LBS,my arse!

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  • LBS,my arse!
  • Sancho
    Member

    While I agree that the stw rider is not the core customer I don’t see a problem with a lbs being able to support their needs.

    Same as putting in a access ramp to enable them to get over the front step
    As this would otherwise be a technical obstacle beyond most stw’rs 😉

    grum
    Member

    The basic, fundamental problem is that the LBS isn’t set up for the needs of the STW rider. Many LBSs do very well serving their customers, but you lot aren’t their core customers.

    Fair enough up to a point, but don’t we keep hearing about how your average LBS is struggling, and that quite a few have gone to the wall?

    And the ‘STW rider’ seems to spend an awful lot of money on bike stuff, but not generally in a LBS. Seems a bit daft just to dismiss that market because bike distribution companies can’t get their act together.

    bencooper
    Member

    While I agree that the stw rider is not the core customer I don’t see a problem with a lbs being able to support their needs.

    Those needs being “I want it now, waahhh!” 🙂

    It depends a lot on the LBS. If you’re a roadie and Wheelcraft is your LBS, you’re sorted. If you’re a Brompton rider and I’m your LBS, you’re sorted. There are good MTB specialist shops about, lots of them. But no LBS can be good at everything.

    grum
    Member

    Those needs being “I want it now, waahhh!”

    Snooty LBS attitudes like that won’t help.

    ‘Yes I know we provide a poor service but it’s your fault for wanting good service’. 😉

    bencooper
    Member

    Snooty LBS attitudes like that won’t help.

    I’m not a LBS 😉

    LoCo
    Member

    Those needs being “I want it now, waahhh!”

    and cheaper than from europe 😉

    Sancho
    Member

    If I am going to go to the effort of going to a shop be that a lbs or a shoe shop then im looking to buy something and yeah I want it now.
    I have to never forget that I am a customer too so you have to look at it from the other side of the counter

    grum
    Member

    I’m not a LBS

    Hmmm, don’t you sell and repair bikes? Pretty sure that makes you a LBS, just a specialist one.

    bencooper
    Member

    Hmmm, don’t you sell and repair bikes? Pretty sure that makes you a LBS, just a specialist one.

    I do. And typically my customers know it takes several months to build something like a Rohloff Disc Brompton, and are happy to leave a bike for a week or so for servicing.

    Really, I’m a BS with not much L.

    Sancho
    Member

    Bullshitter with not much love

    Lol couldn’t help myself

    chrishc777
    Member

    Am I the only one with a great LBS? Recently got a custom built wheelset from them for a tenner less than online price, and with my choice of bits and colours obviously, hundreds of little bits, plus most of my clothing and though they know full well i get alot of stuff online (when i buy second hand, or dirvetrain bits which for some reason are less than half price online) are always willing to have a chat and give advice when i stop by, or share new trails they’ve found or built. Whenever I order something I can send the boss an sms and he’ll keep me updated. If I could afford to keep all my bikes running purely from them i most definetly would

    iolo
    Member

    My lbs is good.
    Big up beics brenin plus sister shops holey grail and summit cycles.

    bencooper
    Member

    Bullshitter with not much love

    Seems about right for STW 😉

    MTB Rob
    Member

    “• Running cycle proficiency at local school
    Did this a few times. Spend all day trying to get the brakes to vaguely work on POS Costco kids bikes, then have parents moan about spending any money because “they’ll only use it for the cycling proficiency”.

    It is now called BikeAbility has 3 levels, level 2 is aimed at 10/11 year old’s on quiet roads and is a government backed scheme that is nation wide and “free” (small admin fee applies) and gen run by the local council or farmed out and delivered in schools in school time.
    You need to be trained, it a 4 day course (which cost money) and have a CRB checks etc.
    We get paid £x amount per trainee (who do level 2) and only have a max of 6 at a time.
    The amount of adjustments on bikes I have to do at each school is a lot! the parents do get given a bike check form to help them decide if the bike is road worthy or needs to be fixed, it just gets ticked and signed!
    I try and adjust/fix things on the spot as it kids and gen not their fault if it hasn’t been fixed.
    And don’t get be started on “supermarket” bikes, more than once I have had to turn the forks the right way round!
    And don’t get me started on “my dad fixed that last night” there lack of knowledge can be just a dangerous

    cybicle
    Member

    Those needs being “I want it now, waahhh!”

