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BURCH
09-23-2005, 03:10 PM
My year old Fuel developed a fracture in the bottom of the swingarm (a known spot for frame failures on these Al frames). Monday I took it to the shop where I bought it and my CDA.

I had a great experience with both Trek and my shop mechanic who instantly called trek and got the new swingarm warrantied and shipped out from Trek that day. They are not really making that part in AL any more, so I got a Carbon ugrade! :banana:

Here is my only small issue with the whole process. I know that i will probably have to pay for the installation (unless the shop is really nice that day). I don't expect free labor as the shop deserves payment for the time the mechanic will spend on replacing the swingarm. And I will happily pay the labor since I am getting treated pretty well by Trek and the shop and getting an upgrade to boot.

But I do have to wonder why I am paying to get something fixed that Trek so quickly warranties because they know of the issue? Trek's website specifically states that they don't cover labor costs on replaced/warrantied parts. Does this seem like a minor rip off or should I just be happy?

I mean I would never pay labor if I had something warrantied on my car, computer...etc. So, why do I pay labor on my bike warranty?

pjm
09-23-2005, 03:24 PM
I think Trek should re-imburse the shop for the labor. Doesn't W ride one of those? I wonder if Trek would make him (us) pay for the labor? :rolleyes:

gdw
09-23-2005, 03:30 PM
The shop should cover the labor costs. You purchased the bike from them and they should replace the part without charge. The aluminum stays which you had crack were used on the Trek Fuel, Gary Fisher Sugar, and Klein Adept. All three brands have had the same problems with the stays and your shop has probably had to replace a few of them before so they should be able to swap it out in under a hour.

sirroada
09-23-2005, 03:41 PM
Yeah, its a minor rip-off, BUT, you are coming out ahead. I can only imagine what that carbon swingarm costs. You could make a huge stink out of it but Trek specifically states they will not cover labor. I had a Mavic wheel break and damage my new Serotta. Mavic did not say anything in their warranty about being liable for costs incurred due to damage from a failed part...so guess who paid for that...MAVIC. I gotta hand it to them, they stepped up to the plate. Anyway, based on what they say on their webite I think you are out of luck with Trek. I am on your side...it is still a partial rip-off. I would say pay the labor (because there is no way the bike shop should do that), suck it up and go enjoy your partially new ride. :beer:

jdoiv
09-23-2005, 03:49 PM
the shop would fix it for free. You have purchased two bikes from them and are a good customer. If the repair only takes an hour, what's it going to cost them? 8 to 10 bucks in labor? If they charge you and they are a small shop, I would pay and understand that bike shops are not exaclty raking in the dough. I prefer to support my local shops but they are in business and need to put food on the table. It's a call they will have to make and hopefully you can live with it. And yeah, Trek is cheesing out by not reimbursing them for a known flaw. :fight:

Fixed
09-23-2005, 03:51 PM
Bro if your trek is like mine was you'll be back soon anyway.Cheers :beer:

Ken Robb
09-23-2005, 03:59 PM
"if it takes an hour " it costs $8-10 in labor??? Only if it's done by trained monkeys.

I was surprised when told a few years ago that virtually none of the manufacturers in the bike industry reimburse shops for labor on warranty fixes. It comes right out of the shop's pocket. How'd you like to hear that from your automobile dealer---gee, sorry about your bad crank bearings-- here are the new ones and the labor will run $1500.

Argos
09-23-2005, 04:02 PM
Trek's website specifically states that they don't cover labor costs.

They are covering the frame and standing by their obligation. Seems fair to me. I see no reason for the shop to pay for labor, as they are just as out as you.

BURCH
09-23-2005, 04:03 PM
Bro if your trek is like mine was you'll be back soon anyway.Cheers :beer:

Fixed, what do you mean? Did you have other issues. My good buddy claims to have to rebuild his pivots constantly on his '03 Trek Fuel 90. Was that you issue?

BURCH

Fixed
09-23-2005, 04:11 PM
Bro I may have had a lemmon but my road bike spent more time at the factory than with me.good luck Cheers :beer:

jdoiv
09-23-2005, 05:08 PM
[QUOTE=Ken Robb]"if it takes an hour " it costs $8-10 in labor??? Only if it's done by trained monkeys.

Do you think the mechanics at the bike shop have some sort of "special" training? Last time I checked, you didn't need a accredidation (sp?) to get a job at the local bike shop. Comparing this to a car mechanic is pathetic. Do you think those bike mechanics are making $40/hr? Hell I pay my motorcycle mechanic that much and I know he's been trained, yet I do most of the maintence myself. The shop may charge more that $8-10/hr, but that is not what it cost them to fix it. It only cost them what they are paying the mechanic (and I use this term loosely with regard to a bike shop).

