Open this thread if you work/ed in a bike shop
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  1. #1
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    Open this thread if you work/ed in a bike shop

    im looking at hourly rates here....

    right now im in college. i work seasonally and part time at dicks sporting goods as a bike tech. i started at $10/hr.

    the dicks is 2 hours from college in my home town. however, i really want to live at college for the summer.

    there is a really good bike shop a few miles from my apartment. they sell specialized, orbea, scott, etc. however, being in a college town, i dont know how much business they actually do. though, cycling is pretty big in town. also you have all the kids that ride bikes to class and bring them in to get fixed...

    my experience with higher end bikes is not very high, and i am not a professional mechanic. i can do the basics, and some more technical stuff. i also am very good at sales and that sort of thing.

    i applied on their website the other day. im going to talk to them in a week or two if i dont hear anything (i had to be super aggresive to get the job at dicks, and when i got it i turned the bike department around).

    so given all this, what is the range one can expect to make in a bike shop?

  2. #2
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    In a college town a part time worker/student is going to be lucky to make much more than minimum wage. Lots of demand for those summer jobs so there is no real reason for a shop to pay a lot.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  3. #3
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    In a college town a part time worker/student is going to be lucky to make much more than minimum wage. Lots of demand for those summer jobs so there is no real reason for a shop to pay a lot.
    +1 I know someone who got hired at a bike shop when he was 15or16 and made less than min wage because of the "training period." You probably wont make $10 and hour, but the convenience of working close to your appt, and at a smaller local bike shop will definitely make up for the money, unless you absolutely need more money for non-bike related stuff.

    What city/college?

  4. #4
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    You don't work in a shop for the paycheck, you work in a shop for the discounts. Most of your paycheck you end up giving back.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val_Garou
    You don't work in a shop for the paycheck, you work in a shop for the discounts. Most of your paycheck you end up giving back.
    +1. hah.

    Although after a few years, it was nice to be able to pay some bills with it.

  6. #6
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    hmm, see thats where im in a dilemna...

    its Clemson, SC.

    first i was looking at working at dicks again and living at home and making a ton of money. but i hate that job, and living at home sucks even worse cause nobody is in town anymore.

    next thing, i dont have a car. i have gotten by with my mom dropping me off at work last summer, and every other week i had my dads car cause he went out of town. but this summer is gonna be a bit tougher.

    some of you may have seen my thread about asking help buying a used car... well thats why i would need to buy the car. to get to work.

    the other thing, my girlfriend of 2 years is going to be in clemson for the summer. its a 2.5 hour drive. if i end up not getting a car till towards the end of summer, ill never see her. it'd be rough.

    now if i lived in clemson, i could see my girlfriend, and i wouldnt need a car (everything is biking distance, especially for someone who already rides).

    maybe working at the shop wont yeild much money, but the discounts might make it worth it as some of you had said.

    i bought the RS2 frame. now i need to build it up. but that wasnt gonna happen till at least i got a car this summer. but now if i dont need a car and i get the discounts on parts, i might be set.

    and as far as money goes, my parents give me rent money and food money. the food money doesnt go very far, only like $5 per day. but other than that i dont spend any money. so working at the shop to stay in clemson and pay for the bike might work out.

    im probably gonna try to apply at a grocery store or something if i get the bike shop job.


    ***************************

    NOW ON TO MY NEXT QUESTION...i wish i had put this in the original post, i might go do that too....

    and this is for those that work/ed in a shop...

    what is the likely hood ill get hired, given what ive told you about myself? i mean, i used to go into the shop and some overweight kid would be sitting behind the counter and i'd ask for something and he wouldnt know what im talking about (i forget what it was, but if you work in a bike shop, you should know, or even if you at least ride bikes). so i think i'd at least be above someone like that.

    sorry im just typing away. im on spring break and all i have to do is work and sit at my house (girlfriend at the beach all week). hmm, just a preview of what summer is gonna be like if im here

  7. #7
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    ahh. I never thought I would say this... especially being 23... young and naive.

  8. #8
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    Don't ask us, ask the shop. And do it very soon-like tomorrow.

    Faint hearts win no fair maids.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruzer2424
    ahh. I never thought I would say this... especially being 23... young and naive.
    23?...holy crap.....I got aches and pains older than you..(2 daughters and a son...lol) the baby the biggest pain, but only 18....lol
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

  10. #10
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by david462
    im looking at hourly rates here....
    Figure minimum wage. Run the numbers. Then run the numbers for going home.

    You don't want to go home.

    So if the numbers are close, there's your answer. Anything on top of minimum is gravy.

    You might rate more than minimum, you do have relevant job experience. Some wrenching, customer service.... you are not a rookie. A shop might be glad to have you and toss you an extra bit per hour based on that. Don't sell yourself short.

    Don't oversell either. You ain't bicycle repairman!

