Our daily lives have changed dramatically in the past few months as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the Ontario. We’d like to help explain what the virus means for cycling in Ontario. As of April, Cycle Toronto helped ensure that bicycle repair shops were in the Province’s list of Essential Businesses during this emergency.
So, you need some work done on your beautiful bike. Now what? Well the first step is to figure out who you will contact to get your sweet ride back in tip top shape. There are lots of options ranging from community-based bike shop-co-ops, big box retailers, old school neighbourhood bike shops and of course mobile bike shops like Velofix. Once you have either made the appointment or loaded up the car and headed down to the shop it’s time to have a chat with your mechanic. Kinda scary, right? With a little knowledge before you start the process you will be fully prepared to ensure that what you want to get done actually gets looked at.
Here are a few simple yet vital questions to ask your mechanic when booking your repair service.
#1 What does your tune up cover? Do you have different levels of tune ups? Please explain exactly all the work you will be performing.
#2 If you have a specific issue, for example your shifting is not perfect. Now is the time to ask, “Can you please take a look at my shifting, it’s not working well”. Don’t be afraid to mention any little annoyance, a little information here will help the mechanic a lot when they are working on your bike.
#3 If you find anything that needs to be done that’s not included in the tune up package I booked, will you please contact me before the work is done so we may decide what to do? This question may seem obvious to you, but I’ve heard many upset customers who have returned to pick up their bikes only to be handed a bill much bigger than originally agreed upon.
#4 When can I pick up my bike. Now this is where things may get difficult. Most bike shops will have their busy season (March-June) when it may be up to a few weeks before they get to your bike. It’s ok to ask them for a specific day to bring it back. Many of us really love riding our bikes and not having them for days at a time is not ideal. Why not see if they are willing to book you in for a specific day?
Bike shops and the mechanics who work there are always ready to answer any questions you might have, but as the customer the owness is on you to ask those questions. Come prepared to ask and the bike shop experience will be so much more enjoyable.
Owner and head bike guy
Multisport Canada’s Residence Bike Guy.