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  1. #1
    nimble biker
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    Why do you guys want to work for lbs?

    I don't think lbs pays that well. They hire teenagers in my area except for the mechanic. He probably earn decent wages.

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  2. #2
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    Do you work in a my local bike shop?

  3. #3
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    Employees in LBS are usually there, first and foremost, because of a passion for bikes. Very rarely will you find that was the only job they could get, and that's their reason for being there.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by godfather View Post
    Employees in LBS are usually there, first and foremost, because of a passion for bikes..
    it's just too bad that 90% of them are completely clueless despite said passion...


  5. #5
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    A lot of the guys just work part time...some for the employee discounts...and depending on the manufacturer...can be very generous.

  6. #6
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    I worked in bike shops for 5-6 years. it was fun, I learned a lot, discounts on bicycle stuff are awesome, and you can take pride in your work. I enjoy taking mechanical things apart, learning how they work, and putting them back together, so it was a satisfying job for me. I got out of it to (hopefully) make more money in newspaper design, which is also full of "starving artists" who can demand slightly higher pay because they had to get a four-year college degree to get the job.

    I have ranted about this in the past but I will say that the profession does not take itself seriously to define and encourage professional standards. until it does, it will mostly be a low-paying job. there is a cyclical pattern of customers having bad experiences due to lowered expectations, enforced by a lack of professional standards which leads to low wages, which leads to good, professional adults to leave the profession to make better money elsewhere.

    you might think you're a good bike mechanic until you try spending every week working on everything that has ever been put on every bicycle, ever and keep up with all the new stuff. when you find a GOOD bike shop employee, realize that they are probably making low wages for their dedication and experience.
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  7. #7
    no batteries required
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    Think, Starving Artists.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I worked in bike shops for 5-6 years. it was fun, I learned a lot, discounts on bicycle stuff are awesome, and you can take pride in your work. I enjoy taking mechanical things apart, learning how they work, and putting them back together, so it was a satisfying job for me. I got out of it to (hopefully) make more money in newspaper design, which is also full of "starving artists" who can demand slightly higher pay because they had to get a four-year college degree to get the job.

    I have ranted about this in the past but I will say that the profession does not take itself seriously to define and encourage professional standards. until it does, it will mostly be a low-paying job. there is a cyclical pattern of customers having bad experiences due to lowered expectations, enforced by a lack of professional standards which leads to low wages, which leads to good, professional adults to leave the profession to make better money elsewhere.

    you might think you're a good bike mechanic until you try spending every week working on everything that has ever been put on every bicycle, ever and keep up with all the new stuff. when you find a GOOD bike shop employee, realize that they are probably making low wages for their dedication and experience.
    I would agree I spent most of my 20s working full time and part time in a few different shops High end to Performance. The pay is low and the reword is the discounts. I also spent most of that time learning construction the old way from my dad. I am now in my 40s and work full time with my hands not in bicycles.
    With the rise of mobil mechanics I could see the professionalism changing in a big way. I have looked at the with some of my friends all pro mechanics and store managers and we can't make the numbers work right now. But I am willing to bet it won't take long before the service catches on. I have always thought a better use for local shops is a bicycle studio don't sell bikes. Sell service, contact points (bars, stems, saddles, and petals), fits, and have an area with stands and tools that people can rent by the hour to work on bikes. Even offer one on one time with a mechanic to teach you what you don't know for an extra fee.

  9. #9
    That makes me smart
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    Ritard, were you raised on Dr. Seuss books?
    "I can almost smell the alcohol oozing from that post."

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    A global map of winds. Pretty cool.

  10. #10
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    It's hardly my first choice of work. But it's work that's available and it's something I'm both passionate and knowledgeable about.

  11. #11
    That guy
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    Picard, why you think I want to work for lbs?
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  12. #12
    nimble biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    Picard, why you think I want to work for lbs?
    I guess you like those starving artists who draw painting for free.

  13. #13
    turtles make me hot
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    I have a full time, Monday thru Friday 8-4 job. I also LOVE building wheels.
    For two years, from 2012 to 2014 I was the wheelbuilder for a small shop. It was a tiny store that sold Salsa, Surly, 907, Fatback, All City and maybe a couple others I forgot. It was my intro to fat bikes.
    I was really more of a contractor. I would swing by, pick up hubs, rims and spokes and take them home. I'd return with complete wheels.
    I got to try a bunch of cool bikes, I got cool insider info and I got an awesome discount on parts.
    The owner closed up shop and moved out west to open a bigger place. It was a ton of fun while it lasted.
    I like turtles

  14. #14
    Here, diagonally!
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    I do all my own work. And I have it covered, but frankly considering that in a past life I've done major repairs on my cars and rebuilt a few engines, it surprises me how complex working on bikes can be at times. And this is just me working on 2 bikes that I know well and built up from a frame. To be able to do all the different services and upgrades on a wide range of old and new bikes is nothing to sneeze at. There are a lot of recent changes in standards, and the new and old are still all floating around out there.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I have a full time, Monday thru Friday 8-4 job. I also LOVE building wheels.
    For two years, from 2012 to 2014 I was the wheelbuilder for a small shop. It was a tiny store that sold Salsa, Surly, 907, Fatback, All City and maybe a couple others I forgot. It was my intro to fat bikes.
    I was really more of a contractor. I would swing by, pick up hubs, rims and spokes and take them home. I'd return with complete wheels.
    I got to try a bunch of cool bikes, I got cool insider info and I got an awesome discount on parts.
    The owner closed up shop and moved out west to open a bigger place. It was a ton of fun while it lasted.
    Passion, rat thurrr.
    "I can almost smell the alcohol oozing from that post."

