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Performance Bike Is About One Thing(26 posts)

Performance Bike Is About One ThingMasonJ
Nov 11, 2002 3:21 PM
That is driving the small mom and pop shops out of business. It is a shame, and I think we shouldn't stand for it. Performance fails to deliver products for all cyclist. Their private label products are inferior, but helps suceeds to keep the local shops form competing against them. Boycott Performance and stick up for your local shops. Take back the crap you bought from there, get your credit, and get some quality clothing or mechandise from a real bike shop with passion. The owner of Performance wasn't an avid cyclist when he started. He didn't have any idea of what cycling was all about. He was into mail order. He even admits it, and brags about it.
re: Performance Bike Is About One ThingNo_sprint
Nov 11, 2002 3:26 PM
I mentioned it below, although unconfirmed by myself, it is my understanding they just bought the Helen's chain and another big local shop, I. Martin Imports. This in addition to Supergo (which I previously thought was owned by Helen's anyway. That means they've got a severe stranglehold on the big money Westside area of Los Angeles.
re: Performance Bike Is About One Thingdesmo
Nov 11, 2002 3:57 PM
I have not lived in West L.A. for awhile but am old enough to remember when Helen's was just a Schwinn shop (not a good one), and I Martin was the serious drool fest for lightweight imports!
My ViewsFrenchPress
Nov 11, 2002 4:04 PM
A few things:

No, Performance didn't buy Helen's or I. Martin. They are trying, but they offer too little $$$. As for Supergo, Helen's never owned it. And the Performance/Supergo thing is not like the Bike USA thing in San Diego. Supergo will not become Performance stores.

As for why Performance sucks: the private labels stuff is terrible and doesn't last long. They are not very helpful (in the stores) or knowledgeable. And why wait for mail order when you can walk to almost any shop and get it now (OK, this may not apply to people in Kansas, but it does for us West Coasters)?

I know, there are some crappy bike shops out there, but most of them are great. Give them all a chance and you will be amazed. I've learned almost everything I know about maintance from local shops, not from mial order.

Besides, you can't fondle the new cool stuff on-line or in a catalog, can you?
re: Performance Bike Is About One ThingKunfoochi
Nov 11, 2002 3:31 PM
Everybody here seems to hate Performance...honestly, I've bought quite a few things from them, and they seem pretty decent.

They ship fast, they honor any pricematch, the reps are polite and respectful, and they have at least decent prices.

On the other hand, I don't even like to go into my bike shop, as they are jerks. I won't go into all of the details, but they're complete asses.

I'm not saying I'd like them to have an enormous monopoly, but I don't think that could ever even happen....after all, they don't sell bikes...and even if they did....most people buy them at shops...

So please, enlighten me...why are they so terrible?
Performance experiences over close to 20 years...retro
Nov 11, 2002 3:48 PM
Can't remember when I started shopping there, but it's been 15 years or more. I lived in a town that didn't really have a decent bike shop, and I learned a lot reading the catalog. They shipped fast (for those days; a couple of weeks) and provided stuff my local shop couldn't.
Over the last 10 years or so I've probably used Nashbar more--I liked the old hand drawn catalogs, and the service was much better. Shipping to the West Coast took 2-3 days instead of 7-8. When i did use Performance, for sales and the occasional item I couldn't find elsewhere, they tended to be slow and inefficient.
Worst of all--and this continues up to as recently as this week--they advertise many items they don't have. I've been trying to buy an Illuminute vest in yellow, size XXL, for more than a year. It's always in the catalog, it's always on the Web site, but they never have it in stock and can't tell me if they'll get more. This is based on at least four attempts to order, not just one frustrating episode.
Nashbar hasn't had any of these problems, not ever. Since the takeover, though, I've run into the same sorry service at Nashbar that drove me away from Performance: Stuff is late, orders lost, not in stock. Hell with 'em; I'm going to deal with Rivendell. Costs a little more, but at least you GET the stuff.
I think he just want to start controversy (this board became...Scottland
Nov 11, 2002 3:48 PM
...little slow). It's winter after all.
Performance kills babies and pollutes rivers...mohair_chair
Nov 11, 2002 4:24 PM
Give me a break! Does anyone deliver products for all cyclist (sic)? Not your local mom and pop store, that's for sure.

By the way, Lance wasn't an avid cyclist when he started, either.
Nov 11, 2002 7:03 PM
It's true, Lance wasn't an avid took a good IBD and some genetic greatness.

By the way, Lance still uses IBD and sends people in.
What kind of an idiot buys mailorder....Lone Gunman
Nov 11, 2002 5:19 PM
from just one catalog or mailorder Co? 5 come to mind, each with their own uniquness and price breaks. Excel, CC, Nashbar, Performance, Supergo. Shop a little and get what you want. Sometimes for single items or if the price is right I buy from the LBS. Most buyers of new bikes buy from a LBS.

