Bikesdirect.com

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by some bloke, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. slbenz

    slbenz New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just recently purchased a Fantom Comp DS frame kit from Bikesdirect. Excellent communications via e-mail and the bike's quality is very good. I was hesitant at first to buy a frame kit sight unseen but it worked out very well. Been putting the new bike through the paces at my local trail and no problems to report. Bikesdirect is an excellent alternative to places like Colorado Cyclist and other online stores that sells bikes. Here's a picture of my new bike using parts off an old bike with the mountain I normally climb routinely in the background.
     


  2. jasong

    jasong New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fastwhitey, this is definitely the LBS theme often avoided in these threads. I think many of the people that have spent $$$ on cycling have also been considerably ripped off by the LBS. Sold a bike that didn't fit properly, bought a bike from a store that goes out of business but doesn't tell you this (ie. no warranty benefits now ("lifetime tuneups"), etc. I personally don't want to support some of activities that the LBS chooses to endorse.

    Cycling is a pretty unique sport that allows for one to achieve great fitness with an entertaining activity. However, I accuse the LBS of being responsible for making this innacessible to many people and for fueling the industry of continuing their questionable innovations and by sponsoring riders etc. When someone that knows nothing of cycling asks you how much your bikes cost and you respond $2k, how do they react? Even if you said $500, how? It's ridiculous. The momentum in this society also pushes people to over buy and not recognize that purchasing for 80% of their activities is a wiser decision.

    These club rides that are organized are very well organizable and less political when done by grass roots clubs that cost $15 a year to be a member. There's a ton more man-time available with a few hundred people and if you look at what's actually needed in organizing the vast majority of these activities, it's more helped by numbers than by business power or presence. They're the rides that are 2x every weekend and a few times during the week. Money isn't a requirement for this.

    So personally I don't see the need for many specializied LBSs. In my city we have 3 high end shops within 100 meters of each other. Why? Put the burden on the clubs and let them teach the mechanics and loan higher cost tools or offer classes where someone can help out. Bikes aren't overly complicated. I think the mail order system supplemented by local clubs really is a good paradigm for this sport. In the cases for trying on clothing, the mail order stores often times have MUCH more accomodating return policies than the LBS. I've returned stuff I've hung onto a year (unused) before with 0 problems.

    It's much more obvious when travelling to countries that actually rely on cycling as a sport/transportation how commercialized things are here. Yeah, there are high end shops everywhere, but you see a lot of people doing a LOT more in Spain or France on bikes that here would be ridiculed.

    Other sports have the same roots in being fomented through club activity but transforming into an elitist activity that presents many barriers to newcomers. Whitewater kayaking and skiing are two good examples.
     
  3. jack rackham

    jack rackham New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought a Lemond Zurich from my LBS - Bicycles, Etc. (www.bicyclesetc.net). 1 thing you won't get from bikes direct or any other on line retailer is the attention you get from your LBS. When I take my bike in - no matter what it's for - it gets adjusted and cleaned. I had it there last month for new tires and it came back clean and tuned up. I've had my Zurich for 5 years and these guys have kept it in tip top shape, many times for free and many times without me asking. I paid more for the bike initially, but I think after 5 years of this type of service, I got a better deal than any on-line shop.
     
  4. Vector7

    Vector7 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dude...quit whining!!! If you're losing money...why stay in business? It's a simple law of economics. Consumers are not going to pay more for something that they know they can get a better price for.

    That's why I went to www.token-usa.com to buy my replacement carbon parts after a really bad crash. My local sponsor shop price for all that I needed was $1,630 [team price]. I bought direct from www.token-usa.com and it only cost me $765 USD. For a poor racer like me, that is a significant savings. That's why I shop on-line and will continue to shop on-line at performance.com, coloradocyclist.com and other reputable on-line retailers. My dollar is more powerful when I do. I feel for the LBS's but something has to be done about the 250% to 350% mark-ups the shops are getting. In short, it's highway robbery. A total rip-off in my eyes.

    Tailwinds,
    Vector7
     
  5. Leozinho

    Leozinho New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I don't think it's right to test ride bikes at the LBS when you are planning to purchase it online, I don't buy the argument that without the LBS the cycling scene will suffer. Clubs, not bike shops, seem to organize races. Some do organize rides, but what's so hard about meeting in a parking lot for a group ride?

    My biggest problem with the LBS is the lack of selection. I spent a Saturday a few weeks ago driving to seven bike shops. I told each one that I was looking to spend $1000, maybe $1,200 if it was a bargain. I was shown 5 Treks (all 1200s I think), a Specialized comfort bike, a Cannondale and a Fuji that wasn't in my size. (I was ignored at the tri shop and at the local Performance store.) I ride a 56 or 57cm, so an odd size wasn't the reason for a lack of selection.

    I know that $1000 - $1200 doesn't offer a lot of choices, but where are the bikes from companies other than the Big Three? (Lance is great and all, but does everyone want to rike a Trek?). Jamis, Iron Horse, K2, KHS, etc; I see these bikes in Velonews in my price range, but the bike shops around me don't carry them.

    My next plan was to purchase a used bike on Ebay, but I ended up buying a flashy used Italian frame that caught my eye. It's taken me a few weeks to buy the various parts (some new stock, some used) on Ebay, but now I've almost completed building a handmade in Italy aluminum/carbon stay frame with 9 speed Veloce and Rolf Vector Pro wheels for roughly $1200.
     
