Online bike stores can have some great advantages over your local bike store but they don’t have it all their own way. Here’s a breakdown of the advantages of both.
Online Bike Store
- Price: Online bike stores can buy stock in large quantities and are therefore able to give you, the customer, a more competitive price compared with your LBS
- Convenience: Shop form the comfort of your own home or office, most of the online shops these days have a great user shopping experience
- Variety: Online bike shops can stock a larger range of items than even the biggest bricks and mortar store so the chances of them having the item you need is high.
- User Reviews: Most online stores will show user reviews with products, these are great in helping you decide on the item that is right for you.
Local Bike Shop
- Speed: If you need your item now or for tomorrows ride your LBS wins over online. Generally it will take at least a couple of days to get delivered from online shopping.
- Confidence: Buying items online especially clothing can be hit and miss. You cant judge the look, fit and feel of an item just by viewing images and a size chart. Trying items at your LBS before buying brings you piece of mind.
- Advice & Service: As the saying goes “the internet isn’t going to fix your bike” local bike shops can’t be beat for friendly one to one advice, repairs and servicing.
Both online and physical bike stores have their benefits, some say the rise of the big online bike stores will kill of the local bike shops. I hope that’s not the case. As a general rule if my local store is within 15-20% of the online bike shops I will buy locally and support my LBS. Unfortunately there are some stores that never budge from the RRP and can be double the price of online. This is where bike comparison sites like Cheapest Bike Parts can help you get a great online deal.