Click to Buy… Your New Bike

Words Cam McRae
Date Mar 2, 2016

Click to buy… a 2016 carbon fibre Enduro(!) mountain bicycle. Are you willing to throw down big cash to purchase this way? Bikes have been one of the last bastions of traditional retail sales. Most bike companies are terrified of having Joe consumer build their bike out of the box, while lawyers lick their lips at the prospect. Can a customer really be blamed if he doesn’t attach his bars properly, and then ends up collecting his teeth from the curb? Not in North America – and this seems to have kept the wolves at bay until now.

European brands have been navigating the tricky direct-to-consumer path for years. In the past this sales model was littered with sub-par brands hoping to dupe consumers with shiny derailleurs and bold graphics, all to disguise a crap frame. In the words of Rob Venables of Dunbar Cycles, a strong and well-stocked Vancouver bike shop that also sells online, “you can’t tell how good a bike is from the computer screen. You can’t see the smallest details and how they impact the overall experience on the bike. You can only compare price, derailleurs and the like. A bike is more than just a list of parts.”  

Euro brands like Canyon, YT and Indonesia’s Polygon have made great strides in legitimizing this avenue, by selling quality bikes at competitive prices. And they are now pushing even harder by sponsoring some of the best mountain bikers in the world, evidenced by YT’s recent signing of Aaron Gwin, Polygon’s support of Mick Hannah, Kurt Sorge and Sam Reynolds, and Canyon’s sponsorship of Fabien Barel and Darren Berrecloth.

Aaron and his YT Tues. Want to buy a used Demo?

Aaron and his YT Tues. Sponsoring Aaron is not an inexpensive proposition.

YT and Polygon’s entry into the North American market, with Canyon waiting in the wings, has forced the hand of two of the industry’s big three. First Trek and now Giant have entered the direct-to-consumer fray, with Specialized rumoured to pull the trigger soon. Each of these brands has an advantage the newcomers can’t compete with; vast dealer networks. If you live in Podunk, Montana and your Polygon craps out (all bike brands have occasional problems), it may be hard to get your bike back before your legs begin to wither. Trek, Giant and Specialized have dealers scattered around the world, so hopefully this competition will make them work even harder for you, to demonstrate their advantage.

Patrick Van Horne, Corporate Communications Manager of Giant USA, explained their evolving model this way: “The way consumers buy bikes and gear is rapidly advancing and we want to to help Giant retailers succeed. In order to stay competitive, they must be able to deliver product to consumers who are accustomed to buying online  – and make their margins.”

But how to keep these dealers happy? If you order a Trek or a Giant online, it will be shipped to your local dealer, who will take care of assembly and delivery, and provide service afterwards. That local bike shop (LBS) will get a portion their usual margin in return, less a marketing fee, without having to deal with big orders or difficult payment terms. It sounds like everybody can cash in, with some provisos.

James Wilson, a leading voice in the bike industry in Canada, and the owner of Obsession:Bikes on the North Shore, is generally optimistic; “I believe these direct consumer models (like Trek and Giant – Ed.) have some upside for marketing these brands of bikes and if managed properly will have a positive effect on the bike trade.” James runs the sort of shop that puts a priority on quality and he’s unsure if this new structure is compatible. He continues, “early presentations on the consumer direct model showed a fairly hefty commission being paid to Trek for marketing the sale through the online channel. These charges need to be at a level that permits the store to pay for quality techs and sustain the kind of operations that ensures that quality of work is not compromised. Flashy ad campaigns, expensive pro contracts and online channels are all marketing tools. At the end of the day we ride bikes not marketing tools.”

Patrick Van Horne doesn’t feel Giant’s model should even be labelled ‘direct-to-consumer.’ In his words, “consumers must pick up their bike purchases from Giant retailers.This helps preserve their relationship to a brick and mortar store. Just as importantly, it helps helps that brick and mortar store succeed in a marketplace that’s changing.”

