Wheelbuilder question - Larry Mettler?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jonathan Bond, Apr 3, 2003.

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  1. Wondering about this guy's wheelbuilds. Can be found online at www.mtnhighcyclery.com . Anybody have
    any experience? Comes recommended on the mtbr.com boards, but a second opinion never hurts!

    I'm getting the wheels built up with WTB laserdisc lite hubs (rebadged American Classics, a heck of
    a lot cheaper), X317s or DT Swiss disc rims, and 14/15/14 or supercomp spokes. The parts should be
    pretty solid, but I know that 80% or more of a wheel's strength comes from the builder. $350-375
    built, depending on what I get.

    I'd have them built locally, but most everywhere around here (metro boston) is expensive as all get
    out, and the ones at home (CT) aren't all that great.

    I am working at a shop this summer, and finishing building my bike up then. I'm not sure how soon I
    can get discounts on stuff though, and I don't want to be too pushy. Plus, 350 seems like a damn
    good price, I'm not sure if I could beat that with an employee discount (could I?)

    Thanks!

    Jon Bond
     
    Tags:


  2. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    "Jonathan Bond" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    <<snip..>>

    > I am working at a shop this summer, and finishing building my bike up then. I'm not sure how soon
    > I can get discounts on stuff though, and I don't want to be too pushy. Plus, 350 seems like a damn
    > good price, I'm not sure if I could beat that with an employee discount (could I?)
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Jon Bond
    >

    Employee discount can mean different things. Generally, on accessories and parts, like hubs and
    rims, dealer cost is 50% of the suggested retail. I usually got parts for the dealer cost. So you
    could conceivably save something like 50% on those parts. If you have anything like a half-decent
    wheelbuilder in your shop, you can probably get him/her to build the wheels for you for free and
    you'll learn a thing or two in the process. I suggest purchasing Jobst Brandt's book The Bicycle
    Wheel (your shop can get it..) and having a read. I read it 20 years ago and I've built hundreds of
    wheels with great success. With a half-decent wheel-builder and reading The Book, you can probably
    do just as good a job as most good wheelbuilders. As far as when you can expect employee discount,
    it's a given for most shops I know of. Especially if you're a mechanic there. I've never been denied
    it and at this point in my life, I'd refuse to work if they didn't offer it to me. Course, I'd only
    be working as a hobby and can afford to turn down part-time work!! ;-)

    Cheers,

    Scott..
     
  3. S. Anderson wrote:
    > "Jonathan Bond" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    > <<snip..>>
    >
    >>I am working at a shop this summer, and finishing building my bike up then. I'm not sure how soon
    >>I can get discounts on stuff though, and I don't want to be too pushy. Plus, 350 seems like a damn
    >>good price, I'm not sure if I could beat that with an employee discount (could I?)
    >>
    >>Thanks!
    >>
    >>Jon Bond
    >>
    >
    >
    > Employee discount can mean different things. Generally, on accessories and parts, like hubs and
    > rims, dealer cost is 50% of the suggested retail. I usually got parts for the dealer cost. So you
    > could conceivably save something like 50% on those parts. If you have anything like a half-decent
    > wheelbuilder in your shop, you can probably get him/her to build the wheels for you for free and
    > you'll learn a thing or two in the process. I suggest purchasing Jobst Brandt's book The Bicycle
    > Wheel (your shop can get it..) and having a read. I read it 20 years ago and I've built hundreds
    > of wheels with great success. With a half-decent wheel-builder and reading The Book, you can
    > probably do just as good a job as most good wheelbuilders. As far as when you can expect employee
    > discount, it's a given for most shops I know of. Especially if you're a mechanic there. I've never
    > been denied it and at this point in my life, I'd refuse to work if they didn't offer it to me.
    > Course, I'd only be working as a hobby and can afford to turn down part-time work!! ;-)
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Scott..

    Thanks. I just looked again at the outrageously low shimano sponsorship prices, so I think I'm just
    going ot build up some cheap disc wheels (like XT), race them for a season, then switch 'em out with
    some brand spanking new XTR race wheels.

    Hopefully they'll give me a discount straight off, since I'm building my bike up as soon as I get
    home (if Shimano ever gets their act together and ships out my XT stuff)! I'm sales, not a mechanic,
    because thats where he put me. He asked, I said either way, and he said I appear to be good with
    people, so sales it is.

    Thanks again!

