distributors of this country just don't support that as it's considered very niche, for example i'm shopping for new tyres and i want the Conti mountain king 2 in 2.4 and the baron in 2.3, neither tyre is being imported by the Continental distributor here in SA, so i have to go online, same thing when i wanted to replace my chain rings to run 2 up front with a bash, those kind of products just aren't being imported here.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Theres 3 lbs near me. Ive gone to all of them. I was turned off by 2 and came to love 1. First shop for some reason had low end components on all of their bikes with high end component prices. Second shop had poor salesmen who really didnt know anything and said theyd have to order the bike i was interested in looking at. Plus id have to pay a deposit, just to look at something theyre supposed to carry. Third shop was an awesome experience. Friendly knowledgeable people that go out of their way to help you. Ive bought 2 bikes there, became friends and ride together, and I never pay full price on anything. I do make some purchases online but I support my lbs and value them more. When you have a problem with something its nice to have someplace to bring it instead of calling and shipping it back and waiting.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'd buy LBS stock more if we had one you'd call 'local' in the first place! That's Stalybridge, Greater Manchester btw, if anyone here's looking to set up a new bike shop for 2013 packing it out with everything I'll ever need at internet beating prices, with great staff who will become my friends and have an awesome coffee machine, that'd be lovely thank you!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 like the old saying goas, the internet cant fix bikes (yet) so i try always support the local shop or if i buy from evans as you can buy online and then take it one of their shops to be fixed etc... but mostly local shop i work at
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Online my local is Merlin Cycles. not only do they have shockingly bad service they are rude. they send you away unless the thing you want to buy is over £25. if you go in for anything small they cant be bothered to go and find it for you. i can walk there in 2 mins but still buy online and wait for it to be delivered just so i dont have to go in there!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Online store are the reason i can afford to have more than one good quality bike setup with high end parts. Strangely, buying a part in england with shipping cost me less online than at my lbs and that part is made right here in canada!

Until Lbs regroups and start putting pressure on the distributer to brings the prices down, they will not have a chance to compete.

I get excellent service with crc when i have a problem, same for Jenson and a few others... I get also excellent service from my lbs....but they rarely have what i need in stock, i usually know more about whats available than they do...buy the head mechanic there is exellent .

I get my parts from crc generally within a week. ... My lbs, it depends if they need to order that week... And price will be higher.


I have come down to an honnest relationship with my lbs.: i do most of my mechanic, sometime i dont have time or i'm missing a tool for something so i get my lbs to do it for me..I also have them build my wheels, whith the parts they know i bought online ....i'm honnest about it with them and they respect me for it.

I also buy small stuf from my lbs(cables, tubes, lube, etc.)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My last bike had $3200 worth of parts and I bought all but the forks and shifters at my fave LBS Mr Good Bike. The whole bike cost me $4500 and they had way cheaper and better (more adventurous) labour than any bike shop in Gainesville Florida. The more I spent the more they hooked me up. I also bought and modified a road bike from them used. Now I have a Wife and Daughter and live in Australia I just can't afford to build a report with a bike shop when the prices are so high and they stock nothing I want. The main thing that gets me into a bike shop here is specialist tools and knowledge. As I acquire more tools and knowledge I find it hard to make an excuse to go to the bike shop. They don't make money on labour and parts as much as they do a new bike. No shop here is going to service a fork for you unless you bought it off of them. On line shops need to have a mechanic who you can skype with with so you don't buy the wrong part then the LBS will be gone. I am building my next bike by myself from mostly used parts I'll see how that goes before I give all my money to a LBS again. Its not that I don't want to and if I was rich I totally would. But I just can't justify the expense with what is already an expensive hobby.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Since a lot of bad experiences with local bikeshops here in Belgium, I buy everything online.
Examples:

*A friend of me bought a pair of Hope Tech M4.
The LBS owner said many times they came with the steelflex, so my friend payed extra for it.
When they arrived they did not have steelflex, my friend did not get the extra cash back...

*I have a Specialized SXT with a Fox RC4. One day the shock blew up (after 6months), so I took it to my LBS where I bought the frame.
First of all i needed to pay hem a fee 150 USD, he said Fox always asks this amount. ( WHAT THE f*ck IS WARRANTY THEN ?)
So I payed because I would go to France in 3 weeks on a bike holiday.
2 Weeks later he called me that my shock was back, so I went to my LBS.
He gave me back "my shock", fox returned me a dhx 3.0 coil, instead of a rc4.
The LBS guy kept saying that I did not gave him a RC4....

From now on:
only online and I'll do everything myself on my bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Many LBS are really only stocking the Big Name China Name Brand bikes. My LBS was a big Turner dealer back when now they don't even sell them. They some 20k road bikes and a lot of crappy stuff for about 1k that will break under real ridding. I have opted to buy online and pick my parts and buy what I want and not have to replace half the bike, with better parts. As it was explained to me the big names Giant Specialzed, Trek go into a shop look around and say if we get more of your floor will give you a discount. So small bike shop agrees and you the buyer don't get to have a selection. There are some shops that are straight out only cary one big brand. I do not support that. My LBS has gone more road and I have tried to support them but to stay in the game they sell a lot of crap when you look at the mountain bikes. I guess the bottom line is the if the LBS wants the support of the consumer then they need to not sell crap and pass it off as high end. Case in point i saw a santa cruz build with some really low end parts that i see online I could buy an entire drivetrain for less than 200 and low end fork and wheels. the bike is selling for 3K No way Ill pick my parts and Build for less
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I feel like it varies from shop to shop, I work at a shop and do my best to please every customer but, Ive learned you cant make everyone happy. It really is funny though for all these online shoppers, some can do the work themselves and others well....bring it into us and usually have bought the wrong part. If you figure it out( atleast at my shop) you buy a part from me say a fork, im not gonna charge you an install. you dont I will and for full bikes, most shops will give you free adjustments and will take care of the warrenty problems for you. LBS is always there for last second needs to! whats online got on that? so either way your coming out on top through a LBS.

SUPPORT YOUR LBS!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the point is a LBS is there not only for sales and often to beat web prices but we are there if you have any problems alter your perches for advice and support where as you can email your online relater and they might email u back in a mouth the point is buy local you get the right kit at a good price and most good bike shops fit stuff free for good customers i don't see crc offering a free brake fit and set up with free tuneups every time you bend your rotor!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 LBS? arnt nobody got money for that!
Dutch retail stores are a dire experience at best. They are disinterested unless you want to buy $$$$ and everything is 3 times the price than what you can get online and they have rubbish brands ( yahoo for the 2 metre long wall of BBB shiite....) and the dutch are obsessed with lycra (something wrong in their upbringing) and pro jeserys (dispite fat guts hanging out) not my style thanks.......
I worked and managed outdoor stores in New Zealand for over 8 years so i feel for retail but in the end i want the best bang for my buck....and something to choose from........
CRC all the way for clothing, and bike-components.de for ......duh bike components...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Even though everyone from the industry contacted about this piece speaks very competently about their perspective, none of these people are deciding the answer to this question. This will be decided by CUSTOMERS. Ironically, they are the only group left out of this article.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 When it comes to DH clothing & Protective gear, I buy online(The prices are very hard to beat. But when it comes to Bikes & parts I support my LBS. I know that there can be better prices online but if you go regularly to the same LBS you will get good prices and great service. On top of that, it may seem stupid but I like to see and touch articles for myself.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Until recently all of our LBS's were pretty lame, the staff weren't particularly friendly and they didn't stock much good, and if they did it was painfully overpriced but we recently got another where they stock some great stuff and the staff are all awesome, so I'll probably start buying local more often!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy mostly from LBS, but there are a few items that are phenomenally cheaper online. I'm lucky in that my LBS recognizes this and I can talk about it with them, and they will work with me to get the right part and help install it when necessary. But when it's a savings of just a few bucks, I'd rather it go to my LBS. I need them to be there for me - so i try to be there for them. It's all about the love.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I support both. Just today I went to my LBS and bought a tool today because i needed it. However just last week I bought a new crank online because the online dealer had last years model on for cheap. I think utilizing both places is the way to go. I'd love to buy everything from my LBS but I just can't afford it and they don't sell everything i want or need.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I purchase mostly online. Were I live they do not have the equipment available for my type of riding or specialized higher end components. Can they get them YES but then they put the cost of shipping on you as well, then you factor in tax and they hardly ever give you the stuff cheaper than MSRP. HOWEVER, MOJO wheels is an EXCELLENT store in Colorado, every time I go there I HAVE to stop in there. They people who work there are super cool and knowledgable and they will give you good deals. If I go to Colorado I will stop in even if I do not buy anything, basically go there for all the bike porn....... What a great selection they have. If I lived in Cali I would go to the Path bike shop in Tustin HANDS down. Again when I visit Cali I have to stop in there also to look at all the bike porn.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just left my LBS with a new Royal alpine jacket for 85 try finding it online for that. A good LBS always welcome a good customer as a good customer welcomes a good LBS. However I have ordered from CRC and other online sites if it something my local can not get or do not have in stock and I absolutely need it asap. And you know what? They are good with that because if they do have it they know I will get it from them. Bringing them in a bottle of Bushmill's for the holiday's always helps with the prices though....lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Overtime Sports in Coquitlam has awsome deals every day of the week. They specialize in parts that wear out and break and generaly have what you need [for parts] in stock. Garry will make shure you get the right part for your bike!
A L.B.S. can not compeat with on line prices. A cyber store does not have to hire mechanics or pay rent for a retail store. What happens when you dont get exacly what you ordered? Lots of down time and more cash spent on shipping!
M.E.C. is a huge company. They are 100% Canadian and give back to the sport of mountainbiking. M.E.C. has awsome deals on parts. Why are they so big? Maybe L.B.S. should copy M.E.C.,s formula. If some one had a retail chain of bike stores then more buying power.
Come on people "Think Localy act Globaly" Support your local buisness when you can!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I go local as much as possible, if they dont have what I need in stock I always see if they can order it in. Having known the guys at my local shop since I started riding and all the things theyve done for me. Buying from them is one of the ways of paying them back and thanking them for what they've done
[Reply]
  • + 1
 As Kevin basically stated; if you have a good local bike shop that's in tune with the local riding community and operated by hard working cyclists you'll go there if you actually are a cyclist. Yes, 14 year old kids probably don't care but they arn't going to support either side of the business, cyclists support the industry. MANY of you must only have access a terrible bike shop in your town because here in Jackson Wy you can go into The Hub and talk to a crew of outrageously experienced professionals about product, riding spots, events, movies, carbon, alloy, TBC, Ibis, girls... Demo the latest and greatest product, hold exclusive products you've only seen on Pinkbike and have an adult beverage while doing this. Additionally they will ensure you're taken care of when you buy something from them! Why, because they understand when you create a great experience customers will never go back to the WWW because of the experience. Poorly operated shops will die and dedicated progressive ones will survive, the way it has always been in business.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The only place near me that that sells mountain bikes is REI. All they sell is novara and lower quality cannondales and some mid range after market. But if I want better components or downhill components for that matter I have to go online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What do you do when the lbs that you got your bike from let's you down.free tunes and service don't mean much when they don't do the work in the time they say it will take and five days later you walk out with a untuned bike that was to be ready four days earlier.or maybe you needed a part and he tries to sell you some used part for retail price that is not something you wanted so you think he ordered what you wanted you check back a week later and he didn't order anything.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love the free market economy. Businesses who bring creativity to solving problems and meet customer needs win in the end. Personally, I will buy from whomever meets my needs the best. I do not listen to the community or shops when they try to tell me what I need or how I should act. I will spend my money where I want. %&uq all y'all who are trying to tell me what to do. The LBS closest to me has notoriously bad customer service but i still go there in a pinch because they are close. If I have time I go online. That satisfies my needs the best. If LBS met my needs I would go there -get my driftSmile

