How to Choose the Right Service for Your Bicycle

A few words from Monty:

One thing you won’t see on this website is a list of fixed charges for all sorts of bike repairs (brake adjustments, wheel truing, etc.). The reason is: I don’t agree with the so-called “flat rate” method of charging for service. Flat rates are primarily designed to make it easy on the mechanic – one job, one charge, simple as that. The problem is that no two jobs are ever the same, and, as a result, the flat rate system forces the shop to anticipate the worst-case scenario for any repair to avoid losing money.

The result is that the customer who requires only a very small amount of time to perform a certain repair (such as a brake adjustment) is being penalized to cover for the added time necessary to perform the same job on another bike that’s in worse condition. For example: if you force me to quote a price for a basic tune-up (adjusting gears and brake, adjusting all bearings, checking all nuts and bolts for proper tightness, truing wheels, lubricating chain and pivot points), I’ll tell you $30, plus any parts needed. But, this is for the “worst-case” bike – the one that has been neglected and needs a lot of TLC. If your bike is newer or you’ve taken good care of it, however, the same work will take less time, and, based on my hourly rate of $30, will cost you less money – say, $15. About the only flat rate labor charge we have is for fixing a flat tire, which is only $3 or $4 (plus the cost of the tube), depending on whether you just bring the wheel in or if we have to remove it and reinstall it on the bike. To me, this is a much fairer system for the customer. Plus, flat rate charges are based on the speed of the so-called “average” mechanic, and – quite frankly – I don’t consider myself average! So, the speed that comes with the expertise I’ve gained from 30 years of experience also works in your favor. In short, you end up with a highly professional repair done promptly at a price that’s fair to everyone – sounds good, doesn’t it? And remember, there’s never any obligation for a detailed free estimate so you’ll know the costs you’re looking at before I begin the job.

Thanks for your time!