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Struggles of finding a new bike

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Struggles of finding a new bike

Old 11-16-23, 05:20 AM
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Struggles of finding a new bike

Hello guys!

Every time I need to find a new bicycle I face this struggle of finding the perfect one for me. Doesn't matter if it's new or second-hand I always waste tons of my time to find the right one, to make sure it has the right components, is in good condition, has the right specs, etc. I talked with few of my friends who are cycling as well if they have this issue, and we agreed that this is a great pain in the ass We are from Lithuania (Europe) and so I started wondering if it's a problem in just our country or is it a common issue in other countries as well. What are your thoughts?

To solve this issue we came up with an idea to start providing bike finding services in our country. That would offer people who are looking for bike just 3-5 bikes that are in the market at a given moment and suits their needs the best. So you'd have to choose only from 3-5 options instead of wasting hours of valuable time. We also try to better understand if there is a need for such services, so I'd appreciate if you could answer few questions that will take only 1-2 mins: https://be4e216gt4w.typeform.com/to/oJeSjG6G

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and answers!
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Old 11-16-23, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by CookieCycler19
I always waste tons of my time to find the right one,
If you find the right one, it is not a waste of time.
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Old 11-16-23, 06:05 AM
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Some of the "struggles" are actually fun. Looking at new bikes, drooling over classic/new "retro" bikes or the latest whiz-bang tech (whatever floats your boat), visiting bike shops to talk to people about bikes and riding, etc.
My last bike, I knew that I wanted to use it for commuting, so I was looking at bikes with rack and fender braze-ons and a drop bar. That narrowed the field down considerably.
The one before that (sheesh, 20 years ago now) I was interested in classic steel with Campy, so (at that time) I was looking at a bunch of smaller brands and custom. That also made the list much shorter.

I knew before I started my searches what was most important to me in my next bike. So, for example, I'd decided that the weight of the bike was a secondary factor. No one wants a heavy bike, but it wasn't a primary feature in my searches, so I could use it to differentiate between two (or more) options that were equally appealing when judged from my primary criteria. So, knowing what is important to you and being able to rank the various competing features (frame geometry, frame material, components, wheels, weight, etc. etc.) can help to narrow down your choices.

I've also built a relationship with an LBS over the past 20+ years, so they know me, how I ride and my bikes (my commuter, my "fun" bike, the tandem I ride with my wife), so they're able to offer me options - for example, the bike I bought this past June wasn't even on my original list of bikes, it was suggested by an employee at the LBS.

We're lucky to be living in a time where is so much information and so many choices available on-line, so we're not limited to the bikes offered by the LBSs in our immediate areas.
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Old 11-16-23, 06:22 AM
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Of course if you succeed to find the right one you can't say it's waste of time, but what I wanted to say is that I'd be happy to choose from like 5-ish bike options rather than considering thousands of models available on the market at the given moment. I bought 3 bikes in past 5 years (1 MTB and 2 road bikes) now I am searching for a bicycle for my girlfriend cause she decided to join me and ride together. And it just takes a lot of my time, because I can't make a purchase just simply going to one bike store and talking with a specialist - once I start looking for something more important to buy (like bike) I want to consider all the possible options and then choose the best one for me and the best value for the money. So it's really taking me like 2 months every time when I'm searching for a bike. And that's a lot of time. This is the reason why I would be happy to choose from narrowed-down list rather than from thousands of options

But of course, there is other side - every time I am searching for a bicycle I learn something new which ultimately builds a lot of knowledge in this field. That's the bright side.
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Old 11-16-23, 06:49 AM
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Since you are in Lithuania have you checked into a Wittson Titanium? Hand made, really cool range of frames. I already have an Illuminati titanium Wittson frame with a Columbus Futura fork. Unfortunately I have procrastinated building it up due to time constraints.
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Old 11-16-23, 06:54 AM
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Did you spend 2 months, 24/7 searching for a bike?? I'm guessing not and you did it in your spare time, which was a better use of time time than Tik Tok or whatever app people use in Lithuania. Once you figure out your price range, you'll find there aren't that many choices. It's like buying a car, takes time, research and patience.
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Old 11-16-23, 07:16 AM
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A bike finding service would be very difficult to implement, especially in the used market. I know of specialist bike fitters who effectively offer this service as part of their fitting service i.e. they do the initial fit on a fitting machine and then advise on the most suitable bike models. MyVeloFit even offer an online version of this based on video analysis of your body. You might want to check that out for yourself.
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Old 11-16-23, 10:07 AM
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The BSO allows a newbie to discover cycling on the cheap, that eventually gateways into finding a bike they can appreciate.

I continue to see a lot of rich stupid folks buy bikes just because it made them look good, and they all complain about all sorts of stuff, they have the wrong saddle, wrong saddle height, wrong type of tires, wrong kind of pedals, wrong type of bars, crap grips, there are a million reasons why a bike won't be dialed for a rider.

Likewise, a rider can not appreciate a good saddle if they never had a crap one, or good tyres if they have never struggled with low end "all terrain" tyres.

You have to have a few good and bad girlfriends to know which one(s) you will marry.

If a newbie can only afford a BSO, they start with that, and then as they put on the mileage, they know their next bike might be an entry model Trek hybrid. This repeats again until the rider is satisfied.

