Trash or Treasure?

I WAS SO SHOCKED TO HEAR THEM TELL THE CUSTOMER, "Throw it away and buy a new one." How many times does a bicycle come through the door that cannot be repaired? Under any circumstance? Not often. A lifetime of experience riding , repairing and selling bicycles and still, sometimes we must tell customers we won't fix it. The comments range from shock and disappointment to disbelief and sometimes anger. Even though you CAN repair the bike, should you? The frequent comments we receive about this refer almost entirely to bicycles brought in for repair which were purchased at big discount stores, department stores and large retail sporting goods outlets. You might buy one of these new for a child's birthday. They are extremely inexpensive, a good price range of models from $69 to$169! Some pretty eye-catching items with full suspension shocks front and back. Or single speeds you can see in hipster advertising and low priced too! Low prices, yes, but not without trade-offs. Starting with quality. These bikes are made of very cheap materials and are very heavy. The weight literally impacts how much banging and pounding forces act on the components. ...And those forces are passed on to you and the quality of your ride. The components are low-budget products built for profit not for prolonged use. Made from the cheapest materials, they wear out quickly . So besides a chain, a cable, a seat or brake pads which can be replaced or repaired fairly simply if maintained in a timely manner, everything on the bike is low-grade junk. Most of these type bikes that roll through the door (sometimes they roll) suffer from neglected maintenance. By the time the owner gets around to coming in for service the parts have been ridden broken or makeshift repairs have failed and no other choice is left but take it to the mechanic. 

Using a broken rear brake as an example what will be the repair charge? Probably $25 for the part. OK, not terrible. The mechanic might even do it for $15 labor, and that is below hourly rate anywhere you go. Now you are up to $40 plus tax. The shop would have accepted the repair; maybe not while you wait, that's not always possible. During the check-in the mechanic sees you will also need a cable and OH! a brake lever is damaged too. None of this is too much on a bike selling for $400-$4000 but this ...bicycle-shaped object sells shiny brand-new for $69! He's not getting snubbed, whether or not he will ever be a $400-$4000 customer. One Houston sporting goods chain's top selling bicycle (according to their website) turns out to be our number one repair. We repair these bikes every day but it must be within reason. It's not sound business to accept a repair job that exceeds the value of the bike when new. If that customer doesn't claim his repair the business is out for the costs, the mechanic wants to be paid and the business owns a bike that won't resell for a price above ...wait for it ...A NEW ONE. Even if we sold used bikes which we don't. You get the picture. Maybe the direct method comes across harsh. There isn't always time to deliver the seminar needed to explain all this so let's make a deal and try and meet in the middle. Talk to us about the products and services you seek and we will work to keep you on the road efficiently and cost effectively. We are a small family-owned business. Please take the time to get to know us. We can help you ride more safely, commute to work or school and generally have a blast riding bicycles.