Every spring there is an influx of riders keen to get into mountain biking, and at Pinkbike and Outside, we know that these newcomers are often overwhelmed with information and opinions. So, we’re launching a multi-part series called MTB Explained, where we help new riders navigate some of the basics of our sport. If you’re new, welcome to the best damn sport in the world, and if you’re a long-time rider let’s welcome these folks to the club.
So you've decided to buy a new bike, congrats! You're certainly making the right decision, your kids don't need that trip to Disneyland this year and your car definitely isn't making a weird noise. Validation aside, once your sights are set on a new ride the decision as to where to buy it can be pretty tricky, given all the options available.
As one of the more hotly contested debates in the cycling industry, the issue of where to buy your bike will always be a testy one for those who feel invested in the matter. To provide some context and background, the rising trend of direct-to-consumer bike brands may feel brand new, but has actually been around for some time, starting as far back as 1996 with Canyon's first foray into online bike sales. With the rise of online shopping in general, the Direct sales model has started to eat up more and more of the traditional brick and mortar bike shop business. Retail bike sales are a critical part of the business model for many shops, with service and smaller non-bike sales filling in the rest of the coffer. For the sake of transparency, I worked for years as a mechanic at a small local bike shop, and hold a lot of love for the culture and community that a good bike shop can create for customers and employees. Call it bias, call it experience, just something to consider.
I have too many thoughts on this topic, so in the interest of simplicity, I'll break it down to a few critical parts: Quality/Value, Test Riding, and Service.Quality and Value
Leading off, we have one of the main reasons that drives people to online retailers: the price. Compared to the traditional brick & mortar bike shop model, the overhead and distribution costs are relatively small for consumer-direct brands. This leads to a lower overall cost, even when comparing two bikes with very similar spec kits.
That said, as the online retail market heats up, as it progressively has for a few years now, that value proposition is starting to wane. Prices haven't quite equalled out, but online brands have started to work a heavier profit into their pricing, similar to the trajectory many tech startups follow. Start low, and slowly raise prices to the target point.
It's no mystery that many local bike shops have struggled with the competition posed by online retailers, but that's only half the picture. In order to keep their retail bikes selling, companies that don't sell online have had to work quite a bit harder to get people to make the effort to get into the shop and pick up the newest model. This means more competitive pricing, incentives for in-shop buying, and harder marketing pushes.
Somewhere between those two options are the brands taking the omnichannel
approach. Notably, some massive industry players like Specialized and Trek have made this shift, to very mixed reactions. Alicia wrote about the change at Specialized last year in a well-considered piece
showing the value of both sides.
Essentially, this shift results in the brand being able to sell both online and in-store, a win-win for the big companies. This can also be a more convenient experience for the customer, as their online purchase can be delivered to their local dealer, with the mechanics there assembling and prepping the bike.
For as tight as pricing is starting to get, quality is even tighter. It used to be that many direct-to-consumer brands had a bad rap for producing low-quality frames, with solid componentry slapped on to dress things up. That's far from the case now, with some of the higher end retail-only brands now being matched in quality by the online competition. Thankfully you have us at Pinkbike to be the arbiters of quality, so stay tuned to the reviews to come should you need some guidance.Test Riding
In my mind, this is the single biggest argument for going to a bike shop, as opposed to shopping online. Same as trying on a pair of shoes, you really should hop on a bike to at least check the general fit before pulling the trigger on a pretty hefty purchase. Many online retailers do offer some sort of return policy, but the hassle of that is immense when compared to the guidance and ease of pedaling a few options at your local shop.
To be fair, all brands have sizing tables that tend to include rider height and whatnot, but that's a pretty vague starting point for something that matters a lot to your ride experience. I've seen far too many people on bikes that don't fit them, even though they might've been in the height bracket provided by a given manufacturer.
I'll use myself as an example: I'm 6'3", and according to just about every sizing table out there I should ride either an XL or XXL, depending on the brand. However, I really like bikes with around 485mm reach, which ends up being most brands' size L, given the trend of ever-lengthening frames. I'd probably get along well enough with the bike recommended to me by the size charts, but I know for certain that I'm riding better and having more fun on the bikes I had a chance to feel out first. Service
For the longest time, service was the main argument for buying a bike at a traditional shop, as online sellers simply couldn't offer the long-term care that a local shop provides. However, with the new omnichannel *shudder*
approaches some brands are taking, there's more follow-up available to folks who buy their bikes directly from the brand.
