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Old 08-03-09, 07:48 PM   #1
NomadDNA
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Cost of the average bike tune up?

What does your local bike shop charge for a standard tune up? Post the $.

What: Cain Park Bicycle
Where: Cleveland Heights, OH
How much: $20+cost of parts
Work done: Wheel true, brake tightening, derailleur adjustments, lubrication, and tightening of nuts and bolts.


What do you guys think is "fair"? I've heard of $60, which seems too high. Some think $20 is too low...
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Old 08-03-09, 08:06 PM   #2
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$40-60 around here. But then you get the suggested replacements. I think most bikes just need cable adjustment. It's good to get if you don't understand how things work on your bike because, hopefully, they'll be able to prevent some pending problem.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:11 PM   #3
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$0 in my garage.

Learn to be independent.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:30 PM   #4
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$0 in my garage.

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Wow, you must not value your time. I charge myself at the very least a 6 pack, maybe two.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:33 PM   #5
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$40 to $60? $20?!? Jesus Christ, my shop charges $79. The one I work at. That's cheaper than every other one around here, by the minimum of $6. Plus, we are the only one that actually cleans the bikes. $20 for a tune up.. man..
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Old 08-03-09, 08:44 PM   #6
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What do you guys think is "fair"? I've heard of $60, which seems too high. Some think $20 is too low...
A very basic question - how long would it take you to do a tune-up? Second question is how much would you charge in just your labor? Multiply your hourly labor by at least two or maybe 2.5 and that's the shop's cost of doing business.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:48 PM   #7
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I do a full overhaul once a year.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:58 PM   #8
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What do you pay for it? We charge 170
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Old 08-03-09, 09:22 PM   #9
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I do it myself as I want it done right.
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Old 08-03-09, 09:46 PM   #10
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$0 in my garage.

Learn to be independent.
Learning to be independent costs a lot But the tools are a one time purchase, eventually they pay for themselves
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Old 08-03-09, 10:16 PM   #11
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My favorite LBS charges $59.95 for a tune-up, which includes: cleaning, lubing, wheel truing, drivetrain adjustment, brake adjustment, wear inspection and safety inspection. If you buy your bike from them, they offer a three-year service plan with unlimited tune-ups for $89.95.

Another LBS in my area offers a basic tune-up for $70.00, which includes: adjust brakes, adjust gears, true wheels, adjust hubs, adjust bottom bracket, adjust headset and frame wipe-down. For $110.00 they do the basic tune-up plus replacing all brake and shift cables/housings. For $200.00 they do all of the above plus remove all parts, thorough drivetrain/parts cleaning and rebuild all bearing assemblies.

For me, all I spend is my time, plus the cost of parts. I only pay a shop to do things I can't do for myself (which to date has consisted only of removing a stuck freewheel for me). As far as I'm concerned, doing the work myself is a large part of the fun of owning a bicycle.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:00 PM   #12
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Shops around here offer free tuneups for the life of the bike (first owner). I plan to do the same. Here for instance a tuneups come in 2 degrees, the cheapest being $45. It includes truing the wheels adjusting brakes/pads, shifting front/rear, tire air pressure, good chain cleaning, mild drive train cleaning, and depending on how much they like the bike they may give it anywhere from a quick wipe down to a using an entire roll of paper towels and 8 gals of cleaner. the more expensive tuneup for $75 throws in overhualing headset, BB, and hubs.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:39 PM   #13
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$75 here, for the cheapest tune up.
Adjust brakes, Adjust deraileurs, True wheels, Adjust all bearings, Lubricate chain and cables, Tighten all bolts and hardware and Light cleaning
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Old 08-03-09, 11:56 PM   #14
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I charge $40 and wash the bike.
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Old 08-04-09, 04:48 AM   #15
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I do all my own work, but I can see both sides of the question. Good local bike shops are a valuable resource, because not everybody has the time, the skill or the confidence to do their own spanner work. As the shops sell bikes, it's only right that they should also maintain them if people so wish. A business needs to make a decent profit for it to be worth their while keeping going. Even in my short time on Bike Forums, though, I've heard a few horror stories which would make me think twice about taking a bike to the shop for work. If you need them to do the work, they figure you can't do it yourself, and probably won't know if they've done a good job either. There's a great temptation to cut corners, like just cleaning an assembly externally and charging for stripping it down. It's basically about honesty and integrity, and I suspect that's still to be found in rural and small-town places, but possibly an endangered quality in the big cities.
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Old 08-04-09, 05:03 AM   #16
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$45, adjust gears and brakes, adjust hubs, true wheels, clean bike, check all bolts
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Old 08-04-09, 05:51 AM   #17
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At our shop:

$30: Adjust brake and shifter cables
$65: Adjust brake and shifter cables, true wheels, adjust headset, adjust BB, adjust wheel bearings, safety check
$125: Same as above, plus free labor on cable/housing replacement, clean and polish bike, degrease/re-lube drivetrain
$225: Bike completely stripped down to frame, reassembled with new lube everywhere.

Chances are, if you come in for the $30 tune, you get most of the $65 tune anyway, not just the simple cable adjustments. And at $65, you get most of the $125 tune.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pchopper View Post
Learning to be independent costs a lot But the tools are a one time purchase, eventually they pay for themselves
Well, this is a hobby so I always considered learning to do my own work and buying the tools to be part of the cost. However, it's a part that does pay for itself and rather quickly too.

As to the "cost" of your time, how much time and automobile cost does it take to drive the bike to the LBS and go back to pick it up when (and if) the work is done? And, you are without the bike while it's being serviced. DIY is both fun and economically justified.

