Do you tip your mechanic?

Do you tip your Bicycle Mechanic?

  • Yes, during the Holidays or end of year when I thank the service people in my life.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4
  • Poll closed .

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Had an interesting conversation with another member, and wanted to know other's opinions/actions for tipping your bicycle mechanic. We both tip.

Average annual income for Bike Mechanics is less than $23,000. And only $26,000 in S.F.

https://bikerumor.com/2014/02/11/state-of-the-industry-what-bike-mechanics-make/

Experience tells me problems get taken care of right away, and they will go beyond what you'd expect if you're a good customer and treat them well.... Nothing new about that.
 
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opimax

Well-Known Member
My bike is the the only toy left where I spend money , no more new stereo stuff unless broken , house stuff done by professionals(major project stuff) I ride my bike! yesterday 103 miles. My first dealing with new mech, replaced spoke 25 and change tipped add'l 20. He started to object and I told him don't worry he will earn It over time, we both laughed,his was a little nervous I bet.

Mark
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Being a girly girl, not strong, and with absolutely no one to help me <insert sad face> I have to utilize the pros for things. For instance I could not get the original pedals off my Specialized hybrid bike, try I did, those suckers were on super tight. I have a LBS 1 mi. from me, but they don't sell Specialized bikes so I didn't purchase my bike there. But I had them do the work to install a stem riser and then redo all the cabling on my bike a couple weeks ago. So I took my bike back last night, brought 2 cold beers with me, and asked one of the guys to take off the existing and install the new pedals on my bike. Took him all of 1 min or less and he was thrilled with the cold beers and I was happy to have the help. :-D
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
I tipped out a fiver on my first 'free' maintenance, a few dreadfully loose spokes (Izip Dash), but when I began to work on the bike myself I was a little disappointed what had gotten past factory and dealer inspections. Fortunately I've been wrenching all my life and have most of the special tools required. -S
 

Reddy Kilowatt

Well-Known Member
I didn't vote, because…well it's complicated. I think it's appropriate to tip all mechanics: car, bike, computer, etc. When I go in, I bring a box of donuts because I don't have much money. That said, last year my boss gave me a $500.00 Christmas bonus. I spent $100.00 of it tipping the guy at the dump, the guy who cuts my hair, and the woman who used to sell me wine (before I decided to be sober). Truly I don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, but I like to share the wealth (such as it is).
Allen
 

biknut

Active Member
Yes I have, but not always. If I think the mechanic did an especially good job on a difficult repair, or the job was completed faster than expected would be examples of when I might give the mechanic a tip.
 

GW Shark

Member
Everyone likes to be appreciated and affirmed for what they do. Affirmation is used very little, whether it be a kind word, green paper or other methods of praise. I will tip anyone who has gone out of their way to help and graciously do it. A mechanic is overworked and underpaid for what they bring to the table in terms of safety and overall enjoyment for the sport. Most expect nothing, which makes it even more enjoyable, right so both parties can feel good. That is good business and simply human kindness.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
My shop was fortunate to have several techs who really 'got' the customer service training we gave them. They were generally nice guys to boot, so I've always liked it when the guys tell me about a tip (sometimes $$, othertimes a beer or free movie pass). It was a positive affirmation for the shop and the techs.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
I tip (well)but currently my bike is unrideable, it has been damaged by the mechanics, what is the point? very frustrated
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
The only times I've ever needed a bike mechanic is while out and had an emergency or while a bike has been under warranty and those times the shops have gone out of their way to help. So yes, every time, generously. They deserved it!
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
I have tried many shops in the DC area, hoping to find a good one that deals w/Stromer, I tipped 20 bucks on a 40 dollar repair. Another shop pointed out they stripped a specialized screw/plunger w/a torx head, in theory my complete front brake from handle to caliper should be replaced ,wasted tip don't you think? it was bled and pressure still went down (again) but cant be bled anymore because the screw head is wasted. The same nice shop that pointed out they couldn't repair my brakes installed a new cassette and chain except the the cassette has the too many teeth in the high gear and i cant keep up w/my wife mine now,mine has 13 teeth hers has 11, doesn't really matter as i cant stop anyway unless i play Fred Flintstone. The nice shop is in Florida, they said they would send me a new cassette ( and i get to pay to have someone else install ), haven't heard from them since reporting the problem when I returned home from vacation. it has been 4 days they were supposed to call

