Local Bike Shops and upgrade or repairs to Internet purchased EBikes

IOUZIP

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Tampa
I wanted to share an issue I have been having since owning a Juiced Ripcurrent S and Luna X1. I have been refused service at two local bike shops when trying to upgrade components or repair issues related to bikes they either don't sell or service. The refusals have been for Drivetrain, tubeless setup, shifters, brake upgrades, suspension, and electrical. This has put the responsibility back onto me for maintenance and any repairs or upgrades to these bikes. One shop is an independent Trek dealer and the other is a independent shop. More to my point is if they don't either sell the bike or it's not a major brand (they determine that) they don't want to work on it. I pay them what the shop charges for the work but they don't want to take on the work. Trying to bring them a bike with an electrical issue is a no go for them. Even if they sell ebikes! I know there are shops that will do all this work gladly but I bet you find many are refusing work on the non standard bikes. I know they are not too busy to take on the work because I have asked them point blank. So I am going to build up my personal bike tool chest and skills to start all work inhouse.

What do you all find in your areas will LBS work on your ebike if they don't sell it to you?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
This is not new news, it's been an issue of complaint for many over the years, and angers quite a few as well. Many folks want to save the money up front on an internet bike, but are disappointed they can't force the LBS to work on it. I don't blame the LBS one bit. I ran a small business, I know what it is like. An option is you can hire https://www.velofix.com
 

IOUZIP

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Tampa
90-95% of EBike share the same components as non EBikes. Drivetrain, Shifters, Brakes and suspension, etc... I have had the chance to meet the Velofix guy in my area a month ago. They are in most cases less equipped to work on EBikes than the LBS. They do basic maintenance and assembly. They do assemble Rad EBikes and service them on a basic level. Not trying to get any argument started just hope others realize these challenges.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
A good reminder for those contemplating a bike purchase but if you are dependent on a bike shop for support why buy before checking with them? Like your forum name suggests, they owe you zip.
 

Cstefan

Member
Region
USA
City
Seattle, WA
REI is very good about working on non-electrical components of ebikes. Many of the direct to consumer brands recommend using them for a LBS.

Some areas have shops that are more focused on repairs than new bike sales, these shops are typically willing to take on any work not involving the electrical system.

A good way to establish a relationship with a local shop if you are buying a direct to consumer bike is to pay to have a local shop do the initial assembly for you.

One issue I’ve found as someone with a hub drive ebike is many shops either don’t have spoke cutting machines or don’t have dies for 12/13g spokes if they do have one.

Given the huge variance on the electrical side I’m not shocked most bike shops don’t want to deal with the resulting mess even if they are willing to work on the non-electrical components of your ebike.

Do note most bike shops have seen a huge surge in business in the past couple of years along with the supply chain and labor issues many other industries are seeing. Some have made the very hard decision to service existing customers rather than take on any new repair business.
 

Frank/Delaware

Active Member
The owner of my LBS only services bikes bought in his shop - or if he know you and you spend money in his shop. He tells people 'you bought it on the internet, get it repaired on the internet'. He is doing quite well.
 

Rickman1

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Aridzona
I guess I should count myself as lucky as (1) the manufacturer of my ebikes is just 3-4 miles away and they service them and (2) a LBS in town says they work on all brands of ebikes. I went to that LBS to make sure they that they do indeed work on different ebikes. I brought one of them with me for them to see and they said that they do work on them. Nice to know.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I'm fortunate - there are a few shops in my area that have done bike repair services on my consumer-direct and internet-bought ebikes that I could or would not handle myself. One place is especially good to me, though I'm reciprocally good to them with tips and such.

