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Mid Week Poll : Mobile Bike Shop Trend.......(6 posts)

Mid Week Poll : Mobile Bike Shop Trend.......abicirider
Jul 9, 2003 4:43 AM
Interesting to see how everyone feels about the new trend seems as though LBS owners are closing their stores and turning to the Road as Mobile Bike Stores with either large enclosed trailers or large cargo trucks, According to the latest edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, currently there are about 3 dozen mobile bike stores across the country that deal with service and accessory sales, most do not deal with bike line sales.
So my question:
1) would you trust a mobile bike store to service your bike.
2) would you buy parts accessories from a mobile bike store if they say showed up at a race or a ride (organized or training not starting at a LBS but a neutral point)
3) Do you like the ideal of calling a mobile bike shop and they will come to your house for your bike service needs all repairs completed at your house.
Just curious on everyones thoughts on this new trend in the cycling industry.
Be Safe Out On The Roads!!!!!!!
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
Doesn't look very cost effective to me.Spoke Wrench
Jul 9, 2003 5:08 AM
Huge cycling events, like RAGBRAI or the big bicycling festivals, look to me to be the only potential market. I'd think that to make that work, you'd need a day-to-day operating business to support it.

As a day-to-day venture, I'd think marketing costs and lack of volume would kill you.
Rent is huge53T
Jul 9, 2003 10:52 AM
Don't forget, the owner can rent a truck-sized parking garage for a lot less than a storefront. If he plays his cards right, his wrenches can continue to do work while the shop is parked at home base. I'm thinking about a big truck. With a big enough truck, and an optimum home base, there are no disadvantages compared to brick and morter, and several advantages.
re: Mid Week Poll : Mobile Bike Shop Trend.......JS Haiku Shop
Jul 9, 2003 5:10 AM
1) depends on the wrench and the mobile bike shop's reputation

2) if i didn't have what i needed and couldn't get it elsewhere. i suspect the prices would be much higher from a mobile bike shop at an event. typically events are held when local shops are closed (early AM or on holidays/sundays). this would make competition almost none.

3) yes, it's a great idea, but i'm not sure it's cost effective for the mobile shop. putting myself in the shop owner's shoes, how lucrative would it be to drive my shop to a guy's house across town to replace a derailleur or perform a $50 "tune-up"? presumably if you had clients lined-up in that area, more so...but i'm not sure it's a winning proposition.

of course this is assuming the MBS is in it for a living, not for love of the work.

I think a LBS with mobility and the know-how & motivation could make a *killing* setting up a dynamic operation at event/race/ride starts and support stops. just think of the folks who show up to "big rides" on threadbare tires or with corroded cables...and those who forgot to stop at the LBS before they closed on friday to pick up that last thing (tube, powergel, whatever).

IMHO

-J
re: Mid Week Poll : Mobile Bike Shop Trend.......Akirasho
Jul 9, 2003 5:13 AM
1. I remember having the windshield replaced on my truck... not too shabby to have it done right in my own driveway... While it sounds convenient... if too successful, some of the benefits (service at your door, at a time of your choosing) may suffer. How does the cost compare to brick and mortar?

2. Only if needed. I tend to stock up on the little things when I go to the LBS for a gear junkie fix anyway.

3. I do nearly all my own work... but I could see a benefit for someone pressed for time. I'd still like to see a breakdown of the vendor's overhead (how much volume would he/she need to generate to stay in business?)

I'm guessing that you'd need to be in a community with a diverse and deep cycling history... to travel around all day... or perhaps, you'd set up along some well travelled route or multi (there is a small shop just outside of Corwin on the Little Miami Scenic trail that defies traditional shop setups... I suspect that the bike side is extra money).

Be the bike.
A buddy of mine did it...Steve_O
Jul 9, 2003 8:05 AM
A buddy of mine who is a long term wrench did this. He always wanted to open his own shop but didn't have the $$ to actually get one started so the mobile shop is the next best thing. He gets most of his business working at charity events and other gatherings. Casual cyclists who need a quick fix at these events are big business with him. Another source of income is service contracts with local police departments who have bike officers. Beyond that he does some door-to-door stuff but that is small $$ compared to the rides and muni contracts.

I think Joe gets most of his income in service and small parts sales. He's probably not doing suspension fork overhauls or complete bike builds right out of the truck. His truck is pretty well stocked and he has agreements with QBP and other bike distributors to do special order stuff. In addition he doesn't have to deal with the inventory and overhead of a traditional bikeshop...

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