Is 29r, 650B good for small bike shops?

I was wondering… are major change ups like the introduction of 29rs and 650B geometries good or bad for small bike shops?

Some bike shops seem to barely carry the basics in inventory. Is this an opportunity for them or just a pain in the butt.

Please no facts, just opinion!

I think it’s an opportunity for a shop to cater to a specific part of the market. Not all shops can do all things, but I know where to go when I need that strange piece for my '58 Phillips cruiser rather than a part for my '12 Norco Shinobi, or where to direct someone for their first mountain bike versus the professional cyclist. Most shops would be considered small in the Maritimes, with the exception of 3 or 4 places I would think.

With all the options it will allow a shop to define itself by the stock they carry and service they provide. Some defining factors include how savvy the owner is in marketing, purchasing, and hiring. The general demographics (population/average income/location) dictate what a shop should carry and what services should be provided. If that is recognized a small shop can make the right decisions and thus be succcessful. There will always be a new standard and it’s always tough to decide how to balance the options, but yes I believe it can be done.

IMO, it is going to be more difficult for the middle to high end shops, their customers are going to be the ones to demand the latest and greatest. Their customers are going to be the ones to walk in off the street and ask for the bike that has not even been released yet, and expect them to have it. It is definitely going to be another model or another line that the retailer will have to carry, that just means they will have to thin out the levels of current bikes they carry, to accommodate the amounts of another line.

I think the cycling world is in a bit of a state of uncertainty right now. if you remember 3-4 years ago up to now, many would say, “its hard to buy a bad bike”. well the cycling manufacturer is now feeling this. so they are forced to introduce something different, or new, as opposed to better. *1x11, fatbike, 29er, 650. The advancement they have made in bicycles lately has found many at a level playing field (for the majority customer). This will all settle down over the next 2 years or so, manufacturers will decide what works best for them, customers will do the same. At that time things will start to chill, and retail level stores will have a better idea of what is going to work for them, in their particular region. Up until this time, the old days of getting a great price and purchasing 20 of a particular component, to last you a season of retail selling are over, now there is a multitude of variation so retailers may only carry 1-2 of several components, and paying top wholesale price for small numbers. You can bet this will be a pain in the ass for sure, even for the consumer.

One thing I’ve learned as I grow older, is that being different and having different things (most all things not offered or supported locally), while might be cool, does not come with very many benefits. Replacement parts are hard to find, upgrade parts are hard to find, people educated enough to do proper maintenance, are hard to find, resale market not the same as with mainstream. Sometimes its just not worth being different.

I am not saying that any of the current offerings are in that position right now, but who knows where we might be in another 5-10 years, 26" frames and specific components may be all but obsolete, but I am sure when that time comes there will be something else new on offer, who knows… perhaps all new chainless bikes, we will have to see.