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Old 07-13-11, 06:15 PM   #1
RobE30 
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C&V brain

So, I started a second job at a rather large bike shop today that is right by the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. They specialize in higher end roadbikes, track bikes and MTBs w/ entry level stuff mixed in. First thing I noticed, though they stock plenty of tubulars, there was only ONE lugged steel bike, a very nice De Rosa track bike (customers), second thing I noticed was that I don't have a clue about new bikes! A couple came in and were looking at roadbikes and was asking what the differences were between the different ones and I balked I don't know jack about SRAM or brifters etc. I took home a bunch of catalogs to study. I sure have my work cut out for me!
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Old 07-14-11, 01:47 AM   #2
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Haha, better get used to these new wondrous materials they call "plastics". Like Simplex delrin derailleurs, only slightly better and more UV-proof. Luckily all the groups have catchy names now instead of random numbers.
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Old 07-14-11, 02:05 AM   #3
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You must be one of "those guys" who work at big bike shops and don't know jack. We complain about you a lot.

Just kidding, have fun & remember that the majority of your customers just want some good guidance/service.
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Old 07-14-11, 03:54 AM   #4
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I'm not totally clueless, I just can't tell you the subtle differences between Sram Force, Red, Apex etc.... yet
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Old 07-14-11, 05:42 AM   #5
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Just tell customers those fancy, over complicated doo-dads are placed on the bikes temporarily, and need to be replaced with proper hardware at their earliest convenience.

Last edited by rootboy; 07-14-11 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 07-14-11, 06:23 AM   #6
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You're going to love it!

(psst, what's the employee discount?)
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Old 07-14-11, 07:19 AM   #7
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You'll pick up on it. Never fear...

I've been at a local shop forever and I don't know anything about the new high-end stuff either.

my niche is on the service end of things. Customers bring in old stuff all the time and the full time mechanic doesn't care for it and isn't sure what to do with it. That's where I come in...

I know right where your shop is. I'll stop in and visit sometime.
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Old 07-14-11, 07:59 AM   #8
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I'm not totally clueless, I just can't tell you the subtle differences between Sram Force, Red, Apex etc.... yet
It's really all simple salesmanship in carbon fiber land, the more you spend the faster you'll go (that is, up until it breaks in half).
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Old 07-14-11, 08:13 AM   #9
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Best price/performance...

Shimano: 105
SRAM: Rival
Campy: ???, not a Campy guy.

Just like anything else best price/performance ends up being a couple notches above bottom of the line. In the case of Shimano, when properly maintained and adjusted, IMHO, 105 works just as well as Ultegra and DA...the latter are a little lighter and a little nicer finished but 105 just works. As does Rival. I rode one Rival bike a copule years ago, I really liked it, for brifters

The price difference can be better spent on good tires, better clothing, and a host of other things that can more highly impact the riding "experience".

And, as is the case with my job, one of the best things you can say to a customer/client is, "I don't know the answer to that, but I'll find out for you." It's always appreciated more in the end than misinformation.

Have fun...sounds like a great experience.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:22 AM   #10
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They're not going to ride the bike anyway. These are the garage queens of the future, so you're educating yourself for the next generation of C&V.

Since performance and function are really a moot point (re: bike hanging in a garage), the real issue is how much money you'll bring the shop. Upsell, upsell, upsell! That means convince them they'll need every accessory in the shop. Maybe you can also sell them on a folding bike, because it takes less storage space.

Also, beware the "C&V fade". Talk to cyclotoine. He used to be an active participant here until he started working in a shop. He's largely forsaken C&V. Or maybe he just got a life!
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Old 07-14-11, 08:44 AM   #11
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just make sure you ask each sucker in there buying a new bike if they happen to have an old bike they want to "throw out" or get rid of.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:56 AM   #12
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Perhaps for a nominal fee you could take their old bike away for recycling.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:59 AM   #13
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They're not going to ride the bike anyway. These are the garage queens of the future, so you're educating yourself for the next generation of C&V.

Since performance and function are really a moot point (re: bike hanging in a garage), the real issue is how much money you'll bring the shop. Upsell, upsell, upsell! That means convince them they'll need every accessory in the shop. Maybe you can also sell them on a folding bike, because it takes less storage space.

Also, beware the "C&V fade". Talk to cyclotoine. He used to be an active participant here until he started working in a shop. He's largely forsaken C&V. Or maybe he just got a life!
And folks are incredulous that most of us malign LBSes?
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Old 07-14-11, 09:05 AM   #14
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Some of the new stuff I have seen impress me with how high tech some of the old stuff remains - The old and new bikes have far more similarities than it would seem at first...

I think you bring allot to this shop...
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Old 07-14-11, 09:14 AM   #15
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Make sure you use carbon specific grease when lubricating stems and seatposts, or else they'll melt to the frame.

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Old 07-14-11, 09:30 AM   #16
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Also, beware the "C&V fade". Talk to cyclotoine. He used to be an active participant here until he started working in a shop. He's largely forsaken C&V. Or maybe he just got a life!
Fade them this way!

