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A tale of 2 stores

Old 12-11-14, 01:37 PM
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oldnslow2
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A tale of 2 stores

I'm in the process of having a new bike (Trek Project 1) built.

I stopped in store #1 and was immediately greeted by someone. We sat down and I stated to tell him what I was looking at. The store overheard the discussion and joined in. We talked about options and the process of actually spec'ing out the bike, the "pre" fit, purchase and full fit after. The owner said it would be a fun project for him and he's love to do it. That this time of year is the perfect time since there's no rush and he can spend as my time with me as needed since there it was their slow season. I asked how firm was the "list" price quoted by Trek, he said they would be some wiggle room and he's work with me. He then showed me around the store including the mechanics work area and fit studio. He gave me his business card and said to call if I had any questions. When i walked out I checked my watch and realized I was in there for over an hour.

I went to store #2 and roamed around for 5 minutes before any asked if I needed help. When i told him I was thinking of a Trek P1, he passed me to another person. That person was cold and honestly didn't want to be bothered. He told me they do a few measurements and then order the bike. Any chanted in bars, crank and so one would be done at the store. I asked about the "list" price and he said it was firm but would give me the fit for free. Then he excused himself and left. I walked out of the store and looked at my watch, 15 minutes passed. So he spent a total of 10 minutes with me and then blew me off.

I understand they stores don't make a huge profit from a bike sale, but they can increase the profit by adding accessories and service to the transaction. I guess he doesn't need the business as much as store #1 ... or he's just a dick.
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Old 12-11-14, 02:08 PM
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What is a "Project 1"? The Trek site lists bikes from $3000 to $12000.

No doubt a bike shop has a lot of customers that come in to kick the tires (you are specing the same bike at least at 2 shops). If the lead mechanic has a bike up on the rack, I wouldn't expect him to take an hour to shoot the breeze with you. On the other hand, if he has time to go spend a few hours with you in the pub mid-day... does that say something about the store?

Personally, I like to browse around a bit, look at some of the displays... and am not always planning a purchase (but am open to small impulse purchases). Perhaps an acknowledgement from the sales staff is good, but I'd rather be left on my own until I make my way up to the counter.

Anyway, it sounds like you've made your decision.
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Old 12-11-14, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
What is a "Project 1"?
I believe the Project 1 is Trek's version of Burger King - you can have it your way, right down to the paint scheme. I've never been in the market for one so I don't know how far they take it, but I'm pretty sure you can spec every component on it (if you want). Someone considering one of these is going to need a lot of assistance from the LBS, not necessarily in deciding what pieces and parts, but certainly in going over all the options available.

OP - Glad to hear you have at least one good LBS who is deserving of your business. Can't wait to see the pics.
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Old 12-11-14, 02:32 PM
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Project 1 is where you can completely customize the bike, down to the color of the cable housings, hoods and so on. The reason i'm doing a "P1" is Trek does not offer the "stock" bike with SRAM Red. It's not that much more and I can have it built with the parts I want. I'm also going with minimal logos so i'm not riding a rolling billboard.

Actually I was not talking specifics or price because I didn't want to waste their time. I asked about the "process", how they determine what parts and sizes are best for me and a few options. I was not asking for a price so I could buy from the cheapest store.

I can understand walking into a high volume car dealer and the sales person not wanting to talk to you unless you were ready to buy. But walk into a Porsche dealership and the sales people know you have to cultivate a relationship and while the person might not buy today, they will be back.

Trust me, i will buy from the person that spends time with me and not the cheapest. Because if I wanted the cheapest, i'd order online from a grey market dealer, not knowing if i'm getting a real Brand X or a counterfeit painted to look like the real deal.
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Old 12-11-14, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Project 1 is where you can completely customize the bike, down to the color of the cable housings, hoods and so on. The reason i'm doing a "P1" is Trek does not offer the "stock" bike with SRAM Red. It's not that much more and I can have it built with the parts I want. I'm also going with minimal logos so i'm not riding a rolling billboard.

Actually I was not talking specifics or price because I didn't want to waste their time. I asked about the "process", how they determine what parts and sizes are best for me and a few options. I was not asking for a price so I could buy from the cheapest store.

I can understand walking into a high volume car dealer and the sales person not wanting to talk to you unless you were ready to buy. But walk into a Porsche dealership and the sales people know you have to cultivate a relationship and while the person might not buy today, they will be back.

