Why are bike shops so Expensive ?
Why Are Bike Shops So Expensive ? Bike shop bikes are defiantly more expensive compared to big box stores or big online retailers. In this article we touch on why they are more expensive and why they are less expensive in the long run and maybe change your way of looking at things. We will try to explain why paying a little for a good quality bike is better for you and your community and how keeping your bike shop in business is only going to help you in the long run.
The simple economics of why bikes are more expensive is easy to explain. The basic truth is most bike shops bikes and products are higher quality than the online competitors and big box stores. Higher quality means you pay more but, you get what you pay for. Cheaper bikes and products will cost less, but most people fail to think how cheaper products cost over a long period of time. We regularly have this same conversation in person with our customers. I always begin by saying that “big box stores or online retailers bikes are the most expensive kind of bike you can buy”. I go on and explain how those types of bikes are more expensive because the low quality of the bikes make repairs more frequent and more costly. Most of those types of bikes will come with inherit problems that will have you spending more money in the long run than you would have if you bought a bike shop quality kind of bike.
As a small business our buying power is not as big because we focus on selling bikes that last a long time. While our big competitors focus on selling bikes that are inexpensive but are built with what is know as Planned Obsolescence or built to fail. Most bike shops are called IBD (Independent Bike Dealers) and don’t buy bikes by the thousands, that is because we sell quality and not quantities. Imagine if you bought a cheap $150 bike every year from when you were a kid to a senior. That is approximately $10k if you live to be 78 minus 15 years or so, compared to if you bought a real nice quality bike that will last you about 10 years.
Another reason why bike shops are more expensive is because most bike shops will offer you a warranty on your bike purchase. Most bike shops have an in house mechanic that will service and repair your bike if anything where to happen. Live 4 Bikes bike shop offers a one year warranty on all new bikes and we take care of any problems that happen within the first year. This is not including any wear and tear such as tires, tubes and grips of course. This warranty is usually included in the price and usually there is no additional cost, it is eaten but by the bike shop. As apposed to a big box store or the online conglomerate that does not have a in store mechanic that is working everyday.
So, let's get into the mechanic topic a little more in depth now. One good reason why bike shops are more expensive is because hiring a competent bicycle mechanic is expensive. Most people fail to realized that being a bike mechanic is a specialized skill that take years to master. It is not as intense as a doctor or engineer but nonetheless, it's a learned skill that takes practice and upkeep. Although it’s not a glamorous job, bike mechanics need to be compensated well, so they too can earn a livable wage. The bike mechanic position is vital to making sure that your bike is put together well to avoid any mishaps in the feature. Again, this is what sets a quality bike shop bike apart from a low quality, cheaper bike. You pay more for peace of mind, less worrying and less mechanical issues and repairs. With a bike shop quality bike you spend more time riding it that you would spend on expensive repairs.
Bike shops are the only place where you can see, try out and size high performance bikes. High performance or high end bikes are more expensive by nature because they are equipped with components meant for racing and highly pressed movements. High end bike is a relative term that can range from a $1500 to 10k bike. For some people a $1500 bike is unfathomable and a 10k bike is just frivolous but to those that ride frequently, a great quality bike is worth every penny. And the difference between inexpensive bikes and expensive bikes are the components. Most component makers have a hierarchy of price and performance. For example, an entry level Bianchi Road Bike with Claris Components in the year 2022 is about $1174 while a Bianchi bike carbon fiber with Dura Ace Components start around 6k. Flooring these types of bikes is not cheap and there needs to be a set amount of profit in order for the shop to make a profit and stay in business.
Bike shops like Live 4 Bikes in Bellflower or Downey do a lot of things for free to help out the community. We have conversations with people, to help guide them in the right direction and sometimes even recommend a competitor for some things. We have done all of those things because we love to help people and we love bikes, but at the end of the day we are still a business and have to find ways to stay in business, keep our employees happy and make a decent living.
One more reason why bike shop prices are a little higher is because as a small business we have to pay our fair share of taxes. Most big box store or super online retailers pay little to no income taxes. They are the biggest government welfare recipients, while paying little to no income taxes. As a small business, we don’t have entire firms working on our taxes and therefore have to pay income taxes just like you and every other American. By supporting small businesses, your tax dollars stay in your community and help keep it beautiful. It is said that small businesses are the backbone of American, and that is because we pay the most taxes.
The major reason why bike shops are so expensive is because we know what we are doing. most bike shop owners are avid bike riders and love bikes. Our knowledge of bikes, brands and experience is what you pay for. You can stop by Live 4 Bikes to talk and ask the hardest questions and most of our staff will be able to help you. It is like every other specialized business in the senses that, you can ask anything and at least get pointed in the right direction. That is hard to do if you are a big box store or an online conglomerate. Bike shops specialize in bikes and bikes only!
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