Posted by
RichardCunningham
Nov 19, 2012

Results Posted:

After poll is taken

Where do your purchase your new gear and components?

123 Comments

  • + 60
 Chain Reaction Cycles....The greatest shop everrrrrr
  • - 1
 Yup, fantastic site!
  • + 22
 when they have things in stock !
  • - 5
 You should check out the prices on starbike.com
  • + 65
 Support your local bike shop kids
  • + 11
 unless ur local shop (like here in prince rupert) is taking all its customers for monopoly ride and offering some of the worst service i've ever seen, saying that though they are a sporting goods store not a bike shop, in abby i always went to the brewery, they have deals for everyone. Guess I'll have to open a local shop.
  • - 1
 i am prone to use universal cycles due to there excellent prices and post-haste delivery. oh, and its all tax free, west-coast sweetness
  • + 6
 i would support LBS but they just don't have anything what i need...
  • + 11
 I love the local bike shop but I'm poor and bikes are expensive
  • + 2
 Always make a point of using lbs when I can but CRC gets most of my business...
  • + 2
 yea, its definatly hard to constantly shop using your LBS. but when i can pay half as much online its kind of hard to. like to go a shop and find tires for $60-$80 a peice and then go on crc or jenson usa and find similar or the same ones for $20-$40 its hard to go spend that much extra at a shop. like $40 for ruffians? no thanks.
  • + 1
 I bought my first bike from LBS and supported them since that. After a year they started giving me discounts. Always got good service and staff was really nice.
Last year they shut their busines and now I have to order online from crc Frown
  • + 2
 yeah LBS & CRC to 99%
  • + 3
 You should support your local bike shop... But when you can get the same product online for a fraction of the price..... It's a no brainer for me with a family to feed! Plus before I buy anything I always look on pinkbike or eBay for second hand goods, call me a cheapskate but if you look after the pennies the pounds will take care of themselves, as my gran used to say.
  • + 2
 I'm lucky to have an amazing local bike store 20 mins ride away. I pay more for some products but at least I can try them first. I could never purchase a bike there but all my tools, most components and riding gear.
  • + 3
 I honestly love Chain Reaction Cycles, I've bought with them twice and the order came with free shiping and in 3 days! I just couldn't be happier
  • + 3
 I would like to buy from my two local bike shops but they never have what i'm looking for, the service is horrible and their prices are at least twice as expensive vs. online shopping such as ebay. It makes it hard to support the local shopsFrown
  • + 1
 try living in a small town, the local sports store has a monopoly here so nobody rides cause it way too costly, when I lived in the bigger city i always went to the shops looking for deals, to talk bike bs and stuff, u cant get that service online.
[Reply]
  • + 22
 Definitely a true believer of "SUPPORT YOUR LBS!". It's nice and all to have cheap stuff off the internet, but if you don't know how to install it correctly, you're still gonna end up in a shop anyways. Shop's are more and more incline to match prices on CRC and often cut deals on labor when you buy your stuff there, anyways that's the way we work.
  • + 9
 I'm with you. Bike shop monogamy will get you the best prices on parts and service.
  • + 5
 Supporting your local bike shop goes a long way. Building a relationship with staff and maybe even purchasing some product without asking for a discount might cost a bit more coin than buying it online, but if you need a quick gear tune or you just wrote off your wheel the day before a race, talking from experience, I would be more inclined to get you back on your bike asap instead of you bringing in your expensive parts to get me to install.
  • + 1
 I always get my bike serviced at the local bike shop but I buy from hi, because he does'nt have any parts of the standard I am looking for!!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 14
 I used to always buy from JensonUSA and a few things from ChainReaction, BUT now my LBS will match all their prices and gives me a military discount on top of it. So he has my undying loyalty for parts and labor.
  • + 2
 Damn straight. Support Small Business Saturday Nov. 24 in the U.S. Big Grin Good excuse to get more bike parts ahaha
[Reply]
  • + 10
 I was going to say a shop, but looking back most of my mtb stuff has come from Pinkbike's very own classifieds... So, uh, thanks everyone for keeping me rolling.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 LBS! LBS! LBS! And I ain't talking bout weight here folks.
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  • + 6
 Support your lbs people! Plus the more you frequent the shop, the better of friends you become with its employees, the better the deals you can get!
  • + 1
 Yeah, I'm friens with almost all my local bike shops and they give me the best prices. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 3
 When i was in Whistler I bought most of it in the bike shops because they have literally everything you would ever need. Now that im back in Ireland I have no choice but to use chain reaction cycles. Shops would have to order in anything i want.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I live in Essex, and always shop at Chelmer Cycles. I get stuff cheaper in there than you will on-line.. I even have an account! I can go in there, get replacement parts, upgrades etc with no money.. and just pay it off later..It's a mutually beneficial relationship.. it keeps me on my bike, and keeps me going back there. I'd never even consider going anywhere else Support your local LBS
  • + 1
 VOIDBIKESHOP*