Patrick pointed out that Giant’s model puts the focus on both the consumer and the retailer; “The consumer chooses the retailer who is to receive and build the purchased bicycle. That retailer gets the margin: 100% if they are a stocking retailer, and 80% if they haven’t stocked the bike series in the past 12 months. If a retailer’s inventory is sync’d with the SmartE-tailing’s ‘Where to Buy’ program (to which Giant is a subscriber) and the retailer has in his inventory the bike and size the consumer wants — that retailer has quite an advantage when the consumer chooses the receiving store.” (I did not receive a response from the Trek representative I was directed to).

Shop owners I have spoken to have also criticized online retailers for cannibalizing their efforts to support cycling locally, and to create new cyclists in the process. Dunbar Cycles supports local races, puts on trail days on the North Shore and sponsors up and coming athletes. YT in particular has put marketing dollars into big name athletes like Cam Zink, Andreu Lacondeguy and Aaron Gwin, but will they support cycling at a grassroots level? (I was in contact with YT representatives several times about this article but they were unable to answer my questions by press time).

Another issue is support for components that require warranty service or replacement. If a Shimano derailleur, Fox fork or SRAM shifter craps out on a bike sold by an online-only brand, will a local distributor or service centre be expected to deal with it, despite having gained nothing from the sale? If they are, costs will rise and these will inevitably reach the consumer (YT has plans for service centres in North America to address these issues).

As a consumer I appreciate choice. Being able to research and compare products online has changed the way I shop for everything from music to Scotch. But I also miss the days when my LBS stocked seven different barend models in different lengths and colours. These days the bike shop often has to order what the consumer needs from their local distributor, killing the immediate purchase pleasure and making it impossible to paw and fawn over the part in question – but bikes have been an exception until recently.

Consumers who are able to build and maintain their own bikes have always had an advantage. Buying used parts and closeouts from shops, building wheels etc. to build or upgrade your machine is a way to get the bike you want for less. Now these riders can buy a complete bike online and perhaps save some money. But riders without the skills required to build and maintain their own bikes are also going to be lured by these brands, and they might find themselves stranded.

What is clear is that the direct to consumer model shouldn’t negatively affect the big brands’ ability to survive. What is less certain is whether online sales will be another gut punch for your LBS, and what impact that will have on the average consumer.

The biggest question is: will this be good for trails, riders and the sport of mountain biking in the long run? 


Is the future looking bright for consumers? For your LBS?

Comments

carl-jacks
0
Carl Jacks  - Jan. 3, 2017, 9:38 p.m.

This past summer I convinced myself that I was in the market for a new ride. My first 100% NEW complete bike that I could call all my own instead of worrying about the slightly used frame I scored off a friend of a friend, the supposedly rebuilt forks I found on pinkbike, a dinged wheelset off ebay, a Chris King headset at the pawnshop, and so on…

After catching up on all the wild changes in the industry, I figured the time was right to purchase. This coming from a guy who was about a decade "out of the loop" after moving on from when I used to wrench for several LBS's, despite me still owning all my own tools. The only thing holding me back from walking into a shop and dropping 5k on one of the bike's I was interested in, was confidence in my idea that buying new would actually inspire me to ride again. Should it not, then the 5K spent was really going to hurt.

Naturally, I turned to the internet and started reading reviews, comparing prices, components etc. It wasn't long before I narrowed it down to YT and the base model Capra. The Capra had everything going for it. Build spec, positive reviews (lots of them, one even from a guy exactly my size) and of course the price which was almost $1500 less than all of the other bikes I had put on my wish list. Interesting thing was, I had never heard of YT until 2 old riding buddies who like me were now occupied with other life priorities, whispered the name into my ear. Being handy with my tools, I was never in need of a LBS service plan to support any floor purchase I could have made. Not to mention, Im 6'3″ and found that few LBS's carried XL sized bikes. Demoing a smaller size, followed by ordering the proper size and thus committing to purchasing is a pretty lame process of retailing big ticket bikes IMO.

Being a pretty savvy online shopper (I live in the boonies), I was already comfortable with the idea of buying big ticket items online, however, nothing to the extent of a whole bike. Months later, I can easily say that Im more stoked than ever with the purchase of my Capra. Having spent much less than I was budgeting for and yet getting exactly what I was after has left me confident in my decision to buy a direct-2-consumer bike wholly based on build spec and user reviews. Not to mention, I know have $1500 to spend at the LBS on new riding apparel, new tires, a hitch rack, new helmet etc… The kind of products that LBS's actually have in stock and make a decent profit on 😉

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jon-thomas
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jon thomas  - Jan. 1, 2017, 5:15 a.m.