Ken Robb
09-23-2005, 05:16 PM
The mechanics at my local shop have families and homes so they sure don't work for minimum wage. Employers also have to pay FICA, Workman's Comp, and sometimes health and other insurance so there is no way at any shop that I would go to that labor costs $8-10 an hour.

gdw
09-23-2005, 05:41 PM
Ken
Your shop is the exception to the rule. The average shop selling Trek's to the masses has a couple kids with no formal training doing the wrenching. $8.00-10.00 per hour, working less than 40 hours a week, no benies, no insurance.

A good shop should cover the costs of replacing the cracked stay. It really is a simple swapping of parts and the additional costs you refer to -FICA, Comp, etc- are minor. A customer shouldn't pay for a faulty design or manufacturing defect. Take the hit, keep the customer happy, and hopefully he will come back for his next bike or refer his friends to you.

Argos
09-23-2005, 05:46 PM
Man, I do not even know where to start with your post.

I'll start with answering the question properly regarding this issue of the Fuel being fixed:

$8-10/hour? Are you crazy? You are not paying the mechanic's wage (which is most likely higher then that) but you are paying the shops hourly labor rate.

If you expect to pay $10 an hour for getting something done, you may want to stop by the local 7-11 and pick up some "landscaping assistants" and have them work for you.

To have a shop spend an hour of labor working on a bike is between $45-$55/hour. Time is money. Why would someone work on a frame when they can change 12-20 flat tires in the same amount of time?

The first rule of economics is all about how everything has a trade off. Trade-offs determine Value, and it is not a one-way street. There needs to be value for the shop to work on your bike. There is overhead, wages, insurance, advertising, and the cost of not working on someone elses bike. It's a business, just like the monkey's doing your auto repair.

Ok, now to your assumption of ability:

Do you let just anyone work on your bikes?

If you answer "no, just the "Head-Mechanic" is allowed to work on my Serotta", then you value him for more then $10/hour.

If you say, "no, only I touch my bikes" then again you are in understanding that it is something that requires skill and patience and an eye for detail.

C'mon, $8-10 for an hour of labor? I'm sure you mis-spoke.

Fixed
09-23-2005, 06:05 PM
bro ever wonder why someone will spend thousands on a bike then complain about labor charges to keep goin, the mech. should be your best friends at a bike shop i.m.h.o. Cheers :beer:

jdoiv
09-23-2005, 06:07 PM
[quote by Argos}Why would someone work on a frame when they can change 12-20 flat tires in the same amount of time?

The first rule of economics is all about how everything has a trade off. Trade-offs determine Value, and it is not a one-way street. There needs to be value for the shop to work on your bike. There is overhead, wages, insurance, advertising, and the cost of not working on someone elses bike. It's a business, just like the monkey's doing your auto repair.

Ok, now to your assumption of ability:

Do you let just anyone work on your bikes?

C'mon, $8-10 for an hour of labor? I'm sure you mis-spoke.[/QUOTE]

I think the point needs to be paid that there is a differnce between "labor cost" and "shop cost". What the shop pays the mechanic is labor. what the shop charges the customer is "shop cost." Shop cost is all of the overhead, fica and everything else required to run a shop.
Now the shop in question sold the bicycle (2 to this customer) which has a problem. Which is why they should fix it ahead of all those flats. For the shop to fix it with the parts being supplied by the manufacture, the only "real" cost to the shop is the labor to get the work done. An earlier poster said this work would take about an hour. If bicycle mechanics are making (as in getting paid per hour from the shop) $40 an hour, perhaps I should consider a career change. (let see, 40 hours by 50 weeks (gotta have a vacation) by $40 = $80,000). Man, I should make a career change.

I'm not saying that shops overcharge. But when warranty work is done, it is a common practice for the shop to bill the manufacture the "shop cost" not the true labor cost to fix the problem. My point is that if the bicycle shop that sold the bike wants to make the customer happy, they will forego the hour of labor to fix an obivously diffective product. Maybe mechanics make more than $10/hr and I mis-spoke, but their is no way that they make $55/hour (mechanics, not shop).

And, yes I do most of the maintence on my bike. I happily pay for work I don't feel like doing and don't complain about the cost. But when it comes to faulty products, I don't expect to pay.

Argos
09-23-2005, 06:46 PM
I happily pay for work I don't feel like doing and don't complain about the cost.

Aside from our differences in opinion on this issue, this is a great line!

Back to the point... You are right, Shop mechanics are getting hourly wage or salary, but not $40/hr. That said, it is not the Shops place to give away labor for free. I would, myself, also give the guy a break, but i"d split the labor rate, not give cost. Giving cost is not the only way to say you care. Skilled and attentive employees, professionalism of the staff, as well as other tangible and intangible benefits that the shop provides are quite a deal if you think what the shop would be like with out them.