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    A global map of winds. Pretty cool.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I have a full time, Monday thru Friday 8-4 job. I also LOVE building wheels.
    For two years, from 2012 to 2014 I was the wheelbuilder for a small shop. It was a tiny store that sold Salsa, Surly, 907, Fatback, All City and maybe a couple others I forgot. It was my intro to fat bikes.
    I was really more of a contractor. I would swing by, pick up hubs, rims and spokes and take them home. I'd return with complete wheels.
    I got to try a bunch of cool bikes, I got cool insider info and I got an awesome discount on parts.
    The owner closed up shop and moved out west to open a bigger place. It was a ton of fun while it lasted.



    Yeah there's something zen about wheel building, at least there is for me.
    Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy - M. Hall

  17. #17
    I didn't do it
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    Folks work at the LBS to get the girls.
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  18. #18
    wanna ride bikes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Ritard, were you raised on Dr. Seuss books?
    the people deserve to know the truth

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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  19. #19
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    I own a medium sized landscape maintenance company and during the winter I am the Director of Skiing and Snowboarding for one of the larger mountain resorts in Washington State. My business is fairly mature and I have a solid crew with great supervisors. I've found myself with extra free time, even after getting 3-4 rides a week in. I worked specialty retail for years when I was younger, ski/snowboard, bikes and watersports. I keep no of missed talking gear and building bikes, so I started working a day a week at one of our local bike shops, building and selling bikes. I enjoy it, especially the custom builds that I tend to get.


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  20. #20
    Rabid Lana fan
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    Why do you guys want to work for lbs?

    For the greeter dogs, of course.
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  21. #21
    Rabid Lana fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    the people deserve to know the truth
    The tall, spiky heeled truth.
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  22. #22
    Magically Delicious
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    Folks work at the LBS to get the girls.
    Mookie blew it! Everyone now will be looking for LBS jobs.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  23. #23
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Ritard, were you raised on Dr. Seuss books?
    I will work in LBS. I will not work there in a dress.

  24. #24
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I got out of it to (hopefully) make more money in newspaper design
    Future doesn't look bright for newspapers. Advise transition to web design/usability, skillset is very comparable.

  25. #25
    That makes me smart
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    Quote Originally Posted by godfather View Post
    I keep no of missed talking gear and building bikes...
    Uhh, wot?
    "I can almost smell the alcohol oozing from that post."

    mtnbkrmike

    A global map of winds. Pretty cool.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Why do you guys want to work for lbs?

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    I think most people that work for pounds work in the UK, probably because they like to drink and eat and stuff.

  27. #27
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    Because I enjoy getting my hands dirty from a BMX chain soaked in 3-IN-1 oil. Or installing a brand new rear cassette, derailleur and chain on a bike worth less than the 45 min labor cost. And lastly, the interaction with customers who ask if there's anyone else they can speak with after I tell them, "no, it's not worth fixing."

    LBS was my first job in high school. It was awesome to ride my bike there after school and work for a few hours, basically to buy new parts. Learned a lot.
    The cake is a lie.

  28. #28
    That guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    I guess you like those starving artists who draw painting for free.
    Not for free, for trade, you can get replacement pin tip for presta valve in return. Circle complete.
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  29. #29
    That guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubikeman View Post
    Because I enjoy getting my hands dirty from a BMX chain soaked in 3-IN-1 oil.
    You should try using some gauze pads next time you do that.
    American Idle

  30. #30
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    I work in a shop part time. It's nice to be connected to the community, learn new stuff and get a sweet discount... Not necessarily in that order.

    (I'm also friends with the owner and like feeling like I am helping him achieve his goal of running an awesome shop.)

  31. #31
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    I prefer to work in the metric system, staying clear of lbs or for that matter, oz.

    Just my humble opinion, Picaresque.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  32. #32
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    I never did the math when I worked at a bike shop, but I don't think it would have allowed me to live independently. The people who scream that minimum wage should be increased until it allows independent living don't realize the value of knowledge. If someone who is only qualified to sweep a floor gets paid more than a knowledgeable mechanic, then there is something wrong with the world, but I think it happens. Bike mechanic is NOT a minimum wage job, though. You might have to start out at minimum, but your pay should increase as your knowledge.

    Working on bikes is relaxing for me, even when everyone is in a hurry. Building wheels... I would probably do it for free sometimes - It is somehow very rewarding. Bike shop discounts are awesome. The bike community, who often shop at the LBS, are great folks. Learning new stuff is awesome. Riding every bike is awesome. Talking about bikes is awesome. Hearing about new routes. ...if you're in the right shop, it's like the center of the [local] cycling universe. If you've never been there, I feel bad for you.

    BUT, there are other jobs at the LBS, and I wouldn't want any of them. Sales? No. Cashier? No. Manager/Owner? No. Floor sweeper? No.

