LBS Bike servicing honesty

bill_gates
bill_gates Posts: 469
edited May 2014 in Road general
Is it the general idea with bike shops that they try to get you for profit on required components when your bike is being serviced? i.e it was fabled that when a car would go to a garage you usually came out with a larger bill than expected as you would 'need' everything changed!

Just enquiring if most LBS have this general tact? I regularly look after my kit in a fairly OCD fashion but a routine service today came back that more items than I expected need replaced.


"I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
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Comments

  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Depends on the shop, but I wouldn't put it past many of them.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Loads of them do it, so learn how to service your own bikes (or at least be able to determine the parts needed so you can take them in with you if you think you're going somewhere where they will fleece you).
  • bill_gates
    bill_gates Posts: 469
    There is some items I am not too bad at but what I thought would be a complimentary routine service turned into a fair cost in parts needed and most of them not at prices comparable to what could be purchased elsewhere.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Bill Gates wrote:
    There is some items I am not too bad at but what I thought would be a complimentary routine service turned into a fair cost in parts needed and most of them not at prices comparable to what could be purchased elsewhere.
    mfin wrote:
    Loads of them do it, so learn how to service your own bikes (or at least be able to determine the parts needed so you can take them in with you if you think you're going somewhere where they will fleece you).
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    If you give the impression you know what you are talking about and are confident it is unlikely you will be ripped off. Do a little research and learning how to maintain your own bike really helps.
  • MartinB2444
    MartinB2444 Posts: 266
    I get Igloo in Chesterfield to sort out my bike and this is the last thing they would do. It would defeat the whole purpose of using your LBS which is based around trust, good service and a natter over a coffee.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    It's not really about whether they are being honest or not, simply their business model. They have to replace things like brake cables because they can't guarantee the integrity of the cable without removing it - I only replace cables when needed and rears get recycled on the fronts. I've only got myself to blame if I screw-up whereas if a shop messes-up a service and the rider has accident it could get expensive - their insurance is fitting new parts, unfortunately at the expense of the customer.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Bill Gates wrote:
    There is some items I am not too bad at but what I thought would be a complimentary routine service turned into a fair cost in parts needed and most of them not at prices comparable to what could be purchased elsewhere.

    If their servicing is complimentary then it's no wonder they charge you more for parts!
  • bill_gates
    bill_gates Posts: 469
    It was offered as 'complimentary' as the original bike purchase included a couple of services with 6 months intervals.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    What are they suggesting needing servicing ?

    I don't think I've ever replaced a road brake or gear cable unless I've swapped componenents over to a new bike.
  • bad_ash
    bad_ash Posts: 47
    Bill Gates wrote:
    It was offered as 'complimentary' as the original bike purchase included a couple of services with 6 months intervals.

    Out of interest what have they said needs(/needed) replacing?
  • bill_gates
    bill_gates Posts: 469
    Chain, cassette, jockey wheels, cables.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,243
    Bill Gates wrote:
    Chain, cassette, jockey wheels, cables.

    Sounds like the standard stuff they can get off you without being proven wrong. You can tell a used brake pad from a good one, but with chains and cables it's harder to prove they are wrong. Most of the times they are, as smooth cables don't need replacing, chains where you don't see light between them and the chainring are still good and cassettes that don't give you shifting grief have still mileage to cover.

    I find most shops frustrating. I recently went in my local to have a crown race fitted, as I don't have a tool for 1.5 inch steerers. The job was done OK and in reasonable time... £ 12.50 was on the steep side for the 3 minutes it takes to bang a ring on a pipe, but not enough to make me burst in rage. I then saw a few bikes with Hutchinson tyres and tried to chat them up about tubeless... they obviously ignored the existence and told me they were clinchers, not tubulars... I left the topic there, as there was clearly not much to talk about... :roll:
    left the forum March 2023
  • ic.
    ic. Posts: 769
    How long have you had it and how many miles covered do you think?
    2020 Reilly Spectre - raw titanium
    2020 Merida Reacto Disc Ltd - black on black
    2015 CAAD8 105 - very green - stripped to turbo bike
    2018 Planet X Exocet 2 - grey

