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Bike Tool rentals -- does your LBS offer these?

Old 03-25-20, 01:53 PM
  #1  
Sy Reene
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Bike Tool rentals -- does your LBS offer these?

Occurs that a revenue generator could exist for the LBS of offering limited time rentals of various types of equipment for those who want to DIY.
Any other examples of tools you don't want to buy, but would like to use to try doing something yourself?

eg. Crank puller, steerer tube cutting guide, wheel truing stand
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Old 03-25-20, 01:59 PM
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Cotter press
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Old 03-25-20, 03:25 PM
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Headset press; headset removal tools. Of course, a co-op should have all the tools listed so far.
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Old 03-25-20, 03:49 PM
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I just had to order a tool from Shimano. It's not going to get here until mid-April!!! I refused to pay the 41 freaking dollars amazon wanted to get in to me next week (not a Prime member). Maybe should have tried locally, but they are all closed by law now.

I realize it's only cycling, but I am currently having some seriously bad-timing maintenance issues, including, possibly, front der cable just broke (internally routed, no idea how to do that myself), maybe a need for a new BB--which I also do not have all the tools to remove old-install new for. I realize people are sick and dying and I totally get the need for all these measures. Fully support all that. That said, one of the major ways I control my bipolar symptoms is on my bike. Meds only do so much for me at this point. My voices go away, my paranoia goes away, racing thoughts, blah, bleeh, blooh, all the madness just drifts away and it is just me and the road. It is often the only place I have peace. If I can't do that, I am going to literally lose my freaking mind. Just sayin'.
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Old 03-25-20, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Headset press; headset removal tools. Of course, a co-op should have all the tools listed so far.
I guess co-op kills that business idea. The main client for renting specialty tools would be semi-skilled amateurs, who also figured out there are co-ops (or buy the tool).

I kind of responded to the OP in another thread... but LBS makes most money with selling labor. Especially since most DIY people figured out there is an internet. So renting out tools cuts their main revenue, unless the tool rental rates are high.But then again, DIY people may just buy the tool.
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Old 03-25-20, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Occurs that a revenue generator could exist for the LBS of offering limited time rentals of various types of equipment for those who want to DIY.
Any other examples of tools you don't want to buy, but would like to use to try doing something yourself?

eg. Crank puller, steerer tube cutting guide, wheel truing stand
This is silly nonsense. You can't go to Discount tires and say "Hey, can I borrow this machine to mount my car tires myself?" You don't go to a restaurant and say, "Hey, can I cook that steak myself?" That's the purpose of a co-op bike shop. Bike shops provide a service. Let them do it or buy your own tools.
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Old 03-25-20, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
This is silly nonsense. You can't go to Discount tires and say "Hey, can I borrow this machine to mount my car tires myself?" You don't go to a restaurant and say, "Hey, can I cook that steak myself?" That's the purpose of a co-op bike shop. Bike shops provide a service. Let them do it or buy your own tools.
You're probably right. though I'm thinking about days of doing part-time pro photography.. eg. ability to rent lenses, tripods, lighting setups for 1 day where I wanted to shoot some friend's wedding or special event, Some of that stuff was pretty expensive to buy outright and the client wanted to save money by having a friend do some photography for them without a huge investment.

Besides.. you're twisting words.. I didn't say "borrow" or whatnot where there's an implied non-reimbursement for using equipment they might have on offer. I said "rental" which is pretty long-established practice.
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Old 03-25-20, 07:19 PM
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LBS (Local? none withing 10 miles of me here in the sticks) no, a bike CoOp would be a better choice...
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Old 03-25-20, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
This is silly nonsense. You can't go to Discount tires and say "Hey, can I borrow this machine to mount my car tires myself?" You don't go to a restaurant and say, "Hey, can I cook that steak myself?" That's the purpose of a co-op bike shop. Bike shops provide a service. Let them do it or buy your own tools.
Actually, we have two spots (that I know of) in Newark and Wilmington Delaware where you can take your bike to, use their professional bike stands and use their tools. No charge, but they ask for a donation. Mechanics will not do the work (except when dealing with a Child) but will give advice.
BTW...There is or was a restaurant in Virginia Beach called the Great Steak where you chose a steak and had the option to cook it yourself on a huge indoor grill with an array of spices and sauces at your disposal for no charge. No, you couldn't bring your own, but the place was excellent and very very busy.
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Old 03-25-20, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Actually, we have two spots (that I know of) in Newark and Wilmington Delaware where you can take your bike to, use their professional bike stands and use their tools. No charge, but they ask for a donation. Mechanics will not do the work (except when dealing with a Child) but will give advice.
BTW...There is or was a restaurant in Virginia Beach called the Great Steak where you chose a steak and had the option to cook it yourself on a huge indoor grill with an array of spices and sauces at your disposal for no charge. No, you couldn't bring your own, but the place was excellent and very very busy.
Oh geez. A 0.001% exception. I think you understand the point.
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Old 03-25-20, 08:35 PM
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I don't see a profitable market for this either. You're always going to be squeezed at the low end by the fact that tools are cheap. The toolkit pictured is just $60 so most people are just going to pay the $60 and have tools for life or else just pay to have someone do the entire job.. For uncommon expensive items like a bottom bracket threading tool, there's just not enough demand and as others have pointed out you'd just be cutting yourself out of a more profitable job.


