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Fair price for local store assembling bike?

Old 06-06-14, 11:28 AM
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mountainwalker
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Fair price for local store assembling bike?

If I were to order a Bikes Direct or other bike which requires assembly, like Save up to 60% off new Hybrid Bikes Motobecane Cafe Sprint and had a mechanic at a local store assemble it, what would be a fair price for first time assembly and tuning?

I assembled my first bike many years ago but it's been some time since I did and I don't have all the tools right now, though I might be able to borrow them. I'd still probably want to have the shop tune it in any case until I'm more proficient again servicing my bikes.
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Old 06-06-14, 11:47 AM
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Not sure where "local" is, but the price depends on local tax rates, local wages, local rents, etc. You can't just ask your local store for a quote, right?
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Old 06-06-14, 12:03 PM
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Around here labor is 90.00 per hour so I would guess about an hour labor total.
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Old 06-06-14, 12:18 PM
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I'd probably offer a couple of levels to you.

Quick assembly of boxed bike $50

Full meal deal $160:
Assembly with repack of bearings (if cone and cup), retensioning of wheels, etc.
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Old 06-06-14, 12:21 PM
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Bike stores will probably charge more due to the fact that they sell bikes and you didn't buy one from them. Check your local craigslist for anyone doing mechanic work from home. I have a side business out of my home and I have done many bikes direct put togethers and I usually charge $50 bucks.
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Old 06-06-14, 12:26 PM
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I've seen a lot of bike shop quotes on here. Usually $100-125
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Old 06-06-14, 12:34 PM
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Yea, is Local, Bangalore or Boston? Memphis or Manhattan, etc.
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Old 06-06-14, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I'd probably offer a couple of levels to you.

Quick assembly of boxed bike $50

Full meal deal $160:
Assembly with repack of bearings (if cone and cup), retensioning of wheels, etc.
Yes, I paid $65 for assembly and adjustment of boxed bike (free tune up within 30 days)
For second bike I'm doing "Full meal deal" myself. I spent about $100 in tools and stuff but now I have knowledge and ability.

I bought 2 BD bikes and both had overtightened wheels. In second bike I did repack bearings (they didn't have enough grease IMO) and I am going to repack and adjust BB (way too tight)
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Old 06-06-14, 09:35 PM
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90
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Old 06-06-14, 11:04 PM
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In San Jose, the spring tune up SALE price is $125- a complete deal is much more.

BD bikes are great if you have the tools and do the work yourself; if not they are a pretty poor deal.
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Old 06-07-14, 10:36 AM
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From my shop's site:

With the advent of companies who sell bikes over the internet in unassembled condition and expect the customer to do the final assembly, we feel the need to educate our customers about what they should expect should they want us to assemble such a bike for them. Although many of these bikes are touted as "90% assembled", they arrive in much the same condition as bikes from our own vendors, which is to say, in need of a lot of attention. All BikeWise bikes get a thorough assembly with all systems receiving attention. This usually takes a skilled mechanic at least an hour, and in the case of a triathlon bike, up to three or 4. Because of our commitment to the highest standards, we offer complete build services, but we do not offer a service where we will do only the "final adjustments". Only by doing the complete assembly can we be certain the bike is safe and reliable. This service starts at $60 for single speed bikes (fender and basket installation extra) up to $200 for high end tri and road bikes.

Bikes previously assembled and ridden are another matter, and if the bike is in good working condition when boxed for shipping, prices start at $40 for a simple reassembly. Multispeed and tri-bikes may be higher, depending on state of disassembly.
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Old 06-07-14, 02:10 PM
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If you drag it into the shop in the shipping box, then it's going to take at least an hour to unpack everything, assemble the bike, service and adjust whatever, and take it for a test ride. If you want the cables/housing lengths properly sized, the wheels checked for true, etc, then plan another hour. if you want the bike fitted to you, then... So the shop's prevailing hourly labor rate times one, two, or three+ will apply, plus you'll owe a decent tip (Craft brew, baked goods, etc), for buying the bike somewhere else. And don't expect the shop to stand behind anything other than what they do.

Keep in mind the shop has liability insurance whereas the shade tree wannabe's, used-to-be's, or think they are's, won't.

Plan on spending a lot of your "60% savings" getting the bike in riding condition. And remember, you're more interested in getting the best deal rather than the best bike.
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Old 06-07-14, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gruppo View Post
If you drag it into the shop in the shipping box, then it's going to take at least an hour to unpack everything, assemble the bike, service and adjust whatever, and take it for a test ride.
More like half an hour to 40 minutes. A basic boxed bike build involves putting handlebars into stem, inserting front wheel, aligning stem, installing seatpost and saddle, adjusting derailleur set screws and cable tension, centering brakes. 25 minutes unpacking and assembling, 10 mins test ride, 5 min additional adjustments.
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Old 06-09-14, 11:29 AM
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Thanks to all who provided helpful info. I'm not advocating a Bikes Direct or bike shop buy - I was only looking for information to make informed decisions. I appreciate the benefits of buying from a good shop as well as the benefits of being able to buy a bike at a great value used or direct mail order. One of our best local shop mechanics charges $100 for a complete build from the box (which I believe includes a follow up tune up), and they charge the same for all services whether you buy from them or bring in a bike. This is definitely related to the fact that we live in an area with nice weather and great road and mountain trails and biking is very popular, so there's plenty demand. They also charge $85 for a regular tune up. In addition, I have several friends who received Bikes Direct bikes without any issues. If you save on $400 buying a mail order bike from a reputable supplier with the same equipment and build as a big brand name bike from a local shop, spend $100 on assembly, that's still a good value. If you can buy that same level of bike on sale at your local shop and the price difference is only $200, it's a lot more appealing to buy from your local shop. Big brand names have a significant markup for the brand, which is supported by expensive advertising, sponsorships, etc.

