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Old 07-31-17, 07:05 PM   #26
mstateglfr
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Do you need some of those plastic donut shaped things that silence the cable when it slaps against the frame? If so, go back to the shop and ask them to give you some gratis.
Yeah, i have those. Dont do much. Have 6 or so spread out.
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Old 08-04-17, 11:15 PM   #27
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Having been a bike mechanic myself, I can tell that there are three kinds of bike mechanics. The first are young people who are mechanically-inclined, and want to become professional mechanics. These younger people have little experience, but luckily, bike maintenance does not require very much. The second kind are somewhat mechanically-inclined, but not enough to move up to automotive or other work, which pays far higher. These guys are usually pretty good at what they do, and they seldom get complaints. The third kind are shop owners who are also mechanics. These guys can be highly skilled, but also highly inclined to get their customers to pay for unnecessary work. The bike business has always been tough, and bending the truth to help fund the overhead is a necessary evil to these guys.
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Old 08-12-17, 06:55 AM   #28
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I quit my well paying job in broadcast media to go to work in a bike shop. These kinds of posts chap me because for every "My mechanic ripped me off" story I can tell you 10 customer "wants everything for free and blames the mechanic for their leaving the bike outside in the rain for 2 years-why can't you just lube those stiff links away-why can't I just pay for the tube and you change it for free-I was just riding along and the drivetrain EXPLODED, it must be defective." and on and on.

We are expected to be able to fix a tire on a stroller, brakes on a handicapped assistance walker and diagnose and keep running a 10 thousand dollar race machine. All for a little more than minimum wage. I trained at Barnetts, spent my own money to do so and must spend my own time keeping current on the latest technology. Our small shop must ring up 2k in sales per day to stay open. Do you have any idea how hard that is when you have 2 weeks of solid rain?

Sorry the original poster had a bad experience. Did you know that one irregular link can cause a chain tool to mis-measure? That the pin can be bent on the park measuring tool? The correct response is. "Huh, that's interesting that the chain is new. Let me show you what I've found." Yes, there are dishonest mechanics, I have worked with some. But there are great ones too. They will work hard to make sure The used bike you bought on craigslist doesn't crap out during your century ride. Yes, there are weasly customers, I meet them daily. There are also incredibly loyal customers who spread the word and swear by their mechanics and help keep our doors open. This is a hard business. Before you think it's all bike bling and discounts, and "It's really a simple machine" stand in my shoes for a 10 hour shift.

Last edited by Chop61; 08-12-17 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:06 AM   #29
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I quit my well paying job in broadcast media to go to work in a bike shop. These kinds of posts chap me because for every "My mechanic ripped me off" story I can tell you 10 customer "wants everything for free and blames the mechanic for their leaving the bike outside in the rain for 2 years-why can't you just lube those stiff links away-why can't I just pay for the tube and you change it for free-I was just riding along and the drivetrain EXPLODED, it must be defective." and on and on.

We are expected to be able to fix a tire on a stroller, brakes on a handicapped assistance walker and diagnose and keep running a 10 thousand dollar race machine. All for a little more than minimum wage. I trained at Barnetts, spent my own money to do so and must spend my own time keeping current on the latest technology. Our small shop must ring up 2k in sales per day to stay open. Do you have any idea how hard that is when you have 2 weeks of solid rain?