    Ok: it’s 8.30 am, I have a puncture/snapped chain/other issue I can’t immediately sort out, I’m late for work and really need my bike working again asap. If you can’t fix it for me, you won’t get my custom. If you can, I’ll be very grateful and relieved (because you may just have saved me money/time/my job), and be more disposed towards using your business/services again. I might even buy you a beer or two/some biscuits/give you my first born.

    If lots of bike shops can offer this to me and others, and we can feel confident about using our bikes knowing there’ll be back up support, then the LBS servicing industry will thrive. If they don’t, then we’ll use alternative means of transport, which will lead to a decline in bike sales etc.

    It’s not rocket science. Give the customer what they want/need. If you can’t, then you don’t deserve to be in business.

    Charging a customer more for a part because we don’t have it in stock I wouldn’t dream of it.

    Not what I meant.

    When working as a mechanic, if we needed to source a part that the distributor didn’t have in stock we’d then get one mail order from another shop and charge the normal retail. Granted, this normally happened when building / repairing bikes, but the ultimate aim was to get the customer back on the bike asap. It’s a small hit, but a happier customer is more likely to be a repeat customer.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    If I am going to go to the effort of going to a shop be that a lbs or a shoe shop then im looking to buy something and yeah I want it now.

    You aren’t a typical customer. We had a bloke come in half a dozen times, speaking to all the staff, taking up a couple of hours over the times he came in asking the most ridiculous questions. he never bought a bike (the one he was ‘looking at’ was 30 odd% off so cheaper than online).

    The vast majority seem to come in to check that a) there is air in the tyres, b) the brakes work, c) the freehubs on the expensive (£4k plus) bikes make a noise and d) what is in the sale bin. Oh and kid have a pathological predisposition to ring all the bells in the shop.

    IMO the lbs’s (in general) problem is that your customer who doesnt really know what they want, but wants something nice, will go to you chain stores like Evans or Halfords, usually buying on c2w. The ones who want to spent £150 or buy a kids bike will buy a bso from a catalogue. The STWers/equivalent will buy online as they know exactly what they want and generally know how to fit it, so a lot of the lbs’ custom comes simply from service which, try as we might, we simply can’t compete with ordering online at 2.30 and having the shiny thing in your lap by 9am the next day. Online pricing doesn’t help either, as evidenced by threads on here, if a bike is £900 cheaper online, the service could involve a nosh, but folk will go on price every time!

    bencooper
    Member

    And don’t get me started on “my dad fixed that last night” there lack of knowledge can be just a dangerous

    I once fixed a bunch of bikes, which then went off to the CP – and the teacher promptly failed them all. Customers came back, I phoned the school to find out why, and was told “The brakes were too strong, you could skid the back wheel which isn’t safe”. She’d loosened off all the brakes so they couldn’t stop too quickly…

    If lots of bike shops can offer this to me and others, and we can feel confident about using our bikes knowing there’ll be back up support, then the LBS servicing industry will thrive.

    Problem is, you’re assuming that a. all LBSs are the same, and b. they all want your custom.

    There are certainly fantastic shops which open at 7am for commuter repairs. But that market would be totally non-existent for many bike shops so it would be pointless for them.

    wilko1999
    Member

    So your part is going to be a whole 2 days later than you originally expected.

    Top trolling 🙂

    Am I the only one with a great LBS?

    No i have a great one also, they also experience delays etc. But the difference with the OP is they tell me and keep me updated.

    90% of the stuff i ask for they have to order in, usually takes a week (from me going in on saturday to collecting it the following saturday) I get 10% for being part of the local cycling club and don’t mind paying extra as they have helped me out in the past (lent a wheel whilst waiting for a warranty) plus many other things.

    cybicle
    Member

    Problem is, you’re assuming that a. all LBSs are the same, and b. they all want your custom.

    The vast majority of LBS’ I visit are very similar, and competing with each other for custom. That competition has led to an improvement in standards, and the ability to cater for immediate need.

    Doesn’t sound like your shop is much like most other LBS’.

