Pinkbike Poll: Where Do You Shop for Bike Parts?

Jun 19, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  
Local Flavours Brevard NC

We've tackled this topic in previous polls, but it seemed like a good time for another check in on the state of things in the industry.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I've been shopping online from home for a lot of products that I would typically visit a store to purchase. It's not necessarily because I don't want to support a local store, but many are closed. Not to mention, the nearly two-hour round-trip drive that it would take to go to the closest town of size can't even be rewarded with a stop at my favorite restaurant, currently closed, so you can bet I'm not going to be gallivanting around burning up time I could be self-isolating in the woods with my bike, even with fuel prices at an all-time low.

Bike shops have long been a part of the soul of the industry and a great place to hang out, but things are weird right now and recent times have no doubt changed buying habits for most of us. Some riders may have more time to think and reflect on what they want or need for their dream build, or to get their bike up and better running. Maybe you've taken stock of what's in your trailside repair kit and purchased some new tools or first-aid supplies, or perhaps you've added a bike to the fleet?

Have you still been going to your local bike shop, or are you ordering everything new online? Does your local shop have what you need? What could they do better? Let us know below.

Local Flavours Brevard NC
The Hub, down the road from me, has long been a bike shop known for hanging out and socializing before and after a ride and getting nearly any part or accessory someone may need for a ride. With crowds being frowned upon, the vibe has most certainly changed and I rarely see bros high-fiving on the patio anymore.



How often did you visit your shop pre-covid?


How often do you visit your shop now?



What do you visit your local shop for?

Choose all that apply.



How much do you purchase at your local shop vs online?



How close are you to your local shop?



What could your local shop do better?


What does your local shop do best?




Posted In:
Stories Polls



321 Comments

  • 401 21
 Almost every shop I go to, "we don't have it but we can order it". Um yeah me too.
  • 92 60
 Maybe if you bought from there they'd keep it in stock but as everyone buys online shops don't bother stocking it. The shop is vastly responsible for a lot of its issues but at the end of the day if people don't buy a certain product from the shop then they won't stock it. It's business to a degree.
  • 67 4
 This.

Two days ago, I spent an entire afternoon riding around the three LBS in my town (that deal primarily with town bikes) looking for a Shimano 10s HG chain.

I came home disappointed, turned on the PC and had one on my doorstep less than 24 hours later.

This is my experience for nearly everything. I am not their demographic. It is what it is, but I’d like to be able to support them, so will still continue to go every time I need consumables.

I have to go back today because the chain breaker I bought from one of them was made of cheese and broke when I tried to use it....

Gotta love our lbs round here!!
  • 16 17
 Agreed. I buy it wherever I want to because...FREEDOM
  • 76 2
 Also, the shop HAS to say that. They know you have the capability. But customers don’t like being shut down without an option. On top of that, some people actually do want them to order it. They don’t want the hassle. They would rather the shop orders it, gets the right thing, and to help support the shop.

So, keep that in mind. They are just tryna still offer service, even though they don’t have what you are looking for.
  • 137 2
 Oh, you need a new wheel, lets see, is it 26, 27.5, or 29? Regular, plus, or fat bike? Non-boost, boost, or super-boost? XD, microspline, or standard? Right there is 3x3x3x3=81 options and we havent even decide on brand, color, spoke type, or material. Stocking the shelves in our store is pointless when we can have it delivered in 1 business day.
  • 57 10
 Items I've been told "we dont stock it, but we can order it" in the last year.
1. Shimano 180mm 6 bolt rotor
2. Maxxis DHR2 Exo 29"
3. Shimano XT 2 pot brake pads
4. I9 Torch hub bearings (okay kind of get it)
5. Fox Transfer post 31.6 150mm
6. Sram boost 32 tooth chain ring
  • 57 21
 There are so many different parts and standards that no shop will carry everything needed. Its not feasible to carry thousands of pieces of equipment hoping a couple people will buy it. This is why we have multiple suppliers with numerous warehouses all over the U.S. which are also experiencing unprecedented shortages. Amazon has destroyed peoples' expectations and expect everything to arrive within a few business days. That's not reality, get with the program. If you're disappointed by the wait, you are part of the problem and you need to reevaluate what's important in your life.
  • 39 41
 @scott-townes: How is it not reality????? If I can order it and get it within a couple of days--so can you. It is you, who still coddle to bike suppliers and trying to save on shipping. 2 weeks to get a part---GTFO. How about you just order the part from Amazon and charge me what you were going to charge anyways....or is that to hard of a concept to grab. Your argument is with the supply chain---not us....You all just say--"hey, I know you shred nearly daily, but put that on hold while I order that part from KHS-JBI-etc...it'll be here in about 2 weeks--plus a day or 2 to install it if we're not backed up" again--GTFO
  • 7 2
 @Scotj009: lbs can't keep everything in stock. The internet has everything in stock.
  • 19 3
 Some of my requests in the largest bike shop we have:
- Shimano 180mm XT center lock rotor? - No, only 160.
- Do you have maxxis dhf 27.5? - We don't have them at the moment and don't know when will. Probably somewhere in August.
- Do you have Shimano brake pads? - No, we have these shiny orange pads from our "own" brand.
- I need the concentrate from MucOff, it's listed on your site. - We don't have it, we only have the pre-mixed one.
- You're authorized Manitou spare parts supplier (they are not anymore), do you have the wiper seals for Mattoc? - We can order them, it would be 2 weeks.

At least I was able to get tubeless tape, which should come with 4 stickers according to the box, but someone just got them out, I guess. And a ceramic chain lube.

I do all the service and repairs on my own now. Working on the rims is the only thing I delegate to a local service, but not really satisfied with the quality, so I will try another service next time. It probably takes me 2-3 times more time to finish a job, but I think the result is better than what the LBS does.
  • 37 2
 The shop I’ve been purchasing from for the last 20 years is now dead to me, recently they tried to charge me to install pedals that I just bought there (for well over online prices), my last suspension service they installed the damper bladder incorrectly and there was no damping, and the final straw was that on my first ride after a wheel true I had several spokes come un-done and they said it wasn’t their fault and charged me for another wheel true.
  • 29 0
 @Scotj009:

The day that I was told that I needed to order headset spacers (by two(!) local shops) was the day that I realized it was pointless to even try the shop unless it was something completely trivial.

I personally think the current bike shop model is flawed. Pricing isn't competitive, the service I've received has been hit-or-miss, and stock usually sucks. Bike industry workers seem to be vastly underpaid compared to similar jobs in other markets and I think that is where the issue lies.

Reading through these comments, there seems to be a theme. Yet, everyone continues to spout off about supporting your LBS. I get that, but what exactly am I supporting?

I also realize there are some very good shops out there and some very good mechanics. My hat is off to you and I really hope you can keep doing what you do. The world needs more people like you so please don't take what I say as an insult.
  • 22 3
 @scott-townes: ”If you're disappointed by the wait, you are part of the problem".

Could you define the 'problem'? I am having trouble understanding.
  • 4 54
flag Dirt-Gash (Jun 19, 2020 at 15:48) (Below Threshold)
 @viatch: You're Canadian... you have no Freedom
  • 15 2
 @orientdave: I believe he's saying that the 'gotta have it now' culture is perpetuating the issue. For example, if you want a part, even a commonplace one, and the LBS doesn't have it you go online and order it. Now if you didn't 'need to have it now' you'd likely purchase from the LBS. Which means more business or them, more money to carry inventory for you, and much more likely that they have the items you're looking for in stock.
  • 15 2
 Went to the LBS yesterday to get a 20mm, 160 to 180 adapter for Shimano brakes. Came home disappointed. So I got online and purchased the adapter and new saddle (gotta get that free shipping!) It will be here on Monday.
Seems like the LBS part of the industry is ready for a new business model. If you find yourself shaking a fist at Amazon in 2020, you've already lost.
  • 7 1
 @Shinkers: as a guy who worked in a shop for 6 years I can attest that pay isn’t great. But they only way pay could be better is if margined were higher and unfortunately because of online sales undercutting the margines have never been lower and they are honestly approaching a level that is unsustainable for the brick and mortar bike shops to survive
  • 54 2
 The one point missing here especially with the ‘got to have it now’ bit is hassle and time. I am a busy person. I dont want to drive into town, queuing, sitting at lights, etc. Drive round. Find a space. Walk to the meter. Find the pay app has deleted itself off my phone. Walk to the shop. Queue in shop. Be told it will be ordered. Wait three days. Chase up. Miss ride. Miss another ride. Call from shop whilst taking a crap. Repeat all above.
Or. Order from toilet. Arrives in 48 hrs.
No brainer. Its not a ‘have it now culture’. Its ‘i have a life’ culture.
  • 10 0
 True that.

My primary beef with my ex-LBS (I switched shops) was that they wouldn't shop around for faster delivery time or better prices on parts they had to order.

While I can understand (and generally agree with) the impulse not to help Jeff Bezos become a squillionaire, you owe it to your customers to do some leg work to get ordered product in either quickly or at a competitive price.

Case in point, one of my bikes needed a new bb and some thread cleanup work done on the bb shell. Not work I'm comfortable doing myself, but it didn't justify the shop ordering the replacement bb directly from the manufacturer and having it delivered by a turtle who stopped walking every 20 minutes to polish his shell with CBD oil.
  • 5 1
 A lot of online retailers don't stock things either. Instead they order it from a warehouse, it arrives to their shop in 2-3 days, then they ship it to you. I got to say that I'm fortunate to have 2 great shops nearby that offer great customer service and have realistic prices on parts. Ordered a Pike air shaft that came in 2 days for the same price as online that would've taken 5 days to get to me. These are the guys that are going to survive. The other shop serviced my damper cartridge for 40 bucks. Not a bad deal for what would take me an hour's worth of work.
  • 5 0
 The only plus about my shop is they will price match any online price and get me the part in a couple days. Vs waiting over a week from jenson
  • 2 0
 @orientdave: Totally. I find if your just one product iteration behind my local shops in the north shore don't carry it. I guess part of the blame could also go to the industry that takes on an apple upgrade approach.
  • 5 1
 @jj12jj: I got a new bike built up for my wife and the shop put on a 142 rear hub and wheel instead of the boost 148 that the frame required. Then said there was no way they did that. Ended up going to another shop and building up a brand new wheel.
  • 5 0
 @chaynech1: How do they figure that? do they think that you went and switched the wheel with one that looked Exactly The Same but with a hub that was 6mm smaller just to piss them off? they need to accept that they made a mistake.
  • 4 0
 Schadenfreude: bike shop employees taking joy in the online ordering of incorrect parts by customers who then try to get their shop to tell them what they actually should have ordered or even to trade them for what they need...
  • 4 1
 That’s a shame. My local, Kinetic Cycles in Coquitlam, Canada is a candy store!
  • 13 4
 BIKE SHOP OWNERS:

My bike shop gives me a QBP login, and anyone has access to BTI.

I pick what I want, know if it's in stock, send an e-mail, and it's at the shop the next week. A 30% member discount. I get to say hi and shop local.
  • 6 1
 My local LBS actually sucks. Basically he only sells fat ebikes to old people and repairs shitty bikes that have been left outside all year. Don't bother going there if you need your suspension fork or shock serviced, he wouldn't know what to do.

He told me last year he wasn't up with these new 20mm and 150mm hubs. The look on his face when I told him those hub standards have been around for at least 20 years was priceless.

