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Old 08-27-11, 08:10 AM   #1
Jyyanks
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Would you pay more for a bike if it included a free tune?

UPDATE FROM MY LAST POST: The shop actually offer unlimited tune ups for life which includes This includes brake adjustments, gear adjustments, minor wheel truing, lubrication of drive train, seat and stem adjustments, re-torque of all bolts & fasteners, and an overall safety inspection.

However, the bike is over $100 more at the LBS that it is online. Do you think its worth it?

Here is my original post:
I usually post in the folding bike forum as I am going to buy a folding bike in the next 6 months. However, thought I would post here as I am more of a recreational biker, meaning that I won't use the bike as much as other people would.

I want to buy a bike from my local dealer but so far, they charge about $50-75 more than what an online dealer would charge. Furthermore, I'd have to pay tax on my purchase if I went local. However, they said that they will give you a free tune up if I buy through them which is supposedly worth $80 which makes it a wash. What do you think? Thanks in advance for your responses.

Last edited by Jyyanks; 08-31-11 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 08-27-11, 11:32 AM   #2
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Buying from the LBS the bike should be ready to ride with the brakes and shifters properly adjusted when you walk out the door. As far as I know, online purchases require some assembly and adjustment when the bike arrives. I'm not sure how much, but what is the value of having that done for you?
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Old 08-27-11, 01:32 PM   #3
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For me I would buy online, just because I am able to set the bike up myself and can tune it. If you aren't comfortable doing this then it is better to buy from the LBS - you also build up a relationship with them so if things go wrong or you need help then that would be useful.

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Old 08-27-11, 02:55 PM   #4
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For me, no. I know how to tune my bikes.


For the average person... perhaps. Retuning a bike is something that needs to happen often, so a free tuneup a few weeks after first getting it may be worthwhile to the amateur cyclist who intends to get better at the sport.


The reason I know how to tune my bikes, however, is because I got sick of having to pay $70 for each tuneup. In the end it's much easier, cheaper, and faster, to watch a few youtube videos, buy the Zinn book, and learn how to do it yourself.
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Old 08-27-11, 04:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. Tune ups here are expensive ($75-80). How often do you recommend tuning up a bike (I do not ride that much)? Once a year?
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Old 08-27-11, 04:56 PM   #6
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Depends on how you define "much".

I do about 120 miles a week, and I need to grease the chain every week.

Cleaning the chain I do once a month. Along with cleaning the derailleur jockey wheels and the rear cassette.

Replacing the chain I do once a season, though I just switched from 7 to 9 speed so I have no idea how the 9 will wear, so I may end up replacing it more often.

Replacing the rear cassette I do whenever the teeth get run down, typically once every 2-3 years.

Tuning the brakes/derailleurs is less often, and less precise of a thing to estimate when you'll need to do it, because they really only need to be tuned when the cables stretch or get frayed. When they get stretched all you need to do is adjust a barrel adjuster; really easy to do. If they're frayed you may need to replace the cables, which is not very easy to do and a bike shop will do it well. If the cables are capped at the end they won't fray, so usually you just have to deal with cable stretch, maybe just once a month or two after you first install new cables (or get a new bike). Usually they don't stretch too much more after the first adjustment.

Then there's even more hardcore stuff:

Greasing the bottom bracket. Maybe once a season. Better off letting the bike shop do this... if it's even included in the tuneup. A lot of places offer multiple tiers of tuneups and will not do this on the bottom tiers.

Repacking wheel hubs. Wheel hubs get worn down and need to be cleaned and regreased, probably once every 3 years, maybe longer if you only ride lightly, maybe shorter if you ride in rainy/snowy weather all the time. Most tune ups do not include this at the low tiers.

Wheel truing. This should be done whenever you need it. Lots of things can make a wheel go out of true; hitting something is the most common cause. If the wheel hits the brake pad once or more times per revolution, you need truing. Again usually only found on higher tier tuneups, may not even be in a tuneup package but performed as a separate service.


Those are the big ones. I would double check exactly what they include in the tuneup to get a better idea of whether it's worthwhile. After a month of biking (most shops I've seen do the "free tuneup within a month of purchase" deal) at most you'll probably only need to adjust the brake/shifter cables due to stretching. So IMO it's not truly worth it unless you can save the tuneup for next year, when more things are apt to go wrong.
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Old 08-27-11, 08:08 PM   #7
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Depends on how you define "much".

I do about 120 miles a week, and I need to grease the chain every week.

Cleaning the chain I do once a month. Along with cleaning the derailleur jockey wheels and the rear cassette.

Replacing the chain I do once a season, though I just switched from 7 to 9 speed so I have no idea how the 9 will wear, so I may end up replacing it more often.

