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The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

post #1 of 137
Thread Starter 
I was talking to Val Kleitz at the Bikesmith in Seattle today and he told me that he will have to go
out of business in a couple of weeks. That's a real loss because he runs a very capable and
responsive LBS. Everyone in the area that can should try to get over there and give him some
business as soon as you can. It may not be too late to save the business.

http://www.thebikesmith.com

PS. I am not connected in any way with the Bikesmith, just a concerned customer.
post #2 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

"cheg" <spameater@communistcast.net>
> I was talking to Val Kleitz at the Bikesmith in Seattle today and he told me that he will have to
> go out of business in a couple of weeks. That's a real loss because he runs a very capable and
> responsive LBS. Everyone in the area that can should try to get over there and give him some
> business as soon as you can. It may not be too late to save the business.
>
> http://www.thebikesmith.com

That would be a big loss. I hope he can figure out a way to keep the doors open. I've take my bike
business there in the past.

fini
post #3 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 08:57:47 -0500, "smiles"
<csmillie@removethisboardnbike.com> wrote:

>The riders who support MO and complain their LBS is going away ... needs to look into the mirror
>and blame themselves. If your LBS cannot get you the parts ... then go MO ... not the other way.
>
>s http://boardnbike.com

When newbies ask me about where to buy I always tell 'em to pick a shop they like 'cause THAT'S what
they're really buying. Too bad more people don't get it.

When you think of all the good advice you've gotten from yer LBS ain't it gonna be the *****
not to have 'em around when that piece-o crap you just got in the mail from Bikes-Are-Us don't
work so good?

NO, REALLY THINK ABOUT IT, THE ADVICE YOU GET FROM A GOOD SHOP WILL SAVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL SAVE
SHOPPING MO. okay?

This opinion brought to you from just one more poor bastard who spent years and money to find out
what every LBS knows... jb
post #4 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

ah the joys of crossposting ploink.wav
post #5 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 15:54:10 +0100, "Mikael Seierup"
<briangoebbels@hotmail.com> wrote:

>ah the joys of crossposting ploink.wav

I don't think inappropriate in this case. ding.wav yerself.
post #6 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

"jeffbonny" <jeffbonny@REMCAPSshaw.ca> wrote in message
news:54sf005glig5fshivvil3cpgs8ftk9inau@4ax.com...
>
> NO, REALLY THINK ABOUT IT, THE ADVICE YOU GET FROM A GOOD SHOP WILL SAVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL
> SAVE SHOPPING MO. okay?
>

I CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I GOT GOOD ADVICE FROM A SHOP (OTHER THAN HARRIS CYCLERY, AND IT'S
CLEAR ACROSS THE COUNTRY)! I THINK IT MAY HAVE BEEN 1987 WHEN THE LBS SUGGESTED THAT I REPLACE MY
1974 SEARS FREE SPIRIT 10 SPEED AND GET A MTN BIKE FOR OFF-ROADING. THOSE STEEL RIMS DIDN'T STOP ME
VERY WELL AND THE SHOP WAS GETTING TIRED OF TRACKING DOWN FORKS FOR THE FREE SPIRIT. I'M STILL USING
THE DROP BARS FROM THAT BIKE TO DO THIS DAY!!!

okay, GREG!
post #7 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 16:55:34 GMT, "G.T." <ethan_t@sbcglobal.net>
wrote:

>I CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I GOT GOOD ADVICE FROM A SHOP (OTHER THAN HARRIS CYCLERY, AND IT'S
>CLEAR ACROSS THE COUNTRY)! I THINK IT MAY HAVE BEEN 1987 WHEN THE LBS SUGGESTED THAT I REPLACE MY
>1974 SEARS FREE SPIRIT 10 SPEED AND GET A MTN BIKE FOR OFF-ROADING. THOSE STEEL RIMS DIDN'T STOP ME
>VERY WELL AND THE SHOP WAS GETTING TIRED OF TRACKING DOWN FORKS FOR THE FREE SPIRIT. I'M STILL
>USING THE DROP BARS FROM THAT BIKE TO DO THIS DAY!!!
>
>okay, GREG!
>

