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$7.00 to fix a flat tire?

Old 05-09-08, 04:28 PM
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$7.00 to fix a flat tire?

I went to a bike shop in my neighborhood today to look around at new bikes and I noticed his charges for repairs,I noticed that he charged $7.00 to fix a flat tire.

I thought to myself sheesh,I could buy a new tube for less than that(about $4.50),A new thornproof tube costs about $7-$10,isn't this kind of high for a 2 minuite job?I once fixed a flat for someone and charged only $1.00, of course he took the wheel and tire off and gave me the tube to fix.

When I ride 20 miles from home and 20 miles from a bike shop and I get a flat,I have to fix it myself or I have to walk a long way home.
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Old 05-09-08, 04:35 PM
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It is a reasonable price. Mechanic's time is worth something, and it's not exactly a two-minute job. If you think it's so fast and simple, do it yourself.
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Old 05-09-08, 04:41 PM
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If it includes the tube then that is pretty reasonable. If it doesn't it sounds to me like he is encouraging you to buckle down and do it yourself. Fixing tubes can't be the most fulfilling thing a mechanic does during the day I would imagine.
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Old 05-09-08, 05:05 PM
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Yup. $7.00 for changing a flat is a fair price even if it is a patch and not a new tube. Buy yourself a spare tube, some tire irons, and a patch kit and learn to do it yourself. It is a 15 minute job tops.
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Old 05-09-08, 05:11 PM
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we charge $15 at my shop
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Old 05-09-08, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sirpoopalot View Post
we charge $15 at my shop
I was thinking north of $20 is reasonable. Really, the shop would be doing folks a favor.
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Old 05-09-08, 05:34 PM
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On both my cruiser bike and my old cheap mountain bike, fixing a rear flat was not speedy- something more like 30 minutes, since you had to tear all the rear end stuff off and then readjust everything as you put it back on. $7 sounds pretty reasonable for average.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:11 PM
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You've never run a business, $7 is cheap.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
I was thinking north of $20 is reasonable. Really, the shop would be doing folks a favor.
$20+ bucks would be too much for fixing a flat. THAT would be worth a separate grumpy-thread on the forums.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
$20+ bucks would be too much for fixing a flat. THAT would be worth a separate grumpy-thread on the forums.
Of course it's ridiculous. If you're going to pay someone for that it may as well be. Mind you, teaching how to fix an average flat should come free.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:55 PM
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Really? The LBS I frequent asked for $5 to replace a tire... the local performance asked $15. I ended up buying $5 tire levers and learned to do it myself in an hour.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:11 PM
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, teaching how to fix an average flat should come free.
The patch kit has instructions and its very simple to turn a wrench or skewer,Or is it?
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Old 05-09-08, 07:14 PM
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something more like 30 minutes, since you had to tear all the rear end stuff off and then readjust everything as you put it back on.
What kind of bike you have,one of those shaft driven bicycles?

I change my flats with the wheel on.

You've never run a business, $7 is cheap.
maybe thats why I didn't see anyone else at the bike shop.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:23 PM
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Every business charges a minimum fee.

Last edited by roadfix; 05-09-08 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:27 PM
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$7.00 is pretty cheap and about half what most shops here charge.

At our co-op we'll teach you how to do it and charge you $2.00.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:33 PM
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FWIW, I wouldn't pay seven cents. I can't imagine taking a bike to the shop for a flat tire.
If you DO do that, though, $7 seems reasonable to me. The mechanic's time, shop time, tools, overhead etc. all add up. Last time I noticed, two of our local shops wouldn't patch at all. They charged the price of a new tube plus $2, I think it was, for installation (may have gone up--that was at least three years ago). One of the owners told me if he billed what it cost to patch, it would cost more than the tube anyway.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
FWIW, I wouldn't pay seven cents. I can't imagine taking a bike to the shop for a flat tire.
If you DO do that, though, $7 seems reasonable to me. The mechanic's time, shop time, tools, overhead etc. all add up. Last time I noticed, two of our local shops wouldn't patch at all. They charged the price of a new tube plus $2, I think it was, for installation (may have gone up--that was at least three years ago). One of the owners told me if he billed what it cost to patch, it would cost more than the tube anyway.
Well, it would make sense not having to patch... You'd have to look for holes and problems, then cement and patch. Pulling out and reinserting a tube takes about 10 seconds.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mark9950 View Post
I change my flats with the wheel on.
You have got to show me this trick.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ShadowGray View Post
Well, it would make sense not having to patch... You'd have to look for holes and problems, then cement and patch. Pulling out and reinserting a tube takes about 10 seconds.
Fine. Make a video of you removing the wheel from the bike, removing the tire and tube, finding the cause of failure, removing the sharp(or sharps) replacing the tube reinflating the tire, reinstalling the tire, checking that the brake is centered and the pads don't touch the tire, checking the shifting(if it is a rear wheel, assuming it is not a coaster brake with threespeed hub)) writing up the ticket and taking the money. IN TEN SECONDS.
For that matter, just swap a tube on a loose wheel, checking to make sure all possible sharps are removed, and explaining how to do it, in ten seconds. Now post that on You Tube with a link in this thread. GO.

