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  1. #1
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    buying a bike on line

    Have any of you bought a bike on line? What was the experience like?
    Any companies unusually good or bad?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzchip View Post
    Have any of you bought a bike on line? What was the experience like?
    Any companies unusually good or bad?
    I've purchased frames then built up by either transferring parts, or with new gear. It's not cheaper that way as BTW. I've only ever purchased one complete carbon road bike on-line, from Randal Scott company, won't go to them again.

    Key is you really, really need to know what fits, so you need to know how to read the geometry and how it's going to work for you. I was on my 2nd road bike, LBS purchased when I did my 1st frame purchase, so had some idea as to what worked. Then it was a matter of refining over the years.

    Other issue is how good are you at the mechanical system adjustments and repairs and are you willing to invest the time and money for that work plus required tools ?, though the initial assembly from a boxed bike is pretty easy and there's a gazillion YouTubes on the subject.

    You can get good deals on-line, though you sometimes lose the ability to just take the bike back to the LBS when you have an issue and expect free or low cost adjustments. LBS's will take a mail-order bike and fix it, (usually, but some get all huffy about it), but they may charge you for it.

    In my opinion the reputable US sites are Nashbar, Performance, Colorado, Cambria, Jensen. I've dealt with all of them and was happy. There are others out there as well
    - Niagara, Western Bike Works etc..., , the single biggest for newbies going this route is often Bikes Direct. A buddy has 2 of their bikes, loves them. I've no idea if the bikes actually fit, neither does he, but he was happy.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 12-28-2017 at 12:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzchip View Post
    Have any of you bought a bike on line? What was the experience like?
    Any companies unusually good or bad?
    If you are new to cycling I would strongly suggest you buy your first bike from a shop that has a reputable staff and can find a bike that fits your body and your needs. You are not saving any money if you get a bike that doesn't work for you. That said, if you know your fit and have some mechanical skills, there are good options out there online, just not for a first timer

  4. #4
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    buying on line

    Steve,
    Thanks for the well-reasoned response. It was very helpful. Being new to something almost always means getting advice from those more experienced. It's easy to get blinded by a big sale but we quickly forget how much we saved when we have problems and there's no one to help us. Thanks again, Jazzchip

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    I've purchased frames then built up by either transferring parts, or with new gear. It's not cheaper that way as BTW. I've only ever purchased one complete carbon road bike on-line, from Randal Scott company, won't go to them again.

    Key is you really, really need to know what fits, so you need to know how to read the geometry and how it's going to work for you. I was on my 2nd road bike, LBS purchased when I did my 1st frame purchase, so had some idea as to what worked. Then it was a matter of refining over the years.

    Other issue is how good are you at the mechanical system adjustments and repairs and are you willing to invest the time and money for that work plus required tools ?, though the initial assembly from a boxed bike is pretty easy and there's a gazillion YouTubes on the subject.

    You can get good deals on-line, though you sometimes lose the ability to just take the bike back to the LBS when you have an issue and expect free or low cost adjustments. LBS's will take a mail-order bike and fix it, (usually, but some get all huffy about it), but they may charge you for it.

    In my opinion the reputable US sites are Nashbar, Performance, Colorado, Cambria, Jensen. I've dealt with all of them and was happy. There are others out there as well
    - Niagara, Western Bike Works etc..., , the single biggest for newbies going this route is often Bikes Direct. A buddy has 2 of their bikes, loves them. I've no idea if the bikes actually fit, neither does he, but he was happy.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Dave. I agree. When the time comes, which may be next fall, I probably will go to my LBS. By then, I should know who is valuable and who isn't.
    Thanks for your comments.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzchip View Post
    Thanks Dave. I agree. When the time comes, which may be next fall, I probably will go to my LBS. By then, I should know who is valuable and who isn't.
    Thanks for your comments.
    Talk to riders in your area about shops they like. Visit local shops and see what the vibe is.

  7. #7
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    buying a bike on line

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    Talk to riders in your area about shops they like. Visit local shops and see what the vibe is.
    I've actually done this some. I bought my first bike recently (a hybrid) for a LBS. I think that I've been in 5 or 6 shops. Two of the shops made me feel welcome and I appreciated the time that they gave me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzchip View Post
    I've actually done this some. I bought my first bike recently (a hybrid) for a LBS. I think that I've been in 5 or 6 shops. Two of the shops made me feel welcome and I appreciated the time that they gave me.
    Then those shops are the ones you should patronize. Time is money and I always appreciate a shop that is willing to take time to explain things to me as opposed to shops that keep their cards close to their chest because they are afraid you will learn too much and won't need them anymore.

    Some things are priceless.
    Last edited by Lombard; 12-30-2017 at 09:01 AM.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  9. #9
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    You're absolutely right. I need their expertise. What else do they have that I can't get from a warehouse company?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzchip View Post
    You're absolutely right. I need their expertise. What else do they have that I can't get from a warehouse company?
    a free tune-up
    advice
    fitting you to the bike/adjustments

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzchip View Post
    You're absolutely right. I need their expertise. What else do they have that I can't get from a warehouse company?
    Exactly! No matter what I buy, sooner or later, it will break. And no matter how much I learn about wrenching my own bikes, sooner or later, there will be something I don't know and need a bike shop for.

