Sunday, May 6, 2012

Selling City Bikes: NYC Case Studies

While in New York City last week, I had a chance to visit two bicycle shops specialising in transportational cycling: Hudson Urban Bicycles (HUB) and Adeline Adeline. These visits were great, but they also evoked some envy. Why do we not have shops like this in Boston? Seriously, there is not a single bike shop in town catering specifically and exclusively to urban transport. A few shops do stock transportation bicycles, but the selection is limited. When I ask why they do not offer more I am told there is no demand. Baffling, because I know for a fact that both New York and Portland, ME (not to mention a number of online retailers) receive a steady stream of Boston customers because there is no local supply.

Based on my observations over the recent years, I do not think there is in fact a lack of demand. But it seems that bike shops that specialise in transportation may be in a better position to sell city bikes than bike shops that are diversified. Visiting Adeline and HUB in New York underscored this idea.

Bakfiets, Adeline Adeline
I would say that for shops selling transportation bicycles, location is key. Adeline Adeline is on a small and quiet street in TriBeCa. Hudson Urban Bicycles is on an equally small and quiet street in the West Village. In both cases, there are bike lanes literally just out the door, with protected greenways nearby. This sort of thing is absolutely crucial for beginners looking to test ride some bikes, which is precisely the category many potential customers fall into. They would like to ride in the city, but quite possibly they have never actually done so before. Their first cycling experience in ages might very well be this test ride outside of the bike shop. It makes a huge difference whether the space outside the shop is beginner-friendly. 

When I was shopping for my first bicycle in the Spring of 2009, I was not confident on a bike at all and could not yet imagine riding in traffic. I found it impossible to properly test ride a bike in almost any local shop, because the spaces outside were not beginner-friendly. While it's hard for established shops to change that reality, a new shop devoted specifically to city bikes can choose their space with access to infrastructure in mind.

Hudson Urban Bicycles, NYC
Appropriately informed staff are important to selling transportation bicycles as well. In typical bike shops, most sales staff tend to be avid road cyclists, many of them racers. I have listened to quite a few steer customers by default toward cyclocross bikes with drop bars for commuting. I have also witnessed sales staff actively discourage customers from getting bikes with step-through frames or internally geared hubs, citing performance drawbacks. They did not even ask the customers how long their commute would be before saying such things.

While hanging out at HUB, I watched the owner talking to a couple who was new to cycling, and as they chatted I could see that couple grow more relaxed about the prospect of riding in the city. In shops that do not focus on transportation per se, I often observe the opposite happening: The longer a potential customer talks to a member of staff about commuting, the more concerned their facial expression grows. The "information" they are receiving is obviously scary and confusing. Bike shops that sell many types of bicycles cannot usually afford to hire separate sales staff to handle the city bikes. 

Pashley, Dargelos, Adeline Adeline
No less important is the atmosphere inside the shop. The interiors of Adeline and HUB are heavenly microcosms - worlds where transportation cycling is normal, cool, intuitive, safe, and has an obvious place in everyday life. And the creation of such an atmosphere is a huge public service as far as I am concerned. Even if the customer walks out the door without buying a bike, they will still walk away with the impression that transportation cycling is fun and, above all, normal. They will be more likely to come back, or at least to keep cycling in mind as a valid possibility. When city bikes are mixed together with all sorts of other types of bikes on one cluttered floor space, it is impossible to achieve this kind of ambiance; it is impossible to communicate this message. I do think it's possible for diversified bike shops to present transportation cycling in a similar light by designating a special area to them, and then staging this area as if it were its own boutique. But in actuality this is seldom done.

Fjallraven, Adeline Adeline
Several members of the bicycle industry have mentioned to me now that it is easier to start a dedicated city bike boutique in a town that already has a dozen bike shops than it is to get existing shops to carry city bikes. And I have seen plenty of evidence to support this. Aside from the issues already mentioned, existing bike shops tend to err on the conservative side and stick with what they know. Even if they delve into city bikes, they are not going to start carrying 5 new brands right away; they might start with one or two. But that might not be sufficient to be truly effective. Hopefully, some brave entrepreneurs will start transportation-specific bike shops in Boston soon, as well as in every other city that is ready for them.

In the meantime, I may just have to keep visiting NYC for test rides. During this visit alone I test rode  four bikes, and there were plenty of others to try. There were also other city bike stores to explore had I not run out of time, most notably Bicycle Habitat and Rolling Orange. For anyone visiting New York, I recommend having a look at those, in addition to Adeline Adeline and Hudson Urban Bicycles (HUB).

