Are you Concerned About the Demise of Bike Shops? - Pinkbike Poll

Nov 16, 2016 at 11:30
by Vernon Felton  
It’s a cold, hard fact: The bike shop as we know it is an endangered species. Consider the statistics in the United States alone. In 2001, the number of bike shops in the states peaked at 6,259. By the time 2015 ground to a close, that number had plummeted to just 3,759. That’s 2,469 independent bike dealers that went belly up—a decline of 39.4%. If shops continue to close their doors at the same rate, America will have said goodbye to half its bike shops by 2024.

There are plenty of reasons why this is true. Mail order sales were the first nail in the coffin. Online sales have only accelerated that downward trajectory.


a photo taken of William Charles Taylor my great great uncle at his bike shop in the year 1914
Photo courtesy of PB member, crankhousebikes.

The growth in direct-to-consumer brands, such as Canyon and YT, may well be the final nail. Major bike brands, such as Giant and Trek, have seen the writing on the wall and are trying to create compromise solutions that allow consumers to shop online while still picking up their bike from a brick-and-mortar shop. How long will it be, however, before the smaller, boutique brands that have always struggled to find floor space alongside the Treks, Giants and Specializeds take a cue from Canyon and YT and also go consumer-direct? I’ll answer that question myself: Not long at all.

The only question is this: How do you feel about it?

Where do you stand on the demise of so many neighborhood bike shops?


Bike shops are an endangered species. Do you care?

It’s a cold, hard fact: The bike shop as we know it is an endangered species. Consider the statistics in the United States alone. In the past 14 years, America has lost 39.4% of its shops and if the trend continues at the same pace, is on track to have lost half its shops by 2024. Do you care? That's the question.






MENTIONS: @vernonfelton




419 Comments

  • + 590
 We need bike shops. Online retailers won't be there on your riding trip when you break a derailleur hanger. Online retailers won't be there on a Sunday morning with a new tire and a smile when you slash a sidewall 10 mins into a ride. Online retailers won't be organizing group rides to get women, kids, and beginners into the sport in your area. Online retailers won't be out at trail work days giving the local runs some love. Online retailers won't sponsor and support local high school racers. Online retailers won't box your bike up for a trip and build it when it comes back. Online retailers won't host monthly tech classes with hands-on mechanic skill-building. Online retailers won't have employees who ride the same trails you ride, to offer their recommendations on bikes, tire set-up, and routes. Sure, you may save money buying online, but there's a lot of value that your LBS offers which can't be measured.
  • + 43
 Preach it.
  • + 254
 Where is that shop you're talking about? Sounds extremely different to what we have here.
  • + 291
 The bike shops that do those things will probably survive. Those with a small selection of overpriced parts, one brand of bike (yes I know that's an industry problem) and unfriendly staff will die. Works for me.
  • + 8
 1000 props to you
  • + 86
 Bike shops aren't just places we go to buy bikes and parts, people! I go there sometimes just to look at the shiny things I can't afford and talk to people who share my passion!
  • + 8
 Hi Larry
  • + 154
 Those bike shops up there only exist in destination areas like Moab and in the movies. To find a good one local is like catching my wife in a good mood two days in a row.
  • + 16
 That being said, I have two local shops that I like. The one I drink beer at, that has nothing I would ever buy, and the one that has everything I could ever want, but is too far away to go to.
  • - 63
flag dtm1 (Nov 18, 2016 at 19:36) (Below Threshold)
 Agree with everything you've said with one small change, substitute "bike shops" for "online retailers".
  • + 34
 Learn to do it yourself. I am still floored at how many riders can't repair a flat tire, install a new saddle, replace their cables. Come on people...get your hands dirty and now with the advent of youtube you don't have to go at it alone. Stop writing checks for everything and become useful again. Bike shops are over priced retailers that are being eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner by Amazon and eBay.
  • + 12
 @Deartist7: you need better bike shops. And the biking community needs to support bike shops and you'll see an increase in quality of your bike shops. Here in san diego we have an amazing bike shop, I'm good friends with the head mechanic, hell ive met his family, been to his house, and I'll probably have some tamales saved this holiday season for him.
  • + 6
 @kubaner: haha, that's funny, I want to be your friend, I could drink with you
  • + 67
 I deal with many bikes shops in my home town. I have gotten to know the owners and staff and have gone on many rides with them and made many friends. Here's the secret with getting good prices at a bike shop - don't be a dick. Build a relationship, become a return customer - bring the crew some donuts maybe beer in appreciation for that last minute fix. It's remarkable what happens when you are a nice person.
  • + 40
 "Online retailers won't be there on a Sunday morning with a new tire and a smile when you slash a sidewall 10 mins into a ride."

No but its rare a bike shop is open on Sunday and equally as iffy if a shop or online retailer will provide you with a free replacement believing the story and because of the strict/limited warranties on tires.

"Online retailers won't be organizing group rides to get women, kids, and beginners into the sport in your area."

I know of just as many online retailers that will organize group rides as local bike shops. Mind you most group rides are organized by local groups who meet at shops, not the other way around.

"Online retailers won't be out at trail work days giving the local runs some love."

Maybe not the shop as a presence but just like any rider, its up to the rider him/herself to dedicate the time to building/maintaining trails.

"Online retailers won't sponsor and support local high school racers."

Well actually they do and some with a bigger budget provide a lot more support than some of the local bike shops.


I love local shops and feel they will always have a place but using those points in order to justify supporting local shops over online shops, which do have a local presence- they're not just some imaginary information cloud that doesn't have a location/store front, is absurd. Its just a changing marketplace, that is all. You're attempting to romanticize a form of business with flawed points. Its all about adapt or die.

For every positive story, I've heard a horror story about local bike shops refusing to help someone because they bought their gear from another shop or online source or wrangled them into purchasing service/product they didn't need.
  • + 67
 @dv8416: Ah yes ye ol' "Shower a shop with gifts to show you're worthy of making a purchase from them? routine. Why is it that only the cycling industry works this way?
  • + 63
 meh, bike shops never have the hanger i need, or know how to service anything that isnt basic. and thats when they're open (not sunday)
aaand i always have a spare tire. easier.

honestly, its not even about money anymore.
  • + 10
 @larryssman7 Yeah Larry! I agree, shop knowledge and support is invaluable. If people support their local shop they will have a better experience around riding. I can guarantee that people with firsthand knowledge of the problems customers are dealing with are going to help you much more than a bunch of forum trolls. I owe a lot to my local shop and am always thankful to have them around.
  • + 19
 @thepwnstar39: So you're assuming that no one that works for an online shop is knowledgeable and that everyone who works for a local shop always has invaluable information?

Anyone who talks in absolutes about online or local shops are kidding themselves. Both have the same level of requirements to work for them.
  • + 28
 Well said.

The social aspect of bike shops gets lost a lot as well.

A new store opened near my area, my forks desperately needed a service so I gave this new store a go.

When I got there, the staff sorted out the fork service but before I could leave the staff memeber was straight into "we're doing a social ride just before new years, should be epic fun, just bring a few beers for after the rides done."

THIS is what I feels missing from a lot of bike shops more than saving money, making the store a social hub for like minded individuals, not just a place to leave your money and pickup your serviced bike/bike parts.
  • + 5
 @scott-townes: No, I didn't say that - you are the one assuming my friend. I am familiar with a lot of quality online retailers, but I do value LBS knowledge and support more than what most online retailers offer. You can support whatever you want with your dollars, my experience has told me otherwise.
  • + 27
 @gonecoastal: and why is the bike industry the only one where a deal is expected? Do you ask for a "deal' on your groceries? your gas? beer? No, you walk in the store, see the price and buy it or you don't

At the end of the day treat people as you would like to be treated, build a relationship/bring coffee and donuts once in a while and the courtesy will be returned in some way, shape or form. Bring in parts that were "cheaper somewhere else" and expect to pay standard rates to have them installed.

If you don't like something about a shop, I suggest you find one that can fill your needs but for F*** sakes don't expect a discount when it is not earned or deserved.
  • + 7
 @PhillipJ: This is very true. Economics is economics; the shops that do the things online retailers cannot will survive. Those that don't will either imitate (ie get better) or close their doors if it isn't worth it for them.
  • + 9
 @dimitree: some. Some are fantastic and full featured, like in Moab. Some, like my local shop, (All Terrain Sports, for anyone ever through Laramie) are very helpful, reasonable (retail prices, will knock the price down for older or used items, if they have them) shops that keep the town outfitted with your average, quality bicycle and great service. This means you aren't going to find a carbon enduro just laying around as a showroom model. These shops also support the thriving enthusiast community, and although they won't have a new pike in the back for you, they will order it for you and cut the steerer for free. The mechanic will tell you how to bleed your dropper. You bring them beer to show your appreciation. Etc. There are other shops that may be a bit high priced, but ultimately give a lot back to the community (have one of those toring o). Bike shops aren't perfect everywhere, but if you have a good one, support it.
  • - 5
flag Austin-Smith (Nov 18, 2016 at 22:35) (Below Threshold)
 @chillrider199: shut up
  • + 4
 @Austin-Smith: Haha sup dude! Hows the Tracer?
  • + 6
 @gonecoastal: come on, that's not what he meant. If the dudes at the shop work extra hours, it's perfectly fine to show some appreciation...
  • + 24
 @giantguy07: Countless articles have been written by the media about "bro-ing down" with the LBS. If this wasn't the tone of the industry as a whole it wouldn't be so laughable.
I don't arrive at the car lot with a six'er of suds to take a Tacoma out for a circle-jerk, er test drive. With the end result of hoping to shave a few numbers off the sticker price, so why should the LBS be different?

The shop I deal with holds a weekly social ride, donates time towards community events, and is able to pull out obscure parts from yesteryear on a whim. I bring beers to the social ride the few times a year I attend them.

On the other hand, the shop down the street from my house sold me a 9M roll of Stan's tape this summer for $22. I should've been able to wrap four to five rims. I was able to wrap 1.5. And I was leaving for Whistler in the AM... So yeah it's practice at this "bro-brah-bree" shop to pinch out of the consumer packaging then put it back on the shelf. Now I could've went back a week later to complain about the Stans Tape; but it's a "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me(or as G.W. Bush said 'Shame on you again')" moment. The previous time I attempted to support them, I was going to be keystoned for a Shimano 10spd 11-36 cassette and chain that they "Needed to order and wouldn't be here for almost two weeks."

I never ask for a deal, nor do I expect one. As a consumer I have the ability to know pricing outside of the LBS and make purchasing decisions based upon perceived value.
I'm curious what the earned or deserved threshold of LBS discount is? Is it a $ amount spent /year? Race/event placement? Treats brought in for da boys? Gummers given out back to the tool pushers? Enlighten us!
  • + 2
 @Lookinforit: agreed
  • + 2
 It's pretty simple: buy online what the shop doesn't carry. They're not going to have those DVO forks anyway, so get them online. But don't buy the icetech rotors online because they are 13% cheaper. You are slitting your own throat. Changing bearings, shock bushings, rebuilding your hubs is not fun and it's not worth it to do it yourself. Hell, who really likes taking a hammer to their forks anyway? That's why there are shops and we need them desperately!
  • + 15
 @TFreeman:
" the biking community needs to support bike shops and you'll see an increase in quality of your bike shops"

That's just nonsense, isn't it? Many of us have supported our local bike shops for YEARS (decades, for me). And they're still crap.
  • + 14
 @bankz: Exactly. I went into my LBS to get some XT pads... guess what.... no pads and I had to get them off CRC.

IMO bike shops need to focus on servicing rather than sales. If you could drop your shock, fork and dropper in for a service / rebuild rather than sending it away I would be happy to support them.
  • + 6
 Exactly!! I bought a YT and before that Transition that I bought online. I do most of my bike maintainance myself and I'm still in the shop all the time for tools/parts/tubes random stuff. Sales of bikes are gonna turn down in the retail market for sure but where are you gonna go to keep your bike going...even if you do your own maintainance? LBS fo LYFE!!!!
  • + 9
 Ever thought that there were too many bike shops before ?

I mean if every one can still get their bike repaired/serviced then there is enough bike shops right ?

My shitty little town has lost a few shops over the years, there were waaaaay to many, massively over saturated,some shops have gone but so what ? Most the shops that have gone went because there was no need for them to be there.

I have no problems getting work done on my bike and don't see that changing.
  • + 4
 I work for a bike shop over the summer and honestly if I didn't get 50℅off of everything I would shop online. The shop I'm at is massive but dues nothing for the community but the tiny shop across town does all the local stuff like group rides every week
  • + 9
 @kubaner: The one I drink beer at, that has nothing I would ever buy ... That's a pub.

the one that has everything I could ever want, but is too far away to go to ... not quite local then.
  • + 3
 I buy more beers than parts or service at my LBS, fun fact
  • + 1
 Lucky you, larryssman7, there are a good few bike shops in my city but not a single one that would be open on Sundays.
  • + 3
 The shops in my area don't do trail work or group rides, quite frankly I don't care if they disappear bc I already do all of my own maintenance.
  • + 6
 This is a great list. I'd add this: online retailers won't provide you with demo bikes to try before you buy.
  • + 2
 @Lookinforit: iv'be worked in the bike ibdustry for almost 10 hears now, and thats hoe it al got started for me: looking at shiny things y couldnt afford while hanging out at my local shop and talking to the staff!
  • - 2
 @dv8416: calling BS on getting good prices from lbs. Your experience in your community sounds great but I have never once gotten the "hey, your not a dick discount", and I have a good respectable relationship with my lbs.
  • - 2
 @manyturns: In EU you have a legal right to return anything* purchased online within 2 weeks, so in theory I could buy a bike online, test it for a week in a bike park and then return it back.

*As long as you return it in a condition that allows the retailer to sell it again as a new product.
  • + 1
 Bike shops rule!
  • + 0
 @fedz:
Semantics. But no the first is indeed a shop. And the second is local, but not close enough to walk my bike to with a sliced tire.
If it makes you feel better though I'm sorry for not being spot on with my description.
  • + 7
 I can buy two of basically every bike part online for the price of one part at my local shops. So no, I do not need to be bent over and have a bike shop break it off inside of me. I can simply take spares on my bike trips and easily fix any bike problem I run into.

Where I live, bike trails, maintenance, and group rides do not require a bike shop. We have social media that allows people to create bike groups, promote trail advocacy, talk about great riding locations, etc. And exactly that happens and we have very active trail maintenance/building groups, and very active social riding groups.

About the only use I see from a shop is maintenance issue for those that do not like to work on their own bikes.
  • + 4
 There will always be a couple here and there but... I have around 6 bikes and i rarely go to shops. When i do its to buy tubes or simple things. Way too expensive to actually buy anything off the shelf.
  • + 2
 Well said man!
  • + 9
 Sounds great, shame all the ones I've ever used have had rude staff only interested in big sales, or old guys who seem to have given up on the dream.

I prefer the old guys but try and talk modern tech and they're lost.

Actually theres one store I found here (specialized) who were partially helpful but they should be given the 40-60% markup on all the products.

Smiling faces and fresh tyres..try a pissed off look and "it'll be ready in two weeks"

Can you help me get a good fit on a helmet.."theres the rack, try them on"

Sorry but no love lost from me. Lots more money in my pocket and a lot more knowledge in my head from learning to diy.
  • + 11
 @Enzyme: Yeah I usually get rude, ignorant or both when talking to people in shops. Earlier this year I was prepared to spend double the price for a chain ring to get it immediately before a trip. I call and ask for a 96 BCD 30t chain ring. Guy starts asking what BB I have. I tell him I know exactly what I want, please just look if you have it. He refused, says I have to bring my bike in to make sure I am getting the correct part.

All the other shops just didn't have it. This is a very popular chainring for very common cranks. They said they could order it and I could pay about double price for them.

Sorry, but this is why so many shops are going out of business.

And even though I am the least mechanically inclined person ever, I have since learned how to work on every piece of my bike with the exception of wheel building. I now find it cathartic to spend time maintaining it myself.
  • + 3
 @giantguy07: I feel like you can'tcompare bike shops to grocery stored or beer distributers. I don't go to a grocery store and just accept the price. I look for the best deal, and find cheaper stores. You can't blame people for wanting to get things biking related for the best available price either.
  • + 2
 @dv8416: Beer is always appreciated, but when its usually of abundance in a bike shop, going the distance and picking up some cold cuts is the ultimate gesture of gratitude.
  • + 1
 @Nimasterj: i agree 100%, my point was asking why everyone seems to think prices in bike shops are negotiable. Everyone should get the best price they can, just don't expect discounts and deals when doing so. They are earned through loyalty and "not being a dick".
  • + 2
 @giantguy07: ah I gotcha, I think i misunderstood your comment. I agree with your point that you can't just roll into a shop and expect to haggle the listed price down.
  • + 4
 There are 2 sides to your argument. True, Some shops, for the longest time, have had an entitlement complex. Where it was believed that riders absolutely needed shops and that there was a knowledge gap. We'll thanks to YouTube and places like PB, that gap has closed a bit. Riders are a bit more handy than they used to be.
On the other hand, many shops don't even need the high end specialty business. How much floor space is dedicated to mtb? Most shops in an urban setting get their business from the family bikes, beach cruisers, bmx, commuters, crackheads etc. That's how most shops profit. Maybe they never needed us?
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: some shocks and droppers can only be serviced with expensive specialty tools
it is up to the manufacturers to make a product that a wrench making just making minimum wage
could figure out love the reverb tools cost less than 100$ can be done in an hour with all the steps online for anyone to see same with forks and some rear shocks
  • + 5
 @dv8416: I pay them for services rendered its a business and sometimes they can't do that last minute fix no matter how much beer you give..My experience working in shop's for five years I realized just how outdated the industry is, bikes are 30-50 percent markup at shops gear is almost always keystone! The markup is insane no other retail industry except maybe beauty care products has such a consistent markup on product. To be a healthy shop you need to give everyone a deal on product and focus on servicing bikes (home mecanics can do alot but even I will my go into shop's for headset replacements and complicated seal replacements).I cant believe the lack of financing options bike shops have. Bike shops should be ran like car dealerships focus on making money off interest and service sell the bikes at a super low markup. Its the future and the only way this industry would make sense.
  • + 5
 hy man, since the 1 october i own a bike shop here in Italy between Venice and Slovenia, i think that your post will be hung on the wall the next monday. Thank you so much, see you for a ride, cheers!
  • + 3
 @Deartist7: Fusion Multisport
Los Alamos, NM
We work very hard to do all the above
  • + 1
 @Extremmist: i dare say a week in a bikepark would show up on the frame
  • - 3
 No we do not. Maybe some noobs do. Local shops are useless for any advanced parts.
  • + 2
 @dimitree: I had a guy buy a new bike from me.... used it once and got a flat tire during his ride... he was not only pissed that he got a flat tire (twice), he was super pissed cause the front brake stopped working after he did a trail-side repair (*** he put the wheel on backwards so the rotor was on the right not left). I pointed out that flats are flats and when you ride off-road, shit's gonna happen. pointing at the large thorn that was still stuck in his tire... he turned beat red when I pointed out that he point the wheel on the fork the wrong way. He did settle down knowing full well didn't need to get all ticked off over such a simple thing.
  • + 4
 @giantguy07: that's sorta a pet peeve of mine too.. why is it so many people expect some sort of special deal? several years of being in the biz, I'll hook people up without even letting them know they've been hooked up. It's usually the hot-shot people who "raced" or were on a team at some point in time. like they're some sort of elite rider and should get things for free cause I know them seems to be the impression they want to present. Bike racing in Murica aint jack-shit compared to other sports. **** the best was a young kid asking me if I would sponsor his racing --- he seriously said he'd put the bumper sticker my shop had on his mom's van when he was at races... WUP-DEE-DO-DA!!! right on kid --- here's your new Ellsworth, now go win some races.
  • + 2
 @dv8416: @dv8416: and the same goes for shop staff - don't be arrogant dicks and we'll keep coming back. I've certainly boycotted a few local shops due to excessive attitude (and guess what - they lose!). And the shops that give good service and help you out, I keep coming back. Personally I use both a mix of online and local, but in agreement with this article - we need local shops so it's important to give them some financial support, especially if they're great to you and your community.
  • + 4
 @dimitree: I can fix a lot of things on my bike but do I really want to buy a headset tool or other specialized tools I may use only a few times? There are certain things I'd rather leave to a shop to repair. Besides, what do you do if you need a part that you don't have and your ride is in a couple of hours? When riding in Pisgah 2 years ago my Reverb post decided to die on me at the beginning of a ride, luckily I was in front of the Hub Cyclery and was able to get a Reynolds carbon post to hold me over. Vacation saved. Shops serve a purpose.
  • + 3
 @Acupunk62: yes. You really want to buy specialized tools. I am riding for more than twenty years, and plan on riding more than that. I have two kids and wife - all the tools paid for themselves many times over in money and time saved.
  • + 6
 Kinetik Cycles in Coquitlam does all of the above. FTW! Long live the LBS!
  • + 3
 If you're even remotely near Denver, go to Mojo Wheels! I drive nearly 2 hours each way and it's absolutely worth it. Hands down the best shop I've ever been to. Their customer service is second to none, massive inventory and they'll work with you on prices for the stuff they can. It really is what a bike shop should be..if only they had beer Wink
  • + 2
 @dimitree: Bike shops aren't over priced, it's the zero control of map and msrp from manufactures with the online giants that gives you a false sense of being ripped off by a LBS. Shimano is the best example. No LBS can match CRC prices on Shimano, CRC sells it at wholesale pricing... Is the LBS at fault? Further more good for you can repair a flat and change your saddle. Can you true a wheel? You know...replace a spoke when one breaks... And how is your online warranty working for you?
  • + 1
 @Acupunk62: You can look up homemade headset tools online. I just installed one with a homemade one that cost me like $6 total.You just have to spend a bit more time while setting the cups to insure they go in straight, but it was actually pretty easy.
  • + 2
 @TwoWheelPhrenzy: True a wheel? 2 zip ties and a spoke wrench that costs a few dollars. Repairing a flat? You shouldn't even be allowed to ride a bike on a trail if you cannot fix a flat. Everyone remotely interested in biking can fix a flat. Change a saddle? Oh shit, what size allen wrench goes in the hole? I can't do it! I am so confuse! Online warranty? Anytime I have had an issue, my preferred retailer (Jenson) has sent me new parts no questions asked. I have a tire in the mail headed my way for that exact reason and all it took was one email describing my issue.

The only legit point you have is when a spoke breaks. Building wheels is about the one single thing that is a bit harder to do and costs a fair amount for the right tools that you will rarely ever use. I personally have never needed a spoke replaced and all my wheels are built when I order them online. I will have to use a bike shop if I ever destroy some spokes.
  • + 2
 @manyturns: The ones around me have the wrong bikes in the right size and the right bikes in the wrong sizes.
  • + 7
 Local bike shop no1 - took the boys bike in after just having it freshly painted, they'd taken headset out and BB, asked them to 'take care' refitting. Collected frame and he'd managed to take a gouge to the metal out of the fresh paint right on the downtube. Offered some non matching touch up paint as apology...

Local bike shop no2 - dropped daughters bike in to see if he could sort rear shifter out as i'd removed and replaced whole drivertrain for a 1x10, but was having trouble getting it shifting cleanly. Shop managed to split the new Shimano chain in the middle of it, even though joining link was there ready to use, bike came back in same condition didn't even fit a cable end to shifter cable.

Local bike shop no3 - dropped above bike in and asked them to see if they could sort the shifting out. They decided to fit a brand new SRAM chain, as they 'preferred SRAM', without even calling to discuss.

So, not the best. I've since learned to do a lot more myself after this and all the parts have been bought from online retailers with extra 10% discount via workplace scheme.

Sorry, but my LBSs failed me. Frown
  • + 3
 Honestly most bike shops don't seem to do very much. Now, trail groups and Mtb organizations not interested in a profit are the ones building and organizing. Also, most MtB work is pretty basic and the shop is just a place for people without time or an excess of money to take a bike to be fixed. Don't shops mostly send out forks and shocks now and don't rebuild in house. And I'm sorry, I'm not going to pay you a markup for a product for the simple fact you have it. The business model is flawed, as the selection and pricing online is just exponentially better. I love to hang at my LBS but From a business perspective it's not a way to make a decent living anymore.
  • + 1
 @PedalShopLLC: I'm amazed that shops don't go over things like putting the wheel on properly, especially given how every shop I go to the staff talk to me like I'm a complete idiot.
  • + 1
 i couldn't have said it better. but as a university student i don't always get to choose ...
  • + 3
 @Deartist7: I would like to know too.

What I know of, is botched jobs
long waits on returns
and people trying sell you what you dont need or want.

Unfortunatel, most of my experience with bike shops, have not been positive.
  • + 1
 So true. Sounds like a shop I know in Stratford Ontario.
  • + 1
 @dimitree: I have learned todo a lot of stuff over the last couple years. The things I haven't done are wheel building and shock work. That said I think its harder for people just getting into the sport. It does suck the local shops have very limited choices. I think there should be resources to demo bikes. (then again, my last 2 purchased I never demo'd).
  • + 2
 @sutter2k: I find it pretty funny how many people think that rolling a bike around a parking lot is a good way to test a bike...
  • + 1
 I'm pretty self-sufficient, but there are some really great shops out there. Elevation Cycles, Mojo Bike Cafe, and Roaring Mouse in San Francisco, The Outpost in Topanga, and Race Pace in Elkridge Maryland.
  • + 1
 @Tvaneijk: good point on te cost of tools. I guess a shop needs to figure out if this is the route they want to take.
  • + 1
 well said mate
  • + 1
 @PedalShopLLC: I thought it was well know that the "carpark test" is the best way to test if your bike is performing correctly Razz
  • + 1
 @Aaronstashy325: Around here they're mainly vegan fixie riders.
  • + 1
 An exception, 'Universal Cycles'.
  • + 1
 @PedalShopLLC: I find it pretty unfunny how many shops think that rolling a bike around a parking lot is a good way to test a bike...and that's what they limit you to.
  • + 0
 @unrooted: though the years, I have gotten brushed off sorta by customers who talk it up like they know everything about bikes. seeing them out at the trail changing a tube tells me, they never learned the right way, taking several minutes to make the change.
  • + 4
 @PedalShopLLC: Wow, several minutes to change a tube!?!?! What a bunch of morons! /sarcasm

You sound like one of the shops everyone here is complaining about. You feel brushed off by customers so you decided to just paint a broad brush stroke and assume everyone is below your level?
  • + 1
 @IronBender: wow, yup, you completely misread what I was saying ---

I can re-word:

ME: want me to show you the ropes with common trail side fixes?

Customer: NAH, I got it...


meet up with same customer for a ride:


Customer: Damn, I got a flat and I just got this bike.

ME: I can help ya. Want me to do it for ya?

Customer: Nah, I got it...

ME: (20 minutes later). want me to show you an easy trick for changing tubes?

Customer: yeah, would you? this ones giving me serious trouble
  • + 1
 @truffy: yeah.. that's a tough call.. It's not like buying a car where it'll have several hundred miles on it and you're still paying $XXX. It's not like LBS's can just hand ya a bike and tell ya to go hit dirt with it for an afternoon. It would be nice if we could do that but, we all know, that just ain't gonna pan out for the LBS if they let that happen on a regular basis. same reason car, ski, jet ski, boat and other rental places go through that whole insurance schpeel before you take their inventory for a spin. you break it, you buy it.
  • + 1
 I love and appreciate bike shops, but I beg to differ on the online retailers not being there on your riding trip. We have next day shipped many hangers and spare parts for YT customers. It is unlikely that most shops would carry our hangers, but it's unlikely they would carry more than one or two brand's spare parts, either. Jus sayin, we've been there and will do everything we can to keep our people happy and it is our whole brand's reputation on the line each time.
  • + 1
 @Deartist7: Sycamore Cycles @Pisgah Forest in Brevard
  • + 1
 @Deartist7: Sycamore Cycles @ Pisgah Forest in Brevard is one!
  • + 1
 My lbs doesn't do any of those things and the 16 year old scooter kid behind the counter isn't much help with mechanical advice. What you describe sounds like a dream world to me, Ive taught myself to build, repair and tune ,y own bike at a very young age and I always stock extra hangers, tubes and cables in my truck because my lbs is way too hungover to provide any of that on a sunday morning.
  • + 1
 @IronBender: wheel building is fun and actually not that hard if you pay close attention. I watch this video every time.




youtu.be/AOI3uBztvHc
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Agreed. I opened a shop earlier this year and our focus is service, restoration, and lastly sales. We can get new bikes if requested from several manufacturers, but we mostly stock a rotating selection of rebuilt used bikes. Beaters to high end vintage bikes.
  • - 1
 Pffft. WTF world you livin' in? I have no idea WTF you're talkin' 'boot. What you're preachin' sounds almost as bogus as the fvckin' Bible. I've never heard of such a thing. Even if there is a shop like that oot there, almost no one cares. They're not needed for any of that. They're only really useful for products & repairs. Products are easily obtained elsewhere often for less $ & bike repair sure ain't fvckin' brain surgery is it? Good if you need a common part in a pinch but other than that they'll have little to offer going forward & serious bikers will adapt around needing parts right away. Casuals by their bikes at Walmart so, there you go.
  • + 2
 At least none of you has my kind of shop.

From the mechanics being plain *ssholes that get upset when you show hints of knowing what they are doing, to employees around the shop that know nothing about bikes and are just around trying to sell random stuff to the customers.
In my city we have around 6-7 bike shops. I have visited at least 5 of them, the most popular ones, and they're all a pile of sh*t.
First, you enter the shop, and soon you're either surrounded by employees asking you to buy something or trying to get you into clipless, checking out a bike, OR...no one at all showing up, and you have to approach them first before getting any kind of help. Then you're usually received by a person behind the counter, who probably doesn't know sh t about bikes or how they even work, and as soon as you ask him/her something, he/she calls someone else that actually knows something and then you get the help you need.
They have FB pages, all of them, and they use them to post discounts (just the %, never the prices), new inventory, group rides (which are lame, but at least they get people riding) and opening/closing times. You can ask the stuff via FB, but as soon as you ask for a price of something, or if they have something specific, or if they know this or that, all you will get is a "Visit us!", or "Call this number". Then you call, and no one answers.

I suspect this is because the person behind the counter is usually the same one that manages the social media.

So you got into the shop, and hopefully you're ignorant, have no idea, and have lots of money to spend, because if you're not, you won't get the help you're hoping for. If you know your crap about bikes, have a specific budget, or simply are looking for something specific, you will get bad stares, bad help or no help at all.
If you go and start looking at the products hanging there, you will soon get asked wtf are you looking for? And if you say: I'm just checking out the specs on this thing, then they won't help you anymore or get upset about you being wary and not buying the damn thing already.
I once asked an employee for a 68/73mm MTB BB for HTII interfaces. He had no freaking idea what I said, and showed me a road one, then a GXP, then a square taper, until I pointed my finger at one and said: That one!.

And don't get me started on bad mechanics with bad practices. If you are not cautious take your bike for a full service in our shops, you will definitely get:
-Not enough grease or lube in your bearings, so you will need to go to them again to service them again, and they get some profit.
-The wrong type of oil or lube in your components.
-Loose or overtightened bolts. Mostly Loose.
-Scratches.

And you may get....
-Lost valve caps
-Lost rim strip.
-More scratches.
-Dented rims.
-Bent rims.
-Underperforming shifting or suspension compared to before the service.
-Your cockpit setup all over the place because "you had it setup wrong". Same with the saddle. I have been told this in every single shop, no kidding.
-Contamined rotors and pads. Not all the time, but those times I received my bike like this, they didn't admit it and I had to buy pads again.


Basically its all about treating your customers like ignorant idiots that are easy to deceive, acting like the know it all, they are the bike shop, hence you have no right to say the opposite, and just plain steal stuff or be as stingy as possible to get the most profit out of your customers. This is understandable since most of my country's riders are that way, ignorant, posers, or the "just got into biking because its the cool thing now, hence I dont know sh t" type, so its a normal practice to deceive them, but still...

And pricing?
I'll give you this: $550 for a Transfer Performance post without remote or installation. Ha!

No test rides either. Not even parking lot. Just 3 offer bike fitting, and just one offers saddle testing. Could be worse, I guess.

Now, all I get from them are tubes and chain lube...but I did buy a chain once. Paid $50, and then I looked at the Amazon price and hated myself.
  • + 1
 @Deartist7: Do you need a hug?
  • + 1
 @sevensixtwo: Yes, lol.
  • + 1
 @COSrider:

What this guy said. And I'm sure they have beer!¡
  • + 1
 @Axxe: I have a pretty good kit of tools and do most maintenance on my bike but again, for something that I do extremely rarely or takes way too much time I am relying on my LBS.
  • + 0
 @PedalShopLLC: are you trying to convince people to not use your shop?
  • + 2
 @unrooted: Stop commenting here. You dont want to be caught dead in these notifications. They will ruin you. Trust me! RUUUUUUUUUN!!!!
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: Seriously everyone stfu its tiring
  • + 3
 @Austin-Smith: Me STFU? You STFU. All STFU.
  • + 1
 Zombie replies
  • + 81
 Having worked in a couple shops and currently working at the coolest shop in Bend, I think it's a matter of adapting. Change is inevitable, but it's neither good nor bad. We sell a small amount of bikes (98% high end builds being a boutique kind of shop) but I think what we really Sell, is our service, and our culture. The old model of bike shops are struggling, but ones that can adapt will survive. Their will always be a market for good wrenching, good beer, good people, and good laughs, all in one place.
  • + 12
 2nd the opinion of adapting.

(full caveat: I don't own/operate a bike shop so my ass really isn't on the line) I was hoping bike shops would change/evolve/adapt from the traditional retail operations into a service based industry - primarily coaching/instruction and guiding operations. For instance, instead of the bike shops I encountered as a new rider - all trying to sell me a hardtail XC bike with ultra-aggressive head angle (read: 71 or 72*) - I'd like to see shops focus on instructing new riders and perhaps providing rentals to get people started.
  • + 8
 I think you nailed it man. I work in a shop, too, and I think it is all about that adapting. I could shops becoming a place to get your bike serviced, buy some small things and just being a chill place to hang out and drink some beer or coffee or something.
  • + 8
 @ET23: Thats exactly what we strive for at our shop, coffee, beer, bikes, and skis haha
  • + 3
 I think those who go service based will survive. They just need to come up with the good pricing chart like how much to charge for tire change or a fork installed if they brought in their own. Works for newbies and on all the other tedious greasy works. I for one don't mind if it's reasonable and means more time on trail. Not to mention a place to hangout and get post ride boasts.
  • + 2
 My LBS has a "meh" service and all the time I need some real bike part ( not flash lights, bottles or jerseys) it takes two weeks to get what I ordered.
The prices are very competitive comparing to internet but don't totally beat it.
Even so it is where all the locals meet each other and talk about their experiences. The bike shop organizes two urban night bike rides a week and usually once a month trail rides on Sundays for the different local groups.
The owner is very active in the community organizing events and even charity rides.
I can fix everything my bikes demands ( commuting, mountain bikes and bmx) and have all the tools for it in my home.
But in the end of the day the shop is where I go to fix stuff and talk to other riders.
The bike shop isn't in crises at all, even with all internet competition and many other LBS very near, the owner is thinking about rebuilding it and make it bigger.
So I think the LBS must to see what that specific area is in need and provide it.
  • + 3
 @CGalbreath: that's good to hear. I lived in Bend when I was in high school (pre-internet days!) and there were a couple great shops with friendly people working. I lived in Portland from 2009-2012 and would make regular trips to Bend for riding and the shops that I went too were horrible, IF you could get someone to help you then they weren't very friendly, or even knowledgeable. I went through Bend this summer and didn't even bother checking into any bike shops.

One thing I have a hard time with is bike shop employees always assume I don't know anything about bikes, but I not only have been riding mountain bikes for 26 years (longer than you've been out of diapers???), but I have access to the internet and I even worked at a bike shop myself in college. I do not seeing bike shops existing outside of destinations in the future.

One tip to all bike shop bros: instead of surfing the web, or jerking your friends off in the back corner, you should ask a customer : "how's it going? Are you doing some riding today?"

Typically the most I get is "need help?", I respond I'm good, and they walk off and play on the internet or talking to their bro and I look at the full MSRP items and wonder to myself if it would make any difference to me if this shop disappeared...
  • + 6
 The poll didn't ask the good question and many of us doesn't make a difference between SHOP and WORKSHOP.
Shop can only disappear because they are not concurential in terms of price & parts stock, because too much brand, standards, model.
Workshop will never disappear because even if you think you can do everything by yourself on your bike, this is not true and most of us will butcher the task because of wrong tools (and you cannot own all the tools you need to totally maintain a bike) and lack of skills.
Setting a derailleur is no big deal, changing axles bearings on your precious carbon ubermachine is another trick.
  • + 5
 @gnralized: the only thing I can't do on my bike is rebuild my rear shocks, and I wouldn't trust 99.9% of shops to touch mine.
  • + 7
 In the Shore to Sky corridor the change is happening/ed. I'm not going to name names, but the people in the know will know.

There are three dedicated suspension repairs shops (was four until corporate consolidation.) I know of two workshop only businesses, one or both will instruct people on proper bicycle repair. Businesses that cater solely to the instruction, guiding and rental of bicycles for all levels of cyclists.

Gone are the days of six figure inventory of "Bold New Graphic" bikes needing to be cleared out before MY next arrives. And good riddance, I say.

Where it makes fiscal sense to shop online, do it. Where it makes sense to support your LBS, do it. Where it makes sense to purchase a frame or complete from a company that is truly innovative and doesn't rely on colour changes year in year out for sales, do it!
  • + 2
 @ET23: Does having people chill pay the bill? I'm all for it, but the bills gotta get paid. Does service and small parts sales cover them?
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: we may only sell a few bikes a month, but when they are almost all 10k builds it helps. And we have a full size cafe that's always busy too
  • + 2
 @CGalbreath: Glad to hear it - that type of hub business def needs to survive.
  • + 41
 I think repair-oriented, community-oriented bike shops will continue to do fine, and if their business model changes to where the actual sale of bikes is less a part of it, that's fine by me.
  • + 5
 Laketown, one of our local shops is that way. They are my shop of choice and they seem to do well enough (hopefully) being service driven. I think not having to be bound to forecasts and clearing out old inventory helps small shops.

If you're ever in the Salt Lake area, it's definitely worth it to go visit Will and Phill! Great guys, great service!
  • - 5
flag Extremmist (Nov 19, 2016 at 3:57) (Below Threshold)
 A repair-oriented business is called a service, not a shop. Something like a car service that also sells motor oil, tires or windshield washer fluid but is not a place where you'd buy a new car.
  • + 4
 @Extremmist: where im from, thats still a shop.
service: something provided
shop: place to purchase and/or have that service done.
  • + 2
 @jaycubzz: Maybe you use different words in Canada (workshop? garage?), but if I search for "car service" and "car shop" here in Europe, I will not find the same places.
  • + 3
 I work at a shop in telluride that doesn't stock much in the way of retail items. We have common things like tires or chains, and we can order things when needed; but most of our business is fixing bikes. Occasionally we'll sell a new bike or pimp someone's bike out, but that's not what our business relies on. The main goal is to make people stoked on their bike by ensuring everything is working as it should; suspension dialed, shifting adjusted, bolts tightened, etc. People want to ride their bikes in their free time, not work on them.
  • + 1
 You are correct sir. I'm service manager at a medium sized LBS. Shops will all eventually turn into 2 or 3 man/woman service centers that may carry a small selection of hybrids or kids bikes (simply to have something to offer when a bike is not worth repairing) and very very little clothing or merchandise. Unless however that shop is able to connect with the community and offer more an experience rather than just a place to buy things.
  • + 31
 Bike shops need to offer much larger demo fleets. If I'm going to buy a $5k bike and I can't leave the parking lot on it, I might have well as bought online and at least got a discount. With prices going up, demo fleets and clinics needs to be a bigger focus.
  • + 13
 True that. Recently was looking at a yeti sb6c. Local dealer told me I couldn't take it out of the parking lot unless I bought it. Fuck that. Borrowed my buddies 5.5c for an afternoon. Loved it. Bought a 2016 6c on backcountry for less than 4k . saved myself almost 2k on a similar spec bike.
  • + 6
 Yeah man, spot on @speed10. Every tall rider agrees with you. I can barely even find a shop that stocks an xl frame for my 6'5 ass. Sure, they can order one...if I'm going to buy it. So most of the time I don't even get the parking lot test.
  • + 2
 @topherdagopher: I get both sides of the issue. One you need a proper test of a bike before dropping the cash on a new bike. The other is if you don't buy the bike, the shop is trying to sell a ridden/used bike.

The good shops will purchase a handful of demo bikes that can be rented out for a small fee to be deducted from a bike purchase at a later time.
The good companies have demo events linked up through the local shop so one is able to ride something on familiar trails rather than taking a trip to Whistler, Moab, Vegas, Outerbike etc
  • + 6
 @gonecoastal: I worked a place that rented mid level Kona hei heis. At the end of the season we sold them cheap and got new ones. All said and done, we made the same, if not more money then a one time sale on the bike, and educated a ton of riders about the brand. How does anyone lose?
  • + 0
 @speed10: Exactly what I was getting at, the LBS is providing a service. @topherdagopher loses as he can't go demo a 6K bike from the shop only to turn around and purchase online for 4K. :p

Also if the bike model saw only "Bold New Graphics" as the year to year change the shop doesn't really have to sell said bikes off if they can't find owners for them.
  • + 3
 @gonecoastal: if the shop charges a modest fee for the demo, that covers the bike being in their demo fleet. They can then sell the bike at the end of the season for a decent discount, and because you bought it from a bike shop, you'd still be eligible for the manufacturers original warranty.

A local shop here does that, but they charge way too much for a demo, $250 for an afternoon ride is too much, and they'll only credit you for 1 demo on the purchase of the bike, and even then, only if it's the same model you demoed.

IMHO this is where manufacturers should step up. Provide dealers demo fleets at extreme discounts, especially the boutique brands like Yeti, Ibis, Knolly, etc. do what it takes to get dealers running demo fleets because that's how you sell more bikes. Good for the LBS good for the frame companies.
  • + 1
 @maxyedor: I agree! $250 is way too much, but it probably does stop people from show rooming the shops. They likely lose just as much business from people realizing that $250 on a demo isn't much if you can save $2000+ purchasing online.
I'm fairly certain WBP charges ~$150 CDN/day for a top tier DH bike in the bike park.
  • + 1
 @maxyedor: yikes!! $250 for a afternoon demo? I haven't personally rented a bike, not ever... and road trips I have done, I always brought my own bike so I never really pay attention to rental fees. $250 seems more like a bike resort rental fee.
  • + 2
 @PedalShopLLC: I think that's their justification, a similar bike would run you a couple hundred at a resort. its kind of understandable, they demo top tier bikes, but on the other hand, can you even get a feel for a bike in 4 hours? I can't, especially with tires I'm not used to and suspension I haven't tweaked on yet.
  • + 21
 I so desperately want the bike shop to stay around, and some of them will. However, I do believe they have to change in order to remain relevant.

With price disparities that can make buying parts online up to 70% cheaper it becomes REALLY hard to buy locally. I love this sport, and I love my local shops. I worked in one for almost 6 years. I know this pricing difference isn't necessarily 100% the bike shop's fault, they have to pay what their distributors are charging, but that just highlights the fact that the current model can no longer compete. I like buying new bikes, but I also enjoy eating food.

Going forward I see things going to more of a service-based model. People largely still buy small items like tubes, brake pads and shifter cables locally because the savings aren't sufficient to buy them online or the time-frame to get them is too short. But the days of the huge showrooms full of bikes and parts are gone. Going forward maybe there will be a couple of bikes in a couple of sizes and the shop orders in new ones sort of like a bicycle boutique store.

I'm just rambling now so I'll leave it at that.
  • + 3
 This is exactly what I think is happening.
  • + 2
 In Australia the price disparity isn't that much anymore for good shops, they're pretty close to online pricing. I was an online shopper from about 06 until around 2011 but I've been back at the lbs since then, I just sometimes have to haggle a little if I think it's too expensive, that's pretty rare though. And that's worked in three different cities.
  • + 1
 In order for this to happen though the service of bikes it going to have to cost more. I work at a bike shop and the service side of things is only a fraction of what the bike sales are. However I think some of the low end bike shops may stick around because most people just entering the sport have know idea about what they want which makes buying online intimidating.
  • + 1
 @sampolicky: or people get paid less, or the business makes less margin, or you find savings somewhere else, or....theres lots of ways to run an efficient business
  • + 5
 @russthedog:
None of that equates to "efficient" - it's the start of death by 1,000 cuts.
  • + 5
 @sampolicky:

yes, 80% of our income in our shop is from selling bikes - primarily carbon road bikes for men and women

servicing actually only brings in small revenue, but is very labour intensive - yes it is profitable probably 75-80% margin on labour once costs are figured, but you have to do a lot of £80 services (typically 1.5 -2 hours) to generate the same revenue as selling a single road bike (i.e. £1299)

even if servicing is scaled up with multiple workstations and mechanics, its the same dirty, labour intensive operation that is profitable but does not generate large revenue. In London our largest chain retailer "Evans Cycles" tried centralizing their workshop operations with a base in South London - delivery vans collecting bikes from multiple stores, taking them to London Central Workshop (LCW) for servicing. They deskilled their in-store workshops - leaving a bike builder or junior mechanic), anything more complex than a basic (bronze) service was farmed out to LCW.

Many problems with customer communications, quality control of work being done remotely (returned to store not fixed) and high costs of operating multiple vans/drivers with fuel, congestion charging and time delays of driving in heavily congested city. This operation run for several years, they find it very hard to retain staff due to working conditions (crazy workload and poor management, unpaid bonuses,etc.), lost money and closed the facility. Customers hated the idea of their bike being worked on by some random mechanic, rather than someone they had met in store and built trust with.

When I ran one of the workshops in their big London store, we constantly got bikes back unfixed, with parts missing or damaged. We send a Cannondale DJ bike down there with boxed Fox 1.5" forks the customer had supplied, the bike comes back with original forks still fitted and Fox forks gone missing. We sent a time trial bike with deep section wheels, it comes back with a hole in the front wheel aero rim where it had been hung on a steel hook!

This was common...and cost lots in compensation and goodwill gestures. the forks eventually came back dirty with a cut steerer Frown



In a good independent shop, bike fitting and servicing can bring in £50K-£100K a year between them, which is good business, but nothing compared to focusing on selling bikes.
  • + 2
 replied to wrong message
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: I'm pretty sure finding savings and cutting costs is the definition of efficiencies
  • + 3
 @hampsteadbandit: that sounds f*cking horrendous but I can quite believe it ,I see bad service everywhere I look and people work in areas they have no knowledge of , ,this is apparent in many industries bike and other.
If I indeed do see any different in a shop both in or out of the mtb world I feel compelled to return .
  • + 4
 Price is only one part of the problem. Another part - in my opinion, much bigger - is the choice.
Imagine I want to buy a helmet with a removable chin bar.
When I look at Amazon, only from Bell I see 3x Super 2R, 10x Super 2R MIPS and 9x Super 3R MIPS. Each of them comes in 3 sizes, that's 66 helmets worth $10,000+ to have in stock, and that's basically just one model from one brand.
If you've seen the CRC warehouse, you must understand it's something that local bike shops can never compete with, they have neither the budget, nor the capacity.
And that has always been my number 1 issue with local bike shops - it wasn't the price, it was the fact that they simply didn't have what I wanted - either it wasn't in stock or they didn't sell that brand at all.
  • + 21
 It's not the bike shops I'm worried about. It's the skyrocketing prices of bikes. Some of the manufacturers don't seem to care too much about the future of our sport, only their wallets! Look at the Pinkbike reviews, only to find a handful offer an alternative. The excuse is cost of manufacturing, that's BS when they already have operations in place. Outsourced manufacturing is cheap specially in China or Taiwan. There are too many overlaps of employees in the business.
  • + 10
 Literally what i have been thinking everyday since i don't even know. I wish people actually knew the details of carbon manufacturing. After being involved in the industry a bit (building carbon racing sailing boats and sails), the prices these bike companies think they must charge are delusional. They aren't even using close to the most advanced carbon around.

That's just my rant for the day done.
  • - 3
 But bike prices really haven't skyrocketed like people say. I've done a little digging and except for a few brands the prices are more-or-less in line with inflation with a little wiggle room on either side.
  • + 9
 @cueTIP: the prices should actually go down as production numbers increase and technology gets cheaper.
  • + 3
 @colincolin: Yes, in a research stagnant environment. But we know that isn't the case and there are more manufacturers than ever competing in the same space so none of them (besides maybe Giant or Specialized) have reached the economies of scale you're suggesting they should have.
  • + 2
 agreed , you wouldn't mind paying so much if it was custom made for you by some highly skilled bloke in a shed somewhere but there not and it feels like a piss take,but no doubt I will keep buying expensive bikes ,what can I say?im a sucker and they know it,bastards te he he
  • + 2
 New mountain bikes are clearly unreasonably priced when you can buy a brand new dirt bike, with an engine, for cheaper than a new high end mountain bike.
  • + 4
 @Towner: And when you buy that moto you deal with a qualified salesman Go try to spend $7000 at a bike shop and your dealing with a teenage kid making min. wage, who only give 'deals' and good service to friends and people who bring gifts for the shop.
  • + 2
 Yeah, been biking for like 8 years and until mid season I had an absolute blast but I feel all the industry B.S. has been wearing me down on the long run. Biking is really fun but I'm not sure I still want to spend that much time (maintenance) and money on a sport when there are hundreds of much much cheaper alternatives that are just as fun.
  • + 2
 This. The local bike shop offers nothing to help me deal with the fact that I am being priced out of this sport. What is a box of donuts or coffees or "being a good guy" worth at my bike shop? $250 off a $5000 bike? 10% off parts and accessories? It doesn't really matter when I look under the couch cushions to have $2000 to spend on a bike every 3 or 4 years or $2-300 to spend on parts and accessories each year.

In my experience any retailer considers preferential treatment depending on your contribution to their revenue and I can't keep up with the spending expectations of the industry.
  • + 22
 I'm completely self sufficient from shops. Do all my own work, order my shit online. They can disappear I'm OK with it. Sorry to say.
  • - 47
flag Tr011 (Nov 18, 2016 at 18:23) (Below Threshold)
 Then you are a prick
  • - 2
 Hope you can travel with a bike shop worth of tools and spare parts for trips
  • + 5
 No kidding, I love when I need a .50 part and I can't get an online retailer to stick it in a envelope. Makes a ton of sense to pay $9 for shipping and having to wait a week.

Yea shops have no use.
  • + 7
 @Tr011:
So what's your genius solution, then? To treat businesses like they're charities?
  • + 7
 @KeithReeder: funny, cause so many of these so called "self sufficient " riders think that they are a charity! I've been a mechanic at shops for 23 years. plenty of diyers coming in for advice, a bolt or other small part, thinking they shouldn't pay for it cause"bro, I ride too" picking my brain because their exhaustive knowledge is exhausted... shop owners paying me to fix bikes and help out the riding community, while these turds think they should pay for nothing and buy all their parts online to save some money. You look at someone's bike and tell them what's wrong with it and they don't even buy the part from you. I'm sick of people talking crap about the prices of parts too. CRC and jenson sell shimano for less than the shop pays from QBP. Bike shops have to pay rent, power, insurance, employees, stock. Charity my ass
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: It's really simple,I've gone into several of the local shops and talked to the owners directly.
I've flat out told them that I want to support local business, but at the same time I can't just give money away.

I bluntly asked it they were ok with my telling them what I can get something on the net for and if they can come close, I'll buy it from them, if not no hard feelings.

One said no, so I've never been back. One of the others, I bought my Tallboy from and a bunch of other parts.
  • + 18
 It's one thing when the price difference on a 200 dollar item is 10-15 bucks. I'll always support the local shop if that is the case but they are literally selling retail prices. Shops are going to have to figure out how to compete. I literally went into a shop yesterday to buy a new tire. They were selling it for $79 and it's $49 online. That is just crazy.

Maybe something like a local Amazon Prime Subscription model where I pay yearly to get some extra services and close to online prices. I would totally go for that.
  • + 17
 Sometimes it depends on the product. I work in a shop, and I do all the ordering. Unfortunately there are just some product prices out there we can't compete with. What good would I be doing if I sold a tire for $49 that wholesales for $44. Or worse is the prices on some Shimano components. What you see on CRC a lot of the time is at, or slightly below, what most shops pay at wholesale.
  • + 2
 Literally, brah!
  • + 2
 @TwoWheelMike: why make 5$ per tire when you can make 0$?
  • + 5
 @colincolin: at that level, the margin doesn't even go to profit. $44 might be what the shop paid the dist., but they also have to pay to get it shipped, pay to keep the lights on so you can see it, pay an employee to put a tag on it, display it, try to sell it, etc.

Not worth ordering something you make $5 on unless you can sell 100 of them very quickly.
  • + 7
 I work at a fairly big shop in Germany right now and I find lower prices for basically everything except complete bikes and clothing at online shops compared to what we pay at wholesale.
That right there is the problem, we aren't overpriced because we want to be.

Then we can't buy as many of the entry/mid level bikes from some brands as we could sell while at the end of the year hundreds of those bikes are sold for half the price in the internet.

I feel like we are basically advertisement for the large bike companies.

All of this only regards mountainbikes and roadbikes though. Touring/trekking/city bikes are a whole different story and what we have to earn our money with even though there is a fairly big riding community around here.
  • + 15
 This morning i got up, drove into my LBS, they changed my hanger for me, installed a new drink bottle holder stud in my frame, and replaced a snapped shock bolt, i bought a tub of Endura Optimizer and a Thule roof rack for my car. The thule roof rack retails for $329, the optimizer retails for $80, i have no idea what else for the other things i had done but i only paid $400 and all of it was done in under an hour, they even offered to install my roof racks for me. CRC or Jenson USA Are never going to give me that kind of service.
  • + 14
 I'm a bit worried about it but only because I work at a bike shop. And fuck the industry btw, only reason that a bike shop business model is outdated is because the industry makes it impossible to sell things at a reasonable margin.
  • + 11
 Right now 100's of bike shop employees and owners are finishing reading the comment section, closing this page, and reaching for a cold beer while shaking their heads. Good shops will last and flourish, the bad ones are on their way out already and have been for a few years. Cheers to good bike shops, good beer, and good rides.
  • + 11
 The best bike shops don't even feel like places of business...they're more like really cool tree forts with a tip jar in the corner. You should never feel guilty for bringing your online-bought parts into your LBS to have them installed.

We're all on a budget, and to turn a blind eye to serious online savings for the sake of "supporting your local shop" just doesn't make sense.

My LBS is always super kind, never bats an eye when I show up with my own parts, and always consistently charges fairly for the services rendered. As was mentioned above, service is the future. I work in the motorcycle industry, and people will travel far and wide for a shop that has a reputable tech or suspension guru.
  • + 11
 I'm a 1 man, 1 bike stand, in 500sq ft in a small, mountain town. What I do here goes beyond just detailed service and informative sales in the 4 walls of the business space. I'm out there on my free time building and maintaining local trails, leading rides, working with kids, getting riders fired up along with much more in the community. Most riders see this and get it. Some will never and thats alright as consumers we have that choice. I'm not fighting the internet and other means. I'm doing what I'm doing to the very best I can and what I believe in. That energy rubs off on others. And me and many others also support people that have a story to tell. When a rider buys a bike off me, I build it to meticulous detail, fit them, set the suspension, educate them on these complicated machines then take them for a rip in the woods. Thats the process and thats not what the big guys and the web can do. Major props to the others that are doing this and those that are supporting this. So the demise of the "bike shop" can come but I'm going to keep on going. Get fired up about life, get fired up about bikes.
  • + 8
 Bike shops will always be around....but the greedy bike shops will not. I've worked in the most successful bike shop (owns 5 of them) in my area. Although it was great and I learned a lot-it was a labor of love. I just got paid a little over minimum wage and they charged on average, double + 10%. Owner buys or leases a new Porsche every year and has a 125,000 dollar Mercedes in the garage. He also has 2 brothers in the business that have kids in private schools and at the most expensive college in the state......I don't think I need to elaborate anymore.

Although this might just be an American culture by-product or symptom....I can't justify paying for your new porsche--from just buying a couple of derailleurs or set of brakes. The markup is just too high at most bike shops.
  • + 2
 you're much more likely to pay someones porsche when ordering from amazon and in Germany for example wholesale prices for bikeshops are basically the same as online deals. I absolutely understand why people rather order from online shops though, dont get me wrong.
  • + 2
 @mirskeinereingefalln: Personally...I don't order from Amazon. Ebay for me until it doesn't exist anymore Smile . I get what you're saying--but my point is that the bike shop owners should be content with a reliable truck and a decent house. They don't have to act like they cracked the retail code and live like (for lack of better term) Kings. Charging double + 10% isn't rocket science--it's just plain greedy.
  • + 7
 Can anyone name a retail channel where online completely replaced traditional brick-and-mortar? I won't deny it has greatly changed the retail landscape, but successful businesses can adapt to continue to add value and retain their customers. Embrace online - spite your distributors that don't allow you to compete with restrictive trade agreements and tell your customers to order the parts and bring them in for the build or service. Specialize in Service - you may lose the customers who'd have you install pedals but there will always be people who won't touch their bikes more specialized parts. Id say gone are the days of walking into a shop with countless bikes on the floor, hanging from the ceiling with parts covering every square inch of wall space.

Some will fail, some will thrive. But there will be bike shops, aka bicycle service oriented businesses - as long as we have bikes.
  • + 17
 Block buster /Netflix
  • + 2
 @kevin267: Very true, but you cant digitally transfer bike parts Smile
  • + 1
 @kevin267: Blockbuster failed due to a technology innovation that opened up digital delivery methods. It wasn't fundamentally the same service being replaced.
  • + 1
 @railin: If you have a 3D printer, in theory, you can...
  • + 1
 Prostitution.
  • + 2
 @JVance: wank mags
  • + 6
 Damn i'm tired of those kind of article. I work in a bike shop and what i can say about this is that some bikeshop need to close and will close because they dont do the thing right. Be active in your community, ride with the clients, help them to install the pieces they buy online. If you can manage to adapt to the market, you will survive. It's no easy task nor a pleasant one on some matters but only the best will survive. More importantly, CHOSE the brands that help you in this way. Sram US is helping alot with their no online sale for US/CAN. Devinci/specialized/Norco/Rocky Mountain dont sell online and don't plan on it. Be intelligent, thta's it.
  • + 1
 Exactly brotha! Shops shouldn't look at the customer like they've just been handed a warm pice of shit to install on a bike just because they bough online and in your store, being bike active in the community is key marketing and you like you said shops should just be honest and do the right thing.
  • + 1
 Survival of the fitness! Bike shops/brands that adapt to the market demands will add value and continue to thrive beyond the adaptation away from purely growth based economics.
  • + 6
 not enough shops have the heart to compete. Hire lazy unprofessional opinionated dbags, pay good people too little, and have too much pride to say they messed something up. I get so stoked walking into LBS that are a community of bikers just looking to ride and talk bikes stuffed into every nook and cranny from shop to sales floor. Unfortunately this is rare, and feeling unwelcome or intrusive is the norm
  • + 10
 yes, I ran a sick shop in Surrey, England for nearly 5 years - we were bike riders, and actually had a 4 acre freeride bike park behind the store, and a massive dirt jump / pump track facility to the left of the shop front. The shop felt like a skate shop, but you got great service, great pricing (we were buying grey 15 years ago) and expertise as we all rode MTN, DH, FR, DJ, BMX at a good level.

It was one of those shops stuffed full of the good stuff, we'd have 25 frames hanging up, 30 pairs of forks on display, 100 pairs of disc brakes, DH tires, body armour, full face helmets. Cabinets of King, Hope, Easton, Thomson, Saint, Avid, etc.

Great shot of Rob Warner (Red Bull X-Fighters commentator) and Doddy from MBUK mag visiting the shop some years back. ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb4968959/p4pb4968959.jpg

Riders would come from all over the UK to ride the bike park (250 a week during its heyday in 8 years of operation) and the shop did just under £1M in its last trading year - with 2 staff! We could sell 3-4 DH completes a week no problem. We'd build 300 pairs of wheels a year. could have 5-10 custom builds going out a week.

We eventually closed the shop due a change in tenancy for the bike park and shop from a corporate landlord. The owner had another shop and then moved to a big warehouse as his online operation ramped up.

I can't find those shops any more, its all soul less chain retailers with underpaid and under trained staff (who cannot afford to buy any of the stuff the shop sells) and some quite snotty independents.

There are some good LBS / independent shops out there, the strong ones with an enthusiastic group of employees, associates, riders, volunteers for organizing rides and trail days.

The days of selling some generic piece (i.e. derailleur) out of a box at retail price is somewhat over. From figures I have seen, the aftermarket is only 5% of Shimano's component manufacturing market, the bulk is OE which is what they care about, as long as the factory is busy / getting paid !!

We wouldn't get price parity with internet retailers unless Shimano strip out the middleman (in country distributor) and allow B2B purchasing with shipping from continental warehouse, so retailers can buy at grey pricing and make a small margin whilst offering pricing similar to internet retailers.

2017 will be the year of the incoming implosion, already with mergers, bankruptcies and compression, the bike industry is one of the last retail sectors to be turned over as has happened in general retail, especially fashion and food.
  • + 4
 @hampsteadbandit: that's the type of shop I'd like to see survive.
  • + 2
 @hampsteadbandit: sounds like it was a great shop to work and visit.
  • + 0
 @HaydukeLives: yes, in was great, at the time we were so busy we didn't really notice...but I've since worked for a number of chain retailers and independents and nothing comes close.

I realized after typing my reply earlier, it was a unique set of circumstances and lots of hard work that allowed the shop and bike park to come together. I guess a similar scenario with the original Cove bike shop in Canada. And a number of other notable shops based around different riding scenes, for example great stores at bike parks.
  • + 6
 Good Bike shops will survive. Shitty ones won't. I think a lot of people have forgotten about customer service. The locals that regularly walk through your door on a daily or weekly basis are your life blood ...... treat them as such. There is no reason why a shop can't blow internet pricing out the door with good service. Also if shops consistently charge msrp plus shipping ? ....... how long will that last? do you think your customers don't have computers?
  • + 10
 Bike shops are great, but dolla billz are better.
#sorrynotsorry
  • + 5
 In my town here we have so many bike shops I cant count them. In a 20min walking distance there are 5. And still more shops open up.

Most of them dont sell bikes in the first place, but live on repairs of commuter bikes. Those old steel framed GDR Mifa and Diamant bikes are still very popular. Some shops sell race bikes, and maybe two or three shops in our 500.000 town sell mountain bikes - but most new bikes are bought at the supermarket or the outlet of an online retailer nearby.

If there is one business that everyone can do without having learnt a real job, then it seems to be bycicle shop owner (not bycicle mechanic - for this you need to be qualified).
  • + 4
 unfortunately, bikes and bike parts are too expensive in Canada due to the Canadian dollar and middle men taking their cut. I'll buy from the bike shop when the price is similar to what I can get it for online, and when I need it immediately, but if I can wait, or get it a lot cheaper, or simply have it delivered to my door, then I'm buying online.
  • + 8
 Dude, forget Bike parts for a second. Have you seen how darn expensive beer is in Canada? Besides whatever exemption Unibrau has, cheap beer is at least double what it costs in the states. Good beer should cost about 10$ for a 6 pack. Really good beer, just a touch more. But cheap beer for 17$!?!?!

I'm more concerned for you than me. I hope one day you can be as fat as I am. ;P
  • + 2
 I work at a bike shop and often the online deals are much cheaper than what the distributor sells it for. The clue behind online shops is that you buy one thing with a huge discount, but then also add several other things into your basket and in the end the average discount over the total package is back to maybe 12%. With a lbs you walk in and buy only what you need, where as with an online shop you start bulking to save shipping costs over time or add extra things that wear out to your basket so you reach the amount of money spent where you get free shipping. Online shops may look very cheap but they trick you into shopping there and are not as cheap as you think they are if you look at your total basket.
  • + 4
 What about stores like REI and MEC selling proper bikes now? To me this pushed me away from buys at a lbs. MEC is able to offer a return policy that is amazing and pretty good pricing. So I may be "shopping online" at mec but I know its a quick drive into the city to get to the actual store and deal with any issues. To me thats a win.
  • + 1
 If you like the idea of no negotiation on price
  • + 3
 @frozenQ: I like the idea of purchasing at a reasonable price without having to negotiate.
  • + 1
 @johncee: intense and reasonable pricing don't belong in the same sentence. No room for negotiation with mec
  • + 2
 Thats something I hate about bike shops, why do I need to go in negotiating? (with some kid who has no training in sales and is making min. wage) If I buy online I can compare prices and know i'm getting the best deal. If I buy from LBS i leave thinking, "maybe if I bribed them with beer I could have gotten a deal"
  • + 4
 Have any of you ever priced out The cost of all the proper tools you need to be a full service home mechanic? Ever have a stuck crankset? A fork discintigrate? Get a bolt stripped you can't get out?

There are some jobs I don't have the ability, tools or time to deal with not to mention if it's a warranty issue.

Shops drive me crazy for the most part. Usually staffed by poorly trained high school kids getting minimum wage. But, we're going to miss them when they're gone.
  • + 3
 Some of us have LBS' that can't even justify their existence by offering excellent servicing, though.
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: Oh I hear you and notice I didn’t say excellent. There’re some jobs that I just literally can’t do. At least if I drop it off they have to figure it out until it gets done.
  • + 4
 I feel for mountain bike riders, its all about the trails....without a good system of solid trails to ride, there isnt much need for these fancy mountain bikes in general...Roadies only need to open their garage doors and off they go to breath in brake dust and exhaust fumes...I have noticed in my travels, if an area has some descent trails, the surrounding bike shops seem to be alive and well and help in maintaining those trails, which I Totally respect..Its very much like an eco system...So for me when i have some place to ride and have knowlegde of the bike shops helping to maintain and build those local trails, I try my best to spread the wealth and be an active part of this eco system i love by supporting the LBS even if im paying 10-20% more, because without those trails I wont be riding or needing my bikes and all those shiney bits .......
  • + 4
 These statistics are a little irrelevant, as there are many bike shops that that are useless, and dont carry much of the better components, I have a few of those around me, good quality shops with competitive prices are hard to find too, and those that are good usually have a good amount of people that will always shop there
  • + 4
 There are many reasons why direct sales are killing it... Its funny that people take this attitude that "the mark up is too high" to an industry/sport they love. Despite fast food companies paying employees minimum wages and make enormous amounts of money there is no hesitation to spend money on their products, regardless of their quality.
Something that always gets me is that buying at the LBS helps an entire industry. Your money gets spread through the industry before landing in the back pocket of a CEO... Direct sales doesn't have the same distribution of profits. Yeah sure you get a kick ass deal on a bike but your local scene suffers and old mate in Germany loves it.
  • + 4
 In our town it's the people who run them rather than the shop itself. Walk in with a DH rig and they look at you stupid and say"don't you need a mx shop". They hate our DH and everything about it. I sometimes think they are just lacking on info and not willing to find out. They don't really wanna help you and most of the time get fobbed and end up on the net. The only reason I go to my LBS is if I can't do something myself, bearing press and stuff like that.
  • + 4
 Bike shops are great, and I would be very sad to see them die out. That said, I haven't bought anything from my lbs for years; with super cheap online shops and direct sales companies (and being a financially challenged student) I can't justify the comparatively rip-off prices that bike shops charge.
  • + 3
 15 or so years ago I used to race radio control cars and this was the issue facing the local hobby shop. Today the local hobby shop is all but gone, due mostly to mail order. However, the bike shop has one key difference of offering service and that will minimize the decline. I worked a bit in a LBS and for whatever reason mountain guys tend to be more concerned with cost than road guys buy regardless bikeshops need to give customers a reason to shop local, if they don't they will not survive.
  • + 8
 "15 or so years ago I used to race radio control cars"

Did you ever beat one?
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: Thanks for the laugh--the discussion is a serious one and I needed something to smile at!
  • + 1
 off road younger scene in general, way less cash

small bike shops here, mostly catering to middle aged roadies, really look down on you when they realise you're not gonna spend £2500 on some italian bran carbon
  • + 3
 Do you want bikes, or bike shops? I think a good bike shop is cool, but would I be willing to pay retail and have only half the quiver? Tough sell.

And that's assuming you have a good bike shop. I don't remember the last time a local bike shop had what I was looking for.
  • + 3
 My LBS is the most useless shop I've had the misfortune to deal with. Before I relocated I used to always use my LBS but this lot are non helpful and rip you off quite happily then moan they don't get support! I'm all for paying rrp etc but if bike shops want repeat business they need to innovate and get involved with the community more, bike rides , turning a section of it into a cafe etc all will help and business will improve
  • + 4
 What is crappy is how quick the industry is moving with standards etc... you can't expect bricks and mortar shops to have everything in stock so they lose out to the online guys. Maybe the speed of change is the problem?
  • + 3
 IMO the demise of the bike shops boil down to two main areas...
1. Like all retail, brick and mortar stores cannot compete with online giants. The margins and overhead costs are a day and night difference... So for all those complaining about LBS charging high prices...they're not. They're charging what the product should cost. Obviously your LBS cannot sell Shimano components to their customers at the same price they paid for it. For whatever reasons the online giants can and do. That devalues the products and gives the LBS a difficult time making their needed margins.
2. As a whole the industry is over priced. Cycling in general is just down as a sport. Shops in cycling meccas like Moab, Sedona, and Bend can do well with great service, rentals/demos and selling t-shirts. The urban shops use to rely on cycling as a whole... The urban commuters, retiree's wanting comfort cruisers for the RV and bike paths...families that wanted to ride with the kids. With the state of peoples finances and cycling getting very expensive, the overall number of people riding bikes period is way way down...if no one is buying bikes, shops close... The ones that remain are evolving with the new market trends, or are located in a cycling mecca.
  • + 5
 Seems LBS will have to rethink their approach, having the same knowitalldudewhoonlyhaveinterestinshowingoff seller won't compete the Internet
  • + 3
 The smart shop owners will turn their business. The future of these business are rental and repear activities. We know that the after sales are and will still be the weakness of the internet bike dealers, and people are less and less intersting on repearing their own bike. Also rental is going to be a real business when you take a look on prices, even on the internet. And even if I don't like them, E-Bikes will be a market with a big need on local shops to repear, maintain, rent or cell because of their specificities. Last, today bike shop are still selling bikes in the classic business model with the healthy customers...
  • + 3
 The biggest growth in the industry is from women and if I had a dollar for every time some bike shop bro talked down to one of my lady riding friends or charged them for something unnecessary or made them feel threatened or implied they are stupid or that they must only ride beginners trails, I would be able to buy everything from my LBS at full price. The future of brick and mortar stores is in service and if they can't provide it they only have themselves to blame when they have to close up shop.
  • + 3
 I am the owner/mechanic of a small bike shop. One of the most interesting things for me, that happens on a weekly basis, is someone shoving their smartphone in my face and declaring how much less they can get something for somewhere else. All of the other things aside, like what they are showing me won't fit their bike, they haven't figured in taxes/duties/shipping, no idea how to install said widget, etc. Does this person do these things elsewhere? Do they sit in a bar and shove the phone in the bartenders face and demand that they match the price? How about when they buy green beans at the grocery store? Maybe they do and I just don't see it when I'm out. It is quite intriguing.
  • + 1
 Those people are entitled, clueless, dix. Unfortunately, they also ride bikes. They also ride them in the streets of my city and act just as lame. F them.
  • + 3
 This is an absolute non-issue and its getting boring seeing it on multiple sites. In my local area I have seen multiple shops open up. Basically what we have here some whining shops that are un-able to adapt.

I would guess there are 2 issues here what we are seeing LBS moan about, direct bikes sales and online power houses like CRC, wiggle etc..
On my local trails there is a good mixture of bikes, it is not dominated by YT and Canyon, all of those other bikes were bought at some point from an LBS. It's pretty simple, if you have the cash in the bank to buy a high end bike outright, then the likes of direct sale company like YT/Canyon are a viable option, if you are using a credit card or loan the savings can be outweighed by the interest you pay. Decent shops know this so they offer 0% finance deals to get the bikes out of the shops. The other thing to note is not everyone despite the cheaper price of the direct sale bikes wants a YT or Canyon, so LBS sales are still safe. Most noobs will not drop 3+K for bike they are unable to see in the flesh first.

What about CRC etc.. the reality is with the amount of components available there is no way ever a LBS is going to be able to hold enough stock so a warehouse is needed, I want to be able to order and have a needed component with me sharpish so online will always be my best bet. Lets also clarify what LBS also means, not all local shops are actually that local, I am not walking out of my house and into a shop, most people have to go into to town, fuel money, parking money perhaps and also time. Even if the prices were just the same for a component it is often easier just to sit at a computer and click a button and will also cost less due to less expense getting to a shop. This is why online sales are so popular and it's not unique to the bike industry.
Shops stating that the margins make it un-viable are poor business people. Most people will not do a journey for a single Tube, but if I know my local shop stocks tubes at reasonable prices I will go there and more than likely buy something else to make the journey worth while, while the margin on the tube will be low perhaps the other products not so much. Again its all about business sense and enticing a customer to walk in the first place. I am really not sure why so many LBS can not grasp basic business principles.

There is also another type of direct sales which a UK Bike brand has seen a gap in the market and has been very successful. They offer all the advantages of direct sales savings but operate out of a brick and mortar set up, they offer one to one advise and after sales servicing etc.. they adapted to the world we live in and are now successful with offering a mix of the best aspects of both sales avenues. You can taylor spec your bike and have it delivered or walk in and buy the bike. They also offer a full demo fleet.

There is room in the industry for both online and brick and mortar sales, the same is in practically every other market place, the fact is the decent shops will stay around and the bad ones will close down.
  • + 4
 I will support my LBS once they support me, if your argument is that you will lose something that goes beyond selling things for 2x the price, you can organize girl/kids riding days with a mtb club or a group of friends.
  • + 3
 In HS I loved going to the LBS to oggle the shiny new things and learn some basics. Lucked into a sales job with them when I turned 16 and worked there for a few years. In college I found two LBSs that I liked using as I had no room for tools or repairs. I got out of biking for a while due to health issues and when I started getting into DH a couple years ago there was almost no local support even though there's a ton of great riding and a bike park relatively close by but I still tried to hit a LBS for most of my needs.
But last winter I was learning how to rebuild a couple forks and went to the largest LBS for some advice and to get some parts ordered. The kid that greeted me was a jackhole when I started asking some questions and the mechanic I spoke to had never touched a Marzocchi fork. RS and Fox only and they wouldn't order me the right parts. So now I've spent a bit on tools but I can do a basic seal replacement on either of my forks in half an hour, an oil change in a bit less and a full rebuild in about an hour. The LBS charges well over $100 for a seal and rebuild job and takes a week or two to do it so I've saved a bunch of time and money learning how to do it. At this point I only use the LBS for wheel truing or my wife's bike so she can't say I buggered it up.
  • + 3
 My shop told me to fuck off after asking where my argyles where 6wks after I dropped them off for warrenty. Turned out they where still at the shop and never went. Shame as the guy who ran the shop is such a good wheel builder and now I have to DIY all the things I used to pay for. I can do pretty much everything but liked the going to the shop and chatting etc. Not now after the rudeness
  • + 3
 No different than any business. The internet has changed the game and is weeding out the weak. IBDs are particularly old school and not flush with 'business people' they'll never fully go away but the days of a couple lazy bros owning a shop are done.
  • + 2
 Buying on line is way cheaper that is fact. Shops do provide services for people who want information about bikes, parts, repairs or cycle discipline for them. On line can provide this tech, but seeing and feeling is more important for some people.

Me, I am an online shopper. Parts mainly. Until last month wheels were the biggest outlay. I bought a bike bike online in Oct - Cube Stereo SL C:62 160. I saved just over $3000... no shop in town can compete with that. The bike is the most comfortable and best fitting bike i've owned. I did plenty of research and took the leap. No regrets at this time.
  • + 2
 I have the hardest time finding a shop that I like. Unfortunately many bike shop owners and employees are not good at customer service. Maybe I am picky, but almost every time I go into a shop, I get annoyed or even pissed off by something. I can see repair shops doing well if they can get over themselves and work on any brand of bike. Instead they often provide sub par service to customers who bought their bike elsewhere. These shops will not last. At least I will not give them my business. I will probably be buying my next bike from a direct to consumer brand and use the money saved to get good tools to work on it myself. I have been maintaining my own bikes for years. Bike shops would like you to think it is out of reach of the average rider, but it is not, especially with the online resources like Park Tool and others.
  • + 1
 DIY is pretty much required in some sectors anyway. Pretty much all LBS seem to think that road bike group sets start and finish with Shimano. So the problem is more than just MTB maintenance.

I ned to buy a whole load of Campagnolo tools, which although expensive would be cheaper that shipping/taking my bike to a shop that can deal with more than the same-old-same-old.

Once I've done that, setting up t fix the MTB will be a mere bagatelle.
  • + 3
 Bottom line....good shops will last....others won't. Bike shops I compare to a car dealerships. The money is in service and accessories. The one thing I thought shops could take advantage of is selling used bikes.
  • + 2
 I spend approx 50% of my considerable cycling budget (me and two competitive junior racers) at the Local Bike Shop.
I've been all but kicked out of other bike shops because I either mentioned something I saw on line and they don't carry it, or I brought my bike in for service and they didn't like my answer when they asked about my new brakes.
Online shopping isn't the bike shop owner's worst enemy. Reacting like an a*shole because a customer, for whatever reason, sourced a part somewhere else, is. I'm not saying eating shit and smiling is the solution but you have a flesh and blood customer who wants to buy something from you and you yell at them? The only way Local Bike shops will survive is to provide excellent service. That includes keeping your opinions to yourself, about everything and especially online sales.
Generally I've found bike shops to be quirky and customer service is too. That used to fly but now I can go to MEC and get no hassle service and discounted parts and accessories. There is no reason for me to go to a local Bike Shop anymore unless it is closer. Mine is.
  • + 2
 Not sure how bike stores can compete on price when some companies are selling directly to the consumer like YT. But bike shops still have a place. You cannot physically touch or try out sizing of things like say, a jersey, online. I believe bike stores are in a similar situation to a typical local mom and pop shop. But both can survive by providing excellent service, helping grow the sport, and supporting the community. It's also nice to be on a first name basis with your local shop.
  • + 2
 my "not so" local shop is an hours drive away and the guys there are great. Super helpful and always keen to discuss and talk things. I moved away from the area and don't go there nearly as often as i would like. I sometimes go there on the flimsiest of whims and buys things i never set out to get. I unfortunately like to buy end of season or discounted stock from online retailers as i would rather ride better quality stuff from a few years back than cheap new stuff ans no bike shop can match that but i would be sad to see a bike shop of this quality dissapear. Its true that i have had very different experiences with other shops but this is truly one of the best shop i have ever visited. It doesn't carry the largest stock and its not a big shop but its just a nice place to be. The first time i went there i had struggled to find anyone who could press out some old bearings from a sunn demon rear hub and most of them in my search were like "oooh special tool needed for that"....or "wouldn't like to say how to go about that"...then i spoke to chap at this shop and he was like "sure lets take a look" 5 mins later my wheel that i desperately needed for a last minute visit trip to antur was now good to go. Sure i lucked in with the right size bearings being in stock but the main reason i was so impressed was that he offered to help and could understand the urgency (in the lack of my proper planning) and did his best to help me and didnt rip me off as i was desperate. I need to go there again soon.

if anyones in the SE of england check out www.torquebikes.co.uk
  • + 2
 new LBS near me opening soon that has a HUGE P'track an a café. Another established shop that organises evening ride outs. That's the future of the LBS right there, tapping in to the social side of cycling.
Especially with the rise of consumer direct bike sales
  • + 2
 ^^^this, this is exactly what shops should do to survive and a LOT of self promotion on social media. A cafe stop is also a benefit
  • + 2
 My experience with my local The Bike Shop on Oahu, Hawaii Hawaii has been a constant frustration. From three different refusals to provide quotes for >$2k parts for new frame builds. To a refusal to warranty a Specialized Fatty Fuse bottom bracket issue, I have absolutely no reason to patronize or recommend my local bike shop. Unfortunately, they are their own worst enemy.

Honestly, I would be willing to spend more on parts from them than online retailers if they would either return my calls, emails, or in-person requests for parts orders.
  • + 4
 Trick is to open a bike shop that does repairs and stocks lots of consumables tyres brake pads etc etc. And coffee. Bike shops just need to adapt or face the consequences
  • + 2
 Some shops are there own worst enemies and don't deserve to be in business, but I also blame the distributors. They have been very slow to catch on to the realities of global online sales. The fact that the LBS cost price can be higher than some internet shop's retail price just makes no sense.
  • + 2
 I have yet to be impressed by any of the work an LBS has done for me. I can under torque bolts just as good as they can AND I do it for free... Spend the money you would spend on the service, on the tools you need to do it yourself. And read Zen and the Art of Moto Maintenance while you are at it.
  • + 2
 I work PT at a successful bike shop in Yorba Linda California where we move at least two or three big budget heavy hitter bikes and everything else in between every week! (Mostly road and a few Mtb's) We take care of the customer first and relax about sale later and we DON'T HALF ASS OUR WORK. We rid ourselves of that terrible disease " Bike Snobbery-itis " and serve that newbie nob equally like the 20 year vet on pricer equipment. I say roll up your sleeves shops and get back with the people and their wants, make them comfortable and important regardless of budget and share the wealth of bike knowledge all the time, don't just market on your websites but get involved with Trail Maintenance advocacy's, ride with those you serve in your community and be honest damn it! BIKE SHOPS AREN'T DEAD YET...
  • + 2
 Where is the "Oh shit, my bike is broken and I don't know how to fix it!" option? Bike shops are integral to their community, even if whiny, entitled riders think that they shouldn't pay more than a 5% markup on parts. Knowledge is a commodity too.
  • + 6
 "Knowledge is a commodity too."

Great - but what happens when you have more of that than the guy in the bike shop?
  • + 5
 @KeithReeder: If I had a dollar for every time someone came into the shop I worked at with some small issue made much larger by themselves, I could still afford to work in that bike shop. If you truly know more than a mechanic who's been wrenching for years as a full time job, that's fantastic. People who actually know more than the pros are few and far between; their business wouldn't be missed as it is such a tiny part of the pie. The problem is your average Joe who doesn't want to pay full pop for a derailleur, buys one on Jenson USA, screws up the install, takes it to a shop, and bitches when they charge him to fix it. The shop probably would have thrown it on for free had he just bought it from them, but now to stay in business they have to charge the max labor fee. It's a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle.

EDIT: Grammar
  • + 2
 @millerstone: MY LBS is very reasonable and I don't bitch. Probably why I go there and why he's still in business.
  • + 2
 @millerstone: here here!! People want the knowledge of a professional mechanic but don't want to pay for it. I must say, compared to roadies, the "bro" factor amongst mtb riders is very high...dudes will take and take from small local shops and attempt to never spend a dime there. Won't even bring in some beer. Then wonder what happened when the shop closes because the owner was losing money
  • + 1
 When I walk into a shop with my YT, I expect to hear "GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN!!!!!"

I just want to pay for expert service - fork rebuild, brake hose/bleed, BB stuff. I'm fine with $100/hr, you are professionals. Just go a little easier (attitude, not price) on the struggling family dudes who bought direct because they have less than ZERO credit and were able to pay online through PayPal in installments for a dentist bike when they have less disposable income than a dental hygienist.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: this was forever ago so you probably might not get my response, but that's not what I'm referencing ( my own experiences). I live in a ski town, so the majority of the dudes looking for free help and parts are young twenty somethings living off their trust funds who don't want to cut into their weed and bar time money, while driving a nicer truck than me. I've advised parents with their mini shredder to buy parts online because I know that money is tight for them.I will fix dept store bikes for them doing 20-30$ repairs, and charge them 10$ because I want to see more people riding.just as want to see people who have built their lives around riding(most shop employees) being able to at least survive... I just want to see people who have the means to support their local shops do so, for the betterment of the sport we all love.
  • + 1
 @highcountrydh:

I ALWAYS bring beer, and thanks for being one of the good ones!!
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: apparently that's what the pink bike site changes the beer emoticon to... question marks! So instead, Cheers To Beers!!!
  • + 2
 Bike Shops are alive and well in Golden, Colorado.. for a smaller community we have many and while I don't know exactly how they are doing, it seems they are doing well. They also spend a lot of time giving back to the community and participate in Trail Work Efforts. Golden Bike Shop is a great shop if you are ever in the area and need anything.
  • + 2
 Who's going to put together and maintain high end bikes, the Joey's? I don't think so. Bike shops with good mechanics will always be around especially as bikes get more and more complicated. I have a few friends that own shops and they all say they make their money servicing bikes not selling them
  • + 2
 Smart bike shops will restructure and survive. Bike sales aren't the only way to make a buck and they're actually quite risky because you need to stock tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of inventory just to do so. Bike shops offer immediacy, face-to-face interaction with experts and qualified bike mechanics. Throw in a liquor license or an espresso machine for good measure and there is no reason why a bike shop can't stay in business while online sales continue.
  • + 2
 The only bike shop I liked already went under. The rest that remain can all go suck a dick. Why is 10 percent over their cost still 40 percent over CRC. If I started a shop I'd just get stuff from CRC charge 10 percent over cost to the customer save them the shipping on small items and make money on labour and hire tools.
  • + 2
 i lost all faith in bike shops when the last one i went to wanted to charge £150 to replace a bottom bracket, sure there's going to be a few around like it'd make sense to try and move a bike shop to where popular local trails are or where there's a large roadie population, although fortunately there's more and more people riding bikes and the number of people who don't know how to do basic maintenance or not willing to learn, will keep a few shops open, as well as people not knowing how to order a bike online and will go to a bike shop to look around.
  • + 5
 Isn't it just slightly ironic that there is a "Chain Reaction ad banner at the top of this poll ?
  • + 13
 given that pinkbike and the internet has the identical problem in killing print media, no
  • + 3
 I'm not sure if irony is the right term, but the banner is a reminder of a recent market move(You can't buy SRAM from Europe anymore) and makes the point that major brands(like SRAM) will be all too happy to destroy online markets like CRC(that ALSO benefit the sport) and enforce high profit MAP agreements(still legal in America, but illegal in Europe) on ideological consumers who are rich or naive enough to buy that red herring about the bike store. What is next.. the Buy/Sell section on this site? It is also stealing business from the local bike shop OR maybe buying parts online isn't why your bike shop is in fiscal trouble. Maybe it's the distributor network cleaving too much profit from local shops. Wasn't it Shimano that dropped MAP 40% this year.. amazing. You think they are still making a profit on bike shop sales? You bet! What is the difference between an OEM Pike and a retail Pike.. Rant over, now to go pay 30% more for a bag of rubber o rings because.. well I don't really know why. Does anybody?
  • + 2
 This poll confuses me. We had a third bike shop open in Revelstoke this year and all three seem to be doing well. It might be a Canadian thing because our dollar sucks and shipping can be expensive, so it has to be a really good deal to make it worth ordering online, especially if you factor in the lack of service.
  • + 3
 Every time I go to the bike shop for a common item they never have it, but they can order it for me. I can order it for my self without the markup. The bike shops are killing themselves.
  • + 2
 this might be a little off topic, but just a thought:

so when you are a trail builder and you go to shops where the employees, their customers, their team & sometimes even their sponsored group rides use the trails that you build, it is almost like you are the one that really is a key player into the sustenance of their business. there first has to be mtn bike trails in order for someone to sell a bike for mtn biking, and there has to be trails that people ride, that eventually leads to people having to go back to the bike shop for maintenance & repairs. LBS's are in a mutual partnership with builders and trail advocacy groups whether they like it or not.

several of our local shops do give our trail advocacy group members 10% off, as well as participate in trail work days, which is nice, and REI cuts fat checks every now and again as well, which is greatly appreciated.

I'm really not sure what i'm trying to say with this, but thought it was relevant in someway. like maybe the local shops that will survive, are the ones that respect their mutual relationship to their local trails,it's builders and the community in which they reside.
  • + 2
 I owned a bike shop from 2002 to 2010. We saw the internet affecting our business & tried to work with out suppliers to have an online compromise. One of those suppliers was Specialized - who are only now moving to do this ( buying the bike online & comming into the shop to pick it up) .World Techtonic paltes moves faster than the suppliers. These suppliers are 10 years behind the times.
Todays bike shop has to many things than what they where in the past. They have to have a very profitable workshop & bike fitting service. Have opening hours like the internet, eg 11am to 9pm; 7 days a week. Charge for technical advice - although this will have to be done with great skill & diplomacy, eg have a bike doctor or tech guru in store; take appointments/ numbering system,i.e. " number 12 " & person number 12 comes up & asked the doctor the question & they say: "what are you prepared to pay for that advice/answer ". If the work or part is bought in store then that can be credited from the transaction. THIS PROCESS IS NO DIFFERENT FROM GOING TO THE DOCTORS ( except the credit ) SO WHY SHOULD IT BE ANY DIFFERENT IN A BIKE SHOP ? CAN'T GO TO THE DOCTORS ONLINE & IF YOU CAN THEY WILL PROBABLY CHARGE YOU FOR IT!
Alternatively have a QUESTION & ANSWER EVENING WHERE PEOPLE PAY TO COME ATTEND, eg $10 a person- bookings essential. Have a local cycling celebrity there or new product launch to mix it up.

The other things bike shops can do is add value, eg have a small cafe with attached cycle membrabilia/museum.
Be heavily involve in the cycling community, eg MTB, Road, Tri, & BMX clubs.
Sponsor riders.
Have alliances with Councils & Roading initiatives.
Use free media, send articles into local newspapers to add interest.
Use Suppliers to leverage advertising across all forms of social networking.
TEST & MEASURE ADVERTISING, DON'T WASTE MONEY WHERE IT IS NOT WORKING.
Have all clothing & shoes in shop with coded sizing.
The shopping experience needs to be exciting to the shoper. E.G. the old fashion floor layout of the past - having bikes linned up in a row & product on the wall is dated.
Todays shops need to have video displays talking about product or training tips. Have clothing displayed near the front to soften the technical atmoshpere - not scare away the female cliental.
Offer a store card- the more you buy more you save.
Be involve with local schools teaching safety & awareness.

I could OFFER many more ideas, BUT ESSENTIALLY IT COMES DOWNS TO THE POWER OF THE DOLLAR & THE INTERNET OFFERS THIS SAVING!

So until the suppliers offer comparible pricing to the internet this phenomenon is here to stay.

Suppliers need to cut costs, they don't need expensive advertising, or packaging. Bi- monthly, not weekly sales rep' visits. Be prepared to ship direct to customer, & local store gets a cut ( geo-snyc'ing). Be clever with freighting. Use freight consolidators.

Just think one day your job or service could be taken over buy the internet- where would that leave you for an income? If your job is on the internet, then maybe one day you'll be replaced by a computer.

So support your local bike shop because one day it may dissapear.
  • + 2
 For me, a shop is only as good as it's mechanic. I love the shop I go to. I do my best to wrench for myself and go to him when I've, more often than not, reached my limitations. He never condescends. He fixes it and explains what I did wrong and how I can fix it next time. Call me corny, but even in this age of how-to YouTube tutorials, I go to a shop for the knowledge and the experience of it's mechanic (in this case, it's also the owner). It's a rundown one man operation. It's not shiny and overflowing with carbon road and XC bikes. No snobs or condescending jerks who want to prove they know more or are better riders than me. Just an honest dude who loves bikes and shares that with others.
  • + 2
 The role of the LBS, as well as most retail stores is changing. The model of sell bikes, sell parts, and fix bikes isn't necessarily going to cut it. I have spent more than half my life in the bike biz and the last 6 back at the shop level. The expectations for us are changing but the opportunity to succeed is there. We do weekly rides.. We do skills clinics for new riders. We support 2 high school MTB teams. We bring out the demo rides as well as have a few demo bikes in the shop. We are open on Sunday. That is a big one for us since we are the only shop in town that is. Remember, not everyone is a hard core enthusiast like you find here... People like us are the fun part of the job. We like selling you that cool shit as much as you like riding it. The job for us is the new riders... The person looking for their first bike... The person looking for the inexpensive hybrid or maybe a Townie..The person that doesn't know the difference between needing a tube vs needing a tire when they have a flat. The person that thinks Walmart is a bike shop.. That's the work that ultimately keeps the doors open. Also, the big manufacturers aren't really set up to be retail hubs... That's why they want to keep the LBS around.. And the reviews I read about most of the big consumer direct brands makes me question if they are truly up to the task. I have seen some casualties at the shop level over the last few years, but the shops that are willing to change and evolve will continue to thrive as the landscape changes...
  • + 2
 I like hitting my lbs and smoking a joint out the back door with the boys and talking shit about how rad we were on our last ride. The service when you need it and the friendships that are made can't be found online. As a whole people are disconnected more and more these days. I like how my bike and lbs bring us likeminded people together!!!
  • + 4
 "I like hitting my lbs and smoking a joint out the back door with the boys and talking shit about how rad we were on our last ride"

Tsk, tsk - shouldn't you be at school?
  • + 3
 @KeithReeder: haha my school days are over!
But remember to never stop learning!!!!
  • + 1
 How is service not at all mentioned in the original post? Besides trying to actually pull of suspension service or a dropper post rebuild, how many people can even order the right parts kit? Most people respond to the question of "What fork do you have?" with something like "My bike is a Trek".
  • + 3
 They should merge with Motocross Shops put tons of TV for the events and MAKE A BAR INSIDE with buffalo wings and a small skill park next to it.
  • + 1
 I would have participated in this poll if you had the correct answer to select. Everything changes! Business models need to adapt. Why would bike shops be any different??? Oh My God the easy money isn't rolling in :O Quit your bitching about how things are different now and get on with it!
  • + 1
 I've been in the bicycle industry for over 20 years. And like myself, most of our passion for cycling began with the assistance of a shop. I'm sure many of you out there have evolved in the cycling community to self-proclaimed experts and feel you have the ability to fix your own shit. Congrats, that's cool by me, I get tired of talking tech to people who think they know more than they actually do.
That being said, all you who think they don't need lbs's and don't plan on supporting them, please f*ck-off and quit talking shit about those who see the value of service provided by their favorite shops.
Most of you who feel this way have no idea the level of sacrifice we in the industry make just to keep the doors open. I'm sorry you had to pay close to the retail price of your high-end components and a whopping $65 hour service rate just so we can afford to be there when needed. I've sacrificed my life promoting cycling and working in the industry so I can help others fuel their passion for two wheels. I can assure you that most of you self-proclaimed experts will have to call upon a shop from time to time. When that happens, please take into consideration the sacrifice we and those who support us have made so that we could be there at your beckon. Support your LBS????????
  • + 1
 I've been riding for almost 10 years and have used bike shops once in a blue moon. The times I have wanted to use them the staff have been rude, unhelpful and miserable with a massive chip on their shoulder. Maybe its just my area. It'd be sad to see the better ones go but I won't be missing my LBS personally.
  • + 1
 I live in WA, so since it kinda has some destination riding (well, that & more realistically BC, Canada) - I can see the relevance of a B-n-M shop for service, but parts are a internet dominated area.
I keep a spare set of complete wheels for issues, and our local B-n-M is smart enough to keep inventory down to a bare min ( 1 of each size, 5-7 brands max)

They know labor is where all the $$ is, and they make you aware when you get your bill.

If you can do all your own labor, the LBS is just something you drive past - but for rich folks whose time is worth more than that, I see it moving down to a cottage industry by 3030 - aside from urban shops where people bike to work.

If you live in anything close to a "1-horse town" the bike mechanic will be a self employed guy working from his garage by then.

Just my opinion.
  • + 1
 I feel lucky after reading these comments. I have three excellent bike shops within a two mile radius of my house. Each has it's own personality and customer base. All appear to be thriving. The bike shop scene in Marin almost makes up for the ongoing trail battles.
  • + 1
 Wont happen, Sure its going to thin out, but go away entirely, No chance. I live in Nanaimo a small city of 80k and we have three great bike shops that are often so buzy they are booking service two weeks in advance. We also have several smaller shops in town, the small ones may go away, and maybe one of the bigger ones, but thats it. Online is great for the self mech guy, most peeps dont fit that category.
  • + 1
 I like to think that I don't need bike shops and for the most part I am a self-sufficient mechanic and buy all my parts online. But if they all close down I'd be screwed because I still don't know how to build my own wheels. Ironically a quality wheel builder is pretty rare in bike shops these days.
  • + 1
 Bike shops are losing out to the online retailers as they cannot compete with their prices and are not compensating for this with good enough customer service. If bike shops don't improve their business strategies they'll go extinct and deservedly so. Also, I do all the work on my bikes and would advise everyone to learn to do the same, it really isn't that difficult, don't be put off. I'd trust myself working on my own bike over anyone working in a bike shop, it's not their bike, how can you be sure that they've shown the same care as yourself.
  • + 1
 There were too many bike shops popping up too quickly. Too much supply. In my large town of nearly 100 000 people, there is ONE bike shop. It is extremely successful, and every one buys their kids bikes from there. Bike shops won't fizzle out entirely, the herd is just thinking to the right size. Economics guys!
  • + 1
 A big part of the problem I feel is distributor related. I know it allows smaller brands to reach the market, but Shimano going direct to retailer is going to save bike shops about 20 to 30% on Shimano bits. This can then get passed on to the customer, and allow them to compete with CRC. I find many distributors to be needless middle men. Some are worth their weight in gold (Mojo) and for lower volume brands are a must, but many seem to just be an unnecessary tax on an already bloated and expensive system.
  • + 1
 I'm optimistic mobile repair shops will make my suburban life better. I've dabbled with them and have been pleasantly surprised. Or some dry cleaning type model where a truck drives around picking up bikes from LBS's, brings them to a central depot for repair and returns them to the LBS. I'd rather have a guy or girl who structurally repairs wheels all day long than someone who does it only a few times a year...and tries to remember what to do.
  • + 1
 I hope they don't disappear, or otherwise my professional trait of making people want more expensive bikes than they may afford will go obsolete. But really, I wish people would keep in mind the value a good bike shop has to offer: personal customer service, professional advise on bikes and riding gear, knowledge on local trails & trail etiquette etc. Fortunately not everything can be read from internet forums such as this, so in the end I think riders will want to keep the shops around. However, declining sales and profits of local shops can make this profession attractive only to the very passionate of people/cyclists.
  • + 1
 I love my local bike shop. Made some good friends from spending too much time and money there. I can go and have a cuppa and chat shit without spending a penny, and get discounts all year and not just when the retailers decide to give you 10% off because it's orange/black/green/whatever the colour friday/tuesday/sunday. When my back brake seized they fixed it for free - well for the promise of a bacon butty or 3 Wink so I'd hate to see it go. I just wish they sold less roadie stuff and more mtb stuff, but that's not really their fault, just that there's more money than sense and less country round my way.
  • + 1
 Whilst listing my negative experiences waaaaay up above, I totally forgot to list the positive one. Noah's Ark in Gloucestershire. Bought wifeys F800 from them back in 2002, discounted by £500 at the time. Before we picked it up, i got a call to say they had a Gemini come back into stock, if I fancied trying it. Went over in my riding kit, they pointed me off to somewhere to give it a decent ride and off i went, not just a ride around the car park. I loved it and was offered £500 off ex demo so i bought that too. I also asked them to look up some Thule bars and bike carriers as i had none. They ordered it all in, again at a good price, and fitted it all at no charge, in the drizzling rain, on the day we went to collect the bikes.

We've since moved a long way away from that shop, but when i wanted my bike serviced before a trip to the Alps last year, i combined a couple hundred miles round trip to the in-laws with a trip to Noahs to drop the bike off and then collected it the week after. Faultless service, great customer care and interaction. The shop was busy too with a shedload of bikes in the workshop, (3-4 mechanics working on bikes when i was in) and plenty of people in the nicely stocked shop upstairs. This one I wouldn't want to see fall by the wayside.
  • + 2
 The nail in the coffin for bike shops was manufacturers asking for ridiculous msrp's. That more than anything drove consumers to online retailers and putting LBs out of business.
  • + 1
 There are quite a few bike shops in my area, but they all have shitty attitudes and are way too expensive. When they give you attitude because you want parts to fix an old bike and tell you to buy a new one so they have more time to serve the rich old guy with the 12000$ colnago, screw that! Dont complain if your business fails because you failed to understand the importance of customer service.
  • + 1
 Well, there's going to reach a lower limit, Bike shops add a lot of value to the people that only do the riding part and ride there bikes hard put them away wet. Those riders will ALWAYS need a bike shop to keep their bike running smoothly. then there's the customers that rely on the shop for information and direction and ultimately lowers the entry barrier for many new riders to get out onto the trail. Yes there is a plethora of information out there,but it's surprisingly difficult for someone trying to get into the sport to find direction without assistance from a bike shop..of course they've found ways to outsource everything these days so who knows. I see the shops of tomorrow being more price driven rather than service driven, I just hope that there remains committed employees that continue to help beginners into the sport.
  • + 1
 I ordered a custom nomad through my lbs lastnight. I enjoy being able get in the shop and talk to them and get their opinions, ride a variety of bikes and try out different cockpit set ups. I did do my research and get a baseline price for the bike if I ordered it online, and the shop was competitive so I went with them. I do most all of the work on my bike, but it is nice to have the good relationship with them for things like suspension and wheel work.
  • + 1
 I enjoy going to bike shops to check things out, and possibly test ride them. Also new bike related parts etcetera are pretty interesting. Last time I went on a Monday, and miraculously that's the day it's closed, Lol bad luck.
  • + 1
 It's only a matter or time before the only shops left are at bike parks. I usually do my own repairs or pay my buddies to do them for me because it's more convienent than dropping it off st shop leaving and coming back. Forks services and brake bleds I enjoy doing but small shit like derailleurs or drivetrain crap I'd rather buy a buddy a case of beer to do it.
  • + 1
 I have always taken the approach of giving my LBS the first option to sell me a bike, part, or provide a service. In cases where they don't have what I want (or need) I go online, especially if what I need will take them longer to source than I can, or there is enough of a price difference it does not make sense for me to buy from my them (or for them to sell to me). My criteria is typically to buy online when there is a 30% or more price difference (all taxes, duties and shipping factored in) for anything over $500 and where I can have something shipped faster than my LBS can get it. I find that 75% of the time I end up buying online.
I do a lot of the smaller service tasks myself but more complex ones like building up wheels I always get my LBS to do. I have a long standing relationship with them and they have often gone out of their way to keep me and my family moving. They have always charged fair and reasonable prices and differentiate themselves through our relationship and the quality of their service.
At the same time I have had mostly good and some poor experiences with many online retailers, including Jensen (good), Cambria (poor), Probikekit (good), Wiggle (average), Ebay (average) and Chain Reaction Cycles (recently terrible - see below). In general I have found that when things do go wrong with an online purchase there is little to no recourse and you are totally at their mercy; you take on a lot of risk. The online retailer I have had the most issues with is CRC and here is a current example:
On Nov 4th I ordered over $2700 worth of gear from CRC, not readily available through my LBS. I paid just under $600 for pre-paid duties, taxes and clearance via DHL Express. Despite this it has been stuck at customs since Nov 9th because CRC will not provide the necessary documentation (business number and power of attorney). I have been in contact with CRC multiple times and the story is always the same: we have provided the details to DHL. When I contact DHL their story is also the same: CRC has not provided the documentation. The customs rules are clear; if the shipper (CRC) does not provide the required documentation they will not clear anything. Meanwhile I am out over $3200 with very little I can do and no delivery date in sight. I have also received the usual "review" request from CRC and when I filled it out stating that I still don’t have the gear to review they blocked it.
In the above case I obviously regret directing my business to CRC and will avoid using them, even if what I am looking for is more expensive or has a longer lead time from somewhere else. I will continue to direct as much business to my LBS as possible and will keep my online purchasing exposure to a minimum where I can. In the long run though it's going to be very difficult for LBS' to compete with the breadth and depth of product offerings available online. We will become increasingly reliant on online retailers and will accordingly assume increasing levels of risk and exposure. I believe the LBS business model will have to become totally centered around services (and not just cycling related) rather than products and those that can find ways to increase convenience (e.g. Velofix) will survive. The rest will sadly be forced to close their doors. To be fair I have also had atrocious service from some LBS' (especially those I don’t have an existing relationship with) and I am surprised that some of them are still in business.
  • + 1
 We need shops: there will always be people who can't or don't want to do maintenance, install upgrades, etc. themselves. On the other hand, I don't owe my local bike shop anything. If the service he provides is below par, I have no issues taking my business elsewhere. Do I doubt that being an LBS is tough way to earn a living? Not at all. But with the shift to online for buying bikes and parts, the LBS's have to realize that they have to adapt their business model as well. It should have long been clear that SERVICE is the major thing that will help them survive which some have figured out, others, not so much. No one at the LBS worries that I might lose my job to an engineer at another company either domestically or abroad because he is better, faster cheaper or all of the above. Their advice would be, if you can't compete, you either don't deserve to survive, or need to get fitter. Well, my advice is the same.
  • + 1
 baffled me here in VA --- I saw 3 different LBS grow into large chains --

1. NOVA Cycles went from 1 to 6.... then they closed.
2. Washington Bike Center had 3(I think) tried to open a huge store and went belly up shortly there after. I actually worked for them before opening my own store.. the owner Jon Chang was a complete jerk --- people hated him.
3. the big one was Bicycle Exchange.. when I moved to VA in 87, there was I think 3.. they mega expanded to around 21 stores after about 10 years.. failing huge with something like 50 million dollars in debt. most of that debt was too Trek from what I understand --- first of all, how does any company extend that much credit? why do most LBS's fail after they expand too much? it seems to be a common thing.
  • + 1
 The average shop business model will have to change. The line between a corner store and an online shop will soon be something of the past. We called that omnichannel. A good shop should also sell online so they can get business at any moment they can with their customer. This is not a bike only situation, any small entreprise will have to go through that digital transformation. Might not be easy, might not be cheap... but that's how it will be in a near future. You guys can hire us to help you with this Wink
  • + 1
 This is a laughable mountain bike centric poll. Go to Copenhagen if you think the bike shops are disappearing. If people actually rode bicycles for transport and not just for fun your going to see hundreds of bike shops pop up. Cycling in Edinburgh increased by around 1% and the numbers of bike shops OPENING has risen by probably around 15 times that. Of course some have shut but there is room for more. Room for diversified and specialised bike shops: the CFE one, the second hand one, the bike hire one, the donation one, the expert wheelbuilder, the generic sale one, the always have the right part to fix your 2005 Marzocchi one, the stuffed full of Enduro bikes one.
  • + 6
 "This is a laughable mountain bike centric poll"

Imagine that, on a mountain biking website...
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: to be fair though when was the last time you saw a mountain bike only bike shop - apart from at a trail center? If the issue is bike shops thenmountain bikes are potentially only a small peice of the puzzle
  • + 1
 @browner "the always have the right part to fix your 2005 Marzocchi one"

That's closing next week due to lack of interest?
  • + 1
 @browner: MTB are what's up in many many shops. There are road and commuter-specific shops that don't know about, or care to be involved with, high-end mtb life.
  • + 1
 Wyckoff cycle in wyckoff new jersey offers all this and more a small shop and the guy does everything from changing a screw to rebuilding a shock,fork or building a set of killer wheels out of all the shops I've been hands down the best store
  • + 3
 As far as pricing goes, bike shops are trying to decide what to do when their wholesale cost is more than some online prices.
  • + 1
 I'd be interested to see the stats for numbers of bike shops in the UK. I'd suggest that they've actually increased in recent years. The popularity of cycling has skyrocketed in the last five years or so and there's a lot of demand for servicing.
  • + 1
 " I'd suggest that they've actually increased in recent years."

Based on what?
  • + 1
 there has been a considerable decline in retail stores in general, including bike stores. A number of chain retailers (Evans and Cycle Surgery) are closing unprofitable sites as leases come up for renewal. Independent (LBS) are closing as they are often 'zombie' companies and any sudden financial shocks (rent increase, tax bill, etc.) tip them over the edge.

Expect to see a reduction in numbers, especially in 2017. you should be able to find stats on industry sites like bikebiz and bicycleretailer

This creates room for strong independents and more focused big stores from chain retailers (who have been forced to increase wages the past 2 years to try and attract/retain staff in expensive cities like London), and stronger "brand" stores - giant have 24 brand stores in the UK already.

This reduction in LBS actually benefits the stronger players, Specialized and Giant want less retailers, but a more focused / committed relationship with the remaining retailers.
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder:
Pure speculation, that's why I'm saying I'd like to see some stats.

In my area at least there are far more bike shops than there ever used to be a decade back.
  • + 1
 @DC1988:

the data is out there if you search, there is a lot of retail data which includes the bike industry:

This is from BRC general retail: "Approximately 15 percent of retail sales are conducted online, and there are approximately 40,000 fewer shops today than there were in 2006."

www.bikebiz.com/news/read/independents-feeling-the-squeeze-warns-british-retail-consortium/019152
  • + 1
 Maybe the shops that close in the USA will reopen in Canada and close again. Maybe a balance on supporting your local scene and the online world would be a good start....yea some bikes shops are knuckle heads...but others or a culture.
  • + 1
 I worked at my LBS for just over 9 years, am currently working for one of the big 3 here in Switzerland. That we are mountain bike country our LBS are spread over a small amount of land, so the competitiveness gets bigger. My experience is the old tradition was getting new customers in the shop and offering a great service(turnover time by warranties, repairs and general consumer questions...if you found your dreamlike at your LBS, had a great talk and are happy with the service, their really isn't any reason to buy online.
I experience this a lot, that some LBS are getting lazy(like they giving up) and are trying to salvage whatever profits they can get, buy this I mean the service/repairs at the LBS are losing their quality and pushing people to do it themselves....
Lot of the time the Dealer or LBS don't have the time/dont want to invest more time preparing and inspecting the new bikes for sale...alot of it is mouth propaganda and spend more time trying to find a solution rather than just figuring it out yourself - which in my opinion is your job as a bike mechanic!!
Its also about the annual or quarter turnovers...for e.g.. why buy and sell a carbon Di2 road bike thats 7kg and you have no idea what Di2 is and how to set the bike up or where to plug these cable in...cmon LBS!!!
We are still talking about one simple thing...riding a bike and with this we should not forget that its still an emotional thing. Riding a bike has a sense of freedom to it..sometimes as an escape from the everyday woes. We all experience it and love the sport. But sometimes the emotional part has to do with making profits and surviving...for the LBS no easy task and have experienced that but sometimes a change can be something positive and move with the times in regard on to where MTB is going...get with the times, read articles, visited Brand Courses, schooling events etc, all of those will drive your profits upwards. Knowledge is power!!!
Everything I learned for my profession as a Warranty Manager was at my LBS, snd that was all done by being hands on..that it something online sales will never be. I admit that I am guilty buying online but 99% of the time its by the local distributor, thats my way of supporting the bike industry and to be honest the best sport in the world and connects so many people.
  • + 1
 bike shops have been an essential part of developing the sport, and super important for people trying to get into the sport online retailers wont be able to fix your buckled rim so that you can go on that group ride, or bleed your brakes so that they are up to the challenge of whistler yes online retailers are cheaper but nothing beats going into a bike shop cash in hand, pointing at the bike you want, and walking out with your brand new steed i fear the technology movement and era that we are in will erase bike shops like what is happening in skiing help your local shop, try to buy everything from there instead of online rant over
  • + 2
 "nothing beats going into a bike shop cash in hand, pointing at the bike you want, and walking out with your brand new steed "

An opportunity which hardly ever happens, in the experience of many. I literally can't remember the last time any of my local bike emporia had ANYTHING that I wanted to buy, much less a whole bike...
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: that sucks for you because my bike shop is rad!
which shop are you talking about anyways
  • + 1
 Being a small shop owner, although not bikes, I try to support my LBS's but this was a recent visit. Wife and I are looking at a full susp bike each, I was scouting about the locals to see what was available. The local shop had bikes but the most completely uninterested staff. Literally not one word, not even a reply to my 'Good Morning' and I was only person in at the time. Thinking this was just one of those days, we all have them, both of us popped back a week later so wife could have a look. Exactly the same, no reply to a greeting and no service. So stuff em, online we will go. Now this is obviously just my local shop vs the thousands of good ones, but in a small business the only advantage you have is customer service, if it's too much effort then yes, they will die out. Conversely for our cheap hard tail bikes we had superb customer service at one of the big retailers where you half expect a jobs worth attitude.
  • + 1
 been feeling pretty miffed about Shitmano and how they conduct biz.... not sure if SRAM will be taking the same route. I find the big-box online store to be nothing but order takers and only a few know about the products they sell. some are better than others. I get locals who buy stuff on line a lot but come to me when they need the stuff installed or when they don't know what to get. this topic can cover lots of different issues -- good topic though
  • + 1
 Has anyone pointed out the external factors in play between 2001 and 2015? You know the whole financial crisis of 2008? I'm not saying that it completely explains away all of the bike shops that closed in between that time but I think when you're making broad sweeping judgments based on a statistic you need to understand some of the granularity of the issues. I'd be willing to bet that you could explain away a good portion of that number due to 2008. Then add in things like market saturation, number of businesses that normally fail within 5 years, and so on. My point is that we tend to jump to the negative before really understanding the problem.
  • + 2
 Price of goods aside, the local bike shop should always be around so there's a spot for new mountain bikers to go and meet other riders and ask the little questions you can't get answered online
  • + 2
 most bike shops near me dont stock many parts anyway so they have to order them in so it makes little difference to me whether i buy them online or they do excepts its nearly alway cheaper to jump on crc
  • + 1
 This is where I find it odd that there is not more criticism of bike and component manufacturers. The proliferation of standards makes it very difficult to stock spares. If disc brake pads were standardised for example they would be much better placed to carry spares...
  • + 1
 I'm pretty confident the really good shops will survive. There will always be beginners and those that need someone else to service their bikes. Yes some shops will close up and the shop selections will become more limited but they will not disappear. Just about every other fringe sport in one way or another has gone to online direct to customer sales; skiing/snowboarding, kayaking skateboarding to name a few but the shops have not all disappeared. I do most of my own maintenance but I'm still going into my shop for the occasional fix that I'm not up and yes I'm on a budget to so I look online and see what prices are. I give my shop a chance to match those prices. They always match the prices if not give me a better price, they are still making money off me even if they aren't selling at suggested msrp, the good shops recognize that and want the return customers. This just means we may have to drive a bit further to get to the shops but the service will be better in the long run.
  • + 4
 I'm concerned that Pinkbike posts monthly online deals but doesn't do regular features of local bike shops.
  • + 2
 I think that's a great suggestion. I would totally do a write up on my favorite shop if Pinkbike was interested in doing features like this.
  • + 1
 We as have to face the facts that commerce has changed and heavily to e-commerce. I enjoy bike shops as much as the next person for the tangible value they bring but that is not an effective business plan. There is a away for brick a mortar to survive and thrive in this changing environment but it would mean cycling companies take more risk for more reward and shop owners make changes to the way they do business. I had been on both sides of the industry in my career and am college educated. I had come up with a random plan modeled after another successful business model that shop owners and cycling companies could adopt to become extremely competitive. The people on both sides of the industry I mentioned it to were blown away as the initial plan will work very well. Ultimately the industry as a whole will need to pivot to a new way of doing business. The U.S. shop count is down because the industry did not change early enough. If it doesn't change, those numbered will continue to reduce.
  • + 1
 We had an awesome bike shop in the Philly area. Ran by a guy named Miko Wright. Abington Wheelwright it was called. An amazing guy, mentor, and had forgotten more about bikes than most of us will ever know. He had to close his doors in Oct. of 2015. Now he's working as a home inspector. Pays better than being a bike shop owner. This guy used to ride with the Cannondale team back in its glory days along with Missy Giove. He's a former national downhill champ. He literally taught me how to ride a bike. Now I never see him out on the trails, he doesn't come out to the group rides, he seems to have abandoned anything to do with biking. The whole thing left a bad taste in his mouth I think. His head mechanic and his excellent female mechanic Adam, and @Jack of all things bike" staff member Anniette, (Sorry if I mis-spelled your name dear.) have opened up their own shop Circle Cycles and are trying to make a go of it. Hats off to them. We need people to support the bike community. The whole salers like Quality need to step up as well. It's impossible for a bike shop to make money when the wholesalers price to the LBS is the same as the retail price from CRC and the like. Peace, to all who love our sport... Tim
  • + 1
 Not worried, although I shake my head at anyone who is worried yet still shops online. I personally don't mind paying more at a local shop - as a small business owner myself I understand the importance of buying local. I also know you can't please everyone but the folks who care will be around as long as you provide quality. I see this as a chance for shops to take another look at their operational models and get creative with ways to improve their customers experience.
  • + 1
 Time is important, though. Most shops don't have the high-end stuff on hand, and have to rely on a handful of distros for what we need. If it's not available at QBP, etc., then process breaks down, whereas the individual has access to a much more robust supply chain including, in many cases, the Mfg. Too many commas, sry. On another note, not long ago, I was in an LBS because a Pike seal got gored and i was willing to do a service to get it fixed. The dude said, "sorry, they're on backorder, order it online and we'll do the service" However the cost of the service, which includes seals, was not going to be adjusted. I did the job myself and the kitchen floor is still slippery and smelly.
  • + 1
 The media seems to believe it is only because of the consumers that bike shops shut down. I would say that that is only a part of the reason.
Of course lower price on parts is a big reason why people buy from the big web shops.

A reason why bike shops would be needed is because online retailers wont be at the bike park selling you that specific part you just broke on the first lap of the weekend.
But, here is my take on why that wont work in the future.

I think that except of the difference in price, the big brands are a big reason as well.
In my case: Why do I buy from web shops? Because no bike shop can keep a stock of the different parts I may need. And why is that? Because of all these new "standards" that show up every now and then from, you guessed it; the big brands.

In my view the big brands(i think everyone can think of a certain brand) are a mayor reason to this decrease of bike shops.
No shop can keep a stock of all these different parts of different standards the bike industry is flooded with.
  • + 3
 In my area the bike shop owners just don't care about the riding community and mostly only do it for the money Frown
  • + 1
 Do you want to work for Disney? I could see an amazing Disney movie coming of that. "This summer, when all you need is two wheels, and your heart on your sleeve to make magic happen, from the producers of "Finding Nemo", "Bicycle Heart Man/Woman".
  • + 1
 local bike shops have become a rich man's game

CRC with 10% off, cannot be beaten - the future for bike shops now is largely that of a garage, ie somewhere to get something fixed or adjusted
  • + 2
 I work at a bike shop in NYC. It's a tough business, competition everywhere. We do pretty good because nobody has time to do their own work.
  • + 2
 I'm sorry, but I want to ride and I'm not going to go broke because of that, I'll buy from where's cheapest for the product I need.
  • + 4
 1 good bike shop out of every 5, seems to make sense whys there is a lost.
  • + 0
 Ill be honest, its hard to pass on a good online deal, shipped to your door. However, the bike shop is a part of the industry. Its were someone much more mechanically inclined than I can diagnose a problem and fix it, as well as a social center where you can run into people, see whats going on locally, and an especially key part, the first ride on the latest and greatest bikes, even if its in a parking lot.
  • + 0
 Down with the bike shop........who needs it anyways.......Canadian tire sells tubes, i can buy brake pads and tires online cheaper......i stay supplied on roadtrips....... so why do i need a bike shop? In the last 5 years i've only been there a small handfull of times to be overcharged and been subject to the old bike shop tude......
  • + 0
 Bike shop gone,fishing shop gone,butchers gone,fruit n veg shop gone...the list goes on and on. Mind you the chippy does pizzas now and currys. Got loads of bookies now, charity shops and pound shops. There's also a shop opened up called 'polski smak'...I know what your thinking,had a peek in and no dancers or dope...just sausages,pickled stuff and boozeSmile
  • + 2
 I'd say good riddance. The ones I know (in the Netherlands) are outdated, have bad customer service, and don't have a passion for bikes or biking culture.
  • + 3
 Bike shops: the occasional speciality tool from the mechanic, the occasional bike part, the occasional conversation.
  • + 3
 There's no demise of bike shops in my town. They all seem to be making millions and expanding their shops.
  • - 1
 If you have a bike shop that has mechanics that can work on anything, i.e. Comprehensive knowledge you will always be successful. You can't buy knowledge. Even if you have a shiit local economy. You can buy stuff but not know how to work on it or what it's compatible with.
  • - 1
 @yerbikesux: does YouTube supply you with all the tools you need. They sure haven't given or lent me any tools. I know most people can't afford the tool set up that some of us have or justify its expense even if they can.
  • + 1
 Well I sure as shit hope they stay around for the long haul, because that's where I've been working for the past 15 years, and where I intend to work for the rest of my life.
  • + 2
 Low overhead, service orientated shops that maximize margins are the future.
  • + 3
 just fyi that was my great grandfathers bike shop in newbury England 1814
  • + 1
 Bike shops by my house are thriving....some people work on their own bikes and buy online others use bike shops for everything....big world out there go ride it!!
  • + 2
 I help to grow the number of bike shops and therefore open my own in 2017 :-)
  • + 3
 Here's a simple solution for bike shop woes, your prices are jacked!
  • + 4
 prices are jacked because we pay way to damn high compared to the big players. Shimano is the worst exemple of this, Our cost is more expensive than the online price you pay.
  • + 1
 @top2bottom: yup --- been like that far too long--- even before they pulled the carpet out from LBS's is was like this --- I knew several people who were buying ShiTmano parts from the UK, cheaper than my wholesale at QBP or BTI.... ShiTmano makes some great stuff but I won't haggle over prices nor will I push the brand. sadly, I'm willing to bet SRAM will follow that same road ShiTmano took
  • + 1
 @PedalShopLLC: Actually Sram just blocked the sale from online retailler like CRC and Wiggle to us and Can so the bike shops will be able to push their products. It's a bald move from them. but yeah shimano sucks for dealer
  • + 2
 I wanted to quit my well paying job in 2 years and open a bike shop... then I read this.
  • + 2
 it's a tough gig --- lost my shirt having one in 2008/09
  • + 2
 Chain Reaction started as a LBS in Northern Ireland. Others could follow their way if they wanted to....
  • + 2
 It's survival of the fittest. The high quality bike shops will survive, but the bad ones will go down.
  • + 3
 ctrl+f WAKi
No results, I'm disapointed
  • + 2
 Haha
  • + 1
 Maybe a club model with monthly fee/membership to include service and discount on parts, food, demo bikes...Australian surf club style.
  • + 2
 The only thing I've needed a bike shop for since I started riding is to replace a press-fit bottom bracket.
  • + 6
 Local shop still screwed that up for me and they were a dealer for my frame. They blamed my cranks....
  • + 2
 I need them only for wheel building and headset installing. In my country I think there's a lot of work for mechanics, so they would be fine if they do their work right.
  • + 1
 Everyone has to watch their budget and if shops are going jack prices up then it's their own fault for going under! People want fairness!
  • + 1
 Your bike shop isn't jacking up their prices. The reason shops are going out of business is due to razor thin margins. You can get certain parts for less at CRC than your bike shop can through their distributors. Seems the bike industry is in a race to the bottom these days.
  • - 1
 As a Canadian.... shipping from USA sucks. Getting prts thru Live to Play sucks. Every damn time i want something cool and new its sold out. Say what you will about trek and specialized.... ALWAYS have stock, carrys almost all the same stuff as the aftermarket companies, only sold in Canada thru the LBS.... My rocky mountain had a bontrager seat, bars, specialized grips, cages, tires. I didnt care, walked into the store and had what i wanted, just didnt have maxxis or raceface decaling.
  • + 1
 I really hope one day our two countries have open trade AND open borders. It's completely silly to me that we have border patrol over a difference on Kinder Eggs and a plant. Everything else (sans our lack of appeal to the crown) is the same. If anything, Canada has GREATER freedoms than the land of the "free".

With that, would come greater purchasing options than maybe you have now.
  • + 3
 Yes, GREATER freedoms include the freedom to give more of your money to the government, and the freedom to have fewer guns.

p.s. I'm married to a Canadian. She already smacked me for saying that so I don't need the neg props Smile
  • + 6
 @dbodoggle:
I know you (and many other Merkins) probably wish it otherwise, but guns don't REALLY make up for having a tiny gentleman sausage.
  • - 1
 @dbodoggle: Seems these days most Americans will give up their freedom just to have the illusion of being free. I hope you're not of the illusion that one party or the other is going to take any less of your money and use it to line the pockets of it's respective lobbyist. And no one is going to take yer goddamn guns.
  • + 3
 @boxxerace: Border patrol is to keep Americans out. We don't want you.
  • + 1
 If you think shipping to Canada sucks you aren't doing it right.
  • + 1
 @thebigschott: I'm not commenting on politics, just making a joke about how America is better.
@KeithReeder If only guns did make up for that Wink
  • + 1
 @dbodoggle: haha I hear ya man!
  • + 2
 @thebigschott: already happening in California, and new york. Tried to happen in DC. I can no longer buy guns i could buy few years ago and currently in most other states.
Its never enough for the left...ammo, magazines, "evil features" on my rifle(pistol grip/forward grip/detachable mag/silencer)
Try getting a ccw...very difficult for law abiding citizens.
  • + 1
 @KeithReeder: Haha. A "Merkin" is a vajayjay toupee, though.
  • + 0
 @jrocksdh: How the f*ck many people do you need to be able to kill per second?!? I live in the Hood, and a .22 semi pistol is plenty. Lefties have guns, too.

"hot like Ted Turner, I pack a lead burner" - Mac Dre
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: all depends on the situation. Whether im defending my family/property during an invasion(foreign/domestic), a riot, wild dogs after my kids..
My legally obtained rifle came with standard magazines, so now i need to buy non standard mags/or put a rivet in current mags so youll feel safer knowing that law abiding citizens can't have what bad guys have?
Whats next, i can only own certain number of bullets or 10 round mags?
Many of my riding buddies are LEO and or ex military and their pov is do not rely on LEO to save your butt in time and dispise 2A rights being destroyed by leftist.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: I just need to be able to kill one thread (this one). That is all.
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: HAHA thanks for the insight......
  • + 1
 i use the local bike shop when the part i want is below free postage price and its cool to have a look around and touch stuff
  • + 2
 Bike shops should be worried about the decline of the customer and make adjustments accordingly to stay relevant.
  • + 1
 I have never had good luck dealing with bike store owners, and could care less about having one . But people loosing jobs and bussness,s shutting down , that sucks.
  • + 1
 Evolve or die. Just like every other industry that waited to long to change with the Internet. They did it to themselves.
  • + 2
 No , no job is sacred , fight for it or die , everyone else has to
  • + 1
 Unfortunately it's too late to save my local bike shop, it's now a 50mile round trip to my nearest rather than 5 min walk.
  • + 1
 bike shops aughta think about merging with tim horton or a decent taco truck before i spend more time there!
  • + 2
 The internet cannot fix your bike
  • + 1
 Yes well in Canada we have a chain of stores called MEC. Within is a huge actual bike shop and they don't care where you bought your parts. Parts via CRC, installed by MEC. I actually do frequent my Local Bike Shop.
  • + 1
 Bike shops will survive, we need them thanks to all of the different standards and parts compatibility issues !
  • + 1
 Bike shops will always be around to satisfy the clammy hand of the mechanically challenged
  • + 1
 Not really sure why Giant is "seeing the writing" as a Canadian, giants are cheaper than YTs with a similar build kit.
  • + 1
 Inner tubes and other consumables, not bikes.
  • + 1
 Best place ever to drink beer LBS for life!
  • + 2
 You can drink beer in your LBS? It's legal?
  • + 1
 @fred0: bein whoui! when they close...oh it's on!
  • + 1
 @trickland: When it's closed I understand... I thought you meant a bike shop was selling beer.
  • + 1
 A online tech support service would be a good business opportunity.
  • + 5
 I've had an idea of a communal work shop. Members pay a monthly sub an get access to a work shop with all the necessary tools an spares. A Mechanic on site to help. Maybe a café with a media suite. Mechanical tutorials.
Imagine you get back from a ride with a muddy haggard bike an there's a place where you can wash an service your ride, have a bite an a beer/coffee before heading home.
7 gets a week, late evenings......
  • + 2
 @nojzilla: this model exists on the UBC campus. They even have a collection of old junkers to canabalize and mechanics lessons. New parts as well.
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: we have one of those in Nanaimo too, lots of peeps use it.
  • + 1
 Damn this obviously it's a huge problem with LBS?
  • + 1
 do you buy your bacon from the butcher or from the grocery store?
  • + 1
 SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP! All around the world pelade.. We need it!
  • + 1
 LOOKS LIKE a SESSION
  • - 2
 its a little frustrating that the shop owners bitch about the online retailers selling for so cheap when the the shop owners are buying they're bikes and parts at cost..
  • + 1
 oops.uncle* 1914*
  • - 1
 No more bike shops up north here I miss walking and taking a look online it is I geuss
  • + 0
 The bike porn's better online!
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