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So, I went into a shop (NYC Velo on 2nd Ave) to get a heel pad replacement for a Sidi shoe. The mechanic, Chris, found one and installed it for me. He then saw my new bike and asked to have a look. Now, this is a bike I'd had built by a frame builder; not purchased there, mind you. Next thing I know, he's adjusting the fd and rd because of cable stretch and has moved on to the King hubs, which had a bit of slop. A pretty thorough going-over. I let him take a spin on it around the block. He gave it back and said "great bike." So I asked "What do I owe you?" He said, just the cost of the heel pad. I offered him a sixer, but he said he didn't drink. We exchanged pleasantries and I was out the door, as my girlfriend was patient enough to postpone our lunch date and wait with me as all this free maintenance occurred.

So my question is, if he didn't want the beer, should I have offered him cash even though he wasn't going to charge me for the work he did? He just wanted to ride the bike, but I felt like I'd somehow robbed the place. Of course I am going to go back and spend money at the store. Still can't help feeling like there was something else I could have done.
 

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No hero that's understood
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If the mechanic is the owner of the shop, you will fill his pockets by doing business there.

If he's just a dude that works there, make sure to mention to the owner how helpful he was and that the type of service offered by the store is why you have become, and will continue to be, a customer.
 

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Rollin' Stones
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q_and_a said:
If the mechanic is the owner of the shop, you will fill his pockets by doing business there.

If he's just a dude that works there, make sure to mention to the owner how helpful he was and that the type of service offered by the store is why you have become, and will continue to be, a customer.
+1000000000
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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chasea said:
So my question is, if he didn't want the beer, should I have offered him cash even though he wasn't going to charge me for the work he did? He just wanted to ride the bike, but I felt like I'd somehow robbed the place. Of course I am going to go back and spend money at the store. Still can't help feeling like there was something else I could have done.
My main bike wrench does free stuff for me all the time. I started feeling bad as well, so I just occasionally bring him some lunch.

A tip ... I don't know. Seems kind of demeaning when it's out of context.
 

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Former bike mechanic here. Do any of you know how much (actually, little) these guys make? Tips are definitely appreciated, and I like the cash kind more than the pizza, cookies, and beer kind combined.
 

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smell my finger
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Nice hearing there are still great people working in the local shops that truly love bikes. I have not spent enough time myself at the local LBS's and need to stop in and say hi.
 

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25.806975801127
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Tips of any sort are always appreciated. I worked on someone's bike last week...I had given her an estimate of $80. The rear derailleur was destroyed, and there were some other issues as well. The estimate was for a $30 rear derailleur. Upon working on the bike and trying to bend the derailleur hanger back (steel frame), I found that the mounting hole was stretched beyond use. I didn't have any framesavers, and she didn't seem to want to spend much money, so I put on a SunRace rear derailleur for WalMart bikes (the one with the hook)... Total ended up being $64-something. She gave me $80. Told me to keep it.

There's a guy here in the shop right now. He broke down yesterday while riding across the country (the "easy"way...north to south.) His rear wheel self-destructed. I told him he could stay here at the shop last night, since it was getting late. He took me out for dinner last night. He's also giving me all kinds of advice as far as marketing (one of his professions).

I like tips...
 

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DrRoebuck said:
My main bike wrench does free stuff for me all the time. I started feeling bad as well, so I just occasionally bring him some lunch.

A tip ... I don't know. Seems kind of demeaning when it's out of context.
People like cash money, especially when they make bike wrench wages.

I feel awkward bringing lunch if I am not close to the guy. How do you know what they like, if they are hungry, if they are veg or vegan, if they think one type of food/pizza or sandwich topping is gross, etc.? Maybe I'm just neurotic.

Since he's your normal wrench, your lunch idea seems cool though.
 

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Captain Obvious
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chasea said:
. Of course I am going to go back and spend money at the store. Still can't help feeling like there was something else I could have done.
^^^this is why some people provide excellent customer service.
 

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Mehpic
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Love Commander said:
I usually send them a 8x10 glossy of me nude, in repose on a tiger skin rug.

um. wow.

cash works if they don't accept beer. our shop accepts both. and cookies....and candy on that note, we recently sold a bike to someone who works at Sees candy. it's been really good- our fridge has been full of candy and cookies now for weeks.

cash tips seem to go into the community pizza/beer fund, which is cool.
 

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In college I worked at an ice cream shop on Newbury St. in Boston and there was a LBS a few doors down. I informally traded a lot of shakes and ice cream for repairs and small parts. Also had the same arrangement with a bar in the neighborhood.
 
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