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Harris cyclery is closing

Old 06-14-21, 03:41 PM
  #76  
Pop N Wood
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Okay, let's take your idea and run with it, shall we?
You can already order a car online, pay for it, and have it delivered to your door. Now, let's just consolidate all the new and used vehicles in a giant, Amazon-like warehouse, and let the dealerships close. I mean, who needs them to get a car now, right?
That is, until something happens and you need to have your car fixed.

It's one thing to be able to order your bike online, but there are people who are not mechanically inclined enough to repair a flat on a ride, let alone assemble a bike and properly adjust the brakes and shifting mechs. When all the LBS close, what are those people going to do? Adapt with the times and move on?
This isn't my idea, this is what is happening, whether you want it to or not. Look around you.

By adapt I mean change how they make income. If you can't make enough money to stay in business selling bikes then need to find a different angle. Like you say there will always be a demand for bike service, thus a market will exist. who knows what that format will be

Your car sales analogy isn't too far from reality right now. When was the last time you were at a carmax? Information is power, knowing what models with what options are available at which dealership cuts through a lot of the sales BS. It has been good for consumers.

Can't say I follow your logic on warranty repair. If manufactures want to entice buyers with warranties then they need to provide some means to implement that, whether through their own dealerships or independent garages.
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Old 06-14-21, 06:38 PM
  #77  
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I stopped by the shop yesterday to pick up some spokes for a wheel build and say goodby to some of the people there. What I'll miss is their supply of small parts that helped keep my old bikes on the road.
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Old 06-14-21, 07:23 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
Somebody better back up that whole Sheldon Brown encyclopedia.
​​​​​​Just downloaded the only page I really need.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

And this page, too:

https://leonard.io/edd/howtomeasure
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Old 06-14-21, 08:44 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
​​​​​​Just downloaded the only page I really need.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
I have that printed out as I used it over the last couple weeks to build my first wheelset in a few years.
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Old 06-15-21, 02:28 AM
  #80  
hose
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Sad to see a staple go. Sounds like Rent was too damn high!
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Old 06-15-21, 05:24 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by hose
Sad to see a staple go. Sounds like Rent was too damn high!
I wouldn't be surprised to see them reconstitute in some form once the market situation stabilizes, probably in a lower-rent location. With all the new bikes purchased in the past year, the demand for parts and service will only grow, and that's the most profitable part of the bike biz. Perhaps some of their mechanics with band together and start something. Then again, maybe they'll be lucky in the same way I was through connections they've made over the years. When I left the bike biz in the '80s, a former customer called me and recruited me into the company he was working for. It allowed me to make the jump from bikes to tech and that's where I've been ever since. I've never stopped riding and wrenching, but I don't depend on it for a living.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:40 AM
  #82  
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last spring (2020) visited my LBS but could barely get in the door. there was a crowd of ppl inside & outside clamoring for help with bikes, parents buying bikes for kids & there were boxes of bikes waiting to be assembled
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Old 06-15-21, 08:41 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by hose
Sad to see a staple go. Sounds like Rent was too damn high!
maybe, West Newton is an affluent neighborhood. the co. I worked for (down the street from Harris) moved in 2010 to Natick to a warehouse type bldg
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Old 06-15-21, 09:26 AM
  #84  
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It's a sad day when any LBS closes it's door. One just closed in the Redmond, WA area (Sep 2020) that has been around since 1968. They now do mobile repair and service.
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Old 06-15-21, 09:43 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by afm199
Sheldon was a true bicycle genius, an unappreciated man and resource. His knowledge of bikes was ( and still is) amazing.
Lol. Bikes are simple machines and not that hard to understand.

I've perused Sheldon's info numerous times. Nothing earth shattering or ground breaking.

Like it or not...Online purchasing is the way most bikes will be bought in the future. The LBS is the middle man, making the bike cost more than the consumer wants to pay. My current 2 mountain bikes were purchased online sight unseen.
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Old 06-15-21, 10:40 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by prj71
Lol. Bikes are simple machines and not that hard to understand.

I've perused Sheldon's info numerous times. Nothing earth shattering or ground breaking.

Like it or not...Online purchasing is the way most bikes will be bought in the future. The LBS is the middle man, making the bike cost more than the consumer wants to pay. My current 2 mountain bikes were purchased online sight unseen.
I have zero stand on online purchases of bikes. My last two have been bought on line. I have no idea why you responded with that. Perhaps you have mistaken me for someone else.

Sheldon was a student of bicycles. He knew every possible combination of components, what fit what, what did not, and how to install. He journaled this in great detail.
That's what made him a genius and you a critic. Genius's work, critics complain.
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Old 06-15-21, 04:36 PM
  #87  
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Don't auto dealers typically make far more money in service/repair than in selling new cars? That's not the case for the typical LBS?