    When looking for parts, I always ask my shop if they can get it. Only if they can't get it will I buy online. As a frequent customer, they give me breaks that put their prices not too far from many online stores. When I consider the overhead costs of a brick and mortar store, it's then I realize what a killing these online warehouses are making and how little profit an LBS makes on parts. Their biggest profit margin is repairs. The next is complete bikes where they buy at around 60% of MSRP. They usually sell bikes for less than MSRP.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  12. #12
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    +1 on supporting your local bike shops. Get yer butt on as many seats as you can, and see what kinds of bikes you like. Start big, trying bikes outside your price range and see what fits well for you, then find the bike within your budget that matches as closely to the higher end one as possible.

    Build a rapport as well. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the community aspect of an LBS. Group rides are a ton of fun, and most shops have many rides throughout the week. One of ours has rides from 3 mile "ice cream rides," on up to 20mph, 40 mile long pacelines (even longer rides on the weekends).
    I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

  13. #13
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    in other words, expertise.

  14. #14
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    buying a bike on line

    I like the idea of testing out better rides than I plan on buying. Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzchip View Post
    I like the idea of testing out better rides than I plan on buying. Thanks.
    The only problem with that is that you might like those higher end bikes and decide to run yourself into horrendous debt.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    a free tune-up
    advice
    fitting you to the bike/adjustments
    Service for purchases
    advice on parts-tires and trends
    A proper fitting
    Friendship

    I too am a big proponent of the local bike shop. Augusta has two really knowledgeable shops but Outspokin is my favorite by far. The LBS's make significant contributions to our community. The owners and staff support local races and racers, support our local bike community, and enrich our lifes in numerous other ways. Yes, you can save a few bucks on the net but what you loose is irreplaceable, the net brings nothing to your community!!!!

  17. #17
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    buying a bike on line

    You're right. If everything becomes a commodity that is valued only on price, we have no community. We need "Main St." otherwise we are isolated human beings with no sense of belonging to anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by n2deep View Post
    Service for purchases
    advice on parts-tires and trends
    A proper fitting
    Friendship

    I too am a big proponent of the local bike shop. Augusta has two really knowledgeable shops but Outspokin is my favorite by far. The LBS's make significant contributions to our community. The owners and staff support local races and racers, support our local bike community, and enrich our lifes in numerous other ways. Yes, you can save a few bucks on the net but what you loose is irreplaceable, the net brings nothing to your community!!!!

  18. #18
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    For the record, I am a big proponent of buying from local shops. As others have pointed out here, there are so many benefits from doing so. I am almost exclusively an in-person shopper (after test rides) these days. That being said, I have bought framesets, components, bits and pieces online off and on over the years. Places where I have found good deals are outlined below:

    Â*Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run

    https://www.westernbikeworks.com/

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/

    https://glorycycles.com/

    https://www.racycles.com/final-call-road

    https://www.coloradocyclist.com/

    Mountain and road bike parts, clothing and accessories store | Jenson USA
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  19. #19
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    Thanks for adding all those resources. Very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    For the record, I am a big proponent of buying from local shops. As others have pointed out here, there are so many benefits from doing so. I am almost exclusively an in-person shopper (after test rides) these days. That being said, I have bought framesets, components, bits and pieces online off and on over the years. Places where I have found good deals are outlined below:

    Â*Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run

    https://www.westernbikeworks.com/

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/

    https://glorycycles.com/

    https://www.racycles.com/final-call-road

    https://www.coloradocyclist.com/

    Mountain and road bike parts, clothing and accessories store | Jenson USA

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashadabd View Post
    For the record, I am a big proponent of buying from local shops. As others have pointed out here, there are so many benefits from doing so. I am almost exclusively an in-person shopper (after test rides) these days. That being said, I have bought framesets, components, bits and pieces online off and on over the years. Places where I have found good deals are outlined below:

    Â*Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run

    https://www.westernbikeworks.com/

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/

    https://glorycycles.com/

    https://www.racycles.com/final-call-road

    https://www.coloradocyclist.com/

    Mountain and road bike parts, clothing and accessories store | Jenson USA
    Or just Google the part you need and see which vendors turn up. If I buy online (because my shop doesn't carry what I'm looking for or it's not worth it for them to order it), I prefer to patronize online stores based in the USA. Art's Cyclery and Jenson USA are two that I use and usually have good prices. Both have free ground shipping if your order is over $50:

    https://www.artscyclery.com/

    Mountain and road bike parts, clothing and accessories store | Jenson USA
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  21. #21
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    thank you for that.

  22. #22
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    online. one word. just like offline.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    online. one word. just like offline.
    I was wondering who would be the first to get pedantic about that. Oh, well, some people are new to the internets......
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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