I have assembled two bikes in the past, without any issues, but it's been a long while and I have to refresh my bike assembly/repair skills and get some tools.
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Old 06-09-14, 11:37 AM
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Before discussing price, one would need to discuss, what - exactly - a bicycle build will entail. The job as done by various people, and on various bicycles varies tremendously, but probably less than what people expect.

So the process begins with a discussion of what will and won't be involved, and ends with a discussion of who'll take responsibility for the surprises, like problem parts or failures in use (and for how long).

Only after the details are fleshed out is it reasonable to talk price.
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Old 06-09-14, 11:43 AM
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A friend of mine got a bike online (the full details relating to why aren't relevant here, the point is it arrived in a box needing some assembly).

I offered to give him a hand putting it together, with the suggestion that if he wanted to be sure of anything he could take it to the local bike shop to check it over. The total time to get everything out of the box, and get it all put together was a bit under an hour. That included mounting the front wheel, putting the pedals on, inserting the stem and tightening everything, putting the saddle on the seatpost and getting that put in, and probably a couple of other minor things.

I suspect the wheels could do with attention (maybe the hubs need some grease or similar) because on a recent ride he was pedalling down a hill while I was freewheeling and I still had to feather the brakes to avoid running into the back of him. Whether he'll want to pay the bike shop to check the hubs and correct anything is another matter.
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Old 06-09-14, 11:58 AM
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Last time I did my own build on a bike-in-the-box it took about two hours. The basic assembly was less than an hour, but the little stuff like getting the brakes just right took a lot more time because I was riding, evaluating, and re-adjusting.

I wouldn't expect the low-budget LBS assembly would include much detail work.
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Old 06-09-14, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by triathloner View Post
Bike stores will probably charge more due to the fact that they sell bikes and you didn't buy one from them...
I haven't seen that locally (see below)

Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I've seen a lot of bike shop quotes on here. Usually $100-125
THis is what I've seen locally - a simple item on their fee schedule which is posted at their repair shop. I believe the one I saw stated "assembly of new bike ordered online" or similar.

See, a smart bike shop - as do car dealerships - do not penalize people price-wise for service for buying elsewhere. They know they've lost that sale and there's nothing they can do about it. All they can hope for is future sales of service, supplies, equipment and bikes. They won't accomplish that by being anything less than excellent in their treatment of the customer. So, they simply charge a fair price for assembly, and by doing so, get future sales. To any business, it's not the past that counts, it's the future.

The only possible exception is that some businesses might give priority scheduling to bikes they've sold, but that is touted as part of the sale and I have no problem with that, normally. I personally haven't seen it with car dealerships doing warranty or other service on cars I've bought elsewhere, but I've heard of boat and bike shops doing it.
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Old 06-10-14, 02:58 AM
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It is best if you are not experience or knowledge to build a relationship with a good LBS. Because you are not saving, service cost money and the hours you spent online choosing the right bike are hours not spent by an employee helping you select the right bike. You saved yourself money by doing your own research.

Assembly and service. All the knowledge you need is here in this forum to assemble the bike. If you do not want to spent the time learning, then your saved time will be traded for dollars paid to a LBS.

Many shops higher cheap help who have little knowledge in the core segments of their business and focus strictly on quarterly profit. Let market pressure handle them as you will find a good shop to service your needs. Any good shop should be happy to assemble your bike because there is profit in it. Not more or less depending on whether you got the bike there or not.

Perhaps this sounds like a diatribe about supporting your LBS, but it is not. Its about making good decision, understanding your position and willingness to take ownership. Knowledge is power. I understand the following is just semantics but if the question was about the difficulties of assembling a bike so the OP could make an informed descison about the trade of time verses out of pocket cost then the question is founded on gainig knowledge to make educated dicisions. Asking just the price doesn't afford the knowledge to know if you are getting a good deal. Many of the responses allude to what's included because many understand the real values to conclude an answer.

Minimum required tools: Allen's and probably a 15mm wrench.
Maximum required tools: Thousands in facing tools, cone wrenches, truing stand, etc.

Options are everything in between. What do you want? For shop owed inventory each has their own level. This is your bike, what do you want done. Cheapest ridable option or overly anal that won't really be noticed. Knowledge is power.


Enough of my online versus brick and mortar rant. Both are awesome, just need to know.
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Old 06-10-14, 07:09 AM
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At our shop we charge for a boxed bike assembly a tune up rate plus a bit for the unboxing. This year that's $65 plus $10. Of course this assumes a boxed bike state that is similar to what we would do to ship a bike or like how we get our new bikes as. We do reserve the right to re quote based on actual boxed condition (was the fork removed, are there fenders or racks to be installed too). Andy.
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