Haters Lost my Business

Speedmerchant

New Member
Wanted to relate my Como 3.0 purchase from a lbs. Been doing business with two local bike shops and went to the one I purchased my last bike from looking for a Como. They’re a Specialized dealer so I assumed they they might have one or could order one. Sales guy was downright rude with an attitude when he realized I was looking for an Ebike and proceeded to tell give me all of his reasons for why he doesn’t like them. They cater to the local mtb club and emtb’s are banned from the local single tracks. I can’t stand ignorance and so the conversation got a little heated. Went directly to my other LBS and low and behold...they had two Como’s on the floor and I bought one of them on the spot. I then called the owner of store #1and had the great pleasure of telling him I just spent $3200 at the bike shop down the road from him due to his ignorant employee with a bad attitude and that I would never set foot in his store again. Ebikes are really taking off here and I see more of them all the time. It’s the future.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Why does any shop HAVE to sell eBikes? There business model is evidently satisfied with the customer base they have.
 
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Dirty Cash

New Member
Wanted to relate my Como 3.0 purchase from a lbs. Been doing business with two local bike shops and went to the one I purchased my last bike from looking for a Como. They’re a Specialized dealer so I assumed they they might have one or could order one. Sales guy was downright rude with an attitude when he realized I was looking for an Ebike and proceeded to tell give me all of his reasons for why he doesn’t like them. They cater to the local mtb club and emtb’s are banned from the local single tracks. I can’t stand ignorance and so the conversation got a little heated. Went directly to my other LBS and low and behold...they had two Como’s on the floor and I bought one of them on the spot. I then called the owner of store #1and had the great pleasure of telling him I just spent $3200 at the bike shop down the road from him due to his ignorant employee with a bad attitude and that I would never set foot in his store again. Ebikes are really taking off here and I see more of them all the time. It’s the future.
Spend your money where you are valued!

My LBS is on board with any bike type and any customer who wants to know more about a specific style of bike. Very helpful every time I walk through the door, that’s why I only do business with them. When I was looking to purchase an eBike (2020 Vado 4.0) they gave me the “keys” to a 3.0 they had on the floor, free water bottle full of ice cold water and told me to take it for a spin where ever I liked, for as long as I liked. Long story short, I ordered the 4.0 that day (traded in my Sirrus Comp Carbon Disc) and they will continue to have my business for as long as they place value in me and my purchasing power.
 

Jeffery E. Wong

New Member
I was at a large LBS last year and witnessed an older lady who had just test ridden a Vado and was inquiring about sizing in metric terms. You could tell she was no newbie to riding. The salesperson was very impatient and almost screamed that it was a "small". If he did not know the measurements he should have volunteered to look it up. What surprised me was that it was a Specialized dealer. What I have found through the years is that LBS that sell bikes and ebikes in most cases, do not know their ebike products very well. The exception, Trek.
 

blakjac

New Member
To the OP - I feel your pain. When I was trying to buy an eBike I went through a similar experience. I had to go to several bike shops in order to get the right help, service, and expertise. In the end, I bought it from a very knowledgeable salesperson that went above and beyond to ensure I was satisfied. I'm glad you called the owner to inform him of their shortcomings. Unfortunately, he probably doesn't care.
 
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PDoz

Well-Known Member
To be fair, it's better practice to be loyal to your customers than cater to a market that you don't agree with.

If that shop honestly believes that modern bikes will destroy antique cycling as we know it - then it would be good practice of them to try and explain the benefits of riding antiques....mostly because they're going to need every customer they can find soon.
 
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To be fair, it's better practice to be loyal to your customers than cater to a market that you don't agree with.
A better example might be businesses that catered to travel via horse and buggy needing to shift to automobiles. And, of course, we see big-time bicycle component manufacturers like Shimano embracing EBikes in a big way. If that LBS doesn't change, it'll be out of business.

The easy prediction is that as EBikes get better and cheaper, the market for casual biking will shift to EBikes. No-one's going to care whether the chain has hollowed out rivets that save 2 grams, everyone's going to want a chain that can stand the higher torque of mid-drive motors for longer. Actually, things will probably shift (pun intended) to IGH's and Gates belts.
 
