Who services your bikes?

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Viewing 37 posts - 121 through 157 (of 157 total)
  • Who services your bikes?
  • juan
    Member

    Mike for your info TF TUNED is the service center of DT SWISS in the UK.
    What do you want/ need to know about this shock ?

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Nothing Juan, I’m in Oz, it was an example of something that would confuse even the most dedicated home mechanic.

    It seems there are a lot of one or other views on this, as I said there is not much I can’t wont do but sometimes letting somebody else is much easier/better/quicker.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    Of course a competent home mechanic will do a better job than a shop… doing a task without time/money/”line of bikes to service” pressure, plus working on a machine that you genuinely have a 100% interest in can only mean a better job. I can only speak for myself for sure though.

    Of course a competent home mechanic will do a better job than a shop… doing a task without time/money/”line of bikes to service” pressure, plus working on a machine that you genuinely have a 100% interest in can only mean a better job. I can only speak for myself for sure though.

    I don’t think amateurs (in any field) realise how much better you become at something from doing it professionally, simply thanks to the sheer amount of time you spend on it. Obviously if a professional doesn’t care or isn’t interested or is simply in the wrong career then that outweighs the experience benefit.

    Have always done my own and have never understood why some people pay silly rates for shops to do it ? And now I have my missus bike to work on too, I have just serviced her RS Sid forks today .

    mikewsmith
    Member

    have never understood why some people pay silly rates for shops to do it ?

    Shops have all the parts and tools
    Some people would rather use their time doing other stuff
    Some people are not mechanically minded
    Some people do not have the space to do it
    People are generally all different

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Me.
    Can you magine the cost of servicing 6x regularity riddent mtbs, 1x bmx and 1x paper round / pub bike?
    Costs enough in parts already….

    glasgowdan
    Member

    Not true. An amateur can do things the slow careful way but a pro usually has to do a quick efficient job. I am a pro tradesperson and do a great job but there are times that I know the client could take 3x longer but do a more thorough job of it. Pro work also often means an employee who doesn’t know or care about the “business” end and corners are often cut, but everyone knows that anyway.

    No specialist tools were needed to service my missus fork and the kitchen table provided my work space, between me the missus & little’un there’s 9 to look after but I can always find a bit of none riding time to look after them and personally I wouldn’t class bike maintenance as mechanics but that’s just my opinion !

    mikewsmith
    Member

    you have got be an extremely busy person if you can’t find some time to look after your bike

    Thats great, well done have a gold star. I do look after my own and sometimes I get the shop to do it – as for busy I was flying back home from a 4 day work trip on overnight flights the day before I had to leave for a 4 day race. Didn’t leave much time to do anything to the bike. I also know people who don’t and who won’t or just prefer that somebody who knows more about it can do it. I try not to judge them or be condescending really.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Everything myself apart from forks/shocks.

    In the past I’ve used LBS’s for headsets too, but once I have a new place to work i’ll be getting the tools for that myself.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    So most of my SPDs are in a state, SS is hard on pedals I think, and need an overhaul.

    This seems like a pretty good example of a home mechanic job, especially for a newbie to take the plunge. The labour cost of paying a pro would be the same as buying again, but it’s daft to throw away good kit for the sake of a little time.

    If it goes wrong so what? I throw them away and buy new, like I was going to anyway.

    The vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utLU4kAHk_Q

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Of course a competent home mechanic will do a better job than a shop… doing a task without time/money/”line of bikes to service” pressure, plus working on a machine that you genuinely have a 100% interest in can only mean a better job. I can only speak for myself for sure though.

    I was chatting to a mate who runs a bike shop and is a decent wheel builder yesterday and asked him how long it took him to build a wheel: his answer was around half an hour if the wheel was for himself, but as much as twice that if it was for a customer when he felt it should be absolutely perfect.

    I don’t think you can really generalise.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    If it goes wrong so what? I throw them away and buy new, like I was going to anyway.

    It’s quite straightforward, mostly you just need to be aware that one of pedals has a lefthand thread and one has a righthand one and not try to undo them the wrong way round.

    grenosteve
    Member

    Bikes are really easy to service yourself.