signed,

Customer of both bike shops and online retailers
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Online shopping shows how much of a markup LBS places on the items it sells. It is no longer possible to keep this little secret. As it is hard to survive in Vancouver as it is, why paying more for parts I can install/replace by myself.
Many LBS are hit and miss. I once (just before X mas) went to a reputable store and asked if they could tighten a suspension bolt (I thought side to side play was due to the bolt being lose, but later I found out bearings were more than dead), the guy said "go get some beer and I will do it for you". When I came home I realized that there was no way he could have tightened the bolt because from the front derailleur side you actually have to unscrew it (Specialized) and then unscrew a bracket that serves as the derailleur mount and goes across the bolt itself. Were there signs of any work there? Nope. Just spanner marks on the easily accesible side of the bike (non drive side). I am sure they enjoyed the beer and had a good laugh about a dumb-a** customer. You lower your guard a bit and trust people and you get punished. Will I ever buy a bike from this brand? Never! A six pack vs opportunity to sell an expensive bike- your loss! And that's too bad because it is a very good local brand I thought!
On the other hand, in a different store in Kitsilano, the mechanic spent half a day working on my bike, fixing problems and educating me how and what should be done to eliminate side-to side play.
Conclusion? LBS should sell education, emergency repairs and good customer service, parts are secondary.Whatever I can I will try to do it myself and if needed will seek that one or two people I trust, not easy to find someone you can trust! Voila!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Buy local keeps thing simple they can check your bike and give you the parts you need but sometimes the local bikeshops only support certain brands which sucks. Online, you can basically get any brand you want and its usually around the same price with the shipping and taxes and everything. I buy from both but I thrust more my local shop. Buying used on Pinkbike is actually very good, bikers are chill and you can get some good deals but make sure youre buying something that wasnt stolen and worth the money youre paying
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Chain Reaction Cycles site always has discounts and stuff so that price is sometimes twice cheaper ( even considering shipping costs ) than buying the same product in my local shop
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the only bike shop tha stock the parts i need i walk in and they look a me as if i don't belong on a bike and the other shop mainly deals with Downhill but if he has the part i need i will normly get from the shop if i can aford the price
[Reply]
  • + 1
 LBS is always the preferred choice, but that said, I am having to drive to a Duncan (40 mins south of Nanaimo, where I live), to deal with a LBS that has staff worth dealing with. I waited 5 weeks and had to make one call a week to one of Nanaimo's shops to get a rear wheel built for a bike I was building. We have three seperate shops in Nanaimo, and yet I still have to drive 40 mins to get the staff to look up from their phones, or act like it isn't a nuisance that I am in the shop. I worked in parts in the automotive industry, and it isn't that difficult to contact the customer and keep them updated on their order. Staff is singularly the biggest factor in an LBS experience, and staff and service appear to be going downhill here. It shouldn't be that hard to spend money!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love my local bike shop. I buy from them whenever i can. with this being said I have noticed the prices creeping up to the point where I can almost not afford them any-more. I have found myself buying more on line. I am currently having a conflict with a new AM as the savings isnt a matter of a few hundred dollars but over $1000. It is a horrible conflict.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Here in North Vancouver, one LBS which had been around for twenty years (John Henry Bikes) recently went under.
Why you ask? Because the son (manager) who was one of the three family partners, lost focus on what was important to their
customers as he wasn't really interested in the bike business any longer. It took a couple of years but gradually the customer loyalty
factor diminished and the result was inevitable...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I do a mix of online, ebay and lbs. The problem I've had with lbs is often they're strength, opinions of the shop dudes. They just come off as d-bags so often. If you want to try out a different tire, I get lectured on how this tire isn't for what terrain I ride, blahblah. Advice appreciated, but I've noticed such attitude if I chose not to take there advice. Big props to them for sorting out shifting probes, beaing installs, and the like though, they just do so much bike maintenance, that they are a super asset. So final verdict for me is 100% split in my loyaties and cash.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Another bit of info ... Canadian retailers have to pay additional tariffs on many goods if they are not manufactured in North America. US Retailers often don’t have to pay the same level of tariffs on the same products. When a Canadian consumer buys a product from a US store (online or not) the tariffs are supposed to be added at the border, but very frequently the tariffs don’t get levied. The goal of these tariffs is to encourage Canadian consumers to buy North American-made products. But what we’ve ended up with is a situation where US retailers can buy (and thus sell) the same products more cheaply, and where inconsistent enforcement of tariffs encourages Canadian consumers to buy from US stores because it ends up being cheaper. I believe the statistic is that 90% of Canada’s populations lives within 2 hours of the US border, and with cheap international shipping and a strong Canadian dollar, things can be pretty challenging for Canadian retailers.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Same price from online things here, and the delivery is toooooo dammmm lazy, so why should i buy online? And the local bike shop is like my 2º home, where i see my friends and we talk shit when we are there.... too good vibe to give up
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'd rather spend my time riding my bike than servicing it myself (even though I know how). I get my LBS to do it all and I'm happy with their pricing structure and I'll moan if a price is too high and they may or may not budge. Therefore I do all my purchases there too - if it closed down, I'd be forced to spend part of my weekends faffing about with the bike instead of having fun. If there's a product they don't stock that I need, I'll ask them if they can get it and if not I'll get it online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Some of the blame has to lie with the manufacturers as often the prices I pay for products from the distributor are the same or more expensive than CRC. This means the manufacturers must be supplying direct to some companies unless they are using these as loss leaders (which I doubt), this surely invalidates the distributors being able to claim sole responsinility for distributing a product.
As for people 'showrooming' most of my customers are loyal & listen to my advise but there are still a few that ask as many questions as possible & then still go away & buy online. I have even made the mistake of giving too much help with product information such as letting a customer know that the fork they are looking at online won't fit their bike for whatever reason, tapered, 20mm, QR or whatever, after thanking me for the advice & saving them some money & wasted time they have used my information & still bought online. They then possibly feel embarrassed to come back to me for any other work doing as I will obviously notice the new fork etc. I know this as a fact as one of his friends expressed his surprise as to what he had done. We're not going to stop it but it does make you think about holding back from giving too much away.
As I run my own bike service & repair business my objective is to give the best quality of service, advise & products so that the customer returns & they also tell their mates. If asked to price match I will always do so wherever I can but it's not always possible but I will still fit parts parts bought from elsewhere.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 easy choice when you live in a country where the product+shipment+taxes of ordering something overseas, is still cheaper than the retailers we have here...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 CRC the best, free return, hassle free....and they give you voucher now and again.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Bow Cycle will never have a problem. They are in very young city (average age wise) in a province with the highest disposable income in North America. It probably can be proven in their revenue, oil buys bike (parts) :-)
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm all for supporting my LBS but they know nothing and carry nothing in regards to downhill products and equipment. So I figure since I've gotta order it anyways, I might as well save a dollar or two and go online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would love to support my Local Bike Shop. But, times and technology have moved much faster than the local brick and mortar store. I end up buying most of the parts that I need/want online because of availability and price. Most local shops won't have items in stock nor will they know how to service the parts correctly. And the "Target" - like chain stores are like a giant weight dragging my soul lower into my chest. First there was Performance... like I would ever shop there. But now (in the Bay area) you've got shops like Mike's Bikes. They are trying to run a stable business and do a decent job of stocking good options for mountain bikes. But the sales and service staff is just a f*cking joke. I've been into a few of these shops, and I alway leave disappointed.

The trend that I see is, unfortunately, that there are high end shops going with the Apple Store model. High end shit with high end customer service. Unfortunately, most of us can't afford to shop there. The rest of the small "mom and pop" bike shops may have a good mechanic, and can get you going when you bust a spoke. But, will never be able to compete with Universal Cycles' discount codes or stock availability (or their lack of tax). UC also has great wheel builders... which unfortunately, I know none locally that are reasonably priced or not backlogged with a month long waiting list.

All that being said, I support the local shops (that are good) whenever I can. When I travel, I love stopping into the LBS and seeing how it's setup, talking to the people, and getting a taste for the culture in that area. I'll even try to find an excuse to buy something if I don't necessarily need it, just to support the shop / community (Yuba expeditions! Ashland shuttle service). I think the only way for us as a community to make the local shops better is by making our presence and opinions known.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Always purchase my bikes from the LBS. A good rapport with them is imperative as they are the ones that will repair and service it under warranty.

Parts and accessories, it’s the best customer service that wins my business whether that be online or LBS.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I’ve been doing as much purchasing as I can from local shops. A primary reason for this is because the local shops put a lot back into the town where I live, in a couple of ways. Money spent at shops with local ownership helps support the local economy. If you spend money at a store with staff and/or owners that live elsewhere, you’re taking money out of your own economy, and helping to grow someone else’s. Many small towns are struggling so money spent locally can make a significant difference. I’m assume at least some online stores with national/international markets support mountain biking at the national/international level, but I know my local shops invest a lot into local biking infrastructure (races, trails, events...). So although I may be spending a little more for the same product when I shop locally, I’m getting more back.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Support your local Bike Shop. Be loyal, the benefits far outway saving a few dollars going online. The more loyal you are the better service you get and more hook ups you get. Look at the big picture. Benifits go way beyond price, can you drink a beer on line while they fix broken spokes? Can you take your bike to the internet on a saturday night 20 minutes after closing time with a mangled derailer or a blown fork and have it ready to rip in the morning? I think not. All Mountain Cyclery in Boulder City Rocks, you buy it there and they usually install it for free while you wait, for a reasonable price.I would never shop anywhere else unless I break something in Tahoe or Mammoth and cant duct tape it to keep riding. Can the online store send someone to pick you from the emergency room? All Mountain has.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would love to support a local shop, and we have plenty where I live. However I have yet to find one that treats me fair on a consistent basis, or ever has what I need in stock. I find one I like for awhile, and then they change up employees. I also refuse to tolerate elitists.......I am a small business owner, I understand what it takes to make a profit and I don't expect free goods or service just consistency. I will be happy to support a local shop when I find one that appreciates my business. If you live near a cool local shop, please support them and be thankful they are there
[Reply]
  • + 1
 First, I think Kevin Menard from Transition hit a big part of it on the head with, "A good shop will have the products you need when you need them. I think internet shops do well because a lot of local bike shops don't cater to an individual's riding style. They don't have, say, replacement parts for a Hope brake, or they don't know how to work on a suspension fork or bleed a brake. I see a lot of people become more self-sufficient and relying on the internet because of this." As a consumer, nothing pisses me off more than a local shop telling me "I can order that, but it'll take a week" then asking me to pay twice what I can find it for on-line myself. If you want a premium, give me some value like having it on the shelf, otherwise don't expect your full profit margin for that "special order" item please. I REALLY want to buy local, but I have high expectations of value for my money. (i.e. I'm "frugal")

Not all of us live in a market that can truly support a number of great local bike shops. The few that pop up are from enthusiasts that love cycling, but may not have the best idea on how to run a business. This probably worked great when there was little other option, but it's a global market now, and the retailer has to adapt. Maybe we're at a tipping point, at least in these secondary markets, where the brick and mortar stores cannot support themselves with the high margins required for such a low inventory turn. I don't have the answer, just that observation.