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Over50

Well-Known Member
... Sales guy was downright rude with an attitude when he realized I was looking for an Ebike and proceeded to tell give me all of his reasons for why he doesn’t like them..
Oh (not-so) fond memories of when I started e-bike shopping in 2016. It was 1). really no-nothing about e-bikes, don't carry e-bikes, don't like e-bikes and don't plan on carrying e-bikes or 2). you can choose from these 2 e-bikes I have in stock but I can't help you get what you really want or 3). we don't sell e-bikes and we can't help you order one but we can build you a kit e-bike that will do 45 mph - and our owner rides one of these to work everyday (yes, I really heard this one) or 4). we like e-bikes but there really isn't much of a market for them in this area so we don't sell them at the moment.

Fortunately the landscape in my area has changed dramatically and for the better since then. There are still major brands I can't get locally but I now have some really friendly, helpful and qualified folks to deal with.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
A better example might be businesses that catered to travel via horse and buggy needing to shift to automobiles. And, of course, we see big-time bicycle component manufacturers like Shimano embracing EBikes in a big way. If that LBS doesn't change, it'll be out of business.

The easy prediction is that as EBikes get better and cheaper, the market for casual biking will shift to EBikes. No-one's going to care whether the chain has hollowed out rivets that save 2 grams, everyone's going to want a chain that can stand the higher torque of mid-drive motors for longer. Actually, things will probably shift (pun intended) to IGH's and Gates belts.
Still not convinced - no matter how good ebikes get, there will still be a market for the recreational massocyclist - that strange creature who derives pleasure from punishing their bodies spinning pedals yet at the same time spends crazy $ on making spinning cranks easier.

I suspect these creatures feel uncomfortable sharing shop space with normal,people, so there will always be a demand for shops that cater to their very special needs. Using your horse and buggy example - these people now shop at equestrian facilities

Why get upset just because an elitist deviant doesn't appreciate our priorities?
 

Pragmatic

Member
Speedmerchant Congratulations and enjoy your Como 3.0!

I'd respectfully suggest "picking your battles" and not dwelling on that unpleasant LBS experience - it's just not worth your valuable time. If you consider the below e-Bike report, e-Bikes will grow to be a compelling force in the world --- accordingly the animosity you experienced will as they say, relegated to the dust bin of history.

The March 2018 PSU report "A North American Survey of Electric Bicycle Owners" based upon a 2017 survey, that many members of this forum participated in, details a compelling picture of e-Bike benefits for: riders young and especially old, the environment and a growing bicycling community.

The report is available at many bike-friendly websites including this excellent bicycle advocacy organization: https://peopleforbikes.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/NITC_1041_North_American_Survey_Electric_Bicycle_Owners_1h70rdN.pdf Highly recommend giving it a look. Ride On!
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I often visit LBS in cities where I travel. The conversation is usually friendly and informative until the subject of ebikes is broached. The conversation either continues to be friendly or turns off abruptly. In my experience, the ratio of pro vs con is around 50%. I think the OP had the right idea. If your business isn't valued at one LBS, just go to another. There just isn't any sense in wasting time talking to an ignorant salesman though.

One thing I did learn from several LBS owners, when it comes to repairs, ebikes are last on the list to be checked out. I think this comes from the lack of experienced ebike mechanics rather than prejudice though.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I often visit LBS in cities where I travel. The conversation is usually friendly and informative until the subject of ebikes is broached. The conversation either continues to be friendly or turns off abruptly. In my experience, the ratio of pro vs con is around 50%. I think the OP had the right idea. If your business isn't valued at one LBS, just go to another. There just isn't any sense in wasting time talking to an ignorant salesman though.

One thing I did learn from several LBS owners, when it comes to repairs, ebikes are last on the list to be checked out. I think this comes from the lack of experienced ebike mechanics rather than prejudice though.
I have to agree. But the owner/manager is behind that. He's the one that's not hiring or training a good e-bike tech, possibly in a money saving attempt.

He's also the one that hired (or puts up with) the highly biased anti e-bike salesman over a more small business oriented sales person, that knows you shouldn't be bad mouthing something you have no knowledge of and don't even sell.

You can stay in the horse and buggy days with a nice tack shop, or you can allow yourself to evolve into an auto dealership. Your call....
 

