Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: St. Paul, MN
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD9, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Nashbar X-frame bike.
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Are you a cyclist/bicycle advocate of any kind? Or just a guy who wants to make some money. Not that there's anything technically wrong with the latter, but I can always tell when I go to an LBS where the owner actually cares about bikes and cyclists.
You said college town...which could bring up problems competing with the other shop, depending on how bike friendly the market there is. Most college students shop the "mountain bike" category because they are cheaper, and more like what they know from being kids, or see in most "extreme" sport pictures. If you plan to specialize in nice roadies...that may be a problem, depending on the locality.
Beyond that, I don't know if this message board is necessarily the best place to find good market research. There are some shop owners and workers who are members, but there are many variables that can be locality specific. Maybe some locals for you are on here and can chime in?
Good night...and good luck