Cycle Shops - Cost v's Loyalty (merged)

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Fraggle, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    There are plenty of people who will keep you LBS in business by walking in and buying a Trek Madonne just because lance ride it. Personally, I enjoy working on bikes and thus take great enjoyment out of buying parts and installing them myself. The web stores are geared towards that. Aside from cost, you LBS really doesn't want to get involved with ordering you 20 dollar parts so you can build your own bike. My LBS gets loads of great advertising every time we race for him.
     


  2. graf zeppelin

    graf zeppelin New Member

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    I like to support my LBS as much as possible, but I have to admit to shopping smart. I send all the business I can to my LBS, even spending more there on some things. Mostly its consumables, odds and ends I need immediately if I havent stocked up on them or if an emergency comes up, and service. For the most part, larger purchases I have to make online. It just doesnt make sense to spend a hundred or hundreds more on something when you can get it for less, not matter what your budget is.

    While I understand where the OPs verbal adversary was coming from, I truly cant find any fault in shopping around, be it online or elsewhere, for cycling parts or anything else for that matter.
     
  3. frkm0005

    frkm0005 New Member

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    I agree with not having to spend an arm and a leg on parts.

    In the last 2 seasons I've spent $7000 on 2 bikes from the LBS. After purchasing the second bike this year I decided I wanted better wheels to match the other high end parts (what's the point of having a kick ass bike with so-so wheels). So I shopped around and found a pair of Mavic Ksyrium ES's on Probikekit.

    Man what an amazing set of wheels and what an awesome deal. The LBS was offering them for $1400 (canadian dollars) and once I completed the order from Probikekit I only burned $910 (including delivery and customs). But that's not the only thing. If I purchased the wheels from the LBS I also would have been charged 15% sales tax. So I saved $700 on the price.

    When it comes to bikes I will always purchase a full bike from the LBS. I get peace of mind with warranty knowing that I'm not having to call England to complain about my frame and they usually offer a deal because you're purchasing the whole thing.

    For extra parts, such as new shifters or wheels I will find the best deal on the web.

    I'm sorry but unlike professional riders I'm not getting paid to ride the manufacturer's equipment, I'm paying them.
     
  4. 2WheelsGood

    2WheelsGood New Member

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    Even when I used to work in a shop I didn't have a problem with people ordering online. Everybody makes a judgement about what value is added by paying higher prices to buy from a local store. Being a bike mechanic by trade, obviously when I left the business it was pointless for me to pay shop prices since I didn't need their expertise to install/repair/maintain my bike. For some people the value added is totally worth it.

    The ONLY problem I ever had with it was people coming in the shop for us to help them decide what to order. "what size BB do I need?" "will these tires fit my wheels?" "what size seat post should I order?" OK, now that really pisses me off. Don't try to scam the value a LBS provides then go buy it somewhere else cheaper. Some people don't get it.
     
  5. 2WheelsGood

    2WheelsGood New Member

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    Even when I used to work in a shop I didn't have a problem with people ordering online. Everybody makes a judgement about what value is added by paying higher prices to buy from a local store. Being a bike mechanic by trade, obviously when I left the business it was pointless for me to pay shop prices since I didn't need their expertise to install/repair/maintain my bike. For some people the value added is totally worth it.

    The ONLY problem I ever had with it was people coming in the shop for us to help them decide what to order. "what size BB do I need?" "will these tires fit my wheels?" "what size seat post should I order?" OK, now that really pisses me off. Don't try to scam the value a LBS provides then go buy it somewhere else cheaper. Some people don't get it.
     
  6. Fraggle

    Fraggle New Member

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    Some interesting comments, thankyou to all who posted.

    A common theme seems to be a balance between paying a little extra for your parts and keeping good relationship with you LBS and purchasing some bargin items over the net.

    I dropped into the LBS yesterday afternoon, needed new bar tape and had a flight deck (which was purchased online) that need to be fitted :eek: The LBS where i have purchased many items (shoes, knicks, headstems and numerous other items) said that he had no problem installing the flightdeck, but he would charge me full rates to do it. No problem for me, didn't expect or ask for a discount.

