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5 Reasons to Buy a Bike from Your Local Bike Shop vs Online

September 05, 2021

There is no denying we live in a world with an unprecedented amount of convenience thanks to the Internet. Without having to leave our homes, we can purchase anything from toilet paper to food and bikes. Heck, you can buy a house while sitting on your couch!

But does this convenience of online buying always lead to a better shopping experience? Is it the best way to ensure satisfaction with your purchase? In this post, we explore the reasons why online shopping may not lead to optimal satisfaction in the long run.

Especially when it comes to purchasing your next bike, you have much to consider about how to go about finding the bike you want. Online, you have access to essentially any bike brand, new or a resale. Those reasons easily tempt anyone to buy a bike from an online source.

But here, we make a strong case that online shopping for bikes is an inherently risky move. Not only could it lead to an unsatisfying purchase, but you also miss out on perks only available from buying a bike from a local shop.

Before you decide where to purchase your next bike, use this post to help you make a final decision. 

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1. You Can Demo the Bike First Before Buying

Hands down, the most obvious reason why buying a bike from a bike shop is a bright decision. Bike shops offer test rides, so you can get a feel for the bike before committing. After all, the more bikes you hop on, the more you realize that not all bikes are created equal. Some will suit your riding style more than others. 

Don’t get stuck with a bike that makes you feel “meh” while riding. Demo it first. Your local bike shop understands that testing a product out (especially a bike) is the best way to ensure customer satisfaction. If you buy online, what you got is what you get …

See our available bike models and call us about setting up a free test ride. 

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2. Unbeatable Customer Service 

You get one-on-one customer service in real-time at a bike shop. Ask as many questions as you’d like. When you buy your next bike from a local bike shop, you’ve got someone helping you who lives and breathes bikes and will make sure your questions are answered. 

Not to mention, you get custom fittings and set-up with each bike you test ride. With a bike dialed for your body, you get a proper read on how a new bike will suit your riding style. Your online deal will never be as sweet.

Additionally, chatting with a bike shop employee can give you invaluable insight on the local trail and road scene, suggestions on which trails to ride, and where the best brews in town can be found.

True that you can search for just about anything on Google, but a bike shop employee has knowledge about a cycling area you can only get from being a local bike nerd.

3. Professional Set-Up and Maintenance

After purchasing your new bike from a local bike shop, the best perks of purchase are about to come your way. Across the board, bike shops provide service and warranty with your bike. Many bike shops may also include bargains and free tune-ups included with your purchase.

While we can’t speak for all bike shops, Epicenter Cycling provides killer perks to our customers, and we might as well let you know what those are here:

- Professional set-up of your new bike to ensure optimal performance and ergonomic comfort. 

- Here at Epicenter Cycles, we are authorized and able to service any Trek and Electra bike we sell. Not all shops can say the same. Please do your research ahead of time. 

- Free test rides. 

- One-on-one expert customer service, 7 days a week. 

Give us a call now to set up your free test ride or to hear more about our services: contact us. 

4. Bike Shops Will Only Sell Brands Committed to High-Quality Products

Let’s think about this critically for a moment; ahem: it’s a fact that there are a fair number of online brands that come and go, thus making sourcing replacement parts challenging to do.

A bike shop with a physical place of business has to source bike brands that have been in the game the longest to ensure their chances of staying open are as secure as possible.

Therefore, the brands that have been producing the longest are likely to have been around for as long as they have because they are both high-quality and popular with cyclists. So, your local bike shop stocks the best engineered bikes, gear and components in the industry. 

See our full inventory here. 

5. You Can Feel Good About Supporting a Local Business

The world is in rapid change post COVID-19. We saw online shopping skyrocket, particularly for some already colossal and global corporations. We saw our beloved hometown restaurants, shops, and businesses close their doors for good. But with the reasons listed in this post, online shopping does not always equate to quality and satisfactory shopping experience.

By supporting local businesses, local bike shops, in this case, we preserve a service that is invaluable to communities everywhere. Often bike shops are a social hub for bike enthusiasts to connect with one another, set up social rides and events, create fundraisers for local trail systems, and much more. These aspects just cannot be recreated in the same fashion by online brands.


To conclude, bike shops offer professional services, top quality products, expertise and personability that cannot be replicated by an online shopping experience. Buying online may offer cheaper pricing, but with that can come lesser quality, lesser reliability, and some uncertainty in what you are really purchasing.

Best chances of enjoying the bike you wish to buy? Go visit your local bike shop. You can find Epicenter Cycling in three convenient locations: Santa Cruz, Aptos and Monterey.

We’re here and ready to set you up with your dream bike.

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