Hudson Urban Bicycles, NYC
Aside from bicycles, Adeline specialises in exquisite accessories the likes of which you might not find elsewhere: the latest in bicycle bags, jewelry, books, unusual clothing. HUB on the other hand, boasts an entire show room of vintage bikes in refurbished condition, including loads of pre-1970s English 3-speeds - some with original lighting! I enjoyed visiting both shops, and will be posting reviews of the Achielle, Retrovelo and Jensen bicycles soon. 

45 comments:

  1. We have a similar problem in Aberdeen (Scotland) where the majority of the bike shops have Mountain bike staff and not road bike staff despite there being a 50/50 ratio of cyclists in the two disciplines. I think the idea of a bike for commuting is far more accepted here as we have a cycle-to-work scheme where your employer will pay the tax on your bike.

    Mx

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  2. Is economics a factor, particularly over servicing/spare parts? Sporting bikes of
    whatever nature tend to need replacement parts on a frequent basis, partly through fragility, partly 'cos the owners do lots of miles and/or over rough terrain, and finally 'cos the owners are bike nuts who want to upgrade. A Dutch bike with hub brakes and gears will outlast the owner, and needs a service about once every two years (and probably gets one once decade). As the wheels are difficult to get off, you patch the tube, so don't even buy new tubes. Which would you rather sell?

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    1. Look at the web sites, and you'll see that they offer plenty of high-priced clothing and accessories for their customers. Their Greenwich Village/Soho locations are havens of the fashionable and affluent, they can afford such things easily. There's always a way to get people to spend more money on stuff.

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  3. Those do look like great stores. I've found that my local bicycle stores seem to cater mostly to sport cyclists... which I find mysterious. Most of their bicycles lack things like fenders and racks.

    Maybe they just want to be able to charge extra for fenders? I went to one notable Seattle bike shop which had 500 bicycles. Out of this huge number only 3 actually had fenders. The rest were for muscle building... NOT commuting.

    The other frustration I've had with shopping for a new bicycle is the 'Catch 22' of trying to choose a bicycle online. I've discovered several very interesting bicycles online (like the Felt Cafe 24 & the Norco City Glide'). But when I call to inquire about trying one out to test ride, the LBS says "Oh, we don't have any in stock. You'll just have to buy it outright without a test ride".

    That wouldn't be so bad if in fact I could even read an account from anyone who's reviewed one. But I find that it's often impossible to find real world reviews of bicycles. It's astonishing how many bicycles there are... and how hard it is to actually try one out in person.

    So what's a bicycle shopper to do? That's one reason I like your blog.

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  4. I find it odd that a city like Boston wouldn't have several such shops already. Here in Dallas we have a few shops that are transportation-cycling focused, and several others that seem to "minor" in commuter cycling. Lord knows this town isn't bicycle friendly, yet those shops seem to be doing well.

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  5. If you are in or near Los Angeles, my friend Josef's shop, Flying Pigeon LA, is just such a shop. Sells only city, commuting, and cargo bikes, and Bromptons. No bike lane right out front (though one is coming soon), but there are tranquil streets right around the corner. Easily accessible by light rail, and an relaxed and friendly place. It's the only shop I know of around town that sells only transportation bicycles of various sorts, from light commuters to bakfietsen. Of course they repair anything--including internal hubs.

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    1. Minneapolis also has a transportation/commuter LBS that sells commuter bikes, city bikes, cargo bikes, and folding bikes, as well as all manner of cargo/commuting accessories. The staff is very friendly, and you instantly feel comfortable in the shop. It is Calhoun Cyclery, and while there are no bike lanes in front, it is in an area with a lot of fairly quiet side streets to try things out. I think they do fairly well filling that market.

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    2. Oops, sorry, that should have been Calhoun Cycle.

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  6. Didn't the Dutch Bicycle Company try to fill that niche here? They seem to have changed their focus a little bit since then. Maybe they were a little early.

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    1. One thing about the DBC was that they were located really out of the way, some distance from affluent neighborhoods and major cycling hubs in Boston.

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    2. There were several issues with DBC, one being location as KL describes (though not so much the "affluence" stuff in my view, but the fact that the area was not beginner cyclist friendly). The other being that the owner went through several brands in a short amount of time, ultimately ending his relationship with all of them and deciding to design his own bikes instead. All of this happened before the big wave of city bike popularity even really hit, which I consider to be 2009. By the time the number of cyclists really exploded here, DBC had already moved on.

