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Our Services, Repairs and Pricing: An In-Depth Explainer

We know what it’s like. You want to know how much you’re going to spend when you drop your bike off with us – your friendly new Crouch End bike shop. You’re worried about how the value compares, or where the prices come from. Don’t panic! Let’s try and break it down.

Our pricing is essentially based on the amount of time it takes to do a job. That includes assessing the bike, booking the bike in, cleaning it, pumping tyres up, finding and ordering the right parts, giving you advice when you drop the bike off and pick it up, etc. Usually, booking your bike in for a full service will be better value, but if you go by the rule of thumb that 1 minute of labour costs £1, you won’t go far wrong. Bikes vary. The amount of time, skills and tools needed to work on a £5,000 carbon electric mountain bike will differ from a five-year-old run-around hybrid bike. We aim to reflect that difference fairly in our pricing.

If you’re unsure about how much your bike repair is likely to cost, just book it in. We will always asses your bike when you bring it in and give you an estimate before we start work. You can also email us if you’re really unsure – in which case, the more details and photos you can send to explain the problem, the better our assessment and estimate will be. If you know that you may need some specialist parts, you can note it in the online booking (or by email). We have accounts with nearly every supplier and can get almost all parts at fair prices.

“All of our services are based on the usual time it takes to complete a service. We set our prices to provide good value, and aim to be a sustainable business that will be around for you to come back to, year after year.”

If a repair takes a lot longer, is more difficult, complex or risky than expected when you booked it in, we may charge more. We will normally give you a quote ahead of time. If your bike needs less work than expected when booked, we will of course let you know and charge accordingly! 

What service should I book my bike in for?

We get this question a lot. In general, if your bike hasn’t been serviced within the last six months, our main “Butternut Service” for £75 is the one to go for. For this you get about two hours of our labour time, during which we will clean, fit parts, and spruce up your bike. We will charge more if the bike is extremely dirty. If it’s extremely clean, we will spend more time actually fixing and your bike – perhaps with some elements of the gold “Big Butternut Bikes Service” – and less time with a sponge and bucket. We will adjust and degrease the main areas of the bike and check and replace parts (like brake pads, cables, chains and cassettes) as needed. We of course charge extra for the cost of any new parts that are needed.  Generally you’ll need some new cables (they should be changed at least once per year).

The “Safety Check” is the right choice for a brand new bike (as around 95% of brand new bikes have some safety issues that can easily be addressed), for a six-week service on a new bike (or a new bike that has not had the six-week check), or for a bike that has just gone unused for a while. As soon as we start needing to replace parts (cables, chains, pads, etc), it will be upgraded to a main “Butternut Service”.

The gold “Big Butternut Service” is ideal for bikes that haven’t seen some love in a while, bikes that have multiple issues (bottom bracket, wheels out of true, headset, etc), fancy bikes that take more time to work on (if hydraulic brakes need bleeding, for example, that will not be included in a main service), or just if you want your bike back to looking like new. We will take the time to discuss what you want doing, how you want your bike set up and whether you have any customisations or specific parts that you’d like fitted. Feel free to choose coloured cables and bar tape! Your bike will be finished off with the most appropriate finish from Muc Off, either Matt Finish Detailer, Silicon Shine, Bike Protect or the New Harsh Condition Barrier (inside and out). You’ll also get premium ceramic lube for extra watts and longevity.

You can also book in to address specific problems. A standard gear service without replacing parts will cost £30; if we need to replace parts it’s £45. Brakes cost £15 per end; hydraulic brake bleeding £30 per brake. We can true wheels, build wheels and fit bottom brackets – and we most definitely can fix punctures.

Can you fix punctures?

Yes, of course! We are happy to get our hands dirty for you. A puncture usually takes about 10 minutes to fix, and we carry inner tubes and tyres for nearly every size. 

A puncture repair including a new inner tube costs just £20. However, it’s £15 if you just bring us the wheel and remove and refit it yourself yourself, or if you choose to buy a new tyre. A new tyre saves us digging around the old one looking for that tiny piece of glass or flint, making it a more expedient job. We will not patch inner tubes for customers, but we will give you the old tube back if you’d like to patch it. 

There may be extra charges for more complicated puncture repairs including for e-bikes, Bromptons, hub-geared bikes or Dutch bikes with full chain guards. This will usually cost around £30 in total, as we also have to do a gear service or other work just to fix a puncture.

