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Old 03-12-11, 11:56 PM   #1
Burton
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Do you take your bike in to the LBS for a "Tune-up"??

Or do you maybe do your own "Tune-ups"?

In any case - what, in your opinion, constitutes a "Tune-up" in your experience or opinion and how much does it cost?

I`m curious because in my area there are a variety of LBS and every one of them has a different "Tune-up" and prices can vary from $29 to $99 depending on the shop. Sometimes you get more for your money - sometimes you just get an expensive bike wash.

My input? A basic tune-up includes a general cleaning that includes the drivetrain, an overall inspection of the bike with a 45 point written checklist covering everything from tire condition and pressure to headset and wheel bearing play; the adjustment or verification of the brakes, derailleurs and shifters as well as a general lubing that includes the drivetrain. If parts are required that becomes a "repair" situation. A tune-up and inspection here is about $50 and takes about an hour. Greasing wheel bearings and bottom brackets and headsets falls under "teardown and overhaul" and cable replacement is just that "cable replacement".

I`m most interested in hearing from riders and customers rather than mechanics unless you`re talking about your own bikes.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:01 AM   #2
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I do my own. Mainly because I'm cheap and I like working on bikes.

What I do once a year (right after the rainy season) is take the bike completely apart clean all the grease and oil off every part. Replace the cables, chain and cassette. Grease each part (that needs grease) and put back together. Makes them ride like new.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:15 AM   #3
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I haven't taken a bicycle in to a shop in years.

I married my bicycle mechanic.
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Old 03-13-11, 01:02 AM   #4
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My team gets free tuneups and maintenance from our shop, so I bring it in once in a while when I don't have time or am too lazy to do it myself.
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Old 03-13-11, 01:11 AM   #5
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local shop gives free tuneups b/c I bought it there so sure. I can typically swing by on a ride and they'll give her a once over in about 10 minutes
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Old 03-13-11, 01:16 AM   #6
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Yeah I have. The places I trust around here for a 'tune up' charge around $80 though, it's been one of the biggest incentives for me to start learning more about bikes
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Old 03-13-11, 01:16 AM   #7
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I do it myself... small or big thing. I just like to tinker... and if I was going to do regular maintenance by someone else it was going to be costly with the number of bikes in our home & distance I ride a week.
Weekly, I just run down and check to see if there is any glaring issues.
Every 3-4 weeks, (about 500 miles) I will do more through cleaning, lubing, and adjustment.
Every other month (about 1000 miles), I do deep cleaning... taking components off and cleaning using ultrasonic cleaner for parts... check tension and truing of wheels... you could call it overhauling.
Real overhauling happens when I have time or one of component feels marginal. I would play with bearings, disassemble/assemble most of parts. I even went as far as overhauling IGH and dynohub.
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Old 03-13-11, 01:39 AM   #8
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I do my own work.
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Old 03-13-11, 05:05 AM   #9
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I've done all my own work since I started riding in my late teens. I like doing it. Part of the motivation comes from my basic pessimistic nature. I figure if something's going to get screwed up, why pay somebody else when I can screw it up myself?
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Old 03-13-11, 07:20 AM   #10
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I still have the lbs do final wheel trueing because he is good and he's cheap.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:06 AM   #11
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Burton, The term "tune up" has a floating definition among the bike shops in my area, per what other riders tell me. I do my own work and my idea of a tune up is to basically gut the bike, check the wear/tear/damage, clean/relube all serviceable parts. Prior to reassembly the basic frameset is washed and waxed and inspected. For the bikes I use the most a tune up happens once a year and can take about 2-3 hours. I keep up with chain and wheel maintenance throughout the year.

Modern bicycles are pretty forgiving WRT maintenance and my practice is perhaps overkill, I just don't want to be 50 miles out and have a failure that I could've prevented.

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Old 03-13-11, 09:35 AM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback guys `n gals

Sounds like a lotta pampered happy bikes out there so far!

I`m also reading between the lines and guessing that most of you own your own home and have facilities to both store bikes inside as well as work on them.

A serious problem for the family with kids renting an apartment in the city is that either the bikes live on the balcony or regulation don`t permit them in the building at all. In which case they end up chained to a railing out front for the duration of the winter.

So there`s a REALLY big market here for department store bikes. After a couple years when a simple tune-up can`t rescue the condition of a bike thats been left outside in rain and snow it`s simply cheaper to buy another Canadian Tire or K-Mart bike.

Thats where a lot of the LBS get their business for tune-ups from here and some can have a 4 week backlog with 5 mechanics working full time. Thats one of the reasons I do an inspection myself before doing anything. If indications are that there are other serious issues besides what the customer asked for - a quick phone call can save them wasting money unneccesarily and give them the option of buying a new bike should they choose to do so.

The shop makes enough money on accessories and other client - no point just taking someones money and still leaving them with a problem. But I understand that not every place operates like that.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:12 AM   #13
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Nope - but if they get swamped I've had my local bike shop bring bikes to me to get tuned up.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:43 AM   #14
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I am sorry to say the quality of my work is much higher than the quality of work from the local LBS. Hence, I do all my own work, though that's not my preference. After a 4 hour ride yesterday I swapped a bottom bracket and crank, repositioned - re-tuned the FD bike from a triple to compact, changed chain, and ended up readusting all the brakes. Maybe an hour of my time, If I needed that done by LBS Sat. afternoon, tell me what I'd be looking at...
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Old 03-13-11, 10:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster View Post
I do my own. Mainly because I'm cheap and I like working on bikes.

