Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

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Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby wa_desert_rat » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:23 pm

With all the drivel on so many bike forums about only buying bikes from your Local Bike Shop (LBS) I started wondering whether I would like big box bikes or not if I owned an LBS. And I decided that, yes, I would.

1. Selling bicycles depends upon having a local market full of people who can ride bicycles, like riding bicycles and, inevitably, want better bicycles.

2. More people will try bicycling on a $200 bicycle than on a $1,000 bicycle.

3. $200 bicycles are bought by three sorts of people:

A) People who know next to nothing about bikes; in which case they'll come to the LBS for all their repairs and upgrades, anyway. (Unless they read this forum.)
B) People who know bikes but want to try a new style (beach cruiser, single speed, fat bike, dirt jumper, etc.) but don't want to spend a ton of money doing it. These are people who will come to the LBS when they discover they like it and want a better one.
C) Parents of young children who will beat the crap out any bike they get anyway; it's better for your business that people see a junked out big box bike than one of your pricey models. And if the kid gets good at riding, there's a new customer..

Any LBS owner who turns away potential customers just because they arrive with a big box bike is stupid; period! For one thing, that customer will find a competitor who is willing to work with him (or her) and will stay with that competitor. For another thing, word gets around... and that kind of word is not what a small business needs.

When I spoke to a local Walmart manager about why he didn't put Mongoose Pro 29 FS bikes on her shelves she told me that she didn't have customers who would spend that much money on a bicycle. If she's right... then an LBS has no worries.

So if you own an LBS be kind to your big box bike customers. Take them out, show them some trails. Make them into customers. It can't hurt.
WDR
http://www.bigboxbikes.com
"No one has ever had to evacuate a city because the solar ;panels broke!"
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby to the beach » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:28 pm

It's all one category, cycling. Cheers!
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby mirroredtoolbag » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:19 pm

wa_desert_rat wrote:
When I spoke to a local Walmart manager about why he didn't put Mongoose Pro 29 FS bikes on her shelves she told me that she didn't have customers who would spend that much money on a bicycle. If she's right... then an LBS has no worries.


If the XR Pro is discontinued it will be because of that reason. I know many that would never consider a bike from a BB store even though they have no clue about what they are buying. I have a friend that bought a high dollar FS LBS bike a couple of years ago because he wanted to go riding with me, he felt you get what you pay for( which is often the case) so he dropped some coin on a nice bike. In 2 years he has ridden it about 3 times, I have no doubt that bike will last longer than mine at that rate. The thing is, if BB customers think the XR pro is to spendy, they will never buy a bike from a LBS. I think the LBSs have plenty to worry about, Some of the BBB are becoming as good or better than the budget bikes at the LBS but at a much better price point. I used to be one of those people that never even glanced at the bikes at the big box stores, I never even went down the isle but I sure do now. I think the LBSs fear others will discover what I now know, that you can get a decent bike at a price point they cannot touch. I don't think owning a LBS is the ticket to living the high life( at least non Colorado LBSs) so they see a potential encroachment and lash out as a sort of self preservation
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby Hong Kong Phooey » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:11 am

I think Desert_Rat is quite right. After 35 years of never riding any bikes, I saw a Super 32 at Walmart and just because I had never even heard of a bike that big, just for grins and not for nothin, I rode it, then bought it. It was a single speed. This started me riding bikes again.(I'm 54).

I found out you could get a 7 speed version of the Super 32 online,(Walmart.com), so I did. When it came in I went looking for a LBS to put it together and tune it up. After a few snotty encounters with a few snotty LBS's, I found one that enthusiastically embraced my BBB and they did a great job of setting it up.

I became a loyal customer. I bought a used mountain bike and took it there to have some repairs, modifications, and customization done. I love that bike store and heartily recommend them to anybody that has /needs a bike..

The only thing they do that irritates me is they keep nattering on,(in a good natured way at least), about why I need a friggin bike helmet.

That's not happening.. The time for me to worry about shit like that was when I was 13, 14 ,15, and trying to be Evel Knevil all the damn time.


Anyway, my LBS was able to make a loyal customer out of me by being cool about my Big Box Bikes.

HKP
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby h8pavmt » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:11 am

I'll add a different view on this - I'm pretty close friends with the owner of a small, successful LBS. The owner loves bikes, and loves to see people riding. He will work on any bike brought to him and doesn't care what you ride when you come out to one of his weekly hosted rides. The trouble (in my eyes) he has with BBBs is the owners. Many times I've been in his shop when someone comes in with a BBB and asks for it to be fixed. The owner will look over the bike and discuss with the rider what needs to be fixed. Then he gives them the price for the parts/repair and many times the rider will question the cost. After all, the repair/parts will cost "almost as much as I paid for the bike!" Knowing that this LBS owner uses quality parts and does great work, I can easily understand what he charges. Plus, his prices for labor are a good bit lower than the other four shops in this area. I was in the shop several weeks ago when someone brought in a Next 26" bike that had a rusty, bent-in-half rear wheel and needed two new brake cables. The rider was absolutely flabbergasted that the owner told him the fix would cost $55 and take two whole days to fix. To me, a new wheel, changing out the freewheel, tire, and tube along with stripping off and replacing two brake cables and doing a general adjustment on the whole bike (as the LBS owner will do no matter what) seemed to be a pretty good deal for $55. To the rider it seemed crazy - "I thought it would be like 25 bucks". I imagine this scenario is not unusual for many LBS.