As a modern consumer, I want to have my cake and eat it too. We will all really miss the brick and mortar stores dearly when they are gone, but if they go, don't just blame the on-line and big-box guys, but our own shopping habits as well. As consumers of anything, we will eventually become "victims of our own devise."
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Defiantly the price is the main issues. I always ow Cyclelbs before spending any money online. Gloves, tires,tools,lubes, are things i will always buy at lbs. But when i can get an XT chain online for 25$ and lbs says 67$ it makes me angry because i ride 30km a day round trip for work. I depend on the parts . And its not fair to charge that kind of dough. I have never been offered a discount on anything. I wanted to go to 10 speed on my whole bike, cranks,BB,shifters,front and rear dee. This was 500$ at lbs. I just can't afford that. Jenson did my whole drive train (and slx too)for under 200$. Also i do not like being told i am not a "real" rider because because most of my riding is commuting.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 As much as I would love to support my LBS, a lot of times it's just too expensive, so I end up going online, getting my prices, and then haggling the guys at the store down to match, best of both worlds, same day parts, spend less money.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So I really wish that I could say that this was 100% LBS because I really really believe in the local economy is super important. I however answered that I do most of my shopping online. There are a couple of reasons for this and I hope that all the LBSs that read this and it helps them gain! I think that Mr. Menard's statement about the LBS having to cater to the individuals is so true. My riding style is not the norm around this area to be exact most bike shops around here treat mountain bikers as second class citizens and as a person that loves freeride and downhill I am like the female third cousin with the great big butt and the hairy upperlip that nobody wants to talk about or even see. I have a friend that has over an extremely long period of time gotten to the point that he gets decent deals from a LBS something that can be reasonable to online sales. However he doesn't let them do much work on his bike because they screw it up and he has to redo it himself. I want a shop where I walk in and feel like they are happy to see me(and my money) and really care about what I am looking for, have factual information about the bikes/parts I am looking for and while I am willing to pay more for a LBS to get me the bikes/parts I want I am not willing to pay 15-50% more than online for service that quite frankly I had to do the research on before I went in and asked them to get me the part wait 2-3 weeks for a part I could get in a week online for a lower price.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love my LBS, I got some cable housing from them, and the guy gave me a handful of ferrules. They even remembered me when I came back in and told me something about my fork that I had asked them about the last time I was there. It's a great shop.....but I just can't justify buying some stuff from my LBS when CRC or eBay offer it a lot cheaper...sometimes 80% less. Hell, I bought parts for a wheel on CRC and my LBS put it together for me...gotta love that.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 my bike shop is road bike only and they know nothing about my bike they wanted to send it away and take there cut dont think so i can send it away my self and cut them out on like all the way but when i am at the bike parks i will use the shops there as they know what they are doing
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A bit off topic, I left the army July 2012. And started a property maintenance company up. I'm fully computer literate. With in 5 month of starting my company I turned over £7800 and employed 2 tradesmen... The reason my company has done well so fast is due to the Internet. I spoke to a load of local builder in our county. The older generation can't find work, while the new generation are booming. All because of technology. As sad as it seems. Bike shops for sales are a thing of the past. You can always get cheaper online and faster. But where bike shops benefit is servicing and repairs.. I do all my own. But I love going into the kcal bike shop and chatting bike-talk... I don't necessarily buy anything. Just go to see the lads. But this brings in no income.
Now... One problem the Internet also brings... With everyone buying from abroad. (Not just bikes) everything... The UK is massively losing money. How any billions of pounds ,ust be lost to our country because we buy elsewhere? In my opinion. Although the Internet has its "convenient" opportunity for the more becoming lazy Brit. It's also going to cause a huge disaster over time. Going back to my work. A builder with 30 years experience who will have way more knowledge and skills than me of 7 years. He loses out purely because of google, yell.com, gumtree, Facebook, linked in, twitter and much more... And this is whats happening to bike shops. Quality or quantity. Convenience or customer service? Sorry for the long post.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A bit off topic, I left the army July 2012. And started a property maintenance company up. I'm fully computer literate. With in 5 month of starting my company I turned over £7800 and employed 2 tradesmen... The reason my company has done well so fast is due to the Internet. I spoke to a load of local builder in our county. The older generation can't find work, while the new generation are booming. All because of technology. As sad as it seems. Bike shops for sales are a thing of the past. You can always get cheaper online and faster. But where bike shops benefit is servicing and repairs.. I do all my own. But I love going into the kcal bike shop and chatting bike-talk... I don't necessarily buy anything. Just go to see the lads. But this brings in no income.
Now... One problem the Internet also brings... With everyone buying from abroad. (Not just bikes) everything... The UK is massively losing money. How any billions of pounds ,ust be lost to our country because we buy elsewhere? In my opinion. Although the Internet has its "convenient" opportunity for the more becoming lazy Brit. It's also going to cause a huge disaster over time. Going back to my work. A builder with 30 years experience who will have way more knowledge and skills than me of 7 years. He loses out purely because of google, yell.com, gumtree, Facebook, linked in, twitter and much more... And this is whats happening to bike shops. Quality or quantity. Convenience or customer service? Sorry for the long post.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Most bikeshops in my area are D**ks and do not have the the parts I'm looking for. Also why would I pay more for the parts I want with tax on top of that?
Order online out of state with free shipping. If LBS would match the online price , then I would buy from them.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My LBS is a small trek store. Staff don't ride and owner is surly so it is hard to build a relationship. There are no spare components in store (can't even try a different stem) and they can only get what's already ordered into a Oz warehouse. I cannot get locally the bontrager components and accessories that match the bike I bought for 4 large from them. They told me that orders to trek Cali are often late and incomplete so what they do is order trek/bontrager thru friends in the US instead of trek Cali! So no warranty for the customer. WTF? They may be good mechanics but I just have no faith as the whole business operation is suss. So I use aftermarket components and accessories ordered online from overseas and continue to teach myself to fix things. Not sure what to do when the proprietary shock needs to be serviced. The death of the LBS won't matter to me much.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wow...the response by Chainreaction was so PC and dodged the questions at times. Not what I expected.

Anybody who does not mix the two is stupid. The local bike shop is your support. They are your lifeline and there when shit goes wrong (i.e. at an event and you leave something home, etc) To completely discount them is stupid.

On the other hand, to completely go to a LBS for loyalty is somewhat a double edged sword. Show your support, but don't be a bad consumer. If the bike shop is within a couple dollars, go with the bike shop. The hassle of paying for shipping and waiting to save a couple dollars is better spent supporting your shop. However, if your LBS is like double or a hefty amount above online pricing for that specific item, yes, go online. But be smart about things, is it really worth the 2 hours spent searching for the best price just to squeeze out $5 in savings? No. Don't be that guy. That guy is the reason businesses are shutting down. That guy is the reason it seems like you have to drive 20 miles to buy anything or hold it in your hand. Be a smart consumer, just don't be a f*cking jew.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Not surprising an online survey has the results showing "I shop online". Let's face it, bike parts are expensive, and a good portion of riders don't have the money to pay full retail. Online is a great way for these types of riders to afford parts. I worked at a bike shop for years, and now I have a job that allows me to buy from my old shop (the "old employee" discount helps too).

I don't blame people for shopping online, but don't complain when something breaks and you can't get it replaced. Also, don't be surprised if you get a glare when you buy something online and bring it to a shop to have them put it on... chances are if you get that same derailleur at your shop, it'll be put on and adjusted not only initially, but also later on for free. Come in with your fresh Pricepoint RD, and you're going to pay for every adjustment. At least that's the way I handled it. Bike shops tend to "take care of their own", so if you can afford it, join the LBS fold and buy from them.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is something that features in my life everyday, i run a bike shop and also sell some products online. The internet is making everybody in retail stop and rethink how to make money, times have changed and we're not going to stop it. People will always look at prices, its human nature but... everyday i am asked for advice or some spare part they can't find, or they've bought the wrong thing online and don't know what to do. its constant and i wonder where they would go when we're forced to close.
  • + 1
 We'll go to another LBS that has remained open because they've been willing to order in bulk, cut their margins, and not hire mechanics with attitude. Or find it on the internet, or fix it ourselves. Can't make it that way LBS? Too bad...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How many of you get wound up when you can't get through on some customer support hotline? we all moan about not being able to talk to a human beings anymore, well people, this is the future if things carry on and the "Real shops" go bust. People have mentioned LBS's not charging the same as the likes of CRC,its simple, we can't buy the way they do. i even buy from CRC myself for some parts as they are cheaper than the UK distributor can supply me. Online stores will hunt for stock from anywhere and do anything to sell it. Its no different for any retail, Tesco's has put pay to many towns, CRC will do the same, soon you'll have lots of CRC express stores with spotty kids on minimum wage with no idea trying to flog you some 22" jump bike, coz "you'll grow into it sir". reminds one of another big chain? Anyway, for me, its all about our product knowledge, a good workshop and carrying spares that people need in a hurry. we get lots of people stuck on a Saturday night who need something for the ride on Sunday, even text/facebook at 10 at night. bit of a pain but its what you have to do know.
Hopefully we'll still be around in years to come if we do things right but if any shop thinks it can carry on as before they are going one way... down the tubes.
interesting to read the comments above though, good topic. oh yeah... thanks to all our customers and www.slam69.co.uk is our shop. I thinks its cool for me to mention the shop seeing as the CRC machine has had a few mentions lol.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have supported my local bike shop. I'm a small business man and I know what it takes to keep your money in the community. The dude has to be kidding about Caps Westwood. I took my bike once to be repaired there. They asked me if I bought my bike there and when I said no, their response was 3 weeks before it gets done. They said they had to service the people who buy their bikes there first. I am even in their computer system and have never gotten a deal. Hands down I would deal with the Cove over anyone. Great service and great deals.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 as much as i would love to buy from my lbs, i dunno, their price are wayyyyyyy to high from online stores. i know theres no hassle to lbs coz you can take it right away but some lbs are jacking up prices like 10x compared to online stores. thats what i see from my lbs. ( just my opinion ). Smile ))
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I really think that you should support your local bike shop because you get to know the people that work there. For instance, in my town, there is a bike store that has been open since like 1960's and every body goes there to get bikes or their bikes worked on there. I really like bike shops because you get to try out your bike before buying it, and see what size you are.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've worked in a chain bicycle store for a while now and it is amazing how different the prices there are in comparison to Chain Reaction Cycles. For me I buy my small items there (lube, tubes, etc) but bigger items (chains, cassettes, tyres, grips) all come from online...so much cheaper and better product. But local bike stores provide servicing and once you've found the right place; there can be an excellent relationship with the customer and mechanic/sales staff and the customer can get the correct advice and parts they need...quite often they're alright with sometimes paying a little more knowing that it is the correct product and that there is no shipping time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Shop on line for products and use or lbs for service, its so simple. I have travelled to many locations and went to lots of shops, but could almost never find the parts I wanted available on stock at bike shops. With offer of special parts growing faster each day, it gets impossible for lbs to have whatever you want in stock, so why bother trying to find things on a shop close to your house, buy it on line, help prices stay down, and take it to your best mechanic to install and adjust for whatever value you agree is fair.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 LBS all the way man. Nothing beats a little trip to the bike store to buy some new stuff. The customer service is the best at mine and they always give me a bit of a good deal whenever I buy something there. Plus I'm way to impatient to order something online
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm lucky to have Bike Bling as my local shop. I do support local shops though, I live a stones throw away from Temecula CA, so I bought a respected brand bike, Intense M9 directly from them. Got to see my bike come alive with the welders welding, CNC machines tooling my links and drop outs, the assemblers putting it all together before sending it off to paint. It's pretty cool to experience the creation of your bike. Something you can't get from online retailers
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like ny LBS because it gives me a chance to work in trade for awesome deals. Do a little machine work, make a die nut or something, and get a rad deal on a fork or something. If you've got a talent dontbe afraid to throw it out there, maybe that lbs owner needs his house painted or something!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I used to have a selection of great LBS in Edinburgh. When I moved to a new area I went into the LBS to ask about the local trails and scene generally. I got the response from the owner, "I've no idea, I don't actually cycle"! Not been back since...I suppose it's luck of the draw on the quality of keeping it local and you always know what you're getting with the likes of CRC.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Online or LBS if you need it right away (and if by some mirracle they actually stock what you want).

