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December 15, 2017
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  • Larry @CycleItalia

    In some ways I think you compare apples and oranges with this piece. I’d bet most brick-and-mortar, full-service bike shops would offer you a discount if you bought 10 tubes at a time, while good luck getting a tube online on a Saturday morning when you need one for a ride that starts in one hour.
    We use Michelin tubes exclusively and they can be had online for around $7 US, so being able to pop in and get one instantly at a shop is certainly worth $10 to me. If the online boyz can sell ’em at $7 I’d guess the shop’s doing OK with a retail of $10? A cheapo, no-name (or the same thing in a big-bike-brand box) is another story, $10 for one of those would certainly seem like price-gouging, but don’t most retailers understand you can run a smaller profit margin on large sales volume/frequent purchases like tubes, energy bars, etc…especially when you buy those wholesale in bulk quantities?

    • James Huang

      I’ll chime in since it’s currently the middle of the night in Australia (where Dave Rome is based). He’s not arguing at all that $8-10 is a fair price for a tube. In his opinion, the issue arises when a shop charges closer to double for a standard tube, point being that such short-term gains in profit margin may be counterproductive in the long term.

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        I thought I made it clear with – “A cheapo, no-name (or the same thing in a big-bike-brand box) is another story, $10 for one of those would certainly seem like price-gouging,” but I guess not? I’ve not been in retail for awhile now but I thought most shop owners (especially now that so many have gone away) are smart enough to realize “such short-term gains in profit margin may be counterproductive in the long term” as you wrote. But perhaps I’m wrong as I found a lot of retail advice at the recent PBMA Denver program to be little more than “Retail 101”. I even asked one of the presenters, who more or less admitted this but explained that it’s not as common knowledge as one would think.

    • winkybiker

      If it was a $7 tube for $10, I’d be absolutely OK with it. I was charged $12 each for a couple of unbranded ones at a local store the other day. I was also charged close to 3X what I pay online for a Campag cassette (and ended up buying the range I didn’t want because I was desperate and that’s all they had). Nope, I’m done with my LBS for just about everything. They almost never stock what I want, and they are simply too expensive. I don’t like feeling ripped off.

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        $12 for cheapo generic tubes seems rather steep even if you assume the online boyz are selling the Michelins at their cost ($7 and I doubt they’re losing money on ’em as plenty of online retailers offer them at that price) so the shop’s gotta be making more than keystone profits at $12 a tube. The cogset for me is a different story, a low-volume, “in a way you’re lucky we have one on hand” product” that I doubt they were making a huge markup on.

        • winkybiker

          So where’s the incentive to buy at my LBS if even holding inadequate stock of cassettes means that they need a 300% markup?

          The other thing annoys me is that when they have to order something in, (which is nearly always) the time it takes is way longer than it takes for an online delivery. e.g. weeks and weeks for a fairly standard set of wheels. The ones that I ended up with were different anyway as we got tired of waiting for the ones I really wanted. Then there was the warranty claim on a light. Instead of replacing it, they said they need to go through the wholesaler (such BS). I eventually got tired of chasing them up (they did nothing, actually) and gave up.

          Then there was the issue when my wife was shopping for a children’s bike for our son. She made 2 visits to the shop and first time was told to look for herself at the rack of kid’s bikes and someone will be with you shortly. They never came back, and she left. She went back a few days later and was completely ignored. She just left.

          No, shopping at any of the LBS around here is mostly a miserable experience.

          On the rare occasions they have what you want, (just this week – “Jockey wheels for Campag Derailleur?” Nope. – “Will other brands fit?” – Nope. “That’s funny, I had generic BBBs in there and they worked great. Do you stock those?” Nope.

          If they do stock what you want the $$$ are just soul-destroying.

          • Larry @CycleItalia

            They’re not getting 300% markup. Very often online sellers offer components at less than the LBS pays for them via a local distributor. That’s not their fault, but I won’t go any further to defend a retailer I know nothing about.

            • winkybiker

              Fair enough. My bad. I know it’s not mark-up per-se. But I meant pay 3X the price that I could get if I went online.

              • Crash Bandicoot

                For campy and shimano stuff this is unfortunately the side effect of selling stuff to online mega retailers at below cost. I keep a few shimano spares (actually all of my road bikes are shimano 11 speed so I can cannablize them if need be in an emergency) but you can’t blame the shop for that; in fact its pretty dumb for a shop to have much of anything in the way of Shimano components in stock. My wife’s team shops lead mechanic was showing me around and they had like 2 groupsets in DA, Ultegra, and 105 he was telling me for the lower end stuff they just order it from Ribble and make their money on labor since its cheaper and faster than ordering from shimano.

            • winkybiker

              My experiences range across multiple local shops. I don’t want to imply that it is just one of them.

            • Ross

              It is and it isn’t the LBS’ fault. They should have their finger on the pulse and know what products are selling for online and if they are paying same or more then they need to address the situation with their supplier. If the supplier is unwilling to help out then the LBS should look around for another supplier – even if it means buying from Wiggle/Ribble etc themselves.

              • Larry @CycleItalia

                How will buying stuff from online (gray market, etc.) sources at the same price YOU pay help the LBS? No matter how much markup he adds you’ll complain and say he’s gouging you. The average brick-and-mortar retailer simply can not compete with online (especially gray market) retailers on price – it’s a race to the bottom and he’ll be the loser.
                He CAN be there on that Saturday morning when your ride would be ruined for lack of a tube and should be there to do all the stuff that can’t be shoved through a fiber optic cable or unloaded from a brown truck. I think that’s the only way he can survive – service and knowledge is something tough to get online.

                • Ross

                  If the LBS is able to buy their products cheaper then they will be able to sell them cheaper (presuming they don’t gouge) and therefore attract more customers like ourselves.

                  • Eric Blair

                    That would be true, except that in the case of Shimano (the famous example), Shimano themselves charges shops wholesale prices that are about what you’d pay on some bargain sites. Among participants in their training site, which provides shop employees with special industry pricing, it is commonly accepted that the pro purchase prices are often higher than those charged on grey market sites. Good for Shimano, because they get rid of their product (though it could be argued that their poor behavior devalues their product), but bad for the retailer who is expected to keep Shimano in stock but who generally buys it from Shimano for wholesale prices which are themselves higher than the pro purchase prices (which are higher than online). Shimano is certainly not the only offender in this regard, but they are the most visible and arguably most flagrant.