Wink
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  • + 4
 Yet to find a LBS that will price match. Why would I pay 30-50% more plus sales tax at a LBS, especially when they act like douches if I ask for price match?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 hasnt anyone noticed if you want any of the latest top brand bikes, you cant buy them on chain reaction.... thats because companies dont sell to them for whatever reason. I also know chain reaction buys where ever it can in volume. But the brands it has are just a bit kak, I mean look at its fork selection.... IT only has rockshox, no fox , marzocchi, the big companies are trying to protect the LBS... and importers.
  • + 1
 They aren't in the USA, where everyone blindly thinks Fox is where it is at. The current Rockshox, Manitou, and Marzocchi all work as well as the Fox stuff. I was on CRC this morning, and there is a selection of Fox as well, just not the complete line. If you must have trendy brands, then by all means, stick with the localBS and pay double.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 With the economy it's hard to pay full retail. I go to my local shop as much as possible but the used route makes more sense on bigger items like frames.
  • + 5
 but, when you pay full retail, the economy gets better. weird cycle.
  • + 1
 It's also crazy how things lose value... the only thing I don't buy used is helmets.
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  • + 2
 I like to support my local bike shop, but I also like to save money as much as I can since this is a sport that costs a ****load. Usually we can work something out, but sometimes my lbs can't compete with prices found online. Take my shoes and pedals for example, shoes were listed at 100$, the pedals at 140$. I bought them for 27$ and 50$. In short, if the prices aren't too far apart, I will go with my local bike shop, if not I'll buy online.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 If the guy in the nearest shop wasn't a as*hole he would have won a lot of money with me, then I learned to repair my bike and discovered CRC, thank you as*hole Smile
  • + 2
 Haha, same here.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'd be glad to support my LBS, but they only carry road and very light XC gear. Online is my only choice for most gear outside of limited bike hardware. They only have two FS rigs for sale at the moment. It's also 30 rural miles away. Such is life in the outpost of east Texas.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I need the 50/50 option. Seriously, I did the #'s and it's 53/47, favor of online.

I buy it if it's available locally. I'll spend more too. The satisfaction of buying local is worth it and will have a better rapport with the LBS. However, I have very specific wants gear-wise, leading me online often.