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    3. Just to clarify: The manufacturers ended those relationships. I run one of them and heard similar accounts about the others.

      The North American landscape for running a practical bicycle shop is a tough and fickle one. Some earn a living but all struggle to figure out their ever shifting markets. The numbers are absolutely minuscule compared to the mainstream, sporty bike market which raises the costs in all areas of production and distribution. As a result bikes already fairly expensive in their home countries become even more expensive. When matched up to the sometimes unrealistic expectations of bicycle purchasers the results can be frustrating.

      Some people understand that a fully equipped bike painted and assembled in NL, DK or DE, shipped as one of 50 in a 20' container, kept in inventory for several months while paying the bank interest and finally kitted out for the buyer's needs... costs a couple thousand dollars. Some people don't get it but might still be OK with $5000 for a carbon race bike shipped amongst many thousands in a box from the far east, or with pouring the same cost in fuel in their car every few months. Go figure.

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  7. It's a vicious circle, I think. A shop develops a reputation for carrying, say, road racing bikes. They don't stock city bikes because their racing customers don't buy city bikes. The folks who want a city bike don't go in there, because they don't stock them. The shop sees this as a lack of demand. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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    1. That describes the usual situation precisely.

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  8. I agree completely about the need for transportation-centric bicycle shops.

    That said, as a female I've experienced the opposite of the problem you describe above - bike shop employees will generally assume I'm *not* interested in performance and try to sell me on comfort/cute. I cycle for both transport and sport, and shop accordingly, and this has happened regardless of whether I've been looking for transport equipment or roadie gear.

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    1. I've seen that as well. And bikeyface has a funny comic about it. Ideally the shop wouldn't make any assumptions and just listen to the customer!

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  9. Why do you need a shop of this type in Boston?

    I hardly ever vist bike shops at all these days. I buy nearly everything, including complete bikes, on the internet from shops all over the UK and very occasionally from abroad, mostly Canada and the US.

    For stuff I buy from UK internet sites I don't really care or notice what town or city it came from.

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    1. You need a local bicycle shop (LBS) for several reasons not the least of which is a sense of community. That's something the internet does poorly. LBS is available for mechanical problems, parts, equipment and test riding. Here in Providence, Rhode Island we have a few that are pretty good. One in particular is Legend Bicycles which does focus more toward transportation than the others shops . When I need them, I'm glad they are immediately available, unlike the internet.

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    2. Absolutely! The aforementioned Flying Pigeon in L.A. has near-weekly group rides to art galleries, micro-breweries, etc. It's pretty much the only chance in town to ride with a group of regularly-clothed, slow and steady transportation cyclists.

      Also, for the beginner, it's hard to even know what questions to ask, so it's great to have a human just chat with you for a while and get a sense of what you are looking for and what things are important to you in a bike.

      The internet is great for some things, but for all things bicycle-related, I'll choose brick and mortar every time.

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  10. to pete - most people want to test ride and see products in person before buying them.

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  11. I grew up here in Sweden in the 1980s, mom bought me one of them backpacks in the picture. It was considered totally uncool, and I suffered every day taking it to school. How funny they now are sold in NYC...

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    1. Funny. I'd like to try one, especially in the nice shade of sage green.

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    2. Those bags are called Kånken and I'd say they have been popular in Sweden as well for quite some time now, though I believe they are still mostly sold in stores catering to outdoors people. Actually they were popular before as well just with a different sort of crowd.
      They are rather cute but I think for carrying something all day there are better bags for the price.

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  12. The truism we're always told is that bike shops don't make money on the bikes, they make it on the accessories. If that's the case, my shops are really missing out, because they didn't carry the $230 laptop bag I needed, the right kind of commuter shoes, raingear that could be worn into an office building without looking too odd, and any number of other accessories I've spent hundreds of dollars on in the past year in order to bike commute. This was all stuff I found in minutes on the web. I always give them the first crack, but because of the dealership model, if it's not by Specialized or Trek, they don't have it, so my money goes off to the internet.

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  13. next time you are in our beautiful and dirty city, be sure to check out 718 cyclry in brooklyn. they helped me build my soma mixte there, and you wont find a more friendly, no-nonsense bike shop. they weree wiling to listen to my ideas, and gentely steer me away from the less practical ones, and set me up with a bike i truly love.

