Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 91 total)
  • Does anyone still preference their LBS over online?
  • rockandrollmark
    Full Member

    With so much talk over stock shortages, post-Brexit import taxes does has this driven anyone to value their LBS a bit more?

    It’s honestly been about a year since I bought anything cycling related online (but will acknowledge that I’ve picked up a new “New -Other” bits on eBay) but I’ve found no issues in getting either what I want or need from my LBS. I’ve also really valued their expertise on a few matters, such as removing the olive that I’d smashed into my brake lever the other day for the princely sum of a fiver.

    With the high street’s demise due to online shopping I really think retailers have got to be able to offer consumers reasons to use them, rather than just click on a button from the comfort of my sofa and get it delivered the next day for free. Bike shops have always been able to deliver this differentiation in a way that the likes of John Lewis and Top Shop could never hope to achieve, yet I get the impression that still people are keener to save a few quid by buying online.

    Given that for most of us this cycling game is a luxury (as in a hobby) rather than a necessity, shouldn’t we all be willing to support our LBS’ where possible? I know they don’t always have exactly what we want today, but most of the time they can order it. Or am I just blessed with having two or three good bike shops in my town?

    oldnpastit
    Full Member

    Well, I bought a Garmin Edge 1030 from my LBS, about two weeks before they closed down. Now my nearest LBS is the other side of town, and might as well be on the far side of the moon.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    My closest “LBS” is a (rather useless) Evans, TBH I prefer going to the Decathlon across town if I’m in a pinch for some sort of emergency part.
    We do have a bicycle Kitchen here (Reading), Although I seldom have need of them, of the places that you could go to get a bike sorted that’s the one I have the soft spot for because they teach people a bit more self sufficiency and keep bikes rolling…

    But in answer to the original question, nope the interwebs gets most of my money disposable income these days.
    I can go to a “local bike shop” and pay more to have Covid huffed over me in person (for something that basically came through the same supply chain but with the extra overheads necessary to keep a shop going). Or I can pay slightly less online and have the Covids Huffed over me by a Hermes driver… I might as well save a couple of quid where I can.

    andrewh
    Free Member

    I was at mine a couple of weeks ago having some wheel-building done.
    I can get wheels straight or round, he can both at once and so I go to him. There are some things you just cant do online, we will always need an LBS
    He has next to no stock and operates out of a couple of shipping containers though, it is 99% a workshop not a shop-shop. The business model seems to work

    Aidy
    Free Member

    Do we have to keep having this thread?

    Northwind
    Full Member

    I don’t have an LBS any more, just not got the need for it. I’ll still always browse a shop when I see one and happily buy stuff, but, it’s 5 years since I wanted something done that I couldn’t do myself

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Gereally prefer an LBS still, though I gave a newish one a go for the first time, fairly simple job, that I couldn’t be arsed to do (clean and re tape some tubeless wheels, to get them to hold air).

    Apparently the tape was fine enough that they didn’t need to change it (hmm), just the valve needed changing. Picked them up, drove home, flat before I got home, 20mins later. Rang up to let them know I’d be bringing them back in the morning. ‘They all do that. What you need to do is pump them up again and go for a ride and keep pumping them up until they hold air.’
    ‘You want me to pump them up, ride them until they go flat (less than 20 mins remember), and keep doing that until they hold air?’
    ‘Yeah, to give the sealant chance to get round the rim and coat the tyre’

    Erm, no. Took them back, mechanic told me they’d ‘only lost a few PSI’ in the hour between him ‘finishing’ them and me picking them up and that I should just carry on riding and reinflating. Nope, you do the job I paid you to do, let me know when they hold pressure for at least 24hrs.

    Picking them up again on Monday, we’ll see…

    nickjb
    Free Member

    Can’t remember the last time I bought anything of value from one. Maybe 10 years. I don’t think I’ve ever used one for fixing stuff apart from a fork service in Morzine once. I suppose I’m glad they exist and I’ll always look in the window if walking past. I like to know a bit about the products I’m buying and how much they cost and that is much easier online

    poah
    Free Member

    not used an LBS in years – needed the BB on a new frame tapped. Can do everything else myself.

    boxwithawindow
    Full Member

    I no longer have a local bike shop, they were all drummed out by the internet before cycling was cool again.