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I never did the math when I worked at a bike shop, but I don't think it would have allowed me to live independently. The people who scream that minimum wage should be increased until it allows independent living don't realize the value of knowledge. If someone who is only qualified to sweep a floor gets paid more than a knowledgeable mechanic, then there is something wrong with the world, but I think it happens. Bike mechanic is NOT a minimum wage job, though. You might have to start out at minimum, but your pay should increase as your knowledge.

    Working on bikes is relaxing for me, even when everyone is in a hurry. Building wheels... I would probably do it for free sometimes - It is somehow very rewarding. Bike shop discounts are awesome. The bike community, who often shop at the LBS, are great folks. Learning new stuff is awesome. Riding every bike is awesome. Talking about bikes is awesome. Hearing about new routes. ...if you're in the right shop, it's like the center of the [local] cycling universe. If you've never been there, I feel bad for you.

    BUT, there are other jobs at the LBS, and I wouldn't want any of them. Sales? No. Cashier? No. Manager/Owner? No. Floor sweeper? No.

    -F
    If we as a society expect people to do a job, then it should be possible for those people to live off of the wage it pays. Sweeping a floor is needed what, once a day? Minimum wage should apply to full time work, not part time jobs. I make ten an hour at my shop, which is fine because I have a day job. I don't need a wage increase, but others who do it full time do. I don't even mind that they do the same job as me, because doing it 40 hours a week is very different in terms of responsibility to doing it 8 hours a week.

    I do some wrenching, but mostly do sales. I really enjoy it. Most of the time I'm helping casual riders find the right hybrid and I just look at it as bringing new people into cycling (though if I'm honest it's not thrilling otherwise). A fair amount of the time though I'm helping someone get a sweet new MTB. I get to talk about their favorite trails, previous bikes and general experiences then relate that to what I know and help find them a solution... That's super rewarding for me.

    Most importantly, my knowledge of all things cycling has gone through the roof in the two years I've been there. I have way more riding buddies, know way more up-to-date info on local trails at any given moment and that's aside from all the technical bike info I've learned. It is no exaggeration to say working at the shop has changed my life; it took MTB from a hobby to a lifestyle for me.

  34. #34
    RAKC Industries
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    Much of the reason for low wages is created by society as a whole. Being cheap, more worried about saving $0.10 than whether or not their neighbor has food to feed their children.

    Same reason buying "China direct" has become such a massive market. Granted right now most things are made in China so I get the difficulty paying extra for "branded" or simply buying from a US supplier.

    And it's recommended all over this board to "negotiate" price for bikes and gear at an LBS. It's wrong in my book.

    Have to fix the mentality of society in order for the rest to correct itself.

    But a sad fact is being a skilled mechanic for bicycles or automotive, it's still a lottery as to whether you get paid enough to accomplish anything. $10 isn't even a living wage unless you live away from any "popular" places to live. Hasn't been for years.

    There is a big difference between skull levels but anyone who has spent their life in skilled labor instead of white collar work can tell you, skills don't matter like they used to. Its about how well you can act because poor actual job quality still comes out above the truly skilled.

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  35. #35
    That makes me smart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tribble Me View Post
    I think most people that work for pounds work in the UK, probably because they like to drink and eat and stuff.
    Nah, eating is overrated.
    "I can almost smell the alcohol oozing from that post."

    mtnbkrmike

    A global map of winds. Pretty cool.

  36. #36
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    Why is it that the "LBS mechanics" selling bikes online are always selling $6000+ top of the line bikes?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post
    Why is it that the "LBS mechanics" selling bikes online are always selling $6000+ top of the line bikes?
    Because they bought it for $4000, want to sell for profit and then buy the next latest and greatest.

    Supplemental income.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Much of the reason for low wages is created by society as a whole. Being cheap, more worried about saving $0.10 than whether or not their neighbor has food to feed their children.

    Same reason buying "China direct" has become such a massive market. Granted right now most things are made in China so I get the difficulty paying extra for "branded" or simply buying from a US supplier.

    And it's recommended all over this board to "negotiate" price for bikes and gear at an LBS. It's wrong in my book.

    Have to fix the mentality of society in order for the rest to correct itself.

    But a sad fact is being a skilled mechanic for bicycles or automotive, it's still a lottery as to whether you get paid enough to accomplish anything. $10 isn't even a living wage unless you live away from any "popular" places to live. Hasn't been for years.

    There is a big difference between skull levels but anyone who has spent their life in skilled labor instead of white collar work can tell you, skills don't matter like they used to. Its about how well you can act because poor actual job quality still comes out above the truly skilled.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Meh.

    I work as a piping designer for a company that specializes in high purity and biopharm work. Our skilled labor guys (welders, pipefitters, fabricators, etc) do pretty well. While bike mechanic is a fun job and requires some skills, it doesn't remotely compare to what's required of what I would consider highly skilled labor. It's a job most people do because they find it fun. Usually, that's a sure sign of a job that isn't going to pay; you need to do something most people can't or don't want to do in order for themto pay you well to do it.

    If my neighbor wants to make more money, he should go learn how to do something that pays better rather than expect everyone else to cough up extra so he can be overpaid to do menial work. The whole "Everyone deserves to live like a millionaire even if they're still flipping burgers at 35" is the mentality I believe needs to be fixed.