I literally go to the other side of town just to get that one small thing if I need it immediately. Otherwise internet 99% of the time. That includes buying from the across town bike shops online store.
  • 3 1
 And you can return it, can’t do that with special orders from LBS. i order parts i know i want from my LBS though. Can’t beat having a good mechanic with mutual respect
  • 7 3
 @InfraRed: To be fair, you’re in Bulgaria. If I wanted to get a singlet, hand chalk, 500 lbs of weight plates, and floor mats, I’d have to order them, whereas I assume those items are available in every corner store in Bulgaria.
  • 8 0
 @scott-townes: "That's not reality, get with the program"

But that is the new reality. Maybe it's you that need to get with the program
  • 3 0
 Precisely what I was going to say. Didn’t figure I was alone.
  • 2 0
 Lived in an area with a lot of shitty shops, the kind that think its OK to bleed brakes and get DOT fluid on the new pads and rotors that they just sold you. Take the time to support local when they are worth it so the shops that are worth it can be there. They are the gateway to new riders, and new riders keep this past time growing, If your local shop sucks, I get it. I dealt with that for years. Happy to live somewhere where the local shops are actually knowledgeable. Happy to have the option to get parts, bikes, or service when I need it instead of having to spend all my days off doing it myself just because I want it done right.
  • 4 4
 @MikeAzBS: who the f*ck asks for a exo?
  • 2 0
 @n1ck: that's actually pretty cool that they do that. Good on them for doing so.
  • 6 0
 Very few shops have a clue. Parts and bikes no one wants, with an attitude. When you do find a good shop, its pure gold.
  • 4 0
 I have one good shop within 50mi. One. They follow trends, and understand cyclists. They have minions, disc brake pads, relevant bikes, gear based on the season and local tracks, and can solve repair issues I can’t. But most of all - no attitude.
  • 7 5
 @scott-townes: Um, let's be F-ing realistic, ok? I work my ass off to earn money, yes just like the folks at LBS's (I get that). However, if you think I am going to spend extra coin, gas and what ever other mark up gets tossed in there, you're crazy. If I can cut out the middle man, get the product cheaper and sometimes quicker, then why not? Why not, why should I pay extra for no reason? Service, sure, i'll even drop a good tip for good service. Reality? Reality is Amazon, world wide cyclery or whatever other online retailer there is that they can offer free fast shipping and at a lower cost right to my door. Seriously, what internet-less reality world are some living in?
  • 2 0
 @viatch: freedom seems to be a sensitive word here.
  • 4 0
 @schulte1400: It's about having a great local shop. I don't mind that mine doesn't have some things in stock because I text, email or call and it's there or delivered to me the next day.
  • 2 0
 @Scotj009: it was the same before internet
  • 3 0
 @scott-townes: thank god some people have some respect for these timescales. I loved my time in the industry, and although I'm guilty of occasionally getting bits online, now, more than ever I'm driven to purchase locally if I can afford it, simply because a bit of forward thinking an preperation for a job, and the more you visit. You get the bits you want at a decent price. I'd rather my lbs MATCH an online price and make a few quid. Than give the online retailer my cash. You either love or hate the local, or imho are too impatient/stubborn to shop there. Support them where you CAN, and keep someone in a job and feeding their family and gaining a few friends along the way.
  • 1 1
 @viatch: The Bike Shop?
  • 2 5
 @leifgren: so i guess the reason so many fellow americans complain about stock is that all the different calibre ammunition the lbs stocks takes away room for bike parts?
  • 3 0
 the only reason to pay premium prices (+100-200% for a chain) at the local shops today would be to get the parts in time. usually they don’t even know what part I am talking about if I am asking for eg. an xtr cassette spacer (you know, the little plastic ring eliminating the cracking which was not part of the early retail packages).

I would love to have a local shop / garage / cafe where I can chat with mechanics and insiders, drink coffee, drool over and at some point buy blink parts, learn from couriers and racers which parts last and maybe even arrange rides, like back in the 90ies. Today this place is the internet, except for a few raphaish shops who try to recreate a similar experience, maybe a bit too hipster/poser/fake though...
  • 3 0
 I order things online but i also have it installed at my LBS if it’s above my skill level(Which is a lot of the time LOL). So they still get my business no matter what.
  • 2 0
 @orientdave: 100% agree. Recently I went to three shops in a day to find one minor component and none of them had it despite 1 telling me they did over the phone.
A few months ago I got a pair of bike shorts as a gift from a local shop but then had to exchange sizes. It took them 3 months to get the size I wanted and I had to constantly call and check in on them.
Shops cannot compete with online shopping that's just a fact. Shops, especially the small ones, need to stop focusing on retail dollars and focus what they are good at and can make money on and that is service. Hire more mechanics, shorten their turn around time and tell that kid to ship his new Lyric to the shop he just bought off Jenson so they can install it on his YT.
  • 2 0
 @MrNC: this is awesome but unfortunately I think a lot of people believe they will get shit from their lbs if they did this and that shouldn't be the case. Shops should welcome folks like you with open arms.
  • 2 0
 @MikeAzBS: You’re right. Your LBS needs to work on their stock. I run a small shop and we keep all of those parts in stock, except for the Transfer, but we keep the OneUp 150 31.6 in stock, so we at least have a reasonable substitute on hand.
  • 1 0
 @InfraRed: The minions are totally out of stock thanks to covid supply issues
  • 1 1
 @jj12jj: We do stuff like that because everyone buys online, yet wants prices to be cheaper! Charging for all services is the only way we can make money!!!
  • 2 0
 @steviestokes: When you put it like that, it is more palatable. If my LBS would match online pricing, I'd be more inclined to buy there. It is annoying when you head in to the shop to pick up a pretty standard part...i.e. SRAM or Shimano this or that and they tell you they can order it... At that point, I usually tell them I can do the same. Essentially they are doing my job with more hassle - leave my bike at the shop, wait 10 days for the part to come in, install it, wait for me to call them to find out when my bike will be ready, get told the part ordered was the wrong one. Repeat the process, finally get bike back and pay $$$ for parts+labor...
  • 2 1
 Well ya, bot good biz to just sit on inventory
  • 3 0
 Or LBS says: they can get it “in 3 days”, proceed to take your money....... and then 14-16 days later -they finally call you about your part arriving.

Too often making promises they can’t keep is a big problem really.
  • 1 0
 @MrNC: but you surely are not on the priority list
  • 3 0
 @jonlees: The deal is you buy I store install is included. If it was something complex (brakes with internal routing) or something cheap (a tube) I would be less pissed off. When I pay you $200 for pedals you can take the 30s to install. I would usually do it myself but was on the way to the trailhead and didn’t have an 8mm. Hell if the shop had offered to let me borrow an Allen key for 30s I would have been satisfied
  • 2 0
 @chaynech1: I had them build a wheel with the wrong size rim, that one I was fine with though because the rebuilt it same day, no extra cost, and taped it for a tubeless setup. Overall an appropriate way to handle a mistake
  • 1 0
 @tbubier: I’ve shown up with a box from Chain Reaction Cycles and asked them to install it and they don’t mind. They know what the game is like now in this day and age, might as well accept it and ride the wave. They’ll still get business regardless.
  • 2 0
 @eyeslide: I’m never one of those “I need this installed yesterday” types I come in with what I need done and the LBS gives me a week at most and I get call saying it’s done, usually before the week is up. I ain’t tryna jump the line or anything, First in, first out.
  • 1 2
 @jj12jj: We cant let people borrow tools in case someone hurts themselves (I know) and we get a lawsuit
  • 2 0
 @orientdave: " I am not their demographic." is the biggest issue I have encountered as a mountain biker. If you go to a bike shop in the city or even a small town like mine, they are not Mountain bike oriented. If you go to a Bike Shop in a very popular MTB region or near a Down Hill park then I can find what I am looking for. As you say, I do try to purchase consumables and whatever my LBS has that I need ie my bike carrier, but sometimes I just wish it were more.
  • 1 0
 @Thirty3: hahaha yeah well I'm not gonna argue with your mindset.
  • 1 0
 @Shinkers: I think there is a vast scale of shops and some aren't with the program.

I would have no issue with supplying your headset spacers or competitive pricing or service. I am with the program. Some people just aren't.

The pay is down to the lack of business. You could blame the consumer but that's small minded and arrogant. The issue is with the industry.

You are right about the support thing.

No insult taken! I realise there's a vast world out there with varying degrees of consumer support.
  • 3 2
 @scott-townes: “ That's not reality, get with the program. If you're disappointed by the wait, you are part of the problem and you need to reevaluate what's important in your life.”

Really? I’m not part of the problem, I’m the customer. A local bike shop, or an online retailer need to provide me something I cannot get anywhere else, whether that means personalized service, low price, expertise, quick delivery, etc. If they can’t provide that “something”, then they are their own problem. I am not responsible to provide anyone my business, they must earn it. You, my friend, are the problem; your position sounds like one of entitlement and arrogance. I know what is important in MY life and I don’t need you to tell me what it is!

FYI, I hate Amazon, but sometimes you have no choice, as the item you need cannot be purchased anywhere else.
  • 1 0
 @orientdave: Shops not having such a common consumable is... weird. All the shops near where I live always have enough consumables in stock to overhaul dozens of bikes, unless you need something weird, like a 11-46 9spd cassette. But chains, tires, brake pads, chainrings, etc.... that stuff is good
  • 1 0
 @MikeAzBS: We stock all of those things at our shop.
  • 56 0
 I would be happy to pay 20% over the prices online, but in shops it's usually in the realm of 100% over. Also basically every single local shop I have gone to seems to have issues in quality of their mechanic's work. Rather order online and ensure the work is done properly.
  • 12 0
 There's lots of stuff that I find only has a marginal discount. Now that CRC is no longer less than wholesale their prices (except for blowout stuff) isn't much cheaper than retail. TBS can have some good deals but has a very limited selection.

In the last year I've bought a Bomber Z1 fork, Magura mt5 brakes, and a rear wheel built to the spec I want and I don't think I could have gotten any of those things cheaper online. I'm lucky to have an amazing shop that has amazing product knowledge and puts out perfect work. I

To your point, if people at a shop are rude or they mess up service work I'll just buy online and deal with it myself.
  • 8 1
 "Also basically every single local shop I have gone to seems to have issues in quality of their mechanic's work."

