Another LBS disappearing from the circuit.

I suspect many don’t bother and end up ditching the bike when it inevitably fails completely.

I regularly came across the same chap slowly riding up a hill in town as every time he put down any real power his chain would slip. I offered advice / help on more than one occasion which he declined.

I’ve seen him again, but not the bike, on several occasions more recently so suspect the bike eventually gave up on him.
It such a shame. Glad that you made that offer at least.
 
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nickyboy

Norven Mankey
A lot of people have just got more money than sense these days, which was rare in the heyday of utility cyling because very few people had much in the way of spare cash.
Going OT a bit, take dog walking for example. Up until recently, if you had a dog, you damn well walked it yourself - and if you lacked the time then you didn't keep animals. Now you've got owners who have animals but are too sodding lazy to excercise them, so they pay someone else to do it for them. Anyone doing that 50 or 60 years ago would have been a prime candidate for a spell in the local loony bin.
Lots of people have money but no time. It's not that they're lazy, they just take the view they would rather pay someone to walk the dog for 2 hours rather than have to take 2 hours out of their day to do it. So they get the nice quality time with dog at home but don't have to go out at 8pm when they get in from work

So it's not more money than sense. They just have more money than time
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I hope my LBS keeps going, but I'm not an ideal customer.

They do awkward jobs on my bike that are a PITA and I'm not confident I'd do them right anyway, like replacing headset bearings or BBs. But all the easy (and probably higher profit margin) things like replacing chains, brake cables and pads, or tyres and stuff I do myself. And I buy precious little stuff from them, I get it on line.

I did buy my Brompton from them, but that was years ago.
 
Good morning,

What's our ethos? People before profit. Simple.

Remember the National Living Wage for over 23s is £9.50/hour,

The Service (https://www.brixtoncycles.co.uk/bike-servicing/) price list seems comparable to other shops who have been abused a bit on this site for charging a lot as I could do that in not very many minutes. :-)

Looking at the £40 tune up and the £80 general service which seems to be particularly bad value, I am confused by the apparent duplication of gear and brakes, whilst the big £145 Senior Service might almost see me off to Halfords to buy a whole new bike.

So the general service is well over a full day's work for someone doing a 40 hour week on NLW which suggests that it is a place where reality has set in with labour prices seemingly based around £40-£50/hour or 4-5 times NLW.

For an 18-20 year old on Minimum Wage of £6.83/hour an £80 general service is nearly 12 hours work, or a day and a half.

Hardware fitting also comes in at a lot if you look at it in NLW terms

Fit rack: £15.00 or 1 1/2 hours at NLW,
Fit bartape: £15.00 or 1 1/2 hours at NLW
Fit mudguards: £20.00 or 2 hours at NLW
Fit computer: £15.00 or 1 1/2 hours at NLW

A reasonable shop on the edge of Worcester town centre where a similar service could be offered would be in the order of £30k-£60k p.a. for rent and rates, ouch, so I get where the shop's prices come from.

If you take home £500 plus a week then these numbers are fairly small, but they are a long way from keeping basic bikes on the road as you can see why many people are reluctant to pay "how much?"

Bye

Ian
 
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GuyBoden

Veteran
Location
Warrington
Sad news that Richard Freeman of Freeman's Cycles in Norwich has made the decision to retire at the end of the year after a lifetime in the trade. :sad: Don't blame hm at all; at 66, he's decided to hang up the spoke keys and enjoy his time left. :okay: He's fifth generation of the family in the business and there's no longer anyone in the family to hand the business over to. Such a shame, as his is a delightfully quirky little shop the like of which is now extremely rare and his vast knowledge of bikes more than ten years old plus their techno history will also be sadly missed.

I bought a vintage NOS Shimano friction shifter from Freeman's cycles of Norwich last year, they seemed to be doing well according to their website, so yes, maybe they just want to retired and enjoy life more.

Website quote:
"It has been a manic couple of months at Freemans Cycles!
We are still accepting orders online, serving at the door instore and we are booking in repairs in the workshop."

Their NOS Shimano Friction shifters at £16+pp are a good deal for a vintage component.
https://www.freemanscycles.co.uk/ca...e-on-down-tube-shifters-sl-a452/category/351/
 
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rogerzilla

Legendary Member
Knock off 20% for VAT, a large amount for London rent and business rates, employer's NI, utility bills, insurance (no doubt sky-high), depreciation on expensive shop tools...it's surprising they can do it for the price.

The problem isn't that shops are gouging; it's that the whole concept of paying anyone to do anything in the UK is a very expensive one. We live in an expensive developed country,not India where you can indeed toss a puncture-wallah at the roadside a couple of rupees to fix up your bike. We buy bikes cheaply because they're made in Vietnam or China, but we pay UK rates to get them fixed.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I recently paid my LBS…
£10 to fit two new tyres and tubes. I got half way with one and gave up as it was causing hand pain and not getting any where…so I supplied the parts (their minimum labour charge). I’d already removed 4 tyres and refitted two that evening and had had enough!

£15 to fit full length fixed mudguards…where I supplied the parts. Not a job I would ever attempt, I have no tools for cutting metal for starters.

£23 to supply and fit new pedals as the old ones were knackered (they removed those too which wasn’t easy)

All 3 fees were an absolute bargain for me, and I’d do every time. In fact, I doubt I’ll bother wrestling with new tyres again if it’s going to only be a tenner.

I believe their hourly labour charge is around £50.

A good LBS is a very fine thing!
 
Good afternoon,
....., you do realise that all that cash doesnt go straight into the ar5e pocket of the business owner, they do have many overheads.
I may not have been as clear as I hoped.

For example For an 18-20 year old on Minimum Wage of £6.83/hour an £80 general service is nearly 12 hours work, or a day and a half. was intended to
illustrate that a 19 year old customer would have to work at his job for a day and a half to pay for the service on his bicycle.

Bye

Ian
 

vickster

Legendary Member
There aren't many 18-20 year olds on bikes around here...mostly on electric scooters or motor scooters (or working for Deliveroo on a derestricted e-bike!)
Probably have their wage subbed by their parents
 

GuyBoden

Veteran
Location
Warrington
Sad news that Richard Freeman of Freeman's Cycles in Norwich has made the decision to retire at the end of the year after a lifetime in the trade. :sad: Don't blame hm at all; at 66, he's decided to hang up the spoke keys and enjoy his time left. :okay: He's fifth generation of the family in the business and there's no longer anyone in the family to hand the business over to. Such a shame, as his is a delightfully quirky little shop the like of which is now extremely rare and his vast knowledge of bikes more than ten years old plus their techno history will also be sadly missed.
Freeman's currently have a nice vintage set of very rare NOS Suntour Milax gear shifters for £30+pp.
https://www.freemanscycles.co.uk/ca...on-gear-shifter-levers-clamp-on/category/359/
Info: Suntour Milax gear Shifters automatically adjusted the front dérailleur, so it didn't rub on the chain when changing rear gears, this was back in the 1980's.
 
OP
S

simongt

Veteran
Location
Norwich
Any others of note?
Richard suggested Andy of AP Cycles, who certainly knows his stuff, although he always seems overworked and very stressed - !
And also Borwell Cycles, another independent of some years standing. Nearer than Freeman's but I've been such a long standing customer of Richard and Ray, his dad before him, I've not used Borwell's in some time.
 
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