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Went into the shop with my bike Thursday as I had a broken rear spoke on my 32h record/open pro. Simple DT 14/15 db spokes. Just walked in wondering if it was a quick repair to replace; he made clear I wouldn't be on the road for awhile. No problem, I just ride on the slightly out of true rear, and let them know I'd be back the next day to drop off my bike for replacement.

Give it to them Friday at noon; I was planning on an epic Saturday ride, ideally get them done by 1PM the next day (Saturday).

Well, closing time today, called in, they weren't done and seemed a bit perturbed that I was inquiring about them..."they'd call me" basically, I gave them my number.

So, case in point: should I be disappointed they didn't get it done with that kind of turnaround?

Would I be better off just replacing it myself? Is it too difficult to replace a broken spoke?

How much is a fair price for a replaced spoke repair job? Is $25 steep?

I just really wanted to ride my bike today and didn't understand why the job wouldn't be a simple fix : /
 

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One of my LBS's has a spoke cutting tool. I keep records spoke lengths of my various wheels (if they are simple spokes, not straight pull bladed spokes). So I go in and pay my $.75 for the spoke and repair the wheel at home.

Shops can't always just put you at the front of the repair line because it's a simple repair, maybe they had lots of repairs that came before you.
 
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The turnaround at our shop is more like 4-5 days at least. A spoke replacement where they would have to caculate the length and then cut it there, if they had the tool, if not take it to wherever they get their spokes cut then a 1 day turnaround is great. As for the 25 bucks, sounds about right 20-30 bucks because they will have to true the wheel again also.
 

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Does it matter?
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I say don't be disappointed, just take it as a lesson to learn to do things like that for yourself so that you don't miss out on riding time

To replace a spoke you'll have to take the tire/tube off and rim strip. if it's on the the rear drive side you most likely have to take the cassette off. Then you remove and replace the spoke and tension and true up the wheel. I'd say the price they quoted is fair, but if you had removed the broken spoke and taken it to them and asked for a replacement, you could have been back on the road for about $1 and the time it takes for you to do it.
 

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monkey with flamethrower
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This is the season that everyone and their dog and sometimes pet monkey is needing their bike repaired. Its not bad service, the shop just has other repairs for people who are ahead of you in the que. If you had broken a spoke in November the turnaround time would be the same or next day.
Here is a tip to get the wheels greased at most bike shops. Bring in some good beer, or cookies or snow cones on a hot day when you bring in your small repair. It will make the small repair happen very fast. Bike mechanics are people too, and are highly susceptible to bribes.
 

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Just for reference

DM.Aelis said:
Went into the shop with my bike Thursday as I had a broken rear spoke on my 32h record/open pro. Simple DT 14/15 db spokes. Just walked in wondering if it was a quick repair to replace; he made clear I wouldn't be on the road for awhile.

Would I be better off just replacing it myself? Is it too difficult to replace a broken spoke?

How much is a fair price for a replaced spoke repair job? Is $25 steep?
Just for reference, if you had the spare spoke on hand (always a good idea, IMO) and it wasn't on the drive side, it's a 5 minute job, tops. Typically, if you just bring the new spoke up to the tension of it's neighbors, the wheel will be true. If the spoke was on the drive side, add 10 minutes to pull and replace the cassette.

I don't begrudge the shop either the time or the price they charge, because it's very hard to balance the work load and make a profit in a bike shop. However, this just points out the real value of developing some self-sufficiency skills.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Just for reference, if you had the spare spoke on hand (always a good idea, IMO) and it wasn't on the drive side, it's a 5 minute job, tops. Typically, if you just bring the new spoke up to the tension of it's neighbors, the wheel will be true. If the spoke was on the drive side, add 10 minutes to pull and replace the cassette.

I don't begrudge the shop either the time or the price they charge, because it's very hard to balance the work load and make a profit in a bike shop. However, this just points out the real value of developing some self-sufficiency skills.
Kerry makes a lot of good points here.

Another tip: I always get 2 extra spokes of each length whenever I build a wheel and keep them in my toolbox with some masking tape to label what they go to. If you get hand built wheels or even buy wheels from you shop, tell them you want spare spokes. Don't listen to the "We stock them" story. You'll sadly find out that the don't have your size when the time comes. It's much easier and cheaper to get them when you DON'T need them.
 
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