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BCS
10-06-2008, 02:31 PM
I just purchased a Fierte Steel frame and fork from a forumite. I can't wait to build it up. My LBS is good and I give them a fair amount of business. They just built up a 2000 Legend for my wife. I paid retail for a SRAM Red group, carbon bars etc.

I hate paying retail. There are some fairly deep discounts on line right now. Is it uncool to buy a bunch of parts online and pay for the LBS to assemble it? Should I buy some of the lower priced items at the LBS (stem, post, etc)?

Please advise.

dripfaucet
10-06-2008, 02:38 PM
I hate paying retail. There are some fairly deep discounts on line right now. Is it uncool to buy a bunch of parts online and pay for the LBS to assemble it? Should I buy some of the lower priced items at the LBS (stem, post, etc)?

Please advise.

Yeh, just phone them up and tell them what parts you need to complete your bike. Ask when they will arrive because you want to schedule your build. that way you aren't just walking in unannounced with arms full of parts. They will not give you any problems, esp since you just did a full bike there with your wife.

deechee
10-06-2008, 02:43 PM
talk to the guys at your shop. The guys I know are understanding; being in Canada, there are many times their cost can't even match the price I can get online. Speaking of which I really need to bake them some cookies.

also, to avoid the unsettling feeling I personally have with buying new parts elsewhere, I bought a bunch of parts here used. I save a bundle and don't feel as bad.

You're still paying for the labor for them to build up the bike no? There really shouldn't be any problems.

bagochips3
10-06-2008, 02:50 PM
I give my LBS as much business as I can, but I do most work myself and won't buy from my LBS if there is a huge price difference online. I try to support them as much as possible, but I'm not going to drive myself to the poor house along the way. Even if they are more expensive on some stuff, I'm happy to pay the LBS when I don't want to wait for shipping. But if I can afford to wait and will save hundreds over the LBS for a group or something, then I go online.

One thing that helps is that where I live there is a "Bicycle Coalition" that works to improve bicycling safety, education, etc. And if you join, you get 10% off most LBS in the area. I find this makes them competitive price-wise with most online places anyway so it's win-win.

I don't know if there's a "right" answer here. Let your conscious be your guide and know your LBS will be happy with whatever business you do give them.

Ken Robb
10-06-2008, 03:11 PM
my LBS is happy to build with parts bought elsewhere. The owner likes it when he's given a shot at matching prices first but he charges the same labor no matter where you got the parts. FWIW I was very surprised when he told me shops are NOT reimbursed for labor on warranty replacements. They get to remove, ship, replace faulty parts with no compensation so he might not be too helpful if you have warranty problems with parts bought elsewhere.

67-59
10-06-2008, 03:25 PM
This repeats some of what has been said above, but I like to buy from my LBS if he can come somewhere in the ballpark. It's obviously very subjective deciding if he's close enough, but I generally like to go with him when the difference isn't huge, because he's saved my butt more than a few times.

If his price is quite a bit higher than the online price, I tell him honestly that I'll get the parts online, but still would like him to install. This has happened a few times, and he is always happy to get the business on the labor.

Over time, my willingness to pay a premium over the online price has actually gotten greater, in large part due to how well I am treated either way....

Ahneida Ride
10-06-2008, 03:28 PM
My LBS is a Local Bike SHOP, not store ...
Sorry, no expresso machine, but there is a nice coffee/bagle shop
about 45 seconds away.

Rick is most enthusiastic about performing any service requested,
with a smile too ! ;)

Since Rick is the owner/operator, if it's ain't repaired correctly he
goes outa business. Small shops have a high incentive to provide
exemplary service. ;)

Acotts
10-06-2008, 04:50 PM
I really like my LBS. Thats where I got my Serotta. They also sponser my club and the mechs are cool as hell.

The thing is, I want a MTN bike. All they sell are Treks and Specialized.

That sucks

I want a Spooky. They have a cool website.

I know nothing about MTBs, haven't test ridden anything.

Trekalized does not make my heart flutter and it seems like that is all one can buy anymore.

More selection please. Some of us have too much money to just be another brick in the wall.

