Search the forum using the power of Google

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 126 total)
  • Tubeless tyre fitting; have I been overcharged by LBS?
  • doordonot
    Free Member

    Bit of background to this: I’ve previously run tubeless on a ztr 29er rim with Gorilla tape and previous tyres were a Ground Control and then a Nobby Nic. It has been absolutely fine and so I know there’s no issue with the wheel. I recently bought a Purgatory tubeless tyre from the lbs but was having a nightmare trying to fit it as it as it wouldn’t seat properly. Phoned the lbs and they said that as I would be providing the valve and it was already taped, they’d fit it for £10, which was fine for me.

    I took it to the lbs and they said they’d put new tape on it (Gorilla tape), a new valve and fresh sealant. I didn’t ask how much that would cost as I figured it would be a reasonable amount as it was in their workshop.

    They fitted the tyre, pumped it up and all was well again. Until they presented the cost: £28.50. I was surprised by that but paid out of good grace, walked out the shop, decompressed, had a think and then decided it was an unreasonable amount and returned back to the shop.

    When I queried why I had been a) been charged for a full roll of Gorilla tape and b) why £5 when I could get it from B&Q for half the price, the bike shop assistant stared at me with the kind of “Why are you still here?” kind of look. Total indifference and CGAF. I asked to see the manager and was introduced to the owner. The shop has recently changed hands so this was a new owner with new staff.

    The owner explained the breakdown like this:

    – Charged full 8.1m roll of Gorilla tape because the workshop mechanic double-wrapped the rim and told me the rest of the roll was no use (although I’ve always single-wrapped as Gorilla tape is fairly heavy duty);

    – Charged full rrp for a sachet of Muc-off sealant from the shelf;

    – The valves were, according to the owner, ‘cheap’ (not the £22 Muc-off ones);

    By this stage the shop was filling up with customers so I decided to leave as the owner was clearly getting very defensive and a bit shouty. It’s been a week since that incident and I’ve been mulling over a few things for further ‘wwstw do’ discussion:

    1. Is it standard practice for bike shops to charge a customer for a full roll of Gorilla tape for one wheel?;

    2. Is it standard practice for bike shops to charge a customer for a sachet of sealant when presumably the workshop must have larger bulk-buy versions of it?;

    3. Do/should bike shop owners/operators calculate what is fair and reasonable wastage, and at what point does the percentage of the product use constitute passing on the cost to the customer?

    These are my alternative calculations (happy to be sense-checked):

    1. A 5 litre bottle direct from Muc-Off: £120. This equates to = approx.£2.40/100ml. So for 140ml, say around £2.70;

    2. 9m roll of Gorilla Tape from B&Q (couldn’t find 8.1m rolls): £2.95. This equates to approx. 32p / metre. If charged £5 at the lbs price = approx. 62p/metre;

    3. Fitting tape:
    – external rim circumference of a 29″ rim is 77″ (rounded up);
    – double-wrapped the rim, so the total length of tape needed would be 154″ (392cm)
    – an 8.1m roll is good for 2 x 29″ wheels double-wrapped;
    – £1.28 based on B&Q price/metre; £2.48 based on lbs price/metre if it was charged only on tape used for the customer;

    4. Therefore, price based on usage from 5l bottle of sealant and only charging the customer for what they use on the tape at reasonable price per roll:

    £2.70 + £1.28 = £3.98 + £5 (valve) + £10 (labour) = £19 (rounded up).

    On the subject of bulk-buy: do Muc-off sell larger bulk-buy items direct for use in workshops, because I presume workshops would get through 5l pretty quickly? Gorilla tape is also sold in much larger rolls, therefore price/metre comes down. In that case, the bike shop owner could still charge c.£19 for a tyre fitting + rim tape, valve and sealant, but take a larger profit.

    Instead, it seems to me that the workshop are charging me full rrp for individual items and charging me for their wastage. This seams unreasonable. Take things a bit further: if they’re using this same approach for every customer, they’re grossly profiteering and not managing their waste.

    I appreciate that this is a matter of pennies and pounds, but it’s the principle which arises out of paying what is reasonable and fair and returning to the shop v what is unreasonable and never going back to the shop.

