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How much should a Tune Up cost?

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How much should a Tune Up cost?

Old 09-13-10, 10:30 PM
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macteacher
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How much should a Tune Up cost?

I have my older winter beater sitting in the garage and im thinking of getting her checked out, just to make sure everything is running in good working order before winter actually arrives.

Im just wondering, what should such a check-up or tune up cost?
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Old 09-13-10, 10:57 PM
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Call around shops and ask .. If it's more than you want to pay, learn how to do it yourself.

Overhead is what it costs to run a shop and make payroll.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:08 AM
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Depends on the tune up. The LBS I use has three different tune ups ranging from minor adjustments up to a full overhaul.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
Depends on the tune up. The LBS I use has three different tune ups ranging from minor adjustments up to a full overhaul.
Same here. Start around $40 and go above $100 plus parts.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:44 AM
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When I worked at bike shops from 2001 to 2004 or 5, a Tune-up was 25-30 bucks, not including any parts.

Now I see signs for 50-70 dollars. That's outrageous.

Some ******* at Performance in Naperville, IL charged my friend 20 bucks to shorten the brake cables on her road bike! She could have bought a great cable cutter for 15 bucks and done it herslef in five minutes. She got a talking to when I heard about this... Be sure to discuss the cost of a task before letting a shop touch your bike. If the cost of the job is greater than the cost of the tools to do it yourself, it's silly not to just do it yourself.

Buy a set of allen wrenches and a tube of grease and learn how to take care of your own bikes. There is nothing scary or difficult about routine bike maintanence.

With the exception of wheel truing, and a bottom bracket adjustment, you shouldn't need any special tools. You'll know if you need your wheels trued or your Bottom bracket adjusted. At that point decide if you want to buy the necessary tools or take it to a shop for those specific tasks.
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Old 09-14-10, 08:02 AM
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You might be outraged at the price - but there aren't many shops that will charge less than $20 for anything around here..... Not outrageous at all - and even worse in the city (Chicago)
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Old 09-14-10, 08:11 AM
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$20 for literally five minutes worth of work, possibly less, equates to 240 dollars an hour. That's not an outrageous labor rate?

I just used that as an example of why people should learn to do simple things like this for themselves.
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Old 09-14-10, 08:30 AM
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Enter the bike co-op... for a modest donation, you could probably use their tools and have a volunteer mechanic guide you through the process. Then you'll have a better idea how to do it yourself next time. Got one near you?
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Old 09-14-10, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePritchett View Post
$20 for literally five minutes worth of work, possibly less, equates to 240 dollars an hour. That's not an outrageous labor rate?

I just used that as an example of why people should learn to do simple things like this for themselves.
While I agree that learning to do things yourself is valuable and will save you money, it's not for everybody. And if you ever try to run a business, you'll quickly learn that doing the tiny jobs and charging based on the actual time they take you, is simply not worth the effort. So most businesses have a minimum time charge (probably 15 minutes). $80/hour is not unreasonable to buy tools, and pay the mechanic, the cashier, the accountant, the rent, the taxes and the utilities, and turn a small profit.

If you're not interested in doing it yourself, shop around for a good flat fee tuneup. Fall isn't a particularly busy time of year in bike shop land, so you might be able to negotiate. If it's more than you want to pay, throw a number out and see what happens.
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Old 09-14-10, 10:07 AM
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I expect a mid winter tuneup job at the bike shop will be a welcome task.

Unless they switch to a Ski Shop , or go to the tropics for the winter.
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Old 09-14-10, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePritchett View Post
When I worked at bike shops from 2001 to 2004 or 5, a Tune-up was 25-30 bucks, not including any parts.

Now I see signs for 50-70 dollars. That's outrageous.

Some ******* at Performance in Naperville, IL charged my friend 20 bucks to shorten the brake cables on her road bike! She could have bought a great cable cutter for 15 bucks and done it herslef in five minutes. She got a talking to when I heard about this... Be sure to discuss the cost of a task before letting a shop touch your bike. If the cost of the job is greater than the cost of the tools to do it yourself, it's silly not to just do it yourself.

Buy a set of allen wrenches and a tube of grease and learn how to take care of your own bikes. There is nothing scary or difficult about routine bike maintanence.

With the exception of wheel truing, and a bottom bracket adjustment, you shouldn't need any special tools. You'll know if you need your wheels trued or your Bottom bracket adjusted. At that point decide if you want to buy the necessary tools or take it to a shop for those specific tasks.
Knowledge has value. Simply having the tools doesn't mean a person will have the skill to complete a task properly. Trimming brake cables is certainly straight forward; however, it isn't just the cable cutter, you need to crimp on those end caps to prevent fraying (additional costs). That said learning to do such basic repairs is a good idea for any rider, since breakages can and will occur during a ride.
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Old 09-14-10, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePritchett View Post
$20 for literally five minutes worth of work, possibly less, equates to 240 dollars an hour. That's not an outrageous labor rate?

I just used that as an example of why people should learn to do simple things like this for themselves.
Trimming the actual cables MAY only take five minutes, but there is the time spent talking to the customer to find out what they want, explaining any issues, etc... Beyond that stopping to deal with a customer costs them some time in doing whatever task they were working on when the customer arrives to pick the bike up as well as when they drop it off. All those minutes and seconds add up and someone needs to pay for them or the shop will not make a profit...