Trust me, i will buy from the person that spends time with me and not the cheapest. Because if I wanted the cheapest, i'd order online from a grey market dealer, not knowing if i'm getting a real Brand X or a counterfeit painted to look like the real deal.

I am with you. Two years ago I was in the market for a higher end bike. The big trek shop in town was too busy putting bikes away to help me the day I stopped in. however the specialized dealer was more than happy to search the us for the frame I wanted, then spend several hours going over every component of the bike with me.

We built it from the frame up with exactly what I wanted.

I smile every time I ride by the trek store.
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Old 12-11-14, 05:59 PM
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After reading Tigat's posts about his Project One Trek, I'd love to be able to buy one of them. A total custom build and your choice of paint jobs. Too bad the second dealer was such a poor excuse for a business owner, the first guy sounds a lot like our LBS owners, here. I've stopped by just intending to buy something I needed, and I walked out 1-2 hours later. When I bought my CAAD10, I got there at closing time, not realizing when they closed. No problems at all, Tom and the mechanic spent all the time necessary to let me test out bikes, fit me properly, and get everything dialed in properly.

If you decide to use the first shop and to get a P1, I think you'll be very happy with everything. Hope to see some pictures of an N+1 from you shortly.

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Old 12-11-14, 10:22 PM
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Actually, I have a appointment at noon tomorrow for a pre-fit. I'm bringing my current Madone 4.6c so he can scan in all the measurements. I also have the fit sheet from my last fit. He's measure me so we order all the correct size parts. Once the bike comes in, he'll do a full fit and swap anything that needs to be changed.

As far as N+1... I already have my current bike for sale. It's just too nice to sit in the garage and not be used. I have it listed here and on Craigslist for half retail which should be a good deal to the new owners.

To me a N+1 should not be a second road bike, but maybe a cyclocross bike or a mountain bike.

Here's what it should look like. Yes... another matte black bike, but this one will be mine.


Here's the old bike. See what I mean about a rolling billboard. But still its a great mid level bike and i really enjoyed riding it.
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Old 12-12-14, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
... I'm also going with minimal logos so i'm not riding a rolling billboard...
Slow rhythmic clap. Best part about your new bike...
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Old 12-12-14, 07:39 AM
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Great lessons about how to run a business -- and how not to. There are lots of bike shops within a few miles of my house, and I like most of them, but I avoid one which is marked by a snobbish attitude.
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Old 12-12-14, 01:56 PM
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Done... the bike is ordered.

I manager offered me a super discount on a set of Zipp 303's so i'm getting the bike with a set of alloy wheels and the Zipps for less than the Bontrager carbon wheels.

All in all I saved a bit over 10% so i'm happy. Now I just have to wait till February for it to be delivered.
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Old 12-12-14, 03:32 PM
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Best advice I ever got was that you should shop for a store. Picking a bike is your 2nd job! If you choose well, you're buying a relationship with people who can make a good bike better and improve your riding experience. If you choose poorly, well, hopefully you saved a lot of money because you're not getting anything else.
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Old 12-12-14, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Done... the bike is ordered.

I manager offered me a super discount on a set of Zipp 303's so i'm getting the bike with a set of alloy wheels and the Zipps for less than the Bontrager carbon wheels.

All in all I saved a bit over 10% so i'm happy. Now I just have to wait till February for it to be delivered.
Good for you, OnS, should be a great bicycle that will be a fine riding experience. Enjoy the miles and smiles.

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Old 12-12-14, 06:50 PM
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My experience- a shop that seems unfriendly and uncaring one time you come in, can seem just the opposite the next time. Depends on who's working, how busy they are, etc. So don't be too quick to write them off.
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Old 12-12-14, 06:59 PM
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Test rode the Emonda SL on Wednesday, with Dura Ace and Bontrager Race wheels. Great ride. Had trouble telling it apart, in terms of smoothness, from my Domane. With the Zipps and an SLR frame, it sounds like rider heaven. Enjoy every mile!
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Old 12-13-14, 11:07 AM
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Awesome. Very happy for you, that's going to be one special bike and it's sounds like you've found a pretty solid shop. I found that bike shop employees really appreciate it when a customers does something nice for them...dropping off a six pack or having a pizza delivered usually makes them pretty happy.
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Old 12-13-14, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by K100Fran View Post
I found that bike shop employees really appreciate it when a customers does something nice for them...dropping off a six pack or having a pizza delivered usually makes them pretty happy.
Not a bad idea. I'll do it when I pick up flowers for the wife when I bring it home.
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Old 12-13-14, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
If you decide to use the first shop and to get a P1, I think you'll be very happy with everything. Hope to see some pictures of an N+1 from you shortly.