Replacing the rear cassette I do whenever the teeth get run down, typically once every 2-3 years.

Tuning the brakes/derailleurs is less often, and less precise of a thing to estimate when you'll need to do it, because they really only need to be tuned when the cables stretch or get frayed. When they get stretched all you need to do is adjust a barrel adjuster; really easy to do. If they're frayed you may need to replace the cables, which is not very easy to do and a bike shop will do it well. If the cables are capped at the end they won't fray, so usually you just have to deal with cable stretch, maybe just once a month or two after you first install new cables (or get a new bike). Usually they don't stretch too much more after the first adjustment.

Then there's even more hardcore stuff:

Greasing the bottom bracket. Maybe once a season. Better off letting the bike shop do this... if it's even included in the tuneup. A lot of places offer multiple tiers of tuneups and will not do this on the bottom tiers.

Repacking wheel hubs. Wheel hubs get worn down and need to be cleaned and regreased, probably once every 3 years, maybe longer if you only ride lightly, maybe shorter if you ride in rainy/snowy weather all the time. Most tune ups do not include this at the low tiers.

Wheel truing. This should be done whenever you need it. Lots of things can make a wheel go out of true; hitting something is the most common cause. If the wheel hits the brake pad once or more times per revolution, you need truing. Again usually only found on higher tier tuneups, may not even be in a tuneup package but performed as a separate service.


Those are the big ones. I would double check exactly what they include in the tuneup to get a better idea of whether it's worthwhile. After a month of biking (most shops I've seen do the "free tuneup within a month of purchase" deal) at most you'll probably only need to adjust the brake/shifter cables due to stretching. So IMO it's not truly worth it unless you can save the tuneup for next year, when more things are apt to go wrong.
Wow! Thanks for your very thorough answer. I definitely don't ride 120 miles/week. Maybe less than half of that. Will see what the tune up includes and if I can save it for next year. Thank you.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:29 AM   #8
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Greasing the bottom bracket. Maybe once a season. Better off letting the bike shop do this... if it's even included in the tuneup. A lot of places offer multiple tiers of tuneups and will not do this on the bottom tiers.
Yeah, it's worth verifying this with the mechanics even if you buy it from a LBS with the free "tune up". On my road bike, which I purchased used, I eventually had to replace the BB, only to find out it was nearly completely seized with the frame. Five feet of galvanized steel pipe attached to a strong wrench (AKA "The Persuader") proved otherwise, but it definitely had serious potential to damage or destroy my frame. Use a good anti-seize compound on all bottom bracket installs.
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Old 08-28-11, 08:15 AM   #9
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For me, if it were the same bike, I would be okay with paying more at the dealer, but for me it would need to be not more than about 10% or so.
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Old 08-31-11, 08:11 PM   #10
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So I got some clarification on what the :BS offers. First off, they offer Unlimited general tune ups as long as you are the original owner. This includes brake adjustments, gear adjustments, minor wheel truing, lubrication of drive train, seat and stem adjustments, re-torque of all bolts & fasteners, and an overall safety inspection.

However, the bike is over $100 more at the LBS that it is online. Do you think its worth it?
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Old 08-31-11, 08:32 PM   #11
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I do my own work but want to support local bike shops and would pay the extra freight if, and only if, the shop was a good one.
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Old 08-31-11, 09:08 PM   #12
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I do my own work but want to support local bike shops and would pay the extra freight if, and only if, the shop was a good one.
Thanks for the reply. I've never bought anything from this shop before but it seems to do well. It's always very crowded. I did like the salesperson a lot. I'm just trying to justify the extra cost in my head.
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Old 09-01-11, 05:30 AM   #13
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Unlimited general tune ups is good if you don't know how to tune up your own bike. I say go for it.
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Old 09-01-11, 07:59 AM   #14
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UPDATE FROM MY LAST POST: The shop actually offer unlimited tune ups for life which includes This includes brake adjustments, gear adjustments, minor wheel truing, lubrication of drive train, seat and stem adjustments, re-torque of all bolts & fasteners, and an overall safety inspection.

However, the bike is over $100 more at the LBS that it is online. Do you think its worth it?

Here is my original post:
I usually post in the folding bike forum as I am going to buy a folding bike in the next 6 months. However, thought I would post here as I am more of a recreational biker, meaning that I won't use the bike as much as other people would.

