I think it is quite a tricky thing sometimes trying to decide between supporting a handful of Local Bike Shops (LBSs) or enjoying the likes of Wiggle, Chain Reaction, Evans and so on.
The nice thing about the mail order gang is the convenience of being able to browse through a gigantic store which is full of everything (almost) you could ever need for cycling (Wiggle also do running gear, amongst other sports) and then place your order. Then, as we all know, it turns up a few days later: couldn’t be easier.
Right now the balance is tipping away from its normal neutral position and swinging towards one of my LBSs. Here’s why. I popped in this afternoon for a couple of stainless steel bolts. The only ones they had were too long.
“No problem” Ian said, I’ll cut them down for you. And so he did, plus finishing them off on his grinding wheel to keep the thread in tact. All free of charge. He knows that while he’s giving away something, he also knows I’ll be back to spend money there in the future. He’s pretty knowledgeable about all kinds of things in the cycling world and we shouldn’t forget the skills in being able to undertake repairs and servicing pretty quickly.
I am fortunate in having a well positioned couple of LBSs nearby plus others not for from my office and I know that’s not the case for all my readers. Could be that for many in the UK all they can access is a Halfords which might struggle to be described as a LBS.
With so many High Streets going through a tough time alongside Wiggle et al bringing lots of competition, it’s a tough choice sometimes. So, which do you prefer? LBS or Wiggle?