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Old 06-29-08, 04:33 PM   #1
Nozzle
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Interesting LBS trend around here...

I live in the five cities area of San Luis Obispo county CA. There are 2 or 3 local bike shops in this area. The two that I have dealt with recently reported the following:

"The last few months have been the busiest I've ever seen."

(explaining why there aren't many bikes on display) "I've been so busy I haven't had time to assemble the new bikes piling up in the back."

(a different LBS) "My suppliers are so backed up they can't get me bikes fast enough. I would have 75 bikes sold if they were here."

"You want a tune-up? Okay, it will be ready by Friday." (it's Monday)


One of the most troubling reports I've heard is that at least one brand (DiamondBack) is replacing Shimano components on more entry-level bikes with other components just to meet demand (although its literature claims specific Shimano parts for each bike model). Apparently even almighty Shimano is not able to keep up with its mainstream demand.

Around here at least it appears that the interest in cycling has nearly tripled since the beginning of this year. Is anyone else observing this trend in his/her area? Do you think this is just a knee-jerk reaction to gas prices and that the interest will level-off as drivers re-adjust to the new gas price standards? Or is this just the tip of the iceberg and we're on the cusp of some cycling revolution (so to speak)?

Regardless, there appears to be some good opportunities for new LBS' at least around here...
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Old 06-29-08, 04:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Nozzle View Post
I live in the five cities area of San Luis Obispo county CA. There are 2 or 3 local bike shops in this area. The two that I have dealt with recently reported the following:

"The last few months have been the busiest I've ever seen."

(explaining why there aren't many bikes on display) "I've been so busy I haven't had time to assemble the new bikes piling up in the back."

(a different LBS) "My suppliers are so backed up they can't get me bikes fast enough. I would have 75 bikes sold if they were here."

"You want a tune-up? Okay, it will be ready by Friday." (it's Monday)


One of the most troubling reports I've heard is that at least one brand (DiamondBack) is replacing Shimano components on more entry-level bikes with other components just to meet demand (although its literature claims specific Shimano parts for each bike model). Apparently even almighty Shimano is not able to keep up with its mainstream demand.

Around here at least it appears that the interest in cycling has nearly tripled since the beginning of this year. Is anyone else observing this trend in his/her area? Do you think this is just a knee-jerk reaction to gas prices and that the interest will level-off as drivers re-adjust to the new gas price standards? Or is this just the tip of the iceberg and we're on the cusp of some cycling revolution (so to speak)?

Regardless, there appears to be some good opportunities for new LBS' at least around here...

And maybe that will mean in 6 months to a year Craigslist will have some sick deals on some lightly used nice bicycles.
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Old 06-29-08, 06:33 PM   #3
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And maybe that will mean in 6 months to a year Craigslist will have some sick deals on some lightly used nice bicycles.
Nonsense! Everyone knows a bicycle makes an excellent clothes hanger!
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Old 06-29-08, 07:40 PM   #4
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Shops are always busy around here this time of year.
I have one slightly out of the way shop that I show up on Sunday right when the doors open if I need help with something.
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Old 06-29-08, 11:52 PM   #5
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Yup. The LBS I work at is swamped. There are hardly any bikes on the floor to show people, We are out of stock on a lot of models and sizes. Can't get new ones from the suppliers either. Repairs are about a 2 and a half week wait. It is always busy this time of year, but this year is more so. This year's Wednesdays are more like last year's Saturdays. I don't even want to talk about this years Saturdays and Sundays.
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Old 06-30-08, 02:15 AM   #6
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Its like that around here. I had some derailuer problems, and took it to a bike world. They guy in back said it would be a bloody week, the whole back was packed with cycles. I said alright and left with my bike, went home and cracked a beer and went at it..turns out it was simple barrel adjustment
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Old 06-30-08, 03:20 PM   #7
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Last week, I think it was just Friday, the tire selection at my LBS included a half-dozen or more 700x23c Serfas Seca tires. Today, there were just two on the rack, so I bought them.

They're constantly getting new bikes to build, fitting them in between all the people coming in for repairs on their bikes (many of which are from *Mart, iirc). Possibly the entire selection of entry-mid-level bikes that they display in front of the shop has changed over in the past month or two just because they keep selling. The remaining 2007 models are getting scarce, and those are all relatively niche bikes in the general public's eyes (SS/fixed, cross, SS MTBs, and $2K+ road bikes). Tools & lubes seem to be selling briskly, the wall pegs for lights are emptying, a whole batch of floor pumps sold off within a couple weeks (glad I got mine when I did), etc etc..

