Urban Velo

Bike Mechanic Salaries

About Urban Jeff

I'm about to have a nervous breakdown, my head really hurts. Contact me.

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  1. DavidFebruary 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    The comments section on BikeRumor went full PinkBike: http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/02/11/state-of-the-industry-what-bike-mechanics-make/#comments

    It is a bit startling to see how little a bike mechanic makes.

  2. Chainlinks: Best of the Bike Web, February 12, 2014 - Trail & TarmacFebruary 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

    [...] Maybe it’s time to add on 15-20%. [via Urban Velo and Bike [...]

  3. CruFebruary 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    They should probably make tips standard

  4. velocipedFebruary 13, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Two reasons why I rarely go to bike mechanics:
    1. The majority of them are less qualified than I am (and I crunch numbers for living). Last time I needed to install a headset, I ended up doing it myself using the bike shop’s tools because their mechanic could do it. There are, of course great mechanics out there but often they are far away from where I work/live (when I lived in NYC I loved Bike Works NYC).
    2. In most of the bike shops, mechanics do not do the repairs right away. A usual response that I get from them: “We can fix it for x dollars. Leave the bike with us and come in a week.” I don’t mind paying x dollars, hell, most of the time I don’t mind paying twice the money, but no way I will be without my bike for a week! Not even for couple of days! If it is a 30 minute job (like installing the headset) they should be able to do it in couple of hours.

  5. KibbeeFebruary 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t think this probably can really be solved. Fixing most bike problems is just too easy, and most people don’t have $8000 bikes. Also, the comment from Velociped about the repairs taking so long is one of my biggest pet peeves, especially as a bike commuter. I put my thoughts on this subject on my blog (http://developerodyssey.com/?p=28)

  6. T.S.February 18, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Some perspective on this from a mechanic stand point. I have an unrelated college degree, and work as a mechanic by choice. I knew the pay was terrible going into it, but I wanted to really learn how to work on bikes, and the internet can only teach you so much. I highly suggest learning to work on your own bike, because the more you know about your bike, the more you will appreciate a bike that runs well, and therefore the more you will appreciate a good mechanic when you really need one. As far as turn around times go, when we tell a customer something is going to take a week, its because we already have 100 customers who got there first who also want something done, you can call them all and explain why you are more important. If we just hired more mechanics, then the chances of your bike being worked on by someone who has no idea what they are doing increases. Also because the work is very seasonal, the shop has to lay of 60% of the staff in the winter. Keeping people coming back every season is difficult, so its kind of a tricky situation. Its hard to justify paying a mechanic a lot of money when the market isn’t really developed, but if you don’t pay a living wage, mechanics won’t stay in the business long enough to become skilled enough to really deserve a high salary.
    Yes bikes are easy to work on, I worked on my own bikes for years before I became a professional mechanic, but I am worlds better now. As an analogy, cooking is easy, and everyone should be able to cook their own food, that doesn’t mean all cooks should make next to nothing, unless of course you only want to eat mcdonalds when you go out.
    Anyhow, Im not saying I deserve a higher wage, but I am going to leave the field eventually, because of the pay, so when you complain that your shop doesn’t have skilled workers, that is probably why.

  7. SIr Ebral CortexFebruary 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Probably why your mechanic also sells weed.

  8. NEATmikeFebruary 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    T.S. Makes a valid point. I have worked in shops for 20 years but also have a degree in Psychology. Lucky me I work in another underpaid profession now: Teaching. I still work at a shop during my “vacations” so I can make extra money to feed my kids. At least my boys will always have cool bikes…
    I’ve seen the usual HIgh School kids get trained and work for a year or two and then head off to college or the “real” world job. It’s hard to keep staff and nearly impossible to pay them when the average small shop has such low profit margins. Your mechanic loves working on a bike you scored a deal on eBay on and has incompatible parts slapped on it. Get mad at them and then buy stuff online. Good luck when you need a special tool or can’t track down a squeak.

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