                    As to the understandable anger over inventory, there are now drivetrains with anywhere from five to twelve cogs in the rear, one to three in the front, and most of the drive trains associated with each combination of front and rear are incompatible with one another. That doesn’t take into account the different models within each number of cogs which are often also incompatible, sometimes even within a single company. That’s before you get to the nightmare swamps of BB’s, headsets, and disc brake pads. Savvy bike shops know who’s riding what in their area and try to stock accordingly and the good ones generally place orders quickly and alert customers promptly when items arrive.

                    All that said, I think that the service aspect of the bike shop makes it worthwhile beyond the emergency tube. I know many of my customers’ names, their bikes, and their favorite trails or roads, and I know all that without relying on frightening invasions of privacy (looking at you, Amazon). I can make recommendations that are tailored to the person and provide service that is based on having laid hands on their steed. Though I’m not always right, I’m always right there, and that experience can’t be beat, in my opinion.

          • Phil Hubbard

            Also, can I just say that warranty going through the wholesaler isn’t BS it is just security. A lot of the time a shop will warranty an item only for a wholesaler to say it isn’t a warranty issue and reject the claim. The shop is then left out of pocket with a broken item.

            I’ve been on both sides for 7 years and it is as much for protection or the chain of suppliers as anything else

      • I went into my LBS to buy a cassette. I couldn’t be bothered waiting a week for the part and wanted to support the local shop. I was told by the owner to just buy it online, because they simply couldn’t compete with the price and so didn’t stock the range I wanted. Six months later, the same shop is now closing down.

  • F1inBrooklyn

    The last time I was in a shop I needed a few cable ends to finish up a build. $3 later, I walked out with FOUR cable ends. I knew at the time that the entire bucket of 100 cable ends the shop employee reached into only cost them approximately $5. Needless to say that was the last time I went into that particular shop.

    • Carl Sechrist

      That one is definitely what I’d call a shady tactic. I’ll charge maybe a couple bucks for a bolt I had to spend some time looking for since my time is not free, but I don’t think I’ve ever charged anybody for a few cable tips and ferrules. It’s not something that even crosses my mind for a single moment when a customer is buying cables and housing.

    • Ray Keener

      Good thing the future of bike retail is not going to be dependent on people like F1 who know or care what a bucket of cable ends costs, or what an inner tube costs online. While I agree that IBDs need to be aware of and sensitive to what online competition is up to, reducing prices to “appear” competitive is a race to the bottom that can’t be won.

      • F1inBrooklyn

        I agree that LBSs will never be able keep up with online retailer when it comes to pricing, but gouging the core customer base isn’t the way to success. I have no problem with paying a few bucks more for things at a brick and mortar shop as long as it’s not over the top. All my positive experiences at various shops in the past led to me buying more than I had intended to. For example, on one visit to another shop I needed some rim strips and found the price to be reasonable. That led me to wonder, “oh, what else do I need while I’m here?” I ended up buying a handful of items I didn’t need immediately, but thought I could use in the future. I ended up spending about $40 on odds and ends (vs. just $10) and left happy. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to that shop again and even found myself recommending them to others. The point is minor markups are fine and even expected. The crazy markup I experienced sent me running to the door and I’ve never stepped foot in that shop again.

        • Ray Keener

          No offense or anything, I don’t know you, and the fact that you would use a word like “gouging” tells me you really don’t get the bigger picture here. Please, continue to buy stuff in whatever way suits you. And if you think bike shops are “gouging” you by doing their best to stay in business in the current crushing and demoralizing market conditions, I’d be glad to refer you to resources that might convince you otherwise.

    • Crash Bandicoot

      I’ve had that happen, I’ve also had a mechanic give me a barrel adjuster to finish up a build for free and at the end of the day when I needed to make a brick and mortar purchase (crashed the day before a trip and needed a new shifter and bar tape) I visited them over the other shop. My best experience was when I brought a bike in for a warranty issue. The owner/mechanic throws the bike in the stand proceeds to argue with me about a known issue with this brand and this particular frame set, while it was up there I asked about a headset after disassembling the original headset he told me he didn’t have the right size put it back together and then billed me 15 bucks for labor. I wouldn’t be that ticked except when I got home I nearly had a crash leaving the driveway because he didn’t torque my stem at all and the whole assembly came loose after turning onto the street.

    • HamishM

      I was charged $5 each for stem spacers. Meanwhile you can get a 6 pack for $2.09 at Wiggle.

  • Cruz er

    Interesting and enlightening article.

    The one thing that online retailers do that completely pisses me off, enough to cancel the purchase and never shop there again, is the bait and switch with “shipping and handling”. They post lowball prices but won’t show the final price until you add all your info – until you are “almost done” with the process- then add some ridiculous prices for s&h that brings the prices of the items back up to what others normally charge.

    The big problem with many cyclists is that the internet is the main source of everything cycling for them.
    They are too aware of exactly what they think something should cost and how much a shop should be making on it. More often than not, they are wrong but you can’t really tell them that. The internet is always the truth.
    Because of this, they have an inflated view of what a shop should be giving them. Despite altruistic commentary, many are impossibly demanding and quantify everything with a dollar value or offense to their character.
    But be honest, these customers are lost to the internet sales and will never come back.

    On the other side, bike shops have been really slow to service the needs of many cyclists.
    Poor service does not equate to booming sales in any segment of the market.
    The only places I see poor service thrive is where you have no choice, like the DMV or Post.
    Many cyclists feel like they are visiting the DMV when going to their local bike shop.

    I’ve found that shops that are active in the community are pricing their product reasonably or as reasonably as they can.
    Also, price does become less important with shops active in community events and activities.

    It’s not just the price of the inner tube. The inner tube is really the tipping point, as the article so rightly pointed out.

    • Crash Bandicoot

      Agreed there is only one bikeshop here I use and its because the service is very personalized and fit specific (basically the shop is 99% fits). I’m okay with waiting a few days for a component because when the shop owner and bike fitter is recommending a power meter to me he is looking at the fits on both my road and TT bike on the Retul and is recommending a length that will fit both bikes and require only a slight change in saddle height so I don’t have buy 2 PMs or have a compromised fit on either bikes. That is service I’m willing to pay more for, I am not willing to pay double for a back up tire in a 23mm size because “thats all you’ve got” and you’re nearby.