While repairs on BBBs account for a large percentage of this LBS owner's workload, I'm sure he prefers to deal with his higher-end customers, or people like me. I will research the hell out of an item I want, go in to ask him what the part costs, and his opinions or experience with that part. I understand the costs of running a store and don't mind paying a few extra dollars to get the part from him. Usually the ship time is the same as if I bought online and the price is pretty close to a lot of the big online sites.

So while BBBs are good to this particular LBS owner, he has mentioned how frustrated he gets with the riders of BBB such as the example listed above.
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby wa_desert_rat » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:10 pm

Hong Kong Phooey wrote:
The only thing they do that irritates me is they keep nattering on,(in a good natured way at least), about why I need a friggin bike helmet.

That's not happening.. The time for me to worry about shit like that was when I was 13, 14 ,15, and trying to be Evel Knevil all the damn time.
HKP


Your LBS is absolutely right about bike helmets. In fact, it's likely that you need one more now, at 51, than you did at 13, 14 or 15.

I'm 71 (yes, you read that right) and I wear a bike helmet often. Maybe not for every ride... when I ride two blocks to my shop I usually wear a baseball cap.I am, by no means, any more than a relatively slow recreational rider. But I've gone OTB (Over The Bars) 3 times in the past 4 years. Two of them by hitting hidden obstructions (one in grass and one in a snowpile) and one of them by not bunny-hopping quickly enough; or at all, actually. :P

I also wear a helmet as an example for kids just learning to ride (and not wanting to wear a "sissy" helmet). The kids in my neighborhood at at the local BMX track see me several times a week and know me as an avid bicycle rider all my life. Several parents of local kids have said to their budding-rider, "If Craig wears a helmet everywhere he rides then you can, too."

The major reason I wear one is that at my age (and at yours) I am susceptible to a problem called "detached retina". And one of the most common causes of this is a rap on the head. I had one and had it repaired and it was a bitch but my sight was restored. Had they not been able to get the retina re-attached (to the inside of the back of the eyeball) I would have had a blind spot in my vision until I died. I am very much aware, now, of the dangers of this and want to protect my eyesight at all costs.

Of course, we are also more susceptible to strokes; which can also be caused by head injury.

But, it's interesting, I wear a bike helmet mostly because a good bicycle helmet is more comfortable than anything else. The design of a good helmet (not a $9 job at Goodwill) is far and away better now than it was just a few years ago. I discovered that when I bought my $40 bike helmet from Campmor it was actually cooler than not wearing a helmet at all. This surprised me but then I read an article in one of the bike magazines about how they are looking at aerodynamics with bike helmets (as well as impact resistance). The engineers have managed to actually increase cooling airflow over your head while protecting your head.

Pretty cool!

And really, there's no downside. There is nothing we can do now to make us look like anything other than what we are: old guys riding a bike. I figure that at some point I can try not to be stupid. :P

So I'm going to join in with your LBS (and a "hat's off" to them - no pun intended - for nagging you a little about it); buy a good bike helmet and wear it with pride. It will make your bike ride cooler, make you look cooler to the little kids just learning to ride (and may save the life of one of them), and will make you feel cooler in hot weather.

And it might be the only thing that makes the cops think you're not a DUI convict when you ride your bike. :P

Craig
WDR
http://www.bigboxbikes.com
"No one has ever had to evacuate a city because the solar ;panels broke!"
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby ehart814 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:15 pm

wa_desert_rat wrote:
Hong Kong Phooey wrote:
The only thing they do that irritates me is they keep nattering on,(in a good natured way at least), about why I need a friggin bike helmet.

That's not happening.. The time for me to worry about shit like that was when I was 13, 14 ,15, and trying to be Evel Knevil all the damn time.
HKP


Your LBS is absolutely right about bike helmets. In fact, it's likely that you need one more now, at 51, than you did at 13, 14 or 15.

I'm 71 (yes, you read that right) and I wear a bike helmet often. Maybe not for every ride... when I ride two blocks to my shop I usually wear a baseball cap.I am, by no means, any more than a relatively slow recreational rider. But I've gone OTB (Over The Bars) 3 times in the past 4 years. Two of them by hitting hidden obstructions (one in grass and one in a snowpile) and one of them by not bunny-hopping quickly enough; or at all, actually. :P

I also wear a helmet as an example for kids just learning to ride (and not wanting to wear a "sissy" helmet). The kids in my neighborhood at at the local BMX track see me several times a week and know me as an avid bicycle rider all my life. Several parents of local kids have said to their budding-rider, "If Craig wears a helmet everywhere he rides then you can, too."

