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I get it now. Retail has changed.

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I get it now. Retail has changed.

Old 09-01-18, 05:11 PM
  #26  
HildaHippo
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I definitely will shop at the LBS if I want to look at the item or try it on, such as bicycle. But I have found that except for the local Performance shop I can forget getting cycling clothing or shoes. But I will only shop at stores where they have items I want and they don't have some rude sales kid acting like I have no business being in there. Also unlocking the door helps too.
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Old 09-01-18, 05:13 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Dear sweet baby Jesus. If the bike industry goes the way of cars then it's only a matter of time before bike mfgs make it impossible for the home or independent mechanic to repair their bikes. I guess that's one benefit of currently having most repairs done by the shop that sold the bike - there's no incentive for mfgs to sabotage their bikes.
I think it will take a longer time for this to happen in the bike industry. Cars are designed with nearly 100% custom parts. Bikes are designed to accommodate components from Shimano, and from a few other makers who have a vested interest in following Shimano's standards. Also, there's more crossover between bikes sold in the US and the rest of the world, and the supply of bike parts to the third world will ensure a supply of similar parts in the US. For instance I can still get parts that fit my 30+ year old frames.
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Old 09-01-18, 05:25 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Most independent auto repair shops never sold a car.
In my area, those indy's repair vehicles & sell used ones either under the same roof or just so happens there's a used car lot right next door.... The owner is tied to both in some way.
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Old 09-01-18, 06:18 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Dear sweet baby Jesus. If the bike industry goes the way of cars then it's only a matter of time before bike mfgs make it impossible for the home or independent mechanic to repair their bikes. I guess that's one benefit of currently having most repairs done by the shop that sold the bike - there's no incentive for mfgs to sabotage their bikes.
Proprietary tooling is alive and well in the bicycle world, don't worry. Cannondale/Specialized chief among them.
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Old 09-01-18, 06:25 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
The last time I stepped in a bike shop over two years ago, I spent about $50 on two brake cables, about 48 inches of cable housing the guy cut from a big roll, and two no name water bottles with the bike shops logo on them (both leaked at the valve). The only reason I didn't turn around and walk out is because I'm too nice. It's not my responsibility to support anything but my personal finances. My only exception would be a Performance Bike store, but the nearest one to me is an hour and a half away.
I agree with this. I work in the business and still buy everything online. The unfortunate reality for shops is that the internet is unbeatable if you know what you're looking for. Why pay 2-4x as much at a shop, when you can have it delivered to your door for so much less.?
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Old 09-01-18, 07:48 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
When asked if the price were the same in the LBS, would that make a difference, she replied, "Yes, if they had my size, but not if they had to order it." She also noted that if she had to go to several shops to find the style and color, she would not do it, and just buy on line because it is far easier and convenient.

In conclusion it seems the motivation to purchase online is more complex than low prices, but low prices is close to the #1 reason. Convenience and selection is really the driver, then price. Brick and Mortar does not stand a chance with the current generation unless they have something that cannot be ordered online and is very desirable. What manufacturer is going to be able to create supreme desirability long term? SBC and Trek are able to do it now, but 10 years from now I do not see it as realistic to expect them to not sell online. "Fit" was the big push to make a shop desirable and unique, however that can be achieved online now. Retail has changed.

As my son noted, consumers are more informed today than in the past and don't need a salesperson to give them their opinion when the internet has thousands more and can create a consensus among their peers. This is more useful than one guy's opinion looking to sell you what he has at his store. Of course I quipped, "So it is more like group think rather than individual decision making." To which he replied, "Yes." Much more was discussed, and is important to my observation, however these reasons are the most outstanding.

Yes ... 20 years ago I changed my shopping habits.

For me, living in Canada, and then later moving to a rather remote area of Australia, there weren't a lot of option in shops. It was frustrating. Sure they could order it, but it would take 6-8 weeks to get there. If you discovered you needed something in early May ... the summer could be half over by the time it arrived.

Then about 20 years ago, someone introduced me to Nashbar, and I rarely set foot in a LBS again. There was a massive selection, stuff I'd never even seen before! The prices were good! And best of all, they could have it in my local post office in about a week!

In Australia, we order from the UK shops because US shops charge massive shipping fees, so there's no point.

But when we lived in a small, rather remote town, every couple months we would drive 100 km to one of two large towns to do a big shopping day ... groceries and everything.

One time we stopped in a bicycle shop in one town. I was looking for a helmet, and they didn't have anything like what I wanted on the shelves. However, the guy said he could order a helmet for me ... but the company was one they didn't order from very often so I'd have to wait until they had a complete order, and once it was ordered I could have it in 6-8 weeks ... and I would have to drive 200 km round trip to pick it up.