    (neither are these guys)
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by david462

    NOW ON TO MY NEXT QUESTION...i wish i had put this in the original post, i might go do that too....

    and this is for those that work/ed in a shop...

    what is the likely hood ill get hired, given what ive told you about myself? i mean, i used to go into the shop and some overweight kid would be sitting behind the counter and i'd ask for something and he wouldnt know what im talking about (i forget what it was, but if you work in a bike shop, you should know, or even if you at least ride bikes). so i think i'd at least be above someone like that.

    sorry im just typing away. im on spring break and all i have to do is work and sit at my house (girlfriend at the beach all week). hmm, just a preview of what summer is gonna be like if im here
    I've literally probably had tons of kids come in and ask me for jobs while I worked at various shops. Once I was manager, and had the power to hire someone, it depended on 1. experience, and 2. personality. In my eyes, Dick's bike department didn't really count as experience. So many times, customers came in with bikes built/bought @ Dicks and they were all really messed up. The first few times it was like "Wow. They sold it like that?" After 3 or 4 bikes later it was more like "Oh. Another Dick's Bike..." And of course number 2 goes... I'm not going to hire someone that I wouldn't get a long with...

    If you really think you're qualified, ask them if you can build a bike for them.

    Oh. And in some shops, it's really difficult to get hired. A competing shop one of the ones I worked at required college degrees... not because of what you'll learn while you're in college, but just to prove that you're not an idiot and you can finish something (lets save whether or not they'll give college degrees to idiots for another thread, shall we?). AFAIK, that shop routinely did over 4m in business every year. That's practically unheard of for any bike shop...

  12. #12
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    Lemme see... hmmmm... (scratching head)...

    Option 1: Live at home with Mom and Dad, no car, work at a Big Box Chain store, beating off.
    Option 2: Live on your own (Mom and Dad pay rent and some food), you don't necessarily need a car, work at a higher end bike shop and learn/build some skills, girlfriend.

    That's a tough one... but I'm gonna have to recommend option 2 having never been to Clemson, SC.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruzer2424
    I've literally probably had tons of kids come in and ask me for jobs while I worked at various shops. Once I was manager, and had the power to hire someone, it depended on 1. experience, and 2. personality. In my eyes, Dick's bike department didn't really count as experience. So many times, customers came in with bikes built/bought @ Dicks and they were all really messed up. The first few times it was like "Wow. They sold it like that?" After 3 or 4 bikes later it was more like "Oh. Another Dick's Bike..." And of course number 2 goes... I'm not going to hire someone that I wouldn't get a long with...

    If you really think you're qualified, ask them if you can build a bike for them.

    Oh. And in some shops, it's really difficult to get hired. A competing shop one of the ones I worked at required college degrees... not because of what you'll learn while you're in college, but just to prove that you're not an idiot and you can finish something (lets save whether or not they'll give college degrees to idiots for another thread, shall we?). AFAIK, that shop routinely did over 4m in business every year. That's practically unheard of for any bike shop...

    k, well for one thing, no two dicks are alike.

    my friend who goes to school in charleston bought a bike from dicks. the guy sold him a 24" quest and was all messed up when he got it. i could only laugh when he told me he thought it was too small only to find out it was a 24.

    ive worked at various other stores (dicks) around SC/NC and probably have of them are crap. some didnt even have a bike tech.

    the store i work at is different. the full time tech could work in a regular bike shop. his dad owns a bike shop....etc etc.

    i mean come on, bikes arnt that hard to work on. its not like its an automobile or an aircraft or anything. remember the guy i mentioned earlier in this thread? the one who didnt know what something was when i asked for it at the bike shop i want to work at? if he is in there, why couldnt i be?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by david462
    k, well for one thing, no two dicks are alike.



    hehehehe.....is that c0de?...........
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

  15. #15
    More cowbell!
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    I got $7/hr at the first shop I worked for, in a college town, back in 1998. My duties consisted almost entirely of building new bikes that retailed for $2000 or less. The expensive bikes were built by the head mechanic. It was an incredible learning experience for me. I now wrench for a pro women's mountain bike and cyclocross team as a second, seasonal job. I'm a welding engineer the rest of the time.
    DFL > DNF > DNS

  16. #16
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    "now if i lived in clemson, i could see my girlfriend, and i wouldnt need a car (everything is biking distance, especially for someone who already rides).

    maybe working at the shop wont yeild much money, but the discounts might make it worth it as some of you had said."

    take the job even if they are paying you cup noodles. Girl friend, living away from home , and working with bikes. Try something creative like the first however long you work for crap wages and if you are as good as you say you are they then pay you more, might get you in to start. Good luck.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by david462
    k, well for one thing, no two dicks are alike.

    my friend who goes to school in charleston bought a bike from dicks. the guy sold him a 24" quest and was all messed up when he got it. i could only laugh when he told me he thought it was too small only to find out it was a 24.

    ive worked at various other stores (dicks) around SC/NC and probably have of them are crap. some didnt even have a bike tech.

    the store i work at is different. the full time tech could work in a regular bike shop. his dad owns a bike shop....etc etc.

    i mean come on, bikes arnt that hard to work on. its not like its an automobile or an aircraft or anything. remember the guy i mentioned earlier in this thread? the one who didnt know what something was when i asked for it at the bike shop i want to work at? if he is in there, why couldnt i be?
    haha. Well I didn't know that at the time. And with so many other kids coming in and out asking for jobs... Do you see where I'm going? It's much easier to write someone off and call up another candidate.