    IME, most of the people who end up fairly well-off have worked very hard and sacrificed for many years to get there. If someone else decided to spend their time other ways, well, that's the bed they made. I don't cry that I should be getting paid the same as an engineer, because I didn't have the dedication to get the training that would've allowed me to become one. My neighbors don't owe me shit if they happened to find more success than I have and I don't see why anyone would think I owe them anything in the reverse situation. There's no good reason for me to put the LBS owner's bottom line above my own, just like I don't expect him to lose money in order to fatten my bank account. Business is business.

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  39. #39
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    I completely agree, you shouldn't get anything handed to you. Must work for it. And shouldn't be getting paid great money to flip burgers.

    I have just seen some sad instances of skilled labor being underpaid compared to the work they do. While stuff like flipping burgers etc is paying rather close to it.

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  40. #40
    nimble biker
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    I saw a girl work at lbs for 1 week then she quit


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  41. #41
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    I'll bet she got creeped out by you sitting around watching her for a week.

    That's why she quit.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by net wurker View Post
    I'll bet she got creeped out by you sitting around watching her for a week.

    That's why she quit.
    I'm surprised Lana hasn't quit, Mr. Net.
    "I can almost smell the alcohol oozing from that post."

    mtnbkrmike

    A global map of winds. Pretty cool.

  43. #43
    wanna ride bikes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    I saw a girl work at lbs for 1 week then she quit
    And what wrong conclusions did you draw from this piece of information?
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  44. #44
    Rabid Lana fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    I'm surprised Lana hasn't quit, Mr. Net.
    Lana is not a quitter.
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  45. #45
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to slapheadmofo again.

  46. #46
    9 lives
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    I saw a girl work at lbs for 1 week then she quit


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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by net wurker View Post
    Lana is not a quitter.
    Get her a job at Picard's LBS and I bet she is.
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    The whole "Everyone deserves to live like a millionaire even if they're still flipping burgers at 35" is the mentality I believe needs to be fixed.
    Stopped reading after this. Straw man arguments like that are good indicators that I'm wasting my time.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post
    Why is it that the "LBS mechanics" selling bikes online are always selling $6000+ top of the line bikes?
    A. Because they get a sweet discount so that bike didn't cost them nearly that much.

    B. Because one of the main reasons they are in that profession is because they are passionate about bikes and want to ride a good one.

    C. Because they work on bikes all day and know the value of quality components.

    Working at a shop does wonders to decrease the costs of cycling, but at the end of the day that doesn't really decrease your overall costs of living. It just means you have the cycling gear of a wealthy person, while actually living a much more modest lifestyle.

  50. #50
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    We need Zooey's input.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    We need Zooey's input.
    Does mtbr have enough storage space?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Stopped reading after this. Straw man arguments like that are good indicators that I'm wasting my time.
    Wow. Great counterpoint; well stated and solidly supported. Glad I read to the end. We've all been enriched by your contribution.



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    Quote Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post
    Why is it that the "LBS mechanics" selling bikes online are always selling $6000+ top of the line bikes?
    Around here on CL they are usually POS bikes with an asking price 3x what they are worth and a statement to the effect of "It's a fantastic top of the line bike, I know because I'm a bike mechanic".

    And what makes it funnier is they use terms like "neck" for stem", "seat" instead of saddle, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Wow. Great counterpoint; well stated and solidly supported. Glad I read to the end. We've all been enriched by your contribution.



    Burgerflippers of the world unite!
    Do you know what a straw man is? In short it's a shitty argument that doesn't deserve a counter-point. If you want to discuss the actual issue then I'd be happy to make counter-points, though this is definitely not the place to do that.

    My point was simply that if you feel that statement is reasonable then you and I will never come to a consensus on the subject... You are proving my assumption correct, can we both just move on?

    ... And for the record, I'm pretty damn far from a burger flipper but I'd rather unite with them than people who think it's OK to demean them for what they do for a living.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    My point was simply that if you feel that statement is reasonable then you and I will never come to a consensus on the subject... You are proving my assumption correct, can we both just move on?
    My point is that maybe since you've made no point at all besides throwing shit out of your cage, maybe you should've just moved on in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    How did you get picard on video?
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    "There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand."

    Yeah, like maybe a movie date with Pee Wee isn't the best choice if you don't like extra butter flavoring on your popcorn.
    ¯\(°_o)/¯

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    How did you get picard on video?
    I am more Sexy than peewee Herman.

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  59. #59
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    I know that lbs has high turnover of employees. 3 people quit besides the girl.

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    Back in 04 I started at my local REI. On the sales floor I learned about everything in that store and participated in near everything we sell. I couldn't get enough, but my passion was still bikes. I was doing my own maintenance and builds for a few years and after the techs watching me tear my bikes down and build them up, build wheels, overhaul hubs etc, they stuck me in the shop building bikes, worked with me for the day and pointed out a few setup-wise things they wanted to see on a sales floor bike.

    Fast forward a while, like 11 years. I had moved and switched stores and was a full time tech. I had reasonable pay, killer health insurance (you do not want to start a family without it) vacation, sick time, just under 40 hours a week (so I could ride), 401K... I had had the pleasure of working with some phenomenal mechanics at REI, who helped me enormously along the way.