Or I could place an order with Chain Reaction Cycles or Wiggle and have the helmet I wanted in 5 days delivered right to my door for the same price or less. And that's what we did.


Now we live in a small city, and even so, my shopping habits go like this: I want/need a ... whatever (recently I've been looking for things like small tables, shelves, boots ... ).

So I do a search online. I search the local stores. If they don't have an internet presence with all their stock listed, they're off my list. I take the bus and walk, and my time is limited. I can't be bothered trekking out to some place that can't tell me what they've got to make my trip worthwhile.

I compare the goods and prices (and the reviews) in the shops that do have an internet presence, and then I'll look further afield. Australia's Craigslist is a site called Gumtree ... so I'll check that. Amazon has just come to Australia so that's probably going to be an option too.

The only time I go into shops now is if I know they've got what I want (one bicycle shop in town does seem to be pretty good for that, so I do go there), or if it is a chilly, rainy day and I go for a browse through the shops downtown at lunch rather than a longer walk.

We even order our groceries online now!
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Old 09-01-18, 08:13 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
In Australia, we order from the UK shops because US shops charge massive shipping fees, so there's no point.
There seem to be some weird asymmetries built into international shipping costs. I run a business making a small non-bike-related gadget. Shipping overseas is exorbitant -- 15 to 25 bucks for less than a pound. Yet I get similar sized shipments from England and the Far East, and the postage price on the package is a couple bucks when I convert it to dollars. So basically, businesses in those countries are being subsidized to compete with me.

I buy from England too, especially Sturmey Archer parts.
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Old 09-02-18, 01:35 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The US likes to super-size everything.

When I was in Italy, things were quite different, with malls of tiny family run shops that would sell one item like bread or cheese. It made shopping quite different as one would have to go to a dozen shops to get one's groceries.

And, I think there was strong legislation favoring the micro shops.

It has been a few years so I don't know what it is like now.

Sadly, this has changed a ton...The first time I lived here was about 20 years ago. It was exactly how you say. Now, there are malls and mega grocery stores everywhere. Even my 80 year old neighbor shops on Amazon as well. The pace is slower here but will catch up as the older generation passes away. The young ones are a lot like American teens...
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Old 09-02-18, 01:51 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
online will dominate but the elimination of brick and mortar would depend on every single person learning to service their bikes and that is not happening. for service and resell the lbs is hard to beat
Iíve never purchased any bike parts or bikes from my LBS. Iíve used their service a couple of times: once to index my gears and once to bleed my brakes. The gear indexing was very poor and I learned to do it myself. The brake bleed was fine but the cost was extremely high.

Now I only buy bike stuff online as the prices and selection are much better, as is the convenience.

For more involved servicing I use a dedicated bike service company that collects my bike from home, carries out the service request, and then delivers my bike back to me, all within three days. The work is booked online in minutes. They supply a text and email at each stage of the service process so you donít have to call them to get an update. You can also set up a maximum cost limit that you authorise additional parts and work for. Yes, they do have a bricks and mortar workshop, of course, but to the consumer itís all done online.

The convenience, efficiency, value and time saved of online service booking and buying bikes and parts simply cannot be met by my LBS.

Online purchasing extends to pretty much anything I buy these days.

Here in the U.K. we can return items of clothing purchased online if they donít fit for free under distance selling regulations, so most of the positives of going out shopping to real bricks and mortar shops are pretty much negated.
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Old 09-02-18, 01:55 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
Proprietary tooling is alive and well in the bicycle world, don't worry. Cannondale/Specialized chief among them.
Tell me about it! Iíve just purchased Cannindaleís KT013 crank removing tool for a princely sum. It consists of two very small threaded nuts that would have cost pennies to manufacture.
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Old 09-02-18, 03:10 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
Tell me about it! Iíve just purchased Cannindaleís KT013 crank removing tool for a princely sum. It consists of two very small threaded nuts that would have cost pennies to manufacture.
soon we'll all be falling back to buying huffy/murray branded bikes if we don't wish to sustain the maintenance...
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Old 09-02-18, 04:45 AM
  #37  
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I do like to support small businesses when I can but sometimes the cost is just too high compared to an on-line store and, to be honest, sometimes the quality of service benefit just isn't there to justify a higher price. Businesses really do need to be able to adapt to the times and also provide value to the customers. With regards to on-line competition, even a local LBS can establish an on-line presence and expand their market.


