Looking for a reliable place in Halifax to get work done on my bikes. (Full suspension, hard-tail and gravel bike) From basic tune-ups to suspension rebuilds.
I’ve had great service at Sportwheels.
Sportwheels is now offering online booking for service/repairs now, they have always been able to fix anything beyond my own skills and tool box Bicycle Repair Services - Sportwheels Sports Excellence
Wow, that online booking page is pretty slick. Only hiccup I would be fearful of is not having replacement parts (ie, cassette) on hand to complete the job. No biggie, I’m sure. Would definitely see this as something to keep well after the covid.
I’ve always had a great experience at Sportwheels, and I shop there a lot.
Just yesterday though I was in a pinch and had Velofix come out, and Blair was awesome to deal with. Given my almost complete lack of free time, during the hours shops are open, I’ll likely keep using Velofix as they can come to my work, making it worth every penny to me.
Halifax cycle is pretty damn good. Roger was cyclemsmiths main mechanic for years then went on his own. He has very honest pricing on the labor too.
Long Alley on Quinpool has been good to me when I’ve needed them.
The bike peddler in Dartmouth is always good to me
Try to learn as much as humanly possible to self maintain your bikes.
Most shops ship your suspension to third parties.
There are a lot of third party services for suspension, even some local ones.
You would be surprised whats possible with some patience, and a few beer.
I’ve recently been shocked to learn that there are shops that list suspension services as a menu item but they actually ship it away for everything including 50 hour services.
Not everyone can or wants to invest in the tools required along with a plethora of replacement parts that usually become obsolete in no time.
It is certainly a drag, though, adding more time without your bik due to shipping.
I get not wanting to deal with parts, fluids, tools, etc and I think there is also a lack of want for that business. Suspension isn’t a large market here and the return on the investment is much smaller than doing general bike work. You have to want to do suspension work and I can see why a shop would rather not do it in favour of other work.
But for whatever reason a shop doesn’t want to do it I don’t get putting suspension work as a menu item when in reality they are just shipping it back.
The money certainly isn’t in doing suspension work, trust me haha.
Well, I guess technically it is a service that they provide. If they don’t say it outright someone might pass them over when it’s bike overhaul time.
My prediction, is that with the rise of bike sales you will see more independent mechanics rise in their garages with various specialities.
My issue with local shops, has always been the time it takes to get the job done. This isnt bashing anyone specifically, or any shop. I just always looked at bringing my bike with issues I couldn’t solve as a black hole of time that prevents me from riding.
I am personally fortunate enough to have a network of friends, mechanics, shops that I have great relationships with that will take my money and understand that time for me is the most important aspect of a business deal.
Lets take a reverb dropper for example. If anything goes wrong with one, guess what. Its being shipped to Narnia and your season hinges on if your shop cares enough to do the leg work to ensure its shipped, completed, shipped back and all the steps in between. Sounds simple, but ive seen all those steps personally fail miserably multiple times with various issues. The
Dropper is just one example.
I also have countless examples of great customer service in the local area, but they all came down to the fact I knew the person responsible personally. For a new rider on the scene, this could be a challenge. And apparently some even call it intimidating.
I don’t have the answers. And all this is just food for thought, i am in the mindset that anything can be streamlined and made better. I highly consider local (HRM) bike shops should be looking at ways to achieve this. Doing a 50 hr service on some seals with oil is a no brainer IMO.
If you have a reverb that needs sent back for service just throw it in the trash and buy a mechanical post haha. There are multiple mechanical posts on the market now that are more reliable and only like $50 more than have a reverb sent back for a rebuild. No offense to anyone who owns and loves their reverb, though. That post was killer when it was released, I had an OG one and it was awesome, then I sent it in for service and it never worked right again. But I had a bad run of reverbs (multiple failed on me) and now I am salty towards that product despite loving Rockshox suspension.
And 50 hour suspension service is totally doable by a competent home mechanic, but lots of people don’t have the time, don’t want too, don’t have the space, or whatever. I don’t judge when it comes to suspension work as there are a lot of other tasks new riders or even seasoned riders should learn how to do first like adjusting shifting before they worry about suspension.
I agree on the turn around times, which is why in the small corner of the market I entered I strive to keep turn around times as quick as possible bearing in mind that I work a fulltime day job and have to kids.
In a non covid-19 time the best bet for finding a shop for you was going and hanging out and getting to know the staff and techs and seeing who you vibe with. Unfortunately that is hard right now in a curbside pickup day and age with limited contact. It is a busy industry right now and everyone is going to have a different experience with the same shop and techs.
Like Chris, I don’t have the answers and probably have too many opinions after spending time behind the counter in a shop so I will bow out from any recommendations. But I do agree that if the industry keeps up this pace you will see more shop techs and form shop techs wrenching in their spare time at home on rainy days.