How Important Is It To Support Local Bike Shop

We have a few LBS in my small resort town and I don’t think any of them sell bikes anymore. Demos and rentals are huge here along with service and gear/supplies.
I have my shop I go to all the time. Have never bought a bike from them because well they don’t sell bikes. But they do have probably the best mechanics in town and are great people. I get all of the stuff I need right away from them: tires, lube, tubes, gloves, etc. I bring them coffee, lacroix, sometimes beer, pizza, you name it. It’s a really great shop. I tell everyone to go there.

I don’t really ask for much in return despite usually getting 10-25% off pending what I buy and my repairs in a pinch usually get put to the front. Though, I always bring my bike down usually within a week or so of when I need it back for whatever race. So, I always say, just need it by X day.

So, building a relationship with the LBS is a great thing and encouraged.

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Doesn’t answer your question, but I’d be more worried about what you do when the bike doesn’t fit or breaks. From what I’ve read, Canyon has less than stellar customer service. Will the shop fight Canyon for you if things go south?

@Pbase Agreed, so for the purposes of this discussion assume it isn’t Canyon then. Maybe it’s Parlee, something from the UK (I’m in the US), or Allied. In other words, not “bike shop brands” like Trek, Spesh, Giant, etc. or a bike brand that doesn’t have a dealer nearby.

I like some of the upsides that @DanaSummey and others have pointed out about a good relationship with the shop. And my local one has ace mechanics. I just don’t want their bikes.

I live in a big city, so I can pretty much get anything I want. I have an LBS whose mechanics I absolutely love and they support our local road and mtb community heavily.

Unfortunately, they don’t sell the brands that I want. I go in, test their bikes, pray I find one I like, and don’t feel guilty if I buy something else. It’s not a price thing, it’s that I prefer other bikes. They don’t love it, but they don’t turn away my business and it hasn’t impacted our relationship either. I see it as a symbiotic relationship. They hook me up when they can, i get my parts and service there, and I still get them cookies or beer once in a while and send every rider i meet their way too! :grin:

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Why do people think a LBS deserves a monopoly on your bike spending, never understood that. If something is the same quality, expensive, and much cheaper online I’d buy it there because I’m not made of money. I bought a used bike off craigslist but take it into the shop for maintenance all the time and the mechanics could care less. I make sure to leave tips when they do a good job.

Feeling guilty to take a bike to a lbs just because said bike was bought somewhere else sounds crazy to me. What if you move to another city? Would you re buy all your n+1’s? I think lbs’s should treat all costumers the same, regardless.

In my experience LBS are happy to work on any bike that isn’t from Walmart or a toy store. They work on those too but grumble in private that people should buy real bikes. Jerk moves: sourcing parts online and then asking the LBS to install them for you or shopping the LBS and taking up staff time and expertise only to buy something they had in stock online.


It depends a good deal on the bike shop for me. There are two big ones here in Kingston, Ontario. The Trek store is my go to. I love the service, the people, and drooling over bikes even though I am not a huge fan of the Madone or the TT bike except recently. Regardless, I give my credit card to my wife for safekeeping and go there as much as I can.

My rule is: If they cannot get the part, it is ok for me to bring it to them to install. For example, a Shimano inline brake adjuster, TriRig omega X brakes, Alpha X bars, or a Felt frame (since they are Trek only) They cannot get it through their distributors so I order and tip them extra to install.

If I can get the part through them, then I will do a special order through them. They know me so typically give me a discount.

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Probably would not have taken up cycling again later in life - if not for the help, knowledge, friendliness and support of my local bike shop - Activ Cycles Folkestone (UK). Having visited a couple of other establishments and been made to feel quite inadequate and out of place these guys were a breath of fresh air.

Since then I purchase another bike* and nearly all my spares. Only venturing online when they didn’t have something in stock or there was a sale on somewhere.

About to go back for my third bike after the previous* summer bike one was wrecked by a car in August. There is no substitute for great customer service. Support your local LBS!

I’ve been to a handful of LBS’ in my city, all of which turned out to be completely impersonable jerks who take no pride in their work, actually damaged some of my equipment without taking responsibility and charged through the nose to boot.

A few years ago I decided this whole bike building/maintenance thing can’t be rocket science and guess what… it’s not. I bought a stand and a few tools to begin with (torque wrench, bottom bracket tools, few other bits and pieces)… and now I’ve built from scratch and maintained my three road bikes all using Campy 11. Youtube and the internet in general are fantastic resources. If you want something done right, do it yourself. Plus, maintaining bikes is actually fun!

I still buy consumables (tape, tubes, tyres, cables) from one particular shop here as they are within 5% of online.