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View Full Version : What is the Best online Bike store and Why?


meccanoman
12-05-2007, 01:38 AM
Ok you lucky bikers. Here is your chance to have some real input into what an online Bike Shop should be like.

1. What is your current fav webshop and why.

2. What does it not have/do that you would really like.

3. What most annoys you about it?

Let your imigination go wild and post your ideas here. We are listening.

Thanks
Meccanoman...

jvnixon
12-05-2007, 02:25 AM
Regarding Selling Complete/Full Bikes online

There's a lot you'll have to overcome to even fathom becoming a full online mtb store.

1. Territory.

Currently bike shops have territories. Major bike companies do not want 10 dealers in a given spot or location. Having an online bike shop removes the territories. Getting major bikes in your "online" store will be near impossbile as they want to maintain the territories. Being an online shop means you're everywhere which will get the brick stores mad as they will loose business as a result.

2. Market

A full online bike store would definitely hurt bike shops if they became successful. You'll see less and less real bike shops, less money being put back into the industry, and a less personal touch.

3. Warranty

pretty self-explanitory, but an online shop can't warranty parts the same way a good local brick store can. If the customer is expected to ship items back to assess warranty that means they'd have to have the tools to dismantle the parts, reinstall the warrantied parts, and ship the bike/parts.

4. Service

An online shop can't provide service. There is only a certain customer who can really benefit from a full online bike shop. When the customer can't correctly fix their problem, they might not have anyone to turn to or will have to go to the local bike store.

5. Sizing

When buying a new bike, sizing is very important. A lot of what people want isn't a 10 page instruction manual, but an educated sales person to explain the difference between teh bikes.

6. Real life vs Online

Parts look different in pictures vs real life. Relying on customers to bridge that gap who aren't savy in the field will put a burden on local shops to field these questions only to have the customer end up going online to purchase for a little bit cheaper price.

I could go on longer but I just can't see the point.

I guess my question is why do you want to start an exclusively online mountain bike store?

For parts, the two best I think are

ChainReactionCycles.com
JensonUSA.com

Easy layout, good search, tons of products

poisonfrog
12-12-2007, 11:44 PM
SPAMMMMM!

just another dude who wants to make money off you, and not even do it face to face.

on-line is poo and most folks can get almost as good of a deal from their local bike shop and also be able to talk to someone for technical help. plus warranty, most distributors (canadian speaking here) won't touch anything that was purchased online.

downhillnews
12-31-2007, 02:42 AM
SPAMMMMM!

just another dude who wants to make money off you, and not even do it face to face.

on-line is poo and most folks can get almost as good of a deal from their local bike shop and also be able to talk to someone for technical help. plus warranty, most distributors (canadian speaking here) won't touch anything that was purchased online.

Your right in some parts but wrong in others. If you local dealer doesn't carry INTENSE good luck ordering 1 frame for special order? I try and support the local shop when possible but can your local shop get you PROFILE cranks for $180 with BB like say DANS could? Within the nest 6 months or so you will see a large online dealer come on the market that has spent time and money on their site. Not sure of details but it is coming based out of CA....

poisonfrog
01-02-2008, 05:09 PM
Your right in some parts but wrong in others. If you local dealer doesn't carry INTENSE good luck ordering 1 frame for special order? I try and support the local shop when possible but can your local shop get you PROFILE cranks for $180 with BB like say DANS could? Within the nest 6 months or so you will see a large online dealer come on the market that has spent time and money on their site. Not sure of details but it is coming based out of CA....


my guess be, meccanomen be starting up outta CA, odd that you came out for just this one post.

Sorry just not a fan of the online thing. No or limited warranty, no commitment to the community, no real hands on help, no friendships built, no test rides, and so much more.

probably run something with no or one employees and will undercut all the shops that keep the groms riding too.... unlikely to give anything to trail developement in the area. unlikely to help out up and coming riders. Unlikely to sell any commuter or kids bikes, the real bikes that make the world a better place. unlikely to help get more folks on bikes, unlikely to support other sites, just mine them for information, unlikely to care about who they sell to!!!!!!!

but at least with low over head, he can undercut all the folks with brick and motor and a love of the sport!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

boooourns.


:eek:

downhillnews
01-02-2008, 05:46 PM
Yeah I hear all your points. But right now the company has about 300 employees, and most are paid well. There is going to be some athlete type sponsorship going on and we are not talking about a % discount, more like a paid way. Also having a 150K SQ/FT building where we live will make the AVG 3K SG/FT bike shop rent look pretty small. I cant talk specifics but there should be some good aspects but as you have mentioned also negative ones. I have had numerous posts on the older message board but have been hiding out and just looking until this post caught my eye. It will be a little different than other order places hopefully in good ways.

poisonfrog
01-04-2008, 02:48 PM
Yeah I hear all your points. But right now the company has about 300 employees, and most are paid well. There is going to be some athlete type sponsorship going on and we are not talking about a % discount, more like a paid way. Also having a 150K SQ/FT building where we live will make the AVG 3K SG/FT bike shop rent look pretty small. I cant talk specifics but there should be some good aspects but as you have mentioned also negative ones. I have had numerous posts on the older message board but have been hiding out and just looking until this post caught my eye. It will be a little different than other order places hopefully in good ways.


yeah i figured you were meccanomen or in bizz with him.

i am quite surprised how many employee's you would have, guess things are different here in Canada.

