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  1. #1
    vol
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    How important is the bike shop's free service to you after you bought a bike?

    Here is the dilemma: some shops have good price and generous offering such as free tune-up/service within 1-3 years of purchase, but they don't have the exact bike you want but something close; some other shops have what you want, but they have little or no such free offerings (e.g. some only offer one free tune-up).

    How important does this factor in your choosing which shop and which bike? I wonder how long it will take for me to become so capable of bike maintenance/fixing that I will not worry too much about the free service.

  2. #2
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    I'd get the bike I want - but the service easily adds up to hundreds of dollars.
    I'd pay more for the same bike if it came with service.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    Mine came with free service after 6 months but I didn't bother. I do my own.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BulkyRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpled View Post
    I'd get the bike I want - but the service easily adds up to hundreds of dollars.
    I'd pay more for the same bike if it came with service.
    Totally agree!

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    How important is the bike shop's free service to me after I bought a bike?

    Service is not important to me at all, whatsoever.

    If I were to buy a complete bicycle somewhere, I would much rather get exactly what I want in a bicycle, and possibly be given a discount on the bicycle, than to have them up the price (or charge me regular price with no discount) on a bicycle with some pretense of "free service".

    The thing is, service is only as good as the bicycle shop. If they hire someone to do the service who doesn't know what he/she is doing (and I've encountered many of those shops), I'd really rather not have them touch my bicycle. And if they go under (and that's happened to a few shops I know), the service disappears too.

    My father got caught on the service thing ... he bought a bicycle and they offered him lifetime service for a relatively small fee. 6 months later, the place went under. Lesson learned. Lifetime service only lasts the lifetime of the shop.

    I've also had shops inform me that their "free service with purchase of bicycle" consists only of the basic $50 annual tune-up ... not worth it, especially not for a bicycle that isn't quite what I want.

    The thing is, it's me who will ride the bicycle thousands and thousands of kilometres ... I don't want to settle for something I'm not quite happy with.


    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I wonder how long it will take for me to become so capable of bike maintenance/fixing that I will not worry too much about the free service.
    Have you started taking classes? How have they gone so far?

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I buy the bike and afterservice is only wanted if anything goes wrong- such as breakages. That would be covered by warranty in any case so That free service does not interest me at all.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Depends: to me it makes little difference, I am probably better equipped to do repairs than many bike shops, in fact my LBS "borrows" my services and specialty tools on occasion for vintage bike repairs.

    If you have little or no mechanical ability then the tune up service may prove advantageous to you. If you have any mechanical ability and some basic tools you can do tune ups fairly easily using the Park Tool online repair help, or you can ask a cycling friend or even ask here on BF.

    Aaron
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    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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  8. #8
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Have you started taking classes? How have they gone so far?
    I am a newbie, good idea to take classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Depends: to me it makes little difference, I am probably better equipped to do repairs than many bike shops, in fact my LBS "borrows" my services and specialty tools on occasion for vintage bike repairs.

    If you have little or no mechanical ability then the tune up service may prove advantageous to you. If you have any mechanical ability and some basic tools you can do tune ups fairly easily using the Park Tool online repair help, or you can ask a cycling friend or even ask here on BF.

    Aaron
    Obviously you know too much about the bikes . In my case, even adjusting the handlebar height couldn't be done 100% well: I could not tighten it as tight as the bike shop folks did it for me, even though I used Park Tool 3-way wrench.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I am a newbie, good idea to take classes.



    Obviously you know too much about the bikes . In my case, even adjusting the handlebar height couldn't be done 100% well: I could not tighten it as tight as the bike shop folks did it for me, even though I used Park Tool 3-way wrench.
    Needed something with a bit more leverage than the 3-way

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  10. #10
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Your need for the service part of an LBS is inversely proportional to how long you have been a cyclist. The longer you are around, the less you need it. It's wise to go local and learn and be guided when one starts and for the first couple of years. Now, a good local mechanic is a different story entirely - they are worth their weight in gold forever. Sometimes the 2 overlap. I like to give a percent of my business to the local guys so there will always be a place around to pick up emergency supplies and nick nacks. Otherwise we'll end up with a situation where no one is able to test ride a bike in the future. My 2 cents obviously.

