How much should I charge for maintenance work?

Home Forum Bike Forum How much should I charge for maintenance work?

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)
  • How much should I charge for maintenance work?
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Like a steal, one of the things people don’t get with bike maintenance is they always expect things to happen in “textbook” time. When things are not right then it all goes wrong and the hourly rate adds up.

    How long do you thing the jobs will take?
    Change 2 tyres – 15-20 mins?
    Is a full strip down removing everything back to the frame? – 2hrs to strip/rebuild?
    Fit mud guards – never bothered but 30 mins to get it right?
    Index gears – 5-30 mins depending on how bad they are.

    Thats if he got the right guards and tyres in the first place.

    So about 3hrs+ and that is about £10/hr for you less any consumables that you use from your box of spares.

    mekon
    Member

    Sounds cheap…for example one.of my LBS’s prices: http://www.ellisbriggscycles.co.uk/workshop/

    dandax1990
    Member

    Times sound about right, I told him which tyres and guards to go for so fit will be fine 🙂

    I’ve got the bike with me for a few days and only gonna be using one of my spare gear cables and some of my cleaning/grease products and if it takes longer than expected I don’t mind due to the fact I’ll have something to keep me busy due to a week off of work.

    Am I charging considerably less or more than the average an LBS would charge?

    dandax1990
    Member

    Yeah mekon, that is reddicks!

    All Terrain will be much cheaper I take it?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    well they are charging £30-35 per hour, with what your saying you will be under £10 (if it all goes well) so in reality how much is your time worth? Throwing in your own gear cable knocks it down too.

    Not saying you should be charging full workshop prices but maybe a little more.

    dandax1990
    Member

    But are the prices that Ellisbriggs are charging on the same kind of lines as most other LBSs?

    Could always tell him an extra tenner I guess.

    dandax1990
    Member

    Hi guys, A few of my work colleagues have asked me to do maintenance on their bikes (even though I’ve told them about YouTube ‘How tos’ and ParkTool etc)

    So was wondering how much I should charge, for instance how much for a full strip down, clean and then re-build.

    I’ve never used an LBS for anything other than wheels being trued so not sure what the average going rate is?

    I told one colleauge £30 to do a full strip down, clean and re-build. Change both tyres, fit some Crud Roadracer mudguards, change one of his gear cables and index his gears too.

    He’s buying the tyres and guards himself.

    How does that sound?

    Cheers.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I remember one of my LBS’s was up around £25 a few years back (5+) which sounds fair for labour/tools/consumables

    If you put on new cable ends they are about 40p each, metal cable end about 15p, inner £3.50 not much but it all adds up. Throw in some grease and lubes and your already up to £5 of your stuff.

    bencooper
    Member

    Either do it for free, or do it for professional prices – doing it for cheap is the worst of both worlds. They will expect you to do a proper job because they’re paying, but you won’t be making enough money to cover your time and overheads.

    And, what happens if something goes wrong? If it’s just a favour for a mate that’s one thing – if you’re charging, people, might be more inclined to want compensation.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    bencooper – Member

    And, what happens if something goes wrong? If it’s just a favour for a mate that’s one thing – if you’re charging, people, might be more inclined to want compensation.

    This + lots. I fitted a new cassette for a chap at work. Quick job. But he forgot to say he’d given the rear mech a good smack on a rock the week before. Cassette went on in about 10 minutes. Couldn’t get it to shift correctly for love nor money. Bent hanger straightened with the proper tool, new inner and outer cable, still no joy. Then spotted the spring in the mech cage wasn’t holding and loading right. New rear mech required. He then wants me to replace it “because it was ok before you touched it”.

    Never again. I’ve learned my lesson.

    coatesy
    Member

    We’re basing our prices on a £45 per hour labour rate, basically to cover mechanics wages, shop running costs etc, so without those you could charge less, but definitely bear in mind the point brought up in the previous two posts.

    bencooper
    Member

    Yes, for general repair work I charge £45/hr as well – it pays for things like professional indemnity insurance 😉

    grum
    Member

    Either do it for free, or do it for professional prices – doing it for cheap is the worst of both worlds. They will expect you to do a proper job because they’re paying, but you won’t be making enough money to cover your time and overheads.

    And, what happens if something goes wrong? If it’s just a favour for a mate that’s one thing – if you’re charging, people, might be more inclined to want compensation.

    Whilst he sounds like boring dad he’s quite right here. 🙂

    reggiegasket
    Member

    +1 you are too cheap.

    +1 some jobs look simple but they can escalate, and before you know it you’ve been at it an hour.

    Premier Icon GHill
    Subscriber

    Do it for beer and pizza.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    I’ve done a few for friends and a few for colleagues and theres a difference that changes the price.

    You time is your currency, spend it wisely – ronnie barker I think said this.

    the trick is to fall between the lbs and being too cheap. I think you’re slightly underselling yourself. As others have said, and in my own experience, a ‘customer’ can think its problem x without realising that its also therefore likely / possibly problem x + y and maybe a + b on top. Chainsets/drive gear is the worst for this.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Do it for favours or fun, sexual and otherwise, don’t do it for money.

    davewalsh
    Member

    +1 to GHill & Northwind. I do a lot of work for friends, they keep me in beer after the weekly club ride.

