And I’d add that most shops need to take their female customers more seriously. Just because we may bike slower than men doesn’t mean that we’re any less serious about cycling.
I hear from bike shops on our cross-country tour routes all the time, shocked at how nice the women’s bikes on our tours are. Well, they should be – they’re using them to bike across the country! We’ll spend a lot in bike shops if given the chance.
That was absolutely the best commentary I have read regarding this topic. You are a smart chick and I’m glad you are on my team. Keep up the good work. And again, excellent post!
The funny thing about the statement that say women just don’t know as much as men when shopping for a bike is that it’s almost completely false, at least in my shop. I tend to find way more men that are completely clueless when it comes to shopping for a bike.
Women tend to do more research and are better listeners when being sold to. We as women tend to shop more in general so we weigh our options.
It can be hard being one of the only females in a shop. The worst is when a male customer calls the shop or inquires about something and they ask for another man to answer their question.
I don’t like to push myself upon them, but I often end up getting them to ask me anyways. Often times I help them out quicker than it would’ve taken for me to grab a male co-worker.
Someday there will be just as many women as men in the cycling world and things will be different. Until then we just have to do our best to represent females. We need prove to the guys we are just as good as they are at doing our jobs and being educated consumers.
I can tell you from years of working with @bikeshopgirl in a shop that she did have to deal with a bunch of crap and she was worth the extra few bucks that she was talking about paying. Sometimes the boys club stuff does get thick, but she is someone who could dish it right back. Also a strong woman in the shop could keep everyone in check, but sometimes at their own peril. I feel that we worked together in a progressive shop with well educated folks, but we let it slide a bit because we were used to being around guys.
I have seen it get really bad when the ownership of a shop does not hire women to work in the shop or take advice on merchandising, purchasing, or management from a female perspective, but again, it you have the chance, go to a shop that does promote women and if they don’t be constructive about your concerns with the management or ownership. Every dollar is important in the industry these days, so shops need to hold onto customers in the worst way. You never know, maybe there is a consulting gig in it for the right lady!
There is definitely a gap in the market for businesses catering for women who want to buy a bike. Do we expect women to have an advanced knowledge of cars when they go to buy one? Bike shops can be intimidating male spaces to even an experienced female rider.
In Sydney a longstanding well known bike shop has now opened an affiliated women’s specific shop with female staff. Much needed I say.
One comment I’d make as a cycling father who’s keen to encourage his kids to get on a bike as early as possible: I’m treated very differently in bike shops if I have the kids with me than if I don’t, almost to the point of hostility in some cases.
I applied for a job working in a local bike shop. I have retail, customer service and admin experience and I’ve been to uni where I’ve been studying business but I didn’t even get a reply to my application. And the place, surprise, surprise always has boys (and I mean boys not men) serving in there (badly, I’ve walked out before because the customer service was so bad). They don’t seem to fully understand their market or sales xD
Thanks Keelin, I’m loving your blog over there.
I am usually not one to submit my opinion on people’s write ups, but for your write up I just had to do it. I have been cruising in your site a lot recently and I am super impressed, I think you might potentially emerge as a main opinions for this topic. Not sure what your load is like in life, but if you began commiting more effort to writing here, I’d guess you would begin seeing a bunch of traffic soon. With affiliate stuff, it might emerge as a great passive revenue source. Just an idea to ponder. Good luck!