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Old 03-25-20, 08:47 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
This is silly nonsense. You can't go to Discount tires and say "Hey, can I borrow this machine to mount my car tires myself?" You don't go to a restaurant and say, "Hey, can I cook that steak myself?" That's the purpose of a co-op bike shop. Bike shops provide a service. Let them do it or buy your own tools.
Don't know about Discount tire, never been to one, but Napa, Advanced Auto, Auto Zone; they'll all happily rent you the tools to do the job instead of selling them. Had the front wheel bearings on my car go, 800 per wheel on the front. Had one specialty tool to buy which was cheap, 40.00, 3 tools to rent from Auto Zone which they refund the rental if you return them, and 30.00 in parts per side. I didn't know anything about Co-ops till I came on this forum and their design/function is still an unknown to me, but I've often thought in the winter months especially shops could benefit from renting out stands and tools for people to work on their own bikes.
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Old 03-26-20, 05:38 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Don't know about Discount tire, never been to one, but Napa, Advanced Auto, Auto Zone; they'll all happily rent you the tools to do the job instead of selling them. Had the front wheel bearings on my car go, 800 per wheel on the front. Had one specialty tool to buy which was cheap, 40.00, 3 tools to rent from Auto Zone which they refund the rental if you return them, and 30.00 in parts per side..
Different situation. The Napas etc aren't selling you service (labor) but parts. If you don't have the tool to install the part, you won't buy it.
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Old 03-26-20, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
I just had to order a tool from Shimano. It's not going to get here until mid-April!!! I refused to pay the 41 freaking dollars amazon wanted to get in to me next week (not a Prime member). Maybe should have tried locally, but they are all closed by law now.

I realize it's only cycling, but I am currently having some seriously bad-timing maintenance issues, including, possibly, front der cable just broke (internally routed, no idea how to do that myself), maybe a need for a new BB--which I also do not have all the tools to remove old-install new for. I realize people are sick and dying and I totally get the need for all these measures. Fully support all that. That said, one of the major ways I control my bipolar symptoms is on my bike. Meds only do so much for me at this point. My voices go away, my paranoia goes away, racing thoughts, blah, bleeh, blooh, all the madness just drifts away and it is just me and the road. It is often the only place I have peace. If I can't do that, I am going to literally lose my freaking mind. Just sayin'.
My experience with Amazon bike related purchases overseas is the item arrives much sooner than the suggested lead time.

As far as replacing internal cables, go to youtube and search on "replacing internally routed bike cables" You will find a number of vids that will help you replace your cables without buying a lot of tools.

For removing cranks and replacing your BB there are literally tons of youtubes on this topic. There are literally tons of different BBs styles and tools needed to service so a bit of research is needed. My crank puller, I purchased when I was 14 years old, I'm now 62.

On the topic of tools, most repairs and service can be performed with tools you probably already have. Anyone who wants to work on their bikes should have at least one book on bike repair such as Zinn and the Art of (road or mountain) Bike Repair. Find something used on the second hand book market but for just about every possible repair there are numerous youtubes out there for free. Most of these sources will help you make a tool to do a specific job. Maybe not bike shop elegant but something that works.
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Old 03-26-20, 09:21 AM
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One downside would be that the LBS would have to invest in an additional tool since you can't rent out your only one in the shop and then have someone come in and ask for an in-shop repair. It would require an additional outlay of capital and I don't think they would end up being rented out that often anyway. Probably not getting your bang for the buck.

The positive side is that it gets people into your shop.
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Old 03-26-20, 10:07 AM
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No. "Your honor. ABC Bike Shop lent my client a tool to adjust his handlebars when it knew, or should have known, that my client was mechanically inept. My client was subsequently injured when his mis-adjusted handlebars cause him to crash."
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Old 03-26-20, 10:32 AM
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If it was a viable option it would be common.
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Old 03-26-20, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
One downside would be that the LBS would have to invest in an additional tool since you can't rent out your only one in the shop and then have someone come in and ask for an in-shop repair. It would require an additional outlay of capital and I don't think they would end up being rented out that often anyway. Probably not getting your bang for the buck.

