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Old 11-19-08, 12:05 AM   #1
BengeBoy 
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Do you feel guilty about taking the bike in for a repair you could do on your own?

I do 90% of my own work on my bikes, but last weekend, when I was on the home stretch of putting my project bike back together, I decided I would rather go for a bike ride (nice weather) than install the brake and derailleur cables on my bike.

Most of the harder stuff was done....but I got frustrated looking at the partly done bike in the garage and wanted it done, but not at the expense of a good bike ride.

So I gathered up the cables and housing I had already bought, and took the 90% complete bike to the shop...and then went for a ride.

I was happy that I got the ride in. Still, I felt I wimped out on finishing the cables and housing on my own.


Do you do your own wrenching?
Do you wimp out and take stuff to the bike shop you could do on your own?
Do you feel guilty, or are you happy to spend your kids' inheritance on labor charges at the LBS?
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Old 11-19-08, 12:26 AM   #2
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I'm not much of a mechanic. Sometimes I feel guilty taking it to the shop because I miss the opportunity to learn more. OTOH, it can be hard to find the time to DIY. Also, I'm not going to spend $30 on some funny looking tool that I will probably never use again.
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Old 11-19-08, 12:26 AM   #3
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Well. For starters - change my own flat tires. With multiple bikes and reasonable rates from my local bike shop. Why bother... I could be out biking instead of wrenching. ?
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Old 11-19-08, 12:40 AM   #4
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BTDT. I feel your guilt. Don't worry about it.

Now the big question, did they do it properly or are you going to have to redo it to get it just 'right'?

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Old 11-19-08, 01:16 AM   #5
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I also do the vast majority of the wrenching on my bikes and those of my wife and sons. Once in a while I find myself too pressed for time to do something or I need something done tht I don't have the right tools to do, so I have it done at the LBS. I don't feel ashamed or like I wimped out. In fact, I usually feel good that I was able to give the shop some business. That way I don't feel as bad about ordering the occasional part from an online store when I know the LBS can't come close to matching the price. (Like the $40 Nitto Technomic Deluxe stem I recently ordered from Velo Orange ).
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Old 11-19-08, 01:22 AM   #6
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The only parts of my bike(s) that go to the LBS for maintenance are the wheels. I can maintain the rest of the bike and without sounding big headed- I can do a better- quicker- cheaper job than the LBS.

But those wheels- They were built by the LBS Mechanic and are superb. He does a far better job than I can and although I will take out the slight wobbles in the wheel and do a good enough job- after a year or so of riding the spokes are getting slack-it may be oval and although I do not notice any loss in performance- Once I get the wheels back- they are like new.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:40 AM   #7
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I don't know. I would have done that after hours and still be able to put in a good ride.
If it's between riding and tinkering I can always put off the tinkering and do that in the middle of the night if I had to.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:53 AM   #8
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For a "one of" type job, I don't mind spending a couple $ at the LBS.
I'm going to redo my brake cables "one of these days", since they need to be a bit longer with my different bars. I could buy cable cutters etc. for probably a one time use or pay to have it done.
I won't have any problem with having them do it. I try to "throw them a bone" once in awhile for the free advice they give.

I wouldn't let someone else change the oil in my car (when I had one) however!
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Old 11-19-08, 02:10 AM   #9
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These "One Time" Purchases of tools----- They are not.

Cassettes need changing on a yearly basis for me- Bearings need regreasing and adjusting so Cone spanners are a must. Bottom bracket and over the years you will change a few. Things like headset and or bottom bracket thread chasing tools perhaps not very often.

But what is a man without his tools?
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Old 11-19-08, 04:06 AM   #10
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My motto is "if you don't do it well, don't do it yourself." Which means, I not only outsource my bike repairs, I've pretty much farmed out my entire life. I still take my own naps.
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Old 11-19-08, 04:31 AM   #11
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If I've got the time and the motivation I do my own wrenching. If not, it
goes to the shop. No guilt either way and no complaints from the bride
over money's spent on repairs if I choose to use the shop.

Happy Trails
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Old 11-19-08, 04:46 AM   #12
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Do I feel guilty?
NO.
Especially as I often learn something from LBS mechanic/owner etc that ultimately has helped me take care of an issue that comes up while on tour or a lot of km away from support and no cell coverage.
It is usually an investment.
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Old 11-19-08, 05:10 AM   #13
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Why would you feel guilty? Do people who hire out their yard work so they can have more free time feel guilty. How about minor maintenance on the car (replacing windshield wipers for example).

If it pleases you to make the trade off, then by all means do it without guilt.
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Old 11-19-08, 05:10 AM   #14
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I don't know that guilty is be the right word but I take ridicule badly.

If I took one of my bikes to the shop for ANYTHING I would have to find a shop where I didn't know anybody because they'd make fun of me. One possibility might be to get my wife to take it in because it would be easier to find a shop where they don't know her.

