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Down To Business - Paul Stevens' Take

May 10, 2011, 10:10 p.m.
Posts: 8596
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

Paul is about as addicted to bikes, and the rider's lifestyle, as anyone I know. And he's got some opinions about how to feed your addiction.

Paulo's words and Todd Hellinga's photos here...

May 10, 2011, 10:39 p.m.
Posts: 334
Joined: Sept. 3, 2007

Nothing to add, absolutely plain and simple spot on PREACH. :fro:

Support your LBS. Period.

May 10, 2011, 11:05 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Oh how I enjoy reading these articles which seem to be springing up like mushrooms (and we know what mushrooms grow on don't we). You see I live in “Dingo Land” as Paulo puts it and I am enjoying every single moment of watching bike shops wither and die.
See here's the thing. Bike shops have been ripping us off down under for years and years. I can't speak for the US or Canada, but here our isolation has meant we have been a captive market until quite recently. Endemic greed on behalf of importers and retailers (not only in the biking industry but all retail) has seen consumers taking it up the backside – big time. Example: If we look at the price of an item being sold retail in the US, add 10% for tax, 5% for import duties and then add shipping costs - we still often pay 50% - 100% more if bought locally. There is no justification for that besides greed and exploitation. Like I said - it's not just bike shops - it's all shops. But bike shops get my special attention because while other retail shops often offer great service to go along with their prices - bike shops almost never do. In his article, Paulo talks about those passionate bike kids who hang around bike shops till they end up on the payroll. Spot on. They're bike nuts but all too often know nothing about customer service or sales. They do what they do because they want to hang out in bike shops all day - not help people get into the sport or make the right buying decision.
How many times have you walked into a bike shop only to feel instantly uncomfortable - like you've entered a clubhouse and you're not a member? Pretty common. More irritating still is how often we go into a bike shop only to be told something we know to be completely incorrect by the kid working there who is as adamant as he is arrogant Recent example was being told by the local bike shop that tubeless is a waste of time, is heavier and results in just as many punctures as tubes – all things I know to be patently untrue). The truth is that all too often we know more about the products they sell, what's new and what's happening in the bike world than they do yet they still regard you like a newbie who bought his first bike yesterday.
When it comes to servicing I made the decision years ago to become self sufficient. I bought the tools I needed and figured out how to make stuff work / fix things. It's not rocket science. I use local bike shops only when I absolutely have to or when I am too time poor to do something myself. Not everyone is like me of course and they will be the ones to use the bike shops and even keep them afloat.
So what do I think should happen?
I think bike shops seem to miss the point that the only opportunity that exists is to radically improve their service. This seems to be a foreign concept however. I can put my hand on my heart and say that if my local bike shops provided brilliant service and great place to visit - I'd be more inclined to support them (not with everything but certainly with some things). Another point they miss is that due to lower prices, the sport is more accessible to more people and allows people who may otherwise have only owned one bike or no bike, to own two or even three. That’s three times as many bikes that could get serviced / fixed if they provided a sufficiently professional service.
Why articles like this, while well meaning, make me laugh is because you will not stop this turning tide. In the words of Pearl Jam…. "it's evolution baby". So stop whinging and whining bike shops – things aren’t going to change and bleating about it won’t help either. Loyalty in retail is a myth. If you want loyalty – get a dog. If you want business – up your game, change your game or wither and perish. Personally, I won’t miss you.

May 11, 2011, 5:36 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Sept. 27, 2008

bah… It's good practice for businesses to fight for the best costs and deals, but for the consumers, it's not. Kinda irrational. If the price is right, support your LBS. If you're being ripped off, walk away! The changing game is sure hurting LBS. But just like everything, adaptation is needed. Something is wrong when parts cost more from the distributors than from some online shops.