Maintainance-wise, my bikes are super-reliable and I'm able to take care of most things myself. Tools are easy to find in the LBS, so that's where I get them. LBS for lacing and truing, removal and install of headsets, and BB reaming.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I buy my stuff wherever is the cheapest for most stuff.
We live in tough times, and my LBS owner has owned the LBS for pretty much all my life time.
They live in a big house (they only have a bike shop).
When I was redundant he never gave me anything.
They do nothing for the local trails.
They do nothing to support local riders.
They are very expensive.
So why should I support them?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i like to buy my stuff through my shop where i get an employee discount. Plus that way if for some reason the order is wrong its a lot easier to deal with the issue in person than it is on the phone
[Reply]
  • + 1
 LBS around here doesn't support the community or trail development. They're there only for the money. They're attitude is pathetic, they're mechanic barely competent. I support online retailers that offer great prices and great customer service, like CRC or bike-components.de. Only exception in my area : Mathieu Performance.
  • + 2
 I have to disagree with you; Some bike shops in the quebec city area supports club members by giving them discounts. Genetik have a mountain biking club, hype/cbsf have a road biking club etc.. As for mechanics, it varies from shop to shop.. but you can always do your maintenance by yourself ! VallĂ©e Bras du Nord offers free season pass to bike shops employee and such... I think the biking community in our region is great.
  • + 1
 True, I haven't visit every shop, there must be some good ones. However, you bring up an interesting point... Advantages is for members, or staff, not usual Joes. That's not what I'll call a community.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'll shop wherever I can find what I'm looking for. I've bought stuff from Ebay, Pinkbike's classifieds, CRC, and from local shops. You can't say no to some of the online pricing. Supporting your LBS is all well and good, but not if the prices are 50% higher, and they don't have what you want anyway, be it a particular pair of shoes or a jersey.

My LBS does do all my wrenching though. I spent over $500 in servicing there last summer, so I don't feel too bad that I buy my riding gear elsewhere.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm happy to support local business at a slight markup, or if I don't have tools to install a part, but I'm not going to pay double for something that I can install myself. Sorry LBS, I can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars that I don't have to just because I like you.
  • + 4
 SUPPORT YOUR LBS!!!!!
  • + 1
 If you are loyal to a shop they will never charge you full price and almost always cut you a deal on labor.
  • + 3
 After spending thousands of dollars at my local bike shop paying retail at minimum and never getting a discount once, I learned to buy online and wrench myself. I am amazed at how much better my bikes work now that I do the wrenching.
  • + 2
 Sounds like you need to find a different shop!
  • + 1
 I'm definitely one to snag a great deal online here and there but there's things you cant replace about a local shop.
  • + 1
 I do all my own service. When I used to use shops, I would have to go back again and again for simple things like brake bleeds and derailleur adjustments. Wheels would go out of true too often. Now that I do my own, its done right, and right the first time. No more break downs. The whining and "its not my fault" attitude was getting old.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Support your local bike shop!!! I know it's already been said here but if you buy online just to save money then it's gonna bite you in the arse later because at some point you are going to need a bike shop there for services or some obscure part that you didn't realize you'd need! If they don't price match it's still worth spending just a little more to have someone you can talk to face to face!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 CRC is a real bike shop, and a family owned one at that. I get way better service from them than any of the local bike shops here, and CRC doesn't give me any hassle when something is wrong. Can't say that for the LBS. We used to have one good shop here, but they were bought out, and the service is atrocious now. They lost me as a customer. Charged me $35.00 for a brake adapter.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've only ever used my LBS to lace my wheel set I bought online cause I can't lace. Not that I don't want to support them, but their prices are easily 20-40% more than online retailers and that's including shipping. Take my 5-10's for example, MEC sells them for 125$, I got them from CRC shipping included for 85$, and were at my door in 5 days, No duties, or taxes too. It's Chain Reaction, Ebay, and Pinkbike buy/sell for me.
  • + 1
 The funny thing about MEC is that if it wasn't for the "true" LBS, they'll be selling 5-10's at a CRC price. But they don't do that to "protect" the LBS... I don't think MEC is buying from Norco, Lambert, so they have much more room to manoeuvre on margins. But again, they don't do it because the whole Canadian LBS world would be screaming Walmart.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Chain reaction cycles is hands down destroying the industry. I've first hand experience through my LBS that their prices are even less than what the LBS can buy them in for. Great for customers, but is destroying the biking scene completely. I love the fact that I can go to the shop, chat with like-minded people and have a laugh. The perks of being a regular come with time, fortunately for myself I got placed on the shop team after two years of using them and keeping them in business. Support your local shop, and they'll support you in times of need.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I have a look at all the options before I buy. Where can I find the cheapest, I buy from there. I don't care it is a store, ebay, pinkbike or local dealer.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Where is the 50/50 option?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 While us LBS's appreciate the "Support your LBS", we don't ask for that out of blind faith. Most of us work really hard (and put up with a lot of crap for VERY low wages) simply because we are passionate about riding and sincerely do want to HELP YOU keep riding.