    The biggest advantage of being your own mechanic, is you’ll know your bike inside out. If something starts acting up, you’ll probably know exactly what is wrong, and exactly how to fix it.

    If you need help, check out shimano’s tech site. You can download instructions for every bit of kit they’ve ever made. Most of it will transfer to other makes of pedals/gears/chainsets etc… as they are all very similar in operation (the differences should be fairly obvious).

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Subscriber

    it’s surprising how much you can do with a set of spanners and some hex keys, the only bike tools that I use on a regular basis are the pedal spanner, cone spanners, chain whip and cassette lockring tool, all of which aren’t expensive

    I do most things myself but I get the LBS to fit headsets – not a difficult job but it means I’m not risking either headset or frame or fork and I can pop in and get stuff I’ve invariably forgotten about. it’s not something I do that often to bother with tools.

    I bought my brother a park tools spoke tensionmeter, wheels now cost the parts plus wine/beer πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    cinnamon_girl – Member

    One thing I’d like to pick up on … how many of you folk come from families where there was someone with practical skills that you were able to learn from?

    I couldn’t kick a football if my life depended on it because when I was a wee boy and my mates were playing football, I was out helping my dad work on cars. My favourite toys were spanners! I always learned to do all things mechanical for myself rather than relying on a garage or bike shop. With six bikes in the house that all get ridden regularly, I’d be as well getting my wages paid directly to the LBS if I let them do the servicing.

    Premier Icon tootallpaul
    Subscriber

    Me. Actively do not trust bike shops any more.

    Been slowly building up my tools and knowledge – can now happily build and true wheels.

    Tempted to go for my Cytech or C&G next year- always nice to have an alternative career choice…

    An amateur can do things the slow careful way but a pro usually has to do a quick efficient job.

    I don’t have time to do anything slowly! And I’m sure I’m not the only person like that.

    hilldodger
    Member

    …..do not trust bike shops any more.

    Tempted to go for my Cytech or C&G next year- always nice to have an alternative career choice

    why would you work in a field where you don’t trust anyone πŸ˜•

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    I do everything bar hydraulics (basically, brake bleeds) and anything but a basic truing of wheels. I started because, as a teenager playing with bikes, I simply couldn’t afford to get them fixed by an LBS so learnt myself. Now if I need to know more here and YouTube are my friends.

    I’ve managed to slowly accumulate a good set of tools over the years and I’m not too bad at it either. Oddly, I would do less if my LBS was open out of hours for dropping a bike off or collecting it.

    Would I trust someone else to do it? hell yes, I’m sure most LBS mechanics are much better than me but for the pleasure and the satisfaction I get from it I’ll keep it “in house” for the moment as it’s good enough for me.

    grenosteve
    Member

    I think people who want their bikes serviced by a LBS, for what ever reason, can do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as your bikes running well, who cares where you got it set up.

    My advice though (and the advice of a lot of the forum) is to try yourself. Replacing cables, greasing bearings, and setting your bike up is very easy once you’ve done it once (If your mechanically minded or not). There’s a lot of pride to be had in riding a bike you know has been set up correctly, by yourself. Plus cost savings etc…

    In terms of learning, I learnt from taking my MTB and BMX to bits when I was a quite young. Sometimes I had to ask dad for advice, but I always had to fix it myself. With the internet now, you’re only second away from any advice you’ll ever need.

    richardk
    Member

    I don’t do anything other than basic stuff (replace chain, pedals, tyres/punctures). With a time consuming job, a family, and a house/garden that needs work, then I’d rather pay someone to do the work, and use my ‘bike time’ to actually ride them…

    yunki
    Member

    My kid brother is 35.. He’s never been able to read very well, but he has a successful electricians business, will quite happily build you a house, doesn’t flinch over buying a wrecked motorbike from ebay and rebuilding it, fabricating parts and blueprinting the engine..
    He’ll take your knackered laptop apart and rebuild it into something bigger and better or design and build you a kitchen from scratch..

    He’s all self taught apart from having to sit his electricians exams obvs..

    On the other hand I have a panic attack about putting a shelf up so is there a different type of brain perhaps?

