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  1. #1
    TortoiseNotHare BridgeNotTunnel's Avatar
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    Dreaming of Total Overhaul of Bike

    Basically, I would like my bike taken completely apart, cleaned, put back together, and re-tuned. I'm sure she really just needs some fine adjustments here and there by a keen mechanic, but I imagine it might be "good" for me and the bike to have it totally "re-built".

    How much should I expect them to charge me for this service, assuming no parts are needed?

    My bike is a Giant Escape 2, it's only a $400 bike, fast approaching 4k miles.

    I can't afford a whole new bike right now.

    But, I do plan on riding 300-400 miles a month if possible, so some investment is definitely needed, somehow.

    If a full inside out cleaning/tuning can be had for around 100$, I'll be happy.

    Is there a reputable mechanic on this forum in the NYC area who would want this kind of work?
    If you are within range of my apartment, I would ride the bike to you, and wait/watch/help you with the project.

    Any thoughts, or ideas on this subject is appreciated, thanks.

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    http://times-up.org/index.php?page=bike-co-op

    I would recommend you try to learn some maintenance skills and do it yourself. The cost of what you are asking will most likely exceed the $400 purchase price.

  3. #3
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    In an expensive market like NYC, perhaps $250 to $300 plus any parts that end up showing wear/need of replacement. Here in Hooterville, shops charge about $65 an hour, I would expect NYC to be more. A three hour job at least, probably more.

    Paying someone retail $$ to clean your bike, I could not do it.

    I can't imagine what you describe costing $100. I would not do it for that price, here in a low cost area.

  4. #4
    TortoiseNotHare BridgeNotTunnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
    http://times-up.org/index.php?page=bike-co-op

    I would recommend you try to learn some maintenance skills and do it yourself. The cost of what you are asking will most likely exceed the $400 purchase price.
    That's what I was afraid of....

    That's a very helpful link, thank you.

  5. #5
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    $400 for a overhaul? I have to hang out a shingle.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  6. #6
    DOS
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    Here in DC area a complete overhaul runs about 250, including new cables and housing.
    My Opinions > My Knowledge

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    $400 for a overhaul? I have to hang out a shingle.
    This sounds more like the OP is describing a frame-up rebuild with all bearings and components disassembled, cleaned, relubed and reassembled. I think $400 is high but $100 won't touch it either. Some time on the Park Tools web site tutorials, Sheldon Brown articles and that same $100 invested in a decent repair book and some basic bike tools would be time and money better spent.

  8. #8
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    I'd probably do it for $100 plus parts, but to be honest I would not put the kind of care into it as I would my own bike. Chances are it would never get down to the very bare frame like you're talking about...

    If you want this done right, I suggest you learn to do it yourself. 4,000 miles isn't that much. Bottom bracket is sealed so no maintenance there. All it probably needs is the hubs and headset re-packed and a good chain/sprocket cleaning and new cables. For $100 you could probably buy all the tools and parts you need and do everything yourself.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    There is a reality out there that we have to face though that some poeple just do not want to do their own wrenching for various reasons like not enough time or space to do it or just being an admitted "klutz" with mechanical things. What makes this important is the cost of components and parts that can get damaged beyond repair if one runs into "trouble" while trying to learn on the fly with doing a bicycle overhaul. Specially these days when an errant wrench can easily put a bad dent or hole on an aluminum or CF frame and trash it for good.
    Yes, when bikes were mostly tough steel and parts were more forgiving tolerance-wise, it would be good to persuade people towards doing it themselves, but when bikes and their parts today cost so much, there's just a lot to lose if a newbe wrencher botches the job.
    As for the OP, it really depends on whether he can afford the risk of possibly screwing up with his not so expensive bike to make a final decision whether to tackle the overhaul himself, but for bikes costing $5K - $7K and above, which is not so unusual to see in bike shops today, I'd let the mechanics at the shop deal with it mostly if I'm not so mechanically inclined.

    Chombi

  10. #10
    TortoiseNotHare BridgeNotTunnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    This sounds more like the OP is describing a frame-up rebuild with all bearings and components disassembled, cleaned, relubed and reassembled. I think $400 is high but $100 won't touch it either. Some time on the Park Tools web site tutorials, Sheldon Brown articles and that same $100 invested in a decent repair book and some basic bike tools would be time and money better spent.
    I've been tied to my LBS for bike maintenance for a while now.

