Welcome to our monthly informal survey of bike shops around Australia.
This month we also asked each shop how much they charged in the workshop for bike servicing, and whether they worked on an hourly rate or flat rate for each type of service.
The results varied quite markedly from one state to the next.
A couple of our respondents referred to the Retail Cycle Traders Australia (RCTA) guide, so we contacted RCTA Executive Officer, Graham Bradshaw for some further details.
He said that their Workshop Rates Guide is produced for members only as a member benefit. It has a long list of every bike workshop task with the recommended fee alongside. He stressed that these fees are recommended only and that members are not required to comply. Their schedule is currently based upon an hourly rate of $95, which they review approximately once every two years. He said it reflects Sydney and Melbourne metro rates and that some smaller city and regional rates may be lower.
It feels quiet, but it’s better than last year. Our sales are up from last year and so is our profit. We’re doing better, but coming off summer straight into the wet weather, it just feels like it drops quite a lot.
We’ve got Bike Force about 200 metres around the corner. They’ve just changed management and ownership. Then there’s Mercers a kilometre or who away and they’ve been there for ages.
A standard service is about $49 for a normal service, then we do an intermediate for about $79 and a deluxe which is $149. The time varies depending upon how bad the bike is, but if a normal service goes sweet, it shouldn’t be any more than about half an hour to 40 minutes.
It’s pretty steady at the moment. Adelaide’s in the middle of its coldest winter for 10 years. Cycling’s a bit of a fine weather game. I think if the weather was a bit better, business would certainly be a bit better.
We just try to be as good as we can absolutely be. We’ll bend over backwards to offer the best customer service in town. I think people vote with their feet.
We have different levels of mechanical service. We have a basic service, major service and ultimate service. We charge fixed price for those. We also detail everything that we do in those services. We also have fixed price for wheel trues and so on. We try to cover off everything in terms of what we charge.
Basic service is $80, which includes wheel trues. Usually we allow one hour for this.
People are still out and about, but they’re still holding onto their money a little bit, so to speak. Positive signs are there but I suppose people are still a little bit hesitant at the moment, certainly down here, they’re waiting for the better weather as well. It hasn’t been as aggressive as it has been, but our winters are still reasonably cold and wet.
We generally have a flat rate for repairs.
Definitely, all around everywhere, things have slowed down in the last three years. You find that people are holding onto older bikes and rejuvenating them more than a few years ago.
There’s definitely a big crowd getting the older bikes, especially from the kerbside, or tip sort of bike and bringing them back to life. Or older bikes that are in sheds, getting them back going again, there’s definitely more of a push on that. We’ll fix anything. We’ll just put a price on it. If people want to go ahead, we’ll do it.
The middle, main service we do is a $60 service, plus parts. We quote each job, but we do go through to a $150 service if it takes a bit longer and it’s bearings in the hubs and everything.
Ray Appleby Avanti Plus
Business is great! It’s a great business to be in. That’s a little bit… (tongue in cheek). It’s not the business it used to be, but it’s still a great business.
We’ve been here since 1988 so it’s been 24 years. (The main changes have been…) The proliferation of outlets. Local outlets and more recently online outlets. The blurring of wholesale and retail and the increase of information that people now have, whether it’s correct or not. There are a lot more experts, or so called experts out there.