Many people come into my shop and ask me why they should buy local. ‘Your bikes,’ they remark, ‘are more expensive than the ones online. Why should I spend more for a bike here?’
There are many positive reasons – supporting your community with your dollar, reliable local shop support, and the option to test-ride before you buy are some of the more obvious ones. But today I want to talk about the consumer risk that comes from buying online. We see our fair share of problem bikes bought with the best of intentions. If you’re looking to replace or enhance your transportation with an eBike, you’ll want to read on.
One of the more popular online brands cuts costs by using cheap hardware and nonstandard components. Cheap hardware means a 5-minute fix turns into a 30-minute fix when we have to drill out a broken bolt and retap. Nonstandard components means parts you can only get through them. If you don’t mind missing the riding season while you wait five months for a new set of tires or seven months for a new derailleur – no worries. But for those who rely on their eBikes as a daily commuter – this can be a major issue.
Another brand occasionally puts their motors on with the wiring cap upside down. Rather than protecting your motor from moisture damage, the opening is pointed upwards, collecting water, and funneling it directly to the motor core. The customer is often none-the-wiser until they come to us wondering why their motor won’t turn. The rusted-out guts of their motor system make our mechanics very sad. This also makes the customer sad because they’re spending $450 on a new motor, because of faulty assembly.
Whether you’re buying from us or another local bike shop, we just want you to have an excellent cycling experience. Shops like ours have extensive experience with the brands that they work on. We know what we’re looking for and we use our weight as a purchaser to help our suppliers resolve any issues that present themselves. We buy tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of bikes from them. When we complain, they listen, because if they don’t they lose a significant chunk of business. No factory assembly is perfect, and the Local Bike Shop Filter is the best way to ensure that these issues are found so you’re riding safely.
Lastly, unlike that internet bike supplier, we’re going to see you at the grocery store, parks, and local eateries. We know your families, your pets and your stories. We’re your local bike shop, not a corporation, and we exist to serve you.