Operationally, this is no different for the consumer, as they simply go to the bike shop in question and pick up their Trek, Specialized, etc. after it's been built up by one of the mechanics there. On the shop's end of things, they still make a cut of the sale, but without much say on what their profit margin is, and without being able to control their inventory. This also removes one of the nice elements of buying a model off the floor of a shop, which I'll call the pre-sale parts swap. Say you want that hot new downcountry whip, but you don't like the cockpit it comes with. Many shops will offer an upgrade to something more in line with your preference, and discount you some for the replacement of the original parts - also meaning you won't have to try to sell those bars afterwards. A small detail, but those things add up, and often result in a bike that better suits you and your needs.
As a response to this parts-swapping issue, many consumer-direct brands have worked some sort of a-la-carte approach into their builds, with varying levels of parts selection available. Commencal and Fezzari seem to be leading the charge on this front, with the full gamut of options available to the consumer, down to the seatpost clamp and headset. The fully-custom build has always been a feature of the boutique bike shop, but the disconnect with online stores has always meant the reach is relatively small. One of my local shops, Fanatik Bike Co., has built an online custom bike builder
that allows people to build up the ride of their dreams from a variety of brands that don't typically retail online in this fashion. It's a very clever system if you ask me, and I could see more local shops offering a similar service to compete with consumer-direct options. Some Conclusions
In the end, you have to make the decision that's right for you, depending on your wants and needs. If you're looking for the all-out cheapest option, it's still hard to beat the online sellers - the prices are too low to argue with if you're simply trying to get into the sport. For people who want a bike that's going to be best suited for them, and who value the experience and service of a local bike shop, the in-person experience is going to be the best move. No amount of slick packaging can replace the care of a well-seasoned bike mechanic, even as consumer-direct brands start to flesh out their service channels, through mobile shops and permanent shops. There are plenty of brands and stores out there to choose from these days, it's just a matter of finding the one that feels right to you.
Happy buying, and happy trails!
Also helps to artificially steepen the STA.
May i suggest trying the @aenomolycomponents switchgrade,
It is pretty awesome, and is even better in the descend mode
Why save a few hundred and have no warranty?
This may be part of why it's taking so long to sell. People get squirrely about mis-labeled bikes (intentional?). Especially when there is so much choice out there.
I think the market is saturated, so many people got new bikes in the last few years so either dont need a bike or are trying to sell their own.
£300 RC car shows up..
(was looking at a HPI but, reviews said they can be a bit fragile)
Also don't run it in wet or muddy weather, it will do it but the fun to frustration ratio swings massively against fun when you have to clean it and replace bearings.
Putting it together couldn't have been any easier if they tried. If you can adjust your seatpost, install pedals, and adjust your brake levers, you can "build" a direct to consumer (DTC) bike. But there are plenty of people out there who don't even want to do that, and they're more than happy to buy locally. But for those who don't mind, and would like to save a fair amount of cash, buying a DTC shouldn't be thought of as something scary.
"Good luck with the warranty." As if dealing with a local shop can be much better. Both DTC companies and those who operate with independent retailers still all rely on getting parts. The warranty is only as good as the company behind it, and has nothing to do with how it was delivered.
"You're killing your local bike shop." Look, everyone has to eat, I get it. But some people literally can't afford to pay the premium most shops charge when a DTC can offer the same, or sometimes more, for less. That's why I went with a YT over any brand offered in a shop. I'm also not willing to haggle with someone in a local bike shop. I hate buying cars, I don't want to hate buying bikes.
Some people have the know- how to assemble a bike they buy online and want to take advantage of the lower prices and that's fine, but if you think it's a better experience than going into a shop and talking to someone who's passionate about connecting people with outdoor recreation then you've been spending too much time on the internet.
I don’t know, guys. There are advantages and disadvantages to buying online. I’d say the advantages weren’t what they were 5-10 years ago. You used to be able to get good deals online, but now shops and online are about equal. Shops had to compete. They caught on and matched online prices for the most part. Or they told manufacturers that online sales were killing their business, so manufacturers told online distributors that prices need to match up with the MSRP.