I like buying local but why the hell would you pay more for that? The big online sellers offer a good service and if you know what your doing, you don't need shop knowledge. Hell, I probably know more real world tech than most of the guys in my local shops.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would love to buy local but I cant because it seems in the UK bike shops are useless, I hate going into a shop and being told there are no 9 speed chains, I hate watching the minimum pay mechanic mangle bike parts, and I also hate the distributors not understanding their own products. There isn't a bike shop in Kent I would leave my bike in for fear they would touch it. I envy the customer service ethic in the states, and have even had parts shipped FOC from the states after waiting weeks in the uk for nothing to turn up. The local bike shop needs to step up a gear we are becoming a nation of bike lovers, and we love our bikes with a passion, if you work in a bike shop learn your brands, and understand what our passion is, dont look at me like I'm weird because I want a firm ride kit for my fork, or a replacement rebound adjuster. A bike shop should learn its local trails and sell parts that are relevant to its customers I would love to go to a bike shop buy coffee from them leech the staff of their knowledge and be persuaded to buy the latest shiny kit, but I cant. If you own a bike shop try and instil a passion for your products and try and replace I dont know with, GET ON THE INTERNET AND FIND OUT! because if you dont I will, and you can be sure its on sale at CRC
  • + 1
 That's part of what forces me on-line. There are some really poor excuses for bike shops around where I live too. When I have to educate the shop techs what "Octalink" means when looking for a bottom bracket... that's a problem. When the lead mechanic is explaining to someone to "just put the DU bushing in a vise and de-form it a little if it fits loose..." in ear shot, there is no way in hell that I'm letting that hammer-mechanic near my bike. You want my money LBS... earn it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Depends where you are in the country, many local bike shops (midwest) cannot keep pace with my activities and seem to ignore market segments all together. Shame. Online solves the issue when you are more knowledgeable than the shops. Truth.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 When LBS don't keep pace with or ignore market segments, you have no choice but to buy online and do it yourself. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the LBS is in sync with your genre of riding, then LBS can be a strong partner for a rider. (and stop deleting my comments PB)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 LBS = too much money and not enough inventory.

The reality is, I can get it cheaper and quicker online..

I try to support my LBS's, there are 3 close to me, but really, their customer service is so poor I am amazed how they stay in business.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Online is cheaper, it saves you $$$$. I buy little bits like bearings, tires, chains and grips from the bike shop. I wanted to buy a GSport Ratchet hub from my local shop and they said 180quid, i laughed at them an ordered one online for 120 which saves me 60 quid.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Kevin from Transition bikes shouldn't be such a hypocrite, Transition bikes themselves have an eBay store that hugely discounts bike parts just like he says "Items like forks and shifters and brakes – that sort of thing is detrimental to the industry" check out there store right here and see how they are stealing sales from local bike shops via eBay - www.ebay.com/sch/transitionbikes/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686
  • + 2
 not surprising....
  • + 0
 I think you'll find those parts are spare from build kits from previous year models and it'll be what he called close outs. Check the Tranny website, most of that gear is there as well. We order our Transition parts from our distributor down here in Aoteroa, who sends it to a LBS, who will sell or fit it. Everybody wins.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy on-line. Here's one example why. I bought my first set of TLD Lopes knee/shin pads from my LBS. Then, when I needed a new set, I decided to check the usual on-line vendors. Price was approximately half. I don't know about anyone else, but to me the choice was obvious.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's pretty simple but unfortunate, my LBS cannot get the specific things i want. Thanks to the internet i know exactly what i want to buy and it's always something they don't have in stock. I admit riding DH in this flatland might not be the best idea but that's the way it is. If i do ask them if they could get a hold of the product it is quite difficult and they'll take a few days to get back to you if they even do. Then the price is adjusted accordingly as its probably a part that isn't even in the warehouse in this country. So it turns out being too expensive. One other thing i hate about buying in a LBS is that most of the time you know more about the product than the people working there. On a side note, even if the LBS doesn't know how to deal with a problem. In my case it was whether to route the cable's through the stanchion and the frame or around the stanchion. They routed it around the station and it was too tight causing deep cable rub on the frame and the station after just one ride on my new bike. Then you blame yourself that you didn't notice they routed it the wrong way around and went for a ride. If the internet is the problem for them loosing sales then they could certainly use the internet to their advantage too. You just have to google a DH bike and you'll see how the cables should be routed.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I wanted to upgrade my groupset and new rim's built on my hub's and got rrp's plus wheel building so I upgraded some more got whole new wheels and full XO instead of a X9/0 mix for less money and shopped online.. LBS's get real it's business after all
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Local bike shops offer a number of advantages over online sellers. Local trail advocacy (hopefully), helping to get new people into the sport, personal interaction, knowledgeable staff (hopefully), being able to touch/try-on/try-out an item, faster/easier warranty replacements (hopefully), not having to deal with shipping fees/duties, not having to deal with shipping delays and more.

With those advantages in mind I—as a consumer—am willing to pay a premium buying locally. The question to me is just how much a premium am I willing to pay? A 10%, it is an easy decision. $100 dollar item on CRC vs. $110 on the same item at a shop, I go to the shop with pride. Same item sold at the shop for $120—I would still buy at the shop. $150 for the same item at the shop? I would buy online. Having pondered this question for the past couple years, I believe I am willing to pay a 25% premium to a local shop and not lose any sleep about my purchase. Anything past 25%, I will probably buy it online.

Now, with 25% in mind looking at the local shops here in Canada, it becomes exceedingly difficult to justify purchasing anything locally. Race Face Atlas crankset at a local shop: $289.99CND. Race Face Atlas crankset from CRC: $143.75CND, and CRC will ship it for free. It is not like I am choosing between a Chang-Shin blender at Wal Mart vs. a Cuisinart blender sold at The Bay. The cranksets are the same dang item. I am sorry, but I am not willing to pay double.

Maybe it is the Canadian cycling wholesalers that are to blame. Maybe the local shops are being forced to buying that crankset at $225, and need to factor in rent, heat, wages and a little profit so they have to sell it for $290. Whatever the reasons are, I just cannot justify that much of a price spread for that exact item.
  • + 2
 yep 100% agree ! I dont have a problem paying a bit more for a part (say 25%) , but if the same item is 50% less at an online store- ( i am not a millionaire ) , i will buy online.
  • + 3
 Remember the sky is falling crap Cycles Lambert spewed when Raceface decided to sell to MEC and announced they were dropping distribution of them? I never understood why exactly a canadian brand needed an exclusive canadian distributor to jack up the prices. There used to be a quebec company making carbon components called Liken Composites and I was one of their first dealers. Well made stuff, started with brake boosters for cantilevers and v-brakes and magura rim brakes (this was the late 90s). Then Cycles-Lambert comes along and signs some exclusive distribution deal for canada and presto, all the wholesale prices jumped 25% and it now became cheaper to order such things thru the mail, from the USA, and pay the shipping, at a time our dollar was low 60 cents US range.
  • + 1
 I don't even think MEC was some sort of godsend, they were just big enough to wrestle with the bullies. Obviously cycles lambert and OGC have had our market in their pocket for quite a while. I often wonder what sort of damage middlemen have done to the mtb scene by taking their pound of flesh. Back in the day i couldn't even afford grocery, let along new cranks from a LBS... so i had to go around with crank arms falling off for months. It is just one example, but there are real effects on people. I don't buy big parts at a LBS anymore. I won't bother to pay a premium because the LBS is not accountable for that premium. Fact is a big chunk is going into a distributors pocket not to trail advocacy. That sorta annoys me.

If you ACTUALLY donate to IMBA or the local group then you can actually be assured the money is gonna go into all those good things you mentioned. No need to feel so guilty. Smile


Unfortunately for these distributors their business is such that it can easily be supplanted, in the old days by mail order, but waaay more so with technology like the internet and people sharing experience on forums. The Internet has a way of ruthlessly destroying any middleman's markup business. Provided the product fits into certain category like cranks or books. More products will fit into that category in the future. Just look at what happened to the recording industry or the book store. Prices plummeted for music and books. The same has/is gonna keep happening on a larger scale for bicycles or many other items that had to be sold in person back in the "good" ol' days.
  • + 1
 hello there !
I agree 100% - things have to change regarding distributorship. Amazon.ca started in someones garage and look at them now - I am hoping to achieve a part of that success AND get those bicycle parts prices DOWN IN CANADA!! There is absolutely NO reason why prices are that much higher than in the USA or the UK- ABSOLUTELY NONE .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would support my LBS more if they supported me more. But since the local shops here do whatever they can to ignore the gravity mountain bike scene, they never have the parts (and sometimes not even the tools) in stock that are needed for my bike. So why buy from a LBS that has to order in the parts after arguing with you about how you don't need it, when I can get it online faster, cheaper, and with less hassle?

However, when I have the gas and the time, I will drive to a brick and mortar store that is two hours away because they know what they are doing, know what I want, usually have it, and work hard at maintaining the friendship that they have developed with me. If only my local shops were more like that!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I managa a service center at the base of trestle bike park (BikeSource) I see people all of the time buying the wrong product online and then they come to me to figure out what part they really need. We are here for a reason We Know our stuff! we can get ya the right stuff the first time and keep your bike running in tip top shape! SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 In my biking group, the used marketplace (hello Pinkbike!) is probably hurting the LBS more. Folks are finding lots of little used bikes at a huge discount from new. Ditto vanity builds from parts fetishists. Someone spent $4500+, you pick it up for $2200, its all good, even if ya gotta drive a few hundred kilometers. I use 4-5 LBS for suspension and drivetrain parts and service. Wheels, brakes, tires, I tend to buy online because the savings are so damn huge and they don't last long with all my crashes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I live in North Vancouver and have an amazing relationship with the boys at north Shore Bike Shop. The support, knowledge, and friendships made completely out way the benefits of shopping online. Support your local shop and they'll support you!
  • + 2
 Yup, great shop. Matt can rip too. Haha.
  • + 4
 Amen to this. The NSBS boys hooked us up huge when we were out riding the North Shore last summer, and we weren't even locals who had spent thousands in the shop - just a bunch of out-of-towners in urgent need of some comparatively inexpensive ($300) parts & service. Matt even took the time out of his extremely busy day to chat with us, go over some maps, and give us some trail recommendations - he even gave us a couple pairs of socks for free. The prices were very reasonable, (although admittedly not CRC-cheap) and the work we needed was done properly and extremely quickly. All in all it was the best experience I have ever had at any bike shop, anytime, anywhere - and whenever I am in Vancouver I will absolutely give him my business again. IMO these little things are what online retailers will never be able to offer. If every LBS provided service like this, we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now!
  • + 4
 Thanks guys! We're honoured to be part of a great community.
  • + 1
 Haha, no problem. Keep up the good work.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They both have their benefits. Sometimes I need something now and the only way to get it is to pay a bit more at a local shop. Sometimes I need to try something on first to make sure it fits, so i'll buy it locally. Sometimes I don't like paying 30-100% more for an item and will buy online. And occasionally i'll not want to spend $1000 on a hardtail and get a god damn Suntour coil fork on it, so i'll buy online.

