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  1. #1
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    Do LBS still give free service?

    About 10 yrs ago I bought a trek Soho ($500?) which is a hybrid bike for commuting as this was before I discovered mtn biking. I recall when I bought the bike they included basic tuneups for quite a while. And if I ever brought the bike in to them in subsequent years, if they weren't too busy they'd tune up the brakes/dereiller etc.

    Fast forward to now... I'm into mtn biking and I decided to get my second mtn bike, a carbon bike that meets my requirements for riding, and is considerably more expensive. I called around to the four LBSs that would carry the bike and none of them would include any more "complimentary" service than the 90 day tuneup.

    Is the long term free tuneups gone? You'd think if you spent $4k on a bike that they'd include more than just a 90 day tuneup.

  2. #2
    Never Forget 9-11
    Reputation: FujNoob's Avatar
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    My LBS gives me free adjustments (shifting/brakes) on bikes purchased through him.
    It's such a fine line between idiocy and genius.

  3. #3
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    My daughter bought a nerve starliner from Full Cycle in Boulder, CO about 4 years ago. The rear shifting and rear brake cable pull all of a sudden locked up. They had the cable housings reversed. I brought it in, and they fixed it up for free. Full cycle is a great bike shop.

  4. #4
    duh
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
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    some lbs might do it for one year but they do need to make a profit at some thing and if they give life time free tune ups to every bike they sell they wouldn't be in business long.

  5. #5
    ride more
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    Mine does lifetime

  6. #6
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    I reckon that my LBS makes most of his regular income from service and repair, wouldn't dream of looking for it free, if he shuts down i'm f****d
    I scurry away with my hardtail between my legs

  7. #7
    T.W.O.
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    My LBS does a lifetime adjustment, they put a shop decal on the bike so when they see the decal and/or remember you they'd just do it.

    As for spending $$$ on the bike and expecting the free service, I think the deal has to be done before you buy the bike. Some will give 1 year, 5 year, or lifetime, however my friend bought an $6500 S-Work Epic and got only one tuneup with the deal, not that he cared but it happened.

  8. #8
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    Got my bike ($600) from my lbs (Germantown Cycles in Maryland) and they include free tuneup and basic maintenance for the life of the bike. So awesome.

  9. #9
    Talk to me, Goose.
    Reputation: BatCountry's Avatar
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    My LBS does the free tune-up for life deal when you purchase a bike from them. They also install any parts purchased from them for free.. which I think is awesome. I actually have two LBS and they are both impressive. One is a bit larger than the other, but both are good people that take care of their customers.
    We can't stop here, this is bat country..

  10. #10
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    it depends on the shop.

    there are so many variations on the free service thing that you can't make a blanket statement.

  11. #11
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    I know it isn't what you are asking for, but basic adjustments only take a few minutes to learn. Then you would be free to buy from whomever :-)

  12. #12
    no trees are safe
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    My LBS does it sometimes as long as they remember you buying that bike.

  13. #13
    Paste eater
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    Most people assume since they are purchasing an 'expensive bike' that they should get some sort of super extra service from whom ever they bought it from. In reality, the bike shop (and the manufacturer for that matter) have rather slim margins. It's a really tough business. Most shops do what they can. Show appreciation and loyalty and most shops will do what they can to treat you well...

  14. #14
    Plays with tools
    Reputation: customfab's Avatar
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    You don't want a free tune up at most shops.

  15. #15
    insert blank disk
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    My LBS provides lifetime service on the bike.

  16. #16
    RTM
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    You don't want a free tune up at most shops.
    Couldn't agree more! In fact, the more expensive the bike the LESS likely I would be to let a bike shop mechanic touch it, especially for no charge.


    - Rob
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

  17. #17
    T.W.O.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTM View Post
    Couldn't agree more! In fact, the more expensive the bike the LESS likely I would be to let a bike shop mechanic touch it, especially for no charge.


    - Rob
    yeah, plus most of the more expensive bikes do not even come with pedals, and I don't think the buyers care either

  18. #18
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    You get what you give, and value is subjective. Be good and get good. I don't think I have ever known a shop that didn't live by that. "Free" tuneups be damned.

  19. #19
    Flow like water
    Reputation: DavyRay's Avatar
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    I bought a new bike from my LBS. They said I get lifetime tune-ups.

    It really depends on your LBS and their business model. A free tune-up is different than free service. They set the bike up initially. If it is adjusted correctly, they would at most be adjusting derailleurs and brakes. And I would be driving into town and spending time in their shop, which is filled with shiny new bikes and goodies. It seems to work for them.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTM View Post
    Couldn't agree more! In fact, the more expensive the bike the LESS likely I would be to let a bike shop mechanic touch it, especially for no charge.


    - Rob
    Rob, not quite true, I would take care of your bike better then most customers take care of their bike. We only have 2 mechanics (39/42 years old) and I have been in a shop for 18 years. Sorry you have crappy mechanics in your area. The really high end bikes even have their own area so nothing comes in contact with them.

  21. #21
    DaFaJa
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyatt79m View Post
    Mine does lifetime
    both of mine have been great, Really have gone above and beyond, Helping me with what ever I needed...
    2012 Trek Superfly 100 Carbon/ xx1 / xo type2
    Tampa FL USA

  22. #22
    No Stranger to danger....
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    I got the standard one after 90 days, which i might add was a very poor quality tune up, but these guys have to make a living, id never expect to get something forever off them in the way of tune ups, i dont think thats ethical unless they want to do it..

    So i think its a bit unfair on the shop to expect free lifetime tune ups, but thats just me......
    OP, learn to do it yourself mate, its easy, you will learn a lot about your bike and you will save money, cheers
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  23. #23
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    Depends on the shop. Some LBS's offer lifetime tune-ups to compete with others who do the same. I have seen some shop's free tune-ups that beat another's $90 one, and I have seen free tune-ups that were worth exactly what the customer paid- zilch. Realistically a shop should probably do a free break in tune-up and call it square.

  24. #24
    DaFaJa
    Reputation: Corbinworks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    I got the standard one after 90 days, which i might add was a very poor quality tune up, but these guys have to make a living, id never expect to get something forever off them in the way of tune ups, i dont think thats ethical unless they want to do it..

    So i think its a bit unfair on the shop to expect free lifetime tune ups, but thats just me......
    OP, learn to do it yourself mate, its easy, you will learn a lot about your bike and you will save money, cheers
    I always tip when I have service done and they do not charge me..
    2012 Trek Superfly 100 Carbon/ xx1 / xo type2
    Tampa FL USA

  25. #25
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    I personally see a difference between a full tune-up and simple derailleur adjustment.

    A full tune-up requires significant shop time plus expense from the bike shop. As part of a full tune-up, I would expect new cables, housing, and caps (that costs money). I would expect the drive train to be removed and de-greased. The chain will be checked for stretching. The cassette and rings would be checked for wear. The wheels might be trued (this might be optional at some shops). The entire bike would get a wipe-down. The welds might be checked for cracks. All the bolts on the bike are re-tightened with a torque wrench. This costs $90 at my bike shop and has to be scheduled in advance.

    A derailleur adjustment is as simple as throwing the bike on the stand and tightening/loosing the set screws and barrel adjusters. This requires no new parts and probably takes a seasoned mechanic 3-4 minutes - or less.

    I don't think it's fair on a small business to expect free tune-ups. They'll be out of business quickly if that were the case. I don't even think it's fair to expect free derailleur adjustments. However, you might get lucky on a slow day and if you're a good customer to get a free derailleur adjustment.

    It helps to have bought the bike from the shop and have their sticker on it somewhere.

    Just my $.02.

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