I do my own oil changes too and have been asked; "where do you get the time?" I ask; "where do you get the time to drive to the dealer/garage/QuickLube shop, wait for the car and drive home? Or worse, have someone follow you there and bring you back and repeat the trip later." My oil changes take 20 minutes and part of that is just letting the old oil drain so I can do something else while waiting.
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Old 08-04-09, 10:18 AM   #19
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+1 HillRider

My LBS open up later than I get to work and closed before I leave for work. I'd have to ride 40min back into town for a visit or wait until a weekend. As a parent, weekends are often busier than weekdays ;-) so I can't predict when I'll make it to the LBS. So basic tune up tasks for me was an essential kinda thing, especially bike commuting 5/week + weekend errands.

But the ironic bit I wanted to point out was: my LBS states 2-week turn around for bike maintenance, and call-ahead schedule only for tune ups. I have two bikes already and I keep both in shape to commute with. One is the cargo bike that can tow the tag-along, the other is the fun bike. However, if one of them actually goes out of commission for two weeks, that'd suck so much! I'd rather drag the space heater into my freezing garage at midnight so I could get the bike working unless it wasn't something I actually couldn't fix.
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Old 08-04-09, 03:50 PM   #20
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In the Nashville area I've seen between $50 to $200 depending on the store and how much you want them to work on the bike.
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Old 08-04-09, 03:50 PM   #21
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$40 to $60? $20?!? Jesus Christ, my shop charges $79. The one I work at. That's cheaper than every other one around here, by the minimum of $6. Plus, we are the only one that actually cleans the bikes. $20 for a tune up.. man..
The shop that I work at doesn't clean the bikes (though we do for customers we like/bikes we like). Nor do we take apart any of the BB joints (hubs/bottom brackets/headsets).

But I can't understand how you could charge more than... say... $30 for a tune up.

Adjusting derailleurs, on average, takes, what? Maybe 5 minutes? You tighten the cable (if necessary) and adjust the screw-delimiters. Brakes? Tighten cables and adjust/replace pads. Lubrication? Hit the chain/screws, etc. Wheel-truing takes the longest, with, on average, taking maybe 10-20 minutes. A tune up, on average, probably takes 30-60 minutes. (Ok, yes... It's true; some customers come it with nasty, corroded bikes from the winter, which can sometimes take hours).

Assuming a mechanic is getting paid $12/hr, that's $6-$12 COST.... Multiply that by 2 for profit, that's $12-$24 per tune up.

So how can shops justify more than that? $50?? 70?? Wow... I. Don't. Understand.

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Old 08-04-09, 04:17 PM   #22
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I also charge $40.00 Cdn (35.00 U.S.) for a basic tuneup (no parts) which will get the derailers and brakes adjusted, the bearings will be checked and adjusted, the wheels will get a minor true, and the bike will come back clean and shiny.

My policy is to tell folks this is the base price and that if less is needed I will adjust the bill and if additional work is needed will call for approval unless pre-approval has been given. Just about everyone pre-approves any minor parts like cables and brake pads.

For those folks that complain about the price they have to understand that we are working on bikes that are new to us so besides the actual work, we have to go over the bike to check everything. I always test ride bikes after they are done as many issues can not be detected on the stand.

A complete tear down and overhaul at my shop runs $90.00 plus parts so will usualy cost around $120.00 unless major parts need replacing.

I am not some 20 year old newb looking to make some part time money or get a shop discount and have been told by quite a few people I am the best mechanic in the city.

That isn't quite right as there are 2 guys I would trust to work on my bike... one is in Australia and now has his own shop.

Both have worked as mechanics at our co-op and have incredible skills.
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Old 08-04-09, 04:40 PM   #23
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I do it myself as I want it done right.

It depends on what you have done. Sure, to adjust cables and tighten the handful of nuts and bolts goes quick and they might slide by for $20 - considering statistics prove you'll buy some accessories or something else while you're there. That's where the real "gravy" is - impulse buying. A new bag, a pair of water bottles, some of their sponsored energy bars, etc.
Now, if you're going to do a REAL overhaul - including disassembly, cleaning, and repacking, for both wheel bearings and headset and BB, plus truing the wheels, and oiling and adjusting all working components, that ain't going to be done for $20.
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Old 08-04-09, 04:49 PM   #24
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I guess it depends what your *average* customer is looking for. I have the feeling that the average customer in Cleveland isn't looking for an overhaul. While, in Portland, OR, more discriminating customers may be looking for something a little better.

Most bikes that come into the bikeshop don't need re-lubricated hubs, headsets, or BB's (though, some 10y/o+ bikes do). So why charge most customers for service that most bikes don't need?
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Old 08-04-09, 05:31 PM   #25
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Sometimes, you can't tell the true state of a component till you tear it down. A case in point. My wife bought an MTB in about 2000. We were living in Wales in the middle of nowhere, so we ordered it through a catalogue and had it delivered. It seemed OK, and she rode it for a few years. A few months ago, here in Lancashire, I'd got back into bike maintenance and decided to give it a complete service. The front wheel was fine. It turned smoothly, and the valve stem came to rest at the same place. I took the hub apart anyway, to discover that the ball bearings on one side had collapsed into a sort of silver-coloured mush. I don't know why this wasn't evident before I dismantled it, but I wouldn't have liked her to have ridden it like that for much longer. I'm always reluctant to dismantle headsets if they seem OK, but then they don't take a lot of strain, unlike the other bearings. Cleaning and re-packing the wheel hubs and bottom bracket transforms most bikes. My wife's MTB now runs like a dream.
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