    Absolute best bit of LBS customer service I had was this (this really is no joke)
    Mate and I drive close to an hour to a well known trail centre for a hard earned blast.
    Mate realises in the carpark that his bike will not work correctly (is a numpty, becasue he made a ham fisted repair attempt the day before the ride) Annoying because the part needed to get the bike up and running is less than a quid is available nearly everywhere, and can be fitted in the car park by us in seconds. Knowing it is a Sunday and nearby LBS will not be open, we dejectly get back in the car for a long drive home, without having the ride we were looking forward to.
    But wait…the local bike shop in the village is open…What a stroke of luck….And look the door is open, and there is the shop owner in the shop…Way hay we will get to ride after all..
    The following conversation occurs after we go in the shop, where the shop owner is in there with the door open cutting up cardboard boxes.

    US “Hi, I dont suppose you could help me please, Do you have a —– so that me and my mate here can go back up to the trail and get riding”

    Shop “Yep, I have one of those, its in this little plastic drawer, about 6 inches from my right hand” (Ok he didnt say that last bit)

    Shop “The thing is its a Sunday, and despite the fact that I am here, with the part you so need in front of me, and your not asking me to fit it or anything and only is a few pence, I cant help you, because I am not officially open, I am just the tidying the shop”

    US “Sorry to disturb you then, we really are, we just saw the shop open, and it will save our whole Sunday ride, doesnt matter if you dont want to open the till, here just have a fiver for an item that costs about 20 pence, and our thanks for saving our ride today as we’ve driven an hour to ride the trail”

    Shop “Look lads if I help you out, then I’ll end up having to help everyone out, sorry cant help you come back on Monday, and I will reach in here and get this 20 pence part that I have in my little tray and you can buy it then”

    US” obviously we cant do that, we live an hour away, and by just taking our money and helping us out, we can still ride, and if it want we absolutely wont tell a soul that your shop is open”

    Shop “Sorry lads that’s not the point, I cant help you”

    He then ushered us out and locked the door with him in there.

    Brilliant

    sm
    Member

    Back in the summer I decided to buy a new bike. I went to my LBS, 5 mins from my house, one of the guys came over to me and I explained I wanted a full suspension bike for x-country mainly Swinley riding and I would go to max 2.5k. Not sure why but it transpired he didn’t think they would have anything there for me! Now I know that the shop has a lot of ‘high end’ stock but I could see price labels in my range.

    So I went to PedalOn at Tadley (40 mins away in car) and the difference was amazing, they wanted to sell me a bike and spent time with me trying several different models. I brought a Trek from them which I love, and now whenever I need something I drive back there.

    Just my pennys worth really.

    LoCo
    Member

    downthemiddle, near Bury St Edmonds by any chance? 😉

    I once fixed a bunch of bikes, which then went off to the CP – and the teacher promptly failed them all. Customers came back, I phoned the school to find out why, and was told “The brakes were too strong, you could skid the back wheel which isn’t safe”. She’d loosened off all the brakes so they couldn’t stop too quickly…

    Similar story – i used to teach kids how to ride offroad.

    I turn up to centre (run by local county council) to find all the bikes had their front brakes removed. When I questioned why, it was explained by the site manager (non-riding outdoor instructor) that some kids had gone over the bars. I asked if this was due to the teaching rather than the bikes, which didn’t go down well.

    I stopped teaching after that.

    chrishc777
    Member

    this summer i had to explain to a mechanic at a trail center in wales how a gravity dropper works and he then wanted to sell me a 27.2 reverb! he also said my 456 was a ‘cute little bike’. he then charged me 40 quid for a pair of brake pads and a cable change on the post which he got wrong, lost one of the internal parts and i had to rebuild the whole thing in the cafe.

    iolo
    Member

    @sm Pedal on is very good

    MarkLG
    Member

    Other than places where there’s a big mtb scene most bike shops are dull, uninspiring places which I’ll avoid wasting my time going in. They’re there to cater for cycle to work buyers, commuters and kids bikes – a completely different market to your average STW rider.
    I suspect most people on here are much like myself – they’ll order parts from CRC, etc and enjoy a bit of quality time in the garage doing the work themselves. With modern headsets, BBs, etc you don’t even need that many specialist tools.
    I used to buy cycling clothing from stores, but most keep such a limited range these days I don’t bother.

    grum
    Member

    Problem is, you’re assuming that a. all LBSs are the same, and b. they all want your custom.

    Problem is, you’re assuming that your experience running a specialist shop is relevant to the majority of LBS’.

    bencooper
    Member

    Problem is, you’re assuming that your experience running a specialist shop is relevant to the majority of LBS’.