Given the choice of taking my bike into a shop I just might have to give up bicycling.
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Old 11-19-08, 06:25 AM   #15
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Over the years I've found the LBS better at replacing spokes and properly re-tension the spokes, bottom bracket repair/advice and telling me that something can't be fixed even though I want to "McGiver" it. Now that I'm on a team and purchase most of my new stuff via the team discount I take my bike back a lot more than before and find that they don't charge for most labor when I buy new parts.

Last edited by Allegheny Jet; 11-19-08 at 09:39 AM. Reason: fixed poor writing and spelling
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Old 11-19-08, 07:40 AM   #16
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Since I went off to bike mechanic's school (the one in Ashland, Oregon) a couple of summers ago, I do all my own wrenching. And since all my bikes are built up and in good working order, I haven't been doing much wrenching lately. Doing my own work, and having all the bike clothing I need for different seasons, means that I don't have any real reason to get into the bike shops any more. I feel kind of bad when I walk into a shop--as I did last weekend to Allegro Bicycles in Walla Walla, a great shop--and say, "Just looking around." Some LBSes work hard to stay afloat and I feel like I should be buying something, anything, to help them. I've effectively terminated myself as an LBS browser.
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Old 11-19-08, 07:50 AM   #17
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No. I dislike working on my bike and am perfectly happy to have the shop do all the work.

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Old 11-19-08, 07:53 AM   #18
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Guilty - no, I feel that servicing the economy and spreading the work is a good thing
Worried - yes, often. I've had some shoddy and potentially dangerous work performed over the years. Now, I stick to a very few places and mechanics that I know personally, or do it myself. For bikes, cars and motorcycles. Especially motorcycles
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Old 11-19-08, 08:02 AM   #19
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I draw the line at cables and gears.

I only feel guilt when its nice out and I skip the ride.
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Old 11-19-08, 08:03 AM   #20
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I do my own work. For me it's an important part of the total experience. If I ever get in a jam I will not hesitate to go to a shop for professional advice. Sometimes, asking for help is an intelligent solution.
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Old 11-19-08, 08:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
My motto is "if you don't do it well, don't do it yourself."
Using this same logic, I've found that the mechanic (Car, Bike & etc.) usually charges me twice as much to finish repairing what I tried to save money on by attempting to repair it myself.
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Old 11-19-08, 08:07 AM   #22
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Quote:
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My motto is "if you don't do it well, don't do it yourself." Which means, I not only outsource my bike repairs, I've pretty much farmed out my entire life. I still take my own naps.
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Old 11-19-08, 08:11 AM   #23
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The few times I took my bike in, the work that was done it wasn't done very well, so I try and do it all myself. Having 2 bikes helps a lot, if your working on one, hopefully, the other one is ridable.
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Old 11-19-08, 08:14 AM   #24
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Do you do your own wrenching?
I can change flats, do minor adjustments and clean the bikes. Everything else goes to the LBS.


Do you wimp out and take stuff to the bike shop you could do on your own?
I bought a pedal wrench as I wanted to be able to switch pedals on the bikes. My first attempt ended with my taking the bike and my wrench to the LBS since I couldn't budge the pedal. I didn't feel too bad as the guys at the LBS also struggled to get the pedal off. When they asked me what gorilla put them on I just grinned and said one of you

Do you feel guilty, or are you happy to spend your kids' inheritance on labor charges at the LBS?
The labor charges at the LBS are very reasonable and I get discounts since I belong to a couple groups they sponsor. I've also been a customer for quite a few years. I've purchased all my bikes, parts, tires and tubes from this LBS. Several times I've stopped in with a minor problem on the bike and they've fixed it on the spot at no charge.
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Old 11-19-08, 09:24 AM   #25
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I feel the opposite. My local mechanic is a great guy and the bulk of his business is wrenching. It's a small, niche shop. The big shops in the area have all the big franchises. My guy sells less-popular brands and a lot of beach-cruisers, or "town bike" types. But he does a lot of wrenching.

I worry that if I (and others) stop patronizing him, he'll go out of business, and that would be a tragedy (and make things a lot less convenient.) What makes it worse is that he's so darn willing to show me how to do things, so that I can do them on my own.

To top it off, I take my 6th grade class on a bike ride every year, and Mark has told me that if the kids need work done, if they go to his shop and identify themselves as one of my students, he'll do the job for free (parts extra of course.) Think of the guilt I feel over that!

So I patronize his shop when I can - either buying tubes, blinkies, tools, etc. - or having him do work I don't feel like doing.

(By the way, it's Mark's Baywood Cyclery in Los Osos, California - 2 blocks off the Pacific Coast Bike Route. If you're ever touring down the coast and need something, stop by.)
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