This! Now I buy everything online (unless it's urgent) and pay a dedicated mechanic to do any work I can't.
  • 4 1
 Mechanic works top notch at my local shop, guess thats because its Danny Harts mechanics shop
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: Try the German online shops. They often have great deals on parts, especially the ones that are "made in Germany" (Schwalbe, Magura, etc.). Before the embargo, they also sold Shimano and SRAM for -30-50% the amount you paid locally, but there's now a ban for selling outside their territory (Europe, in that case). Anyway, if you take the time to look around, there's always good deals to be made, even with LBS who sell online.
  • 3 8
flag SvenNorske (Jun 19, 2020 at 19:26) (Below Threshold)
 I'm only speculating, but I think a lot has to do with how mechanics are paid. The big shops around here are 4-6 weeks out for an appointment, and I believe the mechanics are hourly. I'm guessing if they were 1099 and paid on commission per job, the quality and speed would dramatically increase.
  • 57 4
 @SvenNorske: I am one of those mechanics and that may be the dumbest and rudest things I have seen here. Many mechanics are hourly but during rush season we are slammed. Just for today I had an 8 hour workday.. had 5 scheduled tunes (our tunes take between 45min to 1 hour). I had 37 phone calls (17 if we had bikes and why they can't find any), 9 flats, 2 customers who couldn't take their wheels off, 3 who need bikes taken out of their cars, one guy who demanded that i explain to him why his Promax brakes return slow, 2 not sealing tubeless tires, 1 custom build quote, 3 warranty follow-ups, my landlord asking me about Roof leaks, 1 garmin computer reset, 2 cleats adjustments, one Pelton customer needing to know why delta cleats are hard to find in shops and why our shoes are different than Pelotons and 1 kid that calls me every three days about how much is some bike repair if his mom buys the part on amazon....every three days its a different repair (he has been calling me for 4 weeks now). Do you know when I ate lunch? 8:30pm.
every ahole that walks through the door needs it by tommorow, everything happened just riding along and everything that is massively worn must have just worn because it was new last week. The industry is lacking mechanics and the pay is atrocious....some areas that are great for riding fare better. I have had tons of friends move because if they are going to work in a shop and get paid shit they may as well live somewhere where they can ride 24/7. Most places aren't that lucky. I have been doing this for 23 years and this may be my last.
As far as your comment on commission and mechanics speed, here is how a repair can spiral. Guy brings in his bike, needs shifting and frame creaks...gets written up as checkover and shift adjustment. I look at the ticket and expect 30 min of work. I adjust shifting...hanger is bent...takes 10 min longer. I then check frame, notice a slight rock in linkage, call the guy and ask when he replaced bearings and such. Figure out he never serviced his linkage, explain it may be more serious...cost more....he complains about cost. I hang up and take apart frame....turns out bearing is worn and wore a groove in linkage bolt....needs to be replaced. That 30 min job became 1.5 hours of calling/cleaning/fixing/chasing problems and I get to charge him a little bit more for three times my expected time. He is annoyed that it cost more but I know it will last and I won't see him after the weekend complaining the noise is back. Do you know how that would go down if I worked on commission.....i would just spray and soak everything in grease to shut it up and move on. More bikes out the door means more money....how do I know this? I worked with guys from places like performance where when the manager cracked the whip they shoveled shit. No pride, no interest...by the unit means money then I don't care. Dont believe me? Every Walmart pays bike assemblers by the unit.....how many of those leave with backwards forks? As it stands, I am 37....guys from 30 and older are the last large group of good mechanics. Many of us have a ba or masters but we remained in the industry because we loved it. What kid now is going to finish school with a shit ton of debt and work at a shop? That leaves people who work trades and the rest. Any trade pays better than the bike industry so you would have to be dumb to work on bikes instead of an actual trade. The rest boils down to dropouts/people that can't hold steady jobs and some that can afford to work for nothing (kid living at home/guy with dui/ etc..). Not a great pool of potential employees. I am done.
  • 5 3
 @lukeproofman: lol he wasn't attacking you personally. Notice the "I'm guessing" and "I'm only speculating".

From a service delivery view that could apply to any industry, when you have huge swings in demand throughout the year it's impossible to employ enough people to accommodate peak demand through the entire year. You have to be somewhere in the middle and accept that there will be more work than your business can process during the peak, hence the 4 week backlog in the first few months of riding season.

Anyone who's a serious mountain biker gets all of their shit done in the spring before it gets busy. This is also why it's worth building a relationship with a good local shop if you think you might ever need help with anything. If you're a good customer and you trash something on your bike most shops will find a way to squeeze you in.
  • 4 2
 I think the only real way for bike shops to survive is from charging high markups to the very few people willing/able to pay those prices. I don’t feel guilty about supporting more efficient businesses that provide what I need, especially after working at a shop and hearing how horribly the employees talk about how dumb the customers are because they don’t know much about bikes. Most bike shop employees are spoiled little bike-nerds who have dorked out about bikes since there early teen years and don’t know how to do, or talk about anything except bikes, then they HAVE TO work in a bike shop because they have no other skills...working on “crappy“ $1,000 new bikes and making repairs for the non-cyclists that bought them...
  • 3 14
flag unrooted (Jun 19, 2020 at 22:28) (Below Threshold)
 @lukeproofman: are you attempting to point out that working in a bike shop sucks??? Maybe you made the wrong choice in life if you aren’t enjoying it...too bad you probably don’t have any others skills besides talking bad about customers.
  • 12 10
 @lukeproofman: I stopped reading after a complaint that starts with I had an 8 hour workday.
  • 5 5
 @RonSauce: lol! Right. The real question is why did he leave work 3 hours early?
  • 2 3
 @lukeproofman: I feel ya bud, and that's a normal goddamn day!
  • 4 1
 @friendlyfoe: I had a 8 hour workday because I work 7 days a week and I can't come in super early and leave super late because even though the doors are locked and security gate is shut...someone is always banging on the door, so getting ahead on repairs is impossible....so instead I work 7 days a week 5 days we are open 8 hours, 2 5 hours and i am there everyday
  • 2 0
 @lukeproofman: yaaaasss get em! Still love the job tho
  • 1 6
flag wolfsberg (Jun 20, 2020 at 1:13) (Below Threshold)
 @lukeproofman: idk about your frustrated ramblings. And idk either why you dragged your land lord into this. Seems to me that you handle a lot of stuff in a lose/lose kind of way instead of picking your battles.

It takes 2 minutes to explain someone the issue and risks of worn frame bearings. You tell him you'll gladly do it but it'll cost about x amount and take more time. Then let him decide and if says no what do you care if you explained the risks to him? Doing the work anyway and undercharging makes no sense at all.

And why not check for broken/bent hangers before writing up the service order when someone wants shifting adjusted? Takes 2 seconds...
  • 5 1
 @unrooted: first I never spoke bad about customers, some people are easy to work, with some aren't, and some are terrible thats the nature of the beast. Like I said before, I have 2 degrees, been doing this 23 years since I was 14 working for cash cleaning repair bikes at my local schwinn shop. I have many skills and options for working elsewhere hence why I will probably close the shop at the end of this year. Working in the bike industry is hard, wages haven't increased at all in 20 years+ the market has changed dramatically and the internet has muddied the waters heavily. There are many aspects of the business that are great. I love seeing the transformation that riding a bike can create in people. I have worked with cancer survivors, amputees, recoveries you name it. But I am still a person and I have a family that I need to provide for. My frustration with the comment made was simple, because it basically was "hey shops are backed up because mechanics are lazy and pampered if we made them hustle like uber drivers that would teach them a lesson and shit would get done". How is that working for Uber? I will put in simpler terms...do you want to live in a society where you come.to my shop and I work to help you enjoy the thing I am passionate about and treat me with respect. Or a society where you come to my shop and my simple mechanic ass fixes your bike because what else am I going to do. After which you leave and I go what a as@#$ole I hope he eats shit. Which world do you prefer? Which world will spread the love of riding? Thats my dilemma....i have lived aspiring for the first but at the end of the day I feel like the second.
  • 5 0
 @RonSauce: i took it to mean that he only had 8 hours to fit in all the following stuff eg not a huge amount of time to get all this done.
  • 2 1
 @friendlyfoe: I understand your point but his comment specifically attacked bike shop mechanics as not working hard because they are hourly. If they changed to commision it would put a fire under their ass. Back logs happen during the summer. Most shops are short of mechanics and its only getting worse.
  • 3 0
 @unrooted: actually that era of shop employees is over. Most shop employees now are high school or college kids that change every year once they age up or former bike mechanics trying to open their own shops. I work on everything from 20k pinarellos for hedge fund managers doing 4 Ironmans to 50 year old dance studio employees who ride a garbage find bike everyday to save on owning a car so they can buy a house. Cycling isn't just strava segments and Instagram. Some people its life and others how they measure their lives. I am not going to defend every lbs out there...lots of them suck, owners only care about the bottom line, the beast employees leave because of better opportunities, markets change, brands change, costs change (some as simple as a rent increase can make a cool shop that stocks everything become barren because only things that sell in volume can sit on the shelf). For guys like me it sucks because I hear f#$$ bike shops I buy everything online more than I hear thanks for taking care of me. That's what depresses you in the end.
  • 2 0
 @Ironmonsoon602: some days you laugh, some days you sit in back and have a beer before riding home, some you rush home so the dog locks your face and you smile.
  • 2 0
 @wolfsberg: 1. Landlord is cool and he is bike guy and he loves to hang out but that takes time out of the day.
2. I agree about explaining the work but here is a big problem with modern mtbs. Lots of guys who got into this sport did it when bikes were cheaper and simpler. It gets difficult because that guy bought that frame being sold on the fact that it has sealed bearing so its maintenance free, so when you tell him his 1 year bike has worn bearing he doesn't believe you, then you have to show him and explain and etc... nowadays just telling him his bearing are worn it will cost more is like telling him I offer an undercoating for an extra charge. Look at this comment section its filled with guys who have been or have felt ripped off by shops...making him understand means he doesn't think I am pulling the wool over his eyes. That is a must nowadays.....but it takes.....time.
  • 2 0
 @wolfsberg: sorry 3. I can't check the hanger and do flats and answer calls and take repairs in. On slammed days, stuff comes in an alarming rate, its just two of us at the shop, repairs getting dropped off are quickly examined, labeled, tagged and next thing gets done. Slow days, i have time for that.
  • 1 0
 @rabidmonkfish: bingo, i am usually there hour early and leave 30-90 min late...8 hours is shop open time
  • 2 0
 @lukeproofman: PREACH! Right there with you bro.
  • 2 0
 @SvenNorske: as someone who was a contracted, 1099, "paid by commission" mechanic... that is not who you want working on your bike.
  • 2 0
 @lukeproofman: Yes we definitely need a change. It is really hard trying to make it work though. I used to work for CycleSurgery for 3 years before they went bankrupt. We were one of the few ones that price matched. but the result was every item was sold at a loss. Literally everything from brake pads to helmets. That meant the only way they can make money is to sell bike so naturally we had less and less parts in stock. They tried pushing clothing but they did not sell full price so again had to sell clothing at a loss. It got so bad that I was taken out of the workshop only to sell bikes pdi on the shopfloor and say no to services. Clearly not a good business model.

That being said the customer base changed in the past 10 years. Customer service and lead time is the most important obviously, but nowdays people want a shopping experience as well since they took their own time to drive to you (you see sofas and coffee machines popping up in a few bike shops now). Also If it is not ready next day it is no good... Most bike shops cannot manage this yet.

Sometimes customers dont understand how many different bikes and people are out there. I assume most commenters are really in to their riding and know a lot about bikes. You check your chain regularly for wear, you take the shock out and check to see if there is play in the frame, you check your brake pads and headset every 2-3 months..etc.....Most people who go to your lbs are not like that. they have 2-5 year old bikes which have never seen a mechanic or gotten any attention at home. They are not familiar with concepts like 50 hour lower service, yearly suspension service, annual (in the UK you need it) pivot bearing replacement and so on. They just bought a bike online because it was on sale and had good review. There are so many bikes out there nowdays which means there is always something new and different on every frame. eg. SC frames are so easy to work on bearings are in the links, you pop them out and full bearing replacement done in 30min. YT capra different story. Cube stereo, transition patrol different again. I had a 3 year old cube in a few weeks ago with double 688 bearings on the seatstays, never replaced before, extremely stuck. puller did not work. managed to remove it with punch and some heat at the end, but just these 4 bearings took 45 minutes of fiddling. standards, bearing sizes, types change every year on a lot of brands, hard to keep track Smile All I am saying is customers should be a bit more patient with us and there should be straightforward communication from both sides.

I can only speak for myself, but I think one of the most important aspect of my job is to help customers understand what went down during their repair, educate them about maintenance they can do at home so they can avoid issues in the future...So what I started doing for example is to send them pictures during service or asked them if I can post before and after pictures on insta, send them links about maintenance videos, whatever. The goal is to get people engaged with the shop and educate each other learn from each other.

