How to Find a Good Bike Mechanic
At some stage or another, every cyclist will experience an issue with their bicycle and need to take it to a bike mechanic. For anyone who has been to one before, they are well aware of the difficulties one faces when trying to describe the problem at hand. Major issues can be spotted with the eye and are not of much concern, but it is the niggling problems where something just isn’t quite right where the communication issues can arise.
Just like a car driver trying to explain to their mechanic about a clunking sound coming from a certain part of a car, a cyclist may not know the correct names for every part on their bike. The ability to understand and comprehend what their customer is explaining is one of the main factors which sets apart the good mechanic from the average ones. Finding that person who knows exactly what you are trying to tell you them can be a long and arduous task, but one worth making an effort for.
If you can find a mechanic who can understand your vague lingo, then this is a great sign that you have found a good bike mechanic. If they can also interpret problems from listening to you replicate the bikes problem sounds with your mouth, then you are definitely onto a winner. Also look out for the hesitation factor. If they can immediately get to work to fix the issue it shows they have successfully translated your problem description, while if they need to think for a while then they might not have caught on to what the issue is.
The communication with a good bicycle mechanic goes both ways. In addition to them needing the ability to comprehend your explanations, they must also have the ability to successfully relay to you what they have done to rectify your bikes problems. There is no point using technical descriptions which go over a customers head just to impress them, and it is much more beneficial for them to explain what action they took using layman terminology and give the customer complete satisfaction that the job was done correctly.
Many cyclists feel that they must take their bicycle in for repairs at the bike shop it was purchased from, but if the mechanic there is of average standard, then you will always encounter the same problems. Don’t be afraid to switch to another bike shop in your search for the best bike mechanic. Look for a bicycle mechanic who uses a checklist for bike services, as it shows they are prepared, planned and pay attention to detail, and don’t just do jobs on the whim. Another facet to look for in a good bike mechanic is one who has a policy to contact you and get permission before proceeding with any expensive work. Let me assure you that coming to collect your bike and receiving a large bill for unexpected work is something which you want to avoid at all costs.
Having the knowledge that you use the best bike mechanic can be more rewarding than wearing the best cycling jerseys. So, if you can follow all of these steps and find that brilliant bike mechanic you have been searching for, it is well worth making an extra effort to establish a good rapport with them. Whether it is remembering their name, thanking them for their work, or cracking a few jokes, if the mechanic likes you they will continue to provide a good service to you in the future, and with any luck a little discount too.