Bike e-tailer Loyalties?
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  1. #1
    Diesel Engine
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    Bike e-tailer Loyalties?

    I know we debate about loyalty to your LBS on here a bunch, but that got me to wondering - are folks here loyal to certian on-line companies?

    I know I am - for the most part when I go on-line to shop I go to Excel Sports - never a bad experience there and their prices are good. For specialty parts (or stuff I can't find at Excel), I go to Loose Screws or Branford Bike. With my obsession to build a fixed gear this winter I have ordered some from Harris Cyclery as well, but with my current project assignment in Boston this is almost my new LBS.

    Others I use sporadically (i.e. sucked in by email specials) - Supergo, Performance, Jenson USA - but I have not used them in quite some time. I won't focus on the bad experiemnts with other places as it's not constructive....

    Who do you use and why?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    no loyalty...

    I'll buy from just about anyone who has the best price. I've never been burned by an online bike store yet.

    I won't place a small order and pay more freight than the order saved me.

    I do like Excel Sports and Colorado Cyclist, but lately other places have received more of my business. I've saved a lot of money buying items I've wanted, only when I find a special price reduction.

    www.wisecyclebuys.com
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  3. #3
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
    Reputation: Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Prince
    I know we debate about loyalty to your LBS on here a bunch, but that got me to wondering - are folks here loyal to certian on-line companies?



    Who do you use and why?
    I use them all but Excel is my favorite. I've never had a bad experience and I usually have my orders in 2 days. Loosescrews is best for small hard to find parts. Performance, Nashbar and Supergo are good for sale items. C-Bike is pretty good also.

    Colorado Cyclist is probably the one I use the least. Their products are similar to Excel and I've had better service with Excel.
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Strained coccyx etc etc
    Reputation: haiku d'etat's Avatar
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    some

    chucksbikes.com is exceptionally fast and has great prices. i order stuff from him often, and it's on my front porch quickly (orders processed immediately, etc.). but what he has available--like a clearinghouse--changes often, and if i wanted some rim strips and 3 michelin carbons in 700x23, he's probably not going to have it. still, i give chuck 2 thumbs up. and if he has it when i need it (or don't need it ), he gets my business.

    for other odd stuff i check ebay: icycles & co. i've found the former to also be very fast for processing and shipping. and they're a RBR sponsor, so that's a consideration. prices are right, too. and lots of stuff.

    nashbar and performance are fine for prices, coupons, and selection. but they sometimes take days to process orders, don't know much about what they're selling, and are pretty impersonal. and if i order from either, i know not to expect it delivered in a certain amount of time (without paying extra).

    i've purchased 2 bikes from excel, and some ss/fixed stuff. had problems with the ritchey seatposts on both bikes, and excel dropped the ball (actually they totally ignored telephone calls and emails about them). ended up dealing with ritchey directly, which was a pain in the rear, and they only went halfway to resolving my problems. i'll still deal with excel if necessary, but i'm never buying another ritchey product unless there are mitigating circumstances.

    colorado cyclist has nice catalogues but i've not been impressed with their turnaround or customer support. their prices seem a little high for an e-tailer, and i've had some nebulous problems with them on past orders.

    never dealt with jensonusa, loose screws, branford, or lickton's.

    supergo has not particularly impressed me.

    pricepoint.com has been great. good product, fast turnaround, etc.

    specialized.com has been spectacular.

    totalcycling.com has been great. ordered shoes & pedals from them in the past, over several occasions. aside from international shipping taking a little time, no worries. for me, dealing with them is about price ($100 for sidi genius 4, $50 for pp296, etc.).

    not sure if you'd consider GVH an e-tailer, but i've bought 5 or more bikes from him in the last 4 or 5 years. consistently happy with Gary, and will continue to give him my business.

    as far as loyalty, chuck and GVH get my most attention. i'm more apt to buy it if they have it. they both have gone out of their way to accommodate my particulars. these guys seem like businessmen, whereas the rest are truly "retailers", even though prices are far below "retail".
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  5. #5

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    Excel is local for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Prince
    I know we debate about loyalty to your LBS on here a bunch, but that got me to wondering - are folks here loyal to certian on-line companies?

    I know I am - for the most part when I go on-line to shop I go to Excel Sports - never a bad experience there and their prices are good. For specialty parts (or stuff I can't find at Excel), I go to Loose Screws or Branford Bike. With my obsession to build a fixed gear this winter I have ordered some from Harris Cyclery as well, but with my current project assignment in Boston this is almost my new LBS.

    Others I use sporadically (i.e. sucked in by email specials) - Supergo, Performance, Jenson USA - but I have not used them in quite some time. I won't focus on the bad experiemnts with other places as it's not constructive....

    Who do you use and why?
    I shop there for high end stuff that I need quick. For big $ items it's hard to beat the overseas places like totalcycling or the canadian labicicletta. Performance (also local) usually gets my biz for small stuff and consumables like tires and tubes and clothing. I'm a team performance member so it pays off in the long run.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  6. #6
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    Overseas perspective

    For me, loyalty is based on service, product and availability, in that order.

    When I was in the States, Colorado Cyclist got my business going back to 1990. Before that, it was Nashbar and then Performance. After the latter started to go private label, I dropped them. Going back further it was Bikecology in Santa Monica, Velocipede in Seattle.

