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Old 11-17-05, 03:54 AM   #1
Lolly Pop
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Hi there. I posted some of this on another thread yesterday, and am re-posting because it is time-sensitive and I hope someone can help me before I go to pick up my bike in a few hours.

I am in the midst of a bar conversion that has taken far too long. I posted this at the end of the thread I started with a question about my bar-end shifters and how to mount them on my new butterfly bar. That thread started because my mechanic didn't know how to fit the thumb adapters, and spent an hour messing about. I found a solution here, went into the shop and showed him how they went on. This enabled him to get the job done. He has made a couple of mistakes besides this, which meant he has had to undo some things, fix them, and re-do them.

Now I am concerned that he might overcharge me. Here is my post outlining the work:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
Am having some concerns here. How many hours' work do y'all think this handlebar conversion should be?

Basically, it's switching over drop bars with bar-end shifters to butterfly bars and thumb shifters. This is what I see having been done: Remove old bars very simply: as one piece by lifting out stem. Cut cables. Remove bar-end shifters. Attach new front-loading stem and then attach handlebars. Slide on aero bars. Install velo grips. Attach thumbies and new brake levers. Route cable. Tape bars. Replace computer mount and bell. Forget to install gel pads prior to taping. Untape bars. Order new tape. Retape bars but install gel pads first this time. . .

I also asked him to install one of those fancy links so I can take off the chain to clean it.

My mechanic said something about "6 hours" today, which really seems *way* too long to me. Just because it was the first time he's done this particular task (thumb adapters) I don't think it would be fair for me to finance that very steep learning curve.

What do y'all think would be fair? I don't want to alienate him but I don't want to pay over the odds either.
I should add that I dropped off the bike last Friday and the parts arrived Saturday. It was supposed to be finished on Saturday and I made a special trip to pick it up. I have since been back Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and still don't have the bike.

Saturday he hit a brick wall attaching the thumb shifters. Monday I went in and showed him how they should be oriented. I went back Tuesday and the bars were bare, to confirm that I wanted them upside-down (that is, fitted so the outside of the bars curved up instead of down). At that point -- since the bars were bare and it was timely -- I also said I'd like to add aero bars, so we fitted a short set together while I was there. Yesterday (Wednesday) I went in to pick it up, having asked him not to tape the bars until I had had some time to see how I liked the layout. I got there and the bars were taped, but without the gel pads. I re-ordered a set of Fizik bar tap and gel pads at his behest, which I hope arrive today. He is going to pay for them and fit them. Today he is going to untape the bars and apply the gel pads, and then re-tape the bars. I really hope I leave with my bike today. But I don't want to leave feeling ripped off, particularly as I am a woman and I think we get ripped off a bit more often in this area!

Bottom line: is this a two-hour job? A four hour job? A six hour job?

Last edited by Lolly Pop; 11-17-05 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 11-17-05, 05:19 AM   #2
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Nobody?
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Old 11-17-05, 05:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
Hi there. I posted some of this on another thread yesterday, and am re-posting because it is time-sensitive and I hope someone can help me before I go to pick up my bike in a few hours.

I am in the midst of a bar conversion that has taken far too long. I posted this at the end of the thread I started with a question about my bar-end shifters and how to mount them on my new butterfly bar. That thread started because my mechanic didn't know how to fit the thumb adapters, and spent an hour messing about. I found a solution here, went into the shop and showed him how they went on. This enabled him to get the job done. He has made a couple of mistakes besides this, which meant he has had to undo some things, fix them, and re-do them.

Now I am concerned that he might overcharge me. Here is my post outlining the work:



I should add that I dropped off the bike last Friday and the parts arrived Saturday. It was supposed to be finished on Saturday and I made a special trip to pick it up. I have since been back Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and still don't have the bike.

Saturday he hit a brick wall attaching the thumb shifters. Monday I went in and showed him how they should be oriented. I went back Tuesday and the bars were bare, to confirm that I wanted them upside-down (that is, fitted so the outside of the bars curved up instead of down). At that point -- since the bars were bare and it was timely -- I also said I'd like to add aero bars, so we fitted a short set together while I was there. Yesterday (Wednesday) I went in to pick it up, having asked him not to tape the bars until I had had some time to see how I liked the layout. I got there and the bars were taped, but without the gel pads. I re-ordered a set of Fizik bar tap and gel pads at his behest, which I hope arrive today. He is going to pay for them and fit them. Today he is going to untape the bars and apply the gel pads, and then re-tape the bars. I really hope I leave with my bike today. But I don't want to leave feeling ripped off, particularly as I am a woman and I think we get ripped off a bit more often in this area!

Bottom line: is this a two-hour job? A four hour job? A six hour job?

Bit of fair negotiation I would say. Next time do it yourself I would suggest as what you seem to have got done is a small bit of customisation and personalisation. Always costs a bit of extra time always have one/two problems which need to be resolved. These cost time and as always when the job is done looks easy.
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Old 11-17-05, 05:33 AM   #4
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Thanks.

2 hours? 4 hours?
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Old 11-17-05, 07:20 AM   #5
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What I don't understand is why you are paying anyone to have this done. You have made several trips to the shop to show the "mechanic" how to do the job and you seem to know as much or more than he does. Why not do it your self?

How long is reasonable? Way less than it's taking.
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Old 11-17-05, 08:02 AM   #6
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Shoot, go pick it up and do it yourself. Then get hired to work there and get paid to do the work he doesn't know how to do. What do you need him for? You ought to charge him for teaching him how to do it!

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Old 11-17-05, 09:19 AM   #7
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This is why I like to get a price up front. No surprises.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:32 AM   #8
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You have already been ripped off considering your time and involvement,and wasted trips to the shop. If this so called 'mechanic' is not the owner or manager, they should know about it, and maybe cut you a deal. Otherwise maybe all you can hope for is that he/she will share some of that green shag smoking material.
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Old 11-17-05, 10:02 AM   #9
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Why did you not do this yourself? You described what needed to be done and this job requires nothing more than an allen set and maybe screwdrivers and one or two combination wrenches.

I can't believe the guy would promise a job for saturday, to much retail and piddly repairs going on. Also hard to believe neither you nor the shop knows how to use a phone.

How many people working? Uninterupted, something like that would take, at most two hours, probably just an hour. However, in a lot of shops the guy doing the work also answers the phone, writes up incoming work, runs the cashregister, does all the "while you wait" repairs(flats) fits helmets, sells bikes, unloads the freight truck of the sixty bikes that just came in. So if everything goes wrong it can take many hours to do a simple job. That is why we tell customers that pick up is the day after the work is scheduled and WE WILL CALL THEM WHEN IT IS DONE. Saves problems everywhere.
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Old 11-17-05, 10:14 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. I am pleased to report he didn't charge me anything. And as I had supplied all the big bits he wasn't out any parts. He had offered to pay for the second set of gel pads and bar tape, so I ate the cost of those in exchange for the parts he had supplied (aero bars, cables, barrel adjusters and power link for the chain).

My short test drive back to the office suggests the conversion is a good fit for me and has resulted in a very comfortable riding position.

In future, I would love to do repairs and alterations like this. I'll have to buy some tools!
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