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Thread: One Less LBS

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    One Less LBS

    Well, the recession has done it again. Went by one of the local LBS's and the place was empty. Too bad, because it was one of the better shops. I bough parts there regularly and they had no problem answering questions about the installation. bk

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    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Where was this?
    That's gonna leave a mark.

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    Hayward, CA. The former owners of Cyclepath, Hayward, had a dispute with their landlord and moved up the street, opening Hayward Bicycles. The landlord kept Cyclepath open and 2 years later, Hayward Bikes closed up. It's a real shame, they were god people running a good shop. bk

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    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Maybe the moved again.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

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    Senior Member RunningPirate's Avatar
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    That's never good. How was it that the landlord was able to keep the original business open? I would have figured that when the owners moved, they would have just taken the Cyclepath business name, etc with them...
    There's nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...

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    Something is strange here.......
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    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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    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Sacramento just lost the Bicycle Chef. I was about a block away the other day and saw a truck hauling their storefront sign away in a trailer. At first I didn't make the connection because I only saw the word "cycle" on the sign as it went by, but later on I noticed the empty store on my way home. No "We've moved" notice either, so they're probably gone for good.

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    Member EdmontonIrish's Avatar
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    Part economy, part individual circumstances, part internet sales. Not much one can do about the first two, but if you buy from the internet you'd better be okay with not having any LBS.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Senior Member RunningPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonIrish View Post
    Part economy, part individual circumstances, part internet sales. Not much one can do about the first two, but if you buy from the internet you'd better be okay with not having any LBS.
    Indeed, thus the discussions that occur on Internet vs. LBS. For folks like me that a) am still learning wrenching skills, and b) needs to try stuff on before buying, the LBS is indispensable. Further, the mechanic at my LBS is the proverbial encyclopedia of rare, obscure, arcane and weird bicycle information...you just can't find that on the internet (or REI or Performance, typically).

    Those that know everything they'll ever need to about wrenching and/or don't need to try on stuff don't really need an LBS and can buy off of the internet and be perfectly happy.
    There's nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    In the last three months, a toy store and a clothing shop have closed up in the town where I live .

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    Senior Member run1206's Avatar
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    The bike shop in Highland Park NJ closed down a while ago. Recently the Planet Bike shop in east Brunswick had a fire
    Thankfully the other shop in Matawan in still open. I'll start going there for bike supplies.

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    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    A new outdoor store, Paddle and Trail, is opening in my town selling Trek Bikes as well as kayaks, canoes, etc. There is already a store in town that sells bikes but it's main business is guns and ammo. Pretty amazing as this area has the highest unemployment in Wisconsin.
    It's a good day to ride.
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    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonIrish View Post
    ...but if you buy from the internet you'd better be okay with not having any LBS.
    Seriously? I should pay three times the value of an item to keep an LBS in business? Sorry, I don't make enough money to handle my finances, that way.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  14. #14
    Member EdmontonIrish's Avatar
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    Firstly, I'm sorry you don't make enough money to support local shops.

    But what I said was that if you shop from the internet, you'd better be okay with not having any LBS. You obviously don't care about having a LBS, so internet away.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

  15. #15
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    I get by without LBSs. The closest are around 100km away. They aren't open when it's convenient for me, and I have to spend money on fuel or fares to get there and back, adding to the price of whatever I might buy.

    I do the vast majority of buying on the internet for the convenience (I can shop at midnight if I like, and deliveries are to my door) and price. Plus, I can price compare, which is very important to me to ensure I spend money without wasting it. It also allows me to calculate the risks.

    I will go to those bike shops to browse and if anything takes my fancy, I might buy. There are certain commercial arrangements made between suppliers and retailers that simply don't allow me to buy directly from the internet, and Velocity Wheels and Bausch-and-Mueller are among them. But if need be, I can still email the bike shops concerned and get them to deliver.