I'm genuinely respectful of their time and curious about their interests, which also helps a lot. Buying some tools, parts and accessories from them doesn't hurt, either 👍
 

Pulsar

Member
Region
USA
City
DFW
Unless your LBS just has more business than they can stand, to turn away repair business if your shop is qualified to perform such is just plain stupid. Money is money so turning away a customer regardless where the bike was purchased is bad business. Repairs and bike maintenance also sells parts from the LBS so they are missing the big picture here. Any LBS that used the phrase on me let the internet repair it would never have me stepping foot in that shop again.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Unless your LBS just has more business than they can stand, to turn away repair business if your shop is qualified to perform such is just plain stupid. Money is money so turning away a customer regardless where the bike was purchased is bad business. Repairs and bike maintenance also sells parts from the LBS so they are missing the big picture here. Any LBS that used the phrase on me let the internet repair it would never have me stepping foot in that shop again.
Um, have you seen the lead time for repairs at shops in your area?
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
90-95% of EBike share the same components as non EBikes. Drivetrain, Shifters, Brakes and suspension, etc... I have had the chance to meet the Velofix guy in my area a month ago. They are in most cases less equipped to work on EBikes than the LBS. They do basic maintenance and assembly. They do assemble Rad EBikes and service them on a basic level. Not trying to get any argument started just hope others realize these challenges.
well sort of. often they are the cheapest parts possible the lowest quality builds. it can be a loosing deal to work on these cheap bikes because they are so poorly made.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Bike shop owners often have to set priorities. If they are shorthanded in the shop of have limited shop space or if their ability to service their good customers who have bought bike from them is taking more time to accomplish than it should leading to customer dissatisfaction, they are wise to turn away business that will impair their ability to keep their real customers happy.

Shops with more shop space, more work stations and more tech staff, are likely to be more willing to service bikes not bought in that store.

Also, it is a policy at Trek owned, corporate stores, to accept work on all bikes, regardless of brand or where they were bought. It is a smart policy as it will get you in their store and you will likely end up buying accessories there and maybe even your next bike.

I am not a fan of the bottom feeding, internet bike purchase model, even though I do most of my own maintenance. When the excrement hits the rotary cooling unit, I want a reputable, local shop in my corner to deal with major component or frame failure.

As John Ruskin famously said: ""There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I wanted to share an issue I have been having since owning a Juiced Ripcurrent S and Luna X1. I have been refused service at two local bike shops when trying to upgrade components or repair issues related to bikes they either don't sell or service. The refusals have been for Drivetrain, tubeless setup, shifters, brake upgrades, suspension, and electrical. This has put the responsibility back onto me for maintenance and any repairs or upgrades to these bikes. One shop is an independent Trek dealer and the other is a independent shop. More to my point is if they don't either sell the bike or it's not a major brand (they determine that) they don't want to work on it. I pay them what the shop charges for the work but they don't want to take on the work. Trying to bring them a bike with an electrical issue is a no go for them. Even if they sell ebikes! I know there are shops that will do all this work gladly but I bet you find many are refusing work on the non standard bikes. I know they are not too busy to take on the work because I have asked them point blank. So I am going to build up my personal bike tool chest and skills to start all work inhouse.

What do you all find in your areas will LBS work on your ebike if they don't sell it to you?
Most LBS' are not proficient at fixing electrical issues. For the mainstream mid drives they simply take out the motor and replace it which can be done by anyone.

For the bicycle specific stuff I never had a problem taking and getting it fixed at a lbs. If they are refusing to work on mechanical problems then find a new one, no need to deal with such people.

BTW I learned to do almost all maintenance by myself so I usually don't need a lbs. My only regret is not getting a high quality bike stand last year, it makes things easier.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Some shops are willing to work on bikes they don't sell, some aren't, and some are in the "it depends on the bike and issue". I don't really blame shops, repairs don't really make them a lot of money and tie up a mechanic that could be doing something else (and these days most shops are stretched really thin when it comes to competent mechanics).

