Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 32

Thread: LBS deals vs. Bikes Direct / Nashbar?

  1. #21
    hozn's Avatar
    hozn is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,320
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Online is the way to go if you're trying to buy a groupset. It's interesting how hard the online discount shops push that one thing, because it's so easy for them to undercut major brands with a quick bullet point, without having to worry at all about what the groupset is attached to.
    Which in-store brands aren't sold around the groupset? That is the primary (often the only) differentiator between the different bicycle pricepoints. (There's still some difference between alloy and carbon, but you don't get into nuanced layup differences until you're into quite top-shelf bicycle frames.)

    I'd also suggest that online is the way to go if you want to buy a frameset ...

    Of course, I agree that online isn't a great option for those who aren't equipped (or interested) in doing their own bike tuning (or assembly, in case of building up from a frame). I think the problem is that going from "I know nothing about bikes" to "I can now do 90% of this myself" is maybe a $150 investment in a maintenance manual and the basic tools, which is somewhere around what a single overhaul is gonna cost at the LBS. So the LBS value on bike repair is one for people who don't have the time/space to do maintenance work themselves (and have the money to let a shop do it) or really just have no desire to get dirty working on their bikes. With maybe a few exceptions like Di2 programming or replacing seals in suspension forks, bicycles just aren't that complicated.

    I think it'd be interesting to have an LBS that focused on instruction and cheap tool / workstand rental. I remember discussing with Kevin -- I guess this exists on the west coast. If there was beer there, I'd rent shop time too. It'd be a great place for people less confident with working on their bikes to get together with other cyclists that are more confident.

    I'd also happily pay membership dues -- Rapha-style -- to an LBS where I'm joining all their group rides, etc. I don't think there needs to be an expectation that those community services are always free.

  2. ELITE Vicegrip ELITED this post
  3. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Falls church
    Posts
    1,215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have found that "easy" is relative. I have dear friends that are leaders in their profession, great parents and great friends but hamfisted, screw stripping, bolt breaking disasters when tools are involved. To us mechanically inclined it is so simple and clear. More than once I have had to use my cop voice and tell someone "Drop the tools and step away from the bike"
    OTOH I can't spell worth a damn and ask my 12 year old son how to spell words.

    Most people would find that basic bike work is truly easy and simple. The tools are inexpensive and the work is safe. I own individual automotive tools that fit in one hand that cost more than all of my bike tools combined (and I like to buy bike tools ) No hot motors to burn hands on, no oil or coolant to recycle and no heavy parts to stain your back with. I work on cars and bikes and find working on bikes to be a joy. I reserve time and look forward to hanging a bike on a stand and sorting through it.

    A bike/coffee shop with 3 or 4 stands, a set of how to books and a tool wall would be real cool. Monthly membership and you can bring in your own parts or walk in's use store bought parts only. Get in over your head and a helping hand is nearby. I could see where it would build strong shop loyalty and it could also be a lot of work answering 1000 questions a day showing how stuff works and how not to use the chain breaker as a hammer.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 08-29-2017 at 06:56 AM.

  4. Likes zsionakides, hozn liked this post
  5. #23
    hozn's Avatar
    hozn is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,320
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
    A bike/coffee shop with 3 or 4 stands, a set of how to books and a tool wall would be real cool. Monthly membership and you can bring in your own parts or walk in's use store bought parts only. Get in over your head and a helping hand is nearby. I could see where it would build strong shop loyalty and it could also be a lot of work answering 1000 questions a day showing how stuff works and how not to use the chain breaker as a hammer.
    When we're both ready to change our day jobs we should sit down and flesh this idea out! -- I'm more than half serious. More education needed on the business side, but it feels like something that could work. Most of the cyclists I know that currently take their bikes to a shop for routine maintenance would love to know how to replace their drivetrain but for most the burden of getting the necessary tools, knowing which parts to buy, etc. is just enough hassle to keep them dropping the bike off at the shop. (But they hate losing their bike for a few days.)

  6. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Falls church
    Posts
    1,215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    In as soon as the kids clear HS. Got the VC too. We need to find a going coffee shop in a growing area and add in bikes. It is a great way to make a small fortune too!*

    there is a zen to working on your own bikes. Making a place where bike owners can see and feel this is key. Our bikes are not like cars. They are more personal and fitted to you. We ride on our bikes but are in a way we are riding with the bike too. We are more connected to and feel every little thing that the bike does. When you have the right tools, basic skills and place to work bike maintenance is much more a happy activity than work. The parts of bike repair that are "work" are most often that way because you are making a compromise due to location and the like. Washing a bike when you don't have a good place to do so as example.



    *all you need to do is start with a large one.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 08-29-2017 at 07:18 AM.

