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Start Haus is getting into bikes!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Big news, the Start Haus is getting into bikes for 2015!

 

Read more here.

 

We hope we can bring you the same expertise and service you've come to know us for in the winter to bikes in the summer, stay tuned!

post #2 of 20

hey at least you guys are going Giant. not just some of the best bikes for the money. Some of the best out there period.

 

Dual short link suspension for the win!

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Yup, we're really excited to be working with Giant. Stay tuned for more brand announcements over the coming months.

post #4 of 20

You'll be happy not having to deal with Specialized.  Good choice.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Good to know, we definitely appreciate any input.

post #6 of 20

My input s this....

 

Giant - everymans bike literally does nearly everything. MTN, Road, and cross

 

Pivot - a top end nicer Giant. Mountain and Cross and DJ

 

Kona- street cred, fore front of modern Geo suspension is not as good for most people as Giant and Pivot. Everything

post #7 of 20

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER!

 

Careful with the "indie" brands.  Josh is correct and companies like Pivot and Santa Cruz are making some of the best bikes out there, but if your staff can't explain the benefits, aren't riders and your customer base isn't knowledgeable or looking for higher-end bikes,, you are much better off sticking with some "value" brands or sticking with the known brands and stocking the $2000 and under line. not sure but I think the average mtn bike purchase is about $800.  Giant still makes the best value in bikes and is pretty well-known so its a great place to start.  So while many of us don't think twice about a 3K-5K mtn bike (or higher) many buyers are going to be hard-pressed to break the 1K price point.  

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER!

 

Careful with the "indie" brands.  Josh is correct and companies like Pivot and Santa Cruz are making some of the best bikes out there, but if your staff can't explain the benefits, aren't riders and your customer base isn't knowledgeable or looking for higher-end bikes,, you are much better off sticking with some "value" brands or sticking with the known brands and stocking the $2000 and under line. not sure but I think the average mtn bike purchase is about $800.  Giant still makes the best value in bikes and is pretty well-known so its a great place to start.  So while many of us don't think twice about a 3K-5K mtn bike (or higher) many buyers are going to be hard-pressed to break the 1K price point.  

 

 

that is why I listed Kona and Giant :P 

 

If I had a angel investor and was starting a bike shop.  that would be my starting point of bikes. Giant would be number 1 though, Kona Number 2, and Pivot Number 3. I am not sure with Pivot but I am guessing you do not actually have to stock many bike to be a dealer. In tahoe there must be enough money to warrant having a upper end brand like them and keeping a demo bike around to get people excited about it....that you and you employes can test to :P

post #9 of 20
@starthaus, did you talk with (fellow Californian) Dave Turner? Big admirer of his bikes. Owned one for a long time. Always struck me - and many others - as a super solid outfit. Very rare out here, but maybe ubiquitous in your area.
post #10 of 20
Josh not disagreeing just adding.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

@starthaus, did you talk with (fellow Californian) Dave Turner? Big admirer of his bikes. Owned one for a long time. Always struck me - and many others - as a super solid outfit. Very rare out here, but maybe ubiquitous in your area.

Another vote for Turner, but as noted, not a mainstream brand.  You've got to be able to sell them.  Except his new Czar, which is by far the most versatile race bike I've ever owned.  Truly astounding range for a "race" bike.

 

And apologies in advance for putting on my "Defender of Intellectual Property" hat, but while Giant does make great bikes for the buck, it has always pi$$ed me off that they blatantly stole Dave Weagle's patented DW Link rear suspension system.  They sell so many bikes, he probably would have licensed it to them for very little per unit.

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for all your feedback so far, keep it coming!

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

We've got a survey going to give us some basic information - only 5 questions long - we appreciate your input: http://starthaus.com/wordpress/2014/07/08/cycling-survey-tell-us-what-you-think/

post #14 of 20

Cool. I'm looking for a Giant Trance 27.5 frame. When's the blem sale?

