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Old 03-27-08, 07:47 AM   #1
davidsky
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Maybe bike shops should sell inexpensive bikes

Instead of asking or demanding that WalMart, Target, KMart et al sell good quality bikes maybe the LBSs could sell a sub $200 bike. Trek, Giant etc could likely provide a lower cost bike to dealers and maybe the dealers could sell this bike at a reduced markup or even a loss hoping that the money will be made back in accessories, service, or upselling. It also would bring more customers to the local shop.
It would also help if the shops had the current inexpensive bikes in stock.
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Old 03-27-08, 07:55 AM   #2
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Someone want to qualify "inexpensive bikes"?

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Old 03-27-08, 08:34 AM   #3
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I consider Inexpensive $500, but couldn't get my mom to spend more than $250 on her new bike, she didn't think she needed an expensive bike. Entry level triathlon bikes are $2500. People at walmart consider the $56 sale bikes inexpensive and the $189 "high end" bikes to be expensive.

Good luck on defining this, the major problem is most peoples perception of bikes is not the one shared by us on this board.
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Old 03-27-08, 09:09 AM   #4
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Someone want to qualify "inexpensive bikes"?

Aaron
The OP clearly stated "sub-$200" bikes.
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Old 03-27-08, 09:10 AM   #5
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Someone want to qualify "inexpensive bikes"?

Aaron
The OP already did. For this exercise he specified sub $200.00 bikes.

Tim
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Old 03-27-08, 09:37 AM   #6
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Instead of asking or demanding that WalMart, Target, KMart et al sell good quality bikes maybe the LBSs could sell a sub $200 bike. Trek, Giant etc could likely provide a lower cost bike to dealers and maybe the dealers could sell this bike at a reduced markup or even a loss hoping that the money will be made back in accessories, service, or upselling. It also would bring more customers to the local shop.
It would also help if the shops had the current inexpensive bikes in stock.
I find most shops do.

They're the used, trade in bikes people have given up to buy the latest new model.
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Old 03-27-08, 09:48 AM   #7
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All LBS sell "inexpensive" bikes. The are called used or reconditioned bikes.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 03-27-08, 10:27 AM   #8
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Hate to throw this bomb into the thread, but Wal-Mart and other superduper stores usually have sub $200 bikes. Sure, they're crap, but that's what you're going to get for that price, even if it comes from a dedicated bike store.

Right now part of the problem with cycling adoption is that it's not yet "worth it" for most people. Even a lot of totally broke people I know have huge televisions or fancy cells and stuff. Cheaper bikes aren't going to lead to more adoption in my opinion. If people on a budget really want to bike, they do.

The thing that would bring out more new cyclists at least in urban centers is reducing the risk AND the theft rate. Risk reduction can be done by advocating better bike lanes and traffic management, and of course cyclist education. The theft rate is a more tricky proposition; we need new technologies that make bike theft a risky and expensive enterprise. Like a lojack or something. Because as it stands bike theft is easy, low risk, and profitable.

Anyway tl;dr Inexpensive bikes in my 'pinion are already on the market and don't serve to forward anyone's agenda (including bike store profits).
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Old 03-27-08, 10:58 AM   #9
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There is a huge difference between "inexpensive" bikes and cheap bikes.

IMHO there are many suitable inexpensive bikes on the market, but they are hard to find and are not sold at every retail outlet. KHS Green is one that comes to mind (but I have yet to see one or even find out how much they sell for.) Walmart was selling a 3 speed for $120, but it is NLA. It was inexpensive, and border line on cheap.

Marketing plays a huge part in it. In America, in particular, it seems that appearances are everything. People want something that looks the part, whether it works or not. Walmart has made a huge fortune off of that very principle. Until people are willing to vote with their dollars and not just buy what is pushed on them it will continue.

As far as an LBS selling them, first you have to get the customers in there to buy them. Then you have overhead to deal with. You can make a better profit selling 3 high end bikes vs 3 cheap bikes. Then there is the public perception of the LBS..."they only sell expensive stuff" (justifiable in many cases). We own a bridal shop. People are convinced that anything we sell is probably overpriced. They seem to think that only the best prices come from big box stores. In reality it doesn't work that way most of the time, but try to change that mindset.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon

Last edited by wahoonc; 03-27-08 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:46 AM   #10
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Well, when I was getting my first car, a compact car cost $3,000 new and a Schwinn Varsity was around $90 new. Now a compact car cost 5 times as much. You can get an inexpensive Trek road bike for $550 and it is a potload better than the Varsity, which was durable and weighed a ton. Things cost more now and that is that.
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Old 03-27-08, 03:03 PM   #11
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My LBS has some basic, but sturdy bikes for $219. Maybe a Rocky Mt. set up as SS?
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Old 03-27-08, 05:08 PM   #12
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You get what you pay for. Sure, there are lots of sub $200.00 bikes out there. But just how serious about biking are those who buy them? Not very. bk
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Old 03-27-08, 05:27 PM   #13
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I find most shops do.