    Of course bikes aren't hard to work on. But there are a lot of idiots out there. Prove that you aren't one of them.

    Like I said... ask them if you can build a bike for them. Do it in 40 minutes, do it perfectly, try and have some interesting things to talk about... they'll have nothing to complain about and the job will be yours.

  18. #18
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    If your at home with mom n dad you'll spend more in lotion than if you were at Clemson for sure.

    Now for the serious advice. I worked at shops for years and am still in the bike industry. Present yourself as someone that has taken the time to learn the basics at another bike. Focus on what YOU can do, not on what you can't. Shops need versatile people so tell them you wrenched but also focus on other things your good at.

    Don't tell them you have great customer service, talk to them about ways you've learned to take great care of people. Details matter so make sure you come in over prepared in terms or dress, resume, etc.

    Be flexible with schedule etc, don't tell them you want to ride until 2pm and them leave at 5, plus that you want to race every weekend...$hit, every shop guy wants that.

    Know as much as you can about their brands and if you get the job treat every customer and vendor well enough that they would consider hiring you if they had a business. Doing that means you'll be able to always land on your feet.

    I guess I'd also say don't treat the job or go into with the idea that it is a temporary blow-off job and while you go to school you'll always have a chance to make the best of where your at.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by teoteoteo
    If your at home with mom n dad you'll spend more in lotion than if you were at Clemson for sure.

    Now for the serious advice. I worked at shops for years and am still in the bike industry. Present yourself as someone that has taken the time to learn the basics at another bike. Focus on what YOU can do, not on what you can't. Shops need versatile people so tell them you wrenched but also focus on other things your good at.

    Don't tell them you have great customer service, talk to them about ways you've learned to take great care of people. Details matter so make sure you come in over prepared in terms or dress, resume, etc.

    Be flexible with schedule etc, don't tell them you want to ride until 2pm and them leave at 5, plus that you want to race every weekend...$hit, every shop guy wants that.

    Know as much as you can about their brands and if you get the job treat every customer and vendor well enough that they would consider hiring you if they had a business. Doing that means you'll be able to always land on your feet.

    I guess I'd also say don't treat the job or go into with the idea that it is a temporary blow-off job and while you go to school you'll always have a chance to make the best of where your at.
    thanks for the advice...

  20. #20
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    Unless your an excellent wrench and/or know your s**t about the brands then don't expect to make much more than minimum, especially in a college town.

  21. #21
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    wooooo i got an interview set up!

    time to re-familarize myself with specialized/scott/etc.

  22. #22
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    IMO, the most important thing is to be personable and pleasant, not necessarily to know everything about everything. There's nothing worse that going into a shop where none of the staff know how to smile, make eye contact, and converse with the customers.

    You can always teach someone more about bikes, bike parts, etc. But teaching "people skills" is much more difficult.

    Good luck with your interview!

  23. #23
    grippy...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclo-phile
    ...My duties consisted almost entirely of building new bikes that retailed for $2000 or less. The expensive bikes were built by the head mechanic. It was an incredible learning experience for me....
    Builder, that is your way in. Every shop wants/needs someone who will crank out quality bike builds. You may have people skills, and you may have check-in repair experience, and those will help you if they do want you to do time at the counter, or develop you to be a main mechanic, or just take care of the simpler jobs. But somebody with knowledge of the basic mechanics of a bicycle, and can whip out fast reliable builds for hours on end is gold, especially this time of year. Bikes in boxes are worthless, and bike builders that dawdle or screw up waste money. If you can park yourself at a stand and handle the unglamorous task of building for hours on end, day after day, maintaining quality and productivity, you are money in the bank for them.
    <a href="http://city-bikes.blogspot.com">shop blog<a/>

  24. #24
    jd3
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    Don't forget to dress properly. I know a kid who was a great wrench and good with people. Customers would walk past him because of the way he dressed. Boss had a talk with him, he cleaned up his act and sold 3 high end bikes the next day.

  25. #25
    now in philadelphia
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    I worked as a wrench in high school. I got $15/bike to assemble them out of the box. No hourly base.

    Those were good times. I remember biking 10 miles each way to work at the only shop that would employee a 16 year old.

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