The bike industry is in a state of transition, and today consumers have a few choices when it comes to how they make their purchase. We want to know how you bought your last bike, and how you plan to buy your next one.

And if you’re feeling torn or guilty about your choice, let us know why in the comments. 🙂

# Comments

  • FrankS29

    I’ve purchased my last 4 bikes online and I’m sure my next bikes will be the same. I have no problem being able to tear my bikes down and rebuild them so online is not that big of a deal to me.

    Unfortunately, the bike shops in my area are pretty weak. They stock NOTHING and most of the service that I would want a bike shop to handle (pretty much just suspension damper service) they send out anyway. Well guess what, I can mail a part to Fox or SRAM just as well as you can. They always need to order even the most basic of parts and it always takes them forever to get the part.

    I can go online and order it myself, quicker and cheaper.

    I’m sure my attitude towards bike shops would be very different if I lived in an area with good ones. Sadly, I don’t.

    So, online it is for me!

  • Oldandrolling

    My LBS does not stock good quality trail or DH bikes. All my recent bike purchases have been online or local in person exchanges.

  • crexfordc13

    Living on Kaua’i there’s not many bike shops . So online for me has been the only way to go from , bikes to the parts I want . But now that I’ve done it a few times , not sure if I wouldn’t go the same rout if I did live in the city . I like visiting. But I’ve beaten the shop prices hands down from what I’ve seen . Got my YT carbon for 2500 delivered with bike upgrades already on it ????????

  • Plusbike Nerd

    I guess I’m lucky because I have six local bike shops and they are mostly well stocked and carry most of the major brands—Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz, Kona, Pivot, Salsa, Ibis, etc.

    I prefer buying at the LBS for two reasons. First, because I’m very particular about fit and the only way to get that right is to ride it and adjust it and change the stem if needed. Second, I often make changes to the stock bike before it goes out the door. On my last bike, I switched to a shorter stem and smaller chainring, traded the dropper post for a rigid post, and mounted up lighter faster-rolling tires. My bike shop gave me a reasonable deal when making these changes and I didn’t end up with a bunch parts that I didn’t want. The bike shop can sell the removed stock parts—so they gave me some credit for them.

    I like getting a new bike just the way I want it. If you get the fit spot on and the right chainring and tires for your local trails, it just makes the new bike that much better.

  • seamuspcarey

    The only reason I buy bikes online rather than a LBS is because I build my own from the frame up and none of the LBS’s can afford to keep the components I want in inventory…. It is unfortunately the way the world is today…..

  • crevasse

    Diy guy also. Prior bikes all from lbs but this time which was my last in mtb market, wanted a stacked top of the line but in no way would I pay 9 large. Sorry. YT Jeffsy CF Pro Race for 5k shipped. Happy. Bike rips. Get one.

  • rhut

    Seven of the ten bikes in our garage are from Craigslist or similar venues. My wife is much more particular about fit and geo than I am, so new from a shop where she can demo multiple bikes makes sense for her. My current trail bike retailed for over 3x what I paid for it when it was 8 months old and I purchased my “daily driver” for half it’s retail price at a year old. I am luck to live in an area with a healthy CL listing.
    My wife’s current trail bike is a YT Jeffsy, which was a tough sell because she couldn’t ride one beforehand. I put together an Excel file of all the bikes she demoed with their geometry charts and determined the Jeffsy was the best compromise of what she wanted for around $3000 as opposed to $5000+ for similar builds. With some different tires and bars, she’s loving the bike and shredding harder than I’ve seen before.
    We’ve also purchased at least a dozen bikes new from shops in the past, but I don’t see us doing anything other than used or direct to consumer in the future.

  • RRM155

    I purchased my current bike (Commencal) direct because, at the time, it was the best spec on a hardtail with the geometry I was seeking. Now that aggressive hardtails are more common some of the local shops have comparable bikes.

    When it comes time for a new bike it will be a similar process of finding the geometry/spec I want and see who has it. If I can get it locally I will but not if it means spending more than buying direct/online.

    I am also confident and comfortable doing all the maintenance myself (wheel builds, suspension service, etc).

  • Phonebem

    My two current bikes were used and mail order (respectively). I stumbled across a rediculous deal on a steel 29-er hardtail as the previous owner was a triathlon guy and bought a bike a bit too big for him (he bought a MTB the same size as his road bikes, should have gone down a size).
    When it came time to buy a FS I did my best to give my LBS’s a chance but comparable bikes were almost double the price of my YT Jeffsy. I’m another one who does all my own wrenching and would rather buy the tool(s) to do a job myself instead of paying a shop to do it, as a result I now have a near fully-capable bike shop in my garage.

  • Robjs1017

    I prefer my LBS when buying new only because I want to test ride models prior to investing my hard earned cash in it. I am currently looking for a new trail bike and am having a blast test riding different options to find “the right one”. I have also purchased used for my kids with success.