What frustrates me is when I see comments like "My LBS rips me off because they are X% more expensive then online". Think about it. Our store is more expensive to rent per square foot than a warehouse. We don't have the buying power so our cost of more. We have more staff per sq foot than an online warehouse. But here is where it gets good....we answer your questions and guide you to the proper purchase. We offer group rides. We show you hidden trails. We give you tips on riding technique. We introduce you to new fellow riders. We pump up your tires for free when you are too cheap to buy your own floor pump. We show you new products you've never seen, touched or ridden before. We stock items so you can have it THAT MINUTE, not next week. We show you have to set up your CAT EYE computer. We true your wheels. I've never seen a laptop do that before.

If that has ZERO value to you and price is literally the ONLY thing you care about, enjoy your relationship with your computer because the rest of us are forging relationships with real people that we're sure to see on our local ride on Sunday morning.

So support your LBS if they deserve it. Chances are, you may not be appreciating everything they do for you.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think that local shops need to reinvent themselves to compete with online. The overly crowded shops with employees that focus on fixgear trying to sell a dh rigs are becoming a hassle. My town is littered with to many shops that can't seem to get it right. I love going to shops, but most of the fun of going is talking shop with the mechanics. Shops need focus and personality to survive.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 As much as I can I buy from my shop. Post-employee discount, sales-tax free too! Not quite the selection or pricing of an online retailer, but with few exceptions, they've got what I need and the guys there are all awesome so why the hell not?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Aimed towards Canadian riders.

To the Online guys (new not PB buyNsell)...

you are the problem!

Common people...

I can understand if you don't have a LBS to deal with in remote areas but most shops do not mind shipping product to your front door as well & majority of the shops in Canada will match pricing to keep your money LOCAL.

Not to mention have fun dealing with warranty.