I have done this for a LONG time. I can do a rear wheel in under three minutes, with all of the above checked. I can do a loose wheel in under a minute, while explaining how to do it and answering questions. You are not paying for just the time taken, you are paying for the experience that allows the mechanic to do it so quickly, you are paying because you don't know how to do it, you ar paying(maybe) because you are to lazy to do it, you are paying because you did not pay for the tools to do it yourself. Most of my customers pay because they do not want to get dirty, the tire/rim combo is very tight and hard to do, or they know it will take them an hour and it is easier to have it done while they are at lunch.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
You have got to show me this trick.
Pull the tube out at the spot where it's punctured and patch it. That method, IME, is generally more trouble than it's worth except when the weather is hellish.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
I have done this for a LONG time. I can do a rear wheel in under three minutes, with all of the above checked.
The Guiness record is around a minute and a half. It used to be held by a bike mechanic from Carbondale, Illinois. I've met the fellow personally but his name excapes me. FWIW, he was a real interesting guy. The record requires riding to a pylon, removing the rear wheel, checking the inside of the tire for glass, inflating the tire with a frame pump and finally riding the bike away.

To break the world record you need a loose tire/rim combination, cheat on the inside the tire check, carry an inner tube that's already partially inflated, and be satisfied with less than normal riding air pressure. It would probably be easy to break the record using CO2 because at least half of the time involved pumping the tire.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mark9950 View Post
I went to a bike shop in my neighborhood today to look around at new bikes and I noticed his charges for repairs,I noticed that he charged $7.00 to fix a flat tire.

I thought to myself sheesh,I could buy a new tube for less than that(about $4.50),A new thornproof tube costs about $7-$10,isn't this kind of high for a 2 minuite job?I once fixed a flat for someone and charged only $1.00, of course he took the wheel and tire off and gave me the tube to fix.

When I ride 20 miles from home and 20 miles from a bike shop and I get a flat,I have to fix it myself or I have to walk a long way home.
Do you work for free?

Fix the flat yourself or pay for the service and don't complain.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
Pull the tube out at the spot where it's punctured and patch it. That method, IME, is generally more trouble than it's worth except when the weather is hellish.
That's to patch a tube, he said he changes a flat with his wheels on, which I assume means to change the tube.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
You are not paying for just the time taken, you are paying for the experience that allows the mechanic to do it so quickly,

Oh that's BULL! The one mechanic that knows his head from his buns is doing the major repairs. The guy assigned to do our flat repair is the owner's nephew only hired to sweep the floor. It's only when you get out on the road that you realize the guy didn't seat the bead correctly causing a blow out. Now you need a new tire too cause the bead is damaged.

Better to do it yourself!

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 05-09-08 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
The Guiness record is around a minute and a half. It used to be held by a bike mechanic from Carbondale, Illinois. I've met the fellow personally but his name excapes me. FWIW, he was a real interesting guy. The record requires riding to a pylon, removing the rear wheel, checking the inside of the tire for glass, inflating the tire with a frame pump and finally riding the bike away.

To break the world record you need a loose tire/rim combination, cheat on the inside the tire check, carry an inner tube that's already partially inflated, and be satisfied with less than normal riding air pressure. It would probably be easy to break the record using CO2 because at least half of the time involved pumping the tire.

My personal best, without using a repair stand or compressor(tho I did use a floor pump) is 2m:38s. Rear wheel, road bike. Timed a few years ago when there was a similar inane discussion.
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