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  1. #1
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    Upset REI to Sale GT Bikes

    I think this sucks but the rumor at Interbike is that REI is going to sale GT bikes in 2009. This will only hurt the brand. They will have to cheapen the bikes and that will be the death of the brand. Look at Iron Horse.

  2. #2
    bike dork
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    I don't know - check out their bikes for 2009. They've come a long way (or so it would seem) since the Schwinn buyout/collapse/Pacific purchase. It looks like they're putting a lot of $$ and time behind the bikes again. Word on the street is they are really working to bring the brand back in the US. Think grassroots marketing to elevate the brand name among cyclists.

    Off the GT topic - REI isn't the worst thing in the world, nor are they the worst company either (they give a lot of money to groups who work to protect trail access, etc). LBS people love to ***** about REI because they sell bikes. Big deal, so does EMS, Dick's, WallyMart, K Mart, etc..

    REI's business model is sound and they cater to people who don't, or won't, just walk into the local LBS and plunk down an assload of cash on a new bike/lifestyle. Some of that might be because the atmosphere at their LBS scares off newbies, some of it might be the perceived "bargain" at REI. Whatever, every person and situation is different. They sell bikes to people looking to get into outdoor lifestyles, not necessarily "cyclists". That's not really good or bad, it's just the demographic they serve best.

    The positive way to view REI if you work in a LBS is that they're like a gateway drug to more serious cycling for some of their customers. And, another plus, the bikes are put together and serviced by folks who have a clue (at least locally). If someone walks into REI and spends a little more cash than at ***** they may enjoy trail riding (or road riding) and they may look to their LBS for the next, bigger, purchase. Most department store bikes can barely make it to the trailhead, and they can ruin someone's interest in cycling faster than you can say "oh my god my fork is backwards!".

    Ever ridden a Novara? They're ugly as sin but they ain't bad bikes and they probably come from the same factorys in Taiwan that GT uses. They're commuter bikes kick ass, and the MTBs really aren't that bad considering who they are generally sold to.
    Full disclosure; I sell and repair bikes for a living: http://blackstonebicycles.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    REI also sells sub 400 dollar Scott mountain bikes but the Scott Scale and Spark are still considered two of the hot set ups for XC and off road triathlon. I don't think it will hurt the brand.
    Performance has been selling GT's for the past I don't know how many years and I think they saved the brand when no one else was selling them.
    I think the new GT's will stand on their own and sales of the lower priced models won't hurt anything.

  4. #4
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    performance bike already sells GT, how much worse could it get

    big store selling good bikes = good bikes for cheap. nothing wrong with that.

  5. #5
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    I agree,

    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    performance bike already sells GT, how much worse could it get

    big store selling good bikes = good bikes for cheap. nothing wrong with that.
    Besides my guess is that they will only be selling a small range of GT's.Like $300 to maybe $1200 or $1800......I'd rather REI over say Dick's or Walmart right?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerme
    I think this sucks but the rumor at Interbike is that REI is going to sale GT bikes in 2009. This will only hurt the brand. They will have to cheapen the bikes and that will be the death of the brand. Look at Iron Horse.
    Not all bikes in REI are crap. Novara? Yes but they sell pretty decent cannondales too like the prophet, rush and rize. I am actually thinking of buying a Rize from them since i will get 10% back at the end of the year. Not to mention that their environment is not as bad as some LBS where you walk in and can barely get decent service but they still expect me to spend big $$$.

  7. #7
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    Not a problem at all. It's a good thing!
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    I love learning new things in my pajamas.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerme
    I think this sucks but the rumor at Interbike is that REI is going to sale GT bikes in 2009. This will only hurt the brand. They will have to cheapen the bikes and that will be the death of the brand. Look at Iron Horse.

    REI sells a lot of different brands. The Atlanta stores sold ( still sell?) Specialized for years. REI selling GT will not kill the brand.

  9. #9
    Awesome not Rad
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerme
    I think this sucks but the rumor at Interbike is that REI is going to sale GT bikes in 2009. This will only hurt the brand. They will have to cheapen the bikes and that will be the death of the brand. Look at Iron Horse.

    Look at it from this perspective...
    Spec and Trek have almost completely bought up all of the US's A and B dealers and the number of IBD's continues to shrink year after year not to mention what the current US economic forecast could do to the "small business owners"
    So Mr. smart distribution channel guy, how does GT grow its business? Sell direct on the internet? Open their own retail stores and turn into bike Nazi like Trek and Spec.... or partner with an amazing retailer who has one of the absolute best retail shoping experiences of ANY, combined with an expert service center. One should also note the lack of the typical tattooed, cool guy shaved leg, big ear ring, 0 body fat, over discriminating bike shop employee/ surley mechanic which typically intimidates new cycling consumers and especially the women cyclist avid or novice.

    So, what would you suggest? or are you just a whinny Biat#*

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjohn

    So, what would you suggest? or are you just a whinny Biat#*
    Thats a little harsh. I think simply explaining how REI chooses bike brands is simple enough.

    BTW, I DID ask my local REI why they chose Specialized. The answer went something like this:

    REI, as a company, does not promote a particular non-REI bike brand. In EACH individual city where REI is located, they may or may not be able to offer a particular brand depending on the number of dealers for different brands in an area. For example, in our area, Performance sells GT and there are three Performance stores. It is not likely that REI will sell GT in our area.

    They have to negotiate to become an xxxx dealer. If there are already too many xxx dealers in an area, then their request to become one will be denied.

    So, you'll find them selling Specialized in once city, GT in another city, Cannondale in yet another city. This is GOOD, and does not hurt the brands of the bikes that they sell. To the OP: if anything, it means that there is a relative dearth of GT dealers in your area. This is good for GT owners in your area because now REI will be able to handle GT warranty claims... where there might not have even been a dealer before.

  11. #11
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    rei is an awesome experience man, that got a whole bunch of cool stuff and they carry top brands of all products, so considering the fact that gt wants to become a top brand again, they are on the right track.

  12. #12
    slamma
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    Bikerme aka choad....There is nothing wrong with REI, actualy the NOVARA brand is NOT crap anymore if you look at 2008 Method, for exampe or actualy seen one in person you would change your mind, besides, you get a lifetime warranty with REI's products so what are you Blitching about, cry baby.
    visions come not to polluted eyes.

  13. #13
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    I think its an awesome idea, REI also sold $2000+ Marin Quad Links bikes last year online. I think this will be good for people that cant get their LBS to stock nicer GT bikes.

  14. #14
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    I think GT in REI is a good thing, nice stores and good people. Not your typical LBS. Also, let us not forget that Trek's largest dealer is Scheels Sporting goods which is a few steps below REI or gasp! Performance.

  15. #15
    Murag Kanding!!!
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    Plus REI has the best return policy! Satisfaction guaranteed.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    Plebe
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    Did you know that Ellsworth is an REI vender as well?

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