So all this talk about LBS..BS and what not had me wondering, I own a department store bike, a Mongoose Blackcomb. I have ridden it about a dozen times and love it, I did take it to the LBS the first week I got it to get it tuned up and make sure the bike was put together properly and everything was as it should be. I went to the LBS and told the guy I was a Noob to the sport and, he spent about 30 minutes going over my bike with me explaining the diffrent components and showing me on my bike what was good and what was junk. he took the time to get the parts he had such as different Shimano Derailues, reas shocks, chains and such to show me the diffrent qualities. Supprisingly enough the stuff on my bike was not bad, except for the " rear shock" which was essentialy a spring mointed on a piston..not an air shock. so of course being he is a Trek Dealer he had to show me the top end Trek models and let me ride one and such. I was supprised that he did not compleetly bash my bike for being a department store bike. he did say there were some supprisingly good parts on it and a few that were crap. so he tuned my bike up, and showed me how to adjust my disc brakes for $40 bucks, including swapping my cable housing for SIS stuff. he showed me a "Rock Shox" rear shock that he had and told me that I'd probly be back for that soon LOL. I rode the bike about 10 times and even me as a Noob noticed the "rear shock" that mongoose installed was a POS that did not do a thing. so I called the LBS and talked to the guy and he told me for $100.00 he'd hook my bike up with the Rock Shox rear shock. I went this week to get it put in, he did that, and I was having some shifting problems ( chain skipping) he adjusted that, by adding a shim to my rear cassete, apparently just a crappy design had the tallest gear way to close to the guard and it was hanging it up at some points under heavy load. so basicly a spacer. he also adjusted my grips and trued my brake rotor in the front wich i have been having a bear of a time with. he did not charge me for anyhting exept the Shock and some labor for putting the shock in. SO all this said I guess just to shed some positive light on the LBS, I have had a great experience with this one so far. the guy is honest and helpfull and very fair with his prices.