    I used Colorado Cyclist a bit when I moved to the UK and had a good relationship with their overseas salesman. However, their policy of only shipping to the same address where my card was billed, the UK, thereby incurring significant import duty and VAT turned me off. Then they stopped accepting cards that were not billed to a US address. Nice catalog but after thousands spent with them, particularly when they were small, I'm in the pissed off camp.

    Excel has been superb. They'll ship stuff to where I ask and after an initial screening, one phone call, I've been set ever since.

    I've have been able to buy direct from US specialty manufacturers with great success after email's explaining how their overseas distribution is poor which others may find helpful.

    UK online retailing has come a long way. Parker-International doesn't offer on-line capability but their selection is good as is their service. Prices are decent. Wiggle has an excellent online site and ordering. Prices are good on some stuff and market on others. I've never had a problem with Xpedia but feel that their selection is limited. I've also ordered a significant amount from probike kit and again, no problems.

    I've not found any continental European sites which offer decent selection and ease of use. Totalcycling doesn't count (RPI) and their selection is limited.

  7. #7
    Diesel Engine
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    I used to use Parker...

    Quote Originally Posted by boneman
    UK online retailing has come a long way. Parker-International doesn't offer on-line capability but their selection is good as is their service. Prices are decent. Wiggle has an excellent online site and ordering. Prices are good on some stuff and market on others. I've never had a problem with Xpedia but feel that their selection is limited. I've also ordered a significant amount from probike kit and again, no problems.

    I've not found any continental European sites which offer decent selection and ease of use. Totalcycling doesn't count (RPI) and their selection is limited.
    In 2001 I lived in the UK (Coventry/Solihul) and used Parker a bunch. They were my favorite UK e-tailer and I was really disappointed when I found out in 2002 they would not be shipping to the US any longer as I had used them several times after coming stateside. I used Xpedia once or twice as well as Deeside Cycles - not bad but Parker was the best from a selection point of view and their prices were competitive. For some reason I've drifted away from them and gone to the US-based outfits. I've tried to use Totalcycling to buy shoes, but for some reason my size seems really hard to get (48) - I had the same problem in 2001 and Xpedia came to the rescus. Strange.

  8. #8
    eminence grease
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    One more plug for Excel

    I always go to Excel first. CC used to be my #1, but Excel did a better job on a couple of occasions so I switched.

    Have had reasonable luck with Texas Cyclesport too, although their on-line ordering program has given me grief in a few instances. That and they sound a bit less professional over the phone. Also use Performance, Harris, AE Bikes and a few different clothing vendors depending on what I'm looking for. eBay has been a good source for one-offs as well, in particular Bitz4bikes and Twowheeldeals.

    Currently shopping for a 2004 Record group and I will either use Excel (depending on their substitution price for the carbon crank) or Wisecyclebuys.

  9. #9
    FTMD
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    jensonusa.com for mtb parts and accessories.

    excel for road stuff.

    I typically buy all of my tools and tires/tubes from performance and an ocassional big ticket item.

    I don't venture too far out from these three.

    I really want to buy a new pair of Sidi's from totalcycling, but I'm not sure of sizing and I can't bring myself to try them on at a shop and then buy online.

  10. #10

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    Still trying to like Nashbar, but it's getting hard

    I go back almost 20 years with Nashbar, to when the catalogs were line drawings on pulpy newsprint. They always had great deals at lower prices than Performance, and delivery to the West Coast took half the time.
    The decline started before Perf bought them out, but it's accelerated since then. I still open every catalog with a sense of anticipation, and check the Web site often for deals (tires and tubes are often really cheap, if you can outwait the shipping department). When I need something right the first time and right away, though, I'm using Excel more and more.

  11. #11

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    Speedgoat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Prince

    Who do you use and why?
    I'm a big fan of Speedgoat, given my mostly-mountain-biking history of the past three years. I got hooked on them for MTB parts, but then went on to buy a complete road bike from them. Great people to deal with, always helpful and friendly, but not a ton of road gear in stock all the time.

    Excel is also top-notch, as is Harris Cyclery, IMO. I've had "acceptable" experiences from Supergo, Nashbar, and Performance.

  12. #12
    But it's a dry heat...
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    My favorites

    My favorite online retailer is Pricepoint. They don't always have the best selection, but when they have a product I want it is always at the best price. And their turnaround for shipping is SUPERB. If I order on a Monday I almost always get the product on Tuesday or Wednesday (shipping to AZ). Lastly, Pricepoint's house brand, Sette, is really good.

    Performance Bike is another e-tailer I frequently purchase from. Their selection is fantastic and their prices are pretty good. Once again, their house brand stuff isn't bad.

    Lastly, here's a little e-tailer that I like: GreenFishSports.com. This is a dinky shop in upstate New York but he's got some really good prices on some decent products.

    The only e-tailer that I do not care for is Nashbar. They have great prices and great selection, but their shipping is notoriously slow.

    Thx...Doug

  13. #13
    Roll Out Jeremy
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    Online experience

    I kind of browsed this thread and thought I would come across my favorite, but nobody has mentioned them. That is BikeTiresdirect.com
    I've used most of the main storefronts but the service from these guys really stands out.

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