Reasonable price on servicing touring MTB?

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Reasonable price on servicing touring MTB?

Postby Wollemi » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:58 pm

I had my LBS in (far) western Sydney grease the headset, and both wheel hubs, as well as fitting a supplied tyre to a supplied wheel. Nothing else was adjusted/replaced, but I did ask for a major service. With one set of new brake blocks for the V-brakes, was $110 an OK price for this?

Almost immediately, took off on a lightweight-ish 3-day tour. (Finishing yesterday Boggabri-Tambar Springs-Cunningham's Pandora's Pass-Coolah-Dunedoo in just under 48 hrs). Although it was rarely required, I was not able to access the smallest chainring - the chain just would not shift.
I was warned that it is quiet stretched beforehand, but it did not skip at all. Does a stretched chain (at 1.05 to 1.15, whatever that means) not allow for such easier shifting into a higher gear?

The joy of what I did and saw on my brief tour erased much doubt, but I do not know what is a reasonable price at the moment.
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by BNA » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:17 pm

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Re: Reasonable price on servicing touring MTB?

Postby RonK » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:17 pm

Part of being a successful independent tourist, is becoming capable of performing such maintenance yourself, otherwise you are at the mercy of the bike shop, who can charge whatever they like, and then stuff it up anyway.
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Re: Reasonable price on servicing touring MTB?

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:26 pm

That sounds like a good price to me.

As RonK said though, being able to conduct this type of maintenance is very handy on a tour. You situation of not being able to shift into the granny gear could most likely have been fixed with the turn of a screw. It probably shifted fine in the stand at the shop, but didn't translate to real world shifting.

A stretched chain is unlikely to effect shifting, but it will wear cassette cogs and chainrings more than a new chain.
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Re: Reasonable price on servicing touring MTB?

Postby Big_Red » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:32 pm

Wollemi wrote:I had my LBS in (far) western Sydney grease the headset, and both wheel hubs, as well as fitting a supplied tyre to a supplied wheel. Nothing else was adjusted/replaced, but I did ask for a major service. With one set of new brake blocks for the V-brakes, was $110 an OK price for this?

Almost immediately, took off on a lightweight-ish 3-day tour. (Finishing yesterday Boggabri-Tambar Springs-Cunningham's Pandora's Pass-Coolah-Dunedoo in just under 48 hrs). Although it was rarely required, I was not able to access the smallest chainring - the chain just would not shift.
I was warned that it is quiet stretched beforehand, but it did not skip at all. Does a stretched chain (at 1.05 to 1.15, whatever that means) not allow for such easier shifting into a higher gear?

The joy of what I did and saw on my brief tour erased much doubt, but I do not know what is a reasonable price at the moment.


Hard to tell if $110 is too high for a "major" service as you can't really tell what has been done. They may have a website listing the service prices so you can compare them to another LBS, and give you some idea of what they actually looked at on the bike. I paid $175 6 months ago for a "full" service of my mtb at my LBS + extra for parts, which included a full strip, clean & regrease of headset/wheelset/bb, replacement cassette/chain, brake & gear innner & outer cables and new brake disc pads front & back. I have quite a few more tools since then so i can do more of the maintenance myself like replacing chain/cassette/cranks/chainwheels, etc.

As for your chain, firstly take a look at Mr Sheldon Brown's site at http://sheldonbrown.com/chains.html for some of the lowdown about chainwear. The LBS probably mean that the chainwear is > 1% and as such you should replace the chain immediately otherwise you'll wear the cassette sprockets, which is more expensive to replace. Ideally, you want to replace the chain when wear gets > 0.75%, and certainly before it gets to 1%. As for the not being able to access the granny chainring, that sounds like the LBS have either not looked at the front derailleur or muffed the adjustments. A worn chain is not going to prevent you getting on the small chainring.
Last edited by Big_Red on Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Reasonable price on servicing touring MTB?

Postby Wollemi » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:43 pm

Thanks, guys - all of your words are appreciated. Have not touched the bicycle for 4 months, and have not been out overnight on a bicycle for years. (Cycled Cape York to Wilson's Prom one summer in the mid-90's). I live in a unit, have a new job, and have been kayaking at night, and multi-pitch rock-climbing in the last fortnight... I guess the opportunity for fun in NSW's NW took me away from completely thorough preparation.
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Re: Reasonable price on servicing touring MTB?

Postby Stuey » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:50 pm

WestcoastPete wrote:That sounds like a good price to me. .


Me too, it's a fair bit of messing around.
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