    Strangely my nearest dispensary of all things bikes appears to be still operating but is never open and the phone is always unanswered.

    40 minutes away is a wonderful bike shop and the bike shop of my youth. Increasingly as parts no longer are reduced online if they have stock at all i am buying parts from my localest analog bike shop as there is no longer a price difference enough to not justify not supporting them.

    I am happy to pay rrp, put diesel in the van and take 90 minutes out of my day to support these fine people.

    The internet never made me a coffee whilst it fixed my bike immediately without booking workshop time.

    And the internet never did that gladly.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Erm, no. Took them back, mechanic told me they’d ‘only lost a few PSI’ in the hour between him ‘finishing’ them and me picking them up and that I should just carry on riding and reinflating. Nope, you do the job I paid you to do, let me know when they hold pressure for at least 24hrs.

    Picking them up again on Monday, we’ll see…

    What exactly do you expect them to do with them, other than leave them in the back of the store room for the sealent to soak in and seal for 72h over the weekend? That describes at least half of the tubeless tyres I’ve ever fitted.

    slackboy
    Full Member

    Yes, just picked up a new frame from my local bike shop, and the one in hebden bridge saved me from a very long walk home on Friday.

    Use them or lose them.

    kerley
    Free Member

    There are some things you just cant do online, we will always need an LBS

    News to me. I have never taken my bike to an LBS for them to do anything in 48 years of riding and messing about with bikes.

    thols2
    Free Member

    What exactly do you expect them to do with them, other than leave them in the back of the store room for the sealent to soak in and seal for 72h over the weekend? That describes at least half of the tubeless tyres I’ve ever fitted.

    Yep, completely normal. Inflate, ride round the block, top up with air, leave for 24 hours for sealant to seal up, top up with air again. They should hold air after that, if not, then you do have a problem.

    kerley
    Free Member

    Use them or lose them.

    Same as any other shop. If there is a use and demand for them they stay, if there isn’t they go.

    It may end up with people providing a mechanical service for cyclists along the lines of car garages where you don’t go to buy cars or parts but you get you car fixed. For the rest of us who fix our own bikes we will be the equivalent of the home mechanic.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Rarely… i do all the work on bikes myself. If it’s something i don’t want to do (freehub bearings that require special tools) then i use a nonlocal LBS who are 30 mins away because of a few reasons, but Rotec Cycles are the place i’ll always use. I keep most other bits in spares/stock just in case i need something. Although today i need a 180mm rotor, but it’s BH weekend so the LBSs are shut anyway, so i’ve had to order online and i’ll improvise with a 160mm for now.

    mikertroid
    Free Member

    Lucky enough to have 3 independent LBSs near me. One is small but very good at customer service (Hamoons in Shaftesbury). I use them all as much as is practical, but I will also use the e-web for some parts too.

    I’d hate to lose my LBS.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Am trying to, my local shop has a lot of great stock (lots of high end gravel and road stuff mainly).

    Has exposed the fatal flaw in the industry though whixh is that it takes a small shop something like two weeks to get parts in, for which you are then charged RRP, whereas you could have had the same part cheaper and two weeks quicker online 🙄

    I do hope to start using them for repairs and maintenance work, I’ve got wheels to build, drivetrains to install and mudguards to fit, and just can’t find the time at the moment!

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Edinburgh has a lot of bike shops all with their own USP. Like all businesses they vary in quality and I only use them for building wheels (pedals ) or bits i need right then ( halfords)

    Daffy
    Full Member

    A properly taped and jiggled tubeless wheel should hold air. Most of mine will hold 80-90% pressure for weeks. I’ve got a set on the wall that were built in December and setup tubeless at the same time and they’re still at maybe 50% after 4 months. They’ve never been ridden.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    What exactly do you expect them to do with them

    Get them to a point where I could at least ride the bike home? Of the dozen or so wheelset I’ve done, or had done, I’ve had at least a ride out of them before a top up is required. Not them being pankcake flat after 20mins

    Superficial
    Free Member

    ‘You want me to pump them up, ride them […]?
    ‘Yeah, to give the sealant chance to get round the rim and coat the tyre’
    Erm, no.