    I'm psyching myself into learning more, and I think a workshop might be a good start.

    Thanks for the input. I'm trying to stick with this bike for a long time as I think it suits my needs, and body type well.

  11. #11
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    At the REI here they list that as $150-$180 Labor only
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
    ..... but for bikes costing $5K - $7K and above, which is not so unusual to see in bike shops today, I'd let the mechanics at the shop deal with it mostly if I'm not so mechanically inclined.
    I agree. For a rider who can spend that kind of money on a bike and is either not expert enough or doesn't have the time, a couple of hundred dollars for a complete overhaul won't seem like much. For a rider for whom a $400 bike is a bit of a financial stretch, paying 50% of the bike's new cost for an overhaul will, correctly, seem like a fortune.

    As you noted, that level of bike will have either a strong steel or sturdy aluminum frame and relatively simple components so learning to work on it isn't a big liability and not much can be done to harm it that isn't reversible.

    BTW, to the OP: is there a bike co-op or bike club in your area that you can ask for guidance? Many co-ops have loaner tools and on-site help at little to no cost.

  13. #13
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    What does REI pay their mechanics? Back when I was working in a shop near Boston we charged $100 for a overhaul plus parts. if you worked hard at you could do it in about 2 hours or so.

    Bridgenottunnel; You really need to look for a COOP to learn to work on your bike. do it a bit at a time and learn as you go.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  14. #14
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    Bridgenottunnel; You really need to look for a COOP to learn to work on your bike. do it a bit at a time and learn as you go.
    + jillions.
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  15. #15
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    http://vimeo.com/showlove/718cyclery
    http://www.718c.com/what-we-do/service-pricing/

    I'm pretty sure the owner will let you watch the entire overhaul--I asked If he'd let me
    do the work while at the shop (his tools and staff) and he said--no problem.

    Last bike this shop did--$140 and that included new hoods..chain..and installation of new derailleur.

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    If you're going to have this done by a shop in NYC the two I'd recommend most for the job are Bicycle Habitat on Lafayette street and Ifixbyks
    on 37th street. Ifixbyks is a repair only shop on a second floor so his rent is lower than the typical shop, and the owner is the wrench and more likely to give you better value for a job like that. There's also a good small shop, Bike Works, near the Williamsburg bridge. It may not look special, but the owner and mechanic is skilled and caring, and most likely to take on a job like this at an affordable price.

    For the future, the time to do this kind of work is in the winter (if we have one) when shops are slow and begging for work.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    What does REI pay their mechanics? Back when I was working in a shop near Boston we charged $100 for a overhaul plus parts. if you worked hard at you could do it in about 2 hours or so.
    I basically budget an entire workday for an overhaul. We're talking exhaustive teardown, solvent-tanking, relubrication and reassembly of everything except the pedal axle bearings and brake pivots:



    At a shop rate of $60 per hour, even $300 would make it a "loss leader." And it's no fun either, try breathing through a solvent respirator and wearing heavy solvent-tank gloves for a few hours while bending over and scrubbing part after part. Thankfully, this is a rare operation these days.

