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Craigslist Bike Tuneups?

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Craigslist Bike Tuneups?

Old 03-09-15, 05:43 PM
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nathannchang
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Craigslist Bike Tuneups?

Just wondering if anyone has had experience with craigslist bike tune ups because the extremely low prices are really enticing, and I figure it doesn't take an expert to properly adjust a bike so anyone who seems really knowledgeable can probably be trusted with a tuneup. The main thing catching my eye is the price ($15 vs $75 at my local shop). I know nothing beats learning how to do things yourself, but this would be my first tune up on a used bike and I figure it'd be better to have your bike started by someone who knows well, and then you could learn on your own.

Mobile Bicycle Repair

$25@$15Bike Tune-up and Cleaning+truing 1 hour wait
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Old 03-09-15, 05:52 PM
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rms13
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Originally Posted by nathannchang View Post
Just wondering if anyone has had experience with craigslist bike tune ups because the extremely low prices are really enticing, and I figure it doesn't take an expert to properly adjust a bike so anyone who seems really knowledgeable can probably be trusted with a tuneup. The main thing catching my eye is the price ($15 vs $75 at my local shop). I know nothing beats learning how to do things yourself, but this would be my first tune up on a used bike and I figure it'd be better to have your bike started by someone who knows well, and then you could learn on your own.

Mobile Bicycle Repair

$25@$15Bike Tune-up and Cleaning+truing 1 hour wait
Doesn't take an expert is right as in you yourself with the help of some allen wrenches and youtube videos can do it for free. Well, you really do need some sort of repair stand to properly adjust shifting.

I know a guy that has a CL repair business and does work out of his garage. He is much cheaper than shops and does good work. He's also not pretentious as most shop mechanics are and he is more than happy to have you hang out and learn while he works...in fact he encourages it. So yeah, for $15 not much to loose
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Old 03-09-15, 06:46 PM
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A tune up could be accomplished by most anyone relatively easily, if it's a newer bike. All that's needed is a few household tools and some time.

If it's an older bike, you may need a few specialized tools.

As for a repair stand, I sometimes wonder if I'm missing out, but I think my bike shifts just fine with the way it is now.
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Old 03-09-15, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvrsick View Post
A tune up could be accomplished by most anyone relatively easily, if it's a newer bike. All that's needed is a few household tools and some time.

If it's an older bike, you may need a few specialized tools.

As for a repair stand, I sometimes wonder if I'm missing out, but I think my bike shifts just fine with the way it is now.
Much easier and faster to dial in the shifting if you can continuously turn the cranks while you are adjusting barrel adjusters. Certainly can adjust shifters without a stand, heck I did it on the road the other day but it's easier and quicker on the stand
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Old 03-09-15, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Much easier and faster to dial in the shifting if you can continuously turn the cranks while you are adjusting barrel adjusters. Certainly can adjust shifters without a stand, heck I did it on the road the other day but it's easier and quicker on the stand
Ah, the convenience factor. Yeah, it sure would have been swell to have my last bike build on a stand instead of the floor.

I can say this: unless I can find the deal of a lifetime, I won't ever have a stand, personally.
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Old 03-09-15, 07:41 PM
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I'm a service adviser at a luxury brand car dealership. Before that I worked for a high volume Japanese brand. I worry every time a customer drives in and asked for a tune up and always ask for clarification as to what they are trying to get done. You'd be surprised as to the discrepancy of what people believe a tune up is. I've had people ask for a tune up when they meant a simple oil change, or spark plugs changed, or coils, or valve adjustment (for cars that still need to have valves adjusted manually) or even a diagnose for a check engine light.

The point I'm trying to make? I've seen LBS's advertise tune ups for $19.95 to $99.99 and the list of services performed where vastly different.
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Old 03-09-15, 08:37 PM
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I met a guy a couple of days ago. He had a bicycle based mobile repair shop, and was building a new cargo bike from scratch to do it. He seemed like a very eager kid. And, it isn't rocket science.

I suppose if you had a $100 bike that you wanted to get a "tune-up", find out what it involves, but a discount service is probably just fine.

