Spanners wanted (mechanics)

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  • This is not myself hiring, but I’ve been asked to out the word out for any mechanics looking for work.

    It is for cycle surgery. Various locations.

    If anyone is interested, give me a shout and I’ll put word through.


  • Bump

  • Bump

  • Slightly off topic, but has CS managed to hold on to all its London stores during this Brexit chaos nonsense unlike Evans Cycles lossing their stores under new owner Mike Ashley?

    Or is it business as normal..

  • My nearest Cycle Surgery, in West End Lane NW6, closed several months ago and is now a running shop. As a historical note, a bike shop had been at these premises since 1977, when it was known as Beta Bikes, which became Freewheel, and out of which emerged the large and successful distributor Madison. (See here)

    How can a retailer selling running apparel more viable than a bike shop?

  • Remains to be seen whether the running shop will be viable long term.
    Bricks and mortar high street retail is dying, online retail rules over all.
    Prohibitive costs for bike shops on terms of rents, business rates, staffing, training of staff, product (especially if you have to stock bikes and lots of them) when all customers see internet pricing as the going rate means that most bike shops can't be run efficiently enough to make a profit. And if they do make a profit it's so slim as to be non-existent.
    Distributors have not moved with the times either, systemically handicapping the service that bike shops could provide to try to match online retail service (small goods carriage items from suppliers generally incur anything from £5-£12.50 for a single item; true next day delivery is not universal; weekend delivery that isn't charged at an exorbitant rate is almost non-existent). Distributors are only interested in selling bulk really, so independent bike shops are treated with disdain. Everything will move online eventually, the only bricks & mortar edifices that remain will be bike workshops/service centres and destination shops designed for urban hipsters who want the "experience".

  • How can a retailer selling running apparel more viable than a bike shop?

    Running is the new cycling?

  • So we are moving to an era where people will simply sell on their £2000 bike and buy this year's model because maintenance is not available at local bike workshops (and they don't have the skill to do their own maintenance)? Silver lining for people who can do their own...

  • So we are moving to an era where people will simply sell on their £2000 bike and buy this year's model because maintenance is not available at local bike workshops

    This was Mountain Biking in 2017

  • Has it changed since? Or was that the turning point?

  • That was the - rough - turning point when folks with 11 speed realised they would be paying £200 for a new like for like cassette for a bike that, thanks to evolving standards and fussy frames and components were now worth way less than half of what they paid for them two years down and half of that the next year.

  • This was Mountain Biking in 2017

    In general, or from a Londoner's perspective?

    *I gave up with irl bike shops years ago

  • We moving towards an era where are more conscious with our money. Because this ultimately dictates on paying for the privileges we take for granted and how long we are prepared to maintain them.

    As a former Bike Mechanic and Cycle enthusiastic, I've noticed during the past couple of years that I worked in retail sector that people's desires for a new bike or service hasn't changed, but what they are prepared to pay for has significantly changed....

    As for my own cycling desires I would love to own a Road, Gravel, and/or mtb ebike because I'm sick of seeing some fat bast*rd cruise pass me on a bike that weighs a ton. Plus I am not getting any younger but still want to be able to venture out on a bike.

  • the only bricks & mortar edifices that remain will be bike workshops/service centres and destination shops designed for urban hipsters who want the "experience"

    I visited one of these recently. (It shall remain nameless.) It was deeply grimy, and not in a good way. Better off by far, I felt, doing one's own spannering at home.

  • In Glasgow we have @BrickMan doing his thing with storage, fix your own bike and being a Bullitt dealer, Willy Bain runs probably one of the busiest workshops in Scotland and the north of England and doesn’t sell a single bike (afaik) and Torvelo are focusing on proper high end servicing but are also selling Moriarty branded chi carbon frames and wheels.

    The last shop I worked in was a dealer for one of the ‘big 3’ and sold the usual Altura clothing, Cateye lights and shite that you can find online at 50% off with 5 minutes of googling. Unsurprisingly gone out of business.

    I reckon the day of high street cycle retail in it’s traditional form is well and truly done.

  • It's the same company that runs Cycle Surgery. It encompasses Cotswold, Snow & Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need.

    Running shops are profitable simply because it's cheaper and people tend to wear out stuff quicker.

    The dynamic for brick and mortar stores has to change. Buying habits dictate purchasing power, which is also locked to manufacturers and retailers.
    Do people still buy bikes? Yes. It's just not as wanton as it used to be. The more human retailers get the more the possibility for survival.

    I can't speak for where I work as I have near enough zero influence over the direction said company takes, but the closing down of stores is multi faceted and isn't exclusive to cycling.

    The reasons are numerous and require a proper chat. @t_w has gone into it somewhat regarding bike shops, but I don't agree that all that will remain will be workshops.

    The vibe I get is that people still like going into bike shops, it's just most are either fucking boring, elitist, or 'optimized' into oblivion so people treat them as such.

    tldr. Brick and Mortar isn't shit, it's just how they're run and forced to run makes them so, whether that's a death knell remains to be seen.

  • All high street retail shops in general will die out. Amazon will rule all.

  • I don't agree. Amazon, Wiggle, Bike24 etc are fine for repeat purchasers who already know what they want. What is destructive of bricks-and-mortar though are new prospects who go in to see the products and ask the questions, snap a few sly pix, then go off and buy online. This is how Amazon has destroyed the bookselling trade. But bike retailers that genuinely offer an 'experience' and become a 'destination' should survive and prosper — eg Condor Cycles. (I have no relationship with this company other than as a customer.)

  • I'm more talking about high street retail in general.

    For the bike trade I've already mentioned destination bike shops.

  • Bike shops going under and claiming the industry is dead, five minutes to look at the set up and you can see for some it’s simply the set up. Huge overheads, poor product choice, poor advertising styles, outdated ways of working. Some shops are really getting it right, the industry has simply evolved. Got to have your finger on the pulse

  • Though I am told events have run on ahead of this, and Cycle Surgery is to close?

  • It is indeed. The news is now in the public realm. We were told a few days ago of the outcome post CVA negotiations.
    There was somewhat valid reasoning behind it. Whilst I don't agree with a large part of it, it is what it is, and I'm going to stick it out to the end as the team I work with is most excellent, but it is time to find fresh pasture.
    Funny how things work out since my first posting on here aye!

  • Ah bad luck! Ignore the question in my PM to you.

  • What were you doing there mate? I can keep an eye out for something suitable at my place

  • If I am not mistaken JD Whiskers used to be round the corner from West End Lane.... many, many moons ago.

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Spanners wanted (mechanics)

Posted by Avatar for Chak @Chak