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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Discussion Starter #1
I used to frequent a store called Veloworx, which was conveniently located about 3 blocks from my pad. This place was instrumental in my cycling renaissance a few years ago. I became friends with a bunch of the guys there, would hang out all the time (probably to their annoyance), soak in the knowledge. I rode a 92-miler with one of the guys, and rode with a bunch of guys from the Veloworx racing team up to Zuma.

The environment was awesome, though you wouldn't guess it from the outside. As you can see from the first pic, it was tucked in between a Cold Stone ice cream joint and a beauty supply store.

I used to take full advantage: After countless rides I would stop in to have them take a look at something that had concerned me during the ride; on countless nights I would stop in for a jug of Cytomax while walking to or from dinner. I test rode high-end bikes just for the hell of it, just to see how they rode. (The BMC Phonak team issue, for instance, is a gorgeous bike, but isn't very responsive.)

The place was notoriously expensive. Long before I ever bought a bike there (I've bought two from them, including my Orbea Onix), my buddies gave me a 10% discount, which was great, but it basically brought the price down to slightly more expensive than other mainstream shops in the area. But I guess they didn't have a choice. From what I understand, they made peanuts off the sale of even their most expensive bikes. So, I assume, whatever they made they made from accessories and repairs.

The owner had a good-paying day-job. Rumors abounded that the shop was a tax write-off for him. Who knows. At any rate, he threw in the towel at the end of last year. The good news: he sold it to someone who kept the store (and the staff) intact. The bad news: he moved it about 5 miles away. It's still close, but a little out of the way for the daily visits I used to make. Gone are the days I could stop in before a ride, grab some grub or water or a tire or whatever, and pay for it the next day.

Soooo sad.

Anyway, I was at the new location today. checking out some rear lights (they even had the headlight MB was using ... much smaller in person). Turns out I had one of the lights on my bike when I rode off. I had no idea until I got to my next stop. But it's a cool light, so I'll go pay for it tomorrow.

The pics:
1) Traffic on the 10 East coming out of the McClure tunnel. Traffic has been horrendous these last few days, and I've been loving every second of it.
2) The abyss, a few days after their "moving" sale. It was a sad time. My LBS bailed and my D70 was in the shop for repairs. This was taken with a 2MP Canon point-and-shoot.
3) I helped bring in all the bikes when they were closing. They've got A LOT of cruisers now (they're closer to the beach).
4) The aforementioned Erick, working on the Parkpre he races.

P.S.
Is it just me, or are the updates to the RBR site really cool?
 

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Have a nice day
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5,893 Posts
That's sad, but it is hard to keep a profitable small business, especially when you are competing with Wal-mart and the like. My mom owns a reasonably successful toy/hobby store in Minnesota, but it only remains profitable because she has a day job and day-to-day operations are conducted by her boyfriend who is retired with a union pension. It remains open because they run the store as a hobby. If they had to rely on it for a living, they couldn't.
 

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Hey Roebuck,
I'd always heard a lot about that shop, but never went there. Nice pics. Looks like you've been logging lots of miles on the Pista.

BTW- I think you mentioned that your D70 was in the shop. Problems? I ask beacause I have several friends who have had minor issues with theirs.
 

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rock n rolling resistance
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From my observation above all it's location, location, location, if you want to run a profitable LBS (I suppose most of any other business as well as matter of fact...) Out of all the lbs I frequent I see only a couple of places where the owners are doing extremely well...(and the rest... basically makes me wonder how they stay in business.) They are no super sized stors and both located in similar areas near/ inbetween the densely populated upper-middle class neighborhood and the "rich" area. The owners are very involved as they organize riding clubs, cycling vacations, group Computrainer session, spin classes etc etc. People buy highend bikes without fussing much about details or price pretty much trusting the owners... and do they sell them....

I clearly see huge difference just hanging out in different stores what kind of sales each of them do... it's the difference of having few people kinda sorta interested in Hurleys and maybe drool on a Lemond or a Trek all day (NTTAWWT) and doing some wrenching here and there compared to having to eat all their meals standing up while selling highend bikes etc non-stop all day... Of course I also see some lbs mainly geared toward commuters, comfort bikes, city bikes with some mtb/ road bikes that gets fair amount of traffic such as ones near train stations but from what I see I just don't see them doing "well"...
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
northcoast said:
I'd always heard a lot about that shop, but never went there. Nice pics. Looks like you've been logging lots of miles on the Pista.
'Sup TY. Yeah, I love riding the Pista so much that I pretty much make excuses to go places just so I can ride. "Hey, I think I need some gum," said DrRoebuck.
I'm gonna go to Venice and get some gum!"


northcoast said:
BTW- I think you mentioned that your D70 was in the shop. Problems? I ask beacause I have several friends who have had minor issues with theirs.
Mine turned out to be all my fault. My memory card stopped working. I tried another one, and it didn't work. Then I looked at the pins, and it looked like one of the corner pins was bent. So i tried to unbend it and ended up snapping it off. Then I borrowed my dad's D70, and my memory card didn't work in it either. So I bought a new card and it worked in his. Then, after forking over $260 and change, got my camera back and the new card worked as well. So it turns out it was the card all along. Meanwhile, they upgraded the firmware and adjusted the auto-focus, so it wasn't a total loss.


6was9 said:
From my observation above all it's location, location, location, if you want to run a profitable LBS
Well, in the case of Veloworx, I think their location was great in theory: a snotty neighborhood with heavy foot-traffic. And the store has been around for 10+ years (under a couple different owners). BUT ... the rent was just too damn expensive. I don't think any indie LBS is gonna be raking it in, especially these days. So if you're rent is closing in on 10 g's a month ...


Hollywood said:
So where abouts are they now? Close to 26th?
Speaking of location, they're in the middle of nowhere. On Lincoln and Marine, between Ocean Park and Rose. You can't even see the place if you're heading north on Lincoln. They've got a lot more cruisers now, and have had to drop Giant and Orbea.

The other thing about their location: a couple miles south is Helen's in Venice; a couple miles north is Performance, and a little farther up Broadway from Performance is the Santa Monica Helen's. Plus there are a couple of Bike Attack shops (never been in) on Main; one near Pico, one near Rose. Those seem to specialize in cruisers.

My new LBS of choice is Tri-Zombies on Santa Monica and Centinela. Great shop, and the peeps who work there are cool. They have an excellent selection of nutrition stuff.
 
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