How Important Is It To Support Local Bike Shop

This question came up recently with a riding buddy of mine. I’m considering getting a Canyon but showing up with a Canyon for service at the LBS seems like a jerk(ish) move. His opinion is that if you cannot take care of it yourself you shouldn’t get a Canyon.

Do you agree? Disagree? Why? How can I support and build a relationship with the LBS if/when I don’t want to buy the bike brands they carry?

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Realize that LBS make very little profit from selling you a new bike. Their bread & butter is in service and selling you all the extras. Besides that, they are a business that wants your money, do you really think they give a shxt about what kind of bike you have? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Buy the bike that’s a good fit and feel for you. You can do both by buying tires and parts from the local guy.

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I think a bike shop is going to welcome whatever sort of business they are able to get and any relationship they are able to establish, regardless of what bike you bring in. Get what you want and support them when you can!

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My husband owns a bike shop and I work in the business. While online ordering has caused a lot of store to have to close their doors, I think owners understand if you really want a certain brand that they don’t carry. What they don’t like is when you show up with something that you never even gave them a shot at. For example, some people buy a Trek simply because it’s a good deal and don’t care about the brand that much, they just want the good deal. If you have a shop you really want to work with, tell them what your budget is and give them a chance at the sale. If you really want a Canyon, then maybe tell them ahead of time that you really just want that particular brand but you also want to support your LBS and would like to have them service it for you and buy your accessories and nutrition and such from them. I think they would appreciate the fact that it is a concern for you.

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Very well put Dana.
I think we should do all we can too support the LBS , just remember nobody can adjust your gears online.

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That said, do we do all we can to support our local coaches…???

Just remember, Coach Chad doesn’t analyze your rides online. :wink:

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I used to always give my local bike shop the first shot at something. Unfortunately they do not carry a load of road gear so we would go in and do a special order. We would wait a couple to six weeks for a call and then go in to check on it. They usually would have done nothing and not even ordered it. Now I drive or call shops either 1.5 hours north or south for road items and still go into the local shop for mtb stuff. If no one has it I order online. Also the local shop doesn’t really service much to do with road bikes so for anything I cant do myself with the help of youtube I drive north or south. For Fat and MTB I get it serviced locally.

Round where I’m from, the Local Bike Shops make their money from servicing, repairs, and wheelbuilding. My favourite local place has stopped selling bikes full stop and just does maintenance and sells spares.

So don’t feel bad about buying from Canyon or whatever major online retailer. Just make sure you get your inner tubes, handlebar tape, and servicing from the LBS.

A local bike shop should be overjoyed if someone can’t look after their machine. Work for them! Taking your bike to them is no more of a jerk move than if you’d moved cities and needed a new LBS. I have a Canyon too and if the LBS made any comment about not supporting them I’d be out the door to a competitor.

If you like, support your LBS through parts etc, though I do most of my shopping online (as we have a pretty huge Australia tax).
LBS Patch kit $10, online $4
LBS Cables $12, $3.50

Mostly I’ll get something if I need it at short notice, but I’m pretty tired of the shops either not having what I need or it being way too expensive. More than once, I’ve bought the part online and the tools to fit it for the LBS parts price.

They do however get my custom for full-services (pulling bearings etc) and wheel truing.

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Bike Stores are great.
If you like dealing with some, and they provide value, you should consider the brands they carry and see if there is something that matches the expectations of the Canyon. Because there probably is 90% of the time.

I’d also consider what unique value your LBS can provide starting with decent advice on bike fit. If your LBS has the equipment and knowledge to adjust and tweak your bike fit you could gain a lot more performance.

And just realize that service is the backbone of LBS revenue. When you need them, pay them what they are worth. My LBS stores in Canada turn over special orders in 3 days max. Usually 3-5 days for suspension service, and 48 hours on tune ups. We also have a bunch of mobile shops that show up at your home when you schedule them and service your gear on-site. Also great service for many people.

M

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If your bike shop is a Canyon dealer and you buy a Canyon online and take it in to them for service then yes, you’re being a jerk.

If they don’t carry Canyon’s then you are totally fine - they’d love to service any bike. There are tons of bike manufacturers and most bike shops will only carry 1-2 brands - they understand if you want a different brand

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If your LBS turns their nose up at working on a Canyon… Screw 'em. They are on a sinking ship. Shops need to realize that business models like Canyon are here and they need to adapt. Both their business model and attitude.

I just bought a bike at another shop while I was on holidays in another province to save a pile of money on taxes. I just brought it in to my LBS to trim the hydraulic lines after I had the bars set up the way I like them. They were happy to do it. I could have done it myself but it’s a crappy job. I’m happy to toss them a few bucks to handle it for me. If they were to give me stick about bringing a bike in that I didn’t buy from them I’d turn around and walk out.

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Thanks everyone for the replies so far. Great input!