What I do once a year (right after the rainy season) is take the bike completely apart clean all the grease and oil off every part. Replace the cables, chain and cassette. Grease each part (that needs grease) and put back together. Makes them ride like new.
Me too!

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I still have the lbs do final wheel trueing because he is good and he's cheap.
This. Sometimes the guy does not charge me because I give him conversation, food and magazines. It pays to look after good folks.
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Old 03-13-11, 11:32 AM   #16
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I am sorry to say the quality of my work is much higher than the quality of work from the local LBS. Hence, I do all my own work, though that's not my preference. After a 4 hour ride yesterday I swapped a bottom bracket and crank, repositioned - re-tuned the FD bike from a triple to compact, changed chain, and ended up readusting all the brakes. Maybe an hour of my time, If I needed that done by LBS Sat. afternoon, tell me what I'd be looking at...
Yikes! I`m going to assume that all that wasn`t absoutely neccesary and doesn`t reflect your usual maintenaince after a typical 4-hour ride!

But it would be about an hours work and obviously you`ve equipped yourself to explore possible compinations you wanted to play with. I say obviously because you had the parts on hand to do the swap.

Hard to say what you`d be looking at at a LBS - they`re all different. And actually the only thing that counts is the one you`d be looking at and since you`ve equipped youself - you apparently already know the answer to that one.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:22 PM   #17
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Thats where a lot of the LBS get their business for tune-ups from here and some can have a 4 week backlog with 5 mechanics working full time. Thats one of the reasons I do an inspection myself before doing anything. If indications are that there are other serious issues besides what the customer asked for - a quick phone call can save them wasting money unneccesarily and give them the option of buying a new bike should they choose to do so.
Ideally, your service writer should be doing that inspection at intake, and giving the customer their fully-informed options before they leave. A side benefit is that you reduce the number of de facto abandoned bikes clogging your storage. The main thing is to come up with a viable "Plan A" and execute it without having to shelve the bike, call, leave voicemail, take a return call, explain everything, get a decision, get the bike out again... US$60/hour shop time getting eaten up for zero profit... not good. Investing some time at check-in pays dividends.

You also get to enumerate exactly what DOES constitute a tune-up, so the customer neither feels like you're raking them over the coals for a mere derailleur adjustment, nor expects a full overhaul. I'm going to make a laminated full-page illustrated What's A Tune-Up? sheet for our check-in guys to use... hmmm, or a video? Hmmm

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Old 03-13-11, 01:00 PM   #18
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I took mine into the LBS, as they were running a special. I think all they really did was wash it, as my RD is having issues that it didn't have prior to the the tune-up...
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Old 03-14-11, 04:08 PM   #19
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How about putting together a checklist of things to do in a tune-up. Some of us who would like to start working on our bikes could really benefit from everyone's experience.
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Old 03-14-11, 04:36 PM   #20
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I started doing my own a few years back or the sole purpose of " I can do it right". I've had too many failed mechanical LBS experiences. Everything from derailleur adjustment/setups to poor wheel builds. I'm not a mechanic, I just found that I can build my own wheels and make adjustments better with a little of my own TLC..........and free.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:14 PM   #21
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I hear ya. I did wrench in high school and after college. I feel that service is too expensive since I have the skills. I also feel that I only have me to blame when something goes wrong. I don't to frame work except adjusting the rear derailleur, those trame tools are too expensive, so I will go to the shop for that.
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Old 03-14-11, 06:36 PM   #22
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When did I last take a bike in for a tune-up? Helluva long time ago.
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Old 03-14-11, 06:46 PM   #23
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I do my own and have for many years, I actually worked in a bike shop for a while back in the 70's. I suspect that a tune up varies from shop to shop.

I typically don't do a tune up. I do periodic maintenance and overhauls and not a whole lot in between. My bikes only hit the work stand for 3 reasons: Build up, overhaul, or something isn't working right and needs attention.

I have done it when I was living in a 2 room apartment, bikes were stored in the bathtub, and yes you had to move them to take a shower, but I usually showered at work. I have the luxury of a full shop now and enjoy every minute of it.

As far as a list for a tune up:
  • Check tires for wear and pressure
  • Check all bearings for play, adjust as necessary
  • Wheels
  • Headset
  • Crank
  • Clean chain and drive train
  • Adjust derailleurs
  • Clean bike
  • Oil/grease Cables


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Old 03-14-11, 07:22 PM   #24
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I haven't taken a bicycle in to a shop in years.

I married my bicycle mechanic.
You had to go halfway around the planet to get a bike mechanic?
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Old 03-14-11, 07:34 PM   #25
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Ideally, your service writer should be doing that inspection at intake, and giving the customer their fully-informed options before they leave. A side benefit is that you reduce the number of de facto abandoned bikes clogging your storage. The main thing is to come up with a viable "Plan A" and execute it without having to shelve the bike, call, leave voicemail, take a return call, explain everything, get a decision, get the bike out again... US$60/hour shop time getting eaten up for zero profit... not good. Investing some time at check-in pays dividends.You also get to enumerate exactly what DOES constitute a tune-up, so the customer neither feels like you're raking them over the coals for a mere derailleur adjustment, nor expects a full overhaul. I'm going to make a laminated full-page illustrated What's A Tune-Up? sheet for our check-in guys to use... hmmm, or a video? Hmmm
An excellent Idea, I think a sheet for the mechanics and the customers.

Just a drawing of a generic bike with with an arrow showing different things to be done on paper. It would be easy to ad or subtract things to be done on this sheet, if you made cheap copies. You might even want to use one as a slip the customer brings back to get the bike. So everything will be marked for the shop and the customer.

Post a really nice one where the customers can see it. It's possible no one else is doing this.
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