In short NOTHING EVER ONLY TAKES FIVE MINUTES. The mechanics/shops time has value and needs to be paid for that time. Next time you "ask a lawyer a quick question" see what they will charge you for that...
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Old 09-14-10, 11:19 AM
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You got index shifting, to work on and 2 brake cables and 2 gear cables that need attention.
brake adjustment, maybe replace the brake shoes
headset and hub bearings that will need attention or at least testing to see if theyre in adjustment..

It's not a 5 minute job.. ever.

Computer service techs charge as much as Psychiatrists .
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Old 09-14-10, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
Knowledge has value. Simply having the tools doesn't mean a person will have the skill to complete a task properly. Trimming brake cables is certainly straight forward; however, it isn't just the cable cutter, you need to crimp on those end caps to prevent fraying (additional costs). That said learning to do such basic repairs is a good idea for any rider, since breakages can and will occur during a ride.
Amen! Not to mention the dealing with the customer who subsequently comes back with a different issue and wants to argue that it was as a result of the first repair.
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Old 09-14-10, 02:58 PM
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I learned lots 50 years ago, now how to stuff is all over this internet thing..
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Old 09-14-10, 03:01 PM
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It's worth paying for a good tune up the first time, just for safety's sake. After that, find a set of basic tools on sale (I paid $35 at Nashbar) and pick up a copy of Park's Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair (my personal favorite) and learn to do it yourself. It's simple, satisfying and pays for itself quickly. It also saves time since it takes less time to fix stuff on a bike yourself than it does to wait for someone else to do it.
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Old 09-14-10, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
It's worth paying for a good tune up the first time, just for safety's sake. After that, find a set of basic tools on sale (I paid $35 at Nashbar) and pick up a copy of Park's Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair (my personal favorite) and learn to do it yourself. It's simple, satisfying and pays for itself quickly. It also saves time since it takes less time to fix stuff on a bike yourself than it does to wait for someone else to do it.
This is the route that I took. I brought my first bike in to the shop for a complete overhaul/ tume up right after I bought it from the pawn shop. Fortunately the LBS that I went to 25+yrs ago was owned and operated by a retired sergeant major who ran the shop because he wanted to... like he said "It's not my bread and butter."
As a result, he suggested that I learn to do my own basic repair and maintenance, sold me a book, and the tools,and gave me advice.
Now I pretty much do all my own work, if it is on my bike--I did it.
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Old 09-14-10, 03:49 PM
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$60-80 is what I see around here.

For those who say that is too much (and I generally agree), my answer is that if it seems too much to pay, learn to do it for yourself. If you can't do it for yourself, you're paying for the experience and training of the mechanic plus the convenience of not having to spend your time on the job.
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Old 09-14-10, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
I have my older winter beater sitting in the garage and im thinking of getting her checked out, just to make sure everything is running in good working order before winter actually arrives.

Im just wondering, what should such a check-up or tune up cost?
It depends on which store you go to. I can think of 4 different stores here in mississauga. You should call each of them to get an idea how much they charge. The best thing to do is to learn to do it yourself , bicycles aren't very complicated to work on.
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Old 09-14-10, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePritchett View Post
$20 for literally five minutes worth of work, possibly less, equates to 240 dollars an hour. That's not an outrageous labor rate?
For every "literally five minutes" job shortening cables on a well maintained bike, there's 4 other "why won't it shift, and what's the cheapest I can fix it for" jobs in the queue; the argumentative pricks who buy a dusty, rusty, squeaky, non-shifting, barely rolling bike they bought for $10 at a garage sale and then get pissy when you explain that it will cost $150 in parts and labour to fix it up, and that's lowballing the time.
It all balances out in the end.
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Old 09-14-10, 05:27 PM
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Whatever you think it's worth!

Call one or two shops and find out what the going rate is in your area. In addition, it depends on the condition of the bike and what might need to be replaced as well...

Ride on!
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Old 09-14-10, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePritchett View Post
$20 for literally five minutes worth of work, possibly less, equates to 240 dollars an hour. That's not an outrageous labor rate?
If someone here booked a bike for two brake adjustments with cable alterations for just $10 per brake, I'd be tracking down their sorry butts and reading them the labor chart.

To answer the original question, most shops will do a typical "tune-up" set of services for $60-70. Bearing adjustments, wheel truing, brake adjustments, drivetrain/shifting adjustments, minor cleaning and relubrication of chain, test ride, that's the fundamentals. I absolutely support learning to do it all yourself if you can... Park Tool's website has good how-to info, go for it.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:55 PM
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I can't imagine not wanting to know enough to do basic repairs on the road/trail. With that, and a few tools, comes the ability to do most things. (I do recognize the world does not always agree with me, and others are OK with being befuddled by a rubbing brake mid-ride)

Concur with ItsJustMe's (and others') approach of a few tools and a book or website.

Honestly, if you have enough time to call around to a couple of shops and care enough about the $$ to bother, you probably ought to be leaning into doing your own work for the cost and time savings. Both are significant.

If you have neither the time nor the inclination to do your own work, then I don't for a second begrudge the rates that some are calling exorbitant. Pencil it out with all the dead time and overhead as some have started to -- you don't see many bike mechs driving a Lexus.
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