    The departed:

    2017 Cervelo R3 DI2 - sold
    Boardman CX Team - sold
    Cannondale Synapse - broken
    Cube Streamer - stolen
    Boardman Road Comp - stolen
  • bill_gates
    bill_gates Posts: 469
    1 year old and unlikely to have covered more than 1.5k


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • me-109
    me-109 Posts: 1,915
    Unlikely it needed any of those unless the chain was excessively rusted and the cables frayed or sticking.
  • me-109
    me-109 Posts: 1,915
    Kajjal wrote:
    If you give the impression you know what you are talking about and are confident it is unlikely you will be ripped off.
    Although you have taken a bike in for a service … :roll:
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    It is always sensible to clarify expectatinos on both sides.

    Tell them your bike has done 1,500 miles and you don't expect anything will need replacing (chain should last 3,000 miles or so, and a cassette about 3 chains). They can then clarify their service policy e.g. a "full" service might include replacement of cables as a matter of course, which are charged at cost. You can then decide whether you want a "full" or "partial" service. Ask them what they expect the total bill to be (parts + labour + VAT) and if anything unforeseen crops up, they should call you.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
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  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    My first chain lasted 1k miles - unfortunately I hadn't looked after it, it spoilt the cassette too. So had both replaced ...
    1.5k miles is not a lot, but it depends what conditions those rides are in - wet and gungy = more frequent replacement, especially if it's not been cleaned much inbetween times.
  • iron-clover
    iron-clover Posts: 737
    Yes, I would expect to have to pay the RRP for any parts that the LBS fit during servicing. You *might* be able to ask them to fit something you've bought cheaper elsewhere but requires the correct training/ tools to do (such as press fit BBs or headsets) but they have every right to refuse. I've learned to service every part of the bike now and the only things I avoid are installing/ removing press fit shells and building wheels as I know these can go badly wrong if you make a mistake, this saves an awful lot of money in the long run and is also quite satisfying :)

    As with anywhere, some shops probably would 'take you for a ride' so to speak, but from experience I'd have said most are similar to each other and very fair, and one I know goes above and beyond. If you speak to others and ask about their experiences you'll get a good idea of where is safest to go.

    Unfortunately there are a few that look good on the surface but turn out to be either slightly rogue or incompetent- I've had a really bad experience with the latter when I needed one spoke replacing on a handbuilt wheel which ended up being a total rebuild from the hub drive out after they'd seen to it... This shop did admittedly have a couple of not so good reviews, but I never thought something so simple could go as wrong as it did!
  • ic.
    ic. Posts: 769
    Have they fitted them and then billed you, or called to say "you need these parts, it's gonna be this much..." ??

    If they have fitted then charged without checking I would be mighty annoyed and throwing things around the shop.

    If they've called to advise they need doing and are seeking permission I'd be politely declining and going elsewhere for a 2nd opinion (Post photos on here will do)

    If they are saying jockey wheels need replacing, consider this: my brother has a CAAD7. It's covered in the region of 50,000m and he has only just replaced the jockey wheels. And it's his winter bike these days.

    They looked like this (old ones compared to new):
    jockeywheels.jpg

    But to be honest, they still ran fine. We replaced them because they looked daft more than anything else
    2020 Reilly Spectre - raw titanium
    2020 Merida Reacto Disc Ltd - black on black
    2015 CAAD8 105 - very green - stripped to turbo bike
    2018 Planet X Exocet 2 - grey

    The departed:

    2017 Cervelo R3 DI2 - sold
    Boardman CX Team - sold
    Cannondale Synapse - broken
    Cube Streamer - stolen
    Boardman Road Comp - stolen
  • bill_gates
    bill_gates Posts: 469
    Without sounding all vtech on the matter, the overall cost is not too much of an issue (for cycling being my main hobby) and initially I didn't mind paying the LBS to support them as I have enjoyed my experience since I purchased the bike. I just don't like dishonest practices such as saying something is needed when it is not. I'm going through with whatever they have suggested the bike needs, it'll give me security should anything go wrong on this occasion.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,243
    IC. wrote:
    Have they fitted them and then billed you, or called to say "you need these parts, it's gonna be this much..." ??

