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Harris cyclery is closing

Old 06-12-21, 07:14 PM
  #51  
Atlas Shrugged
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Hey we have AliExpress. Super low prices and lots of inventory virtually free shipping on most items as well. Why is it that the Chinese have plenty of inventory of items that are virtually impossible to find in the West? I needed a Shimano 160mm disc brake spacer for flat mount and was told not to expect one until October. Two weeks from Ali Express and exactly 1/2 the price. Plus when I order parts never in that dumb retail packaging which all needs to be thrown out. Comes in a simple plastic OEM bag.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:31 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
That is the way you learn and soon becomes pretty easy. I started cycling as a sport in 1992. In 1998, I needed a new cassette. I was like what, remove a cassette? Intimidating at first but after you do it, nothing to stress about. Heck, been swapping them for years now, piece of cake. More people ought to DIY.
It certainly has suited me, but YMMV. I checked out and studied all the books on bikes and bike repair from our school library back in 4th grade which would have been about 1972-73. Pretty much done 100% of my bike stuff ever since.

Both of my current bikes were basically built from the frame up, with some degree of experimentation along the way. Iíve enjoyed that, but itís not everyoneís cup of tea.

Still, Iím sad to hear about Harris Cyclery. The Sheldon Brown site has been fun and helpful at times.

Otto
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Old 06-12-21, 08:53 PM
  #53  
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R.I.P. Harris Cyclery and may you and your staff and the man, the myth, the legend Sheldon Brown live on forever. I never got a chance to visit sadly but I hope all their staff find good jobs in the industry or in whatever field they so choose if they decide to leave for a bit.

To all those still not vaccinated and not wearing masks and not doing your small and relatively easy part to help end COVID-19, please start doing your part. Yeah there is more at play here than just that but it is a major factor and one we can help mitigate with some minor things that help everyone even if it won't solve all the problems.
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Old 06-13-21, 12:17 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Hey we have AliExpress. Super low prices and lots of inventory virtually free shipping on most items as well. Why is it that the Chinese have plenty of inventory of items that are virtually impossible to find in the West? I needed a Shimano 160mm disc brake spacer for flat mount and was told not to expect one until October. Two weeks from Ali Express and exactly 1/2 the price. Plus when I order parts never in that dumb retail packaging which all needs to be thrown out. Comes in a simple plastic OEM bag.
The Chinese direct marketing is great for odd CNC parts.

Somehow the US Wholesalers worked so hard to kill off international supply chains for big brands shipping to the USA. Now the domestic US supply chain falls flat on its face, severely damaging the stores they sought to protect.
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Old 06-13-21, 12:24 AM
  #55  
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Harris Cyclery had a lot going for it to be an outstanding internet business. But, somehow I bumped into them many times, but they never had quite what I wanted.

I'm not quite sure if they could have developed their internet store differently.

Nonetheless, they will be missed.
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Old 06-13-21, 07:17 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Cpn_Dunsel View Post
History repeats, whether we learn it or not.
I'm not sure what lesson you think there is to learn here.

That time changes and you either keep abreast of it or risk being left behind?

Or that we should artificially support a inefficient business model that has been overtaken by a newer, much more efficient method?

I struggle when questions come up affecting people but in the end free markets rule. There is no great conspiracy with book stores shifting to internet delivery, it is a vastly more efficient way to market books, just like there is no great conspiracy with newspapers ceasing to exist.

The lesson I see is adapt with the times and move on.
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Old 06-13-21, 07:17 AM
  #57  
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It's sad. I have 2 LBS in my area. Both of them are practically empty of bikes, and parts. Both of them talk about having bikes in the shop for repair and can't get parts in to fix them.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:21 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Hey we have AliExpress. Super low prices and lots of inventory virtually free shipping on most items as well. Why is it that the Chinese have plenty of inventory of items that are virtually impossible to find in the West? I needed a Shimano 160mm disc brake spacer for flat mount and was told not to expect one until October. Two weeks from Ali Express and exactly 1/2 the price. Plus when I order parts never in that dumb retail packaging which all needs to be thrown out. Comes in a simple plastic OEM bag.
OEM is the key word. The factory might have a couple of hundred parts left over after a production run. That's not a lot in a bike factory, but a pretty good quantity in the aftermarket.
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Old 06-13-21, 09:08 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I'm not sure what lesson you think there is to learn here.

That time changes and you either keep abreast of it or risk being left behind?

Or that we should artificially support a inefficient business model that has been overtaken by a newer, much more efficient method?

I struggle when questions come up affecting people but in the end free markets rule. There is no great conspiracy with book stores shifting to internet delivery, it is a vastly more efficient way to market books, just like there is no great conspiracy with newspapers ceasing to exist.

The lesson I see is adapt with the times and move on.




Here is the lesson: There are things called jokes. You can either get the joke or be part of it. Your choice!

But now seriously regarding your supercilious post: You think a 'free market' is what controls this? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA You silly. There is no free market. It does not exist and never did.
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Old 06-13-21, 10:08 AM
  #60  
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How sad! Hopefully someone will maintain the Sheldon Brown website. In a way, it seems like the end of an era - I remember interacting with Sheldon and Jobst on the rec.bicycles.tech newsgroup and buying stuff from Harris because Sheldon worked there.
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Old 06-14-21, 01:03 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Hey we have AliExpress. Super low prices and lots of inventory virtually free shipping on most items as well. Why is it that the Chinese have plenty of inventory of items that are virtually impossible to find in the West? I needed a Shimano 160mm disc brake spacer for flat mount and was told not to expect one until October. Two weeks from Ali Express and exactly 1/2 the price. Plus when I order parts never in that dumb retail packaging which all needs to be thrown out. Comes in a simple plastic OEM bag.
AliExpress is the Chinese version of Amazon. Some stuff in stock in a warehouse, but they also have a larger web presence that is a clearinghouse for smaller outfits/shops that do not maintain a website/presence. Ali takes a percentage 'cut' of the sale, and everybody is happy.
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Old 06-14-21, 07:34 AM
  #62  
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I agree. I operated a mobile oil change business for 11.5 years, and I found out in the first few months that the way to make a profit in that business is to drive to a location, set up, and do multiple commercial vehicles at once. "Mobile" time is dead time, with money leaking out of the tailpipe. And, the customer didn't want to pay for travel time.
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Old 06-14-21, 07:52 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
This is reminiscent of when the internet/Amazon killed most of the indie bookstores.
& what the heck happened to Radio Shack?
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Old 06-14-21, 11:08 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Sheldon Brown worked there for years.