    Do it for beer and pizza.

    +1

    I fix a few peoples bikes for beer. For reasons above.

    If your not a pro mechanic with the back-up don’t try to be one, it’ll end up coming back to you.

    peterfile
    Member

    Yes, for general repair work I charge £45/hr as well – it pays for things like professional indemnity insurance

    *feels rather sheepish at having turned up with beer on more than one occasion* 😳

    bencooper
    Member

    *feels rather sheepish at having turned up with beer on more than one occasion*

    Don’t, I really appreciate it 😉

    This is what I mean about the division, though – I’m happy to do the occasional simple job for beer and cake, but I’m pretty firm on my prices for more serious work because, simply, it costs money to do this properly. Not just insurance but tools, equipment, training and lots of experience.

    So do stuff for your mates for free or for cake, but be wary of money changing hands. Every time I’ve tried to go into business with friends it goes very wrong.

    julianwilson
    Member

    I do all sorts of bits to people’s bikes/forks and especially wheels/wheelbuilds, but never for money. But then that is the lefty utopianist in me 😉 I have accepted (but often not even in direct exchange for work) bike parts, fork oil/lube, bike loans, lifts out to big/far away rides, booze, cake and (by proxy, a mate in training as a therapist ‘helped’ me) academic supervision of beardy therapy work.

    Pyro
    Member

    I usually invite whatever friend round for the evening while I’m working on their bike and tell them to bring some beers and a pizza (for us to split). We have a nice evening working on a bike and chatting, they learn something, and I get a free dinner. That’ll do me.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Either do it for free, or do it for professional prices – doing it for cheap is the worst of both worlds. They will expect you to do a proper job because they’re paying, but you won’t be making enough money to cover your time and overheads.

    Oh, but you will… Ohh my god you will. It’s very lucrative.
    I’ve been doing favors for years. Lots of them. I’ve been paid in beer, food, tools, clothes etc. I always said I did it for free because I wasn’t a pro, or qualified. Now I am both of those I charge

    the trick is to fall between the lbs and being too cheap.

    This is very true though. I had a long talk with someone about this who advised me I was too cheap when I first started.

    esher shore
    Member

    we charge £50/hour for our workshop in Central London and customers are more than willing to pay for good work

    constantly asked to do “workshop favours” for people both through work (for example people working for one of the 3 companies in our group) and outside of work for friends of friends

    in my experience its just not worth it, either turns into grief or people not willing to pay a rate to make it worth my time (most recently re-cabled a road bike and sorted the gears and the guy thought a packet of biscuits was a good ‘reward’)

    I’d rather put it through the workshop properly, or decline the job privately (even though I have a comprehensive home setup)

    also, cannot think of anything worse than coming home and working on more bikes!

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    (most recently re-cabled a road bike and sorted the gears and the guy thought a packet of biscuits was a good ‘reward’

    Agree a price before you start. If they don’t pay, you’ve got their bike…..
    I’ve never had the slightest problem. Maybe I’m just a very nice person? 😉

    dandax1990
    Member

    Anyway, I did the work on my friends bike and all worked out fine.

    He paid me £120 upfront which also covered costs of mudguards and tyres I bought for him and 2 new gear cables and a couple of my spare headset spacers he needed fitting. So all in all, £60 for the work doing and he was very happy when he picked the bike up.

    Had a little issue which was pure stupidity and quite comical.

    He said he’d be interested in me doing the same work every 2 month for £50, full strip down and clean and rebuild which I’m happy with.

    Also got one of his friends interested in the same work on an Orange Evo 8, it’s not much cash but it’s all going towards saving for a mortgage and it all adds up, couple of my other work colleagues are starting to cycle so gonna see if they’re interested too.

    Thrustyjust
    Member

    Amongst friends, I don’t charge , even consumables. Works out about quits with others driving to trail centres and drinks at post ride jaunts etc. Others have just offered a crate of beer or a Chinese etc. You don’t need to be a ‘professional’ to be able to fix a bike better than someone who doesn’t know.

    I do a lot of builds for mates.

    Last one was a. I’ll give you 2 grand I want the best you can build me using new and second hand. I enjoyed it. I charged him nothing, he did pay for my uplift ticket at the bikepark though.

    It’s fun for me, so I am more than happy to help my friends.

    BearBack
    Member

    Avoid without insurance and liability waivers unless its for your mates then beer is the only compensation worth exploring 😉

    Even with insurance, unless you have a formal bike mechanics qualification then your policy is probably not worth the paper its printed on.

    Premier Icon grey
    Subscriber

    I do it for nothing and only charge for parts, it’s worth it for the good Karma, I also do odd jobs at a LBS for nothing, it gets me a discount and use of any specialized tools for doing my own bike.

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)

The topic ‘How much should I charge for maintenance work?’ is closed to new replies.