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Harris cyclery is closing

Old 06-11-21, 01:27 PM
  #1  
ironwood
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Harris cyclery is closing

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.
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Old 06-11-21, 01:54 PM
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That is sad. Hopefully they can survive online and maybe open a physical store in the future.
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Old 06-11-21, 02:08 PM
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The Bike Industry is going to have a completely different and almost unrecognizable (for some of us) landscape very soon. Many Brick & Mortar shops will be disappearing as the new business model of selling online, grabbing all the money upfront through electronic means, and then delivering whenever, will be a new norm.

The corps have seen that people will adapt to this new and ridiculous business model. People will buy, unseen, $4500 bikes and then wait months for them to arrive. They will go 'all in' with the credit card monies and then sit and wait for delivery. The industry will be consolidating locations and is already making it harder for independently owned locations to get bikes.



This is not good news for LBS or most consumers.
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Old 06-11-21, 02:48 PM
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Wanted to upgrade my brakes on my MTB and was told by the owner he would not be getting any new Shimano parts for awhile and to look online. Felt bad because I want to do business with this LBS.
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Old 06-11-21, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Who?
Sheldon Brown worked there for years.

https://www.harriscyclery.net/
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Old 06-11-21, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Sheldon Brown worked there for years.

https://www.harriscyclery.net/
That was my first thought as well. I hope that they Sheldon's website will be maintained as it contains such a wealth of knowledge about bikes.
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Old 06-11-21, 03:09 PM
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Somebody better back up that whole Sheldon Brown encyclopedia of bike arcanery before it's gone.
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Old 06-11-21, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Cpn_Dunsel View Post
The Bike Industry is going to have a completely different and almost unrecognizable (for some of us) landscape very soon. Many Brick & Mortar shops will be disappearing as the new business model of selling online, grabbing all the money upfront through electronic means, and then delivering whenever, will be a new norm.

The corps have seen that people will adapt to this new and ridiculous business model. People will buy, unseen, $4500 bikes and then wait months for them to arrive. They will go 'all in' with the credit card monies and then sit and wait for delivery. The industry will be consolidating locations and is already making it harder for independently owned locations to get bikes.



This is not good news for LBS or most consumers.
Who's going to fix and fit them, though? Bikes are becoming harder and harder for the average owner to work on - electronic shifting, hydraulic brakes, etc.
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Old 06-11-21, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Who's going to fix and fit them, though? Bikes are becoming harder and harder for the average owner to work on - electronic shifting, hydraulic brakes, etc.
You make an appointment with an app on your phone. A bike mechanic comes in a van.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2howud

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Old 06-11-21, 04:26 PM
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There is a bike garage in our area. Almost all they do is work on bikes. They do sell a few tools and some consignment. They are situated in an industrial complex and have been there for a number of years.

I can see that becoming an alternative for mechanics who don’t want to deal with upset customers who bought bikes from the shop. And being unaffiliated with a mfg, they can pick and choose.

John
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Old 06-11-21, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
You make an appointment with an app on your phone. A bike mechanic comes in a van.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2howud
That sounds INCREDIBLY inefficient. Not saying it won't happen, but let's say it takes the average wrench a couple minutes to true a wheel. Now add in the door-to-door time, which would probably be half an hour at least, what with finding the place, parking, walking to the house/apartment, etc. This would hugely reduce the amount of work each wrench could do in a day.
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Old 06-11-21, 04:44 PM
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This is very bad news indeed. It is nearly impossible for any small business to survive these days and even more so for the LBS given the fact complete bicycles and parts and accessories have been in very short supply and nearly impossible to purchase for the last 12 months. The independent LBS can not compete with larger chains much less corporate owned stores such as the rapidly growing number of independent LBS turned into Trek owned stores. Add the growing number of Internet-only brands like Canyon and many others. Finally when people buy bikes on any of the major bike brands and select their LBS as the dealer where the bike will be shipped, built and made ready for customer pick up the margin given to the LBS is cut to an unsustainable level. The more the masses give their business to internet and corporate owned businesses the less is going to the LBS. If we are to see our LBS survive people will have to support them or more of them will close.
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Old 06-11-21, 04:50 PM
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That sucks. I live in Utah but my daughter lives near there. I stopped in a couple years ago just to see where Sheldon worked. Nice old shop. It is a multi generational business. Rent is probably very high there real surprise he does not own the building out right.
I picked up a souvenir Water bottle and the owner gave me sticker with Sheldons picture on it.
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Old 06-11-21, 05:05 PM
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probably offset by higher prices and it might not be on demand same day service but, scheduled based on load and geography so van/tech hits people close to each other.... i.e like UPS delivery route planning
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Old 06-11-21, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
That sounds INCREDIBLY inefficient. Not saying it won't happen, but let's say it takes the average wrench a couple minutes to true a wheel. Now add in the door-to-door time, which would probably be half an hour at least, what with finding the place, parking, walking to the house/apartment, etc. This would hugely reduce the amount of work each wrench could do in a day.
For the wrench, it's a tradeoff between that cost, and paying the rent. If they already own most of the commonplace tools, and a functioning vehicle, then at the very least their up front investment is minimal.

There's a person in my locale, don't know their name, but they do a thing where they spend all day at a fixed location, e.g., in a residential neighborhood, and just do tune-ups.
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Old 06-11-21, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Cpn_Dunsel View Post
The Bike Industry is going to have a completely different and almost unrecognizable (for some of us) landscape very soon. Many Brick & Mortar shops will be disappearing as the new business model of selling online, grabbing all the money upfront through electronic means, and then delivering whenever, will be a new norm.

