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The bubble is upon us?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The bubble is upon us?

Old 01-13-22, 11:36 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by N2deep View Post
...a premium bike is not worth the $5k tag, that now has risen to $7k if you can find one.
Totally not worth it.... but can't be kept in stock. Do you know how this game works?
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Old 01-13-22, 11:47 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Totally not worth it.... but can't be kept in stock. Do you know how this game works?
Lots of people flunked Econ 101 -- or never even signed up.
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Old 01-13-22, 11:59 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Totally not worth it.... but can't be kept in stock. Do you know how this game works?
Buy high, sell low?

Buy umbrellas when it is raining and snow shovels during a blizzard?
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Old 01-13-22, 12:10 PM
  #79  
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Those who self profess as being extremely knowledgeable and who can do all their repairs at home in the "I'm an engineer" way of thinking - usually have the MOST f'd up bikes when they finally mess it up enough to bring it in. They are so disconnected from the reality of the nuances that can turn a simple machine into a complex solution that our industry has multiple hidden forums and groups where they share all sorts of pictures of how messed up it is so everyone can laugh.
I'd like to see some of those pics. I always enjoy a good chuckle.
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Old 01-13-22, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tusk View Post
I'd like to see some of those pics. I always enjoy a good chuckle.
There are probably lots of those groups, but this Facebook group has some great stuff: https://www.facebook.com/groups/763609394079686
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Old 01-13-22, 01:43 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Tusk View Post
I'd like to see some of those pics. I always enjoy a good chuckle.
One of my favorites that even a few of us locals often contribute to - https://www.facebook.com/groups/567464943318095
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Old 01-13-22, 02:02 PM
  #82  
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All this talk about LBS and repairs and the cost has me laughing and saying in the guitar world it is no different. I repair guitars for a living and I don't own a music store or work out of one. I am the only person within maybe a 100 mile radius who can refret your guitar, do fret leveling and set up, or take off the neck and reset. You need to go to Chicago and even then only certain music stores will be able to handle those task,.. Psimet has it right on when he says he simply does service and he does not work on the LBS model. To me that really is the wave of future bike shops. Anyone can buy a new bike and it should hopefully work for awhile but then it needs to be serviced.

If you bring me your guitar and you have to have the frets dressed and level along with a set up I have to get $60 a hour plus the cost of any material. So if someone needs a fret dressing I charge $125 plus the strings. It takes me two hours but like repairing a bike it can vary. Sometimes things go well and I can be done in a hour. Other times I have to keep tweaking and might go more than 2 but hopefully not close to 3.

Since I can repair guitars, I can also repair bikes and build them actually they are much less complicated than guitars. I never ever take my bike to the LBS and build my own wheels but one has to invest time and money in learning plus tools. To replace a spoke and true the wheel $60 seems like a pretty decent deal for sure. LBS do not work on the model of an independent bike shop taking on anything that walks in the door. To me these are the shops that shine in the darkness. They are around and I know them they will get my business if I need them because inside they have to know what makes a bike work themselves.
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Old 01-13-22, 03:08 PM
  #83  
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It's the non-warranty stuff too. Example - guy bought a set of ENVE wheels used off Pros closet. Took them to a local shop because one, that was set up tubeless, was slowly losing air. it was a trek shop. The tech there put new rim tape on it and inflated it. *BOOM*

Blew the whole side of the rim off.

Shop guy goes, "I've never seen that happen. That's a defective rim. You should take that up with ENVE." Customer is like, "I wasn't the original buyer." They shrugged and said, "We've never built on carbon. There's this guy that builds carbon wheels. Try him." and sent him my way. I take the time to track down a rep and find out it's a common occurrence. The nipple beds, because they're molded, create a tight enough interface between the nipple and the rim that they become air tight. Then if the tubeless tape fails then the lower rim chamber gets pressurized like the upper tire side does. Their rims can't handle that hoop stress and *BOOM*. Instead of calling it a problem they call it a feature and tell everyone it's because they didn't use the official ENVE tubeless valves. Ones where the nut to tighten them against the rim is off centered drilled to allow for air that escapes into the lower chamber to vent from the rim instead of pressurizing it.

I process a claim, get a rim at cost, swap the rim, explain the problem, and get the guy going again.

So to your point - big shops just don't have the knowledge or expertise to handle anything that is beyond getting on to their dealer portal and filling out a claim form and getting a new part. Us service shops just know how to fix stuff and get people rolling again.

