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Old 07-04-11, 02:12 AM   #1
thestokers
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Bike servicing - how long?

Hi everyone, I'm researching a new business. Can anyone tell me how long it would take one man to service a bike - a standard service - full check plus sort out Brakes, gears, cables, hubs, bearings, chain, tru wheels. Not bottom bracket or headset but check if work required. Or if this is difficult to say. How many bikes can one guy do in a day? Any help or advice gratefully received.

Thanks for your help!

Henry (thestokers)
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Old 07-04-11, 02:53 AM   #2
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Can anyone tell me how long it would take one man to service a bike - a standard service - full check
First you'd have to be a lot more specific about what's included in the service/check - and what happens when a check point fails. Merely checking wheel bearings is a 30 second job(lift-spin-sideways yank), but then what? You still don't know what the lube in there looks like. Getting it off the bike and cracking it opens is immediately a 10-minute job at least. Suppose you find something, gummed up lube or a busted cone for instance. Does the service guy tackle that, or does he pass the bike on to a 2nd line repair guy. Will they have the parts available? Do they set the bike aside and call the customer?

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..plus sort out Brakes, gears, cables, hubs, bearings, chain, tru wheels.
"Sort out" will mean different things to different people. Tuning up my parents road bikes(which do lead a rather sheltered life) is probably a 3-hour affair/bike. But that's all ball bearings(apart from pedals and freewheel/hub) repacked, all cables pulled and cleaned or replaced. Brakes disassembled, cleaned and lubed. And it's assuming all parts are there.

Getting the beater bike fit for another year of grocery runs is a far speedier process. Does everything that should move, move? Is everything that should be stuck, stuck? Any squeaks and/or creaks? Can I spot anything fraying/cracking or deforming?

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Or if this is difficult to say.
Yes. You have to write your own list of objectives first.

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How many bikes can one guy do in a day?
See above. A basic safety check and mandatory brake/shifter cable replacement - maybe a little more than one bike/hour. Cracking hubs open, doing nice trueing work, a lot longer.
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Old 07-04-11, 05:55 AM   #3
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No easy answer to that one. A newer bike in good condition can be checked and adjusted in about 25 minutes and thats usually done at no cost for the first year after a sale.

The people that really need help come in with broken axles, bent rims, damaged cones, broken spokes, twisted forks and / or seized cables, seized seat posts and seized bottom brackets. Those bikes are seldome in good condition and getting them apart can be a real challenge and can take hours to complete. And thats assuming you have parts immediately available.
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Old 07-04-11, 10:17 AM   #4
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your best bet is to look at bike shop web sites where they publish their service prices and divide by their rate/hour. And if you have no experience, multiply by 2
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Old 07-04-11, 11:15 AM   #5
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The problem is that most "tune ups" require more than adjusting and checking things over. If I do a tune up where I just need to adjust gears, brakes, check to see if all bolts are tight, check the bearing tension in the bottom bracket, headset, and wheels, it takes about 20 minutes or so. But with all the box store bikes people are riding around, and the poor state of maintenance on them, they always need something more. You need someone good at estimating repairs bringing the bikes in. People around me rarely come in till the bike is having problems. I guess it's hard (mentally) to have 60 bucks worth of work done on the bike you paid 79 dollars for.
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Old 07-04-11, 11:46 AM   #6
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The problem is that most "tune ups" require more than adjusting and checking things over. If I do a tune up where I just need to adjust gears, brakes, check to see if all bolts are tight, check the bearing tension in the bottom bracket, headset, and wheels, it takes about 20 minutes or so. But with all the box store bikes people are riding around, and the poor state of maintenance on them, they always need something more. You need someone good at estimating repairs bringing the bikes in. People around me rarely come in till the bike is having problems. I guess it's hard (mentally) to have 60 bucks worth of work done on the bike you paid 79 dollars for.
if the owner want to pay for it then they will. we usually offer a lower tier service on department store bikes. mostly safety stuff like brakes or loose bearing/hubs
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Old 07-04-11, 01:42 PM   #7
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What I really hate is when the owner of the 79-dollar bike wants $150+ worth of work done, then gets irate when we suggest going to X-Mart and getting a new one instead. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes...

To the OP, if you have to ask this question in the first place, my advice is to open an espresso stand instead. Seriously. I've worked in what, six or seven bike shops, half of which are out of business, and would never dream of having one myself.
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Old 07-04-11, 02:48 PM   #8
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Please forgive what seems like snobby attitude (but is actually sincere), but IMO if you're asking this kind of question, you shouldn't be considering a bike service business.

If you have adequate bicycle service skill and experience, you should already have an idea of how long various jobs take you, so should take. If you're so far in the dark, or are planning on doing it only with hired labor, you'll get eaten alive, and rapidly lose your investment.

Again forgive the implied attitude, I'm just trying to give you a wake up call before you get in too deep.
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Old 08-18-11, 05:56 AM   #9
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Bike servicing - how long?

Thanks all for your replies. Think you have confirmed what i already knew - that i need to get an experienced bike mechanic involved! To be honest the plan was never to undertake something like this myself. Every businessman says the same thing - stick to what you know!

So you can guess my next question - anyone know a good freindly entrepeneurial bike mechanic in the London area?

Thanks
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Old 08-18-11, 06:55 AM   #10
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London, Ontario or London, England? What are you trying to accomplish? You will get good solid advice here but more detail is required. The quality of the answer will somewhat be in proportion to the quality of the question.

Is this guy near you?
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...7-alternatives.

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Old 08-24-11, 12:25 PM   #11
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Ah sorry - London England.
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Old 08-24-11, 12:26 PM   #12
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I would like to discuss a potential business idea with knowledgable bike mechanic. Happy to pay for time.
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