    A small chain of 6 shops was opening a 7th location about 3/4 of a mile from my house and needed a mechanic. Long story short, I got hired. I got a little better pay? (salaried), crap insurance, 50ish hours a week. less vacation and sick time. The discounts were better, but it was only bike stuff.

    As a mechanic I had to buy my own tools. I bought (at retail) about $5000.00 in tools and I probably could have doubled that if I bought "top of the line" everything. I still could have spent another $3-5K on all the one off and esoteric sh!t that I might use once or twice a decade. Additionally, with things changing the way they are you are always trying to stay on top of the latest tech and tools.

    I was making the equivalent of about $14.00/hr and we were charging $110.00/hr. The amount of knowledge and tools I needed to possess to not screw things up with every stupid evolving standard out there was staggering. I think tool owning mechanics especially should get a better wage.

    I was immediately in over my head and loving it, working on incredible bikes, and being in a blue collar city a fair amount of garbage as well (Huffy Carnage). I lasted about a year and a half. I was told that while I hadn't screwed up, the store manager didn't have faith that I could keep up when the spring rush came. Basically I was playing mechanic, service writer, warranty guy, sales guy, inventory guy, shipper/reciever, opening and closing the store/registers, all while being expected to be able to handle about $1000.00 in labor line items a day or about 10 tune ups. In the end, I think I was let go cause I pissed someone off in a higher position than I. I was critical of things that were happening. Lack of torque wrench use, poor insurance, rushing builds, and I asked the CFO if I could get a quote on group LT/ST disability insurance for the mechanics after he said he didn't want to look into it. He said no and said we didn't need it.

    That was my experience in an independent shop. I'm back at REI. I'm happy. I'm not working on $8K & $10K bikes now, but I see my kid more. I ride my bikes more. I still let the lawn get too long. I see my wife more too but I don't know if that's a plus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    My point is that maybe since you've made no point at all besides throwing shit out of your cage, maybe you should've just moved on in the first place.
    Nah, I'm glad I pointed out how ridiculous your statement was... And further glad that you proved me correct in assuming that your general attitude in such a discussion would be equally ridiculous.

    Cool, now I'll move on. Thanks for playing.

  62. #62
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    The store manager quit a month ago. I only found out recently. Lbs is earning good revenue. There is plenty of customers

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Nah, I'm glad I pointed out how ridiculous your statement was... And further glad that you proved me correct in assuming that your general attitude in such a discussion would be equally ridiculous.

    Cool, now I'll move on. Thanks for playing.
    Once again, you've made no point, and backed it up with nothing.
    Good riddance; come back if you ever have a point of your own. I'm sure it'll be the rightest ever.
    Let me guess how it would go. You'll take a some questionable math and statistics, a bit of hippie pseudo-sociology, and somehow conclude with labelling me a racist.

    There, I saved you some typing. You're welcome.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Lbs is earning good revenue.

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    How do you know this, did you suddenly learn to Google?

    Just because there are customers in the store doesn't mean they're "earning good revenue", K-Mart has customers, too.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    How do you know this, did you suddenly learn to Google?

    Just because there are customers in the store doesn't mean they're "earning good revenue".
    Maybe because of the high entrance fee they charge him every time he goes there?
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    Oops, double post.
    Last edited by TheDwayyo; 05-15-2017 at 10:28 AM. Reason: double

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Re View Post
    Back in 04 I started at my local REI...
    Interesting experience for sure. I can see how REI would be able to offer better benefits even if the pay difference isn't huge. I agree; health insurance is almost as important as pay, particularly when starting a new family.

    I would never do any bike-related business at REI (though I love them for hiking stuff) but I'm sure you guys stay plenty busy, especially given the locations of stores in my area.

    I wonder how a service manager position at an independent store would compare? It sounds like you are at that level or near it, but my guess is the schedule wouldn't be as good... Our service manager has a hard time getting much time for riding, family, etc during the busy season.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    you might think you're a good bike mechanic until you try spending every week working on everything that has ever been put on every bicycle, ever
    LOL....that is the truth right there. Maintaining your own high end, well maintained bike isn't all that hard. Over the years, I've run a bunch of bike tune up clinics for local scout troops. Trying to do anything on a bunch 10 year old department store bikes, made out of pig iron, that have been left out in the rain, never assembled correctly, and never been touched by any other tool than a hammer or pair of pliers......now that it a challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    LOL....that is the truth right there. Maintaining your own high end, well maintained bike isn't all that hard. Over the years, I've run a bunch of bike tune up clinics for local scout troops. Trying to do anything on a bunch 10 year old department store bikes, made out of pig iron, that have been left out in the rain, never assembled correctly, and never been touched by any other tool than a hammer or pair of pliers......now that it a challenge.
    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.



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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    How do you know this, did you suddenly learn to Google?

    Just because there are customers in the store doesn't mean they're "earning good revenue", K-Mart has customers, too.
    I saw customers place orders. They just sold several giant bikes this month

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    I saw customers place orders. They just sold several giant bikes this month

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    Wow, they're raking it in. Owner must be millionaire by now.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Wow, they're raking it in. Owner must be millionaire by now.



