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Free Lifetime Tune Ups

Old 10-14-05, 09:17 PM
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rideabike
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Free Lifetime Tune Ups

What exactly are they?

I asked about 5 of my local shops about free lifetime tune ups with new bike purchases and the most specific definition I received was this:

"Anything that takes 10 minutes or less. If it's over 10 minutes, we'll tell you and if you want the work done, we'll have to charge for it."

Is this pretty much the norm?
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Old 10-14-05, 10:26 PM
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All the shops I have visited give you one free tune up in the first 30 or 60 days. I have never heard of free lifetime tuneups.
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Old 10-14-05, 10:32 PM
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My LBS promises "free lifetime adjustments". I haven't figured out what this means, since if there's anything on my bike that needs "adjusting", I can generally figure it out myself.

On the other hand, when it's time for what I consider an annual (or more frequent) tune-up - including inspecting and re-greasing hubs, headset, BB, checking and/or replacing cables, brake pads, truing wheels, etc., then that's generally a $65 or so service around these parts.
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Old 10-14-05, 11:15 PM
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I doubt that any bike shop would have a unlimited free lifetime tune up policy.


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Old 10-15-05, 12:07 AM
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It is usually adjustments to the FD, RD, and brakes. Not a bad deal if you use it.
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Old 10-15-05, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by KleinMp99
I doubt that any bike shop would have a unlimited free lifetime tune up policy.


We do. Bring it in about 3 months after purchase so we can check for cable stretch and all that. After that, we'll do our 25 point service for as long as you are the original owner. That service involves check/adjust F/R brakes and derailleurs, check every nut and bolt, check chain wear, check all bearings for wear, and check the tires for wear plus air pressure. It's as much a safety inspection as anything else, but I've seen a 13 year old bike come in with a sticky chain, and leave shifting like new. The owner thought he needed a new chain, but admitted to only riding it 20 times in 13 years. He was pretty shocked when we serviced it for nothing. There you have it.
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Old 10-15-05, 05:58 AM
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That's about what we do. Adjust deraileurs and brakes, give everything a good going over, little lube, and it's done. Anything requiring parts the customer pays for. It's a good deal for folks that don't know how to make adjustments, and judging by the frequent questions here, I'd say that's quite a lot of people.
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Old 10-15-05, 07:07 AM
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Thanks folks.
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Old 10-15-05, 07:36 AM
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i have the life time service and i use it all the time...in fact, i upgrade parts and then have them adjusted...if i know im going out for a "good ride" i drop it off a few days before to have them tune it and then pick it up as im leaving town to the trail. maybe im abusing the system but i do give them a lot of other business.
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Old 10-15-05, 07:46 AM
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The way my LBS put it (bought two new '05 Treks there) is free lifetime "small" adjustments. They have been great handling all of my dumb questions as well as making needed adjustments whenever I have asked.
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Old 10-15-05, 06:17 PM
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"Free Tuneups" is a gimmick to get you to keep bringing your bike in for service. While the shop will do some minor adjustments (that you should learn to do yourself), they will have to opportunity to look for other work that needs done. The gimmick part is that so long as you take advantage of the "free tuneup" that LBS is almost certainly the one that will get to do the other non-free work. This may not be a bad thing if you like the work the LBS does.
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Old 10-15-05, 06:52 PM
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Yeah, it's a gimmick to get you in there and let you know about parts about to fail, or require service soon. Better to go on blissfully unaware...
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Old 10-15-05, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Expatriate
Yeah, it's a gimmick to get you in there and let you know about parts about to fail, or require service soon. Better to go on blissfully unaware...
Well said!

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Old 10-15-05, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
Well said!