    By the way, discussion in this thread appropos internet killing LBSs really is pointless as the OP failed to provide any detail whatsoever as to the reasons why the LBS closed. The reasons are myriad, and for all we know, internet competition had nothing to do with it.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  16. #16
    Member EdmontonIrish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    By the way, discussion in this thread appropos internet killing LBSs really is pointless as the OP failed to provide any detail whatsoever as to the reasons why the LBS closed. The reasons are myriad, and for all we know, internet competition had nothing to do with it.
    Very true. It's just the one thing that we as regular ol' riders can do to keep the LBS from closing - buy their products or use their services.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonIrish View Post
    Very true. It's just the one thing that we as regular ol' riders can do to keep the LBS from closing - buy their products or use their services.
    But ... why would we want to keep a bicycle shop from closing? I really don't care if a bicycle shop stays open or closes.

    An bicycle shop is just a shop, like a grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, computer store, or whatever ... it's nothing special. If a clothing shop owner can't figure out what to do to attract customers and stay open, the clothing store will close. And if an bicycle shop owner can't figure out what to do to attract customers and stay open, then the bicycle shop will close. Oh well.

    A lot of bicycle shops just don't bother keeping up with the times. They hope customers walking past will stop in and buy something ... and if someone does, the staff treats that person with "attitude" and gives the customer bad service so that he/she doesn't want to come back. It is quite evident that a lot of bicycle shops don't send their staff to customer service training. So it is a much more pleasant experience dealing with the internet. And a lot of these shops don't have an internet presence to attract customers further afield than the immediate neighbourhood.


    BTW, how is United Cycles doing? http://www.unitedcycle.com/

    They were the best bicycle shop I found in Edmonton (and even so they had a few customer service issues). But the fact that they've been around since 1928 tells me they've figured it out ... offer goods at reasonable prices, and branch out to capture a wider sporting goods market than just bicycles. They've also got something of an internet presence so I can browse online before coming into the store (although I see they're cycling section isn't very well done ... maybe it's not finished yet).

  18. #18
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonIrish View Post
    Firstly, I'm sorry you don't make enough money to support local shops.
    ...
    Don't be sorry that I manage my personal finances in a rational way.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  19. #19
    Riding twobadfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonIrish View Post
    Very true. It's just the one thing that we as regular ol' riders can do to keep the LBS from closing - buy their products or use their services.
    Internet commerce seems like too convenient of a cop-out for local businesses going under. Before the advent of internet shopping, local businesses could stay afloat on crappy business models that depended on nothing but the lack of options. The ones that have adjusted the way they do business maintain a solid customer base and those that haven't will continue to lose customers.

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    I certainly care if the LBS I frequent goes out of business. They are very friendly, have given me good deals many times (which I never asked for. I wouldn't do that), and they seem to do well, as I always see plenty of customers coming and going. Oh, and they just happen to be 1 block away from my place. How's that for convenience?

    Now some of the other LBS's around here are a different story. I've been treated poorly in the past by a couple of them. One is still around, the other one is not. The one that is not never seemed to be very busy, so I predicted that they wouldn't last long.

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    There was a raging debate at Christmas about internet shopping overseas causing local retail businesses to be faced with ruin. One of Australia's richest retailers, Gerry Harvey, got all gung-ho about it, and accused people buying stuff on the internet overseas of being un-Australian. Part of the reason for the local retailers' concern was the $1000 threshhold value on imported items before tax is applied. In many ways fair enough, but ultimately, the administrative cost of collecting, say, $60 on a $600 item was going to be more than that $60. I know the rigmarole that happens with the paperwork and stuff because I imported a bike frame from the UK that was worth $1,200.

    Oddly, Harvey became the mouthpiece for this campaign, even though his businesses deal with white goods, furniture and some computers, phones and software, dvds and the like.

    Well, there was a backlash against Harvey himself, and he backed out the campaign shortly into the New Year. Then the evidence started to be gathered that on-line purchases accounted for just 3% of all retail transactions in Australia.

    Many of the people who railed against Harvey's misguided campaign simply pointed out that "right, go ahead with your 10% GST on items under $1,000... then explain why I can get items from the US for still much much less than the prices charged in Australia, even with high postage/freight costs".

