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Changing times not for the better.

Old 04-16-21, 09:42 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by walnutz View Post
on gravel...
In heavy snow at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Old 04-16-21, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sovende View Post
As did nearly EVERY exercise “machine” that I ever had 😜! The treadmill had serious “clothes rack” abilities 😎.
the ironing board just keeps moving tho.
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Old 04-16-21, 01:40 PM
  #28  
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Youtube...People say "I got it cheaper online" but it sure isn't going to stay that way. If you asked anyone 10 years ago if they thought youtube would have a premium service they would have laughed at you. But after wiping out tons of the competition it's exactly that and places like Amazon will eventually follow suite. A monopoly is a monopoly even if it's digital.

Brick and mortar stores have to focus on customer service even more if they want to survive. When you are able to build rapport then your customers will keep on coming back even if it costs a little more. And that may require a attitude adjustment on the business owners and employees side.
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Old 04-16-21, 02:03 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
That's what most of us do anyways. At least I have been for 20+ years. Other than groceries I pretty much buy everything online. Mostly from Amazon and Ebay and few online bike stores.

Cheaper that way anyway. Bike shops charge too much money for tires, helmets, apparel and other items anyway. And half the time the shop doesn't have what I need in stock.
Same here. I also found last summer ebay sellers were much more reliable than Amazon in turnaround time to where I live. I was a eBay person for many years before Amazon became a decent source. But pretty much back to eBay and other non Amazon bicycle (and other) sources now and avoid Amazon if at all possible.
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Old 04-16-21, 02:11 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Agreed.

Ordering online also saves me gas and wear and tear on my car. "Local" bike shop is 46 mile round trip for me.
And you don't know what they have locally without a few phone calls and or trips. And, at least here, most shops don't have staff that know anything except what make and model of bike they have in stock (don't get me started on Trek shops!). Forget about getting advice or info on how to deviate from that. They end up doing the research and ordering while you're waiting that you would have already done at home. Forget about vintage or even older stuff. I will stop locally for shoes and helmets. And some other stuff, but not much.
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Old 04-16-21, 02:21 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by cbrstar View Post
Youtube...People say "I got it cheaper online" but it sure isn't going to stay that way. If you asked anyone 10 years ago if they thought youtube would have a premium service they would have laughed at you. But after wiping out tons of the competition it's exactly that and places like Amazon will eventually follow suite. A monopoly is a monopoly even if it's digital.

Brick and mortar stores have to focus on customer service even more if they want to survive. When you are able to build rapport then your customers will keep on coming back even if it costs a little more. And that may require a attitude adjustment on the business owners and employees side.
I agree and that's why I'm avoiding Amazon now. I'm putting together a complete build and a couple of major modifications this spring without a single Amazon purchase. Ebay and other online shops are meeting the challenge with stock, fulfillment timelines and product and shipping costs.

But local bike shops, even if they want to, have a hard time finding employees who can match the knowledge of even a casual enthusiast who knows how to use the web for product and how-to info. Aside from maybe the owner and repair shop manager (big maybe), the sales and shop employees know very little aside from current, standard technology and compatability. They don't and can't pay enough for high level of knowledge and the internet is just too efficient and rich with info.

