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The whole LBS dilemma played out in one visit(3 posts)

The whole LBS dilemma played out in one visitterry b
Feb 17, 2002 9:00 AM
Was in my LBS yesterday trying to find some things to buy with my rebate. Like REI, my LBS gives you 10% back at the end of the year as a "thanks." The catch is you have to spend it by the end of February. Mine was about $25.

So I'm wandering around and I don't really have anything in mind so I head over to the shorts - Ultrasensors are on sale. I pick through the 100 pairs they have - 90% XL, 10% M. No large. "Fine" I say, I'll get a new pair of gloves figuring I can buy a $40 pair and give them a little cash back in addition to my freebee. While I'm looking through the 50 pairs of gloves, all size medium, I overhear the two mechanics talking about the tires one of them just ordered from Pricepoint for $25. "Good deal" the other one says. I look over and say "Hey, you guys shouldn't be buying on line" to wit the head mechanic with a big "oops" look on his face replies, "I can get a pair on-line for $25 but they cost me $25 a peice if I get them here." No small irony there.

Having not been able to find a pair of gloves in my size, I headed over to the tires and the closeouts. While picking through that stuff, a middle-aged yutz (a couple of years younger than I am) comes in with his mud-caked mountain bike and asks for an adjustment on the shifting. He's carrying on about "laying it down in Las Cruces" while the mechs are patiently listening. They gave him a short, polite lecture about "bringing his filthy bike into their shop and would he please not do it again" but nonetheless they put it on the stand, tuned it up and sent him on his way in about 10 minutes. All the while enduring his soliloquy about desert riding.

In the end, I settled on some bar tape and did find a pair of gloves in a close out bin. That added about $20 to my rebate, making my visit worth everyone's while.

The epiphany for me was this - both sides of the "Support your LBS or Buy On-Line" argument are absolutely valid. If you are willing to spend some money on basic tools, get a bike stand and develop your mechanical skills, LBSs are a thing of the past - they may not have what you want and you're going to pay more for it. For a couple of minutes I was seriously wondering if I was going to find anything I wanted. While pay nearly double when the bike store employees are shopping on line themselves?

On the other hand, the MTBer in there yesterday did not want to expend the energy to become mechanically inclined and instead was happy to spend his time loading his bike in the car, driving to the shop and waiting for a simple adjustment.

How often does everyone get to be right?
The MTBer event was commonMcAndrus
Feb 17, 2002 10:07 AM
I'm trying not to diverge from your thought but wanted to ad that my niece used to be a wrench in a bike shop. She once told me that MTBers would frequently bring in filthy beat up things and ask for cleanups and tuneups immediately. She added that roadies were more inclined to operate as you did (and I do).

As I said, just an observation that seems to confirm your experience.
now we're getting into calling namescyclopathic
Feb 18, 2002 7:15 PM
it is obvious roadies have no clue on how to keep up their bikes. Though our LBS sells mainly mnt bikes on any given day most of bikes on stands are road. If you ride off road and you can't fix you bike you're in big trouble.

With respect to your niece comment she is very clever girl she knows what to say to uncle to please him get a grip