The corps have seen that people will adapt to this new and ridiculous business model. People will buy, unseen, $4500 bikes and then wait months for them to arrive. They will go 'all in' with the credit card monies and then sit and wait for delivery. The industry will be consolidating locations and is already making it harder for independently owned locations to get bikes.



This is not good news for LBS or most consumers.
I tend to agree with one exception: In very large cites I think LBS will continue to exist because of service needs. There are so many people who, for various reasons, don’t work on their bikes. I am one of them. I’ve spent a lot of time in shops and wish I had a dollar for every person I’ve seen who has come in for a flat tire or to have other relatively simple work performed.
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Old 06-11-21, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
That sounds INCREDIBLY inefficient. Not saying it won't happen, but let's say it takes the average wrench a couple minutes to true a wheel. Now add in the door-to-door time, which would probably be half an hour at least, what with finding the place, parking, walking to the house/apartment, etc. This would hugely reduce the amount of work each wrench could do in a day.
There is a guy in my area who sets up his mobile maintenance vehicle in popular locations and publicizes his schedule on social media. Not sure if he does house calls. Just finding a place to park in my area is usually a pain.
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Old 06-11-21, 06:23 PM
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We have a few of the van-mechanics here in Ottawa. No shortage of bike shops either though. The overhead on the mobile shop is so much less, and you can easily show up at locations where you'll get drop-ins - They'll often sit and park at popular bike spots during the weekend (parkways that are closed to cars for Sunday, especially).

Really too bad to see Harris Cyclery closing. I would echo the hopes that SheldonBrown.com is able to stay online.
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Old 06-11-21, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I tend to agree with one exception: In very large cites I think LBS will continue to exist because of service needs. There are so many people who, for various reasons, don’t work on their bikes. I am one of them. I’ve spent a lot of time in shops and wish I had a dollar for every person I’ve seen who has come in for a flat tire or to have other relatively simple work performed.

I suspect/fear that it will be an REI type experience for service, if not REI itself. In the (mid size) city in which I live the 'local' REI has access to Cannondale bikes that the local Cannondale distributor cannot get. That's not a good thing.

I don't think the bike manufacturers are concerned with the service end of the business. Eliminating family owned and single proprietor shops in favor of corporate stores serves the large bike corporation very well.
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Old 06-11-21, 06:58 PM
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Sad to see, though I've never been there. Between web competition and COVID, there's been a thinning. Like restaurants, the ones that survived either had deep pockets or had the agility to adapt.
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Old 06-11-21, 07:16 PM
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I don't think it's a deliberate corporate attempt to eliminate the indie shops, rather than just an industry-wide lack of supply. Without supply to sell, you can't do a whole lot of business.
Bigger chains will fare better because they can amass more stock as it's available, and move it between locations as it's needed. An independent shop is only going to be able to afford a certain amount of stock, and then it's at the mercy of the supply chain.
Even a juggernaut like W@l M@rt is having trouble getting stock of something as basic as innertubes.

In my area, my local chain had a flagship an a couple-three 'retail outposts' Last summer, they moved all their stock and staff to the flagship, and I noticed today, that the sign was gone off the 'outpost' nearest to my house.
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Old 06-11-21, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Cpn_Dunsel View Post
I suspect/fear that it will be an REI type experience for service, if not REI itself. In the (mid size) city in which I live the 'local' REI has access to Cannondale bikes that the local Cannondale distributor cannot get. That's not a good thing.
I’ve had great service from the REI in Missoula when I have toured out of there. Here in Philly we have many independent shops that provide good service. The REI outlets are in the ‘burbs. No need to take my bike there when I can ride to several shops in little time. Sound like your knowledge is limited to certain markets. Having several major universities in the area certainly helps things.
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Old 06-11-21, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Not saying it won't happen...
Good, because it started happening several years ago. A couple of chains & lots of independents these days. Prep & set-up of internet purchased bikes is a steady business for them.










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Old 06-11-21, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
I don't think it's a deliberate corporate attempt to eliminate the indie shops...
An argument can be made that Trek has spent the last decade doing exactly that.
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Old 06-11-21, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Cpn_Dunsel View Post
I suspect/fear that it will be an REI type experience for service, if not REI itself.
Why is that a bad thing? The primary REI mechanics at the one I frequent are trained and experienced. Yes, a less experienced associate may help out with a flat tire repair or a minor task, but the more technical work is done by accomplished men and women. I've never had a repair problem with bikes bought at REI or else where.

In the (mid size) city in which I live the 'local' REI has access to Cannondale bikes that the local Cannondale distributor cannot get. That's not a good thing.
It may not be good, but it's just business. If you're a manufacturer, would you rather sell 300 bikes to a large retailer or 5,10 or 20 bikes to a local single shop?

I don't think the bike manufacturers are concerned with the service end of the business.
Of course they are. Those cyclists that neglect their bikes will blame the brand and not themselves for repair service problems and will possibly go to a different brand when N+1 occurs. Even those that take good care of their bikes may be affected by poor repair service when buying their next bike. Years ago, the owner of a local shop that sold Specialized, Cannondale (primarily) and another brand or two told me that Specialized and Cannondale would send reps occasionally to verify the quality of the work and parts inventory to assure quality sales and repair service for their brand. Whether this practice stopped or not (pandemic aside), I don't know.

Eliminating family owned and single proprietor shops in favor of corporate stores serves the large bike corporation very well.
Someone should research this. Bike manufacturers just want to sell bikes, I can't believe that they conspire to put 'little guys' out of business. You certainly have the right to your opinion, but I suspect that you just don't like big corporations.

Please delete this. I wrongfully incorporated my response in the quote except for the last response. My fault of course...very long day.

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