I have worked in several bike shops before and even at the very best shop which made profit regularly, service has been the only part of the business where profit was almost always zero or a loss. there are 3-4 sales people for every bike mechanic. Price matching means loosing money....Your lbs has to sell bikes to stay afloat especially if it is an mtb only shop. That is a fact and that is why most of them hate on DC brands. I am open to ideas on how to change that. Service only will never work, unless customers are willing to pay more.

any of you customers have any suggestions, please post a reply!
  • 2 0
 @lukeproofman: I'm an owner/operator of small service based shop in a popular mtn bike town. This sounds just like my day. Do you ever hear this?... "A week to bleed brakes? It looked really easy and fast in the youtube video."
People love to complain about there LBS on the internet but the reality is that bikes are becoming more and more complex and someone is going to have to fix them. My business philosophy is charge a fair price for parts and full price for labor. Never discount labor. If you are a professional and competent mechanic there will always be broken bikes coming through the door.
Just like in the automotive world, you can buy all the parts online and do the work yourself but most people have other things they would rather do than pull apart their fork in their garage on their day off. Same reason I go to the Jiffy Lube to get my oil changed. It's just easier to pay someone than use up my free time doing it.
I believe the future of the bike shop is small, owner based businesses, specializing in repair and service.
  • 5 0
 @mosierman: we need a poll so we can finally learn whether it’s bike shop employees who hates customers more, or the reverse???
  • 1 0
 @wolfsberg: man clearly you ain't in this line of work. Everything Luke is saying is dead accurate and then some. And I'm sure whatever line of work you're in, there are commensurate gripes. This just happens to be Pinkbike, the repository of bike related shit-talking and griping and you're getting top notch gripes from a dude obviously on the front line. Now cue your response telling me I don't know the half of it, and all the things us miserable bastards at shops are getting wrong, how the internet rebuilt your damper, yadda yadda.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: what shop are you going to?
  • 4 0
 @alpha-bio: this and Luke's comment is so accurate. I loved, LOVED my 7 years in the shop full time (2 years before that as Saturday boy) and that's why I still tinker with people's bikes when I can now. I've built up a range of specialist tools and can now do more and more. But the sheer way that a job can run away with time is so understated. You really MUST invest your time in telling the customer the truth and trying to show them that you arnt pulling the wool over their eyes, just so that this now new, or old customer knows they arnt being taken for a ride. I used to love being a jack of all trades in the shop, but it can get so personal when you sell a bike (a full sus MTB for instance, or a 2-3K road bike) and remind them to keep it clean and lubricated and pop in for checks.. And then you don't see that persons bike (they may well pop in for bits and a socialise, depending on the individual) for a good year of hard riding. Then you see that they haven't changed the pads, so pistons are damaged, they've crashed (inevitably) and given the mech a twang, bending hanger or mech or both, or not checked or brought in to check the linkage and bits are loose or worn, and on the roadbike, the only thing they've done is keep tyres pumped (if you are lucky) and oil the chain for 3,000miles and the groupset is so black with tar-like oil and grease that the rings, chain, cassette and jockey wheels all need replacing.. That, hurts personal, because SOME, and only some, customers will not believe you when you tell them that all that's happened in a year and its going to cost X amount to clean it, service it, replace this, straighten this, test that... And because YOU sold the bike, they sometimes aim the guilt at you like the bike should be able to withstand this 'use'. It's horrible to see the lack of respect for the boys on the spanners. I used to work so, so hard to have great customer service and to be able to back it up with honest knowledge and fair advice and be able to fix anything.. But the money for these skills just isn't reflected in the monthly pay.. Unless you do have a tidy boss who values your time (I managed to negotiate a fair pay towards the end of my time at the shop) but by then, it was time to move on and try to earn better. Big respect to the shop owners and mechanics who slave at it.. But there are some feckless idiots who work at/own shops too though.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I haven't visited TBS is some time as the new Calgary Cycle on Bow is very close to where I live. The service has been great there, super friendly and the mechanics did a great job on my Firebird build.
Pre-covid I found their selection to be great; since the outbreak BS it seems like they are having a hard time keeping up with all the new found bikers. As expected the prices are substantially higher than online
  • 42 0
 I've always found that working on your own bike is very rewarding, significantly cheaper and faster than relying on any LBS. There is a plethora of information and "how to's" online to get you through "most" of anything you'll ever need to fix on your bike. Additionally, knowing how everything works aides in trail side repairs when that eventuality occurs. With online shipping being so quick nowadays, I find it hard to purchase from anywhere else. When I hear my buddies chat about the cost and length of down time to do repairs or basic service on their bikes it reinforces my decisions. My interactions with LBS when I do go in for something have been pleasant, but I'm old school in that I like to work on my own stuff.
  • 2 0
 Came here to say the same.
  • 1 0
 Completely agree with this. A large proportion of my riding group have never wrenched their own rides. With the plethora of instructional videos or articles out there on the Web, you can pretty much learn any bike related repair or replace.
  • 7 0
 especially with the cost some shops charge for certain jobs! Most times it’s cheaper to buy the tool needed to do whatever task yourself and at the end of it you got a tool free of charge basically! From there on, free!
  • 2 2
 @Dropthedebt: apart from a custom suspension tune, then you probably need some training.
  • 4 0
 Agreed, this is something I'm trying to learn myself - there's nothing more satisfying than successfully doing a certain repair or replacement for the first time. That being said, I have kids and don't always have the time to troubleshoot and do it myself. If I have free time, I want to spend it riding or doing house projects that are more expensive than bike work. I have more money than time so sometimes I'd rather just pay someone to do it right and not have to worry about it for a year.
  • 1 0
 ????
  • 2 0
 And most importantly, you learn how to fix stuff so you can do it out on the trail if needed instead of just staring at it. Ok maybe equally as important, you also can give it a once over as often as you'd like, reducing the chance of something going wrong on the trail. Kinda like a car. Do the maintenance and repair work yourself and you're better prepared for when the time comes that you HAVE to do it yourself.
  • 3 0
 100% agree. However, there are still things I'd rather let the shop take care of, like damper service. I just don't want to faf around with fluid spilling everywhere bleeding my dampers.

Still, I completely redid my home shop to make my life easier for wrenching at home. For years I've been dealing my tools living in random places. Now I have a proper shop with bench tops and storage.

That's my idea of a man cave.
  • 6 0
 Hell yeah. Self-reliance is learned. Certainly, working on some things you own may be a risk not worth taking, but your bike is not one of them. Working on bikes is therapeutic and brings you closer to the sport you love. There's nothing like getting your bike dialed, hitting the trails, and feeling like everything is feeling oh so good.

Repair Manifesto: scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/2-howarepairec.jpg

Edit: Welp, I don't know how to share a link here.
  • 1 0
 I try to do my repairs by myself but I will get the parts through my LBS even if they have to order them in. In the end, the parts cost very similar to ordering online. Even if there is a good deal online I will often end up paying more after factoring in shipping.
  • 2 0
 Obviously I’m not anywhere nearly as amazing as everyone else here, but usually anytime I try a repair for the first time myself, it ends up costing more, because I break something else, or need a specialty tool, that my absurdly large toolbox doesn’t seem to have.

I have learned to do most things on my own though.
  • 2 0
 Plus when you work on your own bike you know it's done right. My buddies are mostly (rightfully) disappointed with the quality of lbs mechanic work.
  • 1 0
 Do it yourself if you’re a competent mechanic, have the right tools and have the time. It’s absolutely rewarding just like anything else you do yourself. Just know that it may take way more time and cost way more on the front end due to inexperience and/or mistakes. It’s all about how you want to spend your time.
  • 31 1
 I tend to find myself at my LBS multiple times a week... Might have something to do with working there.
  • 6 0
 ... yes pinkbike I tend to spend 45 hours or more a week at my lbs.
  • 28 2
 I suspect from a number of comments on Pinkbike that if bike shops sold weed they'd get a lot more customers.
  • 2 1
 Unfortunately it is a business model that Boris & Co. will not allow me to pursue. Really Mad
  • 1 10
flag Ooofff (Jun 19, 2020 at 15:05) (Below Threshold)
 Americans don’t know what weed is
  • 5 0
 @Ooofff: lol wat? First neither person above your response has an American flag. Second, weed in states like CO where its legal is f*cking gas my man.
  • 5 1
 @Ooofff: where in the world do they have better weed than California???
  • 3 3
 @unrooted: New Zealand.
  • 7 0
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: We do? Sweet as!
  • 2 1
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: It's not California weed. Some of the best outdoor grown flower in the world.
  • 1 0
 @vandall: apples and oranges as the saying goes. I stopped smoking years ago but like to know what's going on haha...
  • 16 0
 I use my lbs for major services that I cannot do/ dont really want to do. Can I bleed my brakes or service my fork, sure, do I want to do that with my limited free time, no. Id rather have a bike shop do the time consuming repairs when I am working, I dont mind paying for things like that.
  • 21 4
 Online only anymore. I only ship off suspension for damper service, otherwise I do it all myself. I'm not a fan of my local shops.
  • 18 0
 i find that in general, i trust my own, highly average mechanic skills more than the average shop mechanic. there are a few i know and trust, but ill only go to them if im doing something im really not comfortable with or dont own the tools for.
  • 2 0
 My main reason for doing my own work is that when I get to the shop and ask when they can work on my bike the anser is usually 2 weeks. I don't want to be dependent on someone when I want to ride 2-3 times a week. I agree with not doing the damper service but I will be tempted to try it when I need it done.
  • 4 0
 @GumptionZA: Same here, a moderate investment in tools and learning how to wrench pays off when your household has seven bikes to maintain!
  • 5 0
 When your LBS charges extra because of the “hassle” of removing/installing a Hope crankset to replace bearings, then proceeds to put the crankset back together so the crank arms aren’t aligned and you have to take it apart and fix it yourself.. lose faith pretty quick, and that’s just one of many of my bad experiences. There are a few mechanics I trust but like someone else stated here, I too trust my average skills (with my degree in Google) over the common bike mechanic at a shop.
  • 3 0
 @GumptionZA: Agree, and even then, the tools have to be outrageously expensive for me to not buy it. Headset press $75-$150, cost of a headset install: $40. Do it twice and the tool is paid for, no brainer. Most tools seem to be the cost of just a few services. Needless to say, my personal tool stash is getting pretty sweet.
  • 1 0
 @nateisgrate: sounds like a cyclepath issue. I'll never to return to them at their Kelowna shop.
  • 1 0
 Or even derailed and higher ground. It's amazing how everything is price gouged.
  • 2 0
 @skiboot1: yup haven’t been back to derailed since they reinstalled my shock using a bolt with a head way smaller than it should have been, essentially bending the shock sex bolt so bad that I had to use a punch and about 50 good whacks to get it out. Good thing I tried to take the shock off before I went for a real ride otherwise my frame would have been wrecked and I have little confidence derailled would have paid for a new one considering they blamed me for providing the wrong bolt! That was after they installed the bushings in the wrong eyelets THREE times in a row and then proceeded to blame me EACH TIME for providing the wrong information or not being clear enough. Not to mention the fact that they treat you like a shmuck unless you bought your bike from them. Higher ground all the way, Super friendly staff and great mechanics always willing to lend a hand.
  • 3 0
 @nateisgrate: I too have felt feeling the shops staff does not care about you unless you've bought a bike from them. I would love to name 1 shop in particular here in Nelson but I still live here so I won't. Not to mention they love to tell you how a $5,000 bike and the components just aren't good enough. *Hint hint* Maybe my ride isn't as sacred as your $8,000 ride.
  • 1 0
 @skiboot1: don’t get me wrong Derailed is still a good shop with very capable mechanics and everyone makes mistakes. But not owning up to it and blaming the customer instead definitely gets old fast.
  • 2 0
 @rcrocha: the last straw for me was when I had their "suspension expert" try to rebuild my Totem (a while ago).

First he couldn't find the right rebuild kit (30 secs on SRAM's site), then it took 2 weeks to get the kit and rebuild it. Result? Still broken. That was the day I learned how to rebuild my own suspension.