    Free Member

    I struggle with long sentences….sorry…..but a bit surprised a bike shop used gorilla tape.

    Full Member

    I’ve seen places charge £50 extra to supply a new bike tubeless. So by that yardstick it seems a fair price.

    Ignore the breakdown and consider the end product. You couldn’t make it work, they did and probably aren’t going home in a Lamborghini when they close up.

    I’ve never seen 24mm gorilla tape on anything bigger than a small roll.

    Of the bike jobs I’ve done fitting tyres tubelessly either goes well or descends into a drawn out battle chasing weepy sidewalls, leaky valves or tape. I wouldn’t complain myself.

    Full Member

    So you calculate parts cost at £19 and they fitted it for £9.50? Or have I read that wrong?

    £28.50 sounds reasonable I think.

    Edit: I did read it wrong, missed the £10 labour you’d included.

    Free Member

    In the amount of time you took to type that post you could have fitted it yourself.

    Full Member

    Using Stan’s tape or similar after someone has already used gorilla tape would mean spending more time (£££) cleaning off the gunk so it stuck down properly.

    Full Member

    If someone brings a wheels to me that’s had gorilla tape, I give it back to them to scrub all the goo off. It maybe cheap, but it’s horrendous to remove.

    Bird tubeless tape all the way.

    Full Member

    If I couldn’t get a tubeless tyre to seal, and my lbs could, I wouldn’t consider £28.50 to be unreasonable.
    You’re not just paying for the things used, you’re paying for the shops collective experience, just because you can find something cheaper on the internet doesn’t mean the shop already had it in at that price.
    I know several bike shop owners, none of them can afford a lamborghini, a 5 yo transit is about as good as it gets.

    Free Member

    If £50 is the going rate, then fair enough, I got a good deal. My question was more to do with whether a customer should be charged for excessive wastage and whether or not workshops normally buy in bulk.

    CFH, shortbread, I wrote a long post to give the necessary background to assist those who provided a considered response. Sorry for wasting five minutes of your day …

    Full Member

    Sounds like you know the cost of everything but underestimated the value of experience, suck it up

    Full Member

    Your prices are what you pay for them. The shop is unlikely to buy the volume b&q do so they price accordingly. Also, how often do they do tubeless? Will the bulk buy spoil before it is used? Suspect it isn’t frequent so taking a pack off shelf is the answer.
    Maybe ask for a rundown of what they’ll do before agreeing so you have an idea of best/worst costs.
    If you don’t like the pricing, don’t use them again (and spend more time persevering yourself).

    Free Member

    I think you need to forget about what you think the parts and consumables are worth.

    You couldn’t get it to work, they did. And it cost you £28.50. That’s quite reasonable, considering the store is not a charity.

    The only thing I would take issue with is, they should have contacted you to let you know the job would cost more, when they realized the tape and valve would need to be replaced.

    Free Member

    Bit surprised they charged you for an individual sachet of sealant, I see your point there, that is the most expensive way to do it.

    Full Member

    Sounds like a perfectly reasonable price, if anything on the cheap side. I’d expect £20 labour plus parts.

    Full Member

    they’re grossly profiteering

    Down with the capitalist pigs!!!!!!

    Full Member

    Hello op. I genuinely do see where you are coming from and I have no great love for the 2 lbs near me after a couple of poor experiences but I genuinely think that you have paid about the going rate.

    That said, it does no harm to ask the shop about its pricing as you did or to post on here asking, otherwise how are any of us to know what is a fair amount to pay?👍

    Full Member

    Doesn’t seem crazy expensive.

    I’m about half as quick as a good LBS mechanic. Setting up a wheelset tubeless properly would take me an hour all in. Bear in mind I’d be using a compressor which has to be bought. So say half an hour to an hour labour could be £20 on it’s own.

    Remove old stuff
    Clean rim, degrease and dry
    Tape and valve in
    Tyre on with tube to press tape in
    Tyre on and inflate with sealant
    Chase any leaks

    So £28 for someone to do it inc parts would be good. As said above no LBS mechanics and owners are off home in a lambo.

    Full Member

    Whatever tape is left after my LBS finishes a new wheel is always handed over to me with the wheel, did you get the 8.1M of tape?