    At least Thousandaire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    At least Thousandaire.
    You know what they say, how do you make a million bucks in the bicycle industry?

    A. Start with two million.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Interesting experience for sure. I can see how REI would be able to offer better benefits even if the pay difference isn't huge. I agree; health insurance is almost as important as pay, particularly when starting a new family.

    I would never do any bike-related business at REI (though I love them for hiking stuff) but I'm sure you guys stay plenty busy, especially given the locations of stores in my area.

    I wonder how a service manager position at an independent store would compare? It sounds like you are at that level or near it, but my guess is the schedule wouldn't be as good... Our service manager has a hard time getting much time for riding, family, etc during the busy season.
    I suppose when you have 10,000+ employees you can get a decent rate on healthcare.

    I don't know what your local REI is like. I've worked with a bunch of great mechanics, and a few that I wouldn't let work on my bikes. But I've had the same experience at the independents that I have frequented over the years. Talk to some of them as people and riders as opposed to salespeople/?mechanics (hopefully they can do the same) and you may find yourself surprised. In our shop, between three of the four of the mechanics, they have a combined 80+ years of experience between them. The newer guy has ridden forever but has done a lot of his own work, as well as frame-building classes and being a Mercedes Benz certified tech before coming to us a few years ago.

    Saddly I am currently not working as a tech. I was gone long enough to lose the lions share of my seniority.

    I, despite the store GM telling me I wasn't the service manager, was accountable for pretty much everything in the shop except the other mechanics... ...because often I was the only one. The schedule was hectic, (45-55hrs/wk. The company promises a 48 hour turnaround unless we didn't have the parts. I have a kid who I have to pick up from the inlaws/babysitters when the wife is working late, (which was dictated by the schedule they put me on. I got immeasurable grief when I couldn't stay later than I was scheduled for. I was naive for not seeing it being such a problem, but I did make it known up front that that would happen.

    I am 25 miles further from work now, but I see my family more than I did. I also ride as much if not more. As well it's much easier to get race day's off.

  75. #75
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    Owner is millionaire. I saw his huge house with big pool I back yard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Owner is millionaire. I saw his huge house with big pool I back yard

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    Dude, wtf is wrong with you?

    Seriously, you need help. Quit posting here and get whatever help the Canadian health care can get you. Damn the cost!
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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.



    Back about 1998, right as the high tech bubble was about to burst I worked for this place Vacuum Furnaces, Custom Designed High temperature. My title was Mechanical Technician, which basically meant I was an assembly guy. But I had my own/first desk and the only one on the shop floor. That was a cool job. The three main engineers were legit geniuses. There was the founder of the company, and the two astrophysicists. One who worked on the Hubble fixes and one who worked on the shuttle program and something DOD that he said was still classified. There were almost 40 patents pertaining to their product lining the office hallway.

    The assembly of the systems was not difficult to me, but not having an education and knowing nothing about the science/physics of processing the materials we were dealing with, I was as far in that company as I would likely have gone.

    I look at the first picture and figure with a good set of instructions, a small toolkit, and chainfall, I could get that thing together and doing whatever it is it's supposed to do. The second picture looks to be on a different scale. I might need help with that and a bigger lift. I will say that I have no idea what it is that either of those are supposed to do. In the end, if you are mechanically inclined, most machines are easy to assemble if you have the tools.

    Most engineers shouldn't play with wrenches and most mechanics shouldn't play with computers. 25 years in a few different jobs/industries has taught me that.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    Owner is millionaire. I saw his huge house with big pool I back yard

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    I thought Finch already covered that, the owner was a millionaire twice over a couple of years ago, should have seen the place he had then!
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    I saw customers place orders. They just sold several giant bikes this month

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    Tiny bikes are the way to go, they tell me.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Tiny bikes are the way to go, they tell me.
    works for me
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Re View Post
    I look at the first picture and figure with a good set of instructions, a small toolkit, and chainfall, I could get that thing together and doing whatever it is it's supposed to do. The second picture looks to be on a different scale. I might need help with that and a bigger lift. I will say that I have no idea what it is that either of those are supposed to do. In the end, if you are mechanically inclined, most machines are easy to assemble if you have the tools.

    Hehehehe..."good set of instructions and a small tookit".

    You are definitely confusing 'assembling' with designing and building from scratch; this stuff is all one-off custom equipment / facilities. Unless your 'small tookit' includes some major welding equipment and you're an extremely experienced tube welder with a list of certifications as long as your arm, you're deep in fantasy land. (Not that I'm saying you're not capable of learning what you'd need, but it would take many years of training and experience.)


    First picture is a filter skid, second is one little room in a billion dollar facility chock full of that sort of thing, all interconnected. The 'instructions' for these facilities run in the 10's of thousands of drawings, and chances are you would need a years of experience just to be able to read them. End products are medicine.

    Every weld in critical systems is documented, cataloged, videotaped inside and out (and a percentage are even X-rayed) for QC. Every tube slopes just slightly as the design takes into account that liquid must never be given a place to collect - everything drains. Every tube and fitting that touch product which will eventually enter a human body is traceable basically back to where it came out of the ground. Definitely nothing like throwing together the old backyard grille or tuning up a Stumpjumper.