Considering what an LBS charges, I expect them to be competent. That kind of thing is inexcusable and I cringe thinking of how many other bikes these guys have "fixed".
  • 16 0
 Right now, 121 people who anwsered the poll don’t have a local bike shop to go to. It really makes me greatfull for what I have! It also explains why many shops are struggling due to online sales.
  • 16 11
 Most of the shops I know are doing pretty well - thanks to average commuter bikes, ebikes and clients who have no clue that they are being ripped off.
  • 1 1
 In my area, there are lots of bike shops. They aren't pro mountain bike shops so I don't go there.
  • 6 0
 @Gamsjaga: it’s at least rad that you live in a country so stoked on bikes...ours is stoked on eating...
  • 1 0
 @Gamsjaga: Are they being ripped off though? Having run several shops, even with very high sales and great service turn around and industry leading profitability, most people are scraping by around 40k. And that is one of the best shops I've ever seen, and had the good fortune of working for.
  • 1 0
 @kmg0: From a customer perspective definitely yes.

Let’s hear what you think about
- 30 to 40€ for a final service which consists of turning the handlebar and tightening two screws. Same shop sees service as an unnecessary hassle. Customers are called a*holes behind their backs when they come with warranty issues because they keep employees from making money (incentives)
- 30€ for a tire change (tire goes extra, premium product bought in the shop - inner tube reused)
- unasked change of perfectly working, near new shifting cables (pay for cables + work)
- nearly 900€ for a service on a not even one year old 8k€ premium bike. (shop charged more for servicing than it would have cost buying new parts)
- ... I could carry on for hours

Btw. all examples from different shops.

But my favorite story, which illustrates the service quality around here perfectly is someone buying a shiny expensive carbon bike but is not allowed to take it home immediately even though he wrenches a lot and tells the shop that he plans to change most parts. The shop has to make 100% sure everything is working - due to „quality standards and a service protocol“. Customer returns three days later, gets his bike, wants to ride off and nearly eats shit in front the shop. Someone forgot to put „tighten stem“ in the protocol ...
  • 16 0
 I buy most of my parts, and a lot of other stuff, on Pinkbike Buy/Sell.
  • 2 0
 Beat me to it, cheers!
  • 2 0
 It's a shame that is basically dead in Australia, I'd love to cut the rubbish out from gumtree or fb mp!!
  • 2 0
 @freeriderayward: my bro uses NSW MTB trading post on Facebook, seems to have a fair bit of movement.
  • 1 0
 @dicky1080: Thanks for the tip bro, I'll give it a try.
  • 12 0
 My buddy needed his bearings replaced and was quoted $95 per hour at 3 hrs for a total of $285. Plus parts. It would have been in the ~$350 range. He later came over and we did the job in my garage with tools I had on hand in 1.5 hours, including shit-talkin’ and beer sippin’.
I would like to support the local shop, but who pays those crazy prices!!
  • 16 14
 That seems like a very high price for a bearing swap, but to be fair, the shop may have been quoting a higher price to be on the safe side - it's better to have a customer be surprised that a repair cost less than expected rather than more. But you're right, most bike repairs can be done at home at a much lower cost.
  • 16 2
 @mikekazimer: „... it's better to have a customer be surprised that a repair cost less than expected ...“ Really, did that ever happen to you or someone you know?
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: somewhat agree with your point there. Its a business game but i think in this case a lower price would have attracted the customer, instead of driving them away. PPl do want to use there bike store but if someone had quoted me that i would have found my friend whos a mechanic too and paid them in beer
  • 2 1
 You can buy the machined, fitted bearing press and removal tools, plus the bearings half of the cost of having the shop swap your bearings a single time. And the tools make it so incredibly simple. And that's aside from the big turn-around times at shops during the summer season. Yeah, buy some tools and get at it yourself.
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer: We're not talking about working on an exotic italian sports car here man lol. Its a bike. If a bike shop doesn't know how long or how much it'll take to repair, maybe theres bigger problems in the LBS industry. And bearings....3 hours?! A bearing press and 30 minutes it's done.
  • 1 1
 your buddy probably sent his bike to a dentist or a surgeon maybe?
  • 2 1
 Jesus I can't imagine the audacity of charging $95 an hour flat rate. OR that job taking 3 damn hours. This is coming from a shop service manager in Arizona. Burn that shit to the ground!
  • 2 1
 @ChrisNJ: haha, you are clueless. It is apparent that you have never done a bearing swap before. Not many atleast. With seized and blown apart bearings in a difficult to access frame, yes it could easily take three hours. Its not the repairs that go as planned that take the most time, it's the unexpected issues that can arise. I can tell a customer that I normally charge about an hours work for frame bearings ($65), but sometimes issues come up and it could easily triple the time. I just don't know until I get in there.
  • 22 9
 I would visit/use my lbs more but the employees are obnoxious and they always rip me off
  • 31 9
 Funny, they said the same thing about you
  • 2 1
 @codypup: hahaha, got em!
  • 9 0
 The lbs next to my work quoted me £85 for a new freewheel and chain for my commuter bike. The guy behind the counter was eating his breakfast and barely acknowledged me when I walked in, getting a quote from him felt like I was pulling his teeth, although the shop was empty at the time. Told him I would think about it, ended up ordering the parts and doing it the work myself in 30 minutes flat for the grand total of £17. I don’t want to tar all lbs with the same brush but there seems to be a recurring theme of them acting condescendingly and making you feel like you’re not welcome on their premises in my experience of dealing with them. Might be a London thing, they all seem to be run by arrogant pricks around here though...
  • 4 0
 Not just a London thing sadly. I live in Wellington, New Zealand and one of my mates went into one of our LBSs and talked to one of the guys there about building a bike from the frame up and the dude basically called him mechanically retarded for five minutes (we're teenagers) so that was a bike rude (though other times we've been there some of the other people have been a lot nicer and helpful). A different bike shop told me that my Giant trance was shit (it's not) and that even a Maori (the New Zealand native people) wouldn't want to steal it. I felt that comment was unnecessary and a shitty, racist stereotype. Luckily a new shop opened and they're not racist or condescending Smile
  • 9 0
 I see lots of comments about people's gripes with bike shops. I'm lucky that my shop and the people who work there are absolute legends.

I don't quite get the price issue. The shop MSRP might be a tad more than online pricing , but cause I'm a good customer they give me discounts. Even free stuff. Free advice. Friendly. Small issues they fix for nothing. Everything is done properly and way better/quicker than I could do myself, and gives me time to do other things. There's lots of intangibles to putting a value on something, and I feel much better off using the shop.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. I'm lucky to have an LBS that usually beats or at least price matches on top of providing amazing customer service and repair quality. That last bit is why I buy from them the majority of the time. Some brands they just don't carry, ok online it is. But there have been occasions where I didn't have the time or it just wasn't worth the cost of tools/lack of knowledge ect...to do something myself and having them around got me back on the trail sooner rather than later. Also, super thankful to have quality LBS' around when traveling and need a part/repair asap. Shout out to Pro Bike Supply, Poison Spider, Absolute Bikes and Fanatik!
  • 10 2
 I suspect there is an age correlation between "buy at the shop" and "shop online" I'm old and buy at the shop because loyalty and the experience is more important to me than the difference in cost. My community would be diminished if the shop wasn't there-the events, the trail access and their support for the high school race team would all disappear if they did. Me spending money at my lbs is an indirect way of also supporting my cycling community.
  • 3 0
 you seem to be lucky to have a good lbs around. not everyone has that luxury, no matter their age.
  • 13 2
 Do you order online or have a bike shop order online for you?
  • 7 0
 a few issues with lbs: one, all the brand territory exclusivity crap, somehow there has to be a better lbs model. two, inventory - it's the biggest issue. Financially they can't carry it all, so sort of creates a challenge, and forces higher prices, etc. If they got rid of number one - lbs could copy the hardware store models like Ace and True Value here in the states. Locally owned franchises, but centralized distribution, sharing inventory between stores, etc. They could then also support an online order wit local pickup within 24 hours, etc. The core LBS model has to change all the way from brands/wholesalers to distribution to local availability. Can be done, but will take some balls and breaking of current biz models. (if they don't customer will break it anyway)
  • 13 4
 You should be able to select multiple answers for this one "What do you visit your local shop for?"
  • 6 1
 Good call - that's been updated.
  • 12 0
 @mikekazimer: I'm surprised pink bike isn't an option... I get most of my bikes and parts from the buy sell pages
  • 2 0
 @scottlink: Bikes, yes the past two have been from PB
  • 1 0
 Hah, most of the things I get from my LBS are $5 or less: cable ends, misc bolts, the occasional widget...
  • 2 0
 I prefer a shop because it feels like a real life Pinkbike where kids who’ve been on the planet for a shorter period of time than I’ve been Mtn biking can explain the difference between shraeder and presta valves to me...
  • 6 0
 The only shop I typically frequent also has a bar and food. You can drop off your bike for service, browse for tools and small parts, grab a few drinks, get some food, pick up your bike and go. Without the bar part, I would never stay and browse.
  • 9 1
 That seems like the way to do it. We talk about our dream shop setup in the Pinkbike podcast that's coming out next week - mine would sell pie and donuts.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: my dream shop is one with a crazy good selection, really competitive prices and the ability to check competitors pricing on the spot, zero interaction with other people...and a loaded bong at arms reach...
  • 1 0
 You can bring in a bike and leave with your bike the same day?! Forget the beer and food, give me the turnaround.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Me too. I take my bike to the local Timmy Hortons to have her fixed.
  • 5 0
 Happy to support my LBS by purchasing most parts or letting them order it in for me. On bigger ticket items I'll do an online price check first, but generally the LBS is right in the ballpark on price (excepting online inventory clearance sales). I do most of my own maintenance so i can live with spending an extra $5-$10 on a part to support the shop and their employees.

Tires I buy 100% online... nobody has money to pay full MSRP on those.
  • 4 0
 Same. If you LBS is good (shout out to U bikes in Boulder and WheatRidge Cyclery) they carry the small parts you need that would cost 2x online bc shipping. I try to combine those little one offs with general consumables like tubeless sealant, chains, fork main seals etc, stuff you won't get much cheaper online than in store so why not give the LBS the $s instead of Bazos?
  • 4 0
 Whoever has the best customer service gets my $$$. Treat customers respectfully. Do what you say you're going to do. If you make a mistake, own up to it - simple stuff.

No problem with paying a bit more for better service either, wherever that may be.
  • 9 2
 not a fan of the elitist attitudes
  • 4 0
 I try to go to my local shop for the random stuff I need that is under like $20. If it is expensive, I usually will check to see if the shop has it for the same price as online dealers first.
  • 5 2
 I understand the desire to support local bike shops. But I also want competitively priced priced gear/components, as I’m not made of money.

I do all my own work on my bike. I don’t care to find group rides with people I don’t already know. I don’t go there trying to find trails (thanks trailforks!), and I don’t drink, nor would I be into socializing at a bike shop.

As a result... I’m definitely not the demographic that supports bike shops.

That said, they absolutely have their place for huge groups of other people who’s opinions/personalities are different than mine. And I absolutely recommend them to buddies/neighbors.