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

@starthaus, did you talk with (fellow Californian) Dave Turner? Big admirer of his bikes. Owned one for a long time. Always struck me - and many others - as a super solid outfit. Very rare out here, but maybe ubiquitous in your area.

Another vote for Turner, but as noted, not a mainstream brand.  You've got to be able to sell them.  Except his new Czar, which is by far the most versatile race bike I've ever owned.  Truly astounding range for a "race" bike.

 

Adding...since you'll probably have to deal with QBP at some point...why not deal with Salsa? They got your fat bikes covered and the Horsethief and Spearfish with DW Split Pivot (and Bucksaw) are really awesome bikes at pretty good prices.

post #16 of 20

get womens-fit bikes in various flavors.    Get a womens fit selection in at least the enduro road and the loaded touring sections.

post #17 of 20

Filled out the survey. In the comments section I mentioned what I think is a gap in the marketplace. 

 

On one side of the gap is my local shop (LBS). Actually I have several local shops, but for the purposes of this discussion they all have the same characteristics. My local shop knows me and mostly gives me good advice. They will turn repairs around quickly for me in an emergency if they can, even though they might give me a hard time about it. They're also generous with things like test rides of new bikes (well, at least road bikes). If I buy a complete bike from them they will, within reason, swap out components without a big extra charge if they can. I no longer have to spend the first 15 minutes of every conversation convincing them that I know what I'm talking about before we can have the real conversation. And, of course, they are local folks that I know. The problem with the LBS is that they charge WAY too much for parts, accessories, and clothing; they stock practically no componentry anyway; special-order parts always seem to take at least two weeks to come in; and they are mind-bogglingly bad at communicating the status of repair work and/or special orders promptly and accurately. (Long-time bears will recall me having ranted about this before.)

 

On the other side of the gap is the online discounter like PricePoint, Jenson, etc. They have a good selection of stuff, will sell me commodity parts, supplies, and accessories at a good price, and get them to me fast for what usually is a reasonable shipping charge. The majority of my annual bike budget goes to these folks for these reasons, much as I'd prefer to give the money to the local guys. But I don't know them and they don't know me, so I can't trust them for anything but pure "stuff". There is no real recourse if there is a problem that involves judgment and gray areas, and they are not a resource for tricky stuff.

 

Here is a sample (but real) situation that represents the opportunity in my mind: My 9 year-old road bike is a nine-speed with a not-at-all-special triple-based drive train. The core of the bike (frame, wheelset) is good, and in any case I can't afford to replace it outright. I want to replace the cassette, chain, crankset, and probably the front derailleur with an Ultegra-level compact double setup. I'm hoping not to have to replace the existing short-reach Ultegra levers and rear derailleur. Since the world has since moved on to 10- and 11-speed drive trains and mostly carbon frames, I am going to need advice on making sure the BB is compatible with my aluminum frame, and on making sure I get a cassette, chain, etc. that will work with my 9-speed shifters ... if that's even possible. My LBS could work with my on that, but they would charge me more or less full retail for all the components, and it would probably take them the rest of the summer to get all the parts in, after I wait two weeks to find out that the chain they ordered is out of stock at the distributor, etc. but they never called me, etc. So what I'm looking for is a shop with enough expertise and "real world" wrenches to provide the advice, but with an internet-savvy pricing and delivery operation. I wouldn't expect PricePoint prices, obviously. But if my LBS quotes me $400 for an Ultegra crankset and they routinely go for $259 on line, I would hope to get it from you guys for $300. The prices are made up, but the proportions are about right to communicate my point.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

Filled out the survey. In the comments section I mentioned what I think is a gap in the marketplace. 

 

On one side of the gap is my local shop (LBS). Actually I have several local shops, but for the purposes of this discussion they all have the same characteristics. My local shop knows me and mostly gives me good advice. They will turn repairs around quickly for me in an emergency if they can, even though they might give me a hard time about it. They're also generous with things like test rides of new bikes (well, at least road bikes). If I buy a complete bike from them they will, within reason, swap out components without a big extra charge if they can. I no longer have to spend the first 15 minutes of every conversation convincing them that I know what I'm talking about before we can have the real conversation. And, of course, they are local folks that I know. The problem with the LBS is that they charge WAY too much for parts, accessories, and clothing; they stock practically no componentry anyway; special-order parts always seem to take at least two weeks to come in; and they are mind-bogglingly bad at communicating the status of repair work and/or special orders promptly and accurately. (Long-time bears will recall me having ranted about this before.)

