Startling stats about bike mechanic salaries

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    • #123692 … c-salaries

      Check out the link above for some startling stats about bike mechanic salaries. However, what isn’t clear from the info provided here is whether or not these figures only include full-time bike mechanic salaries, or if part-time employees are included.

      What do you think? Are bike mechanic wages fair? And if your answer is "no," would you be willing to pay more for bike maintenance to allow for a salary increase for your mechanic(s)?

    • #123693

      There’s a discussion of this going on in my local club right now. One thing a local shop owner brought up is that, while you can’t eat them, mechanics are often "paid" (benefits?) in discounts as well as currency. My response to this is that no one pays all of the volunteer trail builders out there either. In most cases, we don’t even get discounts from bike shops, and there’s a clear link between the amount of trail in an area and the number of bikes sold in an area. There’s data on that somewhere, but I forget where it came from. Anyhow, it’s a supply and demand thing in part. I would also be interested in seeing how much costs for bike work at a shop have gone up over the past 10 years. I doubt it’s gone up very much. So maybe that’s something that’s squarely on bike shop owners?

      You could probably bring all this back to inflation. If it costs more to live (and if you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you KNOW it does) and people are still making the same amount of money, then it’s going be tough to get by.

    • #123694

      Yes I think salaries for bike mechanics are low. That said, I think they are paid exactly what they are worth. Now before you get all upset with me please consider all of us are paid exactly what we are worth. Want more money? Earn a skill that is higher in demand and you can command more money. The marketplace will determine for you what you are worth… and that is a wonderful thing.

      I am hearing more and more about fairness and money. There’s a lot of resentment from those that don’t have and those that do have. This is not a healthy place for your mind. Be happy with your situation or change it. Just don’t as someone for theirs…go earn yours.

    • #123695

      Well, at least they’ll qualify for Obamacare…

    • #123696

      A couple thoughts:

      – The slideshow mentioned $3,600 or so for car expenses. Many of the bike mechanics I know here in ATL don’t have cars because they RIDE BIKES. Pretty smart.

      -The slideshow also makes reference to the $80 tune-up. I don’t know if that’s a lot or a little but I can tell you the mechanic doesn’t get that $80 or even close to half of that. Jim mentioned it in his article about supporting your local shop–the margins on service are often higher than any of the products being sold, meaning the cost (labor) is low relative to the retail price. There are many ways to address this (mechanics, unionize and demand better wages; shops, charge more for labor; bike manufacturers, charge less for bikes so the shops don’t have to make their margins on the backs of mechanics; etc.).

      At the end of the day, as NorthGA put it, the free market usually finds a way to work itself out. Mechanics would charge more if they could, but they can’t. And mechanics could get different jobs if they wanted to, but they don’t. So…

    • #123697

      People get paid on perceived value of that job. Now I know, having worked in the business and moved on to other jobs. I can say yes and no to income and levels that are around now. Sure if the bike shop works on POS bikes that are not worth much and don’t make much on each bike that the owner can’t afford to pay that tech much. At the same time there are shops that have a higher end clientele that do spend more on bikes and have higher value bikes. Saying that…Those higher end bikes require a technician that does have to know more. I feel those technicians should be paid more. As they also have more responsibility in keeping those bikes in proper working order. Higher end bikes require higher skilled people.. Heck I can that most higher end bikes require a tech to be able to take apart suspension (auto techs only replace) and rebuild a fork or rear shock. Bike techs take apart calipers and levers (auto techs only replace). Bikes [b]WILL[b]have more and more electronic components that require a tech to size up, wire and program shifting. Do you think a person who is only paid a minimum wage desires only that??. I don’t.. Heck I remember talking to a few manufacture reps and they told me some of the hourly rates that some shops charge..Some shops are charging over $100 an hour.. Is it fair to pay that tech $10??? I sure don’t…Even when I was an auto technician. I was paid %33 of the shop rate..How about a proposition similar to that??

    • #123698

      Syd’s reply makes me wonder: how does this average compare to a team mechanic or a technician employed by a manufacturer rather than a retail shop?

    • #123699
      "syd" wrote

      Some shops are charging over $100 an hour..

      😮 Who’s willing to pay this amount for a bike shop?
      Glad I do all my repairs and maintenace by myself

    • #123700

      If you think bike mechanics @ the LBS are underpaid, then tip them. I do………… if they do a good job. 😃

    • #123701
      "ironhead700" wrote

      If you think bike mechanics @ the LBS are underpaid, then tip them. I do………… if they do a good job. 😃

      Good idea and a great way to build a beneficial relationship for the future!

    • #123702

      This comes as no surprise. I learned all about this pay structure when I was studying the ski industry. Waaaaay back when a 2 hr private lesson was $90, the instructor might directly get anywhere from $10 – 20 out of it.

      +1 on the tipping–if the work is good, then a little appreciation goes a long way–and may result in a little extra TLC for your rig on subsequent visits 😀

    • #123703

      I agree with Greg, knowing whether part-time mechanics are included or not would be important to a better understanding of the info presented. Im not really convinced by the "scientific approach" of this study..

      Im not sure if i would be willing to pay more than the current hourly rate. An increase by the LBS wouldnt automatically mean more money for the mech. Besides, it also depends on the skills of the mech. Ive seen everything in past experiences, from top notch service to very basic skills. I was very disappointed sometimes when i saw that bad jobs were done on my ride, and that is why i stopped going to LBS, except for major repairs.
      The point is, skilled mech are hard to find, and i feel that too many so-called bike mechanics are people with basic skills on summer jobs. However, you always end up paying the same rate regardless of the quality of the job.

    • #123704


      I think it is simple supply and demand, although a knowledable, skilled bike mechanic is a neccessary asset in a shop, there are no barriers to enter in the market as a tech and lets face it, many long time riders could probably do the job as well. The bike industry would have to consolidate to fewer shops and then the competition for skilled techs would ensue, hence higher salaries. I’m not sure if thats the direction people want the industry to go, but many others have followed that path.

    • #123705

      sign me up! as a cook i’ve learned to live off a little more than half the amount of the average bike mechanic. a year of busting my ass usually pays me around 13000 but i make it work my bike and my car were made in the same year (96) and the houses i live in usually have wheels too (and i wonder why im single) 😆 but it’s all good im looking in to this mechanic gig now a pay raise and i get to be around bikes. Like I said sign me up!!!

    • #123706

      I don’t know what else was expected? Its not like wrenching on bikes takes a lot of training or education or even expensive equipment. Its all very basic stuff that anyone can be trained to do in a few hours/days time, not months/years. It’s not even dangerous or physically demanding in the grand scheme of things, the worst part about it is greasy hands.

      Its an entry level job that is worth entry level compensation.

    • #123707

      +1 for tipping!
      In fact if it was lunch time, I would wave off the tip and ask if they’re hungry. If so, I would ask if they’re willing to take a trip to the small sandwich shop across the street, by the time they come back, I’ll have their bike all set and they would hook me up with a sandwich or snack of some sort.

      I find people are more willing to tip in food over cash.

      As for pay….you cant play the "averaging" game. Shop size and clientele is too wide spread to make generalizations. If your a mechanic and you want a good pay, you better find the best shop you can that sells high end bikes.

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