    Jon Bond
     
  4. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Jonathan Bond" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > S. Anderson wrote:
    > > "Jonathan Bond" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > <<snip..>>
    > >
    > >>I am working at a shop this summer, and finishing building my bike up then. I'm not sure how
    > >>soon I can get discounts on stuff though, and I don't want to be too pushy. Plus, 350 seems like
    > >>a damn good price, I'm not sure if I could beat that with an employee discount (could I?)
    > >>
    > >>Thanks!
    > >>
    > >>Jon Bond
    > >>
    > >
    > >
    > > Employee discount can mean different things. Generally, on accessories
    and
    > > parts, like hubs and rims, dealer cost is 50% of the suggested retail.
    I
    > > usually got parts for the dealer cost. So you could conceivably save something like 50% on those
    > > parts. If you have anything like a
    half-decent
    > > wheelbuilder in your shop, you can probably get him/her to build the
    wheels
    > > for you for free and you'll learn a thing or two in the process. I
    suggest
    > > purchasing Jobst Brandt's book The Bicycle Wheel (your shop can get
    it..)
    > > and having a read. I read it 20 years ago and I've built hundreds of
    wheels
    > > with great success. With a half-decent wheel-builder and reading The
    Book,
    > > you can probably do just as good a job as most good wheelbuilders. As
    far
    > > as when you can expect employee discount, it's a given for most shops I
    know
    > > of. Especially if you're a mechanic there. I've never been denied it
    and
    > > at this point in my life, I'd refuse to work if they didn't offer it to
    iu.
    > > Course, I'd only be working as a hobby and can afford to turn down
    part-time
    > > work!! ;-)
    > >
    > > Cheers,
    > >
    > > Scott..
    >
    >
    > Thanks. I just looked again at the outrageously low shimano sponsorship prices, so I think I'm
    > just going ot build up some cheap disc wheels (like XT), race them for a season, then switch 'em
    > out with some brand spanking new XTR race wheels.

    That sounds like a perfect waste of money. If you want the XTR's, you ought to get them now, unless
    you're just dying to have two sets of wheel. Then again, I think the XT's are good enough, and XTR
    offers no significant advantage.

    >
    > Hopefully they'll give me a discount straight off, since I'm building my bike up as soon as I get
    > home (if Shimano ever gets their act together and ships out my XT stuff)! I'm sales, not a
    > mechanic, because thats where he put me. He asked, I said either way, and he said I appear to be
    > good with people, so sales it is.

    It's a great way to get bike stuff cheap but don't make a career out of it. ;-)
     
  5. Robin Hubert wrote:
    > "Jonathan Bond" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >>
    >>S. Anderson wrote:
    >>
    >>>"Jonathan Bond" <[email protected]> wrote in
    >>
    > message
    >
    >>>news:[email protected]...
    >>>
    >>><<snip..>>
    >>>
    >>>>I am working at a shop this summer, and finishing building my bike up then. I'm not sure how
    >>>>soon I can get discounts on stuff though, and I don't want to be too pushy. Plus, 350 seems like
    >>>>a damn good price, I'm not sure if I could beat that with an employee discount (could I?)
    >>>>
    >>>>Thanks!
    >>>>
    >>>>Jon Bond
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>Employee discount can mean different things. Generally, on accessories
    >>
    > and
    >
    >>>parts, like hubs and rims, dealer cost is 50% of the suggested retail.
    >>
    > I
    >
    >>>usually got parts for the dealer cost. So you could conceivably save something like 50% on those
    >>>parts. If you have anything like a
    >>
    > half-decent
    >
    >>>wheelbuilder in your shop, you can probably get him/her to build the
    >>
    > wheels
    >
    >>>for you for free and you'll learn a thing or two in the process. I
    >>
    > suggest
    >
    >>>purchasing Jobst Brandt's book The Bicycle Wheel (your shop can get
    >>
    > it..)
    >
    >>>and having a read. I read it 20 years ago and I've built hundreds of
    >>
    > wheels
    >
    >>>with great success. With a half-decent wheel-builder and reading The
    >>
    > Book,
    >
    >>>you can probably do just as good a job as most good wheelbuilders. As
    >>
    > far
    >
    >>>as when you can expect employee discount, it's a given for most shops I
    >>
    > know
    >
    >>>of. Especially if you're a mechanic there. I've never been denied it
    >>
    > and
    >
    >>>at this point in my life, I'd refuse to work if they didn't offer it to
    >>
    > me.
    >
    >>>Course, I'd only be working as a hobby and can afford to turn down
    >>
    > part-time
    >
    >>>work!! ;-)
    >>>
    >>>Cheers,
    >>>
    >>>Scott..
    >>
    >>
    >>Thanks. I just looked again at the outrageously low shimano sponsorship prices, so I think I'm
    >>just going ot build up some cheap disc wheels (like XT), race them for a season, then switch 'em
    >>out with some brand spanking new XTR race wheels.
    >
    >
    > That sounds like a perfect waste of money. If you want the XTR's, you ought to get them now,
    > unless you're just dying to have two sets of wheel. Then again, I think the XT's are good enough,
    > and XTR offers no significant advantage.