You wanna throw the baby out with the bath water go ahead. There are a few good shops and sometimes
you just got keep trying till ya find it. jb
post #8 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

"Billy Bigelow" <nomail@thank.you> wrote in message news:<100f1vu46v66nec@corp.supernews.com>...
> "cheg" <spameater@communistcast.net>
> > I was talking to Val Kleitz at the Bikesmith in Seattle today and he told me that he will have
> > to go out of business in a couple of weeks. That's a real loss because he runs a very capable
> > and responsive LBS. Everyone in the area that can should try to get over there and give him some
> > business as soon as you can. It may not be too late to save the business.
> >
> > http://www.thebikesmith.com
>
> That would be a big loss. I hope he can figure out a way to keep the doors open. I've take my bike
> business there in the past.
>
> fini

The fact that SuperGo opened their shop 3 blocks down across I-5 can't be helping his business. The
thing is, his market was so focused on the obscure stuff that people buying a $4000 giant OCR
wouldn't really effect him.

I worked with Val for about a year - one of the truely cool bike guys in Seattle. I always wondered
about his shop - he was such a good mechanic but such a bad merchandiser. When you shopped at
BikeSmith, you went for the obscure part, the custom Jurry-Rig, or just for a story.

-a
post #9 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

On 16 Jan 2004 12:00:10 -0800, carlfogel@comcast.net (Carl Fogel)
wrote:

>An astonishing number of people manage to run their own office computers quite happily and
>successfully without paying consultants like me. They are often sensible, practical people--and
>cursing them and calling them cheap bastards seems unlikely to encourage them to call me.

What the hell, though, it's worth a try. It's not like the cheap bastards are customers now,
is it? ;-)

Guy
===
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
post #10 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

jeffbonny <jeffbonny@REMCAPSshaw.ca> wrote in message
>
> I don't think inappropriate in this case.

You're mistaken. The original post was innappropriate for rec.bicyles.racing and probably for
rec.bicycles.tech. And it missed the most appropriate rec.bicycles.* group for it --
r.b.marketplace.

Please see the FAQ for those groups before encouraging off-topic stuff.

JT
post #11 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

On 16 Jan 2004 12:00:10 -0800, carlfogel@comcast.net (Carl Fogel)
wrote:

>Dear Jeff,
>
>Perhaps WalMart and the internet bicycle-parts stores have a slightly different attitude toward
>their customers than some unfortunate local bike shops?
>

>
>The customers may be neither as numerous, interested, or unhappy as you wish. This is why it's so
>hard to make a living running a bicycle shop. You need a lot of people who live nearby, dote upon
>bicycles, and want lots of advice and mechanical help.
>
>An astonishing number of people manage to run their own office computers quite happily and
>successfully without paying consultants like me. They are often sensible, practical people--and
>cursing them and calling them cheap bastards seems unlikely to encourage them to call me.
>
>Carl Fogel

Point taken and apologies to all.

It's an emotional issue for me as I tried for five years to make a living with my own shop and have
worked in several others. During that time I saw over and over people coming in with a part they
saved a few bucks buying from Nashbar or the like trying to grind the labour to install it down past
the break even point or wanting free advice on installing it. Or even worse buying it mail order for
the same price I coulda done it for if they'd asked.

More important though the bike shop has been a social scene my whole life from learning to road race
in my early teens through the birth of the mtb coming full circle to my "rootsy" devotion to single
speeds the past decade. What mail order don't got: The training rides that left from the shop. The
support for young racers.The bbq going out back with the sales reps. Hanging out on rainy winter
days watching vids of Kelly descending into San Remo kicking Italian ass. Tweaking bikes with the
bros after hours the night before a race or big ride. The knowledge gained from a customer like Bob
who'd ridden in two Tours. Building wheels for someone who goes on to win a Rainbow Jersey on 'em.
And I could go on...