I hear most shops right now are crazy busy. I hope the influx of new riders stick around. It’s good business for the shops, and more people advocating for trail access, which can only be a good thing for the long term success of the sport.
  • 3 0
 Haven't been to the LBS since lockdown started here as it's outside the travel distance. Not worried as I phoned them up to place an order that will arrive sometime after lockdown has finished and they said they're completely snowed under with work and very few bikes left! Have been using a mix of other, closer but crappier, bike shops and online and I can't wait to get back to the LBS. They may be a bit more expensive at times but they always make sure I get the right thing first time, help out with tech queries and are a pleasure to deal with. On the whole they've saved me money by helping me avoid silly component choices, recommending cheaper parts that do the job just as well and telling me little tricks to install or maintain things better.
  • 3 0
 Depends on the LBS and the community. I live in a small community and the bike shop(s) are central to the riding scene. Shout out to Revolution (www.revolutioncycles.ca) who are excellent and I am happy support them. If I need something I don't think they have in stock I'll just text or call and see if they can bring it in. Sometimes it's cheaper and easier to just bring it in myself but for most things they are able to bring it in for me at a fair price. Also always nice to see the gang, be surrounded bike all things bike and chit chat bike.
  • 1 0
 Best bike shop around. Very helpful staff
  • 3 0
 Someone should make shirts for lbs employees to wear. One would say on the front: "I don't have that but I can order it", and the other should say "I don't think we sell that but let me go check", and finally one that just says "huh?". For clarity, I do support my local lbs which actually does a good job, but the others in town I could care less if they go out of business.
  • 3 0
 LBS? Lots of Bull***. Only time I went to LBS is when I started the sport and didn’t know better. I soon realized LBS reminded me of car dealerships...they only care about your dollar. They don’t carry jack that you need most of the time and what is in stock is highway robbery items that I say to myself, “really!” Thanks to all the Youtubers, blogs, forums and etc...I could care less for the LBS. Been servicing my own bike since the day I realized LBS is lots of BS. Never turned back. Want something...get it online. You know it will be in stock, great price, and delivered to you.

Who has time waiting a week or 3-4 days to get a bike serviced. I need my bike next day on the trail so yeah, helps to know how to service your own bike and you know exactly what was done and to your liking. Only reason i go to LBS is to see the new goods in person...look but no buy...buy online.

I have a better time at Sun and Ski. Sorry LBS...need to do better to get me and my money into you doors.
  • 3 0
 Protip: The more you go to your LBS, the more they realize you aren't just a one hit wonder, the more the price comes down. It'll never be as cheap a online, but price isn't everything. Build a relationship with people, and it'll pay dividends.
  • 2 0
 I feel privileged that my local shop Icycle Sports www.icyclesports.com has great customer service, amazing repairs/service staff, a mellow atmosphere, a connected cafe, desired inventory (unless I have a special request and even then, they work hard to get it here fast) and competitive pricing. I know a lot of people don't have it as good.
  • 3 0
 What about the buy and sell market (say on PB)? Used parts are not really captured in this survey, online shopping is a very broad term. I'm always looking for a good deal on slightly used parts on PB.
  • 2 0
 The issue with my local bike shops is they sell everything at MSRP, even 10 year old parts (I use to work at a shop in town). I watched them take last years (sometimes more than one year) products from storage bins and hang them back up to sell at full retail.

It's tough to ask them to price match, when I've seen online retailers sell products for less than my cost. For example, MerlinCycles had full 11 speed SLX/XT and even GRX groupsets for LESS than what I was able to buy them at wholesale cost. I've only price matched one item, and it was a Camelbak hydration pak, it was tough to ask the shop to lower their price by over $40 on a $110 pack, because it was on Amazon for $70.
  • 2 0
 Our local is so frustrating. The staff are ok, and their work is not terrible, but the owner is such a douche. He is a walking talking dictionary definition of mansplaining. The dude has no clue. He's also shitty to keen groms who want to come look at kit. I bought my current rig (druid) online even though it was more expensive than the sight I was considering, and about the same as the Hightower. I was waffling on what to get, and just not wanting to give that dude money helped make my decision (and such a good desion it was). It's ironic, as the shop would be ok if the owner just stayed the hell out of it (an opinion shared by a good portion of our community).
  • 2 0
 My LBS tries to sell me on a new bike every time I visit to purchase a part to fix a family or friends bike. I was their first customer to walk through the door when they opened twenty years ago. I bought a bike from them in their first year being open. They are friendly and seem helpful and the few times I needed service it was awful like when they replaced a rear bearing and put the hub together wrong and told me my forks needed a rebuild and all it needed was a Schrader valve which they didn't replace. That is when I started to learn how to fix the things I thought they can do for me such that I can support their business. I am not a repeat customer anymore and haven't been for several years, yet they still exist.
  • 2 0
 They need an option between a few times a year and never. Mostly just stuff like shoes and helmets that I want to try on and make sure they fit. Last time I went in wanting the spoke tension checked. They told me I had to drop the bike off for a week. I struggle to think of another industry that doesn’t block out part of their day for walk ins or emergency type work. When I was in private practice I did projects maybe 6 hours a day then I’d always have a few people that would call for quotes or urgent problems that took up a couple hours time. My neighbor does bike repair and he apologizes if it takes him more than a day. I got to tell him stuff isn’t urgent so he doesn’t drop everything. So as much as I want to support the local community it just is not convenient, cost effective or time efficient to go to the lbs.
  • 1 0
 More like once or twice a year if I forgot to order a set of brake pads...
  • 2 0
 Having owned my own shop for a five year period, worked in a handful of other shops over the years before entering the... low end of the white collar work force... I have found most shops (not all) to be intimidating, not interested in my time unless I drive a new lifted Tacoma or Range Rover... am buying a new carbon Santa Cruz or a power meter. And to be honest... when you charge me 40% over the msrp for a kids bike why in the world would I go back to you. It’s hard enough not having industry deals and pricing... I’m happy to pay retail if your friendly and willing to order for me.
If not... gtfo
  • 2 0
 There seems to be a lot of finger pointing at the LBS and to be honest some of it is fair depending on the bike shop. But the wholesalers and manufacturers also need to take some of the heat here. The LBS depend on these guys having there acts together to be able to provide good service. And a lot of the time they don’t, and it’s the shops that take the blame.
  • 3 0
 Here in Vancouver MEC, Dunbar Cycles, and the shops in Whistler are assets. Most other bikeshops in the area reflect many issues in this thread, such as full MSRP, no stock, etc.
  • 2 0
 it is highly irritating when you go to the shop for something as simple as XT brake pads, and they don't have them, not open on Sunday's, or your bike needs repair and its a 3 week lead time during peak riding season. You are forced to just order online even though I would rather pay a bit more and support them.
  • 1 1
 Bro we get paid minimum wage and we're expected to do everything yesterday and sell stuf for cheaper than it's made. We also have a stock limit so we cant have brake pads for every brake ever on hand. sorry.
  • 2 0
 Holy mackerel! Can we appreciate how much time and effort goes into running a LBS, and how difficult it is to for them to fill the shelves with all the proprietary components needed to keep everyone's bikes running? For example: if my local bike shop was to keep stock of all mech hangers, all variants in Maxxis tyres (model, compounds, sizes), and all available chainrings for both Shimano and SRAM group cranks, they would have no money. Then they've got to hope that the customer who's after a mech hanger for their Canyon, who wants a pair of Maxxis Agressor's in 26x2.35" EXO/TR, and needs a 36T SRAM X-Sync 2 GX Eagle Direct-Mount boost chainring walks through the door. Then the customer will ask for a price-match, which is less than what the shop paid trade for.
  • 2 1
 Apart from a small store at the trails centre, there's very limited options options near me. The main bike shop (and only one of decent size) where i live has absolutely diabolical customer service.

Perfectly nice and helpful when they're making a sale. But if you need any help or there's a problem *after* they've had your money, they absolutely do not care.

Most of my shopping therefore gets done online out of necessity. Somehow if i am going to get bad service it seems less irritating to receive it from a faceless entity than actually exprience the not caring from an actual person face-to-face.

I refuse to buy from them. The only purpose they have is to be able to try something on for size before i order it cheaper online (something i refuse to do out of decency and respect in other bike shops where i've received even just satisfactory service from).
  • 1 0
 Online. I visit once a year suspensionlab, and I go there with my bike, stay there for 3 hours, and pedal back to the train station. That's the only moment where I visit a bike shop. Deals are so good online, there is no point at buying elsewhere. And second hand as well.
  • 1 0
 LBS and online both play their parts. I'll always buy chain lube, grips, & tires online and I'll always need a LBS to try on helmets, clothing, bikes, & do service. Thing is, there's only 2/7 bike shops I trust close to me. Bike shop pay probably sucks so I can't complain.
  • 1 0
 I would say that bike shops are not having trouble with the business nowadays, as many are trying to revive an old hobby. In NM, the shops are overflowing with bikes to service that haven't seen the light of day in years. On top of that, people are trying to get into biking for the first time and are wanting to purchase bikes, too. Until recently, NM bike shops were sold out of bikes under $2k. Bike shops don't NEED the support right now. But I do try to go there when I need a part, before ordering online.
  • 1 0
 My old favorite shop is over a hundred years old. Evolving through the industrial revolution accumulating character. So new management, now the same shop caters to the rich. Everything old is gone. Yetis for everybody and make that with an extra helping of pretense. The exclusivity promotes that lily white thing, perhaps unintentional but glaring these days.
  • 1 0
 I am very glad that there is a comment section for these articles.

Most of the articles and reviews and videos I have "Favorited" are for the info I get so when I want to start my own frame building/bike shop/component manufacturing business, I will be able to see what people need/expect/deserve more of.
It seems like some bike shops just need to give the service they would like to receive. It's more important for me to know that my customers walk away happy with a well-done service or feeling like they got a reasonable deal than for me to get rich or get something done quickly.
  • 1 0
 I bought everything I need for biking from a shop for years, never had a problem with them not having what I wanted, in all fairness all they sold were DH and some enduro parts. Weren't even a particularly large shop, but if I needed brake pads they had what I needed, same goes for tires, fork parts and even the specific grips I like to run. Now this was at a bike park, I have since moved to a city and cant go to the same shop, naturally they didn't have the same stock so I found myself ordering online for the first time. This would be fine if I hadn't have ordered some of those parts over two weeks ago and haven't received them yet. However now having shopped online I'm surprised at the amount of variety some of those stores have, suppose I never really realized having always gone to a shop.
  • 1 0
 My local shop is owned by one guy. He has as huge selection of used parts. So he usually has something I need or something close enough. I have learned to bring cash, and not use a credit card. I get better deals that way. He lets me use his bike stand and tools. Plus he freely helps me, when I don't know what I am doing. I Always pay him cash for the time I use his stuff. He never asks for it though. Basically, if I buy a part form him, he lets me put it on in his shop. Or if I don't have a specific tool, I can come in and use his. Sometimes he has a spare used one that he sells me, for cash, of course. It's old school and everything that corporate and online shops are not. No I go out of my way to support him and his business. I will gladly wait for him to order something, and I send everyone to his shop.
  • 1 0
 If im going to buy something new, ill get it from the shop. They make sure i get a very fair price. For better or worse though, i buy alot of stuff second hand, so that comes from the internet. I can do most of my own service, but they take care of anything i cant. And theyre super generous with little miscellaneous stuff.....valve stems, sealant, spacers, etc....its alway "how about a couple bucks" or "just take it, youre good". I really appreciate them.
  • 1 0
 Once I started building bikes, I rarely ever went to the shop out of need. Unlikely they had what I was looking for, and it was less hassle to order it. I still did business with them on small stuff because I liked them, but since that shop closed (note: due to hurricane Florence, not lack of business) it will likely be a long time before I go to a bike shop again.
  • 1 0
 90% of my business is online. 10% is at my local shop. I buy all my parts, complete bikes and accessories online. I use my shop to do suspension rebuilds and warranty. I set up all my own drivetrains, bleed my own brakes, and install all my parts. If my shop carried more brands, more inventory and had more competitive prices then I’d support them more. There is only one shop in my city that I trust with my bikes out of the dozen or more out there
  • 1 0
 My experience of bike shops has always been that the mechanics aren’t really mechanics. More bike enthusiasts that work in a shop. Several of the fails my riding buddies have experienced out on the trail have been caused by a recent service. Combine that with long waits for parts and service, and high prices on parts...no thanks. Learn how to work on your bike yourself so that you’re in control of your own destiny. Time marches on, and the LBS had its day.
  • 1 0
 Best bike shop I go to by far is the shop at Angel Fire Bike Park. You're there to downhill bike on a tight schedule and if something breaks, you want to get up and running asap so your not wasting the day sitting around or ruining your trip. I gladly tip them all the time for their great service. Other bike park shops have been more hit and miss. I was at Whistler once and for a pretty minimal repair multiple shops told me it would be 2 days. Finally found a shop that could do in in about an hour. When it comes to service, typical LBS have horrible wait times to get service things done. Never seems like they are short of business for services. Although there are exceptions. I always tip for the exceptions that can help out right away.
  • 1 0
 I worked in an LBS as a teen, margins were tight then (late 90’s) so we had to have good customer service and relationships had to be built to keep people coming back. Since then my LBS who prided themselves on being a high performance MTB centre openly ‘lost’ my orders and refused to apologise (Orange sent me the part in 24hrs and bollocksd the LBS in question). CRC/wiggle and online made it too hard for anyone decent to set up a shop. Plus Sheffield has ridiculous business rates, so I have no decent LBS and the ones the do exist are clamouring for mamil money so don’t stock any decent MTB parts or gear.
  • 1 0
 Biggest problem that i find is that A certain bike shop local to me is just supportive of roadies and carries very little for mountain bikers and what they do carry is just cheap imported crap but they stock top of the range frames and gear sets and road clothing so i don't use them anymore instead of traveling 9 miles i will drive 25 miles just to go to another shop and be treated like somebody that matters not looked down on because i choose mud instead of tarmac
  • 2 1
 I bought for years local at the shop but stopped with it because:
25% more expensive on bikes as when buying at a bigger retailer.
50% more expensive on parts.
Servicing of the bikes and parts are on the best mediocre while the bill wasnt.

