Changes for 2018…

There are going to be some changes to the way we run Brockley Bikes in 2018.

The main one is that we will be increasing our labour prices. I just want to take the opportunity to explain why. This is not to be greedy, but simply so we can continue to survive as an independent local business serving the community. We hope this will shed some light on the reasons behind the changes and that you continue to have your beloved bicycles repaired and serviced by us.

Since we opened to the public 13 years ago we have endeavoured to make your bicycles run the very best they possibly can. We use the highest quality service components at a sensible price; have the best tools to use on your equipment so it doesn’t get damaged while offering mechanical skill and expertise one would struggle to challenge. We have always gone the extra mile to make sure your bike is working at its best and that it set up properly for you.

Over this time we have seen all our running costs increase; rent, utility bills and consumable items we use to get your bicycle looking and running tip top. Yet we have not increased our labour prices to compensate these augmented overheads.

Profit margins on components are very small in the cycle industry as it is and we do our best to keep these as low as we can. However, the last five years or so has seen a massive influx of customers buying their components from online companies.

It is not unusual for people to come in and spend a good amount of time asking advice, which we happily give, only to find they are just “showrooming”. Sure, we understand that people might want to go for the most cost effective option. The problem is that we have just spent our time which costs money only to find that one of the bicycle supermarkets will get the small margin we were hoping for.

We, like all small businesses, can’t compete with internet prices mainly because we don’t have the buying power of enormous multinational companies. That means they can not only buy in bulk, but they can sell what are called OEM products or Original Equipment Manufacturer products. What does this mean? Fundamentally, these are unpackaged components with no instructions and are supposed to be the same quality as the aftermarket products you see in a box in a shop.

I have been in the bike industry over 30 years; I have seen alot of these OEM products. I don’t believe the quality is the same standard as aftermarket. I have seen items without the manufacturer’s name on it or not printed properly along with things that shouldn’t have even left the factory as they are unusable from the get go. Sure, not all the products bought online are inferior, but to the layman it can be impossible to tell. Some people even go with the “buy cheap, buy twice” attitude! This is a long way from being the environmentally friendly approach riding a bicycle is made out to be.

Looking at labour costing against nearly all the local shops and bicycle supermarkets; generally we are below their pricing. And yet we do a much more comprehensive job and always stand behind the work we have done.

We do little things to your bicycle to make it better for you that other shops just don’t do when we service it. To note a few, we fit handlebar tape for free, keep your seat at the right height (we even question customers if it is the right height if looks obvious that it isn’t), grease cables, put handlebars and levers in the correct place for operation and comfort. We also make tutorial videos that cost money and take time which are available free online giving our customers knowledge to improve their bicycles safety and longevity in between services. What we don’t do is use de-greasers and/or power washers that wreck your bicycle!!

In conclusion, it is out of necessity that we have taken the very hard decision to put our labour prices up. We really don’t want to be forced to close the shop. We hope that you will continue to value what we do at Brockley Bikes and carry on supporting us to give the quality service we provide you and your bicycle. Every single one of you is important to us – we couldn’t do this without you!

Remember this won’t be in place until the New Year! If you need to get some work done and want to take advantage of our current low prices, now is the time before we shut for Christmas in early December.

If you would like to talk through anything feel free to email me ashley@brockleybikes.com or pop in the shop.

Happy Safe Cycling,

Ashley

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