An anecdotal experience ... several years ago I bought a touring bike from my LBS. Now, in the area I live, it doesn't appear that LBS employees have a lot of experience with bike touring so they're not able to provide experienced insights to help you with outfitting the bike. I found a guy online (he's actually pretty well-know, I believe, within the bike touring world) who specializes in panniers and racks ... he has a fairly primitive on-line store as he's 'old school' but his prices are about the best you can find, especially if you catch him running a sale. But, even more important, his service is better than I've seen at almost any local store (for any product). He would take time to talk on the phone with you to understand what you were looking for, the pros and cons of different choices and advise on how to install the equipment on your bike. He even spent time with me for one item I was shopping for by walking me through another company's website to show me examples of other products that might better suit my needs. This guy was amazing! (I just checked out his web site and it looks like he might be retiring). The thing is, he wasn't some big corporation and I don't even think he had a local walk-in store. He just figured out a way to adapt to the times while keeping old-school service.


I generally use my local LBS for maintenance as I figure it's a better use of my time, while I'm still working full time, to let them do the work rather than me taking the time. But, there are things that I'll just do now as the cost gets so high for simple (simple, even for me) jobs. Between paying list price for the items, then labor, it can get hard to justify having them do simple jobs. As noted by others, I rarely buy clothes at the LBS ... they tend not to have a wide selection and charge full list price so it's pretty pricey.
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Old 09-02-18, 05:05 AM
  #38  
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Some things it only makes sense to order online. Other things it only makes sense to go-to your LBS for.
Your LBS is going no where. Bought out by a chain, maybe. Still to many people into cycling and coming into cycling that have no idea or even want to know how to make basic adjustments or tunes.
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Old 09-02-18, 05:05 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Yeah, the demise of bookstores and record stores was especially sad, IMO, but this kind of commercial evolution is inevitable.

Bike stores seem to be hanging on, at least in my neighborhood.
Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
online will dominate but the elimination of brick and mortar would depend on every single person learning to service their bikes and that is not happening. for service and resell the lbs is hard to beat
One word: personal service. The one thing an online store can never offer.
Originally Posted by Troul View Post
services being top notch can only take you so far. If you never sell a product, the chances of someone bring you anything to service would be very low.

Going in to a clothing store has always been a major letdown in my experiences. They carry ALL the sizes but the size that fits me. How many times have you gone looking for new jeans to find all combinations of these numbers for waist & length: 28, 30, 36, 38, 40, & 42 Very rarely do you see available something with 34 & when you do it's in a wrong combo. How many are a 36x28 that the shelves are overly loaded with falling 36x28? Yet the size I am in search of is always OOS & "special order" or not available for ordering at all...
Big & tall always cracks me up. Tall sizes always start at "large tall [LT], but never once have I found in a store to offer in the "big & tall" something in the sizes of ST or MT. Most medium tall clothing is stashed randomly in the regular fitting clothing sections. Never once have I ever ran in to a small tall. My nephew would probably like clothing for x-mas if he was gifted ST shirts & 32x34 [or 32x36] jeans instead of that popular gaming system & that trendy toy action rifle.... well maybe not, but at least I'd know it fit him if I could find a ST! Looks like regular fit creeping up small shirts & senior citizen spandex waisted slacks he'll forever receive...
Big & Tall vs Big and Tall. Sure they come tall enough, but the waists start at 36. I'm 31X37, and even when the waist is the correct size, the hips are too small. Get the hips right, and the waist is 3" too big. I have to factor in alterations with every article of clothing I buy. Meaning the so called bargains end up at average costs.

I had one pair of jeans that fit me prefect in my life, and that was an alteration by one of the few tailors experienced enough and with the proper equipment to alter jeans.

Long story short, I can't wear anything off the rack. Maybe send an email to Levi that not everybody is build according to their straight as their model.
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Old 09-02-18, 05:56 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
The last time I stepped in a bike shop over two years ago, I spent about $50 on two brake cables, about 48 inches of cable housing the guy cut from a big roll, and two no name water bottles with the bike shops logo on them (both leaked at the valve). The only reason I didn't turn around and walk out is because I'm too nice. It's not my responsibility to support anything but my personal finances. My only exception would be a Performance Bike store, but the nearest one to me is an hour and a half away.
this is why I love my local shop. I went in yesterday to buy 6í of housing off the roll and a brake cable and shifter cable. They told me it would be too expensive and I should just buy the jag wire housing and cable sets for $8 a piece. I also needed some brake levers and they found me some used non aero Dia-Compe levers with hoods and gave them to me for free.
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Old 09-02-18, 06:23 AM
  #41  
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It's a mixed bag for me. Some random thoughts that affect my decisions. Many Walmart and Amazon workers get food stamps because people like Jeff Bezos "need" $18 Million to remodel their houses. And, they don't pay taxes so we are subsidizing their trillion dollar companies. People at the LBS are my friends and neighbors. OTOH, ever try to buy Sidi shoes or a Colnago bike at an LBS? So, I buy locally whenever I can.
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Old 09-02-18, 07:20 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Dear sweet baby Jesus. If the bike industry goes the way of cars then it's only a matter of time before bike mfgs make it impossible for the home or independent mechanic to repair their bikes.
On the way, baby. It's called Di2.