How big is Jennsons if you guys already have 300?

jvnixon
01-04-2008, 04:16 PM
Its a battle, hopefully it works out for everyone but for an online store to compete with a brick store, the price has to be lower typically. There's already a bunch of heavy hitters in the online bike market. I'm interested to see what you guys bring to the table that the others haven't.

downhillnews
01-05-2008, 04:26 AM
yeah i figured you were meccanomen or in bizz with him.

i am quite surprised how many employee's you would have, guess things are different here in Canada.

How big is Jennsons if you guys already have 300?

The company at least the web side has no bike affiliation currently. They have a number of other very-large mail order sports companies and are "teaming" up with a local shop. Basically the providing tech, design, warehousing and a heck of a lot of capital! I am not sure how big Jenson is but am pretty sure it is much smaller than that? I am hoping to be able to get them to become race supporters in CA as a whole.

"Its a battle, hopefully it works out for everyone but for an online store to compete with a brick store, the price has to be lower typically. There's already a bunch of heavy hitters in the online bike market. I'm interested to see what you guys bring to the table that the others haven't."

There will be a number of things that may be done different. The first is a very clean site that is 100% made from scratch that navigates well and is updated regularly. Second if it is the same route as the other sites will be product reviews and a-lot of em as well as interviews with company reps on new products. Also there should be some involvement within various race organizations and products that are shot very well.
We may need a Hasselbad H3DII to shoot products.

moore_716
01-05-2008, 03:45 PM
Since I'm the old fart on here I do remember some very big online stores. I have ordered 2 custom complete bikes online. I did all the research on what I wanted and then ordered everything. Usually you can get a pkg deal on components too. I astill have parts leftover because it was cheaper to buy a complete XT set up and swap out some parts vs just the parts I wanted. When I byuilt my San Andreas up no local shops carried them or would. They had a min. order and they were priced higher than the local mkt. would support. I did have the advantage of being friends with the best bike mechanic in the county so set up was usually a 12 pk. of bud. I understand all the marketing stuff because that's what my college major was. I also understand supporting your local shops. My local shop has a shitty mechanic, and sticks only to the brands that they can carry for a good profit and get quickly for customers. Namely GT,Trek, Fisher, Giant and whoever else falls under that blanket. As an old timer I was around when MTB was going thru its giant growth spurt and then when it also almost fell off of the face of the earth. I bought bikes from Hammerhead (still around??) and Supergo (gone). I think as long as MTB. sales climb and the sport continues to flourish an online store can and will compete with local shops. The potential buyers just need to understand that they need to do all of the homework before ordering. If the industry falls again they are the first to go though. They are stuck with huge amounts of inventory and not enough foot traffic to sell it. My .02
Mike

downhillnews
02-17-2008, 06:18 AM
I shot some forks yesterday. Its great holding something you cannot afford!! This will be the main view of the forks and about 5-9 other views will also be shown. I like the 36 it seems pretty nice. Have to check the Lyrik out when Truvativ boys bring them over soon hopefully!
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/downhillnews/40PSD1sm.jpg

jvnixon
02-18-2008, 01:55 AM
Nice pic Ian. Send one of those forks my way :D

downhillnews
02-18-2008, 04:27 AM
Nice pic Ian. Send one of those forks my way :D

Yeah am starting to look at the next ride! A light 5-7" is what I am after so the fork will be important. Either a 36 or a RS of some sort, depending on the discount either provides and travel adjustment available. Maybe a BMW RS6??:eek:

jvnixon
02-18-2008, 02:14 PM
Wouldn't happen to do anything with the BMW picture in your gallery would it ;)

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/downhillnews/midnovemberwhiteSRenglandtrip110-72.jpg

downhillnews
02-19-2008, 03:32 AM
Yeah they emailed me back and said they have built one to 32 lbs with a 6INCH Zokie on it so low 30's should be easy!

jvnixon
02-19-2008, 05:45 PM
Nice, that's pretty impressive if that's true!

So who are you shooting these for? I assume you've got some new e-store coming online...

downhillnews
02-20-2008, 03:12 AM
Nice, that's pretty impressive if that's true!

So who are you shooting these for? I assume you've got some new e-store coming online...

The company I work for has grouped up with a local bike shop and is providing web design, inventory ability, shipping, etc I have heard in about 2-3 months it should be running full steam. They brought in SIDI shoes today! I think COLOGNA (sp) frames are coming soon!!!

meccanoman
05-21-2008, 05:15 PM
Hey
firstly - thanks to those people who took the time to post some positive and useful info. Cheers.

I would also like to say that not everyone is lucky enough to live near a bike shop that stocks the brands they are looking to buy. If you go and look at the list of manufacturers on this site (http://www.bicycleGod.com) you will see that there are over 150 companies making GOOD bikes now - show me a brick and mortar store can even begin to conceive of carrying that many brands, they simply do not get enough foot traffic through the door to warrant holding stock from so many manufacturers.

The idea of someone, who does not live in or near a major metropolis - where there is broad selection of bikes on offer to purchase - being able to get exactly the ride they want delivered to their door, is just an eventuality. The laggards and anti-online bike shop people will just have to realise that this is the way the world is going. To Quote the Borg - "Resistance is Futile".

Cheers Mek ;)

big_perm
06-16-2008, 12:30 AM
i dont think online shopping is worth it in canada. by the time shipping and duty are added, you end up paying the same amount.

plus a good shop should be able to get you near anything.

Now that it seems like you can just order stuff directly off the manu. website, how do you plan on dealing with the customer?