    I can now finally do all my bike stuff (bar suspension) but it’s a painfully time consuming and distressing process

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    On the other hand I have a panic attack about putting a shelf up so is there a different type of brain perhaps?

    Different brain types? No it’s not that racial I think, but there are different aptitudes.

    I’m a computer programmer, I’ve met many people as bright or brighter than me that can’t do it well, they lack aptitude not.

    But there are ranges of difficulty here.

    Pretty much anyone can build and maintain a hardtail I think. A bit of common sense and willingness to have a go will cover most of it.

    I service all of my own bikes, and those of Mrs. Esher Shore.

    It helps that I work as a professional bike mechanic, because I have access to a comprehensive workshop, which just makes life easier.

    This is the best thing I installed in the workshop to make bike cleaning super easy and quick.

    Its a Park wall clamp mounted above the Rozone parts washer, and a QR rear hub where the freehub body has been packed with cassette spacers so the chain runs over it, allowing you to backpedal whilst washing the drivetrain. Custom plastic shroud around the Rozone to minimize splashback. You can rotate the bike up and down to wash the crankset or rear derailleur, and easily unclamp and flip bike around to access driveside / non driveside.

    I have a comprehensive toolset at home, but rarely use it because I don’t have a proper workshop set up, which is near impossible in a London flat.

    I find doing regular ongoing maintenance means my bikes are in tip-top condition with very few, if any, mechanical issues on rides (puncture on road bike?), and much longer component life = less pain to wallet.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Different brain types? No it’s not that racial I think, but there are different aptitudes.

    “racial” – typo, I meant “radical”

    mboy
    Member

    The “hand your man cards in” and “it’s only a bike” brigade should remember one thing… This forum is NOT a representative cross section of the general cycling public as a whole. For everybody on here that owns 6 bikes, and has copious amounts of free time to fix their bikes themselves, there’s 20 people out there that only own one bike and haven’t got the time or the inclination to fix it themselves!

    I didn’t grow up in a mechanical background. My Dad is as good as useless with anything remotely technical! Changing an inner tube phases him. He has told me numerous times that when he was younger, he changed the engine in his VW Beetle himself when he was about 21… I still don’t believe him, even though it’s only really 4 bolts! πŸ˜† I would however class myself as fortunate. Why? Because I had the hunger for knowledge to learn to fix things myself, and more importantly, to learn to do it properly and not bodge it!

    I own a bike shop, and you’d be surprised just how many “expert home mechanics” there are out there… Doing something once with passable results does not make you an expert at something! And these “experts” ALWAYS seem to have incredible trouble indexing their gears… Which flummoxes me, because as jobs on bikes go, gear indexing is certainly one of the easier things to do, and if you’re an “expert” surely you should be able to do it blindfolded and one hand tied behind your back? πŸ™„

    All joking aside though… I think it’s great that there’s a wealth of home mechanics that are out there having a go at fixing their own bikes. The workshop in my shop has at times throughout the last 12 months, had as much as a 10 day waiting list, so it’s not like we’re lacking in custom. If you’ve spent thousands on a nice bike for yourself, most people are going to be inclined to at least want to do something to look after the bike themselves. But don’t go kidding yourselves that you’ve become an expert overnight!

    For all those that have had bad experiences with LBS’s, it’s a sad fact but there really are some sub standard shops and mechanics out there. Lots of shops wave the Cytech certification around as if it’s a badge of honour that entitles them to charge stupid money for a service. I’ve worked with Cytech certificated mechanics before that I wouldn’t trust to do a thing on my own bike, let alone a customer’s bike. A good bike shop mechanic is good because he has the skills, knowledge and passion for the job, not because he has a piece of paper with a qualification on it. I class myself as a good mechanic, one of the guys who works for me though is a step above. It’s a proud boast I can make that we now have customers that drive past other bike shops specifically to come to us, because of the quality of our workshop service. I also know of at least one other shop locally, that has such a poor/variable level of service, that we often see bikes serviced by them in our workshop within a very short space of time to have issues rectified. An LBS should IMO live and die by the level of service they offer (not just by stocking bling brands), and too many out there are really letting themselves down. If you are fortunate enough to have a very good LBS though, you’re one of the lucky ones.

