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Is it bad form to visit LBS with intention of buying online?

dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
edited February 2014 in Road buying advice
I am interested in a Ridley Fenix. Wiggle seem to have an exclusive 105 version, which is ideal and in my price range. However, their online sizing thing suggest a small (I am 5ft11) and everyone says their sizing is weird. My LBS is a Ridley dealer, so I was thinking of popping down to have a butchers but they wont be able to match the Wiggle deal and it feels a bit like I am being a censored ...
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  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Looking at the geometry I'd probably ride that frame in an S, although there size guide does say 177cm+ is an M. Don't be surprised if you have a bit of stack going on as the head tube is quite small.

    I do think it's bad form, but they'll probably understand. I wouldn't be too surprised if they slagged you off behind your back if you ever brought it in for servicing.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • dnwhite88dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    Nothing stopping you trying them out then buying online-I prefer to buy local so I can just drop it back if there is a problem-unless wiggle do it massively cheaper I would go with the convienience of LBS
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,808
    Why not ask the shop what their best price is - you might be surprised.

    Ps - just checked yeah Wiggle do seem to have a good offer there. The online size guide has you midway between med and large though.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Of course if they can do something similar I'd rather buy it locally, but Wiggle implies that the 105 Fenix is an exclusive. I'm open to being sold something else with 105 or better, but my LBS only stock Trek, Scott, Ridley and Cube and Ridley is the only one of the bunch I'm interested in.

    My inseam puts me in the small and my heigh puts me on the medium. I put all my stats into the Canyon (another option) size guide and it suggested I buy small in their road bikes. As a mountain biker I've always preferred a small frame with longer seatpost, but it's a bit of a faux pas on a road bike I believe. I must have a freakish body.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Loads of seat post is 100% acceptable on a road bike... unless you Tardis it back a couple decades...

    Both my Wyndy and Ritchey are similar geo to that Ridley in an S. Wouldn't have it any other way.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Personally I am happy to buy online rather than LBS, but I would not use the shop to make an online purchase.
    Its just wasting their time and taking the pi55.

    As others have said you could give them the chance to match the offer in some way but that may involve some embarrassment.

    Can you not just order the small and send it back if its too small?
    Have you contacted wiggle about it rather than just used the size guide?
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Here is my Ritchey 53cm which is very similar geo-wise (slacker seat tube which gives it a slightly longer reach). I'm also 5'11" with a short inseam that would put me on a small on the Ridley size guide. Stem is 110cm and seatpost 20cm layback. the head tube is 5mm shorter and I'm running 20mm of spacers (would be 10 if I wasn't using it for comfort). No two people are the same, but it gives you an idea of how the Ridley would look. Worst case you may need a bit more stack.

    524598_10153776433655722_1634374706_n_zps2feaab08.jpg
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Ah wicked, thanks for that. It looks hot! Do you know how long your arms are if you don't mind my asking?
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Errr... shirt size is 32/33...
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Your arms are longer than mine, so I guess the steeper seat tube will put it in a nice fit in theory.

    It occurs to me I am 5ft 11 with short arms and short legs. I think I am developing a bit of a complex.

    My helmet is a large though... :-(
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    This might fit...
    3_12_12%2Bsilly%2Breverse%2Bsteering%2Bbicycle%2Bcycle%2Bsights.JPG
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • janwaljanwal Posts: 486
    It says 105 but if you look it's not a full groupset.It has FSA cranks and their own 4ZA brakes.Your LBS may be different spec.Fenix at Pearson's bikes for example is more but has full 105.It also says the Fulcrum 7's are better than the 4ZA stratos that normally comes with it. 7's are about £130 a set the 4ZA are a £200 wheelset.The 7's are only a few grammes lighter,so seems a big claim by Wiggle.So it's a Fenix but made down to a price.
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Haha that bike just adds to my shame...

    I realise it's not a full 105 but it looks like it's 105 where it counts to me (bit of a newbie to the road world). The other choices are Rose or Canyon currently, but cost more. Everything is a compromise in the end I suppose.
  • Grill wrote:

    524598_10153776433655722_1634374706_n_zps2feaab08.jpg

    Nicely crossed spokes... :D
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Nicely crossed spokes... :D

    Admiring your handiwork? I can hardly blame you ;)
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    Och and beejeezus I cannae believe what I am hearing. Have you even test ridden this Ridley you are after - obviously not. I just can not believe the number of people who buy bikes who have never actually ridden what they are interested in nor know what size they are or got a proper bike fitting. That's what an LBS is for, okay so it might cost a little more but if they are a half decent LBS it will be worth paying a little more. And if you build up a decent relationship with your LBS they should be able to give you a decent deal and you can have a pleasant chat about bikes in the process. F me.
    Commencal Meta 5.5.1
    Scott CR1
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    And where would I have been able to test ride my Road Logic?