  6. jasong

    jasong New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with your points about the selection. It just doesn't make sense for a retail store to try and stock a ton of stuff - they can't get rid of it quickly when they need to, have internal incentives to offload it on people that might not otherwise want it, etc. I more like the idea of having a fleet of bike styles that will give someone a very good idea of how something feels. Let them ride this, and then order the equivalent bike. Don't sell these bikes; use them as references. Build or order on demand and have very little inventory. The instant gratification isn't a great model for doing business, ie. walking away that day with your bike. Especially when these things costs as much as they do.

    The bike "brand" phenomenom is really ridiculous since it only applies to the frame, which to me, at least when one reaches a certain point in quality (which I believe for 90% of us is attainable with a $130 Leader Bike frame or for the remaining 8% a $5-700 budget Ti frame (and the remaining justly discerning 2% may have election of whatever)) seems to offer one of the fewer contributers to cycling. Everything else is off the shelf and can be chosen on demand. It's crazy when you ask someone : "what bike do you ride" and they respond a Trek or Cannondale, and someone thinks "Oh, that's a really good bike". And when someone has had a custom frame built and they say that companies name, it's perceived by the majority as being a noname. Which exactly shows how backwards the brandname has become. The better is perceived as without value and the generic as so. Who contributes to this? The marketing of the LBS and focusing on such a tight band of brands and the price inflation that's twisted with all of this that propagates out and ends up equating resell value with brand name recognition (which ironically only applies to the frame!). Decent components/wheels far outcost the just price (which I cited above) of the frame component.
     
  7. John D.

    John D. New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
  8. Gadrides

    Gadrides New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do this with bikes and guitars. They charge 50% markup in most cases so the very few of us that do this do not harm them as much as they harm our wallets. LOL What shop do you run? :D
     
  9. jasong

    jasong New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don´t think there is a 50% markup with complete bikes (I hear 30%, but then tax hits you (~10% in TN), which never hits us for mail order), but you´re limited to the selection on hand which means that it does end up being 50% or more than a comparable quality bike (ie. a coupon'ed PerformanceBike 105 level road bike versus a Trek 105 level road bike would be some 50% less). Why the LBS's don't try to get the noname frame styles with identical components and try to explain that there's no essentially no difference is a big complaint I have for them.
     
  10. Gadrides

    Gadrides New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ideal - who owns Fuji makes lots of the bikes
    and many are exact duplicates

    Fuji Track and Windsor Hour - same bike
    Fuji Team Superlight and Motobecane le Champion SL - same bike
    also lots of others - too many to list

    plus more
    KHS FLITE 100 and Mercier KILO TT - same bike
    etc

    Fact is many people are paying double for bikes made by the same people with different logos on them.
     
  11. houdiniman

    houdiniman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am 48 years old and just bought my first bike since college. I plan to do some commuting (around town trips etc) and riding in some local bike events. I looked hard at two LBS, bikes direct and Ebay. When in finally came down to it, esp for my first bike, I went to the LBS and bought a specialized allez elite. Yes I could have bought the same components etc for less on bikes direct - I wanted the personalized service and expertise provided by the LBS. I am happy with my decision and am hoping that my tail bone will feel better in the next few days ( I of course over did it the first ride!)

    I looked at cannondale, giant, trek and specialized. seemed the best value for price and components were on the specialized - I am big 6'4"" 230 lbs - selection was also an issue.
     
  12. Gadrides

    Gadrides New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    To each his own on where you purcahse and how much you spend. Some people like going to local shops. What I do when I'm in the market for a guitar model I've never played I go to the local music store and try them out then purchase online with the same warranty for about 40-50% off what the local shop charges. With bikes you can only do this with a few brands because most are not allowed to be sold online. But for those who would rather save money on much of the same thing bikesdirect is the way to go.

    I'm the same size you are now. I was 6'4" 250, but now I'm at 232 as of this morning. I use a Bowfles too though so some of its muscle. I tried the Allez and ended up going with the Sequoia and I got it for much less after I mentioned what some other online retailers had them listed for, even though they are not allowed to sell them online. Just smart shopping.
     
  13. westpenncyclist

    westpenncyclist New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    What you describe is very true and an unfortunate reality for the LBS industry. And (most things being equal) I advocate shopping at an LBS before buying online. But maybe there would be more customer loyalty if more LBSs didn't prey on the ignorance of first time buyers and newbies if they sold customers what they actually wanted or needed rather than what was in stock at the time. Or only made the necessary repairs. In my experience, those are the all too frequently told complaint among riders I've talked to over the years.
     
  14. free_rideman

    free_rideman New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am at a point now that I don't need the bike shop for fitting myself to a bike. That being said, I bought my frameset online and I love it. For the performance it is worth the price, and it is cheaper than anything I could have gotten at the LBS. The same thing happened with the wheels. They just couldn't match the price and quality of what I was getting.

    So I saved a lot, and they were pretty pissed, but guess what? I bought all my other parts there. And I always do. I never by small little parts online. The great thing about my LBS, is they are pretty good at matching online prices. At least they are making some profit. And if not, they tell me, and I pay the $10-20 bucks extra for a part, because I know that later they will take care of me. When I look back, the bike shop was the thing that gave me the backbone of what I know today. And I love supporting them, and telling everyone else that my LBS is the greatest.


    -But yes, they do make more money off of novice riders looking for a low range bike. Since now I know a lot, I am trying not to waste there time as much, since I won't get any new information that I don't already know.

    LBSs rock!
     
  15. tyler12

    tyler12 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought a bike for $324 from them through ebay, its cheaper than through the site. Just read my feedback on ebay-my user name is 5.0loco. The bike only needed a set of good wheels as the ones that came with it couldn't hold a 110 lb. sexy chick. I can hold one, though.
     
Loading...
Loading...