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Should I buy a tune-up package(8 posts)

Should I buy a tune-up packageRandyMH
Jun 29, 2001 8:28 AM
I just wanted some feed back on if I should pay an extra $75.00 for a 2 year service package. My LBS will work with me until the bike is properly fitted and everything is in working order. I am a hobbist by nature, meaning that when I get my bike home habit will take over and I will probably learn everything there is to know about my bike and how it works. I don't mind servicing it myself. However, I not sure if there are things a shop will do that I can not do at home.
Have a great weekend riding!!
Randy

P.S. How often do you AVERAGE riders tune up your bike?
re: Should I buy a tune-up packageHaiku d'état
Jun 29, 2001 8:38 AM
zinn and the art of road bike maintenance = $20
third hand brake tool = $20
cable & housing cutter = $20
can of lemon pledge = $3
gallon of citrus degreaser = $8
old t-shirt as cleaning rags = free
elbow grease = free
one time investment in tools and experience = ongoing value to you and your riding buddies.

(total $71-ish, one-time investment, versus your $75 deal plus $35-$50 each time after expiration)

DIY, enlist the LBS for stuff that's too complex or whatever.

truing stand=$70
spoke wrench=$5

versus

LBS wheel true=$24, how many times?

if you're a "tinkerer", there's nothing better than and old bike. i was never the manual/tinkering type 'til i got hold of some older bikes that couldn't affect my ride time if i screwed 'em up. now i'm out looking for garage sale, thrift store and roadside-abandoned bikes for projects and parts to fill my late weekend nights at home.

enjoy!
oh yeah, and also...Haiku d'état
Jun 29, 2001 8:45 AM
last group ride a guy's rear replaceable derailleur hanger snapped and his rear derailleur was dangling by the cable whilst he was attempted to ride up a pretty fair hill. the majority of the group was ahead and i was in the back of the pack (unusual, but hey...). i pulled out my trusty topeak alien multitool and converted him to a SS, packed the extra links and derailleur in a ziploc baggie from my jersey pocket and sent him on his way back to the ride start, 15 miles up the road. he made it, no problems. this is only one of many times the multitool and intimacy with the workings of the bike have come in handy on the road as ride-saving tactics. everyone should know the basics: change a tube, adjust derailleurs, break and mend a chain, (at least marginally) true a wheel, adjust brakes, you know...it's the nature of the beast. and, it's not enough to carry a spare tube, patch kit and pump--ya have to use them at home before you get on the road so (1) you know they work, (2) you know how to use them, and (3) it doesn't take 45 minutes to change a fl*t.

our fun hobby (way of life) certainly demands some self-reliance, as we're intentionally putting ourselves miles from the car, often miles from friendly faces, phones, etc., many times solo...

have fun!!!
re: Should I buy a tune-up packageMeDotOrg
Jun 29, 2001 8:46 AM
If you like your LBS, I would say go for it. I'm sure they are not offering this service because they think they will LOSE money, but it might work to your advantange.

I guess the question you have to ask is: Will you get $37.50 benefit per year from this agreement? How many miles do you ride a year? What exactly is covered?

But I would say the most important thing is the feeling you get from your LBS. If you don't mind putting money into their pockets, then it's probably okay...
Listen to Jeffreyhpmf
Jun 29, 2001 9:45 AM
This sounds like a rip-off to me. Don't most bike shops offer lifetime "free" tune-ups? These are usually worht what you pay for them.

You're much better off getting a stand and some tools. You really need a stand if you're going to be serious about bike riding. Its essential for working on a bike. I use mine all the time when cleaning bikes.

Average riders probably never tune up their bikes. Bikes do not need periodic tune-ups. When something goes wrong, you fix it. We're not talking about a car here. There's no oil to change. Plus, what do you really get for $75? Anything really labor intensive or requiring new parts will probably cost extra. About the only thing you need to do is replace the chain and brake pads every so often, replace the tires when they wear, re-tape the bars sometimes, clean it, lube the chain, maybe true a wheel now and then, possibly tune a derailer, replace a cable, etc. These are not hard things to do. Frankly, I find the time involved with hauling a bike to a shop, and waiting for them to do something is reason enough to work on your own bike. Plus, so many shops have dumb kids that aren't good mechanics.

Do it yourself. Get a bike manual (Zinn is good) and go for it. Buy the tools you need as you go. Even if you think you can't do something, try anyway. What the hell? Worse comes to worse you haul it down to the shop if you fail and let the mechanic show you what you did wrong (they're usually nice people who are happy to show you how things work).

But before you do any of this, get out and ride it.

And the bike should fit great and be in good working order whether you pay them an extra $75 or not.
aha! and some more stuff you need...Haiku d'état
Jun 29, 2001 11:51 AM
(1) one of those pedro's chain keepers for when you want to clean or detail/work on, or transport your bike in the trunk...it was only $10, and i got mine from CC (i think), but it looks like nashbar has it now, and i dig nashbar.

(2) YES! a bike repair stand! i have the ultimate pro, but got it for a steal. in the absence of the $ for a true bike stand, you can root up the plans to make one yourself either out of 2x4s or pvc (do an internet search), or bite the bullet and buy a new or (in good shape) used one. the one i have was used once/for one expo, and i saved over $100 on it.

(3) brushes and rags...all those old toothbrushes ya threw out when the blue strip was gone were wasted! i have a selection of various toothbrushes, hand scrubbers, bottle brushes, and (this weekend will buy a) toilet brush. old rags and things are excellent, too!

(4) ...repeat?...lemon pledge! and--armor all. pledge the frame and armor-all the seat and tires. looks slick and keeps the crud off for a little longer. if i'd known when i bought my various bikes what i know now about wet and rain riding, i'd have taken the time before getting out on the road/trail to coat the hex nuts and other small plated parts with a liberal coating of armor all or some type of wax (even candle wax!) to prevent rust.

good luck!
Why would ever forgo an excuse to buy more tools?DCP
Jun 29, 2001 10:24 AM
More seriously, you could consider one of the cheap tool kits, such as from Chuck's Bikes http://www.chucksbikes.com/tl001.htm I bought one. Without a doubt not as good as a brand name tool kit, but the price is right. I have already broken the chain tool.

Some of things you might want to do will not be included in a "tune up." For example, you might to remove the cassette to change it for a particular ride or just to clean it. Not a tune up item. Similarly, when it is time to change the chain, its not a tune up item.

Ask whether the service package includes wheel truing as that is a relatively expensive item. You can, however, learn to do it yourself.

Most importantly, ask whether you can buy the $75 package later. Then you can decide if you need it.
buy from a different shopspookyload
Jun 30, 2001 10:13 AM
The shop I work at gives a free "tune up" after 30 days. The only real purpose for this is so we can see any cable stretch, or wheel truing tweeks that need to be made. A new bike can only be built so good. On the less pricey bikes in particular, the wheels get trued, but machine built wheels are far from perfect, and the 30 day tune up gives us a second crack at getting them right. We true the wheels at build-up, but inevitably they need another ride in the stand. Like I said...this should be a free service. I the retailer isn't willing to do this for you, find a different shop. Most cities have the major manufacturers, so go to the nearest shop that carries what you want, or better yet tell this shop they are losing your buisness because of the paid tune-ups. They might even toss them in for free.