On the other hand, if you have a $10,000 bike... don't be cheap and insist on a $25 repair.
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Old 03-09-15, 10:18 PM
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I guess it would depend on the particular person who is doing the advertising- could be anything from a great discount bike mechanic, to a serial killer- no way to just lump all CL tune-up ads together....

I'd be leary for $15 though- usually when something is that cheap, they are looking to sell you other services. For $15, I'm not coming to your house, tipping my hat, and leaving. Not worth it- much less to actually do any work; and for $15, I wouldn't want someone even coming into my shop and breathing my air....
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Old 03-09-15, 10:56 PM
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Hey, i'm one of the local san diego craig's list tune up guys (though not the ones you listed, that's stupid cheap but if they want to work for free then great). I work from home on the side. If you'd like a tune or would like to be instructed to do one let's see what we can work out. I have a nice home shop.

-Keven
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Old 03-09-15, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by The Pedalphile View Post
. I work from home on the side. If you'd like a tune or would like to be instructed to do one let's see what we can work out. I have a nice home shop.

-Keven
Having the name pedalphile does not intrigue people to come over to your house, personally invited from the internet. Any body else getting very weird vibes?
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Old 03-09-15, 11:50 PM
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My big concern would be insurance. I wouldn't want to lose my house because of misplaced blame.
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Old 03-10-15, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gamby View Post
My big concern would be insurance. I wouldn't want to lose my house because of misplaced blame.
Lose the house because you did a poor tune-up?

One would have to be pretty negligent to be at risk for anything more than the value of the broken part.

I suppose I could imagine a crash caused by a mis-adjusted derailleur hanger, but even with that, one would have to prove that it was the fault of the "shop" and not the owner dropping the bike on the side.

As I was browsing the local bike co-op, I did see an old Viscount frame... a bit of a blast from the past, as my first full sized bike was a Viscount. And it had an alloy fork. I think it was pretty cheap, but I don't think it would be a good frame to build up and sell... if I ever choose to "flip bikes". Too much "liability".
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Old 03-10-15, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Doesn't take an expert is right as in you yourself with the help of some allen wrenches and youtube videos can do it for free. Well, you really do need some sort of repair stand to properly adjust shifting.
I've always done my adjustments with the bike upside-down.
However, I've just bumped up to brifters (without shifting pins)... and am convinced that the front derailleur shifts better upside-down than rightside-up

One does get a nice view of the RD with it up in the air though.
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Old 03-10-15, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Bunyanderman View Post
Having the name pedalphile does not intrigue people to come over to your house, personally invited from the internet. Any body else getting very weird vibes?
No. I think it's an acceptable play on words given his side job. The word can also be found in the Urban Dictionary.
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Old 03-10-15, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Lose the house because you did a poor tune-up?

One would have to be pretty negligent to be at risk for anything more than the value of the broken part.
I bought a bike from a well-respected shop. After a few rides I brought it back for some adjustments, including an adjustment that required removal of the bars. The mechanic didn't tighten the stem face plate enough. I rode away from the shop, hit a bump on the sidewalk and the bars shot straight down. I could have easily hit my first bump while standing up in the street, gone over the bars and ended up a quad or run over by a bus.
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Old 03-10-15, 10:36 AM
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Sometimes a "tune up" involves replacing parts, especially shift cables and housings. Other times it involves much more involved work. I put the word "tune up" in quotes like that because many people pull their old bike out of the garage where it has been sitting for a year+ and when it doesn't work, they think it just needs a quick "tune up". In reality, it has siezed cables and perhaps a broken part that isn't really made anymore.

I worked for years as a mechanic in a shop in a major tourist area that had a focus on cycling. People from nearby cities would pull their bikes out once a year, pack them up and get to town and realize the bike doesn't work. Then they'd run over and ask our already slammed team to do a quick tune up. Then they would grouse when told they need all new cables and housings due to rust, that their old thumb shifter needs rebuilding or replacing, and the cost was going to exceed $100.

We had boxes upon boxes of old parts lying around to be used for rebuilds / cheap band aid work to get someone through the weekend, etc.

