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  1. #126
    Senior Member vwchad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    I really am curious about something and this question is directed at the responders that did test ride for a while (off the shop property)....did you buy the exact bike you rode? Had it been test ridden before?
    Yep. I have no issue with that.

    One of the local shops offers almost every time I'm in there to let me ride whatever bike I happen to be looking at when picking up parts or whatever, regardless of weather. I politely decline most of the time.

  2. #127
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    You're right, I got the cost and the margin reversed. It s a $3000 sale that nets $1200.
    Wrong again.

    A $3000.00 sale barely nets $900.00. Usually less.

    After fixed costs are covered it's more like $300.00 if eveyrthing is going well. Bikeshops are a piss poor investment.
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  3. #128
    Still can't climb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Wrong again.

    A $3000.00 sale barely nets $900.00. Usually less.

    After fixed costs are covered it's more like $300.00 if eveyrthing is going well. Bikeshops are a piss poor investment.
    I find it amazing that with all the hype around cycling following big success i tdf and olympics, I still saw bike shops closing all over the place.
    coasting, few quotes are worthy of him, and of those, even fewer printable in a family forum......quote 3alarmer

  4. #129
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coasting View Post
    I find it amazing that with all the hype around cycling following big success i tdf and olympics, I still saw bike shops closing all over the place.
    It is because many are owned by bike enthusiasts who are not business people. They do not know how to manage money properly, credit, or what it takes to run a shop or any business successfully. And that is why they fold.
    Last edited by roadwarrior; 02-01-13 at 04:29 AM.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  5. #130
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    As others have mentioned, ten 3 hour test rides is a rather extreme example.



    In my experience, the ground rules for test rides are dry road conditions.

    I appreciate your respect for your customers in wanting to sell new bikes that are truly new. But at least for where I am as a customer, I'd be unlikely to buy from your shop. Maybe at some later point I'd be the type who valued a pristine tire over the experience of a test ride. High end and mid-range (>$4k is what I'm thinking about, but choose your threshold) bikes are not all alike - they have different stiffnesses. Their chain stays are different lengths, their forks have more or less trail and so they handle differently and I don't think I'm alone in wanting that information before I take out my credit card.

    It sounds like you know your business and your clientelle, but people like me maybe wouldn't be so well-served. I'm middle aged and comparatively new to cycling, so I can't rely on 30 years of experience around great machines and I haven't bought many expensive bikes before. But I'm serious about my riding, doing about 4000-7000 road miles/year. I can feel differences in how bikes handle without someone telling me, and I want to have that information before I purchase a bike that I will likely ride for 15000 miles or more.
    No, actually (since I really do sell this stuff and actually help real live customers) that mileage is not that ridiculous. I had two Serottas that had at least that.

    Btw...that's fine...that's why there are different ways of doing business. There is no right or wrong here...but for us the bike stays on the lot and I have yet to have a person tell me they would not purchase because of that policy. It is a big lot.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  6. #131
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
    How would someone know without a test ride if a high end bike is actually what they are looking for - particularly if it's their first high end bike? I have a caad and maybe I want an evo. I know the fit is fine but maybe it's so stiff or otherwise different that I find it uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to drop $5k or more only to find out later the bike is less rather than more comfortable. Just an example.
    My experience is that they have ridden someone else's bike, or they do not care since they think the ride will get better or the bike is faster. Simply put. And many of them that I have helped tend to move up within brand. THey have a Caad9 and move up to an EVO for exmaple. Madone 5 to a 6 or 7. They just want the bike.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  7. #132
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
    So for you a $3800 bike is not high-end, but for me it was.
    And that came from where? Because I arbitrarily used five grand in a couple of responses?

    When I write things here, I am using the broad experience of having helped thousands of customers. I am not referring to you. Your mileage may vary.

