How much to charge friends for Mechanic'ing work?

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  • How much to charge friends for Mechanic'ing work?
  • Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    £10 an hour plus parts.

    At least that’s what mates rates with plumbers and sparkies I know is.

    creamegg
    Member

    a few beers?

    root
    Member

    I suppose it comes down to how good a friends they are and the amount of work!

    MoseyMTB
    Member

    I wouldn’t charge them if they were my mates. Few beers would do nicely if even that.

    allthepies
    Member

    parts cost + beers.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I do fixed pricing. £40 for a hardtail, £50 for full sus including shock service. £20 extra for fork strip with a service.

    When I say full service, i really mean FULL SERVICE too. The sort of service that costs £120++ in a bike shop.

    Kitz_Chris
    Member

    I wouldn’t charge them if they were my mates. Few beers would do nicely if even that.

    We’ve been at that stage for the last year or so, and it’s at the point now where I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on their bikes. If it was occasional, I would be less concerned. Everyone agrees that I shouldn’t work for free, but I wanted an idea of a ball park rate. I still do the odd gear tune etc for a couple of beers for other people, so it’s not like I’m trying to make myself rich or anything 🙂

    chilled76
    Member

    I normally get them to come round with beers and show them what to do/talk them through the work I am doing.

    Charging seems a bit harsh. Build favours and when you need a hand with something hopefully can call it in.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    I do fixed pricing. £40 for a hardtail, £50 for full sus including shock service. £20 extra for forks with a service.

    Can we be friends?

    DrP
    Member

    When I say full service, i really mean FULL SERVICE too


    Pete snapped earlier..

    DrP

    Premier Icon qtip
    Subscriber

    Nothing except for the cost of the parts and a couple of beers. If they’re really friends then you should be happy to do it. I’m sure that this would make them more inclined to help you out in the future too.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Beer at the rate of how much I can drink whilst doing the work plus same again. They might end up drinking the same again whilst keeping me company!

    I’d only take actual cash from people who are not really friends – i.e. friends of a mate I’ve never met or the briefest of acquaintances.

    It would be different if it was my actual job and friends expected me to do it for free. I expect to pay friends who are qualified plumbers/sparks even if it is a mate’s rate.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    We’ve been at that stage for the last year or so, and it’s at the point now where I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on their bikes. If it was occasional, I would be less concerned. Everyone agrees that I shouldn’t work for free, but I wanted an idea of a ball park rate. I still do the odd gear tune etc for a couple of beers for other people, so it’s not like I’m trying to make myself rich or anything

    Agreed. I did it for beer or tools for a long while. I always said that if I was a pro, if charge for it.
    I’ve lumped a lot of money into some pretty serious tools and Cytech qualifications, and you can’t buy 15 years of experience and practice.
    It’s quite astonishing how word gets round if you’re good too…..
    The odd job here and there is a LOT different to 1-2 days a week, every week, too.
    £10 hr is a good starting point.

    mindmap3
    Member

    I agree with not charging mate…but then again I like fiddling with bikes. For some reason I still think / hope that what goes around comes around.

    I’d be happy with a couple of beers / bottles of wine or just building up a good favours bank!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    £0

    I’ve machine polished and valleted mates bikes, taking 5-7 hours at a time, but of course there’s no cost…

    If a mate tried to charge me for anything… i’d know he’s not a mate.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    I’ve fixed a few mates bikes.

    I mainly do it to bask in the praise I receive for in some cases knowing which way to turn a barrel adjuster

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Pete snapped earlier..

    Yeah baby!!!

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    If a mate tried to charge me for anything… i’d know he’s not a mate.

    i wouldnt expect my mates to work for free…

    Mister P
    Member

    A few beers is payment enough. I enjoy working on bikes and I like beer, double win.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    jam bo – Member

    If a mate tried to charge me for anything… i’d know he’s not a mate.

    i wouldnt expect my mates to work for free…

    If he’s a mate he’s not ‘working’ he’s doing something as a mate.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    ten minute job yes.

    sharki replastered most of my last house at mates rates. i think goodwill wouldnt stretch that far…

    TuckerUK
    Member

    The problem with charging for the work is your are then a ‘business’, and this effects your home (no longer just a place you live), might change your car insurance, and might require you to have liability insurance to name but a few considerations.

    I insist on servicing my mates bikes and charge nothing, they are mates. If we go out riding I want to know that they will not ruin the ride with a poxy little mechanical that could have been avoided.

    patriotpro
    Member

    Ask them to get a quote from the LBS and charge half plus a pint.

    Depends on how much of your time they take up and why they are getting you to do it.

    Some people I’ll do stuff for nothing because I know that they are either short of cash or time and that if I ever need a favour they’ll help me out in whatever way they can. I often get paid in cake from one friend that’s not mechanically minded but likes to bake. it’s not a formal arrangement but every so often she’ll drop a cake round to ours and every so often I’ll sort her bike out for her.

