Even if you haven’t been in the bike scene for a hot minute, you’ve probably stumbled into a local bike shop once or twice. But if you’ve ever wondered why you should make the extra effort to drive to the store and pay a little more, here’s why we think you should:
1. Local shops support your riding scene!
Local bike stores support your riding scene because it’s their riding scene too! Shops often host rides and other events, in addition to being knowledgeable about other local events. This is a great way to find a community that shares your interest.
2. Ask the experts.
Your local bike store is a library of bike knowledge, spoken to you in a language you understand! Owners and employees know their stuff and are passionate about it. Whether it be sizing you up for a new bike or even explaining your knee pain due to misaligned cleats on your shoes – a bike shop knows it all.
3. Try before you buy.
Some items simply make no sense to buy online. Bikes, helmets, gloves and shoes all quickly are all things you want to try before dropping cash on them. Nothing beats holding something in your hand to see how well it’s made and how it functions. And if you’re buying a bike, you can actually test ride it at the LBS! When was the last time you did that online?
4. Above and beyond service.
Cyclists will benefit significantly from shopping local. Most local bike shops offer at least a year of free tune-ups and adjustments, and some even offer lifetime tune ups on bikes purchased there. Parts bought at the shop are generally installed for less than parts purchased elsewhere. Your local bike shop will also handle any warranty issues you might have if something breaks or doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.
5. Local shops ARE the community.
Local businesses are owned by people who live in your community, are less likely to leave and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future. For every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $68 goes back into the local economy, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. That’s compared to the $48 that stays local per $100 spent at chains.
What’s YOUR favorite local bike shop? If you’re searching for one, find one near you below!