    I have no issue with people doing research. What I try to find out is if the places they went to do the research are credible. Then I can ascertain if the "facts" you have are truly that.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Bikeshops are a piss poor investment.
    That's for sure. Just about everyone I know that owns one is in the business for more than the money. The LBS I visit most is one of the best high end shops in the country that caters to road and tri riders and carries Cervelo, Wilier, Pinarello, Cannondale, Specialized, and others. On weekends the lot is filled with customers in their BMWs, Mercedes, Lexis, etc. while the LBS owner has an old nondescript little wagon parked at the far end.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    It is because many are owned by bike enthusiasts who are not business people. They do know know how to manage money properly, credit, or what it takes to run a shop or any business successfully. And that is why they fold.
    You could say that about most small businesses.

    I actually think that it has more to do with the internet. At one point if you wanted a good bike you had to go to a lbs. It was also harder to research models, understand sizing etc. Comparisons are now much easier.

    It isn't just lbs or even small businesses. Big Box stores are now feeling the pressure from the internet. The mom and pop stores were put out of business by the big box and big box specialty stores now they are being put out of business by amazon. At one point you went to an TV store to buy a tv, that changed to best buy, now it is amazon.

  10. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidney Porter View Post
    You could say that about most small businesses.

    I actually think that it has more to do with the internet. At one point if you wanted a good bike you had to go to a lbs. It was also harder to research models, understand sizing etc. Comparisons are now much easier.

    It isn't just lbs or even small businesses. Big Box stores are now feeling the pressure from the internet. The mom and pop stores were put out of business by the big box and big box specialty stores now they are being put out of business by amazon. At one point you went to an TV store to buy a tv, that changed to best buy, now it is amazon.

    I'd have to agree with this. Heck - I don't even own a bike yet. But i've got my peddals, shoes, shorts, and now a jersey all online. All from 4 different online retailers. And in the process I've saved close to 50% of what I'd be paying at my lbs. I really dont know what the mark-ups are on these products, but it must be fairly significant if online retailers are able to offer them at such lower prices.

    It's just like Best Buy. Go there for a HDMI cable and you'll pay minimum $30 for their cheapest option. Amazon offers them starting at $1.

    In the end my lbs will certainly get my business on the bike. But when it comes to all the accessories I'll have to go where its easiest on the wallet.

  11. #136
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKOTTIEG33 View Post

    In the end my lbs will certainly get my business on the bike. But when it comes to all the accessories I'll have to go where its easiest on the wallet.
    Its a double edged sword. If your saving 50% off of your LBS prices then either your LBS is pricing stuff to high or your buying close out products from years prior not that there is anything wrong with that. Problem is if everyone buys off the internet then this whole thread would be pointless because there would be no bike shops left to test ride bikes at. Bike shops make a very small percentage of profit from the bikes and rely on accessory sales and service to keep the doors open. Support your local bike shop when you can and they should be there to support you with group rides and cycling events as well as help and knowledge as needed.

  12. #137
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
    Its a double edged sword. If your saving 50% off of your LBS prices then either your LBS is pricing stuff to high or your buying close out products from years prior not that there is anything wrong with that. Problem is if everyone buys off the internet then this whole thread would be pointless because there would be no bike shops left to test ride bikes at. Bike shops make a very small percentage of profit from the bikes and rely on accessory sales and service to keep the doors open. Support your local bike shop when you can and they should be there to support you with group rides and cycling events as well as help and knowledge as needed.
    And, of course you are not buying a Madone 7 from a shop someplace over the internet unless you want it to be the last one you ever sell.

    Good points in your post.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  13. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
    Its a double edged sword. If your saving 50% off of your LBS prices then either your LBS is pricing stuff to high or your buying close out products from years prior not that there is anything wrong with that. Problem is if everyone buys off the internet then this whole thread would be pointless because there would be no bike shops left to test ride bikes at. Bike shops make a very small percentage of profit from the bikes and rely on accessory sales and service to keep the doors open. Support your local bike shop when you can and they should be there to support you with group rides and cycling events as well as help and knowledge as needed.
    All valid points. And it is true that 2 of the 4 items I purchased were closeout products. But so long as so many of these bikes cannot be bought/sold new online, there will be a market for the lbs's. Small and dimishing, unfortunately. But it's there.

