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I'm opening a shop down here in Bridgeport, so, what would you like it to be like?

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For me, the most important aspect of a bike shop is the service. Getting competent, polite, quick service? That's a good bike shop in my book, North Side, West Side or South Side.
I'll second that. If a shop has crappy service, I won't come back. Competent, polite service in a reasonable amount of time (1 wk or less off-season) wins my business. I always appreciate it if a shop that's not in my neighborhood can do an emergency quick fix if I'm in enough of a bind that it's tough to get home. My fave shops do both well.

A reasonable selection of accessories, parts and tools is also helpful. If my headlight dies, I don't necessarily have time to go halfway across the city to find a replacement.

There are some shops that do first rate service but have long wait times (2+ wks off-season, longer in season). I may appreciate the quality of their work, but find it hard to justify giving them the business if another nearby shop does work of equal quality in a more workable time frame. Who wants to be without their bike for 3 weeks in July unless they have LOTS of bikes?

Joe said:
For me, the most important aspect of a bike shop is the service. Getting competent, polite, quick service? That's a good bike shop in my book, North Side, West Side or South Side.
I do like it when a bike shop owner tries to build a relationship with me. Often it's a simple as asking you about your bike and what kind of riding you like to do, and then getting into a conversation from there. I know I can get stuff cheaper online, but I appreciate when a shop attempts to engage me in old school customer service. I have a decent relationship with my neighborhood shop, and I'll go back in to chat about bikes, see what's new, and I'll probably end up with a new set of tires or those pedals I've been meaning to pick up.

And one of the biggest things that's important to me is that a shop be vintage-friendly. A customer can still spend quite a bit getting that vintage frame on the road.
Some sort of x-factor. A smiling, try-hard, can-do attitude with no BS, cheese, and lies. The kind of place I tell people about and say, now THAT'S a bike shop, they will take care of you there. Deck the place out in cool, punky stuff like mannequins with fishbowls in their heads and The Clash playing over the sound system. Free water and baskets of food when you open, like a big party, with a website and blog to update us on sales or new things you have rolling. And keep it going - don't be cool for like a month and then suddenly morph into a lame place with bad vibes. I think it would be cool to have a frequent buyer or frequent shopper program where we buy 5 tune-ups, get the 6th free or something. I don't like shag carpet. Do NOT have pets in the store - they are unattractive sometimes when you are in a place of business. I do not need my entire shopping experience narrated, so don't follow people around saying "those are great" when I look at something (there is a bike shop that does this, no names, it annoys me). I think it would be really cool to have a natural setting like a park out front with a place to sit and talk, like tables with chairs and stuff where we could relax and watch nature.
Wasabi_Junkie said:
Some sort of x-factor. A smiling, try-hard, can-do attitude with no BS, cheese, and lies. The kind of place I tell people about and say, now THAT'S a bike shop, they will take care of you there. Deck the place out in cool, punky stuff like mannequins with fishbowls in their heads and The Clash playing over the sound system. Free water and baskets of food when you open, like a big party, with a website and blog to update us on sales or new things you have rolling. And keep it going - don't be cool for like a month and then suddenly morph into a lame place with bad vibes. I think it would be cool to have a frequent buyer or frequent shopper program where we buy 5 tune-ups, get the 6th free or something. I don't like shag carpet. Do NOT have pets in the store - they are unattractive sometimes when you are in a place of business. I do not need my entire shopping experience narrated, so don't follow people around saying "those are great" when I look at something (there is a bike shop that does this, no names, it annoys me). I think it would be really cool to have a natural setting like a park out front with a place to sit and talk, like tables with chairs and stuff where we could relax and watch nature.


^^yeah, everything he said, plus sprockets.

Holy *(&^, you're opening up in B'port? FINALLY!! I moved to B'port and feel like I'm in another country, there are a few riders down there but absolutely no LBS. It'll be great to welcome you! What coordinates are you looking at? You may be able to snag some tax incentives too. Send me a message offline.

Wow, an LBS by me! This is exciting!

Oh, and really I would agree with all the posts below. I NEVER go to Kozy's any longer due to their snobbery. I can't stand it.
Todd said:
Holy *(&^, you're opening up in B'port? FINALLY!! I moved to B'port and feel like I'm in another country, there are a few riders down there but absolutely no LBS. It'll be great to welcome you! What coordinates are you looking at? You may be able to snag some tax incentives too. Send me a message offline.

Wow, an LBS by me! This is exciting!
Welcome to the hood Todd. Bridgeport truley fills like the land that time forgot, but I wouldn't live any where else.
Owen good luck with your bike shop venture. As far as to what I'd like to see well Boulevard Bikes is one of my favorite shops. Fast friendly service and approachable staff who doesnt make me fill like an idiot when I ask stupid questions.

Oh, and really I would agree with all the posts below. I NEVER go to Kozy's any longer due to their snobbery. I can't stand it.
The certainly looks to be the space, and there is already one of those city maintained mini gardens. Now you have me thinking, this could be dangerous . . .
One request I hear a lot is for more inventory. As you know, most of the other southside shops are pretty threadbare or just very small scale operations. If you had the space and the interest, offering a range of $3-700 commuter & recreational bikes in a friendly, informational (not pushy) environment... your shop should do really really well right out of the gate. And although we've talked a lot about brands offline, ultimately this doesn't matter to 90% of your potential customers. I think people will immediately like and trust the two of you and so as long as you have something decent in their price range -- it's a no brainer.
Yep, I'm thinking that offering some free coffee/tea would be good. I started to think of this when we jettisoned the cafe idea (for the time being.) It looks like we have the space for some benches as well . . .
What an outstanding idea!

h3 said:
olloyd1 said:
The certainly looks to be the space, and there is already one of those city maintained mini gardens. Now you have me thinking, this could be dangerous . . .

...space with ornate benches on Oakley at 24th place in front of an old funeral home which approximates what I'd like to see at 32nd/Halsted.
rolled up sleeves and greasy biceps

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