This attitude that Performance is the "Great Satan" of the bike industry is laughable. I was disappointed when Nashbar sold out and closed my LBS. Yes! Nashbar was my LBS! Right there in Youngstown, OH, the Nashbar outlet store, full blown bike store with great prices, but hey life goes on. It's called competition for a reason.
I miss 'em toopmf1
Nov 12, 2002 7:53 AM
They had a store in the VA suburbs where I live. I really liked the place. It was kind of a dump. The guys working there were friendly. Only place you could go to get bags of DT spokes in whatever lengths you wanted.
Performance is pure evil!DaveG
Nov 11, 2002 5:20 PM
I think you are being a bit melodramatic here. No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to buy Performance's "inferior" products. Having some choices is a good thing. Consumers can think for themselves.
re: Performance Bike Is About One ThingDINOSAUR
Nov 11, 2002 5:28 PM
I shop via the internet for small stuff. I use Performance, Bike Nashbar, Branford Bike and whoever else has a killer deal. Somethings you can't pass up, such as tires and tubes, which go on sale and you can stock up on in advance. But twice Performance has fell through on orders saying after confirming my order that the item is no longer in stock. If it's something I really need I'll go to my LBS. Also the guys at my LBS get to know you and they have saved my bacon a couple of times on small repairs at the spur of the moment.

I recently discovered Price Point, talk about low prices. I live in Nor Ca and they are in So. Ca. so I can receive stuff in two days that usually takes 4 with Performance, even being a Team Performance member.

Actually I've had good luck with the Performance brand stuff. I have a couple of Performance jerseys, Jacket and shorts and a Performance Forte stem I was going to use to experiment for a different size on my second bike and it worked out well and I kept it on.

I'd rather do business with my LBS, but the internet has better prices. I do both. Kinda nice to talk to a real live human being face to face about bikes also...the owner of my LBS cut me a deal on a new bike that I could not beat anywhere...I guess it all comes down to money....
Nov 11, 2002 5:47 PM
I usually buy from my LBS because they are fair in their prices and have great service.Plus the guys there have become my friends and I feel I should help them.After all your LBS guys usually have devoted their lives to bikes and cycling.This is their existance.I don't mind paying a little extra if it meens helping them out.

Having said that I do at times buy online when I want something they can't get or possibly match price wise.Thet seem to understand this and never let it affect our relationship.

Performance has never given me a problem and I will continue to use them when the occasion arises.
Nov 11, 2002 6:49 PM
Considering the crap service that even the local roadie shop gives, I don't feel a bit guilty for buying from them or Nashbar, etc. And for people living in the boondocks, it's a godsend! Sure, the people on the phone don't know squat, but they do a good job selling and shipping!
re: Performance Bike Is About One ThingLinuxDude
Nov 11, 2002 9:02 PM
As a consumer I don't like large and uncompetitive monopolies. However, I have no complaints about neither Nashbar nor Performance. They offer great price, awesome selection, have very good return and exchange policy....
On the other hand, here in NYC, where we have the biggest concentration of LBS's, I have yet to find a single decent bike shop to deal with. I must have been to something like 30+ shops so far, and they are all nasty. The people who run them all (without an exception!!) have lousy attitude. They got huge egos and little knowledge of bikes. Even though, I don't make a living out of bicycles, I probably know more than most of them. However, they hate to confront knowledgeable customer. They are very quick to point out what you should and shouldn't buy. They don't like to help you out when making small purchases even if you have spend hundreds earlier. When you try to negotiate with them on their sky-high prices they loose their temper and tell you go buy it somewhere else (No problem. I do and will :)). When you try to return a defected item they investigate you as if you have committed a crime.

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but this has been my experience with my LBS's so far. Therefore, I have no sympathy for them. If they go down, they only have themselves to blame.
I know the feeling LinuxDudeAmbishawn
Nov 11, 2002 9:43 PM
I'm over on the west coast (LA area) and have had simular experiences as You on the west coast. Those ego's and attitudes are always in the small shops. I hate to say it but I almost think the bigger the better when it comes to bike shops. Helen's in Arcadia CA is one of My favorite bike shops. I've spent more money with Helen's than anyone. The staff of the small shops do tend to know more about bikes than the Big Mail order companies but who cares. I don't need anyone to hold My hand. I think the small shops are good when your getting fit for a custom frame or for a good bike mechanic. I've bought some stuff from Performance since when is it a sin to be smarter than the average LBS owner? Why should I feel sorry for the jerks who vibe Me as I walk in the door to check there stuff out and give Me nothing but attitude? Who cares if the sales person isn't Lance Armstrong? I'm not saying not to buy from a bike shop, but keep your options open. If a shop is poorly managed, why should I feel sorry for them?
Another New Yorker here with same experineceUprwstsdr
Nov 12, 2002 7:03 AM
In general I am dissapointed with the the LBS's here as well. The thing that most suprises me is the limited selection in these shops. Very little clothing choices and the bikes are basically limited to the big 3. That being said, I live a block from Renaissance, and of all the shops I visited I like them the best. The crew in there can initially have some attitude, but once they get to know you they take good care of you. I see a lot of very serious cyclers in their, so I think that says something. I think a lot of the attitude comes from having to deal with New York customers on a regular basis. As an employee you are probably always being assaulted by customers with superiority complexes lookng for a deal. Beleive it or not the best shops I been to have been out in the Hamptons. The shops out there are very friendly and service oriented.
Nov 12, 2002 9:10 AM
If you're in the area and want to ride, give me an email at: I'm doing a Crest run Sunday, easy mileage on Sat.