If local support is important to you, buy the bike from a local shop. If you buy an internet bike you should probably expect to learn to maintain it yourself.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
A fun fact about Specialized Warsaw Brand Store. People here think Specialized means "high price" so they avoid servicing other brands with Specialized. Meaning, the mechanic there will always find time for you. I witnessed a desperate guy with a Giant bike, in which a chain snapped on a ride. The Giant guy was admitted by the Specialized tech immediately!
 

arcom

Active Member
My LBS (Flythe's Bikes, New Bern, NC) will work on any component of an ebike that you would find on an analogue bike.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I wanted to share an issue I have been having since owning a Juiced Ripcurrent S and Luna X1. I have been refused service at two local bike shops when trying to upgrade components or repair issues related to bikes they either don't sell or service. The refusals have been for Drivetrain, tubeless setup, shifters, brake upgrades, suspension, and electrical. This has put the responsibility back onto me for maintenance and any repairs or upgrades to these bikes. One shop is an independent Trek dealer and the other is a independent shop. More to my point is if they don't either sell the bike or it's not a major brand (they determine that) they don't want to work on it. I pay them what the shop charges for the work but they don't want to take on the work. Trying to bring them a bike with an electrical issue is a no go for them. Even if they sell ebikes! I know there are shops that will do all this work gladly but I bet you find many are refusing work on the non standard bikes. I know they are not too busy to take on the work because I have asked them point blank. So I am going to build up my personal bike tool chest and skills to start all work inhouse.

What do you all find in your areas will LBS work on your ebike if they don't sell it to you?
This issue has been hashed and rehashed here on EBR. I will tell you what I did. I used Yelp and located all the bike shops within 10-15 miles of my home. I then called all of the shops. Many were vague. Some were, "If we didnt sell it to you, we aint fixin it" and a few said "bring it in and we will see what we can do". Keep in mind most of these shops are traditional dealers, ie Trek, Specialized, etc and I understand their concerns and liability issues. But the bottom line is, if you make a few calls, you will find a guy that can fix your bike. But more importantly, there is probably a Youtube video that will walk you through step by step how to fix your wagon! If I was 34 instead of 64, I would open a Ebike mobile repair shop and clean up!
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
And if you have a mobile bike repair service near you like VeloFix, that is another option.
 

jpmaio66

New Member
Region
USA
I think the main problem is the warranty of work. They have to familiarized themselves with your specific set up, do and warranty the repair. It could be a potential headache for them. when the return is just a few hours of labor rate.
I wanted to share an issue I have been having since owning a Juiced Ripcurrent S and Luna X1. I have been refused service at two local bike shops when trying to upgrade components or repair issues related to bikes they either don't sell or service. The refusals have been for Drivetrain, tubeless setup, shifters, brake upgrades, suspension, and electrical. This has put the responsibility back onto me for maintenance and any repairs or upgrades to these bikes. One shop is an independent Trek dealer and the other is a independent shop. More to my point is if they don't either sell the bike or it's not a major brand (they determine that) they don't want to work on it. I pay them what the shop charges for the work but they don't want to take on the work. Trying to bring them a bike with an electrical issue is a no go for them. Even if they sell ebikes! I know there are shops that will do all this work gladly but I bet you find many are refusing work on the non standard bikes. I know they are not too busy to take on the work because I have asked them point blank. So I am going to build up my personal bike tool chest and skills to start all work inhouse.

What do you all find in your areas will LBS work on your ebike if they don't sell it to you?
 

ian fisher

Member
I think the main problem is the warranty of work. They have to familiarized themselves with your specific set up, do and warranty the repair. It could be a potential headache for them. when the return is just a few hours of labor rate.
warranty of work, yeah I think you are correct. For electrical issues, it may be better to seek out auto electricians or appliance service workshops, at least consult with them about any electrical issues, they may be able to help and advise or even take on the job. I think most often, LBS won't take on an e bike electrical repair unless they sold it to you, or they sell the brand you have, as you said, it's that warranty of work issue for them. For myself, I would tend toward researching any issues I may have with my own bike and try to repair myself. For electrical issues which may be beyond my capability or understanding I think I would email local auto electricians and find out if any of them would be interested.