YOU, the customer.

Berry78

Active Member
When you are buying a bike, what seems to be the most important aspect?

1. Motor (power/type/placement)
2. Console ease of use
3. Bike frame/geometry/fit
4. price
5. Visual appeal..color, shape
6. The shop experience (for example you think you want a haibike but the shop only sells trek, so you get the trek because you like the shop so much).
7. Speed of delivery (It's my wife's birthday today and I need a gift today!).
8. After purchase needs (cheap battery, easy to find servicing for that brand..)

Also, which business model sounds more appealing?

1. You pay more for the bike (close to retail), but the service prices are very good.

2. You pay less for the new bike (more like Internet prices), but the service brings a premium.

3. Middle of the road for service and purchase. (This would actually not work out well for the shop because someone will always be cheaper as in the above models).

(NO lbs would be able to function with no profit.. customer always has to pay..when do YOU prefer to pay?)

PS... I do not own a shop and am not affiliated with any. I am just a prospective ebike owner (once I have saved up some $). I used to own a game store, so have an interest in business models..
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@Berry78, very interesting set of questions and I think the answers may vary depending upon type of product someone is looking for; whole new bike or conversion kit for example. And whether there are any shops reasonably close by (determining what 'close by' means will vary on the person and location). The mechanical skill level of the ebike buyer. Someone who doesn't know how to work on a bike or doesn't want to will really be looking for the support of a shop as compared to a person who is comfortable building and maintaining and electric bike.

Another point to consider is that bikes available from the Internet are not necessarily the same bikes available in a shop, so it's not an apples to apples comparison. It can be challenging to determine the exact components on a bike or the quality of the components or build when purchasing something directly from the Internet, particularly crowd funded or Asian sourced bikes with limited distribution.

Just some thoughts, as the reality is that both models exist today. However, long term success of electric bikes for transportation, sport & health uses is dependent upon adequate product support to avoid the issue of frustrated ebike owners just throwing a bike that breaks into the trash.
 

Berry78

Active Member
Good points.. wonder what %age of customers plan on doing their own maintenance..therefore only need the shop (or internet) for the initial purchase...

I have a good friend that owns a pet store (fish).. he has an interesting business model. He sells the tanks at nearly cost (i.e. real cheap)... then makes his profit on the fish/food/supplies. He has been in business forever, and is quite successful.

Every community would benefit from having successful bike shops.. it would be good to understand the customer first, then create a business model around their needs.
 
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vincent

Well-Known Member
personally i want a shop that does all my maintenance and repairs
also would like an ebike shop that knows what they are looking at and doing
and one that can do conversions for me

i am not looking to learn how to maintain/repair bicycles---want my time to be put toward riding/exercising
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
Ensuring that the bike is fit for it's intended purpose and component spec needs to be added to your first list. Along with the motor system, those two are my key purchase points.

In respect of the second list, I prefer to shop locally if possible, and whilst I carry out pretty much all of my own servicing work, I do have a friend that owns a cycle shop, and try to support him and his business, the best that I can. He doesn't sell ebikes though.
 

Cnugget

Active Member
4, 3, 1, 5, 6, 8, 7

First ebike purchase:
I didn't want to spend a lot in case it ended up collecting dust. Having a warranty helped influence a buy. I had a preference to someone that could answer my questions and let me try bike(s) out. A couple bikes shops thought I was crazy for asking to do this. Mechanic's don't always make the best sales people, so the store that ONLY has a bike mechanic... has a bike mechanic. :p Selling a bike and repairing a bike need not be one and the same to me.
 

Berry78

Active Member
4, 3, 1, 5, 6, 8, 7

First ebike purchase:
I didn't want to spend a lot in case it ended up collecting dust. Having a warranty helped influence a buy. I had a preference to someone that could answer my questions and let me try bike(s) out. A couple bikes shops thought I was crazy for asking to do this. Mechanic's don't always make the best sales people, so the store that ONLY has a bike mechanic... has a bike mechanic. :p Selling a bike and repairing a bike need not be one and the same to me.

Awesome..thank you for taking the time. That is interesting about the mechanics only shops...I've only seen shops that do both. However, on second thought, might explain some of my experiences. They sell bikes, but don't SELL them.
 

Cnugget

Active Member
They sell bikes, but don't SELL them.

To be clear.. I'm not keen on a hard sell either.. I just think there are some questions that mechanics may cringe:mad: at that a guest services rep may be more prepared to answer over and over and over. :p
 
3. Bike frame/geometry/fit
1. Motor (power/type/placement)
4. price
5. Visual appeal..color, shape
8. After purchase needs (cheap battery, easy to find servicing for that brand..)
7. Speed of delivery (It's my wife's birthday today and I need a gift today!).
2. Console ease of use
6. The shop experience (for example you think you want a haibike but the shop only sells trek, so you get the trek because you like the shop so much).

Bike fit is the most important. A lot of ebikes only come in one size. That's fine if you are of average size with average proportions I guess, but for many it's a poor fit. If you are someone who is active and pedals (80+ rpm vs throttle) then this becomes even more important. Motor is second for me because I want the power and am not interested in long distance at slow speed rides.