The core component to any successful Bicycle Store is it’s Workshop. They not only properly assemble all the bicycles that are sold in store. They also regularly service customer bicycles, make repairs and in some cases, provide insurance valuations.
They can be a little intimidating for first-time customers. So here is a rough guideline to make every visit a good one.
1. Book Ahead
Workshops can be very busy at times. Especially leading up to big cycling events like Triathlons, Road Races and Social/Charity rides. If you require a service or a complicated repair, it is a good idea to allow at least a week, and in the case of leading up to an event, a couple of weeks. So call them up and book ahead. A good workshop will always be busy and will rarely be able to do a service on the spot.
Most Workshops do not require you to pre-book for a tyre or tube (non-tubular) change though.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask
The old saying “There is no such thing as a stupid question” rings true with any workshop. They understand that not everyone is an expert in everything bicycle. From the most complex rebuilds to how much PSI you should put into your tyre. Don’t be afraid to ask them what you want to know. They are here to help and educate.
3. Don’t haggle
We all like a discount and while it comes down to parts it is fair to ask for a discount now and then. In regards to labour, asking for a discount can be seen in poor taste. A lot of time and effort is put in by a Mechanic working on your bicycle. They don’t skimp on the service they provide and you shouldn’t on the cost.
4. Be hygienic
We get that a bicycle can get dirty. If it isn’t dirty, you’re probably not riding it right. But no Workshop enjoys working on a bicycle that is unsanitary and unhygienic (after all in a triathlon, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go). We get that it happens, but as a courtesy at least give your bicycle a hose down before handing over to the workshop. They appreciate the forethought.
5. Never enter the Workshop unless invited.
Most Workshop Mechanics will agree that their biggest annoyance (besides a tricky service) is people entering the Workshop uninvited. Some of the tools being used in a Workshop are of an industrial grade and therefore require the proper safety measures being taken when in use. Unless invited by a mechanic to enter a Workshop, it’s considered in poor manners to enter. Not in the least it can be potentially hazardous in some situations as well as being an OH&S issue.
6. Don’t ask to borrow their tools.
Perhaps its only a simple tube/tyre change or fitting your own pedals. It might only be a tyre lever or pedal spanner, but most mechanics are uncomfortable with loaning tools. Asking for a pump is fine, asking for a spanner is not. It’s impolite to ask and you’ll avoid any awkwardness as well.
7. Collect your Bicycle in a timely manner.
So the work is completed on your bicycle and all that remains is to collect your bicycle and pay whatever cost has been charged. While most people collect their bicycle within a couple of days of the completion of the work, others will leave them longer. Most Workshops have limited storage space in regards to repairs both completed and still pending. You will also find that some Workshops will charge a storage fee if a bicycle is left uncollected after a set period of time. In extreme cases, for example a bicycle being left for a year or more, they may even sell the bicycle to recover the costs of the repair (after multiple attempts of contacting the customer first of course).
If you are ever unhappy with the service or work, it is well within your right to complain and most Workshops will offer at least a 30 day guarantee on all work done. So if you ride away and still feel that it’s not quite right, call them and arrange for them to take another look. Getting it right is the first priority for any good Workshop.