Living here in podunk Montana you have to service everything yourself anyways… Except Gravity Dropper seatposts, they are locally grown.

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chantal-felten
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Chantal Felten  - March 4, 2016, 5:07 p.m.

I just recently read an article that was discussing the price of bikes and it had a great little tidbit about why going to a bike shop costs more then an online deal…it basically compared getting your tube from a bike shop to getting a cup of coffee from the coffee shop instead of making your own at home….you pay for coffee when you feel like it, you pay for the confidence , the right then and there. And in the case of a bike shop similar to a good car me ha if you pay for the parties experience and hopefully good advice. There will always been great bike shops…what the online sales will do away is shitty, poor service bike shops, and we all know they exists and I for one won't miss them. Otherwise, I am happy to buy my lube at the shop when I pick up my bike from a checkup/fix up….and yes I know I pay more then online….I don't really buy new bikes, but man I would for sure be happy if the bike shops would embrace selling used bikes …kinda like a car…certified used :)… Vs pinkbike..who knows what you just paid for buy and sell

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - March 7, 2016, 1:12 p.m.

Certified Used is an interesting idea…although the used market would be a murky one these days if you had to choose what to buy and how much it would sell for. There would be a hell of a lot of sexy 26″ bikes out there going for a lot less than they 'should'…

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avner-b
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Avner B.  - March 3, 2016, 11:15 a.m.

Last year I ordered a Canyon Strive.
To me it was a no brainer.
Beside the many positive reviews, the bike cost as much as an entry level model from the traditional brands but came decked out with high level components, nothing needs to be upgraded.
I calculated that the bikes price tag was roughly equal to to cost of just the components. That means that even if the frame turned out to be a total flop, I could buy a frame of my choice and transfer the components to it. I would have a dream build and wouldn't spend any more than I would had I gone that route from the start, even though I acquired an "extra" frame.

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steve
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Steve  - Jan. 1, 2017, 5:57 a.m.

that was my exact logic when i ordered my Canyon Spectral… still loving it 2 years later. Would very happily order another Canyon or YT for the next bike.

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qduffy
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qduffy  - March 2, 2016, 5:04 p.m.

I've never had a decent test ride from a bike shop, or even been offered something beyond the 'take it around the block' - not saying they don't happen, just not to me.

I've had decent service from bike shops, but my best service (and support) in the last several years has been from parts manufacturers or the bike company itself, not the stores that sold me my bikes. Email CaneCreek or Ibis? Response within hours, sometimes minutes. Contact the store where I actually plunked down the cash? Not so much. They're like 1 for 4 on even responding, and 0 for 4 on being helpful. I hardly bother dealing with them any more, ergo my consumer relationship IS practically direct to the manufacturer now.

Not to make this a specific endorsement either, but Outerbike in Whistler last year was an amazing (if slightly pricey) opportunity to test real bikes in real conditions. I found the bike I liked, and bought it with a high degree of confidence knowing it would work on the kinds of trails I ride.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - March 7, 2016, 1:03 p.m.

You're on the shore, aren't you, qduffy? I know of more than a few shops that stock demos in their most popular models.

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qduffy
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qduffy  - March 7, 2016, 1:26 p.m.

In Vancouver, but yeah.

This feels a bit deja vu for some reason. We might have had similar conversation in a previous thread. 🙂

I haven't been to a shop - yet - but I'm totally willing to believe there are those shops - that will let me take one of their babies out for a real ride. I have paid for demos (I liked the 24 hour demo of a Pivot Mach 6 at Obsession for example) but I would surmise that's a bit different from a normal test ride. It took paperwork and planning and $42.

I get that shops don't want $7k worth of new bike being ridden down Boogieman. Or worse yet, stolen with fake id/Credit card. Totally understandable. As manufacturers put together their own demo days, it's starting to feel like the advantages that LBSs have over direct market (i.e. a demo fleet) have evaporated. My experiences may be entirely atypical of course. I'll throw that caveat out there.