Steelhead
10-06-2008, 04:56 PM
I really like my LBS. Thats where I got my Serotta. They also sponser my club and the mechs are cool as hell.

The thing is, I want a MTN bike. All they sell are Treks and Specialized.

That sucks.

I bet they could get you something outside their floor inventory. Everybody has a QBP catalog and account. :)

benb
10-06-2008, 05:39 PM
It is always a good time to learn to build a bike yourself.

I never give myself a hard time about where I bought parts when I install them myself.

caleb
10-06-2008, 06:30 PM
Is it uncool to buy a bunch of parts online and pay for the LBS to assemble it? Should I buy some of the lower priced items at the LBS (stem, post, etc)?


It's neither cool or uncool - it's life, and your shop understands that stuff is available below cost online.

That said, you should expect to pay top dollar for a build using stuff you didn't buy from them.

The "standard shop rate" of $60-85/hr will probably apply, so you'll be looking at $150-250 for the labor of a quality build.

If you buy online and have your LBS do the assembly that's okay, but it will quickly become not okay if you balk at paying full pop for their time.

soulspinner
10-06-2008, 06:34 PM
Im open and give em a shot. If he comes close I let him do it. Back when I had more disposable $, I was willing to give em more profit. My guy does quickie truing and other easy fixes gratis. Two way street :) . I also know his favorite beer and what he likes on his pizza.

Ti Designs
10-06-2008, 06:53 PM
Im open and give em a shot. If he comes close I let him do it. Back when I had more disposable $, I was willing to give em more profit. My guy does quickie truing and other easy fixes gratis. Two way street :) . I also know his favorite beer and what he likes on his pizza.


As a bike shop guy I could not agree more. Give 'em a shot, if they come close, you don't pay for shipping and the problems that go along with mail order vanish as well. We get those work orders all the time - customer gets the parts mail order and we put the bike together. If the front derailleur clamp is the wrong size, what should the shop do? It's really not their fault, nor should it be their problem. It's reasonable to call the customer and tell them they supplied the wrong part. Then it's time to box the thing up, send it back and wait for the new one. In most cases I would have the mechanic swap parts with what we have in stock, as long as it's not the last of that size. In plenty of cases the customer wasn't even close, and the mail order place never picked up on it. The 31.8mm bars with the 26.0mm aero bars is a classic case...

I would like to think that the added piece of mind and good advice you can get from some LBS guys makes up for the difference in price - I could be wrong there...

PacNW2Ford
10-06-2008, 10:42 PM
Since I am regular customer of my LBS who's shopped there since they opened 14 years ago, I've never received an attitude about having them install outside parts. Of course, I never overdo it and try to get most of the build from them. They don't carry IF, but they were superexcited to do the build and with the results. On my Kogswell, I had them install the headset and trim the fork, again they were excited about seeing something different. Cool folks.

sg8357
10-06-2008, 10:51 PM
I gave my LBS a list of all the parts I needed, he came back with a quote
on most of the parts. The price was close, so I bought from him,
the price breakdown showed he was way lower on some parts,
high on others, bundling let him get the business.

I wrench my own bikes mostly, so there was no labor.

MarleyMon
10-07-2008, 10:37 AM
I had the same issue as the OP, with a Fierte I bought on ebay. I talked to the shop in advance to see what they would charge and if I could supply parts. I had some parts already, bought some here on the classifieds and bought some from them, had them do the build - worked out great!
I had given them some business before and lots since, including a wheel build.

Dekonick
10-07-2008, 12:51 PM
I do a little of both; I prefer working on my bikes myself - they aren't that complicated...not once you get started. The investment in tools may put you off initially, but once you have them...it is nice.

I don't do much with wheels... but plan on learning sometime...

You will probably find you are better off paying the shop to do maintenance - from a time stand point. I easily make more $$ working a few hours of OT compared to the time/cost of letting the LBS do the work. The reason to wrench is not (always) about money savings... it is more about independence and enjoyment.

For me, I just like knowing I can do it.

Try - it isn't difficult. Then continue to send some jobs to the LBS 'cuz you like having them around. I do.

Oh - and bring them doughnuts / pizza every now and again. :beer:

Dek