    And let's also not forget about the immediate gratification buyers out there. I'd be one too if i didnt live in a part of the country that's snow bound 3 months out of the year. Had I decided I wanted to give this biking thing a try in April and not January I'd already be in a bike and would have wanted my pedals/shoes/clothing immediatly so I could not have my new bike hang in the garage staring at me for 1-2 weeks. There's also the people who need a part/accessory in season and don't have the time for the online purchase process.

    In the end though the reality is nothing new to any of us. It's a tough climate we're in and we've all got our own but similar situations. And so long as I dont need that immediate gratification, I'm going to go buy the same $100 pedals offered to me at my lbs for $55 online. And I doubt I'm alone on that.

  14. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Wrong again.

    A $3000.00 sale barely nets $900.00. Usually less.

    After fixed costs are covered it's more like $300.00 if eveyrthing is going well. Bikeshops are a piss poor investment.
    That's still going to be a wayyy huger profit margin than Amazon.com! (Obviously the volumes are ridiculously different, but just sayin')

  15. #140
    Senior Member whitemax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Wrong again.
    Bikeshops are a piss poor investment.
    My idea of great bike shop would be one that also sells fine cigars, wine, and beer. Things of an epicurean nature. I really believe that bike shops need to diversify if they are to make it given it is so hard to compete with the internet.

  16. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    And that came from where? Because I arbitrarily used five grand in a couple of responses?
    That, and the fact that for road bikes I know that what I bought isn't really high end. It's very good solid midrange. But as a new cyclist buying my first road bike it was still a major purchase for me.

    One shop I went to didn't seem to take me seriously because I think they didn't think I was in shape and I wasn't interested in 8K bikes. Oh well...I don't need to shop there.

    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    I have no issue with people doing research. What I try to find out is if the places they went to do the research are credible. Then I can ascertain if the "facts" you have are truly that.
    I feel there are very few facts in bike shopping. But there are a lot of opinions presented as facts. And tons of marketing.

  17. #142
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    This thread has migrated pretty far from the original point, but c'est la vie....

    I think all bike consumers are struggling with the tension between the great deals and wide product availability from online stores and the service/convenience they get from their LBS. These days I spend a lot of money/year on bicycles and accessories (I don't want to add it up), and I divide my purchases between LBS and online retailers. There are some things, such as tires, where the probikekit deals are just too good to pass up. There are other things, such as jerseys and outerwear, which I will always buy from the LBS because fit and feel are everything. I think I do my job in supporting my local LBS (well, more than one of them - I frequent 3 or 4 of them for different types of items or service), but it's true the fraction of my bicycle dollars going to internet purchases (including Amazon) is significant.

  18. #143
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
    That's still going to be a wayyy huger profit margin than Amazon.com! (Obviously the volumes are ridiculously different, but just sayin')
    Which makes it a completely different business model...roll of eyes.
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  19. #144
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
    That, and the fact that for road bikes I know that what I bought isn't really high end. It's very good solid midrange. But as a new cyclist buying my first road bike it was still a major purchase for me.

    One shop I went to didn't seem to take me seriously because I think they didn't think I was in shape and I wasn't interested in 8K bikes. Oh well...I don't need to shop there.



    I feel there are very few facts in bike shopping. But there are a lot of opinions presented as facts. And tons of marketing.
    You can get a TCR Advanced SL frame (professional frame) with an Ultegra groupset for mid three grand. Same frame ridden (or was) by Rabobank (just with a standard seat post versus the ISP). Groupsets are the last thing you look at. Frame is number one. This is a high end bike because it has a pro frame, for example.