I like to support my local shop when it deserves that support, but I don,t support a shop just because they are local.
  • 1 0
 I'm missing the following answer to the last question: trying to talk me into an 'alternative' i don't want and thus make me mad'.
Last time this guy tried to sell an Exo tire when i came for a DH casing saying 'it will be fine for the DH bike'. Well...
  • 2 1
 i needed a 10spd sram shifter and rear mech nothing special , what ever thay had i would have brought,i called every shop in my town and with in 40 miles of my house including leisure lakes dav and nots and evans leicester ,non had them in stock.had the same thing with a rear shock,if i want to buy a 8000 quid ebike or last last seasons overpriced fox 34 forks id be in luck and il make a beeline for leisurelakes. ,so i dont even bother anymore.i go halfords and decathlon for innertubes and cables etc..
  • 1 0
 my not so local shop (45 miles away) is awesome. there super friendly and offer great advice even if its just to get a second opinion of what i already considered. They have even looked up parts for me and then said we cant get them in for a week but you could get them from .........online store and have them asap if needed. There all top people there so i support them as much as i can afford but when im building up my bikes i often need to save money as i like good stuff and am very happy with last years discounted parts so its just not viable to buy big things from my shop. I would love to buy more from them but whenever i go in there which is only 6 or so times a year i often spend between 30-80 pounds. its not much but its all i can justify. if i win the lottery though i would love to buy all my stuff from them.


the fact theres new standards every 5 minutes now....back in the 80/90's i could get everything i wanted cos if i needed a wheel there was only one size. heck i could buy a new frame after 5 years and switch everything over except for maybe just the seatpost. Try doing that now.....new wheels, new seatpost, new bottom bracket and possibly cranks, new brake adapters, new fork perhaps....and then theres all the specialized categories of intended use such as as downcountry (i hate that term) whereas before one bike did it all. Sure the bikes are better now but i honestly preferred how it was. every time i look at a bike site its constantly trying to goad you into feeling like a poor person or an idiot for riding anything thats not the latest greatest current thing and on a subconscious level it works. So in all honesty its that that causes the issues for bike shops as lots of people want to feel like there keeping up with there mates etc but its all so expensive now there likely to cut costs and buy online.

so If im being honest i blame myself and others like me for falling for the "my bike must be pretty looking with all the exact parts and colour matched bits and be on trend" and theres no way a local shop can cover that stock issue Smile
  • 2 1
 An implicit thread in all these comments is that a LBS a business, which is to say it's not a nonprofit like a local mtb advocacy group. Unless the LBS is significantly giving back to the local trails, their problems are not our problems. While I am certainly sympathetic to the individual owners and employees, tired of the guilt trip about supporting LBSs.
  • 1 0
 This is a huge reason we started Versus.

Time spent unsuccessfully searching for the tire that we wanted (at shops or online) was time we weren't riding.
or digging.
or working on our bikes.
or eating tacos & guacamole.
or hanging with our friends.

So, we started a bike tire company.
  • 1 0
 Ha ha, you started a business to have more free time! Let me know how that is working out. On a serious note, direct-to-consumer is nice but surely you are missing out on sales by not being offered and prominently displayed in local shops. Having your tires offered at a LBS makes them tangable to the customer. When dropping coin on an expensive tire I find that most customers either want what they know and are comfortable with or they want to see and feel a new tire.
  • 1 0
 a good way around the internet sales issue would be for them to be able to have the order shipped to your house if they don't have it in stock via the supplier. I've already gone to the shop once, i don't want to waste that much time again. another issue i have is bike shops only carrying certain brands, for instance one near me only carries specialized things, if they make it they sell it. no thanks, i don't need that on my bike.
  • 1 0
 Some personal experiences in Vancouver, BC region:
- sending emails to a few bike shops to see if they have or can get an item and getting no or only 1 reply.
- trying to buy online from a local shop and finding out the item that seems in stock is actually not in stock
- buying a $4,000 new Norco bike online and having it delivered at a local dealer: absolutely uninterested staff when I picked up the bike (they could have made me a customer...)

Yes, I'm ready to pay a premium to support local business, but I want a customer service in return.

Great experiences with a few smaller, unpretentious neighborhood shops (who don't sell high end bikes).

The future: local shops offering great online experiences. Just ordered a pair of Michelin tires from a small shop in Quebec with excellent online service.
And of course, always look first on Pink bike Buy/Sell
  • 1 0
 Living in Germany has completely altered my buying habits. I buy nothing in the shops (including bike shops) any more, because they either have to order it, and/or (mostly and) it costs 2-3 times as much. Case in point: went to an auto parts shop. I asked how much for rotors and pads, front only, no labour, for my car; answer: 320€ (I had actually paid less for the same parts including installation before). Online:80€. AND they would have to order the parts! The decision was obviously hard, but I ended up ordering online.

I don't have a problem shopping locally, but seriously... the prices are ridiculous. And for someone who can do a lot of the "things" himself, I really don't see the point in paying a ridiculous markup just to "support small local business." I get it. Everyone wants to pretend to "support his fellow man," but let's be honest: Times have changed and a retail store with huge inventory just isn't feasible any more. I would, on the other hand, support a micro-shop, which sold parts at a slight markup to pay the rent and had a 12-24 hour turnaround time.
  • 1 0
 Bike shops gear is way way overpriced, I mean the whole MTB industry is overpriced anyway but the amount bike shops want to charge for simple workshop jobs that take 10-15 minutes is insane Id rather buy the tool online and do it myself.
  • 2 1
 I work in one of these shops that has 'nothing that you want'. I get paid £5.90 an hour and I'm expected to deal with shitty customers, operate over my capacity to get items to people faster than the internet, and get products for less than they cost to make!!!
I'm not saying 'thats not my job' because that is what I signed up for. As more and more of cycling goes online and we bike shops get less income, we're gonna have to adapt to survive. While we figure out a better way of doing 'bike shops' we adapt by charging a little more. Also, one of the main reasons that 'nothing is ever in stock' is because we have a stock limit (E.G. £75,000) and having manitou wiper seals which will get bought once every 3 years is not worth it, along with a quantity of specialty parts.

Please - Give your local bike shop a chance! Even if its just for that pre-ride fix up when something goes wrong at the last minute!

If you want stuff cheaper and faster, buy from Chain Reaction by all means, but know you're slowly putting people out of a job.
  • 1 0
 I am ordering my parts online and then hand them over to a bike mechanic who specializes only in building or repairing bikes. That´s his business model - he only sells chains, rims or stuff like that. And guess what - his shop is booming, even during the winter season. And that may be the future - you buy the things online ( and I‘m trying to avoid Amazon, I buy from bike - onlineshops) the the Shops build and repair the stuff..
  • 1 0
 Disappointing to see how many people mostly shop online while most local shops are less than 20min away. I'm lucky, my local shop is small and privately owned by riders, and only sales quality products and brands, and within the right price ranges. If they sell-it you can trust it does what it's supposed to do for the price. They don't sell crap because they know. And it's a great place to be connected with local riders and local mtb community.
  • 1 0
 I have no complaints with my local shop. Pete and his crew over at the Bicycle Hangar in Missoula, MT are top notch. Their prices and customer service are second to none. Although, I have had my bike in the shop for about 2 weeks now for unnecessary upgrades, can't wait to get it back and hit Moab next week. I tend to buy online vs local about 50/50, online has a larger selection but local supports those who cover our asses when we need parts today.
  • 1 0
 I love my local shop and I’ve bought three bikes from him and he treats us very well(price and service) but at the end of the day with life and kids sometimes it’s just not realistic to go across town when I can order it during the little ones nap time and have it in a day or two,if it’s something I need now I’ll always try the shop first though and I’ll buy my next new bike there as well.online retailers can’t replace in person first hand knowledge of parts/bikes
  • 1 0
 I’m lucky. My local bike shop stocks brands I like and are very aware of how customers mix online and LBS purchases. Their servicing is exemplary. Been told a week to get to get work done and somehow 2 days it’s all done.
  • 1 0
 I go to the local shop for small parts pretty regularity. It's the only way you can get a shift cable on the spot when you're half-way through replacing it when realising you don't have any spares left. Often I then also end up buying some snack or some clothes. For big ticket parts or whole bikes it's pretty much online for me all the time just because of the pricing. As a student I can just so afford to have the bikes I really want. If I'd have to pay 30% more I probably would have to get rid of one.
A friend of mine works as the mechanic in my LBS and he says the owner doesn't really mind me coming only for "small" parts since they can still make a decent margin on them and they don't have to invest time (=money) in talking me in to buying it since I always know what I want and where to find it. So when I don't get stuck chatting to one of the guys I'm pretty much an in-and-out customer who doesn't need help. I've also pointed other people towards the shop who ended up buying bikes, so I really don't feel any shame in just buying small stuff.
  • 1 0
 I buy everything I can second hand. Full bikes, frames, suspension. The only thing I insist on buying new are handle bars. Much cheaper this way of you know what to look for. The only bad is that I've never owned a new bike, but I just can't justify it when second hand I can get better quality for the same money.
  • 1 0
 I've had better luck at my lbs post Covid19. They ramped up their online ordering and their website is great. Best of both worlds. True they dont have everything but at least now I look at their inventory first before buying online. On the flip side Worldwidecyclery.com has lost me as a cusomer. Their service has gone to shit lately and they just keep blaming Covid19 and USPS
  • 6 5
 There isn't an "all the above" option for what the local bike shop could do better....I just had my Rock shox serviced and for some odd reason they took out my bottomless tokens and didn't put them back in.
  • 6 6
 how does removing tokens influence pricing, inventory, atmosphere or socializing?
  • 7 9
 @nhp890: you kidding me???.it has to do with everything. This is what's wrong with pinkbike....a BIKE shop took out my bottomless tokens and did not replace them and I'm downvoted. Then you come off with some BS about inventory. Maybe if they had a little more attention to detail they'd have a better inventory--atmosphere--etc.... Go troll somewhere else guy.
  • 9 1
 @kymtb0420, pretty sure @nhp890 wasn't trolling - his point was that your issue was directly related to the quality of the service you received, which is one of the poll options.
  • 5 7
 @mikekazimer: That was only one problem I had with the bike shop....Try allowing to choose more than 1 answer on a poll. It shouldn't be hard to put a "Check all that apply" You all forced me into 1 decision and I voiced I have a problem with everything about my local bike shop. Trolling or not....conceptually it's not hard to follow. I should also add...that when I brought it to their attention...I was told--well you really shouldn't ride your fork that stiff anyways--Well guy--It's a hardtail and I'm a dirtjumper---I'm also not 150 pounds. Keep your opinion to myself and set my bike back up THE EXACT WAY I DROPPED IT OFF.
  • 2 0
 @kymtb0420: That is a very good point, if they really think it's set up wrong they should ask you whether or not you would like it tweaked in a friendly and helpful manner, not treating you like you don't know how you like you suspension set up.
  • 4 1
 Shout out to Nevis Cycles and Off Beat Bikes in Fort William. Awesome shops. Well apart from all the feckin ebikes :-p
  • 3 0
 I live in a town with 1.5m people and still there's no bikeshop I'd truly recommend around here.
  • 21 0
 No-one taller than 1.5m?
  • 8 0
 @Dropthedebt: Haha, yeah Bavarians - we are basically the equivalent to the weiner dog.
  • 1 0
 I live in a medium sized town on the outskirts of a medium sized city but i'll still travel to the border of the next county for the only bike shop I would recommend, let alone trust with my bike.
  • 2 0
 @Dropthedebt: no one taller or shorter I believe
  • 1 0
 Happy to pay a little extra for some stuff to support the LBS (depends on how much extra though) but they MUST have it in stock. I refuse to wait for them to order parts in. Not happening.
  • 3 0
 « What does your local shop does best? »
Nothing

