How Busy is your LBS?

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Mattsaw
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby Mattsaw » Fri Jul 12, 2019 05:55 am

Mine is excellent - London Cycle Workshop.

They're always busy, there is seldom a time I go in and there aren't 2-3 other customers waiting.

I'll always drop the bike in early in the day, usually with emergency work or for a unbooked service. I'll head off to the office and they'll call before 3pm when the work is done.

The only time they haven't been able to complete the work same day is when they haven't had obscure parts in stock.

The work is good quality then they have good mechanics and shop management who seem to stick around.
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essex-commuter
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby essex-commuter » Fri Jul 12, 2019 09:13 am

It will be a week tomorrow, haven't heard anything yet. As I said I have another bike that I've been using all week so I'm not going to contact the shop, I'm going to let them contact me as I'm genuinely interested to see when it will be.

Out of interest they charge £15 for a simple true and £25 for a 'full true'. Probably a bit more than some I would think but I would imagine that is driven by them being in a High Street of a fairly affluent town with their overheads being higher than average. Or maybe that is the going rate nowadays?
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Tashman
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby Tashman » Fri Jul 12, 2019 09:16 am

My LBS closed earlier this year, but has set up as a mobile business who will collect and deliver. Always been great service

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Chris Bass
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby Chris Bass » Fri Jul 12, 2019 14:51 pm

potentially a bit late now but if you had another bike could you not have just left the wheel with them and used the wheel from your other bike?
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thecycleclinic
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby thecycleclinic » Fri Jul 12, 2019 23:20 pm

Essex commuter

A true may take time to do. The 6 wheels dropped of to me for trying are a case in point. The first set is a pair on hed jet tubulars I think. 90mm deep rear and shallower but still deep front. The tension is absurdly low like 200N for the front wheel so these wheels require tensioning properly. I'll be charging £20 per wheel for this. I have not even started on the other other 4 yet. So your ships prices are not out of order.

If its still there next week then that's taking a bit too long. For all we know there wheel guy or girl is off sick.
Last edited by thecycleclinic on Sun Jul 14, 2019 20:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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essex-commuter
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby essex-commuter » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:53 am

Chris Bass wrote:potentially a bit late now but if you had another bike could you not have just left the wheel with them and used the wheel from your other bike?


My dry bike (the one with the wheel that needed truing) is Shimano 2 x 11 with rim brakes, my 'wet' bike is Sram 1 x 11 with hydraulics.

And just to round it up, the bike that I race on is Campag :lol:
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essex-commuter
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby essex-commuter » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:54 am

thecycleclinic wrote:Essex commuter

A true may take ti.e to do. The 6 wheels dropped of to me for trying are a case in point. The first set is a pair on hed jet tubulars I think. 90mm deep rear and shallower but still deep front. The tension is absurdly low like 200N for the front wheel so these wheels require tensioning properly. I'll be charging £20 per wheel for this. I have not even started on the other other 4 yet. So your ships prices are not out of order.

If they still ha e ir next week then that's taking a bit too long. For we k know there wheel guy or girl is off sick.


No I didn't think they were too badly priced to be honest, a shops got to make money!

Called in the shop while I was out for a ride this morning, asked if by any chance it had been done, the mechanic said he hadn't had time yet.
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Mouth
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby Mouth » Sun Jul 14, 2019 05:49 am

Sadly I usually just go back to Halfords - last bike was a Carrera, this one a Boardman. Been back three times in two years for 2x broken spokes and a service plan. Last broken spoke was a rear, so cassette off. Dropped it off on Saturday lunch and was ready Monday a.m. Their opening hours are far more compliant and its just as close as the racing focused LBS - they sell lots of track and tri bikes as well as Pinarello, Orbea, Kinesis. I'm sure my cash is welcome there, but basically I haven't spent a penny in Halfords yet. I know its not the right attitude really but I'm skint atm. Having read this thread I might just look at becoming a bike mechanic tho.
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thecycleclinic
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby thecycleclinic » Sun Jul 14, 2019 20:06 pm