Shops will live on as long as they focus on good service and not completely price gouge people. The shops filled with elitist a*sholes that thumb their nose at certain customers will hopefully die off. Online shopping is forcing LBS's to adapt, some are, some, just like those who despise additional gears and other new innovations, will die in the new market.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My local bike shop is full of pretentious pricks (Leisure Lakes Nottm) and have complained about them no end of time. I still revisit but thats only because it suits me on occasions. Youd think theyd want the business. The managers the only on who actually cares about losing the custom I think.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I use my local lbs always. If I see what I want in the store and I tell them what it's worth online usually we come to a agreement on a price that's fair. Then I don't have to wait for my part to show up and I have supported local business I have owned a bike shop before and the biggest problem is that every kid with no money that walks through the door wants to be treated like a pro rider and get everything for nothing. Then they complain about you on the Internet cause you couldn't give them a 300 dollar helmet for 50 bucks. Some people don't understand that it cost money to run a business , hydro, rent , insurance most shops cost at least 10k or more per month just to keep the doors open. The industry revolves around buying power the more you buy the better deal you get Yes online is cheaper in most cases ,and money don't grow on trees .so buy your gear from wherever makes the most sense to you and your bank account Me personally I'd rather give my cash to my friends and keep them in a job. And when you need a part Sunday morning ASAP so you can ride . It never hurts to have the shop guys cell number I don't think online shops can offer that Just go out and ride support our industry in any means that you can
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You're going to have to use a local bike shop! just for the fact you dont have every tool! fair enough you get some shops that actually employ retards - you just stay away from them, I have a good relationship with my local and so do my mates! they try their best to pricematch! as much as most of you are saying use online retailers! I bet you still use a bike shop for repairs when you cant solve... its that relationship and professionalism I like about local bike shops! plus you get to hide from the misses and always get a drink! cant go wrong, Most shops are prepared to take a hit as long as their fitting it for a fee. if it wasnt for local bike shops you wouldnt have your world cup mechanics.
  • + 2
 I do have every tool. I actually use them correctly, and my bikes actually work when I service them, unlike what happens when I took them to the LBS.
  • + 1
 Willie you're spot on. I learned how to fix everything myself down to suspension service and wheel building. Most mechanics are hacks and I wouldn't trust them even looking at my sled....
  • + 1
 Well Willie I can't fault you haha Smile I'm sorry to hear the lack of skills your local bike shop have! Mine are different though! If it want for Bike mechanics you wouldn't know how to fix your rig in the 1st place, you might watch YouTube for how to's but at the end of the day, their either from a bike shop or they themselves have learned from a bike shop! It's not something you pick up without someone giving you tips,

Alex233 I have no recpect for your comment just for the fact you talk as if you were born with a spanner in your hand. Please don't reply
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If a local bike shop has what I want, and is within reasonable range ( ~10%) price-wise I'll go there to to have a physical look at the component, bike or whatever, and get it from there if I like it! Main thing that makes my purchases online is the lack of variety and availability of most components/lines within my local area! If a shop has to order something in then why would I wait and spend more? Only exception IMO is full bikes. Much better off demoing sizing and getting the full aftercare.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 When my local shop will have all the goods that chainreacioncycles have, then I'll switch back to it. It's so sad to go into local shop, and I can get one single ring cranks, and they are some 2009 model truvativs. I would love to not wait week of shipping from chain reaction cycles and just go and buy the good in local shop.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 One should spend the least amount of time and money for the best product (and that includes original purchase, as well as service and maintenance if that is needed).

There is no other consideration.

For me, 97% of time that means buying online. I could not care for LBS, but obviously a lot of people need'em.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Local bike shops are uniformly crap where I live. The future in my view is a split of service vs. sales which we're starting to see already i.e. service only bike workshops who sell their labour and advice and a few essentials. Why? Because they cannot compete on price for products and never will.
I Ioath bike shops who seem to be uniformly run by wankers who know far less about their over priced wares than their customers which combined with a generally poor attitude makes shopping online a no brainer.

All this begs the question: can you put a price on loyalty? If I loved my lbs - what % premium would I be prepared to stomach to keep supporting them? 10% probably. 15 maybe on small stuff. 20% probably not. I can't see bike shops surviving on selling their goods for just 10% more when their overheads are 30-50% higher than e-tailers. So the future is pretty bleak if you run a bike shop unless you offer something exceptional. I know of a bike shop which operates like a club to which you gain automatic membership when you buy a bike from them. You tighten get to go on outside etc and meet new people and learn things. This adds value. But, most lbs owners are too lazy and useless to do such things.

On a final note - most of my riding friends aren't just ambivalent about this issue - they actually dispose lbs's who they feel have screwed us for years and are now getting bent over their bike stands and getting what they deserve. I don't disagree.
  • + 1
 you raise some pretty good points. My LBS is pretty good. Small, family business (husband, wife and kiddy) that all love to ride. They stock boutique brands, but you pay a premium for them. I cant fault their service, and I am happy to say they are good friends now, not becuase i have spent thousands in their shop, but because they are good people, honest hard working people who share a similar view of the world to me. I have been lucky enough to have raced with them locally and interstate several times. If im honest, their prices are not competative with e-tailers, but i dont feel like i bought their friendship with my $3500 frameset. I enjoy their company and they deserve to succeed in business. BTW, australian commercial rental prices are ridiculous, add that to the cost of utilities and i am starting to have empathy for their situation. Me buying brake pads from them is a meal on their table. Pretty simple really.
  • + 2
 I think what is really missing is a bike mechanic shop where you could still buy your parts from an online shop then if your not mechanically inclined have the Bike Mechanic build/install it for you. I feel privileged to be able to build up a bike from scratch and also do all the routine maintenace, except for shock servicing and wheel building. I buy ALL my parts online because my local LBS (Bow Cycle,) just can't compete(sorry not a dig). But I had no issue bringing them the rims, spokes and hubs I bought online and having them build the wheelset up for me. They were very professional and did a great job. So i gues they are good for somethings, but not others(price)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 People don't understand that bike shops will gladly order products for you just ask! Even if its just one small thing. There's a million products out there and us bike shops aren't the biggest of business and can't carry everything. It may take a week or two to get it but support local bike shops there important.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Theres something to be said for buying a product in an actual store. It just feels right. When you buy something online there's a brown box on your doorstep the next week, not a fellow biker across the counter ready to help. If i buy something at a shop and i know im paying just a little extra than online it almost feels like its worth more. Service and the ability to go in and look at the actual thing you want to buy will ALWAYS beat a brown box and a photo on the internet.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 When u go to the same shop alot and build a relationship with them. They value you as a customer and give u discounts. I rarely buy online now as I can get it for around the same price at my shop, plus im helping put food into the mouths of my friends.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would much rather support my LBS as I prefer the service & attention to detail. However, they are limited as to how much stock they can keep & their reduced buying power means their prices our higher which is a major factor. They do try to price match where possible.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I decided to support my lbs and gave them my wheel set to be built up, a ,into later I've heard nothing so went down and there they are sat waiting but with silver spokes not the black ones I had specified and the guy had written down so off they went again for another month and a half I still then had to contact them because they lost my phone number, I gave them a chance and won't be using them again so CRC it is or a larger more commercial store!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Reading through these posts it become quiet apparent that LBS which rip off customer or do not offer good customer service simply will not survive. My LBS is great and I support them where I can, but most of the time they simply cannot compete on service alone. Good LBS will survive, bad LBS will die away over the next 5-10 years.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would love to buy local but I cant because it seems in the UK bike shops are useless, I hate going into a shop and being told there are no 9 speed chains, I hate watching the minimum pay mechanic mangle bike parts, and I also hate the distributors not understanding their own products. There isn't a bike shop in Kent I would leave my bike in for fear they would touch it. I envy the customer service ethic in the states, and have even had parts shipped FOC from the states after waiting weeks in the uk for nothing to turn up. The local bike shop needs to step up a gear we are becoming a nation of bike lovers, and we love our bikes with a passion, if you work in a bike shop learn your brands, an understand what our passion is, dont look at me like I'm weird because I want a firm ride kit for my fork, or a replacement rebound adjuster. A bike shop should learn its local trails and sell parts that are relevant to its customers I would love to go to a bike shop buy coffee from them leech the staff of their knowledge and be persuaded to buy the latest shiny kit, but I cant. If you own a bike shop try and instil a passion for your products and try and replace I dont know with, GET ON THE INTERNET AND FIND OUT! because if you dont I will, and you can be damn sure its on sale at CRC.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want to support my LBS. However there are things I'll buy online if I know what I need and if it probably isn't stocked locally. If I don't know what size/spec and I need help, I will buy at the LBS. The advantage of the LBS over most on-line retailers is obviously service and expertise and that's worth something to me and that I'm willing to pay for. And like others have said, if you're a regular shopper you'll likely get a nice discount for supporting the LBS.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The LBSs that will survive and win in the end will be the ones that embrace their online store just as much as their brick-and-mortar store. The problem I see is that most LBSs treat their websites and ecommerce stores with severe indignation and disregard. This is a recipe for disaster. LBSs can complain all they want about online stores, but times change, technologies improve and commerce adapts with it. I understand that many bicycle manufacturers don't allow for online sales, but most LBSs make their profits through accessories. There is no valid reason in 2013 not to have a well run ecommerce site that at minimum allows for in-store pickup of accessories, clothing, etc.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i will write again!
Im poor, ill buy wherever the price is the best and we know the best prices is online (On the big one). My last bike i bought on a LBS but my current one was online coz the price was veeery good and i wont find Nukeproof´s here in Finland. I do the maintance of my bike, LBS only if i need small parts...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's pretty simple for me. I will always buy as much as I can from my local bike shop. But there is a point where sometimes the price online may just be too good to pass up. Often times the large online retailers end up having sales that can be too good to pass up. If it comes down too buying an expensive component at retail at my LBS or getting a 50% of the prior year model (which is basically the same) online, I just can't pass that up.

But ultimately if the LBS is even within the same ballpark on price for something, even if its aite more, I'll support the local shop.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am always glad to support the local shops- I like the see first hand what I am buying. I want to see who assembled it and get it tuned from someone I know. It makes the entire transaction satisfying and puts money in the local economy and puts me on the good side of someone's business! I cannot say I would do this for all my purchases, but when it comes to biking, Local all the way for me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I split sales between the two, small sales are online due to price, but larger sales i do in store because the service is perfect, you get better security (warranty, returns etc) and you can get your hands dirty before buying anything so that you know it's the right thing to get. Sure they can't quite compete price wise but if you're a loyal customer, you'll get great deals anyway. - Finance schemes, free stuff, servicing etc.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm going to say I have a great LBS with knowledgeable staff and they offer decent prices. There is stuff I do buy online but I like to support them and they do well by me. Really if a store can offer friendly, good advice and can service a bike properly they will do well.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I support my lbs, to the point that I get a pretty big % off. So it's nearly as cheap as online.
I quite happily support them when I can, but if they can't get me a specific part, I do go online. But ONLY IF THEY CAN'T GET THE PART. Else LBS and businesses are the future.

