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Old 05-16-2013, 11:05 PM   #28696
YakSpout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
If you can find a place that has similar corners to the crit you're fixin to do, do the efforts out of the corners as practice.

You'll need it

M
That sounds a lot like preparation.

IF I do it (big IF), I'm sure I'll be the slowest Cat 5 Fred out there. But hey, maybe I'll like it. Which would be great, since I have so much time to train... (/sarcasm)
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:22 PM   #28697
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My mate getting some air on his Marin Cortina

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:37 PM   #28698
FinlandThumper
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Hey bicycle gang...

I'm back on the bike after a hellishly long and cold winter. Hell, they were ice fishing until a few weeks ago. Last year I managed to put a bit over 1250 miles on the Marin Four Corners, and I'm shooting for a 2500 mile season this year and reaping the benefits of last year's training.

I'm writing to ask about ideas for a second bike. I'm thinking of investing in a more mountain bike type ride, to replace my old Specialized Rockhopper which was sadly stolen a couple years back. Mainly I want to compliment the Four Corners, which is set up for road touring/commuting with street tires, rack, fenders, and all that.

What I'm interested in is a simple ride, not for really technical trail. If possible a rigid frame ride, but at minimum a hard tail.

I have been looking at bikes along the lines of the Surly Ogre or the Salsa Fargo 2. I know the Fargo is more of a cyclocross bike, but both of these appeal to my aesthetic and match my idea of need.

Any experience with these? Any other similar bikes which you might think are worth considering alongside these?

Since I'm back in the States for the summer, I'm kind of hoping to take advantage of the lower sales tax and strong euro to pick it up then.

Thanks for any advice.

FinlandThumper screwed with this post 05-16-2013 at 11:54 PM
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:07 AM   #28699
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
Hey bicycle gang...

I'm back on the bike after a hellishly long and cold winter. Hell, they were ice fishing until a few weeks ago. Last year I managed to put a bit over 1250 miles on the Marin Four Corners, and I'm shooting for a 2500 mile season this year and reaping the benefits of last year's training.

I'm writing to ask about ideas for a second bike. I'm thinking of investing in a more mountain bike type ride, to replace my old Specialized Rockhopper which was sadly stolen a couple years back. Mainly I want to compliment the Four Corners, which is set up for road touring/commuting with street tires, rack, fenders, and all that.

What I'm interested in is a simple ride, not for really technical trail. If possible a rigid frame ride, but at minimum a hard tail.

I have been looking at bikes along the lines of the Surly Ogre or the Salsa Fargo 2. I know the Fargo is more of a cyclocross bike, but both of these appeal to my aesthetic and match my idea of need.

Any experience with these? Any other similar bikes which you might think are worth considering alongside these?

Since I'm back in the States for the summer, I'm kind of hoping to take advantage of the lower sales tax and strong euro to pick it up then.

Thanks for any advice.


I think a ogre 29er would be a giant kick. but I've never ridden one, just oogled at the catalogs. that or the karate monkey.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:41 AM   #28700
manfromthestix
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
That's one thing he does which I've told him is really, really, dumb: he installs stuff for free! No labor charge on anything bought in his store, and he's even installed parts at no cost that were purchased elsewhere. He may think it's a good way to attract customers, but what will happen is the same thing that's happened in my line of work: customers/clients will be appreciative the first time you do it, but the next time they'll expect it. Devaluing your work by giving it away for nothing is never good for business.
A chemist friend of mine got tired of his job and opened a bike shop some years ago and ran into the same "you must stock $$$$$$worth of our bikes or we won't let you sell them" criteria from some manufacturers. He could special-order bikes from them, but not be a stocking dealer unless blah blah blah. It put a serios hurt on his business - people want to see it, touch it, test ride it, not commit $$$$ for a bike they've never seen. Terrible catch 22. He did free tune-up service on bikes he sold (basically adjust the cables and brakes) for the first year, but all other service and parts installations were at the hourly shop rate, just like you'd pay at an aouto or motorcycle mechanic's shop. Why should it be any different because it's a bicycle?