Especially that UK-only Raleigh
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Old 07-14-11, 10:09 AM   #17
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Fade them this way!

Especially that UK-only Raleigh
I'm trading that 50's French mixte to him, so it hasn't started yet. But I'm afraid to think it might soon end up in the scrap pile!
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Old 07-14-11, 10:11 AM   #18
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And folks are incredulous that most of us malign LBSes?
I was being purposefully cynical. On the other hand, I'm not sure how I would handle selling thousands of dollars worth of equipment to someone when I'd be more inclined to suggest they start inexpensively with a decent used bicycle to gauge their interest/commitment. But hey, some people have the money to spend, and who am I to judge their cycling future?
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Old 07-14-11, 10:48 AM   #19
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I'm trading that 50's French mixte to him, so it hasn't started yet. But I'm afraid to think it might soon end up in the scrap pile!
Nah, just wearing SRAM 10 speed.
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Old 07-14-11, 11:01 AM   #20
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I was being purposefully cynical. On the other hand, I'm not sure how I would handle selling thousands of dollars worth of equipment to someone when I'd be more inclined to suggest they start inexpensively with a decent used bicycle to gauge their interest/commitment. But hey, some people have the money to spend, and who am I to judge their cycling future?
While I was in between jobs (2 years ago) I worked for a LBS that sold lots of expensive bikes & accesories. I tried to direct the inexperienced folks to "moderately" priced Specialized TriCross models w/ no clipless pedals based on the idea stated above. Most customers promptly ignored me and boguht what they wanted. I knew I was in the wrong place when I watched a customer whose was sold a $5k Specialized road bike have a hi-rise stem installed during his $300 "fitting"because the bike was too small..........
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Old 07-14-11, 11:03 AM   #21
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I'm not totally clueless, I just can't tell you the subtle differences between Sram Force, Red, Apex etc.... yet
Rule of thumb: the more it costs, the lighter and better-functioning it is. And yes, you CAN buy performance. (ROFLMAO)

SP
Bend, OR
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Old 07-14-11, 11:04 AM   #22
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While I was in between jobs (2 years ago) I worked for a LBS that sold lots of expensive bikes & accesories. I tried to direct the inexperienced folks to "moderately" priced Specialized TriCross models w/ no clipless pedals based on the idea stated above. Most customers promptly ignored me and boguht what they wanted. I knew I wa in the wrong place when I watche a customer buy a $5k Specialized road bike and have a riser stem installed because the bike was too small..........
that guy posts on the road forum and has authored several internet blogs about bike fit.
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Old 07-14-11, 11:43 AM   #23
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Nah, just wearing SRAM 10 speed.
That's right! Employee discount...

Quote:
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While I was in between jobs (2 years ago) I worked for a LBS that sold lots of expensive bikes & accesories. I tried to direct the inexperienced folks to "moderately" priced Specialized TriCross models w/ no clipless pedals based on the idea stated above. Most customers promptly ignored me and boguht what they wanted. I knew I was in the wrong place when I watched a customer whose was sold a $5k Specialized road bike have a hi-rise stem installed during his $300 "fitting"because the bike was too small..........
Remind me never to post a photo of my aluminum Giant road bike.

I guess some people just don't get buyer's remorse like me...or, to put it another way, aren't tightwads like me. Who's to stop someone from buying the latest and greatest if they have the do-re-mi? Conspicuous consumption makes the world go round. I just want to know who's getting rich? Not the bike shop owners. The big name brands I guess?

"It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody."
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Old 07-14-11, 12:00 PM   #24
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That's right! Employee discount...



Remind me never to post a photo of my aluminum Giant road bike.

I guess some people just don't get buyer's remorse like me...or, to put it another way, aren't tightwads like me. Who's to stop someone from buying the latest and greatest if they have the do-re-mi? Conspicuous consumption makes the world go round. I just want to know who's getting rich? Not the bike shop owners. The big name brands I guess?

"It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody."
It's a free country so people don't need my permission or advice for anything. Billions of people survive and even thrive without my opinions and advice (how do they do it????). I just found that most folks I spoke with wanted to be considered a "serious cyclist" and the more expensive stuff gave them that feeling.

This shop's owner was doing okay but in no way was he getting rich. People always want newer, better stuff. Who am I to tell them no? The opinions of some under-employed, pretentiuos, know it all, desperately clinging to old ideas?

"Apple, scmapple! Did you see the picture quality on this here Beta max??? Why would you ever need anything else?????
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Old 07-14-11, 12:13 PM   #25
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On my first day as service manager in a relatively high-end shop at the time, I somehow managed to sell the most expensive bike we had on the floor (and I can't even remember what it was--I had little interest in new bikes then and now). The shop owner was in a panic because I didn't realize that the bike had unglued sew-ups mounted on the rims when the buyer took it for a test ride. Fortunately, he didn't take any tight turns. That bike likely got hung up on a hook in his garage and has been through several C&Ver hands (this was back in 1990).

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