Lastly, as a clarifier, I was not saying mechanics get $55/hr under normal circumstances, but that is different then the hourly rate of the shop. If you want a mechanic in a bike shop to do labor, it's $45-55/hr because they need to get paid, the shop needs to make money, and there is other things that could be getting done.

That said, I have worked in the past in a summer resort community where people wanted things done on Friday night when the came out and wanted to ride at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The work they wanted was rediculous. bFull tune-ups, etc. We'd close at 7, and have to be back at the shop for work at 7:30 am, but they wanted it done. did not care that we just put in a 10-11hr day and were doing 12hrs the next day. I'd stay late with another employee, the head Mechanic, and do it, but they would get us a 6 pack and our rate was $80/hr. cash. Man that was fun.

vaxn8r
09-23-2005, 07:19 PM
bro ever wonder why someone will spend thousands on a bike then complain about labor charges to keep goin, the mech. should be your best friends at a bike shop i.m.h.o. Cheers :beer:
Well put!

cdmc
09-23-2005, 08:26 PM
While you may think that the cost of labor is only $8-10 hr, it is far higher than that. By the time a shop pays all the costs associated with labor, such as FICA, Disability, Workers Comp, payroll taxes, etc., that guy that is "making" $10 hr costs the shop $18-20hr. This does not include the fixed cost of operating the shop such as rent, etc..

jdoiv
09-23-2005, 08:26 PM
bro ever wonder why someone will spend thousands on a bike then complain about labor charges to keep goin, the mech. should be your best friends at a bike shop i.m.h.o. Cheers :beer:


I try to make friends with the people at the shop and value their experience. At the same time, if I spent thousands on a bike and it broke through no fault of my own, I don't think I should foot the bill.

Argos: I agree that some people make ridiculous demands. I wouldn't blame anyone for charging extra for an overnight job and the beer would be expected. :beer: ;) But I don't think it's ridiculous for the shop to back the products it carries. If the manufacturer won't cover the labor with the shop, then I think the shop should consider dropping the manufacturer. That can be hard for a small shop or small market and is totally a judgement call. My OP on this thread stated that if it were a small shop, to go ahead and pay the fee without complaining. I have bought product from local shops and mail order, but the older I get the more I'm willing to pay a premium to the lbs vs. some large mail order shop. I really prefer to support them as the money stays local and the shop will give you a brake every once in awhile. Splitting the cost of the repair I think would be a reasonable way to go and maybe if they throw in a discount or free pair of socks or whatever, I think that would be pretty cool. :banana: Just make sure the customer is happy 'cause they do have other options with their disposable income....

jmho....

csm
09-23-2005, 08:36 PM
not all warranty work on a car is free. you wanna know one reason that shops need to charge labor? because folks don't think they should have to pay retail for anything. want proof? look at the classified section. all you fine folks that find deals on mailorder post them here. I think you should be happy to get the upgraded swingarm for $25-40. and tip your mechanic. 'cause you know you're going to call him after your mailorder crap gets here.

Ken Robb
09-23-2005, 08:53 PM
I just got back from the LBS with my Waterford RS-11. It had a 105 gruppo which I replaced with a mix of Ultegra and Dura Ace plus TA Zephyr cranks that I have been sitting on for a while (thanks to Dave Thompson for cranks and SoCal Steve for the DA stuff).

To mount/adjust the stuff, new cables/housing, I paid for 1.5 hours of labor at $55 per hour and IT WAS WORTH IT. It would have taken me all day and I probably would have needed their help to finish it after all anyway. The old crank had the threads boogered up by the previous owner's mechanic and geting it out was tricky. The new crank and Phil Wood bottom bracket required careful measuring and adjusting for equal Q factor. The front DA triple derailer had to be set just so as I'm now running 48-38-28 rings with spacing different from DA.

Hmmm, now that I think about it it could be the "mechanic" who boogered the crank extractor threads might be the guy who gets and deserves $8 an hour.

This guy is the best wrench I've ever seen and the best I can even imagine. This shop even disassembles/reassembles the new bikes when they take them out of the box before they put them up for sale.

csm
09-23-2005, 08:54 PM
you are a fine american

BumbleBeeDave
09-23-2005, 09:30 PM
. . . this one:

<<The average shop selling Trek's to the masses has a couple kids with no formal training doing the wrenching. $8.00-10.00 per hour, working less than 40 hours a week, no benies, no insurance.>>

Iím sure everyone here can think of one local shop they have where that really is the case. I can think of a couple and I donít have work done there. But Iím also sure everyone here can think of one local shop that is the other end of the scale and have mechanics who you know are experienced--and maybe even certified--as good mechanics.