    Uh, yes. You’d have saved a lot of bother (yours, the bike shop’s) if you’d listened to the person who actually knows about such matters.

    Having said that, tubeless (and suspension tuning) are the things that most home mechanics struggle with and yet very few bike shops actually offer a good service on this.

    I’d love the ability to potter round a LBS, I’d probably buy some stuff although I imagine I’d still go online (for the convenience, more than the price).

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    We have three decent bike shops in Aviemore, four if you count Alpine at Tisos. They all seem to be doing fine. Personally, I’m rarely in any of them as I carry out my own spannering. My riding mates are 50:50 on home servicing or just handing it to one of the shops and I know from chatting to them that there is usually a bit of a wait so it appears the shops are busy enough.

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    They all do that. What you need to do is pump them up again and go for a ride and keep pumping them up until they hold air.’

    ‘You want me to pump them up, ride them until they go flat (less than 20 mins remember), and keep doing that until they hold air?’

    ‘Yeah, to give the sealant chance to get round the rim and coat the tyre’

    100% best advice there, no better way to set up troublesome tubeless wheels and the advice we always gave riders after picking up wheels. Letting them sit with the sealant in one place won’t help at all. The shop should have told you this at pick up though.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    My LBSs include Decathlon, Leisure Lakes, Evans, and Rutland. So kind of cheating.

    But I’ll be popping into a smaller independent this week as they do Syncros bottle cages that I need, and my road bike is booked into another for its post winter service. New shoes and helmet are required so thats a couple more trips to a real shop somewhere

    intheborders
    Free Member

    I was at mine a couple of weeks ago having some wheel-building done.
    I can get wheels straight or round, he can both at once and so I go to him. There are some things you just cant do online, we will always need an LBS
    He has next to no stock and operates out of a couple of shipping containers though, it is 99% a workshop not a shop-shop. The business model seems to work

    Happy Trails in Galashiels by any chance – recommended.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    I have a number of good LBS close by but don’t really use any of them (last time was for them to press in a FSA press fit – threaded BB sleeve).

    I buy pretty much everything online, most of that is from “real” bike shops, but they’re not local to me.

    I used to use the German suppliers, but that’s all gone tits up now.

    It’s my cash, I shop around for where best to spend it. My most local LBS is full MRRP on everything, they appear to be thriving, I’m just not their customer base.

    It used to be that CRC would be cheaper than shops could buy parts for, then the Germans, we’re currently in a parts drought though, I’m sure a new supplier will pop up post Covid/Brexit.

    A smart move was/is a workshop only service (mobile / collection) that you can have your online purchased parts delivered to, they then charge you an advice / handling / fitting fee. They’d use the internet as their parts store, it’s impossible for a shop to carry the stock you want as there’s so many standards/specs/variables/colour etc, plus they’re most likely quicker to get it to your bike that way than a LBS ordering through their supplier.

    timbog160
    Full Member

    Generally just use the internet after a couple of bad experiences but not against LBS use. Have an acquaintance who runs an LBS a bit further away and he’s had his best year ever – he was on the verge of shutting for good pre lockdown. But it’s not coz of the likes of ‘us’, it’s due to all the lockdown cyclists…

    joebristol
    Full Member

    100% best advice there, no better way to set up troublesome tubeless wheels and the advice we always gave riders after picking up wheels. Letting them sit with the sealant in one place won’t help at all. The shop should have told you this at pick up though.

    I must have setup / taped at least 16 wheels from scratch and changed tubeless tyres many more times. Once popped into the rim and filled with sealant / inflated I do the Stan’s dance / jiggle and spin the wheels around a bit. Never had a tubeless tyres then go flat in 20 mins. They’ve all stayed up fine.