    Touché 😉

    Really, though, with all the competition from online and chain stores, all the really bad bike shops have closed down. The ones left are mostly doing something right, even if it’s not obvious what it is.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    If I am going to go to the effort of going to a shop be that a lbs or a shoe shop then im looking to buy something and yeah I want it now.
    I have to never forget that I am a customer too so you have to look at it from the other side of the counter

    Problem is with bikes in particular is that no shop could even hope to stock every variant of every part. Even from one brand – you go in looking for a Brand X suspension fork, a nice expensive purchase that you’d expect the shop to bend over backwards for, fit for free etc. After all, it’s going to be £800+ in their till.

    But they don’t have the tapered steerer, 29er, 15mm thru axle in white; they’ve got the straight steerer, 650b fork in black; the tapered steerer 26″ fork with a QR fitting; the cheaper coil sprung version…

    In fact they’ve got close to £8000 worth of forks on their wall but not the one you want so they have to order it in and it’s going to be a week’s wait. That’s not necessarily bad service, that’s simply the industry being too bloody minded for it’s own good.

    Premier Icon amedias
    Subscriber

    downthemiddle – I really really want to know what the part was now…

    That’s not necessarily bad service, that’s simply the industry being too bloody minded for it’s own good.

    I certainly agree with that and as the industry gets ever more competitive it’s likely to get worse.

    Edric 64
    Member

    A lot of them do to keep the custom, although obviously as a long term strategy it’s not going to work.

    Why not ? add a bit on to the chgeap online price and make money from the labour .Use a business credit card and clear it every month and just order off the net when you need stuff .Less money tied up in stock and possibly quicker turn around of repairs ?

    bencooper
    Member

    that’s simply the industry being too bloody minded for it’s own good.

    I was chatting to Mike Burrows about this yesterday* – basic problem is that when MTB was young and fresh you just went out, bought a MTB, and went to play in the hills.

    Now, do you buy a freeride, all-mountain, enduro, XC, DH, fatbike, 29er, 27.5er and/or singlespeed? As the market matured, manufacturers segmented things to increase sales, and the bike media went along with the next big things, and the public kept buying the next big things. Until we’re nearing the stage where people are going off the whole idea and just buying a road bike.

    Which increases the problem for the LBS. Used to be, you had 1 1/8″ headsets. Now you’ve got loads of different types, internal or external, tapered or whatever. Used to have threaded square taper bottom brackets. Now there are loads of different types. Has all this innovation actually made MTBing better? Yes, sometimes. Has it made it more fun? I doubt it.

    *Yeah, I know, name dropping 😉

    LoCo
    Member

    I was chatting to Mike Burrows

    ? who ?

    bencooper
    Member

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Burrows

    Designed the Lotus track bikes. Designed the Giant TCR. And a bunch of other more fun stuff…

    LoCo
    Member

    😀 ta. 😉

    TooTall
    Member

    While I agree that the stw rider is not the core customer I don’t see a problem with a lbs being able to support their needs.

    Given how many people regularly post on here and how many people ride bikes in total, the numbers would probably lead to something like 2 x LBS to support STW.

    Where in the country would you put them then? 😉

    downthemiddle – I really really want to know what the part was now…

    Ha Ha, if I tell you it will make my mate look a total numpty. However he deserves it fully..So it was a pack of loose ball bearings that fit in the traditional cup and cone hubs of a shimano XT wheel. He’d dissasembled it for a good clean and regrease and then reassembled it dropped a few and didnt fit them all back in.

    downthemiddle, near Bury St Edmonds by any chance?

    Loco – no where close, it was in North Wales the shop is not at a trail centre, but in the nearest village. I believe it could be under new ownership.

    I know what some might think – Well the guy is probably busy on a tidy up, doesn’t want to be up and down for 20p ball bearings, but you never know what good customer service leads to. Ironically at that time I was in the market for a Carbon short travel xc bike, and he had a Carbon Anthem in my size that I had been trying everywhere to locate stock of, I wasnt time wasting I actually had the cash ready to buy one at the time. There is no doubt I’d have bought that bike from him for 4k as it was the only one I found in medium locally. As it happened I wouldn’t have bought it off him in a million years out of principle after that. I went and bought an epic instead from somewhere else

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