  18. #18
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    I think $250 - $300 would be very reasonable for a "complete" overhaul. I just bought a $100 vintage MTB Bridgestone off CL. Not expensive. But I stripped the frame naked, and put in new BB, new crank, new cantilever brakes, new stem and handlebars, new headset, new saddle/seatpost/binder, overhauled even the thin copper bushing spacers in the Deore XT MT735 STI brake/shifters. Rebuilt wheels with new spokes and overhauled hubs. Took me an hour or two each evening for almost 5 days. And my hands, despite latex/nitrile gloves, still got grimey. I love to tinker with bikes. But still, 7.5 hrs is lots of labour. If you have the time, tools and gumption, yes, it's great to do. But a good shop charging a few hundred for labour is still a good deal if time is worth money to you. Unfortunately, relative to the value of the actual bike, it may not be money well spent. It might be more worthwhile if you had a custom fitted bike frame with very high value and highly functional components.
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  19. #19
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post
    I think $250 - $300 would be very reasonable for a "complete" overhaul. I just bought a $100 vintage MTB Bridgestone off CL. Not expensive. But I stripped the frame naked, and put in new BB, new crank, new cantilever brakes, new stem and handlebars, new headset, new saddle/seatpost/binder, overhauled even the thin copper bushing spacers in the Deore XT MT735 STI brake/shifters. Rebuilt wheels with new spokes and overhauled hubs. Took me an hour or two each evening for almost 5 days. And my hands, despite latex/nitrile gloves, still got grimey. I love to tinker with bikes. But still, 7.5 hrs is lots of labour. If you have the time, tools and gumption, yes, it's great to do. But a good shop charging a few hundred for labour is still a good deal if time is worth money to you. Unfortunately, relative to the value of the actual bike, it may not be money well spent. It might be more worthwhile if you had a custom fitted bike frame with very high value and highly functional components.
    This is why flipping neglected bikes by a bike shop does not make sense. I have bought several project bikes from LBS for this reason. No way they could refurbish it and cover their costs and overhead.

    And this is why buying from a reputable flipper can be a good deal. For about the cost of the service work alone, you can get a nice bike fully rehabbed. The trick is finding a flipper that does a thorough rehab, and not just a quick cosmetic clean up.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    My LBS charges $150.00 plus parts. Includes BB, and Hub bearing OH.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Don't fix it if it aint broke...

  22. #22
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    My bike is a XX, it's only a $400 bike, fast approaching 4k miles.
    not much in either category,, BB are cartridge sorts now, so that is a disposal replacement.

    Hub bearings can be re-greased. factory is miserly on grease.

    inspect cables and housing for wear, pull seat post and bar stem and grease those .
    so they will not be stuck in the future.

  23. #23
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    ALL of the jobs you want to do can be broken down into capsule like sub projects and tackled one at a time and as a learning experience. If you have a little room to set aside for a work place YOU CAN DO THIS if you have the will and are not registered on the National Klutz Index....

    You'll likely spend around $100 on tools the first time. And a few more bucks for new cables and housings, new bearing balls (it's silly to re-use the old ones considering how cheaply you can buy them in bulk) along with greases, oils and cleaners and the trays to use for such things. But outside of the first time tool cost and maybe $20 for the new cables and housings and other bits the only thing you need is time.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  24. #24
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    I basically budget an entire workday for an overhaul. We're talking exhaustive teardown, solvent-tanking, relubrication and reassembly of everything except the pedal axle bearings and brake pivots.
    Same here. I figure on about two long evenings.

    Mech, that's a *very* nice bench you have. I am more space-challenged. When I do hub rebuilds, I pretty much am just sitting on the basement floor.

  25. #25
    Used to be Conspiratemus
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    If you're looking after your bike in a small apartment where you have to worry about spilling solvent and getting your living space really dirty, keep in mind that it's not necessary to use any kind of liquid solvent or de-greaser to do the vast majority of bike maintenance. Elbow grease is your friend. Once you have things disassembled, a good stock of rags -- old cotton dress shirts ripped up are ideal -- and a few old tootbrushes are all you really need, maybe a small screwdriver for scraping caked-on chain dust out of derailleur pulley teeth. Even if you are actually taking cup-and-cone bearings apart, you don't need to degrease the races, just wipe them really clean with the dry rags. Throw the balls away and replace with new ones. Every now and then you might need a little rub with a rag that has been just spot-dampened -- not soaked -- in solvent to loosen some recalcitrant dirt.

    The caveat here is that this "dry" method of cleaning is much easier to accomplish if you don't over-lubricate your bike in the first place.

    The chain is the part that gets the most obviously dirty and it admittedly impossible to clean the parts that bear against each other with only a dry rag. But even here, a minimalist approach to lubrication will keep things cleaner longer. That's all I'm going to say because I don't want to start a another chain-care flame war.

    I'm also in the "If it aint' broke, don't fix it" camp. Unless something is squeaking, creaking, rattling, juddering, or binding, and as long as the bike stops, steers, coasts, and shifts gears OK, you're probably not going to improve your happiness by taking it apart and re-building it.
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