D2C websites already help summarize what a rider may want, and take it from there. Diving into one end-game bike because some silly survey or app tells them this is the one, is so typical for the tiktok generation that expects apps to solve their woes. Whatever they end up with will still be a stepping stone for their next bike as explained above.
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Old 11-16-23, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by soyabean
The BSO allows a newbie to discover cycling on the cheap, that eventually gateways into finding a bike they can appreciate.

I continue to see a lot of rich stupid folks buy bikes just because it made them look good, and they all complain about all sorts of stuff, they have the wrong saddle, wrong saddle height, wrong type of tires, wrong kind of pedals, wrong type of bars, crap grips, there are a million reasons why a bike won't be dialed for a rider.

Likewise, a rider can not appreciate a good saddle if they never had a crap one, or good tyres if they have never struggled with low end "all terrain" tyres.

You have to have a few good and bad girlfriends to know which one(s) you will marry.

If a newbie can only afford a BSO, they start with that, and then as they put on the mileage, they know their next bike might be an entry model Trek hybrid. This repeats again until the rider is satisfied.

D2C websites already help summarize what a rider may want, and take it from there. Diving into one end-game bike because some silly survey or app tells them this is the one, is so typical for the tiktok generation that expects apps to solve their woes. Whatever they end up with will still be a stepping stone for their next bike as explained above.
A rich newbie could easily skip the BSO stage and probably the entry level Trek hybrid too.
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Old 11-16-23, 11:58 AM
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Reading the question, I see "Does it make sense to start a Bicycle Broker Service?" .... That requires a very good understanding of the supply and demand in your particular marketplace, and you're saying that, in Lithuania, that imbalance may be big enough to sustain a business being a "middle-man." It sounds like you've seen the supply-side issues, that's good - it addresses the "problem you're helping to solve." My more significant concern is the depth of the market - the buyers. You will invest a certain "cost of customer acquisition" which needs to stay below your long-term revenue forecast. As an example, let's say I set up a website, pay for some marketing, buy some office supplies, etcetera. What can I charge a client? How many clients do I need to cover my costs and the time I invest? And, of course, this is a very specific client - someone who cares enough about the outcome to justify expert assistance.

To the client prospect: how much will you spend with me, and how many of your types exist? Conversely, how much time will it take me to "close" this trade, what fee will I collect, and what is my effective hourly rate for my efforts?
A friend of ours has a brother who is a broker for exotic sports cars. He does very well, but the market and the invoices are much much bigger.
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Old 11-16-23, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
Reading the question, I see "Does it make sense to start a Bicycle Broker Service?" .... That requires a very good understanding of the supply and demand in your particular marketplace, and you're saying that, in Lithuania, that imbalance may be big enough to sustain a business being a "middle-man." It sounds like you've seen the supply-side issues, that's good - it addresses the "problem you're helping to solve." My more significant concern is the depth of the market - the buyers. You will invest a certain "cost of customer acquisition" which needs to stay below your long-term revenue forecast. As an example, let's say I set up a website, pay for some marketing, buy some office supplies, etcetera. What can I charge a client? How many clients do I need to cover my costs and the time I invest? And, of course, this is a very specific client - someone who cares enough about the outcome to justify expert assistance.

To the client prospect: how much will you spend with me, and how many of your types exist? Conversely, how much time will it take me to "close" this trade, what fee will I collect, and what is my effective hourly rate for my efforts?
A friend of ours has a brother who is a broker for exotic sports cars. He does very well, but the market and the invoices are much much bigger.
I very much doubt you could build a viable business on this service alone. I've seen it work with high end bikes, but only as part of a wider bike business - bike fitting, maintenance, custom builds, etc.
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Old 11-16-23, 12:40 PM
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I've noticed lately that there are more and more "Shark Tank" type posts, and always from new user signups on BF. Afterall, they can't get on the show, so they come here.

It'll just be easier for me to say that I will NOT be buying any OTCBB stocks from the OP
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Old 11-16-23, 12:48 PM
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As someone in the, finding a new bike, market, I've decided to not pursue used bikes. I've been using 99spokes.com for the best comparisons for both road and mountain. You can compare different bikes side by side. Helped me narrow down my choices to 4 models to consider.
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Old 11-16-23, 03:59 PM
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I don't know that there is the perfect bike. You just find bikes that you tend to like, some more than others. And bikes that you don't like, again some more than others. So you just should get a bike. If nothing else a bike in the color you prefer. Then ride to crap out of it and then you'll know better what you do and don't like about it and what you might want in you next bike. Maybe by the time you depart this world you'll have a pretty good idea of what is your perfect bike... almost.
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Old 11-16-23, 04:31 PM
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I decided to get a new bike recently, but in Japan, where the most common frame size is 52cm, finding the right one is all the more hard. So I decided to simply order the parts separately, and build it myself. I ordered a frame in the size, style, and color I liked, with the necessary braze-ons for the accessories I will use. I then ordered wheels and tires. Then I bought the derailleur, cassette, chain, and cranks, then the seat post, seat, stem and bar. I am awaiting the brakes, levers, and bar tape. Putting the bike together myself costs more than buying a complete bike, but I get the bike with what I want on it. And it is nice to ride a bike you built yourself.
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Old 11-16-23, 04:50 PM
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That's what I'm trying to say.

You need actual mileage experience to custom build the bike you know you want, frame up.

No vaporware survey app will tell some newbie DIY what parts are best for them.
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