Moral Issue

16 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"I need a bit of help here.
I have been biking since last summer and now am making a move up to a good quality road bike (that means what I can afford). I own a good hybrid and time to enjoy the hills.

My issue is this.
I want to purchase a bike in the $1,000 range plus clips shoes etc. My Local bike shop (A NYC chain)has been helpful and very patient.
I have seen used bikes of better components that are 2 years old and could get myself ""I think"" a better overall value.
Now , if I get this ""usesd"" bike and walk into the store to fix, adjust, help fit me out etc will they think I am a major @#X% ???? I know some people don't care about these things, but I don't want to be used either.
I do buy things from them, jersey, parts etc and will have them maintain my bikes as before.

I feel funny about this, but I am on a budget.




Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
some do, some don't

Two shops that will welcome you, and your bike, and whatever parts you have for it no matter where they were purchased, and be happy to have your business:

Bike Heaven, 348 E 62nd (bet 1st & 2nd), 212.230.1919

Pedal Pusher, 1306 2nd Av (bet 68 & 69), 212.288.5592

In other words - buy what works for you, period.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)


My point is I want to stick with this shop, but don't want to have them think I was a jerk using their knoledge.

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
Any good shop will value your patronage

It's always nice to develop a relationship with a store, especially if you feel that you can trust them, so I understand your concerns.

Bike shops don't actually make a fortune selling bikes; they really do best on service and sales on small stuff. Most people who buy a bike get other stuff with it as well.

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

I think you should buy the best bike you can afford. I have a good relationship with my LBS, but I've never bought a bike there. I've bought one frame/fork since I started going there, and I bought it used.

All that said, in order to buy a used bike, it's critical that you're aware of the basics of appropriate fitting and sizing. If you are, then I think a used bike is a fine choice.

Buy shoes, pedals, etc. from your LBS.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)

"Some shops can be a bit sticky about doing adjustment for NEW bikes purchased elsewhere, but usually NOT when it's a USED bike.

On the other hand, just because the bike's got ""better components"" doesn't mean it's a better bike for you unless it fits. Fit is more important than componentry.


Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Re: Moral Issue

"""My Local bike shop (A NYC chain)has been helpful and very patient.""

I'm trying to read between the lines. If you're just uncomfortable about buying a bike elsewhere and bringing it in to this shop for fitting/repairs, etc., I don't see any moral dilemma. You will pay a fair price for the services you need.

On the other hand, if you've been taking up a lot of this shop's time getting recommendations about various bikes/components and general information about choosing a bike, and you then go out and use that information to buy a bike somewhere else to save money, I think that's a bit sleazy. People have been known to waste a shop's time trying on cycling shoes to see what size they need in a particular model. Then they buy mail order. I see that as a similar tactic.

Sure, you'll pay more for a new bike at a good shop than you would for a used bike or a mail order bike. But you'll get better service and a warranty. Getting the right bike and getting it properly set up is more important than whether it has Dura Ace or Ultegra components.


Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Fair enough Chainwheel.

I do think you are correct and in truth, they have given me some time, but I usually leave with the register going.

Howvever, there is only one bike there that they are pointing me towards and another TREK I would like.

May you are correct. However, most of the money is usually made in the after market sales ie, parts, service, repair.

If I didn't have a moral sense I wouldn't ask.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Morals (cont)

"""I do think you are correct and in truth, they have given me some time, but I usually leave with the register going.""

As I said, I'm trying to read between the lines to understand what is actually happening. It wasn't very clear from your description.

It's reasonable to go to several shops before deciding what and where to buy. But if you value the information you get at one shop, and pick their brains at length, and then buy the bike they recommended somewhere else at a lower price, that's not very nice. If there's a big difference in price, you might mention that to them and see if they'll come down.

""Howvever, there is only one bike there that they are pointing me towards and another TREK I would like.""

Well, again that's not very clear. But I don't like the idea that they seem to be steering you toward a bike you apparently don't like.

May you are correct. However, most of the money is usually made in the after market sales ie, parts, service, repair.""

Not calling you sleazy personally. I'm just trying to give an honest answer to a hypothetical question. As long as you're buying something, I guess you have a right pick their brains.

Bottom line: You have to decide who's judgement you trust, and what kind of bike you want. If you're not very knowlegeable about road bikes, that can be difficult. There's a lot of hype and high-powered marketing out there. I would be more concerned with gettting an appropriate bike in the right size, that meets your specific requirements, than getting a great ""deal"" on top-end components or boutique wheels.


Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)


For Clarity.
1) I am an easy going guy maybe you will see that in peson one day.
2) I do not think or ever thought you called me SLEAZY, but rather the concept.

Sticking with the topic at large. I really appreciate your comments, really. I will not intentionally use them
for their knowledge. They are pointing me to a Klein (sorry not sure of the model) it's a double but I prefer the Trek 1500 2005 and better componenets (I think).

That said.

I most likely will get the bike at this location simply because I expect them to stand behind it.

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)
Which Bike Shop

Which bike shop was it? If it was Metro, then by all means go to a different shop. If it was a reputable shop, then I recommend that you buy a new bike there (assuming everything else is ok and you like what they are recommending). I bought 2 bikes at Metro and I will never step inside another Metro store, even to buy an accessory or have a minor repair done, never.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Thanks Chaim.

The store that I have been using is plesant enough since I have been there and always helpful. I guess like all newbies ( under a year ) it is a long learning curve.
Most of us count on the local shop to be honest mysel included. If I feel screwed then I am history.
I have heard Great things about Bicycle Habitat and a few others.

However, in the end I do not want to go out of my way to
use a reapir shop on the other side of town.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Crossing Delancey

I live two blocks from Sid's but always head down to Habitat for whatever I need.

There I have my pick of helpful mechanics like Cassidy, John, and others--and of course the legendary Hal. Owner Charlie McCorkell is a well-known mensch in the bike community. (disclosure: he has published my writing in his newsletter, but I liked him well before that)

Anonymous's picture
papafrog (not verified)
don't feel obligated

My feeling on this topic is don't feel obligated to buy from anyone, even if they have helped you with your decision. This is a business and any bike shop that gets p.o.'ed that you didn't buy from them after you picked their brain should know better. Afterall, if they did that, you'll never go back in the future. I do think that if you continued a relationship afterward with them it would be nice to show your appreciation though. Just don't feel bullied into buying because they answered some questions. Hell, they were probably happy to talk shop regardless. Just my .02

Anonymous's picture
Marshall Field (not verified)

"You have a very naive idea of retail if you think ""they were happy to talk shop regardless."""

Anonymous's picture
papafrog (not verified)
i doubt very highly you own your own business

if you did, you would understand what i was talking about and the point i was trying to make.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

"I started this thread so I want to add, that ""I"" own my own business. So the idea of people spinning my ""wheels""
(no pun intended) is part of the job.
Trust me I have spent an hour with someone on a really trivial matter who will ""come back' the next day.

Reality being what it is not every chat results in a sale, but courtesy always gets you the edge for a ""next time"". I know these guys & gals love talking shop and they know I will be back, maybe only for repairs or a cup of coffee.
I started this as a fun idea, now I am hooked. However, I have to deal with what I can afford and an education
in buying the wrong bike or incorrect fit is never cheap.

In any case I am glad I got some blood pumping."

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