Do these quickie craigslist guys have these abilities?
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Old 03-10-15, 11:36 AM
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For $15, turning a barrel adjustrer, and maybe a limit screw to cure some minor chain-rubbing, would be expecting a lot.....
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Old 03-10-15, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rideBjj View Post
Do these quickie craigslist guys have these abilities?
No doubt some do, and some don't.

It is easy enough to stock a variety of parts, bearings, grease, cables, cable housings, tubes, patches, tires, and etc.

I've done quite a few "free tune-ups" for neighbor kids, usually costing me a couple of bucks for supplies like tires, tubes and etc. The biggest problem would be when they would bring in a bike missing major components, so frequently I was scrambling for parts. Frequently improvising, but the kids didn't care as long as the bike left with two tires with air in them.

Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
For $15, turning a barrel adjustrer, and maybe a limit screw to cure some minor chain-rubbing, would be expecting a lot.....
I'm not sure how it is written, but I'd anticipate $15 of labor plus extra for parts, at least any part worth over $1. Hard to throw a $50 tire in with a $15 charge.
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Old 03-10-15, 12:18 PM
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you might get lucky once, but you'll likely need help more than once. I like the reliability, trustworthiness, parts inventory and position in the industry, of the bike shop I use. I'ts also a big shop with a big crew. I don't mind paying a premium price.
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Old 03-10-15, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Lose the house because you did a poor tune-up?

One would have to be pretty negligent to be at risk for anything more than the value of the broken part.

I suppose I could imagine a crash caused by a mis-adjusted derailleur hanger, but even with that, one would have to prove that it was the fault of the "shop" and not the owner dropping the bike on the side.

As I was browsing the local bike co-op, I did see an old Viscount frame... a bit of a blast from the past, as my first full sized bike was a Viscount. And it had an alloy fork. I think it was pretty cheap, but I don't think it would be a good frame to build up and sell... if I ever choose to "flip bikes". Too much "liability".
In this sue-happy culture, if there were a way to link me to a crash, they'd find it.

I was a pro wrench for 6 years and I could definitely do this out of my garage. Having dealt with the general public in retail for 16 years, I don't trust them at all.

That said, I string tennis/squash/racquetball racquets out of my home. but there's near-zero liability there. If I broke someone's frame (which I've never done in 20 years), I'm out a max of $250. I like those odds much better.
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Old 03-10-15, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
For $15, turning a barrel adjustrer, and maybe a limit screw to cure some minor chain-rubbing, would be expecting a lot.....
As I understand it, most bike shop employees get paid about $10 an hour.
So, $15 should buy one a hour and a half worth of labor, once the shop overhead is removed from the equation.
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Old 03-10-15, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
As I understand it, most bike shop employees get paid about $10 an hour.
So, $15 should buy one a hour and a half worth of labor, once the shop overhead is removed from the equation.
Are you familiar with flat-rate pricing?
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Old 03-10-15, 07:28 PM
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As someone who has operated several variances of craigs-based and professional service businesses I will say it comes with the same caveat that any business deal will have. You are paying someone to perform a service. If you meet the person and have a red flag, adress it or cut the deal. I have had far more problems in dealing with mechanics hiding behind shop names than dealing with a local sole-proprietor who's name is on the line.

I've operated bike repair as on-site or take-home and even done the same with lawn and garden machinery. To be honest the lawn and garden set was a bit more profitable in my area because there are so many shops around. On the professional side, I fix gym equipment usually as a person with parts and tool box. Yes there is a base headquarters but I spend only about 20 percent of the time there. From what I have seen, the mobile operators are more apt to be personable and reliable because you deal one-on-one. Your experience may vary but that has been mine...
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Old 03-10-15, 07:36 PM
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Easily one of the best accessories I've ever purchased:

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Old 03-10-15, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Lose the house because you did a poor tune-up?

One would have to be pretty negligent to be at risk for anything more than the value of the broken part.

I suppose I could imagine a crash caused by a mis-adjusted derailleur hanger, but even with that, one would have to prove that it was the fault of the "shop" and not the owner dropping the bike on the side.
No, that's just it, they don't have to actually prove it, they just have to allege it and file a lawsuit. If you have something to lose and no insurance to pick up the defense, six figure attorneys fees will do you in long before the plaintiff has to prove anything.
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