I'd say that the mechanic would be doing a bad job if they hadn't cleaned and regreased the bearings, the bit I'm a little surprised about is that the shop hadn't already factored that into the cost as it's a standard enough job.
Was I fleeced?
How much would a replacement wheel have cost?
this is the first post I've ever put on here, because I felt quite strongly about the issue. thanks for the sensible replies, folks. And as for the others - Jenga, Trout WTF?! - you sound like the kind of self-righteous A-holes who make me almost ashamed to call myself a cyclist.
**** me, £45 an hour? I get charged out by my employer (Consulting Engineer) at £40/hour and I'm pretty sure I earn a fair bit more than bike mechanics (which ain't much, before anyone thinks I'm gloating)!
Do you have any idea what's envolved with changing a Shimano freehub? assuming you mean the freehub body & not the complete freehub?
You have to dismantle the hub to do it, so axel & bearings out, remove old freehub body, (which is probably siezed if original after 3 years)clean, fit new freehub body. What would you like then? dirty gritty bearings fitting without any fresh grease in your new freehub body, or cleaning & fresh grease to makre sure it runs properly?
Yes they probably should've called you if it was going to cost more than you expected, but at least they did it poperly!
I get charged out by my employer (Consulting Engineer) at £40/hour
Really? You must be pretty lowly. Comparing my charge out rate with what I get paid (again not really that much, though better than a bike shop mechanic), my overhead is more than £45 an hour.
It can take a few minutes pissing about getting the cones adjusted perfectly.
I do most of my work myself, but if I do go to a bike shop I want to be able to rely on them having skilled mechanics and do a quality job. And I'm prepared to pay a decent price for that. I don't want an unskilled muppet doing it - even if they are cheap. You get what you pay for in this world.
I dont think thats overly excessive for a well done job. Did you have to wait in a queue of other parts? My LBS has a turnaround of 2 days normally, and if you want it quicker they charge a little more for same day.
Its a simple job that cant be ham fisted. Taking everything out, cleaning up everything (it is just bloody stupid not to - you would have complained if he hadnt checked and half your bearings actually looked like golf balls or your bearing races were FUBARed!) and then refitting it. It all has to be done in a particular order otherwise the cones wont tighten and stay tight properly. Cleaning is almost essential as it can hinder refitting.
In my experience of a mechanic over a number of years, for my own bikes and in bike shops too there is nothing more annoying than trying to tension a set of cones properly. There are different thread pitches, bearing sizes and all manner of other things that affect how it'll tighten.
Cheapest way in the long term is to learn how to do it for yourself. Unfortunately trade prices are not going to come down, and with rising costs of products bike shops have to cover themselves as well. The only thing I can see wrong is they didnt phone you. Half the time though, when we did this we either got a voicemail as they were at work and never got back to us they or they wondered why we'd called them over an obvious thing.
Sounds about right to me, price wise. Probably a 30 minute job to do properly. Even if it's not they won't charge you for 22.4 minutes work, they'll round up.
They've got to make a living and cover the overheads, bet they get paid less than the majority on here.
Ah, now I get it. LBS didn't agree with OP so they are wrong. Posters on here don't agree with OP so they are also wrong. Seems to be a bit of a trend developing here. What was that about self righteous......?
I don't think you were fleeced. FYI heres whats involved:
then freehub replacement
If stuffs dirty and seized, it takes longer too. I'd do it yourself though, its not that difficult. the cost of the necessary tools is almost always less then the labour and you gradually build up a useful toolkit.
The bike shop mechanic won't be getting £45 an hour; lucky if they're on £6 or £7, tbh. The shop will be taking the rest. Workshops cost money, to equip and run. Pro wheel building stands are what, £400 or so? Plus all tools will need to be high quality, as they will see regular use.
At a rough estimation, a home workshop, just for basic jobs, would set you back around £50-60 just for the bike specific tools, and that's being pretty conservative. Add in some decent spanners, screwdrivers, sockets, ratchet drivers etc, and you're running into a couple of hundred quid. Chuck in a home wheel truing stand, a bike stand and stuff like grease, lubes, brake fluid etc, as well as the odd specialist tool such as a HT2 BB tool, and that could easily add another couple of hundred. So that's £4-500 all in, for a well-equipped home workshop. When you consider that bike shops will have a far more extensive range of tools, as well as sets for each mechanic, plus tool chests etc, it's easy to see how costs can run into thousands.
Many people simply don't have the time. money or inclination to Do It Themselves. £20-30 in a LBS now and then is a far simpler option.
