Dr Bike: Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?

  • Book online or over the phone.
  • Simply tell us your preferred date and time, then we will match you with a qualified mechanic.
  • We can accommodate most requests – including evenings and weekends.
  • Bookings must be made a minimum of three weeks in advance. If you require a Dr Bike sooner, please call us on 0117 353 4580.

Where will it take place?

  • The mechanic comes to you – as long as the location is in Bristol, BANES, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire or Derby.
  • 1 mechanic needs an area about the size of a parking space. 
  • Ideally the session will take place somewhere warm and dry (especially in winter). 

What do I need to provide?

  • Mechanics bring all their own tools and replacement parts
  • Please bear in mind they will need toilet breaks and access to water/refreshments!

What happens during a Dr Bike session?

  • Our mechanic will deal with common issues that prevent bikes running smoothly or safely. It is not a full mechanical service.
  • People can stay and observe the mechanic, however they will not have time to provide tuition. We offer Maintenance Demo sessions for those who want to learn as their bike is fixed. Please call 0117 353 4580 if you would like to find out more. 

There are two ways a Dr Bike session can be run:

  1. Asking people to book slots in advance
  2. Allowing people to ‘drop in’ (e.g. at a public event)

1. If you have booked slots in advance:

  • Give the timetable to the mechanic on the day. If they are working for more than 4 hours, please schedule-in a 30 minute break in the middle. 
  • Make sure each person arrives promptly with their bike - or leave bikes unlocked ready to be worked on.
  • If there is time left at the end, the mechanic may be able to squeeze others in – but this is not a given and the mechanic’s decision is final.
  • We recommend leaving a few spare slots free at the end of the session for people to drop in.

2. If the mechanic is working at an event:

  • The mechanic works on a first-come, first served basis.
  • If there is a queue there may be the option for people to leave their bikes with the mechanic, then collect it later. Please note, this is at the mechanics’ discretion on the day and is done at the individual’s own risk.
  • The mechanic will not be able to take any unclaimed bikes with them at the end of the session.

What will each person get from the session?

  • The mechanic will return your bike to a roadworthy condition, or (if there are serious issues) fix any manageable issues in the allotted time and refer you to a bike shop for the rest.
  • They will issue a ‘prescription’ – with details of the items they have fixed, issues that may need attention in the near future, and/or issues that need urgent attention and must be taken to a bike shop. If there are queries about this, the individual should speak to the mechanic, or contact Life Cycle UK.

How long does it take?

  • Some bikes need minor attention – others may have a lot of issues. One mechanic can service a maximum of 3 bikes per hour – although we would recommend 2 bikes per hour. 

What kind of bikes do you service?

  • We service push bikes of all kinds (from vintage to road bike) and electric bikes.
  • We service rideable (but not necessarily road-worthy) bikes. If a bike is in pieces or requires major repairs, we will refer you to a bike shop.

What kind of components do you deal with?

  • For each bike, the mechanic will prioritise what can be done in the limited time available. The most common jobs this might include are:
Typical Jobs  
Safety check ("M-check")
Replace inner tubes
Adjust/replace inner brake cables and/or brake blocks
Adjust gear cable/indexing
Adjust handlebars/saddle
Lubricate working parts
Inflate tyres
Explain repairs to the bike owner and give recommendations for further work

 

The following tasks are not within the scope of a Dr Bike session:

Not within scope of Dr Bike  
Cleaning the bike (the mechanic has the right to refuse to service very dirty bikes)
Replace outer cables
True wheels
Replace spokes
Service disc brakes, suspension forks, tubeless tyres or other high-end parts
Fit spare parts the customer has bought off the internet

Can you accommodate special requests?

  • Life Cycle is a charity and as such we go the extra mile to be inclusive and to accommodate the people we work with. For example, we can provide a female mechanic for Dr Bike sessions in all-female environments.
  • If you have any special requests please note this on your booking form (or contact us directly) and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What happens after booking?

1. What to expect from us

  • After booking online you will receive an email confirming that your booking has been provisionally made.
  • Once your booking has been finalised, you will receive a confirmation email with some materials to help you promote the event. 

2. What we need from you

  • Please promote the Dr Bike session as widely as possible before the event.
  • Ensure the facilities are prepared, key staff (e.g. security/reception) are briefed and inform us where the mechanic needs to go. If we need to bring special documentation (e.g. a DBS certificate), please let us know at least 5 working days before the session.
  • Your feedback is valuable to us. After the session we will email you with survey. Please fill it in to help us improve our service.

What if something changes or I want to cancel?

  • By booking your session you agree to our Terms & Conditions.
  • We require 5 working days’ notice for cancellation – please ring the office on 0117 353 4580.

What happens after the session?

  • We will contact the individuals who had their bikes serviced and ask for feedback.

 

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