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LBS loyalty(21 posts)

LBS loyaltyempacher6seat
Sep 9, 2002 10:11 AM
Is it wrong to visit two LBS? There's these two shops in my town. One is great for repairs/information and they're super friendly and reliable. The problem is, they are a very small store and don't have many of the products that I want to buy. They also don't carry used bikes, and only sell Trek and Specialized road bikes. I feel like I'm cheating a girlfriend or something! Anyone else have this dilemma?
Sep 9, 2002 10:21 AM
The common sentiment is 'help the little guy'. So whats wrong with helping TWO little guys?

If a shop cant provide what you need, no harm in looking elsewhere; it would be a difft story if youre hopping shops to save a dime here or a dollar there.
No LBS loyalty from mealansutton
Sep 9, 2002 10:25 AM
I'll all mail order - even the little stuff.
Been screwed one too many times by the LBS.
re: LBS loyaltyfunknuggets
Sep 9, 2002 10:27 AM
Honestly, no, I don't have a problem with it. As a consumer I, and you, have the right to go with what suits our needs. You have the right to find the lowest price, best selection, best service, etc. These shops have to cater to their markets and strengths. Im sure if you are online at this forum, you likely shop on the Internet as well. How do you feel then? I found one shop that is particularly helpful and affordable when it comes to maintenance, so I go there for the most part. But if I need something quick, I just go around the corner to the shop that has cool stuff, but are pretty much assholes. Just a question of what you need and when.

So don't feel guilty, it is your dollar.
I've used twoPaulCL
Sep 9, 2002 10:31 AM
There is a LBS close to me, but really a bunch of salesmen trying to sell Treks. Nice guys, but short on small parts. I'll stop in for the things I need today - such as tubes, CO2, etc just before a ride.

The other shop, a 20 minute car ride, is a much smaller shop. But, they are better mechanics and give me better service. Besides, they sell Colnago' they must be cool. If I come across a service need (like on the way home from work today), I'll stop in and have them do it. I make a point to try to buy something too. Last time in, the owner tempted me with a Limar 107 helmet for $75...I caved.

Support both shops, they need it. Paul
Spread the wealth.RickC5
Sep 9, 2002 10:46 AM
Nothing wrong with buying from WHOMEVER has the best prices, and/or the best selection, and/or the best customer service. I buy from online shops as much as possible to save money, but will drive way out of my way to visit a LBS that is on the other side of town because I know I will ALWAYS get what I want from them. Never a wait for a "special order". Gotta love it.
Why is it a dilemma?mr_spin
Sep 9, 2002 11:23 AM
If they don't have what you want, you can't buy it from them. Does it get any simpler? And even if they did, so what? It's your money. You earn it, you get to choose where to spend it.

Personally, I have no loyalty to any LBS. I've been screwed by a lot of them, so I don't go anymore. It took me six weeks to get my bike back the last time I took it in. And that was after boycotting them for a year because they did such a miserable job the time I took it in before. My friends thought it was just me until the shop started screwing up their bikes. Ha ha, it's not so funny now. I'll do my own work from now on. I'll mail order my parts and have no one to wait for or blame ever again.
re: LBS loyaltysweetbuns
Sep 9, 2002 1:01 PM
I vowed to never go into my LBS, the guy is a freakin' idiot and I will never give him another red cent. Yes, I've been screwed over too. Not happy!

The other LBS salesman is too too friendly, to the point where he is scary. I can't walk past the front of his store because he remembers everything about me. I only go to him for last minute needs. I believe in supporting your local businesses, unfortunately, too many of these little guys are not informed and don't care. Spend your money where you feel you are getting the best value.
not at all, but did you ask them to order?off roadie
Sep 9, 2002 1:30 PM
You'd be suprised what a small shop will go through to order you a nice road bike. They may not stock them or advertise that they are a dealer, but maybe he has a friend who is a dealer, or can get them through his distributer at a higher (to him) cost...

That said, I don't have many qualms about going to any of the 3 stores within riding distance of my house, or even buying on line. I compare what they are good at, and prices. I've found they all offer good advice and prices, but on different things. By going to them for what they do well, I get great service and the shops maybe hone thier ability to serve a bussiness niche.
I asked and still deniedsweetbuns
Sep 10, 2002 6:00 AM
I asked my LBS to order, I did all the leg work and they still said no. Jerks!
re: LBS loyaltyLeroy
Sep 9, 2002 2:28 PM
I find that they are really not loyal to me, either. All my LBS are profit motivated, as they should be, they're in business. I'm profit motivated, too, in that I want my $$$ to go as far as possible. So I go absolutely on price, period. This means that I buy most of my gear on line. I still like the guys at the stores, etc. and still rely on them for jobs that I do not have the tools for, or maybe to true a wheel, and pay a fair fee for the service. But I just can't pay more for components, etc. just to subsidize the LBS. That's how it's evolved for me.

