I'm not sure I completely understand your comment that your LBS didn't have a ready list of the prices. Are you saying you asked them what price they would sell you a particular bike for and they didn't know?
I asked what the prices were of a couple bikes not in stock, and the person I asked had to ask someone who then had to find a price sheet.
I went in again today to ask about a couple different bikes. I asked the salesman if they carried Gary Fisher even though I knew they had a few and he thought about it a moment and realized that yes, they did in fact carry that brand. He didn't know the product of any of the bikes at all *of course none of the salespeople I've talked to their seemed too*
The owner came over to help after a bit and I asked if he knew the weights of any of the bikes I was looking at which he didn't. I asked if they charge full retail on their bikes and he said they do plus if I ordered a bike, I also pay a shipping charge.
So does anyone here know the weights of these bikes, and also any good places to buy online? I'm not sure I trust the competence of their mechanic just by the lack of knowledge of everyone else.
Gary Fisher Wingra
Gary Fisher Artemis
If you can't, see if you can get them to commit to a shipping cost. Get it in writing. I've shipped the same bike (a 7.2FX, as it happens) across the country twice, with the same company. The first time cost $35, the second $90 because the box qualified as "oversized" by about three inches.
Then realize how much you're spending, and pay $30 in gas to go 60 miles to a better shop with the bike in stock for under MSRP.
Iced theater, at the risk if getting ttopaz all fired up again, Trek may have their prices on the web page but to buy a Trek bike (LeMond or Fisher) YOu will have to by from a shop. It is part of the agrement a shop signs to cary those brands that the will not do online sales.
I might just buy a different brand, and pay half as much as I can't see paying $500 for a bike from a bike shop where the people don't know anything about the bikes they sell. If their mechanic is just as unknowning as the rest of the employee's, I could buy a BD bike at a third the cost and have it put together just as well as the bike shop.
Or I can buy in a different city. Can anyone recommend a bike shop in either Salt Lake City, Utah or Ft. Collins, Colorado? I know Ft. Collins is very bike friendly as they are everywhere there. But SLC is closer to me.
Trek gives MSRPs...but those are not necessarily the prices you'd pay. For example, the 6500 hardtail mountain bike is shown as MSRP $929.99, but the local bike shop shows it at $849.99, while the 520 has an MSRP of $1239.99 and the bike shop lists it at $1129.99. As far as I know, the bike shop prices include shipping and assembly...the only additional cost is sales tax.
Last edited by deraltekluge; 07-30-07 at 09:07 PM.
You have a similar situation to me, or at least to what i used to have. Our local shop has changed ownership and changed drastically but it used to be just like yours. The guy would try and sell me a $1800 bike out of a catalog with no chance to test ride. There wasn't a road bike on the premises.
So what i learned to do was adapt. You should do the same. Number one thing is you need to educate yourself. You can easily do that online, you are lucky there, years ago, one couldn't so easily. Then you need to schedule some road trips to towns with multiple shops and ride the crap out of the bikes.
If you need the local service you can always ride out of town and have the dimwit order the bike that you choose back at your local shop. But personally as bad as your shop sounds, it sounds like you need to just get resourceful and learn how to take care of yourself. Buy the bike in a bigger city.
Small bike shops are at a big disadvantage compared with the chain stores. A large chain with four or five locations might order new bikes in lots of fifty or sixty bikes. The bike companies reward bike orders with free shipping and other incentives, which amount to discounts from the wholesale price.
A small shop might order one bike at a time. They pay the "set" price, plus they are charged for shipping. If they want two or three day shipping, they pay a premium price.
So, what happens when a customer wants a "special order" on a bike with a $300 retail price? The distributer charges the shop $200 for the bike, and the shop might pay another $50 in shipping charges. When the bike arrives, a GOOD shop spends a couple hours taking the bike apart, checking the headset, the bottom bracket, etc., puts it back together, tunes the shifting, tunes the brakes, trues the wheels.
So, after spending an hour with the customer helping them select the bike, special ordering the bike, spending two hours getting the bike in A-1 shape, and then thirty minutes to an hour setting up the bike for the customer, what is the "profit" for the small shop? Fifty bucks.
Except its NOT his fifty bucks. He sold two new bikes this week. The landlord wants the rent for the shop space. The phone bill and electric bill are due. And, he still owes the bill on those new Park tools he just bought...that fifty bucks of "profit" has already been spent.
So, what is gonna happen to "Mr. Small Shop Owner"? Folks are gonna continue to come into his shop and look at his bikes and ask his advice. Get fitted and take test rides. Then, those customers are gonna drive to the next big town to buy from a big chain that has a better price. Or, (if the customer is REALLY a moron) he will buy a bike over the internet.
When the customer finds his wheel is out of true, he will go back to "Mr. Small Shop Owner", because he is just down the street. But, quess what? The building is empty...MSSO found out he could make twice as much money working as a bagger at Costco, and Costco has health insurance and a retirement plan...so he locked up his bike shop and walked away.