The major reason I wear one is that at my age (and at yours) I am susceptible to a problem called "detached retina". And one of the most common causes of this is a rap on the head. I had one and had it repaired and it was a bitch but my sight was restored. Had they not been able to get the retina re-attached (to the inside of the back of the eyeball) I would have had a blind spot in my vision until I died. I am very much aware, now, of the dangers of this and want to protect my eyesight at all costs.

Of course, we are also more susceptible to strokes; which can also be caused by head injury.

But, it's interesting, I wear a bike helmet mostly because a good bicycle helmet is more comfortable than anything else. The design of a good helmet (not a $9 job at Goodwill) is far and away better now than it was just a few years ago. I discovered that when I bought my $40 bike helmet from Campmor it was actually cooler than not wearing a helmet at all. This surprised me but then I read an article in one of the bike magazines about how they are looking at aerodynamics with bike helmets (as well as impact resistance). The engineers have managed to actually increase cooling airflow over your head while protecting your head.

Pretty cool!

And really, there's no downside. There is nothing we can do now to make us look like anything other than what we are: old guys riding a bike. I figure that at some point I can try not to be stupid. :P

So I'm going to join in with your LBS (and a "hat's off" to them - no pun intended - for nagging you a little about it); buy a good bike helmet and wear it with pride. It will make your bike ride cooler, make you look cooler to the little kids just learning to ride (and may save the life of one of them), and will make you feel cooler in hot weather.

And it might be the only thing that makes the cops think you're not a DUI convict when you ride your bike. :P

Craig



Craig, I don't own a bike helmet, but that was a cool post.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby juniorswv » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:16 am

Just wañted to say " Great thread " and great forum.
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby squire366 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:17 am

Hong Kong Phooey wrote:I think Desert_Rat is quite right. After 35 years of never riding any bikes, I saw a Super 32 at Walmart and just because I had never even heard of a bike that big, just for grins and not for nothin, I rode it, then bought it. It was a single speed. This started me riding bikes again.(I'm 54).

I found out you could get a 7 speed version of the Super 32 online,(Walmart.com), so I did. When it came in I went looking for a LBS to put it together and tune it up. After a few snotty encounters with a few snotty LBS's, I found one that enthusiastically embraced my BBB and they did a great job of setting it up.

I became a loyal customer. I bought a used mountain bike and took it there to have some repairs, modifications, and customization done. I love that bike store and heartily recommend them to anybody that has /needs a bike..

The only thing they do that irritates me is they keep nattering on,(in a good natured way at least), about why I need a friggin bike helmet.

That's not happening.. The time for me to worry about shit like that was when I was 13, 14 ,15, and trying to be Evel Knevil all the damn time.


Anyway, my LBS was able to make a loyal customer out of me by being cool about my Big Box Bikes.

HKP


Get a helmet on Hong Kong. I too used to ride bikes and raced BMX when I was a kid and the only time I wore a helmet was when I was racing and was forced to wear one. Now I'm 47 and wouldn't ride my bike out of the garage without a helmet on. I say this because over the last 3 years of mountain biking and doing a lot of "rails-to-trails" path riding, I've seen my fair share of people riding on "paved" trails, fall and bang their head on the ground. Luckily, those people were wearing helmets. My Ex-Wife fell while just starting a ride. She banged her head on the ground and all she ended up with was a nice headache but her helmet saved her from a severe injury.

I've been OTB while on singletrack trying to tackle a rock garden and SMACK! Head hit a huge rock. I walked away because of my helmet. I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life or how to enjoy your bike riding experience but we all want to be SAFE BBB owners and riders. You can still enjoy bike riding WITH a helmet on.
Mongoose Deception
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Re: Why your LBS Should Love Big Box Bikes

Postby Renaldow » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:59 pm

I used to never wear helmets, even riding in traffic. Seemed pretty stupid and pointless, and looked dumb. Then I worked for years in emergency services, and saw what happened when people weren't wearing helmets. If you ask the guy who endo'd on a curb during a test ride in a parking lot what he thinks about wearing helmets, he'd probably say you definitely need to wear a helmet. But you can't ask him, because he landed on his head and smashed in his skull. He's dead. So are quite a few of the people that had their back tire tagged by a driver. A lot of the people I saw who had a wheel lock, or hit a rock or other obstruction are no doubt brain damaged.

Now brain damage and death seems pretty stupid and pointless to me, and it often looks dumb too. Don't wear a helmet, but if you have an accident at least do the decent thing and make sure it takes you out. Otherwise, for lack of a $40 helmet that everyone in the world tells you to wear, you're going to bankrupt your family, raise all of our medical insurance costs, and drag your friends and family through hell for the rest of your life.
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