JR, the bike is supposed to be under warranty although I pay every time it is worked on and I dont work on bikes, so I am at the mercy of the shops , again supposed to be warranty
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I have tried many shops in the DC area, hoping to find a good one that deals w/Stromer, I tipped 20 bucks on a 40 dollar repair. Another shop pointed out they stripped a specialized screw/plunger w/a torx head, in theory my complete front brake from handle to caliper should be replaced ,wasted tip don't you think? it was bled and pressure still went down (again) but cant be bled anymore because the screw head is wasted. The same nice shop that pointed out they couldn't repair my brakes installed a new cassette and chain except the the cassette has the too many teeth in the high gear and i cant keep up w/my wife mine now,mine has 13 teeth hers has 11, doesn't really matter as i cant stop anyway unless i play Fred Flintstone. The nice shop is in Florida, they said they would send me a new cassette ( and i get to pay to have someone else install ), haven't heard from them since reporting the problem when I returned home from vacation. it has been 4 days they were supposed to call

JR, the bike is supposed to be under warranty although I pay every time it is worked on and I dont work on bikes, so I am at the mercy of the shops , again supposed to be warranty
Mark, My comments were general to the thread, not in response to your situation. I know you have had the run-around with ebikes and you are still trying to move forward. Best of luck with it.

JR
 

Llcjay

Member
I have tried many shops in the DC area, hoping to find a good one that deals w/Stromer, I tipped 20 bucks on a 40 dollar repair. Another shop pointed out they stripped a specialized screw/plunger w/a torx head, in theory my complete front brake from handle to caliper should be replaced ,wasted tip don't you think? it was bled and pressure still went down (again) but cant be bled anymore because the screw head is wasted. The same nice shop that pointed out they couldn't repair my brakes installed a new cassette and chain except the the cassette has the too many teeth in the high gear and i cant keep up w/my wife mine now,mine has 13 teeth hers has 11, doesn't really matter as i cant stop anyway unless i play Fred Flintstone. The nice shop is in Florida, they said they would send me a new cassette ( and i get to pay to have someone else install ), haven't heard from them since reporting the problem when I returned home from vacation. it has been 4 days they were supposed to call

JR, the bike is supposed to be under warranty although I pay every time it is worked on and I dont work on bikes, so I am at the mercy of the shops , again supposed to be warranty

Oh well stripping a screw kinda sucks. I don't know why that wouldn't be covered under warranty. Ask USA Stromer.

What are the chainring sizes on your bike?

Most of your maint work can be handled by any shop, esp brakes.
 

Neone Sheito

New Member
hmmm, take a course in pedal bike mechanics on youtube?

I have looked and it is a huge source of knowledge, a basic set of tolls and a little youtube instruction, how hard could it be?
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
VERY bad precedent. Tipping is educating employees to respond more positively to those that tip. It is human nature to render better or favored service to those that tip well. If I were a shop owner I would not allow tipping in any manner whatsoever and inculcate in my employees that every customer deserves the same level of professionalism and attention. It is incumbent upon the shop owner to pay full time employees a living wage. As a kid I grew up in the restaurant business and railed against tipping as an industry standard. Tipping started as a compliment to the service and owners took advantage of the custom to lower hourly wages.

I remember, as a young man, in NYC, being chased by a waiter as I was leaving a restaurant. He held out the money in his hand and said, "C'mon buddy $3.00 on a $30.00 check is ridiculous." I responded, "Your right, $3.00 is a ridiculous tip"........and proceeded to take the $3.00 out of his hand.

I strongly encourage pay incentives for employees that consistently render quality service and engender repeat customers.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
VERY bad precedent. Tipping is educating employees to respond more positively to those that tip. It is human nature to render better or favored service to those that tip well. If I were a shop owner I would not allow tipping in any manner whatsoever and inculcate in my employees that every customer deserves the same level of professionalism and attention. It is incumbent upon the shop owner to pay full time employees a living wage. As a kid I grew up in the restaurant business and railed against tipping as an industry standard. Tipping started as a compliment to the service and owners took advantage of the custom to lower hourly wages.

I remember, as a young man, in NYC, being chased by a waiter as I was leaving a restaurant. He held out the money in his hand and said, "C'mon buddy $3.00 on a $30.00 check is ridiculous." I responded, "Your right, $3.00 is a ridiculous tip"........and proceeded to take the $3.00 out of his hand.

