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LBS competition

Old 02-24-14, 03:05 PM
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LBS competition

<minor rant>
I'm fortunate to have several LBSs, with all of the major manufacturers having at least one very good to excellent shop in the area. So when I'm bike shopping, I'm used to hearing each shop extol the virtues of their favorite brand and casually mention the weaknesses of the competing brand. That seems fair, after all, I really don't expect the Trek dealer to tell me how great Giant is or for the Specialized dealer to tell me he wishes he could ride a Domane. Give the fact that all the major brands (and their many smaller competitors) make excellent bikes at any given price point, my choice ends up coming down to individual fit and which shop I want to do business with.

To their credit, I seldom hear shop owners talking bad about the other LBSs, however. But on my last visit to one of the LBSs (just killing time and looking at wheels), the shop owner made it a point to make several fairly pointed comments about the bike shop where I bought my primary bike.

It's a shame, because the guy has a nice shop, and I'd otherwise consider him the next time N+1 fever struck, but somehow his comments left a bad taste in my mouth. His competitors generally only have nice things to say about the other LBSs, and try to let their service and brands speak for themselves.

So - today's advice for LBS owners - tell me why your brand and shop are the greatest ever, but don't run down the local competition, especially to one of their satisfied customers. It won't earn you new business.
</minor rant>
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Old 02-24-14, 05:31 PM
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Count your blessings? I have exactly 2 LBSes to choose from. One is good the other totally sucks. FWIW I live in a MSA (metropolitan statistical area) of nearly 400,000 people.

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Old 02-24-14, 05:49 PM
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There is no competition and the owner is kind of intimidating.

You win.

M.
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Old 02-25-14, 01:13 PM
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IMHO, there's 4.5 reasons to patronize a LBS, and thus 4.5 ways for a bike shop to be a good one.
1. Work with the customer to select the right bike for that customer (that day?).
2. Assemble a quality product well.
3. Fit the bike to the customer well.
4. Fix and/or maintain bicycles well.
0.5 Nice selection of accessories, tubes, spare parts, clothes, drink mixes, etc.
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Old 02-25-14, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
IMHO, there's 4.5 reasons to patronize a LBS, and thus 4.5 ways for a bike shop to be a good one.
1. Work with the customer to select the right bike for that customer (that day?).
2. Assemble a quality product well.
3. Fit the bike to the customer well.
4. Fix and/or maintain bicycles well.
0.5 Nice selection of accessories, tubes, spare parts, clothes, drink mixes, etc.
That's funny, my primary reason for visiting an LBS is your 0.5 reason.
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Old 02-25-14, 01:22 PM
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I would need to know more to decide if the bike shop owner is out of line. Generally, I avoid talking about other LBS when at a bike shop.
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Old 02-27-14, 07:03 AM
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My primary reason for visiting a bike shop is to have a service task done for which I don't have the proper tooling. A recent example was straightening one of my service customer's fork at the crown area, where there had been a front end impact many years ago (steel fork). A shop that is a 15 mile drive from me has the experience to bring this back into spec.

Another example would be facing a bb shell, or chasing bb threads.

The other reason would be that consumable items (tires, tubes) are on a seasonal sale where the price is better than I can do through the mail.

Otherwise, I go to the bike shop to socialize and visit my friends, but not to buy. I do, however, reger many folks to specific bike shops once I know what they're looking for. I'm able to tell them which of the many regional shops will be able to give them what they want or need.

Of course, modern bike brands hold negligible interest for me. So, I could care less if the latest electronic-shifting 22 speed marvel is there on display, or if some carbon fiber dayglo helmet with integral camera mount has just come out. I walk right past these to the service counter.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 02-27-14 at 07:07 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-27-14, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
My primary reason for visiting a bike shop is to have a service task done for which I don't have the proper tooling. A recent example was straightening one of my service customer's fork at the crown area, where there had been a front end impact many years ago (steel fork). A shop that is a 15 mile drive from me has the experience to bring this back into spec.

Another example would be facing a bb shell, or chasing bb threads.

The other reason would be that consumable items (tires, tubes) are on a seasonal sale where the price is better than I can do through the mail.

Otherwise, I go to the bike shop to socialize and visit my friends, but not to buy. I do, however, reger many folks to specific bike shops once I know what they're looking for. I'm able to tell them which of the many regional shops will be able to give them what they want or need.

Of course, modern bike brands hold negligible interest for me. So, I could care less if the latest electronic-shifting 22 speed marvel is there on display, or if some carbon fiber dayglo helmet with integral camera mount has just come out. I walk right past these to the service counter.
You are clearly a superior being. Thank you so much for adding to the conversation.
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Old 02-27-14, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
You are clearly a superior being. Thank you so much for adding to the conversation.
Sorry, you're right. I didn't mean it to sound that way. Maybe I should've just said "I thin that a good service department is really important. Each shop has it's strengths in customer service and skill, and I recommend the good ones to my friends when I can."

I wish that I had said that instead.
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Old 02-27-14, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
Sorry, you're right. I didn't mean it to sound that way. Maybe I should've just said "I thin that a good service department is really important. Each shop has it's strengths in customer service and skill, and I recommend the good ones to my friends when I can."

I wish that I had said that instead.
All is forgiven. Ride on, friend!
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Old 03-01-14, 12:00 AM
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1, never owned a shop..

2, brands are just paint when a handfull of Taiwan contract manufacturers
make a jillion brands for other importers who pay them to do so .
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Old 03-02-14, 09:34 AM
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Trash talk is okay, as long as it is factually accurate.
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