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  1. #101
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    I see a major problem here calling being a bike mechanic a low skilled job. It's not "skilled labor " but it falls in between. Calling a bike shop and entry job is literally a slap in the face to bike shops everywhere.
    peopel confuse supply and demand curves with skills which is ridiculous. You can be hte top 99% of most skilled activity on earth eg a musical instrument and earn peanuts.

  2. #102
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    I don't I know the difference well.

    But cycling is a growing sport and every shop I've been into has a line of bikes to work on. Difference being whether they take of their skilled guys or rather pay for a revolving door of kids that know nothing besides what pedals are.

    1 properly paid and good mechanic is worth 5 people with no skills/motivation.

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  3. #103
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    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    of most skilled activity on earth eg a musical instrument
    I agree with your sentiment in general, but seriously?
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I agree with your sentiment in general, but seriously?
    I could see the argument, but even if you did buy it it'd only apply to the very top echelon of musicians. I can play a few instruments, but my skills are very basic... Like around the level of knowing how to do a basic tune on a hybrid bike. Playing instruments is fairly easy, making complex and original music with them is where it becomes difficult.

  6. #106
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    So the analogy maybe wasn't great but his point about supply and demand is spot on. If you have a ton of people who are willing to work at lbs for the love of biking, wages will not go up because the worker is easy to replace. Why would the shop raise wages when there is a line of people willing to work? If you want to make money, go into an industry where there is a labor shortage.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestmtb View Post
    So the analogy maybe wasn't great but his point about supply and demand is spot on. If you have a ton of people who are willing to work at lbs for the love of biking, wages will not go up because the worker is easy to replace. Why would the shop raise wages when there is a line of people willing to work? If you want to make money, go into an industry where there is a labor shortage.
    Absolutely true. My shop has a list of customers who beg us to work there... That said the list of them that actually have availability that helps us and seem to take it seriously versus just wanting to hang out and drink beer in the evenings seems small. Many of those 'hey I'd love to work here' comments come in the last hour when we've got a beer open and the shop is slow... Not so many when we're slammed and don't have time to eat lunch.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I'd say good wheel building and suspension rebuilds are specialized tasks outside the skill set of most LBS employees. Also likely that even those employees that do have these skills in all likelihood use them pretty rarely (generalizing of course).

    I wouldn't say bike mechanic is low-skilled compared to sweeping floors or fast food or retail, for example, but it's not something I would think compares to an auto mechanic, plumber, engineer, teacher, etc.
    I go to my bike mechanic for sus stuff and wheel builds. I just look at stuff sometimes and it breaks. But she has taken lots of training and plenty of manufacturers classes. There are various levels of skill and pay at most work places, agreed? I would absolutely say that a plumber and and a bike mechanic have similar skill levels/talents. Is it that one works on play things and one works on essential house items that make the pay different?

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Is it that one works on play things and one works on essential house items that make the pay different?
    That's a big part of it.
    Also the fact that bikes are wildly less complicated and there's a far higher level or responsibility involved in something like plumbing.
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  10. #110
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    This has been entertaining.
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  11. #111
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    ^^^^ Always coming up with good ideas!
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  12. #112
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    Brilliant!
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  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottay5150 View Post
    Picard, keep the inane posts coming. Classic!

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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I could see the argument, but even if you did buy it it'd only apply to the very top echelon of musicians. I can play a few instruments, but my skills are very basic... Like around the level of knowing how to do a basic tune on a hybrid bike. Playing instruments is fairly easy, making complex and original music with them is where it becomes difficult.
    incorrect, my argument was accurate and valid.

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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I go to my bike mechanic for sus stuff and wheel builds. I just look at stuff sometimes and it breaks. But she has taken lots of training and plenty of manufacturers classes. There are various levels of skill and pay at most work places, agreed? I would absolutely say that a plumber and and a bike mechanic have similar skill levels/talents. Is it that one works on play things and one works on essential house items that make the pay different?
    i'm a contractor and do my own bike repairs. Bike meching is harder than plumbing. Plumbers make $150/hr+ while bike mechs make $12.50 because of supply and demand. Bike takes less capital to learn and it's fun. People who have fun riding get in to meching their bikes. no one volunteers to deal with sewage because it's fun. The whole reason I chose to become a contractor is because of this.

    in terms of responsibility, bikes are actually more dangerous. Human bodies cost more than a rotten wet wall or redoing your tile.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I use to really enjoy pulling bike carcasses from the side of the road or the scrap pile at the dump, getting them workable again, then giving them to random people. Working on bikes, junky or blingy, isn't something that I would consider very challenging. They're incredibly simple machines when it comes right down to it.

    For perspective, where I work, we design and build these sorts of things/facilities (along with handling all the documentation you'd expect when the end product is designed to be injected or ingested by human beings). Probably why I get a chuckle out of people talking about bikes like they're complicated.

    [
    Stop getting high on your farts. You are posting hte efforts of teams of people, no one person, rnd, engineered, layout, and installed that piece of machinery. A car requires more engineering and work than what you posted; mechanics don't make lots of money. It doesn't make them skilled vs a bike mechanic.

