LBS looking to become more road friendly
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  1. #1
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    LBS looking to become more road friendly

    A bike shop opened about four years ago within a mile of my house. I stop in for odds and ends every now and then, but it's primarily mountain bike oriented. I stopped in this afternoon while I was riding. The shop has a new manager, and he's looking to focus more on high-end road bikes. I told him I'd stop in to talk when I had more time. He mentioned that he's thinking about Giant frames but is also thinking about adding a more exotic line. The shop is on the smallish side and locateed in a fairly affluent neighborhood. I'd love to see him succeed with his plans; we're in desperate need of a good road shop in my neck of the woods. What suggestions would you give to someone with these seemingly good intentions?

  2. #2
    My back hurts
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    Doh! (Moderator?)

    This should have been posted in the general forum. However, any responses from folks currently browsing the non forum would be appreciated.

  3. #3

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    Sounds like he's courting disaster...

    ...by focusing on high-end road bikes. Of course, that's all contingent on the proximity of other dealers and what line(s) they carry, and how competitive they are. There was a shop close to me in Simi Valley (Bicycle Adrenaline) that dealt exclusively in fairly high-zoot road bikes, run by a really nice guy who was very accommodating and reasonable and made a point of carrying a good selection of choice parts--he lasted about 2 years. He was at the extreme end of the spectrum, but still makes a pretty good illustration of the weak demand for the lust object class of bikes. The only way I can see someone making a go of it is to somehow make a name in the road community, by advertising aggressively or sponsoring racers or hosting regular rides. It's a niche market, and he's got to do something to give riders a reason to go to him instead of the other (few) high-end dealers in SoCal.

  4. #4
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    Sounds like he's trying to 'exploit a market niche', rather than actually catering to the roadie clientele. If he doesn't carry more affordable lines of equipment, he'll fail no matter how affluent the area is.
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  5. #5
    Every little counts...
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    Giant for carbon, Casati for Al and steel. Back it up with service, service, service. Real things in the store that roadies can use, and not all the junk that they order from the bike shows.

    Build good wheels, give good advice, and support your work.

    You wanted an opinion, you got it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey-mac
    A bike shop opened about four years ago within a mile of my house. I stop in for odds and ends every now and then, but it's primarily mountain bike oriented. I stopped in this afternoon while I was riding. The shop has a new manager, and he's looking to focus more on high-end road bikes. I told him I'd stop in to talk when I had more time. He mentioned that he's thinking about Giant frames but is also thinking about adding a more exotic line. The shop is on the smallish side and locateed in a fairly affluent neighborhood. I'd love to see him succeed with his plans; we're in desperate need of a good road shop in my neck of the woods. What suggestions would you give to someone with these seemingly good intentions?
    To compliment Giant I'd want a friendly small/medium-sized company like IF that is easy to work with and can bust out a fairly custom frame quickly--steel or Ti. IF is good cause they also have cred with the cross and mtb crowd.

  7. #7
    My back hurts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunout
    Giant for carbon, Casati for Al and steel. Back it up with service, service, service. Real things in the store that roadies can use, and not all the junk that they order from the bike shows.

    Build good wheels, give good advice, and support your work.

    You wanted an opinion, you got it.
    I agree on the service issue. I don't buy a lot of gear but would love to have a local shop that knows how to work on Campy stuff. If the shop hires a good mechanic, I'll bring my bike in for service and, I'm sure, will end up buying more stuff in the shop while dropping off and picking up. I agree with HC that Giant probably makes sense if looking for a way into the road market. As is stands, the shop sells everything from trikes to high-end downhill bikes. Having a local shop with a few nice road bikes and the ability to order more specific sizes and even some custom frames would be a nice change and might get me spending more of my money. I've pointed the new manager in the direction of a few shops that have done road bikes but managed to accommodate the broad range necessary to survive. Thanks to everyone for the help.

  8. #8
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    What's the name of the place? I'll stop in and try and do some business with them. Right now, when I go to places in the SF Valley, it's either Cycle World in Northridge or Budget Bikes in Eagle Rock. I go to Europa in Van Nuys, too, but they've gotten too high-pressure and ornery for me to be able to stand them much. There's also a very odd place called Bike Factory on Woodman(?) just south of Burbank Blvd. It's one guy in a dimly lit hole-in-the-wall. But the guy knows his bikes, and he has some classic stuff lying around. When I visited him last, he was building a wheel made up of a modern Mavic rim and an old Campy high flange road hub.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like a mistake to me.

    Primarily mtb shop trying to make the leap to high end road seems like a plan that has a lot of hurdles in front of it. I would say go solid middle + maybe a cross bike or two, trying to lure the mtb customers over the the dark side.

    Oops, wrong board!

    Over to the side of light!

    Then, after building a road customer base, shift slowly to the high end.

    But the best option might not be to focus on road. I have seen a lot of shops all over the country, and the most high end shops that I saw survive and thrive focused on triathalon. There seem to be more serious trigeeks in most places than pure roadies, and trigeeks are really focused on weight. That means high end. Also, many of them come from running or swimming, and so don't know or want to learn about mechanics. That means repairs and maintenance. They just want a bike that works, like their shoes and wetsuits. (more high ticket items, btw, that take little floor space.) This makes Tri customers PRIME customers.

    Then, with the tri crowd paying the bills, the shop can stock parts and a few high end road bikes to pull in the road crowd.

