Updated: Specialized Plans to Add Consumer-Direct Sales February 1

Jan 27, 2022
by Alicia Leggett  
Tom Richards photo

Specialized plans to add a consumer-direct option for online bike sales to US customers next week, our sister publication Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reported.

While the brand currently offers online sales, customers who buy bikes online must pick up their orders at local dealers or have them delivered to their homes by the local dealers. Those options will reportedly remain, but sales margins for the involved retailers will change: retailers that assemble bikes purchased online for pickup will earn 50% of their standard sales margin, compared with 75% currently, and retailers that assemble and deliver bikes purchased online will earn 75% of the standard margin, according to BRAIN. (It's unclear what they earn on bikes they assemble and deliver at the moment.)

Starting Tuesday, however, customers will have the option to have their bikes shipped directly from Specialized to their doorsteps. The bikes ordered online will be shipped mostly assembled, similar to what consumer-direct brands currently do, and will be pre-assembled at Specialized's facilities in Salt Lake City and Ohio. The shipping boxes will include the tools needed for customers to assemble them the rest of the way, plus QR codes to link to instructional videos.

Specialized has been leading the "hybridization" of traditional retail and consumer-direct models for years, as one of the major brands to offer click-and-collect sales options, but is the first major traditional sales brand to also offer a consumer-direct option.

Update:

Cycling Industry News published more details about the news and the following statement from Specialized: "As of 1st February we will be adding another way in which riders are able to purchase and have Specialized bikes delivered. Allowing us to offer the best possible buying experience to our riders, to understand them better and ultimately serve their needs better.

"After nearly 50 years of building the perfect bike for every rider, we decided to go one step further and come up with the perfect way to get the perfect bike to every rider. Now you can shop when, where, and how you want, from your favourite retailer to the comfort of your own home. We’re excited to announce Ship to Home and Specialized Delivery, two new ways to get your new Specialized bike without getting in the car."


435 Comments

  • 684 5
 Yes! Can't wait for the savings to (not) be passed on to the consumer!
  • 186 1
 I see a margin increase in Specialized's future.
  • 128 0
 Since they'll include basic tools and bikes will be packaged differently (more thoroughly assembled), I can't wait to hear how prices will actually be increasing from direct-to-consumer.
  • 66 0
 Remember how everyone was hyped because D2C was going to be cheaper? Who is really cheaper now? Radon and who else?
  • 550 2
 Specialized strategy meeting:

Sinyard: "How can we increase margin per bike whilst simultaneously screwing as many dealers as possible?"

Bob the intern: "Maybe we can just sell direct to consumer, but at the same price."

Sinyard: "Everyone meet Bob, our new VP of Sales!"
  • 8 58
flag ACree (Jan 27, 2022 at 15:29) (Below Threshold)
 @Jamminator: Even with that, taking back the dealers margin will still be a huge win.
  • 11 38
flag bikerbarrett (Jan 27, 2022 at 15:36) (Below Threshold)
 @spaced: YT
  • 10 26
flag Tambo (Jan 27, 2022 at 15:39) (Below Threshold)
 Agree with the sentiments here. But with many others announcing price increases due to shipping etc, hopefully this will at least mean that specs prices may stay as they are?
  • 45 2
 @Tambo: I remember a LBS carrying S and Trek, S gave them an ultimatum, they needed to fill their store with majority S bikes and goods. The LBS canceled their long time business together; even though they were, at the time, one of the highest S sales in the country. So two other shops stepped up and entered the deal as an S brand specific store that will now be kicked to the side as well.
  • 2 0
 @Tambo: Or they've raised the price year-to-year to compensate for that.
  • 12 0
 @Tambo: spec already bumped prices on Jan 3rd, in some cases quite a bit
  • 11 1
 @spaced: Polygon?
  • 47 4
 @spaced: canyon is a good deal here in the states. Thousand dollars less and better spec than competing trek or spesh.
  • 4 0
 @Tambo: spoiler alert: they won't.
  • 2 1
 @Tambo: what means their prices will remain on a already high level?
  • 11 9
 Idiot @ACree:
  • 13 13
 It maybe a good thing because I was looking for a Stumpjumper could see they had stock and my local dealer was telling me they couldn’t get the bike. So now I can buy it and have it sent to the shop……problem solved
  • 19 1
 @rivercitycycles: Isn't that awesome! Sit on 2 years of backorders and not get them fulfilled but you can order it from the site.
  • 9 0
 @Tambo: specialized was like the first to the table with price increase
  • 13 0
 @likeittacky: then Trek pushed them in the same way, until they essentially owned the shop and turned it into a trek concept store
  • 2 9
flag likeittacky (Jan 27, 2022 at 19:14) (Below Threshold)
 Its a shop not a store. Maybe not the one, you think you thought, it was not
  • 32 0
 @likeittacky: I believe Specialized is acquiring shops across the country as part of a branded retail experience. Everyone in the shop on the Specialized payroll but managed by the same team. There could be benefits from that scale — like actual benefits — that a lot of shops can’t offer. But I think that writing has been on the wall for years, and I personally would rather have a local shop that lives or dies by the level of service they provide rather than the number of bikes they push out the door.
  • 10 8
 @rivercitycycles: er, no - you still won't be able to get the bike. How did you confirm the stock - because Specialized, website said available? Good luck - they screw over their dealers but now that they're direct you'll be number 1?

Dealers actually want your money, that's why they're in the business. They don't go 'yeah, not this guy, lets tell him that we can't get the 4k bike and just keep selling $300 kids bikes.'
  • 4 5
 @spaced: Alchemy, YT, Canyon
  • 14 1
 @iaest651: local Specialized dealer told me last week that Spec treats the online portal as a separate shop and gives it priority. It makes sense now with this move.
  • 7 6
 @rivercitycycles: It’s better to support your local brick and mortar than to go directly to the Big S. Their ETA’s aren’t as accurate as you think. Everything is being pushed back Industry wide especially bikes.
  • 6 12
flag Chondog94 (Jan 27, 2022 at 19:54) (Below Threshold)
 @Richridesmtb: Kinda the point of a growth oriented business in a capitalist economy.

While the LBS issue is sad and I believe it puts the consumer at a disadvantage, Specialized is a company that has to respond to investors and shareholders. If people don’t want them to flourish, they should stop buying their bikes. But they make rad bikes, hence the growth and the leverage to increase profit margins. Vote with your money, not a whole lot else anybody can do.
  • 33 0
 @salespunk: I can confirm this.

When new inventory becomes available. They will prioritize it to the D2C site and then if it doesn’t sell in a few weeks the LBS will get the scraps.

So yeah they’re screwing their dealers.
  • 9 11
 @Chondog94: shareholders? They are privately owned.
  • 13 2
 @spaced: commencal
  • 19 0
 My shop for the last 14 years is getting swallowed into a Trek dealer. I haven't had a Trek since 2008, but they've built me up an Intense, a ti hardtail, 3 Commencals, and 4 wheelsets since and said they'd continue to service and build me stuff, so whatever... I'll continue to ignore their floor offerings and continue to go for the amazing service and mechanic skills. Still its freakin' dumb though. I'll end up with another Commencal, a Knolly, Propain, Transition, Evil, or GG bike before I give in to the Big S or the Big T.
  • 1 2
 @sharpGT: sorry, didn't know that. Clearly this sucks for dealers so I'm not trying to defend it, just was trying to find something positive for someone
  • 7 4
 @pedalingbobby: you can have private shareholders, a company doesn’t have to be public to have received investment, very common.
  • 4 1
 @Hayek: it’s a good idea but service prices would have to be through the roof for a business to actually make headway. Just service oriented shops is an idea that I have heard thrown around the past few years but ultimately it’s not realistic if the goal is to make money and support a business.
  • 8 0
 @spaced: Propain! Propain is one of the D2C brands who still offer fantastic value.

And also Canyon, if you disregard the design flaws and quality control issues.
  • 7 1
 @captaindingus: Nah. Not really. Commencal's bikes have gotten expensive to the point where they are barely better value than store-bought brands. Especially in the budget segment.
  • 5 0
 @Muscovir: I’m pretty sure a propain will be my next bike. I wasn’t keen on them until they moved the shock inside the triangle. Also I love the bad mint colour. Unfortunately they’re not D2C in Australia but there are ways around that.

I’ve been riding canyon for the last few years but consumables, riding gear and replacement parts have always been through my lbs. Sadly it’s been bought by Trek and the amount of stuff they can get me is greatly reduced but that just means I’ll be ordering more online.
  • 8 0
 @rivercitycycles: And you believe that they magically have stock at the warehouse vs your local Specialized dealer? I don't think so.
If they do then your local dealer is being screwed big time,so much so there is no point being a dealer.
Maybe that's the plan. Oh what a cynic am.
  • 2 0
 @spaced: Canyon
  • 2 0
 Agreed, prices will still be up there with stupid and margins will grow.
  • 6 0
 Amazon Basics is about to blow Specialized and Trek out of the water if they keep this up.

Anodized $2k anything bikes fully customized to your door that look EXACTLY like your S brand.

And there will be no one to work or buy things.
  • 3 2
 To be fair their prices on the Stumpjumper have been getting more competitive, feels like DTC and LBS brands are converging on a middle ground
  • 1 0
 @Richridesmtb: You mean for a third time recently?
  • 2 0
 @rstwosix: That's what the website stated! My two local bike shops didn't to take a deposit on a bike.......but I still see new bikes on the trail so where are those bikes coming from? I'm cynical and doubt I will get a new bike in 2022
  • 6 3
 @rivercitycycles: tip your shop well as specialized is cutting their margin while still providing service to you
  • 5 0
 @spaced: Polygon - pretty impressive value, actually.
  • 10 3
 @ccbush8: No LBS is subsidizing service with bike sales. Margins on service are pretty decent (yes, mechanics make more in this economy - but shop rates charged to customers have gone up, too, and there's no shortage of business). Margins on soft goods and accessories are excellent. Margins on bikes, especially because they are so freaking expensive to stock, are not all that great. So a local shop that does a good job of making it clear that they're independent and brand-agnostic, and that they will happily service your DTC bike for you without the dirty looks you might get elsewhere, is likely to get plenty of business - and then make money on steering folks towards well considered upgrades and accessories.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: What sort of design flaws?
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: shit man... the Meta AM I got last Spring has now gone up like $150-200 from what I've paid, but that's nothing compared to the two frames I got previously in like 2015/2016 before their riders really started crushing it on the world stage. I got a previous gen Meta AM 29 that was like a last season's leftover for like $500, and my Supreme FR V3 for like $650. Commencal used to have the BEST end of season clearance deals around. I TRIED to do it again in early 2020... the frames were 15%, I was gonna be patient and let them drop another 10% maybe... then boom, March hit, COVID hit, and everything got bought up SUPER fast. Missed the boat this time being greedy. Who knows if it'll ever be like that again, but 5-6 years ago it was glorious! haha
  • 5 7
 Exactly! Specialized, Santa Cruz, Trek, all about ripping off the consumer.
  • 2 2
 @Hayek: Are you a stormtrooper for Empire S? Dood what happened to locally owned shops?
  • 3 0
 @spaced: Fezzari (as one example) offer a similar warranty and higher end components for the same or a lower price than SC/Trek. A pretty darn big difference when looking at the $8-12k bike range (X01 AXS, etc.)
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: That's correct. Which isn't the end of the world, but in times like these that would be a good thing to suspend until they could actually catch the local shops back up with the preseason orders which were placed.
  • 1 0
 @cbursi13: I’m just somebody that studies organizations for a living. I find that normative arguments about how things should be are less meaningful to me than questions about how things are.
  • 3 0
 @ccbush8: one of the biggest burdens any business can face is the cost of carding inventory. Imagine hundreds of thousands of dollars of operating capital tied up in the form of inventory on your floor — puts a serious pinch on payroll, especially for a seasonal business that must buy hundreds of bikes in the off-season when revenues are at their lowest to sell in the spring and summer. Service businesses are so attractive because you have only the variable costs associated with labor rather than labor and inventory.
  • 3 0
 @slipnjloc: What exactly do you mean by "tip your shop"? Pay them a bribe to order me a bike!
  • 3 0
 @Hayek: then perhaps you recognize the current shift that is happening from IBD to corporate branded stores. Once a brand exists that owns their full supply chain and physical locations at the same time, they will own the world. Big brands are doing all they can to prepare for that. Local bike shops won’t exist. It will be Trek Store or Specialized Store etc. franchising. It’s happening right in front of you.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: perfectly stated, absolutely correct.
  • 4 1
 @Hayek: Yes...and if I'm a dealer and could make 50-75% of normal margin without carrying the inventory (and all other related costs, including retail space and of course cash flow), while essentially just building the bike...I would be taking a close look at that. First glance looks pretty attractive actually.
  • 1 0
 @spaced: Commencal
  • 20 0
 As a manager and mechanic, I think the big thing people are miss is the costs Specialized will be passing on to the consumer. The quality control has been so poor that there hasn’t been a single Specialized bike through the shop that hasn’t needed some sort of machining to be able to be built up. Not many consumers have the tools and knowledge to be able to reface brake mounts, tap bolt holes, install new compression plugs due to poor design, ream out seat tubes, etc. Now, whereas that is currently just part of what you have to do as a dealer to get the bike on the showroom floor, is now a labor cost to the consumer just to get their brand new bike built. Furthermore, I’ve completely tore apart and replaced every electrical component on a Specialized ebike chasing down a warranty issue for a customer. Out of goodwill, wanting the bike to be right, and wanting to represent Specialized well since we carry their stuff, that was at no charge to the customer because we were the dealer who sold it. I had to fight tooth and nail to get that all warrantied and replaced because having the knowledge and expertise, I knew what was wrong and fought to make sure it was right. That’s now the consumers headache and hundreds of dollars passed on to the consumer to fix that. All the while, Specialized is seeing record profits because they hosed over their dealers and consumers.
  • 2 1
 Next thing you know those a*sholes will start selling NFT's and you know the fanboys and shills will suck it up anyways - like they did with that carbon strider bike.
  • 183 9
 The real question is why are independent dealers still carrying Specialized in their stores? Time and time again Specialized has shown how little they care for their dealers. It's like battered housewife syndrome.
  • 12 50
flag dancingwithmyself (Jan 27, 2022 at 15:31) (Below Threshold)
 I get why they do it and realize i have no conception of the challenges faced by a LBS, but hard to have sympathy for any shop that hitched their wagon to one of the big 3. What did they expect in the long run?
  • 56 70
flag pbfan08 (Jan 27, 2022 at 15:34) (Below Threshold)
 LOL they care so little, because they try to remain relevant by offering direct to consumer sales and giving a slice to the dealers? Pretty sure Trek/Giant/Santa Cruz and other big brands have no system like this because they don't even try. This literally is business innovation. Yeah their squeezing margins but just in the scenario where the bike shop is adding less value. Specialized is the ONLY traditional big brand recognizing that D2C selling is important and trying to fit it into their sales model on top of the traditional model. But yeah applaud Trek and others for literally 0 innovation in sales arena, and also aplaud D2C ONLY companies(YT, Commencal, Canyon) while they offer literally 0 dollars to LBS's. Yeah specialized is evil evil evil.
  • 98 5
 The real question is why anyone thinks a better business model is forcing LBS to preorder months in advance, gamble on which spec to stock in which size/color, tie up working capital in inventory and then not be able to get the bike some of their customers want because of the entire stupid prebooking and distribution model.

In this model a store still make money on the build (how much, not sure, but hopefully profitable), build a relationship with a customer for future service work and can help their customers get the bike they need because they're pulling from a larger pool of inventory instead of being constrained to what they pre-booked or what the distributor still happens to have in stock.

There are actually a lot of positives to this model for consumers and shops alike.
  • 40 12
 @dancingwithmyself: Giant and Trek don’t deserve that. Trek may have so dark chapters and Giant isn’t exactly a cool brand, but Specialized has systematically industrialized shitiness. Any shop that continues to carry them through the lawsuits, marketing gimmicks, unsupported proprietary products, and worst of all tightly controlled exclusivity requirements WHILE demonstrating a long term commitment to squeezing dealer margins… well f*ckem. They have well and truly earned what they get.
  • 14 0
 @pbfan08: I wasn't going to fall into the fray here but... giant and trek both do this in canda and the states to some degree. Consumer purchases bike off brand website for pick up in store at reduced margin for the dealer transition does the same. I'm not bitter about this and this spesh deal was long in the pipe. New spesh concept store in bc was the death knell. We may finally get a status to the masses. This is the point where spesh/giant/TREK continue buying lbs's and we see the growth of brand owned stores. Just a matter of time until dorel/pon is buying your lbs and it turns into a Wal mart for bikes. Prices won't change corporations will profit more.
  • 37 2
 @pourquois-pas: that argument works for their old model maybe. But the new concept cuts dealers out entirely.

The industry needs change for sure. Dealers should be demo, service and ordering centers. Stockroom should come a distant 4th. They should probably carry some lower end stock, but we need to move beyond the current asinine model for high end bikes. Consumers will of course dictate what waits are acceptable and I’m sure shops will still carry a few items for the impatient, but overall I think we’re all ready to move past a model that last made sense in 1995.

But specialized is not bringing that change. They are simultaneously going the way of canyon and GT while holding a massive dealer network hostage. Nearly every product in a specialized dealer is specialized, and the costs to transition would be enormous. And they will continue to enforce absolute exclusivity on their shops until the last potentially penny of profit is wrung out. Then they will discard them and commit fully to the direct to consumer model.
  • 6 0
 To me is as simple as the number of bikes you can deal,Specialized bikes are everywhere. My last 27.5 bike was a Cannondale Jekyll and my LBS only sold that 1 bike to me...
That is why many small shops like Specialized,cos they sold a few a them and not cheap. I have a Specialized dealer really close to my house,they have the showroom full of "more than 6000 € bikes easy" and every month they are all gone and put new one´s to display.
Specialized E bikes are everywhere here in Madrid,I saw 12.000 € Kenevo´s SL in pairs every weekend. Same thing for Santa Cruz bikes,you hit a stone an there you have one.
  • 9 0
 S is actively removing all the small shops that don’t sell enough product because they give it all to the biggest shop in that state. Whomever is selling the Status bikes are pretty much killing all the little shops slowly but surely.
  • 18 2
 Specialized should just go full Apple Store style and have a few central hubs that actually stock/repair all their stuff. Then D2C their business and hopefully they can be more competitive on price. Their bikes and gear are actually quite good. Their dealer model is a bit of a bodge currently and they are too expensive.
  • 8 1
 @Blackhat: Your point about dealers becoming demo, service and order centers is spot on.

I made this point to my (*Insert Big 3) rep a decade ago, that the traditional model of in store sales and large preorders / stock holding would undoubtedly benefit from morphing into something more flexible & akin to that which you mention, in order to remain competitive dollar/spec wise (in an ever increasingly competitive market, not just D2C) while continuing to offer a service aspect that the internet just cannot match (and one which is still important to a big slice of the MTB buying public, and now the E Bike customer too; the personal & physical aspects that a shop can potentially offer)

A decade later and here we are, one of the Big 3 has started down that road. My bet is Trek and Giant won’t be far behind…
  • 5 0
 @Corinthian: A lot of Giant’s stock is internet only, but you get it sent to a shop and they get a significant cut. The owner of my local giant dealer seemed pretty happy with the terms when I asked. Norco has a similar approach. Not sure about other specific companies, but I think it’s becoming standard. But I think they are failing to tie the purchase back to demo fees and such, which really throws a wrench in the system.
  • 4 4
 @pourquois-pas: In obnoxious silicon valley speak, Specialized's move here is to own the customer relationship. For as much as stores gripe when their terms come due, customer relationships are their business and the only thing giving them leverage over their vendors. The future of the business you're thinking of looks more like Uber or Amazon delivery, where "shops" are simply nameless service providers to the brand. This will mean less expensive bikes and parts, more mobile service, and bike shops that aren't much more than a few spare parts and a barista who can change a tire.
  • 4 0
 Transition bikes does the same thing. Two streams of inventory & the LBS can't buy from the consumer stream.
They have the same issue of getting / being forced to accept a lower margin as they are 'assembling' vs selling & that is only if the consumer picks the LBS as the pickup location
  • 8 8
 As an employee at a shop that is a relatively new Specialized dealer, I disagree. They're doing their best to get us bikes, our area rep and other people we deal with are nice and respond quickly. As a newer, lower priority shop, we aren't getting in as many bikes as some, but they're trickling in. I'm a bit disheartened to see that they're going d2c with some sales, however the online ship to shop sales have been somewhat priority previously anyway. And they make rad bikes, I love mine. I know I sound like a fanboy and somewhat am, but just trying to put it out there as I see it. Seems like some of the other users on here are exaggerating claims they've heard just to hate on Specialized. That's my two cents. Shred hard.
  • 8 3
 @Blackhat: I work for a major Specialized dealer and I don’t recognise much of what you say, though it may well vary from region to region. The lawsuits were shitty, but everyone’s allowed some mistakes. The marketing gimmicks are good, because they sell bikes. Proprietaryness applies to almost everyone these days.

Exclusivity? We have none. We stock 20 odd bike brands including some of their biggest competitors like Trek. Margin? P&A margin is very good. Non S-Works bike margin is exactly industry standard, they sell extremely well because of the marketing and at a higher average sales value than others, because they’re quite expensive per spec. S-Works bike margin is low, but again incredibly popular for such expensive bikes and since they push framesets more than any other major brands do these days they lead to a lot of customers builds which are both high value and high margin.

Lastly, at least in this country, their customer service for both retailers and riders is excellent. So in short, it’s both quite easy and very productive for us to be a Spesh retailer.
  • 7 1
 @whackflyer: if you ever get a chance to work in the industry outside of specialized you will realize where the hate comes from haha. My first LBS job was a specialized/trek dealer. Went to other shops and you can stock whatever you want and have so much more freedom to just spread stoke for all the cool stuff out there. Specialized snuffs all that out and makes you use their stuff
  • 7 0
 @cjeder: Yes, an LBS must shift from being a sales centre to a service centre to remain relevant. The value chain of the industry is shifting and will continue to move from product procurement to product service. This is happening in ALL channels of distribution. I'd say most of the shops in my area totally get this and have shifted very well.

Interestingly in the bike sector the brands who do this aren't dropping direct sales prices vs MSRP (afaik) so the motivation to circumvent a shop is not to save money, in fact anyone with half a brain and access to a shop would have it sent to a certified mechanic for build because there is no extra charge. But for folks who don't have reasonable access to a shop that carries the brands they want they now have an option to buy and build the bike they want.

If anything the consume loses because price negotiation is no longer an option.
  • 4 6
 @ccbush8: We're a Haro dealer as well, so not Specialized only. We can get anything from our online suppliers (QBP, JBI) just as we could before becoming a S dealer. Specialized has a minimum accessories and parts order that you have to place every year, but it's not super high and the dollar amount required can easily be filled with tubes, tires, helmets etc. So we stock some of that stuff and not as much of other stuff. Say you want a POC helmet, can get it, we just don't have it because it's more convenient and the Specialized stuff we can easily stock matches our bikes. There's so many options as far as helmets etc. out there that we can't make everyone happy, so why not stock what makes sense and still have the ability to order what people want? It's not so much that Spesh forces dealers to carry their stuff, but there is a minimum dollar amount that must be spent every year. Outside of that we can still get everything just like any other shop.
  • 1 0
 @ko-d: isn't this what a specialized concept store is?
  • 2 1
 @pourquois-pas:
Where are you getting that the shop makes any money from this?

Direct to consumer means exactly that.
There is no shop involvement.
  • 9 1
 @Tayrob: They can still make money on the bikes delivered through their shop. Their challenge is to communicate the value they add to a customer by doing this vs having it shipped direct to home. Obviously they make no money on a direct to home sale, but there is a potential service opportunity if they can reach that potential customer through their marketing.

My point is, if the MSRP is the same, and non-negotiable online, which shoppers are most likely to buy direct? Those who can wrench themselves (or think they can)... neither of whom are hugely profitable shop customers anyway or they simply do not live near a dealer, so they wouldn't have been prospective customer only.

Bottom line, the LBS model needs to shift away from selling bikes to servicing bikes, and shift their marketing strategy to figure out how to generate that demand.

Or they can whine about it, and end up shutting their doors.

This is far from new - tech has been doing this for a long time, and almost every consumer facing industry is moving in this direction (because they'd rather control the customer interaction than leave it to the likes of Amazon). Ironically, we will eventually reach a point (not too distant) where consumers get frustrated having to go to multiple sites online to shop so someone will build a solution that compiles all of that data in one spot for consumers to shop more easily (Trivago-like)... completely undermining the manufacturers push to interact directly with consumers (remember, we're in a data economy, the metrics related to that consumer, how they shop, what they compare, who they are is becoming as or more valuable than the actual sales data itself).
  • 3 0
 @pourquois-pas: I completely agree with you. Whether or not a shop succeeds in transitioning to a service based model, however, will depend on it's ability to leverage it's relations with customers to sell their new services. These are relationships that Specialized is openly competing with LBS for.

For most shops, service revenues pale in comparison to bike sales. I just don't see LBS replacing the bulk of this revenue with other services. When I imagine the bike shop of the future it's smaller: say 1600 square feet with two or three employees.

Overall, I think this is a net loss. The retail markup everyone complains about subsidized a lot of bike culture. It allows a lot of free service, shop rides, and just the hang out vibe that good bike shops still exude.

Of course, there's opportunity to do something cool amid this change. Whatever that is, Specialized certainly isn't helping LBD in adapting to the new reality.
  • 1 0
 @cjeder: Can't argue with any of your points. It's a difficult transition and there will be more losers than winners at the local level. I guess I'm just trying to see the opportunity.

I'm an LBS customer for life, so I do hope they survive! - 21 yrs with the same shop and I hope for another 21 and will keep buying from them as much as I can to make sure that happens.
  • 2 0
 If specialized sells at msrp and dealers are at map, what’s the issue?
  • 1 0
 @simooo: somewhat yes, a super Specialized Concept that actually stocks, demo’s and repairs all the stuff would be ideal. They are trying to sell all possible products to everyone any way possible and it just seems really inefficient and unfocused. If they could simplify they could likely reduce pricing by quite a bit and more people would be on their gear. Instead people are buying trash stuff that looks like it’ll do the job, but it’s 20% cheaper.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: "systematically industrialized shitiness" hahahahaha
  • 2 3
 Because all the normies who don't really have the first idea about mountainbiking are getting pulled in by Specializeds huge marketing efforts.
  • 97 7
 First they kept any Horst link bikes out of the US, then they had the Roubaix lawsuits, then sued Volagi. They’ve pushed dealers super hard to become franchises even if it’s not a good move, and during the worst Covid shortages, small Specialized dealers got ZERO bikes-even if they could pay cash up front.

I like the way modern Specialized stuff rides, and since Merida owns 49% of them, quality is good. But they’re the bullies of the industry.

Eff the big red S.
  • 20 1
 I’m glad I’m not the only one with a long enough memory to recall all the massively anticompetitive behaviour that they’ve engaged in over their history.

I didn’t realise Merida still had a big stake in them though.
  • 4 0
 @Afterschoolsports: it’s why Merida won’t sell in the US. They don’t want to compete with themselves.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: It's not they don't want to, they are legally prohibited. If I remember correctly, there's some sort of non-compete in place. Take that with a grain of salt though.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: I knew they had a big stake in the past but was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that their stake was much smaller these days.
  • 3 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I also could swear I remember reading about Mike Sinyard buying back a big chunk of the Merida stake in the mid 2010s but can't find any articles on it now so might have been imagining things! Seems crazy now that Merida paid 'only' $30M for their half back when the company was on its ass, what an incredible investment that was.
  • 2 3
 Yup, this. I would not miss them if they just stopped existing.
  • 76 7
 I work part time in a Specialized shop here in Germany and in the last couple of months it has been ridiculous how much Spec is shitting on us.

First, since we are more of a road-gravel(kill me pls) shop and we sell very little mtbs, Specialized doesnt allow us to order big bikes(Demo , Enduro) anymore.

Second, there used to be two layers of discounts, one from the shop itself and another one from Specialized if the bike was meant for personal use of an employee, the scratched that too.

On top of that our margin has gotten smaller... Im happy I sold my Demo. I don't want to ride such a brand.

When I was speaking with another shop, to oder my Trek Session, I found out that their situation is much better. Ieven get a bigger discount from a shop that I dont work for than from the one I work for. Ridiculous...
  • 11 0
 Be shure that no one more buys Demo alloy frame : 2500€ in 2020 then 3800€ in 2022 !!!
  • 11 0
 @flexibletruck: Yeah its insane. An alloy frame. 3800 euros
  • 9 0
 3800 euros, are you kidding me!?!? Their carbon enduro frame was like 3800 or 4000$, something like that, in Canada! 3800 euros is like 5000-5500 cad! For a alloy frame, wtf!?
  • 15 0
 Just checked pricing in EU and what the hack did happen?

Basic Stump EVO alloy on NX is 4200 eur?!

Carbon Stump EVO expert over 7000 eur?!

Good luck to them.
  • 4 0
 @kusa: they will sell out like they always do, even if I do agree.
  • 3 0
 @flexibletruck: And for the same frame! Not a new one or anything, design is done, production line is already on... I really feel lucky with my 2020 demo which is beautiful
  • 5 0
 @flexibletruck: it's not only specialized. I bought my 2021 commencal supreme team (with rockshox ultimate) right before prices went up. I paid 6k+ taxes CAD. Last I checked it is now $7300 a year later.
  • 5 0
 Also wondering if Spec would hold back bikes for the LBS, since it's more beneficial for Spec to sell a bike D2C instead of shipping it to the dealer and losing margin. Interesting times for sure. Now I know why our LBS Spec dealer postponed his plans for expanding his current shop all of the sudden.
  • 7 0
 My LBS recently had to stop selling Specialized, because their license as an official dealer was revoked. Apparently they weren't selling enough bikes and that happened because Specialized would only deliver them the shitty entry-level hardtails that no one wants and the base model SJ and SJ Evo, which are terrible value in Europe (- base model SJ Evo costs 4200 € = 4700 USD).
  • 6 0
 @ThunderChunk: Commencals rise is around 20% - its big but not unrealistic considering many costs have doubled or more (aluminium, shipping etc) and they are fighting for parts to build the bikes.

A frame going from 2500 to 3800 however has almost zero justification - almost 50% increase in cost, no parts to source, easier to ship than a full bike etc etc.
  • 1 0
 @Exbow: well oddly enough a dealer i was recently talking to said spec had just told them they were getting 2 of the 50 ish specialized road bikes they had pre-ordered.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: very true. I haven't checked the frame prices for commencal but I don't think they increases very much.
  • 2 0
 @flexibletruck: Is that frame/shock only?! Just get a Nicolai at that point.
  • 53 2
 I love not owning a Specialized
  • 5 1
 I love not having to buy a new Specialized
  • 6 1
 @DizzyNinja: I love not being able to afford a new Specialized Levo
  • 2 4
 @justanotherusername: I love my specialized Enduro ‍♂️

IMO all brands will have some consumer direct option, it’s only a matter of time.
  • 3 1
 I love not owning a Specialized ANYMORE. And I really can't understand what ever even made me give them any money in the first place.
  • 53 3
 That should just about put the final nail in my Specialized LBS's coffin.
  • 24 43
flag Kmccann137 (Jan 27, 2022 at 14:50) (Below Threshold)
 Not really the people who buy direct are way different than the people who buy from an LBS
  • 26 1
 @Kmccann137: You think that until you can order an in stock bike without talking to a salesperson.
  • 22 3
 @HB208: agreed. I hate having to rationalize why I want what I want when going into bike shops, car dealers, etc
  • 12 1
 @peterman1234: If all is equal, I'd rather buy it from the dealer so its easier to warranty if there is an issue. But it can be a PITA to know if they have bikes in stock.
  • 29 4
 @peterman1234:
Always reminds me of the scene in parks & rec where Ron walks into a home hardware: “hello sir, can I he..” Ron “I know more than you” *continues walking*
  • 2 3
 @HB208: fair point and i buy all my bikes online
  • 4 1
 @Kmccann137: really? Where’d you learn that? Sounds like some assumption.

I’ve definitely bought bikes through both channels and plan to do the same moving forward.
  • 17 7
 @HB208: I have never once thought it was easier to go through warranty with a shop. In an era of two day shipping I’d far rather deal with the brand directly.
  • 9 2
 @Vlad-Putin: Eh, I had a damper problem on my Spur and I am glad I don't need to coordinate with RockShox
  • 6 0
 Ours got bought out by Trek.
  • 2 1
 @zephxiii: you must be in Austin
  • 2 18
flag homerjm (Jan 27, 2022 at 16:51) (Below Threshold)
 @peterman1234: When I pick my last Enduro S4 the saddle was so high those guys were thinking about a little taller owner for the bike.not me at 178cm.
The mechanic come down to check me in person while saying and S3 was my size...
I was like: thanks for being so annoying bitch! my cousin was there and he said I kill the guy with my eyes and the silence moment hahahaha
  • 12 1
 Problem I see with this that like a lot of people I would rather demo a bike before having to fork out a tonne of precious $$ for my next bike. I currently have an Enduro purely because it was the best bike I was able to demo for what I ride, and likewise I went for the S3 size rather than S4 after being able to ride both on my local trails. No store is going to want to stock bikes and have demo bikes available if after riding them the customers go straight to Specialized website and buy direct rather than paying more from them……
  • 3 3
 @Prh: while i get that not every buyer out there is as picky, I can pretty much take the geometry of my current (or most recent) bike and know if I'm going to mesh with a new bike based on its geo and build/intended use
  • 9 0
 @endoguru: you don't need to be in Austin for it to happen, it's been happening across the US
  • 5 0
 @endoguru: Or DFW. Or Colorado now. Trek has taken over 10 stores in the DFW area. So much for variety.
  • 3 0
 @endoguru: or you must be from ________ (insert any dozen cities here)
  • 3 0
 @zephxiii: same here. My LBS of 25 years is now trek. Really disappointing for me and the employees. I just tried to get them to order in a helmet and they told me they couldn’t anymore as it wasn’t a bontrager.
  • 47 4
 People on here crying about their LBS are the same ones that expect the 10% team discount for placing 10/12 at their local age group enduro and putting the bike shop in their bikereg profile
  • 9 0
 I mean upvotes for you because anyone who has worked in a shop knows a few of those people.. on the other hand, my fear is that if more and more independent shops shutter their doors, in 10 years time the 'community' dries up. And yeah, to be fair not every shop is a good shop involved in their local scene, but a good amount are.
  • 8 0
 Every racer makes the race; not just the winner mate.

If you take away 6 of those 12 racers the race venue lose half the money from that category but the reduction in cost is minimal.

Thats why my store gives discounts to these kind of people. They are genuinely nice, want to improve and love riding their bike.

They turn up to every race irrespective of whether they’ll come 1/12 or 12/12 and they help keep the race scene going.
  • 38 0
 But they will keep the prices the same, so cool
  • 16 0
 $3300 for full SRAM SX on the Stumpjumper Alloy you gotta assemble yourself. Good luck with that.
  • 3 2
 @office: Bikes ordered online are normally fully assembled, you just have to put the bars and wheels on
  • 5 0
 @office: Specialized bikes will continue to sell out regardless of what we think.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: You're not wrong
  • 30 0
 Just in case you're as bad at math as I am:

Let's imagine that right now, a dealer got a $500 commission when someone walked in and bought a Specialized from them.

Today, if I order a bike online for pickup instead of walking into a store, that commission will go down to $375.

After February 1, that commission would go down to $250 if I choose to pickup the assembled bike at the dealer.

If, on the other hand, after February 1 I choose to have it shipped directly to my house, the dealer gets nothing.
  • 5 2
 And the customer seems to get nothing as well. Which I guess is good if it helps more people go the dealer route.
FWIW I called my dealer about 3x on a bike, and he told me with the bike shortage it was better for them to push people to the site for the buy online pickup in store model. The reason of course, they had almost no bikes, so linking a model and size to a person was difficult, but if they told a bunch of people to go to the site and buy they sold more than 2x the bikes, making about 50% as much, and did not have to carry as much inventory. and this is not a small dealer at all, pre-covid they had about 300 bikes built and of the sales floor.
  • 23 0
 Slightly worse than that. You can pretty much guarantee that the dealer will pick up some of the hassle if the direct buyer has an issue under warranty
  • 28 2
 For the Dealer, the upside is cash flow. They are not buying the bikes from Specialized, then waiting to sell them. Sitting on paid for inventory is tough for your local LBS.
  • 11 24
flag physics-photographer (Jan 27, 2022 at 16:17) (Below Threshold)
 @metroneck: That's not how the system works. LBS's buy inventory on credit, and agree to pay by a certain date (usually August/September). Nobody sits on paid-for inventory.
  • 28 0
 @physics-photographer:

Yes, however full inventory is rarely sold thru before term is due (in normal times).

As a former shop owner, balancing stock on the floor, and cash flow is the hardest part of operating.
  • 18 2
 @physics-photographer:

Wrong. Currently dealers need to pay for all bikes within 30 days of them shipping. And with so many bikes on backorder you have no idea when the are going to ship.

Those Rockhoppers that you ordered in Fall 2020 to have for a spring 2021 didn't actually ship until fall 2021. And now the LBS has a massive bill due within 30 days and inventory to try to move during their slowest season.
  • 3 0
 @physics-photographer: Second that, my local shop is being forced to buy inventory not sell on terms.
  • 4 0
 @physics-photographer: uhhhh... at the shop I work at we do
  • 5 0
 @PCclyde: Big oof, it must have changed since I worked in a shop. My old boss would buy on a 3 month term, typically made the big order in May and pay in August.
  • 3 1
 @physics-photographer: You are not completely off. There was a time that this was the case with some vendors. It also depends on the shop's buying power.

There are a lot of trade offs between the old keystone model, and (in basic terms) the vendor maintaining ownership of inventory, and paying a lower 'commission' to the dealer. Current supply chain, and customer expectation of speed of delivery F's everything up.

From what I can see with Specialized, they get to be more vertically integrated, without having to expand their in-house operated retail footprint. This relieves some of the financial burden on small dealers, but decreases their income.
  • 2 3
 @metroneck: Makes sense.

As best as I can tell, Specialized hates working with independent bike shops, and wants to have control over every point from factory to customer hands. The shop I was at specifically didn't carry Specialized because of what the owner saw when he was a shop mechanic. He told me stories about Specialized reps rearranging the LBS floor to make their product (tires etc) more prominent, and them pressuring shops to not carry other brands.
  • 1 0
 Likely an old model. Manufacturer’s likely don’t want to extend credit lines out. There is risk of not getting paid back and direct cost loaning money which can be 5-10% based risk factory after 30 days@physics-photographer:
  • 33 0
 Cash Rules Everything Around Me
  • 15 0
 Cream
  • 16 0
 Get the Money! Dollar Dollar Bill Y all
  • 1 12
flag mariomtblt (Jan 27, 2022 at 15:21) (Below Threshold)
 CREAM?
  • 5 0
 @funkzander: Word up, two for fives over here, baby
  • 2 1
 Between digital, crypto, and currency exchanges, it appears Discord rules, but in the shape of a corporation
  • 29 6
 I don't know of another industry where businesses expect to survive while thinking they "deserve" a customer's business. The modern LBS has a problem. The reason that the shop gets less margin for a sale coming off the website is because Specialized has the overhead costs (marketing especially) for that sale. I've walked into shops and been ignored, watched them force sale a bike that didn't fit a customer because it was on the floor, etc. The good shops will stick around, but the attitude that has plagued the industry for decades needs to change. That's only my opinion though, and I also think IMBA needs to relinquish its monopoly as it is now a trail building business, not an advocacy group. But hey, what do I know...
  • 10 0
 This is spot on. Whenever I had a favorite shop over the years, I would buy whatever brand they sold because I trusted them.
  • 3 1
 car dealers are basically the same. But car dealers are so entrenched in service revenue/monopoly on local real estate that it's basically recurring for them and they will keep acting like they deserve that business. They'll bleed a much slower death from Carvana and Tesla. LBS's on the other hand are just a tough business to make work even in good times. I don't know what they need to do to make it work but the answer might just be even fewer LBS's.
  • 8 2
 Agreed. Specialized is a company that wants to make money. If it can make more money by cutting it out bike shops, it will. The bike shops need to change or add value if they want to stay in business.
  • 8 1
 100% agree on IMBA. They just teach towns how to get grants and write applications and then make them use their trail solutions bulldozing crew to pave a bunch of green trails as fast as possible for as cheap as possible. Look guys, more miles of "singletrack"!!
  • 19 8
 *gasp* You walked into a place of business and were IGNORED?? *clutches pearls* Did you ask for help, or did you just go straight to Yelp to leave a bad review? lol..

I'd rather walk into a bike shop and be allowed to browse than to be approached by three different people in 10 minutes time. It's a bike shop dude. But don't worry, that will never happen at the new 'Cafe Specialized Experience' bike shop and kombucha bar!

All joking aside, by no means does a place of business 'deserve' your patronage or charity. Doesn't provide value to *you*? Cool, don't go. Easy. But maybe, just *maybe* they do provide value for other people...so perhaps feather the brakes on being so ok seeing your LBS dry up and blow away because they don't cater to your high standards..
  • 4 7
 @mikealive: lame dude
  • 6 1
 @Nwilkes: indeed. IMBA is NOT a friend to most mountain bikers. Sanitized trails, and their advocacy isn't what they pretend to stand by.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: I can't believe I will defend the IMBA, but here we are. In our neck of the woods we're going through a Forest Plan revision. Their government relations team has been invaluable in ensuring we know where to put our efforts, language to use, and how to object. Honestly, it could have a massive impact for our local riders for decades to come. On the other hand, they built a shitty flow trail here that we had to fix 5 years later.
  • 3 1
 @Klainmeister: I wish you the best. Experience I have seen with them bullying local groups/trail building teams as if they know the locale better, dismissing ideas, the above sanitation/cookie cutter designs, and their lack of true MTB advocacy leaves a bad mark in my view
  • 2 0
 @bman33: Guessing the regional reps have a big influence. Our SW guy has been solid over the years and we haven't had any bullying. Sorry to hear that. This sport really does deserve a good advocate--but then again, as a fly fisherman and hunter, every group has their shit advocates as well I've learned.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree. Between direct sales, Curated and mobile mechanics, the competition of good value is getting higher.
  • 4 0
 IMBA needs to even relinquish their position in the trail building business. IMBA now exists to build a very specific subset of trails that many experienced mountain bikers do not want to ride. Just look at the IMBA sanctioned trails built and modified on the North Shore which do not have any of the character that the North Shore is known for.
  • 23 1
 Pinkbike: Support your LBS.
Also Pinkbike: I do all my service myself. I buy accessories from non-bike brands cause I'm thrifty. I know my bikes and don't need someone else to tell me. I go to all the free demo events to avoid bike fleet rental fees. Bully people who pay extra for small boutique brands like Yeti.
  • 5 2
 Ya it is pretty funny. Used to see all the "support your LBS" "just wait til you need to warranty" "At least get your service done at your LBS"

For some people it makes sense to go through their LBS and there's no judgement there. Personally I'm of the mind to save as much as I can. This is an expensive ass sport that just got even more expensive. Like thousands $$$ more in some cases. If the bike I want can be bought DTC and is cheaper, then that is the way I will buy it. I'll do most of my own maintenance unless it is something that I don't trust myself doing. I'm not here to help businesses make money bc they'll take any chance they can to make extra $$ from me. I just wanna ride my bike without having to take out a second mortgage on my home.
  • 26 4
 This is largely because Specialized failed to buy Mikes Bikes in San Jose, losing out to PON group (Santa Cruz bikes), and Mike Sinyard is salty guy.
  • 51 0
 Everyone knows Santa Cruz is famous for low priced bikes.
  • 5 0
 That was my first thought too. The email Specialized sent out after that deal fell through felt very much a "sour grapes" response to the situation. I assumed they would just open up some Specialized retail stores (and maybe they will), but perhaps this is the more immediate response to that.
  • 7 0
 @ohbmxer: They are doing that, too. They just opened one across from Mike's Bikes in Los Gatos, in the old Peloton store.
  • 6 0
 Yea Sinyard is a salty bastard. Glad MikesBikes didn’t entertain a Specialized purchase. Mike’s has some new brands coming in soon so specialized doesn’t matter
  • 4 0
 100% true and now Mikes bikes is getting primary #1 sellers from Giant.
  • 3 0
 Actually it was the whole franchise… all 12 locations. Mikes is just owned by Pon alone, but Pon also owns Cerevelo, SC, Dorrel (Schwinn, Mongoose, etc), Gazelle, and many more.
  • 6 0
 @iliveonnitro: Spite Store! He's clearly CYE fan.
  • 3 0
 @iliveonnitro: Wow. That's some spiteful shit right there. Gotta admire them on that in a way. I had no idea they opened a store in LG. You'd think if I was on the list of people to email about the Mike's Bike situation I'd be a good person to email about a new store.
  • 2 0
 @ohbmxer: Can’t confirm nor deny, but I’ve heard some rumors, and only rumors, that Spec is trying to buy up local shops near MB locations in order to keep the competition and the customers in those areas.
  • 1 0
 @JacobyDH: They're going to over-saturate the market if they do that IMO, but then again it could be a long term play to essentially bring down Mike's Bikes.
  • 2 0
 @golfman1: they did, but Pon swooped in at the 11th hour with a better offer and the ability to remain independent. (Pon also owns car dealerships, so they have operating experience.) Much better deal for Mike's IMHO. But, if I were S, I'd be a bit salty with the rug pull, too. They're just trying to match Trek with the vertical play.
  • 3 0
 @ohbmxer Good luck, if that's the plan. PON makes 16x the revenue of Specialized.

@dmondave: Rumor has it that Specialized lowballed Mike's Bikes, thinking they had no other choice but to sell to them. If that's true, Spec overplayed their cards. Lots of speculation on this, though, through 2nd/3rd/4th hand info.
  • 1 0
 @iliveonnitro: wouldn't surprise me if true.
  • 17 3
 If a bike is cheaper consumer direct I will get it from the brand directly. If I can get fox performance elite stuff, shimano xt group, dtswiss xm1700 and a carbon frame for 4k€ from canyon and get a nx build + fox rythm + alu for the same price at my lbs, and need to spend 6-8k€ for the same spec at my lbs, sorry but I cannot justify that. LBS will inevitabely sell less and less bikes, thats to be expected with the internet... But thats how the market works, you need to be competitive.
  • 15 0
 Agree, but that's assuming S will lower their prices which ain't gonna happen. So really you're spending the same amount of money, except in scenario 1 all the money goes to the brand; scenario 2 you're supporting your local business and the brand.
  • 13 2
 @bforwil: 3. The internet won't bleed your brakes. Or go for a ride with you.
  • 3 1
 @iamamodel: dawg get zwifty prob solved
  • 6 2
 @iamamodel: both true and valid concerns. but also the internet won't push the wrong size/type of bike on less experienced customers just because thats whats in stock. the internet won't do terrible wrenching on your bike and whatever other useless nonsense bad bikeshops do. if your LBS is good, with good salespeople who don't strongarm customers into buying the wrong bike and mechanics who aren't terrible, they will be fine (hopefully).
  • 2 0
 @bforwil: In the case of S I cant justify it either since they wont lower prices, as you said.
  • 3 0
 @iamamodel: Thats true. Direct to consumer is better for people who can work on their bikes.
  • 1 1
 @iamamodel: This has been a thought exercise for years where people think that a lot of shops will slowly shift from large bike sales to be significantly more service focused along with small goods. They make much higher margins on labor and small items anyways.
  • 1 0
 @GumptionZA: Arguing to the worst case scenario is hardly an argument.
  • 1 0
 Soon we can all work for amazon and take our low cost bikes home direct from the warehouse after a 14hour shift. Itll be like the industrialization period again. From what I read it was sweet.
  • 14 2
 Unless the price drops for a direct shipment to home, there's no reason to bother with this. If it's either "have to put it together yourself", or "have the LBS assemble it on their time", I'll keep my free time, and let the LBS do the work. The only way this makes any sense is if there is a discount for putting it together yourself.
  • 2 1
 Or if you don’t live near a Big S dealer.
  • 6 10
flag unrooted (Jan 27, 2022 at 17:49) (Below Threshold)
 If you can afford a new Specialized…then do you actually know how to do the most basic maintenance on a bike?
  • 2 0
 Of course. Or if it's out of stock at LBS but available online. Definitely makes more sense to just buy from LBS if the price is the same. The whole point of DTC (at least for the consumer) is to save money.
  • 10 0
 I would see if Specialized has the bike in stock - then go to my LBS and order it from them.
All this does is increase the cost of repairs at the LBS as they get screwed. Bring a bike in you bought direct for a warranty to the LBS -how does that work?

Not a fan.
  • 9 1
 Agreed. Intense is now selling their bikes at Costco. As these bikes show up at my LBS poorly assembled and with issues (thanks e13) the charge for service is higher. If you want to be taken care of and have help with your warranty and crash replacement buy the bike from your LBS
  • 25 0
 Unfortunately, Specialized won’t let me order that bike for you, even if they have it in stock on their website. Their online sales get first priority on new stock.
  • 8 0
 " I would see if Specialized has the bike in stock - then go to my LBS and order it from them."

Thats not how it works, at least in the US. Online inventory is only sold thru the online channel. your only choice is deliver to store or deliver to home. You can't have the store order that inventory and sell it to you. Trust me, I just tried with my Aethos a week or so ago.
  • 8 0
 @cgallag: Wow. I am sure that shops that have dealt with Specialized for 25+ years will be dropping them like hot cakes. The scary thing is that 25 years ago - the bike was very simple compared to today. You did not need to be a journeyman mechanic to get the thing to work. Nowadays, with aero this, internal that, questionable carbon engineering (think Tarmac steerers), press fit bb's and wiz bang drivetrains it is well beyond most people.

Shops will have a priority list based on the purchase transaction. Also -would a shop rate be applied to cover warranty work? Seems like both the consumer and shop will suffer all to Specialized's advantage. I am sure there is another memo coming out that Specialized will no longer offer terms on bookings etc....

During the pandemic this really harsh on dealers as the likelihood of them selling their booking is the highest it has ever been in history - so Specialized taking a share of that -then having the bike arrive at the LBS seems doubly unfair.

Not a fan x 10
  • 2 0
 @dhdropout: Assuming you are a dealer -are your bookings being capped too?
  • 1 0
 @nosoeawe: what e13 stuff is causing trouble?
  • 4 0
 @cgallag: I found out that Transition bikes does the exact same thing. Two streams of inventory & the LBS can't buy from the consumer stream.
They have the same issue of getting / being forced to accept a lower margin as they are 'assembling' vs selling. I commiserated with the owner - seems like a raw deal
  • 3 0
 My LBS charges $40/hr for most work. I would guess some stuff is flat rate IE tire change. Where I live, I would expect them to charge $120/hr or more.....
  • 1 0
 @Ososmash: rear hub axles
  • 1 0
 @dldewar: agreed, its a total slap in the face to their retailers. However, maybe thats the way they want to be given Specialized is also buying up stores.

The reasons you listed are some of the reasons I went with an Aethos, standard parts 10R frame, threaded BB, electro or mechanical, easy for me to work on.
  • 11 1
 Ok, here we go.

It is no secret that D2C is inevitable for (most) brands in the industry. In Canada, Specialized is still fulfilling all dealer back orders on bikes and will be prioritizing their existing retailers first. Once all back orders are fulfilled, excess stock will make its way online for D2C availability. Long story short, you are unlikely to find an ‘in stock’ Specialized bicycle online on their website for some time due to shortages. This will give dealers that dislike Specialized’s new strategy ample time to sell through their on-hand inventory and jump ship if they choose without their sales being cannibalized by the same brand (online).

The decision by Specialized to begin this model is hopefully fuelled by a need to decrease current and future high retail prices of their bicycles to remain competitive in the market. If not, “The Big Red S” will assume all profits that used to prop up it’s retail partners. Was this move out of necessity? Maybe. Was it out of greed after using the LBS to establish it’s current market foothold? Maybe.

Thanks, Specialized…
  • 12 2
 6 months from now specialized sues every other bike brand for using the term “direct to consumer”. They are the epitome of corporate scumbags in the bike industry. I will never own one… until they buy up all other brands. In the future all bikes are specialized, just as all restaurants are Taco Bell.
  • 12 0
 One more nail in the coffin for the local bike shop. And I really really like my local bike shop.
  • 10 0
 Just expect labor rates to increase (again) to compensate.
  • 1 0
 and so it goes...
  • 2 0
 @Jamminator: the Consumer price index is going up. 6% up from last year. Nothing costs what it used to!
  • 10 1
 For years and all the training I have done in Morgan Hill, Specialized has emphasized how they are "all for the retailers". Bull. They're hurting all the brick and motors across the country. Its a shame coming from them.
  • 9 3
 Yeah, I have been to their HQ in Morgan Hill, and was not impressed by their "We are the BEST bicycle company in the world" attitude.

I do respect what they do, but show a little humility. You're not the best, Specialized.
  • 8 1
 I can't imagine paying the amount of money bikes cost these days without a solid two to three hour demo ride. Seems like if consumer-direct is the direction the industry is going, there should be a better solve for being able to demo bikes.
  • 5 0
 Except there are no bikes to demo. (But I totally get your point)
  • 10 1
 There’s a shop where I live that only stocks demos. You pay $100 for each demo, but it’s all refunded if you buy a bike. They don’t keep any stock for sale, you have to order if you buy. Tesla follows the same model for cars, they have demo models at their “dealers” for test drives, but nothing to buy off the lot.

It’s a great model, because they can stock multiple models and sizes for demo.
  • 3 1
 Having an amazing LBS is the big win here! The shop I work at offers 30 day guarantee on all bikes. Return on exchange it! With all the changes in the world; DTC sales will continue to grow. But it's not for everyone and there are a lot of advantages of buying local. Warranty, service, fit, etc
  • 3 1
 @MrDiamondDave: don't you work at a Trek concept store?
  • 1 0
 As long as there are multiple trustworthy bike reviews on the bike I want, and forum posts don’t have too many unbearable complaints about the bike or warranty claims I feel fine buying a bike without pre-riding it….I guess I’m one of those weirdos that can adjust quickly to a new bike with totally different geometry.
  • 2 1
 @dthomp325: This is the way. It's the number one thing a shop can do to add value.
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: Most brands require a commitment to a certain number of models on the floor for sale before offering demos, otherwise all shops would do this and avoid a ton of headache and overhead.
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: Tesla has been shifting their model lately. We have a couple of Tesla dealers in the area with loads of inventory. Tesla fanboys may buy sight unseen but Tesla has realized that they need to have inventory at some dealers to break into the larger market.

For bikes, I need to demo one before buying also. Being at the extreme sizing of most brands means that many bikes are too small or ride terribly in the largest sizes. A good demo is an absolute must.
  • 3 1
 @KellChris: I’m guessing that’s specialized’s plan. Their experience centers are pretty rad and enable someone to talk to a professional mechanic about the bike, ride it on trails, then find it in stock. They will probably end up with a large amount of experience centers and an equal amount of fulfillment centers. Unfortunately for local bike shops it is a way more informed decision making process than just pedaling around a parking lot on a $7,000 bike and saying “alright, I guess we’ll see how it does on dirt”. I guarantee if Canyon or YT had a large network of “experience centers” or similar they would increase sales by a massive margin.

After demoing a stumpjumper evo for 4 hours on my local trails it made it virtually impossible to even consider other bikes. I had nothing to compare it to other than pavement feel, completely impractical. When I’m spending thousands of hard earned dollars I want to know what I’m getting, not trust another riders opinion or merely guess based on reviews and spec.
  • 1 0
 @stevemokan: Yes agreed. Setting aside the pando and resulting supply chain issues.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: Wow. That's an interesting model. Do you mind sharing the name of the shop?
  • 9 2
 Sad to see Specialized stabbing their LBS dealers in the back, but it's not surprising.

I have worked in shops that sell both Specialized and Trek and I thought that Trek was just a better company all around.

Specialized makes some really great stuff, but they have slowly been turning into an electric moped company.

Does anyone pedal uphill anymore? I still do.
  • 10 0
 Everyone loves higher profits! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 8 0
 2022 Status announced to public 01/30, PB review drops 01/31, online store opens 02/01 with the Status for sale in all sizes for $4000.
  • 10 4
 Am I the only one who thinks Specialized prices are....fine? If you can find a Status it's a banger of a deal. The Stumpy Alloy evos are really, really good value, the Enduro comp is good spec and best bike in its class for less than $5.5k. I know you can look at the bling builds, but for bikes 95% of us would actually ride, they're one of the better big brands around in term of value.
  • 5 1
 Completely agree. When I bought my 2021 Stumpjumper a year ago, no other bike compared at the same price with the spec on it. And the frame details were better than most out there. On top of that, it was lighter than comparable trail bikes. I drove 3 hours each way to a shop in another state to buy it as I lucked out when doing the bike search on line. None of my local shops had inventory coming anytime soon. So, I gave that shop their mark-up for a 10 minute conversation. Good for them and they seemed like a nice shop but that could have easily been done directly with Specialized and it would have been delivered to my door.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: I mean, I hope the find a way to keep local shops viable while going this route. A smart hybrid set up could be the best of both worlds.
  • 2 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I think there’s a glass-half-full perspective that shops won’t have as much risk with high-end inventory taking up floor space and allow them to focus on service labor, parts, accessories and gear.
  • 2 0
 I mean, kinda? I just spent $5500 on my new bike and it is better in literally every single spec of the bike... drivetrain, suspension, brakes, wheels... so still not THAT great. $5500 got me a 2021 Meta AM with full XTR, Hope V4's, Hope hubs with DT EX511's, Chromag "stuff", a Zeb Ultimate, and a Kitsuma Air. No dropper, so the only place where maybe I'm saving. Spec ain't "spec'ing" that for that price.
  • 4 0
 In Europe, the base-model SJ Evo Alloy in all its SRAM NX and FOX Rythm glory is 4200€ (=$4700), which is absolutely terrible value.
  • 6 0
 A question around the price to the consumer

Online you pay what you pay. The price is fixed. But with an LBS there is usually some room to negotiate or include some freebies in the sales price. With the LBS, who here actually pays full RRP? And that's before you get to the usual LBS services and setup with a bike sale.

For traditional LBS brands who now offer click and collect it seems like if you want the best price it still pays to go to your LBS and make some friends.
  • 4 0
 YES! And if nothing else, if they don't end up giving you discounts, you'll always have a buddy down at the shop who knows what they're talking about. Everyone should go down to their local shop, doesn't matter if you're buying chain lube or a bike, us mechanics don't bite (well for the most part), so come say hi!
  • 7 1
 work at one of Germany's premium bike stores with a lot of nice brands like Santa Cruz, Yeti, Specialized etc. We have customers that buy almost any new S-Works bike we get. None of them can ride bikes. The mindset change of Specialized within the last 2 years towards us as their dealer and towards the customers is very noticeable. Arrogance is increasing, margins are the smallest of all brands, they don't really care for anything than themselves. How can a S-Works complete bike cost a dealer and customer way more than if he buys every part including S-Works frameset for normal price without discount? This is personal but I hope their bubble will explode soon (don't think so unfortunately). Well, things are getting farer and farer away from what it is all about. Rider owned company offering good shit for community and caring.
  • 1 0
 I have heard about the strange pricing you speak about. It makes no sense. The only thing the customer can do is to vote with their wallet. Unfortunately Spez is like BMW in a way. Very nice cars, but often not so nice customers. I have some Spez and GIant bikes because in South Africa it is a well supported brand with fair pricing and good resale.
  • 7 0
 Love it. Bigger margin for the bike brand while the end consumer has neither a local service nor a lower price. WTF Specialized!?
  • 2 2
 They likely hope dealers see it as a non threat and hang on a little longer. Because it's a terrible deal in every way for consumers unless you live way away from a shop. But once they have the system working they will keep squeezing shops margins and/or lowering prices on D2C stuff. It also lets them ease into servicing D2C products.
  • 3 0
 Bike shop level prices for direct to consumer level service. Gotta love the idea, right?!
  • 6 2
 At first glance I thought "this makes no sense", especially considering there's not a hope in hell that saving is going to be passed on to us, but maybe it does make some sense:

The golden rule used to be not to go into competition with your own resellers, but they already do that to a degree and this has to be about taking sales from YT etc. - not based on price, but on making that buy from home impulse purchase as frictionless as possible.

In the ebike future the retailer still has a big role for these bikes; sure you can get it direct from Spec., but when you're Levo's motor sh*ts the bed for the fifth time that's 5 trips to the local Spec dealer and income for them?
  • 4 2
 You email them yourself and get a new motor.

Just experienced this with YT and Santa Cruz

YT sent a new motor out the same day (first day) I called them. Shipped to me within the week.

Just had a EP8 shit the bed. Literally 4 shop visits because I kept having to come back for another thing shimano would come up with. After a whole week, 4 shop visits, a f*ck ton of wasted time, I have a motor on the way, who knows when it will get here.

My YT experience was seemless and easy.

I guess my post goes with the understanding that you can unscrew 6 bolts and understand how to plug wires in…
To some I guess that’s too difficult
  • 2 0
 @Alexthemtbr: how's the rattle on that EP8 motor?
  • 6 1
 @Alexthemtbr: I'm not an e-bike expert level mechanic, but I think you've oversimplified a motor replacement on several Specialized models. That is not typically a home-mechanic job. I've watched our head mechanic do several and I still want nothing to do with it. And that's in a well-lit shop with shop tools and a motorized/adjustable stand.

How shops get paid for doing this work in this D2C model...flat rates/per job that may or may not be in line with your market or hourly shop rate may be kicking some shops while they're down, after losing sales/margin in the first instance. And if they continue to make shops the warranty hub then you're still using and employee's time to keep dealing with that but now for less $ return.
  • 2 0
 Mine makes some noise, but while a little annoying I quickly forget about it. Granted it’s a joke that it rattles @chummyweim:
  • 5 0
 Working at a shop, we don't see this changing our Short Term business plans but definitely in the long term it'll cause a significant impact in both sales and services (down for sales, hopefully up for service).
  • 4 0
 Wow that's really shitty.

How long before the spec PR machine comes out and says "This was vital to maintain competitive in the marketplace" as if all their bikes aren't already perpetually sold out.

This is worthy of a "Hallelujah Holy Shit Where's The Tylenol" rant
  • 8 0
 CEO is still a peice of shit
  • 5 1
 I didn't need a realtor to purchase a new home recently. I certainly don't need an LBS to order my next frame, hold my money, multiple trips to the shop, etc. If Specialized is able to hold prices due to D2C then that is equivalent to a price drop as everyone else is increasing prices. No business model lasts indefinitely. Adapt or die. Consumers are choosing to buy direct, bike shops need to adapt or simply choose a different line of work. The market decides.
  • 6 0
 If local bike shops thought it was tough to get inventory now, just wait. . .
  • 8 1
 Specialized to dealers - thanks for your help over the years, now GFY.
  • 7 0
 One more reason why I will never buy S.
  • 1 0
 Same here
  • 3 0
 I can't afford them, but my LBS used to stock all the S- Works range. A year or so ago they had that privileged removed. They have been stocking their bikes for at least 20!!! Apparently it's only for concept store's. Talk about loyalty!
  • 3 0
 The market will sort this out pretty efficiently.

No, there's not much value to the end user right now. But when the market cools off, this gives Spesh the ability to better discount/incentivize in order to move product.

Also, there's a place for both direct and brick-and-mortar. As product evolves, DTC will capture the right segments and LBS will retain the others.

Service needs will evolve and shops will offer more creative, appropriate local support.

This is a good thing, masquerading as a scary thing.
  • 4 0
 Spoiler alert. The all new Specialized Stockholm will be released on Feb 2nd will only be made available for sale in the local shops that stay faithful. #SinyardSaves
  • 2 0
 Specialized Stockholm Syndrome?
  • 3 1
 How about direct ot consumer TECH SUPPORT??

just wish I could talk directly to Specialized when I have problems and not have to wait on some mechanic to send them a report, for them to respond, for mechanic to relay info to me, its really stupid when I could resolve quickly by talking to the source
  • 2 0
 "We at specialized are committed to marking our bikes up, swearing by plastic, and not committing to anything close to a matching spec, with any delivery. Look forward to our for nothing markup of about $2-3-500.00 dollar price changes every year. cause, plastic!...."
  • 2 0
 Every Specialized rep has probably quoted the famous line in regards to their sales tactics “it’s not called Pressurized for nothing!”
First heard that the pressurized rep back in 1991.
Coolest specialized moment: being part of a game show quiz partner with Ned Overland in a Sun Tour clinic and then riding with him later.
Lows: being on the OE side and dealing with Specialized.
  • 2 0
 "retailers that assemble bikes purchased online for pickup will earn 50% of their standard sales margin, compared with 75% currently, and retailers that assemble and deliver bikes purchased online will earn 75% of the standard margin, according to BRAIN"

So their BRAIN system is now working as a PR agent/thing? At least something...
  • 4 2
 Don't get any wrong ideas, it's still Specialized we're talking about. The prices won't drop. The only reason why they are doing this is to increase their ridiculous margins - while simultaneously taking away the customer's benefits of buying from a shop AND posing an existential threat to their own dealerships. What a shitty company.
  • 2 0
 Interesting.
Oneplus could keep the flagship phone prices down with selling the goods directly to the customer.
Propain bikes does the same in Europe and they are almost always the best value for the money.

Speci now is the time to lower your prices.
Or do you keep the store profits too? Smile

Isn't this unfair considering your business partners retail sellers?
  • 5 0
 Holy shit, so spec raised prices and then made their partners obsolete? f*ck you guys
  • 3 0
 This wont work you have to be one or the other, thankfully my local lovely shop has no stock of Specialized, and I wont buy one now for sure. Specialized why did you have to shit on your local stockiest you total unts.
  • 2 0
 This is interesting for sure. As angry as some are, Specialized is a business and in order to keep that business alive they have to make money. But the goal is never just to stay alive right? The goal is to make boat loads of cash. Specialized clearly sees some sort of value, or a way to make more money in selling direct to customers. As a business owner I've never thought to myself, "I'm making enough money." The drive is always there to figure out ways to make more. As consumers however we have the choice to decide wether or not we want to give our money to that business. I have a very large multi state Specialized dealer a couple blocks from my house (Eriks) and while I own 2 Specialized bikes (Roubaix and Enduro) neither of them were purchased at Eriks. They've never had the bike I was looking for in stock. So as someone who thinks Specialized makes an incredible product I welcome the choice to purchase their bikes by other means than my LBS. I still go to my LBS for parts and service if needed, LBS like all businesses have to evolve and change to meet demand and survive. We all have a choice on where we spend our money and if you disagree with how specialized operates, you most certainly can spend your money elsewhere. If this move hurts their bottom line, they will certainly cease doing it.
  • 2 0
 What slap in the face to Specialized dealers that filled their showrooms and Specialized's pushy sales tiers for dealers to stock their shops with impossibly difficult models to sell before the next years orders have to be in. All done with this company...
  • 2 0
 Wow so many opinions - industry insiders, shops, consumers etc.
As a consumer I see a lot of good points, but not much on macro economy and how quickly things can change at micro level for instance bike industry.
First let’s consider all good points made:
Local bike shops can offer great service driving customer loyalist
Local bike shops typically make good percentage of gross revenue through bike sales. Gross sales profit ranges from 25-40%
Local bikes shops can’t carry all bikes consumers demand
High cost of holding inventory and risk of being stuck with it if consumers demands change due bike preferences, brand or cost
Local bike shops are not in all area of USA and Canada. Currently Trek, Specialized and few other brands require a level of exclusiveness to carry there bikes - a ban from selling other brands
Certain area have to many shops carry same brand products
Current changes from dealer to consumers direct have driven a wedge in industry - you can now order any part, accessories clothing online Amazon, Jenson, worldwide Cyclery, Competitive Cyclist and more. Jenson sells Specialized accessories, Ibis, Rocky Moutain. REI sell Bontrager gear and Cannondale.

The economy is currently very strong with higher demand than supply for bikes. This could shift due to few reasons: 1. Everyone who has wanted bikes finally gets one and it could be 2-3yrs before they buy the next bike - demand drops due to sales cycle slowing. 2. Consumers spending is stunted due to economy slipping into a recession - less buying power. 3. Inflation causes bike pricing in USA to continue to jump pricing out many would be buyers for premium bikes aka luxury goods. It could also be a combination of the above - at end of the day bike market slows down. There is more competition with dozen or more direct to consumers players: Fazzari, Ploygon, Commecial, YT, Cayon, Diamondback, GT, Guerrilla Gravity, Whyte, RBO, and more. These plays start putting pressure on industry again in pricing tactics - currently supply low and demand high direct to consumers bike companies are selling at close to retail LBS - why would you sell at discount if you can get maximum for your inventory. When economy shifts direct to consumers brands will drop pricing to a level traditional sales models will not be able to compete. Specialized I think sensed this in 2020 when sold off huge amount of inventory thinking we going into financial crisis and dropped pricing by 25-40% of huge amount of stock - it turned out they wrong last time and demand ended up skyrocketing. Though I believe they see future which will be a margin squeeze by direct to consumers who doesn’t pay 25-40% to dealer. Overall this change for now won’t do much damage to bike shops since loyal customers who don’t buy bikes from direct to consumers brand will continue to buy from them - as many point out why would you buy direct to consumers if you have a good shop that sells brand of bike you want. On other hand consumers who don’t have local bike shop that sells Specialized in there area will now be able to get bike shipped straight to them competing with direct to consumer. In future when day comes that margin pressure reemerges due to overage supply and lack of demand Specialized will be a position cut prices to compete against direct to consumers through online sales - it’s possible at this point they may trim there dealer network.
Overall if your manufacturing you want as much control both up and down stream supply chain. Specialized is clearly copying Apple in selling products through distribution, direct, as well as, building strategically located concept show rooms/demo centers. The question is if in long term there model will more reflect Telsa with only direct to consumers sales through there own stores and websites. I personally think they will continue to relay on dealers, but will consolidate them to ones they can do high volume and accept lower margins. Fewer dealers will allow Specialized to better track sales per territory - the real gold is if Specialized is able to focast marginal sales growth against there competition per market place and be able to assign dollar value for dealers involvement these growth or decline numbers. If dealer cannot show there worth what is Specialized giving up margin for?
I have to say Specialized is cunning in the way it does business and how it is attempting a mixed sales model. They have more Silicon Valley in there marketing foresting team than rest of the industry likely combined. There business savviness makes for enemies and hard feeling - many for good reason. Pricing transparency continues to grow in both B2C and B2B Specialized doesn’t want to wait. Lastly, Specialized came out with 2021 Status in 2020 it turned out they didn’t have components to supply frames being built due to Pandemic - this bike was a shot Commencial - Specialized knows that riders demographic is aging and they need younger riders. It’s very possible 2022 Status will be exclusive web only order bike along with a new line that is designed for an audience Specialized couldn’t sell to before due to a price barrier - these lower margins they may share with shops could be in cases for bikes shops will never have to hold inventory on. 3 Specialized, they drive innovative, make great products and follow smart business practices - you might learn in a leading B-Schools. Yes and the Status is truly a great bike if you can get your hands on one. Instead my steam thought typed on my iPhone above before I got sleep and prepare for another busy work week closing deals in an industry that isn’t my lifelong hobby - I’d love to see MBA quality case study shared on Pinkbike on Specialized or Industry as whole. Consumers like myself do like reading nitty gritty business details - it’s alot of time more fun than reading about tech or auto companies if it’s MTB. I didn’t know until reading through this thread that Merida owns non-controlling stake in Specialized. There a lot of great info that the Pinkbike editors could share in business review of industry quarterly. Look forward to see more articles like this one that at least draw a ton of comments share insight on the industry that consumers who wouldn’t find it outside of an industry journal or event.
  • 11 5
 Specialized sucks
  • 10 5
 F*** Specialized. Cutting out LBS all together.
  • 5 0
 rip to all the shops that only sell sped. bikes...
  • 6 2
 Perfect another reason NEVER to buy a Specialized.. way to take care of your dealer!
  • 2 9
flag DDoc (Jan 28, 2022 at 5:59) (Below Threshold)
 The dealers don't care about you. I would never trust a shop mechanic to setup my bike either. They just don't have the time and even if they did many don't know what they doing on the critical stuff like brake bleeding and even derailleur adjustment. The last bike i picked up the tires were at 10psi, the derailleur was totally off. the grips were not put pushed on all the way or tight. the chain was too long and the back brake needed bleeding badly. if they had fixed all that properly it would have eliminated any profit from the sale. D2C is fine by me.
  • 4 1
 Specialized sued a coffee & bike shop in Alberta owned by a Canadian Afghan war veteran for using the name Roubaix, IN SPITE of the name being from a town in France made famous because of a bike race that has been going on since 1896...about EIGHTY years longer than Specialized bikes even existed. That was reason enough for most people to stop buying specialized. There's also the fact they stole the brain inertia valve shock idea from its actual inventor, and locked him out of profiting by his patented invention by getting an "exclusive" bicycle shock license on it with a royalty deal for every shock made... and then didn't make any at all. Instead they "invented" a variation on his technology that while working worse, did enough to impress Specialized customers into dropping money on the bikes so equipped.

www.cyclingnews.com/news/sinyard-takes-responsibility-and-apologises-to-cafe-roubaix-owner
  • 2 1
 @DDoc: To properly assembly a bike out of the box is a minimum of 2 hours work. You basically need to loosen and re-tighten every bolt to the correct torque specs for the components, check the spoke tension/wheel trueness, check the tightness on the hub bearings is properly adjusted (where that's possible to do), and for anything with threaded pieces going together, that don't already have a threadlock on them (such as brake mount and disc rotor bolts, and some rear derailleurs mount bolts), check that there's something protecting the threads as far as lubrication goes, and with brake & gear cables you should pre-stretch them on the stand when you assemble the bike, and then you don't need to tell the customer to "bring it back in a week for a free re-adjustment for cable stretch".

Unfortunately most shop owners are only concerned with getting the most number of bikes built and think 30 minutes is all the mechanic should be taking to do it. At a shop I worked at a decade ago which offers "lifetime free tuneups" to people who bought bicycles there....throughout the spring, summer, fall... the bikes I assembled didn't come back in for adjustments/service for months and the ones some of the other mechanics built would be back within days as the gears were already out of adjustment. And the owner has a bad habit of making mechanics drop whatever they're doing for those customers coming in off the street without an appointment. Could be in the middle of an overhaul that a customer has waited 3 weeks to have done and expects to pickup that day... nevermind him just fix this other customer's bike that Josh didn't assemble properly.

Box store mechanics who work under contract typically get paid $10 per bike assembled, so they want to just race through the assembly so as to build the most bikes in the least amount of time. Then go onto the next location in the chain that they're also contracted to be at.
  • 2 2
 @deeeight: The best part about the Roubaix lawsuit was that Specialized didn't even own the trademak in Canada, ASI did.

You forgot about them suing Mountain Cycle for having a bike named the Stumptown, and a wheel builder for using the word epic. SOPWAMTOS (society of people who actually make their own shit) gave them an award for excellence in litigation.

bikeportland.org/2006/01/31/specialized-mountain-cycle-disagree-on-stumptown-864
bikeportland.org/2011/03/10/epic-wheel-works-will-change-name-due-to-potential-trademark-conflict-with-specialized-49504
  • 7 2
 Eat a fat D!CK Specialized.
  • 2 1
 When I'm in the market for a new bike, Specialized is always a brand I consider but never one that makes the top 3. Their pricing is always 500-1000 bucks more for the same spec as another brand, or is the same amount for a worse kit. No reason to buy them
  • 1 0
 Business models change and customers approve or disagree with it. I expect that smaller shops won't stock higher-end bikes now as those are most likely to go customer direct. Shop employees will probably enjoy not answering the "when is my bike coming in?" question over and over from annoyed customers. Shops will focus on lower-end inventory that's most likely to sell to entry-level customers that aren't sure what type of bike or size is best for them.
  • 6 0
 F*$K SPECIALIZED!!Frown
  • 5 0
 Fake news Specialized has no bikes to sell to anyone. Carry on.
  • 3 0
 Support your local shops, bra(h)s. Your local bike shop needs support, we want the LBS's cups to runneth over, not Specialized's.
  • 4 0
 I'd be interested to hear from the bike shops, because I'd be pissed at the lost revenue if a shop owner.
  • 6 1
 Screwing over every local bike shop that carries Specialized.
  • 1 0
 Last time i bought a bike in a LBS was probably 10-15 years ago. Never looked back. Out of 10 shops I probably got 3 mediocre service/people actualy care about bikes and max 1 with supreme service/knowledge. Rest could have been a sanitary store as well.

sorry for the shops but honsetly, like that I'd consider buying a Specialized again. So +1 potential customer
  • 1 0
 The funny thing about this is Spez is in a buying war for retail shops against Trek. Also that Spez technically owns 1/4 of the Outside group through their venture capital arm. Next we will see Spez bikes for sale here on Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 As an adult (not counting bmx in my younger days) I have owned probably 20 bikes. Most were built up from scratch by me. The few I bought from a shop pre-assembled were so bad I basically stripped them to bare frame and started over. One time I encountered a cross thread BB which I returned and got a new frame. Bike shops are the architects of their own demise.
  • 2 1
 If the bb was cross threaded on a new bike that was more than likely done by the manufacturer not the shop.
  • 1 0
 I like this idea - I bought my Stumpjumper from a shop pretty far from my home because they had my size in stock - I do all my own service and would much rather have just bought the bike directly from Specialized if it was an option. I can’t stand the idea of waiting from my bike to be repaired so anytime I needed anything done I just bought the tools and watched a video so I could do it myself. I’ve still never built my own wheels though. But I spend tons of money at my local shops on parts and tools, so I wouldn’t feel bad about ordering my bikes online if possible.
  • 1 0
 I don't have an LBS, unless you consider a 2 hour drive 'Local'. I want my bikes shipped to my door, because who doesn't want to build their own bike?!
As a business owner, i feel for the LBS. Any LBS owner should be anticipating this on a large scale from all manufactures and be ready or already pivoting to create stability for their business. Change is good but its hard.
  • 5 0
 Subject to status!
  • 2 1
 Yes change is a bitch and even though the big S’s out there had always recommended supporting your LBS the giant money eating machine doesn’t care and will continue to churn. No growth=no success yo!
  • 1 1
 Intense began selling thru Costco last year and Costco already ships them direct from their website to their member's doorsteps. Specialized is just responding to moves like that and other brands that already offer direct to consumer sales.
  • 2 2
 Intense made one bike in two travel options specifically for Costco. It was under a different brand and outside of the suspension and frame, the spec was garbage. I think this bike played to a completely different audience. Having worked at an intense dealer, never once had customers mention Costco even when we sold the same bike for $600 more.
  • 2 0
 @Chondog94:

Intense no longer makes anything themselves anyway, with only final assembly and packaging for shipment done by them. All frame production and painting is outsourced. Also they ARE sold as Intenses in Costco...

www.costco.com/intense-951-xc-bike.product.100691780.html

As to garbage spec... SRAM NX Eagle 1x12 with a Fox fork and shock, and a dropper post....
  • 2 0
 @deeeight: Yeah, as the Intense 951 Brand. Different website, different target consumer. Yeah, NX sucks. Suspension is solid.
  • 1 0
 @Chondog94: I'll take that, for $1600 less, over a 5010 R build any day.
  • 1 0
 @mattsavage: can’t argue with that lol. The 951’s actually ride pretty great, basically the same frame as their Primer trail bike
  • 4 0
 "Take THAT Mikes Bikes!"- Speclized probably
  • 1 0
 uh, other way around…
  • 1 0
 They are just doing it before everyone else does. That's the way of retail, in industry. Smart and obvious business decision but as a shop manager this truly hurts and brings a bit of uncertainty.
  • 3 0
 There's always going to be a market for local sales and service. But many people just don't need shop services.
  • 1 1
 So, Specialized open up an experience center in Squamish. Specialized USA announce this.. Corsa/Dunbar might have to think twice about holding specialized as a brand as it'll probably follow here pretty shortly.
"Specialized Experience Centers are our way of connecting riders with our culture and products. At Specialized Squamish Experience Center, we are here to provide riders with an unfiltered, world-class rental experience."
  • 3 0
 I'm just wondering how many stripped cranks they see in the first year from customer direct sales.
  • 2 0
 I'd say 90% of consumers can't install a stem properly anyway, so it's going to end up back at a bike shop anyway to be built, and paid for by the customer.
  • 1 0
 You can still buy Specialized from your LBS, there aren't any consumer savings by buying D2C. Buy one from your LBS, they get their margin, you get a sick bike. What's wrong with that?
  • 3 0
 Now taking pre-orders for 2027 bikes!
  • 4 5
 In the long run this is probably good for the LBS. It will allow them to invest their inventory dollars in bikes they are sure will sell and not have to invest in fringe models/colours/sizes in the "hope" they will sell at some point. This should also allow them to reduce their square footage requirements (not having to store so many built up bikes) thereby reducing fixed costs, which are the killer of the LBS during the slower months. I am sure once the math is done, dealers will actually will come out ahead.

Now that a major has done this, the rest will follow suite eventually. Once again, I think this is good as in the long run it will give the manufactures better visibility to consumers trends thereby reducing waste(cost). Hopefully in the long run, giving all the manufacturers the ability to operate on skinnier margins thereby keeping MSRP's from inflating as fast. Hey I'm an idealist, so I like to think free market principles help keep things in check.
  • 8 1
 How does cutting dealer margins on online to dealer purchases (a route that already existed) by another 25% help bike shops? How does adding a direct to consumer option that totally cuts the shop out help bike shops?

Most brands already allow online purchases to be shipped to shops and give the shops a cut, so that's not news. So yeah, the industry needs a change and online sales aren't necessarily bad for shops. But that's not what this announcement is.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: Presumably the shop will no longer have to find a way to pay for $100,000 worth of unsold stock anymore. Someone has to pay for unsold inventory. Like a lot of things in life, if bikes are turning over and you pay no interest to anyone then it's great. As soon as the floor stock needs to be paid for then it's starts eating into your margin.
  • 2 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: the avenue to saving that capital was already wide open. But now dealers will make less off that avenue. Meanwhile consumers save nothing.

The fact that the internet sale shipped to dealer option is news to you does not make it actual news.
  • 3 4
 I see more and more people riding Canyon bikes these days. Like it or not just like when it comes to where a bike is built (China, Taiwan, or Vietnam), there is going to be a race to the bottom for retail/direct delivery. If you are competing with other companies that cut out the local bike shop and that cost, your LBS bike will either cost more, have lower spec parts, or you will be making less margin. If you are making less margin than you competitor you will have less money for development, marketing, customer service, and bonuses for execs. A lot of people say "I'm willing to pay extra for something made in a high labor cost country like the USA, Germany, UK, France, etc." but when it is time for them to pull out their wallet they pick the bike that costs $200 less with the same specs/kit made in a low cost region.
  • 3 1
 The choice with high end carbon bikes is rarely made in the USA , German, etc. vs China/Taiwan. It's big brand with high prices and lower level components vs DTC with higher value. Parts availability for things like Chris King and White Industries parts indicates people will pay for made in the USA when its an option.
  • 4 3
 @pinkbike Specialized has been doing consumer direct for months. I bought a stumpy evo frame in November off their website. Welcome to 2021.
  • 3 0
 Where was it delivered? To your house or a bike shop?
  • 3 2
 Frame only has been available for 2 years. You're not bringing anything intelligent to this discussion because this now involves COMPLETE BIKES.
  • 3 0
 @DetroitCity: never understood how so many people buy complete bikes. KMC chains, cheap droppers, house kit, and bad brakes yes please.
  • 1 0
 @DetroitCity: he's saying they have been moving in this direction for a long time, first parts, then frames, now whole bikes.
  • 1 0
 @mm732: well I buy specialized comp level bikes and they have way better stuff than what you suggest.
  • 1 0
 @DetroitCity: at $6200 USD they dang well should.
  • 1 0
 Sold my 2010 spec hard rock pro for a 21 marin rift zone 27.5 v2...the only thing specialized I'll buy are there tires...no issues with my marin after 11 months...
  • 1 0
 This is a really good point. I’d love to see bikes frames printed at LBS and assembled onsite. Why not a brand that does local manufacturing and assembly at your local shop. A printer, mill and inspection system that could be robot. Bike shop manufacturers bikes over night and assembled them next day.
  • 3 0
 Bit more margin for the big S. Nothing more to see here. Move on folks.
  • 3 0
 but how will they force dealers to exclusively stock their accessories?
  • 1 0
 Who cares? By the time any bikes are actually in stock for purchase, this model will long be gone and we’ll be picking up our carbon bikes from the local 3D print farm.
  • 3 0
 Great idea, another direct to consumer brand with a shitty service. Nice!
  • 2 3
 Aren't Specialized today driving a ton of traffic to LBS from their website for free? It costs a lot to pay for that fancy website and ERP system and I doubt the LBS is pitching in for that. This closes the loophole of folks finding their nearest inventory online, heading over to the store to purchase and Specialized didn't get a cent for the sales lead. Now if you don't want to deal with visiting some shop that you've never stepped foot into before, you can just have the bike sent to your house. Great!

Sales aren't about relationships anymore - they're about convenience. You all are kicking it oldskool by yourselves.
  • 2 0
 Would be great if it could be delivered directly in the waiting room, it would save a lot of times for the dentist riders
  • 1 0
 A bit difficult to judge, on one hand smaller margins, on the other hand less bikes in warehouse/shop storage, less bikes ordered and paid the summer before.
  • 2 0
 I don't get this timing. There aren't any bikes available from Spec online or at the shops, so what's the point?
  • 3 1
 Holy sh1t, so spec raised prices and then made their partners obsolete? fu(k you guys
  • 3 0
 So, they need to make MORE money than they have over the last two years?!
  • 4 1
 Don't forget that Specialized owns this website: zone5ventures.com
  • 2 1
 People still don't believe this, but Specialized really does indirectly own a large chunk of Outside and thus Pinkbike.
  • 3 0
 Boooooo. Was going to pick up an sworks evo this year. Probably not now
  • 1 0
 and everyone knew they were the greediest company in the industry with their prices and now its been solidified that they are in fact the greediest bike company in the world.
  • 3 0
 SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP
  • 1 0
 As if the small local bike shops didn't suffer enough now you take away even more of their supply. Not supporting specialized anymore.
  • 1 0
 You did it! Congratulations! World's first major traditional sales brand to offer a consumer-direct option! Great job, everybody. Great to be here. Hi.
  • 1 2
 imagine ALL manufacturers going direct sales

no shops any more

bikes will be dead as it lives from customer contact, bing able to test things....

strangely the bikes from direct sellers like YT or Canyon or such are not that much cheaper than others (not talking totally overpriced TREK or Specialized)....

really don't like the way business develops.
  • 2 0
 I have two local shops that do not sell bikes, they only service bikes. There will always be a market for bike repair services. Likewise, there will always be a market for people who want to try before they buy'. Bike shops will never be completely dead.
  • 1 0
 Sounds good on paper (for Specialized), but who's going to warranty-service said bikes? Imagine rolling into your local LBS, and they ask if you purchased the bike online.
  • 1 0
 That's exactly how it will work at a Specialized dealer. The shops get compensated for handling warranties.
  • 2 1
 Wow, it's getting worse and worse every year. I really regret ever giving such a shitty company some of my money. F*ck off, big S. We don't like you round here no mo.
  • 2 3
 LBS business is changing, moving away from retail and more to service. Those that made the switch before the pandemic, stocking up on parts, made out pretty well and continue to do so.
  • 3 2
 If we purhcase online, who do we talk to when the shocks die early deaths to get us back on the trail?
  • 2 0
 To be fair how many LBS's have spare shocks to lend out while yours is repaired/replaced? How many LBS's carry rear shocks as part of its instore inventory to sell?
If a rear shock goes an LBS will either post it off for warranty work, or they'll order one in to sell you.
  • 1 0
 @jim-the-saint: True, but they'll do it that same day instead of waiting for it to arrive and then wait some more for it to be inspected.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if this will remain a USA only option or if it will be rolled out worldwide eventually.
  • 1 3
 And people have been whining for years about the demise of the LBS. News alert....LBSs have grown in business over the past 25 years. Their business models may change but they aren't going away. Been to a bike park? Bike shop. Been to Moab? Bike shops. Been to any town with a university? Bike shops.
  • 3 0
 And those will soon be the only places with bike shops: bike park and university towns. Yay.
Take it from a former (regular town) small bike shop owner, surviving on service alone isn’t possible.
  • 2 0
 Larger bike shops are growing as the small ones die (as far as the growth you’re referring to)
  • 1 2
 @emptybe-er: not true, Performance bike (retail locations) out of business. All the small shops in my city...still in business! The total market has grown and employs more people. More jobs. Growth.
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: Pretty sure performance bike finally went bankrupt a few yrs ago, new owners are probably closing retail locations and focussing on online business, just like everyone else. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the current small town bike shop model is dead.
Service alone (in a small town) is not enough unless you enjoy poverty, I learned this from years and years of experience. So unfortunately yes, it is true. If it wasn’t, I’d still be open.
  • 3 1
 For all the bikes they dont have available to sell
  • 1 0
 In the USA most bikes are available but you may have to drive a few hours. They have a excellent search engine just pick your bike and size and type in your zipcode.
  • 1 0
 Who cares , selling nothing because there is nothing to sell still equals nothing.
  • 2 0
 “Hybridisation” is code for “Cannibalisation”, right?
  • 2 0
 They need a frame only option to buy a p3
  • 1 0
 try having bikes first to sale !!!!! still waiting for my demo six months now and counting!
  • 1 3
 The sales model for new bikes is going the same way as new cars. In the UK if you want to sell new cars you have a relationship with a manufacturer and you will only sell the manufacturers cars from a premises. You can have several premises and deal with several manufacturers but they all have to the consumer be visibly separate. As a consumer you can go into a dealership and buy a new car, or you can go online and purchase it and pick it from your local dealership, whichever suits you.
I personally don't see bikes moving in this direction as a bad thing. The current way of selling bikes does not encourage choice and competition, it also does not support LBS's.
Going back a few years if you wanted to become a Specialized dealer you would have to commit to so much stock that it would discourage most small to medium sized LBS's. The reason being that the 'best' stock was always offered to Specialized's biggest customers first and they would place large forward orders, these customers are not friendly LBS's they are large professional retailers. After the largest customers had bought up most of the best selling inventory the rest would be offered to 'real' LBS's who would have to commit to nearly a full years worth of stock tying up cash or forcing them into credit. What stock that was left (crap Specialized couldn't sell) could be offered to new customers.
This new sales model is a step in a direction that could level out the playing field amongst retailers. If Specialized don't sell all its inventory to a few large retailers at the beginning of a year it gives the smaller guys a chance to access it, it also gives the consumer choice as to where they buy their new bike from.
You want a specific bike but there are none available locally, this sales model enables you to get one.
You want to buy online and pick your bike up from the nearest bike shop to your house, this sales model could do this.
You want to go into a bike shop for advice as to which bike you need and feel confident that you have been sold what best suits you, this sales model encourages this. At the moment a consumer is only offered a bike from the bike shops inventory rather than a national inventory.
You want to purchase a new bike but you have an old one you want to trade in. This new sales model will enable you to negotiate with several local shops, large and small, on trade-in value against the same new bike. At the moment the larger bike retailers don't entertain buying/selling 2nd hand bikes as they don't need to as they have a monopoly on new ones. This new model could encourage the development of a professional 2nd hand market.

This utopian dream only works though if the brands don't take the quick buck from the large retailers and let then purchase large inventories. The cynic in me doesn't think that will happen.
  • 2 2
 TLDR
  • 3 1
 Specialized plans to close the Canyon gap.
  • 2 3
 Every time a LBS gets mentioned i just laugh at the sheer volume of comments that are people trying to pay for a friend. You guys are so damn thirsty for people to pretend be your friend.
  • 2 0
 Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.
  • 1 0
 They'll probably sue all the other direct to consumer brands to get them to stop selling direct...
  • 2 0
 This whole roll out seems like gangster mentality to me.
  • 2 0
 Great. Just what I need. Another shock pump and torque wrench.
  • 1 0
 @iaest651: I was waiting for someone to bring this up. Dirtbag move for sure.
  • 1 0
 Wait 6 months for a bike , finally get it and it doesn't fit...sounds like a good deal to me.
  • 2 0
 Oh no
  • 1 0
 don't matter nothing in stock anyway......
  • 5 4
 Yay to lbs's dying and no place being able to service your bike.
  • 1 3
 only squids take their bike in for service Wink
  • 1 0
 I really with emoji's were compatible with PB
  • 1 0
 Awesome they can now ship unavailable bikes to your home!
  • 1 0
 just take my money and don´t bother me any longer!
  • 1 0
 How is this different than what Giant/Liv already does?
  • 1 0
 Time to not buy new bikes at all
  • 1 0
 The boringest nerd brand for normys to lap up, have at it.
  • 1 0
 Can't wait for huge discounts
  • 1 0
 Same story in VitalMTB. Three comments.
  • 2 1
 Yeah that's because the people who comment on Vital are dweebs.
  • 1 0
 what a load of BS 4 the LBS
  • 1 0
 WOW, great for the Chinese... Wink
  • 1 1
 I wonder if the price point will change
  • 8 0
 Yep, it’ll keep going up.
  • 3 5
 Did they have a choice if their main competition does direct to consumer?? (especially now that their patent on the Horst link suspension design has expired)
  • 11 0
 yes, all their bikes are constantly sold out. they absolutely had a choice.
  • 5 0
 It would be different if they weren't already in an abusive relationship with their dealers. And yes, it would be different if they had stock that wasn't selling.
  • 1 4
 Bottom line is, bike stores don't make money selling new bikes or servicing, they make money selling parts, tubes and tires mostly. t-shirts most profitable item in the store. Ask any LBS owner. Trek bought a bankrupt LBS chain around here and i appreciate their commitment but I doubt they making money.
  • 1 0
 @DDoc: Bike sales are huge at the store I work at. We wouldn't make it through the year if it wasn't from those sales.
  • 2 2
 I bet they start charging for shipping a bike to your house now too.
  • 4 1
 A shipping charge is a pretty common thing
  • 1 0
 Bwaaaahaaaaaaa!!!!!!
  • 2 2
 the failed bid for Mikes Bikes franchise forced their hand
  • 3 3
 Death to the bicycle shops.
  • 1 1
 I bet the bikes will cost less as a result of this delivery change! :-D
  • 1 0
 Hello Squamish !
  • 1 0
 RIP LBS's
  • 1 2
 Price drop coming in line with YT increasing prices?
  • 11 0
 No chance in hell lol
  • 1 1
 alright pimp
  • 2 2
 Levo's for all!
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