May 11, 2011, 6:23 a.m.
Posts: 2117
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

Too many economic influences on my pocketbook to these days to justify NOT shopping online… especially with kids, mortgage, blah, blah, blah and all that entails. Gotta go where the deals are or the bike habit can't be supported. Those are the cold hard facts.

May 11, 2011, 6:58 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Oct. 5, 2006

The game has changed, evolve or die.

Fraser Valley Mountain Bikers Assoc.

May 11, 2011, 7:31 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Nov. 17, 2005

Well said Paulo! Never bought anything on line.

www.steedcycles.com

May 11, 2011, 7:44 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I think the gist of what he's saying though is, go ahead and buy online, but don't whine when it costs a lot to get it installed.

May 11, 2011, 7:56 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Sept. 20, 2006

Which way to the dead horse?

May 11, 2011, 8:56 a.m.
Posts: 4297
Joined: June 1, 2009

I think the gist of what he's saying though is, go ahead and buy online, but don't whine when it costs a lot to get it installed.

its funny how many NSMB e-fights solutions can be boiled down to: use common sense and be respectful.

May 11, 2011, 9:01 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

its funny how many NSMB e-fights solutions can be boiled down to: use common sense and be respectful.

two things that are sorely lacking these days.

May 11, 2011, 9:12 a.m.
Posts: 296
Joined: June 20, 2006

I really don't get this, I looked at a gravity dropper seat post in a local shop and it was $425. I bought it directly from gravity dropper for $290. That is a large enough difference to justify it. I don't see how I can buy a single one for that price but a bike store cannot get it for less. As far as paying more for bike parts to be put on that we buy online, why should we. There is a hourly rate, it should not cost anymore because I bought my parts online but want to pay a bike shop to do the work. I think they should appreciate the business and be happy I am not taking the time to learn to service or replace parts on my bike and pay them to do it. Things like tires or tubes I don't mind buying but when something cost 33% more and is already a few hundred bucks I would rather save the $100.

May 11, 2011, 9:18 a.m.
Posts: 26384
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

awaits Wayne P to post

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

May 11, 2011, 9:36 a.m.
Posts: 414
Joined: Jan. 18, 2004

Too many economic influences on my pocketbook to these days to justify NOT shopping online… especially with kids, mortgage, blah, blah, blah and all that entails. Gotta go where the deals are or the bike habit can't be supported. Those are the cold hard facts.

Werd!!!!!I I will always support my local shop, I have a vested intrest in making sure their kids are fed and clothed. That said when the owner tells me to buy
( insert product here) online cuz, "there is no way in hell", they would be able to match that price, you do as they say (07'Avid code Master cylinder w/ lever $35/ea vs. $125 shop cost). It's easy to blindly say," support your shop", if you are single and renting or have a job that leaves you wondering what to do with all your $$$$$, for the rest of us who are at a point in our lives where almost everything pulls at your income before your bike, the idea of of keeping up to, "….a collective who love to gawk over new shiny stuff, check the latest race results, and find out what hacksaw blade Aaron Gwin used to cut down his bars to give him the edge in South Africa.", are long since gone. We have returned to the essence of our, "darker, used-tire-scrounging, kraft-dinner-eating age..", because we put ourselves after the ones we care for. If we can save a bundle on the internet, we do. Cuz every $ saved there, means we can spend it on our 1st priority, our families. Sure, definitely support your local shop but NEVER be guilted into NOT using the internet to shopping for your parts by anyone. You MAY end up with a shit look from the LBS mechanic but if that's the case, find a business that's actually "in business". Because you are still establishing a relationship with them. Period. Any business that actively seeks to discourage "business" should contact my buddy, he handles bancruptcies. Welcome to the real world, where money talks and bullshit walks. ( flame retardant suit on )

Is it counter productive to ride on my exercise bike with a cocktail in hand?

May 11, 2011, 9:54 a.m.
Posts: 296
Joined: June 20, 2006

On a totally unrleated matter is anyone else seeing my post count show up as 4,294,967,280. No idea what is up with that.

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