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Do you pay the man or fix yourself?

Old 03-02-21, 06:46 PM
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thehammerdog
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Do you pay the man or fix yourself?

i feel worthless and weak. have been fixing my stuff for decades but this week i gave in and will pay big $$ for the
"tune up" no time energy motivation oh yes no skills ...get the bike back Thursday. im excited to ride but hate to pay out for tune up.
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Old 03-02-21, 06:52 PM
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Time vs need. If it makes sense, why not have it professionally done?
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Old 03-02-21, 07:01 PM
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Pay the man. When younger and I had more time to tinker, I worked on everything but now it's easier to leave anything over putting a seat on type stuff to the shop. Helping them out too.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:08 PM
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It's a bit weird being grouped in "the man" category. I remember shaving my face for the first real time at the wet behind the ears age of 23 and many of the HS kids we had as customers treated me quite different then the week before when I had a beard. It would be cool to think we, as a society, have moved on past these pigeon holing terms but that would be naive. Andy
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Old 03-02-21, 07:46 PM
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It doesn't bother me at all to pay professionals to work on my bike. Work gets done properly, nothing gets broken, and sometimes they find (and fix) things that I have missed.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
It doesn't bother me at all to pay professionals to work on my bike. Work gets done properly, nothing gets broken, and sometimes they find (and fix) things that I have missed.
so far that's been a fiddy/fiddy experience.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
so far that's been a fiddy/fiddy experience.
If that's your response, perhaps you need a new shop.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
If that's your response, perhaps you need a new shop.
every lbs has shown me where there strengths & weaknesses are, so I just have to go nlbs to maybe find the shop with all the strengths.
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Old 03-02-21, 08:00 PM
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I like working on my bikes. I will do whatever I can. But I know the time is coming on my Trek that I will probably have to pay the man. Maybe not so much because of the time or skills required, but because I don't know that I want to buy the tools.

My 40 or so year old bikes however I can't see me not working on. I just refurbished a '67 Schwinn for someone that may be older than the man at a lot of bike shops.
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Old 03-02-21, 08:02 PM
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I do it all myself - but my bikes are old and simple, no CF, no electronics, no hydraulics, no suspension...
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Old 03-02-21, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
every lbs has shown me where there strengths & weaknesses are, so I just have to go nlbs to maybe find the shop with all the strengths.
I hear you. I've had bad experiences. Guess I lucked out and found a couple good shops in my current location. And they are both so good, and have gone above and beyond for me so many times, that I enjoy paying them. They earn it.

I once brought a bike into one of those shops for a little bit of routine work; they had built the bike a year or so earlier. In test riding the bike before sending me on my way, they noticed that the RD was occasionally missing a shift...I hadn't noticed anything, but they did. They kept the bike another week, got a free replacement RD from Shimano (Ultegra Di2, not cheap) and installed it. I think they didn't charge me a nickel for any of it. And that is one of the smaller things they have done to earn my loyalty.

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Old 03-02-21, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I hear you. I've had bad experiences. Guess I lucked out and found a couple good shops in my current location.
I still go to the lbs, but I now choose wisely.
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Old 03-02-21, 08:10 PM
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I don't mind paying a professional to get a professional job done. I do some of my own work but sometimes I really don't want to do it or am having issues or just don't yet have the tools.

I would rather someone come and just say hey can you get this done for me than trying it at home and potentially causing damage and then bringing it to me. Or maybe you know how to do it and do it well but maybe you don't have the tools or just don't have the time. I see no reason to not bring it by.

Having the knowledge to do something is great but it doesn't mean you always have to do it. I can cook really well but sometimes I want something delivered to my house while I sit on the couch and watch Netflix so sue me. I could make some of the dishes and sometimes improve on them but maybe I just wanna relax and let someone else do it.

