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  1. #1
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    Local Bike Shop-Closing the Doors!

    The LBS here in town is closing the doors for good! I can't say I blame him at all, his time is worth more than the shop is bringing in now. There are only 4 or 5 roadies in the whole county, and almost every one who buys a bike now goes to Wal-Mart and buys a bike to go 2 or 3 mile rides.
    I guess I'm just winning. Now my LBS will be 1 to 1.5 hour drive away! Thank's for letting me cry on your shoulder! Just a sad day.

  2. #2
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    That would be whining, not winning....

    Maybe y'all should open your own shop? That would be closer than an hour's drive, wouldn't it???

  3. #3
    Senior Member blueline's Avatar
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    Where are you located? We are moving to Cookeville in a couple of months, and they have one bike store listed in the phone booth. Two Wal-Marts within 3 miles of each other, and people are proud of it.

    It already looks like I'm going to have to drive 90 minutes to play ice hockey, I hope we don't lose the only bike store in town.
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  4. #4
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    Sad to say it happens all the time. It has happened to me as well. Your neighborhood xmarts, and mail order kills us plain and simple. I cannot survive off repairs and small parts. Hell I cannot even seem to get rid of my closeout stuff around locally for people still think the prices are high, and they are only to recoop my costs. There are aproximately 300 to 400 LBS that shut down every year because of this. Soon besides the big chain stores there will be no small Mom and Pop LBS left.

  5. #5
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    Heck, I'm amazed that many LBS's are still open.

  6. #6
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Perhaps surprisingly, my LBS is doing pretty well. They recently had to move to bigger premises, and the best mechanic on the Gold Coast is always telling me how many hours he has to put in just to keep up with the demand.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  7. #7
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Mine is doing great, also.

    Wonder what the difference is between those that are still successful, and those that are not?

    My guess would be location, wealth and "sporting/health environment" of the surrounding community.

    Biking is booming here. Our "Body for Life" classes are sold out. We have biking and walking trails and clubs. Folks have lots of money, and can afford to and do buy the best, whether it is an SUV or a bike.
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  8. #8
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Being nimble can help. Rowlett's here seems to be doing okay. They're aware of their market and sell a lot of things you just can't get at Xmart, like fixie stuff-- fixies are locally extremely popular. The sales people have at least a modicum of knowledge, unlike the two big local chain shops, which might as well be Xmarts in terms of employee knowledge-- the last time I went into Contes, the employees were sitting around discussing cars...
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  9. #9
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Mine is doing great, also.

    Wonder what the difference is between those that are still successful, and those that are not?

    My guess would be location, wealth and "sporting/health environment" of the surrounding community.

    Biking is booming here. Our "Body for Life" classes are sold out. We have biking and walking trails and clubs. Folks have lots of money, and can afford to and do buy the best, whether it is an SUV or a bike.
    I'd say location too. I live in a college town and there are two healthy lbs's. Ones a pro shop type place the other is a family/used parts type place. Both have there advantages.

  10. #10
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    That would be whining, not winning....

    Maybe y'all should open your own shop? That would be closer than an hour's drive, wouldn't it???
    I like tha avatar
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  11. #11
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poguemahone
    Being nimble can help. Rowlett's here seems to be doing okay. They're aware of their market and sell a lot of things you just can't get at Xmart, like fixie stuff-- fixies are locally extremely popular. The sales people have at least a modicum of knowledge, unlike the two big local chain shops, which might as well be Xmarts in terms of employee knowledge-- the last time I went into Contes, the employees were sitting around discussing cars...
    Well they havebeen at that location (if it still the same one on Broad St.) for at least 20 years that I know of. Short of Agee's they are more or less the staple in that area.

  12. #12
    'possum killer chuckfox's Avatar
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    I think university towns are good locations. Ames is home of Iowa State University. Parking on campus is impossible so a lot of student buy bikes to ride to classes. We have two healthy bike shops in a town of 50,000.

  13. #13
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    My guess would be location, wealth and "sporting/health environment" of the surrounding community.

    Fox, I think you hit the nail on the head. People here could care less if they are fit, if you can't drive there they just don't go!

    Where are you located? We are moving to Cookeville in a couple of months, and they have one bike store listed in the phone booth. Two Wal-Marts within 3 miles of each other, and people are proud of it.

