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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Some claim LBS to be more expensive.

    Well, I got impatient and wanted my four brake pads replaced immediately. Many smaller shops in France are closed on Mondays. I was doing some moutain rides on Tuesday. I wanted them replaced right now. So, I went to a large chain called Sport 2000. They posted a shop rate of 12 euros a half hour. Four pads, seemed reasonable. I said ok. Replace them. Thought pads are cheap.
    Well, he charged me for one hour. Four pads !!!. And the material cost 20 euros for the four. I was shocked. The bill came to 42 euros. About $50 US.
    I should have purchased them and replaced them at home. I thought a shop price of 12 euros. Since they were down to the metal, I was in a hurry. So I did.
    This is outrageous, no? At smaller shops , I 've had dedicated mechanics spend 40 minutes adjusting my rear cluster , finding out it was assembled incorrectly. Small shops, might charge more for accessories. But, I find they are more dedicated and minimize their bill when it comes to repairs. Where, I feel large shops have to play by the rules and pad repair bills as the management demands.
    So , in spite of some here, I say small shops are the better deal. Your feelings.
    I will prefer to do business with small shops , whenever possible. That 42 euro bill at my usual shop would have probably been about half the cost of Sport 2000, I predict. 50$ US. was i shafted?

  2. #2
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    I feel another French bashing thread coming on...
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Guess, i will have to tune out the freepers. They are such a broken record. As if , I 've never been screwed at a bike shop in the US.I have a preference for smaller bike shops whether it be France, the US or the Ukraine.

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    12 euros per hour sounds like a pretty low labor rate compared to the US.

  5. #5
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    France is expensive both to visit and to live there. Perhaps an hour to replace 4 brake shoes sounds a bit long, But getting out of any bike shop for less than $50 these days is rare. Forget the 42 euros and enjoy France. you lucky sheot!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Er, that was 12 euros per half hour. I bet I could have it done cheaper in my own town.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    The really funny thing is 4 brake pads and an allen key ~ $5 and you would've gotten it done immediately.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    The really funny thing is 4 brake pads and an allen key ~ $5 and you would've gotten it done immediately.

    +1

    42 Euro for 4 brake pads. For the going rate here about $10CAD( 7 euro) for 2 pair of Kool-stop brake pad off the rack, 5 minute to install the brake pad myself, 15 minute if I happen to be extremely clumsy and anal that day.

    Learn to to your own repair. It's almost as fun as riding.

  9. #9
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Sure you got raped. But that's just about a given when you pay someone else to correct your errors on your schedule.

    The new (and cheap) Beaujolais should just be comming out there, so you'll have no trouble erasing such a poor memory.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
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    Why am I in your signature.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    My point, if I'd had this easy job completed at my favorite LBS, i bet the bill would have been around 20 euros. I should have done it myself. The 20 euros for four pads, I felt to be high, also? Again, my main emphasis is to encourage the use of small bike shops.
    I am not crying over spilt boujalais, I let myself be suckered in, due to my impatience to ride the mountains the next day. 12 euros, per HALF hour seemed reasonable. Probably inclueded in his 'mechanic time,' the time he used to confer with his boss, confirming the correctiness of my french.?
    As to France being expensive. Well, our electric bill in California was often pushing towards $300 in the summer. Here, with our all electric, 3 bedroom apartment, the bill for August was under 50 euros. !..Think it has to do a lot with their use of nuclear and wind generated power? Probaby we had over two weeks of above 90 degree weather.
    as an aside question. Yes, the Beujolais is out. But, the local vin ordinaire Roussillon is comparable to a good Bordeaux and a better quality local, vin rouge can bought for under 10 euros. I was surprised, ROussillon is France's biggest wine producing region in terms of production. Much of it very tasty.

  11. #11
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    as an aside question. Yes, the Beujolais is out. But, the local vin ordinaire Roussillon is comparable to a good Bordeaux and a better quality local, vin rouge can bought for under 10 euros. I was surprised, ROussillon is France's biggest wine producing region in terms of production. Much of it very tasty.
    42 is your penance. You are in France, after all.

