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Is the bike business up or down?

Old 12-17-09, 03:46 PM
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slipknot0129
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Is the bike business up or down?

Is the bike business up or down in terms of sales and demand this year?
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Old 12-17-09, 04:14 PM
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Worked in a shop this summer. Business was slower then normal. Same shop has cut back on the other employees hours through the fall.Havnet been by in a couple of weeks to see how the hollidays are treating them.
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Old 12-17-09, 04:45 PM
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According to my LBS it's way down.
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Old 12-17-09, 04:48 PM
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Apparently, nationwide it is down. Though the shop I am at is the opposite. We have had a couple of months that were record breakers and one that was the best ever in the history of the company. Our November was 113% better than any other November. We have two other stores, where one was up 8% and the other one was up somewhere near 90%.
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Old 12-18-09, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
Apparently, nationwide it is down. Though the shop I am at is the opposite. We have had a couple of months that were record breakers and one that was the best ever in the history of the company. Our November was 113% better than any other November. We have two other stores, where one was up 8% and the other one was up somewhere near 90%.
That's about the same by me. The one shop I go to, I was to they are having a record year (As of August). The other shop, is barely hanging on.
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Old 12-18-09, 09:46 AM
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My email is absolutely flooded with come-ons from Nashbar, Performance, etc. Seems like a lot more than I saw last year at this time.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:02 PM
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When gas spiked, there was an uptick in people refurbishing neglected old bikes. And there are people who have downsized from car to bike. But, I would think that the heart of the recreational US market would go down in a sour economy. So, maybe more utility oriented shops did okay, while more hobbyist shops are hurting. The one LBS that I frequent has done remarkably well, and I would say that the heart of their business is utility riders. But that is my only data-point.

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Old 12-19-09, 12:34 AM
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The 2 shops I frequent around here have both said sales are in the toilet but repairs are doing really well. The economy is pushing people to repair their bikes and get back on them.
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Old 12-19-09, 12:37 AM
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I'm friends with two shop owners here in Reno, and both say sales are somewhat down. The high-end guy is hurting worse--$3000+ toys just aren't selling at all. He's laid off four or five people and runs the place now with his brother and a high school kid/racer/mechanic.
The other guy runs a "family" shop, specializing in good-quality but not extravagant bikes starting around $400 (carefully selected, no junk). He's a full-time worker with a part-time mechanic, and his wife sells on weekends. They've done OK by cutting costs, adapting to the market and working hard to sell people what they NEED, not what he can make the most money on. I've heard him tell a father that he didn't need a $1000 bike to ride with his daughter, then move down the line and sell him a $475 Raleigh.
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Old 12-19-09, 01:17 AM
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From what I am aware of, business is way down. I have a friend who owns a shop. Last year , when gas had spike, he had his best Spring in 20 years. In the Fall, when the economy tanked, he had his worst Fall in 20 years. Right now, he says that high end bikes are not moving, but everyday stuff is. Repairs are up and he is not getting any trade-ins because folks are fixing them up instead. I also see that I am getting bombarded by e mails from the internet bike sellers. With the economy the way it is and folks happy to have a job, buying bikes at real bike shops are looked upon as extras, not necessities. Still blows my mind to walk into WalMart and see customers wheel the new junkers up to the register to pay for.
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Old 12-19-09, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by HauntedMyst View Post
The 2 shops I frequent around here have both said sales are in the toilet but repairs are doing really well. The economy is pushing people to repair their bikes and get back on them.
Same over here. New bike sales were exceptional up to about the middle of the year with people cutting transport costs by cycling. But that bubble has deflated now but repairs and maintenance have gone through the roof
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Old 12-19-09, 07:03 PM
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I don't have anything to compare this year to. I just opened my shop in September. At first we didn't have many bikes in stock and not much else either. We have been selling a lot of BMX bikes. We do skateboards too. They have been good one week and bad the next.