Last edited by Camilo; 04-16-21 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 04-16-21, 03:04 PM
  #32  
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until the overhead expenses inflicted by the cities/towns/your local district are drastically reduced, B&M business will continue to pop-smoke. The rules, regulations, laws, governances & red tape to open & operate a modern day small business is not feasible if you're trying to play by the rules.
property Taxes alone are crazy high, how about utilities, "OSHA", & if you have employees... it's a wonder how anyone has any desire to open up something like a lbs.
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Old 04-16-21, 04:50 PM
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Troul's last comment isn't without merit, but historically the small business owner had it much worse than today when DOUBLE-DIGIT INFLATION was Raging some 40 years ago. Sure, you did not have competitition from ONLINE web sales in 1980-1981, but unless your business was flushed with cash, and a strong bottom line as well a cash-flow that remained strong & unchanged, you were at the mercy of bank loans and lines of credit that were exceeding 20% APR (from a major bank or savigs & loan institution for a highly profitable long established business!!!). -----If for example, said long established highly profitable business makes just one otherwise minor mistake with respect to the type of inventory the prospective customer desires, or the quantity of inventory needed for customer demand---------------well that minor mistake would be a FATAL BLOW in 1980-1981 era of both Sky High INFLATION & Sky High INTEREST RATES. Economic theory in textbooks, and most all economists believed that it was nearly impossible for a Capitalist Economy such as the USA could ever see a time where simultaneously you had DOUBLE DIGIT UNEMPLOYMENT, DOUBLE DIGIT INFLATION RATE, & DOUBLE DIGIT INTEREST RATES......................Yep, the beginning of the 1980's had just that scenario!!
Most folks under 60 years of age just don't have a clue as to how bad things were then.
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Old 04-16-21, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
Troul's last comment isn't without merit, but historically the small business owner had it much worse than today when DOUBLE-DIGIT INFLATION was Raging some 40 years ago. Sure, you did not have competitition from ONLINE web sales in 1980-1981, but unless your business was flushed with cash, and a strong bottom line as well a cash-flow that remained strong & unchanged, you were at the mercy of bank loans and lines of credit that were exceeding 20% APR (from a major bank or savigs & loan institution for a highly profitable long established business!!!). -----If for example, said long established highly profitable business makes just one otherwise minor mistake with respect to the type of inventory the prospective customer desires, or the quantity of inventory needed for customer demand---------------well that minor mistake would be a FATAL BLOW in 1980-1981 era of both Sky High INFLATION & Sky High INTEREST RATES. Economic theory in textbooks, and most all economists believed that it was nearly impossible for a Capitalist Economy such as the USA could ever see a time where simultaneously you had DOUBLE DIGIT UNEMPLOYMENT, DOUBLE DIGIT INFLATION RATE, & DOUBLE DIGIT INTEREST RATES......................Yep, the beginning of the 1980's had just that scenario!!
Most folks under 60 years of age just don't have a clue as to how bad things were then.
The loans for the property were based on the assessed value & SEV, which was set by the governing official to that area (city/town-county) . If the assessed values & the like were reduced dramatically & the % rates for commercial service & retail properties were set low, it might be possible to come up for fresh air. Factor in the insurance costs to maintain the loan in good standing, that's another rabbit hole. IMO; There's really no great incentive for starting a new small business.
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Old 04-16-21, 06:17 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
It may not be the fault of the bike shop that they do not have stock. It can be very hard to find replacement bikes or parts in today's market. I tried to find a replacement for a front tire on a recumbent bike. The existing tire is a Primo Comet 406 X 1.35 (20") road tire. In past years I could find numerous sources for this tire. Not these days. Came up with no sources that have one in stock. I could buy a Schwalbe overpriced tire that fits at about twice the old price but I absolutely hate that brand with a passion.
It’s not. The guy who builds Engin is located in an affluent section of Philly. Second highest income zip code in the city. The sort of place where many people don’t need to scour the Internet to save a couple of bucks on tubes. Lots of walk-in business for bikes and service and accessories. That was before. Late last year he told my ex, who he’s building a bike for, that availability of parts was killing him. She was recently told to decide on components quickly because many are scarce.
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Old 04-16-21, 06:30 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Nowadays, I do what I have to do to keep enjoying my hobby. If it means paying far less, the net it is and has been. Local bike shops have little stock and most things I ask for, they say they can order it for me. Why pay extra for them to do the work when I can order it for far less myself?

And as they say, I'm not responsible for sending their kids to college. Most places will give a 10% discount which is nice but still, I don't want to pay inflated prices at 50% to get a 10% discount. Do they really car about me giving me 10%?

My money is more of a concern to me saving vs keeping an overpriced shop open. Yes, overhead etc but it ain't my responsibility to keep them employed. They never helped me get or keep a job. Every man for himself and my plan is to keep cycling. I can go twice as far with 2 tires for the price of one.
A local bike shop can be really nice to have, close by. I am very lucky to have multiple ones around where I live. They helped me with seating a stubborn tubeless tire, adjusting my hydraulic brakes, maintaining my Mtn Bike, and other things that I cannot do for myself (at least not at the moment). Plus, you can have nice conversations with the bike mechanics which is priceless although, I have to admit, I learn alot from watching youtube videos.

Cheers!
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Old 04-16-21, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cj3209 View Post
A local bike shop can be really nice to have, close by. I am very lucky to have multiple ones around where I live. They helped me with seating a stubborn tubeless tire, adjusting my hydraulic brakes, maintaining my Mtn Bike, and other things that I cannot do for myself (at least not at the moment). Plus, you can have nice conversations with the bike mechanics which is priceless although, I have to admit, I learn alot from watching youtube videos.

