Local bike shop

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A local bike shop.
A bicycle mechanic at a local bike shop.
View of recumbent bicycles inside a local bike shop.
Bicycles and exercise equipment for sale inside a local bike shop.

A local bike shop or local bicycle shop is a small business specializing in bicycle sale, maintenance and parts. The expression distinguishes small bicycle shops from large chains and mail-order or online vendors is abbreviated LBS.[1] In the UK and Ireland, the expression independent bicycle dealers (IBDs) is also used.[2]

The local bike shop is a key component of the bicycle industry and, in recognition of the value that local bike shops provide, some manufacturers only sell their bicycles through dealerships.

Offerings[edit]

Beyond bicycles, a local bicycle shop may offer clothing and other accessories, spare and replacement parts, tools, and a variety of services.[3]

Services may include expert fitting and custom bike building or ordering,[4] maintenance and repairs from experienced bicycle mechanics, and organized group rides and classes.[5] A self-service work area may be available.[6]

Shops may also specialize on one or more aspects of cycling: bicycle racing,[7] triathloning, bicycle touring, BMX,[8] mountain biking, etc. Similarly, shops may carry a diverse range of bicycles, from single-seat upright bikes, to more specialized types such as tandem bicycles,[9] recumbent bicycles,[10] folding bicycles.[11] Many shops also carry related items such as unicycles[12] and skateboards.

Shops located out of temperate climates may have a secondary line in order to keep busy in the off season (winter). These include goods and services for skiing,[7] camping, and physical fitness.[13] Some shops keep their regular customers coming in through the winter by offering group training sessions.[14]

Studios[edit]

A small but growing trend in bicycle retailing is called the bicycle studio, which offers service in an intimate environment by appointment only. A list by Bicycling Magazine shows five studios founded before 2000 and 13 since. These are seen as more complementary to, than competitive with, traditional bike shops.[15]

Competitors[edit]

In the US, the primary competitors to local bike shops are the mass merchants such as Wal-Mart or Target, representing 73% of the units and 36% of the dollars in 2007,[16] full-line sporting goods stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods, multi-sport stores such as R.E.I., representing 7% of the units and 9% of the dollars in 2007,[16] and mail order and online vendors representing 3% of the units and 6% of the dollars in 2007.[16] There are also chains of bike shops, though most LBS are independently owned, 91% of them have one location.[16]

The distinction between local bike shops and online vendors has begun to blur as local bike shops have begun themselves to sell products online.

A recent development is the introduction of brand specific stores from bicycle manufacturers such as Trek Bicycle Corporation.[17] Other manufacturers, such as Specialized are strengthening their channels with concept stores.[18]

Statistics[edit]

According to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, in 2007 there were approximately 4,400 "specialty bicycle retailers" in the USA; down from 4,800 in 2005. Although they sold only 17% of the bikes, up from 16% in 2005, they collected 49% of the dollars, up from 47% in 2005. In 2004, the average specialty bicycle retailer had gross sales of $550,000 per year, 91% of them had one location, and average store size was 4,822 square feet.[16][19]

See: Graphic comparison of US auto and bike sales, 1972-2008

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sheldon Brown's Glossary: LBS". Retrieved 2001-01-21. 
  2. ^ "Welcome to the ACT website". Archived from the original on 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  3. ^ "Mother Earth News: How to start your own small-town bicycle shop". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  4. ^ "Serotta Custom Frames". Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  5. ^ "NBDA: The Bike Shop Advantage". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  6. ^ Sherry, Jennifer. "Bicycling Magazine: Props For Your Shop". Retrieved 2001-01-20. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "ERA Ski & Bike: Era's focus is on custom pro level racing bikes". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  8. ^ "Bike Alley: BMX Headquarters". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  9. ^ "Tandem Cycle Works of Colorado". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  10. ^ "Bicycle Man: We Have The Largest Selection of Recumbents in New York State". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  11. ^ "Foldabikes: Ninety nine percent of all Foldabikes' sales are Bromptons". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  12. ^ "RD Bike Shop: Unicycles, Tandems, Trikes and Folding Bikes". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  13. ^ "Wheel & Sprocket Home Gym". Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  14. ^ "Crank Daddy's Training Center". Retrieved 2007-01-15. [dead link]
  15. ^ Daab, Zac (November 2008). "The Bicycle Studio: Why you might have to make an appointment to buy your next bike-and be glad you did". Bicycling (Rodale): 81–85. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "National Bicycle Dealers Association Industry Overview 2007". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  17. ^ "Trek Bicycle Store". Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  18. ^ "Erik's Bike Shop Opens a Specialized Concept Store". September 5, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-15. [dead link]
  19. ^ "A Surge in Bicyclists Appears to Be Waiting". The New York Times, Jan Ellen Spiegel, December 31, 2008. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2010-05-11.