    Mais...it reminds me of going to an auto-mechanic, where you get charged the book rate for labor, regardless of the _actual_ time. They charge you for one hour for, say, a ball joint; it takes the rookie an hour and a half, and the old pro 25 minutes.

    Somehow i doubt they have a blue book of repair costs, but I agree an hour for brake pads is ridiculous.

  12. #12
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    gc. Quoting a shop minimum time is a common practice in the US too. For autos. Again, If I would have gone to my favorite small lbs, the whole thing would have not happened. Next time, I'll wait until Wednesday to go to my smaller shop and hit the mountains the next day on my second road bike.
    Either that our change out the pads myself.Had, I not had them changed out tho, I am sure using that bike the next day would have destroyed my rims. Looking at them after they were off, the rear pads were shot.

  13. #13
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    The really funny thing is 4 brake pads and an allen key ~ $5 and you would've gotten it done immediately.
    That supposes the person knows how to do it properly. There's more to it than meets the eye. Lots of ways to screw it up. Pads too low or spacers in the wrong order-pads dive under the rim under hard braking. Too high? Instant ruined tire...

    The really, really funny thing is how many guys walk in my shop, haven't bothered to learn which end of the wrench to use, then seem offended when I am so brash as to ask to be paid for my time and expertise. That doesn't sound like the case with the original poster, but clearly he did not understand what he was about to be charged.

    Basic rule of life: if you are unwilling or unable to do something you want done, then you need to be prepared to pay someone else to do it for you or to teach you how to do it. I love the guys who ask to watch me true their wheel so they'll know how to do it the next time!

    Thank you cyclezealot for pointing out how truly reasonable the labor prices in small LBS's can be.

  14. #14
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1
    The really, really funny thing is how many guys walk in my shop, haven't bothered to learn which end of the wrench to use, then seem offended when I am so brash as to ask to be paid for my time and expertise. That doesn't sound like the case with the original poster, but clearly he did not understand what he was about to be charged.

    Basic rule of life: if you are unwilling or unable to do something you want done, then you need to be prepared to pay someone else to do it for you or to teach you how to do it. I love the guys who ask to watch me true their wheel so they'll know how to do it the next time!

    Thank you cyclezealot for pointing out how truly reasonable the labor prices in small LBS's can be.
    Bikewise, I think your understood my point that I don't regret my favorite bike shop making a decent profit. As you probably read, my questioning of rates was for a very large, high volume chain.
    I am sure you understood, my question was over the shop rate displayed on the wall. It said, 12 euros per half hour. I think he charged me 1.25 hours for a less than half hour job.
    Had, I gone to a small shop I frequent, I expect I'd leave feeling totally contented with the determination of the small wrench to please his customers.
    I do not want my dedicated small shop to not make a decent profit. I want that small, dedicated shop to survive. I should also have been more questioning about parts on a shelf not displaying a price tag. I was surprised four pads were like $25 US. I should have been more questioing than assume they were a price, I once knew them to be elsewhere. We all live and learn for the next time around. I am sure I could have replaced them myself, had I first of all consulted my bike maintenance manuals, before starting out on such a basic repair.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 10-02-06 at 04:54 PM.

  15. #15
    cab horn
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    I love the guys who ask to watch me true their wheel so they'll know how to do it the next time!
    Er.

    I'm going to assume you're joking with the rolleyes icon.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  16. #16
    sport fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Er.

    I'm going to assume you're joking with the rolleyes icon.
    C'mon operator. Surely you realise it's impossible to learn anything by watching someone who's intent on making sure you remain ignorant and keep coming back for brake pad swaps and spoke tensioning.

    Personally I'd rather visit an LBS that doesn't assume I'm a moron and that doesn't try and hide the job they're doing.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket
    C'mon operator. Surely you realise it's impossible to learn anything by watching someone who's intent on making sure you remain ignorant and keep coming back for brake pad swaps and spoke tensioning.

    Personally I'd rather visit an LBS that doesn't assume I'm a moron and that doesn't try and hide the job they're doing.
    The real issue is that you guys come in assuming we are the morons. It is in these threads over and over.

