Thursday, April 02, 2015

Are bikes disposable now too?

I'm a big fan of the blog Not Always Right, where members of the public send in tales of dumb things customers say. I had a vague sense I was in a Not Always Right situation myself recently ...

Me: (on phone to bike shop) I'd like to book my bike in for its six monthly service please.
Bike Shop Dude: You mean three monthly service ...
Me: Oh? Sorry. I thought it was six months. You'll just have to do more to it if necessary ...
Bike Shop Dude: (rather snippily) Oh, will I?
Bike Shop Dude: I can't find your name in the bike sales database.
Me: I didn't buy it from you.
Bike Shop Dude: (splutters)
Me: The bike's not new. I've had it for years. I just want to book it in to have the gears and brakes serviced ...
Bike Shop Dude: Oooohhh, OK!

The bike shop, on its website, recommends six monthly servicing. So what I took away from this interaction was a sad little feeling that maybe no-one else gets their bikes serviced beyond the (free) three month check-up. Maybe bikes are considered disposable these days and people (with more money than sense) toss them out when the gears slip and the brake pads wear out. Certainly, the bike shop I called seemed surprised I wanted to get my bike tuned up.


It's getting harder and harder to get things repaired. I've written before about being frugal, preferring to make do and mend rather than waste resources and create landfill. I'd rather own one good item, and get it fixed over and over again, than buy multiple crappy things that break or fall apart.

My bike will be celebrating its seventh birthday this year and is my main means of transport. Here's hoping I can squeeze a few more years of use out of it!

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