This is gospel in any business - consulting, construction, retail. Your customers understand that you have to make a living to keep your shop open and services available, hopefully. My wife opened a Montessori pre-school a couple of years ago and is very good about offering tuition breaks to families who can't afford it. The break comes straight out of her profit margin, of course, because of all the fixed costs of running the business. She had a family express interest in bringing their child and asked if she could give them a tuition break; well, yes, if there's a need of course. They drove up the first day to drop the kid off in a Porsche Cayenne (a $75,000+ car?) and she dropped her jaw. A discussion ensued and the "customer" decided they couldn't afford the full tuition and took the child to another pre-school. Good riddance to customers like that! That was a real lesson to my wife - she can't offer her services to ANYONE if she can't keep the business afloat. She's a lot more careful about offering free or discounted services now, she has very good quality "customers", and her business is thriving.

Doug
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:56 AM   #28701
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post
A chemist friend of mine got tired of his job and opened a bike shop some years ago and ran into the same "you must stock $$$$$$worth of our bikes or we won't let you sell them" criteria from some manufacturers. He could special-order bikes from them, but not be a stocking dealer unless blah blah blah. It put a serios hurt on his business - people want to see it, touch it, test ride it, not commit $$$$ for a bike they've never seen. Terrible catch 22. He did free tune-up service on bikes he sold (basically adjust the cables and brakes) for the first year, but all other service and parts installations were at the hourly shop rate, just like you'd pay at an aouto or motorcycle mechanic's shop. Why should it be any different because it's a bicycle?

This is gospel in any business - consulting, construction, retail. Your customers understand that you have to make a living to keep your shop open and services available, hopefully. My wife opened a Montessori pre-school a couple of years ago and is very good about offering tuition breaks to families who can't afford it. The break comes straight out of her profit margin, of course, because of all the fixed costs of running the business. She had a family express interest in bringing their child and asked if she could give them a tuition break; well, yes, if there's a need of course. They drove up the first day to drop the kid off in a Porsche Cayenne (a $75,000+ car?) and she dropped her jaw. A discussion ensued and the "customer" decided they couldn't afford the full tuition and took the child to another pre-school. Good riddance to customers like that! That was a real lesson to my wife - she can't offer her services to ANYONE if she can't keep the business afloat. She's a lot more careful about offering free or discounted services now, she has very good quality "customers", and her business is thriving.

Doug

Good lessons learned there. I'm anticipating the high costs of keeping big company's bikes in stock, and will try to avoid that. I'll be looking at smaller, good quality companies to supply a line of in stock family bikes. I figure those are the rides people want to feel and touch and ride. The higher $2k+ rides, people (in my experience) know what they want and are ok to order if the price and service is right. I'm also really considering bike consignment, especially for rides right in that $500-$1,500 range, where a propective buyer is looking to move up from their box store bike, but needs to be convinced spending the cash is worth it. A quick ride on a much nicer ride at a discount will hopefully convince them.

Regarding people milking deals, BTDT. We used to have some punk come in with brand new everything (~$75k in/on his truck alone, easily) looking for hand outs all the time. Kid had a real attitude on him as well, he was daddy's (business owner) boy, and what he said went. My bosses had made the mistake of giving him a discount on a big order, and just like you and Aurelius said, he came to expect it. At the time our business was struggling in the recession, and this dick would come into an empty store with an attitude, swinging dad's cash around. When I worked with him he may* have recieved the dickbag price tax I assigned certain buyers. I'll have to check into that though? Happy to say 99% of the people I've worked with are good, honest people who expect to pay a little more for quality and service. I digress; I think discounts will be applied toward friends/family, 5-10% certificates to gain customer base, and sponsored shop riders. While not looking to become rich, I need to pay the bills.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:57 AM   #28702
FinlandThumper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce View Post
I think a ogre 29er would be a giant kick. but I've never ridden one, just oogled at the catalogs. that or the karate monkey.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Seems that there are two bike shops in my home town in the USA which are "Stocking Dealers", so I hope that means there'd be one I could actually look at or even ride.

Problem here in Finland is that there's an "importer" who has rights to import their stuff...but doesn't import anything with no order, he only special orders stuff you buy in advance. Which is fine if you're ordering, let's say, some tires...but annoying if you're ordering something like this.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:00 AM   #28703
manfromthestix
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I'm very lucky (and work hard to stay that way ) that I get to work from home a lot. I live in rural Virginia where we are blessed with a zillion miles of amazing roads to ride, starting right at my driveway. I love to take a short 15 to 20 mile ride over my lunch hour, better than a cup of coffee for that afternoon slump! Imagine my disgust when I discovered the VDOT "fixing" the road in front of my house yesterday - ARGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!