  • Sean Stead

    Interesting article, and very topical.
    I am particularly interested in this debate and recently completed my Honours Thesis on the topic. The purpose of my research was to examine the challenges faced by local bicycle shops from the rising online mega-retailers, and identify the strategic changes required to successfully differentiate the local bicycle shop and ensure its survival.
    Let me know if anyone is interested in reading my stuff!

    • K4m1k4z3

      I am.

      • Horse

        I am, too

    • Me too, how would we go about finding your work?

    • Dave Rome

      Yep, I’m keen!

    • F1inBrooklyn

      Would love to read/learn more about this.

    • I am.

    • Mattias Gyllborg

      I would also be interested in reading your thesis

    • Eric Blair

      I’d be interested in reading your work as well. Where did you do your thesis? You can reach me at my Twitter handle, @Bobbicles if you would be willing to let me read it.

    • Jason Rico

      Sean, I’m very interested in reading your Thesis.
      It’s a strategy that I’m trying to figure out myself.
      Let me know how to contact you for more details.
      Thank you

  • Ol’ Dan

    This article is written by an enthusiast and for enthusiasts, which is all perfectly natural because that’s the target audience of this website. What it misses, from an independent retailer’s perspective, is that the gym short wearing, hybrid riding, average Joe does buy tubes an a semi annual basis, but is unlikely to buy in bulk online or really have any perspective for how much a tube “should” cost. What percentage of a retailer’s tube sales are to savvy internet shopping enthusiast vs. average “not really sure what size I need” Joe’s? Turning tubes into a loss leader just to maybe win back the local group ride heroes could cost a shop thousands in pure profit.

    • Stewie Griffin

      The profit of a shop is in it’s labour. Not in the bikes. If your shop is viewed as expensive because of a bloody tube, the labour will be affected.
      When I pay €6 for a MTB inner (max!) at one bike shop, and €12 for that same tube at another bike ship, and the online cost is €4,95 for that same tube, who’s the ripoff? €6 will be a very conservative 20-30% markup.. €12 is just ridiculous. I’m not setting foot in that shop again, although they are friendly, you just cannot write off your investment that strongly on your byproducts. I’ll know more about realistic margins soon, as I’m starting my financial plan to setup shop.

    • Crash Bandicoot

      Don’t they typically charge this rider for changing the tube as well? Surely a tube installed is more expensive than a tube alone being that basketball shorts cyclists are typically not going to attempt to fix a flat tire.

    • Dave Rome

      I’m not suggesting that stores turn anything into a loss leader.

      “Now I can assure you that a number of online retailers are using (or used to use) the loss leader strategy on the humble inner tube to convert business. Some are probably doing it just to ensure the competition is hurting in trying to match price. I’m not at all advocating for independent retailers to try fight that fight; they should be able to make a profit on every item sold and let those participating online retailers suffer with their 1-3% annual profit in the meantime.”

      “However, it’s one thing to be competitive in a fight to the bottom; it’s another to be ignorant to the greater market, and I’m suggesting physical bike stores should not sway too far in either direction.”

      • Ol’ Dan

        Dave,
        Yes, you’re right, you took a moderate stance in this well written piece. The point I was trying to make, which is now well illustrated by many of these commenters, is that the true enthusiast may not actually be an important customer of the modern independent retailer. Everyone who has commented here about how they’re too smart/experienced/savvy to do business at an IBD is already lost to the internet. Why make any concession to them when they’ll never realize it or appreciate it? Why give away even $1/tube sale when the core customer is actually an average Joe, who is not sensitive to tube pricing (within reason)? Most people reading this article and comments are true enthusiasts and have a hard time believing that any part of the cycling world would/should not cater primarily to them.

        • Cameron

          This is the key point. They are not the market. Three quarters of the customers I meet aren’t even sure how to deduce the correct size of tube they need. $10 isn’t much to ask for us to hook them up with the right thing.

          Say the gross margin on a $10 tube is $4. If the shop drops that to $8 they take a 50% cut in a primary revenue stream just to please a perhaps 5-10% segment of their customer base; a segment that accounts for far less than that much of their yearly revenue because they mostly buy online anyway.

        • That is an excellent point. Shops shouldn’t necessarily bend over backward to cater to the super savvy serious enthusiast. And I say that as a super savvy serious enthusiast. You would need to do a revenue analysis on the individual retailer level to determine who their business is coming from, and how to maximize it. Even if you want to cater to the group ride heros, chances are that most of them have a “hookup” at some shop or other, where they pay less than retail. If your shop is their home shop, then you needn’t worry about your retail prices, because those guys will be getting some sort of “team discount” anyway. If you are not their home shop, then they aren’t worth catering to anyway, because their loyalties lie elsewhere.

  • Stewie Griffin

    Good article!

  • Sunny Ape

    All the traditional shops that have effectively become showrooms for online stores are feeling the same pain and there’s very little ‘excess’ profit to allow anything to be a loss leader. All that’s left to make profit on is labour, and that’s not something people can realistically ‘drop in’ and get when they need it. When you need the thing and you want it now, price isn’t the motivating or critical factor.

    As for the word ‘incentivized’, I loath the verberization of nouns.

    • George Darroch

      Kinda. I bought a jersey and shoes from a store this afternoon, because a.) they have a good relationship with the local brand so stock the entire range b.) so I got to try them on c.) customer service, including helping me fit the shoes d.) immediate gratification e.) no faffing about trying to pick up a parcel from the local post office or annoying the office receptionist

      This is how you win. People want things. Make it better for them.

  • Simon Gamble

    Had this experience just yesterday. Tyre prices are even worse. $80-100 for a single tyre you can get for $40 online.

  • Crash Bandicoot

    Why on earth was my comment deleted? I brought up valid points, wasn’t argumentative, and didn’t use foul language.

    • James Huang

      No idea. We’re not in the habit of deleting user comments, so I have no idea what happened here. Feel free to repost it.

      • James Huang

        I should also add that we use third-party platform Disqus for our commenting system, and have definitely found it to be occasionally buggy.

      • bigstu_

        oh reeeaalllyyy????

        • James Huang

          Well, let me put it this way: *I’m* not in the habit of deleting comments. Whether another CT staffer did, I can’t say, but from where I sit, I’ve never been under the impression that we delete user comments unless there’s an extremely good reason.

    • Sean

      Sorry about that, I didn’t agree with it :-)

      • DaveRides

        It must have been good then :D

  • slartiblartfast

    Paying $120 at the LBS for a tyre I needed in a hurry, knowing it was $50 online, was a galling experience. Now I always make sure I have a couple of spares (bought online) at home.

