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  1. #1
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    Specialized bailing on SoCal bike shops

    Specialized has decided to end contracts with several bike shops in Southern California. One of them is The Path Bike Shop in Tustin.

    Sounds like Big S wants to concentrate on their concept stores.

    http://thepathbikeshop.com/blog/

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Nothing new there.

    Sad, too.

    It is always a shame when a relationship like that ends with "vague reasons" from the other party.
    Regards,

    Jed

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Our small LBS no longer carries specialized. They must get quite a franchise fee or whatever from these Concept stores. There is one a few towns over and I went in there shopping for what would have been a $4K bike. I was not impressed to say the least. Bought my new single elsewhere (not a Specialized).
    Rick T
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  4. #4
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Sigh. I love my specialized bike but that doesn't mean I love specialized... they're pretty dang corporate these days. They probably don't enjoy seeing their 2011 bikes discounted at these smaller stores but that's an odd way to expand your presence.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    LBS closest to my house sells Specialized and Fuji, and they are Performance Bikes. Says it all.

    The two LBS I frequent most are Bike Warehouse, a small chain based in San Diego that sells Giant and Raleigh, and Pacific Coast Cycles, a real mom and pop that sells Masi and Surly(I bought my Masi from them)
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  6. #6
    jmX
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    They probably don't enjoy seeing their 2011 bikes discounted at these smaller stores but that's an odd way to expand your presence.
    When I was looking around for the previous model year bikes, "The Path" was nowhere near the cheapest. The bigger shops had more decent deals. I'm guessing the path just didn't do enough volume. On the other hand, they are probably one of the best bike shops in OC with almost a cult following...big S is becoming more tainted with a lot of their customers by doing this.

    I do love The Path for mountain bike stuff, and it's sad to see them lose Specialized.

  7. #7
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Delighted to hear it. They've been in my S**tfile right after S***bucks for more than a year now and I look forward to them becoming the next S**tour.

    I loved their seats, but they discontinued the good one, so I've bought enough of them on Ebay and Ebay.au to s**tain me for the next s**ty years or so.

    Might take a few years, but S***ialized is on the slippery slope that also ate Trek, The Bachelor, Huffy, and the Macarena. Are they relevant? Only in a negative way. Happy Riddance.

    Last edited by calamarichris; 06-08-12 at 11:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Don't hold back, Chris. Keeping your feelings buried inside you ain't healthy.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  9. #9
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    I've felt that way about Specialized for a while, but only after reading about them and hearing stories about them from shop owners. But then I rode one this past week (borrowed from a close friend instead of renting a far inferior bike like I usually do) and I'll have to say it was a really nice ride. So nice, in fact, that I was starting to change my impression of them.

    You definitely see enough people riding them around here - there must be something to that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    I loved my '97 Rockhopper. When the frame cracked after 10 years of abuse, they replaced it under the lifetime guaranty. The Performance Bikes in Fountain Valley didn't have any Specialized last time I looked. Specialized is not on my list of bikes I want. I'm not going into a concept store, whatever that is. Sounds like Niketown, overpriced stuff for the true believer only.

    They can lose their market. Too bad, but I won't cry that much.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Should we be surprised by any of this? Many small to medium sized bike shops have closed in my area and some new company stores seem to be replacing them. Trek does pretty well with franchise stores but I am not sure Specialized has planned on going with the same model, not that a corporarte store would keep me from getting any bike I decided I wanted.

    I don't know if the fact some stores are losing a dealership relationship with Specialized is the same as what we have with Trek but one advantage of a Trek type of store is they have more sizes available for the customer to try. I happen to be a firm believer in "try before you buy," I just got a Tarmac to replace my Lapierre. I looked at Giant, Trek, BMC, Specialized and Masi. I thought about Penarello and Cervelo but there are no dealers close by and the selections they have are limited. Is there a question as to if small stores being better than big stores? No I think if the truth be known it is the difference between who works at these stores. I have done business with some great small stores but even today I get most of my work done at a bigger store. The have more access to parts and can get things shipped quicker. Just from personal experience. Just because I have a Specialized today doesn't mean I would get one the next time I got a bike. Just because I didn't get a Trek, Giant or BMC doesn't mean I will not get one next time. Most of all I am just as likely to buy from a super-store as I would be from a mom and pop store.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  12. #12
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    On the otherhand, Fujis, Bianchis, Konas are now as ubiquitous as 5 Hour Energy shots; I see them in some pretty low rent places...next stop Walmart. Specialized management are zealots about protecting the brand; we'll see 5 years down the road which was the smarter company.

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    Seems harsh... wonder what the deal is.

    Just thinning out the herd? Perhaps this shop is selling more of a competitor's brand and they only want shops that make Spesh the focus of their sales?

    Crazy. I never understood why GM wanted FEWER dealers either. So I clearly don't understand business!

    Any idea what other dealers are similarly affected?

  14. #14
    jmX
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    Business is business I guess, I'm just disappointed I can't buy Specialized stuff at my favorite OC shop, and instead my least favorite OC shop (Rock n Road) seems to be gaining a monopoly on the brand.

    Either way I'll continue using specialized's saddles, bar wrap, and shoes...I'll just be getting them in LA county now instead of the shop 5 minutes from my house. Lame.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmX View Post
    Business is business I guess, I'm just disappointed I can't buy Specialized stuff at my favorite OC shop, and instead my least favorite OC shop (Rock n Road) seems to be gaining a monopoly on the brand.

    Either way I'll continue using specialized's saddles, bar wrap, and shoes...I'll just be getting them in LA county now instead of the shop 5 minutes from my house. Lame.
    Are their saddles that good?
    Regards,

    Jed

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    On a more serious note, I think the concept store model is gonna (eventually) blow up in the face of their sponsors/companies.

    Their motives/agendas are suspect. I think the real motive is to use their heft, brand recognition and advertising dollars to eventually drive the other guy out of business. And that is really amazing and a shame, when you consider that Specialized does not manufacture anything. It is essentially a design and marketing firm.

    Well, they won't be the first company/behemoth that got carried away by its temporary/ephemeral success. it is called "HUBRIS"
    Regards,

    Jed

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I thought about Penarello and Cervelo but there are no dealers close by and the selections they have are limited.
    I thought A Road Bike 4 You had a lot of Pinarello in stock.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmX View Post
    I'm just disappointed I can't buy Specialized stuff at my favorite OC shop, and instead my least favorite OC shop (Rock n Road) seems to be gaining a monopoly on the brand.
    Is Surf City losing Specialized as well? Last time I was in there it seemed like that was just about the only bike they carried.

  18. #18
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
    On a more serious note, I think the concept store model is gonna (eventually) blow up in the face of their sponsors/companies.

    Their motives/agendas are suspect. I think the real motive is to use their heft, brand recognition and advertising dollars to eventually drive the other guy out of business. And that is really amazing and a shame, when you consider that Specialized does not manufacture anything. It is essentially a design and marketing firm.

    Well, they won't be the first company/behemoth that got carried away by its temporary/ephemeral success. it is called "HUBRIS"

    +1 "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

  19. #19
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Aren't you a little short to be a storm trooper?

    You need a D+D reference now to really sink into the 7th level of geek hell.

  20. #20
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
    Are their saddles that good?
    Their approach to saddles is genius:
    ~They offer at least a dozen different models of saddes, and most of those come in three different widths.
    ~Specialized dealerships (most of them anyway) have a 30-day no-questions-asked exchange policy.

    Before Specialized, you might find an LBS that would let you try a saddle in the parking lot. Your only other option was to put your chips on one seat and spin the wheel. If it didn't work out, sell it on Ebay and take a loss.
    I would probably be on a Selle Italia, or a Fizik, or other brand than the Avatar if they offered a similar service. It's a clever pusher who offers the first dose for free.

  21. #21
    Unobtanium-Based Lifeform calamarichris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Aren't you a little short to be a storm trooper?

    You need a D+D reference now to really sink into the 7th level of geek hell.

    This is the best I've got. Really tried to get into it when I was 14, but thankfully it never took and as a consolation, I've actually slept with a few women in the last 20 years.
    The bewildering thing to me is that so many women proclaimed themselves geeks on their internet dating profiles. Yeah, right--welcome to the bandwagon toots, but I suspect this is just another fad and we won't have the benefit of your company for very long.

  22. #22
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Fortunately slapping on lycra and a tight jersey is enough to scare off any eligible women, which makes my wife happy. All the regular geekiness is just gravy.

  23. #23
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I have owned my share of Specialize bikes and like them as a company... but they are cutting of their nose to spite their face with this concept issue. The Path sold a ton of product for them. Yes... they sold competiting brands but they pushed people towards the Specialize product. Of course if I am interested in Specialize I would now just go to RocknRoad, the local concept store. It won't hurt The Path's feelings. They will just push other great brands. Both Specialize and Trek need to think about how they are marketing their bikes. If the one shop in the area is "sucky" (not saying this is true however) then they lose the market available...

    What I am hoping is this pushes independant stores to bring in more "other" product to compete with Specialize and Trek. Both firms sell nice brikes but their product is waaaaayyyyy overpriced. For instance, Spec. sells a almost $2000 road bike with Alivio components... that is Walmart level stuff. For the same price (or cheaper) Jensen will sell you a Fuji or some other bike with 105 or Ultegra. Competition can sometimes be a good thing.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 06-11-12 at 11:57 AM.
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  24. #24
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haaseg View Post
    Is Surf City losing Specialized as well? Last time I was in there it seemed like that was just about the only bike they carried.
    No they are the local Spec. concept shop in HB and CM. They won't lose their contract with Spec. anytime soon...
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    I have owned my share of Specialize bikes and like them as a company... but they are cutting of their nose to spite their face with this concept issue. The Path sold a ton of product for them. Yes... they sold competiting brands but they pushed people towards the Specialize product. Of course if I am interested in Specialize I would now just go to RocknRoad, the local concept store. It won't hurt The Path's feelings. They will just push other great brands. Both Specialize and Trek need to think about how they are marketing their bikes. If the one shop in the area is "sucky" (not saying this is true however) then they lose the market available...

    What I am hoping is this pushes independant stores to bring in more "other" product to compete with Specialize and Trek. Both firms sell nice brikes but their product is waaaaayyyyy overpriced. For instance, Spec. sells a almost $2000 road bike with Alivio components... that is Walmart level stuff. For the same price (or cheaper) Jensen will sell you a Fuji or some other bike with 105 or Ultegra. Competition can sometimes be a good thing.
    They are counting on the fact that they'll get rid of the store owner, if their constant research and yearly income statement shows him/her to be a "slouch", business-wise. And I heard that the way their concept store model is designed, they actually own the store. and for this reason, they can tell their "partner" to hit the road for a myriad of reasons, and then some.

    And about their bikes being overpriced? Well, that is part of the big picture. You can say whatever about Mike Sinyard, but he is no business strategy slouch. He sold a little chunk of Specialized to Merida (the largest bike manufacturer in the world) so as to guarantee he'll always have a manufacturer to fabricate his bikes that is also vested in his success. Much more importantly, he has kept the idiots at Merida off the biggest and most lucrative bicycle market in the world, the USA (shakes head, again). That is business strategy 101.
    Regards,

    Jed

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