We have a good range of tyres fit for use from standard commuting to off-road up to racing (and winning!). New tyres run from £16 and are generally much better than the ones fitted to new bikes. Most people go for something like a Marathon or Gatorskin tyre for around £30. These roll well and have very good puncture resistance. We particularly like the new Goodyear range of tubeless tyres (don’t let Gav start eulogising about tubeless, you’ll never stop him). If you have a bike that complicates puncture repairs – such as a Dutch with chain guard – we’ll usually suggest a puncture-resistant tyre so you don’t run into problems again.

When will my bike be ready?

Our aim is to fix bikes the day we receive them. Lately this has been pretty difficult due to high demand, low supply of spare parts, and a high volume of phone calls and queries. Usually, the only way we can get a bike back to you faster is if your bike jumps the queue. If you feel your bike justifies this – and of course, there can be significant reasons for it – please let us know when you drop it off. We will try to help, it’s in our interest to turn bikes around as quickly as possible.

We rarely promise to get a bike done by a certain time as there are often factors out of our control – such as supplies of parts -but will do everything we can to help you. We always try to let you know when your bike is finished, storage space in our little shop is limited and we don’t want your bike hanging any more than you do… we’d rather see you riding it! 

Can you work on X bike?

In general, the answer is yes. We have experience on all sorts of bikes, from 80 years old (the record in our shop so far), to modern carbon fibre weaponry, cargo bikes, tandem bikes and everything in between. We are not bike snobs and know the joy that a good value, well maintained bike can bring!

Some bikes that we generally don’t work on are:

  • Electric scooters (they’re not bikes anyway, right?)
  • Unbranded ebike conversions (These are often dangerous and illegal, so our insurance doesn’t allow us to work on them. We will try and advise you what to do)
  • Cracked or broken frames
  • Bikes that are dirty to the point of being a health hazard (our mechanics have the right to work in a clean environment)
  • Stolen bikes

Overall, despite all this rambling, we’re friendly, happy to see you and your bike, and happy to fix it. We are happy to help you fix your pram punctures too. We will probably grumble about skinning our knuckles on little wheels, but if you bring us cake, then the thought of that plus a smiling happy child in the pram will usually mean that we do our very best to help you too. 

Do you do discounts?

In general, no. We are not rich people and have set our prices to be fair for everyone, and sustainable. We never charge more than the standard retail price for items, and we check our prices against online and local retailers.

We do work for free for charity, for food banks, for people in need, and those who can’t afford it. People who are fortunate enough to be working (especially during Covid-19) and able to join a cycling club or a cycling campaign are, in our opinion, less in need of free or discounted repairs than those who are unemployed, vulnerable, have lost jobs or income because of the pandemic, who are just starting to make their way in life, who are struggling to settle in London or the UK, or who need to ride a bike for chronic health conditions. If you are a key worker and need your bike to get to work, we will prioritise your service to minimise disruption. 

If you feel our pricing is out of whack or doesn’t represent good value, please let us know. We aim to be approachable. For significant purchases that we do not have in stock, we’re happy to order things, and we will often offer to price match.

If you feel the need to try and haggle, then first test it out by logging onto Nike.com and seeing if they’ll take an offer on that pair of Jordans that you can buy cheaper (in a random colour) from Sports Direct. Let us know how that goes and then come back to your local owner-operated business 🙂

Can I bring my own parts?

In general, we’d rather you didn’t. We carry a good stock of parts at fair prices from brands that we trust. We also guarantee that the parts we supply will fit and work. If you supply something and it doesn’t work, where should the fault lie? If you have custom or special parts you want fitting, we’re happy to help.  To keep things fair, we charge 10% of the retail price (minimum £5) for fitting all customer-supplied parts, unless otherwise agreed. We may often waive this, depending on what seems fair to both parties – for example, you’re doing a full service and you have a part lying around. In general, if you’re going out to buy parts to save a few quid before bringing the bike to us, then no. If, on the other hand, it’s to fit the old Campagnolo groupset you inherited off grandad, then of course we’re very interested!

Servicing Pricelist

Finally, we get there!

  • Butternut Bikes Service (Main Service) – £75
  • Big Butternut Service (Gold Service) – £130
  • Safety Check – £45
  • Brake Service (per brake) – £15
  • Gear Adjust (no parts fitted) – £30
  • Gear Service (parts removed and degreased and new parts fitted) – £45
  • Puncture Repair, including tube – £20 (£5 discount if you just bring us the wheel or are getting a new tyre so £15 including tube)
  • Hydraulic Brake Bleed – £30 per brake
  • Minimum Labour Charge – £10
  • Fitting accessories – POA, but full mudguards £20, racks £10, pedals £5, etc
  • Wheel True – £20
  • Wheel Building – £50, but speak with us first!

OK, phew. Have you really read all that? I suspect we both could’ve been riding our bikes in that time 🙂 

We hope to see you soon and, as always, thank you for your support!