    I was chatting to a mate who runs a bike shop and is a decent wheel builder yesterday and asked him how long it took him to build a wheel: his answer was around half an hour if the wheel was for himself, but as much as twice that if it was for a customer when he felt it should be absolutely perfect.

    I don’t think you can really generalise.

    Couldn’t agree more!

    If it’s a wheel for myself, if it goes out of true within the first ride or two I’m not too concerned as I will fix it myself. I’m also VERY short on time. If it’s for a customer, it 100% HAS to be perfect! If you’re letting bikes leave your workshop working anything less than 100% satisfactorily, you need to have a word with yourself if you’re a bike shop mechanic!

    Oh, and on the element of time… I can/could do most of the maintenance jobs on my car if I wanted to. I’d rather pay for the local independent who has a very good reputation, to do any work to my car for me. Any job I do on my car would take me 3 times as long as it would do the garage, I’d rather pay them the money to fix it as my time and effort are better spent elsewhere…

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Good to hear you’re busy mboy. As for the 10 day waiting list, avoiding that is one of the benefits of DIM from my point of view. A problem I couldn’t fix myself would mean a bike off the dirt for roughly 2 weeks on that basis.

    But if it works for your customers that’s all good. As they say with builders “a good builder is a busy builder”.

    mboy
    Member

    As for the 10 day waiting list, avoiding that is one of the benefits of DIM from my point of view. A problem I couldn’t fix myself would mean a bike off the dirt for roughly 2 weeks on that basis.

    Fair point, also something we were trying to avoid. People being people though, the first sunny weekend in April, and everybody wants their bike serviced immediately. Cue mass panic, hysteria, and a complete lack of forethought for the next few weeks until it works its way through… Most of the time we’re busy, but with minimal wait fortunately.

    For anyone that does work on their own bikes, if you don’t already, “like” the ”yourbikehatesyou” page on facebook… Hopefully it should provide you with a good chuckle or two, and if it doesn’t, then maybe you’re not the mechanic you thought you were! πŸ˜‰

    trail_rat
    Member

    Mboy, would you mind if i dropped you a mail with a few questions about your establishment ?

    Cheers

    j4mie
    Member

    I’m not mechanically minded and don’t have a great understanding of how things work and next to no enthusiasm. However, I did change my HT to a single chainring this summer, was quite impressed with myself.

    However, I do like things done properly so it got put into a LBS for a full service for the second time since I got it. They said it had been sorted and I took it away happy enough, but on the first ride the headset was making cracking sounds, so they’ve not even looked at it properly, also the gear cable hadn’t been renewed.

    So, not sure I’ll trust a shop ever again, will have to work up some enthusiasm to do everything myself, I do t mind buying the tools!

    wilburt
    Member

    @mboy I wouldn’t read that for work never mind for fun, can you summarise?

    mudmonster
    Member

    Lost count of how many bikes I’ve built. I really enjoy the whole mechanical side to it. I’ve managed to service most of things successfully. Had to admit defeat with the bladder damper from a Marzocchi marathon fork and a Formula Oro that I couldn’t get to work after try to bleed it. Any facing jobs I go to Brixton cycles for.

    I work on my own and I’ve encouraged the few people that I’ve introduced to cycling over the years to work on their own bikes too. It’s not because of some misplaced superiority complex or even to save money. The main reason is that when your twenty miles from home and something brakes/fails/doesn’t feel quite right you can at least have an informed go at sorting it out and enjoying the rest of the ride.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    @j4mie, good job. It’s a slippery slope, be warned, next you’ll be buying second hand frames, stalking classifieds for parts, it’s a whole new world of fun.

    TiRed
    Member

    Me for most jobs and all servicing. But I also have access to free labour from Evans at work and discounted at Giant for the club. So “nasty” jobs like a seized BB go to Evans. But then I normally work on the bike/use their tools when I’m there if they are over-run.

    Next job will be a road bike internal Di2 retrofit and swapping of the 6700 Ultegra to the race bike. Harry Rowland builds and PeterPoddy services my wheels, but I ought to start building myself.

    And although mboy says indexing is easy, sometimes it can be the most frustrating thing. Check that last ferule before the RD if it shifts up but not down or vice versa.

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