- will the sport survive without the LBS…?
Simple question, asside from the obvious point that buying on the web don’t always put money in the piggy to pay for teachers nurses and light on the road, will the sport be able to survive without the LBS.Posted 6 years ago
I personally think it won’t. Nowhere to get your bike fixed, no-one to fund organise races, maintain trails, no-one to give you advice, no-one providing help for young talent.
LBS won’t survive on labour alone
Some already do and do pretty well from it, in London / cities especially – it’s the (or should be) the most profitable part of any good LBS, assuming you sell service parts too, not just spannering what’s on the bike already. Once a mechanic is trained, they cost a business a similar rate to sales staff. Yet labour rates have a better ‘margin’ than selling parts alone, if sales and mechanics are equal performers.
Too many LBS’s see the workshop as the back-room, it should be a central part of the business.Posted 6 years agoMurrMember
some lbs as there called may have agood selection of bikes and kit to pick from however it stops at that if they do not have guys who can give your bike that you spent a lot of money on to service them. as for trail repairs most folk i know ride natural stuff so yes i could survive without lbs .Posted 6 years agojonbaMember
I think you’ll start to see more big names and less independents. The big names also already support racing but normally big “fun” events that appeal to a large number of people.
Most races around my way aren’t organised by shops, they are organised by local volunteers. The TLI/NECCL run a huge number of races (with some shop support). Local time trials are run by clubs as well. Mountain bikers aren’t as interested in races and events as roadies, there’s more interest in “just riding”.
I very rarely go into bike shops these days. The service is often poor, the stock limited and more expensive than I can get online. The one I did use for mechanic stuff has now closed the one in Newcastle.Posted 6 years agowiseprankerMember
Lots of bike shops will only have themselves to blame if they go t*ts up.
I’ve tried a few LBS to find a good one and the attitude of the staff in some of them is dire.
I’ve finally settled on a place that’s not so local, it’s 35 miles away, but their attitude and service is spot on and their prices aren’t too much over internet prices.
If more LBS had decent service like this place, they’d do far better.
As for whether the sport will survive or not, I’m sure it will but lower level racing will probably suffer if the LBS’s aren’t about to sponsor the events.Posted 6 years agoWorsthorne WarriorMember
My LBS will price match any online prices if i find it cheaper online – good mechanic with experience working for British Cycling who really does know his stuff.
Also recently introduced a VIP scheme to reward loyalty which gives me a further 12.5% off everything instore – even if they have already reduced to a price match.
No Complaints from mePosted 6 years agosmell_itMember
Most lbs’s have put me off buying from them due to rubbish customer service, I just can’t bear handing my hard earned over to some disinterested individual who looks like they are doing me a favour just to tolerate me long enough to take the cash. This said most folk rely on someone to tell them what to buy and do the spannering, so I think they will be fine. The economic downturn may make the climate more challenging for them as more folk may attempt their own work as household budgets get tighter.Posted 6 years agobigthunderMember
Instead of Lbs I prefer the repair shops that are all over Edinburgh. Pedals is good as is Bike Works. The thing to do is to buy the parts online and have the repair shop fit them. I would like to buy their parts but I find the parts are full price and that they cant compete with crc etc for offers. I have bought a few parts though if the price difference isnt too much. I do like i cycles in Innerleithen as well due to the fact they do so much to support the sport. I also like bike station as well due to the decent principals they run on.Posted 6 years ago
Pay peanuts, get monkeys is the reason
but the more online prices are held as a priority, the more this happens.. and the less an LBS can afford to invest in sponsorship, races or events. Do we need that? Maybe we all (on here) don’t, but if cycling is to be valued in the community, maybe we all do.
I know an LBS who’s local investment in the sport was simply taking (often younger or newbie) riders to Wales or the FoD for a day’s riding to fire their enthusiasm – whether they spent much or not. Liability insurance / no-win-no-fee worries etc made that hard to continue – a real shame as that’s the kind of thing an LBS is great for, if they’re an LBS with any genuine love of the sport.Posted 6 years agobikewhispererMember
You’ll probably see their business model move to one that concentrates on repairs and servicing rather than selling huge numbers of bikes.
I see bike shops going the way of car franchises.. ie. heavily integrated and supported brand concept stores, with the LBS becoming more of your local garage. Those that survive with anything like good sales business will be the specialists, or the big chains.Posted 6 years agothomthumbMember
agree some of the drongos in local shop are just out of school, know sweet fa about anything let alone bikes
there is a kid at bikelab in poole who can’t be much more than 15/16 last time i went in there – i was asking about spd shoes – he apologised that he didn’t know much about spds – he rides bmx – and said he would ask some one else to help me – he did this and then asked if he could help me with anything else mean time. so refreshing.
This is called competence. However lots ofPosted 6 years ago
bikeshop staff seem to think that they’d be better off to blag you. 🙄mrmoMember
true shame they dont think if they try harder might get a payrise
yeah right, with the attitude that it has to be in stock and priced cheaper than CRC/Merlin/Wiggle/Rose,
How can you pay more when you are expected to spend all your money holding stock, and selling bikes off cheap at the end of the year, and selling that stock at rock bottom prices.
There are things i would buy from the internet and things i would get from a shop, if i am going to need to talk to someone if it goes wrong then shop it is, ie bikes, or tools are going to be expensive, i am not buying a headset press or reaming/facing tools, but if i am just going to accept things break such as chains then i internet it.Posted 6 years agoAlasdairMcMember
The thing to do is to buy the parts online and have the repair shop fit them.
That’s probably the worst thing you can do. It shows complete contempt for the retailer, so don’t be surprised if you get a poor service from them. Do you do the same with other products, like buying your car tyres online and getting Kwik Fit to fit them?!?
Why not just find a shop with decent staff, competitive pricing and a good product range?Posted 6 years ago
there is a kid at bikelab in poole who …
Having commented on the ‘pay peanuts’ line – this comment about BikeLab is what usually happens in a shop that’s well managed, as BikeLab is. I don’t know how the pay varies between one shop and another but it’s retail, it won’t be a lot relative to some other jobs.Posted 6 years ago
I guess most of it comes down to how well motivated, trained and managed the staff are rather than simply the pay – in the bike industry pay isn’t what tends to motivate people the most. It’s actually one of the main positives in the trade; anyone coming into it for the £ alone often moves on, people with an interest in the product / scene stay. Some do make a lot, but not many.cookeaaSubscriber
The cornerstone of any surviving LBS is the cycle commuter I reckon.
Not the owner of a £3k dandy horse looking to try out a £120 set of shoes who then pisses off to see what Google can do about the price tag…
Even for commuters service and a smile will be as key as reasonable prices to getting regular custom, and cycle commuting should be on the increase given petrol prices (at least in certain areas), if anything this could be a “good” time to be running an LBS*…
*Obviously I don’t run one…Posted 6 years agocardoSubscriber
I have found a really good bike shop near to where i work, he’s a mountain biker and has some really nice stuff in the shop… I don’t mind buying from them and have possibly paid a little more than I could have online. I think it’s important to support a small business and build a relationship with someone who could really help you out when your pride and joy is behaving strangely… it’s that or Halfords!Posted 6 years agoRobinLSubscriber
Personally I prefer to use the LBS for most things, I do occasionally buy from the web, but much prefer to use the LBS, whose service I find excellent. As it’s very local to me it’s no trouble to call there most weekends even if it’s only for a chat.Posted 6 years ago
I prefer to have the bike maintained by them as I don’t think the labour charges are excessive and I don’t generally enjoy working on the bike, I’d rather be riding it.
Having bought my last couple of bikes from them, I can rely on them to help out if I’m having problems with the bike, often at short notice.
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