It feels like those LBS/direct market barriers are starting to fall as many LBSs, even ones that are frequently touted as really good, have also frequently failed my customer service requirements whereas the manufacturers (even when I purchased at a bike shop) have been bend-over-backwards helpful.

All that being said, I still bought my bike at a bike shop.

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0
MeVP  - March 2, 2016, 4:56 p.m.

Too many words when you could have said in in one word: price.

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andy-eunson
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Andy Eunson  - March 2, 2016, 12:17 p.m.

I used to think that I would never buy anything complex on line such as a fork or frame due to warranty considerations. I always figured it would be better to able to explain to a bike shop employee exactly what was wrong and why I should have it repaired or replaced. I thought it would be too easy for a person on the end of a computer screen to ignore me. But I was always disappointed that a distributor or manufacturer made me pay shipping to have a faulty thing repaired.

I recall working at West Point Cycles in the 80's and a basement full of bent Stumpjumpers. The shop warranted many of those and because that shop sold many containers of those bikes, they were able to do that and Specialized honored the warranty. I think initially they were reluctant to warrant a frame that had forks bent forward with a failed head tube as if it had been jumped. I think the shop pointed out that we had sold more of their bikes than any other shop in North America and that they were mountain bikes after all and then they relented. I wonder why today's shops don't dictate that to distributors more. I got a fork with loose bushings once and a number of creaking crowns I think I had to pay shipping to and from for all those. Once for sure the shop simply replaced the fork from stock because it was a new bike.

If on line sales mean better service, which I have some difficulty with accepting, then that sort of sales will do well. It is hard to escape better on line pricing. I do think it is the future though like it or not.

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steve
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Steve  - Jan. 1, 2017, 6:05 a.m.

i had an issue with a sram crank on my Canyon… contacted canyon by phone, they arranged for a courier to pick it up, it was sent to Sram, repaired, and returned back by courier to my house, within 5 days …. free of charge…. super quick, and super easy. more inconvenient, and time consuming to go to a store in my experience.

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neil-carnegie
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Neil Carnegie  - March 2, 2016, 10:45 a.m.

To me, the whole "direct sales" thing from Giant and Trek is a total red herring anyway. If they are doing it to try and address the shift in the marketplace towards brands like YT, Canyon etc then they are going about it totally wrong. It hardly needs saying but the rise of the direct sales brands is not because people particularly like the direct sales model or like internet buying. It is simply because the new brands smashing into the market are offering a comparable product at getting on for half the price (here in Europe) of any of the big 'store' brands equivalent offerings. The problem is not the mechanics of buying the bike, it's the mental sticker prices on high end bikes from the established brands - Giant/Trek etc don't need to go direct to compete for those customers, they need to work out how to get the prices down.

I'm not sure who Giant are trying to convince (themselves perhaps) that this will help, but I simply can't see why anyone would buy a Giant direct at RRP when they could go to a decent bike shop, see the thing, sit on it, maybe demo it, and get local aftersales backup for the same price (or perhaps less if the store does a bit of discount). Until the big brands decide to compete on price, the real "direct" sales brands are going to continue to grow their market and cut into the space occupied by the traditional bike companies.. If the big brands do start to go truly direct with the associated price cuts to the consumer that's a different thing but while they hold their prices, nothing much is going to improve for them.

The constantly flipping standards has also not helped here IMO. A few years ago you could at least tell yourself you were going to keep a bike for a long time (or be able to re-sell) if you were planning on buying something expensive. Now it feels like bikes are going out of date all the time, wheel sizes still seem to be in flux and the second hand market is devalued massively, which makes the thought of spending a lot of money on a bike a lot less appealing. Deliberately or not the rate of change from the bike industry is actively hurting it right now I think.

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drewm
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DrewM  - March 2, 2016, 9:06 a.m.

An interesting read for sure. I think it's a little bit cheeky for anyone from Giant USA to be commenting about helping brick-and-mortar bike shops when they seem to be working on streamlining and vertically integrating their dealer network one way or another ( ), but it is definitely a changing marketplace.