If you can't fix it with either duct tape or WD40, it's electronic and, if you need it fixed, you are going to to pay through the nose.
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Old 09-02-18, 08:36 AM
  #43  
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I've gotten picky about bike apparel, shorts & gloves in particular, so I've bought them in a store where I could try on first. It's not worth saving a few bucks and have the hassle of returns or settling for something that's not quite right.

A recent stop to an old-school bike shop was much more help than the few bucks I spent there. I thought I needed a new saddle, stem, maybe even a new bike. I bought a saddle I knew would work (a stock Bianchi take-off). I came back with it installed, then got some free fit advice and adjustments. Made a couple more on my own (flipped the stem) based on his recommendations. I saved a lot of time and money over buying online.

I still buy parts and supplies (tubes, tires) online, and even a couple of bikes. But I never would have found them in a shop, let alone at the price.
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Old 09-02-18, 09:13 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
How many are a 36x28 that the shelves are overly loaded with falling 36x28? Yet the size I am in search of is always OOS & "special order" or not available for ordering at all...
Ooohhh, me me me! Where is this mythical store???

I find it funny you use that as an example, I always use the pain of finding under 30" inseams for the same example.
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Old 09-02-18, 09:29 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
On the way, baby. It's called Di2.

If you can't fix it with either duct tape or WD40, it's electronic and, if you need it fixed, you are going to to pay through the nose.
I'm waiting for self-riding bikes.
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Old 09-02-18, 09:39 AM
  #46  
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Only just NOW you get it?
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Old 09-02-18, 09:47 AM
  #47  
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In some ways bicycle manufacturers are responsible for the demise of the LBS. Through the years of "innovation" what used to be a standard is now anything but. How many bottom bracket designs are there? How many axle standards are there? Back in the day a bike shop could keep a few different widths of square drive bottom brackets and some QR skewers in stock and have everyone covered. Not so anymore. I went to 5 different bike shops yesterday looking for an odd part and struck out. While I was waiting, I looked at tires thinking I could pick up a few just to support the shops. The tires were double the price in the shop that I would pay online.
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Old 09-02-18, 10:08 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
On the way, baby. It's called Di2.

If you can't fix it with either duct tape or WD40, it's electronic and, if you need it fixed, you are going to to pay through the nose.
God. I'm going to be one of those old guys who goes around saying "back in my day, we didn't have anything better to do, so we'd just take apart our bikes and put em back together. They don't make em like they used to. Too electronic. No soul." *Rides away on 30 year old bike*
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Old 09-02-18, 11:12 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
In some ways bicycle manufacturers are responsible for the demise of the LBS. ...... I looked at tires thinking I could pick up a few just to support the shops. The tires were double the price in the shop that I would pay online.
So, really ... it isn't that there are too many standards, but it is the price. Good example, wrong lesson.

Even when square-taper was the "standard," there were cottered cranks still in use (and on new bikes) and one-piece Ashtabula cranks ... and there were 68- and 70-mm shell widths, and French, Italian, and English standards ... and Raleigh, which was BSA almost---26- instead of 25 thread pitch (just enough to thoroughly screw up your BB shell if you didn't know.) So even back in the mystical perfect days when every bike used the same parts ... the parts were all different.

As a person who used to rebuild wrecked and abandoned bikes ... one could Wish that all parts were interchangeable, but really they never were ... and things aren't much worse or better nowadays.

Also ... the number of people who actually bought a lot of bottom brackets ... right? Most people then and now let the shops do maintenance, and most people who do their own need One BB per several years ... it's not like shops were surviving by selling bottom brackets and headsets.

What has killed shops is simply the Internet. Even people who own bike shops say so. When people wanted parts the shop didn't stock .. . the shop ordered them. There was no option, because the consumer didn't know how to contact the distributors, and the distributors didn't retail parts.

When people found they could buy Anything online ... and distributors found they could sell parts retail for more than they sold the parts to shops ... shops were schrod.

IMO.
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Old 09-02-18, 12:10 PM
  #50  
jeffpoulin 
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I go to the LBS for things I need right away, like tubes, brake pads, or cables. Everything else, including new bikes, are ordered online. For me, it's not about the price. I shop online for (1) selection, (2) convenience, and (3) after reading online reviews. Salespeople are rarely experts these days, so asking them for help is no better than reading reviews IMO. However, if I had a huge bike shop in my area that sold everything, I would go there instead even if I could get slightly cheaper prices online.
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