Let's be the solution!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like to buy stuff from my local bike shop when I can but the prices compared to some on line retailers makes it s much easier to buy stuff on the internet because of the price. Its so much cheaper and just as good. But yeah, supporting your local bike shop is a great thing to do
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am an American stationed in Germany. I found a shop nearby the owner barely speaks English and I barely speak German, yet every time I go in he makes sure I pay waaay less than online price, plus huge discounts on labor just because I'm a regular. He has even encouraged me to buy online if I find cheaper and would still install for cheap! Go LBS
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  • + 4
 my local shop gives me the greatest deals! weeew retailers!
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  • + 2
 Wherever is cheapest is where I go. Prefer to buy bike from my LBS because then warranty is made easier, as proven twice this year :/
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I work at my LBS and what ive found after a while of working small business is that repeat customers get big perks...especially the nice ones. If you come in all jerk-like with your online add telling us to match your price, it very likely won't happen. But if you come in several times, we recognize your face and you don't beg for discounts the price matches seem to magically happen. If you haven't worked retail, then you may not understand how simply being a fun person to talk to goes a long way for the guys at your LBS
  • + 1
 You would probably get more customers if you actually price matched. Not to mention more repeats. If I walk in with a good attitude and ask nicely if you'll price match, will you take me seriously then?
  • + 0
 Shouldn't the LBS try to treat all customers like they are important, rather than have customers convince the LBS we deserve their service? Customers aren't jerks, they are your boss. Without them you don't have a job. Being in a sales environment, you have to deal with the public, and they are often uninformed, rude, and demanding, but they have what you need= MONEY.
  • + 1
 obviously neither of you have ever worked small business where that 20-30% markup over online is what allows us to keep the lights on, something in stock, and a paid expert behind the counter and in the shop. If there was no overhead you would walk into a empty store with a computer where a novice could order QBP at 15% over cost...now that sounds asinine. Having prices constantly cut by customers that "think" they're getting ripped off really gets to me because if you actually match all those prices from CRC and cheap wholesale stores who can operate on 5 point margins, we would be losing money just by being open. Obviously I know that the customer is the boss, my first comment was wrong, just overly frustrated with people who think a small business can actually operate on wholesale prices.
  • + 0
 Why does your problems of not being able to find a proper business model should make me pay more (I kind of worked hard to earn these money, you know...studied >10 years and so on)? Isn't this a free market - a holy cow of capitalism? If my LBS would just have a mechanic and a terminal for orders - it would be perfect for me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I point blank refuse to use my LBS because quite honestly, it's shit. The work they do there is dangerous, they don't even sell anything worth buying and it's all way overpriced!
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  • + 4
 This should be a wake-up call to all LBS's.
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  • + 1
 RIP GOOD OLD FASHIONED BIKE SHOPS....oh sure go buy your parts online and then bring them into the shop and beg us to install it....there are exceptions to every rule as well....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My dad and i actually run a bike shop and it is sad to see the industry collapsing in on itself, sure having the prices of the internet is convenient but you can't get the same warranty and repair guarantee.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I find it odd that shops aren't more happy to fit parts you buy from them for free, therefore i may as well buy the 30% cheaper parts online!
  • + 1
 i think there is a boundary with this, a stem, handlebar, seat etc..should be done for free. now a free wheel build, or fork installation or any other fairly major job there should be a charge, as where the employees dont work for free either.
  • + 1
 If the LB can't figure out how to keep customers coming in, such as using loss leaders or free installation (like a tire shop), they won't have to worry about it much longer.
  • + 1
 Just sitting here thinking how hilarious a valve replacement would sound like at the auto mechanic's shop in an "install for free" scenario.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 CRC usually for main parts like hubs, wheels, tires, cranks. But my LBS for small stuff like cables,housings, tools, tubes, grips wheel building. and any other odds and ends.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm all over the Internet, all the time......wish I could support my LBS but they just don't give a sh!t here in sleepy Perth!
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  • + 1
 I just can't justify shopping locally when I know I can get it WAY cheaper online. I would love too shop at my LBS but I don't like throwing money away.
  • - 2
 ^^^^ and this is why local shops, not just bike shops are going out of business. putting people like you and me into unemployment. good on ya.
  • + 3
 Small businesses and the economy in general are hurt by big business (CRC is not a big business...), special interests, poor infrastructure (especially education), and the inconsistency of laws across globalized states or countries. Not because of where some ordinary dude spends his small amount of disposable income. Pure bullshit to blame a consumer for jobs disappearing. High productivity, low labor organization (e.g. unions), and a culture of short-term profit-taking are what make jobs disappear.
  • + 1
 Immacroni. First off I call it being a smart consumer, and my LBS know this. They understand that they can not compete with online retailers. Why on earth would I purchase say a new set of tires from my LBS , when I know that I can get them form almost half the price (including shipping and customs) from an online dealer. I support my LBS by purchasing my bike there, buying things of comparable value there, and word of mouth support. I've known them for many years, and they know me on a first name basis. My family has purchased a total of 5 bikes from my shop and will go back when the time comes again to upgrade for me or my kids or wife....BTW, I'm putting no one out of a job, and I have solid employment with a good pay. This allows me to support whom ever I choose. I don't like being guilted into paying more then I have too.
If you like paying more then you need to maybe we should talk. I have a crappy car I can sell you for way too much money!
  • + 2
 @ immacaroni, the LBS model is broken. There are no more local butchers, hat makers, or shoe makers. Musicians changed their model where CD sales aren't the focus. If the LBS continues to work on its guilt marketing, they will die. The LBS needs to stop being a dick to anyone who isn't a regular, offer free installation on parts that are purchased there, and offer better customer service. The environment needs to be more welcoming, rather than excluding. I listen to the tech speak the LBS uses to intimidate families that come in, who then take their chances at the box stores, rather than teaching, and welcoming. They lost potential lifetime customers because they "wasted" the LBS time on cheaper entry level bikes.
  • + 4
 Interesting points made. I would like to weigh in because I work at one of the many bike shops in my city. No, one person buying their gear online is not going to put people out of a job. But there are downsides to buying online. Warranty on product. If somebody bought a pair of shimano wheels of chainreaction and had a problem with them and brought the into the shop, I would tell them to take them back to where they bought them from. Money leaving our economy. We don't have many online shops here in New Zealand and people can buy product from chainreaction which works out to be roughly our cost + GST. When you start sending your money overseas, local businesses aren't going to grow.