Reply

e-bike-rider
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E bike rider  - March 2, 2016, 9:04 a.m.

Much of this argument only holds true if you assume every LBS is a race organizing, trail funding, bike demo-ing, and generally angelic business. The fact of the matter is many (or in my experience, most) bike shops just suck.

I used to work at a major bike shop chain in the Northeast. They dealt Trek and Specialized, as well as some smaller companies. Despite being a major shop, the most you could demo one of their bikes was by just riding it around the parking lot. And that was only if they had it in stock-most of the time the bike you wanted would have to be special ordered, and if you did that you had to commit to paying for it before you even could touch it.

Most bike shops are like this. They cannot afford to have every model they sell in stock or for demo, so if you want it you have to pay at least a significant deposit before they'll order it for you. And if you demo it and decide you don't want it, they're stuck selling what is now a used bike.

It's time to cut high-end bike sales out of the bike shop.

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nopow
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Nopow  - March 2, 2016, 10:30 a.m.

Sam. I totally agree with you. I never go to a LBS as I have learned to do everything they can do and better. And I have never bought a bike locally because of costs and politics and my sons race at a highest level, and yes I have talked to them all! A LBS seems like a good place to be if you want to live the Enduro lifestyle and ride your bike with pro deals!

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jack-hennigan
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Jack Hennigan  - March 2, 2016, 8:44 a.m.

I agree and disagree with your article. I truly believe that bike shops are the heart of many bike communities and it is essential that they survive.

So many of my road trips have been improved with trail advice from local shops and where the best mexican food, craft beer and bike friendly hotels can be found to help support the local economies.

In my home town, I have seen the scene in Calgary improved and feel grateful to how the majority of shops understand the need to support their local trails. Looking to the Shore, the sponsorship of trail by shops and groups has been inspiring.

The point of the article I do not agree with is with the big brands supporting the trails- They do not support the trails as much as they should. Local shops put way more effort into the trails than the big bikes brands do and the bike companies are profiting way more than the local shops.

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drewm
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DrewM  - March 2, 2016, 9:21 a.m.

Great post Happy Jack. Bike shops that are focused solely on the luxury end of cycling (high end road and mountain) may disagree with me, but with the huge number of people in North America adopting cycling as part of their daily lives, not just their lifestyle, I think its a great time to be a bike shop. Yes, you are profiting less on parts/accessories/clothing in the global economy, but bikes are forever getting more complicated and there is money to be made in service.

Local shops that are dynamic, offer great service, support their communities, and are willing to work for their customers will thrive even in a challenging market place… good shops definitely aren't going anywhere.

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GladePlayboy
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Rob Gretchen  - March 3, 2016, 6:53 a.m.

Amen to that Drew…. that's why we are opening Cycology Bikes in Castlegar… the point is service and to serve as a cultural hub for cycling in the community. That's the future of the LBS IMO.

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drewm
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DrewM  - March 3, 2016, 11:11 a.m.

I think you guys will be very successful Rob: build off-of and on top-of the existing bike culture, provide great service, and make enough money to live well. Just don't forget to ride your bike A LOT and the rest will come naturally.

If you ever start feeling entitled to your customers' business let me know and for a small fee I'll call you every Friday with a memento mori.

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gade
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Gade  - March 2, 2016, 8:24 a.m.

I think a lot of the changes we are seeing are coming from a conscious decision on the component manufacturers part to encourage cyclists to buy whole bikes new instead of holding on to old bikes, and upgrade them over time. The rapid proliferation and changes to standards (wheel sizes, axles, BBs, freehubs, etc) pushes riders to hold off on upgrades, and just buy a whole new bike instead (if you are thinking of buying a fancy new wheelset - what do you think the odds you can use it on your next bike are?). This puts pressure on shops in a number of ways. One, stocking components is a risky endeavour - if you don't sell it this year, it might not be compatible with next years bikes. Secondly, if consumers are looking for new bikes more frequently they are going to be extra price sensitive - helping the online brands even more.

Reply

muldman
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muldman  - March 2, 2016, 8:15 a.m.

