Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
My back hurts
Joined
·
4,862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,115 Posts
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.
 

·
Arrogant roadie.....
Joined
·
4,232 Posts
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.
 

·
Every little counts...
Joined
·
3,924 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,558 Posts
mickey-mac said:
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.
 

·
My back hurts
Joined
·
4,862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Spunout said:
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,536 Posts
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.
 

·
gazing from the shadows
Joined
·
27,377 Posts
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.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
781 Posts
And where in the HELL

dr hoo Of course these suggestions are coming from a guy that still uses 6 speed freewheels and friction shifting said:
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,854 Posts
Service, like others have mentioned...

Most bike shops do most of their business selling low end bikes. The high buck zoot bikes arne't sold that much. The last two bikes I bought from my LBS had to be ordered, rarely will I see a bike on their floor room floor that is a high end bike, unless it is a brand new model (like the C50) and it has a price tag pushed up way above what I would pay if I went through the owner. Service is what keeps me coming back. Surely I can order stuff over the internet for a lower price that can be delivered to my doorstep within a few days. But I like to keep my LBS in business and actually talk to someone once and awhile who can relate about riding. When I lived in San Jose Ca there was a small mom and pop bike shop that had a 24 hour turn-around for bike repairs (at no extra cost). Most of the stuff on their floor was low end stuff, but I sure wish I had a shop like that where I live now. I got to know them so well that I could stop in while on rides and they would fix stuff on the spot. But as time came and went I can do most of my own bike wrenching now, but service is still a big issue for me. I often wonder sometimes if bike wrenches in gereral are the most ill tempered, grouchy people on the planet. I've been tempted to ask, but I don't want to burn any bridges. Maybe time is the winning factor. I don't know, I get kind of grouchy working in my garage on my own bikes at times, I don't think I would want to do it for a living....
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top