Also, I can only speak for our shop, but we don't actually put a ridiculous mark-up on product just to rip the consumer off. We have to pay staff wages, accounts with different wholesalers (because not many people have the money to pay 1.2mil up front for all the stock on the floor), rent on the building, power and water bills, advertising, sponsorship of events, and other small services such as delivering bikes to customers. It's not cheap running a bike shop and there is next to no money in it.

So yes, our prices are higher than chainreaction, but there is a reason for it. Some day you are going to want help from a shop either claiming a warranty or fixing something that is out of your depth and they aren't going to be there because we can't survive simply on everytime you bring your $450 Dura-ace cassette into us to fit for $10
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I 99% buy from my LBS Don Skene Cycles in cardiff south wales UK
They always have a large stock of parts at good prices and are a very nice bunch to deal with
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  • + 1
 I always try to support the local specialists first, but when push comes to shove, for most items you just can't beat the world of online!
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  • + 1
 my lbs is just too expensive for big parts unfortunately; but i go to them for any small bits i need; hangers, pads, grips ect, since theyre so helpful..
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  • - 1
 I support my LBS where it makes sense, but sometimes I think the price disparity between online or even shops over the boarder is too great, and that is something I can't afford, and don't want to support.. Actually I think the whole LBS business model needs to be readdressed. E.g. Car mechanics have wholesalers stocking almost every part in almost every town, meaning they can get whatever part I need the same day. Following that sort of model would mean the bike shop wouldn't have to carry masses of stock, and the customer would have to wait for a week to get the parts they need. I think bike shops could make a lot more money, and save consumers a lot of money if they got together to rethink the way they do things.
  • + 1
 They do this already, there are several large merchandisers that carry components, tools, things like that. Most bike brands have official distributors. Just as you see car shops dressed up in corporate logos you see bike shops with trek signs everywhere or whatever.
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  • + 1
 i like to support my local shop, and go to them wherever possible, but they just don't have any of the kit i want at a good price, if at all :/
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  • + 3
 I work in a bike shope... TRADEEE BABYYYYY!!!!!
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  • + 1
 Ive built 5 bikes in the past few years. All with parts off pinkbike buynsell, trading around and what not
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  • + 1
 I allways buy from the local bike shop if the price difference isn't huge, say 15 - 20%.
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  • + 2
 My lbs.... Chocolate hob nobs have more value than you think.....
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  • + 2
 well, here it is, the demise of the local bike shop. sad day
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  • + 1
 well i think in hungary it would be more then 60% for the used stuff, but im not sure.
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  • + 1
 This needs to be multiple choice. I've resorted to more than two of these options.
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  • + 2
 they should of put it so you could choose more then one option.
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  • + 2
 I want to shop at a local retailer but I simply can't afford to, yet. Frown
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  • + 1
 I don't understand this...why aren't there multiple boxes to check? @RichardCunningham
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  • + 2
 lucky enough to work for a bike shop so i get all my gear at trade now Big Grin
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  • + 1
 I buy from wherever I can get the best deal
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  • + 1
 I buy from whoever gives me the lowest price.
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  • + 1
 Well I work at my LBS sooo it would be silly NOT for me to buy here
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  • + 1
 Getting parts and bikes at cost price at my job
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  • + 1
 SUPPORT YOUR LBS
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  • + 1
 artscyclery.com all day!
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  • + 1
 competitive cyclist now has no questions asked returns so that is a pretty safe bet
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