A couple of comments on this:

First, "you can’t tell how good a bike is from the computer screen." True. It would be ideal to see the bike, take it for a test ride, and be able to make a decision that way. Except that the last 2 bikes I have purchased at the LBS I needed to pre-order several months in advance sight-unseen, hope my decision was correct, and not have any idea of when the bike would actually show up. All I could go by was online reviews and the details on the manufacturers website. So not much different from a pure "online" bike company.

Second, it appears that most of the new direct-to-consumer companies are not shipping you a bike that needs assembly, like the majority of brands do when they ship to the LBS. They are doing full builds of the bikes just like your LBS would, then taking off the wheels and handlebars and shipping it to you. There is less assembly involved in one of these bikes than there is when you pack your bike to ship it on vacation.

Third, if a component craps out under warranty, I would expect the direct-to- consumer company to deal with it. Yes, I have bought a bike like this in the past. A shifter died. I send them a photo, they FedEx'd me a new one and offered to refund the cost of having it replaced at a bike shop if I couldn't do it myself. I doubt all companies have that level of service, but it's not an insurmountable problem. (I don't know if they would have been as accommodating if it was a shock that died, but it couldn't have been worse than the 4+ weeks it took to get it repaired through my LBS and distributor when it happened at the start of the season…)

I absolutely, 100% want to buy my bikes from my LBS. I want them to be there when I need service. I want them to be a part of my community. But the direct- to-consumer guys are making it so easy to stray…

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - March 2, 2016, 8:23 a.m.

Good points, muldman. One thing that puts you in the minority, in terms of the online sales equation if not among our readers, is that if you are so keen to get your hands on a new bike that you're willing to order several months out, the sight unseen, feel unfelt situation is something you expected - just like the guy that orders his Enzo from Ferrari a year in advance. Your point is valid, it just doesn't apply to the majority of bike buyers.

Who was the manufacturer that sent you the shifter? Might as well give credit for good service like that where it's due.

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muldman
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muldman  - March 2, 2016, 8:34 a.m.

Fezzari.

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chantal-felten
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Chantal Felten  - March 2, 2016, 11:15 a.m.

Actually I dont think it is that uncommon to buy a bike sight unseen. I have done it multiple times as well - sure I would like to try bikes before I buy them, but quite often the size and exact model is not on a shop floor, so even if you buy from a shop its not a guarantee that you get to test ride.

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walleater
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walleater  - March 2, 2016, 10:11 p.m.

Yep, I've test ridden one bike since 1989! It's not like you can learn much by riding around a car park.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - March 7, 2016, 12:58 p.m.

I didn't say it was uncommon, at least among mtb enthusiasts. But even for high-end shops that focus on MTB, they'll still sell a lot of bikes to riders that aren't that serious and that buyer - a less experienced, possibly re- entering MTB or just cycling in general - is going to need to ride that bike. They'll switch shops or simply brands/models until they find something in stock.
Again - it's not the type reading NSMB daily that I'm referring to, but the type I am referring to has a big impact on the way the larger brands do business.

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Brocklanders
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yahs  - March 2, 2016, 7:28 a.m.

One of my BFF's who relocated to Switzerland bought a YT carbon DH bike from these guys. He brought it to Kicking Horse last summer. Great bike at a really good price. He had to buy it online also even though Germany is right next door.

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tuskalooa
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tuskalooa  - March 2, 2016, 6:21 a.m.

Nice article - in addition by reducing prices via online sales the 2nd hand market has fallen drastically. It's like a bad dream at times.

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craw
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Cr4w  - March 2, 2016, 8:20 a.m.

The used market is so weak now that I'm less inclined to buy new stuff, more inclined to run everything I have into the ground.

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xlf-v
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xlf v  - March 2, 2016, 3:03 a.m.

