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How good is your shop?

Jan. 31, 2020, 9:38 p.m.
Posts: 375
Joined: May 11, 2018

When you take your bike in for some maintenance, how good is their job? I have to say, it seems like 1/2 the work I get done is not up to snuff. 

Examples

Rebleed brake that was just bled

Stem not tight when reinstalled - turned sideways on the trail - luckily at low speed

Brake lever not tight after bleeding. 

Hub loose and rattling in the frame after service

Fork serviced and put together wrong

It goes on. I now have to specify who can work on my bike so they don't let someone "learn" on it. I don't go over it all and recheck all the bolts but I feel like I should.

Jan. 31, 2020, 11:06 p.m.
Posts: 547
Joined: March 15, 2013

My shop is me.

And I'm a fucking idiot so......

Feb. 1, 2020, 6:35 a.m.
Posts: 2120
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

If that is the result of "professional" work then I suggest you find a new shop.    Unacceptable...

Feb. 1, 2020, 7:17 a.m.
Posts: 150
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

What are do you live in?  In Nanaimo Rock City is awesome.

Feb. 1, 2020, 8:02 a.m.
Posts: 667
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Frankly I’m terrified of the pimpley kids on the other side of the counter. I had my bike come back to me with contaminated pads once.So I always ask my shops owner when he would have time to do the work I’m not into doing myself. I bring my bike and some tasty craft back when he has time.

Feb. 1, 2020, 8:17 a.m.
Posts: 375
Joined: May 11, 2018

I forgot the time that they forgot to tension the spokes on my front wheel build on my commuter. It was so much fun going over the Alex Fraser Bridge with my front wheel wobbling side to side. How do you forget to tighten the spokes then put on the tire and install the wheel?

To be fair, these problems span three different shops and all three have good reputations. I think it's just the quality of work that bikes endear. Does anyone have a shop that they can just drop their bike off and everything is perfect every time no matter who works on it?

I've had steed do a couple of jobs well. Seems like a pretty professional shop.


 Last edited by: RAHrider on Feb. 1, 2020, 8:20 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 1, 2020, 9:05 a.m.
Posts: 889
Joined: June 26, 2012

I think there's a real labour shortage in this city. For a bike mechanic's salary, it's a hard place to afford to live. You likely end up with turnover of inexperienced staff working on bikes as a summer job. This makes it hard for shops to have continuity and ensure quality.

I would talk to the owner/manager to let them know when these issues come up.

I do most of my wrenching myself and go to someone I trust for the more complicated things.

Feb. 1, 2020, 11:07 a.m.
Posts: 547
Joined: March 15, 2013

Posted by: D_C_

I think there's a real labour shortage in this city. For a bike mechanic's salary, it's a hard place to afford to live.

When I was looking for bike shop jobs most places were offering $17 to start.

I'm not surprised that nobody wants to be a mechanic and that the quality of work is low.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Feb. 1, 2020, 11:08 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 1, 2020, 11:56 a.m.
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

I dont think that having this happen over 3 different shops makes things any better.  That just goes to show how hard it is to get someone you trust to work on your bike.  I decided long ago to invest the time and money into myself.  I do all my own work (apart from full suspension rebuilds), and have outfitted my home shop with everything I need.  Im pretty particular about how I like things done, and I enjoy wrenching as much as I do riding sometimes.

It sounds like you know what you are looking for, and you probably know your way around a bike.  Is there a reason why you dont work on it yourself?  Some people dont have the time or inclination, which is fine, but it doesnt take alot to do the basics and more advanced things are often fun/easy to learn.

Feb. 1, 2020, 12:46 p.m.
Posts: 167
Joined: July 24, 2009

Seems to be quite different here across the pond. I'm usually happy with the work they do and when I pick up my bike, they tell me to take a ride around the block to make sure everything is as it's supposed to be. AFAIK, the pimply kid is never allowed to work on my bike. When I come in, it's usually "Go right through, Dave (shop owner) is in the back." Also, on various occasions, they did overtime and/or snuck me in when they were really swamped to get things ready for a race/vacation/just to keep me rolling. Moreover, replacement parts (when they had to work on wheels or a fork, for example) or even demo bikes as replacements (free of charge) so I wouldn't have to go without a bike on a sunny weekend. No complaints. I usually bring cakes or ice cream instead of brews.

Feb. 1, 2020, 2:10 p.m.
Posts: 375
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: shoreboy

I dont think that having this happen over 3 different shops makes things any better.  That just goes to show how hard it is to get someone you trust to work on your bike.  I decided long ago to invest the time and money into myself.  I do all my own work (apart from full suspension rebuilds), and have outfitted my home shop with everything I need.  Im pretty particular about how I like things done, and I enjoy wrenching as much as I do riding sometimes.

It sounds like you know what you are looking for, and you probably know your way around a bike.  Is there a reason why you dont work on it yourself?  Some people dont have the time or inclination, which is fine, but it doesnt take alot to do the basics and more advanced things are often fun/easy to learn.

I also have a home shop. I build my own wheels and do most basic stuff myself. I let the shop guys do my suspension and Bleed my brakes. I hate the mess with all the oil and stuff. 

Sometimes, though, I get too bogged down with work and just drop it off. I figure I am being smart because I lose money when fix my own bike. I'd be financially ahead if I worked at my office and paid to have someone else work on the bike but it kills me to pay good money to have my bike worked on and have to check all the bolts are tight and readjust the derailleur because of "cable stretch." Funny, my derailleur cable installs don't have to be readjusted. I guess I got the non-stretchy cables?

Feb. 1, 2020, 3:35 p.m.
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Cables themselves don't actually stretch. Its just the term given to the symptom.  Its the housing and ferrules that need to be seated properly that is usually the culprit.  Pre 'stretching' the cable ensures that all the housing is properly bedded in (if that makes sense).  Putting tension on the cable before doing any derailleur adjustments will seat everything, and there is less chance thinks will go out of whack.

Feb. 1, 2020, 3:40 p.m.
Posts: 11301
Joined: June 4, 2008

The market has spoken... I’m glad I took the plunge and learned it all and invested in my own tools.

I suspect operations like Velofix are the way forward until the true craftspeople can earn a living wage in this field.

Will never ever not get SuspensionWerx to do my squishy bits.  We are damn lucky they are here.

Feb. 1, 2020, 7:16 p.m.
Posts: 92
Joined: March 1, 2017

Bike shops around here have been terrible at raising shop rates until recently. I remember seeing one of the North Shore shops celebrating something like 20 years of being in business, and they posted up a photo of the shop when it opened. It had a sign up outside saying something like 'Tune Ups from $40'. They still start from that sort of price in some shops now!! If you pander to the 'groupon' type crowd then you'll ever earn enough to pay decent mechanics all year around. So it's hire someone on a Work Permit in April, for not much above minimum wage, then fire them in October. Repeat to fade every year...... Cheap customers with shit bikes that take hours to fix, being fixed by shit mechanics. 

Thankfully some shops are seeing the light and are raising prices, hiring decent mechanics, paying for their training and keeping them on over the 'quiet' period (quiet? I've still got around 30 overhauls to get done... :) ). If the OP on close to the North Shore, check out Wheel Thing (Jeff Bryson's shop). He trains loads of mechanics and runs a little service only shop at the same time.

Feb. 1, 2020, 10:52 p.m.
Posts: 659
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

the Comox Valley is hyper competitive with possibly one too many shops but they all seem to be making it and all have good to great mechanics. i favour 1 shop over the others though and they are all brilliant mechanics. i think smaller centers are completely different animals than the big smoke.

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