Sorry the original poster had a bad experience. Did you know that one irregular link can cause a chain tool to mis-measure? That the pin can be bent on the park measuring tool? The correct response is. "Huh, that's interesting that the chain is new. Let me show you what I've found." Yes, there are dishonest mechanics, I have worked with some. But there are great ones too. They will work hard to make sure The used bike you bought on craigslist doesn't crap out during your century ride. Yes, there are weasly customers, I meet them daily. There are also incredibly loyal customers who spread the word and swear by their mechanics and help keep our doors open. This is a hard business. Before you think it's all bike bling and discounts, and "It's really a simple machine" stand in my shoes for a 10 hour shift.
Thanks for sharing your perspective. I have frequently wondered how LBSs manage to stay in business in the age of the Internet.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:16 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
Having been a bike mechanic myself, I can tell that there are three kinds of bike mechanics. The first are young people who are mechanically-inclined, and want to become professional mechanics. These younger people have little experience, but luckily, bike maintenance does not require very much. The second kind are somewhat mechanically-inclined, but not enough to move up to automotive or other work, which pays far higher. These guys are usually pretty good at what they do, and they seldom get complaints. The third kind are shop owners who are also mechanics. These guys can be highly skilled, but also highly inclined to get their customers to pay for unnecessary work. The bike business has always been tough, and bending the truth to help fund the overhead is a necessary evil to these guys.
dont forget 4th .. old guys with prior experience, who want to help cyclists out.. in the brief summer busy season,
and are retired, (from jobs that paid better, so had money to retire) so the extra income is nice .


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Old 08-13-17, 07:14 PM   #31
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Your kidding us right?

Is this one of those feel better stories?
Your story seems to be like the ones my mother told me. "Eat your beans because people are starving in Ethiopia!"

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Our local bike shop mechanic is unfortunately very poor. It's really not so much his fault in that he is a nice fellow but has had almost zero training and zero education before the new shop owner said to him, "you're now our new bike shop head mechanic" Until that moment I'm not sure he had ever changed a flat. He watches youtube videos in order to get a feel for how to fix something because the new owner won't spend any money to send him to school and he fired the original mechanic before the present fellow could learn from him. I go down there to help him out when I can but if you could see the things that leave the shop, you would be amazed and you should be thankful if you do have a decent mechanic and consider tipping him or taking him lunch or some treats.
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Old 08-13-17, 08:51 PM   #32
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I quit my well paying job in broadcast media to go to work in a bike shop.
...
We are expected to be able to fix a tire on a stroller, brakes on a handicapped assistance walker and diagnose and keep running a 10 thousand dollar race machine. All for a little more than minimum wage.
Why?

I've worked retail. Got to assemble furniture and sell computers at Office Max. It was a fun college job, but I'd never quit a well paying job to go back, unless I did something like winning the lottery and am just hoding down a job as something to occupy my day. TO be fair, you were also only expected to fix the race bike, unless you were working in more than an LBS.

To the rest of the thread, I apply Hanlon's Razor.
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Old 08-14-17, 12:50 AM   #33
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Great. Now I had to look up Hanlon's Razor
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Old 08-14-17, 04:13 AM   #34
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I've worked in bike shops off and on my entire life but never as full-time employment. No way. Not enough money in it. When I was younger, I would work p/t in shops to hone my skills and to give me enough extra cash for buying the next new bike or a pair of shorts, etc.
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Old 08-14-17, 06:59 AM   #35
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dont forget 4th .. old guys with prior experience, who want to help cyclists out.. in the brief summer busy season,
and are retired, (from jobs that paid better, so had money to retire) so the extra income is nice .
Yes. And quite a few of these volunteer at non-profits, for recycling and build-a-bike programs. A few really know their stuff, and all just love messing around with bikes, and being around bike people.
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Old 08-14-17, 08:26 AM   #36
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Great. Now I had to look up Hanlon's Razor
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple incompetence
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Old 08-14-17, 11:14 AM   #37
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Its like everything else, you have good honest competent mechanics, dishonest competent mechanics, incompetent mechanics, and all manner in-between. I used to be a mechanic at Sears auto center in the 80's. Most Mechanics that were part time got paid like $2.60/hr and made most of their money on the services and repairs they provided, that bred all sorts of issues. I got let go for checking tightening a loose battery terminal and not charging the customer. Thankfully the money in Bike Mechanics is not there for that type of foolishness.
Anyway you did the right thing by following your gut and refusing the service.
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Old 08-14-17, 11:40 AM   #38
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I've read on several occasions that chain checker tools are more fast than accurate.
The guy might simply be doing as he's been taught.
No need to suspect anything sinister.
That's my take, one anecdote doesn't define the mechanic.
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Old 08-14-17, 06:33 PM   #39
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Why?