    The XT disc hubs are heavy. The XT-level disc wheels are actually freeride wheels, so they're
    heavy too.

    Lemme put it this way: I can get these wheels:
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.html?SKU=16481

    For just over the price of the wheels I was planning on getting. I missed my chance this year
    because shimano only does one sponsorship deal a year, but those are some sweet wheels...

    The only question is if I spend like $200 or less now and get some XT disc wheels that will be a
    little heavy, and use those for racing this fall, then get the XTR disc wheelset for next spring...
    I'm planning on getting the XTR groupset for the bike the year after, so everything will end up XTR
    on that bike (sweeeeeeet).

    The best part is, I'm not a fast rider, I just happened to get onto (and somehow be mountain bike
    captain of) a well sponsored team.

    >>Hopefully they'll give me a discount straight off, since I'm building my bike up as soon as I get
    >>home (if Shimano ever gets their act together and ships out my XT stuff)! I'm sales, not a
    >>mechanic, because thats where he put me. He asked, I said either way, and he said I appear to be
    >>good with people, so sales it is.
    >
    >
    > It's a great way to get bike stuff cheap but don't make a career out of it. ;-)

    Its paying 8.50 an hour, which is only .50 less than I made busting my ass off banquet waiting,
    plus its normal hours (not 7pm-4AM, then 7AM the next morning), more hours, and cooler people.
    What's not to love?

    Jon Bond
     
  6. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    "Jonathan Bond" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > It's a great way to get bike stuff cheap but don't make a career out of
    it.
    > > ;-)
    >
    > Its paying 8.50 an hour, which is only .50 less than I made busting my ass off banquet waiting,
    > plus its normal hours (not 7pm-4AM, then 7AM the next morning), more hours, and cooler people.
    > What's not to love?
    >
    >
    > Jon Bond
    >

    Yeah, I was a mechanic/shop manager/sales guy/food gopher for 10 years or so during the summer while
    I was in high school and afterward a bit when I was in university. Honestly, it was the greatest
    job. I really miss the people, the work, the atmosphere. I don't miss the low wages. I guess it's a
    sliding scale of doing what I loved versus doing something that pays me 3 times as much that I may
    not love. I hope to one day return to the bike shop life and make a go of it owning a shop.
    Unfortunately, I love it so much I'd probably end up doing stuff for free and going bust in a year!

    Good luck,

    Scott..
     
  7. scott-<< Generally, on accessories and parts, like hubs and rims, dealer cost is 50% of the
    suggested retail.

    Not exactly. Parts sold for a $1 retail cost the bike shop about 65-70 cents. That's just the cost
    to buy, not including all the other expenses of running a shop. Few things are 'keystoned', that is
    doubled to find the retail price.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  8. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    In support of what Peter is saying, I looked into the economics of a bicycle shop and it's not a
    great business even if the everything in a well stocked shop cost the shop ½ price.

    If you stock spokes and they cost you 25¢ each, how much do you think you make when you sell a spoke
    for 50¢. If the customer comes in with a wheel with one broken spoke and wants to buy a replacement,
    you'll probably loose money selling the spoke. If the customer comes in and wants a 293 mm, 14 ga
    with nipple, you might make a penny if you run to the stock of spokes, get one out, and put the
    nipple on. If you chat a minute, you loose. Assume you are paying yourself $20/hr and that the fixed
    costs are similar to your wages.

    That little box that takes your ATM or credit card costs $300/mo.

    On 04 Apr 2003 14:10:32 GMT, [email protected] (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote:

    >scott-<< Generally, on accessories and parts, like hubs and rims, dealer cost is 50% of the
    >suggested retail.
    >
    >Not exactly. Parts sold for a $1 retail cost the bike shop about 65-70 cents. That's just the cost
    >to buy, not including all the other expenses of running a shop. Few things are 'keystoned', that is
    >doubled to find the retail price.
     
  9. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > scott-<< Generally, on accessories and parts, like hubs and rims, dealer cost is 50% of the
    > suggested retail.
    >
    > Not exactly. Parts sold for a $1 retail cost the bike shop about 65-70
    cents.
    > That's just the cost to buy, not including all the other expenses of
    running a
    > shop. Few things are 'keystoned', that is doubled to find the retail
    price.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"

    Oh, for sure. I wasn't trying to say shops gouge people. It sounds like a big mark-up, but it's
    nothing compared to other industries, like the ski industry. I just remember that most stuff was 50%
    off for employees, more or less. That's also affected somewhat by some mfgs that gave less than
    dealer cost to employees. Parts were probably marked up less, but I'm pretty certain most
    accessories (and that sometimes includes boutique parts..) were keystoned. That's here in
    Canada...in the States it may be different because the season is more even, I'm really not sure.

    Cheers!

    Scott..
     
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