    Apart from that, doesn’t seem too unreasonable.

    Full Member

    I think that sounds unnecessarily expensive, but you probably should have asked for a price first. When I’ve needed help like this my lbs will use my materials and just st charges labour.

    Full Member

    Businesses don’t charge people what people can scour the internet for and find at better prices.

    I enjoyed your detailed run down anyway so thanks for that. Remind me never to work in a shop 😂👊

    Free Member

    Gorilla tape is not the right tool for the job and they presumably only used it because you had already bodged it. As others have said I would be asking you to remove the tape and all residue (as it wouldn’t be worth my time) and then I would do it using proper tubeless tape. If forced to use Gorilla tape then no the rest of the roll is no good to me as I wouldn’t use it for anyone else.

    The fact you couldn’t do it but they could is strange to start with (they just appeared put even more tape on and a new valve), maybe you should have tried harder or just accept you will have to pay whatever someone charges to sort it out for you.

    Full Member

    No, I don’t think you’ve been overcharged.

    Full Member

    The only bit I don’t get is why a new valve was needed

    Full Member

    The only bit I don’t get is why a new valve was needed

    I’ve had valves that the core couldn’t be removed and they were too restrictive of air flow to allow popping the beads, some are too short for deep rims like Velocity blunts and some have different shapes rubber bases that catch the beads or don’t seal easily.

    Free Member

    A couple of points

    1) you only use 1 wrap of tape. This might be why  it didn’t seal.

    2) it’s a new shop, perhaps the previous owner went bust or couldn’t make a living because he couldn’t charge enough and sold stuff at discount just so he could pay the bills and staff wages?

    3) why would you not expect to pay rrp? If you leave your car with kwik fit, do you get discount on parts? Perhaps after you have  used your lbs often and struck up a relationship, you might get 10% discount if you are lucky.

    4) gorilla tape? Why do you use this? I hope the shop used this for the above reasons.

    5) how long did they take to do the job? Did they do it the same day you brought it in so you could ride the next day?

    6) where abouts in the UK are you?

    I would have expected to pay £15 a wheel if that included tape, sealant and valves.

    Free Member

    Are you trying to save pennies because you just spent your savings fighting for your ‘principles’ ?

    Full Member

    £10 seems pretty cheap for the labour. Also, in your calculations, are you factoring in a margin on the products?

    No, you haven’t been overcharged.

    Full Member

    Took me an hour to do a tubeless tyre.

    If you couldn’t get it to go, how long do you think the mechanic would spend? I’d be happy at a £30/h shop rate. So to include bits as well seems like you got a bargain.

    I’d agree on the should have phoned you if a cost increased.

    Full Member

    Gorilla tape- shudder – grab some of that yellow tesa tape off ebay and a do few wraps of it.

    Seems a fairish price as they’ve handed over a tyre that’s staying up.

    They’re likely to go for a new valve and tape as farfing abouts going to up the labour cost.

    Still they didn’t put any of those fancy milkit valves in or you’d really be crying 🙂

    Full Member

    Shop labour rate should be at least £30 an hour to pay the spanner minkies decently and make a profit. I would charge a minimum 1/2 hr. so thats £15 labour for the job at least.

    Full Member

    I would have expected to pay £15 a wheel if that included tape, sealant and valves.

    That would be so cheap. Cheapest valves in a shop tend to be £10 for a pair of stan’s, so let’s assume £5 for a valve if they’re happy to break a pack.

    Sealant – let’s assume 100ml in – and stan’s is about £11 for 568ml if you shop around. Add some margin so say £5 for sealant. Muc Off is more expensive that stan’s too.

    Tape – go with their reasoning so say £5 for this. I’m surprised they used gorilla tape – maybe this was because this was what you’d already used and the issues with getting residue off the rim.

    So that’s £15 with no labour.

    Bearing in mind they had to take the old tyre / tape / valve off, maybe do some cleaning of the rim, then re-tape / inflate / add sealant then it’s got to be 30 mins work. I’d think that’s £20 labour at a lot of bike shops.

    So on that basis I don’t think you’ve been over charged.

