For casual or serious cyclists. Know of a good ride, route or resources? Share! Want to organize a ride? Invite!
March 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm #96027
Hi All Enthusiasts!
Would love your opinion on few bike related items. How many times a year do you get your bike tuned up? Do you ususally have to leave it at the shop for a few days?
How cool and convenient would it be if a bike shop either picked up your bike at your home or office and returned it a day later completely tuned up and/or repaired? All of these services could be scheduled online. Would you be willing to pay a little more than what you are paying now for this service?
The reason for the inquisition is every year I get frustrated about the lack of timely bike services in the DC area. There seems to be too much demand and not enough supply. Anyhow, I know a few bike mechanics who are always kicking these ideas around to start a customer first bike business.
If you don’t mind, I’d love some feedback.
March 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm #96035
Doug, I either do my own maintenance or check it in at Spokes in VA about twice a year. I do about 4-5000 miles a year. As a big guy, I torque my parts like crazy. I’ve broken carbon. So I check my bike quite a bit, but also get my shop to make sure my parts are clean, lubed and safe. Depending on the time of year, like now, it will take a few days. Early winter, it was about two hours as I sat and talked with the guys and shopped around the store. Everyone is different, however. I can build up a bike and know that it is safe to ride. Others are still getting the lefty loosely, righty tighty reminder wrong. Their shop skill might not up to par. Everyone’s riding habit is different as well. You have to take that into account. I know racers that take it to their mechanics once a week. I know some casual riders that do it once a year.
See: See http://www.videojug.com/interview/bicycle-maintenance-2
Regarding getting it dropped off and picked up… OH YEAH I would pay to have that done. But few will do this because shop owners don’t make money on the repair, or on the purchase of the bike. They make money on accessories. And they need you to come into the store and see the wonderful toys. The in-store shop allows for that. Remember my two hour shopping I just talked about? I bought stuff I likely didn’t need. Just like most Department stores do, bike shops put small, old, less profitable items on sale so that you come into the store or go to the website and see the bigger more profitable items. While you are there you might pick up something else. Free give aways are never free.
While I would love to find a customer driven bike shop, the cost of owning a shop dictates that you have to get people into the store to buy helmets and bike lights. Rarely do they make money on the bike, and hardly do they make money on the repairs and warrantees. If indeed you find nirvana, please let me in on the secret bike shop there.
March 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm #96033
Thanks John…..I appreciate your feedback and when I find Nirvana you will be the first to know!
March 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm #96031
Here is an interesting article on maintanance.
May 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm #96029
LOL, I am thinking about starting a mobile bike maintenance and repair business when I retire, working out of van or small truck! I have seen those in places like Portland, but I don’t know if any businesses like that are in the DC area.
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