I've worked retail. Got to assemble furniture and sell computers at Office Max. It was a fun college job, but I'd never quit a well paying job to go back, unless I did something like winning the lottery and am just hoding down a job as something to occupy my day. TO be fair, you were also only expected to fix the race bike, unless you were working in more than an LBS.

To the rest of the thread, I apply Hanlon's Razor.
My point is that at a small shop you have to be able to fix a lot of things that have wheels or bicycle-like brakes. Tubes in baby stroller wheels, brakes on knee scooters etc. Oh, and home modified e bikes. Such fun! You fix what you can and make what you can on it.

As for why quit a well paying job to work in a bike shop? Don't be a snob. People work all kinds of low paying jobs for various reasons. No dishonor there.
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Old 08-14-17, 06:44 PM   #40
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The moral of the story for those of us who have found a good mechanic is - ALWAYS TIP YOUR MECHANIC. Like someone said, they can make more money at Starbucks or TGI Friday's
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Old 08-14-17, 06:57 PM   #41
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As for why quit a well paying job to work in a bike shop? Don't be a snob. People work all kinds of low paying jobs for various reasons. No dishonor there.
Not being a snob. I find it odd that one who has the aptitude to obtain a good paying job and then have a life situation good enough to allow them to quit would complain about the pay from a position the willfully put themselves in.

I can easily see where one may just want the lower paying job more, but I don't have much sympathy for their wages if they willfully quit a more lucrative position. I'd have more fun quitting my engineering job and bum around in Asia or Europe taking piecemeal English teaching jobs, but I sure wouldn't bring up the lack of pay when talking to others.
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Old 08-14-17, 09:51 PM   #42
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Not being a snob. I find it odd that one who has the aptitude to obtain a good paying job and then have a life situation good enough to allow them to quit would complain about the pay from a position the willfully put themselves in.

I can easily see where one may just want the lower paying job more, but I don't have much sympathy for their wages if they willfully quit a more lucrative position. I'd have more fun quitting my engineering job and bum around in Asia or Europe taking piecemeal English teaching jobs, but I sure wouldn't bring up the lack of pay when talking to others.
He pointed out that the crap they have to deal with is not always commensurate with the pay received, and the investment in being educated in the lower paying field. There was no *****ing about the pay itself as it pertains to buying necessity's or supporting a rock and roll life style.

I kind of thought your question was inappropriate, even if he had been just griping about the wages themselves.
Not making any assumptions about that guys motivations, but sometimes a person realizes that their life is a moment to moment Dilbert cartoon, and makes a change that improves life quality, even if it also has its drawbacks. I doubt that a bicycle mechanic has to be leashed to their employer by a cell phone or a salaried position.
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Old 08-16-17, 08:57 AM   #43
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He pointed out that the crap they have to deal with is not always commensurate with the pay received, and the investment in being educated in the lower paying field. There was no *****ing about the pay itself as it pertains to buying necessity's or supporting a rock and roll life style.

I kind of thought your question was inappropriate, even if he had been just griping about the wages themselves.
Not making any assumptions about that guys motivations, but sometimes a person realizes that their life is a moment to moment Dilbert cartoon, and makes a change that improves life quality, even if it also has its drawbacks. I doubt that a bicycle mechanic has to be leashed to their employer by a cell phone or a salaried position.
Thank you. I am not complaining about my pay, I decided the quality of life was worth the pay cut. What I'm trying to say, apparently in an unclear manner is, customers want A LOT from their bike mechanics, but are not particularly interested in whether or not they get a living wage. I am lucky. I can afford this, most of my fellow mechanics struggle.
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