The positive side is that it gets people into your shop.
Not sure if this is the rule or not but the one bike shop mechanic I personally know owns most of the hand tools he uses day to day not the bike shop.
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Old 03-26-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
No. "Your honor. ABC Bike Shop lent my client a tool to adjust his handlebars when it knew, or should have known, that my client was mechanically inept. My client was subsequently injured when his mis-adjusted handlebars cause him to crash."
I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure there are legal ways to avoid that. Tool rentals give people chainsaws, welders and all kind of equipment without any proof of capability. However, any additionally required insurance or lawyer-approved waiver forms will add to the rental cost.

Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
If it was a viable option it would be common.
you have a point... but according that that no new invention ever would be funded. No one would use the internet for commerce if in 1985, or whenever, people would not have started it because there was no application yet.

It probably is feasible, just ot economically. At least not within the current LBS model. It kind of is feasible, in the co-op model. There you don't realy rent the tool and take it home, you use it there. But the co-op model is not based on actual economics. They have volunteers, get a lot of tools and materials donated etc. Hard to compete with.

I don't know specifics and if that is still a thing. But there used to be car shop spaces one can rent since having a lift etc. at home is not realistic. Not sure if that still exists. but a bike is easy to repair (no car lift needed etc., and the tools are relatively cheap)
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Old 03-26-20, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure there are legal ways to avoid that. Tool rentals give people chainsaws, welders and all kind of equipment without any proof of capability. However, any additionally required insurance or lawyer-approved waiver forms will add to the rental cost.
Think risk vs. additional revenue vs. lost revenue. People sue despite waivers, and waivers donít always hold up. The store renting you the chain saw is likely not in the service business like a bike shop. Know any tree service business that rent chain saws so you can cut down your own tree instead of hiring them?
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Old 03-26-20, 04:54 PM
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People are so cheap. When I wanted work done on my bottom bracket I didnít go looking for the tool, I took the bike to my LBS. After explaining the issue I left the bike there for a couple hours and they fixed it. In a sense, I was renting the tool, along with the skilled mechanic who knew how to use it. Lots of things I can handle. Some things I canít. Whatís the big deal?
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Old 03-26-20, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
People are so cheap. When I wanted work done on my bottom bracket I didnít go looking for the tool, I took the bike to my LBS. After explaining the issue I left the bike there for a couple hours and they fixed it. In a sense, I was renting the tool, along with the skilled mechanic who knew how to use it. Lots of things I can handle. Some things I canít. Whatís the big deal?
Believe it or not.. some people might just like to do a thing called tinkering. Some people like to drive their own cars instead of hiring chauffeurs too, etc etc
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Old 03-26-20, 04:58 PM
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One business model that I've seen - which AFAIK has been successful - branded itself as a "community" bike shop. The shop has some elements of a normal LBS: they employ mechanics and do full-service repairs, sell bikes (mostly used, mostly geared toward the family/hybrid/commuter market) and accessories (again, geared toward that market.)

They also offer classes (some free, mostly paid) and a DIY space where people can come in and use the tools (it costs money per hour). It's not quite a tool rental service, but provides access to shop tools in a way that's different from the usual co-op model.

Personally, I've never used this kind of service. My guys and gals at the LBS will usually hook me up with stuff like setting a crown race or cutting spokes; for normal repairs, it's worked out cheaper to just buy tools than to rent a space by the hour.
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Old 03-27-20, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
This is silly nonsense. You can't go to Discount tires and say "Hey, can I borrow this machine to mount my car tires myself?" You don't go to a restaurant and say, "Hey, can I cook that steak myself?" That's the purpose of a co-op bike shop. Bike shops provide a service. Let them do it or buy your own tools.
actually...when i bought the break pads to install on my daughters VW from AutoZone i was able to borrow the tools needed. All i had to provide was a 20$ deposit.

i don't think the OP said anything about borrowing though.
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Old 03-27-20, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
actually...when i bought the break pads to install on my daughters VW from AutoZone i was able to borrow the tools needed. All i had to provide was a 20$ deposit.

i don't think the OP said anything about borrowing though.
Yeah. As previously said above in number 13, thatís apples and oranges. AutoZone doesnít provide service. They sell parts. But they donít put your brake pads on your car. A bike shop provides parts and service. They will put brake pads on your bike. So they have no incentive to let you use their tools.
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