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  1. #1
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    What is the appropriate response to local bike shop complaint about 275?

    I met a guy on a ride this weekend who works at the LBS. As a fellow Intense rider, we were both interested in each otherís bikes, but he definitely let me know that it stressed him out that 275ís mean that his shop would have to stock more tires, rims, and frames. Sure, Iíve read about this complaint before, but had never really come face to face, so to speak, with it before.

    My initial response was, Ďso, donít stock any of it, no problem, I order on-line mostly anywayí. To which he responded with the threatened demise of the LBS. My response to that was, again, no problem, I do all my own work anyway. I was more diplomatic than that, but our initial meeting didnít really start off too well. It did make me see why the big bike companies might be slow to accept 275/650B. They donít want to stress their shop owners to take on more inventory. (?)

    So, I put it to you all out there. What is the appropriate response to bike shop complaint about 275? In my head Iím thinking, ĎWhat? Discourage mountain bike evolution to make it easier on the shop owner?í I still donít totally get it. It doesnít seem to me like a few extra tires/rims/frames in a shop would put someone out of business. Those are the only parts that are different that a shop might want to have in stock. Whoís buying forks at their LBS? Or frames, for that matter? If you canít afford another grand to stock your shop with some tires, maybe youíve got more to worry about than another wheel size. And to be honest, with the crappy service Iíve gotten from some bike shops in the past, I personally, donít mind if there are a few less of them around. Seriously, am I missing something???

  2. #2
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    Well, it is more than just a few tires, rims, etc.
    Sure, there is money in the inventory itself but it is also the valuable space those products take up.

    That being said if you can not be flexible and keep up with the trends then you will probably go out of business eventually anyways.

    As far as internet causing the demise of the LBS and other types of brick and mortar stores, there is a lot of truth to that and even though you may do all your own maintenance, it will still eventually affect you. Does this mean you should stop ordering online and only buy local? No, it just means try and give your local shop a chance but it is your money so spend it how want. However, if you are only spending a few more dollars, it is well worth keeping it in your community vs some where completely different.

    Keeping money in your community = more jobs in your community = more money spent in your community = a more prosperous community.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  3. #3
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    Yes, buying local is absolutely the right thing to do. And I do buy things locally, when I need to. Theyíre just not 275 specific parts. I don't want this post to degenerate into an LBS v. On-Line retailer debate. I guess part of my thinking is that, the LBS has the option to wait until 275 has gained enough traction to warrant the shop space and inventory dollars for those parts. In other words, let the market dictate what to stock. Until then, donít complain. It only makes me want to shop elsewhere.

  4. #4
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    Wasn't trying to turn it in to that.
    I buy things online that I could buy locally if the the savings is enough.
    Also buy online if the local shops don't have/ can't get what I want.

    That being said, I can understand the frustration of the 275 to a LBS.
    You say you buy all your 275 parts online but other stuff locally.
    This is probably partially due to the fact that your LBS does not carry 275 parts.
    Which means if the 275 did not exist and you had to get 26er or 29er parts, you might buy them from him.
    So if he doesn't stock them, that is revenue lost.
    He is pretty much forced to get on the train or get left at the station.

    That being said, him griping about it isn't going to change the trend and may only alienate a local rider. A better response from him may have been something like "We don't carry a lot of 275 stuff but we can get it. Please give us a chance to earn your business and possibly if we increase our need we can start keeping the stuff in stock for you and other 275 riders".
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  5. #5
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    Man, I have totally had it with bike shops.

    1) if you are not an aficionado they look down upon you, if you know all that there is to know and want high end parts they become quickly annoyed.

    2) they are more expensive

    3) understanding all of the different aspects of bike repair is less than that of automotive repair or motorcycle repair or any sort of type of repair that I can think off.

    4) if they don't have a particular item they can get it for you within the week-- what cani not order online that won't get to my doorstep quicker and cheaper?

    5) I don't want a 14 year old building my wheel

    6) because you work or own a bike shop does not mean that you are entitled to all to all bicycle related profits in your catchment area, like I stole your birthright to your ancestral land.

    I am sure that most bike shops start out with the best intentions, I am retiring soon and would love to own one, but I don't see how I could compete with the Internet without compromising my honesty.

    Disclaimer: not all bike shop employees are bad, there seems to be a 60/40 ratio....

    Flame away

  6. #6
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    Re: What is the appropriate response to local bike shop complaint about 275?

    Managing inventory is tricky.

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  7. #7
    dwt
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    What is the appropriate response to local bike shop complaint about 275?

    Quote Originally Posted by titus247 View Post
    I met a guy on a ride this weekend who works at the LBS. As a fellow Intense rider, we were both interested in each otherís bikes, but he definitely let me know that it stressed him out that 275ís mean that his shop would have to stock more tires, rims, and frames. Sure, Iíve read about this complaint before, but had never really come face to face, so to speak, with it before.

    My initial response was, Ďso, donít stock any of it, no problem, I order on-line mostly anywayí. To which he responded with the threatened demise of the LBS. My response to that was, again, no problem, I do all my own work anyway. I was more diplomatic than that, but our initial meeting didnít really start off too well. It did make me see why the big bike companies might be slow to accept 275/650B. They donít want to stress their shop owners to take on more inventory. (?)

    So, I put it to you all out there. What is the appropriate response to bike shop complaint about 275? In my head Iím thinking, ĎWhat? Discourage mountain bike evolution to make it easier on the shop owner?í I still donít totally get it. It doesnít seem to me like a few extra tires/rims/frames in a shop would put someone out of business. Those are the only parts that are different that a shop might want to have in stock. Whoís buying forks at their LBS? Or frames, for that matter? If you canít afford another grand to stock your shop with some tires, maybe youíve got more to worry about than another wheel size. And to be honest, with the crappy service Iíve gotten from some bike shops in the past, I personally, donít mind if there are a few less of them around. Seriously, am I missing something???
    I am in total agreement. Where I am it's more like all the LBS and everybody else thinks the tweener wheel is nuts or a joke. Those who are done with 26 are on 29. Those who are not done with 26 never will be.

    So I do my own thing buying online, do my own wrenching and wheelbuilding, and hang out in this forum for opinions of like minded riders
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  8. #8
    NedwannaB
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    Heh..heh..

    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    Managing inventory is tricky.

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    Too funny. My response to him would have many asterisks on here!!
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  9. #9
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    Not so long ago, many shop owners voiced the same concerns about 29ers. Now, many of those same shops are selling far more 29ers than 26" bikes. I bet we'll see similar patterns with 27.5. Biggest fear: 26" bikes and the relevant parts won't be stocked, in favor of 27.5/29.

  10. #10
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    Why do you care to bother arguing with the lbs guys? Ive had shops do all kinds of weird, questionable things I dont agree with. The appropriate response is nothing. They can do whatever they want up to and including shutting their doors.

    Keeping money in your community = more jobs in your community = more money spent in your community = a more prosperous community.
    I absolutely beyond any doubt guarantee you that every community can prosper without an LBS in it

  11. #11
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    I gotta sound in on this because I feel like a couple of you have bad experiences with your LBS, but you gotta remember that you had a bad experience with someone who worked at the shop and it's not the LBS. I myself have had bad experiences with that LBS mech/snob/spandex guy. Always felt like he didn't have time to answer my questions, so I just kept comin in to ask and annoy and even got a little satisfaction out of it. I was a teen at the time (mid thirties now) and went back a few years ago cause I needed a tube and didn't want to wait. He was still there and still had no time for me. So I talked to someone else, one who shared my op of the guy and we got along rollingly. Another shop I used to go to in college was great when I was in college, but when I went back I didn't know anyone and was no longer hip enough. We're all people and some of us just have attitude and we all have opinions, which is why we be rolling along on our 650b convos.
    The right shop is the one where you feel you have comradre with someone there. I like having a local shop for good convo dispensing pieces of bike lore and wisdom, not the prices. I buy where I get the best deal, but sometimes I realize the price I pay at the shop is not just for the part but the stories, bits of knowledge, and comfort being around others who share my hobby.
    My current LBS has a few Jamis 650s and shares my opinion that some freedom can be found on 2 wheels of any size. In fact, I haven't talked to anyone there who was snobbish about wheel size, be they big, small, or in between. They know I won't buy everything from them, but I'll be there from time to time to get something.
    Appropriate response?... find the LBS that's right for you, share knowledge, splash some funds their way and avoid the ones that have close minded loops for brains.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I absolutely beyond any doubt guarantee you that every community can prosper without an LBS in it

    I agree and was speaking more on a generalized term.
    However, even though a LBS is not the driving force in a community, it is still part of it. If that LBS employs 5 people and closes down, there are potentially 5 people on unemployment.