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  82. #82
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    Why do you guys want to work for lbs?-micro-filtration-skid-2.jpg

    Where is it that the coffee comes out?

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    We should start a 'why do you want to work for a pharmaceutical manufacturer' thread!

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    That thing probably makes awesome coffee.

    Anyone remember the scene in Breaking Bad where Gale had a mad scientist coffee maker all set up? I was going nuts. That coffee probably rocked.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Micro-Filtration-Skid-2.jpg 
Views:	25 
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ID:	1137443

    Where is it that the coffee comes out?
    The bottom, of course.

    I actually don't work for the pharma mfger; I work for a process piping company that specialized in hi-purity systems. We also do lots of 'dirty' work, power plants, industrial heating and cooling systems, all sorts of facilities. Hell, we're even working on a huge weed growing operation right now - lighting requirements are so intense the lamps are getting a geothermal cooling system.

    As far as 'why'? Cuz it pays well; which goes back to my original point - if you wanna make good money, learn how to do something that's not easy. That's where the opportunities are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    That thing probably makes awesome coffee.

    Anyone remember the scene in Breaking Bad where Gale had a mad scientist coffee maker all set up? I was going nuts. That coffee probably rocked.
    Ha - great show. Their lab made me crazy tho - I couldn't stop seeing things that were wildly wrong with the way it was 'built'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    The bottom, of course.

    I actually don't work for the pharma mfger; I work for a process piping company that specialized in hi-purity systems. We also do lots of 'dirty' work, power plants, industrial heating and cooling systems, all sorts of facilities. Hell, we're even working on a huge weed growing operation right now - lighting requirements are so intense the lamps are getting a geothermal cooling system.

    As far as 'why'? Cuz it pays well; which goes back to my original point - if you wanna make good money, learn how to do something that's not easy. That's where the opportunities are.
    Or as you pointed out, do something no one else wants to do. Garbage men make pretty good money.

    No one said skills shouldn't receive appropriate pay, I just don't think that is threatened when we try to provide unskilled jobs that pay livable wages. If a truly skilled job is paying just above a living wage, then I'd say that job is underpaid. Unskilled full time work should support a modest living for a modest family, skilled full time work should support less modest living for a less modest family... Scale up proportionately.

    Back to the semi-OP related aspect of the topic, how does this fall with bike shop stuff? Most of the jobs in a shop are just retail on paper and even service stuff is arguably below the level of most other types of mechanical repair... So I can understand why it's hard to pay great wages, but if those wages aren't livable then we get a revolving door effect where it's just young kids looking for a stop-gap before their real job.

    Our head mechanic has a PHD in evolutionary biology and was a research scientist before wrenching. He's very talented and we're lucky to have him, but it seems like it's an unusual circumstance that both motivates and allows him to even have the job. My guess is it was not a financial decision for him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Unskilled full time work should support a modest living for a modest family,
    Of course, defining 'modest' is where things get tricky.
    A lot of people these days would think that it includes things like a smart phone, cable TV (on a big screen of course), nice clothes, a decent car, etc etc. Hell, I still don't have some of those things and have only recently acquired others, and I've been working at a 'highly skilled' level for 25+ years. I think bike shop and burger-flipper jobs should be for precisely what you describe - a revolving roster of young kids at their first jobs. That's why they're called 'entry level' - you're not supposed to try to make a career out of them; they were never intended to be careers.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Yeah there's something zen about wheel building, at least there is for me.
    I built a pair during college and it was a great stress reliever from my classes. I'd get back into it if I had the space in my house.

    It was a very cool experience. The LBS loaned me a good book on wheelbuilding and I followed it to the letter. The wheels turned out very nice.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    The store manager quit a month ago. I only found out recently. Lbs is earning good revenue. There is plenty of customers

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    It sounds like the owners are not treating their employees very well.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Of course, defining 'modest' is where things get tricky.
    A lot of people these days would think that it includes things like a smart phone, cable TV (on a big screen of course), nice clothes, a decent car, etc etc. Hell, I still don't have some of those things and have only recently acquired others, and I've been working at a 'highly skilled' level for 25+ years. I think bike shop and burger-flipper jobs should be for precisely what you describe - a revolving roster of young kids at their first jobs. That's why they're called 'entry level' - you're not supposed to try to make a career out of them; they were never intended to be careers.
    This does get tricky. There are certainly people who just don't have the physical and/or mental capacity to obtain a higher wage job, but still need to earn a living for themselves and their family, if they have one. In that case, I think there should be better pay for a low-skilled position. I mean something liveable and not enough to buy a bunch of luxuries.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    If you wanna make good money, learn how to do something that's not easy.
    Lots of people do jobs that are not easy but don't get paid well for it. You think working long shifts in a burger joint is easy? Working on a production line is easy? On your feet all day, can't stop, can't sit down no matter how tired you are.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Lots of people do jobs that are not easy but don't get paid well for it. You think working long shifts in a burger joint is easy? Working on a production line is easy? On your feet all day, can't stop, can't sit down no matter how tired you are.
    Been there. Also was a masonry laborer for a couple years, and a mover for quite a few. By 'easy', I mean they require little brainpower, experience or training and carry very little responsibility. Shuffling back and forth from the counter to the fryolator all day may be drudgery, but it doesn't require any real skill. "Entry level", once again. Get some experience, develop a track record of being a good employee, learn how to do more and more things, move on. If you're out of high school for 10 years, but still doing the same entry level job for the same money, it's very likely you need to change something about the way you're approaching your career. If you've got some sort of disability, that's one thing, but I'm going to assume that's a small minority. A lot of people are just...I dunno, lazy isn't exactly the right word, but it's close. Unmotivated? Complacent? Something along those lines.