I bought a bike once from a direct to consumer brand. Won’t do it again. It’s the only bike I ever bought that I wasn’t satisfied with. You spend this kind of money, you definitely want to try it out first.
I am literally that person. Almost everything I buy in life is on sale or clearance (groceries, clothes, bikes, phones and skis). I don't get the newest and greatest anything but I like the thrill of shopping for the deal.
So here goes
No one has ever said any of those things to you,
You do not have to "haggle" at any store, simply pay the price marked on the tag and frig the hell off. If you want to pay less, buy used, or try to haggle, no one cares.
Saying you dont have the money to pay premium at a bike shop is a piss poor justification for anything. If you want to buy a DTC bike, then buy a DTC bike. Jeez
Just pay for what you want and move on, youve made a big deal about nothing
Answer: because they usually have large enough margins that they're able to, just like auto dealerships.
As far as the rest, you can definitely walk into a bad shop with a bad vibe. I was an adult working in this shop as a later-in-life/mental health change and while there could be some stressors, I really enjoyed doing the service customer greets, service writing, and trying to get someone the best bang for their "bike shop dollar", whether it was fixing what they had or considering a new upgrade. As someone with mechanical and warranty experience, DTC doesn't scare me but sizing a bike does. That can be an expensive experiment. I've already discovered late in life I have a shorter than "average" inseam and it makes me rethink my current fleet.
If I buy a bike assembled by you, I'll have to service it myself before the first ride to stop it from being a liablility anyway, so what exactly should I pay your margin for? And the post purchase "service"? Lol. I'm never letting a bored shop kid touch my bikes. Ever.
As for maintenance, buy a fairly simple wrench kit and go to YOUTUBE. Huge resource. I'm no wrench head at all but I've gained a ton of knowledge on bike maintenance and repair simply by going to YouTube.
die Fachhändler reparieren gern Versender Bikes, die Kunden müssen den Service doch genauso zahlen und der Händler verdient Geld.
Und haben potentielle Kunden für Zubehör im Haus.
Bestenfalls sogar Werbung, falls sie sich nicht wie die letzten Motherf... Gegenüber dem Kunden verhalten haben.
Almost all customers are great, they come into bike shops because they're excited about bikes and that's awesome. There's a small minority that are a pain, just like there's a small minority of shops/ shop employees that are jerks.
But, for everyone on here saying how terrible every shop they've ever been to is: if you got fired from every job you've ever had it's pretty likely that you're at fault, and if you hated every shop you've ever been into it's pretty likely that you're one of those minority of bad customers.
As for the DTC prices, they’re lower, but it’s not like youre gettting twice the bike for the money. Maybe 20 percent more.:.
"Why do you want that tire, it's like over 900 grams...that's really heavy" (has no idea who I am, where I ride)
"What is Tri-flow?" (still amazed by this)
Odd look, like when a dog doesn't understand when I ask for a length of SP-41.
I've watched someone pull a cable out of the bulk box and have it drag across the shop floot on the way to the register...
I don't think DTC or LBS is better than the other, it just comes down to a consumer's price sensitivity.
Holy shit yes! Businesses that don't get this simple concept don't deserve to be in business. I live close to World Wide Cyclery, who basically only sells dentist's bikes, but they will gladly work on anything at the drop of the hat. I love them and they've gained a life long customer.
I try to support bikeshops where i can, and advocate to all my friends to do the same. Those shops support us, the riders like us in ways that some dont always realize. They support the organizations that build trails, organizations that provide trail advocacy, and youth programs, that also in turn support the bike shops, kinda cyclical.
You can always find a cheaper version of what you want, but dont expect the LBS to drop their prices maybe below what they paid, to give you a deal.
Thankfully we are moving past the days of "giving a buddy a deal" if youre buddies, support your buddies, and dont expect that people should give stuff away.
Bike shops, like most retail operations make a lot of their money on volume. By percentage, shops dont make the most of their money on the big bike sales, they make it on high volume, high return items like tubes, clothes, etc.
You believe the LBS's are mostly out of touch, and arent meeting your needs? I think we, as the very vocal minority think that we are much more importatn than we really are.
The bulk of the market, is not niche mountain bikers by and large, its regular mtb's, commuter, and road bikes. So they might be meeting the needs of their larger market.
