Proper bike mechanics who know what they're doing...how can I find one?

by pepita1   June 25, 2012  

Hi,
Is there certified status for bicycle mechanics? And does anyone know of a trained and conscientious mechanic in the Portishead area? I had my bike serviced (a basic one) before the Dartmoor Classic at the local bike shop. All seemed to be in order, albeit with the rear brake rubbing very slightly on the rim (discovered whilst turbo training). Didn't think much of it and didn't get time to take back to shop for checking, so had to wait to look at it at the hotel the night before the event. Hubby and I thought it was just cable tension causing the problem and tried to adjust but made no difference so had to wait till morning to get the Performance Cycles mechanic (who knows his business!) at the event to check it out. Turns out the whole brake assembly was loose where it attaches to frame and causing the brake to stay locked (no rub/locking after he tightened that up and gave it some lube) and could do with an individual servicing. I was not happy that my local mechanic that I paid money to, had neglected to make a basic check that all things were tightly attached! So, as I'm not a very mechanically inclined female, I would like to find a mechanic who knows what they are doing! Angry

11 user comments

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Get it back, ride it, find problems, take it back to the shop. Bike services normally have a few problems when you get it back.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
25th June 2012 - 14:13

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Look for a Cytech accreditation from a mechanic/shop. It's the nearest thing to a profession/industry standard. See:

http://www.thecyclingexperts.co.uk/cytech/

Useful search facility...

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [535 posts]
25th June 2012 - 14:38

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Thanks for the link! Too bad there's not one in my little town. Think it's time for me to take a course!

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [174 posts]
25th June 2012 - 16:54

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the mechanic actually gave the bike a spin around the car park and found no fault.

Question is this: If I've paid for a service shouldn't it be done right the first time?

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [174 posts]
25th June 2012 - 17:42

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You are right, surely you get your bike serviced so that you don't have problems? Not to assess their lack of ability? How much did they charge to wreck your bike?

posted by SideBurn [763 posts]
25th June 2012 - 18:10

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SideBurn wrote:
You are right, surely you get your bike serviced so that you don't have problems? Not to assess their lack of ability? How much did they charge to wreck your bike?

Standard £30. He's a nice guy and wants to make a good impression as his shop is new (and the only one in town) so it's a bit disheartening that he missed something so basic. I was thinking of going to the shop and telling him about it, but since the mechanic at the Dartmoor Classic fixed it, I can't show him what he missed! I really do need to learn how to fix my own bike!

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [174 posts]
25th June 2012 - 18:34

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at least go and tell them, dont make a scene but he at least owes you a big favour

posted by russyparkin [575 posts]
25th June 2012 - 22:31

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I have mixed views on your post.
A basic service for £30 will not be extensive but it will cover the safety of the bike. If anything else is needed but not covered by the service it should be reported to the customer in a professional manner. If done well it gives the customer confidence and is good business practice.
You have every right to go back and complain in fact you should,try turning a negative into a positive, if it was a one off and he is decent he should bend over backwards to keep your custom.
Your post makes it clear you and hubby clearly need help with bike set up, so give him a chance to cultivate a fruitful relationship that will be of mutual benefit.

posted by festival [101 posts]
26th June 2012 - 1:29

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As a professional mechanic, there is both actual and implied liability for the work performed. I have worked in the cycling and motorcycle industry as a professional technician and always adhered to the " safety first " approach of repairs. We have a duty to point out any possible dangerous conditions and double check our work for accuracy. Any form of transportation can pose a risk of injury or death when neglected. You should bring this to his attention, perhaps saving another cyclist from disaster.

Michael R. Smith

posted by American tifosi [37 posts]
27th November 2012 - 6:48

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While I wouldn't wish to make excuses for sloppy work, bear in mind that no-one's perfect. I'd go back and mention it and see what he says.

In my experience proficient mechanics come in two flavours - those who do it for a living and care about their work; and those who love working on their own bikes. Fortunately I have a good LBS and a neighbour who builds his own bikes. I had issues with the sloppiness of the 'trained mechanic' at another shop in town so I don't go there any more. Don't take a certificate as proof of competence.

It's very satisfying to have confidence that you can sort most jobs out yourself. Experience, forums, websites like Park Tool and Weldtite as well as videos on Youtube and http://bicycletutor.com/ have helped me.
The Comic has just put a 7 best maintenance books article online too.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1884 posts]
27th November 2012 - 10:28

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Just like with shop assistants DECENT mechanics are rare as the wages aren't attractive enough to attract lots of sensible people for long enough. Many of them will leave for a better paid job before getting enough experience.

Also many shop owners tend to prefer youngsters with worthless "bike mechanic" certificates so they can proudly claim that they employ "qualified bike technicians" while paying them peanuts at the same time.

Contrary to all the propaganda bike maintenance training certificates are a joke and say absolutely nothing about anyone's qualifications. They only benefit companies running the courses.

There is no substitute for the right mix of experience, passion, geekiness and a some IQ but you're not going to come across it very often.

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [171 posts]
1st December 2012 - 10:24

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