I strongly encourage pay incentives for employees that consistently render quality service and engender repeat customers.
So what do I tell a tech who is good with everyone? That the person who out of their own gratefulness was kind to my employee, that he/she can't have that tip? It doesn't happen everyday and no employee is walking a customer out the door with their hand open. This is not the food industry where employees are paid below federal wage standards. We do offer incentives and my techs were paid fair wages and offered paid opportunities to improve their skill level when sincerely interested. If the shop is a microbusiness with only a couple of employees and a niche shop, say an EIBD, not just an IBD then we are forced to compete with websites that offer no assembly, testing or service or warranty service. And by what I've read on this site many members have very uninformed ideas of what the real cost is to manufacture an Ebike and have absolutely no idea just how small the margins are for an EIBD shop to work with.
 

Neone Sheito

New Member
You seem very knowledgeable about E-Bikes in general. I just read an article about the Storm e-bike, at electricbike.com by a chap named Eric. His opinion is that if Sondors managed to get the bike built, and not go bankrupt while doing so, the bike would be of such cheap quality, cheap components and it performance would be sadly lacking. The prototype had 4 times the power so of course everyone was amazed. But then again the prototype.,Storm has made by John Hopp so I read.

Regarding tips. I had a mechanic work on my car, he went out of his way to fix it, replaced a part for free he said he damaged, and then washed the exterior and vacuumed the interior for me. I was so impressed that I gave him a dozen donuts later and a kiss on the cheek. AND told his boss what a great employee he had. Then posted to Facebook a great recommendation.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
So what do I tell a tech who is good with everyone? That the person who out of their own gratefulness was kind to my employee, that he/she can't have that tip? It doesn't happen everyday and no employee is walking a customer out the door with their hand open. This is not the food industry where employees are paid below federal wage standards. We do offer incentives and my techs were paid fair wages and offered paid opportunities to improve their skill level when sincerely interested. If the shop is a microbusiness with only a couple of employees and a niche shop, say an EIBD, not just an IBD then we are forced to compete with websites that offer no assembly, testing or service or warranty service. And by what I've read on this site many members have very uninformed ideas of what the real cost is to manufacture an Ebike and have absolutely no idea just how small the margins are for an EIBD shop to work with.
You tell the tech that he is a valued employee and, over time, reward him with an increase in pay. At my local shop, the custom is that if someone wants to tip the mechanic, it is not allowed. However, the owner will accept the tip and use the collected tips to buy coffee/espresso/drinks for her employees. I saw one mechanic receive a tip who proceeded to put it in the register and record it as a tip. I asked him why he did that and he said that it the goal of the shop is not to have favored employees and that everyone in the shop should benefit from the tip. In essence, the shop accepts tips, but not the individual employee.

Competing with internet sales is simply a fact of life and smart retailers will do so willingly in order to capture an ongoing relationship with the customer. This is especially important for becoming the go to servicer of the bike. From my limited exposure to the ebike industry, the margins are quite substantive (one vendor specific example I know for sure is a $3K bike with a dealer net of $1820) on e-bikes since I inquired about this during my meetings with vendors at Interbike. My local dealer competes freely with aggressive internet pricing on everything except hourly service rates. She has almost no bike inventory in stock as she does not believe in tying up precious cash with floor inventory. She carries enough bikes to cover the riding experience and no more. 95% of their bike sales require ordering. She does, however, carry lots of quality accessories. Because of their reputation, this tiny shop keeps 4 mechanics jammed from morning til night, and I've never been there when there isn't a handful of customers in the shop. I will say that this bike shop is an aggressive supporter of the local bike clubs, participates in all the local events, and is thought of highly by everyone I know who frequents the shop.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
You seem very knowledgeable about E-Bikes in general. I just read an article about the Storm e-bike, at electricbike.com by a chap named Eric. His opinion is that if Sondors managed to get the bike built, and not go bankrupt while doing so, the bike would be of such cheap quality, cheap components and it performance would be sadly lacking. The prototype had 4 times the power so of course everyone was amazed. But then again the prototype.,Storm has made by John Hopp so I read.

Regarding tips. I had a mechanic work on my car, he went out of his way to fix it, replaced a part for free he said he damaged, and then washed the exterior and vacuumed the interior for me. I was so impressed that I gave him a dozen donuts later and a kiss on the cheek. AND told his boss what a great employee he had. Then posted to Facebook a great recommendation.
A wonderful response to good service and one he will remember long after he spends his tip money. You are wise beyond your years......