Cheers!

That is true and understandable. But once to the point of building one's own bikes and wheels, there isn't much need for a bike shop. If I didn't have a buddy with a shop that I visit just to chat with the guy, I wouldn't have a need to stop at any bike shop. My buddy is an excellent mechanic but I am able to do all my own. I do stop in once in a while with pastries just to say hi and talk about rides we've done together !

BTW, we have about 20 bike shops within 15 miles of us.
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Old 04-16-21, 09:23 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by rut3556 View Post
Reminds me of when we had a Nordic Track!
Yikes! We still have one up stairs collecting dust
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Old 04-17-21, 08:33 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Yikes! We still have one up stairs collecting dust
And it's no easy task muscling that thing down the stairs! Talk about unwieldy!
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Old 04-17-21, 09:47 AM
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I haven't bought anything from a local shop in over 25 years. I build up my bikes with frames and components acquired from many different online sellers. I use only Campy/Fulcrum wheels these days. I keep a good supply of chains, tires and tubes and have two bikes in case one gets damaged.
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Old 04-17-21, 10:16 AM
  #41  
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I try to give my LBS as much business as I can.
Sure, it may cost a bit more than online, but it's also nice to know that the shop is there, with an experienced bicycle mechanic, equipped with all the correct tools and knowledge. I recently finished building up a bike with a custom carbon frameset. My LBS was very helpful in not only assisting me in selection (and ordering) of the proper components (I never realized there were that many 'standards' for bottom brackets!) but he had all the proper tools for installation, including cutting the carbon steerer tube to proper length.
Sure, I could have purchased the tools, watched some videos, and done everything myself, but do I really want to spend a couple hundred dollars on bottom bracket / headset presses, and carbon steerer tube cutting guide tools that I'm probably going to use once? And, it was nice to know that the person working on my frameset wasn't doing this just after watching a few YouTube videos.
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Old 04-17-21, 04:07 PM
  #42  
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I asked a lbs about procuring some parts, over a few hundred $ worth. Told them to look it up, send me the quote with a rough ETA, & to double check if I may have overlooked something else. Made it clear that I would need the quote within a couple of weeks.
Couple of weeks comes ... *Crickets* Few weeks & still *Crickets*, but I follow up with communication on my end to make it known that I am still patiently waiting. Couple of months goes by ... *Crickets* Couple of seasons blow over ... *Crickets*. If they didnt want to do it, I'd be ok to be told that up front, & not get blown off. These tedium ways are all to common with B&M lbs, & that is just another reason the online shopping is putting the nails in the coffin.
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Old 04-17-21, 05:05 PM
  #43  
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It is a surprise for me that there is hardly anyone admonishing those who say they are buying online, as normally you'd get the line about LBS won't be there when you really need them...

I think that when, or maybe if, the times return to normal, the 'damage will have been done' because of the shift to buying online just accelerated the earlier trend and unless you are selling online (while keeping a retail outlet open or not), you will go the way of Dodo.

Interesting those posts above about the move of buying more from eBay more than from Amazon or even making complete switch... Isn't it that eBay sellers are mostly small business like those 'LBS', vs Amazon sellers being typically much bigger businesses?
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Old 04-17-21, 06:45 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
It is a surprise for me that there is hardly anyone admonishing those who say they are buying online, as normally you'd get the line about LBS won't be there when you really need them...

I think that when, or maybe if, the times return to normal, the 'damage will have been done' because of the shift to buying online just accelerated the earlier trend and unless you are selling online (while keeping a retail outlet open or not), you will go the way of Dodo.

Interesting those posts above about the move of buying more from eBay more than from Amazon or even making complete switch... Isn't it that eBay sellers are mostly small business like those 'LBS', vs Amazon sellers being typically much bigger businesses?
Amazon has a stigma for not handling disputes of businesses selling knock-offs products perceived as the real deal.... If you can even open a ticket to do so. Ebay, whilst has the counterfeit risks too, also backs the customer should the seller be caught red-handed.
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Old 04-17-21, 08:02 PM
  #45  
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Ebay's return policy and stance of always backing the buyer has lead me to reduce the number items I list there.

I miss the newsgroups - specifically rec.bicycles.marketplace (and RBR and RBT, too)
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Old 04-18-21, 08:33 AM
  #46  
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More than ten year ago, I used to go to comics shop here in town looking for some comics from 1930s, 40s, and saw this guy in the backroom working on packaging comics for mailing and asked what is he doing and as the talk went, he told me, they do more business selling on eBay than they do from walk in customers.