    Of course these suggestions are coming from a guy that still uses 6 speed freewheels and friction shifting, so take it with a few grains of salt.
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  10. #10

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    And where in the HELL

    [QUOTE=dr hoo Of course these suggestions are coming from a guy that still uses 6 speed freewheels and friction shifting, so take it with a few grains of salt.[/QUOTE]

    do you still get 6-speed freewheels? I've finally had to throw in the towel and make the Maoist *upgrade* to 7-speed freewheels, which I can still find occasionally.

    I've also made the *upgrade" to power ratchet shifting (the Suntour ratchet, not indexed) as opposed to pure friction. At least they're still on the downtube, where shifters belong.
    In case you're wondering, my avatar is a photo of a worker in chains, rising up to cast them off. An old piece of IWW (Wobbly) art.

  11. #11
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    copied thread to general (nm)

    no message
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  12. #12
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    I don't.

    [QUOTE=RedMenace

    do you still get 6-speed freewheels? I've finally had to throw in the towel and make the Maoist *upgrade* to 7-speed freewheels, which I can still find occasionally.

    I've also made the *upgrade" to power ratchet shifting (the Suntour ratchet, not indexed) as opposed to pure friction. At least they're still on the downtube, where shifters belong.[/QUOTE]


    Both my wife and myself have road bikes with 6sp freewheels, so I bought a few years ago. We are now on the last ones.

    Rivendell has 7sp freewheels in stock, fyi.
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  13. #13

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    Fear not, 7-speed will work fine in your

    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo
    [ We are now on the last ones.
    dropouts when the time comes. I assume 7-speed FWs will be available for a few years yet. Sunrace still makes them (that's what Riv sells) as does, even, Shimano.
    In case you're wondering, my avatar is a photo of a worker in chains, rising up to cast them off. An old piece of IWW (Wobbly) art.

  14. #14
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    I think it might be time for new bikes by then.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMenace
    dropouts when the time comes. I assume 7-speed FWs will be available for a few years yet. Sunrace still makes them (that's what Riv sells) as does, even, Shimano.
    Our 15 year old bikes might be due for upgrading. I'm thinking a nice surley cross check with slicks is in my future.

    But then again, we might just stick with what we have.
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  15. #15

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    I call bourgeois consumerism!

    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo
    Our 15 year old bikes might be due for upgrading. I'm thinking a nice surley cross check with slicks is in my future..
    Time for a little self-criticism, comrade.
    In case you're wondering, my avatar is a photo of a worker in chains, rising up to cast them off. An old piece of IWW (Wobbly) art.

  16. #16
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    why? FoC? (or..."the marxists hijack another thread")

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMenace
    Time for a little self-criticism, comrade.

    Comrade, I appreciate your concern for my ideological purity. I welcome the opportunity to engage in self critique.

    First, I would start with the point that the commodities I have come from the value produced by my labor. As such, they are none of your concern.

    That being said, our current road bikes were purchased used, one at a garage sale and one at a shop. They are currently at "one horse shay" level, so I plan to ride them until they explode. http://www.plagiarist.com/text/?wid=4368 Too many parts are well maintained, but very worn.

    I could critique my bike purchase by applying the concept of the Fetishism of Commodities:

    "A commodity is therefore a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character of men's labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because the relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour.

    This is the reason why the products of labour become commodities, social things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses. In the same way the light from an object is perceived by us not as the subjective excitation of our optic nerve, but as the objective form of something outside the eye itself. But, in the act of seeing, there is at all events, an actual passage of light from one thing to another, from the external object to the eye. There is a physical relation between physical things.

    But it is different with commodities. There, the existence of the things qua commodities, and the value-relation between the products of labour which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connexion with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. There it is a definite social relation between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things.

    In order, therefore, to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men's hands.

    This I call the Fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labour, so soon as they are produced as commodities, and which is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities.

    This Fetishism of commodities has its origin, as the foregoing analysis has already shown, in the peculiar social character of the labour that produces them. "


    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx...c1/ch01.htm#S4

    coda: Thus ends the critique.

    dr. (starts marx in 2 days) hoo
    Last edited by QuiQuaeQuod; 02-23-2004 at 01:38 PM. Reason: added coda.
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  17. #17

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    More likely (remember my upcoming seminar):

    As a well-off bourgeois professor, you live under the gaze of 'obedient objects,' and become more functional under the objects' influence. The use value of your commodities (i.e. bikes) has been replaced by a sign value. You have, simply put, become insane.

    Moreover, you've capitulated to Americanism. Where society and culture used to be organized around production, they are now organized around consumption. Remember: "Credit is a disciplinary process which extorts savings and regulates demand."

    This whole 'Surley in my future' thing is a cry for help, comrade. We of the Central Committee are here to HELP you.
    In case you're wondering, my avatar is a photo of a worker in chains, rising up to cast them off. An old piece of IWW (Wobbly) art.

  18. #18
    gazing from the shadows
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    what kind of marxist are you?

    I cite swaths of das Kapital, and you cite NOTHING of Karl Marx's philosophy?!? I think someone needs to go back to the primary sources.

    I must admit, I am not a marxist. I have just read a lot of him.

    dr. (eschelon, nsa, fbi, hsa, and other government databases are archiving this thread) hoo
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  19. #19

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    Just throwing Baudrillard back at your Marx

    If I'm gonna dispatch the squirrelly b-tard, I have to think like him.

    Live Steam has signed up for my graduate seminar, by the way. Should be stimulating.
    In case you're wondering, my avatar is a photo of a worker in chains, rising up to cast them off. An old piece of IWW (Wobbly) art.

  20. #20

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    Shops

    You're missin' out if you haven't been to Velo Pasadena and maybe Sundance Cycles.

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