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How much should I be paying...

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by braindeer, 5 May 2008.

  1. braindeer

    braindeer New Member

    ...to have my gears tuned and my back brakes fixed?

    I have a fairly old racing style bike, I guess from the 1970s-80s which I bought second hand a couple of years ago. I was using it regularly until I moved house last summer, but as I now live in the city I haven't been using it. Last week I got it out to go for a ride round the park and realised the gears are all out of tune and the back brake has become detached, so I took it into the nearest cycle repair shop. The guy in there told me it would cost me £15-20 to fix it. Is that a fair amount? I've never had to get anything fixed before so I have no idea how much is a reasonable charge!

    Thanks for any advice/opinions! :biggrin:
     
  2. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Location:
    Suffolk.
    £ 15 to £ 20 in total ?? Seems a fair price for the labour involved for what is a relative easy job to do.

    Alternatively if you have the tools then get a decent book and have a go yourself. Much more satisfying :biggrin:
     
  3. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    Yeh - it's probably pretty reasonable...given that it may take a bit of time depending upon the condition of the machine. If it took then 2 seconds, then they will probably charge you a lot less..

    My mate asked me (after a few pints) on Friday if I'd sort one of his brakes - not pulling evenly..... fine - a few minutes and a pint !!!
     
  4. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk
    I'd invest the 20 quid in a few tools, borrow a maintenance book from the library and do it myself. You'll learn more and feel more confident.

    bear in mind that if the bike is as you've described, it may well need new chain, sprockets, cables etc - lots more the 20 quid.
     
  5. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Nothing! Do it yerself yer idle layabout! Seriously tho', as others have said, it's quite satisfying doing stuff yourself, and not difficult. Bikes make sense (unlike, say, cars or DVD players). Useful sites include Sheldonbrown.com, parktools.com and bicycletutor.com. Having said all of which, if you'd feel happier having someone else do it, the kind of money you've been quoted sounds very reasonable.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    braindeer

    braindeer New Member

    Thanks for all the advice! xx(

    The guy in the shop said the bike was in pretty good condition and wouldn't need anything else doing to it (I took it in to show him before I booked it in to be fixed) so hopefully it won't need new chains and such.

    I'll have a look at the websites you suggested and see if I think I could do it myself. If not, I'll go ahead and take it in to be fixed by a pro-feshunal!
     
  7. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    That seems a reasonable price to me, but if you want to have ago your self try Sheldon Brown and Park Tools as starting points. There is another good one which has videos, but I can remember what it is called, there will be someone along soon to recommend it...
     
  8. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Location:
    Suffolk.
    This one

    http://bicycletutor.com/
     
  9. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Location:
    Behind a desk

    Just want to chip in again.

    Just because someone is working in an LBS doesn't mean that he will be a pro-feshunal, or give a toss about your bike or your safety, or do the job properly.

    I don't know your LBS, and they're probably great guys and real enthusiasts. Many shops though are staffed by underpaid, undertrained and undermotivated piercing kiddies with tattoos for brains. I know LBS where I wouldn't trust the staff with a box of matches.

    Your bike may be your pride and joy, or it may be a crucial part of your work day. In any event, it needs to be able to keep you safe when that bus does a stupid overtake, or someone pulls out suddenly. The best way to make sure is to do the work yourself, properly, or to find someone that you trust - ask around, trust your instinct, check their work, hang around a bit to check the place out.

    Sorry to sound pompous, but it's important.
     
  10. giant man

    giant man New Member

    Location:
    Essex innit?
    I second these comments, absolutely and definitely. Damn good advice.
     
  11. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Location:
    Suffolk.
    And if you have a look at the top of the beginners section there is a thread entitled "LBS recommendations" Hopefully there is one in your area that someone has recommended.
     
  12. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
  13. OP
    OP
    braindeer

    braindeer New Member

    Thanks again for the advice. I checked the LBS list and the place I went to is on it, so I feel confident taking my bike in. While I appreciate that perhaps the guy in the shop will be less interested in my bike's health than I am, I'm 100% convinced that he will know more than I do, because I honestly know nothing about bikes! However - I am visiting my parents this week so I'll take some pictures of the bike with me and see if my dad can give me some tips on fixing it. If he thinks I could do it myself then I'll give it a shot.