I never had an account selling on eBay but I take it, it is much easier for small business to sell there than on Amazon because of the policies the two companies have.

I get this negative from the sellers view about eBay backing the buyers but the thing is, that's how you get customers. Probably most that want returns are reasonable requests and outnumber those frivolous ones. And as pointed out, some goods are more prone to cause trouble than other ones.

I don't know what the future will be since LBS that show off bikes and service them need to have physical presence. How about this idea - couple guys in a pickup pulling behind them one of those walk-in trailers where they have set up a bike servicing shop, visiting customers who made an appointment. They wouldn't keep a shop open for walk-in, maybe just a shop space in industrial park for their own use, perhaps if they took some bigger bike jobs 'home'.

Selling new bikes could be done entirely in virtual fashion, where the seller would keep a fleet of mobile workers who would physically settle some disputes, returns and what not. Perhaps set up a 'franchises' in various towns around the country where a worker with a truck would do the local 'last leg' delivery of the bikes shipped to a central location in that town, region. He would at the same time handle, mediate the customer requests, disputes, whatever, maybe even assemble the bike from the box for some fee and even do some customer bike fitting.

I think this would be better than as it is today, when you get a bike in a box shipped to you by Fedex and that's it.

Last edited by vane171; 04-18-21 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 04-18-21, 09:16 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
I tedium ways are all to common with B&M lbs, & that is just another reason the online shopping is putting the nails in the coffin.
Not where I live. The LBS I deal with are quite responsive. Just stopped by one yesterday when I saw the owner outside. He said business is very good. Last major thing I bought from them was a new wheel set for the LHT. Told them what I was thinking and got a price the next day. Parts order placed and wheels built in about a week.

And I recently bought a couple grand worth of custom window shades from a B&M store that also has an on-line presence. The whole process took about 3 weeks between walking into the store for the first time to actually consult with a human and get samples to installation. Service also included a professional coming to the house to take custom measurements.
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Old 04-18-21, 01:14 PM
  #48  
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We have a couple of vintage road bike friendly shops here that I know of. One has a collection that is so wonderful that it is worth the trip there whether they have what I need or not. I always find something to buy when I go. I buy from other folks that share my obsession as well as CL and eBay . I have also bought off this forum so just shop around. If it is newer bikes and components , my take is that manufacturers are creating shortages to drive prices up. This is just my observation, not a lead in to a political debate.
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Old 04-18-21, 04:22 PM
  #49  
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Old 04-19-21, 05:36 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by cj3209 View Post
A local bike shop can be really nice to have, close by. I am very lucky to have multiple ones around where I live. They helped me with seating a stubborn tubeless tire, adjusting my hydraulic brakes, maintaining my Mtn Bike, and other things that I cannot do for myself (at least not at the moment). Plus, you can have nice conversations with the bike mechanics which is priceless although, I have to admit, I learn alot from watching youtube videos.

Cheers!
We have three LBS in my area, and at this point I only consider one worth going to.

Shop 1 is a Trek dealer, run by two guys with decades of experience and ****** attitudes. It's the closest shop to me so I've used it in the past, but when they became active covid deniers I decided I was done there.

Shop 2 is a Giant dealer. Have never used them but a buddy of mine does. Recently a friend of mine bought herself and her two kids three bikes, plus a rack setup at this shop. The shop charged her $30 per bike to "setup" the bikes...not sure exactly what that entailed except whatever it was it was a ripoff. On her bike the (D-shaped) seatpost was sliding down during rides despite being as tight as possible. She took it back and they put some assembly paste on it which seemed to solve the problem. However there were other issues - one of the chain links was essentially frozen (probably where the chain was connected). I replaced it with a KMC missing link. The rear derailleur was really poorly adjusted so I fixed that. The front derailleur wasn't even set up - he told her not to worry about ever shifting the front gears, just leave it in the small ring. I adjusted that and explained to her how the combinations of gears work. I have no idea what he actually charged her for, but it certainly wasn't to ensure the bike was properly assembled and adjusted.

Shop 3 is a Specialized / Cannondale dealer run by a young(er than me) guy with some even younger mechanics. They're all enthusiastic and knowledgeable. One mechanic who looked like he isn't old enough to drive solved a problem for me by cutting some spokes to size and re-threading the ends. THey host shop rides for all levels, and seem to be really building a local riding community.
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