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I'm shopping for a new (to me) 29er and I initially had the thought of supporting my LBS but I'm having a heck of a time justifying the additional $$ to do that. Example: I'm looking at the Gary Fischer/Trek x-caliber at ~$1600 with x.7 at the LBS. I can pick up a Motobecane Fantom 29Pro with full XTR for $1100 - 1400 or a slightly used (1 year) brand name 29er for ~$1000.

How can someone say it's worth big buck to do local business and get lesser components only to have a brand name new bike? I do my own maintenance.
 

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Off the back...
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If you're happy with the parts spec on the used bike and can do your own maintenance, I'd definitely go used.
 

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Just buy from wherever is the cheapest, there will always be arguments that support and encourage consumers to buy from LBS because of the service you get after the purchase (and most of the time it is infact LBS staff/owners that encourage this so their business will stay a float. No joke, but when they markup stuff at double the price of what you can find online (and of course used) there's simple no justification for me to buy from my LBS. Im not saying I will not ever buy from a LBS. Im just saying if they offer up good deals, sure I will give them my business. But not when its highway robbery.
 

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Or you can do what I am, build your own from scratch then use the LBS for small, cheap parts, and labor that requires tools that are one time use style. Might cost you $65 to have them press the headset and do the bottom bracket but then again, you can build a repor with them and when you run into serious problems can rely on them.
 

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The LBS is way over rated. From the test riding, to the fitting and then the buying, most LBS''s suck. I felt like I was getting robbed on everything. Paying good money for low grade spec parts and a crappy wheelset, cassette, chain, seat. Basicly over paying for a frame and the name on the side..So I learned how to do it all myself and now yrs later I don't have to step n a LBS to over pay for anything. Now I can buy a complete bike on line with out riding it and be totally confident that the bike will fit,ride and feel great.
 

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I would disagree and say that the local bikestore is the best place to get a bike....under certain conditions.

For example I recently puchased a Giant Faith 0 from a local bikestore for $2,300 that's pretty good for a bike that has a $4000 list price. Of course it's a demo bike but if it wasn't it probably wouldn't be $2,300.

Another factor is choosiness. If you want a particular bike you will probably encounter problems but if you want something that's been the store for a long time you can probably get an excellent deal, assuming that it will fit your requirements.

It's alot like shopping at the supermarket, sometimes it's worth buying if the "price is right".

It also helps to be honest with your LBS. I almost bought a bike from another store but I told him the price and he was able to get me the deal that I got in lieu of the deal offer by the other store.

The best deals are local deals but you need to shop around and be flexible about what you want in order to make a good deal work.
 

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If you actually have a good local shop, with helpful staff and good parts selection and service, then yes, it sometimes does pay to help support them. If you can do your own wrenching that's great, more people should be able to, but at some point in time you might come across a situation where you just don't have the right tool or need a part in a hurry that they have, wheel rebuilt etc., etc. and if you have a good relationship with them they wil help you out, expediently, if not you may not be so lucky.

In your situation though, I would say if you can do all your own wrenching and can properly check the used bike and determine it doesn't have any hiden damage etc, then by all means go for it. As MisFit said though, sometimes you can get killer deals from the local shop on last years models or a size that just isn't selling etc.
 

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If you trust the LBS then it is a better option

I had a shop in Germany that I would spend the extra money to get whatever I needed because if anything went wrong the owner of the shop would make it right. Whether that was repairing for cost of parts, warranty, or just explaining to me what had caused the failure, then selling me the replacement part at a "bro-deal" price. They fixed my bikes from any number of other shops without complaint and on time and correctly the first time every time I took them a bike. Oh, and I purchased three bikes from his shop with no problems and excellent after the sale service.

Now I live elsewhere, and I don't set foot in a shop unless I really don't want to do something to my bike. For example, I wanted a bike completely tuned. New grease for the bottom bracket, parts replaced, new bearings, new cables/housing, and whatever else they found. It was on a two year old bike that I, in all honesty, had ridden and beaten into submission, and needed a ton of work. I can do the work, but choose to help out a local shop. It took over five weeks and three your bike is fixed calls to finally get it done. Oh and the price they charged, well I was prepared for a large bill, but I guess I had forgotten how much paying MSRP for every part and 60 dollars and hour for labor can cost. The charge was nearly 25% of the cost new of the bike.

I could have purchased the parts and done the work for well under half the price of the labor the shop charged and in about three hours of actual time out in the garage, but it was way cold at the time and I was feeling way lazy.

Now what does this have to do with buying a bike? I will never buy a bike from the second shop, don't trust them to fix my bike now, and I would gladly purchase another bike from the German shop. I know the German shop will have after the sale service that will be good and the service reliable.

An online purchase of a bike will get you little after the sale service, and if you don't care about that, buy online, but don't expect any help from a local to shop to take care of parts if they break while under warranty, like Avid brakes leaking fluid from seals (which I have seen and Avid refused to warranty because the bike was purchased online).

Personally I would look around for a place with a good reputation, a staff that seems to want to help not take advantage of you.
 

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If you order online just don't be "that guy". The guy who doesn't know what he is doing so he comes to the lbs to figure out what part he should order/size up the part in person before order/bug the mechanic on how to fix or install parts/or expect them to treat you like a loyal customer. A loyal customer is not the one who frequently goes to the lbs, it is the one frequently purchases goods/services. Often online shoppers think they fall in the latter category because the shop staff has seen them in enough (often to figure out their online purchases).
 

