Classic & Vintage - Commercial car polishing service yes, but for (classic) bicycles ....
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I have a somewhat difficult q'n wich go's as follows.
I was wondering why it is commercially do-able to start a car polishing service and make money with it, but why it is not do-able for bicycles.
Is is solely because of the lack of big large amount of square inches on bicycle frames or are there other reasons.
I know that there are many bicycles lovers that cherish there pride just as much as many car lovers.
I like to polish up my classic bicycles and seeing the paint shine like it once was and seeing the beauty truly come alive and i was wondering if there is a buck to be made on this.
Fill me in on this one and share your thoughts.
12-03-10, 01:18 PM
Most people don't care how shiny their bike is.
Those who care like to do it themselves.
12-03-10, 01:20 PM
This is a fairly simple answer...a lot more people regularly drive cars than ride bikes. Most people who do ride bikes are less interested in keeping up with joneses and aestheitcs than they would be with their cars...which are much more of a status symbol. The girl you're picking up for dinner probably doesn't care what your bike looks like...but you clean the car (and maybe, optomistically, your house) because you don't want to look like a poor bum.
I'm (obviously) weird...my car was an ugly, unwashed wreck because I didn't care about it while my bikes are always kept clean and functional.
12-03-10, 02:55 PM
Most people who do ride bikes are less interested in keeping up with joneses ... than they would be with their cars...which are much more of a status symbol.
I have to say that I do not agree with this. Aesthetically, maybe. In regard to having the best bike, no.
12-03-10, 02:59 PM
I think Aaron's right on. He's talking about most people. The vast majority of people do not give a rats ass about bicycles.
Amongst Bicyclists it may be a different story.
12-03-10, 05:30 PM
I think if you lived in Manhattan or Los Angeles then barely maybe, but you never know.
12-03-10, 06:04 PM
Polishing a bike is a lot harder to do properly, because of all the bits hanging on it and the lack of surface area. The only way to really do it right it to polish a bare frame/fork. Otherwise you're just polishing around bolt-on's and either missing spots or leaving residue.
Cares do not have stuff hanging on them all over the place, and they have large surface areas that lend themselves very well to efficient polishing.
Plus, bikes are not subjected to nearly as much finish abuse as the average daily driver car, so they need to be polished much less frequently - if at all. They don't rack up the mileage cars do, they don't get subjected to the same adverse conditions for similar time periods, and they don't sit out in the parking lot all day every day while you're at work.
Thanks everybody for your reply's.
Let's put this a in a bit broader view.
If say there was a moutainbike event this time of the year and riders came back with their muddy bikes. Riders went for a bite and having a shower and in the meantime the bike is still dirty would riders spend a few bucks if i had a service for washing there bikes nicely clean for a few bucks. My guess is yes, but what do you think.
Also yes the average cyclist wouldn't give a rats ass for having it polished, but there are very expensive (racing) bicycles being sold everyday of the year (new ones) and these bikes are being ridden all year around would these people still qualify the 'don't give a rats ass'. Seeing these riders ride and knowing that there is serious money being spend on parts is where my fascination comes from why they wouldn't have somebody do a much better job than average in keeping there pride shine like ...
And yes i am aware that the best results are when the frame is bare, although this is not a standard so the result has to come from in one piece.
Also i'm fairly convinced that most lbs's do have some polishing on there bikes to give it some shine in order to sell it more easily so it must have some 'demand' as far as i understand.
So again share your thoughts on this one.
12-04-10, 12:12 AM
For me it comes down to time.
hour and a half to do the Chevelle vs 10 minutes to do all my bikes......... No one is going to pay for 10 minutes of work and if they do it wont be very much money. I would never let anyone touch the Chevelle though :)
Ever since Winter set in, I have a filthy bike, and I have been wishing there was such a thing as a bike wash, where I wasn't doing the washing. Bring it on! I would be more likely to pay to wash my bike than my car. I ride my bike more than I drive my car, so maybe that is why.
12-04-10, 07:57 AM
Bikes get dirty at cyclocross events. We all go over to the hose, rinse off ourselves, our bikes and have a chat. Then we go home and perhaps take bits off the bike to clean/adjust/relube.
A clean bike means little to me if it hasn't been checked, tweaked, drivetrain cleaned and relubed etc.
Since I'm the idiot that has to ride it up/down a steep trail or up/down a mountain road then 'll be the only idiot working on the bike.
12-04-10, 08:13 AM
If you want to do it, do it. Put an ad in CL. See if you get any response.
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