    The secret about bikes is that there isn't really that much difference between them. I love how all my bikes ride and the only one I tested was the Foil. Would I have bought it without a test ride? Yup. Thing is, for 99% of people out there it's really about the colour... ;)

    Oh and bike fits... yeah, overrated and there are very few people in the UK that can do it properly (and they most likely won't be in your LBS).
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Sorry, this was a genuine question, not looking to attract trolling or misty-eyed romanticism of the high street of yore. Just not too clued up on the etiquette of such things.
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    Dilatory of course you know the answer, it is not good form. If you are confident enough about what bike you want, what size you are, can do all your own maintenance, bike building etc then you don't need an LBS. However if you value advice, support and a someone to help you get what you need and have a good chat with about bicycles then find a good LBS and try and put some business through them.
    Commencal Meta 5.5.1
    Scott CR1
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    Grill wrote:
    And where would I have been able to test ride my Road Logic?

    The secret about bikes is that there isn't really that much difference between them. I love how all my bikes ride and the only one I tested was the Foil. Would I have bought it without a test ride? Yup. Thing is, for 99% of people out there it's really about the colour... ;)

    Oh and bike fits... yeah, overrated and there are very few people in the UK that can do it properly (and they most likely won't be in your LBS).

    You could be right about the colour but I would disagree that there isn't much difference between bikes - I haven't test ridden that many road bikes but I can certainly notice differences. Anyway Grill I know all about N+1 but why have you got so many different machines if all bikes are the same? Or are they all different colours?
    Commencal Meta 5.5.1
    Scott CR1
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Grill wrote:
    And where would I have been able to test ride my Road Logic?

    The secret about bikes is that there isn't really that much difference between them. I love how all my bikes ride and the only one I tested was the Foil. Would I have bought it without a test ride? Yup. Thing is, for 99% of people out there it's really about the colour... ;)

    Oh and bike fits... yeah, overrated and there are very few people in the UK that can do it properly (and they most likely won't be in your LBS).

    You could be right about the colour but I would disagree that there isn't much difference between bikes - I haven't test ridden that many road bikes but I can certainly notice differences. Anyway Grill I know all about N+1 but why have you got so many different machines if all bikes are the same? Or are they all different colours?

    I'm a compulsive consumer, and yes, they are all different colours. I also use them for different things, but I could easily just use one if I didn't have the means to afford a stable.

    When I say all bikes are they same, what I mean is that they all do the same thing. They may do it subtly different, but most wouldn't know or care. Does my Wyndy climb better than my Ritchey? Yup. Is it as solid? Nope. Does that make it a worse bike or the wrong bike for me? Nope.

    I managed a ski and board shop in the Alpes for many years. I'd demo 50+ boards a year and almost as many skis. My personal quiver was absolutely massive. Could I tell the difference, no matter how small between them? Sure, but it was my job. I sold out of our stock of boards every year and never had a dissatisfied customer. Was this because I sold them a board that was better suited to their type of riding? I'd like to think so, but the truth is just that they were excited and happy with their purchase. That's pretty much how satisfaction in the retail market works, and bikes are no exception. I've been on rides with dozens upon dozens of people who are riding something new and they never have a bad word to say even if I can clearly see that fit or use is compromised.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • taon24taon24 Posts: 185
    If I'm honest I bought my first road bike on the basis of the reviews online and the shop that gave me the best customer service, as I wanted somewhere I could take the bike to if there were any problems. I couldn't tell the difference between the Defy (I bought) or the equivalent Trek, Specialized or Boardman.

    I then bought a Boardman as my second bike as my cycle to work scheme allowed me to buy from my local bike shop or halfords. The LBS showed they didn't care when I went in asking about bikes, so I bought from halfords, who had a pleasant and knowledgeable member of staff working weekdays. (When I went back on weekends it was college students whose knowledge of bikes wasn't great.)