    I see a major problem here calling being a bike mechanic a low skilled job. It's not "skilled labor " but it falls in between. Calling a bike shop and entry job is literally a slap in the face to bike shops everywhere.
    economists say supply and demand, not "skilled" labor. The bottom tier construction laborer makes more than manager of a fast food restaurant. The fast food manager certainly is higher skilled than the guys sweeping up and cleaning, and being told what to do around the site. Fast food manager is responsible for health of hundreds of people.

    I do trades that are much easier than bike meching (espeicaly dealing with old compatibility), electrical, gas and water plumbing; all of it easier and pays 10x than bike stuff.

    economy needs to balance out, friends don't let friends become bike mechanics or teachers.
    Last edited by bob13bob; 05-19-2017 at 12:24 PM.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    incorrect, my argument was accurate and valid.

    https://np.reddit.com/r/piano/commen..._when/dh5v11o/
    I didn't really disagree with you that strongly, mostly because your argument was vague and not even written in a coherent fashion... But are you really defending it with a reddit page? What exactly in that page am I supposed to take as confirmation of your sentence fragment of an argument?

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    i'm a contractor and do my own bike repairs. Bike meching is harder than plumbing. Plumbers make $150/hr+ while bike mechs make $12.50 because of supply and demand. Bike takes less capital to learn and it's fun. People who have fun riding get in to meching their bikes. no one volunteers to deal with sewage because it's fun. The whole reason I chose to become a contractor is because of this.

    in terms of responsibility, bikes are actually more dangerous. Human bodies cost more than a rotten wet wall or redoing your tile.
    Residential plumbing and contracting isn't all that complicated.
    I'm thinking commercial/industrial level stuff.

    Comparing slapping in a sink to plumbing a multi-million dollar facility is like comparing putting together a Strider to building a wonder bike from raw materials up (frame included). Whole different world.

    A bikes has only a few moving parts. They're simple as hell to assemble and adjust, all of them.
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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    Stop getting high on your farts. You are posting hte efforts of teams of people, no one person, rnd, engineered, layout, and installed that piece of machinery. A car requires more engineering and work than what you posted;
    I seriously doubt that a $30000 car requires more engineering than a billion dollar one-of-a-kind facility. Maybe an auto assembly plant would be a closer comparison.

    And no shit it takes a lot of people fulfilling lots of roles, pretty much all of which pay better and require more specialized skills than wrenching bikes. Designers, engineers, project managers, scientists, process specialists, doctors, chemists...the list does on and on and that's my point in the first place - bike mechanic is a pretty simple job compared to any of those roles.
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  20. #120
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    I have a master's degree in bicycle assembly and maintenance.

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  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I didn't really disagree with you that strongly, mostly because your argument was vague and not even written in a coherent fashion... But are you really defending it with a reddit page? What exactly in that page am I supposed to take as confirmation of your sentence fragment of an argument?
    so you're going to discount the below experience with a lazy "it's a reddit page".
    Then, instead of countering my poitns, you attack my grammar.
    Your logic is too strong for me.

    Being married to a concert pianist I thought I may share some insight. Please don't get too discouraged with what I say, but I'm only trying to let you know my and my wife's personal experience. This will be a long write up, but I genuinely hope that it will give you some insight into the life of a real musician.
    My wife started piano at the age of 4. She played for the president of her country at the age of 5. She won several competitions, both nationally and internationally. She went to a music middle school, the top music high school in her country. For college she received a half scholarship for her bachelors, then a full scholarship for her masters at the best college in her country. She then came to the US and received two scholarships for certificate programs, then a full scholarship at a leading university in the states for her PhD. She has played Carnegie Hall twice.

  22. #122
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    You guys keep ragging on Picard, but I think this thread poses a legitimately interesting question regarding the motivation for working as a mechanic at an LBS.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  23. #123
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    I can't think of a good reason to besides liking being around bikes.
    Even then, if I were independently wealthy and just wanted a job to kill time and have fun with, I'd probably just go build trails.
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  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    so you're going to discount the below experience with a lazy "it's a reddit page".
    Then, instead of countering my poitns, you attack my grammar.
    Your logic is too strong for me.

    I can't for the life of me figure out what your point is here.
    Yeah, people play instruments. Some good to school for music. So...what?
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  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    so you're going to discount the below experience with a lazy "it's a reddit page".
    Then, instead of countering my poitns, you attack my grammar.
    Your logic is too strong for me.
    I truly didn't know what you were citing as your support and even given the quote you provided I still don't. Same with the grammar; I had to make some guesses as to what your point even was because you didn't write a coherent sentence. My intention was not to attack you, more to point out that the 'point' you seem so intent on defending didn't even make sense to begin with... And still doesn't.

    All this and you question my logic?

  26. #126
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    I think his point is that just because you have a skill few have, it doesn't mean you're going to have money thrown at you. But I think we already covered why, it still has to be a skill that is in high demand.
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