    I never feel the need to "hide a job" because you will not learn squat just from watching a pro, unless they are trying to help you learn. Which I would do if you asked. The word ASK means nothing, DEMAND is everything.
    The bigger issue with wanting to watch is the presumption that we stand around waiting for "you" to show up. Yeah, yeah, the myth of "they were just standing around" Of course the part about "eating a sandwich" is left off at the end.

    Information is so often left out. For instance the OP says four pads over and over. What kind of pads?? Do you have a 27" cheapie? If so, then yes you got screwed on the price*.
    Do you have Campy or one of the many hydraulic brakes(Retail often in the $20-30 for a pair(That means two pads))? Then you got a deal. Do you have a canti bike or linear pull? This makes a difference. Except it does not because the average Toolio will assume you got screwed even with incomplete info.(HHEELLLLOO Operator) ******baggery, hallmark of the internet.

    * A relative term anyway
    I do all my own work = I have very low standards

  18. #18
    cab horn
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    Seriously, arguments make much more sense when you're called a ******bag.

    That supposes the person knows how to do it properly. There's more to it than meets the eye. Lots of ways to screw it up. Pads too low or spacers in the wrong order-pads dive under the rim under hard braking. Too high? Instant ruined tire...
    There's a resource called the internet, and it takes about 5 minutes to read about how to do brake pad adjustments.

    To the OP: Please state exactly what pads were replaced and the cost of each to you so people don't feel to go around insulting others.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  19. #19
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    Just to show a point:
    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    The really funny thing is 4 brake pads and an allen key ~ $5 and you would've gotten it done immediately.

    Four brake pads for $5? Where does that happen? Did you include shipping? Did you count the price of the allen key?
    "Immediately". So in your world, there is no cleaning of the rim for new pads? No checking true of the wheel or the adjustment of the hubs? (Or adjustment of the pads, just stick em, on tighten the screw and they must be right?) And all brake pads and tools are a buck each.

    This reminds me of a couple of years ago when you were on about the price of Cateye computers and did not know what you were spouting off then either.
    I do all my own work = I have very low standards

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheTrenches
    Just to show a point:


    Four brake pads for $5? Where does that happen? Did you include shipping? Did you count the price of the allen key?
    "Immediately". So in your world, there is no cleaning of the rim for new pads? No checking true of the wheel or the adjustment of the hubs? (Or adjustment of the pads, just stick em, on tighten the screw and they must be right?) And all brake pads and tools are a buck each.

    This reminds me of a couple of years ago when you were on about the price of Cateye computers and did not know what you were spouting off then either.
    $10-$15 here in the US sounds about right, for 4 cheapie pads.

  21. #21
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    So four pads for $25 is not outrageous? I recalled them being like $2-3 a piece. I do suggest, you are interested in doing your own repairs. Some shops offer repair classes. Or do some reading of repair manuals. To go in and expect to learn by watching is pretty amazing. You are not paying the wrench to teach you. If you do, I suggest a really large tip.
    Now , observing their work from afar without my interference is something I expect. My favorite wrench always , let me watch with some comments ; knowing me to be fussy about my bike. After all, our safety depends upon his skill. Heck, over the years, I must have spent several thousand dollars in that shop. It's not asking too much.

  22. #22
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheTrenches
    Just to show a point:


    Four brake pads for $5? Where does that happen? Did you include shipping? Did you count the price of the allen key?

    .
    Nope, didn't include allen key in price, the guy at the shop here will lend you one for free if you need it. Where does this happen? $5 for four pads?

    Cavern Cycles, 179 Queen st. East. 416-203-2565

    This is a walk in price, not a over the internet deal. These are jagwire pads so they aren't "****". But they aren't kool stops either.

    "Immediately". So in your world, there is no cleaning of the rim for new pads? No checking true of the wheel or the adjustment of the hubs? (Or adjustment of the pads, just stick em, on tighten the screw and they must be right?) And all brake pads and tools are a buck each.
    Oh please. This is talking about a brake pad replacement, not talking about a general tune up. Since when was changing out brake pads also necessitating a hub adjustment?

