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tofurkey hunting
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
here's a hypothetical for you. say you are putting together a custom build with your lbs and they don't have the wheels you want. you want a handbuilt wheel (which they do some of) but don't have the rim/hubs you are after. is it a faux pas to get everything else from them and order the wheels elsewhere? will this create friction? after all, lesser expensive, yet quality, wheels allow you to buy more goodies at the shop. or, do you go with something they have and start saving again for different wheels. or i guess thirdly, buy something, turn around and sell it. i know this is obviously dependent on the shop, but i am wondering if anyone has done this before.
 

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Bacon!
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My shop wouldn't care if I was buying the majority of the other stuff from them. They are fully reasonable when it comes to understanding that there are some things they don't carry that their customers are going to want. With the large quantity of junk (i.e. bags, bottles, cages, drive train replacements, shoes, etc. etc.) that I buy from them they aren't worried about me changing out one part. Depending on their mood though they may or may not charge me for any adjustments to the wheels or for adding the cassette and what not.
 

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Hmmm, interesting.

So they won't do a special order to get the parts you want? Aside from a very few MFRs, we'll usually order about anything someone wants, if they're willing to wait until we have more to order from that supplier or pay the minimum order fee we get charged.

As for the question you posed, I would think they shouldn't have much to say if they won't get the items you want, especially if it's a custom. The shop I'm currently at won't hold it against you, especially if you're buying the vast majority of the build there. But we'd also order the parts for the wheel-build too...

Bob
 

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tofurkey hunting
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
great responses. this is PURELY hypothetical. i imagine they'll do whatever they can if and when the time comes. not having a long standing relationship w/ the lbs (yet), i wanted to go about everything the right way. and now that i read the responses, duh, it seems like common sense. but you know how it is, when you agonize over some hypothetical situation and goof yourself into a dizzy fit of confusion :) at least i do so on a regular basis ;)
 

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I would think that if you are doing a custom build, then you should get everything you want on there and the shop should know that.

If they can't provide you the wheels you want, then, IMO, they should have no problem with you bringing in the wheels from some place else.
 

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of the 3 shops i deal with 2 of them would complain and try to steer me to a comparable option in their minds. one deals in primarly campagnolo stuff and my bikes have campy. i always get an advertisement for the latest greatest the shop has before i get what i came in for. the other one sells specialized and while i find the body geometry stuff to actually do what it is advertised to do i don't want to buy one of their bikes. the shop that has done my last two tranfers will do anything, won't complain or try to steer me to something they carry, but they are not cheap. so don't be surprised if you get a "why do want that when we carry..." sort of reaction when you mention your wheel selection. have them do a partial build bring in the wheels you bought elsewhere tell them a friend sold them to you cheap, make up a price you know they can't beat and have them adjust your bike...
 

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I sympathize.

Before anybody works in a shop, they're a customer. So we (should) understand your preferences. Some people in some shops will start by asking whether what they have in stock will work for them. But, unless they've overbought something, they should be happy to order about anything for you. They're still going to make a margin on it. They're making the customer happy, and possibly forging a long-term relationship with them. And They'll still be able to sell that product in their storeroom to someone who doesn't have the preference you do. The shops that don't work with customers on things are not going to be as successful as those that don't or complain about doing it. I don't understand the mentality of those who own, manage or work in shops that don't take good care of their customers and treat them with respect. I guess they think they'll get rich off the sale of the product they have in stock at that very moment, because we all know we couldn't go somewhere else...

I wish more shops could/would carry Campy, even though so few really do. More people would ride the stuff, if they experienced it...

Bob
 

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I've been on the other side of this "problem".

As long as you're straight with the shop and let them offer to get what you want it's fine.

If they then get arsey about your choice, find another more reasonable LBS.

If it's just price, see if they can come close on the price.

I've had customers who are set on having a crankset or bars that I cannot get at all or in the time allowed. I'd have been a fool to throw a hissy fit and alienate them over one part.

One customer wanted a 13" frame. He liked the Litespeed Tanasi, but delivery in the UK was 4 weeks or more. I got a call from him while he was in NY. He was holding the frame he wanted and was concerned that I'd be put out. I simply said "buy it". He saved £400 even after duty, and I supplied the rest of the build. He was happy and so was I.