Here in town we have shops that cater to niche mtbers, so I'm fairly lucky, but for the most part, I dont buy branded clothes, I do all my own service, and mostly go into shops to look at cool new gear, shoot the shit, and see whats going on.
We surrond ourselves with like minded individuals, and think we are the most important user group, when in reality, all the shops I worked at, outsold Hybrid bikes 20:1 full sus mtbs.
I recognize thatthere are shops that sell MTbs only, and specialize in DH, or Enduro, or XC, but their sales pale in comparison to the general bikes, and commuter bike sales.
If an item ever went into the system below msrp and i caught it, they'd adjust the price immediately. If I caught a price that was too high most of the time they would leave it. Especially during covid where "well its hard to get so we'll leave it". I always cringed when people bought products we'll above MSRP because they didn't know.
Some reason we are cool with someone charging us less than MSRP, but get real persnickety when its above MSRP.
Can we agree that an in demand item might be "worth" more to someone than the MSRP, especially if its scarce, as things were during covid?
I always try to value things rather than get caught up in the actual pricing of something. If a titanium 3d printed stem is $300, that seems more expensive than I'd want to pay, so I dont buy it. I appreciate the work, skill and materials that go into making it, but its not a purchase for me. A $100 I9 stem, might be something id consider, if I was looking for something blingy, but in reality, the off-brand stem on my bike serves its purpose just fine. Now, if im at the bike park, and I break my stem, I'd prolly shell out the $200 for whatever the hell is immediately available.
A rural bike shop that serves a smaller community has different constraints than an online retailer that might serve thousands of more customers. Why we feel that they should compete on price is beyond me, and it kills smaller retailers.
Obviously you guys choose to do what you want with your money, its not for me to say, just trying to point out the different challenges that might not be so obvious
Value is perceived by all of us, on everything we choose to, or not to purchase.
Same as anything used, the price is set by the owner of said item, anyone purchasing gets to decide if its worth it. Making it individually subjective.
Were not all running around on AXS or XTR drivetrains due to their perceived values by individuals. I ride GX/ SLX stuff, as they provide a better value to me over X01, or XX!/XTR, theres no ROI for me to spend more, as in my stem example.
But, IF its the only alternative at the time, and I really want to ride my bike (splashed out on a trip to Moab) I'll pony up for whatever is available to get me back on trail.
Im not advocating for a wholesale change of anything, its simply a way for the individual to look at pricing when they are shopping for a thing.
You have the individual power to determine if something is of value to you or not, complaining about the price of something is a fairly pointless activity. Either it is worth purchasing, or it isnt, for a number of reasons.
My first modern mountain bike, after being out of the sport seriously for a couple of years, I had a list of criteria.
had to hold a water bottle
$3000 budget, all were factors, so I had to buy used to meet the criteria, took a couple months, but I found exactly what I wanted, for $3300. In the time it took, I was able to bump by budget to $3500, so I ended up being under budget to but the bike. It wasnt something to complain about, it was just the way things were. Retail pricing is the same, sometimes theres sales, sometimes the stores are trying to raise capital, sometimes its the distro, sometimes its the manufacturers, prices fluctuate, so their perceived value constantly changes.
but i hear you and i think we're fundamentally on the same page.
Stop the "buy new" addiction!!!
Use your current bike and components, maintain them untill they are at the end of their life ! You dont need a new bike !!
Second hand is your friend
And this is gonna blow your mind — we’re all at different points in the cycle of needing new. Some will need “new” tomorrow, others next year. Still others in two or three years. So you know what? The cycle never ends. Good thing we have people manufacturing and selling these things so that when we need/want it, it’s there.
Old New stock is the best bet. Buy new, just don't buy it right when it's released.
My newly acquired used Fugitive gets way more props at trailheads than my fancy new Carbon bike. Everytime I take it out, everytime, I get a "cool bike" or a thumbs up.
I was in the "not for me" crowd, but traded it with a friend for a Sentinel, and I gotta say, this thing rocks. The frame details are pretty amazing, fit and finish are incredible, alignment is dead on, and it is way more fun to ride than I expected. Also, theyre customer service has been outstanding, as has Transitions. I've never had such good customer service as I have with those two companies (shout out to @KNOLLYBIKES and @TransitionBikeCompany)
I might love this thing.....