A friend of mine sometimes asks me to fix something on her bike. It amuses me when she offers me a small handful of tools; a couple of allen keys, a screwdriver, pair of pliers and a very small adjustable spanner. Good thing I always bring me own tools!
I've worked in a lbs and agree somewhat with the op.As far as I'm concerned changing a Shimano freehub body INCLUDES cleaning and regreasing the bearings. You can't do the job properly without doing so. They should have stuck with the £45 max quote.
TandemJeremy - Member
22.50 for half an hours labour - cheap - very cheap
What world are you living in? I had the brakes serviced on my CAR by my mobile mechanic. Took less than an hour and that was only £30.
- cone spanners
- 10mm allen key
- blob of grease
- bit of gumption
0091 paddy - I live in a world where if you want professional service you have to pay for it. Mobile mechanic at £30 an hour - he won't be making much money. Car and motorcycle workshops charge £50 an hour upwards with a minimum of an hour
TJ have to say I think you are on another planet if you think that is reasonable for a bike mechanic.
You should see what I charge out at!
THey should have told you before you left your wheel and then they should have called you to let you what was wrong with the bearings.
I'd be miffed from not knowing.
It happens though and thats when garages and LBS screw up.
Have you ever tried removing a cassette that hasn't been well looked after? I admit I'm a fairly neglectful bike owner and ended up with skined knuckles and a bent chainwhip after 1/2 an hour of struggle last time I changed one of mine. Pretty sure I couldn't change a freehub and adjust the bearings in half an hour too
Hub services are one of those things that can be a 20 min job with no probs or a total nightmare at an hour, depends entirely on the hub/cassette etc.
Cleaning and regreasing the hub is part and parcel of a freehub replacement. About the only thing the shop is guilty of is lack of communication but maybe they assumed you knew about the hub service or maybe the mechanic was on his own, rushed off his feet, in the middle of the job and had greasy hands so decided against phoning you.
It's about the going rate and you got the XT freehub at it's old price - all I can say is don't ask to see the new prices!
Cynic al - my point being that people complain about the quality of bike mechanics and the price of getting the work done. If you want it done cheap then don't complain if the service is poor. If you want good service then pay for it.
If you want cheaper jobs or jump the queue, get to know your LBS staff. Then you can bribe them with chocolate/pornography/jaffa cakes as required. I was an LBS mechanic for over 10 years and this approach always worked (or send in someone else attractive to flutter their eyelashes!).
tj - yes - but £45 an hour is too much.
Really? You must be pretty lowly.
I am, but the max we charge is £50 an hour for associates/partners... Well last time i saw the rates anyway!
Bloody hell that is easily an half hour job.
YOU HAVE TO REMOVE AXLE CONES AND BEARINGS to repalce a shimano freehub as they have loose bearings you see...
so to put loose bearings back in a shimano hub you need grease to hold them in (you cant just pop them in with the axle in place, so no grease means they will fall down).
and no bike shop worth their salt would put dry dirty bearings back in.
IMO they have done NO extra work just what is normal.
Supply and demand chaps.
If there are numpties that live in cities that can't fix their bikes and they need a bike shop then let them pay. People pay £15 every day for a puncture, when you could fix it for pence if you had an ounce of nouce.
As far as the specific hub in question; I bet they charge by the hour rounded up, so if it took 38min then you'd get charged for an hour.
if you think £45 an hour is a lot. That £55 service should take about half an hour, 45 mins tops.
The Stage 1 service is scheduled to take 90 mins. Remove/clean/refit/relube drivetrain is a half hour job on its own. Sure sometimes they're quicker but most of the time the bikes that go into bike shops aren't XTR-equipped sparkling carbon bikes, they're bog standard commuters that get trashed and have no care or attention given to them for months at a time therefore parts get worn, seized and filthy. It's simply giving yourself time to work with so you're not rushing the job. I've done the equivalent of Stage 1 services on hire bikes in the past:
a) the money for that comes out of the price of the hire so the shop generally makes nothing on it
b) even after a days use the bike can be trashed beyond belief
That rate that Evans charge works out as £36/hr. Cheap for a London bike shop.
Witter.. witter.. witter.. freehub this, bearings that.
IMO the problem is that - for the original poster - the eventual price went over the *magic £50 mark*. The quote for £45's not so bad to accept at the - hypothetical - outset, but when 50 notes (plus change) eventually have to be coughed up... it hurts.
Still, I wouldn't say £22.50 to change a freehub is all that bad. It would take my cack-handed self around 1 hour to do, and then the cones would probably still be wobbly.
This topic has been closed to new replies.