    • winkybiker

      Yeah, my shelves in my bike-room have more stock on them than my LBS.

      • Crash Bandicoot

        haha same thing here I think I’ve got 2 sets of race tires and 2 sets of training tires.

      • dcaspira

        I suspect we’re mostly the same. That’s been a subtle shift in inventory… maybe we can put it on consignment to the bike shops ? -:)

        • winkybiker

          Yes, I’m fully aware that my working capital has increased. And although there’s no appreciation of the value of my spares holdings, the convenience yield makes it worth it.

    • literalgarbage

      Yep. I’ll keep anything semi-disposable or something that could break in a hurry in stock. Tires are bought in pairs long before I think I’ll need them. Tubes are bought in bulk. I’ll always keep a new chain ready to go. These items always end up being double in price at an LBS.

      I’ll buy anything that doesn’t go cheaper online or is nice to try on before buying (Helmet, Shoes, Saddle) at my shop just to be nice.

    • Cliff Nichols

      Yeah, I had that this weekend….the bead was coming off on the rear of my Schwalbe One’s and didn’t want to risk riding…..I paid $100 for a replacement at my LBS and it did sting (knowing $60 is typical online)….but recognising it would be about that at all LBS around here I made a point of going to the LBS that has been most help to me over the years and put it down to karma

    • bigstu_

      What’s a tyre go for on Magrathea these days?

    • Sean

      That is annoying but not the worst. Nothing annoys me more than when i go to a bike shop to get a product they’re a dealer for and they then proceed to order the damn thing in. I would prefer to order it online and have it delivered to my door (quicker and cheaper mind you), its like nobody holds decent stock levels anymore because of “insert reason here”.

  • jgrosser

    For me, the real problem with retail stores is that they never have what I want. They may have tires, tubes and cassettes, but not the ones I want. The answer is always: “no, but we can order it.” Well, I can order it myself, and I’ll get it faster and cheaper if I do. Same with most mechanical services. In many cases, it’s cheaper to buy the tool and do it myself than to go to the LBS. Your local bike shop is a business not a charity. It’s nice to have around, but not to the point where I’m willing to waste money to prop them up. At this point, I only patronize my local bike shop for some mechanical services that I’m not comfortable doing myself.

    • winkybiker

      It’s a circular argument on stock levels. The LBS won’t stock it if the the turnover is too low. You won’t buy it from them if they don’t stock it. When Branson entered the CD/LP sales business with the Virgin Megastores, the philosophy was “build it and they will come”. They stocked a massive amount of low-turnover back-catalogue CDs and LPs, not just latest releases. People shopped there as a consequence. I know I did.

      If LBS aren’t stocking what you need, then there are too many of them for that part-supply business. The market will shake it out. Parts online, service locally.

      • jules

        the problem is that people don’t like paying for servicing. ultimately, you only ever get what you started with (a bike that works).

        OTOH, people love spending on parts. $1000 or more on new wheels is exciting and you can show them off at the cafe. so that’s where consumers direct their cash.

  • RayG

    Shops have to pay high street rentals and decent wages to their staff (not warehouse packing wages). Plus there’s all the economies of scale, etc. Plus a major local distributor is known to give a 30% discount to a major local online shop, who only have a 20% markup. This means they can sell things at less than what my LBS pays for them.

    Plus you’re paying for service – that expensive tube will probably be installed for free if you ask.

    Not that I don’t shop online – I’m not a charity for my LBS – but I don’t complain (too much) because their profits have been eroded by the internets, the range of parts available is such that only a multinational can stock them all and every customer’s an expert.

    • jules

      As a consumer, I don’t think about it in terms of what the LBS is making. I think about it in terms of what it’s worth to me.

      I don’t owe anything to my LBS. If I did, then I’d equally owe my custom to the other 300 shops along the same strip.

      • Cameron

        Perfectly reasonable, the shop should expect their customers to reason this way too.

        • jules

          it never ceases to shock me how many businesses see it the other way. I’m continually left wondering “why should I stand here and cop this attitude that I somehow owe them something (before I do)?”

          • Cameron

            It’s embarrassing. The customer didn’t ask the shop to exist, and there is no onus on them to keep the shop going.

            I’ve encountered many people that expect too much of retail businesses without understanding a thing about what’s required to run a successful one, generally treating the staff like their personal slaves. However it is on the staff to not let the frustration they have with those customers bleed into their interactions with others. It’s not a good look.

    • Cameron

      Please don’t ask. If a shop mechanic ever does anything for you for free, please accept it as the act of generosity that it is. Don’t make it your new expectation.

      You’re not paying just for the few minutes it might take them to change that tube. You’re paying for the fact that there is a professional available to you eight hours a day who has done it so many times that it only takes them that long and that they have interrupted another paying customer’s pre-booked job to do it for you on the spot.

      I know you’re generally defending LBSs, but it’s a common misconception that time in minutes and material goods are the only resources going around.

      • RayG

        I meant that if you ask them to install it, they’ll probably do it for free.

        • Cameron

          I hear you, it’s just not true. Most don’t and people shouldn’t expect it, for the reasons I outlined above. If you’ve experienced that regularly or at all then that’s great, your mechanic is very generous and I hope they’re successful in their business.

        • James Huang

          If you purchase a part for your automobile from a local repair shop instead of online, do you also ask the local shop to install it for free?

          • RayG

            Is there the same difference in online vs shop part prices for cars?

            I didn’t say I expected it. I just know it happens. I’ve personally had headsets installed and new hydraulic brake lines cut and bled. There was a shop we used to meet at before going to the pub and I’ve seen them do it for commuters buying tubes.

          • Matt Davis

            Yeah, wiper blades from Supercheap, only yesterday. Same cost if I walk out with them or they fit them.

  • Velt

    “And there are also a number of brands (such as SRAM), who are strongly supporting the local bike shop by actively eliminating international sales of its products.”

    You can paint this as a positive thing if you want, but to me it’s pretty damn anti consumer. I won’t buy anything in the SRAM family because of it.

    • RayG

      I think it’s called anti-competitive practice. But my main gripe is that the local distributor can’t keep stock levels up and I can’t order them from elsewhere. So I can’t buy some of their stuff at all.

