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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think it's time the major manufacturers cut the umbilical cord to the LBS.

Face it, the only reason many of the bike shops stay in business is because the major manufacturers refuse to sell direct.

Parts and apparel are huge online and have benefited the rider with access to inexpensive and quality goods.

Imagine a world where you ordered your bike online at a 30% discount compared to the LBS. If you needed service, the best mechanics would open shops that only service bikes. The cream would rise to the top and you wouldn't be bringing in beer to curry favor with the current prima donnas who bless current LBSs. It's ridiculous that this is so often advised on here as how to get good service. Paying them should be enough to get good service.

I'm confident that many people here work part time at a bike shop just to get a "pro deal" and will no doubt be apposed to this idea.

Tesla is doing it with cars, why not bikes. The move towards efficiency should be embraced.
 

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Do it for Deegan
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Sometimes that 30% is worth it to get away from the homestead, hang out and talk bikes for awhile.
Thats what friends are for right? Or am I doing something wrong. I agree with OP. Down with the the LBS! Well just the two shitty ones I live by. I bought my bike from one of those asshats and they still treat me like im some sub human nuisance. ****ing pricks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, it's not but nice troll.
Not a troll, but a legitimate discussion.

The wealth of a nation is determined by what it produces. If you have people employed in realm that doesn't add anything, you have made us all worse off. That 30% savings doesn't disappear, but is spent elsewhere and produces other jobs.
 

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Diggity Dog
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Well most bikes have only 4 sizes, so you have some good odds, plus charts.
Mmm ... test ride that chart! Hows that chart handle? Nice huh? Yeah this idea is a real wiener.

Finger Illustration Tooth Drawing Thumb


I imagine bike manufacturers are lining up to provide long distance service. Cracked chainstay? Just strip the bike and send it back to the e-tailer who will have to send it in to the manufacturer for the warranty determination, then back to the e-tailer and then back to the consumer who can then reassemble the bike themselves. Brilliant!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mmm ... test ride that chart! Hows that chart handle? Nice huh? Yeah this idea is a real wiener.

View attachment 880755

I imagine bike manufacturers are lining up to provide long distance service. Cracked chainstay? Just strip the bike and send it back to the e-tailer who will have to send it in to the manufacturer for the warranty determination, then back to the e-tailer and then back to the consumer who can then reassemble the bike themselves. Brilliant!
Demo days, or similar to Tesla where there are test drive centers.

I bought it from the manufacturer and can send it back stripped by and based on my mechanic's recommendation, when I'm saving 1000-1500 bucks on a bike I can afford to pay for some service on the 1 in 1000 chance that that happens.
 

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Not a troll, but a legitimate discussion.

The wealth of a nation is determined by what it produces. If you have people employed in realm that doesn't add anything, you have made us all worse off. That 30% savings doesn't disappear, but is spent elsewhere and produces other jobs.
this is obviously some 30+ year old that still works in a bike shop for an hourly wage.
 

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> /dev/null 2&>1
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Man, bent my hanger. And we're all riding tomorrow! Oh well!

Man, would be nice if I could try out a firmer spring and check the sag before I pay $40 bucks and wait a week. Oh well.

Man, these pads are toast. And i'm driving to Downieville tomorrow. Oh well!

Man, I replaced a spoke and started retensioning and now I've got a half inch of wobble and I don't know what the ef I did and how to fix it. And I went for a ride and broke another spoke. Oh well.

Man, I got these new five tens but they are half a size too small. I pay shipping back to them! Oh well.

Man, my brand new dropper is slipping already. Used to be I would just drop by the shop and they'd give me a new one and deal with the return/warranty hassle. But now I have to email the mfctr, get an RMA, mail it to them, wait 3w for it to be repaired and sent back. Oh well!


The profit on bikes is key to the lbs staying in business. I don't think the business model works if it's a service and parts only model. I think it'll mean no more shops, or traveling much further for them.
 

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You know, I kinda like my LBSs (plural). Sometimes I'll go out of the way to a different one than my usual, just because they're all cool. They're also the only reason we have any races around here, and all the races that are hosted by the various shops are non-USAC sanctioned, which makes things easier for everyone.

Tomorrow, one of the local shops is hosting a dual-slalom race at a local ski area. There's still tons of snow -- the course is made entirely of snow. And the shop is bringing a fleet of fat bikes for people to demo during the races. I think it would be fairly difficult to do that if they didn't carry any inventory.
 

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Jason
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Imagine a world where instead of taking a bike for a test ride, you just ordered it and hope it fit and was comfortable.......
You beat me too it.

I would NEVER purchase a bike without being able to put a pair of my own pedals on it, plant my butt in the saddle and take it for a spin. Also, my LBS does a very thorough job of setting up a bike for each rider once it's purchased. I spent two hours post purchase with the owner of my LBS on a trainer making sure everything was set up just perfectly for me. On top of that, I get two years of free basic inspections and tune-ups. I can do the tune-ups myself but some people can't and to those people, those free tune-ups are important.
 

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What's wrong with the choice we currently have?

If you want to buy online, there are plenty of bikes available for you to choose from. If you prefer to buy from a shop, then do that.

I'd prefer to have a choice than not.

I really like my current LBS and they have treated me well with no tips. Where I use to live my LBS was crap, so I bought online.
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I think that most of the seasoned riders who know their way around a wrench could do without a LBS most of the time. however, after working in shops for several years, I know that a large enough part of the population is mechanically helpless and needs these services.

I also agree that the level of professionalism among bicycle shop mechanics and salespeople needs to be raised. I guild or union to educate them and keep the standards up would help.

for those of you who have bad experiences at bike shops- shop at other bike shops if they are around. Every place I have lived has had lousy bike shops and really awesome bike shops. put the lousy ones out of business and the good ones will thrive. I understand that if you live in a rural area, your choices may be limited, but the shops where I have worked have mostly been staffed by well-paid, dedicated, knowledgeable mechanics. some of them are even over 30 years old!
 

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Heck yea who needs test rides, the direct internet shops can sponsor local races and do trail advocacy, and paying overnight shipping for small items will rock! :rolleyes:

Not sure what is with the war on LBS on MTBR. Its simple if you don't like them don't shop at them.
 

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For mountain bikes this could evolve into an improvement over the parking lot test ride option now in place.
Direct sales with lots more factory demo days/learning-teaching sessions at real trails would get more people on bikes meant to work for trails. Lbs can't afford that kind of commitment. Demoing is the missing option when buying from a shop. I spent 5 hours on one model checking different sizes and 4 more riding other models over a 2 day demo on my trails. What I got out of it was miles beyond any info from visiting multiple lbs who didn't have many models or all sizes.
Going in to order, even though the guys are great to work with, was not as much of a value adding experience.

So replacing the current model with a more demo/educational one would suit me.
 
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