I touched this topic three years ago. You probably have heard it a few times already that you should support your local bike store by buying things locally, even if they have higher prices. Their survival depends on you - the customer, and they are vital to the local economy.
It all sounds great and true until you quickly realize the sad fact that local stores don't often carry things you want to buy. Or actually, they rarely sell stuff we are looking for, which was the main issue I pointed out in my original post. Surely, you can order things through your local store but... that's not much different than buying them online.
There is, however, that one situation where you should be really happy that you have a nice bike store nearby. It's when your bikes breaks down, you need to replace some parts and you don't have time to wait for the package to arrive. Instead, you would rather take a short walk to a local bike store and buy what you need.
I have a bike store not too far from my house too. I usually don't shop there. After the last weekend, I'm pretty much convinced I will never ever shop there anymore.
I think I have enough of the unfriendly staff and their attitude, always trying to sell me the most expensive components they have, just because they know my bike badly needs a replacement. Once I was looking for a new 10-speed chain for my bike, they "only" had Dura-Ace for $50. The other time it was a piece of housing and a shift cable for my rusty commuter. They wanted $35 for it (when a basic one should cost no more than a third of that). Apparently, they install the best of the best housing even in the oldest and ugliest of bicycles people bring into their shop.
Whatever it is, I made my decision. I'm not supporting my local bike store because they fail to support me. I would rather drive a few miles to a well-known bike store in Belmont to get my emergency parts. At least I'm better served over there. And if I ever decide to buy something locally, please remind me not to, with a friendly slap in the face.
Well, no matter. Spring is finally here... (Source: yehudamoon.com)