      • Ragtag

        Yeah actually this damages SRAM more than it helps LBS

      • Velt

        It’s not really anti-competitive. Their products aren’t so amazing that they have a monopoly on the market. There are excellent alternatives in every category.

        Perhaps that’s what turns me off, their hubris in thinking their stuff is so good they can do that. Followed by the arrogance at trying to constantly market the whole thing as “doing a favour for the LBS” when they’re actually just screwing the consumer.

        The thought of buying any SRAM family product just makes me feel like I’m getting ripped of. No thanks, Mr SRAM.

        • DaveRides

          Their Australian distributor DOES have a near-monopoly on SRAM imports, they have stamped out nearly all other competing routes into Australia for their products. There are only a couple of smaller online players who ship into Australia and haven’t been caught yet.

          SRAM don’t do the bike shops a favour either, because they don’t have a good ‘find a dealer’ page on their site to help people buy their products.

          It’s certainly having an effect. Zipp wheels are the easiest SRAM products to spot, and they are nowhere near as abundant in the various large events around Adelaide as they were 3-4 years ago.

          • Velt

            ” Zipp wheels are the easiest SRAM products to spot, and they are nowhere
            near as abundant in the various large events around Adelaide as they
            were 3-4 years ago.”

            Good to hear!

          • Ross

            That may be more to do with the range of other (mostly cheaper) carbon wheels available now

        • RayG

          It is entirely consistent with anti-competitive practice. They’re preventing online shops from competing with LBSs in the sale of SRAM goods.

          • Velt

            You’re right in that sense. I guess I was thinking more of SRAM vs everyone else.

    • Crash Bandicoot

      Doesn’t SRAM also have the worst hydraulic disc brakes in the market place an numerous recalls? Shops don’t make anything on warranty replacements (maybe some free swag but that’s about it) but it sure as heck costs them time diagnosing, contacting the MFG, disassembling, and reassembling the new part. For that they get diddly maybe some compensation from the customer but if they’re loyal and have spent say 6 grand on a new full squish bike only to have to take it back 2 months after purchase how are you really going to penalize them for Sram’s mistakes?

  • Simon E

    If nothing else, this article reminds me of just how lucky I am. My LBS has the nicest staff, who always help me out. They’ve fitted in repairs and removed freewheels or seized bolts for free. I’ve been given, bolts, screws, p-clips and wotnot free a number of times, even back in the days before they knew me properly. They put real money and a huge amount of time into supporting local clubs and events. I buy stuff from there when I can, though sometimes the difference – mainly on tyres, chains & cassettes – is too big for me to ignore (single low wage supporting a family). However, now my wife is working I don’t have to be quite so miserly. But inner tubes? That’s one area I’ve not cared about. When I’ve checked, online prices aren’t much less anyway.

    • Dave Rome

      Sounds like you’ve got a great shop that’s well worth supporting.

  • bigstu_

    The life of a local bike shop owner is a difficult row to hoe. They may not always get it right but I don’t see many of them driving Ferrari’s bought from the profits made from tube sales. If they don’t always have the strongest marketing philosophy maybe it’s because they were struggling to build a business or scratch a living as a pro whilst the rest of us were going to Uni. With the Wiggle and Chain Reaction merger the difference in business scale to the LBS is greater than ever. And with reduced competition at the top end of town will mean their prices rise again. If online retailers aren’t enough, another problem for the local retailer is their wholesaler deciding to open up their own retail outlets in direct competition! (#Giant) When you’re getting charged $4.50 for a basic post-ride coffee (with no crema!) these days I think we need to keep our perspective. …and enjoy the ride.

  • Obviously this isn’t about tubes…

    When I look at the whole LBS vs Online thing, I think, overall LBS’s can’t be doing too bad given the proliferation of stores in recent years. In someways this makes things harder for them…

    What I do think though, especially in a country like a Australia, is that the business model is broken (especially when I read the comments in here).

    Most LBS’s are just too small, and just aren’t run professionally enough, and then you have importers / distributors of bikes / bike gear / making relatively fat margins in the middle, giving poor service to the LBS’s. Postage / distribution times also make things difficult too.

    It is prohibitively expensive for a bike shop to maintain the stock diversity of a big bike store, but with appropriate lines of credit, inventory management (ie actually understanding what sells from walk ups), appropriate store layouts, same day deliveries from suppliers, etc etc, there are improvements to be made. Obviously I make that sound easier than what it is. But when I look at the bike industry I largely think of it as a cottage industry, with generally low barriers of entries across all parts of the product life cycle. No wonder people struggle.

  • Superpilot

    You’ve missed some key points in the equation Dave.
    The local distributors and shops are still at the vagaries of the variable quantity discount from the manufacturers. Some local distributors are so small, they are smaller than the online retailers, so what chance do they have of receiving the same quantity discount as an online retailer, and then being able to pass that on to the shops? The Local Dist can’t even wholesale for what the online business is retailing because they are ordering less quantity.
    Secondly the local dist has to pay for shipping the larger quantities where the online purchaser qualifies for free shipping. The local dist needs to also then ship that item again to the local shop.
    Thirdly is local sales taxes. The online retailer exporting to you overseas on an order that qualifies as free of duties and taxes due to its small value has generally no local sales taxes. The local dist and then shops do as the quantities are sufficient.
    The Aus govt and others want to levy all minor online purchases with taxes, but in many cases the prices will remain cheaper even after taxes due to the quantity discounts. Like the online retailers domiciled in the UK are still cheaper than UK shops even with local taxes levied due to the lower cost of wholesale they receive.
    And whatever y’all think of your local store, they make nothing on bikes or labour (most of them don’t charge out enough labour), it’s all on parts.
    Its funny to see some balk at $3 on cable ends, or $10 on a tube, when they’d be more happy to try shoes or helmets and spend $50 more on those.
    For me, it’s laziness and trying to get to a shop around family and work, or just order from home when the store is closed and wait a week. No shops convenient enough for me at the moment.

    • SP, you make a few points.

      Why do you need local distributors?

      As to the Australian Govt wanting to tax minor online purchases… I wouldn’t have said that. It was largely the Bricks and Mortar stores who forced the hand of the government.

      Re postage… there is something wrong in the setup, when it is generally cheaper and quicker to get a packaged posted from the UK, then posted from within the same city. Clearly the retail industry in Australia can do better, and work better with the postal services. The arrival of Amazon will help in this regard, even if it will mean pressure on prices of goods too.