Bill
Now if only we could convince the OP to ride a Cannondale!

Oldnslow2 - I'm sure you'll be happy with the P1.
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Old 12-13-14, 07:27 PM
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Sometime around 1974 I walked into the neighborhood Schwinn shop with a Continental I'd bought used, to ask for advice on loosening up the freewheel. I was a 14 year old kid with $5 in my pocket. With the owner's blessing, the mechanic put the bike up on his stand and ran probably half a can of cleaner through the freewheel. He then sent me on my way with a smile.

Over the years, as I became a 'serious' bike rider, I not only bought bikes and accessories there, I sent a ton of business their way. His ROI on 15 minutes of shop labor and a half-can of cleaner is through the roof. I think that was darned good business.

Decades later, I returned to the city and stopped in the shop, which was being run by the owner's son. We talked about the old days, and he told me that his dad hadn't been a very good businessman - hadn't run the shop like a business. I was dumbfounded. This was one of the Schwinn shops that survived the demise of Schwinn. This guy didn't realize the only reason he had a shop to inherit was his dad's good business sense.

Take your business to the place you want to see survive.
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Old 12-13-14, 10:47 PM
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The story of the two bike shops reminds me of my search for a tandem repair a couple of years ago. My custom-made tandem failed at the stoker's bottom bracket. The builder was notoriously slow with frame repairs and I live in a city with a nationally-known tandem building company, so I gave them a call. They said they won't work on anything they didn't build (and I have since found out they aren't too good about fixing their own problems). Someone on the tandem forum suggested I look into R+E in Seattle (the other end of the Cascades Amtrak line from me). I contacted them, gave them some photos and they said they would do it if I got the frame to them. When I got to their shop, the owner spent two hours showing me everything. They build custom tandems and one of the lightest single bikes (the Outlaw). They have an assortment of machines to accomplish this, most of them custom-made by the staff. They also make eccentrics that are shipped overseas and installed on bikes that are then imported.

When I picked up the repaired frame ten days later, I found that they had found a clever way of dealing with the cause of the failure that improved the bike. Needless to say, when I was in the market for a new tandem the following year, they were given first crack and they filled the bill to a Tee. It took half the day for us to get everything dialled in on the day we picked it up, but the mechanic patiently made sure everything was just so in spite of the fact that we picked it up two days before the biggest ride in the PNW (STP). We ended up with a last-minute handlebar upgrade that has been a lifesaver for my wife, who rides captain. They did have a chuckle when we explained why we were wearing bum clothes; we were planning on throwing our clothes away the next morning as we headed off to ride the bike 370 miles home (to break it in).
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Old 12-14-14, 05:11 AM
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We get a lot of posts asking what bike a person should buy. My answer is always to shop for a bike shop first. There's a lot greater difference among bike shops than there is among bike brands. Once you find the right shop it's pretty hard to make a bad bike selection.
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Old 12-14-14, 10:31 AM
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Bike Industry, Logos on everything are just how the game is run .. advertizing is about money, and try searching the inter net or watching a TV show without ads?


someone buys a repainted C&V bike and then they come on the Forum and want to know what Brand it is .. companies sell brand names like commodities..

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Old 12-14-14, 10:35 AM
  #22  
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excited for you with your new Trek!
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Old 12-14-14, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
when I pick up flowers for the wife when I bring it home.
You are a very wise man!
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Old 12-14-14, 04:40 PM
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My son is a hardcore triathlete so I told him I have my old bike and wheels up for sale, his replay was... "what did you buy?". I told him and he said "I won't ask what that cost". I reminded him that he has a Madone 6.7, Gary Fisher cyclocross bike and mountain bike and a Cervelo P3.

As it turns out he has someone interested in the wheels.
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Old 12-16-14, 10:49 PM
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Ditto. Wish I "could" do business at the LBS who reps Specialized and is only a few blocks from my home. Unfortunately the management and staff would rather chat with friends (both in the store or on their phone) on each of three recent visits with my intent of inquiring about a new Roubaix Expert. There are other dealers about 15 miles in opposite directions and one of them will get my $3k+ for a new adult 'toy'.

Hint to LBS owners perusing here . . . I may be chunky and 50'ish - But when I visit your store with a specific request I'm probably a buyer (or will right away inform you otherwise right away.) Just treat me 'right' and I'll be happy to pay for your customer service.
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