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View Poll Results: How big is your LBS?
Tiny (25-50 bikes) 24 29.27%
Small (50-100 bikes) 27 32.93%
Medium (100-200 bikes) 15 18.29%
Big (200+ bikes) 13 15.85%
n/a (i order everything online and wrench it myself) 3 3.66%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-09-05, 10:19 AM   #1
robo
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I grew up on the North Shore of Vancouver, B.C. In vancouver, there has been a trend toward giant bike shops. You know, ones that are the size of a supermarket and have at least several hundred bikes in stock in a big showroom, sometimes divided into different rooms or areas for different types of bikes.

There used to be smaller shops, but they seem to have mostly disappeared, and i sorta know why. In the big stores, you can go in and they usually have what you want. Pick your model, and they'll have all the sizes, etc. In a smaller shop, if you're lucky, they'll have the model that suits you, but they'll probably only have one size. They _might_ be able to get another size if you're lucky. While some of the small stores had a lot of character, i nearly always ended up spending my money at the big stores, since they usually had what i wanted.

Anyway, i recently moved to New York, and discovered that all the stores here are TINY! Stores that were described to me as 'big' were smaller than the smallest vancouver bike store. The biggest store i've been to in Manhattan, Toga Bikes, probably had less than 65 bikes in the store, and maybe 15 real mountain bikes. Other stores have had as few as 25 bikes..
I guess part of my problem with small stores here is that (in my experience) they will usually tell you that whatever they have is perfect for you, even with frame sizes. I noticed this when i looked at the same model at two stores. One only had a large, and one only had a medium, and at both places, they unhesitatingly told me that the size they carried was absolutely perfect for me.. yeah right.


So, what size of store do you use? A tiny one? A medium sized store? A huge one with everything?

Me, i'll take a huge one any day (as long as they have decent service obviously).. but that doesn't seem to be an option in this corner of the continent..
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Old 06-09-05, 10:42 AM   #2
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Tiny. I think if I held both arms out I could touch both walls.

The selection isn't great but the service is good though I haven't had them do any wrenching yet.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
Anyway, i recently moved to New York, and discovered that all the stores here are TINY! Stores that were described to me as 'big' were smaller than the smallest vancouver bike store. The biggest store i've been to in Manhattan, Toga Bikes, probably had less than 65 bikes in the store, and maybe 15 real mountain bikes. Other stores have had as few as 25 bikes....
Most bicycle stores in NYC are small because of the rent they pay. That & because it's more profitable to provide service than sales. Especially in NYC where a lot of people would rather pay for someone else to do the maintenance on the bike.

Anyhow, do you have any idea what rent for a retail space is in NYC? These "small" bike shops can be paying anywhere from $5K-10K per month. They have to be small & stock only the most popular bikes that move quickly otherwise they would go out of business.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:48 AM   #4
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Huge, they have about 200 bikes atleast split up into different showrooms, a big repair shop with atleast 20 bikes in at once, a area where you can ride the showroom bikes to try them out, and then they have a warehouse where they keap all kinds of sizes of the bike you want.... its really big.

I live in Edmonton/Canada, the city is really spread out, so everything is big
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Old 06-09-05, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdog

Anyhow, do you have any idea what rent for a retail space is in NYC? These "small" bike shops can be paying anywhere from $5K-10K per month. They have to be small & stock only the most popular bikes that move quickly otherwise they would go out of business.
Right, i understand that.. i pay rent in Manhattan myself, even if it _is_ way uptown

Are there better bike stores in New Jersey or Brooklyn maybe?
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Old 06-09-05, 11:21 AM   #6
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I have 3 LBS that I shop at. The primary one is Tim's on Broadway in Everett they are a couple of blocks from the house. It is a small shop where I grab most of my parts and most of my maintenance done. Then I shop for most of my apparel at REI which would be big. And Bicycle Centers of Everett which is a medium, I have bought bikes from them and will go there if the small store doesn't have what I am looking for.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:28 PM   #7
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I have 3 shops near me. 2 would fit the category of 'tiny', and one 'small'.

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Old 06-09-05, 12:29 PM   #8
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My LBS has like 8 new bikes, and probably like 12 used ones out front. That's all.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:38 PM   #9
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My mech shop is tiny, 10 bikes, mostly frames to be built up.
Great sevice, I would not let a big shop do my mech work.
The parts store is huge, 100's of bikes I ignore -few interesting frames.
I do most of wrenching myself now.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:39 PM   #10
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New bikes or used? one on one has a small selection of new bikes, but there's a pile of a couple hundred used ones downstairs...
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Old 06-09-05, 04:57 PM   #11
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2 LBS's. Sell trek, and specialized. Some Giants here and there. Will get you anything you want but not really a bike fit shop. Better than nothing.
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Old 06-09-05, 06:05 PM   #12
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The closest bike shop to me is a Performance shop. Big. Very big.
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Old 06-09-05, 06:18 PM   #13
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I've got no single LBS, but all four near my house are what I'd call medimum.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbrod
Tiny. I think if I held both arms out I could touch both walls.