We are open only part time, but we sold our 30th bike the other day. I don't know if that is very good for some places, but I am very happy with how it has been going. I was hoping for a good day today, snow storm killed me though. I hope tomorrow is better.
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Old 12-20-09, 07:34 AM
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My fav LBS looked busy this summer. It was always a few days wait for repairs (another reason to do my own wrenching), always people waiting in lines. I don't know how their sales are going but their mechanics seem to be busy. They build custom bikes though, also being in Williamsburg/Brooklyn and near the Williamsburg Bridge they get a lot business I guess. They're good mechanics so people come from all over the city too, some commuters stop by (like me). Bike shops in Queens aren't that busy.

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Old 12-20-09, 09:35 AM
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Was in two side-by-side bike shops here in Souther California on Friday during lunch hour (only a small office building between them). The Performance Bike Shop (road bikes, mountain bikes) was dead - no customers except me. The independent that seels utility-type bikes (cruisers, BMX, fixies/ss's, recumbents, etc) was busier than I'd ever seen it.
 
Old 12-26-09, 09:07 AM
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Find it incredible that a shop near me has "plastic" (I'm a "steel is real" kind of guy) bikes for $5,000+. I don't know how well they are selling, but wouldn't be surprised if they didn't move off the shop floor that quickly. Decent quality used bikes in the $100 and below category sell very fast. Makes more sense to economize by riding a $90 used Panasonic road bike from the '80s than a "modern" $5,000+ road bike. Half kidding here, since these involve two entirely different market segments.
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Old 12-26-09, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleheimer View Post
Find it incredible that a shop near me has "plastic" (I'm a "steel is real" kind of guy) bikes for $5,000+. I don't know how well they are selling, but wouldn't be surprised if they didn't move off the shop floor that quickly. Decent quality used bikes in the $100 and below category sell very fast. Makes more sense to economize by riding a $90 used Panasonic road bike from the '80s than a "modern" $5,000+ road bike. Half kidding here, since these involve two entirely different market segments.
There is no real LBS in the small town that I live near. There is a sporting goods store that usually stocks a few bikes and bike accessories during good weather (this time of year they have absolutely no inventory related to bicycles). Next spring, I wouldn't be surprised if I don't find any bike accessories or bikes in that store. The economy in this region was never robust and is almost on it's death legs.

If the the number of LBS(s) in the US begins to decline more, I think you're going to see the big corporations that own some of the major "medium" and "high" end bikes have to rethink how they distribute their more costly products as well as reduce the number of more expensive bikes they produce. What I would find interesting is manufacturing statistics from these companies for the period of 2007-2012 (granted that's 2 years into the future). I'd like to see if they increase the production of their "department store" bike brands and reduce the production of their more expensive brand names. Given the grim predictions most economists have made about the US ever being able to begin to recoup even a fraction of the jobs lost, I would expect to see the "big boys" producing more and more lower-cost bikes for all world markets.
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Old 12-26-09, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
There is no real LBS in the small town that I live near. There is a sporting goods store that usually stocks a few bikes and bike accessories during good weather (this time of year they have absolutely no inventory related to bicycles). Next spring, I wouldn't be surprised if I don't find any bike accessories or bikes in that store. The economy in this region was never robust and is almost on it's death legs.

If the the number of LBS(s) in the US begins to decline more, I think you're going to see the big corporations that own some of the major "medium" and "high" end bikes have to rethink how they distribute their more costly products as well as reduce the number of more expensive bikes they produce. What I would find interesting is manufacturing statistics from these companies for the period of 2007-2012 (granted that's 2 years into the future). I'd like to see if they increase the production of their "department store" bike brands and reduce the production of their more expensive brand names. Given the grim predictions most economists have made about the US ever being able to begin to recoup even a fraction of the jobs lost, I would expect to see the "big boys" producing more and more lower-cost bikes for all world markets.
Nashbar had their Al-1 road bike on sale a few months back for $599 ($899 M.S.R.P.), plus they had special deals for an additional 20% or 30% off. I could have gotten one for about $420 plus about $55 for S&H. Even though I didn't need another bike, I thought about buying it and selling one of my other bikes. I was happy to know that I could buy something like that at that low price. It was the equivalent of about $65 in 1965, which bought you a pretty low-end, primitive 10-speed back then.

The link for the Al-1 is:

https://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/st...1_10000_201512
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