    There are facts in bike shopping. Like the above example...you can ride the entry bike in the pro frame series with a lesser groupset, or you can go a frame down (TCR Avanced) with a snappy groupset. Maybe about three grand. The features of the better frame are mostly weight and stiffness. If you don't care about that, get the Advanced with the better components.

    Those are facts.

    If the are few facts and tons of marketing, why waste your time doing research?
    Last edited by roadwarrior; 01-31-13 at 12:38 PM.
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  20. #145
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    This thread has migrated pretty far from the original point, but c'est la vie....

    I think all bike consumers are struggling with the tension between the great deals and wide product availability from online stores and the service/convenience they get from their LBS. These days I spend a lot of money/year on bicycles and accessories (I don't want to add it up), and I divide my purchases between LBS and online retailers. There are some things, such as tires, where the probikekit deals are just too good to pass up. There are other things, such as jerseys and outerwear, which I will always buy from the LBS because fit and feel are everything. I think I do my job in supporting my local LBS (well, more than one of them - I frequent 3 or 4 of them for different types of items or service), but it's true the fraction of my bicycle dollars going to internet purchases (including Amazon) is significant.
    Fwiw, shops that sell bikes like Trek or Giant or Cannondale are not selling over the net if they want to continue to sell bikes. So, if you live in Minnesota and find a great closeout deal in Florida, that's not happening...they can't sell you a bike and ship it to you. You could buy it and drive down and get it if you want whic would be no different than being there on vacation, strolling into a shop and buying a bike. Make sense? Same locally...we advertise bikes on our website, someone calls in and knows what he wants we have it, gives us a credit card, then they have to come pick it up.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  21. #146
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    Fwiw, shops that sell bikes like Trek or Giant or Cannondale are not selling over the net if they want to continue to sell bikes. So, if you live in Minnesota and find a great closeout deal in Florida, that's not happening...they can't sell you a bike and ship it to you. You could buy it and drive down and get it if you want whic would be no different than being there on vacation, strolling into a shop and buying a bike. Make sense? Same locally...we advertise bikes on our website, someone calls in and knows what he wants we have it, gives us a credit card, then they have to come pick it up.
    You are answering a question that hasn't been asked. Most online purchases are accessories, rather than bikes. I personally don't shop for bikes online, I do buy a fair fraction of my parts and accessories that way. And for those who do shop for bikes online, I think we all know that some brands are available online (for example, those sold by Competitive Cyclist), that some are available only online (e.g., those from BD and a few others) but that the 3 majors don't sell that way.

  22. #147
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    I can't believe this has been going this long about the business side of the industry and I haven't chimed in....oh yeah....that's right.....too busy building.....


    ...and spending my obvious piles of cash from that killer margins and huge internetz volumes.

    ....nvrmnd...

  23. #148
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Integrated seat posts on the pro frames make test rides difficult...hard to ride a bike with a two foot drop to the bars and you can't touch the pedals. I've sold several Giant TCR Advanced SL's, no test ride needed. Fwiw...
    Last edited by roadwarrior; 01-31-13 at 01:03 PM.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  24. #149
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
    I can't believe this has been going this long about the business side of the industry and I haven't chimed in....oh yeah....that's right.....too busy building.....


    ...and spending my obvious piles of cash from that killer margins and huge internetz volumes.

    ....nvrmnd...
    Lol...you still got the email mess? I still think it was really cool you were in Velonews.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  25. #150
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    You are answering a question that hasn't been asked. Most online purchases are accessories, rather than bikes. I personally don't shop for bikes online, I do buy a fair fraction of my parts and accessories that way. And for those who do shop for bikes online, I think we all know that some brands are available online (for example, those sold by Competitive Cyclist), that some are available only online (e.g., those from BD and a few others) but that the 3 majors don't sell that way.
    You didn't distinguish and there are other references to the net and since it's about end bikes...someone buying a BMC seven grand bike sight unseen over the net is a lot braver than me.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

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