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    1. Thanks, I will. I am very serious that I may visit NYC again soo just to do more test rides. Easier and ultimately less hassle for all involved than getting the manufacturers or distributors to ship me bikes for review.

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  14. YES! That has been my experience- begging the staff at our local bike shop to "bring out from the back" the Electra Amsterdam I had researched and found out about online. They didn't know much about the bike, and in fact it was the only one in stock, and none were on display. I mentioned this to the salesperson, and he said "there's no demand". I said how can there be a demand if customers don't know they exist?

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  15. Well, the answer is obvious... YOU open one, Velouria!

    Seriously, call it "Lovely Bicycle", sell all the best things you've found in your travels and let the public at large benefit from your hard-earned experience.

    Do it!

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  16. I want to know if anyone would come to such a shop in Philadelphia... The local crowd of young lads and lasses seem pretty content with their vintage finds, but perhaps there are some professionals in the city looking for something a little more dependable and low maintenance for transportation. I wonder who makes up most of Adeline's clientele?

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  17. Two options:

    1. Boston does not really have a demand simply because its cycling community is too small or not as "alive" as in other places (i.e. New York)

    2. Those bike shops turn people away with their attitude.

    I don't know Boston, I have only been there 4 days, but I clearly got a feeling for option #1. Sorry.
    But I also experienced option #2 from a shop in the Business District (dedicated to transport bikes) headed by some "fellow" who managed to turn us off in minutes with his rambling about Dutch bicycles being toys and pieces of shit (verbatim). And when we tried to mention that tons of people riding them must means "something" about those bikes being somewhat decent, the moron got all arrogant on his high horse just because he makes his own bikes.

    To this day that stuck with me. I was *very shocked* and insulted actually, especially that I had gotten out my way specifically to visit this place.
    Of course, this guy does not represent *Boston* but hey, this cannot happen here in Montreal for example. Mentality is totally different, the guy would have gone bankrupt in days. Must say something.

    Second issue:
    Our very Ultimate urban cycling shop (and Boutique even), Dumoulin Bicyclettes, is located smack on a very busy street in a busy area: corner of Jean Talon and St Laurent!! The test ride areas are the sidewalk (illegal) and a small parking lot where you can barely make a turn. They (the shop) actually send you off right into traffic on Jean Talon and see no problem!!
    So either our beginners have something special about them, or Boston beginners have something special about them, or that shop actually never sells to beginners and most patrons are experimented cyclists (humm...) or the location does not matter so much.

    Last issue:
    Recently, I am seeing Linus bikes *E-VE-RY-WHE-RE*. Even in my crusty-rusty-greasy local bike shop where I go for maintenance, all they have now is Linus bikes ("Best bang for your buck in urban cycling"). This was until this very winter a total messager-fixie place. I asked them what was up with that. They simply answered that this is what people wanted and where asking. So if they are able to adjust while being a hardcore fixie shop, why can't Boston shops do the same and cater to that demand as well?

    I can only guess that the demand you are seeing might not be that big and is simply not worth their while.

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    1. A lot depends on how, when and where you visit a city. I've been to Montreal for 3 days and hardly saw any cyclists. Doesn't mean that is the actual reality there. In NYC I saw hardly any cyclists in some neighbourhoods, but plenty of cyclists in others. The financial district in Boston proper is one of the least bicycle-friendly parts of town. Visit parts of Cambridge and Somerville on the other hand, and your jaw would drop. The main road around the corner from my house is a non-stop parade of cyclists, a great many of them on step-through city bikes and even cargo bikes.

      In my somewhat informed opinion, I believe that in greater Boston there is most definitely demand for city bikes that, for a variety of reasons, is unmet by the current shops. And this sort of thing is not uncommon. In NYC existing bike shops were also saying "there is no demand!" And yet when the boutiques opened voila there was demand. There are at least 4 of them now in the city.

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    2. I did visit Cambridge and Somerville. Hardly saw any cyclists! But again, it all depends on you references.

      And then, there is the issue of having to visit Somerville to be able to conclude on Boston. Not being a Bostonian, I cannot assess that part. All I can say is you cannot go to Laval and conclude on Montreal. Montreal's heart beats in Montreal. I am well willing to beleive Boston's cycling heart beats in Somerville and Cambridge. But I went everwhere. On foot (i.e. not in a car).