 

On the other side of the gap is the online discounter like PricePoint, Jenson, etc. They have a good selection of stuff, will sell me commodity parts, supplies, and accessories at a good price, and get them to me fast for what usually is a reasonable shipping charge. The majority of my annual bike budget goes to these folks for these reasons, much as I'd prefer to give the money to the local guys. But I don't know them and they don't know me, so I can't trust them for anything but pure "stuff". There is no real recourse if there is a problem that involves judgment and gray areas, and they are not a resource for tricky stuff.

 

Here is a sample (but real) situation that represents the opportunity in my mind: My 9 year-old road bike is a nine-speed with a not-at-all-special triple-based drive train. The core of the bike (frame, wheelset) is good, and in any case I can't afford to replace it outright. I want to replace the cassette, chain, crankset, and probably the front derailleur with an Ultegra-level compact double setup. I'm hoping not to have to replace the existing short-reach Ultegra levers and rear derailleur. Since the world has since moved on to 10- and 11-speed drive trains and mostly carbon frames, I am going to need advice on making sure the BB is compatible with my aluminum frame, and on making sure I get a cassette, chain, etc. that will work with my 9-speed shifters ... if that's even possible. My LBS could work with my on that, but they would charge me more or less full retail for all the components, and it would probably take them the rest of the summer to get all the parts in, after I wait two weeks to find out that the chain they ordered is out of stock at the distributor, etc. but they never called me, etc. So what I'm looking for is a shop with enough expertise and "real world" wrenches to provide the advice, but with an internet-savvy pricing and delivery operation. I wouldn't expect PricePoint prices, obviously. But if my LBS quotes me $400 for an Ultegra crankset and they routinely go for $259 on line, I would hope to get it from you guys for $300. The prices are made up, but the proportions are about right to communicate my point.

THREAD DRIFT:  well, we could expand this to just about all sporting goods. A huge gap in the price to value ratio.  like you, I dont mind paying more than a Price Point or Nashbar but I do expect more service in return or to get the product immediately. How many times do we all go into a shop expecting to hand over our money for goods only to be told the LBS or LSS has to order them for you ... oh, and you get to pay full MSRP or MAP. The problem of course is that it usually takes them several days or more to get the item.   Servicing has become and issue too; you pay full MSRP for a set of brakes (real example) and I had to wait a week for my bike and still paid for the labor to install.  In many cases, I can order a part for the for less and get it in 2 days; faster than the LBS can get it to me and then just pay them for the labor. I would much prefer to buy it from the shop.  Just a FYI when getting into bikes. this seems to be a common issue with LBS's.  


Edited by Finndog - 7/13/14 at 7:55am
post #19 of 20

^^ Good point.  I go to a shop in Napa called The Hub (also a Giant retailer) and when I've requested a part that they don't have in stock they'll usually give it to me for 15% off... which I definitely appreciate.  They will also do quick component changes like swapping out stems or stuck pedals on the spot even if they're kind of busy - something I really appreciate because I live 40 minutes away.  It's those little things that create loyalty.

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

^^ Good point.  I go to a shop in Napa called The Hub (also a Giant retailer) and when I've requested a part that they don't have in stock they'll usually give it to me for 15% off... which I definitely appreciate.  They will also do quick component changes like swapping out stems or stuck pedals on the spot even if they're kind of busy - something I really appreciate because I live 40 minutes away.  It's those little things that create loyalty.

 

 

excellent example of how to make that price to value ratio work!  Another good example is my LBS in NJ loaned me a stem for my road bike until mine came in.  (Clinton Bike Shop; blatant pump for Gardner and Racheal!  )  :)  

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