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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:56 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:55 am
Posts: 7058
Location: The land of Lea & Perrins
I'm all for local bike shops, and I would quite happily pay a little bit extra for parts in order to have a more friendly, local service.

However, some LBS', like the ones mentioned above, just seem to have given up on the whole 'customer experience'. It's all well and good when you're a large national chain (ie. Evans) where you have thousands of customers and a nice big profit margin, but when you're a local shop, servicing local people, then it pays to offer a bit more of a personal experience and get to know customers, rather than just treating them as walking £ signs. Customers would then create repeat business and would more than happily come back time and time again. Even in this recession, price isn't everything.

When I used to live in Mid Wales, my local bike shop was the Elan Cyclery (Clive Powell's) in Rhayader. Clive was a bit more expensive than online shops, and he didn't carry as much kit (obviously), but what he didn't have he could order, and what he charged extra in price (not by much, it has to be said), he made up for in service. As far as I'm concerned, that's how a local bike shop should be.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:13 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 4977
Location: Edinburgh
Well I've been in two LBS type places this morning and both have been a pleasant experience with top notch service and good chat.

So a big well done boys to Eastside Bikes and MacDonald cycles in Edinburgh.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:46 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:41 pm
Posts: 784
Location: Chiltern Hills
Years ago whilst touring in the alps, my mate managed to crash & bent his forks*, we popped into the nearest bike shop which looked more like an F1 garage than any bike shops I'd ever seen with workshop in full view behind the counter & they replaced the forks whilst we waited, in between replacing my mates forks an old boy popped in with a couple of spokes gone in his rear wheel & they fixed those on the spot too!

30 years later & I still find that British bike shops could learn a lot from that experience. Okay they charged a fair wack but gave a service that more than matched the price.

* his lowrider panniers flopped into his front wheel on a descent & stopped him with such force that it bent the fork crown :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:01 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:25 pm
Posts: 606
Location: New Forest
As a nipper I worked in a couple of LBS, both of which were staffed by friendly knowledgeable cycling people who bent over backwards for customers. Ultimately both shops went the way of the dodo though largely due to being undercut on the mass budget bikes by supermarkets in and around the nearby city. No small independent trader with shop business rates and the like can compete with Internet based firms operating from a warehouse with minimal overheads. The consumer at large see's a cost saving before they consider the retailers skills, knowledge and experience that affords the buyer a better service. I'd love for there to be more of these old LBS but from a business sense I really can't see they are viable unless you've got money to burn!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:43 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:50 pm
Posts: 610
Location: New Zealand
Bad LBS experience = reason internet shops do so well

I went into one of my LBS a few months ago, I had decided to buy a new FS and wanted a Cannondale, thid shop used to be a Cannondale dealer back in the 90s,

Pimply shop assistant : Can I help you (scared and confused look on her face)
Me : Yes i'm after a new fs cannondale, are you still a dealer?
Pimply shop assistant : no.........blank look, walks away
Me : purchased a new FS lapierre half an hour later from a shop 5 mins away

On the good side though, I started riding/racing MTBs 21 years ago and allways used the same bikeshop for the 10 years I rode, on getting back into riding I now use the same shop, they had 2 mechanics in the 90s, one is still there and the other one now owns the shop so its always good to catch up :) [/i]


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:09 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 11:03 am
Posts: 18212
Location: Sunny Glasgow
Freeflow bikes in Glasgow
Ordered a hope seat clamp,the non QR one
Thought i'd ordered it so went in a week later.Nothing they forgot.Right then i says order me one now.Went back another week later and they forgot again.On the 3rd week they got one in.
A QR :roll:
OK these things happen :?

Went in last Saturday to order crush washers for a fox fork.Went in on Wednesday to find they thought i was going to order it later[er...why wait?]So left my details and they were going to phone me on the Friday.No call
Took the fork to another shop and booked it in there :evil:
I have been using the shop for many years but of late they dont seem to care so thats that as far as im concerned


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:50 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:32 pm
Posts: 1953
Location: Staffordshire
The Specialized store have managed to redeem themselves...after ordering in the wrong part (mech hanger only, not the full tensioner kit), they got the correct part in and let me have a tenners worth of free stuff or a tenner off a more expensive item.

It shouldn't have come to that, but at least they realised that I'd been mucked about.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:28 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:35 am
Posts: 237
Location: Birmingham
Humm it maybe a one off but when I took my Marin in my LBS (Red Kite) I asked for a new set of Middleburn chainrings and could they give it a good service and let me know of any issues that might need my attention.

Well first of all I had to leave it with them for a week but that was only after booking it in 2 weeks after because they were so busy (fair enough I might add)

Anyway week later, got the bike first thing I did was give it a quick ride in the car park, Chain promptly fell off, Chain replace 2 mins later chain off again.

I took it home and fixed it (replacement cartridge) but it was obvious no-one in the shop had even bothered to take it for a spin to see if the work they had carried out was ok, they seemed more interested in selling my a new pair of cranks arms. (plus they aren't cheap either) Shame it was were the Marin was orginally bought from back in 96, Now use On Yer Bike on Bradford Street who seem a lot more laid back and less interested in screwing you out of your cash.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:30 pm 
Gold Trader
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:04 pm
Posts: 3198
Location: Chorley, Lancs
Sounds like I'm quite lucky then.
My 2 LBS's are Merlin and Leisure Lakes. Both have done small jobs for nothing (removal of stuck seatpost,fitting a crown race etc) and are generally helpful.
I have used CRC on occasion for harder to get parts, but prefer face to face transactions where possible.

Leisure Lakes have a VIP club. You pay circa £30 a year (for which you get about £30 worth of Muc Off cleaning products each time) and you then discounts on bikes/parts/clothing and servicing. You also get points added to your account each time you buy something and can then use these for a further discount. (My mate got a £90 pair of Oakleys for £20 last week using his loyalty points!)
Seems a good idea to me, and you can use the service online.


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