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Question Changed. See Below for Original.

My local bike shop neither carries fixed-gear/single-speed parts nor is very knowledgable about the topic.

Should I find an online storefront to take its place? Or try to work with my LBS to get the parts I need?

Original Question: Online Shop Suggestions for Fixies/Single-Speeds

I'm looking for a reliable online shop for fixed-gear/single-speed parts. I have a frame and fork and am wanting to buy new, quality parts to complete my first build. Any suggestions?

Looking for (EDIT):

  • Fixed/Free wheel-set, cogs and crank.
  • Shop specializing in, but not limited to, fixed-gear/single-speed parts.
  • Quality customer service by email or phone.
  • A local bike shop with a good online storefront.
  • Prompt shipping.
  • Ships to U.S. (Texas)

I've tried my local bike shop for these parts, but unfortunately they were not very helpful after mentioning single-speed (they were cool about it, just uninformed).

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Where are you? Not all online stores ship internationally - Bicycles.SE is international, though. –  Unsliced Aug 16 '11 at 8:02
    
Sorry about that. I'm in Texas, U.S. –  jrpz Aug 16 '11 at 12:48
    
While Bicycles.SE currently allows questions looking for a shop, this question could do with some clarification. There's really no way to answer this with a single, comprehensive answer. Perhaps the question could focus on how to evaluate shops/online stores for appropriateness? –  Neil Fein Aug 16 '11 at 13:46
    
Clarification, or qualifiers, added. Would the focus on shop evaluation be posed in a separate question? –  jrpz Aug 16 '11 at 15:19
    
No, I think it's all the same question. Stuff like this is disallowed on most SE sites (link is about shopping more than this, but some of it is analogous), but the climate here is to allow it. (My take on this is that there's so much of cycling that revolves around finding a shop - and also sources of parts - that we have to allow some of it here, to a point.) But thanks for the additional info; it helps narrow down your needs. –  Neil Fein Aug 16 '11 at 17:03
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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your local bike shop may not get it with fixed/single speed but do not discount them entirely. They can sometimes compete on price better than a mail order company simply because they will not be charging you shipping even if they have to get parts in specially for you.

Most bike shops have at least a couple of regular suppliers and these suppliers will almost certainly have what you need. Also, there is always the option to get spare parts for a particular bike. If you like the wheel set that comes with a a e.g. Specialized Langster and the shop do Specialized then you can ask them to quote you for a replacement wheelset. The same goes with Kona/Giant or whatever it is they do stock. With some brands these replacement parts are surprisingly competitively priced. Give the local shop a go even if they do need extra prodding and, if they are any good, they will give you service that the online box-shifters never can.

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Good advice. I'll give this a shot. –  jrpz Aug 16 '11 at 15:35
    
Very much agree. Twice this year my LBS installed new parts for me on the spot free of charge. It was only clipless pedals (and cleats on shoes), and a new stem, so minimal work was involved, but it's a nice gesture. They made their money back anyway as I browsed the shop while waiting for them to install the parts, and bought a couple of (what I assume to be) high markup items like lights, tubes, and brakepads. –  Kibbee Aug 16 '11 at 16:09
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Note that many (most?) US bike shops have QBP as a supplier and can therefore order All-City, Surly Steamroller, and other QBP brands, even if it's not stuff they usually stock. –  freiheit Aug 16 '11 at 16:28
    
I've had very different experiences. I've been to a few shops and asked them to order me a specific part from a range they stock and they haven't called me back. As much as I'd like to support my LBS, sometimes online is so much better. –  Mac Aug 17 '11 at 0:51
    
@Mac - My experiences have been similar; it can take some time to find a shop that follows through on ordering stuff. –  Neil Fein Aug 18 '11 at 5:27
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Smartbikeparts in Chicago is something to look at. It's hard to navigate their site, but their inventory is deep, and the service I've gotten at their storefront has been excellent.

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From the UK I used Charlie The Bikemonger for my single speed and fixed gear needs. I had no problems with the service but a sample size of 1 isn't really that significant!

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