Again on the "simple machine" stuff. 10 Years ago I would agree. It's not that way anymore. Most of the problems and fixes I do aren't simple installs or adjustments. They're troubleshooting electrical systems or hydraulic systems. They involve an ever increasing number of specialized tools and background knowledge and even then the actual fixes are never really in a book, on a video, or in a forum because the root cause is usually not found before the OEM says, "tell the customer to buy a new one".

Externally routed, mechanical, rim brake with a standard English threaded BB days are over. Now it's suspensions, droppers, Odd ball BB standards or proprietary headshock BS, strange internal frame routings, and known electrical issues that the OE claims don't happen but there's forums full of people with the same issues. We've taken a simple pen and paper thought making a word processor would help make writing faster and ended up with twitter.
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Old 01-13-22, 03:31 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Bike prices were historically absurdly low in the U.S. Until the 1960s, most bikes in this country were sold by toy distributors and were predominantly single-speed, coaster brake bikes sold in department stores or auto parts stores such as Western Auto. Since very little skill or time was needed to assemble such bikes, the profit margin was as low as that for all the other toys sold by the distributors.

Ironically, the profit margins for toys steadily increased over the next decades, while those for bikes remained low, even as more-complicated 10-speed bikes started selling in signficant numbers. Note that even now, when profits on bikes have finally increased to the point where it's theoretically possible to make a decent living selling them, the guy you quoted, Psimet, has given up on stocking bikes and runs a service-only shop.

The bike business is still extremely competitive. No bike retailer is making a killing selling bikes. I worked in five different bike shops in three states over the years, and the only shop I worked in that was significantly profitable was run by, not a bike enthusiast, but a businessman who obsessively monitored his costs. (He once boasted to me that he'd had his best year ever, netting a profit of around 4%.)

The current "industry practices and sales model," which is finally capable of generating decent profits for at least some businesses, is far from stupid. Ruthless, maybe.
Think of bike prices this way, Dicks, XYZ sports and many other can sell a functioning dirt bike for $500 and still make 20%. The manhours, tooling and expertise required to manufacture that $500 bike is not a lot different than a $7000 bike. The major differences are materials (add 25%-40% onto the cost of materials) and finish work for the components (add 25% for machine, paint and hand work) and you come close to the true costs of the premium bikes. You state that the LBSs are not making a killing but maybe the 3 or 4 Chinese manufacturers/monopolies that make 90% of all bikes (Trek, Spech, everyone) is making a killing. Maybe instead of buying from the bike box stores (Trek/Spech/Etc) maybe we should buy from the little guys. .
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Old 01-13-22, 03:59 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
The bike business is still extremely competitive. No bike retailer is making a killing selling bikes. I worked in five different bike shops in three states over the years, and the only shop I worked in that was significantly profitable was run by, not a bike enthusiast, but a businessman who obsessively monitored his costs. (He once boasted to me that he'd had his best year ever, netting a profit of around 4%.)
Long ago on here I used to quote a bunch of numbers from the NBDA that stated the average net profit for bike shop operations being in the 3-5% range on average for a well functioning store. That was numbers from the 90's through about 2015.

That's also NET operating margin. Total shop profit. This is after salaries, overhead, insurance, blah blah blah. Everything. It's not bad either. ...but that's $50k on a store selling $1M annually. Assuming the owner is paying themselves a salary then they have roughly $50k to pay down debt, buy a shop van, or give themselves or their mechanics a small bump at the end of the year..... or to buy themself a bike.

No one except for the big 3 are getting rich doing this stuff.

People freak when they hear 4%. "I heard margin on bikes was 30-40%"...yeah that's gross margin. Now go pay everyone and everything.
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Old 01-13-22, 04:05 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Oh, sure, I get that parts availability is still problematic...But I'm not currently looking for a new bike. I just meant that, if the big brands are building monopoly power on the retail side, they're gonna push up prices...And if the margins are narrowing, then (next time I'm in the market) I'd rather just go custom.

Summer 2020, out somewhere in the car with my wife, I was telling her about the bike shortage. At the end of the story, as we pulled into the garage, I waved my hand at the five bikes hanging from the wall and said, "See, wasn't I smart to stock up?" She liked that.
If I say anything to MY wife about a bike shortage, she's likely to wave her hand at the 10 bikes in the garage and say it's my fault!
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Old 01-13-22, 04:23 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
You're not alone. Have fun getting the parts to build it.

