In the US, the primary competitors to local bike shops are the mass merchants such as Wal-Mart or Target, representing 73% of the units and 36% of the dollars in 2007, full-line sporting goods stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, multi-sport stores such as R.E.I., representing 7% of the units and 9% of the dollars in 2007, and mail order and online vendors representing 3% of the units and 6% of the dollars in 2007. There are also chains of bike shops, though most LBS are independently owned, 91% of them have one location. Beyond bicycles, a local bicycle shop may offer clothing and other accessories, spare and replacement parts, tools, and a variety of services.

Services may include expert fitting and custom bike building or ordering, maintenance and repairs from experienced bicycle mechanics, and organized group rides and classes. A self-service work area may be available.

Shops may also specialize on one or more aspects of cycling: bicycle racing, triathlon, bicycle touring, BMX, mountain biking, etc. Similarly, shops may carry a diverse range of bicycles, from single-seat upright bikes, to more specialized types such as tandem bicycles, recumbent bicycles, folding bicycles. Many shops also carry related items such as unicycles and skateboards.

Shops located out of temperate climates may have a secondary line in order to keep busy in the off season (winter). These include goods and services for skiing, camping, and physical fitness. Some shops keep their regular customers coming in through the winter by offering group training sessions.