Importance of buying from a local bike shop

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I’ve been lucky to have a great network of Midwest Trek dealers all around me and in many areas I travel to. They’ve always been willing to talk and take on any issues I’ve had, which so far have not been at all serious. It was very important that I liked and chose Trek, however, as I rarely see a lot of the other ebikes beyond Trek and Specialized.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I count 9 Specialized Dealers within 3 miles of where I live; another 17 within perhaps a 20 minute drive, if I ever decided to put a bike in a car. :eek:

When I bought my road eBike, I went to three shops. Ultimately the one I bought it from was the one that had the size and color and trim I wanted, but they were clearly very competent, had a buzzing service department with many similar bikes coming in and out, and lots of good reviews. They're not perfect, and I get a little envious of the much shorter wait times for service/maintenance at the bigger (still local) chains, but I don't yet know enough about bikes or eBikes to feel comfortable fooling around with something in which failure at high speed would result in injury or death. I think this is true of most people riding bikes. I just would not trust something I purchased online or from a retailer who had little or no service capability.

My commuter eBike was purchased direct, but they have a local service facility / showroom. I have had several problems with it, and without the local facility I'd have been greatly inconvenienced. I would have just given up biking, frankly.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
It's the same way in the archery world. There are good shops and bad.
I just bought a bike online and part of the deal was I could take it to the local dealer and they would give it the once over and I would get reimbursed for $50 of the cost.
I took it in today and dropped it off. The guy was happy to take it in so I was happy about that. I know some shops won't work on ebikes they didn't sell.

But I was watching the tech and he looked liked your average high school kid and he would throw the tool onto the bench when he was done with it.
It did not instill a lot of confidence! I hope my new baby is well taken care of!!!
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I was impressed with the crew at Scheels (Rail 5) for the most part. They didn’t get a great final grade since they didn’t correct my noisey front rotor and it didn’t appear their torque wrench got a ton of used.
Edit…I need to make a clarification. The Minnesota Scheels where I bought the Rail was who I was speaking of. The second Scheels (closer to home) did get a great grade as they found and fixed the rotor issue by going the extra mile when they contacted Tektro, got them to send the updated rotor, installed it perfectly, adjusted the shocks, and did it all under warranty.😎👍
 
Last edited:
Region
USA
City
Oakdale
I agree that this is very poor service and my personal opinion is the pandemic isn't really a legitimate excuse, it is just bad business. I am sorry for your bad experience and the hassle of having to make multiple long trips back and forth to try to get it taken care of. Speaking as someone who runs a business, if I was a bike shop owner I would be mortified if my shop sent a bike out without air in the tires. That is a fundamental fail and it should be obvious to everyone and never allowed to happen. That would be like sending a bike out without pedals.

That said, I guess I should count my blessings that my LBS seems to be truly focused on good customer service. I live in a small town so I don't have any other choices close by, but luckily enough, my local shop is a Specialized dealer and they seem to do a good job of taking care of their customers and they have a really good reputation.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
The "service" you got from the shop where you bought your bike is lousy and neglectful. If you had driven the extra half hour to the other shop with more inventory, you may well have had a much better experience or at least been in a position to tell them to pound sand and go elsewhere.

Both these shops chose the locations they wanted to house their businesses. They did not choose your place of residence...that was your choice. I would assume you live in a quieter, less hectic, more rural setting. Living in such a place has its rewards but also has its added costs in either money, time or both, like the distance you need to travel to buy things and get them serviced when the need arises. Unfortunately it also limits your choices and freedom to just walk when you don't get the kind of service the is reasonable to be expected. I am sure this bike is not the only purchase that has necessitated long drives and limited your choices of vendor. Not all the lifestyle choices we make, make our life easier.