I just sent out a Lynskey a customer ordered up. She mentioned how she was happy to wait for the frame. It took like 8 months or something. Her hubs took 6 months (Chris King) but I was able to get them in about the time she got her frame. I was anticipating that would be the longest wait. I had the bike in house for over a year just trying to get some GRX parts.

Everyone is building up a custom bike right now.
This might make the wrench science type of online configurators be a bit more successful. https://www.wrenchscience.com/road/frames/
Certainly an appeal to choosing from a lot of brands and bikes that aren't the big 3 and speccing how you want it built.
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Old 01-13-22, 05:01 PM
  #88  
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I know this... biking used to be a somewhat cheap form of outdoor enjoyment and exercise for all ages in road biking. Now a good bike with components most 30mi riders use is like buying a car... most "young" 20 somethings will not buy those bikes because of life events, starting a career, etc... I seem to see only middle class 30+ people probably single or with good incomes on good road bikes now. I have to work a part time job just to fund my expensive hobby and to justify to my wife because its not coming out of our main income. Even price of helmets, shorts, jerseys, gloves, not to mention super expensive repairs and replacements, etc. Last year I bet I spent at $1000 just on that stuff... And I thought golf and fishing was expensive.


Concerning the so called bubble that is going to remain to be seen... General wage and overhead inflation may prevent a price dropping to old time levels even though demand has slowed for bikes. Seems like manufacturers have gotten into trend setting now and recasting for the new thing and manufacturing cost for that is going up. Example is like every thing seems to be going from mechanical we've had forever to the new wireless electronic group sets... i.e. Dura Ace, Ultegra, and Hydraulic disk brakes. Try to find today a new good road bike with mechanical Shimano Ultegra or Dura Ace with rim brakes. Like nobody now wants a flip phone now but the newest $1000+ IPhone with a $100 per month cell phone package.
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Old 01-13-22, 05:04 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Externally routed, mechanical, rim brake with a standard English threaded BB days are over.
I fear change and will cling to my simple drivetrain until the last strand of cable snaps.
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Old 01-13-22, 06:05 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by N2deep View Post
Think of bike prices this way, Dicks, XYZ sports and many other can sell a functioning dirt bike for $500 and still make 20%. The manhours, tooling and expertise required to manufacture that $500 bike is not a lot different than a $7000 bike. The major differences are materials (add 25%-40% onto the cost of materials) and finish work for the components (add 25% for machine, paint and hand work) and you come close to the true costs of the premium bikes. You state that the LBSs are not making a killing but maybe the 3 or 4 Chinese manufacturers/monopolies that make 90% of all bikes (Trek, Spech, everyone) is making a killing. Maybe instead of buying from the bike box stores (Trek/Spech/Etc) maybe we should buy from the little guys. .
Lol.
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Old 01-14-22, 07:44 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Oh, and, uh, that kind of misrepresentation? A bit of a prick move.
Yes, I posted here to "misrepresent" for... reasons? You guys are ridiculous: you call me a liar, say I'm "laughable" and then when you get called out, resort to goalpost shifting and name calling.

Last edited by Hiro11; 01-14-22 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 01-14-22, 07:48 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
In my shop - the spoke would have been ~$3.50. The truing most likely $15. The re-tape and tubeless setup would be about $35. ...but you implied this wouldn't be able to be repaired in an independent shop? I don't know if you intentionally flipped that or did it by accident but I assure you I am one of the only ones that can do repairs like that around here - as an independent service only and wheel builder shop. I usually get the stuff the big brand shops can't fix. They often don't have the mechanical depth of knowledge because of the model they use.
I didn't "imply" anything.

Also I undercharge. My rates and my knowledge combined have created a solid customer base of massive enthusiasts and then racers from all over the greater Chicagoland area and Southern Wisconsin that will take the time to get in a car and drive the 45 minutes-1.5 hours needed to get to me each way. In my experience the independents and more specifically the service only shops have way more technical knowledge and skill. We have to work on more stuff. Those guys can be like, "Yeah that seems like a warranty issue with Specialized. We're a Trek shop. You should take it to _____" whereas we have to actually fix it.
I live ~30 minutes to the southeast from you. You can probably guess which shop I'm talking about, it's well known. I've had similar bad experiences with another shop in the area years ago.
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Old 01-14-22, 07:53 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Yes, I posted here to "misrepresent" for... reasons? You guys are ridiculous: you call me a liar, say I'm "laughable" and then when you get called out, resort to goalpost shifting and name calling.
What goalpost got shifted?
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Old 01-14-22, 08:16 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Yes, I posted here to "misrepresent" for... reasons? You guys are ridiculous: you call me a liar, say I'm "laughable" and then when you get called out, resort to goalpost shifting and name calling.
lololol