Was in the market for a New/Used Pike Lyrik (140-150) the nonsense people would tell me was wild. I'd ask for a pic of the serial number, to check on what I was buying (you can just punch in the serial number into the RS Trailhead app, and find out exactly what it is) 7 times out of 10, they had replaced CSU's so the info didnt match what they were selling. Or they wouldnt give me the serial number for fear I was going to do something nefarious.
One clown, tried to pass off a SRAM warranty claim for a blown damper and CSU, as a factory custom rebuild, then got all pissy when I called him on it.
I honestly looked up info on 10 different forks, only to be disappointed every time.
Selection was real bad for a while there, I almost spent $1100 on a used Lyrik.....friggin glad I didnt in the end.
Havent pulled the trigger yet, still riding the Fox 36, Grip 2 factory fork, just reduced travel to 140.
Really hoping I can make a 23 Lyrik reduce down to 140mm, as I think that would make a sweet fork for this bike.
Its the rider, not the bike
Reuse: buying second hand is cheaper, and much better for the environment!
Recycle: if it is high time for a change/upgrade, sell your bike at a non-inflated price to someone who will keep shredding on it for years to come!
That and sitting in the basement listening to tunes, drinking coffee or a beer, and wrenching is really enjoyable (to me, I get some people have no interest.)
Love the bike, the parts & the tweaking and testing
Goes hand in hand with loving the trails and working in/on them
Long love the classified section, my third home
Given that wages are generally poor in cycling, I don't hold out much faith that we'll see an uptick in professionalism over passion soon, but I am very willing to be proven wrong.
The whole section on "Test Riding" is awkward. I don't know of a single LBS that will let me actually take a bike on a test ride. If I get the tires dirty, they're going to chrage me. One LBS won't even let you do a parking lot test without putting down thousands just to walk it outside. Parking lot tests aren't even that useful. Demo days are much more useful, and both DTC manufactures and others offer these.
Here in the UK stores/manufacturers will often put on demo days where you pay a nominal fee and get to ride a number of bikes over a short loop, often at a trail centre. You can try different types of bikes across multiple manufacturers to see what the difference is, what you like, and what you see yourself riding.
For a beginner, blinded by a wealth of categories of bike and no real understanding of geometry, that experience is worth its weight in gold...
How am I going to fly to the UK to demo a Cotic? f*ck it, I just ordered one.
If you based some of your knowledge on your riding experiences of different bikes, then that is what a multi bike demo day will provide.
I'll also add that I had a quick look at YT's page earlier and, not only do they do demo days here in the UK, but they also do suspension running sessions. That's class in my opinion, and a really good option for beginners (and a lot of experienced riders)...
My local shop is great, it’s like CHEERS, everybody knows my name, lol.
Happy to give them my business because of the service.
Shout out to North Shore Bike Shop.
Moral of the story, these hoes ain't loyal.
Example: Canyon Spectral 125 cf7 that I just purchased was 2999 CAD on their website. That worked out to 3700 CAD after import fees and taxes. select plus suspension, gx drivetrain, DT swiss wheels, and code rs brakes. There isn't a bike from a LBS that can remotely come close to that build and price point, even on sale.
One thing to note as well is if you have ever worked at an LBS, is once you see the actual prices through staff discount or even pro deal stuff, it's a tough pill to swallow and pay full dime when youre out of the system and onto a new job.
1) If your bike shop gets all crabby and shames you for buying stuff online, find a new one. It's up to them to stay competitive. If you want to support them, ask if they'll price match an online price.
2) If you want good and timely service at a bike shop, the best way to build that long term relationship is by purchasing a bike there. If you support a local business, they will most likely support you back. Bikes purchased from this shop always take priority in the service queue over the YTs and Canyons.
3) If you are a good home mechanic, why not save some $$$ by buying online? If you aren't, don't be surprised when you get charged a bunch of money for "a couple little things" on your new DTC bike.
4) Lastly, before you make a purchase online, think about where you would be without your local shop. No last minute tube purchase before a ride, no place to demo bikes, no place to check out new products in person, etc. etc. Chances are your local shop also helps build the trails you ride and sponsors your local trail organization, too.