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Funny someone started this thread. I need a new crankset and went to an lbs this weekend to see what they had/recommended. I asked if they match online prices - they said no. They then suggested a Truvativ Stylo crankset for $200 + $30 for a BB + labor.

I'm sure they're nice people, but I can get that crankset new online and take it to REI's bike mechanics for installation (where they won't give me the cold shoulder for not paying their ridiculous prices) and save $100-$150 with very little effort.

If lbs's want my charity, set up as a 501c3, otherwise develop a sensible business model. It's not 1990 anymore.
 

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intotheblue-Most lbs's don't make their money on people coming in to get that occasional $300 part, they make it on $300 bikes and accessories/labor associated with those purchases.

I am not saying that online sources don't often have lower prices. Just don't go in acting like your business is important to them when it is not to you. Too many times I have seen people waste my time wanting my opinion on which part they should order online, or maybe wanting to try on shoes/glasses to know what they should order. I have no time for them as my job is to work for the shop, not some online source. I am not rude, but I am short and brief with my answers.
 

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I realize more and more each day that I should deal with my LBS for everything. It seems everything I buy used (regardless of how much I inspect it), or everything I buy from an online retailer, comes in F'ed up. I already know my LBS treats me well...the extra money spent is frustration saved.
 

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Logantri said:
intotheblue-Most lbs's don't make their money on people coming in to get that occasional $300 part, they make it on $300 bikes and accessories/labor associated with those purchases.

I am not saying that online sources don't often have lower prices. Just don't go in acting like your business is important to them when it is not to you. Too many times I have seen people waste my time wanting my opinion on which part they should order online, or maybe wanting to try on shoes/glasses to know what they should order. I have no time for them as my job is to work for the shop, not some online source. I am not rude, but I am short and brief with my answers.
I agree that is poor form. In my case I do buy my accessories from my LBS and have them do all my wrenching, which I am willing to pay for. It just seems a little disingenuous to charge 50-60% more for a common product. I understand online sources have lower prices, but a $100 difference for a $200 part seems like serious price inflation. It wasn't my intention to get their advice on products to then go purchase somewhere else, I went there to see what they have to offer, that's all.
 

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If you want something new right from the factory youre going to pay retail at your LBS. However I got both my 29ers at yearend closeouts. There are some big chain LBS that only know you from an online computer record. Fortunately I live by one which is run by the owner and does the repairs. I look for what I want on online and he gets it for me from his catalogs. In most cases the retail and online are almost the same for parts. I NEVER pay for shipping no matter how small the order. He does enough volume to order once a week. Im going to swap out all the SS drive train components on one of the 29ers. Hell order the parts and if the chain line doesnt line up or bb doesnt fit thats his problem. I watch the repairs he makes. There is no mysterious room in the back. The owner is a former team mechanic. His picadillo in life is correctly adjusted bearings. The big LBS will charge you for everything. He doesnt but his rates are more expensive.
 

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sprocket47 said:
I'm shopping for a new (to me) 29er and I initially had the thought of supporting my LBS but I'm having a heck of a time justifying the additional $$ to do that. Example: I'm looking at the Gary Fischer/Trek x-caliber at ~$1600 with x.7 at the LBS. I can pick up a Motobecane Fantom 29Pro with full XTR for $1100 - 1400 or a slightly used (1 year) brand name 29er for ~$1000.

How can someone say it's worth big buck to do local business and get lesser components only to have a brand name new bike? I do my own maintenance.
I guess it depends what you want. Personally, I have not purchased a "complete" bike in over 5 years now, so I would never purchase a complete bike from my lbs, and I would absolutely not even consider a motobecan as there is nowhere to get a test fit of it.

Yes, online stuff is cheaper, and from my experience the items that I want typically the LBS does not carry - so the amount of time I need to wait for the LBS to acquire the part is about the same as if I purchase it online - so I need to wait just as long with an lbs and pay more. Plus I do all my maintenance / installations on my own.
 

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sprocket47 said:
I'm shopping for a new (to me) 29er and I initially had the thought of supporting my LBS but I'm having a heck of a time justifying the additional $$ to do that. Example: I'm looking at the Gary Fischer/Trek x-caliber at ~$1600 with x.7 at the LBS. I can pick up a Motobecane Fantom 29Pro with full XTR for $1100 - 1400 or a slightly used (1 year) brand name 29er for ~$1000.

How can someone say it's worth big buck to do local business and get lesser components only to have a brand name new bike? I do my own maintenance.
Sprocket47 I'm a lot like you in this sense. Do my own wrenching, usually buy used and build up my bikes. I've never bought a new bike from a shop and have own 7, and currently have 4. If I bought new I might have been able to get only 3 or 4 over time and could never afford to keep them running properly if I didn't do my own maintenance. The guys at the shop I go to are good people. I buy parts and stuff from them and although they can't beat online deals too often, they are usually within 10% of online stuff.

Although I've never bought a new bike from them, I frequently am buying stuff from the shop. If I owned a shop, I think in the long run I would rather have repeat customers that are buying stuff weekly from the shop than a one and done guy that resents getting ripped off by the shop and tells everyone to buy stuff online. There are other ways you can spend money and support a shop than just buying a bike from them. Between helmets, gloves, kits, jerseys, shoes, mechanical upgrades, tires, tubes, etc. you can support your local shop.
 

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Don't forget buying used. By buying used from someone in your community with cash you keep it local just like spending money at an LBS and you can get some killer deals. It does have it's pitfalls like a used car it will likely need some work right off the bat.
 
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