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Am I crazy?

May 9, 2024, 9:53 p.m.
Posts: 1315
Joined: May 11, 2018

2 year old cervelo gravel bike in good condition.

Got a shop to install two tires that I supplied (tubeless), two sets of brake pads (they sold me the pads) and adjust the front derailleur.

The bill was $230

20$ for each tire install.

10$ for one rim tape

10$ in sealant

30$ for installing each set of brake pads

$50 each for the brake pads

They tell me their hourly shop rate is $150/hour. How much do we pay bike mechanics to install tires and brake pads? Why did I go to school for 13 years? If they pay a mechanic 40$/hour (~80k annual income) they are still bringing in $110/hr for the shop? Wow, not bad....except for me.

In any case, am I crazy or is this ridiculous price gouging?

May 9, 2024, 10:30 p.m.
Posts: 3210
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

That sounds like a shop that’s going to price itself out of business.

$30 to install a set of brake pads is comical.


 Last edited by: syncro on May 9, 2024, 10:31 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 10, 2024, 12:06 a.m.
Posts: 18835
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Flipside - how much is the commercial lease cost for the shop square footage?  

What’s crazy is people deep into riding who can’t or won’t install thier own brake pads and tires.

May 10, 2024, 12:15 a.m.
Posts: 515
Joined: May 11, 2022

All I wanted was a Pepsi

May 10, 2024, 3:46 a.m.
Posts: 2595
Joined: April 2, 2005

changing a tube here in Switzerland costs you 42 Chf. Hourly rate of a mech is 129 Chf. He earns around 4.5-5k month x 13

May 10, 2024, 3:55 a.m.
Posts: 81
Joined: March 14, 2017

Posted by: heckler

Flipside - how much is the commercial lease cost for the shop square footage?  

What’s crazy is people deep into riding who can’t or won’t install thier own brake pads and tires.

heat/aircon, light, business taxes, etc, etc

May 10, 2024, 6:33 a.m.
Posts: 759
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

So pads were $100?

Meaning labor and shop supplied for pad install and tires install was $130 including sealant and re taping one of the wheels?

Price is great, you are indeed crazy.

May 10, 2024, 6:40 a.m.
Posts: 175
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

150$/hr is the most expensive rate I've ever seen, but I for reference, Norco North Shore is 120$/hr. It depends of the shop's reputation/standing I guess. 

That's more than the car dealership around here though, so that sounds like a great opportunity to take up a mechanics clinic and do it yourself in the future. 

All things considered, 30$/wheel to change brake pads does sound a bit unproportional to a tire change with tubeless tape and sealant cleaning/replacement, but 10 minutes at 150$/hr is 25$ so that's close. Unless they do a full clean of the caliper, bleed the brake and bed-in the pads using the new machine for which I forget the name, then this probably be money well spent to get perfect braking right away if you don't do it yourself.

That said, with shop prices going up, it will probably help the shops stay alive, the mechanics getting a good pay, and the customers learning to do the jobs themselves! The shop rate was 60$/h back when I wrenched in a bike shop 8 years ago, but the wage was totally unsustainable to live a decent life and I was glad it was only a student job.

May 10, 2024, 7:44 a.m.
Posts: 851
Joined: June 17, 2016

I can't really comment on the price as I don't go to a shop for such basic work. But I do know cost of living has gone up a lot, rents are at an all time high, so it's not a big surprise that cost of labour goes up too.

Also small tasks are usually to most expensive (relatively) to oursource due to overhead. In my own line of work I have a minimum time I count, even if the job only takes 5 minutes, because startup/switch time, admin, etc.

If you want to save money, you can usually buy small parts online for half the price shops charge and changing tires and brake pads are pretty easy to do yourself.

May 10, 2024, 8:13 a.m.
Posts: 3210
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: heckler

Flipside - how much is the commercial lease cost for the shop square footage?  

What’s crazy is people deep into riding who can’t or won’t install thier own brake pads and tires.

Yeah, I thought of that. I also thought that the list was fairly basic stuff but recognized that if someone was busy it might be easier for them to get a shop to do it. 

Considering that shop rates at auto mechanics can be less that $150/hr, and auto mechanics have undoubtedly have higher overhead, $150/hr definitely seems high. This isn't to put down bike mechanics, but it's hard to compare an auto mechanic to a bike mechanic in terms of training, knowledge, tools, shop equipment and supplies. 

Depending on the mark-up of those pads, if it was 100% which is likey, then as a shop owner I would have been inclined to install them for free considering the other work that was getting done. Or maybe charges $15ea instead of $30? In this case the shop probably made some decent money, but it seems they've run the risk of losing a customer.

May 10, 2024, 8:17 a.m.
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Looks like they charged you less than an hour of shop time to install two tires, re-tape one rim, add sealant, adjust your derailleur and install two sets of brake pads. Seems like a reasonable time charge to me. The hourly rate is pretty common from what I have seen.  Id be wondering why they didn't include/charge a brake bleed with the new pad install...

These maintenance procedures are all pretty easy to learn to do yourself as mentioned above.

May 10, 2024, 8:30 a.m.
Posts: 16011
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

After the Covid period when he was making 30% > than pre-Covid one year ago shop bro went on a 2 hr rant about how the entire industry from bike maker to LBS was in BIG trouble so ever buddy was going to have problems which btw has happened and " the LBS with a good shop will survive " he said

i know he didn't pay attn to the shop 20 yrs ago but I know he does now, a stand out front to intake every bike coming into the shop and try to upsell or at least have it go out not still fuckedup cuz ever buddy would only needs a level 1 tune up no matter how fucked up the bike still was

no buddy undersells the work a shop does more than the guys working in it


 Last edited by: XXX_er on May 10, 2024, 3:13 p.m., edited 5 times in total.
May 10, 2024, 8:32 a.m.
Posts: 1062
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Feels a bit on the high side. If you were having inserts installed I'd say the price was fine.

May 10, 2024, 9 a.m.
Posts: 130
Joined: May 11, 2017

Unless you value your time at more than $150/hr, allocate the labor costs to buying tools. 

Watch youtube to figure out what to do.

May 10, 2024, 9:23 a.m.
Posts: 501
Joined: April 11, 2011

I think you're splitting hairs. I just paid 6+ dollars for a latte. 

I think 150/hr is within reason if they have good mechanics.  What would have been an acceptable price for installing brake pads, tubless, and front der adjustment? If I had done the work it would have taken me well over an hour to do a quality job. 130$ for brake pads, tape, and sealant doesn't help.

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