    If I’d put a wheel into a bike shop I’d expect them to do the same as me and get the same result. Unless the tyre randomly wept loads of sealant out the side wall in which case I’d reinflate and ride it. I haven’t actually had a tyre do that in any meaningful way though – the Maxxis / Specialized / Schwalbe tyres I’ve used have all been pretty easy tubeless.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    I must have setup / taped at least 16 wheels from scratch and changed tubeless tyres many more times. Once popped into the rim and filled with sealant / inflated I do the Stan’s dance / jiggle and spin the wheels around a bit. Never had a tubeless tyres then go flat in 20 mins. They’ve all stayed up fine

    I’ve never had one that’s gone down that didn’t need attention, sure i’ve had a few that’ve lost a bit of pressure, but generally if they’ve lost it all, especially within 20 mins, then the taping is crap or i’ve used tape that was already fitted instead of fitting new tape. But if they’re going flat in 20 mins, i’d say there’s something more than a minor bit of fluid will fix.

    escrs
    Free Member

    Very rarely use a LBS, i buy 99.9% online and have done for the last 20+ years

    I can strip a bike and build one from scratch inc wheel building since i was 14 so Ive never paid for a shop to carry out a repair

    I have some good bike shops in the surrounding 25 mile area but they inevitably more expensive, dont have the item i want in stock and cost me money in fuel to go there (twice if i have to go there to order and then go back once they get it in stock)

    Along with the above most of them can only stock certain brands due to other shops not wanting to stock the same brands as other local shops which is understandable but frustrating if you dont want to have to go to 2-3 different shops to get the parts you want

    Ordering online for example from Wiggle (i do use other smaller online shops with actual shop premises too) i can get everything i want pretty much from one retailer, get a 12% platinum discount and have it delivered the next day for £10 a year (Wiggle+)

    Superficial
    Free Member

    Every single tyre I’ve set up tubeless (probably 40+?) will go flat after the first inflation without riding. Maybe not in 20 mins but over an hour or so. Perhaps my Stan’s dance game is not good enough. In fact I’ve learnt not to bother with all that, a ride is a much better way to shake the sealant about.

    Pump it up and go ride is good advice.

    BlipBloop
    Free Member

    I think it’s completely reasonable to expect an LBS to clean and fit new tape if you asked them to do it from the outset. Just saying the old tape is fine is a bodge and a waste of time. The old tape may be fine but you asked for new tape.

    It’s relevant as service levels stopped me going to Bike shops. One of them tried to rip me off consistently by quoting prices and then charging more once the part arrived or job was done. Another just have staff who need some training on how to deal with customers who walk into a shop actively looking to buy.

    Funnily enough if I won Euromillians I would run a Bike shop but I’m not sure it would make much money now the internet has made it easier and cheaper to both buy and watch YouTube videos on how to spanner.

    Rich_s
    Full Member

    As a lot of the comments above, I’ve not really used an LBS for years; apart from taking bike boxes from them and once when my weak and puny muscles couldn’t take a cassette lockring off. Plus we have talented people like MrOvershoot in the neighbourhood for tricky stuff like bearings.

    I’m on a couple of groups on Facebook for Frog and Islabikes and what is amazing is that plenty of (quite wealthy?) folks go on there to ask questions about their “investments” that they could easily have sorted with a visit to their LBS. And I’m talking about a wide range of issues that most people couldn’t sort at home due to the tools required, through to “tyres are flat; the valve is different” stuff. Maybe the industry has a bit of an image issue with dusty old shops? Maybe a lot have closed down? Maybe YouTube is seen as the go-to for self help?

    Recently, someone has started posting in those groups about taking those queries to LBS’s which is good to see. But as mentioned above, I think their business model has changed to virtually all maintenance plus occasional sale. With almost zero parts sales.

    Murray
    Full Member

    Closest shop is not very good, but has a good business model – cheap, proper kids bikes in the main. I gave up using them for servicing etc 20 years ago.