      Yet I saw nothing there either. That does not mean much and I know that: long weekend, July 4th et all. Maybe people were away. Maybe I was at the wrong places at the wrong moments. Maybe my expectations were too high in terms of number of people on bikes.

      Yet there are other indicators, non-subjective ones: number of cycle paths or lanes, bike parking availability, tolerant police/admin attitude toward wild bike parking (saw "we're gonna cut your bikes off notes" in an entire street in Beacon Hill, what admin has time for that?), presence of bike share, traffic lights specific for bicycles etc. Saw none of that. Yet I saw more of it in Manhattan in 2008, with a even shorter stay!!

      And then there are plain good all stats. Doesn't the city of Boston provide counters at specific points across the city? Then you'd know exactly the real cycle traffic you have in town. How many people do you your main cycling routes *really* see in a season? Our main one sees about a million per season, official stats. If we can get the actually figures, we can extrapolate the real demand.

      I guess, being the pinko that I am, I am very skeptical of long unmet demand in such capitalistic societies such as ours.

      One can be so immerged in a subculture that one looses sight of the greater picture. I am a herbalist, so lemme tell you it happens to me all the time! I am always shocked that people don't know the difference between an infusion and a decoction. When I talk to my other herbalist friends, we see herbalism as booming, cutting edge, avant-garde, the "it" thing, cool factor, what have you. When I hang in herbal shops I see great demand; people even line up! And on the internet, the bloggosphere is so dynamic!
      But guess what, in the real life, non sub-cultural people still prefer swallowing chemical pills and that's the end of it. Even my own parents! Reality.

      Even the most perverse of our darkest sexual needs find its market. You can get the craziest drugs you can think of in matter of minutes. You can buy people's organs, etc. If it was even possible, people would put their souls up for sale, and you'd have people to purchase them!!

      Why should a demand as simple an urban transport bike boutique in affluent Boston go long unmet if such a demand exist? Actually, I'd really like to know, maybe I'd understand.

      Well, maybe someone is currently working on it and "taddam!" in a few months the boutique will open... Hopefully.

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  18. I wouldn't complain too much as Boston has a huge array of bike shops, and the most fantastic pile of beautiful vintage bikes anywhere....a bikenerd time rift. You also have Old Roads! Try living in small town nowhereville where your only option is Walmart.
    Those shops in NyC look cute and all, but very boutique and pricy, which can lead to other problems like lust, unrealistic expectations and feeling grim about ones financial reality instead of happy and thrilled to be biking. Also in big cities, you will see the majority of cyclists on crap bikes for commuting. Because, even those get stolen. I live in the country so could toodle around on all the pretty bikes I want and nobody would care. As it is, I can never afford to get my bike projects up and running, even my ultimate raleigh sport redux is turning out to be a disaster. So, I can't imagine going into a shop with snazzy high end bike jewellry and $$$$ bikes without wanting to cry. I've been biking for 30 years, and most of my transportation cycling has involved mountain bikes with cheap axiom racks, rarely fenders and nothing pretty. I am thrilled at the beautiful vintage classic bikeness and finally having the kind of bikes I dreamed about, but I still know most people get around on crap bikes.
    Try living in a place dedicated to mountain biking and try get them to work on a transportation bicycle....not going to happen. Yesterday I tried yet again to deal with the local bike shop with a reasonable question about a mix up with my raleigh sport new wheel build. All I wanted was the local lbs to measure the wheels properly as there was a mix up. The rims say 597 when they are supposed to be 590 and having a tiff with the builder about it. I tried various methods of measuring rims which only confused things further, so thought an impartial lbs could just measure it. All I got was "I don't deal with any of that old shit." And all they sell are ridiculous downhill bikes, some cross country mountain bikes, a few carbon fibre road bikes, and guess what-no commuter friendly bikes. For people who want to get into riding to work have little choice, and get little local support from the bike shops that only care about being 'sick' and shredding down mountains. Poor bears and deer in the forest...

