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Old 02-22-2013, 06:24 AM   #1
brellalad
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Buy Local or Buy Online?

I'm someone who has very little knowledge of quality bikes*. Would you advise me to buy locally or do you think it would be OK to purchase online?

Thanks for the advice.



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Old 02-22-2013, 09:07 AM   #2
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If for no other reason than getting a bike that will fit and be comfortable, buy local.



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Old 02-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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If you can find a good local shop, you would do well to support them, as they will take care of you in return. I can't say I'm all for supporting bad businesses though. Spend some time in shops around you, and you'll pick up on which ones are best. Asking friends what shops they prefer can't hurt either.

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Old 02-22-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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LBS. With limited knowledge, you'll get killed on the web. More importantly, you need the shop to fit you. Find the best shop in your area and go there. The more you know, the more you can by online. Sometimes you have to buy online. I called 8 local shops once to find a Park 1/8th chain tool. No one had it, 3 offered to order it when they would place their next order. I didn't want to wait, so I went online. You can't always support the LBS, but you should for a bike purchase.

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Old 02-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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+1 to all of the above answers.

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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Your LBS is good for
1) learning and teaching you about your bikes. What you think you want may not be the best tool for the job as it were.
2) build rapport with the staff. I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnuts there's going to be a time when you're in a jam. Maybe stripped threads, wheel out of true, whatever. I'd say 99% of the shops I've been to will take care of their regular/familiar customers as a priority of someone just dropping in. And trust me, this SNAFU is going to occur 2 days before some huge event in your area
3) you'll have a place to drop-in, B.S. and you'll meet other cyclists. this will increase your knowledge exponentially.


That being said, it pays to shop around. One shop by me here is so arrogant with their staff that they are about to go under since another shop opened up here that has a really good vibe and caters to all cyclists, not just the hardcore ones.

The internet may have "bargains" galore, but without being armed with knowledge, I fear you may end up spending more money than if you have started out with a shop.

Whatever you choose to do, welcome to the board and enjoy the bike that comes along your way.

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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I've also found that if I calculate shipping into the discounted price of the online item that most of the time it's a wash. I can have it now for almost the identical price at my LBS.

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synack View Post
I've also found that if I calculate shipping into the discounted price of the online item that most of the time it's a wash. I can have it now for almost the identical price at my LBS.
Locally ( for me anyway )that is a problem. If you count your time as being worth something The closest LBS is only 18 miles away but takes well over an hour to get there. Life on a Peninsula... and if want anything more than the norm they have to order it as well. Tires are a good example of that for me. Noting fancy bit I have come to love the Conti 4000s and just ordered and got Schwalbe's for the mtb. I did order through the LBS but it was for another reason

Ironically I can drive to Richmond 45 miles away and get there almost as fast to several other shops which was where I did purchase my mtb.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #9
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My local shop is great. I haven't bought a bike from them but I do go in for parts and accessories and (most importantly) just to talk and get info on what is going on in town and the newest stuff coming in. Specialty items that I had been looking at online, it turned out the shop had in stock in back, I just never thought to ask. Plus, the local shop lobbies the city officials for cycling related changes to the city, which the online places don't do. Our shop has a city official ride along once a month or every two months where they provide bikes and a bunch of city officials tour the different areas of town with the owner and some others to see what cyclist deal with while riding and see where bike lanes would be needed or slighlt law changes would be nice to help the people out riding for our many reasons (save money, exercise, cut down on traffic, enjoyment, etc).

The local shop does a lot more then most people know, behind the scenes.

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you should try this link:

https://www.biketexas.org/

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rola643 View Post
Locally ( for me anyway )that is a problem. If you count your time as being worth something The closest LBS is only 18 miles away but takes well over an hour to get there. Life on a Peninsula... and if want anything more than the norm they have to order it as well. Tires are a good example of that for me. Noting fancy bit I have come to love the Conti 4000s and just ordered and got Schwalbe's for the mtb. I did order through the LBS but it was for another reason

Ironically I can drive to Richmond 45 miles away and get there almost as fast to several other shops which was where I did purchase my mtb.
Yikes, although I did drive over an hour to buy my Bianchi. That is with at least 4 shops less than 30 mins from me. Including a Cannondale dealer just a few miles from my house (I can ride to this shop). Great shop but I wanted a Bianchi Sempre .

I do buy most other things from the Cannondale shop though. Good guys. Though the owner seems a bit stressed.


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