They're the used, trade in bikes people have given up to buy the latest new model.
Used bikes are good, but some people have apprehension about anything used. They'll assume that a $200 new Huffy/Magna/Pacific is better than a $200 used Giant/Trek/Specialized
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Old 03-27-08, 05:31 PM   #14
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The thing that would bring out more new cyclists at least in urban centers is reducing the risk AND the theft rate. Risk reduction can be done by advocating better bike lanes and traffic management, and of course cyclist education.
True on all that. A simple thing they could do in my town is to just pave the roads all the width. They had bike lanes (wide shoulders) at one time but were too cheap to go all the way with subsequent pavings.
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Old 03-27-08, 05:34 PM   #15
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You get what you pay for. Sure, there are lots of sub $200.00 bikes out there. But just how serious about biking are those who buy them? Not very. bk
I'm not sure you need to be "serious". I'm not sure I want to be involved with "serious" cyclers.
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Old 03-27-08, 05:42 PM   #16
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Hate to throw this bomb into the thread, but Wal-Mart and other superduper stores usually have sub $200 bikes. Sure, they're crap, but that's what you're going to get for that price, even if it comes from a dedicated bike store.
I think you'd get a better bike. No dual suspension "mountain" bikes. Plus you'd get better assembly.
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Old 03-27-08, 06:56 PM   #17
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Plus you'd get better assembly.
I know some guys who worked for Wally-world before the holidays; they were hired strictly for the pre-Christmas bike assembly rush. The instructions for assembly (or lack thereof) were scary even to me and I know squat about bicycle mechanics. Assemblers were paid on a per bike basis - nothing was tested, parts were unpacked and 'slapped together'. Let's just say...I wouldn't want to get on one of those bikes to ride.
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Old 03-27-08, 07:35 PM   #18
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I'm not sure you need to be "serious". I'm not sure I want to be involved with "serious" cyclers.
There are all kinds of serious cyclists. This guy for example:



Not all serious cyclists race road bikes.
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Old 03-27-08, 07:49 PM   #19
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That guy looks awesome just standing there
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Old 03-27-08, 07:57 PM   #20
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One reason they don't is that cheap bikes have lots of problems and would need a lot of warranty work. How much warranty work should they be willing to do on a very low margin product. Not much. bk
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Old 03-27-08, 08:09 PM   #21
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I know some guys who worked for Wally-world before the holidays; they were hired strictly for the pre-Christmas bike assembly rush. The instructions for assembly (or lack thereof) were scary even to me and I know squat about bicycle mechanics. Assemblers were paid on a per bike basis - nothing was tested, parts were unpacked and 'slapped together'. Let's just say...I wouldn't want to get on one of those bikes to ride.
I promise I did a good job when I built cheap bikes.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:21 PM   #22
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I promise I did a good job when I built cheap bikes.

I'm glad to hear it. So did the guys I know... but they were few among many.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:35 PM   #23
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Would you pay $49.99 to tune up a $199.99 bike after a year? I'd rather not put my shop's decal on a crap bike. Heck, I wouldn't even put operator's shop decal on a crap bike.
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Old 03-27-08, 09:39 PM   #24
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There are all kinds of serious cyclists. This guy for example:

[IMG]http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q130/RightRevChuck/bikes/customer%20bikes/misc111206014.jpg[IMG]

Not all serious cyclists race road bikes.
Ha! I looked at that picture. Then it dawned upon me that the guy was standing in front of Bikeways, Raleigh.


3rd "eccentric" cyclist in my/our area.
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Old 03-27-08, 09:48 PM   #25
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Giant Sedonas and Cypresses, for example, are plenty good and inexpensive, it's just that Walmart has successfully changed public perception to believe that $100 is a reasonable price to pay for 24+ gears and dual suspension. This way lies madness.
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