  • Paul Moore

    Soooo,,, I’m 53, and on a 2013 Rockhopper 29er, but want to be able to ride up to intermediate MTB park, largely to keep up a little with my 23yr old son. The RH has served me well – everyone I ride with is on FS these days, but it has been bomb proof reliable.
    The issues are: Not any close trails to try out new gear at the level I want to, and then the LBSs typically only have 1 or 2 brands and then are light on the full susp bikes that are more slack than a pure XC type. — Not quite Enduro, but something more than an Epic ( for example) – [Sorry for the Specialized references – that is what we have been riding and the LBS and son’s shop had been carrying.]

    So if I go to a park and rent, and like the ride chances are that I can not buy this locally.

    To try different bikes in the same conditions- I think I may need to hit a destination (like whistler – I have ridden there once) – and then try as many demo pikes as possible.

    Ohhh and there is a real persons budget…. I was even considering saying what the hell and getting a Bossnut, and if it does not work out I am sure I could sell it for $500, much lower financial risk even if shipping it to the USA.

  • Brad the Dad

    I was brand new to MTB when I walked into my LBS, and they helped me zero in on what type of bike I should ride with my budget in mind. I did a little more research and ultimately went back there to buy. I’ve since built a relationship there and returned for other purchases that I probably could have made online. I’ll buy there again in a few years when I empty out my wallet for a shiny new toy.

  • Fuzfast

    LBS if only for the fitting. I do agree that the stock at LBS’s can be limited, but I’ve found that bike fit is really, really important to me for comfort and to minimize pain/numbness in my hands.

  • mccitrus

    Online, shipped to my house to avoid the tax. When looking to purchase a bike 4k and up, you’ll end up saving money even after shipping (from continental US to continental US) Youtube is my bike shop. Whatever problem I have there’s a YouTube video on how to fix it resulting in saving more $$, learning how to DIY, save commute/time going to a bike shop, and be more of a technical help to those having problems on the trails.

    • mccitrus

      In order to do online shipped to your house, you’ll have to be dependent on what bike manufactures are demoing in your area and possibly have to make a day/weekend trip to be able to demo the bikes. For anything $4k+ you’ll definitely want to hit a demo as a bike shop will pretty much only allow you to to “ride it around the parking lot” at least in my experience.

      Other option is to search your area and see what bike shops are renting and try out as many bikes as you can. Bonus is that many shops will credit the amount you paid for the rental against the price of the bike and keep it on record to credit you when/if they sell the bike or if you decide to buy the bike on the spot after the rental.

  • pwkblue

    wanted to buy my current bike at an LBS this last spring. First shop kept my bike over a week longer than promised for service (then I had to redo most of the work) Wanted to see the latest Ripley at a second local shop where I frequently shop….owners are always running the cash register or talking on the phone, while poorly trained high school kids work the sales floor (kid didn’t know the basics, and kept trying to push me to a different bike) Third local shop was actually rude both times I recently purchased items this year (won’t go back)

    That evening I noticed the new YT Jeffsy in a review…the geometry, sizing, and spec were in the sweet spot of what I was looking for…I love it, arrived in less than 36 hours. I tried to support the LB Shops…they failed.

  • desertgirl2

    Kind of sad to see the number of people who would purchase online rather than at their local LBS. If your LBS doesn’t stock what you want, you can always have them order it. The more that people order things through the shop, the better idea the shop gets about what to stock. Shops play such an important role in the local bike community, from trail maintenance, to meet-ups, to trail info, to sponsoring races and high school teams. Online retailers do not do this, and they never have the intention to start. An investment in your LBS pays dividends down the road in your local bike scene. If you must order online, at least donate the money you might have saved to your local trail maintenance group or bike advocacy group.

    • FrankS29

      Unfortunately for the LBS community, online retails ARE giving back to trails and MTB advocacy.

      They are also giving better customer service, faster turn around times all at a lower price.

      Lower price is key. Mountain biking has become a pretty expensive sport and that DOES scare people away from joining our ranks. Cost prohibitive + sport = poor participation.

      Just ask golf how prohibitively high costs and large amounts of land requirements have worked out for its participation levels…

      Online retailers are giving people access to our sport at a much lower price point than many LBS do. One of the only advances LBS had over online was supposed to service and maintenance, well at least in my area that’s flipped.

      I get crap service and sketchy work done on my bikes…

      Instead I can Learn to do it myself for a fraction of the cost and I KNOW it’s been done correctly.

      Example, last time my rear shock had to go in for a warranty service I was told to bring my entire bike into a SRAM dealer. I did. Shock was unbolted and shipped to SRAM.

      Once it came back they simply had to bolt it back in and call me. Keep in mind the shop is being paid to unbolt and re-bolt my shock…

      First ride out, knocking noise from the back end so I pull off trail to check it out and the top shock mounting bolt is loose as hell! Clearly could not even be bothered to torque it to spec!

      Keep in mind, they were paid $40 to unbolt and re-bolt a frigging shock.

      Again, I’m sure I would feel differently if I had GOOD LBS in my area. But so far the ones In my area, they simply act like I should just throw money at them simply for existing.

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