Can I also add in here that I have had atrocious customer service from my LBS too. So as I start to understand what I need and don't need (as I am a relatively new to cycling) - I am avoiding the LBS because of my previous experiences with them.
No. 1: I bought my first bike in October last year from the LBS (hadn't had one since I was a teenager). First of all, I had a noise happening when I rode the bike after I bought it. Went back twice. They fixed the original noise, then created another one. Each time. Got a bit sick of them not actually fixing it.
No.2: After the second time, I thought I would stop in at a CBD shop near work (BSC in QV) and their attitude was atrocious. One - they wouldn't have a look at it today, I have to schedule it in for the workshop and I might not be able to get it in for awhile. Two - they treated me like an idiot. it probably only needs to be realigned or something, you could do it yourself if it is urgent (no showing me how etc) or even suggesting how to do it myself.
No. 3: Ended up getting a guy out that comes to you to fix your bike. The amount he taught me in the hour he was there was amazing. He not only told me I could do a lot of these things myself, but also showed me how to do them and told me what to look out for and that my brakes were becoming rusty and would need replacement in 3 months time probably (he was spot on - they needed replacement 3 months after that!). This is what I expect from a LBS - it needs to set themselves apart from an online store with their service
. This is why I keep going back to him.
No. 4: At another LBS (not local any more as I have moved), I have walked in 5 times and never been spoken to or acknowledged. Yes I could go and ask a question - but the body language put me off. I'm a novice at this bike stuff, and some LBS seem to only want to deal with the dedicated, experienced riders. This is the vibe I got off them.
No. 5: Another LBS opened on my route to work (old route). I stopped after my accident to get the bike looked at. Service was good. They fixed my problem. I asked for a quote regarding my brakes as the 3 months was coming up. $40 more than what the guy who comes to me quoted? WTF? I double checked this price with a more experienced rider and yes I was being ripped off. Never went back there again. $40 was a big difference when you are talking about something that costs under $100!
No. 6: After recommendations from others on the forum, I went to the other side of Melbourne to purchase my road bike. Service was really good, got the bike fitted etc. Was very happy. However, I went to a bike fit physio after experiencing calf problems riding my bike - found out the seat was fitted 2cm too high and 1.5cm too far back. The seat height was causing overstretching problems in my calf and was the reason why I couldn't ride more than 40km at a time without getting severe pain in my calf. I was also not using my drop bars as it was uncomfortable...there was a logical reason why I wasn't
I think LBS need to get their act into gear and realise they need to offer something "different" from the online stores. They might want to offer great customer service (what a novel idea)!!!!!
I am reluctant to go to a LBS any more. The guy who comes out to fix my bike, also puts bikes together for a small fee. So the next bike will probably be bought online and put together by him. I would love to go to my LBS, but my current experiences have put me off!