https://www.harriscyclery.net/
Sheldon was a true bicycle genius, an unappreciated man and resource. His knowledge of bikes was ( and still is) amazing.
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Old 06-14-21, 11:20 AM
  #65  
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If I ever call for a bike mechanic, they had better arrive by bike! I have been burned so many times by defective goods with arcane return policies that I still keep mail order as an absolutely last resort.
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Old 06-14-21, 12:28 PM
  #66  
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Manufacturers of the components that make a bare frame a bicycle, keep devising new tools to work on the new components. If you keep modernizing your components, you'll end up with a chest of tools. I have found it prudent to maintain my 1978 steel road frame myself using old tools that fit the old parts. Cheaper that way.
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Old 06-14-21, 01:44 PM
  #67  
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That is too bad. It's not the place I normally go to, but it's a good place....what a strange way to go out of business.
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Old 06-14-21, 01:59 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I'm not sure what lesson you think there is to learn here.

That time changes and you either keep abreast of it or risk being left behind?

Or that we should artificially support a inefficient business model that has been overtaken by a newer, much more efficient method?

I struggle when questions come up affecting people but in the end free markets rule. There is no great conspiracy with book stores shifting to internet delivery, it is a vastly more efficient way to market books, just like there is no great conspiracy with newspapers ceasing to exist.

The lesson I see is adapt with the times and move on.
Okay, let's take your idea and run with it, shall we?
You can already order a car online, pay for it, and have it delivered to your door. Now, let's just consolidate all the new and used vehicles in a giant, Amazon-like warehouse, and let the dealerships close. I mean, who needs them to get a car now, right?
That is, until something happens and you need to have your car fixed.

It's one thing to be able to order your bike online, but there are people who are not mechanically inclined enough to repair a flat on a ride, let alone assemble a bike and properly adjust the brakes and shifting mechs. When all the LBS close, what are those people going to do? Adapt with the times and move on?
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Old 06-14-21, 02:01 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by dkatz1 View Post
That is too bad. It's not the place I normally go to, but it's a good place....what a strange way to go out of business.

What's strange about it? This bike shortage is knocking off a lot of LBS.

When I talked to them yesterday, they told me the business was doing fine up to the pandemic, made a bunch of money selling off all the inventory last year, then dropped to almost nothing as they couldn't replace that inventory. I think versions of that story are happening all over the country.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:04 PM
  #70  
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I have purchased 27" wheels from Harris Cyclery in the past. Sadness.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:07 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What's strange about it? This bike shortage is knocking off a lot of LBS.

When I talked to them yesterday, they told me the business was doing fine up to the pandemic, made a bunch of money selling off all the inventory last year, then dropped to almost nothing as they couldn't replace that inventory. I think versions of that story are happening all over the country.
It's strange for every place that has that happen to it. No matter how many there are. Driven out of business by the proverbial "act of god".
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Old 06-14-21, 02:13 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I tend to agree with one exception: In very large cites I think LBS will continue to exist because of service needs. There are so many people who, for various reasons, donít work on their bikes. I am one of them. Iíve spent a lot of time in shops and wish I had a dollar for every person Iíve seen who has come in for a flat tire or to have other relatively simple work performed.
+1 .. at least in wealthier communities there is a demand for brick 'n mortar. people want to be able to shop in person and talk to a knowledgeable sales rep, mechanic etc. and want their hands held. wealthier clientele have certain .. demands/expectations .. and i dont see this going away any time soon.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:24 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
When all the LBS close, what are those people going to do? Adapt with the times and move on?
We'll quit riding. If I can't get my repairs done at my LBS where I bought it, I'm probably going to stop riding. It's already difficult to find the time to ride; if I have to add time for fixing things beyond flats (and the time to learn how to do them), then I'm probably done. I enjoy riding, but after 60 to 80 hours of work, it's getting to be harder and harder to get motivated - and in August it's back to the office, so that's another 10 to 15 hours per week wasted commuting.
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Old 06-14-21, 02:51 PM
  #74  
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The savvy bikes stores (trying to say this diplomatically..) anticipated this bike/parts crunch and loaded up last year to the best of their abilities. I know a couple shops that did just that and have been thriving through the pandemic. So, not all are suffering.
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Old 06-14-21, 03:21 PM
  #75  
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We are here!

Posted on June 14, 2021 by John

Ah, the hand-wringing. It seems to have started with inquired on our Facebook page, then posted on the road.cc blog without waiting for our response.

Harris Cyclery has closed after a 70-year run, hit hard by pandemic supply issues. Sheldonbrown.com got its start when Sheldon worked at Harris Cyclery, and we are very grateful to Harris Cyclery for its support. But, since 2010, sheldonbrown.com (except for the /harris pages) has floated its own boat, through online advertising.

We donít know yet what other affiliation we may find, or whether weíll go it alone, but you may rest easy. Ride your bike, and feel free to come to us for help keeping it in top shape.
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