If you become a bike mechanic you still be skint.
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jspash
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby jspash » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:30 am

My old LBS was awesome, but I now work from home and it no longer makes sense to take my bike into central London for small repairs. The best I have now is a Giant store, and they are total rubbish. They replaced an entire drive train, took about 3 weeks, and less than a week of riding the chain snapped. Going downhill! I've never broken a chain on a geared bike in my life. So how they managed to fit it so badly is beyond me. It's a simple chain!

Anyhow, shout out to CycleLab on Pitfield St. near Old St. Good coffee too!

greenamex2
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby greenamex2 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:23 am

Mine closed. Didn't use them anyway because I wasn't happy with the staff there. Go to one of two in the next town.

The usual one is pretty busy but very much a one man band. Also doesn't sell much, neither new bikes nor accessories. Now branching out into renting out "service bays". Seems to be keeping going.

The other place is currently trying to expand. Seem busy at the moment but certainly a risk.

Thigh_burn
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby Thigh_burn » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:35 am

Mine isn't very busy at all. Not helped by a miserable sod who owns it and a failure to respond with the times. I only buy small consumables from there. I don't bother getting them to do servicing having heard some horror stories from experienced friends. I'm not in retail, but it feels like a real missed opportunity. The shop is located on a road that is used by lots of riding commuters and enthusiasts. Local cafes teem with cyclists.

However, I do go to Luna Cycles for servicing. They're brilliant and appear busy. You do need to book the bike in but I'm fine with that. I find it reassuring as it means they've got lots on.

I'm also a big fan of Swift Cycles in the City. They're always welcoming, happy to chat bikes and a good selection of gear. Interestingly, they're upgrading the shop in terms of new bike brands, but focusing on the top end of the market. They're also going all disc.

keef66
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby keef66 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:55 am

Thigh_burn wrote:Mine isn't very busy at all. Not helped by a miserable sod who owns it and a failure to respond with the times. I only buy small consumables from there. I don't bother getting them to do servicing having heard some horror stories from experienced friends. I'm not in retail, but it feels like a real missed opportunity. The shop is located on a road that is used by lots of riding commuters and enthusiasts. Local cafes teem with cyclists.


That was my LBS 10 years ago. Came as no surprise when it went bust. The cafe round the corner is overrun by cyclists at the weekend. Definitely a missed opportunity.

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prawny
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby prawny » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:24 pm

Since I've started mopeding to work I've noticed how cheap the labour at bike shops is.

I saw a bike for sale at the weekend and it had a picture of a recent receipt for an oil change where they were charged £100 labour PLUS consumables. I did my own oil change at the weekend, it was waaaay easier to do than true a wheel, the longest part of it was waiting for the old oil to drain fully, and I had a cuppa when that was happening. At the same sort of pay scale a trued wheel should cost about £200.

TLDR, I think bike shops should charge a bit more for labour on the technical jobs and focus on them, maybe charge an idiot tax on the simple ones, so that it's worth working as a bike mechanic. I'd love to, but there's no change I could afford to live.
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keef66
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby keef66 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:31 pm

£100 plus to do an oil change on a moped?? Have I just woken from a 15 year medically induced coma?

I need to set up a business pronto specialising in moped oil changes and nothing else!

TGOTB
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby TGOTB » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:51 pm

prawny wrote:TLDR, I think bike shops should charge a bit more for labour on the technical jobs and focus on them, maybe charge an idiot tax on the simple ones, so that it's worth working as a bike mechanic. I'd love to, but there's no change I could afford to live.

