Results 1 to 33 of 33
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    765

    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
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    433
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ironbrewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    303
    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
    ****** to the dirt
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    4,957
    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
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,623
    Mine does lifetime

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MrAitchGee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    205
    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.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,158
    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!
    Reputation: GelatiCruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,080
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    106
    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
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,122
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    769
    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
    Reputation: Millfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    501
    My LBS does it sometimes as long as they remember you buying that bike.

  13. #13
    Paste eater
    Reputation: Jwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,550
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,449
    You don't want a free tune up at most shops.

  15. #15
    insert blank disk
    Reputation: down2ride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    206
    My LBS provides lifetime service on the bike.

  16. #16
    RTM
    RTM is offline
    #1 Latex Salesman
    Reputation: RTM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,820
    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

  17. #17
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,158
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fiskare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    697
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    711
    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
    banned
    Reputation: Spinning Lizard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,435
    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
    Reputation: Corbinworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    239
    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 /Sid W/C XX / Fox CTD RP / xx1 / xo type2 / Stans Flows
    Tampa FL USA

  22. #22
    No Stranger to danger....
    Reputation: Tone's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    4,596
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    5,891
    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
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    239
    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 /Sid W/C XX / Fox CTD RP / xx1 / xo type2 / Stans Flows
    Tampa FL USA

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: connolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    471
    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.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: connolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    471
    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.

    ...and like everyone else said above - learn to do it yourself! It's free and you'll feel good about yourself with a sense of accomplishment.

    If I could, you can.

    Youtube is your friend.

  27. #27
    RTM
    RTM is offline
    #1 Latex Salesman
    Reputation: RTM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,820
    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post
    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.
    That fair. I know there are guys like you out there. However, we all accept that there are good and bad mechanics. And even a good, skilled mechanic may do crappy work from time to time when motivated by time or money. I don't see any reason to roll those dice. A lifetime of experience has proven that no one cares about my stuff as much as I do. And doing it myself has a very long list of benefits beyond saving a few bucks.


    - Rob

  28. #28
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
    Reputation: GelatiCruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,080
    I think if you show some loyalty to your lbs, they'll notice that and be more apt to hook you up. My lbs also installed pedals on the bike I bought from them, even though I didn't get the pedals from them. I tend to feel guilty when they tune my bike or give me free service, so I usually wind up buying something so I don't feel as bad.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ZOMBIE TIMMY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    12
    The one I went to today did. THANK U LBS

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    468
    Quote Originally Posted by sjhiker View Post
    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.
    I think the economy has played a huge roll in little shops offering these services compared to days gone by. Get used to it with who we nominated into office it's only going to get worse.

  31. #31
    Ski N Bike Tech
    Reputation: SkiNBike's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    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.
    Agree.

    I've worked for some LBS' in Big House country, and at every one we did do free lifetime adjustments. Ours were held to high standards. It had to be on par with our mid-level tunes (~$60. It was a lot then.) Then we went and test rode them around the shop to make sure they were working. We showed no difference to the free or paid repairs.

    I've also worked for two national chains (one green, and one blue) that did offer the free lifetime adjustments. While at the green one, we did things the way I've done them at the LBS. The way the blue shop likes to do things was sub-par. The only reason that we had happy customers was because we (the mechanics who worked in real shops) did things the proper way.

    If a mechanic is willing to put their stamp on shoddy work, then they are not a good mechanic and it will reflect on the shops reputation. People forget how fast word of mouth travels, and with the Internet, it's even faster. It only takes one bad review for others to read or chime in on.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    35
    My LBS gives you free labor for the lifetime of the bike. It's great because I only have to pay for parts when I get it serviced there. I don't know if they are losing money by offering it (I would assume not since business is still booming) but I know that the next time I'm in the market, I'll be buying my bike from them.

  33. #33
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,228
    There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch ... er ... Service.

    - It is included in a purchase (typically a "first tuneup")
    - It is marketing, in hope youll buy something (some small thing that does not cost them much) OR
    - You pay for what you ask them to do, not more or less

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •