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Old 04-11-19, 09:36 AM
Str*t*gic *quivoc*tor
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I just spent some weekends working at a shop. I was a full time mechanic from 2009-2013, then part time for a couple years, and now only on occasion to fill in. In this case, owner was having health issues and the other mechanic/manager was off for the winter.

In Maine, bike shop business nearly zeros out in winter. The owner usually covers a reduced, 4-day schedule, his full-time guy is laid off. This winter, he decided to go teach ski-school and work in a ski shop.

( Aside: I live with his mom, which means basically that I am dating my boss's mom, in one sense... Took him about a year to get over it and talk to me again, I am convinced that this is why I lost even part time or fill-in work for a while there...)

But most of the business while I was in the shop over the last month and a half was service and supplies. I did a drop- to flat-bar conversion, some tune-ups, and sold a bunch of chain lube.

When I was talking to the other guys, the most business they are doing is e-bikes. Some woman, who it turns out is a local influencer, rode one, immediately bought it, and then told all her friends. We sold like 10 of them last year and they are now a mainstay in our floor-stock lineup, specifically the Electra Townie ebikes with the new Bosch system. Go figure. The shop was making money hand over fist through the 90s selling mtn bikes, fat bikes and +tire bikes are showing some decent sales for higher end bikes, but the rage in town right now is ebikes for the older crowd.

Flipside is that we used to turn kids who wanted to work in the shop away. The current mechanic started working in the shop in middle school. When I came on, there were two middle schoolers and two high-schoolers working. Now? No youngsters interested in working at the shop. Sad.
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
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