Why You Should Support Your Local Bike Shop
With the rise of online bike suppliers and growth of nationwide chain stores, it’s easy to see why new cyclists might opt to buy from them for the convenience of delivery and the seasonal slashed prices.
But staying close to home and trusting in your local bike store can bring about many overlooked benefits, both for you and the people who run it. Take a look at these reasons for why you might want to go local for your next cycling purchase.
1. Great regional/local discounts.
Some local bike stores will run shop discounts or offers every now and then, which are only
available regionally or within their very own store. Money off your next bike or accessory; free repairs; partnerships with local businesses or recommend-a-friend benefits all await you when you give your local bike shop a bit of time and attention.
2. Get to try before you buy.
When purchasing a bike from a local store, you’ll have the option to give it a test ride beforehand and see how it works for you. The mechanics in store will also be able to make recommendations on other models you might like, or make certain adjustments to the seat, handlebars or pedals, there and then.
There are also some things you just can’t really buy online. Helmets, gloves, shoes and other clothing all need to be fitted to the wearer, so buying on the internet can lead to a lot of unnecessary faffing about when you need to send something back.
3. Receive assistance and advice, whenever you need it.
Your local bike shop will always be happy to advise you on looking after your bike, buying a new one or purchasing accessories that are going to help you take your ride to work to the next level. If you buy a bike from them, they’ll also be glad to run any checks on your bike for free, and some shops even offer from a year to a lifetime of free tune-ups.
Should any part of your bike break down, your local store will be happy to handle warranty issues with the supplier on your behalf. Of course, if you buy your bike through a scheme like Bike2Work, there will always be plenty of dedicated partner shops to help you.
4. Get free shipping on replacement parts.
If you order a replacement part for your bike through your local store, you’ll be likely to save on shipping costs – not the case when you shop online. Not only will the in-store mechanic place the order for you; they’ll also be able to advise you on the best parts to buy and make sure you receive the right one.
5. Build relationships.
If you start to become a regular at your local bike shop, the standard of customer service you receive is likely to get better and better. The mechanics in-store will become familiar with your bike’s needs, your cycling preferences and circumstances, and will be able to make more accurate recommendations on products and accessories. As lovers of cycling themselves, the thing they’ll be most concerned about that you have a safe and comfortable ride, and will probably start alerting you to things they think you’ll love.
Your local bike shop is also a great way to connect with other like-minded people who love cycling just as much as you do. If there’s a cycling club in your area, you’re likely to hear about it from your local bike shop.
6. Always get that bit extra.
When you shop for parts with your local supplier, you won’t just get the parts – you’ll usually get them fitted too, free of charge. The mechanic will usually fit them, show you how to adjust, use or wear them, and will no doubt give your bike a few other checks to while he/she is at it.
Not bad for a humble bike store.