I repainted my MTB this past winter and had the whole thing put back together and new wheels built by the guy locally that I trust. It ended up being about $225. Worth every penny!

BBDave

H.Frank Beshear
09-23-2005, 10:27 PM
:D For those of you with issues with your local shop. When was the last time you stopped by with lunch/bevarages? I take lunch over to my friends at the bike shop once or twice a month. I don't buy lunch I just call and ask who would something from the Mexican grocery store.I will take tortas and tamales over to them and they will reimburse me the cost. I pay for odd things and labor to fix stuff. But I also get the team pricing on parts and labor. If I want to learn how to fix/ repair something I am welcome to try, with a helpful look over the shoulder, and the occasional, Uhm no don't do that. :rolleyes: I am very fortunate to have a shop that allows me to do this. Unfortunately some of you are not this lucky. Establish a working relationship with your LBS. They may not be perfect but most of them try very hard. I ride with a retired shop owner who will tell you that he rides alot more now than he ever did when he owned a shop, but he loves bicycles and getting people to ride them. just my 2 cents and all. Take care Frank

Ken Robb
09-24-2005, 12:06 AM
go Frank--I have lunch with the guys once a week and we take turns buying without really keeping score.

Needs Help
09-24-2005, 01:06 AM
I mean I would never pay labor if I had something warrantied on my car
That's not true for parts with lifetime warranties on my car.

pdxmech13
09-24-2005, 01:51 AM
This thread really interest me. I have been working in he industry for well over 12 years now and am still amazed at how bicycle shops are viewed by the public. Recently I started working at one of the countries premeire shops and we pride ourself with the service we provide our customers. Argos makes all very valid points that I hope make sense to people. We charge close to $60.00 an hour. Not a single person on my service staff isn't professionally trained and well deserving of what they get paid. You better believe though that when mistakes are made there is acountability on our end. We also work in one of the most cycling dominant city's in the U.S. but never was out more than one week for repair delievery through the entire summer. I have worked for shops in the midwest that went well over a month. Now I could rant and rave all nite but these are small prices to pay for someone to talk to when something goes wrong with our beloved machines. Could anyone imagine having something break on a new bike and only having to deal with somebody over the phone. Customer service comes at a price and if your not getting what you think you deserve bring it up with someone that will listen or stop going there. Remeber at the end of the day Your LBD is there for the same reasons you are. THEY LOVE BIKES

VIVA LA BICYCLE :no:

fishylittlethin
09-24-2005, 03:21 AM
FWIW, the shop around my area (Hamburg, Germany) charges 4.50 euro per 6 minute block. That means 45 Euro for an hour's work. If I need professional work done, I go to them happily because I KNOW it will be done right and they will not bugger up.

I do most of the work myself nowadays anyway.

shoe
09-24-2005, 09:29 AM
if they do fix it for free it certainly wouldn't hurt to tip the mechanic....i know i always appreciate a tip when i work hard to do a good job and it lets you know that you appreciate their service. i also like it when people bring in baked goods as well. cakes- banana bread- money----it all says an extra thanks....dave

BURCH
09-25-2005, 08:38 PM
Thanks for all of the input. I should be getting the bike early this week. I will let you know how it goes. I am definately going to tip the mechanic either way. He is a no $8/hr summer kid. I know that he is a trained full time mechanic and that he is obsessive with bikes. Good guy, very personable, and always hands out tips for bike care.

I never look for handouts, but I have dropped over $7,000 at this place in the last 13 months on bikes, shoes, and other misc things. So, I am curious if they will charge for the labor.

BTW: this shop is doing pretty well with two locations and and serving many high end bike owners.

csm
09-25-2005, 08:56 PM
maybe they will.how do you like the fuel anyway? I have a palamino that I keep falling off. usually at speed.

BURCH
09-26-2005, 11:25 AM
maybe they will.how do you like the fuel anyway? I have a palamino that I keep falling off. usually at speed.


Love it. It is great at climbing and fast sections and pretty good in most technical spots except really gnarly stuff (which I don't usually do being Cross Country minded).
I have done some upgrades on it so I am riding all Fox suspension, new integrated BB crank...etc which helps make it a better ride.

Argos
09-26-2005, 11:49 AM
Have you seen they have the new Fuel EX 9.5 coming for 2006? Full Carbon with all the high ZOOT SRAM! Nice!

BURCH
09-26-2005, 12:51 PM
Have you seen they have the new Fuel EX 9.5 coming for 2006? Full Carbon with all the high ZOOT SRAM! Nice!

Saw it the other day online. I would love to try that bike out. That bike has to be a demon on the trails and I know that it will be a great climber once you drop the handlebars down.