What premium to support LBS?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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mjr
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby mjr » 13 Nov 2017, 2:48pm

Stevek76 wrote:The main issue though is convenience rather than price, like most independent shops in this country their opening times seem to largely coincide with the 'normal' work day.

Yeah but the same's true of many car mechanics outside of the big cities and few seem to have problems with arranging their car going in to the shop. It's one of a few things where bikes seem to be treated less seriously than other vehicles.

The other thing is that it seems like only fairly traditional workplaces now let their workers have a late start or early finish once a week so they can go to things like that. That said, I don't know if the others give their workers extra holidays to allow them to take half-days (or hours, possibly?) off now and again instead and it's just that the workers don't use them like that and prefer to try to save them up to extend the summer holiday or whatever.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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hondated
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby hondated » 13 Nov 2017, 5:41pm

mercalia wrote:these days anyone can sell things online - even poundlander has an online site ( not sure if you can buy online) so no reason to be JUST be a local lbs? Spa cycles must be the archetypal example?

Only got as far as this post so far and it more or less encapsulates my opinion. Funnily enough earlier today Twitter asked the same question and my response was as much as I like to support my LBS's, and in fact got a better price for my grandsons BMX bike than I could get on the Net, because they seem almost luddite in not having a web page I gravitate to on line stores. Spa Cycles in particular as there web page is brilliant and I very often spend time on it planning to spend hundreds of pounds some evenings. Just sad I cannot afford to. HOB, Wiggle, CRC, Spa Cycles they can all deliver quickly and at competitive prices. Prior to the internet I could justify using my LBS and perhaps paying that bit extra because of the knowledge I could acquire from them but now with this forum Cyclechat , CGOAB etc I can seek advice without incurring any extra costs.
For a LBS to survive they really do need a comprehensive web page and I wonder what percentages of sales that those that do have one takes place either late at night or in the early hours as that's when I seem to order most of what I want.
Well the wife is well asleep by that time !

Flinders
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby Flinders » 13 Nov 2017, 5:56pm

I don't mind paying extra. I get such good service, I want them to be there for me. That means buying, and ordering, from them so they get their markup.

The internet won't fit parts for me, notice a worn part, service the bike, tell me straight when a product I'm interested in has a high failure rate, tell me a good part has had its manufacturing moved to some slave labour dump somewhere and is now of poorer quality which they know about because they have their ear in the trade, return anything that fails (like a heart monitor once did) and deal with all the hassle of getting a replacement for me, recommend things impartially when I ask and get it right every time as mine does, etc.

I will, and do, pay more there than the cheapest place on the internet, but I get far better value.

What I really hate is people going into local shops (of whatever specialism) picking brains, handling goods, and then either demanding web prices, or leaving and buying on the web. That behavior stinks. As does buying on the web and then expecting a local shop to fit things for nothing, or for peanuts, and/or expecting said shop to drop work for their more loyal customers to handle the web-buyer's problems with fitting stuff NOW because they need it done for some event.

Flinders
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby Flinders » 13 Nov 2017, 6:07pm

gloomyandy wrote:.............one (Paul Milne Cycles) asked me what it was I was after and offered to try an put something together that would meet my requirements. I had a fairly long email conversation with them and put together a fairly unusual build (Croix de Fer frame, plus a mix of SRAM road and mountain parts), which they came back with a very competitive price on. I think they used a complete bike as a basis and swapped in the special parts I wanted. I got the impression they enjoyed putting together something different. Anyway as a result I purchased the bike from them and have been very pleased with it, I've sent a few others their way since. Basically they offered a bit more than a standard service and I liked that.
...............
My LBS recommended a Ridley, because they did a very small frame which I needed, but they swopped out components so that it fitted me better- eg, longer stem, narrower bars, different saddle etc. and fitted/swopped other bits and pieces I wanted, selected suitable gears for me, everything. They set it all up exactly to fit. No online seller could do all that even if they wanted to, as it was done by measuring me up very carefully, asking me what I planned to do in terms of distance and terrain and what sort of 'feel' I liked to a frame, knowing what I had done in the past because they serviced my old bike, and watching how I rode the bike I already had. I didn't know enough to tell them exactly what parts I needed as I imagine you did.
They then set it up with me in the shop on a turbo, and tweaked it, to get everything just right. And it's a dream to ride, best bike and best fitting bike I have ever had.

mattsccm
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby mattsccm » 13 Nov 2017, 7:36pm

Sadly, personally the premium is very little.
I love bike shops as I love poking around bikes. However, few actually have anything for me really. Most are either the big chains which almost always have a limited range of kit or they are the smaller ones which carry the same stuff as all others. It will be Madison supplied stock or BBB etc for tools and Altura, Endura etc for clothing . All very good but sooooo boring. Bikes are almost always the big names or low spec stuff.
Prices understandably higher as they don't buy as cheaply as the big boys. I don't resent this, indeed in a daft way, I resent the pile it high and sell it cheap idea and the whole mail order principle. However my pocket and head rules my heart.
I buy from my local shop if desperate or if deals and sales boxes appear. Eg Tubes were 2 for a fiver as they were clearing out one brand of odds ad sods.
Its shame really but being spoilt for choice isn't always a god thing.
It a nutshell they have little to offer. I have never had a shop fix a bike for me, it is too easy. My local wheel wizard finishes off my own built wheels at times and he works from home. That's it.

rmurphy195
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby rmurphy195 » 13 Nov 2017, 7:59pm

I recently had a bike built by an LBS (well, about 15 miles away!), paying their full price for the bits, in return for which I got the build FOC. Paid well over the odds for tyres and some other odds and dabs but well worth it for the service etc.