      As to making money on labour… I don’t agree they don’t make money on labour, but If you go to my points above, the barriers to entry to the industry are too low. People don’t value good wrenching, so don’t want to pay for it. Similarly, I’m guessing a lot of peoples experience has been like mine. Go into a shop to get something done, and it has been done poorly, or not at all, and you think, “why bother”. The industry needs to increase its standards if it wants to get paid for it. Perhaps some form of qualification, that also covers more than just wrenching.

      Would *I* pay for that? Dunno… but I know a hell of a lot more people would.

      • Superpilot

        Interesting points. I speak from experience, the labour is undercharged. They do make some, but by far the biggest profit contributor is margin on parts. Often labour is not charged at all.
        I have a theory that customers have negative perceptions to pay for labour that they think they could learn and be able to actually do themselves, even if they are unwilling to do it themselves! The techniques are not so specialised that it is out of touch of most people to complete, albeit in longer time.
        Contrast changing a bottom bracket or cables to a vehicle mechanic who may be very specialised in engine troubles that you couldn’t possibly quickly learn.
        Additionally cycling as transport, sport and a hobby tends to come out of discretionary spending money after all the key bills and savings are accounted for. This is key to me as to why many cyclists are quite penny pinchy when it comes to prices, and the unwillingness to fork out on labour. We’ll invest in a good frame, bibs, shoes, but squabble with ourselves over an extra $2 a tube.
        I have had some poor work, but I very much value a good mechanic I know.
        Due to budget and my own willingness to tinker I have learned to do most things myself (tensioning wheels and servicing shocks, anything requiring extra expensive tooling aside), but ordering the parts from overseas or second hand.
        I feel bad for (some of) the local bike stores, but it is where I am at in life for the moment.

    • Actually I’ll correct myself, people do value good wrenching, it’s just become highly specialised (see wheel building, bike fit etc).

      • Sunny Ape

        Maybe in the next iteration of the ‘everything online’ world, you’ll order your parts and then put out a tender to a group of on demand bike mechanics who will provide quotes to come to your house and install them on your bike. No physical shop exists at any point in the chain.

        • Airtasker…

          • dcaspira

            nailed it.

          • Wily_Quixote

            Mobile repair van?

            Could even meet you on your ride to fix the broken chain/wheel/widget on a club ride.

            Just what the RAC used to do in Australia in the mid last -century.

            • Yes, true, They have been around for some time. I’d say previously they have been more cottage industry, but are now becoming more organised (eg Rolling Fix in Sydney).

              • winkybiker

                Velofix here in Vancouver. They seem to be doing OK.

  • jules

    LBSs are mostly dead to me. It’s far more than the cost of tubes. For me, it’s the weight of expectation that LBSs place on me. If I am shopping at an LBS, too often I feel like prey who has wandered into a predator’s territory. “We’ve got a live one!” – someone who has resisted the temptation of online retailing and fronted up to their LBS. I just get the feeling that they want their pound of flesh from me – that I’m letting them down if I don’t empty my wallet. I don’t get that online. I can browse 100s of products at my leisure, then ‘put them back on the shelf’ without a shred of guilt and without having to look into a salesperson’s puppy dog eyes like I’ve just taken its bone from of its mouth.

    • Sunny Ape

      What you have described is based on an experience that has only recently been perceived as ‘normal’. Remember when going to a bank branch, filling out a piece of paper, waiting in line, talking to a teller, getting your passbook updated and then being handed physical bank notes was normal? That re-balancing of business models based on customer expectations is what retail stores are always going through.

  • Andy B

    I recall going in to a local store after having a flat commuting to work, needed a tube to get home
    asked for two.. they wanted $18 each, reluctantly I bought 1 to get me home and I haven’t been back since

    • Dave Rome

      This article is pretty much aimed at shops charging such prices. $10 a tube I’m perfectly fine with, but AU$15 for a Tioga. That’s a fail in my book.

      • Superpilot

        Agree Dave.
        Just on the hypothetical (I don’t feel that way) but seeing as the most common walk in repair for a shop would be a flat, are they not simply taking advantage of a supply and demand situation to their best ability? I wonder what the maximum price they could charge would be? In a perfect economic system the price they charge you for an emergency tube would be just short of the amount that would stop you buying the tube and walking home, calling a partner or a cab to take you home.
        As your article states, it would lead most people to not shop there again, cutting the nose to spite the face, but was just a thought…

        • nikcee

          theres a local store in melbourne that got sick of doing flat fixes (they were busy and the time it took to do the fixes took the wrenches away from higher value repairs) so they progressively bumped up the ‘new tube and install’ price until it hit $40 IIRC.
          Even in the mid 30s people were shrugging and saying ‘yeah i’ll pay the 20-25 bucks more to get it fixed for me’. we used to joke about setting up a stand outside on rainy days and doing the fix for people for $10. :)

          • jules

            I see this as a legitimate pricing strategy. Some people just don’t know how to fix a flat and value not having to have to attempt it. They will pay more than someone like me, who will just do it himself.

            There isn’t one price that is correct or fair for a given product – its value varies by individual person. I often offer to help friends with bike repairs that I know I can do as well as the pros (not all types of repairs) and I’m amazed at how many people still want to pay a shop to do it. They value the shop’s work higher than mine, when I know that at the utilitarian level their value is the same.

            I think this article is missing that point.

          • George Darroch

            How does changing a tube take more than a couple of minutes?

            They sound like they just dislike the ‘wrong kind’ of customers. Let me know which store it is so I can avoid them.

  • LeeRoy

    Unfortunately so many bike shops fail to provide acceptable levels of service. Too often I have been ignored or made to feel like the salesperson was doing me a favour by “serving” me. I very rarely experience this in any other kind of retail environment.

    A LBS cannot usually compete on price or product range so to remain viable they need to provide a service or experience that can’t to be obtained online. Those that can’t change the traditional business model will fall by the wayside…

    • Cameron

      That’s the other side of the coin to what jules was describing in a comment above, where he felt “like prey who has wandered into a predator’s territory”. There’s a balance to strike and it’s frustrating for the customer on either side of that balance. Sunny Ape mentioned a constant “re-balancing of business models based on customer expectations” in the industry. It can be difficult to find the sweet spot but I think the first step is just viewing customers as people, not “customers”, not the “other”.

  • TBSPhotography

    I’m all about the Tubeless…haha. Great article Dave.