    If they have fitted then charged without checking I would be mighty annoyed and throwing things around the shop.

    If they've called to advise they need doing and are seeking permission I'd be politely declining and going elsewhere for a 2nd opinion (Post photos on here will do)

    If they are saying jockey wheels need replacing, consider this: my brother has a CAAD7. It's covered in the region of 50,000m and he has only just replaced the jockey wheels. And it's his winter bike these days.

    They looked like this (old ones compared to new):
    jockeywheels.jpg

    But to be honest, they still ran fine. We replaced them because they looked daft more than anything else

    I hope you kept the bushings... they do still look good
    left the forum March 2023
  • I would agree that most bike shops use the terrible sale patter of " your bike rubbish, it has been ridden and is dirty, everything must be replaced "

    Saying this there are some great shops out there, shorter rochford I'll mention again being one.
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
    http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Chain and cassette after 1,500 miles? Tell them to where to go. I do 5,000 milesish on every chain on my winter bike, which I treat like crap.
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    With cassette & chainring tooth wear it seems a grey area. One persons slightly worn seems to be annothers worn out & needs replacing.

    As for break & gear cables mine seem to just last nearly forever, as in some on my bike are over a decade old.

    Another thing is if you do get a LBS to do service always check whole bike over to make sure its safe to ride as some can't be trusted to do very simple jobs.

    Learnt from looking at a bike somone I know had a full bike "service" for £80.

    Tyres were flat when it returned & it turned out the old original inner tubes had perished, brake pads were not replaced & had worn right down, basically i think they hadn't done anything useful to it, apart from new cables when there was nothing wrong with the original ones.

    Some times I wonder what do the LBS's do with all the old bike components they replace that don't really need replacing seems a waste if a load of nearly new parts all get binned?
  • angry_bird
    angry_bird Posts: 3,786
    Saying this there are some great shops out there, shorter rochford I'll mention again being one.

    I remember their PB shop wanting to charge me £20 for 2m of bog standard outer gear cable.
  • bill_gates
    bill_gates Posts: 469
    I've asked for the older part(s) back which I expect can still have some miles on another bike within the fleet.


    "I like riding in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar."
  • Bill Gates wrote:
    Chain, cassette, jockey wheels, cables.

    Sounds like the standard stuff they can get off you without being proven wrong. You can tell a used brake pad from a good one, but with chains and cables it's harder to prove they are wrong. Most of the times they are, as smooth cables don't need replacing, chains where you don't see light between them and the chainring are still good and cassettes that don't give you shifting grief have still mileage to cover.

    I find most shops frustrating. I recently went in my local to have a crown race fitted, as I don't have a tool for 1.5 inch steerers. The job was done OK and in reasonable time... £ 12.50 was on the steep side for the 3 minutes it takes to bang a ring on a pipe, but not enough to make me burst in rage. I then saw a few bikes with Hutchinson tyres and tried to chat them up about tubeless... they obviously ignored the existence and told me they were clinchers, not tubulars... I left the topic there, as there was clearly not much to talk about... :roll:

    Hahaha! This last bit just echoes my thread about knowledge! I once had to pay £16 to have 2 inches taken off my steerer tube. That did make me mad, especially as it only takes a minute at most.
  • onemoresolo
    onemoresolo Posts: 372
    I remember taking my OH's bike to the LBS because it was making a grinding noise under load.

    "You need a new chain, cassette and chainrings"
    "But it's got less than 1000 miles on it"
    "That's what it is"

    I chose not to take them up on that offer and worked out it was the freehub bearings...