What happens to all this when the shop is gone? It hurts me to think that the source of so much
satisfaction and knowledge and lore is disappearing at an alarming rate, that there will be no
place to spawn the next generation of riders and mechanics. It's about so much more than setting
the bike up and making the pedals go 'round but if you don't get I guess you just don't get it.

bones deep cove.bc.ca
post #12 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

On 16 Jan 2004 13:57:58 -0800, beelzebubba@hotmail.com (Jonesy) wrote:

snip
>Frankly, if I had ever gotten anything like good advice from the local bike shops, I would still
>buy stuff from them. As it is, I refuse to buy so much as a patch kit from these folks.

With you all the way man. Going into a shop knowing what I want and why I want it it's hard to take
some kid that was swimming around in his ol' man's bag when I was hammering 3000km a month feed me a
line of crap. Why should a shop like that get your money? They shouldn't.

Upon further reflection it's probably places like you describe that are more responsible for putting
the good ones outta business than are MO houses. The MOs may be a reflection of the problem as much
as it's cause.

I'm done. jb
post #13 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

Fri, 16 Jan 2004 20:47:16 GMT,
<ougg00h3ir82qd1odkrnh3arvecbsavbuk@4ax.com>,
jeffbonny <jeffbonny@REMCAPSshaw.ca> wrote:

>What mail order don't got:

Soul.
--
zk
post #14 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

I just talked to Val...unfortunately I think its a lots cause. He's out due to the landlord in 2
weeks and selling anything and everything he can.

Sorry dude. E

"cheg" <spameater@communistcast.net> wrote in message news:zpKNb.63885$sv6.144386@attbi_s52...
> I was talking to Val Kleitz at the Bikesmith in Seattle today and he told me that he will have to
> go out of business in a couple of weeks. That's a real loss because he runs a very capable and
> responsive LBS. Everyone in the area that can should try to get over there and give him some
> business as soon as you can. It may not be too late to save the business.
>
> http://www.thebikesmith.com
>
>
> PS. I am not connected in any way with the Bikesmith, just a concerned customer.
post #15 of 137

Re: The Bikesmith, Seattle, shutting down

"smiles" <csmillie@removethisboardnbike.com> wrote in message
news:%4SNb.2305$%86.696@bignews4.bellsouth.net...
> "Billy Bigelow" <nomail@thank.you> wrote in message news:100f1vu46v66nec@corp.supernews.com...

<snip>

> The sad thing with mail order is the customer service sucks and if there are problems you are
> hosed ... and in most cases you don't save much (if anything) ...

That is not entirely true. I've dealt with a couple of mail order shops that have supreme customer
service, and have gone out of their way to help me buy what I needed. Colorado Cyclist, Excel,
Jenson, Cambria, and yes, even Supergo have been guilty of providing me with good customer service.
Notice I did not mention Performance.

Let us not forget, that many of the MO houses began as, or are, real B&M bike shops. Cambria,
Jenson, Colorado Cyclist, Excel Sports to name just a few. I believe Supergo was also a B&M store
when they began down in LA. There are many others that I am sure that I am forgetting.

And saving? Let's take the pedals I just bought yesterday. The only local shop that had them in
stock (a shop I don't particularly like anyway) wanted $110.00 plus tax for the pair, which makes a
grand total of $119 and some change in my neck of the woods. Jenson USA had the exact same pedals,
in stock, and sent them to me via overnight FEDEX for $79 total. Think about that. I saved a
whopping *$40* on my pedals, and that's with the shipping thrown in. If I could have waited a week
(which I couldn't), I could have saved FIFTY dollars total. Think about that... That's a tremendous
amount of savings, to the tune of, what about 40%?...and you say I don't save much, if anything? 40%
is a LOT of money to save.

I even thought about this before I bought them. If those pedals had been even $10 or $15 more than
Jenson, I would have happily bought them at the store, for all the good reasons y'all have mentioned
in this thread, but c'mon...you expect me to spend 40% more of my hard earned money for some
occasional good advice (which admittedly is getting harder and harder to find these days)? That's a
tough one to swallow.
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