  11. #11
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Needed something with a bit more leverage than the 3-way

    Aaron
    That was what the LBS guy used--I saw it and went ahead to buy that exact wrench

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Here is the dilemma: some shops have good price and generous offering such as free tune-up/service within 1-3 years of purchase, but they don't have the exact bike you want but something close; some other shops have what you want, but they have little or no such free offerings (e.g. some only offer one free tune-up).

    How important does this factor in your choosing which shop and which bike? I wonder how long it will take for me to become so capable of bike maintenance/fixing that I will not worry too much about the free service.
    A question that only you can answer.

    Derailleurs, wheels and brakes. If you're confident adjusting them yourself, the bicycle shop's service probably isn't going to be all that helpful.

    To me the real issue in choosing a bike shop is the people. I think there's a bigger difference in bike shop personnel than therre is bewteen bike brands. If I thought that the people in one of the shops were significantly better than the other, that's where I'd buy my bike. Even if, like me, you do all of your own work, tapping into their experience base has value.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    As bike drivetrains get more complicated, the more useful the post break in tune up is,

    from posts I read in the mechanics section some people are over their heads
    working on working on Fixies.

    Mgr of LBS is a friend.

  14. #14
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    When I bought my latest bike, the owner said to bring it back for a complimentary tune up after the cables stretch. I never took it in for the free service. I have taken it in for replacement cables, to repair the rear wheel after a mild crash, and for adjustments I am no good at performing. The owner is the best wrench in the area, and his rates are very reasonable. Also, he doesn't mind if I watch him work and ask questions.

    A couple of the other LBSs offer lifetime free adjustments, but their mechanics are not as good as the owner of the LBS where I bought the bike. I was tempted by the lifetime adjustments, but in retrospect, that's not all that important to me now. The quality of the work is more important

  15. #15
    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    Not really important to me. I do most of my own wrenching to begin with and if i cant do it one of my friends can. Out off the 5 bikes i have bought from the LBS maybe 2 of them have been in for the 30 day free service.
    If it looks like the $3000 bikes but costs less than a decent helmet, it probably isn't a wise investment.


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  16. #16
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    If something under warranty breaks, or the tool costs $300, I take it to the shop.

    Service plans are wasted on me. Bike maintenance is easier than many people think, they just don't bother to learn how to do it.

  17. #17
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Buy the bike (and bikeshop) you want to associate with ---- forget the "free" service....... MHO

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  18. #18
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    You will never, ever regret investing the time and money it takes to learn maintenance and get a tool collection together. Never. And mostly because bikes are rather simple pieces of machinery. bk

  19. #19
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Last bike i purchased has 2 years of service, that was a little over a year ago. Haven't seen the LBS since the purchase. I might bring it in for the free tune up but I can do most of all my own work and it would be a waste of fuel to bring the bike 20 miles away.

    If you don't do your own maintenance or don't have confidence in your work then get one from a LBS that offers a longer service.

    But make sure you are getting the bike that you want, this is more important, then look at different LBS's with better service included.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Regarding classes ... you can find them in the following locations:

    -- your local university or college. Check the continuing education/night/weekend/community class schedule. I took my first class at my local university at the time.

    -- community classes. All the communities I've lived in have had a collection of community classes. Occasionally something like bicycle maintenance comes up on their course lists.

    -- bicycle shops or sporting goods shops. I took my second class at MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop). I wanted to take an intensive 12 week course at one of the shops in town, but it just didn't fit into my schedule, and I regret not taking it.

    -- through clubs, especially cycletouring clubs. For some reason it seems to be mainly cycletouring types of clubs that offer bicycle maintenance classes. Sometimes it is members only, other times not.

    Ask around. Go to shops and ask if they have classes or if they know where classes might be held.

  21. #21
    Banned.
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    Out of my three bikes I tend to service my MTB myself. I built my first line road bike from the frame up but I still take it in from time to time minor adjustments and servicing. My back up road bike has lifetime free servicing. I take it in because of the free servicing and it was that free servicing that caused me to get my frame for my CF road bike at that shop. Yes I can do much of the servicing myself but they check things I might overlook and their wheel builder always makes sure my wheels are true. He is much better at it than I am and about 10 times faster. Things might change if I get a complete set of tools but I also like spending time at the LBS.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Bleep's Avatar
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    My bike came with lifetime service from the shop which is why I chose it over a used 600 dollar bike lol I dont want me servicing my bike just yet

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