    Personally, when I got sick of carrying furniture 12-14 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week, I went to night school and learned how to do something that paid better, required less physical labor, and actually had a path to advancement. My wife did the same thing, twice. We've worked hard (still do) and put a lot of thought and effort into making a decent life for our family, but we're not any sort of geniuses or 'silver spooners'. Don't see any reason anyone else can't do the same, or better.
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  94. #94
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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.

    And some people may not see dealing with bikes as difficult (I sure don't) but those people are the ones with the mental capacity and experience for it to come easy.

    Cooking fries and flipping burgers do not require any skill. Building a set of wheels, rebuilding a set of forks etc requires skills and knowledge which should be paid for.

    It's like all these people that try to say their "mechanics" and try to fix cars for people out of their driveway. Often only making the matters worse or delaying the inevitable and costing the person more in the end. Where as go to a proper shop with skilled techs and get it done right the first time and the actual problem fixed.

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  95. #95
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    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.
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  96. #96
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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.
    You must have better auto mechanics where you are.
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  97. #97
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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.
    Slap,

    Did you check out the link I put up. I didn't do the design/engineering work on those. The engineer didn't do the welding or assemble the electrical systems. It took about 25 people with different skill set to get those things from the drawing board to operational. I'm generally skilled at looking at a pile of parts and being able to visualize and assemble those parts into something functioning. That's all I meant by a good set of instructions and a small tool kit.

    Most bike mechanics don't do much suspension work because they and the salespeople have a hard time convincing customers to do regular maintenance on their suspension until something goes really wrong. At that point it goes back to the manufacturer or tuning shop because most shops don't want to buy the tools for all the different manufacturers. Some of those tools are stupid expensive. I do fancy myself a pretty decent wheelbuilder. As far as I'm aware, nothing I've built has come apart. All my own wheels have been ridden and raced and have fared better than the system wheels I have.

    Look, working on bikes isn't rocket science. But assembling $10,000.00+ high end carbon disc brake road bikes takes skill to not fudge up. Pressing a bearing wrong. Over-torquing something. On the other side, working on Huffy's takes skill to not beat the f@ck out of them with a hammer knowing you will never make them work really well.

    I think peoples idea of a living (a different thing from a living wage) is a bit off kilter. Too many live far beyond their means. They buy a new car. 3500 sq/ft house. Have to have the newest iPhone/Android. Cable with every channel known to humanity. The list goes on.

    Do I want more money so I can take the family on a nice vacation? Sure.

    I hate that I have to spend a third of my life not experiencing life. I want to enjoy the other two thirds. Right now I enjoy work and I have a lot of fun outside of work. I do what I can and what the law allows on our house. I do what I can on my car, but I know when I can't do something with the tools I own.

    Life is what you make of it, but you can't make something from nothing and you can't expect to have anything handed to you. It sounds like you made it more how you want it.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Re View Post
    Life is what you make of it, but you can't make something from nothing and you can't expect to have anything handed to you.
    Exactly.

    And there is definitely a point where bike mechanic is what I would consider a highly skilled gig. An old friend of mine is wrench for Giant's team; travels all over the world working under the pressure of race schedules and everything else that comes along with operating at that level. Pretty sweet job actually. I'd imagine it pays a good bit better than working at the mom and pop LBS.
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  99. #99
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    Picard, keep the inane posts coming. Classic!

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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    A. Of course, defining 'modest' is where things get tricky.
    A lot of people these days would think that it includes things like a smart phone, cable TV (on a big screen of course), nice clothes, a decent car, etc etc. Hell, I still don't have some of those things and have only recently acquired others, and I've been working at a 'highly skilled' level for 25+ years.

    B. I think bike shop and burger-flipper jobs should be for precisely what you describe - a revolving roster of young kids at their first jobs. That's why they're called 'entry level' - you're not supposed to try to make a career out of them; they were never intended to be careers.
    A. See, this is the reasonable discussion I was looking to have. I can totally agree with this.

    It's even tougher to discern when everybody places different value on different luxuries in their lives. You get people who live poverty-style in some regards (housing, food, healthcare, etc.) yet have all the luxuries in some other random category (clothes, cars, iPhones, etc.) just because they need the status symbol.

    B. On bike shops I agree that at least front end sales is entry level and that's OK. I work at the shop part time around ten hours a week and it's perfect for that, but you can't run a business with part timers. Somebody there has to be making a decent wage or else it's chaos. I'd hope the owner, head mechanic and general manager at least are making good money... But it seems like that's not always the case. How do we expect the shop to exist if not?

    My shop has stopped hiring kids for the most part. They learn slow, generally don't seem to value the shop and what we're trying to accomplish and in the end are rarely reliable. The downside is we struggle to find people because our standards are fairly high but the wages are low. Tough way to run a business that is so impacted by reputation.

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