    Although every business may not drive the community, every business is still an important part of it.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  13. #13
    No Stranger to danger....
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    Bike shops have to move with the times like every body else, or be out of business real quick
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  14. #14
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    Re: What is the appropriate response to local bike shop complaint about 275?

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Why do you care to bother arguing with the lbs guys? Ive had shops do all kinds of weird, questionable things I dont agree with. The appropriate response is nothing. They can do whatever they want up to and including shutting their doors.


    I absolutely beyond any doubt guarantee you that every community can prosper without an LBS in it
    A cool town sometimes reflects in the quality of the bike shop. I'm reminded for the Cycle hostel in Cumberland, BC. It's a part of the bike shop, dodge city cycles. Not a sure shot for what defines a cool town, but hey it can make up for other things.

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  15. #15
    bump and grind
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    Adapt or die. I mean a shop's product mix, its existence, is determined by market forces. If it cant keep up with the market, then it loses out.

    But its nice having a bike shop where they know you by name and can take care of your precious bike when you can't. Personally, I only buy online what isnt available in my LBS. But an attitude like the guy you described would make me move to a different shop/

  16. #16
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    I experiment with and modify my bikes so they are right for me. I could care less if it works for anyone else. I do most of my own maintenance. That's part of why I'm on the 650b forum.

    A local wrench scoffed at my 650b wheelset and tires about 18 months ago and was quick to dismiss them as an unsustainable fad. The same person is no longer working at that shop and is now at a shop that is one of three which stock production 650b bikes. How times change... I took his initial skepticism with a grain of salt of course but it was hard to mistake his 'don't assail me with such folly' attitude for some real appreciation that I was spending my money at a business where he worked... regardless of whether my wierdo 650b conversion met with his mechanical blessing or not. It's no wonder the bicycle industry has such a terrible reputation for customer service.

    At this point, I have little patience for shops where it doesn't seem like my $ is genuinely needed and wanted. Sometimes clues like a loose quick release or a tire mounted backward make it clear that wrenches can be dangerously lazy, and probably don't care about my safety, or my business. It has been my experience in multiple places over many years that many wrenches may be mechanically good, but lack basic social skills. Of course this is not always the case but I've found that many mechanics and even framebuilders come across in a condescending manner when disbursing 'knowledge'. I don't subsidize snide attitudes with MY money anymore, regardless of what the person may know or what they can do.

    I buy local often enough that I contribute to my community just fine. Most of the time I am not making major purposes, but minor things like tubes, sealant, tires, brakes, etc. The point though is that I try visit my lbs often enough, during the right times of year, that it helps them keep the lights on and the doors open in the off season. Because of the web, it takes more from a shop than cheap prices to keep my business.
    I still go the lbs for actual customer service, like maintenance I can't do myself, and current riding info. Those are the things that make me support a shop. United Bicycle Institute emphasizes personal skills first above all else, including mechanical skill. I'd rather learn from (and spend my $ on) someone who's actually nice than someone with the same knowledge who can't help being a jackass.

  17. #17
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    It means you have to divide things up a little more while making a bit more room, and/or carry a bit more stock at any given time. I don't think it's going to break a local bike store. As 650B finds it's place, bike stores will sell what their customers demand. It doesn't complicate things all that much more than it already is.

  18. #18
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    What is the appropriate response to local bike shop complaint about 275?

    Consumerism 101.....consumers will gravitate to products that work better for them and you either keep up or you're sol. The last thing to do is then turn around and complain. Nobody is holding a gun to your head to be in the industry. The swift and nimble will not just survive....but thrive.

  19. #19
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    I wouldn't take one guy's venting during a ride as official store policy (unless he's the owner or something). I would think any shop that is making a go of it in today's internet-driven market has to be open to at least ordering unusual/new/uncommon things if not stocking them.

    My shop doesn't have anything 650b on the floor, but I've ordered several 650b-specific things through them and they're completely cool with it. Well, to my face at least. But I've been a customer there for a long time--they know I like to buy weird ****...

