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Old 02-13-10, 08:48 PM   #1
reptilezs
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how do you make a living as a bike mechanic

personally im not worried about the pay as a mechaninc. the other thread got me thinking and curious. so those that do it for a living do you just suck it up or what?
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Old 02-13-10, 09:05 PM   #2
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personally im not worried about the pay as a mechaninc. the other thread got me thinking and curious. so those that do it for a living do you just suck it up or what?
A halfway decent mechanic with several years experience will be making between $13-$15/hour here most likely. Assuming you are guaranteed year round employment that works out to be about $750-$900'ish per paycheck, take home. Rent for one person, one bedroom anywhere from $5-$800 depending on where you live. That leaves about a minimum of 1 paycheck a month on stuff like food and other things. If you don't own a car and ride your bike everywhere and don't have a family to take care of that's plenty enough to live on.

The people who do this job like it, or are only doing it temporarily until they can get a "real job".
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Old 02-13-10, 09:40 PM   #3
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A halfway decent mechanic with several years experience will be making between $13-$15/hour here most likely. Assuming you are guaranteed year round employment that works out to be about $750-$900'ish per paycheck, take home. Rent for one person, one bedroom anywhere from $5-$800 depending on where you live. That leaves about a minimum of 1 paycheck a month on stuff like food and other things. If you don't own a car and ride your bike everywhere and don't have a family to take care of that's plenty enough to live on.

The people who do this job like it, or are only doing it temporarily until they can get a "real job".
yea that is what i figured. 13-15hr is the going rate around here for a decent mechanic and starting pay is 10/hr or so.
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Old 02-13-10, 10:11 PM   #4
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Yeah, gotta watch the expenses, especially in the off-season. And don't get injured, unless you intend to die quickly and economically right afterwards.
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Old 02-14-10, 01:44 AM   #5
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Yeah, gotta watch the expenses, especially in the off-season. And don't get injured, unless you intend to die quickly and economically right afterwards.

Too funny!
It really depends by your living standards definition. If you rent off a basement or still living with your parents or share a place with a bunch of people vs. say a house with a backyard and two-garage kinda deal. Different from everyone.
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Old 02-14-10, 04:44 AM   #6
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Rent for one person, one bedroom anywhere from $5-$800 depending on where you live.
I wish.

Reptilez, if you go the low-wage slave route, do yourself a favour and read The Wealthy Barber.
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Old 02-14-10, 06:42 AM   #7
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I never could make a go of it...but I wasn't a great mechanic and never intended to do it forever. In the DC metro area you have no chance of making a living at it unless your spouse makes an income or you choose to live with VERY little.
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Old 02-14-10, 09:41 PM   #8
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The only way I make it work is 1. cheap rent (I pay $150) 2. Food stamps (I get $200) and 3. I don't buy any **** other than bike stuff and food. Not having health insurance sucks, but the benefits of doing a job I love are amazing. Life is beautiful. -FTU
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Old 02-14-10, 09:42 PM   #9
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I forgot to mention the income I bring in from random jobs.
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Old 02-14-10, 10:11 PM   #10
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I wrench year round and bring in between 27,000 and 30,000 a year (canukistani pesos) depending on how hard I work. I try not to do more than 35-45 hours a week. My Wife pulls down about the same amount. We make do by maximizing our money. We shop sales, only own 1 vehicle, rent what we can afford, and fill our house with what we need instead of a bunch of crap we can't pay for. I take advantage of pro deals as much as possible. I buy bikes and gear to last a few years instead of keeping up with trends, and I try to stay away from the bright and shiny stuff that gets dangled in front of me daily. ( I work with chris king addicts) We camp on holidays, stay in hostels not hotels, cook our own food and stay away from the bar. It seems like a meager lifestyle but I have time to ride, climb, and ski as much as I want, I take a month off every year, and I get to hang with my family. You can make a living as a mechanic but you have to decide whats important, a big paycheque or quality of life. I'll take life anyday.
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Old 02-14-10, 10:36 PM   #11
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There are some wrenches that make pretty good money, but you've got better chances becoming a rock star.
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Old 02-14-10, 10:41 PM   #12
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I wish.

Reptilez, if you go the low-wage slave route, do yourself a favour and read The Wealthy Barber.
Really?

Do you live in Vancouver? I'm living in there right now so I think my rent prices are especially accurate for you.
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Old 02-14-10, 10:42 PM   #13
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The only way I make it work is 1. cheap rent (I pay $150) 2. Food stamps (I get $200) and 3. I don't buy any **** other than bike stuff and food. Not having health insurance sucks, but the benefits of doing a job I love are amazing. Life is beautiful. -FTU
If I was paying $150 for rent on my current salary I could afford a new bike every month almost, jeeze. Or a new computer every month.
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Old 02-14-10, 10:54 PM   #14
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Actually, I think the only way to make a living as a mechanic is to have a retail store and you earn your living selling stuff as the LBS, and fixing bikes is the enjoyable part.
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Old 02-15-10, 04:26 PM   #15
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I am convinced you can make a small fortune as a bicycle mechanic. All you need is a large fortune and some time.

Jon Z.
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Old 02-15-10, 04:33 PM   #16
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$10-$13 an hour is good money for something as simple as a bicycle. That wouldn't cut it in L.A. The places I would have to live on that much,wouldn't even pay for the ammo needed to defend myself.
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Old 02-15-10, 05:05 PM   #17
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Inherit a lot of money, or marry into money. Otherwise, best suited to a side line/hobby.
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Old 02-15-10, 05:15 PM   #18
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I did it until I was 23. I lived in a studio apartment and didn't have kids or a wife. I did manage to put myself through college on the wages, though.
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Old 02-15-10, 06:41 PM   #19
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I 've been riding a suicide hub ( I did it myself )for a few months now. Does that meake me a PRO or what ?
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Old 02-15-10, 07:58 PM   #20
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$10-$13 an hour is good money for something as simple as a bicycle.
It's so simple that the thousands of questions in this forum must be completely unnecessary. It's so simple that I have to fix the bikes that were just repaired at other shops. It's so simple that it takes years to make a decent mechanic.

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Old 02-16-10, 10:17 AM   #21
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BikeWise1, I agree. It's not simple. Bike mechanics make small wages only because the market won't bear higher wages. That's all there is to it.
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Old 02-16-10, 10:27 AM   #22
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I don't make my living fixing bikes, but I think there is one universal rule that applies to doing what you love even if the pay isn't great: A spouse with a high-paying job - priceless.
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Old 02-16-10, 10:42 AM   #23
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People who work as a bicycle mechanic do it because they love bicycles and they enjoy the work. If you are good at mechanics, and also good at dealing with customers, it is possible to work up to being a shop manager with higher pay. As a mechanic it is difficult to live on money earned, but at least bicycles, parts and accessories can be had at wholesale prices!
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Old 02-16-10, 11:18 AM   #24
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$10-$13 an hour is good money for something as simple as a bicycle.
Simple as a bicycle? Is that why there are so many LBS hating threads because they do shoddy mechanical work? I almost feel offended by that statement.
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Old 02-16-10, 11:34 AM   #25
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$10-$13 an hour is good money for something as simple as a bicycle . . . .
This would be very good money for mechanics who find bikes pretty complicated but not enough for those who find them simple.

Bike repair, like auto repair, thoracic surgery and higher math is simple only for those who are either very good at their work or so unskilled as to be ignorant of the complications.

The more I learn about working on bicycles the more I appreciate a good wrench but the more I see of bad ones.
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