We are living in the internet age, where almost anything you could desire is just a click away. In the US alone over $220 billion is spent online annually. Almost disturbingly it is now possible to subsist entirely by internet shopping, without even having to pick up the phone to talk to a human being. The convenience is undeniable, you can pour over and compare a lot of products in peace and comfort, you may not have a store near you, that certain product may no longer be in stock locally, you may not have the means to get those large objects home. In most countries in the world it is possible to buy your Dahon online, and hey, we're not knocking it! Online shopping is one of the wonders of our time. But don't let that habit allow you to overlook the importance of your local bicycle store (fondly referred to as your LBS).There are huge benefits to dropping in at your local dealer in person. The first is quite simply that you get to get your hands on the bikes. Never underestimate how important it is to get a feel of those grips, squeeze the brakes and take a seat at the right saddle height. A bicycle is an investment and you'll hopefully be spending many enjoyable hours with your hands, feet and rear in close contact with it. If you make sure from the start that you like what you feel and it suits your body type and riding style, then your investment is much more likely to pay off (read about some of our different frame styles here). Most stores will happily offer you a test ride; be sure to take advantage of it.
So you've found your dream folder and are ready to buy. At this point, it can be pretty tempting to go hunting online for the cheapest price. Here is where you will be missing out on the LBS' trump card: service. Practically speaking, for your safety and in order to validate your warranty, all Dahon bikes need to be set up and checked up by a dealer before riding (see box and manual). If you bought the bike in-store, it comes as part of the service. If you buy online, you'll find yourself having to take your bike there anyway and having to pay for the tune up. We offer a warranty with our bikes as standard, but you'll also find many bike stores will give you a little extra something of their own, eg. offering free servicing for a year. And you never know, a bit of human interaction may lead you to a discount of some sort, perhaps some recommendations or special deals on accessories. It never hurts to ask.
Finally, heading down to your local bike store benefits not only you, but the local community. In the straightforward economic sense we all know it pays to shop local and support independent businesses (which many bike shops are) but the cycling community in particular are a friendly bunch. Chat to the staff and you can get to know the best scenic routes, the local commuting tips and the not-to-be-missed cycling events in your area.