I'd be happy to bring an internet-ordered bike into an LBS, or have the LBS order one for me, and then have the LBS assemble the bike and service it thereafter. Even better if the LBS would come to me ala VeloFix and the other mobile services. I'm willing to pay more for all this, though I don't know if my notion of "pay more" would yield a sustainable business.
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Old 06-15-21, 06:04 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by prj71
I've perused Sheldon's info numerous times. Nothing earth shattering or ground breaking.
You're the guy who complains that Shakespeare plays are full of cliches.
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Old 06-15-21, 06:28 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by road292
Don't auto dealers typically make far more money in service/repair than in selling new cars?
There is way too much effort spent in selling cars for it to not be worth selling cars.
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Old 06-16-21, 01:43 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
There is way too much effort spent in selling cars for it to not be worth selling cars.
It's still not as profitable as parts and service.
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Old 06-16-21, 06:44 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris
It's still not as profitable as parts and service.
Judging by the number of sales calls I get, extended warranties are where the real money is.
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Old 06-16-21, 06:52 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
Judging by the number of sales calls I get, extended warranties are where the real money is.
I started getting those on my US phone number recently also, the fun part is I drive a 99 Jeep
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Old 06-16-21, 07:19 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
Hey we have AliExpress. Super low prices and lots of inventory virtually free shipping on most items as well. Why is it that the Chinese have plenty of inventory of items that are virtually impossible to find in the West? I needed a Shimano 160mm disc brake spacer for flat mount and was told not to expect one until October. Two weeks from Ali Express and exactly 1/2 the price. Plus when I order parts never in that dumb retail packaging which all needs to be thrown out. Comes in a simple plastic OEM bag.
Distributors have contracted agreements with brands to distribute product in a specific geographic area. They have costs, obviously, which increases the price you pay. Distributors are out of some things, so shops are then out of those things.
Ali Express has no contracted agreements with those brands. Some products are fake, some are gray market, and some are legitimate.

Its quite simple to see the difference in supply models.
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Old 06-16-21, 07:26 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Stan Heinricher
Manufacturers of the components that make a bare frame a bicycle, keep devising new tools to work on the new components. If you keep modernizing your components, you'll end up with a chest of tools. I have found it prudent to maintain my 1978 steel road frame myself using old tools that fit the old parts. Cheaper that way.
This holds true with cars, refrigerators, microwaves, phones, air conditioners, computers, and really most everything else in life.
Do you also grab your TV dinner from your ice box and place it in your 40 year old dial microwave before sitting down to eat and watching one of 5 channels on your 20" tube TV?


I love old components and have drawers full of em. I love old frames and have owned a few dozen of them thru the years while currently owning 4.
They are simple to work on and that is part of why I enjoy them.

Your complain about new standards is just absurd though.
1- it assumes the technology and processes of 40+ years ago were the best.
2- it is hardly specific to cycling.
3- even 40+ years ago there were multiple standards for headsets(ISO or JIS), bottom brackets(Italian or BSA), handlebars(25.4 or 26.0), seatposts, wheels(27" or 700), cranks(cottered, anyone?), etc etc. Those varied standards required a lot of tools.
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Old 06-16-21, 07:43 AM
  #95  
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Sad to hear this. As my signature says I may be the last person Sheldon emailed as he died of a heart attack about an hour after emailing me about a query I had, late on a Saturday afternoon in winter. His emails were strictly to the point.
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Old 06-16-21, 07:43 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by afm199
Sheldon was a student of bicycles. He knew every possible combination of components, what fit what, what did not, and how to install. He journaled this in great detail.
That's what made him a genius and you a critic. Genius's work, critics complain.

He did document a lot, and it was especially helpful for some of the older/simpler style bikes.
His value was mostly that he was one of the first to put it all online. At this point there are endless ways to find the same info, and many are easier to source/follow along.
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Old 06-16-21, 08:11 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris
It's still not as profitable as parts and service.
Dealers wouldn't make money with parts and service without also selling cars, which means you can't separate the two.

Given the large amount of effort made to selling cars, it's obviously worth a lot to sell them.

I think it's like "Hollywood accounting".
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Old 06-16-21, 08:14 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
He did document a lot, and it was especially helpful for some of the older/simpler style bikes.
His value was mostly that he was one of the first to put it all online. At this point there are endless ways to find the same info, and many are easier to source/follow along.
Yup. Youtube is extremely helpful. The other thing is some of his stuff pertains to standards that the bike industry no longer uses. So unless you are a vintage bike owner it's not useful for more modern bikes.
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Old 06-16-21, 08:57 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by ironwood
I stopped in at Harris yesterday, and found out that it will be closing its doors this coming Sunday. Why? They can't get any bikes to sell, and you can't make enough money to pay the rent unless you sell bikes. I've been going there for years, so sad.
My friend Ron Manizza mentioned this on his show "Bicycle Talk." Ron knew them really well from his days owning an LBS and his time as a rep for Bianchi, Speedplay and a bunch of other companies. FWIW, Bicycle Talk can be found on WHUS (UCONN Radio) at 91.7 FM. It is truly sad.
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Old 06-16-21, 09:23 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
This holds true with cars, refrigerators, microwaves, phones, air conditioners, computers, and really most everything else in life.
Do you also grab your TV dinner from your ice box and place it in your 40 year old dial microwave before sitting down to eat and watching one of 5 channels on your 20" tube TV?


I love old components and have drawers full of em. I love old frames and have owned a few dozen of them thru the years while currently owning 4.
They are simple to work on and that is part of why I enjoy them.

Your complain about new standards is just absurd though.
1- it assumes the technology and processes of 40+ years ago were the best.
2- it is hardly specific to cycling.
3- even 40+ years ago there were multiple standards for headsets(ISO or JIS), bottom brackets(Italian or BSA), handlebars(25.4 or 26.0), seatposts, wheels(27" or 700), cranks(cottered, anyone?), etc etc. Those varied standards required a lot of tools.
If I were still racing, new technology would be important to me. But now that I'm old, I find pleasure in things that aren't cutting-edge. Like printed books, charcoal grills, acoustic guitars made of wood -- you get the picture.
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