Paid a bit extra than online prices (they were available) at another LBS (About 10 miles away!) for Brompton, again well worth it for the advice and practical triels I got about "Will it fit in my car" (it did!).

Wouldn't buy a bike any other way than from an LBS, but spares etc. its down to who has what in stock when I need it, like everything else. And as I said before, my "Local" LBS' don't exist any more even within riding distance (except Halfords) so its either a car journey, or time consuming bus/train/bike journey now which is annoying, it more or less forces me to use the internet unless I'm passing anyway.
Scott Purgatory MTB, Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and grey hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

brynpoeth
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby brynpoeth » 13 Nov 2017, 8:06pm

My LBS closed

A bookseller took over the premises
Cycling? Of course, but it's far better on a Gillott.

djnotts
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby djnotts » 13 Nov 2017, 8:18pm

Hardly used one in years. Always buy bikes - and many components - second hand. Rest CRC or Spa. I used occasionally go into a couple (1 now disappeared, pretty much overnight runner), but I got fed up being sneered at (and the ignorance of most of the staff about anything older than a year or so). I am far from a fan of modern "shopping", but bike shops by and large simply cannot compete. And I wouldn't trust any of them to work on a bike I ride - I care about my life, they don't (and yes there are of course exceptions, but none I know of near me).

mnichols
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby mnichols » 14 Nov 2017, 3:59pm

Flinders wrote:I don't mind paying extra.


but how much extra would you pay? =

gbnz
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby gbnz » 14 Nov 2017, 6:12pm

mattsccm wrote: but being spoilt for choice isn't always a god thing. .


I'd agree, religion is a restrictive practice and limiting choice tends to be an integral part of any religion. I'm sure some Christians were trying to limit cycling back in the 1880's, something about it interfering with Sunday worship :roll:

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby Heltor Chasca » 14 Nov 2017, 7:02pm

Hopefully my lbs has got his demographics right. He sells low value gubbins to cater for the local market. I get my stuff and clothing from the Internet. Then he sells Specialized, Cannondale, Dawes and Raleigh which probably covers a good cross section of the market. He can order in specific bikes on request. And finally he does pretty good wrench work from punctures, trueing, bar tape, wheel builds etc. He seems to do a fair bit for the local road groups.

For the trickier stuff which I don’t have special tools, I’ll go knocking. Recently I popped in and he gave me the exact bolt I needed for a fettle.

Long may he stay in business. I often Tweet about his business in the hope some word of mouth helps.

I’ve never noticed a premium. It’s always felt like a good deal.

pwa
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby pwa » 14 Nov 2017, 8:55pm

I've not had a really good bike shop near me since I moved down here to the Vale of Glamorgan about 27 years ago, so I haven't built up any sense of loyalty. There are bike shops that cater well for road racers (a shop about four miles away) and MTBers (around 15 miles away) but nowhere I'd expect to be able to buy a set of proper bolt on SKS Chromoplastic mudguards or a decent pannier rack. And as for tyres, I'd do better at my nearest Bikehut.

So I try to support online outlets that really cater for people like me. Mostly that means Spa Cycles and SJS. I'd rather pay a few quid more and put the money in their pockets than do business with more mainstream outlets like Evans. If Evans went bust I'd get over it by the middle of next week. If Spa disappeared I would feel the loss every time I wanted something.

Stevek76
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby Stevek76 » 14 Nov 2017, 9:49pm

mjr wrote:Yeah but the same's true of many car mechanics outside of the big cities and few seem to have problems with arranging their car going in to the shop. It's one of a few things where bikes seem to be treated less seriously than other vehicles.

The other thing is that it seems like only fairly traditional workplaces now let their workers have a late start or early finish once a week so they can go to things like that. That said, I don't know if the others give their workers extra holidays to allow them to take half-days (or hours, possibly?) off now and again instead and it's just that the workers don't use them like that and prefer to try to save them up to extend the summer holiday or whatever.


Where I work it's very flexible but I'm not sure that holds for many. I still find the opening hours odd. In many other countries stuff being open later seems more normal. Most of the independent shops here are 9-17:30, or less..

Also I was more thinking of buying parts than getting repairs, the latter I'd far rather do myself. I'd do more of my car myself if it was practical but that's often a bigger task.

uppadine
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby uppadine » 14 Nov 2017, 10:42pm

I'm sorry to read most of the above. Most cyclists can't change a bottom bracket, or fit new cables. I value my LBS enough to put what work I can their way, in the hope that they'll be there to sort out a problem quickly when it arises unexpectedly at the wrong time. Flinders (above) says everything I would want to, and it applies to retail in general. Whether it's your local book shop, your local greengrocer or your village shop, these are precious assets we are steadily losing in the quest to save a few quid.

pwa
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Re: What premium to support LBS?

Postby pwa » 15 Nov 2017, 8:28am

uppadine wrote:I'm sorry to read most of the above. Most cyclists can't change a bottom bracket, or fit new cables. I value my LBS enough to put what work I can their way, in the hope that they'll be there to sort out a problem quickly when it arises unexpectedly at the wrong time. Flinders (above) says everything I would want to, and it applies to retail in general. Whether it's your local book shop, your local greengrocer or your village shop, these are precious assets we are steadily losing in the quest to save a few quid.


I'm not sure people are deterred from using their LBS by price. More a matter of them not having the right stuff or not providing skills we don't have ourselves. I sometimes knowingly spend more than I might by supporting a favourite online outlet like Spa. If I had an LBS that was much use to me I would support them.