It all boils down to courtesy.
 

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I don't use my lbs

I have, over the years, resorted to buying everything online and building my bikes myself. I simply cannot justify getting into my car and driving halfway across London just to get to a decent bike shop, only for them to keep my bike for a week or two and charge me a fortune for the privilege. I know that bike shops offer a lot of people a very worthwhile service – I used to have my own bike shop a number of years ago – but my choice is to do it the online way. That way I can get what I want when I want it and get it delivered to my door. I may get a rear wheel dished properly by a decent wheel builder from time to time but that's about it. Everything else is up to me.
In answer to your question, if your lbs doesn't carry the stuff that you would like then I would not compromise and get an alternative product. I would look elsewhere so that you are happy with your purchase. If this doesn't suit your lbs then that is their problem.
 

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It all depends on the LBS

Personally I think you have to make sure you get what you want. Your the guy forking over the cash, whether it be to the LBS or for some other outlet that has the parts your hungry for. If the LBS is not happy, then that is there problem. What's important is that you are happy riding your bike.

I once purchased a front shock for my mountain bike, used a coupon and it was on sale, I saved A LOT of money for this purchase. I took it to one of the many LBSs around here and they gave me grief over not purchasing it from them, of course they could not come close on the price. I quickly pointed out that at least I came here to have it installed, and that I was paying for that. I am not going to pay hundreds more on bike components or a specific build that I want just to make sure the owner of the LBS is happy. This sport costs enough as it is, I want the best for what I can buy. Plus, I have had crappy service or shoddy repairs from a number of bike shops, so unfortunately they do not do themselves too many favors. But that can be a shop to shop or wrench to wrench issue.
 

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It's my money, hence, my decision...

"I am not going to pay hundreds more on bike components or a specific build that I want just to make sure the owner of the LBS is happy."

And that, right there, is the heads-up, self-respecting answer.

My personal take on this is that if it's a custom build, and you know what you want, you've got to drive the process to make that happen. We all want to be liked, but no one should sell themselves short to get approval, and if the LBS doesn't do everything in their power to help make you happy, they're missing the point of running a shop and building customer loyalty.

Shoot, I've had shop A talk to shop B across town to get the exact rims I wanted to build up some wheels. They didn't say no, they just asked what I wanted and figured out how to make it happen. I don't even remember the cost difference, all I remember now is feeling like a VIP, and that's worth more to me, and to shop A, than getting pissy or trying to steer me in another direction. Same thing if I walk in with stuff I bought online... they can earn a part of my business, or not, but I'm driving all of the decisions. Sure, pitch me on alternatives, but don't think that I'm not looking out for myself first and foremost.

Just my $.02.
 

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faux pas?

Most shop-owners are reasonable, but a non-trivial minority are not. It seems to me that the reasonable thing is to be happy that someone is buying a frameset and a bunch of components, and to be happy of that independent of the question whether the customer also wants to buy a wheelset on the same day. Let's face it, lots of the sorts of folks who have custom bikes built up already have a couple of wheelsets or so--it's not as if a used wheelset would change the way the frame gets built up.

More useful is the question whether you want to go elsewhere. The lbs can almost certainly get the parts you want, even if they don't ordinarily carry them. Are you not happy with their wheelbuilder or is it just their prices? If the former, think of a tactful way to avoid pointing it out. Likewise for the latter (although, keep in mind that they might negotiate a deal on the whole package that they would not for the wheels alone). I wouldn't buy their wheels just for the sake of selling them--unless you're getting a killer deal on something very popular, you'll almost certainly lose money.
 

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I'm in your situation, non hypothetical.

I'm getting a frame from a LBS, and was honest with them that I was getting my parts elsewhere. They didn't ask why, they're not dumb. They have to make money and I know it, so I'm not going to try to chew them down. Now, I'll get them to put the headset in, but I WILL pay them for this service and would expect to pay for it. I'm not going to however pay double (yes, I've seen them charge 75.00 for an Ultegra BB) when I don't have to.
 

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If its only the wheelset

thats not even close to what 1/3 of the cost of custom built roadie. Their making dig...i wouldnt feel guilty unless the wheelset turns out to be **** and you go to them to true or rebuild a wheelset they did'nt builld.
 
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