The selection isn't great but the service is good though I haven't had them do any wrenching yet.
You think that one's tiny. A guy was telling me yesterday that someone is thinking of opening a bike shop in the back of the fitness club in Opelika. He said they'd probably carry Trek and Specialized, but I dunno about that. If it happens they'll probably stock Mongoose and Diamondback.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:07 PM   #15
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I have 3 LBS i visit. The Bicycle Superstore- 100-200 bikes.
Goldcross Cycles- 50-100 bikes.
Cyclelink- 50-100 bikes.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:42 PM   #16
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Old 06-09-05, 09:21 PM   #17
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You haven't got a "What LBS?" category for those of us who don't have anything we would actually call "local".

Or how about the "My LBS is the local Walmart, Canadian Tire, SportMart, or hunting store" category?
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Old 06-09-05, 09:57 PM   #18
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i marked big, because my preferred LBS is a local chain here. The main store where I usually go probably has about 100 bikes. Not sure about the other locations.

http://montgomerycyclery.com
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Old 06-09-05, 10:49 PM   #19
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Matthew's on the East side of Indianapolis is pretty big. They carry quite a bit of stock upstairs. They have a smaller Northside store as well as the nouveau riche Northsiders don't like driving over to the scruffy East side of town for fear of getting soiled.

Bicycle Garage Indy is medium sized but has 2 stores - North and South.

Indy Cycle Specialists has just opened a 12,000 square foot place.
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Old 06-10-05, 06:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sS-bEn
The Bicycle Superstore- 100-200 bikes.
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100-200 I think not! I assume your talking about the bikes on display. I would say 100 max. Dont let the name 'Superstore' fool you
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Old 06-10-05, 08:16 PM   #21
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100-200 I think not! I assume your talking about the bikes on display. I would say 100 max. Dont let the name 'Superstore' fool you
None of the bikes are for display use only. They are all for sale.
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Old 06-13-05, 07:33 AM   #22
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We live in Dallas, TX and we have tons of places to go. When I started riding, I needed to make some basic purchases to get my used bike where it was rideable, and I also needed some basic gear (helmet, gloves, etc). The first shop we went to, Debo's, was a tiny little shop. They had three helmet styles. And not a whole lot else. I would definitely consider them "tiny." The salesperson seemed kind of helpful, but I wasn't overly impressed. The second shop we went to, Wheels in Motion ("small"), had a little bit more stuff, and about 5 helmets. Not one person came up to us and offered to help us, so we left without purchasing anything. Finally we ended up at Richardson Bike Mart (aka the Lance Armstrong Shrine - when he was training in Dallas it was his "hometown store"). They had about 30 adult helmets and 10-15 children's helmets. I was able to try on 4-5 helmets under $50. Neither of the first two stores I went to had any helmets under $50. They also had tons of socks and gloves to choose from, and I was able to get a new seat, too. They had salespeople just swarming that place. They were willing to talk to me as a "beginner" cyclist and help me choose a new seat and discuss the pros and cons of different seats. I appreciated being talked to like they actually cared about my cycling experience. They weren't trying to push the most expensive stuff either, or trying to sell me stuff I didn't need.

Since that initial purchase, every other cycling purchase we've made has been from Richardson Bike Mart. It's nice having a selection, and it's nice being treated with respect and having my questions answered.
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Old 06-13-05, 09:34 AM   #23
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Another Richardson Bike Mart satisfied customer here.
Although I primarily shop the Frisco location (I live in frisco)
which is medium (including non built up frames), the home store
is HUGE.
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Old 06-13-05, 10:39 AM   #24
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robo nice avatar (Mac Guy!)

My LBS has about 100 or so bikes, a mix of lower end road and MTBs, and maybe 15 highend (greater than 4k) road bikes and a few high end MTBs. They also have a very large accessory collection, and about 7 bike brands total.

Largest in the area
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Old 06-13-05, 10:41 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
I
I guess part of my problem with small stores here is that (in my experience) they will usually tell you that whatever they have is perfect for you, even with frame sizes. I noticed this when i looked at the same model at two stores. One only had a large, and one only had a medium, and at both places, they unhesitatingly told me that the size they carried was absolutely perfect for me.. yeah right.
I have to guard against that all the time.
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