Something has been on my mind of late concerning the cycling public. I know we all have bought something from the Internet from one time or another, I'm guilty of it myself. Even buying a bike part here or there when I need it quicker than a LBS can get it. It's ok but most bike shop owners DON'T like it but hey, competition is good for everyone in the US right?
There is a catch though! Let's say "George" to be safe here, ordered a bunch of parts from the Internet and saved quite a bit of cabbage (cash). Well ole "George" doesn't know a dam bit in the least on how to install all these parts on his super sweet bicycle. Now mind you "George" is a dam fine cyclist and strong also, kicking most peoples buts on a regular basis. That doesn't make him smart though. Now that buster brown (UPS) has delivered the parts to him in earth shattering speed with their super delivery skills (NOT), he's sitting there in his living room with a box full of shiny bits wondering what to do. Hmm he doesn't know anybody that's good with anything mechanical or any bike mechanics, "what to do?" he thinks to himself. "I will go to a local bike shop and get them to do it, I can watch and see how to do it myself".
He arrives at a LBS with big box of parts purchased from the Internet and asks the bike shop guy at this fine establishment if he will help install the parts and or assist "George" so he can learn how to do this himself. WHAT??? Can you believe the nerve of some people?? D-bag doesn't buy the parts from the LBS but wants bike shop guy to help him install them, dude you gotta be a tard! After the bike shop guy tries to be polite and finally has to tell him that no non-employess are allowed in repair area "George" kinda gets ticked and asks for some tools he can "do it himself". "No" bike shop guy says "but we have some for sale". I'm not against folks learning to fix their own bike but no bike mechanic should be giving out free lessons! Anywho "George" buys a cable cutter and a Park repair manual to "do it himself" he states. Lets see: all the $$ he saved on parts he just spent on tools and a book. Good investment though, he will always have the tools and be able to refer to the manual when he needs it. Hmm, next time he needs something? (Wow we remember you), sorry can't get to that repair 'til next friday. Oh you have a race this weekend "George"? Oh man that stinks, but we are backed up and won't be able to get it back to you by then. "George" leaves mad!
"George" stops into his LBS and goes over some prices with the bike shop guy (BSG). "George" says many times during the price check " It's cheaper online" "It may be but you don't get any service with that" says BSG. "George-Well ok if I have a problem with it well you help me troubleshoot it?" "Sure-of course" says the BSG. "George- Ok order it and I will take it". Parts arrive and get installed and a few weeks later "George" stops by on a Friday with mechanical problems and needs them fixed so he can race on Saturday. "Hey George how are ya?" "Not so good, my bike needs help and I have a race tomorrow" BSG-" well we are backed up but I will tell ya what I can do, leave it here and I will fix it when the shop closes if you don't mind coming back to get it after hours?" "Really? OK thanks!" say "George". BSG stays over and repairs "George's" bike for him when he didn't have to because he spends money in the LBS so BSG can make a living, NOT RIP PEOLPE OFF, like some folks seem to think.
I have been helping out several shops of late as most of my readers know, this is just a scenario! (NEVER HAPPENED-MADE IT UP) (DISCLAIMER) No animals were hurt or harmed in the making of this write-up.
I just wanted to say something about supporting our shops around here. Yea if you can find something on the Internet that saves you a bunch of money go for it! Please don't be upset but try to see it from an owner's point of view when you bring something into the shop that you didn't buy there and expect any favors or the like and get turned down. There's nothing more INSULTING to a bike shop than to buy something somewhere else and want them to help you with it. Of course you're going to get CHARGED at full retail pricing for anything that they assist you with when you act in this manner. So don't act suprised if you act this way with shops and get treated in a fowl manner. I just wanted to get this out there so maybe it could help someone or clear up some confusion in the cycling community, it's so much better when we all get along!
NOW: Go ride!!