Parts iv bought online have came and been wrong, or if clothing didn't fit, sending stuff backs a cost and hassle I can't be bothered with. Plus there is no advice or proper 1to1 support online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My LBS is a 100€ plane ticket away, plus a cargo fare for the bike. My alternative is to buy online during the winter, come summer I`ll take the ferry and do a proper bike check, otherwise it`s DIY all the way. In the most extreme situations I have to ship the bike or the parts over to them, which is the closest I get to a LBS experience. Still they rock, and are always available and looking out customers like me, and in return I send everyone the comes asking me for bikes or parts over to them.

p.s. I live on a really small island Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Being back in Onterrible has made me see how great the shops I had out west were. sure they always tried steering me towards a totally different product then the one i was asking about but there was always a reason behind it. It's pretty bad when all three shops where im currently living have told me to shop online or that they cant repair most of parts cause they dont have the tools to do it, unless your a roadie you'll get no help.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hello there all ! I started up Canada's FIRST and only web-site only bicycle online retailer Crazy Canuck Cycling just this last July 2012 BECAUSE I was not getting the service or product selection I was demanding here in Calgary. I would call various bike shops and they would not have the product I was looking for, or it would be way too high in price. I would also go to get some work done on my bike,and the mechanic would screw it up ! Then I thought to myself- Im starting up my own bike store- but only online ! As of today- my gross sales for bike parts are over six figures ! And get this------- I have had 2 companies ; a well known clothing company and well known bicycle parts maker company tell me to stop selling their product ! Why ? Because I call sell their product CHEAPER than what they (the bike shops) can buy it for ! So they are trying to stop me from selling !! Its a free market enterprise people ! I am providing a product service alternative to the local bike shops- it ultimately your choice ! And I am a local roadie racer in the Calgary area !! I do believe however, that buying a BICYCLE is better at a retail store however.
  • + 1
 do you buy from OGC, NORCO, CYCLES LAMBERT or any other distributors? or you source out from elsewhere or direct from the brand?
  • + 1
 Hello there ; see my response to your comments ! thanks !
  • + 1
 I hate to break it to you, but no.. you were not the first by a long shot... a buddy of mine in Victoria was first...in 1994... I followed about 3 1/2 weeks after him here in ottawa and we were collectively the first web-site only bicycle stores in the world. I was the first listed on any search engines though, and have a couple references in some of the first printed books about e-commerce and other bicycle resources online and kept at it for a good number of years longer than he did with his. I've had accounts with cycles lambert before actually and had it revoked by one particular local shop whining I was costing them sales (not sure how many I cost as at the time I had only ordered a couple thousand in wholesale price inventory over five years from CL... they were way overpriced in the late 90s for most items). That shop that whined has since gone out of business.
  • + 1
 hello there - my apologies to you ! I may be the "only" canadian bike parts online sales currently still in business maybe then?
  • + 1
 I'm still in business, I just don't bother with a dedicated website currently.
  • + 1
 ok then ! seems babac cycles do not sell to internet only retailers anymore as I just called them ! You gotta love CANADA !
  • + 1
 Simple solution, start selling/repairing locally.
  • + 1
 yep, that's what im doing !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 yeah id love to support the local bike shop and be able to walk down the road and buy what i need but. Lets be honest. Call me tight but i can get parts and more variety of them other than the shops supporting brands from online shops. i buy most things from CRC and when ever i had a problem its been sorted out right away so its no hassle may have to wait an extra day or two. my problems with local bike shops, They are over priced and they dont know enough, i mean they could be a roadie expert sweet if you want the next best tyre for that but then say u ask technical info about a dh or dj part they dont know. and some of them employ kids in school who ok they ride but there like 15 never touched a spanner and i wouldnt trust them with a bag of sweets nevermind my bike. plus when you do the work yourself, you know its ACTUALLY been done and done right.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like to first find a good local shop to deal with. One that I can trust to do a good job with my stuff without trying to sell me new crap all the time or blow the '29 mantra up my arse. Evenstill, I wind up buying a lot of stuff off Pinkbike and from a couple of online retailers. That said, the best i've yet dealt with is Chain Reaction Cycles. The absolute hands down flat out best customer service I've ever dealt with. I just wish they had an American warehouse.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i n its well worth supporting ur local or in some cases not quite so local bike shop as they may not be able to give u the same discounts as on-line but thay can offer info an a near buy wanty on parts so u don't have to spend loads in postage sending the faulty part(s) to were u bort them from for example if i bort some DT swiss forks from crc an the was a prob then i would have to send them back an then wait for them to proses an send u replacement this could take a week or more were as if i went to my local bike shop i could do it all in one afternoon if they have them in stock an thy could help to install an set the fork up with u were as on-line u will have to do it all u self an if u have to cut the steerer tube wrong then u have expensive prob on ur hands.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I always buy from who ever offers me the best deal. Be it from online stores, eBay, Pinkbike's buy and sell, my local bike shop, or from my sponsors, when it comes to getting the best bang for my buck then that's who gets my money. Prices range from each and it all depends on what product I'm buying but in the end they all receive my money in one way or another
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I tend to do most my shopping online.For one such a huge selection from on the online shops.My local she has weak selection and stock.I also find bring a former mechanic that the guys in local shop tell me i didn't need that and then i ask Do you know what UBI no well It a bicycle school to tech you proper mechanic skill. So i kno what i need i build all my own bike,wheel sets, and do suspicion work.So when i go into local shop and tell me what i need and dont need please i dont need 15 yr old who rides a dj bike telling me my needs.Again i try to buy certain things at local shops because i believe in giving them the biz and keeping them in biz but when the shops are weak with employees and selection kinda makes it easy to go online get what i want usually cheaper without being asking any studio questions.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 See I would love to support my LBS, the guys in there are really helpful and friendly and with smaller stuff I will buy from them but when it comes to buying frames/forks/wheels they just can't compete with the price and speed of an online retailer. If I had the money spare and didn't need things as quickly I would definitely support them. I brought my Orange Five frame from Bike Active in SA and I got it cheaper than I ever would have online. 95% of the time I would opt for customer service and being able to talk to someone who knows what I want rather than some computer some place. I say if you can afford it - BUY FROM LBS.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Even though I do all my own wrenching and keep up on most of the new products. I still buy exclusively at bike shops. I like to touch and see before I buy, and I like the atmosphere of a bike shop. The customer service needs to be improved still though, I'd like to be able to walk into any bike store not just my LBS and be treated like I'm one of the regulars.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I believe as usually with most of the stuff it is all about the balance and the middle ground. Price wise and ease of use- online wins like crazy. But when something goes wrong? Or you need advice? Or just a quick fix? I always stock up and get the more expensive bits online but always up for spending few quids in LBS. Every penny counts- especially these days when LBS are struggling so badly...



S U P P O R T Y O U R L B S !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I absolutely agree with the statements said here. I buy from a combination of a small retail shop and large online retailers. Unfortunately the retail shop I use is about 5 hours from my house. If I had a local shop that had knowledgable, helpful and pleasant sales staff I would absolutely buy from them, but this is not the case. All of my local shops suck. When I build bikes or make orders that I don't need right away, I always call up the shop I do all my business with. They are knowledgable and REAL riders, not the guys like my local shops who I've never seen on a trail and tell me I don't want schwalbe muddy mary's, I want this 3 year old maxxis 2.7 high roller thats on the shelf for my downhill bike. For me, it is unpleasant to shop locally, the most I buy is a derailleur cable or headset spacer, they're always trying to tell me what I want for my downhill bike when they currently don't have a bike because they're "looking for a new one" which they told me when I was in there 6 months ago. I believe that a good shop with top notch service will always survive as long as they stock what their riders want and are able to get things they don't stock in a reasonable time frame.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love to ride and I like to work on my own bike and there is a time and place for buying on line and supporting the local boys. I am grateful for the relationship and community that my LBS provides but also stoked that online retailers raise the bar for competitive pricing. Personally I prefer to buy really big price tag items on pinkbike becasue I know what I want and I know what to look for. Also, Ive never had a bad experience with the site or the buyers and sellers using it. There is some great stuff that people just want gone! I like to buy small parts online like derailleur hangars, shift/brake cables/housing, bearings, crimps, etc... because they are the odds and ends and kind of a hassle to bother my LBS store about. As a rule of thumb I buy locally when I need something that needs to be tried on...armor and clothing because its there and getting the fit right is what I value. In my opinion, the good LBS will stick around because it is a hub for the community and the best place in town to get the low down on trails.
  • + 1
 It's pretty poor when so many of us have to buy RD Hangers on-line, because the LBS doesn't stock these consumable parts, or charges double for them. I did find a LBS, that is an hour drive away (= $12 in gas), who stocks hangers at on-line pricing... but it's faster for me to get it shipped and the shops closerto me don't know or carry squat.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Being a traveling biker from Chicago (trails suck) the local shops never have what I need so online is what I have to do. The local Chicago shops cater to roadies and 29er rigid riders. No room for freeride style bikes etc.. In a lot of ways I can't blame them, however it should be no surprise I look elsewhere. Needless to say biking in Chicago kind of sucks..
  • + 1
 except for dirt jumping at the Garden... Thats sweet!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Tough question. For the products that your LBS doesn't have you should buy online, then you can have what you want. If its something simple definitely go to the store, buy it have a chat with the employees, learn some new things and have a good day.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just built a 2013 Carbon Stumpy EVO, and I reserched all the prices online to get the best deals I could get. Went to my local shop and showed them everything that I wanted and the prices that I got and they matched them and even beat them on some. So I would much rather give my money & business to my LBS, since dealing with somone directly over dealing someone over the phone or e-mail is far better anyday IMO, plus if I need something right then, I'd much rather walk thru their door and purchase it and have it NOW, over having to wait a week or more for it to be shipped to me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I always shop local. the bike shop at home is great. the guy is friendly, knows all the bikers in town and which bike belongs to which person. he puts in a ton of hard work, and gives me tips on how to tune my bike better etc. I guess it depends on your local shop really... if the owners are aholes then i can see why you would shop online, but if you have a decent local bike shop... SHOP THERE!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I support my lbs, over the years I have tried many shops & found halfrauds & evans cycles the worst! I use Les's Cycles based in Essex & they really know their bikes, they have never let me down & are always knowledgeable & friendly. The more you support your lbs & get to know them well, the more they will help you & if your lucky give you discounts! Support your lbs all the way!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy everything online and have a freelance mechanic (who spanners for the UK worlds team) do any complicated stuff. He's cool, gives advice and charges far less than a local shop. He built a couple of wheels for me recently and as well building he disassembled the old ones, fitted some new tyres and gave me some new tubes free of charge and even greased the rear hub, all for less than quoted in a shop. I think that it the way forward - find a local mechanic if you can!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My local store orders their stuff from discount sites so...im good. Either way I get a reasonable price. I always take my bike to the local shop for repairs and tunes even if I can do it myself just to give them business.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I buy mostly online. Use only LBS when it's actually cheaper than on the web (not that often). TBH im not satisfied with the level of professionalism of my LBS .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bowcycle for the win! I remember lining up, one winter morning, 2011 to get an awesome deal on a spez demo 8 2 when they had a massive sale. I got it for half the price! But for parts and clothing, I do it online.
  • + 3
 I've had pretty mixed experiences at Bow Cycle, and barely use them anymore. Online shopping attracted me with the price, but has kept me due to the amazing selection and convenience. With Bow, I typically have to drive there, order a part, wait for 2 weeks, then pay twice as much for it, and do one more drive. Also, I may or may not get the douchey employee (To be fair, some of the Bow employees are excellent, others not so much). Online, I pay less, wait about the same, and it comes to my door.