    Maybe where they could have been better is communication. Assume the £10 quoted is just popping the tyre onto the rim for you. But they should have set expectations clearly that there might be more involved – i.e re-taping etc – although it sounds like they did mention this when you dropped the bike in. If it were me I’d have asked for an approximate cost at that point before the work was done.

    Full Member

    I think quoting £10 to fit a tubeless tyre which someone has been having trouble seating is madness!

    How much do you earn per hour and what does it cost to employ you (NI, pension, building and business overheads, etc)?

    Full Member

    got to agree with the labour rate comments.  10 to do any job unless it is just changing a tube is tiny when you have to get stuff together, prep for job (eg. clean off old tape), do job, clean up ready for next.  You change the valve without even checking the old one because you know there is a problem somewhere with the build and the fastest way to fix it is to replace it with parts you know from experience is good.  Price seems ok.  If you didn’t already have an airshot that might have been a better way to spend your money.

    Full Member

    In short no you haven’t been overcharged

    However in all cases I ask how much it is at my local labs before they start. That way if it’s not to your liking you can walk away. You cant complain after the fact I’m afraid

    Full Member

    I think quoting £10 to fit a tubeless tyre which someone has been having trouble seating is madness!

    This is the problem. That price is basically stick the shop compressor on your existing setup to get the bead on the rim, plus some sealant. As soon as you have to replace a valve and retape it’s way too cheap. I even doubt they will have made much money on the price you ended up paying.

    Full Member

    I think it’s a fairly normal confusion people have between how much it costs to do something and how much a shop charges to do something, the bit in between the prices is what keeps the shop running.

    Full Member

    We charge £20 per wheel Inc rim tape but valves & sealant would be extra £28 is cheap. We would use proper rim tape though not a bodge it and hope adhesive tape from a DIY shop.

    Free Member

    Do we really need to do this again? Youve not been overcharged, youve been charged what the shop charges to run a business and provide you a service. Dont like it dont go. My only gripe in your position would be if theyd quoted £10 and charged £30 but im going to assume they told you it was going to need new tape and sealant etc rather than just a blow up.

    Add to your equation the costs of rent, rates, taxes, staff costs, admin costs, business costs, dead stock, all that other stuff and youll see why retail is tough and when people whinge about paying for a service its annoying to say the least. The fact that by your calculations you dont feel the lbs should make a profit on the supplies shows a lot, that small stuff needs to be realistically minimum markup double plus vat, if not more.

    £10 labour? Assuming thats half an hour work minimum to talk to you, book it in, get the supplies, do the job, talk to you again, put the sale through, take payment etc…. that mechanic assuming theyre on a decent low wage, say £10 an hour, thats costing the business more like £20 an hour by the time you factor in nic, employement costs, breaks, holidays, sick, averaged out maternity pay, so on so forth. Add a reasonable profit? £10 an hour seem fair? £30 an hour charge, add the vat, thats £36 an hour. So by my calcualtions that £18 labour, £10 for the supplies, thats £28 before you add the £10 muc off valve. Wastage should be charged to the customer, who else is going to pay for it?

    With three staff in, it costs over £400 a day to open our doors, and thats just based on rent, rates, insurance, gas and electric, and wages. Theres a lot more costs than that under the surface. So on a double plus vat markup which people cry about as profiteering, thats £1000 a day in takings just to break even, making a profit is no easy feat in a shop these days.

    Full Member

    Everything I was going to write has been covered. You need to try removing all the old gorilla tape from a rim and then re-evaluate your labour figure. Did the shop ever suggest using a proper tubeless tape?

    Free Member

    Jesus wept.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 126 total)

The topic ‘Tubeless tyre fitting; have I been overcharged by LBS?’ is closed to new replies.

Search the forum using the power of Google

Join Singletrack From Only £12.501/2 Price Singletrack Offer

Use code HELLO54 when you join us as a print or digital member and your membership will be half price for the first year.

The Print+ membership where Singletrack magazine drops through your door, plus full digital access, is normally £45, now only £22.50 with the code. And a digital membership where you can read all the digital magazines is normally £25, and now £12.50 with the code.

Simply use code HELLO54 at checkout.

(New annually renewing membership only. Excludes Gift Memberships, Discount applies to first year. Cannot be used in conjunction with other offers, or when switching memberships)