If you had your bike BYLT, you've probably already had a chance to meet your local shop but, if you've never visited before, your local bike shop is a perfect destination for one of your first runs on a new bike! In today's post we'll run through the perks of popping in and some of the best ways to make your LBS feel like a two-wheeled home away from home.
Your local shop know bikes. Big bikes, small bikes, fixed gear, road, off-road, downhill, tandem, etc... If you're looking for your next bike, they'll know exactly what's going to work best for your ride style, routes, and budget.
And when it comes time for repairs, there's no need to guess and check on Google. Something feel weird on your ride? Funny noise from the chain? Want your bike to feel "more peppy"? The wrenches at your LBS know where to look, what to tweak, and how to get the most out of your whip. It's like a think tank for bike brains, and we've yet to find a cycle question that could stump ours.
And that knowledge ain't just book learnin' either. Every time you work on your bike, you get a little better at it, a little faster, a little more competent. Now imagine if you worked on your bike all day, every day. That's the institutional experience you get when you pop into your LBS.
Curious which upgrade is right for you? Want to know the difference between a 1x and a 2x chainring? Wondering which saddle will give you the most support? The dudes and dudettes at your LBS have tried it all and they'll be able to drop some first hand experience to help you choose. On top of that, they'll often have tester programs, so you can try a few saddles on your rides, see which works for you, and get the personal experience you need to make an informed decision. When's the last time the car dealership let you take some new seats home for a test ride over the weekend? Didn't think so.
One of the best things about your LBS is that you can check everything out, make an informed decision, and walk out with your sweet new stuff all in the same visit! No eagerly refreshing the page for shipping updates, running to the door every time you hear the gate open, and no hopefully eyeing every FedEx truck that pulls onto the street - just your stuff, in your hands, right now.
That's especially helpful when the roadside gremlins cut your tire while you're riding without a spare, or whatever other mid-ride emergencies you encounter. Pop in, swap out, and you're rolling again.
Teams and Events
And besides all that knowledge, experience, and expertise, one of the best things about your LBS is the sense of community. Most shops hold regular group rides (ours is every Tuesday!), sponsor cycling events, and will often have a race team that you can work your way onto, just by showing up and putting in the work. If you're ever looking for other people to roll with, your LBS will have the scoop on what's going down, where people usually meet up, and pretty soon you'll be just another one of the regulars.
And that sense of community's a two-way street. When the shop hooks you up or helps you out, bring 'em a case of beer or some homemade cookies and you'll find your bike crew growing fast. Heck, in a few months you'll probably be asking if there are any extra hours you can pick up behind the counter.
So find the shop that's closest to you and roll over to say "hi". Odds are you'll leave with some new weekend plans, maybe a few new parts, and a brand new place to call "home" while you're out on the road.
We'll see you there (or here)!