Having said all this, Bow Cycle appears to do amazing business. I am always amazed driving by there in the spring time at the sheer volume of new bikes being walked out the door. People that don't know exactly what they want or how to service their equipment will always depend on the LBS. There is room for both.
  • + 1
 Bow Cycle is probably one of the best bike shops in Calgary- they have the biggest shop with the best selection
Great staff too who are friendly. I havent used their services for repairs yet though, so I dont know how knowledgeable they are in regards to repairs/maintenance

I use a local guy - at Bent Knee bike repair - Richard is very knowledgeable and knows what he is doing - I trust him 100% to work on my bikes and my customers bikes.
  • + 2
 Bow is the big dog in Calgary, they do massive volume and have loads of bikes in stock. Their staff is also huge, but not all the same in terms of quality. If you are lucky enough to be able to send your bike upstairs (Bow regulars know what I'm talking about) then you can rest easy your bike will be looked after. Downstairs is another story as some of the 15 year old "mechanics" seem to be working on bikes themselves with no direction from the experienced staff. I've purchased 2 road bike from Bow, and I bought a Demo 8 from a Bow mechanic, and I have yet to have an issue with any of the bikes. Bow is a decent bike shop, lots of customers, lots of volume, and sometimes you feel like a statistic to them, but if you luck out and get help from one of the veterans you feel you can bring all of your business to them.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy where it is pocket friendly. And can someone tell me why bIke parts are so expensive in Canada. How is a Canadian brand bike can cost up to 600 less in the U.S.? I go to the lbs when the online savings are negligible.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 depends if your lbs is any good, i hate it when i talk to a mechanic and feel like i'm talking to a car salesman.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The answer, of course, is yes. Some stuff yes to lbs some to the internet. My bikeshop will take longer to get it and cost more. But some stuff is worth it to buy on person. Besides, they are selling stuff on line too.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 CRC contacted 2020 BMX Mag about running an ad... this is an open letter in reply.
zengarage.com.au/2012/11/an-open-letter-to-chain-reaction-cycles
Sorry if this has already been linked
  • + 5
 What a load of crap that letter is. CRC has a better business model, and it shows. They have better customer support than any LBS I have used. Its the LBS mentality- keep a secret handshake for the chosen few, guard my secrets, keep knowledge away from the customers that was the economic model in the middle ages, still lives (on life support) in the LBS model.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I don't have a local bike store, so I buy everything online, but I do like to wander around a good bike shop now and again.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 The only problem i have with local bike shops is that they don't offer stuff i need. If they bring it, i'd buy stuff at local, of course if the price is not differs big.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It just depends on whether or not you have a good lbs. If you're getting the support you need at your lbs then buy online! I personally have a great bike shop in town and love buying parts from them and talking with them.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Plain and simple. My money goes where I get the best consistant service. To be honest.. I have better service on the computer then most shops.. Sad but true.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Always lbs I work in the workshop of the lbs and all I see is my boss give free stuff anyway and discounting stuff the other day he gave away £700 of stuff all you have to do it ask what's the worst they going to say NO
[Reply]
  • + 2
 well here in new zealand the prices are generally 20% dearer at the lbs than say buying at crc which unfortunatly is why I never buy local.
  • + 1
 And that's assuming they will even order anything in for you in the first place. I'm looking at you Avanti plus. No forks, no shocks, no pedals, no handlebars, etc.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy most of my small things (brake pads, grips, spokes etc) from my LBS
But i bought my bars (raceface atlas) off crc cause no where in my city sells them.
so i try to support my local bike shop, but sometimes i cant.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Problem with online is you have to pay import duties which are expensive where i live and its hard to figure out the sizing of many of the garments over the net, but lbs's tend to have poor selection and higher prices.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 like the idea of supporting your lbs but their prices will have to be at least close before i concider actually doing it, while its so much cheaper ill go online cheaper bike parts means i can get more of the Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I shop the used market first, then the LBS. If they can't get it for me I'll head online - but only as a last resort. My LBS people are my homies and it's important that my friends eat too!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Obama's solution would be: if you make over $250,000 a year household income = support your local bikeshop; under $250,000 year, the US govt will purchase a new rig for you from Taiwan.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I am a supourter of LBS. Luckly my LBS opened only 200 meters from my house Smile I Get grat deals at almost everything and the owner have been rideing wc! The good thing about LBS is that you only need to show that you love the sport and then they will help you with almost everything Smile 3
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Dont be tight cant put a price on service.. LBD!
  • + 1
 Bloody phone.. LBS*
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Having worked in Cycle shops for most of my adult life, this is a conversation I've had too many times to remember. At the end of the day, bike shops are not "jacking up" prices as some of the misinformed on here like to believe, we sell the products at the RRP. This is almost entirely down to the fact that the cost to us is much higher than online retailers. They are also not always buying their stock through the appropriate distributor...ever wondered why Thomson products from CRC come in a clear bag and not all the proper packaging? What they are often purchasing is just OEM equipment.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the lure of the internet and have bought over the internet many times for items I can't find elsewhere. However as an employee in a LBS, the most insulting, rude (and unfortunately increasingly common) problem we are experiencing is customers who seek our free knowledge, want to find out what size bike or helmet they need, take up sometimes hours of our time with sizing and set-up and then casually slip in that they will be buying it on line, or worse, search for the product on line in front of you then demand a discount "because CRC/Wiggle are selling it for this". Discount is earned via loyalty, and will always be given to repeat customers, it is not given because "on-line says this". Of course I, like many if not most sales assistants in the trade do not work on commission, I am salaried, so realistically there is nothing but the satisfaction of someone buying the right bike and being thrilled to bits with it as a reward for me, I want to hear stories of the "first time I took it to Wales", that's enough to keep me doing it, I doubt most/any on-line retailers give a toss, whereas friendships are forged in a LBS, customers become riding buddies...
  • + 1
 What's with the spam?
  • + 1
 You aren't "wrong," however if you dig your heals in on such an arrogant position, you'll find the shop closed. You, the local shop, have every right to be pissed when someone eats your resources w/o paying you for it by making the purchase. But rather than being pissed at the potential customer, it's the job of those "marketing" a product and/or service to understand their customers and find a way to provide value (real or percieved) for the goods and/or services they exchange for that customer's hard earned monney. That's enetry level marketing, and the business can't survive w/o that mutual understanding or relationship.
  • + 1
 Well said... discounts are earned through loyalty. As a former LBS employee, I concur, there's 100% truth to that.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Having worked in Cycle shops for most of my adult life, this is a conversation I've had too many times to remember. At the end of the day, bike shops are not "jacking up" prices as some of the misinformed on here like to believe, we sell the products at the RRP or "MRSP". This is almost entirely down to the fact that the cost to us is much higher than online retailers. They are also not always buying their stock through the appropriate distributor...ever wondered why Thomson products from CRC come in a clear bag and not all the proper packaging? What they are often purchasing is just OEM equipment.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the lure of the internet and have bought over the internet many times for items I can't find elsewhere. However as an employee in a LBS, the most insulting, rude (and unfortunately increasingly common) problem we are experiencing is customers who seek our free knowledge, want to find out what size bike or helmet they need, take up sometimes hours of our time with sizing and set-up and then casually slip in that they will be buying it on line, or worse, search for the product on line in front of you then demand a discount "because CRC/Wiggle are selling it for this". Discount is earned via loyalty, and will always be given to repeat customers, it is not given because "on-line says this". Of course I, like many if not most sales assistants in the trade do not work on commission, I am salaried, so realistically there is nothing but the satisfaction of someone buying the right bike and being thrilled to bits with it as a reward for me, I want to hear stories of the "first time I took it to Wales", that's enough to keep me doing it, I doubt most/any on-line retailers give a toss, whereas friendships are forged in a LBS, customers become riding buddies...

The on-line market is slowly stripping the UK market of local shops, and soon there will be very few places to pop into for a chat, a coffee and just chat bikes and riding stories...
  • + 1
 I completely agree with this, I don't work in a bike shop (I wish I did but I don't). I work in security and I'd say at least 30% of the customers that come in get information/sizes/advice and then purchase the product online which isn't surprising when you see price difference but if they weren't such ignorant hacks I could twist my managers arm into giving them discount and probably cheap labor to fit the product/s as well. A lot of customers who bring us repeat business get anywhere from 10%-40% off depending on how much business they bring to us.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 If I'm buying a full bike, chances are I'm going to an LBS because I'll want to test ride it....I'm also going to get tune-ups there. Components are a different story...I'll always go for whoever has the lowest price. But if I don't know how to install that component myself, I'll be taking those parts to the LBS...win win
[Reply]
  • + 0
 It's about community. Your local bike shop pays taxes, supports local teams, charities, events and gives local folks a job. You don't live in cyberspace, you most likely have a job that is supported by customers of some sort. It all comes around, spend money at the local bike shop, and the employees then buy hardware, groceries, beer, food and that gives others in Your community a job. The thing is as more folks buy online, retailers stock less and less, it is pretty simple, therefore there is less variety at the shop. Retail is tough business and the online shopping makes it much harder. This also means if you don't support your local shops there will be less and less qualified folks there to help you, who wants to be knowledgeable about 30+ years worth of bikes for under 10$ an hour? Everyone wants a deal, but do you go to the grocery store and ask for a deal or threaten to buy online?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If I know my LBS has the part in stock, I'll buy from them, if not, I'll get it online because online response times are much faster. 90% of the time, I buy online because a LBS can't afford to stock the parts I need/want.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Yea, as a new shop, not even being in business a full year, it's been quite scary. Even being the only bike shop in town, too many times folks come in wanting to "see" a product. Look at it, then chat for best prices & then, the "well, it's on such & such site for $" that always get's us. Right now, our focus is customer service to build our customer base....Big thanks to KHS for not doing the on-line bike sales, now just see what the winter time has in store! www.GetInGearBicycles.com OR "Like" us to find out more... www.facebook.com/#!/GetInGearBicycles
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Huge props for Bow Cycle, John Franzky and the other owners they run a great shop that is a model for the modern LBS that can compete in an online world. They organize local races, advertise at the local bike bike park, collect used bikes for kids, participate in the local parade, hold bike service clinics, have customer appreciation nights with free beer (their own branded local brew), host free online classifieds and I'm sure lots of community activities that I'm not aware of. They run large independent store and always have lots of stock at the right time of the year. The guys in the parts department know their stuff and are happy to help out with problem solving - just bring in your old part. Yes I do shop online, but Bow Cycle is always my first stop and more often than not they give me a fair price well below MSRP. To cap it off, if they can't get something I need in a reasonable time - which is rare, they come lean and are more than willing to recommend going online or even another shop in town.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I think it's sad that people construe MSRP pricing as being 'ripped off'. If people understood more about how the cycling industry worked I think they would be morally outraged by the way online businesses abuse local and national laws in order to be non-competitive. In the States we have MAP pricing - Minimum Advertised Price - that keeps online prices at a reasonable level (still doesn't stop online businesses from selling Shimano OEM but it's also the reason why Chris King or Garmin prices aren't ridiculous anymore). Compare that to the UK where national laws treat MSRP and MAP restrictions as monopolizing practices. Why do you think Wiggle and Chain Reaction are based there? So that they can never be accused of MSRP and MAP violations. They sell products at below wholesale! Sounds like a good deal, right? Wrong. When you compete on price it becomes a race to the bottom.

Some of us are old enough to remember camera shops. Remember how fun those were? Ever feel sad that they're basically gone now? If we're not careful, the bike industry could go the same way. Sure, there are tons of websites out there offering super discounted camera gear... but more than half of them will steal the charger out of the box of a new camera and charge you another $100 bucks to get it back. The few online camera shops with a decent reputation have such a stranglehold on customer service and good practices that you end up paying MSRP or more just to not get ripped off. Guess that desire for low priced lenses came back and bit us in the ass on that one, right?

Want to learn more about what it means to own/run a shop? Read here: nbda.com/articles/want-to-start-a-bike-shop-pg70.htm
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Topic twister: What if like my store you are planning to do both? We are looking to open a retail store and head quarters for our Online side of the business too. We will be having a very high quality retail section which will showcase a great range of everything we sell and we are also having a new website made too which will be far superior to our current one and will showcase each brand and product we sell to the highest level. So we aim to do both. Have a great Online store with fast and trouble free shipping. And have a great retail store with friendly staff and great products. And great customer service from both sides.

Is that the way forward for cycle stores - We certainly think so as we are looking to offer the best of both worlds.

What would everyone like to see from there local bike shop? And what would everyone like to see from Online stores?
  • + 1
 What I like about that as a concept, is that you may be able to support a broad inventory to offer and support those local riders, and paying the rent not solely on their backs. I imagine there could be some hurdles to jump with which manufacturers you can offer on-line, as well as whatever agreements you have to have in place with all of your suppliers. I can only guess, but imagine that the manufactures and distributors want to leverage the crap out of you for any and all available floor space, impose minimum inventories and number of size and style offerings, and no reliefe to you as the retailer when that product mix was wrong for your market.