You could say that "it's the busy season", but man, it's lasting a lot longer than it did last year. We'll see if it keeps up through August.
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Old 06-30-08, 04:01 PM   #8
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Its a good thing all the way around.

The more money bike companies get, the more cash they can throw at making cooler designs for next year.
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Old 06-30-08, 07:11 PM   #9
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"You want a tune-up? Okay, it will be ready by Friday." (it's Monday)[/i]
You are calling this "busy"? Some Toronto bike shops have been booking tune-ups in spring for a month and a half in advance. One shop had to stop accepting tune-up orders altogether because they were just swamped.

Yes, this part of year is always busy, but several LBSs around here have remarked that this spring it's been even busier than normally.
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Old 06-30-08, 07:18 PM   #10
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You are calling this "busy"? Some Toronto bike shops have been booking tune-ups in spring for a month and a half in advance. One shop had to stop accepting tune-up orders altogether because they were just swamped.
Ya know, I think that shops should start offering weekly tuneup classes so that all these people who have forgotten basic mechanical maintenance can take care of their own bikes. Maybe the timeslots for LBS tuneups could then be left to the true mechanical idiots and the people who can't spare fifteen minutes a month.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:50 PM   #11
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Ya know, I think that shops should start offering weekly tuneup classes so that all these people who have forgotten basic mechanical maintenance can take care of their own bikes.
We don't have enough time now to do the repairs and builds and now you want us to stop to teach people once a week? We do offer classes, but in the winter when we are slower. Right now, we don't have enough time to teach people anything.

We have so many customers in the store, that the mechanics have to fill in as sales people also. This also slows down the amount of time dedicated to repairs and builds. I wish more people knew how to change tires/fix a flat or make derailer and brake adjustments. This would allow us to concentrate on the repairs that most people don't have the tools for, new headset, bottom bracket installation/adjustments, replacing cassettes/freewheels, broken spokes, etc.

But right now, we don't have enough time to teach someone how to properly adjust a hub, true a wheel and everything else a tune-up requires. The time it would take to teach each person in the class how to do this, we can tune-up more bikes than people taking the class.
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Old 07-01-08, 12:00 AM   #12
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We just ordered $1500 in accessories to stock back up today...and it's barely a ding in what we don't have on the shelves.
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Old 07-01-08, 08:56 AM   #13
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We don't have enough time now to do the repairs and builds and now you want us to stop to teach people once a week? We do offer classes, but in the winter when we are slower. Right now, we don't have enough time to teach people anything.
Point taken.

Maybe I should offer my time at my LBS, especially when someone comes in and goes, "My bike's not shifting right, can you fix it?" I bite my lip every time that happens, because I don't want to get in the way of the staff (it's their shop, not mine, and I don't want to step on their toes by doing their job), but I can't help but think that if I could take them aside for ten or fifteen minutes I could "teach them to fish", so to speak.
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Old 07-01-08, 10:01 AM   #14
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All I know is I'm seeing a lot more fixed gear riders in Mi Barrio. I'm not so sure if that's a good thing.
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Old 07-01-08, 01:01 PM   #15
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"You want a tune-up? Okay, it will be ready by Friday." (it's Monday)[/i]
A four day turnaround on a tune up?? Some shops in the SF Bay Area have a five week and longer waiting list right now for tuneups.
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Old 07-01-08, 01:10 PM   #16
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Four to five business days seems to be the turn around time for a basic tune up at the various shops here.

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A four day turnaround on a tune up?? Some shops in the SF Bay Area have a five week and longer waiting list right now for tuneups.
That'd be motivation enough to learn how to do most of the work yourself! My motivation was financial and entertainment - I love wrenching but I know not everyone does.
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Old 07-01-08, 02:18 PM   #17
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We had a cold Spring, so the shop wasn't as busy this year as last, until about 3 weeks ago. I was in last Sat., and 1/2 their floor inventory is depleted.
Their employees are mechanic/salesmen, so if a couple different customers come in "kicking tires", the repair/assembly pretty much grinds to a halt.
Right now, I doubt you could get a repair done in 2 weeks, which was their waiting time last year.
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Old 07-01-08, 02:19 PM   #18
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Most of your replies indicate that it's busier than the usual busy season. This would be a great time to open a new LBS or two in certain areas.

I know that there are certifications and such for auto mechanics (e.g. ASE) - is there such a thing for bike mechanics? As biking grows more popular as a commuting method, I'll bet regulatory steps will be taken to ensure quality of work for rider safety...
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