    Some friends and family are just lazy and would get someone else to tie their shoelaces if they could get away with it so they can either take a running jump or they can pay. £10 p/h plus parts seems reasonable.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    The problem with charging for the work is your are then a ‘business’, and this effects your home (no longer just a place you live), might change your car insurance, and might require you to have liability insurance to name but a few considerations.

    And?

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    What goes around comes around… as long as they weigh in with their skills or even just labour to help with jobs you have to do….. I’d stick to beers.

    Or get them to clean your bike while you fix theirs?

    DrP
    Member

    My going rate for work has been thus far:
    Service two pairs of Fox TALAS = A pair of Marz DJ forks.
    Fit new forks, steerer cut etc, to a bike = the old forks off the bike.

    There seems to be a local currency of paying in suspension forks ’round ‘ere….

    DrP

    I never charge for anything either, even relatively major car work.

    I’ll happily fit a new clutch or do a cambelt change or head gasket on a mate’s car for free as long as he understands that there’s no warranty.

    I don’t even expect anything in return but of course I do know that the next time I need a hand with something I can’t manage on my own then I’m more likely to find willing volunteers 🙂

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    Thing is it sounds like this is far from just an odd helping out a mate situation (which I think most of us would do for free). It sounds more like a case of lazy mates that prefer you to do stuff rather than learn it themselves, in which case I’d either say no or expect them to pay something for my time (I personally don’t get a huge amount of satisfaction from doing routine bike maintenance).

    uselesshippy
    Member

    Ask for sexual favours in payment.
    Guranteed less work for you. 😀

    mrbelowski
    Member

    +1 for the lazy mates suggestions. If they can’t be arsed to learn how to service their bikes (it’s not exactly challenging) and / or won’t make time to do it, why expect someone else to do it for anything less than the going rate?

    I’d be inclined to charge £10 an hour / beers / whatever for ‘lessons’ where they work with you and learn how to do that job themselves. If they ask you to do that same job again afterwards they’re taking the piss expecting it for less than LBS money. Tight gits.

    Damn I hate your mates 🙂

    Kitz_Chris
    Member

    Thing is it sounds like this is far from just an odd helping out a mate situation (which I think most of us would do for free). It sounds more like a case of lazy mates that prefer you to do stuff rather than learn it themselves, in which case I’d either say no or expect them to pay something for my time

    You’re pretty close there. One mate is so uncoordinated that any kind of spannering is outside of his comfort range, and thus the few times I’ve shown him stuff has ended in me fixing the same problems, and his mistakes, the week after.

    I now spend about a day a week doing mechanic work, and I love it, but I also love to eat and pay rent, which free work and beer-payments don’t really help with.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I now spend about a day a week doing mechanic work

    By day, do you mean evening or an actual 9-5 day? If the latter your either have a lot of mates, they ride properly shonky kit or you are very slow! If it is that much you might need to think of it as a business and charge accordingly …or maybe learn to say no! As much as I like a bit of spannering I’ve got too much going on in my life to devote a seventh of it to my friends’ bikes.

    Kitz_Chris
    Member

    I’ve been working on a couple of friend’s bikes for a while, and we’ve mutually agreed that they’ll pay whatever is fair for the work I’ve been doing. The question is though, what is fair?
    I have no idea of what a ‘guide’ hourly rate for mechanic work is? I don’t want to charge as much as a qualified shop-mechanic would, but I don’t want to do it for nothing either. Any suggestions?

    Kitz_Chris
    Member

    As much as I like a bit of spannering I’ve got too much going on in my life to devote a seventh of it to my friends’ bikes.

    9-5 is actually 1/21th of the week, but I get your point. When I say a ‘day’ I mean roughly 5 hours or so, which is the most I ever work during the day. I don’t rush at fixing bikes, because I enjoy it, hence why I’m trying to find a hourly rate which will allow the current status quo to remain without anyone feeling like they’re loosing out.

    kudos100
    Member

    Most of the the people I ride with are fairly good with wrenching, so we help each other out, take turns with driving etc and generally it balances out. Some of my mates have tools that I don’t, so I go round and borrow stuff, but do the majority of wrenching myself.

    If I was riding with someone new and they had no clue about fixing bikes, then I am happy to help teach them for free and let them use my tools etc.

    The key word here is teach. If someone expected me to fix their bike and couldn’t be bothered to learn, then I wouldn’t charge, I would send them to a LBS.

    If your mates are really not interested/don’t have the time and you actually enjoy it then I’d recommend half of what a bike shop charges.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Nothing, I’d never charge mates for any work.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    The key word here is teach. If someone expected me to fix their bike and couldn’t be bothered to learn, then I wouldn’t charge, I would send them to a LBS.

    ‘someone’ doesn’t sound like a mate then…. Or me and you (and many others) seem to have a different interpretation of ‘mates’

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