    My next bike will be entirely self built. There is minimal chance of me test riding the frame beforehand, so whatever I buy will be based on reviews. I may buy through a bikeshop, so I can ask them to do things like crown race installation.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    dilatory wrote:
    Sorry, this was a genuine question, not looking to attract trolling or misty-eyed romanticism of the high street of yore. Just not too clued up on the etiquette of such things.

    Who did that?

    You seem to be assuming the LBS will be gone soon so it seems even more of a pi55 take if you want to waste their time while they are still here lol.

    What if a genuine customer comes in and cannot be served because there is no one to speak to?
    You would be wasting two peoples time then.

    Do you like having your time wasted?

    Your moral compass must be well off if you cannot work this out for yourself.

    Seems like you know its bad form and just want others to tell you its ok so you do not feel so bad about doing it.
    You probably also know that you will find a lot of people happy to do that unfortunately.

    Sorry if all this sounds a bit harsh. I am just giving my honest opinion.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,518
    I'd get sized up, make out that you're interested and say that you want to think about it, then buy on the net.

    The LBS won't disappear, Mr first time buyer and the cycle path family will keep it going, The few that I know are always busy servicing during the week and seem to be full with families at the weekend.

    I doubt that bike shops live off the sale of road bikes because once you've bought that first bike you'll buy off the net or build up your own. You're not going to walk in to an LBS and blow 2.5k on a bike when you can get the same bike 20-25% cheaper on the net.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    dilatory wrote:
    Sorry, this was a genuine question, not looking to attract trolling or misty-eyed romanticism of the high street of yore. Just not too clued up on the etiquette of such things.

    Funnily enough my LBS stocks and sells 3 times as many mountain bikes as road bikes. In fact it only opened it's "road room" a couple of years ago, having had an MTB outlet for nearly 10.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Bozman wrote:
    I'd get sized up, make out that you're interested and say that you want to think about it, then buy on the net.

    So lie through your teeth and waste there time then.
    Bozman wrote:
    LBS won't disappear, Mr first time buyer and the cycle path family will keep it going, The few that I know are always busy servicing during the week and seem to be full with families at the weekend.

    Do first time buyers and cycle path families buy the Ridley (or the 2.5k bikes you mention later)? If not why would the LBS have one in stock if everyone is buying online?
    If servicing is making them rich then why have a shop full of bikes?

    It often takes a while before they can fit your work in so they would just get rid of the bikes and have a bigger workshop if it was the bread winner.
    Bozman wrote:
    doubt that bike shops live off the sale of road bikes because once you've bought that first bike you'll buy off the net or build up your own. You're not going to walk in to an LBS and blow 2.5k on a bike when you can get the same bike 20-25% cheaper on the net.

    Why would they have 80% of their expensive rent space full of bikes if they do not need to sell them?

    Fair enough you are not going to spend loads extra to buy in a shop but that does not mean you take the pi55 with them. Just stay away from the shop.

    They must be offering something otherwise why go there? Do you think they should give you what they offer for free?

    A lot of people would pay 2.5k in an LBS if they did a bit of a deal on spec/parts and then did 0% over 3 years.

    I would not rule LBS out as an option, but if its not the best then just don't go there.

    The original question was not wether or not to do it, but wether it was bad form.
    The answer clearly is that its bad form no matter what conflicting points are conjured up to make it seem acceptable.
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,422
    This is the way retailing is nowadays research in store then buy online, not good but it won't change as most people are price lead.

    When buying more expensive items, mostly watches, I have researched in store and online then gladly gone back to the store and purchased at a higher price to build up a relationship with them. This has at times enabled me to get discounts and even beat internet prices on several occasions.

    It is down to your own moral compass as to whether you feel it is fair or not IMO.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I'm guessing here so correct me if I'm wrong but I doubt there's much margin in selling bikes from an LBS. I suspect they make most of their profit on accessories and maybe maintenance. If that's correct then spend money with them on clothing, lights, helmet, shoes, lubricants, spare tubes, etc.... and it will go some way to compensating them.
    I will pay a little extra to shop locally but only a little. If they can't compete on some items then I'll get them online.
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    personally I would go, ask for advice and tell them what wiggle was offering and I would buy something small from the mental shopping list like lube or an innertube so you're showing willing
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    Go into the shop and take a print out of the Wiggle bike with you. Get fitted up, check you like the bike and size. Explain that you have seen it cheaper online but would prefer to buy from them to support your LBS. 99% of good shops in this situation would cut you some sort of deal, be it price match, free servicing, free/discounted upgrade parts, free/discounted kit or a free bike fit if needed.
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