    Also, some of the niche transportation bikes may have smaller suppliers or no suppliers linked up with the major bike store supply chain. Stores often have deals with specific brands and that is all they will carry. There is a bike shop in Vancouver that claims to specialize in commuter cycling, but I didn't get that sense when I was in the shop. The shop has way too much going on, impractical bikes, unfriendly vibe and the none of the staff were commuter cyclists at all. On the other hand, one bike shop has streamlined and only sells pashleys, bobbins and linuses. They cannot keep linuses in stock. Linus is doing well because they look cute and they work. I found them a bit cheap, but the 5 and 8 speed internal hubs I test rode were awesome, good on hills and probably very low maintenance. A shame about the rust problem though.
    I have given up on bike shops for the most part and try order as much as possible online. My dear husband worked in the bike industry so can do most things, but not all. I have had it with the sexism, the attitude, the assumption I know nothing, am just starting out....I've been riding longer than some of these little bike shop hipsters have been alive and they still give me attitude! My advice is to ask around, find the bestest bike shop in your town and support them.
    And be careful, I was shocked to hear a lbs at a shop that specializes in transportation bikes say that internal geared hubs suck, don't work, are slow blah blah blah. What? After I gave them hard earned money and had them build up my drum brakes and internal geared hub wheels?!
    aaaaah!

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  19. Re Achielle: their latest creation is Louise: http://www.achielle.be/NL/louise.php
    Not on the English website yet but the essentials will be clear.

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  20. I feel your lack of this type shop in the home town (well,the town I live in),we suffer the same here,"no interest/market for that type of cycle" I've been told,yet I see people riding,commuting,and living by bike every day...weird,methinks :(

    The DC

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  21. One issue not raised is this - the "8-hundred lbs gorilla" suppliers like Trek, Specialized, and Giant very aggressively try to tie up retailers open to buy and put the store in a situation where it is almost impossible for them to even contemplate adding other bike brands that are more utility/transport specific. These big suppliers are doing everything they can to squeeze other competing brands out of the stores creating what is essentially a very one dimensional marketplace.

    In this environment it becomes easy to understand why established bike shops are not interested in getting into this "new" market of cyclists - they simply can't!

    Veloria is right - utility/transport focused bike shops need to be smaller and free of these big brands if they are to prosper.

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    1. I sure hope Boston has got other type of bike shops than the ones only carrying big names and big brands.
      If Boston does not have a minimum of local independant shops then that might explain the situation.

      But from what I gather on this very blog, there are independant shops around. They already exist.

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    2. The Boston area does have some nice independent shops. But they are not city bike oriented and not necessarily in advantageous locations for city bike customers.

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    3. Which shops are you talking about? Which shops aren't in advantageous locations for biker?

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  22. I live in the northwest suburbs of Boston and have been a serious road rider on and off for the last 25 years. There's no shortage of excellent bikes and gear aimed at the racing crowd. This past year I've been trying to commute more to work in order to get more riding time. In order to do that I've needed to acquire commuter specific gear like backpacks, panniers and dynamo lighting. I was surprised and frustrated to learn that these same great shops for racers have really lousy selections for items like this. Even the shops in Cambridge and Somerville let me down. As much as I would like to give my business for these items to an LBS, none of them deserved it.

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    1. Harris has the best selection of that stuff I have found so far, but still not ideal. And it sucks to have to ride to West Newton every time I need something not available elsewhere.

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    2. I did go to Harris. They're nice folks with some good stuff but again lots of limitations. They were the most knowledgeable about dynamo lighting that I encountered but you better be prepared to spend a lot of money for a dynamo hub setup. I've purchased a B&M headlight and taillight from them (they definitely earned that business after all my questions) but I wish I could get a decent low cost bottle dynamo like the Axa (forget about finding Nordlicht anywhere in the U.S.) No one around here has something like that as far as I know. As for panniers, it's hard to find something waterproof at a reasonable cost. Ortliebs are great but very pricey. I finally got something online from Seattle Sports which seem pretty decent for the bargain price of $40. Maybe the market really is limited in the Boston area for items like this and it's not worth it for shops to carry much inventory.

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  23. There is a bike shop in Cleveland that is a commuter shop (Joy Machines Bike Shop). For those who would rather purchase online rather than their local bike shop: that's your choice, but I find the community and knowledge that one finds in a local bike shop to be irreplaceable. I refuse to buy a single item online, even if the cost is less than supporting a local business.

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    1. A little late to the conversation, but Joy Machines is great for new and used bikes, repairs, and components/accessories (And near some fantastic dining and a 100-year-old farmer's market). Nearby is Blazing Saddles who deal in used/vintage bikes and repairs. I'd highly recommend either place. I picked up my DL-1 at Blazing Saddles and have picked up some nice fenders and handlebars for a reasonable price at Joy Machines.

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