Just a bunch of overinflated egomaniac douchebag
  • 1 0
 Working at a shop I'd say more than 85% of online purchases are the incorrect part. Also if you go into your shop to ask about parts don't tell the person you're gonna go order it online right after.
  • 1 0
 It would probably be more accurate to say that “85% of the issues you see arise in the form of a customer coming in for help after an online purchase are ‘due to the consumer purchasing the wrong part.’” I for one am not purchasing the wrong part 85% of the time. If that were true, online bike shops wouldn’t be so popular.
  • 1 0
 just ordered up an XT 12 speed groupo from my LBS. Same price as everywhere online, however they gave me 10% discount. So even with paying tax, $30.00 cheaper than anyone online!
  • 1 0
 I love how half the comments are complaints about shops not having stuff in stock, the poll shows like 80-90% of people get their stuff online. I just can't wait for labor prices to skyrocket.
  • 2 0
 Which will result in a slew of abused bikes in need of service for sale in the classifieds (because they bought a new bike instead of repairing), with extravagant (dishonest) claims like “works great” and “barely used.” Made possible by cheaper prices and our increasingly disposable culture. Ultimately it will hurt the used market even though there are some (cough) who are actually honest about what they’re selling. This will push bike shops even more to just sell a new bike instead of repairing that “old” one. We are not heading in a good direction. Since not everyone will learn to work on bikes, those who don’t need to learn to be OK w/ paying higher prices to get the work done right by trained mechanics. For the little work I can’t do, I thoroughly vet who will touch my bike before committing to service. Too many people with not enough training and experience calling themselves “mechanics.” We need to be OK paying higher prices for quality, people. Biking is more expensive than just the initial investment, and these aren’t Toyotas - they require regular maintenance or bad things happen.
This will be hard for the majority of bike owners who come to find that real bikes meant for regular use cost more than a couple $hundred when they are told that the work they need done costs more than the initial sticker price.
  • 2 0
 @erikkellison: I tell customers, "Expect to pay about 5-10% the cost of the bike annually for service and parts." I find that that is a good rule of thumb.

Tune-up, tires, brake pads, cables/housing, suspension service every year. Most bikes in my area are mtn bikes in the 3-6k range
  • 1 0
 My shop knows who the competition is, so they give me very aggressive pricing on bikes, parts etc. I have them do 80% of my maintenance, so it works out in the long run for both of us. Mutually beneficial.
  • 1 1
 I've been through many shops with the same experience as many of you have. Poor customer service, nothing in stock, and obscene prices. I have been fortunate enough to find the best shop for everyone. It is Hastings Velo in Hastings, New York. They stock what people would come in and buy from the low end to the high. Once we reach the order minimum for our distributor then we get it in the next day and at the same price, you would find online. It does get busy though. There is one mechanic and the owner which results in long wait times for repairs. Some days there are so many people that it is just constantly writing work orders with little break. If the mechanic cannot fix it then there is no charge and if something is done incorrectly then we will fix it with no charge. I live in the suburbs of New York City so there are countless bike shops to choose from and I think that if you have a great bike shop as I do then you should support them, however, if they don't care about their customers and overcharge you for everything then there's no point in supporting them.
  • 1 0
 I love my local shop. They usually have most incidentals in stock (brake pads, tires, etc). They have to order stuff from time to time for me but it is always timely. They provide great service and take good care of me.
  • 1 0
 I liove when you go into a shop and ask questions about local trails just to find out everyone who worked there is a roadie or BMX rider. This has happened a number of times, I usually just leave. Hahaha
  • 1 0
 I find bikeshops in switzerland similiar to trips to the dentist, painful, expensive and uncomfortable. How should i know what a jockey wheel is in German ? Language barriers completely decimate the qualtiy to service
  • 2 0
 I purchase online from my local bike shop... buy what I need and then spend the pick up visit talking bikes n shit.
  • 2 0
 Good idea, and your name is my third favorite food in the whole world Smile
  • 1 0
 my LBS sells crappy bikes and cheap stuff, the only usefull things from them are cables, tubes and sometimes tires, they can't repair what I can't do also
  • 3 0
 how about Chain lube? "can order it for you? 2 weeks?" ........
  • 2 0
 Have you seen "O Brother, where art thou"?

- sounds like this place is a geographical anomaly, it's about two weeks away from everything"
  • 2 0
 If my local bike shop looked like the Pisgah Tavern I’d be finding any excuse to go down there. You lucky SOB’s.
  • 1 0
 there is a reason i have bike shops do almost everything that cant be done with closed eyes, if something gets messed up, its on them.
  • 1 0
 my nearest lbs is full of xc & road bikes..they don't even sell tires more than 2.2 inch wide..shortest stem they stocked is 50mm.. won't go there anymore..
  • 1 0
 For me online is also my closest shop. Jenson is the closest shop I have so most my parts come from there. Its nice I can have just about anything in an hour.
  • 1 0
 Emergency parts get a trip to the shop, or parts that are only sold through a dealer. Why would I pay someone else when I enjoy bike maintenance?
  • 1 0
 I order online from my lbs. Usually because the bike has broken and I can't ride there. Though I am lucky enough to live 10 minutes away from merlin cycles.
  • 2 0
 Found this funny because I work in the shop. Can we get pinkbike shop employee poll?
  • 1 0
 The guy who runs the local shop is very personable and the shop is his life and dream,I’ll do what I can to help it survive,especially right now
  • 3 1
 My lbs still selling 2015 fox forks
  • 3 1
 My lbs still selling a 5-bolt MRP chainguide from 90s
  • 1 0
 @antoniorcdj: Really? that's scary. Before too long someone will but it as a collectors piece.
  • 1 0
 Probably why most shops don't stock much inventory. Who wants to get stuck with high dollar items for years?
  • 2 0
 That means they, like many dinosaur shops, don’t know how to discount last season’s stuff correctly. Those should be damn near free by now.
  • 4 6
 I have a local shop that I attend if I absolutely have to do so, and that's it. If I'm doing some work on a bike and find that I forgot to order a part, then I'll go to a shop to pick it up if it's a trivial part. I know I'm getting reamed on the price, but if you need it now you need it now. If I could interface directly with the manufacturer on warranty repairs, I'd do so.
  • 4 0
 I'm purely curious here, do you order everything online out of "self sufficiency" if you can call it that. Or because of price. If you're not "supporting" your local shop so they can stay there for emergency visits then they may go under? I don't necessarily think support is the right word Its just the one used. I work in an area where many shops have closed and the comments are always I can't get my emergency bits or I can't get that advice. I get it's easy and sometimes cheaper to order online and I don't necessarily think you should pay more at a shop but just intrigued on your comments on this. There must be a balance that can be struck and it's down to the shops to find that and "advertise" that. Obviously it depends on your area and the shop employees as to your opinion/situation on this. As with everything people make shops bad to deal with or work with.
  • 4 0
 @Scotj009: i’d use the shop for amazing mechanical service even if that means some extra costs to me.. and it should be “amazing”, like factory quality, because “good” i can do myself.. sadly most shops i’ve visited did the job at around “average”.. most of the time i needed to tighet up or readjust things after i get the bike back.. and i am always leaving with a sense that i kind of payed for 100% of the service, but got about 90-95% and its not the best feeling
  • 3 0
 @Scotj009: I'm mechanically very proficient and I'd rather buy tools than pay someone to do work. I have time in my evenings to work on my bike and my wife will hang out in the shop and talk to me and help while I do it.

If I lost the ability to pick up quick parts locally, I wouldn't cry, it just wouldn't be as convenient.

As GZMS says, nearly every time I've had a shop do work I've had to adjust it at home.
  • 1 0
 I though would have been some mention of buying stuff on Pinkbike or is that for selling your old stuff?
  • 3 3
 I try and buy regular maintenance stuff like brake pads, tires, grease, or grips from my LBS. that gives me the chance to hit them with shop questions before I do my service.
  • 1 0
 Online for me. Even for suspension servicing. I ship it somewhere to BC, i forgot their name.
  • 1 0
 I used Jenson USA in Corona as my LBS when I lived close to them. Now that I live too far away I use their website.
  • 1 0
 I live in central London, there are no bike shops worth calling my "local".
  • 2 0
 The only thing i go to a lbs is to build or fix a wheel.
  • 1 0
 Or to buy or try on a new helmet.
  • 2 0
 A shop is only for when you need it now, otherwise Jenson has me covered!
  • 2 0
 Wouldn't you like to know, weather boy.
  • 2 0
 I let my ibis do the work!
  • 1 0
 I don't often go to my local LBS, but I rock the jersey so at least I look like i do.
  • 2 0
 LBS = Service, OBS = parts, IBS = gas. Pretty simple really!
  • 1 0
 I like going to the LBS to try on and buy clothing, helmets, knee pads, gloves and glasses.
  • 1 0
 since i‘m a Shopteam member of Biroma.ch and get 20 - 30% off of parts and service it‘s pretty clear where to go
  • 1 0
 Freeman's Bridge Sports Scotia, NY... The Best!
  • 2 1
 Pretty obvious in these comments who hasn't worked in a shop before
  • 1 0
 Tires are the most irritating, my LBS never carries tires
  • 1 0
 You forgot the "hind from the wife" as a reason to go to the lbs.
  • 1 0
 If my shop doesn't have it in stock, they can have it there NEXT day.
  • 1 1
 Scour the internet for the cheapest price
  • 2 2
 Support your local bike shop, they are happy to sell at MSRP. I'll pass.
  • 1 1
 RINCON MOUNTAIN BIKE PRO SHOP THE BEST BIKE SHOP IN THE WORLD 100%
  • 1 0
 I miss visiting The Hub.
  • 1 0
 Is that a shop name?
  • 1 0
 Is that the Hub in Roseville?
  • 1 0
 @PtDiddy: Or the Hub in Bellingham, WA
  • 1 0
 @rosemarywheel: Yeah, I am thinking there are a few Hubs out there.
  • 1 0
 @PtDiddy: The Hub in the article in Pisgah National Forrest, NC. www.thehubpisgah.com
  • 1 1
 A shop
  • 1 1
 we are a shop
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