    • At some point you still need tubes though… for my MTB that day finally arrived. 15 years after I went tubeless… (and luckily I converted to 27.5 in that time as the tubes I’d been carrying around for most of that time developed their own holes).

    • Dave Rome

      Me too. :)

  • redhead322

    Took the words right out of my mouth !

  • George Darroch

    The thing that I’m most likely to walk into an unknown bike store and buy is a flat kit. But stores (in Australia) seem to be failing even that and not offering quality. Changing a tyre with a bad flat kit is an exercise in frustration, and will send me to stocking up online elsewhere. As you say, it’s a bad start to a relationship.

  • Larri Viste

    Slightly OT and I’ve written about this before elsewhere, but it was the attitude of my formerly preferred LBS in Flanders some years ago that put me off. I’d bought a nice bike there so relations were pretty cordial until I turned up with some repair work on my gf’s Canyon. The mechanic refused matter-of-factly to work on it because of issues with “online competition”. They told me I’d find much the same attitude at other shops although I didn’t get to test out that claim. Perhaps it was a Belgian quirk – I was still new to the country back then – but I have never been back to that store, neither for parts nor service, even though the trip to my now-preferred LBS is super long. Nowadays I just have to remember to call ahead for stock availability.

  • pk

    What is forgotten in all the discussion of propping up my LBS etc etc is the true cost of purchasing online.
    There is too much often misguided emotion in the conversation and a complete disregard for economics.

    If you purchase from wiggle etc they pay no GST or Company Tax to the Australian Government.
    Now the cost to run Australia i.e. our collective tax bill is not going to change unless we are all prepared to take a substantial cut in our quality of living.

    Now given that nobody is going to accept Australia slipping back to a 3rd world country, it is fair to say that the total cost to run Australia is not going to change. The cost to run Australia is paid for by Taxes.

    Now regardless of whether we are talking about Wiggle, Apple, Microsoft etc etc, the one thing they have in common is they do not pay Tax in Australia.
    So if they are not paying tax – YOU ARE PAYING IT FOR THEM.

    So next time you look at the cost of a tube in your LBS or any other item bought online subtract approx 22% from that cost and that is the equivalent online cost. (Or if starting from an online price multiply it by 1.28 to give the true cost of that item to you)

    The 22% is made up of 10% GST plus 30% company tax on the 40% ideal retail margin i.e. 10% + (100 x 40% x 30%) = 22%.

    To clarify: a $10 tube in your LBS is the same cost to you as a $7.80 tube online.
    If you buy online you pay $7.80 to wiggle and you (not wiggle) pay an extra $2.20 in tax to the Australian government.

    The $2.20 may come from your payroll tax or any of the multitude of other taxes we pay – the point is it has to come from somewhere and it isn’t coming from wiggle.

    So my view is very simple, look at the true cost and support all local business – they pay their taxes and therefore you pay less tax.

    Regardless of where your political compass sits, the federal governments efforts to pursue microsoft etc for company tax should be applauded.

    p.s.the 22% is a rough figure and will vary depending on the profitability of the company.

    • jules

      your 2nd last sentence is the key point. why should I lose sleep about govt losing $20 in tax revenue when there are multinationals gouging us of $billions? you have a point, but I’m damned if I’m going to pay $100 for something I can get for $50 online, just so the govt. gets $10 in tax. I’d be better off donating the $10 to the tax office. I’ve often wondered whether people who proclaim to support paying more tax donate to the tax office? I suspect not :)

    • HamishM

      This isn’t really accurate. It’s true you’re not paying GST (unless your order is more than AUD$1000, in which case you actually are), nor are you paying UK VAT if you’re ordering from Wiggle for export to Australia. But Wiggle are paying UK company tax so they don’t have some big advantage over the Australian LBS there.

      By the way company tax rate for small business in Australia is now 28.5% not 30.

      • pk

        I think you missed my point
        Hamish, my point was not to say that wiggle had an advantage over the LBS or Australian distributor – thats a whole separate converation.

        My point is that they do not pay company tax in Australia.

        So if wiggle is not paying company tax, then all Australians have to pay more tax to maintain the same standards of infrastructure & public services we have become accustomed to.

        If you buy from your LBS they are paying company tax and accordingly you the consumer will have to pay less tax in the long run.

        The gov’t initiative to chase these off shore companies is driven by the ever increasing hole in tax revenue left by more & more australian companies shutting down.

        So the sticker price of an online purchase is not its true cost.

        Whether we are talking about bikes, cars or bananas it is in every Australians best interest to support australian business – pure economics.

        • HamishM

          No, I didn’t miss your point, I just don’t agree with it. You’re arguing against buying any imports, because profits go to foreign companies who don’t pay company tax in Australia. If everyone in the world took that view we wouldn’t have any exports either, which DO generate company tax in Australia.

          • pk

            No, not arguing that at all Hamish, far from it!
            Australian ‘legitimate’ importers & exporters pay more than their fair share if taxes, tariffs, certification fees & so forth. Much the same as ‘legitimate’ importers & exporters in other countries do.

            What I am stating is that ‘grey market’ importers do not pay taxes in Australia, circumvent tariffs and do not bother with certification. They are profiteering off other companies hard work to build & establish & support brands & products.

            What I am also stating is that as a consumer if you think that the sticker price is what you are paying for a product you are wrong.

            E.g paying wiggle $35 for a chain with your left hand you will be paying $10 extra with your right hand to the gov’t in taxes in some form to pay for the Australian cost of living.

            Alternatively if you paid $45 to Shimano Australia (via your LBS) you will not be paying the extra $10 to the government with your right hand as shimano australia & your LBS will be paying the $10.

            In regards to your comment – separate issue – but yes of course we should be buying Australian where ever possible – again just the same as other countries consumers favour their own products.

  • fignon’s barber

    ” And there are also a number of brands (such as SRAM), who are strongly supporting the local bike shop by actively eliminating international sales of its products.”
    Good article, but this is called price fixing. And consumers shouldn’t support brands that do it. Sidi shoes, for example, that are $500 in the US, can routinely be found for $300 in EU. Sidi is now starting to block EU companies from shipping here in order to artificially inflate the price.
    As cycling consumers, we should be thankful for the ribbles and wiggles. If not for them selling the $6 tube, that $10 tube would be $20.

    • Wily_Quixote

      I remember prices in Australia in the 90s.

      Those lamenting the rise of online shopping should look at prices, quality and choice 25 years ago. Quibbling about $3 on a tube? The gouging in the old days was incredible.