    As it turns out, the wealthiest lot in all this are the middle-people -- the importers and distributors who are the faceless operators that fix the prices to the retailers, who often are charged more wholesale than people can import individually from overseas.

    Another interesting aspect that emerges from this type of debate is the lethargy that occurs in retails, as twobadfish points out. Their business models have failed to offer decent on-line options. I frequent outdoor shops and bike shops and other similar outlets, but it requires a special trip to the city to do so. I would likely buy from them initially if they had decent on-line options. But they don't.

    In the really old days -- back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, people who lived in remote locations often ordered from catalogues. Really, they were the equivalent of today's on-line system. Then for some reason, catalogues (as in the Sears type) went out of fashion. Now we are returning to that style of retail.

    Retail indeed can survive in this environment. Take the Australian Kmart, for example (this Kmart is not to be confused with the one in North America -- it's an entirely different animal). About a decade ago, it started floundering with way, way too many product lines. Shoppers would spend an average, IIRC, up to 45 minute in store, then walk out with no purchase because they were overwhelmed and confused.

    Then a new GM moved in, rationalised everything, decided on a quality level, and set Kmart on a new course. Indeed, the quality has improved, the options have been reduced, and shoppers are spending an average, IIRC, of 25 minutes in store, and leave satisfied with several or more purchases. As a result, Kmart's profitability has increased substantially.

    It has been an interesting development with a store that I have shopped at over several decades now.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Kabong30's Avatar
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    Completely OT but interesting. We order our pets heartworm medicine from a site based in Australia and it is cheaper to have it shipped from there to here than to just buy it here in the States. Even though the medicine is produced in the US and then shipped to Australia and then back. Weird, huh?
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  23. #23
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    But ... why would we want to keep a bicycle shop from closing? I really don't care if a bicycle shop stays open or closes.

    An bicycle shop is just a shop, like a grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, computer store, or whatever ... it's nothing special. If a clothing shop owner can't figure out what to do to attract customers and stay open, the clothing store will close. And if an bicycle shop owner can't figure out what to do to attract customers and stay open, then the bicycle shop will close. Oh well.
    Nobody shows up to a grocery store to have a big get-together and talk about groceries (as an example), but most of the LBSes I know organize group rides, teach maintenance classes, hold "Cycling 101"-type sessions, and stuff like that. They're more than just a wall of pegs and a cash register. You or I may not need these services, but the newbies and occasional riders certainly do. Besides, they're the ones who are on the fence about whether they can ride more often, and would expand the market that every retailer hopes to attract.

    My nearest shop closed temporarily to sell off everything and move out of its larger retail space to reopen in a smaller space down the block. I was not in the loop about what their problems really were (I've heard rumors of financial mismanagement, failure to pay vendors, etc), but hopefully they've learned their lesson and will continue to serve the area. There are no other bike shops in that part of DC (by contrast, there are four shops in Georgetown alone), either, so if this owner can't keep it afloat, I know that there are quite a few others who would love to take over.

  24. #24
    Senior Member trek2.3bike's Avatar
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    When I picked up my 38cm handlebars, the mechanic yelled out "Who's here for the girl's bars." I don't shop there anymore. If they go out of business, it will be fine with me. Luckily, there are lots of stronger bike shops in my city.

    I'm amazed at the total lack of salesmanship displayed at many bike shops. The clerks know neither cycling nor sales. The one above is part of a small chain and don't do rides, classes, etc.

  25. #25
    Senior Member zazenzach's Avatar
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    the only LBS in my town is complete crap. Every time I go in, they never have anything I need and want to order it for me (simple things like chains and lube, to fenders and lights etc...and he only carries FELT bikes).

    I also live a fairly middle class city, so he tries to get away with overpricing items and he charges an arm and a leg for services ($20 for simply putting on fenders and $90 for brake adjustment lol)

    i purposely go to REI and other corporate stores so he goes out of business.

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