We went out to do a couple of things today, and along the way we decided to stop by one of the dedicated cycle shops near my father-in-law’s house, in southern Miami. We went to Cycle World (on Bird Rd., for the locals), and found it to be a pretty nice shop overall, carrying a lot more products than we thought they would. Of note were the various racks and packs they carry, although they are all part of one brand that features interlocking pieces; very neat feature, but limiting unless you only buy that brand. We also took a look at some other storage options and… well, that was it, really. The rest of the store was all racing bikes, and mountain bikes, and some cruisers (and some tricycles that were just awesome and which I’d love to get for my mom, if she had a place to ride it), clothing, shoes, and parts.
Now, there are the sort of things you’d expect to find in a bike shop, so that’s fine and dandy, and Cycle World certainly has a great selection. The problem is that if you’re not into racing or mountain biking, the product selection geared towards your needs diminishes fast to a very small sampling of their catalog. They did have a good selection of seats (something I need to research) but a bit too expensive when compared to what we’ve seen at Target.
In fact, we’ve actually done most of our bike accessory shopping at Target simply because their selection of equipment and accessories for the slow/recreational/family biker is a lot wider. I was able to get a crank-powered headlight for my bike for only $10, and the two seats I am currently researching are each less than $20, compared to at least that price for a gel slipcover at the other store.
Cycling shops need to become aware that there is a growing portion of the population that are using their bikes as regular modes of transportation, as reliable forms of recreation, and that we have needs when it comes to equipment and accessories that are different from those of a racing or mountain biker. Cater to us as well; at the very least highlight the existing stock you have in a way that appeals to the slow biker. Otherwise you’ll keep loosing business to Target and other such stores.