Buy stuff online or don't. I suppose there are pros and cons to both...
I'd prefer to buy online since I can't be bothered to drive back to the shop for something I could fix myself. It's why Commencal is a good option.
1 hard tail -> DTC
1 road bike - LBS
1 gravel bike - LBS but not local to me.
1 full sus - LBS
1 fat bike - LBS
i can say with 100% confidence that the bikes i purchased locally were no better assembled than the DTC bike.
obviously, i had to assemble the gravel bike and the hard tail. (wheels, bars and seat post) and set the indexing.
for all the local bikes, i had to set the indexing as the bike shop didn't do it for me and i found out the hard way when i dropped my chain into the chainstay. the exception is the fatbike. it was set up well. HOWEVER, the steerer tube was too short and the top cap bottomed out causing a creek, so i had to add a spacer to clean that up.
as for warranty, i had 1 headset bearing replaced on the full sus. it also came with a bad tire that wouldn't seat on the bead (it would blow off the rim) but they wouldn't get me a warranty replacement.
long story short, in my experience, id rather save money on a bike, because I have not seen a personal benefit to buying local yet. however the ability to physically ride a bike would entice me to buy local than hoping the geo charts fit me.
Also, my local shop now stocks so little "fun" stuff. I can't go in and see the latest forks, the latest high end brake upgrades. I can't hold/try the 10 latest carbon bars to see their sweep, etc. They all only special order it in for you. So what's the point?
Case in point.
I just bought a YT Izzo Core 4. Full Carbon, Full X01 Eagle, DT XMC1501 carbon wheels, RF TurbineNext 35 Stem/Bar. $5,299 CAD + $130 shipping.
To get a bike with that spec at a LBS was going to be $10,000-$11,000+ tax.
And the YT Izzoa has been extremely well reviewed online. So I had the confidence it would be the right bike for my riding style.
I'm sorry to the LBS that didn't get my business. But there's no chance they could've offered me a bike like that for $5,430. I'd be riding an aluminum SX / Deore bike with mid-grade suspension from any of the major bike brands. And frame-only for any of the boutique brands.
I've steered at least 3-4 of my local riding buddies who have very little mechanical know-how also to DTC brands in the last 18 months and they have had ZERO issue with no LBS "support". So DTC is not only for the mechanically inclined.
A lot of people do this for bikes they buy from Evo and pick up in-store in Portland
I know, easier said than done. Some don’t have the luxury to choose a shop that best suits their needs, the type or brand of bike, but if you do, support your local shop as much as possible. It’s worth it to make friends and and get into the local cycling community. The benefits go beyond having a place to service your bike or buy parts.
Another point to support your LBS is that they probably support the local cycling association, sponsor or host events, donate prizes, etc. There is tangible value there, not just for you and me, but for the future of cycling.
Other problem, here is an exemple; A shop tell a friend " we can order your commencal clash for free here in the shop if you want okey ?"
they ask 80e to mount it and they made scratches on the frame. I understand they have to make some money but 80e to put a handlebar and a front wheel..
And the last problem in few shops. The mechanics have very poor knowledge. They don't know what is PM to PM, 1 1/8 headset bearing, tokens, etc.
I would like to buy my future bike in a shop but i have no more confidence in mechanics and they sell only expensive brand
The numbers don't sort for bikes much below 2.5k (I've checked), but there's a real place for boutique shops that go hard in on fitting and service. The problem right now is finding affordable commercial real estate close enough to a major client base that you can stay in business when the weather turns gross.
I love cycling in pretty much all its forms (sorry, triathletes) and it's a bummer that a shop model like this excludes lower-income folk (like me!) but I think it's one of the best ways forward as margins continue to tighten. If you're near enough to an area with good infrastructure, you could even build in a high-end family bike business if you're feeling adventurous. Lotta per-hour labor bucks to be had on bakfeits, cargo bikes and other weirdness.
Wheel and Sprocket in Hales Corner, WI was amazing. I bought a Salsa Timberjack from them in 2017 for around $1400 and that came with two full services. They adjusted my shifting and warrantied a crapped out bottom bracket for me. That was definitely worth it.
What price do I pay to see the stoke of shop employees with genuine enthusiasm for the sport ? The profit they get feeds the family of the employees and shop owners. Maybe I'll see the whole family on the trails next ride .