I think one issue with that is what that would do to the cost of maintenance relative to the value of the bike. I suspect that a lot of the LBS mechanics' bread and butter work is doing simple jobs on cheap bikes (which we all know is harder than doing the same job on a decent bike). So someone turns up on a Halfords Special complaining that their bike's making a "funny noise", and it turns out that the wheel rim is rubbing on the brake pads because it's out of true. The poor mechanic can either do their best to true it up (assuming the rims's ok and nipples aren't seized), put new pads in, and charge (say) 30 quid, or quote for a proper job, which may cost a significant proportion of the bike's actual value, at which point the owner will decide the "funny noise" is a problem they'll happily live with.

Motor vehicles are less prone to this because they're an order of magnitude more expensive (meaning maintenance costs a smaller proportion of the overall value of the vehicle) and they have to pass MOT tests (meaning that a lot of maintenance can't be ignored). It seems to be pretty common practice for people to drive around in motor vehicles that they suspect/know won't pass an MOT, with the explicit intention of either leaving the work as late as possible, or selling/scrapping the vehicle when the MOT runs out.
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby Long Time Lurker » Wed Jul 17, 2019 14:30 pm

Not very busy but to look at the shop you would think that they are run off their feet.
They are great people to chat about bikes and riding in general, but are awful businessmen.
They are supposed to be open at 10, but I know that in reality you will be lucky to see them until 11.
Likewise if I want to pop in, I know there is a chance that there will be a hastily scrawled note on the window to say that they are closed for the day (as they will be out riding).
Wanted to convert my bike from a 2x11 to a single-ring - they measured up, priced it up and then lost the details.
Went back in did it all over again - and then they lost those details too.
Dread to think how much business they have lost.
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awavey
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby awavey » Wed Jul 17, 2019 23:30 pm

difficult to judge really, I know if I tried to book even a small service at the best (and best is best of a bad bunch imo) of the LBSs near me, it would be at least a week/week & half before they could fit it in,and it would then take another week to do, but the place never feels like its a hive of activity, and they dont really go out of their way to promote their service side, they dont even print any prices even in the shop, even though they employ a full time mechanic, it just feels like they are very much interested in selling you new bikes, but thats about it as far as their interest as an LBS in you goes, and they take on enough stuff to keep the servicing side ticking over, though sometimes I get the feeling they spend most of their time building up new bikes instead of fixing old ones so much.

but the fact there are at least 3 or 4 one man band style mobile service bike mechanics locally who offer the same servicing, will pick your bike up usually on the day and get it back to you within a week, tells me theres a market for that stuff the LBS's arent serving, but whether thats profitable enough in the way a plumber/builder/handyman style job is or the work they do is to decent standard I dont know

and tbh Im not about to find out as although they dont always do quite what I ask them, I trust the LBS alot more than just random guy who has put his mobile phone number on an advert in the local shops asking for bike maintenance work.

JakeJ
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby JakeJ » Thu Jul 18, 2019 14:21 pm

I have two lbs near me.

Late last week my gears just started to show signs of getting a bit sloppy and I know my brake pads are near worn, usually something you can ignore for a while, but I'm taking my bike away on holiday from Friday & want it 100%.

I phoned up the shop I usually go in and talk to to book in an emergency service, they said that they can't even look at it until Monday week, after calling the second shop, I dropped it in yesterday & I'm just waiting for the call this afternoon to tell me that it's ready to pick up.

I think it's a mix of obviously the first shop is busier, but also thinking that they're a bit expendable if that's the right phrase?
The second shop I called that is doing the work doesn't have quite the same clientele so may have pushed me up the list just to try & gain a bit of loyalty & I guess it's worked because next time I need something, this shop will be the 1st shop I call.

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SecretSam
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Re: How Busy is your LBS?

Postby SecretSam » Mon Jul 22, 2019 08:55 am

Mine's closed down. Crummy mechanics, arrogant owner.
Now use a small set up nearby who focus on mechanical stuff and hire bikes. Friendly, reliable, efficient - and busy. Very pleased (OTEC in Halton, nr Wendover)
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