    Whilst he was installing it I bought up the topic of online ordering, very diplomatically of course, his general opinion was that it is OK to a point and that he understands that there will be some items that a consumer will by online due to cost (because of import duties, labour and shop rental costs that the LBS cannot match). That a customer such as myself who still will purchase some items of value and sundry items on a regular basis adds value to his business. He did however, clarrify that if a person was to continually walk in off the street with items purchased from the net and expect a good rate, preferential or advice that they wouldn't be welcome.

    I think it all comes down to a balance and common sense.

    PS: Whilst i was at the shop I sold an old mobile phone to the bike mechanic for a good price, so I should be in the good books for a while to come ;)
     
  7. fastandpro

    fastandpro New Member

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    It may seem like a rip off but when you compare cost take into account the cost of having a shop. Rent or capital investment phones rates electric works out to at least $1000 to $1500 per week. Its a high cost of the business. Then you need staff as well. But most Bike shop owners still enjoy the customers.
     
  8. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    Do you race ? If so, I can totally see going for those wheels.. at that kind of money. Remember.. for every 1 lb. of wheel weight you shave = about 5 lbs of non-rotational bike weight. What is the point of having so-so wheels ?? ;) :rolleyes: :) . Well, no so sure what so-so means... but as long as they are well built , good/great hub(ie. Chorus/Record) , and solid rim.... to me thats all that really matters. For $350 usd , you could have gotten either a Dura-ace / or Record hubset on Mavic Open Pro's , butted spokes, delivered !!!!! To me, thats the absolute BEST bang for the buck- great durability - great weight - great value.

    Now, back on topic about the online vs. LBS dilema.

    Personally, I hope to never have to pay Retail ever again ... period. When ever I do see a serious bro-deal online.. I tend to BUY (ie. Conti. road tires for $10 , etc.). I commute by MTB or road bike as much as possible.. ride well over 5-7K miles per year , and greatly respect the environment around me. Thus , I know I'll always be taken care of road/MTB wise ...... since I know people- who know people in the cycling industry + use the net at times to purchase specific items at great prices. There are about 10 different LBS in a 40 mile radius where I live. Some are good.... some could use some help. One of the MAJOR LBS I last went into(checking on a friends $1300 new MTB they put together for him)... I questioned the length of the stem they had on the bike(what looked to be a 10cm)... which looked to be too short. My friend could not come test ride the bike.. and see if the stem needed to be longer.. or not. Well, all I said to the salesman was that "stem looks to be too short... I think my friends salesman should contact him to make sure stem length will be alright with him". What I got back in return was "you ASSUME too much with your friends bike.. and what our salesman sold him". Basically , what he ment to say was your making an ASS out of ME + you = ASSUME ;) :D :p I hope he likes his job at the LBS :confused: :)
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Wheels might be a relatively cheap place to lose weight, but your 1 lb rotational= 5 non-rotational statement is miles away from reality. Fact is, when you do the math, the difference in acceleration due to changes in rotational weight and changes in non-rotational weight, where the changes are identical in magnitude.....well, the difference is essentially negligible. It's small enough that most people probably won't notice the difference.

    How do you, logically get from there to this:

    What does riding 5-7k/year and respecting the environment have to do with always being "taken care of?"

    Eventually, the people who know people will probably get tire of being used and pumped for cheap kit.

    Well, I'm not sure what your point is. Is there a point to this last, rambling, meandering, plotless LBS story?
     
  10. Frankie Dirtbag

    Frankie Dirtbag New Member

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    i used to work in parsippany and drivepass that shop on my lunch everyday, looks like a big store, never went in though.
     