  20. #20
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    Coincidentally enough, I took a call at the shop last night from a fairly new bike enthusiast who just recently went on his first trail ride and was asking about buying his first 'real' mountain bike. He was intrigued by all he'd read about the different wheel sizes and was particularly interested in the 650B's.

    I gave him some basic information about the wheel sizes, asked him about his previous experience with mountain bikes and his expectations of a new bike, told him about the bikes we carried (we're a Jamis and KHS dealer, which is primarily why he called us), answered questions about brands we didn't carry and offered him straightforward options and opinions about bikes online. I also let him know how much I liked my Dragon 650B and, since we were close to the same size, told him he could take her out for a spin if he wanted to. In other words, I did my job.

    Nothing more, and nothing less.

    I'm sorry for all the posters who've had negative experiences with their LBS. You shouldn't walk into any place of business and encounter snobbery. The high-school grom in the back stand should be learning how to assemble kids bikes properly, and not building wheels. Meeting up on a shop trailride shouldn't include uninvited criticism of your rig. Sneering is never permissible.

    I think there are simply good shops and bad shops. Good shops listen to questions and do their level best to answer them. The guy I talked to on the phone might come in and see what we have to offer him. Or he might not. Either way, after he hung up the phone, I hope that he felt we were a resource he could use, whether it was for bikes or parts or information or even riding partners. I hope he feels like he was more a part of something he was outside of before. I hope that we helped foster a sense of a community of riders - because that's what good bike shops should do.

    All right, I'll stop now. But I'll end with this: I freakin' love my job.
    Last edited by pedalmunky; 02-05-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I absolutely beyond any doubt guarantee you that every community can prosper without an LBS in it
    I call BS! My idea of a prosperous community includes lots of butts on bikes. The benefits of a bike friendly community are well documented.

    However, not everyone has the skills or inclination to wrench on their own bike. Not everyone everyone has the knowledge or inclination to hop on the internet and shop for everything they need to be whatever type of cyclist they want to be. These folks are SOL without an LBS (or bike co-op), whether or not some of the people that work at said LBS are jerks.

  22. #22
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    Fist of all internet shopping only makes up I will say 15% of total sales across the board (cycling and non cycling) - I have herd everything from 10% to 18% I think last year black Friday online sales were around 10% of total sales. Everybody talks about how much they are growing and yes they are growing but are still a small when compaired to the total numbers of dollars spent in stores. I did work in a bike shop with online sales and our totals agreed with what is the norm around 10% of total sales.

    Remember this group is a bit of a skewed population, we are all comfortable on the internet and are using an internet fourm to discuss things so it may seem that all high end parts are bought online and the LBS is only good for tubes, sealent and parts needed right away. On top of that this is specificly a 650b group so it is even more skewed towards internet sales because of availability of parts at this current time.

    Secondly it has always been that small shops have to cherry pick their distributors and lines, they can't carry all the products out there. For instance I would consider there to be 4 big (popular) tire manufactures out there that are available to just about any shop out there from their distributors. I don't even know a big shop that carries all 4 of them for both road and mountain tires, and small shops will cherry pick their brands as to what they ride. So what this means for the LBS is that I can see in the future small shops having to pick a stand and specialize on what type of mountain bike they want to carry based on their bike brands and what they ride themselves. Some stores may just want to focus on 29ers others may just focus on long travel 26 and 650b others may just focus on bikes under $1000 depending on what they are comfortable with. But for the big guys out there they will need to carry everything because that is what is expected of them and that is why they are the big guys.

    In response to your origional question take it with a grain of salt, the LBS will continue on from all the other people out there who are buying from a person and not a screen. And yes some LBS need to take a stand and carry what they believe in or have available to them.
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  23. #23
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    Most businesses keep stock based on demand. If 275 becomes popular enough it could mean additional revenue. I have noticed my LBS has really increased their mtn bike selection over the years. Many years ago I purchased auto parts from a local supplier that was big on domestic auto's. They always referred me to other stores for asian parts. They eventually went out of business because there stock was too narrow in focus.

  24. #24
    jrm
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    No need to respond

    just find another LBS.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  25. #25
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    Re: What is the appropriate response to local bike shop complaint about 275?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    just find another LBS.
    If only it were that simple. I have 5 or 6 in my city and still have to drive half an hour to a reputable LBS.

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