I definitely agree with those of you who have pointed out that they shouldn’t (and likely wouldn’t) refuse to service it. @Captain_Doughnutman @ncomerford @ChrisJDunbar

Just to riff a bit on what @DanaSummey and @martinheadon have said. I have also considered just getting a frame elsewhere and having the LBS build it up (I wouldn’t do that with a Canyon as they come in fairly inexpensively given the spec).

Ultimately I want to establish a good relationship and trust. Because when bad things really go down (like a bottom bracket), Canyon (or Rose, or fill in online retailer) isn’t going to do squat.

To be honest, any decent LBS is going to be glad to see a quality bike that needs a straight forward service job carried out.

They aren’t fighting off people desperate to get their 8k bike fettled, a lot of their time is usually dealing with cheap BSO that will never work properly, where the ‘customer’ will value the work in proportion to the value of their bike. I.E. very little

You are way overthinking this

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Agree with @Jonnyboy that I think you’re overthinking a bit. As another poster pointed out commerce has changed and business needs to adapt. The consumer needs to adapt as well.

With that said I feel for the LBS’s. I think the shops are stuck in the middle of manufacturers and distribution systems/laws/regulations. It doesn’t help that some mega brands like Trek put so many restrictions on brick and mortar shops. I’m not sure how this came to be other than supply/demand but, not sure. I’ve read QBP seems to be abused as well.

I’m not well versed enough to give much detail so maybe @DanaSummey can chime in? It will be a sad day if the LBS is no longer around. I do most of my business with them.

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My LBS is superb. It is in a very small town, but they give great advice. When I wanted to get my Garmin’s I gave them first refusal. They know I can get it Amazon for X price. I say to them if you can get it close to that price I will get it from you. They have done many a small job for me and not charged me. In fact a few years ago I felt so guilty I just gave them £20 for all the jobs they had done for me without charging.

They are technical very good and I trust them to service my bikes. One of the bikes was not bought from them, but they’re more than happy to service it. In fact they advised me how to change it from a TT bike to a road bike and built it for me.

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Landis, I think companies like Trek and Specialized put requirements on their dealers because they want to keep their brands solid. If they don’t, you,re going to find these bikes being sold on eBay, etc. Also, this helps keep the dealers from competing with each other. If Specialized doesn’t put any restrictions on their dealers, then you can drive 30 miles down the road to another Specialized dealer and get the same bike for less. It just keeps the brand solid and credible. If manufacturers didn’t impose these restrictions, stuff would just be getting sold for less and less due to competition and then the manufacturers would no longer be able to afford to produce a quality product. They put a lot of time and money into product development and also offer lifetime warranties. We have warrantied a lot of bikes and parts over the years.

Others things to keep in mind are:
—what kind of warranty does the brand you are considering offer
—LBS offer advice and knowledge
—LBS can usually order most anything you need. We order on Mondays and it’s in by Thursday most of the time.
—if you buy a road bike, you’ll need a fitting, we do that for free with bike sale.
—Group rides often start at shops where you can use the bathroom, refill your water bottles, borrow shop pumps, get a last minute tube change and come back later and pay for it. This happens all the time at our shop.

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I’ve been to crappy LBS and amazing LBS.
A go to bike shop is full of people who loves bikes (ride bikes too) and cares about what you’re getting. It needs to feel personal, trustworthy and a strong community behind them.
With that said I don’t always buy everything there, but I mostly service my bike there because they have one of the best mechanic IMO in town. They’re also owned by a husband and wife, they are super friendly, takes their time to help you, and sometimes they will find a solutions that is charge free.

They carry custom bikes, as well as big brands, but I never seen them turned away a rusty commuter bikes that comes in the shop. And yes some of the people I know comes in with canyon and they’ll service anything they can.

With that said, I just build a new bike with them, I could’ve saved $500 by buying tons of stuff online and parting it my self. But they takes care of my bikes year round with my other bikes, and adjusting the little things that needs to be done. Plus I like the folks and the community there, so helping them is like helping my own friends and family.

On the last note, Francis Cade just came in to the shop few weeks ago and I was at work… :confused:

LBS are like ANY other businesses, there are good ones and bad ones. THE GOOD ONES dont care what you ride, they care about you riding regardless of brand. I am so very blessed with a local shop that’s main goal is not to sell bikes but to bring the cycling community together, it was started by a guy I hardly knew but I took the time to get to know him better and his reasons for starting a shop. He has been in business now for 3 years and gives back to the local community. We have our local MTB club meetings there, the local city counsel attends the meetings at times to get public input on city projects, bike lanes, new single track projects for multiuse trails.

Fact is if he is a bit higher than internet prices I will still spend the money in the shop to support a local business that supports the local cycling community.

Dont get one of those nasty Canyons , get ya a Rocky Mountain!!

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