  7. #25
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,911
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    Which in-store brands aren't sold around the groupset? That is the primary (often the only) differentiator between the different bicycle pricepoints. (There's still some difference between alloy and carbon, but you don't get into nuanced layup differences until you're into quite top-shelf bicycle frames.)
    Well, when I buy a bike I like to ride it to see how it rides. I don't think I've ever actually bought the bike I thought I was going to get, because when I tried it, it just wasn't right--and the groupset has pretty close to zero to do with that. I know quite a few people who start from a frame, build up a bike, are very excited about the specs, then end up selling it a year later because it turns out it wasn't right. If you like to build bikes I guess that's great, but if you're just looking for the right bike that's a pretty inefficient way to go about things. Luckily we have some good shops in the area where you can actually ride a few bikes and find the one that really works--that's not something that's going to come from an online shop anytime soon.

  8. Likes hozn, huskerdont liked this post
  9. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    1,071
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've bought bikes at the LBS, bought bikes online, bought frames to build up (with some help from the LBS; I'm not a great mechanic), and had a bike custom made. I've had about the same satisfaction with each. All were almost, but not quite, perfect. I could happily ride any of them, but there have always been one or two little things I'd change. I'm probably anomalous though in that I feel like I can ride most any bike. I have comfortably ridden a 61 cm that was too large for me and a 54 cm belonging to the girl. Still, I would only buy a bike online if the return is hassle free and not too expensive, even though I've so far never returned one.

  10. Likes hozn liked this post
  11. #27
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Capitol Hill
    Posts
    3,504
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I've bought bikes at the LBS, bought bikes online, bought frames to build up (with some help from the LBS; I'm not a great mechanic), and had a bike custom made. I've had about the same satisfaction with each. All were almost, but not quite, perfect. I could happily ride any of them, but there have always been one or two little things I'd change. I'm probably anomalous though in that I feel like I can ride most any bike. I have comfortably ridden a 61 cm that was too large for me and a 54 cm belonging to the girl. Still, I would only buy a bike online if the return is hassle free and not too expensive, even though I've so far never returned one.
    I'm very similar in that I don't have very strictly defined preferences for riding position and such, so I've never had fit issues with online bikes that couldn't be fixed with minor tweaks. Right now, I have three bikes that are pretty different (at least within the context of drop bar bikes) and have had even more in the past, and I ride them all at least once a week, which I think has given me a bit of a high tolerance for fit issues.

  12. #28
    hozn's Avatar
    hozn is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,320
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I test rode my first road bike for several weeks before buying it. Later I learned it was very much the wrong size, but it took years and significant increase in mileage to come to understand (i.e. notice) that. It was a great bike. Lemond frames are built for people with long femurs which is the opposite of what I have, so with the setback seatpost the saddle was ridiculously far back for me. And it was 15mm too short in the top tube, which I probably didn't notice since I was back so far. But bodies adapt. I don't think it could have gone any worse, fit-wise, by just picking an online bike sized based on my height.

    But now that I know my size for a given style of riding (and that took me years and a professional fitting to really nail down), there isn't any reason for me not to buy a frame without having ridden it. The things that make a salient difference to me when I'm riding my bike is geometry, cockpit, tires and to a lesser extent wheels, frame features like tire clearance and thru-axles for stiffness, gear range, drivetrain group, and then maybe something like lateral frame stiffness. I notice the weight. But most of these are quantifiable values that you can just as easily discover online.

    Not to discourage people from buying from a shop. At all. But do it because you like the ritual or because you have been riding long enough to feel a frame through the cockpit, tires, wheels and you really care about those subtle differences. The world would be a worse off if there were no shop rides or race sponsors, but there has to be an economic basis, not just a guilt trip for people to buy from an LBS.

  13. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Falls church
    Posts
    1,215
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I sat on my first adult road bike for perhaps 30 seconds while holding /leaning on a wall. Put over 20K on it.... The present road bike was a frame out build. Set it up the way I likes and to the same dimensions as the first bike. Went to get a pro fit and the fitter did not change anything on the bike. One cleat slipped and was not lined up right.

    Most bike shops that fail do so via mismanagement or they were pre-doomed to start with just the same as do ice cream shops or dry cleaners. Green Lizard and Bikenitic are two examples of indi shops that pull people in. They offer sales and service that enough people want. I have not spent all that much there but I have sent plenty of people to Bikenetic and no one wants their recommendation to be a bad one.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 08-29-2017 at 03:24 PM.

  14. Likes Sunyata, hozn, Judd liked this post
  15. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Springfield VA
    Posts
    133
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
    I have found that "easy" is relative. I have dear friends that are leaders in their profession, great parents and great friends but hamfisted, screw stripping, bolt breaking disasters when tools are involved. To us mechanically inclined it is so simple and clear.
    When I had my first bike as an adult, I told a friend of mine I was going to overhaul my bottom bracket. This was in the old days before cartridge bottom brackets. He was shocked and said that when it came to the bottom bracket, that was too advanced for him and he took it to the bike shop. Well, he was a physicist and I'm an engineer, so I not took it apart and put it back together, I enjoyed doing it.

    I've done just about everything on my bike, including overhauling a suspension fork. I actually look forward to overhauling my Chris King hubs, which gives me a reason to use one of the coolest tools ever, and there is a certain satisfaction from riding on wheels that I built myself, although I will admit that I can sometimes buy a hand built wheel cheaper from Colorado Cyclist than I can buy the parts and build it myself.

  16. Likes hozn liked this post

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •