Author Topic: Bike shop dilemma  (Read 794 times)

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Offline hikerjer

Bike shop dilemma
« on: May 07, 2019, 11:56:09 pm »
So, walking home from downtown today, much to my surprise, I came across a new bike shop where for some time there had been nothing but an empty store front. Naturally, I stopped in. The owner/operator was a very nice young local guy who is just starting out. He's been in the bike industry in Colorado and Bozeman for sometime as a salesman and mechanic and wants to strike out on his own. Owning his own shop has always been his dream.  Right now, his shop is just a sort of hole-in-the-wall type of operation but he appears to have a good repair shop and a fair selection of bikes- Trek and Giant - and was extremely personable. He also seems to know bikes having on display, several frames he built himself. What's more, its only a few minutes walk from my house. Furthermore, it located in the downtown district and I always like to support downtown businesses.  Here's my dilemma. The current shop I frequent and from which I've purchased several bikes is run by a great guy who has always been more than accommodating to me. I really like him.  The problem, of course, is who do I patronize in the future. On one hand, I'd really like to help out a young guy just starting out on his dream but I don't want to be disloyal to a guy that I like and whom I've been dealing with, quite happily, for years.

What to do?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Bike shop dilemma
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 08:04:59 am »
Tough dilemma. 

I would probably buy a few things to help the new shop but stick with the old shop who has been with me for years.  Of course, if the new shop is substantially cheaper, carries parts the old shop doesn't, better hours, etc., then that might slide the scale.

I tend to buy between 2-3 shops in Tulsa (we have about 7 maybe in the greater metro area) and online for the parts they don't carry.

Word of advice, my favorite old shop closed due to years ago.  None of other shops is as personable, helpful, quick, etc. as the other shops.  The other shops are good, just not as much.  The moral is, be sure your town can handle the additional support.  If not, stick with the old shop.

Tailwinds, John

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: Bike shop dilemma
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 03:26:27 pm »
Your best interests are probably served by having two shops.  One hopes that shop number two did his research and there are enough customers for both to flourish.  You could help by recruiting more cyclists, to patronize both stores.
Good luck

Offline BikePacker

Re: Bike shop dilemma
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 07:55:01 am »
Your 'current bike shop' has e-a-r-n-e-d your business over the years (e.g., in your words, the owner has been " .... more than accomodating....").
My 2 cents? .....
Be true to your 'current bike shop.'

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bike shop dilemma
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2019, 11:16:37 am »
No doubt they will each distinguish themselves in different ways.  I'd give them both some business and see how well they each do.  If one stocks better stuff in a particular category or otherwise does a better job I'd use them for that.

Personally, I have not found that I am in love with any of the LBSs here and buy on line mostly these days.  If I find a local shop I like I am willing to pay a bit more but they have to earn it in good service.  That is a little harder when I do all my own wrenching.  They need to reliably have what I need in brands I like, be helpful, friendly, and have at least fair prices.  I get turned off quickly when an item costs 3-4X as much as I could order the exact item for, or they are not helpful, or don't stock what I need in decent brands.  For example it really galled me when I bought a pair of SPD cleats at the LBS.  The price seemed crazy high, so when I got new shoes I looked online for the cleats.  They were 1/4 the price for the exact brand and part number with free shipping.  I decided to get a pack with 2 pr while I was ordering.  I have had a similar experience with other things.  Since I buy for myself and several family members, they lose a good bit of business buy running me off.  I am willing to pay extra to support local businesses, but there is a limit.