    If you go to your bike shop and you go - brake pad replacement please. Do they go do a general tune up on your bike too? You people are making a brake pad replacement sound like rocket science. It isn't. Yes there may be complications, yes there may be other things that may need fixing on your bike when you go to replace your pads.

    Did you honestly think that the bike shop would've replaced those pads and done a hub adjustment and a wheel true for free if you asked for a pad replacement? You're assuming this is included in the price?

    If any of these issues are present, they would've mentioned it to you and asked if you would like it done for an extra $_____. That's what a competent bike shop would've done.

    Fact is he got charged a labour rate of one hour to replace four pads, $50 USD. Fact he got ripped.

    Lesson: Do things yourself and find a better bike shop.

    This reminds me of a couple of years ago when you were on about the price of Cateye computers and did not know what you were spouting off then either
    Attacking posters is one way of hiding the fact that you have no real arguments. This is the second time in this thread you have done this. If you have a beef with me you can private message me that ****. Otherwise stick to the topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    So four pads for $25 is not outrageous?
    If these are just regular road refills, or studed brake blocks for sidepulls then this is outrageous. Please tell us exactly what it was they gave you.
    Last edited by operator; 10-05-06 at 11:11 AM.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  23. #23
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    First off, I was not kidding with the "rolleyes". If a person could learn to true a wheel by watching, I wouldn't have to train any of my employees. Let's say you are watching me true a wheel. You can't see the processes going on in my head! As I'm truing, I'm cataloging the general spoke tension, the condition of the rim, the condition of the nipples, age of the spokes and how well the spokes are equilibrated. I am making decisions of which spokes to tighten or loosen based on those observations. What meaningful bit of juicy, and relevant info do you think you will walk away with by getting to watch me do it?

    My entire repair area is visible. People watch me all the time. I haven't noticed any of them spontaneously become able to competently fix their bikes. They still bring 'em to me!

    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Oh please. This is talking about a brake pad replacement, not talking about a general tune up. Since when was changing out brake pads also necessitating a hub adjustment?

    If you go to your bike shop and you go - brake pad replacement please. Do they go do a general tune up on your bike too? You people are making a brake pad replacement sound like rocket science. It isn't. Yes there may be complications, yes there may be other things that may need fixing on your bike when you go to replace your pads.

    Did you honestly think that the bike shop would've replaced those pads and done a hub adjustment and a wheel true for free if you asked for a pad replacement? You're assuming this is included in the price?
    Once again, your assumptions are false. I have a reputation to uphold. If a bike comes in for what appears to you to be "simple" repair like a brake pad install, I have to look at a few things. When you turn your bike over to me, I become liable in the eyes of the law for possible injuries caused by obvious problems that might get overlooked by a layperson. If your wheel isn't straight, or your hub is loose, both of which would make proper brake pad adjustment impossible, rather than stopping my work, finding you or calling you, and getting your permission to fix these issues I just fix them as part of the deal. I am quick with a wrench-I can generally fix those things in less time than it takes to call you. Since time=money, I am ahead at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    If any of these issues are present, they would've mentioned it to you and asked if you would like it done for an extra $_____. That's what a competent bike shop would've done.
    It's the inexperienced guys who nickel and dime you death, not the "competent" ones. I would make you aware of the issues I corrected at no charge, pointed out what to watch for next time, and thanked you for your business.

    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Fact is he got charged a labour rate of one hour to replace four pads, $50 USD. Fact he got ripped.

    Lesson: Do things yourself and find a better bike shop.
    What is it they say? Caveat emptor? If you're not sure who you're dealing with, get a written estimate.

  24. #24
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    4 pads for $25 is what I paid last week from a local US LBS. I could have gotten them slightly cheaper on the Internet but with shipping it would only save me $5 and I needed the pads. Of course I put them on myself, needed two sizes of allen wrench.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  25. #25
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    Thank god somebody finally suggested, "Get a written estimate."

    God damn, honestly, do you take your car into the repair shop for new brake pads without getting an estimate of how much it's going to cost you?

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