      Prices now are the same or less. Not relatively but actually.
      A pair of shorts, a group set, an entire bike is about the same price now as 20+ years ago for equivalent quality. My first 105 equipped steel entry level race bike cost me $1700 in 1994, about the price of a 105 equipped bike now.
      My first pair of shorts cost me $90 – about what I pay at Ground Effect now for my preferred non-bib mid level option. This was a lot of money in 1994.

      Re.atively, given inflation, bike consumers have never had it so good.
      Why? Among other factors: Competition and unregulated markets.

      • winkybiker

        I was riding in Oz through the 80’s and 90’s and I know what you mean. The prices were soul-destroying. Remember Synchros? Holy crap, that stuff was overpriced. My observation was the imports were highly consolidated to just a couple of importing firms. One in particular was shameless.

        • Wily_Quixote

          There is an article about it somewhere in the CT archives, a particularly good read, my first encounter with this site..

    • DaveRides

      In Australia, SRAM would be the perfect case study for justifying why legislation should be introduced to break distributor monopolies. It all comes down to trademark law, and would be an easy change to bring in.

      It’s also a lie that SRAM strongly supports the local bike shops. If they did, they would require their distributors (two in Australia) to have a lower markup so that SRAM retail prices could be more competitive against Shimano and they would improve the dealer locater on their website.

  • winkybiker

    One thing I note is that LBS doesn’t seem to be “dying”. At least here on the north shore of Vancouver. There are 4 or 5 stores operating here, which is about the same number as 10 years ago. They’ve changed hands and location a bit, but they’re still here. Maybe that’s too many, and a smaller number with higher turnover would be a better.

    The people who read this website and who post here (and who “know everything” – like I think I do ;)) aren’t all of the potential buyers. A lot of people still go the store, seek advice and lay down money. They just aren’t posting here.

    But still, I feel sick when a local store gets to gouge me.

    • DaveRides

      I don’t know much about the scene in Vancouver, but here in Adelaide the stores with the best workshops are happily surviving while those that provide crap service are going under.

      • winkybiker

        That’s likely the same here. The LBS that I have used for actual service has been great. Their retail side is terrible, though.

  • DMc

    Great article Romeo. Totally agree.
    Thankfully we still have great LBSGs in Canberra.
    Speaking as as one of those funny old blokes who still repairs tubes.

  • patrick

    Thank you for writing, but you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Thank you for taking another step towards the demise of local shops.

  • Tomer

    A good friend of mine has a bike shop, he revealed to me some of his wholesale prices, they were around the Wiggle end consumer prices, so unless the distributers won’t offer a cheaper process I don’t see how LBS can compete, it all start with the head.

    • LeeRoy

      True. Competing on price alone is the quickest way to the bottom for a LBS (actually, any business). They need to offer something that customers value and will pay for. Shop rides, quality coffee, quality wrenching and good old fashioned service are probably a good start.

      • Dave Rome

        100% agree.

      • Patrick Murphy

        Whilst I agree to an extent, I think you are trying to paint a romantic picture that in 90% people does not exist. That perceived value really has to be something special, well extraordinary to make people choose them instead of clicking something on a web page. How many LBS are that good in terms of customer service? Lets face it, they are doomed, they have to pay astronomical rates for their premises which they can’t recoup to a level that keeps them going.

        I believe the model which is starting to work is where mechanics offer their services from within their own garage or home etc. They can keep prices down for services and benefit greatly from word of mouth marketing, again meaning no expensive marketing needed.

        • LeeRoy

          Certainly some people will shop based on price alone but I don’t agree that everyone does so. Many people will pay more for “things” that can’t necessarily be quantified. Speaking for myself I am prepared to pay what I know to be a small premium for my bike servicing and for other consumables at a few local businesses because (a) they do great work, (b)often go above and beyond and (c) make me feel as if I am a a valued customer. Other businesses use different methods to attract customers and create loyalty.

          This is not to say that price is not relevant. It most certainly is.

  • Ross

    Relevant article http://www.bicycleretailer.com/opinion-analysis/2017/12/04/opinion-its-end-road-ibd-say-hello-ibs#.WielYnmLmUk

    TL;DR – the suggestion is for bike shops to ditch their stock of bikes and clothing, just keep fast moving consumables (like tubes…) and focus on servicing and repairs

    My bike mechanic pretty much does this. He used to have a bike shop but decided it was too hard and so now works from home building and servicing bikes (mainly mid to high end road bikes, not really into commuter/hybrid bikes) using parts that customers purchase, mostly online. He keeps a basic stock of workshop consumables like gear brake/cable (by the metre), ferrules and a few other bits and pieces but all other parts need to be supplied by the customers (he will advise what is needed). Works well for both parties, he doesn’t need to keep thousands of $$ worth of stock and customers get to buy their parts where they want (whether online or LBS). He never advertises and has more work than he can poke a stick at, just from word of mouth and reputation.

    Probably around 20 LBS’ here for a population of ~357000

  • Stewie Griffin

    Talked to a bike shop owner this morning. He sells on average, 2500 innertubes a year @ €5. He buys them in bulk together with 3 other bikeshops, they buy one 10000 piece lot of innertubes at below €1. The margins on tubes are huge..

    • So he grosses 10k on tubes per annum. Huuuge! ;)

  • Patrick

    I read the article and comments, but didn’t see this…

    Where does MSRP come into the picture? There’s some good shops around me, but one thing I have noticed at EVERY shop is that you will find things priced well above MSRP. There’s a Trek shop that constantly inflates every non-Bontrager items (where an equivalent Bontrager items exists) near 50% over MSRP. I see this at every local shop with chains, cables and other consumables/high wear parts. I have started pointing it out and two will apologize, say something about updating or the MSRP falling since the item was put on the shelf and change the price. The Trek shop literally says, “Take it or leave it.”

    Is MSRP even relevant in independent bicycle retailers??

    • MSRP is illegal practice in Australia. Interesting question for the US readership though

  • bikeguyrich

    If I sold my product at what the enthusiast wanted to pay, I would have closed my doors long ago. My markup is pretty low compared what’s being tossed around here but it still isn’t what you can get the same product for online. And with tubes (only if I install them) will at shops discretion even guarantee them against defects. Full bore Online shoppers are not the market I am targeting, at this point they would make up less than 1% of my business. I prefer to encourage the other 99% to frequent my shop.

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