Pragmatic

Member
The report is available at many bike-friendly websites including this excellent bicycle advocacy organization: https://peopleforbikes.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/NITC_1041_North_American_Survey_Electric_Bicycle_Owners_1h70rdN.pdf Highly recommend giving it a look. Ride On!

AMAZING REPORT!
Thanks for posting it.

Pragmatic, maybe you should make it its own topic so more people would read it.
elliot friedman You are welcome! There is a 2017 post on this forum soliciting participation in the survey that resulted in the informative report. I commented on that post with above information that "bumped" the original survey post to the top of yesterday's General Discussions topic. That may be enough for others to see the report. I'm old to pedal bicycles but new to e-Bikes, and specifically e-FTBs, e-Bikes are getting some new attention in the USA, they have been in use for more years overseas.

Jeeps & FTBs. We've had Jeeps for decades, in my view, the FTB is to bikes that Jeeps are to regular cars. Why have/tow a sedan, when you can have/tow a Jeep that goes nearly everywhere. Our pedal MTBs bogged down in sand and when we tried it, in the snow --- an FTB less so. the e-boost offsets the addl rolling resistance of FTBs and their unavoidable additional weight. We've had feather-light pedal road bikes, and light pedal MTBs - it's hard to engineer that on a FTB.

The spouse has a developed a bum knee, an e-FTB is enough of a help to get her back on her bike. I can put up with a lot of uninformed e-Bike animosity for that very real family benefit. This too will pass. ...Ride On!
 
Once you had bought your Como, the better, less petty thing to do would be to go back to the first shop and say, "Perhaps you have never tried an ebike because you clearly don't know what they're about. Here, have a spin on mine so you can see what the ride is like." Educate the person, not continue the vitriol. I am convinced that there is no better marketing for electric bikes than simply letting someone try one out. That's what sold me on them.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
We have a local Specialized dealer, they were anti ebike. Really anti ebike! 4 years ago while looking for my second ebike I asked them to get a Turbo in for a test ride. I purchased a $600 bike (non e) there in summer 2013, so they knew me. They weren't going to consider getting an ebike in, ever. I asked 'don't you want to sell me a $4000 bike?' They said 'not that kind of bike'. Fast forward to this year and an ebiker friend of mine went to work there. After some time passed he started educating them and now they are not only selling ebikes, they like them enough to support us in our fight to gain local, legal access to trails. They were educated, they changed. They are now supporters.
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
" I then called the owner of store #1and had the great pleasure of telling him I just spent $3200 at the bike shop down the road from him due to his ignorant employee with a bad attitude and that I would never set foot in his store again."

Having the expectation that all LBS's should like and/or sell/support ebikes is not reasonable. Yeah, the first LBS you referenced lost a sale but probably doesn't care.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Still, no need for the LBS to be rude. If they don't sell the type of product you are looking for, they could have referred you to another store. I can understand why a LBS might not want to sell ebikes, particularly if they don't have technicians that they feel are qualified to provide service on ebikes. But they should just tell you that rather than trying to convince you that ebikes are bad.
 

kathik

Member
Wanted to relate my Como 3.0 purchase from a lbs. Been doing business with two local bike shops and went to the one I purchased my last bike from looking for a Como. They’re a Specialized dealer so I assumed they they might have one or could order one. Sales guy was downright rude with an attitude when he realized I was looking for an Ebike and proceeded to tell give me all of his reasons for why he doesn’t like them. They cater to the local mtb club and emtb’s are banned from the local single tracks. I can’t stand ignorance and so the conversation got a little heated. Went directly to my other LBS and low and behold...they had two Como’s on the floor and I bought one of them on the spot. I then called the owner of store #1and had the great pleasure of telling him I just spent $3200 at the bike shop down the road from him due to his ignorant employee with a bad attitude and that I would never set foot in his store again. Ebikes are really taking off here and I see more of them all the time. It’s the future.

I would think Specialized would be interested in hearing about your poor treatment at one of their dealers?
 

Deacon Blues

Active Member
A bike shop owner, who is a non-powered cycling enthusiast, can make the decision not to sell electric bikes in his shop, but that decision is going to cost him sales and his profit margin will take a hit. This is especially true, since the profit margin on e-bikes is considerably greater than on non-electric bikes.
It's his shop and he can sell what he wants and if he's happy making less money, but keeping true to his beliefs, then the more power to him.