    Blueline, I am about 4-5 hours West, next to the Missippi river. I know there are some nice bike shops in Nashville, but I sure hate to drive that far!

    randya, sorry bout the whining.

  14. #14
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uciflylow
    My guess would be location, wealth and "sporting/health environment" of the surrounding community.

    Fox, I think you hit the nail on the head. People here could care less if they are fit, if you can't drive there they just don't go!

    Where are you located?
    I am in Colorado i a suburb of Denver - Parker.

    Bedroom community, but Open Space and recreation is a high priority here. All of the lottery proceeds go to open space, trails and the like, which amounts ot billiopns of dollars. Of course, our school systems pretty much suck, but, hey, you have to go with what is important!
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  15. #15
    Zin
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    On your what?!? Zin's Avatar
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    We have 4 bike shops here. Well, only one is Bike specific and that's our Specialized & Giant dealer. The remaining three are diversified with other sporting goods. All offer shop services.

  16. #16
    Reynolds 853 Select zapper's Avatar
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    Here in Tidewater Virginia there are many to choose from most have been in business 20yrs or more...However, sales can be drawn from at least 7 major cities located near Virginia Beach...Prices are competative...but not great! Still can't they are supported here....

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Business is pretty good locally but we have a severe shortage of unique dealers. If you want a Trek or Specialized they'll easily find it and have it assembled within 24 hours. But if you are interested in something like a Bianchi you are pretty screwed.

  18. #18
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I am in Colorado i a suburb of Denver - Parker.
    I was in Parker once - that's when I knew I was lost.

    What do people think is the biggest threat to LBS? Wally World? Bike chains like Performance? Multi-rec chains like REI? The internet? Are repairs really not a big profit maker for small shops? The "tune-up" prices sure seem high enough.

    Colleges are a natural asset for indy LBS. Wherever there's a college, there are usually one or two very health shops nearby. People who start local businesses have my admiration, but it's really hard to get it right and survive.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member mindbogger's Avatar
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    yall gotta move up north!

    In Toronto and its surrounding area, we got well over 25 bike shops. But then our city is big on cycling. We got km's upon km's of bike lanes downtown and our Mayor is big on cycling
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  20. #20
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd
    I was in Parker once - that's when I knew I was lost.
    You live in Park WHAT?

    I can remember when PH was a really nice neighborhood. That was in the 60's. So sad!

    My wife and I got married in PH Methodist Church, about 40 years ago!
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  21. #21
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    I have two LBS's in my town just outside of New York City. There must be over 10 bike shops just in Manhattan alone not counting the other boroughs. I'm very fortunate in that I can get any bike I want and just order two bikes. Unfortunately, both are arriving on a very slow boat from China!

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindbogger
    yall gotta move up north!

    In Toronto and its surrounding area, we got well over 25 bike shops. But then our city is big on cycling. We got km's upon km's of bike lanes downtown and our Mayor is big on cycling

    and isnt it sweeeeeeeet. I still support my closest lbs which sold me the bike. but i love knowing there are so many good choices for stuff on the cheap...and MEC for decently priced park tools

  23. #23
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindbogger
    yall gotta move up north!

    In Toronto and its surrounding area, we got well over 25 bike shops. But then our city is big on cycling. We got km's upon km's of bike lanes downtown and our Mayor is big on cycling
    No kidding eh? I live at Yonge and Davisville, there are 5 bike shops within a 35 min walk, 4 of those are 15 min away at most.
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  24. #24
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    You live in Park WHAT?

    I can remember when PH was a really nice neighborhood. That was in the 60's. So sad!
    Hey now, Park Hill is nice, like an oasis hidden in the traffic buzz of Denver. I love the old trees and widdle bitty brick bungalows etc. Only problem is there aren't enough coffee shops. Hopefully the Colfax revamp will help with that. Gonna be sad to move away from here next week.
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  25. #25
    My own worst nightmare
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    Our biggest LBS has five separate buildings on a three-block stretch, separated by "category" (new, used/vintage, parts/service, exotics, accessories). Plus a second catch-all location. Our other big LBS has two locations separated geographically. There are a half-dozen or so other LBSes all doing quite well, including one run by the guy who invented the "straight-spoke" (Cronometro) wheel, and one run by a collective of anarcho-hippies (there's always an anti-war sign or the like in the shop window). As an aside, the world HQ of two major bike accessory companies (Saris/Graber and Planet Bike) are here.

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