I want to buy a bike from my local dealer but so far, they charge about $50-75 more than what an online dealer would charge. Furthermore, I'd have to pay tax on my purchase if I went local. However, they said that they will give you a free tune up if I buy through them which is supposedly worth $80 which makes it a wash. What do you think? Thanks in advance for your responses.
What kind of a bicycle is this? Details on drivertrain and value of bike might factor into the decision if it were me.
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Old 09-01-11, 09:56 AM   #15
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What kind of a bicycle is this? Details on drivertrain and value of bike might factor into the decision if it were me.
Its a Dahon Speed P8 folding bike. Thor (who is a respected member of this forum) is the online dealer that I am dealing with who has amazing prices. My local LBS has the same bike for $100 more but unlimited tune ups. Thanks.
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Old 09-01-11, 02:12 PM   #16
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Its a Dahon Speed P8 folding bike. Thor (who is a respected member of this forum) is the online dealer that I am dealing with who has amazing prices. My local LBS has the same bike for $100 more but unlimited tune ups. Thanks.
From what I can see there is little to "tune up" on that bicycle. In fact, few bicycles ever need a full tune up. Most of the time it's an adjustment here or an adjustment there. The two most frequently required adjustements are brakes and deraillers. You can do those with common tools. There are lots of videos on youtube which show you how to do those adjustments, and even though I'm not familiar with the Dahon derailler and other Dahon components, I bet they are no less durable nor servicable than a similiar Shimano derailleurs or components.

So this leaves wheel truing and lubing your chain. I hope you know how to lube your chain. As for truing those wheels you should not need to true those wheels for thousands of miles if they were properly made. All things remaining equal smaller wheels are stronger than larger wheels, and as for that hub, you probably should get them serviced at a store and that is not normally part of a normal "tune up" anyway.
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Old 09-01-11, 08:06 PM   #17
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From what I can see there is little to "tune up" on that bicycle. In fact, few bicycles ever need a full tune up. Most of the time it's an adjustment here or an adjustment there. The two most frequently required adjustements are brakes and deraillers. You can do those with common tools. There are lots of videos on youtube which show you how to do those adjustments, and even though I'm not familiar with the Dahon derailler and other Dahon components, I bet they are no less durable nor servicable than a similiar Shimano derailleurs or components.

So this leaves wheel truing and lubing your chain. I hope you know how to lube your chain. As for truing those wheels you should not need to true those wheels for thousands of miles if they were properly made. All things remaining equal smaller wheels are stronger than larger wheels, and as for that hub, you probably should get them serviced at a store and that is not normally part of a normal "tune up" anyway.
Very informative. Thanks for taking the time to actually check out the bike I'm interested in so you could give solid advice. I'll continue to weigh the pros and cons.I have until mid Sept (apparently there will be a price increase then)
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Old 09-06-11, 05:06 PM   #18
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+1 mithrandir and daven


A Dahon is like any other bike in that there is no bike that does not require adjustment in the short term, or over the long haul. the question is: Do you want to learn how to do this, or do you want to have someone else do it?

If you want to learn it, then no, $100 for the service is probably not worth it in a pure dollar sense (but making a relationship with your LBS has other useful aspects). When you get your bike from the online retailer, likely you will still need to check to make sure everything is at-spec: cable tension, everything at torque (BB, headset, drivetrane, etc.), and so on.

If you don't want to bother with the joy and pain of DIY, then $100 for an any-time-you please look over by your LBS is a good deal. Per hour you'd quickly burn through $100 of mechanic's time.
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Old 09-06-11, 06:34 PM   #19
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+1 mithrandir and daven


A Dahon is like any other bike in that there is no bike that does not require adjustment in the short term, or over the long haul. the question is: Do you want to learn how to do this, or do you want to have someone else do it?

If you want to learn it, then no, $100 for the service is probably not worth it in a pure dollar sense (but making a relationship with your LBS has other useful aspects). When you get your bike from the online retailer, likely you will still need to check to make sure everything is at-spec: cable tension, everything at torque (BB, headset, drivetrane, etc.), and so on.

If you don't want to bother with the joy and pain of DIY, then $100 for an any-time-you please look over by your LBS is a good deal. Per hour you'd quickly burn through $100 of mechanic's time.
Thank you! I ended up purchasing through my LBS because I do want to build a relationship with them. I definitely do not want to do the maintenance myself and my husband is pretty pathetic when it comes to bikes/cars so I think I made the right choice.
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Old 09-07-11, 05:24 AM   #20
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Thank you! I ended up purchasing through my LBS because I do want to build a relationship with them. I definitely do not want to do the maintenance myself and my husband is pretty pathetic when it comes to bikes/cars so I think I made the right choice.
Heh, I used to be pretty pathetic mechanically too, then I got into cycling. I have to tell you, it's taught me a lot. At first I was very intimidated, thinking "what if I screw something up and it becomes unsafe while I'm riding?". But after a while you learn, it's just screws and bolts mostly. A hex key turn here, a screwdriver turn there, a barrel adjustment turn here, and you're all set.
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