Holy shit/Bike Shop lulz


Somehow, Megan @ MothAttack was able to get a QBP account. I think she said she had a friend that worked there. I miss being able to call her, order what I wanted, and then drive to her workshop/house and pick up stuffs. Damn you, Colorado.


You can apply for a QBP account as a custom framebuilder. I can’t get past the front page of the application to see what the specific terms are, but it’s an option.


I think that might have been a newer option, then. She was trying to get one for years.


A Velofix franchise owner lives on my street. He seems like to like it well enough although it’s miserable working in the van in winter (no insulation). His biggest complaint is you pay a royalty on all sales to Velofix forever. Also the cost of entry is higher than stated upthread although they may have different franchise fees in different markets in order to drive expansion. When all of the distros are comfortable with the mobile scheme, Velofix is going to struggle adding value for franchise owners (so driving expansion now is probably a good strategy).


Seems like IBDs could compete by offering a pickup / dropoff service. If the added value is not having to deal with going to a shop, maybe it doesn’t matter where the tools are kept.


Some already do!


All you need is a standalone building that you use as your shop. I qualify now. I should get it.


Megan is the best.


The price does vary, and it’s driven by a value determined based on census data. I chose $50k because that’s what they claim to be about “average”, but obviously San Francisco is going to cost a lot more than Spokane.

That’s true, but the literal stated goal of the owners is to find someone to cash out Velofix to within (if I recall correctly) 5 years, so that’ll be the next owners’ problem.


So grow it til some older bike industry giant has to give them money to own their practice? Get sold up and out to some private equity group that handles the shop-service transition pipeline?

I’m not mad at them for trying it as long as they don’t drive all bike shops out of business and finish burning whoever’s money is initially backing them, leaving nothing in their wake.

I guess the franchisees could band together to try to save the whole thing from sinking if it went that way.


Megan is the best.[/quote]

And Thor.

She even flew me out a rocky mounts tandem rack and an enve canti fork during cmwc!


are you employed by a single shop? Are you an independent contractor instead?

I’m wondering if one way out of the low pay / dead end of wrench work is to treat the shop job as an apprenticeship, build a client base that looks to you, not your shop, for expertise, and then hang out a shingle. You could still do contract work for shops, but could market your skills independently and take on your own client list.

I don’t know the industry, maybe there are some strong structural reasons this isn’t a common practice, I’m just wondering how it would work to formally break off mechanical work from shop employment.[/quote]

Currently employed by a shop, salaried and I have 49% of the say without having to be financially responsible. Small shop in a very key area and the owner is extremely involved in the community and retired from tech sales (think Yahoo VP of sales/fly 2 million miles a year type of corporate level) and opened the shop 4 years ago because he loves bikes. There isn’t an endless amount of money, so it’s got the same issues a regular shop has.

I came into it knowing that I may only get a year out of the place, but the pay was too good to pass up. The owner trusted the previous mechanic a bit too much, and money was spent a bit too freely but after two months I’ve restructured some things and we only have a very small amount of debt left, to the degree that we could pay it off tomorrow if we wanted to but it’s not necessary. We’re smarter about stocking product and repair parts and we’re seeing sales jump while keeping inventory a bit leaner without losing sales.

Long story short, I can build my base while employed at a shop while earning a living. If/when the time comes for me to leave or something happens, I will have the client base that I generated at my previous shop and this one. For example, a good percentage of customers from my previous shop are now customers at my new shop. If I go, well, they already have my contact info therefore I’d just work on their bikes at home/at the next shop.

I don’t think there’s a way to contract at multiple shops because customers are loyal to the mechanic, not the shop, therefore shop owners don’t want to share the customer’s business. Does that make sense?

If this shop keeps going well, there’s talk of partial ownership down the line.


Oh! Beeline/Velofix in the Bay Area is a disaster. Had a coworker that did it for a year and he said it was terrible. Customer would schedule a ‘suspension overhaul’ and he’d show up and it was only a shock service. Lots of miscommunication and/or inability to complete repairs due to unexpected issues.

His biggest complaint was having to park on some slope and if something fell, say a bearing, that thing was gone. No way to find it unless it got trapped in the van.

Apparently, there’s a guy that’s funding a handful of Beeline vans around this area, but it sounds like a clusterfuck.


This garbage shop I work for is now one month out on tune ups - literally until May 3. We have a ‘walk-in’ board, and that’s filled for two weeks. Other than me, there are basically no repair mechanics left, and my hours are abbreviated, so the labor budget per day is now like $4-600, where it used to be $1200-1500. It would be embarrassing if I cared, but instead it’s just bemusing.



ask for a raise, at least double what you make now or else u gon potf and 360 moonwalk all over it


That’s essentially what happened to my old shop. Super efficient and profitable shop with 24-48 hr turnaround became a single mechanic, 3 week turnaround shit show.


it’s such a big shop and there were always so many workers every time I wandered around in there to get chain lube or whatever. What do all those people do?

Also, I decided I hated that place when the sales guy rudely informed me that the cheap 8sp wheel I was getting for my wife’s ancient Bianchi wasn’t going to work. Like, over and over he insisted there was no way it would work. I felt like I had to convince him to let me spend money at his shop. the end result of his incorrect, rude opinions was that I only ever went there when I was desperate and in the neighborhood.


Did it work tho?


Yeah, of course. No problem. I’m sure he was worried about mixing different speeds with indexed shifting but he never came out and said it, so I couldn’t tell him the bike had friction bar ends so whatever.