I'm hoping to set up some weekday offseason training rides. I'll be approaching all the local teams to see if any are interested, including Shroeder, PAA, Adelante, etc.
I must be lucky.........PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 12, 2002 5:38 AM
....because as a previous reply stated I also have a great LBS who I trust and do almost all of my bussiness with.I know these guys and they are as straight as they come.No BS and very friendly and knowledgable.Then again I write this from the great Midwest and not from either coast where it seems attitude is a way of life.
no, Performance is about MONEY...._rt_
Nov 12, 2002 7:38 AM
as is every little mom & pop shop out there. the goal is to make money, because if you don't, it doesn't matter how much passion you have, you're still going out of business!

does Performance lack soul? yes. it's a big company and it's run like a big company. but it's also convenient & can offer cheaper prices than many lbs's because they can buy en masse whereas a lbs can't.

is some of the Performance stuff crap? yes. but there are a lot of companies out there that make crap. on the other hand, a lot of the Performance brand stuff (and Nashbar stuff, since they are bought from the same Taiwanese factories) is cheap & serviceable.

when it comes right down to it most of us are bike junkies and we will supply our habit through the cheapest source available. a good lbs is a great find. if you've got one, use it and appreciate it for the rarity it is....

It has its place as does the LBSpmf1
Nov 12, 2002 7:48 AM
I frequent both.

I disagree about Performance products being no good. I think their bib shorts are great (that and Voler are all I wear). Their neoprene booties are good as well.

If you know what you want, Performance can be a convenient, cheap place to get it. If you want service and advice, you won't get it from them. The "mechanics" working there are kids. The sales staff only knows about selling cheap mtn bikes. The housewives working the phones think a fork is something you eat with.

On the other hand, my LBS sells parts for 50% or higher prices than Performance does. And they have to order EVERYTHING and it takes weeks to get anything. Possibly they are gouging me, or possibly they lack the market power to buy stuff from suppliers at lower prices. In either case, does this mean I should pay lots higher prices for a set of brakes I plan to install myself?

I frequent and buy stuff from my LBS, but I do not owe them anything. They have to earn my support just like any other business. This "support your local bike shop" stuff is ridiculous. Are you also boycotting Wal Mart, Home Depot, USA Today, Star Bucks Coffee, MacDonalds, Safeway ...?
Performance BRAND stuff...Fez
Nov 12, 2002 7:54 AM
Performance has always sold its own brand clothes. You have seen them branch into misc bike parts, tires, wheelsets, components, frames, forks, just about everything. Why? Partly because it is cheaper for the consumer. But more importantly, the margins are much greater as compared to a name brand item.

So remember that those cheap house brand clothes and parts they sell are the most profitable for them.

The catalog/internet is really the only reliable source for name brand parts. Our local stores are stocked with so much Performance crap that I never find everything I need and have to place an order when I come home.
Don't listen to this guy...Jambo
Nov 12, 2002 8:17 AM
I could care less about Performance. Of all the mail order catalogs, it's the last one I would ever buy anything from. This guy is just trying to attack them for some reason. He is the same one that posted the thing below about returning everything you buy to Performance no matter how much you have used it.
Either his plan backfired and he is pissed because they wouldn't let him return his smelly used bike shorts, or he is just some LBS owner that can't hack because he doesn't offer decent product or service.
Performance sucks and I wouldn't recommend anyone buy anything from them, but this guy has some weak agenda against them.
re: Performance Bike Is About One Thingcommuterguy
Nov 12, 2002 11:36 AM
A couple of reactions:

If it wasn't Performance, it would be another (indistinquishable) chain doing the same thing. Like Walmart, Home Depot, etc., the potential to exploit scale economies in serving the US market is huge, and these stores are doing it.

Even though my nearest Home Depot is extremely busy, there are two local hardware store near me that also do great business. Can you buy plywood there? No--they simply can't compete with HD. But the local stores are staffed by knowledgeable people and stocked with things local people need.

My point? There is a profitable niche for the LBS, it just isn't selling cheap shorts to casual cyclists. It's providing really good service/repairs, selling stems and otherwise helping people dial in the right fit on the bikes they get from CC.
re: Performance Bike Is About One ThingOgalthorpe
Nov 12, 2002 12:32 PM
For components, they're ok -- and they pricematch, so I can get 10% back (Team Performance).

But for CLOTHING, I can't find anything that fits ANYWHERE EXCEPT PERFORMANCE!!! I don't know why... shopping is an eternal frustration... at REI, at LBS, from other mail order catalogs. The Performance XXL is the only thing that will fit me -- the other guys' XXLs are European sizing or some other crap. Sure I'm built like a football player, but I still love to ride. I just WISH I could wear other MFR's products (pearl, castelli, etc.)

If anyone has some good leads into larger size (chest 52", waist, 42") clothing, please let me know!!!