University Cycle Works is a full-service specialized bicycle shop. Our service offering includes, but is not limited to:
In almost any retail industry a specialty shop will be slightly more expensive than a mass retailer, due to the higher prices charged by suppliers. University Cycle Works is no exception. The prices we charge for bicycles, parts, and accessories is higher than the prices charged by a K-Mart, GI Joe's, Target, or by mail-order.
What we do offer, which these large retail outlets cannot match, is friendly, knowledgeable service. We are passionate about bicycles. People do not go into the bicycle business because they want to get rich quickly. They enter the bicycle industry because they love bicycles. That kind of passion and committment comes across to customers when they find a sales person who can fit them to a bicycle so they feel comfortable and want to ride it. Someone who recognizes you and remembers your name is a welcome feature at a specialty store.
Local service is a major drawing factor for a specialty store such as ourselves. A mega retail can sell a bicycle, but it takes a trained service technician to keep it in fine running order. University Cycle Works staff provides the kind of personal, professional service people want, and are willing to pay for. We base our shop time fees on an industry standard, which we then adjust for our target market. This shop rate is comparable to other specialty bicycle shops in Metroburg.
Our location is a competitive advantage for us. Our customer base is predominantly university students and staff. We are almost part of the campus. They walk and ride past us every day, often several times. The convenience of local sales and service brings our customers in. They know they can get the service they need by dropping their bike off on the way to campus and picking it up on their way home: fast, convenient, reliable service.
There are three mainstream bike lines and three specialty brands carried at University Cycle Works.
Parts for the repair and maintenance of bicycles are available from a variety of suppliers. Four that we regularly order from are listed here.
Accessories are a huge part of the retail sales in the bike industry. Everything from helmets to headlights, panniers to computer speedometers, water bottles to locks and cables. Three of the largest suppliers are listed here.
Bicycling clothing can be either technology-oriented or simple. Anything from cotton cargo shorts to gel padded, multi-panel cycling shorts is acceptable for cycling. T-shirts and moisture wicking nano-fiber jerseys ride side by side, and when the weather turns inclement, there are nylon shells, plastic ponchos, and Gore-Tex jackets, pants, gloves, and shoe covers for the commuter who needs dry office attire, or the continental tourist who needs thousand-mile protection. University Cycle Works regularly stocks these brands. We also regularly purchase small lots of other brands to test their popularity in our market.
The bicycle industry is a mix of old and new technologies. Frame sets are made of various lightweight materials: T-6 aluminum, 4130 chromium-molybdenum steel, titanium, and/or carbon fiber matrix mixes. And yet the drive train is still a linked chain moving over cog gears, on axles supported by ball bearings.
Wheels can be anything from wire spokes to aerodynamic discs. Clothes range from high-tech moisture wicking synthetic fiber jerseys and Gore-Tex rainwear to traditional wool or cotton shorts.
Each year the major component companies such as Shimano, Mavic, and Campagnolo introduce new parts gruppos. The marketing has become as strident as that of the automobile industry. This means that the bike shop must maintain replacement parts to repair old groups, stock parts for early replacements of new models, and have an inventory of high priced gruppos for the equipment-focused bike nobs who want to upgrade their bikes with the newest and greatest. Additionally, the shop must regularly order manuals and specialty tools to service the new bikes and components.
Following the trends in technology and futuristic products is as much fun as it is work for Hub and his staff. They work on bicycles because they love bicycling.