Dave Loving
re: LBS loyaltyzooog
Sep 9, 2002 3:25 PM
I 0nly wish I had the mechanical ability to fix,repair and tune my own bike. My LBS all suck. Closest one has tried screwing me so many times that I rub on some vaseline before I entered. The biggest and furthest away is a bunch of guys selling treks.BUT there is good news on the horizon, the closest LBS has a new owner. A youg guy who seems pretty cool. So maybe I can lay off the vaseline.
My LBS left me 800mi away at a race to leave early!!!hycobob
Sep 9, 2002 3:33 PM
I had to go with them (a whole 2hrs early) and lose points and entry fees or find my own way home. Thank you NorthWest Cycling Club for the ride home. Screw my LBS (largest Trek dealer in the USA) and their so called loyalty. If they can't be loyal to their customers, why should we be loyal to them? Remember are just buying bikes and parts...unless you are a part of a legitimate team. This isn't like sleeping around or getting lapdances is it? Do you only shop at Sears, Krogers or Walmart out of loyalty?
Im loyal nowDavidS
Sep 9, 2002 4:07 PM
I bought my last bike from the only shop in the area that sold the brand I wanted. I never liked the guys there- uninformed and not very helpful. I recently upgraded to Campy 10 along with a King headset Deda stem/bars, etc. etc. I took the work to another shop, with a friendly, knowledgeable staff. The build-up that the guy at this shop did was flawless. I mean out of this world attention to detail. BUT I felt like a real prick when I picked my bike up and he asked me if I got all the components mail order...I said yes. He said "cool" which made me feel even worse. I should have bought the whole shebang from them. They never made me feel guilty for bringing $1500 worth of stuff to them and they put it all on for $200. I buy everything from them now that I can, and I feel great doing it. Besides, do we really want to ship our bikes to someone to get service, even if we save a few bucks?

Keep the local LBS in business.

just my 2 cents.

-Dave S
Sounds like you have a good shop; use themhycobob
Sep 9, 2002 4:19 PM
Unfortunately alot of owners forget that they aren't selling cars. They know that most of their sales aren't from the serious riders around them. Oh yeah they sell a few bikes to the local club riders, but cyclists are a funny breed...we don't generally want what is common to the area. We want the exotic; or at least the uncommon.

On my previous post you can see that I'm still a little bitter ABOUT BEING LEFT 800 MILES FROM HOME!!!!!! But like the local hardware and clothing stores; if nobody goes there they'll all close up shop. Then all you'll have are the big sporting goods stores. How about them DiamondBack road bikes? I don't think so.
They got their cutirregardless
Sep 9, 2002 5:17 PM
$200 for a build is pretty steep. Most places around here charge $125 max. Plus, if you had bought the parts there, they would have built it up for free. He was probably asking you whether you bought the parts mail order so he could understand why they were charging you such a high build fee or any build fee at all. So don't worry about it, they got their cut from you from their build fee instead of the parts.
My build-fee would be a 12-pack of Shiner Bock ($10.99)hycobob
Sep 9, 2002 5:26 PM
Plus I would have taught you to do the work. That way next time you could do it yourself. And we both would get to polish off some seriously tasty carbs in the process.
Just don't let him open it before he's done! (Ok, just ONE) -nmSnowBlind
Sep 9, 2002 6:25 PM
LBS - like the concept, but mine STINKSFez
Sep 10, 2002 6:19 AM
Obviously a LBS can't compete w/ Performance in terms of selection, prices, etc. But it is supposed to give you great service, both in terms of bike repair/maintenance and customer service, right?


I had a warranty claim on a busted frame. No dice. No help or anything from the LBS either.

A few months later I then bought a new bike from this same LBS, then paid extra for a bike fitting to make sure everything was an optimal fit. The jerk actually measured everything wrong, sold me a new seatpost and stem, and also charged me for this erroneous fitting. I tried the new setup a little while and realized that I knew more about correct bike fit than the supposed "pro" with 25 years of road riding experience.

And when I took out the seatpost that this jerkoff sold me, I realized it was the Thomson mtn bike version that was hacksawed to a road bike length. Nice to know I got sold a freakin used seatpost that I didn't even need.

From now on, no LBS loyalty from me. And yes, this is the largest and most established LBS in the area.
re: LBS loyaltyRob March
Sep 10, 2002 9:56 AM
I really like my LBS. As someone who started riding about 1 year ago, they have been very good to me. They always take lots of time to talk about the products (never try to sell the most expensive one either). When I crashed a month back, they didn't charge me to check out and tweak my bike (front wheel needed just a little trueing).

Now, I'm buying my first road bike. I spent about 4 hours at the store, getting fit, test riding and talking about the bikes (just the day I ordered, I spent alot of time previously just chatting about my needs). Now that I've ordered, I spent about 45 minutes with the shop guru looking at all of the parts to determine what I should upgrade (I'm getting 2003 Specialized Allez Elite) to improve performance. The guru pretty much discouraged me from dropping tons of cash to basically shave ounces, because he said that I shouldn't blow the money just because I could. All of the components are excellent, but I could mostly save weight rather than improve the mechanics of the situation.

In other words, these guys are very cool.

re: LBS loyalty--stick with one.peter1
Sep 11, 2002 8:45 AM
Depends on how much you spend there and what services you expect. I've found that if you have a choice of two or three shops, all things being equal, stick with one. They know when you're cheating on them!

If you develop a good relationship with one shop, you're more likely to get emergency service on a Friday afternoon before a big race weekend.

And if they can't do the work you need, they'll probably cheerfully recommend you try the other guys.

My LBS is great on building bikes, wheels and other components, but he doesn't stock a lot of tires and small components, especially for mountain bikes. I get that stuff mail order.