    There was another good shop 10 miles away that I bought one of my daughter’s bikes from, paying a small premium over online. Sadly, it’s gone bust.

    I have used the local service only shop occasionally and would do so again if I couldn’t do the job myself.

    rossco832
    Full Member

    There’s 2 Bike Shops in Fort William both seem busy all the time. I only use one of them and if it was to go I would do more things myself to my bike.

    Tom-B
    Free Member

    I use our LBS….I’m just getting back into cycling after a 5 year gap. Living in a different area than when I was last into riding so had no prior experience of the one that I’m using. They seem great though. Bought some commuting tyres from them last week. 2 quid per tyre more than I found online. I needed new tubes for them too….they did me 3 for 2 on the tubes which was really nice of them. Got my gf a helmet from there, again maybe a few quid more expensive but was good for her to try a few on.

    Will use them for repairs as and when needed. Anything more technical than simple adjustments are beyond me….I just don’t enjoy working on bikes, never have, never will.

    stevextc
    Free Member

    One is small but very good at customer service (Hamoons in Shaftesbury). I use them all as much as is practical, but I will also use the e-web for some parts too.

    I’d hate to lose my LBS.

    This sorta illustrates why they can’t survive.
    Last time I called Will was just for a +20 or +23 postmount adapter but they don’t keep them in stock.

    My local local LBS is only open Friday’s as Saturdays and has never been able to do anything I need and has no bike parking.

    In general bike shops only have 3 uses .. 4 if you include keeping a track pump or even a compressor like LL at 417)

    1) Supply parts – no longer viable unless they REALLY specialise. If Hamoon don’t keep a +20 in stock who would ??

    2) Do jobs I don’t have the tooling for – but then unless they can get the job done faster than I can order in the tooling online they just burned this opportunity forever .. not ponly have I nbow invested in the tooling but it’s more convenient to do it at home as I don’t need to get a bike to a LBS and then risk leaving the bike I used to get there outside.

    3) Provide a cuppa and chat about bikes

    The most useful LBS for me are ones can do a job on the spot whilst you ride or have a cuppa.
    I guess now I’m a van owner that is much less.

    I wouldn’t usually carry a full set of taps, inserts etc in the car or my full suspension tools and fluids in the car but now I have a van its way easier. Indeed I started a reorg last night – I usually didn’t carry full brake tooling rather I have a bleed kit and pads and spare rotors in one general toolbox and spare hose, olives, barbs in another. Since last night I now have a separate brake toolbox … I’m meeting a mate next week and I’ll have the suspension toolkit/spares in a separate toolbox by then to do a charger bleed as he’s not done one before but then we’ll use his unless he’s missing anything or the nipple isn’t delivered on time.

    I offered to just lend him mine but as he said he’d rather have the tooling to do it himself so he’s not dependant on a booking or having to stay in on a riding day for a courier delivery.

    I think maybe this is where LBS’s are now. Unless they can keep the parts in stock its very inconvenient to try and use them.
    You have to wait with no bike as a minimum until they get stock delivered. Then you have to get the bike to them whilst CRC or amazon can get it to you next day.

    tails
    Free Member

    Yes and no, I can do a fair bit myself. Bicycle Ambulance in Cambridge have been good the couple of times I’ve used them, although I’ve never taken any MTB stuff there as they look very geared towards road biking. Bought my MTB from C6 nice chap on the desk but very focussed on shifting £6k Santa Cruz, would prob by tyres from them if I needed and did look if they stocked OneUp recently rather than buy online. Then Brink is not too far from me, I’ve popped in a few times to look at stuff think they know there stuff but again seem £6k Santa Cruz focussed.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    When I got home, I span the wheel in the stand, then went for a 10 min spin in the morning, any more and I’d be risking the rim. Neither made a difference, air is coming out of 3 or 4 spoke holes, fast. As I say, I’ve never had this issue from any other shop, or when I’ve done it myself. Only reason I asked the shop to do it was I CBA retaping the wheels, having refilled the sealant. As it is I’m in no better position than when I took the wheels in, save for I have a new valve, and am £30 lighter.

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