Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

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Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby diggler » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:49 pm

I recently broke a spoke. I could have gone home to fix it but I went to the local bicycle store. When the guy finished I pulled out a $20 as he said $31 please.

Does that sound like a lot? It was a rear spoke but not on the drive train side.

He said the spoke alone cost $5.

I feel like I have been ripped off.
That's what a fool does. I'm invincible, I'm paying money ... uh ... The girl's happy, she's got no money, I got my rocks off. How good is this?
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by BNA » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:52 pm

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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby queequeg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:52 pm

diggler wrote:I recently broke a spoke. I could have gone home to fix it but I went to the local bicycle store. When the guy finished I pulled out a $20 as he said $31 please.

Does that sound like a lot? It was a rear spoke but not on the drive train side.

He said the spoke alone cost $5.

I feel like I have been ripped off.


$5 for the spoke, $25 for labour.....pretty normal. It is why I learned to do it myself,
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby Duck! » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:56 pm

Depends on the wheel; some proprietary spokes (Mavic, Shimano, Campagnolo/Fulcrum, etc) are frighteningly expensive.

That's actually a reasonable price, because there's more involved than simply popping the broken spoke out & shoving the new one in. The surrounding spokes need to be retensioned & balanced as well.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby DavidS » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:01 am

Yeah, I break a lot of spokes and it does cost a lot to fix. Spokes are not all that expensive but it is just time consuming and you have to pay for a fair bit of labour. It just isn't a quick job so $31 isn't that bad. I also fix my own now.

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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby diggler » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:03 am

Ok fair enough.

I've done it myself in the past, I just didn't realise that's what it costs.
That's what a fool does. I'm invincible, I'm paying money ... uh ... The girl's happy, she's got no money, I got my rocks off. How good is this?
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby simonn » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:51 am

IIRC, my LBS charges ~$80/hour in 10 min blocks for ad hoc repairs ("services" have a standard cost). I

In my experience it would take at least a minimum of 10 mins and at least 20 mins to do a proper job of replacing a spoke. Takes me ~30mins from taking the wheel off the bike to finishing a test ride up and down the drive... so I'd be charging myself ~$40 labour... which is about how much my truing stand cost :wink:. If I break a spoke (and if I can) I will try to spend an afternoon checking out/re-tensioning the spokes properly.
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby Gerry.M » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:53 am

diggler wrote:Ok fair enough.

I've done it myself in the past, I just didn't realise that's what it costs.

Edit: actually can't remember what it cost. $20 was for something else.
Last edited by Gerry.M on Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby im_no_pro » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:03 am

$31 seems reasonable to me, Spoke + Labour to install + any decent LBS will at least do spoke adjustment on the surrounding spokes as previously mentioned. My LBS will include a minor wheel true as part of spoke replacement (obviously if it's really bad the cost will go up)
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby Paddles » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:05 am

yep, if your lbs did it all properly then you've scored a good deal for $26 labour. they would have to strip/refit tyre/tube/tape and then true the wheel, for me to do it at home would easy be 30-40 minutes.
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby winstonw » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:35 am

As with all things in life, I'd always recommend asking LBSs for an estimated cost before they do the work.
That way, you can determine if you would rather spend the time learning and doing it yourself.
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby Coolabah » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:19 pm

diggler wrote:I recently broke a spoke. I could have gone home to fix it but I went to the local bicycle store. When the guy finished I pulled out a $20 as he said $31 please.

Does that sound like a lot? It was a rear spoke but not on the drive train side.

He said the spoke alone cost $5.

I feel like I have been ripped off.



well... it is always cheaper if you do it yourself. Question : what is your hourly rate in your job ? If it is more than the bike shop charged , then you are ahead. If it is less , then you should change jobs ... Bike Mechanic, Yay !! :D
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:02 pm

Sounds pretty exxy to me, I would think more like $20, or $10 for a regular. I'm pretty sure it cost me $10 the last time I got a spoke replaced, that was a standard spoke though, certainly not a $5 one.
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:42 pm

Coolabah wrote: well... it is always cheaper if you do it yourself. Question : what is your hourly rate in your job ? If it is more than the bike shop charged , then you are ahead. If it is less , then you should change jobs ... Bike Mechanic, Yay !! :D


I've never bought into that philosophy, because you only get paid in that job for the number of (paid) hours they let you work. The rest of your time is 'worthless', unless you use it to save yourself money.
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby Coolabah » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:29 pm

lobstermash wrote:
Coolabah wrote: well... it is always cheaper if you do it yourself. Question : what is your hourly rate in your job ? If it is more than the bike shop charged , then you are ahead. If it is less , then you should change jobs ... Bike Mechanic, Yay !! :D


I've never bought into that philosophy, because you only get paid in that job for the number of (paid) hours they let you work. The rest of your time is 'worthless', unless you use it to save yourself money.


Yeh , that makes sense. So , point being : if your time is worth $ 0.00 then , of course it is cheaper to do it yourself as you can do the job for the cost of parts + $0.00/hr labour. Counter argument : would YOU be agreeable to work for free for some business ( like say , 38 hours a week for 20 years ???)
? If the answer is "no" , then I am confused as to why we expect bike shops to work for "free" ( this can include a fee which is un profitable to the bike shop ie less than their costs )


so : was the service worth it to you ? If not , find a cheaper bike shop . Service might be much worse , or , if you are lucky you will find the Holy Grail : a business that provides quality service at a cheap price , even better if it is fast service ..... ( dream on !!!!)

... just my 2 cents !!!
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Re: Reasonable price to fix a spoke?

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:05 pm

Coolabah wrote: Yeh , that makes sense. So , point being : if your time is worth $ 0.00 then , of course it is cheaper to do it yourself as you can do the job for the cost of parts + $0.00/hr labour.


Sort of, but it's only worthless if you spend it doing stuff that doesn't save you money. If you need to replace a spoke, for a random, non-specific example, and the local bike mechanic usually takes 20 minutes to do it and charges you $20 for it, then doing it yourself in 30 minutes it's like you just paid yourself $40 an hour.

I think people's expectation of what services they should pay for would depend on how much they'd sunk into a place. If you've spent a couple of grand on a bike from there, you'd expect the profit from the sale could cover a quick spoke replacement... If they've never seen you before and you're just buying parts for a bike you seem happy with, you'd expect to pay reasonable rates for someone half competent at doing something you can't be bothered with.
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