Also as of note one of my Mechanics is female and awesome. She shares my same passion for vintage stuff and having way too many bikes. So not always paying the man. Also we tend to do a lot of trading so sometimes no paying at all.
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Old 03-02-21, 08:27 PM
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I do most of my own stuff. Honestly itís not normally much work to maintain. I struggled a bit recently with a tubeless setup. Some stuff Iíve never done like changes hydraulic fluid so might take that in.
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Old 03-02-21, 08:37 PM
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In this case the OP should feel good about giving himself a needed break while putting money in the pocket of a mechanic that probably needs it.
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Old 03-02-21, 08:48 PM
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I was rebuilding car engines at 16, learned to weld at 14. Never had a bike worked on by others. I have had free warranty work done on a car, by a dealership.
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Old 03-02-21, 09:23 PM
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I used to do most of my car-fixing myself in my 20s through 40s and would take my bikes to the LBS for most bike-fixing. I slowly shifted toward having a trusty mechanic work on the cars and doing my own bike work. Now, in my 60s, I do all my own bike work--including lacing wheels--and I had my mechanic do all my car work until I got rid of our last car.

But I enjoy the bike work, every bit of it, and I like learning to do new stuff. I don't do it to save money. It also lets me justify buying new bike-specific tools. It's so much easier now with YouTube and forums like this. If you don't enjoy it, you should pay the pros.
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Old 03-02-21, 09:52 PM
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Couldn't afford to not do it myself. If I actually took the bikes in for an annual tune up, just the basics for each kid, the wife and I we'd have 75.00 per basic tune x14 bikes. I can use that kind of money on a vacation or the regular supply of parts I need. In going over a few of the bikes this month 2 needed new chains and cassettes, another needed new tape, and a fourth needed tires. Parts was well over 200.00 labor on all that would have meant not doing one of them. Maybe when its only the wife and I and we're down to 2 bikes each I'll have to consider it but I'll probably be bored not having kids to juggle and will still need something to do.
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Old 03-02-21, 10:01 PM
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When I was young, I did everything myself. Not only due to cost, but in the 70s bike shops where I lived were jammed. It would take a week to ten days to get your bike back.

Now I let the shop do everything. But everything isn't much and usually once a year takes care of it. The work and the rates are good and it's always done in a day.
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Old 03-02-21, 10:01 PM
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I do most of the mechanical work on my car, and all the work on my motorcycle and bicycles, precisely because too many miserable experiences with the incompetence of many people employed as "professional" mechanics. Yes, there are some good ones, but in my experience, those are the minority. When I do the job myself, it takes less time, and I know it was done right.
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Old 03-03-21, 12:58 AM
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I have a nice workspace in my garage and I do all of my own work, but as a former shop employee, I can go in and use their stands and tools any time I need to. I would never dream of dropping off a bike for them to deal with though, and they'd never let me live it down if I did!
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Old 03-03-21, 01:14 AM
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I used to be a car mechanic, and most of the mechanics I worked with were very good, although some of our clients were not as smart about how their cars were fixed as they thought they were. I used to wipe the excess grease from the suspension ball joints after pumping fresh grease in to reduce the amount of road dirt that would stick to it and make its way under the so-called 'dust seal'. Then some clients would get on their knees to check, not see old gooey grease sticking out around the joints, and so assume that no regreasing had occurred.

I don't work on my cars any more, arthritis prevents it, but a small bike is something I can just handle
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Old 03-03-21, 01:18 AM
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Do it myself. Learning to build my own wheels was the best thing I've ever done as far as cycling maintenance. Now building a bike is easy and free at home.

Once had a warranty issue. Free frame upgrade replacement by Trek. But the shop wanted $220 to do the swap. Are you kidding? 20 minutes to strip the frame, swap at shop for the new frame from Trek. 1 hour to build it up!

Why in the world would I ever pay somebody professional auto mechanic rates to wrap my handlebars?
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Old 03-03-21, 02:54 AM
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Mostly I fix stuff myself. The one exception has tended to be my Brompton, but I'm not sure why. I think it's just a beast of burden and doesn't stir my heart so working on it isn't a labour of love. Obviously, if I think I'm going to be running out of skill then I take it to the LBS.
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Old 03-03-21, 04:34 AM
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I do it myself. It's usually faster (and cheaper) than bringing the bike to the LBS, and having to go back to pick it up a few days later.

Moreover, I've not found any LBS that is up to my standards.
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