I'm not rich but I'm also not so unbelievably cheap that my hard earned dollars can't stretch a bit farther into the pockets of my local business.
I spread my mediocre paycheck to many local brick and mortar businesses.
To me economy is based on keeping my local community healthy and happy .
Wealth is the smiles on people's faces . Value is how my money is spent not on what I save .
I asked this of a few friends locally and responses were mixed. Interested on what you all think and if you could provide details and why-Cheers
And like @ak-77 said, bikes put together by shop staff are death traps before you check them over yourself anyway. The rise of online trade is a blessing for customers, not just in the bike industry and not just because of prices.
If a specific bike is only available through a shop then I guess I'd have to suffer through it, but my experience buying bikes online has been infinitely better. Not even in the same league.
The good mechanics set up their own businesses outside the authorised dealer/franchise networks.
Personally, I believe that some sort of Tire Rack style of omni-channel will become common. Tire Rack will ship your car or truck tires to your house if you don't need an installer or they'll ship them to one of their very many installer partners if you need installation. That seems like the best of all worlds to me - shops can keep inventory or not, customers can have a shop relationship or not, small bike brands can have a customer perception of shop presence even if they're really DTC, and small bike shops can have a customer perception of more brand availability. I know this is already happening to some degree, but it's not common as far as I can tell.
Problem is now, between mountain biking, and snowboarding, and motorcycling, and all the other stuff I do, I cant buy new bikes too often. Or snowboards, or motorcycles. So I have to pick and choose what I buy, and find it on sale. Usually the internet wins out with at least 30% off new bikes a year old.
At this point, now I just buy a frame and build it up myself. Do my own suspension service etc. Its not rocket science.
we will have to build it up.. Anyway, you're definitely not an xl, you need a large. We have some right here".
I'm 6'5"... but even if I was 4'5" sell me the damn xl that I asked for when I called to see if they we in.
Been building up my own bikes for years, don't need a shop for that..but purchasing a frame and wheels from the local shop makes things easy and retains the small "business" side friendship...
I have seen it alot times that the guys that order DTC often ask for help adjusting or whatever is thats wrong with their bike - but too proud or cheap to ask the local dealer. If you take the time to establish a certain relationship, business related or not - I am more than 100% sure it always pays out.
I have a local mechanic that I do support from time to time (either when I lack a tool to do a job or time, since i do prefer to do my own wrenching). He can order things home if needed, but him and I have an agreement that I will generally take care of buying the parts, since he doesn't stock that much stuff and most stuff will be a special order for him. He has also expressed a interest in the more special parts I come with, since I often buy from smaller lesser known brands, but only if they offer something a larger brand doesn't. He gets to widen his knowledge, spend less time looking for parts for me and have a customer that isn't pushing him on money and time.
Now I also don't have the best experience with LBS people, most in my area have no clue about MTBs and just try to push things on you.
I think the thing many people online forget is that not everyone lives close to LBS that stock many MTB specific things, let alone higher end parts. Something as simple as a helmets is next to impossible for me to buy at a LBS since they only stock 3-4 mtb helmets and usually it's bell and giro, where neither brand fit me, no-one stocks Lazer or POC.
If I can’t even look at, sit on or demo a bike at the local store then what am I paying for v buying on line?
After that i bought a commencal, destroyed the rocker, had a new one 7 days later, cost me 0€
If you can fix your own bike - you know where to buy.
If you are getting into biking - buy from a shop and don't buy expensive
If you want to buy new because your current bike isn't good enough, have you tried new tyres/brakes first?
All my bikes up until my latest (Commencal Meta) have been via an LBS, and I did get value from the price premium without a doubt with good advice, testing and fitting.
At this point, with the Meta, I knew exactly what I wanted and got the best VFM online.
But anyone who goes to an LBS, tries out bikes / shoes / whatever, then once they are happy goes home and buys that thing online for cheaper is a sh1trat.
I love sorting out the internet purchases.
My last two purchases have been frames off But/Sell. Way more fun to keep the old legends running.
, someone is still riding that. It would have been such a waste if they had made me destroy a perfectly good front triangle and chainstay.
The facts not enough riders to support bike shops.
If everyone isn’t using them….. the inventory needs to turn over.
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