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Took me a minute. I guess you've been to Supergo? Or Fred Segal? Hey, next time you're there, can you go a few blocks towards the beach, hang a right, and stop in to say hi to Arnold? Or does he not hang at his restaurant any more?
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Old 10-15-05, 07:44 PM
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We do free tuneups for a year. That is what it is, you drop off the bike for a tuneup and we pull the wheels check/adjust the hubs, true the wheels, adjust the brakes, gears, BB, headset, wipe down the frame, lube the chain, check hardware, and test ride the bike.
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Old 10-15-05, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
We do free tuneups for a year. That is what it is, you drop off the bike for a tuneup and we pull the wheels check/adjust the hubs, true the wheels, adjust the brakes, gears, BB, headset, wipe down the frame, lube the chain, check hardware, and test ride the bike.
Your shop rules. My lbs, when you buy a bike you get 1 free tune up in 30 days, that all.
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Old 10-15-05, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Expatriate
We do. Bring it in about 3 months after purchase so we can check for cable stretch and all that. After that, we'll do our 25 point service for as long as you are the original owner. That service involves check/adjust F/R brakes and derailleurs, check every nut and bolt, check chain wear, check all bearings for wear, and check the tires for wear plus air pressure. It's as much a safety inspection as anything else, but I've seen a 13 year old bike come in with a sticky chain, and leave shifting like new. The owner thought he needed a new chain, but admitted to only riding it 20 times in 13 years. He was pretty shocked when we serviced it for nothing. There you have it.
But did it take more or less then 10 minutes to do your 25 point inspection or to fix the 13 year old bike?
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Old 10-15-05, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MattP.
Your shop rules. My lbs, when you buy a bike you get 1 free tune up in 30 days, that all.
What about our's, with the lifetime free service?

Originally Posted by froze
But did it take more or less then 10 minutes to do your 25 point inspection or to fix the 13 year old bike?
I honestly don't know. I could have sold the guy a $35 chain like he asked for, plus about $22.50 to install it, but the mechanic on duty sorted him out for free.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:25 PM
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I guess the reason I asked this question about taking 10 minutes more or less is because the original poster's LBS said if it took longer then 10 minutes he would be charged. What if they take 20 minutes to do a 25 point inspection? The free service is not free then is it? The 10 minute clause sounded like a come-on to me.
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Old 10-16-05, 01:06 AM
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The shop where I got my bike gave me this card, it's good for 1 year free tune up. They said they charge $65 for a tune up. I don't know what they do in a 'tune up'.
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Old 10-16-05, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gudel
The shop where I got my bike gave me this card, it's good for 1 year free tune up. They said they charge $65 for a tune up. I don't know what they do in a 'tune up'.
Check timing, change the plugs...
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Old 10-16-05, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
We do free tuneups for a year. That is what it is, you drop off the bike for a tuneup and we pull the wheels check/adjust the hubs, true the wheels, adjust the brakes, gears, BB, headset, wipe down the frame, lube the chain, check hardware, and test ride the bike.
That's what we do also. One year at the shop I'm at now, it had been lifetime at my previous shop. Full-on tuneup there as well, no 10 minute clause.
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Old 10-16-05, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by KleinMp99
I doubt that any bike shop would have a unlimited free lifetime tune up policy.


We do.

Lifetime at our shop means any adjustments and a full tune up a year are free, but we don't really enforce the once a year tune up policy.
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Old 10-17-05, 07:22 AM
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'"Free Tuneups" is a gimmick to get you to keep bringing your bike in for service. While the shop will do some minor adjustments (that you should learn to do yourself), they will have to opportunity to look for other work that needs done".

Once you've spent some time on these forums, you'll also note how often people describe a bicycle that performs much worse after an LBS did a minor "tune up". Get a book and read! You'll treasure the independence it provides, the money saved, and the headaches avoided.
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Old 10-17-05, 09:36 AM
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You'll also find that the level of expertise varies greatly from shop to shop. Blanket statements that downplay the ability of all shops should be ignored. All shops aren't great, but they're not all crap either.

For a lot of folks, the adjustments are a welcome service, too. Not everyone, believe it or not, desires to learn how to do even the most simple things. You'd be surprised what shops will get from customers. "It's shifting horribly, I want to return it". 10 minutes later they're happy as clams again. Remember, this is a country where doing anything yourself is going above and beyond the call.
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