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Tuneups at BratBike

We try to finish tuneups in one business day wherever possible. We do get behind during the spring rush, so please plan ahead.

You bring us a bike. There's nothing snapped off, nothing missing, nothing whacked or run over by a car. We take the bike, adjust/tighten/loosen anything that needs it, clean it, and lube it - that's a tuneup. It costs a flat fee of $80 labor. If you happen to need what we call "tuneup parts", e.g., cables and housings, brake pads, small screws, etc., the labor to install them is included in the flat $80 and you just pay for the parts you need. A more thorough listing:

  • adjust gears (maybe including install or clean housings and cables)
  • adjust brakes (maybe including install brake shoes, clean rims)
  • true wheels (maybe including hammering out rim dents)
  • torque the cranks
  • lube chain and cables
  • check tightness of stem, bars, seat, and wheel fasteners.

All this costs $80 plus parts.

The tough economy has brought a large number of really old bikes in for rejuvenation. We are glad to note an increase in the number of folks out there who are really trying to switch some of their car time to bike time as gas gets more and more expensive. Beware, though; there is a big difference (in bikes as in cars) between tuning up, fixing up, and restoring.

We've described what we mean about tuning up a working bike at the top of this page. When we have to replace $50-120 worth of worn-out drivetrain parts before we can start to adjust anything, that's a fix-up. It really throws off a mechanic's rhythm and schedule to have to stop and call you for the OK on a major fix—better to have thought about your dollar limit before dropping it off.

Some common repairs and examples of price ranges
($70/hr shop rate plus parts):

tuneup w/new chain and cassette. . . . . $140-180

tuneup w/new tires, tubes, cables . . . . .$150-200

tuneup, replace broken derailleur . . . . . .$85-160

Fixing up is the right thing to do when you are satisfied with the fit of your bike, you'll expect to be riding it a good bit for the next several years, and the replacement cost of a similar ride is $400 or more. Most people are going to put a couple of hundred bucks or so into a bike every three years or so, more often if it sees a lot of dirt or harsh weather. This assumes you tune it up as needed in between.

Restoring is altogether different. When you bring us that 1978-vintage Raleigh or Motobecane and want to ride it again, well, you just can't take a machine that's been around that long and expect it to work without being rebuilt. Many of these parts are no longer available except on eBay, and then you're still getting funky old stuff that we have to spend lots of time nursing into service. You can look at our bike gallery for examples of bikes people have loved enough to restore, but please realize that every one of these project bikes was worth at least $400 in 1984 dollars when it was new. We really discourage sinking hundreds of dollars into your 70s-era 10-speed or mountain bike from the Reagan era because we can't guarantee you'll have a satisfactory bike when we're done. Just buy a new bike, for crying out loud!





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165 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301-3061 (802) 254-8644