Quick pass with a sweeper, layer of tar, layer of gravel, another layer of tar, another layer of gravel, a few passes with a roller, and GONE! Our work here is DONE, this road is totally "improved"! Granted the asphalt was a bit rough, but holy shite it's just absolutely HORRID now.



Maybe it's less bumpy for cars, but every one that goes by is slinging gravel and tar all over the place. It is almost impassable on a bicycle and will be for a very long time before it gets worn in. I got my WR250R out and rode the area a bit last night and found that they've "fixed" a lot of the roads nearby. Even on the little dirt bike with knobbies the shite is scary slick. The nearest good asphalt is now almost two miles from my driveway. I just put a new set of tires on my Surly cyclocross bike, got 3500 miles out of the last set but won't get anywhere near that out of these, not to mention how ferking rough the ride will be.

Gawd I hate chip seal!

The really sad news is that I washed my BMW GS yesterday for the first time in a year and now it will get all dusty again, and maybe some tar spots!



Thanks for listening to me rant. I love good, smooth asphalt or a good dirt road, but I just fooking hate chip seal.

Doug
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:16 AM   #28704
Gummee!
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Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post
Gawd I hate chip seal!
Makes at least 2 of us. Luckily, they won't be back for many years and the road'll recover.

I'm fixin to go on a 4hr mixed surface ride. Lots of gravel, more'n a few hills, gonna kill my legs after the last few days.

M
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:51 AM   #28705
TheNedster
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Hey moodfart,

My LBS of choice is using the same kind of business model that you're contemplating. He has 2-3 shop rides a week and it really seems to help business. Check out his website: www.cyclopediaofredding.com
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:01 AM   #28706
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for those of y'all looking for GPS based computers:

short time deal

M
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:20 AM   #28707
k7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post

Gawd I hate chip seal!

The really sad news is that I washed my BMW GS yesterday for the first time in a year and now it will get all dusty again, and maybe some tar spots!



Thanks for listening to me rant. I love good, smooth asphalt or a good dirt road, but I just fooking hate chip seal.

Doug
First world problems. Everyone complained about the chipseal in Texas on our last ride. I noticed it but on the recumbent, it's not a huge, huge issue.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:25 AM   #28708
k7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
for those of y'all looking for GPS based computers:

short time deal

M
Jeebus - if I didn't already have an 810, I'd jump all over that.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:56 AM   #28709
YakSpout
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Originally Posted by TheNedster View Post
Hey moodfart,

My LBS of choice is using the same kind of business model that you're contemplating. He has 2-3 shop rides a week and it really seems to help business. Check out his website: www.cyclopediaofredding.com
I read the link really quickly and thought "Cyclopedia of Fredding, that sounds like an awesome shop."

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Old 05-17-2013, 10:33 AM   #28710
manfromthestix
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Originally Posted by moodfart View Post
Good lessons learned there.

....

While not looking to become rich, I need to pay the bills.
Well I wish you nothing but success and joy doing something you love! My wife is very passionate about her teaching and works magic with little kids, but if she can't pay the bills she can't help anyone.

Another lesson we've learned over the years is that while a normal creditor like a bank can repossess a car/bike/motorcycle/house/jet ski/etc. that you purchased using credit from them, you can't repossess a service you've extended to someone. I'm a hydrogeologist and ran a consulting business for a while (siting water wells, doing environmental clean-ups, etc.) and played hell getting paid for my services sometimes. My wife has had to take two deadbeats to task for not paying tuition/fees and it is a huge PITA with a low return for effort expended. Small claims court is a black hole. If there's any way possible, hold on to the customer's bike (or something of value) until you are paid in full.

Riding news - it's glorious outside, zero breeze, blue sky, 77*F, modest humidity, green as it can be, so off for a spin! On my lunch ride I confirmed that chip seal does indeed suck the Big Wazoo. VDOT is gleefully ruining the rest of the road that they didn't trash yesterday. On a positive note, it's only two miles to the smooth real pavement and I did get to spray my favorite attack pit bull in the face with pepper spray (2nd time I've gotten him out of maybe 25 attacks by that fooker) AND I got to see a HUGE black snake sunning himself in one of the few spots VDOT hasn't covered with loose gravel on my road. He was COOL, stretched across about 3/5 of the road. All in all, a less-than-optimal ride is still a fantastic way to spend some time.

Doug
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