This from the guy that went from "$95 to fix a broken spoke..." to "well, it was set up tubeless, so the tire had to be removed, sealant cleaned up, rim tape removed, spoke replaced, the whole wheel needed a major truing, it was re-taped, and the tire re-seated." That's some comedy gold.
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Old 01-14-22, 08:26 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
lololol

This from the guy that went from "$95 to fix a broken spoke..." to "well, it was set up tubeless, so the tire had to be removed, sealant cleaned up, rim tape removed, spoke replaced, the whole wheel needed a major truing, it was re-taped, and the tire re-seated." That's some comedy gold.
And hey, if the spoke was on the rear drive-side, then they also had to remove (and re-install) the cassette, too. But if you're Hiro11 , that's all part of "something simple like fixing a broken spoke."
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Old 01-14-22, 08:32 AM
  #96  
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Bikes are simple to work on. At least all mine are

The only job I can't do is ream or face, the cost of the tool makes no sense but many shops don't have them either.
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Old 01-14-22, 08:48 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by W2.Sprague View Post
I know this... biking used to be a somewhat cheap form of outdoor enjoyment and exercise for all ages in road biking. Now a good bike with components most 30mi riders use is like buying a car... most "young" 20 somethings will not buy those bikes because of life events, starting a career, etc... I seem to see only middle class 30+ people probably single or with good incomes on good road bikes now. I have to work a part time job just to fund my expensive hobby and to justify to my wife because its not coming out of our main income. Even price of helmets, shorts, jerseys, gloves, not to mention super expensive repairs and replacements, etc. Last year I bet I spent at $1000 just on that stuff... And I thought golf and fishing was expensive.
Well, you could satisfy yourself with less... but you won't. There's a perfectly functioning road bike, in stock, in the local Decathlon store with 105, rim brakes, Fulcrum racing 6 wheels, alloy frame and CF fork for a bit less than a thousand Euro. It's a lot of bike for the money, really. Hell, you can get a perfectly adequate road bike with Microshift stuff on it (which works just fine) for half that.

The kit can be also had at all sorts of price points, too. I have a good amount of budget kit which is really perfectly adequate (mostly from the local Decathlon store, their upper end of the range is actually good), but I also have come Castelli kit and a nice bike with (mechanical) Dura-ace and CF wheels because, well, I am closer to 40 than to 30 and I can afford it. These are, however, to an extent, luxury goods.

The current 20 year olds shouldn't feel too bad; you don't get very much for the extra cash, and when they're closing on 40 imagine what sort of awesomeness will be on sale for the middle aged men in lycra then, eh?
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Old 01-14-22, 09:02 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by W2.Sprague View Post
Even price of helmets, shorts, jerseys, gloves, not to mention super expensive repairs and replacements, etc. Last year I bet I spent at $1000 just on that stuff... And I thought golf and fishing was expensive.
If you are spending that much on that stuff you are doing it wrong. Amazon is your friend.

Fishing is expensive. I fly fish. Fly rods are about $800-$1000. Fly reels $200-$300. Fly Line is $70-$80. A good pair of waders is $400-$500.

I have 4 fly rods and matching reels, 4 pairs of waders, miscellaneous other fly fishing gear such as chest pack, fly box , flies, tippet etc. Do the math.
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Old 01-14-22, 09:35 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
If you are spending that much on that stuff you are doing it wrong. Amazon is your friend.

Fishing is expensive. I fly fish. Fly rods are about $800-$1000. Fly reels $200-$300. Fly Line is $70-$80. A good pair of waders is $400-$500.

I have 4 fly rods and matching reels, 4 pairs of waders, miscellaneous other fly fishing gear such as chest pack, fly box , flies, tippet etc. Do the math.
For counterfeit chains, tires, etc.

It is really easy to spend $1000 on bike stuff in a year. 250 on a helmet, 200 on bibs, 150 for new tires every 2 months, chains, radar sensing light, etc.
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Old 01-14-22, 09:46 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
For counterfeit chains, tires, etc.

It is really easy to spend $1000 on bike stuff in a year. 250 on a helmet, 200 on bibs, 150 for new tires every 2 months, chains, radar sensing light, etc.
Should have used amazon. you could have gotten all that for $250 and had it in two days. lol
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