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Online bike shops vs traditional/local bike shops?


werner.kachelhoffer
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How awkward is it to buy a bike online and go service it at your local bike shop.

 

Usually the bike shop owner is a super cool dude and someone you will find on the trails or road.

 

However, the future seems online? More brands, cost and convenienceIs there a future for traditional bike shops?

 

Should everything move Online? Bad service? Cost? What about after sales support? 

 

How do we cover the gap between online and personal service? Give some feedback on the below to improve and move the industry forward. 

 

 

https://bicyclegarage.co.za/

https://bike-addict.co.za/

https://www.cwcycles.co.za/

https://www.buycycle.co.za

 

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My view is that self service will become the norm, with specialist services like Stoke for example thriving on the more tech stuff. I mean, how difficult is it really to replace a cassette or remove your BB and grease it, or index your gears? Why pay someone to do it? Do you pay someone to brush your teeth?

 

Im of the opinion that you should be able to perform basic work on your bike. Sure that will not sit well with some, but that is ok, we dont have to agree. The number of stories of bike shops providing lackluster or poor service is just on the increase and I think it will reach a point where the "heen-en-weer" to and from the bike shop will become too much for most and they will just do it themselves.

 

I am already there. And I enjoy it. :)

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Lots of aspects to consider. However i buy alot of my stuff online. Inalso service, repair alot myself.

 

I buy online because i get it cheaper, especially from overseas stores, be it clothing, parts, tyres and even helmets. I am not referring to ali experess, only european stores. I bought a bell super 3r a year or two back and saved around R1500. Fox shorts, I payed a total of R700 landed.

 

Nothing wrong with buying local either. Lots of local online stores have decent prices and rival alot of overseas stores.

 

Always best to compare pricing.

 

Most bicycle shops will service your bike even though you did not purchase from them.

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A LBS has to evolve in the changing market. Doing what you did before isn't going to secure a future. 

 

If a bike shop has a workshop then they shouldn't mind that you are taking your bike to them to get them fixed. They charge for their work and that is a product ad a profit. I take my bike to a number fo different places and I didn't buy it from any of them. I take it to them because they are good at certain things. I don't think that we'll all become self sufficient despite what the home wrench monkeys proclaim. I can happily work on my bike but some times I just choose to save myself the hassle and time and drop it off at the LBS. I have a business and a young family and can sped time with them rather than servicing my fork or stripping a dropper. 

 

Somethings will alway be better purchased online and somethings you need now or now, now or like to see in the flesh. That is where the LBS comes in. I do think there needs to be something to protect the shops from people just wondering in trying on stock and then ordering it from CRC or Wiggle as they walk out the door.

 

There was a debate about major manufacturers having 'fitting room' shops so people can see or try on things like shoes, helmets and clothes and then trying to move all ordering online. We are very far behind with online ordering and delivery the compared to places like the Europe and America and they still have a vibrant LBS scene which is very community focused and adds value through a lot more than just the price of a stem or a helmet. 

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My view is that self service will become the norm, with specialist services like Stoke for example thriving on the more tech stuff. I mean, how difficult is it really to replace a cassette or remove your BB and grease it, or index your gears? Why pay someone to do it? Do you pay someone to brush your teeth?

 

Im of the opinion that you should be able to perform basic work on your bike. Sure that will not sit well with some, but that is ok, we dont have to agree. The number of stories of bike shops providing lackluster or poor service is just on the increase and I think it will reach a point where the "heen-en-weer" to and from the bike shop will become too much for most and they will just do it themselves.

 

I am already there. And I enjoy it. :)

Extremely difficult for some of us. What does it even mean to "index your gears'  :huh: . IMO LBS must stay right where they are

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The brick and mortar bike shop will always have a place.

- workshop but be prepared to pay per hour for work if you buy online and fit at a shop

- try before you buy

- recommendation for newbs

- "tough jobs" you can't do at home

- jobs that requite higher grade and/or expensive tools

- bike fitting

- people who like to touch and feel before they buy

- coffee for post ride war stories.

 

My only real issue with online shopping is people who try at the LBS then buy online - that is proper tjop move.

 

Bike shops over here are evolving. "service course" style shops are popping up or rebranding all over. They do coffee, food, groups rides, servicing and bikes on order.

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There are almost as many "independant bike workshops" as there are "bike shops" in our area.

 

 

The bike workshops dont care where you bought it.  As long as the brand has a distribution system they can get the parts quickly.

 

 

 

My last four bikes have never been serviced at the shops I bought it at.  My local bike workshop frankly takes much better care of me than any of the shops.

 

 

 

That said, going to be a pain when we dont have "local bike shops" .... just so handy to be able to walk in buy immediately when you need something fast.

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