That said, what I want from the local shop is to usually be able to find what I need, when I need it, employees who know their ass from their elbow, and to be treated like a customer. From the on-line folks, I would expect that you actually have what you offer me in your hands, can turn around transactions quickly, including reasonable shipping and handeling options that can be paid in real time at time of purchase. (I just had to wait a day for a shipping quote on some spare parts for my ski poles for an on-line purchase, that no local shop was willing to sell, or even "special order" for me, or I wouldn't have bought it on-line... WTF)
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Buy from LBS! It's important to support local, it can be your future job, your future service center. Purchased on the web mean no invoice and no warranties! Canadian riders, distributors are more and more strict about that. No invoice... fine, return it to CRC.. it's gonna cost you more that what you saved I'm 100% sure.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I say buy local. Greenway bicycles in ocala, fl has always been my perfect shop. Great deals, good beer and friendly faces. You cant buy a smile and good times online. Kudo's to danno, Jessica and the gang.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Local bike shops killed themselves with bad attitude, sloooooooow and low quality service ... just not being enthusiastic enough about bike components, not minding proper torques, proper instalation, not being able to service shock and forks themselves, high prices for the services ................
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Bikes aren't that complicated its not like a car. We should be servicing them ourselves and cutting out a middle man who is making the sport prohibitively expensive. If you cant service your suspension you send it to a dedicated centre anyway
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Here's my burning question. Why not both. My local shop has very good service, and great info, but if I just want new gloves, tools, etc. I look for deals online. You don't have to choose.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 well the thing is, i have a card that gives me 10% off accesories and gear, but that is no where near as cheap, even with the discount as online so il occasionally buy stuff from my lbs, but mostly from crc Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 bit of everything, bought my bikes from LBS, sold old bikes on Pinkbike (very good), buy some bits from LBS and some bits on line. I like the LBS close to my usual trail, like to think I help them stay in business a bit.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Don't have a close LBS (have a DBS), there is a bike shop an hour and a half away...I try to support them when I can...$100 for a chain! Occasionally...Mostly online I'm afraid...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I own a nationwide online bike shop specialising in top end DH components at reduced prices, I class myself as local in my riding community and also supply parts to people in my local community as well as other riders in other parts of the country. Therefore I think I am still a local supplier of parts but also sell across the country, like yeti951SD said it is cheaper to buy online as I have no rent for shop premises and new parts are getting more expensive each year, therefore I want to make our sport more available to everyone who wants to be part of it, not just people who have big incomes or racers with sponsors.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 HAHA, i would love to support LBS, but i find it kinda awkward to go inside small shops, so I always order online without hesitation. I'm like that blue penquin meme-type of guy Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Buying online is kind of like buying local. I work for www.Cleansnipe.com and it's based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so when people buy bikes on Cleansnipe it helps support me and my co-workers, which in turn supports the local economy, right?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I support my LBS for repairs and the odd part but most major parts and clothing are purchased from CRC or Wiggle. I will admit I feel a bit guilty going into my LBS and asking them to fit parts that I bought online but it's hard to pass up parts that are discounted 40-60% online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would buy from my local bikeshop if it wasnt a total rip off, the fact he charges 2 pound for air in 1 tyre is disgraceful.. so online all the way for me especially if you can find those super cheap sites
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'd support my local bike shop if prices were not 10%-30% more than retail.

Internet all the way.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 'Chain Reaction Cycles has almost 800k Facebook fans. To what do you credit CRC's success with social media?'

hahahahaa I'd mostly attribute it to buying thousands of fans from Indonesia, India & South America - not sure why, maybe ot make themselves look big - true though, check their insights! That & using loads of photos off PinkBike without credit or maybe ever throwing a few $$ to the photographers every once in a while!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I bought my bike from lbs and i'd like to support them more, but i'm supposed to get discounts and never do, your bike comes back all hacked up and the bo
  • + 1
 ^ boss is the rudest man ever. Not just me who says that. So it's hard to when there's no decent shop around.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy all of my stuff online and support a local mobile bike mechanic. My LBS's are a rip-off with generally poor product knowledge.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Im just too antisocial to go in to a bike shop and hang out.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 One man's online store is another man's local bike shop.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I buy online because every LBS I've been to doesn't have a single thing that I want. Shame really.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The task is to find a good shop...customer care is all whats it about !!
  • + 1
 hahah in spain? that's not easy!!
  • + 2
 You´re soo right...billions of bikes here in Barcelona but the shops are basicly like Walmarts...they sell and thats about it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I really hate one of my lbs. whent in to buy a mountain hardtail frame. Told me they couldn't find a frame for under 1300. Such bullshit!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would love to shop at my local shop. The problem is they don't stock anything and you can't return special order stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 interweb can do just about anything but not always as well as the physical visit. takes savvy on my part i guess. no double meaning intended, i swear.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 My LBS does not have everything .. And they jack up the price...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My LBS is completely shit and the work they do is completely unsafe so I buy online, if I had a decent local shop I'd love to support them!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I bought my last frame online, from a brick&mortar shop in another country... worked great & I got a good deal, too.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 is hard to find good parts from my local bike shop.. mostly i buy online....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Local bike shop should help us too as we use them all year round and dont give discount when asked so we end up buying online to save a few pound
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anybody else notice that Matt Cole didn't actually answer any of the questions straight up? He basically said the same thing in a different way for each question.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I love my lbs but online is cheaper and bike parts are getting more expensive every year.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 One of the choices should've been " wherever I find the best price" because that's definitely what I do, and I wouldn't doubt a lot of others do the same
[Reply]
  • + 2
 bike shops are the biggest ripoff... i'm saving 2-4x the price whenever i buy from CRC or any other store online.
  • + 4
 get a good relationship with your lbs, you will be surprised at the deals they may hook you up with (unless they dont want a good customer base) if they dont hook you up, go some place else
  • + 2
 and a lot will price match
  • + 1
 not in canada, not with the distributors taking a fat piece of the pie...he's right , you save at least half price online.
  • + 5
 the only way to have a "relationship" with your LBS is to spend a ton of money before you get the hook up...hmmm.. kind of like dating a girl..
  • + 1
 haha nice. I thought shit was expensive around here but after I saw the pricing in Canada I almost feel blessed. $ 80+ for a tire? WTFF...
  • + 1
 yeah nice eh ? Pray for us Canadians will you please ?
  • + 1
 The "nice" was meant for the girl part of billy's comment. Talked to quiet a few shop dudes in BC and the situation with your distributors really does suck. All of them were far more knowledgeable than the most of the guys here and I really liked the Canadian way of hanging out and chilling in the shops...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The question is not that hard to answer. If they have fair prices and the guys are nice, buy from your LBS. If not, buy online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 LBS all the way!! now...when if i find a reaaaaalllly good deal, i'll take it...but ABS is a fucking awesome shop, i'll support them as long as they're around
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Local preferred. Unless they can't get your product, then hit up the online store. Full support of the guys whom keep my bike, running to perfection.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 My local shop is CRC so I'm quids in, I check their site to see if instock then drive th 8 miles to collect.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i shop online sorry to say but my local bikechop is a rip off everything is double the price as to what it is online so online shopping for me all the way !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Maybe the distributors' role in all this needs to be looked at also. I know my LBS pays more wholesale for some items then I can buy retail at CRC
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Morally yes to buying local but they never have what i really need so Crc is the way forward imo
[Reply]
  • + 2
 My local bike shops are national or large regional chains - how local is that and is it really any different to CRC?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 most of the time the price is more expensive, as my locals are trying to survive !!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy most comumables from my LBS and everything that's less expensive or i can't afford to wait for delivery. Everything else - CRC, Ebay, or 2nd hand via forum sites
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Biggest problem with most lbs is the arrogant underknlodged 18 year old working behind the counter, one in every shop
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i just buy a rim and hub off crc and than get it laced at my local shop, every one wins.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Its ironic that i buy local but by doing that I buy at the worlds biggest bike shop
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i cant believe this is even in question!!! ALWAYS SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Living in Canada and ordering online is pointless after you factor in the cost of shipping.
  • + 1
 You mean CRC's free shipping?

Add up the total costs including shipping, estimate tax/duty and then decide if it's worth it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can't afford shop prices so I only shop online. Shops don't tend to have what I want when I want it either.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I mostly get parts online, but my LBS usually fit them for me, so everyone's a winner.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would prefer shop if they were cool, knowledge on stuff and less expensive, so I have to buy online Frown
[Reply]
  • + 1
 after many years of shoddy service at my LBS leisure lakes in nottingham, i now buy everything online.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 well, seeing as my local bike shop owner is an ass hole, I usually buy online
  • + 1
 ha! yea thats how there are by me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I try and support my local shops but you get a bargain on-line. Some shops go too far and ramp up the prices too much.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 my local bike shop h&s in burndank f*cked me over......so online for me
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i like supporting the local shop and if it can get within 10-15% of online price ill buy local, otherwise its just too much
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i support my local store, so the business don t go down nearby my city
[Reply]
  • + 2
 CHRC mostly, local evans and dales are full of sophisticated douchesFrown
[Reply]
  • + 2
 local shop!!! I just bought a bike today from Fullerton Bikes! my local!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 My LBS is Chain reaction cycles!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 My local bike shop is shit! I have no choice but online.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Madder support ur lbs! Really Mad
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've been doing both for a long time. It doesn't have to be one or the other.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Work away so online is super handy, order parts & they are waiting when i get home .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 toss up between advice and service from your bike store vs. massive variety online. there is room for both!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 local for gear cables and inner tubes but every thing else is from chainreaction or pb
[Reply]
  • + 1
 At the end of the day it all boils down to money... And 90% of the time, online is cheaper.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 anything i don't get on PB is from a shop, which isn't much as PB prices can't be beat...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 buying a gravity droper from my LBS or rockshox reverb online?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Excuse typos above - written on phone.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 both, i go to whoever will offer the best deal
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what if your local bike shop sucks hard hahaha
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Support Local Bike shops, who actually pay their taxes.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Support your local shop
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nothing to support in my town. Online only!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Money talks. Everything is just lip service paid to keep your buddie's bike shop in business.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I can't afford anything from anywhere anyway. Frown
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I always buy where the cheaper price is !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Depens on prices!
  • + 16
 depends on staff....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My LBS is ChainReaction....! Smile
  • + 3
 sure its not Bikeworks? Razz
  • + 1
 I don't know where that is...
  • + 1
 I just looked it up, it appears that it is Smile but it looks crap Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would buy local but most of the shops are clueless
[Reply]
  • + 1
 my LBS over charges by a lot.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bike show! Which is mostly lbs.
  • + 2
 Dot you i's and cross your t's at the TO bike show...there are a lot of scammer bike shops in that building.
  • + 1
 Good ^ point !
  • + 1
 I get great deals at the show compared to all 5 local bike shops that charge massive prices sometimes making 100% profit I'm sure
It's the bike parts and clothing and accessories that they markup very high and gouge us....
  • + 1
 This is the most popular scam I've seen and it's why I stopped going to the show for a number of years 'cause I kept catching shops doing it, I even got suckered into it and vowed not to shop at one of the largest shops in TO ever again. For simple math...Product x is $100 and everyone knows it's $100 and it's $100 in the catalogue...you go to the bike show and see product x for 20% off for $100...."reg price $120" on the price tag. I was an idiot and didn't price shop my frame before I went to the show, worked the guy down from $1300 to $950 and found out later that week at my lbs my frame was normally around the $1000 mark.
  • + 2
 Hmmm sounds like you did not do your research. I bought fox shorty knee pads for $20 they sell to this day for $80 at my lbs
Also purchased a camelbak for $60 that sells everywhere for $159.99 also picked up a fox helmet for $25 that sells for $60
So I guess u did not find the great deals but trust me they r there if u look and I will b there march 1st saving big money.
  • + 1
 You're right, didn't do my research enough. Although, that doesn't give them the right to take advantage of me. It'll be a frosty day in hell when they see another dollar from me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thanks to tech tuesday.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 hulk was a big mofo!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 online, pinkbike, stw... easier and cheaper.. LBS too much hassle and just get ripped off..
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Haha I actually bought most of my bike parts from crc, in front of the tv, on my iPad...
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv15 0.182095
Mobile Version of Website