  11. duhhuh

    duhhuh New Member

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    I imagine that it varies from LBS to LBS, but my LBS (25 miles away) is in a university town and that has a bearing on what can be charged. He asks full list+ on everything. After all, he sees about 10,000 new faces in town every fall to choose from. I bought my bike from a bike shop 180 miles form my home because I got it about 40% cheaper than the one 25 miles away. Since I do my own work on it, it wasn't a big deal as far as service. If I lived close to the shop 180 miles away, I would buy everything from him. Prices are pretty good and the service is great (when I go there anyway.) The local guy just has it too easy, and doesn't have to compete for anybody's business. I would like to buy from him, he is a nice guy and very knowledgeable, but we just can't seem to come to terms on price.
     
  12. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    No real point to the last LBS story.... sort of rambling..... sort of a disrespect going on w/ the LBS(on both ends) ..... there are other people in the community that I'm sure will wonder into the shop- and spend there dough( they more then likely dont need my money).

    As for the "probably get tired of being used.. and pumped for cheap kit" remark...... its not about using people, its about being friends- and simply without a hesitation/second thought - Ohhh this person helped me out in the past, so I'll return the favor ( ie. you scratch my back.. and I'll scratch yours). They may have something to offer me, yet I have things- trade , $ , a service that I can also bring to the table.

    The over 5K miles per year statement I made- is mainly in regards to my commuting to work weekly. I could drive my vehicle(in the process degrade the environment around me)..... and spend $250 per month in gas . Or, I can cut back - fairly drasticly my driving- use the bus a little + ride my MTB as much as I can during the work week. If that is the case, I can/ and do save $125 per month in gas X 12 months(it is possible to ride year round where I live) = $1500 in saved money that I'd otherwise put towards gas. My MTB cost me $2400 total(which I saved over 50% from buying all my parts under retail) - so it will take me almost 2 years of consistant commuting by MTB to have saved as much in gasoline to = equal the cost of my MTB( and over the years of commuting, I'll probably save even more the $2400 in commuting expenses.) Also, in riding.... it promotes good general overall health, its a de-stresser , super low inpact on the environment.... the list goes on+on ........ Ive spent enough $ on bicycles + parts in the last 10 years..... + the resources that I personally have + my passion for the healthy commuting factor(on environment + myself)/ sport / challenges that I put myself through + all the great people I've meet while riding over the years = I'll always be taken care of :)


    PS... the wheel remark I made... I've heard that statement used before in books, + others. Not sure if it is 100% accurate... but outer rotational mass of the wheel is very important(rim, tube + especially the tire). It just seems as though the MAVIC's... Eastons..... Bontrangers.. etc. .... in the last 5-10 years have found a market nitch to pre-build wheels, and charge a arm+leg for them(mainly what I'm talking about is a wheelset over $400 ...... given the $350 prices I've seen for Record/Dura-ace handbuilt on Mavic Open Pro's). Some people out there really think that these pre-built wheels are something ultra-special. Its too bad alot of these pre-built specialty wheels come in 18... 19.... 20 .... etc. spoke count- when your rim goes.... and you still have that lovely hub thats useable... good luck in trying to find a rim to buy... that will accept that hub spoke count. A quality Carbon rim / wheel ... are typically race wheels..... and yeah sure are super nice...... but are going to cost you $800 + .
     
  13. deckard

    deckard New Member

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    My LBS matched an online price when I upgraded to Mavics KSLs when I purchased my Cervelo from them. They still made money and I was happy. I'm near SF so there are always good deals to be found at LBSs, especially Lombardi's Sports.
     
  14. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    ==========================================================
    Just to give you an idea of how BAD LSB prices can be here in New Zealand....i inner pronate. I found out about Look CX7 pedals - adjustable for pro and suponation. Great I thought.
    A bike shop here(since closed down - wonder why?!) with all high end roadbike only stuff. Went in - they retailed for $950!!(currently US .61cents to NZ $1.00 - July '06). A third of the price of my bike...
    Checked out ebay - got a used(and good) set for $165 US at my door. Bought another set for my training bike - around $100 US at my door.

    New Zealand has such a small market for high end gear - but the LSBs here will hardly move on price. The ones I deal with never mention me bringing pre bought equipement for them to fit - as, like many I buy other(consumables) from them.
     
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