To be honest I don't think that those big brands should stay untouched. Many of them do use their leverage (for example exceptionally high prices, or no price drops even years after the model is outdated). Look at those big car brands like VW, their margin per car is about 500€, on a 10000€ bike the margin per component might be 500€ (ok maybe not on something like bars and seats but on the big components that actually could be the case). In Germany (where YT and Canyon are coming from, two of the biggest direct to consumer brands, maybe the fist ones forcing this business forward) not that many people would start a law case because they did a mistake building up their own bikes (for example if you change a handlebar and don't mount the faceplate correctly and therefore the handlebar then decides to take its own little ride down the mountain, its obviously your fault) and if in the US people do this, I can absolutely understand that brands wont take the risk of paying multiple thousands of Dollars afterwards for the health bills, if whatever happened are not their faults. And what are the benefits of a shop close by? (I do really like shops but they have to step up their game, at least here in Germany) If i want to ride a bike not only on the parking lot - I cant differentiate one enduro or freeride bike from another. The differences and problems or strengths the bike might have cant be felt there. Sometimes bad shop owners or employees even influence your buying decision in a bad way by trying to sell you the most expensive bike, not the best suited for you and your trails. I for example wont buy a complete bike in my local shop because the Trek, Cube, Rotwild and Specialized shop is really not the best (I'm really friendly there), I can't change parts to my liking (for example a 160mm fox 36 for a 170mm one) - at least this is the case in one shop - and I just cant see the benefits from having a shop close by (maybe if i have to buy a shifting cable, but I'd do that only if really necessary, because the prices are just twice as high compared to the internet price) and I cant afford that as a student and there is no such thing as if you come regularly to our shop and your bike is serviced once a year the warranty doesn't expire and we change your bearings for free and just care about your bike, but that just isnt the case even when buying bikes that are as expensive as small new cars, I have to do that ob my own. I'd really like to start an discussion here because i don't even understand what shops are for, now that im thinking about it (at least in some cases… some of them are ok). With YT i had the experience of a friendly customer service, they answered my questions in about 2 days the bike is very well engineered with large bearings (really important if you think about that a SKF or FAG bearing costs like 10€ and small ones just blow apart because they cant take the load) they have a great progression ratio to them the pedaling efficiency is good and constant development is happening (maybe not layout wise but they just changed from carbon to aluminium) and the build kit is most of the time really good, and now the most important part: they just cost half as much as an comparable or even worse bike from the big brands. I'd like to take Trek a little bit out of this because the engineering on their bikes is good but they sometimes do little mistakes component wise, but hey, that may happen sometimes. I'll just take specialized as an counter example: look at the Enduro: nothing much has changed since since like 5 years, the suspension layout really isn't great (not for racers, nor for recreative riders) durability is ok, the price is huge and some components are just shit. And why cant I change the standard speced fork for a longer or shorter one if im byuing the bike at a shop, whats so hard about that-they can send the other one back to fox with an certificate that it just has been delivered with a complete bike and hasn't been used or better the brands send their frames and recommended packages and you can build up your bike with an acceptable price (not this stuff right now where the frameset is sent with a shock I don't want, a dropper I don't want, the frame only is like 3-5000€ and the rest of the build due to high component prices will be like 7000€ only for components adding to that price. Look at car or planes or basically everything else … you have a chassis (that can be changed sometimes - look at airbus A 320 series) and can add in your components, another engine, another color, different exterior package looks painting stuff like that if you look at pcs you can add components the way you want (and that is not different compared to bikes) but if you do it that way you can save a lot of money and those parts usually drop prices after one year (in a huge manner). Id just like to hear an answer from you, some discussion from some bike shop owners or workers, and want to apologize for my weird writing style and bad English beforehand.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - March 2, 2016, 8:28 a.m.

Well that was a novel. You're likely to get responses if you re-arrange that wall of text and add some line breaks. Your english is fine! Just make it easier to read. You also make some assumptions about margins and the bike industry that aren't correct. It's too hard to address them in that wall of text, though.

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powderturns
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Mike  - March 6, 2016, 5:40 a.m.

Ok. What are realistic margins on, let's say a high end carbon frame and a high end complete bike?

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - March 7, 2016, 1:14 p.m.

At wholesale or retail?

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powderturns
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Mike  - March 8, 2016, 7:19 a.m.

What's landed cost into USA/Can vs wholesale vs full retail asking price (prior to bro deals).

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c-madrigal
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C MADRIGAL  - March 2, 2016, 12:41 a.m.

Aaron's Bike is a YT Tues ('do it' in German)

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